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November 1, 2016

Between HONK! and Halloween, this month was mostly music, and some art.

The 7th has a close up of a baritone player's cigarette (the player is French, of course), 24th has me trying to master a hula hoop, and the 28th is a cat that has grown use to like one trombone but 12 at once is just too much. Also the Jack-O-Lanterns I helped with near the end; I like the tiny face and just inscribing the word "Pumpkin"
"Seeing someone reading a book you love is seeing a book recommending a person"

October 2016 New Music Playlist

Interesting month for music. A lot of rips I made myself and a fair amount of religious-y stuff. Here in reverse chronological order, 4 star stuff in red.

November 3, 2016

All The Dumb Sh!t Trump Has Done As Nominee In One Mega-List. Cracked does this so well. All Trump has had to do is not behave like a toddler for the weeks after the election, and one set of FBI assholery puts him in spitting distance. What a country.
The one thing most Americans can agree on is that a large portion of the population seems to be trying to destroy the country. We just can't agree on which portion it is.

November 4, 2016

Wheels sigh with longing for the horizon.
Hunger moans in the spoon's hollow belly.
Tools recount the needs from which they arose
and so comprise a history of human desire.

The match recalls fear in the fireless night,
the saw's oiled teeth plead for perfect order,
the pen cannot imagine life without ink.

Even that technology employed by the soul
in its perilous escape from the prison of the body
is exhibited here, in these letters, in words.


Odd Dream bit, Richard Feynman was a band leader at some kind of street festival. He was showing off some topological principle by a surprisingly sparse net that was keeping a bunch of foam balls around his body. (Not unlike one of the Fruit of the Loom "grapes" guy, not that that had much to do with the dream) The soloist was Kurt Vonnegut on Clarinet. (I think my subconscious may have been oddly merging Woody Allen's side instrument with R. Crumb's musical look and feel.)
Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.
Walt Kelly's "Pogo"
Not to underplay the importance of presidential election, especially viz a viz the supreme court and also the message about, well, anyone who ain't a straight white male, but I think people are forgetting our ability to muddle through. (That said, I'm finding a weird comfort in having ordered "Scatter, Adapt, and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction"... )

ain't nohow permanent

The best break anybody ever gets is in bein' alive in the first place. An' you don't unnerstan' what a perfect deal it is until you realizes that you ain't gone be stuck with it forever, either.
Porky Pine, in Walt Kelly's "Pogo".

November 6, 2016


Blender of Love

Interesting summary of the Brexit situation.

November 7, 2016

My folks in their Salvation Army Officer uniforms, I'm guessing in Salamanca the late 1970s or early 1980s.

Best part may be how you can see my dad's tie is a clip-on. Also his glasses may be, remarkably, more expansive than my own.
Jeezie Petes why are Clinton and Trump being interviewed on Monday Night Football? So much for escapism.

November 8, 2016

triscuits are what i imagine the inside of a scarecrow tastes like

buddy I can't even kill one bird with like 8 stones

Sure it's too late (by about 6 months, it feels like) to change any minds, but here is a high level summary of 45 years of Republican persecution of Hillary Clinton.

Well at least Trump's handlers were able to keep him off Twitter for a few weeks, so maybe there'd be hope, depending on who his Cheney would be.

Jeezie Petes, what a farce.

Talking with some of my less slathering pro-Trump and/or anti-Hillary friends; there's a lot of listening to be done.

Tennessee Williams once wrote, "We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it." In a certain sense, the playwright was correct. Yes, but oh! What a view from that upstairs window! What Tennessee failed to mention was that if we look out of that window with an itchy curiosity and a passionate eye; with a generous spirit and a capacity for delight; and, yes, the language with which to support and enrich the things we see, then it DOESN'T MATTER that the house is burning down around us. It doesn't matter. Let the motherfucker blaze!
Tom Robbins

dear cora

I've been writing my superniece Cora every time after we visit. I write in a little private online site, and then print them up annually-ish, and will give them to her when she's in her teens... 15 or 16 maybe? Old enough to be thoughtful, young enough that her course isn't set. They chart her development (as I've become more of a personal archivist, sometimes I wish I had a similar history for me- though my moms saving and then binding like EVERY school and church related paper she had saved from preschool through some of college comes very close), let me pontificate a bit, and feel a little self important where someone in the next generation might be interested in me if I write well enough.

In general I'll keep them private, of course, but tonight I felt like sharing.

November 8 2016

Dear Cora,

Hello from a weird time!

It's election night 2016.

Right now it could go either way, closer than expected. Probably won't go well.

If it goes for Trump- I dunno. It won't be great - it's such a bad message, about human rights, about who we are, about how a guy who just doesn't want to learn anything and is so full of himself can take the presidency, about how we have to wait for a first female president. But life will be ok, and I'm sad because so many of my friends have forgotten that. It has been such a rough campaign, really brutal. Trump has done and said so many ugly things. The other side really thinks Hillary is corrupt, but that's not fundamentally true; she's just a connected politician who has been the target of 40 years of Republican attacks. But overall, we'll get through. It'll be easier for me and my demographic, white, straight, reasonably comfortable, christian background; for gay people and people of color and moslems, they're not going to feel as welcome. Maybe things will happen to some of them (the supreme court will be borked up, and things for abortion rights are definitely under threat) or maybe not, but some of the worst of it is that the guy who might be winning did so in part saying it's ok to say the country should be white and facts are optional; his fans say we're the greatest nation on Earth and get mad if you decide to bow out during the National Anthem but then say "make America Great Again", like it's not.

I guess I gotta hope many of the liberal fears are overblown, but even that's kind of a bad sign, like how we just amp everything up and and demonize both sides.

I know your Mamas are wary of the legal status of families like yours. At a minimum I think Massachusetts will be ok, besides being a leader in gay marriage, and there being at least some push towards "state rights" in these things by conservatives. Other states might make harder time, but despite setbacks, the path is in the right direction about LGTBQ, and will keep going that way as older more conservative generations die out.

But I'm writing you now, on a night when I'm kind of scared. On top of everything my sweetie Melissa and I are going to Malaysia tomorrow for 2 weeks vacation... I was joking that it was to celebrate or flee the election, but I really wasn't expecting the latter. Should be an amazing trip anyway. Also I'm switching jobs, always a bit of a stressful thing even when all the signs look promising.

But I want you to know that things tend to work out ok - we get so scared, we think about things being somewhat worse than they are now and it just freaks us out. Some things we're just helpless to help, and we need to learn to accept those, but we can then take solace in how we can endure. Dreading is worse than living through.

A good quote:

"Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency. Nothing is that important."
--Natalie Goldberg

Lately I've been thinking about stress and anxiety; is it always bad? Does it get me to make wiser choices and work harder? Can I just be smart and calm and choose to do what I know is right? It's a toughie.

It's funny writing to you. I tell you stuff I don't know if I'd be ready to really grasp as a teenager myself. Of course maybe I'd think I was ready for it as a teen... and maybe I'd be right? Or not. I dunno. Sometimes I underestimate my teen self. Sometimes I feel like I've recently figured some stuff out, made great progress in thinking and feeling as a grownup, other times I worry I worked some stuff out before, like maybe in my 20s, and forgot about it. Sometimes I wish I was writing to you as a fellow forty year old! But by then, any advantage I can give you might've passed.

Ugh. So much trouble focusing this night. I've reread what I've written so far like five times. (Hanging with Melissa, watching random tv shows on "hulu", periodically look at news websites)

Alright. Anyway, had a nice afternoon with you and your Mamas last Saturday. Played blocks, made a stuffed snake and a turtle box from a monthly kit called "Koala Crate", had spaghetti and meatballs, did some fun tumblers and horsie rides- especially you and your Mama C. You're getting a little sassy here and there, talking back to teachers a bit (not entirely in a bad way), and after the end of Daylight Savings Time took an hour of light from our nights your Mama K posted: "mama the sun is asleep.It's not bedtime. WAKE UP SUN!" This should be an interesting season.

Your Mama K also posted this photo, and said This might be my favorite picture ever. Supergirl power pose. Fierce Cora.

Uncle Kirk

PS Quote I've been liking lately (pardon the cussing)

Tennessee Williams once wrote, "We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it." In a certain sense, the playwright was correct. Yes, but oh! What a view from that upstairs window! What Tennessee failed to mention was that if we look out of that window with an itchy curiosity and a passionate eye; with a generous spirit and a capacity for delight; and, yes, the language with which to support and enrich the things we see, then it DOESN'T MATTER that the house is burning down around us. It doesn't matter. Let the motherfucker blaze!
Tom Robbins

If this is the country that elected Donald Trump, it is still also the country that elected Obama.

Wait But Why's It's Going to be OK This is pretty good. I've been engaging with some trusted conservative friends, about the potential they see in Trump, and while there is a buttload to despise about him and what he says and what groups he's not rejected the support of and his lack of experience, our view of him has been bent to almost the same degree as us liberals and moderates think the view of Hillary has. I don't think he has great action plans for fixing what ails the rural / post-manufacturing areas, but he's making them a part of the conversation in a way they often aren't. Anyway, this article was the second best thing I've had to those conversations.

I'm really tired of the us and them of it all. We've made such villains of each other.

November 10, 2016

Vision: Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won't be. But there is grace in their failings. I think you missed that.
Ultron: They're doomed!
Vision: Yes... but a thing isn't beautiful because it lasts. It is a privilege to be among them.
"Age of Ultron"
International flights with tons of movies to choose from allow for some nice little indulgences like catching up on the Marvel flicks.

malaysia 2016: doha airport and kl


Weird happenings in Arlington - Accused FBI Impersonator Tried to Enter Arlington Home - my housemate reports seeing a news van right outside our house.

malaysia 2016: kuala lumpur, markets and temples


malaysia 2016: batu caves and kl tower


When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism. I'd prefer to be a citizen of the world myself, but we need to understand people who put nation over humanity. And sometimes there's something to be said for the view in the United States, there are many things we get right, and paths to improvement. Unfortunately the white-america first got this know-nothing elected.

malaysia 2016: george town, pinang peranakan museum and food tour


A kissing booth at a fair is basically a PG rated glory hole.

[How is half of such an advanced country so hell-bent on going back to the 18th century?] Because the same people that like to mock "safe spaces" and "participation awards" and "the pussification of America" are fucking ignorant cowards who are intimidated that women and minorities might actually be edging to equality to the point where simply being a barely high school educated white male isn't enough to stay ahead of the curve.

Are. You. F'in. Kidding. Me. :
"Returning home to Trump Tower from the White House may not be Mr. Trump's only embrace of the familiar. His aides say he has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that were a staple of his candidacy. He likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide, and his aides are discussing how they might accommodate his demand."

malaysia 2016: george town tour, kek lok si, and penang hill


malaysia 2016: george town clan house tour and off to airport


malaysia 2016: langkawi junglewalla kayak and waterfall, excursion to kuah


malaysia 2016: panorama langkawi and the beach


malaysia 2016: langkawi lounging and the night market


malaysia 2016: langkawi waterfalls and farewell


My dad accidentally texted me with voice recognition...while playing the tuba...

malaysia 2016:kuala lumpur twin towers mall


November 22, 2016

The abbreviation for 'down' (dn) is just 'up' upside down.

November 23, 2016

I liked this cover, don't know if it's an photo overlay or what...

November 24, 2016

Texas A+M Gymnastics Team wins the Mannequin Challenge.
"Be so good they can't ignore you."
Steve Martin's advice for aspiring entertainers
via Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It. I'm planning on disabling FB on my work laptop.

November 25, 2016

I thought this interview w/ Ben Shapiro aided my understanding of Breitbart and its relation to the "alt-right". And I agree, the left really needs to stop painting with a super-wide "racist idiot" brush. I don't think Trump is anywhere near as qualified as Obama was, and he's promoted a lot of ideas terrible for equality and our nation in general (but he has walked back some of the worst of things, and highlighted the people hurt taking the brunt of the hit of free trade) but the demonization of Trump is an ugly mirror of the crazy smears Obama put up with.

November 26, 2016

She was always immensely generous with her money, her love, her time. The result was thousands of friends, a life crammed with lovers, and, at mid-century, an idyllic romance with a man who turned out to be her mental and emotional double. My mother and grandmother, who hoarded and calculated their love, my sisters, who chose their husbands at eighteen and never budged, wound up with less than Hope, who gave everything away. She was a human potlatch. Gifts dropped from her like fruit from a tree. You dared not admire anything in her home or office or on her person for fear she would give it to you. Anything at all: a painting, a first edition, a piece of jewelry. She gave and gave and gave. Things fell out of her pockets. And everything eventually came back. Doubled, usually. Or tripled.
Erica Jong, "How to Save Your Own Life"

How to Save Your Own Life
The Wit & Wisdom of Isadora Wing
(Amanuensis to the Zeitgeist)
"Have pen, will travel"
  1. Renounce useless guilt.
  2. Don't make a cult of suffering.
  3. Live in the Now (or at least the Soon).
  4. Always do the things you fear the most; courage is an acquired taste, like caviar.
  5. Trust all joy.
  6. If the evil eye fixes you in its gaze, look elsewhere.
  7. Get ready to be eighty-seven.
(to be continued)
Erica Jong, "How to Save Your Own Life"

Oh man, I wish I could find the song starting at around :38 of this '72 Italian film trailer. (mildly NSFW in parts)

November 27, 2016

#NonSwingStatesMattter #AllStatesMatter

Liberal view: the electoral college was set up to give slave states more say and generally punch above their weight on a national level

Conservative view: the electoral college stops politicians from just sucking up to big urban areas and running on their issues.

November 28, 2016

I accidentally broke a cool Fred and Friends Equal Measure Measuring Cup... unfortunately they don't seem to make it anymore.

Some of those facts seem unbelievable! Multiple billions of grains in 2 1/2 cups of flour???

best photo from malaysia trip 2016


"Relationships are all about asking people to hold things."
(This was especially true in the context she said this, the airport, as we both played that game of 'Ok do I have everything? Ok do I still have everything? Let me check again. How about now?')
My iPhone 6 was sort of on its last legs so I upgraded - but I went for the iPhone SE, which is the old iPhone 5 body with a 6S camera. There's something great about that old form factor, how easy it is to manage for quick camera shots etc. (Remember when smaller was considered better for electronics?)

second best photos from malaysia trip 2016


--from Concept art of vehicles driven by Toads from Mario Strikers Charged. via Supper Mario Broth
I think I just summarized my life philosophy really succinctly to my roommate:
'you do what you gotta do. and sometimes you do it in heels'
Anna Anthropy

2016 November❮❮prevnext❯❯