Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Saturday, February 25, 2006

blogger bowlarama

blogger bowlarama
Originally uploaded by Theorris.
Sleepy E is in town visiting the Middlebrows/Dr.Writes.

Bowling quickly ensued.

Beer was consumed.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Originally uploaded by Theorris.
Nothing to write today.

Just a picture that says something to me.

I laughed aloud when I first spotted the scrap of paper. It relieves the sadness of seeing the toothless prostitute who was scamming cigarettes in front of the 4th South 7-Eleven in return for sexual favors. She got a pack of Old Golds from a very seedy looking guy who bought them instead of Marlboros after the attendant told him the price difference. "Thanks for saving me some money, ma'am!" He said joyfully as he left the store to return to the prostitute with the goods. They then took off around the corner of the building, no doubt to some litter strewn alley for the pay off.

"You're welcome," the attendant said and motioned for me to step forward to the counter.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Calendaric mossification

Lord almighty I love Presidents Day!* What a great idea: the third Monday in February where you can take the day off and really have no obligations other than sitting around wondering why the hell you have this day off.

I have friends who hate the month of February. If I made a top ten list of months, February would be right up there, I think. Not just because of the wonderful Presidents Day holiday, but also because I sort of consider it my month, as my birthday falls right before it and pretty much the whole month is devoted to my astrological sign: Aquarius.

Oh, so what are my top ten months, you ask? Well here you go:

1) July because it is summer and you have to respect that kind of heat and the fun that it can entail.
2) February because it is the shortest month of the year and it is winter and you get pointless days off where you can clean your kitchen and do laundry without having to rush off to work.
3) September because september just makes me think of how good it is to be out of August and how we who used to be in quarter-system academia used to get nearly the whole month off to do whatever.
4) May because it is the new september in the semester system.
5) June because spring really sets in in Utah and it quickly converts to summer.
6) November because it is pretty much winter and all that fall crap is over.
7) April because it usually starts out fucking with you (ala April fools day) but by the end it is pretty much still fucking with you. You've got to respect a month that is so completely undecided. Cruelest month? Nah. Just messed up.
8) August because it is annoyingly hot but in a good and bad way.
9) March because I said so.
10) December because I like the dark.

Worst months? Well there are only 2 left, so they must be January and October. Why those two? Hmm. My birthday is in January, so that's not why. Perhaps they just don't really offer anything that is interesting to put in a top 10. January is just messed up. October is in the heart of fall, which has its appeal, but doesn't really appeal to me right now.

Maybe I like those two months the best? Hmm.

Ah, Presidents Day, when I can ramble about nothing for no reason. Kind of like our presidents, eh?

*Note that it is Presidents Day not President's Day or Presidents' Day. The particular president nor his presidential predecessors does nor do not own it. Actually it was the sneaky Republican way of getting out of paying employees for two federal holidays (i.e. Washington & Lincoln's birthdays.)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Someone's got to do it

Someone's got to do it
Originally uploaded by Theorris.
UTA loves its riders so much that they put this poor guy out with a small broom to clear the snow off the platforms so that it wouldn't cause more delays: The SL Turb* Exaggerates Delays.

Nevertheless, I was right on time on Thursday. How about you? Let's see. I heard stories of 3 hour commutes and battling slide offs. My mass transit commute that everyone scoffs at as taking too long? RIGHT FREAKING ON TIME and I contributed only a teensy amount to pollution and consumption of natural resources.

Sorry, I'll stop gloating now.

*And yes I do mean to spell it "Turb" as they seem intent on causing needless turbulence about mass transit here in Utah.

Friday, February 17, 2006

2 Facts About Ethiopia

2 Facts About Ethiopia
Originally uploaded by Theorris.
1) It is 1998 or 1999 in Ethiopia. The Ethiopians never accepted the modern Gregorian calendar and stuck with the previous Julian calendar, including its calculation of the beginning of the common era.
2) Noon in Ethiopia is actually six o'clock. The Ethiopian day is always pretty much 12 hours long and dawn is considered 12 and the hour after dawn is 1 et cetera. Sunset is, therefore 12:00 again.

Learn these and more interesting facts on the Lonely Planet podcast downloaded directly to your new spiffy & black (it is black, man--it is black!) iPod Nano.

(Go on, say it. I know what you are thinking: "Tech slut!") Hey, just doing my part to make sure Steve Jobs can buy that solid gold bidet to wash his already gold-plated ass.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Snow day

Originally uploaded by Theorris.
It has been snowing since yesterday with little break. It is the first appreciable snow we've had for two years. Last year, and even earlier this year, all it seemed to do in the valley was rain. That's mostly annoying if you like snow as I do, but wonderful if you are like lis who hates the snow and the cold.

For a moment I thought it would have been a snow day for school since we haven't had snow like this for so long and folks here tend to get jealous of places that completely shut down in even the slightest amount of snow or ice. But no--the True West has taken over and most folks head out into the storm to get to their jobs or school or whatever. People leave early and drive slow (mostly). Snow plows are out all night, cutting their way through the streets.

Despite its inconvenience and cause for caution most people seem to be in a good mood this morning. Folks wave to each other as they shovel off their cars. Bus stop waiters chat about the weather and the cold and joke about weathermen.

Yes, the snow smooths things over--even people. They fail to see the cold and the bleakness of winter and succumb to the magic of snow that, overnight, has exploded out of the nothingness of clouds and cold.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

How rock bands break up

How rock bands break up
Originally uploaded by Theorris.
I came into the Creative Arts Emporium & Sunny Lounging Room this afternoon and discovered that there has been dissention between Wook and a member of the Family Stone. Barely a week after the band formed, Billy Sandcreature took it upon himself to set Wook straight on a few points with a stolen Wookie fire staff. Wook put up a good fight, but as you can see, suffered injuries that rendered him unconcious. Fortunately for Signifying nothing fans, both have suffered no lasting ill-effects.

Wook has been quoted as saying about the incident "Wah wah wahhhhhhhh!" while Billy Sandcreature retorted "Arrr arrr arrrrrrrrrrrr!" There has been no word on the status of the rest of the Family Stone.


Turin Aims to Host Greener Games: "'For once the Games were not set in some far-off mountain resort or medium-scale Alpine town,' Savoia said.

'Turin is a real city, and this has made it easier to accommodate people and infrastructure without impacting pristine areas or fragile Alpine habitats.'"
So is Salt Lake a far-off mountain resort and not a real city? Ah busting poor SLC's chops again are we world? Can't you just leave her alone? Isn't it bad enough she has to put up with hyper-obsessed, demanding, self-serving people who are hell-bent on destroying her natural beauty? Ah well, I'm sure this little passage from the National Geographic will spur some interest in the media here in Salt Lake and that defensive "we're really ok--see we have a 7-11 on the corner which we drive our SUVs to!" reaction will get played out again, just as it always does. Oy. What the hell is up with the self-conciousness of this place, anyway?

On the whole, I prefer to think of Salt Lake, as a state of mind--which for the most part I quite enjoy, so perhaps it is unreal:
There is no
Life I know
To compare with
Pure imagination
Living there
You'll be free
If you truly wish to be

If you want to view paradise
Simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it
Wanta change the world?
There's nothing
To it
(Willy Wonka)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Grizzly Man

Originally uploaded by Theorris.
lis of the famed Asertively Unhip recently discoursed on the film Grizzly Man directed by Werner Herzog. While some (see comments at AU) find the protagonist annoying or bothersome because of his behavior, I found myself not so much deep disturbed by the subject matter an the person portrayed, but disturbed by Herzog's technique. Now disturbed is probably not the right word because it has negative connotations. I was distrubed in a good way; kind of like one is disturbed in Act III of Much Ado About Nothing when Shakespeare refuses to show the scene that most other characters witness in the play that supposedly proves that Hero is faithless and carrying on an illicit affair with Borrachio, a character who is in league with the play's bad guy, Don John. In Grizzly Man Herzog, taking mostly footage that Timothy Treadwell, the aforementioned annoying protagonist, shot and spun it together in such a way that you get a far better sense of the man and the bears he proclaims pretty much every time he is on the screen have saved his life.

Herzog plays with the irony here: that which Treadwell claims to have saved him ultimately kills him in the most gruesome way most humans can imagine--to be eaten alive. Herzog does this through narration at times, but more so through how he edits the scenes together and what he decides to let run on in the film. Ultimately there is a lot of discomfort with the editing in that where you (and even Treadwell) expects to be cut to another scene, Herzog leaves the scene alone. This is most evident in Treadwells many solioquys where he talks about his life and the bears and who he is. Where you expect a flashy cut to another scene or a cutaway of bears, Herzog leaves it alone, forcing the viewer to come to terms with Treadwell's mania.

Such editing is not new for Herzog, in The White Diamond an equally uncomfortable movie, Herzog carries on filming his subject (a man who is developing a blimp to study the rainforest canopy--the titular white diamond) even when that subject is seemingly done talking. Because Herzog asks no other questions, but keeps the camera on, the man often continues on with his narration of his life and why he is doing what he is doing, and by doing that shows something to the viewer that perhaps he did not want to show: a dark obsession to complete this project no matter what it takes. He needs to complete this project not simply out of a desire to conduct research, but seemingly to assuage himself of guilt he feels from his first attempt years before where his friend and well-known camera man died because of a failure of his blimp. Like Grizzly Man Herzog refuses too to show the death scene, but the film is saturated with the moment. You see the reaction that people had to the event, but not the event itself.

The choices that Herzog has made in this film caused me to step back from it more aware than ever of our obsessions and our endless need to make peace with some unknown past. Treadwell does that over and again throughout the movie--never quite getting there as he mugs for his camera. Yes he is in it for the bears, but he is also very much in it for himself. I'm fascinated how Herzog by making the film that he made, forces us into that confrontation as well.

[The land of lost notes] Note 24

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Getting all political on your asses

I sent this email to a colleague today
Aren't those [Utah] legislators doing a bang-up job! Whew, now I won't have to worry about being descended from a monkey and I can put a giant billboard in my backyard and my neighbors can just fuck off!
Snipe. Snipe. Snipe.

Aren't you glad I don't rant about politics more often? In any case it looks like the monkey bill will probably fail and the zoning one is being retooled since even its sponsor admited that it went too far.

Oh well, cheap shots are just as good as expensive ones, I suppose.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Stuff that dreams are made on

For about a week now I've been having dreams that feature my childhood. I am a child in them. They are not really memories as I am fairly confident that the events did not really occur in my childhood. They are more like an impression of what my adult self thinks my childhood was.

Nevertheless it takes me a moment to decide when I think back on them whether the dreams are real memories or are just a dream. I suppose, after a while, if I kept having the same dream I could be convinced that it really was a memory. That is kind of like how some people who repeat a lie to themselves begin to believe the lie has basis in reality. The human mind is so malleable and fallible, and states of awareness of "reality" is just one tiny aspect of the difficulties the mind presents. Among others there is perception problems, sensory confusion, chemical imbalance, schizophrenia--hell just break out the DSM-IV to see all the myriad ways the human brain/mind can be fucked up.

We really are a couple of synapses shy of a full load as humans, aren't we?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lesson 3.A: Two String Mambo

In honor of the new Multipurpose Room (christened Da Bone Yard in honor of its former occupant), I am teaching myself to play guitar. Somewhere along the way we picked up an electric guitar that I discovered in the closet of the Jones Memorial Shit Pile (the former creative arts now guest suite). Its origin is uncertain and its owner is unknown, so I've decided to torture it a bit by learning on it.

The instruciton manual that I picked up is trying to be funny and trying to keep the process of learning the world's most frustrating musical instrument (well aside from the violin which must be a bitch and a half to learn) light and entertaining. The book is quite enthusiatic at times, and seems to have a rather musically obsessed teen with self-esteem issues in mind: "Take a break," it suggest on page 15. "Get some sleep, maybe some breakfast." It is also well-aware that its simple songs are not going to be well-received by the average teen: "WARNING: With only two notes, this excercise is rather boring. Hang in there..."

If I weren't so damn old I'd think that the book was trying to be like my dad trying to be cool. Right now I kind of want to buy the book a beer. It is masochistically cheery and must need a few after having to listen to all us wannabes try to play.

Driven over the edge

Utah's Own - Life At Its Best...: "Currently food delivered through the national chain stores uses 17 times more fossil fuel and releases as much as 20 times the emissions to deliver us the very same items that may be available nearby. If just 10% of our food came from sources within Utah, we would save hundreds of thousands of gallons of fossil fuel and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by millions of pounds. “Cheap” imported food has a very large price tag beside its purchase price. It places a hidden tax on your food."
Having grown up on a farm right here in the good old SL Valley, I am stunned at how much farm land we have lost over the last 20 years and how unsustainable our community currently is. Basically we do not have the food production here in Utah to support our population. A good deal of our arable and, more importantly here in dry Utah, our irrigable farm land has been sucked up into cheaply-made, built-in-obsolesence-ready subdivisions where the chief produce is malcontented or prescription-drug-addled teenagers, philandering spouses (yes this happens quite a lot in our fake-clean little state), and Kentucky blue grass.

I would rant on, but that's certainly not working towards a solution. What are the solutions? How about a little more common sense in planning? My hell the Mormon pioneers survived out here by planning. Planning is not the enemy, nor is cooperation. The enemy is everyone thinking they can sit in their own little castle, never looking even as much in their front yard, and ignore the world.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Wook and the Family Stone

Wook and the Family Stone
Originally uploaded by Theorris.
When we lose a housemate, the other ones and I seem to take over their previous space to make a creative arts room. Wook and his crew found a space in the former Bone Yard.

I turned the old music room study into the new guest room. It is an exciting adventure to be a guest at the Wilhelm. You should give it a try some time. We even have a climbing wall nub, a broken snowboard, a Chinese hat and plenty of shelf space and a furnce in your guest suite.

My academic garb has been transfered, and I sit here typing away in my full regalia* listening to posh music and using words like posh while Wook and the Family Stone cheer me on with my view to the south--the same direction that the on again mostly off again camera that I don't remember the link to (but you can find it in the archive) looks out on (Never mind here is the link to the Wilhelm Cam with lashings of great joy.)

Ah the joys of domesticity.

Fuck that shit, I need a beer.

*I wore my regalia once as a great costume for Death (I manufactured a sickle out of my old old apartment's stair rail--I wonder why I didnt' get my deposit back) and it still has the white face make up all over it. That shows you how much I wear that freaking thing.