31.12.09

In Case You Need A Good Cry


If this doesn't make you cry, then I don't know if we can still be friends.

Last Minutes with ODEN from phos pictures on Vimeo.

27.12.09

Goethe & Goetze/Facing Acrophobia/Happy New Year!


A thought for the new year:

"All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Here is a December slideshow, quite long and street art heavy by Jason & Tracy. (That's right, Jason took a few of these--he's quite good.) The music is provided by Ablaye Cissoko & Volker Goetze with a song called Lountang. This song contains some of the loveliest sounds I've heard in a long while. That trumpet, you guys....that trumpet! And the kora! And Cissoko's voice! BEAUTIFUL. Oh, and in the slideshow you will see some nice (except for the glare) pictures from our trip to the top of the tallest building in Melbourne, the Eureka Tower, which is also the world's tallest residential building. This little adventure involved me facing one of my biggest fears! The way I see it, people have no business being that high up. In more ways than one, it's for the birds! We took the fastest lift in the Southern Hemisphere, traveling at more than 9 metres per second up to the 88th floor for some fantastic views of the city. The building also has the world's first Edge experience, a glass cube which projects 3 metres out of the building, 300 metres up, with you inside of it. We did not do the Edge! It was enough for me just being up that high. I didn't feel the need to risk my life any further. Baby steps...baby steps. I did promise to do it when Jay & Barbra come, though!! I have several months to mentally prepare myself. I was convinced the building was going to fall over or collapse at any moment. Seriously, the floor felt very unsteady to me. The top of the tower can flex up to 600mm in high winds! Dad, you would have been freakin' out! No one else seemed to be concerned, though and Jason gently told me how irrational I was being, so I eventually chillaxed and enjoyed the views. It was scary and awesome at the same time! But I was definitely relieved when my feet were back on Earth where they belong. It's good to face fears every now and then, I suppose. Anyway, I hope you enjoy the sights and sounds! And Happy New Year!



23.12.09

Merry Christmas 2008/9!


Last year we had lots of fun taking Christmas pictures using Granny Smith's handy dandy Photo Booth. Granny Smith is what I call my Mac in case you wondering. She's an Apple, get it? Do you? Anyway, the goal was to take a good picture to put on a Christmas card to send to all of you. Naturally, the card was never made or sent. Until today. So, I guess Merry Christmas 2008 Everybody!

And Merry Christmas 2009!

(We're sooooo grown up now.)

If you ask me, this year's picture is lame. It needs a Yuki and a Coltrane and a few less fat rolls or wrinkles or whatever the heck those lines are on my face. The houseplants are looking good, though. Except Flinders. Sorry Flinders. But Dundee is looking especially festive. And that handsome fella on the far left is the newest member of our family. His name is Jonas. We inherited him from Dave when he left. He's really nice.

Last year's attempt at a Christmas video:


video
(Believe it or not, this was the best one.)


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21.12.09

Hey Everybody! In Australia, it's Abe's Birthday!!!


Abe, I remember when you turned 2 and you got that awesome red wagon! And on your 3rd birthday, you and Nick K. had so much fun playing with all of the balloons! I wish I could be there for your 4th birthday. For one, because I love you and think you are soooo much fun to be around. And also, because your Mommy makes delicious sweet treats on your birthday! Like this:
and this:
Mmmmm... I wonder what you will have this year? I will be thinking about you a whole whole lot today and wishing you a Happy 4th Birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You...
Happy Birthday Dear Abe,
Happy Birthday to You!
Hip, Hip, Hurray!
Hip, Hip, Hurray! (that's how they sing it in Australia!)

And now a Special Message from Bunny:

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School's Out, Time to Blog; Give the People What They Want; or Location, Location, Location

Tonight, Tracy and I finally watched a movie that everyone has been telling us to watch since we first got to Australia, The Castle (as in “a man's house is his castle”). It's a classic Aussie comedy about a family forced to fight a legal battle for their home which is going to be taken to expand the neighboring airport. It is a very sweet and endearing portrait of a father who loves nothing more than his family and the home that they live in. We were rooting (although that word has a different meaning here) for the family the whole time, because we did not want to see these good people kicked out of the home that they love so much. Then I started to think about how I have not lived in the same home for longer than a year for over eight years. So, while I was lying in bed thinking about The Castle and my modern nomad life, I started to think about the extent to which we often allow our location to determine our happiness. Actually, this is something that I've been thinking about for a while now (for obvious reasons). I think that most people have an ideal place that they would like to live, or at least an idea of the kind of place. Personally, I think that I would be very happy to settle down and have a castle of my own in Santa Fe. Ultimately, though, I hope that I could be happy anywhere. I realize that each place on this diverse planet has different qualities that may be more or less amenable to a comfortable, happy life. For instance, living in Australia, and even DC, has made me realize the value of being close to family; so, location is important in that regard. However, when I was living at home, I was unhappy with my location, because I did not feel like small town life suited me. Then I moved to Austin, where I was still relatively close to my family, but, although it felt like home, after a few years I felt the need to change locations again. Austin had changed. I had changed. So, a new location was needed. Actually, it wasn't as linear as that. We missed Austin a lot during the first year in DC, and thought that we might have been happier if we had not moved. Then, as we became more acclimated to DC (or Takoma Park, rather), it started to feel like home; but we knew we didn't want to stay there forever, and Australia sounded like fun, so away we went again. Now, as excited as we were about coming, we just cannot wait to go back to the states, and change our location yet again. My happiness has been facilitated by moving locations, but The Castle made me think about how other peoples' happiness may be equally determined by their continued occupation of the same location. Moving because you're trying to find a place where you can be happy is just as bad as refusing to move because you think that you cannot be happy anywhere else but where you are. So, if you are unhappy with where you are or are afraid that you cannot be happy anywhere else, don't be. I'm not saying, don't move or do move. I'm saying that it does not matter. Don't let your location determine your happiness. It's not up to the location, it's up to you. Be happy that your location is Earth. Be happy that your location is this moment, every moment. Be happy that your location is you, your body, your soul. If I had it in me, and I wasn't afraid of losing the few of you who have read this far already (thanks mom), I might talk about how time and space are relative to support my argument that location is largely irrelevant; but I think you get the idea. At least, I hope you do. Law school has made it hard for me to write congruently without legal citations to tie everything together.

20.12.09

Happy Anniversary Jack & Vera!


Jack & Vera are two of the coolest people I have ever met. I still remember quite vividly the first time I met them, three Christmases ago when they invited me into their home to share Christmas with their family and treated me as if I were already family. After that first night with Jason's family, I was almost as in love with his family as I was with him. That's the kind of people they are, salt of the earth. If you ask me, they represent thegoodinyou, the good in all of us. When Jack speaks, people listen and listen hard, if they know what's good for them. He is one of those rare men, respectable in every way. I refer to these types of men as Atticus Finches. You know, the kind of men who say things like this: "If you just learn a single trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." And Vera! Vera is everything a woman should be, strong and kind, graceful and humble, fiercely loyal and beautiful, with skin to die for. I refer to these kinds of women as Veras. And the way Jack & Vera love each other and treat each other with the utmost respect is truly an inspiring thing to behold! Jason and I are so fortunate to be witness to such strong marriages to model our own after. All this is to say, Jack & Vera, we love you and are so thankful for you! Happy Anniversary!


19.12.09

and you are now vast and open sea


Jason and I took a trip to a little spot on the Great Ocean Road called Skenes Creek. The views were gorgeous, the wind, rain and flies plentiful, the water, cold and beautiful. We learned that flies really like one or both of the following things: bright yellow and/or Jewish Science Fairs. If you watch the slideshow you'll know what I mean. The music is brought to you by Akron Family with a song called River. I wanted to share it because Jason and I had the privilege of seeing them recently and... they totally rocked our faces off. It was an awesome show, except that the guy behind us was burping hot dogs and beer and the guy in front of us was farting. Seriously. Austin area people: They are playing at The Parish in February. I recommend that you go.

I really like the lyrics:

And you are no longer a river to me
And you are no longer a river to me
Though your coursing remain eager to acquaint me
And you are no longer a docile stream
And you are no longer a docile stream
Though your patience proves you into ease

And once this spark met kindling
Forgets its gentle ambling
Becoming heat, becoming steam
Becoming luminescent glee
Atoms splinter, sparkling
Alive and nimble symmetry
And all along, this glistening
Blankets we and everything
Shadows dance triumphantly
A wordless whisper sighs and pleas
Little deaths envelope thee
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three

And you are not glassy bay to me
And you are not glassy bay to me
Though my tired fleet abides in your gentle breeze
And you are now vast and open sea
And my mind travels you endlessly
And you beckon, toss and toss and swallow me

And once this spark met kindling
Forgets its gentle ambling
Becoming heat, becoming steam
Becoming luminescent glee
Atoms splinter, sparkling
Alive and nimble symmetry
And all along, this glistening
Blankets we and everything
Shadows dance triumphantly
A wordless whisper sighs and pleas
Little deaths envelope thee
You and I and a flame makes three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three
You and I and a flame make three

12.12.09

Peace is Life Living Through You

Ruidoso, NM

HOKUSAI SAYS

Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.

He says Look Forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself
as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,

every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive -
shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees.
Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.
It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.
It matters that you feel.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
are life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.

-Roger Keyes

2.12.09

"You're like a big bear, man."


Folks, this is how winning is done: