Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of Book

Lucy reading a book on our Mac.

René Descartes secured himself a place on MapQuest with his, "Cogito ergo sum" ("I think therefore I am"). If I'm not mistaken, they've updated it to, "Ab asino lanam". Um, that might not be right--no, sure enough that's, "wool from an ass". Wait, wait, this is as close as I can get, "a caelo usque ad centrum", which means, "from the sky to the center of the earth".

What the heck am I talking about? This: "I have wireless, therefore I am". "Ahhh," you all say, "He's so right". Yes.

The Watson clan had a super-charged visit from The Talking Potatoes and their folks, the lovely and multi-talented, Martha Brockenbrough and the remarkably cool Adam Berliant. Well, Adam is more of a hot, slow cooked brisket (check out his blog if you like to play with cleavers, skewers and fire: Blue State BBQ).

Many of you are oh-so-already-up-to-speed with all things digital. I have a long way to go. But my question for you is this: What are your thoughts on digitized books? They are a growing phenomenon. Accessible. Diverse. The world is your digital oyster. But what about our quiet friends,who wait patiently on shelves? You know, books. Old school brain food? Come on, you remember...made out of paper? From trees? Or papyrus? What are we, relics of Middle Earth? Will they survive this current hyper jump to light speed?

Witness Jaime Temarik. It was her book that we were all reading with laser-locked attention. It has not been published yet, but look out world! Think, Shakespeare meets Amy Tan meets Erik Carle. It is a good read about the adventures of Alice and Lucy. Stay tuned.

While the adults jawed on and on, the kids went to the dining room and drew the future onto paper airplanes. And yes, we do allow alligators to crawl on our furniture.

Anyhow, we were all inspired and fired up by Jaime's book-in-progress. The power of Book is that it connects us one to another, and to our world. Does it matter how the pages present themselves? From the sky to the center of the earth.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Why We Vacuum

We vacuum to keep from sliding into chaos. Or because company is coming. If I were a genius, I would invent "The Life Vacuum". You could run it around your mind, your body, or your soul, and voomp away all the things you don't like. I'm not quite there yet, but the sketch above is part of my blueprint for perfection. STEP 1: Do a doodle. STEP 2: Make a copy of doodle, then flop that copy (make a mirror image).

STEP 3: Copy that, flop it, and stick it all together. Voila! You have a "Star Doodle". You have symmetry. Remember when someone showed you how to fold a piece of paper a few times, and cut out little holes in it? When you unfolded the paper you had a snowflake!

Now, this is where it gets interesting to me. These "Star Doodles" of mine are just random la-la-la ink doodles with no thought as to what the heck I'm doing. When you make them into symmetrical images, you get lots of unexpected surprises and new shapes.

Some are happy and pleasant, and some are odd and unsettling. Maybe that's why they do the Rorschach tests. Your response can go any direction, you sort of trick your subconscious into being a "Chatty Cathy".

One finds symmetry in nature, as in crystals, zygotes, snowflakes, and the human anatomy (to a point). But in nature, there are slight imperfections which give us character, and help us realize that things don't have to be perfect.

Symmetry is fun to mess around with, but asymmetry seems more familiar. Too much symmetry looks alien. So be glad for those freckles. For that droopy eyelid. That one big toe. Forget vacuuming, throw your peanut shells on the floor. Perfection is an illusion. Let the dog do the vacuuming, it's more natural and creates a smaller carbon footprint.

Friday, April 2, 2010


We have been eating a lot of sprouts lately. Mung bean sprouts, dill, red clover, fenugreek, arugula, cress, radish, adzuki bean, alfalfa, etc. They are supposed to better for you than other foods, like, coffee.

Ideas are like sprouts. If they take root, they can grow into something unexpected. I love this story of The Last Supper because even though it contains tragedy, it contains bright hope. I grew up in a loving, atheist family, yet when I first heard this story, it sprouted like a mung bean. My friend Max Grover gave me this little clay sculpture. I think it is Peruvian.

I hope you have a Happy Easter.