Wednesday, February 28

Basta Ya!

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are: Boycott the RIAA in March - Gizmodo
Gizmodo is declaring the month of March Boycott the RIAA month. We want to get the word out to as many people as humanly possible that we can all send a message by refusing to buy any album put out by an RIAA label.

  • purchase music from unsigned bands and bands on independent record labels
  • Go see them live and buy their merchandise


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Tuesday, February 27

Ahhh Jesus.

Discovery Channel Accused of Attacking Christianity -- 02/27/2007
If the findings are accurate, Charlesworth said, "we're finding a basis for Christian hope and vision indeed the Christian affirms that Jesus was fully God and fully human."
I've never understood why this isn't the way more people think. I remember the hub-bub about Last Temptation of Christ and thinking, if you see the movie you know the story ends just like the Bible says besides, what is so wrong with thinking that Jesus was more like us? The concept was brought up again in Half Nelson - a tree is both strong and weak, yin yang are entwined, that was no longer good enough. At some point Christians and especially American Protestants became extemely fixed on the fact that Jesus is God. He was no longer the Son of God, he was no longer "born of a woman (virgin or not)"...except "baby Jesus". It's absolutely ridiculous. The Holy Book itself says He was both man and God...what's wrong with that?









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Thursday, February 22

Standing Strong

I was born, raised, confirmed and educated Episcopalian and I think the Anglican Communion has lost its grip on its mission. I know, the Catholics are dealing with the same thing but this is ridiculous. Their job is to bring people to the Word of God and bring the Word to the people. Unless I missed something in my Confirmation class, as well as Catholic Catechism, the Word of God is love. If Christians believe God is omnipotent and omniscent then surely His Word is all inclusive. Thank God for people like Bishop Sisk.

Grow up you scared little puppies.
If you haven't the strength to impose your own terms upon life, you must accept the terms it offers you.

T.S. Eliot

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USA Today is all about me.

Cover story: Post-Katrina Baton Rouge struggles with its identity.



I lived in BR from 1991-1995 and hated it. I met tons of great people and it was wonderful being so close to New Orleans Lafayette but what a shitty city. No energy, not much beauty and no style. I remember driving into downtown and thinking, "Is this it? This can't be downtown." There was no movement, there were lots of boarded up buildings, it was barren and drab and that hideous State Capitol!



But while there I began to come into my own. I spent the first year or so broke...I discovered NPR b/c I didn't have a TV. I started trading tapes I considered dreadlocks. I was "adopted" by a family of New Orleanian catholics who I adored but I lost touch with when I left. I worked with a painter who is now a rock singer. I regularly sat in on guitar with a regionally famous blues musician. I interviewed Tabby Thomas and had several conversations with his son, Chris Thomas King. I learned how to cook beans and rice. I took upper level classes and learned grad school might be really easy if you're in the right program. I also learned how conflicted African-Americans are about the fact that we are as much if not more American than African. I saw No Doubt open for Eek-A-Mouse, I saw Public Enemy. I got great pictures of Gatemouth Brown and I was this close to Ice-T when he and Body Count performed. I worked with some of the most interesting people I could have imagined and I dated a beautiful Black woman who loved the Allmans almost as much as I did. That was me in Baton Rouge.



Lead Health Story: Seeking prosperity through inner peace.



I am not a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. I would say that I am a student of Zen Buddhism, mainly b/c I have only read the writings of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. I am not committed to Buddhism but I lean more and more that way. I am currently reading "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" and it makes more sense as each page goes by. I am not looking to Buddhism as "the way" (pun intended) to prosperity but as I just read
If we have joy, ease and interest, our effort will come naturally. (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, p101)
I am very conflicted about the role of religion in my life. Why can't I just be satisfied with the fact that I am a spiritual being and that I try to try to become better everyday?



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Monday, February 19

Oscars Meme - Soundtrack of the Movie of my Life

I've never done a meme b4 but this one was in my inbox (credit to The Life Of a Wife and Teacher):

IF YOUR LIFE WAS A MOVIE, WHAT WOULD THE SOUNDTRACK BE?
So, here's how it works:
1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
2. Put it on shuffle
3. Press play
4. For every question, type the song that's playing
5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
6. Don't lie and try to pretend your cool...
7. When you're finished tag some other people to do it!

Here are the areas that you need to fill out:

Opening credits:
Waking up:
First day of school:
Falling in love:
First song:
Breaking up:
Prom:
Life:
Mental Breakdown:
Driving:
Flashback:
Getting back together:
Wedding:
Birth of Child:
Final Battle:
Death Scene:
Funeral song:
End Credits:

Here's Mine!!!
Opening credits: Joe Hill by Paul Robeson
Waking up: South Heading by Groundthruter (DJ Logic version)
First day of school: Nowadayze by Georgia Ann Muldrow
Falling in love: She Belongs To Me by Billy Preston
First song: Sigi Kuruni (The Little Marriage Stool) by Oumou Sangaré
Breaking up: Tramp by Junior Kimbrough
Prom: Dirty Money by Clipse
Life: Da "N" (Rmx) by Wu-Tang
Mental Breakdown: Step Forward by Kanka
Driving: BMW by Five Deez
Flashback: Baba (A Love Song for a Husband) by Oumou Sangaré
Getting back together: Hotbreaker (Martha & the Vandellas v Mos Def v Led Zeppelin) mash-up by DJ BC
Wedding: The Bar by Gidi Gidi Maji Maji
Birth of Child: Mother by John Lennon
Final Battle: Dying Breed by Marissa Nadler
Death Scene: You by Shirley Scott
Funeral song: About ME by Black Milk
End Credits: Slot Machine by Duke of Burlington
I swear I did exactly what the instructions say...no manipulation even though some seem too good to be true.

Sunday, February 18

Buddhist Thought of the Day

Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Every mental formation that manifests needs to be recognized. If It is wholesome, mindfulness will cultivate it. If it is unwholesome, mindfulness will encourage it to return to our store consciousness and remain there, dormant.
Thich Nhat Hanh (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching)

Oscar Season

This started as a comment on Marjorie's blog, Brown Bunny Tanning, but it was getting long so I figured I'd flesh it out over here.
The Queen was a good movie, we saw it back in Oct or so (sneak peak), and Helen Mirren made me fall in love with the Queen. I was completely entranced I am not an Anglophile (I do love British soccer and the pub culture), I never understood the Diana thing, but this was such a well-written and well-acted movie I am smitten with Helen Mirren.

We (Marjorie And I) are on the same tip with Dreamgirls. This was a schlocky Hollywood bombast of a perfectly good (from what I hear) Brdwy production. The problem I had (other than hating musicals) is that the off-stage characters (except Jamie Foxx) had no story. I didn't care about any of them, I just wanted to get to the next on-stage scene, which they ALL did great jobs with. After Jamie Foxx, J-Hu's character and Eddie Murphy's character had the most depth but they had so little it's not worth talking about. There was potential but it was unfulfilled.

Pursuit of Happyness is all about the story, the story of Christopher Gardner. Will Smith was good, not great, but this is an incredible story. Will brought his Will-ness to the role. He is nominated b/c you can't help but root for Will Smith and he cried and struggled.

Volver kicked ass. Pedro Almodóvar has created a(nother) masterpiece. Ms. Cruz and her cleavage are wonderful to watch. The story is warped but so well written and acted and directed that you don't even notice that this is the story of women surviving abuse, incest, and death.

I saw several other really good films but these were the few Majorie mentioned that I remembered to comment on.

Friday, February 16

Buddhist Thought of the Day

A person of wisdom should be truthful, without arrogance, without deceit, not slanderous and not hateful. The wise person should go beyond the evil of greed and miserliness.

Do not get excited by what is old, do not be contented with what is new. Do not grieve for what is lost or be controlled by desire.
Sutta-nipata, translated by H. Saddhatissa

Monday, February 12

10 unconvential Diet Tips

While at Davis-Kidd I lost close to 30 lbs. Five years of a day job had killed my waistline. One year at Davis-Kidd, running up and down two flights of stairs a thousand times a day...well, that'll take some weight off.

Now that I'm back at a desk job, the weight is returning and it sucks. The day job allows me more hours at night to spend with Tara but if I workout at night, I will once again lose time with her. Morning workouts, which require me to get up earlier, are, of course, out of the question. So, what do I do? My answer is...whatever I can.

I ran across this article from lifehack.org somewhere.

  1. Buy a digital scale
  2. Weigh yourself everyday
  3. Drink 8 glasses of water everyday
  4. Make your diet public
  5. Don’t diet on the weekends
  6. Don’t sacrifice your life for your diet
    If I didn’t diet on Tuesday, for example, I would diet on Saturday, instead.
  7. Make the small changes
    Rather than giving up what most diets say you should give up (soda, coffee, beer, caffeine, etc.) just make healthier decisions.
  8. Gain perspective by understanding the fractions
    Your diet is an incredibly small fraction of your life. If you live for 80 years, and dieted for four months, that would only be .42% of your life.
  9. Rationalize your workouts
  10. Have a red flag weight
    Once you’ve lost the weight, you need to keep it off. This is where the red flag comes in. You need to pick a weight and vow to never get heavier than it again.


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Song Lyric of the Day


Venus & Serena (done) beat more white girls than OJ & Rick James put together
Field Mob "Blacker the Berry"

22 Steps To Higher Self-Esteem

As I have gotten older I have gained more self-esteem. I have learned that my opinion is valuable, I have learned that I am valuable. Sometimes I still have trouble volunteering myself, my info, opinion or knowledge but I don't have to be prodded nearly as much as when I was a kid. I have family and friends who are not as far along this path as I am so hopefully they can get something out of this post.
Self-esteem is how you feel about yourself, how confident you are, how accomplished you feel. It reflects whether a person loves, accepts, and believes in who they are. For some of us, however, it can go up and down. One day you might feel really on top of everything, great about yourself, unafraid to try anything. And the next day, you’re just as likely to feel completely at the bottom, unsure of yourself, afraid to say or do anything.

Building high self-esteem is a process, not something you can develop overnight. And this isn’t necessarily easy. Yet, every single person has the capacity of high self-esteem.
1. Stop comparing yourself with other people.
2. Stop the critic inside of you.
3. Forgive and forget.
Do not waste your time and energy thinking of past hurts.
4. Associate with positive, supportive people.
5. Get involved in work and activities you love.
6. Be true to yourself.
Live your own life - not the life someone decided is best for you. You will never gain your own respect and you will never feel good about yourself if you aren’t leading the life you want to lead. So if you’re still making decisions based on getting approval from friends and relatives, you aren’t being true to yourself and your self-esteem is lowered.
7. Talk affirmatively to others and yourself.
8. Quit blaming yourself for mistakes in the past.
Learn to honor your efforts and give proper credit for things that you have done well.
9. Make a long list of your personal breakthroughs.
Think of times when you did something that you thought that never could do but managed to pull off successfully. These breakthroughs can generate an authentic source of never-ending pride in you. Read this list often. While reviewing it, close your eyes and recreate the feelings of satisfaction and joy you experienced when you first attained each success.
10. Make a list of your positive qualities.
11. Figure out the hidden strengths in your so-called weaknesses.
Remember that there is always a positive in every negative if you look hard enough. For instance, you may think of yourself as stubborn, but the flipside is that you’re also persistent and dependable.
12. Rediscover and reaffirm your personal strengths.
13. Ignore yourself.
Sometimes the real problem isn’t self-esteem at all but a tendency toward overthinking. When you get this feeling direct your focus to other things. Give it a rest already!
14. Examine your needs.
15. Accept all compliments with “Thank You.”
16. Start giving more.
You must give more of yourself to those around you. Because when you do things for someone else, you are making a positive contribution and you begin to feel more valuable, which in turn lifts your spirits and raises your own self-esteem.
17. Be your own cheerleader.
18. Start small and do a task you can accomplish easily.
19. Examine the pattern of highs and lows.
It’s always good to remember that self-esteem is a mental construct. So examine your patterns and you’ll know what to do.
20. Get some exercise.
Exercise can decrease ‘stress hormones’ like cortisol, and increase endorphins, your body’s ‘feel-good’ chemicals, giving your mood a natural boost. Also physical activity itself can take your mind off of your problems and either redirect it on the activity at hand or get you into a zen-like state.
21. Take advantage of workshops, books and cassette tape programs on self-esteem.
22. Take action!
The universe rewards action! When you take action - regardless of the ensuing result - you feel better about yourself.

Most importantly, high self esteem will bring you peace of mind - and next time you’re all alone, you’ll truly appreciate the person you’re with - YOURSELF.
Thanks to the Riran Project for the article

Become Greener in 101 Steps (51-75)

  1. Use your library
  2. Recycle your batteries
  3. Recycle your ink cartridges
  4. Buy organic and all-natural beauty and personal care products (there are men's products available)
  5. Buy organic undies
  6. Make your own soap
  7. Get your kids in the habit of being green
  8. Use only low- or no-VOC paints
  9. Use salvaged architectural materials
  10. Donate items taken out of your house during a remodeling job
  11. Clean your furnace’s air filter monthly while in use
  12. Use ceiling fans instead of air conditioners
  13. Reduce your use of plastic
  14. Buy an insulated reusable coffee mug instead of using paper or styrofoam ones
  15. Buy in bulk
  16. Minimize use of disposable products
  17. Use solar powered outdoor lights
  18. Take a shower instead of a bath
  19. Use tree-free holiday cards
  20. Avoid toys made with PVC
  21. Donate unwanted books and magazines
  22. Find a drycleaner that doesn’t use perc
  23. Buy paper products made with post-consumer recycled material
  24. Optimize your computer’s energy settings
  25. Buy a laptop instead of a desktop

Become Greener in 101 Steps (26-50)

  1. Hang your clothes out to dry instead of using your dryer
  2. Harvest your rainwater
  3. Make sure none of your water fixtures are dripping
  4. Insulate your hot water heater
  5. Have your furnace or boiler cleaned
  6. Harvest your greywater
  7. Get a home energy audit
  8. Replace your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s)
  9. Make sure to turn appliances off completely (with a power strip, or unplug them)
  10. Winterize your house
  11. Buy energy-efficient appliances
  12. Install renewable energy
  13. Install a solar hot water heater
  14. Buy rechargeable batteries
  15. Use recycled gift wrap
  16. Use geothermal heat
  17. Turn your thermostat down
  18. Close your curtains or drapes at night during the winter
  19. Close your curtains or drapes during the day in summer
  20. Turn your hot water heater down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit
  21. Buy clothes made from organic or recycled material
  22. Use petroleum-free products
  23. Don’t buy products tested on animals
  24. Make your own cleaning supplies
  25. Convince your boss to let you telecommute at least part of the time

Wednesday, February 7

Master Procrastinator's Best of 2006 - (album)

Yeah, it's Feb. and most folks aren't thinking about what they loved last year. I am not most folks, I am a master procrastinator. I am not necessarily proud of that fact but I have accepted that it is as much a part of me as my geeky goofiness. Anyway, I have been mulling over my favs of 2006 since December and I am gonna try to put down a few things.

Since I watched the Grammies last night I thought we should talk about music first. I found my favorite album of 2006 back in Feb., a whole year ago I predicted this would be the best rock album of the year. I heard a lot more music through the year and I know there was a lot I didn't hear but I have to stick with my first choice. I think song for song this is the classiest, sexiest, most soulful album I heard this year. The album could be easily classified as soul or world music or even jazz but I call it rock because of it's blues base and it's guitar focus...two defining characteristics of rock, as far as I am concerned.

The band plays more like a band than on any of their previous albums. The cover songs are choice and the original songs are stylish, thoughtful, funky and soulful.

The band: Derek Trucks Band
The album: Songlines
The video: Songlines Live (not necessary but if you have one you should have the other)

Life in a Music Industry/College Town

If you wanna know what it's like to be in a music industry town go to Fido when you come to Nashville.



You will overhear conversations about music history, you will see people with editing software on their laptops, and you will hear people say things like,
Yeah, man. Everybody listened to the record and loved it.
You will see all sorts of hip and beautiful people. Of course, one problem is the lack of diversity, not too many non-whites, but if you can handle that and love the vibe of a creative place (with very good food and extraordinary coffee) this is the place to be.



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Tuesday, February 6

Become Greener in 101 Steps (1-25)

People bitch about what a drag being environmentally aware can be. You can't do this, you can't eat that. Well, look at the list below (and on subsequent pages) and see how simple things add up. Shoot, you probably already do some.

  1. Buy organic food
  2. By local products (the link talks about food but the concept applies to more)
  3. Use reusable containers to bring lunch to work/school
  4. Buy fair trade coffee, chocolate and other products
  5. Compost your food scraps
  6. Skip the bottled water
  7. Eat less meat
  8. Adjust your refrigerator and freezer temperatures
  9. Bring your own grocery bag to the supermarket (reuse the plastic & paper bags you already have)
  10. Buy unpackaged produce instead of prepackaged
  11. Grill corn in its husk instead of aluminum foil
  12. Use reusable coffee filters
  13. Avoid the drive-through
  14. Only buy sustainable, environmentally friendly seafood
  15. Keep your refrigerator and freezer full
  16. Grow your own food
  17. Allow food to cool down to room temperature before putting them in the fridge or freezer
  18. Buy FSC certified wood products
  19. Recycle! Bottles, cans, paper, etc.
  20. Donate used items in good condition instead of throwing them out
  21. Bamboo (there are many other uses for bamboo)
  22. Install a low-flow shower head
  23. Install a low-flow toilet
  24. Invest in a front-loading washing machine
  25. Wash clothes with cold instead of hot or warm water

Monday, February 5

No he didn't!

Prince's press conference for the Superbowl.

He is a bad boy.

Buddhist Thought of the Day

You yourself should reprove yourself,
should examine yourself.
As a self-guarded monk
with guarded self,
mindful, you dwell at ease.

Your own self is
your own mainstay.
Your own self is
your own guide.
Therefore you should
watch over yourself--
as a trader, a fine steed.
Dhammapada, 25, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Saturday, February 3

Buddhist Thought of the Day

[Wisdom] is like a lamp, O king, which a man might introduce into a house in darkness. When the lamp had been brought in it would dispel the darkness, cause radiance to arise, and light to shine forth, and make the objects there plainly visible. Just so would wisdom in a man have such effects as were just now set forth.
-Milindapanha

8 ways to exercise your brain

Who doesn't want to be smarter? Who doesn't want their smarts to last as longs as they do?



Apparently their are 8 things you can do to help:



1. PLAY HEAD GAMES
Brain games may help improve mental function, and could possibly help prevent dementia.
2. TRAIN YOUR BRAIN
The training exercises included:
-Memory: To help people memorize word lists, one method was to organize a grocery list by the sections of the store, said Marsiske, an associate professor in the department of clinical health and psychology at the University of Florida.



-Visualization: Use all your senses to remember things. For example, if you need to remember a dog's name, visualize what the dog's fur feels like, recall the sound of its bark, and, yes, try to re-create its smell.



-Reasoning: Participants learned to use highlighters to identify key points in complicated information. That included underlining important information like dosage and frequency on a medication.
3. TAXES



4. BUILD YOUR "COGNITIVE RESERVE
If we do things to produce healthy brains early in life, then we will benefit from that later in life
5. REMEMBER PASSWORDS

6. RETHINK YOUR CROSSWORD PUZZLE

7. APRENDER EL ESPAÑOL

8. EXERCISE YOUR BODY



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