Food Vendors in a Balinese Market – Bali, Indonesia – Alex Autin
Fish Stall – Balinese Street Market – Bali, Indonesia – Alex Autin
Woman working in a Balinese Street Market – Bali, Indonesia – Alex Autin
In an effort to embrace all which I do well, I present…Truly Bad Writing.
Today’s Lesson: Truly Bad Dialogue (The stuff which makes you absolutely cringe. Take notes as necessary.)
Vivian and Edgar, The Saga of a Woman in Love
‘Oh, Edgar, do tell me you love me.’
‘Say, Vivian…’ Edgar mused. ‘Have you seen my socks? The blue ones?’
‘Yes, the business ones. A man should always know where his business socks are, I always say. It’s terribly important.’
‘Oh, pooh!’ Vivian exclaimed, turning her back. ‘Business, business, business! It’s all I ever hear from you, Edgar.’
‘Someone must tend to these matters, dear. A man can not spend his entire day playing the violin, you know.’
‘I so love the violin, Edgar.’ She turned to face him. ‘Please, do play for me.’
‘Ah, yes, Vivian.’ Edgar smiled absent-mindedly. ‘All in due time, my pet. Now, about those socks. What on Earth have you done with them?’
Vivian struggled to contain her unbridled emotions. She failed. ‘I’ve hidden them, Edgar! I’ve purposely, and with malice aforethought, hidden them! And I shan’t tell you where they are.’
‘Did you say shan’t, dear?’ Edgar queried.
‘I did, Edgar. I said shan’t, and I shan’t say it again.’ Vivian exploded loudly.
‘Oh, then perhaps I’d better…’
‘Yes, Edgar, perhaps you should.’
‘Vivian, my love…’ Edgar began.
‘Oh yes, Edgar? Yes?’ Her heart quickened.
‘Won’t you please tell me where they are, dear?’ Edgar pleaded.
Vivian turned away, crushed by his indifference. She quickly turned back with fire in her eyes.
“And why should I, Edgar? So you can use them to run away? To escape?’ Tears began to spring forth from her fiery eyes quenching the flames held within.
‘Is that what you’d like, Edgar?’ She spat resentfully. ‘To flee with your precious blue business socks?’
‘Vivian!’ Edgar exclaimed. ‘See here! Do control yourself, woman. I demand you tell me where my socks are this very instant.’
‘Demand? You demand?’ Vivian advanced towards him. ‘Indeed, Edgar, and why should I tell you? Give me one reason.’
‘Well… for old times sake?’ Edgar edged away from her advance. ‘Yes, Vivian, for old times sake.’
‘For old times sake?’ Vivian repeated bitterly.
‘For old times sake?’ She repeated again, even more bitterly than the first.
‘Stop this foolishness immediately, Vivian!’ Edgar raised his voice hysterically.
‘Edgar, lower your voice, please…the children.’
‘Yes, the children.’ Edgar replied. ‘Well Vivian, I’ve something to tell you. I’ve set them free.’
‘You’ve set them free? The children?’
‘Yes.’ Edgar confirmed. ‘I’ve sent them to the coast …to study the tides.’
‘Tides, Edgar?’ Vivian questioned. ‘But they’re only six and eight.’
‘Yes, well, never too soon, I always say. Now, Vivian…I love you dearly, but I must have my socks.’
Vivian rushed to embrace him. ‘Oh, Edgar, please, say it again!’
‘Alright dear, as you wish.’ Edgar whispered as he held her in his arms. ‘I shall repeat it for you, I said… I must have my socks.’
Vivian sighed as she pulled from his embrace. ‘Oh Edgar, do get away from my sight. Top drawer, left side. As they always are.’
Edgar stepped away and raced to the bureau. ‘Top drawer! Brilliant hiding place, dear. Never in a million years would I have looked there.’
‘Of course you wouldn’t.’ Vivian agreed sadly. ‘Enjoy your day, Edgar. I shan’t be here when you return.’
Edgar tore open the drawer, then paused to savor the row of tidily arranged business socks. Fingers quivering in anticipation he selected a pair, royal blue with a tiny white crest near the ankle.
‘Did you say something, dear?’ Socks in hand, Edgar turned to find an empty room.
Photo: Adrianna Williams/Getty Images
Thanks to this past week Spring is officially with us…those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, that is. Along with the arrival of warmer weather and the digging out of summer clothes comes the want to get out and into some travel and adventure…and there was no shortage of evidence to support this in the blogosphere this past week!
El Guapo of Guapola: The Asylum Within The Asylum. And music! got the ball rolling on Tuesday morning with his much awaited post IT. IS. SPRING!!! And time for the Spring/Summer Stupidity! Guapo’s ‘Days Til Spring’ counter finally hit zero…and there was much celebrating and general foolishness (not unlike most Guapo posts!). The post includes the Annual Listing of Events in which Guapo details some of the awesome plans for adventure including such activities as surfing, rock climbing, and flying trapeze. Sign. Me. Up!
Also tingling my adventure senses this week was Erica from Experience North Cape. That’s North Cape, Norway, for the geographically challenged…and it is beautiful! Erica excited me to no end with her March 20th post Dreaming of Kirkeporten: An Easy Hike with a Spectacular View featuring some amazingly atmospheric foggy and soggy photography fully illustrating the Norwegian expression ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad/poor clothing.’ Gotta LOVE that! The next day Erica follows this up with A Bucket List that Kicks A Little…. which details the adventure of 17 year-old Tonje Helene Blomseth who along with her Siberian Husky, Maddox, became the youngest person in the world to walk the length of Norway. Only a mere 2,500 km (1,553 miles)! Solo! Are you shitting me?! No, I am not! Check it out! And while you’re there also check out some of Erica’s ‘too good to be true’ photography! The word ‘stunning’ is an understatement. Erica is living a dream life…and she’s all the proof one needs that it can be done! If her blog doesn’t make you want to book a flight, immediately, to Norway…dial 911… because you’re obviously in need of medical assistance.
Before booking that flight, however, you’ll definitely want to pay a visit to Airports Made Simple. The folks there have a couple of goals…to provide critical information about airports (how many terminals, how soon to arrive, security line times, rental car situation and much more) and to have a sense of humor about it. They succeed in both, and in a big way. Without them how else would I know of the travel danger involving Snow Globes and their threat to the world’s airport?! Or what to wear (and what NOT to wear!) while waiting on a flight. Aside from the humor..of which there is plenty…Airports Made Simple is packed full of useful, time saving, completely cool travel information and if you visit right now you can get in on helping to select their next Airport Summery. Votes Are Needed!
No adventure/travel round-up would be complete without a mention of Eric Murtaugh’s A Freelance Writer’s Observations On Adventure. Eric simply never stops and this past week was no exception. From A Hundred and One Uses for a Bandana, to the very important questions asked in Adventure: How much is too much? Eric proves he is interested in all aspects of adventuring…not just his adventures, but ours as well. One of the coolest things about Eric’s blog, besides Eric himself, is the lively, fun, and informative exchange which takes place in his comment section. As usual, well done Eric.
Closing out an adventurous week be sure to pay a visit to Antonio Pinon and check out his March 19th posting of the charming video Hyperactive Marienkafer which brilliantly, through the use of animation, shows the sense of adventure and discovery which is naturally found in all children…even Lady Bug children! If you’ve kids at home I strongly suggest viewing it with them. I should also mention that Antonio is recently back from a 3 week adventure of his own, and it’s great to have him back!
My absolute favorites of the week:
Best Song: Wendy of Xandi World Music’s posting of Paolo Nutini’s ‘Coming Up Easy’. If you click on any link this week let this be the one. This young Scottish singer is AMAZING!!
Best Photography: Mike’s Look At Life, Mike scores again, big time, with Red Door 5, plus SO much more for the week from Mike!
Best Laugh: Wrong Hands, The Evolution of Turtles. While there be sure to check out more of John Atkinson’s terribly clever and funny cartoons.
Cheers and have a great week!
…why they will ALWAYS be happier than us Americans.
Remember when you were a kid riding your bike down a steep hill and, if you were coordinated enough, you’d release your grip on the handle bars, hold your arms out….and you’d fly! Remember that feeling? That freedom? And that absolute knowledge that nothing else mattered except this fucking moment. Then…the next day, the very next day, you woke and you were an adult. You woke with bills, work, obligation, and responsibility…and you lost the ability to fly.
For anyone who does not speak Portuguese (and shame on you if you don’t!) ‘voa’ means ‘fly’. Voa tells the tale of someone who is unloved, but still loves, someone who doesn’t spend a moment focusing on unhappiness and as a result finds happiness everywhere, someone who gratefully accepts the moment for just what it is, someone who accepts the people in his life for exactly who they are, someone who’s never lost the ability to fly….no matter what.
I feel so light, I can not believe….fly! Fly! Fly!
The choice to be happy…is ours. The choice to focus on the things we love, and not spend a second focusing on anything else… is ours. The choice to simply let go of anything which stops us from flying…is ours.
Dockside Townsville at Sunset – Townsville, Queensland, Australia – Alex Autin
Image Credit: NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory
‘Oh look. The sun has a little happy face.’
These were the words tweeted this week by Jason Major of Lights In The Dark in reference to this image. Quite honestly, I don’t see the little happy face, but I’ve got to admire anyone who does! Jason is also the man who in a post last month titled Sun, Moon and Spots in reference to a video of the Feb 21, 2012 Solar transit by the Moon from the perspective of SDO remarked…’I think the sun looks a little surprised.’ I’m not much into applying human characteristics and expressions to cute little kittens and squirrels, however I have to admit to finding it clever when applied to Astronomical objects. I also have to admit to agreeing with Jason in the case of that particular video….the sun does appear to be ‘surprised’. But don’t take my word for it, go there and check it out for yourself. While there also check out Jason’s March 14th post, Is This Comet SWAN’s Swan Song. Very cool!!
Also in the Cool Science Department this week A Frank Angle got me all weepy-eyed with his post On The Universe featuring videos of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot in comparison to Neil deGrasse Tyson’s, now quite viral, The Most Astounding Fact. After reading Frank’s post followed by stepping outside for a look at the Venus and Jupiter conjunction…it was quite an emotional evening for me. Speaking of Neil deGrasse Tyson, who’s Space Chronicles I FINALLY got my hands on…and it’s AWESOME, Kyle Hill at Science-Based Life also compares deGrasse Tyson to Sagan in a March 12th post titled…Neil deGrasse Tyson is the New Carl Sagan and featuring deGrasse Tyson’s Why We Stopped Dreaming video….completely inspiring, and completely important.
AND….before I move on from space, I absolutely HAVE to mention Galicia Futura‘s March 17th post titled Las estrellas vistas desde la Estación Espacial Internacional featuring The Stars as Viewed from the International Space Station, edited by Alex Rivest using Adobe Lightroom. A-MA-ZING!!
After a week of much star-gazing it was nice to have St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday as an excuse to lift a glass or two. I was kept fully up to date on the approaching event, as I am with ALL my news, by the informative, straight-talking, and hard hitting tag-team of Smaktakula and Tardsie D. Bagg over at Promethean Times. The guys got us in the spirit early in the week with a March 12th introduction to the Emerald Isle titled Ireland The PT Way!. On March 15th the boys reminded us that March is not only about St Paddy with their timely post titled Bewaring The Ides Of March (Among Other Things). They then finished up on Saturday with an all-out St Patrick’s expose titled St. Paddy’s Day! These are just small samples of the top-notch journalism to be found at Promethean Times, not just this week, but every week. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before the folks over at Pulitzer are forced to recognize Smak and Tardsie …even if at gun-point. (Warning: Prolonged exposure to Promethean Times may cause the following side effects including temporary eyelid droop and nausea, gas with oily spotting, loose stools, and more frequent stools that may be hard to control. Babies born to mothers who have read Promethean Times in the latter half of pregnancy have reported complications, including floppiness, stiffness, irritability or constant crying. Even moderate exposure may result in sleepwalking, and eating or driving while not fully awake, with amnesia following the event. Consult your healthcare practitioner before reading Promethean Times. …things I LOVE, Alex Autin is in no way responsible for any ill-effects experienced before, during, or after viewing Promethean Times.)
Another blog I’ve been following closely this past week is artist J.E. Lattimer’s Uncharted Revelations. J.E. demonstrated his extremely interesting and innovative experimental art this week in posts with such compelling titles such as Surveillance and Censorship, Iniquitous Manifestations, and Harmonic Frequencies. Fascinated by his work, knowing I’d want to write about it, and wanting to properly categorize it, I earlier in the week questioned J.E. as to the process involved in the creation of his art….
J.E. – Well, I usually don’t tell anyone how I create my artwork / photographs, but okay, here goes… You know how some people can bend spoons using only their minds? It’s kind of like that: I take a roll of unused / undeveloped film into a completely dark room where I sit cross-legged and meditate with the film held tightly in my hand. While meditating I visualize each image as clearly as possible, then, when I go to develop the roll… Voila! No, that’s mean, only kidding… Seriously though, the truth is that these images are only possible because I’m one of the five people on earth who have been given a prototype of the new quantum computer… Only kidding again… The truth is that I’ve developed most of the techniques for over a decade now and they’re fairly top secret– Only shared with those that I know very well and have known for a long time……
Cleverness combined with brilliance and talent….and highly recommenced.
Rounding out the week with music, Marilia from World Music took me on a week-long tour of Portugal. Starting in Porto with X-Wife and their haunting song Across The Water , then the beautiful music of Os Azeitonas and their song Anda Comigo ver os Aviões. Marilia then invited us to her home region of Alentejo to close out the week with a song from Virgem Suta titled Linhas Cruzadas. Such beautiful music and such a beautiful country! Obrigada Marilia, danke Xandi and everyone at World Music!
Cheers and enjoy your week!
Enjoy yourselves, partake in all things green…and have one for me! : )
Along the Road to Cristo Rei – Dili, Timor Leste – Alex Autin
Aside from a one-time attempt at a writing competition here on wordpress, I have so far kept my writing on …things I LOVE to be limited to essay. I’ve, lately, questioned my ability, as well as desire, to actually write fiction. I’ve also been afraid of posting fiction thinking once I do, I’ll then feel self obligated to post more. Nothing in life, EVER, should be done out of obligation.
Inspired by the amazingly creative writers such as Brian Westbye and Frivolous Monsters, as well as the courage of writers such as El Guapo and The Last Song I Heard, I’ve decided to post a piece of fiction today. Comments, suggestions, criticisms welcome.
“The entire planet is nothing more than a huge revolving cesspool, a dumping ground for it’s self centered ‘me first’ minded inhabitants.” Billy rapidly stirs his Brazilian double mocha latte. He then, as if for emphasis, taps the little red plastic stirrer on the rim of his crater sized coffee mug. He tosses back his salon cropped head of brilliant brown hair before continuing. His locks shift radiantly, each hair moving in complete synchronized union with the others. As if by some feat of magic, each highlighted strand catches the sun perfectly before falling immaculately back into place.
“No, wait!” Billy punctuates the air with his coffee stirrer. “I stand corrected. It’s not ‘me first’, it’s simply ‘me’, and what comes after ‘me’….. is not important.”
Two of the other three people seated at Billy’s sunny street side table nod in agreement. They too, in a gesture of solidarity, frantically stir their own colossal mugs of over-priced imported coffee. Jen, the lone dissenter, shifts slightly on her cushioned wrought-iron chair.
“Well, Billy…” She begins, testing the waters cautiously before diving in. Billy’s eyes move from his double mocha to Jen. His perfectly plucked brows arch expectantly.
“Well…..what, Jen?” A smug smile crosses his collagen injected lips as Jen once more shifts in her chair.
“Well…” Jen’s eyes move away from Billy. They slowly scan the faces of the other two women seated at the table. Jen nearly laughs as she sees that both women, one flanking Billy on his left, the other on his right, are staring blankly at her. She is instantly reminded of the flying monkeys from The Wizard Of Oz who constantly wait at either hand of the wicked witch.
“Well…..I just don’t think it’s as simple as you make it seem.”
There. It was out. Jen, sitting in the sun of a perfect San Francisco afternoon, has disagreed with Billy. Not only has she disagreed, but has she actually also referred to his opinion as simple? Suddenly the sun feels a little warmer, the air seems a little fresher, and her regular coffee, two sugars, one cream in a normal sized cup, suddenly tastes much better. She takes a deep sip as her statement registers around the table. Once more she shifts in her seat, but this time her spine straightens and her shoulders lift. Mrs. June, her second grade teacher, June the Prune, would be most pleased with Jen’s new found posture.
Over the rim of her cup she relishes the look of total shock on the faces of the two flying monkeys. Her eyes then meet with Billy’s own hazel colored orbs. She couldn’t help but notice how beautiful his eyes are, such an incredibly intense shade of hazel. Truly a shade known no where in nature and only to be found in the laboratories of Bausch and Lomb. But oh….how they sparkle! How they smolder! Clearly these are his best ‘afternoon, natural light’ lenses. But is there something behind those contacts? Is there a glare in Billy’s eyes not brought out by chemistry but rather by Jen’s bold dissidence?
“Oh really, Jen?” Billy’s left hand graciously levitates above his head as he signals the harried waitress for another latte. It was a hand with the elegance of a ballerina….a figure skater, his wrist majestically tuning as his hand reached it’s apex. His platinum Bolivian crafted watch catches the sun’s rays perfectly. “Being overly simple, I am?”
Jen cringes. She’s heard Billy resort to Yoda-speak before. It’s never good. It doesn’t help that the waitress, clearly an over-worked college student, has failed to respond to his beckon.
“Yes, Jen…” Suddenly the flying monkey to Billy’s left, Beverly, or Bev as she prefers, chimes in. “What do you mean by simple?” Bev now raises her own left hand in an attempt to imitate Billy’s lofty summons of the waitress, but she can not quite pull it off. Instead of a ballerina completing a perfect pirouette, she more closely resembles a maintenance man changing a light bulb. The waitress, of course, completely ignores her.
“What I mean…” Jen starts and then pauses as she catches the waitress’s eye. A polite smile along with a head nod brings the young woman over to the table where another round of coffees is ordered.
“What I mean.” She continues as the waitress walks away. “Is that we shouldn’t just throw a blanket of blame over the entire human race. It’s not that simple. Some people have far fewer choices than others.”
“Speaking of blankets…” Completely out of context, as usual, Kelli, yes that is Kelli with an i, the flying monkey seated to Billy’s right, enters the conversation. “You guys absolutely have to check out the sale on Peruvian llama blankets at Small Planet downtown! I bought three yesterday and they are so….so…..I don’t know how to describe them! So…..South American-y!?”
Kelli then sighs as if to emphasize her fondness for all things South American-y. She completely misreads the stares of disbelief from Jen and Billy as looks of intense interest and feels obligated to continue. She absolutely gushes while at the same time nodding and smiling. “I love them!”
“I do love Small Planet.” Bev agrees and beams at Billy as she speaks, obviously trying to impress him. Beverly has spent the better part of the past three years trying to impress him, all to no avail. Unfortunately for her, Billy has returned to glaring at Jen. He is not one to simply ‘get over’ being disputed. This will not, however, stop Bev from trying. “Do you guys know that 10% of all their proceeds are donated to indigent people?”
“Actually…” Jen begins as the waitress unloads their second round. “It’s 10% of their profits, not their proceeds. And also…” She pauses to thank the waitress, “I think the word you’re looking for is indigenous people, not indigent. They give nothing to indigent people.”
“Same difference.” Bev says as she picks up her immense coffee mug.
“Well, no.” Jen says, a slight, but definite, edge rising in her voice. “It’s not the same difference. And also, when you consider that 100% of every dime Small Planet makes is made on the labor of indigenous peoples, 10% is nothing. It’s criminal actually.”
“Oh-oh. Jen is going to rant!” Kelli claps her hands together in a series of small, rapid claps, as if the very thought of a rant absolutely delights her. “You know how much she hates Small Planet!”
Jen turns from Bev towards Kelli. In doing so she couldn’t help but notice Billy’s posture. He sits leaning back in his seat, slouching really. His left arm folded across his chest, his right arm holding his cup of coffee up to his face as if he were hiding behind it. He is stewing, staring at her and waiting for his moment. He is, however, momentarily quite content to let Kelli and Bev work her into a state of frustration before launching his attack.
“It’s not only Small Planet, Kelli.” Jen says. She keeps the simmering Billy in the corner of her eye as she speaks. “I have a problem with any business that pays someone in a developing country five dollars to make a blanket then tries to sell that same blanket to me for seventy-five dollars and….”
“Those blankets cost five dollars?” Kelli, in utter disbelief, looks around the table as if for confirmation.
“And, Kelli, excuse me…I’m not finished.” Jen’s voice raises another notch. “And… not only do they want to sell me the blanket for seventy-five dollars but they also want to make me believe that in buying the blanket I am somehow saving the planet.”
“Well, duh, silly! It’s called ‘green shopping’. And I love it!” Kelli beams, shopping is, after all, her area of expertise. “Everyone knows that green shopping saves the planet.”
“Buying a blanket can not save the planet.” Jen’s voice raises a bit more.
“Weren’t you listening, Jen?” Kelli smiles at Jen. “I bought three blankets!”
“Oh my god….” Jen fights off the urge to pound her head on the table.
“Oh, who cares?” Bev says. “I don’t need any blankets anyway. I have plenty of blankets.” She once again smiles at Billy. “Isn’t that right, Billy? You have plenty of blankets too, right?” Billy, ignoring Bev, continues to stare at Jen. A grin slowly making it’s way onto his surgically puffed lips.
“Well…” Kelli says, not to be outdone. “I have plenty of blankets too. But the more I buy, the better for the planet.”
Billy’s grin turns into a full-fledged smiled. His bleached white teeth dazzle in the California sunlight. “You see, Jen?” His words drip with sarcasm. He lifts his free left hand from his chest and motions first towards Kelli, then towards Bev. “It’s okay…..we all have plenty of blankets which proves we are socially and environmentally aware people.”
Bev shoots a sideways glance at Billy. She is not absolutely sure whether she’s just been insulted. Her infatuation with Billy is such, however, that there is no way her ego would allow her to think he does not hold her in the same high regard in which she holds him. She lets the remark slide, but decides to pay closer attention to the conversation.
Kelli, on the other hand, knows she has just been complimented, and she follows Billy’s statement with a vigorous nodding of her head. It is, after all, well known to all her friends just how socially and environmentally aware she is. If, however, there are any doubters, well….she has the receipts to prove them wrong! Not only does she shop Small Planet, but she also shops Green Planet, United Planet, One Planet and Planet Savers, not to mention Earth Savers, Air Savers and the newly opened uptown location of Forests Savers. And not only does Kelli know where to shop in order to save the planet, she also makes sure she uses her Gold Save Our Oceans Visa to pay for each and every purchase she makes.
“No way, Billy!” Jen is ready to explode. “There is no way I’m letting you get away with using these two to prove your point.”
“Oh Jen, don’t you see?” Billy finally sits up. His voice purrs, like a panther rather than a kitten. “These two are my point. Kelli here, darling, sweet and terribly rich Kelli. She spends enough money each year to bankroll an entire third world country. She really, and I mean really, believes that by doing so she is making a difference…you know, helping out those less fortunate…making the world a better place. In reality, she hasn’t a clue where all that money ends up.”
Again Kelli nods vigorously. “Sorry Jen, but Billy’s right. I haven’t a…wait.” A look of confusion crosses her face. She turns towards Billy. “What do you mean I..”
“Hush, Kelli.” Billy waves an immaculately manicured hand in her direction. “I’m trying to have a conversation here.”
Jen looks from Billy to Kelli. “Wow…did you just hush her?”
Billy takes a long sip from his titanic-size cup. “I’m just getting started.” He lowers his mug and softly pats his mouth with a napkin not wanting to smear his lip polish. His eyes shift to his left.
“Bev.” Billy reaches to his left and pats Beverly’s man sized hand. “Bev here…well she has no opinion, really. She doesn’t want to save the world. She does what she does, shops where she shops, reads what she reads all so that others will have a better impression of her, so that others will think highly of her. So she can hang with the right people. She has no convictions, no ideals, nothing other than a deep desire to fit in.”
Beverly pulls her hand away from Billy. She is clearly on the edge of tears. On her face is a look of not only betrayal but also intense pain. It’s as if she’s just been gut punched by a prize-fighter. Jen is almost certain Bev has stopped breathing. She waits for her breath to return, and when it does it comes as a sigh rather than a gasp.
“You’re an ass, Billy.” Jen’s hands begin to tremble slightly. This usually happens when she becomes very upset, very angry.
“I may be an ass.” Billy says. “But I’m right, and you know it.”
“There’s no maybe about it, you are an ass.” Jen takes a deep breath to calm her shaking hands. “You may be right, I mean about these two. But you’re not right about the movement as a whole.”
“Movement!” Billy nearly spits Brazilian latte across the table. The full carat diamond solitaire on the pinky finger of his left hand catches a sunbeam sending a prism of color into the No-Cal afternoon. “My sweet girl! Heaven’s sakes, what decade are you living in? There hasn’t been a ‘movement’ since the Reagan years…and even then it was masturbatory egotism culminating in nothing more than an ejaculatory sprinkling over the huddled masses. Oh my god! Movement, she says!”
“Movement.” Kelli pulls out her iPhone and begins to purposelessly fidget with it’s screen while absently echoing the only of Billy’s string of words which she bothered to register. Bev stares at the sidewalk, motionless.
“You are such a …” Jen struggles yet can not find that one word. That exact tag, label, to wipe the insane volume of smugness from Billy’s mannequin-perfect face.
“Such a realist?” Billy’s grin grows even wider. “Is that the word, Jen? Realist? Look around you and face reality, girl. This is it. This is your movement. At some point …oh let’s say right after the Vietnam War, like the very freakin day after, Madison Avenue got together with the State Department and decided we’d swallow anything as long as it made us feel good. We wave our flags and consume our way to freedom, and if anyone doesn’t like it well…screw them.”
“And this is ok with you?” Jen stares at Billy. “This suits you?”
“Well, ok or not ok, it doesn’t keep me awake nights, and neither should it you.” Billy reaches into his Jack Spade leather flight bag, fishes out his Fendies and with the flair and grace of a polished starlet on the red carpet slips the shades over his eyes. “I mean, what’s it going to get you, Jen? You’re not going to change the world. The ‘we’re-here-to-make-the-world-a-better-place’ ship has sailed. If you don’t like it, drop out of it. Go be a monk.”
Billy drains the last drop from his latte, and slides his man bag towards him on the table. He quickly glances at the Bolivian timepiece on his wrist while at the same time rising. “Damn, I’m gonna be late. Kelli, hun, where’re you parked? You’ll drive me over to North Beach, yes.”
Kelli, having long since lost interest in the conversation, jumps at the chance to exit the table. “Sure, Billy, no problem. We can swing by my place first, I need to pick up…”
“Jesus, Kelli!” Billy cuts her off. “Can you possibly be a bit more selfish? Were you so totally amazed and captivated by the lights and sounds of your little phone that you didn’t hear me say I’m running late? You’ll run me over first, then take care of….whatever.” Standing, Billy reaches into his pocket, fetches a ten-dollar bill and causally tosses it onto the table. Before he can turn away he notices Bev, head down, still staring at the sidewalk.
“Oh my god, Beverly. And just what is your problem?”
Bev looks up towards him. “Nothing….it’s just that you….”
Billy sighs audibly, completely silencing her with just the very sound. He dramatically clutches his bag before turning towards the street. “You people really are trying to kill me.”
Kelli up and now at his side, holds a set of gold BMW keys in her right hand. Billy briefly turns his head back towards Bev. “Earth to Beverly..hello? Beverly? We’re going now. Move!”
Bev slides her chair back and gets up from the table. “Yes, Billy. Sorry.”
Billy’s eye catches Jen, still seated and looking towards the three of them in amazement. “And really, hun.” He says. “You do need to chill a bit. A holiday, perhaps. I hear Vietnam is lovely this time of year.” With that he turns and Jen watches him, along with two flying monkeys, disappear down the sidewalk. She then once again signals for the waitress.
“I’ll have a Brazilian double mocha latte.” She says. “In the biggest damn cup you have, please.”
Borrowed from Google Images
The past week here in San Antonio came in like a lamb with some amazing spring-like weather early on, then turned into a lion late in the week with cold rain storms on Friday and Saturday (perfect excuse to stay in bed!), then on Sunday the week closed out with one of THE MOST perfect early spring days ever!
As awesome as the weather is here in SATX , it’s no match for the weather in Space this past week. The Sun gave us a very exciting week of solar flare activity and I was kept up to date on all the excitement by visiting one of my favorite Astronomy news blogs…AstroNews. On March 7th AstroNews posted the very exciting events in a post titled Another Major Flare – Class X5. In addition to the solar events AstroNews also ran stories this week on Space Weather – Explosions on Venus , Galaxy Cluster Hidden in Plain View, and many others! And yes, I DO spend WAY too much time there….
There was also much excitement inside the blogosphere this week with El Guapo from Guapola: The Asylum Within The Asylum. And music! being FRESHLY PRESSED for his post titled The New York City Subway. A Brief Rant. Finding out about this Fresh Pressing instantly sent me running through the house yelling….Guapo got Fresh Pressed! Guapo got Fresh Pressed! Unfortunately, my room mate was having a meeting with his business accountant right at this very moment. As I ran past his home-office door screaming hysterically, I overheard my room mate saying…‘So Carl, have you met Alex?’ A great big high-five to Guapo! Well deserved. This recognition from wordpress is proof that nice guys do indeed win.
Also catching my attention this past week were a number of photo-blogs. Mike, over at Mike’s Look At Life, chimed in early in the week with an amazing 3rd installment of his Red Door Series. Red Door 3 is without doubt my favorite in this series so far. But Mike was hardly finished for the week, his Old House (….kinda creepy Mike) and Shadow Door were equally stunning, and really demonstrates Mike’s love of old places….a love I share right along with him. If only I could photograph them as beautifully as he does.
Kathryn Dawson, of The Art of Letting Go, is another photographer I’ve been following closely lately…though I can barely keep up with her! Not only do I greatly enjoy her photographic skills but I also enjoy the stories accompanying her work. On March 6th she had me completely sold with a post titled, Day Sixty Five: Extreme Skateboarding. The opening photograph of this series featured a shot so beautiful I wanted to climb into it and just hang out for a while….a long while. Kathryn then surprised me the very next day by posting what may be one of the coolest posts I’ve ever read. In Day Sixty Six: Wet, Wet, Wet, not only do you get more of her brilliant photographs but you also get an incredibly interesting story about someone in her house doing ‘things to the plumbing’. It’s WHO is in her house working on the plumbing that is so interesting. And, you know what? I won’t spoil it. Go there and find out for yourself!
Frank, of A Frank Angle, also added to the excitement of this week with his post titled On A Wave featuring some jaw-dropping photographs by his friend Steve Ancik taken during a dream-come-true visit to The Wave at Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area. The article accompanying the shots is equally interesting and exciting, and the Q and A comments with both Frank and Steve was probably the highlight of the entire event. A Frank Angle, it’s how blogging is done.
Musically this week, of course, features Xandi and the staff over at World Music. This week the crew melted me with some completely luscious Latin rhythms in videos such as Fruko Y Sus Tesos, from Columbia with the song – El Preso, and from Brazil Elis Regina with her song Águas de Março, and my favorite of the week…from Argentina León Gieco with Hoy Bailare (A video that I can not BELIEVE Frank didn’t ‘Like’! WTF?! ) Also rocking me this week was Don In Massachusetts with his late night posting of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Look At Little Sister! OMG!! Much thanks for that one Don!
It was an equally exciting week for writers especially since this week I had the time to give them the attention they deserve. Brian Westbye, who’s work I always enjoy, posted Intersection: First Movement followed by Intersection: Second Movement early in the week. Both pieces were exceptional, and I wasn’t the only one wanting more of this series. Another writer quickly becoming a favorite, Frivolous Monsters took the later part of the week with a pair of very interesting pieces; Tales From The Coffee Shop on Friday and Further Tales from the Coffee Shop coming in on Sunday. He promises there will be more in this series! These are both excellent writers who’s skill and ease with which they seem to work blow me away. I highly recommend checking out both if you haven’t as yet.
Cheers and have a great ‘spring is coming!’ week!
The Vernal Equinox may still be a little over a week away, but don’t try telling that to the Pear tree out in the backyard. After two days of cold and rain, south Texas woke this morning to sunshine, 70 degrees, and a sky so blue there’s no mistaken….you’re in Texas…and apparently an extra hour of daylight this evening to enjoy it! I hope it’s just as lovely where ever you are. ; )
Birds Do It…Bees Do it…
…now if I only had a partridge
Neither a pear tree nor a partridge, but I had to get in a very uncomfortable position to get this…and I was damn sure going to use it! Beside, I really kinda like it, and it definitely kicks some Vernal Equinox butt!
Blue Bunker Window, Charters Towers, QLD, Australia – Alex Autin
credit: NASA, ESA, NOAA, SDO, SOHO, STEREO, GOES, helioviewer.org, JHelioviewer and virtuallinda.com
Ray Ray the Cat, on a front porch in Tylertown, Mississippi – Alex Autin
This image was ‘borrowed’ from Google Images, but it was ‘borrowed’ with love, so yeah…
Silly ‘love’ images aside, including the one attached above, here are some of the posts which I loved most during the week of February 27th through March 4th. It was a VERY busy week for me. After my run-in with the flu the previous week, this past week had me returning to work as well as trying to play catch-up with my email in-box. There are many posts from last week which I still haven’t managed to get to even despite spending the better part of yesterday in an attempt to do so. There are some people, such as Brian Westbye, who’s work I refuse to rush through.
Having posted an ‘Award’ post last week I’ve already mentioned some of the bloggers I enjoy most…this does not mean I won’t mention them again! I also would like to once again thank the ever gracious George Weaver for having nominated me for this award. I do, at some point this week, have to respond to another award mention…so everyone out there who I read…be afraid, be very, very afraid!
One of the absolutely most beautiful images I was privileged to view all week, and in quite some time actually, was an image of ‘Bob’. Bob appeared in a post titled AND THERE WAS MAGIC and posted by the incredible photographer Suzanne J. Rogers on her awindowintothewoods blog. If Bob doesn’t completely steal your heart, you simply may no longer be among the living.
In music, the ever likable Xandi at World Music posted my favorite music video of the week. The song is titled ‘Levels’, by the Swedish DJ and re-mixer Avicii. The music is entirely infectious and the video is just plain weird…and I like weird! Thanks for posting Xandi!
In the Science is Cool area, Kyle Hill at Science-Based Life, in addition to posting the very amazing Scale of the Universe 2, which I shamelessly indulged in yesterday (and I hope you did too!), also posted last week a very clever and quite hilarious The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense. This is a well warranted double mention for Kyle because his blog, and science, are both so damn interesting.
Never having enough of science in general and the awe of astronomy in particular, I was once again blown away by a post presented this week on Jason Major’s Lights In The Dark. The post is titled How Many Stars Can Astronauts See, and as Jason explains; The short answer: a lot. The long answer: a real lot! And…he has some video evidence captured from the ISS to back this up! Completely amazing!
Though admittedly I didn’t have nearly as much time this week as I’d like to catch up on reading some of my favorite writers here on wordpress, I was fortunate to find some time to visit The Last Song I Heard and was completely melted early on in the week by a post titled Take On Me – A-ha. The writing is good, very good. The subject is honest, very honest. And this just happens to be one of my most loved songs. It is indeed no better to be safe than sorry.
There was much adventure to be found this week, as there usually is!, at Eric Murtaugh’s blog. Eric ran a series of excellent posts this week all designed to get us off our collective butts and into some much needed adventure. He kicked the week off on Feb 27 with Thrill seeking: crazy, or a transcendental pursuit? He followed this up on Feb 28 with his post featuring NatGeo’s Adventurers of the Year, Sano Babu Sunuwar and Lakpa Tsheri Sherpa. Loved this one Eric! By the way, all these awesomely adventurous guys did to earn this title was to climb Mount Everest, para-glide down, then kayak the Ganges River all the way to the Indian Ocean…I mean, who hasn’t done this!? But Eric wasn’t quite done for the week, on March 1st he challenged his readers by asking What prevents you from having more adventures…..and on March 2nd he posted the results in a posting titled Adventure poll results show $$$ holds us back the most. But no Eric, it’s not a lack of money….it’s the lack of a bad-ass adventure hat!
Cheers and enjoy your week!
Earlier this week while making one of my habitual visits to Kyle Hill’s Science-Based Life blog I came across this completely amazing, completely fun, interactive Scale of the Universe ….which can be found here.
After playing around with it for just a bit, and being entirely blown away, I knew I wanted to share it. I asked Kyle for his permission to do so and loved his response….‘Absolutely, spread the science!’.
The scale is entirely interactive, not only can you slide along the various scales of the Universe…from the ‘I can’t wrap my head around it’ tiniest, to the ‘wow, are you shitting me’ largest …but you can also click on the various images to get very cleverly written information on each. I could easily kill several days with this, and never stop being amazed. Also… I fully agree with Kyle in that you should turn the volume WAY up to get a full immersing effect! Enjoy!!!
Fun with scale!
Lady G: Alex, I’ve nominated you for the ABC Award.
Me: Bad ass! But what is it? Can you explain?
Lady G: Certainly! It’s the Awesome Blog Content Award. Cute, huh?
Me: Don’t know yet. Do I have to actually do anything?
Lady G: Entirely up to you…
Me: For fuck‘s sake…
Lady G: Good luck!
Me: How’s it work then?
Lady G: I’m glad you asked…you have to do something clever with the alphabet.
Me: Jesus! Clever?! And you’re sure you want to give this to me?
Lady G: Kinda. You write, yes? Well…write something.
Me: Let me guess…I probably have to do more than just write, yes?
Lady G: More? Umm…nooooo….
Me: No? There’s no more to it? Come on…
Lady G: Oh! Well, yes, you have to then nominate others.
Me: Pay it forward, you mean?
Lady G: Quasars are cool.
Me: Really?! Quasars?! Couldn’t come up with a ‘Q’, could you?
Lady G: Smart ass… are you going to do it?
Me: Thinking about it. It’s the whole ‘nominating others’ thing that’s difficult.
Lady G: Understandable. The mention is flattering, but it’s also an obligation.
Me: Very much so. Would it be shitty to just accept, write something, then leave it at that?
Lady G: Wow! What a bitch. Just for that…let me point out that X is next.
Lady G: You suck, and there’s no doubt where you’re going with Z….
Me: Zanzibar? Noooo……ZOMBIE!!!!
About a week ago Ms George Weaver over at She Kept A Parrot nominated my blog for the ABC Award (Awesome Blog Content). Because of a run-in with the flu and other pesky obligations its taken me a bit of time to respond to this. However, believing it completely unacceptable to not graciously accept kindness when it’s presented I do humbly, and with gratitude, accept Lady G’s acknowledgement. (There is also another mention I’ve received lately which I also fully intend to recognize…I’m working on it!)
One of the most difficult thing about receiving these awards is, of course, the paying it forwards. I’ve decided to pass this particular award forward solely to WRITERS. I’ve encountered many different types of blogs in my short time with Word Press; photo-blogs, humor-blogs, political-blogs, music-blogs. I enjoy them all. However…ironically, I’ve noticed my neglect of my own writing since I’ve began blogging. This is something I wish to rectify by giving mention to the writers who are currently inspiring me to do something the fuck about this! I’m aware that some bloggers, mostly those who’ve been around awhile, for whatever reason do not wish to play along with this good-natured camaraderie among peers. No problem. While I prefer to play along using humor and sarcasm, I WILL play along. This all said, I wish the following writers to know that how you choose to deal with this is entirely up to you. I’ve chosen you simply because I admire your work.
As with all awards there are rules….and here they are:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award. (This goes without saying!) Lady G…consider yourself thanked!
2. Nominate others to receive the award for their own awesome blog content, and notify them of their nomination. (Notice there is no number of others you need to nominate, it’s entirely up to you.)
3. Use the ABCs to describe something about yourself or your philosophy in a word, a sentence or a short paragraph. (This I’ve modified somewhat. Have fun with the ABCs in any way you wish.)
And the ABC Bloggers are:
1 – The Last Song I Heard
2 – Uncharted Revelations
3 – Brian Westbye
4 – Peach, Plum, Orange
5 – Colline’s Blog
Please check them out…because they’re Fucken Awesome!!