Thursday, April 20, 2006

What You Said Has Come Over Me

What you said has cut me deep

Straight down unto my feet
It has left me sore and worn
Oh, so like a withered thorn

Those words were pure avarice
They grabbed for the soul within
So empty I’ve become
So unlike the giving sun

My solar wind no more it blows
All their sails have been left without
I am steeped in your bitter heap
No more life may dwell within

I am destined now to not even sin
On the edge of that well known bed
I almost lie, but for the daggers
Embedded in my now bony back

Will respite ever come
Or is this song my destiny
How to rid this awful mess
How to cleanse those blood-stained sheets

What you said has come over me
What you said has come over me
What you said has come over me

High-end Design

I just discovered Design Your Self by Karim Rashid; it is really cool. The publisher's description is accurate: "Rashid's philosophies center on quality over quantity, space over clutter, clarity over complexity, and a marriage of form and function in every design. With each page in vibrant color and packed with his charming artwork and sketches..." Unfortunately, his suggestions tend to be as costly (in time or money) as his Lacoste designs. Often, however, it is worthwhile to spend the necessary time in improving one's life, despite the paradox between the time and effort required to earn money and simplicity. Dematerialism creates difficulty in the context of consumer design because designers still want you to purchase items (viewed by them as making life easier). To escape money and clutter is difficult and requires thoughtful choices in the midst of a busy life, so think and ponder. The marketplace, on the other hand, only encourages one to buy or hire (a designer to help out), but it fuels design at the same time, so some say "it can't be all that bad." The main strength of his book is encouraging others to think, albeit within the confines of his designed life, about one's life. Many tips exist out there to simplify life, but few resources encourage contemplation as he does. I intend to write more on philosophy later (I am reading First Things and The Reasons of Love). Overall, buying the book at a "discount" is best. His book would make a killer blog with each subject (roughly a page) forming a post, though given the world of design he would likely charge for access.

Speaking of money, I recently found out that Starbucks (along with an endless list of companies including Kraft, Toblerone, and Altoids) is owned by Philip Morris. This fact coupled with the ridiculous concept of charging for wi-fi has decreased the frequency of my visits there.

Unfortunately, the entire world of blogs, viral videos, etc.. can at times turn into one large high school with scandals rippling through it that make those affected want to hide for the rest of term.


Today I had one of those moments that parents dread. I was looking out for my two year old while she had a bath. She likes to splash, so the curtain often gets shut. I heard the last of the water get drained, but nothing else. When I pulled the curtain back, I saw the steaming heap between her feet on the tub. The silver lining is that at least it wasn't the carpet.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The established classics

I regularly browse through bookstores looking at the latest titles. It seems that every year or so, a book is published as a guide to the classics or to what books to read. I used to eagerly flip through these books to determine what was regarded a classic. Now I have read a much greater number of these great works, to my benefit, and when I see these books I hope others are drawn to the eternal books.

Speaking of books, I have been really enjoying a book by Jean Vanier: "Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John." This book literally feeds my soul with its truth and insight. Vanier has obviously not only thought carefully about this topic, but also lived it. He provides a very insightful definition between shame and guilt, which can be applied more widely to the concept of cultures. Although he places shame under a wider umbrella of guilt, he distinguishes between shame and moral guilt. Shame in an extreme sense is feeling guilty for who you are or for existing. Moral guilt, on the other hand, applies when a person does something wrong, so a feeling of guilt accompanies an objective reality lacking in shame. He wisely notes that both are intertwined, as they are when discussing shame or guilt cultures.

The other night I watched that "classic" film The Robe. I thought that it was very tastefully done, though inaccurate in some historical points, e.g. a tribune would most likely have a retinue going to the market. There was a cool quote in the movie: "It is much easier to dream of the truth than to live it." How true that ideals are always hard to live, especially by those that proclaim them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Men's e-zine

Yesterday, at my son's school, I was surprised to learn that there are professionals in the field of yo-yo'ing. Tim the Yo-Yo Man put on a very funny and polished act for the kids that taught them about N(ever give up), E(ncourage others), D(o your best). NED is what true champions do; I guess Bode Miller never learned this lesson. If he did, he may have actually delivered at the Olympics. Anyway, the reason I was at the school is that I am a stay-at-home-dad for three days a week. I have searched in vain for a magazine that relates to this life. All the parenting mags are glorified Chatelaines and all the men's mags just make you envious. You are not raking in the dough to buy all those gadgets or go on the cool trips and definitely do not have the time to be that in shape. Surprisingly this magazine phenomenon translates into real life. I am one of the few dads to pick-up, drop-off and go to assembly. As a result I am around women all the time, including my wife, and even at the last two meetings I was outnumbered 10 to 2 (the other guy was the chair). So, I have decided to face the issues here on my blog. I am not sexist at all in this, just surprised that people can actually talk about so many things for such a long time. I feel that my five minute contribution stands for nothing in the one-hour world.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Limited Destiny

There are many games that could be said to reflect destiny/life. For me, destiny/life is like playing Spider Solitaire on the difficult level. The cards are dealt, confining rules exist, and one is free to make moves within this framework. What stands out is the rippling effect of one's choices and the fact that despite the undo function the entire game can hinge on one needed card. It sucks to play, come so close and leave saying "if only."


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