Monday, December 29, 2008

form is emptiness, emptiness form

At the close of the 2621st anniversary of the birth of Thales of Miletus, it seems timely to sit back and reflect that our universe contains stuff, and that in particular, it isn't empty.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Melpomene: can you describe this?

She longed to do something that would prevent her from turning back to Tomas. She longed to destroy brutally the past seven years of her life. It was vertigo. A heady, insuperable longing to fall.

It is actually warm in the middle of a Chicago winter. There is mist tumbling headlong down the empty suburban street, eerie with presence. Not because white wispy things are ghostlike and fill the air with a sense of depth and distance, though they do, but because we are creatures of habit, of motifs, glorified coincidence detectors straining out drops of meaning where there might be none. The snow is melting with re-refrozen ice like the aftermath of an arctic valentine. Fog pours through the trees of the forest preserve among the starkly black tree trunks, naked with winter. It could be the photographic negative of itself.

In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.

It is not a dry season, but it is a dry season. Eurydice and Persephone have descended for some time now, and we hold our breath. There is a dream where I descend a downtown building, turn down the street with trees done up in lights. But it bears no resemblance to a Chicago winter -- the dark evergreens have no snow, and it is a temperate evening. And I am being followed by an observant presence; I don't fear it any more -- it is not a bad presence, even oddly protective in a way. But its invisibility and intangibility are disheartening. It follows me along the path past the sandstone bridge among the teeming greenery into a park, also sparkling with holiday lights, like high notes falling in the air. It is a gasp in that breath held for seasonal deities. The others in the park can not even sense it.

Miles of veins fan out like a road map.

It's the nth piece in a series of this variation on a theme, dreams which began rather horrifically at the beginning of the week. The presence's existence depended on its proximity to me and I, fearing its otherness, banish it repeatedly, only to see it return, scarred a little more each time, like a disintegrating rag (hold on, love, to the rage that sustains you now...). The formless thing condenses to water in my hands only to slip through my fingers, and return to formlessness. I can search for it. Or for the book of mirrors. I know I am looking for the photographic negative. Debussy realized rain falls in minor thirds. The interval is constant even if its placement is shifted each iteration. It falls at a slant in the distance never reaching the earth.

Current music: Jon Brion - Spotless Mind

Sunday, December 21, 2008

stand on the bridge

and observe: the river is motionless -- it is the bridge that moves.

Current music: Blue Foundation - Distant Dreams

Friday, December 5, 2008

like squeezing toothpaste

sometimes writing a discussion section is like getting the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube -- you know it's there, just beneath the surface -- if you just press a little harder against the convex surface or pull those shoulders back to focus onto the brush before it slips back into its container.

Current music: Poe - Hello

Friday, November 28, 2008


Pistachio in Chinese, literally: open hearted nut.
When the lights turn blue I know what to do
I'll drown my tomorrows in an ocean or two
And the pretty little things with their magnets and rings
Blooming like a flower through a series of springs
Thank you Fate and the freight that she brings
Thank you Fortuna and the song that she sings
Thank you to my manager for letting me live
Thank you to my friends and the friends that you're with..
Current music: Church - Block

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Astronomers imaged Tr16-244, along with neighbor star WR 25, as part of a series of studies on star-forming nebulae. They are rare and powerful stars that live relatively short lives, burning through their hydrogen fuel faster than most stars. They radiate brilliantly in ultraviolet wavelengths and appear blue in color. Newly released images from Hubble show Tr16-244 is made up of three stars, with two stars orbiting so closely around each other that they appeared as a single point of light in previous images.
Current music: Etro Anime - Diablo

Monday, November 24, 2008

not a religion, just a technique

laugh awhile, I can make your heart feel

Current music: PJ Harvey - The Dancer

Friday, November 21, 2008

stand back, try science

Neuroscience Podcast, ad from DC metro station

Next episode is SfN highlights. Awesomeness.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Now Accepting Applications

Artist seeks muse(s) to increase and improve creative productivity in multiple domains. Please specify which muse positions you believe you are qualified for, and demonstrate some familiarity with the artist's work. Responsibilities include inspiration, insightful commentary, constructive feedback, emotional support, companionship at cultural events, pep talks, sitting-and-looking-pretty, and dog walking. Also required: basic proficiency in each muse domain as well as math & science, and extraordinary talent/merit in at least one sub-area. General aesthetics, gracefulness, and appreciation for high tragedy a plus. Must be willing to endure suffering and the artist's mood swings, unpredictable outbursts, and other erratic behavior. This is a full time, tenure-track position.

There are no restrictions on gender, height, or previous occupation; the artist is an equal opportunity employer. To apply, send your CV (or 'resume' out there in the real world) to jadism [dot] muse [at] gmail [dot] com, and post a witty reply to this entry.

No Exit sign from baggage claim at O'Hare airport.

Current music: Tom Lehrer - The Masochism Tango (Orchestrated Edition)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

this one's for you.

And this one's for your mix. I have not forgotten.

Current music: Magnetic Fields - How F***ing Romantic

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes. We. Did.

From obamapalooza

Current music: Rodrigo y Gabriela - Satori

Monday, November 3, 2008

as per J's request

that lovely creamy-coconut-citrus concoction from last night... suggestions for a name?


1 baijiu-shot-glass cointreau
1 baijiu-shot-glass coconut milk (optional)
1 glass organic non-homogenized milk (type of milk affects the taste)


Pour into a tall glass in the order listed above.

Note: baijiu shot glasses are much smaller than regular shot glasses.

Current music: Hooverphonic - 2 Wicky

trajectory. how often does 11.04.08 come about?

T - 30 hours 40 min. until the Grant Park rally.

History hangs in superposition. No wait, Psi does not depend on t!

Current music: The Appleseed Cast - Storms

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ginkgo Harvest

Stage 1: Wait for ginkgo fruit to ripen and fall to the ground from a storm or gust of wind. It is their natural inclination to be just slightly larger than chemically-fattened cherries.

Stage 2: Allow small furry creatures to eat the fruit and leave the seeds behind. Depending on their oral dexterity (and something of natural gracefulness in their eating habits), some seeds will be left with teethmarks. Judging from the size of the teethmarks (see below), I'd hypothesize a chipmunk-sized creature.

Stage 3: Wash and dry ginkgo nuts overnight on a paper towel. Crack open ginkgo nuts with a nutcracker. Cover and microwave until you hear a few explosions being tamed by the cover you, ahem, didn't neglect to place on top of the nuts (approx. 1 min. for 25 nuts, microwave-dependent). Consume delicious translucent green gems.


Current music: Nickelback - Someday

Saturday, October 25, 2008

the sea is wine red

The 'Princess of Nebraska' noted that 'moving on' is at core an American concept. Sever your connections to the past and reinvent your identity. Come full circle in a helical fashion. Remember the child who wanted to break free from something she couldn't define. The shadow of a once-perfect garden, flawless precisely for being imaginary. Mostly. Real enough to run from, turn from. Avoid anything that shares some common element with that. Remember being her. The world is full of possibility, chaos pursues its own order, normative and imperative statements are irrelevant. There is only: I can do this. I can staple around the pages of the past seven years of my life and say, here lies a chapter.

Here is the masquerade of detachment, desire long held as a biohazard in containment. Here is all the hurt, rage, regret, and disappointment this wisp of a body was capable of holding and experiencing, encased in a neat pellet. Here is the scene with Charles Townsend, "She weeps for the lively, vivacious girl she once was," swallow this, and make misery beautiful. Here, a volcano was muted so long its face was washed into the earth, and we are left with a cork still looming. The Devil's Tower shadows the plains, marking time like a sundial, memory without its container. Please God, make me a stone.

Current music: Blue Foundation - As I Moved On

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Spicy Vegan Chocolate Cake

(adapted from this one)


* 1 3/4 cup white flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 2 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp salt
* 2 tsp cinnamon
* 2 tsp chili powder (or cayenne)
* 1 cup cocoa powder
* 1/3 cup sugar (or sugar replacement – experimental run was with Simply Sweet)
* pinch of nutmeg (optional)

* 1/2 cup oil (canola)
* 1 cup maple syrup
* 1 cup soy milk or rice milk
* 1 cup coffee, warm or cold, not hot
* 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
* large dash, vanilla (1 Tbsp-ish)
* nontrivial dash, almond
* hazelnuts (optional)


1. Stir dry ingredients together in large bowl.
2. Stir wet ingredients in a well in the dry ingredients.
3. Mix everything together. Batter is highly liquid.
4. Bake at 350 until done, rotate every 15 min.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

transfer from livejournal

archival entries (09/2001 to 10/2008) will be hosted on livejournal:

The ads were getting obnoxious enough to overcome my laziness in transferring this over to my domain. So here we are. A clean slate and a tail in the door.