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Dec 26, 2007

Easily and Clearly Influenced

Billy_ocean This afternoon on VH1 Classic -- "We Are the Eighties".  And within ten seconds of "Caribbean Queen" by Billy Ocean, I suddenly realized that way too much of my photo composition aesthetic was directly traceable to MTV in the 1980s.  And you know what? A lot of 1980s videography really really SUCKED.*

Of course it shouldn't surprise me that my compositional sense was greatly influenced by 1980s music videos.  I had been watching the stuff nonstop for 12 months when I picked up my first SLR.  What bummed me out, though, was realizing that in many ways I still lean on those origins when I take a photo now, 20+ years later.  Sure, I've seen and learned some new things during my fits and starts of subsequent photo work.  But I think that the "learned more" all built off a chain that started ~1983 and never got cut.  I think I'd be better off if I'd also learned from a few unrelated chains with different origins.  Maybe I'll start doing drugs or something.

But maybe not.  It's apparent that my insides are still so easily influenced by what I see and read.  Two nights ago I watched an NCIS episode with a bludgeoning murder, and then I re-read some of The Day of the Jackal -- Forsyth's great thriller about a plot to kill Charles DeGaulle.  So what should I dream about that night?  Getting my head smashed in.  And (later, after I'd been killed), participating in a plot to kill George W. Bush.  Drugs would probably not help me see anything new.  It would just be the same stuff, but in different colors.


*Need proof?  Cringe to Billy Ocean's Caribbean Queen right here at YouTube.

Photo: BBC.com

04:45 PM in Me, Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9)

So, What is the Pictograph for "Asian-American" Family?


As I understand it: For the traditional Asian, family is everything.  For the traditional Asian's child-in-America, family is the beginning of everything.  As I have yet to understand: which mindset has the greater challenge for assimilating in these United States?


"Family" in Chinese courtesy of ChineseNames.org -- free translations of names and many other words from English to Chinese.

03:57 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (6)

Dec 25, 2007

If You Can't Get Chinese Food and a Movie...

...how about Chinese people and video karaoke?

This year for Christmas dinner: hanging with the folks at their favorite Senior Center for leftover potluck, a white elephant gift exchange, karaoke and ping pong.  My folks' Chinese neighbors joined us for dinner and everything was great -- especially when I finally beat the room's best ping pong player.

The paddle-master in question had won ~12 in a row (including 2 on me) before I took him out.  As usual with my rare sports victories, I let out a whoop.  Unfortunately, I wasn't on the beat and I trashed my dad's videoke score.  Just kidding.  I was on the beat.

In any case, dinner was great fun and for an evening snack at the telly I had some excellent fruitcake washed down with brandy over ice.  Oh heck yes, this was a very good Christmas.  Happy birthday, Jesus!

11:58 PM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3)

Dec 23, 2007

420 on I-40?!

Saw this on Craigslist rideshare and had to click.  "Rest in" peace, more like it.

Carrboro to rdu 420 friendly

Reply to: comm-515235666@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-12-20,  1:02PM EST

Looking for a ride to the airport on dec 23rd flight is at 2:30. smoke on the way or pay gas money.

09:46 PM in Quotables | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dec 18, 2007

Foundation for a Sustainable Community at Spice Street tonight for Emerging Green Builders

From the Triangle Emerging Green Builders -- a cool program tonight:


Join us at Spice Street for a cold beverage and a short dialogue on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber's Foundation for a Sustainable Community.


Date : Tuesday, Dec. 18th
Time: 6 - 8 pm
Location: Spice Street, 201 S. Estes Dr., Chapel Hill
For directions, please visit their website at: www.ghgrestaurants.com/spice/spicestreet.html

Speaker: Foundation for a Sustainable Community 

The mission of the Foundation for a Sustainable Community is to invest business and community resources to promote and advance the triple bottom line of community sustainability: environmental stewardship, social equity and economic prosperity.

The Foundation's programs are focused on sustaining the environment, building relationships in the community, providing affordable housing, supporting local schools, amplifying community leadership skills and generating economic prosperity. Some of these programs include:

Community Leadership Collaboration
Institute for Sustainable Development
Workforce Housing Partnership
Business in Education Partnership
Leadership Chapel Hill-Carrboro
Sustainable Enterprise Certification

There will be a 15 minute discussion and then we will commence with our usual networking and socializing.
Come join us for a cold beverage and networking with other green-minded people!

12:14 AM in News | Permalink | Comments (2)

Dec 12, 2007

Mérida Mexico - January 8 to March 11

Today I bought my plane tix to Mérida -- $580 on Continental to get me to and from 9 weeks in the Yucatan.

I'm hoping for a good trip, of course -- language classes, Yucatecan food, warmth, travel in Mexico and Central America, goofing around in Mérida (and on the beach at Progreso) with locals, ex-pats, and visitors...  The biggest thing, though, will be figuring out whether I can keep my business running via telephone and internet.  I've been making some changes to my business model during Fall 2007.  This trip will force me to make all the changes I need to.  And if it works, I may end up traveling the remainder of 2008.  We'll see...  Wish me luck.


map: travelyucatan.com

11:09 PM in Mexico | Permalink | Comments (6)

Dec 05, 2007

Hell Changes Owners but the Chairman is still the Chairman


Mark on the bar at Hell -- photo by Primo,
yoinked from Dave Thomas's Fistful of Plooble.

Mark Dorosin and Bronwyn Merritt, former Duke undergrad celebrities (Mark of "Cyrus X" fame and Bronwyn of the Duke Film Society) have sold their interest in Hell, the Chapel Hill bar/club that they opened in 1997.  I used to have an office next door and spent way too much time in that great place: the bar for people who didn't have a bar; home to dogs, foosball playing lesbians, skinheads to hug, disaffected civil rights lawyers, thirty-something musicians, politicians, and scenesters.

Mark's announcement email, below.

Subject: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated...

Reports of my retirement however, are well taken.

As some of you may have heard, Bronwyn and I have, after 10 1/2 glorious, dank-laden years, sold our interest in that cruel but tempting mistress we call Hell.  It has been a fabulous and wild ride, and we want to thank all of you whose friendship, love, loyalty, dedication, appreciation and dipsomania made the bar such a great success, and the time we spent there so meaningful.  Without your support, counsel, good humor, and indulgence, neither of us could have hung in as long as we did, nor would we have wanted to.  We met many of you through the bar, and for that, we will always cherish the time we spent there.  The same cannot be said for the cirrhosis or the lingering effects of the second-hand smoke.

The bar itself will continue as Hell and remains in good hands and with all of the current staff you know and love.  Please continue to drink, dance and enjoy the increasingly intense live music schedule.  I will still be hosting Trivia on Thursday nights, and promise to be as low-brow, esoteric, rude, and shamelessly self-promoting as ever.  Krusty has set a high bar, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp.  "Hey-hey." You will undoubtedly find me there other times, nursing a PBL in the corner, muttering about socialism, and plotting my next scheme.

Speaking of next schemes and shameless self-promotion, we'll not lay low too long.  In April we will be producing a new trilogy of short plays at the Artscenter--"Assininenation: A Comic Perspective of Presidential Tragedy." We'll be looking for performers and of course, insist you all come out and laugh your collective ass off.

Emerson wrote that, among other things, "to laugh often and much" is to have succeeded. Looking back at the last 10 1/2 years, I am sure he was right.

We love you all, but are only in love with some you.


Mark & Bronwyn

03:45 PM in News, Triangulations | Permalink | Comments (7)

Dec 03, 2007

Krispy Krispy Kringle

A recent chat-over-dessert sent me to the Krispy Kreme website in search of nutritional information.  Holy yikes!

An original glazed donut has 200 calories which is perhaps not too shocking when you consider that a hefty slice of whole grain bread might have ~160 calories.  But what's in those 200 Krispy Kalories?  3 grams of protein and whole bunch of you-don't-need-it.  And the glazed kreme-filled?  360 calories.  The apple fritter ties for highest-calories-per-unit at 380.*

In case you were wondering, Krispy Kreme donuts are vegetarian.  Some are even Kosher.  Nutritional information here at Krispy Kreme Korporate.

So.  I still love Krispy Kreme but now I have the digits to prove that I need to love those things like skydivers love their hobby: with great joy and with great care.


*When I was a kid, my family and I probably would have thought the apple fritter was healthiest because of the "apple".  No longer.

12:05 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink | Comments (9)