Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wow

If you haven't seen this before, check it. Adam showed this to us for the first time in Paris last month. I was beside myself. Do yourself a favor and watch the entire thing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cherry Blossoms

It was nice most of yesterday. The rain started pouring late afternoon
and it shook out many of the blossoms from the trees.

This is a view looking down our front porch. Beautiful.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Aw Man

Even though the weather app can never succesfully predict weather in
Portland, this bums me out. But who knows, I mean it's sunny out right
now. We shall see.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Living Smaller

I was mowing my backyard this evening as Holly pulled weeds. We picked up a push manual lawnmower on trade for a post-hole digger my dad and I used to put in our fence. It was a fun feeling to plow over the grass that had grown a foot high.

Yesterday, Holly, Pax, and I finished tilling the raised beds and planted seeds for various veggies. I didn't really document the process (Holly might have).

And I thought to myself, "What if this is it? Simply tilling the ground and planting stuff for the sake of growing it? For the sake of harvesting it?"

That might sound strange to you, but for someone like me, most everything I do is material. Material to blog about (like I'm doing now). Material to gather to make a case for why my life is meaningful, helpful, of value. It's another way to prove myself.

Part of that is unhealthy, I know, I know. And part of it is my wiring. I'm an achiever, a performer. And that's okay.

But I wondered what it'd be like to just live a small life. Using my own person as a feedback loop instead of looking for digital validation from friends across the world. Proving myself to only...myself.

And I don't know where I'm at with answering the question about it being it. And I'm certainly not interested in you telling me that it's going to be okay or that I don't need to feel that way. Because if you say that, you simply do not understand my compulsion, simple as that. :)

But I will say that I consider more and more the idea of simply living for myself, not for others. That is, trying to save myself, to change myself, to really live for myself rather than always thinking how this might appear to people, how people will understand it, etc. To do something simply because I'd like to, because I want to, not because it toes some ideaology's line.

It's a discipline for me. Yes, becoming human is a challenge for me. Living small, as most of us live, is hard for me. Living human size, without all the hype and success. But I'm trying.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Fried Chicken and Mashed Taters

Not bad, Sharps.

Hefeweizen

Should be ready in time for summer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Speeding Home

While taking the high-speed train from the Loire Valley back to Paris earlier this week, I spat out a little poem. Enjoy.

300 kilometers per hour
So fucking fast
Eyes can focus only on the far horizon

I breathe slowly, slower
Tomorrow the pace accelerates all the more
Thousands of miles in a matter of hours

How efficient!
How convenient!
How productive!

How tiring

Adrenaline dispenses
To help me anticipate
The rush of home
Life: Sped up

Will I submit again to it's frantic pace?
Or laugh at the folly of squinting,
Attempting to focus on the blurring trees in spring?

Spring in Santa Cruz

This so makes me want to get back to my garden.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Self-Portrait at 38,000 Feet

God this has been a long day. All three of us have reached our own
limits, some of us sooner than others.

But wait, I feel the descent which signals that the ground is nearer
than it was.

And for that I'm terribly grateful.

Coming Home

We landed in Chicago. Now a couple hours here and then to SFO.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reflection #5: Bourgueil Pilgrimage

Reflection #4: Chocolat Chaud

Reflection #3: Pro/Re/Ag-gression

Reflection #2: Canes Embracing

Reflection #1: La Sagrada Familia

Waiting

At the station awaiting the trains that will carry me and 9L of wine
back to Paris. I only hope there's time to grab some bread or perhaps
dinner.

About 10 miles walked and 3 wineries experienced. Only 1 spoke any
English at all. It was great. This is a great region.

One winemaker gifted me a bottle of their 1990. Wow. What a gift. It
all started when she poured me that aged drink. What color! What
aroma! How mellow! How complex!

"Where's your wife?" she asked. With our son, in Paris. "Take this
bottle back to her and let me know how you two like it."

"Merci," I responded.

"Grr," my stomach just interrupted.

Dusk on the Loire

St Patrice

My train ride today took me (by my lonesome) back to the Loire
Valley...this time to Bourgueil, Benais and St Patrice.

This was my stop off the train. Now to cover about 15-20 Km and 3-4
wineries in 5 hours.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Snippets from A FAILURE OF NERVE

"No society can continue to evolve as long as it makes cloistered virtues supreme."

"The relationship between anxiety and seriousness is so predictable that the absence of playfulness in any institution is almost always a clue to the degree of its emotional regression."

"Taking about our feelings is a cultural phenomenon rather than the only path to recovery."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Problem with Information

I have been doing a great deal of processig about my constant anxiety
and how information intersects with it.

I just had a thought: Perhaps the deluge of information we imbibe
(through indie or mainstream media, conversations with others, books
we read, etc.) reallocates our emotional resources to problems "out
there" when in reality all we might be able to address are our own
problems.

The question "How do people (and groups) change?" has been with me a
long time. How to "pastor" people and how best to see change in my own
life might simply lie in how I respond to my immediate world. That
sounds small and even selfish...the suggestion that I cannot solve
poverty "out there" but only "in here".

I have been all over the map in my responses to the question of
change, but this makes sense to me currently.

I rage against it, but feel it all the same: " Change yourself and you
change the world."

This toes in with earlier posts I've made about limiting our intake of
information. I wonder if I should consider the flip side of that coin:
Limiting the contribution of new or synthesized information (like
blogging, fb, etc.) Does it distract from "real life"?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Venetian Speedball

This morning we celebrated Bethany's forthcoming birthday and our 8th
anniversary. We all made breakfast burritos, coffee and Bellinis. Mmm.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Backyard

Thanks to Joel for taking this pic last week. One of the things I miss about being home is seeing spring springing. I love this one of our plum tree in the backyard.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Our Spoils

This morning Craig rented a car and we all piled in and headed to the Loire Valley. It was a 7 seater and there were 8 adults and a baby. Yah, tight squeeze. And it was a loooooong drive. But all in all, it was wonderful.

We got to taste in Vouvray...some yummy Chenin Blanc...both sparkling and still, dry and sweet. But then on to Bourgeuil and St Joseph for Cab Franc. It's interesting being in wine areas where they each only produce a single varietal. Narrow and focused. Yummy reds, some oaked and some not. Suprisingly, they were both good.

We got to chat with 2 winemakers as we tasted their reds. Sierra and Craig helped translate. So cool to meet these small-batch artists.

It was a wonderful day. Dan and Adam ran out to find some Chinois food to match with our newfound "Champagne" of Vouvray Chenin Blanc. Should be friggin yum.



Final count for our group: 33 75cl bottles, 1 magnum and 4 10L Boxes...and all for around $5/bottle (or less!)

Wine Tasting in the Loire Valley

Tasted some lovely Cab Francs. Showed the terrior very well. Magic.