Monday, March 29, 2010

Absolute's I'm Here Trailer by Spike Jonze

It is funny how things turn out. A post about a message that I wasn't acceptable to a guy because I was older was syndicated by BlogHer. If you haven't already you should check out the 30 minute movie by Spike Jonze that he did for Absolute Vodka.

The movie was shot in Eagle Rock which is in the northeastern section of Los Angeles with known landmarks between the Eagle Rock Plaza and Pasadena. I liked it because in our rush to become cyborgs there is still a spark of need and for touch.

If robots and automatons can find love maybe there is hope for the organics.

Now I'm not saying you totally have to suspend you thinking skills here. There are plot holes and questions that when you think about it don't make sense.

Then again, ain't that the way love goes?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

David Grant on Project Learning Sucess - Edutopia

I'm starting research on a new post. Conceptually it is about seeking alternatives to traditional education that enable more people to educate themselves. I'm thinking adult people at the moment but I will look at anything for anybody at the moment.

Which generates all kinds of questions as to what does an education mean?

Do we mean training?

Do we mean a certain level of intellectual or cultural literacy?

Or is this more that just a verification path that quantifies a certain amount of knowledge that has been sucked up and waiting for the right place to regurgitate what we have been told?

So in order to construct the right questions I have to look at all kinds of education modes and possibilities.

This is David Grant speaking about an alternative school environment for middle school students. It sounds like the kind of school you would have had to drag me from at the end of the day.

I'd want two schools in every district to be like this one in Portland, Maine but under the current funding levels and political hostilities I don't see this evolving anytime soon.

Certainly not in Los Angeles. Dang sure not in Texas. I guess I'm trying to get a bead on what we as individuals and as a nation want in an education.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baby Take Your Time on The Finally Friday Freakout

Shoes are off. Spaghetti is moving from a solid form to something more playable. Found cheese in the what passes for a refrigerator. I'm giving thanks that I wasn't one of the people that got a pink slip this week.

That would be made redundant for my UK peeps.

Nothing is over; don't believe the recovery hype. Do not switch to grasshopper mode just yet. Contingency living planning is in full effect. You might want to dig out that emergency kit and re-stock too.

Politically, folks is acting ape shiz crazy. People need to chill, that caffeine in the tea you are drinking is too strong for your system. Too many tea parties are messing with your brain.

That is a discussion for later. It is Friday and time to boogie down. In the Groove Yard tonight is a clip from Solid Gold and the SOS Band.

I am in need of some SOS because I bought blackberries and have to find a way to use them. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Frozen blackberries at 99 cents each. I took a bite and they were not as I anticipated. A little on the astringent side.

The good news is that I have soy milk, honey and a blender. I also seem to have semi-sweet chocolate.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Everyday Looper or I Don't Need It But I Want It Just the Same

I really don't want an iPhone, iTouch or that other thing. I don't need it. But this, this app for the iPhone had me teetering. Wavering with gadget lust.

EveryDay Looper - Les Ramens -
Uploaded by eulgadjo. - See the latest featured music videos.

It really helps that I'm taking my time deciding on a smart phone. Cuz if I was a person of impulse I'd be running to the Apple store on the other side of town. The photo, recording and other applications are much more of interest to me than the dang iPhone.

If I could get and iPhone without a phone contract that would be cool. Or stupid because I think that is what the iTouch is for - people like me. Nope. Can't do it.

But if I did maybe I could so stuff like this, this is Mark Hopper looping in the kitchen:

Must fight the App Lust. Must.

Scuze me while I engage in heavy deep breathing. I'll be back.
Hat tip to AppScout.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Year Goes By And I'm Not Aging Gracefully

This is the last day of my 51st year. It was a rough week of marking this transition. I kept looking at things I lacked instead of what I have - a tendency that most humans possess in abundance. Once I re-focused my thinking it got better.

You know, just me typing that I will be 52 years old will cost me potential jobs, friends, lovers and people willing to talk to me. I'm finding that is happening more and more. That does make me sad.

Really if age is one of your prime criteria to ignore a person then I didn't need to talk to you anyway.

When I wake up in the morning, when I remember to do it, I think of three things I am grateful or honestly glad that I have in my life. Most days it is really elemental stuff. A kitchen with food. Books. A person I know.

Some days it is the big stuff like the sound of a bird outside the window chirping. A stream on sunlight. A memory of a person I hold dear in my heart.

Then I get on with the business of the day. Listening. Talking. Working. Reading. Wanting to create more and never having enough time.

What Else Do I Commit to Saying In Public?

I remember chunks of the past that inform my present. My current responsibility is to let go of those things and ideas that no longer serve me or this time. To love the body I am in even though I am told it is undesirable.

I don't care. This is my body and it works. I long ago stopped giving a rat's ass about highly subjective opinions about my physical form. I'm a kid, and a teen and a woman and whatever comes after that my inner selves will act accordingly.

I let go of being married. If it happens that would be great but I will not settle. Not for less than love. Y'all go ahead and marry for money or companionship. I just don't feel that good about being married to Mr. Tolerable. Maybe that is why I hate those settle for second best marriage books so much.

So I pack away my imaginary red wedding dress and the sparkling high top sneakers too. No, it would not have been a white wedding. There would have been an infusion of color.

About the aging gracefully part. It is like being a teen again.

Awkward. Unsure but knowing everything anyway. Changes in perception and physical being. I'm not going to be a swan. One of those dames that floats into a room anchored in her beauty and her place in the world.

Nope, I'm more like Calamity Jane or the Unsinkable Molly Brown or Tugboat Annie. We squawk and laugh and stomp around if necessary but we mean no harm. We have stuff to do and aim to get to it.

Could I still run naked into the lake? Yes.
Will I ever wear fishnet stockings in public again? No. Not if I can help it.

On my birthday I will sleep as long as I want. I will eat food I like, some of which no longer like me back. I will take a walk and maybe check out an art show or exhibit. I will read and clean and watch regurgitated television via the Internet.

There isn't going to be a birthday party or dinner. I get to treat me and it is a good thing because I know what I want.

Let me rephrase that, I know what I want but can't go near a camera store.

Everything else is fair game.

California African American Museum Free Workshop March 27, 2010

The California African American Museum is having a free workshop on March 27, 2010 for kids, parents, childless people, individuals, frustrated cubical bunnies and those that need to do something creative and don't know where to start.

The photo on the left is an example of the style of Mr. Scott and what folks could do at the workshop which is free and open to the public. The California African American Museum is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park in Los Angeles, CA 90037. Let them know you are coming by RSVP at (213) 744-2024.

(If you are using Firefox the phone number is disappearing. I don't know why. It seems to be OK in Chrome and Opera. The phone number is two one three seven four four two zero two four.)

Admission to the museum is free but the parking is $8 at 39th and Figueroa. You could also go Metro but depending on where you live that might not be an option for you.

According to an information sheet that I have in my hand: "Inspired by the work of New Orleans artist John T. Scot, participants will create a sculpture based on architectonic forms used by him. Artist Wanda Clarke will lead the workshop."

You don't have to bring anything except your body and an open mind. And $8 for parking.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Original Sin on the Finally Friday Freakout

I miss Music television. I miss the days when you could see little operettas of pop and rock songs. Dancers had work and got to keep most of their clothes on. Sometimes the music videos were a little too high concept or were attached to a project that just didn't work out.

In 1994 there was a movie version of The Shadow. I did go see the movie when it came out. I don't think it was a box office success in the way that Hollywood wanted it to be.

Wait, let me check. According to IMDB it cost $40 million to make and raked in $32,055,248 in U.S. movies sales. Oooby-dooby.

So in the U.S. they lost money but they made it back internationally and through ancillary sales channels, i.e. cable and DVD rentals.

Well, I liked it. Yeah it had issues. Come to think of it there were questions of continuity but it wasn't a stinker.

This is Taylor Dayne singing the theme song from the movie. Taylor helped me get through a night or two in the Salt Mine of days gone by, not to mention a broken heart or two. The name of the song is Original Sin.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More on Math Empowerment Via Games and Tutorials

My post on Women, Stop Saying You Hate Math is up on BlogHer. I usually have more research than I need so let me add a few more math goodies that will aid in the math reclamation project.

Visual Math Dictionary
This is a cute visual dictionary of math terms for kids and people who use to be one. A Math Dictionary for Kids You can see what an angle of 23 degrees looks like and help feed a pelican. This site was created by Jenny Eather.

This one might be good for the wee ones. Or yourself. I won't tell you are playing a kid game. I want you too. Okta might look friendly but that octopus gets an attitude when it loses. The name of the game is Deep Sea Duel.

Deep Sea Duel
It is an Addition game where you can start out nice and easy or head for the dark side. This and other on-line math games can be found at the National Council of Math Teachers section of the web site call Illuminations.

You say you have the Addition thing down and you need reinforcement on the Algebra kick? I got a little something for you. AlgeBasics is a little old school but it gets the job done.

You select the type of problem you have and the you see an animate solution to the problem with a voice over as a guide.

Oh the red ink this could have save myself from seeing. PEMDAS baby, it is all in the PEMDAS.

The are just a few examples that you can check out in your jammies. Yea, in the war against the proud and stupid we must set up the basic perimeter of defenses. The ability to do arithmetic and various forms mathematics is part of the reclamation project.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Signs of Being Unwanted

I was opening my e-mail. There it was, three more gentlemen that I should check out. I have debated dumping my account. Most of the guys are fine, normal people. Very active. Never knew so many over 40 men like to run marathons and walk on the beach.

I don't marathon. I have no beach to walk on. Anyway, I go check out the fellas that were sent to me as eligible candidates. I see this at the bottom of one of the potential matches:

Mind you, I didn't go looking for this guy; he was selected because some algorithm thought it was a good idea.

I can't be older than 45 years old?

Yes, I can.

Yes, I am. The killer that caused me to laugh is that there was an ad for a mature dating service. It featured way younger than I am women who would be willing to date guys over 40.

Cleavage apparently is an important qualification.

You have to laugh or you will go stark raving bonkers.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gil Scott-Heron on the Finally Friday Freekout

Gil Scott-Heron is a brilliant, complex and flawed man. I do not mean disrespect when I say flawed. To survive your demons and create again is a joyous event. This makes him flawed and an example of a perfect human being. I learned long ago not to put people on a pedestal. It is a good way to get my feelings hurt.

I want to pay tribute to his work and his talent. A bunch of us are in front of our monitors tearing up happy because he working on new material and is starting a tour.

On my desk I have the album, Winter in America. No fooling, Strata-East stereo SES-19742. On the inside cover Gil wrote:

There is a restlessness within our souls that keeps us questioning, discovering and struggling against a system that will not allow us space and time for fresh expression.

I know that I am not the only person who used the Internet to find and keep tabs on him. Back in the text only days folks shared what they knew, that he was in England, that he was in chemical bondage or in trouble. Sometimes of his own making.

I know I would check into the flow and find out he was in some mess and silently murmur; “Come on back Gil, come, on back.” Because when you can write and perform lyrics like The Bottle” then I will not accept anything from young men who want to fill me with how proud they are of killing each other and subjugating women while they themselves are being subjugated by the music industry.

Gil is on tour to support his new CD/iTunes download “I’m New Here.” I am seriously scheming on how I can make his California shows but logistically I can’t make it work. If I have to get a passport so be it; I am that committed to seeing him again.

I have to go but I want to say that I grew up in a time of Nikki Giovanni, Gwendolyn Brooks, Baraka, Gil Scott-Heron and The Last Poets. Gil Scott-Heron is needed in this time and space.

Time for incubation is over. There is much work to do to inspire new voices in the changes to come. I'm not asking him to do his old stuff, but that is ok if he wants to. Gil does not have to be political, the personal will do. But if he happens to want to speak on the rampant pride of stupidity it would be appreciated.

If he wants to speak of transcendence that would be even better. But Father Lyrical do what you need to do man, just be present.

I want to leave you with a few of the comments I found on his site. This is how deep it is in our hearts:
It’s always a big void to fill when the voice of the “chosen one” is silent. New spring means new life, remember the cleansing, remember Haiti. Winter is only a temporary time so don’t give up. I’m always and always will be pro “GSH” for better or worse good times and bad.
I’m now 50 years old and play your music for my 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter and they enjoy it! My wife is much younger than I, she’s been advised that if I die before her play only your music at my funeral! I pray I shake your hand before then and say thank you-brother! Until then stay well...
I have always wished I could hug your pain away. I know this is where your music comes from, so I respect it. Thank you for continuing the fight to share. We need you. Stay up! Know that you are Blessed and Loved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tami Simon - Podcasting for Enlightenment

One of the reasons I have pulled away from traditional broadcast media is that it no longer makes an effort to engage or inspire my mind or spirit. I’m not a rampant intellectual who disdains all forms of entertainment. Let me camp out on a few episodes of Red Dwarf and I’m happy.

But something has been lost. The willingness to tell stories or ideas that are not mentally freeze dried for consumption is slipping away. I started transitioning to public radio for a time but there is a limit to so much news and public affairs programs I can take in a day.

Some days I just can’t take it.

Insigits At the Edge Podcasts

One of my solutions is to continue to educate myself via audio podcasting. Tami Simon is the owner and publisher of Sounds True. The business focuses on audio healing, inspirational and self empowerment recordings. I have purchased recordings from the site.

What I want to share it a free/open section of the web site that anyone can access. It is Tami’s podcast called Sounds True - Insights at the Edge. This is where Tami interviews people who are engaged in a passion, a calling or who are sharing a bit of their life’s work.

What I like about it is that most of the time it does sound like an actual conversation between two people who are talking about something deeper than what was on television that night.

There are names that you might recognize and others that are totally new to you. Let me point out a few folks and then you can mosey over to check it out:

Corinne McLaughlin: The Politics of Dynamic Change What could happen in 2012 that does not lead to death and eternal dang-nation.

Tara Brach: Radical Acceptance How to work through emotional pain to healing.

Terry Tempest Williams: Finding Beauty in a Broken World A woman who walks into trouble and finds beauty. Stunning interview.

Vicki Robin: Financial Independence: A Redefinition, Vicki is the co-author of the classic and essential guide to getting a grip on your money, “Your Money or Your Life.” In this interview she talks about what financial independence really means.

These are free recordings that you can listen to via your computer, download to your mp3/media player or you accent access them via iTunes. For those of you that are technologically challenged you can read a transcript of the podcast.

Monday, March 08, 2010

California African America Museum Events

You don't have to be African American to visit the California African American Museum. In fact, if you are not African American I definitely think you should go for a visit. If you are African American and haven't been what the heck are you waiting for, an invitation?

Ok. I invite you to visit the museum. It is free, by the way.

There are a bunch of events that folks should know about so here is a quick run down:

In addition to the exhibits there are art workshops. As soon as my secret inside source mails me the flyer (um, she is retro old school) I'll post the freebie art event.

So if you home school or looking for something to do with the kids on your weekend and, you don't have cash for Disneyland, this might be an option for you and the little darlings/devils.

The address of the California African American Museum is 600 State Drive, Exposition Park Los Angeles, CA 90037. The museum is open Tuesday - Sunday. They are closed on Mondays.

Stepping Away From the Stupid People

I don't know about you but it does seem that the stupid, the half-thinking all talking segment of the population has taken command of the public spotlight.

I'm not against a little focus on human stupidity because it can keep you from doing something equally as stupid. But stupid is being raised up as an art form or a way of life.

I should define the level of stupid I'm referring to:
  • stupid - lacking or marked by lack of intellectual acuity
  • stupidity - a poor ability to understand or to profit from experience
Noooo! We can't afford to continue being stupid. We have to stoke those embers 0f critical thinking skills and behaviors. For the sake of humanity. We can do better than this muck we have been swimming in. Each one teach one.

I have an idea. We can plant more seeds of non-stupidity. We can demonstrate to the borderline folks that there is a better way. The bone stupid people we don't have to worry about; they will keep doing the same thing for the same result.

Some people are stupid but they are consistent. Still others are consistently stupid. They won't read posts like the ones I'm working on. Too much effort.

Me? I can be stupid. I have been stupid. But I'm not as stupid as I use to be. I gave it up. It doesn't pay very well, the people are dicey to be around and I have better things to do with my time than to continue to wallow and moan about what I can't change.

There is so much more that I can do, think and become. We are to ascend in spirit, not decend into myopic selfishness.

Anyway, for the next couple of posts I'm going to focus on finding resources, options, information sources and good ideas that the non-stupid folks can add to their personal internal survival kit or pass it on to someone else who can benefit.

Many of the ideas will be free, inexpensive or just a link to someone who is working on changing their section of the world. Some of the ideas will have a cost associated with them but might pay long term dividend of knowledge down the line.

Not every day but maybe twice a week in March 2010. Oh, and I gotta kick in women history stuff too.

Anything else?

Yes. I will try not to use the word stupid anymore. Need to switch over to positive affirmation mode.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Rain, Rain and Nothing But Rain

Mr. Ron Banks of The Dramatics has made his transition. Blessings to his spirit and his family. In tribute this is a version of a song the group recorded called, In The Rain.

I got soaking wet yesterday and I'm going to take another involuntary bath in a bit. I'm living in Soaksville. I have a philosophy about getting caught in a rainstorm and being soaked.

Here it is. There is nothing I can do about it. I accept it and hopefully it is the worse part of my day. This is because when I lived in colder places getting caught in a rain storm when it was 30 degrees meant that you were wet and cold.

So unpleasant. Wet is better when it is 70 degrees or above. There is also the Jeri-Curl factor. Never, ever get a Jeri-Curl. But if you do, and you shouldn't but if you do never ever get caught in a rainstorm.

Chemical blindness and jacked up hair = one hell of a day. At that point you do need to stand under a cloud burst to get that crap out of your eyes. That was my worst experience in a rainstorm and nothing, nothing can be worse than that. I'm good to go.

I'm going to head out and do what I have to do. I will try not to mutter too many obscenities. No chemicals in the hair and I am primed for accepting the realities of water falling from the sky.

All in all, a good day.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Smilling Faces on the Finally Friday Freakout

I have a need to let the Funk flag fly high this week. This is another group I have loved but have never seen perform until now.

With much love and affection for those of us that were ready to beam aboard the Mothership 30 years ago, this is The Undisputed Truth.

I am going to take myself off the grid. Very long week at the Salt Mine. Nothing bad happened it just that it was a long time between Monday and Friday. I need a road trip or something. I need to re-invent myself yet again.

I have been traveling through this excellent web site about creativity. There are activities, concepts and tools to use to jump start inspiration. Some of the concepts I don't understand. Some I get right away. So much to learn, not near enough time.

But my eyes say no more computer for today. Must respect the peepers.