Art Show. Parents.

In a couple days, tomorrow, saturday I will be driving to Utah for my art show.
Every one is invited to attend. The show is at Coal Umbrella. My good friend Greg Caldwell will also have pottery for sale in the back room of Coal Umbrella.

I am thinking of having Butternut Squash soup because I love it and soup is a good Autumn food. There will also be tea and hot chocolate. Maybe some some sweets, I am not sure. Does anyone have any food suggestions? Or want to help me make the soup? Or help me make some other food?

This will be my first solo show and I am very excited for it. I have put a lot of work into it. There will be many paintings, ceramic tiles, dioramas, and wooden cut outs. I have been working on a coffee table book that I had hoped to have for sale at the show, but I don't think it will be ready in time. Everything will be for sale, fairly cheap.

Here is a flier I made for the show. I photographed it with the Macbook photobooth, which reverses things, so make sure to look at it in a mirror:

Here are some examples of some things that will be for sale:

And I got a new sweater:

I bought it from a South American man who sets up at my school as it approaches Christmas time selling hand made goods from his home country I can't remember which one. I was looking at, and admiring this sweater, and mentioned how much I want it, but won't be able to buy it for a while. The man was kind enough to let me take it now and pay him later. I wanted to give him something for collateral, but all I could find was an ID from a check cashing place, I wouldn't care even a little if I never got back, but I left it with him anyway.

Totally unrelated. It seems parents frequently don't realize how thoroughly counter productive their efforts to mold their children in their ideal image are. I can understand a mother's concern for her daughters well being, but behaving in certain ways seems only to reinforce the undesirability of particular ideologies.

One important exception to this rule is my brother's desire to turn his son Elliot into a steam boat captain.

Situations like these remind me of one of Bahu'u'llah's most well liked quotes: 'If religion is a source of disunity, it is better to have no religion at all.'

It also reminds me of in unhealthy romantic relationships, where one partner likes the other one more than the other, or one wants to break up with the other, so the one with the lower hand does all they can to try and compel the other into liking them, becoming emotionally draining, having the opposite of the intended effect. I think almost everyone has within us a resistance to feeling forced, especially emotionally forced. This creates very frustrating situations for the one doing the forcing. Damned if you do, damned if you don't type feelings. They may realize that if they try and force someone to like them, it pushes that away, but if they do nothing, they fear their love may slip away (though in reality, the other will often feel attracted to that sense of emotional independence)

While not exactly the same sort of situation as with a parent and child, they are similar in that damned if you do, damned if you don't type feeling I imagine a parent must feel. So I can sympathize with the frustration likely felt when a parent sees their child developing beliefs they see as incorrect. They want to do something, yet by doing something it seems to have the opposite effect. And by doing nothing they fear the child will slip into oblivion.

I see that as something unfortunate and dangerous about religion. Otherwise moral people can be seen as bad, because they do not share certain beliefs. Belief is not, and should not be a choice, and so has no moral value, yet religion often confuses this. Creating disharmony when there needn't be any.

Situations like these are also good reminders to me for when I am a parent. I would like to think it is not in my personality to try and compel another person to fit a certain mold, but often we don't realize certain aspects of ourselves until faced with certain situations. When I have little Mashas and Boris' of my own, I hope I can use recent events to remind me of the sort of parent I want to be.

(I was deliberately sort of vague about some things. I guess I don't feel it is my place to be more specific. I will just say that I am not speaking of my own parents. Though I once had conflict with them over similar issues, it has long since been resolved and we are closer than ever.)

Also, one last thing (phew)
Since it is halloween I am wearing a costume today. I already have been downtown ad it appears to be a hit.
Even though I have worn the same costume for the past 8 years,

I guess I forgot to bring it with me when I moved. Which is SUCH a bummer. (in reality, I had no emotional response when i realized i had forgotten it. I a m a r o b o t).

Here is my costume for today. I guess it is obvious from the photo, but in case not, I am dressed as god.


It is sure ironic that a campaign which prides itself on being 'Maverick' is now frustrated with one of its members being too much of a maverick. I guess they only like mavericks when it follows their script.

Speaking of Republican irony, I have heard a handful of references by republicans recently about not wanting to give aid to countries who don't even like us anyway. Don't these Christians read the bible?

"But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you"

Almost everything about Republicans is ironic, considering they claim to base their principals on the bible. How is that Republicans have become known for their strong support of military intervention? And the war on 'terror'?

"Do not make use of force against an evil man; but to him who gives you a blow on the right side of your face let the left be turned."

Even family values:

"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple." Luke 14:26

It is unlikely Jesus meant for his followers to literally hate their families, rather, he seems to be speaking of a concept common among Buddhists about freedom from attachment, even to seemingly important things like families. The few references Jesus makes to families are all along these lines. When he his meeting with some people, his family tries to get a word with him, he turns them away, and tells his those he is speaking with

"Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked.

Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 3Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

His family had recently tried to have him committed, or whatever the equivalent of that day would be (When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, "He is out of his mind." mark 3:21. Which makes story of the immaculate conception or angels appearing at his birth seem odd. If you had been impregnated by God, it seems unlikely you would find any of your sons claims so far fetched that you would think him crazy.)

So where did this intense emphasis on family values for Christians come from? I don't mean this rhetorically, but am honestly curious.

I am really loving election season. I don't like argument, or contention, but I do enjoy debating issues. I love debating issues. That is part of what I loved about being a philosophy major. I have been having some big debates with High School friends who are intensely anti-obama. I have been trying hard to keep the discourse civil, and hope I did an okay job on my part, but it is difficult when their arguments are borderline incoherent, and includes baseless personal attacks.



I accidentally took an 8 hour nap today. Since my nights are Marissas days and vice versa, most often when we speak one of us needs to be up in the middle of the night. Recently it has been easier for it to be me to be the one having to wake up super early or stay up super late. Marissa is visiting Prague this week, so unable to talk on skype. While it is a bummer not getting to talk to her so much, I am able to catch up on some sleep. But since I slept so much during the day, I haven't been able to sleep tonight. Eventually I gave up and decided to stay up all night. Now here I am writing in my blog at 5 in the am.

Here is one of the most highly anticipated blog entries of 2008. Hold on to your hats. If you don't have one, please go buy a hat before you read this.

My thobe.

Before this time last year, I didn't even know what a thobe was.
One day, I was perusing photos on flickr and came across this:

I saw the photo and thought: 'that seems like the ideal piece of clothing. So elegant in its practical simplicity'. I have long felt a certain envy of the dresses girls get to wear. They seem so comfortable and practical. While I may sometimes be eccentric in my clothing choices, I never do it for the sake of eccentricity, or to stand out, rather I believe that if almost anyone wore what they sincerely most desired to wear without concern of others opinions there appearance would seem 'eccentric'. And the idea of wearing a dress felt too much. As if I were trying for others attention. I also felt drawn to robes, but didn't really know where to get one, and also thought a robe seemed a bit too rich.

Then heavenly godfather smiled into my face and I came across that flickr photo. The labels said something about Morocco, and I had the sense the photos subjects were Muslim. I searched google.goom for Morocco, robe and Muslim and quickly learned this dream garment is named 'Thobe'.

Knowing the name, it was then easy to find vendors online offering just what I wanted. Most Thobes tend to be fairly expensive, at least compared to what I am used to spending. For a decent thobe, typical prices run between 50-100$. They are generally made of quality material, and well manufactured, so the extra cost is not excessive.

Fortunate for me, when I first learned about the thobe, it was this same time of year, ie. not far from Christmas, so I asked my mom for a Christmas thobe. That same Christmas, I also asked for some Baha'i prayer beads, and my mother expressed to my brother she was worried that my new religion was causing me to want to wear robes and beads. I thought that was funny. Prayer beads are not generally worn, and the thobe has no direct relationship to being a Baha'i, an idea my mother still seems to struggle with despite my frequent reminders.

I was pretty happy and excited about my thobe when I opened it Christmas morning. But when I first tried it on, my brother, not with any unkind intentions, commented that my thobe seemed a bit Lord of the Rings-ish. This really burst my bubble. I very rarely wore the thobe after hearing that. And when I did it was usually just around the house. Thinking of the thobe in terms of Lord of the Rings imagery caused it to lose almost all its appeal.

Fortunately, one day over the summer I happened to wear my thobe to Isaac's house. He told me that Kustav Klimt had a robe made for him which he wore every day during the later part of his life. He then showed me a picture of Klimt in his robe:

Seeing that picture, and how much I loved how his robe looked, fully reignited my thobe love and overcame any hesitation I might feel about it seeming Lord of the Rings-ish.

Since that time, I have been wearing my thobe pretty regularly. Well, not too much during hot(dog) days of summer, because my thobe is surprisingly warm. Perfect for the chilly northwest. When I began wearing my thobe regularly my mother asked if it was because of some admonition from my fellow Baha'is.

I think some people at my school might think I am something like a monk. I once walked by a Buddhist monk and he gave me a nod and hello in a 'hello fellow monk' sort of way. The next day I saw another Buddhist monk wearing a robe the same color as my thobe, with a shirt over the top as I often wear my thobe. I suppose it is understandable some may mistake me for a monk. (also, seeing that monk confirmed to me how much I enjoyed the robe with shirt aesthetic)

Aside from the visual aspects of thobe wearing, my sense when I first saw the above thobe photo, that it appeared to be the ideal article of clothing, has been confirmed to me through actual usage.

When I still believed in the Lds Church, I chose to wear one piece garments(these are the sacred undergarments Lds people who have gone through the temple covenant to always wear. They generally come in the form of boxer shorts and a t-shirt, but one also has the option of wearing one piece garments. Sort of like a big onesie that babies wear. It wasn't too long ago that all garments were one piece. Today one piece garments tend to only be worn by older people who are used to having worn them their entire adult lives.) at first because of the novelty, but quickly came to love them for the comfort and convenience. I greatly desired something similar to wear on the outside, and even designed an article of clothing I named 'Tubal-cainers'. Unfortunately I was never able to bring this vision to life.(though still hope to, once I learn how to make a decent crotch. When I knit a pair of shorts, I learned that crotch making is very difficult.)

However, my thobe has more than fulfilled the dream of comfort I hopde to achieve with Tubal-cainers. The material is so light and thin, yet strong and warm. In terms of comfort, it seems as close as one could get to nudity, without the drawbacks of actually being nude, which is everyone being able to see when you have a boner.

I also appreciate it being one piece. I don't need to coordinate and find a top and bottom, just slip on one perfect article of clothing. Everyday. However I do often wear something over the thobe, such as a hoodie or flannel. This is mostly for temperature control. Although the thobe is surprisingly warm, in this chilly fall weather I still often need a little something more, like a jacket or sweater. Despite that, wearing a thobe still removes one step, because I would otherwise still need some sort of jacket or sweater over a shirt.

One potential drawback I foresee with the thobe will be in the cold of winter, cold wind blowing up onto my legs. Thankfully I have a pair of hand knit long johns Melissa bought for luke, who then gave to me.

Here is me wearing my thobe, with one of my favorite sweaters. It has llamas on it. I bought it at the Hare Krisna temple. It is hand made from wool and llama hairs, but was only about 20$

I have been wearing my thobe almost every day. This Christmas I am going to ask for multiple thobes in a variety of colors.
Here are some I am looking at getting:

I told Marissa I would like to get married in a thobe, and saw a tiny trace of....disappointment? pass over her face. Disappointment seems like too strong a word. Just a sense of her not sharing my enthusiasm of me wearing a thobe while being wed. I reassured her I wasn't particularly attached to what I would wear, and she responded that if it was something special to me, as long as it wasn't something like footy pajamas, she would be fine with it. I guess we will cross that bridge(on 4-wheelers) when we get there. But I would get a very nice thobe for the occasion. And be bare foot (marissa's idea). In the forest(also marissa's idea). With flowers(everyone's idea)f. and prayer flags. And a golden calf(for worshiping).

Speaking of Prayer flags, here are some photos of Prayer Flags. I love Prayer flags. In the photo above of me wearing my llama sweater you may have noticed prayer flags on the wall. That is actually an optical illusion, the walls are covered in love.



In Washington we are allowed to vote from the time registering to vote ends up until election day. I am happy about this, because I will be in Utah on Election day and want to vote in Washington. As liberal as most of the state of Washington is, we somehow have a very tight Governors race. Last time, the current Republican nominee lost by less than 200 hundred votes, so I want to make sure I was able to do what I could to help his defeat.

Since we have, possibly, the weirdest presidential election process on earth (Actually, I would bet there are some weirder, but I really don't get why the electoral college remains. Does anyone think it is a good idea?), and for most people, living in most states, it makes little difference who they vote for, I decided to vote for my dream candidate, rather than Obama, as I would have if I lived in a state where my vote mattered.

So, let me introduce you to the Socialist party candidate Gloria La Riva! (there are two socialist parties on the ballot this year. Gloria La Riva is a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, while some guy I forget his name represents the Socialist Workers party, which I am not crazy about. It is more of a militant, communist style socialism)

Here are some things they stand for.

End the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan. Bring all the troops home now.
Stop U.S. blockades & sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, Korea, Sudan and everywhere.
End U.S. aid to Israel—Support the Palestinian people’s right of self-determination.
Free Puerto Rico.
International friendship and solidarity, not imperialist domination.

Full employment—decent jobs for all. Job training for youth & the unemployed.
Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour now.
Free, quality healthcare for all.

Expand and guarantee social security for all retired workers, disabled and unemployed people.
Stop union-busting, expand the right to organize, including card-check recognition.
Free, high quality education from pre-school through college.
Housing is a right—End foreclosures and evictions.
Stop environmental destruction—Make the polluters pay.
Rebuild New Orleans—Right of return for all survivors.

Fight racism and the racist criminal “justice” system.
Defend women’s reproductive rights, including the right to choose.
Full rights for all immigrants.
Reparations now for the African American community.
Eliminate anti-LGBT laws—Equal marriage rights for all.
Equality for disabled people.
Stop police brutality and mass incarceration.
Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, Leonard Peltier, the Cuban 5, Angola 3, S.F. 8 and all political prisoners.

End the rule of the billionaires, bankers and militarists—fight for workers’ democracy.
We need a sustainable economy based on meeting people’s needs, not making the rich richer.
We need socialism!

Here is a terrible quote by former Lds Prophet Ezra Taft Benson regarding socialism:

"No true Latter-day Saint can be a Communist or a Socialist because Communist principles run counter to the revealed word of God and to the Constitution of this land which was established by men whom the God of Heaven raised up unto that very purpose."

Here is a document signed by the Quorum of the Twelve and first presidency strongly advocating socialist ideals. And note, it is speaking of secular governments. Latter day saints often attempt to make the case that socialist forms of government are evil unless directed by god, but this document is very clearly not making that case.

One Baha'i principal I very much appreciate is advocacy for having not only a minimum wage, but also a maximum wage. Isn't that a brilliant way to eliminate the extremes of wealth and poverty, while still allowing a certain amount of free market competition?

Here is a photo of Abdul Baha. Son of Bahu'ullah, Baha'i Co-founder and prophet. Abdul Baha was the 'Gardian of the faith' after Baha'ullah's death. He has many brilliant writings that are very accessible to a western audience. Bahau'ullah's writings are more poetic and beautiful, but a lot is lost in the translation. And there are many obscure references that confuse me, so, for a western reader interested in the Baha'i faith I would suggest reading the writings of Abdul-Baha. There is now a third Baha'i student at Evergreen, and on Wednesday we will be founding the Baha'i student group.

And not necessarily related to any of this, here are a bunch of photos taken by a variety of different people then posted on flickr that I have marked as 'favorite'

My next entry will be about my thobe.



one trouble with having a mom with an already bad memory that is also made worse by pain medication is that if you owe her money, she keeps forgetting the conversations you have about it. about once a week i get, and reply to, an email from her saying, 'hey, i have just been going through my finances and realize you owe me ____$. I haven't heard anything from you about this, when do you think you can pay me?'
I got one again today.


I saw a few minutes of a documentary the other day. I can't remember what it was or even the circumstances of me seeing it. It seemed like it was about the human body. The part I saw was talking about hunger. It showed that when a person goes a certain amount of time without eating, a certain chemical gets released throughout the body which increases alertness and focus.

The thinking is that if a body has gone without food, it is because they are in a situation where food is scarce. Increasing one's alertness and focus would help the hunt for food be more successful.

My immediate thought was about fasting. Many religions and cultures fast. I really enjoy fasting. I find I feel good after a time without food. A sense of clarity and focus. I hear people say that fasting without prayer is just going hungry, but I have noticed no difference in the efficacy of fasting with or without prayer. And now, with this new knowledge, it makes sense why fasting is something so common. Of course a variety of people's throughout time had experienced hunger, and noticed that when they did they seemed to experience some sort of an increase in mental clarity, and so the positive effects of hunger, like so much that is mysterious, took on a religious and spiritual aspect.

A few years ago, on 'This American Life' I heard an interesting story about a guy fasting for...maybe 20 days? He reached a state of euphoria that sounds very intriguing to me, and so i gave it a try. I did my research, and got some electrolyte supplements to take each day to maintain my health. I made it about five or six days before I went crazy. I was already experiencing some mania and this fast pushed it over the edge.

This was around the time I met Heather Lea Hawkins, and had quasi moved into her house, since her roommates, for some reason never used the house.( My moving in with heather was just as friends. We were never romantically involved).

She was aware of my fasting, and helped me get the supplements I needed. I quickly began to feel an increased clarity of mind, and she said I had become very insightful.

One day she came home to see this note(I was happy to see a few months ago she had posted this photo on my myspace profile):

Next thing she knew I was in the hospital. It is a very long story. But it involves me being in the mountains, totally dehydrated and starving, disoriented and weak. Eventually calling 911, search and rescue finding me, helping me down the mountain. Riding in an ambulance while receiving an IV to a hospital in a small Utah city I am not even sure which one, where everyone was incredibly nice and I kept asking for meal after meal. Then another ambulance ride to another hospital where I stay for 5 days. I could and have been ever since it happened been writing a book about the entire experience. What just now wrote isn't even the tip of an iceberg. More like a pebble on top of the iceberg, in terms of all that went on and led up to it.

There isn't much of a connection to that fasting story, to the fasting info above it, aside from it being about fasting. Well, I guess in considering that new info, it makes sense that if one is already having some mania, that the body being flooded with a chemical which increases alertness would take take the mania to another level.

I have since learned that fasting is a fairly common undertaking for a person while manic. That is one trouble with mania is it leads to behaviors that would, just on their own, create manic like effects.Such as not sleeping and not eating. If one doesn't eat or sleep, even if otherwise mentally sound, they can develop delusional thinking, so if you are already in an altered state of mind, and then you stop eating and are not able sleep, your thinking becomes incredibly weird. When I look back on that time I am able to see how a variety of circumstances came together just right to make me wacky. In writing that last sentence it would have been so easy to use the term 'perfect storm'. So easy. I had to struggle for a minute how to write it without saying 'perfect storm'. Three cheers for me not using that term. It is one of my least favorite terms and it has really gained a lot of momentum lately.


The elite.

It is funny how being 'elite' has become a common criticism against the left.
But what are these 'elite' qualities? Having an education, being aware of and interested in the arts and culture. Being well read. Reading and listening to in depth news sources like public radio and the New York Times. Being interested in not harming the environment.

Yet being a super rich capitalist who owns land, stock and is outraged at the idea of having to share their money with those less fortunate, getting your 'news' from angry individuals on AM radio who spend several hours each day forcefully giving their opinions on current events, is okay and patriotic.
On a sort of related note: (I saw a hummer not long ago with a bumper sticker reading, in large letters: 'Visualize World Peace.' Then in smaller letters below: 'Through US military world domination')


will someone buy me this sweatshirt?

i really like it!

you can buy it here.

Have it mailed to:
Christopher Allman
2501 sevedge ct ne
olympia wa

not really related, but here is a picture of my face morphed with Marissa's face. I was surprised by the results. it looks kind of weird.. one thing that surprised me to realize while making the morph is that marissa's jaw is more square than mine. I feel like a square jaw typically creates masculine facial features, but I feel her face is very feminine, and mine fairly masculine. go figure. Also, the picture of here I used of here wasn't great for morphing. Looking through the photos i have of here, i realized I didn't have any great morphing photos. What I chose was the only one that would work. Her eyes are closed, and her head was tilted. It was tilted much further, So i tilted it a bit to the other side. Which created a bit of an unnatural appearance. But it gets the job done enough:

here is a picture of Marissa and I video skyping:

The final issue I would like to address is Lily Cole. I am not quite sure who she is. A fashion model I think. I came across this photo of her while doing a Google image search for something else. I think she looks very weird. An upside down egg, with eyes very far apart. Normally these are features I find attractive, but in this instance they have been taken too far and cause her to look like a space alien:


normally i wake up between 7 am and 8 am. But I just woke up a little bit ago and it is almost 2 pm. I feel so confused and disoriented. I am SO late for school. I didn't even go to bed late last night. If anything I fell asleep kind of early.


urim and thummim

My brother showed me this super interesting trailer for a documentary:

One thing intersting about it is I can imagine many Mormons seeing this and thinking the guy was crazy or a freak. Yet he is making one of the exact same claims Joseph Smith made. But this man's claim is even more legitimate because dozens of people have seen things through his 'Urim and Thummim' whereas only one person besides Joseph Smith claimed to have received anything through his.
There was a short radio documentary about it as well. The part about the Urim and Thumin begins about 27 minutes in.


Christians and the redistribution of wealth.

While doing the dishes I was listening to Npr and heard an excerpt from a talk by John Mcain. He was criticizing Barack Obama by speaking of his desire to redistribute the wealth. He did not elaborate on why this is a bad thing, but spoke of it as one might today speak of slavery. As if the evil so obvious one need not say anything further.

Of course, since he was speaking at a rally of fellow Republicans, that is how the issue is seen. Which I see as very ironic since so many of those Republicans are Christians. Have these people forgotten about one of Jesus' most fundamental teachings, about loving their neighbors in the same way they love themselves?
It reminded me of a quote in the book I am reading by one of my favorite religious scholars, Bart Ehrman: Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium

"What person with wealth has really, actually, loved others as himself or herself?"


This morning I had an interesting and unique(for me) experience while

I felt disconnected from my body. Like I was floating in space. No,
not like that. It was like a floating sensation, but I felt completely
detached from my body. As if my consciousness itself were floating. It
happened very suddenly, about 15 minutes into the meditation.

I have been feeling kind of sick lately. Flu like symptoms (At first I
thought it was the laxative cherry soda I drank, but now I think it
may actually be something like the flu, such as 'the flu'), because of
this the contrast was very apparent, suddenly my aching muscles seemed
to fade away.
I did not feel as if my body was infinite, but as if the concept of
body, with a beginning and end did not apply.
The feeling was extremely pleasant. Euphoric.
Sometimes while meditating certain feelings may overcome my body, but
they tend to fade in and out, or feel as if they are fragile and could
end at any moment, but once this began it continued until I opened my
eyes, and felt comfortable in that it wouldn't end until I chose to
end it.
I'm not sure how long I was in this state, but eventually the thought
came into my consciousness that a significant amount of time had passed
and It was time to leave for school.

Despite realizing I needed to get going, It felt difficult to open my
eyes. Not just that I did not want to, but almost as if I were so deep
in my altered state I had not the ability. As if I were hypnotized.
And perhaps I was.

The thought of having to return to my body and the physical world felt
heavy and course. This reminded me of the near death experience
accounts I have read. Common to all the experiences I have read is an
extreme reluctance by the experiencer to return to their body.
I began to imagine the physical world as being just as refined as this
magic, bodiless world my altered consciousness had created, and doing
so allowed me to feel okay with returning to it.
When I finally willed myself to open my eyes, I immediately regained
the feeling of having a body, but the world now felt more special.
Less course.
It left me feeling pretty good the rest of the day. My flu like
symptoms have been much less, and a sense of wonder and magic has

I'm not sure why today's meditation was so unique. I have been
experimenting with visualizations rather than just focusing on
breathing and mindfulness. I am curious to try the visualization I
developed today again and see if anything similar happens. I will be
excited if it does. It was a wonderful state I and I would enjoy
being able to return to at my pleasure. If I do get the same results,
perhaps I will attempt to describe the visualization and perhaps
others might also be able to have similar results. (It is kind of
complicated to explain or I would just write it out now)



I just read these lines, and thought they felt appropriate for this time of my life:

So supposedly I'm strong
and I cultivate a luscious lawn
But my crops can fail, I can also be wrong.
I can woo a distant beauty
but hopeless missing always rules me.
There's no invincible disguise that lasts all day.
Painful storms will always come to blur my way
And conversely blurry storms will go their way.

mostly the line about wooing a distant beauty but hopeless missing always rules me.

Homosexuality and Shellfish.

I have been perusing different pro prop 8 blogs and websites to get a gist of what sort of arguments are being used. I have only noticed three distinct arguments. Tradition. God's will. Allowing homosexuals to get married 'threatens' heterosexual argument.

The tradition argument is easy to deal with. Open a history book!! There have been numerous cultures throughout history that were okay with homosexual marriages and relationships. Probably the best treatment of this subject is 'The Way we Never Were' by Stephanie Coontz, who, incidentally, teaches at my school, though I have never met her, and wasn't aware of this while reading her book.
But if it was accurate history was always on the side of forbidden homosexual's to marry, so what? We also have a tradition of racism and slavery.

I think people can forgiven for misunderstanding history because we often have a generational amnesia that views the ideals of past generations having extended back forever. But the stupidest of the arguments is that allowing gay people to marry will threaten the institution of marriage. What does this even mean? Are people so insecure in their marriages that if people who they disagree with also call their unions marriage they feel threatened? Do they think that allowing gay people to marry will somehow cause heterosexuals to enter into homosexual relationships in the way religions now attempt to force homosexuals into heterosexual relationships?

The third argument, it beings God's will is, I believe the real reason people take a stand against gay marriage(other than simple bigotry and homophobia), and everything else they come up with is an ad-hoc grasping at straws attempt to justify why their conception of God would ask for such a thing.
Of course it is hard to argue with what people believe God's will to be. When a person bases their belief systems on something not rational, rational argument can't touch it.
But for Christians, I don't think their justification for claiming to know that God is opposed to homosexuality is as strong as they may think. There is no record of Jesus ever having said a word on the subject. The apostles mentioned it, but these were men who all throughout gospels are misunderstanding Jesus. Where their are references that are made in the Bible, homosexuality is sometimes referred to as an abomination. Punishable by stoning. Sounds pretty straightforward, but just a few lines a way it says the same thing about eating shellfish. (Leviticus 11) If we aren't going to believe one, we then have to justify why will we will continue believing in the other. What is the justification? Tradition and threat to heterosexual marriage.



It causes such a thrill in one's (mine?)heart (by heart I actually mean brain) to hear for the first time with words from the person you love the words 'I love you so much'. Even if it happens right when the connection starts to break up and so you aren't certain that is what she said, but it feels like a tender moment so you don't want to say 'wait, what did you just say?' But then she says it some more and it feels thrilling each time.
Then after you (meaning me) hang up you notice you spilled an entire bottle of ink on your bed. On your new sheets, but you don't care, because it is just sheets. Now they have more character. Now they are Rorschach sheets. 'Lay down on this bed and tell me what you see.'

a real life furby!

It is a called a 'dumbo octopus'.

funny video with a good message.

riki wiki

Someone (you) should check out the Wikipedia article about my brother before the funny stuff gets taken down. Take note to the section titled 'family and personal life' I have a screen shot of the page which I could just post, but I think it is funnier to read it on wikipedia itself. Maybe once some humorless kill joy changes it I will post the screenshot.
There used to be all sorts of funny stuff that got taken down. I had also put some pictures of ricky up that were taken down. Who are these people so passionate about the accuracy of my brother's wikipedia page?

Grad School.



Three cool things happened yesterday:

While on a break from class I was walking to the Cab building, which is Evergreen's student union building, like the Wilkinson Center at BYU. To get to the cab from my class I have to walk across 'Red Square' which is Evergreen's quad (communist school).

As I approached Red Square I heard the sound of drums. I thought it might just be some dumb drum circle, but it wasn't! It was a Native American dance! It was great. I had entirely forgotten it was Columbus day. Instead of celebrating the 'discovery' of a continent that had been inhabited for thousands of years by a people who were subsequently raped and massacred by these 'discoverers' our school chose to celebrate the native people of this region. I appreciated the positive way this was dealt with. Rather than calling it 'Genocide day.' (which is still better than 'Columbus day') they celebrated the positive aspects of the people who had once dominated this land.

After I watched the dancers for a while, then ate lunch I was again crossing Red Square on my way to class when I was stopped by a girl who begun saying: 'Have you travelled somewhere?'
Me:'Ever in my life?'
Her: 'yeah, or recently'
Me: 'I've traveled a little bit but not recently' (I was thinking she had traveled recently and thought maybe she had seen me wherever it was she had travelled)
Her: 'Have you been to
Me: 'No'
Her: 'India?'
Me: 'No'
Her: 'You seem like you've been somewhere,
been affected by something. The way you dress... and your presence...is very
Me: 'Thank you very much, that is kind of you to say, I guess I
just got it in my bedroom'

It made me feel like a million bucks,
cooked inside of a pizza. Imagine eating a pizza and finding a $100
bill had been cooked into it. At first it would be gross cause $ is
dirty, but then cool cause you could buy seven more pizzas.

But it really did cause me to feel good. It made me think of one of my favorite quote by Ram Das:

-When you meet a being who is centered you always know it. You always feel a kind of calm emanation. It always touches you in that place where you feel calm. But you can't hustle it. You can't make-Believe you are calm when you're not. It never works. Everybody knows you know it's horrible inside you'

Her having said what she said to me gave me hope that perhaps I am successfully being the person I want to be.

I once put a slight variation of this quote on a ceramic tile, so I could keep it around and read it. It didn't turn out how I wanted. Those are the breaks with ceramics. Sometimes the colors end up totally different than you expected. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. This was for the bad. I don't hate it but it doesn't look like what I would like:

It also reminded me of how important it can be to express to others positive things about them. I make an effort to give compliments whenever I see an opportunity to sincerely compliment. But her comment reminded me of just how good an effective compliment can feel, even from a total stranger who stops you while walking, reminding me I should go out of my way to praise when praise is deserved. Now I will be like Will Farrell's character in Superstar, complimenting every single person who walks by me. (a joke)

Then, when I got back to class my teacher had a book for me. It is a book of artists she thought I would enjoy(looking through it, I appreciate the artists very much). It felt good knowing my teacher had thought of me, and took the effort to bring me a book she thought I would enjoy. I really like my teacher and feel she has a sincere desire to help her students achieve. She is willing to put in effort it takes to push, encourage and support us. I also like her as a person. Her and I have similar artistic sensibilities, which is a first for me when it comes to teachers. She is direct and firm, yet kind and understanding. She has good control of, and respect from the class. (the anti-thesis of my teacher last year who was very passive aggressive then would freak out about once every three weeks, and was not well respected by my class) She makes me think of Terri Gross. She has inspired me by showing how good and influential an art teacher can be. Because of this, and other reasons I will write about later, I have decided to pursue a graduate degree in art. Jean Mandeberg is her name. (Teaching art is her game. She is also on the Washington arts council, and so is an excellent contact to have. ) I will be graduating in april. I hope to start grad school this fall. Perhaps I will attend Risd, like my brother. Ricky. We will be two brothers who are also Risd alumni and art professors.

I snuck a photo of her in class yesterday.


What I want from a home.

I often think about the house I hope to have one day. I have many many ideas. As a former architecture major I spent an enormous amount of time thinking about what makes a good house. So much so in fact, that was part of the reason I changed majors. I was far too obsessed with houses. I would myself losing sleep about what I would like to see built.

But unlike other arts, there was little I could do about it. I could sketch it in a notebook, or even make a 3-dimensional rendering with a computer, or build small scale models, and I did all these things, but that was only partially fulfilling. Even after I would have graduated and become a licensed architect, it would still be many many years before I would actually be able to have my designs built. One often does not become an actually 'architect' until they are 40 or 50. Before that time they are a draftsman for an architect. Actual architects usually just make rough sketches which their draftsman make into plans that can be built from. A person must either move up in their company until they are head architect, or start their own firm, which would likely not receive much solicitation for a long time. I felt such a burning desire to create buildings, yet not only did I not have an outlet for this, and knew I would not for many many years.

Also unlike other arts, architecture cannot be easily escaped. Almost anywhere one goes, a person is surrounded by buildings. Being surrounded by buildings, I would constantly be thinking about what I would do differently. Growing up in Utah, where the architecture is monotonous and uninspiring, I felt frustrated by my inability to do anything about the the buildings by which I was surrounded. Once I finally gave up the desire to be an architect I felt released from that.

Though I still think about buildings and designs, my sketch books often contain a handful of floor plans and renderings, but I no longer obsess over it.

There are some things I would really love to have in my house:

A sacred or holy room. This would be a room that would be simple and uncluttered. Full of light and good feelings. It would be a place of quiet one could go to meditate, pray, or possible read. It wouldn't have much in it, it would be a place to get away from the worlds. I imagine it having plants and big windows allowing lots of light and an attractive view of plants or water something. I think it would be nice if this was something common to all houses. If people had such a room, they would be more inclined to take time out of their day to sit in silence and feel the warmth of the universe.

Rooms like wide hallways:
I love rooms that are very long, with one wall being all windows.

A library:

We all know what a library is.

Hallways with windows.

I love hallways that have windows on one side and doors or whatever on the other side.

A studio:
This would maybe be attached to the house, or a little building built near the house.

A tea room:

For tea ceremonies. This would need to be in a separate small building outside the house as a part of the tea ceremony is walking the path leading to the tea room.

A very large kitchen with a very large dining area.

Kitchen's are one of the most important parts of a house. People spend a great deal of time in them. I think a good kitchen should be open and light, with enough space it feels uncluttered yet one can still have all the necessities of a kitchen. Below are two kitchens I like. Though I think the first could use more natural light.

A cool bathroom with a nice bathtub because I love taking baths. I like bathrooms with lots of wood.:

I want a small house. In my opinion big houses are silly. They waste lots of space. My grandpa(one of the co-founders of Enron) has an enormous house, yet all his time is spent in his library/study, or the kitchen/breakfast nook, or the bedroom. He has this gigantic entry way, yet he himself enters through the garage into a little side room. This is typical of many houses. The entry is one of the largest, most elaborate parts of the house, yet that isn't even the door the home owner typically uses. It is just to impress guests and waste space. He has a giant size living room, but it isn't a comfortable place to be in and no one ever uses it, except, perhaps, for parties. I think when building a house the money would be better spent being invested into nice materials and craftsmanship, rather than large size.

I would also like to have a large vegetable garden where I can grow as much of my own food as I can. I love it when gardens are in the front and back yard. This also cuts down on grass which is a big water waster. But some grass is nice, for kids to play on, and bbqs and back yard parties. I would like a flower garden because flowers are pretty. I would like a greenhouse to allow year round growing. I would like a variety of fruit trees.

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