Monthly Archives: February 2004

Bend It Like Bikram

Christmas comes early! I was number crunching my weekly estimates for a project
at work and found that I’d over-estimated my spending for the past three months
– suddenly money is saved! I tell ya, Great Moments at work!

Ron was back from Hawaii for a day or so and is off flying again already.
He brought me a real live lei home. It’s in the fridge and I’m supposed to spritz
every few days. He also brought me a shell necklace so we can look like island
boys (not sure there’s such a thing as a caucasoid island boy). He’s pretty
dark but part of it is a farmer tan. I’m determined to get him back roller blading
again this summer (last summer, our lack of employment had ass mostly indoors
in a gossamer veil of self-pity). I still think that I saw Ron long before I
met him one day when I was jogging on the lake – he’s a total badass on the
blades (from his ballet days). He can to spins and skate backwards and other
tricks. He’s such a show-off.

Teleclass pilot is tiring but going well. I’ll be done with the bulk of sessiosn
after Saturday. Tons of audio to encode and upload. You learn alot listening
to yourself. I have got to excise the phrases: sorta, y’know,
like and uh from my vocabulary. It sounds really unprofessional.
I’ve also noticed I have a tendency to affirm what a participant is saying as
it is said. I’ll agree and say ‘right’ in the middle of an explanation which
would probably seem less intrusive in a face-to-face environ but on teleconference
it comes off as impatient. I’ve also learned that I’m a loose cannon on teleclass.
At least I haven’t slipped into profanities yet – that would be entirely inappropriate
– but I do have a good time and I think that elicits a great informality that
gets people to relax, learn and have fun. My launch into RSS explanation yesterday
wasn’t very well reasoned. I gotta re-tool that – probably going to toss that
to the end of the course – or make it, it’s own entity. It is hard to explain
RSS without someone experience the ease of use of a news aggregator. I did get
a great testimonial to use in my marketing

Cheers, Andy!!! What an enlightening and thoroughly invigorating class you’ve
given us. I am so very grateful. Need any outrageously awesome testimonials?
It didn’t better my sex life (which is already sterling, thank you) but has
given me a couple of clients and several more inquiries that may lead prosperous
places. I’m a blogging fan! And an Andy activist!

Had a nice wheat-free week and pretty much super-low processed sugar. Though
I think the rice pudding I had last Wednesday might have had some sugar in it.
One of the owners of Nookie’s – I think his name is Michael – is one of those
older, handsome vibrant people that you just admire and hope that when you’re
his age – late 50s? – that you are as active and glowing. Like with my buddy
Kevin who proves there are second, even third acts in life and sometimes turning
60, moving into a studio apartment and biking around Chicago is a perfect way
to celebrate aging.

I have to blog that I’m super proud of my parents lately. They’ve both begin
doing light weight lifting. Dad is tall and stocky and I think just light weight
lifting will really help his strength and he’ll quickly get his football playing
build he had in high school. I was nagging mom that studies have shown that
just light weigth training, even in senior citizens, has been shown to increase
bone mass and help strengthen the joints. I probably don’t say enough positive
stuff about my parents on this blog – but I am really proud of their commitment
in learning t’ai chi and undoing the wreckage of a high-carb, high-fat midwestern
diet. It’s crazy to think how we used to eat every morning: scrambled eggs,
bacon, toast, orange juice… and now I’m all about Kashi and soy milk, Heather’s
a massage therapist and mom and dad are t’ai chi heads.

Started Rolfing again last night. My right butt cheek is so tense it’s flipping
my right hip out big time. That and I’m certain my hamstrings are so tight that
it’s causing my pelvis to tilt out of whack. Very excited to get back into that.
I really trust my massage therapist – the same guy that did it last time – so
there isn’t any heeby-jeebies to get over. Last time all of my alignment problems
seemed to radiate from my right psoas muscle being constrained causing my back
to tilt right and other assorted bullshit. It was awesome he worked on my right
leg a lot and lots of stuff released. It’s so creepy when they park the pressure
on your quad or tendons and then you feel like you’ve got a little fish flipping
around in there and the whole muscle releases. He did some work in my abdominal
wall to – I’d noticed that when I did diaphragmatic breathing that the left
side of my stomach extended farther out than the right – that’s even now. And
the neck work – ah, the neck work – you think you’re going to die but when the
pressure is released it’s like being bathed in Krispy Kreme glaze. A lot of
loosening up of the chest too – the one thing about Rolfing is it makes you
really understand how all the different muscles and pieces connect altogether.
How the psoas starts at your pelvis and wraps all the way up your stomach and
then around your hip and up to your back.

And following Mark‘s recommendation
– I’m going to jump into a Bikram Yoga class on Sunday. Bikram is notable for
being the ‘sweat your nuts off’ version of yoga. You do a series of 26 poses
twice over 90 minutes in a steamed, heated room. I’ve noticed that I don’t have
a huge respect for effortlessness in my life. I don’t like the gentle tweak
of the Alexander technique, I need the ‘hands in your guts’ feel of Rolfing.
I don’t go for brisk light comedies, I like dirty profane enraging documentaries.
I don’t have the patience for t’ai chi but want to try this version of Sweatin’
to the Yogis. Even as a performer and musician I was not very comfortable with
lightness and ease of art – I wanted to be sure I was entirely involved and
immersed in what I was doing. That was a big habit for me growing up. I’d have
a pet project – say the Whitechapel murders – and I’d check out every book I
could find on it at the library and build a little safe info-womb. I loved the
library when I was a kid – or in college. I loved waking up early on a Sunday,
working out and then going to the library. Picking a few topics and just bathing
in data. Mom and dad taught us to have a great respect for information… did
I mention that every room in our house has at least two bookcases? And all the
books were always within reach of Heather and I – even The Joy of Sex
or the The Sex Book that had us wondering what the hell frottage was.
I always detail my upbringing as hippie without the drugs. Sure we hung out
at weaving communes, sheared sheep and wore tie-dye shirts and Heather and I
had a minor obsession with the occult growing up (Remember the Wicca book, Heather?
We were goths before goth was goth!). Mom and dad had a great hope in the time
they grew up – during the civil rights movement – one reason they became teachers.

To all spammers: Yes, I am happy about the size of my penis. Thank you for
asking. Also: I’ll pass on the bukkake.

Had lunch at We today with Todd – that was fun.

I have absolutely no clue what is going on in Haiti. I know there’s rumors
that the CIA is encouraging the destabilization of Aristide. I know that the
leader of the guerillas is not a Haitian – he’s an American. I know that this
will be Haiti’s 33rd coup if it goes through. I try to rack my brain and wonder
what kind of natural resources Haiti has that the United States would want so
bad. I know that the coast Guard has turned back over 1,000 refugees fleeing
by boat: No you stay in there and get slaughtered. Gonna do some online
research on this and hopefully get some more understanding. But consider this:
George W. Bush falls over himself to masturbate democracy on everybody everywhere.
Even though the last thing he wants is a democratic election in Iraq (they’ll
elect an Islamist state) and in Haiti’s case we are supporting the deposition
of a democratically elected leader. Democracy becomes a mask for well you
asked to get pillaged – you voted us in, right?

Alright we got a server outage at work so I have to check on that all day and
then I also have my marathon teleclass today – the whole class in a matter of
hours. This should be fun, insane or both.

NYTimes: 2000 Elections Disenfranchised Black Voters (3 Years Late)

Greg Palast – in his usual whimsical tone – smugly notes that the story he covered and tried to break to a reluctant, pussy-whipped American press is finally being acknowledged by the Paper of Record. (Note to Paper of Record: How can you be the paper of record when you insist that people register to read your stuff? Just a thought.)

Truth is – the New York Times participated in the media blackout, just like everyone else did. But don’t worry – the rest of the world knew about it. It was just our dumb luck to have a press that rolled over on it’s lazy ass and begged to suckle some more. I highly recommend Palast’s The Best Democracy Money Can Buy – he is my favorite muckraker along with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation). The complicity of the news media in not reporting this story was just a taste of things to come to this Look at the fags! (Not the body bags!) diversion we have right now.

Danny Schecter reports:

?What? ? he shouted at me on the phone.? You must be kidding.? He couldn?t believe it because the New York Times refused to carry the story at the time when it might have done some good. It didn?t even report on the Civil Rights Commission?s findings it references in the editorial, only on Republican OBJECTIONS to those findings. You would think that the ?MASSIVE PURGE? they cite in 2004 might have been news fit to print back in 2000. The Washington Post carried Greg?s article on the subject but not until June 2001. The NATION ran it and followups earlier. CBS News wouldn?t run it, Greg was told by a staffer, because Harris office denied it.

If you think the neocons are hijacking Christianity for their own bigoted, close-minded, imperialist goals… just hear the deafening silence as the very foundation of democracy gets flushed down the pisser.

Kurt Vonnegut was right:

And those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography, plus not-so-closeted white supremacists, aka ?Christians,? and plus, most frighteningly, psychopathic personalities, or ?PPs.? PPs are presentable, they know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts. What has allowed so many PPs to rise so high in corporations, and now in government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next. Simply can?t.

The Florida elections madness and Enron were two of the major political events that really activated me into exploring under-reported perspectives and stories. Again, read Palast’s book: If you think the Jews or the Republicans or the Freemasons or whoever run the world – you’re sadly mistaken: it’s the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Blow your own mind.

Amy Goodman Coming to Chicago

If you don’t listen to Democracy Now every day: you should.

Every day, Amy Goodman details stories you don’t even know, didn’t even consider are happening all over the world – and in your own backyard.

Amy Goodman is on my list of heroes along with Greg Palast and Karen Kwiatowski. People have the guts to stand up and call the lies that shape our lives.

Clinton scolded her: “You have asked questions in a hostile, combative and even disrespectful tone.”

Newt Gingrich called her “the kind of reporter I warned my mother about.”

Last year Goodman sneaked into the World Economic Forum, a hermetically sealed gathering of the powerful (and a few well-behaved journalist guests) in Manhattan. She found Nicholas Platt, a former U.S. ambassador to the Philippines and asked him if American support of Indonesia was worth it, given that its military killed tens of thousands in East Timor. Platt squinted at her and inquired (on the air): “What ax are you grinding right here?” “I survived a massacre in East Timor,” Goodman responded.

Amy Goodman embodies the spirit that sterile 60 Minutes sold off long ago. Go get ’em! When I was a kid we’d watch 60 Minutes every Sunday night with dinner and I would marvel at the lies and schemes that haunted the past and admired the tenacity of the journalists. They were fearless.

She took Charlie Rose down on his own program.

And she’s coming to Chicago!

Every weekday, I stream DemocracyNow during lunch and am using so enraged by the end of the broadcast that I can’t sit still.

As she accepted a prize for that work, Goodman was asked to explain her approach. She replied: “Go where the silence is and say something.

Stuck in the Craw

I just caught someone on a professional discussion board posting an article about weblog promotion as their own. That really pisses me off. To quote an entire work and pass the work of your own is just fucking lazy. If you want to appear as an expert, do the goddamn research.

Ah, deep cleansing breath.

Sorry for the profanity – I’ve been reading MeFi’s heated discussion over George Bush wiping his ass with the Constitution. 260 comments and counting! And full of great arguments on both side.

Karen Kwiatowski: True Honor

There are still heroes and Karen Kwiatowski is one of them. “After two decades in the U.S. Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, now 43, knew her career as a regional analyst was coming to an end when – in the months leading up to the war in Iraq – she felt she was being ?propagandized? by her own bosses.”

Karen worked with the Office of Special plans – a group given the task of not investigating Saddam’s WMD development but tasked with justifying a war to help regain economic control over Iraq. I’ve been following her in the news and she is tearing ass across the current administration and exposing what we all suspected: there was no justification for war.

LA Weekly: You gave your life to the military, you voted Republican for many years, you say you served in the Pentagon right up to the outbreak of war. What does it feel like to be out now, publicly denouncing your old bosses?

Kwiatowski: Know what it feels like? It feels like duty. That?s what it feels like. I?ve thought about it many times. You know, I spent 20 years working for something that ? at least under this administration ? turned out to be something I wasn?t working for. I mean, these people have total disrespect for the Constitution. We swear an oath, military officers and NCOs alike swear an oath to uphold the Constitution. These people have no respect for the Constitution. The Congress was misled, it was lied to. At a very minimum that is a subversion of the Constitution. A pre-emptive war based on what we knew was not a pressing need is not what this country stands for. What I feel now is that I?m not retired. I still have a responsibility to do my part as a citizen to try and correct the problem.