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Weddings. Vactations. [23 Jun 2010|12:19am]
[ mood | discontent ]

I haven't written in this regularly for so long, that I don't know where to begin.

This weekend is the wedding of a friend of mine, taking place somewhere in the northeastern LA area.  I'm glad to see that this wedding has many people attending -- the vows resonate amongst the throngs, who shall henceforth become not only the witnesses, but the support.  It's important that as many people as the couple knows attend such ceremonies.  Support in numbers is a powerful spur and check.  But just as important is that the fewest possible people show up that the couple doesn't know, or else the ceremony greatly risks losing its sacredness, becoming instead theatre.  With theatre, the performers are not expected to continue playing their roles once out in the streets.  With ceremony, they are.


From June 6th to June 13th I will also be visiting down south; this time the east coast, in South Carolina.  Seeing my cousin and his two boys.  My brother is coming too.  I've never been there.  This should be something!

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All the News That's Fit to Print [25 Feb 2010|03:39pm]
[ mood | hopeful ]

After many years of conscientious voices inside my head nagging that I should remain "informed" on the world's happenings -- here, there, and everywhere; voices whose combined drone rose a few decibels seven years ago, or so, when an International Relations teacher highly recommended to the class reading a quality newspaper everyday (and even then the local papers all failed to be deemed "quality"); voices to which still more voices would be added at times as when my old friend, Arc, related proudly and proverbially to me the fact that his Italian-immigrant grandfather had made it a point to read New York Times cover to cover daily to improve his English and his mind; finally I've answered them all today with a bold act: I have subscribed to that prestigious New York daily; I did it today, this morning.  I can't wait for the first issue of The New York Times to be delivered by the apartment gate some soon-coming, anticipated morning.  I have fond memories, as a child, of awakening in the dark before dawn to scamper outdoors and find the paper lying somewhere on the stairway, or occasionally on the porch (it changed with each deliverer).  Sometimes it wouldn't yet be there, and I'd slink back inside disappointedly, onto the living-room couch to await it's arrival; an arrival that was always (at this quiet early time when the streets were empty) predicted by the sound of a car engine - at first distant, approaching in fits of accelerations and stops, between which, during the stops, a plop and, depending on the delivery, a little skidding sound could be heard.  With each acceleration and stop the engine would grow louder, and the plops and skids grew into little dud-missiles, landing with a thud.  O, the agony if it was a rival paper, and not mine, being delivered!  Finally the loudest thud and skid of all would sound, and I'd dash outside, retrieve the paper, pull off the rubber band (or, in rainy weather, hopefully, the plastic sleeve) and riffle through the sections to the sports, whose contents would occupy the remainder of my morning before needing to get ready for school.

Maybe the experience of receiving a paper through delivery in my more mature years won't be as romantically felt, but my heart and my mind will be very glad indeed to see it.  It's something to get up for.  And it will edify my mind and conscience.

For those of you who can, and do, follow the news through the web, congratulations.  I have a strong aversion to it.  On the web it is so much easier to be distracted from the substance.  And a newspaper can be carried with ease anywhere without much fear for its safety, as with a laptop.  A plus to my subscription is that it also entitles me to online privileges; so I can read it in its printed form on any computer with internet.  There are also archives dating back to the paper's inception in 1851.  They will be fun to peruse!

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Love-Letter Found [29 Jan 2010|12:45am]
[ mood | hyper ]

Walking home from school tonight, in the street, like I always do at night, I was passing a parked car when I noticed a piece of paper with handwriting on it sticking out of the window. My first thought was, "it's probably one of those angry-neighbor notes," and I quickly looked over the car's parking location; but it didn't seem to be blocking anything. Now I was curious, so I walked around to the driver's window, in which the paper was stuck, and began to read. It was written with shinny green ink, in big, loopy letters -- probably the writing of a young woman. It began, "Good morning my love." Realizing this was a personal note, I got a bit embarrassed and probably blushed. I read no further; instead turned away and continued home. Imagining the happiness of the person who was to find the nice letter in the morning made me smile. (Hopefully the rest of the letter was nice too.)

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Final Semester Chant-Ditty [28 Jan 2010|12:56pm]
[ mood | curious ]

Today is the first day of school for my final semester.

Jeremy has two classes this semester.
To not make Jeremy scream and fester
I must recall this to the letter:

Thursday only Jeremy ventures
To SF State by BART.
He must be there for lectures
At 4, if he is smart.
The first class is Russian
In reading and writing 'specially;
Then at 7 he goes a rushin'
To catch his English punctually.
(The English is for writing too.)
At 10 he is released. WOO HOO!!

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Stealthy Healthy [28 Jan 2010|12:48pm]
[ mood | refreshed ]

Ever since a week before yesterday, when I returned from a night over at my former residence in Santa Rosa, I've had a hankering for vegetables. It is not that I rarely eat vegetables and then suddenly all the rush of vitamins has revived me to wondrous highs. This ovashining is the direct result of having been fed a smorgasbord of tasty vegetables. The craving reminds me of those very occasional bouts of candy-eating I have, where after I eat a few one day, the day following I want more. The salty/oily bouts come more frequently.

In another health-related moment of fancy, yesterday, after having forced myself outside into the sun for a little jog to and through the nearby, now naked rose-garden, I repeated to myself that this effort had saved my life.

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A DOLT [15 Dec 2009|12:10am]
[ mood | amused ]

So now that I've been 30, those dating ads that are always popping up on these sites all say meet women "30+", whereas just two weeks ago it was 18+...

Just like that!

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Tragedy [14 Mar 2009|05:44pm]
[ mood | sad ]

Some question the value of the tragedy in art, reasoning that their life, "has enough grief and frustration as it is.  Why add to it?"

But isn't the tragedy's crux, its very possibility of existance, founded on the belief that there had been another way, an alternate, happier possibility, which for some reason the characters could never bring themselves to take up*?  In other words, does not the tragedy prod one to consider what is truly important to one's life so as not to add to one's grievances and frustrations?

* These reasons are what make the tragedy.

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Critique [05 Mar 2009|07:30am]
[ mood | exacerbated ]

Beware of the critic who sustains theirself, like daily bread, on the medium they critique.  For because they cannot prepare their own meals, they are ravenous in awaiting someone else's and can only appreciate that which satiates whatever be their own peculiar palate and stomach.  Woe to them who do not satisfy!

Rather, prefer the critic who is enlivened by the riches of sauces and spices.

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First Week of School [30 Jan 2009|08:43pm]
[ mood | qweezy ]

Yesterday the first week of class passed. It was actually a bit exciting.  Lot's of great literature to read (but not a ludicrous amount, like was demanded at Sonoma State).  And time to read it and let its fruits digest.

Both my French teachers remember me from my previous stints at SFSU; one of them, during roll-call, even referred to me as "le pompier" (the fireman) recalling the role I had played in a play, then proceeded to explain to the class how way back (in the Fall of 2001, actually) a French class had put on Eugene Ionesco's La Cantatrice Chauve (The Bald Soprano) and I had played the part of the "le pompier".  Those who saw me perform that bufoon part in full firefighting garb that one night have always remembered it with an amused smile - which she produced during the aside.

The one downer is that the huge, wonderfully stocked library is closed for renovation until...2011!!  I'm not sure yet about where they are currently storing these books.  I doubt that many of them are available right off a shelf.

Soon I'm going to write about my 29-year-old impressions of the mostly younger college scene.

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Digression [03 Nov 2008|09:37pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

Trying to report on my Florida vacation I've been staring at a blank screen for days.  Whenever inspired to write, I'm away; whenever here, in front of a computer with time, I'm drab.

There have been recent, faith-restoring days of teacher aiding.  Last Tuesday it was a fourth-grade class.  The kids so cute, inquisitive, and strict about class-routine.  Ten-year olds are masters of protocol.  The teacher was also a substitute; female, class of '98, no less; and she did us proud with her attentive, assured, and fair manner.  As for the kids and me, They were first impressed by my height, then athletic movements.  By their frequent requests for my help, I imagine they appreciated, or at least were amused by, my elaborations.  One particularly beaming, bean-poll Asian boy said that I looked like a scientist, for which I duly thanked him.

Then today it was at the high school, a mentally-handicapped class, but not of the more severe cases.  It was interesting to note the differences in areas of deficiency.  Take for instance, the two girls with whom I worked closely on an assignment where they had to answer questions about the directions of a board game.  One of them read outloud with all the pauses and muff-throughs of a first-grader, and had scrawling hand-writing of the same quality.  She also spoke with spurts in a gutteral strain.  Whereas the other spoke with calm fluency, two languages no less (English and Spanish); and read with ease and had neat, almost pretty handwriting.  Yet when it came to answering the questions, it was the nearly illiterate one who did the answering with ease, while the "normal" one struggled and often seemed a little bewildered.  I suppose one had a motor-skill deficiency and the other a concentration one.

Another girl, with a protruding forhead, had a long discussion with invisible people, or animals, during lunchtime.

Our teacher was a trim, 60ish New York woman who liked wearing a wind-breaker and ballcap.  Of course the class was inline.

But it wasn't through sardonic sarcasm ala NYPD Blue, or Law & Order, or any of your hundreds of run-of-the-mill moving pictures set in cardboard etc. etc.  It was through a bald concentration on manners and integrity.  "Old-fashioned", she deemed it.  And she used the word "cue" for "call on" or "alert".  I like her.
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Your Vote Counts [15 Oct 2008|09:28pm]
[ mood | fidgity ]

I don't keep this journal only for myself. This can be discerned by the manner in which I compose with the viewpoint of a non-acquaintance in mind - the better to intrigue. The journal is also a convenient way to keep the few LJ friends I have updated. But I feel it could be more vibrant. So I ask you, dear reader, to give your input on how the journal could be improved. For example: Are there subjects you'd like to see more of? Less of? Anything lacking? More graphic design, pictures? Post your thoughts. I'd be thankful.

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i'M gOinG tO DIsNEywORLd!!!!!!1111!!!!! [08 Oct 2008|10:04pm]
[ mood | quixotic ]


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Filling Out At Last [01 Oct 2008|08:08pm]
[ mood | fat ]

Sometime this year, for the first time in my life, I started gaining weight without effort.  I first noticed a change when warm weather came and I pulled on my shorts,  then noticed that maybe I didn't need a belt after all.  Then people started commenting that I was putting on weight and it looked good.  Then I noticed a little more of a pinch in my belly when lifting up a leg, while balancing on the other, to tie my shoe.  It seemed more a strain.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago and by chance, I weighed myself and saw 165lbs.

"No way," I thought to myself.  "Last time I weighed I was 145 or so.  I have been losing muscle, not gaining, and I don't gain weight otherwise."  I asked my mother how far off her scale was.  But soon after I weighed myself on I's scale and got the same result.  Then my rotund belly, no longer flat (or convex) as like two years ago, suddenly seemed more bloated.  It could even obstruct my view of my...  We went swimming and I poked fun at me.

Actually, I was glad this had finally happened.  For quite some time now I'd been hearing about how at around the age of 30 one's metabolism slows down and one starts to add weight.  I've always been too skinny.  But I've also never been fired enough to pump the weights while shoveling food down my gullet at every waking moment (I believed the latter would develop bad habits).  So finally I have my body working for me.  Now I just have to "redistribute" this weight from around my waist (where sadly most of it seems to have settled) towards my legs and especially arms.  I've been consistently running, biking, hiking, and doing body-building (without weights) and stretching since then.

I was sick this weekend, but only needed three days of rest.  Yesterday I biked calmly to and from work (more on that this weekend).  And today I did the same a little less strictly, and did some abs, leg-raises, 30 push-ups and 10 pull-ups.  I'm still congested in my lungs, but my body feels stronger than it has for a while.  Maybe soon my protruding veins will return.

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Important Question [28 Sep 2008|03:23pm]
[ mood | sick ]

When one is sick, one strives to get well;
When one is well, one...

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Fideism revisited [13 Sep 2008|12:54am]
[ mood | implacable ]

Recently a friend asked me what my religious beliefs were, and I answered, "well, I attend a Lutheran church," which was a pretty poor and revealing answer.  The truth is I believe in God more emotionally than intellectually.  Intellectually I am extremely skeptical of the normal interpretation of miracles, ascensions, and resurrections spoken of in the Bible.  I believe in them symbolically.  Philosophically I have few qualms with the Bible.  But you know, if you don't accept Jesus Christ as the son of God, then you are not a Christian, and I am not sure that I do; intellectually that is.

In sum, I am what is called a fideist.  A fideist believes in one God, but holds, "the view that belief in God rests on an emotional turning of the will, and cannot be supported by logic or science."  I found this word and definition at the beginning of a stimulating excerpt from Martin Gardner's book Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener. (1) 

Fideists necessarily must be skeptical of passages mentioning acts like God speaking to people with a voice, or diseases being cast out of the afflicted, etc.  For the fideist, It is not that such things could never have taken place, or indeed do not continue to take place.  Rather it is that we cannot accept such miracles (2) as an absolute proof of God.  There have been many miracles reported, but none ever created under properly supervised conditions.  Where's the proof?  There will likely never be any seeing how they only happen when no one is watching.  (At least we can be nearly certain that man themself cannot work them.  If man could, then a miracle could be reproduced.  Otherwise they are getting their power involuntarily through something else.)

Proof of God can ultimately only come to the individual.  Perhaps God will reveal himself to you; would you believe it if he did?  But this doesn't mean he will to me, or to her over there.  We may have to simply believe through will.  Proof of God will be found by the individual through emotion, and will not be acceptable for anyone else except as guidance.

(1) excerpt from Gardner's The Night Is Large: collected essays, 1938-1995, in the chapter entitled Proofs of God.
(2) by miracles we mean willed acts that defy all applicable laws and probabilities of science.

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Abandoned [05 Sep 2008|09:35pm]
[ mood | sad ]

Next door neighbors foreclosed several months ago and moved away leaving behind their old, gray tabby.  However, one of them, the son, untrustworthy and generally disreputable, remained illegally until just recently.  Since then, their cat has been poking around the front of our house and even lounging, as if it had nothing left.  Generally skittish, last night it didn't budge an inch from its bed in the driveway as I passed.  This morning, in the light, as it sauntered down our front walkway I saw how skinny it'd become.

I got a little bit of tuna (because if it were starving, I feared a bigger portion might do more harm than good) and a small dish of water, then went outside.  But the cat was gone.  After a little searching, I found it in its old sideyard.  As I approached it cowered and stared wildly, but didn't run.  I placed the dishes at the foot of the wooden fence about 15 feet away, and then stepped back.  By the time I had returned to the sidewalk it was by the dishes; but wouldn't eat until I disappeared.  When I returned a few moments later, its head was dipping into a dish, and another cat, a robust, healthy one, was sitting behind it, watching me, almost as if keeping guard.  I wouldn't expect so much empathy from a cat, but it makes a more moving story to see it that way.

Still later I returned to collect the dishes.  The sickly tabby was still nearby.  The tuna was gone, but there was still lots of water.  When I gathered them up, the cat let out such a pitiful, desperate mew, that I was convinced to leave the water.

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Citizen Action [02 Sep 2008|12:31pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

I am a monthly doner to Greenpeace, but up until a few seconds ago was never anything more: I looked upon their numerous emails announcing letter-writing campaigns for and against this or that cause as a nuisance, and finally ended up automatically deleating them whenever they came.  Admittedly there was shame on my part for doing nothing more than contribute $15 a month.  Maybe hurtling myself between the whistling harpoon of a Japanese whaler, and a proud, grandly flopping whale minding its own business of devouring plankton is not my style, but I can write so why could I never manage to even do that?

Today's letter-writing-plea-email title piqued my curiosity: Offshore Drilling and Hurricanes Don't Mix.  It so happened that only a couple of days prior, this had been a topic at the dinner table.  One side had been for us doing more drilling for oil on our land so that our transition from an oil-based energy economy to a more clean and renewable one would pass more smoothly.  Today's technology renders worries about spills, leakages, and other possible related disasters obsolete.  Afterall, the drilling sites in the Gulf of Mexico had survived the massive assault of Hurrican Katerina without incident.  Furthermore, it was argued, the greater supply of oil would reduce our gas prices.

The letter from greenpeace refuted all points, and is more like mine own opinion.  Here is what it said:

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Cut and Paste Remix [10 Aug 2008|10:13pm]
[ mood | pleased ]

A skunk, and then a ying-yang cat cross my path within four blocks on the road home tonight from Grandparents' in Pleasant Hill.

Tonight's entry, my first in 10 weeks I am told, comes conveniently via an email I wrote earlier today to Princess regarding her upcoming church wedding.  It is slightly edited, but for those of you who, like me, are mad about precision I've indicated additions by placing them within square brackets like so: [ ]  Deletions are not noted, but are of no consequence except for those who wish to know names and places.  This email gives a succinct precis of my business and pleasures these balmy days in Pittsburg, CA.

A glorious day to you Misses O!

I just did receive the wedding invitation you sent, am pleased, and will definitely attend.

By the way, I left behind my dress-shoes last time I visited, so I'll have to pick them up some time before the wedding ceremony so as to be presentable.

In news, a job with the local school district here in Pittsburg looks promising.  Likely as an instructional aide, but also perhaps office work, and even cafeteria duties.  [Whatever jobs I work will likely be substitution ones in the beginning.  I may even have work in all three of those fields for which I applied.  A different genre daily.]

My brother is visiting from Japan, and in a couple of weeks so will his Japanese girlfriend.  We've been having lots of fun together going to seas [Stinson], rivers [and pools, jumping rocks at Bridgeport], seeing movies [The Dark Knight, Harakiri, Dog Day Afternoon], and just chillin'.  [At Stinson Beach he, our cousin N, and a friend S played bocci ball on the sand.  At the time I felt as though I were acting a bit pompous by beating them so soundly with my obvious advantage of being a ballplayer, whereas the friend was not very athletic, and my brother and cousin too busy concocting outrageous tossing techniques with much giggling and glee.  Yet today upon more reflection, I realized that were the situation to be transposed to an arena where I am less learned than they, such as a dance floor, then our roles would be reversed.  This time it would be they who would dance relishing their skill of execution, whereas it would be me dancing silly hoping to make up in enthusiasm for my lack of skill.]

I'm reading a lot [Essential Haiku; Of Human Bondage; Godel, Escher, Bach; The House of the Dead; and Rimbaud poems.  Recently finished Cobb by Al Stump, a biography on the infamous, great ballplayer of the early 20th century].  I attend regularly my mother's church.  Sometimes I try writing poetry, and a little - very little - comes out decently.  But no such works are in a finished state.

My grandmother recently bought me an electronic keyboard so that I may practice anytime I please without bothering anyone (except myself) with the sounds that come out.  Its keyboard is shorter than that of a piano, only five octaves, meaning that I can only play the classical music of the Baroque times  effectively (they had smaller keyboards) such as Bach, Handel, Purcell, and so on - which is the most important stuff classical stuff to play anyway.

I hope all is well with you, and A, and M [aka: "Queen"].  Give to each of them my kind regards.

- Jeremy

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Awwwwwww [03 Apr 2008|10:41pm]
[ mood | amused ]

Cutely, today Princess and her lately-dubbed Prince Charming celebrated their one-week anniversary.  He had remembered (a triumph for our sex!) and secretly planned an evening out at the fanciest restaurant in town.  They are now exceedingly full and satisfied.  Next up : the one-month anniversary.

Tomorrow I shall account of their wedding - a triumph hastily arranged.

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[25 Feb 2008|01:24pm]
[ mood | discombobulated ]

La vraie pauvreté est celle de l'âme, une pauvreté dans laquelle le mental est
toujours dans un tourbillon créé par les doutes, les soucis et les craintes.

--Swâmi Râmdâs

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