Thursday, March 30, 2006

Healing energy

Dolphins know how to live. They play and stand up on their tails and smile the day away.

Reggae with a twist

Have you heard the one about the Hassidic Jew? His name is Matisyahu and he's a rising reggae-rap star. Yes, it's true... I read it on Yahoo!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Arizona Declares Sun Official Energy Source

It's only a ballot measure, but still.... it is like AZ declaring the Sun is its official energy source. Here's the latest in the language war news from the state of Arizona (copied from the Stephen Krashen list serve):

Friday, March 24, 2006

Official-English measure gets House approval
Tucson Citizen

The Arizona House approved a proposed ballot measure
that would make English the state's official language
and require government functions be conducted in

A similar proposal made it through the Republican-led
Legislature last year, but was vetoed by Democratic
Gov. Janet Napolitano. She said she believed
non-English speakers should be encouraged to learn the
language, but the vetoed bill did nothing toward that

The House's 34-22 vote yesterday sent the resolution
to the Senate. If approved by the full Legislature,
this year's proposal would bypass the governor and be
decided by voters in December.

A similar voter-approved law making English the
state's official language was overturned in 1998. The
law, approved in 1988, was declared unconstitutional
by the state Supreme Court, which ruled the change
violated free-speech rights.

* * *

And here's Stephen Krashen's letter sent to sent to the Tucson Citizen, March 25

The Arizona House has approved a ballot measure to
make English the stateís official language
(Official-English measure gets House approval, March

As Cartoonist Tommy Tomorrow once pointed out, making
English our official language makes as much sense as
declaring the sun our official source of energy.
English already is the de facto official language of
every state in the United States, and nearly all
immigrants are highly motivated to acquire and improve
their English. According to the 2000 Census, only one
percent of the US population cannot speak English. (In
1890, 3.6 percent of the population could not speak

Politicians should spend their time with legislation
that actually serves the public interest, not with
"feel-good" proposals that do nothing.

Stephen Krashen

Sunday, March 19, 2006

teapot no. 42

I quickly sketched teapot no. 42 in the inside of my notebook while waiting for my mapo tofu to arrive at Full Moon restaurant on Alvarado in Monterey.

When I finished my meal, the server brought me an unusually yellow fortune cookie (FDC yellow no. something) with this fortune inside:

Don't be afraid to take that big step.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Eli, Eli

Today's post is for India photographer extraordinaire, elishams, and for everyone/anyone, really.
I love both the lyrics and the melody of this Hebrew song, Eli, Eli. It was written by Hana Senesh.

Eli, Eli (Halicha L'Kesariya)

Eli, Eli, shelo yigamer l'olam
ha-chol v'hayam, rish-rush
shel ha-mayim
B-rak hasha mayim t'filat ha-adam

Ha-chol v'hayam rish-rush
shel ha-mayim
b'rak hasha mayim t'filat ha-adam

O, Lord my God,
I pray that these may never end:
The sand and the sea
the rush of the waters
the thrash of the heavens,
the prayer of the heart

The sand and the sea
the rush of the waters
the thresh of the heavens,
the prayer of the heart.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Something different

I woke up this morning knowing that I'd do something different. I wasn't hungry for my usual Japanese-y breakfast of rice, miso soup, and vegetables with tea. I didn't feel like lingering over my tea with Yuki and Jesse and an educational linguistics book. I didn't have a teapot to draw or paint and I'd already written in my journal. I showered, dressed, and took Yuki outside with me. We started walking down the path towards downtown Monterey. It was 7am. We made a brief stop near the blue heron trees, just long enough to count three herons in two different nests (the other day there were five). And, another stop to watch a snail slowly (snailingly?) scaling a garden wall. Once past the snail, I felt my automated MCFD (Magnetic Café Finder Device) click on and knew I could trust its guidance. Soon, I was crossing onto Alvarado Street, then tying Yuki to a table outside of Café Noir where I ordered a café au lait to go. My MCFD did not steer me wrong. A little sprinkle of chocolate, another of nutmeg, a lid, and I was good to go. But that's not all. In a matter of minutes, I was taking in the curly sculptured goldenrod facade of the California State Theatre, and then opening the door of Red's Donuts. I'd made a mental note to go in there someday to take a photograph of the customers I'd seen through the glass, all of them sitting there with their donuts and coffee, regulars chatting on the swivel stools at the counter, all in a row, steamy warm inside, cold and wet outside. I was inside the door now, actually half inside, because I couldn't bring Yuki in with me. I looked at the donuts in the case. What to order? I don't know the names of donuts; I don't know the language of donuts.... The donut woman must have seen my ignorance, for she offered me several choices, jellies, maple covered, custard-filled.... I picked one that looked good to me, asking for "one of the twisted ones", as a tug from Yuki reminded me he was still on the other end of the leash. So, I paid and left, walking happily on the sunny streets, alternating bites of sweet, oily donut with sips of creamy coffee.
Was it the caffeine that produced the joyful giddiness I felt while walking back home? Was it the sugary donut? Or, was my joy due simply to the refreshment--and my acute awareness--of doing something different?

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

teapot no. 41 - Peninsula pot

Another left-handed experiment. This time I sketched and painted the whole thing with my non dominant left hand. It's getting easier, but I still want to use my right hand sometimes for more control. As the saying goes, perseverance furthers one to cross the great waters. I think that's from the Tao te ching.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image
when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
~Anne Lamott, writer (1954- )

I read this quote in my morning's Word-a-day email and... here it is. Words to ponder.

* * * * * * * *

And, something else from
the Panhala poetry site:

God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.

These are words we dimly hear:

You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don't let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousnes.

Give me your hand.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~

(Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Great Blue Herons, Batman!

This morning I walked with Yuki down the winding footpath past the high school to the gully where the oak trees grow. I always think of Ireland here, and though I've never been to Ireland, I imagine it is like this place: green, moist, and thick with moss. There's a shed with a rusty tin roof here, and a stand of curvy oak trees with a narrow stream of water flowing through.
From the gully, I look up into the tall pines across the road, high up to the nest of the Great Blue Herons. Yesterday, one of the adult herons flew over my head towards the nest with what looked like a giant stick in between her beak. Then I watched as she inserted her long beak into the beak of the baby heron in the nest and shook the stick-like thing into the baby's long throat. The stick might have been a snake or a fish that just looked like a stick.
Today I heard the heron's call, raspy and low. According to my Golden guide to Birds of North America, what I heard was the alarm call, "a series of about 4 hoarse squawks" (p. 94 in my 1966 edition). That's exactly what I heard. Here's the heron page from A Guide to Field Identification: Birds of North America (p. 95) and my photo (sans telephoto lens) of the adult heron I saw today.