Friday, January 27, 2006


No real amazing quote today- just a funny little line I read in the newspaper a few days ago about plants-

"These days, I have a new attitude toward my plants: Perform or perish. Life offers enough irritations without playing nursemaid to a petulant shrub."

Tisa Watts SF Chronicle 1/25/2006

Just weird stuff today- a little foray into my mind.
I get through the day by having little strange obssessions- so today I'm listening to animal recordings off this site- I'm sure any co-worker who might wander by, might be curious to hear frogs coming from my computer- I especially like the Lynx sample:

Gamboge is a rather transparent dark mustard yellow pigment. Throughout history gamboge has been known by many names. The most common in the western world are "rattan yellow" and "wisteria yellow". These are literal translations of the pigment's japanese and Chinese names. The English word "gamboge" appears to be derived form the same origin as Cambodia, which was earlier Camboja. Other names like Gummi Gutta, Gummi Gambogia, Gamma Gitta, and Gom Guttae are derived form the method by which the pigment is extracted from trees.

Gamboge: RBG (255,155,15) and my sample--


Thursday, January 26, 2006


“It has been long said that the desert is monotheistic. Is it illogical or devoid of interest to observe that the district in Paris between place de la Contrescarpe and Rue de l’Arbalète conduces rather to atheism, to oblivion and to the disorientation of habitual reflexes” Guy DeBord Introduction to a critique of urban geography

Cobalt: RBG (0,71,171)

A little history on cobalt from this site: Although smalt, a pigment made from cobalt blue glass has been known at least since the Middle Ages, the cobalt blue established in the nineteenth century was a greatly improved one.The isolation of the blue color of smalt was discovered in the first half of the eighteenth century by the Swedish chemist Brandt. In 1777, Gahn and Wenzel found cobalt aluminate during research on cobalt compounds. Their discovery was made during experimentation with a soldering blowpipe. The color was not manufactured commercially until late in 1803 or 1804.The Minister of the French government, Chaptal, appointed Louis Jaques Thénard and Mérimée to look into the improvement of artists' colors. Thenard developed this new cobalt blue by his observations at the Sevres porcelain factory. He experimented with roasting cobalt arsenate and cobalt phosphate with alumina in a furnace. He published his results in late 1803-4 in the Journal des mines, "Sur les couleurs, suives d'un procédé pour préparer une couleur bleue aussi belle que l'outremer."

And also, my cobalt from our weak MS program:

some half-sentences:

Suffer serious seductions.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


"All cities are geological; you cannot take three steps without encountering ghosts bearing all the prestige of their legends. We move within a closed landscape whose landmarks constantly draw us toward the past. Certain shifting angles, certain receding perspectives, allow us to glimpse original conceptions of space, but this vision remains fragmentary. It must be sought in the magical locales of fairy tales and surrealist writings: castles, endless walls, little forgotten bars, mammoth caverns, casino mirrors.” – Giles Ivain Formulary for a new Urbanism

If you want to make chartreuse: RGB (127,255,0) or pantone 15-0751

my sentence, which is totally automatic today:

The chartreuse chanteuse was charged with puce abuse.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


"All beautiful expressions are susceptible of more than one meaning. When a beautiful expression presents a meaning more beautiful than the author's own, it should be adopted." - J. Joubert Oeuvres from Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project

Today I am fixated on the color puce, I found this from a website of Regency colors-

One of the more obscure colors used in Regency novels is puce. It's a color nearly always treated with disdain but what color was it, really? It might help to know that the word puce comes, as so many others, from the French. Puce is the French word for flea! Yes, the color is a brownish-purple or a purplish-pink, the color of the blood-sucking flea; coagulated blood in other words. It may seem astonishing to the modern reader that one of the most popular colors in 1805e. was puce.

So- if you want to make puce: RGB (204,136,153) or Pantone 19-1518 TC

Here's my puce from a cheesy MS- program

Monday, January 23, 2006


"Each poet should then be represented by a diagram which would indicate the meaning and the symmetry of his metaphoric coordinations, exactly as the diagram of a flower fixes the meaning and the symmetries of its floral actions." Gaston Bachelard Poetics of Space

I wandered around Alameda, I ate sushi, I read Loren Eiseley, I wrote. I notice when I enter restaurants with my aloneness, my books and my notebooks; the wait staff treat me with a sort of deference; as though my solitude carried with it vulnerability. They never rush me, and are hovering on the edges, available. Or maybe they think I’m some sort of food critic, with all my scribbling in my notebook, after thoughtful bites of food. I would like to believe it’s the former.

The cold hearts of this world plunges me into an inescapable sadness. Sometimes I get the feeling that my only friends are: you, books, sleep and alcohol, in that order. I wish my tears could turn into musical notes then I would feel that my crying would be something more than wasted water. Back to submerging myself in books.

Friday, January 20, 2006

pair a more

"The door to the past is a strange door. It swings open and things pass through it, but they pass in one direction only. No man can return through, he can look down still and see the green light waver in the water weeds."Loren Eiseley The Immense Journey

The past week my dreams have been made of broken parts. I am slowly realising that spending time in other's company only leaves me feeling your absence more intensely. So my desire is to immerse myself deeply in books, not in conversation. I will have to spend my days, wandering the streets, stopping in cafes to read, and then wandering again.

My sentence, inspired by a Butoh performance.

Mere minute gestures express internal mental exposure; expend, contract then eventual release.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Katherine Anne Porter on Hart Crane: Hart would "weep and shout, shaking his fist. 'I am Baudelaire, I am Whitman, I am Christopher Marlowe, I am Christ.' But never once did I hear him say that he was Hart Crane."

This excerpt is from a book I picked up in Powell's back a few weeks ago- Chance Meeting, by Rachel Cohen- there's an excellent essay written by the author about the inception of the book.
The second part of the title sums up the book quite succinctly; Intertwined Lives of American Writers and Artists, 1854-1967. I enjoy reading it greatly, since I am a life voyeur, that is, I derive unspeakable pleasure reading and looking into lives of others. Especially the lives of the quite strange, partially unhinged, and extremely intellectual, as this book is filled with these sorts of characters.

As for my own life.... in your absence, I have fully indulged my religion of reading, and have been spending too much time in solitude, as my preference for now.

Monday night- I had Chinese at my "neighborhood" restaurant on Piedmont Ave. Staring out the window, watching curious faces pass below me; I ate alone and read some more of Death and Life of Great American Cities, which I am slogging through very deliberately. I was the only lone diner, I thought of you, dining alone, an ocean away. Then I walked home the long way, passing by the Fishtank, to peer into its dark windows.

Tuesday night, I returned books to the Berkeley Public Library, and I bought an umbrella because it started to rain heavily and the umbrella I had was like a broken bird. I had dinner at Cancun, and finished reading Brokeback Mountain (a book I would not usually read, but my co-workers were sharing it, and it was an easy read.) Then I walked home in the pouring rain, becoming quite soaked by the time I arrived home.

I may be alone, but I do not feel empty.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


"There is a night world that few men have entered and from whose greatest depths none have returned alive-the abyssal depths of the sea." - Loren Eiseley from The Immense Journey

I have spent immeasurable hours, beneath the odorous shadows of other writers, whose words reside within my mind.

Monday, January 16, 2006

January activities

Of course, January began in Portland, but there have been many activities to date:

On Jan. 6 at the Hemlock in SF- Bitcrush and Run_Return-

Bit crush is Mike Cadoo - who was in the evolved "industrial" band, Gridlock, back in the day. Bitcrush's sounds builds on the dark atmospheres of industrial ambience and the broken and jagged beats of the darker days of drum 'n bass.
Run_return, a local, Oakland band, has a undefinable sound. Shall I say, very groovy- a good live show.

Jan. 7- at Lobot gallery in West Oakland- art reception- "There is Nothing to See" - a collection of sound installations- the press release says it best-

"LoBot Gallery presents There is Nothing to See- a sound-based group show that explores the outer limits of sonic experience.

Running the gamut from the unsettling (Joe Colley's sculpted mouths that emit animal distress calls) to the sublime (Peter Regli's broken glass symphony), There Is Nothing To See is an aural train wreck of colliding techniques and processes.Angel Sanchez-Borges resurrects Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix for a virtual jam session. Sarah Filley translates EEG readouts of a brain in the throes of a seizure for her composition, Cerebral Score. Jorge Boehringer's record (fashioned from a felled redwood tree stump) grinds endlessly through the locked grooves of the tree's growth rings. Tom Grimley's exquisitely handcrafted instruments play themselves, as do Albert Ortega's Wal Wart(s). For a more intimate experience, stick your head inside Sandy De Lissovoy's audio cone or crawl inside Jacqueline Gordon's sound-gathering geodesic dome. Betty Jo Costanzo's tin can phones provide the lo-fi/no-tech counterpoint to the entire (dis)array."

My favourite was T. Grimley's constructions, I guess I like watching the little gears shift around accompanied by unpredictable noise expulsions.

Jan. 11 - Lecture/reading/signing- Jared Diamond on his new book Collapse
Following his pioneering book, Guns, Germs and Steel, Diamond spoke about how civilations fall into ruin. He tried to positive and and hopeful, but as eluded to in my last post- I know, we're doomed.

The weekend of 1/13 & 1/14 was a double header at the 21 Grand Gallery in Oakland.

Jan. 13-Jiffy Scuttler Presents: Greg Davis/Sebastien Roux, Birdshow, Gregg Kowalsky

Overall- pretty good show, ranged from the extra-European noisey- Greg Davis/Sebastien Roux; to the more sweetly melodic and improvised- Birdshow.

Jan. 14- Jiffy Scuttler presents: Semiconductor (UK) + Antimatter/ Tim Perkis/ Wobbly

The Antimatter/ Tim Perkis/ Wobbly part was droney and improvised.

I have been waiting to see Semiconductor all week. A duo based in the UK, they're doing a residency at UC Berkeley's Livermore Space lab- they combine computer graphic films with sound. The Inaudible Cities piece was my favourite- check out their blog here. This was their last show before they head back to the UK, I was very glad I was able to see them.

Friday, January 13, 2006


“Who can say whether the dead pass their time-or Time- in remembering, retrogressing into organic dissolution back to their primordial soul of stone; and whether it is not highly disagreeable for them to be awoken (nocturnal oblivion being above all yet another memory) when the day of Eternity dawns.” - Alfred Jarry Days and Nights

Sad news about frogs and other amphibians-depressing, going home now.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Portland 2006

I started 2006 in Portland. I went to Powell's Books the three days that I was there, and I managed to only walk away with four books, pretty miraculous for me! Powell's is far the largest bookstore I have ever been in. On Jan. 1, we wandered around the Pearl District, since we were staying in the downtown area.

On Jan. 2- we visited the Japanese Garden, in Washington Park, which is large and lovely. We strolled in the gardens then visited Hoyt Arboreteum, also in Washington Park.
The next day I visited the Chinese Classical Garden in Portland's Chinatown. It rained the whole day, and the garden was particularily nice to visit, then I had tea in the tea house while I watched the rain. Anyway, pictures are posted below.

Portland 20060101 014

Chinese Teahouse in Portland's Chinese Classical Garden

Portland 20060101 014
Originally uploaded by veti_vert.

Portland 20060101 023

Portland's Chinese Classical Garden with city buildings behind.

Portland 20060101 023
Originally uploaded by veti_vert.

Portland 20060101 005

Portland 20060101 005
Originally uploaded by veti_vert.
Japanese Dry Garden in Portland on Jan. 2, 2006

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Portland 20060101 004
Originally uploaded by veti_vert.
Small tree close-up, Japanese Garden
w/ lichen & moss

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


"And I reason at will, in the same way I dream, for reasoning is another kind of dreaming." - Fernando Pessoa from The Book of Disquiet

I've read many strange things- but this excerpt, by far, is one of the strangest, from today's Wall Street Journal, an article from the front page:

"His mission is to clean up India's livestock economy by ridding cities of garbage-eating cows and the polluted milk they produce."

Monday, January 09, 2006


"...a song of eternal love, beautiful in form, with melodious sentences and glittering images to intoxicate the heart of a sensualist, or anyone in love with art, which amounts to the same thing." - Isabelle Eberhardt from Isabelle: The Life of Isabelle Eberhardt by Annette Koback

Petrichor perfume penetrates the pluvious.

Friday, January 06, 2006


"If I ever do take an active part in the world, it will be as a thinker and demoralizer." -Gustave Flaubert

- the quote that I feel aligns with the meaning of my life, to which I can aspire.

anyway, a weird poem I wrote a while back, I remembered it because of a book I recently purchased: Life on the Edge: Amazing Creatures Thriving in Extreme Environments by Michael Gross- fun stuff!!

with their
succulent concupiscence
sprouted through broken windows,
reciprocal illumination,
copies of himself.-
Irritations of the retina
delude the eyes.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


"The space is devoid of ornamentation. The sand passes in fine, hard waves over the beaten surfaces." Across the Acheron by Monique Wittig

The scoundrel spandrel spans the great domes, ostensively.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

End of 2005 list

lists, lists, everyone is doing it.

I can't list the best music of 2005- because- I have no idea- I don't even remember what CD's I bought! I listened to some great music for sure, saw great things- but this is what I kept track of: the books I've read-

so for 2005- all the books I read, cover to cover:

The Charmes Circle: Gertrude Stein and Company by James R. Mellow

Panegyric by Guy Debord

The Giver by Lois Lowry (recommended by a friend)

Selected Writings by Gerard Nerval

Eccentrics: A Study of Sanity and Strangeness by Dr. David Weeks & Jamie James

The Passionate Nomad: The Diary of Isabelle Eberhardt

The Great Shadow and other Stories by Mario de Sa-Carneiro

Wittgenstein's Ladder by Marjorie Perloff

Seductresses by Betsy Prioleau

Bruges-la-Morte by Goerges Rodenbach

Illuminations by Walter Benjamin

Mallarme by Wallace Fowlie

Psychoanalysis of Fire by Gaston Bachelard (the 2nd time)

Days and Nights: A Novel of a Deserter by Alfred Jarry

Red Diaper Baby by Josh Kornbluth (recommended by a friend)

Chants de Maldoror by Lautreamont

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Invention of Clouds by Richard Hamblyn

Scanner Darkly by Philip K.Dick

You are alone real to me: Remembering Rilke by Lou Andreas-Salome

Hollow City by Rebecca Solnit

Interaction of Color by Josef Albers

Angels of Perversity by Remy de Gourmont

Love and Limerance by Dorothy Tennov

Mina Loy- An American Modernist Poet by Virgian Kouidis

The Story of a Nobody by Anton Chekov

Mauve: How one man invented a color that changed the world by Simon Garfield

Memoirs of a Madman by Gustave Flaubert

Life of a Good-for-Nothing by Joseph von Eichendorff

The Perpetual Orgy by Mario Vargas Llosa