Wednesday, May 31, 2006

another trauma victim in the war of love

or so-called love...


** a little break from Europe now**

Why the world (specifically the United States) drives me crazy- stories like this- (you need a subscription to read the whole story-but you can get the point). URBAN PLANNING!! Such a little important thing, and yet something Americans don't quite grasp!!!

Maybe I'm just obsessing on that because I'm spending my global warming summer focused on that subject. And on that note- from the Italian visionary/architect-
Paolo Soleri-

"Perhaps we are wasting our best energies in trying to get in touch with our creator. The sad thing is that, as far as I know, the creator is not there. We are self-creating." Paolo Soleri The Urban Ideal

And if global warming issues haven't aggravated and disturbed you enough- here's another reason- itchier poison oak!

I spent this weekend: practicing piano, reading, walking around, and writing a sestina. Maybe if it gets posted- I'll send you the link!

Friday, May 26, 2006

And even more Valencia Spain pictures

Go here for more, I couldn't make blogger work for me.

Here's a nice story about Ian McHarg- landscape architect & visionary. I'm currently reading his Design with Nature.

He learned that Harvard University, in distant New England, had a good program, so he wrote that august institution a letter informing them of his intention to study there. He did not apply, mind you, or complete any pre requisite undergraduate courses. He just told Harvard when he was coming, appeared on schedule, and began taking classes, never considering any possibility but his admittance to a course of study. Unsure as to how to handle the upstart designer, the academic authorities opened their classrooms and granted him his degree, or, in his words, "After the war I spend four years at Harvard where I received assurances that I was a professional landscape architect and city planner."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

more Valencia street scenes

While wandering on Sunday--

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

More Valencia stories

"Brief, somewhat fruitless conversation about the corpse in pre-Shakespearian theatre." - Walter Benjamin Moscow Diaries

Sentence written on Fri. 5/19/06 4:20pm while waiting at the Walnut Creek BART station:

We all move in unison, as if choreographed, into position with the oncoming train; while a chorus of sparrows, sound out around us.

More Valencia stories- as I am waiting for my past to catch up to my present.

Sat. night- we had a very nice dinner in the old part of Valencia. My understanding is that Valencia- being an old city established in the Medieval times, has had its modern counterpart built around it. It creates an interesting dichotomy. Afterwards the West Coast Americans decided to go out "on the town." We stopped at a very crowded bar, with gothy-girl like art on the wall. Then we wandered around little more- to finally go home.

Sunday-Mic and I finally went sight-seeing. First, we went to the Museo de Bellas Artes I wanted to see the El Greco painting, there was only one. We walked around some more, etc.
We returned to the Science Museum for the final performances of the festival. After a keystone cops moment, all the performers were gathered for a final "Italian" dinner (because it was the only place left open to eat at the late hour of 11:30). Monday, what was left of the performers went with Rubén (the organizer) to eat paella on the beach. Pretty good! We hung out on the beach for a while, then back into the city's center and finished the day with my favourite meal in Spain- Pinchos with Txakoli!! (I.e. Basque finger food and Basque white sparkly wine). Tues consisted of a quick trip to Valencia's Aquarium (it purported to be the largest one in Europe. And a flight back to Paris.

Valencia pictures

Sleepy diners: Mic, Laurence & Veronika (can someone say jet lag?)

Jason, mystery guy (will have to look up his name later), and Randy's profile.

Taking to the streets- Scott, Mic, Daniel, Randy and other random Valencian boys

Thursday, May 18, 2006


"Nothing ever happens as planned or expected- this banal formulation of life's complications is borne out so implacably and so intensely in every single instance here that you quickly come to grasp the fatalism of the Russians." Walter Benjamin Moscow Diaries

In Valencia- 5/6
Sat. was spent on recording and performances: Laurence English, Randy Yau & Michael Gendreau. Then a really nice dinner afterwards- with the performers and promoters of the show. No sightseeing yet~

Mic gathering data for Sat. performance

Me- listening

Randy Yau!!

Scott got in just in time to catch the.....applause and to get a drink w/ Mic.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Thoughts on traveling- or in particular, on this journey.

Although I took a near 500 pictures, there were at least 250 more that I wished I had taken- My desire to document a moment maybe considered a form of madness?

I did not take notes as I promised myself I would before I left. In fact, I hardly wrote anything at all and to reconstruct this whole trip will be have to be based on memory. It's a good thing that my memory is fairly accurate.

Spending every waking hour with someone for more than a few days, in this case ten days, is difficult for me. But its good practice.

I really like Europe. It felt a lot less anxious and less stressful than the US. It appears that Europeans are more relaxed and that people are more interested in living their lives than becoming a product. In the States, it seems like many people are about their "project", what they are "doing" with themselves. In Europe, it felt that people were more interested in life and the interaction with each other. Yes, the people I met have their projects too, but simply enjoying life, eating, conversing, etc. is valued as well. Maybe the grass just looks greener on the other side?

There are a few things I appreciate about the Bay Area though: the air quality is better, there is less invasive cigarette smoke, and recycling is compulsive.

I'm not a big fan of French food, but I like Spanish food, especially Pinchos with Txakoli (ok it's really Spanish Basque- but still in Spain). Muy yum!

1. in front of the museum (Burt and Ernie go to Valencia?)

2. A DNA sculpture in the museum

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


"I read Proust in my room while eating marzipan." - Walter Benjamin Moscow Diaries

I'm back. Its quite unreal to be at work after the ten days that I lived through. The highlights include meeting some pretty curious people and wandering around Paris' streets.

I read a whole book on mosses on the plane ride overseas. I lost Thursday to traveling. After stopping in Charles deGaulle International Airport, and having a peccadillo with some airline transfering; flying in a hot, crowded plane with a screaming kid, we finally arrived in Valencia at the expected time. We were exhausted in in need of a shower. Friday evening was spent watching the performances of Jason Kahn and Daniel Menche. Afterwards, the four of us had dinner at a little local diner around the corner of our hotel. Then Daniel, Mic and I wandered around the area of our hotel to stumble upon an artichoke field, listening to bats.

Museum of Science where the performances
held. Architect: Santiago Calatrava

Artichoke field a few blocks from our hotel-

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


In nomine Domini incipit omne malum.

... "It is very rare to meet a free spirit. And if there are some, it is not in the books. When one writes, one mysteriously carries chains. But it happens that someone liberates himself during an intimate conversation, where he takes a distance from his usual convictions. One is only free together with his doubts and his weaknesses - and heretic compared to oneself."... - E. M. Cioran from Notebooks

I'll never promise you a(n) imp rose.

I'm going to Spain to see this:

Will be back with lots of pictures and notes!

Monday, May 01, 2006

side real

"He writes only because he reads, and he reads only because there are these authors to read time and again. He 'owes' them something or, perhaps, everything, if only because he could not write without them: their writing exists as the precondition of his own…" Judith Butler on Jacques Derrida (London Review of Books)

This is something I read and took note of while spending time in a small town I had never been to and am unlikely to return.
My ongoing dilemma- how to balance the reading life- which is one of removal: silence & solitude, with life which based on immersion? Do I participate in the action, or am I a witness?

But in the meantime, while I excogitate upon that- here are some delightful scenes of a garden tour I took yesterday (Sunday)-