Eden

I love the spring. Eden must have been an amazing place, a watery green oasis capped with blue sky and lazy white clouds. Plants and animals simply were just themselves in that sacred, remote utopia. The utility of plants and animals to humans didn’t matter. God had made everything and it was good.

 

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DCIM100SPORT

DCIM100SPORT

Ultra Music Festival Miami

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The Fortunate Warrior watched the Ultra Music Festival Miami streaming over the internet. When I was pricing out this trip – that is, when I thought I might be able to afford attending this festival – I realized it was going to be very expensive indeed. One clue was that hotels were sold out ninety days before the event in downtown Miami, where the event was being held. A single three-day event pass general admission cost about $500 – a VIP pass would cost $1000 – per person. So for everything this festival chalked up to about $3000 at least for the entire 3-day event.

It would have been worth every penny.

Of all EDM festivals this one is the mothership, originally intended to anchor the end of the Spring Music Conference, a gathering of music business professionals. Not long ago it was a single day. Last year it expanded to two adjacent weekends. The City of Miami hated this, so this year it was back to a single weekend. (The site is not ideal in many ways. It’s in a narrow park between the ocean and Downtown Miami, requiring a major thoroughfare to close for this big event.)

There is a wide generational gulf between myself at 54 and the typical attendee in their 20’s. Add the subcultures that comprise EDM and I have a tough time writing about this, even though I watched rather than be present. Even so it was an intense and moving experience. EDM is a spiritual movement within a political movement within a musical movement – the flags, the joyous music and crowds of people, the chant “EAT SLEEP RAVE REPEAT” tells me something deeper is going on. There is a shift in consciousness going on – and not drug induced, as some in Miami city government have decried. This event is an initiation.

The crowd is savvy, chatty, patriotic (national flags are everywhere) in a “we are the world” mode, slutty, vulgar, sexual and yet enlightened. Ultra cameramen dive into the ample cleavage of the many, many voluptuous women on hand, some wearing only pasties with blinking LED’s of the Ultra logo. Look for the blonde in a white bikini on the shoulders of some hapless dude, slapping her ass as she looks back into the camera. Boobies rules here.
Considering that there are seven stages and nearly 300 DJ’s performing it must be tough to make choices. Few of the names you would recognize, (many are Dutch). An American group, Kruella, based in Chicago, comprised of two sisters and a male friend talked the main state audience down to sing a ballad – a first for Ultra. Some of the performers were very young, one from South Africa had just turned 17, flying in to Miami to do this set, then, whisking back to the airport to fly to another festival in Brazil. There are live acts as well as DJ’s.

I don’t know. Bro Safari was a twisted torrent of sound! This unruly music ate the stage, the DJ, the audience, the camera – hungry fucking music! It explains why I have bite marks on my left arm. Jack U — made up of star DJ’s Diplo and Skrillex…, well, how do I characterize their set? The music was a prowling party animal, such ravenous noise, ripping off my ass and bludgeoning me bloody with it. The audience packed so tightly up front that individual motion was impossible- if one person moved many others would have to move with them. When the DJ’s exhorted the audience to jump, acres of them did. Dancing was a frenzy of ecstasy, an odd physical worship of motion and sound, possessed of a maniacal god. Disjointed polyrhythms are fun, with no real melodies, often punctuated by exhortations of the DJ.

It was draining just to watch, often dancing around my small room prowling and jumping and pacing.

New “Donate” Widget > > >

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After much trial, tribulation, gnashing of teeth and an expensive HTML class, the Donate button is available for your use.

It’s about generosity quantified into money. Many of you have read my blog all year. Put the pleasure I have given you into an amount, click the Donate button, then fill out the form. Generosity – or giving – happens because it feels good. When giving stops feeling good, stop giving. It’s as simple as that.

Blogging is part of a career choice that has been accidental at best. I need to take all the writing I do more seriously. I need to point to my writing as a moneymaking activity.

I need your support in a visible, tangible way. I also need to grow the readership of my blog, increasing the number of hits and followers. I have noticed that people are more willing to read a blog with a picture, and I get more feedback from posts that are serious. There will be more of those.

Please follow me on Twitter and retweet blog posting notices. Encourage people to friend me on Facebook. Make comments about what you read in my blog.

Thank you for your readership and continued support!

Snagged by Mums

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I have moved around quite a bit within the city of Indianapolis, with a brief stint in Carmel, a suburb north of Indianapolis. Each time I get to a new place I build a garden. Some of it is that I really really dislike turf: gardens are a more imaginative way to use space. Gardens are far more propitious. The plants mean something, like holly, planted by doorways, is about hospitality.

I put a lot of myself into the gardens I build. When I move, leaving is painful. Leaving my house and garden earlier this year was very painful, the hollys just getting mature, the roses getting tall and profuse. The landscape kept telling me shrubs and trees, and that’s what I did. Now I’m afraid to go back and see if the tree I planted is still there after the drought. It’s a pin oak, in late afternoon making complex shadows against my blinds. It was getting tall the last time I saw it.

I have been determined to not get snagged by this house. No garden here! The owner, the upstairs roommate, was raised in New Mexico. After over 20 years in Indiana he still is in xeroscape mode, sowing salt to kill weeds, for example – something of a botanical illiterate. Worse, he pays no attention to me when I tell him he’s crazy.

When he came home with a truck full of mums from a friends yard I got snagged a bit. The front bed now has purple mums in profusion, with yellow as an accent. It’s a good change. It was a big job and I made him help.

The Hobbit

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I decided to reread the Hobbit. I had dismissed it years ago as too magical. It was a great read, much lighter than The Lord of the Ring. It’s a much more hopeful book that the massive books that followed.

The Lord of the Rings is an apocalyptic work; the end of a great evil, but the end of the Elves and the demise of much of an ancient culture. The ending is tainted with grief.

I hope that the movies made of The Hobbit will be better than The Lord of the Ring. Peter Jackson deserves all the credit that he has earned, but also deserves roasting over a slow fire. So much was edited out to make the movies – or outright changes – that I wish he had stuck with monster flicks.

Shopping on Laundry Day

I really didn’t want to do laundry today. I have a class on scientific writing that wraps up this week and I wanted to get everything submitted ASAP. The laundry machine at the house has been broken for a very long while; while the bearing was dying, punching a hole in the concretious container surrounding the horizontally spinning drum (yes, a front-loader). At least there is a surrogate for this appliance: there is no such thing as a refrigermat to replace the dead refridgerator.

Doing the laundry means that I will be at Southern Plaza, where I can do some light shopping during the wash cycle. Southern Plaza isn’t a bad, but It’s about a third empty. There is the holy of holies, an Anchor Frieght; an Office Depot; a Family Dollar and a Kroger.

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My score at Family Dollar

I’ve been Journaling since 1995, but picked up using a  composition book from all the engineers I’ve worked with over the years. Composition books are hard cover, but yet I can bend them back to make reverso pages easier to write on. I can use them anywhere, especially in bed, sipping coffee while I’m writing.

I’m also nearly out of pens. I like gel pens best, especially when I can score gel inserts for my lavish Monteverde writing tool. Rita Mae Brown says that writing is important, and our tools and materials should reflect the importance of writing as an art and business.

Today I purchased ball point pens, black ink, retractable, 0.7 mm. The composition book will house about two months of entries. I generate about six such books a year, filled with my abstract, indeciferable handwriting. Such luxury cost me $2.00 for both items! I was happy to shop Family Dollar – I love discount stores like this.

Many thanks to Southern Plaza Laundry and Tan – keep up the good work!

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Interviewing

So far in 2012 I have had about 20 interviews, but I think only 1 or 2 second interviews. I can remember a time, not long ago, when I would be hired for a project at the end of an interview, even a phone interview, no sweat. These days interviewing is a performance art where I start believing again, but end up deceived, angry and bitter.

I am very tired of the model of interview where the first part is enthusiasm for me, my skills, and certain placement, but the second part – in person, or with a different person – is geared to manage my expectations. The interview last Friday morning was like this, the first woman praising me, while the second damned me for assuming that they place professional people at competitive wages. Evidently they don’t.

My interview started 20 minutes late, even though I had completed all my paperwork, having arrived early. They also didn’t seem to understand that when I tell them I’m transit dependent I have to take a bus that leaves at a certain time. So as I cross the street post-interview I see my bus pull away that would not return for another hour, I turn to walk the 2 1/2 miles home.

I hear lots of people tell me “you have to be realistic” or spout some kind conventional wisdom. I have defied conventional wisdom my whole life and I have always been correct to do so. I may have to be patient, I will be tested, but I know that if I give up on what I need and want I am doomed. I can’t give into people who run me down, then run me over, then expect me to turn to the HR Dark Side.

The big message I get is that I need to focus on the entrepreneurial ideas that I’ve had, filling notebooks over the years. I have to open those notebooks, share what I’ve got, take my lumps, walk through my fear,  deal with the people who disagree with me and be who I am, no matter how much some people may not like it.