Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Connections: the Eight-Foot Bride


I was binge watching TED videos again the other night and watched one talk by musician Amanda Palmer called, "The Art of Asking." Palmer was  the lead singer, pianist, and lyricist/composer of the duo The Dresden Dolls.  She later launched her solo career after dumping her record label and using Kickstarter to crowd fund one of her music projects.

That's what Palmer's TED talk was about: artists becoming comfortable with freely sharing their art and asking for help instead of selling it. And what helped Palmer develop her own art of asking was five years as a street busker known as the 8-foot Bride. She used to painter her face white, don an elegant antique wedding gown and stand on a crate in city squares. When a passerby dropped money in her bucket or hat, she would make eye contact and offer them a flower in return.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Happy Daze


How many times have you heard someone say (or heard yourself say), "I just want to be happy." And by wanting to be 'happy,' I am not referring to one of Snow White's seven dwarfs. Even the Declaration of Independence says life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our god-given rights. But the key word here is 'pursuit.' Happiness isn't our god-given right. Chasing after it is.

As usual, this train of thought was prompted by a documentary I watched the other night on Netflix about happiness.  People from various places were interviewed about happiness. And sure enough being happy is universally accepted as priority for people no matter what country you stem for. Though what people need to be happy seems to vary greatly. Many of the young people they interviewed in the USA said that happiness was a priority, but they equated getting a good, high paying job with happiness.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Pulling weeds

I spent much of yesterday on the wild slope that makes up much of my backyard, pulling weeds. It is one of those ironic Sisyphean tasks that we humans insist on that is right up there with making my bed and washing dishes. The irony being that determining whether or not a plant is a weed is purely a judgement call. Even desirable plants become weeds if they crop up where you don't want them.

The slope used to be overrun with Ivy until I pulled most of it out to make way for the horsetails that immediately grew up when the Ivy was evicted. And, although I only have anecdotal evidence, I suspect getting rid of the Ivy also contributed to the slope slippage a couple of years ago that threatened my deck and my pocketbook, warranting a new retaining wall.

My battle with my slope is a perfect proof of the theorem that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Once more unto the blog, dear friends...


“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;  
Or close the wall up with our English dead!  
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility: 
But when the blast of war blows in our ears, 
Then imitate the action of the tiger.”  
 ― William Shakespeare, Henry V
 Truth be told, I thought the quote was "once more into the breach" and that it had something to do with the Charge of the Light Brigade. Thank god for Google or I would appear as an ignorant twit. But then again I just admitted I didn't really know what the quote was or where it came from. So now I just appear as an honest ignorant twit.

But I digress much earlier than I normally do in a post. I usually try to make one or two relevant points before chasing squirrels with my synapses.