February 28, 2005 at 3:54 pm
Tomorrow, March 1, 2005, I will begin a new photography project called, threeinthree (3 in 3). Threeinthree entails taking photographs every day during the month of March. Each day, I will choose one subject and shoot it in three different ways (different angles, focal lengths, etc.). At the end of threeinthree I hope to have 93 photographs (three photographs times 31 subjects) that I will assemble into a book.
February 28, 2005 at 3:08 pm
February 28, 2005 at 2:25 pm
By now, some of you may have noticed that this Weblog is missing a bunch of entries and/or comments (half of December, all of January, and almost all of February). I am working on this — I don’t know exactly what is wrong yet, but I do have everything backed-up, so it shouldn’t take too much time to fix (crossing fingers).
Sorry for any inconvenience.
(Almost) everything is fixed now. Enough to make an update to this entry anyway.
February 23, 2005 at 3:26 pm
February 22, 2005 at 4:07 pm
As I have been writing about my grandmother (and here), I have been linking to the Wikipedia entry about Russian Molokans, the form of religion that my grandparents belonged to (my grandmother actually immigrated as a Russian Jew, but married into the tradition). Truthfully, it was surprising to find this link at Wikipedia, but I’m glad it is there. My grandmother is one of the last (if not the last) of the first-generation immigrants in my bloodline. This is almost so sad as to bring me to tears and it’s neat to think that others are out there trying to preserve a history of my past.
February 22, 2005 at 12:08 pm
“Grandma Samoff“ was an artist.
At some point, my grandmother took up oil painting. She painted all sort of still lifes as well as some landscapes. Rarely did her painting contain people. What the paintings did possess was a sort of dark moodiness that always captivated me no matter how well the subject matter was painted.
Grandma’s sense of chiaroscuro was impeccable, even if her proportion and perspective were not. But this one one of her “trademarks” if you could call it that — a whimsical disregard for reality even though a viewer would swear that it was a mistake.
Later in life Grandma had to give up oil painting, but she did not give up her artistic aspirations. Even last year we received a couple of her handmade pressed-flower greeting cards that she so loved to make.
February 20, 2005 at 4:56 pm
Mary Samoff, my grandmother, was a first-generation Russion immigrant. She and some of her family came to America, via Mexico, in the early 1900s. After finding there way to America, they settled in Montebello, California (a quiet, unassuming section of East Los Angeles). There was a large community of Russian Molokans in Montebello, interspersed among the Latinos; though the Russian population is on a decline, there still is a fairly noticeable representation there to this day. “Grandma Samoff” never knew exactly what year she was born in and she didn’t get her green card until she was in her mid-thirties — long after moving to the U.S.
Grandma loved money: money earned, money spent, money won, money lost… But she didn’t take money lightly in any circumstance. In fact, she’d probably argue that she didn’t love money at all — that it was a source of sorrow and grief for most of her life. Growing up as Russians during that time in American history, she and her husband struggled and fought for every penny they earned. Grandpa was a hard man who owned a number of laundry mats in Los Angeles for most of his life. He was in the Navy during the Korean War, worked hard every day of his life, was beaten up during the Watts Riots, and eventually died from lung cancer.
When us grandkids were children, Grandma would throw a bunch of loose change out into the middle of the room, so she could watch us all fight for it. It was survival of the fittest from an early age with her. Grandma was the first to teach us how to gamble too — from poker, to cribbage, to betting on any little thing we did around the back yard.
Grandma and I had a special connection. It seems like we alway got injured in some way around the same time. Whenever we got hurt, we would tell each other about it and laugh about it. Sometimes, the way she revelled in my pain seemed cruel to me, but I know it all came from a place that I would never know: years of hard life and hard work, where pain was the only break you got sometimes.
Grandma never lost her wit. She always had an intensity in her ice-blue eyes that defied age even though her body would not. Her mind was sharp as a tack and she could still beat the best of them at cribbage. Grandma had a fire that not many in this world have.
Grandma was also one of my biggest influences in what what it meant to be a tight-knit family and what it meant to be hosptable… She planned family reunions repeatedly throughout the years and always made coming to her home — or wherever we got together — feel special. Another reunion was planned for this coming July.
My grandma — Mary Samoff — died peacefully, early this morning in her sleep.
I will miss her more than I will ever be able to express here.
February 17, 2005 at 10:35 pm
Several factors make bloggers’ books attractive to agents and editors. “Word-of-mouth buzz is much more valuable than paid advertising,” Lee said. “I think if there’s a reason people come to your site, there’s a built-in audience.”Read the rest here.
Publishers always were happy to have authors who already have a platform, said Hornfischer, who also has started contacting bloggers he enjoys.
(Link via Jason — while in an airport in Chicago no less!)
February 17, 2005 at 09:40 am
This morning, I was hit hard by how the world we live in was created by such a long string of bad decisions; how after the first was made, stopping the rest was impossible.
I’ll try to elaborate on this later.
February 17, 2005 at 08:05 am
I just wanted to thank everyone who left me a “Valentine“ this week.
You’re the best!
(And, though it may be hard to believe, this sap thinks Valentine’s Day is just innocent fun!)
February 15, 2005 at 11:50 pm
February 15, 2005 at 11:32 pm
Lent is starting off very positively. I’d like to say I knew it would, but in all honestly, I could only hope. Last Wednesday evening, some of us from our community got together for a dinner of soup and bread and fellowship. It was a good kick-off to the season. Thursday evening, Bill Wallenbeck led us in some scripture reading and meditation. Friday was my turn to facilitate an hour of Lectio Divina. Because of Valentine’s Day, I didn’t attend last night, but I heard that Jan Mastin did a great job finding some connections in three different scriptures.
Tonight, Deanne Pearson led us in a few moments of quiet solitude and prayer and then transitioned into scripture reading. Tonight’s reading was slightly different, though. Deanne had us read the scripture (today’s Lectionary reading of John 2:13-22) silently and then imagine ourselves in the story. We were to picture ourselves as one of the characters in the story, an onlooker watching the proceedings of the story, or anything that came to mind, really. This is very similar to part of the Lectio Divina reading. After reading, we were to write down what we imagined.
The following story is what I wrote. Interestingly, it ended up having little to do with the actual passage — in fact, it was inspired by the last verse.
February 15, 2005 at 3:27 pm
Thanks to Marco van Hylckama Vlieg for creating a great new Extension for Pivot that changes all of my Weblog’s categories into Tags, recognizable by the likes of Technorati and Flickr. (Also a big thanks to Marco for being patient with me as I tried and failed a couple of times to get it all to work.)
Now, you can click on any of the category names below each of my entries and get a list of all of the entries on this Weblog that are assigned to the same category. Not only that, you can see a list of other websites on the internet that refer to the same category!
On the right, check out the new “Most Popular” section. Here you can find the “top 10” entries on this Weblog, by the amount of comments left.
February 14, 2005 at 12:14 pm
How cool is that?!
I love you, Julianna!
(I don’t even want to eat it, it’s so pretty!)
February 14, 2005 at 08:15 am
I realize that I didn’t make a screaming reappearance after my January hiatus; I’ve never been one for grand entries. But, being that I’m back, I thought I’d be so forward as to ask all of you out there to take a minute to say “hi” to me. I know this is sort of a “trend” in the Blogosphere, but I am really curious. You see, the picture posted here is of the unique visits that this Weblog received last week. And the numbers here (1400 to 1800 unique visitors per day) have been pretty consitant (give or take a few hundred) for the last year now. Even if half of that is from referrer spam, it still means that there are 700 to 900 visitors who either come here via Google, their Blogrolls, or by some other means. Anyway, please answer the questions below so that I can know who you are!
Name: Age: Profession: Location: What’s your “talent”?: How did you find this Blog?: Valentine’s Day… Innocent fun or corporate money-maker?: Does this Blog lack anything of importance?:Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 12, 2005 at 8:42 pm
You might not know this, but I make a mighty damn fine Black and Tan; just the right amount of Bass ale (with the perfect head) under the right amount of Guinness stout (poured over a spoon, of course).
It is my opinion is that the Black and Tan is the best of the mixed beer beverages — in fact, I would probably rather drink a Black and Tan than any singler beer type, save Kansas City’s own, great Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat.
I used to be fairly obsessive about my intake of beers — I own a registered copy of a program called Beer Master, installed on my old Palm Pilot. I haven’t used it in a while now, but it’s got quite an extensive list of beers, personally tasted and rated by some friends of mine and (it goes without saying) yours truly.
These friends and I used to frequent a well-known restaurant in Westlake Village, California called, Jack’s Deli. Jack’s had a menu consisting of over 150 different kinds of beer. I know this isn’t a world record for the most beers on any one menu (I once heard of a restaurant somewhere in the U.S. that touted over 300), but it kept us pretty satisfied for a while — during which, we consumed every single one of them (and most of them are rated in BeerMaster on my Palm Pilot). In fact, we had this great system of remembering which beers we had drunk there: a raggedy old napkin where we drew a make-shift spreadsheet with all of the beer names and X’s under which ones we had drank. (Unfortunately, I lost the napkin a while back.)
This evening, I made a (couple of) Black and Tan(s) and I’m toasting to you, my faithful friends and readers (even all of you lurkers out there), for sticking with me. I wish I could have made one (or, a couple) for you as well.
(Click the picture to see my Black and Tan in its near full-sized splendor.)
February 11, 2005 at 3:24 pm
I’ve always been taught that the word “adam,” the name of the first man on earth, simply meant, “man.” Last Sunday at church, Shayne Wessel, mentioned that “adam” meant “earth.” This got me thinking and led me to some investigation.
February 11, 2005 at 10:52 am
My history with Lent is neither long, nor that interesting, yet I feel like my experiences with it over the last few years have been profoud, spiritually rewarding, and even life-changing. As you can read in my last entry about Lent, I hadn’t even really known what it was all about until a few years ago. I mean, I had heard of it — I knew people gave up something or other in order to give penitence for their sins, etc. But it was all so…Catholic to me. I was ignorant to the fact that Lent wasn’t about being Catholic or about performing ritual. What I really didn’t realize was the fact that what Lent was about was regaining focus.
February 09, 2005 at 8:42 pm
February 09, 2005 at 1:04 pm
Two years ago, Lent 2003, a friend was led to begin a morning ritual called the Monastic Lenten Journey. From 6:30-7:30 every weekday morning, a group of us got together to practice an abridged and altered form Lectio Devina. We would use some of St. Francis‘ teachings with a little St. Ignatius thrown in for good measure. We would journal and discuss our thoughts. We were learning to practice ancient disciplines of solitude…but together.
It was new to me. In fact, Lent (except fot the name) was a pretty new concept to me as well. But this time — this communal, or corporate solitude with other believers — became one of the most spiritually fruitful times I have ever experienced.
When Easter came and went, a few of us decided to continue our journey together. We changed the name of our little get-togethers to Matins (morning prayer) and, until the summer of 2004, there were at least two of us at church from 6:30-7:30 every weekday morning.
This year, Lent is going to be embraced by our entire community in ways that I think the early Matins journey could have only inspired. But now, instead of Matins, we are going to meet for Vespers (evening prayer). This year is also different in that a different person will be facilitating each evening, providing a different take on what it means to practice corporate solitude. I’ll be facilitating Friday evenings.
I am really looking forward to this Lenten season and I pray that it is a journey that moves us all in may ways.
February 09, 2005 at 12:29 pm
If you’ve noticed, the Blogosphere has been all worked-up about Google‘s new project, GoogleMaps... If you haven’t noticed, I’ve had a little GoogleMaps icon/link over there on the right side of this Blog for a little while now.
In any case, GoogleMaps is very cool.
February 07, 2005 at 2:33 pm
I am currently being awestruck by the girl pictured at the right. Kaki King is probably one of the most amazing, innovative, inspired guitarist / musicians I have come across ina very long time — maybe even ever. (Sorry to the person who originally posted a link to her site, but I can’t remember where I found it).
Acoustic guitarist Kaki King honed her unusual fingerstyle technique playing in New York City subway stations. She does amazing things with the simple sitring: she slaps the wood, rubs the strings and hammers her fingers over the frets. In short, she treats her guitar like a percussion instrument, creating a sound that one reviewer describes as “somewhere between funk and flamenco.”
February 07, 2005 at 11:00 am
There are many reasons why I will continue to use NetNewsWire as opposed to all of the other RSS aggregators that are out there…
The biggest reason? It just works — and it works really well. But, as the beta phase of version 2.0 continues (we’ve just hit beta #22!) and the feature-set grows, I just become more and more impressed.
One of the latest features adds Bloglines sync ability. This means that whatever I read in Bloglines will appear as “read” in NetNewsWire and vice versa.
February 03, 2005 at 10:30 am
No, MoveableType isn’t really going anywhere anytime soon… For most people, that is.
For me? It is.
Ever since I converted this Weblog to Pivot, I’ve left a “shadow” of my MoveableType Weblog online. This was just in case there were old Trackback links floating around or if others had linked to certain entries from there Blogs… But, regardless of the consequences, now that I’ve got all of that content in this Weblog, I figure I can put the old one to rest. So, I apologize in advance if anyones old links get screwed up because of this. I didn’t mean to hurt you…or make you cry. If you have any questions about where to find my older entries so that you can update your links, feel free to ask.
Goodbye MoveableType. I loved you — and I still do, really — but I’m on to bigger and better things.
February 02, 2005 at 2:34 pm
I just skimmed the transcripts to last night’s Larry King Live show featuring a group of Time Magazine‘s 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America. I’m not saying it’s worth the read — I’m not a fan of Larry King to begin with and most of the answers given by the “evangelicals” made me dislike them as well.
I thought this was an interesting statement by one of the callers, though:
Good evening, Larry. Good evening to your panel. I would like to preface my comment to Mrs. LaHaye by saying that I highly respect Reverend Jakes and Mr. McLaren because they seem to be the most compassionate, understanding and open-minded of the evangelicals…Let’s hear it for the black guy and the guy on the fringe!
(It sort of makes me feel good about those I’d choose to keep company with.)
Update: See some video “highlights” (really just clips of Brian McLaren, but that’s ok) here.
February 01, 2005 at 12:40 pm
Imagine yourself climbing up, out of an endless, cold, dark cavern. Light is shining dimly ahead, obscured by a few twists and turns. The stone stairs are slick and wet yet your footing becomes more sure the higher you ascend. At the bottom, you felt cold to the bone, but as you come closer to the light above, your body regains a comfortable warmth.
In the beginning there was fear and darkness. But they weren’t created by God and they weren’t good. What lies ahead… Now, that’s good.
The blackend stone walls begin to feel rough and solid, unlike the dank, slimy moss that covered the walls many fathoms down in the casm.
You feel your heart rate speed up in anticipation. You notice that your breath isn’t producing steam anymore. You no longer struggle to keep your balance and sense of bearing. Your hands are warm as you brush the fallen dirt off of your head and shoulders.
Suddenly, you emerge from the darkest cave into light as bright as if the “glory of God illuminated it.” It blinds you only for an instant as you feel the glory of God enfold you.