Sunday, April 30, 2006

a pg-13 post [2]

previously on the 17 point scale]
....still, this lazy summer sigh tells me that a newspaper subscription would change all that. beth would walk into my living room and remember...

the conclusion of a pg-13 post, where nothing is revealed or concluded, andrew gets strange and accidentally changes tenses, and the clock strikes 12:30am, causing andrew to say 'crap. time for bed' and 'conclude' today's posting]
...the entry-way to my home would be like a portal to her past. out would flop the sloppy tongue of beth's memory: a panting red lolly pop commissioned to sample each and every tassle of my ugly brown carpet. like the tongue of the world's happiest golden retriever, it would gather clues by licking the lamp, couch, and big screen tv.

indeed, the memory is a biological marvel. take a journey through the swirling mass of neurons to beth's memory command center. 'back in two seconds,' reads a hastily scrawled note on the office door--don't snoop around, this brain-borne tongue could complete a scan of my living room almost instantaneously. still, there's time for quick peek: audio visual equipment (tvs, dvd players, live-feed, etc) lines one wall of the command center while honorary doctorates in deja vu and hodology grace the other. and--slippppshulllgluggglugg--that's the sound of the tongue returning from its fact-finding mission (have you ever heard the sound of a tongue sliding down a hall? seriously, it really would sound something like that). with pen and paper in hand, it plays a quick game of connect the dots, attempting to find meaning in a wild assortment of first impressions. then, momentarily satisfied, it slithers to the synapse machine and taps out a quick command to the rest of the brain: n-o-s-t-a-l-g-i-a. beth sighs...

[to be continued...]

andrew david 'breakfast on the beach I' puerto vallarta, mexico.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

real life gets in the way of blogging

monday - watched 'friends' and built a chair
tuesday - mark and i ran a record 1.6 miles; beth and i built three chairs and a table
wednesday - played basketball, ate at romio's, and talked sex/jobs (that's NOT sex jobs) with nathan; spoke to beth for 27 minutes
thursday - relaxed with mark; went to 'church' at the kangaroo and kiwi
friday - in a homecoming of sorts, beth and i will go out on a double-date (and a half?) dinner with anya and mike at the woodinville las margaritas; perhaps i can convince beth to go for a night swim in cottage lake...
saturday - play tennis (if my thumb heals) and poker (if the crew can be assembled) with skeith
sunday - go to church, finish my pg-13 post

andrew david 'gourmet' yelapa, mexico.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

a pg-13 post [1.5]

[prologue to part two]
thank you everyone. your impatience for the conclusion of this posting has been like peanut butter gnutella for the ego. i don't mind if you spread it thick. still, i'm no charles dickens. i doubt i can handle the stress of writing serial posts like this. ironically, i am paralyzed by your great expectations (i couldn't resist). this condition is compounded by my general ineptitude for endings. don't believe me? check my computer; the final draft of my 2003 travel essay is saved as 'dumbest ending ever.'

sorry for this detour; i know that some of you are antsy to discover beth's fate--what ghostly specter haunts the corners of her mind? will she survive her encounter with the dumpy newspaper-strewn house that andrew calls home?--i understand your anxiety, but aren't you even a little bit curious about that dumb ending?

well, this blog is about me, and i was curious, so i double-clicked the document and scrolled quickly to page eleven. here are the final two sentences:

'like the old tortoise, i finally made it. i’ve been stumbling, bumbling, teetering, and generally miss-stepping from one place to the next, but despite rick steves and in spite of myself, here i am.'

sucky, right? this mawkish attempt at a conclusion is the result of more than a year's worth of brain kneading, or, to quote myself, a year's worth of 'stumbling, bumbling, teetering, and generally miss-stepping ' my way 'from one place to the next.' that's right!--you're witnessing an interactive epiphany--maybe my travel essay is really just a heroic similie, an extended metaphor for the creative process we call writing! though i long ago left this essay for dead, perhaps this emphasis could cause a wild transformation; perhaps there is yet hope for my endings...

(i thought this picture was fitting; i'm taking a break from my story, and wheelbarrow guy is just plain taking a break.)

andrew david 'siesta' yelapa, mexico.

Monday, April 24, 2006

a pg-13 post [1]

in an ideal world, i would subscribe to the seattle times. i would be a vital instrument in the resurrection of print media. i'd have stacks and stacks of papers, everywhere. my paper buying ways would make my girlfriend and her advertising clients very happy.

one day she'd walk into my living room and sigh. it would be a pleasant, homecoming kind of sigh. a (how nice to finally be home for) christmas sigh. i might be tinkering with chords on my goodwill piano or vigorously brushing my teeth as i check espn scores or building oragami barnyard animals in our fashionable kitchen nook, but that sigh would send a lightening bolt through the universe. my piano would squak and die (finally, graciously). that nameless cross between toothpaste and spittle would shower my laptop in neon blue. the barnyard animals would lose their legs.

i'm not being overly dramatic, christmas sighs don't belong here. as you may know, beth and i have been recouping from the gre by watching the second season of 24. the constant battle in this endeavor is between my HUGE tv and her NICE house. i always rally for the tv and beth always rallies for the house. you see, even without the hypothetical newspaper piles, my house is a state-registered bachelor pad, a hop-skotch course of dishes, cookies, and clothes. and brown carpet, ugly brown carpet.

still, this lazy summer sigh tells me that a newspaper subscription would change all that. beth would walk into my living room and remember...

[i'm sleepy, so this is to be continued...]

andrew david 'sunset at the intersection of the present and the prehistoric.' puerto vallarta, mexico.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

a belated easter post

he is risen.

andrew david 'hallelujah! allelulia! amen.' puerto vallarta, mexico.

what's the message in this photo? and who is responsible for conveying that message? is it the sculptor or the photographer?

the sculptor is mute. he lost his voice the moment that someone took the photo. for better or for worse, with the touch of a button, his art became my art. the statue appears smack-dab in the middle of the picture; it's a rather ordinary composition. still, despite the boring arrangement, it was the photographer, not the sculptor, who determined this perspective. it was the photographer who recontextualized the picture by situating it in a blog entry about the resurrection. it was the photographer who redirected your attention from the odd triangle-shaped head to the outstretched, exalting arms.

so, what is this all about? I will tell you what it's about. it's about transformation. there's a miracle here. check out my image(s) from maundy thursday / good friday (april 13). and now jump back to today's image--that's the same statue. maybe i'm overstating the contrast here, but these are two very different images. horror and adoration. pain and praise. it's as if they're three days apart.

i'm the photographer, and i say that triangle man is me. triangle man is us. triangle man is all of humanity. we are triangle man, and we are watching jesus. we are watching crucifixion and resurrection.
we are watching shawshank redemption. we are watching our lord 'crawl through a river of sh*t and come out clean on the other side.'

he is risen indeed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

tomorrow i'll eat pietro's pizza and mint tuxedos

nothing of substance in this post. instead, i responded to comments from beth, whoopee, becky, mari, and chadius (3/9, 3/23, 4/12, 4/13, and 4/18).

here's a little something from my blog cemetery. a few weeks ago, i was going to write a satirical gothic post about dreams, gothic novels, and the gre. i never got around to it. here's my rough, rough, rough draft in poetic form and embedded in a photograph:

GOTHIC by andrew

a dark, cavernous

parking garage

a gre, a feast
i come home
as imaginary spiders

crawl all over me

a bed, and i
drift off to sleep

later i see a spider

andrew david 'not quite a spider but two times as poisonous' yelapa, mexico.

a failed blog entry

a nasty night for blogging. that is, i have some tales to tell, but mark kept me up till midnight. then, by the time that i decided on the next picture to upload, it was 12:15am. so, you'll have to be satisfied with a list:

monday - listen to anne lamott (a renown mother, author, and bush-berater) and pleasantly discuss milosevic's eternal destiny as we (beth and i) dine at the blue bistro (home of adequate food and blessedly intimate ambience)
tuesday - watch 'american dreamz' with beth, nathan, and julie
wednesday - attend a free ts eliot class (message me for more details!)
thursday - run with mark, go to 'church' (sean's pub)
friday -
saturday - work, go to ikea, go see a baby, dine with (a temporarily babyless) jonathan and kim, and watch an improv performance
sunday - keel over in exhaustion as i watch the final 4 episodes of 24's second season

below is an ugly picture of a sunset. the first picture is the original shot. the second picture is the product of several minutes of fruitless photoshopping. here's the deal: when i initially saw this photo, i suddenly thought of a scene from spy games. the film-maker takes libya, a bullet-ridden scene of poverty and chaos, and occasionally interrupts the narrative to give us glimpses of adulterated beauty -- laundry flapping in the wind, a child on a bicycle, a tea house. in the picture below, i was hoping to simulate a similar contrast. somehow i thought that the fiery reflection might serve to accentuate the dull night sky and peeling paint of an otherwise ordinary, not-so-good life.oh, well.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

holy week, days #5 and#6

today was maundy thursday. i thought everyone should know. i hope to reply to comments and continue this post later tonight...


now it's early good friday, about 12:32am, but despite the return of my wayward internet connection, there will be no holy week post. i'm tired and cranky.

for the past hour sirens have been screaming through my neighborhood. this isn't particularly unusual--i live by aurora--except that the sirens have been a mixed chorus of emergency sirens and ordinary car alarms. then, about twenty minutes ago the sirens stopped and a helicopter or two appeared on the scene. they have been circling my block since at least 12:20am. the copter comes so close to my house that i can hear the blades beating the air. it sounds like a high-pitched hybrid of lawn-mower and jet plane. from my bedroom window, the helicopter looks like a bright-eyed christmas wraith. its shadowy paint job makes all but the red and green navigation lights fade ominously into the night sky. curious, i roll out of my toasty bed and out onto the chilly porch. the street looks dark...and normal. the helicopter makes another approach. at first i thought that it must be nothing, but now i'm a little worried. i retreat back to my bed and double-lock the door.

it's 12:57am. a few weeks worth of watching the hit tv series '24' has all kinds of crazy theories buzzing through my brain. i check out the local news stations -- just your standard fare: shootings over shoes, car accidents, rapists and a kidnappers loose on the streets. whoah. i briefly entertain the thought of calling beth and telling her to be on guard. then i think, 'it's nearly 1am, she'll be asleep,' and 'then she'll be needlessly paranoid for weeks,' and 'heck, i doubt she could be sleeping with this racket. she'll probably in her living room waiting out the excitement by groggily sipping english breakfast tea with her roommates. agg. the motion-sensing light outside my window just turned on...uh-oh.....

andrew david '?' puerto vallarta, mexico - first off, the middle picture is the original (i made a few minor adjustments, but that's what the photo subject really looked like) and the washed-out versions are photoshop creations. second, i'm not quite sure what to call this...depending upon the context i think several themes could offer appropriate titles: christ's crucifixion (or in this trio of pics, the crucifixion of christ AND the two thieves), a horrible ending to this evening's random helicopter fly-bys, or something more general like laughing, singing, screaming, yawning, anger...i'm not sure, i was actually planning to write an entire entry on this, but some knucklehead's heli-joyride got in the way.

okay, it's 1:06am. and just like that, the helicopter is gone. all is quiet. good night.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

a recipe

that is, a list of ingredients that should constitute the return of fun in this post-gre world:

1. hiking {i need hiking buddies}
2. reading {i'm currently reading annie dillard's pilgrim at tinker creek, raymond carver's cathedral, and, if i get a sudden burst of gusto, the last half of tolstoy's anna karenina. however, i'd like to be reading kafka's metamorphosis and thomas mann's the magic mountain.}
3. pianoing {i think i need some new music}
4. cleaning {my camera}
5. blogging {i've run dry. i have little to say at the moment. that's why i've resorted to posting lists and one-sentence book reviews.}
6. sporting {need sports buddies}
7. movieing {no more jane austen/edith wharton movies for awhile}
8. ?
9. ?

andrew david 'and at chad's request, cut two avocados in half, slice and bandange your fingers, remove the avocado seeds and skin, drizzle pulp with lemon juice, and then mash it together with chopped yellow bell pepper, minced cilantro, and jalapenos' puerto vallarta, mexico.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

back page: albert camus & bruce chatwin

an even more abbreviated version
(and please note that the title of this post consists of author names rather than book titles)

4/78 the plague (albert camus) - guest reviewer: hubbert
in the face of absurdity, how do men act? the doctor: fight the absurdity of being a healer. grand: the sentence.

ca. 2/2/01 the plague (albert camus) - alright. i'm back.
a dark, thought rendering book set forth in typical camus style. [random relevant camus quote: 'they had become allergic to hope']

ca 12/00 caligula and three other plays (albert camus)
strange....ah, yes, camus.

9/16/02 the stranger (albert camus)
crazy. finds hope in hopelessness. i wonder what happens to the stranger...

5/22/02 oldfield park, bath, england in patagonia (bruce chatwin)
hmm...I'll have to think on this (and meanwhile visit patagonia)....he [chatwin] finds amazing intrigue [and, as i note elsewhere in the book, ridiculousness and sadness] in stories that might otherwise seem boring archaeology

andrew david 'the jungle saint' puerto vallarta, mexico.

our daily bread

i suck at devoting time to bible study. its such a big book that it seems a little like reading anna karenina* on steroids. if you're reading in bed, you constantly have to devise new ways of propping the book open -- it's tough. like the norton anthology of fill-in-the-blank literature, its not something you do for fun. i should, but i don't.

i want fiction.

i want poetic prose.

i want metaphors and suspense.

i love reading books that allude to biblical stories or that manage to convey biblical truth so subtley that our postmodern world passes right by the reference. as the kings of convenience say, this 'love comes like--surprise!--ice on the water' (my punctuation and out of context insertion, not theirs). that is, i'm often moved by these allusions, but i half think it's because they're unexpected, like blessings which i did not seek.

so, as pastor richard might say, that leaves me sucking slop at the mouth of the columbia. sure, i get some fine h2o here and there, but i also have to contend with chemicals, household waste, and 1,152 miles of unknown nastiness.

i think that moms have a 6th sense about these kinds of things, so mine shoved me toward the source. she sent me a free subscription to our daily bread, a poor, time-crunched, mainline protestant's version of the book of common prayer. so, like a dutifully bored and thirsty son, i've been using these daily devotionals. each entry includes a verse, a half-page of commentary that alternates between cheese and insight, and--drumroll please, here comes the real reason for this blog entry--a closing poem.

a few nights ago i was pleasantly pondering the application of paul's command to 'live peacably with all men,' perhaps i was even praying, when i came across the
abcb rhyme scheme of the final four lines. maybe the devil was in that rhyme, because i was suddenly ripped from the realm of the spiritual into the charcoal sky of the literary gre. there i was thinking, 'what kind of stanza uses an abcb rhyme scheme?'

a ballad.


so, read your bibles little lasses and laddies and whatever you do, beware of the literature gre. it will warp your every perception, sidetrack your studies, and make your blog messy. remember, friends don't let friends gre.

andrew david 'a new kind of accomodation' puerto vallarta, mexico.

*from my perspective, tolstoy is 0/2. i disliked the death of ivan ilyich and i doubt i'm going to finish anna k.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

you think i'm weird now? check this out (three)

an excerpt from the notebooks of andrew and hakeem
somewhere around paragraphs 3-4 of page 33
i wrote this ca. 1995

Finally, with a snarl of determination, the chicken flung himself to his feet, only to slip in the bothersome gravy and land flat on his back.

'chirrrrp...chirrrp....' he sounded the ancient call dating back to the days of the roman anarchy [?] (chirp was the universal display of anger for chickens everywhere in the days of old, it became a requirement after augustus caesar was shot in the head with a stray bullet from a small handheld musket [?]) and then righted himself. what he saw before him was what seemed to be a much older, dirtier, and less healthy rendition of bruce lee but with eyes sealed shut.

the old man felt, rather than saw, a spark of intelligence kindle in the beast. again he introduced himself, 'i am bruce lee and you are a chicken named goliath. this is my humble abode. would you like something to eat and some clothes?' the beast nodded. the old man did a triple-axle mid-air somersault and a roundhouse-flip-kick and was back in a flash. the man offerred the chicken a small head of cabbage dipped in gravy, a package of instant hormell chili capsules, and a gravy-coated robin suit.

'cooo...cooooo...' came the chicken's icy response....

[to be continued...and i apologize for the nonsensical parenthetical comments. i was in junior high, give me a break...]

andrew david 'why can't the dudes on the dock move a bit to the south and enjoy the sunset?' puerto vallarta, mexico.

Monday, April 03, 2006

beth says, "our brains are dead"

i'm back. after five months of brow-bruising studying, i have returned. the long winter of the literature gre has ended and easter is right around the corner.

everyone asks 'so how was it?' or 'how did you do?' that's like asking a pasty-white photodermatosic how to get to the beach. beyond saying 'try heading west' or 'ask that guy over, not him. the one in the blue speedo,' there's little else to say. in my case, (the beach is 20 blocks west on 85th; just follow it until you get to the water. and why am i wearing this speedo?) i expect a score somewhere in the upper 50th percentile. that means i anticipate a score that ranges anywhere from just a little worse than okay to AMAZING!

unfortunately, ETS isn't a fast-food chain. like the rest of the test-taking industry, their scan-tron machines were designed by 18th century comedians who thought that a six week turnaround might be a funny final blow to the likes of beth and me^.
so now begins the wait. ordinarily, this might prove quite troubling me, but after

170 dollars,
5 months of studying,
414 note cards,
470* authors,
and 782* works,

a six week waiting period seems like little more than a st. patty's day pinch. it'll be a breeze. after all, i have my new life to keep me company!

^ this sounds funny, but i'm pretty certain it's a 'me' rather than an 'i.' still, the 'i' would sound better...
* i randomly sampled a little under 11% of the 414 note cards (n=45) and found 85 works and 51 authors. the figures provided above are therefore only an extrapolation based upon this smaller sample...
! just to clarify, by 'new life' i don't mean a baby. i was just hoping to emphasize my new found freedom.