Monday, July 31, 2006

the monkey tree story

i don't really have much to say tonight so i thought i'd post a ten-minute nonsense story. i'm missing beth at the moment, so it's mostly about her (and me and a tree and a surprise guest). all of the pictures in the story are by matt basinger.

andrew and beth happen to like trees. when the weather's nice, they even climb trees--big, green, sappy trees, sweet smelling apple trees, and even tropical palm trees. however, there is one tree they don't climb. it sits silently outside of andrew's house. the limbs look so inviting, says beth. no, says andrew, remember what the landlord said. andrew leans back in the grass, scratches his chin, and bursts out in a deep bass "you may climb any tree on this lot, but never, no, never, climb the monkey tree."

as they sit and consider the landlord's words, a squirrel tentatively hops from the neighbor's carrot patch toward the tree.

"oh, no," says andrew.
"oh, yes," says beth.

the squirrel leaps from the grass onto the bark--zap! with a sudden flash the squirrel is transformed into a wreaking pile of ash.

"that smells disgusting," says andrew.
"yeah, let's leave," says beth as she wrinkles her nose.

the couple quickly purchases a last-minute deal on and flies to new york city. as the plane lands, they are so overcome by the beauty of the cityscape that they forget all about the monkey tree and the recently deceased squirrel. "look!" cries beth, "it's the brooklyn bridge!"

after they arrive at the airport, andrew and beth scurry to the bridge and begin to kiss (see below). as their lips lock, a smart-looking pedestrian turns and watches. he adjusts his glasses in order to get a better view. "hmmm..." he thinks.

as andrew kisses away, beth suddenly senses that something is amiss. she opens an eye and spots the intelligent looking pedestrian.

beth whispers to andrew, "it's matt."

"what?" he asks mid-kiss.

"it's matt," she says.

"it's me," says matt.

after smiling for awhile, matt takes the couple to his home in morningside heights. "this is my wife, jacinda," he says.

everyone smiles. "we know jacinda!" exclaims the couple happily.

sure enough, it's jacinda. she asks everyone about the kiss and then feeds them bright green salad from a monkey tree.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

back page: play it as it lays

play it as it lays by joan didion

"a dirty depressing book that makes me sad for those who believe in nothing (or even an erroneous something). if i want to read about nothing, i think i prefer virginia woolf."

there's a chance that didion did intendion a reaction very similar to my 2003 post-script. the moral of the story may very well be "don't be dirty, believe in something, and read virginia woolf"--well, probably not that last part--or you too will play the lead part in some depressing book from the '70s. it's the requiem for a dream approach: make it (drugs, self-centered moral corruption, whatever your poison) look cool and then mercilessly mash your characters into the dark night of reality, twist that thing (drug, corruption, etc) 180 degrees so that it destroys the protagonists and everyone she knows. and do it graphically. then anyone who reads your book, sees your movie, or hears your dream will think, "there's no way i'll ever do that."

there's also a chance that didion was just telling a story, a story that i apparently found hopeless and without merit. i shared a bit of this didion dislike over coffee with an old english professor of mine. dr. reinsma stopped mid-sip and stared. he then steered the conversation to other matters. it was as if he dismissed my dismissal as the lunacy of a sleepy, inattentive reader. still, despite ms. didion's motives or dr. reinsma's dissension (which may very well be a misattribution on my part; perhaps the good old prof had a coffee curd caught in his throat or was world-weary and tired of discussing such depressing books), i still recommend leaving as it lays where it lays. if you spot it in the $1 barrel, leave it there, that's where it belongs.

beth the s.o. "the dirty depraved one visits a cracking globe at the united nations" nyc, ny.

by the way, my association between "nothing" and virginia woolf is related to her novel to the lighthouse, in which the book goes on and on and on and on but nothing ever seems to happen. however, i was probably hoping to suggest that the nothingness in va woolf was somehow an acceptable, reading-worthy nothingness.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

the catholic colbert

ack! look at the time! from where i'm sitting it's 12:08am. since i promised a splash of catholic fun, here's a link that you MUST press. i found it on looking closer, a blog by past image artist of the month, jeffrey overstreet. mister overstreet's internet home seems devoted to movie links (i.e., trailers and reviews) and commentary, but every july 17, 2006 he sends readers to mormon 2 catholic. and that's the link of interest. though mormon 2 catholic may be intriguing enough to warrant further study, today's post is more about laughs than life journeys or spiritual quests. and when you need big belly laugh, everyone (who watches cable) knows that you can depend on stephen colbert. on the serious side, the link also includes some interesting quotes from the man behind the laughter, just be sure to watch the video first. and, if that's not serious enough, here's an npr interview with colbert (which i haven't listened to yet).

andrew david "two paintings that remind me of my short-lived career as a junior high painter" moma, nyc.

1. Vasily Kandinsky. (French, born Russia. 1866-1944). Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 3. 1914. Oil on canvas, 64 x 36 1/4" (162.5 x 92.1 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2006 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris; if you're still skimming this citation, let me say again, this painting is just like the masterpiece i created in mrs. barnfather's class!

2. Marc Chagall. (French, born Belarus. 1887-1985). I and the Village. 1911. Oil on canvas, 6' 3 5/8" x 59 5/8" (192.1 x 151.4 cm). Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © 2006 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. the crazy thing is that if, on your very first attempt at finding the name of this painting, you google "painting moma woman milking cow scythe," you will find the painting in question. and, from the looks of it, pages turned may be yet another noteworthy blog; at least there's a ton of stuff on literature. ummm..the colors are weird....sorry....

...if you haven't clicked the link yet, do it now....

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

paintings but little prose

the heat wave has almost passed, so it's nearly safe to venture indoors at night. tomorrow i hope to resume blogging (e.g., i have a fun catholic-themed post in mind), but in the meantime, here are two photographs of georges-pierre seurat's "the channel at gravelines, evening." apparently, the french painter painted this piece in the summer of 1890. he used oils. check out the dots. my name is andrew. suddenly, i write choppy.

andrew david "check out the dots 1 & 2" moma, nyc.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

seattle needs help

last weekend beth and i joined nathan, telia, steve, and trisha at the nurmi cottage on cypress island. it was a lazy weekend. we soaked in the fire-fed hot tub, tempted deer with wheat bread, and ventured guesses about the upcoming seahawks season. and, between us two teachers, one engineer, one editor, one mfa coordinator, and one divinity student turned environmental conservationist, we solved the problems of life: the middle east, the education system, the schism between catholics and lutherans--easy as pie.

unfortunately, our informal council met one week too early. on tuesday, seattle sonics owner (or former owner) howard schultz announced the sale of the seattle super sonics to oklahoma entrepreneur clayton bennet. the general consensus is that this will spell the end of seattle basketball. despite promising seattle a one-year window for negotiating a new lease deal, bennet is well-known for his attempts at wrangling oklahoma city an nba team. pundits guess that clay's rhetoric is most likely a laundry list of sugar-coated lies. so, how to mend chasm between (new) sonics ownership and our tight-fisted seattle council? if only we could convene an emergency session of the cypress island sextet.

okay, this is a bit over dramatic, but to a sports fan, the loss of a home team is a little like the death of a friend. in some (shallow) way it's even worse -- few feel sympathetic for a fan and his (or her) dearly departed sports team, especially in seattle.

i really don't belong here. seattle is a fine city for liberals and zombies, but i'm neither liberal nor zombie. well, perhaps a liberal conservative, but definitely not a zombie. sorry, i should use that 'z' term with more discretion, but i'm a bit overcome by the strength of the anti-sonics. it seems that everywhere i surf, people are shouting 'good riddance!' they sputter the same million dollar logic back at one another, the same nonsense about pro-athlete salaries (yes, a million-a-month is absurd, but protesting dwyane wade's contract is a bit like telling the sun to go down), and the same complaints about the win-loss record. and the funny thing is, i might just be a zombie after all--i really can't shout back. their logic is hardly foolproof, but i'm too stunned to fight. i can't believe they don't care like i do.

i guess we're all zombies in one way or another, but it's funny that i never noticed. why is it that five guys in baggy shorts and tank tops can engineer such ardor? aurora has a prostitution problem, why am i not bothered that everyone just pretends that all is well? as a christian, shouldn't i be bothered by the fact that seattle has one of the lowest church attendance rates in the country? what is it about those guys in green? what does this say about me?

i'm not sure how to answer my questions. as usual, i'll have to think about it. in the meantime, i'll let you read a form letter from the man that's the most important of all of the anti-sonic zombies, city council president nick licata. if you don't recall, he's the man that once proclaimed the sonics to be of no cultural value AT ALL to seattle. anyway, he was kind enough to reply to my email.

and for you one or two folks that share the sonics sadness, here's a site that's attempting to garner support for a sonics future in seattle (or bellevue).

andrew david and mystery employee. "ess-a-bagel bill" nyc, ny. at first bill seemed like your stereotypical new yorker--gruff, and sarcastic. but then a delightful sweetness broke through his rough exterior. in fact, i bet he's a closet seattle sonics fan. anyway, he wanted us to take the 2nd picture and then send it to him. i'm still working on that last part...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

i need help

my boss is writing an editorial that advocates a return to etiology in psychiatric nosology. to some extent (at least an ittly-bitty one--can you say that about an extent? can you have a great BIG extent and then a little mouse fart extent?) that means that i am writing an editorial advocating a return to etiology in psychiatric nosology. fun stuff, eh? not necessarily: scientific writing in my department tends to be rather dry. but after performing a literature survey of psychiatric and genetic journals, i discovered that there's a lot more freedom with editorials. they often tend to be (or try to be) creative or humorous. so, i'm hoping to inject some creativity into debby's editorial. this may a worthless pursuit, but work's been slow, so i have some time on my hands. however, it's been sooooo long that i've done any creative academic writing that i've lost the ability to gauge my own ridiculousness. that is, i've crafted a few possible introduction paragraphs (rough drafts, of course), but i need help determining if they actually work.

if you're willing to contribute some input, click this link or any of the links below and comment away (here or there)!

no metaphor and next paragraphs
algebra metaphor
candy dish metaphor
modest mouse fire metaphor
no modest mouse fire metaphor

Monday, July 17, 2006

find the dude with the yellow coat! note your time in the comments field.

as part of our wim wenders decathlon, beth and i spent this evening eating pancakes and watching million dollar hotel. bono is all over this movie (mr. t------, please remember, that's bah-no, not bo-no); he wrote the screenplay, made the music, and even cameoed. the movie also features a surprisingly harsh performance by mel gibson and a scraggly bunch of mentally ill characters. the lead role belongs to tom-tom, a puck-like 'village-idiot' who flirts curiously, speaks curiously, and hops curiously.

after sharing our thoughts on this unusual film, beth and i began to discuss tomorrow's plans. then, as i was about to propose a run around greenlake, the image of tom-tom suddenly popped into mind. before i could restrain my imagination, our hypothetical run was transformed into a three-mile hopping. and what better way to hop than by matching his-and-her pogo sticks? despite this brilliant plan, i'm afraid that the farthest i've ever pogo-stuck is about four feet. apparently, that's about 23 miles less than the world record.

1. andrew david "magical kingdom" central park, ny. -- in case you can't tell, i tampered with the colors of this photo. i just felt obligated to post at least one picture of central park scenery.
2. "where's waldo" grand central station, ny. -- find the dude with the yellow coat! double-click the picture to enlarge it and then start counting. once you've found waldo, note your time in the comments field. it took me many, many minutes because i didn't know i was looking for him until after i posted the picture.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

five days in review

thursday: watched smoke on the mountain at the taproot theater. the music and acting were great. i'm not sure if the play was hoping to be good-natured and funny, spiritual, or satirical. if you like blue grass, ol' time gospel, and either of those three things motives, go see some smoke.
friday: boated to cypress island (in the san juans)
saturday: hiked to something-or-rather point and hot-tubbed
sunday: out-farmed beth, mr. and mrs. van selus, and mr. and mrs. oines
monday: i am tentatively planning to buy alex a drink in honor of his promotion to executive assistant at dc3

my computer is acting lazy. it's about three keystrokes behind everything that i write. this means an end to the evening's post.

matt basinger. "the solitary subline" nyc, ny.

(by the way, that's me. if i were to guess, i'd say that i'm either considering how a blithe twenty-something-year-old seattlite could best serve the urban dungeons of nyc or i'm posing)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

an update on (some of the) craziness

good news, i found some corroborative evidence for yesterday's post. the bentleys are indeed making a cross-country trek (there are some cool pictures too). and, from the looks of things, paul seems lucid. mark (my roommate, friend of jed), had me thinking that paul's 'west nile virus' had progressed to the more advanced stages, including severe inflammation of the brain and a resulting semi-stupor.

now, speaking of brain inflammation, check out this "cold telephone" poetry--the first one's a mind-bender, but the cartoon haikus are a bit clearer (and funnier, and darker). just in case you're lazy and don't like clicking links, here's a sample (and please excuse the objectionable content, it's not mine...):

mickey mouse
my face is frozen.
i look excited when i
piss myself. i hurt. why the sudden interest in strange poetry from other blogs? well, if my google sleuthing is still spot-on, then i suspect that "mickey mouse" and cold telephones is the resting place of my childhood friend pj's 2003 poetry. and, in case you failed to commit sentence four of yesterday's post to memory, pj happens to be the son of the crazy (yet not entirely taken over by the mind plague of the west nile) wandering bentleys.

here's some more wanderers:

andrew david, andrew david, and
beth the s.o. "romeo and juliet" central park, ny.

is it bad taste to speak lightly of an illness like the west nile virus? especially if paul actually had the virus? and what about 'haikus'? isn't that an odd plural word. it doesn't really work. you lose the ooh. i'm tempted to say "hi, cuz, long time no see." and, speaking of japanese poetry, i continue to despise photoshop (but not enough to convert to gimp--sorry, mark). it took hours and hours of wasted time to isolate the statue in that center picture. so the least that you could do to make my time seem a bit more valuable is to check out his left hand. is romeo being a bit naughty? actually, now that i look at it again...i think that's juliet's hand....okay, enough rambling....

Monday, July 10, 2006

who's crazy? everyone that you know.

i'm not usually a link hound, but i have yet another website to share with you. back when i attended the redmond church of the nazarene (now redwood family church) an evangelist visited our church. his name was reverend paul bentley or pastor paul. he played guitar, told jokes, and had a son, pj, that was about my age. anyway, a few years after the revival, pastor paul briefly settled down and pastored our church. then he ventured north to alaska and then east to idaho. i guess he was something of a preaching nomad, a twentieth century john the baptist or johnny appleseed. one source (my roommate mark's friend jed) claims that while in idaho pastor paul contracted the west nile virus and, due to health problems, was forced to quit preaching (i'm hoping this isn't true; it sounds very sad). in any case, if one believes the internet, pastor paul is pulling a forrest gump--he's going to walk from idaho to florida! what the goose? real people do this? real people that i know go on 3000 mile hikes?

here's another real person that i know; i think she does a bit of walking too:

andrew david 'how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news' nyc, ny.
(by the way, that's jacinda basinger; she's cool, real cool)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

jesus loves porn stars

hey, everyone.

a few years ago i found this online group called at the time i was looking for some free software to block porn. after installing their software, i found that it operates more like spyware than a defense against pornography -- it records ALL of the sites that the computer visits and then emails a bi-weekly report to someone that the user designates as an accountability partner. like any spyware, it seemed to cause minor problems with other programs on my computer, so i uninstalled it.

but i'm still lucky enough to receive email updates. in turns out that the guys at the triple-ex church also run a ministry to folks in the porn industry. yesterday i glanced at their newsletter and found an interesting story about the erotica conference in los angeles. apparently xxx church are distributing bibles with a front cover that reads: "jesus loves porn stars." it's wacky enough that they were featured on abc world news tonight. check it out. let me know what you think.

on to nyc:

andrew david. "coach class sleeper" nyc, ny. this was my best attempt. i couldn't manage to get a sharp shot of sleeping dude sharp when lighted scenery was traveling past our window. also, beth was worried that he might not be the photogenic type; she thought he'd hear the click of my shutter, wake up, and conk me on the head.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

no more free movies

i'm sad to report that my trial period of blockbuster online expires on july 10th. that means no more free movies. but perhaps 'free' isn't the way to go with rentals. that is, i've watched a string of rather disappointing films (listed in order of preference with commentary and approximate 17 point scale rating in parentheses):

1. munich (10 - long; i feel like the film tried to do too much)
2. searching for the wrong-eyed jesus (11 - quirky; this rating is a bit like a blind dart toss toward a bull's eye--i don't exist in a context where the film makes any sense. the film is a documentary of the south that lacks a formal narrative. while it may be particularly fitting that the characters wander in and out of the story, i had difficulty finding the cohesive themes that make the moments relevant. i expect that my rating would improve with a second viewing or after reading some more flannery o'connor)
3. brokeback mountain (10 - i think the movie had some some poignant moments that rescue it from mediocrity, but i really felt the movie was waaaaaaaay tooooooo lonnnnnnng. however realistic it may be to have your lead actors drawl slowly back at one another, it makes for some boring cinema. i'm also surprised that the director couldn't capture the scenery in a more moving fashion. beth and i recently traveled through brokeback territory, and i kinda' feel that any amateur photographer could get the same shots as brokeback's director: it just was never stunning like films 2, 4, and 5 from this list. the renowned film critic sean meichle has argued, to the director's credit, that this may have been a deliberate mirroring of the depressing tale which brokeback mtn encapsulates. still, if you're not going to entertain me with a moving plot, give me something to look at! alas, i find myself thinking that brokeback may be an important film that is unfortunately mostly hype. i could say more, but this was supposed to be brief...)
4. dandelion (9 - strange characters, disjointed plot, pretty flowers. the film is a big blubbery ball of awkwardness. i know i'm falling into the "intentional fallacy," but if the film's awkwardness was unintentional, i feel that it deserves a 5. if it was intentional, an 11 may be more fitting)
5. new world (5 - beautiful scenery, cliche in its attempt to be uncliche, long, boring; beth and i gave up half way through)

if you don't care much about plot, i heartily recommend the last four films. despite my disparaging comments about brokeback, each of these films takes a national geographic-like approach to cinematography. there are beautiful scenes from the backwaters and byways of the south, the rocky mountains, the rolling hills of idaho, and coastal virginia. the problem is just that i wasn't planning on watching the travel channel.

speaking of beautiful scenery, here are some pictures of my puerto vallarta travel companions:

andrew david "girls" puerto vallarta, mexico.