me and abe

Hello again

I forgot about LiveJournal for a long while, and I'm happy to see you guys are all still here and posting away.
My time is limited these days. I used to keep up with LJ by reading for 2-3 hours every week or so. I haven't done that in months.
In some ways, Facebook has replaced it for my instant-social-connection-gratification (ssshh it's not just dopamine ssshhh). Every time I get on facebook an hour disappears instantly. I cannot keep up with all the things everyone posts on FB, even the short list, as FB only seems to keep about 24 hours worth of posts available on any of the feeds. That's frustrating. There are a small handful of people in my life that I would *like* to read everything they write, but alas the technology is not there yet.
And time! There's never enough. It's always slipping away, but at the same time, you're always getting more of it.
There are things I want to do, and since I can't do them all right now, I do some of them in the future, and then sometimes I get to the future and my time is already taken by these things that I wanted to do in the past (and maybe still want to do, but I don't have as much of a choice now).

I've started blogging at - my goal is once a week, but it's been somewhat less than that.

<3 Benji
me and abe

advice for a journey

From Mark Baumer's blog about walking across the USA:

Got any advice for would-be cross-country trekkers?

Before I began the trip I visited many bookstores and looked at thousands of shelves full of guidebooks on how to walk. I Googled the idea of walking on the internet and came up with 64 million in less than 0.241833 seconds. I did not read a single sentence about how to walk across the United States before I left. Everything and everyone in the world will try to give you advice on any journey you decide to take. I suggest you ignore them all. Let the road take you where it wants you to go. Throw yourself into a trip. Use your common sense. If you try to gather every piece of advice before you leave you will never leave. A journey isn't a journey if you have every footstep planned out.
&#39;my brother&#39;


I think that if pets could talk, they would say that humans have two feet and two mouthpaws.

That is, if you consider that a "mouth" to a cat or dog is their primary tool to interact with the world. They use their mouths to... greet or groom each other, pick things up, move them around and otherwise interact with the physical environment. ("He picked up the plate and turned it over with his mouth.")
Feral Gnome Ranger

corporations as organisms

"But I'd also like to point out that large financial centers in certain cities around the planet are certainly going to kill millions of us by destroying our social safety networks in the name of their imaginary financial efficiency. You're a thousand times more likely to die because of what some urban banker did in 2008 than from what some Afghan-based terrorist did in 2001. "

-- Bruce Sterling interview

If we were to think of corporations as organisms, how could we describe the situation that Sterling is talking about?
&#39;my brother&#39;

A Chewy Lip

a poem by 14-year-old Benji:

A Chewy Lip
[an infatuation] (continuation)

Why must she chew her lip so?
two red drops of flesh.
perfectly formed and positioned,
just so.
that they may part,
the lower disappearing
into a place of thinking.
Why? Why must she chew her lip?
a thin red line of loveliness
which she sucks on timidly
her jaws part and her lip emerges.
glistening, as beauty in the light.
Why? Why do you chew your lip?
Must you continue to tease it?
Nibbling a bit here, and sucking on it there.
Why do you torment me so?
Why must you chew your lip?
Please let me do it for you.


(written for Alicia Silverstone, back when she was the super-hottie in all the Aerosmith videos)
me and abe

how to enjoy an opera

How to enjoy an Opera

A guide for non-opera fans.


  • expect to hear "songs."
    If you're expecting the typical build & release of musical tension, you will be disappointed.
  • expect a deep and/or meaningful plot.
    If it's a tragedy, there will be a betrayal/miscommunication and everyone ends up dead.
    If it's a comedy, there will be a betrayal or two or more, a masquerade/cross-dresser/trickster and everyone ends up married.
  • expect good dialogue.
    It's written to be shouted across a huge room and is often repetitive.
  • expect good acting.
    You're here for the lungs, not the emotion.
  • expect character development.
    The entire story can be related in three paragraphs.


  • appreciate the detailed/creative/bold sets and costumes
  • consider the history/context of the story and/or composer
  • appreciate the "conversational" style of the music (still working on this one myself)
  • appreciate the amazing power/range/skill of the singers
  • get dressed up - it's a fancy affair!
  • read the plot summary ahead of time so you don't have to read the subtitles to understand what's going on
me and abe

tea parties

This whole tea party movement thing is difficult for my brain to assimilate.

On the one hand, I LOVE seeing people getting active in politics and concerned about the way the country is run.
I AGREE that our govenment is systemically corrupt and entrenched powers are obstructing the improveent of that government.

But at the same time, I wonder aren't these the same folks who four years ago were behind The President 100% just because he was The President?
And when it comes to the factuality of what they're talking about and supposedly rallying for/against, some of them clearly have their heads up their asses. How can you complain about taking health care away from senior citizens when the whole point is to make health care more accessible to more people? They say the government shouldn't tell people what to do and not do, but isn't that exactly what our entire legal system is?

What really irks me the most is that this is really just an US versus THEM battle, but no one will admit it. They couch their complaints in supposedly substantive arguments, but when the content of the complaint is analysed, their arguments fall apart. Why don't you just admit that you don't really care what the end result is and that what you really want is just to be right.