and this shall be the new portrait

not self conscious like i am fat... or i have a pimple on the end of my nose sort of self conscious... but i had the strangest feeling last week one evening as i was walking home from work. i was walking along the park by my house (thanks to walt whitman for having it built - wikipedia link here). anyways, i was walking by the park on my way home, a bag of leftovers from work in my hand which contained a delicious cobb salad and cookie, and my headphones on while i listenned to a radiolab program (which by the way is an unbelievable audio entertaining/educating resource - link here)  anyway, perhaps it was the setting suns angle at that point, combined with my mood and all of the other elements... but for one reason or another i became really conscious of myself; the fact that i live in brooklyn, ny and was 27 and was leading a life completely out of my choosings.  and that this is the only time i will ever be 27 and i'm the only one that really could choose or not choose my daily whereabouts... anyway... it was a comforting feeling and a weird one of  being very conscious of myself.... self conscious.

as i wrote that first paragraph both of my cats joined me at my woodcutting desk on sunday morning. mousetrap has been trying to figure out how to best wiggle himself between my lap and the desk for ultimate relaxation position... and tugboat has been looking at the sky and also trying to walk on my fingers so as to purposely make me misspell things... oh.... now theyre cleaning eachother... uh oh.. now theyre fighting....

ok... back to writing....

so i started this musing a long time ago with a bunch of pictures that i will upload in a few moments. i once uploaded all of them to a musing but it timed out and i didnt have the ability to do it again...but also - some of the text is from last week.... so let's re-hash....


(stepping back to saturday at 230 pm just after thanksgiving)

this musing is coming to you from a few places. it is saturday after thanksgiving, and i was confused once again with travel times. i thought my megabus ride was supposed to come an hour earlier than it actually will. so here i sit in the cosi cafe at the 30th st station in philadelphia looking for some internetting to do to pass the time.

this thanksgiving passed nicely with quality family time and a couple quality friends thrown in there. the biggest bummer of the whole holiday was that fiamma could not join me. i realize that i really like activities that involve her a lot more than activities that don't. so thanksgiving was missing a very special element indeed. that being said, i had a fun time with my immediate family and aunt may and uncle rob at the holiday dinner and then downtown philly where we went out to dinner and a play. dutch and i also got to record some facebreaking music and i got to catch up with brooke mobley and john lisko.

all in all, a pretty good weekend and i am now headed home to see my cats and stretch my legs in my own home.


ok... it stopped there... see how hard it is to write a musing these days? i did however list a few things in those days betwixt that cosi saturday afternoon and this sunday morning that i wish to touch on.

firstly, this week as my boss first came back from his vacation and i saw him in the morning. i approached him and said, "raymond! how was your vacation?"  to which he replied. " i see you got a haircut... i was hoping  you cut your beard".  i at first pawned off the comment and made some dumb joke about being responsible for santa claus role playing this december.... but after a few moments, i realized what a dickhead thing to say that was... you haven't seen someone for a little while, and they ask how your vacation was and you respond by telling them you don't like how their face looks?

secondly, adam hopkins has convinced me recently to join its pretty great and pretty horrible. the concept is you pay $20/mo and get to download 75 songs in that time. that part is great... the horrible part is, i am sort of addicted to obtaining music and also get a little carried away when i am introduced to a new artistic expression... thus leading to me spending too much time and money on music... but perhaps being limited to 75/mo is great because i know i can't ask for more... or could i?.... but seriously though, its great and it is the beginning of the end (i think) to my collecting of actual cds. at this point, i would say i still have more actual physical cds than digital music - but that balance is redistributing itself very much. apparently i have 15,899 songs in my bank of music... thats a lot of music.

recently, some stuff i purchased was the new tenniscoats album which is great. j-po introduced me to those guys about a year ago and i really enjoy their japanesishness. also i purchased some coltrane (the stardust session, the last trane, and live in 1961 with eric dolphy which has a great blue train as pointed out by adam).  in addition to some mr. toby goodshank, i also purchased a dan deacon album and a gogol bordello album.  i feel funny for owning these two albums as i wouldn't say that i loooove the music. but what i do really love is the enthusiasm in the music. its unbridled and its contagious. i strongly suggest if you have a chance to see either of these two bands live, you do it... even if you dont like the music... in the time being... here's a youtube bit of gogol bordello... they claim to be gypsy punks... and i just found out that the main guy eugene hutz was the main character alex in the film of jonathan safran foer's EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED. while i was writing that last paragraph... it started snowing outside... ok... here's the youtube...

of course i have some ties with the eastern european sound.... but really... the music probably wouldn't be my thing at all if not for the enthusiasm in the way its done... it's the same thing that separates john coltrane from most jazz music for me... it was his unending attempts at making music hurt so good. though in his case... he happenned to be a genius to which his particular brand of music was up my aesthetic alley thus putting him on a level that no one can touch.

ok... ,two more things... i saw slumdog millionaire this weekend. it is a great movie. i suggest you the reader to go see it. and also... i wanted to mention (if i haven't already before) that i am proud of my uncanny ability to catch things that are falling. be it a cap from a bottle, or an egg dropping off the counter that i catch on my foot and let it roll to the ground without breaking... i have a weird reaction time and ability when it comes to catching falling things... its automatic so much so, that i fear the day that i accidentally drop some knives and wind up cutting my hand in half in the attempt to catch it.

ok... those were some ferdinand hodler paintings and one  by a guy named lucioni... and here's some longly-awaited pictures from costa rica in no particular order....

aye chihuahua! the river goes over the bridges in costa rica... we drove through though...

here's a picture of a nice day at the los angeles cloud forest

we found a 3-legged dog just like mousetrap...

a pinky sunset at nosara where i first tasted steak with garlic butter... delicious

fiamma and a local

tj and a local

a nice little coconut catching action shot in samara.

ain't she pretty?

here is the samara beach where i tried to outwit some horses... unsuccesfully

here we go... here's a picture of the old guy looking dorky.

a couple of sunsets for those dreamy types who like that sort of thing

here i am attempting my salmon impersonation

here i battle a waterfall (salmon upstream revisited)

and finally, fiamma zipping through mountainous regions...

ok...i promised pictures, and i delivered; albeit 6 months late


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