Monday, January 25, 2010

hope·ful·ly (hpf-l)

  1. In a hopeful manner.
  2. Usage Problem It is to be hoped: "Marriage is a coming together for better or for worse, hopefully enduring" (William O. Douglas).

Usage Note:
Writers who use
hopefully as a sentence adverb, as in Hopefully the measures will be adopted, should be aware that the usage is unacceptable to many critics, including a large majority of the Usage Panel. It is not easy to explain why critics dislike this use of hopefully. The use is justified by analogy to similar uses of many other adverbs, as inMercifully, the play was brief or Frankly, I have no use for your friend.And though this use of hopefully may have been a vogue word when it first gained currency back in the early 1960s, it has long since lost any hint of jargon or pretentiousness for the general reader. The wide acceptance of the usage reflects popular recognition of its usefulness; there is no precise substitute. Someone who says Hopefully, the treaty will be ratified makes a hopeful prediction about the fate of the treaty, whereas someone who says I hope (or We hope or It is hoped) the treaty will be ratified expresses a bald statement about what is desired. Only the latter could be continued with a clause such as but it isn't likely.·It might have been expected, then, that the initial flurry of objections to hopefullywould have subsided once the usage became well established. Instead, critics appear to have become more adamant in their opposition. In the 1969 Usage Panel survey, 44 percent of the Panel approved the usage, but this dropped to 27 percent in our 1986 survey. (By contrast, 60 percent in the latter survey accepted the comparable use of mercifully in the sentence Mercifully, the game ended before the opponents could add another touchdown to the lopsided score.) It is not the use of sentence adverbs per se that bothers the Panel; rather, the specific use of hopefullyin this way has become a shibboleth.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

my photography class makes me want to cut all my hair off again and run naked into the sea at night.

in a good kind of way.

found these, from more than a year ago, when i went back to visit my old elementary school after they'd closed it down.

Monday, January 18, 2010

ps: blogger, your photocropping SUCKS

so. a couple of early mornings ago i went out onto the bay with my ladyfriend and the rowing team. she yelled at them through a megaphone. i took pictures. or tried to, at least.

it is hard to take pictures of an activity when you dont know what they're doing, if what they're doing is in good form, bad form, or anywhere in between. it is hard to make people look good when you dont know ... what looks good. (that is, if making desirable photographs is your primary goal. honestly, in this case, i'm kind of a whore -- i want to take pictures that people want copies of. it's a pretty straightforward whoredom.)

"get up in their faces, they'd love that," she said. "they never get that. and if you can get them at the catch, that'd be even better."

what the fuck is the "catch"? this mythical "catch"? i'm drowning in jargon -- sculling sweep feather sixes catch three-quarter half-catch launch ...

apparently the bend in the oar is a desirable thing.

among other things.

i dont belong out here but it is 8am and the water is beautiful and everybody's cheeks are flushed with cold.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

these pelicans are straight out of the fucking pleistocene, i swear.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The human armor of bones rattles, fat rolls, and inside this durable, fleshy prison of mine, I make a beeline toward otherness, lightness, or like a moth, toward flame.

Somewhere along the trail I laugh out loud. How shell-like the body seems suddenly -- not fleshy at all, but inhuman and hard. And father up, I step out of my skin though I'm still held fast by something, but what? I don't know.

How foolish the preparations for wilderness trips seem now. We pore over maps, chart our expeditions. We "gear up" at trailheads with pitons and crampons, horsepacks and backpacks, fly rods and cameras, forgetting the meaning of simply going, the mechanics of disburdenment. I look up from these thoughts: a blue heron rises from a gravel bar and glides behind a gray screen of dead trees, appears in an opening where an avalanche downed pines, and lands again on water.

-Gretel Ehrlich, Islands, the Universe, Home

Effectively, the notion of intrinsic, independent existence is incompatible with causation. This is because causation implies contingency and dependence, while anything that possesses independent existence would be immutable and self-enclosed. Everything is composed of dependently related events, of continuously interacting phenomena with no fixed, immutable essence, which are themselves in constantly changing dynamic relations.

-The Dalai Lama, The Universe in a Single Atom

Saturday, January 9, 2010

this morning, i sat alone in a sea of white hair in a theatre in sacramento for five hours, for a live broadcast of richard strauss' der rosenkavalier from the metropolitan opera in new york city. five hours. if you take into account the length of a hypothetical recess and a lunch break, that's only about 45 minutes short of a full day at elementary school. i could fly to new york in less than five hours. susan graham, a mezzo soprano, played the title role and nailed it to the wall. however, despite all the grandeur that accompanies a starring (and lengthy) role at an opulent institution such as the met, she managed to retain an odd kind of homeliness that struck me as more appropriate for a jean-wearing yard duty who consoles seven year olds with skinned knees, and less for a silver-tunic'd and viennese-waltzing trouser part.

my father is in love with susan graham but stayed at home so he could practice the piano.

he was practicing when i came home. he's been taking lessons for a little less than a year now, and at age fifty-eight, is finally developing a crude sense of rhythm. as a child, i remember watching him drive, tapping the side of his thumb against the summer-hot steering wheel. the rolling stones would be playing, but the tapping of his thumb didn't appear to correspond with the music at all. now, for the first time in his life, he can keep a beat, subdivide it into two and three and four if ambition strikes. if he turns to say something to you but leaves the metronome on, it's his way of saying that he's not done practicing yet and that the dialogue is intended to be brief. he'll answer his phone and the metronome will be a steady layer of 80 beats per minute under the one side of his conversation. it's like talking to somebody who is riding a train, and who hasn't decided when they'll disembark.

his enthusiasm reassures me that, even if it is thirty-six years from now, biology will dictate that i find myself returning to the piano, and loving it again.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

the long weekend

(sorry for the brutish writing in this one.)

new years eve. our cultural rebirth. spent with the two most important people from my high school experience ten years after we started high school. one of us is smoking a cigarette, another is drinking covertly from a flask, and the third is covered in tattoos. "what happened to us?"

enough has changed that i dont always recognize myself in photographs these days. thank god for gin and tonic.

new years day. slid down the slide of central california. hung out with my "big sister" and her baby girl who is almost as intrigued by my camera as she is with hers. please note that hers is backwards.

and spent a slightly sunburned afternoon walking around the huntington gardens.

next up was a drive to see this inexhaustible lady who had me kayaking to the next town for coffee in the morning. and hiking, obviously. (twice.)

the next day was significanty more sedate -- boogie boarding and a visit to my little sister at her college campus.

she's growing up and i'm kind of having a hard time adjusting to her as an adult.

this morning the inexhaustible lady and i heard her father grinding coffee even before our alarm clock went off. i was on the road by dawn.

i'm going to be doing this project called 100 strangers, which essentially entails taking portraits of 100 people i dont know. i'm excited.

twenty ten i'm taking hold of you good and strong.