5 most intriguing headlines in my RSS feed today

See if these entice you to click through, too.

Are the Earth’s poles about to flip? – PBS News Hour

Let pigs eat swill and stop wasting precious resources – The Guardian

Comic sans, British officialspeak, and the separation of church and state – Boing Boing

Antarctic volcano – Living on Earth

Monumental Attire wraps downtown Portland in whimsy – The Oregonian

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Let’s do this

I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging for a while now. I have lots of very valid excuses… I’m mama to a toddler, I work full-time, I travel a lot… boring, true but not necessarily the biggest obstacle for writing.

under the hawthorne bridgeFor me, once I’ve been away from something for a while, it always feels deceptively daunting to come back. Yoga, improv theater, knitting have all suffered from this… fear, I guess. All I need to do is just do, right? Instead, I ponder, stress, worry. Instead of doing, I think too much and I feel a weight come over me – I should commit to committing.. I should come back whole-hog, full-force… I can’t just dabble away with a post here and a post there – Which is bunk. Just fear holding me back. Dabbling is titular here!

Months ago, I started drafting this big post. My deep, thoughtful re-emergence in honor of Lilli’s first birthday. It was going beautifully, but as is my weakness, I raised the stakes too high and then kept pushing it off because it wasn’t ever “complete.”

My new year’s resolution (I’ll take the Lunar New Year!) is to dabble as I can. Fleeting, fledging is a-ok. Trite, but true: it’s not about the process, not the product. Today, it is February 23, 2013, not a particularly significant or momentous day. Today, I blogged, goddamit.

The Market

This post is sort of a mini-ode to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market. The last day of the market for the season was this past rainy Saturday. It prompted my first poem in about 20 years and some images taken last week.

Kabocha, pear, bell pepper, onion, chard.
The market air filled thickly, hunting for
our meals. It’s crisp now, autumn giving dare
to cold of winter. Where to go? Inside.


Friday’s A to Z: the "Stinky" Edition

a – agism.
b – black friday.
c – comic sans.
d – “don’t ask, don’t tell.” repeal this already!!!
e – education in this country.
f – feet. stinky feet, literally. blech.
g – glenn beck. there’s even a comprehensive glenn-beck-sucks blog.
h – halitosis.
i – ice cream. actually, i love ice cream, but it stinks that i can’t have it after every meal.
j – jealousy.
k – ken buck. he recently received the douchebag decree over at bitchmedia‘s blog.
l – legalese.
m – model minority myth.
n – neo-nazi’s. my friends at circle a radio did a program about the rise of fascism in portland.
o – outsourced, the tv show. hear our commentary on the next apa compass fri dec 6th.
p – pickles. eew.
q – queer-bashing. aka homophobia.
r – racism.
s – sarah palin. here’s a recent blog from huffington post with leaks from her forthcoming book.
t – trafficking, of humans.
u – unemployment.
v – vermin.
w – war.
x – xenophobia.
y – yanni.
z – zealots. of any kind.

eclosion

I finally had a chance to catch up reading my friend Sarah’s blog avventure. She’s a professional clown who is in Florence as a pedagogical knight (read more about that on her blog) for a brand new international clown school Helikos, founded by her mentor Giovanni Fusetti. Not only is she blogging wonderfully about her own process as a teacher in training and a witness to the “emergence” of a new school, she’s sharing a lovely portrait Florence.

In one of her posts – giocavamo [we have been playing (imperfect)] – she shares one of the teacher’s lessons on LeCoq’s Twenty Movements. The one that resonated with me was “eclosion” or the verb “eclose”

Definition: “Emerge as an insect from the pupa case, or of a larva from the egg.”

I love that essence of emergence. And as a concept for movement… very interesting. I’ll be checking out more LeCoq.

Friday’s A to Z: the "Boundary" Edition

Keeping with a theme from earlier in the week, a list of words from A to Z. I’m working with the loose theme of “boundary,” a little research for possible exploration in improvisation. I actually broke out an old-fashioned printed dictionary book for this one: Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, published in 1990. Wow, it’s hard to believe 1990 was 20 years ago. That’ll have to be a whole other list (the A to Z list of things that makes me feel old)… also consulted my Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus from 1993.

abut vb 1) to touch along a border or with a projecting part; 2a) to terminate at a point of contact b) to lean for support / vt 1) to border on; touch; 2) to cause to abut

boundary n something that indicates or fixes a limit or extent; a bounding or separating line, point, or plane

compass n 1a) boundary, circumference b) a circumscribed space c) range, scope; 2) a curved or roundabout course; 3) a device for determining directions by means of a magnetic needle or group of needles turning freely on a pivot and pointing to the magnetic north

door n 1) a usually swinging or sliding barrier by which an entry is closed and opened, also, a similar part of a piece of furniture; 2) doorway; 3) a means of access

edge n 1a) the cutting side of a blade b) the sharpness of a blade c) penetrating power d) a noticeably harsh or sharp quality; 2a) the line where an object or area begins or ends, border b) the narrow part adjacent to a border c a point near the beginning or the end d) a favorable margin, advantage; 3) a line or line segment that is the intersection of two place faces (as or a pyramid or of two planes

freestyle n a competition in which a contestant uses a style of his choice instead of a specified style

game n 1) activity engaged in for diversion or amusement, play; 2) a procedure or strategy for gaining an end, tactic; 3a) a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other b) organized athletics c0 a situation that involves contest, rivalry, or struggle

husk n 1) a typically dry or membranous outer covering of a seed or fruit; 2a) an outer layer, shell b) an emptied shell, remnant c) a supporting framework

ictus n the recurring stress or beat in a rhythm or metrical series of sounds

jalousie n 1) a blind with adjustable horizontal slats for admitting light and air while excluding sun and rain; 2) a window made of adjustable glass louvers that control ventilation

kern n a part of a typeset letter that projects beyond its side bearings

latchkey n a key to an outside and especially a front door

myopia n 1) a condition in which the visual images come to a focus in front of the retina of the eye resulting in defective vision of distant objects; 2) a lack of foresight or discernment, a narrow view of something

n@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }@font-face { font-family: “Century Gothic”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Century Gothic”; color: black; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }é adj 1) used to indicate the original, former, or legal name of a man; 2) originally or formerly called

obstruction n 1a) an act of obstructing b) the state of being obstructed, especially a condition of being clogged or blocked; 2) something that obstructs

pattern n 1) a form or model proposed for imitation; 2) something designed or used as a model for making things; 3) a model for making a mold into which molten metal is poured to form a casting; 4) an artistic, musical, literary, or mechanical design or form; 5) a natural or chance configuration; 6) a length of fabric sufficient for an article; 6) the distribution of shrapnel, bombs on a target, or shot from a shotgun; 8) a reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person, group, or institution; 9) the flight path prescribed for an airplane that is coming in for a landing; 10) a standard diagram transmitted for testing television circuits 11) discernible coherent system based on the intended interrelationship of component parts; 12) frequent or widespread incidence

quay n a structure built along the bank of a waterway for use as a landing place

regimen n 1a) a systematic plan, especially when designed to improve and maintain the health of a patient 2) a regular course of strenuous training; 2) government, rule

symmetry n 1) balanced proportions; 2) the property of being symmetrical, especially correspondence in size, shape, and relative position of parts on opposite sides of a dividing line or median place or about a center or axis; 3) a rigid motion of a geometric figure that determines a one-to-one mapping onto itself; 4) he property of remaining invariant under certain changes

transparent adj 1a) having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are entirely visible, pellucid b) fine or sheer enough to be seen through, diaphanous; 2a) free from pretense or deceit, frank b) easily detected or seen through, obvious c) readily understood

unbridle vt to free or loose from a bridle, to set loose, free from restraint

village n 1a) a settlement usually larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town b) an incorporated minor municipality; 2) the residents of a village; 3) something suggesting a village; 4) a territorial area having the status of a village

wall vt 1a) to provide, cover with, or surround with or as if with a wall b) to separate by or as if by a wall; 2a) immure b) to close with or as if with a wall

xenophobia n fear and hatred of strangers of foreigners or of anything that is foreign

yielding adj 1) productive; 2) lacking rigidity or stiffness, flexible; 3) disposed to submit or comply

zenith n 1) the point of the celestial sphere that is directly opposite the nadir and vertically above the observer; 2) the highest point reached in the heavens by a celestial body; 3) culminating point, acme

the wonderful world of words

Still NaBloPoMo-ing, though I did take a break on the weekends. I get so caught up in writing these that I need to have that breather. If (or rather when – think positive, right?) I succeed at NaBloPoMo this month with weekends off, the next goal will then be full, daily blog posts. Hooray. Speaking of writing…

I’ve seen and heard a few good wordy things of late.

My friend Rich shared this great post of 20 Awesomely Untranslatable Words from Around The World. My favorites from this list include…

Mamihlapinatapei: Yagan (indigenous language of Tierra del Fuego) – “the wordless, yet meaningful look shared by two people who both desire to initiate something but are both reluctant to start” – perhaps it’s because I’m an improvisor, I recognize this feeling so well; the best improv, though, is to do away with that reluctance part of the equation

Cafuné: Brazilian Portuguese – “The act of tenderly running one’s fingers through someone’s hair.” – that’s just sweet

Duende: Spanish – While originally used to describe a mythical, spritelike entity that possesses humans and creates the feeling of awe of one’s surroundings in nature, its meaning has transitioned into referring to “the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person.” There’s actually a nightclub in the town of La Linea de la Concepcion, where I teach, named after this word. – I love the dark origins of this word, very evocative

On NPR this week, Robert Siegel did a piece (Website Helps Rescue Obscure Words) about savethewords.org, a clever, promo developed by ad company Young and Rubicam for Oxford English Dictionary. You can adopt a word by pledging to use it in everyday conversation. I adopted the word jobler, one who does small jobs. Appropos for an unemployed person, no?

Finally, for the type geeks of you out there here are some of the font blogs I follow. Mostly they go over my head, but I still love gazing at nibs and stems and rhythms of text. Please feel free to suggest others!

I Love Typography

The Grid System
The FontFeed