Saturday, January 21, 2006

good times ahead?

went to the coffee shop that advertised a desire for barristas. it turned out to be kudo bean, a hip joint that serves to just the right crowd. and the other barristas seem like fun people... i imagine i'd fit in just fine. here's hoping they call me. and pay a lot of money.

i also stopped by jimmy's beerhall and rathskellar, as they expressed intrest in hiring someone for dishwashing. they asked me to be a dish runner this evening, just show up around 7:30/8p. at least it will give me something to do. the compensation may or may not work out to much, i'll have to wait and see, but essentially amounts to a $30 shift pay for showing up and a cut of the waitresses' tips. i figure if i make $50, that's still better than sitting around feeling bored. plus the people seemed interesting and jimmy strikes me as a good guy to know. then again, i'm always so optimistic when i have to be, right?

Friday, January 20, 2006

back in nyc

been looking for a job lately. not a fun adventure, but i did make it in to see the nice folks at another temp agency, hoping they can help me out. after completing all their paper work and rocking their tests, i asked, 'how quickly can you find me something?' i was told, amongst other things, that i should 'just pray.' that doesn't inspire much confidence. i had also corresponded with a great coffee shop right here in the east village, who seemed somewhat interested in hiring more help. after visiting, they still seem interested, but not eager to flood their staff with another barrista. *sigh* what's a boy to do? i'm getting impatient and i really need to have some cash flow for the finances. maybe praying is my only option.

i took a new route to the grocery store last night and saw a sign looking for help at another, less hip looking cafe nearby. maybe they can help me. i'm eager to find out, but i'm so loathe to even change out of my pajama's to go find out. still, it must be. wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

the kitchen project

below are pictures of the kitchen, freshly painted and with brand new hardware (now the doors shut by themselves, as if by magic—but really by ingenious little springs). depending on your monitor settings, you may not pick up on the subtlety of the ecru-ish wall color, which I assure you is far more sexy and sophisticated than white. the trim color didn't turn out as melissa and i had envisioned... we anticipated a much darker brown. still, it works well with the natural wood tones of the butcher block and pot rack. i think it lightens up the kitchen, much like sunshine.






Saturday, January 14, 2006

god was an early riser

woke up early this morning to take melissa to the espresso royale cafe this morning so that she could open and i could sit around and read and get caffeinated. its the third time, perhaps, that i've done this since coming to michigan. i really like it... getting up early never really bothered me all that much. wasn't too long ago that i was opening this same coffee shop. then, having to incorporate it into my daily schedule could get exhausting, but taking melissa in has been like a dream. i rather like the early start on the day. watching the world wake up makes me feel a little like a god, who has been here from the beginning, the very burgeoning of the day. the coffee and laid back atmosphere helps a lot, too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant

George Lakoff's book Don't Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate might have a second subtitle: 'Why Progressives in America Suck and How They Might Win'. Sometimes the best way to show how much you care about something is through careful criticism, which is where we find Lakoff in relation to the progressive movement. What I appreciate most about his effort is that he takes conservatives seriously and attempts to recognize not only what conservatives have done so well but where the progressives have failed miserably; namely, in the articulation of its values and unification around common principles. Lakoff certainly believes that progressive principles are vastly superior to conservative principles, the problem is that they aren't articulated and so fail to be understood. That is the failure of the progressive movement—its inability to think in terms of values.

For conservatives, Lakoff shows that these values revolve around what he has termed a 'strict father morality' in which we imagine the nation as a family with the government as the strict father who rewards good, self-interested behavior with financial success and bad behavior with economic ostricism, amongst other consequences. Progressives might borrow the 'nation as family' metaphor but focus instead upon values that come from a different family model; the 'nurturant parent' model. Here, the standard for government is its ability to nurture its citizens and allow them to thrive. Lakoff provides a clear articulation of the values and principles stemming from this nuturing family model.

Where I might have cast liberals as largely a bunch of reactive political nay-sayers, Lakoff shows his commitment to progressive values by recognizing the need for a positive assertion of values. Thats novel enough, it seems, but what might be lauded about Lakoff's effort is how well he is able to do it, with an eye toward strategy and a recognition of our tendency to think in metaphor.

I think Lakoff's book is a wonderful and easy read that should be more influential on progressive thought, especially moving into future elections. The success of the democrats might just depend upon it. Either way, I'd recommend this book not only for those interested in politics in the US, but those who might typically avoid the political realm because of its polarizing tendencies. Without denegrating into being just a political funny man, Lakoff is a breath of fresh air who should be taken seriously and read widely in the US political circuit, even if he won't make you laugh.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

this is how we do it... in east lansing

post holidays and i am unwinding in good ol' east lansing. well, unwinding might be misleading, especially considering i wasn't very 'wound' when i got here... the holidays are cool like that. since i got here on tuesday, i nearly killed myself while repairing a defective light switch at jim's house. sparks flew, pops were heard, and my life flashed before my eyes. then i turned off the *correct* breaker and saved myself from future scares. that was great, especially since the kitchen now glows as it ought to. now i must begin the process of repainting the kitchen. it seems like a lot of work, but i keep imagining how beautiful it will look when i finish and that keeps me interested in the job. that and praise. i like praise.

last night i watched eddie izzard's glorious and laughed until my gut ached and tears welled up in my eyes. i woke up this morning to a lightly falling snow. got dressed and walked to the coffee shop and chatted with paul. i thought about moving back to east lansing... at some points of my prior stay here, i would have bemoaned the thought. i was a different person then. plus i had hopes that i've found to be, well, not exactly fulfilled. but hopes can be unfulfilled without leaving a person feeling void and empty. dashed hopes can remind a person what was more important and what he was capable of. plus, dashed hopes can be transferred to new and better dreams and imaginations.

i find myself missing new york at times. i both dread and eagerly await returning. its a strange kind of disposition to have.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

so broke... and other musings

i'm so broke these days. my relationships couldn't be richer, or more vibrant, but i fear that i will eventually sell my body and soul to god or satan or someone who will destroy it. that will be the end of any riches, figurative or tangible. why do bad things happen to good people, or maybe, how do i work myself out of this hole? the world just ain't fair. but sometimes i can laugh... i shout 'da capo!'—back to the beginning... i'll make the mistakes all over again... anything less would be ungrateful to my present, to my past and future. i will triumph... but how? somehow. anyhow. a little self-flagellation and depravation would certainly be in order....to the development of the false ascetic.
...
I've been reading Walter Kaufmann's Critique of Religion and Philosophy. Good stuff. Kaufmann first came to my attention as the great translator of Nietzsche's works. This is what really attracted me to this book, this great Nietzsche scholar writing on Philosophy and Religion, perhaps two of the most important topics anyone interested in truth can attempt to tackle. At this point, I can really only comment on Kaufmann's critique of philosophy, which he sees through the division between analytic and existential thinking—what might today be reduced to analytic/British philosophy and Continental/19th & 20th Century European Philosophy. For him, both modes of thought are lacking each other in philosophy today. The existentialist lacks the thrust of analysis that would enable her to better understand experience, while the analytic lacks touch with what the human actually experiences and so risks being irrelevant.

I think the book attempts to be a critique in the Kantian sense, exploring the limitations and possibilities of philosophy and religion. So at least immediately, though it does attempt criticism in both these fields, the criticism is within the framework of what is possible for these two fields of knowledge. An interesting idea, that explores the nature of belief and possibilities of knowledge. Or at least, this might be one way of looking at what is at work here.
...
So reading is sometimes able to distract me from concerns regarding the sustainability of material comforts. But how long will that last? Hopefully just long enough for me to find a million dollars and all the time in the world. Anything less than that will certainly be closer to reality. But something will work out. It has to. What are my options? Death, destruction, failure? FUCK NO! Not today, thank you kindly.