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April 25, 2006

some nights

Some nights I take care of my morning self. I clean up for him and set out the coffee all nice. The grinder is full, the filter is in the holder, the jar is clean. I make nice lists of what to start on, with the most important thing at the top. I get all the easy emails out of the way for him so there's not so many.

Some nights I make a mess in the kitchen and leave him to fend for himself when he's weak and defenseless. I leave every surface dirty. I lump into bed tired and unmeditated and still can't get to sleep. When is that Neko Case song going to get out of my head?

The Lion's Jaws

You're gone, the trees are so quiet
When your hand was in my pocket
How they swayed from side to side
Now the meddling sky and my snowy eye
Sees a different night

The night I fell into the lion's jaws
To my regret and your delight

Those teeth themselves could not divine
Nor their pressure estimate
The haze I wish to never break
And to never contemplate

Momentum for the sake of momentum
Momentum for the sake of momentum
Of momentum

(sure, you can listen, if you think it will help)

What the hell does that song mean? Why the hell can't I sleep? Can't someone come over at 2 a.m. and massage me?

April 24, 2006

a sweet weekend

It was a sweet weekend with some sweet friends. I took some sweet pictures.

First, on Friday night, I did a massage trade and then went out bowling with Chris, Beth and Scott. Scott messed up his leg playing softball over the weekend and had to limp up to bowl. Sadly, he kicked all our asses:


Then, on Saturday, I mellowed out, wrote some rhymes for my party, and went to a potluck. I wanted to make something cool, so I made this polish soup called Chlodnik. It's a creamy beet soup that you eat room temp, with a garnish of radishes, carrots, scallions, dill and hard boiled eggs.

Then Sunday, I walked around Capitol Hill and took photos, including this photo of the coolest graffiti I've seen in a while:


Later I went out and had the most lovely picnic in recent memory and hung out with some sweet pretty friends. I'm happy I have such good friends. I needed them this weekend and they totally came through for me.


April 23, 2006

my new affiliation


Wait until you see the website.

April 22, 2006

bad news on 4/20

Well, it's bad news for stoners and Chemo patients everywhere as the FDA says:

No sound scientific studies supported medical use of marijuana for treatment in the United States, and no animal or human data supported the safety or efficacy of marijuana for general medical use. There are alternative FDA-approved medications in existence for treatment of many of the proposed uses of smoked marijuana.

I was curious if anyone had anything interesting to say about it in the media, and I think that Scientific American's article and The New York Times article are the best. The Scientific American article is actually pretty funny too.

For instance, I didn't realize (from the Scientific American article) that the National Institute of Drug Abuse grows one big field of substandard weed, and if you want some for research purposes you have to use the NIDA's ditchweed. Lame. It's a certain stoner lore that the government actually grows some incredible stuff.

Well, maybe they do. But they're not sharing with the scientists.

April 21, 2006

what i'm looking at on the internet lately roundup

In no particular order:

Pandora - Most people already know about Pandora, but if you're one of the holdouts, then check it out immediately. It's an internet radio station run by The Music Genome Project that plays music that's "genetically" like the music you already like. Cool flash-based player.

Pixoh - Don't have photoshop, but you need to make a LiveJournal thumbnail image, or crop and adjust a photo to send in email? Upload it to Pixoh and get a pretty amazing set of image editing features right in your web browser.

The Falling Sand Game - This curious little java applet has entranced me, Zan's 8-year old kid, and about a third of the internet. It's not a game, it's a toy. Make up your own puzzle and then solve it. Watch time pass before your eyes as the sand, salt, water and oil fall right before your eyes. (More about falling sand for the truly obsessed.)

Writely - Writely is a cool word processor that runs in a web page. There's other ones, but this one imports and exports word documents, pdf's and other formats. It's also lightweight and pretty. Unfortunately, Google bought it, and it's in closed beta now while Google works its magic hoo-ha on it. There's others, but I haven't found one as cool as writely. The others are: Writeboard, AJAXWrite, GOffice, WideWord, ZohoWriter.

LifeHacker - This is a blog about lifehacks. A lifehack is basically a "hack" for some problem or frustration in life, or a way to streamline your workflow in life. Lifehacker is a pretty high-volume blog, and in any given day you're almost sure to find something useful or interesting.

Damn Interesting - Speaking of interesting, this is a consitantly interesting blog that finds scientific or historical factoids and presents them in quite a compelling way.

Ta-Da List - I now use Ta-Da list as a part of my everyday workflow. It's indespensable for me, since I usually have about 4 web projects going at a time with about a dozen discrete tasks each. Ta-Da list couldn't be simpler. It's just a web-based to-do list. You add items, you reorder items, you check items off on a list. But somehow having a collection of to-do lists I can access from anywhere and easily edit is making my life a lot more efficient.

MySpace - Bitch about MySpace if you want, but right now every web company except Google wants to trump MySpace. Why? Because whatever flaws it has, it has the critical mass of real people. Go and try searching for your 10 best friends. I bet you find quite a few. They're on MySpace, which makes it a great tool for finding your friends, finding chicks, finding a job, finding new avenues to get spammed and finding...whatever you want.

Biznik - The tagline of BizNik is, "Business Networking that doesn't suck." and as far as I can tell, it's true. It's one of the most innovative web/real life concepts that I'm actively involved in. If you're a microbusiness, I think it's genuinely useful to be a BizNik member.

April 18, 2006

the pool of weirdness

Andy Dunloy came over the other day. He smiled at me and said, "We're doing the devil's work tonight."

I raised an eyebrow.

"I need you to help me go to a couple of jobsites and get some stuff."

"Well Andy, I'm on retreat, so I need to be a little more careful than I normally would about stealing."

"Well," he said, "can you just sit in the car?"

"Well, I don't want to come if you're taking anything of value...I'm not going to be involved if you're grabbing nice lumber or something. We need to be sensitive to that."

He smiled, "Do I look like someone who's not sensitive? I just need some scraps to build some shelving with."

It's true. He is, and he was. We talked for a little while longer and asked what we were working on. He's been doing sales work for Greenlake Jewelry Works. He's gonna run that place some day.

I told him about how I've been involved with doing contact improvisational dance.

"You see, you just come up on someone like this," I came up and began to demonstrate as he looked at me strangely, "and then you just spontaneously move against them and they do the same thing. A whole roomful of people doing this. It's fun. And athletic."

He thought about it for awhile. "Man, Daniel, where do you come up with stuff like this?"

"Uhhh, it's just out of the general Daniel Talsky Pool of Weirdness ™."

He opened the door to walk to the car.

"How vast that pool must be."

brenda belcher

I expressed my fandom to lovely folk music singer Brenda Belcher the other day by inviting her over for a morning of "Let's get it together and put up a website for you". May I announce the album site of her new album, Another Autumn Day.

When I have a simple concept and the will, I can really get a site up quickly.

One note, Brenda is going to be selling her CD online in short order, so please note that the previous $5 CD deal has been rescinded. If you'd like to hear more than the 3 tracks on her site, please support this local artist and purchase her CD online once she makes it available.

April 17, 2006

1/2 of retreat (the first half)

So, 15 days of my little retreat. I'm just here to report from Fortress Talsky and talk about how it's going in here.

First of all, I'm paying the bills. So far I've been able to hustle work and keep on task well enough to get paid decent. A trip to Ireland? A little 150cc scooter? Health insurance? All these luxuries could be within my grasp this year!

I've been meditating. I've been observing my ethical disciplines. Mostly.


Have I been meditating every morning and every night before I go to bed? No. Most mornings. I start the coffee water and grind the beans and then I meditate until the electric water pot clicks. That's a big improvement for me. It's really hard for me to meditate in the morning. I don't know if it helps. It seems to. I feel like less of a jerk or something.

Except I bitched out saltcellar about something stupid and that was pretty jerky. That's pretty mild for me though. And at night...I usually manage to sit. Sometimes not. Tonight I'm going to, just to start the second half of the retreat off right.

Have I been faithfully going to meditation church on wednesday nights? Yes. That's been good. Although I did get this one cute meditation girl's email address. I hope that doesn't invalidate the meditation. Hehehehe.


Have I refrained from stealing? Yes. But I did go help the newly married Andrew Dunloy take scrap lumber from a jobsite in the middle of the night with flashlights. We did make sure we didn't take anything that looked usable and wasn't in a scrap pile though. I think we did okay. Me and Andy are good boys.


Have I refrained from indulging in intoxicants? Yes. But I did drink wine for Josh's seder two nights ago. It was part of the ceremony and I didn't feel like it was indulging. (There was also a shot of single-malt highland scotch though, and I don't know if that was technically part of the seder ceremony but let's say it was.) The seder was really amazing...I wish Josh had a website or something for his cool "plain english" Jewish teachings and outreach. It's pretty cool the way he explains it. Even the shiksas could understand.

This has actually been one of the nicest parts of the retreat. It makes life a little less expensive. And it's easier to get things done in the evening. I can go out partying and then come home at 11:30pm and work still if I feel like it. I don't know if it's helped my meditation but maybe it has. It's been mostly fun, actually. I've discovered I'm actually just as off the hook at parties even stone cold sober.

I actually bartended at Cara's cocktail party and was the sober one. Now I know why bartenders don't drink. Because people like to give the bartender a hard time and crack jokes and think they're real funny. But they're drunk. And the bartender is sober. So guess who gets in the last zinger 90% of the time? I get it now.


Did I refrain from lying? Yeah. I did good. I was pretty mindful of this.

sexual misconduct

Yeah yeah. This is the hardest one of course. I tightened up the ship, but let's just say I went to the next level on this one. Sexual conduct is pretty subtle, and there were a couple of times I wondered if I had lived up to the highest standard.

the next half

Well, nothing to do for it but keep on chugging. Usually friends of mine find out about it when I tell them I'm not drinking or anything and they think it's all about that. It's really not. The ethical disciplines I try to do anyway. I'm just trying to step up my awareness of these things yet one notch higher and really pay attention to what I'm doing in my life.

I was going through some periods of real hopelessness and sadness for awhile there and felt like the walking wounded. It seems to be abating a bit, and I have a better handle on trying to run this life with humility and grace. I think. For the moment.

It's been a beautiful time for me, and it's been nice to have a virtuous focal point for my existance.

April 13, 2006

rhymin' and stealin'

For those who didn't get an invite (because I don't have your Email address or because you're a big pain in my ass, one of the two), this is the invite to my birthday party on May 6th. If you want to be added to the Evite and RSVP officially (which I'd like, if you plan to come), then just email me (danieltalsky@gmail.com)

rhyminlogotinyblog.gif I am throwing myself
a birthday party, and it's a Saturday.

It's low frills chilling out...I just want all my old peeps, new peeps and medium peeps around me so I can celebrate my life. My birthday party is on the 9th, and my friend Jacob's is on the 3rd, so we're doubling the fun.

The name of the party is "Rhymin' and Stealin'" after the Beastie Boys song of the same name.

Some people have expressed concern about the stealing kisses part, so PLEASE read the FAQ.

There's two parts to the party:

Part I: Mellow BBQ / Housewarming (rated G) : 3 - 9pm
Part II: Rhymin' and Stealin'! (rated PG-13) : 9pm - passout am

Finally, we'll party until it doesn't seem like a party anymore. If you want to crash you're welcome, but you'd probably better bring a sleeping bag.

I beg you to read the FAQ for an exhaustive breakdown of the spirit of the party:

April 4, 2006

my only drugs are tortellini and mfk fisher

On April Fools day I started a little mini-partial-in-house-personal-retreat for the whole month and I had a wonderful day with some sweet new friends romping about discovery park and other places. We had a wishing rock (which evidently is any rock with a little circle vein of rock that goes all the way around the rock but this was a special one). I made a bunch of wishes for my retreat and life, and in fact I had so many wishes that I had to have a second turn at the rock. We all wished on it and then Michal threw it into the sea. Right as she did a spray of water jetted up and splooshed us and we knew all our wishes would be granted. Hoorah!

What does a m.p.i.h.p.r look like? (you might ask) I meditate for a moment every morning and every night. I go to a longer meditation once a week with my man Nate, which I do anyway, but also doing more personal practice. I'm just making every day it's own special thing. Plus...now that I work at home I can stop and take little meditation breaks when I need to and I'm here most of the time anyway.

I'm a little loosey-goosey with the "indulging in intoxicants" part of the refuge vow, but I'm tightening that ship up for the month of April, which means no late night trips to Wong's for late night company and a Budweiser. Only wicked late night blogging!

Yes, that's right, it means my only drugs are tortellini at Santorini Pizza & Pasta and M.F.K. Fisher.



For some reason it seems like tortellini is served with a cream sauce almost exclusively. I'm not a big fan of cream sauce, but I sure am a big fan of tortellini. For those who don't know what tortellini is, it's sort of like a cross between ravioli and a wonton. Only filled with cheese, or preferably, meat.

The Russians make something almost exactly the same, but their versions are usually meatier and they serve them with sour cream and some kind of garlicky Russian salsa, which I also love.

I always ask for tortellini with meat sauce instead, and sometimes that makes Italian waitresses give me frosty looks for being such a philistine. I do not care. Those snotty beetches can bring me some meat sauce and be swift about it!

But at the closest little Italian (Greek, really I guess) joint to my house do they give me frosty looks? No! The first time I ordered it, the waitress asked me, "You mean...still baked though?"

I said, "Umm sure."

Little did I know what delight would be unleashed on me in the form of a little tureen filled with tortellini in meat sauce and what can only be a genuine Isle of Santorini kinda thing (only not with meat sauce) covered with a thick layer of cheese and baked until it is bubbly and so hot it stays hot almost the whole time I'm eating it!

I thought tonight, as I read M.F.K. Fisher, a person who writes about food, that it was one of the finest meals a Daniel Talsky can be served. I tucked it away quite tidily and waddled home.

M.F.K. Fisher

I never knew about M.F.K. Fisher until the Angry Librarian put it in my hand. She wrote about life and love and food before such a thing was bestseller material...way back in the late 1930's!

It's wonderful stuff and makes me feel like I found a kindred spirit when she says things like,

I was basically what Beerbohm calls, somewhat scornfully, a 'host' and not a 'guest': I loved to entertain people and dominate them with my generousity.


In spite of all that, I was the one who got dinner on the cook's off-night. I improved, there is no doubt about it, and it was taken for granted that I would step into the kitchen at the drop of a hat.

Perhaps Anne would have liked the chance at having all the family's attention. If so, she never got it. The stoves, the bins, the cupboards, I had learned forever, make an inviolable throne room. From there I ruled; temporarily I controlled. I felt powerful, and I loved that feeling.

I am more modest now, but I still think that one the pleasantist of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.

Then there's all the ways she talks about the amazing food itself. Bless her. I was high on Fisher and pasta when I finally stood, 8 minutes past closing time, and said goodbye to Gino on the way out.

Some of you may recall the original story where I told about how I met Gino, and offered to do the Santorini web site for free, just so I could look on the web to see their pizza toppings, and got turned down. Or the story about how a friend of theirs found my blog entry about it and told Gino's son George who contacted me and said they wanted me to do their web site after all.

So as I was walking out, I tipped my cap to Gino, who said in his somewhat broken English, "We get a lot of compliments!"

"On the site?" I said, feeling happy and high.

"Yes. That must mean it's good."

I raised an eyebrow, "You've never seen it?" (It's been up for almost a year now.)

"No. To this day I have not ever seen it."

I could not help but burst out laughing, "That is awesome, Gino...that is so cool!"

"I don't even know how to work those things."

April 2, 2006

street scenes


Since I've had the new camera, I occasionally take photos of things on the street. I don't really have anywhere to put them, but some of them are pretty cool. I put a few of the best up in a new folder called Street Scenes on my tinygalleries.