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May 31, 2006

about the garden

Potato Sprout

It's going well. Here you can see one tiny potato sprout making its way up through the mulch (wood shavings from my landlord's shop).

I like to sit in a portable chair and read at the edge of the garden when my mind gets blown from programming. This is how I found out there is some kind of inter-species war going on between certain members of the squirrel persuasion and certain (unnamed) members of the crow population. I had no idea these creatures could make such a bizarre set of noises.

I don't care. I'm eating thick radish sprouts wrapped in purple mustard green sprouts wrapped in collard leaves wrapped in Israeli lettuce. Now that's my kind of salad.

filed under sexilicious

Zan over at Breaking Sod just went from longhaired to chic and documented the sudden change on her blog. That girl is looking pretty cute.

I laughed when I saw her blog category for the post was "sexilicious". Check out the other sexilicious entries. I didn't even know there was such a category.

May 29, 2006

the party was good

It was a black tie BBQ. Nice to see everyone dressed so damn pretty, especially the Birthday Boy:

2006SJBlackTieBBQ 276

Even the little girls in the park across the street were in the spirit of the occasion.

2006SJBlackTieBBQ 257

May 25, 2006

no photos tonight

Talked to Miss Rose this evening in the garden, and had a houseguest. He's passed out on the couch. He brought a lady to my house and massaged her feet. She teaches yoga classes in her home, about 3 blocks away from me. I could make it to something like that!

Miss Rose says Pennsylvania is nicer than Transylvania. Okay, no she doesn't say that. She does says she likes Pittsburgh better than Philly though. And that she doesn't live that close to either. And we talked about spirit guides. My mom's and others. Not mine, I hardly even have dreams. What do I know from spirit guides?

Okay, maybe a little. Can I get a witness? Can I get an amen!?

May 24, 2006

i guess i'll just start making a story of them

I left contact improv early and jumped on a bus downtown. My dharma brother Nate's last night in town was tonight and I wanted to see him for a little while. He'd offered to come up to the University district but I wanted to see him on his own turf. He's going up to see his girlfriend(???) up on one of the islands for a few weeks(!!!), I guess to see how they get along. He needs to get out of his little tiny apartment downtown.

nate window

I was all excited about another night of photos but Nate was strangely distracted. He was cleaning his kitchen really slowly. It seemed to take him forever. I read for awhile, aware that we only had a little while to hang out before he had to take the bus home. He seemed on another planet as I got more and more impatient. Luckily I had an excellent book.

"Do you want to borrow any movies? American Graffiti is pretty good."

I took American Graffiti (1 and 2) and the new Jarmusch flick. I had a weird experience of thematic repetition. Just the night before I said goodbye to my sweetie, as she went to go visit her family in Pennsylvania. She brought me some groceries she didn't want to go bad and I gave her a little painted stone I bought from a deep-eyed man on the street. Now here I was saying goodbye for the second time in as many nights.

Finally he took out the garbage and got his last load of laundry. "Hey," he said, "do you want to..."

"I want to go take photos!"

paramount presents tony toni tone

Excruciatingly slowly he got on his coat and we went outside. It was like a new playground, the reddish, strange lights of downtown. We went to the new courthouse building and I sat and took pictures of a ring of lights. Finally I asked Nate to sit for some portraits.

Nate has Tourette's Syndrome, which causes him to move uncontrollably as kind of an energetic extension of his emotions and reactions. A change in temperature, a pretty girl getting on the bus, or a loud noise could make him flail his arms or say "HA!" I tried a few photos trying to catch him when he was still, but then I got the idea to capture the movements of his body with the long exposure.

I tried, but had a hard time getting him to move on cue. He was just sitting there calmly, only moving occasionally. He was relaxed.

The Dance of Tourette's 3

"Hey," he said, "try some word associations or something."

Okay. I hit the shutter.

"Droopy dog! Groceries! Malfeasance!"

The Dance of Tourette's 14

His arms and head whipped about.

"Band-aid! Dopamine! Grass stains!"

The Dance of Tourette's 6

He painted with his body and I got several shots. We tried to go out for a drink afterwards but we were still sort of distracted. He went back home, but he called me when I was on the bus. "I didn't feel like I got to say goodbye," he said.

I took the bus that goes by the Fiddler's Inn, and Doug was there with some LED lights. We got a few people in the bar to do some LED Light paintings. Doug, Martin, Nina, and I all took a crack at it.

Nina Paints with Light

It's worth looking at the gallery of photos for the other night. It's cool to check it out as a slideshow. The portraits of Nate are particularly cool that way.

May 23, 2006

two more nights of photography

Eventually I'll blog about something else, but this is really what's enriching me these days.

LED Painting by Doug

I did two recent nights of long exposure photography. These amazing shots are from two nights ago, and these are from last night. I had three different people help me put together those shots, and they all brought their own artistic ideas that really brought something new.

Hand in Lap Performance Art 2

May 20, 2006

okay, i'm clearly obsessed here

Obsessed with taking long-exposure photos. Here's my latest series taken around a campfire. The ones of the campfire itself are particularly awesome! It makes the fire look so organic and living and blazing!

Campfire Forge 2

May 19, 2006

painting with led's

More lowlight photos... this time with the help of a little LED flashlight.

Marigolds of the Wee Hours 1

This is the only way I can spend time with my sweet garden at night.

May 18, 2006

painting with streetlights

Streetlight Painting 1
Originally uploaded by danieltalsky.
I've really been digging the shutter speed priority setting on my camera. It lets me take up to 15 second exposures of things. In this one I took a long exposure that allowed me to do a little painting with the flickering streetlight on the end of my house.

My other long exposure experiements are up in a flickr set with descriptions about how I took the photo in most of them. There's even some cool ones of Saltcellar looking like an up-and-coming Terminator.

May 15, 2006

more rhymin' (and stealin') photos

Thanks Kim Arbios for another batch of Rhymin' and Stealin' Photos. Note the second photo of Sir Mark the Poet rockin' the imaginary mic.




May 9, 2006

i rapped

I did rap. And luckily for all you who missed it, someone had a little recorder. These are some snippets of my little apartment performance on the 6th. All are WAV's and all are about a meg.

Please note that these are not really safe for kids or work.

My Version of Outkast's "Claimin True"
Talsky-Style Verse 1: Intro and Massage
Talsky-Style Verse 2: Food, Love and Trouble
The Lauren Beth "suki 'sexbomb' tsunami" Yockey Rap

The recordings are a bit hard to understand (damn enthusiastic fans!) so I'm publishing the lyrics for Talsky-Style and The Suki Rap.

I also did Sunny Outside and Ten Below... which was not recorded, but you can hear a version of it I recorded elsewhere on the site.

Thank you everyone who came and supported me. We packed the house and I got to live my dream of being a rap star for one beautiful night.

May 7, 2006

party, whew






I think it's safe to say a good time was had by all.

Thank you to my rappers Elree and Sir Mark the Poet, you guys rocked the mic and kept it real.

Kisses were certainly stolen (and given away) and no complaints were issued. Just as I suspected.

If it turns out my raps got recorded okay I'll probably post them. It sure was fun.

If you got photos, especially of the rapping, hook me up!

Oh yes, and I played a lot of Gnarls Barkley, who I'm basically in love with. The video of him singing the recorded version with the weird Rorschach animation is cool enough. But then this video of him singing it live WAY slower and more balls out at the top of the pops. Man he is something else.

May 2, 2006

tricks of the trade

Tricks of the Trade is a pretty cool blog, a list of tips from professionals from various fields. I'm racking my brain to think of a good web development one.

I'm certainly loving some like:
Research Scientist
Recording Engineer

May 1, 2006

independence day in nepal

I have a friend and fellow dharma practitioner who is living abroad in Nepal. For a while now he's been sending out these colorful, sweet travelogues (only in Email, he doesn't have a blog yet).

This latest one was so good and so topical that I asked him if I could reprint it in the tinyblog. He said that would be fine.

I had heard about the political activity that's been going on in Nepal, that's recently coming to a head, but it's amazing to hear a first person perspective on what that looks like from the ground.

Mark's Story:

Yesterday was Independence Day in Nepal. Or so it seemed to me, and I told this to Parvoti, the Nepali girl who massages my back after my acupuncture treatments with Fatima, the Muslim Chinese needle artist who many of us at Pullahari monastery visit for help with our various (mostly) stomach ailments. Parvoti massages like you would to a soften up a piece of errant beef, kind of rough and haphazard, across the grain, but somehow it works.

Anyway I said, "Happy Independence Day," thinking I might get at least a smile from her. She looked at me quizzically: "Why happy?" We got into a discussion of America and "Independence." She asked, "Does America have King?" I said no, but we used to and threw him out. She said "Iraq and Nepal very bad country," and then I worked to dissuade her of this point.

Nepal isn't a bad country at all. It's been unusually peaceful, considering this revolution. People have died, but compared to what goes on in the Middle East or during your average school shooting in the US, not many. Over the past weeks there have been bandhs on the part of the Maoists (meaning, you can't leave the valley by road, and might even get into trouble in the valley), or strikes by the 7 political parties (meaning, you're not supposed to work), or curfews by the King (meaning, don't go outside or you risk getting shot). And through it all more and more people have been descending on the place from villages elsewhere in the country, so that people in the streets protesting have swelled recently to a half-million or so, all of them ignoring, especially, the curfews imposed by the King.

A few days ago the King, looking like the saddest of all sad sacks, and flanked by video-imaged flags, so that he appeared to be the host of a political kiddie show for a minor cable station, made an arrogant speech in which he seemed to understand that he still held the cards but was magnanimously deigning to offer a few, they not being trump. This of course angered everyone, doubling the amount of protesters the next day, who by now were no longer interested in a constitutional monarchy or even a ceremonial monarchy, but perhaps would prefer the King's head. There had earlier been talk in the Himalayan Times of which path to take with the monarch, England's or France's, and the French tack was winning out.

(A sidenote here: As this whole thing has been going on, I've been more and more puzzled as to why in God's name the king, with his great wealth and ability to escape to Switzerland, would still remain here as the anger has built and his inability to solve the enormous problems of poverty and lack of education and infrastructure and pollution and Maoists and everything else have manifested. And I've come up with a few ideas: One is that it's almost impossible to relate with the sense of entitlement of someone like him, especially because of the Hindu caste system, in which so many of the population are felt to be, by nature, not worth listening to. So even in general if it's hard for the powerful to give up power, in this case it might be like asking the dog's owner to put the leash on his own neck and give the lead to the dog. And the people themselves, since they tend to accept the caste idea too, tend not to think they've got the genetics to rule. Another thing is that it's not just the King, but the wealthy families, especially the Rana family, so I've read, who surround the King and into which he's intermarried, that are the source of trouble. If the King goes down his vast network of cronies goes down, so they're all whispering bad advice in his ear. And finally, in 1846, I think it was, the patriarch of the Rana family killed all the intellectuals and the nobility in a huge massacre at a party in Durbar Square in Kathmandu, wiping out the people who might have produced a group of founding fathers educated and benevolent enough to create a fairer system. But instead power was further concentrating in the hands of a few families, which then the caste system has cemented further.)

So anyway, there was to be a massive demonstration on the 25th in response to the King's intransigence, yesterday, and who knows what after that, perhaps a push to storm the palace. I didn't have a ticket out yet; my travel agent having been gone for the week. As collateral that I wouldn't go elsewhere he had the last bit of my cash and so I was borrowing, but the other Westerners were running out of money because the cash machines were also running out of money, since vehicles were not allowed on the roads to fill them. So early morning on the 25th before the curfew was to officially begin, Deanna and I set out on foot for an hour's walk to Thamel, the tourist area in the heart of Kathmandu.

Deeanna is an Australian who I'd met at Pullahari, a good friend now, in her late 50s, but who still didn't particularly like it when one Nepali on the way mistook her for my mother. We had some breakfast at Northfield's and then I was actually able to get some cash from my VISA card, so I felt great. Meanwhile the rolling metal doors were descending on all the storefronts as people prepared for the curfew.

Then the curfew began at 11 a.m. and so we had to get indoors someplace. We found a bar that was playing "Hitch," which turned out to be an entertaining way to spend a couple hours. Especially entertaining was the "English" subtitles for the movie, which seemed to be written by an Asian with English as a 5th or 6th language. Literally every other sentence made no sense. But I had a beer, so I've forgotten the words.

At 5 p.m. (curfew over at 6) we began to walk back to Boudha. The streets were utterly deserted except for soldiers and armored personnel carriers. They waved us two whities on, but would have given trouble to Nepalis. After an hour we got to Chabahil, close to Boudha, its streets covered with the sooty remains of many tire fires. In the distance we could see a crowd of protesters and in front of us, the army with batons and shields and some rifles making their way toward the crowd. Deeanna wanted to climb a tree to get out of the way in case shots were fired, but it seemed safe enough to me and anyway, the army would soon be going back to wherever they go because the curfew was about over.

Most of the soldiers were on the main street to our right, the protesters far in front of them. So we started walking down an alternate route on the left with fewer soldiers. But we didn't get far before the air started to get tense, and suddenly a group of 30 or so soldiers seemed to materialize out of nowhere and started hiking quickly back toward us. The leader looked like he was at the limit of his tolerance with anything, and for the first time I felt a little scared, like he might ignore the precious color of my skin and start beating me anyway, so we turned around and took a quick right down an alley to avoid them. We went 20 yards and then, oops!, there was a crowd of rock-throwing youths another 30 yards in front of us. And then turning into the alley behind us were the army. We'd actually gotten between the rock throwers and the army. How silly. How very unfortunate.

There was a driveway to our right, an indentation of a few feet and then an iron gate. We walked to it and stood against the gate, watching stones fly by. Hmmm, what to do, what to do. Not the place to be, no siree. Deeanna seemed a bit tense and I put my hand on her shoulder, said not to worry. She looked around with a rather blank expression. Actually I felt better than I had when the army was walking angrily towards us; at least we weren't -- directly -- in the line of fire.

And it went okay, because here I am writing this. There was a lull. The army was hiding behind the left and right entrances to the alley, occasionally coming out. One was loading his tear-gas rifle. Time to go! We got out, walked fast past the army, not looking at them much, busy busy, places to go people to see, then continued down the road towards Boudha, passing throngs of people, some happy, some angry, and many burning piles of garbage, until we returned to our safe little guesthouse, the Dragon Inn, owned by Tibetans who don't seem to have a care or a clue about what's happening in the country, but who make a really good yoghurt that I like to have with muesli and banana.

So that was our little revolution adventure, enough for me. I was really wondering what would happen the day after, as was everyone. And then the King broke the tension. That night he gave up, it seems. In an address at 11:30 p.m., long long past Nepali bedtime, he apologized for the deaths of protesters, affirming that the people were in charge and that the Parliament he dissolved in 2003 now had power again, that they should elect a Prime Minister on Friday. And although he didn't say it exactly, it's been interpreted by the public to mean that, whatever the Parliament decides about his role, which at this point seems to be a ceremonial function or a free plane ride out, he'll accept.

There was mass celebration on the streets all night, except for the Maoists, finicky as they seem to be, who have called it a ruse. Yes, the Maoists, who over the past 15 years having been shutting down schools and kidnapping kids and killing people and who the political parties seem to think can now be brought into the fold. Perhaps it's because, um, according to the dictionary at least Maoism and democracy don't go together, that the US consulate has still packed it in and gone and has told all Americans to do the same or forget about help.

Actually today it doesn't feel dangerous here, and today's news is that the Maoists have called a temporary ceasefire to assess whether the 7 parties are amenable to them, but momentum is carrying me out of here. My plane is supposed to leave tomorrow at 1:30 pm., just after the new Parliament will have started their first session. I'll go to Bangkok. Not sure how long I'll be there. Enough time to, hopefully, get my digestive tract back in fine shape.

I look forward to returning the US after that. May it be peaceful, clean, spacious! I hope you are all in good health, happy, and at ease.