Tuesday, November 09, 2004

I'm glad to hear something can bite into Internet Explorer's market share. Brian told me the NSA does not suggest people use it for security reasons, and now the newest thing to hit is Mozilla's Firefox. I'm downloading, installing, and about to quite using this browser I despise. Thankfully, Safari has helped me avoid using much of Internet Explorer since early summer. Now, an alternative for when I'm on PCs...

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The choice was celebrate or commiserate. Unfortunately, we've run out of positive options. This evening was a wonderful gathering on the upper west side. Not quite the scene of votergasm.com, but we congregated with a common hope. Well, Bush's victory may be the sign of Hillary's opportunity four years from now. But, really, I would rather be re-electing John Kerry than having her as president. Besides, who wants to wait four years of misery for something positive? It's a very sad night as the polling speculations become dreary realities. With any luck, we won't really be stuck with a Republican House, a Republican Senate, a Republican President, and a soon to be nominated Republican Supreme Court Justice. However, I wish Judge Rehnquist comfort in this difficult time. I just recently witnessed my Grandmother in the throws of cancers, and it not something anybody should endure no matter what their politics. I have compassion for him, and I am hopeful these next four years may echo my sentiments.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

I was just reading on a pretty interesting site. The author asks many interesting questions within ethics. His September 14th post regarding Sudan asks many good questions.

what must we do?... what can we do?... well first, what are the implications to each of us?... i mean, in doug's word, 'how does this news implicate you, me, us?'... and then what must we do?...

I have been giving some thought to what it would entail to be more involved with ethics. Going back some time, this is a topic I have enjoyed. It is something I look forward to writing more on.

When the mood strikes...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Rest assured, this blog is not a thing of the past. Only, I have not been paying to much attention to entering my musings of late. It has been hard to put into words what's happening and the places I'm traversing. Considering the appropriateness of happenings in this, such a public yet personal, domain has left me without putting anything online. Many changes in my life just recently and every moment leave me wanting to express more, and it shall come.

Programming phone numbers into a phone that isn't mine is not my ideal way of spending time; however, that's an internship for you. DC has been really good to me, and while I don't feel it's okay to discuss much of what my actual work has been the same does not hold true for my opinion of government. Damn things are sticky around the Beltway. Everybody's partisan, this is something I've benefited from greatly because I have been quite cautious not to step on anyone's toes for the longest time. Well, I'm discovering if you don't speak up you're going to get washed over. So, I keep my mouth shut as ordered from the outset when necessary. Otherwise, I throw myself right into the fray of it all. This campaign season has helped me learn quite a bit about how the backbone of candidacies operate particularly since my boss and co. are major conrtributors as well as organizers.

Yes, well, my interest in politics has led me deep into the belly. This party is definitely not for me; although, I have a better appreciation for the necessity of diplomacy. You can't achieve all ends by playing solely to your base. Work both sides of the isle if you intend to ever really get somewhere. Remember to play well with others.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Having a little tribute to Rick James this evening. No Brian, I'm not doing coke, either. Surprises come on occasion, but nothing like that, at all. Easy doing set up a wireless network. Spent some time this evening gathering info on the new sidekick. Both attorney Robert and Kaleb have been excited about it's upcoming release. I have my notifier set up...

Need to be rolling along with all those other pebbles to be pushed off the hill... It's a momentum thing.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

So there's this article about Michael Moore's Farhrenheit 9-11 and it's eligibility for oscars. The trouble is the film was screened in Cuba on television from a pirated copy. Both parts are important because to be eligible for Oscars a film cannot be screened on television or the internet within 9 months... It's just such a coincidence that it would happen there, or that people would be in an upheaval. Strange, I think not.
Bloody hell, I dare say, do not try and 'target disk' connect an osX laptop with a windows machine. Perhaps with a bit of software it may go down well, but I tell you something; my machine got spiked. Luckily, it remembers how to be a target disk still. I also happen to be quite fortunate to have gotten an external drive all set up today. Merci Beaucoup Brian. I type as the 17+ hour backup is happening before I bring my sad, caughing computer to the Apple SoHo store, tomorrow. How fortunate, also is it that I have an excellent apple technician living next door. Kaleb has been a great help in bringing me up to speed on repairing these machines.

I got to give credit to the good folks at Big Apple Group, they did nice work on some banners for AJWS. There was a slight techinical problem, but it probably would not have happened if I hadn't rushed them. Even if they had done it still, they are kindly redoing the work, and it will be ready in a couple days time. Wahid is my connection within the US for cricket. We spoke much about this past weekend's Sri Lanka v. India match. While traveling throughout India cricket played a tremendous part in my experience. From Dayal in Lucknow through the villages in Rishikesh, across to Bombay via Delhi. You've never seen a more populous city come to a standstill than when a match between Pakistan and India is going on. Imagine the stadium in Calcutta; Eden Gardens seats 120,000. If that's not effervescense, I simply don't get it. What an overwhelming experience. I also understand Calcutta's sweets are supposed to be quite incredible. Although, I would take an Old Delhi Jalabi, any day of the week, and twice on saturday. All of it...

Thursday, July 29, 2004

I didn't quite understand all of it. The excitement, the buzz, the character. I was overwhelmed at times when I was in India. There were moments of complete silence juxtaposed with frenzied leaping. Up a wave and through a corridor maneuvering about the shifts. Concentrated at the board. Again, I find myself whirling about. Printed pages amidst missing advertisements. Numbers, letters, coalitions. Alpha Beta Gaga and then some. There are some projects that I would really love to see come to fruition. Tomorrow will be such an opportunity to tee up on. Quiet allows for rest. more,,,

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I've recently been on a bender for advocating my friends. Now I put it out there for everyone. Well, at least all the eyes falling on this lolely internet page amongst billions.

Get some information about Sudan. Also, sign my orgainzation's advocacy letter. American Jewish World Service does some really great work.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Ekk, it's almost been a week again. What to do about all of it? Hitting the road isn't always a bad idea. So, Howie and I are off to Pennsylvania. We'll be relaxing at his summer place on the Delaware river. It'll be a nice two nights hopefully with some sunny days. Then time to come back and bear down on that wiley GMAT. It got the better of me this week. There is a lot of room for improvement, and then the better may be had of it. Meanwhile, uptown, things are great and lusciously green here. I have finally sorted out my electrical conundrum, and I seem to be doing fine if not running up the electricity working late into the night. Amazing how easy it is to stay up hour after hour starring at a screen. Here's one result.

Friday, July 02, 2004

We're were in the theater last Friday for Farenheit fun, and tonight will be the same. This time going as a group, our numbers have increased from 2 to 5, is approriate as the screens showing the film nationally has also increased from 868 to over 1700. I highly support this film, and encourage everyone to see it. I'm glad to hear my brother, Nathan, went to see the film. He was telling just yesterday that people have come out to question Moore's film, including Democrats. Well, I haven't found too much out there speaking to false information in the film. Moore anticipated an onslaught of criticisms and prepared a team of great minds to react. As I have been writing this I have been searching around. We must get different news. If you haven't seen the film yet, I highly recommend it.

I've been surrounded by co-workers, friends, and family pointing out different parts in the film that I will pay closer attention to tonight. One comment in particular was about Moore making a nod to race issues towards the end of the film. Discussing this point I thought he did it much earlier in the film. I am curious to see what she was talking about.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

"You want happy ever after. Go to a fucking movie." ~Josh
It is possible for just about anything to be the case. Nothing having been said there. I am amidst mayhem. Every which way I turn I find myself pulled, pushed, turned about. There's the rational and the emotional predominately. Occasionally, the spiritual slips in a word from absence. Josh has helped in that way a lot. Spiritual was a realm I sought out or at least contemplated (same thing?) while I was traveling. Now, the clanging screetching wheels of the F train take me elsewhere. That's not a negative commentary on the city. There are so many things I love about it. Although, it's nicer when there're clearer for sure. Couldn't tell you what it was like outside today. Everytime I was there I was doing or thinking about something. I love to walk for walking's sake. What a difference 'no mind' can make. Don't confuse that with being unproductive. Josh explained that one well.

I'm studying for the GMAT. I've decided. I'll apply to a part time MBA program in Information Systems at NYU. It would be an interesting program to say the least. My concentration recently has been reassuring that I could conceivably take on such a challenge. Another day and I might have been intimidated. Fear need not apply here.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Now is not the right time to get into it; there is so much more to come. If time always fell into place we wouldn't still be figuring all this out. I for one am wrestling where all the ticks go. Still, I sit here knee jamming away. Belle and Sebastian's Dear Catastrophe Waitress is nice. I didn't realize they were a band of seven memebers. Thank you allmusic.com

Saturday, May 15, 2004

One must as Josh says, "Have compassion for yourself." Saying so much and yet so simple to enact. It reminds me of the question where I derive happiness from by Kauldada. Perhaps in a lone awareness it would be easiest. Although, there are so many factors and people interwoven. I am trusting my heart here. There is so much more to come.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Life is moving right along here in Covington, Louisiana. After finishing up in Amsterdam I headed to New York for, gasp, a frenetic two weeks. It was wonderful to spend such loving time with Dana. There is not very much that compares with opening your eyes to a bright morning with your arms wrapped around your love. As I was making my way for the airport I commented to her that I was getting a bit tired of the goodbyes. After all these times I believe it is finally beginning to set in, constant motion is draining from all perspectives. It'll be good to sort out a lot of what's happened this year this summer. I plan on getting through some of the processing I reffered to earlier in this journal.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Jan's show was last night, and it was fantastic. She had 36 paintings displayed; the museum in nearby Amstelveen was a wonderful venue. There was space for Jan's largest canvases to spread three across with room to breath. Filling various spaces and winding paths everywhere one walked there was an encounter with beauty. Jan was recognized as a modern landscape artist bringing a unique style to the field. How incredible it all was. The people attending were quite lovely. After most had passed on to other engagements, a small number of us made our way across the street for a toast and a bite. The evening was an overwhelming success, and we all raised our glasses to Jan's success.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Chiang Mai was really good to me. It was restful. I read a lot. I practiced more yoga than I have in a while. I have been sitting more. I also enjoyed their upcoming Spa services as well as Thai massage. The food was great. I enjoyed lots of juice shakes, including coconut, which I hadn't had until there. Although, it was much the pina colada without the rum. It was a nice stay. I wasn't in the mood to visit the wats that Josh suggested, and I couldn't find some people he mentioned I should see. I got to a couple restaurants Howie suggested, and I even made a few friends of my own. It's nice when traveling is a collective effort. This time was more about being alone than anything else though. I have spent so much of this trip with other people that it was nice to wake up solo and decide where to head off to.

I'm in Bangkok now, and I'll be here a couple nights before heading far Westward. The several times I've been here I've acquired a few favorite spots including a pizzeria which rivals those I found in Florence. And, they have amazing movie theaters here, so I'll try to get caught up a bit.

I saw Big Fish the other night, and for those that haven't seen it I highly recommend the expereince. Tim Burton is a personal favorite of mine, and he's really done an amazing job with this film. Fancying myself as a bit of a storyteller, this film makes my jaw drop. I laughed, I shuddered, I shed tears too. The film has it all.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Initially, I didn't believe this week would make me a hermit. However, Thailand's Songkran festival was in full swing. Songkran or Thai New Year is supposed to be a three day affair. This year it fell on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. So, add Sunday and Monday to the mix, and you have quite the holiday. An essential component to this celebration is dousing one another in water. In other words the city turns into a barage of pickups marauding the streets with all varieties of water. There is clear water, mucky water, smelly water, chilly-cold water, and my least favorite of all, all of it. Have a water war is one thing, but when it's involuntary and one is unable to merely walk down the street without some giggly swarm of people dumping bucket and gun loads of water on you it becomes obnoxious. Multiply that by five days, and you have your explination as to why I spent many many hours holed up in my room. Now, that in itself was not entirely bad, but it wasn't voluntary. On the plus side so many thousands of people loved it, and I too had a good time. Really though, I didn't need five days of it. I met some lovely Chiang Mai University students who daily could be found outside the beauty parlor owned by one of the group's mother. Yesterday, the last day of the festival, I headed over to the parlor armed with a bottle of San Som (Thai Whiskey), and we sat around imbibing for a bit before all loading up into a pickup and heading off for the festivities. It wasn't long before the cab of the truck was gushing water from every bit, and we were soaked to the bone. This was the part I expected, and I had seen where a lot of the water came from before, so I wasn't too surprised that this bit smelled a little. There is a moat surrounding the old part of the city, and you guessed it, that's where a lot of the water comes from by the bucket load! After leaving the moat we went a couple other places including some hotel shopping complex where the streets were bumper to bumper. We parked the car and joined in the celebration. I witnessed a mob of about thirty chasing perhaps one or two over zealous revelers which was broken up by the police in short order. I even restrained somebody in a separate incident where about five to ten were pounding brutally on one or two. My involvement was short lived as my friends told me everything was perfectly okay and that I should relax. I told him he was correct, since we weren't getting the ever loving shit kicked out of us, everything was okay. The principal English speaker of the group was probably the drunkest, and he couldn't stop apologizing for five hours. I get a bit fed up with him and in particular being soaking wet without being able to leave. I was ready to reach the hotel about three hours before I actually got there, but c'est la vie. I saw how the party goes around this time, and I assure it is a holiday you couldn't pay me to return to. All that being said it is beautiful here in Chiang Mai, and now that I can freely walk the streets with only my sweat to drench me I plan on seeing more of the city. I really love moats except when they're encroaching on me!

While I was in Delhi Karim had talked about his awe of Muay Thai, Thai Boxing. He asked me repeatedly in the several weeks we spoke to attend a match. It was something Dana and I spoke about doing last time we were here, but I was pretty so so about the idea. Well, okay, Karim asked me to go, so I did. Not long after arriving the host at the hotel asked if I would be interested, there was a fight this past Tuesday. I got the ticket, and I went to the four hour event somewhat early on. I saw the juvies fighting, and it was not too pleasant for me. As I sat there watching gloves and bodies connect as well as shin to shin I shuddered. I had this horrendous thought of splintering bones and tears began to role down my face. I really hate violence so much. I sat there a couple minutes longer then decided it was my time to exit. No point in arguing with the guy who wanted to mark my hand for re-admittance it was over before I could gesture. And, I had a pleasant walk back to the hotel. Wow, I couldn't stand it, and I didn't even see the big guys fight. The little kids were enough to re-affirm any disliking for that sort of contact. I am pretty finicky about the contact I don't mind. This is the reason I never played basketball in high school. I got an elbow in my back going for a rebound and decided it was not worth my aggravation. Karim, I went, and I just can't say I see the same beauty you do in boxing, Thai or otherwise.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

India was inviting to me on many different levels. An area that spoke to me most was hospitality. I was trying to put this into words the other day, but it was difficult because the sentiment is so strong. It was difficult to leave for this very reason. There was so much emphasis to welcome and host, "Oh, what do you need?...Can I?... What do you?" As a guest you it takes a while for this to settle as your role. From then on everything runs at an amazing pace. People often note the streets as one place they are completely out of place. Bombay had small streets with people and motorized vehicles absolutely positively everywhere. With some luck Delhi has wider streets from the development in their post independence days, but the streets are more likely to be shared by cows more than pigs. Lucknow has more of the pigs, and generally the traffic there is not to bad if you're not near the main market. Streets don't need paint because nobody complies with notions of lanes. This is something Prashast and I often disagreed about. He would drive up the left side to the front of the traffic then scootch a bit to the right to be in front and follow the right turn arrow. Though obnoxious the manuevers were rarely unsafe. There is a process of merging or turning which is confounding to me. In the states there are three rear view mirrors. In India, a car rarely has two; even if the second one is there (driver's side) it is often tucked in because of the perpetually nearly sideswiping passerbyers. So there it is, always looking forward, listening to what is happening. We almost always drove with the windows down, and there was no music system in the car. It was only in the last couple days that I understand better how this operation worked. Two cars passed by simultaneously, and Prashast explained how disorienting it was when the noise doubled like that. Otherwise, he's understanding where everything is by listening and seeing ahead. Somehow, even with all the mirrors I haven't figured out how to avoid causing serious damage to my own vehicles and unfortunately others' as well. I spent some time on the roads particularly in Delhi. It is something else compared to anything I have to use as examples. By far the most concerning was the rides through the mountains. Left Right Left Right Tires gripping the pavement for dear life, and you'd often see an accident or two. Amazing how the reckage of two trucks folded into one another with realities biting permanance. They often hit with such force that there is a play drawn out in their final motions. Any other kind of accident and the cars move along where possible. These I am recalling have nowhere to go. They seemingly become part of the landscape at least forever that way in my mind. There's an incident on the road I will likely take to my last days, and I still wonder how it turned out. Prashast and I were off to meet his sister Gayatri and her boyfriend Jayant. As we came down a flyover past the Delhi Golf Club we noticed a guy crumpled in the middle of the street. Without much confidence I asked Prashast if we should stop to help him in some way. We pulled off to the side backed up a bit then got out to see what was happening. Prashast went for the security guard, and I stood a couple feet away from this guy and guided traffic away from him. Judging from how close the trucks and cars were coming to me standing in the middle of the street directing people away this poor soul would not have lasted all that much longer. For whatever reason several more people now joined Prashast and me to assist this guy. One person came up to me and asked if the guy was still alive. I told the questioner that he was. This guy then proceeds to lift the man from the street by lifting up under his arms and crudely repositioned him to the sidewalk. I didn't want to move this injured person for fear of futher hurting him. The other guy explained to me that it was India. He tried to ask the guy a couple questions, and one that was later translated for me shocked me. He had asked if the injured man wanted more drugs. Shockingly, the police didn't have much more sympathy than this. When they arrived 20 some odd minutes after we called them they explained the injured was a beggar and a doper. They said no hospital would except him, and they were content to leave him there. Prashast and I didn't stick around through the resolution of the incident. We decided to head on to our engagement for the evening. I couldn't help the way I felt. I was grieving, and then somebody asked why I hadn't stuck around if I was so concerned. They asked if I had done everything that I could do. Jay was amazing for me that night. We left the loud music and drinks I didn't want to have any part of and we walked around to chat a bit. His words were healing in a time that I needed them so much. He said anytime I wanted to he would take me to parts of Delhi that would forever change my perception. I never took him up on the offer, but seeing what I did has had the same effect even if only a single incident amongst a billion people.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Hello and love from Thailand! I am in Chiang Mai now. I arrived at the hotel around 12 this afternoon, and I slept until 8:30. It was amazing how quiet it was. India taught me a great many things amongst them that life is not quiet. That's all good and well except a brother needs some sleep now and again. This past week has been a whirlwind doing all the things Prashast and I had been talking about but not necessarily doing. Karim and I went head to head in some more chess matches, and there was also another guy that started coming in the last week, Amrendra. I told Karim that if he kept beating me then wanting to play for money that he was a hustler. Well, the other night I took him to the internet cafe to teach him about yahoo chess, but he told me that he didn't have enough money to use the internet all the time. Then, I find out after he left that evening he had bet Karim 500 Ruppees that he would again beat me. Some people have it all mixed up. I however don't; India was amazing for me. The people, the sights, the sounds, the smells, the FOOD. It was all there, and I reveled in it each day I was there. I will spend some time this week trying to purge some thoughts because there are so many accumulated.

To everyone that I met there and whose company I enjoyed so dearly, I say thank you. It was a pleasure. I promised many people I will return one day. There is so much more of the country to see. All in good time I say.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Delhi has been treating me well these past weeks. As the temprature has risen my movements have become a bit more calculated. It reminds me of the days in New Orleans where you step outside and you've once again showered. The heat is the same; although, Delhi is dry, dusty dry. It's not my favorite climate, but luckily I won't endure the summer here. I can't imagine it getting up to 115-120F, whoof. Next stop Thailand. Early Saturday morning I will leave Delhi headed for Bangkok, then I'll switch planes and head for Chiang Mai. My good friend Josh spent some time there participating in retreats and the like. I don't expect to get involved in anything like that for such a short period, 8 days. But, I will likely find some yoga or other modes to just relax. I took very well to the Thai style of massage. Dana and I had an amazing time last we were there in this regard. A couple days in Bangkok after that, and once again I'm airborn off to Amsterdam for Jan's art show. Alright, I may have mentioned it before, but I am incredibly excited. I love supporting my family and their efforts. I draw so much strength from everyone, and it is beautiful to be able to celebrate our talents and successes together!

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Last Monday night I spoke with Swati, and she informed me of the trip to Manali. Well, it turned out to surpass anything I could have possibly began to imagine. It was another foray into the Himalayas, and we even roughed it a bit too. We left Tuesday evening about 7, and we reached Jaho at about 9 in the morning. It was a whole lot of bus ride. We had cabin seats which meant we got to spend a whole lot of time in a confined space; not that buses aren't already cramped. At one point in the evening I even left the cabin to lay down in the aisle of the bus as most people were sleeping, and I wanted a piece of the action also. There was one action extended that didn't appeal to me in the slightest. Earlier in the evening we were in the cab merrily rolling down the noisy road, and another cabinmate offered me and my company a 'smack' joint. Well, yea, no interest in the slightest. For a while thereafter he was pretty messed up. Although, it was quite something watching him so closely with nowhere else to go. He kept to himself. So much so, that I had to ask him to return to me several things that had 'fallen' out of the waterbottle pocket of my bag and neatly ended up in the corner under some other water bottles and papers. Yea, well, I'll just repeat what Nathan said after my Ipod got nicked in Bombay: there are assholes everywhere.

When we got to Jaho it turned out to be Swati and her other friend, Anouj's buddy Nitin we were meeting up with. He is a horseman, and he has a family of 23. Some are himalayan something or anothers and the rest Geldings (if that is even right; biology was always tough for my forgetfulness). And, then there is Pi who's a sweetheart of a girl. Using her shorter quadrapedal stride and furry tail she helps warn of danger in the evening and assists in trekking. It was a beautiful family. With any luck I will have some beautiful snaps to share with everyone when I get them back. While there, I consumed some bad water. It was not pretty becasue the following day, when it hit me, we were taking another six hour journey through the foothills to reach Manali. Yikes. Not a pretty subject, but calmness and a taxi for the last four hours of the journey helped ease some of the difficulty. We reached Manali and stayed a couple days time before I decided to head back to Delhi. My friends got sucked into a k-hole of sorts because Manali is one of the primary regions for Hash in India. Thus, it is no surprise that during the drive back I was picked out by the inspectors that entered our bus. I had had five days of facial growth at that point, and I can only imagine what my complexion looked like a couple days after my draining experience. So, they made me unpack my bag in my lap piece by piece by piece. They asked where my other bag was because clearly my fanny pack wouldn't be enough to travel with, and when I explained I stay in Delhi they turned their attention to the next dope suspect in the line. So, then after a succesful dinner stop and a middle of the night tire change we reached Delhi in the early hours of Sunday morning. It was great because I was back in time to hang with Gayatri a bit before she headed on to see another friend of hers in Allehbad. My friends throughout traveling have been so wonderful to me and so supportive when I have needed them. I would like to take the opportunity to express my happiness for knowing each person I have met along the path.

Monday was great because I got into the kitchen with Shivi at home, and we womped up a feast. I was explaining Chaat in an earlier entry from this month, so it should be no great surprise that one of my first undertakings in a home kitchen was to tryout Palak Patta Chaat, or deep fried spinach leaves with saout chutney (Jaggery, tamarind, and raw mango), mint chutney (Mint, green chilli, and corriander), sweet dahi (yoghurt and sugar), black salt, chaat masala, and a bit of Kashmiri red chilli. Damn. Add to that a butter cream dal, Kashmiri eggplant, beans and potatoes, and some romani rotis. Who Damn. It was some kind of fierce.

Tuesday I had my last day at Chor Bizarre. I want to focus on some of the projects I have been discussing with people, and I have gotten a good sense of the kitchen and cuisines in the ten days I went in. It will be nice to Thank Prashast's aunt tomorrow for helping arrange that. It was a really wonderful experience. I am still thinking about what I would like to say, but when I have that I will put it up here also.

This morning I woke up to a relapse of my illness from last week. I don't know what has brought this about, but despite big ambitions for tearing things up today I am taking it a bit slower in hopes that all will balance out in the world. I don't want to hover near a toilet to much more in the near future.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Life on the move again! I am abandoning kitchen duty for the remainder of the week, and I am heading north with a couple friends to Manali. This is a greener cooler area than Delhi. It has been nearing 100 each day for the past two weeks here, and in Manali you still need a sweater, yea! So, I'll head there for a couple three days then head back. It ought to be a great outing, and hopefully, I'll be able to take some nice pictures. I have been shooting quite a bit of late, and I am happy with some of the results. I have been meaning to change up the face of my website as well as it's contents, but other projects are moving along a bit better like this one on creativity. Thus, for the time being I am happy to maintain a steady level of productivity and pursue many projects simultaneously. Somehow, even when I am at home there are more things to do than get accomplished. At one point or another they come together or go to the idea graveyard. Either way I’m aware of where I am, so here I go. There is more to come from the road. Bisous.

Monday, March 22, 2004

I played two games of chess today against an unorthodox opponent. He won the first, and then the computer was restarted amidst the second game, which he was also winning. It was not too satisfying, but the owner of the internet cafe took the brunt of it because he was overseeing the electrician that flicked the power on the outlet. He was working while everything was turned on. It didn't speak highly for the respect of the individual having his hands on live outlets and all, but it also irked me that I couldn't even lose my game in its entirety. Well, after that I got a game in with Upendra, Prashast's father. While Prashast and I were out gathering some new pens we came across a game shop that we peeked into becuase we had board games on the mind. I had wanted to bring a set home because his father told me he enjoyed playing. It was a nice change of pace to sit with someone who didn't want to bicker over a game. I can appreciate the movements rushing through my head, and I want to sort them out. I want to order them. Slowly, this will happen and my game will strengthen. I still have aspirations of attaining a higher level of play. My time on yahoo games is good, and the games can be quite interesting. However, I appreciate the slower games; I envision a parlor room set with drinks and music. It will be a lovely affair.

Prashast and I just got back from a visit with Karim, and we had some interesting conversations about generalizing. Karim was espousing on the positions of Jews and their influence in America, and it made me a bit edgy. It was not threatening in any way nor was it slanderous. It was quite complicated to discuss becuase there are so many facets intertwined in the statement. Yes, I do believe Jews are well networked together in the US and I also think it is part of the communal sense to assist one another. However, I deny the idea also because it sets up a paradigm for people being different than one another. The three of us sat discussing, myself, Prashast and Karim. A Jew, a Hindu, and a Muslim were talking it out, but we were all the same in a way. Are all of us different? Are any of us the other? I appreciate my experience and also that it may be unique. However, why am I so different from anybody else? So we believe in different faiths. We may enjoy different life experiences, but aren’t we all people asking the same questions in life? We all want to know who we are, what we are, and where we come from. These inquiries and similarity in life experiences makes us fundamentally the same in human terms. When we set up the notion of the other and maintain it as being fixed I think we prevent progress from occurring if only subtly. When beliefs are strongly founded without infringing on anybody else’s rights, only then may we all see a peaceful state existing between all of us. So, the conversation went the way of the dodo, but before that I was told not to be so specific all the time and generalize a bit. Um, I am not so sure about this one, but I do hope one day happiness will be a general feeling shared by all.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Injury has ensued a bit. I managed to cut my fingers not once but twice today. I thought I would take it easy after I sliced a noticeable although small piece of my index fingernail, so I headed for browner pastures away from coriander towards peeling potatoes. Yea, well, that's where the second small nick occurred. I repeat small. These were not significant cuts in any shape or form, and I was particularly careful in cleaning them because drinking the water is treacherous enough cleaning a cut with it can be a very prolonged mistake. So, I was told Turmeric powder is antiseptic. With any luck my finger will not be a balloon tomorrow. Aside from that the kitchen was pretty quiet today. I came back on the bus again and really felt the onset of Spring/Summer. It has been reaching close to 100 Fahrenheit, and soon it will far exceed that by about another 10 to 20 degrees. Thankfully, I'll be on to greener wetter pastures by that point. Thailand which is also a nice hot clime this time will only be a temporary stopover on the way to Amsterdam for my Aunt Jan's art show. It ought to be a hella good time. We're cheering for her from all corners of the globe, and it will be a family affair of support for this next great achievement of hers. Her site is chock full of beautiful works I highly recommend you enjoy.

In other news Prashast and I are working with his father to develop a website on creativity. It is an interesting project with a strong lean to education. We'll see how that comes along in the next some weeks.

Sadly, India lost today against Pakistan in the third One Day Invitational cricket match. Everyone was pretty solemn around town. This is an historic rivalry deeply reflecting the political rift between the nations. Their players are given the same stardom credit and foray into politics as Hollywood actors find themselves. Thankfully, the cricketers have a bit more sense one of them commenting, "We'll leave the diplomacy up to the diplomats."

Monday, March 15, 2004

With great satisfaction I can say last week was amazing. I accomplished a whole lot. I have changed the directions in my travel a bit, and I am playing the game a lot more. By the game I mean I had removed myself from any sense of obligation when I began traveling, and that even extended to areas I didn't intend or perceive. I think the air is pretty clear here despite being thick. Air is not all that we see and breath. I have been contacting many people regarding different matters, and my wheels have rarely stopped spinning. If it's any indication what state I am in I have purchased another cell phone. Anyone that can remember last impression of them may need to take a double take. Here is probably not the best place to put it; let me know if you would like it. I have a Dehli number while I am here for the next three and some weeks. Then I'll move to a Thai number, etc. This will be good because it seems everywhere I go I am meeting people who are trying to coordinate at some level or another. It is somewhat common in India to say you'll be reaching, and then it happens as though unexpectedly. I tend to do things a bit differently and a phone will aid to that end.

Cooking is going along wonderfully. I spent Tuesday through Friday in the kitchen then I took the weekend off to run errands and frolic a bit. I need my frolicking time while it has been afforded me. I was at my dad's office one day where I met his boss, and he asked what I do with my time in India. I responded that I rest. He and dad looked at one another as though everybody was in the wrong role. Well, okay so I am a bit young to be so leisurely, anway things are looking a bit more productive these days. We'll see what comes of it in some time. I'll keep this up to date best I can!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A couple great things happened in the same day. Yesterday, I began my cooking apprenticeship at Chor Bizarre, Noida, and I found out our friend Dorothy is leaning towards moving to New York! Unexpectedly I got to begin a day earlier than I thought, and Shivi and I headed into the restaurant. Everyone was very welcoming to have me in the kitchen. Noida is one of three Chor Bizarre locations. They have food brought in from one of the other locations, and the management company Old World Hospitality has several other facilities including a bakery and sweets location that delivers to Noida. So, a lot of the food that they plate there is combined from prepared foods. Don’t let that deceive anybody, there is still bucket loads to clean, chop, and prepare. Most of the time yesterday it felt like I was in the way, but Shivi explained to me that it was only the first day. Hopefully, today will be a little different. Thankfully, the kitchen has fairly tall ceiling levels, so height is only an in issue in several places because of the paper chef’s cap I’ve been required to wear. Funny enough a chef from the Chinese section of the kitchen noticed my predicament and offered a pair of scissors to trim down my hat that fell off every time I went into the lower part of the kitchen. I need to trim it a bit lower, and then it won’t be a problem at all. The kitchen is broken down into several different sections all of which are unfamiliar to me as far as cuisines go. There is a Kashmiri section; there is a curry section; there is a tandoori section; there is a Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, Korean, and several other oriental styles section; there is a dishwashing section (this one I am pretty familiar with); there is a sweets section (this one I plan on becoming intimately familiar with!). One of the executive chef’s went through the menu item by item with me and offered me tastes of many ingredients. And, and, and, he suggested that I walk around with a spoon to taste everything produced in the kitchen. Anybody that remotely knows me can understand this ranks up there with ultimate pleasures. I mean come on tasting fiery Kashmiri curries, mutton, chicken, ginger, garlic, peppers, chilies, everything, everything, everything!!! Amongst all of the tasting yesterday there was one thing that absolutely floored me. There is a type of food called Chaat (pronounced like ‘Chart’). This is often referred to as street food. There are small venders in the cities, train platforms, and in restaurants throughout India that offer this small dishes as a snack or several combine to make a nice fully belly meal. Anyway, the typical additions to the base are a coriander jaggery sauce, sweetened dahi (curd or yoghurt), and several other spices like cumin seed powder. So, the base he had me taste that absolutely floored me was a deep fried whole spinach leaf. I am not sure what the batter was that they used, but it was out of this world. I intend to become more familiar with this for sure. Yes, I am enthusiastic about this apprenticeship and all that I will take from it!

So, our friend Dorothy, Dot, Dot the Bisnot is considering New York finally. We, Dana and I told her when she was leaving Boston last year to come to New York, but she insisted on returning to Dallas. Thankfully, she will not to continue drudging through Dallas with disdain for the boufon hair and blue eyeshadow. Instead she will be taking up residence at 125 Seaman Avenue for the summer. We’re all very excited for this transition, and I wish her the best of luck. It’s nice when people realize the inherit beauty and opportunity available in New York. Yes, I too crave the frenetic New York day and nights. Amazing how you have to leave a place sometimes to see how deep-set your love is. New York and I will continue to explore our possibilities when I return!

I need to run and great ready for a great day cooking. I send my love to all.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Yesterday was Holi. And what a festival it was. It is aptly dubbed the festival of colors for all of the gulal or colored dust that is tossed about. Kids and us alike were running around with gulal and water guns filled with dyed water. Much of my body is still colored from the celebration. It ought to be gone in the next week or so. Good fun the whole day. We celebrated over at Prashast's brother's house. Gaurav and Pearl were delightful hosts to myself and a slew of their other friends. Drinking began somewhat surprisingly early, around 11AM, so the afternoon was a wash, and I crashed around nine only to find the room filled with another gang of friends. Prashast opted to spend the day with some other friends as he had not gotten up in time to head over to his brothers. All around it was a great day; although, if I were you, I would pass on Mila Jovovich's The Messenger, agh not worth losing sleep over.

Today was great for cooking. Shivi and I got off to a rocking start with a masala gravy mixed vegetable dish, then I watched further as he prepared Mung Dhal (lentil beans) with some Masala. The rice had slowly been cooking all morning, add some curd, and you have a great meal for everyone. Tonight we're moving on down the line to Mutton. Perhaps I'll be a bit more hands-on this time; although, I am still copious notes while he works, so we'll figure out the balance. And, in a great development today, Prashast's aunt gave me the approval to work in either of the Chor Bizarre restraunts here in Dehli. So, I will be heading into apprenticeshiphood on Wednesday, when Shivi next goes to work. Then, after a week or two if I would like to delve into more specific Kashmiri cuisine I may shift over to the other restaurant located in Old Dehli. This is all very exciting.

Things have been going pretty good in the last several days, and I feel a real surge upward in my motivation and excitement. It's a nice feeling. Deciding to stop traveling through India and settle in Dehli until I depart April 10th has offered me some peace of mind. Traveling constantly is not the most suitable thing for me. I like being connected to a place and establishing good relations. Dehli has offered me a lot, and I intend to keep learning more about this expansive city. Time during this trip has really revealed a lot about my love of big cities. New York is a very suitable place for me despite all the trash talking I did before leaving. And, you won't hear me complain about having difficulty breathing the City's air after some of the places I have been. We've got it good comparatively!

Friday, March 05, 2004

Today is the 10th day since the passing of Prashast's grand-uncle. This is a special day in the Kashmiri tradition as much of it will be spent commemorarting the deceased. Earlier in the week after the cremation his remains were brought 250 kilometers north to Haridwar. There was a ceremony there releasing the ashes into the Ganga. This morning the entire family gathered at the Yamuna river where prayers were recited. There is a break now before everyone regroups this evening. There will be a large selection of the deceased's favorite food, and I am not all that sure what else may take place. I have been invited to honor this man alongside the rest of his family. It has been enlightening to witness the way the family has processed the whole experience in the past week. Many family members have been visiting each others' homes to be with one another. It is nice to see everybody so supportive in this time.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Kearouac’s On The Road was fantastic. I had started it some time back, before leaving New York last July in fact. When I was last there in February I picked it up again as I did several other titles. I have gone through phases of reading and not reading on this trip, and I decided that I would finish several pieces before returning home again in April. I can relate to Sal Paradise’s frenetic travels and though I have not encountered anyone as crazy as his Dean Moriarty I have come across quite the character or two. It was great when they arrived in Mexico and how they freak out about being able to enjoy life in greater abundance. I have experienced that also along my way. That was what it was like for me when I was in Ukraine; I saw the rows upon rows of inexpensive quality Vodkas, what a sight that was. Now it means high quality professional photo processing at inexpensive rates. Yesterday I got back the first role of black and white film, and I was quite pleased with the quality of their work. When I was in Nikolaev, Ukraine I told Laura the processing quality was lacking. She told me that I didn’t take very good pictures. Well, I can’t argue for the content’s quality so much; even though, I do know what I like to see in a picture. There is a distinguishable difference in the care that this lab is taking in their work from that of Nikolaev. Speaking about content with Prashast he said 10% good pictures in a role constitutes a ‘good role’, and I was pleased at the printing potential for around 10 to 12 shots out of 36. It is decidedly a good role!

My cooking lessons have commenced. Trilochan and I began with the traditional Indian gravy’s. There are four which are the start for most dishes: Masala, Butter, White and Yellow. As he was explaining this he emphasized the color of the dish a great many times. This would appeal to Dana’s aesthetics more than my own initially, but perhaps as we spend some time in the kitchen it will begin to ring a bit clearer with me also. Then we proceeded to a spice shop where we collected most of the ingredients we discussed earlier, and I acquired a nice stash of Kashmiri saffron to dole out back home. I have a meeting tomorrow with the people that own the restaurant Trilochan works in for permission to apprentice in the kitchen with him, and I am hopeful that they’ll approve.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

I have successfully inverted day and night this past week. Since landing in Bombay I did not go to bed before 6AM and I often slept off most of the day. My evenings were spent shooting photos, cooking, watching movies, hours of amazing conversation, and touching base with myself. I arrived in Dehli this morning, and I am pretty well oriented at the moment. Tomorrow, day will return to being my day, and I will set out in search of novelty and adventure at least it seems that way right now. I have tried to get the cooking wheels in motion, and with any luck I'll be all setup before Wednesday or so. For those of you who don't know what I speak of, I met a wonderful guy named Trilochan who offered to teach me some about Kashmiri cooking.

There are really so many wonderful and intense interactions I am involved in that it rarely comes through in this format. I have not been devoted to this journal as other bloggers I have seen. I will be making an effort to try and convey some more of what has been going on with me. This will be greatly facilitated by residing in one house for the next bit.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

The tone of my trip is changing. I thought some time back about my photo equipment, and for the second time in my travels I am making a transition. Originally, I didn’t want to bring my Nikon SLR because of its size. Now is different than before, and surprisingly my bag has less stuff in it; that’s a pleasant change. I’ve outfitted myself with the proper film and I’m heading out for more adventures. Many people have asked what it is that I do while I am away, and I always have a difficult time answering. I do many things: some that get in my way and others that I choose. Whatever the path, it always winds to a vivid rhythm. Soon another plane, but not before a delicious meal with my love.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

It's a late night running non-stop. Started at it all early this morning with a DD coffee and that long train to work. I sat next to a young father with his daughter in between us. As he was interested in learning the progress amongst the democratic hopefuls, she sat and observed the world around her silently. Perhaps she was thinking some and being some; although, it was unclear to me. Then her father took her hand silently some 20-25 minutes later, and they rarely exchanged words. It was a peculiar relationship for me to witness. I'm sometimes, although infrequently, with people who are busy working on other stuff. I like transportation time to yak. Speaking of the Democratic hopefuls, as the world turns Deans blog promises more action in the upcoming presidential struggle. I found a quote on Words on a page with a great quote for today: I am neither Democrat or Republican. I am a proud member of "The ABB Party," Anybody But Bush. Although, many democrats find themselves in a similar position.

D and I hit up the Columbus Circle Whole Foods again tonight. I have been in town for nine evenings now, and I have been to that grocery store four times. I am commited to changing what I eat for the better. I would rather go out less and do far less things on account of having divine and fresh food. A little Jamba Juice also helped poor Brian's cold along. Immunity booster works like a charm! This is one of several more evenings I have in New York. I have extended my time here through Sunday afternoon. There are more conversations to be had with D, pops, and co. As well, I need to spend a bit more time completing the work tasks I arranged for the time I am here. All in all this has been a wonderful visit. New York fits like a glove. My buddy David told me a good one the other day. He tells me there is a guy with five penises, and somebody asks, "How do your pants fit?" Well, there you have it. Lots of love to everyone.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The wind has blown again, and this time I find myself at home. I am resting in New York for some time. I have come home to be with my love. I didn't even tell her that I was coming. The stunned look on her face could have continued either way, but she was elated. We are at a juncture where actions and words all attest; my actions this week have been well received. It has been a long time away, and we have matters of the heart to attend to. Being home about two days now, there is no doubt this is best possible thing I could have done for my relationship. People have been tossing around the addage 'Distance makes the heart' in my different lights. Well, distance has been straining on communication, and as I wrote not too long ago, there is little that compares with a face to face, hello. Today, I am glowing as I say, 'I love you.'

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Alright, I am back on track with this blogging action. I dropped off the surface for a little while. In part I felt the world in motion; that combined with not being able to properly control my new webhosts it has taken me a few attempts. Everything seems to be in order. This is a test.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

I found myself galumphing back to the Green Hills cottage lastnight after Dhanni's sister's wedding. I had to bow out around two in the morning. They told me to stay and dance through the night as the actual wedding ceremony wasn't going to happen until four. I had two of my favorite dishes, Pani Puri and Jelabees before heading for the dancefloor. Now, this being my second wedding I thought I would be a bit prepared for what was to insue. But, my confidence wanned quickly as I was being fought over to dance with. All the while the women sat and watched. In some places the men and women dance together; this wedding was not such an affair. Thus, I was left to contend with one guy wanting me to dance his way another squeezing my hand while pulling me towards his group. I found reprieve by dancing with the little kids. They are always a bit more spunky,and I connect with them. I lost interest with the dancefloor altogether when it started up again. It was nice to see everyone looking sharp and celebrating such a beautiful occasion. I am not versed in all the practices affiliated with a Hindu wedding, but from what I have seen it is quite lovely. At the family's home, next to the reception tent, there was a canopy built from banana tree branches and various other articles. For the ceremony it was explained to me that a fire would be set up in the middle which the bride and groom would circle seven times. There is a bit more detail on this site. After all the fun I had to excuse myself.

Funny, I was just reading in the news about homeschooled kids being present on most college campuses. The other day I was speaking with somebody I met about our educational system; the conversation was mostly about the limited scope offered to our kids. There are much broader learning experiences such as the kids I meet traveling with their parents around the world. An comprable example within the states I offered was homeschooling. One question that came up was whether or not it made a difference with college entrance or higher learning. Voila, this article goes into some of it. I commend those that have the opportunity and the drive to challenge not only their child but also themself to that end. The vast diversity in experience is truly amazing. Few things bring me as much joy as education and the opportunity to learn.

Monday, January 26, 2004

On blogger.com, the other day, I read as many as 300 new blogs are created per hour. That is a significant number of people putting content online. The rate at which global interconnectedness increases is astonishing. Yet, just the other day I met a couple running Horse treks through the Manali area of India; they were explaining how they meet people along their way who have no access to electricity. Being an ardent supporter of electrical technologies, such a lifestyle is hard to comprehend. Sitting quietly in the hills some place where the wind passes few ears and carries no hum of electrical generation is only one of the spaces available to us. Another space is city life; it has all the of advantages of boiling culture, religion, business, and other elements into quite an enticing brew. Each of us is left to figure out what space we occupy. Self-determinedly we choose the content filling our space; we can be in more than one place at a time. With technology and the reduced time to communicate new actors and audiences are continuously being created. We can create space including although not limited to our physical space. Phone, email, webpages, instant messaging, real-time broadcasts, radio, they all connect us. All of that being said, nothing touches the heart more than a face to face 'hello'. Sharing space has never been easier or more challenging in the absence of presence. This is for the girl in the high back office chair sitting at 125, the stacks, childpsych, class, dinner, or wherever you tread.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Ah, back in serene Rishikesh. The cold season and rainier days are coming to a close, and soon spring time in the mountains will bring back more Europeans and Israeli. However, for now, I am the only guest staying at the Green Hills Cottage. The clean air and slow pace offer nice peace here. There is a local cricket tournament happening. Three young guys managed to organize over 15 teams, and they are currently slugging it out done the road. It's an amazing thing, a blog. I came across a nice article from Google News about how blogging is aiding the political process. The speed surpasses even the strongest traditional news sources for conveying fast information. Although, there can be a big problem of accuracy. Even with the best of reporters forging some work these days, discerning the truth is a must, unfortunately. Chicago's Daily Herold has the story on blogging here. Real time information is quite the powerful tool. I find it very easy to update this, and I am pleasantly surprised to hear about people reading it, some of whom I have never met. From these quiet hills, I send my love.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Josh and Howie both had very successful trips while in Thailand, and I count my time there a success also. Whether spending a well deserved reunion with Dana in the islands or sipping on a Singha watching the sunset on the klong (canal), my in Thailand was delightful. One evening I even had the pleasure of meeting some Thai social activists. They were a diverse group some advocating AIDS treatment while others work for health education and gender equality. All the while the seafood and fruit juice were in fresh abundance. I even got to catch up on some film releases. There are many high quality theaters in Bangkok; sound systems make all the difference for that experience. Next time I am in Thailand, I plan to venture away from the capital towards the north, but for this visit it was wonderful meeting great friends. I had the pleasure of getting to know some great folk, including Ed originally from Ohio and Robert from Stockholm. There were a great many other characters I came in contact with like Phil from Pattaya whom I met after a long night out. He wanted the night to be longer, but I politely explained that Bangkok wasn't like that for me. When I was done explaining non-profit fungiability he politely bowed out of the conversation and excused himself. I too excused myself from the country when my visa was nearly expired, and I have returned to India. Announcing my arrival on the way from the airport there was dinner set out on the table at my great friend Prashast's house, and since then silliness and seriousness has ensued. Day after next I will continue onto Rishikesh for Dhanni's sister's wedding. From there onto Lucknow. Order and timing are very loosely based these days, but I will be there as it happens.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Again, my love is somewhere over the Pacific, and once again I am alone. It has been rare during this trip that I've felt a weight from being by myself. This afternoon it hit me. I said to D at the airport not to be sad or to shed tears. She wasn't sad, and she told me not all tears come from sadness. She is a very wise person. I masked some of my own feelings in trying to comfort her. I miss her. We shared a really beautiful holiday; for her it was well deserved rest. Tonight as I write and she flys we continue on our own paths until they cross again. I am very grateful to have had this time together. Thailand was very good to us.

Tomorrow I'll see Josh, and that will be nice to reconnect. I have some days with him in Bangkok. Then, Howie will arrive during his vacation, also. Life should is blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful and loving people. I am grateful for all that I have, in its time and in its place.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Resting never had it better. We're still rolling around Ko Tao a meal at a time. Lunch today was Deep Fried White Snapper with garlic and pepper sauce, accompanied by a four seasons pizza. Wash that all with some fresh fruit juices and you have the perfect meal after a morning of diving. The sites out here are phenomenol. Yesterday, we did a two hour tune-up/fun dive because it had been three and a half years since we went diving. Scuba Junction has a great staff, and the facility and equipment was all top notch. This morning we went on two more intermediate dives. Thailand's marine life is gorgeous. A lot of the dive sites have similar critters and plant life, but you don't always get to see it. There were a beautiful Titan Triggerfish, a Longnose Butterflyfish, Embedded Clams, and many other wonderful fishes. It's really nice to see them in their environment. Dana and I both feel quite strongly for only being a visitor and not disturbing the reefs too much. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people that are oblivious to the harm they cause.

Aside from getting due rest for Dana, we've been beach bumming, a la shade style myself and playing some scrabble. We only played two games, but the first one lasted my first word. I dropped done O-N-*-S-E-L-F for 126 points. Then we played again, and Dana played a noble winner. Tomorrow, we're off Ko Tao back to Ko Samui, then the next day to Bangkok. It will be bittersweet as parting always is. But, I've been very grateful for this reunion so far along in my trip. It's been fun hanging together without obligations.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Dana and I have been moving a bit since she's arrived in Thailand, but it seems as though one end has been achieved. We are resting, losing track of time. We eat when hungry, swim when it's right, and we shop a little bit also. The deck overlooking the sea is serene, and the sun sets over the horizon as we sit and toast the occasional simplicity in life. There are lovely places along Sairee beach that we've been resting at one meal at a time. And, 'Thank Heavens' for 7-eleven, we've managed to acquire everything else we need.

We would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year! Enjoy your celebrations. I may catch a west-coast reader for them to have these wishes before they celebrate midnight's coming; although, it would appear I missed the majority of you before the bell. Be well, and hopefully we will see each other soon.