Friday, January 10, 2014
Wow did I sleep well last night, best nights sleep in a long time. Was thinking, "when was the last time I slept that well?". I think it was Bali. It was the last time I had my own place.
It has been four years in March since I returned from my trip around the world. Since returning I have been bouncing around, Los Gatos, San Francisco, New York City and Mexico City (plus travel for work).
I have rented a room in Lake Tahoe $650 a month, with a small kitchenette. Need time for my ribs to heal. I have broken at least two ribs #7 and #8 on my left back. I may have also broken the lower ribs on my left front. There is no snow, so don't feel as if I am missing anything. Also feeling a little scared, I have never been this out of shape and exhausted.
Will work on the writing the book, rest, try to get back in shape (227 pounds) and regroup.
Monday, October 28, 2013
When we were kids, my sister and I would play a game. After dinner we would refold our napkins and clean our silverware to make them look like they looked before dinner. The winner would be the one who could make the napkin and silverware look exactly like they looked before dinner.
Now, I collect small items, old rangefinder cameras, headphones, pocket knives and watches. I research a topic then look for the "perfect" item, most often the item needs to be less than $100. I buy items review, check to see if it is "perfect", keep if it is, return it if not. Once I feel that I understand an area, I move on to the next. Realizing that it is a form of magical thinking.
For now, I am living in Los Gatos. Have given up on finding work in Mexico and trying to rebuild my life in California. Still have work in California and have an agreement to write a book. Will see what happens next.
So little of my life is within my control, where I live, my marriage, my work, all feel outside my control. Maybe, if the silverware is perfectly cleaned and re-placed the perfection will spread to the rest of my life.
Friday, December 7, 2012
Today I came back from a run and there was no running water at home, we haven't had running water since yesterday. Something seems to happen about once a week, no water, no electricity, no phone / no internet. Makes me better understand "Sing, don't cry".
Been living in DF for more than a year and married for six months.
I find myself not wanting to leave the house, at least, in the house I have some control, as soon I walk out the door, anything can happen. Have had many meetings in DF, no closer to any work in Mexico. Getting close to just giving up on working in Mexico and not having any more meetings in DF, too frustrating. Every meeting is at least three hours and then nothing happens. Everyone is your amigo, but that means nothing.
Seems best to stay at home, work, use my headphones and travel when I can.
Often people say that Mexicans are lazy, I don't feel they are lazy at all, just apathetic. With so much chaos, it is easier to just wait.
I am trying to learn that it is okay to accept an imperfect world (Mexico is very imperfect), and relax, but I have a foot in two cultures. All of my work is based in the USA, but I am living in DF, having to keep to USA standards (return emails, return phone calls, respond to requests), but live in a Mexican culture of "Manana".
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
I get out of the car and it is quiet, an over whelming quiet. What happened? It is like everything went away. I just can't get over how quiet it is outside of DF. I am obsessed with headphones, keep upgrading, I have realized it is the quiet that I am looking for. Tuning out the noise.
Keep thinking about John Cage's 4'33 and the decision not to play and just listen.
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
I am going to mix my metaphors "Branching Decisions" and "Crossing Rivers"
I was born in Connecticut
At an early age had difficulty in school, latter diagnosed with Dyslexia
I was small for my age, with a late growth spurt
My father was rigid and had difficulty with compulsions
I used my artistic talent to get by in school
Learned to use technology to compensate for Dyslexia
After school learned how to survive and earn a living with Dyslexia
Earned living, first as an Art handling low pay, tried sculpting no pay
Working in museums was found to be dysfunctional
Work as consultant but no museum will need me all the time
Vacillate between employee and consultant
Role of consultant as client learns, work yourself out of work
Have to travel or move to keep working either working in a museum or as a consultant
Want stability, find a woman I love with a stable job
Learned to span cultures, time zones, to continue working as consultant
Saturday, March 31, 2012
The woman at the X-Ray machine "is this a test", with that, I remembered what was in my bag. They shut down the area and surrounded me, I got the curator on the phone and they calmed down.
Friday, March 30, 2012
|Saul Bass Movie Poster|
Homeless Man #1 (two black eyes): "Looks like you have the same"
Homeless Man #2 (two black eyes): "Ya, but I fell down a flight of stairs"
I have been getting dizzy. Today, I am an the San Francisco Public Library, I try to avoid this library, too many homeless people. "There but for the grace of God (go I)", being with so many homeless people gives me a mixed reaction, I realize that I am not homeless, but I am very close. Is it homeless of "home free"?
I am only half kidding when I ask Patricia "what country is this?". I have been traveling, JFK, MEX, SFO, JFK, MEX, SFO...non stop. Sometimes when I look at advertisements for jobs it says" 25% travel required", gets me thinking, "is there such a thing as 110% travel?". CT, NYC, SF, MEX, I am spread out over two countries and at least three states.
I have gotten into the habit of buying underwear at Walgreen's, it is easier buying than washing.
Things that change:
- Credit Cards (some for USA, some for Mexico)
- Time Zone
- Cell Phone (I have two, one for USA, one for Mexico)
- Measurements (metric vs. imperial)
My computer bag is my Linus's security blanket. I am obsessive about forgetting things and my "magic finger" needs to inspect the hotel room before I check out.
I had to look back the last time I had an apartment was September 2008, that is four years.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
My favorite activités:
- Listening to Music
- Museum Installations
- Making Art
- Visiting Museums
- Swimming in a pond or ocean
- Vietnamese Food
- Japanese Food
- Japanese Bath
- Thai Food
- Riding Horses
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
|My ski tracks from Fire Break at Heavenly|
My favorite Ski Mountains:
Stowe, classic VT skiing, more about the atmosphere than the ski area
http://www.stowehofinn.com/ best hotel at Stowe
Heavenly: Mott Canyon is Amazing!
Squaw: Granite Chief Fantastic!
Jackson Hole, Best skiing I have ever done!
Alta, skiing only, fantastic mountain
Snowbird, Cliff Lodge has a great April deal
A-Basin, part of the Epic pass, great mountain, ski woods of Pallavicini lift
A-Basin, part of the Epic pass, great mountain, ski woods of Pallavicini lift
Innsbruck, some day I will get back there, amazing landscape
Innsbruck, some day I will get back there, amazing landscape
I dream of helicopter skiing in Alaska, skiing in Switzerland and cat skiing in Utah, again!
Labels: Los Angeles
"What am I doing?"
It is 5:22AM in the morning at LAX. Last night I flew from MEX (now I think in airport codes) to LAX, when I arrived we were escorted to buses on the tarmac, then to Bradley, where we went through customs. It was midnight by the time I got through customs. I ate way too much, sushi, two hamburgers and a milkshake. It has been very tough finding good food in Mexico, so when I have the chance I eat whatever I can. It remind me of living in Indianapolis, when I would go to NYC or SFO I would eat non stop. Funny when food is not good, I find myself eating more, hoping the next item, might taste better than the last. Then I had to walk to the other side of the airport terminal 7 (I was at the international terminal on the other side). When I arrived at terminal 7, the terminal was closed except for baggage claim, I found a bench and slept the best I could until 4AM. Then had to go through security again.
I am in CA so I can meet with my client in SF, communication from Mexico has been close to impossible. I find myself giving up. The day that the internet and electricity went out, I went down stairs to find the electric company changing all of the building's meters, the workmen were on lunch break, had their mortar and pistel out making guacamole in the garage of our building. No notice of the electricity going out, just got turned off. There is no value in getting upset, you just accept. "You are not a child, you need to control you emotions", are the types of comments I get, when these things happen.
So what am I doing? Really not sure. My current work contract is the best contract I have ever had. But, I have already given up, can't see a way that I am going to be able to keep it, communication with the USA is too tough.
I have been making next to no effort with the Spanish language, can't seem to find the point, there isn't anything that I really want to know and there isn't anything I want to say, bad attitude. I feel as if the only way to survive is to create "bubbles", the club is a bubble, the apartment is a bubble, don't want to venture too far outside the bubbles, things way to unsure and a little scary. Miss nature and technology, trying to figure out MEX, can't stand the "wanna be USA malls", can't stand the "wanna be USA people", but the Mexico that I knew from 1996 seems to be gone.
In 1996 I traveled to Mexico for the first time. I had already traveled a fair amount, and I was blown away by the warmth of the people of Mexico. The warmth still seems to be there, but the culture has gone through a significant change due to the drug war and globalization. People seem more scared and more of the "wanna be USA" and the world does not need anymore USA.
I have tried making contacts in MEX, see little to no chance of work in MEX. I am sure I could get some work, but at a very low pay rate. Teaching at the design school pays less than $1000 per month for three days per week, don't see any consulting work possibilites. Currently communication is too tough to keep clients in the USA.
I have been "going" non stop. MEX > SFO > JFK > DCA > BWI > SJC > MEX > EWR > MEX > LAX > SJC. Moving out of IND, moving out of SFO, moving out of CT, moving into MEX, still need to move items out of CT.
I am obsessed with headphones, find music a great relief.
Many believe that "Gringo"is a variant of "griego" 'Greek' (cf. Greek to me)
"Greek to Me"
Labels: Los Angeles
Friday, October 28, 2011
Hola - Hello
Gracias - Thank you
Perdon - Pardon
Disculpame - Excuse Me
Buenos Dias - Good Morning
Buenos Tarde - Good Afternoon
Buenos Noche - Good Night
Por favor - Please
Hablo Ingles-Do you speak English?
No comprendo español-I don't understand Spanish
Ahorita - A little time, could mean 10 minutes or 10 days
Manana - Tomorrow
I have made through my first week in Mexico City. Arrived October 22, 2011 on the redeye from San Jose. Patricia picked me up and we went to her aunt's 60th birthday party, very nice morning. Often people celebrate their birthday's at church. Patricia's aunt had a mass at church, then we went to an Italian Restaurant for brunch. Many of Patricia's father's family was at the birthday. Very nice they even included a picture of me in the birthday slide show.
We then went and looked at many apartments. The apartment that we liked is owned by a Jewish family. There are many Jews in Mexico but they only like to rent to other Jews, so they wouldn't rent to us. Renting an apartment is more complicated than in the USA, someone else who is a land owner needs to co-sign for you and if someone doesn't like you they don't need to rent to you. Landlords like to rent to American and foreigners, but it seems to be a social dance to get them to like you for them to rent to you. We gave up, moved out of the hotel Arquimedes 33 and moved into Patricia's apartment. It took several visits from the gas company, but we got the gas on, so now we have hot water. We need to get a stove, been stove shopping.
I have given up on a USA cell phone. ATT blocked my cell phone, because I was calling from Mexico and erased all of my messages, without me hearing the messages. I have a Mexican Cell phone and the reception within Mexico seems fine but internet is very sporadic. We went out and bought a BAM a wireless internet connection, no better. Very frustrating week, trying to communicate with the USA, no cell phone and sporadic internet. We have joined a very nice club, where I can work, but their internet is also sporadic. On Monday I went to the library of La Salle University, very nice library but no internet.
It is interesting you can buy anything you want in Mexico, but the infrastructure to support "it" may be non existent.
The Spanish did a job on the indigenous Mexicans, stole their gold, killed and tortured them and in return turned them to Catholics. There is a saint for everyday and religion is part of everyday life. Second to the church is family, everything is based on the family. Third to family is friends. Forth to friends are strangers, you treat strangers kindly, almost as friend. Everyone looks out for each other, because everyone knows that banditos are everywhere. Banditos may not be career criminals but just someone with an opportunity, so everyone is looking out for each other with a quizzical eye.
Obesity is an issue in Mexico, #19 in the world. I think it is relief from the tenacity it takes to get things done. Wanted to get a locker at the Gym, went to the office, waited twenty minutes for them to get me a list of avaibale lockers, then had to go pick a locker, picked a locker, went back to the office, spoke to them, signed the paperwork, then went back, to find out there was a lock on the locker I selected, went and spoke to security, then back to the office to chose another locker, then back to the locker room, back to security and finally back to the locker room. Of course all of this is in Spanish, no one spoke English. Took an hour and half. But, you have to smile. Similar to "Asian saving face", you do not get upset, you just smile.
20,000 pesos 3 bedroom Apartment - $1,538USD
18 pesos Shoe Shine - $1.34USD
34 pesos Cappuccino - $2.64USD
32 pesos Shirt Washed - $2.40USD
Cheap is cheap, but expensive is more than in the USA, still trying to get my head around Mexico costing more than San Francisco, but to get similar quality of USA it is more than the USA. Much of it is due to Chinese tariffs, some of it due to no one pays taxes, so no money for infrastructure and some of it due to apathy. People tend to accept mediocre, to get better than mediocre costs.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Sitting in a hotel room in Baltimore, MD. Was here for the ASTC conference, announced new traveling exhibition at roundtable session. Flubbed the presentation, looking out at the audience was too tough, "oh ya, she fired me, oh ya, used to work with them, etc.".
I keep thinking about the device at Fedex that directs the boxes to their destination. I have moved out the of San Francisco apartment, my mom has sold her house and I have moved my stuff in Connecticut into storage. My mom has bought a place in NYC. I moved whatever I had in San Francisco to Mexico City and let a few things in Los Gatos. Mexico City, Connecticut, New York City, Los Gatos, which place should I send which box?
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Looking at moving to Mexico City in September, starting to think (again) about what I need:
- Electricity for CPAP
- Place to run outdoors
- Coffee Shop
- Grocery Store
- Place to go for walks
- Art Museums
- Yoga Studio
- Inexpensive restaurants
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
The Olive Garden manger came to the table to say "there is an issue in the parking lot". I felt my stomach drop, knowing what was coming my way. I sat at the table, waiting for Patricia to get back from the bathroom, while drinking my lemonade. She paid the check and I went out to the parking lot. Patricia ran past me on the way to the car.
The parking lot was scattered with glass and the owner of the car next to me was screaming into his cell phone. The people in the next car had also been burglarized and the police would not show up. I called the police, knowing that they wouldn't show up. My yelp review of our dinner:
"A home is a place of residence or refuge. When it refers to a building, it is usually a place in which an individual or a family can rest and store personal property. Most modern-day households contain sanitary facilities and a means of preparing food. Sometimes, as an alternative to the definition of "home" as a physical locale ("Home is where you hang your hat"), home may be perceived to have no physical location—instead, home may relate instead to a mental or emotional state of refuge or comfort. Since it can be said that humans are generally creatures of habit, the state of a person's home has been known to physiologically influence their behavior, emotions, and overall mental health. The loss of a home (due to whatever reason, be it through accident or natural disaster, repossession, or in the case of children simply the decision to move on the part of the parents) can be a valid cause of grief."
My computer bag was "my place of refuge".
My computer bag was "my place of refuge".
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Driving to the library today, listening to religious radio. The preacher is saying, "if you were transferred to NYC for two months and were staying in a hotel for the two months, would you buy new drapes for the hotel room? No, because Heaven is your home, your life here on earth is just your hotel room during your short stay". I loved it! He is right, not about heaven, but life on earth is just a short hotel stay.
I love cheap hotel rooms. Going to go skiing this weekend, have a favorite cheap hotel, $29 per night. I paid $350 a month for a hotel room in Ubud, Bali, $550 a month for a hotel room in Lake Tahoe, CA. What could be better?, meet nice people, stay in incredible places, have a nice time and move on, isn't that life?
Recalibrate, I love that word, it is all about the calibrations, where do you "set your zero" and how far off from zero is a tolerable variance. This coming from a guy who's thesis was on "error term" in design and built chairs with dreadlocks, a chair to reach Jah.
That is life, at what point are you out of your tolerances or how cheap a hotel room can you handle?
"Keeing your zero"
Almost everyday I go to the library to work and I listen to Pandora through a set of headphones. I often spend 10AM-6PM in the library taking a short break for lunch. Spending so much time sitting in a chair in front of computer, music becomes super important. So, I buy different headphones, try them out for a few days and return them. Costs me about $10 a week in return shipping. Have tried more than fifteen (15) headphones so far. No, I am not crazy, really!
Link to my headphone experiences:
My Favorite Artists:
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Hard to believe this month, I am back from my Asia trip a year. Things are going great!
Weekends teach skiing at Heavenly, maybe the toughest job I have ever had, but love it. Last week, my boss said to me "Mark, we have a three year old with only one leg, who is crying, would you like to teach her?", I looked at him and said "yes", without thinking. He smiled and said "just kidding". I have said "yes" to every student they give me, the two Korean boys who didn't speak English, the two ADD four years olds, the diabetic five year old, the girl who refused to go outside, I just say "yes". Seeing kids who have never skiied before, on the chairlift, is my greatest joy. Funny, sometimes I enjoy the teaching more than the skiing. Good thing, cause I have missed lots of powder days.
When not teaching skiing, my phone keeps ringing, very strange. It is the busiest, I have been in a long time. Have already completed one project for Niagara Falls. Working on the design of a new science center in Jakarta, Indonesia and working on project management of the traveling Alcatraz exhibition. Still have a couple of more projects in the wings. I go to meetings, then find the closest library and work, love it, a nomadic museum planner.
Living in San Francisco with my girlfriend, all is going great!
My rules for 2011
- Live Cheap
- Say "Yes"
- Let people "want you"
- Advertise your passion
- Live life
"The phrase pronounced either “Bli Ayin Hara” in Hebrew, or “Kein Ayin Hora” in Yiddish. Both expressions translate as, “without the evil eye” or “there should be no evil eye.” When it’s said quickly is can sometimes sound like “Kina Hora.”
The concept of the “evil eye” is primarily related to the destructive power of envy. When our patriarch Jacob blessed his grandchildren Ephraim and Menashe, part of his blessing was that “they should multiply like fish within the land” (Genesis 48:16). The Sages tell us that Jacob wanted them to emulate fish when it came to multiplying because fish do so under the water. It is impossible to view the fruitfulness of fish precisely because it occurs in a place that is shielded from view, and this hiddenness acts as a type of protection against the evil eye, in accordance with the Talmudic idea that “blessing only rests upon something that is concealed from the eye”.
For this reason, when people relate their or others’ gains, assets or blessings, they say “kein ayin hora”—if they are bold (or, some might say, foolish) enough to speak of these things at all. Wealth, physical and spiritual, is not distributed evenly in the world. G-d gives to one person something that He does not give to another. This can naturally cause envy, which essentially is an emotion that corresponds to a sense of injustice. The Torah tells us that the resulting spiritual energy can actually trigger a process of judgment against the one who is envied and lead to very destructive consequences for them.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
In 1992 I was almost fired for taking pictures of tables I designed for an exhibition. I was working at Discovery Science Center in New Jersey, I designed tables, lamps, and stanchions for an exhibition. When my supervisor found out that I had taken photos for my portfolio, the film was confiscated and I was written up and threatened with termination. At the time I was being paid $21,000 per year. The project was my first museum design project and I thought the photos would make a great portfolio piece. The Science Center's position was the intellectual property was theirs and I was not allowed to photograph the project without their consent (which they were not willing to give).
This has become a reoccurring theme. I was scheduled to teach an online class starting January 10th, last night I found out the class that I developed was to become copyright by the online school. I came up with the idea of the class, developed the curriculum, how could the school expect to own the rights to the information? I could understand if I was being paid a reasonable sum, but, at $150 per student this was not the case. Over and over I seem to fall into this dilemma, people want my experience and knowledge for little or nothing and then want to own the intellectual property. I am realizing this is a major issue of my professional career.
"Mark I would like to pick your brain..."
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I have always admired Lou Reed, he has always been his own person, except he did this Honda Scooter ad, very strange. It made me wonder about him, "did he really have integrity?". My dad could be such a pain in the ass, he would do strange things, but to know him, you knew that his reasons where to meet his own standards of integrity.
"Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes. In ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions. Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.
The word "integrity" stems from the Latin adjective integer (whole, complete). In this context, integrity is the inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from qualities such as honesty and consistency of character. As such, one may judge that others "have integrity" to the extent that one judges whether they behave according to the values, beliefs and principles they claim to hold." -From Wikipedia
"This Note's For You" by Neil Young
Don't want no cash
Don't need no money
Ain't got no stash
This note's for you.
Ain't singin' for Pepsi
Ain't singin' for Coke
I don't sing for nobody
Makes me look like a joke
This note's for you.
Ain't singin' for Miller
Don't sing for Bud
I won't sing for politicians
Ain't singin' for Spuds
This note's for you.
Don't need no cash
Don't want no money
Ain't got no stash
This note's for you.
I've got the real thing
I got the real thing, baby
I got the real thing
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Make it the Left Coast or the Right Coast for me.
Monday, December 13, 2010
One of my favorite memories of the last year is riding in the back of the bus heading north in India, listening to WFMU. It was this crazy "movie" going on outside the bus window as I am listening to my favorite music. So I collect information about stereos, a lot of information, I could tell you more about headphones then you would ever want to hear. An ipod / iphone has gotten more through alot!
- A potable DAC Headphone amplifier
- IEM (In Ear Monitors)
- Closed Back Headphones
- A case for the headphones and DAC
- An iphone 3G
"Survivor", he was so casual about it. The way Ron said it, I had no doubt, "You are a survivor, you will be fine". July 31, 2008 was last time I had an apartment, a "home". Now all of my belongings have been moved to mom's basement and everything else has been sold (grand total from auction $271). Have my ski stuff, whatever paperwork is important and a couple of bags of clothes. Been hired by Heavenly to teach skiing part time. Everything is out of Indianapolis and moving on.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Village Idiot or Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ or Village Idiot.
If I keep all of the balls in the air, guess I am Jesus Christ. But, keeping all of the balls in the air, doesn't disprove that I am the Village Idiot, maybe I could just juggle a "normal" number of balls?
"The only winning move is not to play"
Saturday, October 30, 2010
A day off in the Bay Area:
Motorcycle Ride Hog Island
Sweet Pleasures Coffee Shop
Walk Ocean Beach
Walk Muir Woods
Walk Golden Gate Bridge
Lake Anza Swim
Vietnamese Sandwich Oakland
Legion of Honor
Dim Sum on Geary
Korean food on Anza
Go shooting with Ron
Drive to Palo Alto
Alice’s Restaurant Motorcycle Ride
Red Oak Road Motorcycle Ride
Run Lake Merrit
Run Ocean Beach
Drive to Lake Tahoe
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I love the Mountain View Library, great internet connection speeds, thanks to Google (free service to city of Mountain View). Try to get to library by 10AM, Janice is nice enough to make me lunch. I sit outside and eat while making phone calls.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"I should die with a full tank of gas?" - Grandma Frances
Grandma had a 1970 gold Buick Skylark, should didn't like putting gas in the car in fear of dying in her sleep with a full tank of gas. I think of her all the time, "why should I buy something, that I will never use?".