Tuesday, May 31, 2005

On the nature of observing nature

As I utterly failed to make plain in my first post, the ostensible point of this blog is to fulfill a school requirement that I observe nature and then write about it. So I could, for instance, write about trees, flowers, and grass. But this would bore you and you would probably stop reading. You'd probably rather read about how I think George W. Bush is kind of dickwad, or the ways in which I like to make fun of cats.

Q: Aren't you an acupuncture student?

A: Yes.

Q: Aren't you supposed to be, like, one with nature or something? You just referred to the President of the United States of America as a dickwad.

A: He is a dickwad.

Q: Well...yes. But aren't you supposed to, I don't know, have compassion for all living beings, including cats and the President?

A: The road to enlightenment is long, and is paved with name-calling and jokes about cats. Besides, this blog will now pop up whenever anyone does a Google search using the words "George Bush" and "dickwad."

Anyway, my point is that nature takes many forms. Actually, my point is that nature takes on all forms. And my other point is that not only would you rather read about other things than trees and flowers, I would much rather write about them, too. Hence, while the broad subject of nature is the subject of this blog, reading this blog you will learn about life, the universe, and everything.

Q: Um, really? Will I learn the meaning of life by reading your blog?

A: Yes.

Q: Really?

A: Yes.

Q: Really really? When?

A: Soon. Keep reading.

Q: Are you totally full of crap?

A: It is entirely possible. But keep reading anyway.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Hello again

Every couple of years I come back to writing, to see how it is. Today it's because it's an assignment, but I'm trying to make something more out of it. So without further ado, we present:


Q: Who are you?

A: My name is Paul. I am 32. I live in Seattle Washington. Part of my life is spent working as a software engineer, presently for an unnamed, Seattle-based e-commerce giant. In the other part of my existence, I am a student at the Wu Hsing Tao school of 5-Element Acupuncture.

Q: Is the "unnamed, Seatle-based e-commerce giant" for whom you work actually Amazon.com?

A: No. Don't you want to ask a question about 5-Element acupuncture?

Q: No, I don't. Come on, it's Amazon, isn't it?

A: If I say yes, will you ask about 5-Element acupuncture?

Q: Sure.

A: Okay, yes it is.

Q: Haha! I knew it. Are you the same Paul Mariz with whom I (once worked/went to high school/went to college/know from that three-day artificial-sweetener-and-soft-taco binge in Manitoba in 1997)? If so, should I be worried that, as you mention that you are studying acupuncture, you have gone all weird and new-agey on me?

A: Why yes, I would be happy to tell you about 5-Element Acupuncture. 5-Element acupuncture is method of healing thousands of years old that...no, forget it, already I've become bored. Here's somebody who's doing a fine job of it already.

Q: Hey, you didn't answer my question.

A: Well first of all, turbinado isn't an artificial sweetener. But otherwise, yes, I probably am he. And thereafter it depends what you mean by 'weird and new-agey.' I'd like to think the answer is no. On the other hand, after going through roughly ten years of the so-called quote real unquote world (you know the one, it's the thing in which you're living right now, probably, unless you're still in school, either because you're, like, 19, or you keep meaning to graduate and get a job and just never get around to it, in which case, dude, I totally understand, I was there myself, and anyway, whatever, roughly the same rules apply), everything looks a lot different to me than it did when I started. However it is that we live these days, it seems to me that most of my friends and also me are just about getting to the point where we're wondering what the hell it's all about. I was under the impression that one didn't start wondering about these things until after, like, two kids and twenty years of career. But apparently these days we do these things on internet time. So that's what this blog is about. Sort of.

Q: Why is this blog called, "Porn," then?

A: The correct reading of the name of this blog is, "porn star." Get it? Do you? DO YOU? It is called this for two very good reasons. The first one escapes me at the moment. The second one was something about a naked attempt to get people to read this blog by associating it with pictures of naked people having various types of sex, which seems to be popular on the internet these days. But I can't quite remember it exactly. It was probably something about how I am, like, too clever by half.

Q: Despite the fact that you've written almost nothing on the subject, I'm really curious about acupuncture and want to be treated by you. Can I? Huh? Huh?

A: Well, it depends. First you have to live in the general Seattle, Washington area. Then it has to be some time in 2006 at least, since at the time I write this, they don't even let me touch needles without the threat of immediate expulsion. If those two conditions hold, click the envelope icon to email me.

Q: Isn't this supposed to be some kind of nature journal? You haven't written a single thing about nature yet.

A: In answer to this question, I offer you a Zen Koan. When you understand it, you will understand all (including how this blog qualifies as a nature journal): The student seeks out the master and asks him, "Master, does a dog have the Buddha nature?" The master looks at the student and says, "Mu."

Q: What the hell does "Mu" mean?

A: ...

Q: Hello?

A: ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Music Capsule Archives

  • SONG: Jagged Gorgeous Winter
    mp3 from Salon.com Audiofile.
    video from YouTube
  • ARTIST: The Main Drag
  • GENRE: Alterna-pop/Emo
  • SOUNDS LIKE: Postal Service/Death Cab For Cutie if they were ten times more peppy and baroque and had the lead singer from Frankie Goes To Hollywood doing guest vocals. Also, the video seems to contain a yak of some kind.

  • SONG: The Last Song [d] [s]
  • ARTIST:Slumbering
  • GENRE: Pop
    Never before has it been necessary to describe and yet qualify a song thusly: "It sounds like Kate Bush, except weird." That time has ended.

  • SONG: Montesquo 5 [d] [s]
  • ARTIST: Zebulon Revisited
  • GENRE: Breakbeat
  • SOUNDS LIKE: Being in a dimly lit living room with 60's-mod furniture, shag carpeting, and pop-art on the walls. Possibly in Manchester. Or it sounds like Photek or Dirty Vegas or whatever.

  • SONG: Lights on(e) remix any old morricone [d] [s]
  • ARTIST: JulianC
  • GENRE: Instrumental; Industrial; Ambient
  • SOUNDS LIKE: The Cure circa Disintegration watch a bunch of Spaghetti Westerns, gag Robert Smith, throw him in the closet, and start sampling and looping. Also, they are stoned out of their minds and they have a harmonica.