“Undefeated in This Love, We Will Always Be a Light”

Good morning! I’m just waking up now and sitting down for green tea with honey in snow man mug. I’m in the mood to warm my insides just a little to fend off the winter morning chills. I’m listening to a lovely cover of the Pogues’ Christmas tune “Fairytales of New York” (downloadable here) done by my favourite band, Stars. I’m steeped in the spirit of this season.

Monday afternoon I finally placed the first photos into the photo cuff that I received on December 6th. I selected four photos of my friends, Alisha, Mandy, April and Angela, which they volunteered to be included. I think I have little choice but to name the first set “My Excessively Beautiful Female Friends,” as per an e-mail exchange with Alisha. I hope to change the photos every week and make the ritual a part of Frozen Truth . com. You’ll be able to see the new photos in the sidebar of the current and future layouts. I’m loving the cuff and certainly recommend you check out the line available at Smoy.net and PixelGirlShop.

Saturday evening I spent a few hours with a bunch of friends, including Chris, Micheala, Nathan, Andrew and Allison. It was a quiet affair, with TV watching, snowflake creation, eating, drinking and general good spirits. Sadly, Nathan burned two pizzas I provided badly, but that was the only black mark on the night.

Sunday night was the staff party at the hotel where I work. It was quite a fun night, with good food, enjoyable company and zaniness. When we walked in we each received a helium-filled balloon that held a number. After the buffet meal was eaten, we exchanged our secret Santa gifts and each staff member received a gift from the hotel. From my secret Santa I received The Beginner’s Guide to Yoga, which looks like it will be an excellent resource for my budding yoga practice. With the number found in my popped balloon I received a gift certificate to stay at The Prince George Hotel, one of the city’s nicer accomodations. I’ll most likely use it for a night after I go to a concert downtown, so I’m happy with the selection.
The DJ soon started up the dancing music, and I got what I thought was a brilliant idea. Noticing some free balloons floating on the ceiling, I asked my co-worker Ian to pass me three. I then had Andrea, a former co-worker tie them onto my hair in three places, leading to the look you can see in the photo. I ended up looking like some sort of demented Anne of Green Gables, as was asserted by Andrea. I was soon dragged, ballons and all, up to dance to Outcast’s “Hey Ya!” I, without a doubt, shook my balloon-anchored head “like a polaroid picture.” It should be noted that I had not had so much as a sip of spirits by this point.
I did eventually have a couple drinks, courtesy of Andrea. I wasn’t told the names of them, but they were very tastey, fruity drinks. John, my fellow night auditor, had received a bottle of whiskey as his secret Santa gift (it was as fitting for him as the yoga book was for me) and poured me some on ice. I didn’t end up using the drink tickets given to me when I arrived because others kept providing me with some, so before the night was out I’d given them to my co-worker Gerald, who was definitely a stage or two further in his zaniness than I was with my balloon adornment. After hours of that enjoyable chilling I headed up to my room.

Monday night was spent doing some gaming with Nathan, Andrew, Allison and Greg, with Ilea dropping by to hang out and keep Mithra occupied. It was nice to get some role playing in again, but I must say that Nathan picked a rather sluggish adventure, an odd murder mystery. While here, Nathan gave me a nice Tea Party (R.I.P., one of Canada’s greatest bands) tour shirt and Andrew and Allison gave me a very nice tea kit that included a black mug inscribed with Chinese lettering, a mesh ball infuser and a can of Tea in the Sahara Marrakech (green tea, mint and bergamot) loose tea, which smells absolutely wonderful.

This past week I fell in love with an Indian dish named paneer darbari. It’s a dish of cottage cheese in a tomato gravy, and is wonderful over a bed of rice. Kitchens of India makes a nice warm and eat package that makes for a nice lunch at work.

My friend Mark of ShinyPlasticBag often shares some very cool links and this week two are must-mentions. Samrost 2 is the sequel to a beautiful flash game I mentioned more than two years ago. It’s a fun puzzle adventure game that will give you an hour or so of entertainment. I still love the way the backgrounds are rendered. Mark also shared a story on PARK(ing), a project that took on poor urban planning by converting a parking spot into an oasis of park in a concrete jungle. It’s an inventive and very cool intervention that will hopefully help people realize the need for green spaces in urban environments.

Faithful readers should know of my admiration of Stuart Davis. He’s offering up wonderful music and other work that’s simply stellar. He wrote yesterday about integral practice and its importance. I’d like to share a bit from it, but I urge you to go read “Wake Up and Die Right” in full.

Once we drop over that event horizon -an integral awakening of What Is- our lot is set. We have an incredibly precious, rare opportunity in this miracle of human form, and that is to inhabit the Absolute in the vehicle of Relative Being. We are the stewerds of an optimum chance to serve Love and participate in Mystery play, because we are both Absolute Divinity and Relative Cacophany.

We’re just not going to be effective Bodhisattvas in the service of Love unless we have a very extensive tool box. Each domain we avoid or allow to atrophy in this fleeting opportunity that is human form, each one of those forfeitures is a big “FUCK YOU” to our Holy Family, every human being, every animal, every blessed creature in the world of form, spirit, and others too exotic to render with language. That doesn’t mean perfecting each capacity, it doesn’t mean actualizing the highest reaches of potential in every human function. It means ENGAGE, that’s all. Engage your mind, heart, body, soul, your voice, your legs, your eyes, your ears. Engage your family, friends, enemies, city, country, culture, secrets, puzzles, maps, and mysteries. Just engage what’s there, and play with it, work with it, for the sake of Love.
– Stuart Davis, “Wake Up and Die Right

He does, I believe, an excellent job of expressing the impetus for engaging in a truly integral practice, something I’m working to become ever more deeply engaged in. In other Stuart news, he’s writing a book and giving up coffee.

I’ve been pointed to Audrey Kawasaki‘s art and I’m entranced by it. Her paintings are erotic, sensual, beautiful and haunting. Some of my favourite pieces are “flower,” “twisted,” “three,” “vila,” and “fish.” I’m quite in love with her work and have enjoyed reading her journal.

I just read that an anime film is being made that adapts Ursula K. le Guin‘s Earthsea books. I’m certainly hoping it will be a more faithful and pleasing version than the horrendous Sci Fi channel corruption of Earthsea. Le Guin has provided a wealth of stories to the speculative fiction field and her Tao Te Ching translation is excellent. You can find a recent article, with an overview of her work, here.

The Presidents of the United States of America, one of the most fun and inventive rock acts to come out of the 90’s, released one of the most innovative, fun and hip videos ever created this year. Made for the infectious single “Some Postman,” it was shot using cell phone video cameras set up in a number of angles and then pieced together.

During the production of the music video, over 12 angles were pieced together to make up one composition or shot. The footage recorded by the phones was 1/3000 the quality of standard broadcast. The majority of the footage was shot with the band performing at half time as the phones could not handle the quick movements and as a result, could be blocky and compressed.

You’ll find the “Some Postman” video here. Always a band to thrill and amuse (nearly all my friends light up when a song like “Puffy Little Shoes,” “Dune Buggy” or “Peaches” plays), I’m happy to see them pushing invention in music videos. Love Everybody, their most recent offering, is a killer party album, so check it out.

Oceans won’t freeze
So loosen your heart
Underestimated
Undefeated in this love
We will always be a light
– Stars, “Ageless Beauty

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