1. I like to name the fireworks. In years past, I’ve named them Bling Bling, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Electric Koolaid Acid Blot Test, Mary Poppin’s Umbrella and Tinkerbell’s Migraine. This year’s series included Short Circuit Circus, Christmas on Mars, An Octopus’s Garden, Ferris Bueller’s Ferris Wheel, New Year’s Eve Fairy Party and more HERE.
2. I wanted to name my first son Luke but with the last name Copus saying both together sounded too much like Lou Copus.
3. I spent Monday morning looking at the online art of Nona Faustine, an African American woman who posed naked in places like Wall Street, where a Colonial slave market was active for two centuries. She named that one – which asks the question, “What does a Black body look like today in the place where they sold human beings 250 years ago?” – From Her Body Sprang the Greatest Wealth.
4. What’s it like to pose naked in the middle of the street, the steps of City Hall and other public places? – “My eyes are wide open, and still I’m there and not there. My body is pumping with adrenaline. My anxiety is extremely high. During all that, you filter out as much abstractions as possible so that you can maintain some sort of composure for the camera as people, cars and buses go by. My senses are elevated. Sounds in particular I hone into. I have this feeling of being watched, by something or someone not actually there at times. I’m extremely aware of my presence in these places.” – Nona Faustine
5. I once started a collage series of self-portrait photographs where I cut out a space between the top of my head and a hat, maybe as a way to put image to my fragile brain chemistry.
6. Never is ever not.
7. Years ago I thought about starting a business giving name readings based on the properties of letter sounds and helping people name their babies, something I’ve done informally in the past. More HERE.
8. Baseball athletes’ arms get tired from pitching. Mine gets tired from clicking.
9. These days, I spend the bulk of my time on photography, taking pictures, deleting them, Adobe Shop cropping them, labeling them, moving and storing them, looking for them, ordering prints of some of them and putting them in albums.
10. Barbara Kingsolver on the Confederate flag: “Who gets to draw the line between tradition and callous intransigence? Where does sensitivity become censorship? Tarring whole communities with the brush of racism doesn’t bring us grace. I could have whisked my daughter from the home of the Rebels to a private school where she wouldn’t have to play Dixie. But this is our home, and I believe public schools function best when we all support our kids together. I think they’re better citizens for having grown up with many kinds of people, to be judged by the contents of their characters, not their tattoos (note: a Confederate flag).”
11. On the other hand, she says: “The flag’s presence has grown steadily more menacing. It turned up wherever white mobs opposed civil rights marchers. It showed up at Klan rallies. I’m sure it still does. Swastika was the ancient Sanskrit word for good fortune, its symbol representing the movement of the sun across the sky. But it was appropriated by vile people, and now virtually everyone sees racial hatred in that one too. Regardless of intent or origin, a symbol achieves its meaning in the eye of the beholder.”
12. My Dharmacratic friend Will on the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage: “Somewhere between the closet and the parade there is a place where homosexuality is simply and actually accepted as no big deal.”
13. I’m so sensitive that just putting on sunglasses can sometimes make me feel altered, like I’m stoned on a foreign substance. – The Road to Destiny, from my memoir The Jim and Dan Stories.