Wednesday, April 25, 2007

typical Korean tv show

This is very typical of Korean tv shows. What are they saying? Is there any point to these shows? Why? why? I can't imagine watching these shows!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Thinking Green not only on Earth Day

Sunday was Earth Day here in the USA. For the first time that I remember, Earth Day got a lot of coverage in the media and many museums and parks had activities on the day. Oprah talked about it. The local newspaper ran many stories. Outpose foods had a special celebration. Even Cudahy Park had a clean-up day.

I found out about many little things that can make a huge difference that I plan to implement in my life. For one, I will buy about 20 cloth napkins at rummage sales this summer and start using those at meals instead of the very bad-for-the-environment paper napkins. Also, I plan to buy some flourescent light bulbs for my lamps, to unplug my cell phone charger when not in use, and to wash all of my clothes on cold.

Recently, I have begun to make a huge effort to take cloth totebags into the grocery store with me. They are durable and so much easier to carry than the paper or plastic bags. I can really load up my tote bag from Piggly Wiggle with lots of groceries. Once I began to get in the habit of using the tote bags, I was anxious to see what other little differences I could implement in my life. I strongly encourage you to make some small changes. Perhaps, just recycling more or cleaning up some trash in a park.

On Earth Day, my aunt Ellen and I collected litter along Lake Michigan. It was an impromptu thing. We had been going for a walk along the lake, when we found a plastic bag with a water bottle lying next to it. We took both bag and bottle and filled the bag up. The problem: there was so much more trash to pick up. I plan to make another trip to the lake this summer with a big black garbage bag to pick up a lot more!

Ellen picking up trash on Lake Michigan for Earth Day.


"In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia." -Charles Lindbergh, Life Magazine, 1967

"You are a child of the Universe, no less than the moon and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the Universe is unfolding as it should. "
-Max Ehrmann

Friday, April 13, 2007

Oconomowoc Artists

This past week I had the privilege of meeting two local artists who are being recognized for their art by a local public tv station, Channel 10. The two painters, Michael Steinke and Andy Goralski, will have their original paintings and posters sold during the anuual fundraising auction. I interviewed the two men for the Oconomowoc Enterprise.

Michael Steinke does impressionist/abstract art, but he said of himself , “I am a colorist founded in the traditional line." Steinke, or as he refers to himself, mykulanjelo, is very creative and he believes that all people are creative. He believes that, “Art should cause them to transcend that moment.” Steinke explained that everyone is creative. “All of us have a seed of creation within us. The idea is that the creative urge in its essence transcends the day,” he said.

I was quite impressed with his art, but even more so with his views of art and the creative process. His studio is a surpisingly small space in a renovated Victorian school house. It is full of clutter: paintings, glass pane-tings (painted windows), drawings and postcards. Steinke has shared his art with people through his designs for the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee, The Oconomowoc Art Festival and charity events. “Art is animated, not only because of the color,” Steinke said, “but when you move it; it changes the space around it.”

some of Steinke's work:

The other artist that I met: Andy Goralski is very different from Steinke. Goralski is a sports painter and paints exclusively those people and things that have to do with professional sports. For the auction he has painted Donald Driver of the Green Bay Packers. Goralski is a self-taught painter, which is really amazing when you look at his work. Goralski's pastel paintings are so real-looking from a distance, that appears you are looking at a photograph. He tries to paint objects in a 3D reality. There are elements of impressionism in his paintings, such as the fields or stadiums. His paintings are often valued between $5,000 to $20,000 and only grow in value due to scarcity. I didn't really get to see the creative part of Goralski's personality. Our talk was more business and what it is like to work with all of the athletes.

Here are some of Goralski's pieces:

Friday, April 6, 2007

Albert Camus

In the hardest class that I ever took, Political Theory, Dr. McLemore loved to quote the "Plague" by Camus. In it, one of the characters like to spit on cats. This bit of information that McLemore often shared with us baffled me because it seemed like it never had anything to do with what we were discussing. Although after reading, McKinnon, Foucault, Arendt and about 35 others, McLemore's references to Camus are what I remember the most.

I just read a short book last night called "Summer in Algiers," by the famed existentialist who wanted to simply be known as a writer and a man.

Here are some quotes from the book that I enjoyed the most.

"Likewise, beyond the yellow walls of Oran, land and sea continue their indifferent dialogue. That permanence in the world has always had contrary charms for man. It drives him to despair and excites him. The world never says but one thing; first it interests, then it bores. But eventually it wins out by the dint of obstinancy. It is always right." pg. 37

"In the middle of the day when the sky opens its fountains of light in the vast, sonorous space, all the headlands of the coast look like a fleet about to se out." pg. 42

"Only at noon, at the hour when the cicadas themselves fall silent as if overcome, I would flee before the greedy glare of an all-consuming light." pg. 46

"When one has once had the good luck to love intensely, life is spent in trying to recapture that ardour and that illumination." pg. 48

"To come alive again needs a special grace, self-forgetfulness, or a homeland. Certain mornings, on turning a corner, a delightful dew falls on the heart and then evaporates. But its coolness remains and this is what the heart requires always." pg. 49

"I satisfied the two thirsts one cannot long neglect without drying up-I mean loving and admiring. For there is merely bad luck in not being loved; there is misfortune in not loving." pg 52

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A soundtrack for my life

Kind of going off of what I wrote about on Tuesday; I have always wanted a soundtrack to accompany my life. When I watch a movie, I love how the director incorporates music/score into the scenes and how that music affects the mood of the whole scene. What would the flying plastic bag scene be if not for that eerie score from American Beauty? Music makes us feel like crying along with a main character as her heart is broken. It makes us feel so happy when that character discovers that she is in love.

I think that most people want there to be a soundtrack for his/her life. The evidence is the popularity of the Ipod and Zune and MP3 players. One benefit of always having headphones on and having music whispering in your ear is that it feels like your life has a soundtrack. At least that's how I feel. I remember listening to my Zune on the Seoul subway. Listening to music while watching my fellow riders gave me a whole new perspective. It affects my mood and my thinking process.

I have decided to make a soundtrack for my life. I am going to start compiling a list of songs whose mood or lyrics fit my life. The lyrics will not always perfectly fit, but they will represent a part of me or my life. I think that this will be a fun project. I will publish the list here when I am done with it.


"It matters immensely. The slightest sound matters. The most momentary rhythm matters. You can do as you please, yet everything matters."
--Wallace Stevens

"You must undestand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing, and dance, and write poems, and suffer, and understand, for all that is life."
--J. Krishnamurti, "Think on These Things"

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Narrated Life

I recently watched a movie called "Stranger Than Fiction." It stars Will Farrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. Ferrell's character, a boring IRS agent named Harold, one day hears a voice narrating his life. It turns out that he is a character in a book and that the author intends to kill his character. Harold tries to find out how to save his life with the help of a professor played by Dustin Hoffman. In an attempt to find out who wrote his book, Harold has to determine if his life is a comedy or a tragedy.

That got me to my life a comedy or a tragedy. At the time when I wrote this, I would have to say a tragedy. What kind of life are you living?

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.
--Oliver Wendell Holmes