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Portrait of the Artist as a Dead Man
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Date:2008-06-21 11:33
Subject:One Last Thing Before I Go, Go


The ever-helpful Annie suggested I created an LJ-feed for my blog, so with the assistance of the ever-wonderful Vivian I have done just that.

Now you can check my blog from the comfort of your own Friends Page!


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Date:2008-06-15 13:40
Subject:Late to the Party [Moving]


I know this is a tad bit overdue, but for those of you who weren't already aware, I've closed up shop here on livejournal. I'll keep the account open so I can keep track of a few things but I won't be updating it.

Instead, for your viewing pleasure, I have set-up another newer, shinier blog so feel free to stop by.

South of the Border, West of the Sun

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Date:2008-05-13 19:28
Subject:New Kicks on Kerry and Indecision '08

How strange it is to be looking at all of this from the outside in. Here I am in Mexico - in the ITESM library preparing some group work on Brazilian imports to be exact - but Le Tigre's "New Kicks" just came on my playlist and instantly I was transported back. Not just to the United States but also to 2004, to the Bush-Kerry debacle and the feeling is indescribable. As you can hear, the song is not exactly a slice of Americana* and I wouldn't necessarily call this nostalgia - I may miss the States but I certainly don't miss the year - but the feeling I got was unshakable. Its sad and strange mix of hope and despair because today, for the first time in weeks, I feel that American politics are more than just an abstraction. Did you know that the rest of the world - my Latin American colleagues and the European ones alike - are just as eagerly waiting for a resolution not just to the Presidential Election in general but even the Democratic Primaries as I am? Perhaps more so. I was walking with a French extranjero friend of mine the other day near Cerro de la Silla and discovered he knew more about the current state of the race than I did. The reason is clear: I'm burnt out. "New Kicks" really got my pulse going, though, and I think now I know why: I was excited about the prospect of change. After this interminable race for the nomination I'm more overwhelmed than optimistic and no speech on either side can change that. Say what you want about Kerry, but at least with a tidy nomination it was possible to get excited about him (even if he couldn't). Maybe, from the outside looking in, I can re-sensitize, re-energize myself. At any rate I hope so, because if I can't there are plenty of people at EGADE willing to do it for me.

* I have Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" for that.

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Date:2008-04-01 14:55
Subject:This just in.

How strange is that I can more easily see Bright Eyes in Monterrey than in Gainesville? Because, well, I can and will on April 25th.
In other news, t-minus seven days.

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Date:2008-03-16 19:16
Subject:"We Have Not Come To Take Prisoners"

For a while I was convinced that I would never need to read a work of fiction again - "the truth" (that is, non-fiction) would be enough to entertain me for the rest of my life. I don't regret this decision (nor have I wholly kept to it) but lately I have become increasingly aware that this dichotomy I've constructed in my mind is incomplete: I forgot about poetry. On that note, here is a poem that has made my life a little richer of late; perhaps it will do the same for you?


We have not come here to take prisoners,
But to surrender ever more deeply
To freedom and joy.

We have not come into this exquisite world
To hold ourselves hostage from love.

Run my dear,
From anything
That may not strengthen
Your precious budding wings.

Run like hell my dear,
From anyone likely
To put a sharp knife
Into the sacred, tender vision
Of your beautiful heart.

We have a duty to befriend
Those aspects of obedience
That stand outside of our house
And shout to our reason
"O please, O please,
Come out and play."

For we have not come here to take prisoners
Or to confine our wondrous spirits,

But to experience ever and ever more deeply
Our divine courage, freedom and

~ Hafez

PS Operation Spring Break: Smokey Mountains was a complete, if somewhat cold, success. When I can find my car keys/ camera pictures and stories will be provided. :)

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Date:2008-02-18 18:49
Subject:Important Things: Comings and Goings.
Mood: anxious

From Israel

I can’t for the life of me remember the last time I made a substantive post – something I seem to remember saying before each and every substantive post I now make – but here, in a quasi-bulleted list, are my recent comings and goings as well as some plans for the future:

The Past
+ After much planning and to great acclaim, my brother married Fanny Hunter Howard, his long time fiancé, in early December. It was, I have to say, among the nicest weddings I’ve ever attended, although in truth as Best Man I may be a little biased. ^^
+ The following week I completed my last semester full of graduate-level coursework at the University of Florida – with straight A’s no less – whose final projects I had presented the week before.
+ Although this happened much later it does follow thematically: as of last week I was accepted as an independent transfer student at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM), where I will begin to finish my degree in April.
- Thus, as I type this I’m still a UF student (I’m even taking one course online this semester), but even that too is fleeting.
+ The end of December (and indeed most of January) found me in Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian Territories by way of Orlando and New York. Thanks to an immense amount of good fortune I was able to secure a spot with a Taglit-Birthright program of an unusual design –focusing on Peace, Pluralism, and Social Justice – and although I have been back now for almost as long as I was gone in the first place, I am still grappling with everything I saw there. I have a great many stories to tell but even more thanks to offer; were it not for the kindness of dozens of people spread across three continents my trip would have been a far emptier and lesser thing.
+ Since my return to Gainesville I’ve been volunteering at a few local non-profits – as you may know I can’t handle too much free time – and it has been wonderful. Honest. I’ve been so preoccupied with work and school over the last few years that I forgot how good it feels to give back, even if only a little bit.

The Present
That, more or less, brings us to the present. I’ve been back in Gainesville for a little less than a month now but because of ITESM I’m already planning to leave: my lease expires on March 10th and so too does my time in Gainesville. Part of me is sorry to see it go, this my first true home, but with Mexico on the horizon at times I can’t wait to leave. The future is so tempting, so promising, that I just can’t wait.

The Future?
March 8th-13th: Spring Break will find me and a few friends camping in Great Smokey Mountains National Park by way of Gatlinburg and Asheville as the first of two roadtrips.

Early April: The second roadtrip is one with an open-ended return, if at all – some friends will accompany me on my way to Monterrey by way of New Orleans and Austin (where they will fly back and I will go on to the US-Mexican border).

April 14th: My first day of classes at ITESM!

After that things are pretty much an open book. My schedule stands to be fast and loose for the first few months and I want desperately to see as much of the country as possible, so I’ll go just about anywhere. Proof of concept: trips to Mexico City D.F. (May) and Chitzen Itza (July) are already in the works!

If you, dear reader, would like to meet up with me somewhere, anywhere let me know. Truth is, although I’m fortunately enough to already have a few, I’m looking for more traveling companions starting… now!

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Date:2008-02-18 12:22
Subject:To continue a trend...

NPR got me thinking this morning about old, unheard-of songs. Unwittingly, it also got Soltero's "Communist Love Song" - which I hadn't heard in years - stuck in my heard. Here is the only copy of the song I could find on short notice, so enjoy.
Added bonus: Its nestled, in its entirety, in some artfully done Gomer Pyle slash. :)

PS It is, unfortunately, missing my favorite line, the song's last, which reads as follows: "Is your Brandenburg gate open late?"

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Date:2008-02-15 19:10
Subject:Doctor Who

I realized today that I missed 2007's Doctor Who Christmas Special while I was in Israel so today I, er, obtained a copy [thanks isohunt] and, as I sit down now to watch it, I just have to say - it feels of so right to see David Tennant on my laptop again. That is all. :)

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Date:2008-02-14 10:54
Subject:I'm hardly a romantic - just listen.


Also in honor of the day:

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Date:2008-02-11 19:16
Subject:I'm breaking radio silence just for this...

Enjoy the "John McCain version" of Obama's "Yes We Can" video.

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Date:2008-01-29 11:25

It's so strange after so many weeks away from academia to have to suddenly "flip the switch" and be forced back into that manner of thinking, of speaking. By strange I mean hard, actually, and it makes me respect returning students all that much more.

[A longer post, later, about recent exploits, I promise!]

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Date:2008-01-16 19:28

Back! [in the US{o}A!]
Well, in NYC at any rate. Alive and well if jetlagged, sunburnt, and a little confused - but what else is new? ^^

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Date:2007-11-26 10:42
Subject:Silly, I know, but true.

I believe I live a somewhat providential existence and as a result I don't regret much, but I have to admit that every time I hear The Apples in Stereo I wish I'd gone to their show.

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Date:2007-10-29 17:02
Subject:This news is big enough to warrant two pictures, I promise.
Mood: shocked

Israel in ’08!

This just in!

As some of you may (dimly) recall, I applied to go on an all-expenses-paid Taglit-Birthright Israel trip a few year ago but was – in a rather roundabout way – ultimately declined. I mentioned this story in passing to my friend Jenny (who herself went that same year, actually) over the summer and she suggested that I reapply. So I did… and this time I was accepted!
In sum, I am the luckiest man in the world.
[…There must be some crazy karma debt I’m building up these days…]
The specifics are still somewhat up in the air, but as it stands now I’ll be gone from December 31st to January 10th on a Peace, Pluralism, and Social Justice tour of Israel and The Holy Land.
More details are they develop – for now I’m still somewhat in shock.

Click me for more information!

Click the above image for a hypothetical itinerary!

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Date:2007-10-29 13:25
Subject:This is perfect!

I already know what I want for my birthday... ^^


Seriously, three days later - now I don't know what to wish for, though!

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Date:2007-10-27 21:37

For the first time in my life I can remember more good days than bad.

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Date:2007-10-26 20:19
Subject:Long overdue
Mood: happy

This is, at the title suggests, my long overdue return from abroad post. I hadn't intended to make one at all - it still seems to me, despite everything I've seen, that I was barely gone at all - but several of you implied that the choice wasn't mine to make. ^^ Here goes:
Rio was amazing and Buenos Aires was briefer but arguably better. It really is as beautiful as I imagined (maybe more so; I tend to dream in monochrome) and more than I could possibly have hoped it would be. It was, I think, my most successful trip yet and - if certain interested parties are to be believed - by no means my last.
Below are links to two photo albums, one for Rio de Janeiero

and another for Buenos Aires

In other news, for no apparent reason (which may be the best reason of all), I am safe, healthy, and happy.

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Date:2007-10-09 19:17
Subject:Random Run-ons
Mood: excited

So I know I don’t post here enough, and I know that many – most? – of you have no idea what it that I’m actually up to these days, but I wanted to take a quick moment (as I am wont to do) and let you all know something rather important: I feel, for perhaps the first time ever, that I am finally leading a life of purpose, a life worth living, and I couldn’t be happier.

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Date:2007-09-02 20:04
Subject:Important Things!, or Upcoming Concerts of Interest: Part 2 (Good People)

Through some strange accident of fate I’ve recently become much more involved with Gainesville’s local music scene than ever before. As a result I’m going to more local shows. The upside to this for all of us is that as I go to more and more shows I’ll be dragging many of you along, too. Below are some very good friends of mine (and some very good music):

Friday, September 7th
Bang Bang Boom
Bang Bang Boom
This traditional rock outfit is just getting started but they’re already damn good. Click the (unfortunately basic) image above for a quick look and a listen.

The Atlantic - $5

Friday, September 14th
Weather Machine
Weather Machine
Now I know I’m biased but truth be told these guys are just great. Not relatively great, not local live show great, just all around great. Their shows are fun, high energy affairs that let their well-honed sound shine. Click the picture above for a look at their myspace with has all the songs from their new demo as well as their first music video.

Backstage Lounge - $5

Friday, September 21st
Inuit Jargon
Inuit Jargon
Described by critics as a "unique blend of acoustic comedy rock" I have to admit I'm a recent convert to the Inuit Jargon bandwagon. I caught them by accident recently but what a happy accident it was! A small ensemble of three hysterical frontmen, Inuit Jargon’s live show made me laugh more than I have en ages. Myspace doesn’t do them justice but it’ll do in a pinch – come see them with me live and you see what I mean.


One of the most successful bands on the Gainesville music scene, Morningbell knows what to do and does it well. Engaging concerts – check out their Myspace to see an example of their famous $100 Light Show – feature their unique brand of “melodic, psychedelic rock” and quick wits. Morningbell holds sway in a category all its own as the above video can attest.

1982 - $5
[Because Inuit Jargon is on Morningbell's Orange Records of Gainesville label, the two often play local shows together - all that much better for people like me.]

So who's in?

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Date:2007-09-02 18:05
Subject:Important Things!, or Upcoming Concerts of Interest: Part 1 (The Big Guns)
Mood: busy

Later this month, in the span of a single week, post-rockers Do Make Say Think, pop scenesters The Apples in Stereo [of the all but defunct Elephant 6 Collective], and indie-rockers Pinback will be playing in Gainesville. It is, to say the least, an embarrassment of riches. Here’s what you have to look forward to (all images link to videos and other goodies):

Tuesday, September 25th
Do Make Say Think

An instrumental post-rock group from Toronto, Canada, Do Make Say Think combines jazz-style drums and space-style electronic effects, guitars and wind instruments to create amazing soundscapes. They are excellent musicians and an extensive list of concert recordings can be found at the Internet Archive.
Common Grounds - $10

Wednesday, September 26th
The Apple in Stereo

[Click the picture above for a particularly endearing surprise]

Those of you who know me well know how enamored I am with Will Farrell’s Stranger Than Fiction and although they are not on the soundtrack this fanvid linked to above [which I just now discovered] more than makes up for it. By far the most well-known band on the list, The Apples in Stereo are an indie pop-rock band* "best known for their bright, catchy lyrics and 60s pop/rock sound." Sure to be an awesome, high-energy show – I’ll be there will bells on.
*Thanks for clearing that up Wikipedia!
Common Grounds - $12

Saturday, September 29th

On tour to promote their latest album, Autumn of the Seraphs, Pinback is an rock band with a flair for singing sensible indie-pop melodies. This video, Fortress, is one of their best but recordings of some full concerts can be found at the Internet Archive.
Common Grounds - $12/$14

So who's in?

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