Good afternoon people, and welcome to the Himalayas. Capital of Bhutan? Thimphu. It's a great city for marathon training: altitude 8,000 feet.
Now, a simple Peak Performance note. Some of you may be asking: why are the good people of Lisablog so pathologically attatched to Peak Performance?
This is a good question which we will attempt to answer for you today. The truth is that the good people of Lisablog have not always been Peak Performers. In fact, like all the rest of humanity, we, the good people of Lisablog have had our ups and downs and side-swipes. But in homage to all the underdogs out there, and out of respect for the underdog of our unconscious and superego, we, the good people of Lisablog made a decision to, as Rilke says, "change our lives." Our comic strip hero in this regard is of course the great super-hero of own borough of Queens, Spiderman. With the help of a nasty little spider bite, Spiderman changed his life. Not only did he change his life, but he lived by the motto: With great power comes great responsibility. Dig it.
What can you gain from setting high goals for yourself and pushing yourself to make maximum use of your mind and body?
There is much that you can gain from this Peak Performance attitude: firstly, you will find that it's much easier to get out of bed in the morning. Things that used to feel hard will feel easy. Do you dread going to work, taking out the trash, cleaning out the fridge, going to the dentist? We guarantee you that if you integrate a series of higher goals (graduate studies in linguistics, triathlon training, pilot school, kyokushin karate) you will find that the little things are much easier to attend to.
So, set some goals, start your training, and take it one step at a time, but don't be afraid to push yourself. Did someone somewhere along the way tell you that you couldn't and wouldn't be all that you could be? Now is the time to re-write that story.
And finally, some tips for all the Kyokushin White Belts out there who are preparing for their 10th Kyu promotion:
Learn your dojo oath. It's easy: unlike other things you learn in the dojo, the dojo oath is in English. You have no excuse for not knowing it.
In practicing your katas, attend to those fine details of the form. Fix your stance, keep your back leg straight, punch for your target: not out to the side, but dead center chudan toward the solar plexus. Look before you step! Look! Step! Block or Punch! As Dylan Thomas once said, Do not go blindly into your kumite! You need to look at whoever it is you are about to knock out. Look! Look! Look! (Turning your head before the movement also helps to facilitate the movement and the turn.)
Learn as many stances as you can before your first promotion. Learning stances doesn't require a lot of brain power. Neko Ashi Dachi: Cat Stance. You've seen your cat do it. Now you know what it is.
And finally, try not to be nervous. This is your life. You decided to be a karateka. You're doing this for yourself, not for anyone else. Keep your focus on the art of the sport, not on what other people think of you.
Hello People, and welcome to another foggy globally warm Sunnyside day.
And now, the News:
For the Oak Tree Freaks in the audience, how about a free copy of Field Guide to the Native Oak Species of Eastern North America? Send an email to Lisa Cress of the U.S. Forest Service at firstname.lastname@example.org She will send you the book. Don't say the Feds never gave you anything.
We received our copy yesterday and we are very very pleased with it. It helped us to make that tricky identification of one of our local Sunnyside trees: Pin Oak or Scarlet Oak? It's a Pin Oak. How could we tell? The leaves can be pretty similar. So, it's all in the fruit. The Pin Oak has a shallower acorn cup than the Scarlet Oak. It's disky like a UFO. The Scarlet Oak's acorn hat is deeper, like a tea cup for a squirrel.
Other news: There is no other news today. We are wrapping our little Lisablog minds around marathon training and yellow belt promotions. Hang in there until tomorrow and we will be back with new improved meatier musclar news.
Okay Peops, this is coming to you from Lisablog Correspondent Jimmy B. To know him is to love him:
Hello, Valued Member of the Poetic Community:
We're looking for nominees in the following categories for the 2006 Jorie Awards.
Poetic Careerist of the Year
Careerist Ensemble of the Year
Self-Promoter of the Year
Careerist Blogger of the Year
Academic Careerist of the Year
Anti-Careerist Careerist of the Year
Foet of the Year
Sycophant of the Year
Poetic Climber of the Year
Overexposed Book of the Year
Overexposed Magazine of the Year
Over-blogged-about Poet of the Year
Careerist Blog Campaign of the Year
Careerist Poetry Reading of the Year
Poetic Power Couple of the Year
Outstanding Careerist Accomplishment in Listservs
Outstanding Accomplisment in Over-reading-out
Oustanding Accomplishment in Self-Promotion
Outstanding Accomplishment in Poetic Hypocrisy
Douchebag of the Year
Awards will be voted upon by the general public and will be presented at a cermony in NYC this December.
Let me know if you'd like to be asked to be a presenter or performer.
Firstly, there is some very good news coming across the e-waves as we write. Charles Anthony Nealy has been granted a reprieve by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals while an investigation is launched into Prosecutor Misconduct in his case.
Please drop a note to Anthony Nealy to let him know that he's not alone. Here's his address:
Charles Anthony Nealy #999289
Polunsky Unit D.R.
3872 FM 350 South
And now, a bit of fun for you all. Today in the Robert Duncan seminar we will be looking at RD's late works, collected in Ground Work II: In the Dark. We thought you might like to see what RD was reading during the composition of those poems. Here's a sampling of texts that he writes about in his notebooks, ca. 1978-1988:
(You'll see the New College class readings scattered throughout here):
Noam Chomsky. “On the Biological Basis of Language Capacities.”
Enid Starkie. Baudelaire.
Umberto Eco. The Role of the Reader.
Piaget. Structuralism. Piaget. The Origins of Intelligence in Children.
George Mills Harper. Yeats’s Golden Dawn.
Ducrow/Todorov. Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Sciences of Language.
Robert Darnton. Mesmerism and the End of the Enlightenment in France.
Jacob Bronowski. William Blake and the Age of Revolution.
James M. Redfield. Nature and Culture in the Iliad.
Karl Popper. Quantum Theory and the Schism in Physics.
Joseph Agassi. Farady as a Natural Philosopher.
Julia Kristeva. Revolution de Language Poetique.
Martin Gardiner. “The Hole in Black Holes.”
Ronald Johnson. Wor(l)ds.
Annemarie Schimmel. The Triumphant Sun. (on Rumi)
Tzvetan Todorov. Theories of the Symbol. Susan Friedman. Psyche Reborn. (on H.D.)
Jaques Scherer. Le “Livre” de Mallarme.
Regarding Revolutionary Mexico, here are a couple good links that we're sending out in Memory of Brad Will:
Finally today, a note regarding Peak Performance. We're at mid-month and we know that November can sometimes get you down. It's dark and rainy and these days in New York we have a bit of global warming fog to add to the gloom. But the weather is no excuse to give in to whatever ails your body and/or your mind. In fact, you should be thinking around this seasonal change with some flexible-optimism. Days will begin to get longer again in about six weeks. That is something to look forward to. And why not use the winter months to get yourself in shape for the spring? Use the gloomy season as a training ground from which to bloom into a beautiful oak tree or butterfly or black belt. You'll be happy that you did.
Need more inspiration? As Sempai Joseph over at the Dojo says, it's your movie, you decide the character you want to play. James Bond? Maybe. How about Neo? You are the star of your own movie. You are the star and you are the director. Do you have a vision statement? Then you have a script!
Still need more inspiration? Keep the Navy Seal Motto in your head: The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday. It sounds harsh, but it's life-changing.
Take it from the good people of Lisablog, if you can do fifty push-ups today, you can do one hundred push-ups tomorrow.
If you can run three miles today, you can run six miles tomorrow.
If you can do the dishes and take the dog for a walk, you also have time to listen to a webcast of a college course, learn five words of a new language (or even ten), and write a letter to a death row prisoner.
Don't think you have time? You do. You can easily do 50 push ups while your coffee is brewing. (Do them in sets of 10 if you are feeling awkward and tired.) You can listen to that college course webcast on the subway on your way to work.
Start integrating this kind of thinking into your life. Start integrating the "doing" as in "Just Do It". Pretty soon it will come naturally and you'll be saying "That was totally easy!" (That's when you move on to the next challenge.) You will re-wire your mind and body into a natural Peak Performance Mode. You will find yourself more happy, more hungry, more awake, more focused, and more prepared for everything the world has to offer.
Peace people, and happy Tuesday.
And for those of you who are ready to go back to college, here's the link:
Need to get more freaked out about the Death Penalty before you take action? The Texas Department of Corrections has a site where you can read Last Words.
Here are a couple examples:
Debbie, my Baby, I love you; do you know I love you. You are my life. You are my wife - always stay strong. Stay strong everybody. I am innocent. I am being punished for a crime I did not commit. I have professed my innocence for nine years, and I continue to say I am innocent. Let my people know I love them. We must continue on. Do not give up the fight; do not give up hope for a better future. Because we can make it happen. I love you, I love my son, and I love my daughter. Bruno, Chuckie, Juanita, Ray - I love you, all of you. Stay strong baby. I love you forever. (Derrick Frazier, 31 August 2006)
Momma, I just want you to know I love you. I want all of you to know I love you all. I am at peace; we know what it is. We know the truth. Stay out of crime; there is no point in it. I am at peace. We know the truth and I know it. I have some peace. I am glad it didn't take that long - no 10 or 20 years. I am at peace. And I want everyone to know I did not walk to this because this is straight up murder. I just want everybody to know I didn't walk to this. The reason is because it's murder. I am not going to play a part in my own murder. No one should have to do that. I love you all. I do not know all of your names. And I don't know how you feel about me. And whether you believe it or not, I did not kill them. I just want you all to have peace; you know what I'm saying. There is no point in that. It is neither here nor there. You have to move past it. It is time to move on. You know what I'm saying. I want each one of my loved ones to move on. I am glad it didn't last long. I am glad it didn't last long. I am at peace. I am at peace to the fullest. The people that did this - they know. I am not here to point fingers. God will let them know. If this is what it takes, just do what you got to do to get past it. What it takes. I am ready, Warden. Love you all. Let my son know I love him. (Lamont Reese, died 20 June 2006)
Only the sky and the green grass goes on forever and today is a good day to die. (David Martinez, 25 July 2005)
I just wanted to say to all of those that have supported me over the years that I appreciate it and I love you. And I just want to tell my mom that I love her and I will see her in Heaven. (Demarco McCullum, 9 November 2004).
This is from Lisablog Correspondent Corrine F. over at the Poetry Project:
Happy rainy Sunday.
I'm making a push for interest (and audience) in a (non-poetry) event
I'm hosting this Friday night at the Poetry Project at St. Mark's
Jill Magid is a visual artist who explores the device of seduction as
a means of engaging impersonal, governing systems in an intimate way
in order to expose vulnerabilities and permeable points of entrance
into structures such as the NYC MTA police, the Dutch Secret Service
or British CCTV surveillance mechanisms.
On Friday 11/17 at 10:30 she will be presenting images and reading
text from a current project in which she approached an MTA police
officer underground and asked him to search her. He wouldn't search
her but he agreed to train her. Months of clandestine underground
meetings ensued, as Magid instigated, pushed and maintained a personal
the surveilling power structure. She will discuss related works as
well (i.e. her current commission by the Dutch government to collect
stories from their own spies under the
condition of complete anonymity.) Please check out her website at
www.jillmagid.net to see scores of other projects from the past five
or so years. I'll paste her bio below here. Do consider coming this
Artist Jill Magid seeks intimate relationships with impersonal
structures. She engages the disciplining systems in current society
such as police, CCTV, and forensic sciences to exploit the latent
possibilities of their services. Weaving narrative patterns through
seemingly closed systems, Magid distills and presents her experience in
materials related to them. After receiving a Masters of Science in
Visual Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2000,
Magid relocated to the Netherlands as a resident at the Rijksakademie
van Beeldende Kunsten and has since been showing internationally. Her
work has been shown at a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau
Amsterdam, at De Appel in Amsterdam, Balance and Power curated by
Michael Rush at the Krannert Art Museum in Illinois, Positioning
statement | Image Cairo 3 in Cairo, Egypt, DMZ 2005 Korea: A project
between North and South Korea, and at the Liverpool Biennial
International ,2004. Upcoming shows include Naked Life at MOCA Taipei
and CASM Barcelona. She is a visiting artist at Cooper Union and a
lecturer at University of Pennsylvania. Magid currently lives and works
in New York and Amsterdam. www.jillmagid.net
From the Brooklyn Rail, a really terrific tribute to Brad Will.
As Rilke said, you must change your life.
Remembering Brad Will
by Kate Crane
I just hung up the phone with my friend Maia. She spoke to me from a rickshaw somewhere in India; now and again, the blare of unfamiliar street noise overwhelmed our voices. It was a conversation neither of us wanted to be having. I had to tell her that on Friday, October 27, our friend and colleague Brad Will was murdered by paramilitaries in Oaxaca, Mexico. For five months teachers there had been striking, and they wanted to oust the governor, Ulises Ruiz. Brad, a journalist with the all-volunteer Indymedia news organization, had traveled to Oaxaca to document the teachers’ struggle, just as he’d traveled to Bolivia, Brazil, the Yucatan peninsula, and elsewhere to record stories that the mainstream media either under- or misreported.
News of Brad’s murder—via one gunshot to the torso when plainclothes government agents began firing on the strikers—has reverberated around the globe. Condolences and expressions of outrage have poured in to the NYC Indymedia Web site from Germany, Chile, South Africa, Italy, France, Greece, Belgium. Everyone knew Brad, and pretty much everyone dug him. Tall, scruffy, a little stinky and a lot gorgeous, he hummed with infectious optimism; he radiated joy. He didn’t have a dour bone in his body, and I don’t recall his ever uttering a mean word about anyone—kind of a shocker, considering the range of personalities and temperaments that rub up against each other in activist circles.
I met Brad in 2001 when a friend and I were organizing events around Buy Nothing Day. What we planned was complex and ambitious, and plenty of more-seasoned NYC organizers scoffed that it couldn’t be done. Brad encouraged us every step of the way: He attended meetings, helped us publicize, and built props, not to mention ate whatever was in my fridge at any given time (no food was safe around him). The event was a fun, messy success, and afterward, Brad hooked me in with Reclaim the Streets, which became my home in New York activism.
Building community was at the core of Brad’s life, whether it was connecting like-minded people, doing grunt work like lugging drums at the end of a demonstration, defending community spaces like Charas, or investing time and effort into making projects like Indymedia thrive. A dedicated anarchist who fought for people’s right to determine their own lives, Brad was committed to joy, to singing and guitar playing, to creativity, to all of the pleasures life offered. Think Emma Goldman: “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” His life and work were a tremendously cool balancing act that blended local struggles (squatters’ rights, preserving L.E.S. gardens) and international travel that helped him understand and communicate the way in which globalization affected ordinary communities. His ability to stay lighthearted through what could be a thankless slog both inspired and bewildered me.
That’s not to say that Brad didn’t encounter despair. When he was in Brazil in early 2003, there was a massacre at the homeless encampment where he was staying. He wrote to me: “I feel like I am haunted—I keep seeing a thin woman’s body curled up at the bottom of a well, her body in a strange position—I can’t escape it.” On that trip, he also sent me poems, love notes and his famous stream-of-consciousness dispatches. For him, art, love and revolutionary struggle were inextricably linked in a roaring enthusiasm for life that always beat back hopelessness. Fearless but never reckless, Brad knew the risks of what he did. When a friend of his died in a tree-sit in the 90s, he said, “We all knew this could happen; we all knew one of us might die.” He sought neither prestige nor thrills, much less a paycheck. He loved this mad, maddening world of ours with every ounce of his being, and he gave his life while seeking its betterment.
While traveling with the Zapatistas early this year, Brad wrote:
We lose so much and fight so hard—sometimes we want to break down and cry, rip out our hair in frustration, fight with friends, hate ourselves—but sometimes we need a simple moment to reflect and shrink the world into a tiny point and look at it for what it is, misshappen, broken, dying—but realize that even though we are children of a messed-up human race it doesn’t mean we can’t try—we are busy undoing the damage they have done, done to us—but it is good work and we can do it.”
The news is that the memorial for Brad Will over at the Poetry Project today was tremendous. The freegans came out and set up a huge spread of beautiful recycled food for a crowd of what looked like 400 folks. There were speeches, songs, videos, and there was a lot of good-heartedness. There was also a lot of resolve to follow Brad's example and to help to make the world a better place. It was truly, truly a party that Brad would have loved.
And tomorrow there are going to be some really crucial activities over at the church, in the form of a series of workshops and study groups regarding the Revolutionary Movement in Oaxaca. Here's the line up. Don't miss it. Solidarity for the Americas!
OAXACA ENCUENTRO THIS SUNDAY
As part of the Memorial and Convergence, there will be a day-long Oaxaca encuentro on Sunday, November 12, from 2p-Midnight!
@ St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery
(131 E. 10th St on the corner of 2nd Ave in Manhattan’s East Village)
To learn more about the struggle that Brad Will was in Oaxaca to document, come to this day of engaging workshops + movies at night!
Oaxaca Encuentro Agenda:
2:15p “The Common Enemy and the Machete”: Neoliberalism and Resistance in Oaxaca*
(w/ el pinche simon and friends)
4:30p Horizontal Solidarity with Oaxaca*
(w/ zapagringo & friends)
6:30p Dinner Break
7:30p Building Indigenous Women’s Autonomy in Zapatista Communities
(special presentation from the Mexico Solidarity Network)
9:00p Movies ’til Midnight!
(Films documenting Brad Will’s Memorial in Oaxaca; Successful popular
resistance to government attacks on the teacher’s encampment and an
autonomous university in Oaxaca City; Women taking over television and
radio stations in Oaxaca; and more!)
* If you are interested in going to Oaxaca, we strongly encourage you to
attend the first two workshops “The Common Enemy…” and “Horizontal
Solidarity…” and get in touch with us at email@example.com)
Sorry for the mis-identification; it was a wallaby, not a bigfoot.
Tomorrow from 1-5 over at St. Mark's Church, a memorial service for Brad Will. There are a whole weekend's worth of events happening re: Brad, Oaxaca, and the Power of the People. Check that out here: Friends of Brad Will.Org.
The People of Texas and the People of Virginia continued their barbaric practices of State Sanctioned Murder this week.
Willie Shannon, Executed in Texas, November 8th.
John Schmitt, Executed in Virginia, November 9th.
Charles Anthony Nealy, also known as Anthony Nealy, is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas on November 16th. You can do your part to stop this madness by contacting Governor Rick Perry of Texas. Here is his contact information:
Especially check out Nealy's Texas Law, Capital Punishment, and Politics:
My Comprehensive Study, Based on Common Sense, Observations, and Personal Experiences.
Also, here is an excerpt of his correspondence with a Pen Pal:
Letter 1 - 6 June 2000
Thank-you for such an interesting introductory letter, I hope that things are well for you and Dave and believe it or not, it seems that we have been corresponding for a while. Its probably because there isn't difference in the way that I use my English, and the way you use your English, so I'm only going to assume that there is there is something different with your friend in Bos, Mass (English). You use English as though you are an American, I won't say a Texan.
Before I get into (me) I must say that right off I like you for several reasons. 1. You appear to be down to earth, and you don't waste time getting to the point. I think its because older people tend to mask things and won't say that they really mean without thinking that they're hurting someone's feelings, so I appreciate this opportunity very much. Now, I'm, 36, no wife, no children, born in Dallas, Texas, raised there too. I have also been in a few positions that allowed me to try and help people. My last job, I was manager at an agency that found poor people jobs. I would often give them rides and several months before this mess, I was promoted to manager in collections and I had a chance to help people set up payment plans. I've often worked on odd jobs, I had my own home and vehicle, if I wasn't working, then I would usually have a nephew or two with me somewhere, having fun getting bent. I love to read, in college I had a few semesters of art, psychology and sociology, I took and competed an air-conditioning trade. (I'm into philosophy too). I have my days when I'm feeling very philosophical and will try to explain everything to the letter.
My mother raised us, a single parent and yes we were poor. I have 2 bro's, 4 sisters. I don't write them, they don't write me. Anyway, I enjoy different kinds of music and I still one day plan to travel the globe. I'm very considerate and a good listener. I hate poverty and I detest men that don't take care of their children and I'll do anything to help them. "That's another letter".
A typical day "that's cool" how you put it. My day begins like this - At 3am, breakfast - dog food, 10.30 am lunch - dog food, 3.30 pm supper - dog food, In between these hours I'm pacing the floor, I read over things that have been read over and over, I listen to people screaming 'whatever'! I hear the loud crying at nights. I'm in the cell basically 24 hours, there is a little area for recreation an hour if you desire it, but it's just like being in the cell so I don't go out. At the moment I feel okay because I received a letter from you today, but deep inside I feel anger because it shouldn't be that the only people who seem to care about me is people overseas and I've done nothing to anyone to make people simply give up on me, even the churches I attended! So no, I don't have any support, my friends turned on me 2 weeks after I was in jail. My ex-girl of 4 years had another man about 2 months after, and I've caught nothing but hell trying to keep it from my daily thoughts.
"Treatment" at the present. We are on lockdown status, and as usual, if you don't have food and snacks, coffee etc from the Commissary then you starve. They feed us pancakes with nasty syrup and peanut butter; this is made into a sandwich, placed in a sack, smashed and then brought to you 3 times a day. To make matter worse, I had been complaining about there not being a chaplain here for death row because on the other unit (Ellis), the chaplain's would see to it that us indigent people had things for our personal needs. Anyway, Friday the 9th, a chaplain was on his way back here, but was stopping and being friendly and some fool cut the man's arm down to the bone, so we may be on lockdown for a while. When I heard of it I felt nothing but sorrow, I don't belong here and I don't want to be here. We don't come in contact with other inmates period! I don't see anyone and if I want to talk to someone I must shout like I'm crazy so they'll hear me over the other shouts. So to sum most of it up, simply said, I'm doing everything I can to maintain the little sanity that I do have, and believe me its H-A-R-D! I've only been on death row now a little over a year, so we're both starting off pretty fresh, so I'm putting it all out there - I don't have a radio, headphones, any 'books' NEW, I don't get any magazines or Anything. So whenever you write, your letters will be sincerely appreciated, and that comes from the heart.
I'm sorry but I don't have any pictures of me, but maybe someday someone will send some of me and I'll send you a few I had so many! And you can call me Anthony if you want to. Now, before I close, please flip page - surprise waiting over?..
I must tell you this so we won't get into trouble. If you want me to have stationery - newspaper, books, it must come from the company or a notable company. Things can be ordered over the internet like Amazon.com, writing pads, envelopes and typing paper is usually ordered through officedepot.com or by calling 1-888-go-depot. If you want to send money send money orders to (address) and it's known already that its sometime hard exchanging currency for US currency, especially finding International money orders. You do have a jump on what will be suggested anyway. the best thing would be to send the money to your friend in Bos, Mass and ask her to send it on your behalf. Then when you write me you can let me know that its on the way - 'we aren't given receipts' so knowing to expect something helps in preparing the order. Well I guess that should do it for now, and I'm eagerly awaiting your reply, let me know what you think about everything. Say hello to Dave for me.
Until next time, Anthony.
PS I raised a cat from a kitten. His name was Bo. He was poisoned by a neighbour, that was about 10 years ago.