We're on our way to karate class. Bruise of the day is a forearm bruise from practicing our Jodan Uke block (that's a rising high block). We've been practicing our blocks with a bamboo stick coming at us, hence the forearm bruise. Coming tomorrow: bruise of the day will likely be a shin bruise. Stay tuned for this exciting story.
On the plastic bag front, we the good people of Lisablog have a suggestion for all of you. Charge yourself a dollar for every plastic bag you bring into the house. We guarantee you'll start to be more mindful. We now have eight dollars in our plastic bag fund which we will use to purchase a new compact fluroescent lightbulb.
We made a soap-to-tea trade with our friend Zoe and she sent us this most amazing stuff. Here's her website: Wind Flower Botanicals
Soap: there is a new batch of Oatmeal Clary Sage soap. The soaps have been selling out fast, so we made some extra this time. Oatmeal Clary Sage is one of the bigger hits in the line. Clary sage is a happy fragrance, kind of fruity, kind of smoky, and the steel cut oats make it a great massage soap-- lots of texture.
Robert Duncan: The readers reports are in on the Robert Duncan book and we're set to do the final footnoting edits. You, the good people of Lisablog, will have a chance to see select chapters of the book very soon. We're going to start downloading parts of it to the Robert Duncan page. The book will very likely stay on schedule, which means you'll see it in a bookstore near you in the autumn.
Other news: the UN reports 34,000 dead civilians in Iraq last year, and we, the good people of Lisablog, would like to remind you to write to your congress person to suggest IMPEACHMENT.
From Brother Tony, another good New York City Event
A Conversation on Immigration
With Amy Goodman and Deepa Fernandes
January 25, 2006
Cooper Union's Great Hall
7 East 7th Street
Third Avenue (Between 6th and 7th Sts.)
Subway: Astor Place (6), 8th Street (N, R, W)
"Democracy Now!" host Amy Goodman joins award-winning radio broadcaster and "Wakeup Call" host Deepa Fernandes to discuss her new book: Targeted: Homeland Security and the Business of Immigration (Seven Stories Press).
The conversation will examine the new American immigrant experience, the human struggle behind the current immigration debate, and ask the burning question: In the Democratic controlled Congress, can we expect a better deal for immigrants?
My friend Jennifer has a new book out and she'll be out west this week reading from it. It's a totally killer book. And she's reading with Dodie B in SF! Wow: now there's a hot program:
SAN FRANCISCO, CA--To launch the highly-anticipated second novel from Jennifer Natalya Fink, V, She Devil Press/Suspect Thoughts Press is proud to announce the following multiple-author LA and Bay Area events in January 2007.
Wednesday, January 17, 3:00 pm
Jennifer Natalya Fink (Burn, V)
University of Southern California
Taper Hall of Humanities, 4th Floor Seminar Room
Los Angeles, California
For further info or directions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, January 18, 7:30 pm
Jennifer Natalya Fink (Burn, V)
with Dodie Bellamy (Academonia, Pink Steam)
2275 Market Street, San Francisco
Friday, January 19, 7:30 pm
Jennifer Natalya Fink (Burn, V)
with Mattilda aka Matt Bernstein Sycamore (Nobody Passes, Pulling Taffy)
Laurel Book Store
4100 MacArthur Boulevard, Oakland
Saturday, January 20, 8:00 pm
Jennifer Natalya Fink (Burn, V)
with Daphne Gottlieb (Jokes and the Unconscious, Final Girl)
Dog Eared Books
900 Valencia Street, San Francisco
by Jennifer Natalya Fink
Fiction, 5X8, 184 pages, $16.95
ISBN-10: 0-9771582-9-2, ISBN-13: 978-0-9771582-9-4
She Devil Press/Suspect Thoughts Press
“A peculiar—and peculiarly moving—novel.”
—Steve Almond, author of Candyfreak
S?o Paulo, Brazil: 1954. A monkey, escaping the destruction of its native rain forest, runs into Veronica Segall’s living room as she crushes her hand in the kitchen door a la Saint Veronica. A hat, a social climber manufactured in Peru but with pretenses to Paris, watches disapprovingly from his box. A gun, lying in a drawer unoiled and long forgotten, snaps to attention. And a man, an Englishman, one Henry Baxter, engineer, bridge-builder, and melancholic composer of unsent postcards, discovers Veronica and her voice in a coffee shop as he chews an elephant ear pastry.
As the story unfolds, monkeys mourn, hats remember, guns regret, and Veronica’s voice invades Henry’s ears. The voice—perhaps the voice of loss, perhaps the voice of God—itself becomes a character, mourning and desiring every bit as much as the characters it possesses.
V is based on a story legendary in the author's family about their mysterious Brazilian relatives and their lives in a post-war S?o Paulo Jewish community. Like most family myths, the story changes every time it is told. In Fink’s deft hands, this myth is transformed into a story of the human will to survive, and the equally compelling (and fatally human) impulse toward self-destruction.
Hello People. Welcome to a foggy Sunnyside Sunday.
News from the Mount Tremper Manse: we have chipmunks in our attic.
News from Catskill Organics: there's a new soap called Citrus Something Or Other. It's made with orange blossom water and lime zest and organic coconut oil and olive oil and safflower oil. Not much scent actually. It's a good soap for the mellow minimalists out there. It will be ready for use on February 11th:
Ah yes, Giant Monkeyfish of the Blog, there is snow in Sunnyside today. (Not much snow, but enough flake action to shout out "it's kind of like winter again.")
In other news, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been body-snatched by forward-thinking space aliens. The plan? Universal Health Care for Californians and a 10% cut in auto emissions over the next decade. Who needs Jerry Brown after all?
Meanwhile, yes, there is some new soap. It's called Texas Cedarwood, a manly smoky soap made with aloe vera juice for extra skin toning. This soap will be ready for use on February 9th, but you can order it now. A good Valentines Day gift for the leather men in your life.
And now, a note on Kyokushin Training. We, the good yellow belts of Lisablog, have not yet decided if Kyokushin is a Navy Seal sport or a Jack Ass sport. Probably a little bit of both. After yesterday morning's workout of tire kicking, sparring, and several sets of 50 push ups, we can at least give you a top ten list of cool things about Kyokushin training:
1. It's a great way to put on muscle weight. I've put on 8 pounds over the last 4 months, and it's definitely not fat.
2. Kyokushin training makes everything else seem easy. I've been cross-training for a marathon, and at this point there's nothing breezier than a 6 mile run. (In the dojo we run forward, backward, sideways, do push ups, and hop over bags. A straight run is a super-relaxing alternative.)
3. Are you a hypochondriac? Try Kyokushin and you'll never worry about those little aches and pains again. Kyokushin training provides great proof of the resilience of the body.
4. Kyokushin is a forward-thinking sport. In a sparring round in the dojo, the last thing you want to do is step back and give your opponent the room to swing a kick at your head. Through kyokushin training you will learn to step forward into adversity and confront everything the world throws at you.
5. Are you a multi-tasker? Start into Kyokushin and you can work out and learn Japanese at the same time.
6. Are you totally lacking in grace? Kyokushin katas and kicks improve balance. Want to join the Merce Cunningham Dance Company? Start with kyokushin and you'll be ready to go.
7. The joy of team spirit. Maybe you live in a city like New York where your fellow poets are more likely to boo you than blurb you. Kyokushin is different. Mutual sweating in the dojo leads to very positive peer dynamics. Our dojo is a multi-cultural melting pot of respect and good will. Try grooving on that vibe after a Saturday afternoon at the Bowery Poetry Club.
8. Practical applications: Kyokushin trains you to focus your energies and to coordinate your muscles. You will never need someone else to open a jar of pickles for you again.
9. More practical applications: self-defense. You may not be able to take down an attacker as a yellow belt, but we can guarantee that your lunge into fighting stance accompanied by a loud kiai is going to make people think twice about messing with you.
10. The pleasure of achievement. For the achievement junkies out there, (and for the order-cravers) kyokushin is a great sport. You always know where you stand, and where everyone else stands, because of the rank order system. At the same time, every white belt knows that he or she is a black belt in the making, and every black belt knows that he or she was once a white belt. There are clear markers for promotion: each rank carries along with it the knowledge of certain katas and certain fighting combinations and certain terminology and certain stamina benchmarks. Tired of seeing half-wit putzes get all the interviews at the MLA? Quit the English Department and join the dojo: way more clarity in the promotion process.
An Excellent Event, coming at you from Curator C at
The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church
131 E 10th St. (at 2nd Avenue)
This is the Bike Ride to Work: Prose Poems & Super 8: Stephanie Gray
Friday, January 12, 10:30 pm
An evening of poems and super 8 shorts. Poems read live with films and
a keyboard. Work will tackle Joan of Arc, Buffalo, Metallica, grain
elevators, a bike ride to work, and will include a film set to the
words of Eileen Myles' "School of Fish."
Stephanie Gray is a poet and an experimental filmmaker whose films
often incorporate poetry.
She has a book forthcoming, of mostly prose poems, entitled Heart
Stoner Bingo from Straw Gate Books in 2007.
Her film Dear Joan (about Joan of Arc) which has a poem voiceover, has
screened internationally, and is distributed by Frameline Lesbian &
Gay Film Distribution. Her super 8 films often deal with themes of the
city, pop culture, class, queerness, feminism and hearing loss, but
not always in that order or at the same time.
Her super 8 films are often hand-processed and edited in camera. She
has received funding from NYFA (in film), NYSCA and the Experimental
Television Center. Her work has been featured in NYC in one-woman
screenings at Millennium Film Workshop and the Mix Fest @ Collective
Unconscious. Her films have shown in film festivals and venues such as
Exit Art (NY), Oberhausen (Germany), Viennale (Austria), VIDEOEX
(Switzerland), Cinematexas (Austin), Antimatter (Canada), Chicago
Underground Film Fest, Free Speech TV, Inside Out Lesbian and Gay Film
Fest (Toronto), and Madcat Women's Intl. Film Fest (San Francisco).
She has performed her poetry with films at fests and venues such as
Splice This! Super 8 Film Fest (Toronto) and Squeaky Wheel/Buffalo
Media Resources, among others. Images from her film Kristy are in the
LTTR's (Lesbians To The Rescue) Fall 2005 issue.
Formerly of Buffalo, where she worked at Squeaky Wheel, a media arts
center, she moved to NYC in 2004 and currently works at Anthology Film
Hey All, Our pal Anthony wrote a great book called Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal and check this out, it is now available in an updated paperback edition. We've been hanging with Brother Anthony for fifteen years and we can tell you that he is the hardest working man in the social justice movement.
Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal
Anthony Arnove, with a foreword by Howard Zinn
Metropolitan Books / American Empire Project Series
"An urgent book."
"A powerful and compelling argument on behalf of withdrawal from Iraq."
"Anthony Arnove's analysis of the reasons for U.S. troops to be withdrawn from Iraq is brilliant."
"A book that every American, regardless of political viewpoint, should read."
"A compelling brief against America's new imperial venture."
--Frances Fox Piven
"Conventional wisdom keeps saying there are no good options, but Arnove's analysis suggests a way out of the misery."
"A rigorous analysis of the American occupation."
"An impassioned, unflinching case for immediate U.S. withdrawal. Read this book and bring the troops home now."
Catch the author at the following events:
January 17, 7 pm, New York, NY (with Michael Schwartz)
January 20, 7 pm, Chicago, IL (with Jeff Engelhardt)
University of Illinois-Chicago
Contact: Adam Turl, 773-567-0936, email@example.com
January 27, 5 pm, Washington, DC (with Kelly Dougherty)
Busboys and Poets
February 1, 7:30 pm, Pasadena, CA
Voices of a People's History of the United States with Mark Ruffalo, Q'Orianka Kilcher, Benjamin Bratt, Marisa Tomei, Josh Brolin, and Alfre Woodard.
All Saints Episcopal Church
Published by Metropolitan Books / American Empire Project Series
For the Peak Performers out there, there is an excellent article on the New York Times Website. It's called "Happiness 101" and it's about Positive Psychology. Here's a clip:
Positive psychology is popular with educators because if happiness is something that can be learned, it can be taught. And because being happier seems to have positive long-term effects not just on well-being but also on health and life span. In one often-cited study, researchers at the University of Kentucky analyzed the essays novices born before 1917 wrote on entering the School Sisters of Notre Dame and correlated them to the nuns’ life spans. They found that 9 out of 10 of the most positive 25 percent of the nuns were still alive at 85, while only one-third of the least positive 25 percent were. Overall, their study showed positive emotions correlated to a 10-year increase in life span, greater even than the differential between smokers and nonsmokers. Another study, by Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor at U.C. Berkeley, correlated the smiles that the female graduates of Mills College in Oakland, Calif., displayed in two mid-20th-century yearbooks with life satisfaction and found that the bigger the smile, the more satisfying the marriage and the greater their well-being. Inspired by studies like these, positive psychologists have developed “interventions,” or practices, designed to maximize positive emotions and have tested them on thousands of people. One such intervention is to think every night about the good things that happened to you that day. Another is to make sure in any given day that you either work or play in a new area that draws on what positive psychologists call your “signature strengths” to create a sense of well-being. Gratitude visits — looking up someone who has taught or mentored you and thanking him or her — are important in positive psychology, too; this last intervention, studies show, gives the biggest increase in happiness of all.
What does it all mean? It means that even in the face of adversity, you can regroup and organize yourself to be all that you can be. Rewrite your vision statement today! Do it with a smile on your face. Smiling triggers your brain to release endorphins. As they say in AA, "Move a Muscle, Change a Thought."
On Another Front: Death Penalty News: Our friend Anthony Nealy reports that he was briefly transferred from his death row Polunsky Unit in Livingston to Dallas where he met with a judge regarding his pending appeal. While in Dallas (through the Xmas holidays) he was supposed to have visits from his family (who live in Dallas), but one of the prosecutors convinced the judge not to allow for this, since she, the prosecutor, lived in Dallas and had her own family there, and thought that Anthony's visitation rights could endanger her family. You figure that one out. Anthony ended up spending Christmas without any visits and without any stationary, stamps, envelopes, etc.
We really want to again encourage people to correspond with death row prisoners. They don't have much to look forward to from day to day, and letters make a big difference. There are a lot of pen pal listings at Canadian Coalition Against the Death Penalty Site.