Friday, December 31, 2010

DIY Galaxy Print Top

Ok so this one is more like Didnt DIY. You may remember that a while ago I was ooooing and ahhing over the Dion Lee/Josh Goot Galaxy Print, wondering if I could do it myself using a spray dye technique (check out my post here). Before I got a chance however, a couple of days ago I was perusing the tiny little stores in the Galle fort and came across this top.  The little old lady who was selling it told me that she had used a spray dye technique to do it - she was so sweet and talked me through the process so look forward to seeing more galaxy print in the future! She also happily took me through to her workshop that was packed to the ceilings with dyed and printed fabrics she had done herself, and took in the top for me on the spot. Talk about service. Oh, and did I mention it cost less than the price of a coffee? Result!
Spray dye galaxy print top, vintage pleated skirt (£2 from an op shop in north london), river island gladiator flats, zara satchel, antique necklace from Sri lanka, sunglasses £7 from ebay (search for cat eye sunglasses).

The 2009 Year in Review

Sometimes I wonder about how to classify this blog. I'm a psychologist who blogs about theology. A believer who struggles with belief. And a Christian who wants to disown much of what passes for Christianity.

That said, one of the advantages of blogging outside of my academic discipline is that I'm rarely at a loss for material. Unlike most theological blogs I could launch into a series tomorrow reviewing, say, John Howard Yoder's The Politics of Jesus. Most theological blogs would never devote that kind of time to a book they generally have to assume their readership knows very well. For my part, as an outsider, I don't assume anything. I will assume you've never heard of John Howard Yoder. This, I think, is a part of my "niche," a place where people can peep into my theological explorations, learning right along with me.

That said, sometimes I do try to make constructive, novel and positive theological proposals. Rather than summarizing or commenting on existing theological work I sometimes try to actually do some theological work, to say something new and original. Some of those attempts were on display in 2009:

Experimental Theology 2009 Year in Review

1. The Bait and Switch of Contemporary Christianity
In 2009 I wrote the post that has gotten more attention than anything I've ever written on this blog. Something about my broadside about Christians being bad tippers struck a nerve. Mostly for the positive. However, someone did compare me to the Antichrist in the comments of that post.

2. Original Sin: A New View
2009 started with a series where I tried to develop an alternative formulation of the doctrine of original sin. Specifically, I wondered if human sinfulness was less a product of a inner defect then the predictable outcome of being, to use the words of Marilyn McCord Adams, biodegradable creatures in a world of (real or potential) scarcity. The series ultimately transformed a load of soteriological problems into a load of theodicy problems. Which is a frequent theological habit of mine.

3. The Theology of Monsters
The series I had the most fun with in 2009 was writing about the theology of the monstrous. The series was inspired by a church class I hosted on this subject and I repost this material every Halloween.

4. Alone, Suburban and Sorted
In 2009 I dipped into sociology with a synthetic review of the books Bowling Alone, The Big Sort and That Great Good Place. In this series I discussed how Americans are becoming increasingly isolated and ideologically homogenized leading to massive loss of social and civic skills (e.g., welcoming difference). I suggested that churches might become "third places" to help step into this social and civic gap.

5. Freud and Faith
I lecture on Freud every year and in this series I wrote about some of the theological observations I make when I discuss the work of Freud with students. Two posts from this series entitled Pants and Potty are pretty funny (and each, I think, also make interesting points).

6. The Varieties and Illusions of Religious Experience
A massive project I took on during 2009 was an engagement with Sigmund Freud and William James. The series set out to answer a very simple question, one asked by Freud: Isn't religious faith just wishful thinking? My answer, which should be of interest to religious persons, builds on the work of William James. ACU Press has expressed interest in this material and I hope to turn this series into a book.

7. Thoughts on Mark Driscoll...While I'm Knitting
This post also got some Internet attention, mainly because the subject of the post, Mark Driscoll, is so controversial and polarizing. In the post I use Mark Driscoll to meditate on masculinity in the church. And I also reveal my penchant for knitting while proctoring exams.

8. Darwin's Sacred Cause
The best book review I did during 2009 was this review of the book Darwin's Sacred Cause. Given how polarizing Darwin is in Christian circles I recommend every Christian read this book to understand how The Origin of Species functioned in the war to end slavery.

9. Purity and Defilement
Another massive series I did during 2009 was an extended psychological meditation on disgust and purity in the life of the church. The series circled around the events in Matthew 9--Jesus eating with tax collectors and sinners--and Jesus' claim that God "desires mercy, not sacrifice." The links to this series are now dead because most of this material is coming out in my first book. The book is entitled Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality and will be published by Cascade this Winter/Spring. I'll keep you posted when it's available for purchase.

10. Aliens and a Dog
I try not to write a lot about my personal life (it's not that interesting) but two of my favorite posts from 2009 were biographical (with some theology mixed in). The first post was about our dog Bandit and the experience of becoming first-time dog owners. The second post was about our family trip to find aliens in Roswell, NM.

DIY Lace Jewellery

Cut a cute shape out of some lace, and then add some beads or studs.
Image: All the pretty birds

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Profile Putri Titian - Biography & Photo

Biodata Artis Indonesia


Real Name : Putri Titian Asih
Popular Name : Putri Titian or Tian
Birth Date : 7 April 1991
Birth Place : Palembang, Indonesia
Hometown : Jakarta
Occupation : Actress

Official website :

Putri Titian Profile
Putri Titian Asih, commonly called Tian or Putri Titian (born in Palembang, 7 April 1991) is an Indonesian soap opera

Profile SMASH - Indonesian Boy Band + Photo

Biodata Personel SMASH - New Indonesian Boy Band "SMASH"SMASH? Probably still a lot of gossip Artis Indonesia lovers who are not familiar with this Indonesian boy band. Boyband, which consisted of seven personnel is still classified as a newcomer in Indonesian music. Their presence attracted enough attention because of their style and appearance is slightly different and a little more unique.

The 2008 Year in Review

It has become very obvious over the years that I'm drawn to long posts (basically essays) and the multi-part series. This blog is kind of an antiblog. It doesn't invite surfing. I expect that drives a lot of people away. And I think that is a good thing. I think it helps to protect the conversations we have here. Any regular readers are going to have high investments given the length of the posts and series.

Two of my favorite series, both inspired by comic strips, came in 2008.

So here it is, the best of the year 2008:

Experimental Theology 2008 Year in Review

1. The Theology of Peanuts
2008 began with my series The Theology of Peanuts. This was quite a project as I inserted illustrative Peanuts strips into the text of each essay. Being a big fan of the whole Peanuts gang this was a fun project to start off the year.

2. The Theology of Calvin and Hobbes
After starting 2008 with The Theology of Peanuts I ended the year with an equally ambitious project: The Theology of Calvin and Hobbes. Inspired by this series, this year at ACU I taught an Honors class entitled the Theology of Calvin and Hobbes.

3. Tracy Witham's Into the World.
During the summer months in 2008 while I was in Germany I was very pleased to host Tracy Witham's online book Into the World. Tracy now hosts that book, along with his other work, on his blog Metaponderance.

4. The Psychology of Violence
Speaking of Germany, two of my favorite posts from 2008 were posts about the Buchenwald concentration camp and reflections prompted by the traffic lights in the former East Germany. Each post uses those experiences in Germany to reflect on the psychology of violence.

5. The Omega Point (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4)
Not for the faint of heart, you have to think really hard to wrap your head around the Omega Point series. Inspired by the writings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in the Omega Point series I tried to integrate consciousness, theology, evolution, and physics.

6. The Psychology of Christian Art (Part 1, Interlude, Part 2, and Part 3)
I wrote a lot about art in 2008, a research interest that continues to this day. This series in 2008 asked the question: Why is so much of Christian art so bad? To answer that question we ventured into theology and existentialism and some of my laboratory research. This research that began in 2008 has now found its way into print as summarized in my recent post on the Thomas Kinkade Effect.

7. The Theology of Ugly (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7)
In this series I used the category of ugly to approach theological and ethical issues. The high points of the series, thanks to my colleague Dan, were the posts devoted to the aesthetics of the Crucifixion, the Isenheim Altarpiece, and Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World.

8. PostSecret (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5)
PostSecret is an online and publishing sensation where people anonymously share secrets they have never before disclosed. This series summarized research I did with some of my students into the PostSecret phenomenon. A fun point of the series was when Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret, commented on a couple of the posts.

9. Orthodox Iconography
2008 was the year I really got into Orthodox iconography. I still have much to learn but what little I did learn I shared in a variety of posts on specific icons (The Harrowing of Hell, John the Baptist, the Crucifixion, Christ Pantokrator, and the Nativity, Baptism, and Transfiguration) and in posts concerning the theology of the visual style of icons (Stylization, Light, Time and Space, and Perspective). Inspired by these posts I eventually taught a class on Orthodox iconography at my church. As a part of that class we visited St. Luke's Orthodox church here in Abilene and were treated to a presentation by Father LeMaster's and the iconographer of St. Luke's.

10. My Research
In 2008 I also continued to blog about my scholarly research. Both my Satan and Theodicy and my Feeling Queasy about the Incarnation studies were accepted for publication in 2008. I remain very proud of those two papers as they were, and remain, unprecedented in the psychology of religion literature. More, this research highlights my interest in "experimental theology," the ways very particular theological beliefs (in these papers belief in Satan and the Incarnation) interact with psychology.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

GENESIS: Beauford Delaney / December 30, 1901

Portrait of Beauford Delaney, 1943, Georgia O'Keefe
"His goal was bringing together rich and poor, city and country, old and young, male and female; he also  combined a form in which abstraction and realism coexisted, a contemporary idyll that brought together people of different races and sexual identities." ~ Ann E. Gibson

The 2007 Year in Review

Generally speaking, I try not to get too self-indulgent with this blog. That is, I try not to blog about the blog. I can't imagine that anyone would find a blogger blogging about his blog to be remotely interesting.

But from the beginning of this blog, starting in 2007, I have done an end of the year round up of the year's writing on the blog, gathering, in my estimation (that's the self-indulgent part), my most favorite posts. Beyond a personal taking stock, these reviews have also been nice ways for newer readers to explore the early years of this blog.

So, leading up the New Year's review of 2010 over the next few days we will go back in time. Here, then, is the first year end wrap up from 2007:

Experimental Theology 2007 Year in Review

#1: The Voice of the Scapegoat series
I began 2007 in the middle of a review of S. Mark Heim’s book Saved from Sacrifice which gives the church a Girardian reading of the cross. At the conclusion of that series I received an e-mail from Mark Heim expressing appreciation for the series. I'm always surprised by these emails. Being a psychologist I consider myself a bit of a naif when it comes to theology. So it's always nice to get encouragement from the professionals, particularly when I'm interacting with their work.

#2 The Christ and Horrors series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
This was a review of Marilyn McCord Adams’s wonderful book on Christology and theodicy. A critical feature of McCord Adams’ position is that God will be good to all horror participants. This leads to a universalist position which, in my opinion, is the only coherent move a Christian can make in confronting the problem of horrific suffering. The book remains on my Top 10 list for theology.

#3 Summer and Winter Christians
This was a single post summarizing a published paper of mine. The main thrust of the paper is to get Christian communities to reject simplistic polar models of faith (where doubt/negativity are antithetical to faith) and adopt a circumplex model where doubt/negativity can co-exist with faith.

#4 The Ecclesial Quotient
This was a quirky series where I tried to create a mathematical formula to calculate your contribution to the Kingdom of God. I even graph the function. I like this series because it got noticed by a Network Theory class at Cornell University. When a theology blog shows up in a math class at Cornell you’ve got to be doing something right.

#5 Toward a Post-Cartesian Theology (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7) In the early years of this blog I wrestled a lot with free will and how modern advances in genetics and neuroscience are undermining the notion that humans are radically free because we have a "soul." I've struggled a great deal with how all this science affects Christian theology, particularly soteriology. In my Post-Cartesian series I reviewed and interacted with Harry Frankfurt’s book Taking Ourselves Seriously & Getting It Right. It is was my best attempt at that date (supplemented by my The Cartesian Race post) in grappling with the free will versus determinism debate. My work on these issues got noticed by Bob Cornwall who solicited an article from me on this subject for the pastoral journal he oversees, Sharing the Practice. The paper was entitled "Ministry in the Post-Cartesian World." Thank you Bob for asking!

#6 Theology and Evolutionary Psychology (Prelude, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8)
I don’t think Christians should be afraid of evolution. In fact, if you look at the Sermon on the Mount through the lens of evolutionary psychology you come away thinking that Jesus was a Darwinian genius. In this series I tried to show how evolutionary psychology makes the Christian moral witness seem extraordinarily prescient, deep, and powerful.

#7 My Bible Class about Bob Sutton's Book
No retrospective on 2007 would be complete without facing up to my Most Controversial Post of the Year (if complaints to my university is our measure). I did a bible class at my church on Dr. Sutton's book and then followed that post up with a series. That post was picked up on by Dr. Sutton (initially here on his personal blog and then later in The Huffington Post where he mentions his changing attitudes about Christians in two features found here and here). Which pleases me in that, if you look at his remarks, it seems I helped dismantle some stereotypes about Christians and Christian intellectuals. As I wrote about this year, Dr. Sutton's book has just come out in paperback and in a new chapter Dr. Sutton mentions my bible class:

Among the biggest [surprises after the publication of the book] was when this book was read in a bible studies class in a Texas church. Professor Richard Beck, an experimental psychologist at Abilene Christian University, explained on his blog, Experimental Theology:

I thought to myself, "Richard, what are you possibly going to say in class that hasn't been said before about 1 Corinthians 13?" Then it hit me. I started the class by doing a book review and reading selections from Dr. Bob Sutton's new book The No Asshole Rule...

We reflected on all this in my Sunday School class. And after reflection on The No Asshole Rule, I read these famous words: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."

Basically, don't be an asshole.

In the months following Professor Beck's post, I seemed to be deluged by people who linked their religious beliefs to the ideas here. I had a long phone conversation with a Silicon Valley pastor who wanted tips for a sermon that was inspired by the book. A Jesuit priest emailed me that The No Asshole Rule should be mandatory reading for every Catholic priest. Chrismon, a religious magazine in Germany, published a story on the book (translated as Der Arschloch-Faktor). Editor Nils Husmann explained that 1.5 million copies of Chrismon were printed each month and said, "We are financed by the Evangelical Church in Germany, and therefore very interested in topics that deal with how human beings interact, since that is what religion is all about." A Methodist minister I met on a plane ride told me, "The no asshole rule is just a subset of the golden rule, and even easier to remember."

#8 Ghostbusting
For some strange reason I love this post from my Walk with William James series. (See the sidebar for all the installments.) In this post I tell the story of my one paranormal adventure with some of my students. I repost this every year around Halloween.

#9 Everyday Evil (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6)
Lots of people seemed to really enjoy my Everyday Evil series where I show how the potential for evil is just around the corner for ordinary people. I have this series so low in the rankings because the YouTube clips that made the series so enjoyable keep getting taken away or moved. So beware of dead links.

#10 Why the Anti-Christ is an Idiot
The funniest post of 2007 and a not-so-subtle shot at the Left Behind series.

DIY Ribbon Knit

Using a large needle or knitting needle, thread some ribbon through a cable knit like this - securing in sweet little bows.
Image: I Love Wildfox

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Viking Horns, Frying Pans, Loads of Snow and Snow Sculpture

Each year, snow-worshipers dust off their Viking horns and line the streets of Breckenridge, Colorado, to pay homage to Ullr, the mythical Norse god of snow. Join the 48th annual celebrations from January 9 to 15, 2011 to give thanks for Breckenridge�s bountiful early-season snowfall, over 130 inches in the first four weeks of the season.

This annual week-long celebration of Ullr (pronounced Ooh-ler), brings to Breckenridge a legendary Main Street parade along with live entertainment, the Ullr Dating Game, Ullympics and a family ice skating party.

On the heels of the Ullr Fest comes the 21st International Snow Sculpture Championships from January 25 to 30. Sixteen teams from around the globe have been invited to compete from nine countries
New is an eco-friendly, LED lighting system that will add to the artistry with color washes during viewing week, January 30 through February 6, weather permitting.

At the event, attended annually by more than 30,000 people, four-person teams are assigned 12-foot-tall, 20-ton blocks of machine-made Colorado snow. Artists achieve finished pieces after a total of 65 intense hours of work without the use of power tools, internal support structures or colorants.

Sculpting begins with a shotgun start and finishes with teams working through the night to hand-carve anything from enormous pieces of whimsy to powerful social commentary. Judging commences with awards presented to first, second and third places, along with designations of People�s Choice, Kids� Choice and Artists� Choice.

For more information about top events in Colorado take a look at the Top Events USA selection of the annual main festivals and events in Colorado.

For more information on the 2011 Budweiser International Snow Sculpture Championships and lodging packages in Breckenridge visit

Rahma Azhari Topless - Naked Photos

Rahma Azhari Topless - Naked Photos
Rahma Azhari once again make a scene. After some time ago, an intimate photo of Rahma Azhari - Simon McMenemy, coach of the Philippine national football team, circulating on the internet, this time Rahma Azhari's exciting photo with a foreign man become a "hot topic" of discussion in the Blackberry Messenger (BBM) group network.

But this time Rahma Azhari hot

DIY Knitted Armwarmers

We'll all be needing arm warmers this season what with fashion's penchant for capes. May your own using cable knit socks or by sewing tubes out of a thirfted deconstructed knitted sweater.
Image: Because I'm Addicted

Monday, December 27, 2010

DIY Shell Necklace

As mentioned in my last post, I've been hitting the beach in the south of Sri Lanka, and its been gorgeous - so quiet and wild. We've been staying in a beachside national park where the monkeys play while you're having breakfast, a big grey elephant rubbed itself against our cabin last night and you can hear the waves while you sleep. I trawled the beach this morning for some DIY materials like shells and rocks. I found this lovely burnt orange and white shell, perfect match for my shorts and straw hat. Then set about making myself this gorgeous shell necklace - why not do a little DIY while hanging by the pool? I tapped a hole into the top of a shell and passed a silver chain through it. Perfect and simple holiday DIY. If you're on the beach this Christmas why not make one yourself?

Are you following me on twitter? Blogging is light on atm but I have been uploading pics and updates to twitter so go here to get amongst it. Love getting your questions and comments. Hope you've all had an amazing Christmas!

Profile Ayushita - Biography & Photo

Indonesian Actress - Biodata Artis Indonesia


Popular Name : Ayusitha
Real Name : Ayu Sita Widyastuti Nugraha
Birth Place : Jakarta
Birth Date : Juni 9, 1989
Occupation : Singer, Actress, host
Zodiac : Gemini
Education : smp st.belarminus, sma 3 setiabudi

Ayusitha Profiles
Ayu Sita Widyastuti Nugraha or familiarly called Ayushita, was born in Jakarta, June 9, 1989. She is

POST: Kori Newkirk / Interview Magazine / December - January 2011

Kori Newkirk is among talent included in the December/January 2011 issue of Interview magazine's "L.A. ARTWORLD" feature. Curation and text by CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN; Photography by ROBBIE FIMMANO.

Most mornings Kori Newkirk takes the bus to his studio in downtown L.A., making him one of the few established artists not reliant on a car. �I haven�t had a car in a year,� he says. �With so much of the art world imploding lately and funding changing, I figured that when my car died I really didn�t need it.� There is something of this scrap-the-past-and-start-over mentality about the 40-year-old artist�s own career, which has already experienced several distinct progressions in the last decade: from this former New Yorker�s rising-star status as a �post-black� artist making decorative paintings to his more complicated media-driven installations in recent years. Now Newkirk seems to be undergoing another creative metamorphosis. �I�m trying to figure out again what it means to be an artist,� he says. �It�s a re-investigation. I�m playing around in my studio.� Most artists of Newkirk�s generation have been boxed into specific mediums or motifs, but Newkirk has always resisted easy classifications. At a recent solo show at the Schindler House, he added black circular magnets with jagged edges to windows, which had the sense of sunspots. �I�m really into science fiction these days,� he explains. �But I also realized that if I lived in a house like that one, it would be all shot up, and the windows would be riddled with bullets.� Another piece in that show was a circular pattern of T-shirts arranged on the floor, covered in sweat and dirt. One day at the studio he realized that his own shirt stains looked almost like tie-dye. Tie dye is traditionally a hippie symbol, but Newkirk says, �that sculpture had to do with labor. My parents might have wanted to enjoy the Summer of Love but they couldn�t. They were working. �I�d love to be outside with you but I have to be in here scrubbing floors.� � Let�s hope Newkirk never gets stuck in classifications.


Born in the Bronx, Kori Newkirk first moved to California for graduate art school in 1995 and eventually settled in Los Angeles, where he began making work out of such obscure but provocative materials as hair extensions, pony beads, and pomade. Since then, the artist (born 1970) has continued to investigate cultural ideas and images of beauty, expanding his practice to include everything from neon lights to fiberglass sharks. In 2007, the Studio Museum in Harlem honored him with a 10-year retrospective of his work. Newkirk is now trying to put the past behind him and forge into some rather astounding and unexpected new directions.
CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN: Where's your studio?

KORI NEWKIRK: Downtown L.A., for the moment. I've been in the same place for about 10 years, but I'm ready to leave. Downtown is becoming very gentrified-the entitlement isn't good for me.

CB: Because prices are going up? Or is it about being in an atmosphere that's bad for making work?

KN: The atmosphere. Gentrification is a complicated thing, you know? I'm more used to it in the traditional sense, where it's a nice, long, slow thing-the New York style. In downtown L.A., money is making it happen very quickly. I prefer to be around people who have to work-to look out my window and see people who are, like, pushing carts and struggling.

CB: You recently had a show at LA>

KN: I wanted to deal with the idea of spectacle and celebrity, giving it some resonance with the political situation going on right now. I wanted to make the viewer complicit by having the whole thing mirrored-so we see ourselves in this.

CB: Do you feel like you fit into the L.A. art scene?

KN: L.A. is a very strange place. It's been really good to me as an artist, but I'm still often times considered a New York artist, even by people who live here. There are collectors in this town who still, to this day, go, "What are you doing here? Did you just arrive?" They think I should be in New York. 

CB: Is that because you had a lot of success in New York?

KN: It might be. Or it might be because I don't make work that is traditionally considered Los Angeles art. The only noir thing about my practice is me. [laughs] The dominant thrust for a while seemed to be noir and ironic. I just keep telling myself that I only live here, I'm not of here. That helps to keep me sane.

CB: So what will you work on next?

KN: I'm still going to tackle the subject of narcissism. [laughs] I'm going to make a giant toppled head out of Plexiglas and metal-like fake stained glass-for an upcoming solo show at The Project in New York.

CB: Whose head?

KN: Mine. [laughs] The head is going to look like it's been pushed over, like when regimes change they knock down all of the old statues and chop off their heads. Whatever happens with the U.S. election, whichever way it goes, I think the work will still resonate.

Hittin the Beach

Am totally ready to hit the beach. Bring. It. On. (click on image to go through to Polyvore and see the brands). Will be basking in the sun like a lizard.

hitting the beach

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas! (and a video)

So we didn't actually plan to post a Christmas message on the blog, but this happened and I thought you might like to see words coming out of my mouth (just as if I were a real person!)

Mink hid behind the water heater all day. He is a Grinch.

Man slays turkey!

The first Christmas dinner I have cooked all by myself, including a turkey!


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Video Ashton Kutcher Sex Tape Release Soon?

Video Ashton Kutcher's Sex Tape Release Soon?
Ashton Kutcher gossip affair with a woman named Brittney Jones had not yet subsided. Reportedly, the husband of Demi Moore has a "sex tape" with the woman. Really?

When the news of Ashton Kutcher affair with another woman started to emerge, Demi Moore tried to not give a damn. Indeed this Hollywood actress instead renew the promise of her marriage to


Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Two poems for you this Christmas. One famous, one just written.
Journey of the Magi by T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.


The air is cool on the skin
and fresher out here
away from the animals.
She is sleeping now.
Tired, but happy.
The baby too.
He nursed well.
Latching on
after only a bit of trouble.
The stars seem so close.
I think of angels
and dreams.
The thin cobwebs
and the spiders of doubt,
brushed away when she wept in pain
with water and blood.
And me standing helpless.
A witness.
This was no nocturnal promise or sleepy visitation
to be cross-examined upon my awakening.
This was a mother
and the birth of a son.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mink's first Texan Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! Have a wonderful day.

Andrea xx

POST: Unframed The LACMA Blog / A Conversation with Franklin Sirmans / May 14, 2010

Seeing Anew: A Conversation with Franklin Sirmans

Franklin Sirmans hasn�t wasted any time settling into his new post as head of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He�s been visiting studios, galleries, and private collections around town, getting to know the works of art in our permanent collection, and planning upcoming exhibitions. Before coming to LACMA, Franklin served as curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection in Houston, and worked as an independent curator, critic, writer, and editor. Now that he�s been here for a few months, I checked in to see how he was adjusting to his new surroundings.

What brought you to LA?
It was the opportunity to work with the team assembled here�including director Michael Govan, and my colleagues throughout the museum�at a really exciting time. Also, right now, the art conversation in Los Angeles is so interesting. Art in Los Angeles is still so young. We�re looking back to the grand old past of, what? The 1950s and 60s. We are still in the midst of a conversation about the formation of the art scene in Los Angeles with the people who were here then and are still here now�Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode, Betye Saar, Samella Lewis, just to name a few. That fascinates me.

What are you finding out about Los Angeles?
I�m still checking out the neighborhoods, seeing new places. I went to see Judson Powell in Compton the other day to talk about his work at the Watts Towers in the past and his present work there, building an arts and cultural center.
I feel like I know the Culver City scene but I know that�s very little in the scope of things. That said, Lauri Firstenberg at Laxart, Suzanne Vielmetter Projects, and Roberts & Tilton are always interesting.
I�ve done studio visits with Betye Saar, who has a wonderful piece in the collection, and Paul McCarthy, also in the collection. I recently did a visit with the curator Samella Lewis, whose work I grew up reading.
I knew a lot of artists before coming here. But I didn�t know the collectors and collections in Los Angeles, so I�m trying to get to know them now, as well as artists. I�m also really interested in what�s happening outside the confines of visual art�what people are doing in film, dance, and music, and the vernacular of the city.

What else, besides art?
I watch a lot of soccer.

What do you miss about Houston and the Menil Collection?
The atmosphere there is so serene. You have the Byzantine Fresco Chapel across the street from the Mark Rothko Chapel. Right there, you also have Barnett Newman�s Broken Obelisk and down the street you have the Menil Collection and behind that you have Cy Twombly�s gallery and behind that you have Dan Flavin�s gallery. It�s like a perfect art experience.
But in a lot of ways, that�s what�s happening here at LACMA, right now.

What�s it like getting to know the collection here?
I�m interested in exploring the synergy between the Broad collection and the LACMA collection, and we�re doing that already in some new installations this fall.
The modern collection here includes some really special pieces�the Giacomettis, for example. The Picassos, those Brancusi birds.
There are some wonderful works I would like to see installed�a Marlene Dumas painting that�s been out on loan for a while, a work by John Outterbridge that I really want to see, and Toba Khedoori, a young artist who interests me. We have a wonderful piece of hers in the collection. It�s huge�I�d really love to see that on view. Not easy to do.
I want to play on the strengths of the collection, those special objects that we have at hand, and also the relationship we have with artists here in Los Angeles, which is something that will play a prominent role in a future exhibition. More news on that shortly.
I want to look at contemporary art in the context of the encyclopedic museum. That was part of the hook, the reason I came here. How, as contemporary viewers, do we look at the art of the past? How can artists help us see the past anew?
Amy Heibel


Happy Christmas Eve, everyone! (And happy Christmas to Kiwis, who start a bit earlier than the rest of us).

Yesterday, LOML and I went to Fredericksburg with a couple of friends. I can't tell you how gorgeous this little town is - every single house is picture-postcard perfect, it seems. We'll have to go back and explore the town properly, because yesterday we were going to the National Museum of the Pacific War. Absolutely fascinating. After living in New Zealand, the Pacific theatre of WWII is particularly interesting, and the museum was just amazing. And comprehensive. And LONG (it took about four hours to get through it all), but worth it. We also explored the Combat Zone, where retired tanks, jeeps, artillery and torpedo boats are displayed.

The memorial garden.

New Zealand!

A WWII pamphlet encouraging women to join the Marine Corps. "A so-becoming forest green cap!"

The Vereins Kirche - a 1930s replica of the original 1840s church. And we're standing next to a tiny replica of the replica on a stick (no idea what that is for). It's all very meta.

I got a bit excited about this wooden Christmas tower, gifted to the church by the nation of Germany.

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

Becoming Santa Claus

Santa is coming tonight!

I have two sons. One is 13, the other 10. I'm pretty confident that the thirteen year old knows the deal about Santa. The ten year old is on the edge, but he still believes in Santa. But I think this may be the last year of believing in Santa in the Beck household.

Is Santa Claus real? Last year I wrote a post about this question, comparing verificationist and pragmatic epistemologies on the question of Santa Claus. Being a student of William James I concluded that Santa was real:
"Belief" in Santa Claus is going to look different for my two boys. For the youngest the belief is going to take an ontological turn. That Santa exists. For my oldest the "belief" is starting to look like pretending, being in on the joke so to speak. But my ultimate hope is that this sense of pretending changes into one of participation and praxis. Santa isn't about ontology. It's about giving gifts and not taking credit for them. Learning the joy of finding the perfect gift for a loved one and watching them open it. To see the joy and surprise and tears when they open it. It's about learning to become Santa.

Epistemologically, then, I think Santa Claus is real. But real in the pragmatic sense, as a practice, rather than as an ontological category. Santa as a way of giving rather than a jolly old elf. Santa is participation in the Spirit of Christmas.

So in that sense, Santa is very real indeed.
You can follow Santa's worldwide progress this evening at the Official NORAD Santa Tracking Site.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Free Beauty Tips Face

 Free Beauty tips and guidelines that can make your face and body care so much easier:

1. To clean facial skin without doing damage, do not scrub. Rather, use a gentle, oil and fragrance free cleanser, preferably one that is pH balanced. For oily skin use a cleanser that contains benzoil peroxide or salicylic acid. Unless your skin is oily, avoid toner as this can dry out the skin.

2. Invest in a magnifying mirror to closely scrutinize your facial skin. It will then be easy to identify enlarged pores on the central parts of the cheeks as well as blackheads in the area of the nose.

3. Emergency treatment for puffy eyes: If you need to eliminate puffy eyes in a hurry, chill two teaspoons in the fridge, then place the hollow sides over closed eyes for a few minutes.

Alternatively, take two chamomile tea bags that have cooled after being steeped in boiling water, and place them over the eyes for a few minutes.

4. Neck Area: While much time and attention is lavished on the face, the neck area needs as much care and consideration. Include the neck area in your skincare routine.

5. To get the day off to a healthy start, make a drink from boiling water and the juice of one lemon. Add some finely chopped ginger for further interest. Apart from being a good source of Vitamin C, this will cleanse the liver and get your metabolism going.

6. Home Made Salt Rub: Feel renewed by making your own salt rub with a mixture of coarse salt and gentle liquid soap. Using a loofah mitt, apply the mixture all over the body in the shower and rinse the suds thoroughly. Pat the body dry and then apply a body cream or oil to leave your body soft and smooth. (Do not use products containing alpha hydroxy acids to avoid irritating the skin)

7. Make foot care a part of your shower routine. Keep a pumice stone in the shower and smooth away any calluses which may start forming, dry skin on the heels or balls of the feet, or rough skin on the edge of the toes. Gentle, regular care will keep unsightly foot problems at bay.

Lips1 How To Get To Your Lips

Every girl wants to have a sexy lips, and that's what I say, how to make a charming lip.

The first thing you must consider is the color of lipstick, lipstick color you should be choose.A good for your skin, especially you face color. You can choose not only color but also two or three colors to blend the perfect color. However, the hue should be as close as possible.Some girls like to draw your lip, but sometimes it will make your lips look terrible. It is advice on how to make a natural lip line. Apply lipstick to lips after the scene. Aviod using the lipstick color very dark line.

StarsMakeup Serene Face

Skin care is the most important part of your makeup pretty face. Here are some tips.

Facial cleansing in the morning and before bed, especially at night. Pat your face dry and use an appropriate moisturizer.Suggested use non-greasy moisturizer, if you have acne on her face. Once the basic steps, we begin to make a perfect face.

Face Powder And Brush

Woman applying face powder have you ever come down the aisle of the pharmacy and looked at all the makeup brands with different types of face powder? It can be a simple decision of a mystery. Some people do not know what to do with the powder and avoid it completely, while others use it badly and lose all the advantages of the powder. How do you decide what they need and how to use? Here are some simple things to make that choice easier.

Face Beauty Tips For Lips Excellent

The lips have always been an important part of beauty. Smooth, full lips like most black women are not only attractive, but also suggest youth and sexiness. In order to stay beautiful, your lips have a higher level of protection and care.

Face Care Makeup Tips

The eyes are the key to a thin face. big eyes a little face shown in its entirety. Listen to your eyes to create more mascara on the lashes. Avoid Lash Mascara on the bottom, this cocoon and eyes seem smaller.

Face Makeup Tips

Face makeup  can be used to highlight one`s good features and also to camouflage the not-so-good features. Useful and practical tips go a long way in enhancing your looks. Some of the practical tips are: Foundation forms the base of the face makeup  and is applied after the face has been cleansed and moisturized. Wait for a few moments for the moisturizer to be absorbed before applying the foundation.

Facial Skin Care

Tips for natural skin care: Here are some ways often overlooked for improving the skin, including tips on diet and exercise for a radiant complexion.

Woman With The Agreement Of The Block

An oil massage is a simple and well known for treating dry skin. Add a few drops of glycerin to the oil just before application, will be more effective.

Girl Facial

Take 1 tablespoon of raw milk, a baby wipe and polish the affection eochaircheap calmly next to it. Use a circular motion, to be used also by acclamation area.Leave fought 15 minutes. icy wash with wate

Board Masks

Masks make the difference between good and great skin. Try using a facial mask at least three times a month, especially in late summer and late winter. When the seasons change, the changes of the skin. Face masks can be like a much needed spring cleaning, you exfoliate your skin and remove the slow accumulation of cells. Face mask from one day to wash the skin to keep your pores unclogged and help to identify the defects. Face masks can do wonders for your skin and leaves skin feeling fresh and clean day after day. Regularly used in facial masks, when the new improved version of your face, I greet you in the morning. A good idea is to use

Beauty tips for fairness

Beauty tip for fairness can work for almost any skin type. Not everyone has a round face or an oval face, but every face is perfect. The skins’ texture and tone is essential before applying any creams or make up applications. Even the most plainest of faces can be transformed into a face of beauty. There are many beauty tips for fairness rules that can be useful in aiding any skin type, if applied appropriately. Below are a few suggestions. How you apply the products you buy or make will determine the effectiveness, of the beauty tip for fairness solutions that you use.

The first thing you want to do is cleanse your skin. Start with a mild face cleanser. Follow the instructions on the label, for your skin type. Using a cleanser that is not appropriate for your skin type could cause outbreaks. Begin by rubbing the cream on your face in a circular motion as you clean your skin, this aid in stimulating good circulation. This can apply to the entire body. Using a soft brush on the entire body stimulates better blood circulation throughout the entire body. Applying beauty tips for fairness techniques to your skin helps your skin to breathe, shine and glow. This gives it a healthy and lively appearance.

Next, you can apply your make up as usual. Some people find that changing their brand of make up (actually) improves the appearance of their skin. Some makeup can be harsh to the skin and can cause mild to severe skin irritations. Try applying cocoa butter at night before retiring to bed; it makes the skin soft and silky. Organic makeup may be worth looking into, since non-allergen ingredients are becoming more popular in all aspects of marketing. Using good beauty tips for fairness in a positive way can help to improve many undesired skin problems.

Your skin is the most important part of your appearance. It works as a protector for the inner parts of your body, protecting you from the harshness of the sun, rain and wind. Your skin is really a barrier to the harsh environment that we live in. You should use skin protectors such as sunscreen and sun blocker that is compatible to your skin type. Applying the right beauty tips for fairness solutions is important in preventing further skin irritation. If you have serious skin conditions that have not gone away after several months of at home remedies, and over the counter treatments, you may need to consult a dermatologist. Taking care of your skin is essential to promoting and maintaining good and healthy skin tone and texture. Fairness for beauty tips are suggestions that can help you maintain a good and healthy skin glow.
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