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#113: Surprises, Art, Slot & Tab Books (Wood & Escapee), Murakami's Jazz & Cats (Richardson), Aimee Liu, Kentucky Route Zero (Hudson), Warning Label (V. F. Horn), Dublin Buskers, & Jazz
HERE AND NOW
It has been a grey day. But that’s OK, because last week was a little too warm, considering I live in an uninsulated house. But this week has provided a couple of small surprises. First, I downloaded a Monterey Public Library app (available on Google Play) and used it for the first time. The great thing about this app (surprise!) is that you don’t even have to aim it at the barcode on the book. First, you reserve the book online. Then, go to the bricks and mortar library and pick up the book on the reservation shelf. I automatically looked for the barcode and started to use the app to scan it, but before I even pointed the app at the book, it had checked it out. “Don’t bother, hon” it seemed to say, “you’re close enough!” That beats my Bank of America app by a good measure. Technology, man.
Second, I finally, FINALLY started a regular meditation practice, twice a day, once upon waking, and again at bedtime. I’ve been meditating off and on all my life but have never established a regular practice until now, in my old age. But better now than never. I’ve done over 50 sessions at this point. The big surprise is related to my sleep issues. Over the last few years, my sleep patterns have degenerated and I’ve spent way too much time “phone gazing” before trying to sleep. Between 4 to 6 hours of sleep a night had become the norm for me. About a week into my meditation routine, I stopped phone gazing—without even trying—and started sleeping 8 to 9 hours every night. Crazy! I did not expect this. I can’t think of anything else to attribute this change to except the meditation.*
Despite its benefits, I don’t want to sugar-coat meditation or suggest that it’s a cure-all. It affects everyone differently. It can be difficult. In fact, it should have a warning label. See “The Warning Label” video, below, in the Rabbit Hole.
*Online instruction and inspiration from Shinzen Young, Buddhist Geeks, Gil Fronsdahl (Insight Center Redwood City), and my friend Dida Kutz.
I will be starting up the Six Questions artist/writers Q&A again, soon. And I’m happy to say that local Filipino American artist Edward M. Corpus will be participating. Date is tba, but keep an eye out for it!
Just a bit of psychedelia. A friend tells me it looks like Tik-Tok from L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. I agree, but he appears to be on something. Hopefully his gears won’t rust.
The item below is an experiment in making a blank sketchbook without stitching, binding, or glue.* I got the idea from crafter Ann Wood who had posted a video on Instagram (@annwoodart) of herself constructing a slot-and-tab stitchbook out of cloth (see the webpage link in the Rabbit Hole, below). Then I realized that Lokta paper (from Nepal) is soft enough to use for something like this. I love the connection between book making/binding and the sewing arts.
*The book can be stitched (which Wood does, eventually) but what attracted me was the fact that I don’t NEED to stitch it. I’m lazy that way (I can hear my seamstress mother sigh). I will probably make another one with stitches, though, just for the experience.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
I basically “threw together” that little book I made (above). Here is a silent video by Sobriquet Escapee showing another way to make a slot-and-tab book with paper:
Haruki Murakami’s Peter-Cat jazz bar, cats, and what they did for his writing, by Baily Richardson (in his Substack newsletter Art Dogs, where he writes about writers and their pets). See also a selection from Murakami’s jazz playlist in Soundings, below.
I’m a fan of the game, Kentucky Route Zero, with its stunning graphics and haunting journey through a lost and crumbling America, which I played on my PC. Check out Laura Hudson’s Kentucky Route Zero review and the beautiful game trailer below:
I’ve found meditation to be worthwhile, but it should come with a warning label: Vince Fakhoury Horn:
A collection of jazz from Haruki Murakami’s playbook:
Just for the good vibes (despite the topic of the lyrics) Paul Jenkinson, Padraig Cahill, and Jacob Koopman singing “Pompeii (Bastille)” on Grafton St., Dublin. Sorry that Padraig (the kid on percussion, then guitar) didn’t get to sing; he’s got a great voice:
Goodnight, goodnight, it’s time to go . . . Thanks for stopping by. If you’ve a mind to, please share this post.
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