+ to Blog 2.0 [aka Zippy The Fish]
mar 2004 - I'll be out for a few days. Going to
pop over to Africa, dropping by Scotland on the way. You
can read my travel notes on peterschrock.com's latest feature
"Zippy the Fish".
23 mar 2004 - Speaking of hornets, I woke up today
to the sound of a million bees buzzing outside my apartment
window. Really big bees. After the fog in my head cleared
I realized it was not bees. It was just another episode
in the ongoing horror series: The Attack of the Leaf Blowers.
If I'm not mistaken, I believe they blow those leaves around
at least three days a week outside my window and always
before 7am. They were buzzing so loud this morning that
I couldn't hear my alarm when it went off (which, I guess,
is something of a mixed blessing when you think about it.)
Whatever happened to the broom? And, now that we're talking
about it, what's wrong with the leaves anyway? I've thought
long and hard and I've decided: I'd rather have the leaves.
22 mar 2004 - In the news today: Ariel
Sharon Kicks Hornet's Nest. In the news next week: Ariel
Sharon Complains When He Gets Stung.
I understand there are some underlying neuroses involved
over there, some revenge issues, as well as a time-honored
tradition of shooting your neighbors if you happen to take
a hankering to their particular homestead. I understand
also that things are not always as simple as they seem,
but in spite of all that, I know this: I had a pretty good
handle on cause and effect by the time I was 6. What in
the hell is taking Sharon so long to figure it out?
mar 2004 - Another amazing find! Jen and I were
driving in the mountains this weekend and we ran across
a real live Shoe Tree! Yes, it's true! No, we couldn't believe
it either, but there it was. Living in California the wonders
truly never cease...
9 mar 2004 - Don't mean to go all science
geek on you but this
is cool. Ever wanted to travel back in time? Download
the a couple of those pictures and take a look at the past.
It will make you feel small, I promise you.
25 feb 2004 - "Remember, you are
dust and to dust you shall return." I sat silently,
with the mark on my forehead, and felt myself grow smaller
and smaller. I was in a great room filled with hundreds
of people, but the most apparent thing to me, sitting still,
eyes closed, hands open, was the silence.
It grew up around me like a plant, like a great sheltering
wing, and it seemed to me that I was shrinking to become
nothing more than a speck of dust. So much for my treasured
individuality. So much for my towering intellect. So much
for my needs and my plans and my time. I sat that way for
a long time, listening to the music play quietly, letting
the pieces find their natural places, rightly ordered. "Holy
the name of the Lord! whose mercy embraces the faithful,
one generation to the next." Happy and blessed Ash
feb 2004 - I am really thankful today.
13 feb 2004 - "It sounded like a
welcome already overshadowed with the coming farewell. As
in all sweetest music, a tinge of sadness was in every note.
Nor do we know how much of the pleasures even of life we
owe to the intermingled sorrows. Joy cannot unfold the deepest
truths, although deepest truth must be deepest joy. Cometh
white-robed Sorrow, stooping and wan, and flingeth wide
the doors she may not enter. Almost we linger with Sorrow
for very love." - George MacDonald, Phantastes.
feb 2004 - The little nephew is now
a few weeks old and already he's on the superhighway to
growing up. There were the funny sounds that he made during
his first week that earned him the name "squeaker."
But he no longer squeaks. In fact, he is more of a "bellower"
now, which is good, I guess, but I think we all miss the
squeaks a little. He's still tiny, just a little bigger
than a cantaloupe, but definitely growing. His head is taking
on a more normal shape. He's beginning to form his own opinions
on things, especially when they have to do with food and
2 feb 2004 - What do you do when the sky outside
your window is crazy blue and the breeze is brisk and smells
like the ocean and you're stuck inside banging on the glass
like a big fat housefly?
30 jan 2004 - Yikes! It's been awhile since I've
posted. Please forgive my absence.
Trust: All I really want to say right now is that, although
I'm no bleeding heart left-winger, doesn't it rattle your
cage a little to
read this again a year later, understanding as we do
now that it was apparently no more based on Real Life Fact
than, say, a nicely illustrated version of Little Red Riding
Hood, complete with Powerpoint slides and sound effects.
Also in the news, check out the super
cool panoramas that these guys are making from the Mars
pictures (scroll down little on the page). And the Everest
shot isn't so bad either...
jan 2004 - Spent most of the day on a mini road
trip to visit the valley where Jen and I will be married
in a few months. My mother came along and seemed to be quite
pleased with the location we've chosen. Which was a relief
to me. I have to admit there's a peculiar sort of terror
that comes with telling anyone about the ideas we've dreamed
up, even more so my mother. What if she doesn't like the
place? What if mom thinks that the whole idea is ridiculous?
And then there's the event itself. What if the food is terrible
and all the flowers are wilted? What if the band plays off
key? What if the weather's bad and the relatives cranky?
What if no one shows up? Whew. It's still six months off
and I'm already going neurotic. Hope I can sleep tonight.
So, anyway, here's a cool
picture of the valley.
15 jan 2004 - Yes, there is such
a thing as a miracle: I have a nephew.
13 jan 2004 - So, why does it surprise
anybody at all to hear that
Bush wanted Saddam gone long before 9/11 came around?
The noise the papers are making about this is ridiculous.
Wasn't it obvious? Didn't anyone notice before the war that,
as much as they tried, the Bush administration couldn't
come up with any solid evidence linking Saddam to international
terrorism? Hasn't it been abundantly clear that, for the
most part, all those things that Powell said in front of
the U.N. were, at best, exaggerations, and at worst, outright
fabrications? Can we all finally agree on this fact: that
the U.S. does what it feels like, when it feels like it,
with little consideration for the rest of the world, displaying
itself in all its wealth and self-absorption as the biggest
spoiled brat around? By now, and after a year like we've
had, that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. I'm not
asking the Republicans to give a quarter to a homeless person
or the Democrats to go to church every once in awhile. God
knows THAT isn't likely. I'm just thinking would it hurt
us that much to think about someone else besides ourselves
every now and then?
jan 2004 - Here again is the
one that started it...
11 jan 2004 - In keeping with an already established
tradition here at peterschrock.com, here is something a
friend of mine ran across in an old book, a
bit of someone's life anonymously on display...
4 jan 2004 -
Lots of snapshots and miscellaneous silliness from the
jan 2004 - I have spent around half of my life
in Oregon and I have never seen it snow like it has this
Christmas. We've been here for six days now after making
an exhausting but rewarding lap around the country. Today,
like Tuesday, we have cancelled all our plans and are staying
home. The roads are bad and the snowplows slow to reach
this part of the county. Instead we are playing card games
(how old-fashioned!), making bead jewelry (how neo-hippie!),
and keeping an eye on the thermometer (how East Coast!).
Maybe we'll venture out to see a movie a little later --
the theater is only a few blocks away.
I have some good friends who live on the top of a hill
at the end of a long, steep gravel road. Two days ago they
got 18 inches of snow which made their road unpassable.
That didn't stop us last night. We trudged upward through
the snow to cheer in the new year at their house with hot
drinks. Then we talked until 3am before going to sleep scattered
on couches and rugs around the house. This morning we woke
to a windy, misty morning with 6 inches of new snow. We
put on our coats and hats and hiked the mile back down to
the base of the hill to where the car was parked. It felt
like an Adventure in the Frozen North to us, but it was
just January 1 in Amity, Oregon. Then we tightened the tire
chains around the rear wheels of the Volkswagen van and
drove cautiously home only to find that the entire day's
plans had been cancelled. Now we're all sitting around the
house plotting our escape.
By the way, dinner at the in-laws-to-be was fine. We ate
meat and potatoes in good Ohio fashion and opened presents
all at once. Grandpa is funny and still sharp at 79. Grandma
is fiery and full of advice, regardless of whether it has
been asked for. She can also make a mean bowl of mashed
potatoes. The house is warm and feels full of time.
dec 2003 - A few crazy days later and I'm across
the country, in the heart of the midwestern United States.
All it took was a few hundred dollars and a night of lost,
"red-eye flight" sleep. We had the red eyes, that's
for sure. The picture is Cleveland at Christmas, which,
if you're not from around here, like I'm not from around
here, you might expect to be a little bland. I'm not entirely
sure what I expected, but it turns out that downtown Cleveland
is rather beautiful in an "old American city, circa
1930s" way. We walked around on our first night here
and, yes, my California-ized body nearly turned to ice within
a matter of a few minutes. But I bought a nice hat, which
made things better, and a terrible cappucino, which made
my stomach hurt, so everything was nicely-balanced.
Observations: There are no Latinos here. This is a very
conspicuous absence to one like me who lives in Mexico North.
Everyone seems very average white, or big-city black. There
are an awful lot of Chevrolets here. Let's not talk about
eating out -- let's just say that I won't be finding anything
here that remotely resembles the Pakistani lunch I had last
week near the corner of Vermont and Wilshire in my hometown.
I tried to buy a five dollar item with an ATM card today,
but the store only took cash or check. That wasn't the strange
part. The strange part was that the cashier and the entire
line waited patiently while I ran across the store to get
money from an ATM machine. When I met my first surly retail
clerk later in the afternoon, after five days of friendly
greetings at the register, I had to look around to see if
I'd been suddenly transported back to L.A. By the way, it's
"pop", not soda and 10 miles is "a long ways"
to drive. When people sing along with country songs here,
they mean what they say. Used record stores are cheaper
here and the 22-year-olds working the shelves will actually
come up to you and ask you if you need help finding anything.
I thought it was a trick, or some marketing campaign, or
Spending the day with the in-laws-to-be tomorrow. From
what I hear, that means good mashed potatoes and a lot of
bad jokes. I'll fill you in.
18 dec 2003 - I can't wait until that
peace and serenity and joy to all mankind part of Christmas
kicks in. Should be coming along any minute now...
dec 2003 - "O thou that tellest good tidings
to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain: O thou that
tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with
strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities
of Judah, Behold your God! Arise, shine, for thy light is
come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee."
"Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed
us to God by His blood, to receive power, and riches, and
wisdom, and strenght, and honour, and glory and blessing.
Blessing and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth
upon the thrrone, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever.
This may sound like the script for just another religious
fanatic, but when you sing it in a room with 2100 other
people, it starts to sound a little like heaven. (Here are
some snapshots from our
night at the new Disney Hall.)
12 dec 2003 - There's nothing like a club sandwich
at 1 am, especially if there's a pretty girl sitting across
the table from you.
In other news, we're coming up on the third Sunday of Advent,
which means, for one thing, that I had better get my Christmas
buying under way and fast. But it also means that we are
halfway through the waiting. It's sometimes known as Gaudete
Sunday. Here's something to think about:
"Gaudete, meaning to rejoice, is the old Latin name
for this third Sunday of Advent, nestled in the midst of
our waiting time of self-examination and anticipation of
Christmas. It is a day of unexpected joy. Like the first
hint of sunrise, this flicker of rosy light in the middle
of winter darkness promises the coming, and coming again,
of Jesus, our Day Star. Rejoice!"
4 dec 2003 - I had no idea that
the World Hats Mart was just down the street from my new
apartment! And to think that it would be right here, in
little Pasadena, the official World Hats Mart. What a miracle!
And they even have hats for men, women and boy!!
nov 2003 - My sister is having a baby. I'm sure
you'll hear more about this later although I promise to
try to keep the whole "Isn't it great I'm a uncle"
noise to a minimum. That kind of stuff is always much more
interesting to tell than it is to hear. She is due in February.
My mother is quite cheerful these days, what with my upcoming
wedding and my sister's pregnancy. This is what mothers
live for, I think.
28 nov 2003 - Happy Thanksgiving Turkey
Coma Day, everybody.
nov 2003 - I've recently moved into a new apartment,
out of an apartment in which I had overstayed my time. It
was a refreshing, frightening thing to move:when you live
in one place for that long you tend to accumulate a good
many things you don't need, some things, in fact, that you
don't even recognize when it comes time to pack them in
boxes. Who knew that I had an old, beat-up set of snow skis?
I've never been skiing in my life. They must have sneaked
in the door with the Ikea clothes hamper or something. And
what about that box of rocks under my bed?
I discovered the best plan of action in cases like this
is to head straight for the dumpster. I had great plans
for yard sales and ads in paper, but in the end I gave away
a few things, donated a few more to charity, and threw out
the rest. It got to be a little bit of an addiction after
awhile. I'm still throwing things out and I've been moved
now for a month. It feels good, what can I say? What I do
know is that my friend Natalie came over to see the new
place and said it "looked good" which if you know
Natalie, the Neatness & Efficiency Freak, is very high
Anyway, I've moved into a studio apartment up two flights
of stairs. It's the kind of arrangement that makes you want
to think twice before you go on a shopping spree. I've got
most of my things put away, given away, or thrown away.
I hung some pictures last night. The light in the room is
beautiful in the mornings which is important to me. A couple
days ago, I spread out a bunch of apples on the worn hardwood
floors and took pictures of them just to admire the light
and the colors. With all the craziness, it's nice to come
home to a place that is simple.