Saturday, December 22, 2007

ANchorage baby

As I stare at these big mountains in the Anchorage terminal, I can't help but think of August 8th. Was it only so long ago. Man time flies. By no means am I a salty Alaskan veteran yet, but I feel like I've changed a lot since I moved here. I have found an internal strength I've always had but never have realized. I don't know why it took 5 months in an Eskimo village in the Bering Sea to make me realize that I'm a good person and I'm proud of myself. This is a beautiful life we live. Its tragic, joyous, and simply wonderful.
I can't express how many times in the last month I've simply laughed and said, "Is this really happening? Is this really my life? Is that really a Musk Ox in front of me? Did I really just catch that big of a trout? Did I really just get shoved over a desk by a student? Is that sunset real?" I can't recount the times that I sat alone with myself at night talking to inanimate objects, drawing and playing instruments. It has been an odd half a year. I have learned that I am weirder than I thought I was. I have learned I would rather be weird than normal. I have learned that I am ok. I mean in life, I'm alright. That wasn't always the case. I learned I want to help people. I want to heal people. I don't know how or why yet but I know that when I am working with others trying to make the situation better I am not caught up in myself.
I have learned that I am powerful. I have learned that there is a greater awakening happening in life. They call us the "Me" generation. I think that the greatest challenge will be to break that me attitude. But, if I'm generationally predisposed to thinking only of myself I have at least realized that what MYSELF wants is to help others. I have learned to see the energy of life. I have learned the effect of positivity and love on others. Now that I know I can never go back. Smiling, laughing, loving, hugging, genuine concern for others and consideration are more important than anything to my own survival. Negativity is an infection. It will take you over. Unfortunately, no vacation, new car, promotion or smaller waste line is going to do it for you. It has to come from within. It has to radiate from you. You have to tune into the frequency and flow of life and tap into something bigger. It could be God if thats your thing, it could be fitness, it could be music, it could be sunsets, it could be your kids, but it has to be something. You need to find that energy that sustains you past others clouds of bullshit. You need to find so much love and positivity that you can redirect others attitudes, be they good bad or indifferent, toward a better path with a simple smile or gesture. I feel like I am starting to channel something. The ability to blast people with joy beams and love. Now that I have learned this I have my first big test, to see if it will hold up back in the "Old Life." Everytime you go away you come back this new creature almost forced to put on an old suit. Sometimes the old suit doesn't fit so well. I don't want to put the old suit back on, I want to like take the old suit, cut some of the fabric out and make a whole new amazing technicolor suit with my new fabric. This, of course, takes time and may difficult. But, I am determined. I am not out to prove anything to anyone. I just want to be a fireplace of a person for people to warm themselves upon this season. I want to the glowing light of happiness that shows people it is possible. In the immortal words of James Brown, "I Feel GOOD, and I knew that I would!"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Judgement Day

For the first time in a long time I can see the stars on my island. Unfortunately as I looked at them, the liquid layer of tears that naturally lubricates my eyes froze because it is -25 deg. F outside. Also, there is a freaking fully of a moon up there smiling and mocking me.

Step one is underway: Operation "Rock and Roll" The primary goal of this mission is to evacuate this godforsaken rock like Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery in the popular 90's action movie "The Rock." It seems there are as may ridiculous tasks. Not only do I have to get to the airport, get on a plane in sub zero temperature, fly over the Bering Sea, and land, but the person who the ride depends on is my principal. I don't know if any of you have ever traveled with a family before, god love em, they can be disfunctional. When you travel alone, its just you, and if you skrew it up there is no one else to blame. My principle is a tornado of life and easily sweeps you into his cause, dilemma, situation, or pace of life. I walked into school today, fully packed, fully dressed and fully ready to exit stage right. I said, "Reporting for duty Sarge, I'm upwardly mobile." Then he said, "Well I'm not, try getting a family together last second." Nuff Said.

Mission Two A: If by some stroke of magic I make it to Bethel today, I'm instituting Operation "Leap Frog" This will include trying to hop my flights up early as to try to make it to Anchorage or farther tonight to possible surprise my family.

Mission Two B: If Operation Leap Frog isn't a possibility then I will go to our flanking position of a friend's (A- you rock!) in Bethel, dine in fellowship and seasonal joy, sleep, then institute Operation "GET ME THE FRICK OUT OF ALASKA" This may or may not include lying, stealing, cheating, violence, fraud, begging, borrowing, and selling my soul to the devil, Pagan Goat Sacrifice, snake blood drinking, shamanism, time travel, parachuting, a dogsled team, or aliens. Any tactic is acceptable in this mission as long as the objective of me seated properly in an establishment that serves frosty cold beverages with my family in Washington Saturday night is achieved. Then and only then will I say, "Free at last, free at last, thank god a'mighty I am free at last." We have a long way to go from freedom my chick a dees, a long way. I will keep y'all updated on the various tactical missions in place as objectives are achieved and opponents bested.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I can't deal with this anymore.




Apparently the wind is picking up. We might get some snow. There is a chance I won't be able to get out until Sunday. Every time I get a weather report saying everything is going to be fine another magical storm front comes in and changes everything. I can't handle it. I have to get out of here. Now the problem has become wind, too much of it on the island. I have 1 and a half days to get off this rock and to Bethel. If I somehow make that flight, which is only 80 percent on time, I will have about 35 min to make it terminal to terminal for my Seattle flight from Anchorage. That flight is only about 60 percent on time so that might help me out.

Here's how its going to go down. The flight will be on time off the island. I will get to Bethel on time and I will catch my flight out of Bethel. It will be late, but so will the flight out of Anchorage. That is what is going to happen. I will be home on time. I will be home on time. I will be home on time. Keep saying it like a mantra.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Changes

This blog is undergoing some changes. As you can see there have been less pictures of me and more pictures of (hopefully) thought inspiring content. I will continue a running dialogue my life here in Alaska, but more and more content will be geared toward a new direction. Where exactly that is I'm not sure, but I will consciously try to make this less about me and more about you, us, the world and a peaceful life. If you have any suggestions I would appreciate them. The blog description, "Massive Global Awakening" was inspired by correspondence with a special friend of mine. Thanks to her insightful, diligent reading and commenting on this blog I have been able to rethink my role in this drama we call life. "Massive Global Awakening" is funny actually because I have been calling the blog "Radiate Warmth." The "Warmth" that the earth "Radiates" is actually what is causing the climate change and the "Massive Global Awakening" needs to happen spiritually, economically, and physically so that we can continue to enjoy our surroundings here on earth. "Radiate Warmth" pertains to your heart, your soul and your essence, may we always be our own fireplaces of radiant thought and love. "Massive Global Awakening" refers to what needs to happen immediately to end the injustice taking place to each other, to the land, to the living creatures, and to the oceans. I am leaving these two phrases as the first thing people see on my blog so that it will be a frequent reminder for myself and everyone who reads this blog. Thanks to my friends comments, I am now thinking "What can I do...besides complain." Well...I can start with this blog. So there you are.

Weather, Dreams and Countdowns.



Everyone keeps saying the weather is going to be bad on Friday, but they are just messing with the greenhorn rookie, how horrible of a trick is that? Ralph the maintenance man said it will be fine on Friday and he's the only person I trust. He's a real straight shooter. Well, if the maintenance man doesn't convince you I've attached some weather info. It is going to be cold as hell though. Today is -20 deg. F!

Last night we had the Christmas program. I made a slide show of all the class pictures I've taken this year. I thought it was touching. Instead of Christmas music I had Bob Marly "Stir It Up" Madeleine Peyroux "I'll Be Lonesome When You Go" and Bela Fleck and the Flecktones song playing in the background. Everyone really liked it.

Last night I had a dream I was teaching at an alternative school where this old elementary school is in Gig Harbor, WA. Two kids got in a fight and I tried to break it up. Then I got into a WWF wrestling match with one of the kids because he attacked me. My shirt got ripped off. After the fight was over, (I got a few good slams in but it was eventually a stalemate) I had to put a new shirt on in front of all my students. I wasn't freaked out because it was then I noticed that many of the students were my friends from all the music festivals I go to. As I walked home there was a BBQ and concert in the baseball fields behind the school. I watched the band, they were horrible, but the food was free. I lost my croc sandals in the process and spent hours looking for them. Then I woke up pissed off to find it was only 3:30 in the morning and went back to sleep without further incident.

Hopefully there won't be any wrestling in class today. Good day chaps and lassies.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dreams


Last night I had a dream that I was helping arrange icebergs in a line so that dog teams could cross a section of a bay at the Iditarod (sorry about the spelling). I saw my cousin in the water. We both admired a gooey duck that had miraculously poked out of the sand. The iceberg path eventually became a huge failure and the race was canceled (Global Warming has infected my dreams!)

When I was a kid I used to have a re occurring dream that I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom and I could hear circus music coming from beneath the sink. When I opened the cupboard to investigate I always found a curtain in the back. I would peel it back to see that I was at the top of a trapeze in the middle of a circus tent. Sometimes I would fall and wake up. Sometimes I would climb down and walk around the circus. Sometimes I would keep brushing my teeth and go back to bed. I never told anyone about this dream.

Dreams freak me out. Especially when I am having a deja vu and I remember the specific dream that I had in the past that this moment was in. That really gives me the willies. I'm going to do my best to start writing my dreams down on this blog for you so you can get yet another piece of evidence for my eventual placement in some sort of ward for the insane.

Either way, the count is now at 4 days till this crazy man heads home. Boo Yaka sha!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

WEEKLY UPDATE!!!!!!

ONE WEEK TO GO MY FRIENDS. I'm only 5 days away from coming home. I'm so pumped.

ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Corinne Bailey Rae from her self titled debut album. I don't know whether to be embarrassed or proud. On one hand I think this album is amazing, and at least she's British, but on the other hand I know I'm going to catch some flack for it. Oh well, I'm still gonna keep playing this girl. She's got a wicked voice and good lyrics. Kind of like a timid Jill Scott. She's a babe as well.

OLD PERSON PHRASE OF THE WEEK: "Davenport" This is not so much a phrase but rather a word. This is a word that used to be used instead of couch or sofa. "Have a seat on the davenport and we'll eat fresh snicker doodles and milk."

WEATHER UPDATE: It has gotten freakishly cold out here in the ol Bering Sea these days. 15 Deg. F at the moment but with the wind it creeps down to a toasty -2 Deg. F. We are expecting some precipitation this Friday night so if I'm lucky I will be just ahead of it on my way out of AK.

ART PROJECT'S IN PROCESS: I thought I was done with "A Whisper Wind" but four new songs have been written in about as many days. This latest burst of creativity has solidified this album far the superior to "I Need Life." I'm really pumped to share these new songs with friends and family over break. I'll be happy to make copies for anyone while I'm home. Read the blog below to see some of the extreme temperature sunrise photography I've been doing.

Sunday Morning

So I woke up just in time for church to start. Then I purposefully didn't go because of what was on the horizon. Check these photos out! That is where my god is at. I love the 10:30 sunrise because you can sleep in and welcome the eternal giver of life into the world.
Well, it was so unbelievably cold that my cheeks started to burn, I was like, "My entire face is covered with fur how can it be cold?" But the arctic sea air attacks any uncovered skin surface. I covered my face with a scarf and was warm again. I went down to the entrance of the river. This is a part of town I don't make it to often. There are a lot of really old houses and homes. I wondered what I have to do to live in one of these places. They are incredible. I mean check this place out. How would you like to wake up to the sunrise here. Drinking coffee with a trusty labrador at my side and Jack Kerouac novel in my lap. Ol' Jack wouldn't be drinking coffee though. But I would, the morning is no time for Port.
The best part of the walk was when I discover a bunch of fox tracks. I followed them down to the river entrance and fount at least ten fox dens. Now most people around these parts would have set up traps or made plans to come back and shoot them. I could never do that. Not a fox. Not a reindeer. Not a musk ox. I can handle the blood of a fish on my hands. I could handle shooting a bird. Not mammals. Yet, I have no problem eating a steak or bacon. What a hypocrite am I? What I realized though is that if I could get down to the fox dens a little earlier I might be able to catch them coming home from a night full of scavenging. How cool would that be? I'd probably get attacked by a pack of pissed off foxes.
I started to try and find ice blocks before the sunrise got too intense, but I couldn't find any really cool ones. This photo is about the best I could do. I still think ice and sunrise are a perfect match. Another way to look at the sun is through the dead, dried up and frozen tundra grasses poking through the snow. Without this sun, these grasses could not survive. There has been speculation about some of the effects of global warming out here. Eskimo's may have the first opportunity of their lives to grow gardens if the current climate change continues. I wonder if these hearty people will be able to adapt to having their way of life wiped out by human negligence? Yet another awesome contribution of the western culture and way of life right? Not only are we good at destroying cultures we are pretty effective at destroying just plain simple life. Awesome job us! Well, I think something big will happen. I think those who are meant to go on will. I mean, if you look at any population of living organism, they grow exponentially when unlimited resources are available. As if they can not help themselves, they will keep eating and breeding and making waste. Even if they wanted to stop they couldn't. The population just grows and grows. Unfortunately we haven't observed a population of organisms that grows exponentially like this that, once they reach astronomical numbers, levels out and lives the rest of history all honky dory. Nope, they reach that peak of the tip of the pinnacle of their existence and then the population plummets to the lowest possible number able to continue on to the next generation. This is kind of like a population cleaning house. I'm afraid something like this will happen in my lifetime because my generation (I guess we're now being called the "Me" Generation) has never experienced a major horror of humanity. Katrina, 9/11, Iraq, Darfur and the Tsunami were all very disturbing, but the media has a way of spinning things enough to keep them at a distance for us. Nice and safe and far away unless it is happening to you. My generation hasn't felt loss, real expensive, dirty in your face "OH MY GOD" loss. I think it will happen someday and there is nothing we can do about it.
In most addiction and alcohol recovery programs the most important moment for a person so that they can start to rebuild their life is "Hitting Rock Bottom." That is the moment for the person who has slunk so low that all they can do is weep, look at their life, look at the heavens and sob "Dear God Help, I can't do this on my own." You see humanity hasn't hit rock bottom yet. I don't think the race of man will be able to recover until this moment happens on a global level. When we have wiped out our ecosystems, crops, and oceans humanity will hit rock bottom. You might say, "Well that's a defeatist attitude, you're just giving up." I would defend this prophecy by saying that a sick person, an addict, can't stop doing what its doing until its wants to. A person doesn't get better until they finally see that they have no other choice but to die. Do you WANT to stop your way of life? Do you think I want to? I mean really want to. Its going to take a global dedication immediately to change our path. And, at the break neck speed we're travelling, I can't see how anyone is going to change until there is no other option but death. This may be a scary thought for most of us. The reason is it is so scary is because it will involve billions of human deaths, our families, our countries, our continents. The human cost of all of our waste and excess will be unfathomable. I would suggest trying to look past the common increment of human time. We usually only think of time on a small, lifetime level. Think of humans thousands of years down the line. A mass tragedy because of blatant earth disrespect and waste may have been the only way we could redirect our path for any sort of sustainable existence on earth. We won't just simply stop increasing the population at 7 billion and everyone will stop wasting and it all will be cool. It won't happen like that. Its becoming a global community more each day. SOMETHING is going to happen. I don't want to freak anyone out, I'm just saying you have to look at it on a biological, statistical, level. Humans are a population of organisms. We are going to outrun our resources soon. The important message I want to pass on is how are we going to participate in the end. I think there are several options. You could pray. You could put a bag over your head. You could grab a spear and run into the woods. You could go to the pub. Or, you could pray, take the bag and stop by the pub, grab a spear and run into the woods. I like the last option. That is kind of why I didn't go to church this morning. I don't think I am god. I just saw more light coming out of that horizon then off the side of that church this morning. And, I will follow the illuminations in life. Heaven, salvation, peace, divinity, nirvana, god and grace are all words for the same feeling. When that sun peaks over the horizon for the first time that day and the light blasts right into you, you feel warm even on a rocky ice laden shore on an island in the Bering Sea. That's where its at right there. The goal then becomes to absorb that, let it infect you, let it become you, then let it shine back out of you so that you infect everyone else with that exact type of light. That is what RADIATE WARMTH is all about. It is a mindset. It is a goal. It is a dream. If it is all going to hell in a handbasket then I choose how I go out. I say go out with the light.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wild Saturday Night In Mekoryuk

Tonight I am swaying my hips in my kitchen to a new artist I just found out about, making peanut butter, butterscotch and cranberry raisin cookies. They smell like Jesus. Also, I'm drinking some Moroccan Pomegranate Tea and totally feeling these vibes. The person responsible for this whole evening is Corinne Bailey Rae. I watched this really amazing independent film called "Venus" and all the songs in the soundtrack were by her (I watched the credits). I had to get her album. I don't even care if she is popular or if people will make fun of me (Can't hear snickers all the way up here anyway) her voice is like listening to molasses drip on a tile floor, sweet and wrong.

I'm working on a really special hemp necklace also. It has an amazing galaxy glass blown bead in the center. That bead has an amazing galaxy story behind it you might find amusing.

Last year at High Sierra Music Festival in Quincy, California I was at a close camping neighbor's tent after a late night show. We were approached by an old hippie. I mean real old, this guy was around when glaciers formed. He had a denim vest and every single square inch of it was covered with patches. There were probably thousands of patches on that vest. It was 6 am we were all bundled up and it was the only top he wore.

I was sitting with a couple of old dudes talking about all the amazing bands we'd seen at the festival and chillin' out before the sun came up. As we sat at their camp living room tent drinking coffee and shooting the breeze this mega old hippie approached. He had a drum in one hand and a rolled cigarette in the other. He had a really long scraggly beard and long matted hair with beads tied into the knots. He was probably only sixty but he looked ancient and worn out like an old rancher's glove. His eyes were barely open from the wrinkly crow footed corners of his eyes. He hobbled and was barefoot. He had denim cut off jean shorts on and they were so short the front pockets hung out of the front.

He said "Hello Fellas" as he beamed for us, it sounded more like "Hewo Fewa's," and it was immediately apparent that he had no teeth. Although there was a lot of open chairs for him to sit in, he sat down on his drum, it between his legs. The oily shiny animal skin djembe drum stared at us and he started to play it slowly and softly. His fingers were like those of a motorcycle mechanics, dirty fingernails and callused. They were curled and looked crippled by the years yet they played like they were new. The beat was steady and sounded kind of like a march of some type. He looked at the three of us and smiled a toothless, hairy grin.
"Freakin' at the Freaker's Ball y'all, freakin' at the freaker's ball," he started to sing. His voice was clear and sounded like a homeless man sounds when they say "Spare some change? God Bless You." The song had about twenty versus about what exactly took place at the "Freaker's Ball" but needless to say it was incredible. It was a ten minute long song he sang, each verse more ludicrous, ridiculous and inappropriate than the previous.

Myself, the two old dudes and a few passer by's of the early morning hour all looked at each other in amazement. It was like watching the Babe Ruth of Hippies hit a grand slam in the Counter-Culture world series. Some how the song ended and he bust into a throaty congested cough. The small crowd was laughing too. He stood up asked for a light and Bruce one of the old dudes obliged. The old dude took a puff of his bent, dirty smoke and reached into his pocket. He pulled out something. Then he reached into the other pocket of his epic patch vest and pulled something else out.

He put his curled crippled hands together and opened them. In his dirty hands sat exactly 5 glass blown centerpiece necklace beads (the same amount of people that watched his entire "Freaker's Ball" performance). He gave one to each of us and said why he chose it.
He gave me a black one with a swirling silver and purple galaxy type picture inside it and said, "For your travels around the universe."
We all said thank you and said it was way too much of a gift for strangers and he said, "Well lets all get a hug and then we won't be strangers anymore."
He went around and wrapped his sagging, tanned arms around each one of us. When he hugged me I could smell, rolled cigarettes, motor oil, and patcouli. For some reason it didn't bother me. Then he bowed, giggled, and hobbled away.
His name was Buddy. I didn't see him for the rest of the festival. But now as I sit here listening to heaven dripping out of my speakers, the smell of holy everything filling my nose, and this crazy bead dangling in front of me, I remember Buddy and many of the inappropriate lyrics of "Freaker's Ball."

You can't pay for stuff like that. I can't give this necklace to anyone either. Some things you find, or earn, or buy or acquire, and even though they would make an amazing gift, you just got to keep em. No one else would understand the importance of the "Freaker's Ball" galaxy necklace. I mean, it was given to me for my universal travels. That is awesome.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Loosen This Load A Little

I don’t want to feel like I’m going crazy again.
I’m just sitting right here on the edge of the river, so clear,
And it will keep flowing down to ocean.
I’m just sitting here on the side of the road
Waiting for a ride to take the next load
Down to the place where I gotta go.
I’m just sitting here right next to you
We’re about to do what I think we ought to,
I’m just trying not to go crazy again.
So I’m just sitting right here in the woods
Thinking bout maybe if I should
Take a walk a little bit deeper or leave it all.
I’m just sitting here by the road
Thinking man I really should loosen this load a little, while I can.
I’m just trying not to go crazy again, but I think I am.

Am I Eccentric?

I got called eccentric yesterday by someone who's opinion I value greatly and I have thought of a lot of adjectives to describe myself before, but this was never one of them. I feel like I am anti-establishment, alternative, weird, furry, maybe even possibly odd. Maybe many of those explain what an eccentric person is but I never thought that I was so odd that I would be interpreted as outside the reality of other peoples normality. So in an effort to understand whether or not I am eccentric or not I am going to look into the word itself.

An "Eccentric" is defined by the Encarta Dictionary as somebody who is unconventional, especially in a whimsical way. I will own up to this one. I especially like the whimsical way part. I like to be whimsical so Eccentric-1 Kale-0

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Eccentric as acting or thinking in a strange way. Crap, I definitely can't escape that, my thoughts are never normal. Eccentric-2 Kale-0

They offer an alternative definition-not of the usual or normal kind. Man, I'm beginning to look a lot more eccentric as this investigation goes along. I really don't consider myself usual or normal anymore. Eccentric-3 Kale-ZILCH!

So its looking like I'm an eccentric. Is that a bad thing? Lets look at synonyms of "eccentric" in the Webster's Collegiate Thesaurus.

Their definition is more precise: one who deviates from established patterns especially in whimsical ways. I like this a lot more than others, it conveys that an eccentric person isn't just the way they are because they were born that way, rather, they may choose to be different. Eccentric-3 Kale-1

Synonyms: oddball, oddity, original, whacky, bohemian, maverick, nonconformist, dissenter, heretic, coot, freak, skrewball.

First of all, I am not a coot. I might be an oddball. I guess some could say I'm a freak. The rest of those words I would proudly own up to.

I guess I always thought of eccentric as old and off in their own weird world. I'm getting a little older, I'm getting a little weirder, and after the evidence I have decided I am on the path toward being an eccentric but have, in no way, earned such a title yet. Also, eccentricity is a term put on someone by others. If a whole bunch of eccentrics got together and a normal person walked by they would all look at each other and giggle and say there goes a normal!

So its Friday, finally, this eccentric in training is going to go home and totally vegetable out. I'm pooped.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Orbitals


Orbitals are the explanation. I'll be home in Washington very soon now (hopefully) and I'm growing more and more anxious about the entire experience. There have been a few times in my life where I have cleared the board of orbitals. Right before you go to college you are a senior in your hometown and you have so many people flying around your life like electrons sharing energy with you in an elemental dance. Then you get to college and you clear the board. You start off picking up a friend, a girl friend and many other relationships. Soon you are once again swarming with orbitals of energy filled relationships. Exponentially your orbitals are now more complex and more intense. Then I moved to Australia for half a year and cleared all the orbitals again. I had to start from scratch, those orbitals that needed the most energy were seemingly far away but still connected. When I returned I brought new orbitals home, reestablished important orbitals again and picked up more exponentially. Then I graduated, moved home, wiped the orbitals clean again. Got a job, went back to school, made more friends, and relationships and eventually the orbitals were once again flying around me. I was sharing energy with what seemed like hundreds of people. Family, Students, friends, colleagues, co workers, the orbitals each pulling and sharing the energy at my core. If you don't have enough to give, or you haven't built up enough then you can be sucked dry. Possibly this is why I keep going away. I feel like it is my internal proton heart telling me I need to clear the orbitals and try to find a bigger energy source to accomodate more intense rounds of increasing orbitals. Well I can feel the orbitals picking up again.

But now I have the power. I am so filled with vibration and energy and warmth that all I can do is hope that people share theirs with me so that we can build more. I don't want to be sucked dry, I don't think I can be anymore. I am clear, alert, and coherent. What worries me about coming home is that all this energy will not find a connection because of time. I am scared that you awesome orbitals that orbit me and me an orbital myself orbiting the awesome element of you will find a way to connect amongst the challenges of time. I want to share time with everyone but not at the expense of everyone getting less of me. This is what makes me anxious as I am ready to come home.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

My Special Birthday Weekly Update (late)

Today is My birthday. This always seems to bother me usually. But I think its because I'm used to being the center of attention regularly and now as I sit in my chair at my teacher desk in a school on an island in the Bering Sea alone. Here I am not the center of anyone's attention, I am the perimeter of everyones consciousness. Today I like my birthday if only because people have been paying a little more attention to me then they normally do, and for the first time in a while that makes me happy.

So after I got stuck in a crappy Bethel Bush Airline Airport for three days (my butt is still sore from sitting) I finally made it back to my little slice of heaven, only one week ago I couldn't wait to get off this rock and for the last 3 days all I could think about is how badly I want to get back. Then, once I got back the internet was down. Now it is up, the day is looking up, the sun is up and going with the trend, maybe I need to go buy a 7-up. No caffeine though, whats the use in that for a teacher?

MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Bjork "Post"I found this album along with a really old Built To Spill album at the "Cultural" Fair in a African American Dude's used cd bin, 2 for $5. It is one of the most popular albums of hers, I saw her live at Sasquatch Festival this summer but wasn't too impressed. But, I am impressed by this awesome album that reminds me that an "Army of Me" is a formidable force. Don't forget, these artist of the week not only clue you into to what Kale is listening to but are also suggestions for you to go out and get for yourself. Music will heal your every emotional need.

Old Person Phrase of the week: "Gets my goat" This phrase is inter changeable with "ticks me off" and can make a good laugh out of a stressful situation.

WEATHER REPORT : The weather on the island is mild, cool (30 deg F), and calm this week. Definitely the calm after the storm. After the snow and a rain a weird phenomenon took place, now the entire town street system is like one over skated ice rink. I'm hoping it is like this when its time for me to go home for Christmas so that there will be no worries.

ART PROJECT UPDATE: I just wrote a new song last night, I think it will be the last of my new album "A Whisper Wind." I'm glad I give it away for free otherwise I'd be worried about the two covers on the album. I need to do the album art before I get back to Washington so that the album is "Truly" complete.

The new song is called "Run to Make a Difference." Here are the lyrics:

I don’t know where I am here anymore.
I got this vibration it keeps rollin on.
I never knew I could feel this strong before.
So I say to you, gotta get right out in this world and explore.
And, you gotta open doors for other people now.
You gotta show the energy some how.
And you gotta run to make a difference,
And you gotta run to make a change,
And you gotta run if you don’t things will stay the same.
And you gotta go right now,
And if you don’t things will keep on getting worse like they are.
You gotta stop thinking about yourself and your god damn car.
Your leaving scars across the land.
Your forgetting about your hands.
They should be turning out and helping others,
And you can do it too.
Don’t you feel like there is something more?
I feel like we are all destined to a greater place,
Like we thought we should be before.
You gotta make a change.
You gotta keep on goin’
You gotta run to make a difference,
And if you don’t there will be a world of indifference, nothing, apathy.
Apathy, it laughs at me, and now every corner I turn
I can see the world is burning down and I don’t want to see it anymore.
It is making me feel like I’ve never felt before.
It is making me want to scream at the top of my lungs.
And so I will never keep on going on against the sun.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

STILL IN BETHELNESIA

The Dude does not abide, I want to go to my rock on the Bering Sea now! I spent the entire freaking day on weather hold in the crappy Hageland Airport. I am not going to do my WEEKLY UPDATE yet because I'm too annoyed, I'll take care of that tomorrow. I really hope I get out to Mekoryuk Tomorrow. I won 50 bones playing poker last night and all my winnings have gone into cab money, I tell you what, it really gets my goat (Dang it! I spilled the beans on my PHRASE OF THE WEEK and that gets my goat too!)

Until tomorrow friends.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Stranded in Bethelda

So I won't be making back to the rock today, I'm stuck in Bethelda. They canceled all the flights to the coast for "weather reasons," which is the popular term for the condition that airlines get when "Tununak, Toksook Bay, Nelson Island, Mekoryuk run is going to be too much of a pain in the ass for us today so we'll cancel it and hope some of y'all won't come back tomorrow." The positive of that is this twist of fate is that I might get in a poker game tonight, which will be fine I guess. I'll give all you loved ones a call when I get back to the MekRockyuk on Sunday.

"Realize with Real Eyes Real Lies"

a quote from Isaac and Jessica and Tacoma School of the Arts

Friday, December 7, 2007

Oops.


It has come to my attention through conversations, observations and intuitions that Alaska is a very special place. I have spent the last three days "diggin' on people" I got to spend time with all these teacher cats that have come to Alaska for many reasons. I can definitively say after all this diggin' that we are truly a bunch of weirdos. The best part about Alaskan castaways like us are that everyone, fairly new to old salty vets, have come here for a real reason. Not to say everyone else isn't doing that also but up here it really allows people to come out of the woodwork. People are starting over, escaping, running away, searching, experimenting, realizing, dreaming, adventuring and longing for some sort of quality of life. Everyone I meet is in their own part of this process. Us rookies just got here. The cool people who have been here for a while you can tell a mile a way. You can tell by their faded and roughed up black carhart overalls (so jealous of you E by the way) or their finely tuned winter outfits or their crazy beards (shut up) or their emerging accents (also shut up), or their sweet spotted seal Russian style hats and mittens (gotta get me one of those), or their innocently charming complete lack of social awareness (that one guy), or their awesome and beautiful manifested quirkyness on full display for everyone to soak up and enjoy. Maybe its because most of us still can't believe that this whole place is real, or maybe its because we are really spaced out cats who strayed far from home and have gotten a little loose in the screws, but either way I feel like that I may have found a place where you can be your own whacky self and you're probably not as odd and out there as a lot of other cats 'round these parts. There is always some radical dude or hardcore chick that will reassure you that you could be weirder (and maybe will be someday if you stay here long enough). With so much personal questing and soul searching going on, I often think its a miracle that people can fall in love here. Yet here they are, marching along to the crazy beat of romance itself. When life is so focused on day to day mental and physical survival all other things can be, how they say, "Lost in the Sauce." I'm convinced that this is unlike anything you could ever imagine unless you've been here. No matter how I try I can't find words to describe this feeling in my belly and heart that I have. I am smiling and laughing in my heart today and that is good.
This trip into the big city has almost, and trust me the proper word is "almost," restored me to a level of homeostasis with Bush Alaska. I'm not going to lie, I've been here before, not Alaska so much, but this mental stage of moving away from home and all that you know. I am finally overcoming the initial shock, 4 months later, it just took a while and I didn't realize what was happening. I think that Bethel is a beautifully sad, possibly tragic place to live, I think that many of the social things taking place in the entire delta are on a path to epic disappointment, I think the people here (me too) are freaking nuts, and unbelievably, I think I just fell in love with Alaska. Oops.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Well Well

I made it, I'm safe, I'm in Bethel. I don't really want to talk about Bethel just yet. I want to talk about a phenomenon that I have named "Phantom Puddles." This little buggers are evil. I would like to re live a horrible encounter with a phantom puddle I had on Tuesday right before I left for Bethel. A Phantom Puddle come about after a puddle suddenly freezes solid from a quick snap in arctic temperature. Not only does a puddle need to freeze it needs to be covered with just enough fresh snow (1/2 inch or more) to hide its eminent doom. Then as you walk onto it (like me exiting the post office happy as a clam) you slip. Now if you are like me you can't just fall, you have to fight it and in doing so enact an entire seen from a disney movie involving Goofy where you run in place super fast for a split second then fly feet first up in the air. As I stared at my legs now floating in slowmotion above me, clouds grey in the background, I almost chuckled inside that super slow moment, I chuckled a little because even in such a fraction of a second I had as I flew through the air above the Phantom Puddle I had the time to think man I hope someone is getting this on tape. The slow motion came to a crashing stop as my elbows, shoulder blades and back hit the rock hard ice. Then my neck snapped back and my head hit the ice. As this happened my glasses fell off and I watched them spin across the Phantom Puddle from my upside down perspective. I lay there for a second in a cold heap and thought about whether or not I was going to whimper, I wanted to but I thought I might get teased by an old Eskimo woman if she should hear walking by. There was no one. I got up and then the throbbing pain hit. I picked up my glasses, (This always makes me feel like a dork) and brushed the snow off of my back. I limped back to school with my shoulders, elbows, back, neck and general overall form in a crumpled painful posture.

So the next day as I sit at a table writing about it, a stiff neck, soar body, and painful day of sitting in chairs, I beg you to please share any stories that involve ice, you, your ass, and the ground making intimate, violent contact to try and make me feel like I am not a complete dork and clutz. If you don't want to share at least know that if you laughed at this story, YOU ARE NEXT!

I'll be in Bethel all week, avoiding Phantoms, I have internet access so say hello!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

BETHEL OR BUST

All that complaining must have payed off a little because it is a freaking beautiful day here on Nunivak Island. Sun is shining, air is crisp, the fresh smell of freedom on the wind. Well that is a good thing now isn't it? I'll be in touch this week when I can.

Power to the peaceful, Love to the peaceful y'all
-Michael Franti

Monday, December 3, 2007

Things not looking so promising indeed.

I don't know if I'm going to get into Bethel this week. The crazy Alaskan weather has struck again. We have wind, sideways snow/sand, and frigid temperatures. I realized that I actually do need to get off the island rather badly. I'm a little, how you say, going batty. I need to talk to people! I need to let my hair down (figuratively that is, I let my regular hair down when I damn well please). I need the peaceful serenity that only Bethel can provide, with its bustling metropolis, epic landscape vistas, various high quality stores, and local flavor and nightlife...(not knocking Bethel here, sarcasm yes, but I just find it funny Bethel is the Big Town around here.)
Actually, I don't need Bethel, I need anything not my island, I love the place and all the little guys here but after 4 months of being partially to mostly ignored it is beginning to lose its luster as the gem that I once thought it was. I would take teaching in a hellhole with friends over a great school alone any day.

No need to read further, it is another rambling incoherent parade of my disgust for the perplexing conditions of education in America. I've re read it, its kind of a downer so here is your disclaimer now!

This is especially for all you Alaska teachers out there? I can't believe they are putting Phases to Science next year in LKSD. I say leave science out of this whole NCLB mess all together. I can't believe they have phases at all but science? C'MON! I can't really complain about the other phases because I am not trained in English or Math. What I am trained in is progressive, effective, art infused, inquiry based learning in biology. The most detrimental thing we can do to further alienate students from accessing any success in the sciences is to give the whole subject a dingleberry system to learning based on a succession of chopped up skills that will be tested for in an antiquated, anglo-saxon language that propagates more of the same bologna that we've been cramming down these poor kids throats for half a century now. I was just thinking the other day how lucky I was that I could teach biology in a real way until BAM!!!! Phase System pie right in your face baby, all sticky and creamy.

You really want to get what I'm talking about? Why don't you ask an art teacher how they would feel if LKSD put a phase system to art (Which is impossible because art will always be undervalued unfortunately)? See? Still the same double edged sword. Yeah it might force kids to do art in a stepwise fashion, but now you will have a whole world of people doing forced uninspired mass produced unoriginal art. Kind of like unoriginal science, writing, reading and math. You can force a person to learn things I guess, but you can't teach a person the best parts of something in a system like this. You can't teach the beauty of living things in a phase system, you can't teach a person the therapeutic effect of writing in a stepwise test, you can't teach a person to balance a checkbook, pay off their credit cards, and apply for a car loan in PHASE 18 of life, and you certainly can't inspire the next genius artist by sitting his/her butt down and giving them a PHASE ___ INDICATOR ___ test on expressing himself through painting.

"Well now he didn't really paint the true pain of his life to a Basic, Proficient or Advanced level there Bob, so I gave him a non proficient because thats what the test says."

What do you do though? If you don't give teachers a step by step instruction manual to their lives how will they ever do it? Everyone is so concerned with lesson plans, and standards, grade level requirements and the whole NCLB aftermath. It is just so sickening. We can't let teachers just teach, improvise, skrew up and learn themselves because there are some slackers out there who will ruin it for the rest of us. And we can't hold teachers to standards because no matter how we try to assess it on a widespread level we will eventually run a curriculum that is too broad ranging and sweeping culturally. What we need is some sort of guarantee or assurance that the teachers are hired are capable of teaching what they know in a dynamic, adapting, and sometimes daring way. Instead we have to pass tests, test just like the ones we'll give our kids but harder and filled with more BS. It just seems like we spend so much time trying to teach students useless crap. I mean we should have GLE's and state standards about positive teacher attitudes, relationship building, self esteem, community outreach, classroom environment assurance, and personal philosophical development. Education seems to be focusing on the wrong thing. We want our kids to succeed at these benchmarks, but when we enforce these benchmarks we destroy the essence of education. Not to mention we are all so out of touch already with the lives of students (I'm one hip 24 year old dude and I am already an old dork to them).

I mean what we are really doing is socializing them to the same horrific bull crap that we went through. We didn't learn mostly, education "happened" to most of us like a house fire or a flood in the basement. All we really learned how to do was continue on a tradition of mediocrity, broken dreams, stereotypes, depression, unoriginality and wastefulness. And you know what, if we keep doing it we will keep getting the same result, a messed up world. I mean doesn't anybody believe that its about time we all try something new for once? How much longer are we going to keep at this whole thing anyways? The definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

I'm sure I'll get a bunch of comments (or maybe not now) saying don't give up or maybe even in disagreement, I don't know really. Maybe I'll get some angry comments, good! I want you to be pissed off, at least that means now we're thinking. I mean whether it is your classic American high school with 10% minority, or an alternative high school, or a school in the ghetto, or a school in latin LA or a small school in an Eskimo village it doesn't really matter, reading, writing and arithmetic are done in the traditional sense of the word.

The world is accelerating so fast right now. We aren't going to be able to sit these kids down in neat little rows and keep there attention ever again. They have evolved, we have evolved, how we think has evolved. Its like education is elderly and can't keep up with their grandkids. I know thats sad, but its kind of true. How many elderly people can pop on the internet fly around, do one hundred things at once and be done. Now I know there are people out there who can use the internet but have you ever sat down with a little kid and watched them on a computer? Its freaky how fast they pick things up. I'm not advocating the internet or trying to make elderly people feel bad about their computer skills (Keep it up you're doing great!) but the internet is here, its happening, there should be a whole class just called "internet."

I know I'm spiraling all over the place here and taking swings at subjects wildly blindly in the dark but it is how I feel. As much as I would like things to be perfect, they aren't. Not everybody was raised to respect and cherish history, science, art, music, their elders, creativity, ingenuity, kindness, passion, charity, hard work and fun.

So how do I end this, well here I'll try and package it up a little. Here's what I think. SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO US ALL. Whether it is global warming, or war, or religion or disease, or whatever you want to call this thing that is happening, I can feel it. Its like I can't tune out the humming all around. We are picking up a serious vibration, we are tuning up to a new frequency. Its time, I know it. I'm not scared, I'm just preparing. I didn't know why I came to Alaska, but now I do, I'm in training. I'm here for a specific learning experience that will serve me when this big thing happens. We are all in training for something in one way or another. What are you being trained for? All I know is that I don't want to be left in the dust sipping a diet soda on my lawn chair when it all goes down. I want to part of this thing. I want to be part of the vibration. I don't want to be part of the downfall. I want to ride the wave on a bitchin' surfboard of awesome love not be smashed against the rocks with a Britney Spears album and a McDonald's cheeseburger in my hands.

If this turns you off of my blog I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be nasty, but desperate times call for desperate words. I'm sure I'll come up with something sunny and cheerful soon when I can get this frightening taste of eminent doom out of my mouth.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

In the Flow

I know I feel the love,
I wonder if it will be enough.
I know I am in the flow,
And it will always be so.
Open wide your heart,
Let it play your part.
See the sun over there?
Now, see that light everywhere.

Have a good week everybody!

WEEKLY UPDATE AND INFO

HEY YOU GUYS!! We are so close to Christmas you can do it.

MUSICAL ARTIST OF THE WEEK, YEAR AND LIFETIME: I have been waiting to say this for a long time but I waited for a week where I really meant it This is my artist of the week "FLOWMOTION" from any and all albums including "Live at Meltdown 2006", "Live in Yosemite", "Is That Right" and "Live at High Sierra 2005."
At a time when my heart was full of sadness this band single handedly brought me back from the dead. My brother and a whole gang of silly monkeys will be rocking our hearts out to them on NEW YEARS EVE baby! I can't express how much I love this band. They are the best band on the planet in my opinion. I have yet to meet a person who went to a show (the right way) and didn't have their hearts and minds changed for ever. Please go to www.flowmotion.net and check them out!

OLD PERSON PHRASE OF THE WEEK: "Crimanitly" (cry mah nit lee) This phrase is awesome. It can fill in for so many various expletives. I think this phrase should be used in the kitchen, "Crimanitly I burned the oatmeal cookies again" or something like that.

WEATHER UPDATE: After a week of intense winds up to 65 mph at times and rain always we have cooled back down to the 30's and our windchill dropped us back to our usual butt ass cold 20 deg. F. Everything froze back up. Saw a red sky this morning though, so you sailors out there take warning and all.

ART PROJECTS UPDATE: I have definitely been slacking on the music end. I'm finding it very hard to finish "A Whisper Wind" right now. I arranged some Christmas songs for the Elementary class for the Christmas Program though, so that was very avant guard you know?
I find time for poems now and again, and draw a little. So busy these days.
to view my other blog OUT OF THE CLOSET ATHEIST click HERE