Archive for the ‘hearing’ Category

Dave Kelly - a genius at work - in a really interesting challenge to redesign the shopping cart.

This would have been a three-part video segment, had there not been more inexplicable international/national copyright issues.
Internet searches for both IDEO and David Kelley, should bring up enough results to satisfy. We highly recommend giving it a try, at any rate.

And more of Dave Kelly on human-entered design:

Dave Kelly @ TED


Greeted by Alfie! Fun talking to his wife! Wonderful dinner, nice light wine...

and now lessons in WordPress and blogging…









It certainly was a bit like “those with severely impaired vision leading the blind” – but we had fun and I could do a bit of quality petting.


I thank a dear friend for this audio inspiration! I think I’ll need to hear this again and again in periodic intervals throughout the year!


This is Krzysztof Penderecki from 1959-60. Strange but fitting when you watch the hypercube at the same time (see prior post)…



*** NEW *** NEW *** Now with subtitles!


I’m not a buddhist, however I subscribe to this Daily Dharma newsletter that I really like. This was today’s:

Following the Path
The Eightfold Path of Right Views, Right Thoughts, Right Speech, Right Conduct [Action], Right Livelihood, Right Effort or Lifestyle, Right Recollection [Mindfulness], and Right Meditation [Concentration] was preached by the Buddha to his first five disciples of Benares, and it remains for us the basic guide for our lives as Buddhists. It begins with Right Views and ends with Right Meditation, but each element of the path depends on all others, so really there is no first step and no last step. The key word is “right,” from words in Sanskrit and Chinese that mean “upright, straight, right, correct.” Finding what is upright in attitude, thought, speech, action, livelihood, effort, mindfulness, and meditation, and then doing it–this is our life work.

- Robert Aitken, Encouraging Words
From Everyday Mind, a Tricycle book edited by Jean Smith

Read this Daily Dharma on

Which brings me to a discussion I had yesterday with a dear friend who I love very much, but who I passionately disagree with from time to time. I wonder about this, but realize that it makes me re-adjust my thoughts and perspectives - testing them by voicing them for whether or not they really ring true for me. One of our most often recurring themes has to do with money. “Money is energy.” As if expressing that thought alone made money as harmless and innocent a phenomenon as cotton balls. Violence is also energy: thunderstorms, tornados and tsunamis are energy. Energy can reek damage and cause pain. The energy of a simple but heartfelt slap is rather awesome in and of itself. So bringing this daily message: “What is upright in attitude, thought, speech…” together with this turbulent discussion (She’s okay with billionaires being billionaires, essentially. I’m not when, for example, they achieve this with Madoff-esque tactics. However I’m okay with it when it’s Spielberg being recompensed for work that has joyed millions - not an easy topic, as you can see…). It is, in fact, thee topic of our times with all these banks being bailed out and companies being saved with masses of “energy” – so much of it that it’s really hard to truly comprehend the sums being done – and we need to understand what it is and where we stand on these issues. What is money to you? Are the systems in place okay in your opinion? Are there ways to improve how we think, feel, talk and handle money? Can we stand up and protest monetary issues as easily we can, to name just one passionate issue, genocide?


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Throwing all caution to the wind on a morning when I should have been working, I decided to bump around the downtown area this morning. My daughter had a Valentine’s Day date (thankfully, it’s still this type of date: with her “very best” girlfriend at Starbucks in broad daylight), so I went with them for a stretch on the subway. I was heading for the ticket machine when my daughter assured me I could ride on her ticket. Not thinking much further about it (and assuming she was right), we waited for our train, boarded, laughed a bit at the fact that another good (but not best) girlfriend was, like, right there on the train we had just boarded. There was a bit of teenage-girl friction because the “very best,” “best” and “good” status seems to change weekly and fate was playing an interesting hand that the former “very best” had now caught my daughter red-handed with the new “very best” off on her way to have a Valentine’s small gifts exchange. Oops.

But what was more interesting was the approaching team of controllers. They were checking to see if the passengers had valid tickets. Trusting my daughter’s word, I had no reason to think we were in trouble of any kind (she had been caught by the controllers once when she was 12 and I tend to believe that will remain a lasting impression on her for life). I presented the ticket and we were cool. A good feeling. There was a passenger sitting kiddy-corner to my daughter who was, however, not having such a great time of it. In the space of twelve seats, the controllers had nabbed two perpetrators, of which this man was one. The man we were now focusing on was leafing through his wallet at an unbelievably slow and uncoordinated pace in the attempt to will a valid ticket into being. Stop after stop came and went and it was finally decided that, “Sir, you don’t appear to have a valid ticket.” I was standing a good yard away from the man when he looked up, our eyes meeting briefly, when he said one or two (for me) unintelligible words. What odorously hit me front and center was his level of alcoholization. It felt as if he had thrown me a rope, a lifeline, a hope for some sort of empathy. My eyes lowered immediately, not because I didn’t or couldn’t feel empathy - oh, if he only knew! - but because I was full of thoughts and impressions and I was trying to feel what the four girls around me, one of them being my daughter and two of her closest companions, were feeling, doing, thinking. They, like me, all had their heads down, trying not to notice this man with his uncomfortable predicament.

After leaving the train, back out into the fresh, wintery air and bidding the two girls goodbye, I was confronted with a totally different scene. Shoppers. Lots of them. A Saturday full of activity. Being Valentine’s Day, there were obviously a few people still rushing to do something about making it special for someone after all. The city always sports plenty of cars worth six-digits, but it seemed like the entire street was full of them now. Fate again, making a point that I - specifically - was supposed to understand. The juxtapostion between the down-and-out-ers and up-and-at-em-ers. And me walking between the two, just an observer. 

I needed a fast change of thought. What a better place to do that before noon on a Saturday than to walk into the nearest sex shop (right on the main strip, mind you, no false modesty in this city). Flower purchases are for guys, I was looking to make a different sort of purchase. As usual, I can’t stop myself from making an instant sociological assessment in this particular shop. Note: the elderly couple surely well over sixty leafing carefully through a box of thongs and other undergarments that were massively reduced in price. Note: the young Turkish boy who makes a big to-do about the gift he is looking for for his girlfriend. It was clear to everyone that, while it may have been a nice thought, he didn’t have money to burn and I was beginning to wonder if flowers wouldn’t be a better idea for her, though I dared not speak up about it. Note: the three maybe thirty-something chicks that have obviously watched enough Sex and the City to not care that they are in a really cheesy sex shop looking at dildos. The saleman is chatting them up when I butt in saying, “Yes, but are they non-toxic? I’ve read about this and it’s pretty important, you know…” I was essentially trying to save all three of them from purchasing anything - really ANYTHING - that was made in China that would be headed for potential body openings. Just not a good idea, girls. The salesman was not daunted and proceeded to chat me up (the girls were, I think, glad I had done this) about the safety of his dildos that were made, in fact, in Hungary. Great, that makes me feel so much better. I politely moved on. To note further: an elegant man, tall and exceeding well-dressed asking another salesman (of which there were many, I noted, as the shop was packed. Recession is obviously good for sex, if nothing else) if a particular article he was interested in worked with any lubricant or just water-based lubricants. He said this as if he were conveying the results in his company annual report. Calm, dry, matter-of-fact. Trying to envision exactly who would be party to his further experimentation and empirical testing once he was out of the store brought up far too many visions of twenty-somethings (okay, and one just as prim lady about his age as well, but very lifted, everywhere) and I decided that it really was time to change locations. Fast.

The street of busy shoppers was alive and pulsing with movement. After resolving a few of the errands I had, I was on my way back to retrieve the girls and bring them home when I noticed a group of Mongolian singers rushing past. Shucks, I thought. Spent too much time in the sex shop and missed out on the overtone music (which I love very much). I was impressed by their thin, gold-trimmed, elaboratedly embroidered robes, which reminded me of another errand. I needed a costume for a costume party. This finally done (no, I’m not going as a Mongolian street musician), I came back out to see the also colorful Peruvians playing on the street to a small crowd. Nice, but not a stopper for me. Two blocks farther down, the Mongolians were in full swing. I was electrified and stood near them, lapping it up. It was noticeable and very interesting how different the two crowds were. The people around the Mongolians were all pulling wallets out (me included - I bought the CD they were offering, which I am now listening to and absolutely do not regret) and the sweet little cachet they had in front of them was full of coins. What sort of message is in here, I wondered. I’m still wondering, in fact. When I had given the youngest Mongolian my bills for the CD, I thanked him, not knowing what language, if any, would potentially return my words. He met my eyes and in perfect, melodic, soft and feathery German he said “Danke schön.” An amazing moment. 

The rest of the day was spent coasting on these impressions…


I have this subscription concert series that is a remnant from a former client. The biggest advantage, and the reason I hang onto it is – I’m in love with the seats. A neat pair snuggled into a little corner at an angle nearly all to themselves. But not completely. The couple that sits next to me in the ajoining regular long-type row are very sweet. After years of sitting next to each other, we are finally greeting each other properly and wishing each other a nice evening after the concert ends. If they’ve paid attention to who sits there, they have been able to see the story of my life go before their very eyes. For a time, I would share the subscription with my in-laws, or go with my mother-in-law alone, or with my (ex)husband, a few times with my girlfriend, my girlfriend went with her fiancé, then it was me again, alone, then with a whole series of men before I finally settled down and have now been showing up with the same man on and off for the past two years. I particularly like the male side of my neighboring couple. He’s certainly working on 70, but to me is very attractive (looks a bit like former Bavarian Minister Stoiber). We share the little metal bar in front of our seats that serves well as a foot rest, always taking care not to hog it too much from the other but paying close attention that no one else but the two of us understand this little game of footsies. He also has lovely hands and a very gentle manor that I absolutely adore.

Mind you, these are classic concerts. Philharmonic concerts. With strings and brass and drums and harps and varying conductors. And sometimes even more, sometimes highly unusual instruments, sometimes ingenious solists, massive choirs… and so on. Another little secret and perhaps another argument to hold onto the subscription: I find classical music very erotic. Highly erotic at its best, which happens often, apparently. I sometimes have a bit of trouble remaining in my seat, as it were. I tend to evaporate and float and merge into everything. Become the tip of every bow violently beating in the string section, dart up to the ceiling, into corners and under seats, become the paper of the pages the musicians hastily turn, the coughing person in the upper levels and then come back to just be the glow that is the cascade of discordant unison that an orchestra can be while they are creating this mythical pulsation.

Shame that my escort isn’t really into classical music and just sort of comes along for the heck of it. Until he begins to feel, and I suppose experience, what happens to me. Every concert seems to tweak a chord somewhere in him. The strangest music will now make him nod in satisfied approval. Last night’s fare: Janacek, Chopin and Sibelius. Now, I am no expert mind you. I just go to listen and fly. I’m no good at memorizing names and histories. But I do know that these three composers are very different men coming from very different places - so I expected some amount of bumpiness in the program.

To my immense surprise and thrill, it went from crescendo to crescendo, rising bit by tiny bit. The middle part, Chopin, before intermission, included a piano solo. Pianos and strings being my favorite types of sounds, I was ready for this like a kid that just got in his seat on a rollercoaster ride. But I was not prepared for what happened, what thoughts began to dance in my brain as this young, energetic pianist gave his nod to the conductor. Suddenly, at the beginning of his piece, it was as if he had not fingers but ten penises. Penises varying in size and width and strength and reach, but all working together. Madly. Passionately. Patiently. Playfully. Hitting what seemed to be every key, up, down, dwelling for a bit in the middle and back and back and back again. Playing the glorious grand like a lover, taking her and pleading with her, the music flowing from her, sometimes it seemed even unwillingly, until he bounded into her like a madman, tickling and teasing until they literally became one and I was zapped into a wonderment I can only begin to describe as divine.

The proof came in two instances. The first was that during the intermission, my partner and I walked closer and then closer and then like the lovers we are, touching parts of each other most people don’t in public. The small of the back, the cheek, the belly. Nothing inappropriate, mind you. It was just… no one else was doing it the way we were. We were blissful. Strangely high. And Sibelius did the rest. We glided home peacefully, had a wonderful leftovers dinner and continued the dance in a horizontal way that will surely remain one of the more unforgettable lovemaking sessions of my life. Reason enough, I think, to continue my study of and devotion to classical music.

The second piece of proof came the next morning. For some reason, this was exactly what I was feeling that night, indeed feel very often and am never really able to describe. She only scratches the surface because she is describing the creation part, and she does so with aplomb, bless your gorgeous soul, Elizabeth! The part she doesn’t describe is the enjoyment that comes with consuming, imbibing, partaking in someone else’s creative process. In this, case, all the members of the orchestra, a pianist and a conductor who, essentially, let us witness them in a highly skilled sensual dance turning them into one singular, moving, powerful entity. A entity that evidently is willing to take on passengers.


ILY.jpg 8-cell-simple.gif coffee.jpg img_0607kl.jpg dress.jpg buddha.jpg                                                               pleasureme.jpg
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