Wednesday, February 25, 2009


You've all heard about
haikus, the multi-purpose
casual poem.

Did you ever think
"There must be a better way
to count syllables"?

I got
a new form
for you! Everyone
knows how it's done. It's natural
and fun. Let's all say "Thanks Fibonacci!" You're welcome.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Apple Capital

As I sit here eating my apple, I am pleased to note that this delicious fruit was grown from the soil of my home state. There's a lot to love about this place, this little region of the world. But you probably know that. For example, you probably know that we are the leading producers of asparagus for the entire nation. You probably know that we can grow wine grapes and hops so delicious that even German brewers are buying them up after a bad hops year across the pond. Agriculture aside, you probably also know that giant corporations like Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks are here, granting our state a tasty bonus of several ridiculously wealthy people. Additionally, a large percent of trade with Asian nations comes right through our own Puget Sound.

So here's the deal. It has been quite a long time since we heard Abraham Lincoln quip "A house divided shall fall, a house united shall stand" or what ever it was he actually said. I'm not suggesting that this is no longer true, I'm not suggesting that we should secede from the union or anything, only that we could.

Why would I bring up such a ridiculous idea? Why do you think it's ridiculous? A while back Thomas Jefferson himself reminded me that peaceful revolution is always an option. Why should we need any such thing, though? Things are just peachy as they are, right?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Just as a side note, I myself feel under no constraints to limit my Blog posts to the category of "Things That Actually Happened". In other words, I am going to be taking as many creative liberties I please. Just thought you ought to be aware.


There is a hawk living outside my apartment. Something about this fact is thrilling to me. What is it?

I choose to think of the hawk as a girl-hawk. I have no way of knowing for sure, I am not an ornithologist, but I have decided that Xena, for that is the name I have given her, is a mother of at least two snarling hawklings. Is it the right time of year for that thing? Do I even care? In my mind, I see her scouring the skies for fresh prey, which she locates and hunts. Having brought her prey then to a fuller understanding of mortality she tears it up by the ligaments and tucks the choices morsels away in her gullet, to be later regurgitated into the enthusiastic mouths of her young.

But, no, I do not think it is the spectacle of motherhood that draws me to hawk as a moth is drawn to, oh I don't even want to finish that cliché. Every morning I leap out onto my balcony and wait to see Xena making her morning rounds. When I do see her, not every morning, but when I do see her, I am usually only allowed a few quick glances before she spreads her broad shoulders and takes wing. These short moments are not just the coy exchanges between distant lovers, although there is a hint of that in the curve she cuts through the air as she dives. Instead, these moments are omens. If she appears from the south, with her beak open, there is a good chance of success, but it will be cut short. If she comes in from the east, with the sun, the long frame of her wingspan casts a shadow on the cars in the parking lot below. Depending on where the shadow falls, depending on which branch she chooses as her perch, the omen can change unexpectedly from good chance of love to the death of a loved one.

There are so many songs about birds.
Blackbird, Bluebird, Aluette, Birdland,
Is there no song for, Xena, Warrior Hark Princess?

Really, I think I just want to see her catch something. I know she is a bird of prey. I know she must eat. She will fly in front of me, she will poop in front of me, she will flap her wings in a most indiscreet way in front of me and she will preen in front of me, but I have yet to see her dine. I want to see her one morning, fresh carrion dripping from her talons, ripping through the red meat with her beak, which I understand is razor-sharp. Beyond that, I want to see her make the kill, diving out of sight for a moment, but returning in a moment with a still squirming rodent, who she twists into lifelessness with an efficient bite from her beak.

This is the thrill that keeps me coming back again and again. What keeps bringing her back?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Liam Neeson as an Action Star

You saw him in Star Wars, you saw him in Batman Begins, you saw him in, er, The Chronic(what?)les of Narnia, and you probably heard his voice in a nature documentary or two, but y'aint never seen Liam like this. By "this" I mean pissed off, lethal, and also "in the movie, Taken", which is actually the subject of this post. If you've already seen it, then you can skip ahead to the part where I talk about Doctor Who, which you haven't seen. If not, let me tell you a little bit about the movie. I'll keep spoilers to a minimum.

Taken is a movie made by Europeans about Americans in Europe. This is to me a very important fact. It is an opportunity to see how the rest of the world, and by that I mean the rest of the rich world, thinks of us on this side of the pond. Just how do we measure up?

As a father, good 'ol Liam is on the angsty side. He doesn't get to see his daughter that much. But when she goes to Europe unescorted and is kidnapped right off the plane he goes, and I'm pretty sure I'm using the medical term here, bananas.

As far as killers go, Liam Neeson is nothing but efficient. Completely unarmed, Liam is able to dispatch an entire cadre of banditos and them some, but this is not the over the top ingenuity of Jason Bourne. Liam's moves are simple, even repetitive, and alarmingly effective.

Really, I find it hard to be insulted by this portrayal of an American by a European. That's usually how I feel, even if maybe I should be insulted.

In the season finale of Doctor Who series 3, we get another taste of the European vibe for Americans. The "president" of the U.S. is a complete blowhard who gets assassinated by aliens. When the Doctor finally fixes things (Spoiler Alert!) by reversing time for a whole year, everything is back to normal. Oh, wait no, the president is still lying on the floor, dead.

The Doctor will save the entire planet, but not even a characature of George W. Bush? Frankly, I don't blame him, but does Europe even realize what they have to thank this man for? The weak dollar has turned to east coast into an ideal vacation spot for anyone with a Euro in their wallet, and at least we here in America won't steal their daughters.

Will Europeans ever give us the respect we deserve? With this movie, it appears that maybe we will. This movie presents an alternative to the current paradigm, which is, if Doctor Who is any indication, something along the lines of "Americans are disposable." With Taken, the paradigm seems to have shifted to something with a little more street cred: Americans don't know who you are, but they will find you and kill you. Americans won't stop there. We'll kill your crime lords, your police, we'll shoot your wife in the arm, we'll kick you in the balls and break your neck. And we have a black president.
Europe is sending a message to America too, namely "Stay the hell out". In Europe, they take your spoiled stupid daughter and get her high and slap her and do lewd things. That's about as dark as they can get with a PG-13 rating, but rest assured you do not want to send your daughter unless you have got yourself some ball kickin' skills.

Thank you Liam Neeson, for negotiating a new relationship between my people and yours. I will certainly remember this movie next time a friendly Francais offers to share a cab with me. I will definitely kick him right in the nuts if he tries anything funny.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Man vs. Lion

I have always had a difficult time with language. For some people, apparently, words contain specific meanings that can be easily shared and correctly interpreted. For me, it's all metaphor. You say "Castle", I think, "Castle-like". You see? No? It's really very simple: what you are saying to me, what I am saying to you, I have no idea what any of it means.

Language and linguistic articulation is controlled by the cerebral cortex. A useful little lump of brain matter, but only a certain portion of our experiences take place inside it. Involuntary actions, like the shiver that runs through my body when my ear gets cold, and emotions, like love (sweet love), come from other regions.

A colleague of mine suggested to me last week that in the near future, mankind will have the ability to live forever through the transcription of consciousness into computers. I like the idea. I love the idea. It's too horrible to imagine. But what is the big hullaballoo about consciousness anyways? Is it the capacity for reason that makes us alive? Take a look at this article about the Limbic System, and tell me if you think a copy of your consciousness inside of a computer could do what this thing does.

All I'm saying is, I've never seen a computer smoking a cigarette.

No, that's not what I'm saying at all. I don't know what I'm saying, but I am asking something:
If much of the information, the learning we do, takes the form of chemical processes that are interpreted as sensations, by which I mean real physical manifestations of our state of being, how is a writer supposed to emulate those process with words?

It's like touching a hot stove and pulling your hand away before you even register the feeling of heat. In order to experience this sensation, this reflex, first you need a hot stove.

Break Down

Let's break this down.
This is a weblog, or blog.
My name is Seth

That's about all the essential information. With this blog I intend to create a workspace for my brain, a writing playground through which I may indulge and explore my various interests. To explain myself further, here are a few of my interests:

Doctor Who. I'm a big fan.
Music. I write songs. Sometimes, if they are good enough, my friend Kevin and I record them.
Fiction and Literary Non-Fiction. I'll leave it up to you to figure out the difference. For me the borders are pretty murky.

The list could go on, but I'd rather save some surprises for later. If it's a form of creative writing, odds are I'll get around to it. In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy what you read here and leave me with your comments.