Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wax Poetic. Not in that order.

Send the Jacksonville Youth Poets to the National Slam!

This is the one where local yutes raise money to compete in California. Head to 331 tonight for their specials and in between or before or after you can hear my wax and Brian V and C (scroll).


(P)hil Green is the creative production force behind the Production/ DJ duo PCSynergy. Along with Catharsis, he expresses all things house & down tempo. His amiable demeanor is personified in his sets. Both Phil and Catharsis have been actively deejaying and expressing positive electronic paradigms since 1991. Phil is a graduate of Full Sail video and audio engineering college in Orlando,Florida. Currently, Phil is the chief engineer at Jax Traxx; LLC, a digital recording suite dedicated to electronic music production. Phil Green & his main partner,Scott Collins met at Full Sail Engineering School in 1996. In 1999, they decided to break ground on a studio. Scott's wife manages a video editing and production house. Space upstairs became available which fit perfectly. The original studio was built behind a record store and PA equipment rental house. This new location opens up more opportunity. Clients include all genres, transfers, beats, tracking, practice space for bands, you name it. It's a beautiful space built with love! Phil's acumen of studio engineering and production was sharpened after Full Sail at the Dallas Sound Lab. His extensive studio credits include assistant engineer for the Grammy winning album, "Kirk Franklin & The Family's Nu Nation Project" in 1998, Reverend Horton Heat's "Space Heater" on Interscope. Phil has also done numerous live sound reinforcements and sound effects editing. This core knowledge of studio technology and "live" experience coupled with work with different genres of music have positively added to his love and aptitude for electronic music especially deep house and downtempo. "Keep On Keepin On". Phil and Catharsis have been signed to numerous electronic music labels worldwide, appeared on cd compilations alongside Depeche Mode, Moby, Faithless, Dubtribe Sound System, Swayzak, Mr. Scruff, Fred Everything, Groove Junkies, Rithma and many others. Since 2000, PC Synergy has released over 20 vinyl releases, two full-length cd albums entitled "Keepin On" & " Deep Down"and appeared on 20 cd compilations & mix cd's on various import and domestic labels globally. PC Synergy's tracks, "Puttin It Out There", "Hold Me", "Movin Out" & "Primetime" along with 60 others & Both LP's can be purchased on Itunes. Their digital discography can be purchased on Beatport.com, Stompy.com, Digital Vinyl Recordings.com, Traxsource.com, Trackitdown.net, ClickGroove.com and most EDM legitimate download sites around the world. PCSynergy has performed all over the United States along side some of the most innovative electronic artists including Tiefschwarz,Bassnectar,Raoul Campos, Johnny Fiasco,Joey Youngman, Mark Farina, Troydon,Fred Everything,Dj Fluid, Heather & Collette, Bugz In The Attic, Peter Kruder, J Boogie,Chuck Love, JT Donaldson, Jake Childs, Marques Wyatt, Swag, Onionz, Mark Rae,Samantha James, Cobblestone Jazz,Nickodemus,Hipp-e,Metro Area,Olivier Desmet, Sneak, Q Burns Abstract Message, Nigel Richards, Hesohi, Corey Black, Cool Rog Rox. Noel Sanger, Stryke, Monty Luke, Lawnchair Generals, East Coast Boogiemen, Daddy J, Deep House Souldiers, Romano Arcaini, Marc George, Chris Lum, Kaskade and Sunshine Jones.

(C)atharsis, also known as Scott Petersen, has been spinning records for the past sixteen years. His musical inspirations are rooted in strong spirituality and the creative influence of his father, a professional jazz musician and educator. "I grew up with jazz, music students and concerts around me all the time," said Catharsis. "A high caliber of talent and passion for music is what led me to the journey I am on now." Catharsis sees electronic music as eclectic and inclusive where artists can take any influence or feeling and create with it. He uses a sequencing program with, he says, the same improvisational spirit his father uses playing guitar. "My father is a traditionally talented musician. I am just a creative mind using technology and organized sounds." When searching for records, Catharsis concentrates on labels, artists, track structure, and an overall feeling of the tune. A jazz influence and a deeper direction attract him to music, his goal being to share music and educate a crowd. Catharsis explains that sometimes that means bringing the crowd up, but also, just as importantly, expressing an affable sounds cape. Kevin Yost, Fred Everything, LTJ Bukem, Fragment Orchestra, Dzihan & Kamien, Timewriter, Bugge Wesseltoft ,Fila Brazilla, Tom Middleton and Jazzanova are a few of the many contemporary influences respected by Catharsis. The jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Bill Laswell, Oscar Peterson, Coltrane, Sun Ra and father Jack Petersen are his musical foundation. "Straight ahead jazz and all its dialects are freedom. Music is freedom. I live one day at a time. I hope to live a happy life with music being an integral part of it." Catharsis' Creed: Do not exist on self-will, love like you've never been hurt. Live slowly and perceive positively. The permanent things in life take time to develop. If we want our relationships, our skills, our accomplishments to resist the storms we all encounter, we must allow time for them to grow and deepen within us and marvel, in the meantime, at how much we can learn from the world around us. Catharsis is currently involved in several different projects. He is one half of PCSynergy, with gifted engineer Phil Green providing the production force and extreme talent. He is the marketing director for Jax Traxx; LLC and assistant artist engineer. Catharsis is Jacksonville Urban Core’s most sought after deejay performing at all the major A List events in the city. He is the resident music director for MOCA Jacksonville and is always where “IT”‘s @..... www.jaxtraxx.com www.djcatharsis.com www.soulsupportrecordings.com www.omrecords.com www.myspace.com/pcsynergy

You can catch C at Marks tonight.

Women Rule

Hello Friends. I wanted to let you know that JCCI Forward is hosting a super exciting, one-evening forum entitled Women in Leadership: Political Balance? One of the reasons for exploring this topic was the decline in the number of women on the Jacksonville City Council – from ten women in 2003, to three women in 2008. During the forum you will have a chance to discuss whether (or not) this is the new status quo. [Thursday. May 1, 5:30 – 7 pm. JCCI] Facilitator: Elexia Coleman-Moss.

PS - Feel free to pass this email to other friends who might be interested in attending the forum. If you are ready to rsvp, please send an email to lashun(at)jcci.org or michelle(at)jcci.org. If you want more information about JCCI go to www.jcci.org.

See you on Thursday!


thanks Mickee! Only about 15% of the council are women. Thats whack! Big cheer for JCCI at looking at this and discussing. Get involved!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Jason Wright & Marty Moore. The show is over

Find more videos like this on JaxCAL SPACE

Video from JaxCal. Our artist's space on the interwebs.

Art Walk May 7th is the last show for Martin Moore and Jason Wright. I will update again but in advance know that Marty has slashed prices and things are selling off the wall. Art walk, er, run in and get it. More on this later.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

All this can be yours...

I made a blog with a cool house for sale. It would look great on you. Come see it this weekend.

Blogroll, Life gets in the way, and buy this HOUSE! (not in that order)

Will someone please buy this freaking house?

Buy this house:

Right next to one of the best urban live work districts in the city! For CHEAP!

Nestled into the Park and King district in the village of Riverdale (my name, I think the R/A border is Willowbranch but some say king St. So I call between king and willowbranch Riverdale. You can't really stop me) is a home that the builder wants to sell. And wants to sell it now. Its stunning. Its never been lived in. Its decked out on the inside and has large porch and balcony. From which to watch a changing and improving neighborhood and rapidly growing entertainment and business district. Its got a chefs kitchen, but you don't need it because Kickbacks is open 20 hours a day (how New Orleans!). I had the vegetarian omlette and it was great. Fresh spinach. And 1 thousand beers on tap. But you can walk it in like one minute from this beauty. Also walkable to barbq(2), sushi, coffee, a bunch of other great restaurants and bars, drugstores(2), large medical center with ER, bike shops(2), and more. And I swear, SRG is giving it away at $299.000. How do I know? Because I'm trying to sell mine! In Riverdale! It is also a craftsman replica (new house that looks old). More on that later.

I can see them both selling this weekend. Seriously make plans. If you don't have a mortgage broker just call Toby over at Silverstone and get your offer in to Exit. Toby even has 100% financing deals right now.

My house will be next to a house on the RAP tour this weekend. Not saying which one! You must be present to win. If you haven't slowed down to enjoy Riverside and Avondale lately you should. It is fun and beautiful. Historic and tolerant. Busy and laid back. Super.

Life Gets in the Way:

Blogging is tough now a days with a job and all. I will update all my friends out there soon on what in the world I am up to. I am trying to get some things cleared up in advance so I can make a really big splash with it. There have also been some great submissions and I will try to post everything I can as fast as I can. Please don't get discouraged if I am slowski. And check back often as I need my traffic to stay steady for when google comes in and blogsolidates. At least I'm not ricotta park or anything. Pouring forty on ground.

And all projects are still going well. The grocery will still be open before the courthouse and the project on Main, maybe even before that. Certainly before the Publix on San Marco sq. Slackers! :) Probably some other big announcements coming. We did re-sign with the jags so el gato grande lives. We are even going to bring the hotness to you in custom Burro Bags. Stay seated. Your burrito will be right with you. MMmmmm! Bet Matt Jones wouldn't drop that!


Festival Cyclovia

Urban Nesting

Bike Bike Revolution

Some Democrats HAVE JOBS! Meet both of them at Tastings tonight! My joking might take the professional out of the DPC. But its only to remind us that we are mearly the tiny powerless majority around here. So lets lighten up. Or something. Sorry its late. In all seriousness. This is a solid group of cool people. I plan to drink the wine straight out of the vending machine and tell all the Hillary people she can't win. If thats not incentive enough for you to go, check your pulse.

GOOD STUFF IS ALWAYS GOING ON! Don't wait for me to post it. Check Experience Jax every day. Its like your downtown fun button.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lots of people's lives are changing tomorrow.

tip to JC

Someone might wake up and be thinking, holy cow, I may be President in January.

Locally we've got the courthouse on the, ahem, docket. I believe this will be a catalyst project that no one could have predicted. Just a hunch.

There are some dogs and cats with new perspective tomorrow as well. Discuss it at Mark's tonight. One screen dedicated to election results on CNN.

Celebrate Earth Day!

This looks awesome! Be the first on the block with an aluminum water bottle. Cheers to a great event!

Native Sun’s First Annual Earth Day Event
Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mandarin Location ONLY
10000 San Jose Boulevard, Just North of I-295

Join us as we celebrate Earth Day the Native Sun Way!

- Free Giveaways
- Delicious Organic Cookout
- Free Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry’s
- Tips on How to Go Green
- Kids Activities

The first 500 customers will receive a FREE reusable grocery bag as part of Native Sun’s new Treecycle Initiative! This is just one of the MANY green programs we will be launching that day to help introduce our new community outreach program - GreenApples!

Native Sun Gift Certificates
Aluminum Water Bottles from SIGG
Soap Basket from Grandpa Soap Inc.
Organic Baby Clothes from Sama Baby
Two Bicycles from the Trek Store of Jacksonville
One Gallon Fire Bush from Native & Uncommon Plants
Reverse Osmosis Water Filtration System from Affordable Water - A $ 549 Value!

Fresh Salad from our Organic Salad Bar
Certified Organic Veggie Platter with Dips
7 Layer Mexican Dip with Chips
Mini Bean Burrito Roll Ups
Mediterranean Pasta Salad
Native Sun's Coleslaw

Tex-Mex Bean Salad
Fresh Fruit Salad

Baked Beans
Turkey Burgers
Veggie Burgers
Assorted Drinks

Don’t miss Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop! The earth-friendly ice cream makers will be on hand to pass out all-natural concoctions made with wholesome, natural ingredients from happy healthy cows!

Visit www.benjerry.com to learn more about the company’s support of small-scale family farms, waste reduction & recycling, sustainable agriculture, and native energy programs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Squeemish? Turn speakers down.

I asked Lance to play ball with us for years. Then he plays and is stomped on by a team we are playing in a league match. Two breaks, neither clean. The ref is clearly standing right there. In fact this happened between the ref and his assistant. Because the camera is on the other side of the field you cannot see that the opposing player doesn't come close to the ball. You see the flag go up immediately. Touching the ball is a requirement of a hard tackle. While you can't see that the ball wasn't close, you can hear the outcome well enough. The fouler got a yellow card and was allowed to continue play. The foulee will likely not play again.

I'm posting so you can say a little prayer for Lance's recovery. And a message.

If you play in any adult soccer league, please remember we all want to chase our grandkids around someday. So that they grow up and do this.

Hopefully not while their friends are being ambulanced to the hospital. We don't want beef. Just fair play. If you'd like to wish Lance well, send a message to lance {at)lanceandtina.com.

thanks for supporting the Cyclones FC. A drinking team with a soccer problem. God bless.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Join us in celebrating Earth Day, this Saturday April 19, from 10am to 4pm at the Jacksonville Landing.

We will have information about our exciting new development, Green on Green, featuring environmentally-friendly building methods and landscaping—all affordably priced, in the heart of historic Riverside! If you’re looking for a first home you simply won’t find a better one than these green gems.

We will also be accepting a grant from the Environmental Protection Board.

We hope to see you there.

Please let us know if you would like more information on Green Street or any of our other lovely homes.

RADO – Riverside Avondale Development Organization



Thursday, April 17, 2008


Hey everyone! Just wanted to invite you out to a few upcoming Sparks related events. Please email or call if you have questions, and feel free to forward to a friend.

4/19--Pete's 75th Anniversary Party, 3pm
4/20--420 Kickball Tournament (Burrito Gallery vs. Marks/Dive Bar), 2pm in Riverside (come cheer for your favorite bar!)
4/20--Roller Girls Schoolyard Scrimmage Tailgating, 6pm, Mandarin Skate Station
4/26--Goth Zombie Prom at Eclipse, 10pm til ?
4/28--Air Guitar Contest, Shanty Town, 11pm
5/1--Hip Hop Hell, TSI (B-boys and bands)
5/2,3,4--Bury Your Bike (Bike relays, tall bike polo and jousting, ramp jumps, etc), Royal Treatment Records in Springfield
5/3--Factory's Movie Memorabilia Give Away, Eclipse, 9am-6pm
5/7--Art Walk 331 After Party with the Roller Girls, Cafe 331, 9pm (live music, art, 50's style inspired clothing)

In addition, I hope to see you at the Film Fest. Hip Hop for the Masses is going to be a great event. The Florida Theatre is closing the street down after the film, and the event will feature dancers and graffiti artists (www.insidethecircle.com). My friends Brazlian Martial Arts group will also be performing at the Landing in conjunction with a Brazilian film (details available upon request or through the Film Festival). Other upcoming events include Band Camp, Pudding Wrestling and yes, even TPC!

See you out!


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Head home. Take a nap. Race to Mark's for $1 pbr. $2 drafts. $2 wells. $3 jager (bg house noir).

Go ahead and call your boss with the flu or something too. Can never make that call too early. Because Brian V and Cathartic are rocking it until 2. AM!

Oh yeah and if you can't nap check out how Colony may have won an election for the next States Attorney office and rid the city of corruption all in one post.

The Black Angels - Bloodhounds On My Trail
Found at skreemr.com

There on your tail!

Monday, April 14, 2008


from boingboing
more photos here

I thought this was topical on two or three different levels here in beautiful downtown Jacksonville.

Submitted from Springfield.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Update Marks

The Mountain Goats - This Year
Found at skreemr.com

from the Isreal office

Strap in. It's going to be another long one.

It's interesting. People ask me 'How's your life in Israel?' and my response is always 'routine.' Then I sit down to write these updates, and I look at the list of all the things I've compiled, and I think it looks really exciting. I suppose because I'm living it slowly, day-to-day, it seems like nothing happens.

The most recent news is that my sister, Jen, arrived. She's been staying with me for 2 weeks now, and will stay for awhile. It's been nice having her around. I get to play tour guide, and surprise myself to how well I know the city. It's nice looking at a place you live with fresh eyes. Even after 7 months of working, studying, and living, my eyes have normalized the situation here in Israel, and having Jen here makes me see newness in the city.

After sending out the last update, I spent a weekend in Jerusalem. I've been feeling the need to travel, and that weekend, I put a bag on my back and lived like a tourist. With a map in hand, a few couches to crash on, and a backpack on my back, I was determined to get the feel of the city.
I walked through the old city of Jerusalem. Within the walls of the old city are four quarters. Jews, Muslims, Christian and Armenians have all taken an area within the city. I sat with friends in the Muslim quarter and ate Hummus and Arabic desserts. Again, I will comment about the food in Israel. I'm not sure if I've tasted fresher produce, more delicious hummus and more sugar-filled desserts in my life.
The old city is an elaborate maze laid out by some arcane trickster. It's easy to lose yourself within the walls of the city. Markets seem to extend into infinity. There are thousands of small alleys to go down, steps that ascend onto rooftops, and steps that descend into....not sure....I'm afraid. At points within the city, you can find your way over roofs and passage ways. Friends brought me to the Holy Sepulchre. This is where Jesus was supposedly hung on the cross. They even have the stone where the crucifix was laid. The atmosphere reminded me of a very dark and austere Disney World....with one ride. The nice thing about being with locals is you get let in on cool secrets. A friend's roommate brought us through the twisted maze of the Holy Sepulchre complex (numerous churches have been built on the site over the past two thousand years, so there are catacombs and tombs and chapels built over chapels). Cutting through different chapels of different denominations from all over the world brought us to the roof, and after cutting through the Coptic chapel, we were led down steps into an underground cistern (pool of water). It is hard to understand how in this ancient city, there could be an underground water supply. How many other underground secrets does that city contain? Thousands of years of building on top of one another, one can only imagine the architectural complexities.

The new city is laid around the old city. On one side is the mount of Olives, and different neighborhoods populate the surrounding areas. The German Colony, The American Colony, the ghost towns (where rich Europeans have bought houses, but continue to live in Europe), the ultra orthodox neighborhoods, the Christian communities with churches. I saw the Ethiopian church and walked around in the ultra orthodox neighborhoods. I've heard stories of women being hit with stones because they were dressed inappropriately. I happened to be walking through these neighborhoods as the sun set to begin Shabbat. I was the only non-ultra-orthodox for blocks, and I definitely felt out of place. The men were rushing off to temple, and the children stared over balconies and through gates to get a glimpse of the stranger walking through their neighborhood.

The friendships I'm making in Israel are incredible. I've started organizing different dinners and lunches, and it's nice looking around seeing Israelis, Ethiopians, French, Spanish, German, Irish, Japanese, Americans, Brazilians, Canadians, Columbians, Brits, Russians and others mixing. I had a pot-luck Shabbat luncheon a couple weeks ago, and recently organized a dinner to a restaurant where they begin the meal by filling the table with 30-40 side dishes of different types of salad, olives, hummus, and pita.

Friends doing nice things for you really goes a long way to make you feel appreciated. A friend of mine, Noa, invited me for Shabbat dinner with her family. Family is a big deal in Israel. Holidays, Shabbat and parties are all reasons families get together. Noa has been a great friend to me.

She rented a car and drove us north just to get us out of the city. We went to a botanical garden on a property once owned by Edmond de Rothchild. Rothchild was one of the financial backbones of the Zionist movement, buying huge tracts of land in Palestine and setting up research for the area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmond_James_de_Rothschild
He was also responsible for setting up Israel's wine business at Zichron Ya'akov. This was one of the first Jewish settlements founded in Palestine, and is now an artsy, boutique town known for its wine and art street fairs. Noa took me through this town, and we stopped at her friend's house to walk around the tree-filled city. Apparently, there is a colony of Germans who moved to Israel because they believe that by moving there, the messiah will come back. They live behind fences, produce their own food, have a communal way of living, and interact as little as possible with the people living in Zichron, even though their land is in the middle of the town. This is one of the beautiful things about Israel. There are fanatic people of all kinds here, and the claim isn't held by any one group of people. Jews, Christians, Muslims and other religious factions all have a stake in Israel, and they're all about not sharing with the other.

The richness of diversity never fails to impress. I recently found out about a group of black Americans who came over to Israel 20-30 years ago. They've been referred to as 'Black Hebrews,' but now they prefer the name 'Hebrew Israelites' (I was told that they were being labeled racists). They claim to be the original Israelite people, driven from this land into Africa, and eventually heading west to be captured as slaves and brought to America. They returned to Israel, founded a community, and adhere to a religious lifestyle set out in the bible. They follow a vegan diet, and have a center for natural childbirth. There is a restaurant in Tel Aviv that they own and run. When I went into the restaurant, I assumed they were Ethiopian, and when I asked if the women spoke English, she answered me in an American accent. She had been born in Israel, but grew up in an American community.

More small world stories. I have been buying Natto, Japanese, fermented soy beans, from an Israeli man who makes it. While on the phone, I told him I was at the vegan restaurant. He knew the manager of the restaurant, and I was able to relay a message.

The small-world stories continue to pour in. A girl I work with happens to be a friend of a friend. I found this out because we just celebrated Earth Hour in Tel Aviv. In the middle of the city is a square called Rabin square. This is where Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. They hold all the rallies, protests, public concerts and large gatherings. It's an open square directly in front of a run-down building that functions as city hall. During Earth Hour (where they shut off or reduced electricity in the city for an hour) had a live concert powered by bicycles. My friend brought his friend to the concert, and it turned out that we worked together.

Speaking of school, my new school is great. I teach the advanced students. Every class I take out a small group, and we work on everything from fun texts I bring in to elements of grammar. Most of the students have lived in the states, and my job is to make sure they don't lose their English abilities. Most of the classes they're in are just too slow for them. With my higher level students, I have been taking in passages from books I'm reading, and finding ways of teaching new vocabulary and structure through these.

What I do find interesting at the school is sitting in the teacher's room during breaks. The cacophonous chorus of teacher chatter is deafening. A room full of women speaking wildly with their hands, trying to pull in as many listeners as possible, and each and every one of them clawing for air space. Everyone wants to be heard. It truly is an opus of amazing magnitude.

Apart from teaching and attempting to get my massage business from my house off the ground, I've been helping a friend out at her Ethiopian restaurant. I have no prior experience waiting tables, but somehow I have landed myself a position working part-time at an Ethiopian restaurant with barely enough Hebrew to properly introduce myself. Thankfully most people in Israel speak English, and there is always someone who can translate at the table. It started from her one-year anniversary party. I showed up alone, and she needed help. I just started doing what needed to be done, and by the end of the night, she asked if I could come in and help her out a couple nights a week. I agreed to come in on nights when she really needed me. I've been learning a lot about Ethiopian food, Ethiopians in Israel, and Ethiopian culture. The food is addictive. Spicy, flavorful and simple. Ethiopians eat a vinegary-tasting flat bread (Injira) as a means of scooping their food, and so, traditionally, there are no forks and spoons. At the restaurant, of course, we put out silverware. It's not a regular job I need to show up for, but when she needs me, I work.

I felt the earth move under my feet. I came home to my apartment. Opened the door, placed the groceries on the table, and dialed a friend on the phone. As I was speaking, the walls of my apartment shook violently. I was so scared that I actually left the apartment, shaken, confused and not quite sure what had happened. I know my building is old, but why would the walls move? I didn't think about it until later that night when someone had asked me if I had felt the earthquake? My immediate reply was, 'What earthquake?' But then my mind put the proverbial 2+2 together. I had never felt an earthquake before. If it isn't terrorists and war, it's earthquakes. Just adding to the serious complexity of this country.

And amid all that confusion of political, geographic and cultural happenings, in Tel Aviv life thrives with culture, art and music. People enjoy life to the fullest here. The amount of international music that comes to Israel is incredible. The port is a converted port area into upscale shopping, restaurants and nightclubs. Thousands of people went came to a hangar converted to a music venue. It was a group of Israelis who live in New York City called Balkan Beat Box. 2 hours of non-stop dancing. They infuse middle-eastern melodies with really funky bass lines and beats. This past week I saw the John Zorn festival. He's an avant-garde jazz/experimental composer from New York, as well. He brought a small army of musicians from the states. The most famous is Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, ...). It was a 5-day festival. Jen and I saw them on 2 nights. One night was at the cinematheque where they performed improvised music in front of old film, and the other performance was at the symphony hall. A friend of mine is a professional dancer with an internationally-famous dance company from Tel Aviv called Bat Sheva. She got me tickets to see the new performance of the company. They travel all over the world. Right now they're in Germany. They were in New York last month, and the month before in Japan. I took Jen to see some improvisational theater in Tel Aviv. It was in Hebrew, but we were still able to understand quite a bit. A guy I work with at the school studied in Chicago for many years. He's invited me to come practice with them. Possibilities.....A German friend of mine just left Israel, and before he left we went to the Tel AViv Museum of Modern Art. The gallery, and most of its pieces, are from mainly donors in the U.S. It's interesting to see how much America has influenced and affected the growth of Israel. The museum is massive, and one of the nicer art museums I've ever experienced.

All this culture is happening amid situations in Gaza, Lebanon, West Bank, Syria, Iran, earthquakes, cultural inequality, immigration issues, language issues, teaching problems, required army service, etc. Living in Tel Aviv it's very easy to lose your sense of the world. I have been getting a free subscription to the newspaper for the past few weeks. It's a terrible way to start the morning. Reading about the political and military situation around the country is taxing on the nerves. I can't imagine growing up in a place where everyday the news is about so much immediate struggle. In America, we grew up with it being so far away. It really reminds me of the book Fahrenheit 451. In the book, there's always mention of a war, but no one really follows what's happening. Everyone is caught up in the entertainment and video screens. Nobody realizes how close the war is to them until, at the end of the book, the city is destroyed. In America, when we read of the strife happening all over the world, it is so easy for people to not see to connectivity between that situation and their own life. In Israel, it's pretty apparent for everyone....yet, everyone knows how to let go and have a good time.

Walking through the park two weeks ago, I saw about a hundred mattresses sitting in one area. Israel has taken in some of the Darfur refugees. They were happy, smiling, playing cards, children running around the park. It's obvious that this life of living on mattresses in a park is a million times better than where they came from. The realities of life are constantly looking you in the eye sometimes.

When Jen was on her trip, I got to go with them into the Independence Museum. It happens to be around the corner from my house, a tree-lined boulevard in southern tel Aviv. The museum is the converted house of Tel Aviv's frist mayor, Meir Dizengoff. The house is where the country was secretly announced. They sent out 350 invitations the night before to Israel's elite. Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of the country, announced the founding of the nation. That night, Egypt bombed Tel Aviv, and the next day 6 Arab armies invaded Israel. It's a miracle that Israel was able to defend itself, and only lost 10% of its new citizens. Many of whom had come from Europe after WWII. I imagine what life must have been like, 'Welcome to Israel, here's your gun, now go fight.' The museum gave the Jewish truth. It's interesting talking about the situation here because depending on who you speak with, there is a different truth that is spoken about. A friend of mine in Haifa is an Arab Israel (Palestinian depending on who you're speaking to). To hear her story of Israel is a slightly different one from Jewish Israelis. I try to imagine myself being able to hear Americans talk of the founding and development of the country, and hearing the side of the Native Americans. I think this is the closest thing I can imagine to bring this home to my understanding.

Switching gears a bit....but maybe some of my friends in other countries can help me out with a question. In Israel, there are mannequins with pointy nipples displaying the clothes. Not every single shop, but many of the shops do have grotesquely pointed nipples underneath shirts and blouses. I can't recall every seeing mannequins with such overt nipple showage. If anyone knows of similar mannequin displays, I'd be curious to know. And if anyone can offer an answer to the even larger question of WHY?!!!?? I would be incredibly happy to know.

I did my first handy man work ever recently. I installed a spray hose into my bathroom. It's not such a big deal, but anyone that knows me well enough, knows that me and anything mechanical in nature don't really go together. I am excited I have a spray nozzle in my shitter now.

School is going well. It seems like I have less work this semester, but that just means I'll have tons to work on towards the end of the semester. I have two classes this semester that keep me engaged: Language Policy and Second Language Acquisition. In language policy we discuss everything from national language policies to historical implications to languages people choose to display ion their homes/businesses to what language implies and how language is used as a tool. Second language acquisition deals with the basics of language. We've started with sounds, moved into units of meaning, and now we're into syntax. I'm intimately more aware of language around me. Text messages, emails, billboards, signs at restaurants, conversations I have all take on new meanings. Having so many different friends from all over the world makes language even more fun.

One night after Hebrew school, a Japanese friend, Takanori, and I were riding our bikes to have dinner. We didn't know where we were eating. Riding with Takanori made me think of rice, sushi, and noodles. I thought of some nice Asian restaurants we could go to. While riding, I yelled to Takanori what he was thinking about for dinner. He turned around on his bike, and with a big smile on his face yelled, 'I know a great hamburger place.' The irony wasn't lost on me for a second. The American dreaming of Japanese food, and the Japanese craving a burger and fries. We ate at the burger joint.

Some interesting facts I've learned recently: Dolphins can get visual pictures of things through using sonar. The really interesting fact is that they can send these images to other dolphin friends. It's like seeing a movie, and instead of telling your friends, you just telepathically send them the movie. And another on is that the word hallelujah means 'Praise God' in Hebrew.

I don't feel like I have fully expressed the small world happenings in Israel enough. I was visiting a friend in Jerusalem. her roommates happened to have grown up down the road from the first person I couchsurfed with when I came to Israel. My friend I met while in China showed up randomly to a poker game I was playing at. She knew another person who I play poker with. A girl I met at a tribal dance party an hour north of Tel Aviv went to high school with a girl I met playing basketball.

The most bizarre and incredible small world story deserves a bit o' explication. At my school, I teach two students who returned from living in Japan for a number of years. The boy was born in Israel. He is in 6th grade now. His sister is in the first grade. She was born in Japan. They're incredibly brilliant children, and some of my favorite students. They speak Hebrew, English and Japanese. One day after school I was on MSN messenger talking with a Korean friend who lives in Tokyo. You can see where this is heading. I began telling her about these two Israeli students I teach. They used to live in Tokyo. My friend says she knows them. She sends her daughter to an international school in Tokyo that they used to attend. I understand the small world thing within Israel, but those two sets of people are worlds apart.

Recently, I stayed up a ll night. The night started out simple enough. I worked at the Ethiopian restaurant, and then met friends of mine for some drinks. An international table. A girl from Japan, a guy from Argentina, and another girl from Spain. We wound up meeting with a Russian friend of mine for some Indian chai. I wound up staying up all night. There is a club near me that plays music until at least noon the next day. At 7:30 in the morning I went into the club to see what the hell goes on in there. I had to be a bit pushy for them to open the chain and let me in....at 7:30 in the morning, mind you. I walked into a a room of darkness. The music was loud and intense. I felt along the walls so I wouldn't trip, only to be grabbed onto the dance floor by a guy who owns a shop on my street. Looking around, my eyes adjusted, and it was obvious how wrecked these people were. These were the late-night party people on a rainbow of drugs. I left after 10 minutes. I spent the next 3 hours walking around the city. I found small side streets with churches I had never known about. I walked along the historic neighborhoods around me. I found a copy of The Count of Monte Cristo someone was throwing away. I spoke with a man collecting cans out of a garbage can. I tried to help him out with some money, but he refused, looked into the dumpster, and said that this was his job.

Israel is in constant motion. I can't think of too many countries that have had so much movement so quickly. I recently wrote a paper on the Russian immigration into the country during the 90s. More than 1 million Russians live in Israel. A bit less than 20% of the population of Israel is Russian. Before the 90s, there were very few Russians. The entire country is one of immigrants. With each new wave of immigrants, the landscape changed. Politically things shift. The media is a constant shifting circus. The housing situation is constantly shifting. I've been reading a book about the history of El Al airlines, and about the operations to rescue Yemen Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Iraqi Jews, and others. Pilots who couldn't speak the same language as their crew, flying into Arab countries with painted airplanes to hide the fact that they were Israeli planes, rescuing people who had never imagined what an airplane was, telling them that they are being rescued and brought to a nation for them, Jews. The scene is surreal. Knowing what Israel looks like now, and reading about its origins really makes the current situation much more dynamic.

Recently, we celebrated Purim in Israel. Purim has been put like 'Israel's Halloween.' While that is a bit superficial in explanation, it does accurately describe the street festivities. Nearly everyone is in costume. While Halloween is more of a children's holiday, Purim is one for the adults too. I wound up shaving my head, leaving a long patch of hair on top. I found a green, Chinese, silk robe to wear. We drank on the streets and then found our way to a street party with thousands of people dancing to a DJ set up on the street. People were dancing on cars, in trees, on rooftops. The celebrations lasted for 3 days.

So much written, so many experiences. When people ask me about my life I only see the monotony of routine, but writing this update shows me that I do have fun, I do experience, and I am learning. A few weeks ago, I uploaded pictures from November through January. www.flickr.com/photos/thepassingstrange

Hope all is well......

Lots of love,

Interesting Things to Fill Your Beautiful Skull

I feel bad, because I try to treat people as people, but it's just easier to objectify them instead when they're sodding idiots.
-Edward D

Thursday, April 10, 2008

ROAD TRIP. What say ye?

I've heard Jay McGovern speak three times recently. He is no Obama, speechwise. But he is a true Floridian with a military and green business background. He is a throwback to when politicians were made of experience, not just political experience. More on him later. I took notes!

So, North Carolina is the closest. Please report back.


Can you tell the difference between the two fliers. If you can name them all I will give you a free music gift at the next jam. Email.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Six days away.

I am so excited about the jazz fest this weekend. It crept up this year. Film Festival will too I bet.

Eventually I will post some good stuff but it will probably come all at once.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Are the ladies in the house? The ladies the ladies.

Meet the Neighbors

Just a reminder: we meet tonight, at 6:30pm, at 881 Stockton Street.

See you there!

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RADO – Riverside Avondale Development Organization



Friday, April 04, 2008

Jacksonville is a bike city!

The urban core neighborhoods certainly are anyway.

Most people who read this blog already know this. ColonyJax (the walk nut that keeps painting k's on the walnut street signs) had a great post on the subject. I still think he should get a bike. I think his post was inspired by Bike Jax which I need to get in the links.

With the campaign above ,if you were to get the media players involved as sponsors, it would cost not a lot and probably save some Duvalians.

Look people.

Thursday, April 03, 2008



artand music

2746Park Street

OpensFriday, April 4th: 6-9pm

AliIsabelle and Shannon Estlund

Newpaintings on display

It'sStarting Here:

OurFirst Open Studio



Good morning. I was there last night for the circuits show and wanted to let you know that it is the best show I have ever seen at Art Walk.

I want to know the hours that this show will be open before it leaves town so I can come back and bring a few friends who missed it last night.

Great question! The show reception will be open tonight only for attendees of the recharge08 event. See event site for details. I know there are discounts for members of AIGA and students.

Tomorrow the show will be open from 12pm to 2pm. And Saturday from 12pm to 2pm and then from 5pm to 8pm. Doug, the curator will be there. You should meet Doug. His work is internationally known and this show was built just for us in Downtown Jacksonville.

People can't stop talking about it. But remember, with all things downtown, you must be present to win.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Where we do it.

from jaxcal

Seeing the sausage made gets a bad rap. Happy Art Walk. 52!

Art Walk! Ahhhhhhh

Art Walk is like a clean crisp light LARGE beer.

I am not even going to post about the amazing show upstairs at the bg tonight. Not going to do it. Joey has and will all day. There is of course a ton to do. But I suggest making at least a drop by 21 east Adams.

I am selling 16 ounce PBR, Sparks, and The Champagne of Beers.

The entire show is AMERICAN baby!

ps- If you are in the creative industry and you aren't attending recharge, you're probably a douche.

-reporting from downtown

Tuesday, April 01, 2008