Friday, January 19th

Martin Dimino Has A pOsse

Music: Dave Brubeck
Mood: engaged and slightly whimsical
martinbrian1991_2 (239k image)
Portrait Of The Artists As Young Men, Circa 1991
Earlier this afternoon, I talked with one of my oldest friends, Martin Dimino. He told me how he is a reader of the Athenaverse and that he has finally gone digital himself and put up his own site, While the site is still under construction, it promises to be one of the best fucking sites on the Internet.

Martin, in addition to being a great friend and inspiration, is one of the great artists, both in terms of literary and artistic accomplishments, that I have ever met. He has also been a supporter of my various artistic endeavors through the years and even introduced me to the Sex Pistols, Ramones, and Lemonheads back around the time the above photo was taken.

Martin is also one of the reasons that the Athenaverse has been recently resuscitated and will bloom to life once more in the coming weeks. I suggest you check his site regularly in addition to the Athenaverse.

santo26 on 01.19.07 @ 05:31 PM PST [link] [3 Comments]

Unity08:Third Party of the Future?

from The Atlantic Monthly

In a move that has interested this dissatisfied voter who is willing to vote for third parties, a group called Unity08 has appeared on the political horizon. Unity08 is made of up of former GOP & Dem strategists who are sickened by the political process they helped to create and are attempting to harness the power of the internet for change. Their plan:get ballot access in all 50 states, and have their registered users not only draw up a political platform but hold their nomination online. The catch is the ticket has to be bipartisan.

This sounds like a pretty interesting idea to me. I not only appreciate how the process could provide away for the disenfranchised to have a say in politics, but that since the party is running no specific candidate, the candidate has to accept the nomination. Definitely a website worth watching, especially considering the next Presidential election is 28 months away.

X-posted on the Athenaeum.

santo26 on 01.19.07 @ 03:02 PM PST [link] [1 Comment]

Wednesday, January 17th

Athena The Triops 12/10/06-1/17/07

Music: Jello Biafra spoken word
Mood: sad
Athena The Triops passed away this morning in her peanut butter jar. She was 39 days old. Yesterday she started swimming funny, and when I came home last night from work, she was at the bottom of the tank, barely twitching her legs and antenna. This morning, I found her lying on her back at the bottom of the tank.

While it is pretty sad, I knew that this day was coming. Triops live at most 50-65 days under optimal conditions so Athena living 39 days in a peanut butter jar in the middle of winter is pretty darn good. For a few minutes, I was thinking what I could have done better to keep her alive but I changed her water regularly, fed her twice a day, kept a light on for warmth, and even gave her a button to play with.

Athena had a good life, and she gave me the gift of inspiration. During her brief life, I have really made some progress in writing the book by going back to the original inspiration of the triops. Thanks, Athena-I'll miss you.

After a brief mourning period, I plan on increasing my triops ranching by utilizing aquarium technology in the hopes of increasing their numbers and lifespan.

In other news, I had a flashback to the first Gulf War and remembered Jello Biafra putting out a 7" called Die For Oil Sucker. How eerily prescient.

santo26 on 01.17.07 @ 03:23 PM PST [link] [1 Comment]

Saturday, January 13th

Reflections On Athena the Triops' Birthday

Music: Old 97's
Mood: about to go to work
Last night during dinner, one of Miss E.'s friends asked me if I had a pet so I described what a triops is and how I hatched her and cool it is to watch Athena swim around and everything. This person, who has an elderly dog, said: "It's sad how you're going to watch her grow up and die in just a couple of months."

At first, that did sort of bum me out but then I realized that as long as I appreciate watching Athena swim around in her peanut butter jar right now, that is all that matters. All you have is right now and you got to make the most of it. So I am enjoying Athena, who now at a month old and about 1 1/2 inches is in the prime of her life and I believe that watching her has really been inspirational with my writing. It is really soothing somehow to watch her perform her crazy swimming stunts, lie on her back, shed her carapace and play with her toy button.

In that vein, I have been writing at a good clip and I am on chapter 2 of "The Last Alchemist/Athena" novel. I'll let you know when it is finished.

santo26 on 01.13.07 @ 08:22 PM PST [link] [No Comments]

Monday, January 8th

Indiana Jones and the Pursuit of the Ultimate Home Theater System

Music: Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder

Last night whilst talking with Miss E. about the subject of consumerism, I came up with the above title that whimsically encapsulates my thoughts on this subject. People are eschewing activities that might bring them in contact with others such as going to the movies or attending protests against or rallies for causes that they find important. Instead they are working more so they can come home and be alone with their home theater systems where they can further unplug from the world.

Is television to blame for this state of affairs? What about the news media? Why are there more "news outlets" reporting on Britney Spears' crotch than about President Bush, Jr. sneaking a provision into a postal reform act giving himself the power to open your mail without a warrant? I guess if it really bothers you, there's always the option of going online and complaining about it to people who already agree with you instead of doing something about it in the real world.

It seems like the people who make their livings selling things have a vested interest in distracting the general public with cool electronic gizmos and the related empty media content. How else can they lobby the government to change the laws to benefit those in power without causing a riot? People don't want to watch C-SPAN because it is "boring" but when they are upset by some action by the government or a corporation they feel powerless to change anything. Most news outlets are not giving you news, they are all simultaneously scaring you with some "talking points." If you don't feel informed, just scared, it can seem a little too much and you long for the comfort and serenity in your darkened living room with your junk food of choice and your favorite TV show, away from the police sirens and traffic and surveillance cameras outside. It's certainly more interesting than writing a letter to your representative. As long as you're in your house, in front of your TV or your computer, you have the illusion of control.

So how are things going to change?

santo26 on 01.08.07 @ 04:22 PM PST [link] [No Comments]

Friday, January 5th

Mood: celebrational
Happy Birthday, Dad!

santo26 on 01.05.07 @ 08:22 PM PST [link] [No Comments]

A New Year, A New Post

Music: Man...or Astroman?
Mood: drinking coffee
So here we are dear readers, the first post of the new year. 2007 marks the 7th year of the existence of the Athenaverse in some shape, manner, or form. I posted 35 times in 2006, which is the most in a year since this became a bloggish thing in the fall of 2004. I would like to make a bold New Year's Resolution here and say that I will post more than 35 times this year. I think that the Athenaverse could become a widely read blog if only I put some effort into it, what with its fascinating musings on the topics of today and general lack of spelling mistakkes. Feel free to submit comments of any sort and I will answer them personally.

One of the things I purchased for myself this holiday season was an Emerson Nostalgia Audio System which plays records, tapes, and CDs. It also has an AM/FM radio, stereo sound, and a handsome wood veneer, but I mainly got it so I could play my records again. I have always preferred records over other forms of recording media, and have quite a large collection of them languishing in storage back in Boston. I have, however, lugged two red plastic crates of records around the United States with me even though I had no record player. The red crates (which I bought at the Bradlees at the Watertown Mall oh so many years ago) were sent to me within a month of arriving in LA. One crate was personally selected by me and was originally going to come with me in the car as I drove across the US but was taken out at the last minute to make more room for her stuff. This crate represented my "desert island records" as it were; the cream of the crop from a lifetime of record hunting. The second was packed by either my father or my brother and represents an interesting cross-section of my collection.

Although these records have been waiting to be played, I hadn't really listened to them much. An ex-roommate of mine had a record player with mono sound, but it was in the living room and I didn't have much of a chance to use it. Then during the various moves I didn't even have access to one. Since I arrived in Seattle, they have been languishing in the back of my closet. A couple of weeks ago I saw them whilst fishing for something else in the closet and I realized that few things could cheer me up as much as getting a new record player so I began to keep my eye open for one. On a random trip to an Office Max I saw the aforementioned Nostalgia Audio system for sale-not the kind of place you would expect to see something like this, and the price was very reasonable-so I purchased it. Now when I sit here at my computer I don't listen to iTunes, I throw on a slowly rotating piece of petroleum product onto my Nostalgia Audio system instead. Each record has a story to tell, each pop and click an old friend that makes me feel something that my infinitely vast library of digitally encoded music never could.

I have also been working for over a month now at my new job, which is similar to another job that I have had before in that I am working with the public. I have a much better attitude towards the job than I had previously (and a much better location, staff and colleagues). I have also recently watched the documentary The Corporation and am currently reading the companion book of the same name. What we do at work involves creating an entertainment experience for the customer. The other day I wondered if this overemphasis on "the customer is always right" is creating a nation of people of infantilized consumers who think that deferential treatment is an enshrined right. Or I could just be helping people to have a good time. More on this later.

In other news, Athena the Triops will celebrate her one month birthday on Wednesday!

santo26 on 01.05.07 @ 05:33 PM PST [link] [1 Comment]

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