Wednesday, February 29, 2012


which means hello in Swahili.

I am back safely in Nairobi after my 3 day safari. We saw all of the
"big five" buffalo, rhino, elephant, leopard and lion; the rhino was
spotted this am - none had been seen for 2 weeks. We also got a tour
of a Maasi village, incredible!! Got some great photos. Lots of good
stories - the chase for the leopard. the rhino charging the truck. the
two schoolboys who joined us on safari (they got good grades and this
was their reward).

Hopping on a bus out to Kisumu shortly for time on Lake Victoria!

Friday, February 24, 2012


Today I learned that Kenya is approximately the size of Texas.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Best Note:

"i forget that the fact that i think of you all the time does not automatically sync information between our brains"

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Half the Sky

Today, one of my books arrived for my trip: Half the Sky. I think it makes perfect sense that this is one of the books that I am bringing, certainly right up my alley. The best part? The book club that will be discussing the book when I return. Because, yes, I am that big of a DORK. I dig Senator Gillabrand's Off the Sidelines group. I am a fan at most things that gets folks involved and increases civic engagement. I even more love groups that target getting women more involved. I can't wait to read and then discuss this book!
Last night one of the best people I know gave me a little something to bring to Kenya. It's that sort of thoughtfulness that gets right to my stinking heart. I liked the little speech that went along with it best, the cutest. xoxo csp. I am not often impressed by people - I usually don't talk much about it. However, the people who do impress me, do it at precisely the right moment, or moments, but all in all - it's not easily done, it's always simple, but still not easily done.

When I was going to Haiti regularly a friend would often give me the latest tracks he'd been working on, some not yet released, many in some work-in-progress state. I was always humbled when he'd share these tracks with me. There was something magical being in the land of mango trees and endless starry skies listening to music created in what seemed like light years away. A lyric that always stuck: "there are many ways to leave an island without setting foot in water." Others shared words, one year a group of friends made me a book. Wholly blown away: simple, kind acts. Giving. It's beautiful to travel with all of that energy.

Friday, I'll travel with some wonderful and beautiful energy, that is for certain. I love that these people in my life know exactly just what to do, time and miles mean little.


Monday, February 20, 2012

We're back in the posting songs phase of the blog, which is just fine, because shortly we'll be in the "keeping in touch while on an adventure" part of the blog. You may recall this little road trip. To date, still one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 8600 miles, 17 days and memories to last a lifetime. The countdown to Kenya is on...five days until I leave (four not counting today).

Happy Birthday Kurt

A cover of a great, great song. A classic American Folk Song, popularized by Lead Belly and then by Nirvana.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Conor

The first Bright Eyes song I ever heard:

"and i scream for the sunlight or a car to take me anywhere"

many years later, I'm not quite sure my favorite Bright Eyes or Conor Oberst song, the reality is there's a bunch.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

the best horoscope for the day

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): WD-40 is a spray product that prevents
corrosion, loosens stuck hinges, removes hard-to-get-at dirt, and has
several other uses. Its inventor, Norm Larsen, tried 39 different formulas
before finding the precisely right combination of ingredients on his
fortieth attempt. The way I understand your life right now, Sagittarius, is
that you are like Larsen when he was working with version number 37.
You're getting closer to creating a viable method for achieving your next
success. That's why I urge you to be patient and determined as you
continue to tinker and experiment. Don't keep trying the same formula
that didn't quite work before. Open your mind to the possibility that you
have not yet discovered at least one of the integral components.

My Valentine's Day Songs

Yesterday the Huffington Post released Facebook Breakup Songs: Data Team Reveals Top Spotify Songs For Breakups, New Relationships, I have to admit it is the shittiest list ever! I want to see the crosstabs. I want to know the demographic make up of this sample - though based on what they looked at, I can take a guess. BUT REALLY?!?! Have you no sense of what good music is when starting a relationship or for that matter the end of one?!!?! This list blows. Here are some songs that quickly come to mind when head over heels...or heels over head, depending on the starting or ending a relationship.

amazing cover! I'm pretty much in love with about all of Florence and the Machine's songs. Put to just cut and paste her album means you should just buy it instead. A FATM concert still remains one of my absolute favorites!

This song will forever bring me smiles.

just makes me smile, dunno why.


now here's a break up song. this reminds me of chilly days in Pittsburgh

another kick ya in the guts song.

I've got way more songs to add to this list, but I've got some things to get done...also, a note: impossible that not a single Elliot Smith song is on the break up list...what?!?!

In the end, just google this, or this; makes me smile. I mean seriously I was laughing hysterical :-/

Also, in reviewing this list, it is weak, because the truth is I got distracted, but I'm going to come back to this...just you wait.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I loved her, who didn't. That voice.

I've got plenty of songs that I could post in memory of her passing but I chose this one. It's not one of her most popular songs I'm sure, but the truth of the matter is that this song will forever make me smile. Somewhere driving on a back road in Virginia.

‎...draw from your past, don’t let your
past draw from you...

Saturday, February 11, 2012

scurrying up walls

Last night I went climbing at Brooklyn Boulders, it's been sometime - in fact the photo above is from the last time I went climbing, back in Aug. It's sad that it's been that long, mostly for my arms which are quite sore today :-) It's too bad I didn't get any photos from last night, I killed it on some nice climbs!

I spent a good deal of time bouldering until my belay partner arrived. Which was great and gave me some time to really work on my technique. And I even tried my hand at Slacklining, which is my new favorite thing!!! All in all a great work out on a Friday night. Can't wait to do it again.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Getting involved with this campaign was one of the best decisions of my life!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Hard Drive Crashes Stink

Because I still have to get all the music I lost in my hard-drive crash, I found this oldie here for my Buck65 fix. This was such a great show, I missed him the last time he was in town - sadness.

Favorite lyrics from this ditty:

"i was boxing with a ghost and drawing maps, while the bells were accidentally announcing their collapse"

"sailor vs. salesman and nothing bores a genius"

"break chains; make change"

...this is also what we call procrastination :-)



Dinner is served

Homemade Vegetarian Pho, Mmm.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Willem deKooning in January

How could I forget to add the deKooning Retrospective in my list of why January was great?!?! I suppose it works out becuase this really does require it's own entry. I mean at MoMA the installation got an entire floor, it's the least I could do. deKooning was of the Abstract expressionism style - a style that I love. Hard brush strokes, emotion in the dried paint - lots of dried paint. Jackson Pollock practiced this style as well. You know it, the splashes of paint, the huge canvasses, the ladders. I know a painter or two who would concur with deKooning's statement: "flesh was the reason oil paint was invented."

Untitled, 1977, I love this. The colors, the texture, the void.

deKooning was known for his Woman series that he created over a number of years and ultimately comprised a series of sketches and better known paintings. I spent a lot of time with these sketches and did he. They were adapted and changed over time and most aptly fit his "mantra" of painting: "I was never interested in how to make a good painting...but to see how far one could go." This painting is WomanII and probably my favorite of the series. Again, such depth and color. Emotion. I'm no art critic, I don't pretend to be one. I know what I like, much like when I paint. I've never taken a lesson, I've never much thought about what others think of my paintings. I just paint. I don't care how good it is or isn't. deKooning was reflective, at least in my opinion, he said "one nice thing about space is it keeps going." And it's true. It does. My take on matter what we do space just keeps going. It's one of those things we'll never control, no matter how hard we try, and lord knows people try.

One of deKooning's last paintings is one of my favorites, "The Rider, 1985." After spending hours on the journey of deKoonings work I came to this and it all came together. Here the emotion shifted. Clean lines, distinct color.
Another reason I love deKooning is him saying this: "The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves."

(The three paintings here are three favorites, but I have a list, and I got to see them all. It was a good day at MoMA.)