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Showing posts from 2006

Merry Christmas.

Friends and family,
I hope each of you have a wonderful Christmas and an amazing new year.
your friend,
stephen

A&B vinyl!!!

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Anchor & Braille is releasing a very limited pressing 7" vinyl including the songs 'Sound Asleep' & 'Wedding/Funeral', out on January 23, 2007. you can pre-order the vinyl right now on interpunk.com simply CLICK HERE.
thanks for listening,
-stephen
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'be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a foreign tongue. do not now seek the answers... live the questions."
-rilke
'i have found the enemy,
and he is us'
-anonymous

james chavez must die.

james chavez is a man i would like to kill, i know that sounds harsh, but its true. in the back of my moleskin journal i keep cut outs of different pictures, tickets, random pieces of anythings to remind me of somethings, and newspaper articles. as i pulled everything out of my journal there was a piece of worn newspaper; my heart sank knowing what was on the other side. when i was in reno i was reading through a paper and stumbled on section 3A of the reno gazette. the date was november 9, 2006 and the headline read "father convicted of sexually assaulting daughter." of course my blood began to boil and my fist's began to clinch even before i began to read.

i am not one for the death penalty, i am always so torn by the topic, but if there is one ominious crime that i 'feel' deserves the death penalty it is for anyone who hurts an innocent child, especially sexually. james chavez did more than just sexually abuse his child, he tore her childhood, innocence, and e…

response to "how can i help?" emails

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my friends.
i am coming to you in response to several of you emailing me and asking how you can support my trip to india, well i am not one for charity concerning myself but did indeed find a way for you to help. even though my trip is paid for we could always use help with building supplies and there are some others that really want to go on the trip that need to make ends meet just to go. i still have about 30 of the lithographs still available that i designed for our haiti trip. email me at modestyguild@gmail.com and i will give you more details how you can order the lithograph and help support our trip to calcutta, india. if you did not get a chance to read about the trip you can click here for more information.
thanks so much,
esteban

more tomorrows than yesterdays. for now.

this past week i had the chance to hang out with my family, we had a wonderful thanksgiving weekend and had the opportunity to spend a lot of time just reading and listening to the new album leaf record (a perfect compromise for parents opposed to anything to loud.) we went to an imax presentation of into the deep, a 45 minute documentary on creatures in the ocean, some that i had never seen or heard of before. it was beautifully filmed and danny elfman solidified himself as my favorite soundtrack writer.
afterwards we stumbled into a museum which turned out to be a children's museum, and after a couple of minutes the lot of us were completely jejune & done looking. on the second level hidden away was a doddering machine that had an anti smoking warning from a local police department.
as i sat down i realized that the machine projected what you were going to look like throughout the rest of your life, i was instantly intrigued. after i took the picture i waited the minute requ…

a brief social commentary #3 (mating rituals of homo sapiens)

i find it so intriguing the way us humans participate in the mating ritual. time and time again i would be watching national geographic channel or discovery and i would gasp to myself as to the correlation between the animal and the human "pull". i once saw a male bird build a nest for days and days, and after calling all the female birds in the area several female birds came and sat in the nest. if she felt comfortable, stable, and taken care of she would stay and if not she would leave.
have you ever driven in an area of town where the houses are run down and trash lines the streets and noticed that the cars that the home owners drive are mercedes, bmw's, and other such high priced cars? i always wondered if that was some sort of adaptation where they attract the female, much like the bird, by putting their best foot forward and giving the female the illusion of stability & comfort.

next time you are participating in a social event watch the "single" peopl…

my album of the year...

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the time travel/ an exploration of a distant mind.

i have had the amazing experience of getting into someone's mind. reading private thoughts and exploring a whole new world and time. my whole life i have always wanted to read someone's journal. secretly wishing someone would leave there's behind on a table or desk so that i could see there thoughts, psychoanalyze them as best i could; find out who they are, who they think they are, experience where they are going.
maybe the bottom line is that i just wanted to feel normal. think that maybe my worst fears are there's as well. and we are all connected on some level. it never happened. no one ever left their journal. and even if i did find one i don't know if i would have had enough guts to read it, because i know how violated i would feel knowing someone read one of mine.
it is apart of me. i would feel violated, hurt, as if my words held no more weight. which always brought me to the question, what should i do with all the journals in my life. should i burn them? sh…

nude descending a staircase

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this is a painting from a man by the name of marcel duchamp called nude descending a staircase. i dont know why i love this painting so much. maybe it is because when i was taking art history it was one of the first DADA movement pieces i had ever seen. we had just got over the jejune and boring era of realism and anything other than monet, renoir, or degas would have been welcomed. when this piece appeared on the screen i froze in my chair. it was nothing i could think up (as opposed to a girl tying a ballet slipper). it was genious, and the colors alone were enough to allure me for another glance. part cubism, part symbolic, all rebelious. that is why this is one of my favoite art pieces of all time.
duchamp only painted about 20 pieces in his whole life. he moved to new your city in 1910 (i believe) and after finishing the small number of works in his life devoted himself completely to chess. random. but true.
-esteban

(a little history)
'Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 - 2 October 1…

a brief social commentary #2 (observance of the second beginning)

if you watch a child and his or her behavior they usually have a routine, even though its spastic and not always in control the basics and primary needs are pretty much the same. for the youngest they need to be fed and constantly watched to keep them from harming themselves. when a child is in the room many people are watching him/her to make sure that they don't fall down or lash out at others.
if you watch an elderly person at the later state of his/her winter they usually have a routine, even though it is spastic and not always in control the basics and primary needs are pretty much the same. for the elderly they need to be fed and constantly watched to keep from harming themselves.
it seems we once again begin the cycle that we started with right before we die. i wonder if it was designed like that, the womb not yet life, death not ever alive again. i am not sure, but as i have said before it is not death that scares me it is getting so old that i no longer can care for myself…

anchor&braille update

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anchor&braille has a new merch store.
if you want to create a design for A&B i would love to see anything you come up with!
-stephen christian
modestyguild@gmail.com

a brief social commentary #1 (the looming)

while walking through a city the other night my mind stumbled to the
buildings looming high above me, so very out of reach. i marveled at
the architecture and thought how amazed someone from centuries ago
would have been at our modern achievments and may have thought they
stumbled onto heaven if only by the shear mass of the structures. i
then realized that the tallest building two hundred years ago would
have been a church, and upon further observations i noticed that the
tallest buildings in america now would be financial institutions.
in orlando, where this dawned on me, it was bank of america, wachovia
bank, and sun trust bank that were the largest buildings downtown. i
wonder if that is where our hearts have left of, or where our hearts
have turned us. no longer do we pursue things outside our grasp or the
intangible; but have reshaped our nation to the tangible.

man's true fear.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
-Plato

calcutta, india.

As many of you know I had the opportunity to go to Haiti this past spring. The events that took place are etched into my mind and will transcend ideas, thoughts, and actions for the rest of my life. We had the unique opportunity to live and work alongside the villagers of Mano, Haiti. The nights were long and suffocatingly hot,the food was of a different culture, and the daylong hikes to destinations were extensive. But the amount of lives that we were able to touch far far surpasses any physical discomfort I was succumbing to.
because of haiti, i saw that i could help make a difference in this world. it gave me hope that even though the worlds problems pose a daughnting task to overcome, and i may not be able to help each and every person, i can make a notable difference if i put my heart into it. i recently read a report that stated that between 10-40 million people are in slavery in india alone (estimates are so broad because no one knows for sure) (http://www.state.gov/g/ti…

(A&B) update

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hey guys, just wanted to let you know i put up an piano version of the song "sleeping" up on the anchor&braille myspace account. i wanted to tell you guys first, thanks for being so supportive.
i am going to come out with a 7" vinyl this fall, i am really really excited about the artwork, ill make sure to keep you updated.
-esteban
myspace.com/anchorandbraille
anchorandbraille.com
modesty.blogspot.com

zen & the beginners mind & Christ's faith like a child

i know that i have touched on this subject but it is so important to me that i feel i must explore it yet again. and in more depth and clarity.
i feel that people almost feel that it is a sin to question. we cannot question the government because they have left us in such fear and ignorance that we feel they know better than us. we cannot question those that are above us in stature or status because are more likely to have experienced more and therefore our questions are irrelovent. we cannot question our beliefs or religion because faith requires us to shut up and take it.
all these are inncorect on some level. we can question authority, after all we put them there didn't we? they are the voice of the people. we are those people. we can question our elders and their decisions, we have ideas as well, new ideas, creative ideas, we can expound on they know. yes we can learn from them but we have a lot to teach as well. david (king of the jewish nation) questioned God more than anyon…

banksy.co.uk

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i love art, i love art with a message even more. political art that prompts conversation and art that make you probe through your own beliefs (like the dada movement) has always inspired me. this artist uses elaborate stencils and personal beliefs to create his own medium. please check out banksy when you get a chance. a phenominal artist and activist.
banksy.co.uk/

inspiration in the flesh.

first i want to apologize for the lapse of time between posts for the last month. currently i am in the studio here in seattle washington and i have not had a lot of free time to myself. so please forgive me.

i must say that there are very few people that have inspired me to sing, and the style in which i sing.
not in any paticular order the most influential are
1. jeff buckley
2. morrissey
3. john bunch
4. jeremy enigk
5. mic jagger
6. john lennon/

last night i had the opportunity to meet jeremy enigk. siezed with awe i froze. it wasn't that i was star struck but that i felt such psuedo-reverence for what he had achieved in his musical career. very few people have been able to foster an entire musical revolution like him. i don't know why i shared this. maybe because somehow i wanted to share something that made me hold my breath for a moment.
thats all.
-stephen

the three passions that have governed my life.

Three passions have governed my life:
The longings for love, the search for knowledge,
And unbearable pity for the suffering of [humankind].

Love brings ecstasy and relieves loneliness.
In the union of love I have seen
In a mystic miniature the prefiguring vision
Of the heavens that saints and poets have imagined.

With equal passion I have sought knowledge.
I have wished to understand the hearts of [people].
I have wished to know why the stars shine.

Love and knowledge led upwards to the heavens,
But always pity brought me back to earth;
Cries of pain reverberated in my heart
Of children in famine, of victims tortured
And of old people left helpless.
I long to alleviate the evil, but I cannot,
And I too suffer.

This has been my life; I found it worth living.
-Bertrand Russell

questioning the western worlds rite of passage to manhood

what is a man? what makes a human male what one would define as a man?
i am currently reading a book called 'fire in the belly' by sam keen and it is the best physiological book on masculinity i have ever read. western society says that you can become a man by joining a fraternity, getting a letter in sports, having sex with multiple partners, being rugged & tough, never showing your feelings, drinking a lot, having lots of money, working hard, swearing, never crying, etc. but do these actions prove that one is a man?
i read a book called wild at heart and did not enjoy or relate to it at all. it made a list of traits that 'real men' possess and a list of what the common male can do but is somehow is categorized in a type of sub-man. the real men liked camping and auto repair, while the un masculine male knew how to install a computer program and program a DVD player. i honestly don't feel by buying a motorcycle that i am more 'manly' and i sure don't…

never, ever stop questioning.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
-Albert Einstein

the search for self will never be satisfied. but keep looking.

so much of the first half of our lives are spent exhaustively in search of self. the problem of self is that even though it can hypothetically be completely searched it can never be truly found. but the task throughout the journey is not what you discover but the journey itself.
i read recently that "You cannot find yourself by going into the past. You find yourself by coming into the present."
-unknown
but i disagree. i think that self is located not in the present alone but the conglomeration of the experiences we encounter through in the past.
throughout my high school career i was told that i was not going to make it to college. i admit my grades were something to be desired, and my guidance counselors encouraged me to go to a vocational school, if i go on to a school at all. at first i resented them but then i started to believe what they were saying. i began to believe that i couldn't make it in college, and that i should accept the fact that intellectual…

ANCHOR&BRAILLE

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ANCHOR&BRAILLE is the name i am going to put my acoustic stuff out under. since the new anberlin record is coming out early '07 i am going to put out the first record (self titled) out on toothandnail in late spring '07.
i am going to finish up the last 4 songs this december with producer aaron marsh (copeland). i put up a couple songs on purevolume.com/anchorandbraille and myspace.com/anchorandbraille . please let me know what you guys think, as i could not be happier with how these demo's turned out.
-esteban

imagine, encourage, inspire...

so i have been doing modesty for three years. in all this time i have told you to keep a journal, keep reading, inspire others, etc. but not once have i asked you to start a blog of your own.
so this is your project this week. start an online journal.
one of the the greatest teachers is failure, and to spread knowledge of shortcomings could help encourage others to not fall in the same trap, or stay away from whatever it was insnarred you. and its not just failure. you have the power to inspire. it doesnt matter who you are, what you did or have not done, or how many friends you think you might have, or not have. you touch someones life, whether you see it or not.

its very easy to start a blog. first go to blogspot.com or blog.com or im sure there are seveal thousand by now.

on blogspot.com its quite self explanitory, and in three steps you can be sharing your thoughts with the world.
once you post your first blog post, please comment on this entry because i want to read whatever it is th…

if pictures said but a few words...

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Haiti, went to build, returned have only tore down.

let me being this entry by saying THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to those of you who sent me on this trip. your donations and those who purchased the lithograph really enabled me to go on this trip with little worry about finances, and helped to be able to financially invest in others to go on this trip as well. you are greatly appreciated by many.

the trip was altering. i don't want to say exciting or emotionally exhilarating because i think those, much like camp highs, fade with time. this was a change of a mindset. of learning to stretch myself in ways i had not been in years. this is a change that will not fade in mere days, but an educational installment that will challenge the way i see the world for the rest of my life.

before we left i had an irksome intuition. i felt that this trip would not be what i thought it was going to be. i felt that i was going to have to decide whether to DO or to BE. not clear on what that was going to entail i set out for miami to catch my flight…

Haiti

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i just got back about twenty minutes ago. i want to write all about it. and i will. but give me a little time to take a shower (the first in almost two weeks) and to sleep. you were in my thoughts.
-esteban

journal entry 5.17.06 ramblings on the veracity puzzle

if i died one would merely have to collect my writings, photographs, journals, and the conversations i have had to know everything about me. i feel in life each one of us are a complex puzzle, the older we get the more pieces there are for one to collect. we give a small portion of ourselves to each event, moment, and person that we come into contact with. i would imagine we are all the same, some pieces given more freely than others. some pieces bigger than others, according to their importance/impact on/in our lives. are we really ever really ourselves, not in the sense of being who we really are, but do we belong to ourselves? are we really an island to ourselves?
i believe we are not and island to ourselves because clearly when others give us apart of themselves (whether it be their intellect, faith, or opinion) we do not only take a piece of their proverbial puzzle, but we then try our best to attach it where might fit the best, if at all. and they take from us as well. whether …

Food for Brides; starvation in kenya, africa

As many of you know anberlin has been involved with world vision for some time. on the last tooth and nail tour we raised money to build wells in kenya, africa. this region is drying up, and because of that many familes are trading food for young girls who are then forced into marriage's against their will.

this is a report world vision issued today:

Ruth Nthambi is a delighted recipient of maize provided at a World Vision food distribution in Kenya. Photo by Kari Costanza. Drought-fueled poverty is compelling children to drop out of school and forcing young girls into unwanted, early marriage, according to World Vision relief staff.

Field Officer Abraham Losinyen, who oversees food distribution in eastern Kenya's Makueni district, said the practice was often a family's last resort in a desperate situation.

"Many families have to marry off their young daughters to people who can give them food. It's a trend that will likely increase as long as the crisis becomes bi…

the only girl in my life for a long while...

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BREAKING HEARTS AND TAKING NAMES. a failure of character revealed. (repair) (dismantle)

i am going to regret putting this post up here. its pretty late at night and im feeling vulnerable and somewhat dillusional.
i will probably take this down tomorrow. but for some reason i feel compelled to admit my guilt. in some ways maybe this is some sort of bizarre and twisted therapy. i am guilty. i have, and will fail. but i need to get over my superman complex and become vulnerable so that others can learn from my error.

ive come to see what a bastard of a human i have been in my life. i think it all started around the age of 21, maybe earlier. it wasn't sex i sought out in women. ever. it was merely the attention. and not just the attention from humans it was from only females. sad really. actually not even sad, its pathetic. i desired to be desired ironically. and that's it. once i was accepted it was over on some level.

i bought a shirt 2 days ago. it said CHANGE. random that some wear their heart on their sleeve, but modern fashion allows me to wear it on my chest as…
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"architecture is but frozen music". - Johann Wolfgang

children are blank slates

my brother and i were discussing the innocence of children and he wrote this. its simple but maybe one of the most profound statements of my year thus far. by the way... hayden is my beautiful goddaughter (& niece).

'Every generation is a completely blank slate.
It just occurred to me today that many things do not exist in Hayden's perceptual world.

She has no idea about death, drugs, sex, burns, hate, homosexuality, abortion, cells, atoms, global warming, cancer, insanity, depression, anxiety, betrayal, religion, a perceptual higher power, war... it's no wonder kids are so happy. Maybe Adam and Eve in that garden were just children.

But if they were children, wouldn't it be abundantly predictable that those kids are gonna get into them apples...'
-paul edward

anchorandbraille.com

my friend ben harben has revamped anchorandbraille.com and i put up a new song that aaron marsh (copeland) and & did back in the winter break. the song is not mixed or matered but at least you can get some idea of where we are going.

oh, for the probable moment.

while reading this post, i think the most suitable song to listen to would be watashi wa's song ten years and separating...
let me be up front and honest. i have no idea what i am going to write about. i look back at the last couple weeks and try to wrap into words all that i have learned or experienced for some type of reading enjoyment. so instead of giving some psuedo-grandious story i will chop it up into my to-be-expected adhd rantings.
i applied my philosophy that i adopted from leonardo di vinci of being a universal man/women. 'it is better to know a little about alot, then alot about a little.' instead of being one sided when it comes to music i have been exploring the last couple years... but my latest discovery is the blues. my favorite song these last couple weeks has been 'i live the life i love, and love the life i love,' performed by buddy guy. jazz is the pop version of blues, blues comes right out of the abolishment of slavery. its heartfelt lyrics of…
'I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much.'
-mother teresa

i feel so distrustful at this moment from those i see as 'adults.' better yet those i view in a leadership role, or socially placed on pedestal. these last 1 1/2 weeks may have been the hardest week of my family/ my life.
unknown to me while i was on tour, my mother had been fighting a 104 degree phenomena attack and it was finally time that home remedies stop and an 'expert' opinion granted.
we should have stayed home.

talking to my mom on the phone the night she waadmitteded to the hospital i remember it being brief as she was coherent but very very weak. i remember a rushed 'love ya' as was atypical for family conversations, not always meaningful, but stated.
the next night my brother called right before i walked on stage in winston salem to tell me the state my mother was in.

avelox. a typical drug administered to pneumonia patients was g…

nasa

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recently a friend showed me this website that nasa updates each day.
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html

this is the most amazing picture i have ever seen of space.
this is The Tadpoles of IC 410
Credit & Copyright: Ken Crawford (Rancho Del Sol Observatory)
'Explanation: This close-up view shows a portion of otherwise faint emission nebula IC 410 in striking false-colors. It also shows two remarkable denizens of the glowing gas cloud at the right - the "tadpoles" of IC 410. The picture is a composite of images taken through narrow band filters intended to trace atoms in the nebula. Emission from sulfur atoms is shown in red, hydrogen atoms in green, and oxygen in blue. Partly obscured by foreground dust, the nebula itself surrounds NGC 1893, a young galactic cluster of stars that energizes the glowing gas. Composed of denser, cooler gas and dust, the tadpoles are around 10 light-years long. Sculpted by wind and radiation from the cluster stars, their tails tra…

well behaved (people) never make history

i recently received a letter asking me about the subject of fitting in.
i declare that the investment of being socially accepted has little or no return; in other words the value of fitting in makes no logical sense in the course of time.
yet we persist to no avail.
i remember the two events that led to my eventual departure from the ‘popular crowd’ to the separation of their church and my state.
i was in 8th grade, dennison middle school, mrs. h’s class. her history classes were rather boring, and being that i was of the hyperactive mentality i was not doing so well.
because i came from (at that time) a lower socioeconomic status, where money was reserved for more important staples like milk, bread, and cheerios. needless to say my fashion sense suffered, and i felt inadequate next to the children of the upper class. one night my family set out to lakeland (an adjacent town) to visit ross, a discount clothing store for discontinued or disfigured garments. for us this was a big de…

MLK. a hero to one. a hero to all.

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After contemplation, I conclude that this award which I receive on behalf of that movement is a profound recognition that nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral question of our time - - the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to violence and oppression. Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts. Negroes of the United States, following the people of India, have demonstrated that nonviolence is not sterile passivity, but a powerful moral force which makes for social transformation. Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace, and thereby transform this pending cosmic elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood, If this is to be achieved, man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

I accept this award today (nobel peace prize) with an abiding faith in America and an audacious fait…

acoustic show w/aaron marsh (*copeland)

Aaron Marsh * Copeland
w/ stephen christian *anberlin
Franc
& pimberly
Monday, January 16th @ The CSC (adjacent to UF)
112 NW 16th St.
Gainesville, Florida 32603, USA
doors open at 8:30 $5 Pre-sale/ $7 Door
352-379-7375 for more info

so very humbled...

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thanks guys for the overwhelming response to the trip to haiti. i had no idea that you guys cared about the rest of the world with such exhilarating passion! so that being said i am running 50 more lithographs, this time on even thicker paper and with metallic ink. due to the cost of this (and shipping) these posters are going to be $20. again ALL the money raised from this poster pay for supplies to build, transportation, food, & sleeping arrangement. please contact me @ modestyguild@gmail.com
thanks so much!
your indebted friend,
stephen christian

oh have you helped!

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please help me get to haiti...

hello friends and family,
i wanted to fill you in and tell you about the opportunity i have to go to haiti for 2 weeks in may/june with a group of close friends, in several other bands, that i assembled. i got tired of telling people here on modesty that they should make a difference with their lives and realized that i need to go make a difference in more than just a music scene. i will be helping to add on a wing to an orphanage (and school) in the heart of port-au-prince, haiti. this is a dangerous trip as there have been several american kidnappings in recent history, but i can't let that stand in the way of potentially making a change in my life and in the world.
in light of this i am trying to raise money to get myself and several other people airlines, food, supplies, and lodging for the weeks we will be staying there. i have made limited addition (50) signed and numbered lithograph prints for my solo project (they are the size of a poster, and are a cardboard m…
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the begining of subtle ends

January 1st. the beginning of subtle ends. every year we make these grandiose statements about ideas and goals we hope to attain overnight. literally, as if making a promise at midnight will hold up till noon the next day. i say forget new years resolutions. life is not about make 100% changes overnight.
life is not a sprint to get what we want, but a slow and steady marathon to things we know we can become. if we decide to change our life i vote that it not be a dramatic turnaround, because we assimilate to the comfortable. instead try theory of 1%. whatever the goal is don’t blitzkrieg to attain but be slow and steady.
is your office a mess? don’t organize the entire thing today, because in a month you will be right back to where you started. instead take today to file 1% of the items on your desk. tomorrow do 1% more, and the next day do 1% more. in no time you will be where you want to be, and naturally you will teach yourself the invaluable lesson of organization.
do you want to…