Friday, December 2, 2011

My Rooster the Squater

Glen Ellen, California,

I've never written a blog post regarding how I came to own, and now live in my little house in the California wine country. I came to own my house in 2003, purchased while I was stationed here in California. I kept it rented out during the duration of my service time, and subsequent sailing adventure. Painfully, my management company rented the house to some dirt bags who gutted the place, and started to grow pot inside, and outside the house to fuel the burgeoning medical marijuana industry. I got them out of the house, and just did not have the stomach to be a land lord again, especially in a down economy which attracts economically in stable people. It is an old house to begin with making it even harder for me to find good renters. The laws are stacked against landlords, California is the worst, especially in Sonoma county.  It is a shame, because affordable rentals are few. But, more and more people like me become freaked out because the laws become so complicated, resulting in the need for lawyers for the smallest of issues, because a mistake can send you reeling into the 7th circle of hell. I will spare the details of my 7th circle of hell getting my renters out. I feel lucky as my experience could have been much worse than it was. 

Shot with my Canon G11
Thus, I found myself moving off of Christa after living aboard her for 12 years. Surprise surprise, I found I loved living in my house. Even at 1000 square feet I marveled at all the room. I fired up a garden for the first time, and enjoyed that experience. In fact, just this morning I plucked tomato's, and fresh spinach from my garden.

Onward. About a month a go, a Rooster simply showed up in my driveway. No idea where the fella came from. Sonoma county has a fair amount of farming going on, but I know of none that is with-in a mile or two of my house. Maybe someone has a small operation going in the backyard. He showed up on a weekend, I feed him some bird seed, thinking I'll just call animal control on Monday, and they will come by and scoop him up. No joy. They won't come pick him up until I catch and cage him. Thanks for nothing. Another ding against Sonoma county. Now, I've actually taken to the guy. He greets me in my driving and then runs in front of my car down the driveway squawking as I pull up. It is pretty funny. He knows me now, and will eat out of my hand. He never crows, but makes little noises when I emerge in the morning as if to say "good morning." 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Manifestation of Power Via Art In the Roman Empire

San Rafael, CA

 I took an Art History class this semester that is now coming to an end. A theme in my life has developed over the past couple of years of being astonished at some of the things I've become interested in. Yoga is a total no brainer on the astonishment scale. I mean who would have ever predicted that? If you had told me I'd be teaching yoga in the near future when I was anchored not long ago in Bequia, I would have accused you of shopping for fruit as a cover at the Rasta Man Stand. He sold more than fruit. As an aside 
I am teaching class after class now, and loving it so.

Another pleasant surprise has been my Art History of the Greek & Roman World class. I give substantial credit to my professor, Heidi who is so dog gone passionate about the subject, that you just can't help but get swept up into her historical narrative. Art boring? NOT! I really learned a ton, and would have worn a Toga to class, but Dominican University has a Convent on the campus, and that would have been weird.

I wrote a paper about Roman power in Art after learning that the Saddam Hussein statue that was yanked down in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion in 2003 was inspired directly by the Romans. I started to do some more research, and I've come to learn almost all art is used to project messaging in some fashion. Anyway, below is the paper. Read it if you will or not. Maybe you'll see some connections. Jefferson's Monticello anyone?


Manifestation of Power Via Art In the Roman Empire

            Today the Roman Empire is discussed in the context of a once great empire, its spectacular fall spurred by unchecked pride. The inevitable comparison between contemporary America, and her apparent hubris leading to over reach. The breath, scope, achievements, and length of the Roman Empire are truly amazing. Like all giants, the Romans stood upon the shoulders of those who came before. This famous metaphor, “Standing on the shoulder of giants,” was propelled into our modern lexicon by Sir Isaac Newton in 1676. However, the first usage of this metaphor stretches back to ancient mythological Greece when Orion, the blind giant god carries his servant Cedalion on his shoulders. Indeed, the Roman ruler Hadrian highlights his respect for his much admired predecessor Trajan, by inserting himself in panels on TheArch of Trajan at Benevento; thereby communicating to the Roman citizenry whose shoulders he stands atop.