Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Transmitting from Tucson

Legitimate sighting of Blonde, abstract artist/graphic designer and wannabe circus freak in central Tucson, E. University Blvd., at obviously one of the best coffee shops in town (thanks Google Earth!).


Please inform the institutional authorities so this creative force can be contained, managed, and given a bank account with a few extra digits.

In all seriousness though—flew into the city yesterday, everything went smoothly (as smooth as air travel can, really). Already settled in, saw the Flam Chenistas. It's the last 400 yards of the All Souls Procession prep, so I've been making myself available to help randomly wherever random help is needed. Though I've been warned not to say this too often—there's lots to do.

Also, finally got the full version of Proteus Creative launched, with all its navigation and sub-pages. Full portfolio is now online. It also went through a hasty compatibility/testing period, so it should work with flying colors (well… maybe missing one or two) in Internet Explorer and the windows browser of choice, Firefox (sorry IE 8—you got the CSS right, but now your kind isn't obeying JavaScript correctly).

So this whole transition time, getting settled down here, carving out a business, and managing personal finances (awesome online app for this I found:—if you have money issues and are an internet-savvy person, this might be a godsend for you like it is me), will take some time, and a lot of work. But it's that sort of thing where keep your head down and just keep driving forward.

Let me know if any readers out there want web design work! ;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mad Trampoline Skills

Happened to find this video on College Humor. Take a look. The guy has some awesome trampoline skills.

I am convinced that he works for Cirque Du Soleil. Not just because of his obvious talent—but because I actually recognize that set piece from the DRALION show. Kind of freaky to see it in broad fluorescent light like that.

I guess this is what the Cirque guys do for fun! Hmm… now I suddenly want a gym with lots of padding and an industrial strength trampoline. It just looks like too much fun to not try.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Krisja Hendricks and Health Insurance in the United States

With the fact that I'm no longer in college (not technically, but reality-speaking) and moving out of my parents' house, the health insurace/personal finances complex has started to come front and center to my attention. It's a scary complex. Which is why this email caught my eye today. Krisja Hendricks:

"Last week, I stood in front of 12 television cameras and dozens of reporters in the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. Standing with me was the Speaker of the House of Representatives, other members of Congress, and over 100 young people from across the country. I was there to tell my story and to help announce that health care legislation making its way through Congress will include a provision allowing young adults to stay on our parents' insurance through the age of 26. "

Read the rest here: Rock the Vote Blog.

This is one of those stories that makes an example of why government should be in control of certain public-oriented services and fields, and not private corporations. Money is a great judger and balancer of energies. But it is not always the correct one, given the context. It's situations like this makes me wonder why people think corporate entities, large or small regardless, are the universal solvent. It hinges on the fact that competition will be numerous enough to keep each entity beyond a certain growing height. I think this is not the case with American capitalism—I think our flavor of capitalism actually encourages monopolies. Five or six big health insurance agencies is not competition.

The fact of it is that, even though there may be "competition", most of the corporate entities that give things like health insurance do not have a soul, nor a face, nor a mind with which to consider the situation. I'd be fine if there was a corporate entity, privately run and small enough to still have a soul, dealing with people face-to-face, to be taking care of people's health. My health. But that is not the current scenario in this country.

This is the simple fact: if you do not understand the reality of sickness and death, you do not understand the value of life. If you do not understand the value of life, you should not be taking care of people's health. Money is a means to an end in this context. If corporate entities can't turn this leaf, they should not be in control.

Get this through the thick, national head of the American people, who are so scared of the "possibility of government-run" stuff. Like it's 1984. Please, soon.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Transition Week

I've fallen into a rhythm this week—anything that could be a rhythm. It's a transitional rhythm.

I've been back home at Maryland ("home") for about a week now. The familiarity of it all was palpable. I had grown up in these rooms. Many memories were tangible—old, leatherskinned journals containing secrets. IKEA lamplights that I had hung and left there for 5+ years. It's funny to think that orange tends to appear very often in my design-related projects. My entire room was painted like my designs—black, browns, oranges, and luminous, rice-paper lamp tans. All warm colors.

I've started reading The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard. Appropriately, probably, since his intention is to form a phenomenology of the house. I'm keenly interested. I liked his quote that states that artists are phenomenologists by nature. It makes me want to read up on what phenomenology actually is. I know enough to have a feeling about it—I don't know enough to have a definition.

When I came back from Arcosanti I hit the ground running. This week was not a vacation, nor is the next coming week. Proteus Creative saw a partial launch right before I left (check out the site if you haven't,, just so something could be up there. I've been since working on the full version of the site, which is coming along nicely. The full version will probably be up by the end of this week. Of course I already want to redesign it. I'm frustrated by my lack of scripting skills—I don't want to be dependent on other people's plugins for jQuery anymore, which is why I will be learning Javascript and AJAX—so I can build my own intuitive web interfaces from the ground up.

But even with all that, I've learned that there is a rhythm to the day. Like music. There is the upswing in the morning. I look forward to the smell of coffee, the cool air, that top of the world feeling—the feeling where you're looking forward to everything that will happen in the day. Salvador Dali once said that he would wake up with a feeling of ecstasy in the mornings, jumping out of bed to see "what this amazing feat this character, Salvador Dali, will accomplish next!" I'm not quite that… egotistical? But I do see enjoying progress in my work. The fulfillment of art in its completion, is the completion of art itself.

But I need to work on the nights. Because I'm such a focused personality, I need time to relax. Usually this comes in the form of playing video games, which I've finally gotten sick of. Not because I don't like video games. But because they, really, don't relax me—they allow me to concentrate on something else. Something other than all the things I want to accomplish in a day, or a lifetime. But for the amount of relaxation they do give me is kind of a game of decreasing returns. I'll play for hours until I'm tired, then go to bed. Then wake up in the morning—but I won't feel refreshed.

So I've decided to take up reading. It's only been a few nights, but reading Gaston Bachelard has been a lot more fun—really—then playing games for even twice the amount of time. And I love philosophy. I always intend to read more of it, but never do. For me, philosophy really is the engine that drives art, science, culture, writing—everything. Philosophy is a powerhouse, if you understand it and can see how it can be applied in practical ways. I just lack the foundational knowledge, personally speaking, to fully grasp all of it in its full intent. So picking up the habit of reading (and doing so with intent!) is two goals at once. I want to make it my way of relaxing—the way I calm my brain, yet can still allow myself to remain focused on something that is not work.

Writing is similar. Journal writing, I mean. I'm starting to pick up that habit again, though it's stop and start. Same with yoga. Yoga in particular, and its offshoot field for me, Aikido, are both things I want to concentrate on more steadily once I get down to Tucson. They are more pieces in the puzzle I want to fit together in making the transition to Flam Chen.

I'm still very intent on it. This week has just been the thick of things. Realizing how much of a cliff I'm jumping off, yet considering the scenarios again and again, comparing my intentions, my expectations, the realities, the possibilities, what I can give, what I can get out of it—I always come back to the same conclusion. Which is why I haven't wavered.

Socrates said: "The mark of an educated man is the ability to entertain a possibility without accepting it."

I think education, if it were actually education, would account for a lot of the personal conflicts in the world. Misinterpretations and so forth—being willing to entertain possibilities without accepting them—realizing that you don't have to commit to them by entertaining them.

But that is part of the good, solid decision making process. And I've not done all this on a whim. I'm very sure of myself—yet completely open to what may come. I have goals, but not expectations. It's a fine balance, a delicate balance. But if you can achieve it, it is a wonderful feeling.

The night comes.

It's only Monday. I leave on the 26th.

I have reading to do.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Why Arcosanti Doesn't Work

(Written two days before the post date:)

It is my last night at Arcosanti before I leave it for the east coast, and to a new potential in the future.

I feel some responsibility to share my thoughts now—that's what blogging is, of course. I had originally started this blog as a cataloguing of my experiences at Arcosanti—the place that almost had a childhood memory quality about it. In a way, coming here was a way to reclaim my identity after a hiatus from school, during which I felt like I had lost personal direction.

But every step in the journey is just that—a step. To describe what each step is—where it comes from, and then where it leads, and why you have to move on—is important. The obvious question now would be: "you've been at Arcosanti for seven months. What do you think? Do you still like it there? What are your thoughts on it?"

The fact is that my answer would not be that politic.

Blogs are a strange medium, as a form of publication. They can be legitimately good material, or they can descend into punditry or, at worst, gossip. But the core of the blog is its personal perspective—to write a good blog is to give a good, just, and honest opinion through one's own eyes. I've always tried to be careful with the way I blog—I don't mention people, or rarely do, and if I do it's in passing. I blog about subjects and events, thoughts and ideas that I personally have. Not the actions of others.

The odd thing is that Arcosanti is determined, and made, by the actions of others. To comment on its future and "what I think of it" is almost to comment on the people that live there. Especially in the context of my answer to the question.

Yet as a blogger—and hopefully a good one—and as a good person, and as a person who does, in fact, care about the future of this project and feels (and is) deeply indebted to Paolo Soleri, I have to answer, and answer honestly. I will try to do this, while only commenting on the general direction of the Arcosanti Project as it is today, made as a summation of the people that make it work from the inside. It is not a comment on any single one person. It is a comment on the summation of all of it put together—“Arcosanti” as a project, as a work-in-progress, faceless and total. Thus any acclaim can be shared with the blame.

Arcosanti has one single flaw, in my opinion, that makes it the emaciated the project that it is. It is complacency.

The difference between the Master Plan for Arcosanti and its reality is apparent to any tourist or visitor. Its concrete presence is dwarfed a hundred times by the vision that created it and should, literally, overshadow it. The common complaints are a lack of funding, a lack of human resources and power. And these are true obstacles that keep Arcosanti from fulfilling the larger vision of the grand "Laboratory" that Paolo envisioned.

The irony though is that the place sprung up despite a lack of funding. Despite a lack of human resources. Paolo was keen enough to know and believe that if he "built it, they would come." And they did. Workshoppers came to Arcosanti by the hundred in the seventies. People believed they were part of something unique and cutting edge—and they were. Arcosanti was the “most important project in urban architecture in our lifetime,” or something to that extent—that was what Newsweek said of it when it had first started to draw attention.

Now however, Arcosanti wows tourists, visitors, and architects (and them only for a short while) not because it is cutting edge. Not any more. It is the sheer fact that it is different—different from the normal day-to-day in Phoenix or Washington DC, that makes it worth the drive. This is neither good or bad. It's a lukewarm "different" that is not indicative of an alternative that should be embraced—it is simply… different. Different in the way that you would treat an estranged trinket—an heirloom from a distant country. It is novel, yet irrelevant. It is certainly not innovative, not in its contemporary intention. Paolo Soleri is innovative by immeasurable stretches, even into his 90’s. His project, which is the property of the Cosanti Foundation, is not. And there is a reason why.

I came to Arcosanti with my eyes wide open. Wide, wide open. My experience in human communities based around a single vision (i.e. churches) prepared me for the myopia that often besieges those communities after their period of being revolutionary—after the vision has grown stale, and after the invigorating question of “What if” (Paolo Soleri’s question) is replaced by “This is”.

It's biggest flaw is complacency. Complacency with what it is—the built structures as they are. Arcosanti, as it is lived in and lived by the people inside, is a project that is simply not concerned with innovation—as ironic or wrong as that may seem. It falls back on the original vision that Paolo created for it, and this vision is maintained by the Foundation—but in the way that a museum keeper dusts and mops around an unchanging sculpture. Paolo's vision kept changing—from space arcologies to lean linear cities. He’s at 90, and is ready to publish a new book. Most people don’t live to that age, much less write a book then. There was no way for Arcosanti to keep up with him from the start. But the great sin of it, in my opinion, and the reason why it exudes the air of a tangential, emaciated project in the desert, is because it does not want to keep up with him, nor does it try to.

Complacency. It is the the caked layer of memory—that something was tried in '81 didn’t work, and thus we shouldn't do it again. Complacency with the way things function (or don't), because they've been that way for so long. It's not that new ideas aren't accepted. It's that they never stick when they are accepted. Businesses can set up shop. I could move in as an artist, say, or start a telecommunications business if I finagled enough and put up with the politics for long enough. But as a person who has worked and lived here for an extended period of time (relatively speaking), participated in a good number of the social and pseudo-political functions and bodies that make up the place, I never truly felt that my presence, as an innovative, young mind, was ever welcomed. It was, definitely, by Paolo Soleri—even in his old age, he beckoned me to sit closer to him at School of Thought sessions, and smiled when I asked what his definition of sacred space was. But Arcosanti, as a place, as an institution, as a project, does not know what to do with my presence as a young, innovative mind—and even if it did, it would not have the staying power or resources to utilize it. What more, it is not concerned with older, wiser minds that could bring a true academic, institutional presence to Arcosanti and the Foundation. Academies and institutions are the tools and playthings of innovators and visionaries, but for the contrarian generation of the 60’s and 70’s, they’re the enemies of the environment and all that is good. They are the establishment—the thing to fight against. These very minds have been either ignored or, when they’ve gotten too close, outright shunned. These are the kinds of personalities and minds that make green energy conferences—the kinds that are on the forefront of architecture and design—the kinds that have the funding and backing to actually create a megastructure in the desert.

The reason why they are shunned, and why twenty-somethings like me are half-heartedly embraced, is because innovation requires sacrifice. It requires continually calling into question the normal modes and methods by which you operate. It is not simply thinking outside the concrete box. It is not simply willing to "try anything" to get the funding you need. It requires actually putting Arcosanti as it is, as it was, and as it should be, on the table as something to be questioned and prodded into new life. (Note: in Paolo's philosophy the future doesn't exit, and as such "should" really doesn't make any sense, as an imperative order for a nonexistent context. Paolo’s vision is not a mandate, a “should” for Arcosanti—not anymore.) Arcosanti can not, and will not ever be anything but Paolo Soleri's odd experiment in the desert north of Phoenix, and it will not be anything else because it was unable—and now, is simply unwilling—to imagine itself as anything else. The caked layers of memory weighs too heavy for it to reinvent itself from the inside out.

But what's responsible for this milieu? I've often cited in conversations the transient nature of the community—a first, deep-set layer of veterans who have been here for three years to fifteen years, or more. Then a second ever-changing layer of workshoppers, young professionals, and volunteers, like myself, that don't last more than a year. I used to fault this teflon-like quality to an insufficient gravity of the community—it wasn't enough of a city or town to retain its incoming population. Then I began to think that it wasn't due to that, because people do sometimes stay—it was instead due to a kind of constipation of the mind. The vision of Paolo Soleri was so huge, so specific, and so brilliant, I thought, that Arcosanti was too enthralled with it to pursue any other alternate Arcosant. A potential artist complex Arcosanti. An organic farming operation Arcosanti. A performing artist studio space Arcosanti. A brewery and bakery Arcosanti. All of these were great ideas, some of which had been tried with varying success. My theory was that the cold shoulder I received—a very subtle mood, over the course of many months, and only in certain situations specific, profound, and sharp—was due to a xenophobia of anything not-Paolo. It is controlled so specifically, my theory went, that it wouldn't accept any new or outside ideas unless it came from an alum.

My theory now is that the Foundation is tired. It's tried for so long, and nothing seems to have worked to make the project something more. It still cares—but not in the fiery way the young architects from Italy do when they come here. It is a passive caring—the way one cares for their favorite couch and would rather not see anything spilled on it by a new guest, as friendly and enthusiastic as they are. The Foundation is not some outside organism that watches Arcosanti progress beneath its feet—the Foundation is Arcosanti. It's the people who manage and run the place. And they've been here for so long, having seen so many twenty-somethings go by, that they've become introverted. They are not an intellectual centerpiece. They don’t have the faculty (personnel or or skillwise), nor the will for it—they certainly have the connections for it, but they don’t utilize those connections. When outside academics get too close, then they are turned away. Arcosanti would rather not see this kind of involvement, because it means changing the living and working situation of the inhabitants. This is why the Foundation is not able to consult with cities on future urban planning, even if they were asked. It is not a research institution—it is a caretaking and maintenance institution. They have nothing to say at a conference on green energy. Not anything more than "the car is bad, and so is air conditioning—use passive solar architecture instead.” Even when Drexel University came with a group of bright, forward-thinking grad students who had renovated sections of Philadelphia with green roofs and sustainable water systems—when they came to Arcosanti, they were so enthralled with the project that they wanted to outright give the Foundation a plan for a sustainable water system. When asked what Arcosanti would want for such a water system at the critical population of 500 people, the residents could only say “we don’t know.” And that’s as far as the conversation ever really got. Such conversations are an exercise in frustration rather than a dreaming session in the world of optimistic possibility and Paolo’s grand thesis, “What if?”.

The only word I can come up with for it is complacency. They don’t have the stomach, the will, or the mind for anything else. Companies like Apple, BMW, etc. are successful and are always at the forefront because they are never satisfied. They hunger for something more. Thus they innovate, and innovation becomes their defining feature. They reinvent themselves to survive and to be a model. This is why Paolo Soleri became famous in the first place—he rethought the incubator for civilization, the city, from the foundations up.

This is too risky a plan for Arcosanti. It retreats, instead, into an introverted world of "done it before, do it again." If the Foundation keeps it as its company town, which is what it actually is, then ten years from now, Arcosanti will not look any different. It will not have its master greenhouse, it will not have the West Crescent. And it’s because the people here wouldn't know what to do if a sushi restaurant wanted to set up shop in their new steel-and-glass apse, the West Crescent. They would get scared and vote them out at a leadership meeting, or prolong the conversation until the restaurant stopped caring. That is the social reality that stifles the project. It is something between longing to only put as much effort in as you had before, because you've already dedicated your life to the project (what more could you ask of someone?), and a sort of fear how it might change your home when it gets that new 5000 addition. They're already the guinea pigs in the laboratory, and they've already built the concrete ceilings. They've made their homes in the silt—but who knows if they'd actually like to live in one of Paolo Soleri's cities.

The fact is that it's not his project anymore. He is just the guiding sage, where a no actually means no (voting is not possible in such a situation—a rare occasion). It is the Foundation's project. But the Foundation is not an innovative organization—it is a group of people that built a place with their bare hands, and now want to live in it. That is as far as Arcosanti’s ambition goes. It is tired—known to the world, but lethargic.

I'm convinced now that this is why the place has not grown. It is not a political excuse such as funding, or lack of resources. These are actually symptoms of the problem—not the problem itself. It is actually because Arcosanti doesn't want a different kind of future than what is already built—the one particular to it. People love Arcosanti for what it is, not what it could be. The disfunction is unknown to the people who live here—it's simply a fact of life. And they’re so familiar with it, that they'd rather it not change.

Unfortunately, this leaves no space for people who are passionate about the "possibility" of the project. This word, in the ears of the Foundation, only cocks eyebrows. Possibility is a byway, not the forefront—it’s just another grad student with aspirations. They can start a greenhouse if they want to—as long as it doesn't interfere with the way things are done now.

Someone asked me yesterday what I won't miss about Arcosanti—contrary to the usual sentimental question of what I will miss. Complacency, in short order, was my answer—the fact that I have to try twice as hard to innovate here as I would anywhere else. To convince them that they actually need a certain thing, and that it will help them move forward—and then go ahead and do it. If Arcosanti is to be anything other than what it already is, it means that the Foundation will either have to whither away, likes its project gradually is, or the two will have to be outright divorced.

For now, that's not happening. And that's why Arcosanti is what it is—and nothing else.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Weekend to End All Weekends

It's my last weekend at Arcosanti—or just "Arco", if you prefer. Some of the people have gone out to enjoy the Decompression party happening… somewhere out in the desert, as you'd expect.

I've not been thinking much about the fact that I'm leaving Arcosanti, after having been here for about half a year. I did that for about an hour yesterday. Everything has been much more practical. With the upcoming move to Tucson in late October, no more than two weeks after I get back to the chilly east coast, I've been in overdrive—fixing up the Proteus site, figuring out living situations, scrounging up as much money as possible, and in general trying to batten down the hatches before I jump off the cliff. In all reality, this whole move to Tucson and joining Flam Chen is a cliffjumping exercise. I've never moved before, much less had my own car or had my own apartment (I sort of have at Arco, but Arco isn't reality). I won't be having my own car, which makes things interesting. Thankfully, I'm staying with one of the Flam Chen members who has a spare room he needs to rent out. From there, I'll set up my business and settle in. Everything is pretty much bikable. I've already scoped out the neighborhood from the air of Google Earth—marked the best coffee shops, lounges, routes to and from the Flam Chen studio, and the organic grocery stores.

Speaking of biking, anyone have one they want to donate? ;)

The money situation is tight. I'm not interested in living paycheck to paycheck, though I will probably have to do that the next two months. It depends on how freelance takes off and if I can get serious clients. It's not so difficult to be impossible—it's just difficult to be just that, difficult. It's certainly workable—at least, I believe it to be.

Even if it doesn't work out, this is the one chance I have to play the wildcard. There's nothing lost to strive for the most potential, the most unique, and fall back to the original plan—go back to the east and make money, go to school there.

That's the justification at least. So this weekend is the transition from Arco to the east, and the preliminary transition from the east to back out west. And I should be in the town only a week or two before All Souls happens—one of Flam Chen's biggest events throughout the year.

Watch carefully. The blog posts over the course of the next three weeks should get very, very interesting.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Proteus Creative - Carbon Preview

I've been hard at work this weekend on the new Proteus site (finally). I haven't broken into code yet—I'm still perfecting the layout and the various pages in Photoshop. But so far, I think it's shaping up nicely. Here's a very small sneak peak of what's to come:


One of my big inspirations for Proteus's design intentions have been the web design techniques of Dragon Interactive and the sheer awesome quality of 2advanced Studios. If you're a javascript and jQuery freak, check out Dragon Interactive. If flash is more your style, you definitely need to get familiar with 2advanced.

2advanced in particular does periodical redesigns of the site—like most design studios, but theirs are typically exploration of some new theme or (daresay) "style". I've always done this for myself in smaller ways—technically, is in version 11.0. But I'll keeping this trend with Proteus, as there are lots of potential designs and methods I want to explore. I'll save them for annual redesigns like what 2a does.

But for this one, of course, is Proteus v.1. I considered a couple of different names, all blackish minerals: Graphite, Onyx, Obsidian. I would do Onyx, besides sounding cool, but the gradients aren't shiny enough for that (maybe next time). For now though, due to the anodized or ashy quality of everything, I'll probably settle on Carbon.

Another site that influenced me: Xanthic Eye. I've known about this guy for a long time, and his designs, even though they are best suited for vanity sites, are definitely killer. I may try to make a pseudo-futuristic Proteus antimatter reactor for the next version.

But for now, I'll just stick with the basic elemental building blocks of the universe. Antimatter reactors can come later.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Autumn welcomes wish lists

It's been a relaxing day. The feeling of autumn is here. The elevation of Arcosanti gives a seasonal difference—and nights can get quite cold. But this morning had that quiet, introverted, chilly mood about it. The temperature change seemed to change the architecture almost. What is usually oppressing concrete interiors seemed to reflect the cold starkness of the air. In that sense, they seemed welcoming—they held in the heat of the sun. In some ways I think the architecture of Arcosanti is more winter desert architecture than summer desert architecture.

The cool air reminded me of Baltimore, which was a welcome sensation. Suddenly I felt like I was back among brownstones, with that cool, soft, Atlantic air coming in from the eastern bays, mixed with just a little bit of exhaust, bakery smell, and cigarette smoke. The smell of a city in the morning. A real city—not what Arcosanti is, or rather tries to be. Here the air is crystal clean, but hard—rich in calcium and basalt dust, if there is such a thing. It's as hard as the water. Like breathing in minerals.

But some soothing beats took care of things and I got to work. I've still been recovering from Earthdance. The past two days I'd broken out in hives. I've never had them before—might have been an allergic reaction, but at least part of it was the stress, I think. I wanted to hit the ground running on the new Arcosanti site template, and I did—but people commented on how I looked. Less energetic than usual, etc. I felt fine—but apparently it showed more on my face than even I myself knew or felt.

Personal projects have been suffering. I've not been painting. I've been journaling more though, which has been very good, very necessary. Handwriting has always been a pinnacle language for me, ever since I started it about five years ago. Through the written word, it is as if I can understand everything. I do not need logic, as much as I am intellectual. The written word gives me the tool to affirm, to understand, to experience—it is my own language. Oftentimes it is a healthy mirror.

I will have to be ramping up my business soon though. I have been getting some connections with clients—it's been good to have at least some hits with the current Proteus Creative site. But it is only a transitional page. It looks like only a random freelancer's contact page, and really that's what it is—but now it's time to create the full site. So hopefully I will be able to lay low the next week and a half, until I leave Arcosanti, quietly working on that site during the late afternoon and evening times.

There's a reason for that though. I will have to be making money soon—real money, and real fast. Chiefly because I am moving.

Not into Baltimore though. I'll stay only a week or two on the east. A month later, if all goes well, I will actually be back in Arizona. Cross your fingers—in Tucson, of all places. Because I am planning on joining Flam Chen.

Crazy decision? Of course. Surprising? Probably not. Most of the plans are already laid out—I've talked with Paul and Nadia, the head honchos—had great conversations with them. I had actually made this decision, or was at least seriously considering it weeks ago, before Earthdance. No second thoughts so far.

I'll go into why I am choosing this some other time. But if you know me well enough, I would bet that it would make sense if you thought about it for awhile.

Think about it this way. There are only a few things you can do in your life at certain times. The "life wish list" may go something like this:

1. Go to art school, become a painter.
2. Write a novel.
3. Take a sojourn into the desert.
4. Fall in love.
5. Join the circus.
6. Run a successful business.
7. Take a risk and don't look back.

So far I have 1, 2, 3, 4 (sort of), working on 6, and 5 and 7 would be one and the same.

It's a wildcard. But has anything I've ever done been sensible, usual, or safe?

Thought so. ;)