From Behind My Blue Eyes.

[something special; nothing new]

a good workout that requires no equipment
Soccer Pup

10x reg p/u
10x v-up
10x wide p/u
10x rower
10x diamond p/u
10x s/u

10-to-5 p/u & rower pyramid
10x 8-ct p/u

10x v-up
10x rower
100x crunch


..... and happy d-plus-one day, everybody. on this day in 1944, the liberation of france was still very much in doubt. but we were turning the tide.

last dot eff em
today (yes, today) I learned that I can open my last.fm ap in windows, type in any keyword, and listen to a custom mix "radio station" of related songs and artists.

the app says I've been using it (the app) to post song listening habits to the internet since 16 April 2006. which, of course, leads me to only one question...

Why Am I Only Finding Out About This Radio Thing Now?

With a high-speed internet connection this could be even more amazing than my discovery of satellite radio thanks to Volkswagen.

mmm, icon of coil. mmm. :)

not a word we ever use in the Active Duty Army, but one that i'm sure i'll see on the end of some signature block anyway. it means you've been picked up for your next rank, but you haven't pinned-on yet.

there's really only two times in a career that it matters to be promotable (and therefore you may, in good conscience, use the term on official or unofficial correspondence). the first time is as a promotable major, when you're in a command assignment normally occupied by a lieutenant colonel... because you can sign awards for soldiers under you as a promotable major, and the awards will give those soldiers promotion points. the second time is as a colonel, waiting to become a general.

every one else, including yours truly, may rest more easily knowing that they are promotable, but it is generally not considered something one uses on a signature block or in conversation. as we say, "it is a status, not a rank".

so for me, this will be the last time you hear me say this before I actually become a Major (some time in the next 11 months or so)... "i'm promotable!" lol

there are 11 pages of names for force sustainment branches (including me, roughly 600 captains promotable), of which I have been given sequence number 0297. I only saw one other name under force sustainment that I knew - a guy at Army South that I met in Cuba - and he's about 75 numbers behind me.

I haven't gone thru the maneuver and operations support names yet (there are 43 pages of names in all).

anyway, i'd just "congratulations" to everyone I know who made this morning's promotion list to Major. i'm sure you're all as thrilled as I am.

p.s.>> the selection results also came out for intermediate level education today. I have been selected for the 10-month resident course at Ft Leavenworth Kansas. that's pretty great news, although depending on what I hear next week it may have to wait until after Harvard.

my first visit to the Rothko Chapel
i'm inside the mind of an artist. it is a stark and bewildering place. most people who've entered here in the last hour have left quickly. I don't think they understand what they are seeing. for a chapel, the space is bleak, industrial, and beset by visual darkness. but as a permanent installation of abstract expressionism, this place must be close to what Rothko had dreamed about during his career. coming in from outside, even on a cloudy day, your eyes take time to adjust. everything but the paintings within the chapel is bathed in shades of grey. the floor - made of asphalt tiles - is the darkest charcoal. the walls are like seagull backs. the ceiling looks like the sides of storm clouds caught in a distant sunburst. even the light from above seems to be grey, forcing itself between the lips made of the ceiling's edge and the skylight baffle.

you should come here on a day like today. outside, there are many clouds passing from time to time before the sun. consequently, there are actually three chapels. one chapel is fully lit, another shrouded in half-night, and a third constantly in transition between two extremes of light and dark. especially when the light is at its brightest, Rothko's 14 canvases here sing on the walls. of course, you must be extremely quiet to hear them. most visitors, it seems, don't like the loudness of the silence in this space, and as soon as their own thoughts start o melt away, they choose to go.

i'm enthralled by the majesty of these works. knowing a little about Rothko's process, I know everything about them is deliberate. the purples, blues, and blacks were conscious choices by the artist. the borders were precisely applied. the size of each canvas, of all the canvases them together, and their places on the walls. none of it is an accident. so hat means when I am subjugated by the enormity of these soaring works, Rothko wished it to be so. when I am drawn deeply into the depths of the variegated colors in the sunlight, Rothko is the one leading me deeper. when I am equally dazzled and dismayed by the joy the artist must have known in painting them, Rothko willed those conflicting emotions to assail me.

I heard a lady ask at the information desk outside, "where are the paintings?" certainly one can respect her confusion. this is not art for everyone, nor is it art for art's sake. this is Rothko in full control, and without context this vision into his inner being is just as likely to bore as it is to overwhelm. you have to know that abstract expressionism is about more than expression of the abstract. otherwise, there are no paintings here at all, just abject emptiness without meaning. i think everyone who visits this chapel would benefit from a short 2-3 minute introductory film or audio recording about Rothko's process and his thoughts on color towards the end of his life. that would make a huge difference - that, or seeing "Red" as produced by Southern Rep Theater. I see many people coming in here and looking lost at first. Some of them fight against the place, knowing they should see something but wanting to have it painted for them - like this was a gallery for baroque masters or sculpture. but not all art is about yelling at the audience, and I think in that sense Rothko was the quietest artist of them all. for those that do bother to settle down and wait for their minds to catch up with he art, there is a concerto playing here. as you see the works through a few cycles of light and cloudy darkness and you bear witness to the magnificent scale of the display, Rothko's accomplishment here becomes abundantly clear. so many artists control their art - Rothko controls the experience. appreciate that and you might even find yourself wondering, "where are the paintings?" but in a totally new way. perhaps that would be the way Rothko wanted it.

today there are 18 benches here, in a 3-deep hexagon that reminds me of he south Korean flag. there are also four meditation cushions, three evenly spaced at the edge of the apse, and the fourth smack in the middle of the room. it is hard for me to say if the furniture would've need approved by Rothko or not. as best I can guess, neither functionality nor the comfort of others were central themes - or even serious concerns - for him. I think that if he had approved them, they would probably be immobile. he would've spent weeks or months deciding on the exact arrangement of the furniture in relation to the art, and then probably expected them to be bolted or otherwise anchored to the floor. it seems to me that Rothko left nothing to chance.

I suppose I could sit here for days and have no more answers about his place than I have now. but one question above all refuses to rest lightly on my mind. Rothko knew almost everything about this space before he started painting. he built a replica of part of it in his studio. why then would it be that the east and west triptychs span the entire width of their respective walls between the side doorways, but none of the other works do the same? the east and west works are both shorter and wider than all the other works here, but their proximity to the four side doorways make me feel as though Rothko may have intentionally tried to make them leap from the walls into the room. or maybe he was trying to conquer the vast expanses of the side walls of this space. surely, as with everything he did, this was on purpose. but what purpose might that have been? I feel as though i'm deep within the recesses of the artist's mind, and yet there is so much I don't know.

it rained a short while ago and I was outside. I wonder what it felt like in here. was the rain audible on the skylight? did the advancing darkness draw a cool pall of the space? would I have felt safer or less safe while sitting out a rainstorm in here? I imagine the soft pricking of he rain on the glass above my head. it would help drown out even more of he sounds created by the people visiting here. then I would've felt more intensely alone, but probably even more content. before my eyes the shade's hand, passing gradually overhead, would've drawn down a gauzy curtain over the walls. the stark textures of the ceiling and the floor would have reduce their contrast. the browns and greys would fade. but I think somehow the works themselves would speak more loudly to me when it rains. the haze of a passing storm could not entirely obscure the benevolent calm of these joyous monstrosities. their raucous, silent intrusion into my senses does, after all, become more intrusive whenever a cloud passes overhead.

I see the joy of the artist's process in these works, and why he was so insistent on the particulars of their display. to bring them to life, he had to take the space, the light, and all the other things seriously. just look at what these works in this space show: Tiger stripes! Puffy clouds! Frames in frames! Vast brushstrokes and places where the color seeps from within the canvas, instead of having been placed on it by a man. here are the tones bounded by tones that become more evident with time. here there are washes like sheets of a waterfall. over there I found a darkened no-man's-land of color where two un-parallel strokes of the same pigment have covered one another. i see linearity preserved on one canvas, to be destroyed on the next. works are hung just exactly "so", to build symmetries everywhere you look. this chapel, this museum, this gallery, this monument - it is grand and powerful in so many ways. on the occasion of my first visit, I feel captivated by it. I don't think this is art upon which I could feast everyday. but I am overjoyed that I took the time to let it speak to me on this day.

an aside.
there's a lot of stuff going on in my life right now. but even with all of that, i still had to pause tonight for a reflection.

the last time president obama was being sworn in on the steps of the capital, where were you? i was in iraq. i had been there exactly 7 days, and the enemy was attacking us. honestly, no shit. just as the new president took the dais to be sworn in, the enemy shot a rocket at us and nearly hit a living area where a whole bunch of my friends were staying. it was close enough to me that i heard the blast and felt the trailer (army for "house") shake hard enough that i felt a pressure wave push against my chest. it was only one rocket, but it had to have been a big one. this was my first experience with being shot at. luckily, it was the closest that i personally would get to being hit throughout my entire deployment. i had a strange habit of being on a trip to baghdad when tallil got attacked. and similarly i seemed to be in tallil for almost every attack in baghdad (except one, which wasn't an attack so much as a break-in).

so that is what i was doing almost exactly four years ago. what were you doing on that day? hopefully you weren't getting shot at.

i have to say, i would much rather be here at home. wish i could share the inauguration day festivities with loved ones, but since i probably can't i will at least be here - safe and warm in my own Nation. that in and of itself is progress from four years ago.


list of names from last Friday in CT
i wasn't feeling great this morning anyway. then i stumbled on the list of names (and ages) of the victims from last Friday's crazed-gunman's-stupidity in connecticut. there are so many single-digit ages. it really made me feel sick.

i don't know if anybody else remembers the oklahoma city federal building bombing. if you do, perhaps you recall there was a daycare packed with kids inside that building when it was blown in half. standing at the OKC bombing memorial was my first thought after reading all the names from Friday. At OKC one of the centerpieces of the site is a field full of empty chairs. big chairs for adults who died, and little chairs for the kids. there were too many little chairs in OKC.

a similar memorial of the CT tragedy would be almost entirely little chairs, though. the six big chairs would all be in a ring around the outside. after all, i'm pretty sure the women who were killed all died trying to protect their students.

in what ways can we adapt our federal, state, and local policies to stop this sort of insanity from ever happening again? ugh, it just makes me sick.

sad news this morning
everything that follows in this post is entirely my own opinion and my original work:

First of all, people who kill ambassadors fail to live up to the basic principles of ALL major religions. especially when the dead are just innocent foreigners swept up in a wave of misdirected hatred.

Second, Muhammad was not a fraud. Muhammad was not evil. Anyone who says these things about Muhammad does not represent American values or the principles upon which our nation was founded. You can be a patriot and respect Muhammad. In my opinion you really SHOULD be a patriot (love your country and its values) AND respect Muhammad (along with respecting Jesus, Abraham, Buddha, etc.)

So what we have here is a conflict between two cultures started by one nut in california with a pen and a video camera. since when do we let crakpots like that guy determine our lives for us?

As Americans or/and as muslims (from various lands), we must mourn together the deaths of good people, condemn the criminal acts of those who acted violently, further condemn the stupidity of the film that sparked this firestorm, and work together to restore the safety and security of diplomatic missions around the world as we act appropriately to shape a future in which we can all rise above the idiots among us and thrive peacefully.

sound, lyrics, or both?
when i read a national candidate's bio, in which he declared himself a fan of rage against the machine, i went to my stereo played "evil empire". (yes, i am very old)

imo, saying you like the sound of rock music but not the lyrics is similar to saying you like the cover of your favorite book, but not the words or pictures in it.

i'm proud to be a lifelong fan of rage against the machine - sound AND lyrics.

name the computer languages:

=match(tomorrow(A:Z), hope, better, 0).