Monthly Archives: August 2007

Max Roach

We insist.jpg

Jazz drummer and innovator Max Roach has just passed away. Roach, along with Elvin Jones and Roy Haynes, is one of my all time favorite drummers. In particular, I am fond of his work with the late Clifford Brown and the album Money Jungle with Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus. His We Insist! Freedom Now Suite was one of the first jazz pieces to cover issues such as racism and slavery at the very commencement of the Civil Rights Movement. Continue reading


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A couple of pictures of Binisegarra, the house I stayed in while on Martin’s farm in Menorca earlier this month. Thanks to William and Yasmine for the photos. Continue reading

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From Madrid to Segovia

Yesterday was August 15th, which means it was a holiday in Spain (and most Catholic countries). Instead of lounging around the house all day, I decided to take the train from Madrid to Segovia. The train takes close to two hours, due to the fact that it is a commuter train, whereas driving would probably be more like 45 minutes to an hour. With its Roman aqueduct and the Alcazar castle, Segovia is one of my favorite day trip destinations from Madrid.

My original idea was to create one of my low budget, ghetto videos on the train to Segovia with Frank Sinatra’s version of “I Thought About You” in the background. Finally, I decided to reserve that song for another train ride, maybe from Washington, DC to New York City. Instead, I used Ilham Al Madfai’s version of “Ch’lounek Habibi” .

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Shoo Fly Don’t Bother Me


This morning I was taking a shower and noticed a bug flying around in the shower with me. I filled my mouth with water and sprayed the little creature. But, he was insistent and came back again. So I filled my mouth a second time with water and repeated the process. He flew away but was back a minute later. I thought, hey, maybe the little fly is lonely and just wants someone to be around. I felt compassion for him. This reminded me of when I was little. Continue reading


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Old and Wise

Egon Schiele: Portrait of an Old Man

. . . I want you to know that the hackneyed accusations leveled against us are entirely unfounded. These are the facts:

  1. The reason we don’t like anything innovative is that there is truly nothing new worth liking.
  2. We treat most men like morons because, indeed, most men are morons, not because we’re poisoned by anger, unhappiness or some other flaw in character. (Granted, treating these people better would be more refined and sensible.)
  3. The reason I forget and confuse so many names and faces – except those of the miniaturists I’ve loved and trained since their apprenticeships – is not senility, but because these names and faces are so lackluster and colorless as to be hardly worth remembering.

– Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red .

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My Name is a Masterpiece

My Name is Red

I just finally finished My Name is Red, and Orhan Pamuk has created a true masterpiece. I don’t even know where to begin. This doesn’t mean that I necessarily recommend the book. Although it is only about 400 pages long, it is dense, often times too slow and over descriptive on the history of Persian and Ottoman art. Nevertheless, I am in awe of Pamuk’s endless creativity and insight.

As alluded to in my previous post about the book, Pamuk has created a multilayer story that appears to be a murder mystery, but which in reality, is an in depth analysis of the role of the artist, the meaning and purpose of art, the paradoxes of Islamic art, and the Islamic world’s struggle to accept the inevitable influence of the West in 16th Century Istanbul. In this sense, Continue reading


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The First Generation

Evelyn and Rita.JPG

A few weeks ago, I was waiting to board a flight when I looked up to see my neighborhood Chinese convenient store owner’s wife and eldest son. They were off to China for the summer to see her parents. The experience reminded me, strangely enough, of my maternal grandmother and her sister and got me thinking. Here is what and why: Continue reading


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