Sunday, December 30, 2018

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Malcolm Margolin Strikes Again!

California Institute for Community Arts and Nature

The work California I CAN does is unique, big-hearted, visionary, and most of all essential. Mindful of Emma Goldman’s statement, “If I can’t dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution,” we are going about things with a joy, playfulness, and emotional honesty that make each day a celebration.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas Etc.

Selemat Natal! - Merry Christmas in Indonesia where it's a national holiday. Our Christmas tree is made from wrought iron by the owner of a local hardware store - the plants in it and lights came later.

This is a good holiday greeting card for Bali this year. It's got Christmas, the Bali Hindu celebration of Galungan and Kuningan (good explanation, colorful photos) starting tomorrow, and a Happy New Year.

Those long drooping decorative bamboo poles are penjur and are used for Galungan and Kuningan. Our landlord's son made us one for our place. They're quite tall - go above the electric lines.

More photos and a few more words at Saunters Cuke Annex.

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Thirty years ago today on December 23, 1988, Elin Schweickart and I got married in Osaka,  secular and unceremonious. It was also Emperor Hiroshito's birthday. We called home then from a pay phone in a hotel. Luke warm responses as I recall, like polite approval. I remember her saying to her father, "No, I took Chadwick," and "Schweickart is a man's name too and anyway..." I hesitate to quote there because she said rather strongly that she was dying to get rid of that last name.  Now she's Elin Powers, happily married to Dave. I do indeed look back fondly on the years with Elin. She calls me her Wasband and I call her, at her brilliant suggestion, my past wife experience.

There's a chapter about it in Thank You and OK! - Marital Bows

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Another photo from the wedding earlier this month

Katrinka and DC greet the bride.

See it larger and better at the page for this event.

Puritan Hangover determines what we all can see

Friend looking to self-publish art book with Bookbaby was told that there's a problem. Three pages have bare breasts and if there's one complaint they'll pull it from distribution including ordering online. What a gutless pile of perverted nonsense. Reminds me of how a small group of fanatics influenced what was permissible in history textbooks in Texas and it was such a big market that they were dictating what history kids studied all over the country.

Meanwhile, a giant tsunami is rushing toward us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

At a Ramen Shop

Katrinka and I ate lunch at a little ramen shop today in Sanur tucked back off street in a guest house garden owned and run by an old Japanese guy with a beard. Two Japanese men sat on stools at his counter and ate and talked with him. Both other couples that were there while we were there had a Japanese. I heard a local man talking Japanese to his wife. He'd lived in Tokyo and owned the Japanese retaurant where Katrinka and I ate a week ago in a more touristy area - oh yes, we remembered seeing each other. I spoke a little Japanese with them but can't do that well at all right off - Indonesian words start coming out. Super frustrating. His wife who spoke English and Japanese but little Indonesian said she doesn't go to her husband's Japanese restaurant. I told her this place is the honmono, real thing. Right she said. I gave her the name of Zen Is Right Here in Japanese and the publisher (Zen wa Ima Koko - Samgha) and told her Crooked Cucumber is coming out in Japanese in two months. Had a fun time talking with the owner for a moment but couldn't get far. Talked to a waitress  who was new to Bali. Poor woman had to communicate with the owner in English and a little Indonesian he knew and she had learned a few Japanese words. She'd just arrived from Jakarta. I asked what religion she was because I could see she was Chinese Indonesian. She said Catholic. I told her we were Buddhists. She said that really she's a Buddhist too but at the school she went to she had to sign on as either Muslim, Catholic, or Protestant, and choose Catholic because, like Buddhists, they use incense.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Wedding Report 3

Kadek brought the bride and groom to greet us. Shy nineteen year old Nopita was tall and stunning with crown. Last time we met she was a foot shorter in high school. Her new husband young and shy too. They'll live in Denpasar. Maybe they already do. She serves, he cooks at Al Dente in Kuta. We've heard of it. Good rep. I gave him an envelope with their names on it and a card inside with the Om symbol implying the Bali greeting, "Om swastiastu." Inside were congratulations in Indonesian and English and five nice crisp rupiah bills. Then they were off with parents to go to the family temple and after that a few hours away to Kadek's village for more ceremony and festivities. Little by little we had been relating to others near us young and old - Nopita's little sister Lena and teen friends, littler brother, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, neighbors. It was obvious only two were used to being with foreigners - a cousin gold and silver jewelry salesman and a driver, both of whom live in Denpasar. By the time we left, it was all most comfortable and friendly. That's not hard to do here. Ketut's sister brought us a box of leftovers with lots of her little batter fried mushrooms that I'd eaten tons of and praised - she's got a home industry making and selling them. We were off beneath dark clouds, passing other decorative wedding sites with people spilling out into the streets slowing us down. A final stop at a market in Tabanan with hundreds of stalls to get our favorite bananas that ripen green, mangoes and mangosteen, little green limes, purple grapes good for juicing. Back home at sunset paid Komang and we gave him some of the fruit from the market and the box of leftovers. Time for a shower. 

Friday, December 14, 2018

Wedding Report part 2

The ceremony was in an elevated area inside a room with a floor and altar and there's a kitchen in back. I think all that is his sister's. I'd connected our driver Komang to the them so he could find it and Ketut was waiting for us out front which was festively decorated as were other wedding sites we passed. It was a good day for a wedding. When Katrinka and I got married here we had to choose a date off the Bali calendar with a fully tattooed shirtless muscular head of our local banjar, neighborhood government. It was unthinkable to choose a bad date. Before we arrived Komang pulled over so I could use the jungle toilet, as he called it, and Katrinka and I could put our formal gear over what we were wearing - her a thin, lovely golden dress that folds across like a sarong, her hand and toenails gold. Komang helped me cinch my blue sarong right and get my new batik headband on correctly. All the men and women were dressed thus for the occasion, but the attire of the women of course was so beautiful - and they, of all ages, were too. The ceremony proper had been between ten and eleven and we were there for the food and mainly to make an appearance. There were no other foreigners. Kadek was stunning - I didn't recognize her at first with the ruby makeup and all. We were treated like royalty. Seated in pink plastic chairs at a table by ourselves and brought little boxes with a bottle of water and some treats.  People were all over - out front, on the way in, sitting in pink plastic chairs, all around us, lining up at the buffet table, standing around. Everyone seemed aware of us and shy. Katrinka said, we're surely billed as her and sometimes his employer. Kadek went out and found our driver Komang and brought him in. She couldn't ask me on that day why we didn't hire her husband because he was busy with the wedding. She helped me get servings for Katrinka and me - in rattan plates with paper disks on top to hold the food in. Good food - passed on the pork - which was special for the occasion, Kadek who knows we don't eat meat did offer twice though - greens and other local veggie dishes, fried tempe bits, batter fried mushroom, rice. Yum yum. 

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wedding Report part one

Took us four hours to get to the wedding on Wednesday the 12th, leaving at 8am. First dropped off dogette Bandita at Bali Kennel which is five star, cheap and blessedly near us and it's the only one in south Bali where most the foreigners are. Then almost entirely on crowded two lane roads through Denpasar and thinning out through many little towns and by rice fields and jungle and winding over a mountain with a monkey here and there on the side of the road to the norther regency of Singaraja (Lion King). Driver Komang was on the phone and asked around till we found Ketut and Kadek's home there. Kadek's our housecleaner and Ketut's a driver we've known since we first arrived. It's not really their home. They live in Denpasar. But Hindus here have to return to their village of birth for ceremony and are supposed to have a home to go to. Ketut can't afford to build a new home up there all at once so right now just some cinder block walls next to his sister's house. Covering some of the walls were spreads of colorful material and one long red cloth banner advertising Telecomsel, the government phone company. [more tomorrow] - No wedding photos yet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Detail about the attack on Pearl Harbor

We just passed two prominent dates for many of us, December 7th, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and December 8th, recognized as Buddha's enlightenment day in Japan and elsewhere by Mahayana Buddhists - Bodhi day. But in Japan those two are the same day. The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor early on Rohatsu (8th day, 12th month) as they call it. Japan during daylight savings time is 19 hours ahead of Hawaii. The attack happened on December 7th at 7:48am Hawaii time. In Japan, it was 2:48am on December 8th. I can't see that as an accident. The best thing is we've evolved and we're friends now and we have much bigger problems than to think about that old stuff.  

Friday, December 7, 2018

Unspoken Poetry Slam in Bali

I've been busy and have neglected the nonZense Blog. That Unspoken Poetry gig on December 1st was a gas and time-consuming. And gosh - that was six days ago. Check 'em out. (Facebook link) It's been a good experience for me and for Katrinka too.  On Instagram they're


Einstein on Religion

Albert Einstein was ridiculed for what he wrote about religion, told he should stick to science - in print and on TV - by people who could only think in terms of their literal beliefs. Someone just paid a huge amount for his "God letter."  - that's an article in Guardian. Here's Wikipedia on his religious and philosophical views.