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Welcome to one and all! Has the week left your brain frizzled? It's been a rough time to be a caring Kossack and here we are at the end of another week. Was it a productive week for you? I had trouble concentrating on anything but my friends on Daily Kos. If you don't mind hopping over the Itzl flavored, elegantly whorled hairball I'd like to share a warm, fuzzy thought and perhaps a drawing from my week with you ... or just ignore my guff an dig right in to the comments and relax. It's an open thread so the floor is open. And an open floor means there are no chairs to trip over while you're dancing.

I go by the username of Marko the Werelynx around here. Lycanthropy for me is a way of viewing the world. It's a fuzzier way of looking at things; a blurring of boundaries and borders. In the computing world fuzzy logic is trying to get computers to break out of their horribly limiting binary, off or on, one or zero, black or white, view of the world.

And fuzzy is how I seem to be living my life. Just over 20 years ago I moved to the Czech Republic yet I've kept my US citizenship and spend entirely too much time on blogs based in the USA. My work as an illustrator mostly revolves around Czech people as does most of my social and family life. My sense of national identity is somewhat blurred. The few English speaking friends I do have over here are not your typical clueless expats. They've all been here a similar or even much longer amount of time than I have and, believe it or not, none of us have to ask for special menus. I don't live in an English language world. And my vocabulary is atrophying and I don't think my Czech will ever improve much beyond where it is now. My world is not American and it isn't entirely Czech either. I'm snuggled into one of the grey areas.

I'm not Czech so I can't vote where I live. I'm no longer a resident of Wisconsin so I can't vote in the state and local levels of the elections there. And yet, by law, I have to pay taxes here. I live a life of "taxation without representation" -- but last autumn I filled out my absentee ballot anyway.

I like to think that this lycanthropy of mine has brought me around to a fuzzy way of thinking. I think it's healthy to reject binary logic in most things. Binary thinking divides while fuzzy thinking combines. The world isn't black and white. There aren't any black or white people-- unless you count coal miners and mimes. C'mon, think about it: not even albinos are truly white and the darkest person ever born in Africa is weak tea compared to anything that is truly black. Trust someone who occasionally makes a few shekels painting portraits, it's always a blend of tones and shades. What color am I? On closer inspection a better question might be what colors I'm not-- it'd be a shorter list.

When you're fuzzy it's a lot harder to be a racist.

I refuse to live in a binary world!

In politics-- I choose! No blind, binary loyalties for me! It's just a shame that for every election of my adult life I've never been offered a Republican that I could vote for and still keep my breakfast in my belly.

Which reminds me of food and the thought that my favorite flavors are actually a blend of flavors. Imagine a sauce with one ingredient ... bleh. When the table offers salt or pepper I hop into the kitchen for the oregano.

Gender is another area where fuzzy thinking makes life easier. You can reject all the tired, worn stereotypes that your society tries to force upon you and just be yourself. Too many labels are just more binary bondage. Once you get past the genitalia what makes a man or a woman? Gender roles? Bah, it's not for the fuzzy-headed like me. You've got to follow your heart, not your gonads. Nothing but trouble those gonads... So says Marko, man, husband and father. I'm a stay-at-home dad, and I'm a man that does most of the cooking at home and chances are I've folded more t-shirts than you [full disclosure would indicate that I tell you I worked for a silk-screen printing company for several years... ]. I probably also own more chainsaws than you do, I own a forge -- yet I can't even pretend to be interested in sport teams that my children don't actually play on. What does it mean to be a man? What does it mean to be human for that matter?

In some ways I do fall into the stereotypes. In other ways I wander off the beaten path and into the deep, dark forest. Yeah, I try not to let civilization shape me too much. When the clothing racks in the stores fill up with the, once every decade or so, flood of jeans with pre-torn holes in them I don't buy jeans.

Fuzzy thinking helps you to look at the world and discover that no person can be reduced to good or evil. Nothing is pure.

I suppose fuzzy thinking is part of why I find steampunk so appealing. The strange mixture of science and nostalgia; Victorian era submarines and steampowered robots. I have a particular love of the Hellboy series of films. A portion of the first film that ended up on the cutting-room floor was actually filmed in my neighborhood. I stopped by the set and introduced myself to the Assistant Director. And no, I'm not working on any films with him. But the experience helped cement my interest in the genre.

Even my life here within the Czech Republic is a life lived between worlds. Right now I'm in the country in a 200 year old farm house, much of my time is spent in the city in one of the last big pre-fab concrete housing projects built under communism in Prague. I was lucky to get that one picture posted with the quality of my connection tonight. I arrived several hours ago and started a fire in the stove. Finally getting warm. Just in time for my little family to arrive.

I'll be back in a few hours to read your comments. That's about the limit of what I can do with the internets for now. Spell-check has abandoned ship some time ago. Time for me to fade back into one of the many other worlds that my fuzzy life has taken me.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cookie Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Because the only tips I can think of worth eating are asparagus-- and cookies were always ever so much tastier than mojo.

    If you read all that up there well, thanks for reading! It's just a rambling train of thought. Feel free to add your own thoughts-- there ain't no caboose.

    “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

    by Marko the Werelynx on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:33:57 AM PST

  •  Friday! (9+ / 0-)

    Wow, over 21 years!
    I could not imagine, but you must like it there.

    I lived for 2 years in a suburb of Paris, due to Mr.AzBlue's job, and even though I absolutely loved it in France, I was really happy to get home.
    And then once we were home, I really missed France and it's going on 10 years and there are still times that I miss it.

    I grew up just outside of Detroit, so I was fairly familiar with big city life, but not the big city life of Paris.
    When we first arrived, and I would walk my husband to the Metro in the dark and then back home, it took me awhile to calm down and not be on constant alert for crime.
    Even when we moved to a house in St. Cloud, France and we'd walk at night, it took us awhile to lose that fear of being out after dark.

    I loved it there because it reminded me a lot of my childhood from safer streets to white-glove-wearing school crossing guards.
    It was like stepping back in time in both architecture and culture.

    I must say that I am quite shocked at Parisians protesting gay marriage.
    They seemed much less puritanical than Americans and definitely more secular.

    Not sure what dinner is tonight as we just finished an extremely late breakfast - Liver sausage on toast with cottage cheese.
    Will most likely have a salad later.

    Hope everyone has a great Friday and good weekend!

    •  Ah, Paris ... (0+ / 0-)

      I have some fond memories of that city. During the week of bicentennial celebrations a couple of German friends and I lived with a French family in Paris. And years later, my favorite female and I stayed with her cousin for a few days just a couple of doors down from Notre Dame. Tiny little student apartment ... almost an attic crawl space. I've been to Paris three times and have yet to climb the Eifel Tower.

      I guess I generally feel safe walking around at night. Helps to be a fairly large person. There isn't a great deal of violent crime in Prague-- for a city of about 2 million people it seems remarkably safe.

      France has become slowly creepier and creepier over the last 20 years or so. Intolerance and rascism seem to have been gaining wider acceptance and I've seen more openly rascist politicians over there. The Czech Republic also has an undercurrent of intolerance-- the results of the Czech presidential elections are being announced behind me as I write this. Ach, the buffoon won. You can expect plenty of diplomatic blundering. Oh well, at least it won't be boring.

      “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

      by Marko the Werelynx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:16:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, did I write 21 years? (0+ / 0-)

      I've got to fix that. I moved in 1992 ... later this year it will be 21 years.

      Yet another example of just how fuzzy my thinking has gotten.

      “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

      by Marko the Werelynx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:34:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dinner tonight (9+ / 0-)

    is a potluck at a small one-room school that is being converted into a museum and community center in a small community on the reservation. Following dinner there will be a presentation on the fur trade (that's my new Humanities presentation). This will be the first time I've done this presentation as a part of the state humanities program and I'm a little concerned that: (a) it will be rough in places, and (b) it will be a bit long.

  •  You're paid in (5+ / 0-)

    shekels? You poor man. No wonder you were having problems with your bank.

    By the way, I had the print I got from you framed recently and it is now hanging in my living room. I just love it.

    Progress is made peace by peace.

    by StateOfGrace on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:31:25 PM PST

    •  Yeah, and the shekel exchange rate is killing me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And yay! I'm so glad to hear that print has found a home where it is appreciated!

      “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

      by Marko the Werelynx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:28:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Soup (5+ / 0-)

    We have had an ice storm today. I'm hoping the car melts enough tomorrow because I have to take it in and get the front headlight replaced. Grumble.

    I've been working on art lately. Got Jupiter from Europa the way I want it but still working on Io.

    Europa photo Europa2_zps97d4ba45.jpg

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 02:33:13 PM PST

    •  Cool ... (0+ / 0-)

      Looks a bit like the icy view outside my window.

      I just finished making a batch of soup myself. It's a thick chowder made with tuna, potato, onion, chicken stock, corn starch, milk, water, cream, salt, pepper and thyme.

      Pretty good stuff. I mentioned once in Cheers & Jeers that I was using tuna as a substitute for clams and commonmass offered to send me a case of fresh clams.

      Some days I wish I lived by the sea-- if nothing else, for the food!

      “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

      by Marko the Werelynx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:23:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All Star Orchestra (3+ / 0-)

    "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

    by DJ Rix on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:49:08 PM PST

  •  Marko, I'm delighted you're still here. (3+ / 0-)

    Is there a diary that explains the transition from Street Prophets to this?  It's been awhile.

    Many a thief is a better man than many a clergyman, and miles nearer to the gate of the kingdom. - G. MacDonald

    by vesticular on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 09:27:41 PM PST

    •  I posted a diary on the transition (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Here's a link with some of the story. Most of the links to old blue SP were still dead or redirecting to this group last time I checked. Markos sez that eventually it'll all be linkable-- tucked away, archived, in something like a site.

      “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.”

      by Marko the Werelynx on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 10:14:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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