by Kevin Mitchell

“Look at the bridge. You see the two towers?”- Jeppy
“yeah”- me
“You see how each of the tower carries the load of the structure equally?”-Jeppy
“yeah”- me
“That’s what a real relationship should look like.”- Jeppy
“that’s awesome”- me

This Tower Bridge is now on the top of my list of places I want to go see. I hope to one day take my own photograph of this bridge and frame it to hang on my wall.

It’s such beautiful, symbolic icon of what I’ve realized has made me fail so badly at relationships all my life and what I should always be striving for instead. You have to seek true balance and structure between both parties. Sure, there will always been imbalanced relationships and partial/quasi casual friendships.

Tower Bridge however is the epitome of an amazing friendship. It requires both parties to grow strong together and want to hold equal part in the relationship. You can’t fake connections. You can’t bypass the construction of the structure as much as you’d like to because then you just create something weak and temporary.

It’s such a simple but beautiful concept of a partnership in any connection you have in life. Forget BFF! It’s TBF! Tower Bridge Friends 🙂

I’m not exactly sure what it means to try to repair bridges that have long swept away though. Do we reconstruct from scratch or take a lesson in the fact that the relationship didn’t have the structure it needed to begin with? I have an enormous amount of flaws. My emotional shortcomings prevent me from my own self-repair at times…… other than that, I’m not all together sure about much. I just know that relationships require a good sense of continual assurance which require a degree of emotional presence….get what you give…lalalalala. I’m working on it.


The "Outback"

The Maxx, Book 1, originally uploaded by Timaximus.

The Maxx is an American comic that was turned into an animated series by MTV in the 90s. It’s a bit complicated but that’s what I loved about the series as well as Aeon Flux. It wasn’t until I watched those that I realized animations and comics had any depth to them (the exception being Winnie the Pooh and his great philosophies regarding the simplicities of life). Later on, I discovered anime and loved it.

This entire story line almost entirely takes place in the subconscious mind which is why I love it so much. It follows this woman who goes to help a man and ends up raped, beaten, and left to die. The world that is created in the comic is all about the psychological “Outback” in which she is able to deal with learning how to cope again.

The Maxx is sort of her guardian that is linked to her subconscious. In the real world, he’s a homeless hopeless guy but in her Outback, he’s a more effective protector. The dynamic of the two worlds is done very well and more importantly to me, it successfully visualizes the complexity of the human mind. I love how in depth they explore the psyche and how difficult it is to repair yourself alone.

I think I see the Meta a lot like the “Outback” but obviously not on the same traumatic story scale as Julie’s plight. To a degree, I believe so many people are escaping or migrating to the Meta because they’re trying to take control of something they can’t cope with or fully realize in the real world. I’m very interested in observing people as they create their own “Leopard Queen” personas. Inevitably, as great as we think it is to delve far from reality, just like Julie, we discover that the “Mr.Gone’s” and “Isz” follow us. The real challenge is allowing the Meta to help us find ourselves again and then returning back to reality better and more intact and not completely lost. Dilemma, I know.

Anyhow, the Animated Series ends well before the actual story line gets crazier which I think is good. It was already probably well over most people’s level of psychoanalytical flavoring. I signed a petition a few years ago to try and get The Maxx produced to dvd. And I recently bought the animated series as soon as it became available on DVD. I think I might watch that this weekend.

Maybe I can figure out how to extinguish my own iszs. Here’s a link/clip to the series if you want to check it out:

Flagship Alachia

Flagship Alachia, originally uploaded by alachia.

So when I bought my kite at the World Wind Kite Shop, the guy at the counter paused and looked up at me and smiled. He chuckled and said, “so this one… it will take 10-15 mins to set up. You might want to practice first.”

I think what he meant to say was “LAWLZ. good luck flying a ship in the wind!”

The assembly wasn’t too bad actually although I got the sails backwards at first. During construction, it kept wanting to take off on its own. However, while I tried to launch it, it would never catch wind. The wind totally started to die down and there were no good gusts.

I was totally determined though to make this thing fly! I finally caught it on a strong breeze after many, many attempts and it launched! I kept having to run around and try to catch more breezes. The wind really needs to be pretty strong for this type of kite.

It’s also kind of crazy out there during the Zilker Park Kite Festival because of tangling lines and crossing over each other. Many people got caught in crazy webs! I was fortunate to not get crisscrossed. I got my kite sailing for about 10 minutes before the wind got too low to make a decent flight.

It was a lovely day though. I only wish it had been a bit windier. I’ll post more pics tomorrow. I had to go to an unexpected but lovely dinner after the festival so I got back home a lot later than I had planned.

Mission make a boat fly though was a success! I’m quite glad the festival got postponed to this weekend so I got a chance to experience it.


I have no idea why I’m obsessed with the song Eros by Late Night Alumni. I can’t stop listening to it. It just goes in sync with my thoughts and feelings at the moments. The funny thing is that I really don’t know what the lyrics mean. I figure I’ll try to analyze them and see if I can’t put an end to this obsession……….

Eros prays we build our house upon him.
Sees how well it stands, how long we last
Built upon the sand, on the idol Eros.

So According to wikki, Eros, “in Greek Mythology, was the primordial god of sexual love and beauty. Throughout Greek thought, there appear to be two sides to the conception of Eros. In the first, he is a primeval deity who embodies not only the force of erotic love but also the creative urge of ever-flowing nature.” So I take it mean that Eros is hoping “we” build a relationship built upon his ideals and see how long it lasts. Built upon the sand might hint at the futility of this as sand is ever eroding and not something you can build anything solid on.

So when he’s gone, can I do what Eros does?
What he does for us, he does for us.
And when he’s gone can it be the way it was?
Bring him back to us. Is he all we’ve got
Our house built upon? On the idol Eros?

Without the magic of erotic love, does the relationship still work? I take it to mean that stage in the relationship where the initial lust and passion start to fade. It’s that moment where you see it slipping and want it back because you realize it’s all that makes the relationship work..”bring him back to us. is he all we’ve got?”

When our haven wavers in the wind
And walls all beg to be abandoned,
Blame the idol Eros.

As with all these types of relationships that are built upon this type of love and desire, they break and fall apart. And you can look at blinding passion to blame.

When the raven calls and all his melodies
All long to be forgotten,
Blame the idol Eros.

A raven stands for many things. It is known a symbol for knowledge and is said to be a Danish device used as a heraldic symbol. So when the raven calls it’s that time of coming to your senses in the relationship and realizing the true reality of it and how it was not built on anything real. It is also traditionally a symbol of death which works in the same way in this line. Either through awakening or death, what was not lasting will eventually be forgotten.

What’s left to say but I loved the way it was?
..Cause I said I would, I’ve done all I could.
See what he’s done to us?
Oh the idol Eros.

Looking back, we all enjoy those brief moments of undeniable states of delusion where you forgo everything around you except the person you are devoted to..All that matters is that you can express the passion and consume it while it lasts. You burn hard, bright as long as you can until inevitably “Eros” leaves and usually one of your lights die out or fade.

When our haven wavers in the wind
And walls all beg to be abandoned,
When the raven calls and all his melodies
All long to be forgotten,
Blame the idol Eros.

The Boy Who Cried Buzz Sucks

This was going to be a buzz but decided to it’d end up way too long so I figured I’d throw it up here. I just read a review that scathed and ranted about the privacy issues with the new Google Buzz. I haven’t exactly made up my mind yet on these things being the destroyer of worlds and the end of privacy as we know it…

I think it’s a good thing that I haven’t decided completely. It’s best not to shoot from the hip and do the research first I think and look at this in the entire perspective of online social media. So many people are just vomiting shit about Google Buzz regarding privacy issues.

I get it, I understand the GPS tracking via the phone app can be dangerous when it comes to protecting your personal information. I sure as heck don’t want people having my home address. But I wonder if people actually have thought about how easy it is to find your home address? For a few of the people who ranted about privacy on twitter, I did a bit of stalking research. Sure enough, it was hella easy to figure out not only their address but their home phone number and sometimes even birth dates.

If someone wants to find out information about you and you currently use your real name in the public eye, guess what? They will find you. Facebook is a wet dream for stalkers, phishers, and identity thieves. Not only do you give your name but your location, relationship status, birthdates, favorite color, favorite movies, favorite songs etc. And the worst part about it is that it’s all under the guise of gaining your old friends back and networking with new ones. There are tons of games you play on facebook that ask you to identify personal information about your friends… “how well do you know Mr. Smith.” “or “Which of these celebrities is most like Mr. Smith.” It’s a silly little, fun game you think you’re playing but in reality, it’s called personal data mining.

Most of the tech savvy people out there try to be as careful as possible with who they friend but seriously, when you’re mass adding your HS class and those handful of buddies from college and the co-workers you used to work with….it’s easy for any of those accounts to get compromised as I saw happen many times to friends on facebook…ie why is he inviting me to join a facebook group for pirated movies? Oh…he got hacked. You think it’s a closed secure walled garden but here’s the hard lesson I learned a long time ago…once you put information on the internet, it’s there forever. Delete it as many times as you want, but it’s out there.

Twitter is no better for sure but at least with twitter you are able use handles to protect your RL identity if you chose to do so although a lot of people don’t bother.

And this is where I get a little frustrated with the hypocrisy of the whole privacy issue. I’m crazy paranoid about protecting my RL identity. I even go above and beyond with very, very annoying hurdles that piss my photo happy acquaintances off. I don’t do this because I’m ashamed of who I am or that I think people actually give a shit but because I want the ability to keep the two separate. I like my privacy. I value the ability to be anonymous and not have two varying worlds collide when they clearly should not. I remember how annoyed some friends were that I would not friend them on my RL accounts. The funny thing was that it wasn’t to protect my RL ID but rather my meta from RL acquaintances like extended family, co-workers, and other people who just “don’t get me.”

I also feel like information and depth of a person should be revealed in layers depending on the quality of the relationship. That’s just me though. I’m extremely guarded. I can’t even trust a friendship is going to sustain unless it’s lasted for more than three years and even then, it’s still questionable. Meta-wise, we’re really all just great big ships passing in the night for the most part. It’s not the romantic way to think of relationships but sadly more true than not (eventually they all fade out).

Bah. Anyhow, this brings me to my point about social media and privacy. Truth is, if you want it, you can have my email address. My email address is put in more slots than [insert dirty joke]. In today’s social networking world and online consumerism, your email is like your virtual hand. If you don’t extend the hand, nothing happens. You don’t meet people, you don’t communicate, and you sure as hell can’t get anything worthwhile. Why are people suddenly pretending the “email” is the virgin mary? Email is made to be slutty folks.

And even more annoying from gmail users who are going off on the buzz privacy rant….uh, it’s free. I don’t remember seeing you pay for this service nor their search engine. It’s like when Facebook said fuck you guys, we’re changing the format up and you can’t do crap about it—-despite your One million against the new Facebook format groups. Google is exercising it’s right as the proprietary owner of their technology. I wonder if those gmail users have even read the terms of agreement when they created their gmail accounts. If auto-follow contacts scares the piss out of you, you should have ran for the hills before hitting “By clicking on ‘I accept’ below you are agreeing to the Terms of Service above and both the Program Policy and the Privacy Policy” when you read this:

“You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.”


“You acknowledge and agree that if Google disables access to your account, you may be prevented from accessing the Services, your account details or any files or other content which is contained in your account.”

Seriously man, some perspective please. That’s the part that pisses me off. I mean I get the auto-follow contacts, geo tracking bullshit stuff. I get it. But it’s your choice to use google. If you feel safer with yahoo or hotmail then don’t migrate..stay “safe”…lol.

If and when our secure content is spilled out like a horrific oil tanker disaster, I’ll be the first to pitch the forks and burn down google, trust me. But in this case, I feel like people are crying wolf without knowing what they’re looking at. I wanted to post this in google buzz to hear other people’s dialogue on the subject because I’m open to other perspectives but damn it was just too big (TWSS)!

update: speaking of security nightmares!

OMG. Check this article out about Pete Warden and what’s he’s about to do with 215 million Facebook profiles!

another update: crap, I forgot where I was even going with this initial post. I was responding in response to a critical review from an influential tech personality. Yeah, about that. It’s very easy to forget that the majority of us socnet users aren’t famous. Half the time, we’re lucky if anything we say gets feedback. *tap tap is this thing on?* is the general populations take on things like twitter, blogs, and chat tools. So it’s a bit unfair to compare “your” privacy issues and woes with people like us. Yeah, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston and top tv personalities might have some trouble using this as it would fill their inbox up overnight.

But even with the whole geotagging feature. I saw someone’s house today because of the geotag feature. It was neat, it was innocent. I get the feeling he’s not worried anyone is going to come knocking at his door. For those of us who interface in the meta innocently, it’s just awesome to have that kind of connection. And yes, you can’t be naive. I understand the dangers of exposing your home address but damn if it ain’t cool to use that street viewer and ask someone if they plan on changing the color of their shudders in the near future. Sharing doesn’t always have to be a dirty word. We’re not all out to get you and your precious information…it’s a shame that shit exists…so much lost potential.

I often wonder if the reviewer even thought much about the implications of buzz or even just the technology of “friendfeed” integrated into your mail service. It really does answer a lot of the problems we have with the antiquated format of communication called e-mail. We communicate differently. Just think about it… is e-mail even your primary source of communication via the web? Not for me for sure. We don’t write letters anymore, it’s often too cumbersome to mind dump, instead we opt more for conversations. E-mail should be treated more like open-ended conversations. Technology has advanced us the tools for this but maybe not everyone has fully adapted yet? Google buzz gives me the ability to have those flexible, flowing conversations rather than rigid one to one exchanges.

Meta Footprint

I entered Alachia into this cool visualization output tool done by MIT. ( It combined the meta for all digital traces of my existence and compiled this data.

Unfortunately, my name is borrowed from other unique character in the verse who has a lot of data written about her. Queen Alachia of the Blood Elves from an RPG table top fantasy game I used to play. I think that’s why there are a lot of visualizations regarding “books” and “genealogy” in that composite.

I’m fascinated mostly though by the difference in meta output from Alachia and my real name. Because when I entered my real name I got an entirely different result. I don’t exist online as my RL name.

I am not exactly surprised by this at all as I’ve taken great efforts to separate the two identities and leave the one that is most insignificant behind in the RL.

I am quite happy to see that I, Alachia, am able to visualize a completely meta footprint after all.

I’m not ashamed of my RL self at all. We’re one in the same really. It’s just that her identity, the one bearing my real name, doesn’t have much meaning. Just as the visualization tool findings, there is no substance to that identity. I’ve actually contemplated on changing my RL name at one point but then realized I like the flexibility the duality of existences provides me.

Austin Photowalk aka Paparazzi Tour

I went on the Austin Photowalk hosted by Trey Ratcliff last night. It was a public event which started at the Driskill Hotel on 6th street. I think about 70+ people showed up. Huge turn out.

When I stepped inside the Victorian Room which is where we started the meeting, I noticed EVERYONE had a DSLR. Maybe like three other people like myself had a point and shoot (meh Cannon G10 FTW!) Lol. Talk about feeling inadequate.

But for me right now, it has been more important to actually get the shot than worry about the quality of the shot. Once I get into the habit of taking photos, then I’ll worry about upgrading.

The walk was from the Driskill hotel up to the State Capital and back. I only made it to the Capitol Building and then decided not to go back to the hotel for “drinks”….

The only conversation I had was with a guy who asked me, “is that a clicker?” He wanted to know if I was using a point and shoot camera which I thought was an odd question considering I was one of the only people there with a camera lens that is attached to the camera. I wasn’t sure if he was trying to make me feel bad but decided he was just genuinely curious because he was very friendly.

Once I told him it was a G10, he was like, “oh that’s more than a point and shoot. You know you can attach lenses to that?” And I didn’t really know that so I thanked him for the info and asked him how he liked his Canon DSLR and he told me he’d rather have the Nikon. lol.

While I didn’t really learn anything or talk to anyone, it was just great to be able to feel comfortable taking photographs in public. And I think I got some really great shots which I’ll be posting and working into HDRs soon.

Oh and while I only talked to one other photographer, I talked to about five total strangers who kept asking me what the heck was going on…. they wanted to know if it was a photography class or if we were some crazy paparazzi crew. Willie Nelson was apparently downtown as well so they thought it had something to do with him.

I’m hoping there will be more events like this and that as it continues, the numbers will start to get smaller and so I’ll have more of a chance to get to know people. I’m waaaaaay too shy to talk to people in large settings.

Photo Walk

HDR 12: Bucket, originally uploaded by alachia.

Ever since @jemimus introduced me to the StuckinCustoms blog, I’ve been head over heels in love with HDR photography. I just absolutely love the effect these photos have. They really do capture that essence of a camera “stealing your soul”….or in most HDR cases, “stealing the essence of the scene”

The “dynamic range” of the altered HDR image helps enrich the experience which is so commonly associated with the “you just had to be there” feeling. Anyhow, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered @treyratcliff (the hdr expert behind stuckincustoms) actually lives in Austin, Texas.

Yesterday, he posted a news clip of him inviting people out to photowalk being hosted for August 6th in downtown Austin. I really want to go but my agoraphobia is totally kicking in…. I just know if I don’t go though I’ll totally regret it.

It’s not often you get an opportunity to immerse yourself in an RL community and one that is hosted by an expert of something you’re so passionate about. I should totally go. I hope I find the courage to do so.