Upstream of Consciousness

Upstream of Consciousness wants to be a collection of interviews that only contain answers. I will provide 5 phrases, words, quotes, links, pictures, or videos (in italics) and your consciousness will provide the rest. Responses can be short or long, real or fictional, words, links, or anything in between. In return, each of my "subjects" will give me 1 item back which I will then respond to (under the heading Ripple, with a number next to it). Come, swim for a while.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ripple (10)

10. [Bri]

Oooh, New Age website!

This website might as well be written in Mandarin, or some other language I don't understand, because that's about how well I follow what is written here (There is a NEW READERS section, but what's the fun in that?).

Instead, I first clicked on the link to "Becoming a Messiah" and then "Homework Assignment" here, and was disappointed to find the homework to be much like my homework in college -- download these articles and read them.

I think on a scale of 1 to 10, I'd be about a 7 of a Messiah -- sort of your garden variety, good guy, not the one to save the earth but not the one to lead everyone off a cliff to hell either kind of a Messiah.

Joking aside, this seems like a pretty hardcore version of New Ageism, although I could be wrong, because I know very little about it. I do have friends, including my oldest childhood friend, who ascribe to some New Age beliefs.

Personally, I'm of a very scientific mindset -- life is a product of genes and environment, which is to say we are born with a rough blueprint and then our experiences and interactions with others fill in the rest of the lines. Even belief itself -- that comes out of genetic predispositions and biography, neurotransmitters firing away. Everyone and everything is connected in that molecules are constantly bouncing off of each other, my words are read and enter someone's thoughts, etc. I haven't really thought about how the universe beyond Earth comes into play, although it must, in terms of the gravitational pull of the moon, our perception of the constellations, and of course, the Sun. But I think it all happens on an atomic particle level, something tangible that can be measured and studied and seen using science -- if not now, eventually, with better tools.

I'm willing to admit that I might be wrong, that there might be some 258th dimension of reality and truth that my genetics and my history have tuned me out of. And so a conversation about beliefs, unless your beliefs cause you to hate people, is always interesting to me.


A link of this beautiful video was passed around on my Twitter feed on the anniversary of 9/11 and I became curious about the person behind it. I highly recommend looking at Bri's website, (where you can find among her digital art, the work in number 4) and her blog at -- her art and stories are both fascinating and inspiring.


=D! Love this song. I've made a career out of making music videos, but this industry has always been intimately linked with record labels-- who are now nosediving as a collective whole. When I first started a "cheap DIY" video cost about $40k, now labels are offering about a quarter of that. This means way more work for me, and way less money. (boohoo)

The Download Divide -

2. "I met an old lady once, almost a hundred years old, and she told me, 'There are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all through history. How much do you love me? And who's in charge?'" - Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love

3. The Iran You Don't Know

Though I'm not seeing anything particularly interesting about those two images of the show, I obviously dig the sentiment. Iran is nothing like how the majority of Americans see it- traveling and seeing different cultures should be requisite for life-- especially, especially if you are going to have an opinion about them. I'll be headed back to Iran early next year, and hopefully Jeddah as well, pretty psyched about it.


In 2004, after dusk, two jets flew over my apartment in Allston, MA (I was then living with the sexy, famed Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls). The jets were part of an airshow at Fenway Park. They tore through the atmosphere and, as I ran to the front door to catch a glimpse, my brain was hit with the most electric & intense headache, migraine, I had ever experienced. I had to hide under my dark blue down comforter for about a week, everything hurt my brain.

While sitting in the silence, I started to feel a certain sentience fill the room-- the air would get lighter. And as I would lay down at night, I felt many invisible creatures put their hands on me (I imagined they all looked mostly human). There was a current flowing from them to me. It felt like some sort of healing ritual... and, in some parallel dimension, my body was completely glowing.

After about a week, the headaches went away but the imaginary friends did not. I felt a really intense love for them, and one in particular. After moving to the South End (Cloud Club, the same building complex as Amanda Palmer of Dresden Dolls & Michael Pope, director extraordinaire), I was having regular visits from a recurring cast of invisibles.

After moving to NYC, I don't have nearly as many of these experiences, though my brain often composites faces out of random patterns (in a brick wall, in a spill, in cracks of the sidwalk)- and I imagine this is some sign that there is someone invisible in my presence. This digital painting series (Elgin, Eastor, etc) began under my assumption that if I dump a set of colors onto a page, I can find that face, or figure, to be revealed. As they reveal themselves to me, I revel in assigning them personalities, voices, eating habits, etc.
Elgin is kind of a grumpy prickly guy who ultimately has a heart of gold!

5. groove

Monday, September 7, 2009


The wonderful New Zealander Briar writes about, among other things, cupcakes (!) at and will write beautiful stories and poetry for you at Go check them both out!

1. "I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." -Lillian Smith

This is such a true statement, although I might rephrase it slightly if it were me being quoted and not Lillian Smith. Her wording seems to assume that one needs an intent to journey into oneself for the external global journeys to have true meaning and distance. I guess this may be true in some cases, but in my own personal experience, and what I hear from other people, the moment you leave your comfort zone, whether it be your house, your suburb, your city, country, continent, hemisphere, once you leave the place that you know and venture out, it's inevitable that your mind and heart will open and allow passage inwards. Whether it's self-discovery, or change, or just understanding, I'm not sure. It's probably all of them. You can't leave for another world, no matter how many parallels it might share with your own, and expect to come back exactly the same as you were. You could come back looking exactly the same (although obviously that's not necessarily the case - you might come back with short hair dyed a different colour, a pierced nose and a tattoo on your shoulder - hypothetically, of course) and yet when you go to sleep at night, your dreams are on the trains of a different city.

2. "A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked." -Author Unknown

Sometimes I think I'm entirely cracked, and yet those who have seen me at my most shattered (this metaphor could get terrible reeeally fast) are certainly among my best - and truest - friends. That's not to say that those who haven't seen that side of me aren't true friends, but there are definitely those who don't know exactly what's beneath the shiny bastardised accented, New York obsessed, music sharing exterior. Although the interior is also all of those things.

I think it's good to know what's inside. If you aren't cracked at all, not even a little bit, how can we see in and understand?

3. [Article taken down -- It was about a New Zealand burger restaurant called Murder Burger where the employees wear shirts that read "Meat is Murder". No, they do not serve vegetarian options. Their weird website and menu can be found here.]

HAHA. I've never been to Murder Burger, even though I've been a very very bad vegetarian of late. They'd only get away with that sort of thing in Ponsonby, at least at first.

Either way, the best burgers in New Zealand, and, in fact, probably the whole world, are at Burger Fuel. The Combustion Vege is particularly excellent. They're very open to vegetarian and vegan stuff there.

If there is one song that I wish I had heard Amanda Palmer play in my time in the US, it would have been Truce. It used to be the track I would ignore, the long one at the end of the CD that I didn't really know, when I skipped through to Girl A and Coin Operated Boy and Missed Me, because that was the way I segued into the Dolls - didn't most of us? Now it would be one of my absolute favourite DD/AP songs. I have to say, despite the gorgeous orchestration on many of the WKAP tracks, and the fact that I ADORE Zoe Keating, I really think that The Dresden Dolls records will always trump her solo material, in my opinion.

I called out Truce from the merch table at the Twitter show in Cambridge, I texted my friends to get them to call for it as well. I knew there was no longer any point in begging her to play New Zealand, and really, Truce is more deep and meaningful than a song about periods being late, even if it IS also about my beloved home country. It was playing the first time I saw the New York skyline in February, was it? I don't really count New Years as having seen NYC. I didn't really know where I was, what I was looking at. But the second time, the real time I saw the tapering skyscrapers and felt the tingle of excitement (the same excitement I would feel every time I crossed the Williamsburg Bridge on the J or the Manhattan Bridge on the N or Q and looked towards the city, even after I'd been calling NYC my 'home' for two months), the Dolls self-titled was coming to its conclusion, and even though the specific microcosm places mentioned in Truce are all in Boston, not New York, it still meant something.

The next time I was on the bus coming into the city, I played Sing. That meant something too, but it wasn't quite the same.

5. slap bracelets

The beginning and probably end of my modelling career involved them, in fact, for the first time in weeks, there is one, the only one I own, on my wrist. It's a little disconcerting having that eye around. There are four bracelets on my wrist - that one is NYC, AFP, music. Another is family, childhood (a silver charm bracelet with a netball playing kiwi, a ballerina, a cursive letter 'B' and a book complete with bookworm). The third is friendship and slightly different childhood (a woven friendship bracelet, given to me by my friend Anna when we were probably ten or eleven, yellow and pink and green), and the last one is school, the world, and jobs (a beaded bangle that I wore to my Year Thirteen school ball, to match my golden sequinned 20s style dress. It came from Trade Aid, the first shop I ever worked in, which promotes and supports ethical and fair trade. I think it's from Tanzania). I've decided I like to jangle a bit - but only on one wrist.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ripple (9a)

9a. Love & Life [yosmark]

Oh, dear.

I guess the short reply would be: Thank god I'm turning 23 and not 89 because I know shit about both of these things.

I am going to spend the rest of my life writing the longer reply, but let me take a stab at a beginning.

These are a few of the things I've learned about love and life in my first 23 years.

I've been drawing a question mark on the inside of my left wrist every day since the beginning of July. I keep thinking that one of these days I'll forget, and the thought will fade, but every morning, or afternoon, or evening, I look at my wrist and I remember. And then, when it is smudged or washed off, I redraw it.

Live the question. It's my new mantra, coming from this great quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter he sent to a young poetry student of his:

"I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

It is an odd day when you have a blog full of answers and decide to live the questions. But this is the year I accepted that I don't have all of the answers, for myself or anyone else. And maybe I never will. But that doesn't stop me from living the questions, from asking them and loving them.

This is the year I learned how to live the questions through breaking and fixing, losing and finding, breaking and fixing, losing and finding.

I used to think that love was more about breaking and losing than fixing and finding. That true love was selflessness in the most literal sense. I lost my self in the daughter my parents wanted, the friends my friends needed, the person others told me I should be. I lost my own emotions and thoughts in someone else's and reflected them back. That kind of love is very powerful, in some ways. It's a bond where you find yourself so changed by the presence of another being that you can't separate the two, the change and the person. It's addictive. But it can't sustain, not that kind of love nor that kind of change. Your true self gets angry and resentful and fights like hell to get out.

I think real love shouldn't feel like a fight. It shouldn't feel like you are losing something, or even falling.

There is one example of true romantic love that I think back on this year, and it was of a good friend of mine who was about to marry her boyfriend after 8 years of dating. We were walking, a week before her wedding, and she told me about this cheesy book someone had given her on the "5 languages of love". Her then-fiancé's was "terms of affection", something that surprised her. She looked at me intensely and said, "Right now, we're going to be newlyweds, and we're going to be passionately in love. But it's not always going to be that way, and years from now, when we're older, I'm going to have to remember that, that I have to tell him and not just show him that I love him." And to me, that's what love is. An understanding that things will not always be same, but a series of choices that people make together to grow together and to love each other, whether it is by getting married or remembering to use "terms of affection" or taking care of each other when you get old and cranky.

So much of not only love, but also life is about choices, and learning from them. I make bad choices all the time. But those choices are just as much a part of me as my good choices. I take responsibility for the times I've walked away when I shouldn't have, the times I should have walked away, and I didn't. And then I learn and I grow and I become a better person.

And I spend a good deal of my life laughing at myself. Because really, life is hilarious, and if you don't do at least some laughing at yourself, you're probably doing it wrong.

There is so much in each of our lives that is hilarious and beautiful and worthwhile, that we don't take the time to enjoy or experience, and there is so much in every human being to love.

In that way, I have so much love in my life, because the love I give is love I have.

As for true love, of the romantic kind... I am content for the moment with drawing a question mark on my wrist and living and loving the best that I can.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


yosmark is the most awesome Mexican I know, except for the fact that he doesn't make it easy for me to kidnap him. There are other things I can say to attest to his awesomeness, but why don't you find out for yourself by adding him on twitter.


I always get a smile on my face when I see functional technology, even a bigger smile when it is technology that will/could help human beings. This video brought to my mind my future plan of traveling to the USA & specially to The Johns Hopkins University, which will be a remarkable experience and a unique trip. One of the biggest reasons to go to the USA is because Neuroengineering is nowhere around here. I would like to at least have a background before I do (or attemp) my Masters in Neuroengineering also in the USA. I could even go farther & then bring all this knowledge to my country, which is one of my biggest goals.

This is also a bit of a reminder to myself that I have to work hard, there are a shit ton of great minds in the world & if I want to be what I want to be (which is not an average person) I have to put even more effort in everything I do; always trying to do my best, being the first & most of those times achieving it. I had (as you may already know) a little crisis about my education, which after talking to people who I respect a lot went away though it is still there as a reminder that I should never give up nor stop learning new things.

This fight for always doing my best (or at least trying) made me a friendless person in my first semester in my University, not because I am a sneaky bastard who fucks everyone else so he can succed but because this people felt I should share all my homeworks & papers with them, which I considered (and still consider) one of the most stupid ideas ever. Maybe it's because of the culture of lazyness of never doing more than the required.

2. 20

Years, age & Experience are words that come to my mind all tied together, I believe I have achieved, maybe not a lot of things but at least enough things to feel proud of myself, I haven't "lived my life" as people often say, I mean I haven't went to many partys or rocked out with my friends or maybe even assaulted liquor stores just for fun (I am joking). My point is I haven't done so many "traditional fun" things. I have plans and I want to accomplish them, I just need the time to do them.


That day was filled with good and bad experiences & it was one of the most exhausting days in my life, I didn't sleep before the show, I had two exams the other day and one day before (or two I don't remember) I wrote my first functional program & delivered it to my teacher. I was really exhausted that day, though I had a compromise with Jason of filming the show so he could then extract the audio of the show (which was with this other girl who is pretty big around here named Ximena Sariñana) and put it in one of his collaboration albums as bonus tracks.

It was a sad day because in my first day of University I had to take this class... Inorganic Chemistry (which was like at 16 hrs so by that time I was really tired) class that I shared with this unbelievable cute girl named María, we talked, we liked each other, we enjoyed having long chatts discussing about everything and about nothing. So I decided I should take her to Jason Webley's show, I asked her out, she said she would go, she then cancelled the same night via text message, situation that made me sad; Though seeing Jason Webley live which is maybe my favorite singer/songwriter EVER made me happy. That same night I had my first experience as a roadie, I sold cds & shirts in the Merch Table.

4. noob

That word just reminds me of my n00b days in The Shadowbox, yet another sad situation. I joined the box on Christmas eve. I was all alone and sad in my house, my best friend got her first real relationship which as much as made me happy for him made me a lonley person & due to that I was depressed during that winter, the girl I liked by that moment would state she didn't like me.

That christmas eve I turned on my computer and I began surfing the web, found a link to the forum, joined asked some stupid questions & then left. I then came back & started posting, I filled the space that my best friend left with the internet. I started spending a lot of time on the internet posting. All this internet surfing has made me met really beautiful and great people. It also brings me back to the last Jason Webley, Jason Webley was the first artist I would meet through the internet and the one that has shocked me the most.

Some months later I would hear about Jason comming to México & that he needed help I helped him & one of my friends to make his shows possible. I remember he was interviewed in this University Radio Station... which I then found out was the Radio Station of my Current University.

Now I expect to meet more and more "internet people" to hang out with them & what not. The internet has brought me great friends & great experiences.

5. You Know You Are A Mexican When...

"There is at least one member in your family name Maria, Guadalupe, Juan, Jose, or Jesus"

This is true, I have 1 cousin named María, 2 aunts & my mother are named Guadalupe, Juan is the name of one of my uncles, José is the name of my other Uncle & Jesus is the name of an uncle & 2 cousins.

As much as I am always proud of my country I get really dissapointed at times because of the culture & the thoughts the average citizen has. This stupid "let's do the less we can" thought always make me mad.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ripple (8)



I was going to write a poem...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Sylvia creates beautiful artwork and videos. Her videos can be found here.

Je souhaitais que toute vie humaine fût une pure liberté transparente."
- Simone de Beauvoir


I wish that every human life be pure transparent freedom.

2. Silvio Berlusconi


4. "Then one day I was

walking along Tinker Creek
thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I'm still spending the power. Gradually the lights went out in the cedar, the colors died, the cells unflamed and disappeared. I was still ringing. I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck. I have since only very rarely seen the tree with lights in it. The vision comes and goes, mostly goes, but I live for it, for the moment when the mountains open and a new light roars in spate through the crack, and the mountains slam." - from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
by Annie Dillard



About Me

I am interested in the human condition.