Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Line

It's a great opportunity to practice love and acceptance: The line at Trader Joe's in Union Square.

The place is popular. As the scrum of New York digs in to buy their capers and creams, one is bumped and cajoled into possible irritation. But not me! I decided to stand there and say to myself, "All these people love Trader Joes as much as I do, so this is just a festival of love."

And so it was.

New York City is a great place to practice serenity. In fact, it's a better place than almost anywhere else because the challenge is right in front of you for the taking.

You know--I love New York. I wish I had a house here. So I could spread out my bags of nuts and boxes of tea.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yard Birds

The birds have found our two day old feeder. Here they come.

It's also jasmine season in Los Angeles. You should consider a trip.

LA---sure, it has way too many cars. But if you hole up in a nice spot, you're in good shape.

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How comforting to have such an intelligent man as the President of the United States.

And: Energy, Health Care and Education? Certainly. Let’s do it. It is so clear.

While I was watching and listening to B. Obama’s speech, I felt exhilarated about our future and dismally resentful of the past eight years. However, I am working on being less judgmental and less stuck in the past these days. So I clicked into that, which pretty much relaxes me into a state of curious openness with a lack of resistance to absurdity followed by a self protective wave of comforting Dadaism.

So when the camera came in close on our fine senator from California, I could only say,
“Look, it’s Lobster Diane Feinstein.”

Until the improvement, and afterward, you will find me open, curious and ready to turn anyone into a dish of stewed shellfish.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Past Dollar Days

I’m growing my hair out into a huge 1970’s recession bush.

Keeping with the times.

I am one of earth’s decent bookkeepers. I have an instinctive sense about money. I am not strategic and am more of a responder than a generator at this point. I aspire to generate greater income. Mostly for the sake of my freedom. But in order for the freedom to be truly free, the greater income must come from freedom-inspired activity. No cynics here.

Cycles. Always the cycles. My parents were very nervous about money throughout the 1970’s. Because I was a kid I had other interests, like math, music, mud piles. Money moaning bored me.

I guess it has been imprinted. Because now, money moaning still bores me.

I am very happy with the focus of our current federal administration, with the intelligent President B. Obama at the head of the table. The Republicans, some of them governors, threatening to refuse assistance, are ludicrous.

But I would like to set my sights on future days, when this is not happening. I feel like I’ve seen this movie. It ends terribly. Reagan gets elected, the music gets stupid, the clothes get awful and the gum chewing gets louder.

Time to go inward. Come out with something. The material world, friends…it is on the mend. And the fear about money? No need to worry. All boats are sinking. You are not being thrown out of the pack. And as long as you are in the pack, you’re pretty safe.

Focusing on the doom is not interesting to me. Focusing on what is alive and vital right now? That’s something to look at.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sean Penn My Hero

Sean Penn has always been a hero. Mostly because he is such a good actor. There are not many actors who are capable of complete submergence. Always in awe.

Then, tonight, on the Oscars, making the clearest statement for equal rights for all Americans, specifically the gay ones.

And you just had to say, “Thanks, Sean.”

Thanks, Sean.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Talking About Misundestood Lyrics

Sometimes, you substitute the wrong lyrics in a song. Your ear does not hear them correctly. The accent of the singer or lack of diction might make it impossible to discern what is being sung.

Or, you have hundreds of phrases stored in your head and you project one outward that sounds like the one being listened to, your brain choosing the one in your head over what is actually out there in the world. The brain loves short cuts.

When I was a wee thing, in the song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, I thought the lyric, “A girl with kaleidoscope eyes,” was “A girl with colitis goes by.”

One can only imagine the amount of colitis in my family that brought that one to the fore.

On a slightly related note, I have a new rule:

“Never eat a hot open turkey sandwich at a junky diner before taking a transcontinental flight.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My, What a Large Package!

Though I am inclined to enjoy a very large package, I am also aware that something this big has the potential to be quite painful unless one relaxes into it. I don’t think anyone is relaxed.

I applaud the breadth of this thing. I assume blending tax cuts with cash infusion might be a winning mixture. Of course, I especially love the investment-in-renewables component.

Now, I want to talk about these salary caps. So let’s say the government puts a cap on the top salaries of bailed out banks, which they have. Won’t this make the competition for high up executives lopsided and thus send the greediest (and maybe best) executives to the not-bailed-out banks? I do think so. Half measures make me see red---and I specifically mean the red circle on the Japanese flag. Remember how their half measures went? Or didn’t?

Perhaps, there needs to be cap laws on ALL businesses. Then the competition can’t lean. That’s what I’m offering up. They do it in so many other countries.

I know some people who resent this whole OBAMA-AS-KING-CAN-DO-NO-WRONG thing. I understand it. I am all for Obama. However, I am disgusted by half measures.

It’s like eradicating those non-indigenous wild cats and not thinking about the horrible uptick in the rabbit population. And bunnies like to eat. The big picture. The big picture!

So as much as I like big packages, I like big pictures more. Especially at my age.

But I am not an economist, just a guy with a hunch about money, and I welcome ALL comments. The floor is open.

What do you think about this huge package? And will you go work on one of those rusting hulks we use for bridges? Do you think infusing here, saving there and ignoring other parts is a winning strategy? Do you feel any more relaxed by all this? What about health care?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Is It Porn? Watch her blow it out her nose and mouth.

This weekend, I got to talking about serious sinus issues with a fellow sinus sufferer.

He does way too many antibiotics in my opinion. So I educated him in the fine art of nasal douching.

Then, I said I’d send him the link to my favorite nasal douche product which is the Neilmed system. It’s great because it’s HIGH VOLUME and LOW PRESSURE.
But maybe you knew that already. In any event, I highly recommend it, not just for allergic people, but for anyone who wants to clean out their heads. Especially during cold and flu season. You blow in a load of salty liquid, you kill it all.

So, I compiled an email with hyperlinks to send to my friend about this product. And to my fabulous surprise, there was a video! Complete with demonstration. And the expelled waste.

Watch this thin, blond woman blow liquid through her head. It’s really some sort of nerdy healthcare porn. She spits.

Nose Porn

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Crisis of Closeness

Note to self: Don’t feel yourself to be separate from others. It causes pain.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How Will They Say It?

After the banks are sort of nationalized and the automobile industry is sort of nationalized and healthcare is sort of nationalized, and they all presumably function, how will the conservatives wrestle everything back so they can profit from these businesses?

You know, there is the old post office thing pushed around by Righties. “Government doesn’t work. Just look at the Post Office.” I never understood this since I have never held anything but complete respect and gratitude for the Post Office. I have never had anything lost, ever. And I ship and receive all sorts of things.

So, I think the new saying could be and should have always been, “Government works. Just look at the Post Office.”

So maybe you have to wait on line a little bit. Maybe you’ll make a new friend or fall in love. Anytime spent away from Facebook is good for you!

It’s all about The Post Office. The second ounce is just seventeen cents. A bargain!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

February Spring

I think it might have been warmer in New York today than it was in Los Angeles. Or close.

I love a moist day, in the forties.

New York is a funky town. I grew up here, but since living in Los Angeles, I have gotten used to a pretty unchanging climate.

Here, in the apple gigante, the weather changes every few hours it seems. From my apartment window, looking out over Queens to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I get a full view of Mother Nature and her shenanigans.

It’s pretty exciting.

I think I am allowed one weather blog entry every three years. This is it.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Facebook Frenzy

Facebook is not face time.

One of my alters came out last night and started looking at the pictures of people on Facebook and I wrote comments on their walls, “Get your hand off your chin!” And, “Boy, you’re pretty…” Fake obscenities, etc.

Clearly, I am acting out.

Let’s figure out what it is.

I must be mad.

Why am I mad?

Because I want people to be how they used to be. People. Not pictures.

When I was in college, you gave your picture to the student guidebook people and they put it in a quickly published book and everyone on campus got it. It was called The Pig Book.


It was the really sweet way the men would refer to the women in the book. The men wanted to route out the pigs on campus.

Facebook is just one huge Pig Book to me.

As my good friend Bradford recently said, “It’s going to be funny, that day, when we say, ‘Remember when there was Facebook?’”

One of the joys of being young, I mean under twenty, maybe up to twenty-two, was you were really connected to your body. And you felt cool. Sure, it was just the sex talking. But nevertheless, you separated yourself from the somewhat-deadened adults by this coolness, this connectedness to your body. Adults planned and were alienated from experience. YOU were OF THE MOMENT and very much alive.

But now? Everyone, even the kids, everyone is dead, on machines.

I say, push back from the keyboard and go to the post office and help people fill out all those confusing forms. Anything.

And I’ll grow up. I won’t write on your wall, “Nice bangs, cocky duty” or worse when you post your picture. I will say a little prayer for you that you are NOT at your computer. That you ARE physically engaged with another real person.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Freedom Fried

When right wing governments fly in, they do it on a liberty broom. They pretend that all constraint upon humanity is evil.

And then they constrain humanity.

The only thing that is given true liberty is the freedom to make/steal as much money as you can get your hands on.

Though this is not peculiar to The United States, we seem to have a particularly violent strain of this disease. The tired, poor, huddled masses who came to these shores, who still do come, really are poor. And they are sick of it. And they want some serious fucking pie.

They want to be kings. Just like the kings who oppressed them.

Of course, not everyone can be the king. Not everyone can have mountains of stuff. We know this doesn’t work. It simply doesn’t work. And we will get clobbered again and again until we learn this lesson.

It’s like, you know that friend who always cancels because they’re sick? They’re not really sick. Their knees don’t hurt. Their asthma isn’t completely debilitating. They just, simply enough, don’t want to leave the house enough to see you. Fine…but then you keep calling them? Haven’t you learned?

People are slow to figure things out. I don’t know why. I think I am fast, but really, in the areas I don’t want things to change, my mind holds onto faulty, old information. Especially if that information has a golden-sunshine-rainbow around it. I want my crack.

Everyone wants their crack. And in our culture, money is the ultimate crack. And righty wants your ass addicted...because then, he can get you on the Jones and you will do ANYTHING to get that Jones taken care of. And you will go into a state of not-noticing the deleterious effects as long as you can get your crack. Stupid monkey.

It’s all denial and addiction. What on earth are you going to do with a gold bathtub anyway?

It’s ultimately tacky. And who on earth knows how to clean it?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Red Ants, Black Ants, Red Wine

Tax and Spend.

Reduce taxes and grow private prosperity.

Nothing works.

And the fight is on. Same fight that has been going on forever. We are a species in conflict. Maybe we are trying to split off? Become two different species? Homo Togetherus and Homo Itsallaboutmeus. Maybe, like red and black ants, we should just go to war and get it over with.

But the fight goes on and on. Aren’t we bored with it? What is the third way? Was it Bill Clinton? And if so, why are we not going right back to Bill’s way?

It’s all so measurable and also impossible to measure.

And those of us on the ground? We just react.

Side note: Red Wine Incident, 2009.

I had a feeling I should not have my little juice glass of red wine anywhere near the keyboard. I flailed and spilled…all over the cream carpet. Quickly, my waiter instinct came out. I threw a bucket of water on it, followed by a box of salt. It worked. Club soda would have been better. Salt really has a way of drawing things to it. Thank you salt.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Cold

I am taking an extended stay in New York. Having lived in Los Angeles for fifteen years, I had two trepidations:

1) Noise in apartment buildings
2) The weather

As I walked from the subway to my apartment, wheeling my wheely bag without gloves on, the tips of my right fingers all went to numbness and pain. Otherwise, I held up pretty well. I certainly did not get frost bite. Furthermore, the cold air was bracing.

Upon entering the apartment, the guy above me was running on his treadmill so my entire living area was shaking and bouncing. It was truly awful. Of course, it eventually subsided. Right now, at 3 AM, it is bone quiet.

In Los Angeles, one can go for months without experiencing any physical discomfort (other than poor air and wretched traffic problems). As long as one stays at home, providing the home is lovely, then living in Los Angeles is, simply, lovely. Though, it can get smallish, hiding out on 5,000 square feet of property.

In New York, there is much discomfort, but it is all short lived. Irritants, really. Good place to practice patience. Zen. Acceptance.

A Surprise?

Really? I was walking down the street in Beverly Hills today, heading toward my allergist, when I thought, “Really, there was nothing wrong with George Bush. He was just being who he was. It was all those idiots who voted for him who are the problem.”

Okay, maybe I’m doing a kind of wide shift thing in order to spread my judgment around, but really, it WAS all those millions of people who CHOSE the guy!

The United States of America is a dream state…it churns by PR. People buy that PR. And they get motivated. That works a bit.

And then there was Bush’s PR which was severe and strong. Which seemed nuts to me. Completely. But there were enough people, a voting majority, who did not think he was nuts. So Bush tapped into some great consciousness. So the state we are in now, was truly chosen by the people: War, poverty, low energy. We chose that. (Well, many of us didn’t, but the majority did.) Disaster of our own making.

But I see an upside to this. No, I DO! Since we chose the nut, and since, now, we’ve chosen someone else and since every day we are always in a state of choosing, well, we can choose a new reality.

Let’s simply do that.

Let’s not whine in 20-09.

Let’s choose the new, better thing, get behind it, make it strong.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

1972: The Year of the Maxi?

In case anyone needs proof, I have to believe that 1972 was the exact year of the maxiskirt.

My mother is in the plaid one. My sister, pouting in her shocking pink. Great Aunt Rose is way to the left. Great Aunt Angelica is way to the right. The woman looking down is Aunt Joanne. And the woman in her prime, looking straight ahead, hair parted in the middle, is Cousin Mickey.

Every year that my great grandmother lived (she died in 1973), there would be a huge birthday celebration at Don's 21 in Jersey down on Route 17. Everyone would dress up. I remember my sister hating that dress. And I remember how freakish it was that every single woman had to wear the same mandated style. "Who," I wondered, "is telling everyone what to do? And why do they do it? It feels so big-hand-in-the-sky-reaching-down." I think my poor sister was feeling the pain of conformity. Also, I thought I would have liked to try one on, if only because everyone was so excited about their maxi and couldn't wait to show it off. I wanted something to show off. But, frankly, and calmly, I was happy that boy's clothes didn't change much over the years. I didn't like huge surprises as a kid. And some huge maxi skirt thrust upon me might have been more than I could bear.

More pictures to follow. Though it is hard to imagine anything will beat this maximum impression. Click on the photo to get the bigger version.

And get ready. Maxis are coming back.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Revenge of Crack Den

So many of you have stayed in "The Crack Den" over the years, our modest little guest room in the back yard.
It has been remodeled, cleaned up, vinyl faux-wood floored, painted, termite tented, made larger by pulling out the back wall that formed the storage closet, and simply made cleaner, brighter, bigger and better.

We have a new mammal pet staying in there for a while. Human. Since all the cats and the dog died, we felt it necessary to have SOMETHING living in our back yard. Why not a human?

The crack den: it's not just for breakfast anymore.

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