Monday, January 31, 2005

Little James Mini Side-Show, eh Slide Show


Commentary on the pictures is as follows:

Upper left: This is what I was thinking, "What the fuck is going on??? Stop screwing around with that goddamn flashing thing and lemme at this cake damn it!!!" Also, I would like to note. Look how big that mother f'ing cake is!! I'm i'm only 1 here!! It's quite obvious that this cake was meant for others. Also, that look on my face is pretty much the look I flash now too. I still haven't figured out this bass ackwards society in which I was born. On to the next specimen.

Upper right: O.k., here I am running around with next to nothing on. Kind of reminds me of that incident in the Canon Park later on in life went I was busted for streaking. O.k., so that didn't happen but it's good reading, eh? Had you going for awhile. Anyway, here I am running around with my belly exposed in my underwear. God, was there no child porn laws??? Well, I guess it WAS the 70's. And those low-riding undies!! I had a habit of carrying toys around in them. Either that or terds of course. Look at those calves!!! No wonder I like football (soccer to the fellow yanks). By the way, I still have a protruding gut. I was born with a hiatel herna which makes my guts hang out. Disgutting huh? Soooooo. Moving on.

Bottom left: Here I am waving my parents off. "No seriously. I'll just stay here. Living here in this little box thing sounds pretty good. Yep, I think that's a good sound judgement now GET LOST YOU TWO!!!

Bottom center: O.k., here I must have just gotten caught doing something I knew I shouldn't have been doing and I've obviously taken a big shitter in my plastic pants. "JESUS, MARY, JOSEPH and all the GODDAMN SHEPARDS!!! DON'T SNEEK UP ON ME LIKE THAT!!! YOU MADE ME HAVE A BLOW OUT!!!" Hey, check out the blue cowboy hat that matches the blue 70's diso shirt.

Sweet.

Bottom right: Look at me reading that book. I told you all I was a genius. So what if it was a pop-up book about terds or something. Also of note, check out the merri-gold couch in the backgroud.

Ohhhhh yeah.

That's got "P A R T Y" written all over it baby.
----------------------------------------------------
Alright and that's the show. Aren't you all glad you got to look at me as a kid?? Now that I've wasted your time I think I am going to go poke some smot, masturbate, play with knives or all of the above. Damn, I'm listening to Sasha's Ibiza disc right now and it's making me seriously want to roll. I'm seeing glow stick flash backs and everything.

Whew.

Lemme just say

"PLUR."

Sorry, I had to say that. I'm an old-schooler and was ravin' back in the day when it wasn't "cool." Good trance always kicks up the euphoria and brings back fumes from those blissful days. O.k., so there not in the past and the only reason i'm not rollin' balls right now is because I can't find the shit.

Oh come on.

Don't give me that "rollin' the eyes look."

Drugs are not a bad thing. You just have to give the right ones and in the right doses to the right people as one of my good friends like to say.

Oh and for those who do not know, "PLUR" is short for peace, love, unity and respect. An old (and now tired) phrase from the rave days.

Soooo....PLUR.

---End of Transmission--- Posted by Hello

Life Can Be Hard Work


I don't remember where I saw this first but I love it so i'm posting it here as the monday picture. Looks like this kitty is feeling the monday like the rest of us. OUCH!! Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Iraqi Election

I have been glued to the television today watching the historic elections in Iraq. I am so very glad that the violence was at a minimum today. I got chills in watching the Iraqi's voting, showing off their "purple fingers" to verify that they braved the fear and voted. I couldn't help but crack a smile and applaud when I watched a group of Iraqi's dance after casting their votes. It was nice to see Iraq have a postive and progressive day for once.

However,

The only reason there was not massive violence today was because of the American military protecting the poll stations in mass numbers. Not to dampen the day but I have to wonder what will happen once the Americans leave. Right now the Iraqi's do not have a strong enough army/military to protect themselves. And even if we build up the numbers, will they stand as strong as the Americans when it is up to them alone to fight off the terrorists? Only time will tell.

We are not coming home anytime soon. We are not out of the woods yet. This is a huge step that was taken today but there is a lot more work ahead for everyone. We still have to see what kind of government the people have elected. Did the religious fundamentalist Shia dominate? Did the Sunni make good on there boycott? And if the Shia dominate the new government, will the Sunni now take the country into a civil war or will they turn in their weapons and co-operate? Lots of questions still to be answered.

More then likely there will be more bloodshed before full stability is achieved. That being said, however, it sure was cool to see these masses of Iraqi's lining up to vote.

Very cool.


---End of Tranmission---

Zen Ramble

Well, let me first say that I have studied Tibetan, Pure Land and Zen Buddhism for several years now and I have recently found myself in the Zen camp. I would, however, probably qualify my status as being an "independent Zen" and I am going to try and explain my feelings on schools and teachers.

To help explain my views I am going to be quoting from a wonderful book that I have just read by the very wise, Steve Hagen. His latest book, "Buddhism Is Not What You Think: Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs" is one of the best books I have read about Zen/Buddhism. He speaks and writes in a clear and concise way that westerners will find refreshing. Anyway, on with my post.

I do not necessarily think that one must join a "group" in order to learn and grow in enlightenment. (some people live in rural areas away from formal "groups" and teachers). Also, I personally feel one does not necessarily need to have a personal, single, "teacher." In one respect here I think of the phrase, "when the student is ready the teacher will appear." The obvious and first conclusion here is that a physical person will appear when one is ready. Another conlusion, however, is that when one finally sees then one realizes that everything and everyone is a teacher and that everything and everyone is apart of their sangha. This may all sound like radical thinking to some of you following traditional, formal schools but (as some have hinted) in the end we have to lose all attachments even to a "teacher" and/or sangha. No one can realize our enlightened nature but ourselves.

Now, to be fair I personally belong to a Sangha in the Zen tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh and the Chinese lineage of Master Linji but everyone has to make their own decisions.

Naked Zen so to speak.

Quoting Hagen:

"According to Bodhidharma (and to Zen), if we make enlightenment-or enlightened people-into something special and set them apart from others and from ourselves, we abuse them. In the process, we also abuse ourselves. Thus, enlightenment becomes remote, otherwordly, mysterious, and (seemingly) virtually impossible to realize."

"If we don't see then whatever we take up, even the Buddha's teaching itself, becomes bondage." I believe here that Hagen is saying, If we are not careful, the "practice" and the "school" and the "teacher" become more important to us then actually seeing and realizing our enlightened nature.

Again quoting Hagen:

"If you feel like you're getting something out of Zen, this is ordinary stuff. It's bondage, not freedom. There's nothing to get. You're just acquiring one more chain, one more item that keeps you bound, keeps you dissatisified and looking around for the next goody."

"Another Chinese Zen teacher from ancient times, Ying-an, told his students, 'when you pass through, no one can pin you down, no one can call you back."

"Zen is freedom from all entanglements. It's coming into this moment and seeing what's going on, before we make up all kinds of hypotheses and explanations."

I think that teachers are wonderful and they are an essential part of learning one's enlightened state but they can't bring you enlightenment. "Ultimately, we need to abandon any notion that taking hold of some particular thing-some particular idea, belief, ritual, religion, prespective, form of dress, or way of acting-is going to bring us to Truth. Finally we have to stop looking for something to save us, something to stand under, to identify with, to improve us, to make us whole."

"We can't just go through the motions with Zen practive-sitting in meditation, reading books, attending classes, going to workshops and retreats-as if studying the Buddhadharma were just another self-help program. This practice is not about helping the self. It's about seeing this so-called self for what is is-an illusion."

"Swallowing whole whatever a teacher gives you without examining it critically, openly, carefully, fairly, and respectfully-will prove just as barren. Blind, mindless acceptance isn't openness; it's simply another form of grasping-in this case, clinging to the notion that whatever your teacher tells you must be true."

We live in a modern age now where there are many books available written by some great Zen/Buddhist teachers. In the past, following a school with a specific teacher was the only way one could learn or study Zen/Buddhism in depth. Today, however, there are many options and I think that is wonderful. People are reaching out on the internet and creating sanghas (like this site). There are many ways to realize enlightenment and there that is the beauty of Buddhism in my humble opinion. Buddhism adapts to the climate and age in which it finds itself. Which is one of the reasons why (I feel) it is has lasted so long.

"This is why some Buddhist groups get together periodically to examine what they're doing, what works, what still fits, and what does not. Because times change, what might have been appropriate in a different time and place may no longer work here and now. We need not - and should not - lock ourselves in a frame that made sense twenty-five hundred years ago in some foreign country (or even twenty years ago here). Some of it might not apply to us today or might even be downright harmful."

There is nothing wrong with schools and teachers but at some point we have to "ditch the raft" as the Buddha said or it will only weigh us down on our journey. I have studied for some time and I use to have a teacher but he has since died of cancer and I am on my own. His death was kind of a wake-up call to me that it was time for me to "ditch the raft."

Anyway, that is my long, drawn out answer. I hope that it makes sense and is neither confusing or offensive because I do not mean to offend. I guess it kind of ended up being a book review for Steven Hagen's new book but that's just because it is an AWESOME book for helping one realize when to "ditch the raft" and ditch his book too!

I bow to the Buddha in you all.

Confucius Say

"He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire
life on one leg."
~ Confucius

Friday, January 28, 2005

Attack of the Gall Bladder, Part III

Before I get started on today's post I thought it appropriate to add one last comment on last night's Vicodin/psychotropic medication experience:

"Aqua Teen Hunger Force" and "Shorties Watchin' Shorties" are a TOTALLY different experience when you watch them with Vicodin, 5 schizoaffective med's, and a dash of the ganj coursing through your veins!!! WHEW!! It was as if I was actually IN these cartoons. Or that they were some kind of portal to another dimension. Totally strange but kinda cool at the same time.

So.

Today I had an appointment with my main clinic to go over my symptoms. Well, I wasn't able to see my regular doctor so I was stuck with this other dood. Let me tell you, this guy does not seem to want to practice medicine. I told him how it feels like I have a hot screw driver sticking out of my gut and he just told me to increase the Nexium (medication for my acid reflux in the stomach).

WTF???

He prodded, pushed and poked my stomach until I streamed bloody murder. Finally, he said that I needed to get an X-ray at another clinic so that could get a better idea of what the fruit is going on with my stomach.

My latest opinion is that I have some alien growing inside ma belleh. Wow, and to think I might soon have my very own alien to love, and squeeze and call my own. If that's what happens then I am for sure going to name him Vern.

Why Vern you might ask? Well, it's simple really. I would want to make him feel at home with a nice, average, boring American name. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Anyway, then I am supposed to wait until next Thursday when I can finally see my main practioner and (I'm assuming) go over the X-ray results. I'm not quite sure what I am supposed to do about the hot, searing pain in the meantime, but I guess that's why I have the Vicodin, eh?! If I have to wait until Thursday though I am going to have to get a refill on the Vic., oh well. Hehe.

Not much going on in other news.

Bleh.


---End of Transmission---

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Va-Va VICODIN!!!

Wow.

My head is like a balloon right now. Just a wisp of a string keep the balloon tied to my body.

I took the 2 Vicodin as recommended by my Dr. and so far I have:

-Felt like I was encased in concrete
-Had an imaginary convo with a "cop"
-Floated off my goddamn seat like some Mountain Guru
-Ate 2 snickerdoodle cookies. Mmmmmmm.
-Smoke a little doobage
-Watched, Aqua Teen Hunger Force episodes back to back to back
-Watched, Shorties Watchin' Shorties.

Shit.

I can't feel the keyboard. I better stop.

Anyway, that was my update via the Vicodin.


If anyone has found my brain please just spray it off and leave in the "lost and found" bin.

Thank-you.

---End of Transmission---

Paging Charles de Galle

Whew!!!

What a day I've had.

Well, per everyone's advice and heavy advocating on my wife's part, I decided to go to the urgent care clinic. Everyone was REALLY, REALLY nice to me. Like I mean, REALLY nice. Like, "Um, are you rollin' on XTC? Can you give a brother a dose? Nice."

Anyway, I sat in the little room for a long time and then the doctor came in. I was happy to see him after waiting so long but something about him raised some red flags in my brain. The main issue was that he seemed about my age or a little older. I guess I'm just use to the old geezer doctors that have been at it for years and can list all the diseases known to man on the top of their head.

There was a part of me that didn't trust a doctor that was near my own age. Maybe it is because I don't trust my own medical judgement. It is a bit on the side of Homer Simpson's medical judgement. "Hmmm. Stomach pains? I'll just wash some buttermilk and some melted nacho cheese down there and that should pass things through." Well, o.k., maybe I'm not THAT bad but I do tend to neglect my own physical well-being sometimes.

Anyway, I did all the circus tricks. I peed in the microscopic cup that they gave me and nearly over-flowed the damn thing. At least I gave a sample with a nice foamy head on it!! For a minute It looked like a nice, little beer. Looking at the resemblence the sample had to beer I had the Dumb and Dumber side of my brain kick in. You know, that's the part of your brain that then says shit like, "BEER!! LET'S GET PISSED!!!!"

After that I got the blood taken and the lady said that I have great veins for taking blood. Hey, at least something in my body is working right! HOT DAMN!!!

After the blood came the ultra-sound and that was pretty cool. I got to watch my organs on t.v. If you haven't seen this before, don't waste your money. It's in black and white and it's just a rerun over and over and over.

So.
All of that to determine that I didn't have any gall stones but that it looks like I have an inflamed gall bladder and/or gall bladder disease. The quick and dirty version of this goddamn story here is that it will probably be yanked out sometime soon.

I have to go to the doctore for another round of tests and shit tomorrow. Maybe If I'll get to pick a toy from the "Toy Chest." Wooooooooo.

My gall bladder and myself Thank you all for the support and the concern but we're not out of the woods on this fucking thing yet. The short term good news is that the doctor gave me a prescrip for Vicodin and told me to take it with 600mg of Advil.

PARTY TONIGHT!!!!!!!!

And that's your update.

Now, if you don't mind I am going to get obliterated off the Vicodin. I might try a post when I'm all jacked up on the stuff just for yucks. Otherwise I'll update sometime tomorrow.


---End of Transmission---

Hard to Stomach

Last last night, in the fog of the being drowsy I began to notice an ache in my stomach. I figured it was just a stomach ache from eating the following: A HUGE, HUGE bowl of Pistachio Almond Ice cream, Half a bag of Cheesy Hot Cheetos, 4 cookies and a handful of Good N' Plenty licorice candies. So, I climbed into bed thinking I'd sleep it off.

Well, I didn't.

The pain got worse and I tossed and turned all night trying to find a comfortable position. I was twisting and contorting like you wouldn't believe trying to find a comfortable position in which to sleep. I felt like one of those "old school" "rabbit ear" antenna. Extending and then curling up in a ball only to stretch out again.

Now it is 8:00 in the a.m. and I still have this ache in my gut. I'm not sure what is going on but I just have this dull ache constantly in my lower right stomach. I'm pretty sure it is not my appendix but I guess you never know. The worst part is that it hurts REALLY REALLY bad when I breath in deep.

I think I pulled a muscle or something. It probably has to do with gaining all this new weight and some muscle in there just gave up.

Muscle: Fuck man, stop gaining so much goddamn weight!!! You're stretching me as If I was elastic man!! Dear GOD, what did I ever do to you to be stretched out on, "the rack" like this. Seriously though, what's with all the weight? You can't get pregnant stupid but you sure look like you are!! Is that what you're trying to do because I can't figure it out.

ME: No, no. You got it all wrong. I am gaining all this weight because I have to take these medications to help regulate the brain!! It's the most important organ besides the heart you know.

Muscle: Ohhhhhh OK. I get it now. You like the brain more then us abdominal muscles, huh? Well, the brain isn't so great. It likes to "think" its better then us "blue collar" muscles but check this out, we can cause it to regigster some serious pain! (to other muscles) "O.k., everyone, twist and shout and dance about!!!!" ***PANG!! PING!! ACHE!!*** See you ass clown??? You torture US? We torture YOU!!!! MuaHaHaHaHaHaHa ***!!!TWITCH!!!*** This is what you call a fucking strike, dumb ass. As for the heart, he's on the 'roids. Yep, seriously. How do you think he got to be the biggest fucking muslce in the body?? Steroids baby. He's juicing like Jack LeLenne's Power Juicer. He'll drop dead of a "heart attack" real soon and then we're all fucked. Do you here me?! THEN WE'RE ALL FUCKED!!!!

God, just moving around in this chair inflames the damn pain! The day hasn't even started and I'm ready to take my Seroquel and pass out. It's gotta be intense pain when even after taking Seroquel it still keeps you awake!

Maybe I'll just take a Vicodin, curl up on the couch, watch some "day-time" t.v. crap and call it a day!!


---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Vent, Part 2

Well, I am stepping back from the edge a bit to get some perspective. I took an extra dose of my Lexapro to help with the depression and I can already feel a difference. I am just SO grateful that this medicine is available. I also took my multi-vitamin and my B-50 complex. My body is so sensitive that just an extra amount of B vitamins can help bring my mood up.

I am still very frustrated about my schooling but I am taking a break from it for the rest of the day. I'll pick it up tomorrow when things have cleared a little bit. I am trying to follow my own advice of taking it one day at a time. In this case I am taking it one hour at a time.

I also realized that if I can't stand the paralegal program that I might be able to get an under-writing job with the help of my sister.

Thank-you Alekx and everyone else for you support. This is my reality right now but the moment seems to already be passing and a new, more calm moment seems to be arriving. This is such a good lesson for me in letting go and just waiting things out and watching what the next moment brings. It's as if the new book I'm reading, Buddhism Is Not What You Think : Finding Freedom Beyond Beliefs is reaching out of the pages and teaching and testing me.

Anyway, I'm off to a local coffee shop to meet with the owner on putting up some of my art work there. Plus, some boring errands but hey, those are my reality too!


---End of Transmission---

The Law and My Brain Problems

I'm up to my neck in reading for school this week. I am not so sure I want to be a paralegal and this is only the second week of the semester in a year long program!

God, I am pathetic.

I don't think I am going to be able to hold down any kind of job (I haven't been able to in the past). All I can do well is be a "stay-at-home" husband and artist. Too bad those things do not pay the bills.

I've thought about applying for disability because of my schizoaffective disorder and I think I am going to go ahead and apply while I'm still trying to figure out this paralegal program. That way I will have a plan of action If I can't make this law thing go. The thing that sucks about disability though is that it doesn't pay very much so I don't know what to do. So much for the theory that some people have in that people on disability are "living high on the hog" on someone else's "dime."

I thought I could do this paralegal thing but I am already over-whelmed and feeling like I made a HUGE mistake.

I would probably kill myself but I am a Buddhist so I would just have to come back and do it over again.

You just gotta love how the mentally ill just seem to fall through the cracks. I can't seem to do anything and yet I have to do something. I am on 5 different medications and yet I still can't get out into the "real world" and do "normal" things like everyone else.

It is hard to get any sympathy from people when you are mentally ill. They look at you and say stuff like, "You look fine to me!" As if mental illness is represented by having a gimpy walk or your eyes constantly rolling back in your head. If I was paralyzed from the neck down It would be no problem getting on adequate disability and receiving sympathy/understanding from the average person.

Having a brain disorder is different. You get blown off and "swept under the rug."

*sigh*

Oh well. That's my vent for today. I'm not in a very good mood as you can probably tell.

Please, don't send me any snide remarks or jokes about this post. I'm in a vulnerable place right now and I might have to ban you from my blog if you do.

Sorry, it's just that I am very, VERY frustrated today with old problems and obstacles that never seem to go away. I need to vent and this is as good a place as any.



---End of Transmission---

Monday, January 24, 2005

My Ear Wax Smells Like Cheese

WELL, IT DOES!!!

**PAUSE** (This is for people to recover from shock,laughter and to let the prissy readers to Fock off as the Scottish or is it Irish...um, well, some BODY says it that way!)

Yeahhhhhhh. I think I just lost half my readers on that one. Oh well, you were either offended or not. I never said I was the model of posh behavior. Anyway, It doesn't really matter at this point though now does it because it grabbed your attenion. That's what they call "the grabby thing" in the newspaper business. No, it's not called the "grabby thing." I'm just kidding. I almost had you, huh? Huh?? O.k., I know, I know. You saw through it at once. I was just trying to be smarter then I think I am.

God, You're probably thinking right now, "Why the F do I read this blog anymore??? He just get's crazier and crazier!!" I know but It's too late to turn the car around now and in any event, at least I'm not talking my underwear collection or something, right? Right??? BEEE-Sides, We are already well into this post. Treking stalwortly into the heart of the beast. Too late to turn back now I'm afraid. You are about to be bombarded with my famous (or infamous)insanity.

TICKETS PLEASE!!!!!! (sounds of paper tickets tearing).

Anyway, on with the show!!

I was driving home from Boulder today when I came up behind this old, beat-up Chrysler LeBaron. Now, for those who do not know, this car it is an American car from the late 80's. It's not the nicest car and it never was. It was always kind of the ghetto version of a Cadillac. Now that everyone is up to speed we will continue.

So, this LeBaron was so beat to shit that it had duck tape slapped on it in various places. I assumed that this was to hold various but important parts of the car together. Thinking this I abruptly slowed down so as to avoid any flying wreckage that might disengage itself from the car and come flying at the speed of light to greet my wind shield (or wind screen for all my Brit's).


Let me rewind a bit and explain the next part of this story. Here in Colorado you can get a special license plate if your car is an antique or what we around here call a "classic car." Well, this poor, abused Chrysler Lebaron happened to have one of these plates on it. I had to laugh because the car isn't really that old of a model and it isn't very "classic." It certainly is no Corvette, Mustang, Porshe or GTO but then again, "One man's shit is another man's treasue" Conversely, however, you also "Can not polish a terd!!" I have no idea how this guy qualified to get "antique car" plates. I can just imagine the conversation between this guy and the Driver License Bureau.

Man: "Can I get 'antique plates'?"
Clerk: "What kind of car is it?"
Man: "A 1988 Chrysler LeBaron."
Clerk: (Hysterical laughter)I'm sorry It's just that I thought you said an '88
Chrysler LeBaron!!"
Man: "I DID!! What's so damn funny?!"
Clerk: "What's so special about your '88 Lebaron?!" "Did your mother give birth to
you in it??" "Or wait, maybe it's an 'antique' because your grandmother
lives in it?"
Man: "Look, are you gonna give me the plates or not?"
Clerk: "Here, quick. Take 'em. Your going to make me pee my pants otherwise!!"

That is probably not at all how the conversation went but it's all I could come up with and It it sounded cool at the time. Then again, that was probably the tranquilizer speaking. Everything is funny when you're on tranquilizers. It's kind of like ganja that way. Anyway, It was WAY worth your time reading this though because there is a moral to all this.

And The Moral of the story Is???...

"Don't run with scissors."

Sorry, that's the only moral I remember right now. Well, it was either that or "Don't take any wooden Nickels." Hmmmm, or howz about, "Don't drive any wooden LeBarons while using scissors???"

Ahh fuck it.

My brain hurts now (mania you know).

Bye.

The End.



---End of Transmission---

Busted


Doesn't this picture just make you smile??

I love these little guys. They are so playful and smart. We don't have too many near our place but they are all over my parents backyard. They have two huge Cottonwood trees in which the squirrels run and jump around in. Just a little cheer since today is supposed to be the "most depressing day of the year." Although, I think that day came a few days ago for me with the inauguration of W.

Anyway, have a great day!

---End of Transmission--- Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Nirvana

What is meant by nonduality, Mahatmi? It means that light and shade, long and short, black and white, can only be experienced in relation to each other; light is not independent of shade, nor black of white. There are no opposites, only relationships. In the same way, nirvana and the ordinary world of suffering are not two things but related to each other. There is no nirvana except where the world of suffering is; there is no world of suffering apart from nirvana. For existence is not mutually exclusive.

-Lankavatara Sutra
From "Buddha Speaks," edited by Anne Bancroft, 2000. Reprinted by arrangement with Shambhala Publications, Boston, www.shambhala.com.

Bhutanese Monks

The museum in my town brought these Bhutanese Buddhist monks over to display their culture and art. I went last Thursday night with my parents to watch them perform some traditional dancing and it was very mesmerizing. I really liked the chants that I was hearing so my parents bought me a c.d. of chants done by the Lama of the group. I've been listening to it when I meditate and before going to bed ever since! Ha Ha.

Then, yesterday Lori and I went down there to watch them work on the sand mandala. If you haven't seen one of these things, well, they are stunning pieces of art work. They are intricate designs of various symbols and shapes to depict life and death, birth and rebirth, as well as symbolizing a Buddhist temple in general. Anyway, we sat and watched this young monk work on the mandala for about an hour. It was mesmerizing to watch him work with his fingers, letting the sand gently and slowly sift through his fingers.

It is amazing to watch and if you ever get the chance to see Tibetan or Bhutanese, or Nepalese monks do this you should. It was like a form of meditation just sitting there watching him work on such a beautiful design. It kind of reminds of the trance like state I sometimes go into when working on my paintings.

Speaking of which, I have some more paintings that are now drying that I will show on here soon. Lori and I also ran around to various cafes in town looking for ones that will display some of my artwork and showcase it a bit. I got an appointment with one guy who said they are looking to "freshen up" one of the walls, so I think I have a good chance getting my stuff up there. Hehe, how exciting!

Anyway, I digress. We had a great and relaxing time with the Bhutanese monks, Which was needed because the morning had been a rough start for both of us so we needed some relaxation. Nothing like Buddhism to relax you.

---End of Transmission---

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Solution

I can't go into right now but suffice to say that the solution is coming in the mail in 2-4 weeks (and no, i'm not going to shoot it or feed it poison. You can all breath out now. I'm not THAT crazy!!). Let's just say that soon the dog will be quiet and I'll have my serenity back.

Ahhhhhh!!!!

Thanks for all the suggestions and compassion.


---End of Transmission---

Friday, January 21, 2005

Damn Dog

There is a new guy that moved in next door and he has this Chocolate Lab with him that is very cute but very annoying. The dog barks all damn day long and it is starting to drive me to drink. Ha! I think the guy leaves the door open in the back because the dog comes and goes all day long. He has the loudest bark, I can hear it even when I'm sittin' on the john in the bathroom!! Grr.

All of this wouldn't be that big of a deal if I wasn't just starting online classes. I have to sit on the computer all day pretty much and it is SO hard to concentrate on my reading, etc. with this dog barking. Thing is, I don't know what to do. I would just talk to the guy but 1). he seems a bit surly and 2). I don't want the dog to suffer and I worry if he locks him in the house that he will not be able to poop all day long and he'll have to go in the house and get in trouble with his "dad." Plus, locking him in the house all day long won't really solve anything either. I mean, I can hear him bark when he's inside the house too! I guess it would at least "soften" and quiet it a little bit.

Argh. I have no idea what to do.

Any suggestions??


---End of Transmission---

OH MY GOD!!

I knew my score was going to be, "up there" but not this high, goddamn!

'Cupid

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Want Some Speakers?

Yesterday I had one of those wacky, bizarre experiences that only seem to happen to me.

I was going about my day getting errands done and one of those errands was to go to the pharmacy to get a prescription filled and another one refilled. Anyway, I had just pulled up to the store and parked the car. I had just gotten out of the car when a truck rapidly pulled up next to my car and the window came done. Out of the window came a man's fat face and that face yelled,

"Hey, you look like a cool guy. You want some speakers??"

"Um, what??" I replied.

Then the large man jumped out of the truck and ran to the back and popped the back hatch. He then began to explain to me that they were picking up speakers for their boss in Denver and the factory "accidently gave" them four extra speakers.

"Suuure" I thought.

With lightening speed this guy pulled out a magazine that showed the exact speakers as the ones in the back of his truck. He then proceeded to show me that they were worth $1500 and that they would give them to me for half that.

Here was my next thought, "What the FUCK are they doing with a catalog if the factory "accidently" gave you these extra speakers? Where on God's green Earth did the catalog come from??" With that the guy shoved the catalog into my hand.

So there I was standing there with a medication bottle in one hand and this magazine in the other. So, the driver then looked over at the bottle in my hand and asked,

"Getting a refill?"

I replied, "Yeah, I'm schizoaffective so I take 5 different medications. Therefore I'm always going to the pharmacy for refills." (Seriously, the people at the pharmacy all know me by my first name).

So then the driver asks,

"Got any Xanax or Valium??" I said, "No, but I have Ativan which is just as good as Valium"

He perked up and asked, "Got any on you?!"

I couldn't believe my ears. The fat man was meanwhile talking my ear off about how awesome these speakers are and "how much could I give them." "Name a price" he was saying. At the same time I had the other guy asking for my hard earned drugs!

It was obvious to me at this point that I was being solicited by a couple of crooks and that I should begin planning my escape.

Fat man then said, "We really don't want to take these speakers back to the factory. We figured we would try to make some money on two of these four and then stash the other two in a hotel room for ourselves to pick up later after we pick up and drop off our boss." I looked over to the pill popper and he was just nodding like one of those bobble head dolls. Then the conversation took a darker turn.

Fat man said, "We can take you to your ATM to get some money." "Yeah, I'm sure you will" I thought. I took a few steps back as Fat Man went on, "What about credit cards? I know you've got some of them."

(me laughing and shaking my head) "No,no. I'm not going there." I had to get out of there and fast or I would be strong armed to the ATM, knocked out and left in a ditch somewhere.

Fat Man must have seen the distrust on my face because he then said, "Or we could drive you to your bank and you can take out money on a credit card."

Alarm bells were nowing ringing in my ears as loud as police sirens. Red lights flashing in my eyes and the voice behind the desk in my head was screaming,

"RUN!!!!!"

Fat Man: "So, you don't want these?"

Me: "No, I don't. I gotta go fellas."

Fat Man: "That's a shame."

With that I just turned my back and walked as fast as I could into the store. I was worried that they would still be outside, next to my car when I got back. I planned to run back into the store and call the police if they were sitting there waiting for me.

Can you believe that?!!!

I totally was solicited to buy "hot merchandise" in the middle of the afternoon, in a super market parking lot!!!

God, only to me.


---End of Transmission---


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Aqua Teen Hunger Force

This post is just for Kitten. See sweetie, it's not political today!!! He..he..
Anyway, Lori and I finally went and bought the first season of ATHF on DVD from La Boutique Target yesterday evening. We watched episode after side-splitting episode and I am convinced that this is the funniest new cartoon out there right now. I am totally singing the praises of this cartoon and see why Kitten has been RAVING over it.

It is some damn funny shit.

I love the characters but especially Meat Wad. He cracks me up and reminds me of a less intelligent version of Cartman from South Park. Anyway, they are all funny and if you get the chance, check out this cartoon. It will be one of the funniest things you have seen in awhile. Damn, I was cracking up just from the introduction song!!!

Anyway, I'm off now to see the Wizard. The wonderful Wizard of schizoaffective disorder who hooks me up with drugs. Pdocs are kind of like a mixture of the Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka. It is hard to get in to see them (aka Wizard of Oz) but then when you do nail down an appointment with them they hand out all this candy!!

Oh btw, I've started classes online so I may not be posting as much. I am still going to try my best to post at least something everyday though.

That's all for now.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Why Social Security Privatization Is a Bad Idea

In Washington D.C. and around the states the debate is over GWB's idea of privatizing social security so that people could possibly get higher returns. This is a horrible idea. Here are a few reasons why I feel that way:

1). Social security came out of the Great Depression and was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to ensure people had some money to retire with. Many, many people lost their life savings playing the stock market. Now GWB wants people to risk playing the stock market again by investing their government security money?! That is how people lost their retirement money in the first place!-playing the stock market!!

2). People complain that social security benefits only pay out 1-2% while the stock market could possibly pay our more. The problem here is that there is also a possibility that investing your money in the stock market could give you 0% return. At least with the government you are guaranteed a return.

The stock market is a risky venture. It is basically gambling and I think it is irresponsible of the President to encourage people to take unnecessary risks with their government pention. People can still augment their retirement package with IRA's, 401k's and individual investments in stocks, bonds, etc.

Sure, Social Security will need to be adjusted for the younger generation to gain it's benefits but the GWB plan is not the way to go. It is (like so many of his other ideas/plans) unwise, risky and not well thought out.


---End of Transmission---

Monday, January 17, 2005

The Dream Lives On Within Us All


It's Martin Luther King Jr. Day here in the states. I wanted to do a brief post to honor this spiritual, political civil rights giant. MLK Jr. was a strong activist but he used peaceful means as his tools. He understood that two wrongs do not make a right. His status amongst other giants such as: Gandhi, Mother Theresa, The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh is solidified.

Let us all take a moment to honor his memory with a few moments of silence. Let us dedicate the peace of that silence to the world that it might become an even better, more equal, less hateful place in which to live. Posted by Hello

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Breathe, You Are Alive!

"Breathe, you are alive! Just breathing and smiling can make us very happy, because when we breathe conciously we recover ourselves completely and encounter life in the present moment."

-Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life.

This from the introduction to the book by Arnold Kotler, "Meditation, he tells us, [Nhat Hanh] is not just in a meditation hall. It is just as sacred to wash the dishes mindfully as to bow deeply or light incense. He also tells us that forming a smile on our face can relax hundreds of muscles in our body -- he calls it 'mouth yoga.'"


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Saturday, January 15, 2005

A Fresh Perspective

I was reading a review for the book, Buddhism Plain and Simple By Steve Hagen and I was quite impressed. Especially with one paragraph that gave me a different and fresh perspective about enlightenment and Buddhism.

According to the review by Taft Lowell "Early on in the book, Hagen writes "You are already enlightened. All you've got to do is stop blocking yourself and get serious about attending to what's going on. You are not lacking a thing. You need only to stop blocking or interpreting your vision." How easy it is to get caught up in our thoughts, to let that override the direct perception of what is at hand. One of the things I used to glibly do when some friend would ask me what Buddhism was about, was to answer that it was about living in the now. I stopped doing that when a friend asked me, "I don't understand what you mean, but okay, so how many nows are in an hour?" It is to this moment -- the moment right now, while you're reading words in this sentence -- the only moment there is, that the book is directed."

This is why I call myself a rogue Buddhist mystic. I do not exactly believe in following all of the rituals and attending the sanghas in order to achieve enlightenment, wisdom and peace. All of these things are already within us. We are already enlightened as Hagen says. We just have to remember to live in the here and now and remember that we are perfect in our nature. We have to uncover layers of superficial "life" that we have built up upon and around ourselves to reach it but it is there. Our perfection and enlightenment is solidly in place. Just as the Lotus blossom is found underneath layers and layers of dense mud and water. It slowly rises out of these layers to bloom in it's inherent glory and beautiful enlightened state.

The idea that we are already enlightened might seem quite radical to traditional Buddhist's but think about it seriously for a moment. We need look no further then our children to see that enlightened state. They are perfect in their child-like innocence. They are enlightened. What happens in between childhood and adulthood? The ego forms in order to help the child develop and survive but soon becomes out of control and begins to build up false layers of "crap" to "protect" ourselves. Stripping away the ego and certain habits we find the inner, enlightened child. The inner lotus growing out from our hearts. The hidden, precious diamond awareness which cuts through all the "crap" and layers that the adult ego so masterfully crafts and sculpts.

Anyway, I'm really getting heavy into mystical and Buddhist thought but I just wanted to share that quote with you from Steven Hagen. It is such a nice, fresh perspective.

P.S.~Last night we received a light dusting of snow to add to the snow we already have and it has left everything with that "frosted" look. It is so beautiful to watch patches of cotton-like snow fall from the tree branches. What a beautiful world that we inhabit, eh kids?



---End of Transmission---

I Love to Have My Cake and Listen to it Too

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, January 14, 2005

Visitors

I have noticed from my stat counter that I have some readers in the following countries: U.S., U.k., Canada, France, Germany, Belgium, Estonia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines, and Spain.

Welcome to one and all.

I am Super Ninja of the 33rd degree, James.

Don't forget to place your pin/name on my "guest map" which can be found at the top of my profile.

With that I'm off to lunch with the Mrs.
Happy blogging!!!


---End of Transmission--

Thursday, January 13, 2005


What the FRUIT is up with this kid?!?! The Royals are royally screwed up! Maybe he's been smoking the sweet, sweet cheba again. Who the HELL knows! Posted by Hello

Iraqi Election, No WMD's

It's official.

George W. Bush is a liar.

What's worse is that he will not admit that he and his administration were wrong. Instead he shifts all his answers and focus to "getting rid of Saddam Hussein." This is a load of horse poo too because there are dozens of dictators around the world who need to be "gone." Why Iraq? Why do they get to experience American "liberation" and "freedom" and other countries do not? Nothing washes with this adminstration. They are like the bank customer who keeps shifting money around to different accounts to keep the creditors at bay.

He lied to us about the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Granted he was probably given faulty information but shame on him for not looking further into said information before leading a country into a war. I believe that he should apologize to the American public for misleading everyone. The president is the leader of his administration, his party and finally the country and should be the one ultimately responsible for everything that passes through his mouth and across his desk.

This kind of behavior wouldn't wash in any other sector, so why does the man with the most important job in the world get to "blow it off." Bosses of industry and CEO's have lost their jobs and gone to prison for lesser crimes and mistakes. Parents are held responsible for things their kids do. Even if the parents are not there when the kid breaks the law or whatever.

America had a chance to hold this man accountable for his actions (or rather, misactions) and instead they chose to keep him in office. I am still baffled by this one as we sit on the eve of his inauguration. I honestly thought that the majority of Americans were appauled with his actions and would vote him out of office. However, the person that I hold most of my anger toward though is not George W. Bush.

No, I am mostly pissed off at John FUCKING Kerry for being such a WEAK candidate. I mean, it takes a real incompetent and incapable person to lose to GWB given all that he had screwed up with the war in Iraq. Why in the HELL did the democrats nominate this guy?! God, they should have run Howard Dean. At least he would have been a strong candidate with strong convictions.

Anyway, in other news the Iraqi elections look like they will have about as much credibility as a poker match in Tony Soprano's basement. People are jumping off the balot like it was the Titanic. Many places will probably see violence on election day. Can you imagine going to vote under the threat of being shot at, kidnapped, or blown up??? I wouldn't run for office or vote in such an election either! If they don't hold elections though the Shiites will probably finally explode into a massive wave of violence. Then we will have a civil war on our hands. Iraq may be headed for a civil war anyway though. The elections will probably see the religious Shiite parties gaining control of the government and the secular Sunni population will probably still wage its guerilla war. Such a goddamn mess.

I agree with Juan Cole's assessment of the current situation in Iraq:

Postponement would risk radicalizing Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the most respected leader in Iraq, who has already once demonstrated his willingness to call the faithful into the streets in the hundreds of thousands if he did not get his way on one person, one vote elections on a fast timetable. A postponement without his acquiescence would be dangerous in the extreme.

On the other hand, the credibility of elections in which the candidates have to remain anonymous to avoid being killed, and in which Sunni Arab candidates are increasingly unavailable, and in which half the lists have rushed to withdraw, is also very low. The credibility of the elections is not improved by the US killing or detaining and humiliating the party and clan leaders among the Sunnis who had still been willing to contest them, helping to drive them out of the race.

As usual in Bush's Iraq, there are no good options here because the administration's prior bad decisions have poisoned the most promising wells for the future.

---End of Transmission---

The Guide


This is a Prairie Falcon and I saw one yesterday.

He was sitting right on top of the big Juniper hedge we have right off the front patio. Obviously there were no little birds anywhere to be seen or heard. I just sat quietly and watched this beautiful creature flap it's wings about and look around. My heart nearly stopped as I tried to remain still as to not spook it. It was only about 8-10ft. away from me through the window. Then after a few minutes it jumped up, flapped it's gorgeous wings and took off.

Wow!! What an amazing experience that was for me. Hawks/falcons are my main animal totem/guide/guardian and usually I see them a ways off. This time I was granted a "home visit." It was as if God stopped by to see how things were going with me. It was a blessing and a joy to see that falcon. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Buddha Bless


This is my main Buddha in front of which I meditate.

Blog, Buddha. Buddha, blog! Now that we are all acquainted, gaze upon the Buddha and let yourself become relaxed and serene. Breath in deep 3 times and let peace and gentleness wash over your body and soul. May this bring you smiles and a calm body, spirit and mind. I send out love and peace to you all. May you all find a moment to feel the oneness of our true nature today. We are all interconnected and I am sending you postive viberations to your soul. Open your heart and feel the calm wash in. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Cancel the Party

I finally remembered the post that I was going to do this morning! The bong resin has apparently finally dripped out and is no longer clogging my memory banks. This is a post that will beat up a bit on GWB so if that rubs you the wrong way then I recommend playing some online pool or something instead of reading this post.

$15 million dollars is the rough price tag for President Bush's inauguration here in America. Does this not seem totally absurd and scandelous to anyone else??? O.k., let me lay out the case as to why I think this is obscene.

1). America is running record deficits under George W. Bush. I think that it would be a lot more responsible to spend that money on something other then a big bash for the President. I mean, come on. If you OWE money, the last thing that you are going to do (or should do) is throw a ragin' party that is so big you have splinter parties breaking off from the original party. SOo big that the people you owe (the American tax payers and world creditors like China and Japan) hear about it and without shame you decide to have the party anyway and rub it in everyone's face and show that you could care less how much your "bash" costs. This is otherwise known as: Let them eat cake.

2). The massive earthquake/tsunami in South and Southeast Asia. Let us suppose that the neighborhood to the east of you was entirely destroyed by a tornado or other devastation of nature. You send a bunch of money their way but decide to go ahead with your big party even while millions sit without a home let alone a big mansion to party in. Now let's say that said people are close enough to see and hear your party. You just keep on dancing while those hungry, tired eyes watch you. It would be very good taste if Bush said, "Ya know what? I'm going to cancel the big inaugural party this time and donate all the money to the tsunami victims." If he did that I would look at him with very, VERY different eyes. He would show himself to be the "compassionate conservative" he claims to be. I suspect too that he would gain quite a few people in the international community back on his side. Right now many people in the world see him as a spoiled, arrogant brat. It may be a stereotype but throwing this $15 dollar party in a time when millions of people sit homeless and fighting for their very lives isn't helping to destroy that stereotype. This is known as: Get a clue.

3). We are at war in Iraq.
I can't count how many times W stated that we are war and so we need to make sacrifices. First of all I believe that this war was a mistake and now we are being asked to pay for cleaning up his mess. So, the tax payer is asked to shell billions of dollars out to try and fix this mistake of a war and Bush decides to go ahead and throw a party? Seriously. Once again this raises issues and puts him in a bad light. It makes him look like he thinks he is better then everyone else. That he does not have to make sacrifices but the rest of us do? We have to pay for his bloody war while he dances the night away to the tune of $15 million dollars???

KISS MY ASS!!!

How can he have the nerve to party while our young men and women are dying in Iraq for his mistake? That is just sick, sick sick.

***Finally, let me say this: O.k., granted I do not like Bush one bit and I think he is the worst president in American history. Even worse then Nixon and that is pretty bad. That, however, is beside the point. I would be this upset at a democrat if he/she were in office and throwing a party under these situations. Just have the swearing in ceremony and get off the damn stage.

Blow it outch yer ass W.


---End of Transmission---

Recommendations Please

O.k., here's the deal. I have seen just about every comedy out there and I have seen them all too many times for them to be funny anymore. So, here's the challenge that I present to you dear friends and readers of mine. Please suggest a funny movie to me. Here is a list of the movies that I have seen (which are excellent mind you) a geugillion times: (By the way, I recommend ANY of these movies if you have not seen them yet).

-Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Big Lebowski, Half Baked, Up In Smoke, Election, The Full Monty, The Breakfast Club, Grosse Pointe Blank, Dumb and Dumber (and all other Jim Carrey movies), Big Trouble, All the Adam Sandler movies, Beavis and Butthead Do America, Austin Powers (and all other Mike Myers movies), Go, Lost In Translation, What About Bob (and the rest of Bill Murray movies) Jackie Brown, (and all other Quentin Tarantino flicks) Office Space, The Vacation movies, Night at the Roxbery, The Monty Python movies, Mr. Bean movie and episodes, Throw Mama From the Train, The South Park movie and episodes, How High, Blue Streak, O Brother Where Art Thou, Uncle Buck, Shanghai Noon and Knights, Swingers, Road Trip, Old School, Elf, Shrek 1 & 2, The Ladies Man, Cannon Ball Run 1&2, Ferris Beullor's Day Off, Tommy Boy (and all other Chris Farley movies), When Harry Met Sally, Blazing Saddles, Forget Paris, Ice Age, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc.,

That's all that I can think of for now. So, see if you can recommend a good comedy that I have not seen yet. Hehe.


---End of Transmission---

Let's see.

Well, I had a juicy topic for a post last night and of course in my Kaya induced haze I forgot to write it down and now I'm forced to pull something out of my ass. Looks like this is going to be another recap post. Oh well, I can't have an awesome post everytime, right? Hehe..

Therapy went well yesterday. I showed my therapist my prints of those first 10 paintings and she seemed fairly impressed. She refered me to some studio in Boulder so I think I'll swing by there one of these days and see If I can't get my prints displayed there. Also, she imformed me of the Boulder Creek Art Festival in the spring so I think I am going to enter that as well as the one in my home town. Speaking of painting, I have finished my "goddess" painting and might have a picture up of the final product later today (by the way, you guys are killing me! You have to buy some of my prints, PLEASE!! I'm begging you. HAHA. I'm a starving, schizophrenic artist after all!! I need all of the help I can get! That being said, however, do not buy a print unless you really like it. I don't want any "mercy" buying. And don't forget to tell your friends about my art and my website. Word of mouth advertising is the best form. Hehe).

It is quite foggy, rainy and just kind of eerie today. Just my kind of day. Not too much light coming in the window to blind me and give me a headache. Rather Lord of the Rings-ish I guess. Given the weather I decided to put in the mysterious music of Ravi. I am addicted to this album. I play it over and over and over again. It is SO relaxing and entrancing. I just can't say enough about him or his music. True musical genius.

Oh, I worked out again yesterday! Go me!!! This is the second day, wooohooo!! Now, that probably does not sound like much but usually I commit to working out and only end up going one day every month or something pathetic. So far so good on my New Year's resolution. If nothing else I want to work out until we go backpacking this summer/fall. Last year I didn't work out and was too out of shape and the backpacking trip nearly killed both Lori and I. So this year we will be better prepared.

Speaking of the gym. I always do the eliptical machine which combines the tread mill, stair stepper, and cross-country skiing all in one machine. It is a great work out but it truely kicks your ass all over the place. I am always sweating like an Amsterdam hooker in heat when I get done with it. Well, anyway, I was on this machine for a while and I was working up a good sweat when this old guy sat down on the stationary bike next to me. That in and of itself was fine but as he sat down I was hit with the worst body odor scents that you can imagine. God I nearly lost my synche on the machine and fell off it was so powerful. It was like that really pungent body odor that nearly makes your eyes water. It was like a mixture of rotting garbage, ammonia and the scent of a dead animal. Goddamn is was nasty! To add onto that he had biting bad breath that I could smell too. His breath had the ammonia quality about it too mixed with onion and a cabbage stench. I mean it was terrible! It was so bad that I had to breath out of my mouth in order to finish my work out. Whew!!!! I sure hope that guy hit the showers before going back to work or going home. Shit. Maybe he lives alone because no one can stand his "none-showering" ways.

Anyway, today's agenda is very exciting indeed. I am going to rotate the tires on the car in a bit. Then I am going to come back home and work on some paintings and probably blog.

Well, I think that I am going to finally end this lame post. Hopefully i'll be better inspired later on.


---End of Transmisson---

Monday, January 10, 2005


The Eye of the Universe. The All Seeing Eye of Heru. Look deep into it and discover the mysteries of the space,time and our very Universe itself.  Posted by Hello

Yakity-Yak

I'm off to see the therapist this morning so I won't be able to post much until I get home this afternoon. I have a lot to talk about since I have been feeling "out of sorts" lately. I am just SO grateful tha we have insurance that covers all of this. There many people out there who can not afford the medications and therapy needed to "keep the ship upright and sailable."

I still think I'll have a little time to post my monday picture though for you.

Talk to you later.


---End of Transmission---

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Mystery of Consciousness

Hidden in the mystery of consciousness, the mind, incorporeal, flies alone far away. Those who set their mind on harmony become free from the bonds of death.

~Buddha

Rainy Day, Sunny Day-A Change In Perspective
Long ago, there lived an old woman whose tears never ceased because her worries were never-ending. She had two daughters. The eldest had married an umbrella merchant. On days filled with sunshine, the old woman would glance upward and think, "The weather is too nice! No one is going to want to buy any umbrellas and the shop may need to be closed!" Overcome with worry, she would cry and cry. Her younger daughter had married a noodle vendor and the old woman knew that when the rains came, the noodles would not dry and there would be no noodles to sell. On rainy days, the old woman would again be consumed with worry and her tears would pour. Thus, ever grieving for one of her daughters, she lived in constant sorrow. Her well-meaning neighbors, unable to console the old woman, began to call her 'the crying woman.'

One day, she crossed paths with a monk. He had heard of the crying woman and was very curious as to why she never stopped crying. The old woman explained the source of her sadness. The monk, who was very kind, smiled and said, "You won't need to worry any more because I can show you the way to find happiness." The old woman became very excited and quickly asked the monk to tell her what to do. He replied that the answer was simple. "You only need to change your perspective," he said. "On sunny days, think not of your elder daughter and her umbrellas, but of your younger daughter finding the warmth to dry her noodles. When the sunlight is brightest, she will be able to make mountains of noodles and her business will prosper. When the rains come, think not of your younger daughter and her noodles, but of the many customers who will come to your elder daughter in order to buy umbrellas. The more forceful the rain, the more she will sell."

The old woman knew the monk was speaking wisdom and did as he said. After a time, her tears became smiles, and her smiles grew as the days progressed. From that day forward, she was known to all as 'the smiling woman.'


---End of Transmission---

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Iraqify-The 51st State of the Union

I found this Neologism from, "The Onion" via my friend Richard's blog. I thought that I would make a bit of a comment on this phrase.

Iraqify-To occupy indefinitely.

Well, what can you say about a term like this? Except that it is brilliant and right on the money. America might as well get it over with and make Iraq it's 51st state of the Union. I mean, my GOD!! The Iraqi War isn't a quagmire?! Pardon mon francais mais, what the hell is it then?! How about...QUICKSAND?! Now, there are a few things that will have to happen before Iraq can become an official, United State of America.

1st-The State Nickname: (i.e Colorado=The Centennial State) Here are the recommendations from GOI: "The Oil State" or maybe "The Occupied State." Or howz about, "The Terrorist State" and finally, "The George W. Bush State."

2nd-The State Tree: Hmmm. Tough one but here are the recommendations: "The blown in half palm tree," "The rifle sticking into the ground with a soldiers helmet on the butt" and finally, "The Christmas tree" (I mean, we are trying to convert them to Christianity? Right?! Isn't that the dirty lil secret that is floating around the collective brain of Jerry Falwell, James Dobson and Pat Robertson? I mean, what are really doing here? Aren't we working on an Empire? What kind of an Empire imposes a foreign style of governing without imposing a religion? Jesus, Americans sure seem at the bottom of the list of effective Empires. Sheesh.

3rd-The State Bird: O.k., I had to think long and hard about this since the terrorists and the Americans have pretty much killed/scared off every bird in Iraq. So, our only entry is that of the infamous, agile American Red, White and Blue Breasted Middle Finger bird. I'm sure the Iraqi's have their own breed of this bird but it probably isn't democratic enough for the American's-Oops I mean the Iraqi interm government-so surely it will be replaced with the American Red, White and Blue Breasted Middle Finger bird.

4th-The State Song: Here I think we all know the winning answer. Yep, the national anthem of the U.S.A. With perhaps the outside chance of the FOX News Network lead in music. Pfft.

5th-The State Motto: FOX News Network seems to have the outside edge on this one since they lost the no-bid contract to the national anthem in the State Song category. Anyway, here of course is their motto: "Fair and Balanced." The runner up being, "Don't shoot!"

6th-The State Flower: "The Desert Rose," or "White Lilies" for all the funerals.

7th-Area Code: We gotta go with "911" here.

**And finally, the State name will be changed from Iraq to "East Texas"


---End of Transmission---

Extreme Dodge Ball II

At first I thought I was watching a bad spin off of the Ben Stiller movie about Dodgeball. I soon realized, however, that It was all real. It was all so pathetically real. I was indeed watching real, "professional" dodgeball.

Yeeeeeah.

It was like a bad mixture of American Gladiators (I admit I use to watch it when I was a kid. Did you know that it is still playing on one of the country music channels. Um, scAIRy!) the old Roller Derby and "professional wrestiling" all rolled into one messed up game. It's the kind of programming you usually only find when you are hopped up on pain pills and channel surfing at 3a.m.

You begin to wonder if you are the only one watching said program.

Anyway, apparently we were fortunate enough to catch the "playoffs" for the 2nd annual championship. The Champion trophy happens to be this freakishly horrific looking arm cluthing a bronze ball.

Here were some of the teams (I kid you not):

-The CPA's (I'm suprised their uniforms didn't come with pocket protectors).

-Armed Response (A team of rent-a-cops. An interview with one of the players had him saying the key to dodgeball was mental toughness. Hmmmm, yeah that and dodging the damn ball!!

-Delta Force (Complete with face paint but it wasn't the real deal so it ended up looking like poo smeared all over them).

-Reef Sharks (I think that one of the guys was a host from that lame MTV show that pits the Real World vs. Road Rules).

-Bling (A bunch of wanna be rappers).

And the winner issssssssssssssssssssssss...


Armed Response!!!!

God, I just can't take this seriously. I am having a hard time believing that this is all actually REAL. It's must be though because they are coming back for "Extreme Dodgeball III!!!" I know, I know. I can't wait either. I am going to send a letter to ESPN to see why they haven't picked up this exploding sport yet. It is the kind of thing that you scoff at but can't stop watching. It's like having a bruise that you can't stop touching.


Ouch.


---End of Transmission---

Friday, January 07, 2005

I am In a Good Place

Today's incense is Amber and it is just lovely. It is a mixture of sweet and musky scents that is very nice. It goes nicely with the music of the day. That of course being the entrancing music of Ravi Shankar. So, be aware, I might sound a little spaced out and very mystical today.

Everything is right with the world and that is really always the case. However, when we feel that things are falling apart around us then there is a feeling of disconnect which is an illusion. It is really nothing more then a false perception of our mind which is being constricted and/or blocked by said perception. Or, (as is often in my case) the chemical make-up of the brain goes crazy and in turn creates chaos and disharmony in the mind's perceptions of "reality." Our perceptions can be changed and altered and our brain chemistry can be balanced. Which is where I am right now. I seem to be back on track with the right medications and so my brain is back in-line with what the heart and soul know and feel all along; that being that everything is right with the world and always has been.

We have this massive Juniper hedge out front that we barely prune because we like the privacy it creates from the street. Well, we also have a little bird feeder right above the bush and on the very outter edge of our roof. Anyway, combined our feeder and hedge have become quite the Mecca for those tiny but energetic finches. It is amazing to stand and watch them go from the hedge up to the feeder and back down into the hedge. There are various holes that they pop out of and there is always another one waiting behind for his/her chance to pop out of the hole and fly up to the "Restaurant."

It is quite breath-taking to watch these beautiful little creatures eat by the effort of our hands and then watch them take shelter from the cold and snow inside our massive hedge. Several times I have had to walk past the hedge in order to get to my car and in doing so I have spooked the birdies out of the hedge and you know, sometimes there are roughly a dozen or so that come out of there!! We see these birds as the closest thing that we will probably get to having pets. It is so lovely to feed and watch them and at the same time know that they are free to live their lives as wild birds. To watch them is really to watch the divine in action and since the Divine is also in me, it is as if the Divine is experiencing and watching and rejoicing in itself in myriad forms.

Speaking on the Divine, I am reading a new book that is so far proving to be very wonderful. It is titled, Journey to Self Realization: Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life, Volume III. The author is the world famous Indian mystic, Paramahansa Yogananda. I am only on page 6 and I can already recommend it. This is an excellent book for anyone seeking the unvarnished truth concerning issues of God, religion and spirituality. This from the introduction:

"Paramahansa Yogananda honored all religions and their founders, and held in respect all sincere seekers of God. Part of his world mission was to reveal the complete harmony and basic oneness of original Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ and original Yoga as taught by Bhagavan Krishna."

That is just from the introduction! Now let me lay the first paragraph of the book on you:

"The kingdom of God is not in the clouds, in some designated point of space; it is right behind the darkness that you perceive with closed eyes. God is consciousness; God is absolute Existence; God is ever new Joy. This Joy is omnipresent. Feel your oneness with that Joy. It resides within you; and it encompasses infinity. Beyond the gross vibratory boundaries of matter, the Immutable Infinite reigns in all His majesty and vastness. Endlessness -- that is the kingdom of God; conscious Bliss, eternal and boundless. When your soul has expanded and feels its presence everywhere, then you are united with Spirit.

We bow to the Infinite on the altar of the horizon where the sky meets the ocean; and we bow to the transcendental Infinite on the altar of peace within us."

Wow. That was just the first paragraph of the book. I am totally floored and I am just barely starting it and to think that there are two previous volumes to this? How awesome is that?! I feel like a dog who has just been given a big, juicy bone with chunks of meat hanging off it.

Yogananda's words fit in perfectly with my mystical beliefs and they echo a lot of what I have read from Dr. Hawkin's books which I hold so dear to my heart too.

Well, the Amber incense is billowing around my head and Ravi's playing has combined with the relaxing scent to put me in a trance, so I think I am going to take a break and do some meditation. I'll talk with you dear ones later.

Peace and love and harmony to you all.


---End of Transmission---

Thursday, January 06, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Mellow. I have been really getting into Indian music lately and so I picked up this classic album today. Apparently this guy is like the "Elvis" of Indian music. George Harrison of the Beatles studied with Shankar.You gotta check him out if you're into Indian music or just experiencing other musical cultures.  Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Mon Ange

I believe.

I am certain in the reality and miracle of Angels because I have personally been witness to them again and again. I have been living with a real, honest to God Angel for the past 6 or 7 years now. If you haven't guessed by now the person I am refering to is my dear, sweet, beautiful and very angelic wife Lori.

As I stated in a comment to my last post, those who do not believe in Angels have either: 1). Never met my wife or 2). Obviously do not know her very well.

It has been mentioned by several of my dear readers that my wife must be someone very special and such is the case. It is for this reason that I am doing this post.

I want to sing praises to my Angel and let her (and you all) know how much I care and appreciate her. She has touched my heart and soul in a way that I never thought possible. Her patience with this chaotic illness is unfathomable to me. I would have given up on myself a long time ago and yet she stays by my side and lifts me up when I fall.

She is my partner to walk hand in hand with through this battle field of Earthly life. I would not have it any other way. We understand and respect each other as if we have known each other for eons; and that is probably the case.

She is the air that I breath.
She is the sweet scent of relaxation that gives me rest.
My eyes fall upon her aura and I am over-come with waves of love and compassion.
I crawl into her bosom and find there a rest, a haven, a sanctuary from the fears and chaos of the world.

If there is a heaven and she is not there; then I do not want to go.

I love you sweetie.
Forever and always your lover and friend...

your Calvin
(she says in many ways I'm just like Calvin from Calvin in Hobbes and so she says that I am her "Calvin").


---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Lavender Scented Snow

This post will have a nice, soft lavender scent to it as I have just lit some lavender incense. I find this particular scent to be quite relaxing. It is said in many herbalist circles that lavender is condusive to relaxation.

Breathing in .... I am alive. Breathing out....I am home (This is one of my favorite lil mantras from the Buddhist Monk Thich Nhat Hanh. Read his books, any of them. They are life-chancing and easy to read).

It's snowing outside and I couldn't be happier.

Snow always slows everyone down and forces the pace around town down quite a bit. Smoke from the incense billows, curls around on itself and dances slowly as if aware of the subtle energy of the day.

A close second to the slowed pace is the silence that snow brings. The snow acts like a soft blanket that muffles all the harsh sounds that usually keep me on edge. It is as if the city has been swallowed up in a massive sound proof room.

Breathing in....lavender. Breathing out...serenity.

Its as if the world is on pause during the snow fall and we are barely moving ourselves. Slow motion. This winter storm has me thinking about death and life. Winter is after all the death cycle in the seasons and reincarnation of life occurs of course in the spring.

Yey! As if fulfilling my wishes and desires the snow is coming down harder and in bigger flakes.

I digress as usual.
Becoming easily distracted and following any path and charming lane that appears in front of my mind. But something more serious calls on me today...

Death.

I was thinking about this again last night (which is not uncommon for someone w/ the schizoaffective disease). This time, however, it was thinking upon it in a reflective way and I was inspired to write about it today from reading a similar post about death on Banjk's Bipolar Blog,"Reincarnation Happens Everyday" post.

I was talking with the wife about everything I have been through and how many times I have walked to the edge of this life, stuck a toe out into the cold, silent abyss and come back. In the past I have been able to keep myself from falling into the gravitational pull that I feel from that abyss by my strong will power but that time has come and gone. My will power has reached it's breaking point last winter and I knew that I needed to get some extra help or I would be dead within days.

Like syrupy sweet candy on my lips; I could taste death and it tasted good.

For the first time in my life I was truely scared and worried that I would not be able to come back from the edge. I told myself then and there that I would check into a hospital. Well, in the mean time I met with this Dr. Chitters and he just so happened to be one of the best doctors in this region for brain disorders (I know this because I have been to just about every other one).

And now I am on 5 medications that literally keep me alive.

Now you are up to date on what is going on with my brain and why I even mention insanity in the title of my blog. It is a razor's edge that I dance on between genius and insanity and often times I find myself balanced in the grey matter in between these two places.

Blurred yet balanced in a crazy sort of way.

And so this was the situation that presented itself to me while talking with my wife about death and suicide. I was remarking how amazing it is that 5 little pills are keeping me alive. The mystery and awesome nature of modern medicine goes about its work in silence.

Ah, silence.

And we come back full-cirlce.



---End of Transmission---


Monday, January 03, 2005

Mr. Bean, Sleepy Time Tea and My Guest Map

Anyone else like Mr. Bean?

I guess he is kind of silly but I find him absolutely hillarious. That being said, my sister-in-law received the Mr. Bean box set of DVD's from Christmas from her brother. Well, she did not even know about Mr. Bean and when the show was explained to her she did not really like the idea of it (she doesn't like British humor in general but I think its brilliant). Anyway, the long and short of it is that she just gave the wife and I this DVD box set!! Yey! So, last night we watched episode after episode of hilarity.

The atmosphere in the house was very relaxing I must say. We had candles burning all over the place and thus candle light was the only light we had going. By the end of the Mr. Bean marathon, however, my wife had fallen asleep and I was still trying to relax enough to go to sleep. I was nearly there but still a little keyed up from laughing so violently. So, I turned off the t.v. and the room fell into a blissful quietness once the last vestige of manufactured light flicked off. Two tea lights flickered on the t.v. hutch casting soft light and shadows onto our medium sized Buddha statue. I then put on some soft Indian music, sat down on my cushion and began to meditate. I had a lovely meditation session where I was at one with my breath and the music and with everything. With each breath I could feel the tension and stress of the day release and flow out of my body. I dedicated any merit gained from my meditation to those suffering from the Tsunami. I sent out as much love and peaceful support to all those survivors and their families as I could. It felt good to be able to do something for those poor people. Anyway, I stayed with the meditation for about 15-20 minutes and then got up and set about brewing myself a nice cup of tea.

I have this special tea that I like to drink at night when I need some help falling asleep. It is Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea and it is wonderful in bringing about relaxation and serenity. I sat sipping my tea, listening to the soft music and watching the dim candle light cast shadows that danced a mesmorizing dance on the walls. After my second cup of tea a nice soft, gigantic and pillowly cloud came along and took me off into dreamland. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful evening and I thought I would share that with you all. By the way, I will take a picture of my wonderful Buddha statue and post it on here so you all can see. :)

I stole another idea from Kitten's blog (Thanks kitten). It's called a "Site Map" and it is a tool to see where you all are coming from through out the world. So, just click on the button and add your location to the map!! Make sure and put your name in the comment section for your marker to show up. I am excited to see where you all pop up!

Alright, I think that is all for now.
I am going to go work out at the gym for a bit and work off some of that Holiday Cheer!!
...hehe.


---End of Transmission---

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Tao Te Ching Verse 77

As it acts on the world, the Tao is like the bending of a bow.
The top is bent downward; the bottom is bent up.
It adjusts excess and deficiency so that there is perfect balance.
It takes from what is too much and gives to what isn't enough.

Those who try to control, who use force to protect their power, go against the direction of the Tao.
They take from those who don't have enough and give to those who have far too much.

The Master can keep giving because there is no end to her wealth.
She acts without expectation, succeeds without taking credit, and doesn't think that she is better than anyone else.

-Tao Te Ching
Translation by Steven Mitchell
v. 77


---End of Transmission---