Monday, February 28, 2005


Serenity @ the Miyajima Shrine in Japan for this monday pick. Special thanks to El-Branden Brazil over @ Mystic Traveller for the original of this photo. Head on over to his blog if you would like to see the original and some other interesting photography. Posted by Hello

Chris Rock ROCKED The Oscars

The Oscars were so-so I thought but maybe that was because I was all smoked up and kept loosing interest in it. Anyway, I REALLY enjoyed seeing Jamie Foxx win the best actor award for, "Ray." While I thought "Ray" had a somewhat weak plot line I was impressed with Foxx's performance as Ray Charles. He was so convincing for me that I kept forgetting that I was watching Foxx and not the really Ray Charles.

My publicist (my wife) and I thought that Hillary Swank was looking quite, well...swanky? She was looking G O R G E O U S!!!! E! Entertainment channel, however, gave her low marks for her dress but my accountant (my wife) and I thought she look stunning and beautiful. Those people at E! are just jealous that she looks so beautiful AND she is an amazing actress!

The best part of the show, however, came at the very beginning when Chris Rock took direct aim at George dubya Bush. Below I have included most of what he said about Bush. You Bush supporters out there you might want to stop reading NOW.

This from Reuters: Rock drew some of his biggest laughs with political jabs aimed at President George W. Bush, the involuntary star of Michael Moore's scathing documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."

Rock noted that Moore's film, though shut out of the Oscar competition, was breaking box office records at the time Bush was running for re-election.

"Can you imagine applying for a job, and while you're applying for that job there's a movie in every theatre in the country that shows how much you suck in that job?" Rock said. "It would be hard to get hired, wouldn't it?"

Rock kept on rocking with this zigger, "When Bush got into office there was a surplus of money. Now there's, like, a $70 trillion deficit. Just imagine if YOU worked at the Gap, and you're closing out your register and YOU'RE $70 trillion short!"

Rock again, "Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job, man. ... Just imagine you worked at the Gap. You're $70 trillion behind on your register and then you start a war with Banana Republic 'cause you say they got toxic tank tops over there. You have the war, people are dying, a thousand Gap employees are dead, bleeding all over the khakis, you finally take over Banana Republic, and you find out they never made tank tops in the first place."

OUCH.

This next quote is about the Iraq war from Rock but it was not included in his Oscar monologue. I decided to include it though because it fits the theme and is so true.

ROCK: “Bush lied to me, man. He said we got to move on Iraq because they’re the most dangerous regime on Earth. If they’re so dangerous, how come it only took two weeks to take over the whole f*cking country? You couldn’t take over the Bronx in two weeks. You’d need a month to get the Grand Concourse.”

Well, that's my Oscar report.

Now make good with the deal and bring me the happy pills. HAHAHA!!


---End of Transmission---

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Cinema

I have a love-hate relationship with the cinema.

I love to hate it.

***GOI STAFF WANTS TO TAKE THIS CHANCE TO INSERT HERE AN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE WARNING TO THE FOLLOWING RANT. THANK-YOU.***

Don't get me wrong, I do love to see certain movies as soon as they are released and some movies are just better when seen on the "big screen." However, there are many negatives to going to the cinema:

1). Having to cram into that damn "banana chair" with no leg room for two hours. OH they have tried to make them more comfortable but do not believe it! My legs always fall asleep and then I'm focusing on the "pins and needles" pain rather then the goddamn movie.

2). People who talk during the movie (This one is a growing trend for some reason). People fire off their goddamn pie hole about everything: "What's happening now?" "What other movies has that actor been in?" "I'm going to get some popcorn do you want anything?" (I'm always tempted here to pipe in "Yeah, bring me back some licorice and a gun. A loaded mother F**King GUN!!) Hehe.

2a). People who talk during the previews. This is only slightly worse then the people who yammer during the movie. People laugh and carry on during the previews like no one is paying attention. They act as if it is their own personal cinema where they can just talk it up. Again, a gun would come in handy here. Not to kill, just to fire off into the ceiling to shut people up with an ironic flare of "Hollywood."

3). Popcorn eating. This one drives straight up the fucking coconut tree!! Especially when people are sitting right behind you. They drive their hands down into the bag of popcorn like they are looking for the lost city of mother fucking Atlantis or digging for buried treasure! It's just popcorn for Christ's sake!! Of course the seating is not just BEHIND but ABOVE and BEHIND so their rustling through the bag is just about two inches away from your GODDAMNED EAR!!!!

4). My weak ass little girl bladder. I get about 15 minutes into the movie and my bladder starts doing gymnastics. Then I sit there about another 15 trying to decide if I should go to the bathroom or just try and hold it. Of course I end up having to go and then you have to stampede down the aisle like a goddamn loser saying "Oops!" and "Pardon me" when you're really thinking, "Move your fucking feet ass clown" and "I'm gonna step on your toes when I get back you lazy, rude dumb F***K. Then you have to decide if you give them the "crotch or the ass" ( as Tyler Durden would say in Fight Club. Excellent movie by the way) as you side-step down the aisle like an over-weight, off-balance, drunk ass ballerina.

5). Kids. This is why I hardly EVER go to the Disney movies when they come out in the cinema. I might as well be watching the movie with a bunch of monkeys who are throwing their shit at me AND the screen. Not to mention all the howling and talking that goes on during the movie. Then there are the people who could not find a mother fucking babysitter so they do the very wise and oh so "polite" thing and bring the 6 month-old parasite WITH them to the show. The hillarious thing is that they actually look SURPRISED when the poor kid starts crying during the first loud BOOM to errupt out of the surround sound speaker system.

6). Getting kicked in the back of your chair. This one is somewhat excuseable with the midget leg room they allocate to you but all the same it pisses you off when someone does it ALL THROUGH THE ENTIRE MOVIE!! What are they doing back there? Playing football? Perhaps a little gymnastics?? Or many they are just doing it on purpose like my paranoid brain likes to think. Sometimes I SERIOUSLY think thats SOME people come to the movies JUST to wreck havoc with me (YOU know who you are!!! YOU!!!!).

Anyway I think that's about it.

Let me know in the comments section if I missed anything.


---End of Transmission---

Why Am I Not Surprised?

You scored as Suicide. Your death will be suicide. What more can I say?

Suicide

80%

Bomb

73%

Posion

60%

Dissapear

60%

Gunshot

47%

Disease

33%

Eaten

33%

Stabbed

33%

Suffocated

27%

Drowning

7%

Accident

0%

Electric Chair

0%

Cut Throat

0%

How Will You Die??
created with QuizFarm.com

A Buddhist Proverb

Whatever happiness is in the world has arisen from a wish for the welfare of others; whatever misery there is has arisen from indulging selfishness.

-Buddhist Proverb

Oscar Tonight

O.k., tonight is the annual oscar awards and I am not really impressed with any of the entries. Of course I have only seen ONE of the movies being nominated for "Best Picture" but from what I have read of them I'm not really impressed to go see any others. There is one caviat to what I just said, however. We are going to go see, "Sideways" this afternoon before the Oscar's tonight.

Personally I think that the Golden Globes is a better measure of great films (and the Cannes Film Festival or Sundance Film Festival). Especially since they include a "Best Comedy" award (Bill Murray should have one "Best Actor" last year at the Oscars for "Lost in Translation." I'm still "bent out of shape" angry about THAT one).

Every year it seems I am less and less impressed with the movies nominated for "Best Picture" at the Oscar's and I always want some little, independent movie to win. For example, this year I think the best movie is by far, "I Heart Huckabees." I don't even think it is nominated once--for anything.

Oh well.

The river keeps flowing I guess.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Everyday Kind of Stuff

I need a haircut.

I have that, "I just got out of jail" hair going right now. All nappy and long (GOI: We would like to take this time to emphasize that James has never been to jail. He has been to a mental hospital which is close but never jail). I'm just glad that I have short, balding hair because Lori can just take the hair clippers to my "bird's nest" and it saves us a lot of money.

I'm feeling pretty good this morning. I was feeling a little too depressed with the 10mg of Lexapro so I played doctor again and bumped things up to 12.5mg of Lexapro. My pdoc said that I should call him if I was still feeling really depressed on the 10mg but I hate talking to ANY doctor on the phone (and you all know how I hate to use the phone ANYWAY) and I might as well just do the bump myself and tell him about it at my next appointment next week. I've done this before and he seemed to be cool about it so hopefully he will not be too upset that I did not "call" him before I changed the medication. I just realized, however, that I am running low on my Lexapro and I didn't remeber that it will take awhile for the refill to come in. I did not accept a new prescription from my psych because I have 3 refills but I didn't get on top of sending for a refill until now it's too late. I don't know what the hell I am going to do. Sometimes the local pharmacy will o.k. getting some extra pills until the others come through so hopefully that will work this time.

I've also got this "dry mouth" side-effect that's been bugging me for awhile now. It doesn't matter how much water I drink I still have that "cotton mouth" feeling like when you smoke a lot of ganja. Anyway, I can't pin-point which drug is causing the effect. When you take 5 different medications it is hard to tell what is doing what. It's not a major side-effect but it is annoying.

I should be journaling more in my actual journal then on here but it is just so much easier to type stuff out. I have been just printing out posts and taping them into my journal so I guess that is a short-term fix. I just worry that this blog will get wiped out one of these days and I will loose a record of all the stuff I have written. Oh well, most of what I say on here is just schizoaffective ranting and raving jibberish anyway and I won't have any kids to pass my journals on to anyway so, oh well I guess.

Let's see. What else to talk about today.

Oh. We went to dinner with my older sister and her husband last night and that was really nice. It was good to talk with them since we had not talked with them in awhile. Her husband just tore some stuff in his knee a few weeks ago while skiing and had to have surgery and now he is on crutches. I ache just watching him hobble around. I have noticed that I have sympathy pains for people when I see that they are injured. Especially if it is a serious injury like a blown out knee like my brother-in-law is healing from. I get these full body aches when I hear about an it or take a look at the wound, etc. I guess i'm an empathic person.

Good Lord I better wrap this post up or I'll be "chewing up your ear" (as I like to say) all damn day!!

---End of Transmission---

Friday, February 25, 2005

I Hate Mornings and What's With The Pope?

I am not a morning person. I never have been a morning person although since I've been on this new round of medications (about 6 mos) I've been waking up earlier. The thing is that I use to wake up around noon before because I could not go to bed the night before. Now, I can go to bed easily with the Seroquel but it knocks me out so much that I have a BITCH of a time waking up still. I do wake up around between 8-10, which is a little earlier then noon but It still takes me forever to clear the cobwebs.

I wake up and I just feel like shit every morning. My body feels like it was hit by a massive truck because of all the heavy med's that I have to take in order to sleep. Then there is the depression. Every morning when I wake up I just feel like total crap, literally. I feel like blowing my brains out and so I have to run straight to the medicine cabinet and literally chew on my anti-depressants.

Plus, the sedation feeling never fully goes away throughout the day because of the medication. I always feel somewhat "spaced out" so this is all a big reason why I can not work even with taking medications. I get so frustrated with people who think that once you're taking your med's then everything should be just fine and you can be "normal." Well, for one thing there is no cure for bipolar and schizophrenia. The medications simply help diminish the effects from the symptoms. Plus, since these medications are heavy duty ones they cause some severe and debilitating side-effects such as my drowsiness and sedation throughout the day. And finally, you have to constantly "tweek" with the medications depending on the time of year, events in your life, etc. and that is not easy to always have to be adjusting to different doses, etc.

Anyway, on to the Pope. I realize that he is a huge religious and historical figure but I just don't understand all the press over his every movement. "This just in, the Pope sneezed!!" I hope that the man gets better, I really do but why do we need to coverage his illness and surgeries as if he is (and will be) the last Pope?!?! He WILL die that I can assure everyone and the Catholic church will be just fine because they have a historic format set in place for selecting a new Pope. The media is acting like once the current Pope dies there will he mayhem and it will be the end of the Catholic church.

PLEASE!!!

Anyway, I think I'm done with my morning rant--for now.

Muahahahahahahah!!!!!


---End of Transmission---

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A Little Huang Po

This is a great little excerpt from the teachings of the Zen Master Huang Po.

Enjoy.

When people hear that all Buddhas transmit the Mind Dharma, they fantasize that there is a special Dharma they might attain. They then try to use the Mind to find Dharma, not realizing that this very Mind is the Dharma and that the Dharma is this very Mind. Using the mind to search out Mind, one can pass through thousands and thousands of kalpas (lifetimes) of cultivation and still not acquire it. However, if a person can be suddenly without mind, then he and Original Dharma are one. A prodigal son forgot that a pearl was hidden in the cuff of his own clothes and searched outside, here and there, running everywhere in bewilderment and wonder. Then a wise friend pointed out the pearl to him, so thus he found it where it had always been.

Most Dharma students are confused about Original Mind, not knowing that Original Dharma is non-existing, neither dependent nor staying. Neither active nor passive and without stirring thought, they can suddenly attain the stage of Perfect Awakening and see that they have reached the condition of Original Mind that alone is Buddha. Looking back on their prior cultivation throughout many kalpas, they see it now only as labor expended in vain. Thus the prodigal son found his original pearl, and he realized then that the time and energy spent looking for it, heretofore, outside himself were all completely unnecessary. Therefore, Sakyamuni Buddha stated: " There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Awakening."

GOI: All of us at some point in our lives ask the deep mystical questions of what is my purpose in life, where did I come from, etc. Well, in the end we must realize that the answers to these questions are already in front of us. We are already complete and it does not really matter where we came from. The important thing is that we are here, right now and that we are alive, in this present moment. As for the purpose in life, well this has always been with us too. Whatever we are doing at any given time is the purpose of life because NOW is the only "real" moment that exists. The past is gone and the future has not appeared.

Huang Po: Nothing to practice, nothing to attain ? this alone is the Supreme Tao, the genuine Dharma. Without seeking the Mind, there is no birth; without grasping the Mind, there is no death. That which is neither birth nor death is Buddha.

"Chop wood, carry water" is a famous Zen saying. So, basically whatever you are doing do it with all your focus. If you are eating then eat and if you are walking then walk and if you are meditating then meditate.

"Chop wood, carry water."

In this little but powerful phrase lie the keys to enlightenment.


---End of Transmission---



He Went Out On His Terms

My wife sent me this great article about why Hunter S. Thompson killed himself. Anyone who knew him through his work (or knew him personally) will understand that it is not really a shock. In a strange way it seems a fitting end for HST.

I plan on going to the public memorial whenever it is held and of course I will take lots of pictures. Being that it will be a memorial for "Dr. Gonzo" I'm sure it will be one hell of a time.

If you still don't understand why he would kill himself then I leave you with this HST quote:

"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

-Hunter S. Thompson

---End of Transmission---

Young at Heart

Special thanks to, "Drinking Sand From a Half Empty Glass" for this quiz.

You Are 20 Years Old
20

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Following The Tao

My little poem about the Tao:

The Tao needs nothing yet we need the Tao.
We are apart of the Tao even if we do not want to be.
Winter is cold and freezes life in dark ice but this is not the end.
Spring comes around everytime and melts aways the ice.
Everything has it's opposite so that all things stay in harmony and balance.
You can not pick up one end of the log without picking up the other.
Death is not the end nor is life the beginning.

By JRU.


---End of Tranmission---

Art In the Park

I picked up my application yesterday to have my own booth in this year's "Art in the Park" festival. Last night my beautiful bride, my parents and I were coming up with ideas for how to display my artwork in the space provided. I think that this will be good exposure/experience for me and a chance to meet other artists. I am already turning in my application today and the deadline isn't until August 1st!!

Can ya tell I'm excited???

Of course I'll have pictures galore.


---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jacko, My Shrink and School

I just saw on the television that they announced the jury for Michael Jackson and there are no African-American jurors. I admit that M.J. is looking pretty freaky these days and that his behavior has been more then eccentric but does a "jury of his peers" really not include a single African-American??? I worry that if he is found guilty (which he probably will be in my opinion) that there will be riots similar to those after the Rodney King verdict.

I don't know.

I just think it is wrong that there are no African American jurors on his jury.

I saw my shrink today for the first time since the hospitalization and it was a little weird. I was guarded and he was skeptical that I am feeling all that well. Which is true I guess. I am still feeling down but at least i'm not suicidal. Anyway, he tweeked with the med's again because I have been so groggy and drowsy that I have been getting 10-12 hours of sleep and I still get sleepy during the day. It was all that I could do to not fall asleep today on my way to the appointment!

Also, I finished the disability application the other night with Lori and so hopefully I will be accepted.

Everyone cross your fingers!!!

Since I'm dropping out of the paralegal program I haven't been to the school site for probably a week now. I'm checking it right now to see if my teachers are sending me email about leaving the program, etc.

Hold a second.

Well, no real news but I sent them all emails saying my withdrawl is official and I feel very releaved about it. This is the right decision for my health and safety. Not to mention the safety of others!! Hahahahahahaha.

Anyway, this post is kind of lame and going nowhere so I am going to halt things abruptly.


---End of Transmission---

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

The Fight Wages On

The darkness was creeping into his veins again and he simply tried to shake it off. However, this was a familiar darkness and he knew that he would soon be engulfed in deadly madness if he did not take action.

It surrounded him like an impeding storm full of silent but kinetic energy. The weight of the shadows threatened to pull him into the crushing insanity and suffocating confusion. His deep breath seemed to give him a moments rest as he popped the little white pill with a shake of his hand. Soon he would feel the warm buzz of the medicine as he fumbled with the keys to his mind. He was locking himself into the safety chamber inside his brain, wait for the medicine warriors to chase off the shadows and ride the storm out.

His breath quickened to a rabbit's pace as he opened the door to the chamber and quickly closed it. The full weight of his psyche crashed into the giant soft cushion of his subconscious mind and the fluids in his body began the familiar swirl of protection kicked off by the foreign little pill.

Yet The powerful jaws of the disease would not give in without a fight. This was the way the game was played after all and he knew it. The chaotic mass soon clamped into the hard metallic exterior of the shell that the medication had created for him. Wicked sounds howled outside and pierced his ears and brain as the frenzied storm raged on.

Just because this had happened a million times before did not change the terror he felt as the familiar nausea of fear crept into this throat. His dilated eyes closed, however, and he began to calm his breath.

"This will soon pass" he spoke with an audible gasp.

A mantra that had escaped his lips many times before. Sometimes he could not feel the depth of belief but he said it anyway. Always waiting for the shell to buzz with the purple and blue light of the medicine.

His deep breathing soon began to throb with the calm yet powerful waves of medicine. The purple and blue beams of energy shot out of his body like super sonic jet engines boosting up and out. With a loud "hum" the healing energy split the madness in two as it surrounded it and began to snuff out its power source.

This part always made him drowsy and he had never actually witnessed the final moments of the madness dying. He knew that the sleep fairies would soon be upon him and he fumbled with them as the fight faded from his brain into a vague haze of clicking sounds and vibrations.

His reward was now upon him.

The sticky sweet freedom numbly cooled inside his brain as he scanned the horizon for other menacing shadows. Inside his brain, however, he was swimming laps and soaking up the watery liberation of his release from bondage.

His eyes shut and then there was nothing but a faint, white cursor blinking on the screen of his battle weary brain.

-By James R. Ure
All rights reserved by the author. Reprinting of any part of this piece is allowed only if proper citation and reference to the author, James R. Ure is made.


---End of Transmission---

Monday, February 21, 2005


I nearly forgot the monday picture but here it is in the nick of time. Precious, precious little hands in the grip of older, caring hands. Everyone all together now: AWWWWW!!!!! Posted by Hello

Riding the Big Wave

Lightning pours from his fingers as he blends into the dark of the night. Lost inside the shell he surveys the planet and wonders where the next mystery will unfold. Eyes glow with an incandescent green ember flickering in the vast void of space and time. Time is nothing to him as he transcends the words and boundaries that now seem like items on a childhood playground. He has tapped into the main nerve and could never disconnect from it even if required of him. Forever is a distant word to many but just another face to the diamond for this mad scientist.

He nods to himself ever so slightly and breaks into a jog through the void as a sliver of a smile cracks across his teeth.

He touches fire but does not get burned as he is engulfed in the flames of life and death. To live is to transcend both of these extremes. He picks up the pace as a beat begins to drive and propel him forward.

Strange sounds emit from his brain as he travels the beams of streaming consciousness. Forever moving and sliding through the slippery nature of existence he feels nothing and everything. He long ago took the pain and made it into his friend. Pain and pleasure are just two aspects of the same Source. Sweat now pours down from his balding head and he begins to fade into the comfort and maternity of dream. With all the fanfare of a whispering wind he fades back into the crowd of moments and snapshots from life. The energy returns to the Source to recharge, reshape and gain a fresh prespective. For now he has left this moment but he still remains in the moment.

-Written by James R. Ure
Can not be reproduced without citing the author.
All rights reserved.

In honor of Hunter S. Thompson.


---End of Transmission---

Update

Things are looking up. There are a few options to help us while I wait to get on disability but there are also still some obstacles. Anyway, thank-you for your love and support, and in some cases financial support (you know who you are).


---End of Transmission---

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson Dead @ 67


The man, the myth the Legend is dead. Hunter S. Thompson is dead @ age 67 due to suicide. The famed writer fatally shot himself and brought an end to an amazing and famed life. Hunter S. was one of my favorite writers and I will sorely miss his character, style and voice. I would love to pay honor to his memory and perhaps that way will be dressing up as him for Halloween every now and then. I have always felt a certain familiarity with Hunter S. and with him leaving I feel a piece of myself leaving with him.

Rest in peace sweet Prince.

Come back to us soon.


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

Tao Te Ching: Fourteen

Tao Te Ching
by LAO TSU
Translation by Gia Fu Fengand Jane English

Fourteen

Look, it cannot be seen--it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard--it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held--it is intangible.
These three are indefinable;
Therefore they are joined in one.

From above it is not bright;
From below it is not dark:
An unbroken thread beyond description.
It returns to nothingness.
The form of the formless,
The image of the imageless,
It is called indefinable and beyond imagination.

Stand before it and there is no beginning.
Follow it and there is no end.
Stay with the ancient Tao,Move with the present.
Knowing the ancient beginning is the essence of Tao.

---End of Transmission---

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Hat in Hand

So it has come to this.

I have added a donation button in the upper right hand corner of my blog (it's over there-->) If you should choose to "click" or "cliquez" you will be lead to the "Keep James out of the mental ward fund." No pressure on anyone in the least but If you would like to donate a little I would be eternally grateful. I'm trying to make it 6 mos to a year to get on disability and need extra funds in the mean time to make it.

PLUS!!!

Anyone who donates will get an autographed picture of MOI!!!

Larger donations will get a picture of me with a lipstick kiss on the picture (seriously we need the money). Just having some fun but seriously I'll do it if you give me enough money but it's gotta be $50 or more...hehe.


---End of Transmission---

Fire and Rain: The Mixed State

I'm not doing very good today. Yesterday was a really good day but today has so far been pretty bad. This is how it goes when one is a rapid cycling schizo-bipolar. One day your up with the clouds and the next day your deeply low or fighting for your basic sanity. Today is such a day when I am fighting for my sanity. I've only been out of the mental hospital for 2 days and I am trying to keep from going back. I don't care how bad I feel I would rather curl up into a ball in the corner somewhere and just shake away until it all passes then check back into that aweful hospital.

I am experiencing a mixed state where I feel very depressed but anxious and edgy at the same time. It's like being ripped apart at the seams because there are two massive energies fighting for dominance within your skin and bones. Sometimes I go from depressed to manic in a matter of minutes. It's a nasty battle between the searing fires of mania and the drenching rains of crippling depression. This is the frontline folks. It isn't long before the two damaging forces tire of battling each other and turn to attack me the host. This is the twisting, aching, ripping apart of a mixed state. Usually there is nothing medically that I can do because taking medications can push it once and for all into a full blown manic episode or down into suicidal depression.

There is nothing pretty about this and I am only writing this all out to educate those who don't understand but also to show others that they are not alone. I took another 5mg of the anti-depressant Lexapro which now makes a full 20mg so we'll see if that helps or if it shoots me out of the blogosphere into the stratosphere. If I get too high I'll pop some Ativan to help bring me down I guess.

Sigh.

Ironing out the wrinkles and balancing out the mixed state is often a "wait it out" game that takes the rest of the day or into the next (and some people wonder why some people with brain disorders can not work!!).

I'm feeling very unmotivated to do much of anything and nothing really feels good. Although just now I was sitting on the couch watching Chinese television for awhile which was nice to zone out to. The program that I was watching was quite interesting. It was about these tribal people that live in the outter edges of China and how they have traditionally lived a nomadic, shamanistic life. This program then showed their transition to living in houses and a city that the government built. China seems like a really fascinating place and I would really enjoy visiting I think.

Anyway, wish me luck with the mixed state. I think I'll have some drinks later. Sometimes that helps push me out of it. I'll bounch back. I always do. I just don't know how to deal with the demands of society while this shit drags me along into intense chemical imbalance storms and the meat grinder of all my disorders.

The fire rages on.

Please let there be an answer someday someway. I just want some peace of mind knowing that I can work on my disorder without having to worry if our finances are going to keep us out of bankruptcy or put us on the streets.

---End of Transmission---

Two Hospitals in Four Days


Yep, yesterday I had to go into the "regular" hospital (yellow tag) to get my endoscopy. This scope (as they call it) was to make sure there wasn't any pre-cancerous tissue in my esophagus. It really wasn't a big deal. They gave me this IV and a light (and I mean light) tranquilizer and then they just stuck this thing down my throat. It was strange because I could feel something moving around down there but I didn't have any real pain or discomfort.

Anyway, that is why I didn't post yesterday. I think (and hope) that I am done with hospitals for awhile. Thank-you again for all your prayers and thoughts. It is SO nice to know that people are thinking about you and care for you. Lori also wants everyone to know how grateful she was for your support, kind words and positive energy.


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

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Saint James: Patron Saint of Genius and Insanity.

I find myself in an interesting situation this evening. I am waiting for Lori in the university library while she goes to class tonight. It really was quite a brilliant idea since we both hated the time away from each other each thursday night.

Lemme rewind a tad.

***NOTE FROM G.O.I STAFF***<<Every thursday my wife goes to a 4 hour, evening accounting class at this Catholic University in Denver. We do not see each other on thursday nights until about 11:00p.m. She gets up before I do and in the past I would not see her until about 11:00. Well, we first fixed this problem by going out to lunch every thursday so that we would be able to see each other before late in the night.>> Well, today we came up with the clever idea of me going with her to class so that we could talk about how our day went while going up to Denver and be together when she drives home after class (I just can't get enough of my Angel you know). Plus, I can escort her this way across a dark campus (I can't imagine anyone raping a girl on a Catholic campus but one can never be too sure these days or terrorism and misc. mayhem and what-not.

O.k., now we are all up to speed.

Well, I am right now sitting in their computer lab blogging. The funny thing is that their system would not let me type in my blog addy into the browser window. When I did (and hit enter) I got some super Christian Bible reference page. Very interesting. I'm not offended in anyway I'm just curious that I guess any reference to either genius or insanity is not sanctioned by this school. Although their (presumably) very conservative computer security program probably picked up some "no-no's" when it was looking at my site to see if it was "pure!" Ha!! That's a laugh. Pure, no. Honest, yes. I must say, however, that the staff here have been very helpful and quite nice. If I was a Christian and enjoyed pomp and pagentry I would probably be a Catholic***NOTE FROM GOI STAFF***<< We hope that we don't offend any Catholics by saying this. We actually find the religion quite fascinating and have sat in on a few masses. We find every religion to be fascinating. Studying religion is one of our favorite hobbies here at GOI.>>

Anyway, here I am in the solumn solitude of this Catholic school computer lab. I must admit I do feel a little strange blogging from here considering the content and picture from my last post about the Good & Plenties. In a nod to the Catholicism of this place I will title these thursday night posts as a different Saint (something or other). Granted the saints will be made up by yours truely but hey that'll fun won't it? ***NOTE FROM GOI STAFF***<<If this offends anyone please politely let us know and we will no longer continue the practice>>

Hehe.

Well, that's all for now I guess.

Keep bangin'

-James

---End of Transmission---

On a Lighter Note?


Sexually suggestive candy or maybe I just have too much time on my hands or a really sexual brain or maybe all of the above?? Anyway, on the right is an example of a licorice candy called, "Good & Plenty."

The specimen on the left was also found in the bag but Lori and I could not help but snicker as it looks freakishly like a dildo. The thing that kills me the most is that it is the right color and even has ridges! OH MY GOD!!! Posted by Hello

Misunderstanding of Brain disorders

My poor wife has been catching hell from her co-workers from having to miss work the last few days to help me with my illness. Thankfully there are 3 people there that seem to understand but the rest just frankly do not have a clue and they need to buy one in the worst way.

Here is a quick and dirty summary of the situation/problems that I am in right now:

1). I have a nasty little brain disorder gnome which consists of a balance of bipolar and schizophrenia with whom I get to "play around with."

2). Because of said illness I have trouble sticking with jobs for very long or even finding jobs.
(a). Also because of said illness I am limited to the types of jobs that I can even look for.

3). I am totally overwhelmed with this paralegal program and I am dropping assignments left and right. I can drop out of school but then we have to pay back the loan money that we were living off of immediately. Thus, without a job that scenary is not workable.

4). I am almost guaranteed disability but it takes some 6 months or longer to be able to get on disability so in the mean time we would be screwed financially. Even IF I could find a decent job there is no guarantee that I could hold on to it and HAVING a job probably would disqualify me for disability!! It's a vicious circle that I can not seem to escape from and you can imagine what all of this "spinning in circles" is doing to my mental state!! :/

Whew.

What a mess huh??

Well, anyway. This one lady who works with my wife has always basically been totally unsympathetic when it comes to my illness. I get the impression that she doesn't even believe that people have brain disorders!! Either that or she just says that a person is fine if they just take their medications.

HELLO! !

I have taken 10 different medications in trying to just "deal" with the SYMPTOMS of this major brain disorder. There is no fucking miracle "cure all" pill like this lady is implying. These medications can basically only help treat the SYMPTOMS of the illness and even then you are having to constantly "tweek" with them. Anyway, then this lady goes on to tell my wife that if we are in such dire need of money then why don't I just go out and get one of the "less desireable" jobs!! This made my wife and I both furious. She obviously does not understand that as a person trying to deal with schizoaffective disorder you can not just take any job. Plus, there is a REASON why those jobs are called "less diserable." Mainly, because people who do not even HAVE a major brain disorder do not like the jobs, do not want them and in a lot of cases can not do them. So how in the FUCK is someone like me going to be able to do some high stress, "less desireable" job.

There seem to be a lot of people out there who just do not have a fucking clue when it comes to brain disorders. They think that they know more then the doctors even who have been through extensive training on the brain and brain disorders not to mention years and years of experience in working with people who suffer from these disorders! These are the same people who just can not seem to put themselves (or care to) in other people's "shoes" and empathize at least with their situation. This reminds me of a theatre professor who told me (to my face after I had missed class due to my illness one day) that brain disorders "do not exist" and that in fact the entire field of psychology is basically unnecessary. Pretty amazing to me how many people think that way.

Anyway, I am glad that you all understand the situation and can sympathize/empathize with what we are going through right now. Your love and support and thoughts are being heard, MUCH appreciated and I am taking them all to heart. I am so SO thankful to have such a wonderful support network like you all. Thank-you dearly from the bottom of my heart.

Love always,

-James

We Don't Want the Looney's Takin' Over

Wow.

Where do I start with all of this. Hold on tight because this is going to be a MASSIVE post.

Well, basically wednesday afternoon (here in the states) I had and appointment with my pdoc (psychiatrist) and I was REALLY depressed and REALLY down. I was crying and just felt like I had no hope at all and I told my pdoc that I just wanted to die and be away from my problem. He asked if I had a plan to kill myself and I said yes ( who doesn't right? Or at least, who has at least thought about it). Anyway, that was all that he needed to hear and he then said that he would increase the dose on my A.D. (anti-depressant) and that I should go over to the hospital and check into the pward (psych ward). I was so goddamn exhausted and fed up with life and my problems that I agreed and headed over to the hospital.

I sat in the emergency room for 5 fucking hours but I didn't really even notice (or care) about the time passing. Lori showed up and that helped to have her by my side but I was still out of it. Finally they decided that it was time to that I be sent to their mental ward a few blocks away. They said that I had to be transported via ambulence and they even strapped me down to a gerny (stretcher type deal) and everything! At this point I was sobbing and I was freaking out wondering what would happen to me.

I got to the hospital and the reality of what was going to happen started sneaking in once we passed through two sets of locked, double doors. Soon I was sitting at a table filling out in-take paperwork with some lady. I was already quite paranoid that everyone was out to get me and right about then this wacko lady walked up to me and started yelling at me about wanting to take my glasses. She got all in my face and was bug eyed and waving her arms around. Then she proceeded to say that she was God and that she wrote the Bible. If you thought I was paranoid that people where out to get me BEFORE then you can see how paranoid I was AFTER that confrontation!!

Well, then they left Lori and I alone for awhile and I ate some cold lasagna and some soggy cold bread and I was SO depressed you guys. My tears were falling into my already soggy food as I tried to eat. Then Lori and I sat in my room and both of us began to cry like little babies. I told her how scared I was and she said she was scared too. I was terrified to have to spend 72 hours in that place and I wanted to go home that night but the nurse said "NO WAY are you going home tonight." Soon it was time for Lori to leave and we both were a messing saying goodbye. Once she left I just asked for my meds so that I could go to sleep and get some peace for a few hours. Then (since I was on suicide watch) they had this big, male nurse pop his head into my room every 30 minutes throughout the night to check in on me. Needless to say that I didn't get the best sleep in my life.

Upon waking up I realized that I was in the wrong place and I set out to do everything in my power to get the fuck out of there. I talked to the pdoc in there and he agreed that I could probably be discharged that afternoon. I was so amazingly happy when I heard that I might be allowed to go home. I was terrified of that place and I was ready to go home. So then I had to spend the rest of the day with a bunch of REALLY looney people. Besides "God" there was this lady who said that she had two broken thumbs but she was able to open food packages o.k. and then there was this little Japanese girl who was a cutter and had cut marks into her arm all the way up to her elbow. I felt such empathy for these people and it was just so sad to see people that far gone. I hope that I never get to that point. Hopefully If I do then euthanasia will be legal by then.

So then, one of the social workers came by and talked and talked and talked to me so see If i was safe to be let go and I told that lady whatever she wanted to hear. I wanted out of that jail and I was going to do whatever it took to get home. Well, a little bit later my parents showed up and then my wife showed up and they said i was ready for my discharge interview and I told my parents and wife to play it up as best they could to help spring me. They did a marvelous job and they didn't exactly lie or anything but they just said that they felt I was in no real danger of harming myself but that I was just overwhelmed with our financial problems right now.

Anyway, to make a long story short I was set free and I was the happiest man alive. I couldn't get away from that place fast enough. Now I feel like I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after going through some 30 hours in that mental ward. I feel like I spent a night in jail with a bunch of really sick people (I mean, I realize that I am ill as well but DAMN!!). I feel like I was violated or something because I didn't feel like I was able to relax at home until I had a nice, long, hot (and private) shower in my own home.

But at least now I have some perspective. I have some big problems with my shizoaffective disorder but there are people out there in much worse situations. I know somehow someway our financial problems will end and I will get on disability or something. I think, however, that it will be awhile before I can wash that "icky" feeling out of my brain.

Let me just say this one final thing for now. DO NOT check into a mental ward if you can POSSIBLEY avoid it. It is not fun and it is not a vacation. If you are in real danger then by all means necessary, check in. Or if you doctor (like mine) pretty much sends you there involuntarily. It was a horrible, horrible experience you guys.

Thank you SO VERY MUCH for you kinds words. I cherish them all and I cherish YOU all as my dear, loving friends. Thank-you for your support of Lori and I as we wade through this experience. I am home but the problems still remain. Hope now that I can either get on disability of that I find some dream job.

I love you all.

-James


---End of Transmission---

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I'm Back!!

Not much time now but I just wanted to let you all know that I am back from the hospital and I am doing well. Bruised and bumped but well.

I'll update more tomorrow.

Thanks for all your love and support.

Love,
James


---End of Transmission---

Need Your Prayers

Hi everyone, this is Lori posting. James went to see his pdoc yesterday because he was feeling pretty down and was hoping to get his medication tweaked accordingly. The doctor did that but also recommended that he check in to the hospital. They put him on a "72 hour hold" which changed his status from voluntary to involuntary because often people will change their minds about going to this place. Well now we know why, because next to jail, this place is one of the scariest places a person will go, in my opinion. I hesitate to go into details because I just want him home and hope that he'll be able to describe it to you himself very soon. We had no idea what we were getting into, and we feel we made a HUGE mistake, especially after meeting some of the other patients there. They told us there was no way he was getting out last night, but there's a chance the pdocs there will release that 72 hour hold when he talks to them. So that's the plan, and we're going to do everything in our power to get him the hell out of there today. You're prayers, thoughts, and positive energy would be so greatly appreciated right now...

Monday, February 14, 2005

Valentine's Day Massacre

Not a very lovely title I guess but my special lady and I do not really celebrate Valentine's Day too much. Mainly we use our birthday's as that special day to celebrate each other. It seems a bit more personal and less corporate. Besides, we have both always loved "bucking the system" so to speak and moving in the opposite direction as the masses. I know, little rebels huh.

We did go out to lunch today so I guess we can say that we had a "Valentine's Day" lunch. Yeah, let's just say that because I don't want to be accused of being a Valentine scrooge.

Hehe.

Anyway, we went to this little Creole cafe in the city where Lori works and it was one of the best lunches I've had in awhile. I had the crawfish etoufee and even some beignets! It really was just as good as they cook it up in the Big Easy.

Went to get the car washed and it was so goddamn dirty that it STILL looks dirty after running it through the washing toaster oven (don't they look kind of like a toaster/toaster oven???). Anyway, a funny thing about the car wash is that I freak out when I'm in there. With the soap all obscuring the windows I get paranoid that some dood with a gun would walk up to my car window and blow my brains out all over my nice, black VW Beetle interior (Oh yeah and the gun has a silencer attached because apparently in my delusions I'm the sort of person one would need a silencer to kill. It must be all my personal knowledge about the Illuminati. Hmmm. I starting to really think that this working as a government agent would not be in keeping with good mental health or following psychic warnings).

Not sure what's going on with the job/school/disability front. My therapist today said that I should NOT be in the workplace and should file for disability ASAP. So, I am probably going to go that route since I am just EXHAUSTED with trying to make my scrambled egg brain work in the normal channels. I really like the idea of being a foreign service officer for the state department but then again I would hate to get all the way out to some place like Saudi Arabia and have a total fucking mental break down.

Listening again to Sasha but this time it is his Global Undergroud: San Francisco disc 2. Good shiver sending shit as ushh. Especially towards the end of the mix. Around the 57 minute mark is just gets raw. Jumps right down your throat and forces your body to bounce a bit. I've also really been getting back into Bob lately.

You: Bob who?
Me: BOB WHO?!?! Why, the ONE and ONLY BOB MARLEY!!!!

Yeah, I've got this rare double disc with a lot of early stuff that he did so I am going to burn a couple copies and hide the original under my mattress of something.

In closing, let me say this about V-day. I wish you all a very, Happy Valentine's Day but I also wish you a happy ever day that follows. May this Valentine's Day be the last V-day where we see starving, homeless people and the last V-day where we see war in this otherwise beautiful world. Let us all send out more love and peace throughout the year and reach each other in more ways. Keep touching souls and keep loving yourself. I am so happy to have all of you as my friends and I want all of you to know that I love each and everyone of you with all of my heart.

I wish you nothing but the best.

Thanks for always being there for me.

Love,
James

---End of Transmission---

a Mathieu. Another specimen for your mirror projet.  Posted by Hello

An eerie yet beautiful monday picture. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Nirvana

The holy disciple who has followed the right road sees nirvana with a mind which is pure, sublime, straight, unimpeded, and disinterested.

-Buddha

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Earth Cam

This is a nod to kitten and kate with the jail cam.

Now there is Earthcam and via it you can look in on cities from all over the world.

It's a really cool deal for voyeurs like myself.

Hehe.


---End of Transmission---

The Dog Dilema

I've thought about getting a dog for a long time now but then it would just get sick and die and I really can't be bothered with all that! Ha!! Sounds pretty damn cold I know but hey it's the goddamnest truth.

I think I'll just stick with my plants.

Much easier to maintain.

LLLoooow maintenance is the key to my life right now.

Maybe I'll get a pet when I'm an old, dying fart bag but for now, nope. Not gonna happen.

As for kids your ask??

HA!!!

Next question please.


---End of Transmission---

World War III, Foreign Service Exam and Sasha

I registered to take the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Exam in April and I am really excited about it. The website had a guide you could download and the preview questions were all in areas that I have some substantive knowledge: U.S. History, World History, World Geography, U.S. political structure, global politics and I have experience living abroad in Africa with fairly decent experience speaking French. This could be my dream job finally come around. If I am accepted to become an officer then we would be living abroad for roughly the next 20 years!! SWEET!!! Plus, I would shift posts every 2-4 years so we would get to see most of the world I would imagine. Anyway, this is really a GREAT opportunity so I'll be asking for your prayers, energy, meditation and thoughts when the test date approaches. Anyway, it is in such a light that I have been thinking about heavy issues such a possible World War III. So if you do not wish to hear me go on about a possible World War III then I suggest you stop reading now.

Yes, I am afraid that World War III might have been kicked off by our invasion of Iraq. For one, we obviously picked the wrong country. Iran and North Korea have proven to be far more dangerous then the old Iraq. However, whether we should have invaded Iraq is now a moot point. We are there and we have to make a success out of it or the entire region may crumble into a vast war. Although, this regional war may come about whether we stay in Iraq or not.

Iran looks like they are making nuclear missiles (if they do not already have them). If we launch a pre-emptive strike with Iran then we immediately have a regional war on our hands but if we do not launch a strike to destroy their nuclear sites then we run the risk of an Iran with nuclear weapons. Now, if we hit Iran when they DO have nukes then they will for sure launch one or two of their missiles at Israel and/or southern Europe which would be the opening salvo to World War III.

Then there's North Korea. They have officially let the "cat out of the bag" and announced that they do indeed have nuclear weapons. The worst part, however, is that they have officially pulled out of the so-called "six party talks" in favor of bilateral negotiations with the United States. This would not be such a dangerous move but the Bush administration has in turn flat out rejected having bilateral talks with the North Koreans. This does not leave much room within to negotiate. It puts both sides into territory where there remains little diplomatic solutions.

On the N. Korean front it appears that we are on a collision course to war but here we would have a definite nuclear war whereas with Iran they seem to still be in the "development" stage of a nuclear program. The North Koreans have missiles that can hit South Korea, Japan and most of the entire western coast of the United States. An invasion of the north or a bombing raid on their nuclear sites would also trigger WWIII. Obviously the situation could be tempered somewhat if we would just enter into bilateral talks with the north and see what they want at least. This position, however, of no compromise and drawing a cold, hard line can only lead to more escalation.

The world is in a tight spot right now folks and I am not really sure if a massive war can be avoided at this point. My solution? I have no fucking clue.

Seriously.

For once I am at a loss of words. The best solution I can give is to hang on your arse and hope that everyone behaves. Let's hope that this new phase will be like the cold war where there was a lot of tension but everyone was smart enough not to act on any crazy notions. However, with the current set of players: Bush, that crazy Ayatollah in Iran, and Kim Jong "Mentally" Ill, I am not too encouraged.

Anyway, on a lighter note. I have been going through my trance c.d.'s and I came across Sasha's Ibiza disc 2. I must recommend this album to anyone interested in trance or dance music. Well, hell anyone who is interested in positive music. Listening to this disc is like audio anti-depressants especially about 20 minutes into the mix. Check it out boi's and gurls.

I'm out.

---End of Transmission---

Friday, February 11, 2005


O.k. I figured that I would end my slide show with this picture. This was taken in 2002 when we visited Louisiana for Christmas with Lori's parents/family. I'm kickin' it with that hat and the glasses are just straight mutha fockin' pimp G (They were special glasses used to view the IMAX theatre show in 3D). Anyway this picture is going ot be the main picture at my funeral. Blown up poster size bay-bee.

Here's your belated monday picture Kate!! Hee Hee.Posted by Hello

Close up of the spanish moss hanging from one of the big oak trees. Notice the little old outhouse in the background center right.  Posted by Hello

Close up of area behind the courtyard. Notice the old swing hanging from the oak tree and the spanish moss hanging from the other oak trees. The three stone pillars in the background left center indicate the location of the cemetery. The back building with the red roof is a maintenance shed.  Posted by Hello

Close up of fountain in the courtyard Posted by Hello

Closer view of the court yard. Posted by Hello

This is looking off the back balcony of the plantation into the little courtyard. Even though it is winter there is still some wonderful green foliage. Just imagine what this place looks like in the summer. Maybe I'll post a few pictures of a plantation that we visited a few summer's ago down there. Posted by Hello

Here ya go kate. These next few pictures are just for you!! This is another shot from the balcony of the upper level at the plantation.  Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005


Looking off the balcony into the grounds of the Madewood plantation. This was a beautiful piece of property that this simple, one picture can not do justice. I do have some other pictures of the place but will only post them if there is interest in seeing them.  Posted by Hello

Crawfish anyone? We went to the this little "hole in the wall" creole restaurant in Houma, LA one night for some cajun crawfish. We ended up ordering 10 pounds worth of crawfish for 4 people!! It was damn good.

By the way, thanks to everyone for the support. I am looking for a job while I continue with school. If i find a decent job then I will go with it. Otherwise I will just keep plugging away in the program.

It's good to back.

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

One of the many floats from the New Orleans, MAH-Di Gras PAH-rade (as they say down there).  Posted by Hello

Chillin' (literally, i was freezing ma balls off. It was damn cold for New Orleans and It caught me off gaurd because I didn't bring any kind of jacket.) at the Endymion Mardi Gras parade in downtown New Orleans off Lee Circle. Look at all those beads that I managed to get without showing anyone my gear! lol. Posted by Hello

I'm home.

Well, I'm back from New Orleans and I survived Mardi Gras. Now I have to come back and face a grim reality of trying to figure out my next step in life. I am once again back to the crossroads and I am finding it more then annoying. Do I slog through school even though I can't stand it anymore or do I try and find a job? Or do I try and go on disability even though they'd only give me $400 a month? Or do I just cash in my chips, punch my ticket and move on? I don't know. My head hurts right now trying to think about it all. I'll talk to you later.

---End of Transmission---

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Mardi Gras Mayhem

Wow.

Mardi Gras is quite the experience down here. Apparently it is a week long celebration full of parade after parade. Yesterday afternoon we got into N.O. and went straight to down town right around General Robert E. Lee Circle. Another parade was just ending up and there were drunk people some 4 deep. Most of them were college kids it was quite evident.

We had set seats in assigned stadium seating so we walked over and sat down. Had some Subway sandwiches for dinner that we had picked up just down the street. I felt SO bad because I could not understand the lady making my sandwich!! I had to ask her three different times what she was saying and finally I figured out that she was asking if we were going to the parade. Embarrassed I finally said, "Oh yeah, we're going to the parade." I'm sure we stuck out like a sore thumb.

The name of the parade we were waiting to see was called, "Endymion" and Marissa Tomei was the parade marshall or whatever they call the "host" or "main talent." Gene Simmons from Kiss was also there but he looked a little hung-over, I'm not surprised. I think everyone was a little hung-over.

Let me give you some advice if you come down to N.O. for the Mardi Gras parades. Mainly, pee and poo well before you get there because the "port-o-potties" are T E R R I B L E!!!!!!! They were full even before the sun set and the parade began. By the time that the parade was in full swing I couldn't hold it any longer and had to head to over to these toxic terd boxes. By this time it was dark and I could just barely make out the little urinal they have on the side in there. I did my thing and walked out only to find my lower pant leg all wet. I guess the shitter was already full and piss was leaking out of the damn thing! It was SO SO SO disgusting you guys.

The parade, however, was really pretty fun and I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever down here for Mardi Gras. Pay the money though and get the tickets for the assigned seating so that you don't have to deal with the drunked, college masses pushing and shoving along the route.

There are these guys who walk along the parade route who carry propane tanks on their backs. The tanks are attached to this metal pole with 3 fire nozzles burning out against the back drop of an attached metal plate that they carry. It is hard to explain but it is basically like a pole with a metal sign being lit up with 3 big flames (I might have a picture of this later to show you). Anyway, as they walk by people toss coins down in front of them and they pick up the money. They dip their flame-lit signs down near the ground so that they can see the coins flashing on the street. The tradition behind these guys is pretty fascinating. Apparently, these fire lit metal plates were what use to light up the parade floats in the past. They would walk along side the floats and the money that was tossed to them was their pay.

We ended up with quite a few beads as well. For those who do not know the people on the floats throw bead necklaces in various sizes down to the crowd below. We ended up with quite a bit o' treasure but let me tell you catching beads is dangerous. Several times I would get hit in the head by these strands of beads and they sting pretty good. One shot got me right in the teeth!!

At one point a group of police came walking down the street with a few guys in hand cuffs and everyone would clap and whistle at them as they would walk down the street. The guy next to me kept saying, "That's right. Take out that trash!!" It was pretty funny I must admit. Some of these guys were so drunk they could barely walk.

Anyway, that was our first day here and so far so good. I just wish that I could have a drink or two.

Oh well.


---End of Transmission from Nouveau Orleans---


Saturday, February 05, 2005

Sunday Wisdom on Saturday Morning

I am posting sunday's wisdom post today since I'll be in, "The Big Easy" for the next few days and I'm not sure when I might be able to access a PC.

So, anyway, here is this week's piece of wisdom to chrew around:

"I, the great earth, and all beings simultaneously achieve the Way."

~The Buddha.


---End of Transmission---

Mormon Mardi Gras in N.O.

So, its 6a.m. and we are finishing up our packing for our mini-vacation down to New Orleans to visit Lori's parents. They are Mormon so it should be interesting to see how they celebrate "Fat Tuesday." All the same it will be cool to go back to southern Louisiana. It is so so so beautiful down there and I just love the pace of things and the deep cultural roots.

Right now? I'm sippin' some Oregon Organic Chai Latte and Damn Skippy is it good!!

Anyway, try and stay out of trouble while i'm gone and do everything that I would do and then some. I'll try to "post from the road" so to speak but don't hold your breath.

O.k., friends. Fare well and I'll talk atcha soon.

In peace and love,

-James

P.S.~God I hope our plane doesn't crash. Thank-god for red wine and tranquilizers!!


---End of Transmission---

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Truth Of Impermanence

Dharma

When we encounter difficulty, we often ask: "Why me? What did I do to deserve this?" We look at all of life from our own personal viewpoint, seeing ourselves as fixed features in a world fraught with all kinds of bodily harm and unexpected danger. Even as we grow older, we worry about the inevitable changes our body encounters and the fact that life is not endless. From a Buddhist perspective, human beings cause their own suffering when they consider their egos to be fixed and permanent and therefore at conflict with a world of change. Instead, people should awaken to Dharma, the truth of impermanence. The term Dharma has come to refer to a number of concepts, including truth, virtue, teachings and Nirvana. But Dharma always means the change that occurs when we awaken to the true nature of our lives.

According to Buddhist lore, the Buddha awakened to the Dharma of impermanence while meditating under the Bodhi tree. He realized that all living things - humans, animals and plant life - would someday pass away from the world. Sensing that we all face the same fate, he felt great compassion for all living things and felt deeply that we are all interdependent. He understood that the root of suffering was a lack of acceptance of this fact of impermanence and he decided to devote his life to teaching all people this truth and ending suffering. But the Dharma cannot be taught to people in a traditional way. Change occurs when we are "filled with" Dharma and can then lead by example. Most importantly, we become aware that all of life is woven together in an interconnected tapestry. Then we feel true compassion for all that is alive.

Dharma also means Nirvana, the greatest possible good. This ultimate state is reached when we have rooted out the causes of our self-centered dissatisfaction. We can achieve this by having a healthy mentality, which is another meaning for the term Dharma. In order to acquire this virtuous mentality, we have to be willing to learn. Dharma is also used to refer to teachings - any teachings that help you reach a state of compassion can be considered Dharma.

The word Dharma can be a helpful guide on a quest for enlightenment. By opening our minds to the teachings around us, we begin to embody a new, healthy mentality. Our teachers may come in the form of a family member, advisor or piece of writing, but we may also find a guide within ourselves, while meditating under a tree like the Buddha. By awakening to the truth of our interdependence, we become far more than individuals struggling. We embody truth.

(I received this beautiful reminder of impermanence in my email today from the "Daily Om").

For more information visit Aboutdharma.org

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The State of My Mental State Address


The lunatic artist gearing up for GWB's "State of Disrepair" speech tonight. Note the "cigarette." It's alllllll apart of the preparation so that I won't go ape shit during the speech. Thanks to my "African herbsman" I will be laughing like an ape instead of throwing the t.v. out into the street and then pissing in it and finally landing myself in jail. Wish me luck!! Posted by Hello

Where I Should Live in the States

I took a quiz to tell me what cities in the states are the best match for me.

Here's my recommended list from FindYourSpot.com's quiz:

Portland, Oregon-(I've always wanted to live in Oregon)
Eugene, Oregon-(This place looks G O R G E O U S!!)
Little Rock, Arkansas-(Not sure about this one)
Providence, Rhode Island-(No real thought about this one)
Hartford, Connecticut-(Conn. seems cool)
Cape Cod, Massachusetts-(Too trendy but I do like the politics of Mass.)
Corvallis, Oregon-(Nice, but not as nice as Eugene or Portland)
Salem, Oregon-(Looks like a nice, green Oregon town)
New Haven, Connecticut-(Looks nice)
Danbury, Connecticut-(Looks nice)
Boston, Massachusetts-(Nice, liberal politics but perhaps a wee bit too big)
Fayetteville, Arkansas-(No opinion)
Charleston, West Virginia-(SO GREEN!!! I like it)
Medford, Oregon-(Here we go with Oregon again!!)
Frederick, Maryland-(Seems like a nice enough spot)
Santa Cruz, California-(Ew, I have this allergic reaction I think with Cali.)
Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana-(LOVE Lousiana but I hear they have a high cancer rate. Yikes!)
Alexandria, Louisiana-(SUCH a great place to visit but not sure i'd wanna live there)
Natchitoches, Louisiana-(Funny name, cool city)
Baltimore, Maryland-(Seems too big for me)
Honolulu, Hawaii-(I like Honolulu but I'd rather live on the other side of the island)
Washington, District of Columbia-(Uh, no.)
Santa Barbara, California-(Outside San Francisco this is the only CA town I'd live in)
Ventura, California-(Seems o.k. too for a CA town)

See what places FindYourSpot.com recommends for you!Take the FREE quiz and get your list at:http://www.FindYourSpot.com