Monday, February 27, 2006

Some Time Later, He Wrote

Some time later the uncaped crusader finds himself 6-hrs worth of workshops to the wind and in something of a dazed state. The yard's clean now. The house is clean again. The unsettling clouds are forming on the horizon but are no longer inside my skull. Grin. Content and simple is life. I can walk and find what I need because it was there in the first place! And it's not all inside me; the external forces come to me when I'm open. So attraction is not just internal or just external. Rather my devotion to allowing an open state has brought a combination of solid foundation and new energy into life. She and he and they are abounding beneath the unturned rocks. And I don't turn them with my hands but with the energy I give off. The same energy that created a passionate frenzy of saliva in Opah or made me feel bliss in LB is making me settled. Oh if I could but have it all the time; so close.

The calls are less desperate now. The phone has returned to its former self: a phone. The nashing teeth have been capped and whitened. And really what's a friendly monster but a needy friend? I almost feel bad for the people around me now who don't have the bigger focus. Friday night I put on my best attitude and experienced true draw. Yes, draw. I swear to you I didn't make any particular attempt. But I kept leading with my heart and my eyes wide open. I'm good at that. Good at that now. I'm learning so quickly and it scares the bejesus out of me and excites me. Took my Sunday walk to the grocery store and actually related to James Taylor lyric in a way that made me think, "Is my life story that much longer now?" Yes, I think it probably is. And I'm all smiles about that.

Meditation is coming along. 3-hrs yesterday to achieve a decent 20 minutes. 20 minutes is 20 times more than most people get in a lifetime. And again I feel pity. Oh what they are missing! And I want to reach out to those in the present and make them understand. Then I want to make sure everyone knows in the future. And, most touching, I want to tell everyone in the past. Stop and feel and see where your 3rd eye points. Did it point at my heart? Did you want it to? Did I wish it?

New faces and new features bring new energy. That's what I allowed to come into my life. And like a new passion, new friend, new love it's wonderful. Norah says,

Truth spoke in whispers will tear you apart
No matter how hard you resist it
It never rains when you want it to
You humble me Lord

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

So What now

So it fell through. And I told myself, "Self, you really win either way. If you get it, you'll go and your life will shift. And if you don't, you have had time for extreme introspection, reflection, re-direction and new expectation."

But that isn't the reality is it? I'm let down. I feel I did my absolute best. Most folks would be proud of doing their best. I feel I failed. Failed to make the leap. Attain the next level. I dedicated my entire emotional being to taking that step and then fate told me, "Sorry, son, you're destined to be elsewhere." And where is that, fate?

Meanwhile everything else surrounds me. Settling. It seems to be a theme these days! Settling for what she wants, settling for what I have, settling for what she does not want. Settling for what they all either want or don't want. Outcome: You can't control anyone elses likes or dislikes. Doesn't matter if you run a song and dance routine, beg your friends to stay put or tell them "All you need is love." Reality is, the latter is true but it's not really love of anyone else, is it? It's love of oneself.

So I try to internalize that. Day in and day out. And I look at what Lama Surya Das says about being selfless. I'm trying to do that. But aren't I supposed to succeed at the same time?!

Have you ever tried to be entirely selfless and shift your life to be more successful? What is success? The more I read what buddha says the more I realize that it really has nothing to do with the things people think it is. It's not money or title or anything even slightly related. So why do we crave those items? If our society is really that off the mark (and believe me, I'm pretty positive it is) then doesn't that leave us in a state of absolutely lost disgraceful self-loathing? God help us. How does one summon the energy to tie a rope to a sinking ship and try to pull it to shore?

Many questions. Asking them, however, makes you feel better than ignoring that they exist. And that puts me 99.99% further along the path to happiness than many other souls out there.

Monday, February 20, 2006


I've resumed taking guitar lessons. Along with the drums and 14 years of poetry (some lousy, some good) maybe I have the workings of something that can really be expressive. I'm trying to put this one to music:

Not quite sure of where I'm headed
Awoke today in a thickening daze
but the past is inevitable and next day's the same
clouded future lies ahead in the karmic haze

Sometime later I awoke a second time
and I looked around confused with a grimace and frown
not recognizing this place or moment,
a metaphor for your smile turned upside down

A call came in today, baby,
it was all hopes and grins
and I felt the haze lifting
though the visions of our sins
they keep me lifted up,
crashing down
crashing down.

It's no wonder I don't recognize the setting
us being two who've been set free
as the steel bars of the jail cell
placed upon what's determined to be.

And it's something of a surprise, I guess,
the memories of your smile;
or maybe it's just the pictures
that make each step away a mile.

A call came in today, baby,
it was all hopes and grins
and I felt the haze lifting
though the visions of our sins
they keep me lifted up,
crashing down
crashing down.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Today is not a dress rehearsal for the rest of your life.

Today is not a dress rehearsal for the rest of your life.
Today is your life.

Balance does not come in jerky, large movements.
It comes from small adjustments to where you already are.

Wherever you are today, be okay there.
Accept that you are in that state now but the world is constantly changing.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Connected Despite Distance

It's when time passes quietly
that I miss them most.
Buried in my memories
they rise like a ghost.

My head hangs lowly
but is forced back up.
Eyes focused on my being
begging, rattling tin cup.

And I know there's not pity
nor should there be any.
Don't be your worst enemy
in a world of so many!

I'll never find solace there,
I'm all too complete.
It's the thoughts that betray
and cause such defeat.

My physique is strong
my will is so needy
and the yearning to do good
is beaten by the greedy.

Not absence of vision
or love that I've to give
But the will that surrounds us
and makes us all live

will save this kind spirit
and allow it an absence
so focus can resume; 'our', 'we', 'us'
connected at such a distance.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Thoughts Having Been Stood Up

Is tonight just making me realize what I should be feeling?

Am I just running so fast
that I'm not only
not seeing
my surroundings but
not feeling
them either?

Can one be so scared of missing out on life
it becomes difficult to tell
if one's afraid of something genuine
or genuinely afraid.

Maybe this is life. And you've chosen to leave it behind.
See what a life this is!
So what kind of life is this?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Steadfast Journey Off the Edge


The wall I hit this week
with my head
angled down
slight hint of frown
upon my face, now,
not from disgrace, though,
curious of how I became so blind
during a heat wave with clear skies but blurred mind;
and still resolutely moving forward
off the edge.

It’s no end,
they say,
only a friend, or friends...
groups and groups of them
and another day.
The loss is neither impenetrable nor permanent
but it leaves a scar
as though run over by a car,
no, a truck,
oh Fuck. Now it’s hurting. That’s the feeling.

So I’m flirting,
playing and saying,
“I’m ok, I’m ok”, mantra, mantra, Om Om
and it fools my mind
for a length of time
until I’m smiling again.
Another hit
Please stop; stop it. But it doesn’t.
Until I’m alone, here,
in this home that I
that should feel like an asset
but becomes more like a rusted anchor
cell for a joker more so every day.
That canker sore on my tongue
makes a strange dreamlike memory, that’s yet to
feel blissful
and painful
at the same time. That hurt we love to love.

Turtle doves and chocolates are
so conspicuously absent today
good riddance to those
objects, subjects we become for consumption:
hearts and candy.
Oh how dandy for those happy folk.
The one that got away
The one that broke
is a choice not a joke.
Just not anything else,
you see?
They won’t understand this though.
In a different moment your own world moves slow
and you feel,
for real,
the essence and pour it into a mold
with a hundred-year shelf life.
Not me boy,
I’m feeling it fresh as can be
young and vibrant, horny and hard,
skin deep and then some.
Feels good. Feels good.

So you’re tired and you’re up,
“Such a pup!” they say.
It’s merry and gay for a while
living in style
but keep coming back to the fray.
Laugh. Cry.
Breath in and be high
on life’s infections. A partner’s inflections.
The small things. Pet peeves torn sleeves and spots.
There’s still more to come.


It’s starting to feel like ’96.
Disturbing mix of
Joy and elation,
and loss. Sorrow and loss.
“Never again! We’ll write and we’ll win
the battle against age and
Find some bliss and never miss
each other.
But I do, now, brother, I do. Friend. Father.
Whomever! It’s damn well
forever until tomorrow.
And not a thing you can do to change that.

“The writing is good again,”
clucks the hen. And my teeth chatter
and my skin tears
and the holes bear the signs of age.
If she were here nagging the rooster.
It’d be the booster.
The company, comfort and smiles
hugs during those ‘whiles’ we all know
would kill the essence of
the ink.
AH! It would stink of rotting acceptance
and the paper
would become a toothy trap.
A bad rap.
So then we’d argue. Did we argue? You and I? Family?
Friends who I prematurely miss?
No. So it’s genuine, then.
Let the plague of unknown reciprocity begin!

Can’t win. Why do you fight?
Buddha is right. But something
irks me on the outside, round belly.
The inside, it’s at peace.
That’s a lie and a disgrace;
no, but we feel it, we do. For example?
Well, 15 minutes at a time.
Travel on someone else’s dime
I can pick up and go
find sun and snow and make memories
in essays and entries.
So what? So words? So I can bring them back
home. Home? HOME?!
And show the world.
The truth is unfurled and ugly.
We create all those feelings
and send them off so nicely wrapped
to have them never unpacked.
Does anyone look? Really look? Really know? Really read?
Do you read what others are saying,
peak your interests in their video spelling
bee of life. Not even a husband and wife
watches the other’s journey that closely.
We live and breath and smile for the rare exceptions.
I found one. Once. I think. Have you?
Want one? I’ll sell myself cheap! Pennies on the dollar
these days
the haze clears and I steer myself
back from the edge for one more entry.
The sentry must have us all infinite times by now.

It’s not all bad.
Life’s a la carte. I’m smart
enough so
not to fight the wind and rain.
But sometimes the drain makes the bucket overflow
and so
you get this, you see?
Pure outlet of energy and love. A gift to you on Valentine’s Day.
Doesn’t matter who you are.
Love doesn’t care.
Therein lies its beauty and it’s deception.
A Catch-22
just for you. Wrapped in a chocolate bow.


Try to understand, just for a moment,
this is how I love. I wish I knew how the rest do it.
I wish to find how the best feel it.
And I will. We all will.
Candy hearts and all.


Sarah McLachlan

Make me a witness
take me out
out of darkness
out of doubt

I won't weigh you down
with good intention
won't make fire out of clay
or other inventions

Will we burn in heaven
like we do down here
will the change come
while we're waiting

Everyone is waiting

And when we're done
soul searching
as we carried the weight
and died for a cause
is misery
made beautiful
right before our eyes
will mercy be revealed
or blind us where we stand

Will we burn in heaven
like we do down here
will the change come while we're waiting
everyone is waiting

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

An Open Letter to TSA and US travelers

To Whom It May Concern:

It wasn't but in the last several years that I learned truly how to travel efficiently. I have become quite adept at the art of getting to, through and out of an airport in as little time as possible and with as little delay and confusion. This skill does not come easily but only with many many hours of practice and dedication travelling once or twice a month often through multiple airports, airplanes and customs. Thus it has come to my attention recently that many other Americans (in theory we could cover other 'folks' but, not knowing the intracacies of their cultures, I will stick with USA residents) who think they know the workings of the modern post-9/11 airport system are very much mistaken. It is with these very noble intentions in mind that I offer to you some travel tips that you may find useful to pass onto your fellow American travellers. It's my belief that the use of these simple tips will reduce costs for TSA by enhancing the efficiency of the overall system. The tips apply to both TSA and travellers alike.

  1. Travelers: you don't need 8 bags each to go away for a week. I realize you like to have your 'stuff' with you but truly you will enjoy yourself more if you just take your body, some minimum clothing to keep you warm, comfy shoes and a good attitude. You'll probably go buy some trinkets at your vacation destination anyway so you need extra room in your bag. Layer. Pack light. Travel easy.
  2. Checking In: If you're waiting in line for a ticket agent, please know who you are and what your destination is. I know it's easy to forget these things so just have an ID and a receipt handy. Also, e-Checkin is the same thing as checking in for tickets you bought on the Internet... minus the ticket agent. It's ok to use this new technology.
  3. Web Check-in: A long time ago in a galaxy far far away the world wide web came of age. It's time to start using it to check in. Many flights these days let you check-in even if you're checking bags. Then all you have to do is stand in line and give somebody your bag when your tag is generated. Good stuff. Take advantage.
  4. TSA: saying that it is 'suggested' to take your shoes off is the equivalent of telling people that there's a suggested fee for getting an airline ticket. If it's not suggested then just tell folks to take their shoes off, no holds barred. Yes, it's asinine but so are most new TSA rules so just run with it baby!
  5. People who have a lot of stuff on their person: your watch is metal. It will beep in the metal detector. Those keys you use to open the 50 different doors to your boss's file drawer? Well, you didn't need to travel with them. But since you did, they are metal and they will beep in the metal detector. Jewels. I know you like to wear all those jewels but maybe you really don't need them for that 6-hour flight to your cousin's funeral? Take them off for travel. They are metal. They will beep in the metal detector.
  6. Kid with a sombrero: you didn't need that Sombrero. But now that you have it put it in a box and check it. It doesn't fit through the security scanner, it doesn't fit in the overhead. Far be it for me to tell you that you'll regret buying that sombrero sometime 10 years from now, 8 drinks to the wind when your buddy takes a Polaroid. But I digress.
  7. People who checked bags: Bravo for not taking up the overhead space. However there is one more rule you should follow -- the law of physics. Two objects can't exist in the same space at the same time. So when you try to stand on my toes to get a place next to the baggage claim carousel you are smashing them. Please stop. Please move over to the next spot. The idea of the carousel is that the bags are distributed along a circular belt for all to have access to. If you crowd the loading zone you may be injured. I will injure you. Please stay away from me.
  8. Personal Space: Ok, I've moved down the carousel to get away from you. But now your 3 kids, grandparents and 2nd cousins have crowded in. They don't even have bags. Hitting me with the corner of your hard-case Samsonite luggage hurts. I will hit back next time. Please leave me alone.
  9. Guy on the plane eating McDonalds in Row 6: I realize the airlines, most of whom are in Chapter 11, have reduced the lovely airplane conveniences from full meals down to a poor box'ed 'snack'. However if you are going to bring McDonalds on the plane (which I don't blame you for) then please have the flight attendant dispose of it quickly after you are done eating. Otherwise about 2 hrs into the flight when we hit turbulence we'll all be holding airsick bags and the guy in row 34 will be cursing you and wondering why, in addition to being sick, he has to be nauseated by the smell of a rotting Filet-o-Fish.
  10. Airline CEO's: Have you flown lately on one of your own airplanes? I'm talking the full deal: coach class, international, no-premier-status and a shitty middle seat. If you haven't then you really need to get the full experience. It's something to behold. There's an entire airport culture of hurrying to wait. That is, rush to get yourself checked in, rush to get through security, rush through the miles of airport gates to arrive at your departure point. And then wait. Wait for hours to be told you have an additional hour to wait. And then wait to be told to wait. Can you guys do something about this? It's bad enough to be treated as enemy #1 by your own government. But I just paid you guys $450 for a shitty cloth seat and a can of Coke. How about if you tell me to get there 1-hr prior to departure you actually have the courtesy to provide a seat to wait in, some food that's not entirely unsavoury and lunch for less than $25 a person.
  11. TSA Gate Agents: I am not a terrorist. I realize there may be a few in the universe. But please keep in mind that the world population as of 2006 is 6.5 billion. Of those, I would venture to guess that less than .0000001% are terrorists. By those numbers we could basically scan every bag with an electron microscope, check for drugs in your spouse's anus and run animals repeatedly through X-ray machines and still not find a single 'thing' we're looking for. And it really is a 'thing' you're looking for isn't it? Because if it wasn't you'd just arrest or harrass everyone named Mohammed (oh, sorry, you already do) and inconvenience your own citizens to no end. And keep up the good work, too.
  12. Entering and exiting the plane: A few quick suggestions to enhance your boarding/de-planing process, ok? First, if you can't lift your bag higher than your ankle off the ground then how do you intend to lift it, in a narrow space, over the top of some pretty tall seats, up over your head and into a compact plastic compartment that already has other bags competing for limited space? Please just ponder that one the next time you decide not to check your luggage. Take care of your own shit and I'll take care of mine. If you have a cane, are handicapped or generally look feeble we're here to help. Second, when you're leaving the plane please don't stand in the aisle if you have no intention of actually leaving. Get your kids, get your spouse, get your relatives, put the bags in their hands, tell them "Ok, let's go!" and get the fuck off the airplane. The rest of us are waiting and we are capable of carrying ourselves and personal items without delay.
  13. To everyone: I know travel seems overwhelming. I know you think that Shareif Mohammed Achmed Kareshi is going to drive your plane into the Space Needle. And guess what? Somebody with a similar name might do that some day. But for the moment, if you could have the courtesy to move your beast out of the way if you're experiencing a "personal delay", check-in ahead of time, move your own bags quickly and efficiently and realize you are not God's gift to the frequent flyer then all of us will be better off.

Vegemite For All

In a world where vegemite is a standard topping for toast and you can get Kangaroo filet as an entree it's really hard to go wrong with cuisine. Admittedly, I'd only had vegemite one time since coming here but have now eaten a small amount of this vitamin-B rich spread daily. Food, in general, is the highlight thus far of the journey down-under. I've eaten kangaroo which really has the exact consistency of beef and the taste of venison. Delicious boychick! Our other cuisine seeking has taken us to an fantastic Chinese restaurant (Darlinghurst to Oxford to Crown) that was the closest I've had to authentic and tasty since my trip to China this past October.

Work here is definitely Aussie style. Keep in mind it is the very PEAK of summertime here with gentlemen and ladies showing up to the office in cargo shorts and mini skirts respectively. That means we 'Yanks' roll in around 10am and crank on the computers (projects, networks, meetings, whatever the world might offer up) until noon. Then one might be taken for a lovely lunch by the ocean or a hearty lunch with many beers to quench the afternoon thirst. Afterward, a return to the office for a few hours of work with the US (recall that lunchtime here is the end of the prior day in the USA so there's plenty of time to catch-up on email) and then it's off back to the hotel. Drop your things, go for a walk, do some yoga, take a nap, run an errand. Meet around 6pm for a cocktail followed by dinner at 7pm. This is the work-week.

Today will be a half-day after which we'll head to the beach. It's almost so tempting to get out into the ocean that it makes work extremely difficult. Puffy clouds fill a blue sky, heat and humidity make one order up another round of Lemon/Lime & Bitters, and the ocean breeze here makes even the heartiest of California beach-goers more than a tad jealous. The heat sticks around at night giving an East Coast USA feel but with perfect temps in the 70's rather than a sticky 80's I grew up with.

The Aussies themselves are pleasant enough. There's an intimidating feel for some westerners I think. Brought on by a different 'style' and some words that one may or may not be able to interpret the first time around it quickly subsides when one finds world-class service (and why not, like Europe the service industry here isn't paid minimum wage and it shows!) and a smile. "No worries," is the typical response to a thank you. Beats the false, toothy, "You're welcome" of your typical wait-staff in the states. You can feel the genuine contentment here. People are happy to be here. And while the Aussies have their share of political turmoil (local race riots are the latest craze) one does not encounter the divisive and disturbing chaos currently entrenched in US society.

Maybe it's just the summertime talking. Having come from the dead of winter in the US (and in Southern CA that's not much more than a high in the 60's instead of 80's) it feels downright tropical here. The sun rises and sets 3 hours before the northern hemisphere and, yes, the water still drains the opposite direction.

I don't think it's just my outlook. Word has it that Mr. Bush gave a State of the Union address. I have no idea as to it's content but I'm sure it was asinine. I heard that Mr. Alito was confirmed to the Supreme Court. I heard that a good journey around the world will turn your perspective upside down. I think most things here drain the opposite direction. I hope to keep my head that way.