Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Guerrilla Girls, Enlightenment & Cupping! 3 Treats in One!

Ahh, there's nothing more satisfying than a day spent home sick from work.

Oh, sure, you might have to spend a few hours lying around in convalescence. That, and drink a mason jar full of M's brown goop... (Okay, yes, the brown goop had a decidedly positive effect, so I really can't complain).

But a day spent home from work - well, what more can I say? I got to catch up on my reading of "Tank Girl," and read about the Guerrilla Girls. The first is a comic and the second is, well, its sort of an affirmative action movement regarding the Arts.

I also got to delve back into the Eightfold Path, as presented by Thich Nhat Hanh - one Phat dude, with a capital "P", if you are into getting down with the here and now.

Reading his "The Heart of Buddha Teaching" was perfect while lolling around in semi-boredom. Reminded me to appreciate things at hand.

On a completely different note, I'm posting a picture from a strange and devious practice that was enacted upon me just the other day.It is a technique called "cupping," which is supposed to attract Chi to an afflicted area. And if you thinks it looks bizarre, you should have it done to you...

For me, the jury is not yet out on this one. However, brown goop and needles (otherwise known as acupuncture) get two big thumbs up!

Wave #3 - Part 1: A hiccup in Time

Home sick today and for lack of anything better to do, ol' Wave #3 comes rolling in:

So there I was, at the Phoenix Art Museum, minding my own business. I'd just finished checking out "The Art of Philip Curtis" (pseudo- surrealist, not my favorite, but okay) and had started wandering through the Asian Exhibit. I turned a corner and....

There stands my ex-wife, "K"!
You know how time is supposed to slow way way down before an impending accident? You're in a car headed for imminent collision and you notice a great deal of detail, all at an extremely rapid pace? Yeah, This was kinda like that.
I should mention that I hadn't seen "K" for about 12 years. We'd maintained a sparse but congenial email correspondance since then but the last time I actually saw her was when we hugged goodbye after attending our divorce proceedings. So there's that.

And she's holding a baby.

And she's surrounded by several women, two of whom are from our closest friends from that time.

It was at this point that Time excused itself from the general proceedings and we entered into the Time Warp:

  1. I look at K.
  2. She looks at me.
  3. I look at the baby.
  4. The baby looks at me (okay, maybe I imagined this part)
  5. I look at L. A.
  6. (you guessed it) L.A. looks back at me.
  7. I look at C.
  8. She looks back at me.
And now I'm looking at K again.

This seemed to go on endlessly, like a hall of mirrors, until finally, L.A. mercifully broke us out of the loop with these words:

"Don't drop the baby."

Amen, sister.
And suddenly we were all back on earth under the constraints of normal space and time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Guy List

1. My workout schedule. Nonnegotiable. A deal breaker. Make sure everyone knows it.

2. The theory that two people must have sex before the can ever be in love. Because you can't love someone until you know that person fully -- and sex brings many revelations.

3. My favorite band/movie/team/political party/religion -- which I've just been told sucks. It may indeed suck. So what? Someone just ground my passions under his heel. Let him have some.

4. Fifteen percent off. You'll get 10.

5. My rung on the ladder. The salary's still there, I still have my office, but something's off. They're making plans without me. My turf has eroded. Time to shine again.

6. My right to leave the bar as early as you want. I will be called many names. I am none of these things.

7. My equally valuable right to hand my keys to a buddy and have another round. Morning will hit hard and fast, but sometimes I have to risk short-term-memory loss in the name of long-term-memory gain.

8. A free phone. They get a check every month for two years? Yeah, free phone.

9. That brief stretch of time that is my own. I may not get it until 10 p.m., but make sure I get it, because after my commute time, company time, dinnertime, and quality time, my time is the last defense against total annihilation of the self.

10. My habits. She's dying to change me, but she should know up front that men don't change. We can evolve, however, and that takes time.

11. A perfect combination of retained youth and acquired wisdom.

12. The true source of her silence, her headaches, her thickening layer of frost. It may be me, or it may not. But whatever it is, get it out there because this crap cannot go on.

13. The remote. A guy I know broke his leg fighting for the remote. And he'd do it again.

14. The sanctity of the line. Whether the dirtball tries it with a car or his own cloven feet, his butting in line is a grievous insult -- he's saying his time is more valuable than mine. We're all on the same death clock, pal. Deny him. Hard. The mob will back me.

15. Making money from that one thing I'm best at. There has to be a way to cash in.

16. The real answer. Sales reps, bureaucrats, and bosses of every stripe are where they are because people settle for their pat, evasive answers. Pound their bullshit position with a fusillade of toddler logic: But why?

17. The mail-in rebate I still haven't received. Companies count on lazy consumers. Be their nightmare.

18. Happiness. Can't swing that? Strive for absence of misery. Then keep going.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Precursor to Wave #3

There are some faces that are emblazoned in our memories...

Hmm. Nope, let's try that again. (Throat clearing noise)

Okay, there are some people, whom, will always be a part of our lives no matter what.

My uncle, Wally, god rest his soul (and a merry old soul was he), was one of these.

Parents, siblings, loved ones - we carry these people around with us until there is the person, themself, and there is the person living inside our head*, sometimes ascending even into myth. (Again, witness Uncle Wally, a figure who looms large, not only in my memories, but in those of literally hundreds if not thousands of people.)

And then there's your ex-wife.

(dramatic pause)

Okay, not your ex-wife, my ex-wife (and I may be circumlocuting ever so slightly, here...), my ex-wife - the inimitable, "K":
Not to be confused with my most recent ex - the ex-girlfriend "K" - and a shout out to you, my dear, who are still doing battle in NY's Long Island, but are soon to finish residency and embark on doctorhood. As the Fun Loving Criminals once said, "best wishes... and knishes".
All right, I think I've danced around this one enough. And now, back to our story:

So there I was, minding my own business on a loverly Saturday Morning at the Phoenix Art Museum. M and I had breakfasted at the Welcome Diner and decided to stop in for the Impressionist Exhibit...


Okay, sorry for the cliff hanger ending but I must rush off. Damn this whole "making a living" thing and how it interferes with really important things. Like blogging. Sigh.

More later. Promise.

*footnote: Okay, yeah, I've been reading some Roland Barthes lately, so the whole division between people and the images we carry of them is not necessarily original. On the other hand, "Right Mindfulness," a key to the Eight Fold Path to Buddhist Enlightenment is considerably older... blah blah blah.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Space Cowboy

Wave #4

Played in a 6 man volleyball tournament on Sunday with Seal, a.k.a. Longhair, setting and myself at middle.

We played fairly well, getting knocked out by the top seed, Two-Ball, in the semi's. These guys are monsters and it was no shame losing to them in a close final game of the match.

As for myself, I played better than I have in quite a while. (Okay, this may not be bragging in lieu of recent outings, but allow this aging weekend warrior his illusions.)

One game in particular, I felt like a predatory animal - constantly moving, pacing between points, feeling everything acutely - sweat cooled skin, the hackles on the back of my neck, pupils engorged with light, and my joints, elastic.

Maybe it was the Deer Antler the night before, or maybe it was the two beers and anti-inflammatories I consumed for lunch (a semi-standard tournament routine), but time slowed, distances grew nearer and all things seemed possible.

Then we had a 40 minute break between that match and the next (against Two-Ball); time sped up, my back and knees started aching, and suddenly I was an old guy trying to hang with the youngsters again.


Oh, yeah, and I took a picture at the gym.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wave #2 - About Last Weekend

M and I had most pleasant evening together, Saturday. I won't go into great detail, but I will say that Traditional Chinese Medicine (also know as "TCM" to the indocrinated) definitely had its part to play.

Incidentally, I've been eating better, lately. Eating more vegetables, drinking more water, taking vitamins, supplements (Saw Palmetto! Word to the father!) etc., but the best was yet to come:

Deer Antler - For the unitiated, this may sound a bit like juju, but having enjoyed the effects, I would be among the first to stand up and testify!

Deer Velvet Antler, also known as Lu Rong Pian, is known for its regenerative properties and certain performance enhancement effects. Curious? Check it out on the web.

My final vague summation: A good time was had by all. And then some.

About Last Weekend

Haven't had much time to write since last weekend, but it was... well, extremely eventful. You know how one can lead several different lives in one lifetime? Last weekend was kinda like that. It came in 4 waves:

Wave #1 - Finally talked with my sister after several months, (totally my fault) and... it was Sofa King Cool!

You wake up one morning and your arm is missing.

You don't remember how it happened and there's not even the sign of a wound - just a very round looking shoulder. Time passes. Due to the lack of violence, or even a small scar to mark the incident, it quickly fades and life goes on.

Then one day you wake up and the arm is back on.

Talking with the Kid was kinda like that, only better.

Definitely more later.

More New Mexico Pics

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

5 Minute Blog

Fought like cats and dogs with M last night. Okay, that's fairly overused hyperbole, but goddamnit, it felt like that on the inside.
"Under My Skin" a Bob Schneider song, plays in my head.
Did I mention that I am a tad bit sleep deprived? Anywho...

Fought and cried and gnashed our teeth and the making up was as good as it can get.

Okay, there's always room for improvement when it comes to "making up" but it was pretty damned... what? impressive, visceral, transcendant - you fill in the blank.

Damn. My five minutes is up.

By the way, this was my five minute blog.

Did I mention I'm somewhat sleep deprived?

Friday, March 10, 2006

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

P. T. I.

Don’t go where?

I’m not a proponent of making a fool of ones self. So I control my behavior with calculated decisions and movements. I hate being the center of attention so much it makes me sick to my stomach. That being said (or written), it stands to reason that it would take an enormous “situation” for me to explode. It almost works against me to where I’ve conditioned myself so much to not react; that I’m a statue of emotionless plaster at times when reaction is necessary. I appear incredibly unmoved and unaffected despite fantasies of beating the shit out of someone daily.

There’s an instantaneous governor that clamps down my emotions before I’m ever aware that this is a moment that might call for raised voices, angry stares and confrontation. So my system tightens the screws on my internal pressure cooker before I realize what’s really happening.


10 minutes, 2 minutes, 4 days, whatever, after the situation, the screws begin to loosen and I sometimes shake and do not want to speak. I often cannot speak. This is then followed by feelings of guilt, remorse and regret for not acting like I should. Or like a "man" – a tough guy, and I want to run. This is then followed by more rage that has to be reined down for the obvious reason that something’s going to get damaged or someone’s going to get hurt. But it’s after the fact and it’s too late to act now, so I seethe even more, imagining scenarios in my head of shoulda, woulda, coulda’s.

My internal system I’m sure is governed psychologically as a result from the one time the lid blew off and I battered a guy unrecognizable in a moment of blind rage. I’m simply afraid of killing someone and spending my life in prison. So, in moments now when the occasional asshole wants to jerk off, I only imagine what I could do, or what I feel like doing & walk away wishing I would backed him down; only to feel the waves of emotion and fury that will soon follow; only to allow him to feel like the stud that he thinks he is in his own little ignorant world, completely unaware that I may have just spared him his life, or permanent disfigurement.

Mercy on him. Hell for me.


Been reading more of Yourgrau, lately, namely, "The Sadness of Sex". Its slightly more contrived than "Wearing Dad's Head," but has its moments.

One story in particular is about a woman's disembodied sex which, having run away from home and gone violent, must be subdued and coaxed back through digital and oral ministrations. Indeed.

Other news: just got back from a weekend up north (namely, Cottonwood) with M. We'd gone up to visit Mom and help with a few things around the house.

On the drive up the sky had that surreal look which makes you question,slightly, the fabric of reality. The sky just looked too... perfect, as if it had been put there for our amusement or distraction.

M made reference to Maya and the veil. Some such.

On the way back, we stopped at Arcosanti, a side trip we'd been threatening to make for a while.

I'd recently re-read Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" and gotten turned on to Frank Lloyd Wright (again) so it seemed perfectly appropriate to add Paolo Soleri to the mix.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Anger Management

The Ides of March approach, and It stirs within me, the animal.

It's 5:23 am and I am listening to Rage Against the Machine, "Calm Like a Bomb," "Sleep Now in the Fire", etc.

Talk about resonation.

I swear I can't put two thoughts together right now. Don't want to think. Just want to move, feel, react.

Something wells up and I see, myself:

deep in a cave, gnashed-teeth, clenched-fist, as I double over, spasming, then give birth: a dark little creature, fur matted with mucous and blood, its mouth filled with teeth. It hits the ground with a wet smacking sound then quickly darts out the cave.
I do not try to stop it, but follow, follow as it runs into the desert, panting and growling. I run slightly behind: legs pumping, head pounding, and eyes tearing in the wind.

You have to let it out, right? Let the beast out, while it's still contained inside you. Either that or it grows, grows in the darkness, nourished on your own guts, swelling beyond all proportion until, finally, it bursts forth, leaving nothing but scraps of skin.

"Fuck it, cut the chord!" sounds in my ears.

Amen, brother.