Friday, July 30, 2004

A Brain, A Body, and Lots of Speculation

The brain does funny things sometimes.

Yesterday, I was driving to work and for no reason at all KRANG, the arch-nemesis of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, popped into my mind. Why? I ... don't ... know!

Speculation on why this came a-bubblin' up:

a.) I wish I were a little bit taller... (I wish I were a balle...ah...nevermind)

b.) I'm subconsciously desiring to be bald

c.) I like the idea of having a more centrally located brain

d.) In a way, Krang is like a pregnant woman with a "little person" in its stomach

e.) ???? Leave me some comments with some more of your ideas... (be creative :) )

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Oooh, that smell

My house is starting to smell like "baby."

Amy had my family's baby shower last night. She brought home all kinds of cool things... but when I walked back upstairs last night, I realized that with all that baby gear, it carries with it a certain baby-powder-ish scent.

That's not a bad thing. I'm just make a declarative statement.

By the by, if eternity is a bad concert.... who would open and who would headline? Got an answer? Click Here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Animal Fair

I went to the animal fair,
The animals all were there,
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair,

The monkey fell out of his bunk,
Right on to the elephant's trunk;
The elephant sneezed and fell to his knees,
And that was the end of the monk,
The monk, the monk, the monk,
And that was the end of the monk.

Sorry. I'm just kindof getting excited for nursery rhymes all the sudden.

BABY NAME HINT OF THE WEEK: 4 syllables (ex: Olivia, Elizabeth)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

She's Ready to Pop!

A month or less until baby X arrives. We bought a bookshelf and hanging shelf for her room last night. The space is really coming together and its starting to be really exciting to hang out in that room. Amy looks like she could give birth at any minute... we definately hope it's sooner than later.

In yoga practice, am making great strides in Paschimottonasana. I remember just a few years ago in college when they asked me to do the "Sit and Reach" during the Fitness Test and I couldn't even reach the "slide", let alone push it any amount of distance. I've sat and stood incorrectly for years and years and have really allowed my back, butt, and hamstrings to atrophy. But I'm starting to see some definate progress and realignment.

Read a report yesterday about the dangers and cons of caffine. I considered for a minute giving up coffee.

...Hahahah.... yeah, right.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The SW Saga Continues

I'm sure this is posted on nerdy Blogs all over the planet, but alas, I must announce it as well.

Star Wars Episode III has officially been named:


Let's hope it's 5 times better than Episode II and 4700 times better than Episode I.

I guess you can only really go up from the bottom. I hate to bitch and complain but Lucas should've just left the original trilogy alone. Just like there should've only been one Matrix (would a little open ended mystery hurt anybody?).

Ah... if only I had the final say on everything in the world....

(as my wife's eyes roll...)

Saturday, July 24, 2004

The Day

Grandma's funeral is today at 11 am.

Friday, July 23, 2004

A Sonnet for Statues

Eyes that are hard on the issue at hand
Are prone to wander, yet even malinger
Only to narrow the focused demand.
Lids remain closed at the sight of God's finger.
Black heart attack lays great weight to one's prayer-
Vagabond wanders from this place to that-
Unholy oasis that begs for your terror,
Across the plains stands a visible crack.
Yet terror runs hiding for deep darkest wood
And fear takes a dive in the shallowest pool
Earthly c. cortex stomped down by a boot
And hope stands up tall on the universe stool
For neckties, nor age, will ever replace
The wealth that is found in poverty's face.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Aggravating Advertisers - Part II

Why do drug companies feel the need to advertise? This is another one of those things that I believe moves beyond capitalism into greed and money grubbing.

Look, if you NEED a prescription, your doctor will give it to you. Why in the world would you need to ASK you doctor about "Zofocol"? I'll tell you why: so more people will buy their drug whether they need it or not. This is absolutely ridiculous, dangerous, and avaricious. Your doctor will tell you what you need to be on.   Sheez.... I digress...

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Aggravating Advertisers - Part I

There has been a new trend as of late that "boils my water" faster than about anything.

I'm not a big fan of advertisers in the first place.  It's fine to get your name out and let people know you're there, but when you turn from THAT into making people believe that they need what you have - well that's just absurd and greedy.  If people want what you're offering, they'll search you out.  Anyway, my point...

There is nothing in this world more aggravating than the new trend of full-length, corporate commercials that you are forced to watch before the movie begins in the theater.  This has not always been the case!  Sure, there have always been the "slides" before the movie begins that advertise local businesses, but these new PRE-MOVIE "Body Spray" and "Mountain Dew" TV commercials are a recent phenomenon.  

The aggrivating part is that you have no choice but to watch.  It is literally corporate rape.  The lights come down, you think the movie is beginning, and they force-feed you deoderant and soft-drink ads.  It reminds me of "A Clockwork Orange" when they force the main character's eyes open and make him watch propaganda.

And just as I wrote that last paragraph I typed "Stop Movie Advertisements" into the search engine and found this:
Please check it out and join the anti-movie-ad protest revolution.  You know you want to.  There will, of course, be a $20 joining fee to join the revolution as I need a bigger house.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Life and Death

My Grandma passed away yesterday (Monday).  I got called out of church on Sunday morning - Amy and I ran over to the hospital where the whole family was waiting and visiting.  We all got our chances to see her and talk to her one more time.  She started getting better (or at least stable) so we all went home Sunday Night.  Then we got the call yesterday afternoon. 
It's interesting how grief, although an absolutely crucial process, is a self-centered experience.  WE are sad the person won't be around.  WE are going to miss them.  When I say that it's self-centered, I'm not saying that's a BAD thing.  It is what it is.   We just also need to think about the great life that person has lived... the blissful experience in which they currently find themselves...
I close with the poet Rumi: "When I die I shall soar with the angels, And when I die to the angels, what I shall become, You cannot imagine."
I believe that what he is saying here is: 'I have an idea of what things will be like when my soul passes from this life to the next, but when I die to that idea, then what will really happen will be beyond my wildest dreams.'

Friday, July 16, 2004

Never Done

I read an excellent article this morning entitled "After the Laundry, the Laundry."  In other words, how many times have you just emptied the laundry basket or emptied the dirty dishes from the sink to find both places filled to the brim, once again, with "dirties."  It is a constant cycle. 
And yet, is this not how literally everything is?  Everything is impermanent.  Everything withers. Everything dies.  You lose everything eventually.  I remember hearing it said once that "If you imagine the glass as already broken, you won't be disappointed when it breaks." 
Now that can be a cause of great depression and despair, or one can realize that with and through death there is always new life.  And then there is the concept of just accepting and celebrating that this is the cycle of things.... so that when I see yesterday's clean sink overspilling with greasy dishes again I can (as the article concludes) "try to see it as an expression of what life is all about: moving through the different stages, surrendering to impermanence, and remembering to embrace it all."
And in the end, if that can't cheer you up, there's always this: (Make sure your sound is turned up)

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Yesterday's Fable

The interesting thing about fables and parables is that you can extract from them a variety of truths. Yesterday's Tiger Fable stems from ancient India and, while all interpretations are equally valid, was most likely originally intended to mean something along these lines:

There is a familiar proverb that says, "We are not human beings having spiritual experiences. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Who are we inbetween breaths? Who are we between thoughts? Who are we in deep sleep? After we die? Before we are born?

From literally all world traditions we learn that we are both this body and not this body. The Greeks would say that our bodies are a container (of sorts) for our souls. Most other traditions - Christianity included - would say that the body is in the soul (that's right... read your Bibles... there's nothing about the soul 'leaving' the body... it talks about resurrection of the BODY in every instance). Much of Hinduism would say that this world is maya, or illusion, and that our bodies are a barrier (of sorts) to the soul (Atman).

REGARDLESS OF WHICH WAY YOU LEAN - from studying tradition and from gaining experience and Wisdom, we can come to understand that who we really are is WAY more than this body, this life. We spend so much damn time working on our "goat-nature" that we ignore the endless possibilities and power of our true Tiger self. And when we are first fed this truth, we choke on it, and spit it back out. But over time, and through various methods, we come to accept and find complete bliss in this new way of seeing ourselves and the world.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Tiger Fable

I re-read one of my favorite stories this morning. The depth of truth in this one small fable astounds me. The story goes something like this:

Once upon a time there was a tigress that was about to give birth. One day when she was out hunting she came upon a herd of goats. Even in her condition, she gave chase and managed to kill one of them. But the stress of the chase forced her into labor and she died as she gave birth to a male cub. The goats, which had run away, returned when they sensed that the danger was over. Approaching the dead tigress, they discovered her newborn cub and adopted him into their herd

The tiger cub grew up among the goats believing he, too, was a goat. He bleated as well as he could, he smelled like a goat, and ate only vegetation. In every respect he behaved like a goat.

All went well until the day that an older tiger approached the goat herd and attacked and killed one of the goats. The rest of the goats ran away as soon as they saw the old tiger, but our tiger/goat saw no reason to run away, of course, for he sensed no danger.

Although the old tiger was a veteran of many hunts, he had never in his life been as shocked as he was when he confronted the young tiger. He did not know what to make of this full-grown tiger that smelled like a goat, bleated like a goat, and in every other way acted like a goat. Being a rather gruff old duffer, and not particularly sympathetic, the old tiger grabbed the young one by the scruff of the neck, dragged him to a nearby creek, and showed him his reflection in the water. The young tiger was unimpressed with his own reflection; it meant nothing to him and he failed to see his similarity to the old tiger.

Frustrated by this lack of comprehension, the older tiger dragged the young one back to the place where he had made his kill. There he ripped a piece of meat from the dead goat and shoved it into the mouth of our young friend.

We can well imagine the young tiger's shock and consternation. At first he gagged and tried spitting out the raw flesh. But the old tiger was determined to show the young one who he really was, so he made sure the cub swallowed this new food. When he was sure the cub had swallowed it all, the old tiger shoved another piece of meat into him, and this time there was a change.

Our young tiger now allowed himself to taste the raw flesh and the warm blood, and he ate this piece with gusto. When he finished chewing, the young tiger stretched, and then, for the first time in his young life, he let out a powerful roar - the roar of the jungle cat. Then the two tigers disappeared together into the forest.

The moral of the story, of course, is that we're all tigers. We live in a world of folks who are convinced they are goats - unaware of the power and potentiality of who they truely are.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Two Nuggets of Wisdom

The world may be known
Without leaving the house;
The Way may be seen
Apart from the windows.
The further you go,
the less you will know.
[Tao Te Ching #47]

Diesel's Commentary: Deepak Chopra asks "How can you tell the difference between a spiritual person and a non-spiritual person?" He says: You can't. The only difference is that person's INTENTION. You don't have to "drop out" of your current life & surroundings to have a spiritual life. The joy is finding it right where you are. If you think you're going to find it somewhere else or with someone else that's probably not going to happen. You'll end up just moving from place to place... looking for that illusive "it." It's so subtle and profound it's right underneath our noses.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is, "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, "Probably because of something you did."
[Jack Handy]

Diesel's Commentary: Hahahaha.... that is one of the funniest things I've ever read.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Only "US"

Started watching the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy" yesterday. It's interesting how in small tribal communities, there is no sense of "I", "me", or "mine." There is only "us." "Us" brings contentment. "Us" knows no jealously, or hatred, or fear.

I think we're entering a time when humanity is beginning to - and must - rethink morality. No longer will we think of moral answers as what's "right or wrong" for ME. Perhaps we'll relearn tribal relationships and worldviews and begin to ask ourselves, "Is what I'm about to do good or bad, not for me, but for my community, the earth, my brotherhood with all living beings and creatures?"

If not, we're on a slipperly slope into self-annihilation. If we continue to trash and rape the planet just to satisfy our "me-ness," we're not living in a way that future generations may continue to live. I can't think of anything less "US-like" than that.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

If I hadn't made me...

I performed three of my songs last night ("Parachute", "When I Die", and "The Air Up There") at a small Coffeehouse called Abba's Place - opening up for Scott Greeson and Groove House.

I am still in the process of recording a solo CD. I feel like it's my Holy Grail - the illusive prize that I've been striving after for many years. I'm getting older, having a kid, etc., and I'm not sure I'd ever necessarily want to do the "band-on-the-road" thing full-time - but for sure, I'd love to have an 8-10 song CD that I can have as a keepsake of some of my favorite songs. (Of course, I say that and I also know that if I was ever offered the chance to do the 'get-signed-and-be-a-fulltime-musician' thing, I would... you gotta give me more credit than that).

So for now - the music rolls around in my head - bouncing from corner to corner - looking for some sort of release. I suppose like much in life, it takes gumption and initiative, for to quote Brandon Boyd: "If I hadn't made me, I would've been made somehow. If I hadn't assembled myself, I'd have fallen apart by now."

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Everything is broken and I'm broke.

Everything is broken and I'm broke.

Things in my house that are currently broken or need fixed:

1.) The Ice-Maker. All the individual ice cubes have morphed into Voltron Ice... a conglomerate tumorous, shiny, wet mass that is taking over my freezer. I think there's some metaphysical analogy there, but I'm not even going to go there.

2.) The Garage Door Opener. Sure, the door still works. But I have to get out of the car in last night's monsoon to open the damn thing by hand. And then there's the hernias.

3.) The Hot Tub. I'd like to say that my hot tub is the home-base for wild Motley-Crue-esque parties and scores of half-naked women - resembling the infamous Grotto. But I'd be lying. We cleaned and drained it this spring until we had time to look at what's wrong with the heater - and yesterday I opened the lid to find festering mold and organic growth. That's healthy.

4.) The Front Door. Unlocked it blows open. Locked no one can come in. What gives?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Quiet after the Storm

It is indeed funny how stressed we allow ourselves to get. Last night, I found myself in a tangle of engagements, meetings, and tasks and didn't allow myself full energy or attention to any one of them. The result was pent up stress from overstretching myself. Then as I was driving to my friend Andrew's house, I realized that everything eventually returns to its source. All things flare up, change, evolve, etc., and then eventually - but always - return to a state of neutrality and peace. And so now I find myself in that place.

Exactly 50 days and counting until the birth of ....... you didn't think I was going to give the name away that easily did you? Amy and I HAVE decided the name for our new baby girl, due August 28th, but choose not to "release" it at this time. We're excited as hell, however, and I intend to start her own BLOG after birth so that all ya'll can keep up on the latest and greatest in diaper drenching and regurgitations.

In yoga practice, I've been slowly learning the balance and strength necessary to get into Vrischikasana (or Scorpian Pose - SEE PHOTO BELOW). It's a challenge, for sure - and actually helps me deal with fear as I find myself a minor adjustment away from slamming my face into the floor.

...and then it all returns to the source.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Where it begins...

Men are born soft and supple;
dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant;
dead, they are brittle and dry.

Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible
is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding
is a disciple of life.

The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will prevail.

[Tao te Ching, #76]