Saturday, April 29, 2006

Hey, I guess I'll take it as long as I can get it

Last night my band played at a Community Center along with two other bands - which meant it was an all ages show, so there were about 130 high school kids there.

A girl asked me what school I go to.


Kind of reminds me of when Amy and I were house shopping and we had set up an appointment to see a house. And granted, I was wearing a Gap Tshirt and a pair of jeans - but I arrived before Amy got there and the guy at the door asked me when my mom was going to show up.

Yeah, I have a two year old kid and am approaching my 5 year wedding anniversary. I suppose I should be flattered - I've been out of high school for 10 years. Ok, maybe 9 years.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Hrrmpph, Krrary grrert erff mrr frrce...

So yesterday afternoon, I'm doing hatha yoga and right as I go up into Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) my daughter Kalli comes and - get this - sits on my face and starts bouncing up and down, saying "Bown, Bown" (bounce, bounce).

It was as simultaneously hilarious and painful as it sounds.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

How about a Billy Joel cover with your Shrimp Boil?

Tonight I'm playing live music at a pretty fancy Cajun restaraunt in town. This could prove to be interesting.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Oh, come off it...

"So then, when you're in the way of waking up, and finding out who you are, you meet a character called a guru, as the Hindus say 'the teacher,' 'the awakener.' And what is the function of a guru? He's the man that looks you in the eye and says 'Oh come off it. I know who you are.'

You come to the guru and say 'Sir, I have a problem. I'm unhappy, and I want to get one-up on the universe. I want to become enlightened. I want spiritual wisdom.' The guru looks at you and says 'Who are you?' You know Sri Ramana Maharshi, that great Hindu sage of modern times? People used to come to him and say 'Master, who was I in my last incarnation?' As if that mattered. And he would say 'Who is asking the question?'

And he'd look at you and say, go right down to it, 'You're looking at me, you're looking out, and you're unaware of what's behind your eyes. Go back in and find out who you are, where the question comes from, why you ask.'

And if you've looked at a photograph of that man--I have a gorgeous photograph of him; I look by it every time I go out the front door. And I look at those eyes, and the humor in them; the lilting laugh that says 'Oh come off it. Shiva, I recognize you.'"

[from "The Nature of Consciousness" by ALAN WATTS]

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A parable

When I was vacationing at Tybee Island a few years ago, I set my alarm very early and went out to sit on the beach to watch the sun come up. I didn't take a lawn-chair or a blanket, so I had to sit down in the sand.

There was virtually no light at that time in the morning and suddenly I became very afraid of the critters running around in the sand. Every "blob" in the darkness became a potential crotch-biting crab. For about 20 minutes I was clenched in fear as my eyes darted back and forth in the darkness.

Then the sun came up. Light sprayed across the beach. And...

...there were no crabs. Or critters. Or anything. Just rocks. All those blobs were just rocks. There was nothing to be afraid of.

Dear Sun: Go ahead and turn the light back off, it's fine. I can't be fooled again. Even in the dark I know it's just rocks.

My God, these eyes are starting to open...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Weekend Recap

  • Won Round 1 (of 3) of Battle of the Bands on Thursday night (even though it was most certainly our worst performance to date).
  • Listened to multiple hours of Alan Watts lectures from the "Out of Your Mind" series while mowing, driving, cleaning.
  • Went to Barnes and Noble with Amy, sat in big, fluffy chairs, read magazines, and bought nothing.
  • Got wildly sunburned from playing at an outdoors stage at Purdue University's Grand Prix (but it was a pretty rockin' show).
  • Got the Doodlebops CD in the mail for our daughter, thereby dooming us to (seemingly) everlasting road trips.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Intercepting Transmission PART II

Absolutely marvelous responses, everyone.

Just one comment: speaking of Wilber's lines of development, Andrew, it's also entirely possible that the disciples themselves were not developed to the level where they could understand and assimilate the teachings... they could only interpret what was being transmitted from their current level of consciousness. It's like trying to play DVDs on a transistor radio (or something like that... :)

The corollary of that being that humanity itself may be "evolving" to the point where (slightly) more people NOW than 2,000 years ago are ready and open to hear/accept/understand the types of messages that such teachers were trying to communicate.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Intercepting Transmission

Over the years I've heard a number of people (myself included) talk about how Jesus' disciples never really got his "real message" and we've been misinterpreting it (in various ways) ever since.

But doesn't this raise the obvious question: Does this say more about Jesus than the disciples? (i.e. isn't this saying he wasn't a very good teacher?)


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

On Its Way

The Great and Powerful has shipped "Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening From the Alan Watts Audio Archives."

It should arrive today.

That's right: 12 CDs, 14.5 hours. This should provide plenty of commute / mowing / cleaning-the-house audio for the next month or so.

Friday, April 14, 2006

21st Century DJ

Spinning records is SO 3 years ago.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Speaking of poetry...

...a rap song I am listening to just rhymed the phrase "chicken bone" with "every chick I bone."

Wow. Emily Dickinson, eat your heart out.

Holy Week Poem

I think I've posted this before, but being that it's Holy Week and all (the week leading up to Easter), I thought I'd repost it. The poem was originally written in a Creative Writing class in college but I've also converted it into a song called "Drapery" that we play in all our live sets. I generally have no interest in writing music with an overtly Christian theme, but I really like how this turned out and what it says about humanity.

Clouds statue themselves and argue with the sky
While beneath his own drapery,
Bright eyed and welcomed,
They usher him in with waving

Upon the back of the humble he rides
While liquid cheers from the crowd
Prove how fickle the human
Heart can be.

Their praise is the strong horse
That draws his chariot to glory
But before long…

Mud splashes about upon
All those who cry.
While reaching for answers,
A touch of elixir,
To crack open beauty
And take us in…

They put three in on a Friday
Only to take away three
And end eternity.
And Dracula claims his prize
Only to discover that
what had been given
is now taken.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

[no title]

Try this (for one day... one hour... ten minutes?):

Label nothing. Name nothing. When something happens, resist the temptation to call it good or bad. There is just unfolding, that is all. Like a child, find every moment, every "event," every NOW as a magic, wonderous reality - because that is what it is. Be open. Take it all in. To do this you have to stop thinking about things in the future or reliving a past moment. You have to be intensely present.

Then suddenly the world becomes alive. There is no longer individual "things" in a space, nor individual moments... then eventually not even "you." There is just this.

"Awakened, the one great truth:
Black rain on the temple roof."
- Dogen -

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Deal or Dumbfounded

Over the last few weeks, Amy has occasionally tuned into the new hit game show "Deal or No Deal" on NBC on Monday nights.

I seriously feel like the entire world is in on some joke that I don't know about.

Wanna hear how the game works? Ok, here goes, let's see if you can get this: The host asks the contestant "Do you want number 4, 5, or 6?" Then the dramatic lights and music kick in and the contestant converses back and forth with his family: "Gee, spouse, do I want 4 or 5... cause 6 is my unlucky number and... gosh, I just don't know... I mean, I have 4 kids, so.... uhm, ... ah, I just don't know, Howie... the pressure... OH THE PRESSURE!... I'm gonna go with..." Meanwhile the crowd is going apeshit and Howie Mandell is shooting them deathly-serious interrogative glances.

There's no skill here... no game... they're picking numbers for *#@$&'s sake!!!!

Please, someone tell me I'm being Punk'd.

Saturday, April 08, 2006


I know it's somewhat cliche to talk about the film CRASH, now that it's won "Best Picture" and all, but Amy and I finally got around to watching it last night and I just feel like I've got to say something.

For the first 45 minutes, I was somewhat turned off by the over-exaggeration of the race theme. I found myself saying "Give me a break, that's not ALL people talk about ALL the time."

Then, the second act began.

I've never, ever been shook to the core by a movie. But for some reason, I was so sucked into all that was going on that I literally almost had a nervous breakdown (I'm not kidding). For those that have seen it, the scene involving the cop pulling a woman out of the overturned car almost put me into a panic attack.

I think this is why: none of the bad guys are REALLY bad, none of the good guys are REALLY good. We're so used to seeing 2-dimensional characters in Hollywood that seeing compassion in a dickhead is strangely heartbreaking. The race thing was expected - that's not really what spoke to me about this film - to me it was more about the fickleness and complexity of being human and about the glorious, unfortunate horrors of the dark side of life.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

...more pictures...

Here are the rest of the pictures from last night's show. This picture above is so badass! I love it! Thanks to Kevin for snapping some great shots. (If you haven't seen his artwork lately, visit his blog to see his killer eye for photography).

the Brewing Company

My band and I played the coolest venue in our town last night. It was our first time there and it went pretty well, but a couple of dark handcrafted beers on an empty stomach and getting to bed at 1:30 am is a little much for a Wednesday night.

I'm going to need another cup of coffee.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"What I am to you, you do not need."

One of the most well-written songs to come out in the last couple of years has to be "Volcano" by Damien Rice. It just came up on my iTunes and it's beautiful and haunting... especially as it builds to the multi-vocal outro.

Getting chills here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Response to Yesterday's Post (Forget, Remember, Forget, Remember...)

Fantastic thoughts and comments everyone.

The Tao te Ching says that "The Tao that can be spoken about is not the real Tao." When we get into topics like this - such as the nature of reality - there is so much room for speculation and fluidity that writing anything is really just ludicrous. Dan brought up some interesting questions and though I won't propose any answers, it just shows that there are (like Kev said) "loopholes" and inconsistencies in any written or spoken philosophy. Speaking about or writing down truths or speculated truths concretizes things - and reality just refuses to be "nailed down" by the English language, the thinking mind, and friggin' blogs.

To speak personally, I too subscribe to this hide-and-seek notion of things - not just intellectually but experientially. The language is clunky (as Andrew said, it provides no "tidy explanations"), but the general idea makes sense to me for many reasons and it has been (like Isaiah said) the reality for many mystics and saints for thousands of years.

Yet in the final analysis, we have to remember that we can talk about orange juice all day - discuss its acidity, speculate its sweetness, and argue about its origin - but it cannot be "known" through words - it has to be tasted and experienced.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Alan Watts

I've been listening to lectures by Alan Watts as of late. Absolutely fantastic stuff. Here's a segment from some of his writings [This will be sure to rile a few of you up (wink)]:

God also likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside God, He has no one but himself to play with. But He gets over this difficulty by pretending that He is not Himself. This is His way of hiding from Himself. He pretends that He is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, all the plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way He has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when He wakes up they will disappear.

Now when God plays hide and pretends that He is you and I, He does it so well that it takes Him a long time to remember where and how He hid Himself. But that’s the whole fun of it-just what He wanted to do. He doesn’t want to find Himself out too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be Himself. But when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will wake up, stop pretending, and remember that we are all one single Self-the God who is all that there is and who lives for ever and ever.

God is the Self of the world, but you can’t see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you can’t see your own eyes, and you certainly can’t bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding.

You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that He isn’t really doing this to anyone but Himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It’s the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game is to put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards once more and play again, and so it goes with the world.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

...from the mouths of babes...

A co-worker was telling me a story about tucking in her grandchild to bed. Out of nowhere the boy said: "One day I'll stop breathing and then I'll be with God in heaven." This woman wisely said "That's true, but God is with you right now as well."

The little boy then said: "Yeah. God's kinda sneaky like that."