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Procrastination at Work

So here I am. It’s Monday and I’m trying to think of something brilliant and/or funny to write, which I can’t. So I’m just going to bore you to with my brain as it’s working (or, rather, not working) today.

After a weird week, followed by an even weirder weekend, I woke up with my head all over the place. What did I even do this past weekend? It went by so fast.

I have company arriving tomorrow, so I have to get rations, flowers and a bed so she can have the raft I’ve been sleeping on for 5 months (aka a blow up mattress). I love the feeling of levitating and all, but I think my back is starting to suffer from sleeping on a cloud of air. Frankly, I have no idea how angels do it. Good thing I'm not going to heaven.

So back to this morning…directly after a long mental tangent followed by a laundry list of things to do, I immediately set myself up for failure and said, out loud, to no one in particular: “I don’t feel like doing a God damn thing.” I wanted to pack a lunch and head up the coast to Malibu for a day of playing hookey on the beach. Some might call it sunbathing. Some might call it laziness. Some might call it stupid. I call it “better preparing myself for global warming.”

Here’s what’s on the agenda for this Monday that is quickly escaping me: I’m doing lunch in Beverly Hills followed by some furniture shopping on LaBrea. Directly after that I’m coming home to make myself vomit; not only because I’m disgusted with myself because I sound “so L.A.” but also, because I’ve recently decided I should become bulimic. It’s all the rage right now.

There is a Balinese store having a moving sale in Hollywood. All this amazing stuff is half off and the offers are too good to refuse. The other day I got a side table and mirror there. Now I’m seriously contemplating spending some dough on the credit card to finally get some furniture for this place. Here is the decision I currently struggle with: Do I capitalize on the opportunity to get really nice stuff while I can for amazing prices or do I play it safe and frugal (not usually my style)? By the time I pay the interest it’s not really that much of an amazing deal now is it….Are you riveted yet? Keep reading. It gets better.

When moving the mirror I procured--I don’t even know how it happened-- I dropped it and it scratched my chin. It didn’t hurt when it happened. Now it looks took a face dive on a sidewalk. Between that and the mysterious scratch on my arm, I look like I’m five and had a nasty incident involving the monkey bars. I think it’s cute and gives me character. My friend said it looked like a lesion.
Other tough decisions: Do I put a cute Little Mermaid Band-Aid on it and try to pass it off as a fashion statement? Do I tell everyone it’s a nasty skateboarding injury? Do I rock it like it’s 1982? Or do I tell everyone the truth?: I’m just a stubborn dumb ass who refuses to ever ask for help and got attacked by a terroristic teak mirror from India in a brutal struggle.

These are the thoughts that plague me. These are the things I wrestle with. I know they seem trivial and superficial, and they, like, totally are, but….whatever. I’m not at the beach now am I? I’m about to start doing the final inventory of my shirts. I have to send out some invoices. And mail some packages. Maybe head down to City Hall to get that parking permit I’ve been procrastinating on for my guest. Grocery shop. And that’s all before 3:00 PST. Sound like fun yet? Actually, you have no idea what a blast I’m having. And I mean that without a hint of sarcasm.

I know where I’m going, but I have no idea how I’m going to get there. I know what needs to be done, but I have no idea what I’m doing. But it’s not about knowing. It’s about making moves. And it’s about the adventure-- the crazy, unpredictable wild ride called life. Empires weren’t built in a day. And they certainly weren’t built from the beach. But they were built wisely executing one boring, mundane decision after another and blindly hoping for the best. On that note: I’M BURNIN’ DAYLIGHT!!!!

Just me.

I don't know much of anything, but.....

I know that life is tough for pretty much all species struggling on this blue planet. I am merely a grain of sand passing through. But oh! To make the most of it!!!

Adding to the current state of hilarity my life seems to be tire blew out Monday and now I'm car-less. I feel like God is just putting me in one place and forcing me to write. Jobless. Car-less. Money-less. Yet strangely....not worried. Just forced to get creative. I'm in some kind of cosmic vortex right now and I've decided (well, I really don't have any other options) to just go with the flow. Throughout my life when the going gets tough, there is only one place I've turned that has consistently saved me. Writing.

So I've been writing. And reading. And meditating. Yoga has helped a lot. I spent the Fourth alone, reading and writing and engaging in my newest obsession: story-boarding.

When I work on my ideas nothing else matters. None of the fears. None of the psychological garbage. If I am producing, I am as close to content as I probably will ever be. Creating does not equal happiness. Far from it I've decided. But it does help lead me to some kind of peace of mind. Some moments free from the restless, tormenting, judgmental race of my mind as it battles the barrage of ideas begging to be born as they flow through me.
Lately I feel more like a channel than the actual creator.
Lately things are just being dictated to me.

If I am working towards ridding my brain of one of the many ideas cluttering it, torturing me, haunting me, chasing me in my dreams, looming over my days, then I don't care what is going on around me. And I resent anything that takes me away from that process. The bills, the all disappears. So I turn to that now because I have nothing else. Pretty cool not having a car for a while here actually. Really cool not having a job. Again it has forced the creative juices to flow....

Here is what I am learning: Transformation is painful, but change is where freedom truly lies. Follow your heart. Don't hesitate. Be brave. Believe in your dreams. Follow them. And never, EVER give up on your Self. Even when you don't know who the hell you are or what you are becoming. Just walk the walk. Trust your gut. Trust life. Learn from death. And most importantly, always, ALWAYS, be grateful.

"Deep inside the human soul,
in its deepest recesses,
lies the secret of resurrection.
It must be excavated."
-Octavio Paz

Love Your Demons

I found this quote in a notebook that I kept from 2000. It is taken from a National Geographic article on Great White sharks written by Peter Benchley (author of Jaws). I liked the quote then, and I like it even more now:

"We're not just afraid of predators; we're transfixed by them, prone to weave stories and fables and chatter endlessly about them, because fascination creates preparedness, survival. In a deeply tribal sense, we love our monsters."

--E.O. Wilson
Harvard Sociobiologist

Choose Happiness

The mind is the master over every kind of fortune: itself acts in both ways, being the cause of its own happiness and misery.

Roman statesman and philosopher

Holiday Reminder

"Do you imagine the universe is agitated?
Go into the desert at night and look out into the stars.
This practice should answer the question."

--Lao Tzu


by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream--and not make dreams your master;
If you can think--and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap of fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on."

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings--nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run---
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And--which is more---you'll be a Man, my son!

Random Road Thoughts

These are some of the thoughts that race through my mind at 80 mph….
Chemically balanced readers beware…I might kill your buzz.

Bumpin’ Jaylib “Champion Sound” headed West on the 80. After seeing my entire life flash before me in the whites of the eyes of a deer….life is good and I’ve pulled my head outta my butt and have decided to fully enjoy this ride. Ya never know when it’s gonna be your last.

  • I love hotels; I really wish that I could live in one full time. As much as I used to boycott any establishment owned by the Hiltons because I didn’t want a dime of my money going into the trust fund of Paris the Dumb Heiress, I have to give The Hampton Inns a shout out. It’s not their fault they have to be associated with that purveyor of mediocrity. The Hampton Inns are an oasis of reasonably priced consistency and excellence in a sea of interstate freeway skeeviness and seediness.
  • Speaking of which….it’s funny what you learn to appreciate when you are “on the road.” One of those things is consistency. As much as I think it’s sad to see the Mom and Pop Main Street shops of yore disappear; it’s the inevitable grip of globalization. And I’m all for it. I would hate running around Main Streets all over meth-addicted America looking for an adapter for my car and some new perfume.
  • Paris has a new scent out appropriately called "Heiress". I am disappointed her tagline for it isn't "Now you can smell like a million bucks."
  • I love hotels for many reasons; the continental breakfast, the pool, the weird smell in the hall. But one of my favorite things about hotels is the fact that it’s a chance for me to catch up on my television viewing. I don’t watch TV at all other than South Park and The Weather Channel or the occasional news bites, but usually not a very good idea before I have nothing to do but think for 12 hours.
VH1 was actually playin’ some videos this morning;
  • Nelly Furtado got all hot n slutty apparently when I wasn’t looking. That’s cool I guess. My gripe: she didn’t reinvent herself like Madonna so much as change her image for a studio. But if she was going to sell out, at least she could have done it more publicly--like getting all drunk with Tara Reid, smokin’ blunts with Snoop and gang bangin’ Busta and some bad boy of Hollywood. Oh wait, there aren’t any bad boys of Hollywood left. They’ve all gone pussy, straight-edge, married, sober BOOOOORRRRRRINNNNNGGGG on us.
  • Am I just imagining things or is JT proposing/begging Cameron Diaz to marry him in the most amazing GAP ad ever (aka the “My Love” video)? Those GAP dancers have really stepped it up. They must be recruiting from the iPod casting pool. That song is HOT though....I'm not gonna lie.
  • The AdCouncil has a new campaign out reminding us to appreciate our freedom. It starts with immigrants saying “I escaped” and goes on to describe the horrible situations these refugees fled in their countries. It gave me goose bumps. If Americans remembered this shit everyday, they might not be so dependent on their anti-depressants.
  • And of course I always have to watch the local news everywhere I go because it is hilarious. Other than when you are in the desert because that is where they put all the sex offenders and the local news there is really disturbing. If you molest a child, you should be put to death. Which leads me to My Daily Rant:
All day long driving yesterday on the 80 West, signs were flashing. It was an Amber Alert. It read: ABDUCTED CHILD and then DAEWOO KTCKY 675 DRV. Every time I saw it, I got chilled to the bone. I kept my eyes peeled for that Daewoo all day. I swear to God nothing pisses me off more than people who mess with children. Die sick fucks. Die. There is no reforming them! Why do we think we can reform these people? You either go there in your brain or you don’t. And if you do, you are permanently tapped and should be executed immediately. No joke. I hate child molesters, child abductors and anyone else who exploits kids. I spent a good 4 hours driving yesterday praying for the little one and strategizing about exactly what I would do to save the child if I saw the car. It is infuriating to me that someone dealing weed will go to jail for 10 years and someone who molests kids will be out on bail, trolling MySpace looking for his next victim, jerking off to kiddie porn that night.
As a society we should all stand up and demand much harsher penalties for these evil sick fucks.
And we should start with Representative Foley.

  • In more news, CNN reported this morning that 10 soldiers were killed in Iraq yesterday. This makes the total for this month already 66, putting October on track to be one of the deadliest months yet of the war in Iraq. Am I missing something here? I don’t know about you, but it seems like more and more of my friends, or friends of friends are headed to Iraq. Interesting how the war is “over" but yet, we keep sending more troops there and bringing more fallen soldiers home every month. Which reminds me of this story...

I recently landed in Cincinnati on a layover. It was a beautiful landing without so much as a bump. Off to the right on the adjacent runway was a plane that upon first glance looked as if it was surrounded by emergency vehicles off all kinds. The plane buzzed with all kinds of ruminations and assumptions about the nature of the spectacle. Upon taxiing closer to the plane, we realized that the emergency vehicles were not surrounding the plane; so much as they were lined up next to it. Fire trucks of all sizes, police cars, ambulances…all lined up as if they were saluting the Delta aircraft. The pilot explained in his perfect pilot voice,” Ah folks on your right you will notice quite a commotion surrounding one of our planes. It is actually bringing home one of our fallen boys from the military and that’s just our way of showing respect. So…let’s just take a minute and show our respect as well.” The plane stops for a moment. We are all dead silent as we let that information penetrate our consciousness. Tears filled my eyes. In that plane was a coffin. And in that coffin was a dead young man. Somewhere in the airport was a mother. A wife. A family. And they were there to collect the remains of their loved one. A brother. A husband. A son. A cousin. A best friend.

I immediately went from feeling sad to angry. But not angry at the government. And not angry at the military. Angry at myself. Angry that I don’t do more. Angry that I don’t speak out more often. Angry at what a short attention span I have when it comes to anything beyond my immediate life.

In some way or another, I feel like each and every one of us is responsible for the young man in that box. Even if I didn’t vote for Bush. Even if I don’t support war. Even if I think the casualties of war are senseless. In some way we are all responsible for one another and responsible for all of the senseless deaths that occur not just I our country, but globally… disease, famine, war. And if we want to start to get to the bottom of the misery of all of “Western civilization” I suggest we start right there. These are things that we can collectively end. They are unnecessary to our survival. If we want to survive, we better start cooperating with one another immediately.

  • Now do you see why I don’t watch the news? It just ends up pissing me off. I swear I do have faith in humanity. Traveling all the time reinforces my faith. I meet so many kind people, learn the stories of many fascinating folks and am the witness to and benefactor of the kindnesses of many a stranger. Usually I am optimistic about the strength of our species. Until I turn on the television. The minute I start channel surfing, I can’t help but think, “We’re doomed.” And ironicallly, we're all too distracted by the TV to even realize it.


For those of you who missed last night’s pseudo-superbowl, let me catch you up to speed. It was the “historic return game” of the New Orleans Saints in their newly renovated and hopefully Febreezed Superdome. Predictably, New Orleans won 23-3, trouncing the Atlanta Falcons. But come on, the Falcons couldn’t really try to win this one could they?

The night began and ended with New Orleans. The buildup surrounding the symbolism and meaning of this game for the City of New Orleans started weeks ago. And what a great show they put on! It certainly did live up to the hype. The Superdome looked great. The players returned to their home turf with the over blown attitude of victory we would all expect. A sense that, ‘Even if we lose, we’ve already won tonight’ prevailed. The spectators played their roles as the triumphant testaments to the human spirit. They smiled and laughed, got wasted and then…went back to their FEMA trailers.

I know that a lot of you haven’t been down to New Orleans, or even the Gulf for that matter, in the past year, but the place is still a giant MESS. The recovery effort is moving at an alarmingly slow pace and much of New Orleans is still a disaster area.

For an event that turned into a public relations nightmare for the administration, you would think they would be all over that shit--getting everything in New Orleans nice and shiny and new. But the Powers That Be understand that we the masses respond to symbols more readily than we respond to truth. So they got the symbol of Katrina nice and shiny and new. And that symbol was the Superdome.

The NFL and City of New Orleans invested millions of dollars in the Superdome, 125 million to be exact, with 25 million coming from the NFL alone. Here is the natural leap most people will make in their minds: “If the Superdome is nice, then New Orleans is nice! If the Superdome is shiny, then New Orleans is too!” This is still very far from the case.

ESPN satisfied all of our collective guilty consciences by running one night of TV ads and public service announcements reminding us that the victims of Katrina still need help; maybe some of us will even donate money. And everyone from the bigwigs of the NFL, to the announcers on ESPN down to Spike Friggin’ Lee justified all of the smoke and mirrors by repeatedly calling it a demonstration of “The Power of Sports.”

The announcers asked anyone they interviewed all night the same question.
“Isn’t the power of sports amazing?” We, the delighted viewers indulging in our warm fuzzy regarding the happy situation in New Orleans, ate that line right up. Ah…the power of sports…that’s what this is…. I mean, come on! U2 and Green Day are playing! If Bono is there, we know it’s a night filled with meaning. Wow. This makes it all acceptable. This makes perfect sense.

Let the glare of the lights, the shimmer of the cheerleaders pom-poms and the roar of the crowd help us forget the fact that there were starving, desperate humans filling those very seats not too long ago. Where are those people now? Forget that just a little over a year ago this Superdome was trashed beyond recognition and covered in human feces. Never mind that this very location was the scene of horrific acts of rape, murder and other atrocities in the days following a devastating natural disaster. And we can just turn a blind eye when it is pointed out that the reality of a full recovery or “comeback” isn’t even close to being real on the streets of New Orleans.

Don’t get me wrong; I love sports as much as the rest of us, maybe even more than most. Sports can be a powerfully unifying force and an even stronger metaphor for illuminating inspiration. Sports easily portray notions of “beating the odds,” “overcoming adversity” and “championing the underdog”. But the true Power of Sports being demonstrated here is not the power of inspiration, but rather the power of distraction. The power to make us forget those ugly little truths that make us uncomfortable and turn our focus to the big, shiny new Superdome. And after the millionth reference to the “power of sports”, it was beginning to feel less like a warm fuzzy and more like indigestion stemming from the consumption of too much propaganda.

The part of the game that best illustrated this power of diversion, aside from the overall spectacle of the whole thing, was when they interviewed director Spike Lee regarding his thoughts on the New Orleans “comeback”. Monday Night announcer Tony Kornheiser basically lobbed Lee a golden opportunity to speak some truth about the ridiculously slow clean-up progress being made down in the Gulf. When faced with the question of whether or not he felt enough was being done, Kornheiser himself implying that there was clearly not, Lee was very quiet, looking at Kornheiser with wide-eyes, his silence speaking apparently what he would not. After a very long pause, Lee responded, laughing “I’m not gonna pull a Kanye tonight!” To which Kornheiser quipped, “A PC Spike Lee!! I never thought I’d see the day!!”

Spike Lee was of course referring to Kayne West’s now infamous departure from the script during a live concert fundraiser for the American Red Cross Katrina Disaster Relief that NBC put on last year, September 2, 2005. Instead of reading what the script provided, Kanye used the opportunity to rage against the slow federal response, went on a tirade about the obvious hypocrisies in the media portrayal of blacks versus whites and finally concluded with the statement, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people!” His remarks stirred controversy, adding fuel to a fire that was already raging among an increasingly disgusted, disturbed and most importantly divided public opinion regarding the government handling of the situation. Kanye was subsequently burned at the stake for it. Eaten alive by the very media that made him.

But despite the fallout, at least Kanye had the balls to speak his truth. And Spike, in a move that seems so un-Spike, tiptoed around the subject like he was a fuckin’ politician. What—are you running for office somewhere Spike? Are you afraid to offend the lords of the Academy? I bet you really want an Oscar for that documentary you did called When the Levees Broke. What was that about again? Oh wait, Hurricane Katrina. Way to go Spike you fucking pussy. You would have been better off alienating the people who don’t know you and your work, than the people like me who were fans expecting you to stand up and say something.

I agree with Kornheiser, I never thought I’d see the day either Spike. Not only are you going to wuss out and not speak your truth, you are selling your boy Kanye out in the process too. Without even realizing it, Spike perfectly summed up the powerfully distractive nature of sports when he diplomatically went on to comment “this is all [the people of New Orleans] have.”

In an attempt to return the focus to the game, announcer Mike Tirico, continued with, “Yes when we talk about Katrina there are a lot of issues to be raised….a flag has been thrown on the play…” How effortlessly their velvety voices tie it all together! In one flawless move we have gone from the topic of an ugly national tragedy to a tiny yellow flag that just got thrown in a football game. Buried deep within this seamless transistion it is implied that Hurricane Katrina and this game are on exactly the same level of importance—so much so that the announcer doesn’t even need a segway when going from one topic to another.

The problem is not what these announcers are doing—they are just doing their jobs. The problem is what it signals to us, the viewers, the masses, sitting on our couches, taking it all in, absorbing it all. It signals, hey, they aren’t really listening, why should we? And when people with actual power, like Spike Fucking Lee, deny a chance to speak their truth, we are silently reminded that we shouldn’t even bother speaking ours.

Spike, you let me down last night. And despite what you did or didn’t say, your actions let a lot of other people down too. When the time comes to give an Oscar for a winning documentary, my vote won’t be going to When the Levees Broke, it will be going to last night’s broadcast of Monday Night Football for revealing the true “Power of Sports.”



People are unreasonable, illogical and

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish,
ulterior motives,

If you are successful, you win false friends
and true enemies

The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow
Honesty and frankness will make you vulnerable,
What you spent years building may
be destroyed over night
People really need help but may attack you
if you help them,

Give the world the best you have and
you’ll get kicked in the teeth,


--From a sign on the wall of Shishu Bhavan,
the children's home in Calcutta


Part 1: Love At First AIM

In this digital age it appears that anything is possible. But love at first AIM? It seems ridiculous. But is it any more ridiculous than falling in love with your stalker? Let me explain….

I practice yoga. Yoga is all about opening the energetic chakras and encompasses a lot of other New Age Eastern psychobabble that I completely buy into. Anyway, my yoga instructor—guru if you will—is a magician in the yoga studio. Sometimes she gives classes that are specifically geared to “heart opening.” We’ll do a little chant to open the heart chakra, do some poses specific to opening the heart channels and then lots of backbends to move the energy in the general direction of the heart. It’s a little thing called Eastern Medicine, you probably wouldn’t understand.

Now call me crazy if you will, (believe me--you won’t be the first), but in the past year I have attended two of these “heart opening” classes and literally that day I have fallen head over heels in love. Not just gently in love either; the violent, fast moving, heady kind of love that kicks you when you are down and leaves you feeling dizzy and disoriented at the bar.

The most recent time this occurred was two weeks ago. A friend of mine on the west coast was convinced that a good friend of his was destined to be my soul mate. He thought we would meet and fall madly in love. For about a week he would hit me up on AIM and tell me that I had to meet this guy. He gave me his instant messenger name and told me chat him. I didn’t do this at first because it seemed kind of silly to me, being set up via instant messenger and all. Finally, in an attempt to appease my friend, I took a chance and chatted him. That morning I had gone to yoga. It was a heart opening class.

There was an instantaneous connection. Apparently my friend was right about us. In all my years chatting online, I have never experienced anything quite like it. The only way I can describe it is as some kind of cosmic wormhole of love, a rift in time and space, a vortex. No joke, we chatted for eight hours straight. I was glued to my computer wanting to stay in that moment forever. If there was such a thing as love at first AIM, I experienced it that day. I thought he might be “the one” of many.

By the time we were done chatting we had moved to Europe together, lived in Santa Monica and traversed all of South America via moto. I laughed, I cried, I was smitten, yearning and excited by the potential of finally having met one of my soul mates.

We talked on the phone. We had fun. He was going to fly me to meet him. I was ready to go. He told a couple of his friends who, of course, told him he was nuts. That’s when things went sour. He called off the impromptu trip and I was left feeling disappointed. The bubble had burst. The dream was over. Then the fights began.

For the past two weeks we have gone back and forth bickering and struggling to recapture the magic. He was texting me messages that said things like, “I’m pissed at you.” I was calling him drunk at 3 am telling him I loved him. I truly have a gift if I can piss someone off to the point of writing me off without ever having to meet them in person.

And that’s exactly what happened. Recently, we had what I guess I would call a falling out. When you start at the very heights of love…I suppose there is nowhere else to go but down. Which means that I fell in love, went through then entire gamut of a relationship and then had a falling out—sans the benefit of ever having some good sex—with someone I have literally never even met.

I don’t know what is more sad to me; that my AIM lover and I will never have a fair chance or that I don’t trust the stimulating, irresistible, invigorating feeling of yoga-induced love any more at all.

Maybe it’s better this way. Maybe I have narrowly averted disaster. I said there were two times this has happened to me. The last time was June of ’05. I went to a heart-opening class and that day and proceeded to fall madly in love with a local boy I had pet-named my “stalker.” Needless to say that whole situation ended disastrously. But that’s Part 2 of this tale….another crazy story for another day.

This blog is dedicated to my AIM lover as a token of my affection.
Thank you for being my muse.
I'm sorry for angering you.
May our paths cross when the planets are correctly aligned and the moon is right.

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