Friday, September 30, 2005

The Wa of Burrito

I like to talk a lot about Living in the Moment and Being Here Now. In fact, some days, I find it a matter of utmost necessity to spout my philosophies about the Ephemeral Now to anyone and everyone who will listen. Ask my friends. They know. Hell, ask the kid at the local Mexican food joint. He knows.

Kid: Refried or black beans?
Me: What's the difference? There is no yesterday or tomorrow. A bean's a bean. A bean just IS.
Kid: Spicy or mild?
Me: How could we know Spicy were it not for Mild? Do not confuse Oneness with Opposition. Overlook not the yin and yang ingredients of the ever-changing burrito.
Kid: ...uh...OK. I'll have that for you in a minute...
Me: A minute? Listen, there is no minute, no past or future- only the Eternal Present.
Kid: Yeah, OK. Here's your Coke.

But, even though I like to preach about each and every moment being The One And Only Moment, that's not really true, is it?
Afterall, when I'm telling the telemarketer I'm not interested, I'm really just trying to hurry up and get through that moment so I can get to the next moment; a BETTER Moment.
And, it's easy to feel when those Real Moments come. There's a sense of everything in the universe simultaneously locking into place and jiggling out of that same place. You feel everything all at once, yet, at the same time, nothing. not even a burrito.

Anyway, I had one of those Moments yesterday.
I'd just finished raking and bagging Mulberry leaves, and I sat down with a beer in the yard to read.
Then it came.
The sky started to rain ashes.
My white t-shirt was soon covered in gray, smearable soot, and the hot air breathed the scent of fire and smoke...
And it was the spicy-mild, refried-black bean Present of my day.

And, just to make this cheesy post more cliche, here's the Robert Frost poem I arbitrarilly opened to as it snowed ashes:

Dust of Snow
The way a crow
Shook down on me
The dust of snow
From a hemlock tree

Has given my heart
A change of mood
And saved some part
Of a day I had rued.

Ok, so fine. It wasn't snow. (It was ash.) And it wasn't from a hemlock tree. (It was from the neighboring brushfires.) And I didn't rue the day. (In fact, I rather liked the day.) But...
it WAS a cool moment...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fear Factor times 1,984

There aren't many creepy crawly creatures that really scare me.
(...granted, I always feel a wee bit uneasy and spooked around idiotic moths and misdirected June bugs that repeatedly propel their bodies at lightbulbs and window panes...)
but... honestly, stealthy vampire bats and teething turantulas have nothing on me...

Big Brother could lock me in an unlit, uninformed Republican's closet filled with tatooed, nose ring-wearing NYC sewer rats, venemous Aussie snakes, and electric eel executioners,
and I STILL wouldn't concede that 2 plus 2 was five.

Big Brother: Admit it! 2 + 2 = 5!
Me: No, 2 + 2 = 4
Big Brother: -c, please step into this warehouse the size of Luxemburg inhabitted by 493 trillion black widows...
Me: OK. Bring it on. Zwei und zwei sind vier.

Big Brother: Please, -c, allow me to place you between a Grizzly and her cubs being ambushed by a ravenous pack of wild, kendo stick-wielding, flame-throwing wolves.
Me: Sure. No problem. Mind if I bring a drink?
BB: No drinks! What's two and two?
Me: Four.
BB: Shit...

BUT, ...if one teeny tiny, mostly-harmless baby bee does innocent air summersaults across the street from me..., I immediately begin to wonder if I have any terrorism-fearing neighbors with a bomb shelter for rent...
It's completely irrational, I know...

Big Brother: OK, -c, here's a small poached egg-sized bee hive to hang from your mother's roof awning. Now... what's 2 pints of Guinness plus 2 pints of Guinness?
Me: Uh... er... I dunno... 4 pints...?
BB: 4 pints... Are you sure? Afterall, 'tis the season to seek pollen...
Me: No! No.. wait! 121 pints. Yes. Wait-- no! ... a poached egg-sized hive...?... Five! Yes, definitely five pints of Guinness! Dos pints + dos pints = cinco pints.

Well, so..., I've got bees and a hive and no evacuation plan. A friend recommended gasoline. My mother suggested redirecting local ant pathways. Personally, I'm leaning towards total capitulation...
Afterall, any creature with a really sharp spike protruding from its ass must deserve a few days on our sunny porch...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Getting from A to B

Sometimes you find that you want to move yourself and your stuff from one place to another...

Like when you find yourself holding an addressed envelope and want to move yourself and your enclosed letter towards a stamp. Or when you're dripping wet, Eve-stance style in a hostel and want to move yourself and your towel towards your bits and bobs that cover your bare bits...
Or.. when you find yourself wanting to bring your greenbacks to the supermarket to buy canteloupe...

Well, whatever the circumstances, there are an infinite amount of ways of getting you and your stuff from here to there:

For one, you could simply walk.
Or... you could amble.
You could trot, or even skip
if you so fancy...
You could cross-country grass ski, hire a millipede carriage, ride a unicycle or a bachelor donkey, roll yourself across cheese wheels, or hyjack a child's red wagon...

Well, yesterday, I chose a Greyhound Bus for my mode of getting myself and my stuff from here to there...
And there were a few things that I found note-worthy about this means of transportation:

a) that it can often take 12 hours longer than rollerskating over a vending machine plant with blisters (...though I've never personally tried it, I think the Japanese probably have)

b) that, when single, female and stuck in a bus stop for 4 hours surrounded by drunks and bed-less tweekers, it doesn't hurt to practice your Spanish and make friends with the taxi drivers/body guards...


c) that the unique gaseous make-up of air inside a Greyhound Bus can baffle even the hardest-core Darwinist with its scientifically unprovable ability to transform neighboring male passengers' hands into 2am touchy-feely turantulas.

maybe that's just me...

In any case, I'm feeling like I want to move myself to bed and my bus baggage claim ticket to the trash trough.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pesce outta Aqua

If I were an animal, I'd be a fish.
And, if I were a fish, I'd live in the water.

But, if I were a fish last Friday night, I woulda been flopping around, bread-crumbing myself in dust on a wash-board dirt road as cacti and blue-bellied lizards watched on and giggled.

Yes, I was a Fish outta Water, floundering in petty conversations about wedding cakes and bridesmaid gowns.
My gills wheezed as wheezing girls whined about travesties of universal significance.

("LIKE, OMG, I TOTALLY packed inappropriately for this trip! LIKE, I brought ALL of my glittery halter tops, 6 pairs of shoes, but, LIKE, no sweatshirts! Like, if I'da known it was colder than L.A. in the mountains, I TOTALLY woulda brought my new Kashmire sweater! Like, GOD, I am SO lame!")

I tried to propel myself with my fins towards a small puddle alongside a martini glass,
but my attempts were futile...

("Like, -c, who is YOUR all-time favorite wedding dress designer? I TOTALLY love **insert unheard-of, austentatious, French name**'s work! It's SO gorgeous!)

A fourth wedding magazine was opened,
and my mantra was silently repeated for the thirtieth time:

"Oh Poseiden, Great God of the Sea,
let death come swiftly,
Go on!- just chilly-pepper and souffle me!"

In all fairness, I had a great time. I mean, really, what better way for a beached fish to go out than in a jacuzzi with an eclectic group of T.V. show hosts and scantilly-clad models...?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Congested Colon

Did you know that one of the only places that Leprosy can grow, flourish and achieve the American Dream is inside a 9-chambered aardvark? (…Well, there, and in the footprints of mice..) Or that scientists believe that you can catch Tourrette Syndrome by showering barefoot on scummy linoleum, or by having the great misfortune of getting a killer throat-ache…? Or… that the Duodenom is like an immigration checkpoint between the suburbs of the liver and the ghettos of the stomach?
Or… that, if you have water draining from your ass, you can expect your urine to be a more full-bodied dark color?

Well, neither did my brother or I until last night when we got our first edumications in human physiology, anatomy, and disease.

And, to prove how ligit our learnings were, I can even site diagrams 14 and 15, a&d (the ones of the severed corpse with a hairy ass) and page 154 of Mechanisms of Microbial Disease (the paragraph with all the long words and little blobby, microscopic thing-a-majigs)

Well, for the record, I might have gotten a few of the particulars wrong.

BUT, the point is, that I am enjoying spending time with my brother and his medicine-studying girlfriend in beautiful Lake Tahoe.
AND, I'm thrilled as ever, that my favorite and only sibling shares my enthusiasm for the falsification, bullshit-ification and humorization of Information…


Monday, September 12, 2005

On the corner

So, we've all been called some names in our lives...
I've been accused of being a lesbian-lover, a cuff link-robber, a spell-casting witch, a bitch, a tree- humper, a misanthrope, an irrational idealist, a Space case, a braincell murderess, a goofy drunk, a Devil's Advocate, an obnoxious Why-Asker, a dirty Hippy, a cynic, a legless leader, a silly smiler, a sarcastic sap, a soybean fiend, a serial skinny-dipper, a penny-pincher, a rock-kicker, and a circumlocutive writer...
But, I have to say, that only the vast majority of those are true...

This past Friday evening, on the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd., I came to the disappointing realization that I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be,
a good, honest-to-god Hippy.

I can rack up years of barefoot ambling through forests, box up hundreds of notebooks filled with cheesy nature ramblings, stick flowers in my nostrils and pontificate for months about the evils of certain, unnamed political Administrations...
But, I'll just never make the cut.

Ok.... that was the unnecessarilly circuitous way of getting to the fact that I recently attended an Anti-War/Katrina fundraising Vigil.

I joined my mom and her buddies on the corner, waving a sign that read "Peace is Patriotic" in my right hand, and my left index and middle finger extended to the honking traffic.
After the band had sung a ballad for Cindy Sheehan, a banjo/harmonica improve session segueed into a group sing-a-long of "We Shall Overcome.."
And, it was then I realized, aside from three very uncomfortable highschool kids wearing Pink Floyd shirts, that I was the only one present who hadn't also waved a sign in protest during the Vietnam war.

...hmmm.., I wondered. Where are the students? Where IS everybody?

I guess I thought that because I was living outside of the country for the past four or five or six years, I was somehow exempt from duty.... and that I could count on those who WERE in the country to make some NOISE. I guess I thought I would come back to screams and cries, threatening network T.V. channel reporting, and causing nation-wide population Laughter Riots... (I'm serious-- you should see the enormous effects of a good, solid Laugh on the Loose!)

But, I'll stop now, before I ramble myself into a crevass of ether...

(***P.S. Just for the record: I am not a lesbian.
....unless women have recently started carrying that tasty chunk of timber we all know and love)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Just a few questions...

There was a time not long ago in the Land o' the Rising Sun, when answering inquiries was simple, even enjoyable.

Inquirer: You are not Japanese. Your country where from?
Me: America.
I: Oooh! Ahh! Disneyland. Las Vegas. And, do you like wasabi?
Me: Why yes, very much. It's the Emancipation Act my nasal passages fought many a battle for.
I:Ohh! (excited approval) And, er... What do you like color?
Me: I like the shade of a Bloody-Mary sunset reflecting off the turquoise center of a mountain lake whose shores have frozen over.
I: Yes, yes! (enthusiastic lack of understanding) And, what do you like favorite music?
Me: I like a rawhide drumbeat that goes SLAP-TAP-BOOM-CHAKA-LAKA-WOOP, a flute melody that goes SLUR-TIKI-TAKA-TRILL with a good Rock 'n Roll chorus.
I: Oh, I see!

sometime recently in this Land of the setting Pacific Sun, the questions got harder, and the answering more difficult...

Inquirer: So, -c, where do you live?
Me: America... er.. um... here... ehm... there... well, everywhere I sleep, I guess... (uncomfortable he he)
I: Oh. And, what do you do?
Me: (Oh, good! An easy one!) I read, I walk, I write, I weed, I sing, I laugh, I draw, I observe, I think, I chill.... I live.
I: No, I mean, for Money...
Me: What do I do for money? lots of things.... er... I provide moral support for it, I listen to its philosophical ramblings and emotional ponderings... I offer it bites of my lasagna, I... (another uncomfortable he he)
I: Well... So what's next for you?
Me: Honestly, I'm a little torn right now. A-sexual seahorse breeding has always intrigued me. But then, there's Jello-bath Tai Chi, dry Oak leaf origami, sesami seed button-manufacturing, octopus ink tie-dying, fecal refuse management and, ever since I was little, I've wanted to import and export sausage jump ropes... But, really, I don't know. I kinda feel like the world is my oyster right now.
I: Uh, yeah. Well, it was nice getting to know you, -c.
Me: Yeah, you too! Gimme a call if you want in on the Jello-bath Tai Chi. I'm thinking of expanding into wrestling also.

Ask me an easy question, I'll feed you no lye. sorry... I mean, tell you no lie.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

In an attempt to postpone bush-wacking through labyrinths of reverse culture shock, I headed for the hills. Seven days in a tiny cabin in the San Gregornio mountains. No telephone, internet, T.V. or running water. Mission: rebuild a patio deck, maintain sanity, send thoughts and prayers to lives touched by Katrina.

Mickey Mouse Carpentry

As I surveyed the rotting cabin patio, confidence spilled out through my ears and oozed between my toe nails. I had images of myself, a muscle-toned carpenter, wielding the chainsaw with the grace of a capoeira master, my sun-kissed skin glistening with the sexy sweat of labor as I juggled hammer, nails and screwdriver
and big, bearded mountain men in overalls stopped to admire my superb craftsmanship.
Yes, my Ego grinned with modesty-lacking pride as I set to work...

One day later
my fearless carpenter had taken quite a beating. Two projectile boards had bitten chunks of flesh from my ankles, mosquitos had built hilly landscapes across my atrophied bi, tri and quadraceps, a handful of rusted nails had blatantly ignored orders to evacuate premises, the drill bit had acquired a Napolean complex, and all supporting beams had relinquished duties and passed out on the ground like Russian Vodka Competition finalists.

If Egos do in fact smile (which I'm fairly certain they do), mine had definitely stopped...
In this state, my Ego might have been a bargain in the Salvation Army's 29cent bin, but it certainly wouldn't have sold on Ebay alongside a prune baring the wrinkled image of La Virgen de Guadelupe...

So, I went for a change in approach. Instead of Ego, I employed humility. Instead of Old West-style pistol and hammer-twirling, I embraced Mickey Mouse Carpentry. Instead of a bandsaw to sculpt delicate cut-outs, I used a dull chisel and a handsaw with dentistry problems.

And, praise be to Entropy, the patio was built!

Who says a cabin can't rest on fragile piles of odd-shaped stones and slanted logs with twigs wedged between them anyway?