November 2005


November 30th, 2005

A long time ago, I mean, a really, really long time ago. Longer than you can remember, longer than recorded history , so long ago, in fact that there was nothing but light. No matter, no time, just light.

One day a light wondered what the hell it was and so did another and so did another until pretty soon there were a lot of little bits of light wondering about it all. This, of course, took no time since there was no time to do it in so the little bands of light got together and created energy and the movement of energy through space created time and that in turn created matter and so the little tykes thought, "Wow, this is really neat!"

More and more little balls of light got together and became big blobs of matter and time and energy and things were really going quite well, they were slowly figuring this thing out, one foot in time, one foot outside of time. Only one problem, the more they played and the more questions they asked the more important the forms they had made seemed to be, so they forgot why they started this whole space-time thing out anyway and started to live as rocks and trees and insects and human beings.

Now the last of these thought they were pretty brilliant, mainly because that's what they spent most of their time doing. So one day they remembered they didn't know it all so they took blobs of matter and made something that could think kinda like they did. And one day they made one that thought with light.

The End.

November 29th, 2005

Ever played musical chairs?  You start out a dozen people and a dozen minus one chairs.  The music starts.  You're all moving around, looking at each other with smiles and watching their body language as they bob over one chair then shoot their rears over another chair while you're doing the same thing.  The chair you're over, you plan to sit in that one if the music suddenly stops.  The chair coming up, you'll knock that person out of the way if you have to.  People are being knocked out each time the music halts and there are fewer chairs each time and you find yourself in a group of five, then four, then three people.  Three people, including yourself, and two chairs, your intent being to keep one directly under your derriere at all times.  And now it's down to two people and one chair.  Your eyes are locked on that other person's butt and that one chair.  The music stops, arms and legs fly, butts fall and you find yourself halfway on the chair sliding, sliding, falling and hitting the floor with a loud crack.

That's how I've been feelings these last four or so days.  Someone started the music last Friday and I'm walking around this big circle of chairs and it's not terribly serious at first, just people having a good time.  The next day comes and there seem to be less chairs, I'm feeling a little more anxious, a little more serious, and the game isn't as fun anymore.  Suddenly today I wake up and there's just one chair and I fall straight out of bed onto the floor with a hard thud and have spent the entire day in an absolutely horrible funk.  If I were forced to use a word to describe my emotional state it would be dread.  If I were asked to describe the experience I'd say I've been absolutely overwhelmed with negative feelings like...

"I'm fat and overweight and gross.  I can't stand the way my body or face look.  It all started with that one seed a long time ago, I used to be a string bean then I gained five pounds and someone wasn't attracted to me anymore and told me so then I started eating sometimes and gaining weight almost out of anger towards them, towards myself.  I'm not 'fat' by society's standards, just fifteen pounds overweight, but I feel enormous, uncomfortable, and gross.  I exercise more now than I have since I was in grade school and I eat much better than I have these last ten years yet I haven't lost anything.  I'm a failure to myself, I'm a failure to all those that want a skinnier guy, I am a fat fucking looser."

How's that for some blunt honesty?

This feeling hasn't been relegated to internal criticisms about my weight.  I've been feeling that way about my social life, about my job, about my wallet, about my writing, and about my spirituality.  Point to a part of my life and today I feel nothing but absolute dread peppered with a little despair and it has almost sent me into an uncontrolled lateral spinning anxiety attack.

If you know me well you know I know myself much better than most people will ever hope to (know themselves, that is).  I know why I'm reacting to things a certain way, can tell you how I'll react to certain experiences, and can usually and very accurately predict my behavior and feelings over a future timeline of days, months, and even years.  In the past decade I've become so adept at this that rarely anything, external or internal, surprises me and usually when they do it's great, a wonderful "light bulb" in the mind's eye type of experience.  But this?  I don't know what the hell this is.

The last time I felt something remotely this way was at the tail end of my last vacation so obviously, just having finished off a week's vacation I'm wondering if this is related.  What happened back then was that someone was sending me some very nasty thoughts and when that happens (and if I'm not "guarded") I can get very down on myself.  When that happened my first thought was, "No, it can't be external, this must be your own bullshit," but though I had no reason to feel down on myself the criticisms I kept hearing in my mind were running around and around in the voice of the person I found out, only a week or two later, had been spending that time pondering whether or not to write me and let me know what their real feelings were, so to speak.  So of course I'm going to think this is another psychic attack but no, that doesn't feel quite right (though it may play a subtle part).  With a psychic attack usually the thoughts and feelings have a taste and texture that remind you of being around the person sending out that psychic energy (see my previous journal entry on emotional-psychic pendulums, this is exactly what I'm talking about and people don't need to even have the slightest idea they're doing it for it to work!) but today I'm feeling none of that.

What I am feeling is like I've been playing a heated game of musical chairs and I'm so dizzy my emotions have had me on the verge of being physically ill.  I have been nauseous all day and it's emotional and there's no escape, I just need to wade through these emotions.

The reason, I don't know!  I only have glimpses.  Like a few days ago Vipasanna rubbed my neck and all of these emotions just seemed to come out of my muscles and though this happens for a lot of people this has never, ever occurred for me, a massage is just a massage and it's nice and wonderful and makes me feel physically better but I've never started to feel something like relief or an urge to cry or absolutely anything like that.  It was like she was squeezing oranges and the juice was coming out, not squeezing muscles.  Do you understand how odd and almost scary that can be if you've never experienced it?  And there have been a lot of things like that.  We watched The Sound of Music last week, a movie I've absolutely hated my entire life, and I'm watching the movie, on the verge of tears the entire time, and now I want to buy it.  I know why I felt that way, a spiritual awakening I knew about beforehand, and yet the intensity of these awakenings have been overwhelming.  I'm almost deathly scared to go see The Nutcracker here in a few weeks, I would hate to break down in public (which is also unlike me but then I've been stepping out of the box more and more over the last few years).

On an empathic level my eyes have opened so far that I can simply look at someone and tell them things that will either have them thrilled or hiding behind large pieces of furniture waving crosses.  On a spiritual level I can see my spiritual self and my physical self at the same time--so I can be in a complete state of anxious despair and be completely fine with it (which is an irony I'm still trying to work out for myself).  On an energetic level I see a whirlwind surrounding me, positive energy and negative energy cycling around from future to past, past to future, from here to there and there for here, a skyscraper high cyclone twisting with me being grabbed and turned and turned and turned and then being dropped with a thud into the eye and here I am writing right now from this eye and if I move too far to the left or two far to the right I'm immediately jerked by the wind.

What I do know is there's no easy out, the storm must be allowed to finish.  There's no comfort food that'll make the trip more bearable, no jacket that'll keep me warm and dry, no person or persons that can jump in and rescue me.  What matters is that I see it through.

November 27th, 2005

One thing I love more than my pathetic words can explain is getting out there on the path with the MP3 player strapped to my left arm and hitting play to some new album someone lent Vipasanna and da-da, da-da, da-da, I always know when I love a song 'cause I'm going faster and faster, long sure leaps, feet meeting pavement to the rhythm.

Then I stop.

Pant, pant, pant. Backup, lets listen to that again. And I'm off!

I've known for years now that I can look at someone and see empathic empressions reflected off of them, as if they were a mirror reflecting other people's energy back at me. Another way to look at this is to imagine that someone you know took a camcorder on their vacation and you're sitting down one afternoon and watch their trip through the Bahamas on the yaht and you see the islands and the beach bars and all that. Now you weren't there so you can't say you got the intensity of the experience, you can only have the experience through the eye of the camera they happened to be carrying and if the quality of the tape isn't so good your experience is a little farther from the original. That's what it's like using empathic reflection.

Psychic reflection, now that's a trip! Try it sometime, watch the video tape without putting it in the VCR!

Now here's something even a little more tricky and for shits and giggles I'll call it Tri-Local Psychic-Empathic Tuning (in Technicolor). It's actually pretty handy so pay attention, you may be able to pick this one up yourself.

So here's the situation.

You're walking down the street and you see someone/something and have to do a double take because that someone/something "reminded" you of someone. Now for brevity lets call this someone/something the "Reminder".

Now the Reminder might be there for any number of reasons. Some might say the reason is purely psychological, a projection, an insecurity, or whatever the case may be. Others might say it's our spirit guides telling us to pay attention in the only way something without a physical voice is capable, that is through thought ("Hey, look!").


Rule #1: Accept that the Reminder exists.

We can argue all we want about the real causes for the Reminder but the fact is it exists, accept it and move on. Same with gravity, nobody's really figured it out but you can't deny something keeps our feet planted on the ground. When you recognize it there it is.


Step #1: Create an emotional-psychic pendelum.

First, I'm not talking the kind of pendelum you find at a new age store but the kind you'd pick up at home depot, you know, big piece of metal with one pointy end and another you attach string to. One of the oldest tools around Pendelums have been used for thousands and thousands of years to do something very simple, that is, make sure things are standing straight.

Here's what you do. In your mind's eye take the Reminder and find the pointy end, i.e., the specific trait or feature that lets you know who the Reminder is pointing at. Next, tie a piece of string to the other end. But what's the intent and what kind of knot to use?

It's simple. Do you want to understand and use the Reminder? Yes? Then you're done. What next?

Rule #2: Use it!

Say for instance you're trying to hang a picture straight. What you do is determine where you want the edge of the frame to be then hold the string near one of the top corners of the frame. The pendelum will hang straight down (thanks gravity) and to insure the picture is straight simply move it until the side is perfectly parallel to the string!

Psychically this is the same thing. Lift your intent high into your mind's eye then let gravity pull the Pendelum...then pay attention!

Now if you're able to practice this for a few months you should be able to notice something. Try it, what's there to loose? Try it for a year then ask yourself:

When you spot a Reminder is it already part of a Pendelum?

If so, did someone else create it?
If so, are they using it now?
If so, are they consciously aware of it?

Is it possible to send positive or negative emotional energy (intent) down the Pendelum?
Is it possible to use the Pendelum with only the primary intent?

(Be careful, if your mind or heart are not clear it's easy to project your own intent upon all of your answers!)

What I like most about the emotional-psychic pendelum is that, like the physical tool, it is simple. And it's not about whether it's psychic or psychological, it can be used quite effectively either way depending on your bent.

My most frequent use?

Refined balance.

November 26th, 2005

I didn't write last night. Tonight I'm going to cop out. I'd like to share three things from my past. To the right, a four leaf clover I once found. Below, two journal entries that pre-date The Temple. Take care and goodnight.

What do you look like without the makeup? Without your face hiding behind a shield of the 90's. After the century turns will your face turn as well? Can I see you in the shower, naked, because that is how I see you anyway.

You walk to the table and pour your cereal. Your hair is up in a towel, body curved under your pink robe, and you think I can't see you because you rush into the bathroom every morning before I wake because you know I wake early. You say hi, as ways, and stare at the back of the cereal box while holding tightly, unknowingly, to your illusion. And still I can see.

You know, it's like this for me every day with most people. Not everyone, you see. If someone makes me anxious, nervous, or insecure about myself, well, I can't see anything. I'm preoccupied. Got a lot of pain in my eyes. Clear paint and everything seems a different colour and the only cleanser is a night's sleep and staying away from the cause--them--or me.

Remember, you don't have to ask me if you can have your lover over tonight. You would anyway, even if I said no, you'd just need to drink an extra glass of sparkly on the way up to your room, so you couldn't hear me typing while I had to listen because I don't control the floor boards.

Sometimes you make it so easy for me to see.

And in the morning comes the cereal, the milk, and sometimes the hang over banana. Of course, if the effects don't wear off you skip everything and go straight for the tums and smile like I'm stupid--shit, anyone can read street signs. And they're a peculiar thing to be seeing in ones kitchen.

I've got a bag of luggage. It's under the table. Wanna see it? Wanta take a look? You force feed me yours every day, everyone does. Wanta see mine?

Lets trade for a day, you can have my eyes, k? I've got a strange sort of sight, better than 20/20 they tell me, but I'm forced to use a cane, shield, and knee pads--even a helmet if the wind gets bad enough. You though, are blind and can get places a lot faster and you don't ever have to look back because there's no need to see what you never saw, what you will never know, what you can never understand.

You're up now, it's a one banana morning, and he's gone. He never stays. I remember one of them, Chris I think his name was (oh, how many Chris's have there been this month alone?). I bumped into him running down to the bathroom afterwards. He was naked, penis pointing straight at my belly, and a stupid smirk on his face: "Your turn," he says, then pushes me against the wall, walks in and takes a leak while humming the Brady Bunch Theme.

You're telling me about yesterday at work, how things went, who you are hoping to avoid today. I can tell, as usual, you are not interested in how I was yesterday, although I heard you say something, maybe "How was your day," or whatever, between kisses on your way up. I won't be pretentious, so I start talking, start talking about my plans, my hopes, my fears, my dreams.

And you look out the window.

Sitting behind the common face of any monitor, I am the same person. My fingers hit the keys with regularity and sureness. Even when I make a mistake, my pinkie knows; it jumps up, depresses the delete key the appropriate number of times, and the rest of my fingers continue their journey.

When I look at most people, I see them for who they are. I see through the clothes and the makeup, through the hair cuts and stylings to a deeper core of being. Would you be able to see you, if you were you and knew who you were?

I know.

How I came to sit here is still somewhat of a mystery to me. The idea of linear has no meaning. One, two, three. I can count the years since 1973 and still, this does not matter nor does it paint an adequate biography. Give me a slide rule or a calculator and still you will find no formula or proof to set me apon with ease, unless you would have me fall on the floor like I have done so many times before.

My scars are different. I didn't choose to get on this bus. Sometimes, though, one must see what one must see, like a dog being dragged on a short leash.

This is sometimes the way of things.

So who are you? Not me obviously. Not me.

Who are you? Sitting there, reading over this with a curious detachment I would find refreshing. Allow me to drink from it.

Why, you ask?

Do you ever wonder how a flower got to be where it is and why it grows so splendidly while its brother, just inches away, struggles to reach the sun? Do you ever wonder why great men are often ignored while the plain and superficial build monoliths to their names?

Do you ever wonder why some leave the nest flying while others realize walking works just as well?

I was walking down the street the other day. Saw this woman, beautiful woman. A little taller than me, tan. Nice clothes, not that it matters. What are clothes when you can see right through them--them and the skin and the muscles and everything.

And I thought, as I sometimes do when I gaze at the universe around me: here is something uniquely beautiful.

The image is jostling around. It sometimes does that. Late at night, when I've got the stereo on and the ceiling heat. Electromagnetic wear.

I bought this computer with my own two hands. I went out, worked at McDonald's for a month over a year. I remember, bus loads of people coming in. Slap! Down with the grill. Lets get those burgers down. "Twelve on top!" Twelve more coming up!!" Could create a stack, averaging one burger every second. You think that's fast? You should have seen when the manager, Joe, a balding man in his thirties, would get behind that electric grill and he and I would spatter that grease because burns didn't matter as much as satisfying customers.

Sometimes I feel like a fast food restaurant of wisdom, talent, and knowledge. Come up to the drive through, if you need--when you need. Our motto: "Come when you are ready."

There's a McDonald's across the street. A Burger King (or Hungry Jack's in Australia land), a Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, everything that satisfies the average pallet yet hardens the arteries. They get more visitors than I do.

Once someone came in. She told me that she needed sureness. I said you already have it, why order more?

She saw it, she lost it, she left.

I once knew a man with a million friends, some good, some not so good. He had a book and a list and a number and a name and he was never alone unless he chose to be because his name rhymed with God and he had stolen itself from the earth.

One day we were supposed to meet at the park. I like the park. I like going where the soul is the key to interpersonal truth, where money and clothes are unimportant, unless of course there's a game of tackle football and you don't want grass-burn.

But he didn't meet me and the next day I asked and he had a curious look on his face that didn't understand or know and said Mine is more important.

Clickity-clack. Doesn't matter who types, even a monkey can type. Perhaps this computer doesn't mind who the input comes from--standard input, standard output: all the same.

It would be nice to hear, if I sat and asked it, for my 386 to say in a lively tone and happy manner, "You are dear and special to me. I look forward to the clickity-clack from your elegant and knowing hands."

But it stares. Stares and stares and stares and the image jingles sometimes, as I said, and reminds me that all I have is myself. Maybe it's true that this is all any of us have, but I would at least enjoy fooling myself, even for a short while, or having a side to take my mind off the view screen.

My eyes refuse to close.

Sometimes, when you stare hard and long enough (without blinking) you see strange things. Sometimes just mirages but sometimes mirages pull the corners of reality taught and wrap them around your mind until you can see something new. When you blink it's still there, though, because it was there all along but you'd never known how to see it before.

I once knew a girl who had no friends and sought me out and told me I was special because I knew how to care. I once met a girl who didn't care that I was special because she knew there was a McDonald's across the street.

When walking, always remember its one foot after the other. Even if you decide to go backwards for awhile. But I advise against the latter of the two--it's easy to trip.

So, look forward, walk, stroll, sit awhile on the grass and look at those little purple flowers that look like spiraled towards of DNA. You're alone but that's OK. You're just DNA too. But I'll be true to you. I'm glad I'm not a flower because then I wouldn't be able to enjoy them as much.

Or maybe flowers know how to enjoy themselves more.

That's what Jesus said. Or what they said he must have said. Or maybe the editors trashed it and came up with something better, something particularly useful in controlling those who don't have time to look at fragile purple flowers.

Have you noticed that those with the most time to look at flowers spend the least time looking at flowers?

I bought a flute the other day. $9.50 at a store across from the Fifth Street Market. It's bamboo, similar to one I used to play years and years ago in that place where mildew shared its sinus love and the exits were hidden in darkness. I played it this morning, trying to come up with a tune, trying not to arouse my neighbors so early (after all a tinkering instrumentalist is anything but a headache to those who are forced to listen).

Sometimes, when you begin to learn how to play an instrument, the richest earth is compassion and respect. "He can't be a Philip Sousa right away, but give him time," says the instructor as he turns the page for you. And parents and friends will listen respectfully. They know that you can't be a professional flutist without a few missed notes, a chapped lip or two, and a randomly surfacing irrational need to beat the flute against the nearest solid mass.

I'm learning flute and playing with my recorder again. Sometimes the diggery doo, but this hurts because they took my teeth out again and again and the anesthesia lasts only so long and then you're left bleeding, with gauze in the back of your mouth, and slightly tear eyes that speak more of frustration than of anything else.

I picked up one instrument long ago. A strange one, this. Not like the others. Not at all. Mostly, when you pick it up it looks a little different and sounds a little different. But it's the same instrument deep down. Not many see that. But I do.

Someone else must too.

When I was in middle school I wanted to be a drummer. But they told me I played the French horn well so I took that up instead but I always thought it sounded like a flat tire shooting off a rather dull and ineffectual cliff. But they said otherwise, at the concerts, at the recitals. So I kept playing and playing.

My parents once told me they would buy me one. "We will buy you a French horn and it will help you get through college." I asked them why not buy me drums (a computer, a friend, a life) and they told me that college was more important than my dharma.

Go to Europe. That's what they tell me now. The UofO thinks I'm great. An asset. My grades, generally straight A's. What can I say but whatever? I just do my best at everything I set my hands on.

No one listens.

I know a person with a hundred pencils and pens. During the test I asked to borrow one and he gave me the finger.

What do you think, computer of mine? Or am I yours? Where does the rider sit and who does the driving?

Einstein brought up an idea, the idea of relationships, of relativity. His answer to the dilemma of the chicken crossing the road might have been, "It depends on your point of reference."

Sometimes, when I'm forced to exist in this body, I want to change my point of reference. Tighten the noose, rip the wrists, vanquish the soul and go somewhere else where I'm not simply me but something else.

A different frame of reference.

I was sixteen once and everyone who bumped into me told me things would look up. "They always get better," someone would say to me on their hurried way to class or the ball game or the party or the lover. "They can't get any worse."

Pixies are mischievous creatures. They sit up in the clouds, mostly on sunny days, and come down and dance around on rainy days and in between they see how interesting they can make the scenery. They feed the plants and water the lawn and tap dance on loose mufflers until it drives the neighbors wild.

I don't own a muffler. But I have a mop (something I never though I would someday own and could say, "I own a mop!"). Perhaps a mop isn't as exciting. I can understand. Mufflers are fun, they take you places, keep things subdued, quiet even so you can't hear or smell what we all know is coming from their whispering lips. Mops just clean things up.

So will you still want to be around me?

I saw a pixie once and she smiled at me and made me a sparkling sound with her eyes blinking into mine and she knew what I wanted but haha not without a little effort home boy. Maybe I wear hats because I don't like the way she dances on my head.

But I can't be angry at the little buggers, they've taught me so much. Taught me about purple flowers, about flipping burgers, about getting good grades and sticking with someone even when everyone else has gone across the street. They taught me how to use my arms and my hands and my eyes and when to get out the mop.

Little turd taught me to love.

I once made a promise. Sat down in the quiet, in the cold. I knew what I was asking for. Good times and bad.

I've seen the bad stained and rot
like the veins of a deer
that's been purposely broadsided
by a pickup truck.

I once made a promise that I'd be there and I'd learn and I'd play the instrument, let the instrument play me. I made a promise that the notes wouldn't matter or the mistakes or a missed beat or two. The best way to make the tune work the next time around is making a quick note to yourself on the music sheet. Sometimes I run out of pencils though.

Do you have one I can borrow?

November 24th, 2005

Here's a picture of me in my birthday suit. Coincidentally today is my birthday. Ironically if you look at my web came right now at this moment at 11:26pm I will be wearing a grey Donald Duck t-shirt. Pants are, of course, anyone's guess.

This is related to the whole mystery behind Schrodinger's Cat. Say a cat (like a lion) is stored away in a steel box with some radioactive isotope which may or may not kill the cat at any time, the probability of either possibility being equal. The question then becomes: is the cat wearing pants?

Well yes.

And no.

Do you understand?

So yeah, it is my birthday and for the first time in my memory this year hasn't visited upon me the Great Birthday Curse. That's not to say it hasn't threated to come up but I'm not interested.

You see, it all started innocently enough. My birthday, as you'll be so kind to notice, sometimes lands on a major American holiday. For those who are not American that day is known here as Thanksgiving. It's a national holiday where people travel hundreds or thousands of miles to be with their extended family and eat several pounds of turkey, mashed potatoes, and various innocent vegetables. The result was that this kid, imagine him anywhere between 3 and say 16 years old, sent out a dozen birthday invitations and was lucky if one or two people showed up besides his little brother who, ironically enough, was my brother.

My early birthday experiences created an association between my birthdays and loneliness.

Time goes by. As I get older bad things start to happen around or on my birthdays. That's when I loose jobs. That's close to moves and breakups and just close enough to a divorce to leave a nasty taste in my mouth. My last two birthdays were spent still in the "sore" section of breakups with people who quite frankly don't deserve a friend like me. That's when people threaten to sue me for making a stand against slander. And at the very least that's when those few people in my life give me bizarre gifts that make me wonder, "Do you even know who I am?" which only compounds the loneliness I always feel this time of year.

Except this year.

I know Vipasanna's going to love to hear this, but I've done the whole mind over matter thing and it has worked (oh, the pain, the horror, the inside joke!). That's not to say there hasn't been bad karma knocking on the door, though, but then if there wasn't, where would the challenge lie?

The list begins preemptively with my last girlfriend. She sent me an e-mail a few months ago, out of the blue, just to tell me she loved me and though I'm a good person I suck and I should agree with her rationalized version of events over a year prior. And I do admit it, I was a horrible boyfriend. I required honesty, communication, and consistency in a relationship and you know, when I found out she'd been looking up old boy toys on I wasn't terribly happy--but most men wouldn't have had a problem with that, I'm just a judgemental prick, right? Well, they're the one that hasn't been there for you for any birthday, much less ALL future birthdays, as PROMISED, but you sat down and were fair, cordial, and honest with them.

Good for you, Aslynn.

A few weeks before my birthday a co-worker and friend blows up at me because of something completely unrelated to me that happened with one of her the past I would have gotten into a circular and never ending conversation that would have gotten twisted tighter and tighter upsetting everyone and ending up making no sense. This year I stood up, said talking to me that way wasn't acceptable, I was sorry they were going through a hard time but that gave them no right to take it out on me or anyone else and it's simply not acceptable behavior.

Tough, but you did it Aslynn.

Then I almost didn't get my vacation. A few 60-70 hour work weeks left me tired and one of our projects threatened to be incomplete by last Friday and me being so loyal I said, "I'll be here the week of Thanksgiving if something comes up, we need to get it out!"

Nothing came up. I spent the week jogging, reading, sitting in the hot tub, watching movies, and doing A LOT of yard work. Yet I remained loyal to my work and to my co-workers. Good for you, Aslynn!

Then there's just that constant fear about what's going to happen on my birthday. Are people going to surprise me with some huggy, kissy stuff? How many phone calls am I going to take (fend off) and if I don't get any am I going to be lonelier? Am I going to spend the entire day thinking the presents I did get were crap, that I don't have many friends, and that I've dedicated myself to a life of walking "the path" rather than a life of comfort, that I will die alone?

This birthday I've dedicated myself to the positive.

And it has been great! Today was just another normal day except with Turkey (not quite completely cooked), champagne, a slightly colder/wetter jog than normal, and presents. I got a socket set along with a black hooded sweater and my birthday cards were "cute". My parents called, my brother said his thing, and life goes on. Sure I'm a little lonely, sure I didn't get the two things I REALLY wanted, but that's okay.

I have everything I need.

The biggest is faith. Not faith in the Christian sense, but faith that there's an underlying logic and fairness to the entire universe and that if I get run over tomorrow there's a reason for it, it'll all work out. That kind of faith you can't buy and it doesn't grow on trees. But it's there, out there, don't you see it, can't you find it? Don't you want to? The universe offers it freely to everyone, including you...if you want it badly enough.

I wanted it that bad.

And so I'd like to get to the whole point of this journal entry. It's my birthday and it's thanksgiving and I'd like to combine the two and give thanks. I do so now...

I want to thank all of the people that have been cruel to me, that dumped me, that stepped on me, that took advantage of me, that lied to me, that cheated on me...well, you get the picture. I sincerely thank you, you've taught me the value of standing up for myself and my beliefs, you've taught me my worth. Without you, I'd still think I should just put up with people treating me poorly, that I can't and shouldn't stand up for myself. You've also taught me to be compassionate and patient, loyal and true to my word, myself, and others. You've helped clean my eyes of so many illusions including a preconception I've had most of my life that I've needed to be in a relationship to feel complete.

The solitude you have forced upon me has been the richest gift imaginable! Thank you.

To someone at work, we've been friends sometimes and sometimes it feels like we've been enemies. We're so different and yet in many ways you remind me so much of me. Our childhoods are in many ways more alike than you know. You remind me of my strengths and my weaknesses and it makes me respect you even more. You don't know it but you helped my find my voice this past year with one simple act. Thank you.

To my high school sweetheart: Wow, we've known each other how the fuck old are we? Thank you for always being my friend. You've seen the worste side of me during some of the darkest years of my life and you were always there for me in some way, shape, or form. You're the only friend I have in my life that goes way back and yet...yet I can always drop you an e-mail or a phone call and you'll send me a note on my birthday. You are awesome.

I want to thank my parents. They've seen my life take some real curve balls and though they don't really know me they have always, always been there for me. They don't know where I've been, what I've seen, what I've experienced, and the sins I've committed upon myself and on others...yet they've always, always been there for me. I cannot stress the imporantance of your actions and the lesson. There is no other act deserving to be called love.

I want to thank you, Minerva. There's so much you don't know, maybe you're afraid, maybe you think I'm not interested in a friendship with you, or maybe you wonder if I'm just playing games with you...and maybe it would surprise you to know I miss you deeply but have stepped back out of respect, love, and a hard found sense of integrity. You gave me a reason to learn to live, you made me want to be a better person, you get me out on the path jogging every couple of days and you remind me to take out the recycling and eat organic. You keep me on the path. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever known. You have always been, will always be, my sunshine.

I want to thank my daughter. You're a little brat but you keep me on my toes and honest. Am I being true and selfless and fair? Your reaction will tell me. Am I showing respect? Am I being interactive? Am I balancing work, play, personal time, friends, and family? Maybe you're just a kid and you don't know any better, but the honesty of your youth and a personality which is strong and intense and stubborn like...cough...mine...has put us both under pressure slowly making us into diamonds. Don't worry, all these journal entries will be left online for the rest of time so some day when you're curious and have a computer (instead of an old fashioned pen and paper--I'm such a mean dad) you can read these things yourself. Thank you.

Last but certainly not least, Vipassanna. What can I say? You have come so far since I first met you. Back then I couldn't have trusted you farther than I could have thrown you and now? Today you are someone who understands the meaning of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and if anyone asked I would tell them you are someone worth trusting, someone who will fight the good fight. Don't get too cocky, though. You have so much to do and teach and share, so many people to heal but first...first you must learn to take the seeds you have planted and grow them into a large, beautiful, and strong tree that can take the winds that will be upon you later in life. Until then you are my best friend and the only face I look forward to seeing at the end of a hard day.

I could sit here and thank everyone I've ever met for something but it is late and my fingers do get tired so I hope you will all forgive me. I did, however, want to share with everyone my thoughts and feelings on my birthday and give thanks to many of you for the gifts you don't know you even have to share.

Breath, love, forgive, grow, sing.

November 23rd, 2005

Oddly enough I had this entire entry written in my mind but as I sit down I find myself strangly fatigued. Okay, so "strangly" isn't the best description if you count the fact that I was more or less sick yesterday (actually less, considering how sick I used to get when I was a smoker), tossed and turned all last night, and got up at 6:30 to visit the restroom before deciding I'd better be a good dad and take my daughter to her early bird math class regardless of how I was feeling.

After getting home, enjoying two hot cups of earl grey, and taking a shower, I hit the road. Jack in the Box for a morning sandwhich, something I never do but what the heck, then to the bank to withdraw a shit load of money I wished had been someone else's shit load of money, and then to the DMV with a book in hand expecting to spend several hours surrounded by irritable, angry, frustrated people wondering why the number they'd just been assigned was 57 and the last person called was 40 but there are 72 other irritable, angry, and frustrated people trying to figure out why the straight forward laws of fifth grade mathematics do not apply inside the DMV.

If only my number had been 42, then there would have been some synchronistic meaning to it all but no, I instead decided to sit in the car and enjoy that egg sandwhich which has, no doubt, shortened my life by about five minutes which, coincidently, is the amount of time I would have needed to get the number 42. Of course, I could have also jumped in front of that one guy who wasn't in the right place to get his number but I was in a state of bewilderment and must admit I truly believe there are government mind control devices localized around the Beaverton DMV causing disorientation to anyone coming in to voice a...wait, where's the magic number puking machine with that wonderfully huge red button?

So I get the number and this guy who's already counting the hours until he can head home trucks me over to the express lane and I'm thinking wow, I brought my MP3 player and a good book and was actually looking forward to a few hours reading but no, jerk sticks me right in the express lane where I must not only stand, but be dealt with in a quick, courteous, and polite fashion. It was quite unbecoming of the Department of Motor Vehicles and frankly I plan to lodge a formal complaint as it has created an unrealistic expectation for future visits and not only that, it left several hours of free time in my hands.

What to do, what to do? Okay, so I'll go to the mall and do a little Christmas shopping which I eventually do in a roundabout way saving $40 by mistakenly bumping into something in the wrong section. Back to the car, zoom, zoom, zoom, back home. Did yard work in the back garden area for two or three hours before going on a jog with my daughter along on her bike. Grocery shopping, Sound of Music, a little alone time in the hot tub, and here I am writing about something completely different than what I had originally planned on writing about.


November 22nd, 2005

Last night I spent several hours cleaning out my filing cabinet and sorted out documents over three years old that were no longer needed. I'd expected it to be as fun as spring cleaning but not as bad as that time I found the dead rat behind the refrigerator (I made that last bit up).

I'm a damn hypocrit. It's the one thing I like least about myself but I have to admit that over my short life I have, at times, been a hypocrit. I've done the things that "aren't me!" then threw the covers over my head and ran for the hills like a coyote trying to play with a baby bear when the mamma bear was just around the corner (I made that last bit up too, I have no idea if coyotes like to play with baby bears).

I didn't expect this filing excercise to be anything but one in patience and organization but was I in for a ride! I waded through rental agreements, address changes, bank statements, and a divorce statement I'd never read. Years ago I was so lost that I skipped right to the back, signed, and got it back in the mail or to that police officer who showed up while I was in my robe, but I never did read it.

Last night I did.

There's this show on TV I love called My Name is Earl. It's not drop dead funny, but it's one of those few programs, sit-coms no less, that looks at a spiritual concept that's still mostly misunderstood: Karma.

Karma isn't clear like an eye for an eye but Karma exists. Earl, the hero of our program, has a list of all the bad things he's done to everyone and he's going around trying to "make right". And you know what, it makes for one messed up show when white trash tries to mess with karma!

It's too bad we don't all have our own lists so we can make right our wrongs--or at least start to get our butts in gear and 1) assume we've been fuck ups and 2) get our asses in gear and unfuck things cause you know what, if you don't the universe will for you and I have a little secret to share with you:

It's no fun.

For awhile there I wanted to right my wrongs so I meditated and read, I got jobs, I stuck to honesty, hard work, being so loyal I want to kick myself, and you could say I was like Earl. I thought hey, if I get my shit sorted out things'll turn around. Right? Right?!

There are two sides to every karma, you see.

Honesty, everyone wants it but as soon as they realize you are honest and they aren't--fuck you and goodbye.

Loyalty, everyone says they have it but when you demonstrate you'll put up with anything they throw you're suddenly a foolish weakling and who would want someone like that in their lives anyway?

Compassion, everyone wants it when the chips are down but if you don't side with me when I've started a fight then go to hell.

Did I mention karma is a double edged sword? Are there any other obvious metaphors I can abuse here? lol

And you will find, as much as you'd like to say otherwise, that if you want to evolve, if your mind and heart is open, and you want to grow, you will attract people into your life that will show you just what it's like to be on the other side of the fence! Mirror images of yourself will show up, people who "love you" and "care about you" and "think highly of you" and they'll take you on a roller coaster and if you're awake while this is going on you'll see yourself, yourself, yourself, yourself.

And at some point you'll scream, "Stop the ride! I'm getting the hell off this thing!" (I definitely made that up because I used many more swear words)

I digress. Learning. Keeping your eyes and ears and spirit open. This means when you're going through the ol' filing cabinet you'll stumble upon an old paper you wrote up over a decade ago, an interview between yourself and someone you really respect and you'll go wow, they told me some things (over a decade ago) that I need to work on--A LOT--why haven't I? And I want to throw the covers over my head and run but there's no running, I read this paper again and wonder, "Am I a contemptable failure?"

The thing is, though, I can't be that hard on myself. Did that, done that, and now for something completely different: I have grown in ways I could not have imagined seven years ago. I eat much more healthier, my main beverage is water instead of Jack Daniels and Pepsi, I jog three to four days a week, I don't smoke. When the news is getting me down I change the channel, when I find myself getting a little negative I ask myself, "Is this the healthiest way to be experiencing and expressing this?" When I feel someone's wronged me I'll turn the other cheek (this is where the excessive loyalty equals bull headed stupidity) and instead of assuming the worste I'm open to infinite possibilities (that is a bold faced lie, right now I'm only open to infinite / 2 possibilities, I don't believe in the other half--yet).

I'm not saying it's not hard sometimes, but Aslynn doesn't beat himself anymore. Aslynn says, "Hey, you did that, don't do it again, now get up, stand up, don't do it again," then he goes jogging and he gets a smirk on his face while listening to those goons on Ghostly Talk.

The point of all this rambling, besides that I now have some bug that I have more or less been able to fight off with a good regimine (sp?) of excercise, fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and mind-over-matter stubborness, is that karma does exist and it's very fair and it sucks and you can learn to recognize it and say, "Woah, that's wild, you stick yeast in the flour and you get bread!" or you can think that if it's reall it should be obvious and it wouldn't take a bit of waking up and learning to recognize the nature of a well organized universe.

Open your eyes, that's step one. The second step is to find a good pair of glasses, even Buddha wasn't born with 20/20 vision. Next use some Windex on the mirror, wipe, wipe, wipe, and finally sit and watch. Watch yourself. Watch others. Watch everything.

Watch karma work.

Then do or do not play with the bears.

November 21st, 2005

It's no fair!

I've got this week off so I've got all my ducks in a row, one, two, three, four (well, one duck, some neo-pet, Bubbles, and the Egg Head Man), I was all planned and ready to do some early Christmas shopping this afternoon and fubar muggallaggafuckaduck short story kept that way Vipasanna has class tonight. I mean, she's sick, couldn't she just stay home?

It's just no fair!

I got up at 6:45am this morning and sleep walked out to the car where my daughter and I sat for six minutes waiting for the windshield to defrost and I'm sleep-driving her to school then sleep-driving home and I take a little round-about way to the house to stay awake and I wanted to go jogging but the entire planet is frozen and there's no freakin' way I'm jogging in freezing temperatures, I'm not that crazy (yet!) and I don't have any AA battery powered testicle warmers so there we have it. So I get home, sit at my desk, check the ol' e-mail, then lay down and listen to NPR and fall asleep...zzzzz...

It's not freakin' fair!

So I woke up and I get my butt oustide and I'm doing lawn work, trimming that tree/bush thing the butterflies like so much and the car alarm goes off breaking my concentration then I'm back and the car alarm goes off again breaking my concentration then I'm back and my daughter calls breaking my concentration, she's sick (AGAIN) and needs a ride back from school but Vipasanna is kind enough to pick her up.

It's wah-wah-wah not fair!

And I go jogging but my legs are sore from jogging four days in a row but I stretched but I'm sore and it's chilly but those guys on Ghostly Talk are tickling my funny bone so I'll walk a little more today and listen to those boo-bitch giggly ghost hunters a little longer as I jog-walk-jog-walk-jog-walk-walk-walk then I'm home and...

It's sooooo not fair!

It's like my roomate, like you know, Vipasanna, said like, no, I'm like going to school and stuff and I'm like, but I don't wanta rush out and back with the Christmas shopping, I mean, like, the traffic sucks at this time, you know? And like, she's like, she doesn't care, you know? And I'm like...

Man, this is so not fair!

Actually, today's been a pretty good day. So I'm going to finish enjoying this cup of tea, take some things downstairs, take a shower (I smell like arse), then go through the karmic filing cabinet (yes I still have it) which I was going to do this summer then last summer then the summer before that then when I moved and oh, always an excuse like "It's not fair, it's not fair."

Oh, and a few letters to write tonight before hitting the hot tub which reminds me, I need to dig out a new book to read!

November 20th, 2005

My sister, I am told, used to start out many of her sentences, "When I was three..." Of course not being around yet I didn't get to hear her and by the time I was two or three I didn't pay too much heed to what she said a few minutes ago especially if a puppy was around.

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things." - First Corinthians, Chapter 13, Verse 11

When I was a child I used to believe that people said what they thought and felt, that honesty and maturity and learning were the norm and that adults were mature by nature. When I was a child I used to believe that there would always be someone there for me in the good times as well as the bad. And when I was a child I believed that when someone looked me in the eye and said they loved me they meant it now and always, not just when it was convenient.

My thirty-first birthday is only four days away now, three if you consider that I was born in South East Australia. The Great Birthday Curse, something that has plagued me for decades, has already threatened to rise up in my face several times but each time I've said no thank you, I'm not interested in that energy, but thanks for the thought. And I move on.

Though I have posted a birthday list there isn't much I truly want. For myself, to take this opportunity to test myslef again and demonstrate that I've accomplished some of the goals I've worked so hard to reach over the last several years. It's one thing to assume and say, "Yeah, I've grown in this way and that," but I'm not that cocky.

Peace, love, all that jazz, those are some things I'd like. Truthfully, though, there are two things I really want. One is only a marginally serious fancy that I could live without, the other is a serious hope, something that I cannot buy with all the money in the world and do not deserve except perhaps on a spiritual level. How I perceive those desires now and how I perceive them later, if they do or if they don't come to pass, this is all part of the test set before me.

No avoidance, no hiding, no distance, no fear, and no slight of hand. This birthday Aslynn's got a new groove on.


November 19th, 2005

Call 911, my Chakras are all backwards! What can I say, I'm a Koshari. I'm wired backwards for all the right reasons--and what a pain in the ass that has been for 31 years!

I've had this inkling for awhile. Every time I look into Chakras I hear the same old same old that our lower chakras need to be stronger, just like the foundation of a building, before the higher ones can be strong. If we want to improve ourselves through this theory we start from a bottom-up theory.

Rubbish. And that is why I've never bought into Chakras.

Then I read True Balance by Sonia Choquette and she doesn't seem to have that notion and I'm reading and I'm reading and I'm learning about the theories on the sixth chakra, you know the one, the "third eye". What do I score? High as hell.

What do I score on first, second, and third chakra?

I plead the fifth (: chakra :)

So starting tomorrow I'm on vacation for nine days including but not limited to Thanksgiving and Aslynn's birthday (which for better or worse are on the same day). My goal? To focus on chakras one through five. What does that mean?

  • Eat healthier
  • Sleep healthier
  • Engage in only useful activities that benefit myself and others
  • Excercise!
  • Engage in creative activities such as photography, painting, writing
  • Allow my spirit and body rest periods
  • Find my voice

One week, no small goals, no better birthday present to give myself.

November 18th, 2005

I hate reality tv.

There, I've said it. I never need to say it again, I can simply turn around, walk away to a private corner where I can quickly stick my middle finger down my throat every time I hear someone talk about Survivor or The Amazing Race.

Since Real World started this whole cultural fad I've been asking myself what people see in these shows. Sure, the really old farts say, "I don't need a dumb show, I live in reality," but for me it's a little more complex than that.

Why do I want to watch something where we get to be voyeurs and watch as people gossip and backstab and fight? From a psychological perspective, watching such behavior tends to have an effect. No, I'm not arguing that if we watch someone get shot or beat up on an episode of Cops we're going to go out and do something like (typical alarmist non-scientific argument), but I will say that everything we consume whether it be food or friendships or hobbies or television programming has a psychological effect.

And lets not forget the emotional, energetic, and spiritual effects of what our eyes and ears consume!

I watch gossip and backstabbing on tv and it makes me upset and uncomfortable. Why? I don't think it's ethical and when I recognize I've fallen into the snare of talking behind someone's back I bite my lip and ask myself, "Aslynn, what are you doing?!" That happens because of cognitive dissonance and if you're not feeling some cognitive dissonance when you're doing this around the water cooler then chances are you don't on tv. And sure, there's not a causal effect between watching and doing, but I'm guessing if you're the type that enjoys watching people trash each other then you're fairly comfortable engaging in it.

I will admit, however, I've loved a few hybrid shows. Take the British version of The Office. I watched that one season after another and I absolutely could not believe how well it was written. That's right, for those who've never caught this show it was entirely scripted, actors hired, and the whole point was to create a "reality-like" sitcom that had something intelligent to say. It looked at different aspects of our culture, especially the office culture, and had intelligent, witty, and comedic statements to make.

Another hybrid I loved?

The Joe Schmoe Show.

I started watching this show after a pretty hard break up with someone who turned out to be the most dishonest person I've ever met. Sure she had been hurt, sure she'd been through a lot, but that didn't give her a right to do the things she did to me, to my roomate, to my daughter, and to her co-workers. She embodied all the worst traits I've seen in people all packed into one seflish, destructive human being and for about a month or more I was down farther in the dumps than I've been in the last five years. Keep following, I'm getting there, k?

So then one day I'm flipping through the TV and hit The Joe Schmoe Shoe. This was a reality show in a mansion, people competition for the final prize of a ton of money, having to live together, teams, competitions, voting, you know the routine--except with one difference: the main guy's the only "reality" on the show, everyone else in the house is an actor pretending to be on a reality show and the situations are scripted for the highest dramatic effect.

My first reaction was no way in hell was I going to watch this show, the very premise was unethical and dishonest. No way. At the same time I'm not one to blow something off without learning more so I'm watching it one day and I'm watching and I'm watching and it wasn't what I assumed it would be.

"Joe" could not have been a better human being. Sure, he was in the dark, but this is the kind of guy you'd wanter your daughter (if you had one) to mary. This guy was nice, honest, thoughtful, caring, and he was goofy in a super adorable way. He played along thinking the show was a reality contest like any other and though he did talk about his strategies during his private tapings he didn't backstab people. Do you get what I'm saying? Watch 99% of reality shows and 2/3rds of the people will talk poorly of each other when they're alone with a camera in their face. "Joe" didn't cross that line except when at times he expressed a statement like "things seemed to get out of hand" or "I don't like the way such-and-such has been behaving towards the rest of us."

Or when he got so upset he'd start crying.

I loved this guy. And so did the fictitious contestants. Each one of them created a real bond with him and were in constant termoil. Was this ethical? Was it okay to jerk his chain for a month like this? At first it was just a small intellectual question, it was just "a job", but after awhile you could tell these people were really being effected by the guy the producers had chosen. This just wasn't any old Joe they were toying around with, this was a pure, one of a kind, rare as diamonds nice guy who would lend anyone his shoulder and ask little in return besides a thank you.

And I needed to see that, Goddess did I need to be reminded of that! Thank you, Joe, you kept my hope alive!

The Joe Schmoe show was about the nature of "better". What is that, you ask?

I was watching Quantum Leap last night. I loved the show as a kid and so did my mom. Science Fiction aside, it was about "The Nature of Better". See, you've got this guy that can live vicariously through people and what's the plot? To get back home by making the world a better place. Selfish yes, but in a good way. And you know, if he wanted he could take advantage of each leap, steal, commit crimes, sleep with women he isn't really in relationships with--why not? he'd never get caught for any of it--but instead he turns away from unnecessary fights and false intimacy and often puts his life and even his very soul on the line for a better world.

A program that conforms to "The Nature of Better" compares our present world to one that has the potential to be better. Here are some examples of television programs that somehow conform to The Nature of Better:

  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Highway to Heaven
  • The Cosby Show
  • Rosanne (ironically enough, it is!)
  • Touched by an Angel
  • Quantum Leap
  • Classic Trek and ST: The Next Generation
  • Intervention (the only reality show I know that does!)
  • Battlestar Galactica (the new series)

What describes a program that has The Nature of Better?

  • It has examples of how to be...
    • A better family
    • A better spouse
    • A better parent
    • A better student
    • A better sibling
    • A better student
    • A better neighbor
    • A better coworker
    • A better stranger
    • A better...well, you get the picture
  • It challenges us to:
    • Help each other
    • Grow
    • Learn
    • Be more open minded
    • Be honest (with ourselves and others)
    • Stand up (for ourselves and others)
    • Fight the good fight
    • Not throw in the towel

That's what these kinds of stories are about. And I will acknowledge that some people think many of the programs I listed are unrealistic, silly, or even downright foolish. The world is a harsh place, they'd say. People are jerks, gotta stick up for number one, they might say.

What a great epitaph that would be!

"Imperfect, intense, stubborn, opinionated.

Unrealistic. Silly. Foolish.

Kept loving, kept fighting, kept standing.

Still standing."

November 17th, 2005

I had a terrible dream this morning. I was lying in bed with someone I care deeply for. I'd just woken up and I looked around. The room was small yet comfortable. The walls were bare and there was no furniture beside the queen size bed we were laying on.

I reached out a hand to touch her shoulder and it was ice cold. She was gone. Her heart had simply given up during the night.

Every dream has a meaning. The best tools to interpret a dream are honesty, self-reflection, and a deep understanding of oneself. Those skills can make even the most seemingly bizarre of dreams simple and straight forward. Then again, sometimes for some of us the catalyst for a dream comes from the outside while the imagery comes from inside.

Sometimes I'll have a dream and there's this gut feeling...actually it's odd now that I think about it, it's more or less a physical sensation down the right side of my body. It doesn't happen that often but when it does I know the dream I'm having has an external, psychic, catalyst at which point it's up to me to be honest with myself and discover what imagery I've projected upon the canvas of my sleeping mind.

And so that's where I'm at right now, trying to determine 1) who provided the catalyst and 2) dwelving into my subconscious to find the answers I desire. What does it mean? I hope to find out soon.

November 16th, 2005

Sometimes I feel like I'm waiting in line watching the clock on the wall tick, tick, tick, and things slow down, down, down.  Something's going to happen, something's going to change, I can feel it, I'm looking out the windows, can't you see it coming?

Then everything stops.

"Everyone's saying different things to me
Different things to me
Everyone's saying different things to me
Different things to me"

Over the years I've been learning to open up, one chakra after another you could say, and sometimes I feel like I'm just hitting dead ends. I spend a few months burrying my head deep in the book of life and what I learn I have just only learned to see, am only starting to play around with, and can't begin to tell you.

"Do you believe
In what you see
Motionless wheel
Nothing is real
Wasting my time
In the waiting line
Do you believe in
What you see"

And it's like that. I'm the monk who does not shave his head or wear red garments to insure one standard or another. I'm putting on his clothes and her clothes and their clothes, trying everything on at least once, nine to five, and while I'm stealing time to find the secrets everyone's taking everything they can.

And then I get afraid and all those intuitive doors that have opened so wide close up for a little while. I can't take it. I can't take the random criticisms, those fair weather friends dropping in from the troposphere to have their say, the unwelcome tantrums from those whose energy must expand and what better way than my way? So close, close, close, and I wonder...

"Do you believe
In what you feel
It doesn't seem to be anybody else who agrees with me"

Then enough is enough...

"Ah and I'll shout and I'll scream"

And I'm so tired from the experiences I've known...

"I'd rather not have seen"

Speak out or hold silent? That is always a choice that sets itself before me. And when I am most tired...

"I'll hide away for another day."

And then after it's back into the fray.

"Everyone's saying different things to me
Different things to me
Different things to me
Different things to me
Different things to me
Everyone's taking everything they can
Everything they can"

Music is a
beautiful way
to express ourselves,
to identify with others,
to breath.

Lyrics thanks to "In the Waiting Line" by Zero 7

November 14th, 2005

There is a replica of a 900 year old Buddhist Temple.  The original is in Kyoto, Japan.  The much younger version is on the island of Oahu, Hawaii and is the Valley of the Temple Memorial Park.

Getting there is fairly straight forward if you happen to live or be on Oahu.  The island is small enough that you could probably walk to the temple from anywhere on the island and once there you can sit down and rest while the peacocks do their peacock thing.  For the majority of us the trip to this temple is a little more difficult.  First and foremost, do we get there by boat or plane?  Do we have the resources (i.e. $$$) for the trip?  Next is planning.  If you're not an American citizen you'll need a visa.  Most of us would also need to plan time away from work.  If we have pets we rent space at the vets office for a few days or weeks or ask a trustworthy friend to stop by the house and check on them every day.  Going on this trip is a matter of planning and balancing our priorities, energy, and resources, in a manner that brings us closer and closer to the island of Oahu and then a rental car or bus or walk following a map we bought down at the gift shop.  And finally, after much conscious effort, we reach the temple!

A lot of things are like that.

November 12th, 2005

I don't remember where exactly I took this picture. I was out that day, one or two rolls of film, framing shots on my dad's old Canon in hopes of winning a photography contest down at the library. I ended up winning that contest and was on the local news for a few quick moments. This, however, was not the winning photograph.

This view, these cows in a frosted, partially snowy field, is not terribly different than something I would have seen outside my bedroom window growing up. I would often get out of bed in the morning and open those orange and brown striped Brady Bunch curtains and look out at the pasture. What is the weather like today? Are my sunflowers growing? Is there sun? Is there snow? Will it be a cold ride into school today?

You never know what the next day is going to bring. Sun, snow, rain, wind. So you open those curtains or shades or whatever the case may be and you look out. And you can't ignore what's out there. The weather is the weather, it doesn't lie and cows are cows, they chew there cud, belch, and make pie all day.

My last two journal entries were about perception. More to the point, they were about clarity of perception. My suggestions were to put on your glasses, slow down, breath, talk, work a little harder, network, make yourself visible, explore, discover blocks within yourself, stop, listen, shutup, and ask. My advice today, for what it's worth, isn't much different.

Open the window to check out the weather.


November 11th, 2005

Have you ever noticed that when you feel satisfied or you are content or your body feels great or you're hitting all your marks or you got that raise or you remember to fill up the tank or you're open to the possibilities or you're feeling contented about your life that your mind and heart and spirit are engaged?

We've got marvelous senses, touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight, and some of us are empathic and some of us can pop out for a jaunt around the universe and some of us can see forwards and some of us can see backwards and some of us can talk to people who aren't physically there or here or in fact anywhere.  And maybe if you start with the assumption that what you see isn't the whole picture you can get in touch with the turnips and the bumble bees and the cats and your significant other and everyone else that's riding along in the same bus as you are.

So what should you do if your vision is blurred?  Get your eyes examined, put on your glasses, slow down, breath.  What should you do if you didn't get that bonus?  Talk to your boss, work a little harder, network, make yourself visible.  What should you do when someone you care deeply for believes you aren't hearing them?  Stop, sit, listen, shut up.  What should you do when you're not getting along with someone?  Explore, discover the blocks within yourself, stop, listen, shut up.  What should you do when you're not sure what someone thinks of you?  Ask.

Freedom is to get up in the morning and silently make the agreement: "Oh my love, my universe, my experience, I will be open to thee!"

November 10th, 2005

Have you ever noticed that when you're hungry or when you're angry or when your on your period or while you're running late or while you're short on cash or while you forgot something important or if you're assuming that things are just so or just feel lacking and empty in some area of your life that your perception of the universe around you is a little fragmented, incomplete, and inaccurate?

Our perceptions are a reaction to our experience, to our upbringing, to our genetic and spiritual heritage.  We've got marvelous senses, touch, taste, smell, hearing, sight, and some of us are empathic and some of us can pop out for a jaunt around the universe and some of us can see forwards and some of us can see backwards and some of us can talk to people who aren't physically there or here or in fact anywhere.  And maybe you think you see things so clear and you've got all these wonderful senses and wow, that makes you so much more in-touch with reality than say a turnip or a bumble bee or a cat or your significant other or the muggles.

So what do you do if you have trouble reading signs when you're driving down the freeway?  Think about maybe seeing an eye doctor when it becomes "convenient"?  What do you do if you hear that everyone at your work just got a bonus but your manager hasn't mentioned anything to you?  Just shrug and keep on keeping' on?  What do you do when someone you care about says you're not hearing them?  Argue with them then walk away irritated that they're just not getting you?  What do you do when you aren't getting along with someone?  Pin the blame on the donkey?  What do you do when you're not sure what someone thinks of you?  Read between the lines of the writing on the wall that you put there last night with a blue Sharpie?

Do you ever get up in the morning and silently make the agreement: "Oh my precious, precious perception, I will not let go of thee!"?

November 9th, 2005

"Forgiveness is not the misguided act of condoning irresponsible, hurtful behavior.  Nor is it a superficial turning of the other cheek that leaves us feeling victimized and martyred.  Rather it is the finishing of old business that allows us to experience the present, free of contamination from the past."

- Joan Borysenko

I didn't realize when I added this quote to the doors of The Temple a few days back that it nicely summarized what I shared at the time. Too often I find that seemingly complex messages can be conveyed in simple sentences...though we as humans sometimes need to talk at length to work things out in our own minds. Additionally, getting that message across to others is usually a difficult, if not impossible, undertaking.

I've too often condoned irresponsible, hurtful behavior. I think it would be accurate to say I've been guilty of this in every relationship I've had over the last five years. Doesn't make sense, does it? It's not easy to explain, let me simply say that I've always wanted to believe myself to be patient and compassionate when I knew someone was taking me for a ride. "Lets talk," I'd say and I'd be straight and to the point and I thought that was enough, they were "adults" and if I were patient I was proving something to them, something I failed to show to others in the past. Of course on looking back I recognize I had to prove something to myself: that I am loyal.

Now that I've demonstrated to my own satisfaction that I'm loyal to a fault such superficial "forgiveness" is unncecessary.

What I must do...what we all must do at some put all of this old bullshit behind us. We all do this in different ways (although avoidance, ignorance, and dishonesty doesn't work for anyone). My way? I look in the mirror constantly, every day, almost all day. Ask Vipasanna if you don't believe me. My worste, most tense days are typically ones where I'm close to some kind of deep insight and deep exploration like that causes what psychologists call cognitive dissonance. Another way to put it is that when my present view of reality doesn't exactly "jive" with something it causes emotional distress--a distress I'm willing to go through to get one more step towards enlightened.

Oops...I'm already enlightened! Perhaps I should have said "improved"...although that too is inaccurate. Oh, language, you can be so ambiguous in our perception!

So I write about things. I'm going to write about things. You may think oh he's being positive or negative or he's full of shit, but then you don't understand what the two purposes of this are, primarily to share my process with you in hopes that you might learn and be enlightened by it in your own life and also to practice openness and honesty while I explore these psychological, spiritual, and emotional corridors in my own life. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you can't. That's okay.

But if you want to tell me I'm doing this because I'm egotistical and have a website dedicated to me, me, me, as I've been accused of before, then you're only proving that you don't get it. And if you say I'm doing this to convince you of some reality or story then you're also missing the point--I can't convince you of anything you don't want to believe so what would be the point? And if you're saying I'm writing something just to lash out at someone then you 1) didn't know me when I used to really lash out at people and 2) weren't there to see how quietly I figuratively "took it in the ass" by the people I'm apparently lashing out at and 3) I tell my stories how I see them and though my memory is not perfect, I go out of my way to make them as accurate depictions of objective reality as possible while at the same time telling them from my point of view. Not an easy task, mind you. And you could say I write to gain sympathy or empathy and maybe that's the reason you decide to share things, when you do, but that's no who I've been for years and years and years. Get it?

So no more mister lay down and take it, Aslynn. No more ignore the lies, Aslynn. No more pretend friends, Aslynn, and definitely no more sex toy, Aslynn. And no more "silence is superficial respect" aslynn.

Time to shake this oil from my wings.

November 8th, 2005

Due to popular demands (and at least one death threat), my birthday list, draft three, circa 2005 A.D., etc.

  • Babylon 5 Season 1 - (off of E-bay would be fine and much cheaper)
  • Doctor Who - The Key to Time series - (off of E-bay would be fine and much cheaper)
  • Corbin Gunfighter & Lady Seat for Honda 919 - I'll probably get this on my own but putting it on "the list" anyway.
  • Black athletic sweater/jackets w/ hood - Vipasanna stole and ruined my old one, that jerk!
  • Athletic Clothes - Here are some great suggestions (obviously ;):  Great Suggestion 1, Great Suggestion 2
  • HUGE Craftsman socket set - Not necessarily this one, but you get the idea. The one I have was great when I was ten, but not much help on a car, motorcycle, or anything else.
  • Winning lotto tickets - Yeah baby, yeaaaah!
  • Something for my car?
  • Front Camera mount for a Honda 919 - There are many different models, needs to be the correct one to fit on my hooligan
  • Gateway flat panel monitor - Two huge monitors on my desk is fine, but I want more room. How about a bigger, flatter monitor? (this goes out to that rich friend I didn't know I had!)
  • Lord Hornblower & Admiral Hornblower by C.S. Forester
  • The black Tinkerbell comforter, pillow cases, twin sheets - as found at Hot Topic; She's sexy, cute, and I like punk faeries, what can I say?
  • Someone who will shower me with genuine love and affection physically, emotionally, spiritually--or more realistically QRio.
  • Music CDs - I'm open to almost anything.  Surprise me!
  • Lots of Monkeys

November 7th, 2005

I had a somewhat disturbing dream this morning.  I was watching someone in a cramped, cold, and bare jail cell.  There was someone in it but I don't know who they were.  They were making music perhaps but I didn't know where it was coming from.  Did they have a hidden radio?  An invisible band?  Or were they creating it with their minds?  It really didn't matter, I knew, since it was the intent of their music that was important.  They were playing it towards some metal pipes of some sort coming out of the wall.  I followed the music through these pipes and found myself in another jail cell where someone sat by himself listening intently to the music coming through those pipes which sounded like it was a million miles away. 
I then found myself in another adjoining cell and I'm at a loss as to how I found myself there but there was someone being somewhat abusive towards me.  And then there was a woman, no woman in particular, but she was bossy, self-centered, self-serving, controlling, stubborn, and had a dysfunctional communication style which consisted mostly of telling me what to do and if I didn't, forcing me to.  I then saw that this cell was attached to my home (or at least a representation of my home) by a glass doorway that was locked and beyond that door I saw Vipasanna and our daughter and my first instinct was to tell this other woman to get back in the cell and stay out of view.
I woke up this morning feeling trampled on...granted, much of this is no doubt from the early mornings, long days, and late nights over the past week...  I was in the shower this morning thinking about this dream.  I knew what the "dream catalyst", the stimulus that caused this dream to alight in my conscious dreaming mind, was, yet I still felt disturbed by the imagery.  Do I feel like I'm in a cell playing music for myself maybe?  I do at times.  Do I sometimes feel like other people are in cells and I feel like I'm distanced by walls, only allowed to share my music through thin pipes (often of the TCP/IP variety)?  Yes, I do at times.  Most disturbingly, what's my take of most of the women in my life over the last five or so years?  You got it:  bossy, self-centered, self-serving, controlling, stubborn, and dysfunctional. 

What interested me was not this, though, it's that I didn't want Vipasanna or my daughter to have any contact with this amalgamation of negativity.  What that reaffirmed for me is something I've known for some time now, that my self-worth, that my integrity, and that my real friends and family, are what I choose.  In the past loneliness for a relationship, an intimate partner, something I have not had for well over a year now, would have driven me to accept "love" with someone resembling the woman in my dream.  No longer do I have any interest in opening my life or my heart or my wallet or my home to people who's words and actions don't line up.  Okay, I knew that.  But I didn't realize that so much of my motivation was because of the two people in my life who, imperfect as they are, are always there for me.

A daughter certainly doesn't give me the interaction I would get from an adult nor does my friendship with my roommate give me the emotional or physical intimacy I might get from a relationship. The important thing to point out here is that while I am sometimes lonely the relationships I have with them are real and rock solid and I don't have to wonder if they'll be gone tomorrow because they just don't sent me those "vibes"--their words and actions jive, man (I say with a grin). So I'm no longer willing to open myself up to people who almost immediately demonstrate how bossy, stubborn, selfish, or dysfunctional they are. "Just trust me," the last one demanded.

I trusted you and what did that get me? "I love you but..." That sums up the lie that was our relationship, our friendship, quite well.

And so I was thinking about one such experience this morning, a ride I took that I've only shared with a few select souls, a story I've never shared within these patchouli scented walls.  This morning in the shower when it came to the surface of my attention I thought about that speech at the Toastmasters convention.  This story is something deep within my closet, dirty laundry you could say.  I thought I hadn't shared it before out of respect for the person in the story but I always knew it wasn't quite that, this person demonstrated little respect for me or anyone else so it really came down to my own perception of what was in my closet.  My perception was dirty, it was angry, it was upset.  I wanted to share this story with someone but every time I thought about it I got angry and my shoulders got tight, my breathing a little shorter, and I just felt like I wanted to sue someone for $1,000 (the price of the plane ticket and a week's worth of paid time off).

It was maybe a little over a year ago now when an old girlfriend of mine sent me a message on ICQ.  We chatted a little bit, she said she was looking at my web site, even got a friend of hers on and we all chatted for many hours, many evenings in a row.  It was good to hear from an old friend again.  She'd moved from Oregon to San Francisco and one day she said I should come down and visit.  In fact she seemed incredibly excited about the idea and pushed it fairly hard.  Now normally I wouldn't be so inclined to take such a trip.  Most of my journeys are within one day's driving distance (i.e. 1 to 500 miles) and it's not easy for me to get away from work for more than a weekend without something needing my attention but one day I realized I was feeling quite burnt out and needed to get away for awhile and what better way than going to see an old friend?
So I took a week's worth of Paid Time Off (equaling nearly $800) and took out $200+ from savings for a two way plane ticket to San Francisco.  I hadn't taken a vacation in--well--I don't think I'd ever taken a real, bona fide vacation on my own ever so I was excited.  I got a ride to the air port, waited for a few hours reading a good book, then got on the plane and spent the time looking out the window at the dark earth and lit up towns and cities and highways below enjoying a glass of merlot and thinking about the week ahead of me.
It was late when I arrive in Sacramento (where she agreed to pick me up) and after getting my luggage I looked among the people there for my old friend but she didn't seem to be there yet so I sat down by the doorway and read.  I waited there for over half an hour before my cell rang and there she was, outside the glass doors.  I grabbed my luggage, books, and things, and went out and met her and her girlfriend who had come along for the ride (her friend, by the way, is the person I met online).
This was one of many instances that night (and during my life as a whole) where I should have seen and reacted to the warning signs.  I was picked up late and after being picked up found myself almost entirely ignored by my host.  She spent most of the drive chatting non-stop with her friend or worse yet, on her cell phone chatting non-stop with someone out there.  I sat forward in the back seat trying to get involved in their conversations (when they weren't on the phone at least) but found my old friend not terribly interested.  Tired, she said, and so I accepted her "reason" because I'm a trusting guy.  Finally her friend, who recognized that I was being treated fairly rudely started up a conversation with me and we had a good, long, conversation, must have lasted half an hour.  My old friend?  She wanted to go stay the night at her friend's house, "Please, please, do you mind, can we stay over?" 

For most of my life I've suppressed my empathic impressions in favor of my belief that people actually do care about me and I did so that night. Mix in a little too much trust and a little too much hope, that's a major weakness of mine.  So she's tired, she's my friend and she's a good person with a good heart so I'll accept whatever hospitality she has to offer. Tomorrow she'll get some sleep and we'll have a good time exploring the city right? 

Did I mention I kept ignoring the warning signs?  We stayed up late that night chatting--that is, her friend and I chatted for hours while my old "friend" kept saying she was "tired".  And of course the next day she was too "tired" again.  So I spent that day stuck at a strangers house watching tv, reading my book, going out for the occasional smoke, and talking with her friend who I found to be thoughtful, interesting, and freshly genuine.

Finally, after many, many hours of this my "friend" poignantly says, "Well, what do you want to do, huh?" and I respond, "I want to see the city, maybe gets some pictures."  So we go into San Francisco and drive around and guess what?  Instead of having conversations I get to listen to her talk with her other friends on the phone and laugh and giggle and chat away then as soon as she's off the phone she acts tired and aloof.  So whatever, right?  I'm here to see the city and I've never been here so I'm taking lots of pictures with my new digital camera and overall having a very good time and I'll do what I can to make a personal connection with someone I genuinely care about but otherwise there's not much to do but enjoy the sights and sounds of S.F.

We stop at a restaurant down at the boardwalk and if I recall I had salad and a clam chowder.  It wasn't a terribly warm situation, she kept looking out the windows and at the waiters and didn't seem interested in conversation so I asked about her family and her x-boyfriends and this seemed to be okay as she talked at great length about the ups and downs of her life since moving to the city from Oregon.  Great, I'm making progress, I'm thinking.  Ignore your gut instinct, think positively, and you can both have a great time!

Something I wish weren't true about human beings: some are more interested in people who have emotionally or physically abused them than a genuinly caring person in the same room with them.

I after getting back in the car we spend about an hour lost in downtown San Fran and she's on the phone for most of this time with another friend--and of course she's chatting away happily and non-stop with them.  Out comes the camera, I'm taking pictures and being polite to my host who is acting nothing like the person who asked me to come visit only a week previous.  Finally, after much talking with her friend on the phone we drive across the Golden Gate and stop on the other side where I have a few smokes and take some pictures (which I will post later this evening).  It's night now and little do I know the best part of the trip is behind me.

She lived in a three bedroom house out in some community far from the city.  You may have been in areas like this before.  You're driving down the road and it's houses and apartments for miles and miles and then POW a bunch of shops and restaurants and movie theatres then POW houses and apartments for miles then POW another oasis of stores.  Her house is, unfortunately, in the middle of one of these neighborhoods far, far from anything. I found once I woke up the first morning that I was completely alone with no transportation in a cold house miles from anything and it's freezing cold and the entire house smells like a sewer.

An explanation... 

The house is full of feces and urine and puke from the dozen or so Persian cats which she raises for cat shows.  Fortunately (or sadly) most of them are in the garage crying all day but there are a few who are free to roam the rest of the house and they do shitting and puking and pissing wherever they feel like it.  Now if you know nothing about Persians they're proof that humans will do everything to circumvent the laws of nature to breed something that a select few think is "cute".  Persians have been evolved in such a way and to such an extent that they can't survive without extensive human (and often veterinary) intervention.  Their faces are so short they have a difficult time breathing or eating, often get eye and sinus infections, and can't use a litter box without coming out covered in shit and piss. I love cats but I was surrounded by sad-smelly semblances of the feline species.
Oh, and the house is freezing!  Can I turn up the heat?  No, she says she can't afford it and you know I'm the guest so I'm not going to complain so on goes the warmer clothes I've brought with me and when I get really cold I jump under the covers of my bed and read, read, read, for hours and finally days on end.  And I did a lot of reading because there's not much to do miles away from anything.  Sure, she has a computer but I took the vacation to get away from computers so I'll read my book and I'll go out and smoke and shiver and shake because it's cold and that first day I'm wondering when she'll get home because she has to work and I'm looking forward to getting out and seeing more of the city.! It'll be great!
But she gets home late and she doesn't feel like doing anything.  And that's just the thing, the entire time she demonstrates no genuine interest in spending any time with me (one day she even spends the entire day sleeping).  So let me tell you what she spends most of her time doing (when she wasn't at work or sleeping):
  1. Telling me about the 30+ guys she's dated in the last month.
  2. Taking me in her car to see the home and workplace of her x who she's constantly talking poorly about. Can you say stalker?
  3. Sitting at her computer and chatting on instant messenger and browsing dating sites

During that week I saw San Francisco only one time.  I spent the rest of the week sleeping, reading, and smoking.  I read all the books I brought within two days so thankfully (and I am thankful) she took me to a B&N/Borders where I bought an $80 Visual Basic book which I read 400 pages of in three days--a record for how many pages I've read in a technical manual in that short a time period.  While almost completely trapped in the suburbs I cleaned up after her cats and did the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.  I wished there was a tv or a radio.  I longed to be back home and when my co-worker called with questions I did everything I could to keep him on the cell (screw the out of area charges!).  "I'll help, I'll help," I said through cigarette after cigarette.  I dreaded the return of my old "friend" from her work and the many hours that would follow watching the back of her head, listening to her chat with her friends, hearing her excuses for not going anywhere, or on two occassions actually getting out of the house and finding bartenders and waitresses who gave me more attention in five or ten minutes than she had all afternoon.

The last night I was there we went to dinner.  While waiting for a table she acted as she had all week, completely disinterested in any and all conversation.  After we sat down, same thing.  Then the waiter comes, relatively good looking guy.  Guess what?  Her face brightens, she starts flirting, she can't stop talking and finds every excuse to keep him at the table.  And that was the moment I decided I was done.  The next day I'd be leaving and I wasn't going to pretend that we were friends because it was obvious she didn't care about anything but herself. She'd manipulated me into coming down, had treated me rudely the entire time, and really just wanted to speed date herself out of a friendship--and I was done playing along.  If she talked to me I shrugged or mumbled.  I'd wasted well over a thousand dollars to come see her and I gave her chance after chance, I was patient, I listened to her endless conversations with other people, putting down other people, I put up with her avoidant behaviors, I helped around the house wherever I could, I started up conversations, I sat patiently in the car while she took me around to stalk her x-boyfriends.

By all measures of acceptable social behavior it was fucked up. And I was done.

That evening she then felt it necessary to give me a new asshole for, of all things, not being interested in further conversation.  How dare I not talk to her when she wanted to talk!  How dare I act put out!  What a jerk I was, a terrible guest and friend and human being!  No wonder she'd broken up with me before!  For five minutes she yelled obscenities and I sat and just wasn't interested in this hypocritical load of crap (psychologists call it projection but when done abusively I think it's just a load of crap!). If she wanted to ignore me, fine, if she wanted to be verbally abusive towards me when I decided I'd had enough and deer God choose to reflect a little karma back her direction, fine. She'd demonstrated her true character that entire week and had knocked me down every time I tried to reach out and make a connection. Fuck her, she didn't deserve my friendship or my ear.

And I'm worth much more than spending another unnecessary moment of my life energy on someone like that.

The next day I almost didn't make it to the airport. Long story short she got me there within minutes of my plane leaving. Though she would barely talk with me the entire trip on arriving at the airport she jumped out of the car and put a big smile on her face and rushed up and hugged me and oh it was so--fucking fake, pathetic, and superficial.

I was sooooo happy to get on that plane that I cried.

Why do I write about that experience now?

I've got a lot of stories like that in my closet and I don't share them with anyone. Why not? Well, for one thing too many have misinterpretted things I've said. For instance I shared something very, very personal with someone a year and a half ago and almost six months later they threw that back in my face twisted and contorted into something negative and just downright wrong. Why would I want to revisit that kind of experience? And three years ago someone slandered and libeled Vipasanna and myself and spread private information to her friends, family, and co-workers--which, if we had wanted, would have led to her loosing her nursing license! Fed up with it I stood up for us and told our story, the truth as supported in letters and e-mail. Her response? To threaten to sue me for the very lies she was promulgating.

Seems like every time I open up to anyone it's misinterpreted, threatened, or used to manipulate. And nobody I've met likes the truth and I should go to hell if I dare do something like use someone's own words and actions as evidence of their abuse towards me. Oh, what a horrible thing it is to expect someone to...act like the person they said they were!

I'm such an asshole like that...

I'm done keeping all of this pent up for people like this. Sure, part of me cares about them but I'm really done sacrificing myself like that. I'd rather spend my life beating my testicles with a hammer than to choose to spend my free time around someone who can't walk the walk. Saying, "Oh I'm and honest and loyal person" isn't worth shit if you're secretly seeing an old boy friend while you're with someone. I'm sorry, I don't know anybody who wouldn't take that the same way I did. And I'm sorry, asking someone to spend hundreds of dollars to come visit then acting like they don't exist isn't exactly being a good hostess--and yes, I take responsibility for taking the chance on you. I sincerely cared about you and I'm not ashamed of that, not one bit. But I feel sad that you're more interested in one night stands than something like, say, friendship. And I'd rather ride my motorcycle into an oncoming semi than have a conversation around someone who quietly admits that they're dishonest. And really, you should be ashamed. You know you're dishonest yet you lie and lie and lie and so much of it you pin on some fuck up that left you ten years ago! Why would he leave such a dishonest and critical person, you tell me?


And that's what I've realized. I can't get over my "it" if I keep this all in just out of respect for those who have used, abused, and manipulated me. I used to think I was being compassionate and understanding if I kept it all in but maybe I'm doing something worse to both myself and to them. Maybe I'm telling people I'm willing to play along, that they can treat me however they want, that I'll trust lies before my sixth sense. Yes, yes, yes! Give it to me, use me, hurt me, lie to me, abuse me, it's all okay because I'm a nice, loyal, honest guy and that means I'm a push over, right?

It's not Ok with me anymore and I'm done. Next time I trust my gut. And next time I feel the need to talk about it I will. And if you don't like it grow up, stand up, and behave yourself. Don't whine when people call you on behaving in such a self-serving fashion.

I'm not saying by any of this that I'm perfect. I've broken hearts. I've hurt people. I've lied. I've manipulated. And I look at that aspect of myself every day and that honesty makes me a stronger person with a higher and higher state of integrity towards both myself and others. But I won't lie to you about the choices I've made.

You have the same choice I do. Choose the truth, explore it, learn from it, grow because of it...or don't.

P.S. Just an FYI to Morgaine...for all your personally accepted foibles none of this is directed in any way, shape, or form, at you. There's a lot you don't know about me and aren't ready to know--just don't let it lead you towards too many assumptions.

P.P.S. Final thanks go to Vipasanna for appreciating me for who I am and knowing my intentions are always the best, especially when I take the most difficult (and sometimes treacherous) path.

November 6th, 2005

Exhausted. Yesterday, 8am to 4pm, Toastmasters & too much coffee. Drive to Home Depot, pick up a tool, drive home, drive back, Toastmaster's until 10pm. Today I slept in a little, had brunch with the parents and family, then spent much of the afternoon cat napping. Esophogus killing me from previous day's coffee. Still tired. Working from 8pm to whatever it is now.

Many thoughts over the weekend, not exactly sure what I want to share so I'll freewrite as best I'm able as I go between this, the Internet at large, Farscape, work, and my laundry which ironically enough was the subject of one of the speaker's at this weekend's District 7 conference.

The title of the speech was "Coming out the Closet" and the subject was around all the things we keep in our "closets" and when it's appropriate to bring certain things out and when to keep them in. His primary example included a story of something he found in his mother's closet when he was a pre-teen. Having told this story at his own Toastmaster's group he was surprised to find many woman telling him, "No, no, no, you can't tell that story." I learned a lot from his hour long speech including that it's left to oneself to make such decisions. And sometimes what people mistake for your old dirty underwear is actually a pair of pajama bottoms folded nicely up.

Anyhow, no more energy to write this evening. Back to work and literal laundry I go!

November 4th, 2005

I am a sleepy Aslynn. With the exception of Tuesday I've gotten up every day at 6am or 6:30am. Rush the kid off to advanced maths. Rush the car in to the shop. Work, work, work. And tomorrow it's Toastmasters from 8am to 9:30pm.

Sunday I hope to sleep in.

So my parents are here. Tomorrow my father and I will go to Toastmasters and learn and talk and learn and interact and I must shave before I go, what a long week this has been, what a long week! Will I ever get to use the breadmaker, yes, no, yes, no?

And Vipasanna says I must write a birthday list! Do I have time?

Okay, I'll do that now. Then for sleep.

Take care,

November 2nd, 2005
November has started and the count down begins.  Getting up early three days a week to take my daughter in for the advanced maths course.  Jogging as often as I can (which has become more difficult what with daylight savings time making it dark @5pm).  Taking the car in at 7am tomorrow morning and wondering why my dummy light keeps turning on and off.  Riding the hooligan through cold and fog and rain.  Getting ready for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the like.  Work, work, work, and many thoughts, many thoughts.
Today I saw a very interesting old 1930's Disney Cartoon.  It's neat how much culture and society changes and how we all judge what is "normal" and not "normal" by what we know, what we're used to.  It's all about dualism, you could say.  People have come to The Temple and have said, "You seem depressed," but I wonder if they'd have said that in the 1930's when such a cartoon wouldn't have been perceived as terribly unusual.  Then again, I have to wonder what people consider "normal" as far as emotions?  My perception and experience has been that most people intentionally or unintentionally repress most things from their conscious lives as they find "dealing" with them to be uncomfortable.  Personally and spiritually I find this way of going about things to be limiting and literally going through life with the perceptive blinders on.  Learn, acknowledge, grow, repeat.  It takes energy to wash and condition your hair but you do it anyway--if you want nice, healthy hair, anyhow.
That said, I have been wondering about my recent state.  I've gone through a period of feeling very lonely and those few people who have reached out to me within the last two months did so in ways I found to be negative and disrespectful.  My response, such as it has become over the years, was to stand my ground, clearly articulate myself with as much honesty and integrity as I am capable, and move on.  Yet at the same time I feel the loss.  Years ago I would have sought out "communion" with those that I knew to be unhealthy for me so I didn't have to go through that; beggars can't be choosers, right?  But then I stopped begging and my well being has improved dramatically.
That being said I do ask myself, "Do I want a 'social life'?"  I honestly don't know, sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.  I have to admit there's a lot of fear around that question.  Since 2000 everyone (I mean everyone) I've opened my life up to has either lied to me, abused me, cheated on me, taken advantage of me (financially, emotionally, and/or physically), slandered and/or libeled me, and all but one has abandoned me when my requests for honest and consistent communication and mutual respect became a burden to their lifestyle.  But then I look back and say well Aslynn, that's what happens when you're willing to open your life to drug addicts, alcoholics, habitual liars, narcissists, sexaholics, and those who are more or less addicted to their perpetually hungry ghosts.  And then I think it sucks being empathic because I can look at anyone, including the most vile people you can imagine, and find that shining diamond deep down in their soul that's good and undamaged and when you can see anyone's inner Buddha waiting to blossom it makes it impossible to say one person is "good" and another is "bad"--in fact, there's no sorting of good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, just beautiful souls all experiencing life from different windows. 
Empathy is a two edged sword.
I've had to accept that though there is truth to all of these points of view (and more) that I can't open myself up to anyone any longer.  I have to be honest with myself, I spent 30 years being open to anyone and everyone because I knew what it was like to be ostracized--I wasn't about to inflict that on anyone!  Yet I've seen over and over that it costs my wallet, my emotional stability, my spiritual well being, and my psychological integrity, if I always keep these doors wide open.  I need to trust my eyes and my intuition, if someone lies, call them on it, if they lie about that lie, say goodbye and move on until they're willing to step up to the plate and behave with consistency, honesty, integrity, and maybe an ounce or two of selfless intent.
Five, ten, twenty chances, that's more than enough when you demonstrate explicit intent.