November 30th, 2006
I can't believe how much crap there is on the internet (present websites only marginally excluded, of course). For instance I recently have become addicted to that little application called iTunes. I download a new song every two to three days and then I listen to it over and over again while I'm working out at the gym. Earlier today I logged on the old iTunes and searched for a song called The F Word which is the theme song for a show I love on BBC America (Gordon Ramsay's F Word). It's not on iTunes. Fine, no problem, I'm a geek and can find anything if I look hard enough so I'm off and Googling the hell out of the internet to find this one song I love.
The interesting thing about the internet is that if you know how to efficiently Google you'll either find something right away or be directed to 800 pages that have absolutely nothing to do with what you're looking for. That's what I ran into today. Link after link to pages that didn't even include the phrase "The F Word" and loads of pages on questionable sites in Russia that promised I could download it for only 15 cents if I handed my credit card number over.
So if anyone knows where I can get this single legitimately, please let me know. Thank you!
On to other things...
This is my last journal entry for the month of December so I'm going to freewrite. Can you handle that? And I'm going to meander. Will you forgive me? And I'm going to make lame jokes (see picture above). Will you survive the torture?
Oh, the horror, the horror.
I have four people I am behind with on e-mail. I am a terrible person. I'm sorry. I will catch up eventually. Sunday. Maybe. Me bad. Very much so.
But I'm innocent, I swear!!! ;)
Tomorrow I am going to ride my motorcycle to work. And then in the afternoon I'm going to change cell phone services and get a new phone (my current cell phone is pretty cool as a jack of all trades device but it's quite unreliable as an f'n phone!). And then I'm going to Toys'R'Us to get some toys for kids who don't have toys this Christmas--I do this every year but this year I'm going to do it on a motorcycle (see http://www.toyrun2006.com/)! And then if I have time I'm going to the gym to work out.
Today I received my last birthday gift for 2006 from and old friend and a new friend, someone I used to banter with way, way back in high school band (insert band geek jokes here). I've been teasing her about getting the gift to me for weeks and finally I've recieved it--well them.
For one thing I received a beautiful rose and I'm a sucker for roses so...and with that a birthday candle. I don't understand what a birthday candle is about. And she also got me 33 rose petals representing the years of my life which really made me feel self conscious--that's the kind of thoughtful symbolism I give someone else. I mean, I'm already terrible at accepting gifts and if you make one that makes me choke up a little??? Shame on you, all of you (bastards the lot of you--jk)! Ok, So that's the one gift I'm sure I received because I kept whining that nobody got me flowers.
Oh, the power of a well directed whine!
The other item was a compass, about three 3 inches in diameter, engraved on one side with "Aslynn S. Meyers" and on the other the following: "I wish you inspiration, joy and truth throughout your travels and may you always find your way home."
I must admit I've been blown away by most of the gifts I've received this year. Where did I meet all these wonderful people? Where were all you people in 1999-2001 when I lost almost everything, huh?!?!
Anyway, it's interesting that she choose a compass because that's been a major theme of my life since then, learning to put my complete trust in my internal compass. You know what? It's never been wrong. Do I always follow it? No. Do I follow it more than I used to? Absolutely.
Did you know that about me when you choose it?
On to other things, I still haven't had anyone call me with interest about my car which I put up for sale a week ago.
Patience, young padawon learner.
If/when I'm able to sell it privately I plan to buy a new dish washer (the one we have only works about 1/3rd of the times you run it), call a lawyer to legalize/finalize the adoption of my daughter, buy my parent's old POS toyota, purchase the 80gig video iPod, and then...oh yeaaaasss...I will order the 2007 Yamaha FJR 1300A oh so sexy perty oh baby oh my...and then I can take my daughter on long trips safely and in style. Oh yeah, oh baby, oh yeah, oh baby.
And then in a few years I plan to sell the toyota and purchase a VW TDI bug and go biodeisel. Oh yeah, oh baby, oh yeah, oh baby.
And then I will live to a ripe 67 years of age and die of a broken heart. How'z that for a prediction? ;)
Can't think of anything else to say. Wonderful birthday gifts. Wonderful friends. A little overwhelmed. A little tired. Still trying to figure out the next phase of this whole life thing. Looking forward to the next time my two tires hit the pavement, yep, I'm REALLY looking forward to that.
Miss you all.
November 28th, 2006
I am admittedly in a pissy mood. Yes, pissy. That means I'm onery and if you want to talk I'm going to get crotchety and cross my arms and look at the tv while my foot tap, tap, taps the desk.
Deepak Chopra's books are good for pissy moods. They're also good for light moods but really, they can help you find your way through the pissiest moods, discover some great tools for personal growth and evolution, all that clap trap I'm constantly droning on and on and on about here in The Temple, all those things I hope the entire human race will some day realize we have in common and is worth more than a few moments of our time from time to time to time (he types with a tap, tap, tap on the keyboard).
Anyhow, since I'm only full of meandering dribble tonight and I just want to read or eat something or watch Link-TV (though I am forced by circumstance to go finish my laundry) I will tell you that the first time I saw Deepak was on an Oregon Public Broadcasting telethon giving a seminar on some such thing and I was intantly drawn to his personality and knowledge. Since then I've read many of his books, watched many programs, and most recently introduced a good friend and coworker to him when he, Vipassana, and myself, took some time off from work to sit down at the OPB studios and watch him be interviewed.
Interested in sharing our experience?
And for the record he was wearing bright red Nike's with that conservative suit. Just awesome! ;)
Now back to pissy.
November 27th, 2006
Now that all is said and done with it's time take stock of the inventory. Here goes:
Get laid (by a girl) - No, I'm sorry to say I did not get laid but then some things in life are more important than sex (like roses and kittens and paying attention to traffic lights). I was, however, propositioned by a complete stranger online which proved a unique and interesting experience being I've never had a complete stranger say, "I'm interested in you, would you be interested in me?" Flattering if not out of left field. And no, I didn't get...
A girlfriend - And that's fine. Friendships have to be developed and I've developed some really awesome friendships with a handful of people over the last month or two including one who has completely wowed me with her wonderful and unique personality (you know who you are and if you act dumb I really will put a picture of you on here and paint a mustache on it, really, I will, don't dare me!). Nor has anyone given me...
Masks - I thought this one was straight forward enough but I guess I just decided to get a weird itch to collect something that reminds me of, well, the human race. That's not to say our masks are ugly or artificial. They're necessary sometimes and they can be downright beautiful and elegant. Next?
To sell my car - I currently have two advertisements up and one more soon. I have not had anyone express interest and hope I won't have to trade it in at a dealership (which will cost me at least $3k I don't have). I have patience on this one; if/when it happens I'll just move my birthday and have a second one this year. And so given my current financial situation I can't rightly purchase...
A VW Cabriolet in decent condition - I'm not so interested in this anymore but if I do sell my car I may just snag one up. They're usually pretty cheap and without a spendy car I could easily afford one of these ancient buggers. But at least there's a spark of joy in my life as...
My Motorcycle (is) Fixed - Yes indeed, it seems my bike is fixed and the wonderful professionals down at EDR Performance (this is a blatant advertisement, btw) did not charge me a dime (these guys put in many hours of work--they just rock!). I'm very happy to have my little miracle of mechanical joy back in the garage--now if the weather would just improve! Which reminds me of something else that's not in the garage...
A 2006 or 2007 Yama FJR 1300A - I know it was a wet dream. I took a cold shower. All better now...well, sorta. But my bike is fixed so that makes up for it a lil bit!!!! Okay, I can understand why someone couldn't afford to buy me a $13,499 sport touring bike but what was so damn expensive about...
Apologies for Me - Oddly I received one minor apology for my birthday from the last person on earth that owes me anything, much less an apology. To the person who does, that's strike three (the wonderful--or arguably insane--thing about me is I'll give you infinite chances so feel free to take advantage of it whenever you realize apologies don't include the word "but"). And to that certain someone who was miffed because I didn't conform to their wishes, where was...
An apologie for Vipassana - This may or may not have happened, I haven't heard. Here's what I think:
"Love is patient and kind, it is not jealous or conceited or proud. Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable. Love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
That's a little ditty from The Christian Bible and I've always believed it to be the most accurate definition of true love.
A Gift Certificate to New Renaissance Bookshop - Bugger! Again no!!!! Sadness!!! And I can't believe I didn't get...
Doctor Who Season 1 (new series) - I really expected Vipassana to get this for me as I somehow managed to brainwash her into loving this British cultural icon. What can I say, Christopher Eccleston fit the role perfectly and brought new life to a show I loved as a child and taught me a great deal about courage and what it means to be a good person (and that I want to own a time machine and get off this rock! ;) At least I could have gotten...
Flowers - Can you believe it? Such a simpe request and not one fracking flower. C'mon people! No flowers, no...
Sushi - Sadness. What about...
Exercise clothes - Nope. I'm going to have to attend the gym naked from now on which would be quite...
A Surprise - Actually, I'd say I've had a few surprises though I think they're combined into one big surprise that overwhelmed me for a few days. Specifically I found that I received many kind and heartfelt letters from friends both old and new. Each touched me deeply. None were expected. I was truly, truly surprised, overwhelmed, and humbled. Wowzers. And it's a goo thing I didn't get...
A Porch monkey shirt - I'd probably loose all my friends! But I will have to get...
Clerks 2 Signed by Kevin Smith - Which I will be ordering for myself sometime soon because I want it and if I put it on my x-mas list somebody'll probably pick up an unsigned copy from Walmart and that would suck for several reasons. But at least I'll smell good drowned in...
Stetson Men's Cologne - My daughter, she loves me, she got me the stinky stuff. She also got me a bar of dark chocolate. Yum.
Now how did I actually score?
From my parents Battlestar Galactica Season 2.0. I love this show. If you haven't watched it from the beginning you probably wouldn't understand.
From my daughter the man stink and a dark chocolate candy bar (I've been eating little bits of it every night as I write).
From Vipassana a very nice, very 'spensive Chinese silk robe. I'd wanted one a few years back so it was sorta wild that she remembered but now I'm left wondering what to do with my old raggedy green robe which I've had since I was--well--my daughter's age. And the new robe is so georgous I don't know what to do with it. I hung it in the bathroom but then my bathroom looked REALLY ugly compared to it so I took it out. I know there's somewhere out here to put it but I don't have a hook or spot yet--it's definitely demanding that whereever it hangs it draw attention to itself. And I wore it and I didn't feel good enough looking to be wearing something so beautiful--I'm used to wearing more grungy, relaxed, "casual" clothes. And silk on my skin feels so new and strange. Gonna have to grow into it then get the silk sheets to match!
From my brother a $20 gif certificate to Borders books.
Four cheesy b-day cards. You know who you are.
From three new online friends the kindest of wishes.
From an old one a reminder that I have worth.
I have yet one more gift to open (you know who you are and if you act dumb I really will put a picture of you on here and--oh, I guess I need a new threat, don't I?). Does it come with popcorn and a movie (and maybe a hug)?
And to myself? I gave myself a wonderful evening with a good friend, a fun day with two twelve year old girls, a mountain trip through four inches of snow, and a little thing called freedom.
November 26th, 2006
Gift giving is relatively easy. Relatively, that is, to receiving.
Choosing a gift can be difficult but it's a choice. You're in control. You choose how much time you put into finding the gift. If you're not sure what to give someone next Christmas start thinking about it on December 26th. And you get to decide how much effort and time and money you put into it. Will this be something you simply pull off a shelf and throw some wrapping paper around or will this be a painting you spend hour after hour, day after day, perfecting? Whatever the case whatever you choose to give whether it be animal, vegetable, mineral, or intangible experience, you have complete control over the how, what, when, and where. You're in the driver's seat. Inject additional clichés here.
Receiving, on the other hand, occurs in real time. Under normal circumstances we don't know what we're getting and though we hope that the giver knows us well enough to give us something that will make us feel comfortable, something that will naturally bring a smile to our faces, we often find ourselves opening gifts that surprise, insult, or simply confuse us.
For instance my parents once gave me an old miniature wine barrel. The half-rotted unassembled pieces were lying jumbled in the bottom of a ripped and water stained cardboard box. Besides a Hallmark card this was my only birthday gift. My inclination was to say, "What the fuck?!" but I somehow managed to bite my tongue though my face must have conveyed my utter confusion as my mother explained that they were giving it to me because she remembered I liked to put it together when I was twelve. I accepted the gift and eventually reassembled it into a simple planter for the back porch. The initial reception, however, proved challenging.
Responding to these challenges is made easier for scheduled occasions such as birthday's when we know the way and rhythm. Cake, candles, prezzies. That order provides some semblance of control giving us time to prepare and put on our happy-thankful faces. Christmas is even better as everyone will be accepting gift after gift after gift and there's a certain sense of balancing out how we receive each gift and it's much easier to avoid or dodge responses by turning the focus on someone else or simply by the fact that our piles are bigger allowing us to average the cumulative responses.
What do we do when a gift is unexpected? Or is bigger and/or more expensive than we're comfortable accepting? Or crosses a social or personal boundary? What if it's a complete surprise? What if it's something you'd never in your wildest dreams be interested in? What if it's just someone's thinly veiled attempt to manipulate or garner favour? What if it goes against your belief system or values? What if it's just fracking bizarre?
I have to admit I'm difficult to surprise and have this uncanny way of knowing what I'm going to get ahead of time. I must also admit I feel like a complete dolt when it comes to receiving gifts. I love giving them, I love to surprise people, but even with the firm foundation of hearing "happy birthday" followed by the opening of the presents I rarely find myself adequately prepared. Suddenly I'm the center of attention, a place I've never felt entirely comfortable with in a group setting, and I'm left with the responsibility of responding politely regardless of what's under the wrapping paper. It's time to laugh at the ditzy Hallmark cards, time to buck up and say thank you, thank you, thank you, time that you realize people don't know you as well as you'd like or they know you amazingly well but always, always time to pay attention to yourself and others and all the lessons the universe so freely offers.
I am far from an expert in this realm but on the subject of receiving gifts I can say this: regardless of the gift and giver, receive graciously.
November 24th, 2006
It's my birthday. Socially-technically speaking. Scientifically-technicially speaking yesterday at 2:36pm was my birthday I was born in the little town of Hamilton, Victoria, Australia at 8:36am on November 24th, 1973. So as an adult I celebrate it on the 23rd. Or I celebrate it on the 24th. I celebrate it on one or the other or both and I get to because on my birthday I'm a royal brat in the ass and you know what? Given this is my first year droning on and on about it I have the right to catch up and ramble (birthday, birthday, birthday, give me prezzies!!!!).
This is a picture of the town I was born. It's in a Shire but the people there aren't hobbits though they're from down under. Last time I was there was when I was 15. I don't really have plans to go back unless I can save the money up to go back and rent a motorcycle and ride across the whole country. Oh, where is my sugar mamma when I need her?
Anyhow, I didn't intent to sit down and write anything today as I'm going to be selfish and introverted so how about I just share this with you. The one, the only, psychic reading I've ever had in my life which was performed two years ago. A gift from me to those who are curious (i.e. you):
November 23rd, 2006
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I am not perfect.
The Temple is not a hidden place in the backforests of the internet where I write to convince you that I'm sort of perfectly balanced, wonderful, fun to be around guy. Yes I am passionate, intelligent, thoughtful, witty, creative, and introspective. The universe, though, loves balance. If I'm passionate about friendship I'm going to also be passionately upset when my friendship is taken advantage of. If I'm intelligent I'm also going to be intelligently argumentative when you say something I don't particularly agree with. If I'm thoughtful I'm also going to be thoughtful of someone else's feelings and thus get caught in a position where I might have to stop what I'm doing with you to be there for someone else. If I'm witty I'm sometimes going to not be witty and there will be a vaccume--do you have the balls to fill it? And if I'm introspective I'm not always going to be interested in spending time with you.
I can be a particularly passionate pain in the ass when I perceive an injustice. And that's where today's entry comes into play...
A few years ago I gave my heart to someone. They'd more or less seduced me with friendly words and countless pictures of themselves in their nighty and we met and I acted the perfect gentlemen. I allowed myself to get lost in the relationship because the picture they painted for me was exactly what I wanted, a beautiful woman, a family, a home, a committed and loving future together. I started looking at wedding rings, the first time I'd considered marriage for a second time around, but did not ask because I wanted to get over the honeymoon period. And why? Because the end of that period is well known in psychology to be a point where you see someone's true character and I wasn't about to jump in with a $1k+ ring in hand when there were warning signs that this girl wasn't everything she made herself out to be.
I am glad I made the choice to open myself to her. I'm also glad I had the wisdom to wait. She showed me her true colours. I haven't sought a relationship since.
Fast forward to the last few months. I've opened my life to a handful of online friendship and have met some great people. Some of them I'm attracted to so I can't help but ask myself, "Would I be interested in a relationship with them?"
The answer is always: Uh, thank you but no.
All my life I've been one of those people that only expresses interest in someone if I want something long term and monogamous. Sure, there were a few minor exceptions, but this has, by and large, been the rule. I wanted someone I could fall in love with and get married to and wake up next to and have children with and grow old with and have matching plots. So I opened my life and heart to woman after woman.
This last time my heart and friendship got taken for such an insultingly long and hateful ride that something inside me broke. I can still look at a woman and think wow, she's spectacular. I can still look at a woman and think yes, I want to spend time with them. I can even look at a woman and be open to the possibility of being lovers. But I don't look at a woman and think wowzers, would you be interested in a relationship?
This has been a difficult realization for me, a painful first.
I was always a dreamer. In seventh grade I had a girlfriend (my first kiss) and I remember being sick at home once and I wrote her a dozen love letters just to put a smile on her face. For my highschool sweetheart countless poems, letters, paintings, and surprises abounded. I once blindfolded someone I was madly in love with (and who I must admit I will always madly love), put them in a car, and took them on a ride to the beach; I even wrote a book of encouragement for her, a book I continue to write in some respects here in The Temple. I love to leave a flower on a doorstep, spend hours putting together the perfect CD of music, and have setup vacations for my significant others and myself to enjoy. I love play, I love to make the woman I'm with smile, I love to put my all into it. I was what you'd call a true romantic.
I am no longer that dreamer. No more romance. I'm broken. Gone. Nadda. Since that last girl I thought maybe I'd just gotten hurt pretty hard and I needed more time to heal than normal and maybe that's true but I'm a resilient guy, usually three to six months is enough and I've overcome a serious Depression to talk about it--yet two years later and the question of a relationship with someone falls dead on my heart. Not interested. Nope, sorry, I can be your friend and maybe your lover but I don't have much more to offer and I'm not going to pretend I'm someone I'm not. My heart's broken baby, in for repairs, diagnosis uncertain. Too late, too bad, life sucks.
I used to think of people like that on my birthdays and just hate, hate, hate. This one in particular I don't have much love for given the results of her behavior yet I don't wish her ill, I just wish she'd grow the fuck up, not play with others people's hearts, and be an adult. Harsh but you know, I think there are a lot of people that need this little prayer, my Friendship Prayer:May your karma teach you to recognize your actions and the effects they have, both positive and negative, on others. May you learn the importance of true honesty, the sanctity of promises, the price of loyalty, and that excuses have no place in a friendship. May you find the integrity to enter into something and stay in it, the strength to be there for others even when there is no immediate benefit, and the character to keep your word.
November 21st, 2006
There are quite a few things that aren't on my birthday list. For one thing they're either just completely unrealistic as in too expensive or it's just that people can't understand why I'd want to walk around in a storm trooper suit (and yes, I'd ride my motorcycle in one just to see the looks on people's faces--if I can find a DOT approved storm trooper helmet, that is). Actually, the Yamaha FJR's on that list but you never know, maybe someone from my distant past fell into millions and thought heck, Aslynn was decent if a little too passionate at times, I'd like to get him that FJR. Yeah, I'm a dreamer. If I could dream the wildest thing in the world I would dream for the seven year old I never got a chance to plan birthday parties for and most people, most women, don't comprehend what it's like to be supportive but be without choice--and how you get to live with that forever and silently celebrate those invisible birthdays one, two, three, four... So instead of sorrow or the impossible I'll settle for wild dreams of the improbable:
I am so in love!
November 20th, 2006
Gift giving is one part art, one part skill.
Now some like to take the easy route and be provided with a list and though this is socially acceptable it's an example of pure sloth and does nothing to benefit the personal art and skill of gift giving. Sadness.
There are others who having a slightly higher standard want to surprise the giftee and hence subscribe to one of two main methodologies: 1) The Law of Longing and 2) The Law of Likeness. The Law of Longing defines a strategy where the gift is bought based on what the receiver wants (or longs) for. The Law of Likeness is an extension of the first law except that the gift is something the giver likes as well; both giver and receiver have something in common (or a likeness). This can be one of the higher forms of gift giving except in certain situations like marriage where one spouse will buy something like a dishwasher or Porsche Boxter and rationalize it as a gift for the other when it is in fact a gift for themselves.
And then there are gift giving practices that fall into the category of absolutely and utterly pathetic. These include finding what's cheap ("It was a Blue Light Special!"), finding what's available ("The guy at the 7-11 said it's all the rave with the girls!"), buying a card to stave off guilt ("At least I was thinking about you!"), or at the bottom of the pit: pawning off a gift someone previously gave you as something you wrapped using the Law of Likeness ("I've wanted one of these so long I thought you'd love one too!"). If your behavior fits into any of these categories save yourself the time, money, and energy because most people would rather be kicked in the balls than receive a gift they must feign politeness to accept with any civility.
True gift giving comes from somewhere deeper. It is the skill of being able to quiet oneself enough to hear the whispering of another's soul. It is the art of recognizing another's inner voice and matching that to a picture, a poem, a wrapping paper, a flower, a card, a dish washer, or Porsche Boxter. It is the art of knowing that sometimes all you have to say is, "Nice hair," or "I appreciate the things you do for me." Maybe it's a surprise unlike any they've ever received, maybe it's a kiss on the cheek, maybe it's an apology, and maybe it's helping them get in touch with their inner child or their inner wisdom or both. The art and skill of gift giving is putting all of ones heart and mind and energy into a gift that screams, "Yes!", that brings a smile to the face or a tear to the eye. It takes time, it takes patience, but in the end that which is given becomes a memory that is more enduring than any rose bush.
The gifts you choose say everything about the person you choose to be.
November 16th, 2006
I've included quite a few things on my birthday list and when all is said and done I'll share with you how I scored. There is one thing I have not put on my list. It is not on my list because it is not something you can give me.
It is true balance.
True balance. Unless you're a bodhisattva you probably don't have true balance and frankly most bodhisattvas don't either. So take a look in the mirror. You're off balance. Your breathing isn't always steady. Sometimes you're reactive when you should be proactive, sometimes you're proactive when you should simply breath. Imbalances can be physical, mental, or spiritual. Imbalances prevent us from self actualization.
Sometimes I hate myself, I really, really hate myself. It's not like I can say I don't have a clue. I've been aware of major areas of imbalance in my life for years and years and years and yet I still struggle with them (and at times ignore them).
Here are two of my biggest problem areas:
I have suffered from chronic insomnia for over fifteen years. It has been so bad that for years of my life I've been addicted to sleeping pills and simply couldn't be on a "normal" sleeping schedule (and thus hold a job) without them. One of the primary reasons I'm a night owl is that falling asleep is often a struggle that can last hours. If that's not bad enough once I fall asleep I don't want to wake up. Why would I? It was such a pain in the ass getting to sleep I'm not about to give that up to listen to the blue jays in the morning.
I've been given the "just do it" speech by people who have never suffered from chronic insomnia. I've tried everything and after awhile it just gets frustrating. Here's a real life example from the last three years:
Can't wake up on weekdays.
Crank up alarm's volume.
Move alarm across bedroom.
Sleep walk to alarm, hit snooze.
Wait for alarm to go off second time then get up.
Still sleep walk to alarm. Reprogram it to go off at some random time (say PM).
Sleep on top of bunk bed thus going down ladder and across room in hopes this is enough to get one out of sleep walking mode when rushing to blaring alarm.
Not worth it to get out of to bunk so begin integrating NPR's Morning Edition into annoying dreams replete with shouting people.
Put alarm #2 near head so not to oversleep and miss work.
Okay, so I'm not on a normal schedule but this actually works pretty good. I'm not a morning person yet but I can consistently get up and be into work between 9 and 10 and earlier if a meeting requires it.
This is a hard one too. The healthiest diet is of course a vegetarian one and frankly when eating at home I like 90% of my meals to be meat free. My weakness, though, is high carb foods such as noodles and rice, and in particular I can be found going through the Jack in the Box drive through after a stressful day at work. This, sadly, is better than my diet from 2000 - 2002 which too often consisted of munchies, Pepsi, Jack Daniels, and Cigarettes. Obviously this didn't help my sleeping patterns and it also burned a bit of a hole in my stomach.
Live and learn.
It was pretty easy recognizing that I shouldn't be drinking soda pop all day, downing J.D. every weekend, and smoking regularly. Okay, it took some work but I moved away from these enjoyably bad habits. Frustratingly that was the easy part. The hard part's been identifying those subtle habits that effect my unique body in a specific way.
One problem is that my body doesn't like to have three square meals a day. I don't care what you tell me: IT DOES NOT! Since I was in gradeschool breakfast has always made me sick. Always. If I'm up at 8am, take a shower, then eating at 8:45 I'm going to feel nauseous enough to throw up and if I do force myself to eat I spend the morning wanting to take a long cat nap. Additionally, if I eat a breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I spend the entire day digesting and bloated--my stomach and intestines simply don't like having three full meals!
What I've found is that I do best drinking water in the mornings. I allow myself one cup of coffee but only decaf as caffeine agitates my stomach and frankly it's just better to wake up "naturally". I usually don't have breakfast or lunch but have a small brunch that often consists of some Nancy's Yogurt with a little grape nuts on top and maybe a fruit or some vegetables. Dinner is my main meal of the day; afterwards I drink water. This, I've found, is exactly the right amount of food for me at the rights times of day for me.
So those are two key areas where I could bring more balance to my life and some examples of how I've been putting in some right thought and some right energy. Doing so affects how I feel physically and how I feel physically affects how I feel emotionally and how I feel emotionally effects every single relationship I have in my life and how I am affected by the quality of the relationships in my life effects how I feel emotionally and how I feel emotionally effects how I feel physically and you know what? I'm a selfish bastard, I want to feel good in my body, I want to feel good about myself, I want to feel good about my relationships, and I want to make others feel good about themselves.
That is the path of the bodhisattva, the path towards true balance.
November 14th, 2006
This is an essay on perspective. And to the right is a picture of my enormous cock (the giant got me snookered--unfortunately it didn't have the best aftertaste).
I decided to share that with you because a friend I met on MySpace told me last night that some random guy stopped by on IM (Instant Messenger) to say hi and thought he'd share a picture of his enormous cock which she said was probably just someone else's enormous cock. Needless to say she put the prick on her ignore list. Me? I've always stereotyped guys like that in a very similar fashion to the one women steroetype them in (more or less) because I've never been like that either--I simply don't understand what their game is. My friend suggested the interesting idea that maybe they get off on making someone else look at porn while they look at porn and I couldn't help but think: who the hell wants to look at a boring ass picture of some guy's hairy scrotum and vein covered phallus?
This, of course, brings up the subject of perspective. Any decent photographer can tell you it's difficult to gauge the size of something in a photograph without a valid frame of reference. If it's just a close up of a penis how do we know it's not simply an unusually skinny one?
The same is true in other areas of life.
The other day while at work one of my coworkers starting talking about air museums and I'd asked if they'd been down to see the Spruce Goose, as I'd finally taken the time to visit it this summer. One of my colleauges mentioned how huge the plane was which I found odd because I was startled by how small it seemed (compared to how big it was always made out to be). Under the right wing of the Goose was an SR-71 Blackbird, a retired spyplane from the cold war days and we all agreed the jet was tiny, tiny, tiny.
I found this odd.
You see, when I was a teenager I had posters of the SR-71 and that plane looked huge as it skimmed at Mach 6 across the stratosphere. I even put together a model of it which took hour upon hour of carefully sanding, gluing, and applying decals; though only about a foot long the tiny plastic pilot seemed, well, tiny compared to the beautifually flowing curves of those expansive black wings. And yet in person the jet was barely an echo of my teenage memory.
Moral of the story?
If you suddenly feel an urgent need to take a picture of your private member and want to send it as a gift to a complete stranger then do them the courtesy of posing it next to a ruler.
At the very least they'll have a good laugh.
November 12th, 2006
Most people don't realize how much it sucked to be a caveman. Not only were there no calendars but if you forgot your cavewife's birthday she'd hit you over the head with a very large stick then hold it against you for the next year unless of course you were lucky enough to pick a cavewife with a birthday that landed on the equinoxes or solstices then it was easy as pie. And as any good caveman you got your cavewife some rocks and not just any rocks but some shiny ones and if you had to you'd walk all the way to the beach (telling her, of course, that you were out with the caveguys) and then you'd wander the beach mile after mile, find the most sparkly agates you could, and return home three days late to be hit over the head with a very large stick.
These, though, are memories lost to antiquity.
Today birthdays are celebrated in any number of ways. Here in the United States we bake cakes, make a wish and blow out birthday candles, open presents--or for some of us that are up in years we use this as an opportunity to pretend we're actually younger than we really are, forgetting that age is a function of the genes and not so much the heart. What other interesting and curious customs does our species currently engage in?
Many cultures, for instance, associate birthdays with luck. Gifts are intended to bring luck and might include flowers, a birthstone, etc.
Other cultures view different birthdays with different significance. For instance, here in America the 13th birthday is when one becomes a teenager (if I didn't think my daughter's tweens weren't "interesting" enough) and for a 16 year old girl sweet sixteen often entails a substantial gathering and celebration. Twenty first birthdays are for getting snookered and 40th ones are ones we all try to avoid--but if we're fortunate to have good friends we don't hear the end of it. In Korea a child's first birthday is seen as especially significant while Hindu children only celebrate birthdays until they are sixteen and those celebrations are more religious than we'd be comfortable with. And of course there's the bar mitzvah! Who doesn't want a bar mitzvah (for gals out there it's a bat mitzvah)?!
Lets not forget famous birthdays which we often celebrate as a group. The birthday of Jesus is celebrated like no other while great leaders all over the world have their birthdays remembered well after their passing. Will yours be?
And then there's just the birthday spanking which my parents did to me. Just a nice slap on the butt, one for each year, slap, slap, slap, slap. On the other hand I had a friend that was really and quite publically spanked by his father and it was a right of passage every year, an act of manliness by taking it with a smile on your face then running off to get some cake. Oh, and no one may spank me this year unless they're really, really nice and I really, really like them. Sorry hooligan buddy, I like you but I don't like-like you (besides, you have a georgous wife, spank her for crying out loud ;)
Finally there's the surprise party. I curse the bloody bastard that came up with that one! (jk...well...kinda)
The real irony here is that with all our cultural and technological advances modern men still forget their modern woman's birthdays and thus end up going down to the local mall to fork out a few hundred sand dollars for shiny rocks--but in our defense we've learned to mount them!!!
Progress. Go figure.
November 11th, 2006
Even as adults we blow out the candles with a wish. No, we don't hold the universe up to keeping this wish but there's always a slight tinge of hope that it'll come true. With my thirty-third birthday just around the corner I'm wondering what hopes I'll project onto those glow sticks. Will you be in the smoke billowing lazily from them?
I work, I sleep, and I raise a beautiful twelve year old girl. I consume sustenance, I excrete waste, and in between I like to hit the road as often as I can on my two wheeled hooligan. Sometimes I write, sometimes I take photographs, and sometimes I say to hell to it all and hit the papasan with a good book. Now I yearn for something different as I wind down from another long nine-to-five to twenty-four/seven.
I want to be surrounded by friends both old and new who I can count on and trust, who will laugh with me and cry with me and eat sushi with me or at least watch me eat sushi because they're afraid of seafood. Oooooh, scary!
I want old lovers to admit to their mistakes, say that they miss me, that they want me, and send me flowers. I've made mistakes too.
I want new lovers to invite me into their hearts and beds, I want to be kissed sensuously for hours or go at it like mad-crazed bunnies in the moonlight, I want to be taken to places that I've been and shown the deepest unexplored wilderness.
I want to be immersed so deep in cultures and thoughts that are new to me I'm gasping for air, I want your skin to be the gold of a sunrise or the deep black of midnight, I want to see the clues and the mysteries in your eyes as they enfold me in their unique wisdom.
I want warm arms and legs wrapped around me as we lean into the corners, our minds and hearts on the air, the rivers, the forests, the coast. When shall we stop, what shall we see out there you and me?
What do you have to offer me as the day approaches, what gift, what excitement, what surprises and wisdom is in your heart, on my mind, rippling through your spirit? Can you offer me change, fun, excitement, flirtatious whispers over wine? Will you blind fold me and show me a different world or open my eyes and teach me how to see anew? Do you listen? Do you play? Do you laugh? Do you cry? Do you suck the marrow by and by? What can you paint across my sky?
Do birthday wishes ever come true?
November 9th, 2006
I'm such a twat! Yesterday I started writing and I had all these thoughts about early birthdays but after finishing the first paragraph which I wrote on a break at work I completely forgot where I was going so I filled in with other just as legitimate thoughts when in truth I wanted to share one simple truth with you:
Don't share your toys with young little boys (or girls)!
So I had this toy plastic shark. Yes, you read that correctly, a toy plastic shark. It was about eight or nine inches long and grey and hollow and there were all these little plastic things you put inside it like a boot and a plastic "tin" can and a car tire, etc., I mean I don't remember exactly what all these things are just the kinds of things you'd expect to find in a toy plastic shark. And it had these huge jaws with sharp little teeth and the jaws were built onto a hinge so they could open and close and you attached all of this to a rubber band so that the jaws would snap shut then you'd open the mouth ever so carefully and lock them into place so they'd stay open unless you accidentally touched them then BAM they'd SLAM closed!!!! The point of this psychotic little toy was to use this five inch plastic arm to grab little plastic things you put inside the shark out and if you messed up and touched its teeth then SLAM BAM they'd close and you'd loose, next person's turn.
Simple toy, fun, not something that'd be legal now-a-days, but hey. Played with it for days, no problem, easy to use, always the temptation to use your fingers to pull little plastic items outa the thing's gut, but other than broken rubber bands it was easy to take care of. Took it to the kindergarten in the basement of Our Savior's Lutheran. Within ten minutes many of the intended contents for the shark's guts were completely missing and the jaw had been broken off.
I made the same mistake with a Jack and the Beanstalk board game my grandpa gave me just before he died. Simple game, though the board was unusual. Instead of being flat on the table the cardboard piece was vertical and had small holes where you could stick your little plastic "Jack" figurine as you worked your way up the beanstalk. You rolled dice, followed the rules, yadda-yadda, first one up the beanstalk won the game. Within ten minutes the cardboard had been bent and wouldn't stand up straight nor would it sit correctly in the plastic support.
I made the same mistake again with my tadpoles. My parents had bought this neat little science kit for me. It was this plastic bowl with a cheap little microscope and in the mail came a packet and in that packet were tadpole eggs so in went the eggs into the water and I waited and waited and wow, look at that, tadpoles! I was so excited and used to look at them closely every day and watch them grow. Took them to the kindergarten in the basement of Our Savoir's and within ten minutes all the tadpoles were dead.
Now I was naive enough to think that just because I took care of my toys and took extra precautions when borrowing other people's toys that they would likewise as that's the golden rule and it's just bloody obvious now isn't it? But no, that's not how it works. And so I looked forward to being an adult cause I had this silly little idea that adults were different, they took care of their toys so they'd take extra precautions when borrowing other people's toys--but you know, for the most part I've found this is hit and miss too and if an adult breaks your rather expensive toy they'll just shrug, say whoops, and hope you'll forgive them--and if not, there goes the friendship.
So don't be a dumbass: Think twice before you let people touch your toys.
November 7th, 2006
Memories of my early birthdays were the best. Unmarred by years of birthday bullshit I simply saw them for what they were, a socially accepted hallmarks of the moment one exited one's mother's vagina. Okay, so I didn't exactly see it that way in preschool because all the presents were shiny and the sugar high was so good after my mom's chocolate cake but I think you get me and if you don't that's okay as nobody really does.
Yep, little kid birthdays are cool. Lots of decorations strung throughout the kitchen, special napkins all around the table, cookies, cake, games, games, and more games! It was a day that started the moment you got up and everyone at school knew-or at least everyone that "mattered"--and the ride home on the bus was the longest ride home all day--except of course the last day of school-and it was at the same time irritating because you didn't get to shake the presents ahead of time and guess what they were but oh, if your friends were on the bus too you couldn't wait because it had to be an action figure or something of the kind!
Adult birthdays on the other hand suck. If your child remembers it's only because another adult reminded them and if other adults remember it's because you're probably related. You don't wake up excited to reach the afternoon because there will be no special napkins and cookies, cakes, and games and the only ride home will be the long commute after which you may or may not be reminded that you're another year older by people who love you--with things like sweaters and ties and socks or practical jokes which sadly are usually as good as the sweaters and ties and socks. And then you leave the house, sit in traffic for another 30 minutes, and stop at Toys'R'Us because they got action figures.
November 6th, 2006
I once received a laundry hamper for my birthday. I'd never owned a hamper before. It was a plastic white one with a top that flipped up. I think it had a bow on it. Definitely fell into the category of, "What the hell?" gifts I've gotten over the years which have included a busted up old wine barrel, a Build-A-Bear monkey that meows like a cat, and an oddly shaped wooden box I never quite knew what to do with until a few years ago (I now use it daily).
I don't typically remember what year I receive a gift but this was most definitely 1999, one of those years I'd pick for a stroke to knock out of my memory if one were able to choose such things. I remember sitting on a futon with the television on, chain smoking cigarettes as was my favorite and only past time back then, and more or less breathing in this person's face. I mean, I was justified wasn't I, they left me alone a long, long, long time ago, didn't they, they were glad to finally be rid of me, weren't they, now they could play their music and go to their clubs and do whatever they wanted and didn't have to deal with fucked up little me that just wanted to be held, didn't they? I felt alone, I felt like I was holding onto whatever crumbs I could grapple onto and that laundry hamper just symbolized everything that was black and dark and empty about my life and my birthdays.
I look back now and think maybe that hamper did have some meaning, but not the meaning I projected onto it. Maybe it was a gift from someone who really did care about me, who knew I didn't have one but, a bit wiser than me in some ways, knew I sorta-kinda needed one. Maybe it was a gift from someone who loved to take care of their clothes and knew it was a big step for me to learn to do my laundry without expecting someone else to do it for me, long, long ago. And maybe it was that most obvious sentiment silently but politely worded: that I had some dirty laundry I needed to take care of and they hoped I'd do something about it.
On all counts she would have been right.
I no longer have that hamper. It started to fall apart so I got rid of it before I realized how much it meant to me. The small little white hamper I have now is on its last leg too. So it's that time again and this time I'll be getting my own hamper. It'll be a decent size, not too large and not too small, just big enough for one load. And most importantly it'll be dependable because that's what a good hamper is, n'est pas?
November 1st, 2006
Vipassana keeps asking me: "What do you want for your birthday?"--and I keep biting my tongue. Once upon a time my answer would have been a sharp retort so I've come a long way with an answer of noncommittal shrugging. The simple truth is October is still too early to be thinking on such things--and for years I dreaded the proximity of my birthday.
As a child my birthday parties were nothing like my brother's. His were saturated with friend after friend, game after game, present after present. True, I was nowhere near as popular as he but I was also cursed by the proximity of my birthday to an American holiday that happened to fall on the last four days of the fourth week of every November. If my parents had stayed in Australia, my birthplace, I would not have suffered this fate but alas, most years those few friends I invited to my parties were out of town so I wasn't exactly "thankful" spending so many birthdays alone.
(Though I will defer to those born on or near Christmas--that is the worst of the worst for not only the parties, but also due to smaller presents or the pathetic all-in-one birthday/Christmas gifts)
My birthday parties typically sucked. Those I had were small. To make up for this my mom would always make my favourite meal regardless of the day my birthday landed on. If it landed on that Thursday, or Thanksgiving, then we might pig out on her excellent home made tacos or enchiladas or pizza; the next day we'd have the traditional turkey dinner. I love my mom for that.
As an adult my birthdays have with very few exceptions been harbingers of bad luck. For instance, if I had a girlfriend I'd usually receive the Dear John letter on or around my birthday or worse yet find out she was seeing someone else. If someone was going to threaten me physically, emotionally, or legally, it would typically occur on or around my birthday. Promises broken? Trust abused? Birthday. People forget I exist? Again birthday. Loose a job or nearly go broke? Guess when?! And it wasn't uncommon for two, three, or five shitty things to pile up all within a week and a half of my birthday.
I began treating my birthdays like the anniversaries of a loved one's death. They marked a point in time but not one I liked to remember, not one that brought joy or happiness into my heart. Finally, after year after year of this I said, "Screw this shit!" and decided I wasn't going to put up with it anymore. So for my birthdays I got in my car and left, I drove a hundred, two hundred miles in any one direction and I didn't tell anyone where I was going and if I had a cell I turned it off. It was my mother fucking day and nobody, absolutely nobody, was going to fuck with it or me.
It was my day!
I've used this little strategy to reprogram my brain, my heart, and hopefully reality around me to attract more positive energy around these times. The last few birthdays have been relatively neutral and you know what? That's fine with me (that's absolutely awesome, actually). I don't stress out about what shit's going to hit the fan this year. What happens happens and I'm ready just for about anything. And no, I don't think I'm going to get anything special or a party or anything nearly as nice as I did when I was a kid (thanks again mom!) but, and perhaps I'm overly cynical, but it's just another day and I'm not all that wonderful. I'm an old geezer. ;)
So this is for those few (weirdoes) who care enough to ask, "What do you want for your birthday this year?" In no particular order, Aslynn's birthday list 2006:
Get laid (by a girl) - Yes, boys and girls, I'd like to get laid! And not just by anyone, a prostitute, or what have you. Absolutely not! I'd actually like to have love made to me by someone who 1) is not an ego-centric ignoramous, 2) isn't a nutter, and 3) isn't a selfish bitch. I would also like it if 1) I was attracted to them, 2) they were attracted to me, and 3) we sincerely cared about each other. Honesty, integrity, maturity, etc. required. Didn't think it was bloody likely but what the hell, it'll be my birthday soon, the big double 3, so why not?
A girlfriend - I think I'm ready for a relationship again and compared to oh so many I see dating I know I'm beyond an amazing catch for the right woman. I propose that this woman meet my highest and most ridiculous of benchmarks: she should be cute, Chinese or East Indian, drive a VW Bug (preferably a convertible) or a Mini Cooper, have a steady job, be creative, honest, caring, thoughtful, romantic, and help me out with the before mentioned birthday wish.
Masks - I want to start collecting masks. Not necessarily masks you'd wear but decorative ones for a wall in my house. I'm not sure what I'd like but this is a picture of Venetian mask similar to one I saw at the Ashland Shakespeare Festival Gift Shop and I just fell in love with it (so if you're rich you can find it for me!). Oh yeah, I'm not into those smiley/frownie mask combinations--how cliché!
To sell my car - As some of you may know I love my car but the payments and the clutch are killing me. In particular, shifting gears has been agitating my left knee and may be one of the primary causal factors of the repeated injuring and continual agitation of the knee costing me numerous doctor and physical therapy visits, nearly constant knee pain, an on again off again limp, and just a general sense of frustration. I'd like to sell the car, break even, and get an affordable automatic.
A VW Cabriolet in decent condition - Since I was in high school one of my dream cars was a Volkswagen Cabriolet. First, I love convertibles, second, I like things that are cute, and third, I always wanted to own a VW. Now that I have owned one (a '99 Jetta) and loved it I want to get a Cabriolet and shoot around town happy in my cute little dream car. And for those who have criticized me saying it's unmanly to want such a thing: I can take the teasing in stride but it's a sexist attitude. Grow up.
My Motorcycle Fixed - My baby has been in the shop now for months. It started having problems in the spring but every time I told the Honda guys it wasn't running quite right they'd come back and say it was fine. It slowly degraded to the point anyone would be able to tell the engine has been misfiring and it's been in the shop since--and no one can tell me what's wrong with it. I've been pretty upset about this, especially since if they find a problem everyone, including the Honda warrantee people (it was under a year warrantee), are going to raise their hands in the air and say, "not our problem". My motorcycle brings me joy. I want it fixed. I want it back.
A 2006 or 2007 Yamaha FJR 1300A - This is my sugar mamma request. I want this, the sexiest sport touring bike on the road, so I can go on thousand mile road trips without needing an ass transplant. I also want it so I can take my daughter to Disneyland on the motorcycle next summer.
Apologies for Me - Yes, I'm owed a few and you know you are. Keep the "buts" to yourself, I already have one. And don't just say some vacuous "sorry" but do something meaningful to show you've taken responsibility for your karma.
An apologie for Vipassana - Someone wronged her this past year, you owe her a goddamn apology and I'd like it for my birthday.
A Gift Certificate to New Renaissance Bookshop - I love this place but haven't been spending too much money (most of the surplus is going to the car and my knee) so it would be nice to go in there, take in the fresh open air, and leave with some incense, a few books, some candles, or what have you.
Doctor Who Season 1 (new series) - Doctor Who is the bomb, baby, and if you don't understand that then you never will!
Flowers - Delivered. Poetry is optional. Surprise me with something photogenic.
Sushi - Sushi Town or some other high grade sushi restaurant run would be grand! Yummy for the tummy! Good for the old heart! Maybe if my Chinese girlfriend ends up being Japanese she can take me *gring*
Exercise clothes - In particular I need more shorts or jogging pants for the gym. No sweats. Black only please.
A Surprise - Good luck with this one, not many people can surprise me all that often so it'd be a great gift as long as it's something that brings joy and warmth to my heart.
A Porch Monkey shirt - I love social commentary and this shirt fits the bill. We're taking it back!
Clerks 2 Signed by Kevin Smith - Visit his website to get one of these. He signs them for free. If there are multiple versions I want the biggest one with all the extras.
How about this? http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/japanfan/5e89/
Stetson Men's Cologne - I'm almost out and no one ever buys me any because they don't like it. Well you know what, I don't want it for other people, I like the smell on me so unless you're a supermodel and want me to wear something else!!!!
Of course this list is anything but complete but its a list so now certain persons who I shall not name can stop harping on me!