June 28, 2010

i'm at indie ink today. what a kick!

June 27, 2010


The master spoke to me when I was 14.

I found myself stumbling and bumbling yet again at a cocktail party put on by my friend's parents in which there was plenty of under-age drinking. I couldn't talk to anyone, my age or older, and my discomfort was such that I couldn't even blend into background of the far wall. 

Sure, there are larger problems in life. But not for a 14-year-old.

I fled to the basement. 

I figured I'd pray in the dark until someone crashed downstairs for a rum-and-Coke refill from the basement fridge. At that point, I planned to pop up and claim to have been taking a nap. But no one came downstairs, and I ended up praying for nearly a half hour. The string of prayers I recited over that half hour was like meditation, in retrospect.

I didn't want to be an awkward loser anymore. I was desperate. I said so. 

Well, about the time I forgot I was even praying, about the time I stopped listening for the basement door to click open, I understood something.

For most people, asking questions of others is common sense. For me, common sense said to run from the party and never attend another social event again. I compromised with my common sense and retired to my friend's basement to pray, instead.

Turned out, I actually had a curiosity about others. And the more I learned about other people, the more I realized we shared things in common. Though I'm still terribly shy and continue to struggle in many social situations, I began to lose my fear of superficial encounters after the master sat on that basement sofa with me and let me peek at his roadmap of the universe.

If you want to accentuate your beauty, find the beauty in others.

If you want others to listen to you, hear what they are saying.

If you want to become more interesting, develop a genuine interest in others.

June 22, 2010


This lover speaks different. This lover feels different. This lover sounds different. This lover loves different.

And why?

The master says it is because I am different.

A man sees the world as he sees himself.

The universe may give you a gift, but it is not a gift unless you accept it.

If you must perform an interpretive dance in the early morning sunlight to allow yourself the privilege of unwrapping something dazzling, do the dance.

And become.

Gifts have no expiration dates, only the names and faces change.

Especially yours.

Become different.

Become worthy.

June 20, 2010

Hey there, I'm over at jumping tandem this glorious day. 

June 19, 2010


Everything is fight these days. I turn on the TV and the war movie on AMC tells me to fight. The lame -- but I'm still watching -- reality show tells me to fight to the finish. The Avatar cartoon tells me and my little nephew to fight. The sports announcers of absolutely every game, no matter the sport, tell me to fight. Even random T-shirts at the beach tell me to fight on.

Fight. Fight. Fight.

When the master returns, he will, once again, demonstrate the full power of the universe by...


June 17, 2010

Happy Friday! I'm over at Tori MacLennan today.

June 16, 2010

Master This

Somewhere within these posts is a line about how the master plays the role of servant so convincingly. Then in another piece there's a story about how I'm sweeping the floor, like a servant. So the implication is that I'm calling myself a master, in a clever sort of way.

Well, stay skeptical. That's the only advice I like to give. That's the highest function of the human mind: Treating everyone that talks a good game as a con man until the evidence says otherwise, and as of now you have no hard evidence, so stay skeptical.

But I really am a master. I can sweep floors like nobody. Everywhere I go I see floors and the sweeping that's been done or should be done or could be done better or differently.

If we spend enough time doing something, we inevitably become experts, masters. 

When I was a youngster and swept the basement floor of my childhood home, I knew where to hide the dust bunnies from my father's inspection. I knew where to push the dirt under the furnace if I didn't feel like picking it up.

And now as an adult, that knowledge has matured within me and I can tell you in all honesty I am an expert at what it is I have done my entire life. I know where all my dirt piles are kept.

June 15, 2010

Stars in the Dust Bunnies

I've worked as an apprentice to my master for eons. "I'm going to run this place someday," I declared my first day. My master repeated "someday," and I've been sweeping the floor ever since.

This isn't The Karate Kid where I'm learning Kung Fu moves with every push of my broom. No, my master is simply holding me to my own words.

Be careful what you say. Someone important might overhear and whisper, "Your wish is my command."

At the same time, don't hold back. Be honest. Live out loud. The master honors transparency. But don't be disrespectful, or arrogant. The master does not value disrespect or arrogance, not because he is easily offended, but because disrespect and arrogance do nothing for us.

Find the good in life. It's there. But also experience the valleys for what they're worth. Live from the heart. Understand that our struggle is about progression. And our journey through this world is ultimately about finding peace.

Sound difficult to follow these stars in the sky? Yeah, well, that's why I'm still sweeping the floor.

June 14, 2010

Self Publishing

Putting together a self published book is truly a joy. First, writing a book is a journey. That's no original sentiment, I know. You have to dive deep inside yourself to say say something about the human condition. Now that the book is roughed out, the fun starts. I have the benefit of an incredible artist and friend, Mark Dixon, who is designing the cover. We talked about a traditional cover, then I pushed a cosmic theme and found after showing it to a couple friends that the cosmic theme didn't work. Now we're going to do a dragonfly theme on the cover. And I'm pretty excited about it. I dig the symbolism of the dragonfly, mucho. I'd love to have the book published before I start a full time journalism gig this summer. I'll have to see. Right now, I'm going through my 60 or so posts and looking to cut the weak ones, add some I never put in the blog. Killing babies is an important part of any serious editing process. Still haven't decided on a title. That's fun too, waiting for the title to arrive.

The ancient Persian poet Rumi has a poem in which a man jumps into a river after a bearskin floating downstream. Then it turns out the bearskin is a live bear. Rumi calls from the shoreline to let go of the bearskin, and the man yells back that the bearskin isn't letting go of him. I wondered if by doing a love poetry project that the project would be doing me instead. Well, I definitely learned some things about myself. And I'm looking forward to seeing the cool cover Mark comes up with. Like I said, I'm blessed. 

June 13, 2010

i'm partying over at thinkingtoohard, if you'd like to join us.

June 11, 2010

Reporters May Not Have Souls

So I'm freelancing for the man these days. And I'm doing a goofball feature story on those dudes who comb the beaches with metal detectors looking for treasure. And I talk to a couple guys and they don't find much but they're having fun. Like I said, it's a goofball feature. 

Then I meet a guy who is legit. He has been searching Southern California beaches for more than 20 years, pulled up $250,000 in gold and diamonds over the years. Yes, I believe him. As a reporter, I trust my ability to size people up, for the most part. Here's what made him extremely legit: He didn't want to talk to me if I was going to write a story. He said the attention in the media brings competition. And he would tell me his secrets of finding treasure if I didn't do a story. Well, I told him that maybe I wouldn't do a story after all. Maybe I would spike this idea, go out and get the sort of metal detector he recommends and follow his advice and make money that way. 

While we spoke, my energy clearly said I wouldn't do a story, but I made no promises. In fact, it was only several hours later that awakened from my gold-and-diamonds daydream to remember that I was a writer. I had less interest in looking for watches and rings with a metal detector than I had in writing fun stuff about interesting people. 

A tip for everyone: Don't tell a reporter anything you aren't willing to see in print.

So this guy unloaded his secrets to me. I took no notes, except mentally. And I of course did not identify him nor anyone else in the story with multiple sources.

As a reporter, this guy was a find for me. He was like finding a $1,500 gold ring-- though I only get about a hundred bucks for the story I wrote. For me, this guy was like finding treasure.

Sometimes, reporting can be fun as hell.

If interested, here's the story.

June 5, 2010

Noodles in Mumbai

I heard you fluttering around the universe last night. I knew you weren't going for a drink of water. You are such a bad liar. If you looked closely, you would have seen me smirking as I fell back asleep.

Let me guess: You slipped off to lead drunken Tony home to his cardboard box again. Then you fluttered outside the window of the county jail and finally made one of those psychotic inmates smile for the first time in forever.

After 5,000 years, you still have the same nocturnal habits: flirting with good-hearted, troubled men. You make them feel special, because they are. The master plays the role of servant so convincingly.

Speaking of which, I know the star god still has a major crush on you. I also know you make his day by sitting patiently in his drab office chatting up the properties of stardust and the importance of helium vapors. Yawnsville, sister.

You are a flirt, a bad liar and you are way too nice. Unlike me.

Today, you and I will chase comets, ding-dong ditch the royal family, lead that stray dog on 3rd Street to a home, and eat noodles in Mumbai.

That's later. Right now, I'm feeling a little psychotic myself. No, you are not allowed to leave this bed for an actual drink of water until I am through with you. Then I'm going to drift off to sleep again with a different sort of smirk on my face.

June 4, 2010

Beautiful Serpent

Show me your serpent. It's okay. I have one too. Serpents are scary at first. But our serpent sides have a purpose. Mostly, they just want to protect us.

They come armed with fangs and silence and deal in death. They wield a sword and cut off contact and allow us a retreat.

Our dark sides sometimes kill relationships when we fail to communicate our feelings well. Sometimes we're too self-unaware to even know how. We do our best, and then after a while, or maybe all too soon, our serpents emerge.

Our serpents are often the most loyal sides of ourselves, interested in protecting our most vulnerable parts. Unfortunately, our dark sides sometimes wield too much power in our lives and end up keeping us from the things we're after.

Show me your serpent, sweetheart. Bring her out. Let's do the introductions now, all four of us. I want to meet this beautiful side of you that has done her very best to protect your heart over the years. I want to kiss her hand and show her there's truly nothing to fear here.

June 3, 2010

Pestering Moon

Something is wrong with the ocean. The waves are crashing a little more unruly than what the moon suggests.

Now the ocean has always been a little hard headed. No one commands the ocean, no one tells it what to do. But the moon has found a way over the centuries to speak to the ocean, and so what's going on lately makes me think.

And what I'm thinking is you ought to put on that beaded necklace of yours and do up your hair in braids again, and we ought to go for another stroll along the shore and let the ocean stretch out its salt carpet for your feet. And we probably should wade out a foot or so into the icy water just like we did over the weekend.

I mean, the moon won't stop knocking on our window until we agree. So for the sake of getting some sleep, let's promise to go down to the beach tomorrow and let the ocean have another taste of your legs. 

June 2, 2010

The Gift

We start with a 30-unit apartment building. We make it totally green, in whatever way so appropriate. We put solar panels on the roof. We have a fleet of automobiles that run on vegetable oil.

It is the first building of our artist colony.

But it won't just be an artist colony. Whoever lives here will perform volunteer work in the community, whatever sort of work they want. Our art will reflect our work, inevitably. Everyone will receive a couple hundred dollar stipend every week, maybe more.

A few apartments will be used to house families temporarily homeless. Another for visitors. Another for the chronically homeless. Wherever this colony is located, it will conform to the needs of the local community, so that an apartment also will house victims of domestic abuse, which is prevalent in every community.

We'll have a gardener to tend the grounds of all the buildings in our sprawling artist and service colony. We'll have a chef to prepare buffets a couple times a week, probably to coincide with guests invited to speak with everybody on various interesting subjects. People will visit from around the world.

It will all be so much fun, and work, and especially fun.

I mean, it's not like we're going to change the world or anything.

(I mean, yes, we are:)

June 1, 2010

The Gift of The Great Prophetess

While in the womb I negotiated with the great prophetess. We came to terms after months of back-and-forth.

No such thing as overpaying for the rarest of treasures. Once again, I made out like a bandit. For you, I would have given double, triple.

Many lifetimes ago I bought you at a slave auction and was laughed off the stage at the ridiculous price I offered. But I did the laughing later when I saw the hundreds of familiar secret worlds in your eyes.

This is no young love anymore. We drink the blast juice of a deeper color between us. Back when we were young, Abraham chased and threatened us with reed sticks for stealing his grapes. (Sucka!)

I have my doubts, as usual. I acknowledge these doubts not to contaminate, but rather to release them, to clean our energy, to continue the collapsing of space between us, to slope the land further.

To fall deeper into those secret worlds of yours.

So many of my friends today live as refugees from the journey of looking for the great unspoken horizon that is love. They resort to the safety of emotionless sex, in its various trendy presentations, woven to hide the handiwork of the dark tailor himself: Fear. Emotionless sex was one of the things I had to give up in this lifetime. You see, the great prophetess doesn't take from us anything that's truly valuable. She only demands everything that cloaks our true selves.

After a long journey, you'll always find a little wear and tear on the carriage. But nothing is wasted. Everything is necessary-- once you arrive.

I have my doubts, as usual. But we've already made our deals with the great prophetess, and we continue to make out like bandits. So what's the point of doubting?

No point.

To get you back, I would give up more than the misers of this fallen world could fancifully imagine. (Suckas!)

Ours is an ancient crush.