Friday, February 21, 2003

Spent the whole day with dr oblivious. First we went to a restaurant in Costa Mesa that serves Texas sized portions. I had french toast stuffed with cream cheese, strawberries and blackberries, two poached eggs, home fries and apple-blackberry juice. Six dollars.
dr oblivious told me about a costume he made using bondage tape, which only sticks to its self and other vinyl. He cut stars out and put black stars on red bondage boots, red stars on a black cat suit, and a red hooded cloak.
Then we went to Beach Ball Comics, which is a sucky little comic store close to my house that stinks of cigarettes and the owner plays far right radio talk show crap all the live long day. There was another police action of some sort right over my house with five helacopters, so it took us about half an hour to get off the offramp. Then we hit collectable toy stores where he bought a few Simpsons play sets and I found a lot of future presents for Nissa in their ample Nightmare Before Christmas sections. Leave it to dr oblivious to show you amazing places you've never been to in the area you've lived in for twenty-five years.
We went to pick up Nissa. We stopped on the way to take a picture of a yard sculpture. Somebody on Orangewood took cement blocks and, with other cement, sculpted a sort of Buddhist temple out of it. Or that least that's what I saw, but I probably have Buddha on the head. On the way he told me a great statistic. It seems that through the US Census, Jedi Knight is the fastest growing religion in the country (the most people wrote it as "religion") and Klingon is the fastest growing second language.
We went to old town Tustin with Niss. She showed us the Catholic junior high that she went to. She showed us the monkey bars that a childhood friend broke her nose on. It was a peaceful junior high compared to what I'm used to. There were children's jackets and basketballs left out in the school yard late at night.
We met a friend of dr o's at Rutabagorz and had a lovely dinner.
dr o always lifts my spirits and reminds me to take things lighter.

Niss and I aren't going fishing until Sunday, after we try the Quaker service. Tomorrow we're going to a sauna where I can sweat all of the evil spirits and Benedryl out of myself.

Thursday, February 20, 2003

Last night I had a strange and terrible dream. Somebody had cut Boingo in half. His lifeless legs and tail lay on the concrete of the back yard. His twitching, weak body crawled around my feet.
I woke at 7:30, by the grace of God, and went to the Quaker retirement home to move heavy boxes of files around for six hours.
Got a ten minute nap. Then I drove to Chapman where I chatted with Bonnie, the secretary in the Theater office and an old friend. She was excited over the changes in my life. She had just done makeup for a production of Medea that was set as a 1950's sitcom. She had to do all of the makeup in black and white. This does not mean clown white and tooth black. This is many levels and layers of grey, powders, hair shellack, and so forth.
My shrink and I talked about the blow up with my folks on Monday and the tree and people murders around me on Tuesday. We agree that I'm shooting myself in the foot by setting unrealistic time frames on my business' success. I seem to use this as a way of whipping myself. She told me about core beliefs that we all have about ourselves. These spawn automatic thoughts (which those who meditate know happen about a billion per second.) These automatic thoughts lead to emotions, which ellicit behavior that reinforces the core beliefs.
One way of changing the core beliefs instilled in ourselves is to notice at the emotional reaction stage. This is a toe hold. You notice the feelings and stop to trace what thoughts lead to the feelings. Then you can change the behaviors and thereby change the core belief. You can stop letting yourself bottle up rage and relax and then your core belief doesn't have to be that you're angry or useless.
So that should be an adventure.
Nissa and I went to dinner at Felix's, a cuban restaurant I go ape for. Lentil soup, lemon chicken (that's roasted chicken with lemons squeezed over it), black beans and rice, maduros, and leche malteada. Three milk cake for dessert.
We had a rough patch over a death metal song she wanted to play for me and a lack of enthusiasm on my part. But we got to make up and that's always nice. I saw her do an amazing, brutally honest movement piece. I opted out of joining her in her ceramics class because it's getting out about now and I've been up for sixteen hours.
At home, mom had brought me a stack of books for a resident who'd passed on (unfortunately before I'd met him, which judging by his book collection, would have been quite a man to speak with.) A Dawin first edition. A 1892 Jane Austin. A two-volume, 1903 edition of Le Morte D'Arthur. Impressionist art books. A big, steaming stack of James Joyce. Two E.M. Forster first editions. Staggering.
I also finished The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe today. I've always wanted to read the Narnia books and I seem to be able to fly through them. But I've also got this hankering for Twain right now.

I had a giant message just now that disappeared. Phooey. Now I've got to recreate it.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

There's a giant, plumber sized skeleton in my closet. I probably should be more careful when I point fingers at people who haven't seen the first two Godfather films. I have never seen Gone With The Wind. But that's about to change.
I was at the Chapman Library with Nissa and convinced her to let me get a movie on her student card. It was between Schindler's List, Sound of Music, or GWTW. I asked Nissa and she said to get the one without Germans. I don't know why. Maybe she thought Saint Peter would ask about GWTW before the other two.
I tried to get Nissa to get Zelig for herself, telling her it was Woody Allen's best film, but she had borrowed Time Bandits from me and hasn't watched it yet. I'm afraid I might have to stick up for her in front of Saint Peter.
"Hey, man, don't get all high and mighty about movies she hasn't seen. Hey, Peter, heard any cocks crowing lately?"
Tomorrow I'm getting up at what is for me that butt crack of dawn to work a day at the Quaker retirement home. I'm reboxing files for the new year and moving them into storage. This should take most of the morning and get me a fifty, which will make my total income for this month around one hundred dollars. WHOOO HOOOO! Well, I knew the belt would get tighter before it got looser when I started this business.
Oh, and we had elk burgers for dinner tonight. I don't eat beef because of the fat and the hormones and the way the moo cows are treated. So if I want red meat in a bun, I cook up some elk, venison or caribou
that my father shot. And, by golly, does it ever sit in my tummy like a stone for the rest of the night. I rarely (no pun intended) eat the redder meats at all at all. I usually stick to fish and chicken. But tonight I have filled myself with one of God's larger creations. And don't I know it!

Last night I commented to Charles on a news report I saw. Bush said that the massive amounts of protesters really didn't have any bearing on his decision for war. I ranted about how he is supposed to be a representative of the people, not some despot.
I asked why isn't a government for, of, and by the people observed by our officials.
Charles answered that perhaps because he didn't get into office through the popular vote, he only feels obligated to the people who got him into office.
Who profits? Why the people who will be spoiled by the spoils of war, that's who.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Most of the day went well. At least the first half of the day went well. I spent the first part of the day working on said story and waiting for the plumber to come and fix the sinks (which, in another of life's metaphors, had black stuff oozing out of the kitchen drains as I was angry last night.) It was the giant again who fixed my sink.
Then I went to the Westminster library to buy some books. When I got back, the hellmouth opened upon Garden Grove and spat demons all over our yards. First, I was sitting at the computer editing what I'd written when I heard a leaf blower type sound in the back yard. After a few minutes I turned to the window and saw great hunks of the tree falling to the ground. I called mom and said, "Uh, there are men in the back yard cutting down your tree."
She flipped. Apparently they were supposed to come on Saturday to trim the tree but instead came today and cut the tree down. I knew nothing of this. I was just there to keep an eye on the giant plumber and work on Dad's computer.
Then there were five helacopters circling the house, just in time for my parents to get there and yell at the tree murderers. The choppers were circling overhead because there was a people murder two streets over. Some guy went over to these people's house, who he apparently knew, and shot all of them. The parents died and the children were heavily wounded.
I spent about twenty minutes convincing Bugsy that it was okay to come out from under the trailer and hide in the house. Then I made dinner for my parents so that they could focus on the insides of their heads (I kind of owed them more than one after losing it last night.) Then I went to see Charles, Phish and Sean.
In the course of conversation, I told Charles that Ezra Pound was a modern tragic hero. But not like "Death of a Salesman." His life was that of a classical tragic hero set in modern times. He was a larger than life figure who's flaws led to his downfall. Or, to contrast by example of T.S. Eliot (which was Charles' observation), Eliot was a modern man who was grasping at straws to find meaning and finally found one that he liked. Pound was a modern man who was grasping at straws to find meaning and never did.
I thought this was astute on both of our parts. I write it here to rib Charles a bit because I told him that he could write a paper on it if he wanted to. Then I told him I'd blog about it and claim plagiarism.
Of course he can write any of this in a paper, word for word if he wants and I don't give a rat's ass. Just so long as he isn't raking in money over my thoughts on Pound, I don't care. Take it away, Chas.
Tomorrow I get to see a fully worked Sweetwater tube and get a copy of the Phish show I saw when I go visiting at the old glass factory.

I had a strange thought this morning. I was writing a long story a while ago about a priest who goes through a long, dark night of the soul in midlife. He's pulled into a plot to mass communicate enlightenment by a young, former communist, now Hindu girl who is burning with spiritual energy just as he, a former, fallen monk, is running on empty. I stopped writing in the middle of the story, right where he's showing signs of high stress, and this morning I thought, I wonder if that isn't why I am where I am right now.
I mean, Nissa's got the burning with Buddha spiritual energy. I'm having the freak outs. Maybe it's like how Hemingway wrote about crashing into Kilamanjaro and then crashed into a mountain himself and got brain damaged. Maybe our subconcious takes these things much more seriously than our consious mind.
Guess I better finish that story!

Monday, February 17, 2003

No, Reverend, "a HAPPY habit" is the See's Candy slogan. Not healthy at all at all. I wouldn't imagine that Nissa was telling me that I should be eating more candy. I should be so fortunate.
I freaked out on my parents tonight. My father asked (while on the phone with the painter, so I was a little trapped) if I could be in their home tomorrow to meet with a house painter. I told him I didn't have time to sit around and be errand boy for when people have things they need to do while they work. I have a full time job.
I went off alone and huffed and stewed and thought about how I was reacting and prayed. I went to Mom and told her how I was freaked out about the business not being on line yet and not having income. I realized I had been an ass and had taken out my frusteration on them. I apologized and felt guilty.
It's like I only feel negative feelings anymore. Nissa said that I used to be like a guru to her when we were first together and now I'm a wreck. It's true. I get angry and then feel bad for feeling angry. I get full of self pity and vanity. When I want to be Albert Scweitzer.
I think it was C.S. Lewis that I read several years ago and said this (paraphrased.) He said that we sin, then we repent, then God forgives, but we continue to feel bad about what we did. This last part is an insult to God because it says that His forgiveness is not sufficient.
Needless to say this doesn't end with God. I do this constantly.
I promised Niss that I'm going to start working on myself again. She said that I need to find "a healthy habit" (which, incidently is the slogan for See's Candy.) I think I'm going to stop caring so much about money. Screw money! Lousy school loans!
The idea behind the book business in the first place was to have a labor of love instead of grunt working for somebody else at something I don't give a hoot in hell for. I'm not letting it be that way.
I feel like screaming or crying or hitting something too much of the time. It's silly to blame it all on the Benedryl. I quit at Sweetwater in order to start a new life. It's about time I did just that, eh what?

Alright. The book business is going up. It'll be a few days before it's all up, but it's going up now. Thank God and finally!
This morning I helped my father put a caribou head, which he shot (the whole caribou is what he shot, not just the head), on his wall. It's giant and stares at you as you sit by the door.
Then I went and put in my Alibris request to go online.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Ugh! Just spent last few hours at LAX looking for Nissa's luggage. Nissa is now home safely.
She fufilled an adolecent fantasy of mine this evening. I remember when the final Oingo Boingo concert was released on cd, I thought that that version of "We Close Our Eyes" was one of the most honestly beautiful things I'd ever heard. I fantasized about having somebody to sing it to and with. On the way home, we were listening to an old mix tape I made back then and we both spontaneously sang along.

I'm kicking myself about missing the Instagon tonight. I can't remember if Dr. Oblivious is playing with them tonight or next Sunday. Anyway, be sure and come out to the Liquid Den in Huntington Beach next
Sunday because I think (I'm pretty sure) Oblivious is going to be there. He's was a member of the Ahmish (band I used to drum for) and just about the coolest, kindest guy you'd ever want to meet. He plays a mean keyboard too. And I do mean a "MEAN" keyboard. His solo project, Celebrity Funeral, seems to provoke one of two responses. Either, "Wow! What is this?" or "TURN THAT OFF RIGHT NOW!"
Both are satisfying to hear from people you play it for.§ion=NEWS&subsection=FOCUS&year=2003&month=2&day=16

Well, it was just a matter of time I suppose. According to this article, I'm officially giving money to a domestic terrorist group. It says that PETA, although a peaceful protest group, gives money to such "domestic terrorist groups" such as the ELF and the ALF. Nevermind that the latter make carefully certain that nobody is harmed in their actions.

The other thing I wanted to rant on was something I heard marionette Tony Blair say on the news in reference to the largest protest in British history against the war with Iraq. He said that leaders often have to do things that are unpopular. Couple this with Bush's statements about not having to let people know why he does what he does because he's the president. And his past statement that he didn't have to run the war by any other branch of government (to which congress replied, "The hell you don't!")
What ever happened to representitives? "Leaders?" What the heck does that mean? It's a very scary time when our elected officials start commenting on what they're doing as though they had carte blanche. If I were a member of the royal family, I'd be outraged! That's supposed to be their infallible leaders, innit? Our infallible leader is supposed to be the people.

Speaking of infallible leaders, thank God the Pope came out against the war! As a Quaker minister, the lines of church and state get a little blurry for me. That's okay because I'm not an elected official. It's their job to keep them separate. It's my job to bring my spirituality into every part of my life.
A good portion of the major churches are coming out against military action. Catholics, Methodist, some Jewish groups, every Buddhist I've heard from, a lot of Muslim groups, Quakers (of course). I saw a Wiccan faction at the march yesterday.
The Southern Baptists are calling for their people to write in support for military action. As much as that grieves me, I find some consolation in the fact that I remain opposed to the Southern Baptists.

The ultra-consevative OC Register estimated 2,000 anti-war marchers at the Orange Circle yesterday.