Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Date

Does anyone see the difference between "being random" and remaining open to every moment's possibilities? For her, random was running out of a place after just sitting down for drinks or deciding to buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke for the first time in a while. For me, it was witnessing a couple trying to deal with an immobile, wasted pal and offering them a ride to their house when they were going to have to drag him a couple of blocks. In a general context, my actions seem crazier and more dangerous. But in the context of "being random" as so many flakes describe their behavior, I feel you might as well make it count. These good deeds are moments' possibilities more often than you know but they're not always convenient or conventional.

Trust me, there were plenty of signs throughout the night but she was so gorgeous. Pale skin, black hair, my usual Snow White profile. A drunk guy about a head taller than me was babbling about Halloween and hitting on her right in front of me. I grabbed him and said "Halloween's your favorite holiday, right? That's where the conversation ended." He profusely apologized and took off. But I found him lurking around and could have sworn he said "Ill wait around if you come back." I wasnt supposed to hear it but before I could do anything, she started getting real remote and detached then suggested we leave. From there, she insists on walking me to my car and seeing ME off. When I offer to do the same for her, she bristles and remarks about being a big girl and how she hates when someone tries to look after her, blah blah blah. And she was very sudden and abrupt about it, adding to already building suspicion. This one time, I knew I was being fucked over and couldn't just leave the night to end like that. I drove off but turned the nearest corner. I looked back and could see that she wasn't going anywhere. She was engaged in conversation with two guys. I got out of the car and headed back in that direction, not knowing what Id do or say. That's when I almost run into this college kid crumpled on a stoop. This girl is trying to get him to wake up and stand and I realize they are this couple I had met in the bar. Im looking down the sidewalk at my "date" hanging out with two guys and then back at this girl trying to get his poor bastard to hang onto her neck so she could drag him home. When the drunk took a bad fall, I got involved. I asked the couple how far they lived and would they like a drive. So, I did it and while they were thanking me, I couldnt help but laugh and mention how they owe the ride to my "date" being a nutbar. I couldnt help but wonder out loud about my luck. The girl of the couple was even going on about how gorgeous she was, haha.

So, I drop the crazy kids off and head back toward the bar. I park in the same spot and the "date" is now standing directly in front of the bar, still socializing. If you've been taken advantage of before, you may understand my motivation for confronting a situation like this just once, rather than grin and bear it or call it a day. So, I just casually strolled up beside her and she so very calmly responded. I told her what I had just did. She made up a story about breaking up a fight. If she broke up a fight, it must have been telepathically.

Those who know me best, unfortunately, will not be surprised in the least that this experience occurred. That's all I can say about that. But with the sort of change I have been diligently pursuing in the wake of losing my job, I see no reason why my social situation can't be part of said change. There is nothing to tie me down.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Context Clues

As an English teacher, it's no surprise that I teach students about context clues. Of course, I teach high school students who have never heard of context clues but that's another story. For today's blog, I would like to talk about context clues in a whole other context. If we can figure out what a word means by its surroundings, why can't we shed some light on ourselves in a similar fashion? Here's an example. Staring straight into my mind's eye all the time drains every ounce of energy from me most days. But if I change the context in which I see myself, my perspective shifts dramatically and my energy can be refreshed. While walking down a sidewalk that's part of a city block that's part of a city with a horizon and wide open sky just beyond it, who the hell wants to be cooped up inside their skull?! When I gaze up, then around, and eventually remind myself of the sky's omnipresence and how it will always give way to infinity, I am no longer "stewing in my own juices" so to speak. I avoid being "pickled". My new context may make me infinitesimally small but it also makes me part of said infinity. That's not bad for a walk to the corner store and a scrumptious BLT on a roll.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Graphic Novel: Title and Plot


The man who calls himself 'Jack' is stalking the streets of Washington, D.C. in search of a mysterious drug which he is inexplicably addicted to. After tracing the sale of said drug from a pair of government agents to a group of local dealers, 'Jack' finds he has extraordinary reflexes and fighting prowess when he liberates the criminals of their recent purchase. A series of random events then lands 'Jack' square on the path to discovering the source of his training, his addiction and the mental trauma that has been dogging him for the short time he is able to remember. One clue, the pharmaceutical symbol 'Rx' will blow open a sordid history of government funded torture and psychological experimentation, a history the Central Intelligence Agency is eager to close the book on as it readies a whole new volume of social control for the 21st century.

Caught In A Good Mood

"Right at the center of a contradiction, that's the place to be" Oscar Wilde

Have you been reading my ongoing meditation on this concept of "graspin"? You know, basically saying 'don't do it'? Let me reverse that. You can't let a good mood get away. While you can certainly experience it without grasping, it is way too easy to let it pass you by. Thus, you may have to grab hold in certain instances. If you hold on too hard and don't let go, the mood will certainly die, in which case you shift back to the "no grasping" directive. This contradiction may very well confuse you or cause you to dismiss everything I have written thus far. Stay with me and I will explore the notion that contradiction is the place to be. It is balance. It is the key to unlocking new levels of learning. When I was ten and just starting my martial arts training, I was a white belt and the designation is fitting because everything is black and white. I was taught the basics and the basics were it. Only when I reached higher ranks and neared black belt did my instructor start to basically teach us with "Remember when I said *blank*? Forget that." And thus, knowledge we thought we had had a grasp on for years had suddenly been taken out of the equation or given a new shape. It is how we learn language in a lot of cases, especially the English language. It gets downright frustrating.

So, technically, this is a two-topic entry. For those of you who read that I am in a good mood and thought "Now this I gotta hear", only to be slapped with the usual esoterrorism, have no fear. I shall elaborate. But first, "esoterrorism" is not a real word. It is derived from "esoterrorist", a label assigned to me by a history teacher in high school. My answers tended to run rather long and difficult to understand. Hard to imagine, yeah? Anyway, I certainly am in a good mood. Ever since I began this blog in order to create the initiative to discipline myself and produce regular output, my writing has grown stronger. The big payoff is the resurgence of my graphic novel work. It has been many years since I first started receiving finished art based on one of my scripts. The reason it has taken so long comes down to the usual factors of time and money. The complete story has existed all along. A full preview of the first chapter has been around almost as long. My only plan had been to continue to pay for and oversee the production for all art based on my scripts. Then, I would go back and create the final text to go with the finished panels. As of this writing, I have completed art for four of the eight chapters that comprise my story. However, extended money issues combined with my aforementioned writing boon have compelled me to start the final writing for the completed art I already have. As soon as the money presents itself, and it will, I can still go ahead and get the rest of the chapters in the can. For now, the fact that I am again writing my baby and feeling like it is brand new is MOST certainly contributing to my good mood.

What else? I've been enjoying quite a bit of a surge in my social life and meeting some very interesting people. Folks are making me feel the love and that's no small feat. By that, I mean my folks and folks in general. Certain colleagues of mine in this teaching adventure are highly valued sources of support and inspiration. If I had one on, my cap is off to Mr. Serefeas and Mr. Schwacka. My lifelong mentor, Master Michael Abruzzi, is an essential figure in my life even if his input has eliminated everything but water and tree bark from my diet. Who am I kidding? I have a long way to go before I get halfway to that level. But thats one I REALLY dont get a vise grip on because it creates mental stress and zero productivity. But seriously, no one walks the talk in the health department like Master Abruzzi and I defy anyone within twenty years of his age range to do better.

So yeah. Im in a good mood. Bought myself an XBox 360 and I just can't wait to get going on Batman:Arkham Asylum, DC vs. Mortal Kombat and Halo:OTSD. Then there's playing online and downloading and all that. But I know if it's too complicated to set up, I can't be bothered. The gaming experience has to be easy to access and even easier to enjoy. At the very least, this distraction should tide me over and carry me through this good mood until certain factors of my life fall into place. Until then, it's video game violence mania!!

"Contradiction is balance"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


What is the difference between issues and baggage? I'll venture a guess and say the latter must be carried while the former tends to tag along all on its own. But both still rely upon your participation. Sometimes a smile can invalidate their existence but a smile is ultimately too fleeting. That doesn't stop me from making every effort to keep those smiles coming and ward off the darkness as long as I can. As I wrote in my last blog entry, when you get a grip you are thwarting yourself just as efficiently as any adversary you'll ever face. So today, in order to release my grip on whatever's clogging up my mind's eye, I will turn to my new friend, Blog, and hope that he can take the weight.

In order to avoid carrying baggage, I've always had a tendency to cut away large portions of my past with zeal. My issues certainly remain in place. Though I call them issues, I still make it a point for none of them to BECOME an issue for myself or anyone else. Make sense? Doubtful but if you've been reading these things, there's a chance you can follow or figure it out by now.

Love is the gift of self. That is probably the single most important thing religion ever taught me. Not a gift of the body. Not a gift of affection. Not even a gift of all the time, effort and attention you think you can possibly spare. Whatever state Project You may be in at the time, that is the gift you are giving. Issues, baggage and all. And it is in no way the obligation of the recipient to take over for you. You're never absolved of that responsibility, no matter how hard you try. Shirk it, baby. The issue is still there. So what's in it for you, my fellow creatures of conceit? A partner. You get to keep working on you. Your partner gets to keep working on them. That's right, a partner. Personally, I have never had a crowd of any sort. Perhaps, I have drifted into or spent time amongst a group of people. But my number of friends and associates has never been a large one. You won't see endless pages of party shots with me anywhere in sight. On the other hand, I have never been able to keep my world to myself. The need for attention and even more so the need for appreciation or recognition has always been quite apparent to all who know me or have ever known me. But I'm sure you, my imaginary friend, can place the truth between those two poles. It is only when I appreciate or recognize myself for who I am that I am ready to make a gift of it. Any takers?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Vise Grip

Ever feel like you're wrestling with your life? All you need is one victory, even a tiny one, on some front but it just won't materialize? Well, I have news for you. With all my talk of squeegeein the third eye and assorted borrowed Buddhist concepts, I am one of the worst offenders.

A while ago, I read this great book on the concept of the devil from a Buddhist perspective. The title escapes me but this quote from Buddha remains resonant: "It makes no difference what you grasp, when someone grasps, Mara sits beside him". Mara is Buddha's devil or devil-concept. This 'grasp' he refers to, in my mind, is the opposite of squeegeeing the third eye. The mind's eye needs to remain clear so that the world can pass through it and a dirty third eye will certainly muddy that up. However, it is only when this 'eye' gets a hold of something and won't let go that our entire life can be upheaved. Despite the ability of a high-functioning third eye's capacity to process the metaphysical or obtuse concepts of the surrounding world, the rest of our mind still clings to the concrete like a baby to his mother's breast. When this 'grasp' occurs, things start to back up in the third eye and sure, Bill Hick's squeegee recommendation is sound advice. Yet, the jamming of the eye in this manner is only the beginning of our troubles. Like a nervous sphincter, our mind's eye clams shut in an attempt to establish some sort of fixed position from which we can fend off life's challenges. No one, NO one can avoid this. Especially not me.

My only hope, as far as I can tell, is that I still manage to catch on eventually when I have a vise grip on life. Other folks work hard to maintain their grip and experience the odd "eye-opening" experience here and there, only for it to do the spincter thing immediately after. My experience of releasing said grip is not radical or beyond what my fellow travelers work with. It actually turns out to be the latest in a lifelong parade of double-takes where I let it slip and am reminded that my life and life itself are still "there" whether Im gripping or not. So then what good does this grip really do? How many proverbs and cliches are there for holding onto something too tight? I'll let you go ahead and fill them in. Life happens. It doesn't require our input and it goes on. The spirit of existence is a free one and it doesnt respond well to, or really give a shit about our input. It's for us to enjoy. I leave you with more words of wisdom from my spirit-world brother Bill Hicks:

"It's just a ride and we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings and money, a choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your door, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one." - Bill Hicks