In which there’s sunshine and horse chestnuts in the alley behind the house.
The full saddlebags make my bike’s shadow look like a monster! Rrrrrr!
In which I no longer have any choice but to self-identify as middle-aged.
I’ll be 44 on the 29th of this month.
I feel mature, but I do not feel like an adult… whatever that means. I still feel like an idiot high school kid every time I’m startled awake by an alarm clock.
I do not have the things adults should have. I do not want them, to be honest, but sometimes I feel guilty for failing to accumulate them even though I didn’t intend to fail. I don’t mean ‘mature’ in the sense of material things anyway; I mean that I’ve found the inner guru and everything from here on out is a-okay. I mean that though I am indistinguishable from a worldly person, I’m not one and if I die living in a cardboard box under a bridge, it won’t be a tragedy.
My grandmother will be 90 on the 14th. The whole family will be here for her birthday party this weekend; I’m really looking forward to it. The last time we were all together was for her 85th, the party at which I decided to move to Walla Walla.
I’ll have been here five years in October! Since the end of my 30′s! The woman I came to help is only now beginning to slow down; maybe I’ll start being useful to her at some point. Sadly, I’m not any good at gardening but I can lift and carry well enough, and I can shop and do laundry and follow directions.
Of course, she might just retire into the Odd Fellow’s home, which means I’d be renting a room somewhere, and that’s okay too. Some of my aunts and uncles may retire here; it’s nice to have family around.
If I move again, I might go to a coastal town so I can meditate on the beach and cultivate an elaborate coffee addiction and fit in with the locals by bitching about never seeing the sun. I love the ocean. When I lived in Pacifica within sight of it I did actually go to the beach and walk and breathe and sit, which is why I think my love for the coast might not just be entirely tourist-love. (My tourist-love is New York, of course, but I’ll never have the money to move there and that’s okay. Plus I’m old now, aren’t you even paying attention?)
I have a Turkish coffee set but I’ll need to replace the gasket in my stove-top espresso maker if I’m going to start really nerding out on coffee again.
Autumn is weeks away. It’s dark by eight o’clock. I’ve put a quilt on my bed. It’s cold in the mornings. I hope there’s no ice or snow until February.
In which I spend too much goddamned time with the band.
The Ilwaco blues & seafood festival booked us on Friday night this year, so I took the day off from work and was standing, dressed and packed, on the front porch at nine-thirty in the morning as I’d been asked. Rob didn’t bother showing up until twenty minutes later, so the tour started off as it meant to continue.
We went to Kitty’s and loaded bass gear and drums into the van and we hit the road. Six hours later we arrived in Ilwaco — quite possibly one of my favorite towns in the entire world — and went straight to the bandstand. Lots of hugs and happy people.
We had a little time before the show so off to Long Beach to the Adrift to check in to our rooms, bathe, and change. Cutest hotel ever, and right on the beach. Not much water pressure, but who cares: THE BEACH IS RIGHT OUTSIDE.
What is wanted is deep inner life.
Silence the bubbling thoughts. Keep the mind cool and calm. Open yourself to higher spiritual consciousness. Feel the Divine Presence and Divine Guidance. Fix your mind at the lotus feet of the Lord. Become like a child. Speak to Him freely. Become absolutely candid, do not hide your thoughts. You cannot do so, because He is the Antaryamin (inner ruler). He watches all your thoughts. Pray for mercy, light, purity, strength, peace and knowledge. You will surely get them. You will be established in Brahmacharya.”
- Practical Lessons in Yoga by Sri Swami Sivananda
Freedom is all I want, but to hope for it I feel ashamed. I am certain that priceless wealth is in thee, and that thou art my best friend, but I have not the heart to sweep away the tinsel that fills my room. The shroud that covers me is a shroud of dust and death; I hate it, yet hug it in love. My debts are large, my failures great, my shame secret and heavy; yet when I come to ask for my good, I quake in fear lest my prayer be granted.”
-Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore
Slowly blossomed, slowly ripened in Siddhartha the realisation, the knowledge, what wisdom actually was, what the goal of his long search was. It was nothing but a readiness of the soul, an ability, a secret art, to think every moment, while living his life, the thought of oneness, to be able to feel and inhale the oneness.”
- Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
In which I question the assumptions.
I just listened to a piece on NPR about a new Bollywood movie. The leading lady is quite hot, apparently, but can’t act her way out of a paper bag. She’s a porn actress. She was cast entirely for the titillation.
Indian movies are heavily censored. Bollywood was only allowed to show kisses starting a decade ago; they’re nowhere near soft porn yet. But the ads are implying a steamy, sexy movie even though such a film is against the law.
One of the commentators in the piece, an Indian, made it sound more or less like the best thing that could possibly happen would be for families sitting around their TVs to see this sex worker in interviews; that it would be a way for Indians to ‘have a conversation about sex.’
Now, mind you, this is, according to critics, a terrible movie with no plot and a horrible, wooden lead. There is no sex in the movie, and even if there were, it wouldn’t exactly be any kind of redeeming sex.
Those who identify as “pro-sex” (as if there were an army of folks who loathe sex to polarize against) always seem to think it’s great for a culture to be ‘having a conversation’ about sex, but I can’t figure out why. Thirty years after this conversation starts, when the culture’s shot and women are no longer respected and protected and bitches are breeding like rabbits and going on ‘slut walks’, when there is a great deal of sexual activity and a lot of pregnancy and antibiotic-resistant venereal disease and no increase in happiness but demonstrably higher numbers of people suffering from anxiety and depression, these people still want to have a ‘conversation about sex’ and they behave as if it’s the most reasonable, healthy thing ever.
In which I read and respond to some spam, because that’s totally normal and useful, right?
The following diatribe was on the server this morning. I have no idea why I even looked at it, but I did, and it sums up all of the problems I have with conservatives.
First of all, it’s wrongly attributed (which is a fundamental aspect of the majority of the right wing’s bullshit propaganda, I’ve noticed: blatant lying), and the content itself is just selfish and paranoid and wholly un-Christian and the entire thing just gives me apoplexy.
Anyway. Here’s one of the spams your science-hating “Christian” friends are sending to each other.
“I’m 83 and Tired” by Bill Cosby
I’m 83. Except for brief period in the 50′s when I was doing my National Service, I’ve worked hard since I was 17. Except for some serious health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn’t call in sick in nearly 40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as though retirement was a bad idea, and I’m tired. Very tired.
I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.
I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law tells them to.
I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand , UK, America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to teach love and tolerance.
I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to debate.
I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?
I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught.
I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor. I’m really tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.
I’m also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and early 20′s be-deck them selves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.
Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 83. Because, mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I’m on the way out and not on the way in.1
Holy fucking fuck, where to even begin?
In which I go on and on about a boring topic.
Most of my waking life is spent at work, and so it’s a topic pretty high up in my awareness. Whenever I think of composing a post lately, it starts with the topic of work and devolves into a rant I’ve already written a dozen times before.
Apparently, I’m going to write it again.
Everybody already knows that working for a living sucks–there’s no need for me to say yet again that while I’m grateful as fuck to have a job at all, if I didn’t have to I gladly wouldn’t. While I did worry about money a lot while I was unemployed, my quality of life was measurably higher: I didn’t get get screamed at. I didn’t silently and uncomfortably lose my temper once or twice a day. In fact, when I was unemployed I had no awareness of my own temper at all, because I rarely ever got mad.
Not to mention all that free time meant my laundry was always done, the mail didn’t pile up in the corner, and I got enough sleep.
For as high-energy and obnoxious as I come across socially, I really have a very mild temper. I don’t get mad when a driver isn’t paying quite enough attention and does something stupid. I don’t get mad when I come out of Starbucks and someone’s knocked my bike over and not bothered to pick it up. I don’t get mad when someone gets their food before I do or if a waitress forgets my extra salsa or if someone cuts in line at the post office. In general, I assume there’s a good reason for these things. Shit happens.
In which there’s a little sculpture of a tooth!
I had my crown installed today. It was a short and pleasant appointment. It’s just like a tooth, except it’s not a tooth. (The crown, not the appointment.)
This is a picture of my temporary crown, which spent two weeks in my mouf. I made them give it to me because, well, it’s basically a custom sculpture of a tooth. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
In which your most burning question is answered in a single sentence.
Work is busy as fuck because I’m a one-person department and the general public, with whom I must deal daily, gets more and more bitchy and high maintenance every goddamned second, and I have a couple of projects I’m forever behind on so I don’t have those few minutes every here and there I used to have for crafting and editing posts, and my home machine is still down from that one time I got a parity error and shut it off because I’m too hot/lazy to fuck with it just yet especially since I can watch TV on my Fire while eating popcicles in front of the box fan and ignore working on it altogether, and I still haven’t written my annual Amma post because I’m not sure I have anything to say other than it was as ever the single-most important thing I do all year and I now know experientially that Guru is greater than God (even though we know the distinction is absurd, but still), and also seriously the California ashram sucks because there’s nowhere to sit that isn’t gravel or bark dust and everything you want is at least 500 yards away straight uphill and your hotel room is a 15-minute drive down an absurdly windey canyon, but ultimately there truly is nothing more fucking astonishingly goddamned heart-achingly gorgeous than an avatar because holy shit, fellow humans, that That deigns to come walk among us changes everything, but all that aside, quite honestly a lot of time I just decide to drink a bunch of cocktails rather than blog and honestly who the fuck can blame me because it’s not like I don’t tweet and Flickr constantly.