Saturday, April 30, 2005

The wild pack and the back attack

The wild pack of puppies woke me at 5:30 AM this morning. Only one got out – by climbing. There are six boys and one girl – all from the same litter. The girl, who already looks like her mother, climbed out. There was no mess this time because I immediately fed the seven-headed hydra that these puppies become whenever it is feeding time. Luckily, I was able to fall back to sleep rather quickly.

At 7 AM I rise, throw on some clothes and then I am out the door. The yellow Toyota Skip mobile chariots me up onto the estate. I turn on the Jacuzzi and turn off various lights around the property. While walking around the estate, I start to notice that my upper back feels funny. It’s stiff and tweaked. Over the next hour it flares up in a way I have not experienced for over a decade. I manage to make my way down to puppy headquarters without too much pain.

When I arrive, a couple pups make escape into an off limits segment of the backyard. I have to bend over and pick them up – uggh – excruciating.

Inside the house, I lay on my back doing some spinal twists. Then it hits me: hop in the bath, there’s even some salt with eucalyptus oil – perfect. The soak lasts 30 minutes or so and when I begin stretching again, the flare up in my upper back abated somewhat.

The yoga program, I go though on a daily basis, is manageable and I get through it and then practice some tai chi. Just as I complete my discipline, the familiar jingle of my cell phone sounds and I see that it‘s Bill.

“Hey Bill, what’s up?”

“Not too much Didj, one of the antique chairs is in the sun, can you take care of it?”

“Really? I’ll be up there in a second and handle it.”


“No problem.”

Back in the Skip mobile, cruising up the hill. My back feels much better but it’s still tweaked. I speak with Sol and explain the antique chair in the sun situation.

“Sorry, no one knows.”

“No problem, thanks for cooperating.”

I mention my back to Sol and Suzanne hears my complaint and offers to put some needles [acupuncture] in it.

I accept and soon I am up on her bed with needles sticking out of my back. It turns out that she’s a doctor, acupuncturist and body worker. Basically, according to Doctor Suzanne, my shoulders are slumping. She says that this and the tension I’ve been experiencing have led to this episode.

Dr. Suzanne: “You’re taking care of a lot of animals. It’s a lot of work.”

“Yeahh, I have to handle it better. I think I have all this body sensory awareness and then this happens, it blows my mind.”

Several months ago, I had a tension related physical disorder called: TMJ. This is what they call it when you grind your teeth at night. I used this as an opportunity to listen more closely to my body and retuned previously unconscious behaviors that caused the malady. The solution was to alter harmful thinking patterns, stop eating sugar (for 6-8 weeks) and practice more yoga.

Conclusion: another opportunity to listen more deeply to my body.

After my impromptu session, I hop in the Jacuzzi and then it’s back to puppy world… So now I watch a ColdPlay DVD of a live show. This band rocks.

My location has changed. I now sit on the front porch as twilight begins. I can hear the guests’ children on the front lawn, dogs barking from across the street and birds singing the song of goodbye sun hello stars. Last night Kurten with Dave Stringer was nice. I didjed thought-out but with all the percussion no one could hear me. This has always left me slightly disconcerted. In the past when I have played with too much percussion and no mikes I always left with an insecure feeling, afraid that the audience perceives me as a poser. But last night, I did not care. I felt good. Centered. Clear. I thought: it’d been nice for others to share in my experience but it does not matter.

Tonight, Tony and I will be performing in Skip’s river kiva. We play together often and enjoy the combination of our musical instruments. Consequently, although it is not miked, the sound levels will be balanced.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The hurricane puppies

The puppies woke me at 5:00 AM this morning. I lay in bed trying to go back to sleep. At some point I drifted into sleepville and finally got up around 6:30 AM. This was the time that I was to feed the little balls of energy and let them outside otherwise they’d: “get out of their cage, shit everywhere and eat every thing on the ground including shoes.” [Personal note: read Sunny’s directions more closely] Thus, after my first night of adventures in puppy sitting, I began to see the amount of work that goes into raising 7 puppies. They pooped and peed all over the place; tore the stuffing out of a couple cushions; ripped up newspaper and evenly dispersed it all throughout the sitting room. I cleaned up after the hurricane puppies and then headed up the hill to check on the 2-legged animals.

First stop: Rachel’s, I let a grateful Angus the cat out, no problem. Then I cruise Skip’s dirty old beat up yellow Toyota pickup onto the estate. I turn on the Jacuzzi, turn off some lights, turn the heat in the yoga studio up and then its time for a nice catered lunch. I savor the delicious salad and then begin to eat the carrot ginger soup. Just before I finish, I am alerted to the fact that a guest is having difficulty getting into the Vista Yurt. I jog down the hill, pass Skip’s hovel, cross the trail and then trot up the hill. The key was in its secret spot; I open the door, orient the guest: windows, fan, dome and heating and then jog back for the rest of my soup.

Bill gives me a call. We walk around the house and he starts pointing out various things that need to be maintained and looked at: button the shower curtain, check baths leaky pipes and fix a squeaky door. He lets me know he’s giving me a raise and wants me to manage the retreats myself now with him backing me up. I agree. The raise will start next week.

Back in the Skip mobile, down the hill, more adventures in puppy sitting. Once again the puppies have gotten out of their makeshift cage. This time they only peed in a couplefghc places. They only pulled out a bit of stuffing and they only tore up a bit of newspaper. So this time it was not too much damage.

I take momma dog, Trixie and Papa dog, Rupert for a walk up Signal Street. The sun is out and the only hat for me to wear is a cowboy hat. Fittingly, we pass 3 girls on three horses near the summit. I’ve got a leash in each hand; they’ve got reins in there’s; “Howdy gals.” They don’t hear me. Clip, clop, clip clop. The dogs don’t seem to notice cars but they give the horses a wide berth. In one of Sunny’s dog duty rundowns, she talked about how people never leash their big dogs. She’s always got her 2 little dogs on a leash. Of course, Rupert, Trixie and I meet up one of those big leash less dogs. Her name is Jupiter; she wags her tail but Rupert growls viciously and takes a snap at her neck. Her master calls her: “Jupiter, Jupiter…” Her big black dog does not listen so I start us jogging down the hill to get way from Jupiter.

Yesterday, the phone connect was on the blink; today I learned why via Sunny over the phone. The puppy’s sleep/cage zone happens to encompass the phone jack. The puppies just love to chew – anything. Thus, I replaced the phone cord and so I am connected to the Internet at puppy headquarters.

Like a pinball in the giant Ojai pinball machine, I have bounced back up onto the estate. I sit in the main room having started 2 fires and lit candles on the outside tables. The guests have just finished class and await dinner. I hear the Dali Lama's name being repeated in one conversation, children coverse among themselves with lively playful energy and Rhonda just asked me: "what are you doing?"

"Blogging" I say.

" What's that?"

I explain: "Blogging is the internet within the internet. It's a way to digitally publish whatever you want over the Internet."

Tonight's event is kirtan. I've been invited to accompany Dave Stringer and company by Sol David Ray (the head yogi in charge). I am not sure if I will or not. Stay posted to find out. Sol has just softly announced: "Dinner's ready."

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Where the poles meet

I am currently reading a book called: “Poker Without Cards. It is quite an interesting read. It uses various techniques, alternative histories and metaphors to help dismantle the current mainstream paradigm. The setting is a state mental health ward. The 78 pages I have read so far are between a psychiatrist and a friend of an involuntary patient. We have another four-day house rental. I read a few pages of this free e-book while managing the parking. A Toyota would pull up; I’d greet the guest, direct them to a parking spot, pull out a bunch of weeds and forget what I was reading about. This was my pattern. Initially, while waiting for arrivals, I relocated some pea gravel, raked it into the semblance of order and cleaned excess off the driveway.

Millenium has started me off with another quart of perk. I took a break from his probiotic super group and have watched my sugar addiction return. He’s spending a lot of time working on his tee-pee. When I saw him yesterday, he stood on a ladder trying to drape a big umbrella over the opening in the center where the poles meet and the rain gets in.

After the parking of the cars, I cruised down the hill in the Skip mobile. I am caring for 7 puppies and 2 dogs for the next 5 days. I’ll also be taking care of Angus the cat for Rachel. My friend Daniel is performing at Coachella Music Festival with his old school rock band Bauhaus. So, Sunny and Daniel both wanted me to watch over their animals. They can get pretty crazy but have all gone to sleep now.

Bill continues to talk about Skip being kicked off the land. I’ve taken an informal pole among those who live here about whether they think Skip will be back. All four that I asked believe he will return.

The latest update on Skip is that soon after arriving in Rhinebeck, NY he had some eruptions, some tectonic movement among the various plates of his personality. His curator and host did not take his nuclear reaction lightly and has decided to enact a system of fines as an attempt to discourage the outbursts of rage that he has periodically.

I wonder what will happen to Skip. He carves out his existence with a shovel. He wears t-shirts and shorts that are rarely clean. He’s got a long grey beard, crazy grey Einstein hair and articulates like a college professor on an eclectic array of topics from geology to linguistics.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The higher the price of gas, the better

As the price of gasoline rises so does my curiousity at what the fall out will be. Oil has been the main source of energy for the world for quite a long time. Rockefeller shaped and surfed this black wave to his advantage nearly a century ago. The symbiotic relationship between the military and the oil empire has become so tight that it can be considered a single entity. Eisenhower's exit speech warned the world about this enormous military/oil complex. It seems obvious to most that Dwight was dead on right.

Many folks seem shocked to see the price of gas rise. I say let it get higher. The price we have been paying has been an illusion. The actual price of that gallon of gas is hidden. First of all, the oil industry is supplemented by the government. Secondly, the cost of the military to secure oil fields in the middle east and other parts of the world is not reflected at the pumps. Those funds are extracted from other departments in the government.

Ultimately, the military is the arm of Exxon, BP, et al. Keep America safe. Protect democracy. Fight for your freedom. The slogans are endless and meaningless. These are memes that have been coopted by governmental marketing agencies.

So now, as we watch the prices rise, I say horray! It is time to bring on the alternative energy sources. Solar power, wind power, ocean wave power etc. All of these sources of energy are evolving faster and faster. Diesal engines were designed many decades ago to run on various types of fuel eg. bio-diesal. The time is getting closer when gasoline will lose its strangle hold on American political interests. We are watching this transition together. It seems like there will be a variety of competing energy sources such as hydrogen fuel cells which will hopefully make it harder to concentrate power into the hands of a few rutheless men eg. Rockefeller, Ford.

The current developments suggest to me that those in power are in a state of panic and fighting over the last piece of the gasoline pizza. They seem to have lost the big picture. They seem to lack the ability to imagine a world without endless oil. They embrace collective death wish scenarios like armageddon, the apocalypse and fantasize about escaping their karma with rapture.

The world will continue onward. The latest dinasours will become extinct or they will mutate with the rest of us who understand that life can be more enjoyable when we adapt, develop greater flexibility and harmonize.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

So, you want to be a method actor

So, You want to be a method actor. Congratulations, you've made the right decision. I've always been impressed by method actors, I mean damn, they are so intense and believable. In college, I studied a book called Acting is Believing. This book had a big impact on me as did the various courses in acting I took. In fact, my thespian studies taught me more about Psychology then all my classes in Psych combined. And, by the way, I graduated with a BS in Psychology. But enough about me, this post is about you and your goal of becoming a method actor. All you got to know to be an actor is believe what you're doing. Got it?

The first thing your going to do is walk around town in a very relaxed manner. You are going to secretly scan everyone you see until you find the right person. This person is going to be your audience so don't be nervous, take a couple deep breaths, that's it, relax. Now, your scanning for a certain type of spectator. First of all, you want them to be smaller than you. If things get out of control you don't want to get your ass kicked. OK, so you're scanning people who are fairly open and aware of their surroundings. Folks that seem to be capable of making eye contact and having the confidence to talk with a stranger and maybe put up with frighteningly bizzare behavior.

I can see that you are having a little bit of trouble with scanning. Might as well just forget that part. Just walk up to someone and have the intention of putting them at ease. Hey, you seem a little tense. Relax, damn it! Ask them what time it is. Tell them you don't want to be late for your appointment with your shrink. Good, you're doing alot better. Laugh heartily, tell them that the court ordered you to get counseling sessions.

"What for?" your unsuspenting interactive audience of one replies.

Now we're going to up the ante so to speak. Look from side to side quickly, change your breathing patter from matching theirs to speeding it up. Let out an audible sigh. Now, tell them in a hushed whisper that anyone within 20 m can hear: "I am a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic."

This will get their attention and they will begin to try to extricate themselves from you. Do not let them go. They're your audience. They're all you've got. Your eyes glisten with tears and they feel the tug of compassion. Explain how you were locked up because you do not recognize the natural boundaries that exist between you and those you meet on the street. Say: "We're all one aren't we?" Now it's time to beg: "Please be my friend, I am so lonely, all I need is a friend." I can see you are really getting in to it. Good job. The tears rolling down your cheek are a great touch. You are a believer.

They're pretty locked in. Lets throw in some word salad, say in an earnest and serious manner: "Bowling with coconuts, the fruitman yells: meatballs for monkeys!" Then with a Humphrey Bogart impersonation: "porkchops and apple sauce aint that schwell." Your on a roll, keep it up, time for some Led Zeppelin, now you're singing like Robert Plant: "Gonna give you my love dana na na da na na wanna whole lotta love aaaaaaaaahhh woman.... youuuu neeeeeeed daaaaaaa naaaaaaaa LOOOOOOOOOVVVe wanna whole lotta love wanna whole lotta love wanna whole lotta love..." Good work.

Your audience keeps looking at their watch. Time to cut them loose, close the curtains and call it a rap. Switch emotional directions. Full belly laugh. Give them a big smile. Say: "Good bye, have a wonderful life." Bow gracefully.Turn with dramatic flare. Start singing: "The hills are alive with the sound of music..."

Not bad, you started out of the gates a little nervous. Then you loosened up and it all started flowing. Your grade for today's assignment is a B.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Sky is falling

Figments of an image nation
floating in a lucid nation
Pieces of infintiy
the building blocks of you and me

Chicken Little: Sky is falling sky is falling sky is falling
Chicken Little: Sky is falling sky is falling sky is falling down

Generation exploitation falsify your indignation
Your living in a lucid nation and your sky is falling down

Generation exoneration thankyou for cooperation
Living in a blender nation and getting high on the sound


Figments of the revolution are blended in the constitution
I'm looking for a resolution 'cause the sky is falling down

Fill your mind with information integrate your education
and elevate the population riding high on the sound


Generate a corporation Isolate a big temptation
and justify your image nation as the sky is falling down

Generation exploitation addicted to intoxication
Illuminate your resignation "cause the sky aint falling down


Awaken your imagination Synchronize your revelation
Revel in the evolution while riding on the sound

Use your breath for concentration Lose your mind to find elation
We're spinning in a blender nation and surfing waves of sound


It's time to make a declaration Consecrate a troubled nation
Initiate the celebration 'cause the walls are falling down

Figments of a blender nation circulate the proclamation
Facilitate Illumination We're surfing waves of tau


Generation Exploration Searching for illumination
Persistance is the predication A message from the tau

Establish your philosiphy Evaluate your honesty
Matriculate responsibly The policy of now


Photograph your memory and duplicate infinity
A holographic cosmology the tau of how and now

Electrons are illusionary and frequencies just temporary
Spinning in your imagination and their moving just like clouds


The message is the metaphor Who's it fo?r who's it for?
The message is the microcosm like a seed it will blossom

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Your own, personal, abducter

There's a term called self-fulfilling prophesy. It's kind of self explanatory. It's kind of like experimental bias, external validity and internal validity. Then there's all that new agey wish wash about how you create your own reality. Yeah, you use to buy into all that stuff. But... not anymore. And all because you wore that stupid sweater with reindeer on it. You never beleived in alien abductions before and you never would have if you hadn't put on that damn red sweater this morning. The time was 2:23 PM when the flash of light flashed, temporarily blinding you and causing a temporal lobe seizure.

So now, your laying naked on a cold smooth metal table while these insectile aliens probe various parts of your body for God knows what. They look just like the image that has become such a staple in pop culture: short, big bald head, grey skin, big black eyes, no nose and a small slit for a mouth. You cannot move and your thinking process seems to be altered. Somehow, you are able to detect and comprehend the telepathic conversation taking place among the alien scientists. That's how you learned the reason behind your abduction was because of your sweater. The alien experimenters pick subjects who are wearing seasonal sweaters.

You are paralyzed, nothing in your body is under your control, not even your breath. You watch your thoughts and judgements float above you like clouds. They seem so remote and far away. You watch the alien communication float above you with the same detatchment. To them, you are like an insect, as they follow their orders testing the basal ganglia in your stomach wall for degeneration. Actually, they see you as a robot. But as you listen longer to what they think, you discern patterns which lead you to conclude that they, in fact, are robots.

Your own, personal, abducters, continue to perform tests on all your organs including your heart. You gather more information. They see all humans as robots. Earth is just one of millions of planets that are part of an experiment. The alien robots don't seem to feel. They are searching for physical evidence that emotion exists. They focus on the heart and begin to converse with the neurons on an individual basis. Each neuron has its own song. Each song is like a flower. The alien robot scientists are searching for the birth place of emotion. When they find it, the expeirment is over. They will then trigger a gamma ray burst in a star that's just 8 light years away. And then its good night Irene. Yeah, that's right, time to find another planet.

So, just lay there and relax. Nothing to be embarrassed about. They're all just robots anyway. But, if you ever get our of here. For God's sake, build a kick-ass spaceship, pack it with beautiful women, water, food and some good books. And then get the hell out of the solar system. Don't worry, you won't miss anything, it's just a giant labratory prison prism asylum. Good luck.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Hovel vandals and Shaman's Dream

My eyes open, I watch the light filter thru Skip's plastic membrane roof and bounce off the array of objects: painted boulder, plants, tools, books, painted walls, painted floors. The day has started overcast and I examine the damage that I'd discovered last night. I hear 2 youths outside, they are playing along the creek that runs next to the hovel. I call them inside and ask: were you in here last night? The first youth says "no" but soon enough he owns up to the wanton destructive behavior. It is then that I see that 2 of my 3 beeded bracelets have disappeared. One of the youths finds one quickly so now I have 2 out of 3. I speak with them about how it made me feel the previous night to see parts of the wall destroyed with a hammer. They also smashed an old cell phone and other things. Everything was left out when I found it sitting in a pile of broken plastic bits. I ask them: "How'd you feel if you came back to your room and saw that your wall had been smashed along with some toys?" They both remain quiet and I continue in a calm, understaniding tone: "I had trouble sleeping last night wondering who did this and if they'd be coming back."

The reason behind their vandalism was obvious to see. I knew that they both had done it but it seemed like the best course of action was to inspire some empathy. Upon talking about it, one of them explained that they had heard that Skip was being kicked off the land. The timinng of this led me to suspect this as the premise almost immediately. They did not know I was staying here. I told them that they are not allowed to come in the Hovel until further notice. Because of their cooperation and the finding of beeded bracelet number 3, I did not inform anyone else of their transgression.

Today the sky has begun with cloud cover once again. The stillness in the air contrasts lastnight's celebratory music. Shaman's Dream performed in the yoga studio and I sat in with the didjeridoo. This band completely rocks. They are music's equivalent of a giant UFO which hovers and then moves at the speed of light defying physics and distorting time. We began the set and ended it with the chant: "Sita Ram".

Friday, April 22, 2005

Will the real Messiah please stand up?

Well, everything can't always be peaches and cream, even when you live on an estate. Not just any estate, but one of the finest pieces of land in California. Anyway, as you might know, I am nearing the end of managing a marathon rental. Understandalbly, I felt a bit burnt, overstimulated etc.. Like many others, I can become less tolerant to stress, when I am exhausted. Thus, it may come as no surprise that I butted heads with Millenium Twain today. The issue is a petty one but it has been ongoing. The politics of 5-8 people sharing an 8 fot by 5 foot kitchen can become pressurized like an atomic particle accelerator. After living here for a year, I've watched the community mini-kitchen double as a battleground. Everyone who lives here or has lived here can attest to this.

My issue involves the storage of compost inside the kitchen. I am against this for several reasons: foul odors, attracts countless fruit flys, attract rats. For some reason, (laziness? stubborness? passive aggression?), Millenim has agreed to not store his compost in the kitchen to my face but in reality continues to do so.

Maybe, I am too sensitive or something but it really annoys me to have to clean rat droppings off the kitchen counter and shelves. Maybe it sounds too domineering when I ask people to please not leave food out because it totally attracts the rats. Maybe, I am too sensitized from the past when I shared the mini-kitchen with the giant South African slob, James Ross. James was such a slob and had a history of blaming every one else for his messes. I grew tired of his psychosis and left the kitchen to Jimmy and the rats (sounds like a band from the '50s).

To put it all into perspective, currently, there are no rats in the kitchen. I just want to keep it that way. There ARE rats above the ceiling boards in the bathroom. The bathroom, shower and kitchen are all under the same room and are separated by walls.

So earlier today, I am psychicly exhausted and for the 7th or 8th time, Mr. Twain has left the compost bucket in the kitchen. I have a moan about it and instead of just paying lip service, he actually stands up for what he perceives as his right to store compost in the kitchen. It is important to note that the compost hole is only 15 paces from the kitchen. It just does not make any sense to me how any one could be so lazy... He states that both Walter and Jane don't mind if he stores it in the kitchen.

He says what ever I say "doesn't matter". He says: "Are drugs

I'm like: "Huh?"

MT: "Your fixation on flys and compost suggest to me that drugs are involved."

Me: "You're insane"

This goes a bit further and I give him a chance to recant his attempt to marginalize my perspective with baseless slander.

MT: "blog it."

Me: "What?"

MT: with a strained fake smile: "blog it."

This basically ended our exchange. I head to the basement/dungeon/internet zone and find Michael Brown at his cyber station. I mention the disagreement and say "We need to do a background check on Millenium."

Michale Brown: "OK."

20 seconds later - Michael Brown: "Messiah Twain."

Me: "Whaat? you gotta be kidding..."

See for yourself: fireships

Welcome to the psycho circus. What's next? I do not know... tune in tomorrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

A glimpse thru the looking glass

Living at Cxxx Bxxxxxx is always interesting. Especially when we are renting out the property for 10 days in a row. Michelene Berry is a well known yoga teacher in Santa Monica. Her retreat began today. That makes for a long day for this camper. I manage the outdoor spaces. I rome the estate with my checklist and make sure everything is ready for the guests. At 1:30 I become the parking manager. At 5:00 I turn in to a musician and perform with Tony for the Yoga class. Today had some added energy because Tony has announced that he is leaving the estate and moving to LA. This is an exclusive by the way.

The reasons behind Tony's abrubt departure were explained to me earlier by Tony himself. He's an amazing musician who has mastered the tablas, the guitar and singing. Tony's a great guy to have around and a great friend. He's originally from Lebanon. He's a former sniper. He arrived in the U.S. and soon began living in a monastery. Bill courted Tony for 3 years to come here and live on his estate. Now he's bolting after being here less than a month. I'll miss Tony, he always has upbeat energy and words of wisdom.

Another hot item on the Casa burner is Skip, once again. It turns out that it wasn't the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, it was a mouth full of false teeth. Bill's going to call a council where he announces that Skip's getting kicked off the land. The ongoing saga continues. Bill rehashes their parnership every year and always says thats the end. Skip is probably pretty used to it by now. Bill always talks about quitting caffiene as well. Upon awakening this morning, Bill downed a big cup of coffee. In the meantime, I'm sleeping in Skip's hovel, driving his old Toyota and watering his houseplants while he's off in the state of New York raising Hell.

Some of you may remember Daryl. He was featured in a post a few months ago titled: Daryl falls like a tree. Well, I guess his recuperation has gone pretty well. He does not have full use of his left wrist and arm but it's at least 90%. He's been hanging on the land more often now and seems to be in a much better frame of mind. I guess it doesn't hurt when you are about to go out on a date with a cute 21 year old asian girl. Daryl looks to the sky hands in prayer and says: "Thank you God." Soon after he fell off the cliff, Daryl put a "Please drive slowly in the Ojai Valley" bumper sticker over his "2003 Black Rock Desert, Nevada" Burning Man bumper sticker.

Then there's Michael "don't call me Brownie" Brown. He's been cranking out some amazing paintings which have turned the yoga studio into the yoga studio gallery. He's always painting. He's the youngest resident and has one of the best deals. He's hooked me up with 15 gigs of music, yo.

Devin is sharing the internet zone with me at this point. When I walked into the basement he was on the phone with some one conducting business. This guy puts in a lot of hours managing various aspects of the estate. He has a big yellow lab named Scout. I just spent a few days caring for this dog while Dev was up North wine tasting with Bill. Scout's a great dog but he smells. I still pet him a bit any way but then I have to wash my hands.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Dennis Rodman's new clothes

Dear Dennis,

Have you ever been to one of those trendy thrift stores buying the wacky-tacky clothing you're so famous for when these two mysterious men appear claiming to be world famous fashion advisers? They show you this "fantastic" material which is so fine that you cannot see it. They tell you that it is the product of nanotechnology which involves the manipulation of events on a molecular level. They are so pure, adament and evangelical that you convince yourself that you can see it. You soon catch yourself speaking with a french accent saying things like: "The coordination of colors is exquisite, yo" and "don't you think it brings out the color in my eyes?" Secretly, in the deepest part of yourself that not even you are aware of, you begin to believe that you an emperor. Of course, you are modest, so you only see yourself as only the emperor of Texas. Yeeah! A piece of straw in your mouth riding a big horse! Emperor of Texas yeee-haahh!!! Suddenly, one of your world famous fashion advisers appears and you begin to suspect that he has just read your mind because he is saying that you are the emperor... of the world. At first you just stare at him dumbfounded, your whole body goes numb and then suddenly you feel a flash of energy deep in your tailbone. The energy slowly uncoils-

Your attention splits: You are Atom/Adam, you've bitten/byten the apple, geneis makes alot more sense now but there's more to it - much more-

The energy slowly uncoils like a snake and begins to ascend. You can feel it slither thru each energy center. Each time it passses thru one, you laugh hysterically. You sit still like a fountain, chuckleing to your self and allow your trusted adviser to convince you that you are the emperor of the world. He wants to have a parade in your honor and of course he will use the finest material in the galaxy to clothe you. You are ecstatic and your big ass bottom lip begins to quiver. Your eyes begin to sting and then you are crying tears of pure joy. Very quietly, so that not even you can hear it , you begin to say "I'm Dennis Rodman, yo, Emperor of the world."

You lose all track of time and space but when you again focus on your empirical surroundings, you are in a huge hot tub filled with bubbles and beautiful women. They are fanning you with giant peacock feathers. You are saying things like: "Increase the tempo!" and "change your degree of orientation by 23 degrees, please" and "more bubbles!"

The day of your parade has arrived. Your trusted advisers present you with your brand spanken new hip happening new threads. You are speechless for one of the few moments in your life and tears glisten on your cheeks. And yet, buried deep, deep in a forgotted corner of your brain, a seed of doubt appears. You squash it instantly and forget that it was ever there.

Hundreds of thousands of people have arrived for your parade. It is being broadcasted live on every major tv channel in the world. This day has been declared a world holiday - it's Dennis Rodman Day! The international audience numbers in the billions. The citizens of the world have united as they yell: "Den-nis Rod-man! Den-nis Rod-man!..."

The noise is deafening but somehow you hear the voice of a small, timid boy and he is voicing your deepest fear: "Dennis rodman is nude, yo."

Quickly, someone says: "Shutup fool!" But it is too late. The entrie audience instantly becomes silent and you hear a pin drop. The pause stretches and once again your body goes numb. Suddenly, another flash of energy shoots up your spine and thru the top of your head. You shrug and it is as if the weight of the world slips off your shoulders. You then, matter of factly, say: "That's right, I am nude." The entire audience stare aghast and appalled at your unabashed nudity. They begin to scream and rage at you. You just smile and say to yourself: "That's more like it, yo."

Just wondering, yo,

Mike Didj

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Imprint vulnerability in the dungeon

Yesterday I heard Erica the bookkeeper speaking with someone as she walked along the stone walkway that leads into the basement office/internetzone. I could hear her calling this space a "dungeon". She walked thru the doorway and introduced me to Arlene, her assistant.

When I walked into the "dungeon" this morning, Arlene was back organizing files and bookkeeping. We greeted eachother and then silence ensued.

I begin my typical surfing and learn from Drudge that the new pope has been chosen. I laugh outloud and share the news with Arlene: They chose the new pope, he's german and a former Nazi.[ Joeseph Ratzinger is now Pope Benedict VI]. Arlene: "Really?"

"It's really not that surprising. We live in such fascist times that its natural for the pope to be a Nazi." I go on and say how it's interesting that 4 people have just been indicted for the murder of "God's banker" and that 2 of them have ties to the mafia. Originally the authorities blamed the death on suicide even though facts pointed to homicide. Now, 22 years later the case is open.

I also say that "re-member" and "re-ligion" are very similar and that most re-legions are about forgetting and that they could more accurately be call: reforgettings. I mention the parallels between Hercules and Jesus. She's unfamiliar with Hercules. I say that they are both basically supe heroes.

She laughs and says: "I am a Roman Catholic but I don't agree with everything. I don't believe in confession. I think that's between me and God." She goes on to say: "I use to think people would burn in Hell if they were not baptised but now I don't. I do believe that Jesus Christ is our savior."

I asked her if she new anything about imprint vulnerability. She replied: "No."

"Imprint vulnerability is what happens to our brain when our neurons make a huge leap in interneural connections. The sacraments in Roman Catholicism originally were timed to be performed during the 4 major stages of imprint vulnerability that most humans go thru. Baptism is still done at the time when we imprint our relaxation level. It is almost like our brain is blank film and that we take a picture of our environment. The fetus fish becomes the baby washed upon the shore."

Arlene watches me closely without blinking her eyes. She nods for me to continue. I notice the curve of her hips, her long brown hair and her crossed legs.

I continue: "Communion is timed wrong now. Kids used to receive this sacrament when they started walking. This is when the next imprinting stage occurs. At this age we have to start controling where we number 1 and 2. The child goes from crawling horizontally (quadraped) to vertical movement (biped). The brain developes countless new inerneural connections that are a function of the environment. The sacraments are a way of controling people, they hook deeply into the unconscious part of the psyche. When ever we hit a crisis point in our lives we fall back on the religion as a natural way to ground ourselves."

Arlene smiles in her black dress. She is listening very carefully and is not disturbed so I carry on.

"Confession is also performed at the wrong time now. It would be alot more affective if they timed it when the child begins to speak. When we start communicating in sentences, the language aquisition device kicks in and the brain makes a big change. The larynx will now move with every thought even when it is not spoken. There are computer devices that hook up to the larynx and translate our thoughtstream directly onto the computer screen."

Arlene: "Really?" her eyes get larger.

"The fourth one they got right, Confirmation. The Mormons and Jews time their rituals for puberty correctly as well. When we hit puberty our brain and bodies change quite quickly. Suddenly, we really notice the opposite sex. How we socialize changes, our motivation changes-"

My cell phone rings: It is Maya, she wants directions to Full Circle Farm. I excuse myself and leave the "dungeon".

Monday, April 18, 2005

Give a hoot - don't pollute

The marathon rental continues with day 4 of the weeklong seminar for Axxxxx's Organics. They're the biggest distribitors of organic produce but I don't think they are eating any. They're into meat and diet pepsi. Today, I picked up 24 ciggarette butts just outside the gate where some of them have gone to speed up the dying proccess. The average attendee is probably an unhealthy 70 pounds overweight. As the outdoor space manager, I have many tasks. One of those tasks is to check each outdoor space and emty the waste bins. I pick times when the spaces are emty and make sure there's enough propane in the tanks to make it thru the night. I turn lights on at night and off in the morning. The proof of these guys' poor diets is in the smell they leave behind. Maybe I have a sensitive olfactory system or something but I can smell what people eat. Ever since I was little, the diet of junkfood has always left an atmosphere of a particular odor that I've been able to detect.

Bill and Dev have driven up to Nor Cal. - wine business. Consequently, I am now in charge of the estate and this ongoing heavy weight fiasco. I guess it could be worse. Anyway it gives me something to type about. Yesterday, one of the guests was outside chugging a beer. He finished it and then just chucked it into the bushes. Its all in the timing. Bill witnessed this misdemeanor and admonished the offender. My take is this: People treat the world like they treat their bodies - unless they think someone is watching them.

Earlier tonight, these guys were being entertained by a female singer/guitarist. They're drinking beer and raising a ruckus. The singer sings: These boots were made for walking. They all start singing along: loud, off key and off time. Drunks. I exit the basement, scale the stone wall up to the back porch and watch the comotion. The singer keeps repeating the line they all know so they can sing along - "These boots were made for walking and thats just what they'll do, one of these days these boots are gonna walk right over you". Over and over they repeat this part of Nancy Sinatra's song. All I can think is how appropriate this song is. The only improvement I can think of is to change the tense - from the future to the present. Soon after my brief appearance, they got the hint and settled down.

I do not think they tred so loudly on purpose. They simply lack the degree of awareness that we have become accustomed to. Yogis are the way to go. The square peg of a corporate seminar just does not fit in this round whole sanctuary.

My friend Steve, latest recipient of Skip,s dirt grant, has 4 different jobs happening for his company: Living Systems. His business has been growing the second he relocated to Ojai. Way to go Steve! I feel very lucky to have him living on the estate. I first met him 6 years ago. He inspired me to deepen my practice/experiment with breath and movement. He's much younger than I but he has such a strong, gentle, even, mature presence that I look to him as a role model. He reminded me of why I'd begun tai-chi and yoga in the first place. This made it easy for me to deepen my discipline. Now it looks like I'll be working for him in addition to my other jobs. Hopefully I'll have internet access or I might have to post less regularly. The quantity or quality will not be compromised. Live in peace dear friend. Give a hoot - don't pollute.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Zig zagging away

This day began at 8 AM with a phone call from Dev giving me a heads up on the low pool level. The season of evaporation has begun and the pool level must be watched closely to keep the filter from getting angry. Last night I heard the sucking sound that it makes that lets me know to add water. I opened the valve slightly last night but not enough. Thus my day began.

The yoga studio is currently the seminar studio. I chose to practice my yoga near the pool in the sun. The jacuzzi was just over body temperature and I soaked in it first to warm up the muscles. Just as I finished my yoga series, I heard and saw Julie drive by in her white Honda with a big ladder up on the roof. I met her down at Skip's hovel and then we walked up the trail. I let her carry the rope and I carried the climbing gear. Foothill Crag was our destination and the trail there is all uphill. My breath was somewhat labored and I resolved to start running regularly.

I decided to top rope Rutheless Poodles, a 4 star classic, instead of leading it, due to my long hiatus from climbing. While self-repelling down the wall, I only threaded in one strand instead of doubling up. I will never do that again. It sure felt nice to stand on the ground in one piece. I suggest to Julie that she climb it first and she agrees, She has not climbed in a while and so its not surprising that she asks me to tie the figure eight knot that all climbers use. It took me a few minutes but then I remembered how to tie this simple knot.

I have to say in retrospect that Julie has alot of courage to be climbing. She climbed up the initial part of the route slowly but surely. Her blonde hair shined in the sun and her legs were smooth and toned.There's kind of an overhang that one can zig zag up that is the crux of this classic. The moves are kind of awkward and the stress of the height is compounded by the wall of rock hanging over you. That's why this baby's rated a 10b. My technique is to not look down or up but diagonally. This is where Julie struggled and let out a yell of frustration. I was glad to hear it. I enjoy and welcome the relaease of pent up emotion - especially when it is mine. Of course, these releases need to be performed in the appropriate environment... Five minutes later, I lowered her down to the ground at her request. The crux was just too much this attempt.

Now it's my turn to scale this wall of solid sandstone. I begin slowly and then easily arrive at the crux. Let the zig zagging begin. It has been a while since I've been in this spot. I take my time and search for the right places to place my hands and let my feet do all the work. This is the essence of the technique of climbing - trust your feet. I came close to freezing and then I just pushed myself onward. Just go for it I tell myself. Julie's got the rope and will easily help me defy gravity - if need be. I manage to make the moves fairly calmly and reach the anchor without falling. I did go touch off route and so I have something to prove to myself the next time around.

Julie's second attempt on Rutheless P. is successful. I am pleasantly surprised. She stayed on route and did not use any aid. Wow, impressive. I coached her a little bit and provided minimal beta (instruction). Way to go Julie!

While repelling down the wall earlier I could hear my cell phone ringing. Turns out it was Maya. She's someone I met last weekend at my friends', (Guy and Julia), party. Maya is a recent transplant from NYC to LA. She had decided that she did not want to live in LA anymore. Someone told her about Ojai and so she drove here. She went into Rainbow Bridge and met the amazing Iratia who promptly told her about the big party. Now she wants to move to Ojai. I return her call and we decide to meet at Rainbow Bridge.

Julie and I head back down the trail and savor the feeling of accomplishment. We decide to climb together again next week.

Now it's time to meet up with Maya. I pull up on my CBR 900 and she greets me with a sweet smile and a hug. I ask her if she wants to ride on the bike to Farmer and the Cook and she agrees. I take it slow and shift smoothly. It feels so nice to have a beautiful woman on the back of my bike and before you know it we arrive at our destination. F&C is packed. Oak Grove, a nearby private school, is celebrating earth day and many of the attendees head here for some real food. We eat and savor the delicious simplicity of raw living food.

We check out Oak Grove's earth day and then bike to Full Circle Farm. This is a community that Maya wants to check out as a possibility for her to live. The road feels smooth and soon we are winding up Dennizen Grade. The switchbacks provide a roller coasterish vibe and I can feel her thighs tighten on my hips as she tenses slightly with the approach of each sweeping turn. I take it easy, shift smoothly and feel her fingers lightly press and caress my abs.

Deva the big black malmut and sometyhing else dog greet us with her trademark voice that is not barking but dog talking whining. She comes right to me, lays on her back and lets her face relax as I remove tics and foxtails from her chest. The Full Circle visit goes well. Maya meets Remmy, he's lived there half a year and is mellow and cool. He gives us a tour and says "Later, gotta cook". Just as we are about to leave, Bob arrives. She'd already met him at Guy's bash and so he seemed pretty inviting to her staying there. He says goodbye - has to get ready for a wedding.

I bike us back to her red Pontiac and we say good bye. It was a nice afternoon. Before night falls, I am turning on lights, turn on the jacuzzi... yeah, I think I might have to have another soak...

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Twi-light zone is the norm

Last night, I slepped on the observation deck. The slippery sound of the river can be heard perfecting the frictional relationship with rock, mud and pebbles. This sound is so soothing. The hour was fairly late - post midnight - despite my plan to awaken at 5 30 AM. The river music was loud but not loud enough to cover up some kind of noise. I lay in bed wondering, speculating, what the heck is that noise I think to myself... it is occuring rhymically, regularly, like someone is pulling rope on a makeshift pulley system made of rough fabric and it sounds like it is amplified. Then it occurs to me: It is the sound of someone snoring in the yurt. I give thanks that I am not in that yurt with the other gentlemen sharing it with the world's loudest snorrer.

I awaken at the appointed time, turn off a bunch of lights as I make my way to Skip's hovel a bit early to make sure that he has arisen. The interior florescent light is on, I push aside the red blanket which is Skip's alternative to a door and see that Bill is in there sitting with Skip. The conversation is one-sided. Bill's doing the talking and Skip the listening. I sit and patiently wait for the conclusion of this last minute meeting. I can tell that Bill's still digesting the teeth throwing incident. He says he wants Skip to clean up the exterior part of the structure in which Skip lives. I recognize that this is meant to be a metaphor...

Soon enough, Skip and I are on the road. I am driving the old yellow Toyota pick-up. I look in the back to see what Skip will be bringing with him for the next 3 months. All I see is a sleeping bag. He's got clothes, an abode and a car waiting for him in New York.

I did not bring a recording device and so I don't have very much to report on with regards to our conversation. Basically, Skip talked about how most folks in our culture are groundless and do not know where anything they buy or consume comes from. Skip: "People do not know where the ground is." He's curious what will happen because so many folks are living out on a limb and have no understanding what a trunk is. Skip's radio is stuck on one station because the tuner dial does not work. The way we change the station is by driving until the sigal changes. When we start we get classic rock and roll the Octopus 95.9. As we hit Point Magoo we start to hear rap and hip hop. Further down PCH a Christain radio station begins to dominate our limited air waves. About 10 miles from the airport we start hearing country music. Yeah, I guess there's something for everyone on the trip to LAX. Airports can confuse me. When I am with Skip, the twi-light zone is the norm. Our entry point into LAX is not familiar to either of us. After our first lap we realize we are on the Arrivals road. As we complete the second lap, Skip desides that he can be dropped off at Continental's arrival section and just take the escalator to the Departure section.

The ride back is uneventful. By 9:30 my head is on a folded up blanket. I am in the hovel and sleeping.

The cell phone's ring goes off an hour later. It is Devin. We are going to play some tennis.

The tennis courts are all filled with teenagers playing doubles or taking lessons. We warm up for 15 minutes. The first set goes to Devin: 6-4. By the end of it I was venting my lymbic system like a volcanoe spewing ash hundreds of feet into the air but not actually erupting. The second set, Devin picked up his game while I melted down. The broken record of self doubt and self criticism took over and I relaeased more emotional ashes and a couple boulders which did not land on anyone. Devin hits all winners, so unforced errors and his serve is smoking - 2 aces and 4 service winners. Second set score: 6-0. Devin visits the restroom and I practice tai-chi for 5 minutes. Finally, I ease back into a more balanced state of mind. I am able to think a little more clearly and realize the simple fact that Dev's playing better than I. No biggey, just relax and hit some shots. He starts out with a 2-0 lead. I notice that the heat is getting to him which he later confirms. My strokes come back a bit and I battle back. Soon, I am up 3-2. Dev's hitting unforced errors again. Bjon Borg has left his body to go terrorize some other happless tennis player. Devin is serving 4-5, I get a set point but blow it. Finally, Dev's serving 5-6, we play deuce-a-cola for a while before he pushes a backhand wide. I throw up my hands in victory and Devin graciously congratulates me and offers encouragement.

Back on the estate, we meet at the pool. A nice follow up to tennis is swimming and a dip in the jacuzzi.

Next, Bill, Devin and I head down to a Farmer and the Cook party: Mostock. Whole bunch of hippies jumping around and dancing. Kids running around. Smiles abound. Surprise highlight: Mark Dennen. He's a folk singer - kinda like a mix of Paul Simon, Tracey Chapman, Jack Johnson but still has his own unique style. This guy looks kind of goofy, he's way young, wear's his cheap baseball cap askew, big women's sunglasses sliding down his nose and rocking like few I have ever seen. He's laying out originals and his voice is clear, in key, nice range and beautiful. The words pour out of his mouth like a crystal waterfall. Before every song he kind of dances and his body language lets you see the music before you hear it. He's just signed with Universal. This boy's going somewhere.

Friday, April 15, 2005

A giant game of Tetrus

The marathon house rental period has begun. Right now I am directing cars and suvs on where to park. Basically, it's like a giant game of tetrus but the shapes are a lot less complicated. Normally, we rent to yogis. The next 7 days, an organic food company will be residing here. After that we will have a 4 day yoga retreat. I guess I have been spoiled by the beautiful yogi women because this looks like the population will be mostly males with big bellys. Just because its organic doesn't mean that its healthy. They will be usisng the yoga studio (for seminars) from 8 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon. This means that I will need to wake up around 6:30 in order to practice yoga and tai-chi or wait until the afternoon or find somewhere else... The nicest ride so far is a red Jaguar. (My friend Daniel just bought one last week. His is a convertable and a bit older.)

Just got back from another Tetrus move, this piece had three more dudes in it.

I must give thanks that I am able to blog while working. This job is pretty eclectic and requires someone with an elastic schedule. This is one of the reasons it fits me so well. Thru out my life, I have consistantly avoided the typical 9 to 5 job. I realized at a young age that regular hours and mundane office work would kill me.

When I quit the youth counselor job (inside a maximum security detention center for juvenile delingquents) in Doylestown, Pennsylvania 12 years ago, I had no idea where I'd end up. If I'd had stayed with that job, I'd be 5 years from retirement. Instead I walked off the edge of the known into the abyss of no plan, no contingencey, pure freedom. For this foolish courage I give thanks.

In my travels thru time, space and hidden trails, I have found others living with pure freedom. Very few seem able to cope and eventually find a way to lose this freedom. Now, somehow I have work that comes and finds me. There's always someone who gives me a call to do some task. I literally can not keep up with all the work that is offered. The house rental gig here on the estate has really taken off the past couple months so now the flow of work has incresed nicely.

I'm thinking about bringing a recorder with me when I'm driving with Skip to the airport. He's so off the wall - off the cuff, ya just never know what he's gonna say. The thing about Skip is: he backs up his spiel more than anyone I have ever met. The guy carves out his home under a boulder and lives in it. We had the most rain since the 1800's, his place is leaking all over. Bill offers a room in the big house, Skip does not even consider it. He's in his place burning wet leaves and branches. The whole abode is smoke-filled but warm. Skip pauses to roll up one of his funny ciggarettes, starts talking etymology, cosmology, archeology, philosophy and then he's outside trying to seal his roof of plastic membranes, tarps, carpet which all sits on top of a wide variety of poles, pvc pipes, rotan, cable, ropes and anything else he comes across at the right time. You think you got him pinned down? you got a label for him? Then he beat's you to it. "I'm a Republican." says Skip. He's never voted though...

Thursday, April 14, 2005

What an expensive prop

I finally spoke with Skip today. One thing you can say about Skip: the guy is resilient. While on the southwestern corner of the estate I had a chance encounter with him. He immediately began joking about the teeth throwing incident when I brought it up.

He said "What an expensive prop... it's gonna cost me 850 bucks!"

I let him know that I've been covering this story. I said: "Man Skip, you run the whole gammut in my blog but this one takes the cake. What a crazy post!"

Skip said: "you're gonna have to print it all out and give me a copy so I can read it and know who I am." He laughed and smiled saying that he'd have the new set in at 11:30 AM on Friday (tomorrow). I guess he needed a rush job done because of his heading out to New York the following day.

It's amazing the change in appearance that occurs when you don't have any teeth. Skip also filled me in with his take on what happened. Basically, the dentures have never fit right. When he gets intense in his verbal expressions, the poor fit becomes an issue and interferes with his abilty to communicate. This is why he chucked them on the ground. I'm just glad that he won't have his trip delayed. They can sure make teeth quick these days.

I'll be staying in his crazy abode for a while, driving his truck and will have access to his various tools while he's on the bEast coast. Much grattitude to Skip. He's one of the most generous people I have ever met - excluding my parents.

The structure that had been at the center of this cyclone has been dialed in much more thoroughly, based on reports from several sources. My plate has been so full that I have not checked it out for myself. But I will, rest assured dear reader, I will.

Fellow Ojai blogger Tyler's site:

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Broken teeth and musical homes

I received more information on the teeth throwing incident today. My source interviewed Skip in his scuptural domecile last night. Basically, Skip was having a very passionate discussion about an art piece that he holds very close to his heart. While vehemently expounding on the merits of his rooftop contribition, he became frustrated with his dentures. They were flapping around a bit and making it difficult for him to speak. Consequently, in a fit of frustration and fiery passion, he thru down the teeth/dentures. They broke into 6 pieces. Another anonymous source, reported to me last night that he came across Skip searching for these teeth. It turns out he was unable to find one small piece of the broken dentures. Last night during our potluck, the guys wanted to name the post: "Toothless in Ojai". Anyway, Skip was hoping he could glue the dentures back together. I wonder what kind of glue could pull that off? or pull it together in this context. I apologize for having to go secondhand on this breaking news story. I've been kind of busy yo. Tomorrow, I may give Skip a personal inerview - a Bardo Surfer exclusive.

The next bit of drama involved a phone call from someone who wanted to move here. It turns out they'd been discussing relocating here with Bill. Devin, Brownie and I were designated as inerviewers. Without our knowledge of course. So I was totally unprepared when I received a call from this prospect. It's someone I have known for several years. The other 2 guys had the good sense to let their phone answering service handle it. Thus, I was the one with the awkward task of discouraging the transplant. After confering with Dev and Brownie, I learned that we all felt the same way: not a good time for this. We have two back to back rentals which will go for 11 days starting this Friday. Anyway, I do feel compassion for his shelter dilema. He's got to move this Friday. Did not say if he had any potential crash sites or not. It aint easy living with out a home. I should know. Yeah, feeling uprooted all the time. Just floating waiting for a sign on some one's house: Rent Me. This happens all the time in Ojai. I call it musical homes. I must count my blessings that I've had 18 months straight with the same residence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Where's my teeth?

Skip is the most radical artist I have ever known or even heard of. He's also by far the craziest and yet still capable of being able to function in such a secular society without being locked up. He's kind of like Old Faithful, the steam vent in Yellowstone that sends up a geyser every 22 minutes. Put a bunch of water up on top some magma and you get a lot of water pressure. I've known Skip for over 6 years now and he lives above an emotional volcanoe that hides in his lymbic system. I am not a geologist or a psychologist but at this point, I am able to perceive the cycle and signs of an upcoming eruption.

Skip's heading to New York this Saturday for the next 4 months or so and is feeling ungrounded. There's a project he's been helping with that involves super adobe and is similar to his kivas. Its just a lot more civilized - at least relatively. Bill does not want to sink any more money into it and so it does not have a roof. But, now we're approaching the trigger which led to flashpoint, it has a roof now. Skip's primitive version of a roof.

The latest report is that its going to take a bunch of man hours to undo what Skip has done. Bill confronted Skip with his renegade roof antics and Skip went thru the roof. He got so mad that he ripped his own teeth (dentures) out of his mouth and thru them on the ground.

An anonymous source has told me that he saw Skip on his hands and knees searching the area for his teeth.

Steve, the builder and designer of the structure was estatic when Skip showed his sketch of the roof. Steve considers the roof a brilliant contribution in the short term because the budget was cut and it makes the space useful in the interim. He says that it has a tight skin over it and anyone can live in it - right now.

Monday, April 11, 2005

A slice of life hold the mayo

I just returned from watching the movie: Sin City. I've never read the graphic novels that this flick is based on but I could sense the cartoonish influence. I strongly recommend checking it out but be forewarned that there's quite a bit of violence. Tony drove us in his beat up Toyota that has the damaged driver's door. The smell from the fuel injectors only kicked in for a few minutes while on the highway.

Earlier today, I was pulling weeds out along the side of John's driveway. He was helping a bit as we talked about the storyline of one of his screenplays and his experiences that its based on. John gave me a copy of his screenplay: Sons of Freedom. There's a bunch of distributors reading this one including a famous actor. If the actor agrees to do it then the whole thing will start floating within a day. My feeling is that it will happen. I've only just started reading the script though. The first scene takes place at Kent State. A couple guys burn their draft cards and then head up to Canada. It's all based on a true story but of course there's dramatic embellishments. The heart of the story deals with how the chidren of these Russians who live in communes get taken away and put in schools behind barbed wire. This actually did happen in Canada and was in all the papers at the time. The Canadian government gave asylum to a bunch of these Russians because they were being persecuted. They gave them land to live on. The Russaians remained isolated for 20 years, not paying taxes, home schooling and not registering for the draft. The draft issue broke the camels back. I was kind of shocked to hear this when John told me today. I've always thought that Canada was above the fascist crimes against humanity trip. I guess every country has a sordid side to its history that is swept under the rug.

Because of the delay in getting a distrutor, production won't start until September. I was hoping it would start earlier because of the weather getting colder and all. I guess I will need some warm clothing. Canada has a tendency to get kind of cold...

Sunday, April 10, 2005

You are what you seek

The Prana saga appears to have come to an abrupt end. While awaiting my laptop to boot up, I spotted a note on the desk which came from Millenium. Basically the note states: "Prana came and said 'Goodbye'. removed his things from the cupboard and refridgerator. Walter & Jane & I wished him happy journeying." It will be interesting to see what happens now that he's left. He was a good scapegoat, like a lightening rod giving the atmospheric electricity a place to focus. The severe criticism that he attracted should not surprise me I guess. Over the months of his living here, I became habituated to his manner of conducting himself. The latest arrivals all seem to have had the same initial reaction I did. The difference was the number of complaints he generated quadrupled. It looks like he took it on himself to bolt rather than run the gauntlet of a meeting which would have basically been a Prana roast that might not have been very funny. Now, we shall never know.

Today, I once again experienced the feeling of inadequacy that I seem to be addicted to. A girl I met at the party last night, wanted to see the estate and the big craftsman bungaloe. She's pretty cute and all that. I hop on my CBR 900 and she follows me home in her red Pontac Grand Am down the straight back way of Grand avenue and up the steep Foothill Road. Its all in the timing. Just as we pull thru the gate, I see Bill in his brown Cross Country Volvo wagon and Daryl riding shotgun, they are on the way out. I stop my bike, put my feet on the ground and watch Daryl pop put of the Volvo like a piece of toast jumping out of the toaster. He lands in front of Maya like she is butter and quickly invites her to Farmer and the Cookie for some tea. I closely watch the glaze of his eyes and the sleepy smile on his face. Women have all the power. At least the pretty ones do. Bill chimes in over the roar of all the engines "It's tea time, come on and get some tea".

Maya's kind of surprised and confused. She asks me what she should do. I respond cooly: "I'm flex do what ever you want to do". Bill invites me but I decline. I have a yoga agenda.

I turn to daryl and say privately: "Nice swoop"
Daryl: "She's got a boyfriend."
Me: "Then thanks, you're doing me a favor."

Yeah, it aint easy being a single guy. Lucky I have it so good in all the other areas of my life. I guess it just evens out. Ironically, it was apparent to me that she was genuinely interested in Daryl. I must be experiencing some jealousy to be honest. They do seem suited for eachother. Its kind of funny how trivial incidents can trigger such shifts in my mood despite my awareness that its happening and my attempt to keep a sense of perspective. My neurons are like dominoes. Once one is knocked over/fired, forget about it. My lymbic system crashes. I start feeling like I am some alien from another dimension who longs to meet a sweet woman. The problem: there just is not a woman for me. Just a bunch of earthlings. But what am I?Thus, my magnetism becomes reverse magnetism. I'm the opposite of Superman. The whole planet is my kryptonite. Somehow, I am hardwired, (my dominoes all set up in a prearranged pattern), so that I will endlessly follow these emotional programs like a train on a set of tracks. The hard core part of me is driven to find freedom from this self created prison cell made with neural bars and delusional walls.

I have eaten the key and will soon digest it.

I am Hansel and Gretel. I am the witch. I have tricked the witch into the oven and she is broiling. I have eaten myself out of the sugary candy gingerbread house jail but I am not free yet. The sugar is all poison. It changes my intestnal flora. The brilliant cultures in my mouth, intestines and stomach are replaced by fascist cultures that do not even know I exist. They believe they have dominion over me. The overall impact changes my PH and I become extremely acidic. This sends a signal to the evironment/nature that I am dying and so now everything wants to eat/recycle me. Suddenly, I have all the silly allergies to things like pollen, cat hair and wool. My nose runs away, my eyes water my face and my skin develops rashes that form letters, sentences and passages from the Koran, Revelations and the Book of Mormon. I begin to read them. Before I can finish they change into cartoons featuring Beavus, Butthead, Sponge Tom and Rectangle Pants. Thats not doing me any good so I look away. I watch my breath and slow it down. My heart rate reduces. I walk thru the woods following a trail of bread crumbs that no animal will eat because its all Wonder Bread and lacks any nutritional content. I start to jog, reveling in the grace of motion as the blood courses thru my veins. My lungs expand and a breeze tickles the hair on my arms.

I leave the woods and enter an apple orchard. And then I spy her: Eve, she is naked and unashamed. She is sitting behind an apple juice stand. She makes the juice with a hand powered juicer. She offers me a glass. I accept and as I begin to swallow the luxurious liquid, I see a large reticular python snake coiling around the trunk of an apple tree. Eve follows the direction my gaze and smiles as she sees my eyes widen, she says: "Don't worry that's just my friend. His name is Shiva."

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The party floats

The party started off slow. Just before the sun went down, the wind stopped blowing.
Around 9 PM, the scene began to grow like a flash flood in the desert where you cannot see the rain but you hear the rumble of thunder in the distant mountains. Guy’s set up was warm - with two fires, an open bar and lots of colored lights strung in the trees. Inside his dance hall/yoga studio, I set up this powerbook, I am typing on. A friend fire wired me 10 gigs of mostly techno dance/bliss/ambient/sacred/world music etc.. By default I ended up DJ’ing for the first time. My stint lasted for 2 hours and was well received.

John Mcuen performed with Sean Inglesby on bass and Brad Buley on drums. They covered the Grateful Dead with clean harmonies, Eric Clapton with heartfelt class and a string of other eclectic oldies. The energy grew until the floor began to shake and the mirrors vibrated. Tomorrow, John flies out for a gig in Phoenix.

So now the party has ended and I sit here listening to Pink Floyd. The fires are still burning and 1 candle still has a flame. The hour is late enough to convince me to sleep here; my CBR 900 will not wake up countless sleepers.

I saw Daryl (see: Daryl falls like a tree) for the first time in a while. His arm and wrist have recovered quite nicely. He’s been having physical therapy regularly and seems to be quite effective.

The night ended with a few of us around a fire sleeping under the stars surrounded by eucalyptus trees and eucalyptus smoke,

Friday, April 08, 2005

Evangelical meat musings

Tony and I speed off the estate in his beat up old Toyota Camry. It's silver with damage on the driver's door. We keep the windows down because of the fumes from his recently treated fuel injectors. There's no time to spare. If traffic cooperates we'll walk in during the trailers. We both need to talk about something and so the time goes by quick and cold. We slalom thru the fairly light 101 traffic and time is on our side. Within 2 miles of our exit, we see that the Johnson Street exit is closed. We exit on Wagon Wheel but are unable to find our way to the theatre in the allotted time.

The next morning, I check on the big green tent to see how it fared on the observation deck. The wind had picked up during the night and whipped the trees and debris around a bit so it did not surprise me that my big new tent collapsed. Bill does not like it there anyway. I have found another local.

I finally played a set of tennis today. Devin proved to be a worthy adversary. He won 6-4. It definitely could have gone my way. I blew too many game points on my serve to count. One word summary: choke a cola. It was great fun to get on the court and play. Nice way to release the pent up tension that inevitably collects in my lymbic system. Devin has a good net game and was able to exploit my passing game. My lobs were ok and my serve was just a bit off. I only held serve once! His serve is weak. Once I get my stroke, the out come will be different. Stay posted.

Tomorrow nght will see Ojai's first big party since the New Year celebrations. My friend Guy and his partner Julia will be hosting this bash. I've been asked to invite A listers but it sounds like the word has spread like wild fire. Many folks will be coming from the bay area as well as the countless locals. I may perform with the didj.

Dinner with Will, Bill and Tony was cool at Azoos. They fulfilled their carnivorous cravings and I enjoyed a simple salad with butter nut squash soup. Bill loves to try and get me to eat meat. His premise is that he thinks this will make me more attractive to women. I find his evangelical meat musings entertaining and they always bring a smile to my vegan face.

Back in Bill's house, in front of the fire in the sitting room, Tony and Bill jam together on their guitars. Willy squirms all over the seat, unable to appreciate the sweet musical dialogue. Bill gets on a roll and starts channeling Dylan as he improvises a song about burning buildings and lost homes. Willy lets himself slide off the couch and hit the floor with a slight thump. He wants to be stimulated by something or someone. He's just 8 years old but his imagination seems to be stagnating. I've been teaching him tennis for a few months and his interest and motivation have waned.

Healthy discovery of the week: chard and carrot juice

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Personal perks

Today Daniel and I raised a big green tent he gave me. It had been damaged in one of the big deluges of rain that happened back in October. When it collapsed, various metal poles bent and snapped. We used a wooden dowel and pieces of a small pipe to repair the damaged poles. Now it stands on the observation deck. It blends in better than I thought it would. The wind will be blowing tomorrow to test its strength.

Next, I'm playing tennis with Will and Bill. We have two raquets among the three of us. Initially, Bill hits with Will. Will plays like I've never seen before. He hustles and drills winners all over the court. Bill leaves for 30 minutes to run an errand. Now I hit with Will. His energy level drops by 90 percent. His motivation left with his father. Will says his stomach hurts. He lays down on a bleacher. I work on my serve and have him identify whether or not I am spinning it.

Back in the community kitchen, Millenium and I work on our personal perks. I end up with 5 quarts. I've got 5 in the fridge so I am set. Pure alchilinity. Pure Alchemy.

Tomorrow's issues with Prana meeting was canceled. Kind of a rielief. Not so much fun to see someone on the hotseat.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Cruising on some Harleys

I had two back to back snafus with the bike today. 1: I found my key on the on position (this drains the battery), after a typically scrumptious meal at Farmer and the Cook. The bike still started. I climbed a hill on my Fireblade. The engine gave the early warning signs that it needed some gas. 2: I then remembered that I'd switched on to reserve a few days ago. Thus my lightening fast cbr 900 came to a stop. I pushed it to the nearest gas station, filled it up and then it would not start. The mechanic gave me a push but still the engine would not fire. I thanked him for his help and pushed the bike along a street and then up a hill. The third time coming down this small incline was the charm, I gave a bit of gas as I popped it in first gear, the engine roared to life and I sped off and up hwy 33 to recharge the battery.

Next on my meandering agenda was to visit Sunny, Daniel, their 2 dogs and 7 puppies. When I pulled up, Daniel was in the shed city area spreading pea gravel with a rake. Before I know it I'm on one of his Harleys. This one is a chopper with the handle bars way up in the air. A much different riding position then my sport bike. Daniel rode with me with his Triumph the first time. I wore a tortoise shell helmet and this made me more aware of the various contortions my face makes when riding that are normally hidden by my full face helmet. It was easy to smile. I enjoyed this Harley experience. The next Harley of his I rode was more of a boat and a newer model. Much more flashier - red with big crome pipes that are pretty low to the ground. This lowness made me more cautious around turns because I did not want to scrape them. Both Harleys rattled alot but I definitey dug their vibe.

When we got back, Daniel suggested that I clean my bike. The cleaner he throws me ends up oxidizing on my aluminum frame and every where else I sprayed it: engine block, pipe etc.. So then I ended up scubbing it with a brillo and various metal polish and then hand polishing it with an old t-shirt. This turned into a 3 hour project but now my bike is gleaming. For now on I will test out cleaners on a small part of the bike before spraying the whole thing.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The catepillar does not know the butterfly

Earlier today I had an old school programmer install my new wifi card. He only charged me $20. The store I bought it from (BitVision) wanted me to pay them $85 to install it. What a rip off. The rep (Chris) told me it was a "pain in the ass" and gave false information about me having to buy a tool to take apart my G4. Thus I contacted a cool guy by the name of Richard. He'd never installed a card in a mac before but it only took him 30 minutes. Chris, the rep at BitVision said he'd done it before and it would take him an hour and me an hour and a half. Nice to know who you can trust.

We had an inhouse potluck dinner tonight. My contribution was 3 quarts of fresh vegetable juice (Kale, chard and carrots). Took a while to juice but was quite appreciated. Interestingly enough, P did not attend despite his call for more potlucks. He has managed to capture the role of scape goat. P is such a character in this town. He's beyond infamy. It's interesting to see how new folks react to him. During a casual after dinner discussion, three of the crew basically ripped into him although they did not have any real rope to hang him with.

I came close to posting him earlier when he swooped in on a girl I liked. His spiel of: "Hi brother! and "we are all light workers" is nonstop until a cute girl appears and then whooshh later dude. I think he's sincere but it can get old. So, he tries to shark a girl I've been building a foundation with. He actually did me a favor in the long run. She rejected his advances at least. It's kind of funny now but at the time it pushed a few of those ancient DNA buttons. Enough time has passed now to allow me a sense of perspective.

He can sit in meditation for hours and hours. He takes retreats where he fasts for 10 days and meditates the whole time. P talks a good game while radiating huge confidence with a big smile. A smile so big that it hurts my face to think about. My take is this: You can take P out of Texas but you can't take Texas out of P. He gets attached to lables and simple explanations more so than most I come in contact with. His old label for everything was: "That's just a thought-form." He used this metaphysics concept to dismiss anything you had to say. When he first moved on the estate here, everything that happened was because of "A pre-birth agreement." He used the latter phrase hundreds of times until recently. But we all do this. I know there are phrases I use over and over, it's just another way for me to fall asleep.

Scape goats serve a valuable purpose in human groups. It is a role I became falmiliar with in grade school, high school and college. Scape goats act as a dumping ground for negative energy. But I don't think that its a sustainable practice. I actually try and balance the discussions when P's being criticized with listing some contributions he has made. The transgressions that he is being accused of can be applied to several of us but he sinks because of not understaniding the community politics here. I think the hardest pitfall for a yogi to avoid is: letting success go to your head. The more successful one becomes in the arena of body sensory awareness the more the ego tends to blow up like a balloon or what Skip calls: a ghost balloon. He carries around a ghost balloon that is filled with the hot air of his ego. His face is on the balloon with a big jack o lantern smile. Every one knows the balloon aint real except him. I know that I have played this game as well and must be ever vigilant to prevent reoccurances. It's nearly impossible for non-yogis to appreciate how difficult it is to remain truly humble and not come off as arrogant when you begin to master movement, breath and flexibility. The catepillar does not know the butterfly.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Post-armageddon party

Wow, what a crazy beautiful world we live in you quietly think to your self. Yeah, the world has shifted quite a bit since that rapture deal went down. You never believed it would happen. I mean, come on, loonies have been predicting the apocalyse for the past two thousand years so who could take that spiel seriously? Anyway, your riding first class in a jet to a post-armageddon party in Paris. The whole planet has been non-stop partying since all of the doomsayers got yanked. I guess there's a God after all you think. First, it was like one giant free clothes giveaway. What an enormous variety of shoes you had to choose from. You must have over 10 pairs of Air Jordans now. Looking back on it now, its kind of been like one endless miracle or maybe just a whole bunch strung together.

You're not the kind of guy to go to Vegas but there you were. Plus, you were in a casino. Go figure. Anyway, what could have been more absurd than seeing that Vegas had odds for what time the rapture thing would happen? Well, I guess betting on it was even more absurd. Some how you guessed the right time and now you're rich. You made a fortune off the rapture. The next miracle is even better. The planet is much better off without these provincial evangelical types. The whole world has breathed a collective sigh of relief. The whole energy shortage fraud has come to light and the pollution index is dropping like crazy. The manufactured war in Israel ended immediately. Humans now have a chance to focus their energy on exploration, education and artistic expression instead of torture and destruction.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

A dancing wolf, a whole bunch of sheep and wool

Once again, I will risk the tattered remnants of my recycled reputation and make a fearless prediction. As always, my hunch is based on meticulously scouring such lofty resources for intelligent news like: metafilter, drudge report, cnn, girls are pretty, rigorous intuition, suburban guerrilla, satirical veracity etc.. Michael Jackson will fake his suicide within 5 days. This wolf in sheep's clothing will pull the wool over everyone's eyes. He'll have his clone (sacrificial lamb) killed and we will all have a body to convince us that he's dead. Meanwhile, he'll have his favorite plastic surgeon perform some extremely radical surgery to make him look like one of the italian cardinals. He'll pick a tall and skinny one of course. After his makeover, Michael will then have the cardinal he looks like kidnapped while he's visiting Mc Donald's or something. The most daring and difficult part of Michael Jackson's plan will then begin. He has to convince the other cardinals that he should be pope. He won't say a thing. He won't have to. All he needs to do is pull a Napoleon Dynamite out of his butt: Jackson first will hit play on his big ass boombox. Some old classic hip-hop pours out of the speakers. Base is pumpin, yo. Now he starts moonwalkin and now he's doin the robot now he's a mime, "wow this guy can really shake it". The stiff old cardinals are beyond impressed and they all vote for the tall skinny italian cardinal, its a no-brainer.

Epilogue: The new pope is having an amusement park built in the Cistine Chapel. He really loves kids. The new pontiff even lets them sleep in his bedroom. Of course he sleeps on the floor. Don't be a perv! Pope Jacko serves Jesus juice every Sunday. It's a sacrament! get off his case! he's infallible now.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Retreat day II, watch out for meteors

And so the retreat continues. My t-house was co-opted by two folks for this go round. Thus, I picked the observation deck to pitch my tent. Last night, I'm laying in Big Agnes and trying to fall asleep but there's this dog barking. I start running thru scenarios in my head of walking up to the house and saying something to the owners. Well, of course I don't act on this angry impulse. Instead, I just sweetly ask the dog in my mind to stop barking. To my surprise, the barking stopped.

My first waking moments: I'm sweating, sun (my silent alarm) is bright on my tent and promts me to get out and feel the cool air on my skin. I check my three jars of perk that I blended last night and they all activated. I make my rounds of turning off lights and it turns out Devin came thru and turned most of them off. Good on ya, mate. I dump some compost in the garden.

I end up doing my yoga in the house. Iron out a few crinkles. Polish a couple smears on my ego window. Stretch hamstrings breathe relax stretch groin breathe relax lunge rock the baby thread the needle breathe relax downward dog my version of a split ha. Ahh what a relief. Thanks, India.

Meandered down to the jacuzzi and soaked for a few hours. Turned on some lights and then played some music with Tony for the yoga class. Felt nice, first time we played in like 2 months I think. Afterward, I play with another didj player, Kishen. He's very good. Best i've played with. He uses wormhole didj. I use Earth didj. We have taken Earth thru a wormhole. I hope nobody minds. Later on, I learn he lived in Buckingham, PA and then moved to Stanford, Connecticut. Pretty shocking. He's lived a parallell existence to me or something. He traveled around the world for years, lived in Paris for a few years. Finally came to the realization that he wanted to live in Cali. Now he's in L.A. He even surfs. Weird.

Dinner, raw and cool. Back to the yoga studio. Holla and Kip lead a raw food discussion and serve raw coco balls. Thirty minutes pass and then the music begins and mostly everyone starts dancing. I'm in one of my wallflower outsider modes. My reverse magnetism kicks in. Ahh, might as well check the web. Metafilter is my first stop. This is where I learn that the Pope is dead. A whole bunch of comments on his death. Alot of "."s which are supposed to represent moments of silence. Many cynical comments. My favorites: "Bush for pope" and "Bono for pope".

I head back down to the party in the yoga studio to wrap it up. Now I have a henna om on the back of my bald head. Soon I will head up to my tent on the observation deck on top of the northern winery, I'll let you steer tonight, watch out for meteors. zzzzzzz

Friday, April 01, 2005

Everybody's talking about hotdogs

The day begins with my cell phone's alarm, which sounds like someone running their fingers up and down the ivory keys of a piano. I lay there not fully awake and listen to the river. My body feels tired and my mind feels ired. Scan the body. Relax. Breathe up the back. Get out of the way. I observe thoughts. A broke record skipping. Thirty minutes later I am up and out of the Big Agnes sleeping bag. Today's retreat will be a good one I think. It's all about raw food, yoga, cleansing and today is April Fool's Day - no fooling.

My tasks are completed and I have time to pick up my Extreme air port card so my sweet G4 PowerBook will finally have some WiFi. I arrive at the little store, throw down my eighty bucks and then learn that "it's a pain in the ass to install the card." "will you do it?" "Yeah" "How much?" "eighty-five bucks".

So now I will install this card myself. Oh well, one thing leads to another.

Back up on the hill. Now I am the parking manager. I have to fit a mystery number of cars in a limited amount of space. So I am playing tetrus with cars. Guiding folks into a nice orderly parking matix. First they check in. Drop off bags. Then I find a place for their car to rest. BMWs. Volvos. Toyotas. Mercedes.

Finally have a chance to do some yoga. After 10 minutes the calm peaceful feeling of well being and clarity comes in. I continue for another 50 minutes. The static of thoughts, like dirt on the window of my ego, are cleaned and polished.

Next, I am asked by Devin to deposit some checks. I borrow the Volvo and cruise to the bank. It's customer appreciation day. Lotsa popcorn and hotdogs. I hear snatches of conversation. Everyone's talking about hotdogs. I head to Rainbow Bridge and buy some papaya and blueberries.

I drive back up the hill. Kip has recruited me to help out with some kitchen stuff. He's a raw gourmet chef and puts out all kinds of tastey food. My work is making little coco balls. Totally raw: agave, almonds, coconut oil, raw coco. It's like making tiny little snowballs. I do this for 2 hours and talk to a young guest about various things that I cannot remember now.

Bill sigals for me to head on down to the kiva to get a fire going with him and Devin. We three bring down wood and get it burning. Next, I set candles into place circling the kiva and then light the tiki torches along the trail. The bell rings for dinner. The main course is rawzanya and is super delicious. I eat brown rice with it - the only exception to the raw theme.

Dinner's over. Back down to the kiva where Holla will start the ball of council rolling around the kiva with the talking flashlight. Tonight's theme is: the fool. I begin with some didj playing to set the tone. Soon, the sharing begins and each person takes a turn expounding on the qualities (exemplified by the fool) they want to bring to their life. When the flashlight gets to me, I express thanks and then get to the heart of my invocation which involves the recognition of my need for more humor and less seriousness about myself. I adjusted the fire and absorbed the words of wisdom that came out of the mouths and hearts of the aspiring yogis.

The night ends with me circling the grounds turning off lights eating some culture and shaving.