Friday, September 30, 2005

Construction work day

Waking up in Guy's little cottage was not so bad. I guess I did not need that much sleep. Out of bed by 9:10 AM and on the road by 9:20 AM. Drive into the lower driveway on the estate. Change into work clothes in the basement. Grab tools. Exit lower driveway. Arrive at job sight bulls eye on time: 10 AM.

Glen is the only one there already. Mark arrives a few minutes after me. Puts me to work scraping white something or other off some doorway beams. Guy and Johnny arrive at the same time. Mark directs me to head upstairs and help Johnny. He's drywalling an attic. Needs to be done today because the owners want to store belongings in it already - even though the remodeling will not be completed for at least another week.

This is where the fun really begins. First of all, it helps if you understand how classic this work situation is for me. All the guys working today are good friends from way back. This allows for an overall good feeling to pervade the atmosphere admidst the rubble, debris, dust and chaos that always frame constuction sites. Johnny is rock and roll. He's a musician like my self. Plays bass guitar and parties hard. He's feeling the previous night's nefarious activities but still puts on a good game face. He's mostly doing the cutting and a lot of the nailing of the sheet rock. Before that can happen, I have to put in the hundred percent cotton insulation - recycled from blue jeans.

Throught this day we listen to tunes on his radio. He has me review some latino/hip hop fusion mixes. I thought they were cool. Before I know it, we break for lunch at the Farmer and the Cook. The time just disappears when I am all focussed on getting the job done. On the way to lunch, Mark and Guy stop at a yard sale which is filled with almost total junk. Guy finds a small space heater for two bucks.

A little after an hour, I return with Johnny to finish up the dry walling. The attic starts to heat up, I am sweating thru my jeans and collecting pieces of cotton insulation on my 3 day old growth of hair on my face which acts like Velcurl. It gets kind of challenging with the high temps, small space and the big silver air tubes in the way of some of the hammering. We persist with effort and punctuate with the ocassional expletive. Shortly after six, the work day ends.

Cruise over to Rachie's, let Angus in. Fee him. He's stoked to see me. I give him a bit of attention before hopping in a nice warm bath, ahhh. Afterwards, I sit on the couch. Angus is eyeing up my left nimple. Before I know it he begins to suck on it and then little nibbles. Man, this cat thinks I am his Momma. Once he starts nibbleing, I decide to draw the line there and discourage any more of his attempts to imbibe milk from my breast.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Digital Dojo

This day began with me wallowing in the limbo world of someone else's. My choice to be here. Consequences of my decision to surrender: missing out on working with Highlove and Guy. Supposedly, I was supposed to go to San Diego, for a wedding, last night. This was pushed back to today - afternoon was the target. Well, no word from the limbo surfer. I end up calling one of her friends: 'She'll call you when she gets out of the shower." Never happened. Having grown accustomed to the lack of consideration and dependablity in the brief time that I have know her, I managed to put in two hours of work for my friend John. The day was extra hot and the physical labor felt nice.

My spirit felt grounded in my body as I drove down the hill in Skip's creamy Toyota mule with twisted bumpers and my 8 ft fun board hanging out of the back. Angus greets me with one feline word which I can translate as meaning both: "Hello Didj" and "How bout some grub, bub". Angus is very geared towards humans. He talks alot and loves to be scratched and pet. The unique thing about him is that he also gives a good massage along with some acu-claw-puncture which is also based on the meridian system.

Check gmail thru the WiFi of a neighbor's which makes Rachie's a hotspot: Chad has invited me to a vlogging group by a very friendly and generous Marcus Sandy. This is only the second meeting. Marcus actually invited me to the first one but the 9 day retreat got in the way. Anyway, I read Chad's email and learn that the gatherings at the "Digital Dojo" will take place on Wednesday nights. I thank Chad and agree to attend without realizing that tonight is Wednesday. He sends another email a few minutes later and then it dawns on me that there is a meeting tonight. Time: 6:50. Distance: 3 miles.

I manage to find the Digital Dojo fairly easily, park next to the pale blue/purple turbo Porsche and walk into a very cool studio reminiscent of the Yoga studi on on the estate that I live. When I walk thru the open sliding doors, I see and meet Marcus and Danette. Chad does not show until almost eight. The dojo was down the drive way and in the back. I think my truck may have obscured the sign.

This meeting went quite well. I am awed by how generous Markus (Apperceptions) is with his time, facilities and vlogging information. I feel like a whole new world is opening up for those of us who want to take it to the next level of creativity and expression. Vlogging is video logging. All I need is a digital video camera and Bardo Surfer will begin to share a higher level of complexity and expression. Thanks to Marcus' Digital Dojo, my unvoiced urge to vlog will now be realized.

Here's an example of a creative vlogger: Bullem Head

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The basement belonging accelerator

All of my clothes, belongings, random items etc. have been in the basement of a hundred year old house for more than a year now. Big changes and shifts in our living arrangements on the estate have been presented to us via the owner, Bill. Most of us have to move off. This includes Skip, the man who lives under a boulder painted gold. It is Skip's generosity which allows me to surf so much because I have use of his Toyota, the mellow yellow mule of the auto world. Today, I learned that E and Devin will be moving their stuff into the basement as well. Bill gave me a call to let me know of the latest material item movements and to request my help because "my stuff takes up most of the room in the basement". Alas, this is a mighty exaggeration. My things are neatly tucked, out of the way and covered with sheets. When I went down there today to pack for a trip to San Diego -(The time keeps getting pushed back. I plan on giving a live audio narration when this epic journey begins.)- I calculated that the actual usable percentage of space that my stuff takes up is less than 10 percent. There are stacks of blue Rubbermaid containers on the top of the basement steps and a score or two of cardboard boxes of various sizes on the brick porch waiting to be moved into the basement of chaos by - guess who? You got it! That would have been me having to move around some one else's junk, putting it in the basement already clogged with cases and cases of wine, beds, futons, paintings and all kinds of things from kid's toys to pool filters.

The question I have found myself asking is: what am I work trading for every month? What am I renting? [Answer]: I am renting an abstract concept and the ability to store my belongings in the basement. The abstract concept is that I can sleep in whatever space is available. The reality is that we have been vacation renting all of the spaces every weekend for the past several months.

My lifestyle of having many different places to sleep makes the whole wheel spin. Also, the Skip mobile makes it much easier because the only thing I own with an engine is my CBR 900 motorcycle, one of the fastest bikes in town but not able to carry much.

This attempt to concentrate all the belongings of three of us is obviously a ploy to create pressure on Devin and I. When I saw Bill I said: "Hey, you know, my stuff is all neat and out of the way. To be honest, I don't know how you are going to fit E and Devin's stuff down there. There's no room."

"I know, that's why we got to get your stuff out of there."

I just smile because I have thought all this through and knew what was coming for once. "Well, I have already paid rent for October."

Bill's kind of taken aback by this: "You have?"

"Yeah, I worked it off already."


Anyway, he's more interested in my trip to San Diego. He's sitting on a big rock. Daryl is sitting on a big rock next to hime. They both keep asking how old she is. They are a little freaked out by our age difference.

"I feel guilty because I'm 14 years older than E... how old are you? how old is she?"

I just smile: "Numbers, age, they don't mean anything to me."

Daryl asks me how old she is too even though I just answered Bill. He can't believe it, he's kind of awed, humbled and proud of me at the same time.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Karma accident

Watch me watch myself
as I bang my head against the biology
of the situation
Strings of hormones
fastened to my limbic system fastened to my endocrine system
and steering wheels, pushing gas pedals - no brakes

Karma mechanic fix it

Listen to me listen to myself
as I declare my freedom from biological slavery
(That's not just in my head but
in my torso in my organs)
and then contradict my edict

Karma mechanic fix it

Feel my pain as I ransack the English language
in a literary celebration of my incompetence
to drive my destiny
in the direction I want it to go
Do I know?

Karma mechanic fix it

Watch me watch myself
go around in circles, spirals
repeat the same old mistakes
of getting my hopes up
when the whole world has been sinking for billions of years
into the black whole that eats time for breakfast

Karma mechanic fix it

Be amazed as I extrovert the introvert
by turning on the light switch
while I navigate a maze
of memory which is always biased
to remember the broken and not the complete
and then recreate it from the
not so random pieces
into a beautiful reproduction of the karma accident
that bears no resemblance to the original trauma
to anyone
but me.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Half awake

Last night, Angus the cat began to meow, meow, meow underneath the bedroom door. Obviously he was trying to tell me something. Who the heck knows what time it was. All I know was that the yowling woke me and that Angus was telling me one of two things: “I want food” or “I want to go outside”.

“Go back to sleep, Angus,” I say. He ignores my pleas.

This actually occurred the night before as well. If we are keeping records of this than I can accurately report to you that Angus has never woken me from sleep except early in the AM - after the sun has just become visible. So, after the second night of this rudeness, my brain automatically begins the process of discovering a way for me to have uninterrupted sleep. Even though I am half a wake, within seconds, the answer appears like a distant constellation in the night sky of my unconscious: “Get Angie in the bathroom, close the bathroom door, close the bedroom door and sleep on the couch."

The last moments, before falling asleep on the white couch, I can hear the faint “meoow” of Angus in the bathroom.

Well, today felt nice not to have any responsibility; finally, a day off after working 11 days in a row. While in progress, the retreat felt like it would last forever. Now that it is over, it feels like the time flew by. Like I was on some kind of crazy merry-go-round. Someone asked me if I was walking around lighting candles while people were having sex. Rest assured, I was nowhere near the Yoga studio when the workshops were in session. I informed the questioner that my own understanding of tantric sex was that most of the work involves synching up the partner’s breathing, releasing toxic emotions and clearing the mind of distractions thru various techniques. I will probably never know what they did during this retreat. All I know is that everyone seemed more relaxed and happy when it concluded.

Tonight I am sleeping in the decently sized house on the hill. It is unfurnished except for the couch that I am sitting on right now. The cushions will become my mattress. The crickets provide a nice soundscape. A few minutes ago, coyotes were singing. The house was supposed to be officially someone else’s yesterday but the switch was pushed back a week.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I’ve got a planet in my pocket

I’ve got a planet in my pocket
Radio in my head
I am surfing misdirected waves of the living and the dead
There are saints in every quarter
And a sunspot in the sky
Or maybe it’s just a forgotten world
Embedded in my eye

I’ve got a cloud inside my mindscape
It’s bigger than the world
Invisible to you and me
Because it’s more that what we are

I’m looking for some missing cards
In the stacked deck that is my life
There are too many jokers and not enough queens
Too many clubs but not enough scenes
Lucy fell out of the sky, bounced three times
Red diamonds sounding like wind chimes
As they rattled down the drain
I look to where my heart should be
But there is just a spade

Friday, September 23, 2005

Quan Yin is in my refrigerator

I am floating in a roundish room vibrating with low frequency waves.
Nothing to see but so much to feel.
Nothing to think but so much to know.
Electromagnetic spider webs of electrons ripple with the random flows of information
informed by the solar wind, solar flares, sun spots and powered by beats.
I am fascinated by the slow motion train wreck of life
leaving roses growing out of the tracks, cracks, fragments and broken peace.
Once again I have cut myself on a thorn while rearranging preselected debris
into random mandalas, pictures of Buddha and advertisements for my latest TV show.
My blood has been recycled for the purpose of pigmentaion.
I have used it to create a blush on the face of a well know deity -
I hope you don't mind.
You must hurry to see it before the red dries brown.

Windows of opportunity open and close
between the blinking eye in the triangle.
So much depends on whether or not
you can see this
otherwise it is just gibberish.
Lucky you can push a button
or feed your face you chocolate glutton

My foot prints are bread crumbs
that time eats with leaves and wind
Snow White is Quan Yin is in my refrigerator. Her eyes down cast
She is three inches tall and is so humble so small so cold.
I try to feed her milk but she will not drink
even though it is my birthday

When she speaks there is no sound
I convert her message into words
while the fire burns and dust devils become tornados.
Time slows down for everyone but me.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

More surfing insight

It may seem like I am doing nothing but surfing these days based on my slanted self-posting. The truth of the matter is: yes, I did surf again today but I also put in some work hours. We have had 40 people renting the house for 7 days in a row now. They have been having tantric sex workshops all day long, lounging in the 95 degree pool all night long and having all their meals catered by E. Where do I fit in to all this you might ask politely. Well, since you ask so nicely I will give you all the dirt. My workday this passed rental has begun anywhere from ten or eleven in the morning to roughly one in the afternoon. For this particular time slot, my tasks involve emptying the various garbage bins that need emptying, making sure the liquid soap bottles have liquid soap, turning on the pond pump, turning off the pond pump and of course the quintessential task of making sure there is enough toilet paper. While all this is happening, I am also playing the role of host, making sure all of the guests are comfortable and at the same time keeping noise levels down. Oh yeah, I emptied the compost this morning as well.

After writing it all down, I cannot hide from the fact that a thick portion of my responsibilities falls under the category of Maintenance. At least the setting is cool and then at some time around one PM, I drive the Skip mobile down the big hill, thru Ojai, Oak View, Mira Monte, Casitas Springs, along the 101 and into Ventura. 25 minutes after starting the engine, I am pulling my 8 ft fun board out of it silver FCS bag, pulling on my O'Neal "Hammer" wetsuit, wax on and locking up the cab so no one will listen to my radio... ha ha, little joke there.

So, by 1 PM today, I am surfing again. The waves are not like yesterday's stampede of buffalo in the fog. Today, there is no fog. There are more surfers and the wind is medium. It aint glassy out there but it is clean enough. The waves are 2-4 with the occasional 7 footer. I catch a bunch of waves - several seven footers. My muscles are beginning to adjust to all the surfing and not getting fatigued like before. The challenge of surfing remains daunting but my spirit is becoming better able to persevere when the going gets tough. Some how I feel like some part of myself is becoming stream lined to the adversity. I am also finding it easier to converse with the other surfers. Some how it has become more of a "We're all in this together" instead of the "Stay away from my wave area!" vibe that can eat away at the paint of a good day.

I came back early on the estate tonight - back to work that is - in order to open windows, move a TV, get cat food and water plants. The other thing about this job is that I am always on call. Normally, our rentals only last 3 or 4 days. This will have gone 9 days when it is done. I'll be here till after 10 so I can monitor noise levels and turn off the lights.The on call thing gets a little crazy when it is this many days. The day after my birthday, I received a call at six in the morning asking me why the lights in the kitchen were so dim.

"They take a little time for the filaments to heat up," is my drowsy reply.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fog is like their dust

Arrive on the ocean after the 25-minute drive in the Skip mobile. The fog shrouds the edge of the rough sea. The wind has blown out the waves. Waves like a mad stampede of buffalo and the fog is like their dust. I walk over the various rocks, broken walls, cement and brick that line the edge. Stand on a high exposed piece of broken wall, wait for a big wave to come crashing in, dive over it with my blue and red Waveline 8 ft fun board. The ocean sucks me out and I barely have to paddle to get outside the breaking waves. I catch a wave immediately and get a quick ride before it closes. I sit out there bobbing in the rough seas waiting for the right wave. Paddle, paddle, paddle, stand up- crash. Try again… another crash… try again… another crash… try again… another crash.

[It fascinates me how much surfing microcosms life. It has all the elements. There is danger, there is frustration and there is work. Lots of work to just put you in the right position at the right time and then when it all goes down, you have a split second to pull it off, actually standing on the wave. That chance of getting a wave is almost always reduced when there are many people out. The ocean can feel crowded and if other surfers see you miss some waves then there goes any respect they might have given and it only gets harder.

There are barely any other surfers out there today. I finally find a better place where these crazy waves are peeling enough for a quick and rough ride.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Birthday waves

No longer is it my birthday as the hour continues its unending cycle of counting to 24 so we all know when to meet, begin or leave. This birthday went by like a scripted dream that had a mind of its own. It began at 10:48 AM – the moment when I popped out of bed like a freshly picked fruit – ripe for the day to begin.

My arrival on the estate went unnoticed and I immediately began my inspections and tasks. I watered various plants on the back porch and the upper porch. The pond begged for water. The fish begged for food. The turtle popped its head out of the water, looked at me. I tuned into the ripples of his thought forms: “Please give me some food, mate”. Hmm, an Australian turtle, I thought.

Fish thanked me for their food. Turtle thanked me in his methodical way and the pond contentedly chuckled its gratitude while remarking how full it felt. I then took a half hour to skim off the fallen leaves, some brown, some black, some green.

The phone rang its song here and there and I spoke with friends, brothers and parents. All wished me a happy birthday.

I return to my good friend the ocean. Once again I enter the waters of Surfer’s Point, paddle out and sat waiting for some waves to ride. The first wave closed out, I tried to get off it cleanly, stepping back off it, the board twisted and my ass landed on the fin. It sliced my wetsuit. I checked for blood using my hand. None to be seen. Thus, I remain in the ocean not really noticing the 2 inch rip over my left cheek, checking for blood as the pain slowly fades. The waves are in the 2-4 foot range, peaking, multiple lineups, decently long rides and tough to catch unless you are in the right spot. There’s much less surfers out today, Today’s location is 200 yards away from the agro award winner of yesterday. I speak with several surfers and the vibe is 100% friendly. After several, miscues and close outs, I manage to catch two awesome waves back to back. These are my birthday waves and they leave me in a special place of bliss, which even now I feel.

Tonight, I organized a small gathering of close friends at a local restaurant. The night flew by with laughter, conversation, well wishes and of course a singing of the classic: “Happy Birthday To You” to me. I brought some one special on the back of my bike and we left together when the eatery closed, friends on the sidewalk bidding us fare well.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Aggro surfer of the week award goes to...

The other day, while up on a hill I played the song "Fool on the Hill" by The Beatles. Feeling a bit foolish, I sang along practicing yoga and such in this house that soon will be owned by some one else. I am always sleeping in a different space, t-house, cottage, yurt, house... The cycle continues on. The rest of this week I will be in the house on the hill. The house in escro that settles like a cloud of dust on Saturday. The deed will be their's and then I shall sleep somewhere else.

Today brought me the luxury of waking up when ever I felt the urge. Work day does not begin till 11:00 AM. Walk the land, same ole same ole and then Sunny calls to wish me a happy b'day. We end up dioscussing the merits and worth of Burning Man. Our opinions conflict and I can sense her straining to keep composure for a few beats. Subject changes, the conversation continues and then it is 1:00 PM and time to surf once again.

The first parking lot is once again open to General Public. I find a spot and am able to put my stuff on the strip of grass which borders the parking lot and the boardwalk. I paddle out to the same spot as yesterday and catch a wave almost immediately which closes out rather quickly. I keep making my way down the line up, lots of difficulty catching a wave and when I do it is a close out. No bones about it, my paddling just needs to get stronger. Adding to my frustration a bleach blonde haired surfer keeps cutting me off. After one near miss, I say with a smile: "I almost ran into you."

Immediately I realize that I have made a serious mistake saying anything to this guy with splotches of white sunscreen lotion on his face giving him a ghoulish look. His reaction is instantaneous rage. I am fascinated by the contortions his face make and am not surprised when he paddles straight at me "I want to punch you in the head so fucking harrd!" He hits the water instead.

Sensing danger, I remain calm and say: "Sorry dude."

He thinks about doing something illegal: aggravated assault, murder... but his terroristic threat will have to suffice I guess. He paddles right next to me and I paddle away, about a hundred yards down the beach. I catch a couple waves and then get out of the ocean where it's not the sharks that you have to be wary of...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Purge the squeakers!

Last night I was informed by one of our guests that the door to their sleeping porch was squeaking up a storm. Around noon, after making rounds to check various supply levels, I drove off in Bill's slate blue 2005 Volvo. Destination: Ace Harware - for some oil to stop the noisy screen door. I start on the first floor, checking all the doors for heretical squeaking and oiled all the offenders into silence. The last door to receive my attention was the one that we had heard complaints which heralded our jihad against all the blasphemous doors in the first place. I baptised the heretic in oderless ointment but nothing diminished its friction based protests. Then, the solution occurred to me. Take it apart, pull the pin out. Well, guess what smart ass, this door hinge is original, that makes it 100 years old and they just were not made the way they are made now. This thing aint coming apart the way you have been accustomed to. Then I realize that all I have to do is use my flat head screw driver to unscrew the screws which connect the hinge to the side of the door. (It is the middle hinge and is unnecessary) Voila! No more squeaking! Hence forth this day has been declared a holy day by Bardo Surfer! We shall call it: "Squeaky Purge Day". So next year get some oil and purge the squeaks!

After my crusade, I needed some activity to take my mind off the hard work and silenced creaks. The thought of the slowly fading swell caught my minds eye and other thoughts followed and combined layer by layer until I found myself dirving down 33 towards Ventura in Skip's trusty dusty Toyota pick up. The parking lot that I normally park in is again guarded by the Ventura po po. Nice to know that the surfers in that particular lot are safe. If anyone tries to get in there, I am sure that the police man will have every right to shoot them dead.

Wisely, I park in the next lot and happily pay my 2 buckarinos with a smile freely given to the nice older ladies in the tiny squarish glass box. This is the county's ugliest parking lot by far. If you are in to these kind of things, it is definitely worth a visit and photographic documentation. Hey, here's a thought, how about putting my 2 bucks towards improving the aesthetics around the point? Too much sense?

The waves are a bit smaller than yesterday and the lull between the sets is longer. There's still quite a few surfer's out there. I paddle out to the same area and start fishing for waves. This surf session challenges me for the first three quarters. These waves mostly do not want to be ridden unless you are in the magic launch spot. I cannot remember seeing so many surfer's paddle for and then miss waves. I just kept going for it, finally managing to catch a few... then several... nothing super great or anything. The saving grace is that I don't have the no ride monkey on my back. Then "the wave" comes. I paddle for it. Not very big... but... it's big enough. Paddle, paddle, paddle... seems like I'm gonna miss the bus again... but my last efforts... not giving up, allow me to get it, stand up, cut across it, another right, it gets bigger and bigger while I slip along the top of the wall, links with another wave and I just keep going, maybe 150 yards, I let out a "whoooooooo!" and paddle back out to the top of the line up totally renewed.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The swell fades but surfers remain

The beep of my wristwatch wakes me and then the sound of a bulldozer tearing up earth chases me out of the futon. The morning consists of reading "Illegal Alien" by Rober J Sawyer, tai chi and then the ocassional parking guidance to the latest arrival. At noon time I walk around all the various sleeping spaces, making sure the various supplies are topped up and that everything is in order.

One o'clock arrives: time to surf. Skip's Toyota takes me to the Point. There's a long board contest today and the first parking lot is closed off to the general public. I cruise down to the next lot which is much larger and has a 2 dollar fee. When I get to the window, my wallet hides, unable to locate it, the woman says: "Don't worry about it, just go in and find your wallet."

"Thanks alot."

I figure I left it at the gas station back in Oak View where I just put 25 dollars in the tank. Ahh, there it is - it slipped down the side of the passenger seat. Now it is time for business.

While slipping on the wet suit, a nice guy by the name of John, strikes up a conversation. I listen as he talks about the swell directions and what breaks they are good for. He loves Surfer's Point because it can get waves from so many different directions. He says that it doesn't have the best waves but that it is the most consistent.

The paddle out is easy. There's 10 to 20 minutes between sets. There are several line ups and the waves are sectioning. The water is cold but not cold enough for booties. There's a very light wind and the waves are glassy. Blue sky hangs over head while the sun warms my back. I cannot help but marvel at the magnificent conditions. The swell has been diminishing all day but the ocean's edge remains littered with surfers. 10 days of swell hype left us all with visions of barrels and double overheads dancing in our heads. No one seems fazed at all. There's still a lot of great rides to be had. My first wave is fun - chest high. I end up talking more with John out there. He's definitely one of the elders out here. I watch him as he paddles horizntally along the outside, spotting waves, catching them and more paddling. I can see his three decades of experience in how he sets himself up for each wave. He is also a gentleman out there, generous with waves that he could catch but lets another surfer have. Yeah, these waves are not as big as Thursday but still big enough for my modest needs. I catch several more but end they end up closing out on me. I paddle for and miss several waves. Most have crumbley peaks and break inconsistently but hey, they're glassy, right? Then I catch a few more chest highs and finally the time is almost 3:30 and I need to get out of the sea. The ocean presents me with a smooth roller just on the inside, I cut across and it links to another wave which takes me to the shallow shore. Carefully, I walk over the slippery mossy round river rocks that carpet the the edge and make for trecherous ocean exits.

Farmer and The Cook replenish my spent energy with their magic blend of goodness. Chad, another local blogger
  • Teh Encyclopaedia de Tchadwick
  • is there, sitting at a table near the entrance with his ten speed bike at his side. He has an old school lap top but he still gets wifi. The antenna looks like the kind that sit on the roof of a car. He shares some of his HTML knowledge with me, receives a phone call and then has to go. The ride back to Ventura is around 17 miles and I guess he wants sunlight for the ride home.

    Back on the estate. Turn off lights. Drink a glass of Chardonnay with Bill and John in the winery compound room formerly known as kitchen. Amazing liquid, refreshing and clean. John is very pleased. He's been working 80 hour weeks and has become Bill's latest golden boy. Then back to more light activations and then a random task presents itself: separating two beds that had been moved together and burying them in comforters and blankets.

    Friday, September 16, 2005

    Friday nite prognostications

    The youth culture was born in this country in the 60's, when a large segment of teenagers and twenty-somethings felt the deep need to differentiate themselves from what then became know as the mainstream. This it how and why the counter culture was born. One can only guess what the impact of the latest events in the world will have on the youth culture. I would hypothesize that they will up the ante in unheard and not seen before ways to distinguish themselves from the lot of us who will of course seem complicit in the apparently unjust world. The tools for their personal transformation must be technologically based. This is the new frontier in fashion. Be on the look out for the cutting edge corporations who will and have exploited the counter cultures insatiable need to appear separate. Apple provides an excellent example of reinventing the Walkman thru their Ipod. They upped the pricetag in conjunction with the memory capacity and then shrunk it down. Ingenius.

    The Ipod example merely exemplifies an outstanding advertising campaign. What I am forecasting is a wave of technological fashion that has not been seen anywhere except Burning Man - at least that little old sheltered me has seen. The new tech fashions will involve mini lights in all different colors. The emphasis will initially be place on home made items. The technology is there and what is needed is something like the lego mentality where the various gadgets can be bought and fit together at the whim of the consumer.

    Another area will be digital tattoos that will be animated. Have a nano chip embedded in your back with the program of a surfer on a big chunky wave getting barrelled. I am sure there will be many who will have x-rated tattoos on their body. At some point, some one will be arrested for indecencey and the case will reach the Supreme Court. What will Roberts do? What will happen when some one has a digital tattoo of an American flag burning on their back? I am sure there are many who would like to control these types of personal expression.

    The world likes to draw lines and some of us like to cross them. Conflict draws human interest like moths to a flame. Laws are set up to feed the court system. The lines are drawn and they are arbitrary. Every culture does this, from prehistoric to posthistoric.

    The internet is beginning to demonstrate that information is not going to be disemminated the same old way. It is the diving line between the new relatively powerless generation and the old boy network TV and newspaper show. The framework of information control has been exposed for all to see - or at least those who want to.

    Blogging is an indicator for what is to come. Many people want to express themselves, share information and gather information from sources that are not centralized. The centralized models were demonstrating their vulnerability towards corruption over 50 years ago. Everyone remembers the show: "Dragnet". The internet is a classic form of anarchy. Not the slandered form of anarchy that the media began misrepresenting in the early 1900's. I am talking about Emma Goldsmith - one of the founders the whole concept of women's rights. I am talking about the anarchy that describes the earth - a 3.5 billion year example of negentropy.

    The internet's paradigm has already infected our culture and everything will either allign with it or disappear.

    Thursday, September 15, 2005

    The swell starts to show itself

    The reality that the ice of my living arrangement has grown thin and is growing thinner with each passing day has begun to sink in. The acceptance of this inevitable eviction brings with it the activation of creative parts of my brain that had become dormant. It can also bring resentment and lead to feeling groundless. The antidote to these uncomfortable states of unconsciousness is breathwork and movement.

    The first thing I did today was to drive up to the estate from my housesit/catsit. I enter the basement/office where Devin and Bill conduct the various administrations behind their desks and computers. Bill kind of snarls at me a bit about where I am going to be living in October. My response is raw and untempered - no yoga or tai chi yet. I end up mirroring his resentment a little too closely. Looking back now I can see how yoga and tai chi take me out of reactive consciousness. These activities give me license to pause and utilize my ability to respond creatively and constructively. When we have no time, we react without thinking and take on the victim role. When we are able to pause and be creative then we have accessed resources which allow us to perceive the oppotunity within the given situation.

    I hop in Eliza's truck to snag some supplies. All we need are TP and salt. I end up getting 108 rolls of toilet paper at Vons and 160 lbs of salt at Star Market. The rest of the day consists of some minor preparations for the 9 day vacation rental: setting up a light for the Amarita bathroom, switching two window screens in the kitchen, charging lanterns, cleaning the pond filters, replacing candles etc.

    The timing is perfect for me to throw my red and blue 8 footer into the back of Skip's mellow yellow Toyota pick up and head to Surfer's Point. When I arrive in the first parking lot, I am able to find a spot right away. Check the action: the swell is beginning to show itself. There are many surfers out there but not many who know what they are doing. I paddle out pretty easily and watch chest to head highs come rolling in. There are even the occassional overheads which show up. The conditions are fair, wind is blowing, moderate current and the sun is shining thru a blue sky. My first 5 attempts to catch a wave are unsuccessful but I am unbothered. Instead of bumming, I focus on the beauty and feel grattitude for being able to be out here. The water is cold but not cold enough for booties. Finally a wave comes for me. I paddle catch it, push up on to my feet, drop in and cut accross. This sucker is over my head, jaw drops and I am like: "Wow, this is a big wave." Another surfer watches me and then paddles over the wave before it can break on him. The wave travels over a 150 yards pretty quickly. Soon I am paddling back to the spot where I just left. The next wave is at least head high. I lazily carve it, up to the lip, drop back in, up to the lip, drop back in... The waves are all fun. My stoke level is very high. One of the biggest rushes came when a very big wave bucked like a bronco and sent me off the board just as I was popping up to stand. I ended up body surfing the bad boy for 10 seconds or so - sommersaulting and freefalling. I just smiled and enjoyed the washing machine, feeling much cleaner and refreshed at the conclusion. These are some of the biggest waves I have been on in years and they will only be getting bigger as the swell starts peaking this weekend.

    Tonight, Dianna had her DVD release party for her project: Body Hoops. This DVD had been called Hip Happening Hoops back in March when I posted here on Bardo Surfer my musical contribution. The party was fun, nice to see so many of my friends together having a good time.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2005

    Katrina was an iceberg

    The spotlight will not go away. Where's a good earthquake when you need one? At some point the planet of humans will realize that it is all just a crapshoot. Every single crime family pretending to administer, pointing the unruly media the other way [snicker snicker] steering the country like a big cruise ship in the ocean of night, every single mob of gun toting money grabbers robber barons, able to dodge the oil slicks of inevitable misery. Ever seen a no longer white seagull coated in black oil? Texas Tea. Who could have known that Katrina was an iceberg? That the USA could sink like the unsinkable Titanic. And I, the w, the captain of this blind arrogant gullible sleeping ship, am hiding inside the cabin and waiting for the dark salty water to come to me, unable to brainstorm, can't keep a cool head, uable to lead. Lucky the former El Capitains [looking confident for the photo shoots] are around to advise me when the spotlight is not glaring - making the flaws plainly visible. Even my yes men are telling me to apologize and then eulogize. I will say I am sorry. Admit some blame for something very minor, not the whole shebang... I mean come on, the hurricane wasn't my fault... don't be absurd. Accept some blame for not reacting fast enough... The flash bulbs are salty and cold, the longer I stay in their glare, the number I get.

    [Every one wants to be asleep in the back seat of a car knowing that either Mom or Dad is driving while we dream. This is why the politicians can do what they please and when the car crashes or the engine melts down or the auto gets carjacked by some suit and ties and they are driving you to uncharted territory, they are dirving over pedestrians, thru your uncle's frontyard, ramming anyone who looks at them funny but they are wearing a suit and tie and they have such nice friendly smiles - for the camera. But it is all happening in slow mo, like a dream, pleny of time before the Thelma and Louise grand finale...]

    I will hide in the cabin and let the life boats save the few... I will ride with the ship down into the depths and I will not hold my breath. Soon enough, I will be back on vacation, chain sawing trees and catching fish. Riding my bike.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    Spicoli returns or Being Sean Penn

    Every once in a while something happens in the news which is so many standard deviations from the norm that I find myself returning to ponder its absurdity. The Sean Penn "rescue attempt"
  • Captain Sean Sinks
  • in New Orleans was so ridiculous and idiotic that I have been brainstorming possible underlying reasons ever since I read about it. So far the best I can come up with is that Mr. Penn's personality reverted back to his break thru role in the ground breaking comedy of yesteryear: "Fast Times At Ridgemont High". If you are unfamiliar with this movie, I suggest you view it. The character's name is Spicoli - he's a charicature of the burned out southern California surfer. My theory is that the shock of this Hurricane disaster triggered some kind of post traumatic stress syndrome in poor Mr. Penn. Stress that he obviously suffered while married to Madonna. Thus, in order to cope with the chaos that threatened to flood his psyche, breach the leavees of his seratonin so to speak, Spicoli took over. Basically, the PTSS caused this troubled thespian's personality to splinter into multiple personality disorder. Unidentified sources support my premise. They have reported to me privately, thru my gmail, that Sean seems to be cycling thur the various characters that he has portrayed in the vast array of films which give him such a long resume. Knowing this, Spicoli must have headed down to the gulf to catch some "killer waves dude!" This will explain why he had the photographers with him. Spicoli hoped to make Surfer magazine's October edition.When the National Guard stopped him, he must have morphed into another character. A character that would be more suited to handling that situation. As I am writing this, it is dawning on me that his multiple personality disorder adventures may have begun sooner than I first thought. Has he ever portrayed a reporter? This would smartly explain why he has been in Baghdad pretending to be a news correspondent. Hmm... I may have to "research" his films - revisit ones I have viewed and watch those that I have missed. If he keeps this up he may have the makings of his own reality show: "Where's Sean Now?". Another potential theory is something akin to "Being John Malcovitch". It just may be that a couple unsavory characters have found a portal into Sean Penn's mind. In that case, we could call the new show: "Being Sean Penn".

    Monday, September 12, 2005

    Wave closing out while another wave forms

    The digital wristwatch alarm beeps and I awaken searching for it. It is on my wrist. Turn it off. Close eyes and drift in the limbo between until the cell phone jingles. It is John. Turns out he needs me to follow him in his Ford Focus down to a car shop. The breaks "have worn down to nothing". I will meet him at his house at noon.

    Yoga studio floor has lots of dust and hair. Obscure facts that we don't want to know: dust is mostly made up of human hair and human skin. As I cruise thru my various practices I can see the hair, dust and leaves. Normally, I'd dust mop the whole sucker but Lupe, our cleaning person has commandeered the big broom for a top secret mission. Actually, I don't speak Spanish and she does not speak English. She is an island that never smiles.

    As I prepare for my 12:00 PM errand, I realize that this will be my opportunity to have John view a certain obscure movie. A movie that I had a cameo appearance in. There is a scene which revolves around a bit of astrophysical knowledge that I share at a party. The camera work is cool and my bald head glows in the night like a meteorite. John has had a certain movie on the verge of getting financial backing for the last half year. I have been hoping for a while that it gets the funding needed to make it happen. When I arrive at John's just before noon, I see him waiting in the driveway. He leads taking a long round about route.

    We arrive in our separate vehicles at the automobile repair shop. While I wait, I clip my nails on the side of the road. I bet that nails make up alot of the dust too. What about dirt? John breaks my daydreaming with a rumbling chuckle while walking along the side of the road. He opens the door and sits in the passenger seat. Oh yeah, by the way, we are in Skip's mellow yellow toyota pick up with the camper shell. My 8 ft red and blue long board sticks out of the back window.

    "John, guess what, I brought my PowerBook G4 and the movie I am in: Mushka Water. You can screen the scene I am in while I drive you home."

    "OK, that's a good idea."

    So, while I drive, John watches the movie as the PowerBook sits on his lap. It turns out that John speaks Yugoslavian and is intrigued by the initial dialogue. He is impressed by the camera work and asks me who the director is. As we pull to a stop in his driveway, the scene I am in begins. John watches and seems to be impressed.

    "You have two careers!" He exclaims.

    I wonder what the other one is but do not say anything. John comes out with the latest revision of the screenplay and hands it to me. "Get me a copy of the movie and I'll send it to the director. Read the script and see what roles you might be interested in."

    Back up to the estate. Driving, very excited. My having to leave the estate will all make sense if this film happens. The movie wave forms just as the estate wave closes out. The movie wave could take me up to Canada, allow me to earn something $eriou$ and than can lead to other possibilities. Cool.

    Smoothie made in what has now become the winery compound room. The refrigerator was commandeered a week or two ago (manifest winery) and the counters are all off limits now. The floor has become filthy and my dish rack is filled with strainers, beakers and other wine making trinkets. All I ever do is blend up smoothies and so I am able to make my liquid lunch in a small area that is not under siege. The kitchen is a microcosm for the overall recent display of territoriality.

    Skip never washes his truck. After my lunch, I hose it down and watch the thick layer of dirt run off the sides in brown streams.

    I arrive at Surfer's Point. Scan the areas of wave breakage and decide to go up to "Stables". When I get out there my head is completely dry, attesting to the very small waves. It's all mostly windswell out here. I see two women out there and head in their direction. One of them looks familiar. Yep, it's Kim. As we say hello, Gabriella turns around on her light green board and gives me a warm "Hi!" Her eyes light up. We sit and wait for a while. A lull is upon us. It turns out that my timing was a bit off today. More waves came but definitely died down when I got out. Still, it was super sweet to be out in the water and I even managed to get 7 waves in 70 minutes.

    Shrubs to feed the masses

    bush_vacation, originally uploaded by surfer x.

    Big Shrub and Little Shrub vow to catch fish for all of Katrina's victims. Tomorrow they will water ski down Bourbon Street.

    Thanks to Loren for this image.

    Sunday, September 11, 2005

    Required reading: just press the link button...


    Let them watch Groundhog Day

    The latest drama flooding the estate leaves me in a contemplative weight room. If you are an avid BS reader than you will know that I have recently dried out the heavy feathers of my Icarus wings. At some point - now just a blur in my memory's horizon - my fabled wings had become damp with condensation. I could still fly, just not high enough to dry. In my own personal insignificant struggle with my thoughts and emotions, the muscles of my will strengthened. Last week's grace endowment was like a cosmic blow dryer drying the wings of my soul. Suddenly, I could fly again like the hummingbird which hovered less than an inch from my right ear yesterday morning.

    How interesting that a call for mass exodus, group eviction and forced evacuation would be instigated at this time. "Let them eat cake" will be my next song. Some collective chord was struck, the first note in a song of leaving. Lucky for us, this song is in slow motion. I have begun the process of sharing my new housing needs with friends. Testing the waters of availability + connectivity + networkability = my karma score for the moment. I am practical. This is my defintion of karma: reputation + divine randomness = where I am now. Where am I going? future karma. Stay posted and watch me walk the tight rope that is life. Do not worry if I fall off the string from an unexpected gust of wind or have a lapse of concentration or a locked embrace with my own frustration or if I am distracted by a mirage of plagarised salvation and yes if I fall, fall, fall, clothes flapping like a sail on a sailboat, clothes on a clothes line, a kite in the night. Yes, if I do fall... it will just be an illusion, a technique to gain momentum that will be harvested by my strong white archangel wings to ascend and then cross as a ray of light over the dark sea of frothing waves. I can smell the salt and hear the gentle friction of the water as it reinvents the geometry of itself.

    Tonight I have a movie to watch before I slip into a dream and forget who I am for a brief moment.

    The weight room has built up my flying power. The danger is: with my increased strength, I could fly too high and melt the wax in my wings. This can only happen if I have not learned from my past. This has happened to me before and I am in no mood for Groundhog Day reruns rest assured.

    Picture yourself watching the movie: "Groundhog Day" in a movie house. Just before the movie credits begin, the move starts over and you are unable to leave and must sit thru it again, and again and again... You try screaming "Fire" in the not so crowded theatre (it's only you in there) to stop the cycle but it does not work. No one hears you. You try again and the police come and take you away. They take you in an unmarked black sedan made in Japan and place you in a jail cell sponsored by Budweisor. Your only solace in this situation is that at least you do not have to sit thru another showing of Groundhog Day. To your dismay and possible despair, the movie is playing in your cell on a giant 20 foot flat screen TV with a heavy pounding surround sound speaker system with subwoofers and crazy low frequency waves that restructure the DNA in your cells... Welcome to the wait room, take off your shoes and stay a while...

    Saturday, September 10, 2005

    Songs of the sun

    The retreat is running smoothly. I bought over 60 rolls of TP yesterday. This particular group of people has set a record for use. Believe it or not, we are going thru 20 rolls a day. Don't worry dear reader, I am on top of the situation and am vigilantly monitoring all the bathrooms so that the inexcusable is avoided.

    Earlier today, Devin and I drove in his big white natural gas powered truck to an athletic club that he has recently joined. We walk into the lobby in time to catch the last set of the Agassi/Ginepri semifinal in the US Open. After Andre's victory, we hit the courts below and play some tennis. The first set goes by rather quickly. My game is not super on but Dev's is off track and so I win it 6-1. Dev takes the next set 6-2 after picking up his game a bit. He hits the ball deeper, more consitently and makes more first serves.

    We then head over to the grandstand court and play some doubles with some older dudes. It is very relaxed and fun. They beat us 6-2. My doubles game has some rust and Dev's a newbie in the doubles world. We had some chances to win games but just could not convert the key points. Our opponents were very encouraging and supportive. Seems like everyone has a very sportsman like demeanor. I am now considering obtaining membership here.

    Devin wants to play another set. I am like: uh... OK. This one starts off 1-1, and then I get on a little roll and win the next 5 games to pull it out. My game was more solid and the balls seemed a little bigger.

    Arriving back on the estate, Dev and I build some fires: one in the studio and one in the main house.

    My next mini adventure came in the form of sharing didjeridoo vibrations with Julian's class of approximately 40 people. I entered the yoga studio while everyone lay on their backs in shavasana. Wait for Julian to finish his guided meditation on body sensory awareness. He signals me to begin. 40 people take about 30 minutes or so for me to didj/vibrate/lchant/emit sonic love or what ever you want to call it. As I begin to finish, someone starts drumming, Whintey joins him, others start dancing. I watch amazed, it is like I set a fire and now the flames are all dancing and realeasing the stored energy, songs of the sun.

    Friday, September 09, 2005

    The Ojai shuffle

    Cell phone alerts me with its quirky little techno jingle that there is an incoming call. I check the screen and see that it is Bill, answer: "Hello, good morning."

    "What are you doing up?"

    "Soaking in the jacuzzi."

    "I need to talk to you... you know, catch up."

    I can tell that something is up, a forced nonchalance. In my mind, I can see the dust rising from his attempt to cover up the tracks of nervousness.

    "Was going to do some yoga but I can meet with you first."

    "No, that's OK, do your yoga and then call me." [click]

    While practicing yoga, I sense something is up. I wonder if I am going to be fired. My practice goes quickly. Need to know what is up. What is going down...

    Finish. Call Bill. No answer. Don't leave message. Hang up.

    Few minutes later, cell rings, it is Bill. The gist of this conversation is that Bill "Wants to clean the slate." He wants everyone to move off the estate. I am the second one that he has talked to. This information shocks me. I listen as Bill tries to break this to me as gently as possible. He's afraid of me quitting, not working for him anymore. I reassure him that "This is the best job I've ever had." He wants to preserve our friendship and lets me know that it is not personal, that everyone has to leave. He says that having all of us here is too stressful. He mentions his heart condition. The need for more privacy.

    I chuckle and say: "I guess I have to find a new place to live."

    He continues to explain and make it clear that it is because of him and his need to reduce stress levels. I let him know that it is cool and I'll be fine, no worries.

    Conversation ends.

    In retrospect, it all kind of makes sense now. When Bill remarried, even before he remarried, it was obvious that his partner was not into having the community thing. Part of me thought that I'd be immune because of my dedication, dependability, lowkey almost invisibility. Alas, part of me knew from the very beginning that this would be the way that I'd leave. On the upside, There's plenty of time to find a cool place. Basically, I need a place in February.

    Ungrounding and exhilerating, scarey and a relief, disappointing and hopeful. All of these are just illusions and the truth combines them all, moving, jockeying for position, changing... Even now, I begin to relax and wonder what the future holds. Welcome back to the Ojai Shuffle, I tell myself. This happens to many of us who live in this small jewel of a town. I see many possibilities...

    Devin and I play some late night tennis under the lights of a local athletic club. We have a quick warm up and then play a set and two games. The first set starts out with us not completely warmed up. Consequently, we hit more unforced errors than usual. Because it was at the club, I was not allowed to yell. Interestingly enough, I did not yell at all, despite the news flash from Bill this morning. Devin serves first, I break his serve. He breaks my serve. I break his serve, he breaks my serve. Score: 2-2. From here on I settled down, stopped making as many unforced errors, began controlling the points, hitting winners with passing shots and lobs. Did not lose a game for the rest of the night. results: 6-2, 2-0.

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    Millions of oxygen

    I've got millions of oxygen
    but I don't know how to breathe
    I've got billions of rocks again
    buried up to my knees

    Don't know how to walk again
    So I guess I'm gonna fly
    crossing the ocean
    Is a good way to die

    I'm lying on the beach again
    As the salty water roars
    Millions of waves go by
    Sound just like slamming doors

    I've got trillions of televisions
    But I don't know how to see
    I've got zillions of radio
    But all I hear is snow

    I've got gazillions of molecules
    But I don't know where they are
    I'm thinking too fast again
    I can't remember where to start

    I've got billions of neurons
    But I don't know how to think
    I've forgotten your name again
    Can I buy ya'nother drink?

    I've got trillions of H2O
    But I don't know how to swim
    These emotions are growin old
    Time to shed another skin

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Last night with the dogs, circles and spirals...

    My last night with the dogs continues amidst their playful nonstop fighting. Dog hairs coat the desk my powerbook rests on like snowflakes on a high mountain top or sand on the beach. I will need to vacuum my keyboard. An interesting day this one. Received a citation for parking the wrong direction on the street even though I was not on the street. Go figure out that one. For me, it is easier to pay rather than contesting and thus having to deal with the court system. The typical pre retreat duties took about 3 hours today. Everything looks ready for the retreatants afternoon arrival. The purchase of a roundtrip ticket to Oahu only took 20 minutes. December will be a good time to visit the North Shore because this is when the big waves come and pound the reef into submission. I look forward to seeing my Mom and Dad. 17 months will have almost passed since last seeing them...

    Right at this moment, I have all the dogs paired off. Rupert and Trixie are in the bedroom. It's kind of funny, but these two are the wildest of the lot. They are constantly playing, growling, barking at their 4 boys. Trixie's favorite sparring partner by far is Michael Jackson. I've got chocolate and Fatso in the sitting room with me. They play a little bit but not out of control. Meanwhile, Michael jackson and Mini are in the kitchen. I cannot hear them so they must not be doing too much damage.

    Earlier tonight I was checking the Aggassi/Blake tennis match on the USA Network at a friend's place. When it looked like Andre was going to lose the second set, I cruised down the hill to be with the dogs. When I checked the score via the internet, it's reported that the match has gone into a 5th set. Lickedy split I take off up the hill in the black dune buggy back up to my friend's RV - where he has satellite TV of course. What do you think happens? The match has taken so long that they cut out and went to a television drama called The 4400. Can you believe that? USA Network has gone down several notches in my estimation.

    Teeny weeny surf conditions + My friend John needing some work done on his prop + the tennis match starting at 4 PM (according to ESPN) + dog caring = no surfing for me today. Ughh... now with this retreat coming up it may be a challenge to get in the ocean before Sunday. It sounds like Sunday is when the waves will get a bit bigger so it should all work out for this bardo surfer.

    The work with John took less than an hour: picked up several piles of debris and stuffed them in to big garbage bins. My side work with John has lasted longer than any job I have ever had (5.5 years). I find this interesting. A lot of the times that I am in his yard, completing the given task, John will come outside and work along side me. I rather enjoy this. He's around the age of my father and there is something comforting, reminiscent of the days long ago when I would help my father in his yard. I appreciate those times more now. I recognize that my reluctance to be more willing to help him created unnecessary space between us. It showed that I took things for granted and did not appreciate the sacrifices of my parents. Somehow, the thing that should have been the most obvious was the most invisible to me. This thing was: appreciation. Grattitude. Why was this so hard for me to see? When I was a kid, I did not value the importance of work and was a bit lazy in this regard. I always wanted to be somewhere else. Now I realize that my work is to enjoy the moment and to acknowledge the gifts that others offer. Stay in the present. Show appreciation. These are things I learned from my parents. It took me a while but I think I am beginning to learn.

    John is a saint with regards to his wife. She has been ill for some time now. He's always running her to the hospital for kemo, tests, kemo, tests, tests, new doctor, more tests... this has been going on for over two years. I cannot believe how dedicated he is to her. This man loves his wife. He lets me know what's going on and I listen and just hope for the best... Tonight, they left for the City of Hope, they'll stay in a hotel nearby in order to make an early morning appointment with a new doctor.

    I like to believe that life tends to offer us situations that we can learn from. "Those that don't learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." "Condemned" is such a harsh word; destined is more appropriate in this instance. So, over the years of working with John, I think back to the times that I helped my father in the yard, running small branches thru a mulcher, mowing the lawn, raking leaves... way, way back, it was rock patrol - when we first arrived in Pennsylvania. Now, while working with John, I treasure those memories and treasure the moment, the unfolding present. Those memories are like unopened presents that the windey road of life has returned to me. This path, we all move on, travels in circles, spirals and conspires for the enightenment of all beings. Om Mani Padme Hum

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Practice wave surf sesh

    Arrival time at Surfer's Point is 3:40 PM today. There are several parking spots available in the first lot. This is not a good sign. But when I get out of the small black convertible, several surfers are visible, sitting on their boards while small ripples race to shore along the surface of the water. The paddle out is easy and there is still a currrent pulling towards the pier. Once again, while paddling out, before even sitting on my board, a wave comes in to greet me and offer a ride. I aquiesque, spin the board around, padddle and then push up onto my feet. The wave closes out after giving me a 20 yard ride. The sky is blue and the horizon is eyeing the sun. The waves are small but fun; disorganized but still rideable. In about 70 minutes of surfing, I manage to get around 7 rides. One of them was very sweet, taking me almost a hundred yards, walling up and providing a shower curtain of water for me to ride thru. More than I could have hoped for on such a small day.

    The house of dogs adventure is nearing an end. Daniel and Sunny are in San Francisco tonight. They expect to arrive here sometime late in the evening tomorrow. The puppies have all been spectacular, revealing their loving natures and actually learning to obey my commands. They are all gathered around me now; ocassionally coaxing some scratching and caressing from me. It has turned out that Trixie, the mom of all these boys, is the real troublemaker. She loves to attack Michael Jackson. She stirs all the boys up and soon they are racing around the house like a herd of stampeding buffalo, making a raquet, growling, barking... I know that this is how they play but it is too much for me. My solution tonight is to isolate trixie in the bedroom. She is lying down sleeping now. Rupert only gets aggressive when one of his boys doesn't submit to his alpha sensibilities.

    This Thursday (9/8), Ventura County Reporter will pulish a story on local (VC) blogs. Bardo Surfer is one of the featured blogs. They have a circulation of 35,000 and report progressive news.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Surf and tennis

    The retreatants retreated from the estate after a transformative yoga retreat. Lucky for me, Holla gracefully let all the guests know that it was time to go - translation: no lingering. I walked the estate and tied up all the loose ends: emptied trash bins, straightened beds, organized the pool area, cleaned up the back porch... Kip the caterer and Holla the teacher/organizer remained in the kitchen, bringing it back to a sparkle. The whole morning all I can think about is one thing: get out in the ocean and surf.

    I manage to leave the estate before 2 PM. I am in the ocean at 2:45. One can't help but thinking how much easier it is to surf on the North Shore... This swell is a bit disorganized and small. Must be why there are not too many folks out here. When I paddle out a set of waves rolls in to greet me. I accept the offer of a ride from the third wave and it take me on a brief 55 m tour of the coast before depositing me into the not too cold water. There are surfers in spring suits, full suits and some just in board shorts. One girl wears a bikini. I paddle back out and a guy on a big red eleven footer starts talking to me, asks me my name, tells me his name - Mark. He's a nice guy. Says this is his time to get away from the wife and kids. I say something like you need to recharge and this is one of the best ways to do it. He says he started surfing a year ago. Mark was self conscious about his weight and mentioned it several times. The waves keep rolling in, I catch about 3 more rights, then a couple lefts. I fall on a few but mostly stay up and enjoy the practice waves on this Labor Day. 80 minutes after entering the water, I exit with 8 waves in the net of my memory. I plan on returning tomorrow...

    The next phase in today's activity log is tennis. Once again, Devin and I meet on the courts at 5 PM. We warm up for 30 minutes before play begins. I start out winning the first 2 games. Devin wins one, I win the next. He then mounts a come back and brings it to 4-3, on serve and it is my serve. Some how I manage to scrape out the next 3 games and win the set 6-4. We have enough time to play 3 more games. I manage to win 2 of them. Devin has decided to just work on going for it more. He wants to hit the ball alot harder and so is making a lot of unforced errors. He's working on a couple different spin serves and so double faults more often now. He says he is trying to win but... and then smiles.

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Grace and then some tennis

    I wake up looking for my digital wristwatch. It beeps 3 times before I find it strapped to my wrist. Wow, that was quick, I think to myself. It feels like I just fell asleep. The dream is instantly forgotten this time. Dogs are stirring, they let out soft cries, scratch on the door and are probably eating their foam bed. One of these days I will have to read these fast forward puppies the story of Hansel and Gretel. Hop out of bed; let them outside into the sunshine along with their parents. Hop back into bed and fall asleep for another hour. Hop out of bed and feed them.

    Dune Buggy starts up with its lawnmower on steroids whine and we zoom around the turns up the hill to the estate. Holla requested my didjeridoo services for her yin yoga class this morning. Tony will be improvising with his tablas and guitar. I love playing with him. He has a magical mystical combination that provides an arena and launching pad for my dreamtime explorations. The class flys by for me. It is one of those performances for me where I make some kind of shift. Tony plays with such pure abandon, waterfall love, cosmic sincerity, ecstatic expertise and simple beauty. All I have to do is find the spaces in between. The spaces we share I try to enhance. During shavasana, I chant Tibetan Budhist monk style: "Om mani padme hung... Om ah hung... Om gati gati para gati para sumu gati bodhi sva ha... Om Ganesha... Om Bramha... Om Vishnu... Om Shiva... Om Shiva Shakti..." Through out, I go from periods of mental silnence to remembering my intention to be more warm to others. Less judgmental. Love myself more and my capacity to love others increases.

    I don't report every thing about my self here on BS. Consciously chosen to leave out the parts of my internal struggle, Yes, I admit that I edit and censor my posts. This is done to make the daily dose more palatable. Like a chef who cuts off the rotten part of a vegetable and drops it in the compost bucket.

    So, even though I am getting paid to help host a cool yoga retreat with lots of cool people, part of me is in pain. Suffering. Not being fully present. Trying hard to hide the resentment and put on a happy face. But it is there. With each encounter, I catch the first split second of my internal reaction and it is rotten. This must be cut out and put into the compost bin. But how?

    One way is for me to perform with the didj. Upon completion of the class, I sat and acknowledged the applause and appreciation from the class. Moments later I felt tears well up in my eyes and pool down my cheeks. The sadness beneath the resentment released like an infection under the skin. I moved into child's pose and let the emotion express itself. A few people came up and thanked me personally. It was nice; I could see that their experience gave them joy.

    I felt a lot better. The dirty window of my limbic system has been washed. An unwanted aspect of myself seems to be purged. Grace came in like a cool summer breeze in the heat of the day like the breath of God.

    Devin and I meet on the tennis court at 5 PM. We warm up for 45 minutes and then play a set and 4 games. The first set goes by fairly quickly. I manage to take it 6-1. My mood is less intense. This could be because of an hour nap before hand. Any way, towards the end I let out some good yells. That's better, I think to myself. We get to 2-2 before it is time for me to take care of the doggies.

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    The magical sailboat of music

    Ahh... it is just before midnight. I arrive back to the house of dogs. The parents, Trixie and Rupert, are mellow when I walk thru the front door. They know it is me by the signature sound of the Miata A.K.A. Dune Buggy. Dune Buggy hugs the turns, radio doesn't work, gets fab gas mileage and sounds like a muffled motorcycle. I let the pups outside so they can get some fresh air and do their business. I did not close the back door enough, they enter into the sitting room, finding Rupert, Trixie and I. Rupert goes from mellow to ballistic. Attack mode, goes for the jugular. Pup dogs are everywhere. Cacophony rules for a few minutes until the pups are put back into their bedroom. Good night Irene.

    Access to the Internet started off with difficulty. On a hunch, I reset safari and... ta daaa... it works. Hmm, never did that before.

    Tonight was kirtan night with Tony and I along with some special guests. Tony wants to be a rock star. I hope he gets his wish. At this moment his dharma is kirtan, this I know. Tonight started off slowly. We all OM together, the interactive audience is circled around us sitting on cushions and such. I begin to OM thru the didj and immediately the sonic wall of ancient love vibrations synchronize us all to the source. Mostly I close my eyes during the performance, fully focusing on the overall drone of Tony's guitar, Pablo's drum, a woman's drum and the various shakers sprinkled among the circled. When I find the drone, I key in and blow it up like blood flowing into a heart. I find the pulse and enhance it. Sing the chants thru the didj. The names of God. Holla stands up and starts dancing, others join in and soon everyone is shaking, stomping, ecstatic seizures... Tony grabs a drum and takes the music into interstellar overdrive, warp drive; we leave the Solar System, the galaxy, and the universe... And then the song ends.

    Tony smiles and says: "OK, now lets do a restorative raga to reintegrate."

    After a few more songs, we are all done, purified and polished by the holy sonic winds blowing out of the didj. Our hearts are realigned by the hallowed rhythms of Tony, Pablo and company. Our soul is harmonized with the sacred chords strummed and caressed by Tony Tabla - the dharma king of Kirtan.

    The magical sailboat of music leaves a human mandela on the floor of the yoga studio, spread out like a snow flake. It is a frozen super molecule. A constellation. Love flows easily and naturally in the form of touch, soft words and smiles radiating like stars to every corner of the ever-expanding universe.

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    Maiden audio voyage

    this is an audio post - click to play

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    War Machine

    Do you believe in Armageddon and do you know whose been doing the spreadin'?
    Its a war machine's petroleum fantasy
    Would you believe in philosophy of democracy from a war machine?
    It's a war machine, death machines, more fiends, morphine, and it's morphing...
    I CBS on CNN and the ABC's of NBC and there's nothing worse than Fox TV
    For backing up the blatant lies of the war machine

    Could you believe in philosophy of theology from a war machine?
    Transparency, hypocrisy, makers of atrocities
    Just admit what you are worshipping - it’s a war machine
    Death machines, more fiends, morphine

    Would you give all your money and productivity to a war machine?
    So they can build more machines to kill anybody, anybody in the way of the next pipeline.
    Stay asleep; it is just a bad dream, just watch TV
    And eat more ice cream

    Could you believe in a cosmology sponsored by a war machine?
    That lives on human sacrifice in the name of Mister Christ
    Denial revival devolution is not a solution
    At some point may there be divine restitution
    But don't hold your breath
    This is just a test

    Did you believe that the monstrosity - that's been acting with impunity
    Would be prepared for a calamity and help the people suffering?
    It’s a war machine, death machines, morphine and more fiends
    Looking for something to bomb with careless aplomb
    That's our war machine