Monday, October 31, 2005

Princess is recovered!

Cell phone ring begins the day once again: stare blearily at the clock, 9 AM... doesn't feel that late... where's the phone... answering service gets it... ohh yeah, daylight savings, it's actually 8 AM. 10 minutes later, check the message, it is Eliza, she located Princess hiding in the basement behind the office. She was in there and heard Princess's delicate meow somehow. But "She's not moving, maybe she's stuck."

Off I go in the Skip mobile, up the hill, thru the gate, park in the driveway. Eliza shows me where she is. I have to climb over a dusty wall and thru a narrow area to get to the part of the basement that Princess occupies. She meows, all freaked out like she's in shock or something. I scoop her up and hand her to Eliza.

Finally, Princess has been found and just in the nick of time to make her appointment to get the stitches removed and her drain taken out. She sits on my lap and I stroke the place between her shouder blades. Eliza runs off to get the transporter. i can feel Princess totally relax on my lap she is very relieved to make contact.

Just after dusk, I go up to the estate to check on Princess. She's in the big house, in the state room, hiding under a bed. She won't come out but she lets me pet her and in fact wants me to pet her but she's too freaked out to come out from under the bed. Oh well, at least she's safe for now. Hopefully she won't get out until she has taken all her antibiotics - nine days. My overall impression is that she fared very well, there's no swelling around her wound. It seems the physical scars will fade much sooner than the emotional trauma - but who knows?

Rob gave me a call while I soaked in the tub earlier today before noon. "What are you doing today?"

"I'm gonna go surfing. You want to go?"

"How 'bout climbing?"

We talk it out while I check the surf cams for The Point. I report that the waves are small but there seems to be a swell and not too many surfers. We end up agreeing to go catch waves.

Rob picks me up in his giant beat up, old, orange and primer pick up truck with a cab. We arrive and he manages to squeeeze his rig in a front row spot without scraping any other vehicles. I grab my 8 foot fun board and Rob grabs his boogie board. Out we go. The waves are mostly knee high but have a shoulder high drop at least. This is a good time for me to work on fundamentals like getting up on the board smoothly and switch footing. The time out there flies by. I end up catching around 14 waves. That's what I like about small days, you get alot of rides because there is not too much competition.

Afterwards we make a stop in a thrift store where they like to announce: "Thank you for shopping at The Retarded Children's Thrift Store" every 10 minutes or so. Your welcome and thanks for the cool pants that only cost $1.06 (tax included).

Sunday, October 30, 2005

From yin yoga to gothic rock

The Halloween party at Glen Muse raged well past my self imposed curfew. My choice of being Kurt Cobain this year was well received and easily identifiable by many attendees. Some folks took video and others took photos. Yeah, kinda fun playing rock star. Hung out with John Mcenroe and Richard Simmons. Enjoyed some fine belly dancers dancing. But, I needed to wake up by 8:30 AM, so I split by 1:30 AM, slipped out a back gate and roled down the hill back to the house of dogs on speed. They all go crazy when I walk through the door. I chill in front of the computer and they all mellow.

Thanks to daylight saving, I manage to awaken at 8:30 AM, purely on the power of self suggestion - no alarm and dogs mysteriously quiet. Arrive up at the estate, start a fire and then relax. This morning, I will participate in the yin yoga workshop which features Paul Greeley. He's got a great rep and really lives up to it. I am mesmerized by his message and entertained by his sense of humor as he guides our journey thru the poses with anecdotes, humor and crucial anatomical knowledge. Basically, the information he shares with us revolves around the fact that our skeletal systems vary greatly from human to human. Variables in bone structure, such as socket depth, have a supreme impact on range of movement. This area (skeletal variability) seems to receive almost no attention among any of the so called experts. One could conclude that each of us needs to determine for our selves, what is an appropriate edge for the various exercises we do.

After class, it's time to dial the estate back in, gently ecourage guests to vacate the premesis and clean the kitchen because no one else did and Lupe is sick. Also, I shuttle back and forth letting the dogs outside for a bit and then coming back to put them in. By 4:00 PM, the kitchen is clean, head back to dogville, walk Trixie and Rupert, get ready for Bauhaus show in Hollywood. Somehow, I get it all done, head off wearing plastic red fake snakeskin pants, maroon Doc Martins boots, black t-shirt with red star and a motorcycle jacket. My friend, Daniel, is the guitarist of this resusitated 80's goth band. He has generously supplied a bunch of VIP tickets to a score or two of us Ojaians. And of course, Sunny had something to do with this as well.

The ride down was chill in my friend Kim's silver Mercedes. Her teenaged daughter sat in the back with her boyfriend quietly listening to Kim and I rapping about whatever.

We arrive at the show about an hour before it begins and manage to get a couple seats with pretty clear views just 40 feet from the stage or so. The speakers are numerous and daunting from the perspective of the inner ear. When the show begins, the base is so heavy I can feel it in my heart among other organs. They power thru with heavy guitars and blaring drums, I can hear Peter's voice but not too many words. They do a triple encore with the highlight being a cover of Ziggy Stardust From Mars.

After the show, we head backstage for a party. The folks I arrived with all seem fatigued and ready to call it a night. We hang long enough to have a word or two with Daniel and then its back on the freeway, 101 North. And now I am surrounded by the maniacal dogs once again. "Come on! go to sleep! stop fighting!" I just said moments ago.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

No Princess so far and a timely phone call

Tonight is my second night in a 4 night stint watching the six dogs: Rupert (Daddy dog), Trixie (Momma dog), Mini, Chocolate, Fatso and Michael Jackson. Lucky the Crib house rental has been super mellow. Not much to do up there. Start a fire in the yoga studio in the morning, park a few folks who dodged the hike and of course search for Princess who is quite conspicious with the cone on her head.

After starting a fire in the yoga studio, I drive down the hill on the way to the dogs. While approaching Visa Hermosa, I see an ambulance come into view and make a right turn in front of me. Uh oh, I think I know where they're going. Sure enough, I see them pull into John's driveway. His wife has been ill for over 2 years now. Every once in a while there's an emergency. I speak briefly with John and he tells me what happened.

"If there's anything I can do, give me a call."

Then it's down the hill to let the dogs go outside, do their business and compete for my attention by jumping up on my leg and growling at eachother. Check the internet for surf conditions... check the web cam... uggh, small waves littered with a heap of surfers, think I'll pass today... take a bath... read a book...ahhh.

Meal time at Farmer and the Cook: gobble down some lettuce, sprouts, quinoa, wild rice, carrots - this is a staple for me. David Grow is there smiling thru his beard and shrouded with long dreds. Last night, David directed a small choire to sing Amazing Grace to begin an excellent play about the Patriot Act. Interesting enough the whole premise of this play was mentioned in a previous post here on Bardo Surfer. They say that great minds think a like but I imagine that this is doubley true for shallow minds... David wants me to sing with the choire tonight, rehearsal will take place at his place at 5... I tentativley agree but end up not showing... too many responsibilities going on here, I gotta walk the dogs, check on the latest vacation rental, yada yada.

Then it's back up to the estate, turn on lights, check in with Bill, look for Princess, check in with guests... and then it's: back to the dogs. On the way down the hill, just in front of John's house: cell phone rings, it's John: "Michael, what are you doing? Are you busy?"

"No, what do you need? Are you at your house?"

"No but I need you to get a couple things for me."

"Wow, I am in front of your house right now, what do you need?"

"Michael, I need you to get a couple things inside..."

So, I end up dropping off a couple things for John at the hospital where his wife is. Sounds like it is not too serious. I suspect that she'll be released tomorrow and they can go back home.

John's dedication and devotion to his wife always amazes me. Her health problems have been going on for over 2 years and John is a rock, he does not waver. He reminds me of my father to some extent in his dependability. My father left many, many high standards as an example of how a good person conducts themself. My parents have a neighbor who can definitely be considered an elder. My Dad has helped her in various capacities for almost 2 decades: shoveling her driveway, mowing her lawn etc.. I'm sure that I only know the tip of the iceberg.

So when I'm able to help my friend John, I think of my father with grattitude for the example he set.

Tonight there's a big Halloween party at Glen Muse. I am going as Kurt Cobain: blonde wig, crazy sun glasses and a guitar that was played by Jimmy Page.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Princess update number 2

Received a call from Devin that Princess has been spotted by the big house (on the estate).

"Did you try to catch her?"

Devin: "I tried but Scout was with me and she took off. But at least she's OK.

"Thanks for lettin me know."

Princess saga and 10 waves

Everytinng seems under control here... time to go surfing, yee hah!. Seconds before I make the left turn out of the estate on to Foothill Rd, my cell phone vibrates and emits its little song, hmm it's Eliza. "Hi Liza, what's up?"

"Didj, you gotta help me! Pricess got out and ran away!"

"OK, I'll be there in a sec"

Thus, my words on the previous day of "the hardest part is over," have come back to haunt me. Less than an hour after dropping off the injutered cat, Princess, she has already escaped outside. Keep in mind that she is wearing one of those plastic cone thing around her head in order to prevent her from tearing off the stitches and the drain that ran under neath the sutures.

I spend 30 minutes calling "Princess... princess... here kitty kitty..." to no avail. I must admit to feeling a bit frustrated and angry. Finally, I realize that Princess is not going to come out. She is going to hide out somewhere until she gets hungry enough to present her self.

Time to go surfing. There's supposed to be a swell. Don't check any cams just drive there. Upon arrival in the Point's parking lot, I see a front row seat is available. When I get out to look at the canvas that I will be painting with my surfboard, I can't help but feeling a little disappointed. It is way mellow out there. There are a few bones out there that some surfing dogs are chewing on out there but nothing with any real meat in it. This does not stop me. I drive 25 minutes to get here - paying for over priced gas, (so the current organized crime oil cartels can play there war games) - so there's alot of karma counting on me catching some waves even tiny ones.

No time to waste. I catch a tiny one straight away. Bam! just like that, I already have a wave under my belt. I catch some more and then head over to where it is a little more crowded with surf dogs. Does not matter. I am in the right place at the right time and manage to keep catching waves. Every wave I paddle for, I catch. Every wave I catch, I am able to stand up on. Oh my gosh, I have had a great sesh. The best wave was when I grabbed a handle of water to slow down, it walled up, I bent my knees and got shower curtained. Another wave I swithfooted for the first time. Yee hah!!

Princess update: MIA

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Trip to the vet

"Princess?!" I cannot believe how bad she looks today. Yesterday, I noticed that she had received a deeo scratch above her right eye. Today, it has swollen up the size of a robin's egg and her eye is nearly swollen shut. She seems very docile. I pet her and her skin slightly recoils at my touch.

Bill walks out on to the porch from the kitchen, "She's really, she needs to go the the vet. She was cut earlier this week and now this. The males never get hurt, it's only the females. I think she's gonna die... it' too serious. Do you want to take her to the vet?"

"Sure, I'll take her right now."

"First, I need you to start two fires in the house, water the plant up on the second floor and take these things to the guest house."

"OK, no problem."

This job has something new every day. I never know what I'll be doing next. The tasks take very little time. I kind of hustle. I am worried about the cat. Finally it's time to get her. Where's the cage? Call Bill. He tells me. It is behind the Artist's Studio. Filled with webs and dirt but it works. I hose hit and then wipe it down with towels. Now comes the hard part: getting Princess into the cage. First, I pet her a bit, get her on my lap. She seems slightly out of it. Then pick her up. She tenses slightly, start pushing her into the cage, initially she does not seem to mind but then her fear kicks in and she freaks. Hmmm... flip the cage so the entrance is facing up, scoop her up again and drop her in. She hangs by her front paws for half a minute before I close the gate and she resigns herself to being in jail.

"Meoooww, meooow, meoow..." She does not like being in the pet tote at all. I am relieved, the hardest part is over and I did not even get scratched. She meows the whole time. The first vet is closed till 2:30, the next one is only 10 minutes away. More meowing... At last, we arrive at the Bryant Street vet. I am the first one thru the door. Sit down wait while Princess contiues to meow. Another cat arrives with a woman carrying her in a cage as well. Her cat meows, Princess meows back. The other cat is quiet. Princess contiues to meow.

Soon enough I hear the doctor: "Princess?"

"Here she is."

We walk into his treatment room. He opens the cage, grabs he by the neck and looks at the infected wound. "It's an absys. I need to lance it and then drain it. She'll have to stay overnight."

"Wow! that's it? Cool."

"Looks like it's from a catfight, she got scratched. She'll have to stay overnight. You can get her after nine."

"That's fine, what a relief."

Then it's back up the hill the estate. Other tasks await. Looks like I will not surf today. Oh well. Yesterday was a fun sesh and still stays with me. I think I even dreamed about surfing last night.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The map

One day the tired old map
began to self adjust the reality it depicted
At first, it seemed like just a crease
or maybe it was more like a wrinkle
gone astray
Upon closer scrutiny, the owner of the map
realized he was witnessing a mutiny
The creases had become rivers
tributaries, territories and towns.
[It is not very wise to stare at the self adjusting map
while driving down the 101 freeway at 65 MPH]
Huh, the owner (lets call him Bob), cannot believe his eyes.
The map appears to be communicating... but... that is not
[Stop gaping, and pull over the damn car!]
Bob pulls over and tries to get a grip
but his mind is spilling
slipping with mental persperation.
Out of the corner of his eye
he sees the map shimmer
drawing his full atttention
the various lines depicting streets and such
begin to swirl like ripples on water
little waves crashing against the borders of reality
organizing into a whirlpool
a vortex
a portal
a window
Bob flies through the map
which has become more than the territory
He's in outerspace
without a ship
searching for friendly constellations
to navigate thru this vacuum
What do I do for a map now? Bob thinks to himself
[That is the question that will set you free]
Huh! What was that? Bob thinks to himself
[You are a bobber, Bob, bobbing in infinite experience in the sea of life.]
Oh, really... Bob replies in thoughforms and then continues
You were a map, mapping a fragment of the world
in a reflected reflection
of some random being's
rationalized blueprinted view of his personal version of topography
for a limited geographical area...
Now, you have become something more...
That is when the answer (to Bob's prevous question)
materialized out of the indigo aethir
Bob remembered his multifaceted nature
Bob re-legioned his multidimensioal self
My memory is my map
If I don't watch it
I can get lost in it.
Bob found himself
in his car
on the 101's shoulder
staring at a familiar constellation in the sky.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From overcast to sunshine

Angus woke with urgent meows, well before daylight. I ignored his feline plees to go outside. Every so often, he tried again to persuade me but his intense requests went unanswered until daybreak. Finally, I am able to sleep soundly until my cell phone startles me into wakefulness. Time to get up. Look out the window. I am greeted by gloomy grey clouds continuing to shoud the Ojai Valley.

While moving thru yoga and tai chi, my thoughts wrestle with whether or not to surf. I go back and forth. Might be a nice day to just veg. but then again, the swell will drop even more tomorrow. Regardless, the yoga and tai chi work their emprirical magic and revive my body.

Decision made. Go surf. I take the back road out of town, skipping the lights and traffic. When I get out to 33, I am shocked to see that the cloud cover does not extend to the ocean. In fact, it becomes apparent that Ventura is experiencing a sunny day, unocculted by the clouds. "Wow," I think to myself, "I'll need to put on some sun tan lotion, cool." When 33 becomes 101, I am in the sunshine, yee hah!

Pull into the Point's lot, more than one empty space to choose from. Check out the swell. Conditions are mellow. Looks to be 2 to 4, chest to head high. Nice. Has not dropped too much since yesterday. Not too many surfers out there. Red Tide is still around. Paddle out is easy, just follow out a big waves return and bam, feels like I am outside in 20 seconds. Within, 10 minutes, Caveman paddles over: "Yo dude, what's up?" He says with a smile.

"Just having fun."

He continues to paddle and soon disappears. I won't see him again till I am walking back to the Skip[ mobile. The winds are very light and the water is surreal in its glassiness. When I finally catch a wave, I almost fall off but I somehow regain my balance and have a great ride. Zig zagging smooth like Jerry Lopez, grabbing the wave, letting it wall up and then getting shower curtained to end it. The rest of the session I get worked a bit, mostly when pushing up to my feet. This is my greatest challenge so far as a surfer. Wearing booties has made me a little less confident. The biggest wave I caught of the day was not meant to be. I fell off the damned thing. Oh well. Towards the end of the sesh, I managed to catch a few more and ride them over in the direction of the pier. At this point my arms felt spent. Time to paddle in.

Monday, October 24, 2005

TMJ relief efforts

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I felt was: uggh. My neck felt stiff and the back of my head held the tell tale tension of TMJ. This disorder does not go away quickly, especially when you fall of the wagon into a mini sugar binge. The t-house's pillow probably had something to do with my overall stiffness as well. I take in all this sensation and accept it, begin formulating my plan of relief. Yeah, that's it: TMJ relief efforts. The plan comes to me before my feet touch the bare wooden floor that stands 2 feet above the naked earth.

The first part of today's strategy involves yoga. I proceed into the yoga studio and dedicate an hour to yoga in silence. Afterwards comes tai chi. MMM, what can I say escept thanks. Thanks to the millions of yogis and martial artist who have left such a potent legacy in the face of humanity's dearth march. Needless to say, I left the studio feeling limber and revitalized.

The second part of my plan involved surfing. First, I had to make a detour to feed the dogs, all six of them. The drive down was uneventful and took the typical 20 minutes or so. The parking lot smiled at me revealing cars instead of teeth like a bum missing a tooth. I parked skips cream mobile in the open slot. If Skip's truck was a tooth, It'd need to be filled with gold, because of its twisted bumpers and other cosmetic damages.

Before I even start to put on my wet suit, I see a surfer catching a head high wave, he does a 360 and switchfoots, cuts back and forth. I recognize him, it is "Caveman!" I say out loud. Another surfer watching from the parking lot looks at me and smiles, he knows Caveman too.

I paddle out pretty easily having waited for a big wave to come in, jump on it and paddle with it back out in quick little mini rip. There are about 3 or 4 waves per set. Most are in the head high, range with a few slightly overhead. Patienly, I wait for my time. Wait for the right place. Easily paddling across. Watching, observing. Paddle over to Caveman. He cracks a smile says hello. Paddlles down to the bottom of the lineup. Then I see a set coming my way. I am in a good spot, paddle a bit, push on to my feet and cut across the top of the wave, letting the lip propell me along. Fast ride, super fun, I bale into the white water and laugh with joy as I get some major pummeling - surfer's massage. I paddle back outside for more, letting out a "Whoooo!" nothing like the first wave. "That was a strong wave," I thought to myself.

Catch several more waves before I start to feel a little chilled. Then I am driving home with the heat blowing on my bare feet and the music coming out of the beat up old car stereo thru one speaker.

The third part of my plan happens soon after I arrive at my friend, the cat Angus' den. This involves taking a bath. Ahh, it was luxurious. The hot water restored my body temperature and helped to ease the tired muscles. Hmm, I think I may have to do this all again tomorrow.

John Stewart's piece on blogging

The Daily Show makes a clever point with this.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Full moon Sunday

[Kauai, edge of Kalalau Valley, October 20, 2002]

Robert left the warmth of our bon fire and walked down the beach to visit the folks who'd started their own fire 50 yards away. They were obviously card carrying members of the hippie party tribe. Leaf, a dred locked crusty, wore his anger and low self esteem as if it was a golden tuxedo as he spoke with bitter intensity about musical recording techniques and equipment. "4 minute loop machines, 4 track, 8 track, 16 track, Roland, Moog... I was there, now I am here, has anyone seen my underwear? hardey har har!"

Next, was a guy with dyed blond hair and a fondness for conspiracy theories. He spoke of his anger towards Jerry Garcia for checking out of the earth plane game. If he could have, he'd still be following the Grateful Dead around on tour.

This random group of folks, made up of 3 girls and these 2 dudes, were generous, sharing guitars, food - vegetarian burritoes and candy bars. But the night's initial promise dissolved into insecurities and one way streets. I mostly just listened and watched the firelight and shadows dance across the faces of the gathered, seemingly leaving a message unhampered by meaning. I declined partaking in the false high of smoke, played my didj on deaf ears - blessing the semi-damned.

Daily Show link of the day

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Driving back from LA

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, October 21, 2005

Three cats and one hot spring

this is an audio post - click to play

As I walked up to my old little abode, the t-house, I heard the familiar “meoow” of Katoolio, my adopted cat on the estate. He was stoked to see me and his tail shot up like a firework and froze in the air as he anticipated some petting. He did not utter another noise, slept on my bed and was woken along with me early the next morning by guests exclaiming over some of the fruit growing. “Oh well,” I thought after uselessly struggling to return to sleepville, “might as well get up.”

I barely had enough time to get some yoga and tai-chi under my belt before Highlove and I needed to check out a possible job. After that we met at the skateboard park for some more repairing. The park never opened yesterday due to the extensive work that needed to be done. I only could put in an hour and forty-five minutes before other things took precedent.

One of them was checking out a ’71 VW bus but it did not suit my needs. I am on the hunt for a Toyota pick up or a Mercedes Van or something along the lines of a Chinnook.

The next task was to drive up into the canyon and meet with my friend Andrea. I am cat sitting for her this weekend. She has three super cool and friendly cats. As I pulled up Ochie, a big five and a half year old, half Maine coon, tailless tomcat, greeted me. It was like he was waiting for me. I am very comfortable with Andrea’s property because has heavy Buddhist influences in the paintings and various artworks scattered thru out and I have done bits of work here and there for almost six years.

The timing is mint. Tomorrow night, I have a gig with Tony Tabla in LA, which will involve us performing, him with the tables, me with the didjeridoo. Supposedly this is going to be a pretty big party, couple hundred people or so. Anyway, it is now time for me to jump in the natural sulfur hot spring with my slidedidge – om.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

More skateboard park repars

The sun finally burned away the cloudy remnants left by the thunder and lightening storm on Monday. Early morning mist revealed the evaporation in progress and created a dreamy atmosphere. Mark and I arrive at the Ojai Skateboard Park once again to continue repairs. We begin by screwing in long blue electrical screws into the metal lips which interface the skate sheets with the awsphalt. Soon enough, Mark discovers that there is a hole in the skate sheet on the "Pyramid". Upon further inspection, he determines that the plywood underneath has rotted as well from being water logged. This internal damage is not from the recent rains. It is from the record setting precipitation from last year. Toby arrives, grabs a screw gun and starts tightening up the ramp in the west.

A couple skaters come up. They ask if they can help. Brothers. Names: John and Jeff Freeman. Cool dudes. One has a video camera. They both skate. One of them is a videographer. He one a bunch of awards last year at the Ojai Fim Festival. Something like best editing, best documentary for students. They end up sharing footage on their old digital video camera that shows one of them doing a back flip on his skateboard. Made it look easy.

The repairs contiue. Mark falls thru the ramp at one point. The water damage is quite extensive and we end up having to tear up around 16 feet by 8 feet of The Pyramid ramp. The work takes all day and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be moving away as we strive to reach it. The repairs needed are extensive. It is good we caught it before anyone got hurt from one of the ramps collapsing.

The Ojai Film Festival has arrived and featured the March of the Penguins last night in Libbey Bowl on a giant projection screen with a 35 thousand dollar projector. Very powerful film. These Emperor Penguins are completely mad. To see what they go thru firsthand has left me immeasurabley impressed by their will to live and their will to love. Afterwards, the director gave a Q and A. My question, that I did not ask is: Why do they do it? Why not breed somewhere more hospitable?

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

For your edification: Apparent head criminal in charge

This Daily Show link courtesy of Milk and Cookies.

TMJ strikes again

Well, those few of you who read enough of BS, know that TMJ has reentered my life to once again educate me about my diet, tension and relaxation. The symtoms that I experience impact me physically, mentally and emotionally. Now that I am familiar with the causes of this disorder, it is easier for me to achieve a detatched state of mind. This allows me a more scientific approach to relief and avoidance of reoccurances.

The physical symtoms begin with the jaw. This is the area which seems to be the initial indicator that my health is out of balance. Specifically, it means too much sugar. Within the first couple bites, I can feel a stiffness in the area just below the ears. Discomfort reveals itself in pressure. The jaw seems to press in. The back of the head presses in and the temples press in. When the TMJ gets super acute it affects my ability to hear. The physical symtoms also involve lots of tension stored in my shoulders, back muscle, traps and neck.

Mentally, it puts me into a fog. It is difficult to think and fatigue follows me around like clouds hiding the sun.

The emotional impact is quite apparent. It definitely puts me into an aggro state of mind. I become irritable and my ability to tolerate frustration is quite diminished.

The causes of my second bout of TMJ seem to be a result of working 7 days a week for about 4 weeks in a row, eating sugar at every meal and then into the night, some of the work I was doing involved toxic substances eg. drywall, lessened observance of my yoga/tai chi/didj practice, the tension which comes with trying to find a new place to live and just not relaxing enough.

Interestingly enough, just when it was kicking in again, I viewed some footage of the Apparent Head Criminal in Charge - (W) - where he was continually clicking his jaw and moving it around. Obviously he was trying to relieve pressure in his jaw. TMJ is definitely an anxiety disorder in my opinion. I wonder what his doctors prescribe?

I self diagnosed myself, spoke to others who experience this affliction and consulted the vast resources of the internet. It bascically warned that sugar was a major culprit. Sugar is by far my main vice. At this time, I don't think I have any others. Oh yeah... I have a gasolene vice... but we'll save that for another post.

Thus my solution to TMJ involves strict changes to my diet eg. no sugar!, less cooked food more raw food; relaxing more eg. baths, more yoga/tai chi and consciously melting thoughts which cause anxiety.

The results so far a quite good. I am much happier than I was during the weekend when TMJ reared its ugly head. My friend gave me a "treatment" which focusses directly on the problem area: the jaw. As well as relieving pressure in the back of the head, neck and back. So the last two days I feel human again, more appreciative, less pressure and more present.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The seasons like to change

The seasons like to change back in forth here in the mostly quiet town of Ojai. Today, the high temp was only 60. At night it has been getting down to 48. Yesterday, we had thunder and lightening, today a fine drizzle kept everything damp and cool. When it rains like it has I must give a big thanks to Skip for letting me tool around in his ole creamy Toyota. My surfboard sticks out of the back encased in a silver board bag, waiting along with me to get back into the ocean. Surfline always recommends that we wait 72 hours after a significant rain fall before getting back into the water to surf. I tend to listen to that advice.

Tonight, while Angus ate his dinner, I opened the back door to let some WiFi in. The signal seems to get better when I do this. Do not know why. Angus sees the open door and manages to sneak up to it without my awareness getting triggered. As I bend down to stop him, he dashes outside. “Angus!” I say with too much reactionary surprise. He rushes to the fence before I change gears with my tone of voice. “Angey, please come here.” I say sweetly. “I want to pet you, come on.”

Angus looks at me and starts walking back. I squat down and rub two fingers together. He trots right to me, I pet him for a second and then scoop him up. He resists by squirming a little bit but ends up just meowing in exasperation.

Later, as he lies on the bed, I go over and give him a quick massage and thank him. He meows with a lot of character and regret for me tricking him back in.

Found out today that my services will not be needed for the upcoming retreat. There’s a lot less people than usual. This has been a trend for a while. Makes me wonder if the LA yoga bubble is bursting or maybe it is just the gas price rise catching up. Anyway, this is why I have more than one source of income.

Monday, October 17, 2005

One house sit leads to another

Enough rain fell out of the sky to discourage me from surfing a decent swell today. The first heavy rains of the fall/winter seasons wash all the various pollutions, urine and feces off the streets, sidewalks and lawns and into the streams, tributaries, rivers and oceans. Supposedly, it becomes a big toxic viral soup festival out there in the ocean, by the mouths of rivers. This is a well known "fact" amongst surfers. My friend Gunnar, became quite sick surfing soon after the first heavy rain. To this day he shudders at the thought of going out there under those conditions. Still, knowing this, I was going to go out there but... the rain picked up and I slipped into the just do yoga and tai chi mode. Today was nice to just chill out and read a book. Visit Highlove and enjoy the thunder and lightening.

I walked Daisy and Sheeba as the sun was swallowed by the horizon leaving darkness and broken clouds that had given up their H2O. Giant puddles lingered and made for a noisy tire soundtrack as the workers rushed home for dinner. The dogs live to walk, there is a spring to their step and their tails curl upwards and wag like happy flags. When we get back to their house they have a pensive look in their eyes. They know that it is time to say goodbye. Eyes big, tails hang out, I close the door, hop in the truck, exit stage.

Now it's time to get Angus the cat in. As I open the door, I hear his "Meow?" He's been waiting for me I guess.

"Hi Angus, how you doing?"


"Good, well come in." He purrs, meows some more. I feed him, turn on the PowerBook, listen to NPR, start reading a screenplay.

Nice when house sits line up like this. Hmm... maybe I'll take a bath.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Reflection of anger

The clicking of dog nails on the hardwood floor once again woke me as the first orange tints of light began to appear in the east. I let both dogs outside and went back to sleep for four hours.

Awaken, drive up to the estate. Take care of a few things and then talk to Bill to figure out today's schedule. I tell him I need to know because of surfing needs.

"Why don't you just go surf now and then just take care of everything when you come back."

So that is all I needed. Didn't even check the surf cams. I knew it was gonna be good. When I arrive at The Point, a parking spot opens up within seconds. Get out of the truck and check the waves. It is breaking consistently with chest to head high sets, windy not too windy, not too crowded, long rides, multiple line ups.

The paddle out is effortless. I just make it over a couple waves wait a few minutes and then catch a head high. My first wave stokes me. Soon, it starts to genly rain. I sit back on the board and count the sail boats that are within 200 yards of us. They are beautiful and and almost all have white sails. I count 12 near by.

Caveman calls out to me as he paddles in my direction.

"Hey!" he says.

"Hi Caveman, how you doing?"

"Oh pretty good, I'm doing my work, you know what that is."

"Uh... no I don't."

"Well your gonna find out then."

He paddles away and I am left wondering what that was about. Within minutes, I see Caveman catch a big one and then do a headstand on his board as it zooms along.

"WOOOOOHH!" I scream out.

He catches another wave and is doing 360's. As he paddles by I say: "I see what your work is."

He smiles, dark tan face crinkles up framed in a wetsuit hood. "I'm angry today. Taking it out on the waves."

"It's good you can identify that you are angry. That's why you are in California."

"I wish I wasn't in this country though."

He paddles away and I don't see him again. Left with his reflection of anger perceived in the abstract concept of USA. I know his feeling. I have been going thru another bout of TMJ which involves holding tension in the jaw from unexpressed anger. Symtoms include head aches, tiredness, irritablity, tension in the back. I saw some video footage of W that make me think he has this disorder.

I called up a friend tonight and asked for a treatment to help relieve the pain. She complied and worked on me for over an hour. I feel so much better now, thank you.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


I am a vaccum sucking air
no oxygen to spare no eyes to stare
converting universes into chairs
because I need something to sit on
when my legs get tired
I am a giant fan blowing hot air
If you are a pig then you better beware
'cause I'll huff and I'll puff
and blow you to St. Louis
I am a factory that eats
specified aspects hidden in the thin
crust of the earth
my stomach organizes each bit, reconfiugres
extracts value
my intestinal flora absorbs the 90% that is left
I am an outlet with a product now
I sell it to consumers
to increase my worth
I am a snake oil salesman
selling rotting death trinkets
sanitized for your protection
thanks to special effects
designed for and by the mtv generation
This is my favorite song (sympathy for the devil) to listen to
on my eye-pod when shooting some stranger
because I had no choice
because it is my job
because some one else made me
I am a liar
swimming in a sea of half truths, fabrications, commercials,sitcoms,
Please be my friend, TV show
What else is there to do?

Friday, October 14, 2005

This is why I surf

The clicking of dog nails on the hardwood floor must have first woken me aroun 6 AM. By 6:45, the reality that I am dogsitting sinks in. Daisy and Sheeba want to go outside. They do not bark or whine, the only noise comes from them walking around, anxious to get outside and do their business. Me, I'm trying to get back to sleep for I don't know how long and then just when it feels like I just fell back into slumber land - cell phone alarm clock.

Throw on clothes, cruise up the road to the estate, park and begin the final preparations for the vacation rental to yogis. Check all the spaces, fill up the Quan Yin fountain etc. Find out that people are going to be arriving at 10 at 9:50, hmm, scratch head, oh well. Find out that they will be arriving at 11:00. That's better. build two beds in the Chumash room. Go back to the parking area. Do yoga and tai chi while occasionally showing some one where to park. Yeah, life aint so bad on the estate...

Check on the dogs. Daisy and Sheeba are way happy to see me. They wag their tails subliminally, trying to hypnotize me into taking them for a walk. "Sorry," I answer them in my mind, "gotta go surf, turn on lights up on the estate and then I'll take y'all for a big walk."

The drive down to the beach is filled with traffic and craziness. Kind of like my mind so I get this reflection and realize I am paying the price from late night food combo of date roll graham cracker sandwitches. Ughh when will I ever learn that it is sugar that gives the hangover? Stop at Circle K for some "cheap" gas - $2.79. One of the pumps does not work. The one I am using is malfunctioning. Lady working comes out to see what the prob is. Ends up saying: "Debit cards don't always work so don't get mad if you have trouble."

This makes me stop think and assess. "Hmm," I think to myself "These gas pump cashiers must be getting handfulls of grief from the public freaking out about us all getting jacked by Uncle $am's Middle East oil heist."

Finally, I get out of there and on my way to what I need - ocean waves. Pull up into the parking lot at Surfer's Point and there's a front row seat waiting for me. I don't have much time so I barely look at the surfing conditions. As I pull on my wetsuit, I can see that there are some waves happening, long lulls in between sets and it is pretty blown out, rough, choppy... but some of the surfers are getting waves. There are even some fluke long rides for the charmed.

Paddle out. Within 5 minutes I have already caught a quick little ride. Cool. From the shore, I thought that I had seen some waves breaking, big, long rides and no one near them. This is where I first paddle out to. After my first wave the waves seem to only be breaking up the shore. Paddle, paddle, paddle. The more I paddle the more everyone else paddles. "Hmm... that's funny," I think to myself, "every one wants me on their left (down wind) or something... did I brush my teeth? check, did I bathe within the past week? check... hmm oh well, make the most of it."

So I paddle back to this one spot where it had been breaking and now I have it all to myself. Sure enough, a set comes thru. I catch the third wave and have my best wave all day and maybe for the past 2 weeks. 150 yards of pure fun ending with a classic shower curtain. Slid right thru the vortex on this one. The otherside is amazement and joy. The feeling lingers into the evening. This is why I surf. Makes all the paddling, struggling and traffic worth it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sole repair

[Hawaii, Big Island October 6, 2002]

A guy, whose name turned out to be Nathan, picked me up hitchhiking, just as the rain began to really pour. He's from Oregon and been on this isle for 6 months repairing and restoring furniture.

As I walked into town after being dropped off at the light, I passed Johnathon who was on his way to the Hare Krishnas.

I ate a nice salad with some beans, dark chocolate cake for dessert and chocolate energy bars for good measure.

Went over to Norman's apartment to drop off my hand-made sandals for some sole repair. He was not there. Waited for 10 minutes before chilling out in the hippie cafe - Jomamma's as Pete and two others played their version of the blues. After a few minutes I saw Norman crossing the street in the drizzle pulling his cart of honey with Daisy trailing him on her leash.

I greeted him and we walked over to his place. He let me know that he is not allowed to sell honey anymore in front of the town's most popular eatery (by far}. Back at his tiny apartment I can tell that this setback is weighing him down like led on a diver.We watched the end of "Maverick" on the bube tube and then "Havana". Norm's uncertainy regarding where he's going to sell honey led him to be less accomidating or at least so it would appear. I let it all just pass over me and the nite went smoothly. I walked back barefoot during a lull in the rain. The wet black asphalt felt smooth and clean after the rain but I still managed to have a sliver of glass lodge itself into my right foot. I balanced on my left foot and easily dislodged it and then continued on my way. I thought about the different way I hide from feelings of lonliness. I contemplated various scenarios of where to go, how long to stay. And now I think: "Why plan it? let it happen. Let the flow flow.

As I got closer to my musty old shack, the rain began again as a drizzle and then as I reached the porch it began to pour.

Tai chi in the dark felt nice. The mosquitos must have been satiated from the previous day's feast on my blood and left me alone.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Digital Dojo

Two weeks ago we had our first first vlog workshop here in Ojai.

Skateboard park repair

Angus wakes me up, groggily, I let him outside so he can conduct his business then hop back onto the couch and slide into my sleeping bag cocoon for some more z's. The previous night's dreams lay fresh in my mind and stay there thru out the day. Examined them like an interesting and bizarre artifact found on the shore. Slept in till 10ish, feeling refreshed, muscles less achey, soak in the tub. On the verge of yoga, phone rings, it's Highlove. He needs some help with some work today. Turns out to be the Ojai Skateboard Park. I agree to help him. Have just enough time to go thru both yogas and some tai-chi before he arrives in his white pick up truck.

First we drive to the site where the constuction gig ran out of fund$ yesterday. Grab a bunch of tools, stop for lunch at Farmer and Cook, visit Ace Hardware and then finally we are at the skateboard park. This is my first time inside the fence. Up close I can see how run down all the ramps are. screws are sticking out too far, the thin brown sheeting on top is beat up, little bits of trash are strewn about, railings are broken, new red wavey rail is lying in the center and one skateboarder is inside riding around on his board. Mark asks him to split saying: "It'll reopen around 5 PM." The kid is cool about it, takes off. Mark then runs around and shows me all the stuff he wants me to do. We unload a bunch of tools, he climbs in the truck, backs up, drives away.

I begin by taking off some screws off a door that had been been screwed shut. I then move a buch of boards around, some need to be thrown out, others are set up for mark so he can cut them to fit areas with missing sheeting. Mostly I utilize the screw gun. Tightening the brown sheeting on the "mini-ramp" takes up at least half of the 4 hours that I am there. Kids come up all day saying: "Can I come in and just sit around while you work? It will just be us.", "When will the park reopen?", "Why can't we come in?", "Are you gonna fix the "mini-ramp?", "What happened to the box?", "Are you gonna put the wavey rail in?" The last hour, there's over 20 kids in the parking lot, most with skateboards, anticipating the reopening. The best question all day came from a kid around 10 or 11 years old: "Can I help?"

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience today. Nice to help out a friend - Highlove. Also, it kind of felt like community service. I have not skateboarded for years but I had my first board over 30 years ago. Skateboarding rules and is a California creation. When the city of Ojai agreed to allow a skateboard park around 4 years ago, it solidified my love for this town.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Rise by the medulla, fall by the medulla

The cuurent construction gig came to an abrupt end today after the clients gave a call saying: "over budget, no more money." Mixed reaction from me about this. Means some of us will not earn money counted on. Personally, I started working at the bequest of my friend Mark. He asked several times, I aquiesced. For me, it meant that I'd not be able to surf every day but there'd be some extra dough. Ultimately, I agreed because I enjoy the construction work especially when It's all my bros that are there.

Working with Johnny and Donnie is a walk down surreal lane. Donnie knows drywall. He's got permanent sheetrock tattooed under his fingernail. While working, he's covered with the white powder that comes from trawling the walls smooth. He gives me little pointers and always has dry humor that keeps everything on the light side. Johnny's a musician who is gearing up for a trip to Spain where he plans on busking for six months. So after breathing in all the dust for an hour or so, both these dudes will light up a ciggarette. I guess this must clear the lungs of the dust, powders and debris that come with mudding the walls.

Once we got word that the project was done after today due to a shortage of fundage, the pail gloom of doom could be felt in the room as we kicked into a higher gear to try and get as much done as possible. I mostly just kept cleaning all the various tools to keep them from getting crusty and unusable. "It was an honor to work with you Donnie, Johnny Mark... catch you all later." I finshed just before six and am psyched to sleep in tomorrow, wake up with yoga and tai chi and then go surf the diminishing swell at Surfer's Point. I'm guessing I will be out there around 2 PM if you want to watch...

Tonight I walked into the video store and went immediately to the just released section. Nothing caught my attention. Tim (super cool dude who works there) calls out to me from a chair behind the counter "Didj! have you seen this?" He's watching a documentary on the TV set. As the gist of the presentaion dawns on me that this is why I am in here. To catch a piece of this work of genius called: "Flight From Death the quest for immortality". I only watch ten minutes or so but the hypothesis behind the film is very thought provoking and leaves me stunned. Basically, what the producers, writers and scientists demonstrate is that when we, as humans, are confronted with death and thus our own mortality, it makes us much more prone to sink into unconscous behavior patterns. We become harsher and less tolerant of those who apeear dissimilar. We revert back to the systematic programming/indoctrination of school or our born into religion. How we were imprinted.

Road rage immediatley occurred to me as a great example of this process in action. Some driver does some thing that makes us feel vulnerable (feel our mortality) - we immediately react without thinking with brain stem responses: cursing, middle finger, yelling etc. I can see that this is one of the main ways that the consciousness and belief systems of the public are manipulated - through mass media's obsession with death and violence.

It is no surprise then that nine one one had the impact that it did. America felt vulnerable. War machine saw its opportunity and made the most of it. Even now it harvests its bounty of human sacrifice that has almost become a ritual. The torture and meaningless murder of all these innocent people somehow stifles the exposed nine one one feeling until Katrina comes along and shows us that Georgey Shrubble has no interest in actually doing what he said his job was: "Keeping Americans safe and secure." Yeah, enough of us finally woke up to see Dubya for the fraud that he is. Katrina made us feel collectively insecure. We needed some one to blame... heerrrrre's Dubya! rise by the medulla, fall by the medulla...

Monday, October 10, 2005

Hot mud then a cool jam with Tony

Last night, slept in the t-house with round windows and mountain views. Awoke fairly refreshed with time enough for tai-chi. Able to squeeze three cycles of the form that I have now practiced for over a decade. As is typical, by the third lap around the tai-chi track, my sense of time passing slows and I am able to experience have sensual emotional awareness which makes every breath a caress and every movement an act of love. This is how I recharge. It can happen with yoga. It can happen with the didj - especially the didj.

Pull up in the Skip mobile at 9:30 AM sharp. It seems like no one is there. I think to myself: "Wow, I am the first the only one here..." [turns out that Donnie was already on site, in the newly created office - which had been a garage - scraping the walls with his giant trawl] "Maybe I should call Mark to see if there's work today..." Just as I pull our my cell phone, Mark pulls up in his fairly newish white pick up truck and takes it to the top of the driveway.

Put on my work boots, walk up the drive way and that is when I see Donnie. Skyler arrived - driven by g-friend - just after Mark. As I walk by I see them smooching. He does not get out of the car for another 15 minutes. His girlfriend drives him to work every day, takes him to lunch and takes him home.

Mark assigns us to Donnie and then meets with the clients who linger around a bit nervously - understandably when you start adding up how much this remodel costs a day... Remmy arrives to play with wires in the attic. Day begins with me moving tools around, mixing "hot mud", cleaning tools. Somehow Skyler ends up doing the trawl work with Donnie as they layer the "hot mud" on the sheet rock. Even though I have alot more experiece than him trawling, it's OK with me. I figure that it is good for him to learn from Donnie and get some experience.

At some point, Bill calls, tells me that someone is coming from the magazine: "Yogi Times" to do an article on Casa Barranca and that he'd like Tony and I to jam out in the yoga studio. I reluctantly agree realizing that I'll have to leave work early.

Lunch at Farmer and Cook: delicious.

Back on the job site. I begin the next faze. Tool: screw gun. Donnie clues me in to where he wants me to put the screws. Even now I can still feel my efforts in my traps and shoulders. I sure get a good work out doing this stuff.

Just after 3:30, I take off and head up to the estate. Arrive, park, change out of work clothes in the middle of the field, walk to shower, wait for Tony to finish up and then it is my turn to get clean. The reporter is late and Tony and I weave out music together: turns on his metronome, he drums and sings while I drone, pulse, chant and tone all thru the didj. An hour later she pounces in to the studio like a wild cat with wild eyes begins to dance and the energy takes on a new level of complexity. Less than a minute later she leaves having seen Bill out side.

I pick up the thai food. Willie is my copilot. We stop and get cat food on the way. Grab human food at restaurant. Return. Dinner takes place on the back porch. Several candles. Couple bottles of wine. We talk. Bill gives some back ground on the land we live on. Wine talk. I mostly just listen. Ask a few questions about Australia. Darkness sets in.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Cool video

Check this subtle video. I got this link from rocket jam.

Conversing in the dark

Last night I had an interesting talk with one of the guests staying here for the weekend. We were talking about the resposibility of the government versus self responsibility. "I'm kind of a social Darwinist when it comes to these things [referring to Katrina] it seems obvious to me that if you are going to build your house underneath a cracking damn, then maybe you're particular genetic code does not need to be replicated."

"But these people didn't have a choice, their economic situation left them with nothing to do but live there."

"I just want to empower people. If they want to perceive themselves as victims of some one or some thing then they are welcome to. But if they want to change their lives than they are going to have to pick themselves up by their bootstraps. Complaining and seeking sympathy can work but you have to be really good at it."

"What is the government for then?"

"The government does not exist. What we have is a oil/military/prison transnational conglomerate corporation that is capable of shaping public opinion. The USA is an abstract concept that is given life thru the 1.5 decades or so of indoctrination from the state sponsored school system as well as the self censoring mind altering TV which continues to reinforce the concept of defining one self thru material consumption - instead of you are what you eat, it's you are what you buy..."

"Uhh... OK... I guess, I am going to have to give that some thought..."

"And of course we all know how biased the main stream press has been. Noam Chomsky has been quite thorough in his accumalation of data, analysis and dissemination of how corrupt it has been for as far back as you want to look."

"Who's supposed to help people when there is a disaster?"

"People are supposed to help people. That is how it has always been. I have never seen a government, have you? All I see are other animals trying to get by, stay sane, find moments of happiness..."

"So I guess you mean local government..."

"Yeah, that's just a lot more realistic. What I think happens is that there is a tendency for most of us to believe that politicians are like our parents driving us home after visiting our relatives in New Jersey for Thanksgiviing. We can fall asleep because we have total trust that they will get us home safe. The professional politician knows this. His advisers know this. His PR people thrive because of their ability to exploit this intrinsic human need. So what we hear in the news is what we want to hear. It is broadcasted back to us... basically just the results of opinion poles... and then they go back to what ever it was they were doing before the "interruption."

We sit in silence for a while listening to the crickets' love songs and the distant sound of automobiles pushing the air around in town.

"You know, the only way anything is going to change is when we all start riding our bikes more. The power has just got way to concentrated because of our addiction to oil. Money is the bottom line... everything else is window dressing."

Saturday, October 08, 2005

The retreat machine head

After months of just running around for the various yoga retreats, he deicided to wrap his tool belt around his waste and join his friends at a job site. Remodeling with Highlove, Guy, Johnny, Glen, Remmy, David, Donny and Skyler went quicker than he thought it would. Before he knew it, time for lunch. "Huh," he thinks to himself, "where did the time go? felt like 10 minutes". Today, he awoke in the Chakra trailer of his own accord. Finally he'd had the proper allotment of sleep. Suddenly, this job feels like a Sunday drive. He performs all of the tasks which keep the wheels all turning smoothly on the retreat machine. Even watches Will for over 2 hours. Even helps Jean drain a big vat of wine, careful not to suck up the pail leafy dregs on the bottom. While waiting, he whistles, tones and chants om mani padme hum. He thanks all the grapes for being so kind to give up their essence. The smell of fermentation is so strong, he wonders if he will become intoxicated from breathing it in.

The surf window opens up and he drives through it, down Foothill, down 33, into 101, off Main St exit and then the back way to The Point. The waves are similar to yesterday's: disorganized, head high, multiple line ups and not too many surfers. Getting out turns out to be harder than it looked from the shore. The swell direction pushes him down in the direction of the pier. The waves keep crashing with out let up but finally he manages to get outside. Catches a wave very quickly, effortlessly, paddles back out. Struggle then begins, waves are big, fast, steep drop, makes it hard to get up without falling. He catches a few more but mostly gets pummeled and worked. Stays out less than an hour, catches another and paddles in.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Hitchhiking in Hawaii

October 1, 2002 Hawaii (Big Island)

Another rainy night with a rainy moring. Sun made a few appearances cloud permitting. Today began with an invigorating cold shower and a clogged drain. I dried my self off with a bandana (no towel). Once my exercises were completed, I ate a few bananas and then headed into "town". I enjoyed Dean's smoothie at his cafe - "Papa's", grabbed some dried mango and began hitchhiking to Papay Farms Road. After 10 minutes or so, a gentleman by the name of Eliot, picked me up. He told me that he'd had the hiccups for the past 8 hours and that he was exhausted and nauseous. He warned me about Pan Gaia (one of the communities on Papaya Farms Road): "Don't get pressured into eating raw meat." And also that "there's alot of free sex going around". I laughed and let him know that I was just getting over a woman and am not interested. He seemed pleased and relieved. After turning on to Papaya Farms Road, Eliot began puking out the window. When he got to his driveway (Hawaiian Retreat Center),he stopped his mini van and got out so that he could vomit with his undivided attention. In between upchucks, he told me that Cocos was just a few driveways down. I began to walk away and Eliot continued to puke.

Cocos seedmed very nice. There was a big white round structure with a pristine piano inside. Outside the entrance, a bilboard with various flyeres on it, caught my eye. I listened to a conversation taking place among 2 guys and 3 girls. I waited to introduce myself but my patience ran out. I began to walk around the property and found my self onPan Gaias land. A guy with a shaved head and blue eyes struck up a conversation with me. He had a long chin beard and a strong gaze. he asked if I wanted to do some work exchange. I said "sure" and ended up shoveling some rich top soil onto a sifter and then dumping the soil onto a bed for lettued. We then organized a bunch of logs around the border of the new lettuce bed and grabbed and spread some mulch for a path.

Afterwards, Iam gave me a bunch of bananas, avocados and star fruit. I decided to head back to town where I could have some dinner. I walked down Papaya Farms Road and was picked up by James. I'd met him at Papa's and seen him at the health food store as well. Of all the folks that I have met so far, he's the closest one to being a friend. He had moments where he provided keen insight into where I am at spiritually, emotionally and mentally - certainly making the transition a little easier. He ended up paying for my meal at Papa's. He really enjoys my didj playing and keeps telling me that this is what my job is.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Surf until you see Venus

After a hiatus from the estate I return refreshed, recharged and more appreciative of being able to work here. The pay i$ less than my other job but it is much less demanding. Today I topped up the leaky pool while practicing yoga and tai chi in the yoga studio. Then it is time to start making my way thru the check list: charging up lanterns, turning the compost toilet around, placing dear guest letters on the beds which has all the rules that no one ever reads (when you tell them the rule they look at you with a blank face, grovel or make some lame excuse), tighten the rope which acts as a hand rail down the the canyon cottage, take a drive in Bill's slate blue volvo into town to get 440 pounds of salt and 48 rolls of toilet paper. Later in the afternoon: take off all the plastic windows on the porch, the amrita yurt and the vista yurt, run an extension cord thru some beams for the outside lights. Somehow this all takes over 6 hours.

Yesterday I was doing the carpentry gig with Highlove and guy. Running the grinder all morning and then patching dry wall, pushing a broom and putting away all the tools. In comparison, working here is much easier. The one thing is the pay difference. Carpentry pays more. It is nice to work for different folks. Erica is the bookkeepper for both the jobs I am working. She says I am an independent contractor and am basically a company. This comes in handy during tax time she says.

The one thing nagging at me all day was: "Gotta surf, gotta surf, gotta surf..." Sunday was my last surf sesh and man, I was jonesing for some salty water. Finally, at 5:25 PM, I manage to escape the estate in Skip's mellow yellow creamy Toyota pick up with the twisted bumpers and broken lights with my 8 foot fun board sticking out of the rear of the camper in its silver case. There is more traffic in the other direction and I am at the beach in no time. There are several open spaces in the first parking lot so I know that the waves will not be charging. Sure enough, it looks all junky out there. Crazy wind swell waves, disorganized, knee high. Surprisingly, there are surfers out there; couple boogies too. No hesitation, I don my rash guard,wetsuit and booties and then I am out there. They are a little bigger out here then I expected, the sun has about an hour before the horizon will get in the way of its light - at least from our perspective.

The ocean wave dealer deals me a wave immediately, it is a 4 of clubs, I paddle for it, a short boarder paddles in front of me, lets out a groan of fear, I ignore him, dodge him, catch it, stand up and enjoy a quick ride before turning, laying back on the board and paddling back to the zone. I end up caching around 5 waves, surfing until we spin away from the sunshine, into darkness, sliver of moon can be seen with the white spec of Venus above it. Catch a wave and paddle in.

Highlove calls while I put on some clothes in the darkening parking lot. I meet him for dinner at Nature's Grill.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The autobiography

The autobiography has taken an unexpected turn
one second it is traveling down Park Avenue
moments later it is in the desert forever
whole chapters are mixing together
as if the author's memory has been placed in a blender
only he does not know it
He decides to dedicate the whole fiasco to China
But the printing press has become obsolete
He tries to use a pencil but the led leads him to New Orleans
Now the autobiography is in the morgue.
Oh look, an autopsy is being performed
by a troupe of actors
It almost seems like reality except for the time lag
between the actual happening and the perception of what
Also, the lips are not in synch with the audio
Where are the dancing girls
An incision has been made and the players begin peeling back the pages
one by one They are speed readers, speed skaters, speed matters until you get there
The procedure is going smoothly pulling back the layers of the onion of his life
like scenes in a movie in progress with no editor
The film projector is outdated and casts a reflection on the screen
"It is time to go digital" says one of the skaters as he figures an eight
"Slow down, I cannot read you" said one of the readers
It is too late when he realizes that there is no autopsy
It is in fact an operation and he is the surgeon the skater and the reader
but the heat of his scrutiny
has melted the ice
and the speed skater cannot swim
the onion cannot appeal
and the reader has found something else to read

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Writing your name

What could be gained by writing your name
along the sides of cargo trains
corporate advertisers fishing for buyers
or graffiti taggers ghetto broadcasters
talking and walking with signature swaggers
One is accepted and backed by the law
While another is punished by the finest johnny flaw
There is more than one America
Do you think that is a lie?
Or maybe the world conforms to your eye
What could be gained by staying the same
when everything changes including the past
which keeps us tied to the way it's been
the chains of belief make free thought a sin
this is how imagination ends
Memories are always shifting
like sand dunes in a desert
What is your mood
can you admit when you're sad
What do you do
when you are mad
It's better to be crazy
then fat drunk and lazy
The future to me
has always been hazy
The moments of clarity
that sometimes I have
are always in the moment
when I can feel glad
about every thing
that comes into view
no where to go
nothing to do
This is how I like to be
surfing is the best analogy
that I know maybe 'cause
It's what I love and there are no laws
But you do have to paddle
This is the battle
What could be gained by writing your name
in the side of a wave with your surf board

Monday, October 03, 2005

Need more sleep

Some how I have only gotten about 5 hours of sleep each of these past three nights. This is all going to change tonight. Something woke me this morning around 8 AM. My head is groggy with that jetlag feeling and I check the time and determine that I can go back to sleep for an hour and still make it to work on time. In those moments I decide that sleep is more important than doing yoga, tai chi and didjing.

I arrive at the job site and am soon pumping insulation into a ceiling thru various holes. This is basically a reverse vacuum situation similar to the didjeridoo. The difference is the didj broadcasts soundwaves where as the insulation hose spews out little bits of insulation. What I like about this particular insulation is tha it is made from recycled newspaper. I was able to make out numbers and letters in the various powdery debris. The air filled with little bits and flakes and reminded me of snow flurries. When I filled up a wall in the converted garage, the air was filled with this insulation, surprisingly tasting salty; it coated my clothes, head and face; consistency very seimilar to lint from a drier. The day flew by as I stayed focussed on what ever task was at hand. Over an eight hour day including lunch when it is all said and done. Remmy was the latest addition on the scene. I remember when he first arrived in the town, worked at a local coffee joint for peanuts. Now he's got a beautiful truck and is an electrician.

After work, Guy and I go to Ventura where we are going to eat dinner and supposedly attend a movie. Movie never happens. Guy has to first deal with a Cingular cell phone dude for an hour or so. His intention is to cancel the contracts and get his money back. He ends up giving the guy 35 more dollars. I can only shrug my shoulders.

No movie, we hang out at a cafe and talk to Jamie about the real estate industry.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Connection is still there

Phone rings and drags me from just 5 hours of sleep but it turns out to be for a good cause when the cobwebs clear enough for me to check the message and discover that it was Steve. Call back and agree to go surfing with him. Steve lives on the estate, has his own business, a wife, a daughter and a fetus growing in his wife’s belly. Despite all of this, he is part of the force exodus.

I am especially psyched to surf with Steve because he was a big factor in me actually becoming a dedicated surfer six and a half years ago. He lent me one of his boards and drove us down to County Line. Interesting enough, one of the first times I went out with him back then, there was a mishap involving me and my leash wrapping around a toe and almost ripping it off. Net result was me having 3 stitches and being able to claim that I have had stitches from head to toe.

Steve drives us there in his white diesel pick up truck. He runs it on vegetable oil gathered from a local restaurant. We make a stop at a place where he filters the spent oil but it turns out that one panel does not have the juice to power the pump.

We arrive at Surfer’s Point and quickly don our wet suits rub sun protection on our heads even though the fog shrouds the sky over the coast. Both of us paddle out to an open spot where the small waves are pealing a bit and there’s a gap among the not too many surfers for a Sunday. Steve is on my 6’6 Al Merrick and I am on the 8 ft Waveline.

“I haven’t surfed for a year,” Steve says.

My first wave is a left and gives a nice 40 yard ride before I bail. Once again there is a lot of birds flying around. Several black dolphins swim leisurely by about 30 yards away. The waves keep coming. Steve does pretty well for not having surfed in so long. It is a lot easier for me being on an 8 footer. I catch one wave and easily carve it up like a turkey smooth as an electric carving knife but without the noise. The time comes to get out of the sea. I catch another left to bookend a mellow day of over cast small glassy wave surfing.

Meet with a dude who wants to sell me a glass didj for three hundred dollars but I decline after giving it a test. I’d buy it for less. Next, hang out with Casbar and exchange some music. Then it is time to perform with Francisco at a small Greek restaurant. We have not played for together for over 2 years but the connection is still there.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Who's in charge?

The heat of the day got me out of my sweat soaked Big Agnes sleeping bag after about 5 hours of sleep. Initially, grogginess hung over my head like a late morning fog. It burned off quickly as the sunny blue sky day demanded happiness and gratitude. The yoga studio provided me with the perfect environment to maximize the sublime serenity that yoga, tai chi and the didj have generated for over a decade now.

I'd planned on surfing but after checking the conditions via internet cams, it became obvious that I'd get nothing but a foot bath out there.

While checking my mail, I could hear music originating from Libbey Bowl. Oh yeah, I'd forgotten that there was a music fest going on all day in the park. Check it out for a while. Head over to Rainbow Bridge for some snacks. Run into Guy. Start hanging out. High on Love calls. Yo, yo, yo. We all end up at Rainbow for some food before checking out the festival scene.

Inside the festival is a cool scene. The hippie scene is alive and well in this smallish out door deal with vendors selling tie dye t-shirts, dresses, pants, jewlery, hemp bracelets, food and hoola hoops. Up by the stage many of the attendees dance and gyrate to the beats and rhythms. At one point I see Sky. He ends up pulling a Praying Mantis out of the back of his long blonde hair. He brought it from his house several hours earlier and has been dancing while it holds on to his head with its strong and strange jaw.

The show ends, I hop on my CBR 900 and head over to the after party at Glen Muse. The night goes on. DJs spin and then the featured band plays another set for us. The night flows, jacuzzi, pool, lots of cool, happy people. I watch a DVD of Judy as she sky dives for the first time. She did this to show her self that she is in charge of her life.