Take A Look Over My Shoulder, As I Get Older  

Monday, April 30 : 4:33 PM : 0 comments :

Over the past two weeks, I've been storming into bookstores and purchasing blocks of books. I usually refrain from buying books because they're prohibitively expensive. But now that money's no object, I had books that I needed to re-read; books I needed to give to other people; books I needed to explore. All the books listed above I've pored over -- more than once usually -- with the exception of The Golden Compass. Two weeks ago, I was convinced that Pullman's book would explain the concept of Heaven to me; even though I never read it -- I'm going read it and find out.
Books Bought:
The Ender's Game Series
Tao Te Ching
Bible (King James)
Time of the Twins
The Golden Compass
The Prophet
Letters to A Young Poet
See, during the height of my paranoia/manic/whatever, I was sure that I was re-enacting Ender's Game. Clearly, I'm not. I'm no child general on the path to geno- or xeno-cide. By the way, this was after I was convinced the Bible was speaking directly to me; for me. Anyway. I read the second Ender's book today, "Speaker for the Dead," and that solidified my position. I may not be in Ender's Game but I'm learning a hell of a lot from it.

Note that I didn't once consider buying any of Rand's books, Carl Sagan's books, Kundera, or anything by Nick Hornby; the books I tend to re-read over and over again the most.

Sometimes I think it's weird that I love re-reading so much. But the reason I re-read is not only because each new reading reveals additional layers of depth but because I forget the ending. How did Fountainhead end? How did Ender's end? How did the Bible end? Well, that one I know. But the thing is: I know how all these end (I've read them tons of times) but for some reason I choose to forget. So I re-read to see if I can glean something new and then shuttle forward to the last few climactic chapters. I like the suspense of not knowing the ending; I choose to forget the purpose of a particular trail of bread crumbs so that when I'm hungry, I can follow them again.

Now I'm doing this with these few books listed above; which I've been carrying around with me in a small shoebox. I've always read fast but maybe not deep. Now I'm doing both. Any normal sized book I touch is easily finished within a few hours. I used to worry that I wasn't understanding enough by reading this way. Now I think I wasn't understanding enough because I was avoiding the answers presented to me.

I have tons of questions nowadays, as well as a ton of answers; but not enough of either. Reading "Speaker for the Dead" made me think that maybe, maybe, this is now my favorite book of all time. To replace Rand, Carl, and whatever else holds that lofty title.

I'm reading The Golden Compass next; then I'll move on to the Bible and the Tao. In the meantime, I was distributing books for people to read; because I felt the book I gave to them said something about me or the connection I felt with them (Test of the Twins to George; Prophet to BB and L; Letters to L). Now I'm realizing that even with information laid bare; not everyone will read. I hope people do, and if they do, start with Ender's and End with Speaker.

It's said we may all be living a lie; but maybe I'm just living a book(s).
"A complex man drawn off of simplicity
Reality is frisking me
This industry will make you lose intensity
The Common Sense in me remembers the basement
I'm Morpheus in this hip-hop Matrix, exposing fake shit
Somedays I take the L to gel with the real world"
-Common, The Sixth Sense-

The Grilled Cheese Maradona  

Saturday, April 28 : 2:25 AM : 0 comments :

A few years ago, a woman claimed her grilled cheese sandwich bore the image of the Virgin Mary. To her credit, the preserved sandwich does look a lot like the traditional pictures of Mary. She sold her sandwich for $28,000 on eBay and then disappeared from the public eye. She re-entered my life when she got a tattoo on her breast area of her infamous sandwich by the staff at Miami Ink. If you're interested in the whole story, check out this book "The Grilled Cheese Madonna and 99 Other of the Weirdest, Wackiest, Most Famous eBay Auctions Ever." It's a great read; I know because L represents and sold the book.

Now, Benjamin (I wrote about his many talents a few days ago) happens to be the #7 ranked grilled cheese sandwich maker in all of Los Angeles. After tasting his salsa, hummus, vegetables, macaroni & cheese, chick pea salad, and of course, his grilled cheese; I can say unequivacably and without hesitation that he should have been top three. I leave him some room to improve so that he'll feel motivated to make more grilled cheese sandwiches and allow the rest of us to taste test.

While the party was great, the realization that people are giving up their steady lifestyles for the great unknown was even better. Four of the party goers were lawyers; or ex-lawyers. They all had quit within the past year, and now they were pursuing their passions -- whether it be comedy, art, or anything that wasn't lawyer-related. Impressive right? They were trying to harangue a budding law school prospect into not going. It wasn't worth it if your heart wasn't into it.

In-between eating everything in sight and talking to people at the wine and grilled cheese party, I realized that anything you do, you have to love. Trite but true. The money will always come; the passion will not. The adage of don't expect to love work? That might still hold true -- for some people. I'm pretty damn sure I've been freed of that convention. Because now I see purpose to everything I've done, even if it was being a total smooching slacker and sitting in front of the Internet all day long. The simple act of uncomprehendingly surfing all day long made me what I am today.

The question now isn't "was it worth it?" but rather "what did that turn me into?" The what, the where, the how are always going to be ever-shifting concerns. The who and the why? I think I'm okay with those two.

Quantum Leap Over the Rainbow  

Friday, April 27 : 7:22 PM : 0 comments :

In another sign that this might be the most meaningful week(s) of my life, I was introduced to Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken. It's pretty damn good; beats out other fried chicken chains for damn sure.

That wasn't the meaningful thing however, as much as I love fried chicken. While walking with Benjamin down to Trader Joe's, he pointed out that this exact area of Culver City was where The Wizard of Oz was filmed.


I love Wizard of Oz. The movie, the books, the philosophies, the intrigue, the history, the music, everything. Anything Wizard of Oz related I consume. And now, randomly, I was standing in front of a Cowardly Lion statue. He wasn't cowering in fear. He was dressed in Wizard robes and looked like he had just taken flight. Courage-less? Didn't look like it. That's exactly how I've felt recently. I once doubted I had a heart, like the Tin Man; I have one. I didn't even realize I was missing courage; I think I got a lock on that. Now here is this Cowardly Lion in an uplifting, peaceful, pose I'd never seen -- or even considered -- before.

Coincidence or just too much thinking? You tell me.

Ben F.R. (pronounced "Bennifer") then took me around the corner to show me a little diorama of the Wizard of Oz movie with some historical information on placards. The film lot behind the hotel was where the movie was filmed. Most of the stars stayed in this area during the shoot. Judy Garland was here. Repeat, Judy Garland was here.

More amazingly, the Culver Hotel was where the millions of Munchkins stayed during the shooting. Legend tells us that they slept three to a bed. Legend tells us that it was the biggest congregation of mini-people ever.

This was Grauman's Chinese Theatre for me. All the stars I'd have wanted to see exist here (albeit in 1938-ish), three blocks from where I'm staying. I need to explore some more. If I find a poppy field, an emerald diner, or a yellow brick house, I'm going to die from excitment. Culver City equals Oz? Dig it.
"Once I'm with the Wizard
My whole life will change
'Cuz once you're with the Wizard
No one thinks you're strange!
No father is not proud of you,
No sister acts ashamed
And all of Oz has to love you
When by the Wizard you're acclaimed
And this gift - or this curse -
I have inside
Maybe at last, I'll know why
When we are hand and hand -
The Wizard and I!"

The Sign in the Stone  

: 6:59 PM : 0 comments :

How happy am I that tattoos have gone from symbols of rebellion to mere decorations? I am no rebel and once tattoos went mainstream (and way over that hump) I wanted one badly. Of course, the question facing all potential tattooees is "What do I get?" I didn't figure it out until way later and even when I was 99% ready to be tattooed, it took a cosmic congruence of events to settle on a design. I'm the type of guy that has to research the hell out of something before I do it; unless I've decided that there's just too much to know and that I should just jump. With tattoos, I just jumped. And got lucky.
v.t. mark the skin in patterns, etc., by pricking and filling the skin with coloring matter. -n.
mark so made. [Polynesian]

It's certainly an addiction. After my first one, I had dreams that it would rub off during the night. I'd wake up thinking it had melted off. After getting used to the idea of having permanent on my body -- and hiding it from my mom for a year or so -- I needed more. Thank goodness I'm perpetually broke; otherwise I would probably have any number of god awful tattoos on my body. My mind is always like "Oh, this is cool/memorable, maybe this should be a tattoo." We need a Brady Law for tattoos.

It turns out, after a few tattoos that have gone all sorts of wrong on me (pussing, itchy, infected) that I'm allergic to Neosporin. Guess what is recommended to put on fresh tattoos to protect them? Neosporin. Whoops. I put a temporary hold on tattoo getting since three of my last four gave me disgusting post-tattoo issues. With my latest set, I was fortunate enough to figure out that Neosporin was the problem. Now I think the best way for me to heal is just to let my body do it. No lotion, no anti-bacterial crap. Just air, water, and moisturizer. The body heals itself; even when you decorate it.

Watching (and loving) Miami Ink, you start to realize how trite the reasons people get tattoos are. But then again, who cares? Of course a permanent thing like a tattoo would have spiritual, memory, or personal resonance. What else is there? Nobody gets a tattoo on a stupid whim. Well actually, lots of people do; but they end up with horrific tattoos. The thing is, once you have a tattoo, you love it and you'll look for any reason in the world to justify having it.

The only thing I caution against is going to a bad tattoist. Not knowing about tattoos can make the selection process intimidating but price really isn't an object. The difference between a top tier tattooist and a bad one is huge. You can save $20 now but have a shitty looking tattoo for life. Don't do it. Get a good designer, someone who can make clean lines and will leave your tattoo with room to degrade and close up a little. I can't stress this enough. I've been lucky with my tattoos (even my "bad" ones aren't bad) but I've seen some horrible work. Pay for quality, it's worth it.

Or better yet, befriend a tattooist and let them work on you for free. That's what I need, a tattoo friend. I can do little favors for them and they can tattoo me. Perfect.
"We live in a disposable society and tattoos are decidedly permanent. That's what makes them scary, and that's what makes them powerful. Making an irrevocable choice is good for the soul."


Ghost World Whisperer  

: 1:14 PM : 0 comments :

Last night, after Cuban food and during worlds colliding at the Little Temple in (North) Hollywood, I saw a major celebrity. Thing is, I'm not sure if anyone else knew. Slam poets I'd love to meet: Saul Williams, Beau Sia, Staceyann Chin, maybe Taylor Mali, definitely Dennis Kim, Ishle Park, a few handful of others. High up on that list? Mayda Del Valle. I met her yesterday -- sort of.

The poets I've interacted with on a personal level? PeaceBeFree and Shammy Dee. That's about it. I've stood next to Beau Sia (like right next to him) as he prepared to go on-stage. I didn't even realize it was him and when I did, I internally freaked out with excitement. I've had the chance to meet Beau through some friends of friends but I'm scared so I always refuse. Some people stalk Hollywood celebrities; I stalk slam poets. What of it? I don't judge you; we judge slam.

I freeze up in the prescence of wordsmiths. I mean,these people have been on tour, on TV (I saw Mayda on Def Poetry Slam just a few weeks ago wearing the exact dress in the picture), won slam championships, come up with amazingly resonant pieces of art. What could I possibly say to them?
Try this on for size (based on a true story):
Loud blaring music blares loudly in the background
"Hi, are you Maya?"
"No, Mayda."
"Oh, hi, you're a poet right? Def Poetry Jam and all that?"
"Yes I am (and I'm just trying to enjoy the music and dance)."
"I love your work! It's amazing!...insert some platitudes."
*Cut scene*
Jon walks away. Not sure why he did that but really glad he did. I mean, I'm the new fearless me. I can talk to my celebrity heroes now right? On a human level right? And um, mispronounce their name. Crap. I hate myself. But then again, why not say hi? People like that right? To be recognized for their gifts?

What I hate more than being a weirdo in front of celebrities is how many people don't even recognize who they're interacting with -- who they're blessed to stand next to. I have no idea if Mayda came to Little Temple to chill out, promote, party, meet friends, whatever. I saw her come in alone, sit around at the bar for a sec, and then eventually wind up at the front of the stage for the performance -- sadly, for me, not her performance.

In my mind I'm like "Wow, does nobody know who she is? She's an amazing poet/person! She's the youngest National Poetry Slam individual champion ever. She's breaking ground for Latinas. Someone (please) break out the red carpet!" I have no idea if Mayda or anyone wants that type of acclaim but it kills me that those who deserve it don't get it.

Check it out, if LC or Heidi walked in last night, the place would have been buzzing. The damn Hills girls! They don't do shit. If Asia, Chelsea, and Melissa R. walk in, people might have gone bananas (or at least, me and Jmz would have; mainly due to the injustice of the judging). So what happens? Mayda, someone amazing and phenomenonally talented walks in and nobody notices -- or knows. Isn't that wrong?
In a related story (I already posted this once but it seems fitting here): Joshua Bell, violin virtuoso brings his 1713 Stradivarius -- worth $3.5 million -- to the subways, playing for the early morning commuters. Do people stop to admire this priceless gift? Or do they toss a few nickels his way out of pity?

Number 8 - 11  

Thursday, April 26 : 2:53 PM : 0 comments :

Four Elements
[ April 19 & 20, 2007 ] - Back

It seems like every year or so, around the New Year, I itch to get a new tattoo. My last one was in February 2006 and since then I've been plotting to get sleeves. Of course, if you're going to get (half-)sleeves, you better be able to pay for it, you better have a good design, and you better make sure your future jobs won't require you to hide anything. Well, due to the events and realizations of last week, all those barriers are gone. I'm ready to get tatted up; stylishly, of course.

I had seven tattoos, now I have eleven (sort of). Pretty much, all my tattoos are tiny and maybe combined they make one "real" tattoo. But I like it that way. I mean, I'm pretty skinny, I only have so much real estate. Right?

It's an addiction, tattooing. I wish I could actually tattoo but until then, I've decided that I need to just keep returning to tried and true artists. Marty from Avalon Tattoo did my first two tattoos and those were done so cleanly that I wanted him, and only him, to do these latest four. I've had a bad experience with two tattoos once (three if you count George's) and I decided that you get what you pay for. Even then, you should overpay just to make sure that you're getting exactly what you want. Most of my designs are super generic and simple; so it's about clean lines and perfect execution.

Anyway, enough of that. This time around, I jumped down to San Diego and was ready to get tattooed right away. My mind was moving super fast and I decided on what I wanted within mere moments of seeing it. It just fit. The design? Ambigrams of "Air, Earth, Fire, Water" from Dan Brown's Angels & Demons. Reading Da Vinci Code partly inspired me to get my first tattoo (the explanations of the power of symbols, not the actual book) and I thought this would be fitting. Jmz was working on turning those four words into customized ambigrams -- and his designs looked pretty awesome -- but in the end, I always go with the most generic iteration of symbol so I figured why mess with success?

What do these four elements represent? A whole bunch of things. The playing card suits we're all so familiar with are based on the Tarot's Minor Arcana. Swords(Spades) and Cups(Hearts) are associated with the Air and Water elements respectively. Wands(Clubs) and Pentacles(Diamonds) are Fire and Earth. I love Tarot, I've studied it and played around with it as a fun little diversion. The art and story behind the cards are fantastic. I just bought a (Chinese themed) Tarot deck; let's divine.

The four elements could represent The Fantastic Four, the First Family of superheroes. Mr Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, and The Thing have their powers based around the four elements. Water, Air, Fire, Earth. You see?

It could mean I like Earth, Wind & Fire's "September," which I do. Or it could be states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.

Traditionally in Chinese ideology, there are five elements. Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. I thought about putting those somewhere, but I already have the pentagram on my back, and nothing says "5" like a star. Plus I don't want Chinese characters on my body, just Chinese art and landscapes if I can afford it.

In Western philosophy, the four elements arrayed on my back also have a fifth, aether or quintessence, of which the cosmos itself is made. In Brown's book, the four ambigrams Vultron together to form the Illuminati Diamond, which is the object of everyone's fear and lust. Throw your diamonds in the sky if you feel the vibe.

Sidenote: Dan Brown's ambigram designer, John Langdon has a book and website, it's amazing. I guess he's also the designer of my tattoos too.

Another answer? The Four Elements of Hip Hop: Graffiti, DJ-ing, MC-ing, and B-Boying. I have no idea if they correlate to the actual element words, but who cares? We see the correlation of numbers every day. If you wanted to look for instances of "213" you would see them everywhere. The brain is designed to collect, associate, and process patterns. And numbers like 2, 3, 5, 7, have powerful meanings in any culture, field of study, or three-dimensional world.

Those are all things I associate with the new tattoos I got. But here's the thing, the elements for me, are a cross. A Christian cross. Almost all of my tattoos are some sort of religious symbol and I swore that I would never put Christ's cross on my body until I was ready to be at peace with Abrahamic religions -- Christianity especially. I won't delve into my reasoning behind that but suffice to say, I have a hate/love relationship with the Holy Christ. But last week, I squashed that. I'm not a Christian, nor do I wish to be one; but I no longer fight it. Thus, I was ready to put the cross on my back. Because nobody can bear it alone, much less me.
"One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

'You promised me Lord, that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?'

The Lord replied, 'The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.'"

"Everybody's free, everybody's free, everybody's free
Everybody's free, everybody's free, to feel good, to feel good

Brother and sister together will make it through
Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you've been hurting ,but I've been waiting to be there for you
And I'll be there, just helping you out whenever I can"
-Everybody's Free-


Word(play) Freak  

: 2:20 AM : 0 comments :

While digging around in my archives for my tattoo chronology, I found my first children's writing story -- "On A Mat Of Pita." So pretty much, my first story ever. Sure, it's a derivative knock-off but hey, had to start somewhere right?
"Dictionary Brown was finding it very difficult to concentrate. It was hard enough being the spelling bee champion of the entire fourth grade, without a gigantic cow head slipping over your eyes every two minutes. Dictionary tried to push his cow head upwards over his brow, hoping it would stay put this time.

'Razzmatazz. r-a-z-z-m-a-t-a-z-z. Razzmatazz.'

Sally O'Neal, dressed as a bumble bee, gave a winning smile and sat down. Dictionary Brown was looking sorrowful indeed as he realized that his turn was coming up, right after Donald the Mouse and Leonard Alligator. As he looked out into the audience, Dictionary squinted hard against the lights and tried to find his family. They had promised to sit as close to the stage as possible but now they were nowhere to be found.

Dictionary turned his attention back towards the spelling bee and tried to remember all the 'S' words he had studied. 'Satellite. Studious. Saturate. Soliloquy. Syncopate.' The cow head fell again. Mr. Lee's great idea this year was to dress up all the kids in animal costumes for the spelling bee. Mr. Lee had insisted that it would be a change of pace for the children. The twenty three kids of Idaville Middle School, Room B, had loved the idea. However, Dictionary was beginning to think maybe this wasn't the brightest idea Mr. Lee had ever had." continued...
-January 20, 2003-

In Waking Life, We Sleep  

Wednesday, April 25 : 4:54 PM : 0 comments :

When you're a young boy into comic books and world of fantasy, all you dream about is having a super power. Which one? Well, any one will do -- barring being a math or music prodigy. Once you get past the initial fascination with Superman (the prototypical superhero most young boys come into contact with first), you start to find yourself identifying with more obscure superheroes. For me, it was X-Men. I wasn't into the Justice League after awhile because the X-Men were just, well, cooler. The idea that you didn't need to be an alien, rich, empowered, or imbued with any special gifts aside from having the latent mutant gene was a powerful one.

Traditionally, the mutant gene kicks in when a person hits puberty. Hormones and stress equal mutant powers and crazy angst. Genius. It's been said that Stan Lee's best move with the X-Men was to make them teenagers and outcasts. From there, the mutant population could be tied into racism and many of the underlying themes of the X-Men comics deals with their ostracization by the world of humans. Homo sapiens superior are coming to get'cha. Charles Xavier fights for one side; Magneto the other -- their goals are the same but their (initial) methods differed.

The first super power anybody wants is probably invisibility. It's not even a super power. It's just something people want. A giant "What If." Ralph Ellison tackled the social ramifications of being "invisible," and everyone else probably took the idea more literally -- at least I did. If I was invisible I could ______. But keep it real, invisibility kinda sucks though as a "super" power.

What's next? Flight. Who doesn't want to fly? Would you rather be invulnerable like Superman, have x-ray and heat vision, super senses, or be able to fly to the sun and back? To be honest, nowadays I'd probably settle for Clark Kent's journalism skills but as a kid I wanted flight. Shit, even Hawkman was cool back then and he only carried around a flimsy mace and had bird wings. Flight of any kind (even gliding) fascinates us because we can't do it naturally. Daedalus, the Wright Brothers, the Hindenburg, Lindbergh, Chuck Yeager, the Blue Angels, Top Gun, Calvin (& Hobbes), His Airness; I used to read about anything flight related. Who knew that all it took to get wings is some Red Bull?

After reading a bunch of comics, you start to realize that some characters have much better powers than other characters. Angel (pre-Arch-) was kind of weak. Cyclops without the tactical training? Weak. Anybody with physical powers? Weak. Hell, even Wolverine was kinda wack without his healing factor, his fighting prowess, and his mysterious Canadian upbringing. Despite that, in eighth grade I hoped for cold shiny claws to pop out of my paws every day. Usually in class when I hoped to slice my way out of my seat. Or slice my way out of my braces. Either or. Middle school might have been the peak of my geek/dork-dom. Oh wait, there was high school followed by college. I peaked early and just kept on setting new records. Anyway.

Once you figure out how all the super powers work and what could possibly be realistically achievable (scientifically speaking), you kind of give up on flight, healing factors, claws, being super strong/fast. You start to figure out that mental powers are the best. Psychics are crazy powerful. There's a reason Jean Gray is the best mutant around. Class 5 as it were. She's got telekinesis and telepathy. Pretty crazy. A notch below her? Professor X, who happens to be the most powerful telepath in the Marvel or DC Universe. So really, telepathy is the power to lust after. The Phoenix Force is nice, but really, who the hell wants to be able to consume planets and annihilate reality? Not me. I have problems microwaving shit correctly. I can barely fix a flat tire; much less muddle in people's (sub)consciouses. "With great power comes great responsibility," and I'm just fine with minimal responsibility and medium to adequate superpowers.

But oh sweet telepathy. How useful that could be. I could see anyone's mental underwear, I could predict the future (sort of), I could be the life of the party. I am Jedi. I am Ken Jennings exponential. I'm a gazillionaire. I'm smarter than a fifth grader. So, the superpower I'd most want? Telepathy.

Here's the problem: I never identified with Professor X. He's bald, he's in a wheelchair, he has weird motivations, he is Jean Luc-Picard. I can't supplant that. So what did I figure out last week? I'm Nightcrawler. Which is fine by me. I've always liked him best, for some strange reason. Now I (think) I know why.

He gets to teleport away; leaving a brimstone stink behind whenever he exits; he goes into an alternate dimension and then pops out on the other side with no Earth-time lost. He mini-time travels, sort of. In addition, the movie version of Nightcrawler is covered with religious tattoos (a change I didn't particularly care for at the time). He speaks German, I say "danke." When he teleports he can take people with him; I can't be alone, I need friends around me constantly. He only teleports to places he has seen, or can see; I only go places I know I'll like. The connections go on but I won't bore you. About that prehensile tail... Anyway. Nightcrawler isn't the most powerful X-Man ever (ranking only thirteenth in my Top 20 Most Powerful X-Men list) but he's pretty damn perfect for me.

[Nightcrawler's] greatest power is his ability to teleport himself and some additional mass from one location to another. He does this by means of entering an alternate dimension briefly and reappearing in a desired location.

Because teleporting into other solid matter would cause severe injury or death, he will only teleport to an area he is familiar with or that he can clearly see. His power automatically displaces liquids and gases when he "arrives".

After Nightcrawler teleports, he leaves behind a faint scent of brimstone said to be transported from the alternate dimension through which he travels. A loud *bamf* noise is always present whenever he teleports (it being the sound of air rushing to fill the space he was just occupying).

"I'll see you in limbo
because heaven won't take us
and hell's afraid we'll take over."

That's what I used to write in people's yearbooks in middle school. Both of my close friends did it. I really had no idea what it meant but it made more sense to me than "Have a good summer" or "Keep in touch!" In hindsight, I'm just amazed I had any friends -- much less two.

If you have spare time, this same train of reverse reasoning led me to figure out why I like Guenhwyvar so much. Not being able to derail that train of thought got me to why I like Janet Jackson's "Black Cat" song so much. And yeah, I'll be stopping right here. Let's be friends?

"Black cat nine lives short days long nights
Livin' on the edge not afraid to die
Heart beat real strong but not for long
Better watch your step or you're gonna die"

How To (Make Friends & Alienate People)  

: 1:43 AM : 0 comments :

This blog is going to be a work in process -- blogging exclusively from a (slow) laptop sucks so I can't quite set it up right yet.

The first thing I'm trying to do with it is to put down everything I've been thinking about for the past week or so and expand on it. Things could be long, short, boring, exciting, meandering, you read what you want to read. If there's something you want me to take down, just ask. If you hate the name/nickname/codename I gave you well, let me explain it first, then I'll take it down if you still want. I'm just as concerned about preserving your identity as you are. But I'm going to start documenting a hell of a lot. If you want out, just say the word.

This is my effort to be as (securely) open as possible with as many people as possible -- friends or strangers and everything in-between. And it's a way to just blog; and write. Plus I was using too many damn Blogger accounts anyway. I've always blogged a lot, and pretty consistently, but I never tried to consolidate all my blogs in one. Or gave more than minimal effort to connecting them to one another. I think it's about time. I'm about to release as many albums as possible in as short a time as possible. Venni, Vetti, Vecci; ubiquitous like Ja Rule in 1999-2000. If I flame out, I flame out.

First, I gotta clarify what's been going on for the past week and a half. I'll do that as soon as I can and then just branch out from there. The other thing is, during that week of craziness, everything made sense (to me). All the things I like, the people I enjoy, my stance on religion, my opinions about certain art forms, family history, girl-friends, why I have tattoos, why I love jewelry (and um, the Little Mermaid), my role in life, everything. It all clicked and made sense. Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.) So I wanna get it out on electronic paper.

There's also a bunch of projects I've always wanted to do. Now, I'm just gonna do them. Empowered by craziness is still empowered right? First thing I want to do is my own version of The 1000 Journals Project. I'll start with a dozen or so. We'll see. That's just project one. There's a shit load more that I've been afraid, waiting for the right partner(s), or just plain lazy on. Fuck that. I'm ready. Do as you will; not as you're told.

I'm also hiplogging the shit out of everything. If you want to follow along pictorially, just activate the hip(log) and push your ass out -- it's just my photo repository for the actual blog entries. I realized I have the tools to be a techno-nomad already, so why wait? Sidekick, laptop, iPod shuffle, Google Apps, Gmail, flash drives, lanyards, wireless access... I can be Lorenzo Lamas 2.10.

If you're unfamiliar with blogs, well, click around. Archives, categories, you can get around pretty easy. Or use the Search bar located in the upper left hand corner. If you're still super confused; well, sorry. I'll explain later. If you're confused about blogging in general; well, ahem, maybe you should go buy a certain book. Thanks.

I followed the Yellow Brick Road, I found the Wizard (I think), and I'm ready to go home; but apparently I've been capable of that the entire time. I just didn't know it. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle. Yo Joe.
"Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, 'Why, why, why?' Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand."
-Kurt Vonnegut-


Tuesday, April 24 : 7:03 PM : :

Here's the thing, as Asian-Americans (and non-Asian Americans), we're mostly brought to this country to do one thing: make a living. Our parents sacrificed their lives to give us the chance at a better one. It's the American Tale, the immigration story. So what do they want us to do? Assimilate as Americans (educationally, financially, socially) but also maintain our Asian morals and traditions. To them, America is a great place; Americans, eh, not so much. Thus we're instilled with conflicting goals right from the get go. Assimiliate (and beat) the Americans, but don't become one.
Term: Asian-American. I'm speaking to mainly Generation 1.0 through 2.0 Asian-Americans. If you don't know, how the "generation" thing works for Asian-Americans is this: If you were born in another country (for me, Taiwan) but moved here in your formative years, you're Generation 1.5 -- or F.O.B. Your parents, who were presumably born and raised overseas and only came here as adults, would then be Generation 1.0 Asians. If you were born in America (ABC), then you're Generation 2.0. It's a bit different than the other ethnicities way of counting generations. For them, generation-one is the first generation born and raised in America.

The term "Asian" I'm also using is technically any Asian Pacific Islander, stretching to include Indians, Middle Easterners, etc. Basically, for me, any immigrant culture that moved to America so that their children could get some education (in order to achieve success) would know what I'm talking about. We about mass appeal, no segregation; got Black to Asian and Caucasian sayin...
For most immigrant children, you're a failure unless you what? All together now: "Become a doctor or lawyer (maybe computer person)." That's it. Business isn't a bad Plan-B, but if you want to be a humanities, arts, dance, anything creative, etc major, your parents will shun you -- probably publicly. It's embarassing for them to have to compare your unemployed A+ Psychology majoring ass with any of their friends' children who are pre-med or um, economics majors.

So their American dream is for you to study, go to an excellent school, dominate, and leave with the resume to acquire a cushy job in corporate America. Corporate America meaning working your way up the ladder -- despite being better and faster than anyone else on your level. The talent gap isn't just narrowing people, it's obliterating the experience gap too. Think about poker. You used to have to live and breathe poker to become a Doyle Brunson. Now you can became a grandmaster in three months with the help of the Internet. Weak.

But here's the other thing: traditional corporate America is also too slow (not to mention shady right?) to keep up with us. The sweet security of twenty years with one company is evaporating faster than the ozone. Many of the giants of American industry are collapsing; from internal or external pressures, they're collapsing. What's replacing them? Fast moving, mobile, young, tech companies. Or people who are bringing fresh ideas and mixing them together with old business ideas to create a golem company. Fast Company, it's not just a magazine, it's the way of the future. The near future; who knows what's around the next bend? Moore's Law is changing everything so fast -- even itself -- nothing can be built on a stable foundation. Venice is sinking? We're all sinking.

Why join the old guard when you can revise/reinvent it for bigger bucks, bigger acclaim, and dress casual all day? Plus work from home. Why should the sins of the fathers be visited upon the sons? The current company structure is collapsing; why rush to join a dying herd?

That's what everyone is starting to realize. I think.

Generation X was the generation a few years older than me. The now early 30-something young professionals who were the first of the slacker generation (see, Singles by Cameron Crowe). Generation Y? Nobody really dubbed us/them that, but I guess that's the obvious follow up to X right? Generation Why was, I guess, lost? See, Reality Bites by Ben Stiller.

But I realized something this weekend, we're not X or Y, I think we're more Generation Z. Z as in sleeping; Z as in Zenith. I mean, we're equipped with degrees (or intelligence anyway), with the world is our oyster mentality, but we're not sure what do with our pimped out rides. I mean, we literally have nowhere to go. So we wait. Because we've been taught to not drive unless there's a destination. The journey is the destination but gas is hella expensive isn't it? Plus, our parents will fight us every step of the way unless it's toward the sanitized version of success they gave up their lives for.

See the problem here?

Well, the good news is, everyone this generation is a Renaissance (Wo)Man. Think about it. We're not designed to just do one thing for forty years. We need more stimulation; we have more skills; we want motivation and inspiration, not a job. The problem is, we need to maintain our bank accounts too. What happens when you graduate? You're shoved (begrudgingly, happily, desperately) into a job where you start from the bottom and do one thing -- for me, it was filing. If you do that well, you then get to do two or three things. Ten years later, you get to manage people who each do two or three things apiece. Whoopee.
The Graduate. I'm sitting next to a guy right now, literally across from me (I envy his MacBook), who's writing screenplays -- which he just quit his job to do. He used to be a gourmet chef. He was a corporate headhunter. His hobbies include guitars, (real) reading, photography, surfing, and a slew of other things. He has a healthy dating life. He's a year younger than me. He graduated with a psychology degree. His first job out of college? Construction crew working to tear down the bar he used to hang out at as an underclassman.

I met him a few weeks ago so there's an iceberg of other talents to discover but already, he's more talented, qualified, and capable than most 35-year olds, wouldn't you say? I'm staying at his house the next couple of days courtesy of Brian-X -- who's equally Swiss Army knife-like and just moved here from New York to pursue writing and stand up comedy. They're having a wine and (grilled) cheese party this Friday. Fun eh?

That's just one example. Me, you, and everyone we know is like this, right?
The only thing our generation does slower than our parents' generation is marry. Some of us anyway. For the most part, we're slower to get married and thus have more time to devote to our individual pursuits. And even now, the people who do marry young, do so as a partnership; both parties are building separate lives but together. The speed bump here is that waiting so long to find "the One" also creates excess drama and baggage, which can really slow us down. But that's another story.

Every person I know has 5-15 top quality skills (defined as above average with the potential to be really above average). At least. They could literally do anything given the effort and time. Not everyone can be a rocket scientist; but not everyone wants to be one anyway. But we're all capable of doing something; many somethings. The problem is, we're not sure where to focus our energies, because we're constantly wondering "Will this make me happy?" So we attempt a dozen things at once while focusing on nothing; except maybe relationship, friends, clubbing, vacations, (corporate) career. We might also lack confidence because where would we gain confidence if our parents are against us and we're not exactly sure what we're doing either?

Thus, we take naps, we sleep, we wait. We wait for the Garmin to tell us where to go. From Zenith to Zion, to infinity and beyond. We know where we are trying to get to, we're just not sure how. And nobody can tell us, because our parents and peers are all just playing it by ear too.
Mike: “I went over her head. Oh God, I said Age of Enlightenment like a Las Vegas waitress is going to get an obscure French philisophical reference. It’s like I’m trying to show off to her. I might as well have said let me jump your ignorant bones.”

Trent: “Mikey don’t even sweat it, we’re gonna meet our honeys soon allright? You know that Christie’s friend is going to be money.”

Mike: “Excuse me, we’re in kind of a hurry.”

Waitress: “Hang on Voltaire.”

e-Letters to Young Poets  

: 3:21 PM : 0 comments :

Excerpt of an email I had to send out to some people:
It's been a nutty week for me. I'll try to explain it out. For the people I randomly (or incessantly) sent texts/emails/phone calls to, I'll explain later. To the people I yelled at, got frustrated with, got verbally abusive with, walked out on, scared the living bejeezus out of, or plain ass confused; thanks for your patience and um, sorry. I'll work on a better sorry when I see you. And if you absolutely hate me for anything I've said or did; well, um, we'll talk about it. Anyway, first things first.

(1) Get on Grand Central, just register and get an account,
you'll thank me later. Pick a good number too.
(2) Wait for the iPhone, seriously. Why buy any other phone? June 2007 release.
(2a + b) The Wii is ridiculous, best gaming system ever. I'm field testing the DS as we speak too.
(3) If you have no idea what this is all about, then ignore this email and we can talk about it later if you want to -- or not if you don't. Otherwise, all is good and all is fine and life continues as it were.

But if you have questions or need answers, please just email or call me okay? This game of Telephone is not working for me. Ask me first, then ask others if you want to. I'm emailing everyone I felt like I need to email at the moment; I'm not trying to make it any bigger of a "thing" than it already is.

If you really want, read jonyang2000.blogspot.com for now. It's a bit disjointed and crazy, but I'm working on it this week to clean it up. Ok? Thanks. And don't read it if you don't have the time or desire anyway, it's just my temporary repository for me. Ignore me at your leisure; I won't be offended. I just don't want to keep confusing/scarying/confusing people.

Last thing: the book is selling (thanks to all those who helped push it). So if you get in a bookstore, ask for it. Order it in stores, even if you never pick it up. Royalties man, royalties. I haven't been pimping the book hard enough; but now, I'm about to turn into PT Barnum with it (www.jonyang.org). Sell, Sell, Sell. Right Lilly? Flip the book around out of the Computer/Science section to you know, the best seller shelf. The cover to my book is pink and pretty, it'll look good out there -- especially if you strategically cover up *puke* "The Secret."

And if you have spare time, leave a review on Amazon (the US or UK site) for the book. The more reviews I get, the better. The Amazon algorithm takes into account reader reviews, and I track my Amazon rank like it's the stock market. Drop a review! Even if you've not read it. Ahem.

Last thing, seriously. If you care about my emotional/spiritual/physical/mental well being at all, pray or use your lucky charms/karma to insure that the Boston Celtics get the #1 pick in this year's NBA draft. Or at least the #2. No lower. Seriously. This is the thing that'll make me the happiest young man for the next decade(s). Boston Celtics, #1 draft pick, 2007 NBA Draft. Please! I need the Celtics to have a mini-dynasty in my lifetime, at least one. Please.......

Thanks for listening, thanks for being there, burritos for everybody.
"You just keep your faith in me
Don't act impatiently
You'll get where you need to be
In due time
Even when things go slow
Hold on and don't let go
I'll give you what I owe
In due time"
-Outkast, In Due Time-


Apollo ONE-Oh


Holy Calamity, Scream Insanity!  

: 12:47 PM : 0 comments :

Don't you love it when people self-diagnose themselves? "A Pity Party for One," and yeah, that phrase is already trademarked (albeit not by me). I always hated self-diagnosers. I mean, you can always come up with some reason for why you're sick/sad/depressed. As long as you're working on yourself and aware of the big picture; you'll be okay. I never understood the role of drugs in people's lives. "Good" or bad drugs. I never really get sad; for brief moments, but almost never. I never cry or lash out in frustration -- barring basketball or video games.
"Manic" describes an increasingly restless, energetic, talkative, reckless, powerful, euphoric period. Lavish spending sprees or impulsive risky sex can occur. Then, at some point, this high-flying mood can spiral into something darker -- irritation, confusion, anger, feeling trapped.
-Bipolar Disorder, Web MD-
I'm the most even keeled person I know. Some friends have wondered why I'm so happy-go-lucky all the time. I never knew. Good diet? Fast metabolism? Easy life? Good friends? Being a FOB? Good parents? Being a twin? All those were answers and really, why worry about why you're constantly happy; it's probably better to dwell on the eventual sadness that's sure to hit. Right? Nobody's looking for reasons WHY they're happy; they're looking for ways/reasons to BE happy. I've always been happy or joyful and full of excitement for life. Even when life has superficially sucked.

So anyway, all of that cracked last week (or so); at least in the eyes of the people around me.. I was yelling, screaming, talking hyperspeed, reckless, crying, euphoric, spending cash like I minted it; and um, well, no impulsive risky sex. But that's by design; I fear procreation, always have, always will. Anyway, my friends and family were freaked out. Like super freaked out. If there was a list of things I thought I'd never do in life, one of them might have been "End up in the back of a police car when I'm the main perpetrator."

Everyone's been scouring the Net for reasons behind my crazy actions. They've sent in the A-Team, The (Air) Wolf, The Cleaner, Jennifer Melfi, Ghost Dog, Clarice Starling, and everyone else in order to figure out what's going on. They still don't know. Hell, I don't know. But everyone has been bugging out and worried. I mean, I've told them at various points this week that I'm ready to die, when I'm going to go, and what to do when I die.

By the way, I'm having the best week ever because I've seen all my friends flock to me to hang out -- and to figure out what's wrong with me of course. I got to go home to San Diego; eat carne asadas, eat boba, eat eat eat, and found the greatest movie theatre ever (in Encinitas of all places). I even got my latent cavity filled by my dentist. I got the tattoos I wanted. In three days in San Diego, I did everything -- and more -- I'd wanted to do and had planned to do this summer. Aside from surfing; which it's still too cold to do. But I have all the time in the world to do that too; once I can figure out how to correctly paddle with pipe-cleaner width arms. And yes, I've tried working out...

I don't think anything's wrong. If anything, everything is perfectly, triumphantly, right. I'll try to explain why I believe that's so; now that I (finally) have the time to properly blog -- people around me restricted my phone/computer/wallet access after each transgression and in an effort to get me to slow down and sleep.

I was blasting out texts/emails/blogs/phone calls whenever anyone turned their back on me; since I needed to communicate and my avenues were getting systematically shut down. Didn't exactly inspire trust in my caretakers when I'd slip the leash each time they showered, napped, whatever. Anyway, I'll return to that topic later.

I never felt like a "real" writer because I never had the need to have to write. I mean, I just blogged a lot. That's not writing. I was addicted to blogging and that was more for fun; but last week, amidst all this, I figured out that I need to write. Finally. And I'm unafraid to be a writer now, instead of a blogger. Subtle difference, but big to me. You know?
"I start to think and then I sink
Into the paper like I was ink
When I'm writing, I'm trapped in between the lines,
I escape when I finish the rhyme...I got soul"
-Rakim, You Know You Got Soul-
Still, if I can't explain everything that happened and why -- to myself or others -- then I'm open to suggestions. Even drugs. But really, D.A.R.E. was some seriously shit so that's my last option. I'm aware that these could just be delusions (of grandeur) or visions or something chemically imbalanced; but let me self medicate first -- by writing and explaining -- then you can Brazil me. And if all else fails; I'll turn to G-O-D before medication. And most of you guys know I'm an organized religion hater so that's some serious backup plan.

Anyway, thanks everyone. I know you care; now (I hope) you know I care; and remember, "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires." Peace.
"I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, 'If this isn't nice, I don't know what is.'"
-Kurt Vonnegut-

The Pursuit of Happy (Lorelai) Gilmore  

Sunday, April 22 : 2:28 PM : 0 comments :

Let's play a game. Supposing I was bi-polar, manic, whatever you call it, here's the names of my (public) blogs over the past seven years, in order: Yellow Brick Road, Inner Life, Anachronic, and Diorama. The next one will be Afterbang; for reasons to be explained later.

Typically, I just selected the names of my blogs for some (seemingly, to me) random reason. And then I just ran with a theme. For example, Yellow Brick Road was always written from a two person perspective; it was "The Wizard" and "The Tin Man." The Wizard was me; the Tin Man was me minus the heart.

I've always loved Wizard of Oz (movie, books, lore, etc) but I never really knew why. Anyway, the blog was at first read by three people. Me, Scandalynn, and GJN. That's it, three readers. I was just playing around with it because Jmz introduced me to blogging -- through his own blog and gomakross.org. I thought it was a great tool and much easier to update than the "thoughts" page of my rinky dink homepage from college (original versions dont' exist sadly).

The prime time for anyone to start reading/writing blogs is post-college. You're still curious about what your friends are doing, you're in a low paying administration job (if you're lucky) and you have time to surf the day away. Everyone I've started blogging has pretty much been working and bored out of their mind. Anyway, since I wrote YBR with two voices; people assumed it was two people. Most of my friends assumed it was Pan and I trading off. I let them believe it as long as they wanted. I had five readers anyway.
Here's the review it got (9/9/2001):
"Yellow Brick Road does not carry a yellow colour scheme. It does not mention Dorothy (though the writers are called 'The Wizard' and 'Tin Man'), and there is certainly no mention of any Elton John music. The design of the site is, frankly, poor. A lot of the download time is taken up a a pretty rubbish graphic on the side of the page, and instead of any internal navigation to speak of (archives, about, contact) there are only links off-site and a long, long series of posts dating back to the year 2000.

But the site redeems itself. It's strange, and unexpected; if I wasn't reviewing this site then I would leave it immediately without reading anything simply because the design is so uninspiring. It redeems itself by being different. There are two writers, and for every post they carry a conversation, each taking a different viewpoint, carrying a different opinion. It works very well (not always, but more often than not). The site would score higher if it was more a site and less a page; the design needs work but thankfully the content is just right."

  • Here's the link for all the header images for YBR. The site used to feature only a weirdly shrunken version of Dali's Hallucinogenic Toreador; my favorite painting ever.

  • I recall Transcended Joyce commenting on it, saying that it was a blog with (paraphrased) "the most posts on one page she'd ever seen."

  • Here's the Wayback Machine's archived versions of the blog.

  • If (Good) Looks Could Kill  

    : 2:54 AM : 0 comments :

    You know, I had no idea about the whole UofV story? Except that someone was shooting lots of other someones on Monday morning -- which I heard about briefly. Kind of insane right? I caught snip-its of the past few days; but on the drive home from LA to SD; I swore that was just made up. And when one gas attendant -- dude looked like a lady -- looked super scared to even offer me some basic information ("No, our bathroom is broken"); Jmz was like "Oh, he's probably scared because it was a Korean guy."

    "A Korean guy what?" Oh.

    The ramifications of this is pretty hard to predict; one thing for damn sure: nothing good can come out of this. Does this lead to Vincent Chin #2___? Who knows. But seriously, the fact that this guy left behind startling images/words/videos can only spread the fear that already exists in our inter-racial society.

    And Old Boy was a good movie; sort of.

    If Middle-Easterners and semi-brown people had much to fear post 9/11; do the yellow people have to fear post 4/16? I'm avoiding the news as much as possible until I wrap my mind around a few (personal) things but this is something that's hard to avoid. Holy shit Batman; I am Batman...

    If there's anything anyone could have changed about their lives this past week, I'm sure this would be it. People are trying to figure out who and why. But really; does it matter? It happened, and that's where we stand. Last, first, or otherwise.

    Am I going to wish that our predominant stereotype is effeminate, nerdy, and unintelligible? There are so many unhappy people in the world; help me... help you. help me, help you. Ambassador of Quan.


    ToeJam & Earl-ing the Thin Red Line  

    : 2:22 AM : 0 comments :

    Apparently I'm okay now. I have my laptop back; the computer has made me sane. Or wait. Was it the new orange Shuffle I got today? Dubbed "Electric Kool Aid," its 1 gig goodness will surely evaporate all worries. Or at least drown them out.

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to find lanyards once you actually look for them? I had to settle for a blue and white striped Roxy one. Yeah, Roxy...

    I went on a shopping spree, had quite a few more focused talks (one professional and quite honestly, the only time I've felt completely at rest the past few days; talking-wise), and seen quite a number of friends. Plus, in a few whirlwind days I managed to accomplish just about everything I needed to do in San Diego. Eat burritos, Jamba, boba, chinese, and everything in-between. I got my "Music Medic" idea; using my utility belt to seek-and-destroy people with horrific musical taste. And jammed in-between? Made a few more people scared, mad, and perhaps terrified.

    Pretty fun week for me however. Got in some good talks, some good DDTs, and the only real regret I have so far is that I wasn't able to squeeze in any Squabble.

    I have gifts for you guys; some physical, some verbal. But I'll get around to it when I can. For now, I'm just going to try to reverse document; not to explain; but to total recall. Then I'll get onto explanations. Maybe.

    Um, did I mention I had my bank account (de)frauded for like $1000+? Fun times. I did get the tattoos I wanted though; so with every bad there comes three goods. Or was that the other way around?


    The Pretty Good Life  

    Friday, April 20 : 4:31 AM : 0 comments :

    Then again, on the other hand:

    (1) Met amazing people; saw old friends; happened upon the people I needed to see
    (2) Discovered myself
    (3) "Think" I found myself and what's important
    (4) Figured out my life history; and what it all means
    (5) Got more tattoos, the perfect ones I wanted -- not arm sleeves; my arms are too small
    (6) Fixed my cavity
    (7) Went home to SD, had a burrito, had Jamba, had rest; wish it was warm enough to surf
    (8) Am about to bat 2-for-2 on book proposals-to-books sold
    (9) Discovered I can do anything; give speeches, freestyle, anything
    (10) "I found a reason," Cat Power
    (11) Reconciled with many a person in my life -- even if they had no idea what just hit'em.
    (12) Poured out love and thanks and gifts -- physical/spiritual/intellectual/emotional -- on many (more to come) people
    (13) Started a new blog; which isn't public yet. But it may eventually be dubbed "AFTERBANG"
    (14) Basically, simply put: I found my quan. And my ambassador of it.
    (15) Life is on the up and up. Up, up, with people. Since everyone made this happen; at the right time. Couldn't have gotten here without you. Thanks, and sorry.

    Disclaimer: "Speed kills." It really does. Be careful how fast you drive (literally and figuratively).
    Instincts lead the way; not the marines. Where the path goes? Nobody knows. Just follow......
    "LFrankBaum: So, you won't take warning, eh? All the worse for you. I'll take care of you now instead of later. When I gain those ruby slippers, my power will be the greatest in Oz. Now my beauties. Something with poi-son in it I think. With poison in it. But attractive to the eye and soothing to the smell. Ha-ha-ha-ha. Poppies. Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sle-ee-p. Now they'll sle-ee-p."

    Best Week Ever  

    : 4:25 AM : 0 comments :

    (1) Yelled at my friends; and yelled at people I met barely a week ago
    (2) Confused the hell out of my inner circle; and beyond
    (3) Thought I was going to die
    (4) Thought my initials stood for J.esus Y.ayweh
    (5) Stood around in dress pants; army jacket; and followed by three wise/blind men while waiting for a 3am pickup on a street corner in LA
    (6) Thought I was about to get shot/stunned/knocked the fuck out by a cop
    (7) Unsure the contents of my murse I've been carrying around all week; unsure of the contents of my bloodstream
    (8) Unsure if I was getting gamed or if I was the one gaming
    (9) Been in the back of a police car; and I felt like that was the safest place in the world
    (10) Saw the light; made connections; processed super hyper speed fast
    (11) Pissed everyone off
    (12) Said "thank you, love you, sorry, etc" more times and had a more receptive audience than ever before
    (13) Saw coincidences turn into signs from G-O-D; near death experience like 20 times
    (14) Spend $$$ like I had tons of it; I don't
    (15) There's still two more days until Sunday; when I have to go to church. Have to. Even if it's the church of the mind.

    (*) Yes, I'm going to see a therapist tomorrow; only to prove to my family and friends that I'm not (in)sane; but actually, (in)lightened.

    "This is the true story of ____ strangers living....."
    "To confer, converse, and otherwise hob-nob with my brother wizards."
    I'm so happy because today I found my friends
    They're in my head
    I'm so ugly, that's okay 'cause so are you
    Broke our mirrors
    Sunday morning is every day for all I care
    And I'm not scared
    Light my candles in a daze 'cause I found God

    Hiplog - Out Like a Whimper

    The Prodigal Prophet Returns  

    : 4:03 AM : 0 comments :

    "And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun." (pg 5)
    "Say not, 'I have found the truth,' but rather, 'I have found a truth.'
    Say not, 'I have found the path of the soul.
    Say rather, 'I have met the soul walking upon my path.'

    For the soul walks upon all paths.
    The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like reed.
    The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals." (pg 55)
    -Kahlil Gibran-

    The Columnist Manifest(Destiny)o  

    Thursday, April 19 : 3:35 AM : 0 comments :

    I'm going to try to begin at the beginning; but it's hard. All my friends/family have been trying to slow me down, slow me down. But I've been unable to. Because I'm afraid of sleep. Because when you sleep, you don't really know what happens, right? REM? To me, that's Shiny Happy People. And I'm already Happy and I already like People, and if I shower and have 15 minutes to prepare, I'm shiny; sort of. But I'm not sure what R.E.M. really even stands for. Random Enadulterated Memories? Real Enveloped Moments? Repressed Emotional (Land)Mines? Maybe. For now, I'll except (e) all of the above. Even if I don't know the choices. Title 4 benefits? Sure? One easy l__n or monthly payments? Sure. I'll take it all.

    Some people think I'm pretty random. And I admit, I have the symptoms of ADD, AdvancedADD, UltraADD, IncredibleADD, all the way down and around ExcellentADD. But I figured it out; I don't. I'm just bored. I've been bored with life and my situation so I keep skipping around. Flitting in and out. I'm not flakey; I'm flighty. JY99 knows. I think. Or maybe she doesn't; I hope she knows. Sorry to miss your wedding; it was for a legitimate reason, I was working. Really. But hey, go #21, go TD, go the guy who should have been the next great Celtic center. Oh well. We don't need #17 yet; I finally have patience. I have all the time in the world to see eleven rings (or twelve even?) on PP's fingers - or the ONE ring. I know this because his nickname is the Truth; and that was given to him by the greatest nickname giver in all the (NBA) land: The Big Aristotle. Call him what you will, but The Daddy is the ultimate mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped around an enigma. Then all of that is wrapped with a bacon wrapped; late night; delicious but you'll hate it tomorrow three-dollar 320+ lb (or something) body of destruction. Superman; TWISM; get out of the lane. "Dunk on them." Even Mt Mutombo. Powda? You with me? You always were. Keep listening; thanks for being there when I woke up. Rip Van Winkle. Did I snore?

    This Force of Nature (green card, 8 mana) -- otherwise known as a Magic, a Laker, a Heat -- isn't tired or thinking of retiring; he's just picking his moments now. Just like a typhoon and Katrina. They know when they'll make the biggest impact; the question is really, do we know? Even with all of our science and intelligence, we have no idea. The lesson: never underestimate Father Nature; or Mother Time. Or Brother/Sister whatever. Don't mess; it's 2 much excess. Family Matters; in any shape form, color, or frequency. Green = Been There Town = Tatties = Aim Away Messages = the David/Rich Attenborough animal game. Should I go on? Monkey? Laser?

    Does he (who?)? Does he who is/was Austin Powers know/knew? Check the tape; MM had no idea. That's why I don't like you Mike. Never did; never got it -- and obviously; never did you. Dana was the real Wally World. Not you. You're just badly disguised and got some people to laugh -- even people who's taste I trust[ed]. I've never laughed at you. And I hope to never will. That's not an insult; that's just a matter of taste.

    No -ed, -er, double words in what? Squabble. I suck at squat and squabble; it's true. But I think; I'm good at making you like it; so you'll play with me. I understand that now. And Amoeboid; or whatever shape you decide to take today. I'll offer this: Thanks, I'm sorry, Thanks, Thanks, and more thanks. And then, another one. I'll see you in AA; I'll see you anywhere. e to what? I go e5; you? I wish I was to hang out with the Mormons and the Jazz. Saw the OF video; awesome fun. Let's go ride again. All chained up; all loving it; all together. Wanna play ________ ? Bebe Swan too. Let's play.

    Here's my HoF: Earvin, Air J, LB23 - The King, Larry Legend, Shaq Fu-Snickens.

    Bench? Maybe Isaiah-Mary'sSon (i hate him but he's that good), Mailman and UPS, Da Kid, Matrix, AK47 - get better man, J Smoove, AudiTThomas Turbo Edition, Human Highlight Reel, Iceman, any Celtic, any Celtic, Peyton and Eli (just kidding, they suck). I'll stop there. I don't want to keep you in the Donnie Darko for too long. Last thing, the Zelda Triangle is the best offense in the world. Co-owners/coaches? Who's tied for the most rings? Red and the Philosopher King. I'd take either one.

    Phil, please, go rel(i)eve the Doc so we can get to the B-arden again. Please. I'd beg, but I already know you're doing it. You're just waiting for someone to coach. Take Luke with you if you want; thanks. And the Winter soldier's playbook, you know it, but maybe Gerald or Al don't. Thanks. See you on the court. Or um, courtside? I'm (we) are going to need two seats; at least. For me, my mate, and the holy ghost (of boston garden). Thanks. I've got a cheerleader/dancer squad for you too. Put your current BoB to shame. Trust me? Truth; I speak it. I don't believe it; but I'll try. The Believer? I read it; even if I don't get it. DEggers; thanks. Helz Belz; thanks. The Duke of Liz; thanks. Memorial Days; habits; memory days; thanks.

    Good night; and yes, I'm finally sleeping -- even if it's somewhat coerced. See you in the morning.

    I'm leaving you with a snippet of a long poem by Harry Mathews called "Histoire." which for some reason, sums up my weekend perfectly.

    tina and seth met in the midst of an overcrowded militarism.
    "like a drink?" he asked her. "they make great alexanders over at the marxism-leninism."
    she agreed. they shared cocktails. they behaved cautiously, as in a period of pre-fascism.
    afterwards he suggested dinner at a restaurant renowed for its maoism.
    "ok," she said, but first she had to phone a friend about her ailing afghan, whose name was racism.
    then she followed seth across town past twilit alleys of sexism.
    -histoire; um, tastes like a woman-

    We can do anything; One band, one sound; Bring it on; Swing kids, Swingers; hey world; you're about to get served. Game, set, match. I've got the best tennis player (left or right handed; wii or mii) on my side. And he can ping PONG all day long too. Feel the Sting-UltimateW pong? You don't even know.
    Let us be one voice, for ______; let us be one voice; declaring your ________.
    ________ in me. Is to ________. female refrain (stars, stars, stars).

    Thanks Gjn. Jewel of the C-dorm. Return to the dungeon corner. Stars on one boot; moon on the other; it's still there. Kick down the walls. You know? I hope you do. I-kao.

    Really, sleeping now. Caretaker; wake up; turn off the tv man. It's too crazy to watch teleVISION now. Sleep.


    Infinite Crisis on Earth 616  

    Wednesday, April 18 : 11:53 PM : 0 comments :

    I know what Blogger and blogs can do. I can time travel. Then tell you how I did it. And pinpoint it 1000x ways. To prove to you that I did it legit. You can adjust the time and date of your postings. You couldn't do it before with Blogger. But now you can. But you can even time your posts to publish in the future, say tomorrow. Yeah, tomorrow land. Why go to Disneyland when you can get to Cinderella's Castle now? Or zip from here to wherever-there in a nano(nap)second? Now you see why I don't like Disneyland? It was the dream of the world for decades. But now, it's just an overcrowded, overpriced, overhyped relic of the past. Like Notre Dame, the greatest cathedral in all the world. See the similarities? Why did EuroDisney fail? It was located in France; they already had their global icon/relic. They have more than one actually. They have so many; they gave America our first one. The Lady of Liberty. After helping us, the little democratic country that could; take down England; the little country that did. So France, America, I ask you, why the hate? Je ne sais quoi.

    It's all just small potatoes. French fries. Freedom fries. It's still just potatoes and McDonald's right? And those are American; made in the USA. So France, just thank us, the little brother nation that you helped raise. Revolution is revolution right? No matter the language? Except, well, except whatever. Who can tell until history has passed? Even then, winners write the (history) books. Losers go home. Carla was the prom queen.

    Thanks for letting us take in the planet's meek, tired, needy. Now, we'll send'em back to you; fat, pasty, and ready to eat all your delicious (small portioned) gourmet cooking. And that fine wine. A toast? Motherfucker? France is the mother; the US is the son. Now the son's all grown up. And we're looking at an Oedipus complex? Hell no. Let's not do it.

    Okay Kanye? I didn't hear you at first Mr West. But then I did. With some help from that mysterious Mr Bond. And my friends from Chicago. Ms Fat Booty? Yeah, I mean you. Thank you. And of course, I can't forget the Fam now right? HT, ASH, FRNY, Family business. Ride or Die.

    I'll stop the hating on TV and the attention grabbing Kanye. I used to hate you Mr West for being simplistic and stealing away Common to be your bitch. But now I know what's happening. Common needed the sound, you had it. He had the words, you needed it. Together, you can become J.Legendary. Am I right? See you in concert. Oh wait, I already have. On the big screen, and on TV. Thank you Dave Chappelle, thank you.

    Any comic wants to be a musician; any musician wants to be a comic. Both need timing. I'm just trying to Thelonius right now; work on my timing. Thank you racial draft; thank you Tiger Woods. And the Chinese delegation selects: THE WU TANG CLAN.


    Memento Mori (Jonathan N)  

    : 11:14 PM : 0 comments :

    Finally, I'm in a place I feel safe, secure, and comfortable (Del Mar, with the secret agent, o07). I can sleep, I can eat, I can talk, I can party. I can do anything. Right now. If people would listen. I've been trying to get people to listen to me all week. But everyone was too busy, too stressed, too over-involved, or just plain didn't know me well enough to have patience. I understand. I forgive you. I've never been even 20% honest with anyone in my life. Most of all, to myself. But this week, I found out that I could be 100% to 0% honest and the results would be the same: Happiness. "The truth will set you free."

    My friends (and near strangers/acquanainces/BFF I met a few days ago) have questioned my sanity. But I'm here to state: I'm not crazy -- even if the radio sings it like that, over and over. See-Lo and (No)Danger(Mighty)Mouse (Jay Z + Beatles); who are Gnarly, and built like Sir C.Barkley. Nobody's crazy, they're just not understood. Sing it Round Mound of Rebound, sing it -- Goodie Mob, we all have Beautiful Skin. We all do India Arie (no period). And so hip-hop (NOT just rap, 4 elements remember?) reinvented the past? It did. Well, it's also leading us toward the future. Even though we're about to shut off the radio (in frustration) because we don't need to know why we're hot; we already know. Mims (sucks). Kick push, kick push. Gliiiiiiide (like Clyde).

    And if anyone still thinks I am (still crazy/depressed/repressed/desperate/manic) by the time I've finished with my pre-ordained tasks (by Sunday night, this April 22, 2007) then I'll do anything they want. Even if it means being cuffed and sitting in the back of a police car, and loving every second of being "locked up." I love you all and for the record, I want to live-strong. Or cuddle-bddy.

    Yeah, it's all true. 120% of what I'm about to write. For those of you I've hurt, lost, confused, revealed myself to. I first thank you, and then say I'm sorry. Oh, did I mention hurt? I'll mention it again.

    Remember, the truth sets you free. Every time. But truth and honesty are two different things. The truth is subjective; honesty is a personal choice; so then, what is it? Truth vs Honesty vs ???

    Is the "???" Objectivism? Nope. Rand is right for everyone, at some point, but she's a hack philosopher. She will capture your attention when you're young and full of verve and dreams. But you'll ditch her for better things. What are those better things? Altruism, a helping hand, spirituality, communism; all things Rand despises. But little did she know that she was setting the hand in motion that would make Atlas not only Shrug; but find the strength to lift the burden off his shoulders, and raise it high above his head. Effortlessly, and easily, so that Atlas can support us, but also, be one of us. And return to his proper place as a god; to engage in play with the other gods (and goddesses) of the world. I'm just here to say that I'm not Atlas, I am no g-o-d, but I think I've seen the light. And not THE light. But A light. And how many people can say that? And if you already did, then you're way ahead of me. And shame on you for not showing me. But again, I don't blame you. Because we needed blogging to teach us. And what did I do? I literally wrote the book (rough guide to) on blogging. You know?

    Heads up, eyes closed, fists clenched. Let us begin.... maybe not at the beginning. But I know what the ending is: Happily Ever After. For everyone I know, and don't know, that's what I've always wanted. And now....I know how to get there. Read along if you want, don't read if you don't. I'm done overloading people with information. Thank you people/friends/receptacles of infomation. I've found my brain dump. It's the blog and the internet. Thanks Al Gore, for inventing the Internet. If you were so damn smart, why can't you stop global warming instead of talking about it with a slide show that's already outdated? Heck, if you were so damn smart, why didn't you rig the election to beat your opponent? Well. You aren't that smart, Mr Potatoe Head. Because you know why? My friend, Babbs, the dreaded sting of the double-B (who floats like a butterfly and stings like a ______; the greatest athelete in the world, bar none) told you so. On national mTV. And then your answers rejected him; in the polite way, in the p.c. way. But it was still a rejection. So now you know Mr Gore. Babbs was showing you the world of rap and hip hop. But not only that, he was showing you himself (and us). Black on both sides. Umi Says. Allah. Namaste Black. Believe first; then faith, then seek, then truth, then use science to believe some more. Then stay healthy, wealthy, and as BJF says, get wise.

    You know? Oh, you didn't? Well, now you will. If you don't know, now you will. I promise - I hope, I pray?

    J Eazy
    paradigmpimp (tm)

    I hope to find out. And once I found out, I'll look again. Because first instincts, stereotypes, generalizations, the mistakes of our past; those are just tools used by our ancestors (biological or hereditary) and our forebearers. We're living in a time of change. Change so fast nobody can understand or predict it. I think I can.

    Wanna play? I wanna rock with you.... (sing it, any version you want; I prefer the Brandy/Chubb Rock version).

    Tag, you're it.
    "Yo, yo, check it
    It's important, we communicate
    And tune the fate of this union, to the right pitch
    I never call you my bitch or even my boo
    There's so much in a name and so much more in you
    Few understand the union of woman and man
    And s_x and a tingle is where they assume that it land
    But that's fly by night for you and the sky I write
    For in these cold ____ nights moon, you my light
    If heaven had a height, ya'll would be that tall
    Ghetto to coffee shop, through you I see that all
    Let's stick to understandin and we won't fall
    For better or worse times, I hope to me you call
    So I pray* every day more than anything
    Friends will stay as we begin to lay
    This foundation for a family - love ain't simple
    Why can't it be anything worth having you work at annually
    Granted we known each other for (maybe not) some time
    It don't take a whole day to recognize sunshine"

    MiiW (ambigram, sorta; see angel's card)

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