Harmony is Too Pretty A Word. Try “Ballswelloquent”.

NOTE:  the below post includes references to a masturbating holy figure.  Please discontinue reading if this will offend rather than amuse.

This is one of those mornings (not Those Mornings).  One where you get up, feel pretty good, have a cup of coffee, get to the gym, and then get to work, and everything is kinda humming right along.  You feel good.  You feel like you’re in sync with the rhythm of the world, like you’re circadian rhythm is lined up right next to the sine wave of the universe… like you’re in your car, and the rest of the world is in the car next to you as you both hit the red light at the same time, and you, very cockily, rev your engine.  Like you can outgun the cosmos.

That, my friends, is what I call a Good Friday.  Not to be confused with Jesus’ Good Friday… which I’m still confused about – was it the day they all decided they couldn’t abstain from whatever they had just given up for forty days?  (First, who chooses 40 days?  That’s not a clean number at all, so I don’t think it was a choice.  King James was a bit of a censorship nut, so no one knows the real story:  I think Jesus & his Lenten posse made a bet to see who could give up stroking it the longest… like that episode of Seinfeld.  I’ll bet Paul came back within 7 minutes & said “I’m out!”, but the rest of them made it forty days, and probably could’ve kept going except Jesus called it off because he rubbed one out during an especially enlightening prayer session… on a Friday, and they all went “Good!” and immediately sowed some orthodox oats.)

It’s April 1st.  It’s snowing in NJ, and I’m spending 3 hours of my day on a conference call – yes, just ONE conference call for THREE hours.  But I’m okay with that.  I’m revving my engine, toeing the line, ready to sprint.  The only word I could reasonably come up with for this feeling of “all is right with the world” is harmony… but that’s too pretty.  It lacks machismo.  It lacks bravado.  It lacks braggadocio.  It gives no sense of the up-fuckery sentiment – like it’s so good that you feel you could easily do anything, even things you’ve never done before, and it’ll all work out, and you’ll have added your own little dose of oats (orthodox or otherwise) into the mix.  You’re doing what you’re meant to be doing, and it’s changing the world.

… maybe that’s a little too far.  But harmony is too pretty a word.  We need something braver, bolder, faster, stronger.  Something with more balls.

I submit the following recommendations as terms that could be defined, loosely, as “the feeling that you can beat the world”:





Feel free to vote or contribute your own candidate in the comments.  My personal favorite is Ballswelloquent.

Team Eckhart

I just finished reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The New Earth”. It’s a significant event, because I rarely even venture into the land of New Age books, as Borders would undoubtedly classify this, and as such this book would long have stayed out of my purview were it not for life’s intervention. In this particular case, I have my wife, my sister, and Oprah to thank for conspiring to put this book in front of my face… Powerful women, all, so it’s no wonder that, after reading & reflecting on E.T.’s work, I too feel more “powerful”.

Here’s why.

His life, as explained in the book, is not what you & I, the unenlightened might call “life” at all. His consciousness has evolved. In his world, life is a series of things. Things that happen, things that you consume, build, lust after, chase, get, don’t get, etc. It’s literally all clutter. This is not Life, a separate definition that is hard to denote with any letters, even a Capital L. As he would express it, Life just is. The things of the lowercase life are all constructs, are all structures created by our dearest friend & most insecure friend, Monsieur Ego, in a constant & desperate effort to justify his own existence. We do not need Ego to accomplish our purpose in life. Ego actually runs counter plots to this true purpose by convincing us that he is the one in charge & that his desires are what matters. Our purpose is to simply live Life, the Life that Oprah would call her Best Life, by realizing we are all Beings, and as such we are all connected to a higher Being, which E.T. describes variously with apropos but loaded words like Truth, Consciousness, Awareness, God, Self and Life.

He claims that we, before attaining consciousness (which he explains in such adroit fashion as to encompass and equalize most of the world’s religions), create and destroy in the futility of the act of defining ourselves & everything in our world on some meter or scale or reference point. My favorite part of this dialog is his discussion of how nothing is actually Better or Bigger until you decide it’s so. I totally can’t do it justice at the moment, since i only read it once & neglected to take notes. Just take it from me that this was one of the many aha!- like moments I had in the course of his 300 pages: every measurement requires a point of reference, and since society is full of Beings with independent points of reference, yours is the only one that matters, which simultaneously means that none of them do (let’s all stop short of spiraling down into the dystopic argument that society can’t function without some shared givens). There is no Good or Bad, but thinking that makes it so.

But consider that every Being is born and has a spark of life – and that, my friends, is where the similarities end. The only thing we “know” is that we are alive and others are alive. If we can realize that, accept that, and act as though it were the only Truth, everything else that causes us discontent melts away.

The most freeing section in the whole book is where he relates that to action and time. When you accept that the world and time are constructs in which you are forced to participate physically but do NOT define who you are, because YOU are more than your actions, all the risk to You/Self is moot and it’s only your Ego at play that makes you act differently. What you choose to do in any given moment is exactly the right thing to do if you are aware of the choice. Put simply, the only moment there ever is is Now, and the only Action required is the one you choose.

That is a concept that made me fall off the couch. That is some Ninja shit right there. I feel like I earned a blackbelt in like thirty different isms all at once.

Here’s where it can go a little sideways for those less introspective than even I am. Realizing that, accepting that, acting on that… In short, thinking about it (or anything for that matter) is still a lowercase life. Thinking is all Ego. Getting in touch with Life, though, is “simpler” than that. He gives us a few activities to try in the book, but my go-to kata is this: close your eyes and just feel the blood, heat & energy I your fingertips. (I learned focused breath in college yoga classes, so I take for granted that this is easy; I highly recommend learning this technique if for no other reason than it’s ability to quell anxiety & get me to sleep at night). Then let that awareness slowly creep out into your hands, into your arms, your shoulders, your core, the top of your head… that sort of trancelike state you enter when you can honestly feel that energy & not act or think about anything else… that is the Awareness with a Capital A that E.T. says connects us all. It’s the only thing that connects us all, but the point is that we are all connected. However you choose to manifest that Life, whatever God you choose (if any), whatever clothes you wear, whether you’re for Team Edward or Team Jacob (note from my Ego: I am the only guy who would even ATTEMPT to mix Eckhart Tolle and Twilight, and therefore I am awesome), all those decisions are yours and all of them insignificant in the pursuit of Life, Happiness, Zen, Nirvana, Heaven, or Valhalla (what up Nordic readers!).

All you gotta do is let go. The only moment there ever is is Now, and the only Action required is the one you choose. There is no Good or Bad, but thinking that makes it so.

I apologize for the heady meta vapors you’re now wafting in, but this post serves three purposes. First and foremost, to document my own thoughts on this book. It hasn’t turned me into Superman or Oprah or even Dr. Phil, but whatever potential I had that I felt was untapped or that I wasn’t “allowed” to tap, which caused me to worry I was wasting myself, or at least that others were thinking I was wasting myself… Well, none of that matters. And holy jumping Jesus in a jumpsuit did it make a difference in my life.

Second purpose of this post is to tell you about it. Spread the germs of consciousness, I suppose. Without becoming an evangelist, I will simply say that, if you can hang with his meta-analysis (or at least aren’t totally turned off by the words meta-analysis), you will get something of value out of reading it.

Third purpose is to publicly acknowledge and accept that I am more than the sum of my actions, and so is everyone else. That, inevitably, leads to forgiveness, which is a surprising word at this time in my life. I’m afraid that’s a horse of a different color, though, so I’m postponing further public exploration of that.

My thanks to the many different Muses that manifested that book & granted me the good fortune to be able to read it. Hopefully at least one other person will choose the same experience.

Apple Apostle – Applostle, If You’re Nasty

R got me an iPhone last week for our second anniversary.

Holy crap.

I should have listened to Dan during all those podcast debates; this thing, on which I am writing this WordPress blog, is F-ING awesome. Seriously. It’s even smart enough to correct for my sausage fingers, which was always my main argument for sticking to Blackberry devices.

Dan was right. Now that I have one, I see how superior it is to any other phone in the world. Not that Blackberry and Android-based phones are horrible… It’s just that this thing is near-perfect.

Why near-perfect? Battery life & lack of a caps lock option come to mind. And I accidentally hit the backspace key way too often because of its proximity to the m key – did so twice just trying to type proximity. I think they should have kept it well away from ALL of the Wheel of Fortune letters (r s t l n e and n’s neighbor m). And what the hell is up with no Spell Check? And no custom dictionary!?! That tastes like Communism.

Small grapes though. In almost all ways, I frikkin’ love this thing for all the myriad reasons you could love a “phone”. And so far I don’t honestly have any gripes with AT&T’s service (aside from the exorbitant cost). Hasn’t dropped any of my calls, and in the places where I want it, the 3G is available. (To save battery, I turn this off a lot, which I wish didn’t take 4 gestures from the home screen to do-simple shortcut code in the next update to the OS would be welcome.)

So now I walk around with access to pretty much every piece of digital media I own, the ability to create content with various apps like WordPress, and can get to new material/media – all in a sleek & consistent format. Blackberry’s formats look simply gross by comparison, mainly due to their more universal/open approach, which is both virtuous & unambitious. There are lots of reasons to stay open & unlocked, but developers are still making far more iPhone apps than are showing up in Blackberry’s app world. In reality, the sex appeal of iPhone apps simply outweighs the ability to code in whatever open languages RIM enables.

It’s official. I’m an Apple apostle. An Applostle, if you’re nasty.

We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!!

We Have Lasers!!!!!!!!!!.

See if you can find my picture in this internet-famous blog.

When you can’t, see if you can email my mom and tell her it’s her fault I’m not internet-famous.  I told her the extra fee for the lasers background would be an investment in my future, and I was right.  It would’ve been.  PARENTING FAIL.

Why I Love My Wyf

… Because she sent me this

First Official Burger & Trampoline DaY

Note the Twitter above. I don’t know what it is about the day right before a long weekend, but I ALWAYS wanna play hookie or somehow make that day go away. The last day of my high-school career, I wore a plastic grass skirt & sandals and flirted with girls I never even see any more. The last day of class in college, I took a flask of Uncle Jaeger with me and flirted with professors I only see on occasion.

Today’s not even the last day of anything. It’s just the day right before I get to have a three-day weekend & take a break from this exceptionally long project I’ve been working on. And a three-day weekend isn’t even all that exciting – it’s no Christmas in July, it’s not Thanksgiving weekend, it isn’t even a day off to go take motorcycle lessons in South SF (best birthday gift ever, given to me by the lovely Wyf; slightly outranks the awesome screenplay softward I got from her stepmom and the new man-purse my Mom & sister got me. Dad got me Bose headphones I’m just not sure about yet, but don’t tell him that.)

So that means today is special in some way but for no good reason. What I really want to do today, instead of wrap up a few loose ends on one part of this Project That Won’t Die, is to spend the day jumping on a trampoline and then eat a really huge Garbage Burger. Nothing else. I don’t wanna feel productive, I don’t wanna catch up on the phone with my friends, I didn’t even want to blog. Bouncing on a huge rubber table and clogging my arteries while simultaneously pleasuring the buds o’ taste. That’s all I want. (Note: I think our arteries and our buds o’ taste are in a constant feud; they may even be arch-nemeses. Which reminds me that I don’t even want to check “Meet arch-nemesis” off of my to-do list today.)

Because I don’t know WHY this day feels like it should be special but it can’t be, and because I don’t know WHY I only want to bounce around & fiend on animal carcass, the two are inextricably and undeniably linked. That can only mean that, when these forces combine, they are… Burger & Trampoline Day! July 3rd, 2008. First official one. Aren’t you glad you were here? T-shirts to come shortly. No, for reelz. I’m designing them and then taking them to Mingle to have them printed. But not today.

You might be thinking that, by the time I’ve designed, printed & purchased these shirts, there will be at least 350 days until the next B&T Day. Ahh, but that’s what makes this holiday so special – it happens five times a year!

1) The day before Memorial Day weekend starts.
2) July 3rd. (Red Dot = You Are Here)
3) The day before Labor Day weekend starts.
4) The day before Thanksgiving Weekend starts.
5) The day before Christmas Holidays start.

AND, this is a holiday for the masses. While it will officially go down in the record books as Burger & Trampoline Day (because I said so; First-sies!), you can make this holiday anything you want. You pick one non-productive activity, and one cardiac-arresting type of food (unless your non-productive activity is eating, then pick as many as you want), and that’s ALL YOU DO THAT DAY.

It makes you feel special, but you didn’t need a card or flowers or a present or a stuffed bird (unless you want one) to make you feel that way. All you needed was Official Endorsement of your impulse to Slack (with a capital S, because Capitals Are Under-Utilized. EspeciallY capital Y’s, because theY alwaYs look so excited to be here.)

Consider this your Endorsement Capital E. HappY Burger & Trampoline DaY, everYbodY.

Top Fives, or… No, Just Top Fives

Top 5 Reasons I Suck

  1. Of late, I have had the mood swings of a pregnant adolescent teenager on hormone replacement therapy.
  2. While I’m not putting on weight, my eating habits have slowly trended back to ‘The Fat Kid’ eating habits. Example: almost everyday, I go into the free ice-cream bunker at work and pull out a Tollhouse Ice Cream Sandwich, remove the ice cream, and just eat the cookies.
  3. I just spilled pineapple salsa on my jeans.
  4. I use Movie Quote of the Week emails as blog posts.
  5. I use ‘Top Five’ lists as blog posts.

Top 5 Reasons I’m Okay as a Human But I’m No Oprah Winfrey

  1. I drive a Prius… correction: I let my wife drive a Prius on days when she drives the carpool, and I usually take public transportation.
  2. I have somewhat-interesting yet not world-changing hobbies, like Improv and volunteering at 826 Valencia.
  3. Sometimes, but not always, I actually manage to do the right thing.
  4. I empathize and/or sympathize with the best of ‘em, but sometimes to a fault. Example: if I think I’m about to say something that will hurt your feelings but would ultimately make you a better human, I’m most likely not going to say it because I don’t like having my own feelings hurt… and I’m a p**sy.
  5. On the all-telling scale of ‘Take-a-penny Leave-a-penny’, I ‘Leave-a-penny’ more than I ‘Take-a-penny’.

Top 5 Reasons I’m Awesome

  1. God loves me enough to give me the chance to have an awesome wife, and I didn’t blow it.
  2. I instantly calculate tips to the nearest $0.50. Every time.
  3. Growing up in rural Pennsylvania did not manage to close my mind, and instead I used it as a catalyst to get the eff out of Dodge and try to see the world.
  4. [ablated due to sexual content]
  5. I use words like ‘ablated’ in faux-blog posts that are simply three separate lists of five things you may or may not have known about me but probably didn’t care about but at least I made you laugh.

Top 5 Reasons To Vote Republican