Election 2020

Election 2020
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Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Designated Enjoyer!

For those special occasions call the "Designted Enjoyer." He or she is called upon to enjoy everything and anything at the totally appropriate time. The "Designated Enjoyer," will not let you down. You need a food taster? You need someone to admire a view? Try out a stew? Imbibe a cold beverage? You name it, the "DE" will be there for you. He or she will even enjoy things you positively cannot enjoy for yourself. The "DE" will enjoy even the thoroughly unenjoyable. I mean, who you gonna call!?

Friday, November 29, 2013

What If?

What if you woke up to a place where you were liked, by likable folks, and you weren't required to do anything except exist and enjoy yourself? And your needs were simple, wants we're few, and well, you just lived in the moment without guilt, fear or doubt? And the weather was nice, no clouds, or rain, or cold. You were in the hills looking over a little city of blinking lights, and it was quiet and comfortable, and you ate we'll, slept well, played your acoustic guitar and the acoustics of the room were great and you sounded better than ever? What if?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Out of Town Guests!

We are the "Out of Town Guests." We have vacated our usual lives. Stepped into another zone, another area code. Time doesn't matter so much here. There is daylight and darkness. We sleep in someone else's room, in a big, white, fluffy cocoon. Don't have to think too much or try too hard here. It's fun and funky. It's short stay. Could fall into an existential cul de sac, but really, I mean, come on, why bother?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Great Sleep!

It's not often, but once in awhile, you have one those sleeps that stand out. You have an outstanding sleep. Maybe you were really tired, maybe you are in unfamiliar surroundings, maybe you've just let go of everything. And you hit the pillow, and it feels soft as a cloud, and you sink into the bed, and it envelops you like a kind embrace. And it's quiet, ungodly quiet. And you dream, but even the dreams seem like they are borrowed from someone else and they just drop you deeper into a zone. And you awake, alive and refreshed. Sleep!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fate? Whatever!

Fate.  Sometimes we must put ourselves in the capricious, uncaring, hands of fate.  I mean, sometimes we can't or don't choose to do so, but we find ourselves in the midst of events and powers that are well beyond and above us. Sometimes we may propel ourselves into the winds of fate without thought - unconscious, unknowing, clueless to what we are venturing, what we are risking.

And then, sometimes, we hurl ourselves into the gaping maw with eyes wide open.  What the hell? You have to live. And taking risks, well, that's just the way of the world.  So fate, yes, sometimes fate just takes you. What can you do? Let go. Let it come. Whatever.

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Think of the Universe as a deck of cards."

Parallel Universes. How do you get your head around that one? "Think of the universe as a deck of cards."

Right. Or a house of cards. Strange. Mysterious. That's your universe for you. Puzzling. Godspeed Pilgrim!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We are The Gods And Devils

"Yes, of course, we had to invent all of these religions, to help us process how the world works. We invented Gods and Devils and assigned powers to them. And we imagined that they oversaw us, and cared about our comings and goings.

We had to do this, it is just too scary to think that Human Beings are running their own show.  I mean, nature conforms to the laws of nature, and Human Beings have to play by those natural laws too, but beyond that, it is Human Beings who are in charge, calling the shots.

That is truly a scary situation. We are the authorities, all of us, collectively. And most us really have our thumbs stuck firmly up our own asses. We are in charge. We call the shots. We really have to rely on each other to make the whole narrative roll out in a "compassionate" way, or not...

I mean… Holy Shit!"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Horror & Epiphany

I was thinking about some of the horrific, cataclysmic events that pop up often, and that seem to shape our lives. The JFK assassination was one of them. Add in the murders of MLK and RFK and right there is a tale of the sixties in a nutshell.

Think of all the wars over the years -  wars big and small, and all the death and human wreckage those wars spawned. Think of the hurricanes, the tsunamis, the floods, those natural events that killed, devastated and uprooted. Think of all the little personal deaths we all endure.

If I were a pessimistic person, I'd say that it's the negative events - the Pearl Harbors, the 9/11s that have the biggest impact on our lives. If it's big and momentous and memorable, almost by definition, it must have wreaked lots of havoc on lots of people.  

So, is it true that we are ruled and bound by calamity? 

If I were an optimistic person, I'd point out that happiness and enlightenment are always available. Maybe in a blink of the eye. These conditions can descend at any time, any place.

Maybe the difference is one of scale. The horror, the calamity comes to us complete and whole and we all experience it pretty much the same.  These events are "public" events. Lots of people experience the same thing.

The moments of epiphany, of happiness, of connectedness to the universe are essentially "private" events. We experience them usually alone. They can be powerful and life-changing too. But they also seem insubstantial, ephemeral and can vanish in a blink.  And when you blink, you wonder if they really, really happened at all.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Dallas - A Place of Death

50 years ago today, JFK was gunned down in Dallas, Texas.  A relatively young Democratic, Irish/Catholic President.  My family was Democratic, Irish/Catholic (with a little Lutheran/German and Polish/Catholic mixed in).  We identified strongly with our Irish/Catholic heritage.

So this was a big blow in our family.  And I think the reverberations from those shots are still ringing out these many years later, really.  How many hours did we spend around the dinner table debating the who, what and why of that mind-bending event?  Countless hours.

I do think that assassination changed something fundamental inside of us. It affected the whole family. It's hard to say what exactly changed, but there was a new well of sadness, and maybe an edge of cynicism, that just sort of settled around us and colored our view of America and the world.

I grew up thinking Dallas, Texas was a very, very evil place. It's kind of irrational to write off a City. But it's true. I've never looked kindly on Dallas. It's a symbol. A place of hardness, a place of death. A place where young Democratic, Irish/Catholic Presidents and their dreams, go to die.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

You are a Character Actor!

"You will become a character actor in your own drama. You always have been a character actor in your own drama. Your drama is just a small subplot in a much bigger drama, but that's another story. You often thought you were the leading actor, the dashing hero of your loopy little narrative. But you are a character actor - you specialize in eccentric, unusual roles. Your role is eccentric and unusual. And it grows more eccentric and unusual as you roll down the road. You can't fight it. You can't be re-cast. You must embrace the eccentric and the unusual, there is no alternative, otherwise you will just be a silly, fading star clinging to a false vision of yourself."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Showing Up!

Some days it's just about being in motion. Lots of energy expended going from one place to another. You want to accomplish great things, realize your dreams, but instead you are just showing up at places you need to show up, when you need to show up. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Path

I consulted the Oracle. I often do. Many times I am left with a cryptic message. A head-scracther. Yesterday it was all pretty clear.

The Oracle said: "Follow the path of heart and meaning."

Yes, indeed. And well sometimes you choose the path, and sometimes the path chooses you. But when it comes to it, there is really only one path worth traveling...

Monday, November 18, 2013


Can I really be that simple? When reading about Keith Richards, listening to the Stones, I tend to wear those retro, mirror-shades that Keith used to wear. And then I adopt those retro, dark shades when reading about and listening to Dylan. Really? Are you sure? 

Still, I never, ever wear those bug-like shades that Bono wears. I don't care how deeply I go into U2's catalog, or how many books about that band I read. I mean, come on, really?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Before Thought

Nostalgia for the past. Fear of the future. Maybe it's best to be in the moment. The moment before thought intrudes.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Turmoil. What a great word. "Extreme confusion or agitation." That sounds like a normal state of being. "Commotion or tumult."  Sure, of course, you bet. Signs of a life well-lived!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Source, the Sorcerer, the Oracle

This may sound like an overstatement, I mean, I know it is, it's a ridiculous claim, overwrought, over the top, but time and time again, Bob Dylan has saved my life. When I really hit bottom, or feel lost, lose my way, question my own existence, I mean when the chips are really down, I turn to Dylan, and he never let's me down.

I'm reading a little book on Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited" and it just totally fires me up, pulls me from the brink and illuminates me. He never, ever let's me down. He is the source, the oracle, and the 1965/1967 vintage Dylan cannot be beat.

Listen to the music, read the books, watch the performances and interviews, learn the songs. Amazing, confounding, maddening, inspiring. The best. And the kind of work that can deepen and enrich a life.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Engaged, Consumed, Doing

I heard it said by a wiser one than I. "The struggle to succeed is more consuming and satisfying than being successful." Looking at my own life, I think I've been happiest when I have been totally engaged in the struggle. Partly this is because I just didn't have the time or energy to think about anything else, I was just occupied in the doing of the thing, whatever it happened to be.  So to always be engaged in the doing is probably a good way to conduct a life. Engaged, consumed, doing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Surrealistic Hangover

Strange and disturbing dreams. Do I recount them? Nah. Rest assured, it was a long night of tossing and turning. Nonsensical. Surrealistic. Lots of scenes going nowhere. Characters appearing and then disppearing. Maybe it would be fruitful to analyse these strange emanations. Maybe not. Awake now. And feeling a little bit of a surrealistic hangover. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Everything, Yes, Everything

Everything breaks, wears out, falls apart, wears down, runs down, fails, dies. They call it entropy. Happens to all things, all beings, all. There's no shame in it. It just happens.

Monday, November 11, 2013

One step!

" I  caution you. Just take one step at a time. I know you think you should be thinking ahead, but sometimes that's not the best strategy."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Still on the Vegetarian Kick!

And what of "Buddha's delight?" If you are a vegetarian, shouldn't you follow the enlightened path? And if it's prepared well, and you add a little bit of hot sauce, well, meat never even crosses your mind. What would Buddha do?

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Conjuring Sonic Magic with a white Strat!

Just watched the American Masters episode: "Hear My Train a Comin." A very cool little film about Jimi Hendrix. It has lots of interviews with folks with first-hand accounts of Jimi Hendrix. There are some great interviews with musicians - Paul McCartney, Chas Chandler, Stevie Winwood, Billy Cox, who knew him as a consummate, dedicated musician, and with women and family members who knew him as a shy, humble and charismatic presence.

I've read books about Hendrix, bought the records, seen some of the great footage of live performances, I own a DVD of his performance at Woodstock, and the real excitement and kick of this film is the new footage I've never seen before and really, to try to understand and to experience the "genius" of Hendrix you need to see him in live performance. Video is the next best thing.

I recently read Pete Townshend's autobiography and he writes about how seeing Hendrix for the first time in a small club in London was one of the greatest moments of his life. Pretty high praise, indeed. I own a white Stratocaster, it's my prize possession, and I probably own it because of Hendrix. I mean I don't think I thought of it consciously at the time, but somewhere in the back of my mind I have an indelible picture of Jimi Hendrix standing on stage, possessed by the music, white Stratocaster in hand conjuring magic. Really.

The one omission in the film? No mention of LSD. I mean "have you ever been experienced?" And what of "Purple Haze?" I guess the filmmakers wanted to emphasize the music, and not dwell on the drugs, but to talk about Hendrix and not mention LSD and it's influence on Jimi's head and ears (psychedelic!) seems to be a glaring omission. Still an eye-opening little film!

Friday, November 08, 2013

"I Everything Too Much!" - Bob Fosse

There is a new biography of my favorite choreographer (Yes, I have a favorite choreographer, don't you?) and the Director of one of my all-time, all-time favorite movies, "All That Jazz," (Roy Scheider's tour de force!) yes, a new book about that incandescent candle that was Bob Fosse.

Love this quote from the man himself... 

"I drink too much, I smoke too much, I take pills too much, I girl around too much, I everything too much." - Bob Fosse

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Higgs Boson - A Blink and it's Over!

As they peel back the layers of the onion that is the universe, they keep coming up with more questions, more layers, more strangeness. The Higgs Boson is just another baffling conundrum.

And there's this: "The idea is that the Higgs field could someday twitch and drop to a lower energy state, like water freezing into ice, thereby obliterating the workings of reality as we know it. Naturally, we would have no warning. Just blink and it’s over."

For some reason this isn't all that disturbing to me. Maybe it all disappears in a blink. Maybe our permanent record isn't all that permanent. Oh well. Leave no footprints in the sand. Very Zen.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Action & Reaction

In physics there is the "law of action & reaction." I think that's the case in human social interactions too. For every action there is a corresponding reaction. Now this would explain the push and pull of politics. That feeling of one step forward, one step back. Still, sometimes, it seems like there is a forward progressive movement that is sort of unfolding. And the forward movement would explain the furious counter-forces of reaction - those who cling to the old ways, the old prejudices. I root for the progressive forward movement. I think it's the way to a better world - more open, more equal, more equitable -  but I don't think it's "inevitable," and I expect there will always be the push-back. And the push-back can over-take us and derail us for years and decades. Sometimes progress comes really, really slowly. But progress is worth it, and worth fighting for...

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Discovered & Embraced!

Reading David Byrne's book on music, (see previous post), and his description of how CBGB's became a "scene," reminded me of my own rock & roll education. I inherited and embraced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Bob Dylan, but I discovered and embraced The Ramones, The Talking Heads, Television and the Patti Smith Group.  I'd say a pretty well-rounded musical foundation.

Monday, November 04, 2013

How Music Works - Really!

Just finished reading David Byrne's masterful and supremely enjoyable book "How Music Works." It's a book that will make you smarter, and make you wish you were even smarter than you are. You learn something on just about every page.

Byrne, the former front man of Talking Heads, describes himself as "mild Asperger." It's something Byrne turned into a strength and a career. And if you listen to his lyrics and his disjointed, yapping, yelping vocal style you realize it really, really worked for him.

Anyway, a great book about a great subject: music. And he really delves into every aspect of music and  how it permeates our lives, affects us, enriches us, etc.

And Byrne is just such an interesting, inspiring being, and his take on collaboration and creation is just so open-hearted and democratic.  He makes you want to read more books, listen to more music, to be more creative, and more collaborative too.  

It's not a rock biography, it's a biography of music. If you are looking for stories of sex & drugs and rock excess, well, there are many other books you can find that cover those topics. Seems Byrne is just too busy creating, reading, thinking, collaborating to waste his time on the cliche rock life-style.

This book will feed your head and your soul!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Meat is Murder - Thanks Anthony B.

I must say, it's Anthony Bourdain, who has single-handedly propelled me back into the "strict vegetarian" camp.  We were surfing the cable channels (a very mindless and unrewarding activity) and stumbled across Bourdain's new show on CNN.

I am actually sort of a "fan" of the man, enjoyed his book "Kitchen Confidential," and I have found his world travel/food excursions usually sort of entertaining and surprisingly informative. He's an interesting guy, inquisitive and by focusing on food, he illuminates lots of interesting things about culture all over the world.

We happened to catch a few minutes of a show on his visit to Sicily. In the episode we watch a pig being executed - shot in the head and then cut wide open. It was a sad spectacle, but a necessary step if you like to eat pork.

It wasn't so much the murder that was so revolting (although it was sad and revolting) but the snide, sneering, smirking way that Bourdain reacted to it.  What a leering idiot. I understand that if we eat meat, murder is part of the cycle, but doesn't death of a creature, any creature require a little bit of dignity or solemnity?

Anyway, it's not a big deal for me to give up meat. I primarily eat chicken, but it's a once in a great while thing. Bourdain reminded me so vividly that meat-eating is actually pretty disgusting. Maybe if more people actually saw the process from murder, to gutting, to cutting, to packaging to the grocer, well, maybe vegetables would look lots more appetizing.

And the meat processing industry is a horror-show. Vegetarianism is a much more eco-friendly lifestyle! Meat is murder, and if we are going to live off of the death of something, harvesting a plant, or plucking a fruit or whatever seems oh so much more life-friendly and civilized!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Can it really be this simple? 

Pre-morning coffee - things are bleak, can't figure anything out, the world looks dark and forbidding, and it seems life has passed me by.

Post-morning coffee - things look rosy, I've got it all doped out, everything is light and welcoming, and I feel like I'm swimming in the stream of life.

This seems sort of delusional. And maybe just a manifestation of caffeine addiction?

Friday, November 01, 2013

Words Matter

I didn't realize that what Western scientists call the "Big Bang," has been called the "Cosmic Orgasm" by Eastern Mystics...

This seems instructive for some reason...

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