Friday, October 28, 2005
First, we had a great time with Jennifer & Joe. They are quite the couple and I believe that they will become good friends of ours. Someday, like Ken, I can just picture all of us going together with our kids.
Now, for the Haunted Mansion...my entire reason for wanting to go to Disneyland every year during the holiday season. My friend Jeff and I to Disneyland the first year they changed the Haunted Mansion into The Nightmare Before Christmas Haunted Mansion. This year was absolutely amazing and this was my favorite part of the entire night.
My second favorite thing that night...well as you know I won the tickets from a radio station...95.5 KLOS. For those that don't know, KLOS is a rock station and Mark & Brian are the morning DJs. Since Disneyland was closed for this private party there were a couple of different things. Most noticeably, there wasn't a crowd. Very nice. And, back to my second favorite thing, rather than piping Disneyland themed music throughout the park that night, Disneyland "allowed" KLOS to broadcast over the loudspeakers throughout Disneyland. Now, Disney technically owns KLOS, but still...when else will you be able to walk through Disneyland and listen to Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith!
Rock on Disneyland and KLOS!!!
But before I begin, I gotta ask something: When did The Simpsons stop being funny? I watched an episode yesterday night, it was a newer episode I hadn't seen before, and I think I laughed twice. And I'm easily amused!! What happened?
So, the question floating around these parts is "What's next for the La Salle?" (Extra points for those of you who caught the redundancy.)
I've got an audition coming up that Stephanie turned me onto but I can't help but feel rather uncomfortable about the whole thing. I mean, I haven't been in a theater in over a year except to see a show and I've only seen a couple. I'm not really what you'd call a "theater person" anymore - if, indeed, I ever was. As always, I feel more comfortable behind a keyboard (the writing kind)... so...
I've started a new book. It's called "No More Blue Roses", for now. What with my life half-over and all, I've decided to finally write a book about dysfunctional families, suicide, fucked-up parents, really dig inside my well of sorrow and pull a comedy out by the blood vessels... you know? Earlier today, I wrote up a short synopsis for Vicky, after writing the first 4000 words. (This is nothing, folks, when you consider that the goal is 100,000!) Here it is - keep in mind it's only the beginning - let me know what you think:
Victor has always lived a selfish life. When he reads that his son, John, is contemplating suicide, he tries to reach out to him the only way he knows how - by making it about himself. Knowing that his son is planning to go to the Grand Canyon to kill himself, he hitches a ride. Soon, his other two children, Rhonda and Matthew, hear about it. Thinking it means that John will get to bond with the father they never had, they plan to stop it because they weren't invited along.
Vicky won four tickets and it took us a bit to figure out who to invite. Sean & Megan? No, Thursday night is their BINGO night. Trish & Clay? No... babysitter, required. But then, I remembered a couple who we hadn't spend any time with but who, for some reason or another, were totally our buds. Jennifer & Joe! I'll always have the memory imbedded in my mind of the two of them coming up to our table at the wedding and giving us great hugs and smiles (and a kiss from Joe... I can count my kisses with men on one hand!). Why not hang out with them? Sure! So, we invited them along, too.
(It's at this point that I wonder if Vicky has sent them a link to our One Path...)
We'd meet them there but had plenty to do beforehand. At 7pm, we left out house with arms filled with bags of bottles. See, if you brought 25 recyclable bottles, you could enter to win various prizes. (Those who have done any reading on pollution know that recycling bottles is like opening the refrigerator to cool the house on a hot day against the horrors that are industrial pollution. The real target is heavy industry but no one will go after them as long as there is money in politics, which is why campaign reform is so important! You were wondering how I'd throw a rant in, weren't you?)
Disneyland now has this ENORMOUS parking structure - the old parking lot is now known as Disney's California Adventure & Downtown Disney - and, being the first time I'd been there, I was pretty amazed. We parked, eventually, hiked out - that took a while - and went to the Will Call booth, where Vicky retrieved her tickets. Yeah! Then, we went to turn in our bottles. "I don't know why all these people are in line," Vicky said. "I'm going to win."
That's my Vicky, a wet tissue of self-confidence. We must prop her up!
The thing is, they also gave us our "Commemorative Mark & Brian 3D Posters"... which were too big to carry around for the next five hours... and that meant - shit - we had to go back to the car... And, so, we hiked and hiked back to the car, put away the posters, and hiked and hiked out of the parking structure to the tram, which took us to Disneyland, et al. Oy.
The tram stopped at Downtown Disney. How was I supposed to know it was the last stop? We got off (the tram, you pervert) and headed straight into - now, come on, guess... - the Disney Store. Ugh! But Vicky was like someone in a candy store going through her second childhood. How could I deny her? When she found a "Princess" hat that she liked, I made a sour comment about it but, honestly, how could I deny her? See, that's my problem - I can't say "No" to Vicky. But the beauty of Vicky is that she appreciates that without seeing how far she can take it. Rosa took that all the way to the bank, which made so much of our time together totally miserable. But Vicky doesn't take advantage of me... which can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you - anyway, she didn't get the hat and we proceeded to Disneyland.
For those of you who are familiar with the place, basically, they left the assembly area in front of the park intact but where the parking lot used to start is now California Adventure, with a huge CALIFORNIA standing before the entrance, each letter 10 feet tall. We passed through a rather lax security area - "Hi, my name is Achmed Bin Laden. Would you like to see my Anthrax?" "Keep the line moving, pal." - and proceeded to the "L" in CALIFORNIA, where we would meet Jennifer and Joe.
(By the way, in case your wondering, the couples in our extended group - or, at least, the women in the couples - have all conspired to have the woman's name first when referring to them. "Jennifer & Joe" "Trish & Clay" "Paula & Don" "Billie & Dan" "Vicky and Ken"... draw whatever conclusions you like.)
The line was enormous but we waited. The beauty about this evening was that only a few thousand people were invited - I'm guessing 10-15, based on some of Vicky's estimates - so we knew we'd get in without having to wait too long. When Jennifer and Joe showed, she popped into line and began our slow approach.
How do describe Jennifer & Joe? Well, they're a cute couple, obviously happy. They seem to be decent people. Jennifer is bouncy and vivacious. Joe is sarcastic and not too grown up. I liked them. (Mind you, I was the oldest one there, so...) More on them later.
Once inside, we moved very quickly to Space Mountain, which has just reopened. All the ads say that it's been totally "redone", whatever that means, and everyone, it seems wanted to find out how. Rather than wait in line - this was not a night about lines! - we hit Star Tours. I remember when this opened; I was so excited to go on! Now, well... meh! I was under whelmed. Hey, I'm 40, you know? Jaded by life! But it occurred to me that this would probably be my last time at Disneyland as a child, not a parent. Soon, Vicky and I will have a child, and I will be able to reexperience all of this through his or her eyes. So much for jaded...
Space Mountain was next and, though there was a line, it moved rapidly. We boarded... what looked like the same ride... and started... what looked like the same ride... and rode... the same - Hey! They didn't "redo" anything! It's the same ride!!! Jerks!
But we went from one side of the park to another after that and hit the "Nightmare Before Christmas" Haunted Mansion - the best part of the evening. That may be Vicky's favorite movie - and it doesn't even have Brad Pitt! We walked inside and, once it began in the circular elevator, she was all smiles, turning around and around, clapping her hands. She's so beautiful when she's happy and smiling! I just love seeing her that way! I watched her smile through the whole ride. God, I love her.
Then, to the Shmatterhorn (because Indy Jones broke down while we were in line) and a bite to eat and to the Castle for the kiddie rides: Pinocchio, Mr. Toad, Snow White...
And it was time to go.
Time just flew by.
We had a great time.
And I'd had so much fun with Vicky that I'd learned nothing about Jennifer and Joe, except... they're going to "work on" having a kid next year, just like us, but they already have three from Joe's previous marriage. While we were eating, Joe was telling us about some recent troubles with his son... who is a teenager. As I listened, I thought, "Boy, he's got it a lot more together than I ever will. I could take lessons from this guy." Without going into too many details, I will say that he seemed to both discipline his son and communicate with him. From what I can figure, that's a fine rope to walk. Good job.
So, I like them, which is good because, according to Vicky, they like me too... oh, wait. There is something wrong with them...
We said goodbye to them at the parking structure and began the hiking back to our car. Vicky was smiling from her night at Disneyland and so was I. I remembered the picture taken of us on Space Mountain - we looked like such a cute couple.
And so we were.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
I don't know how much you've been following the news about the "outing" of Valerie Plame and how Mr. Fitzgerald's investigation leads all the way back to the lies we were told about Iraq leading up to the horrible war we now fight. I know I haven't mentioned it nearly enough.
Indictments will be coming down soon on quite a few people in (burning) Bush's staff. These charges will, more likely than not, be for treason and conspiracy. Now, historically, Republican administrations (from Nixon, to Ford, to Reagan, to Bush the first) will try to pardon their cronies who fall on a sword for them. Representative John Conyers has drafted a letter to Shrub asking that he respect the courts and not pardon his cronies.
Here's your opportunity to sign such a letter.
I'm thinking that we should all be able to agree on respecting a court ruling on treason... but that's just me.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
If you haven't heard of Buy Blue, let me introduce you. They also have a great analysis of the coming election (hopefully, not the erection) online for you to read.
Enjoy it here. (The analysis, I mean...)
Now that I'm sick, it's kind of getting in the way of other things, things that you think about when you think of Ken, things other than puking... I hope...
I've completed the first draft of my new monologue, which will be on the CD, "Ken 3.9, The Wedding". Actually, that's all the CD will hold. It's my first new monologue in... um... a long time, so I'm pretty nervous about it... sucking...
I've passed my latest novel, "With Eyes to See", on to my friend (through Vicky) Billie. Billie's a cop and, considering this book covers a lot of cop stuff (being a horror novel and all), I've asked her to pay close attention to the cop stuff and let me know how I can get it closer to the truth, if necessary. With any luck, I can start sending this out to agents by start of 2006.
I'm still waiting on "Vampire Society", which has been with one agent for a couple of months now. The thing is it's a very reputable agency and I want to give them every chance. The agent asked me to call if I don't hear from her in 12 weeks, which is coming up, and you can believe I will because, not only do I think this is an important book, I've learned something recently that makes it more marketable. Turns out that Morgan Spurlock (the guy behind "Supersize Me") is working on a new film about rampant consumerism, which is what "Vampire Society" is about - so I'm not the only one!
"A Grand Canyon" is still simmering on the back-burner. I finished it but I'm waiting on a little feedback. I gave a copy to my step-mom, Blanche, and to Sean, who you may remember from the wedding (those who were there). Blanche was unreserved with her praise - she loved it! She thought it was the best thing she'd ever read (both of mine and at all)! Well, it's one thing for your step-mom to say that... let's wait...
I've had a few ideas since then...
Then, about a week ago, I dreamed a name, "No More Blue Roses". I have no idea what the name means or why it sounds so compelling, but I like it. For some reason, thinking about this name, meditating on it (if you will), I think I'm closing in on my next novel, which is why I started writing this entry...
I know, I took the long way around - nice to meet you...
Turning 40 and entering into this new life with Vicky, I feel like it's time I wrote something different, for me at least. I'd like to write an old story in a new way - again, for me. So, the idea is that you have this completely dysfunctional family, a lot like the one I grew up in. The father, who left many years ago, is getting older and would like to try to connect with his 30 year-old son. The rest of the children go crazy with jealousy. Basically, the father reaches out but only shatters the frail unit he'd left behind.
Why this book? Well, I'm getting to that age, as are most of my contemporaries, where I'm beginning to look backwards as well as forwards. My scope is more peripheral. I can't help but look through the eyes of the child and ask, "Why did you do that?" while also seeing with the eyes of the father and answering, "I honestly don't know." I like to look at what you do when your kids say to you, "You knew about global warming in the 1970's but kept driving big cars??"
What do you say to a kid who honestly observes your mistakes?
Now, I've got the children's issue down pat. I mean, I kind of grew up with it. But I don't think that will be the focus of the book.
Maybe I'm looking back at the first half of my life and asking myself, "How could you have been such an idiot at times?" And maybe I'm looking for answers. Either way, we'll see if I do it...
Sure would be nice to get published, though, I can tell you that. I've written so many novels and plays with so little recognition that every time I hear someone tell me what a terrific writer I am, it makes me want to puke!
Monday, October 24, 2005
But Vicky and I were at Target last night, spending another of those wonderful gift cards many of you were nice enough to give us as a wedding gift, and - well - there it was. Scrabble.
Now, I wanted to get Vicky something she'd enjoy, that we could have fun with... that they sold at Target. I was sick of looking at practical items! When I asked her if she liked Scrabble, she practically jumped up and down like a cheerleader, clapping. Okay, I figured, she might like it.
And we got it. We had to break it in last night so we set it up on our coffee table - and we got the kind where you can swivel the board, of course - and commenced. Vicky was kind enough to let me use the dictionary. Mind you, this only made the game last longer... She played brilliantly. You probably guessed that, huh? Thankfully, for my pride, she let me win in the end. It was a good game. And it turns out she prefers that to watching TV, which is fine by me. (In my mind, TV = Stupid. Sure, there are times when you just want to kick back and turn it on but I like to have something more stimulating as well.)
So, don't be surprised if we try to coax you into a game of Scrabble - for those of you who visit. Vicky may let you use the dictionary and she may let you win.
Um, excuse me...
So, I quit a week ago. So far, what can I say about not smoking short of "It pretty much sucks". There have been so many times I've wanted a cigarette, just to kick back and unwind. I think that's what I miss most: the unwinding. I've been wound...
But Vicky has been my favorite reason for not smoking. I like spending time with her and getting close to her without having to worry about how I smell. We spent a lot of time together this weekend, which is always nice. Saturday afternoon, we drove down to Carlsbad - looking for the ever-elusive replacements for my ratty denim jacket and my far-too-old leather jacket. As I've said before, I have a thing about jackets. I'll wear pretty much anything but my jackets are kind of signature items, so I chose them carefully. And, of course, we haven't been able to find anything, which has probably been irritating Vicky to no end. It has to be perfect - it's like meeting the woman you're going to marry. (Or, if you're already married, it's like meeting the woman you're going to illicitly sleep around with in cheap motels...) I'd gone with Vicky in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, a smart move considering it was raining... Then, we walked into Geoffrey Beene - and I saw it. It's a kind of a mock-corduroy, brown jacket that you can imagine getting kidnapped in and escaping through a forest, hunted by dogs, swimming upstream in a river, finding yourself in a war zone, escaping from a prison camp on a stolen motorcycle, stealing the secret plans, and kissing the scientist's beautiful daughter just before she takes off for America... I liked it...
And then, she bought me two more. But, hey, she only spent about $120. (God, I love outlet malls...)
Of course, being healthier is okay, too. I've been able to work out with more intensity. I don't feel so out of breath at times. Even after a week, I can see a difference.
Mind you, food tastes the same and my sense of smell is still the way it was. I guess I never smoked enough to screw those up... just enough to, you know, LOVE IT.
In fact, now that I mention it, I'd really like to have a cigarette...
Friday, October 21, 2005
This girl on the other side of my cubicle, Annie, just came back from having a cigarette... and I can smell it. I can smell that ashtray scent, that burnt, distinct aroma... and I swear I'm this close to jumping on her just for the scent.
... I've become a second-hand smoke whore...
So, anyway, I found this website that shows a bunch of goofy laws. Not only does this provide interesting relief for those who think we in the states are so much better than others, keep in mind that for something to be passed as a law, there usually has to be a problem.
For instance, if Shwartzenfucker passed a law today that each family has to own a copy of Red Dawn, it's probably because nobody wants it... and with good reason.
Keep that in mind when you see the following...
It is illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes laughter in church.
It is a misdemeanor to shoot at any kind of game from a moving vehicle, unless the target is a whale.
Having sexual relations with a porcupine is illegal.
Prohibits shooting rabbits from a motorboat.
It is illegal to rob a bank and then shoot at the bank teller with a water pistol.
It is illegal for bar owners to sell beer unless they are simultaneously brewing a kettle of soup.
It is against the law to throw a ball at someone's head for fun.
It is illegal to lie down and fall asleep with your shoes on.
It is illegal to get a fish drunk.
A recently passed anticrime law requires criminals to give their victims 24 hours notice, either orally or in writing, and to explain the nature of the crime to be committed.
Butter substitutes are not allowed to be served in state prisons.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
I'm on my third day, if you count the two smokes Vicky gave me on Monday, and dare I say who the hell are those people who seem to know how long it takes to quit? Non-smokers, that's who they are! A bunch of no-nicotine piss ants who think they can tell me it's so easy!!
... I'm a bit irritated.
Now, I know I'm doing the right thing here - I understand that. You don't grow up by acting like a child and I can't help but think that's exactly what giving into my cravings would be... so I won't.
That said, there's been stress.
I'm sure Vicky's noticed it.
But she wasn't there this morning, in my car, on the way to work. I had what you might call a meltdown - and I'm only telling you because I believe I'm not the only one, that this happens to other people as well. I'm telling those people who also have this happen so they don't feel so alone... (God, I sure hope it happens to other people. Otherwise, I'm a freak...)
It started because I realized I'd forgotten to bring some Zipfizz to work. Zipfizz is an energy drink - and I swear by it, mostly because it's not all caffeine and sugar but healthy for you and also because it works. I knew I'd be tired at work. I usually keep some at work. I'd run out and I was supposed to bring some to restock my desk but I'd forgotten them for, probably, the fourth day in a row. Damn it! And, realizing this, I remembered what a shithole job I have and wondered why, despite my many attempts, I can't find another job. This led me down all sort of roads of regret; you might say it came at me from all sides: I'm fat, I'm ugly, I didn't have breakfast and I forgot to bring lunch, I'm 40 and I still haven't been published, the monologue I'm working on has no punch... and on and on and on...
Okay, now, I know that it came from all the stress... that's just something I have to live with, that's what happens when you're stressed.
I used to meltdown pretty often, just a few years ago. But things have gotten better...
Still, it's nice to know that I'm not completely well adjusted.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
1) There were no weapons of mass distruction.
2) Iraq was not responsible for 9/11.
3) (burning) Bush's war should end.
I won't even link those to articles because, honestly, if you believe otherwise, no amount of proof is going to help.
Which leads us to today. Condi decided to do what Republicans do best today. On the hill, she scared the hell out of us! She said that we might be in Iraq for TEN YEARS and that they wouldn't rule out attacking other nations that never did anything to us!
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday refused to rule out U.S. troops still being in Iraq in 10 years or the possibility that the United States could use military force against neighboring Syria and Iran.
Rice deferred to the decisions of President Bush and military commanders as Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee pressed her for more specifics on the U.S. strategy in Iraq.
I find it unbelievable that our nation can sit by while those thugs continue to make schoolyard threats... backed by the most powerful army in the world...
There's not a whole lot we can do but there are a few things. Speak out. Get involved.
Here's something. Again, it might not be the kick in the pants you're hoping for but, at least, it's something.
We have to do something...
It's wretched. Does anyone watch and actually think they're being informed about what's important in the world? Most TV newscasts show high-speed chases, the scary black guy of the week, the scary disease of the week, the scary sports story of the week...
Okay, maybe the sports aren't scary. But, honest, short of sports and weather, it's all just a scare-fest. Studies have been done which show that the scarier TV news is, the higher their ratings are - so, they make it scarier. As long as you're scared, you'll watch. This, of course, only helps maintain the status quo, which for your information is the thing you really should be afraid of: the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer, and your liberties being stripped away one at a time.
... but that's not what gets me the most.
The thing that bugs me the most is the development in the last decade that insists that TV news personalities (which is all they are these days) should have... personalities. They should be funny! And goofy! And sneezy! And Doc!
It's enough to make you want to puke!
I see this in the morning at the gym. Our local Fox channel has the most insipid news staff and their commercial literally shows them as buffoons! Well, I don't want a buffoon to give me the news! Neither should you! You should want your news to come from an intelligent source - not from a clown! So stop watching that shit, folks! Hit them where it hurts: at the ratings! Maybe (naive as this may sound) we can then have an intelligent delivery of the news on TV.
Until that day, there are still newspapers and the Internet(s).
I'm pretty sure Olberman's gonna get canned any day now...
The thing is that when I get home, I like to relax a little. What better way to relax than with a nice smoke, huh?
So, I didn't relax.
Later, after we had dinner, I walked the dog and was basically climbing the walls. When I went to bed, I was tapping my feet... the thing about not smoking is it frees up a lot of spare time and you're caught wanting to do something to relax but there's nothing you can do because you just quit doing the thing that helps you relax. So, basically, you turn into a ball of pent-up energy. I don't know if it's the drug or the time you spend smoking but, one way or the other, you go nuts.
Meanwhile, Vicky is lying next to me in bed, saying, "I don't see what the problem is. It's not like you're quitting heroin." Actually, it is! It is like quitting heroin!!
Yeah... loving this...
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
So, I thought I'd share an article I found. Here's an excerpt:
"On CNN's "Crossfire, Paul Begala reported the following results of a Nexis-Lexis Search:
"There were exactly 704 stories in the  campaign about this flap of Gore inventing the Internet. There were only 13 stories about Bush failing to show up for his National Guard duty for a year. There were well over 1,000 stories - Nexus stopped at 1,000 - about Gore and the Buddhist temple. Only 12 about Bush being accused of insider trading at Harken Energy. There were 347 about Al Gore wearing earth tones, but only 10 about the fact that Dick Cheney did business with Iran and Iraq and Libya."
"The advantage of the myth of the liberal media to Bush and the Republicans is enormous. To those who believe it, if a story favorable to Bush and the GOP appears, the response is "it must be true, since even the liberal media reports it." And critical stories? "Don't believe it, it's just the liberal media dissing our President again." Conversely for stories about the Democrats and progressives."
Well, why don't we start with some basics?
It has been said that you can tell what kinds of people you associate with by what they talk about. Small minds talk about other people. Mundane minds talk about things. Expanding minds talk about ideas. (It's not an exact quote by any means but it gives you an idea.)
So, let's talk about ideas for a minute...
Years ago, I studied a little about Kundalini Yoga and my mind will occasionally return and ask me where I'm at. It's a pretty simple idea and pretty easy to explain. Think of Kundalini as a metaphor for your spiritual journey or level of enlightenment, all coiled up within you. But you can follow the Kundalini, and the various chakras (stations along the way) from the most basic to the most enlightened - not only can you, we all do. You have little choice. In this metaphor, it is your spiritual life.
Of course, this isn't religion we're talking about. Yes, there's a huge difference. This transcends dogma while residing in basic philosophical thought.
So, let's follow the Kundalini up and see where you're at. Don't worry. No Sanskrit needed.
First stop: Your Root chakra. This chakra resides at your anus, which is appropriate because that's the only thing the person residing on this chakra care about. This person hasn't grown past his Freudian anal state. Don't worry. Most people get past this - so let's move on.
Chakra 2: The Genital Chakra. This one's a tricky one and, believe me, I've sunk to this level plenty of times myself. This chakra is interested only (as if you couldn't guess) in sexual satisfaction, fantasizing, the sensual realm. Hey, it's a fun place to be but there's so much more. This isn't to say that advancement beyond the second chakra means no more sex. Advancement beyond means you get that and more. It means you're open enough to let go of that and see beyond. I would guess that vanity, too, falls in this chakra. Narcissistic urges keep us from growing.
Chakra 3: Naval Chakra. This is the chakra of the inner fire, so it is red. The burning energy within us consumes and consumes, which is all our guts do, after all. Those residing on this chakra are consumed by greed and pettiness. This is about ME and MINE and, sadly, this is where you'll see most people. Why did (burning) Bush give our nation's surplus to the richest 1% and start a war for oil? This is where he lives.
Chakra 4: Heart Chakra. At my best, this is where I live. This chakra reflects love and kindness. Can you show love and kindness to people, can you exhibit patience and generosity? Now, can you do it even when you don't need to? Then, here you are. We're talking about selflessness here, modesty, humility.
Chakra 5: Throat Chakra. Maybe my lack of understanding explains why I've never made it to this chakra. This chakra comes from the throat, as does your voice. You've grown to the point where your words do not betray you, even in jokes. Some of us are quick to speak; I'm one of them.
Chakra 6: Third-Eye Chakra. This one is right between your eyes. Hitting this level means you aren't seeing through your left eye or right eye any more but through the one in the middle. What does this mean. No more extremes. No left or right. No light or dark. No good or evil. Now, you see beyond the duality of the universe. You see the an Iraqi is just the same as a Californian. You see that a homeless person deserves as much respect as (burning) Bush. (Perhaps that was a bad example...)
Chakra 7: Crown Chakra. This one sits right on the top of your head. At this point, you realize there are no dualities in yourself, either. So, living or dead, you are you. Also, that bug on the ground and you are the same thing because you share the same building blocks (science, folks) and have some of the same urges. You are now connected with the holiness that Jesus talked about. ("The kingdom of heaven is within all men and they do not see it.")
So, this transcends religion and intersects religion. (Mind you, there are as many outlooks on the Kundalini as there are Knock-Knock jokes...)
It's practical as well. I honestly believe that we all have a duty to be the best people we can be, otherwise we're wasting our time, cheating ourselves. So, how do we move beyond being satisfied by just the second, third, or fourth chakra? Perhaps, together, we'll learn that.
With all of these, it's easy to talk about those levels but something entirely different to exist on them.
... So, consider this the easy part.
Okay, so Vicky held onto a couple of smokes for me and gave them to me last night so my first day wouldn't be so bad. She's a gem, what can I say? So, I smoked them with Tim (which will be ironic if I really do quit, seeing as how I had my first smoke with him, too) and that was that.
A lot of stuff has been bugging me lately. I don't know if it's the smoking or what - but I'd guess not since my last cigarette was less than 24 hours ago. I'm feeling antsy - out of place. It's not an unusual feeling for me; it usually comes when I haven't done anything in a while or when I feel I need to do something.
I'd like to act again. Honestly. I'd love to! The problem at present, though, is I just can't find a part. I'm not saying I can't get a part - I can't find one I want to audition for! Things are pretty dry right now... it sucks. I'd like to find a show before the end of the month because theater schedules usually have six weeks of rehearsal with 4-6 weeks of performance. This would put me at the beginning of next year and then I'll be returning to school.
Yep, Vicky is all for me returning and I think it's probably time, too. I don't know how "New Ken" will do, but...
And, that's another thing. "Ken."
I've been going by "Ken" for quite some time now. I'm a bit sick of it. I was "Kenny" until nearly high school. Then, for the past 25 years or so, I've been "Ken". But I started using "Kenneth" a few years ago, in my writing mostly, and I kind of like it.
I don't think I'd mind being "Kenneth" for a while.
Think of it this way. "Ken" was tied to Rosa (one way or another) and smoked. "Kenneth" is married to Vicky and doesn't smoke.
I kind of like the idea... What do you think?
Anyway, if I don't get into a show, I've got a lot of writing projects - mind you, one actually has to commit one's self, you know?
In the meantime, Vicky and I have our first weekend without any plans (in at least a couple of months) coming up in a few days.... Ahhhhhhh....
Monday, October 17, 2005
Meanwhile, my veggie diet slips further and further away into memory...
So, what does this have to do with the price of flesh-eating cows in China? Well, because it's related to the price of flesh-eating cows. That's how moos get Mad Cow, after all, because we've decided we'll feed anything to our livestock as long as it'll make them tasty: meat, bones, brain, whatever. Now, in Idaho, there are nine new cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and people are wondering how in the world that could happen, as they wait in line at Jack-in-da-box...
Folks, seriously, I'm not saying you need to go veggie but, honestly, be careful about what you eat, at the very least. Watch the quality of your food. Shop at places like Whole Foods or Henry's, if you can afford it. If all you can afford is shit... it's time to change your diet.
Wait. Before you ask, no, they're not grand-daddies. They're a young band out of central California who call themselves Granddaddy.
Basically, the only way I can describe them is if you took The Thrills, replaced some of the members with guys from ELO, got each of them to have sex with Stan Ridgway, and raised the love children in Modesto... you'd get Granddaddy!
(Anyway, it's kinda nice being 40 and still finding music that the kids today are still listening to... what with your fast cars, and rumble seats, and hoola hoops...)
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Well, here it is.
40 years old.
As we say in Anaheim, “Fucking Old.”
When I was a boy, I used to think, “Forty? That’ll be in 2005 – there’s no way I’ll live that long…” Right.
I usually tell people that the things I want for my birthday include being nice to strangers and things like that. Well, I had a personal run-in with some profound, obscene dishonesty recently (from my ex-wife, if you’d like to know), and that left me wanting only one thing for my birthday. If you want to give me something, here’s something: be honest. Be honest with your family. Be honest with your friends. Be honest at work. But, most of all, be honest with yourself. It’s a present for me that you could use, too. The world would be a much better place with a little honesty.
Today was the day I quit smoking. I had my last cigarette at 9:30am, about when I think I was born.
Well, after a while, Vicky and I got to bickering and the day wasn’t going as well as I’d hoped, so I started smoking again at around 4pm. Disappointed? Well, it’s not so bad. Tim was here and he had smokes and Vicky said, “Go ahead and smoke while he’s here.” So, I did.
(As for the day not going as I'd hoped, I should mention we had a great little party last night, thanks to Vic, and it was pretty splendid. She made my birthday something special - normal life just kicked in the next day, that's all.)
Don’t worry. I’m still quitting – just not on the hour I’d hoped.
Anyway, now I’m 40. I haven’t accomplished half of what I expected of myself. On the upside, I have Vicky in my life, which is five times more than I could have dreamed I’d have.
… and, when I was a kid, I didn’t think I’d make it this far…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KEN!
Yes, today is Ken's birthday...the big FOUR (UH) OH! And to tell you the truth, he hardly looks a day over 39...
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Since Ken is the writer of the family, his posts are going to far out number mine. So, before you start wondering where I am and why I'm not writing...just know that I am busy and as you can tell...my posts are far more boring than Ken's. I mean really now...who can compete with his observations on a Vurp.
Oh...I am so lucky...
For everyone that knows me...or has been to Vegas with me...you are well aware of my consistent good luck. By now you should all know that I won a trip to Hawaii...I believe that Ken has told everyone he knows, and even some people he doesn't. Several weeks ago I won $200 from a Lottery Scratcher ticket. And now...this week I won 4 tickets to Mark and Brian's Private Disneyland Event. We are taking friends with us...Jennifer & Joe...see how it pays to be our friends. Please continue with the gifts and donations and you too may be included on my next prize winning adventure.
Usually horrible, sometimes it's not too unpleasant. Banana split, for instance, you don't mind tasting again. Heck, you could taste it few times. Honey ham is nice. A nice chimichanga does well.
And Honey Nut Cheerios. There are probably other breakfast cereals that come up better - Fruity Pebbles, for instance - but Honey Nut Cheerios is good for you and good tasting.
I bring this up - so to speak - because I've recently started eating cereals again, having taken time off to lose weight before the wedding so that Vicky could look back at our album years from now and reminisce when I could roll over on top of her in my sleep without cracking ribs, and I chose Kashi. Kashi is an organic mixture of prairie scrap and old rosins, pressed together by someone who had just cleaned a catbox with wet hands. Years ago, you'd have to be a hippy to eat cereal like this, a drugged-out, liberal, pinko, commie, free-love, dope-fiend, hipster, lay-about, do-nothing, get-a-job-you-freak, live-in-his-parent's-basement-or-some-kinda-commune-you-freak, long-haired, unkempt, can't-tell-if-you're-a-girl, what's-with-your-clothes, Hate Ash Berries, never-washes-beneath-his-fingernails, back-to-the-land, dresses-in-hemp kinda hippy to eat this all-natural, no-flavor, stick-in-your-gut kinda crap.
But I like it.
I'm a modern guy, an urban (and rather urbane) gent, a city fella, and being from the city, I eat things that remind me what it's like to be in touch with the land. Meanwhile, farmers are eating all the Crunch Berries they can get their hands on. So, I eat Kashi.
I've very crunchy, very crispy. It's downright dangerous. You need to put orange cones up before you eat it. It comes with a waiver. There's a free offer for life insurance - it's that dangerous.
Then, on my way in, I vurped... Kashi... it was like five years of the (burning) Bush administration right there in my throat, which is like a Republican Lewinski. I was coughing and gagging in my car.
Oh, I'll eat it again tomorrow. I have to - I bought two bags of it!
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Hey, we gotta get you putting in comments somehow!
So, my last day of smoking is coming up fast - five days from now - and I can help but wonder how long that will last. So, I thought I'd ask you.
How long will I remain a non-smoker? (Given the "one every great while" provision...)
Monday, October 10, 2005
Now, my first response was obvious indignation. We don't live in an X-Rated World! At best (or worst), it's R-Rated. Normally, it's more like PG-13 Rated. How much graphic violence do you see at work, with blood and guts, huh? See, that would make it R-Rated. And to be X-Rated...
Which is what took me to a different place... a happier place... I mean, what an interesting world it would be if it WERE X-Rated! Meetings at work would fly by! Everyone would take mass transit. (Think about it.) It would be very difficult to have war or commit murder - WE WOULD ALL GET ALONG!
... Pizza delivery boys would make a lot more money, too...
Anyway, I started smoking at the ripe, old age of 17 - thanks to Tim Murphy, the bastard. I stopped for a while when I was married to Rosa but started again in earnest when we split up. At the time, I figured I had a valid reason for smoking: SELF DESTRUCTION. Hey, it might be slow but it's effective!
As things turned out, my plan for self destruction didn't work out as planned - I met Vicky - so my great reason for smoking has pretty much been snatched from my grasp... dammit.
And why do I bring this up?
Because I've decided to quit.
Yes, that's right. Quit.
Call me a quitter, craven, dastard, poltroon, recreant, yellowbelly, alarmist, baby, big baby, caitiff, chicken, chicken liver, chicken-heart, deserter, faint-of-heart, fraidy cat, funk, gutless, gutless wonder, invertebrate, jellyfish, lily-liver, malingerer, milksop, milquetoast, mollycoddle, mouse, nerd, pessimist, scaredy-cat, shirk, shirker, sissy, skulker, sneak, turkey, weak sister, weakling, white liver... I should be ashamed...
The thing is, I'm turning 40 next week. I'm no spring chicken. (As you could tell - It wasn't in the list above...) And, on top of that, Vicky and I are going to be having a baby... you know... sometime... It seems like the right time to -
WHAT AM I SAYING??????
... sorry... this ain't easy.
I have six more days to smoke...
You're bound to hear more about this later. In the meantime, who's got a cigarette???
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Aaaaand, welcome to One Path, the blog that not only tells you how Vicky and Ken are doing but how they’re doing it and why…
… oh, wait. Vicky just told me to leave out the “how” and “why”…
So, I guess you can’t help noticing some differences between My Side and One Path. Yes, this ain’t just about Ken – Vicky’s here, too. (Sure, not as much as Ken but then he has a big mouth…) You’ll notice some similarities as well. Same smart-ass remarks. Same progressive politics.
Vicky and I got back from our honeymoon last week – and we’re still catching up from the wedding. We just got back from Crate & Barrel and Target, using up some gift cards, buying a few things people didn’t get. (We’re still registered, though, in case you’re just DYING to buy us something!) After five hours of shopping, you know you’re married… at least, I knew I was. I can’t complain, though – I got the first season of Family Guy on DVD, so…
What did Vicky get? Well, she got her handy portable vacuum cleaner. She’s very excited about it because it’ll mean quicker cleanup of pet hair from our sofas – trust me, she hates that. So, now she has the vacuum and I can keep on petting the cats on the sofas in the middle of the night and letting the hair go all over the place…. Heh heh heh…
For now, let me take you to last night – inside my head – in one of my dreams…
The time: Sometime later on.
The place: I’ll get to that.
The era: Stop asking so many stupid questions!!
So, Vicky’s very pregnant and suddenly, while we’re at the mall with Sean, starts feeling contractions. “It’s time,” she tells me. Sean and I rush her over to the car and start driving… but traffic is terrible…
We stop the car and get on a scooter but there are so many damned scooters…
We get off the scooter and switch to a bike – ach, but all the bikes…
We get off the bike and get on – don’t ask me why – an escalator… the crowds push their way in and I block them as I tell Sean to make sure Vicky gets to the hospital. “Take care of her,” I tell Sean as they disappear up another escalator. (No, seriously. There were a shitload of ‘em.)
Later, I make it to the hospital…
“False alarm,” Vicky tells me.
This is too bad and I’ve built up an appetite, holding back the crowds.
“We already ate,” Vicky says.
“We went to Cheap King,” Sean tells me, “which is like Burger King but it’s cheap. Actually, it’s like 29 Cent Hamburger.” That was a chain of restaurants, years ago, that sold burgers for – you guessed it – 29 cents.
“Really?” I asked. “How much were the burgers?”
Sean replied dryly, “Somewhere between 28 and 30 cents.”
Great. So, I figure that by the time I become a father, I’m going to need as much help as I can get – what with being so dumb and fighting all the crowds and traveling on escalators and whatnot…