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I felt thankful today. I have seen the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef. I've watched Niagra fall and an ocean sun rise. I've felt the peace of Jerusalem and the riots of Los Angeles. I have heard my heart beat during meditation, and thought I'd go deaf from the Rolling Stones. Thank you Frani, for teaching a bitter man to love again. Thank you friends: Sammy, Richard; dearest Mark. Fair Claudia, Angel Monique. True friends Carol and Zahir. I am indeed blessed. Most of all, I thank you God, for my two daughters, the greatest gifts of all.
Another morning is here - waking up is the hardest part. I'm not angry, not really. I feel more sullen than anything else. Wherever it is I go when I sleep, I don't seem to be having much fun there lately. I hate waking up tired. Thank God for coffee. I think I'll pop down to Joni's for a latte. I'll keep quiet in line and spare the other people my dark mood. They don't understand the despair of morning, the tyranny of time. They probably just want some scrambled eggs. Ha! Eggs. I need coffee. Thank God for coffee.
I preferred DC comics over Marvel as a kid. At Marvel the good guys kept fighting each other. How many "misunderstandings" could the Avengers and the X-Men have? It was too much like pro wrestling. But Spidey was different. He was so cool. I used to dream of inventing some webbing of my own. He learned
that with great power comes great responsibility
the hard way. He was so kind to his Aunt May. He did all those good deeds, but he was never truly recognized as a hero. Here's to you Spidey! But Superman could still kick your ass.
Ducks are nature's tranquilizer. When you can sit and watch ducks, all your stress just paddles away. When you see one duck, it is usually looking for fish. It swims around, slowly, slowly, then "ducks" under the water… wait, wait… oops, no fish that time. Of course the duck doesn't give up. It keeps hunting. Sometimes I spot a mother duck swimming with her young ducklings. As the mother swims back and forth, you can see that the little ducks follow her line. It is like a syrupy greeting card unfolding before your very eyes, but in a good way.
There are some really strange truths buried in the fabric of our reality. The really big stuff, like solar systems or galaxies, look like really the really small stuff like atoms or electrons. It must be really quiet out in space. Except when stars go supernova, which I'll bet is really loud. It is really quiet underwater too, unless you count hurricanes, which I don't. If I were underwater now, it would be really quiet. I wouldn't hear the traffic going by. Honk, honk. It works just like a hurricane or a supernova, but faster, and it works on rubberneckers.
I can't get my head around how big our world is. Sometimes I spend time in parts of Los Angeles that are very far from where I live. If you drive around Pasadena, for example, you will find many fine houses built by famous architects. You will find many great restaurants that have been frequented by local residents for years. I'll bet that many people have enjoyed the
All India Café
for a long time. How many of their regular patrons have ever been to
in Santa Monica as well, as I have? Yet we all live in
The weather reminds me of a desktop theme. You get big waves with your stormy skies. Blue skies with big, puffy clouds come standard with crisp, fresh air. Is today's theme a bit off? I suppose gray skies and still water go together. I wish they'd go together somewhere else. Is it just me, or is the world a bit sludgy today? I can't be me. I'd like to pick a new theme for today. Can we have some rain with choppy seas, with perhaps a ray of sunshine peeking out? Oh, yeah, and some more wind? The swirly kind.
When you look closely at a shiny marble floor you may see many imperfections of different forms. Marble's beauty is derived from such imperfections. I suppose that there are some people who encounter marble floors wherever they go. Ho hum, more marble. Not me, I pay special attention to marble wherever I find it. An unappreciated existence can get quite lonely, even for a lowly inanimate object no matter how ornate. Next time you walk across the lobby at a fancy hotel be sure to down for a moment. If you're are lucky, perhaps the floor will reciprocate the gesture.
You want my number? OK. Let me get a pen. Can I use that piece of paper? Here you go. I'll just enter your number on my cell phone. There. OK. Yes, anytime after three o'clock.
" [3:30] Maybe I should call her. Why did she ask for my number if she didn't want to call me? She probably just lost track of time. I'll call her. Should I? No, that's a bad idea. She'll call. Or she won't. If I had asked for her number, I would just call. All right, so I'll call her. Or maybe I'll just—
The never-ending striving for understanding propels our civilization forward, asymptotically approaching, but never reaching that elusive goal. Who first thought to build a structure in sublime shape of a pyramid? Even if aliens built the pyramids, who showed them how? How must the beautiful mind that first conceived of such a thing have felt about this conception? Was it whimsy? What would we build if ceased to constrain ourselves by the tyranny of gravity? Would our concept of beauty change? Perhaps beauty means freedom from constraint – or is it the embrace and extension of that very constraint? I don't understand.
The flame is different. Permanently temporary as a crashing wave, it captivates as it consumes. I sit and watch the fire dance. How many moments pass? The wood-burning stove that was once overloaded with logs now needs more wood to keep it fed. Another moment passes. Orange, blue and red it burns. I imbue it with passion and consciousness, but it does not care about these things as it dances before me. The only agenda it has is to spread, to consume, and to transform. Our mastery of fire is an emblem of civilization, I think but the fire laughs.
Every restaurant parking lot I can see is full of cars. It is let's take Mothers [to lunch] Day. Are you hungry, Mom? Have some flowers with your food. I read that Barbara Bush is having none of it. She doesn't care for Mother's Day because it is too commercial. How sad – can they even have Mother's Day without Barbara Bush? Our president certainly could not. Does that make Mother's Day less official? I wonder if George W. Bush is going to take his mom out to lunch today. I'll bet his motorcade will fill up a restaurant parking lot.
My grandfather used to gaze at the stars with my Dad through a telescope. By the time my Dad did the same with me, we had to distinguish between stars and satellites. When I look at the stars with my children, there are so many more satellites to see, and they are often more interesting to look at than the stars. My computer now controls the telescope I use, and I can tell it ti call up whatever I want to look at. When my children and grandchildren look at the stars, will they manage to take a closer look?
I noticed that they finished construction on that apartment building a few blocks away. I can remember watching the busy cranes hauling materials to and fro', the loud jackhammers splitting the concrete. To look at the building now you'd never know it wasn't always there. Modern construction methods are a wonder to behold. If only modern architecture had kept pace. Right under my nose - a brand spanking new nondescript building painted in a muted shade of yellow with brown highlights. The timid design has the requisite big windows and generous patios, but… Where have you gone, Frank Lloyd Wright?
I blew my nose too hard and the world around me started to spin wildly. It doesn't take much to show you how fragile humans are - a little inner ear imbalance is a potent reminder. Did you ever try to go 24 hours without eating or drinking? After 12 hours food is all you think about. You can't think about anything else, not even sex. Well, maybe sex, but pretty soon the thoughts about sex turn to whipped cream and other food fetishes. Of course, once you break your fast, you quickly forget. Until you blow your nose again.
"Mind if I sit down?" she asked. "Be my guest" I replied. "That looks healthy" I ventured. "I suppose so. I'm trying to be good. I feel better when I eat right. Is that all you're having?" said she. "Well, yeah. What can I tell you? My whole world would collapse without coffee. I tried to quit for a couple of years, but they paroled me, so…. Kidding! But it is nice to see you smile. Did you get the job?" I asked. "Was it that obvious? Did my power suit give it away? What do you think?" She smiled.
The misty air feels heavy. It slows down the world within its sphere. As I inhale it fills cool, but not quite chilly. I cannot make out the details of the shapes that are before me. There is no sharpness, but there is no fear. I glide on top. I surf across my feelings, skimming, skimming, never dipping below the surface. The tune bounces in my head, I can hear, but I do not see. I look away, lest the image clarify and rob me of my bliss. The lazy, hazy cheerfulness of knowing vaguely that all is well, drops.
One does feel quite small when crossing the ocean on a huge cruise ship, but it is not that frightening. I did feel quite brave to spend some time at the bow in the driving rain and raging wind. It was hard to tell where the clouds started and where the water began. But when it became too scary, I went inside and jumped into the pool to take my mind off of it. I cannot imagine the courage it took for those ancient sailors to wait for the wind to blow them to the other side of the world.
Would all those philosophers who wrote long books contemplating the meaning of life really be happy if they discovered it? What if the answer to that most important question – why – is really a mathematical formula. What if the reason that the waves of the sea behave as the waves of sound do due to some esoteric calculation that forms the basis for existence? Perhaps beauty is in the eye of the beholder, yet why is it that almost all the men who behold the current configuration of Anna Kournikova agree that she is a babe. Could it be that qtpi=2x38c?
There was a car accident a block from where I live. I didn't hear it – I just saw the flashing lights and backed up traffic. I couldn't tell if it was serious, but it took about an hour to clear up. I looked out the window a minute ago and saw no sign of the accident. If I hadn't noticed it in the first place, I'd never have known that it happened, but to the people involved it was a major event. Perhaps the final event. At least the cops involved in the accident's aftermath will mention it at dinner.
Some idiot is bringing a cactus plant on to his boat. The wind is roaring, not that it stops the stupid ducks from bobbing for fish. The mist hangs ominously in the distance over the Santa Monica bay. That car is painted in the most offensive shade of green. Can you tell that I have a throbbing headache? A bit of shooting pain is all it takes to make me feel like the whole world is against me. Fishermen, jogging college co-eds, sailors, motorists – they all have it in for me. Can't they all just STOP. I have a HEADACHE!
There is something in the air again. India and Pakistan are playing
like something out of a movie from back when Mathew Broderick was still too young to get laid, let alone married to Sarah Jessica Parker. Like computer geeks were ever that cute. Maybe we're all jumpy for nothing, but I don't feel like I'll ever sleep blissfully again until those bastards are chatting with Allah, who I guess will have something to teach his wayward children. I don't understand what is taking so long. I'm afraid of how freaked out I'd be if I really knew.
I only got ninety minutes of sleep last night. It is almost 11pm. I am cranky, tired, and cranky. I think I said that. When I get like this stupid Beatles songs start spontaneously playing in my head – "I'm soooo tired. I haven't slept a wink." You know the song. It is so annoying. Also, my eyes get kind of dry, which all this computer work doesn't help. So you might not really like the entry for today. Tough. You can skip to tomorrow if you like, I'm sure it is really good. Well, I'm pretty sure. Unless I'm dead.
My kindergarten teacher gave my mom a list of school supplies that she had to get for me. Somewhere on that list was a box of 16 crayons. When I got to school one or two of the girls had those huge boxes of 64 crayons. Brenda and Karen, I think. Cheaters. I remember Brenda's last name, but I've forgiven her by now. Karen too. The point is, at that age I couldn't imagine anything better than 64 colors. Later that year my mom got me the big box of 64. I was happy. My life was set. What happened?
Somewhere along the line the mall went from a place you go to buy something that you needed into simply a place you go - a destination. When you look at older malls that were designed long ago you realize how much has changed. The mall I went to today was built over twenty years ago, but has several sections added on. Sure it has four parking lots strewn across the property, but the evolution is really evident when you walk the interior. The right shops are all there but the compromises and adaptations to everyday life is readily apparent.
If only the Wright brothers were here to see this. The parade of small planes and even helicopters dragging ever more elaborate billboards behind them can only mean one thing: summer has officially started. Pack up some beer, sandwiches, the kids, some water toys, towels whatever. Pile them all into the car. Fight the wall to wall traffic, circle the parking lot a few times before a find a spot you can pry yourself into. Walk around until you find a small spot to claim for your very own. Sit back and enjoy the fresh air and the crashing waves.
If Memorial Day is supposed to be the start of summer, why is it so damn cold? Sure, it was warm enough today, but now the sky is cloudy, there's a hint of fog and it is cold. I need to wear a jacket. In the fall, I would call this crisp. Nice fall weather. Good football weather. Three weeks from now I might kill for this kind of weather. Not too humid, just a light breeze. You can't see your breath when you exhale. Right now though, it is just cold. How can you jump in the pool now?
When I look up at the daytime sky I can look through the atmosphere and "see" the stars hiding behind it. If I see the moon peeking through it does not scare me. At night I see the stars approaching as my mind takes flight. I "see" the curvature of the earth as I fly. The nighttime does not scare me since I can "see" the light that is missing in the dark. My perceptions are shaped by scientific reality that is as real for me as the gods of antiquity were to my ancestors. But I have satellite imagery.
Words of a feather flock together. A snitch, in time, can save nine. I had a forceful theme for today's entry. I was going to log it this afternoon. It was just bursting out, but I didn't have the chance to catch it.. You'll just have to make do with this effort. Why do people forget stuff in the first place. What good is that? Oh yeah, I finally remember – it was my take on human nature. That would have been easy to keep to one hundred words. Hah. It will have to wait until tomorrow. Will you remind me?
lose. In the historic wars between
was defeated, some part of
. Yet the struggle continues. Eastern religions are thought to be peaceful. I think this is because they preach detachment. I cannot imagine how Kashmir could be of sufficient strategic value to either India or Pakistan to justify the risk of nuclear war, but then I look upon Kashmir with detachment. If you examine any dispute closely it makes perfect sense, but with some detachment it becomes utterly stupid. Yet even the monks fight on.
It seems silly that we worry so much about running out of energy when we have a big yellow sun beating down on us most every day. That baby has enough energy to power your coffee maker, your toaster and your microwave. Of course it is kind of hot, but I think that may be a good thing. We say that it is sad that humans don't think for the long term, but what's the point? A pessimist will note that in the long run, we're all dead, while an optimist thinks we don't have a problem to begin with.
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