Well, things have been busy. Saturday Duncan took me out to a winery shindig in Mendocino. He had originally planned to go with a beautiful woman named Janey, but this beautiful woman had some personal sympathy for my present situation, and was happy to send me along instead. I have not yet retrieved my fedora from the city, I might do that tonight, and since Duncan’s ride is a Porsche Boxster, he grabbed me a hat at Long’s drugs. “Originally I was looking at the baseball caps, but then I remembered Danny’s style!” It was a good trip, tasting wines. I grabbed a couple at this one very off-the-track winery that Duncan loves, because the wines have such excitingly distinctive tastes!
Today, I walked down to church, wearing a new shirt I had bought at Target. The farewell sermon from the outgoing intern minister, Lisa Sargent, was off the hook and beautiful. The congregation gave her a standing ovation! It was about going “off the map” into uncharted territory, in life. This is something she has done in her life, something I have done in mine, and something a lot of us tend to do at the end of Spring. So, it was apropos for so many people. One of the important themes she described was faith, and what faith is. She said “belief clings, faith lets go.” And that is how I feel . . . I have faith in myself, in my world, in the people. I have faith in my own future, however unknown it has recently become. I have faith in Dad, and his recovery. And I have faith that Yayoi . . . she will live her life, and I hope in time she will better know herself. Too bad that one had to be let go. So, I can not cling to the life I had even a few months ago, but I have faith in the new life I am leading.
I stopped by the bookstore, and got what looks to be a very good cookbook “for two, or for one.” I look forward to trying it out and eating well, on my own and I hope, on occasion, with some company. I also grabbed a yoga video. Yoga? Well, I remembered reading on Hiromi‘s blog somewhere that she used to be like me: so inflexible she couldn’t touch her toes, but thanks to yoga, life’s a lot more “wow.” There’s a class at Heather Farm later in June I might go for, but I don’t know how long I’ll keep to living in the ‘Creek, so I figured a $15 in the DVD player is worth more than an $88 class in the uncertain future, let’s give it a shot.
I also grabbed an amplified radio antenna at Radio Shack, and after a bit of waving around, have found solid reception for KQED! So, I have some interesting human voices back in the house with me!
This morning at church I was talking to Aiko, who had heard through Yayoi how much I had enjoyed Dave Sammons’ May 7 sermon on Suffering. I had been especially attuned to his words that day given how much I had happened to be suffering at that time. Aiko had said that she had not enjoyed the sermon as much. She felt that when it came to understanding suffering, the Buddhists were better at it than the UUs, because after all, suffering is central to Buddhist philosophy.
Anyway, Dave’s sermon was, in a way, akin to a blog post, in which he reviewed, quoting at length, the work of Gerald Sittser, who, in his book A Grace Disguised, narrated his own confrontation with suffering from the death of his family in a car accident. So, here I’ll share some of Sittser, some of Sammons, and some of Howard.
The Buddha is sometimes quoted as saying that desire is suffering. A more accurate translation is that selfish desire is suffering â€“ in fact, the source of all suffering. But desire itself is simply power, neither good nor bad.
Without the tremendous power of desire, there can be no progress on the spiritual path; there can be no progress anywhere. The whole secret of spiritual transformation is turning selfish desire into selfless desire, transforming personal passions into the overwhelming desire to attain lifeâ€™s highest goal. This is not repression; it is transformation.
I would say, that it is best if your desire is to give. And the real trick here is to give selflessly. I read recently about true giving, which is the process of learning about what is needed, and trying to give that. So often, we give someone what we want to give. We give what we would want to have. True giving is more interesting. I think it is tricky for people in our culture because we tend to live our lives in peer groups. If everyone is mostly like us, where’s the mystery as to what we need to give? But ask a parent, and they can tell you its pretty obvious that your personal needs differ from those you love the most. You give children what they need to grow.
As we practice true giving, then we don’t have to be as concerned with our own selfish desires. We have friends, family, lovers, who want to know us enough to provide what is needed when it is needed.
And when we lack for these people, we start with ourselves.
You hear about the three guys who hanged themselves to death at Guantanamo, using their bedsheets?Â You might have thought “suicide” but apparently, you were wrong:
“They have no regard for human life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation but an act of asymmetric warfare against us.” – Navy Rear-Admiral Harry Harris, base commander
I myself, have been wondering about the purity of my seed since I began drinking flouridated water.
But, uhm, thanks, Haidong, for the link.
Friday night, volunteer at a “single professionals” party. Dig that I am the youngest person there. Some of the old ladies are looking fine, but I’m in for people-watching. Their hopes inspire.
Saturday night, first date. A woman I like, more than I should just now, but hey. We take it easy.
Sunday morning, setting up for church, sermon, farewell, lunch, strawberry shortcake.
Home to chat with a friend on the phone.
Out to San Francisco for the Haight St Fair. Crowded bus, cheek to cheek with a beautiful stranger. Disembark, greeted by an aged Chinese flowergirl, lemonade fried mushrooms and high with old friends. Dancing to raggae on a crowded sidewalk.
Floating to the mission, sangria, calamari, and salad.
Potatoes, chicken, and more sangria. A walk with a pretty philipino and a furry lhaso apso.
Ride home with a doggy in my lap, crash, and wake up restless but groggy at 4am, determined to keep on.
Oh, hell yeah. It is midnight Monday now, I am completely exhausted but still a bit euphoric. I will add that “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is a freaking bad-ass, hard-core, balls-to-the-wall awesome movie. Watch it! Ah yes, and I squeezed in a thoroughly platonic date with a second lady this evening. We had a good time, touching only with our eyes. Works for me! Good week, everyone!
On the way home today I stopped at Barnes & Noble, thinking to find either some poetry or a book of jokes. Specifically, I was looking for some good poetry that might stick in the mind. I visited my old friend Ginsberg, but he can be awfully tedious. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a book called “Good Poems” . . . selected and introduced by Garrison Keillor. Now, Garrison himself is a tedious windbag who shouldn’t spend the hours each week he does on public radio, but I have heard some good stuff on The Writer’s Almanac and these are poems from there.
I grabbed a Tazo, sat down across from a pretty student, and opened the book and indeed, found a good poem. Then I found a good poem I thought I’d share with Yayoi, but then I recalled I don’t share with that person any more. I found instead a poem I will share here, since it is kind of topical: (more…)
So, my friend Jessica crashed at my place over the weekend. She’s getting past a failed engagement, so we are in a similar place. She also wanted avoid the heat wave of Mountain View. Somehow even without A/C my apartment isn’t so bad. I had promised her a leaky air mattress but that went with the ex-wife. So, she contented herself with the couch.
We went to the Crawdad Festival up north somewhere, me and three single Asian ladies. Well, it wasn’t that spectacular. The food was decent but the ladies couldn’t take the heat. Oh well.
We also spent some time checking out apartments in Oakland. Best as I can tell, I need to just give my thirty days notice and then cruise Craigslist every day, and pound on the first awesome deal I can score.
Today we saw a really nice place a little into the Berkeley hills. Nice nice nice just off 13, but, well, a mile and a half to Rockridge BART is pushing sub-optimal. Dang this lame commute! (more…)
Ahhh, Google Custom Home Page, you are having a bad day.
I had in mind, a line, from Shakeapear’s “Othello”:
“Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee.Â And when I love thee not, chaos is come again.”
Which today I shall parse as:
“Loving you is hell, and when I stop, it is back to chaos.”
The chaos is some part of your life like an old sailing ship tossed in unknowable directions by a storm at sea.Â We don’t know how long it will last, and the captain best have a clear mind, a steady hand, a strong will, and a good heart.Â The ship must have a crew of loyal friends and family who keep the ship right through troubled waters.Â As the storm clears, the clouds break, the sun shines, and the telescope is raised, one can see the distant shore.Â The objective is to arrive whole and sane, so that you may rise to the challenges and opportunities afforded by the new land.
I’ll be canoeing tomorrow.Â Go figure.
So, this weekend Jessica and I joined other friends-of-Meghan to camp out and take a 10 mile canoe trip down the Russian River, to celebrate Meghan’s 25th birthday. It was an excellent weekend! Well, except I got a nasty sunburn on the top of my thighs. Fortunately, I had the good sense to avail myself of sun screen, and it was only after I hopped in the river to catch an errant paddle that I got in trouble when the pasty parts of my legs were relieved of their protection.
I also got to ride in Kaya’s Prius, which is totally Citroen inside! Anyway . . . I have no business with such an expensive cool car, but lately I have thought that if I were looking for a new ride, an older Cadillac convertible would totally be awesome. Basically, a sexy version of the station wagon?
In life, things are better. I confess that I have taken now twice to a dinner of cereal, with a dessert of beer, and that tends to put me to sleep way early. I’m going to try not to make a pattern of this. I admit, though, there is now a pile of unfolded laundry, a pile of un-opened mail, months of unread New Yorkers . . . and I keep missing my deadline to catch the morning bus and end up driving to work. Things to work on, but little symptoms that wake me up to the “don’t get into a bachelor funk” thing. I’ll fold the laundry tonight. The paperwork . . . (more…)
My nostrils are enjoying the constant smell of somewhat-baked-Danny-plus-campfire-smoke that has been infused into my epidermis over the weekend. I love this smell! Makes me feel like a human hot dog! Sooo tasty! I need me a bun and some steak sauce! And vegetables!
Actually, that reminds me I need to get groceries.
I ate out last night. Overpriced but ginormous gyros sandwich. I skipped out on my morning muffin from the muffin lady today. I love to start the day by buying my muffin from her, and then heading upstairs to eat her muffin, but I had no appetite this morning. (Yesterday we did the chit-chat and I complimented her on her looks, thus, officially “flirted” maybe.) Darn you, gyros! But, instead of joining the work crew who headed to Whole Foods I visited the muffin lady for lunch, and consumed a bowl of chili and a fruit thingus. And read my book, Bulgakov’s “Heart of a Dog” and while doing so, noticed that there were attractive women checking me out as I checked out them. One read her own book, but what book that was eludes my memory. Oh man, I gotta get growing beyond the comfort of the muffin lady and into flirting with strangers. It will come.
I also gotta resist the urge to compare myself to a hot dog and talk about my muffin munching on the blog.
Or do I?
Oh man, I just swallowed my gum:
I resent paying for Head and Shoulders shampoo so much that I have been buying generic shampoo and putting it into the same Head and Shoulders bottle for over two years. Honey, you’re bald and you don’t need shampoo anymore. You especially don’t need one that controls dandruff. You have more hair on your ass than you do on your head and you use soap on your ass.
I read this out loud to a coworker, and she said that yes, it took her boyfriend some getting used to the fact that she freely expresses her opinions, like “that is the ugliest shirt I have ever seen.”
One of the key desires I have for the woman I hope to pair with is that she be sassy. (more…)
| You Are a Boston Creme Donut
| You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.
But on the inside, you’re a total pushover and completely soft.
You’re a traditionalist, and you don’t change easily.
You’re likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and pout if it’s sold out.
Man, I love Boston Creme donuts, and the description is horribly apt.
. . .