Saturday, December 16, 2006

Smart Boys (and Girls) are Vegans/Vegetarians!

Below is a recent release regarding the British Medical Journal and is something that a lot of Vegans and Vegetarians probably already knew. It seems the scientific data to support the notion that Vegetarianism/Veganism is not only a compassionate choice, but a choice that is made from a higher intelligence, is on the rise...

FRIDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- As a child's IQ rises, his taste for meat in adulthood declines, a new study suggests.

British researchers have found that children's IQ predicts their likelihood of becoming vegetarians as young adults -- lowering their risk for cardiovascular disease in the process. The finding could explain the link between smarts and better health, the investigators say.

"Brighter people tend to have healthier dietary habits," concluded lead author Catharine Gale, a senior research fellow at the MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre of the University of Southampton and Southampton General Hospital.

Recent studies suggest that vegetarianism may be associated with lower cholesterol, reduced risk of obesity and heart disease. This might explain why children with high IQs tend to have a lower risk of heart disease in later life.

The report is published in the Dec. 15 online edition of the British Medical Journal.

"We know from other studies that brighter children tend to behave in a healthier fashion as adults -- they're less likely to smoke, less likely to be overweight, less likely to have high blood pressure and more likely to take strenuous exercise," Gale said. "This study provides further evidence that people with a higher IQ tend to have a healthier lifestyle."

In the study, Gale's team collected data on nearly 8,200 men and women aged 30, whose IQ had been tested when they were 10 years of age.

"Children who scored higher on IQ tests at age 10 were more likely than those who got lower scores to report that they were vegetarian at the age of 30," Gale said.

The researchers found that 4.5 percent of participants were vegetarians. Of these, 2.5 percent were vegan, and 33.6 percent said they were vegetarian but also ate fish or chicken.

There was no difference in IQ score between strict vegetarians and those who said they were vegetarian but who said they ate fish or chicken, the researchers add.

Vegetarians were more likely to be female, of higher social class and better educated, but IQ was still a significant predictor of being vegetarian after adjustment for these factors, Gale said.

"Vegetarian diets are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk in a number of studies, so these findings suggest that a such a diet may help to explain why children or adolescents with a higher IQ have a lower risk of coronary heart disease as adults," Gale said.

One expert said the findings aren't the whole answer, however.

"This study left many unanswered questions such as: Did the vegetarian children grow up in a household with a vegetarian parent? Were meatless meals regularly served in the household? Were the children eating a primarily vegetarian diet at the age of 10?" said Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

"In addition, we don't know the beliefs or attitudes of the parents of the children, nor do we know if there was a particular event that led these children to becoming vegetarian in their teens or adulthood," Sandon said.

As the study showed, more women than men chose a vegetarian diet, Sandon noted. "Other research shows that women in general will focus more on their health than men. So, if they believe that a vegetarian diet will have health benefits, they are more likely to follow it," she said.

Given these factors, "we cannot draw any solid conclusions from this research," Sandon added.

Another expert agreed that a vegetarian diet is healthy.

"The evidence linking vegetarianism to good health outcomes is very strong," said Dr. David L. Katz, the director of the Prevention Research Center and an associate professor of public health at the Yale University School of Medicine.

"Studies, for example, of vegetarian Seventh-Day Adventists in California suggest that they have lower rates of almost all major chronic diseases, and greater longevity, than their omnivorous counterparts," Katz said. "Evidence is also strong and consistent that greater intelligence, higher education, and loftier social status -- which tend to cluster with one another -- also correlate with good health."

Sunday, November 26, 2006

THE BEST BANDS YOU'VE NEVER HEARD

Here ia a list of artists and bands on MySpace that you really should know about! Seriously, go through and listen to AT LEAST one song of each, all the way through... take your time. Enjoy. This is by no means a complete list, but it's a start...

CHRIS GARNEAU
I am in love with him so much! I can't stop listening... over and over and over. He feels to me like the smoothing of my ruffled feathers, and I's gots some ruffled feathers in this life. He comforts me.
NOTE: Performing LIVE at THE LIVING ROOM on Dec. 7th!

THE AGE OF ROCKETS
Múm meets The Postal Service in these beautiful, delicate beats, melodious moods, and lullaby lyrics sound-painted by the sweet vocals of Andrew Futral. Gorgeous!
NOTE: Performing LIVE at THE BITTER END on DEC. 11th!

MUM
Delicate, delicate blips and bleeps and beauty from a world between the worlds.

MAHOGANY
NOTE: Performing LIVE at Rockwood Music Hall on DEC. 4th!

JENNY O
I think she reminds me of the best of This Mortal Coil's vocals, with similar haunt and harmony.

GREGORY AND THE HAWK
Gentle, pleasant, story-songs couched in waltzing notes and the kind vocals of Meredith Godreau.
NOTE: Performing with THE AGE OF ROCKETS at THE BITTER END on Dec. 11th!

PLASTIC OPERATOR
WONDERFUL, upbeat and catchy music with the soft singing that reminds me of Erland Oye of KINGS OF CONVENIENCE. This stuff sticks in your frickin' head all day!

Lucy Belle Guthrie
Need I say more... (the daughter of Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie)

Soce, The Elemental Wizard
Making Hip Hop and Rap FUN and Dirty and GAY!

SHORT STORIES

POPULOUS

THE BOY LEAST LIKELY TO
"if all your childhood stuffed animals got together and started a band, it might sound like the boy least likely to" - rolling stone magazine
LOVE THEM!!

TRIPLEPLUS FEELGOOD
Transportive Electronic Ambience

Do you have any you would add to this that you think I would like?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Horrors and Hawmi

Yesterday I did not wake up. I was ripped into the daylight of my life because I was having a nightmare. Now, I've had scary dreams before (my blog is littered with them): apocolyptic dreams, and massive disaster dreams... For some reason, I play out a lot of my subconscious in these tragedies. These dreams are over-the-top, graphic, horrible, and somehow I am always safe in them. This latest dream was not really that different from the usual of my scarier dreams, but I was pushed from the dream and into my room through my panicked breathing and feelings of utter terror! It was very weird! I don't remember ever having that happen, before.

THE (horror) DREAM:
I was in a hotel room with someone who was teaching me Yoga. There was a large pane of window that looked out onto a parking lot, a busy highway, and across to some kind of business, like a 7-11 or something, on the other side of that highway. I was doing some sort of squatting thing while facing out the window and I started acting silly, bending my arms up at the elbows, facing my hands out, downward, and making chicken noises, laughing. My teacher wasn't that amused, but I was really cracking myself up, squatting there, my arms dancing like an Egyptian's, and snickering.

Suddenly, out the window I see one car crash into another, sending the one that got hit onto its side and rolling down an embankment. I shouted out, "Oh my god! A car just crashed!" My teacher seemed uninterested and at first I thought the teacher just thought I was kidding, so said it again. By this time, ANOTHER car crashed into the one still left on the highway! And then another, and another! My teacher still just stood there, not able to see out the window from where he/she was. I couldn't just stand there any longer, so I gathered myself up and ran outside.

That's when I saw three toddlers on tricycles. In some kind of slow motion, I saw them being hit by the various traffic and sliding on their sides along the pavement!

By now there were fires and screaming and it was just awful!

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone calling from a cell phone to 911. I thought, Oh DUH! I should call 911! But as that person dialed, a large Black man suddenly rose from the crashes and debris with a large two-by-four swinging... and he rushed up behind the person who was dialing and smashed his head! The body just dropped in convulsions.

I was stunned, but thought quickly enough to try to dial 911, too. The man glanced up at me, hatefully, from the distance and said in this terrifying voice, "Don't even think about calling for help."

He started toward me.

I rushed to a car that still seemed driveable from among the wreckage and got into the driver's seat just as he was rounding the car. There were keys in the ignition! Thank god! The big man was now at my driver's side window, his face bloody and burned, his clothes shredded. He flattened both of his hands against the window as I tried to start the car. He spittled out, "You will never get away."

He stepped back, pulled the two-by-four into a huge, arcing motion, and swung it toward the window. I closed my eyes...

...and woke up, out of breath, and shaking.

WHAT THE!!!

But last night's dream wasn't scary; it was strange and beautiful.

THE (hawmi) DREAM:

I dreamt that Hawmi was hosting me for a weekend in his home. It wasn't his home that I know in waking life; it was a huge, multi-leveled, epic mansion of some sort and he lived there, alone. Although he lived there alone, he would lease out the entire space to large groups of people for various occassions over extended periods of time, so he was never really "alone" and his income was dependant on that.

I remember we were having this wonderful time, just romping around the grounds and the mansion, playing and laughing, but whenever a tenant would be nearby, Hawmi would change his demeanor to a very professional stance and make sure they were being served well by the stafe, that they were happy, etc.

It came to my attention that everyone who was there at the time, though, Hawmi did NOT like. He was happy to have them in the house because they did generate income, but he was counting the days for them to leave.

At one point, we were walking together through a pristine, white dining area where several of the tenants were having lunch or dinner. Everything was so white, even though this seemed to be a large, outdoor area connected off the mansion.

The plate that day, at that time, was something that included Corn-on-the-Cob. Everyone was grumbling about having to eat it, and they were completely perplexed as to HOW to eat it. Some were pricking off kernels with a fork, others were biting it, but immediately putting it back down in disgust at the "mess."

Hawmi just rolled his eyes as we noticed these people behaving so melodramatically over Corn-on-the-Cob. I was very confused as to what kind of people didn't know how to eat corn-on-the-cob!

A table with three guys looked up and caught Hawmi's eye as we were walking past and said in a smug, presumptuous tone, "Can you HELP with this?!"

Hawmi patiently bent over the table, took out a knife, held the corn at at angle, and slid the knife along the cob under the kernels, popping them off onto the plate into a nice, neat pile. Everyone was so impressed and exclaimed, "ohhhh..." as if this was just genius. The leaves (called "shucks") from the corn were still on cob, so Hawmi cut those off, too. As he did so, I saw him lift the bundle of leaves up in a way that left his fingers buttery and busy... and he paused. Everyone at the table paused, too, waiting to see if he would do what it looked like he was about to do. Hawmi glanced back at me with a calm, but telling look... and then he did it. He LICKED his buttery fingers from having been touching the corn... and then proceeded to touch and turn the cob so as to remove the corn for the obnoxious tenant.

The tenant threw down his napkin and said, "Ohhh! I cannot believe you did that! How unsanitary! How uncivil!" and he pushed himself out and away from the table. He then called for everyone else to get up and leave with him, not only from the dining area, but to leave from this epic mansion.

I was so nervous as to what Hawmi was going to do because he was now losing all of these people! He just stood there, watching them leave. I waited and in a few moments, it was so quiet, except for birds and breeze.

Then Hawmi looked at me... paused... opened up a big grin, reached around me with his familiar, warm hug, lifted me up into him, and said, "NOW the place is all ours! NOW we can play!! LET'S GO!" and set me back down, took off running, looking back for me to chase him.

And I did.

AWwwww!

Hawmi n CocteauBoy

HAWMI n COCTEAUBOY bein' silly

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Out Of Control

My recent experience of being near that car that sped out of control and through the fence and into parked cars and into traffic was followed nearly the next day by others narrowing escaping death at the wheels of an SUV with designs of its own:

SUV PINS THREE PEOPLE UNDER ITS WHEELS

YIKES!

Oh, and remember the guy who ran down the crowd at Herald Square? And then that horrible one out in Queens where the ladies were crossing the vast highway/street and were standing on the median, waiting, when an SUV flipped out of control, into the air, and then LANDED on them?

Believe me: I count my lucky stars... because this is not the first time it has happened to me:

Once, I was standing at an intersection in Raleigh, NC called FIVE POINTS, on my way home nearby, when a woman couldn't get her brakes to work... she was headed toward the intersection that was a convergence of FIVE streets, so the traffic was crissing and crossing like mad. Rather than be in her car when she rolled into that swarming intersection, she threw herself from the driver's side, screaming wildly, and crumbled into the traffic coming up from behind her!

I do not know HOW she did not get crushed, but she jumped up, dazed, and stumble-ran to the side of the street.

Meanwhile, in my own daze, I did not realize the car was rolling right toward me because I was so frozen watching her FROGGER herself out of the traffic! The car jumped the curb, ROLLED OVER MY FOOT as I suddenly tried to jump back, then swerved back off of the sidewalk and into the 5-points intersection. Cars were whizzing by and missing the out-of-control car by mere inches, but the car made it all the way through the intersection without a scratch... and then jumped the curb, hurling into a gas station, knocked a gas pump loose, and smashed into a car so hard that they both jutted upward into an inverted V-shape!! The gas pump exploded into a massive plume, bodies flew into the air on fire and into the intersection where cars then hit them and hurtled them back into the air. It was hysteria! Another explosion blew out all of the windows from the cars nearby and all of the stores imploded, with the blast throwing me onto the hood of a parked car!

Okay, not really... the red-bold-italic part didn't happen at all. But the rest did, LOL!

No one was really hurt at all; not even the woman who threw herself into traffic.

HOWEVER, as I gave my statement, I did feel my foot was on fire. I had forgotten by then that it had actually rolled over me. I didn't tell them I may be hurt because I really didn't want to go the hospital or be involved anymore than I was.

As I walked home, my foot was stinging like crazy! I got home, pulled off my shoe and sock and found blood was all over the toe of the sock and in the sole of my shoe. Apparently, the weight of the car had "popped" one of my toes! A split was in the side/bottom of my toe like a little cut, bleeding like crazy, and burning like mad. I just cleaned myself up and bandaged it, limped around a bit for a while, but mostly just felt so lucky that I wasn't just completely smooshed. My toe healed nicely and you would never know.

The other time was in Brooklyn, NY and I was using one of those standing payphones (yes, this was just at the beginning of when everyone then started getting a cell, which, surprisingly, was NOT that long ago - 5/6 years ago?). As I spoke into the phone, I heard a squealing sound, screeching, and I looked up just in time to see a car going out of control, whizzing STRAIGHT TOWARD ME!! It hit the curb HARD, bounced up into the air so high I thought it was going to fly over my head for a second, but then just smashed right into the very phone box I was using, actually ripping the receiver from my hand! But missing me, entirely!

The man driving was not hurt and no one else was hurt, but the payphone was ruined. It remained bent parallel to the ground and smashed up for months before they removed it entirely. It was a haunting sight every day to see this crushed payphone dangling its receiver onto the sidewalk.

I was glad when they removed it.

Have any of you had any close calls with wild vehicles?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You Gotta Fall In Love With EVERYBODY!

DREAM:

I had the most adorable dream this morning! I dreamt that two of my favorite boyfriends whom I have never met (I have a lot of those) and I were making a video for a song that we created together. I actually remember almost ALL of the song and the words! It was a creative collaboration from me, Sufjan Stevens, and Chris Garneau. Two of my most-loved and inspiring contemporary boy singers on the planet. I love them so much!

So the video went like this:

Chris was driving; I was in the passenger seat; and Sufjan was in the back seat in the middle. We were doing this corny, happy, fake driving; like with the fake scenery moving by, and a big steering wheel that Chris would just wiggle back and forth as he sang. The car was "moving" through neighborhoods and down streets that were busy with people who would wave and smile and sing along with the song, especially at the chorus. Everything was all cartoon-y and bright landscape, colorful houses, etc.

The song was called, "YOU GOTTA FALL IN LOVE WITH EVERYBODY!"

The song was bouncy, happy, inspiring, and the bridge to the chorus dropped and then built up to the chorus that crescendoed with all three of us singing, and with lots of kids singing along. Sufjan would sing some parts, I would sing some, and Chris would sing others, as if we were singing to each other a conversation, and to the viewer of the video, too. When one of us would sing, the other two would smile all big and listen intently, nodding and being all silly and happy.

I just can't do it justice for how fun and sweet and uplifting this song sounded... as a song. In my head. In my dream. With me, singing with two of my favorite boyfriends whom I have never met and who don't know I exist, LOL! Which I think is appropriate for the song because I DO seem to fall in love with everybody!

Below the lyrics, I have linked to two videos, along with their sites, so you can get to know Sufjan and Chris, if you don't know them already. And if you don't know of them, you should, because they are part of what makes living on earth such a beautiful experience! Their art make me so happy.

Here are the lyrics to my dream song:

You Gotta Fall In Love With Everybody

On our backs
We scream out loud
Against the failing wounds and empty scars
But our pain
Doesn'’t make us different
We are tiny sparkles among billions of stars

On our feet
We try to fight
Everything we hate or fear
But our pain
Doesn't make us different
It's all music and we just don'’t hear

So what do we do when we want the love
What do we do when we want the truth
What do we do when we want the beauty

We gotta make us laugh
We gotta let us cry
And we gotta fall in love with everybody
We gotta fall in love with everybody

In the sky
We seek a savior
Our intelligence put on shelves
But our pain
Doesn't make us different
No one can save us but (from) ourselves

In the clouds
We seek our heaven
To escape from where our feet now stand
But our pain
Doesn'’t make us different
We just need to put our hand in hand

So how we gonna get to all that love
How we gonna get to all that truth
How we gonna get to all that beauty

We gotta make us laugh
We gotta let us cry
And we gotta fall in love with everybody
We gotta fall in love with everybody


CHRIS GARNEAU
OFFICIAL SITE
MYSPACE

VIDEO: RELIEF



SUFJAN STEVENS

OFFICIAL SITE
MYSPACE

VIDEO: JOHN WAYNE GACY, JR. (this song is heart-breaking and haunting)

I Coulda Died

Oh how the mind reels when within feet of possible harm or death. Yes, last night, I coulda died.

I Coulda Died
THIS DOES NOT DO IT JUSTICE

I was rushing about with my dog, Spyder, through the iron-fenced parking lot of my building, working my way with her to the massive gates that lead out onto the sidewalk... when I suddenly heard this painful squealing. Before I could register what it really was, a car instantly shot out of its idle parking position, tires smoking, and raced erratically toward the high, iron fence... SMASHED through the iron fence, flipping a huge portion of the fence wildly open like a deadly gate, then across the sidewalk, CRASHED into the parked cars on the street, PUSHED two of the parked cars out into traffic, and finally halted... tires STILL squealing and smoking!

This was a mere 10 feet from me.

I was torn between running to see if the driver was okay, and standing there, trying to comprehend what had just happened (and wondering if the car was going to blow up) and how lucky I was to not have been 30 seconds earlier into my walk with Spyder!

Of course, all of this happened more quickly than it seemed to have happened and the car finally stopped spinning its tires. Several of us rushed to the car to make sure the driver was okay, and she was, as was her passenger, but the most surreal thing about this was when the woman stepped from the car, I said: "My god, how did this happen?!" and she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "I don't know." and then proceeded to gather her purse from the car as if she had just parked her car outside the post office or something. Her passenger and she just ignored everyone and gathered a few things from the car and started walking away! Authorities were already descending on the crash, so they didn't go very far, but it was so strange to see how flippant the driver was... though she just may have been in shock.

YIKES!

I coulda died!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

In One Fell Swoop

Okay... I am back... (my god, has it been that long?) and in one fell swoop, I will try to update my lil blog o love about the happenin's of my life... it's been pretty good, but exhausting. I know I had better get back to blogging when the gorgeous Jane Doe starts hunting me down!

PHYSICAL WORLD

  • HOME
Still adapting to a new life without the immediate presence of my friends. Still adapting to living with someone completely new who does not have the same life or lifestyle as I. Still adapting to not being able to call home, "home." Lying low in my bedroom to make as little a footprint as possible in a space that is not mine. Still adapting to the intense depressions and upsets that regularly beset my roommate's life, which require considerable amounts of energy and time to maneuver. Still adapting to the more-constant-than-should-be-necessary need to communicate my hygiene and space boundaries with a roommate who finds it is entirely acceptable to use other people's toiletries, drying off on my towel, or using my bar of soap, forcing me to have to bring up the issue in awful, awkward moments (for me) that then lead to his simply writing me off as "uptight" and "neurotic." Still adapting to living with someone who finds it entirely acceptable to throw trash on the floor and counter, leave rotting food in the sink, put away dishes with coagulated and crusty dog food on them, and tossing empty plastic bags on the floor. I had to buy a new, separate set of silverware because I cannot eat off of a spoon that has been used to scrape out gelatinous, soggy meat from a cheap can of dog food and then left to encrust over it. I have to keep my towel, my soap, my toothbrush, my silverware, all separate and protected. I am not used to having to live like this.

I really miss having a sense of home, and it is shocking for me deal with issues I feel are fairly NORMAL to want, such as a clean home and not wanting someone else's body hair on my bar of soap, but my roommate just thinks I have issues.

On the bright side, we get along wonderfully and have great conversations... but then that is even a bit tainted as he explains to me that his only concern in relating to other people is what he can take from them, not in what he has to offer, so he has explained to me that my presence and personality are the only things allowing him to treat me in any decent manner. It makes me very nervous that if the winds change, or if I am not in a mood to make the effort to make him feel better for the day, I would easily be completely disregarded. I feel everyday as if I am living on the thin ice of his ego.

Not fun.

I can write about this pretty freely as none of this would come as a shock to him. It's not some harboring secret. I'm very good about communicating and we do communicate very well. We have had our discussions about the issues and while he DOES make efforts to accommodate my preferences, he just thinks most of it is silly. He has a very foreign philosophy from my own.

On the good side he is very talented and while his motivations may be selfish, he really is a kind person to me, so it's the closest to home I have right now.

  • TRUTH LOVE ENERGY
My work with my counseling and channeling has taken a back seat to some extent, but only as a means to adjust my direction with it. My focus is moving almost entirely in the direction of the publication of my first books, so I have to step away from the responsibilities of being available to students and clients... just for a while. My site will shift into being subscription-based, with monthly materials released, including chapters from the new book! YAY! I just really have to get these books done and I'm beyond ready! My private counseling and channeling will most likely stop for, at least, all of 2007.

  • INNER WOOF
I've begun supplementing my income by creating my own dogwalking company: INNER WOOF: bringing your inside doggy, outside! I had originally started walking for a company called NYCDogWalkers, but as I worked with that company for a while, I discovered there were no ethics involved, not only in regard to the clients, but to me. I was not being paid what I was promised, and eventually, literally, the man stole from me. As I announced to my clients of NYC Dog Walkers that I would be resigning, several of them asked me if I would be walking dogs on my own... I had considered doing that, but was prepared to start from scratch, so I said, YES! This is when I discovered they were thrilled that I would be doing so and asked if they could remain working with me! So nearly half of my route left with me from NYC Dog Walkers. They did so, not only because we had developed a great rapport and they liked my work with their dog, but also because NYC Dog Walkers was just a poorly run, negative, and nasty company with huge turnover because of how the owner runs things. In the end, the owner showed his true colors by going crazy and contacting all of my clients in a panic and telling them that he had actually fired me because I was a part of some giant crime ring and that I was caught abusing the animals. Good lord! I can sure find the loons. Of course, all of my clients knew this wasn't true, but it was all very shocking and disorienting for a while there. Everyone already knew I was leaving about a week in advance because I wanted them to know before he did. Not only because I knew he would throw a tantrum and possibly not pay me (which he did exactly as I had anticipated), but because I thought they deserved to know that the person who had been walking their dog would be leaving. It had already been established that he would neglect to tell them when other turnovers had happened and people hated not knowing who had keys to their apartment from week to week. I would hate that, too, so I gave them a heads up.

Now these wonderful clients who left with me have a devoted, loving, responsible, consistent person who comes into their homes and takes care of their little furry ones and I LOVE the work!

  • DOWNSIZING
I'm also losing weight like crazy! I've had to poke holes in my belts, and my pants hang all baggier than ever. My tummy is getting flatter, but not muscularly so... Just... Not as... Fat. I'd say I've lost almost 20 lbs, but I really don't know. My legs are lookin' good, what with all of the stairs-climbing all day long! Whoosh! This downsizing has inspired me to begin working out the upper body, which I will begin very soon. I promise.

  • MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING
I'm not making a lot of money, but I'm making consistent money, which is always good. What makes the biggest difference for me is not how much money I can make doing something, but how much happiness I can have while doing it. It makes a world of difference. Also, I am absolutely, completely reliant on my own income (which is another reason I am losing weight, LOL), but it's all a very good thing.

  • MISTER TROY'S NEIGHBORHOOD
One of the best things that has happened to me in a long time was returning back to Manhattan, and more specifically, returning to a part of town I LOVE LOVE LOVE! The Lower East Side is where I will struggle to remain for the rest of my life. I want it to be a major reference for where I have lived in my life when it comes to my bio after I die. HA! I am SO happy here!

EMOTIONAL WORLD

  • FRIENDLY FIRE
I've finally started meeting guys again, but only within the context of friendship. I love to socialize and I find it to be a more inviting context to get to know someone. So when a guy wants to meet, it is done so in that playful , social way and not in some kind of scrutinizing, interview way... we are just out to get to know each other. This has led to some really interesting and wonderful experiences. Sometimes I think I am too Aquarian for my own good because my emphasis is always on "just being friends," but I will know when I have found a guy with whom I can build a romantic relationship. For now, I don't mind having some new pals.

  • REUNION
The biggest news is that I have had an amazing reunion with one of my best friends of my lifetime, IVAN. He was in my life when I first moved to New York City and we were friends who were in love with each other in a way that is rare. I have ached over the years for he and I to be reunited. We had lost each other in about 1995, I think. That's when Johnny and I had broken up... and then Johnny and Ivan expressed an interest in each other, and I was fine with that, even bravely encouraged it, but then I just about went crazy when I realized that their dating would cut me out entirely. That was the one thing I had stated I didn't want to happen, but I was naive and we were all young. It was really devastating, though. That's when I had turned to Cyprus for support... and she had her back to me because she had just discovered an entirely new world in New York City and couldn't be bothered. That's also when one of my favorite Exes, Edward, had also had a reunion with me, but then his new boyfriend told him not to hang out with me anymore, and Edward complied. So I had lost everyone important to me within about a month's time. It flatlined my lifeforce, but somehow, I remained friends with Cyprus, Johnny, even Edward, and I remained deeply connected to Ivan over space and time, even though we lost touch. We had found each other once before, but the timing was off, or something, but now I am grinning ear to ear with happiness because the timing is perfect; our connection is soft and kind, and I am in love with him all over again.

I "fall in love" with people whom I love, very easily. It's not a sexual, romantic thing, but a moving, BIG feeling of embrace and gratitude. That's how I love Ivan and only a few other people in my life. I am so glad we found each other again.

  • LOVE, NOT LOVE
Speaking of falling in love... I occasionally have the RARE experience of meeting someone with whom I feel a deep, confusing, ancient history and our meeting is like a reunion, even though we have never met. It's just like the way I feel about Ivan, except there is no logic to it, since there has never been any contact before... but it still feels like a long-overdue reunion. In most cases, this can be the beginning of a relationship with a guy with whom I then become boyfriends, but not always. I recently found this experience with my "new" friend, Hawmi.

When he met me on a spontaneous decision to hang out one night, we seemed to simply "pick up" from where we had left off... from some other life. At first, this can feel like the beginning of a romantic relationship, and for a few days it was a bit exciting and disorienting, but both of us are smart enough emotionally and intellectually that we were able to quickly acknowledge that our connection is bigger than just some kind of romantic attraction... so we sighed our way into accepting that we have a big, strange, loving, immediately-intimate, playful love for each other... and we will just keep it as friends.

He is destined to be a great film director, and here is his web site for some of his initial short films. Believe me, you will see more of him:

HAWMI


  • LOVE, NOT LOVE 2
In other emotional news, I had befriended a lovely boy who was spending a lot of time with me, laughing, having nice talks, having great fun, but he eventually revealed to me that he wanted more from me than my friendship and stepped away from our friendship with no warning. It was weird to have this person in nearly every day of my life for a while, having such a great time, and then having it all taken away because he couldn't get what he wanted. We had talked about that very soon after meeting and had made it clear that we were not going to go in that direction, but in the end, he said that didn't matter... he still wanted what he wanted and if he couldn't have it, he had to leave. So I rolled with it and just felt inclined to be supportive. After some time now, he has returned contact with me, but we haven't met up to hang out. I think it's best to move slowly back into that potentially messy territory, so we'll see.

  • LOVE, NOT LOVE 3
Well, I have added to my experiences something I have never done before in my life. I went home with someone. Okay, I HAVE gone home with someone at some point in my life, but the once or twice that I did, it was just conversation and late night giggling, and then the only other time was with Clem, who became my boyfriend very soon after.

I HATE going home with someone, or the thought of bringing someone home, just for sex. It makes no sense to me. I don't have anything against it for other people, but for me, it's too fake, too contrived, too... something. If I want to have sex with someone just for sex then it makes sense to just do it right there where we stand, LOL! No pretense, no logistics, just do it. I don't want to have small talk, fake conversations, and be in a stranger's bed, or have them in my sanctuary. It just feels desperate and mutually exploitive, like some kind of extended form of masturbation. My philosophy has always been that sex is easier to get than food, because you can always please yourself, but you can't always feed yourself. So to go to such lengths just for sex seems so empty for me. I'd rather have a bag of chips.

However, I did go home with two people recently. One, was just like the rare one in the past: just lots of silliness and giggling and snuggling like big kids, and I really did enjoy that. It's probably not much different than how I described the desperation of sex, as it's still a kind of emotional desperation, I suppose. I mean, I don't FEEL desperate, but there is a desperation in sleeping with a stranger, no matter how you look at it. I'm willing to own that.

The second person with whom I went home...

OH.

MY.

GOD.

That's all I am going to say because I will tire myself out writing about it. Let me just say that it was probably nowhere near what most people do in these situations, and that I was absolutely "safe" because I don't do the nasty with anyone (except a few rare boyfriends), but I had one of the most incredible, free, comfortable, erotic, satisfying sexual experiences of my life (for several hours, at that). Hands down, one of my all-time favorite sexual experiences.

NOW I can see why someone could get addicted to this stuff, but I won't be getting addicted to it anytime soon. I'm just sayin'... I had an incredible time.

IN.
CRED.
I.
BLE.

Of course, there was a lot of conversation and it wasn't all sexy stuff, or I probably wouldn't have enjoyed myself as much; in fact, he did ask me (playfully) to just shut up a few times. And I would... for a while.

Anyway, that's probably the extent of my "going home with someone" experiences because I don't really like it and I feel lucky that pretty much my one time doing it was so amazing, I don't really see a need to try to recapture it or top it.

I'd rather make sweet love with m'bo'fren. So where ARE you, new boyfriend? Dayyyuumm!

  • VEGAN LOVE
And that's another thing... where the hell are all of the vegetarian and vegan hotties? I know they are out there! I cannot believe I keep meeting these committed carnivores; the ones who adamantly state, "I NEED MY MEAT, DUDE!" Uggh... I mean, they're cute and all, but I gotta have that giant heart thing going on that extends across species. I mean, I've gotta lot of love here to give so I need a guy with a big, big heart. Still waiting...


IN CLOSING, for now:
God, I have a lot more to write about, but I really have to break up this post a bit. I've been very candid and that feels great to actually see that some pretty good things are going on these days.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

ASM & HNIA: Come Out The Wilderness


WOW! Woo HOO! I can't WAIT!!!

From the HNIA site:

ASM & HNIA
"COME OUT THE WILDERNESS"

Four performances 19th-21 September in NYC

Anti-Social Music and His Name is Alive join forces for a three-day four-event residency in New York City called COME OUT THE WILDERNESS, starting with a peaceful prayer meditation in a park, ending with a midnight bell jam in the street and with shows at Mercury Lounge and Tonic in between.

Help celebrate INTERNATIONAL PEACE WEEK with punk-chamber music group Anti-Social Music (ASM), and Detroit based band His Name Is Alive (HNIA) who will provide everything from earth-toned outdoor folk music to mountains of extreme sunshine jams. COME OUT THE WILDERNESS is a performance based piece and a three day celebration of peace, nature, wolves, chamber music, and magical vibrations!!!

ARTIST STATEMENT by warn defever
"COME OUT THE WILDERNESS" is performance/event oriented piece that celebrates a child's earliest memories, a primal love/fear of nature, and hope for a peaceful world. It was originally conceived as a "peace conference."

In 1972, when I was three years old, my mother gave birth to twin boys. Several monthes later during a Labor Day vacation, my family was visiting relatives in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan, and one of the twins, Michael, was attacked and killed by a wolf, commonly found in the northern region of the state. His brother, Matthew, survived somehow. Upon arriving back in the Detroit area and shortly following the funeral, my parents changed my middle name to Michael, as a sort of memorial. This experience is one of my earliest memories.

In 2002, I attended a "peace walk" led by Thich Nhat Hanh, a gentle monk from Vietnam whose vaguely Buddhist writings teach that world peace can only be brought about through individual internal transformation. The deceptively simplistic nature of this act profoundly affected my life.

In 2005, I found a folk song, performed by Mississippi Fred MacDowell called Come Out Of The Wilderness, in which the Wilderness seems to be a metaphor for living without religion in your life. The Wilderness as depicted in the Bible is where Jesus is tested for 40 days and where the Israelites spend 40 years on their journey to the Promised Land. In my piece the Wilderness is not a metaphor but simply refers to nature, the woods, organic food, and drinking fermented "muddy water out of a hollow log."

NOTES
1. A peace walk is a form of non-violent protest in which protesters march a distance, often to raise money for a charity.
2. HIS NAME IS ALIVE are a difficult band to categorize. Their sound is constantly evolving. Their sound is consistently unique. They made their name with expressionistic experiments for the 4ad label. Later music is guided by more graceful concerns.
3. Wilderness is defined by the State of Michigan as "non-managed, roadless areas."
4. COME OUT THE WILDERNESS is not a "staged" event, it is participatory and requires very few materials.

19th PEACE WALK at noon

*introduction/ initiation + silent meditation in the park in the sunrays*
Empire-Fulton Ferry Park

19th EXTREME CONCERT

*HNIA / ASM live sets, come early, bring tambourines*
Mercury Lounge MANHATTAN

20th QUIET NIGHT
*ASM performs "After Devil's Night" by Warn Defever*
Tonic MANHATTAN
with The Naysayer and Nanang Tatang

21st MIDNIGHT BELL JAM

*conclusion celebration in the street at midnight*
Meet at the corner of Stanton and Ludlow in the street in MANHATTAN
Margaritas to go!!! Bring a bell!!!

COME OUT THE WILDERNESS is supported in part by Meet the Composer's Creative Connections Program, NYSCA, and the Meet the Composer JPMorganChase Fund for Small Ensembles.

Monday, September 04, 2006

These Lights Are Meaningful









I don't know how to get rid of that HUGE space above the player, so please bear with it. If you are reading this entry through a "reader," make sure you visit the actual blog so you can listen to the songs!

Synchronicity allowed for a poignant and emotional afternoon with ADEM the other day, drawing together Cyprus, Nick, and I into a kind, poetic, reunion of sorts. Nearly every song Adem sang carried with it a bittersweet burn of relevance as can be seen in the lyrics, below. He is very impressive, Live. A mournful, sweet, melancholic, but inspiring tone that carries his story-songs right into your heart. For my metaphysical pals, I think you will really love THESE LIGHTS ARE MEANINGFUL, and to my friends who've known my recent struggles and efforts to rebuild, I think you will hear the story in EVERYTHING YOU NEED.

Siggh... I am so grateful for so many things, even in the wake of so much struggle... it's all a matter of perspective. I know I lose perspective, sometimes, but a very strong part of me counts on the memory of when I have perspective, and songs like these, artists, and friends, all help to keep that web of memory and strength in place, even when I feel so lost and silly-scared.

It's good to remember that you will see things differently, if you just hang in there...

ADEM @ SoundFix Records in Williamsburg, Brooklyn


NICK, Me, T.Lee (from-out-of-town guest), and CYPRUS

LYRICS

EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Home is where your heart comes from
But what do you do when your heart's gone
With everything you need

It's sad
that point, you've got to choose
to stay or go, you're bound to lose
everything you need

Laa daa day laa daa day
laa daa day laa daa day

You got your stuff you packed your bags
You checked your things made sure you had
Everything you need

You upped, you left, you went away
To love to fight another day
'gainst everything you need

Laa daa day laa daa day
laa daa day laa daa day

You severed your ties
Left us all behind
You said all your goodbyes
To everything you need
You severed your ties
Re-forge them
make it right
Come back with open eyes
To everything you need

'cause moments they can turn to dreams
And hopes and wants can sometimes seem
Like everything you need
But treated bad then left alone
You cried, we said to come back home
To everything you need

Laa daa day laa daa day
laa daa day laa daa day

You severed your ties
You left us all behind
You said all your goodbyes
To everything you need
You severed your ties
Re-forge them
make it right
Come back with open eyes
To everything you need

LOVE, And OTHER PLANETS

Come with me
There's something you should see
In the evening sky
Put on your warmest coat
We'’ll be breathing ghosts
And they don't want us to see
So they join the clouds
Which clot above our heads

But on a clear night,
If you look close enough
You can just make out Love
And other planets
We are not alone

And normally
It's bright enough to see
With a naked eye
I held you close to me
And I felt you smile
And you whispered in my ear
I know it's there
Let'’s make our own light

But on a clear night
If you look close enough
You can just make out
Love and other planets
We are not alone
And on this clear night
If I hold you close enough
I can feel love.

THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS

I wish that I'd arrived a little sooner -
You really should have called
we'd have come here right away
You tried to help yourself but you got it wrong

You've thrown yourself
Into the flames 'cause you're covered in cold
But these are your friends
They give out a nice warm glow

You've tried so hard to see for yourself
Your perspective is wrong
These are your friends
Let them come guide you on

Listen now - now's the time to listen
There're lessons to be learned
I've seen this before in my own life
You feel covered up, removed from the world around you
With all your senses dulled you'd do anything to feel
You tried to help yourself, but you got it wrong

You've thrown yourself
Into the flames 'cause you're covered in cold
But these are your friends
They give out a nice warm glow

What have you done? You're cutting your cord
You're floating in space
But these are your friends
They'll be your star-map home

Everybody needs some help sometimes

THESE LIGHTS ARE MEANINGFUL

I know that I've
Not been the same
Since the day we walked around and marvelled at the firmament

Both wrapped up
In a blanket that was handed down
And it struck me like a meteor

It's hard to explain, so hard to explain how I'm so sure

These lights are meaningful
We'’ve got to understand
And work out what they say
These lights are meaningful
They'’ll tell what we forgot
We have a mission here
These lights are meaningful
We must translate them now
Else we'll just float around

We have a reason here
Something beyond ourselves
These lights are meaningful

I needed purpose,
I was given one:
To find the reasons for life
Etched between the distant suns and...
The Zodiac gives clues to the wealth of all that once we knew
Join silver dots set against the midnight blue

It'’s hard to explain; so hard to explain how I'm so sure

These lights are meaningful
We have forgot ourselves
We drift on oblivious
These lights are meaningful
A message writ out large
Lest we forget ourselves
These lights are meaningful
This is our final chance
We had a mission here once

There not just pretty sparks
They're more than tiny stars
These lights are meaningful
We have a reason here
We must resolve ourselves
These lights are meaningful

Maybe I got it wrong
Maybe I am just alone
Anything to feel alive
Take my hand and take me home
Make me feel like I'’m not alone

It'’s what I need

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Pleasure Is All Mine

Bjork - Pleasure is all mine (Live at Canal+)

In keeping with my Dancer in the Dark/Bjork mood, I found this beautiful LIVE version of THE PLEASURE IS ALL MINE, from Bjork's album MEDULLA. Medulla is an album created by Bjork using ONLY vocals as the medium for ALL of the sounds, including those sounds that seem "electronic." As you can see in this video, she is working with a "human beatbox" for sound effects and rhythms, an impressive choir of voices, and an Inuit "Throat Singer" laces it all together. There are no instruments used in this, except voices.

Here are the lyrics:

The pleasure is all mine
to get to be
the generous one
is the strongest stance

The pleasure is all mine
to finally let go
and evenly
be flown

Who gives most
Who gives most
Who gives most

The pleasure is all mine
women like us
we strengthen most
host-like

When in doubt: give
When in doubt: give
When in doubt: give

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Only Once, and Now I Know Why

When this movie was first released, I had no idea what I was in for:

Dancer in the Dark, starring BJORK and CATHERINE DENUEVE seemed to promise to be a WONDERFUL experience! A MUSICAL???!!! Starring BJORK!!??

And then...

I saw it.

There has never been another movie that I know of that matches the horror and devastation created by the unfolding of this movie.

Let me just try to capture the experience here: Along with our wishes and dreams, everyone shares the same layer of thin ice upon which we walk, hoping desperately to fulfill at least a few of those dreams before falling through, if any are fulfilled at all. This movie lets you fall through; it knocks you down through the ice, mercilessly. It doesn't just let you fall through; it removes the color from all of the effort you've ever made in your life before that moment. It flattens every wish, dream and moves us into a place of dangerous pointlessness inside that we know is there, but cannot ever EVER touch. And this movie not only makes you touch that space, it smothers you in it, drowning you below the icy surface through which you just fell, and as you sink, you can still see people above, walking, ever so gently, but desperately blind, and you know they will join you soon enough.

It's kinda like that.

So... I saw that movie. And, actually, I LOVED it.

A genius, dark, dangerous exploration that is absolutely cruel in its contrast between the inner, beautiful dance numbers and musicals through which Selma/Bjork interprets her mundane life, and the terrifying momentum that is locked into motion upon this symbol of purity and innocence... To me, for a movie to take you that far into such taboo territory and unapologetically leave you there, is an art that may not be pleasant, but it is art, nonetheless. And to somehow survive this movie means something... SOMETHING.

Besides various personal experiences in my own life, watching this movie was one of the most painful things I have ever endured and recovered from.

I saw this movie... ONCE. In the theater. Years ago. And I remember everyone around me was broken, devastated, and some could barely walk. I couldn't speak clearly for hours. I couldn't stop thinking about it for months, years. I never thought I could watch it again in my life, even though I really really wanted to try so I could rise above the experience and see the movie differently, objectively.

So... I just tried to watch it again. Tonight. Alone.

A HUGE, lovely mistake. I can barely see to type. My face is swollen with that horrible grimace from crying so hard. Amazing. The effect from this movie is just... amazing. I'm in awe.

I highly recommend this movie to everyone. LOL! But please, not if you are unstable or alone, for god's sake.

Have you seen it? How many times?

Oh my god... the scene where she sings "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" in the silence... utterly devastating. DEVASTATING!

And for those brave few who are in the know from watching DANCER IN THE DARK, I leave you with this:

"They say it's the last song
They don't know us, you see
It's only the last song
If we let it be"
- the missing end of Selma's song, just before... well, you know.

Great. I'm bawling again.

I can't wait until I am brave enough to watch this AGAIN! LOL!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Need I Say More

On the heels of my "ARE YOU A SHEEP, TOO?" entry, I see this has been released at THE SMOKING GUN:

Case Against JonBenet Suspect Collapses
Prosecutors had nothing to go on except Karr's bizarre claims


AUGUST 28--Colorado investigators today provided the first insight into what led them to arrest John Mark Karr for the murder of JonBenet Ramsey. In a motion to quash Karr's arrest warrant, the Boulder County district attorney this afternoon revealed that they had little more than Karr's bizarre claims--contained in e-mails, phone calls, and a 153-page manuscript delivered to a University of Colorado journalism professor--to support their belief that he murdered the six-year-old beauty queen in December 1996. The prosecution's motion, a copy of which you can find below, provides a detailed account of the Karr probe, which collapsed today shortly after test results showed that Karr's DNA did not match samples taken from the crime scene. Until April, Karr's lengthy (and anonymous) correspondence with Professor Michael Tracey only reflected his "intense interest" in the Ramsey case, the D.A.'s motion notes. After that point, though, Karr began to claim "more personal knowledge" about the child's slaying and eventually "admitted personal responsibility for the death." Using the pseudonym "Daxis," Karr even forwarded Tracey a manuscript that described his "fascination with the sexuality with young girls, and his involvement with the death of JonBenet Ramsey."
(READ MORE)

It amazes me that so many people had already condemned this man, based only on speculative fiction propogated by the media hype. Several blogs even wrote about how disappointed they were that the parents were off the hook and the exciting, strange mystery had finally been solved.

How can people be so conclusive. Even with the most damning of evidence, my mind would still remain in a state of "hmmm...." It's just not that easy for me to shift into, "well, that's what the TV says!"

I walk a very fine line between the world of Conspiracy Theorists and Sheep, but that fine line is wide enough for me to walk freely, keep asking questions in the face of what I am told is true, and to think for myself.

I wish more people walked along that line.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Are you a Sheep, too?

JOHN KARR in Custody

I have so much more to write about than this, but it has been eating at me for days...

One of the most annoying things about people is the inclination to be SHEEP.

Some people think people are inherently evil; some people think people are inherently good; but I think people are inherently SHEEP, neither good nor bad, but just MORE LIKELY to think the way The Church tells them to think; to think the way TV tells them to think; to think the way an Authority tells them to think; to think the way The Family tells them to think; to think the way The News tells them to think; to think the way Fashion tells them to think; to think the way White-washed History tells them to think...

Why do I see this? Because I have eyeballs. I see it everyday, all around me, and it PERMEATES the arena of politics, philosophy, religion, charity, medicine, and media. It fascinates me and disgusts me to the point of feeling absolutely alien among most people.

For instance: the recent bombardment from the media about JONBONET RAMSEY's arrested suspect! What the fuck!! (You KNOW there must be something terrifying going on in the world to the extent that we are being drowned in WEAK, speculative suspicion against a case that is 10 years old.) But here's what freaks me out: people are responding to this media bombardment as if the guy actually committed the crime! No, people, there is NOTHING to substantiate him as a suspect, let alone as the actual killer, but people and the media are writhing all over this thing like a dog writhes in shit. I'm not saying he DIDN'T kill JonBonet, and I am not saying that he's innocent or mentally stable, but at this point, he is a SUSPECT, NOT a Convicted Criminal. The media has made such a big deal about the meals he has been served, the smiles on his face, the blankness on his face, the comfort of his travels... SO WHAT!! He's NOT a convicted killer; he is a (loony) SUSPECT who has become entangled in the desperate need to convict SOMEONE... ANYONE. So far, the man has been extremely accommodating, open, and the intense investigation has led to NOTHING tying him to the murder in any way (so far, at least), but people are talking about him as if he is the conclusion to the mystery and that he is a killer. People can "just see" that he is an "evil man." Please. You are seeing what you are told to see. THINK, people. Think a bit beyond your knee-jerk reaction to the influences of media and popular assumption. Just... THINK, for god's sake. The man may or may not be guilty, and he may or may not be a pervert, but that's not my point... it's the way we THINK about this kind of information as it is fed to us. We need to learn to chew and digest before we speak with our mouths full of bullshit.

Why is this such an important issue for me?

Because THIS kind of Sheepish, thoughtless, herd-mentality kind of response to life is a BIG reason for HOW and WHY we are in IRAQ; how and why 9/11 happened; Slavery happened; why and how animals suffer unconscionable torture on a daily basis for the conveniences you take for granted; why Gay people do not have equal rights to Straight people; why and how the Chinese government can harvest live organs from live people; why and how a large portion of Christians, Muslims, and other fanatic cults can justify the imposition of horrors upon other people; why the military can illegally torture prisoners for fun... the list can go on.

It's not enough to be a passenger in this life. i'm sorry... it's not enough. Fucking do something. Pick something and DO something about it. Educate yourselves. CARE.

Don't let the world tell you who is a criminal and who is a saint. Either KNOW, or DON'T KNOW, but don't act like you know what the truth is, when all you did was just fell prey to your inclination to blindly follow the popular assumptions. You know what I am talking about... so don't be insulted. We've all been there, but this is a reminder to just... THINK.

This is YOUR life. This is OUR world.

We fucking need to stop hoping someone else will fix it. We need to stop passively assuming that those in authority know what the hell is best for us, or that those in authority know what the hell they are doing in the first place.

Talk to me... tell me when you last assumed something was true and then was shocked at how gullible you were, how naive, or how influenced you were by the popular assumption.

BONUS DUMBASS NEWS FLASH OF THE WEEK:
George admits we are not in IRAQ as a result of 9/11. Ummm, DUH!

Check out this flawed line of logic from George that leaves the average Sheep believing that we are at war with Iraq BECAUSE of 9/11, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and "Al Qeada," which is a phrase that AMERICAN MEDIA made up and does not exist as an actual structure of terrorists.

TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT:
QUESTION: "A quick follow-up. A lot of the consequences you mention for pulling out seem like maybe they never would have been there if we hadn't gone in. How do you square all of that?"

BUSH: "I square it because imagine a world in which you had a Saddam Hussein who had the capacity to make a weapon of mass destruction, who was paying suiciders to kill innocent life, who would -- who had relations with Zarqawi. Imagine what the world would be like with him in power. The idea is to try to help change the Middle East.

"Now, look, I -- part of the reason we went into Iraq: was -- the main reason we went into Iraq: at the time was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't, but he had the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction.

"But I also talked about the human suffering in Iraq, and I also talked the need to advance a freedom agenda. And so my question -- my answer to your question is, is that imagine a world in which Saddam Hussein was there, stirring up even more trouble in a part of a world that had so much resentment and so much hatred that people came and killed 3,000 of our citizens.

"You know, I've heard this theory about, you know, everything was just fine until we arrived and, you know, kind of -- the "stir up the hornet's nest" theory. It just doesn't hold water as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East. They were -- "

QUESTION: "What did Iraq: have to do with that?"

BUSH: "What did Iraq: have to do with what?"

QUESTION: "The attack on the World Trade Center."

BUSH: "Nothing, except for it's part of -- and nobody's ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack. Iraq: was a -- Iraq: -- the lesson of September the 11th is take threats before they fully materialize, Ken.

"Nobody's ever suggested that the attacks of September the 11th were ordered by Iraq. I have suggested, however, that resentment and the lack of hope create the breeding grounds for terrorists who are willing to use suiciders to kill to achieve an objective. I have made that case. And one way to defeat that -- you know, defeat resentment, is with hope. And the best way to do hope is through a form of government.

"Now, I said going into Iraq: we got to take these threats seriously before they fully materialized. I saw a threat. I fully believe it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein, and I fully believe the world was better off without him. Now, the question is, how do we succeed in Iraq? And you don't succeed by leaving before the mission is complete, like some in this political process are suggesting."
END TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT

Sorry to be so bitchy today, but this stuff really gets to me... I invite you to tell me all about how you might have experienced sheepishness or when your rehabilitation from sheepdom happened.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

China: Country of Rampant Cruelty


There are plenty of things wrong with the United States and every other country in the world, but I don't know of any other country that is so ignorant and violent and alarmist and controlling and deadly than that of China, though all of Asia in general is pretty much guilty of this, as well. Once again, they are in the news with their reactionary, idiotic violence as a means to control a population, and propagate Fear.

50,000 DOGS WERE KILLED IN 5 DAYS

Apparently, yet another government-imposed fear over (so-called) Rabies has driven the Chinese government to kill every, single dog within the County of Mouding over a 5 day period by beating them to death, even taking them from owners as they walked their dogs and beating them to death on the spot in front of them. The residents were offered the equivalent of 60-something cents if the family would kill their own dog before authorities arrived. For those who tried to save their dogs, the authorities would sneak into the town in ways that would cause dogs to bark as an alert, and then that dog would be killed. Of course, the POLICE and MILITARY dogs were spared.

This isn't the first time there has been a massive slaughter of dogs in China... in preparation for the Olympics being held in Beijing in 2008, over 40,000 dogs were killed as the fantastical rabies scare was strategically imposed by the government as a front for monstrous Mao Tse Tung's declaration that the ownership of a dog is a symbol of "bourgeoisie," since caring for a dog reeks of American freedoms. As usual, as with almost every other mythical virus or disease scare, it is almost always a front for a completely unrelated agenda.

This, from the same country who brought us the stupid, mythical SARS scare, and ridiculous Avian Flu "epidemic," with subsequent "culling" of Cats and Birds in the most horrific, cruel ways (suffocation, drowning, beating, starving, stabbing, crushing, etc.)

This also, from a country who imprisons THOUSANDS of Human Beings because it is against the law to practice their chosen spirituality (Falun Gong) and then using these prisoners as enslaved workers, and HARVESTING THEIR ORGANS WHILE THEY ARE STILL ALIVE to be used for the wealthy who can pay for it! In fact, if you took part in the traveling exhibition called BODIES, where the bodies were mummified in a way that preserved all of the organs for entertainment and observation, you took part in their making a profit from using innocent people WHO WERE KILLED ONLY for use in those exhibits!

There are links, above, for help in what we can do for the Humans being exploited in China, and here is a great site for helping Asia, in general, extend their circle of compassion to include non-human animals.

I have to take heart in the fact that the world IS getting better at experiencing compassion for other humans and non-humans, but we also have a long way to go.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Everybody Needs Some Help, Sometime

This song goes out to all who helped me during my latest transition, whether in thought, patience, understanding, compassion, action, love, healing, invitation, warmth, insight, direction, etc.

More importantly, this song goes out to anyone and everyone who believes he or she is alone and cannot count on the kindness of strangers and friends. That you are alone, is a lie. It will always be a lie. You are never alone, and you can always ask for help, even if you have to ask 100 people to get that help. ASK. And keep asking, without forgetting to take care of yourself along the way.

You are not alone.

Thank you to all my friends. You are the stitching that holds the fabric of my life together in ways that turn out to be how I keep myself warm, sheltered, and embraced when I least expect it.

I love you.

(scroll down, click the PLAY button, and sing along with the lyrics and your heart)







THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS
ADEM

I wish that I'd arrived a little sooner -
You really should have called
we'd have come here right away
You tried to help yourself but you got it wrong

You've thrown yourself
Into the flames 'cause you're covered in cold
But these are your friends
They give out a nice warm glow

You've tried so hard to see for yourself
Your perspective is wrong
These are your friends
Let them come guide you on

Listen now - now's the time to listen
There're lessons to be learned
I've seen this before in my own life
You feel covered up, removed from the world around you
With all your senses dulled you'd do anything to feel
You tried to help yourself, but you got it wrong

You've thrown yourself
Into the flames 'cause you're covered in cold
But these are your friends
They give out a nice warm glow

What have you done? You're cutting your cord
You're floating in space
But these are your friends
They'll be your star-map home

Everybody needs some help sometimes

BROADBAND VIDEO LINK

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Path to Home Leads Within

LOCAL Celebratory GRAFFITI

Well, I am home (again). I now live in one of my favorite neighborhoods of Manhattan: LOWER EAST SIDE! I love this neighborhood!

First, my road to getting here was a very frustrating and debilitating path, so I am still recovering. In fact, as soon as I was unpacking into my new apartment, I have now fallen sick with a pretty severe summer cold. My body, heart, and mind were just about broken in this latest transition of life.

Instead of sharing this path in story-telling style, I will just list the events:

Cyprus announces out of nowhere that she has decided to live on her own and that we will move from our apartment, separately. This was fine, except that we had very little time to prepare and, while she was totally set with a steady income and support from all around her, I was unprepared because of my sporadic income and lack of support. This decision left me and Johnny in a very difficult and painful position.

I worked hard to secure another income so as to save money in time for my impending move out on my own, which took a lot of time, and then when that was secured, it fell through. I found something else shortly after, and I am SO happy with that source of income. I'm glad the first one fell through, because I love going to work for this extra income now. Still, I would not have enough money or time before our move-out date to secure an apartment on my own.

I negotiated a potential plan with Clem so that I could stay with him as a transition into a new apartment. This was primarily because Cyprus and I had won our court case against our landlord (who was illegally collecting rent from us) and the condition for my collecting my initial deposit back was that we would be out of the apartment by a certain date. That meant that I wouldn't get the money unless I had moved out, but I needed the money to move out! Clem was very supportive and loving in his intentions as a boyfriend to help with this turbulent transition. He encouraged my surrender to this and assured me that it was a viable option. As the time closed in on me and I hadn't secured an apartment, it became one of my only options.

Meanwhile, Cyprus and Nick announce to me that they are not only moving in together, but that they have found a place and would be moving in the middle of the month. So not only was Cyprus leaving me behind, but now she was moving in with Nick, my Ex. This came as a huge shock and I was seriously disoriented by this; left with anger, sadness, and confusion on top of everything.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, Clem dumps me. Just before his eagerly-awaited vacation time out on Fire Island. Along with this announcement to me over the phone, he also made arrangements to come and collect his keys to his apartment. I no longer had the option to stay with him as I secured an apartment. At this point I am seriously at a loss of words for how plummeted into defeat I felt. I knew I would survive and I knew I was going to be okay, but all of this was beating the hell out of me. Clem left for Fire Island and with my anger and sadness amplified by Clem, Cyprus, and Nick, I felt the most isolated and defeated I have felt in a long time.

I speak to Nick and Cyprus about the reality of my probably having to move with them as part of my transition into my own apartment as I saved money and waited for the court settlement. Nick suggests I find someplace else to stay.

I conclude that I am utterly alone in this process and that it may very well end that I am on the streets as I try to find a new home. I brace myself for this.

Nick retracts his suggestion that I find someplace else to stay, explaining that it was just a suggestion and one that was laced with a lot of concern for how long I might end up having to stay. I refuse to accept the retraction and vow that I will not live where I was originally unwanted.

Moving day comes and I am forced to move my stuff along with Cyprus and Nick, but I have no idea where I will live in the days or weeks ahead. I decide to ask my friend, Mark, if I can stay with him. He generously says, "yes!" My stuff is moved into Cyprus's and Nick's place and I leave to go stay with Mark. That's when I discover a miscommunication has occurred and that Mark has left town. I decide to sleep in a park.

Meanwhile, my income has dwindled to a halt because of a lack of connection the internet, and I think, "all I have to do is get through a few days of this until my settlement is released to me and then it will all be over." I surrender to the reality of having to sleep in a park and decide to make an adventure of it. I happened to meet up with Fabio that night, and it had never occurred to me that it was an option to stay with him, but he offered for me to stay with him, despite the lack of room. I told him, no, but he convinced me to check it out and I did, but as I did, I received a devastated phone call from Nick and from Clem who were seriously upset by my having to stay in a park. This upset me so much because I was trying to take care of myself with what little resources I had, but then I was made to feel like I was a criminal for making THEM feel bad for my situation! But it was of no matter to them that I was IN the situation in large part BECAUSE of their influence! LOL It was an exasperating situation on top of all of the feelings and pressure I was already experiencing. Now the situation had transcended from my dealing with MY pain and difficulties, to having to make others feel better about my situation before I did.

I did not stay in a park, after all. I stayed with Nick and Cyprus and Johnny.

Johnny and I had cleaned out the previous apartment and followed all of the conditions so that I could get the settlement, but when I went to claim my money, the evil bastard landlord decided NOT to pay. As a settlement had already been ordered by the court, he HAD to pay, but he delayed my receiving the payment as long as he could AND he short-changed the payment by $700. I spent the next two weeks, every single day, fighting for that money so that I could move and get my own place. My lawyer would confirm that I would be able to collect the money the next day, and then he wouldn't call me, or I would be informed that it would be "just one more day." This went on for more than two weeks beyond when I expected to collect the money.

I surrendered to staying with Cyprus and Nick and Johnny, but this was not a good situation, considering all of the feelings I was having in middle of this horrible transition, along with working at my new job, and dealing the reality of the impact my transition was having on my clients, students, and groups I host online. My lack of ability to remain in contact and follow through with work online was met with harsh criticisms and complaints. Eventually, all of this pressure building all around me and among everyone led to a huge blow-up of emotions. Cyprus and Nick went head to head with Johnny and me, as Johnny was/is in a similar situation of displacement because of Cyprus's decision, and he was feeling the pain and humiliation of that. This explosion seemed to help burn off most of the nastier energy that had been accumulating, and that pivotal explosion was a good thing.

I almost forgot to mention that when Cyprus finally got her internet connection scheduled for setup, the cableman was ARRESTED in the middle of his services and taken away in cuffs! We still do not know what happened, but a second man came to finish the job, and he left the installation in such a shambles that we not only had no internet connection, but Cyprus's computer had to be completely reformatted, with a complete reinstallation of everything. Before I left, they still had no stable internet connection that worked the way it should, but I was able to get her computer restored.

As each day passed and more work was lost, and more apartments were lost (due to my not having enough money for the initial move-in costs to secure the apartment), the delays against my settlement continued. Eventually I had enough money to pay for a move, but had no place to go, but I was suddenly offered a roommate situation with Mark! In the Lower East Side! YAY! I was so thrilled! Not only did he offer this, but he offered it despite the bad timing of my having not received my settlement. I could pay my rent when I received the settlement. I scheduled movers and I was all set!

Then, I awoke one morning just before my move to the sounds of static and splashing... I then hear Nick yelling down into the basement (yes, the basement... that's where I slept while living with them) about a torrential downpour. When he flips on the light, I find that the mattress I am on is now surrounded by swirling torrents of water! The basement was FLOODING! Electronics, clothes, mattress... all submerged in about 5 inches of water! We worked fast to unplug what had been plugged in, and to lift out of water all of the electronics. In the end, the strangest thing had happened: the shape of the old basement floor had created a pattern in the swirling water so that the flow had not touched my mattress, had not touched my electronics, but several bags of my clothes had become saturated in flood waters. I spend the next two days washing all of my clothes to the extent that I can before I move.

The day of my move! The movers show up 2 hours early! This is fine, because I am already packed, but I had made arrangements for later with Mark, and this timing was essential since his current roommate had not moved out, yet. I clear it with Mark that I can arrive earlier than planned. I am loaded and ready to go, but have to find a way for me and Spyder to get to the new apartment. No car service will come to get me, except one, and they made me pay a huge price for bringing my wonderful dog.

I arrive to the building where my movers have already parked and I find that the security of the building has turned them away.... because NO MOVE INS ARE ALLOWED ON A SUNDAY!! NOT ONLY THAT, but they will not allow a move-in from the unloading area without a proper permit that I would not be able to get in time. Not only THAT, but they have a rule against any unloading or loading from a truck in the parking lot, which would shorten the unloading distance! Mark is not at the apartment (because I was two hours early), and the previous roommate (who was still living in the apartment) was not answering the phone, SO... the movers had to leave with all of my stuff.

Luckily, the adorable movers liked me and they came back two hours later for unloading, despite the restrictions for Sunday move-ins, but they would not be able to unload anywhere near the building: they ended up having to unload the truck and move in my stuff from about an entire block away!

I tipped them extravagantly for their amazing patience and effort.

The day came for me to collect on my settlement! I no longer have a checking or savings account because I cancelled out my awful "credit union" account I had from Saks (from when I used to work there), so the lawyer assured me I would be able to have the check made out to whomever I wanted so I could cash it or pay someone or do whatever I wanted. This was perfect.

Except, not only did that not happen, but they made the check out to BOTH Cyprus AND me (since we were both a part of the lawsuit against our landlord)... requiring BOTH of us to be present at the time of the check cashing. I discovered a check-cashing place nearby that would allow a settlement check to be cashed, and so all I had to do was get Cyprus to meet me.

But of all the days to do so, she had left her cell phone at home. I had no way to inform her to meet me. Not only that, but it was the evening of her big business dinner. Luckily, I knew where she was, called them to have a discreet message given to her, and she was able to call me and make a quick arrangement for later. We were able to cash the check within ten minutes of closing.

Although I had moved in, the previous roommate kept having a story as to why he could not move, so he lived here, too, and then it took a few more days for him to come and get his stuff when he did leave, which left no room for my unpacking completely. He and his stuff are now gone.

I wish so much that I could say I am safe and sound and feeling at home, but I'm not quite there, yet.

As soon as I began unpacking, I fell ill with a severe summer cold, discovered how filthy the apartment really was and how many days of cleaning it would take to make it livable, how much money I would have to spend in that process, and to my shock and horror that the apartment is infested with ROACHES toward which I am now waging a battle! In addition to that, I have been attacked verbally by two groups of Black people already, shouting out hateful and threatening words against my sexuality, screaming out that "he takes it up the ass!" and that I should kill my dog because she is "fuckin' UGLY," and to "get the fuck out of here, you fuckin' homo!" Not only have I never had to deal with this kind of violent and hateful assault except from Black people, but I have NEVER had my sexuality used as a form of public humiliation and assault. The words are meaningless because they are just stupid, but the extent of hatred and venom behind the words are what terrify me, since it's the kind of hatred that causes someone to spittle while scraping the words across another person. I guess it's not just a Brooklyn thing...

Despite all of the adventure, loss, turbulence, etc. I am feeling pretty happy, as there is nothing left for me to do but to laugh and trust and move forward, loving even the most bizarre and confusing elements of this funhouse of my life. So don't get me wrong... I am really excited and thrilled and relieved, despite not being able to fully just relax into it.

Today I sit in a sparkling clean apartment, with fresh flowers in vases throughout, and the roaches almost under control (this really REALLY bothers me), and I have a truly appreciative roommate. Cyprus and Nick and Johnny and I are all better with each other and may experience a new level of bonding, though it will take some patience and time. I truly love them, so it's vital to allow the anger, hurt, loss... but also vital to make the effort to heal these experiences. People don't realize that the very experiences that can tear you apart are the very experiences that can bond you in love.

As for Clem, we've barely spoken to each other since the breakup (my choice; he actively keeps in touch), but we are okay. I developed a love for Clem that won't just disappear, so I choose to cultivate the healing, even if that will take a long time, or end in a gentle fading away from each other's lives, or he just becomes another friend. I'm getting used to Boyfriend-come-Friend equation.

I lie here with my dog, Spyder, in the middle of a horrendous heat wave, but at least with some weak air conditioning, and the reality is that there have been more wonderful people welcoming me into the neighborhood than I have experienced in a long time. That's something I never experienced in Brooklyn. People actually speak to you in Manhattan. In Brooklyn, everyone seems to keep to themselves and you never know your neighbors, unless you have been living in a particular neighborhood for a long time. In Manhattan, I have always known nearly every neighbor I have, because they actively interact and welcome you. I am so glad to have that again! Another wonderful thing that I haven't experienced in a long time is having random conversations with strangers pop up so naturally and organically while out and about doing daily errands and walking Spyder. That never really happened in Brooklyn.

So... I'm not completely "at home," yet, but I am closer. I think I need to feel it inside of me, first, before I begin to completely see it around me.

But I'm on the right track...