Adventures of Creativity

My wonderful friend Taylor wrote an article about me in her blog,  Adventures of Creativity.  Thank you Taylor!  This really touches my heart<3

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Booze

I do some of my best writing (by best I mean honest) when I’m piss drunk and sad.  Drunk and sad usually go hand in hand for me.  That’s one reason why I decided to quit.  I’ve been mostly on point with the exception of Saturday.  That’s when I popped open a bottle of Knob Hill and wrote this.

Don’t Stop Drinking

You want to stop drinking for obvious reasons.  Drinking is bad for your health, you have more energy without it, you argue less, accomplish more.  It makes sense to give it up.  You don’t really like to drink.

Don’t give up drinking my friends and let me tell you why.  You will become boring to the people who love you most and they will feel isolated from you.  They’ll call you righteous.  Night clubs will not be any fun.  You will become all work and no play.  All work makes Jack a dull boy.  (I am not being sarcastic.  I am drinking bourbon now.)

Last night I went to the opening of a new venue on Eerie called Public Works.  It was my first night out since I decided to give up drinking a week ago.   I wasn’t drinking because I wanted to keep a clear head.  The epiphanies I had while at my Vipassana retreat fueled my desire for sobriety.  I wanted to be present, not reactive.  I wanted to have an even better relationship with Keenan.  Sometimes we fight when I drink.

But last night I had zero drinks.  I wanted to pull a quick in-and-out.  No reason to hang at a gallery opening after discourse on every piece if not to drink the free wine.  But my friend wanted to stay, to drink, and so I became the dreaded “Debby Downer.”

Friends, you cannot expect support in not drinking… unless you want to become a cad in AA or some religious zealot.  Those zealots will support you, not the beautiful friends you have now.  Go ahead, give up drinking.  Say bye-bye to the ones who have loved you most.

Make-up

Last night I dreamed I had wrinkles, gargantuan, cavernous wrinkles.  Especially the one on my forehead, the one I actually have now.  It was gaping.  Gaping and heavy.

I’m thinking about this now because I’m putting on make-up at the moment.  Technically at the moment because I keep walking back-and-forth back-and-forth to write this.

It’s funny I was drinking and crying before.  I still am drinking but now, after the make-up I look sober, happy even.  Make-up is a wonderful wonderful thing.

I bet all kinds of girls are out there right now crying their eyes out, blazed as shit and they’re beautiful.  The most beautiful girls ever.  Thank you make-up.

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So now it’s Monday.  I’ve maintained sobriety for 2 days.  I never really thought giving up booze would be so hard.  I feel guilty about writing that I think people in AA are cads but Saturday, that’s what I thought, because that’s the way I felt about my previously sober self.  Now that I’m sober again, I realize more than ever how brave recovered alcoholics are.   I made it 17 days before I broke the first time and it wasn’t the decision to have fun that brought the bottle to my lips, it was sadness and loneliness.

I  attended a Chili Cook-off earlier in the day and came home feeling frustrated that I had not danced or carried on enthusiastic conversation with strangers, met with my usual quota of laughter.  I attributed this to my decision not to drink.  I was frustrated, I saw myself as a downer, righteous, boring.  Weekends are the hardest.

I was worried about posting this at first.  I don’t want to propagate my sadness or cause you to worry about my well-being but I do think my feelings and my struggle are valid.  I’m not perfect.  I think it’s OK to say so.

You Are Not a Gadget

Right now I’m reading, You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier.  I picked it up because the beginning pages mention web 2.0 and singularity, a belief in a technological rapture that has intrigued me since last year’s Burning Man.  Subheadings like, “Fragments Are Not People”, “Moral Imperative to Create the Blandest Possible Bible” and “What do you do when the Techies are Crazier than the Luddites” take you into the past, present and future of the internet with all its aggregates,  locked-in design and potential humanitarian benefits.  It’s an exciting read.  Here is an excerpt about social media sites such as Facebook that I find especially compelling.

“It Is Still Possible to Get Rid of Crowd Ideology in Online Design”

From and engineering point of view, the difference between a social networking site and the web as it existed before such sites were introduced is a matter of small detail.  You could always create a list of links to your friends on your website, and you could always send emails to a circle of friends announcing whatever you cared to.  All that the social networking services offer is a prod to use the web in  a particular way, according to a particular philosophy.
If anyone wanted to reconsider social network designs, it would be easy enough to take a standoffish approach to describing what goes on between people.  It could be left to people to communicate what they want to say about their relationships in their own way.

If someone wants to use words like “single” or “looking” in a self-description, no one is going to prevent that.  Search engines will easily find instances of those words.  There’s no need for an imposed, official category.

If you read something written by someone who used the term “single” in a custom-composed, unique sentence, you will inevitably get a whiff of the subtle experience of the author, something you would not get from a multiple-choice database.  Yes, it would be a tiny bit more work for everyone, but the benefits of semi-automated self-presentation are illusory.  If you start out by being fake, you’ll eventually have to put in twice the effort to undo the illusion if anything good is to come of it.

Jaron also offers a code of ethics in the section, “Why It Matters” where he asks us to do things like, “Don’t post anonymously unless you really might be in danger” and “Post a video once in a while that took you one hundred times more time to create than it takes to view”.  Why?  Read his book, You Are Not a Gadget, to find out!

Tunafish Pasta Nite!

Keenan and I have been baking a lot lately.  Today we made banana/fig bread and pizza dough.  I feel like an alchemist making something out of nothing but leftovers and flour.  Keenan and I eat like kings spending less than 10$ a day on food between the 2 of us.  Knowing how to cook is crucial in an expensive city like San Francisco.  Today I bought dried black mission figs, wild rice, beluga black lentils (Lentil Stew Recipe) 2 boxes of black tea and 3 cans of coconut water for 20$.

Last night Keenan had to work late so I made a simple dinner for myself, tunafish pasta.  To make this dish I saute 1/2 an onion and 2 cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil for about 4 minutes.  I then add 2 cans of tuna in oil to the pan seasoning with salt, pepper, cayenne and bay leaf as I go.  I chop one can of whole tomatoes in sauce and add it to the pan. I add more salt, pepper and cayenne to taste as well as a good dose of honey to cut the acid of the tomato.   I simmer everything for about 30 minutes and combine with 1/2 a box of cooked angel-hair pasta, making sure to leave a little of the pasta water to help the sauce stick to the noodles.  Very tasty!

Shopping List
  • 2 cans tuna in oil
  • 1 can whole tomatoes in sauce
  • pasta
  • onion
  • garlic
  • cayenne
  • pepper
  • salt
  • bay leaf

Vipassana

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Last week I went to my first Vipassana course.  A Vipassana course is a free 10 day silent retreat where you learn Vipassana meditation, meditation of observation, the way of the Buddah, Dhamma.  There are centers all over the world.  I’ve wanted to go for years because I’ve never been able to meditate for more than 10 minutes at a time even though I’ve  recognized the inkling of a deep benefit in stillness.

I don’t want to share too much about the actual work of vipassana meditation.  The thought of extreme bordom might scare  you even though it isn’t boring, just tedious.  I also don’t want to share much about my experience because I don’t want it to color yours being that meditation is so deeply personal.  I will say that  I now have a much sharper and subtler mind than before.  Through my continuous practice I see the world with more love and compassion than I used to.  And this all takes work, diligent work.  Before I had always intellectualized knowing the body, awakening, etc.  Now I am working.  Now I am really experiencing some of these great truths in my body and in my life.  Very exciting.  Ithink anyone can benefit from one of these retreats.

Here is the website:
www.dhamma.org
Goenka describing Vipassana Meditation:
http://web.me.com/missioncontrolhq/Rabble_Rouzer/goenka.html

Das Racist

I love these guys. So much.  They started out as joke rap with their debut single “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” in 2008 but they’ve continued to press on as gangstas of the internet and a sound that’s not only light and playful lyrically but groovy to the utmost.