Wednesday, December 05, 2007

StumbleUpon Words

It's odd how sometimes you hear just what you need to, from the least expected source. In my case, it was StumbleUpon!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Wanted to Write

I do watch BBC while getting ready and when I get home. But it leaves me with the same thought -- why can't people just get along? Pakistan you have a power struggle and people die, the Middle East where a lot of it is, and let's face it, dogmatic principles of something that may entirely be a product of the human need to find meaning but how on EARTH does that entail taking another human life?
Okay, I don't want to sound holier than thou and I perhaps could think of a few people I would have done away with if I were Grand High Poobah Ruler of the Universe. But the point remains, how much of it is unnecessary. And it makes me sad to think of the kind of place I will bring another life into.

There is so much beauty in the world, so many things to see and understand, and even beauty created by men. Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Mozart, Neruda, the piano, zeniths of greatness, the ability to change the course of history...but still, I can't help be a cynic sometimes.


I want to write but am lost as to what. I need to find something on to focus, to take me away from waiting for the phone to ring from this chap who runs a fund in India, yeah...still looking for a job.


It's turning cold again in the City, I can hear the wind making that quiet hissing between the now brown and orange leaves. I love walking down the cement after a rain at this time of the year. The rain makes the leaves stick to the pavement and in the morning they are blow away by the maintenance crews but the dust imprint of the leaves still lingers, like so many brown chalk outlines.
The lights are coming up, the thin naked trees near the place I get breakfast, the corner of 57th and 6th, have a string of lights that look a bit comical at night, trying to cover themselves up. The lobby has a beautiful Christmas tree, several feet tall and all decked out for the Holidays. People walk past on their way home, arms with shopping bags or cradling Christmas themed Starbucks cinnamon lattes. The huge crystal light is up on 5th avenue and I can see it from the office window.
I was in London this time last year. Piccadilly Circus had those garish lights up and people seemed happy near the Troccodero.
I have to go shopping for my family and list ranges from flip-flops from Gap to Splenda to a laptop.

I find it hard to sit in silence and to just be. Even then I am thinking about what to do to occupy myself. It's the silences in my head that I try and stave off. I wonder why, what's hidden behind the chatter that goes on in there.

(a big smile)

BBC America is advertising the shows I used to watch on my couch in London. London was fun after all despite all the confusion. I just wish I had known that then. I had an absolutely brilliant time, even when I was sitting and sulking on the couch, Bobo sharing the sulk.

Oh dear, an end of the year post in the making? Time to take stock and all that?

If I had to think of five things to sum up the year, the first five, the Short One, moving, confusion, my folks, engagement.
I suspect the second and third and inter-related


So many words and nothing said. What a waste


How much is left to chance? Why do we try and wrest control from (Fate)? Everything is an accident, a happy chance. From conception to the moment of death, precious few instances are truly under our control.
People try and dictate how you should live your life, create an illusion of control to create some sense of order and direction. But in the end, perhaps it all is a question of chance. A chance meeting, being at the right place at the serendipitous moment, the right words said, the right train missed, the fortunate delay, all of them causing events way beyond our control, too many variable to know them all.
The only thing we DO control is how we react, how we recover when we stumble and fall, and how we let things affect us. But perhaps that's all we need?

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Oh. My. God.

Read more about him here

Monday, November 19, 2007


How Would You Describe This?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ignore Last Post

I figure it was just a bad case of the blues. Am back now. And to prove it, here's something randome from the Big Bag of Random Crap or the Internets

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dinner was fine, over her, Done with it

But if I had felt strongly about it, would have written more. Am right now feeling depressed. No, this isn't the oh people aren't writing in with job offers kind or there are millions of homeless people kind.
It's least then I could have given a reason. This is just this overwhelming blahness that sucks away everything and you dont feel like moving a muscle and deep deep breaths far apart because every time you move, it disturbs things inside and I dont know how to fix it, no one has ever fixed it and I don't know what to do. I don't know how to snap myself out of it.
I lie back and I'm swimming my own head and I don't know what I'm thinking about because its blotted about and all I can do is focus on how I feel and I can't seem to distract myself long enough for it to pass and its...exhausting, not being able to do anything, feel this empty sucking inside and I see how much it frustrates the Short one because she wants to help and wants to know why I feel like things but even I don't know man! I don't know anything and I don't know why or how or what do about it.

I know I'm going to get out of bed, I'm going to smoke and hopefully drag myself out of the house to buy groceries and cook just to do something. And hopefully not mechanically but with some sort of feeling.

I'm scared I'll never meet anyone with the patience to deal with it. It's unfair I suppose but I just feel depressed right now and I don't know how to fix it and it's been the first time I said on the phone that it's perhaps best if I go ...and I've never said that but I can see the miscomprehension of how i feel and the frustration of ineffectuality that is no ones fault, least of all, hers.

And I suppose it isn't fair to have any one else deal with this so I guess I should try and fix it. On my own. Ugh

I wish I could describe how it feels, saying this like swimming in my head make sense to me instantly and I know immediately how I feel but I don't know how to describe it, I don;t know how to describe why I feel sad without reason. I just do. And I know I will soon snap out of it but it still worries me because I know what happens if it doesn't go, if it does stay.

Okay, do this by steps. Get out of bed, feet firmly on the floor. Hands on either side of legs and push and stand up. Listen to music while smoking. Shave.
Decide what to do cook. Change and step out and not think about the weather, about wondering what it would be like if she were there with me to go to the grocery store, get excited over the cheese, pick up the small tomatoes they sell on the vine, the kind you just put on the frying pan, let them simmer in a little oil and eat them off the vine (are amazing with a little salt and pepper)

Hahah, it's so easy to slip into a dream like that and then feel yourself snap back to reality and just go about it. Again, like always, stuck inside this head.

And yes! I am being dramatic but you know what, you don't have to be here.

Now to put those steps into practice. But first, deep breath

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Halloween has Gone and so Have the Ghosts

I haven’t mentioned the Ex in a long time. Interesting given that my angst and hurt was the reason I started to write, like I always said, was therapy.
Well, she’s in town and I’m having dinner with her about 20 minutes. Should be interesting. Plus the Short-one said much in the past two days that well, was an epiphany for me and matter-of-fact for her.
Thank god for smart women.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I Don't Know Why... suddenly acutely aware of the loneliness.

I don't think I've ever written about it, not even one line.  I don't know why.  Perhaps I just didn't want to think about it.


"In the Words of Others" or "I Will Quote the Truth Wherever I Find it"

Norman Mailer in the December 2007 Playboy:

I remember something else you said about getting close to yourself: "If you dig deep enough into yourself, you're going to come out your asshole."
(NM laughs)
In other words, yes, there are doors, and you must open many of those doors, and the ensuing doors with in doors, but every once in a while you want to be careful about what you open.

Well, of course you have to be careful about certain doors.  Anyone who fling everything ajar at once would be blown away.  A mighty change could range through all the rooms in your psyche.  One of the most jealously self-protective elements in human nature may be to protect oneself from one's own dark and barricaded corners.
So I don't think it's a real problem that we're going to open, by mistake, all the doors at once -- we don't.  We can't...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Things That Make You Go "Oooooh! That's Going to Sting!"

Sometime in August…
The Girl: You have a terrible voice mail message, such a bad accent
Me: (mumble mumble incomprehensible weak defense)
Girl takes phone and records over my voice mail message: You have reached the voice mail box of Zaphod B. He can not take your call right now as he is undisposed with a girl
Me: (part shocked part amused)

Girl and Me doing our own thing
Phone rings. Scrabble for it. Can’t find it. Mortified because it has gone to voice mail.

The Universe screwing her over just begins.
Voice mail: Hi, this is (the Girl’s Ex). Could you please ask her to call me back. Oh and also, it’s indisposed, not undisposed.


Email from Me
Subject: you can show your appreciation in kind…
Body: …with drink...
lotsa new music

Sent to Sasquatch, Bobo, Bobo’s brother.

Later on Chat:
Girl: crap crap crap ... shit ... fuck
Me (always game to join in): piss piss twat shit
Girl: “Alcohol is only a poor substitute for the kind of payback i have in mind. think kinky journalist. (other details), spectacles and a notepad” -- this is the email i wanted to send you. I have sent it to (Bobo) instead. I want to die
Me (ever sympathetic): HAHAHAHA

Monday, November 05, 2007

Time Off

Relationship Snapshot

Dating someone whose parents religious background is differnt from your own (non-practicing religion regardless of the fact that you are agnostic)

(via SMS)
Me: im eating crab stuffed into fish. how wrong is it to eat meat of one animal stuffed into another, on the jain scale?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Would I Do This?

Post a clip of a cockatoo right after one of a Buddhist Monk/Philospher?

Sure I would!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Please Watch This

The thing is, it all makes sense, what this chap says.  And it's so simple and it just falls into place and makes so much sense.
And I know I'm going to watch this the next time I'm the throes of another funk.

Please, watch this

Matthieu Ricard (born 1946) is a Buddhist monk who resides at Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery in Nepal.

Born in Paris, he is the son of Jean-François Revel (born Jean-François Ricard), a renowned French philosopher, and grew up among the personalities and ideas of French intellectual circles. He first traveled to India in 1967.

He worked for a Ph.D. degree in molecular genetics at the Institut Pasteur. After completing his doctoral thesis in 1972, Ricard decided to forsake his scientific career and concentrate on the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. He lived in the Himalayas studying with the Kangyur Rinpoche and some other great masters of that tradition and became the close student and attendant of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche until his passing in 1991. Since then, Mr. Ricard has dedicated his activities to fulfilling Khyentse Rinpoche’s vision.

Ricard’s photographs of the spiritual masters, the landscape, and the people of the Himayalas have appeared in numerous books and magazines. Henri Cartier-Bresson has said of his work, “Matthieu’s spiritual life and his camera are one, from which springs these images, fleeting and eternal.” He is the author and photographer of Journey to Enlightenment and Monk Dancers of Tibet and , in collaboration, the photobook, Buddhist Himalayas, TIbet, An Inner Journey as well as recently A Motionless Journey, The Himalayas seen from a hermitage. He is the translator of numerous Buddhist texts, including The Life of Shabkar. The dialogue with his father, Jean-Francois Revel, The Monk and the Philosopher, was a best seller in Europe and was translated in 21 languages, and The Quantum and the Lotus (coauthored with Trinh Xuan Thuan) reflects his long-standing interest in science and Buddhism. His new book, Happiness, Cultivating Life's Most Important Skill was also a major best-seller in France.

A board member of the Mind and Life Institute, which is devoted to meetings and collaborative research between scientists and Buddhist scholars and meditators, his contributions have appeared in Working with Destructive Emotions (edited by Daniel Goleman) and other books of essays. He is deeply engaged in the research on the effect of mind training on the brain, at Madison-Wisconsin, Princeton and Berkeley.

He received the French National Order of Merit for his humanitarian work in the East. For the last few years, Mr. Ricard has dedicated his effort and the royalites of his books to various charitable projects in Asia, that include building and maintaining clinics, schools and orphanages in the region. Since 1989, he has acted as the French interpreter for the Dalai Lama.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If You Take Away ANYthing at All...

...from being here, go to
Listen to the stuff there. It's insanely brilliant.

I have spent a delightful hour today listening to 30 minutes on the failure of markets for rural farmers in Africa (by this former World Bank economist who has now set up the Ethiopian Commodities Exchange or the ECEX) to an Indian neuroscientist talk about fascinating and rare brain disorders.

Trust me, it's simply brilliant

Bloody Hell, This Actually Worked!!

Cure for hiccups

Step 1: Start by inhaling through your mouth until your lungs feel full (when it feels like you cannot inhale any more). For overall best results, try to do this as quickly as you can. DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.

Step 2: Swallow. You are not really swallowing anything but it seems that without this act, it doesn’t work. DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.

Step 3: Now inhale some more. You don’t need to inhale a lot, but do get some more air in. It will start to get difficult to do this as you go, but keep trying. You obviously can’t suck in as much air as you did initially, but just a little will do (think of it as taking a “sip” of air). DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.

Step 4: Swallow again. This too will start to get difficult as you go. DO NOT LET ANY AIR OUT.

It took me one go!


I want to lose you to get you back so I never under appreciate you.

It's when you lose something and get it back do you realize how much it means to you.  It's been a while since I put the lid down and thought.  

I can sit alone and be engrossed in my own thoughts and musings, but I haven't stood back and seen who I am.

It's been a while.

Garble Garble

Bertrand Russell said everything becomes extinct at some point or another. Now I was thinking and given I am EXHAUSTED, thoughts tend to ramble as zig-zagged as my own meandering tired steps. Yes, indulgent prose, sue me. (Have your people call my people, we'll do lunch)

Now, we come into the world screaming (or if not, are smacked and then start screaming) and is there any point in continuing that way? I have been so burdened by things that they always get me down. I'd like to think I'm self aware. Id' like to believe my own conclusion and the thing is, there's honestly not much to be sad about. I mean if everything really comes to an end, what's the point of searching for a point? And I mean that word literally, a point as in a point in time, a state, a singular state of being be it marrying a rich banker and getting fake boobs or having picket fences. There's no knowing if we get to that point, we will be happy.

Maybe the whole point is to stop thinking about being at a point and just enjoy the ride, do what you can, be happy, learn and have fun. Perhaps it becomes clearer along the way.

Of course, believing this requires a leap of faith.

I could just be talking rubbish because I am so tired and blood rushed out of my head on the walk home and no, I did not pass a pretty girl, I am just tired.

But for some reason, relieved.

I don't want to be sad any more. Melancholic, sure, brooding, hell yeah, angst addled wretched lonely in my head fine it's part of the package.
But not sad.

We'll see how long this mood lasts

Monday, October 29, 2007


Me: did you have a fun Friday night? You said you wanted to stay in but your girlfriend wanted to go out (she’s 24)
A: no, we stayed in but she invite her friends over, these two other couples....I feel trapped (he's 31)
Me: aww, that’s so cute, you're entertaining couples together!
A: the pressure is on man, her family is really Gujrati and she’s 24
Me: (smack my head against the table)

The Ex wanted to get engaged but he held out and he's 28

You and I have to realize that guys, the WORLD over will NEVER be as mature as girls except when they are 40.
But I truly hope that I’m mature enough that the desire to run for the hills is immutably (because you love the word) outweighed by how much I love you and want to be with you

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This Makes Me Sick

How is this indoctrination any different from the Nazi Youth Party?
Fucking bastards, leading the sheep and teaching them to feed on the 'other'

ADD Strikes Again, on Neruda, MASH, Monkeys and Three Strikes

Zaphod browsing through the TV channels, '50s movie comes on:
Cowboy, wistfully: Ah yes, now those were simpler days and simpler times
Zaphod: when were the times any simpler. Everyone wants to go back to the then, talk about everyone wanting to be there either yesterday or tomorrow.


Everyone seems to want to find a a purpose in life. Now if you think about people in Africa who have to move around finding food, who have to, at the rate of painting a pithy, walk miles for potable water, well, do you think they look for a purpose? Their entire existence is to live from day to day, to just live.
We have too much time on our hands. The removable of the need to just live has created a vaccuum that must be filled by a thus unknowable purpose. In the end, it's just one thing, one common thread that runs through every human being that has and will ever more exist: to be happy.
If it's finding an easy meal in millets or truffles, we all move toward a common aim and that aim is happiness. Aristotle defined it best by not defining it all. He defined it as that we all move toward, however you define it.
We keep looking for purpose and meaning. Maybe it's a wild goose chase, the fact that we are alive, that was the purpose. Perhaps we do it so well, that we have forgotten how hard it used to be and how much of our days went in doing just that.
We seem to be monkeys with too much time on our hands.


It happened again. The new Mac OS is out and I was dying for it to come out. It came out Friday and I walked to the store and picked it up but I couldn't bring myself to pay money for something I don't need, for something that is so superfluous to my life that I can't buy it and yet remember the guy I saw huddled in the cold near the subway station, swaddled in a blanket the same color as the cold concrete.


Why I love MASH: where else can you find such a simple and innocent joke that isn't anything other than what it is, something to make you laugh, laden with simplicity
Supply officer: you know this kind of trading goes on in the army all the time. Remember Major, I got you those leather knee high boots with the spiked heels?
Major Margaret Houlighan: No no! (gesticulating)
Colonel Potter: with spiked heels? how do you fish in those?


Something I read that blew me away and I haven't been able to stop reading it:
I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

-- Neruda, Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960)


Something brilliant I saw:


And a few things that occurred to me:
-- I tend to over analyze myself and cut myself off from emotions. I was wondering why I do this so much and the answer is rather simple. I hate losing control. Whenever it has come to other people, I have always always been disappointed. I feel sad. To stop that, either I control every outcome or I disassociate myself from that bluesyness. There have been so many relationship issues that have tossed my emotions wildly, including my getting back with the Ex for the emotional masochism I put myself through (which has eerie manifestations in some sexual fantasies), it terrifies me that I put myself thorough it. It really feels like the emotional equivalent of cutting except its worse and deeper.
But I digress. I cut myself off to be in control.

-- I am terrified of dropping my walls because I'm scared that someone who really likes me will see something they don't like and leave... that they'll see the dark stuff that used to cause the prickly feeling at the back of my neck, taht horrible temper I keep away. And how can I live with that? So I put on walls faster than they can get through so either they leave, like the Ex, or they become frustrated like the Sasquatch.

-- I have had intimacy issues yes, that would explain a string of relationships based on sex. Because it's just that, sex, I leave a few hours later and resume my life, my thoughts and who I am. I think there's nothing harder that the intimacy when you are naked and it's only when you feel comfortable with who you are, that's when you may be able to share who you are

-- I'm still trying to remember the first moment when I was terrified of losing control, the situation and why I dread it so

-- Self awareness breeds loneliness. The better you know yourself, the more defined becomes the kind of person you want to be with. Friendships lose their veneer and become the average, and like bad acting, you tend to overlook the average and the bad and just find a basic delivery and move on, but like good acting, you try and find the ones who accept and want to be with you
The more defined the person you want to be around, the less you find it and the lonelier you get

-- There is much to be said about content in and of yourself, of being able to be with your self in your head and alone. People come and people go, as does the happiness they bring. People change and so does what they bring and give and share with you. But while this is a great cynical thought, I never want to lose sight of the fact that I want to be with a person who loves me for me, who sees through my walls, the cracks and the dents and the fears and never wants to leave.

-- To quote the Sasquatch who increasingly sees through me said, "you show more when you run away". Fuck, either that means I have met someone who I can't hide myself from or I need to do a better job covering my tracks. But even that she sees through and I turn around and face her and make it a battle field. I think I am rubbish at relationships, I can make the other person feel loved and beautiful. But the moment they want to get under my skin, I turn ugly. Of course, as she has said twice in twelve hours, it's as though she is introducing me to a meaningful relationship for the first time. I'm scared she may be right. Or, in my usual humors vein, I'm a blank slate and she can do what she wants!


The US has this law called the Three Strikes Law whereby the third time you are convicted for a crime, you are given a lenghtier sentence than had it been your first offense. I find it odd to name a law after a sport, especially one like baseball. Imagine if we had the Silly Point Law or the Law of Square Drives in India.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Oye Sasquatch


10 Points if You Get This One

Me: you're a naughty little smurfette
bad little smurfette
Tiny: i dont care if you're as big as a giant whale
me: well i'll just grin and call you jonah

Any Christians in the house?
Also, where there HELL do I get these references from.

Also, is it bad I said 'hell' (looks around surrepitiously)

Random Line That Refuses to Leave

Time to step up.

What Eventally Came of Major Tom

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I Wish I Hadn't Seen This

So as a kid I loved Sesame Street. But I used to watch Rainbow as well.
Today, I came across this clip:

and it shocked the bejesus out of me and I kept checking to see if it was an over dub. Guess it wasn't

"In 1979, the cast and crew of Rainbow made a special edition for the Thames TV staff Christmas tape, sometimes referred to as the "Twangers" episode. This show featured plenty of intended sexual innuendo (beginning with Zippy peeling a banana, saying "One skin, two skin, three skin, four..." before being interrupted), and although not shown at the time (as it was never intended to air), it has since been aired for the amusement of those who grew up with the show. The clip became famous after being aired on Victor Lewis-Smith's Channel 4 programme TV Offal (1997) and was jokingly referred to as 'the pilot episode', which it clearly wasn't as Geoffrey Hayes was presenter at the time. (It should be noted that the external page, linked below, erroneously claims that the episode was publicly broadcast as a regular episode.)
TV Offal also broadcast some very risqué material featuring members of the cast when they were guests on a variety show hosted by comedian Jim Davidson in the 1980's; the sketch in question, which featured former children's TV presenter Tommy Boyd, asking a question about Adam and Eve. Boyd and Davidson used some profanities in the sketch, along with some innuendo from George (presumably again not intended for broadcast like the above), but the most shocking moment was when Zippy exclaimed to Geoffrey: "The fucking Garden of Eden!" [2].
Comedian Bobby Davro also parodied Rainbow as a comedy sketch in his own TV series in the early-1990s, playing the part of Geoffrey alongside exaggerated versions of Bungle and the puppets, which contained some mild sexual innuendo. (Davro had appeared in a regular edition of the show, in which he performed amusing impressions of the characters in front of them.)"

Why Didn't I Think of That? (This is a Rhetorical Question Stemming From My Ego Which Realizes There is Much to be Learned)

If you want to reach a state of bliss, then go beyond your ego and the internal dialogue. Make a decision to relinquish the need to control, the need to be approved, and the need to judge. Those are the three things the ego is doing all the time. It's very important to be aware of them every time they come up.

-- Deepak Chopra via ST



Mum: So yeah, even another astrologer said you would get it by 27th November. That’s the second one. He also said you are lucky for Dad
Me: (Lucky? Lucky how? Like a rabbits foot? He has to pat my head before starting something new? Lucky how exactly?) Argghh, I wish you wouldn’t put stock in this
Mum: So, how are you doing?
Me: Well, you should already know! What did the astrologer say about how I’m doing?
Mum: Har har, ut your father is going to Gwalior to show it to this other guy and we’ll confirm it then, but to the point, how is Shorty doing?
Me: waitaminute! Another one?! And I get rather suspicious when you go straight from astrology talk to asking about her!
Mum: Well, I have to know if I need to look at her in another light
Me: (How many kinds of lights are there? I don’t even want to know)
Mum: Ask her to come to Delhi
Me: Well, I will, all in good time, don’t make me hurry things up! (Why is it women crave babies? And not just having their own but having their own babies have babies?)
Me: Besides, I’m moving home aren’t I (I ask her rather sardonically) and then you’ll be there
Mum: If it’s Bombay, I’ll be there all the time!
Me: Of course you will, who else will find me a place, unpack my stuff, arrange it, find a dhobi, interview prospective cleaning people. You’ll be there and I won’t even have to ask, you’ll do all this for me
Mum: asshole

Bronx Zoo, Central Park

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It's Extremely Effective... completely kills my libido

See, Here's Why I Get Agitated

The Sasquatch is quite aware of politics and things that go way beyond my comprehension and I really love that about her.
But here's why I can't bear to listen to politicians. India or the US, they are all monkeys. And point in case, my favorite:

What. The. Fuck...In French

Navigate to|en
Type in sarkozy sarkozy sarkozy

I don't know if it still pops up but here's what I got

If I Can Get aTall Skinny Half Caff Caramel Macchiato...

...then I can get indie folk/rock as seen in this.
If you take anything from some of the drivel on this blog, listen to the song "Your Rocky Spine". If you do not like it, you are wrong and have no soul.
Personally this song reminds me of "Brokeback Mountain". No, I don't mean gay sex with cowboys no matter how exuberant a cowbow you imagine. In any event, go listen.
Oh and more about the band here ----> X

Trippy Ass Shiite

I don't know how I feel about Crystal Castles. It has an Indie DaftPunk-early Euro-basement techno feel to it. Of course, they describe it as "ferocious, asphyxiating sheets of warped two-dimensional Gameboy glitches and bruising drum bombast pierce [the] skull with sheer shrill force, burrowing deep into the brain like a fever"

If you do click on this, listen to 'Alice Practice'


In the mean time, here's something else I'm going nuts over. Yeah, it's probably a bit dated but still has a brilliant bass and Tom Morello does a great job. My only grudge is that he uses a lot of effects which can take away from a brilliant guitarist. Anyway, here's a few others by these guys that I'm obsessing over

And unlike the times before
From yesterday comes tomorrow
When life comes alive the past moves aside
No regrets and no remorse
We have more than everything
More than man or machine
More than luck
More than fiction
Higher than any religion
This is one where the guitar certainly reminds me of Rage Against the Machine. It's called "One & The Same" . Again, Morello really goes nuts with the effects pedal but still. And there's a brilliant spot where the instruments cut out and you only have the drum and Cornell. Is good. I like

But just like blood and rain,
Love and pain are one and the same

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

In Case of Turbulence, Tuck Head Between Knees

Where have I been? With head firmly tucked away trying to throw self into frenetic activity to avoid reflection. Why? Because it leaves me blue. So I take chicken approach – see object of misery coming your way, promptly change paths and ignore it. Problem is, it’s just as persistent.

So where indeed have I been? I am firmly in the middle of a job hunt. I am awaiting second round interviews with one of the largest hedge funds in the world, a really smart geek persons place that accepts 1 in 500 and is known for its secrecy. But I have to admit, I am very surprised at the quarters help comes from, the most unexpected places including via this blog...reading that last line and reflecting on some of the stuff I've written about, it's a little worrying that I haven't been labelled insane.

I am in the middle of a relationship that has it’s up’s and down and unfortunately today caught me on a down swing. This, like everything else, seems to be in flux.

I went and saw Fuerza Bruta at Union Square. It is the singularly most brilliant piece of art I have seen in the sense that
a. it doesn’t strive to be anything
b. it reminds me that essentially we are playful creatures
c. gives a sensory stimulus never experienced before, a new concept which, unlike say a new piece of music which essentially is still music (a concept) which is delightful.

I am still pondering the superficial viz getting into shape, footling about with the guitar which is simultaneously stimulating, delightful and incredibly frustrating to the point where I have calluses but am fascinated with them and still getting frustrated over the misery one set of humans can inflict on another, be it Iraq or Burma and deciding that economic strata will always lead to a pyramid and that’s one of the characteristics of a capitalist society.
While this may not be a great revelation to anyone, it was interesting to me because it’s a conclusion I reached on my own based on observation. So there

I also took a course in photography which has simultaneously given me new interest in looking at pictures online (thank you StumbleUpon) and think of myself, rather misguidedly, as the next Sam Abell.
But, I have discovered I really like Palani Mohan and also can go beyond Ansel Adams being the extent of my knowledge of photographers.

I also went sky divvying which is the most intense thing I have ever done. It was tandem and it’s the closest I have been strapped to a guy. My guy happened to be Scottish and rather brusque which put a dampner on it. To ‘take the mickey out of me’, just before we jumped, he kissed the back of my neck. I was molested at 14,000 feet and I don’t want to talk about it.
The most terrifying moment is when you see your feet dangling over the edge, it seems a bit surreal when you look down and see you r hands holding on to the edge. But before your brain can send messages to your eyeballs telling them to bulge out cartoon style, the wind is sucked out of you given you are falling at 250km/h. Given the wind is screaming the land seems to be rather static. It’s true, 14,000 feet or 10,000 feet, you are a ways up and the ground looks the same.
There’s a SNAP and everything goes dead quiet. You do float down a lot slower than you thought and after a while look around and can’t help but grin.
I’m so going again, and I can’t wait

On a more terrifying and introspective front, I have realized that I have made a mistake in how I deal with things. Again, this seems an anticlimactic statement but you know what, it still scares me.
The problem can me summarized as such:
An email to the ex: I hope you are okay given the flames in San Diego
Reply: Yeah, but I keep bursting into tears knowing I’m not going home for a while. You know how that feels!
Me: Well, you have your new family to look forward to. Besides, mine was much worse given I ended up with depression, visiting a shrink and on Prozac. Not that I told my folks
(And I never told her until now…)
Reply: Well, I’ll learn from your mistakes
I was hoping for more of a reaction than that.

Now, the thing with the Sasquatch (yeah, I call her that out of affection and go giggle somewhere else…I do mushy things once in a while and I can spin them any which way I want), the problem is she reads me like an open book and even if she says something that dregs up unwanted memories, my voice changes imperceptibly, even to me but she sees that and digs deeper.

I’m so NOT used to this. And of course I squirm because having someone probe into these unpleasant things reminds me of them. Of course, in her own sage way she advises that I dredge them up, face them and put them to rest. Well kiddo, I’ve been hiding them for about eight years now, suppressing them and locking them away. I didn’t think I’d have to revisit them and certainly not have someone walk around, find a chest, sit on it, tap their well manicured nails and ask me what’s in it. It’s the equivalent of me trying to throw a sheet on it and call it a rustic dining table but you see right through it.

And I’m still not used to it. My reflex is to get defensive and turn on the other person for finding it. The truth is it’s been buried for so long now, I didn’t think I’d have to deal with it. Anyway, I shall have to grapple with it as I go along.

Oh and I bought an iTouch which gives me a metaphorical geek boner. I am also obsessed with Audioslave, namely Be Yourself, Yesterday to Tomorrow, Dandelion, One and the Same, Sound of a Gun, Original Fire.
Also, the one song that can really really have me calm down right now is Ganja Babe by Spearhead, associations not withstanding. Go listen. Also, go see pictures

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hear ye hear ye
I now announce a grand cash reward, amortizable in accordance with my pay if someone can find me a fucking job.
Yes, I have been on it for 6 weeks which is an insignificant amount of time compared with the 4 months I spent in school. But still, the stress I take on remains unabated.

Of course, the inherent issue is to destress myself. And I know things don't come easy and things that are worth it take time and effort and all the other pithy comments you like thrown in for good measure.

But here's the thing, this is one of two steps in what I think will make me happy. I'm looking for a job that will never let me get bored and I will grow into big heap chief, one that never makes me feel, "I'm done, I'm out, adios"
This does raise the bigger question and if you extrapolate the sentiment, it applies to everything, the kind of friends, the intimate relationships, retroactively wishing the same for your childhood. And yes, I know, if that were the case, a person wouldn't grow and yes, the same pithy, to grow you have to make your way through pitfalls, dust yourself off and get back on it. And yes, I said the same of broken hearts.

But hey, if you throw the dog a bone, he wont complain, honest injun.

I feel like bursting out of my skin again. And I've been trying to bring the highs and lows closer to the flat line. But I really want to scream and vent right now. I want to sink my teeth into something and not let go.


okay, time to reel it in, and get back to working on this freaking job hunt.

But as much as I try and fill in the white space, the silences and the quest moments, I can't help but wish that it were contentment that filled the white noise and hope that that indeed is the case and this job search is just one step closer to that.
I've had moments of it, absolute peace and I won't elaborate where or when at the sake of being dramatic, but in just saying that, I've given it away

Yeah, I'm being mysterious and such like but I'm sure the meaning has been extracted.

Skim over that part, you didn't miss anything, is the tiniest smile on my lips as I know what I mean.

I could talk about more important things like my outrage at the fact that people were against Ahmedinejad speaking at Columbia, at Blackwater and their training program, how Pratreus is full of shit, Bill Maher finally said something I don't agree with.
But right now, all I want to do is looking for a job.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Had to Post the Minute I Read it

I Think You're Fat

This story is about something called Radical Honesty. It may change your life. (But honestly, we don't really care.)
This story is about something called Radical Honesty. It may change your life. (But honestly, we don't really care.)

Here's the truth about why I'm writing this article:

I want to fulfill my contract with my boss. I want to avoid getting fired. I want all the attractive women I knew in high school and college to read it. I want them to be amazed and impressed and feel a vague regret over their decision not to have sex with me, and maybe if I get divorced or become a widower, I can have sex with them someday at a reunion. I want Hollywood to buy my article and turn it into a movie, even though they kind of already made the movie ten years ago with Jim Carrey. I want to get congratulatory e-mails and job offers that I can politely decline. Or accept if they're really good. Then get a generous counteroffer from my boss.

To be totally honest, I was sorry I mentioned this idea to my boss about three seconds after I opened my mouth. Because I knew the article would be a pain in the ass to pull off. Dammit. I should have let my colleague Tom Chiarella write it. But I didn't want to seem lazy.

What I mentioned to my boss was this: a movement called Radical Honesty.

The movement was founded by a sixty-six-year-old Virginia-based psychotherapist named Brad Blanton. He says everybody would be happier if we just stopped lying. Tell the truth, all the time. This would be radical enough -- a world without fibs -- but Blanton goes further. He says we should toss out the filters between our brains and our mouths. If you think it, say it. Confess to your boss your secret plans to start your own company. If you're having fantasies about your wife's sister, Blanton says to tell your wife and tell her sister. It's the only path to authentic relationships. It's the only way to smash through modernity's soul-deadening alienation. Oversharing? No such thing.

Yes. I know. One of the most idiotic ideas ever, right up there with Vanilla Coke and giving Phil Spector a gun permit. Deceit makes our world go round. Without lies, marriages would crumble, workers would be fired, egos would be shattered, governments would collapse.

And yet...maybe there's something to it. Especially for me. I have a lying problem. Mine aren't big lies. They aren't lies like "I cannot recall that crucial meeting from two months ago, Senator." Mine are little lies. White lies. Half-truths. The kind we all tell. But I tell dozens of them every day. "Yes, let's definitely get together soon." "I'd love to, but I have a touch of the stomach flu." "No, we can't buy a toy today -- the toy store is closed." It's bad. Maybe a couple of weeks of truth-immersion therapy would do me good.

I e-mail Blanton to ask if I can come down to Virginia and get some pointers before embarking on my Radical Honesty experiment. He writes back: "I appreciate you for apparently having a real interest and hope you're not just doing a cutesy little superficial dipshit job like most journalists."

I'm already nervous. I better start off with a clean slate. I confess I lied to him in my first e-mail -- that I haven't ordered all his books on Amazon yet. I was just trying to impress upon him that I was serious about his work. He writes back: "Thanks for your honesty in attempting to guess what your manipulative and self-protective motive must have been."

Blanton lives in a house he built himself, perched on a hill in the town of Stanley, Virginia, population 1,331. We're sitting on white chairs in a room with enormous windows and a crackling fireplace. He's swirling a glass of Maker's Mark bourbon and water and telling me why it's important to live with no lies.

"You'll have really bad times, you'll have really great times, but you'll contribute to other people because you haven't been dancing on eggshells your whole fucking life. It's a better life."

"Do you think it's ever okay to lie?" I ask.

"I advocate never lying in personal relationships. But if you have Anne Frank in your attic and a Nazi knocks on the door, lie....I lie to any government official." (Blanton's politics are just this side of Noam Chomsky's.) "I lie to the IRS. I always take more deductions than are justified. I lie in golf. And in poker."

Blanton adjusts his crotch. I expected him to be a bully. Or maybe a new-age huckster with a bead necklace who sits cross-legged on the floor. He's neither. He's a former Texan with a big belly and a big laugh and a big voice. He's got a bushy head of gray hair and a twang that makes his bye sound like bah. He calls himself "white trash with a Ph.D." If you mixed DNA from Lyndon Johnson, Ken Kesey, and threw in the nonannoying parts of Dr. Phil, you might get Blanton.

He ran for Congress twice, with the novel promise that he'd be an honest politician. In 2004, he got a surprising 25 percent of the vote in his Virginia district as an independent. In 2006, the Democrats considered endorsing him but got skittish about his weeklong workshops, which involve a day of total nudity. They also weren't crazy that he's been married five times (currently to a Swedish flight attendant twenty-six years his junior). He ran again but withdrew when it became clear he was going to be crushed.

My interview with Blanton is unlike any other I've had in fifteen years as a journalist. Usually, there's a fair amount of ass kissing and diplomacy. You approach the controversial stuff on tippy toes (the way Barbara Walters once asked Richard Gere about that terrible, terrible rumor). With Blanton, I can say anything that pops into my mind. In fact, it would be rude not to say it. I'd be insulting his life's work. It's my first taste of Radical Honesty, and it's liberating, exhilarating.

When Blanton rambles on about President Bush, I say, "You know, I stopped listening about a minute ago."

"Thanks for telling me," he says.

I tell him, "You look older than you do in the author photo for your book," and when he veers too far into therapyspeak, I say, "That just sounds like gobbledygook."

"Thanks," he replies." Or, "That's fine."

Blanton has a temper -- he threatened to "beat the shit" out of a newspaper editor during the campaign -- but it hasn't flared tonight. The closest he comes to attacking me is when he says I am self-indulgent and Esquire is pretentious. Both true.

Blanton pours himself another bourbon and water. He's got a wad of chewing tobacco in his cheek, and when he spits into the fireplace, the flames crackle louder.

"My boss says you sound like a dick," I say.

"Tell your boss he's a dick," he says.

"I'm glad you picked your nose just now," I say. "Because it was funny and disgusting, and it'll make a good detail for the article."

"That's fine. I'll pick my ass in a minute." Then he unleashes his deep Texan laugh: heh, heh, heh. (He also burps and farts throughout our conversation; he believes the one-cheek sneak is "a little deceitful.")

No topic is off-limits. "I've slept with more than five hundred women and about a half dozen men," he tells me. "I've had a whole bunch of threesomes" -- one of which involved a hermaphrodite prostitute equipped with dual organs.

What about animals?

Blanton thinks for a minute. "I let my dog lick my dick once."

If he hadn't devoted his life to Radical Honesty, I'd say he was, to use his own phrase, as full of shit as a Christmas turkey. But I don't think he is. I believe he's telling the truth. Which is a startling thing for a journalist to confront. Generally, I'm devoting 30 percent of my mental energy to figuring out what a source is lying about or hiding from me. Another 20 percent goes into scheming about how to unearth that buried truth. No need for that today.

"I was disappointed when I visited your office," I tell Blanton. (Earlier he had shown me a small, cluttered single-room office that serves as the Radical Honesty headquarters.) "I'm impressed by exteriors, so I would have been impressed by an office building in some city, not a room in Butt Fuck, Virginia. For my article, I want this to be a legitimate movement, not a fringe movement."

"What about a legitimate fringe movement?" asks Blanton, who has, by this time, had three bourbons.

Blanton's legitimate fringe movement is sizable but not huge. He's sold 175,000 books in eleven languages and has twenty-five trainers assisting in workshops and running practice groups around the country.

Now, my editor thinks I'm overreaching here and trying too hard to justify this article's existence, but I think society is speeding toward its own version of Radical Honesty. The truth of our lives is increasingly being exposed, both voluntarily (MySpace pages, transparent business transactions) and involuntarily. (See Gonzales and Google, or ask Alec Baldwin.) For better or worse, we may all soon be Brad Blantons. I need to be prepared. [Such bullshit. -- Ed.]

I return to New York and immediately set about delaying my experiment. When you're with Blanton, you think, Yes, I can do this! The truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth. But when I get back to bosses and fragile friendships, I continue my lying ways.

"How's Radical Honesty going?" my boss asks.

"It's okay," I lie. "A little slow."

A couple of weeks later, I finally get some inspiration from my friend's five-year-old daughter, Alison. We are in Central Park for a play date. Out of nowhere, Alison looks at me evenly and says, "Your teeth are yellow because you drink coffee all day."

Damn. Now that's some radical honesty for you. Maybe I should be more like a five-year-old. An hour later, she shows me her new pet bug -- a beetle of some sort that she has in her cupped hands.

"It's napping," she whispers.

I nudge the insect with my finger. It doesn't move. Should I play along? No. I should tell her the truth, like she told me about my teeth.

"It's not napping."

She looks confused.

"It's dead."

Alison runs to her father, dismayed. "Daddy, he just said a bad word."

I feel like an asshole. I frightened a five-year-old, probably out of revenge for an insult about my oral hygiene. I postpone again -- for a few more weeks. And then my boss tells me he needs the article for the July issue.

I start in again at dinner with my friend Brian. We are talking about his new living situation, and I decide to tell him the truth.

"You know, I forget your fiancée's name."

This is highly unacceptable -- they've been together for years; I've met her several times.

"It's Jenny."

In his book, Blanton talks about the thrill of total candor, the Space Mountain-worthy adrenaline rush you get from breaking taboos. As he writes, "You learn to like the excitement of mild, ongoing risk taking." This I felt.

Luckily, Brian doesn't seem too pissed. So I decide to push my luck. "Yes, that's right. Jenny. Well, I resent you for not inviting me to you and Jenny's wedding. I don't want to go, since it's in Vermont, but I wanted to be invited."

"Well, I resent you for not being invited to your wedding."

"You weren't invited? Really? I thought I had."


"Sorry, man. That was a mistake."

A breakthrough! We are communicating! Blanton is right. Brian and I crushed some eggshells. We are not stoic, emotionless men. I'm enjoying this. A little bracing honesty can be a mood booster.

The next day, we get a visit from my wife's dad and stepmom.

"Did you get the birthday gift I sent you?" asks her stepmom.

"Uh-huh," I say.

She sent me a gift certificate to Saks Fifth Avenue.

"And? Did you like it?"

"Not really. I don't like gift certificates. It's like you're giving me an errand to run."

"Well, uh . . ."

Once again, I felt the thrill of inappropriate candor. And I felt something else, too. The paradoxical joy of being free from choice. I had no choice but to tell the truth. I didn't have to rack my brain figuring out how to hedge it, spin it, massage it.

"Just being honest," I shrug. Nice touch, I decide; helps take the edge off. She's got a thick skin. She'll be okay. And I'll tell you this: I'll never get a damn gift certificate from her again.

I still tell plenty of lies every day, but by the end of the week I've slashed the total by at least 40 percent. Still, the giddiness is wearing off. A life of radical honesty is filled with a hundred confrontations every day. Small, but they're relentless.

"Yes, I'll come to your office, but I resent you for making me travel."

"My boss said I should invite you to this meeting, although it wouldn't have occurred to me to do so."

"I have nothing else to say to you. I have run out of conversation."

My wife tells me a story about switching operating systems on her computer. In the middle, I have to go help our son with something, then forget to come back.

"Do you want to hear the end of the story or not?" she asks.

" there a payoff?"

"Fuck you."

It would have been a lot easier to have kept my mouth closed and listened to her. It reminds me of an issue I raised with Blanton: Why make waves? "Ninety percent of the time I love my wife," I told him. "And 10 percent of the time I hate her. Why should I hurt her feelings that 10 percent of the time? Why not just wait until that phase passes and I return to the true feeling, which is that I love her?"

Blanton's response: "Because you're a manipulative, lying son of a bitch."

Okay, he's right. It's manipulative and patronizing to shut up and listen. But it's exhausting not to.

One other thing is also becoming apparent: There's a fine line between radical honesty and creepiness. Or actually no line at all. It's simple logic: Men think about sex every three minutes, as the scientists at Redbook remind us. If you speak whatever's on your mind, you'll be talking about sex every three minutes.

I have a business breakfast with an editor from Rachael Ray's magazine. As we're sitting together, I tell her that I remember what she wore the first time we met -- a black shirt that revealed her shoulders in a provocative way. I say that I'd try to sleep with her if I were single. I confess to her that I just attempted (unsuccessfully) to look down her shirt during breakfast.

She smiles. Though I do notice she leans back farther in her seat.

The thing is, the separate cubbyholes of my personality are merging. Usually, there's a professional self, a home self, a friend self, a with-the-guys self. Now, it's one big improper mess. This woman and I have either taken a step forward in our relationship, or she'll never return my calls again.

When I get home, I keep the momentum going. I call a friend to say that I fantasize about his wife. (He says he likes my wife, too, and suggests a key party.)

I inform our twenty-seven-year-old nanny that "if my wife left me, I would ask you out on a date, because I think you are stunning."

She laughs. Nervously.

"I think that makes you uncomfortable, so I won't mention it again. It was just on my mind."

Now I've made my own skin crawl. I feel like I should just buy a trench coat and start lurking around subway platforms. Blanton says he doesn't believe sex talk in the workplace counts as sexual harassment -- it's tight-assed society's fault if people can't handle the truth -- but my nanny confession just feels like pure abuse of power.

All this lasciviousness might be more palatable if I were a single man. In fact, I have a theory: I think Blanton devised Radical Honesty partly as a way to pick up women. It's a brilliant strategy. The antithesis of mind games. Transparent mating.

And according to Blanton, it's effective. He tells me about a woman he once met on a Paris subway and asked out for tea. When they sat down, he said, "I didn't really want any tea; I was just trying to figure out a way to delay you so I could talk to you for a while, because I want to go to bed with you." They went to bed together. Or another seduction technique of his: "Wanna fuck?"

"That works?" I asked.

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but it's the creation of possibility."

I lied today. A retired man from New Hampshire -- a friend of a friend -- wrote some poems and sent them to me. His wife just died, and he's taken up poetry. He just wanted someone in publishing to read his work. A professional opinion.

I read them. I didn't like them much, but I wrote to him that I thought they were very good.

So I e-mail Blanton for the first time since our meeting and confess what I did. I write, "His wife just died, he doesn't have friends. He's kind of pathetic. I read his stuff, or skimmed it actually. I didn't like it. I thought it was boring and badly written. So I e-mailed a lie. I said I really like the poems and hope they get published. He wrote me back so excited and how it made his week and how he was about to give up on them but my e-mail gave him the stamina to keep trying."

I ask Blanton whether I made a mistake.

He responds curtly. I need to come to his eight-day workshop to "even begin to get what [Radical Honesty] is about." He says we need to meet in person.

Meet in person? Did he toss down so many bourbons I vanished from his memory? I tell him we did meet.

Blanton writes back testily that he remembers. But I still need to take a workshop (price tag: $2,800). His only advice on my quandary: "Send the man the e-mail you sent me about lying to him and ask him to call you when he gets it...and see what you learn."

Show him the e-mail? Are you kidding? What a hardcore bastard.

In his book, Radical Honesty, Blanton advises us to start sentences with the words "I resent you for" or "I appreciate you for." So I write him back.

"I resent you for being so different in these e-mails than you were when we met. You were friendly and engaging and encouraging when we met. Now you seem to have turned judgmental and tough. I resent you for giving me the advice to break that old man's heart by telling him that his poems suck."

Blanton responds quickly. First, he doesn't like that I expressed my resentment by e-mail. I should have come to see him. "What you don't seem to get yet, A.J., is that the reason for expressing resentment directly and in person is so that you can experience in your body the sensations that occur when you express the resentment, while at the same time being in the presence of the person you resent, and so you can stay with them until the sensations arise and recede and then get back to neutral -- which is what forgiveness is."

Second, he tells me that telling the old man the truth would be compassionate, showing the "authentic caring underneath your usual intellectual bullshit and overvaluing of your critical judgment. Your lie is not useful to him. In fact, it is simply avoiding your responsibility as one human being to another. That's okay. It happens all the time. It is not a mortal sin. But don't bullshit yourself about it being kind."

He ends with this: "I don't want to spend a lot of time explaining things to you for your cute little project of playing with telling the truth if you don't have the balls to try it."

Condescending prick.

I know my e-mail to the old man was wrong. I shouldn't have been so rah-rah effusive. But here, I've hit the outer limit of Radical Honesty, a hard wall. I can't trash the old man.

I try to understand Blanton's point about compassion. To most of us, honesty often means cruelty.

But to Blanton, honesty and compassion are the ones in sync. It's an intriguing way to look at the world, but I just don't buy it in the case of the widower poet. Screw Blanton. (By the way: I broke Radical Honesty and changed the identifying details of the old-man story so as not to humiliate him. Also, I've messed a bit with the timeline of events to simplify things. Sorry.)

To compensate for my wimpiness, I decide to toughen up. Which is probably the exact wrong thing to do. Today, I'm getting a haircut, and my barber is telling me he doesn't want his wife to get pregnant because she'll get too fat (a bit of radical honesty of his own), and I say, "You know, I'm tired. I have a cold. I don't want to talk anymore. I want to read."

"Okay," he says, wielding his scissors, "go ahead and read."

Later, I do the same thing with my in-laws when they're yapping on about preschools. "I'm bored," I announce. "I'll be back later." And with that, I leave the living room.

I tell Blanton, hoping for his approval. Did anything come of it? he asks. Any discussions and insights? Hmmm.

He's right. If you're going to be a schmuck, at least you should find some redeeming quality in it. Blanton's a master of this. One of his tricks is to say things with such glee and enthusiasm, it's hard to get too pissed. "You may be a petty asshole," he says, "but at least you're not a secret petty asshole." Then he'll laugh.

I have yet to learn that trick myself. Consider how I handled this scene at a diner a couple of blocks from my apartment.

"Everything okay?" asked our server, an Asian man with tattoos.

"Yeah, except for the coffee. I always have to order espresso here, because the espresso tastes like regular coffee. The regular coffee here is terrible. Can't you guys make stronger coffee?"

The waiter said no and walked away. My friend looked at me. "I'm embarrassed for you," he said. "And I'm embarrassed to be around you."

"I know. Me, too." I felt like a Hollywood producer who parks in handicapped spots. I ask Blanton what I should have done.

"You should have said, 'This coffee tastes like shit!' " he says, cackling.

I will say this: One of the best parts of Radical Honesty is that I'm saving a whole lot of time. It's a cut-to-the-chase way to live. At work, I've been waiting for my boss to reply to a memo for ten days. So I write him: "I'm annoyed that you didn't respond to our memo earlier. But at the same time, I'm relieved, because then if we don't nail one of the things you want, we can blame any delays on your lack of response."

Pressing send makes me nervous -- but the e-mail works. My boss responds: "I will endeavor to respond by tomorrow. Been gone from N.Y. for two weeks." It is borderline apologetic. I can push my power with my boss further than I thought.

Later, a friend of a friend wants to meet for a meal. I tell him I don't like leaving my house. "I agree to meet some people for lunch because I fear hurting their feelings if I don't. And in this terrifying age where everyone has a blog, I don't want to offend people, because then they'd write on their blogs what an asshole I am, and it would turn up in every Google search for the rest of my life."

He writes back: "Normally, I don't really like meeting editors anyway. Makes me ill to think about it, because I'm afraid of coming off like the idiot that, deep down, I suspect I am."

That's one thing I've noticed: When I am radically honest, people become radically honest themselves. I feel my resentment fade away. I like this guy. We have a good meeting.

In fact, all my relationships can take a whole lot more truth than I expected. Consider this one: For years, I've had a chronic problem where I refer to my wife, Julie, by my sister's name, Beryl. I always catch myself midway through and pretend it didn't happen. I've never confessed to Julie. Why should I? It either means that I'm sexually attracted to my sister, which is not good. Or that I think of my wife as my sister, also not good.

But today, in the kitchen, when I have my standard mental sister-wife mix-up, I decide to tell Julie about it.

"That's strange," she says.

We talk about it. I feel unburdened, closer to my wife now that we share this quirky, slightly disturbing knowledge. I realize that by keeping it secret, I had given it way too much weight. I hope she feels the same way.

I call up Blanton one last time, to get his honest opinion about how I've done.

"I'm finishing my experiment," I say.

"You going to start lying again?" he asks.

"Hell yeah."

"Oh, shit. It didn't work."

"But I'm going to lie less than I did before."

I tell him about my confession to Julie that I sometimes want to call her Beryl. "No big deal," says Blanton. "People in other cultures have sex with their sisters all the time."

I bring up the episode about telling the editor from Rachael Ray's magazine that I tried to look down her shirt, but he sounds disappointed. "Did you tell your wife?" he asks. "That's the good part."

Finally, I describe to him how I told Julie that I didn't care to hear the end of her story about fixing her computer. Blanton asks how she responded.

"She said, 'Fuck you.' "

"That's good!" Blanton says. "I like that. That's communicating."

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Monday, September 03, 2007

Angst, Mush and Music

Where does the angst come from? It's still here at times and it still manifests just behind the shoulder and the back of my neck, taught and tense, threatening to break out.

Is it from wanting everything to be perfect while grappling with the idea that most things are not under my control?
Or perhaps from struggling with the fact that every point is to do with another point in the future, with the niggling fear that that point may never come. It's happened before.

Does that mean being happy now? How when everything I want won't come until I am installed in another city?
This is a wonderful City, but it's incomplete and I've always felt incongruous. So where do I sleep at night?

Perhaps the cause is wanting to be everything I want to and knowing that I can but it'll take time. I suppose patience keeps it under check.

I know I am very happy with who I am. But there's so much more I can do, so much I want to.

I think I also figured what it means to be in an adult relationship. It's none of that mindfucking and watching every step that I used to have. It's not having to think of the "right" thing to say. It just is. It is right?
So we do fight and as much as she wishes we didn't, we do. And I suppose that's what it has taken for me to reach the conclusion up there (no pun intended).
I haven't really known anyone as feisty as her. And it does make me laugh in an affectionate way. Right too mushy? Well consider the fact that this is more for me than anyone else. Right and also, I havent really trumpeted why I like her here nor have I waxed mushy so be thankful for that. I am as capable of being overtly dramatic about the woes as I am the good stuff. But will spare you the details. Though I think she'd like to know what I'd write here about her if I did write about her here (how much wood could a woodchuck chuck....?)

The idea of moving scared the bloody day lights out of me. New city, new job, new relationship. Whatever happened to old being gold or not changing horses midstream (or counter with variety is the spice of life dear god when did I swallow a thesaurus of pithy?)

I havent met anyone who has gotten under my skin as fast as she has. It has been disconcerting and I haven't made it easy for her. But I'm dying to lie on a couch with her, watching movies, watching her watch movies (oh dear god, I"m getting sappier by the day...gaaah...right, all that I need now is the Westchester wardrobe and I will fit into a catalogue)


I need to learn to destress and soon. It's really going to wreak havoc otherwise. I shouldn't need someone to whack me on the forehead with a brick at times and I'm sorry that she has to but I'm so glad she does.

Now, go listen to:
* Mistaken for strangers by The National
* Crane Wife 3 by The Decemberists
* Yankee Bayonet by The Decemberists

Also, the guitar in Given in to me by Michael Jackson (dear lord, people used to call him Whacko Jacko (shudder).
It still amazes me

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Girl Doublespeak

“Why can’t you be honest and be nice at the same time?”

I don’t mean to be sexist but only a woman could say that. Right so me, I seem to be vacillating between two different approaches. The past dictated that well, I be a bit sensitive and notice when she got her hair done and just generally be enthused about new clothes and I guess, avoid making her face fall (and it really used to, way down until here to poor girl) if I didn’t like the same stuff. So unfortunately I suffer from blowback.

Now, the ShortOne (I’m bored with this moniker but more tired than bored to actually change it right now) prefers if I am honest.

Guys just want a woman’s opinion, for better or for worse. Now, I mean if you buy something new and in style and I think its hideous, well, can I say as much? Okay, all women who have asked for an opinion, heard something contrary to what they hold and felt bad about it, stand up and admit it. Then admit to the fact that you confuse me.

“Do you like this?”

“No, I don’t”



So okay and admit it, when you have a new boy friend, you want your friends opinions on him but at the same time you want them to like him.

Well then well… I mean…(words wont cut it so all I have to say is)



There seem to be grey clouds (would the clichéd Chinese accent read ‘crowds’?...I’m tired, I have ADD) brewing in lovers land. At least for me, dunno about the rest of you.

I figure long distance is hard (duhhhhhhhh)

The thing is, it’s hard to really get under someones skin when well, their hide is a couple of thousand miles away. You don’t realize how much of a difference it makes to have the person around, to come home tired and rather than wait to make the phone call you wait for and realize nothing of any consequence has happened and narrate absolutely nothing, silence seems to grow larger when both of you are on the phone.

Okay, I should have thought that through before spouting truisms.

When in person, I can *be* with her. I can drape myself on her person and just vegetate and think and make off color sounds.

But take the flip side of that, come home tired and sit and just hang out, no calling card bills, no holding on to the phone as you walk about the house trying to fill the silence in it with the tinny on the phone… it ain’t the same.

And I effing hate it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Work in Progress. Both, the Author and the Post

(lick the end of the pencil)
(stick tongue out)
(adopt thinking position, not to be confused with constipated look even though visually may be the same)

I am in a job that requires ADD. C calls for me while R is emailing me with work while I listen to a conference call while keeping an eye on Bloomberg.
Have you seen ‘Coupling’? Specifically the episode where Patrick keeps trying to go home after canoodling with his girlfriend and refers to a woman who want to snuggle after squelching as a ‘hairy sex octopus with hair and limbs everywhere’?
Right, so this is what is demanded of me. Without the sex bit.
But I am a sexy beast y’know (just throwing out another movie reference, 10 points if you get it)

Another thing I don’t understand is with you i-bankers, how come your models never seem to add up. There’s always one wise ass who has something funky in historicals.

Work had been butchering me over the course of the past three weeks including putting in 12 hours over a weekend when the parental units were in town. Any how, pictures to follow later…

But I think my company does owe me two new shirts. Mine have frayed at the elbows. I’ve never heard of anything like this but it’s ridiculous. Does this in any way tie in to ‘elbow grease’?

Right, so that’s that on the work front. I am trying desperately to get back to India so if any one knows of any openings in private equity or hedge fund, you have a willing grunt here, ready to sacrifice much sleep, sweat and tears to make you money. Yes, I am a sell out and damn proud of it. Now, if they would just give me a t-shirt that says the same (looks around for t-shirt…or cookie)


I skyped with the Ex a few days ago. We made small talk until she blurted out, “I got engaged”
Much appropriate felicitations were given (I can’t stop talking like this, I don’t know why).
While she said she picked out the ring, she expressed a concern that some people may think it too small.
I am always polite but I draw the line at making her feel better about the size of the ring that chappie gave her.
And last weekend she said she would be moving to San Diego (oh come, what the hell do you do in San Diego for petes sake…and who is pete?! Goddamnit, I’m rather floopy today, but I’m back baby!)
Right, so she asked if I would visit her and her fiancé in San Diego:
“You want me, to visit you, at his apartment?”
“Actually, we are staying with his parents”

Anyway, as much as I loved the girl, ‘twas what ‘twas, and never more it shall be.

Though I have to say, the age difference between her and me (if you don’t know what it is, ask…just to ping y’all and see who is curious) was thrown sharply into relief. Look, I will grow up when I have to. I’m still this age and I still want to have fun. Unlike two years ago, I can think about getting married but it still is some point in the future.
She’s going to get engaged engaged in November, move to the US in October…I think we are different levels and it’s a disconnect I can’t fathom


I was in need of a well deserved holiday so I did just that. I took the camera and set off to the Met.
My new favorite artist is Paul Signac.
At least I think it is. Or okay, it’s whoever did this piece:

For the bloody life of me, I can’t figure out who did it. If you know, the please tell me and you can have my first born (though I get all rights to call you Rumpelstiltskin forevermore)

Ah yes, then had a rather interesting red wine with cheese at the Met while the pianist played and I looked down on the people with a beatific smile albeit on a large table much to myself.

There’s a lot more to say on the pieces that I loved but will make a separate post on that


I have been vacillating lately between contentment (see lines above), happiness (under the influence of a rather deep red wine) and an oogy feeling.
I am in need of guilt free guilty indulgences. No Shorty, I don’t mean no-strings sex…(this is where I pause to debate if I wish to elaborate on the topic of bumping uglies and decide against it)
But for instance, I want to get really really pissed without wondering if I will hit on anyone, stumble through the sodden streets of the City, end up worshiping the great Porcelain God (which I havent done in a very long time) or boomed until I can move no mo’
I think it’s the oogy feeling, the restlessness that never left, just abated but washed over me again, inevitable. And I think I may have figured it out.
So you know how the Tolle’s and Dr. Phils say live for the “now” and all that mumbo-jumbo. Right, so what if I have spent every single day for the past 4-5 years trying to get to a point, in fact to such a degree that that point died out a long time ago? So where does that leave me now? And this job-hunt and trying to get back to India, well, I’m doing it again, risking it again for a future that may not even exist.
Oh yes, I totally hear you, but am I going to change that? No, I guess not. I mean it’s hard trying to get there, scrabbling every day and worrying every night. And of course, the inevitable doubt will it be the way I imagined it, as perfect?

Who knows, and what’s more, worrying about it, that isn’t getting me there

But yet, coming back to the first thought, I am in need of excess. As Tom Waits so eloquently put it, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy”


Go watch Simpsons
It’s brilliant. Everything from Homer’s plaintive, “Homer do good?” to SpiderPig, all of it, brilliant. If you disagree, come back and we can discuss it in a civil way.
Then, I will jump you in the parking alley and bitch slap you and run away while saying “ha ha” Nelson style


I’m an ass and no woman should date me. Just sleep with me.

Her: i think im snappy because i miss you

me: so you say. Humph. i have reached the conclusion that this is some sort of setup and you are out to trap me. i dunno what your game is, but i see right through it
so there!
i'll give you this, it is a ploy worthy of moriarty but unlike holmes, i do not intend to go over a cliff


Her: im here
my sister is watching freaky friday

me: !!
(a bit flustered at having his damning accusation fall on deaf ears)

Her: and i have a headache

Really, I should have come with a warning label stuck to my ass when I came shooting out. I bet I was a wise ass even then and pee’d the doctor who smacked my bottom to get me to cry. Bitch

Things to look forward to:
1. US Open match tomorrow for free (few few perks of a job that damns me to 14-16 hour days)
2. US Semi-Finals, Mens (not free. Fuck)
3. Four days off this week given it’s Labor Day (ironic given I work at a job that made me sign a waiver giving up my right to a maximum hours per week of work)
4. ….

Come on, add to my list

Things to fear:
1. folks being in town for those four days which means I can’t sulk or be a bitch. It also means giving up the ciggies and maal and no drunken debauchery that would have inevitably resulted thanks to this 4 day vacation
2. finding a job and soon else my head will pop off from the tension
3. cleaning my apartment, to the Mother’s standards
4. going back to the gym after torturing myself yesterday

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The *Whiniest* post ever. but i needed this. so. f.u.

Right, so deal with it. This is where I bitch, moan, whine, squeal, say “shit piss fuck”, deal with it, don’t like it? Well go chance the bloody channel then why don’t you.

I’m FRUSTRATED! 16 hour days, a job that is pissing me off, trying to move to India, everyone telling me I have an exciting resume and still no luck there, no personal space coz my folks ( both of whom I love) are visiting, haven’t worked out, am tired and just fucking pissed the hell off so fuck you.

Plus I feel like I’m shit at relationships. I don’t know why the urgency to spill each time I talk, I guess it’s because you never know when the person will leave, when they decide they don’t want you any more thank-you-very-much.

I guess it’s that. At the end of a mini melt down, when all you can do is sit in the shower and hear the water splashing, trying to consciously relax the muscled, deep down, I’m concerned about how I relate to other people. Oh sure I can be all social and amicable, but am I someone heck I’d want to be with? I mean okay fine, call me effing self indulgent right now and


Fine, I know I am being self-indulgent. But there are a few things that honestly scare me. They really do and it makes me nauseous to think about them:
1. I am shit at really opening up
2. I have no short term memory which trust me, is a lot worse than it sounds when you remember the bigger picture but smaller details get lost
3. …..

I cant think!!!
Its like a million other things swirling about in my head…..each effing thought stumbling over the other, I cant stop any of them

I need a smoke.


Fine, I love her. I really do. And it’s things like during lunch………….FUCK!
I cant seem to think or stop thinking any more. Where’s the goddamn off switch

Okay. Let me try this one more time.
I’m tense to the point my jaw hurts.
Why am I tense?
1. I have had a horrible two weeks at work with 14 hour days. My folks were in town and I still put in 12 hours over the weekend
2. I hate this job.
3. I am trying to move to India or some place closer. Head hunters seem to love my resume but wont email back. Each time I get a new email, I can barely contain my excitement to see if it’s from one of them
4. I try desperately to make time to talk, to be in touch as much as possible to not repeat my mistakes. But then the quality suffers and im trying to navigate foot traffic with one eye on the clock while trying to order lunch and make sure I get back in time to not get yelled at.

It’s like if I concentrate on one thing, I drop the ball somewhere else. And it’s always trying to juggle so many things at once it makes me grit my effing teeth in my sleep. I need a fucking sock stuffed in my mouth when I sleep.

I’m trying to make something of nothing and it’s so goddamn frustrating and I try and keep cool about it.
And in the end, I wonder if it’s really me. I’m terrified it’s always been me.

I’m sorry to my folks for not spending enough time with them. I’m sorry that I can’t seem to make headway with this job thing. I’m sorry if you didn’t know the girl I love. I’m sorry I don’t have enough time for you. I’m disappointed I didn’t do as well as I should have on that exam. I’m disappointed I can’t speak with you as much as you deserve. It’s this awful lump at not being able to do what I want, to give what I so badly want to because of things that I cant control. But even those, I’m trying, I’m working on, I will give up a lot and I already have for this and I will cuss and fight and scrabble to make it happen and I’m sorry if I drop the ball in another part. It’s this awful tiredness of swimming against the fucking tide. It’s this awful silence when I wonder if there’s something more I can do.

It’s wanting to reach behind and rip the skin off and throw my head back and scream because I am so goddamn frustrated.

What * I * want:
I want to be with her. I want to have a job that challenges me and lets me think. I want to make money so I don’t go wanting again.
Right, so I’m working on all three the best I fucking can. But there are so many other people involved in this.

Oh lord, that felt good. I feel drained but I let it out at least. I have several flaws as mother dearest pointed out, not each one, just the blanket statement.
I have much to work on. I just hope I don’t hear, “It’s too late” again.

More to write. Much much more to write.