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July 31, 2004

thanks for the tip

To those who suggested I use wire for my mala...

I did actually mention that in my post. The problem is that although wire doesn't break, it doesn't knot reliably, and crimps seem to get worried free. I think the solution is just lighter beads, that don't have such sharp, string-wearing surfaces.

In any case, I lost at least half of my lapis beads, and a strand of them is pretty expensive. I'm also just ready for any kinds of changes in my life. I feel really willing to just try totally new things that have been in my head for awhile.

inexplicable tinyblog poetry ii

boy do I miss myself.

I remember, back in the day when I was myself, me and myself we'd...
oh those were the days back in the day with myself
talking to myself and uhhh feeling myself
me, myself and I are all missing myself
those golden days of myself
I used to be so...
we and us including myself we were so...
we used to build snow selves and pretend they were parson brown
hey myself I used to see you all the time
now you hardly ever call me or write
myself I looked at your name so many times it just looked like some
funny word from mars
a word I'd tell my kids not to say myself cause
you're a sicko myself, sometimes frantic
like a spastic furry muppet i know
yes
it was me who said goodbye, but
boy
do I miss myself.

July 29, 2004

tinyblog post between the late movie and the late late movie

Tonight as I was walking home from the grocery store, with a backpack full of movies, canned goods and stupid things like sponges, tape and toothpicks that a new household needs, and a grocery bag with bread and zucchini, I had a really strange experience. I heard a sound like falling pebbles, and looked down. There were pebbles on the ground and it was like they were jumping around at my feet or something. It died down a little as I looked.

I thought maybe I had been kicking them as I had been walking, and I started walking again, kicking the ground a little extra, but no noise. It was like someone had dropped the pebbles, or thrown them softly at me. I looked all around and didn't see anyone. I couldn't think of any explanation and it was a little disturbing and I felt kind of stupid. A few last pebbles clackered.

I walked on, trying to put it together, and then I heard a few more clacks, and finally the rest of my broken mala fell at my feet. I was a little sad, but I laughed. I haven't had such good luck with malas...with wearing anything really.

A mala is a string of 108 beads. It's sort of like a rosary, in fact rosary is one translation. I learned how to pray the rosary back in the day, and I knew my mom respected it a lot. I still know the Lord's Prayer, and the Hail Mary. I thought it was a little silly, but let me tell you, you feel different after you say 108 prayers, even if you don't think you're going to. Both a rosary and a mala have a larger bead on one end. On the mala it's called the lama bead, and when you reach it, you turn around and go the other way.

My lama gave me my first mala...made out of lotus seeds. They're these pitted white spheres, usually about a centimeter across. I like them. They're light, and when you say a lot of mantras, it picks up the oils in your fingers and gets kind of golden brown, like a white clay Meerschaum pipe.

But I'm hard on jewelry. I've never been able to wear a watch. I leave them about and drop them. Rings, bracelets, necklaces, I've never been able to wear them. But when I got that first mala I wore it. I wore it and I slept in it. I didn't think it was uncomfortable. I did a lot of mantras and it got a warm brown. But it also started to break down and the beads cracked under the rough treatment I tend to give to all inanimate objects in my care. Especially a tool like a mala.

First I replaced beads, but then finally I just had to give up and get a new mala, and only use a few beads from the old one. I went through several. Everyone else seemed to be able to keep theirs together.

Then I started getting stone ones...quartz crystal mostly I think. They were sturdier, but unfortunately harder on the string. They are heavy and have sharp edges that rub against strings and wear them out quick. I tried a lot of different kinds of nylon string, kite string, everything. Sooner or later they'd get a little tug and go, and I'd be hunting for beads, and usually buying a few new ones.

You can use the superthin plastic-encased stainless steel cord, which is much stronger, but it can't be tied as reliably as string. You can close it with crimps, but the weight of everyday wearing and use just seems to pull apart the knots and loosen the crimps.

When I met my friend Jesse at a Medicine Buddha retreat, he pulled out this Lapis mala and really blew me away. The iconic color of the Medicine Buddha is blue like Lapis Lazuli, so it seemed doubly cool. I drooled over it for awhile and a year later he gave it to me all spiffed up with purple tassles and counters and such for my birthday.

Lapis is particularly heavy, and it would weigh down at the bottom and pull my chest hairs. It was worth it, though, it was really beautiful. I ended up taking off the tassels and just using the lapis beads. It was already fancy enough that way. Whenever I had a girlfriend I would sleep naked and put it by the bedside, but when I'm alone I sleep in my clothes and leave the mala on.

That Lapis mala broke several times when I was with Roseanne, but always when we could recover most of the beads, and she, bless her heart, restrung my mala every time. It broke a month or two before I left, and I hadn't restrung it. It was missing a bead or two (lapis beads are are to get in singles, and expensive!) I had replaced them, and it had been sitting in a bowl for weeks.

When I left the house I fixed Roseanne's computer and she restrung my mala one last time. It was so appreciated.

This time I think I must have lost at least half the beads, and I think it's time to think of a lighter material. I've been thinking maybe I would try something like bone or polished wood. I had a bone one once before...I think wood would be nice. I hope I can find some nice smooth wooden beads.

July 26, 2004

"mommy?" the chris haddad story.

Chris Haddad came over today with the intention that we were going to start and finish his professional website today or bust. He is too cheap to actually pay me, so he just started referring me professional clients. I told him when I actually made money off a referral I'd make him a website. Well, one of the people he referred asked me where he should send the check today, so I thought it was a good day to start. Hehehehe.

haddad_newlogo.gif

I did this once before, when I made branding and a website for my friends Lorelei and Colin, on their Round-Two website. Chris had all his copy (and branding) done, and we were ready to do it. I had intended to prepare a little before, but I slept like the dead and woke up in Ben's semi-trashed apartment when Chris knocked on the door.

About midday, Chris had decided he wanted a photo on the site, and wasn't finding anything on his hard drive, so he shaved his head and we went out in Ben's back yard for a photo shoot.

haddad_mommy.jpg

We didn't use this photo...but I thought it should be published somewhere. It looks like he's saying "Mommy?"

The photo we finally used ended up on his about page, and he went with black and white, which I thought was a pretty good idea, but I just thought people needed to see him in his full color whimpering for his mommy glory.

Anyway, as you've probably guessed, we were successful, and Chris now has a pretty foxy, standards compliant website, and I have a nice neat clean usable design to add to my design portfolio.

Thanks Chris...it was great fun.

July 24, 2004

open letter to loverzan

Loverzan,

Today is July 24th, 2004, the day we once planned to get married. If it hurt as bad for you as it did for me, I am truly sorry.

I was hardly even thinking about it on Friday. Beth and I went to Buster's play, finally, on its closing night. We were drinking a beer before the show, standing in the doorwell. I was wearing a cool pair of glasses and feeling mighty cool, I was glad to be out, and glad I wasn't going to miss Buster's performance.

I saw Krista and her friend coming up, and I was glad to see her. I wanted to thank her for being a comfort to you and giving you driving lessons. As she came up I launched out my non-beer arm to hug her, but she lifted her hand and gently put my arm back down and shook her head no.

Of course everyone has a right to hug whom they please, but that really shook me up. Suddenly nothing seemed right. I don't know if she was just trying to show solidarity with you, if she was trying to let me know it was inappropriate that I was out with Beth, if she was angry at me and didn't want to be even that intimate, or if she just saw that I was jubilant and full of myself and just wanted to sober me a bit...she certainly did.

I tried to just play it cool and not show any needless drama. We didn't even wait for Buster after the play (Krista is Buster's girl). I thought of a thousand things to say to her, and was proud that I just kept my mouth shut, but I couldn't hide to myself how hurt my feelings were.

I woke up this morning and as the day wore on I just felt worse and worse. I could feel it in my body, in my chest, in my head. Nothing was fun, I was kind of a zombie. At first I just thought it was about the night before, but then I checked my messages and Cara had called to check on me and see how I was doing. I was touched, and really remembered what day it was. Then it all made sense. It didn't feel any better but it made sense. The heat of the day was so hot and sad in my head.

I tried to distract myself...I went to see Spider Man, but I just cried at all the dumb sad parts and when I got out I felt even worse. Beth and I went to the Capitol Hill block party and I saw Buster and Krista sitting on the curb. I said hi to Buster and felt so sad and awkward that things were this way. I knew she probably didn't mean me any ill will, but I just felt so judged, and couldn't even look her in the eye.

Finally I knew I had to make some kind of step, some kind of break, some kind of letting go. So I struck off on my own and just started walking north from the U. District. I walked into a barber shop, and for the first time in years, paid someone to trim my beard, just like I used to. It was so hot and I just hadn't been able to bring myself to do it before that point. You always did such a good job with your little scissors, and I couldn't bear to think of doing it any other way.

I went to see a cool little mother-in-law apartment the other day. It was very nice. The husband who lives there is a cabinetmaker, and he had done the new kitchen beautifully. It was a lovely place, and a really good deal. I put in an application Friday and she said she'd call me Monday. I checked my messages as I was waiting for the bus to Ben's house. She had called and said we should set up an appointment.

I called her back and she was so warm and sweet. She said she liked my application, and that my references were stellar (thanks again, Ben and Buster). She said that she and her husband are Buddhist as well, and that she had a really good feeling about it.

Then I did too. For the first time today I felt a little hope, and had something to look forward to.

Thank you for the bed. Thank you for being such an amazing friend and lover. You were good to me and I look forward to the day when all this pain has died down enough for us to have a friendship.

Love,
Daniel

July 21, 2004

the end of meeting is parting

All the honey is jarred up and I'm ready to go. Kinda.

honey_on_the_stove.jpg

I've had a good vacation and I'm looking forward to meeting my obligations and facing my shit, but I'm also really scared.

It's very nice to be able to make decisions completely on my own, but it is of course also terrifying. I know there's many courses I could take, and that all of them have their benefits and consequences. If only there was a way to see the way a course of action plays out.

I think that's my own evidence that I'm getting older. I think potential choices weigh heavier on me now. I have less time to do right by the world left, and I don't want to just flail around until I die. At a time like this in my life, when I have many choices to make, about where to put my effort, my love and my attention.

Suddenly I see the strength I have to build and I wonder, what should I build? What is worth building?

There's a Buddhist reminder called "The Four Ends":

The end of gathering is dispersion.
The end of building is ruin.
The end of meeting is parting.
The end of birth is death.

Cheery, I know. But it's trying to say that these are very natural cycles, and you can't start something and be blind to its end.

I honestly hope I can build with confidence, but remember the ruin inherent in what I build.

Another Buddhist prayer I would be wise to remember:

All sentient beings are to attain the citadel of completely perfected buddhahood.
For this reason, and to this end, I now enter the stages of honest, virtuous action.

I'll miss you, my good momma, and all my awesome deluded Rockford friends.

And I'll miss frosty $1 beers at the Rockview Tap Room.

rockview_taproom.jpg

July 18, 2004

coming to rockford was a good idea

me_uncapping_honey.jpg

I needed someplace to not have to figure out my own life for a week and just live like a midwesterner...sort of.

I've gone to Chicago, grilled outside several times, nicked off early for $1 beers at the local tavern (dry witted bartender's name: Alice...I shit you not), gone and listened to live country music, and extracted honey made in an Illinois apple orchard. I stayed up late with the friends I hung out with as a teenager and roved around Rockford like restless boys...looking for the next entertainment until we were finally ready to pass out.

I know I'm going to have to go back and face my life again soon, but I really hope I take a little piece of the midwest back with me. I mean, not that I always want people to get all flustered forever when I ask for weird coffee drinks like a double tall latte. Not that I think I can be trusted with cable TV. Not that I...want to make a habit of listening to live country music.

But I guess it's nice to have a break from the "funkier than thou" atmosphere of Seattle. And it's nice to not have to have a grand vision for my life right now. It's nice just to get regular non-organic steaks and grill them and make potato salad from the recipe on the back of the Mayo jar. It's nice to drink cheap beer and...have it actually be cheap.

I feel relaxed. Fucking sad and a little broken, but also mellowed out and ready to go home and find myself a place to live and do business.

It's hard to just sit and watch the tendrils of my mind that reach out to her. Just watch them and not try to figure anything out.

July 14, 2004

rockfordians

Okay, Rockfordians...Friday night Bill and I are going to the brewpub, and you can meet us there. Joe, I know you don't have a choice...Bill's going to come get you.

I'll have to tell you about doing the bee thing though. It was cool.

July 13, 2004

now that i'm here

Tonight my mom and I barbequed some steaks, took the dog for a romp at the lake, and then went out for ice cream. This kind of thing is just what I need. And damn that ice cream was good. It was at this little place in Rockton and they actually make the ice cream. They had all yummy crazy flavors...no vanilla or chocolate. They had oatmeal cookie, which sounded really good, but ultimately I went with the fudge swirl.

It feels good to be here. It was too hard to move out of the house but be staying a mile away...driving down the same street. I seriously felt like I was going to lose it. Now it's nice to have the simple pleasures of living in a mellow way and not having a lot of obligations and expectations. It's really nice to only have to worry about myself, and right now that definately seems like plenty.

lightning and lightning bugs!

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."
-- Mark Twain

I forgot there were lightning bugs! There aren't any in Seattle and I think I really mostly forgot they even existed. When I walked out my Mom's door to walk down to her local tavern to have a heart-to-heart, I was shocked when I first saw that florescent flash in the air that I knew so well as a boy.

I watched, captured, smeared on the pavement, admired, smacked out of the air, cupped in my hand a million of those strange bugs. I took them for granted. I walked into a field where the whole world flashed with a million florescent bulbs, and never realized that someday I would move to a place where a lightning bug would never be seen.

Small comforts like this are good. I'm at my Mom's house in Rockford. Everything is okay and I'm lonely but it's okay. I've checked all my Email, and got back in contact with clients and made some really badass pasta sauce with my mom, and fresh garden garlic from the Roseanne's garden...I think the most potent symbol of heartbreak for me.

We got here so early that my mom didn't even get a chance to finish cleaning the house. We were so mad to get out of dodge, Jess and I, that we drove every day for over 12 hours a day, stopping only to cook simple meals, pee, and briefly pass out in the back of her truck at swelteringly humid truckstops.

We had good music though. I burned some kickass road mixes onto CD's. So many obstacles arose...Jess's truck broke down, then got broken into, everything seemed to go wrong. But finally we decided we were gonna get in that truck on a prayer and do what we needed to prove our willingness to the universe that we were going cross Montana if we had to walk. Our moms were waiting.

It took forever to get out of Washington state, but once we were through it, we drove and drove. We listened to the new Modest Mouse, the new Edie Brickell, the new Prince, and the new Air, plus a bunch of road mixes designed to make us cry.

It was so hot and humid, all the way through Washington, Idaho, most of Montana, until we begged for rain. We saw a huge raincloud finally and we drove straight into the heart of it. We got rain. Rain so hard it seemed like there was more water than Air. We could hardly see and I was scared to stop or pull off the road. All I could do was watch the yellow line that was the only thing I could see and keep driving slowly, hoping we hadn't made a big mistake. But eventually the rain started to slow down and I could see again.

We took turns nodding off in the car. We listened to a lot of music. Up in the distance, somewhere in South Dakota, we saw a tiny rain cloud with constant non-stop heat lightning flashing around like a sci-fi atomic brain movie.

I nodded off, and when I came to, I looked up and said, "Holy shit." The cloud was right in front of us, this mess of lightning and sunset sky. Jess smiled at me, sadly. I looked at the cloud for an hour as it approached and finally encompassed us, like a tunnel of lightning.

Jess looked over at me and said, "This has been so nice. I imagined us talking more, though."

"Is there something you wanted to talk about? Like what?"

"Oh, I don't know...life...all kinds of different things."

And then the floodgates broke, and we talked for hours. About all kinds of pent up feelings: sadness, regret, peace, hope, confidence, love and fear. We drove and talked until South Dakota was no more. And then at the second rest stop in Michigan Missouri Minnesota we slept really well, and knew we only had one more night of each other's company. That we had to figure out some way to bring what we had talked about into our actual lives. And we both knew we were really scared.

It was a little anti-climactic to finally show up, driving through Madison and finally Rockford. Just another town, not the holy grail after all.

Thank god for my kind momma and her good vibes. Good luck, Jess. I know you'll do just what you need to do. I guess me too.

July 8, 2004

i'm

I'm going to sleep so late every night.

I'm in between worlds.

I'm defending the weblog over at Meeting of the Minds.

I'm drinking less coffee than usual.

I'm not as hungry as usual.

I'm tired and wired and inspired.

Oh crap...my ride's truck is not currently in a state to drive to Illlinois. Will talk to the mechanic tomorrow. I hope I don't have to buy a damn plane ticket after all. I gotta get the hell out of Seattle for a little while.

July 7, 2004

how do i do it?

It's always comforting to go over to Eli's house and witness his array of gadgetry. Plus I get the opportunity to be photographed burning a flag.

my first flag burning

Hint: Make sure your first flag is not a plastic flag. Small second degree burns may result.

He also got this crazy little sony Vaio with a video camera in it. He's sitting there taking stills of me, and we're trying to figure out how to access them. When we finally do we realize it's been taking candid little videos of us trying to figure it out. (And mugging for the camera.) It made astoundingly small mpeg's, so I decided to post them for uh....posterity, yeah.

Thought it was a snapshot I was mugging for. (MPEG 100k)
Okay, that's enough with the picture taking, Eli. (MPEG 120k)
How do I do it? (MPEG 419k)

July 6, 2004

i'm sorry i can't explain it to you better

I was really feelin’ the freedom the first few nights. Wow, I thought, I can do whatever I want. I went out and stayed out late with friends, and rented all kinds of weird movies that only I would like.

I went to several parties, including a sarong party. I went to a Balinese import shop and bought a pretty sarong, and had the lady show me how to wear it. I looked pretty foxy and I walked wild all over Cap Hill, causing whatever trouble I could manage to get into.

Then, on the third of July, I went over to a friend’s housewarming party and stepped off a curb wrong and twisted my foot. It immediately felt like the party was over. I stayed home by myself of July 4th, and nursed my foot and iced it and did some billable work and watched movies. I felt really lonely and I missed fireworks, which I have always loved.

It made me feel extra mortal, and really feel the hard work I have to do in rebuilding my life and slowly finding this new vision.

Then today, I went over to Roseanne’s house to expedite some car moving. I saw Sam, Roseanne’s kid there. I’ve seen him a couple of times, but didn’t know how to say goodbye to him or how to say…anything to him. But I was really moved and so I asked him to come sit out on the couch with me.

“Sam”, I said, “I’m really sad that I’m not going to be able to see you around as much. I’d kinda gotten used to it.” I stalled for a long time.

“Does it feel weird?” I asked.

He stuck half his hand in his mouth, “Yes.”

“How come?”

“I don’t know, it just feels wierd.”

“Is your mom sad?”

He thought about it for awhile, and removed all but one finger. “Yeah.”

“I…I’m sorry I can’t explain this to you a little better.”

“I’m sorry too.”

That kind of threw me for a loop. “You mean…sorry I can’t explain it to you better?”

“Yeah.”

“I just want you to know that I really love you. You know the rocket we were building?”

“Yeah.”

“Tell your mom to set it aside and I will come build it with you and we’ll shoot it off.”

“Cool.” He thought for awhile, then pointed to a big vase sitting in the front garden, “You see that vase? I filled it with water while I was watering the garden.”

“That’s cool.”

I’m so sorry I can’t explain it to you better, Sam. If I could, I would just tell you the whole story. But I can’t. And there’s nothing but the whole story that would come close to an explanation. I’ll miss you, kiddo. I can’t wait until we can shoot off that four foot florescent pink rocket.

July 4, 2004

feel so strange

It's wierd to get comfortable in a certain kind of existance and then have the opportunity to stare into the void again. I did what I had to do and I knew I would have to carve out a life for myself. I'll be honest and say I'm a little terrified. Good thing I'm gonna go hang out with my mom. She really rocks the unconditional love.

July 1, 2004

on the daniel talsky tip

Alright, for the Rockford people, I am leaving Seattle on probably the 9th, putting me in Rockford by the 12th or 13th. I plan to be there for a week before I head back to Seattle. (Maybe leaving the 20th? 21st?)

I will be reachable by anyone by cel or Email for the entire month, even though my physical situation will be fairly far-flung. So if you have my cel number you can still expect to reach me just fine. And my email works just fine.