Saturday, December 30, 2006

Governments lie. Ruin lives. How depressingly unsurprising.

I knew folks stationed on Diego Garcia.

Diego Garcia: Paradise Cleansed by John Pilger, via The Guardian.
"...The story of Diego Garcia is shocking, almost incredible. A British colony lying midway between Africa and Asia in the Indian Ocean, the island is one of 64 unique coral islands that form the Chagos Archipelago, a phenomenon of natural beauty, and once of peace. Newsreaders refer to it in passing: "American B-52 and Stealth bombers last night took off from the uninhabited British island of Diego Garcia to bomb Iraq (or Afghanistan)." It is the word "uninhabited" that turns the key on the horror of what was done there. In the 1970s, the Ministry of Defense in London produced this epic lie: "There is nothing in our files about a population and an evacuation."

Diego Garcia was first settled in the late 18th century. At least 2,000 people lived there: a gentle Creole nation with thriving villages, a school, a hospital, a church, a prison, a railway, docks, a copra plantation...

All this began to end when an American rear admiral stepped ashore in 1961 and Diego Garcia was marked as the site of what is today one of the biggest American bases in the world. There are now more than 2,000 troops, anchorage for 30 warships, a nuclear dump, a satellite spy station, shopping malls, bars and a golf course...

During the 1960s, in high secrecy, the Labor government of Harold Wilson conspired with two American administrations to "sweep" and "sanitize" the islands: the words used in American documents. Files found in the National Archives in Washington and the Public Record Office in London provide an astonishing narrative of official lying all too familiar to those who have chronicled the lies over Iraq.

To get rid of the population, the Foreign Office invented the fiction that the islanders were merely transient contract workers who could be "returned" to Mauritius, 1,000 miles away. In fact, many islanders traced their ancestry back five generations, as their cemeteries bore witness. The aim, wrote a Foreign Office official in January 1966, "is to convert all the existing residents ... into short-term, temporary residents."

What the files also reveal is an imperious attitude of brutality. In August 1966, Sir Paul Gore-Booth, permanent undersecretary at the Foreign Office, wrote: "We must surely be very tough about this. The object of the exercise was to get some rocks that will remain ours. There will be no indigenous population except seagulls." At the end of this is a handwritten note by D.H. Greenhill, later Baron Greenhill: "Along with the Birds go some Tarzans or Men Fridays ..." Under the heading, "Maintaining the fiction," another official urges his colleagues to reclassify the islanders as "a floating population" and to "make up the rules as we go along."

There is not a word of concern for their victims. Only one official appeared to worry about being caught, writing that it was "fairly unsatisfactory" that "we propose to certify the people, more or less fraudulently, as belonging somewhere else." The documents leave no doubt that the cover-up was approved by the prime minister and at least three cabinet ministers.

At first, the islanders were tricked and intimidated into leaving; those who had gone to Mauritius for urgent medical treatment were prevented from returning. As the Americans began to arrive and build the base, Sir Bruce Greatbatch, the governor of the Seychelles, who had been put in charge of the "sanitizing," ordered all the pet dogs on Diego Garcia to be killed. Almost 1,000 pets were rounded up and gassed, using the exhaust fumes from American military vehicles. "They put the dogs in a furnace where the people worked," says Lizette Tallatte, now in her 60s," ... and when their dogs were taken away in front of them, our children screamed and cried."

The islanders took this as a warning; and the remaining population were loaded on to ships, allowed to take only one suitcase.

...In 2003, in a now notorious follow-up high court case, the islanders were denied compensation, with government counsel allowed by the judge to attack and humiliate them in the witness box, and with Justice Ousley referring to "we" as if the court and the Foreign Office were on the same side. Last June, the government invoked the archaic royal prerogative in order to crush the 2000 judgment. A decree was issued that the islanders were banned forever from returning home. These were the same totalitarian powers used to expel them in secret 40 years ago; Blair used them to authorize his illegal attack on Iraq.

Led by a remarkable man, Olivier Bancoult, an electrician, and supported by a tenacious and valiant London lawyer, Richard Gifford, the islanders are going to the European court of human rights, and perhaps beyond. Article 7 of the statute of the international criminal court describes the "deportation or forcible transfer of population ... by expulsion or other coercive acts" as a crime against humanity."

"Don't mince words," say the old people.

11AM That's My Time!

Old lady, told class would run late: I have to get home and toss my husband's salad!

Class erupts with laughter, and the boy next to her explains the innuendo.

Old lady: If I was going to lick his ass, I'd say so... But it isn't something I'd do before dinner.

CCSN campus
Las Vegas, Nevada

via Overheard in the Office, Dec 29, 2006

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Code Monkey like Fritos.


The BBC says I'm a nurturer of medium risk for adultery. With a brain like a girl.

Lovely... Since I've somehow managed to twist/pull/strain what feels like no less than four muscles in my back/neck/shoulders, my first day of vacation is spent sitting very, very still, gobbling aspirin like it's cool [useless, btw. Time to move on to the other pain killer in the house - sake.] and taking goofy internet quizzes.

'What Am I Like?' personality test
Results - Summary of Nurturers
* Care for the important people in their lives
* Strive for harmony and avoid confrontation
* Think of themselves as gentle, conscientious, and mature
* May have trouble making decisions that could hurt others
Nurturers are quiet people who believe in order and diligently look after the people they care about. They focus on the needs of others and establish routines to help them meet their commitments.
Nurturers remember details that are important to them, such as their friends' birthdays and anniversaries. People with this personality type value others' feelings and may challenge behaviour they think is insensitive.
In situations where they can't use their talents or are unappreciated, Nurturers may feel bitter and seek support by complaining to their colleagues. Under extreme stress, Nurturers may become preoccupied with the worst possible outcome and believe that they are heading for disaster.
Because they are so caring and loyal, Nurturers run the risk of being taken advantage of.
Nurturers are often drawn to jobs that allow them to help others.
Adultery Quiz - Results
You scored 9 out of a possible 20.
You rate as: Medium risk promiscuity - 7 to 14 points
This group have promiscuous tendencies though they have control over these impulses. They might be more self-absorbed than average, can tend to ignore the feelings of others and will have limited social and personal conscientiousness. However they value and rely on their partner and are aware of the risk of giving up all they have in their relationship by succumbing to their desires.
Brain Sex ID Quiz
Your overall performance - [Couldn't copy the graph from the page, but I scored about a 25 on the female side of the male/female line, on a scale of 0 to 100. Which I don't get because most of my component results below don't seem so heavily skewed. Whatever. I'm a big girl, apparently. - Rob]

Part 1

This task tested your ability to identify the angle of a line by matching it with its twin. This is a spatial task, which looks at how you picture space.
Your score: 14 out of 20
Average score for men: 15.1 out of 20
Average score for women: 13.3 out of 20
What does your result suggest?
If you scored 13 - 17: You found this test neither hard nor easy. This suggests your brain has male and female traits when it comes to spatial ability.

Spot the difference
This task tested your ability to identify which objects changed position. You lost points, if you incorrectly identified objects.
Your score: 36%
Average score for men: 39%
Average score for women: 46%
What does your score suggest?
If you scored between 34 - 66%: You may have a balanced female-male brain.

Part 2

You said your right thumb was on top when you clasped your hands together.
Right thumb on top: This suggests the left half of your brain is dominant. Many studies have tried to establish whether there is a relationship between handedness and brain dominance. Some scientists believe that if you are left brain dominant, you would be more verbal and analytical.

Part 3
Emotions and Systems

This task looked at whether you prefer to empathise or systemise.
Your empathy score is: 2 out of 20
Average score for men: 7.9 out of 20
Average score for women: 10.6 out of 20
What does your result suggest?
Empathisers are better at accurately judging other people's emotions and responding appropriately. If you scored 15 and above, you are very empathic and would be an ideal person to comfort people in a time of crisis. Women in general are better at empathising.

Your systemising score is: 7 out of 20
Average score for men: 12.5 out of 20
Average score for women: 8.0 out of 20
What does your result suggest?
Systemisers prefer to investigate how systems work. A system can be a road map, flat pack furniture, or a mathematical equation – anything that follows a set of rules. A score of 15 and above suggests you're good at analysing or building systems. Men in general are better at systemising.

[Apparently I can neither empathize or systemize - Rob]


This task tested your ability to judge people's emotions.
Your score: 7 out of 10
Average score for men: 6.6 out of 10
Average score for women: 6.6 out of 10
What does your result suggest?
If you scored 7 - 10: Your result suggests you are a good empathiser, sensitive to other people's emotions. Women generally fall into this category.

[Whereas this suggests I can interpret people's feelings... apparently I just don't care what they are. - Rob]

Part 4

We asked you to measure your ring and index fingers. Your ratios came to:
Right Hand: 0.93
Left Hand: 0.92
Average ratio for men: 0.982
Average ratio for women: 0.991
It's thought that your ratio is governed by the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in your mother's womb. The ratio of the length of your index finger to the length of your ring finger is set for life by as early as three months after conception. Even during puberty, when we experience intensive hormonal changes, the ratio stays the same.
Men generally have a ring finger that is longer than their index finger, which gives them a lower ratio than women, whose ring and index fingers are usually of equal length.

Part 5

This task looked at how you rate the attractiveness of a series of faces. The images you looked at were digitally altered to create slight differences in masculinity.
Your choices suggest you prefer more feminine faces.

[Well, thank god for that, at least. -Rob]

A typical 'attractive' female face possesses features such as a shorter, narrower, lower jaw, fuller lips and larger eyes than an average face.

Part 6
3D shapes

This task tested your ability to mentally rotate 3D shapes.
Your score: 8 out of 12
Average score for men: 8.2 out of 12
Average score for women: 7.1 out of 12
What does your result suggest?
If you scored 7 - 9: In past studies, 50 per cent of the people who scored in this range were women and 50 per cent were men.

This task looked at your verbal fluency.
Your score: you associated 10 word(s) with grey and you named 9 word(s) that mean happy. We are assuming that all the words you entered are correct.
Average score for men: 11.4 words total
Average score for women: 12.4 words total
What does your result suggest?
If you produced 6 - 10 words: Most people in this range have a female-type brain.

This task asked you how you would divide money.
If you had to split £50 with someone, you said you would demand £25
So far on the Sex ID test, men have demanded 51.6% (£25.80) of the pot and women have demanded 51.0% (£25.50), on average.
What does your response suggest?
Sex differences are small in this task. Demanding less than 60% of the pot (ie £30) is more typically female. Demanding more than 65% of the pot (ie £32.50) is more typically male.

My job kicks ass.

Starting now... 11 days off, all paid. I swear, if we weren't going to Grandma's on New Year's, I'd start hibernating right now and wake up in a week. Much to Sandy's consternation.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

12 Years!

Twelve years ago today began the long and winding road that is Sandy.

For me, anyways.

I clearly won her over with my taciturn and laconic nature, right from the start.

In celebration of such a momentous occasion I lavished her with Meiji Curls...

...and Cola Beverages.

What do you want? Christmas was, like, THREE days ago! Can't be buying the good presents all the time...

"Being offended is part of living in a free society."

Excerpts from "Drawing Ire", via Boulder Weekly:
Flemming Rose is known... as the culture editor who commissioned the controversial Mohammed cartoons. Published in Denmark's largest newspaper, Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, the cartoons launched global debate that continues today.

...BW: I'm a card carrying left-wing nut cake, but I was surprised when I originally wrote about the cartoons to find that almost no one on the left wanted to comment. Why, in your opinion, are the issues surrounding the publication of these cartoons such an uncomfortable topic for the left? Few on the left want to talk about this.

FR: I think the left has betrayed its own ideals in this case, because the publication of the cartoons is exactly about what the left has been fighting for in the past 150 years—free speech and the right to challenge religious authority and to challenge a religion that, in fact, favors the oppression of women. [Muslim extremists] do not accept the equality between the sexes. They do not accept equality from representatives of different religions. They specifically say, "Our religion is better and should have favorable treatment compared to other faiths."

But I think it has to do with the fact that the left—at least in Europe, I can't speak about the left in the United States—views the Muslims as the new proletariat. They're the new oppressed minority that they have to defend. It shortcuts all rational thinking. [Islamic radicals] can say and do almost anything, and it will be explained away by saying, "These people are victims."

...By publishing the cartoons, by making satirical cartoons of the prophet, we were saying to the Muslims that we do not treat you differently. We treat you as we treat every other minority, every other group in Denmark. And we are not asking any more or less of you than we do any other group, but are asking exactly the same thing.

We make fun of Jesus Christ, and we make fun of Hindus and Buddhists and the [Danish] royal family and politicians. When you're saying, "No, you should be careful. You should treat them differently," this is, in fact, very humiliating, because you are saying, "You are so weak. You are so different that we have to treat you like small children and not grown ups who have to think and be responsible people."

...I think tolerance is the key concept for democracy. I may not like your point of view, but I have to tolerate it as long as it is being expressed within the limits of the law. But respect implies some kind of positive recognition, and that is not very important. Nobody can ask me to respect the point of view of [Ahmed] Abu Laban, the radical imam in Copenhagen, but I have to tolerate him, as long as what he's saying is within the limits of the law. And so this notion of respect—it's the way you talk in the Mafia. "You respect me! I want your respect, or I'll kill you!"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

“everything we’re saying is just thoughts, buddy.”

Excerpt from “The Light at the End of the Reality Tunnel” by Douglas Rushkoff, from Arthur No. 25/Winter 02006 (Originally published in Arthur No. 25/Winter 02006)
...I’ll admit, the event both inspired and disturbed me. Sure, the assembled crowd was varied and eager. But the conversation itself was too competitive, no matter how I intended otherwise. All I meant to show was that we each have our own reality tunnels – and that no matter how spectacularly “real” something may appear, especially on super-strong shamanic entheogens, it’s just one metaphor for whatever it is that might really be going on. None of us knows what happens when we die, whether there’s anything or anyone else “out there,” or whether the connections we seem to perceive all around us are conspiring or coincidental.

Daniel tended to dismiss my points he disagreed with as “thoughts,” to which I finally snapped that “everything we’re saying is just thoughts, buddy.”
I leave it to you to choose who of us is more Zen, but my lasting impression of the conversation was that we didn’t quite transcend the zero-sum game as I had imagined we would. It was still just two white guys with microphones, competing for mindshare and the marketshare that goes along with it...

Then came word from a truer pioneer of mind and cosmos than either of us, Robert Anton Wilson: his post-polio syndrome had gotten worse, and the attendant medical bills combined with some trouble with the IRS had tapped him out. He was three days away from not being able to make his rent.

Say what? Robert Anton Wilson, author of Cosmic Trigger and Prometheus Rising, the guy who put the number 23 on the map, and delightfully upgraded the minds of thousands if not millions, forever, could no longer support himself? For those who may be unfamiliar with his work, Wilson is the man who put the many insights of Sixties into perspective. By approaching the seeming interconnectedness of everything with a grain of salt and two grains of humor, he’s helped to demonstrate the value of seeing one’s own reality tunnel for what it is: a limited take on a much greater whole. Rather than getting lost in any particular tunnel (or, worse, pushing it on other people) the object of the game was to learn to move between them.

On learning of his predicament, I felt an anger welling up. I refused to be a member of a generation that could allow an author and philosopher of his caliber to die penniless in a state hospital, so I dashed out a blog post... Thanks to a link from, we raised over $68,000 dollars in just the first couple of days, along with a few hundred heartfelt testimonials in the comments section.

...For even if we use the raw logic of the market, Bob is simply being paid back for the value he created. Those of us who are contributing to Robert Anton Wilson now are still, in effect, paying residuals on what we got from him. We’ve all bought plenty of twenty-dollar books—but few have been worth as much to us as Bob’s. The works generated value for us over time, and we see fit to share this wealth in the form of cash energy with the person who created it for us. This is not the order of a free market economy, but of what might better be called a free market ecology.

...By refusing to let Robert Anton Wilson die penniless, we—as a culture, or at least part of a culture—are caring for a certain kind of thinking and activity, even if this is after the fact. By doing so, we not only acknowledge to Robert Anton Wilson the tremendous contributions he made to our lives, but we have the opportunity to reaffirm the same thing to ourselves. Like college alumni who reinforce their own positive feelings about their alma maters when they make donations to keep the institution going, we publicly affirm the value of Bob’s legacy —thus making it more valuable or at least less dismissible for a society bent on recontextualizing the Sixties, psychedelia and mental adventurousness as an embarrassing phase.

Just look at the recent spate of articles accompanying the tenth anniversary of Timothy Leary’s death, as well as Bob Greenfield’s recent biography. These writers are all-too ready to condemn Leary for his undeniably self-centered personality, but all-too reluctant to acknowledge his even more powerfully compassionate, activist nature that spurred him to sacrifice pretty much everything for his vision of an intelligent human species that needn’t destroy itself. It’s as if embracing our inner “hope fiend” is as uncool today as, I dunno, believing that anyone who sets pen to paper or text to a blog is doing it for an ulterior, profit-based motive.

...Those of us dedicated to keeping Robert Anton Wilson’s flesh and finale as dignified as possible are rewarding a great writer for never selling out. But this ethos must not end with the passage of this individual, however heroic—not when he’s given us so many of the tools required to turn this society’s notion of value inside-out. If we’ve learned anything through all this, it’s that the universe we’re creating together needn’t be one where no good deed is left unpunished.

Raw Vegan Crunchy Dancer Wisdom - "The only time you are wrong is when you think you know something."

I first heard of tonya kay watching the Sci-Fi Channel's show Who Wants to be a Superhero?, 'cause hey, I'm a big comic book geek. She seemed to be a bubbly, friendly, dreadlock wearing granola girl... and I paid some attention because over the last 6 years or so I've played around with my dietary choices, and more and more I'm eating a mostly vegetarian diet. And'll probably go that way more in the future...

Later, I was looking for some tips online, getting back into lifting weights, about protein adequacy using a vegetarian diet, and I come across a Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness Website, and one of the featured athletes was... tonya kay.

Still later, looking around Blogger bios for blogs that reference Robert Anton Wilson's book Prometheus Rising [one of my favorite authors and one of his best books]... there, once again... tonya kay. So I started reading her blog. The first entry I read I blogged about here, and it resonated in all the right "magickal" Robert Anton Wilson, Grant Morrison, crazy-stuff-that-fascinates-me ways.

Apparently needing to no longer be hit over the head by synchronicity, I spent a couple afternoons at work [yes, my job is awesome, thank you] reading through her blog archives. And I found some really insightful things there. Some of it was beyond me, and too poetical for me to grasp, but really fascinating insights there...

My favorites...
June 21, 2003
There is no reason to not be fully self expressed in every word, movement, action... moment.
In every step you take there is a unique rhythm... Nothing can stop your flow. It is your only purpose in this life to listen to your instincts, an it harm none, manifest them.

July 23, 2003

Peaceful balance comes from sitting in the center and not moving too far either way.

Chaotic balance comes from visiting the extremes regularly, in constant motion, trusting in your inevitable return.

Do What'cha Like
July 17, 2003

I've got a theory---only do things that make you happy.

Life is a process after all. If it weren't then the only goal we can all ultimately strive for is Death. I believe---no, I know---there is part of me that will continue after this body has had enough. I know also that the only separation from the Other World and this, is the physical form I am blessed with for a mere one hundred years. The purpose of life is to experience that physical form to its fullest, living self-expressed in every moment, and hopefully discovering Love to be the epitome of that expression.

Don't worry about Death. It will come.

If you spend your time doing only things that bring you pleasure, or learning how to take pleasure from everything you do, then you will find yourself naturally on the right path, enjoying the process, doing only things that you like. It's as simple as that. Any deviation is counter to your true nature, a threat to full self-expression and a contradiction to the entire life experience.

The responsibility is yours. An it harm!

Become Motion
December 2, 2003

Surely there is something to be learned from sitting still.

...Perhaps the reason I don’t watch television is not some enlightened response to a mediocre world, but actually the same reason I despise airplanes and the entire reason I work out four hours a day: I experience life through movement. Body and emotion become motion. For me, motionlessness feels like death. Certainly there is nothing more dreadful to the human species than boredom, breeding complacency, apathy – leaching life force, stealing breath. A vampire succubus physical boredom is to me. What gurus have learned from silence and peace, I have learned while bouncing off walls.

Only Important Question
May 23, 2004

We all have a story in our lives. There was a moment, usually in our youth, that the growth process halted. It may be difficult to recall the exact circumstance or situation of epiphany, but we wrote it down as a lesson in our book and every page sine then has been a continuation of that story.

Not Pretty Enough? Nobodies Favorite? In my case, Misunderstood. All just stories - a highly impressionable, sensitive young mind's reaction to a perceived situation. A reaction to a perception. How's that for subjective? Yet we accepted it as reality. And as adults, here we are trying to prove our stories wrong while simultaneously protecting them with all our might...

If you ever recognize a viscous pattern in your life, I bet the paradox of your story is behind it.

It is important to remember that our stories aren't good or bad, they are just what humans, the ultimate meaning makers, do. So forgive yourself right now for creating the story, then forgive yourself for thinking it's bad to have one, then praise yourself for being perfectly human.

And now, realizing the story a subjective system that you are capable of dissolving just as you were capable of creating, ask yourself the only important question left to ask: Is it serving me?

August 2004

What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves. Notice how that piece influences the puzzle.

We are as free as we believe ourselves worthy, able, allowed to be... These things we can not plan. And oh, how plans limit the possibility surrender offers. Five Year Life Goals, what?

Mapping the Mind
October 17, 2004

Cognitive reconditioning has transformed my life.

About a year ago, in the middle of crisis, I trained my brain - crisis always being the ideal time for such exploits. The confused, chaotic mind is a cinch to imprint - just ask psychotherapists, kidnappers and the government. In essence, I systematically brainwashed my own vulnerable mind.

Breaking down to break through.

So there I was one year ago, alone and confined to bed. Drifting in and out of that state yogis, magickians and infants know so well; where one's brain waves are a unique combination of REM Theta and Meditative Alpha; a place some call lucid dreaming, others hypnosis, but in my personal desperate state, the words comatose delirium seem a bit more apt. Whatever you call it, every time I found myself Lewis Clarking the wild frontiers of conscious hallucination, I repeated a short little phrase.

It literally was as simple as that.

And now a full year later, I am flabbergasted at how complete my self-brainwashing was. For every morning, when I glide through that same Alpha/Theta state naturally, like each and every one of us warm egg blurry eyed rousing from sleep do, there it is: my phrase - independent of conscious thought and so deeply imprinted that it has changed my reality at a subatomic level. I literally have become my phrase. It has changed the way my heart pumps blood, the way I hold my posture, and the way I perceive my surroundings by inserting itself unconsciously as the first thought each day; "I Love myself. I love my life".

Cognitive reconditioning; just another simple and effective technique for shaping one's reality according to one's Will.

The mind's entire purpose to make a map of your world, so you can navigate, communicate and function in life. If you don't make the imprints, society, authorities or television will. Whose phrases do you wake up to?

You're Gonna Die Anyway
December 13, 2004

We are all in a taxi going to the airport to catch a flight home. Our plane leaves in two hours, but the driver suddenly informs us that we are no closer than four hours away...

"You never know when there's gonna be no tomorrow. Your friends might disappear, your health might let you down...Makes you really appreciate today."

The profound and simple words of a 76 year old Michigan farmer.

A feisty 28 year old gypsy might state it more like this: All deadlines are subconscious death wishes. There is only one ending we can work toward for certain. They're called deadlines for a reason.

...We can keep pulling all niters, breathing shallowly, checking our watches and stressing all the way to the damn airport, if we like. Or we can sit back, roll down a window and take in the scenery. We’re all gonna miss our plane someday. How is your taxi ride gonna be in the meantime?

Hollywood, CA
February 15, 2006

Our mind's entire purpose is to make maps. To push pins in known areas and connect the dots. To sort and organize and categorize information using a living Dewey Decimal system that allows us ... to understand. Our mind was made to make connections, experienced or conceptual, so that we can map our world...

And because the mind's entire purpose is to make maps of it's world, ripping away these maps, questioning reality as we know it, expanding our ideas of what is possible, looks to the outside world like insanity. Yet who's to say that the homeless woman with no shoes on her feet is not playing with a bigger reality? Who's to say that the outlaw robbing trains is not developing our next larger financial paradigm? Who's to say the hermit poet isolated in poetry and insomnia is not also in playing with a world larger than what was previously intellectually acceptable?

In fact, with regards to humanity's mental evolution, I am convinced that madness is imperative. For only then do we stop building the current and advance to something larger. Should not the consciously coveted state of insanity not be fostered and praised then by the brave pioneers of not only human, but personal evolution?

It's the imprints one leaves while we don't know what how or where we are that determine the outcome of our growth.

Get sore, get depressed, go mad. Take us to the next level.

This Is Evolution
September 14, 2005

...Bipolar Disorder, this one could be summed up neuro chemically as follows: rocket serotonin (causing euphoric feelings) coupled with sky high dopamine (produces spiritual feelings). Oh, and then the gross lack of both in a few days and all the cyclical results inbetween.

...This is not an illness or disorder. This is not something to medicate.

This is Evolution.

Joe Rogan is my God. And Santa Claus is a magic mushroom! Merry Christmas!!

One of my Gods, anyways... His latest is hilariously brilliant... Go to the link and read in full for the greatest of illuminations :)

Santa Claus was a mushroom.
Buckle up for a good one…
Santa Claus was a magic mushroom.
What the fuck?
Yup, that's very likely the origin of the original story of Santa Claus; a psychedelic mushroom called the amanita muscaria. I know, I know… it SOUNDS retarded, but that's probably where it all came from. The first time I ever heard about this, I was sitting around sacrificing the sacred plant to the fire gods with legendary hemp activist and advocate, Jack Herer...

He then went on to tell me about how the story of Santa Claus was actually about magic mushrooms, but how the story had gotten distorted and forgotten over the thousands of years its been told. Of course, my first thought when those words came out of his mouth was, "Holy shit. How high is THIS guy?" ...Well, Jack went deep into the story for me. Here's the synopsis, in my words.

Santa Claus is bright red and white. The amanita muscaria is also bright red and white. Santa Claus lives in the North Pole, and he has flying reindeer pulling his sleigh through the air. Reindeer are native to Siberia, and the shamanic use of this mushroom in Siberia is well documented... Also, the animal most connected with the amanita muscaria mushroom is the reindeer. It's their favorite food, and although I've never talked to a reindeer, I've got to think eating that shit all day must get them high as FUCK. Like, "flying" high.

Christmas trees are pine trees. Pine trees are the trees that the amanita muscaria grows under... When people would pick the mushrooms they would place them on the leaves of the tree to dry them in the sun. That would look an awful lot like when people decorate their trees with shiny ornaments.

People place red and white socks over the fireplace. OK, first off, why red and white socks? Because again, that's the color of the mushroom. And why do they hang it in front of the fireplace? Because that was another one of their techniques to dry the mushrooms out for storage.

...Santa lived in a magical place where he was surrounded by elves.

Sounds like a tripper to me.

What the world is made up of...

Interview with tonya kay, via the Organic Athlete:
I was living in New York City several years ago, walking down 8th Ave along with several hundred other pedestrians on the block. A man grabbed my arm and as any New Yorker trying to maintain some semblance of personal space would do, I turned to him with a sharp, “Excuse me?” To which he smiled, looked me in the eye and assertively suggested I “have a nice day.” Humbled and touched by this genuine moment of personal interaction, I smiled at the next dozen people I came into contact because of him.

Text books and newspapers would have us believe that the world is made up of battles, boundaries and scores. These things may or may not be important – I do not know. But one thing I do know is that if I am on stage and can make direct eye contact with the little girl in the fourth row, she might ask her mom for dance lessons after the show. No television actor can say that. Neck massages, conversations, and other personal interactionsthese are the energies that define real life. These are the stuff the world is made up of.

Monday, December 25, 2006

For 2007...

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive."
- Howard Thurman (1900-1981), author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader.

Merry Christmas!

The official Pizza Pockets Christmas Day Pizza! A grand and ancient tradition started 'lo many years ago. Like... last year. 'Cause really, who wants to cook on Christmas?

Japan actually does have a cool tradition of Christmas Cake, for whatever reason.
Pizza and cake, 2 of the 7 food groups. Or something like that.

Sandy did make sugar cookies and muld apple cider though. She was very excited.

The gift for Sandy that may end up haunting my nightmares. Yes, Karaoke. And yes, that IS Debbie Gibson on the package. How can you go wrong with a Debbie Gibson endorsed product? When has an 1980's pop icon steered you wrong?

Sandy's enthusiastic singing nearly cut into her required Christmas viewings of "A Christmas Story" and "While You Were Sleeping."

We have decided that we will solve all future conflicts with a "Sing-Off." Though if you look below, you'll find the results of our inaugural Sing-Off, where I totally ruled all and stomped her! Those Japanese genetics aren't quite as powerful as you thought, huh? Now she has shamed her ancestors :)

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve and holiday preparations required a visit to Costco, for the official Christmas Eve pizza. Not to be confused with the official Christmas Day Pizza, which will come later.

I'm turning so Japanese, I can't eat pizza without hot sauce these days.

But Christmas Eve is mostly just laying about watching Christmas-y cartoons and videos. Thanks DVD! Thanks Internet!

Selected watchings included - Frosty the Snowman, Mickey's Christmas Carol, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Simpson's Christmas Special, Twas the Night Before Christmas, Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, The Grinch, Charlie Brown, and of course the Greatest Xmas Special of All Time - South Park's Jesus Versus Santa. Not to mention The Princess Bride, Bridget Jones Diary and When Harry Met Sally.

Man, that was a lot of TV.

And our Christmas-y soundtrack for our trip to and from Costco was a CD I threw together for myself and some English teachers at school. As I'm a man of class and distinction, it included a lot of Alvin and the Chipmunks. And Dean Martin, of course.

Rob's Xmas CD Mix List

1 - Happy Xmas [War is Over] - John Lennon
2 - The Christmas Song - Alvin and the Chipmunks
3 - Jingle Bells - Jim Reeves
4 - What Christmas Means to Me - Stevie Wonder
5 - The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth - Bing Crosby/David Bowie
6 - Silver Bells - Dean Martin
7 - The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
8 - A Fairytale in New York - The Pogues feat. Kristy MacColl
9 - Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer - Dean Martin
10 - Here Comes Santa Claus - Alvin and the Chipmunks
11 - Winter Wonderland - Dean Martin
12 - Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade
13 - Wonderful Christmas Time - Paul McCartney
14 - Let It Snow - Dean Martin
15 - Up on the Housetop - Alvin and the Chipmunks
16 - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
17 - Santa Baby - Kylie Minogue
18 - I'll Be Home for Christmas - Elvis Presley
19 - Silent Night - Dean Martin
20 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Dean Martin
21 - Christmas in Hollis - RUN DMC
22 - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Burl Ives
23 - Jingle Bell Rock - Bobby Helms
24 - White Christmas - Dean Martin
25 - Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The Supremes
26 - It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - The Chipmunks
27 - All I Want For Christmas is You - Samantha Mumba

Holiday Season Miscellany

Christmas decorations around the apartment were a bit spartan to start off with... see here...
but we worked hard, and we expanded upon our Christmas joy! Okay, Sandy worked hard... but I gave moral support. Kinda.

Sandy has defiled my Hawaiian flag with her Christmas cheer. In honor of the little baby Jesus, I let her slide.

Christmas Cards! People like us! Okay... people like Sandy. Whatever.

Not an unhealthy stack of presents there...

Sandy made Christmas cakes for her English conversation classes... you can't read it, unless you click on it, but it says "Merry Christmas!"

Fukutsu City Christmas Concert

The Fukutsu City youth choir's annual Christmas concert. Not exactly what we American folks would exactly call a traditional Christmas concert, but it hit the high points. And a buncha my students are in the group, so it's cool to see them.

C'mon, how cute are they?

...and then Santa, a reindeer and a walking Christmas tree show up!

Okay... where Japan diverges... is their interest in odd animal featured morality tales that approach tragedy of nigh-Greek proportions. So, let me weave the tale, as I interpreted it.

A Japanese village...

A fox who steals the food...

...of a fisherman, who was gathering food for his mother before she dies. She dies anyways. Tragedy!

Despite the fox trying to atone, through a TRAGIC misunderstanding, the fisherman kills the fox out of revenge! Tragedy #2.

The the fox fairy godmother reveals the truth to everybody, they all learn a valuable moral lesson, and [possibly] the dead fox is returned to life.

And this is Christmas in Japan.

Sandy posing with the spiffy Xmas tree in the lobby.

Tsuyazaki Jr High School Bonenkai

Bonenkai - a Japanese word meaning "all you can drink" beer and sake. Okay, it actually means end-of-the year party. But in reality... yeah, same thing.

And for the price of admission, we got to draw for free stuff.

This man is a Jr High School principal. Who says Japanese folks don't know how to relax and have a good time? He's a great guy.

I may be large, shiny and pale... but I have a felt xmas tree, and that makes everything right with the world.

You know, I was doing pretty good, pacing myself and all... till Ken [gentleman on the left] came over, brought a bottle of sake, and we started doing shots. He's a very evil man, and I blame him for my hangover.

Ken and Ikebata-sensei, working on that bottle of sake.

...and the folks at school were kind enough to pick up a gift for my wife, as well.