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Wednesday, April 28, 2004

This is from a friend for a friend.

So every once in a while I stick my head up, much like a prairie animal, and take notice of what's going on with the people around me. A lot of them aren't very happy sometimes. And I suspect that even some of the ones who do seem happy really aren't. This is partly because of the first point I wanted to make in this writing:

People tend to judge others based on their view of themselves
Generally, what this means is that if you're a spiney hearted little bastard, you probably think most other people are too. Conversely, if you're a pretty nice person, you'll tend to trust others a bit more than they deserve. The end result of this is that spiney hearted little bastards tend to hurt everyone for no apparent reason, nice people tend to get taken advantage of and become cynics, and, on rare occasions, nice people help eachother out. Of course, I'm overgeneralizing, but that's merely for brevity. Anyway, you're probably wondering what this has to do with being happy. Well, it comes down to what you EXPECT of people. Which, in a way, brings us to the second point.

Everyone has needs, desires, and expectactions.
People have surprisingly few needs, among these being sustenance (food, water, air), comfort (protection from elements, relaxation), and social interaction. These may vary in degree of need from person to person, but we all need them. Desires are things we merely want, people often fool themselves into thinking they NEED, what they merely WANT, but it's still just a desire. Expectations are like a minor form of desires, you expect something to happen, and when it doesn't, you feel wronged, more in some cases, less in others, but either way, the world didn't do what you thought it would, and most people don't like that. Whenever what you have, or get, is less than what you need, desire, or even expect, then you become unhappy. This brings me to my third point.

Happiness is what you have lessened by what you desire.
It's a very simple concept for what seems like a complex issue, and it's not the key to being happy, but it is a way to understand what makes someone happy or unhappy. Understanding is the first step to fixing any problem, or undertaking any task. I'll leave you with my list of guidelines to being happier.

First off, I'm a cynic, as such, I don't expect much good to come of anything, since the world is the way it is, I'm rarely disappointed. If something goes horribly wrong, I'm not usually surprised by it, so expectations don't cut into my happiness, plus if things go well, it's a pleasant surprise, you can rarely be surly about things going right.

I really don't want much in life. So long as I have my basic needs fulfilled, I'm fine. Occasionally something catches my fancy (like a good book or cd) and I'll get it. But I really wouldn't miss them if I didn't have them. I really don't have many desires above my needs. Oftentimes I have more than I really want.

Perceptions are a remarkable tool. If you focus on how horrible life is and how badly some things have gone, you'll fail to notice any of the good things. Even if there isn't anything good, there's gotta be worse things that haven't happened. I used to be depressed all the time as a teen, and really, I had no reason. I realized that if you relax and let good things happen, they will. Not because they wouldn't happen otherwise, but simply because you weren't seeing them. Though I do find myself appreciating art, in whatever form, stemming from unhappy or painfull experiences more than light-hearted or whimsical pieces. That would be the pleasure from pain principle.

Dennis Leary once mentioned in a rant of his that happiness is a moment to moment thing, a cigarette, an orgasm, a cookie. You smoke the cigarette, have the orgasm, eat the cookie, then move on. In a way, I agree... you don't strive to become happy, it's not some goal you reach. You have to get your happiness while you live the rest of your life.

While you're living your life, always know what you're doing, why, and who it affects. Don't accept anything anyone tells you without questioning it. Every person has their own morality and goals, trying to live by someone else's standards won't make you happy. "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law."

You should question that one too.

Friday, April 23, 2004

No point - just a ramble

I'm a meat eater. No red meat, but fish and chicken. I dated a strict vegan for awhile. She didn't wear leather, protested Proctor & Gamble on animal testing, the whole bit. Our eating habits were never part of our relationship. I did make concessions for her diet but never teased her or even thought of questioning it. She introduced me to some amazing restaurants here in Los Angeles, and I never ate meat in her presence. Well, a couple of times, but she never made any comments about it.

My point being, it shouldn't matter to your partner what your beliefs are on your diet. Just like your taste in music may be different. It's how he\she treats you that is important. I respected my ex on her beliefs and supported her, but it wasn't why I was with her. I was with her because I liked making her laugh, kissing her belly on Sunday mornings, taking walks with her beautiful dogs, brushing her hair out of her eyes when she had her hands full of wet clay, stuff like that.

Sure, it would be great to find somebody with the exact same idealogical beliefs as yourself, but what makes a relationship FUN is celebrating your differences as well as what you have in common.

If you're ever in Southern California, check out the Newsroom in the Beverly Hills area and Native Foods in Westwood. Native Foods has a vegan cheesecake that blows me away.

Modest Mouse

Modest Mouse - Good News For People For People Who Love Bad News.

I've been listening to this album for the last month or so. Insanely good. A couple of songs are a bit too over the top for my tastes, but it's easily one of their best full albums. There is a variety of styles, but if you were a fan before this will be familiar territory.

The first single "Float On" is very catchy. I can easily forgive Isaac's lisp on this track. Very "Talking Heads" influenced without being obvious.

When "World At Large" first starts you may think you're listening to Placebo until Isaac starts going into a long intro verse that caused me to gasp for air.

A few other stand-outs are "The Devil's Work Day" for it's Tom Wait's feel, and "Blame It On the Tetons" and it's sad Beck sound.

Modest Mouse has definitely matured and grown with each album. This is really one of the better records I have heard, from any band, in awhile. It definitely is their strongest, commercially, in the sense people might consider it their only album.

Their best work? No, but it definitely is their most consistently pleasing. A progression from their older stuff to more of a pop sound, without sacrificing anything.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

So tired

So I went to The Symptom's show last night, but could barely stay awake.
Sorry to the few people I said "nice meeting you" to as I left, when we've hung out before, numerous times.
I was so out of it that I forgot to say goodbye to Gina, Renee', and countless other people I hadn't seen in ages. I fucking suck.

I need a three day nap.

Monday, April 19, 2004


Once they invent a device that let's me reach through my monitor and slap the stupid out of somebody over the internet, morons will continue to abound.

In fact, I'd gladly take that as a full-time job. I'd LOVE to sit in front of the computer and throttle some of these ingrates, pulling them sharply so their squishy sloped mongoloid foreheads bashed against the edge of their screens; only letting go once their drooling rubbery lips have short-circuited the sticky keyboards, now powerless to propagate the ignorant blather they mistakenly feel it is not only welcome, but NECESSARY, to spew forth.

Friday, April 16, 2004

scraped raw

I've been getting, on average, about 2 hours of sleep a night for the past week.
Is it from partying like a rock star? No. Is it from my regular insomnia? No.

It's from working 10-7 at my day job, then all night on an animation for a flick coming out at the end of the month. I'm spread so thin I'm transparent.

Add on top of that I smoked an entire pack of cigarettes last night. I'm surprised I don't look and sound exactly like Tom Waits.

If you call, don't be offended if it kicks straight to voicemail.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Blind Melon

Blind Melon's "Soup".

Most people, when they hear the name Blind Melon, immediately think of the song "No Rain". A hippy, jangly tune with a girl in a bee suit skipping around town getting picked on until frolicing in a field of big gay bees. Super. A great band is now associated with the image of a pre-pubescent fag hag.

Galaxie, the first track on Blind Melon's next album, should have changed that but was widely ignored by critics and radio. Blind Melon is generally considered a one-hit wonder with the added unfortunate death of lead singer Shannon Hoon.

I highly recommend this album, and their last album "Nico" which was released after Shannon's death.

Vastly under-rated band.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

So taken out of context.

Masturbation in the presence of my partner has never come up in a conversation before, as both my girlfriends and I would rather play with each other. I never saw the appeal of a circle jerk either, but some get their rocks off any way they can.

When I do abuse myself for being such a dirty boy, I tend to either picture past women I've been with or find porn on the net with women that look just like them. The unfortunate thing is that I have actually found porn starring women I've been with in the past. It's kind of a mood killer to look up the nearest clinic.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

A few years ago...

I met a woman at a friend's show at the Troubadour here in LA. We shared a few smokes during the opening acts and had a wild make-out session upstairs in the Loft, a separate bar upstairs overlooking the stage. Things were going great. She was funny, cool, into my buddy's band, and amazingly hot. We exchanged numbers and planned on meeting up the next day for coffee and maybe check out another friend's art gallery showing.

She called the next day and said she's rather come over to my place and fool around. Nice. Straight to the point and pulling no punches. I asked her what she had in mind and she let loose with an amazing checklist of what can only be described as a penthouse letter. Tie her up? Check. Blowjob with ice in her mouth? Check. Overnight bag stuffed with toys and lotion? Check.

When we get off the phone I do the cursory clean up. Stack of mail tossed into a box and tossed into the hall closet, dirty dishes that are piled up go underneath the sink, assorted clothes packed into the already overflowing closet, the usual.
My place is as clean as it will ever get.

She shows up an hour or so later and I notice something's wrong. No duffel bag containing secret surprises. No scrumptiously dirty little outfit underneath a hip-length overcoat and thigh-high stockings. Nope, just the exact same outfit she was wearing the night before.

I ask her if she changed her mind or couldn't make it home to change\grab her goodie bag.

She then told me that she's only 17, and wanted to be my girlfriend.

No, I didn't sleep with her. And yes, I sent her away.

Friday, April 02, 2004


I've always dreamed lucid. I thank my mom. When I was a wee little thing, she'd leave music playing all night while I slept.

Last night's was vaguely disturbing though.

I found myself working at the local euthanasia clinic as a trigger man. Work consisted of running the legally mandated, hour long, ritual 20 questions 'shutdown' sequence with clients. Then if all went well, I'd push the little blue button. Big, poweful, magnetic field clamps down on 'em, and they just shut down. The whole thing wasn't quite as grim as I would have thought, though the younger, perfectly healthy people, made it hard to be impartial in administering the shutdown sequence.

To finish, I'd have to cart the bodies down to incineration. You'd be surprised how many chose incineration, rather than a burial. All the better for me though, as I rarely had to cart the things out back and wait for the mortician lad to show up. He was still sore at us for refusing to let him advertise in the clinic reception. We all felt it was a bit off putting. He didn't see it that way. At one point, he had a guy in a chicken suit standing outside with a projector, beaming his advert onto our window!

Anyway, one day I was out to lunch at the park, not something necessarily I did too often, and I heard this little giggle. Behind me, perched up on a tree trunk was a rather pretty girl, early 20ish, little white outfit, shock of red hair. She jumps down and we start talking abuot random stuff like, "what color are comets? If they're not red, they really should be" and ,"does gunpowder get completely consumed when it goes off, and if not, what exactly are the constituent parts of the residue?" We got onto the subject of our work, and when I explained mine, she asked me why I did it. I started to answer, but found I had no clue. That bit of my memory aparently just wasn't there. She said I was funny and skipped off across the water, which I didn't think was odd until I was home later.

I spent quite a bit of time after that trying to figure out why I worked at the euthanasia clinic. It wasn't until I moved flat a while later that I came across a box full of unmarked videos. As it turns out, when I went to sleep at night, I wasn't sleeping. There was another whole personality that just woke up and led an entire other life. The videos were attempts at us communicating with each other. He was studying to be a doctor, and hopefully find some way to cure us. We were on a collision course, with less and less downtime between our conscious time. He predicted we would smack into each other pretty soon (at the time of the tape, which must have been quite a while ago) and the consequences would be unknown. He'd been searching for a good few years, and there was absolutely nothing to explain what was happening.

I realised time was blinking a bit just then. I thought the video was broken, cause it seemed to be skipping, but so were the curtains blowing at the window. And the sounds from the street. And for that matter, the rhythm of my breathing. I walked over to the mirror and took a long hard look at myself, and noticed, well, differences. I started talking to myself, and slowly found there was an answer.

We talked for a while, familiar but estranged. We agreed that the condition was only going to get worse. That's when I realised why I was working at the clinic. I was working there to earn enough money to pay for the rather expensive procedure for us, as a worst case eventuality.

We spent the rest of the night coaching each other to try and appear lucid enough to pass the shutdown sequence.