Archive for May, 2004


Experimental Post

I want to try an experiment. Over the next week or so, I’ll be taking “requests” from you, my adoring fans (yeah, both of you).

Using the comment option, or by typing in the chatterbox to the right, provide me with any word or phrase – only one per person, and I’ll see if I can’t come up with a story about it. Or maybe a song. Or a poem (a haiku, maybe?) I’ll work it in somehow. And for Bob’s sake, be creative. If all of you end up writing something *boring* like “cupcake warlord” or “walrus spaceship,” where’s the fun in that?

Think of it as written improv, only without the improvisation part. If not for me, for Bob’s sake. Because if you don’t, Bob gets it.

Juggling in Tibet

I made a promise (see the end of the previous post), and I shall deliver.
But first a little background:

First of all, everything that follows in this post is, believe it or not, 100% true. Anyway, my childhood friend, for various reasons, has ended up in Tibet. With Buddhist monks. I talked to him about it a few months ago, and, naturally, I was curious about – well, everything. Upon discovering the facts, I felt that the old adage was reaffirmed:
The more things change, the more they become completely bizarre:

[Note: I present here, the conversation, unaltered, except to correct spelling and some grammar, to protect the innocent, and to exclude sections that are unnecessary.]

Me: Anyway, so what’re your days like?
Me: I mean, what do you do?
Ben: Wake up, go to language lesson at 9:30, attend local event/lecture until about 1 w/lunch, and then, specifically for me, hang out at a monastery for the rest of the day with my 12 year old American monk friend.
Ben: Today I have to write a paper on it.
Me: “12 year old American monk friend”?
Ben: his name is T. Gyatso
Ben: or Brenden.
Me: Is the monastery hang-out session by choice or requirement?
Ben: he’s been a Tibetan Buddhist monk since he was 8
Ben: choice, we all have to focus on something.
Ben: one person’s doing Tibetan writing, another interviewing refugees
Ben: I
Ben: ‘m teaching monks to juggle
Me: Oh, yeah – we all go through a Buddhist monk stage at one point or another.
Me: I’m just a late bloomer.
Me: (Am I being offensive? I hope not.)
Ben: Depends on who you say it to
Ben: its kind of hard to offend me.
Ben: I told my group leader it was my goal to find the Dalai Lama and beat him up to see if he would still smile.
Ben: She didn’t like that,
Ben: so its a subjective concept
Ben: and I’m proud to say that I’m only half kidding about the monk juggling thing
Ben: like, its not my main focus
Me: Nice.
Me: I got it.
Ben: but I really am doing it
Ben: already taught T.
Me: I wouldn’t expect anything less of you, Ben.
Ben: He’s got the 3 ball cascade up to about 50 catches.

Wow. This conversation left me speechless. I hope it has a similar effect on you, dear reader.
Or that it induces you to send me large sums of money.
Either way.

Life, the Universe, and Monks

Ah, yes. My hit counter has reached – and passed – 1000.
Bear in mind, that with my grades being what they are, my ego is pretty much riding on how humorous people find my ramblings. So, now you know – you, the reader, by choosing to or not to visit this site on a regular basis, have the power to raise another human being to the glorious heights of delusional pride, or to dash him on the rocks of despair, until the guts of misery leak out and get all mushy and stain the garments of despondence, which can only be dry-cleaned in the laundromat of complacence.
(It’s in Binghamton.)

Anyway, in honor of this auspicious occasion, I was going to share with you the answer to the age-old question:
“What do Buddhist monks have in common with most circus clowns?”*
But, alas, my allotted time has passed, for I must go to, um, brush….my, um…toenails. Yeah, that’s it.

Oh, and visit Binghamton sometime. You’d be surprised.

* No, seriously. I intend to answer that one. It’s a funny story, really.

Fighting the Romans

Another true story.

Today I walked across campus
wearing a toga ,
with a bow ,
and a quiver of arrows.
You know, the usual.

Is it a problem when the truth really is stranger than fiction?

This is the story…

I’m rather concerned.

About myself, that is.
You see, on my way to class this morning, I found myself singing the theme song to “The Brady Bunch”
…in a poorly imitated French accent.

Seriously, folks. For once, I’m not making this up.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Morning Person?

Am I the only person who, in the morning, drifts slowly into consiousness, flutters his eyelids open, smiles, then springs out of bed, so invigorated for the new day, that he runs outside – in his bathrobe – and screams at the top of his voice:

“Oh, such a beautiful world! Such a beautiful morning!
Why can’t everyone and everything just be as awesome as I am?
And why the hell am I in Detroit, dressed like a mime?”

Oh, and, despite popular belief, getting dry cement stuck in your eye is no fun at all. But it does give you some optimism. I mean, after all, reasonably speaking, following optical cement, where can you go but up?