Ron Jeremy Halloween Costume

For those of you that don't know, I had a coffee accident on my computer. It is now in the shop. I am glad it happened though. I got this great quote from Roberto. Probably, my favorite from him: "Sometimes people care about their computers more than their bodies."

"Very true," I agreed.

Now I am typing from a computer that pauses every five seconds. That's an interesting experience. It's not as interesting as interviewing Aram Saroyan though. That will be up soon enough. In the meantime, enjoy Paiman's latest films.

Morning Run

I just finished my new exercise regiment. Another faculty member was complaining about hypertension, so I suggested we run together in the wee hours of the morning. That's right 630 a.m., and we are huffing along. I didn't expect for others to join, but there are now four of us in the mornings. It's nice. I stare up at the Pukasahn Mountains or the sunrise.

It was a beautiful sun this morning. Completely golden. It was like a drop of paint that ran away from a master's brush. I caught it with my eyes and set it into my mouth to shout, "Oh, look!" That's all I could say. Then it was yoga and meditation time. It was hard to drop the sun, but, eventually it landed like my other thoughts in my lap and cozy.



















V + V = W

"Parliament of Birds"




"Bruce Lee"


"George Washington"


"Thomas Jefferson"


"Brad Pitt"


"Sexy Brad Pitt"


"Marilyn Monroe"


"Andy Warhol"


"Aram Saroyan"











"All These Birds"

v...v...v, VVVV

V, VV(Co(Steak)ke)VV, (V),


"No Birds"


One Thousand Balloons

I feel empty these days. Just plain empty. It's like being a balloon.

I remember one time in elementary school when they put on this lottery prize with balloons at Ben Franklin Elementary in West LaFayette, Indiana. All you had to do was tie a card with your name and address on the string of a balloon and then let it go. The balloon that travelled the furthest from the school would win the prize. All you needed was the $10 to enter - or $5 or whatever it was. I asked my dad for the money. I tied my name to the balloon and then BOOM! It was off.

There were like a thousand balloons in the sky. I prayed that my balloon would catch the wind and keep going forever. Then I realized that it would be pretty hard to find my balloon. What if it just went so far that no one would find it? How were they keeping track of all those balloons? How did they know if one went further than all the rest if they couldn't account for every balloon? What if someone just popped their balloon and then drove 5 miles down the road and put it next to some house and then VOILA - there's the farthest travelling balloon?

Those questions really got me thinking a lot about balloons. First, I thought about the science of balloons. I thought about the helium capacity in a typical balloon, and how a balloon can only go so far or high before the heat busts the balloon, or the helium inside loses its potency and the balloon begins to drift downward again. Then I thought about how I could cheat and win the prize, by riding my bike down the road and popping my balloon, or even calling into the school that I found the balloon like in another town or something.

I didn't think anymore after that. I was too honest to cheat, so I just started praying again. I did that kind of thing a lot, except it wasn't like a Hail Mary or anything. It was more like, "If I make this basket at the basketball hoop, then my balloon will win the money prize, and I will get my mom this, and my dad this, and some toys for me - like a real light saber or something."

Anyway, I didn't win shit. They announced it on Monday when we got back to school. It was a real let down for everyone. They must have been thining the same thing as me, too, because everyone was like, "Oh, they cheated and drove down the road" - just like I had thought before. That only got me thinking about more stuff. I just couldn't figure out why everyone was thinking about cheating, but no one was smart enough to do it. How come everyone didn't just drive their balloon like ten miles away? Why's everyone got to be so honest in the second grade?

That was when G. I. Joe's came out or something, because I stopped thinking about it. I think it was just too big of a thing for me care about for more than 5 minutes. At the same time, I like that I get to take my second grade philosophical meaderings back into the forefront now. Those were some pretty good questions. I think I know the answers, too. At least that's what my mind says. I don't know if I'm right, but I figure it has a lot to do with being in second grade and being afraid of cheating and being told that it's bad by your parents, and that the only way someone would do it in the second grade is if they were taught that it was okay.

As far as accounting for every balloon, the contest might have been to raise money for the kid that won, and that was an easy way for them to get people to donate and all, but they didn't let the kids in on the donation aspect of the whole thing - just the parents. Either that, or the contest was just poorly thought out, and they didn't consider that my balloon would go on forever, and just be floating up there for all eternity.

Man, I have got to learn some magic tricks. I think that's the answer for every second grader. Teach them how to do some magic and then they won't be fooled by some contest. They'll know what's going on and not get their hopes up that some balloon is going to go on forever. Man, magic tricks is all kids need. That's why Harry Potter is so big. It's like all of them are in on it in a way. Like they might learn how to get out of a situation by making their Draco Malfoy at School, Anywhere, go batty with a little incantation they got from Hogwarts.

It's all about magic. I think I can solve this balloon issue. I am just going to have to learn the history of magic. Then I won't feel like a balloon anymore. Thank you, Merlin.

The Slipshod Swingers and The Offbeat Generation

The Slipshod Swingers' "Off Beat Generation" is now on the airwaves with a book by the same title.

The collection of short stories, The Offbeat Generation, comes direct from our friendly compadres in the UK, Matthew Coleman and Andrew Gallix. Their book is set to be published by Social Disease.

The new record by The Slipshod Swingers is due out on iTunes by the end of December. If you want to download songs for free, purchase Matt and Andrew's book, or pass these links onto other folks, the url's are below.

I'll catch you on the flip.



"The Offbeat Generation" by Matthew Coleman and Andrew Gallix:

The Slipshod Swingers:

Getting What You Deserve for Your Art

Last night I got together with Jim and Loren for some chow at Jim's place. SY made a nice spread of basil pasta, olives, and some type of pastrami. The pastrami was spicy, but good. I ate a lot of it and listened to Loren tell stories about his life as a pugilist and training boxers in Japan.

"I looked at Freddy, and I was like, "he's not listening to us." I don't know. Maybe, he just couldn't do what we were asking."

"What were you telling him to do?" Jim asked.

"Oh, well, you know, "Move forward and be more agressive!" "

We all laugh.

"Yeah," Loren smiles. "Maybe, he just couldn't do it."

"Sometimes it's hard to get in there," Jim said. "You just can't do what you need too."

"Yeah," I agreed. "He could have also been afraid."

"Yeah," Loren shook his head. "I don't know."

After a couple stories, I headed home in a taxi. I think the cabbie overcharged me. He must have amped the meter, because by the time I got home, I was already at 18,000 won (about 18 dollars).

I didn't say anything though. I just paid the guy, and walked up to my apartment. I was so tired. It was like I had done the 9 rounds Loren talked about. I just got home, and slumped into my chair. I checked my e-mails, and saw one from a colleague. It wasn't something I wanted to think about. I decided to call Jim to chat about our editing for the day.

"I think the manuscript has a nice beginning now," I said.

"I still need two more days from you."

"Why don't you go through and see what you come up with. I have some other work to do for the rest of the week. Maybe, we can get together next weekend."

"Yeah," he said. "I'll come to you. We can lay it out and see what we have."

"Okay," I said.

"I just want to say how much I appreciate what you did for me."

"No problem."

"It really means a lot."

We say our goodbye's, and it's just me and the cold, Seoul night again. I think about how I asked a friend to edit a manuscript for me. I had offered $150. The guy wanted $1000. I was flabbergasted.

"What?" I had quesitoned.

"Well, typically, this sort of thing runs about a thousand dollars. I could do 3 pages an hour at $25. But that is as low as I can go. That would make it $700."

"No," I said. "Too expensive."

It surprises me the way we will treat strangers as opposed to our friends. Just a day earlier, the same colleague edited close to 40 pages of student work for no pay at all. I had been a friend, and suggested not putting in so much effort into something that one was not being paid for. "Think about equal exchange," I said.

I guess the guy took that to mean with me, and based his calculations on a professional edit someone might do at those rob-and-kill editing services. I don't really know. It just surprises me. You give people an idea of "equal exchange", and they really run with it, but not necessarily with an understanding of what it means. For example, if I had a chicken and you had a goat. And we wanted to make a trade. You might say the goat was more valuable, so you deserved more. But - and there is a big but - if I had offered you a chicken that produced eggs, and the promise of other things on the side, and the benefit of working with someone on your first goat trade that was a big chicken dealer - you might reconsider the trade because equal exchange is effected by more than just a monetary value.

Some people get this very well. Some have to burn their own open doors a few times before they see it. I know I have been in the same position in the past. I remember a shaman once told me to get equal exchange for my writing, and I ran with it, thinking that by being obstinate on a manuscript, I would get what I want. But all I ended up with was the lack of an agent to represent me, and people probably thinking I was money hungry.

It's interesting the lessons you learn about equal exchange. It's a lot like getting knocked down, or maybe knowing when to ask for it. At least that's how Loren explained taking on a title bout.

"As a trainer, you don't want your fighter to go after a title bout when they aren't ready. They'll just get knocked down, and lose the momentum and confidence that you built to make them a contender."

I think the same idea applies to equal exchange. If you're going to ask someone for a grand to do anything, you might want to start with something realistic. Then you can build your way to that title purse.

So for all you writers, editors, filmmakers, painters, and poets who want a million bucks for your first job, get a reality check and ask for something reasonable. Then you can build your way to being a contender.

Of course, everything has exceptions. You can hold out for something special, if you're doing something special.


Just like that, I am gone. I may reappear again. It may be as simple as ABRACADABRA. Of course, magic has its shortcomings. One can't always see a way back when you don't know where you are.

Journal Entry, 2007

STYX: Using Tactile Objects to Make a Clean Break!

Life is filled with interactions. Sometimes it is necessary to be aware of how the patterns in one's relationships may not necessarily be as "clean" as one would like. Like the human body, things accrue over time. In any relationship, there may be a need for renewal, or we could say, "letting go" of what was there before to allow for something new to take its place.

In order to allow for this "newness" and "growth", I often use a technique I learned from one of my shaman friends. There is no name for this ritual - at least none that I am aware of - so let's just call it STYX to allow for a nice 80's flashback amidst this New Age talk.

My shaman friend once explained that the branches a person finds in nature can often be associated with a relationship. He told me that if I am having something unhealthy happening within my life, that I could find a branch within nature to represent this relationship. He then said that I could take this branch and set it upon an altar or "special spot" within my living space. My intention - the thought I would hold as I placed the obect down - would be to break the branch and its associated unhealthiness the following morning, leaving only that which is "true, good, and beautiful". Then, when morning arrived, the physical act of breaking the branch would commence after the following prayer:

"May only that which is true, good, and beautiful remain in my relationship with __________."

I have since used this tactic from time to time in my life. Sometimes this has been to let go of the past for myself, and at other times it was to create something new with my non-personal relationsips i.e. "A branch that represented my relationship with "money", "a novel", or even "my body." "

Although the shaman did not say to go outside personal relationships, I have found that the majority of my issues are not with other people, but myself, so that is why I often break branches, not to signify a "split" or "severing" from a relationship, but rather an acknowledgement that I am done thinking in a set pattern about a particular avenue within my life.

For example, right now I have a series of branches on my table (see above). Some of these represent relationships with people in my life, and others represent my relationship with the functional work in my life i.e. "artistry", "job", and so on. The individuals/non-indivuduals are not things/people I am having particular difficulty with (in some cases), but they are representative of continuous interaction, and we could then say they hold "patterned" or "old" ways of thinking that have accrued over time. Therefore, the breaking of these branches, does not necessarily have to be when things are "bad" or "unhealthy", but simply when an individual needs to say "goodbye", or when they want to "let go" of how a relationship was to how it is.

All this being said and done, this ritual is not really necessary for everyone. Some people might find meditation to be more useful, as it allows for one to simply "drop a thought." Others might find the work of Byron Katie to be just what the doctor ordered. And there are others still, who may use the dismantling of a poem, or a "non-artistic" act i.e."living outside one's comfort zone" to create a similar break.

Personally, for myself, I like to incorporate magic in my daily life. This is not the magic of Harry Potter or Houdini, but simply my word and feeling for spiritual creativity, or we could simply say, creativity, as I see no difference between the two.

If you find this activity of interest and would like to know more about it, please comment below. I would be happy to discuss it in further detail. Just remember it doesn't really matter at all, and it is not necessary in the least. It is simply a helpful tool for us to bring our thought patterns to a moment of tactile awareness, as the mind can often register a physical act much easier than it can acknowledge one that it is simply another thought within a thought.


Allan Mcleod Rocks UCB, McDonald's, John C Reilly, and the Cosmos!

A special congrats to Allan (the guy ordering "onion rings" in this video). His Hollywood career is on the move. You can see him now on several McDonald's commercials, and of course, on Thursday nights at the UCB Theater in Hollywood. He makes me laugh every time. If you get a chance, check him out here before he moves onto the big screen.

Lee Iococoa

Portia De Rossi
Chrysler Mini-Van
heading up Pukasahn