The line between fact and fiction is blurry. How many stories am I telling, do I participate in - at this one moment? So many. I can barely keep up with the activities of all my personalities.
I spent the weekend reading fiction by Jeffrey Ford about his Mrs Charbuque. I accept her eccentric characteristics as if she really existed. Requesting a portrait by a painter who has and will never see her? Oh it's so cliche - reality is stranger than fiction - as a writer you often have to water down reality for the masses to exist the possibility. But what about when you create possibilities and they emerge dripping wet, even more stranger than fiction that you could have never thought? I guess that's your children for you.
Anyway, that is just to say that people and things in my life are stranger than fiction - and that tends to skew my world view. But that's ok, cause I prefer to have a skewed view on this world - and it's really no more skewed than anyone else's, just in a different direction.
What I like in an event/activity
The way to the mainstream is by any subculture. Once in the mainstream, that subculture....
I'm really excited about my upcoming trip to Tuscan Arizona. I'm going to the Science of Consciousness Conference. Chicken John gave me the lowdown on the best place to stay and one of my friends from the Bay Area is going to be there. I'm leaving town next Sunday and will drive through the desert I love. Not quite passing my new rachcita, but dreaming of it and which possibilities to manifest first. Then on my way back I've detour through Amargosa to visit another dream come true. Ah, the desert, I can already feel your refreshment.
A few months ago I had a dream where I was cleaning out these long hollow pipes in my garage. There were a lot of them and they were stuffed with grease, lint, dead insect carcasses. Just the usual delightful stuff you find in your garage. I realized that the dream was telling me that it's time to clean out all the reminding bits of junk.
I've been surrounded by the dust and dirt of my own Karma and I'm getting dirty cleaning it out. It's frustrating sometimes.
All the while I have been inhaling several books. I finished Jonathan's Narcisa - Our Lady of Ashes (it's not publicly available yet). And then straight on to Dharma Punx by Noah Levine. Both talk about addiction, doing crazy shit and in the case of Levine's Dharma Punx, a path of service and redemption. That's Jonathan's story too. I remember talking with a friend about AA and being intrigued at the 12 steps and AA support. It sounded a lot like the stuff I have learned on my own spiritual path. In some ways I wish my path had taken me down and up into the AA realm. The work is hard stuff, but the path has already been laid out.
Anyway, so here I am in my own pile of shit, sorting and sifting, cleaning and attempting to replace mechanisms and processes that have built up over 30 years. I've done the processes before, but it's on bigger, smaller, trickier, twistier stuff.
Would I want it any other way? This is what I've chosen.
"Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else."
I've been pondering this part of my favorite phrase. Does it mean, if someone else can do something better than me, I stop? Does it mean, I stop when someone does things that I also do? What if they suck at what I do? What if they are better than me? At what point is the line drawn? Do I continue to do those things that others do, but care nothing about what I am doing?
These questions don't matter if this one is answered: Am I passionate about it?
I like to put my money where my mouth is and support things I think need to happen - ROFLcon is one of those things, so threw down some of my cold hard earned cash (from PT, my company) to help make it happen.
Anyway, here’s another triumphant and relevant coup for ROFLCon - Purple Tornado, a great marketing company in LA, is helping us out for realz! They focus haaardcore on internet marketing and have a real solid understanding of the potential for new media advertising and PR. They’re also just cool people, and will be coming to the ‘Bridge to schmooze and mingle with all y’all in April. Just six weeks to go. Yeah seriously. We’re so stoked, and you should be too. Link.
First - I think the whole "think different" marketing campaign is just that - marketing and I can't stomach the hype. I'm a contrarian at heart, and so I think differently and use a Thinkpad.
Second - It's all about the keyboard.
In interface to my computer through the keyboard. There is no keyboard I love more than the Thinkpad keypad with red mouse button. (I also HATE touchpads!) My index finger on the red button and I am at home.
Third - no right click.
A could years ago I decide to get over my anti-mac attitude and try on. So I went out and bought the black macbook. I got some software and started getting to it. Within an hour I was *YEOUCH* - what is with this horrible keyboard? Square keys with horrible pop-up ness. Required to use the hated touch pad when I wanted to mouse. And where the f*ck is the right click button. WTF? So you have a shortcut menu but you require me to figure out the ctrl, alt, apple, ???? button plus that hated touchpad button? What is the point of optimizing.
And then I realized - macs are slow. S-L-O-W. Sure they boot up fast, but it takes me forever to do something on it. I could only get about 30% of the stuff I do done if I only used the Mac. Mostly because they hide the right click and they require that I used the hated touchpad which is slow slow slow! And I can't type as fast on the Mac because the keyboard is not ergonomic. Square keys? And what's up with this square outchiness totally horribly designed unless I want to slit my wrists slowly back edge?
I thought that I just needed to use it and get used to it - optimize myself and be more open minded. But screw that. I've had it for a year and half and my opinion has not changed. I use the mac as a glorified CD player - and I don't even like iTunes. Even the built in video camera sucks.
What was this hype about Macs never crashing? I have managed to freeze/crash the mac more times each month than my Thinkpad in 4 years!
Sorry apple - you do not have my eye. Maybe if you were named grapefruit I would like you better.
Appealing to my more enlightened self - this TED talk blew my mind. I suggest you watch this right now - and then choose from where you want to live. (Thanks Ralitza for sending the link!)
Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.
I recently went to a workshop where the focus was on how to get your heart's desire and manifesting your dreams. I had leave after 30 minutes of it because I realized that I no longer needed to learn how to have my heart's desire. (I wrote my process for doing this in 2005.) Instead of sitting in a conference center for 2 days, writing down my dreams and how I might go about realizing them, I went out and did it.
That morning, before I went to the workshop, I stopped at drugstore to buy a toothbrush (I had forgotten to pack mine.) At the checkout counter were these packs of green M&Ms specially marketed for Valentines Day (which was over). I realized that here was the manifestation of one of my childhood dreams. You see, the green M&M's were always my favorite - and it was my dream to have a package of only green m&m's. Here it is - almost 30 years later - my dream come true. So I bought the package.
Checkmark: childhood dream come true.
Which made me start thinking - what happens when all your dreams come true? Is that life Bo-ring? Do you dream more dreams? What happens when you can have anything you dream? It sounds like a magical place to be. To conjure up whatever I want. And yet, that's the position I'm in right now. So what do I want? More bigger dreams? More harder challenges? More proving grounds?
There are always more dreams. For me at least. There will be challenges associated with those dreams. And I've just jumped my most recent hurdle (thank you to my ruthless ego). I've proved myself. I can make all my dreams a reality.
So what is beyond dreams? *** *******
ps. and don't go thinking that all these dreams will be destroyed. I have already had all my dreams destroyed. That was my first experience with dreams. It was destroyed dreams that would never come true. And then there was the time where all my dreams came true, but then my dreams changed.
I am ruthlessly egotistical.
I can be. Because my ego is a mask - a false description of who I am.
My ego, she is disposable.
My ego, she has no problem acting the bitch for the greater good. She will sacrifice herself for moving forward. She has nothing to lose.
My ego, she is not myself. A form fitting mask. A character. Someone I have cultivated for years.
My ego, she is a tool for which I have great respect. She is fearlessly ruthless.
Thank you ego. For being the thundering lightening flashing head on the face of the wizard.
Thank you ego, for blustering your way back here. I have missed your ruthlessness. I had forgotten who you really were. You do great good even while others badmouth you. Do not falter. Do not change your ruthless egotism.
There are other times for patience, sweetness and cunning.
"I must learn to love the fool in me—the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool."
playwright Theodore Rubin
So my new favorite blog is starting to get some traction. It's by Jonathan Shaw - who could be called the "father" of modern tattooing. (Disclaimer, JS is one of my clients.) He's pretty much the guy who broke tattooing into the mainstream and tattooed a bunch of celebrities. He's also the inspiration/real character behind Captain Jack - from Pirates of the Caribbean.
Over the past 3 months, I've worked with Jonathan and his assistant Alessandra on all the standard things I do: branding and online marketing specifically for his upcoming book about his crack-whore girlfriend from Rio de Janeiro.
Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I have a passion for Brazil and the Brazilian life. I won't go into my several life changing experiences I had within her borders, but needless to say, she is probably my favorite country in the world. Brazil - she is full of possibilities.
Anyway, I digress - Jonathan is in Rio right now, with Narcisa - his girlfriend (whom the book is about) and he's writing about his day to day experiences. It's not just the day to day, but the pieces of enlightenment hidden between the cracks of the mundane. Take this for example:
I’m out on the street dropping her off later and I look around and see the people running amok like it’s the goddamn Mardi Gras, my people, ignorant little replicas of Narcisa with her tv eyes and childlike mind and it hits me, it’s not just her, it’s the world, it’s Brazil, a whole mind-warped brainwashed culture, a nation of whores and beggers and petty thieves and crooked liars and pipe dreaming slaves, with or without the crack habit, its all the same ratty fairy tale happy ending mind of slavery to ego and self and the belief in eternal satisfaction at the end of a magic consumer wand or a machine gun or a beer can or crack pipe or a polititions promise or a whirlwind of romantic love boat wedding chapel angel cake whiter than white flouride toothpaste smiles and shit eating grins on skulls that will soon be rotting in the ground no matter fucking what. Whatever whatever, so maybe Narcisa’s right to just burn it at both ends like she does and do the best she can to live as intensely and dangerously as possible and so what if she fucking dies, at least she provided me the inspiration to write a fucking book cuz she is that interesting and authentic and beautiful and that’s more than I can say about 99.999999 percent of the fucking human race.
It's about authenticity. It's about being real. And sometimes that authenticity is too much for people - and goes against the grain of "good morals". But it reminds me of something I used to think about. And I was reminded of this when watching Bjork's video on Declare Independence. If the most authentic thing for you to do was to do drugs - then why should anyone stop you from it. If that is your most authentic self - then you should do that. And screw anyone who should "intervene".
And, although I have not met Narcisa, I like to dream that she is that person.
I've gotten stuck in a role - probably by my own making. My community validated self-appropriated title as "LA Tech Maven + Connector + Visionary" has got me stuck. I feel like a mom who doesn't like who her children are becoming and doesn't like who they are hanging out with. My passion for promoting LA tech has fizzled. I've been trying to rally myself and get excited because of all people here, I should be able to take this to the next level - and that was my dream. I am also not a quitter. I also don't shy from competition. But, I also don't do something that has no more passion for me.
There are too many cooks in the kitchen and I don't like the cooks or what is getting cooked up. I wonder, is it too hot for me to handle? Can I stand the pressure? Why not just bulldog my way through? If I had the passion and drive, yes, but the passion is gone.
Where and when did that passion go?
I have big big dream. I dream of a connected LA Tech community. But right now it's like a 12 course meal being prepared by 12 different chefs; competing, jostling to hit the same target market. It's a land grab, mad rush to create your event, your brand and make a stake. Ugh. Sorry, that kind of activity make me want to puke. I can't help but remember Gloria's words about how the universe is abundant. I agree with her.
I've been angsting over what I want to do for months. What is best for the community? For my dreams? There is no good answer. And bottom line, I don't like some of the personalities in the mix. (And I'm not one of these people who dislikes people for no reason - I have to have reasons to not like you otherwise I keep giving you chances.)
I am going to take a break. Work on my metaphorical broken watches or lamps. I am going to focus on the things that have my passion - like my new desert ranch, learning to professionally stunt car drive, building my company - The Purple Tornado, and helping my clients take their companies to the next level.
I'm not leaving, nor giving up. I'm watching you LA Tech Community (and community leaders). Watching everything. And I'll keep doing what I do, to make it stay real - to make you stay real - and ultimately for us all to evolve into something bigger than ourselves.