Thursday, December 19, 2002

I think I have figured out something very important.

This message is for anyone who lives in or around Memphis: It's no secret that you are plagued with horrible head-splitting, eye-popping, year 'round sinus malfunctions. This isn't pretty, but I have finally figured out why.

When I moved here three or four years ago, I scoffed at the idea of me ever having allergy attacks or sinus problems of any kind. Walking around in a daze with a crumpled tissue in each pocket like Lisa Lubner from the good ole days of SNL – that just wasn't me. Except for the nerd part. The closest I ever came to having any type of reaction to a flowering tree was an emotion or strong thought of "Hey look at that pretty tree with flowers on it." I was never moved to tears by tiny, alien pollen particles attaching their UFO's to the linings deep within a human head. As God is my witness, I actually don't even believe I had sinuses before I moved here.

But now, oh dear Lord... I am tragically allergic to the toxic wastedump engrossing most of the real estate inside my own head. This has played out like an Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It's a horror movie, and while everything that flowers has died down for a couple of weeks – and until the toxic mold spores take over – I'm here to scream it out to you. I have this moment of control over my own brain and its tattered thoughts. Much like Charlton Heston and his discovery of soylent green, I am here to plead with you, listen to me, and maybe something can be done. Because I know why we're all plagued with the internal head rot:

Memphis is cursed with an ancient Egyptian curse.

That sentence could have been a lot better, but I can't breathe. See? It's cutting off the bloodflow to my brain.

You know, Memphis is famous for its bad drivers, and it's clear that most of them are over-medicated. Tavist-D, Benadryl, Ny-Quil, NightTrain... it's all the same. Running yellow lights, t-boning cars left and right... the Egyptian gods are eternally mad at this city being named Memphis. And don't even get them started on West Memphis, Arkansas.

When I first moved here, I thought people were just laid-back. Then I realized that wasn't the case at all. Some people are just non-functional members of society, and the rest seem to have brain damage from the constant internal pressure within their own heads. And now, I fully understand this silent killer with its blinding epidemic-like qualities because that is what has happened to me. I thought I could fight it off. Much like the tomb raiders in the early 1900's thought they could fight off the deadly fumes from the bat guano placed inside tombs to pretty much kill anyone who opened the door later. Death by Sinuses. It's brilliant. I thought I could fight it, but I can't. I may have to move, but I can't remember how, and I'm not even sure where I parked my car. There are only certain times of the year when I can finish a sentence without saying "What the hell was I talking about?"

It's The Curse, I tell you. The Curse of the Dummies. The curse is making us all dumb. See how dumb I am now? Look how funny the word "dumb" looks. Why is it "dummies" and not "dumbies"? What's for lunch? What the hell was I talking about? Oh yes...

All I can say is that I have figured it out, and here I leave it for posterity, possibly useless and never read. Much like some type of ancient heiroglyphic warning scrawled out on a tomb wall before someone passed out underneath it in a heap of old, ripped up Commercial Appeal newspapers used as makeshift blankets and then hankies (since the person obviously never could concentrate at work anymore, was fired and forced to live under a flowering tree until they died slowly, broke, alone, congested and swollen in places).

I said it, I believe it, and now someone please help us. Please tell us how to appease the gods... Please, Egyptian Curse Gods, forgive the fools responsible for building a big, glass sports arena in the shape of a pyramid. We're sorry that the Worldwide Wrestling Federation has desecrated your symbol of life, perfection, knowledge, and communal effort. How could we have known that wrestling wasn't a true fad? Yes, we do remember Jerry Lawlor and Andy Kaufman. Quite well, actually. But that was at our colisseum, not at the Pyramid... okay, and yes, we understand that Arkansas is right next door. Okay, uncle, I give, you win. But please have pity on us, spare our poor sinus cavities. Because the food here is quite good, and the view of a river sunset seems to be worth the head rot. Or, that could just be dementia talking.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

"There comes a time in a woman's life when the only thing that helps
is a glass of champagne."

~ Bette Davis

You know life is good when you find a quote like this.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

~:: Thank God for boody-ism::~

In the same way that someone in the midst of a rough crowd guards a wound with great care, so in the midst of bad company should one always guard the wound that is the mind.

-Santideva, "Bodhicaryavatara"

You know, I was born Christian, and was taught the preliminaries of it until a young age, when our church split because apparently the preacher was gay. We chose the side that split off with him, but it folded soon afterwards. From then on, I had a lot of time on my hands to try figuring out the world of good and bad, right or wrong, on my own. And I have always felt guilty because however hard I tried, I never understood a lot of the teachings from the Bible – in the same way that I never quite understood Shakespeare in high school. And still don't today. But I appreciate them both. But as far as Buddhist thoughts, I understand this stuff. I just get it.

So be it. We get comfort where we can in this world. And as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, it might just help someone in the end. The world's full of enough mystery to ponder. I need a light at the end of the tunnel here on this earth today more than the one at the end of my life.

Everybody does.

Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.

- Clementine Paddleford

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

All you need is deep within you
waiting to unfold and reveal itself.
All you have to do is be still
and take time to seek for what is within,
and you will surely find it.

- Eileen Caddy

And hopefully,
you won't need a prescription
to deal with it.

- Bubbles

Saturday, December 07, 2002

Xmas time is here again.

on 12/2/02 9:58 AM, wrote:

Hey there,

I am the new elf. The old one is lost at the Pole.
So update your wants and needs so i can perservere.
Let us not dawdle either in a response.
Time is money and money is great. Wish I had a machine to make some.
On the run. Let me hear.
My best, Melvin

on 12/7/02 8:58 AM, wrote:

Dear Melvin:

Sorry for the delay in the reply from Bethany. We have her in our custody til our demands have been met.

We are a not-for-profit terrorist group based in Orange Mound (just outside Memphis past the bait shop, yall come) and have abducted her and are now demanding a big, fat ransom. Only thing is that so far no one in her family has replied to our ransom notes. We are beginning to think we aren't going to get any money, as if 20 bucks was a lot to ask for, and are considering selling her into white slavery or reducing our price.

However, if we haven't gotten rid of her by christmas, then we recommend an acceptable gift for her would be either a booklight with an a/c adapter jack but not the a/c adapter (we have a warehouse full of those, pyramid scheme gone bad, long story) or a blow-up, stick-to-the-wall bathtub pillow much like the ones found at Target. We like pink. I mean... she likes pink.

Ok ok, these presents would not be for her but for us instead. We've had a long year as a start-up terrorist group, especially after the WTC thing, and need to take a bubble bath and read.

Any attempt to trace this email will result in a serious altercation.

Yours truly -- The Bill-Qaedas, Ltd.

Friday, December 06, 2002

~ : your daily dose of boody-ism :~

Just as a monkey roaming through the forest grabs hold of one branch, lets that go and grabs another, then lets go and grabs still another, so too that which is called "mind" and "mentality" and "consciousness" arises as one thing and ceases as another by day and by night.

-Buddha, "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha"

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

~ : your daily dose of boody-ism :~

It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.

-Lama Thubten Yeshe

Monday, December 02, 2002

Things I am thankful for:
or "a holiday's debriefing"

• Truth: That I love my true friends; they are the greatest things I could ever have in my life. They are amazing people, each one of them, from whom I learn constantly. And that my parents are honestly just good, decent people who would never hurt a fly, who usually get bulldozed for being so compassionate, who support each other and enjoy the smallest things in life, and who are their own source of constant entertainment, like a sitcom. I appreciate that they have an enormous sense of humor, twisted and normal. And they make me feel better knowing where I get my strange flaws from, as well as where my loves in life really are. And, that Ron is the quite possibly the greatest boy in the whole upper-right quadrant of the universe, always there and always selfless without being minus his true self. Even if he does have a dog as big as a goat, and he does fold laundry like a guy, the electricity of his thoughts overpowers the stupidest damn things that have always tried to get in my way.

• Justice: That my sister (or what's left of her) finally had to pay for her behavior and is now on probation for two years, due to her tendency toward domestic violence and the charges against her. Good. My whole family is so used to letting her get away with murder, being held emotionally hostage by her self-induced dramas, that it's just so weird for justice to be served up to her like a big plate of deep-fried turkey and Aqua Velva or whatever it is she drinks now. Cheers to you for throwing your life under a bus with both hands. And, oh yes, "I've thought of something for you to be thankful for – that you're not living under a bridge yet." And to anyone who feels sorry for her, we've all been there. And you must be a nice person, and I apologize to you in advance. She's possessed. Worst thing is that she likes it that way.

• The American Way: That people can grow away from harm's way if they choose, that subjects can be changed and that Claritin will be available over-the-counter soon. So hopefully, breathing will be a little easier for more people even if the air never clears.

Another thing I'm thankful for is that even though I've given up on hope before, apparently, it hasn't given up on me.