sleep and meditation

For probably the first time in three or four years, I feel like I’m getting enough sleep at night. Also for the first time in at least that amount of time, I’m starting to have problems getting to sleep at night. When I was in high school (and junior high, I’m fairly certain) I had some serious issues with insomnia. I basically had what’s happening to me now–I would fitfully roll around in bed for an hour or more before I fell asleep (and at night when you’re trying to go to sleep, that hour can feel like five) and then I would wake up at some extraordinarily late hour in the morning. Lately, I’ve been struggling to get up by ten.

So it’s the chicken versus egg thing. Do I wake up late because I’m having trouble falling asleep, or do I have trouble falling asleep because I’ve been getting up so late? In the mornings, it’s a supreme effort to even just roll out of bed when I’ve woken up naturally. If I were just living as my body dictated, I would wake up, and spend the next hour or two just deciding whether I should get up or not.

The woman from True Stories comes to mind, the one who was so rich she just decided to stay in bed for her entire life. I’ll bet there are really people like that out there. Thing is, I’d get bored staying in bed all day… even with the internet, I’ll bet. Eventually I’d want to get up and do something.

I decided this weekend that I’m going to start taking Tai-Chi again. The last time I took it was in spring of 1995, nine years ago. I was a senior, and taking classes at the UofMN for college credit. But I still needed to fulfill my high school credits too, and that meant I needed some gym classes. I took racquetball winter quarter, and Tai-Chi in the spring. Strangely enough they were some of my favorite college courses.

Anyway, I found out my friend Neon has taken some Tai-Chi at this place over on University, The Twin Cities T’ai-Chi Ch’uan Studio. We were talking this weekend about how we’d both like to get back “into” it, and she happened to mention that one of the instructors was this guy named Paul. Now, if you’d asked me if I remembered the name of my instructor from nine years ago, I would have laughed at you, and easily said no. But when she said Paul, I knew that was the name of the guy I’d been taking classes from. I didn’t know it was the same Paul, of course, but a trip to the website and we had that figured out. Anyway, I’m excited to start it up again. I won’t remember any of it, but that hardly matters. I’m hoping to get rid of some of the gut I’ve accumulated recently, and perhaps gain back some of the flexibility that I had gained when I took the original class way back when.

I got a spam earlier today that made it through my filter whose first line was a famous quote by Karl Kraus:

Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.

Then it said: “Low rates on Software”.

Tomorrow I have a ticket promised to me for the new Hellboy movie. I’m stoked.

Well, I’m hoping to maybe actually sleep now… my eyes aren’t focusing properly, and my throat is all scratchy like it sometimes gets when you’re tired. (Only problem is it’s felt like that pretty much all day. I think I’m coming down with something.)

getting busy

Have you ever had regret that you didn’t use a particularly volatile emotion? I don’t even believe in regret. But someday I’m going to look back on this part of my life and think “What was I doing?”

I guess it was Stephen King who said, “You’ve have to get busy living, or get busy dying.” (In the Shawshank Redemption.) All my intense emotions lately have been the result of really great movies. Last night Laura and I watched American Splendor. Then afterward I played video games instead of tapping into the intense emotion I was left with. But that was living, so writing must be dying. Writing must be the business of dying.

Today I’m helping someone move.

Is it natural to worry about whether you’re living life to its fullest?

Last night I wore myself out playing unicycle hockey long past the point of being too exhausted to play (I was pushing myself because I feel that I need the exercise). Then I stayed up and played video games for hours, drinking Baileys Irish Cream with ice.

I am just sipping at these thoughts of death and regret, nursing a near-empty glass.

The backward talks of folks whose mouths are sewn on sideways.

Little miss Moffett whose thoughts are all of profit
sits next to the spider whose eight eyes are all on a fly across the room.
But an old woman walked in and promptly tripped atop it.
She fell forward with a “gasp!” and the fly flew right in.

“Congratulations, you’ve won!” screamed miss Moffett
with dollar sign designs on the old ladies purse strings.
“You’re the first who’s tripped through that door today!”
The old woman brushed off her knees, and stood up precariously. Her bonnet was askew, and as she reached up to straighten it, her stomach made a loud gurgling noise.

She said “I do believe I’ve swallowed a fly!”
“I can sell you this spider…” said miss Moffett, sly.

And on it went, Old Lady in tow,
Miss Moffett selling animals all down the row.

As each one went in, the Old Woman looked grim.
“How will I get rid of this one now then?”

Until finally she sat, split at her seams,
a cowbell faintly ringing from inside her blue jeans.

Moffett ran up, with a stallion in tow–
“This’ll get rid of that cow, don’t you know!”

The Old Lady looked spent, her heart wasn’t in it,
“My purse is vacant.” she said, “–I just can’t afford it.”

Miss Moffett’s eyes fell, and brow furrowed hard.
“You could always sign up for our new credit card.”

The old Lady relented and filled out the forms.
“This is great,” Moffett said, “you’ll get that bull by the horns!”

Of course the old woman died, as you’re no doubt aware,
her heart trampled flat by a whinnying mare.

[Lets call this a silly statement about capitalism. Here’s the old woman lyrics in case you want to refresh your memory.]

opuses? opusai? opus

Just now, as I was about to fall asleep, and as I was contemplating my unwritten poem titled “Phantom Memory of a Hair in the Back of My Throat”, I asked myself a question out of the blue–if I could only write four poems in my lifetime, what would they be about? Don’t ask me how my near-unconscious mind came up with the number four. My answers came from the depths of my subconscious almost immediately. Love, loss, memory and poetry; these would be the subjects of my four opuses.

I started to wonder if memory and loss were too similar of subjects. I decided they were not, as loss would almost certainly have more to do with love, and memory would have more to do with the nature of reality. I refined my last subject, poetry, to include the nature of beauty. In my mind they are concepts intrinsically entwined.

Somewhere in these moments, I realized that I could remember a particular writing session (sometime in college) when I was most aware of my own poetic style and devices. I think that my writing now is pretty devoid of intention. I write when I feel like it, and there’s almost never a “point” unless it’s one that’s been “discovered” on the spot so to speak. Anyway, on this particular night, it was very dark, and either I could see a full moon, or it was one of those nights where the moon was nowhere to be seen. I don’t remember that part exactly. I do remember that I was writing about some mundane thing. A tree, I think, and I thought then that it was some of my best work. I often think that what I’m writing is some of my best work. (I have to, or it refuses to come out sometimes.)

Poetry has not been forthcoming the last month or so, and whenever I force it out (mindblurbs mostly) it’s been somewhere between drivel and doggerel. I’m not really complaining, just stating. I had planned to get some writing done tonight, but got as far as turning off the video game before I was distracted by some other thing. (emails, I think.)

games, bloody games…

Tonight marked the second day of my subscription to the Blockbuster games freedom pass; and my second game rented–two games in as many days. Fun stuff. I’m aiming for more than 30 games in a month. If they were all x-box games, I’d have 30 new games to play. (Thank you modded x-box!) But I seriously doubt there are that many games that I want to “keep” for that system. I can think of another five, and that might stretch to ten if we include games I’m not excited about, but might find fun to play every once in awhile.

Tonight we rented Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. So far it’s pretty fun. I like the way they implemented profiles, and there’s a lot of stuff to unlock. Having three stances or fighting types for each character is pretty cool too. Some of the combos are really hard. I’ve never really been all that good at those fighting types of games.

Now if only I could somehow keep myself from staying up till 3am playing…

minding spotless sunshines

I saw Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind last night, and it was amazing. We discussed Jim Carrey’s performance (probably his best to date) in the car on the way home, and the visual effects in the movie were just really fun to watch. One thing that really struck me was that it was really well written. I think I remember noticing that with Being John Malkovitch too, so now I want to check out all of Charlie Kaufman’s other films. I guess, now that I check IMDB, that I’ve already seen all of them but Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. I’ll have to watch that one soon. It was just this last Tuesday that we saw Human Nature, which has been rattling around in my brain ever since.

I don’t know for sure who did this first, but I think the Blare Witch Project popularized the concept of making fake websites for movies before they come out. Googling for eternal sunshine reveals the website for Lacuna Inc. the company in the movie that removes your memories for you. Funny stuff, and probably not all that far off in terms of technology. I wonder about some legal ramifications though.

Oh yeah, back to the writing… the name of the movie comes from this Alexander Pope poem called Eloisa to Abelard (line 209). I’ve only read a little bit of Pope when it was required for one of my “reading the classics” classes in college. I didn’t like him much then, and my opinion hasn’t really changed, (but I wonder what Dr Bombay thinks of him). Those are some kick ass lines quoted in the movie though.

    How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;

Anyway, the movie was really fucking good. I started to get a little teary at the end of it, but it wasn’t a sad movie! I think that, as weird as it sounds, I almost started crying from happiness. Does that make me a sap?

UPDATE: It’s Charlie Kaufman, not Andy Kaufman (as I’d originally written). Poor Andy’s dead, or anyway he wants us to think he is. I also forgot or didn’t bother to mention previously the interview with Kaufman and Gondry over at The Onion AV Club that I read a few days ago. Also, I wrote this entry before I knew that of the four of us who went to see the movie who have blogs, the other three already had. Nate, Dr. Bombay and Laura all beat me to it.


Flex-i-tarian — I pronounce it as if it were from the song “sanitarium” by metalica. But it accurately desribes my eating habbits. I am not alone! (Props go out to xomina for the link.)

hungry 3am surfing

So I don’t think I’ve ever linked this great vegetarian/vegan restaurant resource, A friend of mine helped set it up, and while I don’t use it all the time, I still consider it a valuable resource, and have looked to its pages at least once or twice to find a place to eat. (And more often to decide whether a specific place is worth spending my time and money.)

Anyway, this evening I’ve discovered another interesting food guide, The World-Wide Sushi Restaurant Reference. Once you’ve drilled down to the Minneapolis/St. Paul listings it’s almost mind boggling just how many sushi restaurants exist in the twin cities area. Dr Bombay recently said he could eat sushi every day of the week… and looking at this list… he’d only have to return to the same place every two weeks! (almost.) Anyway, it’s crazy. I can even think of a little place that’s not listed yet. That Taiko Sushi Bar up in New Brighton.

OK, time to sleep. I don’t know why I’m so hungry! With any luck I’ll dream myself a full belly.

Thor the cat/dog/bird

Thor is creeping up the bed toward my face. He likes to sneak up and rub his wet nose on your chin. It’s kissing, I suppose. But he’s really sneaky about it. He knows we don’t like it, but he does it anyway.

I like cats better than dogs because they don’t lick everything. They don’t slobber on everything, or rub their wet noses on everything. But Thor does. He’s a dog-cat, and when he gets excited he’ll knead his claws into whatever they’re on top of at the time.

He purrs like a pigeon.

I push him over onto his side to stop his slow plodding toward my face, and he just purrs louder.