Meditation Kicks Ass

sit. stay. heal.
Day Three Hundred and Forty Four
My Crib, Cherrywood, ATX
Today I want to acknowledge
that I have a 
VERY COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP
with the word
NO
The other day I asked a stranger
for a favor
the truth is
I wanted a shot for this blog
The stranger said
NO
she was extremely pleasant about it
there was no need for me 
to take offense
and yet immediately my stomach
LURCHED AND TWISTED
thanks to all this
MEDITATION
I was able to very quickly
recognize the physical lurching
as a 
REFERRED PAIN
and what it was referring me to
was an extremely 
ANCIENT WOUND
sorry if we all are tired 
of hearing about
my childhood
the idea isn’t
(any longer)
to have a 
BLAME FEST
but I like to try to
figure out
what prompts current pain
so that I can
alleviate any 
ATTENDANT SUFFERING
before that suffering 
digs in its claws
So what I came up with is
I grew up in a situation 
where 
NO
did not just mean
NO
in a neutral way
it had a lot of additional weight
it felt like this
NO BECAUSE YOU DON’T DESERVE IT
NO BECAUSE YOU ARE A STUPID PIECE OF SHIT
NO BECAUSE I CAN DOMINATE YOU
NO BECAUSE….
you get the picture
I have a friend who
grew up in a 
NO HOUSEHOLD
it was 
NO
NO
NO
NO 
NO
all the time
when she had kids of her own
and they would ask for something
she told me that 
her conditioned response
led her to want to just say
NO
and she’d have to strive to
overcome that
for example
on a hot day
she was driving along 
and the kids wanted ice cream
and she almost said
NO
but then she realized
she had 
TIME
MONEY
and
A DESIRE FOR ICE CREAM
so she said
YES
So often when I hear
NO
I have to struggle mightily
to just react 
NEUTRALLY 
to it
you know I live in a world
where so many people say
YES 
to me so often
shower me with
POSITIVITY
that I need to really focus on that
There are a couple of other things
about the word
NO
that affect me
I have so often used
NO 
as a catalyst to 
SUCCEED
In particular
so many 
MEN
have told me 
NO I CAN’T
my father
professors
employers
ONE TIME
my college newspaper advisor
went on record to the
Tampa Tribune
saying my writing
(which was garnering a lot of attention
because I wrote a piece
condemning the Catholic Church)
was trash
and should never be published
I used all these
NOs 
to push myself really hard
and I have had
some measure of success
so yes
I have a little gratitude toward 
NO
and I am glad for all the
success and opportunity
that my
REJECTION OF NO
has spawned
but it might’ve also been cool
if I’d just not reacted to 
NO 
if I’d just found a way to be
that didn’t include
having to take 
NO
as a challenge all the time
and then there is
that final piece of
NO
which is that
even though I still
feel strong painful reactions
when I hear the word
I constantly dream of offering
NO
to more people
more often
NO I CANNOT DO THAT
I want to say
because I say
YES 
a lot
and then I wind up
totally wiped out
because I forgot to 
save time for me
I’m getting better at saying
NO
but I also know that
I’ve hurt some folks’ feelings
by saying 
NO
and then I feel like shit
I’ll keep practicing
a friend of mine once told me
the importance of saying 
NO
in a way that got through to me
and even though I 
haven’t mastered the art
sometimes what I do is
I look on my paper calendar
and whenever I see a rare
FREE DAY
I write the word
NO 
on it
so that if someone asks me
if I am available on
X DATE
I can look at the calendar
and say in all honesty
Oh Sorry I Have Something On That Day
The something being
NOTHING
or
NO 
THING
I am going to keep practicing
to not take others’ 
NOs
negatively
and also to
keep issuing my own
NOs
and hope that others
don’t take them personally too
Today I 
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and 
I 
Just
Say
No
Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Forty Four

My Crib, Cherrywood, ATX

Today I want to acknowledge

that I have a 

VERY COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP

with the word

NO

The other day I asked a stranger

for a favor

the truth is

I wanted a shot for this blog

The stranger said

NO

she was extremely pleasant about it

there was no need for me 

to take offense

and yet immediately my stomach

LURCHED AND TWISTED

thanks to all this

MEDITATION

I was able to very quickly

recognize the physical lurching

as a 

REFERRED PAIN

and what it was referring me to

was an extremely 

ANCIENT WOUND

sorry if we all are tired 

of hearing about

my childhood

the idea isn’t

(any longer)

to have a 

BLAME FEST

but I like to try to

figure out

what prompts current pain

so that I can

alleviate any 

ATTENDANT SUFFERING

before that suffering 

digs in its claws

So what I came up with is

I grew up in a situation 

where 

NO

did not just mean

NO

in a neutral way

it had a lot of additional weight

it felt like this

NO BECAUSE YOU DON’T DESERVE IT

NO BECAUSE YOU ARE A STUPID PIECE OF SHIT

NO BECAUSE I CAN DOMINATE YOU

NO BECAUSE….

you get the picture

I have a friend who

grew up in a 

NO HOUSEHOLD

it was 

NO

NO

NO

NO 

NO

all the time

when she had kids of her own

and they would ask for something

she told me that 

her conditioned response

led her to want to just say

NO

and she’d have to strive to

overcome that

for example

on a hot day

she was driving along 

and the kids wanted ice cream

and she almost said

NO

but then she realized

she had 

TIME

MONEY

and

A DESIRE FOR ICE CREAM

so she said

YES

So often when I hear

NO

I have to struggle mightily

to just react 

NEUTRALLY 

to it

you know I live in a world

where so many people say

YES 

to me so often

shower me with

POSITIVITY

that I need to really focus on that

There are a couple of other things

about the word

NO

that affect me

I have so often used

NO 

as a catalyst to 

SUCCEED

In particular

so many 

MEN

have told me 

NO I CAN’T

my father

professors

employers

ONE TIME

my college newspaper advisor

went on record to the

Tampa Tribune

saying my writing

(which was garnering a lot of attention

because I wrote a piece

condemning the Catholic Church)

was trash

and should never be published

I used all these

NOs 

to push myself really hard

and I have had

some measure of success

so yes

I have a little gratitude toward 

NO

and I am glad for all the

success and opportunity

that my

REJECTION OF NO

has spawned

but it might’ve also been cool

if I’d just not reacted to 

NO 

if I’d just found a way to be

that didn’t include

having to take 

NO

as a challenge all the time

and then there is

that final piece of

NO

which is that

even though I still

feel strong painful reactions

when I hear the word

I constantly dream of offering

NO

to more people

more often

NO I CANNOT DO THAT

I want to say

because I say

YES 

a lot

and then I wind up

totally wiped out

because I forgot to 

save time for me

I’m getting better at saying

NO

but I also know that

I’ve hurt some folks’ feelings

by saying 

NO

and then I feel like shit

I’ll keep practicing

a friend of mine once told me

the importance of saying 

NO

in a way that got through to me

and even though I 

haven’t mastered the art

sometimes what I do is

I look on my paper calendar

and whenever I see a rare

FREE DAY

I write the word

NO 

on it

so that if someone asks me

if I am available on

X DATE

I can look at the calendar

and say in all honesty

Oh Sorry I Have Something On That Day

The something being

NOTHING

or

NO 

THING

I am going to keep practicing

to not take others’ 

NOs

negatively

and also to

keep issuing my own

NOs

and hope that others

don’t take them personally too

Today I 

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and 

Just

Say

No

Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Forty Three
East Fourth Street, The Hood, ATX
Well dang
it’s turning into
GRAFFITI WEEK
over here
isn’t in?
Totally unintentional 
but
I LIKE IT
As with so many of the pictures
that appear in this space
this one was taken
by my amazing friend
ANN WOODALL
who is an artist
with many mediums
We take these
WALKABOUTS
around the city
and look for interesting shots
which in and of itself
is so much fun
and a great way to
SLOW DOWN
and just look for details
but something else I love
is that it’s a chance for us
to have a long conversation
over the course of several hours
TO CATCH UP
and then to 
GO BEYOND THAT
and just engage in the 
ART OF CONVERSATION
which is such a lovely thing
and something so many of us
don’t make time for anymore
I’m talking about
really sitting down
(or walking)
and
TALKING
and
LISTENING
in the
SAME PHYSICAL SPACE
as your
CO-CONVERSER 
I spend a shit ton of time
inside my head
Esteban and I were laughing
the other day
because wherever we were
it was somewhere we’d been before
but I was just noticing some detail
for the first time
and writers are supposedly
GREAT OBSERVERS
so how had I missed a prominent detail
I explained to him
that I’m big on exploring
INTERNAL LANDSCAPE
I can scrutinize and over-analyze
every last inch of
MY MIND
and totally miss out on the fact
that say
there is some magnificent piece of art
on a wall
in front of me
Which isn’t to say 
I don’t stop to appreciate
things around me
I do
but I know that I often
get distracted
by the worrying
by the anxiety
by the list making
and all the rest of the stuff
buzzing around inside
Of course 
I LOVE MY FRIENDS
for so many reasons
one is that they remind me
to look around at details
I might otherwise miss
and another is
they totally help me see
DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES
and the older I get
the less stubborn I get
(which isn’t the same as
not being stubborn
which I probably will always be)
and the more open I am
to setting aside my
DEFENSIVENESS
and opening my eyes
to other possibilities
and this 
EYE OPENING
is greatly enhanced by
MEDITATION
so when we came upon this wall
the message I saw was
DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE
but the message Ann saw was
DON’T DEAD OPEN INSIDE
which I just love
much more positive message
plus another chance to
remember to
look at things from
different angles
SHIFT THE PRISM
and see the more
beautiful and interesting
POSSIBILITIES
Today I
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I am so grateful
for the keen vision
of my wonderful friends
and their generous willingness
TO SHARE
Thank you
NOTE FROM SPIKE
Want to support this blog?
You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here
Thanks

Day Three Hundred and Forty Three

East Fourth Street, The Hood, ATX

Well dang

it’s turning into

GRAFFITI WEEK

over here

isn’t in?

Totally unintentional 

but

I LIKE IT

As with so many of the pictures

that appear in this space

this one was taken

by my amazing friend

ANN WOODALL

who is an artist

with many mediums

We take these

WALKABOUTS

around the city

and look for interesting shots

which in and of itself

is so much fun

and a great way to

SLOW DOWN

and just look for details

but something else I love

is that it’s a chance for us

to have a long conversation

over the course of several hours

TO CATCH UP

and then to 

GO BEYOND THAT

and just engage in the 

ART OF CONVERSATION

which is such a lovely thing

and something so many of us

don’t make time for anymore

I’m talking about

really sitting down

(or walking)

and

TALKING

and

LISTENING

in the

SAME PHYSICAL SPACE

as your

CO-CONVERSER 

I spend a shit ton of time

inside my head

Esteban and I were laughing

the other day

because wherever we were

it was somewhere we’d been before

but I was just noticing some detail

for the first time

and writers are supposedly

GREAT OBSERVERS

so how had I missed a prominent detail

I explained to him

that I’m big on exploring

INTERNAL LANDSCAPE

I can scrutinize and over-analyze

every last inch of

MY MIND

and totally miss out on the fact

that say

there is some magnificent piece of art

on a wall

in front of me

Which isn’t to say 

I don’t stop to appreciate

things around me

I do

but I know that I often

get distracted

by the worrying

by the anxiety

by the list making

and all the rest of the stuff

buzzing around inside

Of course 

I LOVE MY FRIENDS

for so many reasons

one is that they remind me

to look around at details

I might otherwise miss

and another is

they totally help me see

DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES

and the older I get

the less stubborn I get

(which isn’t the same as

not being stubborn

which I probably will always be)

and the more open I am

to setting aside my

DEFENSIVENESS

and opening my eyes

to other possibilities

and this 

EYE OPENING

is greatly enhanced by

MEDITATION

so when we came upon this wall

the message I saw was

DON’T OPEN DEAD INSIDE

but the message Ann saw was

DON’T DEAD OPEN INSIDE

which I just love

much more positive message

plus another chance to

remember to

look at things from

different angles

SHIFT THE PRISM

and see the more

beautiful and interesting

POSSIBILITIES

Today I

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I am so grateful

for the keen vision

of my wonderful friends

and their generous willingness

TO SHARE

Thank you

NOTE FROM SPIKE

Want to support this blog?

You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here

Thanks

Day Three Hundred and Forty Two
East Fourth Street, The Hood, ATX
Today a gentle reminder about
TECHNIQUE
I think possibly
the biggest obstacles between 
ASS and CUSHION
are as follows
FEAR OF DOING IT WRONG
BELIEF YOU CANNOT SIT STILL
THINKING YOU HAVE TO NOT THINK
KNOWING YOU CAN’T NOT THINK
probably there are some other obstacles
like TV, sandwiches, and life in general
but really mostly
as with just about everything else in life
FEAR
is the big anti-motivator
In my 
MEDITATION CLASSES
the most important thing I share
is just this
YOU AREN’T DOING IT WRONG
if you will just 
show up and breathe
YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT
if you are lying down
that’s cool
if you need to wiggle
that’s cool
just keep breathing
and really
YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT
and yes
of course
without a doubt
you will experience
MONKEY MIND
no worries
here’s the thing about
dealing with the monkeys
you just tell them
HELLO MONKEYS
NO PARKING HERE
MOVE ALONG
you acknowledge the
WORRIED THOUGHTS
that are trying to 
cram their
HUMMER SIZED ASSES
into  
FIAT SIZED SPACES
you don’t need to panic
and leap up off the cushion
you just say
NOPE
Because if you try to ignore them
they’ll just get 
busier and worrieder and more annoying
and if you let them
PARK
then these thoughts will
TOW YOU
into the past
into the future
and neither of those places
actually really exists
so avoid being towed
put up your 
ORANGE CONES
of
MINDFUL BREATHING
and just
enjoy your 
ass on that cushion
Today I
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I am so thankful that
I am learning better every day
how to
PARK MY ASS
but 
NOT MY MONKEYS
Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Forty Two

East Fourth Street, The Hood, ATX

Today a gentle reminder about

TECHNIQUE

I think possibly

the biggest obstacles between 

ASS and CUSHION

are as follows

FEAR OF DOING IT WRONG

BELIEF YOU CANNOT SIT STILL

THINKING YOU HAVE TO NOT THINK

KNOWING YOU CAN’T NOT THINK

probably there are some other obstacles

like TV, sandwiches, and life in general

but really mostly

as with just about everything else in life

FEAR

is the big anti-motivator

In my 

MEDITATION CLASSES

the most important thing I share

is just this

YOU AREN’T DOING IT WRONG

if you will just 

show up and breathe

YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT

if you are lying down

that’s cool

if you need to wiggle

that’s cool

just keep breathing

and really

YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT

and yes

of course

without a doubt

you will experience

MONKEY MIND

no worries

here’s the thing about

dealing with the monkeys

you just tell them

HELLO MONKEYS

NO PARKING HERE

MOVE ALONG

you acknowledge the

WORRIED THOUGHTS

that are trying to 

cram their

HUMMER SIZED ASSES

into  

FIAT SIZED SPACES

you don’t need to panic

and leap up off the cushion

you just say

NOPE

Because if you try to ignore them

they’ll just get 

busier and worrieder and more annoying

and if you let them

PARK

then these thoughts will

TOW YOU

into the past

into the future

and neither of those places

actually really exists

so avoid being towed

put up your 

ORANGE CONES

of

MINDFUL BREATHING

and just

enjoy your 

ass on that cushion

Today I

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I am so thankful that

I am learning better every day

how to

PARK MY ASS

but 

NOT MY MONKEYS

Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Forty One
Jovita’s, South First, South Austin, TX
In 1964
while hearing a case on
OBSCENITY
Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
uttered a phrase regarding 
the difficulty of 
DEFINING PORN
he said
I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT
In this picture
I am sitting in front of
what was once a 
BEAUTIFUL MURAL
but which was recently
DESTROYED
by some 
LITTLE SHITS
This awful
DESTRUCTION OF ART
was brought to my attention
by a friend who is
normally very reasonable
but who would very much like to
SERIOUSLY KICK THE ASS 
of whoever did this
I don’t mean that metaphorically either
I mean
SERIOUS
ASS
KICKING
I asked someone I know
who is a graffiti artist
if he had any idea who did this
and he said 
NO
but from the looks of it
PROBABLY KIDS
I told this to another friend
who said
Yeah you can tell new graffiti artists
because their work
is not unlike
youngsters experimenting with sex
IT’S QUICK and MESSY and LACKS CONTROL
When I think about this
GRAFFITI STUFF
it is a bit complicated
I know some people think
all graffiti is a violation
a breaking of law
wrong and must be stopped
I’m not one of those people
We have some amazing graffiti in this town
I love
ART FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE
but then there is
SHIT LIKE THIS
which is not about 
ART
it’s about
EGO
I know bullshit when I see it
and this is
BULLSHIT
If there’s any silver lining here
(and really there isn’t)
well it did get me thinking about
how everyone violates some rule
or space or person or place
at some time or another
I have broken laws that I don’t agree with
I have broken laws that just seem stupid
I have broken laws when my actions seem to be
PRETTY HARMLESS
and I have at times
looked back and changed my mind
about having broken the law
I also break rules
and at the same time
I get really irritated at people who
break rules I think shouldn’t be broken
AREN’T HUMANS HILARIOUS?
But really
at the risk of sounding preachy
it does seem pretty straightforward to me
a bazillion years ago 
I heard a quote
and googling for it now
I still can’t figure out if it was
JEAN PAUL SARTRE
or
FRAN LEBOWITZ
or someone else entirely
but the quote related to 
EXISTENTIALISM
and the idea was
you are allowed to swing your fist
as hard and as far as you want
as long as you 
DON’T HIT SOMEONE ELSE IN THE NOSE
(I might add a clause that says
also as long as you don’t
HIT YOURSELF IN THE NOSE)
Going by that measure
I think is a pretty quick way
to gauge whether an action
in which we are about to partake
might be better off
NOT PARTAKEN IN
the first example that comes to my mind
(most likely because I have been
CHEATED ON
and that really hurt me
A LOT)
is that you
DON’T FUCK SOMEONE ELSE’S PARTNER
I find infidelity beyond despicable 
but even then there is wiggle room
because if everyone is on board
and it’s an 
OPEN RELATIONSHIP
that means it’s not infidelity
so then go right ahead
In Buddhism there is
THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
which to me is like a way more
REASONABLE
version of the 
Ten Commandments
the ideas are chill
they are sensical 
and hey
there are only eight of them
There’s even a 
FRANZ FERDINAND SONG
that captures a lot of 
these tenets 
in three minutes of
pure pop perfection
it’s called
RIGHT ACTION
I do think we can all agree
that the kids who destroyed the mural
were engaging in
NOT RIGHT ACTION
I hope they come to understand
that this destruction
is just as bad
(in my opinion)
as so many
NOT RIGHT ACTIONS
being taken by
all the corporate land grabbers
who are changing the face of
AUSTIN, TX
and killing my beloved city’s soul
and also all of the 
NOT RIGHT ACTION
taken by the politicians
who are looking the other way
I know that change is the only constant
I understand all about impermanence
I know an argument could be made
that this graffiti is just part of
those things
But I reject that argument
If you know these kids
please point them to
BLANK WALLS
hell they can come over
and paint my big fence
but just help them understand
that 
WRONG ACTION
hurts us all
Today I
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I thank all the
GUERRILLA ARTISTS
who make real art
in the name of 
LOVE AND AWESOMENESS

Day Three Hundred and Forty One

Jovita’s, South First, South Austin, TX

In 1964

while hearing a case on

OBSCENITY

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart

uttered a phrase regarding 

the difficulty of 

DEFINING PORN

he said

I KNOW IT WHEN I SEE IT

In this picture

I am sitting in front of

what was once a 

BEAUTIFUL MURAL

but which was recently

DESTROYED

by some 

LITTLE SHITS

This awful

DESTRUCTION OF ART

was brought to my attention

by a friend who is

normally very reasonable

but who would very much like to

SERIOUSLY KICK THE ASS 

of whoever did this

I don’t mean that metaphorically either

I mean

SERIOUS

ASS

KICKING

I asked someone I know

who is a graffiti artist

if he had any idea who did this

and he said 

NO

but from the looks of it

PROBABLY KIDS

I told this to another friend

who said

Yeah you can tell new graffiti artists

because their work

is not unlike

youngsters experimenting with sex

IT’S QUICK and MESSY and LACKS CONTROL

When I think about this

GRAFFITI STUFF

it is a bit complicated

I know some people think

all graffiti is a violation

a breaking of law

wrong and must be stopped

I’m not one of those people

We have some amazing graffiti in this town

I love

ART FOR AND BY THE PEOPLE

but then there is

SHIT LIKE THIS

which is not about 

ART

it’s about

EGO

I know bullshit when I see it

and this is

BULLSHIT

If there’s any silver lining here

(and really there isn’t)

well it did get me thinking about

how everyone violates some rule

or space or person or place

at some time or another

I have broken laws that I don’t agree with

I have broken laws that just seem stupid

I have broken laws when my actions seem to be

PRETTY HARMLESS

and I have at times

looked back and changed my mind

about having broken the law

I also break rules

and at the same time

I get really irritated at people who

break rules I think shouldn’t be broken

AREN’T HUMANS HILARIOUS?

But really

at the risk of sounding preachy

it does seem pretty straightforward to me

a bazillion years ago 

I heard a quote

and googling for it now

I still can’t figure out if it was

JEAN PAUL SARTRE

or

FRAN LEBOWITZ

or someone else entirely

but the quote related to 

EXISTENTIALISM

and the idea was

you are allowed to swing your fist

as hard and as far as you want

as long as you 

DON’T HIT SOMEONE ELSE IN THE NOSE

(I might add a clause that says

also as long as you don’t

HIT YOURSELF IN THE NOSE)

Going by that measure

I think is a pretty quick way

to gauge whether an action

in which we are about to partake

might be better off

NOT PARTAKEN IN

the first example that comes to my mind

(most likely because I have been

CHEATED ON

and that really hurt me

A LOT)

is that you

DON’T FUCK SOMEONE ELSE’S PARTNER

I find infidelity beyond despicable 

but even then there is wiggle room

because if everyone is on board

and it’s an 

OPEN RELATIONSHIP

that means it’s not infidelity

so then go right ahead

In Buddhism there is

THE EIGHTFOLD PATH

which to me is like a way more

REASONABLE

version of the 

Ten Commandments

the ideas are chill

they are sensical 

and hey

there are only eight of them

There’s even a 

FRANZ FERDINAND SONG

that captures a lot of 

these tenets 

in three minutes of

pure pop perfection

it’s called

RIGHT ACTION

I do think we can all agree

that the kids who destroyed the mural

were engaging in

NOT RIGHT ACTION

I hope they come to understand

that this destruction

is just as bad

(in my opinion)

as so many

NOT RIGHT ACTIONS

being taken by

all the corporate land grabbers

who are changing the face of

AUSTIN, TX

and killing my beloved city’s soul

and also all of the 

NOT RIGHT ACTION

taken by the politicians

who are looking the other way

I know that change is the only constant

I understand all about impermanence

I know an argument could be made

that this graffiti is just part of

those things

But I reject that argument

If you know these kids

please point them to

BLANK WALLS

hell they can come over

and paint my big fence

but just help them understand

that 

WRONG ACTION

hurts us all

Today I

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I thank all the

GUERRILLA ARTISTS

who make real art

in the name of 

LOVE AND AWESOMENESS

Day Three Hundred and Forty
Peter Pan Mini Golf, ATX
These damn holidays
they just sneak up behind us
TEETH BARED
don’t they?
Easter isn’t nearly as 
FRAUGHT 
for me as
GODFORSAKEN CHRISTMAS
I think it’s more manageable
because it’s springtime
and I am super sensitive to
LIGHT
(or more accurately the
lack of it in December)
Still it is a 
HUGE CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY
and so it’s not 
ENTIRELY AVOIDABLE
Thinking about Easter
brings up a number of
interesting memories
My father died on a
HOLY SATURDAY
and the very next day
I performed a wedding
for a family with Muslim roots
That’s right
a Muslim-ish wedding on 
Easter Sunday
my dad wasn’t buried yet
but if he had been
he would’ve been 
spinning in his grave
Bubbles My Soul Dog
arrived on
Holy Saturday 2002
and last year
Easter 2013
I took her for a long walk
while listening to
Jesus Christ Superstar
and then I went camping
and then I got a call
to rush home
because she was dying
So Easter is the last day
I walked Bubbles
and when I walk today
I’m pretty sure I’m going to be
VERY SAD
Probably my biggest
BADDEST 
Easter memory though
is this:
I believe it was 1999
I was always so conflicted
about these holidays
I raised my son as an
ATHEIST
and whilst I think it is
SO HYPOCRITICAL
for atheists to seize religious holidays
there would come these points
where I would sort of panic
and think
WHO AM I TO ROB HIM OF 
A SECULAR VERSION OF THIS HOLIDAY?
I mean once when he was
maybe four
he came to me and said
Look, Mom, I know there’s no Santa
but could you at least just pretend this year?
This dilemma
often found me
the day before some big holiday
racing over to HEB
to procure from the dregs of the
SEASONAL AISLE
some crap stocking stuffers
or 
dented Cadbury Eggs
so this one year
I put together a couple of baskets
one for Henry
one for his friend 
and it was the night before
and as usual I had my
MANY BEERS
then I hid the baskets
then I woke up
and I could 
NOT FUCKING REMEMBER 
where the hell I hid them
it was really truly
FUCKING AWFUL
I was not a blackout drunk
but clearly
to understate the matter
I had
A PROBLEM
(eventually they turned up
they were in the oven
something thankfully we did not
discover during a moment of pre-heating)
That Easter
I was so hungover
and I started to cry
and my kid 
who was eight at the time
asked me why I was crying
and I told him because I felt like
I wasn’t doing a very good job of being
A MOM
and he just looked at me and said 
something along the lines of
YOU’RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN
It wasn’t too long after that
That I quit drinking
So when I think of Easter
I think of getting sober
and how necessary it was
and also how 
ADDICTION
is really a
motherfucking bitch
Last Christmas
I picked up smoking again
I know I know
IT’LL KILL YOU
but you know what?
If you are a smoker
or ever have been
You know what I was up against
I LOVE THE RITUAL
I 
LOVE
THE
RITUAL
I love a cigarette
with my coffee
I LOVE IT
DO YOU HEAR ME
but last week
once again
I quit
I did
because I have to
weigh the 
Love of Ritual
against how
SHITTY
the chemicals make me feel
that’s how I quit drinking too
I had to look past the ritual
and be honest about
how shitty I felt
In Meditation Camp
we spent a lot of time
listening to lectures about
CRAVING AND AVERSION
CRAVING AND AVERSION
CRAVING AND AVERSION
think about it
we are really driven
so much
by these two things
I have one sister
(of my seven sisters)
who was not allowed to have chocolate
Every Easter
an image flashes across my mental screen
her at the age of maybe eight
in her Easter dress
on the couch
knees pulled up
SOMEONE ELSE’S EASTER BASKET
clutched guardedly in her lap
as she tore through it
looking for
CHOCOLATE
CHOCOLATE
CHOCOLATE
How often we want
whatever it is
that is 
WORST
for us
I use my 
MEDITATION
to remind myself
to try not to put things
in terms of
CRAVING AND AVERSION
I try to stay calm
and not play games
that are just going to
push me to do
things that aren’t so good for me
because if I say to me
YOU CAN’T HAVE A CIGARETTE
I will say to me
FUCK YOU I CAN DO WHAT I WANT
and then I will
go buy a pack
so I try not to 
boss me around
I try to listen to my
CRAVING AND AVERSION
and I try to be 
very gentle
as gentle as I would be
with someone else
struggling with addiction
and I say
IT’S OKAY
and then I am very nice
to myself
and try to help myself
remember how good it feels
to not give in to
THE CRAVING
Today I
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I am 
so grateful
that even though
I no longer put together
Easter Baskets
if I did do that
I would be able to remember
where I put them
Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Forty

Peter Pan Mini Golf, ATX

These damn holidays

they just sneak up behind us

TEETH BARED

don’t they?

Easter isn’t nearly as 

FRAUGHT 

for me as

GODFORSAKEN CHRISTMAS

I think it’s more manageable

because it’s springtime

and I am super sensitive to

LIGHT

(or more accurately the

lack of it in December)

Still it is a 

HUGE CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY

and so it’s not 

ENTIRELY AVOIDABLE

Thinking about Easter

brings up a number of

interesting memories

My father died on a

HOLY SATURDAY

and the very next day

I performed a wedding

for a family with Muslim roots

That’s right

a Muslim-ish wedding on 

Easter Sunday

my dad wasn’t buried yet

but if he had been

he would’ve been 

spinning in his grave

Bubbles My Soul Dog

arrived on

Holy Saturday 2002

and last year

Easter 2013

I took her for a long walk

while listening to

Jesus Christ Superstar

and then I went camping

and then I got a call

to rush home

because she was dying

So Easter is the last day

I walked Bubbles

and when I walk today

I’m pretty sure I’m going to be

VERY SAD

Probably my biggest

BADDEST 

Easter memory though

is this:

I believe it was 1999

I was always so conflicted

about these holidays

I raised my son as an

ATHEIST

and whilst I think it is

SO HYPOCRITICAL

for atheists to seize religious holidays

there would come these points

where I would sort of panic

and think

WHO AM I TO ROB HIM OF 

A SECULAR VERSION OF THIS HOLIDAY?

I mean once when he was

maybe four

he came to me and said

Look, Mom, I know there’s no Santa

but could you at least just pretend this year?

This dilemma

often found me

the day before some big holiday

racing over to HEB

to procure from the dregs of the

SEASONAL AISLE

some crap stocking stuffers

or 

dented Cadbury Eggs

so this one year

I put together a couple of baskets

one for Henry

one for his friend 

and it was the night before

and as usual I had my

MANY BEERS

then I hid the baskets

then I woke up

and I could 

NOT FUCKING REMEMBER 

where the hell I hid them

it was really truly

FUCKING AWFUL

I was not a blackout drunk

but clearly

to understate the matter

I had

A PROBLEM

(eventually they turned up

they were in the oven

something thankfully we did not

discover during a moment of pre-heating)

That Easter

I was so hungover

and I started to cry

and my kid 

who was eight at the time

asked me why I was crying

and I told him because I felt like

I wasn’t doing a very good job of being

A MOM

and he just looked at me and said 

something along the lines of

YOU’RE DOING THE BEST YOU CAN

It wasn’t too long after that

That I quit drinking

So when I think of Easter

I think of getting sober

and how necessary it was

and also how 

ADDICTION

is really a

motherfucking bitch

Last Christmas

I picked up smoking again

I know I know

IT’LL KILL YOU

but you know what?

If you are a smoker

or ever have been

You know what I was up against

I LOVE THE RITUAL

LOVE

THE

RITUAL

I love a cigarette

with my coffee

I LOVE IT

DO YOU HEAR ME

but last week

once again

I quit

I did

because I have to

weigh the 

Love of Ritual

against how

SHITTY

the chemicals make me feel

that’s how I quit drinking too

I had to look past the ritual

and be honest about

how shitty I felt

In Meditation Camp

we spent a lot of time

listening to lectures about

CRAVING AND AVERSION

CRAVING AND AVERSION

CRAVING AND AVERSION

think about it

we are really driven

so much

by these two things

I have one sister

(of my seven sisters)

who was not allowed to have chocolate

Every Easter

an image flashes across my mental screen

her at the age of maybe eight

in her Easter dress

on the couch

knees pulled up

SOMEONE ELSE’S EASTER BASKET

clutched guardedly in her lap

as she tore through it

looking for

CHOCOLATE

CHOCOLATE

CHOCOLATE

How often we want

whatever it is

that is 

WORST

for us

I use my 

MEDITATION

to remind myself

to try not to put things

in terms of

CRAVING AND AVERSION

I try to stay calm

and not play games

that are just going to

push me to do

things that aren’t so good for me

because if I say to me

YOU CAN’T HAVE A CIGARETTE

I will say to me

FUCK YOU I CAN DO WHAT I WANT

and then I will

go buy a pack

so I try not to 

boss me around

I try to listen to my

CRAVING AND AVERSION

and I try to be 

very gentle

as gentle as I would be

with someone else

struggling with addiction

and I say

IT’S OKAY

and then I am very nice

to myself

and try to help myself

remember how good it feels

to not give in to

THE CRAVING

Today I

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I am 

so grateful

that even though

I no longer put together

Easter Baskets

if I did do that

I would be able to remember

where I put them

Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Nine
Upper East Side, ATX
Friday afternoon I was
driving home from Wheatsville
when a total
DOUCHEBAG
in a brand new Audi
zipped ahead of me
and cut in front of me
so he could tailgate the guy
who had been in front of me
and then we all
sat at the same
fucking red light
two minutes later
then it turned green and
NO SURPRISE
he continued driving like
a total cocksucker
he was the third guy
in maybe an hour or so
who was purposefully aggressive
with me on residential roads
Of course these assholes
weren’t just assholes
toward me
it was clearly just their
"STYLE"
Even though my
MEDITATION
has helped me tremendously
to turn the volume down
on my 
ROAD RAGE
actually to mostly hit 
MUTE
when the first guy 
rolled through a stop
I panicked
honked 
and screamed something 
along the lines of
FUUUUUUUUUCK
YOUUUUUUUUUU
this caught me off guard
because it was very
OLD ME
I felt immediately 
kind of embarrassed
I don’t want to be that person
that screams in traffic
I was that person
FOR SO LONG
so later when 
the other two
motherfuckers cut me off
I didn’t scream 
but I was aware of my 
JUDGEMENT 
toward (against) them
and a feeling of
kind of like
well kind of like
I wanted to 
PUNCH THEIR CHICLETS OUT
but really
I don’t actually want to 
punch anyone
so then
WHAT THE HELL IS IT
why do I get
SO FUCKING CHAPPED
that’s the puzzle I started working on
YES A-FUCKING-GAIN
And then
when I got home from
my unintentionally harrowing
drive from Wheatsville
a hint appeared
I noticed my bumper sticker
JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU
That’s been on there so long
I totally forgot about it
I was grateful I noticed it
I had that bumper sticker made
That’s a line from Norman Lear
who wrote a bunch of sitcoms like
ALL IN THE FAMILY 
and
THE JEFFERSONS
Norman Lear was a total
GROUNDBREAKER
he put shit on the table
that had mostly been hidden up
the ass of 
the elephant in the room
for fucking ever
he said stuff like
HERE PEOPLE
HERE’S YOUR GODDAMN RACISM
LOOK AT IT IN THE FACE
I love Norman Lear
so when he was asked what
bumper sticker would he
if he could
put on everyone’s car
he said it would say
JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU
You can 
listen to the interview here
He goes on to explain the meaning of the sticker
he says
And that’s what I think we all are—
versions of each other 
because we have to come to the understanding
that we are one
Ah, more accidental Buddhism
I love it
So I looked at my bumper sticker
and I thought about it
Earlier in the day
I’d confronted a human with 
an off-leash dog
I was fake nice about it
but no one confused my fakeness
for the truth of the matter
which is that I get
SO FUCKING PISSED OFF
when off-leash dogs charge me
but once I saw the bumper sticker
I had a little epiphany
I suddenly remembered how
back when Satch was alive
there was a brief window
after he was trained 
that I would take him off-leash to the park
and once he totally tried to 
rip this guy to shreds
IT WAS SO SCARY
so I think that some of my
aggravation at off leash dogs I see now
might be some of that old fear coming up
Satch could’ve really hurt that guy
and he did go on to
BITE OTHERS
he was a mess of a dog
and as for the 
DOUCHEBAG IN THE AUDI
well even though I am
an exceptionally good driver
there are definitely times
when I don’t drive as well as I could
and so maybe I come across
as the douchebag
(hahaha— even as I type that
I want to say
BUT BELIEVE ME
THE GUY IN THE AUDI?
WAAAAAAY BIGER DB THAN I EVER WAS)
So yeah
I am the off leash human
I am the shit driver
I am Norman Lear
We all are
versions of each other
Friday night
as I was winding down
I got an email from my friend
HANK STUEVER
who is an amazing writer
I have oft quoted
a story he wrote
about Bud Welch
the father of
an Oklahoma City Bombing victim
Bud not only 
FORGAVE 
Timothy McVeigh
and protested his execution
Bud also 
befriended Timothy McVeigh’s father
That story moves me so much
Well Hank sent news of
another story 
This one out of Iran
A guy killed another guy with a knife
The killer was about to be hung
I mean his
HEAD WAS IN THE NOOSE
when the mother of the victim
came forward
and forgave him
and so the noose was removed
and the guy gets to live
and in the series 
there is this picture
of the mother of the murderer
embracing the mother of the victim
and that picture?
More than a thousand word
like ninety bazillion thousand words
there they are
these two mothers
WEEPING
and
INCONSOLABLE
and yet 
TRYING TO CONSOLE
because they both
lost sons
they are 
JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF EACH OTHER
Today I 
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I just hope I can
always remember
I am he as you are he
as you are me
and we are all together
That’s right people
I AM THE WALRUS
YOU ARE THE WALRUS
WE ARE THE WALRUS
Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Nine

Upper East Side, ATX

Friday afternoon I was

driving home from Wheatsville

when a total

DOUCHEBAG

in a brand new Audi

zipped ahead of me

and cut in front of me

so he could tailgate the guy

who had been in front of me

and then we all

sat at the same

fucking red light

two minutes later

then it turned green and

NO SURPRISE

he continued driving like

a total cocksucker

he was the third guy

in maybe an hour or so

who was purposefully aggressive

with me on residential roads

Of course these assholes

weren’t just assholes

toward me

it was clearly just their

"STYLE"

Even though my

MEDITATION

has helped me tremendously

to turn the volume down

on my 

ROAD RAGE

actually to mostly hit 

MUTE

when the first guy 

rolled through a stop

I panicked

honked 

and screamed something 

along the lines of

FUUUUUUUUUCK

YOUUUUUUUUUU

this caught me off guard

because it was very

OLD ME

I felt immediately 

kind of embarrassed

I don’t want to be that person

that screams in traffic

I was that person

FOR SO LONG

so later when 

the other two

motherfuckers cut me off

I didn’t scream 

but I was aware of my 

JUDGEMENT 

toward (against) them

and a feeling of

kind of like

well kind of like

I wanted to 

PUNCH THEIR CHICLETS OUT

but really

I don’t actually want to 

punch anyone

so then

WHAT THE HELL IS IT

why do I get

SO FUCKING CHAPPED

that’s the puzzle I started working on

YES A-FUCKING-GAIN

And then

when I got home from

my unintentionally harrowing

drive from Wheatsville

a hint appeared

I noticed my bumper sticker

JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU

That’s been on there so long

I totally forgot about it

I was grateful I noticed it

I had that bumper sticker made

That’s a line from Norman Lear

who wrote a bunch of sitcoms like

ALL IN THE FAMILY 

and

THE JEFFERSONS

Norman Lear was a total

GROUNDBREAKER

he put shit on the table

that had mostly been hidden up

the ass of 

the elephant in the room

for fucking ever

he said stuff like

HERE PEOPLE

HERE’S YOUR GODDAMN RACISM

LOOK AT IT IN THE FACE

I love Norman Lear

so when he was asked what

bumper sticker would he

if he could

put on everyone’s car

he said it would say

JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU

You can 

listen to the interview here

He goes on to explain the meaning of the sticker

he says

And that’s what I think we all are—

versions of each other 

because we have to come to the understanding

that we are one

Ah, more accidental Buddhism

I love it

So I looked at my bumper sticker

and I thought about it

Earlier in the day

I’d confronted a human with 

an off-leash dog

I was fake nice about it

but no one confused my fakeness

for the truth of the matter

which is that I get

SO FUCKING PISSED OFF

when off-leash dogs charge me

but once I saw the bumper sticker

I had a little epiphany

I suddenly remembered how

back when Satch was alive

there was a brief window

after he was trained 

that I would take him off-leash to the park

and once he totally tried to 

rip this guy to shreds

IT WAS SO SCARY

so I think that some of my

aggravation at off leash dogs I see now

might be some of that old fear coming up

Satch could’ve really hurt that guy

and he did go on to

BITE OTHERS

he was a mess of a dog

and as for the 

DOUCHEBAG IN THE AUDI

well even though I am

an exceptionally good driver

there are definitely times

when I don’t drive as well as I could

and so maybe I come across

as the douchebag

(hahaha— even as I type that

I want to say

BUT BELIEVE ME

THE GUY IN THE AUDI?

WAAAAAAY BIGER DB THAN I EVER WAS)

So yeah

I am the off leash human

I am the shit driver

I am Norman Lear

We all are

versions of each other

Friday night

as I was winding down

I got an email from my friend

HANK STUEVER

who is an amazing writer

I have oft quoted

a story he wrote

about Bud Welch

the father of

an Oklahoma City Bombing victim

Bud not only 

FORGAVE 

Timothy McVeigh

and protested his execution

Bud also 

befriended Timothy McVeigh’s father

That story moves me so much

Well Hank sent news of

another story 

This one out of Iran

A guy killed another guy with a knife

The killer was about to be hung

I mean his

HEAD WAS IN THE NOOSE

when the mother of the victim

came forward

and forgave him

and so the noose was removed

and the guy gets to live

and in the series 

there is this picture

of the mother of the murderer

embracing the mother of the victim

and that picture?

More than a thousand word

like ninety bazillion thousand words

there they are

these two mothers

WEEPING

and

INCONSOLABLE

and yet 

TRYING TO CONSOLE

because they both

lost sons

they are 

JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF EACH OTHER

Today I 

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I just hope I can

always remember

I am he as you are he

as you are me

and we are all together

That’s right people

I AM THE WALRUS

YOU ARE THE WALRUS

WE ARE THE WALRUS

Thank you

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Eight
Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin Catholic Church
High Hill, Hill Country, TX
For an awful lot of people
today is
GOOD FRIDAY
When it comes to 
CATHOLICISM 
and
ME
it’s very much a
You Can Run But You Can’t Hide
situation
Out of respect for my friends
who still belong to
and still love
The Church
and also because I have
calmed down quite a bit
thanks to all the
MEDITATION
I am going to keep my 
CHURCH BASHING
to a minimum here
I will say that some of the
SUFFERING
that plagued me for decades
is
I am convinced
proof that if you tell a little child
YOU ARE GOING TO HELL
every day 
for eighteen years
there will be some
SERIOUS FALLOUT
and when you say
GOD IS PUNISHING YOU
every time the child
experiences something
NEGATIVE
well let’s just say
also proof that
we can really fuck up children
Funny thing is
until I ran away from the church
at the age of nineteen
I hurled myself into
HER ARMS
on a regular basis
I so wanted some
BOLT OF LIGHTNING
I wanted my
HEART TO COMBUST
I wanted
JESUS TO SPEAK TO ME DIRECTLY
I was the youngest lector 
at our church
I prayed
HARD
I went to a couple of
GOOD FRIDAY SERVICES
which do not fall under the
HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION
umbrella requiring church attendance
and I sat my ass down
for three solid hours
and thought all about
JESUS ON THE CROSS
One year when I did this
I was around eleven years old
and a man came in and
he sat beside me
it was
MY FATHER
I don’t mean that symbolically
like as in the specter of
a white bearded god dude
settled in beside me
I mean the man to whom
I WAS BORN
the one who
yelled at me all the time
I think that 
besides at his viewing
this was the only time
in my entire life
I was in a room with my father
that he wasn’t 
GLARING OR YELLING
I know now we both wanted for
GOD TO LOVE US
and maybe even 
LOVE US BETTER THAN ALL THE OTHERS
I think that probably
I wanted my dad
to love me more than my other eight siblings
or at least just
LOVE ME
but that was not in his repertoire
People who’ve not had
similar childhood experiences
sometimes try to correct me
and they’ll say
OH HE LOVED YOU
these days
thanks to 
MEDITATION
I can think or say a response
that is not
SHUT THE FUCK UP
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK
YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT
so score one for me and
MEDITATION
I have other issues with 
The Church
beyond all the associations
with my father
who used religion
as a weapon
There’s the sexism
There’s my cousin the priest
who groped me
when I was a teenager
and then he 
LAUGHED 
like it was all a game
The thing is
you might think with
all these experiences
GOOD FRIDAY
would be totally
FRAUGHT 
for me
and I do admit that
as I type this
I can feel my blood pressure
going up a little
but as soon as I’m done
I’m going to 
go for a walk
and I am going to
appreciate all the wildflowers
and then I am going to
MEDITATE
and actually I am going to have a
GREAT FRIDAY
because whatever
residual discomfort
I have from my bad religious experiences
they are now greatly tempered by
TIME
and
BREATHING
and
also this:
For all the super bad shit
that went down in my mind
courtesy of religion
it wasn’t 
ALL BAD
I received a very strong
and very repeated message
about the importance of
SERVING OTHERS
I was able to separate out the
WHEAT
of that notion
from the
CHAFF
of the bullshit
and I really do believe
nothing beats
SERVING OTHERS
(although I hasten to add
I’m also huge fan of
SELF-CARE)
and so
Today I
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I am grateful
to my 
MEDITATION PRACTICE
for helping me to
calm down about all the
religious stuff
that used to make steam
shoot out of every orifice 
whenever I thought about it
and I wish my
Christian friends a 
HAPPY EASTER
and I say
Thank You Jesus
for setting a cool example
of how to be nice to
EVERYBODY

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Eight

Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin Catholic Church

High Hill, Hill Country, TX

For an awful lot of people

today is

GOOD FRIDAY

When it comes to 

CATHOLICISM 

and

ME

it’s very much a

You Can Run But You Can’t Hide

situation

Out of respect for my friends

who still belong to

and still love

The Church

and also because I have

calmed down quite a bit

thanks to all the

MEDITATION

I am going to keep my 

CHURCH BASHING

to a minimum here

I will say that some of the

SUFFERING

that plagued me for decades

is

I am convinced

proof that if you tell a little child

YOU ARE GOING TO HELL

every day 

for eighteen years

there will be some

SERIOUS FALLOUT

and when you say

GOD IS PUNISHING YOU

every time the child

experiences something

NEGATIVE

well let’s just say

also proof that

we can really fuck up children

Funny thing is

until I ran away from the church

at the age of nineteen

I hurled myself into

HER ARMS

on a regular basis

I so wanted some

BOLT OF LIGHTNING

I wanted my

HEART TO COMBUST

I wanted

JESUS TO SPEAK TO ME DIRECTLY

I was the youngest lector 

at our church

I prayed

HARD

I went to a couple of

GOOD FRIDAY SERVICES

which do not fall under the

HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION

umbrella requiring church attendance

and I sat my ass down

for three solid hours

and thought all about

JESUS ON THE CROSS

One year when I did this

I was around eleven years old

and a man came in and

he sat beside me

it was

MY FATHER

I don’t mean that symbolically

like as in the specter of

a white bearded god dude

settled in beside me

I mean the man to whom

I WAS BORN

the one who

yelled at me all the time

I think that 

besides at his viewing

this was the only time

in my entire life

I was in a room with my father

that he wasn’t 

GLARING OR YELLING

I know now we both wanted for

GOD TO LOVE US

and maybe even 

LOVE US BETTER THAN ALL THE OTHERS

I think that probably

I wanted my dad

to love me more than my other eight siblings

or at least just

LOVE ME

but that was not in his repertoire

People who’ve not had

similar childhood experiences

sometimes try to correct me

and they’ll say

OH HE LOVED YOU

these days

thanks to 

MEDITATION

I can think or say a response

that is not

SHUT THE FUCK UP

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK

YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT

so score one for me and

MEDITATION

I have other issues with 

The Church

beyond all the associations

with my father

who used religion

as a weapon

There’s the sexism

There’s my cousin the priest

who groped me

when I was a teenager

and then he 

LAUGHED 

like it was all a game

The thing is

you might think with

all these experiences

GOOD FRIDAY

would be totally

FRAUGHT 

for me

and I do admit that

as I type this

I can feel my blood pressure

going up a little

but as soon as I’m done

I’m going to 

go for a walk

and I am going to

appreciate all the wildflowers

and then I am going to

MEDITATE

and actually I am going to have a

GREAT FRIDAY

because whatever

residual discomfort

I have from my bad religious experiences

they are now greatly tempered by

TIME

and

BREATHING

and

also this:

For all the super bad shit

that went down in my mind

courtesy of religion

it wasn’t 

ALL BAD

I received a very strong

and very repeated message

about the importance of

SERVING OTHERS

I was able to separate out the

WHEAT

of that notion

from the

CHAFF

of the bullshit

and I really do believe

nothing beats

SERVING OTHERS

(although I hasten to add

I’m also huge fan of

SELF-CARE)

and so

Today I

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I am grateful

to my 

MEDITATION PRACTICE

for helping me to

calm down about all the

religious stuff

that used to make steam

shoot out of every orifice 

whenever I thought about it

and I wish my

Christian friends a 

HAPPY EASTER

and I say

Thank You Jesus

for setting a cool example

of how to be nice to

EVERYBODY

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Seven
St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption
Flatonia, TX
By applause
how many of you
remember these
DANGEROUS AS SHIT
merry-go-rounds
and by further applause
how many of you remember
trying to keep up as you
ran to get it going 
but then you fell down and
tore up your face
or maybe you made it on
but then you
FELL OFF ANYWAY
and 
cracked your head open
Playgrounds used to be
DANGEROUS
Now they are covered in that stuff
I call 
FAUX DINOSAUR SKIN
everything is soft and curved
plastic and spongy
like a 
STRIPPER’S BOSOM
not a
PROPER PLAYGROUND
When I first moved to Austin
I took Henry
who was barely one
to the top of a 
DEADLY SLIDE
at Zilker Park
I still want to throw up
thinking of that sharp rusty
way-too-tall
ANXIETY GENERATOR
and back then
the children’s museum
was in some little building
and they had an exhibit
that was about the human body
and he
SMACKED HIS HEAD
on the 
CRAWL THROUGH COLON
which was just a metal tube
how do you explain that
Oh my son’s massive goose egg
on his forehead?
Crawl through colon, that’s all
As I recall
(and I confess my memory
grows shoddier by the hour)
There was a report a year or so ago
about how playgrounds are just
TOO SAFE
these days
that kids need to 
GET HURT 
at least a little
pick themselves up
keep going 
as an aside
let me say the folks who
created that study 
have never been to
THE CITY MUSEUM
in St. Louis
which is just a
joyfully insane collection of
twisted rebar painted brightly
and welcome to all comers
who want to potentially break
every bone in their bodies
IT’S SO FUN
anyway so safety
okay
Our Mind
is 
The Playground
and
Our Thoughts
are the
Equipment
you can slide down a hole
you can spin around and around
stuck on one thought
you can sit in the middle
of your thoughts
and bawl your eyes out
and beg for your bottle
(of whiskey)
Or you can let
MEDITATION
make your mental playground
SAFER
not overly safe
NOT BORING
just you know
less dangerous
In one of her lectures
Pema Chödrön
offers a parable
(or whatever it is)
about a dude who
wants to walk all the way
AROUND THE WORLD
so to keep his feet from
blistering up and
FALLING OFF
he decides he needs to
cover the entire earth in
LEATHER
but actually
he could be a lot quicker
and more efficient
and save money
if he just
PUTS ON SOME SHOES
I’ve been the one 
who tries to cover the earth
or way way way 
WAY MORE OFTEN
who has tried to 
walk barefoot across 
broken glass
burning coals
and
endless landmines
MEDITATION
has shown me
a way more comfortable way
to get around
and to
STAY SAFE
in a way that’s not
overly protected 
to the point of ignorance
or lack of important experience
but more in a way that
when I do fall 
I can handle it
Today I
Breathe In
and I
Breathe Out
and I am so thankful
that that 
sharp metal 
CRAWL THROUGH COLON
is a thing of the past
NOTE FROM SPIKE
Want to support this blog?
You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here
Thanks

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Seven

St. Mary’s Church of the Assumption

Flatonia, TX

By applause

how many of you

remember these

DANGEROUS AS SHIT

merry-go-rounds

and by further applause

how many of you remember

trying to keep up as you

ran to get it going 

but then you fell down and

tore up your face

or maybe you made it on

but then you

FELL OFF ANYWAY

and 

cracked your head open

Playgrounds used to be

DANGEROUS

Now they are covered in that stuff

I call 

FAUX DINOSAUR SKIN

everything is soft and curved

plastic and spongy

like a 

STRIPPER’S BOSOM

not a

PROPER PLAYGROUND

When I first moved to Austin

I took Henry

who was barely one

to the top of a 

DEADLY SLIDE

at Zilker Park

I still want to throw up

thinking of that sharp rusty

way-too-tall

ANXIETY GENERATOR

and back then

the children’s museum

was in some little building

and they had an exhibit

that was about the human body

and he

SMACKED HIS HEAD

on the 

CRAWL THROUGH COLON

which was just a metal tube

how do you explain that

Oh my son’s massive goose egg

on his forehead?

Crawl through colon, that’s all

As I recall

(and I confess my memory

grows shoddier by the hour)

There was a report a year or so ago

about how playgrounds are just

TOO SAFE

these days

that kids need to 

GET HURT 

at least a little

pick themselves up

keep going 

as an aside

let me say the folks who

created that study 

have never been to

THE CITY MUSEUM

in St. Louis

which is just a

joyfully insane collection of

twisted rebar painted brightly

and welcome to all comers

who want to potentially break

every bone in their bodies

IT’S SO FUN

anyway so safety

okay

Our Mind

is 

The Playground

and

Our Thoughts

are the

Equipment

you can slide down a hole

you can spin around and around

stuck on one thought

you can sit in the middle

of your thoughts

and bawl your eyes out

and beg for your bottle

(of whiskey)

Or you can let

MEDITATION

make your mental playground

SAFER

not overly safe

NOT BORING

just you know

less dangerous

In one of her lectures

Pema Chödrön

offers a parable

(or whatever it is)

about a dude who

wants to walk all the way

AROUND THE WORLD

so to keep his feet from

blistering up and

FALLING OFF

he decides he needs to

cover the entire earth in

LEATHER

but actually

he could be a lot quicker

and more efficient

and save money

if he just

PUTS ON SOME SHOES

I’ve been the one 

who tries to cover the earth

or way way way 

WAY MORE OFTEN

who has tried to 

walk barefoot across 

broken glass

burning coals

and

endless landmines

MEDITATION

has shown me

a way more comfortable way

to get around

and to

STAY SAFE

in a way that’s not

overly protected 

to the point of ignorance

or lack of important experience

but more in a way that

when I do fall 

I can handle it

Today I

Breathe In

and I

Breathe Out

and I am so thankful

that that 

sharp metal 

CRAWL THROUGH COLON

is a thing of the past

NOTE FROM SPIKE

Want to support this blog?

You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here

Thanks

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Six
East Cesar Chavez, The Hood, ATX
Pretty much the only times
(okay definitely the only times)
I’ve written about 
GEORGE W. BUSH
it has
DEFINITELY NOT
been in a manner
of
PRAISE AND POSITIVITY
and don’t worry
I haven’t gone so far down
this path of 
PEACE LOVE AND BUDDHA
to suddenly spout out
pro-Bush propaganda here
because let’s face it
dude has the blood of
hundreds of thousands
of innocents 
on his greedy filthy hands
so the story I tell today
it just popped into my head
UNBIDDEN
so let’s file it under
MONKEY MIND
Whenever I see this mural
It reminds me of the Bushism
I AM A PIT BULL ON THE PANT LEG OF OPPORTUNITY
I have no idea how that quote
got stuck in my mind’s hard drive
but it did
You know
that’s not even a 
PIT BULL
in the mural
but he is a dog
and clearly he is a dog of
TENACITY
and I think that’s what I like
about the quote
(I must emphasize how sick I feel
using the word
LIKE
regarding 
ANYTHING
W-related
but there you have it)
So many people say to me
Your name is Spike?
I have/know a dog named Spike!
Well I am aptly named
I am 
TENACIOUS
to understate the matter
I am a 
PIT BULL
on the
PANT LEG
of anything that
captures my attention
DO NOT GET ON MY SHIT LIST
because even though I keep saying
THE SHIT LIST 
has been dispensed with
you never know when
it might resurrect itself
This 
TENACITY
runs both directions
and the same energy I have
applied to 
GRUDGES
gets applied to
LOYALTY
If you are my friend
your ass is totally covered
trust me
I GOT YOUR BACK
When I went to fact check
that Bush quote—
because unlike politicians 
who, say, declare there are
WMDs without proof,
I like to check the facts—
anyway when I went to check it
a SNOPES link came right up
and confirmed my memory was right
and reminded me of a poem called
MAKE THE PIE HIGHER!
that is so hilarious
and is made up of
STUPID BUSH QUOTES
The opening line
dovetails nicely with
how I am trying to live my life
these days
so yes
GASP
I am going to
for the second time here today
throw a Bush quote at you
(don’t worry 
after this
I will resume my
non-Buddhist stance
of
HATING THAT MOTHERFUCKER)
so the other quote is this:
I think we all agree, the past is over
Kind of like in
THE LION KING
when Pumbaa says 
You gotta put your behind in the past
See that?
reminders to 
LIVE IN THE MOMENT
are everywhere
When it comes to
MEDITATION
I am like a 
PIT BULL
on the
PANT LEG
of
OPPORTUNITY
I just seize the chance to
SIT ON MY ASS
and
BREATHE
every day
and oh
what a difference
it makes
Today I 
Breathe In
and I 
Breathe Out
and
I do it 
AGAIN
and 
AGAIN
and 
AGAIN
and
AGAIN
NOTE FROM SPIKE
Want to support this blog?
You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here
Thanks
 

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Six

East Cesar Chavez, The Hood, ATX

Pretty much the only times

(okay definitely the only times)

I’ve written about 

GEORGE W. BUSH

it has

DEFINITELY NOT

been in a manner

of

PRAISE AND POSITIVITY

and don’t worry

I haven’t gone so far down

this path of 

PEACE LOVE AND BUDDHA

to suddenly spout out

pro-Bush propaganda here

because let’s face it

dude has the blood of

hundreds of thousands

of innocents 

on his greedy filthy hands

so the story I tell today

it just popped into my head

UNBIDDEN

so let’s file it under

MONKEY MIND

Whenever I see this mural

It reminds me of the Bushism

I AM A PIT BULL ON THE PANT LEG OF OPPORTUNITY

I have no idea how that quote

got stuck in my mind’s hard drive

but it did

You know

that’s not even a 

PIT BULL

in the mural

but he is a dog

and clearly he is a dog of

TENACITY

and I think that’s what I like

about the quote

(I must emphasize how sick I feel

using the word

LIKE

regarding 

ANYTHING

W-related

but there you have it)

So many people say to me

Your name is Spike?

I have/know a dog named Spike!

Well I am aptly named

I am 

TENACIOUS

to understate the matter

I am a 

PIT BULL

on the

PANT LEG

of anything that

captures my attention

DO NOT GET ON MY SHIT LIST

because even though I keep saying

THE SHIT LIST 

has been dispensed with

you never know when

it might resurrect itself

This 

TENACITY

runs both directions

and the same energy I have

applied to 

GRUDGES

gets applied to

LOYALTY

If you are my friend

your ass is totally covered

trust me

I GOT YOUR BACK

When I went to fact check

that Bush quote—

because unlike politicians 

who, say, declare there are

WMDs without proof,

I like to check the facts—

anyway when I went to check it

a SNOPES link came right up

and confirmed my memory was right

and reminded me of a poem called

MAKE THE PIE HIGHER!

that is so hilarious

and is made up of

STUPID BUSH QUOTES

The opening line

dovetails nicely with

how I am trying to live my life

these days

so yes

GASP

I am going to

for the second time here today

throw a Bush quote at you

(don’t worry 

after this

I will resume my

non-Buddhist stance

of

HATING THAT MOTHERFUCKER)

so the other quote is this:

I think we all agree, the past is over

Kind of like in

THE LION KING

when Pumbaa says 

You gotta put your behind in the past

See that?

reminders to 

LIVE IN THE MOMENT

are everywhere

When it comes to

MEDITATION

I am like a 

PIT BULL

on the

PANT LEG

of

OPPORTUNITY

I just seize the chance to

SIT ON MY ASS

and

BREATHE

every day

and oh

what a difference

it makes

Today I 

Breathe In

and I 

Breathe Out

and

I do it 

AGAIN

and 

AGAIN

and 

AGAIN

and

AGAIN

NOTE FROM SPIKE

Want to support this blog?

You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here

Thanks

 

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Five
East Fifth Street, The Hood, ATX
Here’s a fun fact
The last time I got married
my wedding cake was 
designed to look like a
DUMPSTER
seriously
My friend Sara Hickman made it
and it was to honor the fact
that the dude I married
was a dumpster diver
the dumpster cake was full of
TOY TRASH
you know even though
that marriage
and the horrific fallout
totally sucked
DONKEY COCK
I must admit that 
the party
the many live bands
and 
THAT CAKE
were really awesome
Dumpsters remind me
of my ex-husband
and my ex-husband reminds me
of my
FATHER
not only did they share
A BIRTHDAY
(lord I am so blind to
RED FLAGS
when I want to be)
but they both also totally
loved to 
salvage shit from the trash
this can be
ADMIRABLE
to a point
because a lot of good stuff
gets discarded every day
and my own house is
furnished with a lot of 
CAST OFFS
either retrieved curbside
or gifted to me by friends in
GET RID OF IT MODE
but you can only fit so much
in one house
and both
my father
and
my ex-husband
were
HOARDERS
My response to growing up
with a hoarder
and then marrying one
is that I am a
PURGER
at least of material objects
but oh my
when it comes to
THE DUMPSTER OF MY MIND
I have to admit that
I crammed in way more
than there was room for
for more than four decades
I mean I just 
HELD ONTO
a ton of 
GARBAGE
I had so much 
ATTACHMENT 
to all the abuse and pain
and
SUFFERING
It wasn’t even like I was
doing it on purpose
I just didn’t know how to
EMPTY THE DUMPSTER
and then along came
MEDITATION
which is a
GAS MASK FOR YOUR MIND
it helps you to 
BREATHE SAFELY
as you sort through
all the shit
and
determine what you should
SALVAGE
and what you should 
SEND AWAY FOREVER
to that landfill called
THE BLACK HOLE
technically 
if you want to look at all this
through the lens of
BUDDHISM
we shouldn’t really assign value 
such as
GOOD
or
BAD
to our memories
but let’s face it
I’d much rather recall
LAUGHING MY ASS OFF
with friends
than some of the 
BULLSHIT
I had to endure
and/or
some of the 
SELF-IMPOSED BULLSHIT
I created for myself
The truth is
(I do believe)
That of course it is the
SUM OF OUR EXPERIENCES
that gets us where we need to be
I can’t just have a
DUMPSTER FULL OF ROSES
the shit
has helped me
to appreciate
the non-shit
and also hopefully
to help others
HOLD THEIR SHIT
until they can find a good place
to put it down
and figure out how to
EMPTY THE DUMPSTER
so we can all
BREATHE EASIER
Today I
Breathe In
and I 
Breathe Out
and I’m grateful
for lessons learned
in 
SHIT SORTING
Thank you
NOTE FROM SPIKE
Want to support this blog?
You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here
Thanks

Day Three Hundred and Thirty Five

East Fifth Street, The Hood, ATX

Here’s a fun fact

The last time I got married

my wedding cake was 

designed to look like a

DUMPSTER

seriously

My friend Sara Hickman made it

and it was to honor the fact

that the dude I married

was a dumpster diver

the dumpster cake was full of

TOY TRASH

you know even though

that marriage

and the horrific fallout

totally sucked

DONKEY COCK

I must admit that 

the party

the many live bands

and 

THAT CAKE

were really awesome

Dumpsters remind me

of my ex-husband

and my ex-husband reminds me

of my

FATHER

not only did they share

A BIRTHDAY

(lord I am so blind to

RED FLAGS

when I want to be)

but they both also totally

loved to 

salvage shit from the trash

this can be

ADMIRABLE

to a point

because a lot of good stuff

gets discarded every day

and my own house is

furnished with a lot of 

CAST OFFS

either retrieved curbside

or gifted to me by friends in

GET RID OF IT MODE

but you can only fit so much

in one house

and both

my father

and

my ex-husband

were

HOARDERS

My response to growing up

with a hoarder

and then marrying one

is that I am a

PURGER

at least of material objects

but oh my

when it comes to

THE DUMPSTER OF MY MIND

I have to admit that

I crammed in way more

than there was room for

for more than four decades

I mean I just 

HELD ONTO

a ton of 

GARBAGE

I had so much 

ATTACHMENT 

to all the abuse and pain

and

SUFFERING

It wasn’t even like I was

doing it on purpose

I just didn’t know how to

EMPTY THE DUMPSTER

and then along came

MEDITATION

which is a

GAS MASK FOR YOUR MIND

it helps you to 

BREATHE SAFELY

as you sort through

all the shit

and

determine what you should

SALVAGE

and what you should 

SEND AWAY FOREVER

to that landfill called

THE BLACK HOLE

technically 

if you want to look at all this

through the lens of

BUDDHISM

we shouldn’t really assign value 

such as

GOOD

or

BAD

to our memories

but let’s face it

I’d much rather recall

LAUGHING MY ASS OFF

with friends

than some of the 

BULLSHIT

I had to endure

and/or

some of the 

SELF-IMPOSED BULLSHIT

I created for myself

The truth is

(I do believe)

That of course it is the

SUM OF OUR EXPERIENCES

that gets us where we need to be

I can’t just have a

DUMPSTER FULL OF ROSES

the shit

has helped me

to appreciate

the non-shit

and also hopefully

to help others

HOLD THEIR SHIT

until they can find a good place

to put it down

and figure out how to

EMPTY THE DUMPSTER

so we can all

BREATHE EASIER

Today I

Breathe In

and I 

Breathe Out

and I’m grateful

for lessons learned

in 

SHIT SORTING

Thank you

NOTE FROM SPIKE

Want to support this blog?

You can order an awesome Meditation Kicks Ass T-Shirt here

Thanks