Counter Culture Hero

I didn’t think I had any heroes. Then I found out today that George Carlin died. His comedy and commentary were a large influence on me. I consider him a sort of counter-culture hero. His critique and analysis of the culture’s use of language in particular was always thought-provoking and honest. He was a true “smart” comedian. He took whatever was popular and dissected it for its true motives and history. I didn’t always agree with his conclusions, or enjoy his foul-mouthed delivery, but he is a hero to me for wanting to find the truth and speaking it boldly.

I was lucky to see him in concert a couple of years ago in Bakersfield, CA. He was looking pretty frail then at 70, though gruff and witty as ever, and it was awesome seeing him in person. It was like when I drove to Modesto and got to see Suzy Powell compete in the discus throw. She, like George Carlin, was someone I had admired and whose actions I had imitated. It was emotional to see them both in person.

Thanks, George, for being a light in the world. You are a legend and your voice will be missed.

Dark Night

Dark Night 00004, originally uploaded by Chrissy Mc.

My back yard at 1:30 a.m. as viewed from my bedroom window with my camera shutter half-closed!

Funny Bumperstickers

Living in San Francisco, there are probably more bumperstickers per capita than anywhere in the country! I saw a funny one today:

Drive carefully: 90% of people are caused by accidents

7/4/08: Here’s another one I saw in Missoula Montana:

I’m not undressing you with my eyes, I’m adding a sweater.


It was a flamboyant party
In a beautiful mansion
With Gold, Purple, and dark Velvet Red
We all knew each other distantly
Some intimately and secretly
They were all men
They kept singing the same electronic
Song that they loved
I was tired of it
They handed me the mic
That distorts your voice
And I could only sing
No We Can’t
They took the mic away
And went on with the party
I closed my eyes
And swam to the ocean’s surface
And listened to a story about a beautiful house
With a green lawn and a white door
And the dock I was floating at
Had a white gate
And a lush green lawn
So I pushed up onto it
Like a mermaid coming ashore
And wandered into an open room next door
I marveled at the exotic red and brown treasures
on display all over the walls
And the chinaman laughed
Because everyone thinks they are treasures
But the goods are all local
I went back into the now quiet dance house’s kitchen
And the owner returned an old gift to me
It was a simple painting with a bendy silver frame
that wouldn’t stay square anymore.
It was cheap and he didn’t want it
He told me to choose one of his beautiful paintings for myself
I looked around the room
I liked the one with the roadrunner
My friend did too
But he had cut them all into puzzles
When I was away
And I didn’t want one so badly anymore.
I chose the one I didn’t really want
The one with the brown rabbits
Then I felt like it was time to leave.

Sunday Neurosis

I love NPR.
Today a guest author was talking about the term "Sunday Neurosis" that was coined to describe the unsettled way some people feel on Sundays when their weekly routine has come to an end. It is a time I actually look forward to. Sunday is always the day I reevaluate my life and decide on the changes that need to be made.
Sometimes I will rearrange my room to make objects flow in and out more efficiently throughout the week. Some Sundays I will use to organze my email inbox and catch up on items I didn't respond to. It is a day to re-prioritze my life's activities, make a couple goals or changes, and move toward greater happiness.
I think some people are just in the habit of living with their habits & routines and see change as an adversary rather than the medicine, or exercise it can be.
Do you have Sunday Neurosis?

California Consciousness

I about died when my housemate showed me this song he learned when he first met his wife at Harbin Hot Springs here in Northern California. I gotta get out of here before the California Consciousness completely takes over!

Select verses from “California Consciousness” By Barbara Diggs & Rich Love, 1984, From Harbin With More Love Songbook

Here in California, it ain’t all silk and lace.
There’s just too many people here, looking for their space.
I try real hard, but you know that it gets tougher every day.
To sit and talk to people, and get just what they say.

But my consciousness is getting tough and I’m really quite aware
Of the energy that flows through me since I’ve learned how to share.
I’ve learned how to hug and kiss and fill my needs
And how to last in a hot tub, at a “101” degrees.

Well I’ve tried EST and Esalen, TA and ESP.
I bought myself a Mantra, and learned astrology.
I’ve got myself two analysts, I do psychotherapy.
and every morning you can find me doing Yoga and Tai Chi.

My health food friends advised me my routine was doomed to fail.
A body full of poison locks the mind up in a jail.
Carrot juice and exercise, right thoughts to raise my mood.
And a ten week class to learn to grow and cook organic food.

My friends back home they ask me “Does it really work for you?”
My parents tell the neighbors it’s a phase I’m going through.
But California Consciousness will cure me in the end.
So if you’ve got a hot tub, call me up, I’ll be your friend.

Loneliness is Killing Us

I read the news story about the young Japanese man who just recently plowed a vechicle into a crowd and began stabbing everyone that went down. 7 killed; 10 wounded. One criminologist offered that Japan's growing isolationism in its society may have been a factor.

They say friends are therapy for poor people.

But in our fast-growing world of walls, fences, concrete, and mobility away from family roots, I believe this is an international epidemic. I listened as a Pakistani father bemoaned his children's jet-setting generation, that tend to move away to other countries for school and settle down far from home.

It has been a real blessing to me to have roommates (housemates) that are almost like family. I have lived with and without housemates, and I know it can get very lonely and depressing when there is no one else around.

Perhaps overpopulation along with transportation advances is luring people away from close human ties. Perhaps the 'abandoned generation,' children raised in dual-income homes has lead to a sort of perverse comfort with loneliness. And those acting out in Japan are not unlike the child killers we have here.

In your fast-paced life, never forget to keep connections with those you love, and reach out to others. Everyone needs support now and then…and nobody goes through this life alone successfully.