How the Stupid Universe Got Its Name

You CAN control your destiny! Or so I’ve been told. It’s easy — all you do is visualize what you want, then that thing you want is “attracted” (by law, apparently) or “manifested” into your life, courtesy of The Universe.

But then why doesn’t The Universe replace my 16-year-old car? Doesn’t it know that the door handle broke off on the driver’s side, inside, so when I want to get out I have to roll down the window and reach out and open the door from the outside like a hillbilly? Every day on the way to work I VISUALIZE myself driving a new car, one that has wifi, and inner door handles. So where’s my new car?

When I pose this question to adherents of the “I Can Control The Universe” school of thought they say it’s because I haven’t VISUALIZED the new car in enough detail. Or that I haven’t framed my request correctly, like The Universe is a primitive punch-card computer that spits out precise data only if it’s programmed precisely.

And so now I ask you: Just how stupid is this Universe anyway? It creates hummingbirds and whales but it can’t pick up on my request / desire / need for a new car? It doesn’t notice that I still have to ROLL DOWN my windows manually, by the way? Not to mention: why bad things happen to good people, let’s blame the victim because they secretly wanted misfortune to befall themselves, etc.

Just how stupid can one Universe get?


Alien Seduction

Alien Seduction

The Ex e’d me perfunctory birthday wishes this morning, and once again I debated with myself whether we could ‘talk,’ whether we could ‘be friends,’ whether we could at least ‘get closure.’ It’s been years now since the breakup and am still not sure what our relationship had been all about. I feel like we were victims of alien abduction, experiencers of ‘missing time.’  What happened to us during those 7 years we were together? Neither of us has any idea. Either we were shown the wonders of the universe, or we both got anal probes (lol, lol).

East is West, West is no other than East

East is West, West is no other than East

Here’s the latest link in my chain of cranky blog posts: I am sick  to death of going to yoga / meditation / dharma / Buddhist gatherings and having the leader tell us how materialistic THE WEST is. I’ve heard that Westerners / Americans are also neurotic, insecure, and hate their mothers. That Tibetans have no word for “self-doubt.”

By default, everyone in THE EAST is spiritual.

I have personally met people from all over the world, mainly in my own crowded house (I’m the one who lives with a gaggle of international grad students). I can tell you a story or two about young women studying in the US and their very difficult relationships with Indian-born mothers. Young men from the new class of Chinese millionaires.


We chant the Heart Sutra in my Buddhist study group, we say “form is emptiness, emptiness is form. Form is no other than emptiness.” We strive to “go beyond duality,” the illusion that the world is anything other than “one.”

But we still trot out that old …

And now my best friend breaks up with me

(Not practicing gratitude)

Those of you who have known me for a while are I’m sure sick of hearing my never-ending tale(s) of woe. Divorce, deaths, fire / loss of home, multiple lay-offs, medical crap, cancer, chemo — all in the last 5 action-packed years.

And here I am today! NOT counting my blessings like a glurgey internet meme, not “practicing gratitude” for my crappy minimum wage job, 16-year-old car, and house shared with a horde of graduate students. I just feel too depleted.

Then on Friday my best friend of almost 20 years said she’d had it with me snapping at her, she “needs a break” and wished me the best for 2016.

Having said that, I think our friendship has a deep bond underneath how different our lives and personalities are. I expect that bond to remain intact even if we do take a break for a while, and to flourish again at a time when I’m more steady on my feet.

Hoping my relationship to daily life has a similar revitalization at some future point in time.


All is reruns: The boring last few days of the year

All is reruns: The boring last few days of the year

This is the time of the year with no new TV show episodes or podcasts, so am bored to death. My usual activities suspended for the holidays, my pals with kids/partners like normal people have are all busy with kid/partner-related stuff.

People rarely admit to watching TV. It’s funny how coworkers will say they watch Netflix or HBO to avoid using the T-word and seeming common. I also freely admit that reading Facebook posts usually cheers me up, even when others have ‘the best husband in the world,’ a miraculous pet, a newly-remodeled room, yet another vacation in paradise.

But at the end of December even my Facebook feed is boring. Can’t believe how many of my friends are broken up by the death of Lemmy from Motorhead.

And I’m resisting writing snarky rebuttals to this sort of thing: Aren’t you glad you grew up in the pre-tech days? with a b/w photo of four kids on bikes, actually looking like three of them are about to beat up the fourth. No, I’m not. I was born in 1956 and actually WISH I grew up when there was an internet to stimulate my mind, answer all the questions I had, and strangers to befriend b/c I was kind of the oddball in class. I could have found a community of like-minded nerds online, you know?

So: looking forward to the return on How To Get Away with Murder, Tom Mison Sleepy Hollow, of course The Walking Dead, Black-ish, Downton Abbey, SVU, Bones …

From before the fire, from before the ravages of time

Just put new wiper fluid into my car, threw out the old bottle from the trunk. Noticed the trunk still has a few duffel bags that I have nowhere else to stash, and those bags contain remnants of my life from before the fire. That wonderful house full of mementos from a decade’s worth of residence, all up in smoke, or damaged by the fire team’s hose. But I need to get a grip. I can’t let the holes in my life widen enough to swallow me up completely.

Also as part of the New Me initiative, I deleted my online dating accounts, which kind of makes me feel like an unemployed person who isn’t even bothering to look for a job. Guess I’m going to wing it, just go bareback for a while. Guess I’m still not over Mr X, who despite our compatibility, was freaked out by our age difference after all. Who stupidly waited too long in the bardo to be born.

But yesterday was a beautiful day. Went to the art museum to “visit” the Ancient Greek artifacts like one visits the grave of a family member. The wine jugs and oil pots and cosmetics trays, I can hear the voices of my ancestors reverberating from out of them, singing off-key, laughing, yelling at each other the way we still do. These objects now primly sitting behind glass with little label cards were once used during parties, or were precious heirlooms tended by matrons warning frisky grandchildren away. They were part of a particular family’s daily life.

It would be like going to Jupiter in 2,500 years and finding a gallery that contains Halloween lawn-ghosts and Spode Christmas platters, maybe the mug you use to leave cocoa for Santa every year until the kids get older, maybe a collection of Maybelline eye shadows, or plastic flowers meant for graves. A 2-cup coffeemaker from a dorm room, an empty bottle of wiper fluid. Hey hello there, to any future descendant (or me) who visits.

Oh Art Bell :(

Oh Art Bell

Oh Art Bell, you did it to us again. Though knowing your history, I assumed it wouldn’t be long before you disappeared, maybe hiding in the desert or hopping aboard the mothership for a trip back home to the stars.

It’s just that downloading your Friday night show to listen to on Saturday morning while chopping vegetables for a few days’ worth of meals was to me an unparalleled delight. It was actually the highlight of my week. My foreign-born housemates would come in and hear this crazy radio guy with the sly but soothing voice talking to time travelers and demon lovers and your everyday reincarnated entities who wanted to say Hi to Art.

“It’s a radio show,” I’d say. “See these … people … call in to the show…”

Xie once asked if it were a religious show, lol.

To most of us fans the “stalker threatening my family” story sounds fake. Plus I’d hate to think radio legend Art Bell was so easily bullied off the air. Let’s just say he was haunted, literally, by demons of his own creation.

So from the Kingdom of Nye to time zones across the globe and beyond, good night.

Update: He might be coming back! Not getting into fanboy melodramas over the whys and wherefores, will just be glad if he’s back.