Thursday, July 31, 2014

Meditation on Meditation

Years ago, I read an article in Scientific American about the benefits of transcendental meditation. The main one, as I recall, is that you could get away with less sleep. Twenty minutes of TM would make up for a few hours of lost sleep. Perfect for the young party animal I imagined myself to be.

The other main benefit of TM was that the Beatles were doing it. Of course, I had to try this, with the predictable results I later described in this poem …

I am clearing my mind.
I am breathing in and out.
Just breathing in and out.
I am letting go of thoughts, feelings.
I am letting go of judgements.
Like whether this poem should rhyme.
Shit. Again.
I am clearing my mind.
I am breathing in and out.
Just breathing in and out.
In and out.
No feelings.
I am aware of the air coming through my nose.
Moving through my trachea.
My diaphragm swells.
The air comes into my lungs
And into those things … what are they called?
I am clearing my mind.
I am … shit.
I am clearing my mind.
No thoughts.
Just …

Now I find yet another article, this time on mindfulness meditation, in a Scientific American blog post. This time, the benefits are health, brain elasticity, improved attention and concentration, ability to sit through PBS fund raisers, etc. And, in fact, this one seems so easy I have to try it. Basically, mindfulness meditation just means … duh, paying attention to stuff. Instead of always thinking about things, just stop and notice things instead. That sounds easy enough, right?

So here I am, noticing stuff. My fingertips feel the smooth plastic of the keys. I blink repeatedly to try to focus on this high resolution screen. Then suddenly, it hits me. I can feel my amygdala shrinking, as my pre-frontal cortex expands. Tendrils of consciousness reach out beyond the room … beyond the house. I can sense the neighbors moving about, even the subtle vibrations of their lawn mowers.

Beyond them the cars on the highway … aircraft overhead … all reveal themselves to me. Other beings go about their lives. Travellers bustling from place to place, consumed by anxieties about what they must accomplish. A huge swirling vortex of Whitman-esque humanity, oblivious to the futility of its actions.

And then it’s, like, over. You know? It was kinda cool, but, hey, what the heck? Maybe I can do that again, but it’s almost time for “Jeopardy.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Limerick of the Day #119

In case you’ve been missing the news,
Hamas thinks that they cannot lose.
They could fire their rockets
At their own densest pockets
And still blame it all on the Jews.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Billions of years ago, the universe was formed when an infinitesimally small particle exploded in what has become known as The Big Bang. This popular theory completely evades the question of where this infinitesimally small particle came from.

After The Big Bang, the universe just kept expanding, forming all kinds of crap: stars, galaxies, nebula and all that stuff that Neil deGrasse Tyson doesn’t describe nearly as entertainingly as Carl Sagan did.

Many of these stars were surrounded by swirling clouds of stuff, which eventually (we’re talking billions of years here) hardened into little pellets called planets. And at least one of these planets had enough hydrogen and oxygen and carbon to form organisms like algae and plankton and the Tea Party.

More billions of years went by, and these primitive life forms gradually evolved into beings complex enough to log into Facebook. These beings had developed the technology to send typos and grammatical errors around the world at lightening speed, but they chose to spend their time arguing about whether to let a handful of beings own all the money in the world or just most of it, or whether to let children stand on one side or another of an imaginary line.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Robot Wars

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Excuses! Excuses!

I know my posting has been somewhat erratic lately. I don't mean to whine, but I've been kind of preoccupied. Since the beginning of last year, I've lost both my parents, my father-in-law and my prostate.

Unfortunately, the prostate did not go quietly. It seems to have left a little something behind … some prostate-less terror cells running around somewhere.

So the next step is carpet bombing the area with radiation. I'm not sure exactly how this works, but it basically involves a radiation beam aimed at my most intimate portions. I keep picturing that scene from Goldfinger where James Bond is strapped to a gold table while Mr. Goldfinger plans to unseam him from the nave to the chops and beyond!

Along with the radiation goes hormone therapy or, quite literally, temporary emasculation. Since prostate cancer thrives on guy hormones, suppressing those hormones is the best way to slow it down. Warning: Side effects may include hot flashes, softening of muscle definition and frequent bouts of uncontrollable shoe shopping.

Does this blog post make me look fat?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday, July 7, 2014

Friday, July 4, 2014

Yankee Doodling

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,
A Yankee Doodle kind of guy.
You’re free to worship if your deity
And mine can see eye to eye.

I’ve got a Yankee Doodle sweetheart.
She is not the least bit gay.
Yankee Doodle built this land
For straight white males and their mates.
So Happy Independence Day!