Saturday, July 21, 2007

La Reina, La Gran Tirana, La Lupe

Hola Everybody!
It’s an amazing day today – bright sunshine, tolerable temperature, a soft breeze. I have to go get an apartment! LOL!

* * *

"El dia en que te deje, fui yo quien salio ganando."
(The day I left you, it was I who came out winning)
La Lupe, La Tirana

The other day, one of my friends left a comment asking what a bolero was and I wasn’t able to respond because it was one of those hectic work days. However, the question left me thinking about boleros, which led me to think of one of its greatest interpreters, La Lupe.

I first saw La Lupe barely into my 20s and before then, I wasn’t a big fan. I viewed boleros as a musical genre that parents enjoyed and sang to one another. I think it’s a common enough occurrence among Puerto Ricans, but my parents would sometimes have arguments via songs. You know: my father would sing some lyrics of a certain song, and then my moms would reply with lyrics from a song of her own, that type of thing.

Anyway, one of the songs my mother would sing to my father was her favorite bolero, La Gran Tirana, by the inimitable La Lupe. Its opening line was like a rallying cry for women all over El Barrio and sung by La Lupe, they ooze with irony. The opening line goes something like this:

"Segun tu punto de vista
yo soy la mala
vampiressa en tu novela
la gran tirana... "

(According to your point of view
I am the bad one
The vampiress in your soap opera
The great tyrant... )

I still get chills whenever I hear those opening lines. The great Spanish director, Pedro Almodovar, uses the song in one of his films; I believe it’s Women on the Verge.

In the hands of a lesser artist, La Tirana could easily sound melodramatic and trite, but as sung by the La Lupe, it’s a powerful claim to liberation, of doing away with oppression.

I saw La Lupe perform only once, many years ago in NYC’s cavernous Madison Square Garden. There were thousands of screaming fans, the noise level distracting, and the sound acoustics horrible. There were many acts that night in the early 70s, the main one being The Fania All Stars, a group of NYC Latino/a musicians that would storm the international circuit and bring the phenomenon known as salsa to the world. But that night, salsa was ours and ours alone. No one knew what the hell salsa was, and even less of La Lupe.

When La Lupe came on stage, the audience, composed mostly of young Latino/as, went into frenzy, screaming her name and screaming for dedications. To this day, I can’t say I have witnessed a more powerful performance and I have seen many, many performers. I believe it was Frank Sinatra who said that it was dangerous for a performer to give everything, that a performer must, for their own survival, save something for themselves.

Well, La Lupe, bless her soul, gave everything that night. She left nothing, not one thing, for herself. Halfway through her performance she was sitting on the edge of the stage and all of sudden, it didn’t feel like Madison Square Garden anymore, it was as if we were all transported to La Lupe’s intimate world. She sang as if it were the last time she would sing, throwing everything into every song, every note, every syllable. Each movement was imbued with meaning and energy and she laughed and cried. Her ability to create that connection was remarkable. You could feel her life force reaching out to you, taking you in, seducing you. She would claw at her clothes, scratch herself – she gave so much, and I sat there totally transfixed. She called herself an empress and I'd be a damned if she really wasn’t.

Finally, she came to that point in her performance – she sat on the edge of the stage her clothes by now gone – torn apart by her own hands – scratched and bleeding, she sat there in her bra and lingerie, and she managed to look like some reincarnated Taina Queen.

You could hear a pin drop...

And that’s when she sang the opening lines to La Tirana:

Segun tu punto de vista,
yo soy la mala…

And it was too much; she had us – all of us -- eating out her hand. At that very moment, I fell in love with that woman’s soul, because she possessed so much spiritual power and she was so willing, even in the face of annihilation, to share it. You actually feared for her, screamed for her, felt her pain.

Unfortunately, I never got to see her again and due to poor management and bad career choices, she would fall into relative obscurity. La Lupe would eventually die living destitute in the Bronx. When news of her death became known, tens of thousands of the people that loved her grieved. Money was collected for her funeral. An Off-Broadway play was written and in that way her music was revived for a new generation.

She was one of those that flared brightly if too briefly and gave all she could, throwing caution to the wind. To me, she was woman incarnate that night on that stage. I would never forget her.

A bolero is a ballad, Amy, and with that, I give you, ladies and gentlemen, La Lupe. Que Dios te tenga en la luz:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Breaking Up

Hola Everybody,
My ex correctly pointed out once that I get a period. She swore she could set her watch by it, but I think she exaggerated. She claimed that they came every three-four weeks. I do have to admit that I have cycles and that I go through mood changes which are hard, if not impossible, to understand. The best bet is to carefully weather the storm…

I’m in the midst of one of those “cycles” (psycho?) right now. LOL!

I’ll be scarce today -- gone all day facilitating my prison workshop and it’s dinner tonight. I’ve been so caught up in stuff; I haven’t even bothered to invest in a summer fling! What’s a summer without one of those flings that end as soon as the hint of cold weather comes around, leaving one all bent out of shape?!!

* * *

-=[ Why Breaking up is Hard to Do ]=-

(I wrote the following with a friend in mind. I hope this serves some purpose)

I’ve written before about a breakthrough I experienced behind a break-up. It was shortly after my last divorce (LOL!) and somehow I had gotten involved in a romantic situation that left me curled up in fetal position in bed.

It really hurt.

To make matters worse, I added insult to injury by repeatedly calling and managing in the process to put myself in the worst possible light. Clingy, psychotic, emotionally crippled. What was most devastating for me was the feeling that all the hard work I put into getting beyond all this crap -- the meditation, the therapy, the slow process of growth -- was for nothing.

So there I was, alone desperately fighting the urge to call her and telling her to go fuck herself and all I could do was think of her. I mean a part of me was fine with her not being in my life. It wasn’t a long relationship, and we both weren’t on the same page most of the time, and I had the sense she wasn’t the type who would be there for me anyway. I couldn’t possibly be in love with her, I hardly knew her. In fact, I wasn’t even that interested in her until she instigated the whole affair!

Yet despite the ambivalence, I could not get her out of my mind. I could hear her voice, smell her scent, I thought repeatedly of the great times we had, the sex – I couldn’t stop. I was a mess and couldn’t sleep and my longing for her was overwhelming.

I wrote about a life-changing dream I had as a result of this experience, but I never truly wrote about what I did to get over this mess. What happens when you lose someone you desire or love? Why the hurt, the longing, even the obsessing for that other person?

I think one good way of getting to the heart of the questions is to try to understand what happens in the brain when we lose someone we love or desire. When we make an emotional commitment to someone, they come to live in the emotional centers of our brain – what is known as the limbic system. That person actually occupies nerve cell pathways and literally lives in the neurons and synapses of our brain. When we lose someone, either through death, divorce, relocations, or breakups, our brain becomes confused and disoriented. Since the person lives in the neuronal connections, we expect to see , feel , and touch that person. When it happens that we cannot hold or talk to them as we usually do, the brain centers where they live become inflamed looking for them. Overactivity in the limbic structures has been linked with depression and low serotonin levels, which is why we have trouble sleeping, feel obsessed, lose our appetites, desire isolation, and otherwise lose what joy we have in our life.

In addition, a decrease in endorphins (neurochemicals that regulate pleasure and pain) occurs, which may be responsible for the physical pain we feel during a breakup.

Pretty much a nasty mess, huh? That’s why we should really think wisely before jumping into the abyss. I’m not particularly good at that, I jump – fast. Not a good thing! LOL!

But I digress.

In a Dean Koontz novel, a killer renders his victim unconscious and embeds fishhooks into his temple area. Needless to say, the fishhooks were painfully difficult to take out, needing lots of alcohol and painkillers, and of course they left deep scars.

Many of us can feel like that Dean Koontz character when a loved one leaves us, even when we are the ones initiating the breakup. We have deep wounds, like the fishhooks, that leave lasting scars. Many of us also use alcohol or any form of painkillers (such as drugs, sex, excessive work, or food) to self-medicate. I know what I speak of here: I have left relationships and have been left, I know the pain. Being left is definitely harder.

On that occasion after being left, it felt as if I had those fishhooks embedded in my mind and my heart that were pulled whenever I remembered any good thing about my absent lover. Mental pictures, a song, her name (which was common enough!), a scarf with her perfume still in it – all reminded me of her and tugged painfully at the very core of me.

I was a mess and I guess what really saved me from more pain was that I hadn’t been with her that long, otherwise, it probably would’ve taken me a lot longer, even with The Dream that saved me. The following, from my own experience and my work with individuals, are tips on how to survive and thrive through the loss of a love:

  1. H.A.L.T.! Be vigilant about allowing yourself to get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely, or too Tired. What that means is take care to stay healthy. Right after a breakup all we want to do is medicate the pain – we eat or drink too much, stop exercising, wallow, and isolate ourselves. Stop that behavior immediately. Watch what you eat and be more active, not less. Exercise has been found to be as or more effective as the antidepressant Zoloft for depression. Spend time with your friends, and create a supportive network. Make sure you get enough sleep.
  2. One thing we tend to do is idealize people when they’re gone. Even the worst sinner becomes a saint after dying! LOL! Bullshit! No one’s that perfect! Whenever we focus only on a person’s good qualities, the pain increases; when we focus on his or her bad qualities, the pain decreases. Take the time to actually write out the hurts and bad times, and the not-so-good qualities of your ex-lover. Whenever we lose someone we love, there is that tendency to remember only the wonderful things about them. Idealizing a person actually dehumanizes them (making them into fictional gods/ goddesses) and it serves to stunt the grieving process which makes us hurt more. However, be careful to not vilify them, hate is just another (maybe even more powerful) form of attachment. But be honest about their bad qualities.
  3. There are two roads to suffering. One is attachment, when we can’t let go and the other is aversion – running from experiences. Both strategies cause suffering because they stop us from fully experiencing life. Go ahead and cry. Give yourself the time to allow yourself to feel the pain. Crying can be a wonderful release for your limbic system. After you've had your good cry, hide all the triggers – the pictures, the things that remind you of your lover. Go through the house, the office, collect all the pictures and gifts and hide them. These will only serve as triggers for the fishhooks embedded in your brain and heart.
  4. Love is tough. Forget about the fairy tales! When you act weak, needy, or demanding during a breakup, what you accomplish is pushing the person further away. It’s not very attractive or appealing, believe me. When you seem to act as a victim, people run! Good living is not only the best revenge, it is the best way to get well.
  5. This last part is difficult to explain since many of us have no practice being present with our feelings. What works for me is to experience fully what I am feeling. This doesn’t mean thinking about what I’m feeling, it means feeling the hurt consciously, completely. It’s hard to explain to people who haven’t experienced mindfulness meditation. Some people mistake attachment for experience. However, I have come across a wonderful teaching that helps people create this kind of space. It’s called The Work, by Byron Katie and you can learn more about it through her book, Loving What Is, and her website (click here). There are streaming videos with Katie doing The Work. There was one really good one where she does the work with a man who states the belief that women don't like good men. LOL!

The Work is about four questions you can ask yourself. It’s a very simple and powerful technique especially for the overly analytical among us. You suffer when you don’t come to terms with what is. When you fight reality, you’re literally insane – out of your mind. I have used The Work with my participants and in my own life. Katie teaches us to understand the thoughts that cause suffering, such as “I miss her,” and ask four questions and a turn around:

  • Question #1: Is it true? Damn skippy! I miss her lots.
  • Question #2: Is it absolutely true? Not absolutely. I don’t miss her trifling ways, her resentments.
  • Question #3: How do you feel when you have that thought “I miss her”? Shitty, stupid, rejected – which means my thoughts were what were torturing me, not her.
  • Question #4: Who would I be without the thought “I miss her”? I would be happy.

The work then tells you to turn it around – in this case, I miss her becomes “I miss me.” I miss my normal happy, healthy, dynamic, successful self.

These four questions and the turn around can change you life.

May you all know what genuine happiness means.



Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Neruda: The Language of Love and the Poetry of Desire

¡Hola! Everybody...
It’s all come to a head; I can no longer ignore it. I have arrived at a fork in the road. It’s unfamiliar terrain and I have to adjust my map.
So I went to the waters yesterday to soak in the wisdoms of the Sea, to feel her tender caress and I sat on a splashed rock that took a millennia for it to fashion itself into a seat for me. Today, the answers still evade me but I am reminded that I must love the questions themselves, knowing that Change is here already.

Today, an essay…

* * *

-=[ Neruda ]=-

July 12, 1904 - 1973

Whether sun-struck mornings, rainy weekends odorous with the alkaline smell of sex, or starry nights, poetry has been with me – like a beacon – and I've used it to illuminate other lives, other worlds. In discovering others (in discovering you), I discovered myself and I have lived with these poems until they have become a part of the very air I breathe. I remember the first time my father, a dabbler in poetry, tossed me a dog-eared little book and told me, “You want to know poetry? Read this.”

I was barely fourteen and Neruda swept through my soul with the impact of a tsunami. I would never be the same – ever. After Neruda, there is no one. He is the greatest poet of the 20th century, in any language


Pablo Neruda, magnificent poet of Chile and eventually of the world. Internationally recognized, he was a figure larger than life, like a Picasso or a Chaplin. He is one of the most widely read and beloved poets in history. I once made love to a woman who pleaded for me to read her Neruda while connected together.


Yesterday, needing to quiet the inner dialog, I decided to make a pilgrimage to the beach. I took my little Neruda book (still faintly smelling of sex). What could be more fitting than to go to the beach and read Neruda aloud? He loved the playfulness of the sea -- creative as it is destructive, forever in flux -- moving. He loved and celebrated the rejuvenating marriage of wind, water, and sand, and found his inspiration in the crashing fury and freedom of the waves, the seabirds, the seemingly endless infinity of a blue sky.

He loved how the sea was forever renewing itself, a renewal reflected in his work and his life. He felt that creating poetry was like constantly being reborn. So I headed for the sea to recite and celebrate his poems and to return once again refreshed, deepened, reborn.

In one of his most emotionally motivated and sublime associations, Neruda linked womanhood to the regeneration of the earth and the cycles of nature. It is one of the most powerful associations in all of poetry.

He never knew his own mother, who died two months after his birth, but he adored his stepmother, who he called la mamadre (“the more-mother”). At age fourteen he wrote his first lyric for her. He later wrote, “… it was at that age… poetry arrived / in search of me.”

Born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes y Basoalto, he later took on the pen name of Pablo Neruda in order to conceal his poetry from a disapproving father. But he quickly found approval elsewhere, when he published his second collection, the amazing Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, in 1924. The collection would make him a literary celebrity and is still loved throughout Latin America. This was the book my father gave to me for my fourteenth birthday.

Neruda’s is the first poetry in Spanish that celebrates erotic love in sensuous, earthy language -- without shame. He would later say, “Love poems were breaking out all over my body.”

As I read these poems for the first time, I immediately recognized the archetype of the adolescent lover -- at the same time a child and an adult, being schooled in the art of longing and obsession. “Tonight I can write the saddest lines,” Neruda declared in the twentieth love poem. “I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her. / Love is so short, forgetting is so long.” I’m still profoundly affected by my memory of reading the first poem in this collection. I see it as an initiation, a ritual introduction, into to the language of love and the poetry of desire:

Body of a Woman

Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs.
You look like a world, lying in surrender.
My rough peasant's body digs into you
and makes the son leap from the depths of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself, I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.

But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of the breasts! Oh the eyes of absence!
Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad!

Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace.
My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road!
Dark river-beds where eternal thirst flows
and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.

(translated by W.S. Merwin)

Neruda would travel the world and his first stop was in Rangoon, Burma where he would find himself estranged from his language, his culture, and his history. It was here he would begin to write harsh, ferocious and surreal poems that would flower into the three volumes, Residence on Earth. These poems reflect terrors and modern anxieties.

Neruda would marry several times in his life which makes me wonder about the women who mourn the supposedly scarcity of romance. Who more romantic than Neruda? And what would they think of him once he left them?

He would eventually turn to politics and forge within his vision of an unalienated humanity, of justice and equality, a new poetry reflecting this growth. His political and social commitments were central to his life. He was elected senator for the Communist Party in Chile in 1945. Eventually, he was accused of disloyalty and declared dangerous. Neruda went into hiding, then fled to Argentina, and traveled to Italy, France, the Soviet Union, and Asia. It was his stay on the island of Capri during his exile that was fictionalized in the touching film Il Postino. If you do anything today, at least rent the film, you’ll enjoy it (click here). It’s not time travel, nor knights in shining armor, nor even all that chivalrous, but it’s damn sure romantic.

Throughout this period he was writing love poems for Matilde Urrutia, who became his third wife. Those blossomed into The Captain's Verses (1952), and 100 Love Sonnets (1959), which features my all-time, favorite Neruda poem:


I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing at the twilight,
hunting for you, your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens if Quitratue.

It’s infinitely better in Spanish, but how can one even think of writing poetry after reading something like that?!!

Everything was magical for Neruda. Nothing ordinary was alien, or for that matter, ordinary -- everything was magical. He wrote separate odes to tomatoes and wine, to an artichoke and one to a dead tree, to conger chowder, to a fuckin' large tuna in the market, to his socks and his suit, to birds, to light on the sea, to the dictionary, to a movie theater. He wrote an ode to time and another to the Earth, an “Ode to Everything.”

Eventually, he was awarded the Nobel prize. Neruda would write prolifically to the end. Ill with cancer and retired to his home in Isla Negra, he would write of entering “the silence into which everything falls / and, finally, we fall.” Heartbroken over the (US sanctioned) coup that ousted Allende and the impending darkness that would eventually envelope his country, Neruda died eleven days later, on September 23, 1973, in Santiago.

Neruda remains a giant in poetry. His work contains multitudes, like his poetic ancestor, Walt Whitman. He was a poet of freedom and of the sea, a wondrous love poet, and a necessary voice of social consciousness.

In Neruda’s own words:

Poetry is a deep inner calling in man; from it came liturgy, the psalms, and also the content of religions. The poet confronted nature’s phenomena and in the early ages called himself a priest, to safeguard his vocation… Today’s social poet is still a member of the earliest of priests. In the old days he made his pact with darkness, and now he must interpret the light.

Radiantly impure, stubbornly humane… RIP Neruda.




Brittanica entry for Neruda (click here)

Wikipedia entry for Neruda (click here)

Neruda Site with many of his poems and an essay on his work (click here )

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Adult Games

Games People Play

The one absolute in the study of human behavior is that people do things because they get something out of it. People's actions, however seemingly ridiculous, serve a purpose.

I once had a therapist tell me I had to learn how to parent myself. It may not sound particularly earth-shattering, but I had never even entertained that idea -- I never thought that could be possible. It was a liberating moment that also held some fear for me.

Modern research shows that the childish notion of being separate and apart is a myth. In fact, it's a very destructive myth, just take a look at what we're doing to our ecology and you quickly realize that the "me" attitude has dire consequences.

Along with the potential of being totally destructive, we are all intimately connected -- though many of us feel isolated. Our neurology is a feedback loop. How infants interact with their mothers, for example, has a direct impact on the development of the brain. Infants need physical handling as much or more than food and those who are deprived fall into irreversible mental and physical decline.

Adults also need as much physical contact as children. In adulthood, sensory deprivation can lead to temporary psychosis. But because close physical contact is not always available, we seek emotional fulfillment in other ways. A 360 participant, for example, may seek emotional "strokes" from his or her friends list in the form of adoration or positive feedback. In the same way, a movie star may get his strokes from fan mail. A scientist may get hers from a positive commendation from a leading figure in the field.

In transactional analysis, the "stroke" is seen as the basic unit of social action. an exchange of strokes is a transaction and hence the phrase, "transactional analysis" describing the dynamics of social interaction.

Bear with me here, there's a point to all this and one I feel you will find interesting.

For argument's sake, let's take this as a given -- that we have this psycho-biological need to receive strokes or intimate fulfillment. In this context, people consider any social participation -- even if negative -- as better than none at all. This primal need for intimacy is also why people engage in games as a substitute for genuine connection.

In short we play a game, defined as a series of transactions, to satisfy this inner hunger for intimacy, and it always involves a payoff.

Still with me?

Let me take this a step further. As much as they will deny it, most people aren't even aware they are playing a game. For them, it's a normal way of interaction. People games are like playing poker in the sense that the better we can hide our inner motivation (essentially that we're needy ma'fuccas), the more likely we "win." In the professional environment the payoff could be a raise or a promotion; people speak of the "real estate game," or playing the stock market. In the relationship world the payoff is usually some emotional gratification or an increase in control.

I had a participant, a former contract killer (a "soldier"), who once compared himself to a newborn infant in the following way:

"You ever see when the first bring babies home from the hospital? How sometimes you have to put mitts on babies because otherwise they will scratch themselves? Well, that's how I feel sometimes. Like I can't help but hurt myself and I need psychological mittens to save me."

Rewind back to the time with my former therapist and you can begin to see a model emerging. We all have within us different states or selves:

  • The attitudes and thinking of a parental figure (Parent)
  • An adult-like ability to rationalize and accept truth (Adult)
  • The attitudes and views of a child (Child)

In any given situation, we can emphasize any one of these inner selves, and sometimes shift from one to another quite easily. For example, we can take on a child's wonderment, creativity, and curiosity, but also a child's tantrums and inability to empathize. The point being that within each mode we can be productive or unproductive.

In playing a game, instead of maintaining intimacy to get what we want, we succumb to the temptation to act like a coquettish child, or take on the wise, rational aura of an adult.

Let the games begin! LOL

There are basic games people play. They may vary a little, but they're basically variations on the same theme:

The most common game between people in a relationship is the one in which one complains that the other is an obstacle to doing what they really want in life. For example, a person who may not be aware of her fear of real intimacy may choose emotionally unavailable men and then complain of a lack of intimacy. The game then becomes, "If it weren't for you... "

I believe people unconsciously choose partners because they want to be limited. I do a lot of work around complaints. My experience has shown me that if you follow the breadcrumbs of your complaints, you will come face-to-face with your own bullshit. Playing the "if it weren't for you" game gives us the excuse of abdicating responsibility for our own lives, or looking at our fears.

Another common relationship game is when, in response to a solution-centered suggestion, the partner says "Yes, but... " and then proceeds to find everything that could go wrong with the solution. In Child mode, this allows the person to gain sympathy from others for being inadequate to the challenge. In Adult mode, we would be more willing to examine and maybe even take on the possibility of the solution.

These games are like worn out loops of the same tape -- being played over and over. It's amazing how transparent the games appear here on 360, with all the trespassing of boundaries, the naked grab for attention, the openly desperate manipulation for sex. And the one common trait is that all involved deny playing the game! LOL!!

These are the scripts we inherit from our childhood and though they are limiting and self-destructive, they are also a form of psychological comfort food -- a way for us to absolve ourselves from looking at our own issues.

For many people, games have become so integral to their way of being that they feel the need to create drama, or manipulate those they come into contact with, because they fear they won't be as interesting. The more games they play, the more they expect others to play them too; a habitual game player will end up with a psychotic tendency to read too much of their own motivations and biases in others.

It's not, as people like to say just Yahoo, it's you!



Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday Sermon [The Revelation Will Not be Televised

Hola Everybody!
I need to make something clear – or clearer. I become very uncomfortable when people call me “evolved” or “intelligent” or "actualized" anything like that. The fact is that I am most definitely not evolved/ actualized/ wise/ at all.

I am just a man – a human being.

In fact, there is strong evidence that I am definitely not evolved/ actualized or anything like that. I can say with conviction that I possess character defects.


I have no investment in wanting to make people think I’m this wise/ actualized/ evolved person because that has nothing to do with who I am nor my path. I am not seeking enlightenment...

All I want to really do is open up my heart – a little at a time.

Secondly, my humor can be raunchy and outside the lines of decorum. I suggest you read me before you add me. And if I say/ write something on your page that you find displeasing/ offensive/ disrespectful let me know. I think words mean something and they can hurt. I don’t like hurting people. I have no problem apologizing for any transgressions. I have lots of practice with apologies. No buts…

For all the bullshitters who say 360 doesn’t matter? Bullshit! LOL If you act the fool here, it’s coming from someplace – you have it in you somewhere.

Period. No buts…

I don’t want to be like those who engage the nonsense and excuse it as “It’s just Yahoo.” It isn’t just Yahoo, it’s you.

Period. No buts...


The Revelation Will not be Televised

(Or: Please Leave my Ass Behind, Ma’fuccas!)

“Quick! Look busy -- Jesus is coming!”

Pretend you’re a big time Hollywood executive I tried to sell you this story:

"Okay, let me start with some context. It’s the 21st century, but millions of people believe in this invisible Super Ghost who lives somewhere way, way up in space. You see, he created everything, sees everything, knows everything and knows everything that had ever happened or will happen. Something like a huge security camera in the sky.

The people who believe in him think of him as a magic helper who protects and watches over them. It’s a take on the Santa Claus thingee – he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake and engaged in terrorist activities and so on.

Yet even thought this ghost has, like, all the superpowers of all the superheroes rolled into one, he’s really insecure. He demands that you follow him or else you get an eternity burning in a non-stop, super-duper fire, boiling in lava-like shit and being constantly stabbed by devils with pitchforks. Oh yeah! I almost forgot, two thousand years ago he sent his only son back to earth in order to redeem humanity from their wickedness by getting hung on a cross and, you, that whole Mel Gibson treatment.

Now, bear with me because this is where the story gets interesting: after two thousand years of watching humanity slaughter itself, getting really fucked up, and having wild orgies, and basically just slack off, the son plans to return to earth from outer space. But before he does, he’s going to beam up to Heaven all those people who believed in him, yup, levitate them right out of their clothes, wherever they are – on an airplane, asleep, having sex, on the toilet, and – get this! – in the freaking grave! Yup, corpses and cadavers blasting out of the ground! Think: Saw meets Night of the Living Dead, with some touches of Superman.

Meanwhile, the people left behind are freaking out. I mean imagine you’re on an airplane to Puerto Rico and suddenly the pilot fuccin’ disappears!


Then you look out the window and you see hundreds of naked people whooshing by (of course, we’ll make them up to be foine babes and maybe throw in an old dude just for laughs). And then the plane just nose dives, crashes smack into the side of a mountain. Families are broken up and companies have to close because, like, the entire sales department just flew out the window through the AC vents!

Meanwhile, the people left behind are really freaking out and CNN is blaming it on the Muslims and Fox News is blaming the liberals. The president is pissed because he thinks it’s some secret pentagon weapon and he wasn’t informed. Cut to a religious secretary and she tells him, “Sir, it’s the Rapture.” The president doesn’t know what the rapture is, he flunked Bible school and the secret service sweeps him away to an undisclosed location where they fill him in on the Rapture.

And this is just the first seven minutes! In the rest of the movie, the people left behind are going to suffer a seven-year nightmare of wars, plagues, attacks from supernatural creatures, asteroid collisions, and rivers of blood… "

Would you buy a pitch like that? Well, considering the really inferior crap that gets produced, like the Die Hard franchise, maybe a studio would produce such a story. But mostly you would have probably called security and have me kicked to the curb, right? Right?!!

As many as a hundred million Americans believe in this story, which is known as the Rapture, a scene lifted out of the last book of the Bible. Yeah, the crazy, hallucinogenic part. The part with the Apocalypse and its Four Horsemen, the Whore of Babylon, a seven-headed dragon, and crap that looks straight out of a badly crafted segment of Lord of the Rings.

It’s Jay-sus (!) on steroids out here to kick some major arse!

If you’re a Christian and never heard of the Rapture, then shame on you, you didn’t read the Bible all the way to the end! In any case, this book isn’t for believers of the rapture. It’s for you! Heathen! Unbeliever! Doubter! Satanist! Secular Humanist liberal democrat! If you're curious about what 100 million people find so compelling about the Rapture, then this book will do the trick. If you’re the kind of person who values reason rather than myth, then this book will make you smile smugly.

Quick! Look Busy!



Saturday, July 7, 2007

In the corner of my past...

Yesterdays [no. 3]

A case of Bacardi for the crazy ladies
in the corner of my past,
those hectic, horny days
of yesterday!

They beckon me back
to my forgotten madnesses,
those chest-pounding blackouts
that have grown into story time delights.

Sure, they often left before dawn
to test my memory
with a perfumed and pummeled pillow.

And they sprayed me with
cans of habichuelas
broken bottles,
and all their sadnesses...

to leave me forever bruised and bleeding.

But they cared, these crazy ladies,

at least as much as they could…

So let’s hear it for las locas
Who gave these hilarious crimes to me
as evidence that I once lived.

They are the only poor souls I still know
who can tell me what I used to be...

and why.

-- Edward-Yemíl Rosario ©

Visualizing Happiness

Hola Everybody!
I'm getting ready to head out the door and enjoy this lovely day. I hope all are living and loving life...

* * *

Genuine happiness is a possibility for everyone. Yeah, even you. You're not that unique, you know! YOU can be happy too! Now, ain't that fucked up?!?!

Furthermore, if you desire to be happy it's not as hard as you or I think it is. In fact, all it takes is 10-20 minutes a day of some simple exercises and poof! All that misery is out! This is true, for less than the time it takes you to watch American Idol, you can be happy. It is THAT simple! Oh yeah, a part of you would rather die than be happy because what the fuck would you do if you were truly happy, right?!! I mean, we've all invested a lot of time and energy into being miserable motherfuckers, that shit ain’t easy to do, you know.

Believe me, there's a way, it's not hard, and it's possible. You can create (actually, you already do!) the world you want. It's just a matter of understanding how the mind works and replacing your current software and your fears turn into self confidence, self-loathing becomes self-appreciation, and so on.

People do this all the time, what makes you think you're that different? Actually, those of us stuck in the shit want desperately to cling to this notion of what I call "terminal uniqueness." It's terminal because it kills. It kills as surely cancer kills. I'm serious as a heart attack (LOL! bad play on words, I know!).

There is a world right before your eyes you're not even aware of and all you have to do is wake up to that possibility.

I'll leave you with the following story. I took a yoga class once as part of an elective in my undergraduate work. The instructor was this zany "New Age" energy freak type -- at least that was my impression of her. Anyway, we connected somehow and one day while looking directly at me (or at least I thought), she took the class on a guided meditation. She started with the fact that she owned a beautiful home on the beach. She added that before she bought the home she envisioned the home in every detail.

She told us that we too can have what we want if we can envision it and proceeded to take us on a guided image meditation. She asked us to imagine something that we wanted and to visualize in exacting detail. If it was a moment in time in the future, what kind of day is it. Is it sunny, rainy? If it's something material like a home, what color is it, where is it? What does it look like inside, the furniture, the paint on the walls, etc?

She went on like this for about 15 minutes. Most of the students were giggling, thinking the exercise stupid. Truth be told, I also thought it was stupid, but I followed her instructions to the letter. The really important part, according to this teacher, was that at the end of the visualization you had to imagine a "big, cosmic mailbox" and you were to place this vision in a "big cosmic envelope" and clearly see yourself putting this envelope in that big cosmic mailbox. By now, people were laughing openly. I thought this part was really stupid, but I did it anyway.

She told us that we had to do this daily in order for it to work and she assured us that this was how she got her beautiful seaside home. She also stated that she used the gift of her home to promote the gifts that she herself received as a yoga teacher/ practitioner. After class, she stopped me and asked me if I really did the exercise and I nodded in the affirmative. She told me, "Good, do it everyday because I see an energy surrounding you... ” I was taken back a little, but I felt her warmth and I nodded my head and just smiled at her.

I followed her instructions to a tee and did this visualization for a long time and I 'm here to tell you that my vision came true. My vision, you ask? My vision was what my life is like today: the work that I do, my personal life -- everything. My vision, even how I dress and smile, and the sun shining through the window, my office, how I feel -- all of it came true.

Those that know me, know that I think that book/ video The Secret is a bunch of bullshit. It is! It's what I call a form of spiritual materialism. I don't really think envisioning material wealth is a very spiritual thing. After all, what happens when the beautiful home burns down? But I won't get into that today. I'm not saying that visualization itself is enough to create a world. But it's a beginning.

Genuine happiness comes from not attaching it to any person, place, or thing. That was what I wanted most -- to be relieved of having my happiness depend on you. Today, I understand a little better how this works and it's all about reprogramming the mental software folks. And you too can create the world and life you desire. You just have to entertain that possibility. For less than the time it takes you to watch American Idol.

Have a great weekend peeps!




[un]Common Sense