Friday, July 20, 2007

You're jealous

of my dinner of instant Indian food (veg korma) followed by home-made crepes & yummy tasty yummy cherry wine. Tiffany soon shall go away for a week, so we make enjoyments of sensations of yum & make yummy noises. In her absence, I intend to reads lots & lots of Ulysses & play mando & go. Also, Wednesday represents both payday & th firstname of one of th five peeps that I did sign on to Greenpeace today.

I like Dionysus.

A good experiment for th doing: try this reality:

Everything is connected. Everything is of th same divine essence; everything is a manifestation of God - God is a manifestation of everything. All disconnections are illusory.

When I see a person on th street, th person is me; I am th person. When an old woman scratches her head, I am an old woman scratching my head. When a nervous dude shuffles by & tries not to be noticed, I am a nervous dude shuffling by, trying not to be noticed. When my girlfriend packs for a week-long trip, I am Andrew's girlfriend packing for a week-long trip. & so on. For ever.

All th universe is contained in every component of th universe. Every subatomic particle contains every dimension possible. I am my dog. My dog is me. I am my God. My God is me.

Lather, rinse, & repeat.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

magick 6 (7?)

Greenpeace continues to rock my socks. Altho on Monday & Tuesday we worked some weatheryucky days, today th temp stayed at a wonderful 71 degrees & awesome. I signed up six new members. On some of th sign-ups, I got really lucky, & on some I had to work for it. I'm turning into quite th manipulator!

As long as I stay above a certain minimum, my job remains secure. When I blow my minimum out of th water, I start to bonus & get more money. I hope to bonus my first week; I have bills.

Oh, & th sevenquestionmark in th title refers to a telephone sign-up (a.k.a. call-back) that I made this evening after my shift ended. It will count for tomorrow, so my record for one day remains six.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

kicking ass & taking names

...literally. Well, th names part, not th kicking ass part.

Today I had my first real day of work as a Greenpeace frontliner, which means a person who approaches people on th street to sign them up as monthly members, & it totally rocked! As a newbie, I was expected to approach lots of people & practice my spiel, plus get at least one new member, at any donation level. I was crafty (& lucky) enough to get two new members. They donated 20 & 25 dollars, bringing me to a total for th day of $45, which is well above th requirements for full workers who've already finished training! Wow!

Beginner's luck, perhaps.

But I really enjoyed it. I feel like this type of experience will do wonders for my social anxieties. If I can talk comfortably to hundreds of strangers every day at my job, it'll find it that much easier to talk to strangers out of work, at bars & restaurants & wherever else people run into people.

Plus, Greenpeace rocks, & it feels awesome to work for it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Andrew's living nightmare

Imagine being given 10 minutes to prepare a 5-minute speech describing why you'd be a good candidate for a job. You're told ahead of time that your interview would be taped & that one of th interviewers would be an expert on body language & would be evaluating your gestures, posture, et cetera. Imagine you don't get to take your notes in & that you may be on some sort of mystery drug but you're not sure what.

Imagine that when you get in there, th two interviewers don't smile or introduce themselves, but just tell you to sit & start. Your image appears live on a TV screen directly in front of you. Imagine that you get completely flustered & sound like an absolutely incompetent moron while th interviewers just look at you blankly & take notes. When th 5-minute timer goes off, you are asked to do difficult mental math along th lines of "Count back from 6,422 by 13s." When you mess up, th interviewer on th left (a large black man who reminds you of a cop) says, "Are you just guessing? You know that's not right. Start over," & then gives you a larger number to start from. When th 5-minute timer goes off again, he says, "You may leave."

20 seconds after that humiliating debacle, you're sitting in a hospital bed getting blood drawn from your left arm, your blood pressure measured from your right arm, told to chew on a dry white tube so they can have a saliva sample, & told to fill out a form describing your emotional state: "On a scale from 0 to 4, how much are you feeling th following emotions: happy... frightened... angry... unsure about things... confused... bitter... self-confident... elated... confused... overjoyed... et cetera." This goes on repeatedly for th next half hour, with at least three people in th room poking & prodding you constantly.

This really happened to me. Yesterday. I swear to you.

It was a scientific experiment. I was th guinea pig. I did it at th University of Chicago for a hundred bucks. They gave me a mystery drug at around 9:00 AM & had me sit comfortably in a hospital bed reading & watching TV, filling out those "subjective response" forms every hour until around noon while I watched TV & read books I brought. I became very relaxed & started to think, "This is th easiest hundred bucks anybody has ever made."

I knew that I'd be asked to perform some task, but I didn't know what it would be. I didn't really concern myself with that. I figured it would be something cognitive, like sorting or alphabetizing. At noon, th person in charge set me up & ten minutes later I was in th interview room being terrorized!


At first, I felt really embarrassed, angry, lied to, taken advantage of, inadequate (for th imaginary job) & generally stressed out. I had just experienced a real waking nightmare! It was like all my worst days of submarining all rolled into ten minutes in hell! But I soon realized that th "task" wasn't really a test of my ability to talk or anything like that, but just a tricky scenario designed to catch me off guard & fuck me up royally, & it absolutely worked! I'm sure they found all sorts of stress-related endorphins in my blood & a heartbeat going crazy, & I can tell you that I put my first 4's on th "subjective response" sheets (4 = Extremely).

But when I realized how it all fit together, I laughed about it & noticed that I got a big rush out of it. It was like jumping out of an airplane & surviving; like a terrible horror movie; like almost dying in a fiery high-speed car wreck - but surviving. It was a rush!

Hooray for science! Sign me up for another one!

P.S. Th large black man, it turns out, was indeed a retired Chicago cop. Th mystery drug was progesterone, a human hormone. They're considering its use as a destresser, but at this dosage, it doesn't seem to help much.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Th Aztec Calendar has provided fun & inspiration again today. Th tonalpohualli (260-day count) declares today:

6-Xochitl (flower)

Th 6 aligns us with Mictlantecuhtli, Lord of th Land of th Dead (Mictlan):

Th daysign Xochitl (flower) aligns us with Xochiquetzal, "Flower Feather," the ever young and pretty goddess of flowers, love, pleasure and beauty. She is also patron of artists:

Tiffany & I biked up to Rosehill Cemetery, a very old & very large cemetery not far from us. We walked around, sat under a groovy tree by a groovy pond, & played some cribbage. We made a few friends: a humongous turtle, who stuck his softball-sized head out of th pond & took a long suspicious look at us; & a wee butterfly, who made a landing on my right shoulder before zipping away again. I associated them with our two deities of th day: Mictlantecuhtli & Xochiquetzal.

Later, we caught a woodwind quintet concert at a Lutheran church & doubled th size of th wee audience. Carl Nielson reminded me of th awesomeness of sonata form (with its two contrasting themes & complex development section), so I left inspired to bring Mictlantecuhtli (as manifested by th turtle) & Xochiquetzal (as manifested by th butterfly) together in song called th 6-Flower Sonata. A project awaits!