Thursday, September 11, 2008

Juice-Fasts, Girlfriends, and The Ever-Present Rumble

Haven't done this in a while. Eyes closed, let's go.

Every time I think about blogging I find myself overwhelmed. Too much has happened, would take too long to write. So I put it off. As that time passes, more happens, and it becomes seemingly insurmountable. This is how I often feel about cleaning my room. Anyone who has seen my room knows that.

First off, I've got a headache, and I feel like I'm kind of buzzing. Why? Because I'm just coming to the end of Day One of a juice-fast. I'm not even sure if it can really be called a "fast", considering how much juice one takes in during it. "A juice cleanse" may be more accurate. Anyway, I've been intrigued by the idea of a cleanse for a long time, but I've never actually done one. I've fasted for a day at a time here and there (drinking only water), but nothing like this. I'm going for a full seven days. I've heard the first few days are the worst. We'll see. I've already got a headache and feel reeeeally weird, but I was also able to go on a pretty intense bike ride and then do some crunches and pull-ups when I got home. Those were the first pull-ups I've done since February, when I injured my shoulder (yet again)... then re-injured it in June. Hooray for recovery.

I'm a bit scattered. What was I talking about?

Juice-fast. Right.

Why am I doing it? I guess there are a few reasons. One is to see if I really do feel "detoxified" afterwards. Lord knows I've put a significant amount of crap into my body, and if this gets it out, then great. I also just got back to NY after several weeks in CA (and Burning Man), and I want a kind of fresh start. Maybe this cleanse will contribute to that feeling.

New York is a struggle, much of the time. It's fun, and there is so much great stuff going on here, but it's an incredibly expensive place to live, and I have seen, first hand, that the economy is in the shitter, which makes it even harder. So that's survival stuff, but man, when you factor in a career in the arts, you've got a recipe for madness and heartbreak... OR just more hard work, and a constant need for creative life-living. Example: I've been temping here for two years. Been working out fine. Suddenly, the temp market is down 70%. This is not abstract. You will feel this because suddenly you're working 70% less than you were. Rent isn't any cheaper. Neither is food. SO... what are you gonna do? Get creative. What am I going to do, personally? I'm not sure yet. I'll let you know when I do, but I need to make some moves and FAST. Yow.

So, what else? Oh yeah, I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND!! What the hell!? Let me put this in perspective. I have had ONE official girlfriend in the last TEN YEARS... and that was SIX YEARS AGO! So, now, suddenly, I have a girlfriend... and like... I love her. A lot. Like, head-over-heels in love with, and it actually seems to be reciprocated, which is even crazier. So, that's a thing.

Getting into a relationship again was really difficult for me. Not because I didn't want to, and not because she isn't great, but because during such an extended period of bachelorhood, you build up certain, mental/emotional/psychological/physical habits, and those are really hard to break out of, even if it's for something you really want. The best I've heard it explained is this (and I'm paraphrasing, here): Our thought/emotional patterns are like a car driving on a dirt track. Say the track is just a loop, for simplicity's sake. Where we drive, our tires make an imprint in the dirt, and if we keep following the same exact path each time, little by little, we make wheel ruts in the ground. As those wheel ruts get deeper, they become the path of least resistence -- it would be harder to turn the steering wheel to get the car out of them -- so we keep going along that route. Eventually we can even take our hands off the steering wheel, close our eyes, put it on cruise control, and kick back, because those deep ruts will keep our wheels going in the same direction. But say, suddenly, you want to go somewhere else. You don't like that track anymore, and you want to get off it. The more time that passes, the harder that's going to be, even if you really, really want to get off that track and do something else. You're really going to have to wrestle with that steering wheel.

So, that was a challenge. I feel like I'm out of it, now, though. On open range. It's nice, and I'm riding with someone who blows me away, more and more, on a daily basis.

In other words, my love-life is going well, I'm happy to report, for the first time in pretty much forever.

Okay, that takes care of Juice-Fasts and Girlfriends, so what is "The Ever-Present Rumble"?

I guess I mean that rumble inside that's keeping me moving, in terms of my art and career (which are almost the same thing, I'm happy to say). There are a lot of ups and downs, and well, walls. You try something, and you hit a wall, and you say, "Okay. That didn't work. Now let's try this." Then you hit another one, "Alright. Now, how about this." Another wall. "Motherfucker!! I really thought that one was going to work. (sigh) Okay, let's try this now." Maybe the rumble is the sound of the engine inside you that won't let you quit.

I made some important discoveries about myself in the last month, and those discoveries helped lead me to give one of the best performances of my life... maybe. The best, technically? Not sure, but it felt damn fucking good, and sometimes that's what's important. I won't go into the details of my discoveries, because the details are for me, but I'll say that it had to do with my fears. Acknowledging them, understanding them, embracing them, even, then choosing to move on without them. Will they come back from time to time? Likely. I'd like to think that I'm better equipped to deal with them now. In this moment, I'd like to belive that I'll never be as scared again as I was before, at least not in the same way, or of the same things.

I'm excited about this juice-fast. I invested in a juicer today, which I hope I'll continue to use even after the juice-fast is over. Days two and three are supposed to be the hardest, but eventually this headache will go away. My girlfriend (Stef, she's called) decided to join me on this fast, on a whim, at the last minute. God love her.

I spent a couple hours yesterday working on my surfboard. It had a few dings in it, and some scrapes and scratches here and there, so I patched those up, and I put a traction pad on it, too. There are no waves in the Atlantic right now, though. Alas, alas. I hadn't surfed much since my Costa Rica trip (shoulder injuries, plural, to the same shoulder), but I've slowly been getting back in the water. So many paralels there, it hurts my head.

I surfed twice while in California. Once, by myself, and the other time with two of my best friends, Max and Bay (and a huge seal). It was a perfect day, with a beautiful view, and playful, forgiving little waves. We didn't surf better than everyone around us, but we laughed a lot more.

Riding waves, with good friends, on a beautiful day, near where you all grew up...

... sometimes the universe is good to us.

-BR 9.12.08

Monday, August 4, 2008

Faces of Temping: PART TWO

On October 4th, 2006, I posted what would become one of my most popular blog entries (back when my blog was just on Myspace, which is to say, back in the days when people used Myspace): Faces of Temping. The capsule summary is that when you temp within the gigantic Metlife Building, here in New York City, every day you have to go to the security desk and get your photo taken for your badge that day. They look like this:

Classy, right? Well most of the prose and poetry I have on the subject was written in the last entry, so I won't repeat myself (it's at , if you're interested). I will, however, ad these quick thoughts. 1.) It's amazing how much harder it is to go back to something like temping after you had a period of time when you weren't being forced to do it, and just maaaaybe you'd allowed yourself to dream that you'd never have to do it again, and 2.) After getting away with everything you tried the last time you undertook this project, you will probably be even more brash and brazen this time, and will push things further, just to see what you can get away with.

So, without any further ado, I present to you Faces of Temping I and II (back to back, for your convenience):

Part I (click image for higher res):

And, brand new, Part II (click image for higher res):

I think the depression, rage, and insanity all show through just a little stronger, no? But hey, coping mechanisms are coping mechanisms, and it still makes the security guards smile.


Brent 8.5.08 2.01am

P.S. If this is your first time visiting this blog, please take a moment and check out of a few of my other entries in my "Past Favorites" section.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Three Words

Maybe it's been a long time since you last said the The Three Words to someone.

Maybe it's been years.

Maybe it's been more than five years.

Maybe, sometimes, the time is right.

Maybe, sometimes, your feelings are too big for "I really like you", and to minimize them like that would be akin to lying.

Maybe it's when you're getting off the phone every night, and it feels awkward and artificial to NOT say it.

Maybe, sometimes, you have no idea what the cute or clever (safer) way is to say the words.

Maybe it's because the words are inherrently unsafe.

Sometimes it isn't romantic.

Sometimes you'll be sitting in the dining concourse at Grand Central Station, eating what is arguabling the worst Chinese food you've had since moving to New York, two years ago, and you'll say something like, "So, here's the thing..."

And you say it.

And maybe it's the look on her face that makes it romantic.

And maybe it's the look on yours.

And maybe you don't know whether to laugh or cry or scream and pass out.

Maybe because you're terrified.

Maybe because you're happy.

-BR 7.8.08 4.55pm

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Few New Lessons

The last six or so months of my life have been hectic to say the least, but despite the chaos (or perhaps, in part, because of it), I have been learning like crazy. Some highlights include:

Hard work and perseverance probably pay off. Probably.

I've spent days at a time wearing nothing but a bathrobe, yet working extremely hard the entire time. Is this what it's like to be a hooker? Once again, the line between artist and whore gets hazy.

Even when you're surrounded by assholes, you must never let yourself become one. (especially when you're surrounded by them, actually)

It may be possible to wish something into existence. Maybe. Results inconclusive, but I'm carrying out a new study. I'll report the results when I know them.

Meditation does me a world of good when I'm over-worked and under-slept.

I virtually never make time for meditation when I'm over-worked and under-slept.

A good session of surfing is better than ten sessions of therapy.

There are some genuinely nice people out there. (note to self: continue to seek them out)

I'm less afraid of death than I am of cancer.


My show premieres on Monday, 4.14.08. I haven't worked this hard on something since grad school.

There will always be incompetent people who you will have to work with in one capacity or another. How are you going to handle them?

Bad habits can be broken. Change is not impossible.

I have to take better care of my body (especially my shoulders... and my prostate).

I'm more excited now about the possibilities of romance than I have been in a long, long time...

I can learn.

BR 4.10.08 5.09am

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Tree in a Vast Expanse

I dreamed the other night that I climbed a tall tree. It was, perhaps, 300 feet. I climbed as high as I could, then went way out on a branch that jutted out perpendicularly. I climbed out until the branch was no thicker than my leg, and I just sat there for a while, enjoying the way I was swaying in the breeze. From that height, I could see for miles in every direction, and it was a beautiful, warm, clear day.

After a while, though, I decided that it was time for me to head back. A little fear had crept in, I think. I stood up on the branch I had been sitting on, and started slowly making my way back toward the trunk, using another, thinner branch as a handrail. Now, suddenly, I wasn't enjoying the swaying of the branches so much. They suddenly seemed flimsy and unstable to me. It occurred to me that at any moment my feet might slip, and then I looked down; it was a dizzying height. I immediately felt my heart rate spike, and I struggled to keep my breathing regular. Thoughts of falling started racing through my head, and I kept thinking how if I slipped, my hands wouldn't be strong enough to hang on.

I kept moving, though, and my hands and feet found their own way. My feet went just where I wanted them to, and my hands felt secure on the parallel branch. The thicker the branch got, the easier it became to walk, and when I got back to the trunk, I pulled myself up onto a branch well above my head, and I remember thinking, "My hands are strong, after all! My arms could have easily caught me if I slipped! The real danger was all in my head."

I climbed back down the tree quickly and easily; truly enjoying myself the entire way. When I reached the ground, I stood there for a moment with my hand on the trunk, and my feet on the ground, looking back up, with complete satisfaction, at the adventure I'd just had. No one had seen me, and that didn't matter at all. As I stood there, I remember feeling strong and extremely capable.

It was a very good feeling.

-BR 3.4.08 2.24am

Thursday, February 14, 2008

(Chinese) New Year's Resolutions

Change is difficult. Difficult in nearly every aspect.

You can't change directions (or speed) without running into Newton's laws, you can't get change at a store without buying a pack of gum, and you can't change your life without butting up against all your old habits.

But you try.

And not in "the ol' college try" sense, either. I tried college, then dropped out after six weeks. (one of the best decisions I ever made, actually)

You try, and you fall, then you get up and push forward until you fall again. Repeat.

Sometimes we make the right changes for the wrong reasons. Or perhaps they're merely inspired by the wrong reasons.

If the changes are right, though, you work, and you make the reasons your own. Pick the right ones, this time.

Not everything has to be done in order.

Once you've set the right goals, and you've found the right reasons, stick to your guns.

Persevere, and peace will follow you.


I'm glad I stayed in tonight.

-BR 2.14.08

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Debates en Mass, or: Massdebating #1

ABC's tagline for the big New Hampshire debates last week was, "Two Parties, One Night". Is this name not starkly reminiscent of "Two Girls, One Cup"? And which, I ask you, was more civilized? Well, 2Parties1Night involved copious amounts of throwing feces and the eating of it; in contrast, 2Girls1Cup does not feature throwing.

I forced myself to watch the whole thing, and ultimately, I'm glad I did. I wretched a couple of times, but it got a little better when the Democrats came on (...did you think I was still talking about 2Girls1Cup? How do you know I'm not?). I felt like I got a better feel for all of the players involved, and I'm interested in seeing how this will progress.

My snap observations:

-McCain seems like the least objectionable of the Republican candidates, but when you look at what you're comparing him to, that doesn't say much.

-You want to talk about the "unlikable" factor? Let's talk about the two ABC moderators. What a pair of assholes. Between Scott Spradling just being a plain old dick and trying to insight bickering (like the Repubs did without help), and Charlie Gibson showing off his gleaming ignorance about the world we live in (suggesting that a family of two professors at a small college in NH would rake in more than $200,000 a year, which got a HUGE laugh from the audience and was my favorite moment of the night), I just wanted to crawl through my TV and slap the shit out of them.

-Rudy is an idiot.

-Romney is a liar.

-Huckabee is a scary liar.

-Ron Paul will say something you really agree with, but then under his breath he'll mention the abolition of the income tax and along with it the public education system, and most of the other things we hold dear, here.

-Edwards has gone way up in my estimation. I like the idealism.

-Obama went up some, too, though not as much as Edwards. To be fair, though, I held Obama in higher esteem before this debate than I did Edwards, so Edwards had further to go.

-Hilary went down, some. It's not that I don't think she "has what it takes to be President", because as we have learned for the last either years, it sure doesn't take much. Rather, I think she "plays politician" too much. We'll see, though.

-I wish Kucinich was still in it. Not because I think he'd have a chance of winning, but because I think he would bring a lot of interesting points to the debates.

-Bottom Line: The ticket I'm hoping for is Obama/Edwards. I actually think that those two could get this country heading back in the right direction. We'll see how things shape up from here on out.

Speaking of abominations, there are dudes out there with fourteen inch cocks. There are a plethora of reason to find this upsetting, but I'd like to focus on one: What is the evolutionary purpose of a 14" dick? Are there really women out there whose cervix is fourteen inches deep?? The Theory of Evolution says that it must be so, but I've never met any. To be fair, though, fourteen-inch-deep-cervixed-women don't have a whole lot of reason to come breaking down my door. Sigh...

Penultimately, I want to take a survey here. Here is the query:

Do people who have too much crap on their "desktops"...

... have too much crap on their desktops?

Or is it just me?

And, lastly, I would like to share with you my (and Bay's) reaction to 2Girls1Finger... yes, the sequel to 2Girl1Cup exists, and it may well be worse. My favorite thing about it is how bay allllmost keeps it together right until the end there, when his mind breaks.


-BR 1.9.08 3.23pm