First off, I’m in Montreal now at a Second Cup coffee shop listening to cute accordian music. If you’re anywhere on the East Coast of Canada from St. John's, Quebec on down to South Florida, please remember attendance is mandatory for the gig tomorrow. Here’s the info:
August 30, 2007 at 7 PM at McGill University’s Education/Counselling Psychology Department 3700 Rue McTavish Room 233
And don’t forget, there will be Zazen at Hill Street Center on Saturday Sept. 1st as regularly scheduled. But I won’t be there.
My very first Zen talks in New York City are done. Thanks to everyone who showed up. I think I spotted Aum Eye in the audience at the Interdependence Project thing on Monday night. Are you the one who asked a bunch of Yoga questions? A couple other readers of this here blog introduced themselves to me after the talk. Thank you for showing up!
The best of the three live gigs and two radio shows was definitely the Interdependence Project, although all of them were very cool. A couple of fellow Ohioans showed up at Bluestockings Radical Books in Soho and took me to a good place for Vietnamese sandwiches after. Thanks. One of Noah’s Dharma Punx showed me a great place to hang out and drink lemonade after the talk at the Interdependence Project. How come Noah never answers my e-mails? Granted I only wrote one and that was ages ago. But still. I woulda answered if he wrote me. Marc of Renagade Nation TV was also really friendly and showed me around town including a tour of the famous spots of Greenwich Village and his own very groovy office.
Anyway, it’s always really nice when people do stuff like this. I travel alone to these out of town gigs. No roadies, no drummer to pal around with. So it’s good to have somebody to talk to.
The Joey Reynolds Show on WOR was interesting, but I was sooooo sleepy I don’t think I was as “on” as I shoulda been for a show like that. The other show, "Soundcheck" on WNYC is already on line. Listen to it by clicking on this bunch of words here.
At the Greenwich Village Barnes and Noble the Q&A at the end was briefly hijacked by some Christians who wanted to make some points of their own. That was a bit odd. One guy was definitely there to speak up for Jesus. The woman near him was either trying to be nice to him or was also there for Christ. It was hard to tell. Neither of them were rude or anything. But that’s the first time I’ve encountered anything like that.
The only downside of the New York City gig was the vicious killer cat I had to share an apartment with. Now don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful to the woman who let me stay at her place. But man-o-man her cat was a total psycho. She was gone, so for the first night it was just me and kitty. He attacked me twice without the slightest provocation. But I could deal with that by just keeping a safe distance. The trouble came at night when he’d station himself outside the bedroom door and growl and hiss at me when I tried to make my way to the toilet. Because I drink about 12,000 liters of water a day this is a frequent occurrence.
The first night I managed to chase him away long enough to get into the toilet. But then he waited outside for me. I grabbed a plunger and jousted at him to hold him at bay long enough to get back to bed. The plunger worked OK that night. But the second night some other house guests showed up. Rather than risk several noisy cat confrontations each night I resorted to peeing into an empty water bottle. From this experience I learned that I can pee out 500 ml of nearly crystal clear piss over the course of a night. I think it’s sposta be a good sign if your pee is pretty colorless.
The third night I’d had enough of that. So I set up a barricade to keep the cat out of the area between the bedroom and the toilet. This would keep him away from his food dish for the night. But since I arrived back at midnight and planned to leave at five AM, I figured he’d survive the intervening five hours without dying of starvation. However my host’s other house guests (who I assumed were out that night) got very, very, very upset at the idea that the poor kitty cat might be deprived of food for an entire night and called the host to complain. I was kicked out for my cruel abuse of the sweet, darling, helpless, little fuzzy-wuzzy animal. Fortunately, the woman who’d set up my gig at the Interdependence Project lived down the hall and I was allowed to use her couch for the night.
Look. I like cats. I had a cat of my own named Shithead who cost me hundreds of dollars in vet’s bills and special food due to repeated kidney infections at a time when I was making about $200 a month at shitty Dimentia 13 gigs and temp work for Kelly Services (I exaggerate not, I swear). When I moved into Tim McCarthy’s Kent Zendo there were five cats in the place among the various members of the house. I even get along with my friend Nina’s cat Lilly who is also famous for attacking visitors but who seems to love me.
Whatever. As my publicist says, onward and upward!
I’m enjoying all the posture debate. As Smoggy Rob said, I never stop anyone from sitting in weird fucked up ways — including people who slump over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame after I've told them the point is to sit up straight and people who close their eyes even when I've said that in Zazen we keep them open and people who insist on putting their hands in bad imitations of gurus they've seen on TV after I've told them the right way to put their hands. Though I do discourage the use of chairs. Someone in NYC told me she went to a local Zendo there while eight months pregnant, and asked if she could sit in a modified posture or use a chair. They said, “No.” Just “No.” Not a word more. I don’t do that kind of stuff. But, seriously, 90% or more of the folks I see using chairs and seiza benches are just plain fuckin’ lazy. If you are really in a bad way and you sincerely want to sit somehow, accommodations can be made. But if you’re just a lazy sod, go someplace else. OK?