Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Perfect High

There once was a boy named Gimme-Some-Roy...
He was nothin' like me or you,
'cause laying back and getting high
was all he cared to do.

As a kid, he sat in the cellar...
sniffing airplane glue.
And then he smoked banana peels,
when that was the thing to do.
He tried aspirin in Coca-Cola,
he breathed helium on the sly,
and his life became an endless search
to find the perfect high.

But grass just made him wanna lay back
and eat chocolate-chip pizza all night,
and the great things he wrote when he was stoned
looked like shit in the morning light.

Speed made him wanna rap all day,
reds laid him too far back,
Cocaine-Rose was sweet to his nose,
but the price nearly broke his back.

He tried PCP, he tried THC,
but they never quite did the trick.
Poppers nearly blew his heart,
mushrooms made him sick.
Acid made him see the light,
but he couldn't remember it long.
Hash was a little too weak,
and smack was a lot too strong.
Quaaludes made him stumble,
booze just made him cry,
Then he heard of a cat named Baba Fats
who knew of the perfect high.

Now, Baba Fats was a hermit cat...
lived high up in Nepal,
High on a craggy mountain top,
up a sheer and icy wall.

"Well, hell!" says Roy,
"I'm a healthy boy,
and I'll crawl or climb or fly,
Till I find that guru
who'll give me the clue
as to what's the perfect high."

So out and off goes Gimme-Some-Roy,
to the land that knows no time,
Up a trail no man could conquer,
to a cliff no man could climb.
For fourteen years he climbed that cliff...
back down again he'd slide . . .
He'd sit and cry, then climb some more,
pursuing the perfect high.

Grinding his teeth,
coughing blood,
aching and shaking and weak,
Starving and sore,
bleeding and tore,
he reaches the mountain peak.
And his eyes blink red like a snow-blind wolf,
and he snarls the snarl of a rat,
As there in repose,
and wearing no clothes,
sits the god-like Baba Fats.

"What's happenin', Fats?" says Roy with joy,
"I've come to state my biz . . .
I hear you're hip to the perfect trip...
Please tell me what it is.
"For you can see," says Roy to he,
"I'm about to die,
So for my last ride, tell me,
how can I achieve the perfect high?"

"Well, dog my cats!" says Baba Fats.
"Another burned out soul,
Who's lookin' for an alchemist
to turn his trip to gold.
It isn't in a dealer's stash,
or on a druggist's shelf...
Son, if you would find the perfect high,
find it in yourself."

"Why, you jive mother-fucker!" says Roy,
"I climbed through rain and sleet,
I froze three fingers off my hands,
and four toes off my feet!
I braved the lair of the polar bear,
I've tasted the maggot's kiss.
Now, you tell me the high is in myself?
What kinda shit is this?

My ears, before they froze off," says Roy,
"had heard all kindsa crap;
But I didn't climb for fourteen years
to hear your sophomore rap.
And I didn't climb up here to hear
that the high is on the natch,
So you tell me where the real stuff is,
or I'll kill your guru ass!"

"Okay...okay," says Baba Fats,
"You're forcin' it outta me...
There is a land beyond the sun
that's known as Zabolee.
A wretched land of stone and sand,
where snakes and buzzards scream,
And in this devil's garden blooms
the mystic Tzutzu tree.

Now, once every ten years it blooms one flower,
as white as the Key West sky,
And he who eats of the Tzutzu flower
shall know the perfect high.
For the rush comes on like a tidal wave...
hits like the blazin' sun.
And the high? It lasts forever,
and the down don't never come.

But, Zabolee Land is ruled by a giant,
who stands twelve cubits high,
And with eyes of red in his hundred heads,
he awaits the passer-by.
And you must slay the red-eyed giant,
and swim the river of slime,
Where the mucous beasts await to feast
on those who journey by.
And if you slay the giant and beasts,
and swim the slimy sea,
There's a blood-drinking witch who sharpens her teeth
as she guards the Tzutzu tree."

"Well, to hell with your witches and giants," says Roy,
"To hell with the beasts of the sea--
Why, as long as the Tzutzu flower still blooms,
hope still blooms for me."
And with tears of joy in his sun-blind eyes,
he slips the guru a five,
And crawls back down the mountainside,
pursuing the perfect high.

"Well, that is that," says Baba Fats,
sitting back down on his stone,
Facing another thousand years of talking to God, alone.
"Yes, Lord, it's always the same...
old men or bright-eyed youth...
It's always easier to sell 'em some shit
than it is to tell them the truth."

Shel Silverstein

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Back to Basics

I have signed up for a 4 week Yoga class at the Sivananda Center here in Paris. We have class twice a week and each class lasts 1.5 hours. I needed to get back into yoga, and doing it on my own wasn't working. I signed up for the "debutantes" class because I wanted to ease back into it, to learn all this group has to teach about the basic postures, and to be able to understand the French. I was most nervous about the French. My french is slowly improving, but that doesn't stop me from fretting. :D Well, the first class was wonderful. The teacher is a really gentle sweet man. He may be in his 30s, but he could be in his 50s for all I know. There are 8 students in the class, one of whom is disabled. The room is bright and airy. The class went like this: discussion of foundation of Sivananda center, the basic branches of Yoga, chanting, eye exercises, learning to breath, a few basic poses, relaxation, and more chanting.

absolutely wonderful. And I learned a new word: le ventre is the belly. :D

and today's class was even better. We did the eye exercises, the sun salutation, shoulder stand, fish pose, seated forward bend. chanting. relaxation.

I feel absolutely fantastic, very happy, and not afraid to try speaking french. That's the funniest part of this. Not only am I becoming more aware of the present moment again, but after yoga I feel more inclined to try communicating in French.

The teacher today was discussing the benefits of yoga (as far as I could tell, at least). And he was talking about the balance between flexibility and strength. And he said something about NOT getting "washboard abs"....but, he didn't use the analogy of a washboard. He said "a package of chocolate" instead.

Isn't that awesome? I love the visual of that, and the fact that this Frenchman sees those abs and is reminded of food. love it!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Moon River

Tonight I watched Breakfast at Tiffany's on a movie screen.


The theater was small and cozy and absolutely charming! Outside, the facade of the building was fitted with a red overhang, some subtle neon lights, display windows, and minor flood lights which allowed me to watch the slight drizzle as we stood in line. Inside, the screening room was small and the screen not much bigger than some large TVs. The seats were lush and red and very narrow. The walls were red and there was a small stage that made me think of the possibility of live plays. The movie itself was wonderful. I laughed, and I cried. The music moved me, and I was so content at the end. so wonderful. I sort of feel as if I'm only just now seeing Breakfast at Tiffany's, truly, for the first time.

I'm now obsessed with watching classic movies in these charming small theaters, which are sprinkled throughout Paris. absolutely obsessed!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Floor Scrapers

There is something about this painting that I love. I'm not sure what it is. Maybe I enjoy the painting because this scene feels realistic to me. I like that they are working hard, are shirtless, and are talking to each other with a bottle of wine waiting on the side. And, in person, the detail of the wood floor is breath taking. I would even go as far to say the shine of the floor is reminiscent of a Vermeer. That's a high compliment from me. :D This painting was done by Gustave Caillebotte in 1875, and it is displayed in the Musee D'Orsay.

Walking to a friends house, I noticed this image on the side of a book store.

This hidden treasure is one of the many things I love about Paris.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jawa attack caught on tape.

So, instead of spending all my time on facebook, I studied my french, did some yoga, listened to music, and made this very silly (and very blurry) video called Counter-Attack of the Jawa.


A good friend of mine has been talking about the absurdity of facebook. I am one of those people who spends the working day in front of a computer, so I have a web browser tab constantly open to facebook. I check facebook (and my e-mail) obsessively. So, I regularly post photos and silly one liners. I post comics I find funny. I play scrabble with my mom(#). I farm a fairy tale land in which animals never get sick or die from lack of food, there is no mud or manure, and the crops are always healthy. I peep into my friends lives without them knowing about it. And I peep into lives of people I knew in high school. These people are very nice, but we are vastly different, and they probably don't enjoy my "I support same sex marriage" posts. On the other hand, I really do enjoy seeing what everyone is up to on a daily basis. It's such a strange and false world, but I'm completely wrapped up in it.

Tautology is a word I learned today thanks to the XKCD comic strip. I laughed really hard when I read this strip, and I immediately thought of facebook. Facebook is an exercise in tautology for me. Instead of experiencing and living life, I'm unnecessarily repeating it on facebook, rendering myself redundant. It's almost as if I'm attempting to reduce my life to my profile page on facebook. I have my interactions there rather than through e-mail or phone calls...or heaven forbid face-to-face.

So, I've decided to break free of my bad habits this lenten season. This is the first time I've decided to make multiple changes as I usually focus on a single habit. Each habit I've chosen to drop this year is something I classify as a distraction and/or something that inhibits me from experiencing people, books, foods, and events (i.e. life). So, it's a big challenge, but just like with any addiction, I will take it one day at a time.

And funny how I've been meaning to post on my blog for months, but the day I decide to take a break from facebook and farmville, I return to my blog.

So, raise your glass and let's toast to my debut into society and, hopefully, the return of tangible interactions with the people of the world(*)!

(#) I love playing scrabble online, and this is one habit I'm not giving up for now.
(*) Yes, I get the irony of declaring this on the blogosphere. :D