New shirt.

I got a new shirt today:

Here it is tucked into my pants. And my pants contoured around my crotch:


I bought it at what may have been the world's smallest multicultural festival. There were at most 15 booths, probably not even that many. Maybe less than 10. As far as I am concerned it is already listed in the Guinness book of world records as smallest festival. Maybe everyone was in park city waiting to see Bob Dylan, or in their homes waiting to watch the Simpsons. Or maybe they were at Pioneer Park, asking around if any of the homeless people had heroin to sell and being duped paying 20$ for a little tobacco wrapped in plastic. Or maybe they were all in jail because they had accidentally asked an undercover cop in Pioneer Park if they had any heroin for sale.

But the shirt was only 10$ and the proceeds go to support Palestine. This is the first new shirt I can remember buying for myself since...I don't know. I can't remember the last time I purchased a new shirt.

For those unfamiliar with why I may be so excited to have a this shirt allow me to give a history lesson.

For most of the past two thousand years Jewish people have been in diaspora, meaning they were scattered about the world having no country of their own.

Towards the end of the 1800's as nationalist attitudes were rising amongst European intellectuals, secular Jews also became caught up in this fervor, wishing for a land of their own to escape the persecution widespread throughout Europe and Asia.

Prominent Jewish intellectuals wrote of the need for Jews to establish their own country and their writings were extremely influential. Palestine was but one of many places considered. Locations all around the world including South America were evaluated as possible homes for the Jewish people.

Eventually it was decided to settle in Palestine for symbolic but not religious reasons. In fact, religious Jews were strongly against the idea of an attempt to reclaim their homeland, feeling it should only be through the actions of God that Jews should return.

Beginning early last century secular Jews began moving to Palestine, purchasing land legally and resurrected Hebrew as a spoken language for the first time in almost two millennium. There was tension between those then inhabiting Palestine and the immigrating Jews, but the tension was low.

After a few decades religious Jews caught on to the idea that perhaps the return of the Jews people could happen through man's actions. It was then things took a turn for the worse. Because these religious people believed Palestinian land was theirs by right they felt no obligation to purchase land as had been happening before and began to take it by force!

This was generally opposed by governments around the world for obvious reasons, but then came the holocaust where...actually I can't remember what happened.(I joke, we all know what happened). After knowledge of Nazi concentration camps became known, sympathy for Jewish people increased as well as support for the Nation of Israel. This combined with a few well connected Israelis pointing out to various government leaders that Christian mythology taught that before their messiah could return Jews must return home. This eventually led to the United States and the United Nations recognizing Israel as a sovereign state.

As bad as it already was, things did not stop there. Religious support for the state of Isreal increased, and religious Jews continued their aggressive taking of lands they felt already belonged to them by divine right.

Imagine if one day a group of people decided your city was actually theirs and began aggressively moving in. Knocking over your house, killing your friends and building on your land. Imagine that as terrible as this might be for you and appeared so obviously unjust, the most powerful nation in the world is supporting these invaders because they are convinced by the an old book that was probably referring to something else altogether that these invaders are doing the will of god. No wonder some Arabs are so pissed.



While I don't think it is a big deal, and think of it as almost entirely symbolic in its effect, I just delivered a letter to my parents Bishop requesting my name be removed from the records of the Church. If anything I think the symbol is more for others than for me. I have this sense that some people I know see me as merely in a position of doubt or sin, and that if I could just be in a position to feel the spirit, to have my heart touched, I would again become a member. I also like the idea that were I to return, however unlikely(if I thought I would ever rejoin, I would just do it now. I think I am about as likely to reconvert to Mormonism as I am to become a Jehovah's witness, not impossible, but I cannot imagine what circumstance would lead to this).
I didn't plan on telling my parents. Not that I meant to keep it a secret. They know I do not believe and have become a Baha'i, but I knew it would be sad for my mom. But when I asked my mom to use her printer, then asked for the address of her Bishop, it became apparent something was up, so I told her. When I left to place the envelope in her Bishop's mailbox she said 'I will just be here, crying.' It was partly a joke, but also serious. I told her I thought she should pray about what I am doing, and that I thought she would receive a positive spiritual confirmation that I am doing the right thing. She said she would tonight. I am curious to see if she remembers, and if she does what will happen. When I returned she hadn't the appearance of one who had been crying.

Here is the letter I wrote. I looked online for advice in crafting a letter to receive the timeliest assistance, and constructed this based on some other letters, lifting some parts verbatim. Some people were really into sending a letter that outlined all the specific reasons for leaving The Church, but I thought that seemed like a waste of energy that would have little or no effect. Here is the letter:

Bishop Ottesen

I am uncertain where my records are currently held, while I do not believe my records are with this ward, as this is the jurisdiction my parents (Richard and Nancy Allman)live within and I am temporarily residing with them, I hope my request can be completed through you.

Please remove my name from the records of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as specified in the General Handbook of Instructions, 1989 Edition, chpt 8, pg 4.

The instructions state that as the bishop you are to be certain I understand the following:

- that withdrawing a name cancels the effects of baptism, withdraws the priesthood from a male member; and suspends temple sealings and blessings.

I understand these things and make this formal written request for my name to be removed from the records of the Church.

I am requesting of you to complete the form "Request for Administrative Action" and forward it to the Stake President. I request you to then send me a letter informing me you have done so, and that the Stake President will hold the form for 30 days. With no further action from me, at the end of those 30 days, I request the Stake President to forward this letter and the form to the Office of the First Presidency. I thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Christopher Karl Allman



here is a good song:

Mount Eerie - Domesticated Dog
Found at bee mp3 search engine



Whenever capitalism is praised, the most common thing I hear is that free markets breed competition which breeds diversity of choice. I think this is a legitimate praise for free markets. It is true that economic competition leads to greater diversity.

But how how valuable is having a wide range of choices? Psychologically, it is not helpful. It is a well studied phenomenon that the more choices we have, the less content we are with our decisions. I think a little introspection can, for most people, confirm this. In general when we have a lot to choose from we are more likely to be discontent with what we have, worry we made the wrong decisions etc. Of course it usually feels good to have a wide range of choices, but what we think we like does not necessarily equal what makes us happiest.
Of course there are areas where people being spurred towards creative diversity is helpful to humanity. Scientific discoveries that can improve our health or our impact on the environment, as well as the arts.(and it is also true that people are generally happier when they have greater control over their lives. Such as being able to work the type of job they want at the hours they want etc. While similar, I think this is different than what I am here discussing)

But I think some fields do well on their own, without financial incentives to create. Particularly Science and art. The best art, in my opinion, is made when as free from financial motivations as possible. And science is something that drives people, like art, for its own sake. A lot of great science is done through Universities or other non-capitalist institutions.

So while capitalism may be great at giving us an enormous selection of toothbrushes, perhaps that not only doesn't add to the quality of our lives, but detracts. I really do love having a lot of options, but perhaps I would be happier without them. Though I am a pretty happy guy. And I actually have very few options because I am so poor.


I updated my flickr account recently. Click these words. there is more I need to add but I have been a bit under the weather.


Mirror Neurons and Energy

I think every single person I have been around has a distinct essence about them. By essence I mean something similar to a flavor. By that I mean it feels like something to be around them. Something that it doesn't feel like to be around others.

For some people the feeling is light and calming. Others it is heavy, confused, dark. Some it is a sense of clarity, or just a lightheartedness that is comfortable. A person may feel like warmth, others it is like coldness. Or many other things in a variety of combinations.

The feeling that is felt from each person may change from moment to moment as their moods and behavior changes, but there also seems to be an underlying feeling that remains the same. I have yet to meet two people whose presence feels exactly the same. Though, not surprisingly, siblings often give off similar feelings. Similar but still distinct.

One explanation for this could be Mirror Neurons. Mirror Neurons are neurons in our brain that fire when we observe an action. For example, if I pick up a pencil, certain neurons will be observed to fire, however if I were to watch someone pick up a pencil, what appears to be the same area of neurons also fire. This can give us a biological explanation for empathy. When we see someone suffer, we can actually feel the suffering because of our mirror neurons. (this phenomenon was first discovered in monkeys). It makes sense that when we are around someone who is tense or twitchy, our mirror neurons for being tense and twitchy also fire, evoking in us the correlating emotions. But it is even more interesting than this. When we communicate with someone, our mirror neurons try to synch up our bodies. Our heart rates and breathing rates etc will synch with each other. The more we become in synch, the more we feel we are 'connecting' with the other. This could explain why each person creates a certain feeling. They have very distinct, unique movements that may be subtle, but our minds are picking up on behind the scenes via our mirror neurons and creating for us the feeling of that other person.

But I think this is not a full explanation. I think there is also a real energy that people emit. I do not mean this in any supernatural way. Normal, non-new age scientific studies show that the electrical patterns a person emits change with their mood. I don't think this should be surprising or mystical. Many animals, often fish, but even the duck billed platypus have a sense that electroreception. They can sense the electricity being emitted from an object and use that to help with locating. To me this seems very comparable to and as useful as hearing or seeing. While we clearly do not have a electrical sense that is highly evolved, it would make sense if we had one, at least to a subtle degree as it is a part of our genetic heritage. Since a person's electrical energy varies depending on their mood, it would make sense that what is felt by ones electroreception would also vary depending on the mood of the creature doing the electricity sending.

I remember once a few years ago being with a group of friends. We had been together for most of the day, and while we weren't fighting, the mood felt heavy, negative and tense. Our jokes had a negative edge, taking from each other emotionally rather than giving. Later in the day we had returned to one of our living rooms and another friend joined us from upstairs. The moment his presence came into ours I felt the heaviness lift into lightness. As if the positive energy he had with him at that moment instantly over powered the negativity within us. What was particularly interesting about this to me at the time, was that the change occurred before he had made his way into the room and before we realized he was coming. The positive energy was felt separate from seeing or hearing him, so unlikely a mere byproduct of our mirror neurons mirroring his positive body movements. That was one of the first times I was consciously aware of such a thing, but have noticed it numerous times since, both positively and negatively.

Early this week I finished a book about neuroscientist who had stroke causing her to lose most functioning in her left hemisphere. This caused to lose her sense of self, time, language, etc.(after about 8 yrs she made a full recovery) By losing these abilities she had in many ways entered the Buddhist's description of Nirvana. What she described sounded as wonderful as one could imagine. The book almost read like a near death experience, of one going to heaven and back. One interesting thing she mentioned, is that while within her new perception of reality entirely dominated by her right hemisphere, she became extremely sensitive to the energies of others. Almost overwhelmingly so. Yet she had also lost her ability to see with any clarity, could only make out rough outlines, making it unlikely that she was merely extra sensitive to her visual impressions of others emotions.

I think this could explain some of the power of groups. I know some very powerful spiritual and emotion experiences I have had have occurred within groups. Perhaps this happens because as each individual is becoming in synch with the speaker, they then enhance that feeling, projecting it around them.

Which reminds me of a quote I like by Ram Das, (though I have heard numerous variations of from various sources): 'When you meet a being who is centered you always know it. You feel a kind of calm emanating. It touches you in that place where you feel calm'

Odor in the court.

Today I had a court appearance. I am trying to see if I can get some money back from the 600$ worth of tickets I was burdened with for driving the car i recently purchased without having yet registered it in my name. I promptly registered the car in my name as soon as I was able, after receiving the ticket, and am hoping the Judge will show me leniency for clearing up the problem. I have had luck with this before.

But it turns out this Judge has pretty strong feelings against flip-flops. On the paper which notified me of my court date was also guidelines of what was appropriate to wear in court. No mention was made of flip-flops so I thought I would be fine.

When the Judge came into the court, after we all rose then sat back down, the first thing he said was, 'anyone wearing ______(a list of unacceptable court clothes), please notify the bailiff then reschedule.' Obviously, one of the things he mentioned was flip-flops. Many of the people around me seemed to have noticed what was on my feet when I had entered, and when the judge made his announcement several people made comments like 'oh...Busted!'. I thought it was so funny! It was said with such sincerity! That mix of both empathy but also pleasure in seeing someone else get in trouble. It was funny how adult life can instantly become like little kid life once we are placed in those roles again.

I am curious what goes through this judge's mind when he decides to forbid those wearing flip-flops. Is it an ego thing? Does he enjoy being able to exercise his authority by creating for his courtroom rules more strict than the general court rules? Or does he feel it actually matters if people are too casual about their court experience? That if he lets small things slip through the cracks it will lead to a general disrespect for the court, leading to less effective legal proceedings? I lean towards it being apart of his ego. Relishing in the ability to have his will legally enforced and taking advantage it every way he can.

I was able to reschedule and in looking through a paper I was given informing me of my rights I was surprised to see that I am eligible to request a jury trial even though my crime was so minor. I could imagine requesting a jury trial would negatively effect my chances, I mean, who do I think I am requesting a jury for a minor traffic violation? People would likely feel cheesed at me for wasting their time. But I like imagining it anyway.
Walking back and forth in front of the Judge, saying things like , 'Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, LOOK AT THIS FACE!' I then reveal a 5 ft by 10 ft photograph of my face. 'And ask yourself, is the face of a man you think should have to pay 600$ for such a minor violation? Now look at THIS face' I then unveil a large mirror 'Now, is THIS the face of someone you want to pay 600$ for a minor violation? For are we all not one? All cut from the same cloth, all made by the same almighty? Just remember, that whatever you choose for me, you are choosing for yourself.'

As the entire court wipes the tears from their ugly faces,(I imagine an ugly jury) I am carried out of the courtroom on the shoulders of the jury, all of us singing 'Free at last, free at last I thank God I'm free at last'. As hundreds of reporters flock us outside, asking questions and taking take flash photos. The next day newspapers across the globe would have front page headline along the lines of 'Local hero frees the nation from a 600$ ticket.' And 'The most landmark court case since Roe v. Wade, our nation is forever changed.'


Majorites thinking they are repressed minorities.

I think it is super funny how no matter how widely held a person's beliefs may be, people seem to enjoy thinking of themselves as belonging to a persecuted minority, living defiantly against a mainstream that wishes to suppress them.

I frequently here secular people talk about the increasing dominance of religion in our culture, while among religious people, one consistent theme, that seemingly goes back forever, is that the world is getting worse and worse every day(which I disagree with for a variety of reasons, one being that many of our values come in cycles. The twenties were sexually liberated, the next generation sexually repressive, the next was sexually liberated, but often we only look back to the previous generation and generalize backwards. But also, isn't it a more moral world that is opposed to things like slavery and women not being taught how to read than one that is otherwise?). I remember this being illustrated clearly while listening interview on Npr with a man who was trying to help homosexuals become not homosexual. He made a reference to the rising immorality in the world that is opposed to people like him, while the interviewer countered that he thought the opposite was true.

I often hear people on the right speak of the 'Liberal media'. At my school Evergreen whose student body tends to lean far to the left, I remember being offered a newspaper being told it was meant to provide a left leaning perspective to balance the 'Right Wing Media'.

(Speaking of which Whenever I happen to see television news I don't think it seems to lean one way or the other. Not because of anything we might think of as praiseworthy, like being balanced and unbiased in its reporting, rather it's because the major news outlets are often so lacking of depth or relevance to the important issues we face that it does not tread turf that is either liberal or conservative, just beside the point altogether. One local news show actually has a segment called "World in a Minute" where all of the world news is summed up in one minute. one minute for all that happens outside of America! The rest of the time being spent with stories about someone who has gone missing, weather, sports, and non-news human interest stories.)
Of course, local news is generally a bit lighter than Cable news, but not only scarcely.)

I hear people on the right speak of The Liberal Conspiracy that apparently is the true driving force of our country. I also here people on the Left speak of the Right Wing Conspiracy, also the real force which drives our country. Frequently the very same groups and people are labeled by both sides as the culprits of this radically or radically left conspiracy.

I guess it isn't too difficult to imagine reasons why even when people are in a majority like to think of themselves as representing a repressed minority.

Particularly in America where so much value is placed on individualism and going against the grain. Almost every major modern American movie involves someone who, despite having no reasons whatsoever besides his gut feelings, ends up being correct, in spite of the naysayers who used their so-called logic and facts to try and suppress this renegade who won't listen to anyone no matter what, because s/he believes is following his heart! Because they believe in their cause so strongly it must be correct, even if facts are against it, because for some reason what is felt in our hearts trumps all. This hero heart follower renegade is always faced with intense opposition from the stupid masses who are following the group instead of following their hearts, so just don't get him. This sort of thing, which is all over the place in our culture teaches a message that being apart of a majority held view is bad, and going against it good.
Sometimes this is true and can lead to helpful revolutions. Sometimes this is bad and leads to groups like the Westboro Baptist Church, (godhatesfags.com) Few groups are so unanimously hated than they are, yet they 'follow their hearts' and 'are true to themselves', and continue with their God Hates Fags sign holding despite what anyone else may so do or say to the contrary, making them true American heroes. Whatever you think to be correct is correct, regardless of anything, so don't back down. (think of how often people say something like, well, I may disagree with him, but I admire his sticking to his guns. What is so about that? I am much more impressed by someone who questions their beliefs and always considers the possibilty they may be incorrect. Some people who stick to their guns: our current president, schizophrenics preaching on street corners, Andrew Jackson {who drove the Indians onto reservations}, Hitler, Stalin, Fred Flintstone)

But we also have a competing notion, one that is likely stronger and deep in our biology, but also reinforced culturally, though often more as a subtext.
In general people find comfort in holding a belief that those around us hold. It creates group cohesiveness. Those who are too different are seen as outsiders to be shunned, something many people fear. For understandable reasons. In our course of mammal and primate evolution, those got shunned from the group decreased their chances of survival and reproduction.

So we have this idea that the masses are dumb and wrong, that we need to be renegades and individuals. With many legitimate cultural of people who, by going against the group, brought beneficial reforms. People want to feel they are special and apart something elite. As well as our biological urge to to be apart of the group. This leads people who are in majorities to thinking they are repressed minorities. Probably for other reasons too, but that is what came to my mind as I was typing. I say these things in the name of myself, even christopher allman, amen.
I would be interested to know if this phenomenon also exists in cultures that value community over individualism.



I didn't realize that after having passed the required tests for being hired as aChaCha guide, I would then have to pass still more tests before I was allowed to answer live queries from real customers.

So, although I was hired a while ago, not until a couple days prior did I field my first customer query (that's how we talk in this biz, catch up or get killed by the timecube guy.) My first question happened to be "does a lot of rough anal sex destroy your butthole

(I'm curious what was the queryists...I don't think that is a real word. The querier? the queryo? oh, duh, the inquirer. I am curious what the that national inquirer had in mind of what conditions being met would qualify a butthole to be considered destroyed. Maybe if it can no longer function in tradition role as a means of blasting a dookie out your ass {meghan's joke. not having made up the term of course, but to resurrect it, and use it casually. Meghan, this is chris speaking(writing). I know how much you love getting credit for your jokes, so, god bless you funny wise woman, here is the credit you have earned.}) Getting to research this issue of butthole (or is it butt hole)destruction allowed me to learn that the butt hole can easily become damaged by having something put in it over and and over again, even with the use of proper lube. What is referred to as anal fissures can be a common problem as well as damage to the prostate for men. Although, I don't think I would consider this the destruction of a butt hole. Our butt holes are very resilient things, and that is something we should probably be more proud of. But not express this pride to much because that would make us unpleasant to be around.

I have been pleased to realize I really enjoy being a ChaCha Guide, as the company refers to us. We are not actually ChaCha employees but independent contractors, so I can refer to myself in whatever I want, so interestingly enough, while I haven't even been working more than a few days, I already have the position and title: King of question answering. Also known as Head King, or The top King of all Kings, or The King of Kings, and the infrequently used, Prime Minister of Kingly affairs, but what typically I just let myself be called, 'Our Majestic Lord'.

Not only have I found that I enjoy answering ChaCha questions, but it is even a little bit addictive. Once I have seen the query, I am now interested in learning the answer for myself as well, and looking up answers to question online is something I love. Once I even put it on a flier as a way to describe me when I had unsuccessfully tried to move to Portland. Melissa tried to discourage me from including that on the flier, but I thought it was funny enough to stay. I never received a single call from any of the fliers I placed, but that was because they were all written with white ink on white paper. I joke, they were written with Super See Easily ink.

Researching the questions are fun, though you have a ten minute time limit, which adds a certain amount of a feeling of pressure which I do not love. Though 90% of the time 10 is well more than enough time, but more complicated questions I would like to spend longer than 10 minutes with. It is generally easy to actually find the answer quickly, but I then need to find that answer given by a reputable source, for citation, then I must figure a way to explain a complex idea succinctly enough to fit within one text message.

Which leads to the next thing I enjoy about being The King of Kings at ChaCha: The challenge to include as much info as possible, while still using full sentences and proper grammar, yet only having about 140 characters at my disposal (the other 20 or so are reserved for the citation source link.) It feels like a fun and challenging game each time. I love when on particularly difficult ones, their comes the sudden flash of insight, revealing a different way to phrase the answer that delivers the same amount of info but is now sufficiently succinct. It seems this activity may also be useful to me in my desire to be a good writer. I have been using my computer's built-in thesaurus to help me find shorter words, which I hope may increase my vocabulary in general. I foresee the day when people who are in search of short words that still communicate a lot of data, will flock from every corner of the earth to ask my help. And I will counsel them wisely with the aid of my digital thesaurus.

Lastly, and what I think the real hook is, for me, in terms of finding being ChaCha's 'Our Majestic Lord' addicting is this: After having answered a question, I am always super curious what the next question may be. But you can't look at the question, without accepting to answer it. So in times where I may not necessarily feel driven to answer another question, I will anyway because of curiosity about what that next question may be. And of course I am then committed to answer the question, but also now eager to discover the answer.
Just a warning. This entry basically says nothing and is not likely worth the time or effort required to read. Nor has it been proof read so the sentences probably don't even make sense. I have now been up for 41 hours and am feeling just like a really great guy. A really great guy who wants to go out, buy houses for cheap, then sell them for more, then teach people how to do the same by writing books promising people the mirage of fulfillment that is money. Cause what they really want to be fulfilled is just presents. you know, cut out the middle man. Or cut up the middle man and stuff him in a garbage can, or sell his parts to be dried and sold at pet stores as dog chew items. Middle man liver, 15$. If you love your dog, by that little woman dog a dried middle man stomach skin cape, with boots made from the dried hands and feet of middle men of all races and heights. But seriously, if you have made it this far, it only gets worse. here is a link to check out instead. It is isaac's new blog he just started. it is really good. it is mostly about music, you know, what bands are cool and why, that sort of stuff that the internet is always needing more of. But not really. it is about music, in a way you may not even realize it is about music. but we often build ideas bouncing off each other so i feel is blog is a good compliment to mine here it is ) okay, click that, serioiusly, if you read further you will be filled with so much regret you can only recover by having your memory erased ala' eternal sunshine of the spotless mind except there is a new drug, still being tested for safety, but that is already shown to erase specific memories. think about, typically by talking about a memory, then take the drug, and the memory is then much much lighter. And has less emotional weight. Then do it again and again until you have, each time, accidently allowed your mind to slip onto another topic, but this ends up happening so many times your memory becomes like swiss cheese, where each hole, to those inside is observably infinite, yet to those viewing from outside, it is observably finite. these are such weird jokes, i am combining so many different totally unrelated ideas that sometimes use similar metaphors items, though in totally different ways, explaining totally different phenomenon. goodnight.

The room I have been sleeping while staying with my parents this summer is in the basement directly below my parents bathroom. A few minutes ago my attempts at rest became interrupted when I realized that the pipe which is directly above my head began, at very long intervals, to drip water on my forehead. I slept not at all the night before and am still fairly exhausted. So exhausted I am not even going to move. When I wake in the morning I will have a new hole directly in center of my forehead. The hole will be perfectly sized to snugly hold quarters. And because I tend to sleep on my sides as well as my back throughout the night I will have a hole on either side of my head as well, also perfectly sized to snugly hold a quarter.
"oh, hi bill gates. What's that? You forgot change for parking? Yes, that is ironic huh? The used to be richest man in the world can't afford a simple parking meter....Oh yes, I see what you mean, it isn't that you can't afford it, you just don't happen to have the right type of money this machine requires on your person. Well, you are in luck. Just reach into this abscess on the right side of my head. Yes, right there. Yes, just reach right in. Yeah, a thin layer of skin has grown over that one but it is just a thin layer. Right, like a blister, you can just push right through it. Sure it hurts a little, but the joy I am about to see on your face will more than compensate.
There, you got through the skin? Now just fish your fingers around in there until you feel something. Yes, you feel that? It's hard like metal right? Okay, good, now pull it out. You might have to yank a bit because some scar tissue has begun to form around it.
You see what that is? Yes, quarters! Yeah, the coagulated blood and pus does make it a little difficult to tell huh. But they are still just as good as any quarter from any part of any other persons body, or a bank or whatever.
Yes, it was fortunate of you to meet me huh?
Oh, and what else is that you are saying Bill Gates? For helping you out when you were in a tight spot you would like to help me out by giving me a Billion Dollars?
Well, I appreciate your desire to pay it forward, but I am a man of integrity and my charitable acts cannot be sold like a bunch of food at the grocery store or convenience store.
That is right, I do not do this because I hope for some type of reward. This is my life calling, and fulfilling that is reward enough. I am a man who follows his heart no matter where it leads him, and my heart has screamed to me at the top of it's proverbial lungs, Christopher! Carry spare change within three small holes created in your skull by a pipe which drips water directly onto your head while sleeping.

I guess this is the sort of thing that comes out of me when I haven't slept in 40 and one half hours, even though i so desperately wanted to nap this afternoon I was only able to achieve this weird but interesting hypnotic state, where my eyes were closed and I was dreaming, but not sleeping. Though not fully conscious. I was almost always aware of who and where I was, but occasionally I slipped into believing the dream reality was real reality. Kind of like early in the morning when you are having a hard time waking up, then you dream that you do wake up and get up and get dressed, but then wake up again for real, and are bummed to see you are still in bed. Kind of like that, except it didn't feel as if I was actually asleep in those moments when I was fully immersed in my imagination. I also was never bummed when I realized I was still in bed. What I was bummed about was that I was still awake. Though, I found what was happening to me fascinating. It has happened to me several times before, and always when severely sleep deprived and I close my eyes. But never has it lasted as long as this afternoon without ever giving way to actual sleep.
So this is what comes out of me when I finally felt myself drifting to the unconscious state I so deeply craved, only to realize water is dripping directly on my face.
I wonder how I will feel about what I wrote here tomorrow. I imagine it won't be entirely unlike what I might feel in the morning when realized that during the night before I had woken up and in my sleepy confusion mistook chair for a toilet releasing Montezuma's Revenge where it had no exit. (I just checked my computer Thesaurus for diarrhea and found a term way funnier than I could have hoped. Do people really use that? It sounds vaguely familiar but has no scatological associations in my mind. Perhaps I can, in following my hearts commands dedicate my life to reigniting the acceptance and use of Montezuma's Revenge to the point of fully replacing the term diarrhea, eliminating from any dictionary in only two generations) God I feel weird. Not unpleasant but so weird. By god I wasn't pleading with deity but being profane. Having grown up never swearing, no swear words have become conditioned responses for me with the exception of the word god. oh my god. oh god. I guess i just like the ring of it. I probably shouldn't post this, but here I go anyway. I am sure the grammar is horrible and typos are rife. but thats me man. I just got to be me. I just got to keep it real and who I am is a person who doesn't feel like proof reading right now. Why can't the world just accept me as I am. This entry has been so full of jokes that in my current state seem so so so so so so funny. Today I recorded about 45 minutes of stand-up comedy with isaac. It was primarily just free association about things I thought were funny. I felt some gems were produced though. Like jamming for a musician. Noodling on the guitar produces mostly debris, but that is also often the source of the crème de la crème, the bees knees, pearl, jewel in the crown. (thesaraus suggestions for gem) goodnight. Why am I still writing this? i feel like i am now in that hypnotic trance state. I wonder if i am somehow technically in the state that is considered hypnotism. WOuld i be able to think a thought like this? to reflect on my level of conciousness? i dunno. but i know who else doesn't know. Almost who now lives or had ever lived. Me and those cool dudes and women, all making love to the earth that then turns into a woman which then turns into a bird and flies into the sky. that is based on an old joke based on a real thing i read.



I have written earlier about the seemingly increasing and I feel unfortunate misuse of the word 'literally' so I won't repeat myself here but I heard two funny examples recently.

First was on an NPR Podcast. The show's host informed us listeners that their internet connection had crashed and so they were now 'Literally flying by the seat of their pants'
Is that even possible? And if so, what exactly is it that would be happening?

In reference to this phenomena I often make the joke of saying that I am Literally in Hog Heaven. NOW GET THIS!!!! Yesterday I actually overheard some stranger saying that. At first I thought he was probably referring to something relating to hogs, like being at a hog farm or something, but he wasn't! He was, in all seriousness saying something had literally caused him to be in hog heaven!!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!!!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!! !!!! !!!



I like the feeling I feel when it is late at night, and I am lying in bed, and thinking about everyone else laying in their beds. Everyone is so vulnerable right now. It reminds me how no one really has much of a clue what is going on. Even the most basic question of why is there something instead of nothing is impossible out of reach.
I like thinking about how everyone has bad things happen a lot and we all carry heavy burdens, but that it is okay because that is just how things are. None of us have anyone to impress even though sometimes we feel like it. We have millions of years of evolution that have given us certain proclivities. Some are great and help keep us alive, like getting thirsty when we are dehydrated, or empathy, or our sense of fairness. These are traits we share with primates. Many of our morals that we think are the products of our culture or were handed down from god are actually shared by our primate cousins and are deeply rooted in our biology. others not so great like feeling concern about approval by the group, or people trying to become the alpha male.
But when It is late at night like it is now I think of all these things and i feel a distance from it. I feel like I am seeing it all as if I am an outsider and so I don't feel how deeply emotional it all is. I am feeling so sleepy, my eyes are closing then opening. i don't know why i am still typing. I have a bunch of things I have been meaning to write but haven't gotten around to it.



Since modern Christianity has such a strange arbitrariness built into it, that only those who have heard of and then accepted Christ won't have to suffer for an eternity, it makes one wonder about the individuals who are modern Christians.
Wonder how they can feel comfortable accepting such a strange god with such an unjust plan. I imagine many just don't think about it, because to give it much thought and yet still believe seems like it must require certain amount denial or compartmentalizing. Put 'God is all powerful and loves everyone' in one compartment, then put 'his Plan of Salvation' in another, separate compartment. At least that is what I imagine, because I imagine myself in that situation and imagine how I would be able to deal with the seeming contradiction.

But then I read quotes like this from Anne Coulter which make me think otherwise:

'I defy any of my co-religionists to tell me they do not laugh at the idea of (Richard) Dawkins burning in hell.' (Coulter 2006:268)

Which makes me realize, maybe some of these people don't need to compartmentalize. Maybe they have some part in them that enjoys the thought of people who are otherwise moral, yet disagree with them on deep and complicated issues, to suffer FOREVER!. And that these people would refer to themselves as the MORAL majority.

I shaved my beard yesterday.

even though i think my beard looks better shorter than longer, i wanted to try and grow it out very long. I may try again later this winter, but it isn't great for the summer to have a long beard. that and i was bored with it i shaved last night. here is a photo:

Shaved my beard
Myspace Glitter Graphics



I will be interested to see what sort of staying power the celebrity of movie and tv actors have. I will be surprised if it is much. In one hundred years will anyone remember people like Julia Roberts? When our parents die will people remember the names of Clark Gabel and Lucille Ball? I dunno. Maybe if their shows are being re-runned and their movies still watched. But maybe by then all movies will be in virtual reality 3D smellovision, and 2D drama will only be watched by the counter culture kids. On laser discs. While listening to music on those old cylinders...what were they made of? wax or something?

Not until recently has it been practical for actors to be celebrities in the way they are now. Or even for there to be celebrities the way we have them now. So the past is not a great guide to predict the future status of current celebrities.

But it is hard for me to imagine the future having any reason to remember our actors of today. For the most part, people only love them because they are attractive and well known. There will always be more people who are just as attractive and even more well known. It is not as if actor celebrities are doing anything that significantly alters our lives in a way that will deserve our future selves remembering admirably. The way scientists, artists or writers do.

It is interesting that what may be the most famous people of the present, are those most likely to fade away in the future. All those people who desperately want to feel as if they have value by getting the admiration of a legion of strangers would better serve their misplaced desires by doing something that has an actual effect on the quality of our lives and will be well thought of by infinitely more people growing exponentially into the future.

It is funny and strange actors are so admired and fawned over. They are so boring. Their lives aren't boring per se, because they are rich and do wacky things, but they as people are not particularly interesting. I can understand that when we know someone, even if only from a distance, we like to hear information and news about them, and actors are in a position to be easily known by many people, leading to many people having some interest in what happens to them. But aside from that, actors seem like some of the least newsworthy people of all. All they do is give voice and face to the genius of writers and directors.(of course some are better at this than others but generally the quality of one's acting isn't what creates super-stardom).

When I think of all the people I admire, I can't think of a single actor. Even the actors I really love, like Philip Seymore Hoffman, I am almost totally indifferent to him as a person. Nothing I have learned about him has caused me to think he is interesting or admirable (not that I think negatively about him, but he seems like nothing special, aside from his great acting). Even if there were an actor I happened to admire as a person, it would likely have very little to do with their role as an actor, but rather, other things unrelated to acting, like they are a smart or funny or exceptionally kind or gentle person. (speaking of funny, funny actors are a slight exception to what I am saying. Because I do admire some actors for their ability to be very funny while acting lines they did not write, like Norm Macdonald. I love that guy! And just being funny in general is something I admire. And of course, people like Larry David or Ricky Gervais are total exceptions because they help write the funny stuff they say, and help alter the landscape of comedy in general.)

Here is a photo of a laser disk, in honor of its being mentioned above:


Pen 15 club.

I have started a Pen 15 club. We just go around putting our pen15es on people's foreheads while they are sleeping or resting.

Lightning in slow motion.

This is an interesting video of lightning in slow motion. It looks considerably different than I would have imagined.

See more .


.ritual. and killing the buddha.

I understand (I think) the purpose of religious ritual.

Because much of spirituality transcends our ability to comprehend or communicate it with our normal mind or tools of communication, we sometimes need to package it into something else, something more comprehensible. Like language. Many of our ideas are far more complicated than is communicated through the words we use, but it's okay, for the most part, because we realize the words are not the things, but just placeholder for the things, because the things are too subtle, too hard to actually say.

And so rituals become our language for spirituality. They aren't the thing, but if they are good, or we do them right, then they help us think about, communicate and experience the thing the ritual represents.

Though the problem is: we can mistake the ritual for the thing it is helping us approach. I think this is the danger with religion as an institution. It is always in risk of making the institution and it's rituals the thing, rather than a stepping stone to be transcended. So rather than being something to help liberate us, it becomes an anchor that limits and confines us to the rough parts of the world we are trying to rise above.

One thing I love about Buddhism (as it is practiced. Pretty much all religions have this in their source texts) is in its effort to help practitioners achieve liberation, it teaches you even need to transcend Buddhism. Transcend meditation, and ritual. In your effort to be liberated, even those things that are there to help us become liberated become attachments that confine us. (one of the only Zen koans that I understand, says: "If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him." )

I think this is a trap many religions fall into. I think of Mormonism (because it is my heritage,) Believing in Mormonism can make you believe you need the Church. You need the institution and you need the rituals: Masonic handshakes, dunks in water and little bites of food, or that masturbating is in a category of sins second only to murder. So you have then become less liberated, and more attached. Of course, some members and leaders recognize the rituals and institution are not the thing, but a launch pad to the thing. However, I think this is the exception more than the rule.

This is not just a problem in Mormonism, it is a problem of a lot of Christianity, and Hinduism and Islam and Baha'ism, even though all of the source texts are about the opposite.

Virtually all major religions are started by men (I wish women) who are in a culture that has become so focused on ritual and lost sight of what the rituals are trying to explain. So these manic depressive guys come and say(if they are Jesus), Woe unto you.. hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and platter, but inside they are dirty, full of extortion and excess. And walk about breaking the sabbath, trying to show that the rituals and rules are not the point. They may point us to the point, but they are not the point.

women and men.

It is amazing to me, how now that women are finally achieving a certain amount of liberation, they have surpassed men in many ways. More women then men are graduating from college. More women are getting phd's in biology than men.

I guess why it is amazing is that one of the the only reasons this has not been the case all along is that men are just a little bit stronger than women. That just a tiny amount of extra physical strength can cause a group to make another group think they are inferior for millennium, because they can physically restrain them from certain activities.

I know this is a huge over simplification of the issue, so if you want to reply.... its not necessary to mention that.

I tend to only get a crush on a girl that lasts longer than talking to her once about every 1.5 years.
And it has happened again! 
The timing of this crush could be seen as very unfortunate. Though in one sense  fortunate.

I met her briefly. Just enough time to ask her name and tell her mine.

I found her attractive and interesting seeming so I asked around about her and  learned she was leaving in two weeks for 4 months to be in kiev. I thought if I were to make any effort I should do it fast.

I found her on facebook that night and said something about us becoming friends.

I learned that while it was true she was leaving for kiev in two weeks it was also true she was leaving for Arizona, her hometown, the next day!
Even though she was leaving that day and still had to pack, she agreed to hang out with me.  It was enjoyable.
When she gets back I will be in Washington.
It is easy to see how this timing could be thought of as unfortunate, wut why I say that in  one sense the timing is fortunate, is she had recently been in Washington for the summer working a job. The window of time where she was again in Provo, but not yet in Arizona or Kiev was not large. It would have been very easy to not meet her at all. We have been communicating since and I still find her interesting and am learning things we have in common. But I am not getting my hopes up. Because I tend to be fickle in terms of girls. Hopefully this will be an exception. I feel like the sentences used in this entry were shorter than normal for me. Go figure. Go to hell. I joke, go to wherever is comfortable and take a nap.



Hurray! I just passed all the tests required to become a ChaCha guide! Supplementary income HELLO!!!!!!!!!

The tests were very easy. I am sure any college student/grad/dropout could pass them without any problem.

If you are not familiar with ChaCha, you can text any question to 242242(chacha) and you will receive a single text reply answered by a real person. So, your answers a likely to be far more relevant than what you may receive from Google or a similar automated text answering service.

Guides are paid per question answered. I think....20 cents per question? I learned about this job from karl. He said he averages about 6$/ hr. Not much. But I really need extra cash. Seriously, gas prices are killing me. I want to buy a motorcycle but was rejected for a loan for insufficient income. Hopefully my chacha $ will help me out.


a fairly interesting occurence.

Yesterday on the way to my studio I stopped by Juice and Java, Provo's only coffee shop (which is kind of crummy, and attracts a sometimes unpleasant crowd, but I noticed a new one is being built by Beto's which, also yesterday I noticed is not called Beto's anymore but something like Rancheritos. When I asked I learned everything is exactly the same except the name. Even the automated voice at the drive through still says 'Welcome to Beto's')

As I emerged from buying my drink, an iced coffee, two guys who didn't quite look homeless but seemed to be in a state where homelessness could easily result from a minor financial setback, were sitting in that grass strip which sometimes seperates sidewalks and roads and in Toronto I heard referred to as a 'boulevard', but have never heard it referred to by any name in the states, though a name may exist. If not we should coin one. Maybe we should call it the coin. Sometimes there might be confusion of whether a person using the word is referring to money or grass between sidewalks and roads, but I think most of the time it would be clear from the context.

One of the two almost homeless guys called me over and asked if i could spare some change. Since it was one of the rare times when I did have some spending cash on me I gave them a dollar and some change. Somehow, unsurprisingly because they both seemed a little tipsy, it came up that the man who had originally beckoned me was trained as a chef but hasn't been able to find any chef work so now works as a day laborer with his friend who was sitting with him on the coin

The trained chef began to rant about how he can't find a chef job because of the mexican immigrants who are willing to work for half the money he is. His friend interjected, 'That and you sometimes put people in the deep fryer.'

I responded with something like 'Whoa! what! Like sometimes you throw hot oil on people?'

Him: No, I actually put someone in a deep fryer.

Me: What do you mean? How did that happen?

Him: Well, we got into a fight and so I grabbed his face and shoved it into the deep fryer.

Me: Whoa! WOW! His FACE!? What happened!?

Him: Well, there were enough people around pulling me off him it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

I then jokingly asked for my money back, and he, not realizing I was joking began to hand it back. I told him I was only joking and he replied that I was still welcome to take it back if I wanted, which I did not want.

Then a friend of his walked up and began speaking to me in what I guess was Arabic. He assumed I was a Muslim because I was wearing my Morrocan thobe. I told him I was a Baha'i, and that while we believed in Muhammed we were distinct from Muslims. He claimed to know this yet his questions and comments seemed to show otherwise.

Here is a picture of me in my thobe, which you can also see to the right, much smaller, as my new profile photo. I recently learned Klimt wore a similar robe for the later part of his life, and seeing pictures of him has reignited my love of the thobe: