Upstream of Consciousness wants to be a collection of interviews that only contain answers. I will provide 5 phrases, words, quotes, links, pictures, or videos (in italics) and your consciousness will provide the rest. Responses can be short or long, real or fictional, words, links, or anything in between. In return, each of my "subjects" will give me 1 item back which I will then respond to (under the heading Ripple, with a number next to it). Come, swim for a while.

Monday, March 2, 2009


In lieu of a link, Rob asked me to share this Rumi excerpt with you:

Don't worry about saving these songs!
And if one of our instruments breaks;
it doesn't matter.

We have fallen into the place
where everything is music.

Yes Yes – Charles Bukowski

when God created love He didn't help most
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low

when He created you lying in bed
He knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountains and the sea and fire at the same time

He made some mistakes
but when He created you lying in bed
He came all over His Blessed Universe.

A Bukowski love poem is a strange thing indeed. Irreverent in everything he did; romance was no exception. Both his fear of and his desire for intimacy are evident in his writing. One other thing is also clear though…He did know…and have love.

Many people may see blasphemy here, or at least expect me to see it. I don’t. I see a man, trying to explain…trying to articulate with his set of circumstances and his tools, a point of view that is common to all men and foreign to most.

2. “We've been very arrogant in assuming that there's a sharp line dividing us from the rest of the animal kingdom. We are not the only beings on this planet with personalities, minds, and, above all, emotions. We need to be more respectful.” – Jane Goodall

While I do agree with Dr. Goodall’s conclusion, I believe that our “arrogance” is well founded. In fact, the very reason for that arrogance should be what brings us into a deeper respect for our surroundings- both entities with personalities, minds, and emotions and entities without those traits. The sharp line does exist, but not where many believe. It’s not a physical or mental line. The sharp line divides the soul from the spirit. The fact that my creator endowed me with the awesome power and responsibility that come with the knowledge of good and evil inspires me to be a good steward of all that He has entrusted to me.

3. cracker

The year…1995. The setting…South Central.

Early one Saturday morning, my Uncle Ron and I were on our way to the Promise Keepers’ Conference being held at the L.A. Coliseum. Having some time to kill and a couple of empty stomachs, I suggested we walk down Figueroa to find a place for some breakfast. My Uncle felt a little unsure about the idea, especially since I was sporting my Cracker Kerosene Hat tour tee shirt. I had thought nothing of it until he mentioned it, and didn’t think much of it afterwards either. So, we set off in search of Biscuits and gravy. We came upon a place with a sign out front that had something to do with Southern home cooking or something like that and went inside. As expected, we were the only two in the place with complexions lighter than coffee and cream. Once again, this seemed to ruffle my Uncle just a little bit. We grabbed a booth and ordered our food. The details of the conversation that morning are lost to me now, but I remember asking my Uncle if he was scared about something (it was in no way related to our choice of venue). The waitress walked up to refresh our coffee just in time to here my query. She looked at my Uncle With the kindest of eyes and said, Ah, honey…don’t be scared…”

4. liberal

I was one once. The residue remains. I think that’s okay.

5. Sheena was a Punk Rocker

Well the kids are all hopped up and ready to go
They're ready to go now
They've got their surfboards
And they're going to the discotheque a go go
But she just couldn't stay
She had to break away
Well New York City really has it all
Oh yeah, oh yeah

For the longest time, I have wanted to be a Ramone! Pure and raw, the Ramones embody everything that is Rock ‘n’ Roll. Loud and fast, they made up for their lack of skill with outright will. Down and dirty they never cared much about image. Music was it for the Ramones. Dee Dee wanted to be a rock star, Joey wanted to be a pop star and Johnny was just to cool to care about anything but being cool while Tommy- then Marky sat in back and pounded out the fastest rhythms ever imagined. The Ramones ushered my generation and all that have followed into an era of music where everyone is cool enough to be whatever they want to be.

6. Amanda Palmer in your living room [Ripple's note: This list was created at the end of December, and I will be asking for a follow up]

Sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction. I will have to write a follow up to this one at the end of next month. Thanks to the best friends I never met.

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

The Onion is my kind of humor!


[Ripple's note: Rob actually got a different video when he clicked than the one above, so this part no longer makes sense.  However, he maintains the first and second parts of his answer are universally true.]


Jennifer Love Hewitt has a huge head

8. quesadilla

The first quesadilla I ever experienced (and it was an experience [life changing even]) was made for me by my Aunt Sue. We were camping in Idyllwild and she asked if we wanted one. Once she explained what it was, I spent a moment wondering why I hadn’t thought of that before. Of course I would like one…or several…thousand.

Aunt Sue made them with Corn Tortillas, Jack cheese and Ortega chiles. They were everything I imagined them to be and more. Needless to say, I have had several thousand since that day twenty-some years ago. I have had them with steak, with chicken, with mushrooms, with all kinds of cheeses with all kinds of sauces and salsas and other condiments, but I can still taste the first one, the one Aunt Sue cooked for me so long ago in the mountains.

9. Presbysterian vs. Catholic Church Sign Debate (Ripple's note: regarding the Snopes link -- I already knew that, so there.)

As far as what side of the debate I’m on, I’m not. It’s not for me to worry about.

10. winter sports

Until about 5 years ago, winter sports were something I watched on television. Downhill skiing and ski jumping have always held my attention. More recently, Freestyle snowboarding and boarder x have entered my winter sports portfolio.

Since that fateful day in 2004 when my brother asked me if I wanted to go to his place in Montana and try snowboarding, I have been a fiend. If I’m not riding, I’m thinking about my next trip. If it’s snowing, I wonder how much will fall. If it’s not snowing, I wonder when it will. I m jonesing as I type now.

I have been back from our annual boys’ week in Montana for exactly one month, and I can’t stand it. I stare at the San Gabriel Mountains- home of Snow Summit- towering over the desert every day. They mock me and I curse them. Yet, my love for the sport will not let me hold a grudge. The slopes call to me…to something deep inside that only the rush of the wind in my hair and the snow under my board can understand. They call me to something that only the freedom of free riding can satisfy.

Here is a video of a few friends, my brother and myself shredding some powder in big sky a few years ago. I am in the first two shots, and the last two shots.

1 comment:

  1. Sigh. Bukowski. I'm staring at a copy of "What Matters Most Is How Well You Walk Through The Fire" right now.




About Me

I am interested in the human condition.