Monday, May 28, 2007

ME ON BUDDHIST GEEKS

Yup. I'm up on Buddhist Geeks. Just go to www.buddhistgeeks.com. I get interviewed by Gwen Bell, who showed up at one of my retreats in Shizuoka a couple years ago. I did this interview maybe a month ago. Now here it is!

Starting this weekend I'll be all over creation. Here is the list yet again:

I'll be profiled in the June issue of LA YOGA magazine. So look for that next month.

AND, an excerpt from SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! will appear in WHOLE LIFE TIMES magazine in June as in CONSCIOUS CHOICE magazine in Chicago and Seattle, and COMMON GROUND magazine in San Francisco.

Here's where I'll be at:

Barnes & Noble Desert Ridge - 21001 N. Tatum Blvd. - Phoenix, AZ on Sunday June 3, 2007 at 1 pm

Changing Hands Bookstore - 6428 South McClintock Dr. - Tempe, AZ - on Monday June 4, 2007 at 7 pm

AND I'll be all over the San Francisco Bay Area the following week. Here's what's lined up so far:

Tuesday June 12th at 6PM at the VIRGIN MEGASTORE in San Francisco
Thursday June 14th, 7PM at GATEWAYS in Santa Cruz
Friday June 15th After Dinner Talk at the SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER Talk at 7:30 PM, Dinner at 6:30 PM
Saturday June 16th 7 PM at COPPERFIELD'S BOOKS 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA 94952
Sunday June 17th at San Quentin Prison (this isn't open to the public, but all inmates reading this are invited!)

AND on Wednesday July 25th, 2007, my movie CLEVELAND'S SCREAMING! will have its world premier at the EGYPTIAN THEATER in Hollywood. So mark your calendars!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

SUICIDE GIRLS TONIGHT AT MIDNIGHT!

Just a reminder, I'll be the guest on the SUICIDE GIRLS RADIO SHOW tonight from Midnight to 2AM Pacific Time on Indie 103.1 KDLD in Los Angeles and KDLE in Orange County. For those of you outside of Southern California, there is a PODCAST AVAILABLE. I'm not a listener-to of Podcasts. I'm too old to understand the concept. But I can see on the page that you can either listen to the show live or download it. If it don't work, maybe you can try writing to Suicide Girls or Indie 103.1 directly. Won't do a lot of good to ask me because I am mucho stupid about this kind of computer techno stuff.

Thanks to everyone who showed up at the Bodhi Tree on Thursday. We had a good turn out, though I know a few of you are looking forward to future lifetimes as cabbages. Sorry about that. But I did warn you.

I'm terribly uncomfortable with the rockstar hucksterism involved in promoting a book. But I figure my book is way better than pretty much anything else out there on the market. So if you're gonna buy books, you oughta buy mine. In Los Angeles it's perfectly socially acceptable to be promoting yourself constantly, whereas where I grew up in Akron it isn't. I'm gradually getting used to this. It's just part of the job.

As far as Buddhism is concerned, it presents some dilemmas. We're always told to avoid fame and wealth. Now, wealth I have no trouble at all avoiding. You would be shocked to know how poorly most writers are paid. The few that make truckloads of money get a lot of press. But most of us are barely getting by. I'm OK because I have a real job too. But there's no way I could quit that job and live on what I make from writing.

But fame, on the other hand, is creeping up on me rapidly. As a Buddhist dude I get a lot of the downside of fame with not a whole lot of the perks. I mean I ain't getting rich. Legions of hot girls do not throw their panties at me when I speak. But I do get viciously criticized by people I don't know, I get asked personal questions by strangers who assume they know me and there are lots of demands on my time. I'm not complaining, really. I do this of my own free will and I could stop if I wanted (sounds like an alcoholic, but honest, I could).

I have some actors who attend my classes and they're usually worried about this kind of thing too. But if you're an actor a certain degree of fame is required. If you're a Buddhist teacher it's the same. Dogen left Kyoto because he was getting too famous and the other teachers in town didn't like that. He didn't move out to Fukui prefecture to avoid the spotlight, though. He moved out to avoid the bullshit he was getting from those dudes down in Kyoto. He didn't write the things he wrote just to stuff them in a closet to rot away. He wrote because he felt strongly that he had something of value to contribute to society. Buddha himself was very popular in his lifetime and he did nothing to try and shun that popularity.

The big problem with fame is in courting fame in order to be famous or in order to be rich. That road leads nowhere. On the other hand, if you're an artist who believes in your art then there is no sin in promoting it.

So listen up tonight and see if I get any undergarments thrown at me live on the radio. I wonder what would happen if I did...

Friday, May 18, 2007

ZAZEN TOMORROW (May 19, 2007)

Somebody left a comment saying I didn't list tomorrow, May 19th, as a day we're having Zazen at the Hill Street Center. Uh, dude, I dunno what kinda perscription glasses you got, but when I access the page on my computer it says May 19th is a Zazen day. And it is. Just so you know.

Good thing I took a look at the comments....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

BODHI TREE BOOKSTORE TOMORROW!!!!

I just got back from Japan and boy am I tired! But I gotta remind you that tomorrow, MAY 17th, 2007 I'll be at the BODHI TREE BOOKSTORE which is located in West Hollywood, California (click for directions) at 7:30 PM. This will be the first book signing thing for SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!, my brand new book from New World Library.

YOU MUST BE THERE! Anyone reading this within 300 miles of LA who doesn't show up will be reborn as a cabbage for the next 150 lifetimes!

Seriously, though, pleeeeeeaaaaaasssseee show up, OK? I'm just imagining the record signing scene from Spinal Tap — you know, where they're all sitting around surrounded by copies of their new record and nobody is there.

AND on Sunday May 20th at midnight I'll be a guest on the SUICIDE GIRLS RADIO SHOW on Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles. I'm pretty sure this is avialable on the Internets and as a Podcast as well if you're not in SoCal.

I'll be profiled in the June issue of LA YOGA magazine. So look for that next month.

AND, an excerpt from SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! will appear in WHOLE LIFE TIMES magazine in June as well. They're also affiliated with CONSCIOUS CHOICE magazine in Chicago and Seattle, and with COMMON GROUND magazine in San Francisco.

AND on May 23rd I'll be a guest on a radio show called THE GOOD LIFE with host JESSE DYLAN at 10:15 Pacific Time/1:15 Eastern. That's also on Sirius Sattelite Radio. My dad's got one of those in his car. So I hope he listens.

AND Saturday June 2nd, 2007 at 7 PM I'll be in Phoenix at the ARIZONA ZEN BUDDHIST SOCIETY giving A TALK (click for details & location). So be there or be square!

Following that I'll be at:

Barnes & Noble Desert Ridge - 21001 N. Tatum Blvd. - Phoenix, AZ on Sunday June 3, 2007 at 1 pm

Changing Hands Bookstore - 6428 South McClintock Dr. - Tempe, AZ - on Monday June 4, 2007 at 7 pm

AND I'll be all over the San Francisco Bay Area the following week. Here's what's lined up so far:

Tuesday June 12th at the VIRGIN MEGASTORE in San Francisco
Thursday June 14th, 7PM at GATEWAYS in Santa Cruz
Friday June 15th After Dinner Talk at the SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER
Saturday June 16th 7 PM at COPPERFIELD'S BOOKS 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA 94952
Sunday June 17th at San Quentin Prison (this isn't open to the public, but all inmates reading this are invited!)

AND on Wednesday July 25th, 2007, my movie CLEVELAND'S SCREAMING! will have its world premier at the EGYPTIAN THEATER in Hollywood. So mark your calendars!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Interim Report From Japan

No time to write a complete report. But yesterday I met all three men who played Godzilla! I have photos to prove it. But I forgot to bring the cable that sucks the pictures from the camera onto the computer. So you’ll just have to wait to see them.

Some friends of mine are over here in Tokyo making a documentary about the world of Japanese special effects — not just Godzilla, but Gamera, Dai Majin, Ultraman, Gappa and all the rest. I was invited by Shinichi Wakasa, the guy who made the monster costumes for Godzilla: Final Wars, to hang out while they interviewed him. When I got there I was pretty surprised and impressed to see Haruo Nakajima who played Godzilla from the first movie until 1972’s Godzilla vs. Gigan, Kenpachiro Satsuma, who played Godzilla in most of the movies in the 90’s, and Tsutomu Kitagawa who played Godzilla from the turn of the century until the supposedly final Godzilla movie two years ago. This was the first time anybody had ever gotten all three Godzillas together in one spot, so it was a pretty historic event. They had them all do their individual Godzilla walks together down a quiet residential street. I missed that. But I heard it caused some commotion!

I had met Nakajima before and was pretty impressed that he remembered me after all the other drooling gaijin fanboys he’s had to deal with. I did translations once for Kitagawa at an appearance he did in San Francisco when the translator they’d originally hired vanished at the last minute. I hadn’t met Satsuma before. But he’s probably the most famous of the three, having made a career out of going on TV as the guy who played Godzilla.

This was very cool because I thought I was just going to go hang out with Wakasa-san who’s been a friend of mine for a few years and here I get to be part of history in the making.

Anyway, everybody reading this within 100 miles of Los Angeles is hereby ordered to attend the book signing at the BODHI TREE BOOKSTORE in West Hollywood on Thursday May 17th at 7:30 PM. I’m rushing back to LA from all this kaiju excitement just to be there. So don’t disappoint me or there will be punishment!

The rest of you, check the post below this one for lots of other live appearances.

Monday, May 07, 2007

WAR HERO and May 17th at BODHI TREE etc., etc.


The good news just keeps on comin'! I just got word that the first 0DFx (Zero Defex) 7 inch vinyl EP is now available from GET REVENGE RECORDS. This record contains the demo we recorded in 1983 at a studio called The Island in North Royalton, Ohio. The guy who ran it was a total Neil-from-the-Young-Ones type hippie dude whose studio was decorated with all kinds of medieval swords and suits of armor and stuff. But the music is pure speedy thrashy hardcore in the style of Minor Threat and Negative Approach with a bit of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. For more about 0DFx as well as some samples of what's on the record GO HERE. It took 24 years to get it released. But here it is! Order yours today! In a month or so Get Revenge will bring out a second 7 incher containing another demo we did about 6 months prior to this one. And a couple months from now the contents of both 7 inch records plus a live show from 1982 and some recordings we did at our 2005 reunion will be available on a double CD.

And just so nobody forgets the stuff I posted yesterday, here it is again (thanks to Jinzang for help with the links):

I'll be doing a talk and book signing on MAY 17th, 2007 at the BODHI TREE BOOKSTORE which is located in West Hollywood, California (click for directions) at 7:30 PM. This will be the very first book signing event for SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!, my brand new book from New World Library. So show up, dammit! A good time will be had by all.

Also, there will be no Zazen class at Hill Street Center on Saturday May 12th cuz I will be in Japan.

AND, yesterday I got profiled for a story in the June issue of LA YOGA magazine. So look for that next month. They took loads of pictures and did a nice interview.

AND, an excerpt from SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! will appear in WHOLE LIFE TIMES magazine in June as well. WHOLE LIFE TIMES is an LA based mag. But they're also affiliated with CONSCIOUS CHOICE magazine in Chicago and Seattle, and with COMMON GROUND magazine in San Francisco. So I think the excerpt will appear in those magazines as well.

AND on Sunday May 20th at midnight I'll be a guest on the SUICIDE GIRLS RADIO SHOW on Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles. I'm pretty sure this is avialable on the Internets and as a Podcast as well if you're not in SoCal.

On May 3rd I was a guest on Scott Cluthe's show POSITIVELY INCORRECT on Sirius Radio. I think there's a Podacst of this. But I'll be dog-goned if I can find it. If anyone out there finds it, let me know.

AND on May 23rd I'll be a guest on a radio show called THE GOOD LIFE with host JESSE DYLAN at 10:15 Pacific Time/1:15 Eastern. That's also on Sirius Sattelite Radio. My dad's got one of those in his car. So I hope he listens.

AND Saturday June 2nd, 2007 at 7 PM I'll be in Phoenix at the ARIZONA ZEN BUDDHIST SOCIETY giving A TALK (click for details & location). So be there or be square! I'm doing two other book signings in Phoenix on that Sunday (June 3rd) and Monday (June 4th). But I can't seem to find the details. I'll either revise this post or put up a new one when I get that info.

AND I'll be all over the San Francisco Bay Area the following week. Here's what's lined up so far:

Tuesday June 12th at the VIRGIN MEGASTORE in San Francisco
Thursday June 14th, 7PM at GATEWAYS in Santa Cruz
Friday June 15th After Dinner Talk at the SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER
Saturday June 16th 7 PM at COPPERFIELD'S BOOKS 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA 94952
Sunday June 17th at San Quentin Prison (this isn't open to the public, but all inmates reading this are invited!)

AND on Wednesday July 25th, 2007, my movie CLEVELAND'S SCREAMING! will have its world premier at the EGYPTIAN THEATER in Hollywood. So mark your calendars!

I'll put up more details as I get them. Basically book signings tend to start at 7 PM, so I'm guessing that'll be the time for most of these. The After Dinner Talk is a regular thing at the SF Zen Center, so probably if you look on their website there'll be info.

I'm also working on possible gigs in Boulder, New York City, Akron and Montreal. So I'll let you know how that goes.

Rock on!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

BODHI TREE MAY 17th and NO ZAZEN AT HILL STREET CENTER MAY 12th

I've put loads of clicakble links in this article. But they don't always show up that well. So any words you see below that are slightly discolored (on my screen they aren't even discolored until you click 'em — what's up with that?) are probably links. Most of the stuff IN ALL CAPS is a link. Check 'em out!

I'll be doing a talk and book signing on MAY 17th, 2007 at the BODHI TREE BOOKSTORE which is located in West Hollywood, California (click for directions) at 7:30 PM. This will be the very first book signing event for SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP!, my brand new book from New World Library. So show up, dammit! A good time will be had by all.

Also, there will be no Zazen class at Hill Street Center on Saturday May 12th cuz I will be in Japan.

AND, yesterday I got profiled for a story in the June issue of LA YOGA magazine. So look for that next month. They took loads of pictures and did a nice interview.

AND, an excerpt from SIT DOWN AND SHUT UP! will appear in WHOLE LIFE TIMES magazine in June as well. WHOLE LIFE TIMES is an LA based mag. But they're also affiliated with CONSCIOUS CHOICE magazine in Chicago and Seattle, and with COMMON GROUND magazine in San Francisco. So I think the excerpt will appear in those magazines as well.

AND on Sunday May 20th at midnight I'll be a guest on the SUICIDE GIRLS RADIO SHOW on Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles. I'm pretty sure this is avialable on the Internets and as a Podcast as well if you're not in SoCal.

On May 3rd I was a guest on Scott Cluthe's show POSITIVELY INCORRECT on Sirius Radio. I think there's a Podacst of this. But I'll be dog-goned if I can find it. If anyone out there finds it, let me know.

AND on May 23rd I'll be a guest on a radio show called THE GOOD LIFE with host JESSE DYLAN at 10:15 Pacific Time/1:15 Eastern. That's also on Sirius Sattelite Radio. My dad's got one of those in his car. So I hope he listens.

AND Saturday June 2nd, 2007 at 7 PM I'll be in Phoenix at the ARIZONA ZEN BUDDHIST SOCIETY giving A TALK (click for details & location). So be there or be square! I'm doing two other book signings in Phoenix on that Sunday (June 3rd) and Monday (June 4th). But I can't seem to find the details. I'll either revise this post or put up a new one when I get that info.

AND I'll be all over the San Francisco Bay Area the following week. Here's what's lined up so far:

Tuesday June 12th at the VIRGIN MEGASTORE in San Francisco
Thursday June 14th, 7PM at GATEWAYS in Santa Cruz
Friday June 15th After Dinner Talk at the SAN FRANCISCO ZEN CENTER
Saturday June 16th 7 PM at COPPERFIELD'S BOOKS 140 Kentucky St., Petaluma, CA 94952
Sunday June 17th at San Quentin Prison (this isn't open to the public, but all inmates reading this are invited!)

AND on Wednesday July 25th, 2007, my movie CLEVELAND'S SCREAMING! will have its world premier at the EGYPTIAN THEATER in Hollywood. So mark your calendars!

I'll put up more details as I get them. Basically book signings tend to start at 7 PM, so I'm guessing that'll be the time for most of these. The After Dinner Talk is a regular thing at the SF Zen Center, so probably if you look on their website there'll be info.

I'm also working on possible gigs in Boulder, New York City, Akron and Montreal. So I'll let you know how that goes.

Rock on!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

THE ZEN STOOGES in "BEDLAM IN NIRVANA"


Before we do anything else THERE WILL BE A ZAZEN CLASS AT HILL STREET CENTER THIS SATURDAY MAY 5, 2007. I just now got it together to re-do the calendar for this month. Class will most likely be cancelled the following week (May 12, 2007). In any case I won't be there on May 12th. But I will be there tomorrow.

To those of you who've bought my new book, Sit Down & Shut Up! — Thank you! You may yet save me from becoming a hobo in the streets. I'm really worried about my "real job." Gotta go back to Japan next week & argue with them. I may have to stand out on the freeway offramps with a sign that says, "Will teach Zen for food" after I come back. I ain't gonna make a living on book royalties, that's for sure!

ANYWAY, I found a mistake in the book. Those of you who have the book, turn to page 74. Look at the bottom of the second complete paragraph. What's written there says: "To really suppress anger, you have to suppress the urge to avoid the beautiful juiciness of it all." It's supposed to say, "...suppress the urge to enjoy the beautiful juiciness of it all." So go get your Bic and fix that. It's OK. I told you to do it. So don't worry about messing up the book.

Here is the second of my Zen versions of the Three Stooges. As before, if you click on the cartoons you'll get larger versions.

I present it complete with spelling mistakes and the wonderful notion only a 20 year old could concoct that getting up at 5 AM is really early. If I ever revise this Shemp will say "No more gettin' up at 4 AM."

The point of this comic was to illustrate the idea of "makyo." I talked about this in Hardcore Zen. Makyo literally means "world of demons." It refers to hallucinations and altered states that can be encountered during Zazen practice. The so-called "heightened states of consciousness" that are the goal of many meditative practices are regarded in Zen as states to be avoided. Here we see Shemp get it all wrong. The comic is also based on the Three Stooges short "Bedlam in Paradise" in which Shemp dies and goes to Heaven to be greeted by his Uncle Mortimer, played by Moe. That was one of my personal favorite Stooge comedies. I always liked Shemp a lot. His best work is often every bit as funny as Curly's, though he rarely gets the recognition he deserves.

I really tried to be a cartoonist there for a while. But nobody ever bought my submissions. In retrospect I might've broken thru if I'd kept after it. But I knew I was never gonna draw superhero stories or any of that garbage. When I discovered Peter Bagge's work in Weirdo Comics that was a big revelation. But even he took a while to create his masterpiece, HATE! That's pure genius and there's still nothing else like it. If I'd stayed with cartooning I'd like to think I would've gone a similar direction. Maybe Hardcore Zen would've been a graphic novel instead. It still could be. But I dunno if I wanna draw it. I can still doodle. But I don't really have any technique to speak of. It's hard work making a character look the same in consecutive panels. I remember really laboring over that. And backgrounds. Christ, you have to draw the backgrounds over and over in each panel and get them right each time. It takes a lot of patience. Kinda like zazen...