Weren’t We Something Though?


A Walk to the Park


In a patriarchal society, my grandmother was the matriarch of the family. The glue that held us together, if you will. Last Saturday, Jyg, Esmer and I had our annual Thanksgiving dinner sans Jerry – who was in San Antonio. It’s not so much a tradition that’s been going on for a while – well, at least not with them – but it’s something I’m hoping to conintue for years to come. Anyway, we got to discussing family rituals of Thanksgiving. Jyg commented on how her family doesn’t have dinners every year and Esmer went on to say that since everyone was grown up, it was hard to get everyone together. I laughed, remembering my grandmother’s hold on her family. Because that’s what we were – her family.

Granted, we might not have subscribed to the same dogma, philosophy or whatever – half the time we probably didn’t even like each other with sibling rivalries or whatever. There wasn’t anything more important than Thanksgiving, nothing that kept you away. And if you questioned it, she’d give you the worse tongue lashing you can imagine. You didn’t go against abuela, didn’t question her. You did what you were expected to do and showed up on time. Otherwise there’d be hell to pay. Things weren’t the same when she passed away. We all drifted in our directions, allowed our rivalries or whatever to get in the way. We became too busy to do things. We were strangers at the table, not a family.

My mother isn’t as headstrong as home was – despite the stubbornness that she inherited – which I inherited, as well. Whether my apathy about the world or my misanthropic view point on the world – my family – rubbed off on her, she doesn’t like to meddle in the affairs of others. Chismes, my grandmother would call it; the family had no place for gossip.

When I decided to revive the Thanksgiving tradition, I didn’t know what to expect. For a while, we had all three brothers gathering at Mom’s house but we dwindled. Jay started working on Thanksgiving, Melissa would shuttle the kids to her mothers. Martin and his family would still come around, until it was decided that we would split the holidays – Martin had Thanksgiving, I had X-mas and Jay had New Year’s. Eventually, Jay got the latter two holidays and I would only be responsible for the main course for X-mas. Due to some misinformation this year, I was back behind the stove preparing Thanksgiving dinner. Once again, chismes befell the family.

It’s not my place to butt in my thoughts on the affairs of others. My grandmother most certainly would, however. She’s give her grandmotherly advice, remind you of the vows you took before (G)od, etc. If it didn’t work out, then it didn’t work out. It was just the way it was, the way it was written. I never had the impression that she liked Javier much so whether she talked to my mother about divorce back in the day is beyond me. If anything, she was the gravity of my mother’s decision. Again, there is no evidence to conclude this.

So despite the turn of events this year, I can only think of one thing. Yesterday was a good day. Jyg, Izzy and I took my nephew Jaycob to the park. In his hand, Jaycob dragged a cat toy tied to a shoelace behind him. It belonged to Dexter, whom Jaycob loved – though, the feeling wasn’t mutual.

“In memory of Dexter,” Jyg said. Izzy made a comment to which Jyg replied, “I think it’s sweet to do something in memory of someone.”

Yeah, so do I.

Doldrums · Writing & Writers

Drawing a blank




It’s almost Thanksgiving, though WordPress suggests otherwise. I’ve compiled my list of what I hoping to/planning on/am considering reading. If you’re interested in finding out which religious texts I’ve planned to read, you can check out the list here. While you’re there, you can also read how I’ve come to terms my wanting an Amazon Kindle.

I took over Word Sex – a blog over at Tumblr – again. I created it some time last year but pretty much petered out with keeping up with the posts. Handed it over to someone who then handed it over back to me and now I’ve revamped it. It’s still not interesting, but at least it’s getting me doing research, even if that research isn’t being put to good use. For the most part, the blog is work safe. I’m doing my best to stray away from NSFW material, though some of the link backs might be a little risqué. The blog’s focus is – if you couldn’t tell – sex. Not pornography – though the subject will/does come up if it’s in the news, or is a part of a scientific/psychological/sociological etc. study. It’s also a home of erotic literature, and I’m hoping that the community – those who follow the blog – will contribute their own stories/fantasies.

Before departing, I’m going to go ahead and post the William S. Burroughs classic. It’s a treat for Thanksgiving:


This post isn’t important


What happened here?


Every so often I like to the spam comments the blog brings in; today, however, WordPress – or Google Chrome’s screenshot extension – decided it wasn’t going to comply. Awesome, right? So instead of reading my feature spam – “nice day City Chapin Blues, i review your blog, that a nice blog and perfect. Good for everyone. a lot of Work and Joey content. i going to plan to read and comment your website.”

You can sorta read it on the image, but it should really look like this:

See my problem?


Religious Texts

Carlin was god

I’m not a religious man, but I do like religion. Like most of the things that pique my interest, religion confuses me. I was raised Catholic and I did most of the Catholic things. I was baptized in the church – which, if you really think about it, was against my will. I made my first confession in the third grade – the simple things, didn’t want to confess my “darkest” sins to the priest (who might have been turned on by some of the things I did…yeah, yeah. TMI, I know). I made it all the way to my first Communion. Never made it to Confirmation, though. By the time that rolled around, I had divorced myself from the church.

I danced through religions in hopes to find some sort of solace. From the major to the downright laughable religions – Wicca or Raelian, anyone? – there’s nothing out there that brought me peace of mind. All except, Buddhism.

…every one must bear the burden of his own sins, that every man must be the fabricator of his own salvation, that not even a God can do for man what self-help in the form self-conquest and self-emancipation can accomplished.  —A Buddhist Bible, edited by Dwight Goddard

While I don’t subscribe to Buddhist mythology, their way of viewing the world – viewing life – is akin to how I feel about it. My ethical code – moral code – derives from a simple phrase I heard when I was a kid: Do good. However, “good” is relative. The philosophy then settled to “don’t screw people over.” Though, after living for nearly 28 years on this planet, I know some people deserved to have the wool pulled over their eyes. In the end, it settled to “do good and do not screwing over innocents.” It’s a far cry from the Dalai Lama’s words: “If you can, help others; if you can’t do that, at least do not harm them.”

When I met Rev. Adam E. Zuniga of the Hawai’i Cannabis Ministry a few years ago, he taught the importance of adaptation. Quoting the Dalai Lama – and I’m paraphrasing now – he told me, “My form of Buddhism might not be right for everyone, but it’s right for me.” People have been getting it wrong. Rather than allowing your religion’s dogma change your personal philosophy, you should alter your religion’s dogma to better the world.

I’ve altered Buddhism and some Christian aspects (which, if you really boil it all down, it’s all the same thing with different characters) to mold my philosophy. I don’t deny Christ existed, but I also don’t believe he was something other than a philosopher who mixed Judaism mythology with Buddhist philosophy. Jesus is probably a prime example of the whole religion adaptation, if you think about it – though some of you will probably call me blasphemous for suggesting it.

And I think that’s one of the reasons that I decided to read several religious texts next year – including Buddhist texts, parts of the Bible, gnostic gospels, parts of The Dead Sea Scrolls, pagan texts and even the much plagiarized Satanic Bible – yes, for you die hard Satanists, LaVey plagiarized several different texts to compile his “unholy” text. I’ll post a list over on A Book Hunter’s Journal when I get a better idea of what I plan to read.

One more thing: Last night, I was watching an interview show hosted by Chelsea Handler. Anne Hathaway was talking about her family’s decision to leave the Catholic church after her brother came out of the closet. She explained how they didn’t feel right belonging to a church that didn’t value the same things they did.

I found that empowering. Hopefully one day, religions who are still stuck in the past will catch up with society.

Writing & Writers

Even when you were, you weren’t

“That’s the price you pay,” she told me. Somewhere down the road, a man hobbled down, his leg bent and broke with time. White locks blowing with the warm desert air. She threw the car in gear and pressed hard on the gas – an automatic vibrator of fury in overdrive. She nodded toward me, smirked. “You wanna see something worth watching for a change?”

The scene was cacti and tumbleweed – something out of a movie or a dull dreamer’s book. Nothing remotely interesting out there. She aimed the car at the old man. “What are you doing?” I asked.

“Just watch,” she said pushing down the pedal, zipping the car toward the unsuspecting victim. At the last moment, she blared the horn and pulled over to the side. The stunned man hobbled toward us, shuddering.

“Are you outta your mind?” he shouted. “You nearly nicked me.”

“Oh, come off it, Walter,” she said. “You weren’t in any trouble.”

The old man – Walter – jumped in the backseat. “Where we headed?”

“The city,” she said. “Nowhere in particular. And what are you doing out here in the desert?”

“Just looking for the ones who are in charge,” he said. “I have an idea on how to make this place ideal.”

“You’ll never find them,” she said. “They say they don’t exist anymore.”

“Sorta like god then, hu?” Walter chuckled. “Even here they fuck you up with their religion and philosophy.”

“There’s only one philosophy here,” she said. “You know that.”

We were miles from Boroughs now. I didn’t even bother looking at the mirror in hopes to see the looming buildings in the horizon. There wasn’t any point to it. I left it behind, or it pushed me out. “You’d think they’d solve the hunger problem,” I said. “You know, not make us hungry.”

“Even here we must dine,” said Walter. “You know what I miss though? Roasted leg of lamb. We had one every Thanksgiving instead of turkey.”

“Hell,” she said. “I miss Brussels sprouts.”

Further down the road, we past two drifters having sex under the desert sun. We spent our days this way. Driving and traveling aimlessly. Hitting one town after another. They way across the oceans lie other countries much like the ones we left behind. “Maybe one day,” she said. “We’ll see if it’s true.”