Sunday, January 29, 2006

" 2000 baht for the rest of your life "


it's not much at all for western standards. not much. a trifle. 2000 baht.

that's about 50 USD, and it can be spent in a split second with no one missing it at all. what could you buy in the bay area for that amount of money? a pair of pants and a scarf. a designer tee shirt and a sandwich, maybe the train ride back to the east bay.

it's almost normal to let money flow through our fingers like so much sweet and perfumed water. there are times that you are reminded just how much value people have over the ever-changing concept of money.

in all reality, i hate money. i hate it. i hate that it exists.

i hate the power money has over people. i hate the way money makes class divisions and how it hollows out people. there are empty shells with loud voices which echo walking along wall street, the booming resonance bouncing inside of their cavernous frames.

i have family in the south of thailand, and no matter how little i have actually seen them over the course of these now 26 years of coming and going , back and forth from the states to here, they always have love for me.

they always have a deep and profound wealth of support and interest into everything that i'm doing, and it's the sort of caring that permeates through your soul, and carries in your being, saturating ever fiber of the heart.

this past time i was in songkhla province, about a week and a half ago, i made sure to say goodbye to some of my relatives who own a small goods and rice shop on one side, and on the other, the most delicious steamed buns ever.

they greeted me with sparkles and affection. a real love that can never be repeated the same. i only wanted to make sure that i missed them all of the time, and that they are always in my thoughts.

and right before i started to walk away, i felt a moment of hesitation in them and they told me to wait a moment. i stood before my relatives in the south, and my aunt's gentle hand lifted towards me, clutching onto my arm.

she looked into my eyes and told me to be a good person; be smart and helpful and kind. make sure i take care of myself and others. live life, love, exist, make everyone proud, and respect myself.

she said all of these things through this simple action. no words, and all of the meaning. then after i tried my hardest to leave with just that treasure, she slipped into my palm two 1000 baht notes.

you have to imagine an instantaneous ancient and deep sort of shame. i was and am still so ashamed.

to have come from their own pockets, this 2000 baht represented so much more than anything that it could possibly be spent upon.

it means their daily hard work, love and sacrifice, and trust and a reaching out for an understanding so furiously loud inside of your soul, all contained in the silent gesture, that one must recognize the significance, or it could misinterpreted.

i refused three times as is my method, and before they could lose any face, i accepted the money. you have to understand also, that although someone with my particular background could spend that amount in five minutes, it is the sort of cash that comes from selling small goods, rice, and steamed buns; the elements of their daily survival.

this sense of love is not the kind of hallmark cards or sappy syrupy sunday afternoon specials. it is real and raw and true, and when confronted with this love in it's most base form, one has to fight with oneself to remain composed, as i attempted to do.

it is within this monetary gift, and so much more. so much more than the worth of those two slight bills. and in that moment i wanted to tell them everything.

all of my love and feelings for them and how in every second, i recognize how much we are family and care for one another and all of the things that we should, as human beings, be sharing with each other out loud in every day we have remaining. so that we know. and they know. and all of these gestures could mean so much more than pure artifice and exchange of paper.

and i know that they know now.

2000 baht for the rest of your life.

the act becomes more than the worth of the gift, and extends beyond dissection. beyond the need for unnecessary contemplation. beyond guessing, and into the realm of understanding.

it is a state of my being, and i think i will never forget how simple it was to remind myself that we all exist together. the family of man.

and how in just one moment, without making it known, we could lose the things that make us whole.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

" it's odd, this absence of everything "


too much stuff. family in the south and that trip, khao lak tourist "volunteers" and how much they help out...and drink, the seedart project gallery exhibition and how three of my prints have sold (for charity 100%) which is rad, friends, horrible bangkokian fluorescent lighting veiled as progressive; it's new beginnings beginning again and again in every moment.

ever have a blank first month of the year, where everything happens and you're so overwhelmed, that you just can't record any of it?

well yes, then i promise to get back to you on just what happened this past month, at least by the end of this year.

tonight's homework:

read "the mimic men" by v.s. naipaul and let it blow the proverbial pants off of your brain.

i mean it.

pant's brain.



Monday, January 09, 2006

" the year 2549 "


she looks at me.

the blurred girl, with bruised knees.

the way she walks is so free.

the way she speaks, echoes with a palpable weight.

and in that instant,

the moment passes on.

she blinks her eyes.

the missing girl who never lies.

in her absence, everything cries.

in her absence, the leaves fall to the ground.


" abdul looks silly "


Go to and type in, "(your name) looks like"Don't forget to put it in quotes, otherwise it won't work.Add yours to the bottom of the list and repost this.

1. "Kellen looks like he has mustard in his diaper" oh no it gets better.."Kellen looks like he is getting pissed off that the snake eyes won't go down" apparently i'm a man.

2. "Scott looks like a major force." okay.... but this next one is amazing: "Scott looks like a chinese pig with worse facial hair." i wonder if that was really written about me. damn my beard must suck hard and i'm ugly to boot.

3. "Aww, Jared looks like a reject from Devo.""Jared looks like a pirate because of his eyepatch.""Jared looks like a representative from the planet Adorable..."

4. "Debbie looks like the evil spawn my parents had, mistakenly named Cinderella.""Debbie looks like an ugly hag-corpse.""debbie looks like shes 100 month pregnant!"

5. "Adam looks like he's cheering for his favorite team! ""I don't remember if I've said this before, but Adam looks like such a poser!""Adam looks like withdrawal ain't happening anytime soon." YES I'M A JUNKIE ACCORDING TO GOOGLE

6. "Jesse looks like a hedgehog.""Jesse looks like he could revert to his school self in a moment.""Jesse looks like something from the Venture Brothers.""Jesse looks like he is fighting off a case of downs syndrome."

7. "Kala looks like she's undecided as to whether she should be indignantor scandalized."

8. "Max looks like someone who would sweep you off your feet into an early marriage proposal""Max looks like a wonderful kitty!""Max looks like the offspring of a.. ahem... drunken sexual union between an Ewok and a Wookie""Max looks like the kind of guy I want to party with""Max looks like a child sincerely asking forgiveness for having done something wrong"

9. "Jen looks like she's gonna stab you with a fondue stick."

10. "I have No idea what Abdul looks like , I figure ALL oriental people Look alike, so this will do."

and so, here is my own personal foray into the wilds of googlelandia:


"Bay looks like the end of route 66 in the year 1960"
"Bay looks like an extremely vivid huge drawing"
"Bay looks like somewhere in Barbados, with white beaches,crystal emerald seas and bright sunshine"
"Bay looks like the place they went to where the freaky wee hippo things sailed around in the funny wee boats"

...but this one is my favorite:

"Bay looks like a blue jewel carved into the jagged coastline of O'ahu's North Shore"

it's nice to be described as a blue jewel sometimes, innit?