Sunday, June 26, 2005

Random Thoughts

"What do you need another mall for? In L.A., that's all they ever have built. They cut up the Brown Derby. They cut up all those restaurants that looked like funny things, like pigs or hot dogs. They tear down every coffee shop they can find. You talk about heritage, man, it was there. They find a bowling alley, chop it down. Interesting old apartment house, tear it down. Then they give back stuff with zero content, buildings with no past, a useless present, and no future at all. Where nobody is going to get together, where no memories will be created or associations made, or good times. They will simply be directing you into the act of taking your credit card out of your wallet, with that glazed look on your face. So, you see, I'm not a fan of that."
Ry Cooder was talking about L.A., but it just as easily could have been Atlanta. When you let developers do your urban planning for you, on the fly, in competition with each other, Atlanta is what you wind up with.
According to my bathroom scale, I now weigh 144 pounds. Time to get a new scale. No way I lost 60 pounds in a year.
The other day, my friend Misha asked me, "Who does your cleaning?" "No one," I replied, and it's true - this place doesn't get cleaned very often.
I remedied that today. I started, naturally, with the bathroom, and instead of giving it my usual once-over - just a quick scrub-down of the toilet and shower - I got to wondering just exactly how clean I could get the place. I once heard that, in prison, Mafia dons keep the toilets in their cells so immaculately clean that it's not uncommon for visitors to take a drink right from the bowl. They often even keep a ladle in the bowl just for that purpose. "It's the coolest water in the prison" Grandma says (how does Grandma know that?). Anyway, out came the bleach, the Lysol disinfectant, etc. and the whole room got scrubbed real clean.
But when I finished, I wondered, "How much cleaner can I get it?" Exactly how clean can I get, say, this individual tile? Fortunately, I ran out of paper towels before the whole project became OCD obsessive, and when I got back from the store, I lost my enthusiasm for more cleaning and went on to other things.
Practice is like that. We make great effort not to make great effort, and sweep idle, associative thoughts from our minds, but soon the dust settles back again. So why bother? We're just going to fall back into delusion again. Or, as Louis Jordan once sang, what's the use of getting sober, when you're gonna get drunk again?
Ungan was sweeping the ground, and Dogo said, "Too busy."
Ungan said "You should know there is one who is not too busy."
Dogo said, "If so, then there is a second moon."
Ungan held up the broom, and said "Which moon is this?"

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