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Want my opinion? You can have it! I don’t want it anymore.

An Editorial About Opinion

Gone are the days when humans were solo buoys floating in foggy waters, signaling to each other with simple flashing lights or the occasional bleat of their horns.

The internet has changed that.  And while it may have spawned some new visual art and original storytelling; it appears that the primary byproduct created when humans swim in cyberspace is opinion.

What Is My Opinion Worth?

According to futurist Jacque Fresco, probably not a whole lot.

This guy fascinates me, and when I was watching him interviewed recently I noticed he was exasperated with an interviewer who kept asking Jacque what he thought, about what others thought, about what he thought.

As silly as that sounds, that is pretty much what it has come to, isn’t it?  Most discussions now seem centered on who thinks what about who said something, or a criticism of what was said about what was originally said. AKA the world as a “forum.”

When the journalist pressed Jacque and said something patronizing like “Don’t you want to hear everyone’s opinion?”, he made it very clear that he doesn’t.  He couldn’t believe others wasted their time weighing in on issues they knew little or even nothing about (interfering with meritorious discussion), or listening to and arguing with people who had no direct knowledge or experience to contribute.  I wonder if Jacque uses Facebook?

 

Facebook! What you talkin bout willis?

One More Stink Fish

Looking over my past blog posts I can see I’ve just been adding to this morass as if there were not already enough dead and dying opinions strewn across our cyber-shores. Like most webitorial, if you read between my lines you will find plenty of speculation and manipulation (try as I might the occasional adverb seduces me).

Recently I had one of those flash-of-light type personal revelations.  It was about opinions, and the result is that I no longer want to have them.

How could that possibly work? I don’t know.  And why would I give up that most holy of birthrights–my opinion?  Well, if I can’t be opinion-less, I’d like to at least have less opinions.

I will be exploring (on & off this blog) ways to experience things more fully than relying on my opinions/beliefs.  I suspect our beliefs and the compulsion to share them with others actually get in the way of us truly experiencing anything–other than the experience of sharing our opinion.

I’m in contact with several press agents, and am hoping that I can get Buddha, OSHO, and perhaps even Charles Fort to make guest appearances soon…

 

 

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60 day raw food log: Day 39 I’m all out of balance & can’t figure out how to get grounded eating raw!

I think someone put too much Yang in my smoothie.  Or maybe it’s Yin… I can never remember which is which.

Anyway I have way too much of the crazy untethered in the stratosphere floating through electric fields kind.  And while having a lot of energy is a nice change–I certainly don’t want to go back to that numbed world I was living in just 5 weeks ago–what I am experiencing is unnerving and does NOT feel balanced.

Every other day I don’t go to bed.  I almost never want to eat–I’m just not hungry.  When I do eat anything other than fresh succulent fruit; I regret it and wish I had fruit.  It’s like there is nothing in my stomach to “buffer” anything more substantial than fruit and it’s juiciness.

My nut consumption is going way down.  I don’t want salads or cabbage.  And when I do try to make a new gourmet raw food recipe I’m usually disappointed.  Why?  What happened to all the fun I was having in the kitchen?  I’ve always enjoyed traditional cooking, and was getting off on experimenting w/ raw menu items.

Let me be real about where I’m at after this past week experiencing truly manic levels of unfocused energy.  I can’t wait for this 60 days I committed to to be over!  I want lentils.  I want potatoes.  I want some grounding ,requires digestion, so you can rest medicine.

Maybe 100% raw is just TOO much?

TO be fair I want to quickly point out two semi-related issues that I know are contributing to the insomnia and my feeling off-kilter…

1.  I started blogging & tweeting at exactly the same time I started my 60 day raw “challenge.”  I thought it would be cool to share the experience with anyone interested.  I didn’t know I would be throwing myself into a new universe whose steep learning curve and addictive nature are it’s price of entry.  I also didn’t know that it would be a place with large stretches of haunting emptiness and occasional noxious gas clouds back lit by glaring red stars…

2.  I need a more intense physical outlet.  Now that I’m lighter and feel so much better I’m doing myself a huge disservice by not rigorously exercising every day.

Deepak Chopra (Who I don’t follow on Twitter because he tweets way too much) has this thing he talks about which has stuck with me for years…it goes something like this…

DYNAMIC ACTIVITY = DEEP REST

DEEP REST = DYNAMIC ACTIVITY

That’s something I am sorely missing.  So understand I’m not blaming this on raw foods, but for me right now it’s all related. I thought riding my bike more, taking a hike on the weekend, and occasionally dropping and doing some push-ups would cover it.  It’s not enough for my fruit filled dragster body.

So here’s my plan to try and be in possession of my sanity and other faculties at the end of the next 3 weeks:

1. More Greens & Water. You will read this in almost every raw food context you can find, and I think I can do better with both…

2. Set a cut off time for Twitter and Blogging. Like no Twitter or blogs after midnight.  I need to pop in a DVD and be entertained or read one of the countless books piled high in my “READ!” stack.

3. Breathe! Seriously how often do we forget to breathe?  I can get so hooked into cyberspace that I forget to drink water and I’ll sit there bouncing around in my chair because I need to piss so bad!  That’s also why I’m taking advantage of this gorgeous Palm Springs day and blogging outside by the pool…

4. Start back to Bikram Yoga. It’s been almost two years.  It’s time.  Not only is this the “dynamic activity” I’m missing in my life–it also will really help me with #3–BIG BREATHS!

Yup. That's a Jesus Pose...

That said, I’m still looking forward to reintegrating some healthy cooked foods (sorry hard-core raw foodists, I know you think “healthy cooked food” is an oxymoron) back into my life.

I’ve been promising a post about some ideas I have for the long-term.  That post will come soon, just let me get my finger out of the electric socket first!


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60 day raw food log: day 36 I’m still raw & still losing weight rapidly & feeling outrageously good

On Tuesdays I weigh myself on the doctor style scale at my neighborhood health food store .  I went in today to see how I did this past week…

I lost another 4 lbs!

That has me down to 230 lbs…

Twenty Four Pounds lighter than I was just 5 short weeks ago.

I feel super; and by that I mean more energy than ever, no heavy gross bloated feeling, flexible, strong, and just about up for anything.  On an intangible level–I relate to people so much differently now–eye contact, confidence, and even a little swagger are back!

People are asking me questions (unsolicited) about my life and my creative aspirations.  One new contact wants to pay the fee to have one of my screenplays covered by a well known agency in Hollywood.

Other opportunities have presented themselves because I now have the energy and confidence to be putting myself out there. When I was spending most of my time drinking and the rest complaining–for some odd reason people and new prospects avoided me…

There is some kind of magnetism that goes along with eating better.  I’m not going to say it only comes from eating a diet high in raw foods,  but for me, eating only raw has unleashed dormant natural charisma and confidence which is helping me connect to a variety of people in new better ways.

I’m still not entirely sure what to do with my blog.

It’s initial purpose was to chronicle a sixty day raw food journey completed by a regular guy who had to overcome addictions and figure out how to eat this way even though he was tapped out financially (as in seriously broke and underemployed).

I’m a little more than half-way through that process now.

Here’s what people I’m meeting in-person and through the web are overwhelmingly asking for…simple, play by play, how to go and be raw info.

No philosophical stuff, or news articles on factory farming atrocities…but something akin to having a close friend take you by the hand and lead you into their raw food kitchen. People have been almost begging me to demonstrate how to make this seemingly insurmountable leap from cooked to not.

Can I do that?  I’m not sure.

First, I’d have to become a better blogger.  I find it difficult to commit to daily posts.  So many ideas swimming around and started, but I have NEVER been the guy who edits and finishes stuff.  I start things. I brainstorm. I motivate. I imagine…

I have a lot of ideas now related to raw foods and this blog–I just need to decide what I can commit to…

Maybe I will end up collaborating with others?  I’m very open, and as always your feedback and ideas would make my day.

Cheers!


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60 day raw food log: day 17 Weighing the cost of a raw food diet…is it worth it? (Part 2)

Yesterdays blog (part 1) looked at the misconception that eating “raw” has to be expensive.  It really doesn’t.

Today (part 2) I share what I think is a much bigger price to pay than money when it comes to the raw foods life…

Tomorrow (part 3) I’m going to look at the innumerable benefits of eating raw and try to do a simple Pro’s & Con’s analysis to see if eating raw feels worth it to me.

Part 2

IS GOING RAW WORTH IT EVEN THOUGH I HAVE TO GIVE UP SO MUCH?

Coffee

I love coffee.  The aroma. The acidity. The buzzzzz. And I especially crave the taste.  Black tar washing down my gullet.

I know coffee isn’t great for me.  Sure every so often there’s a report about it having antioxidants as long as we drink it in moderation…come on…let’s be big boys & girls and admit it…we like coffee because it’s a drug.  An upper extraordinaire.

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This morning I woke up feeling like shit.  Warmed over death.  I had almost all juice yesterday and it’s kicking the cleansing back into high gear for me.  Now normally, a quick $3 exchange with my dealer in the green apron would instantly change how I felt. LITERALLY.

Yeah-yeah there would be an energy spike and a corresponding drop..blah blah blah…that’s what a second cup of coffee is for.  And I like most people ENJOY the coffee roller coaster.  Especially because the ride right next to it in the park is the Booze Cruise. booze-cruise

So let me bottom line how I feel about coffee despite the fact that I am better hydrated and overall better off without it.  I miss the nervous creative highs & lows I experienced with coffee.

Alcohol

If coffee is creative than alcohol is fun. Right?  We’ve ALL had fun drinking.  And we’ve all cursed Jack, Jim, and Jose for ever being born.

66 A Shirt Full of BoozeIt’s tough to imagine the world without alcohol.  The liquid hazy realm is where we all become stuff of legends…”Dude!  I got SO trashed!  I woke up in a planter in front of a bank!” and “WTF Lara, don’t you remember peeing on the McDonald’s sign last night

in front of like one million people driving down Wilshire?”

Good times.

I’ve been bartending for about three years.  I’m not the kind of bartender who throws bottles in the air.  I’m not particularly fast.  I’m the kind of bartender that gets to know you and makes you a perfect drink every time.

I love beer & liquor (slowly coming around on wine with the help of Chilean malbecs ), my love of bourbon and tequila drives me to constantly learn and craft each cocktail.

You know how they say that what people choose to drink says a lot about them.  It’s true.  It’s a fascinating thing and what’s really cool is that it changes both seasonally and slowly over time as someones personality shifts.

For example, when I lived in the cold SF bay area all my drinking revolved around bourbon and dark seasonal ales makers-mark-cocktail-shaker-1from NorCal on up through the Oregon coast (My all time fave was Lagunitas’ Lucky 13 Mondo Red).  The cocktail I liked to treat myself to was a stiff Maker’s Manhattan.

When I moved to Palm Springs I became obsessed with drinking Hefeweizens during the hot summer days and with meals.  My desert tonic of choice?  The simplest Tanqueray gimlet:  3 oz of Tanqueray, the juice squeezed from half a lime, and ice go into the shaker.  Shake the HELL out of it and strain it UP into a chilled cocktail glass or over fresh ice in a clear plastic Dixie cup if I was taking out to the pool…

image-20090316-hv3pequktikoz5g40ol9_t_h480

If I seem like I’m rambling a little, that’s because I am.

I want to convey that I really like and miss these things.  I can’t sit here and type some BS lie like, “Oh…I don’t really miss any of that.”  Because I do.

Food

Now obviously, I don’t have to give up food.  I eat as much of it as I want.  As long as it’s fruit, vegetables, nuts…

I’m talking about pizza, steak, hamburgers, mashed potatoes, lasagna, burritos, sushi, cornbread, bacon, chili-cheese fries, artisan goat cheese, nachos, sourdough melts, street tacos, BBQ, potato salad, tamales, Vegas buffets, spanakopita, cubano sandwiches, breakfast potatoes, garlic bread, chips & salsa, pad thai, samosas, baingan bharta, and anything made or topped with copious amounts of sweet roasted garlic…

Making that list this early in my attempt at 60 days raw (and maybe as a way of life) is both a little sadistic and masochistic…but you knew I’d eventually have to get some S&M into a blog called Live Nude Food. Click here for a little amateur food porn I downloaded on a day last week when my food cravings were worse than normal. Go ahead and click it. You know you want to.

So right now you’re probably thinking “WTF!?”.  Me too.

I’ve run out of the time needed to delve into the social ramifications of being a raw food weirdo (that IS what people think).  Suffice it to say that if you think eating a diet that is contrary in every last respect to what the rest of your family, your friends, and the country eats…carries zero consequences; your crazier than Tom Cruise.

Yeah, you can get all new friends (maybe you need to anyways).  You can carry baggies of cacao to the movies and thank the big dipper that raw eateries are coming soon to a corner near you.  But it’s not gonna be all fun, and it sure as hell isn’t easy.  So why claim that it is?

rolling-stone-uphill-against-resistance1

You can see why I say this is the real cost of going raw.  And it’s one I’m still weighing out myself.  It’s good that I’ve made the decision to commit to 60 days 100% raw NO MATTER WHAT.  If I was trying to ask these same questions over and over every day, it would be a disaster for me.  In the meantime my health and overall feeling about life have drastically improved in just two weeks.  That’s frickin impressive on any level.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Tomorrow I’ll try and articulate what’s so incredible about the raw foods experience, and I’ll ask myself how it stacks up to the booze cruise…

What I ate today:

  • Carrot/Orange/Apple juice
  • Half a Pineapple/Green Powder/Honey/Coconut Oil “Colada”
  • My new chocolate hemp Cocoa Puffs shake
  • The other half of the pineapple…

Notes: Felt full all day.  So much buzzy energy I almost don’t feel grounded.  Went for a long walk at dusk along a dried out river bed. I’m updating this at 4:45 in the morning and haven’t gone to sleep yet…


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60 day raw food log: day 15 This is really working! Lost 13 lbs in only 2 weeks!

So I’m now 241 lbs. I may post before & after pics soon, or I might just do it at the 30 days milestone?  My face looks way thinner already and I feel much lighter in general. And that’s with virtually NO…

EXERCISE:

So far. I am feeling the urge to get back to Bikram yoga.

When I do my quick little bike commute to the restaurant where I tend bar, I remember how amazing it was when I used to go on long mountain bike rides on the Central Coast of California or take a spring Sunday to ride from Brooklyn into the city and lazily circumnavigate Manhattan (the reward was always a stop @ the Whole Food’s at Columbus Circle for picnic supplies to be gorged on in Central Park followed closely by a nap on the grass).

FOOD CRAVINGS:

I still battle with intermittent yet powerful cooked food cravings.  Last night I was dying every time I took a pizza or garlic bread to a customer…

But you know what?  I feel tremendous. And how crazy is it to lose so much weight, so healthily, and so fast?  Thirteen pounds in just two weeks!?!


THIS IS NOT A DIET:

I really need to drive home an important point for anyone reading this wondering if they are capable of going raw–I AM NOT STARVING MYSELF.  I AM NOT EVEN DIETING. Seriously.  I eat as much and as often as I want.

Eating raw is qualitative not quantitative. That’s a funny expression I coined so that I would sound like I really know what I’m talking about.  It just means that eating and thinking this way (raw), has ZIP to do with dieting. Zero calorie watching.  Zero hesitation if you want seconds or thirds. Your free to focus instead only on what you are eating.

FREE TO THINK & CREATE:

And you know what? After the initial misery while cleansing (for me it was terrible headaches and anger), and after the evangelical weird high most new raw-fooders go through where they get sorta preachy & annoying (while still being extremely lovable by virtue of their infectious radiant charisma) , you are all freed-up to think and plan and enjoy exploring areas of life other than food.

For me that’s been learning what a blog (noun) is, and how to blog (verb).

I also dug up the grave that some screenplays I started but never finished were buried in. I had to re-introduce myself to a dormant creative ghost who shared in secret with me (don’t worry ghosts don’t read blogs, they read blaaahhhgggs) that it still wants to be fueled by alcohol and occasional cocaine parties.

But that would be a different kind of blog…

What I ate so far today:

  • Watermelon Juice from Nature’s Cafe (they are on Twitter now!)sweet livin walnuts
  • “Sweet Livin’ Walnuts” from Aimee’salso bought these at Nature’s Cafe. Sweet & salty…sorta like almond praline meets cinnamon toast crunch cereal? For me the Stevia leaves an aftertaste…that’s my one complaint..I really prefer raw honey as a sweetener.
  • Big Salad w/ avocado, sprouts, tomato, kalamatas, olive oil, lemon juice…
  • My first self-prepared “gourmet” raw meal: I made cashew “mayonnaise” in the blender, bought a surprisingly good raw dehydrated rye “bread”, and topped it with a thick layer of the mayo, olives, and half an avo, so that I had this ridiculously flavorful open faced sandwich that had deli overtures.
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sorry the pic is fuzzy, the sandwich moved!


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60 days raw food log: Day 10 A celebrity is someone who has more followers than they are following…

Day 10

**See below for what I ate today and a few more thoughts about raw food.

But today I’m dying to blog about this rabbit hole I fell into less than two weeks ago called “blogging” and the even bigger humungojumbo rabbit hole I fell into a couple nights ago called Twitter.

Jesus!  Twitter is like a Bizzaro World vortex, a place with great meaning & a place so banal and meaningless. All wrapped into one supposedly “social” space.  I love it!  But it is also so crazy self-promoting and weird, you know?

Like me.  I turned to Twitter because I thought it would be a good way to expose myself, er, my blog.  So after a few crazy cracked out of my mind “don’t bother me here I’m trying to Tweet!” hours I start to see that only people with persona’s and a high level of inter-connectivity sophistication have anyone at all reading their tweets or posts.  Makes sense I guess, but to a new blogger/tweeter its also a mix of daunting & depressing.

And then my blog…It sucked! Maybe it still does? So I spent a long sleepless night giving it a makeover: Adding Twitter to it, putting up a cool dinosaur header, posting photos of myself & obligatory cute kitten photos… But it still looks and feels so texty compared to other blogs I’ve been finding which are more sexy.

And for what? It @#$%’s with your head.  Why do I care?!? And I think that’s a good question.  If you have the answer, PLEASE tweet at me or comment on my blog or introduce me to some other new wild rabbit hole of communication I haven’t had the pleasure of falling into yet…

What I ate today:

  • Watermelon juice
  • Smoothie: Strawberries, banana, spirulina, honey
  • Raw trail mix with Goji berries
  • Mexican Salad: Cabbage, ZESTY PICKLED PEPPERS & VEGGIES, red bell pepper, avocado/sea salt/olive oil/lemon juice dressing.
  • Chocolate smoothie: raw cacao, banana, figs, honey, walnuts