— this is really happening

My 29th birthday has now lived, and passed.

I claimed my "birthday week", as a friend reminded me I could.  It didn’t entail much other than my own inner declaration of it being my "birthday week".  The night before my birthday was meant to involve going to the grocery store and buying mass quantities of cabbage, and cheese, and other delicacies for the feast the following day.  Oooh that olive bar came out of nowhere though and before we knew it we were tallying up a bill all near $200.  My new favorite love, Michael, my roommate, was my partner in grocery crime and we danced around the whole fooded place and even made friends with the cashier whose birthday was also the next day.  Feb 15 for the win.

There is a lot to celebrate about being alive.  When I’m dead I may be singing another song, but for now, it’s right on.  Age brings a frisk to things and it really feels good to get to know myself more.  When the day finally arrived on a warm Berkeley Thursday, it was a very calm and peacful day.  I spent the morning working in my jammies in my home-office beside my bed, and then hit the road on the new bicycle that I’m thoroughly add-icted-to.  Around tea time friends and roommates started gathering in the kitchen and we cooked the beef.  The beef.  The beef.  It still smells like beef.  Go beef. 

Check out the photos on the photo page.  There aren’t photos of everyone, but a good chunk of smiley, special attendees.  View photos, Click me.

Thanks for coming.  I can’t explain how empowering it is to have such merry/alive/kind friends.



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Dulles Recycling Art
I land in Dulles and it’s a quiet calm layover.  I sit and have a glass of wine at a wine bar.  I am seated at a table with a nice 76 year old woman.  I learn this because we speak about our travel plans.  She has 10 children.  It doesn’t go too far, but I marvel at the 10 children and we settle in to our own time before she eventually leaves me to hurry to her boarding plane.

There are cute snowflakes made of six pack plastics (see the picture in the Photos! section).  Go Dulles recycling art!  Always nice to see this kind of art.

Zuruck am Zurich
After an 8 hour ride from Dulles I arrive in Zurich.  I am Zuruck (back) am (in) Zurich (Zurich).  This is the first time since I left Switzerland that I am in Switzerland.  It feels very familiar and also the opposite.  It’s very squeaky clean!  It’s very precise and particular.  I decide that Swiss people are perhaps more mature.  I make my way to my connecting flight to Tel Aviv.  The line for security is silent.  The official at the head of the line silently points each passenger towards an assigned security line.  It’s very quiet.  It’s not relaxed, but it’s very quiet.  Everyone does their job, be it passenger or airport employee, with silence and respect.  Ahh, the Swiss place.  I love it like I love a clean towel.  An old home I’ve completed my stay in.

A Video Camera Attached To My Airplane
Oh this is cool!  There’s a video camera attached to the nose of the plane and from the back of my seat, I can watch the take off out of Zurich.  Eventually I will watch the landing into Tel Aviv, a thought I enjoy as we’re taking off in Zurich.  Tel Aviv the exotic.

As I write these stories a few days after they have occured I am thinking about something my friend Tom told me after he read my recent article on JamBase.  He said it was nice, and he wanted to hear more of me, the handwriting analysis me, the non linear me.  I am thinking about that now.  It’s a split part of me that survives me (Gemini Moon and something about Neptune always).  I want to tell you Tom how thankful I was for that reminder.  I think of it often.  Humans are entirely complicated, he says.  Hehe.

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A new respect is growing for people who write in the blog while making the travel.  This task is not so easy making.  Still, the chapters remain the most tidy manner to share my experiences of these past 6 days, so I’ll fill in the content of the chapters making sir.  However, a note making, to honorate the happenings of any time, near or far, Norah Jones or Billy Idol, USA or Israel, is a feat which proceeds and precedes words, of course.  This feels good to share though, so I make share now with you.

The Ultimate: The Bulkhead & New Thoughts About Men
"Score!  I got the bulkhead!"  That is what the man next to me said as I sat down in my seat on the first leg of my trip.  40G.  SF –> Washington Dulles.  We were at the helm of the rear, if it’s possible, directly in front of the large monitor for "in flight entertainment" watching, miles of legroom, and according to my nearest neighbor, "the best dang seats in economy!"

This is a monster of an airplane.  A Boeing 777. The man next to me, the "Score!" friend above, is an airline technician for United.  He works on smaller planes he tells me, but he loves the 777 widebody series.  The 777 was the first commercial aircraft to be designed entirely on a computer using engineering software.  This is a big deal I am told.  No paper, no drawings.  Never before.  Monumental.  Yeah.  Yeah!

I confide to him that I have been afraid of flying since 9-11.  Anyone who has been in the airplane trip making with me knows that I grip the armrests during takeoff and bumps.  I tell him about my tricks that I make in my mind to get over it.  He understands.  We talk together about flying and airplanes for a long while.  He passes technical jargon at me and I’m basking in it really.   The airplane industry, the airplane secrets, the protocol, the "Hitchcock Delta Echo 68 Heavy Niner Roger That Charlie" has been a mystery for a while I say.  He knows.  He knows.  It needs to be.  For our safety.  He’s from Georgia, he wears a white baseball cap that reads "Lo’s and Hi’s" (his favorite restaurant I am told after I ask), and he is the father of two girls.  He calls his girls "the girls" and fondly looks up and breathes full when he mentions them, and I like it.  I like him.  I want to keep talking to him even though we’re sitting next to each other on the airplane.

We talk until the movie begins.  It’s a Mark Wallberg movie about football.  We both hook in and we both cry at the climax.  He reminds me of my Dad I think.  When we land I am touched by the simplicity of everything that’s been happening for the past 4 hours.  "Men" I think to myself.  It’s a rich thought.

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It’s been 4 days in Israel already and I haven’t been able to find meself an internet cafe.  That’s because where I am, there aren’t any.  We managed to rig a setup in our hotel room though, found the chord to charge my step-brother’s computer and here I am sitting on a white-sheeted bed in Eilat, perched on the 11th floor of a tall hotel tucked neatly atop the Gulf of the Red Sea and wondering in awe at this country, the beautiful people here, and why it is that we’re watching football on the TV right now.  I’ve been keeping tabs on the events though and I’ve come up with some nifty chapter titles about the things that have been happening.  Here are a few of the coming topics:

  1. The Ultimate: The Bulkhead & New Thoughts About Men
  2. Dulles Recycling Art
  3. Zuruck am Zurich
  4. A Video Camera Attached To My Airplane
  5. Zo Zorry Madame, But Your Bag iz ztill in Zurich
  6. I like it here.
  7. A Long Wait for a Small Plane
  8. Eilat!
  9. Funny, I don’t feel Jewish.
  10. Room 1103 or 902
  11. The Beach With Navy Ships
  12. I aint no tourist……um, do you speak American?
  13. Hassidim and Clear Eyes
  14. I’m in Jordan (the country)
        …..subchapters: Alladin, Bedouins, Lawrence of Arabia, Petra the 2200 year old city, Aqaba, Safe!
  15. More Falafel!
  16. Sharing a Hotel Room With Your 20 year old Step Brother

For now, that’s what I can begin with.  It’s growing late and it’s hard to concentrate with my step bro screaming at me to watch a show called "Worst Case Scenario".  It feels good to let those titles out though.  I’ll check in tomorrow.  Shallom my friends.  Love. and love.

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I am in the Mission, a place to find your mission, a place of mission-finders, an army of hipster mission-finders drinking coffee or tea in sexy scarves and sneakers with colorfull stripes.  Yeah.

I’m on Guerrero Street which isn’t about a war, despite how a quick-reading of the word might insinuate such a thing. No, this place I find myself in is the cafe of Petra.  Petra isn’t here I don’t think, but she earned the naming of the establishment and wherever she is, I think she deserved it, and I’d like to honor her now silently.

I am surrounded by bodies, some flirting, some alone, some phone-talking and most computer-typing.  I like it here, it’s hot to the skin and con calma.

After I say this, you may think I’ve been avoiding it so I want to say right now that I’m doing nothing of the sort.  As of two days ago my contract was terminated with NCI.  Suddenly how things are different.  Money in the bank, nothing but dreams to have and create.  And the big question rings within me like a bell at St. Peter’s, "what do I want?"

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I went to a Satsang a few weeks ago conducted by Peter Brown.  He sits and talks and I listen (along with a few other fools) and we have our minds reconfigured to a reality which is easily forgotten. 

This Peter reminded us that all language is a model, a map, and is therefore innacurate.  This illuminated that there is only one word.  Really, just one?  Yes, I see though, as a species we make these maps in order to accomodate the fear we have of not understanding what the fuck is happening before our eyes and the result is a language, and a disassociation for the mess around me.  I consider myself somehow seperate from it, and so I need a word to describe myself (me, Monica) and everything else (that, stuff).  But yes, one word living is the simplicist, free fall living you can do.  I see what this Peter means.

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