Self Help

It’s either day 6 or 7. I can’t remember. After a while, the days without routine and electricity blend together into a foggy-headed smoothie that tastes like the middle of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” sounds. We’re all walking around with grim heavy-metal faces, but all feel confused and awkward, like maybe we accidentally ate some Percocet dusted catnip.

  1. Challenge yourself every day. Try climbing the stairs carrying two soccer balls while wearing your father’s shoes. Remember, failure IS an option.
  2. De-clutter! Start by throwing all your dishes in the garbage. After that I suggest toothbrushes and important paper work.
  3. Pee on the floor and stomp in it like a puddle. You’ll be shocked how much better you feel.
  4. Whether the glass is half empty or half full is irrelevant if you dump it out on the sofa. You’re welcome.
  5. If you’re feeling aggressive, or just bored, scream in a cat’s face.
  6. Don’t ever be afraid to hand someone an ice cube while they’re on the toilet.
  7. Continue…

Thinking in terms of achievement and legitimacy, instead of creativity and growth, earns any “artist” a one-way ticket on the bitter bus to Hacktown. Lately, I’ve wanted to be booked on shows for approval and acceptance, rather than the opportunity to perform. I’ve taken it as a sign to perhaps accept stand-up’s persistent pleas to change its role in my life to “hobby.”

If I strain-out the ambition, I’ll be more able to enjoy the juice, right? A mind focused only on the quality of its product can create things without the nagging influence of their marketability. Unfortunately, the reality is, I can write as much as I want, but without performing, the material sits lifeless on my hard-drive. Continue…

Everyone needs to relax, right? We’re all going to die of cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, polio, yellow fever, you name it, and stress will cause it. (A few others I thought of are arthritis, depression, constipation, pernicious anemia, and black death.) There are a lot of methods out there to help you relax. Here are the problems you can expect if you try them.

Method: Visualization
Problems: Sometimes when we close our eyes, all we see is scary stuff like famine, shoeless street children, and locked public restrooms. Be sure you have decent control over your mind before you try to close your eyes and take a nice imaginary walk in the woods. Continue…

We can’t offer Arlo (nearly 2) anything to eat if he already has food in his mouth. If he likes the new offer better than what he’s chewing, he simply opens up and lets everything ooze out. Sometimes it’s a whole cashew, but more frequently, it’s a semi-mysterious starchy wad of something cheesy. The wad tumbles down the front of his shirt like a sticky wall monkey slowly losing its hold.  Sometimes the wad breaks into pieces, leaving a third of itself on the collar region, another third around the belly button, and the rest  on the waistband of his pants. Continue…

Diet, Food and Weight
Eat fewer calories than you burn. Donut calories are harder to burn than lettuce calories. So, if you want to eat donuts, you’ll have to exercise a lot more, or eat fewer donuts. YOU KNOW THAT! It’s just math. If you’re really hungry and you don’t eat, you will probably lose weight. If you’re hungry and you eat until you’re full and feel gross, you will gain weight. There’s an interesting footnote to these rules. No amount of exercise can burn off lasagna. That doesn’t even make sense, does it? Forget all that stuff I said. Try eating only blueberries while hanging upside down for 9 hours or something. Continue…

My friend Jeremy has a great policy: If you’re going to call in sick to work, make it something your boss will be too scared or embarrassed to question. He has used “I have to get my lung drained” on multiple occasions. The response is usually, “Oh God, take as much time as you need.” BINGO. Here are some more suggestions. Try them out and let me know how they worked for you.

  • Organ rejections. “My body is rejecting the pig aorta I got when I was 17. Did you know I had a heart defect that caused me to need a pig aorta?
  • Continue…

Reminiscing about Anthony Robbins led me to make my own list of little inspirational sayings. I hope they bring you the peace and serenity they’ve brought me.

1. Go ahead, be the blind squirrel that finds the nut – This is great if you’re feeling unmotivated and incapable, but still feel like you deserve stuff. I’m not sure it makes sense because I’ve never seen a blind squirrel, but I bet they don’t survive very long due to the limited availability of nuts and the fact they spend most of their time not finding any because they’re blind. But whatever.

2.   Continue…

7 years ago, I went to the Anthony Robbins workshop “Unleash the Power Within.” It was fun to feel like part of a cult for a whole weekend. The effects of his drug-like charisma stayed with me for almost an entire week after the seminar. When the high wore off, I was left thinking, “Woh, what the fuck just happened.”

You might not know this, but Tony (I’m allowed to call him that) has extra human growth hormone which has turned  him into a Godlike giant. He’s 6’8, weighs 250 lbs and has huge clydesdale teeth contained in a spelunkable mouth that speaks in an assertive baritone voice. Continue…

I know that nothing is less zen than complaining about how hard it is to be zen. Peace, tranquility, humility and happiness, all of these beautiful prizes can be yours if  you just “live in the moment.” I don’t have to rehash what thousands of soft spoken bliss addicts have already described with an annoying lack of detail. Hundreds of thousands of pages written in an attempt to expand on one very simple idea: Relax and enjoy. That’s the tenet of modern popular Zen teachings, yet no one has succeeded in explaining HOW to do it. It takes a long time, you have to be patient, just sit and be still with your thoughts. Continue…