Monday, September 29, 2008

The Larger Family
a holiday missive from Simon

In a few hours I'll be heading over to my parents' place for our traditionally non-religious celebration of Rosh Hashanah. My brilliant nephews (including recently Bar Mitzvah'd Jonah) will recapitulate the meaning of the holiday. There will be much talk of the election (in my house, the day's political news may as well be on an ancient scroll). Apples will be dipped in honey as we wish each other sweetness at the beginning of a calendar we don't observe. That's how we secular types roll, so L'shana tovah, whatever that means.

But just because I'm not versed in Hebrew and have no metaphysical beliefs doesn't mean I'm not aware of and reflecting on the tradition.

Julia and I were cruising home from the gym yesterday afternoon and listening to Speaking of Faith on NPR; I heard a familiar voice talking about the Days of Awe and realized it was Reboot regular, IKAR luminary and Very Hot Rabbi Sharon Brous. She spoke interestingly about the scriptural legacy of dysfunctional families and about the Jews and Muslims, descendants of Abraham by different mothers.

And then I came home to a story about someone spraying a "chemical irritant" through the window of a mosque in Dayton, Ohio. As the congregation was offering Ramadan prayers. As children slept in another room. They all began coughing and flooded outside while the authorities arrived to investigate.

The incident may have been spurred, in part, by a propaganda DVD called Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West, which was circulated in swing-state newspapers by a right-wing organization. And it just goes to show you how easily even folks in heartland, family-values America can get whipped up into a child-gassing frenzy for fear of the demonized Other.

No one was hurt, I'm happy to report, but make no mistake: This was both a hate crime and a domestic terror attack.

A director of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, quoted in a local paper, expressed fear that members of their flock wouldn't feel safe enough to return. I want you to think about that. I want you to imagine if such a thing had happened at your temple or church.

On a recent episode of the Showtime series Weeds (created by our brilliant, VHJ pal Jenji), protagonist Nancy's Jewish father-in-law, played by Albert Brooks, is trying to explain to his grandson the necessity of preventing another holocaust. "It must never happen again," he declares piously. His grandson is incredulous. Never happen again? What about Darfur? Rwanda? Bosnia? "No, I mean, it must never happen again to us," the grandfather huffs. I was glad to see the show puncture such insular Jewish piety. It's our responsibility to treat all the genocides in the world - as well as smaller acts of violence and intimidation - as assaults on our own family.

If these Days of Awe, which culminate in our asking forgiveness for our transgressions, have any meaning, the children of Sarah need to let the children of Hagar know this will not stand. So here's a message from the Very Hot Jews to the Muslims of Dayton and every other Islamic congregation in America: An attack on your community is an attack on ours. And the despicable hatemongers behind this heinous act deserve the same condemnation from us as if they'd perpetrated it against IKAR or the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

To say otherwise would be a grievous sin of omission.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Great Schlep: Jew Power for Obama
an early high-holiday card from Simon

Sera's in the Holy Land; I'm sure neither she nor it will ever be the same. But I've got a Wailing Wall of my own, and it's called this blog. And I'm-a use it.

Thanks to some killer PR and the hard work of folks like Mik Moore at the Jewish Council for Education & Research, among many others, The Great Schlep goes down on Columbus Day weekend. It's a mass pilgrimage of young Jews to Florida and other swing states, where they will endeavor to convince their older, often "low-information" relatives to vote for Obama.

I attended a beautiful fundraiser for said initiative the other night. It was held at the mansion-like home of some very generous entertainment-industry peeps, and I met a couple of mega-hot Jewish celebrities there who nearly made my knees buckle. The food, provided by the reliably brilliant Provisions (aka very haute Jew Lisa Feinstein and crew), was a gourmandish series of twists on classic bubbie nosh: brisket on toast, borscht shots (with crème fraîche and orange zest), mini-kugels, paté (chopped liver), succulent smoked salmon. The wine flowed freely. Handsomely attired Hebrews strolled the lush environs.

And yet, from the cocktail-hour chatter, you'd think we were all about to be herded onto trains to Dachau. Everyone was so worried. So terribly concerned. Worried about racist voters. Concerned about easily misled voters. Worried that Sarah Palin would become President in ten minutes and life would turn into The Handmaid's Tale. Concerned about what Bill Clinton said on TV. Worried about what their neighbors said in the driveway. Anecdotal blips on the radar screen were described like incoming ballistic missiles. For sheer doom-and-gloom certainty, I'd put any random bunch of Jews, even a well-heeled, high-information batch of Hollywood activist types such as these, up against the most rabid evangelicals in full apocalypse mode.

Fortunately, the presentation — by Mik and various other folks from JCER, and other cool outfits (including friend of this blog and mightily pregnant genius Jill Soloway) soothed some of these fears by describing the Schlep and making a charming appeal for support before screening this inspired, typically raunchy promotional video by Sarah Silverman.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Before I go on, I'd like to say a couple of quick things about this video. First: Our Sarah will kick their Sarah's ass. Next: I don't wanna hear about how you found this video offensive or untoward or how it made you uncomfortable. It isn't for you. It's for the kids who are going to journey to the heart of their grandparents' couches to close the deal for Obama, and they fully get and love her spiel. So shut your homentaschen hole.

Now I'd like to speak to the kids.

We often hear that children are the future, and ordinarily I don't agree. I just don't see the proof. But in this case, yes, children — specifically motivated and liberal teenage and twentysomething children and grandchildren of poorly informed, slightly confused elderly voters in swing states – emphatically are the future.

So you know your job, right, kinder? It's up to you to convince Bubbie and Zayde (and great aunt Rivke and cousin Manny and all their friends at the Senior Center) to cast their vote for our guy. This may not be as simple as it sounds. All kinds of ridiculous lies about Obama being a Muslim or not supporting Israel or whatever have been circulating like swamp gas among Jewish retirees, fueled by the Karl Rove innuendo factory. Then there's plain old ingrained racism, about which we'd like to think Jews would be more enlightened, but there you go. You will encounter resistance.

You must crush that resistance with everything you've got.

If you think I mean "Ply nana with an extra pot of Russian tea and tell her about Barack's thoughtful foreign-policy stances," you need to get real. I'm talking about tough love. I'm talking about winning this thing. Like Sarah S. suggests, I'm talking about emotional blackmail.

Nana has to understand that if she doesn't vote for Obama she's endangering her relationship with you.

This may seem harsh, but let's face it: If McCain wins this thing, we're mega-fucked. So it's time to put all our chips on the table, including our willingness to stay in touch with low-info relatives in swing states.

Look, I just want to help. I don't have any relatives in Boca, and my peeps are all voting for Obama anyway. But I thought I'd just sketch out a couple of talking points for you.

Of course, you do want to blow away the nonsense: No, he's not a Muslim, and a prominent Chicago rabbi wrote an editorial about how spreading this smear is lashon ha-ra. Barack's been endorsed by 900 rabbis. The Israelis like and respect him. You'll also want to make it clear that McCain's campaign is full of classic Jew-haters, and that Sarah Palin is a dangerous fanatic who scares the crap out of Israel. She believes Jews must be converted, she quoted racist Westbrook Pegler in her acceptance speech, and her church hosted a witch-hunting wacko who made some classically anti-Semitic inferences that can be found here. You might imply casually that she writes erotic fiction about the Third Reich under a nom de plume; can anyone prove she doesn't?
And given the age of your audience, it wouldn't hurt to remind them that McCain, not Obama, wants to bet their Social Security check on the same stock market that just fell apart.

Still, we both know that voting often comes down to abstract, emotional issues. For whatever reason, many older Jews have inhaled enough miasmic right-wing spew to feel an ingrained distrust of our candidate. That's where the tough love comes in. So let me offer you a few constructive dramatizations.

"Nana, you're going to vote for Obama. He's a wonderful candidate and the only one who can save our country. A vote for him is a vote for my future. So if you love me and want me to have a future, you will vote for him."

Let's say she looks down at the plate of kichel, heaves a weary sigh and says, "I'm sorry; I just can't vote for him." What are you gonna do, pack up your stuff and head for the bus station? I think not. You're gonna double down.

"Bubbie, let's be clear: You will vote for Obama. If you don't, you are dead to me. Because you will have chosen your wretched fears over my fondest hopes and flushed my dreams down the crapper because some idiot alteh cocker down the hall told you the shvartzeh won't stand up for Israel. And I don't care if you call him by that vile word as you pull the lever for him, even though every time you old Jews say it the little children who died in the camps and are now in heaven cry tears of blood that stain the fluffy clouds beneath their angel feet. You will vote for Obama because you if you don't, I'm going to come back here and we're going to get a knife from the kitchen and you can stab me right in the heart, just as Abraham was prepared to do with Isaac before the Lord stayed his hand. Is that what you want to do?"

I'm thinking by this time she's going to start to come around.

Sure, it's a risky gambit to fire these emotional cannons at our frail old family members. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. Plus, when Obama wins in November and you come back to show them a bunch of family videos and have a nice picnic at the wrought-iron tables in the condo courtyard, they'll be delighted beyond belief. And so will you.

If, like me, you can't personally go on the Great Schlep, why not make a contribution? Even if you're broke, you can honor the classic grandparent tradition and slip a fiver into a card like this.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jews in Blume, Political Kvetching and Other Notes

After all that spiritual light and sound, it's harsh to have to crash y'all back down to earth. But somebody's gotta do it.

But before we do, one more note about Darshan, about which Sera has written so eloquently. There's a song in the brilliant rock musical Passing Strange that culminates with this joyous, gospel-tinged refrain: "Music is the freight train on which God travels."

K, peeps: The meeting will come to order with some new business.

First off, if you're in L.A., c'mon down to Blumesday on Fri. night, 9/19, at M Bar. It's a fantabulous tribute to author Judy Blume (née Sussman) featuring selections from Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret, Forever and other perennials read by such delightful local talents as Jill Soloway, Melanie Hutsell, Maggie Rowe and our own Joanna Rubiner (among others), with music by the sly and saucy Candypants. The night will be hosted by the inimitable Ronna and Bev; it was organized by scrumptiously sexy Oregonian Jewess Joanna Miller and is sponsored by Jill's cool feminist org, Object. And if you look carefully, you just might see your beloved VHJ blogerati in attendance.

Now, on to politics. First: some Jews in New York are having a rally to express concern about Iran and invited Sarah Palin to speak.

Bad Jews. Bad.

Maybe the fact that she quoted renowned anti-Semite and avowed racist Westbrook Pegler (who cheerfully advocated the assassination of RFK) in her acceptance speech should tip off any self-respecting Hebrew that associating with Palin is a shandeh. Then there's her general religious fanaticism, her opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest, her sickening abuses of power, her promotion of the brutal slaughter of majestic Alaskan wildlife via helicopter.

I know, right?

Unfortunately, the organizers of this event subscribe to the misbegotten view that anyone who supports Israel (even if it's for Armageddon reasons) is also a pal of the Jews. They deserve to be kicked in the shins, but at the very least you can e-mail them and tell them what a fucking embarrassing mistake it is to make Palin their spokesmodel. Go here to find out how.

And in the meantime, we're just going to go ahead and say it out loud: Sarah Palin and her wingnut ilk are a bigger threat to the Jews than Ahmadinejad. How you like us now?

FANTASTIC BREAKING-NEWS UPDATE: The excellent activist org JStreet reports that Palin has been disinvited, thanks to lots of angry messages. Good work, Jews!

Yeah, the VHJs are ready to endorse a candidate. It's Barack Obama. Shocker. And we want you to help Obama win. Jews have a special role to play: Convincing the Floridian mispuchah – you know, bubbie and zayde and Aunt Rose and Uncle Max – that all the bullshit they've heard about our candidate is just that. This is being accomplished with something called The Great Schlep. It's sponsored by The Jewish Council for Education and Research (JCER), and you can find out more (and donate) here.

Simon went to go phone bank for Obama in the neighborhood, and guess what? He hated it! Calling two pages of swing-state voters felt like having nard surgery. Bugging strangers at home is not his thing at all. So he went to the organizers and they put him to work doing data entry. The clickity-clack? Much more comfy. Point is: We can all make ourselves useful.

And maybe this little post will do some good in this sorry old world.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Darshan, Part Deux.

Read Part One First, won't you?

So: Darshan. The Light. Spiritual It-ness. Direct transmission. It took having the high holy bajeebers freaked outta me by an actual High Holy to realize I've had my own lil' tap in the Divine Keg it all along. I got this megaswig, right? And once it settled in, I found it tasted oddly... familiar.

Here's my disclaimer: you ain't hearing this from on high, so you might find it a little... simplistic. It's all very layperson-y and basic. I may be a lot of things, but nobody ever called me an avatar. I enjoy a nice meet-and-greet with those masters -- like Mother Meera, about whom I rapped in Part One -- who traverse lofty realms. But, perhaps not coincidentally, I live at sea level. And write really violent shit, like, eight hours a day. So, nutshell: I'm not exactly Floaty Guru material. That's okay - jumping face-first into the dark side of human nature's a necessary job too. Also, fun. The swag is terrific. Free glass eyeballs! But I digress.

Anywho. Here's when I realized I actually had understood Darshan all along. I was turning left into Gate Seven at Warner Bros. The moment was profoundly rote. Swim around in purse for wallet; swim around in wallet for ID card. Meantime, hit button to roll down window, whilst hitting other buttons to turn up music to compensate for the traffic noise. And I accidentally turned the music up a little too loud, and I idly thought, as the sound swept over me, "That's what angels sound like."

No, really. I'm, first of all, not fucking kidding. And also, I am going to embed a youtube video so you can check it out.

So I park my car, and I sit there and hit "repeat" and listen again. And I think: yup, angel. That's what they sound like. I'm pretty sure.

I know - subjective. One woman's Celestial Voice Of Revelation is another chick's Whatever. But I turned this over and over in my head. Thinking that the quasi-religious overtone of it couldn't be an accident. I mean - do I believe there are little Jewy toga-clad harpists flying around singing at God? Um, nyet. But there's a reason the feeling this sound evokes in my body gets instinctively named "angelic" by the lightning-quick name-factory in my brain. Because something in me... opens up. It's a physical feeling. In my chest. Like a book flipping wide, and in the center is my heart. Things start to tingle. I wake the fuck up. I am being visited by something fierce and I know it. Suddenly, where I was crunched up... there's space. Even if I'm resisting, good music finds a way in.

Which: Darshan. Right?

And then I flashed on this night many years ago. The deets are a little too personal for this blog - I'm saving the really dramatic shit for my book deal, I'm sure you understand - but long story circumcised, I was miserable, driving way too fast down Pacific Coast Highway at night with the windows down. Rage was my co-pilot. I was contemplating all manner of bad ideas. So what I did was just... not get out of the car. I drove all the way past Malibu. The thing that kept me tethered to the Here - and, most important, to some shred of common sense (if not the speed limit) - was the song blasting out of the speakers. It was a pop song. U2. Nothing too intellectual. It said what it meant, and then Bono wailed for a bit, and then there were guitars. I drove like a maniac, and the cold wind slapped my hair against my cheeks, and I guess there were no cops on the PCH that night, and eventually the music found its way into me and I calmed down. If Bono'd decided to go all Thom Yorke and make a concept album, it totally would not have worked. If that song had tried to be clever instead of passionate, I would have been doomed.

Fonder memory: a futon on a floor, facing a window, sometime after 4 a.m. College. Me and this guy I liked, lying there in perfect stillness. (We were sober, if caffeinated.) Watching the sun come up while that old Peter Gabriel live double-album played. I think of those couple of hours as the center of the frantic whirlpool of those years. Every baby butterfly in my belly - remember being 17? Remember the constant inner-monologue about how every single everything was wrong with you? - miraculously lulled to sleep.

Like most members of the human race, I've pulled a couplea stunts in my day. Dived into some dangerous/unwise/illegal acts. Generally because I was looking for a way to get at the locked-up stuff inside. And having tried a lot of methods, I can tell you that the most reliable way to get there is music. I dunno, maybe Steve Jobs really is some kind of diety, because I realize now that when I let the Light in, it's often through my iPod.

The song I listen to driving up the coast that magnifies its deliciousness.

The mix Sukha made for my birthday last year, to bring me new love. That worked in 48 hours flat.

The six songs I've heard five zillion times each by now that I put on shuffle when I'm working on my movie script.

The scratchy ancient Chopin recording that is the music equivalent of having buckets and buckets of flowers poured all over you.

The CD I bought in China the week my goddaughter was adopted. The song that haunted me for months, a symptom of a problem I didn't know yet that I had. The CD that got me through the worst month of my life, a prickly, sticky rope in the fog. The songs that are blankets I wrap around myself when I'm lonely. That They Might Be Giants ditty my friend in junior high serenaded me with that sometimes comes on the radio, a time capsule breaking open and spilling out mirth. That song I heard at that Starbucks that one time that stunned me - so I forgot to ask what it was, and I am still fucking looking for it six years later, and it eludes and eludes and eludes me. The song I played driving to the most important meeting of my career. The song my friend recorded when she was still with that other man, that makes me shiver knowing that the worst situations make the most beautiful melodies.

Darshan; n: a glimpse of the divine. And here I was thinking I was secular-Jewly, while I'm pulling the Light lever on a near-daily basis. Taking it like vitamins. Or Ativan, frankly; people always ask me how I can stand commuting to the Valley, and I always just say, "That's why God invented iTunes."

I shared my lil epiphany with some friends. They tried to add to it: "Isn't it even better when you dance around, too?" "How bout those amazing singers in Baptist churches - isn't music better when it's, like, about Jesus?" "What about when you yourself are singing, when the music's coming out of you?"

Nah. Details. Give me a floor and a couplea cheap earbuds and I'm good.

I kinda can't believed I just typed that, it's so damn simple. But it's true. That's the entire deal: music brings in the light. I thought maybe there was a difference between the feeling of "this is right and things will be okay and I am part of something larger" that you get when listening to, say, Bill Withers singing "Use Me" (not emolicious enough? Um, Death Cab for Cutie singing "I Will Follow You Into The Dark"?)... and the feeling you get from the Real Holy Deal bathing your crown chakra with pure two-hundred-proof Darshan Juice straight from India. Can you blame me? Everyone always looks so swoony in the movies when they get whammied by the Light of the Divine.

But I just got whammied last week, so I can tell you: there is no difference. They're the same. I mean, maybe music isn't the thing that does it for you. Whatever that thing is - as long as you're not molesting anybody, obvs - go with it. 'Cause the thing you are waiting for is already here. Dive in, my Highly Attractive friend. Quit waiting for the lighting bolt. It's a marketing ploy. The good shit is exactly what you always knew it was. So eat it up, scrape the sides of the container with your spoon, get in there with your fingers. Don't hold back, and don't hold out for the next thing. There ain't one. I am here to tell you: the tools we were already given are, as far as I can tell, the only tools there are.

This isn't bad news - it's my very favorite kind: practical news. There is no next party: we are at the party: therefore, let us party! Apparently, if there is a God, he's got a sense of humor. He doesn't just zap folk in schul. He zaps them through baseball and the roar of V12 engines and the distant, holy sound of Kanye West.

And if you're like me (and I have this instinct you are - at the very least, you're Very Hot), you've got this amazing Darshan spigot at your disposal. Actually, spigot is far too crude a metaphor for the vast selection. It's like a massive Darshan Microbrew Bar, with a long row of Light on tap. Pick your flavor. Chug.

I mean, think about that. A tiny slice of what I think of as God (that's right, I said it) can be purchased for 99 cents and downloaded to your mp3 player. We live in miraculous motherfucking times, my friends.

Friday, September 05, 2008

(a little illumination by Sera)

Last weekend, my lithe, blonde, dancerlicious friend Sukha rang me, breathless with excitement.

Sukha: Do you want to come with me to UCLA to get Darshan from Mother Meera?

Me: Um... yes!

Sukha: I'll be at your house in ten minutes.

Me: Great! Let me find some pants!

Are you wondering what Darshan is? So was I. She may as well have been speaking Sanskrit. Actually, she was. But she sounded really, really stoked, so who was I to turn down the chance to go get... whatever the fuck it was were were going to go get?

From the gods of Wiki:

Darśana (Darshan, Sanskrit: दर्शन) is a Sanskrit term meaning "sight" (in the sense of an instance of seeing or beholding; from a root dṛś "to see"), vision, apparition, or glimpse. It is most commonly used for "visions of the divine," i.e. of a god or a very holy person or artifact. One could "receive darshana" of the deity in the temple, or from a great saintly person, such as a great guru.

We pulled up the sparkling UCLA curb late-late, which didn't bother me at all because I had no idea what was going on anyway. Sukha, however, seemed keen on getting in and feared we would be turned away. So we took off our shoes and ran through the unexpectedly muddy grass, up the hill to the Bradley center. We showed up to the thang a lil' dirty, a lil' sweaty, but no one seemed to judge.

They let us in to what turned out to be a large, carpeted room filled with chairs. At the front of the room, a little stage. On the stage, a big green chair. On the chair, a lady in a lovely sari. Mother Meera. She is Indian, obvs, and extremely holy - an actual avatar, apparently - and UCLA is a stop on her ongoing world tour. (I learned these pertinent deets after the adventure; for some reason I can't entirely explain, I didn't really want to ask S what exactly was going on. I was enjoying just... going with it.)

The gist: you sat your ass down, got quiet, did a little inner whatever-ing, praying or thinkifying or blanking pleasurably, and eventually (we waited about 2 1/2 hours) your turn came and you got in front of Mother Meera.

The big moment: you kneel. Touch her feet. She touches your temples. When she lets go'a your temples, you look into her eyes. You hold each other's gaze until she looks down again.

That's the whole cannoli. It takes like 20 seconds, max.

So, I did it. I had no expectation that anything much would happen. People all around me, though, were quietly, meditationally squeeing. This lady is a big deal. Whatever she's tapped into, it allows her help others by a method that includes staring down hundreds of people a day without ever losing her zen; she's serious business.

Anyway, I got up there, I knelt in front of her, she touched me. I was a little nervous all of a sudden. It felt like... fingertips. So: not magic. Not that I was trying to be skeptical. I'm just reporting. It was nice. In a brief, gentle, fingertippy kind of way.

Then I got the cue. So I lifted my head, and I looked in her eyes.

Hello, fierce. She kind of freaked me out. Perhaps I expected mushy and lovey? Like a Jewish grandma? But she was casual as a heart attack. Time stretched out, and she just looked at me, and we were very much the same, and we were very foreign to each other, and she was very much wiser than me, and she knew a lot that I may never know, and had something to give to me and was giving it to me right then; and I had this sense of her telling me I'm willing to do this for as long as it takes and it made me wonder just what it was she was doing because it must be more than just looking, and then, loud and clear, something inside me was going, what the fuck are you doing trying to crack me open like that, no no no! And then it was over.

I got up and walked back to my chair. I felt pretty good. Calm, because I'd been meditating on and off for the two and a half hours leading up to the twenty seconds. Amused with myself, because it's not too surprising that I'd balk at the intimacy of that amount of searing eye contact from so advanced and over themselves a person. ( Or, possibly, if you subscribe to that particular magazine, from the person-ish incarnation of a goddess.) So... I went and sat down and thought for a little while about how I am an eminently freak-out-able person. Whereas the lady in the green chair is the photo negative of shakeable.

I wasn't bummed, because it wasn't like I'd spent weeks anticipating the moment I received the whatdoyoucallit, and then I got up there and screwed it up by getting kind of scared of the goddess lady. Quite the contrary! I pulled on my inner lab coat and started making notes on my inner clip board. The subject is highly open to new experiences. But quickly detaches from the mood of the crowd. Also, in the face of being peered into at an alleged soul-deep level, subject went all doe-in-headlights. She is so not as chill as she thinks she is.

Sukha, to contrast, looked all dreamy and silken, like she'd been whacked upside the head by a basket of soft furry kittens. But then, unlike this Very Hot Bloggeress, she meditates daily; her every chakra was squeaky clean and ready to receive the divine news flash.

Sukha's aura.

In the car on the drive home, Sukha repeatedly assured me that the light of Darshan gets in despite one's resistance. If it couldn't, who the hell could it reach? Humans are by and large ridonkulously resisty buggers.

Sukha and I went out for tomato soup and nori rolls and talked about men, of course, and I was in a great mood; it's not every day I get to gatecrash an event like that.

Sukha: Do you feel it?

Me: Feel what? Like,

Sukha: Yes, it.

Me: Honestly, no, not really, but I feel great so no worries. This soup is really good.

But Sukha disagreed with my notion that nothing specific had been wrought within my being. At one point I said something wry and eyebrowy that involved looking her in the eye. And she squealed with joy, "You got the light! You're all full of the light! You have so much light you're just going to have to give it to people!"

Well, good news, my loin-wrenchingly attractive readers. I'm giving it to you.

Because I figured it out this morning, guys. I figured out how the light - excuse me, Light - gets passed around. I figured out what the Light is, in my world. How it works, how it's transmitted, the whole friggin' enchilada. I figured it out as I was turning left into the Warner Bros. lot and fishing for my ID card with my free hand. It just - BAM. Hit me.

I think this may just be time-release Mother Meera groove in action.

I'm gonna lay it on you in Part Two of this post.

(Don't worry, there's really gonna be a part two. It's mostly written already. I just split them up so this wouldn't be miles long. I ran into this writer at Hugo's on Riverside the other day. We were both getting breakfast in lieu of writing scripts for our respective TV shows. Anyway, he said, "I used to read your blog, but it's always so long and cryptic." So, though Josh won't be reading these words: tune in for more next week.)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Things I Love.
An off-the-top-of-my-head list by Sera.

1. Supplements you drip into your Fiji water that turn it crazy colors which freak out the people sitting near you in the park. Like: dark green? That’s not a color you want to see in someone’s water bottle. But I’m chloro-loading, baby.

2. The fact that every now and then, something wildly popular is actually worth the hype.

3. Bulldogs: when they roll upside down? Gravity makes them smile.

4. In the cheese section at the grocery store … so very many cheeses. Yes, I am lactarded. I don’t care. I’m willing to suffer.

5. The paradox of laser-clear-eyed brilliance and total-fucking-batshititide that is being a visionary. Well, more to the point, the people who document true visionaries, so my friends and I can watch movies about what they did. And go weepy bananas in the theater.

5. Watching Simon sing his fool ass off.

So, it took me a minute to get to bloggin’, but I must mention that we had a Classic Rock Singalong the other day, on the occasion of Simon’s twenty-somethingth birthday.

It was pretty awesome. For instance, VHJ inner-circlite Mollie wore this super-skintight red zip-up Dickie Girl cover-all situation that made her look like a poster girl for the war effort, or an ad for motor oil, or a zipper fetishist’s wet dream. She led us in a rousing rendition of “Hotel California.” It was a sort of post-postmodern "Happy Birthday Mr. President" moment.

What Molly looked like: a faithful recreation.

What else? Simon rocked out. That’s the major headline. I drank beer with his ravishing Jewess bride and her striking sister, and as the evening wore on and our inhibitions wore off, the singing got louder and louder. I keep telling you, these Singalongs have a cleansing effect. They’re like primal scream therapy, but hipper.

That’s the news from the Very Hot front. We’ve been singing, having birthdays, imbibing, sucking the marrow out of summer. There’s no soul-rattling politico-religious wrap-up to this entry. It was really just an excuse to post a couple pix and shout-out our dear, sweet, panty-snappingly hot Sime. More soon. Ish.