Friday, March 8, 2013


Note: part of White Noise is about a pill that suppresses the fear of dying. It's a cool book!

Note: I know people rave on about the food in New Orleans. I see their point. It tastes good. But it is too much grease and meat and seafood, and tasty vegetables that are cooked into mush. (Laura and Jules had a $1 wager as to whether my side of green beans was from a can. I called the restaurant and asked last night - they were canned. It was not a cheap restaurant!) We had muffalettas for dinner the other night at the free concert in Lafayette Park - a sandwich on Italian sesame foccacia-like bread with olive oil, salami, not sure what kind of cheese, and chopped green olives. I had a bite of a Po'boy, and cup of gumbo. They were great, but it all starts to gross me out at some point. I miss vegetables and things not made with white flour and sugar and oil. They are my friend.

Note: We watched the first episode of the HBO series Treme ('Tre-MAY'). Our bicycle tour guide said it was incredibly accurate, which must have been why we didn't understand some of it. But it's a good show, look forward to watching the rest.

Note: There is a big pyramid among the square tombs in the St. Louis cemetery. It says only Omnia Ab Uno ("Everything From One") on it. No name. Turns out it belongs to Nicholas Cage! The shoplady who told us that seemed to despise him.

Okra in a bloody mary?
Laissez les bon temps roulez.
More notes on "belief"
I forgot to mention that there are two Americas in terms of childhood influences: One America ascribes to the religion of the rational mind, no spirituality of any kind, reliance on science, or on the popular media's version of science. For another America, belief in God, and I would say belief in general, is primary. In this mode of thinking, systems that aren't reliant on belief in an omniscient judge, or belief in general, are unfathomable. My background was more of the former, I probably don't need to say.

Lots of "Buddhist converts" get weirded out by ritual practices that remind them of Christianity, either because it's not 'rational' or, on a more emotional level, because it has negative associations. This is why much of Buddhism in the west has removed ritual elements and appears as completely secular. To the degree that people (who think they are being original) must often ask, Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy? On the other hand, devotional practices aren't inherently useful; as I said in the last post, in Buddhism one's state of mind is primary.

Note: 11 hours sleep last night, and finally I do not wake up tired!

Note: We are having fun. (Quote from tour yesterday: New Orleans puts the 'fun' in 'funeral'!) Today is our last day in Louisiana. We rented a car and are driving to Jean Lafitte Park.

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