Monday, April 28, 2008


So I'm walking out of this delicious ice-cream parlor in Berkeley, called Ici. I'm with my friend Jason, and I turn to Jason to say, we should really impart our wisdom to this line here (there's always a line at Ici - it's that good!).

If you know me, you know that that's a pretty strange thing for me to do. I'm actually mostly reserved with people I don't know, but somehow this time I had an impulse - I had to share - and it's not like I was drunk at all!

It was almost like I had a 'bicameral mind', in the Julian James sense, if you know what I mean. There was an impulse from beyond and 'I' obeyed. The gods told me to speak my truth to the line outside of Ici, and I said unto the line: "Don't bother with the Meyer lemon, as it is not so hot tonight, but the rhubarb rose is on fire!!!!"

I said this to a guy I had never met before, but then I looked slightly to his right... and BANG!!!


For those of you who don't know, Nicole Tesson is a high-school friend of my sister Alicia, (and is dating Michael Levinson). She lives in St. Louis, and so had no business being in Berkeley on a Saturday night (well, okay, i guess she was at a pilates instructor conference or something...).

I know what you're thinking, c'mon aaron, your standards are slipping, that's just a weird coincidence, not a psychotic connection. I would agree with you, except that Nicole then said, "That's so weird. I was just telling my friends about your dad, and Alicia just called me!"

Whatawhata whata!?!? Yes, we got the shivers then! I asked her how often Alicia calls, and Nicole confirmed that it's not that often. And for her to be talking about my dad... wow! That's pretty cool - although I have to admit it's not as totally weird as it might seem to you because Michael, her boyfriend, does work for my dad.

Anyhow, it's still damn weird. I think i might have a psychotic connection with .... um... rhubarb? Nicole Tesson? Hmmm. Maybe it's after I eat ice cream! (if only it was that easy! and delicious!)

Anyway, so this one makes me think more about the feeling that you get when you're about to get a psychotic connection. For me it's a very impulsive feeling. It's kind of a strange sensation, like, "Well, I don't usually do this, but what the hell!" There's definitely a 'seize the day' sort of vibe to it. It's very non-analytical, no thinking, just doing. It's like a glancing blow off of the forehead. It's a surprise, and it doesn't hurt, but it leaves you feeling rattled and relieved.

Another feature of the psychotic connection is that it's sometimes not exactly on target, but it's still eerie. Like in this case, I didn't turn directly to Nicole Tesson. Instead, I got an impulse to tell her friend about rhubarb ice cream (the guy who I told about the rhubarb ice-cream was in her group). So I wonder, was the psychotic part mostly on her end?

In some way you could say so, because she was the one talking to her friends about my family right when I showed up... on the other hand, it does take two to tango!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Basho number two

And no, potty-brain, that title doesn't mean that I found a petrified Basho turd or something, sheesh! Look where people's minds go sometimes! How would I prove that anyway??!! (look I found this petrified turd! and it's Basho's!!! i swear!)

Anyhoo! The title to this blog post means I had some other thoughts on the Basho psychotic connection I just had. It has nothing to do with petrified turds.

The question I've been thinking about is: what would have happened if I hadn't said anything or asked Jessica to read me 'sweet, sweet poetry'?

A part of me thinks that she would have read that poem aloud anyway. You know, that's the sort of thing that, when you come to it in a guidebook, it just prompts you to suddenly read things aloud anyway. Like, "Hey, this is cool, listen to this!"

I bet she would have read it aloud anyway, and in that case, I would have been like, "What! I was just about to ask you to read me sweet sweet poetry!" It would have been flipped around, but i would still have been flipped out!

You know, in some way that would have been just as weird, wouldn't it? I mean, if we're fair and logical about it. Right? But I think in reality, we would have said, "Nah! that's no psychotic
connection!" And the reason for that? We're lame.

OK, jk, jk!! that's not why, but i think the reason has something to do with having the words out first. I mean, somebody standing next to us when I said 'read me some sweet, sweet poetry" could have, you know, verified, or something, that it was really weird that jess was reading random Basho at that moment.

I mean, if jess read the Basho, and then I was like, "OM gosh that's so weird blah blah blah", that somebody standing next to us would just totally roll their eyes at me and be like, "Sure you did butty! i'm SO SURE you were thinking that." (but they would say that in a sarcastic way
- maybe you can't tell from the caps on 'so sure'. you know, they'd say it louder and like "SOOOO SHUUUURE" - like that.)

Anyway, even though logically it's still a psychotic connection whether or not I said something first or Jess read the Basho out loud first, somehow it's better for Sarcastic Man if he can lean over Jess's shoulder and see that she was reading Basho. Unfortunately he can't lean over my brain, and see that I was thinking about "sweet sweet poetry".

What i'm saying is, you know, what really makes a 'psychotic connection' truly psychotic? Is it one that's really weird? Or is it one that the sarcastic guy won't roll his eyes at, but will instead pretend to be interested in, and he'll say its weird but then he'll never really want to think about it. And maybe in a year he'll pretend it was coincidence. (to Mr. Sarcastic, i want to say this: You can run, but you can't hide, butty!)

Anyway, my point is this, sometimes I don't write down on this blog (or blarg! ha ha ha) the ones that happen but where i think Mr. Sarcastic would roll his eyes. But in reality, they're just as strange, aren't they? Maybe I should write those not-quite-objectinve ones here more. What do you think?

Cuz i mean, who are you going to trust? Me? Or somebody you've never met but who is 'objectinve??' (and probably sarcastic too - sheesh!)

whoa! Basho!

oh. my. gosh.

so here i am, in Japan (!!) visiting my friend Pat (he's getting married - congratulations Pat!), and it happened again - like a blast of really weird shivery light from the blue - psychotic connection!

Psychotic connections feel weird because, well, it doesn't really feel like it's a psychotic connection until afterwards, when you realize what it is... I mean, at the time, it just feels like, "hey, why don't i just say that weird thought that crossed my mind. ho hum. why not? ... blah blah blah..." But then later it feels like:

"What?!!! What did i just say?!! How did that happen?!! Then: oh. my. gosh."

Anyway, so here is the story. Jess and I had taken a trip together down to Kyoto (which is one of the cities that's totally packed with shrines and temples and castles - all made of wood. To look at them is to feel like a samurai, by the way), and we had a long wait for a train. I had left my book in a different bag, so I didn't have anything to read except Japanese stuff (which i can't make much sense of, to be honest), and signs like "Enter," "Exit," and "Kumara." Anyway, I'm sitting there, bored, and I can't beat box because i don't feel like wondering if i'm freaking out the old Japanese lady. So I'm bored.

Jess is reading the guidebook, and I start wondering...

---aaron's mental process at that moment---
"You know sometimes, if you read prose like you're reading poetry, it actually sounds pretty good, especially if you just skip around and read random phrases. Maybe jess will entertain me with that until the train comes."

Mind you, this is a new thought for me, I've never actually read "prosetry" like that before! (How about that, I just made up a word! You can use it if you want.)

So I say to Jess, "Hey, do you think you could read me some sweet sweet poetry out of that guidebook?"

Jess immediately, (like instantaneous not missing a beat instantly) responds,
Traveler's heart
never settled long in one place
like a portable fire
and I'm like, "What?! she really did it, that was awesome!" But that's not the weird part.

The weird part is that that was actually the next lines of text she was reading in the guidebook!!! Apparently, she was reading a sidebar on Basho, and had - at that exact instant - arrived at that sample of his poetry. For her, it was just like switching from reading silently in her head, to reading aloud. Whoa!

I should tell you that the Basho sidebar is actually in a separate section of the guidebook from where we were headed. We were going to a hot spring, and she was reading in the 'arts' section of the book for no apparent reason cause we never even went to see any arts. Say what?!!? That's right!

So how did this happen?

Apparently Jessica and I have a psychotic connection. In the future I'll have to look out for other psychotic connections that also involve poetry or reading.


But wait! There's more! I'm not done with this one yet!

Speaking of reading, I had another weird one when I was logging on to blogger. I forgot my password... (oh no! not again! ha ha ha, right?) and was trying to think of it, when i noticed the confirmation code that I was supposed to type in (you know, the one they put in squiggledy letters so that evil internet people can't break into my blog). Do you know what it said? It said -
i thought this was weird because, you know, some people shorten the 'psychotic' part of Psychotic Connection to just saying 'psi', so it was weird to see that as a part of the confirmation code.

Also, 'Blarg' is just like the word 'blog,' just a bit different. hmmm. and what else? oh man, this is weird too!!

I just googled for a definition of 'blarg', and guess what I got...
"An utterance of complete bafflement"
How weird is that! I mean, not only was I kind of 'baffled' when I searched for the definition, but also, that's the way it feels when you get a 'psi'. (or as I like to call it, a 'psychotic connection.')

whoa! maybe i've also got a psychotic connection with blogger's confirmation code generator? that would be really strange. I don't really know what to do with that info.