I had a little free time yesterday, so I headed on down to the Walgreens Pharmacy to sit in the massage chair.

Sure it’s crusty and it smells like moldy people, but it touches me in a way that makes me feel loved.  Unconditionally.

I like to really get settled in, peer out from under half-closed eyelids, let just the tiniest bit of drool escape the corner of my mouth, and stare at the cute male pharmacist behind the counter.

After about half an hour, I start adding in random twitches whenever he glances over, and my happiness is pretty much complete right around the time his lower lip starts to tremble.

It’s a peak experience.

This time however, my session was interrupted by a pregnant woman who sat down to wait for her prescription and immediately began talking at me.

It quickly became clear she ought to be there to re-up her OCD medication, as she used her hand sanitizer no less than 17 times, reorganized the contents of her purse, and wiped out her left shoe, all while keeping up a running commentary which included asking me if I owned a car and whether or not I had remembered to turn it off.

When I realized that only answering in grunts, low moans and making no eye contact what-so-ever, wasn’t going to deter her, I turned toward her to try my next tactic — the unnerving, hungry stare, paired with a statement of the obvious.

I started saying “So… you’re in Walgreens now,” in a suitably creepy and intense manner.

But she interrupted me before I could finish, to say “Yes, I have a glass eye.”

I immediately denied any knowledge of it, and claimed to not have noticed.

It actually was a pretty good glass eye, so one wouldn’t notice in passing and would only discover it upon looking directly at her, such as during forced conversation.

She went on to explain to me she had it because when she was born, something about her eye, I don’t know I was too busy staring at it to hear what she was saying.

Also, an epic battle was raging inside me.  It went like this.

“Go ahead.  Just do it.  Ask her to take it out.”

“NO. That’s wrong Jonni. You’re not cool.”

“But I really want to.”

“Forget it.”

“But I’ve always wanted to see someone pluck their own eye out. And it might make that popping sound like a cork coming out of a bottle.”

“NO.  This kind of behavior is not okay.  You’re sick.  Knock it off.”

“But maybe, if I ask her and she takes it out, maybe she’ll pop it into her mouth to lube it up right before she sticks it back in her head.”

“You think she’d do that?!”

“Maybe.”

“Neato.”

I cut her off in mid sentence — “Take it out.”

“What?!” she responded.

“Can you, is it, I mean, how often do you take your eye out?” I stumbled over the words, unable to do anything but plunge full speed ahead. “Does it hurt to take it out or put it in?”

“No, not at all.” She answered matter -of-factly.

I opened my mouth to say “Then do it.”

But right then the pharmacist called her name and she grabbed her things saying “Ah, my prescription’s ready.  See you later.”

I wanted to reach out grab her sleeve and say “Wait!”  I wanted to see her take out her eye, I wanted to roll it around in my hands.  I wanted to see her wet it in her mouth before she popped it back into her socket.  But mostly I wanted her to put it back in wrong, so I could lean over, put my hand to my mouth, and whisper loudly to her:

“Um… Your pupil’s not showing.”

(Names have been changed to protect the not even close to innocent.)

Recently my father sent out a mass email to  his 4 children and two daughters-in-law. Everyone responded. I found the entire interaction to be wonderfully amusing and as I am missing the filter which delineates some information as private and other information as public, I am now sharing the whole series with you.

Here are the players:

Dad = my dad

V = the oldest son

C = V’s wife

J2 = the next oldest son

T = J2’s wife

J1 = me

B = the youngest son

To any of my siblings who are just now discovering I have published their personal writing for all to see, my sincerest apologies and remember: you really should have seen this coming.

Here are the emails between us completely unaltered other then to protect identities:

“Greetings and hallucinations,

I, your father, am notifying you of my upcoming RCR(R).  For the uninitiated that is Rotator Cuff Repair (Right Shoulder).  I injured it at the biginning of October.  It did not heal.  I went to the doctor.  He, had me take? gave me? an MRI. (I’m sure that must be some sort of medical perversion)  I go in Friday, 12/10/2010, for pre-admission.  The surgery is scheduled for Tues, 12/14/2010, at 12:00 pm. (Admission at 10:00 am)  The doctor assures me that there is only a .000000000000000000009% chance of cessation of vital signs.  However, the anesthaesiologist makes no such guarantee.  You, though, may rest easy because he is not beneficiary to, nor inheritor of, any property, monies, or other material items.  Your inheritance of your parents’ state of impoverishment remains intact.

In loving memory,

Dad”

—————————————————————————————————–

“DAD! Be sure to tell me anything I can do to make your pre-op, surgery, or post-op recovery easier, more fun, or speedier. 
I shall read books to you and change your bedpan and moisten your lips with ice and dole out medications dutifully.
By the way, I’m assuming they’re replacing the entire rotator cuff with titanium and robotic punching mechanisms, and I want you to know I fully support you on this, your first step to becoming the cyborg we all knew you really were at heart. Be sure to threaten the anesthesiologist and surgeon with water-boarding performed by yours truly if everything doesn’t work out PERFECTLY. Thanks for the heads up.

Love you,

J1

P.S. Notice that I’m the first to respond and therefore the only one of your family that truly loves you, cares about you or even has an actual heart and soul.”

——————————————————————————————————–

“Injuries, as we’ve all been told, come not from weakness of joints, ligaments and connective tissues but weakness of intellect.  Obviously, years of strenuous child-rearing have taken their expected but sad toll. I shall alert the media and the medical professionals to implant the latest in cerebral implants to rectify and restore your powerful brain so it can order your body to heal (and heel) and heed your orders regarding cartilaginous integrity.  This is very important as we of your progeny expect to enjoy many years of animated gesticulating while your are describing yard squirrels or whether mom purposely sewed your pyjamas to the bed.

As I am certain your typing will not be up to it’s usual brilliance 3 hours after the surgery (that is to say, two and a half hours after you are discharged; I have insisted they actually let you stop moving for the event; they had planned it to be a truly ambulatory procedure with the doctors, nurses, and attendants performing the procedure as you walk from the bill-paying station back to you car), we will anxiously await an update via carrier pigeon or trained nutria.

*hugs on your good arm*

-The 2nd Eldest, J2″

——————————————————————————————————-

“Wow.. big news!

Please let me know if there is anything I can do to make sure your recovery goes well.  Because as you know, MY concern is genuine.  As we all know, J1 is just using your personal pain as one more step in her plans for world domination.  Cyborg?  Really.

I think J2 has been in on J1’s plan for wold domination all along.  A cerebral implant?  I think not.  It’s a beaming device.  How interesting the movie TRON is coming out soon.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Dad, I’m sorry to tell you that you are a pawn in their master plan.

Had I not come along 18 years ago it may have happened sooner.  Alas, I’m sorry I was not there to protect you.  I’ll make it up to you somehow.  Probably a check.  Or cash.  Maybe a cake?

Hugs & Love!!

YOUR FAVORITE DAUGHTER, T”

———————————————————————————————————

“Hmmmm… J1 et al. seem to have reserved most, if not all, of the tents in the loving, devoted, swift and painless recovery camp. Does that force me into the cramped, despised yet awkwardly tempting dream-less and speedy exit camp? I attribute temptation to such a lonely, deprecated and morally indefensible place because of your obvious attempt to put the blame on me; your injury in early October… you visited me in early October… it’s pretty clear isn’t it? Well, I’m a lot closer to Mexico than you think. Go ahead and send your Marshall “Boots” to Chase me, you’ll never pin this on me, Tex! 

On further consideration I side with the pro-recovery lot. I’m quite fond of the feeling of solidarity I experience when I watch your favorite TV programs on Hulu the day after you enjoyed them on your DVR device just minutes after their regularly scheduled time slot. Please allow me this one small criticism: Timing? Your pain and suffering could have spread sweetness and light to all those who would have been located nearer, both geographically and temporally, the long arm of justice which is so thoroughly attached to the recently incapacitated shoulder of justice. I don’t intend to be harsh, I’m just saying.

OK, jocularity aside, could you provide just the tiniest bit of detail regarding the cause and nature of the injury as well some broad outlines of the proposed procedure? For example, will they be using your right or left ankle as a replacement shoulder? Will they be able to recover the necessary replacement cartillage with a long overdue rhinoplasty (say, they might be able to get a headstart on the other shoulder and both hips; waste not want not I always say). I’ll see to Mom while you are off shirking and messing about in the operating theater (the lengths some amateur dramatists will go… I would have tried acting classes at the local community college, but that’s just me).

Love,

Your longest running torment, V”

——————————————————————————————————

“Since all the cerebral space has been taken up with jockeying for the title of sharpest wit. I will simply say “I love you. I wish you a speedy recovery, and I shall send you chocolates and champagne.”

Love,

The other daughter-in-law, C”

——————————————————————————————————

“I am currently on the phone with J1 who has hounded me into response.  This is me responding.  Here are my witty one-ish liners.

For dad:

“DEAD MAN WALKIN’”

For V:

feel free to take the low road, or downhill road, whichever one morally and physics wise won’t stress “the sweet fixie” your riding these days, damn Hipster.

J2:

I think dad’s gesticulations and his injury are directly correlated to the immense amount of items you broke throughout childhood, exp: Coffe table, Glass dining table, island counter (with dishes inside), bed, Dinner chairs in assorted sizes and years, couch (you know how you broke that for all of us).  Let us not forget the fact your Fresnel lense ended up in my hands so I hold you responsible for the back deck being on fire as well.

J1:

Stop poking holes in the plastic wrap on the honey jar, and you know dad’s only interested in cyborg reconstruction that will help him turn his 3 hour lectures into even longer filibustering rants!

By the way how is the sweet tachyon business? Sorry Hypno business, sorry no NLP, wait sorry no Taco Bell, wait sorry no Seminar…lets just make it simple.  How goes the whack job search for totally impossible to empirically prove technologies and  job opportunities with the fringes of society.

I can’t wait to get my sweet pyramid hat or the sequel to that AWESOME book “the secret”. Whats the follow up called I can’t quite remember?  Something like.

“The reason you’re poor and hungry is because you haven’t had enough positive thoughts”. I hear the release party is in the burn ward at Woodhull Med center, if only they had spent more time thinking more positively!

C:

For me, tonight as a favor, fool V with a little bit of trickery then strike him in the neck.

T:

You’re a ginger, nothing I can do for you but accept your disability with aplomb and benevolence

Mom:

I didn’t poke holes in the top of the honey jar!

Love,

B

——————————————————————————————-

And that was the end of that.

As you can see we all enjoyed our “family e-union” as V called it. See Mom and Dad live in Amarillo, J2 in Chicago, T in Houston, B in New York City, V and C in California and I’m currently in Oregon.

As a final update, my father has come through the surgery very well and is recovering speedily.

You may ask, Jonni what have you been up to the last couple of weeks?

At which point I’ll answer :

What have I been up to this last couple of weeks?  Well… let’s see, Saturday morning, with no sleep and just 4 hours after taking a shot  called Silk Panties (first shot I’ve had in well over 3 years as I typically don’t drink) and another shot called the Harry Potter (which resulted in half the bar being lit on fire) at the Barcelona in Manhattan, I found myself boarding a plane at JFK on my way home to Houston.

Here’s some unedited footage of my suite at The London, 2 blocks from 5th Ave in New York City.  I repeat, it’s unedited, so I don’t actually recommend watching it.

Sure had a blast with my brother in NYC.

My flight was delayed when we had to make an emergency landing in Jackson, Mississippi as one of the passengers was dying, so I only got into Houston with just enough time to grab some food, shower and head straight to the Beyonce concert with my friend Danielle.

Back at the airport just 6 days later, I found out from the lady behind the Jet Blue counter that the passenger on the flight home, had survived, and was doing fine last they heard.

I hopped a plane to LA where I not only met some super fun cats from Sydney, Australia,

BradRussMe1

KylieKiss

but I also met my favorite human being on the planet, Eben Pagan.  

So what do you do when you finally meet the guy you’ve been listening to on audio or video every day for the past 7 years, the person you consider your teacher, your mentor, your guru?  Well, if you’re Jonni La Force, you walk up and whisper in his ear “You’re a total dork… and everyone knows it.”

Yeah, I was obviously functioning on pure brainstem at that point.  But in my defense, in his dating program for guys he points out that his favorite way to tease a girl is to call her a dork, so it was actually a reference to that.  Plus there were 400 people at his seminar, all acting like he was their hero, therefore it was probably less boring for him that way.

Here’s me whispering in his ear.

EbenMe1

Of course after an intense 26 hour seminar, followed by networking with other successful business people, I met up with my old friend Johnny B in North Holly wood.  I watched his ghetto metal band Blaxmyth rehearse,  and even jammed with them a little.  You may have seen them on the Fuse channel last year.

Next we headed off to the titty bar where I got kicked out for taking this awesome footage.

But how was I supposed to know you can’t do that sort of thing?  It’s not like I’m going to strip clubs often enough to memorize the rules.

It was a good thing I got kicked out though, as it was definitely time for me to head to bed.  I am attending Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Management Training and Certification program tomorrow, which starts bright and early at 8am, and with a $25,000 price tag, I definitely want to be at my best.

Just another couple of weeks in the life of a modern wild woman.

Recently I went to Kingman, AZ for a Mastermind session with the 5 main players of a company I contract under – the founder, his wife, the former Director of Field Operations and two therapists.  (I’m one of the two therapists)

This entailed a 3 day visit to the home of the founder culminating in a 10 hour meeting, preceded and followed with socializing.  I ended up posting  the highlights of the day during the longest meeting on Twitter as it all unfolded.  So my followers were able to experience it in real time.  

I’ll just post the tweets as a series of screen captures here as I believe that will cover it.

Picture 16

Picture 17

Picture 18

So that was the meeting.

Later on that evening, I took a couple goofy videos.  Here’s one.

Now the closest airport to Kingman is Las Vegas.  Then it’s a two and a half hour drive from Vegas to Kingman.  I have some video excerpts from the road such as the Stun Gun Speech, the Hoover Dam Footage, and a few songs by my very talented friend and colleague Erik Archbold.

In an effort curtail my self-indulgence, and as a favor to you Constant Reader, I shall only include one video here, my favorite song from that day.

It’s called Shine Through, composed and performed by Erik Archbold.

Things of note in my reality at Mom and Dad’s house in Amarillo, TX.

Be sure to observe how supportive my parents are of my film-making, as they are of all things I do.

That’s because my parents love me way more than your parents love you.

Here are two pictures I took outside their house.  Apparently I have an “American Beauty” type view of litter.

Squiggly Red Trash

Taco Bell

My parents live in Amarillo, TX.  Nobody knows why.

What I love about Amarillo is the most fascinating, weird little quirk.  There just so happens to be wacky signs all over the city.

According to the locals, Stanley Marsh’s dad was super-duper rich and his son, (the aforementioned Stanley Marsh), was a little touched in the head.  So to keep his son from squandering the money, his father put a clause in the will stating that Marsh could only spend it on the arts.  Marsh’s idea of the arts was to put signs in people’s yards all over the city.

Of course the newspaper articles and wikipedia tell a different story.  You can look that up for yourself if you’re interested.

The other story one of the locals told me, (she came out while I was taking a picture of the sign in her yard), is that it used to be, if you pulled the sign up, took it to Marsh, and gave it directly to him, he would pay you $600 bucks on the spot.  However, she said no one could find him any more.

She was the only person who told me that particular story.

Other than the signs, I find the most intriguing thing to be that he also has enormous art, so big you have to be in a plane to really see the whole piece, hidden away on his property where no one can find it or see it.

Here are some of the signs I speak of.

I RUN WITH NOBODY

LIFE'S LIKE THAT SOMETIMES

WOLVES LAIR

I GOT THE SAD BLUE BLUES

BUTTER BLONDES

MADHOUSES, SKIDROWS, GRAVEYARDS

 

This sign looked fine three years ago.  It actually says "I LET MY FREAK FLAG FLY."

This sign looked fine three years ago. It actually says "I LET MY FREAK FLAG FLY."

LEAVE ME TO DREAM

THAT'S WHAT I SAID

YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN

FOR ALL THE GOOD REASONS

WAR LIKE FRENZY

WHISKEY RIVER DON'T RUN DRY

SIR-LOIN

TOMORROW BELONGS TO ME

EWE

SOMETIMES EVEN PARANOIDS HAVE REAL ENEMIES

FLOWER

 

This one says "EL QE NO VIVE PARA SERVIR NO SIRVE PARA VIVIR" which according to my Dad translates to "HE WHO HAS NO PURPOSE SERVES NO PURPOSE."

This sign says “EL QE NO VIVE PARA SERVIR NO SIRVE PARA VIVIR” which, according to my Dad, translates to “HE WHO HAS NO PURPOSE SERVES NO PURPOSE.”

It's hard to see, but this sign says "BREAK A FEW EGGS."

It's hard to see, but this sign says "BREAK A FEW EGGS."

 I HAD ONE SWEETHEART

AFTER LOVE SIGN READING IS THE MOST EXHILARATING SPORT OF ALL

If you’re having trouble reading it, the sign says “AFTER LOVE SIGN READING IS THE MOST EXHILARATING SPORT OF ALL.”  Of course, I laughed a lot when I saw it.

As far as I can tell the sign says "SKIP BACK TUNA"

As far as I can tell the sign says "SKIP BACK TUNA"

 

 

This one used to be even more beautiful and it says "A DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER IN A VISION ONCE I SAW."

This one used to be even more beautiful and it says “A DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER IN A VISION ONCE I SAW.”

There were two other signs I saw, that I didn’t have a chance to take a picture of.  One said “WE USED TO GO SHOPLIFTING TOGETHER”  and my favorite one says “I ALWAYS FANCIED THE ONE ABOUT THE ITALIAN WITH NO HEAD.”

There are of course many more signs then the ones here.

Oh yeah, Marsh is also the main sponsor for Cadillac Ranch.  Here’s a link to an article about him:

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/TX-CadillacRanch2.html

Here’s the link for wikipedia’s entry on the guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Marsh_3

I love those signs so much.  They just thrill me like little treasures discovered throughout an ordinary day.  I never know when I’ll happen upon one.  They generally make me think and they feed my biggest addiction of all – I’m addicted to the written word.

I give it an adding to the richness of life factor of 9.

The End

“Perfect night for a past life regression,” he said.

Funny, I never thought of lightening storms as past life weather.

But it did seem apropos after he said it.

“Three days ago I found my 3 month old son dead,” she said.  “They’re burying him this Friday.  My mom thought this would help me.”

Funny, I never thought of a weight loss and smoking cessation hypnotherapy clinic as a place to direct a grieving mother.

But I knew I could help her.

He was the guy who knew everybody in town.  Manager of the theater where I conducted a hypnosis clinic.  Writer of all the local newsletters, the community calendar, and “spotlight on the local” pieces in the newspaper.  Ran a leadership class that brought locals on tours of all the major businesses in the area.  Oversaw teenagers working off there traffic tickets in community service.  Worked at city hall since right out of high school.  This guy was the community.

Name any place in town, they all knew him there.  Greeted by name everywhere he went.

And yet you could see he lived alone and never had guests.

He was the first person I brought through multiple past lives, who was alone in every single one.

She was there with her mother, who stood behind her desperate and helpless.  She’d obviously cried so much the last three days her ducts were no longer capable of tears.  And yet you could see she was still weeping as she explained how she found her baby dead.  How she wondered if there was something she could have done.  Her eyes pleading with me and her head nodding at every answer I gave her.

But her body obviously drained of all energy with the knowledge that no matter what I said tomorrow he’d still be dead.

So there I was at midnight in a stranger’s house, with the storm raging outside, hypnotizing him to access past lives and find some answers.

Earlier I’d been standing in front of two generations of women counseling them on the loss of  a third generation, trying to give them answers.

During the two hour drive back, watching the 3 am electrical storm, lighting up the sky, better than any fireworks show, trying desperately to keep my eyes on the road, but having my attention drawn inexorably to the display of power all around me, I pulled over for a minute.

Curiosity, awe and wonder, filling me with questions.

Yeah, that was Plainvew.

You think you know a person, until one day you glance down at the big orange bag they carry everywhere, (never really wondered what was in it), and you spy a three ring binder, on the spine of which is written:

Kalachakra Tantra Rite of Initiation into the Realm of the Lord Of Terror

After re-reading it five times and still finding it contains the words:

Rite of Initiation into the Realm of the Lord Of Terror

you give them a sideways look and begin to wonder what the hell are they doing with their free time these days?  

This is quickly followed by “Do I even listen to what they talk about?” and “Geez, I’m really not familiar with the particular sect of Buddhism they seemed to be involved in.” 

Then again, why should I be surprised I’m feeling like I don’t really know my friend?  After all I apparently barely even know myself.  I am referring to an odd series of correspondence I was caught up in recently.

Last Friday I received a letter that looked strangely familiar.  It was handwritten and had no return address.  I opened it up.

Dear Future Jonni,

It’s me, Past Jonni.  Hello!  How are things in the future?  I’m guessing they’re awesome because I have been working my ass off to ensure that you’re successful, content and healthy.  That’s right, I do all the work so you can sit back and reap the benefits.  I made you who you are!  You’re nothing without me!  So, you’re welcome.”

Needless to say, I was completely blindsided and utterly flabbergasted.  I immediately dashed off a reply.

Dear Past Jonni,

Future Jonni here.  I just received your letter and my first response is ‘Baloney!’  I am not defined by my past!  It is my choice of behavior in the moment that determines the experience I’m having, not things I’ve said and done that can never be changed.  I mean that’s ridiculous!  I’m in the moment.  Not stuck in the past like you.  Geez, you’re practically saying I have no free will.  This is my life!  I am present and the future is wide open.”

Then I just had to figure out how to send this letter back in time.  I flagged down my postman and he was so helpful, he knew exactly how to address the letter.  Turns out it all you need is the correct zip code.  I mailed it off and forgot about it.

Until Tuesday.

I received another letter that looked strangely familiar.  Here’s what it said:

“Dear Future Jonni,

It’s me Past Jonni.  Well, all I can say is I can’t believe the person I’ve become!  I mean, are you kidding?  I have had to work through so many issues and baggage just so you can have peace and enlightenment.  I’m the one who had to get over stuff.  Without me, you’d be a complete basket case!  And all the friends you have now?  I made them for you.  They met me first.  They liked me, not you.  Shoot, I even bought the clothes you’re wearing!

As for all this ‘free will’ stuff, it’s like I don’t even know me anymore!  Free will is defined as the ability to choose.  Choice is defined as consisting of the mental process of thinking involved with the process of judging multiple options and picking one of them for action.  Basically you can’t even define choice without using it as part of the definition!  That right there relegates it to the category of circular logic.  Plus just the concept of judging and thinking is referring to accessing memories or past associations with prior experiences and information, thus once again pointing to the impossibility of removing cause and effect from the equation.  In other words nothing can be determined completely independent of prior cause.  Therefore there is no ultimate responsibility!

Even if you were choosing to behave as you wanted to behave, you must ask yourself where did that want come from?  Did you choose to have that want?  If so, where did the want for the want come from and so on and so forth until you realize at some point you reach a given, something not chosen or engineered.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the neuro-anatomist and neurobiologist point of view.  I am of course referring to the classic argument: I open up your skull, leaving you conscious, electrically stimulate the language center of your brain causing you to lose speech, and then ask you to speak normally despite the electrical stimulation.  If you can speak, then you demonstrate that you have free will that can overcome the normal chain of cause and effect in the brain.

Or how about the study published in Nature Neuroscience in which researchers using brain scanners could predict people’s decisions seven seconds before the test subjects were even aware of making them?  You know this is only one of numerous tests, pointing towards no such thing as ultimate free will.

I don’t have anymore time to go over this with you, as I have to work out now, so you can enjoy feeling sexy and healthy. That’s right, you’ll once again be enjoying the fruits of my labor!  Although at this point I’m guessing you’ll just perceive those feelings as something you chose to experience in the moment.  Ridiculous!”

My response was as follows:

“Dear Past Jonni,

Future Jonni here.  I have to admit, I would like to accuse you of determinism, however, I know I would never have been that simplistic.  Plus, I’ve done all the research you have, and understand perfectly the points you are touching on.  I do have to remind you though that I have the advantage of time and experience on my side, as well as further research, giving me deeper insight and a broader perspective.  Two things you can never hope to have as you are dead and gone.

Suffice it to say that what you are forgetting completely is all the evidence pointing to the fact that all our past memories and definitions of self are something made up by our conscious mind to explain what we seem to be perceiving in the present moment.  Especially since all things point to the most likely conclusion that time is not linear.  Thus you may not even exist except as a confabulation to explain what occurs to me in the present.

As a matter of fact, now that I think about it, you’re only barely touching on the complex relationship between past, present, and future.  Are you completely denying the theory that time is not a line but a network of intentionalities?  After all, wouldn’t intent imply a will separate from cause?  Are you dismissing the likelihood that neurobiological attributes and the phenomenology of lived experience are interacting partners?

I submit that as we observe and register the present it has already past and the future is already happening.  You and I are both making the mistake of suggesting the present moment is of a fixed place and space, which is inadequate and stagnant as we both know the present is the continuous now, not a finite measurable quality.  Thus instead of saying ‘at this point in time’ we should say ‘being in this confluence of time’ as the notion of ‘being’ expands the concept of the continuous existent nature of the present.

Lastly, I’ve changed my mind and decided to accuse you of determinism, as you really do seem to be stating that only you are at cause and that I am merely at effect.  This would mean that I, and therefore all future Jonni’s will always be at effect.  This really does reek of every event being causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences.

You’re unbelievably retarded if you really expect me to behave from a platform other than ‘I am at cause.’

That’s like expecting me to be a perpetual victim and move through this world in complete denial of my power.

So knock it off.”

After I sent the letter off to the past, I realized that I had been responding from a very emotional state, and had behaved hastily.  I was a little concerned about how it would be received.  I mean, I know myself, and I wouldn’t appreciate some of the things I said.

But I surprised myself once again when I received clear evidence that Past Jonni was able to clearly read the subtext in all that, complete her own thorough research and come to the same conclusion as me.

This evidence was in the form of a postcard.  On one side was printed the words “Wish You Were Here” and on the other was a hastily scrawled “Touché.”


Vegas baby.

Where everyone’s a whore and it’s easy to wake up to the fact that you’re in a room full of perverts.

Where all the garish opulence and no-expense-was-spared-to-make-sure-you-know-no-expense-was-spared details leave you covered in a thin film of cheap desperation.

Where even the sunshine becomes glitzy as it’s filtered  through the giant cloud of money hovering over everything, shifting and rolling like one of the great lakes.  You feel the weight of that cloud in your soul, so you demand free drinks and celebrate every tiny win like a last minute death row reprieve.

Where you look out the window and your eyes see the breathtaking views of the mountains ringing the desert, but your heart sees the dead bodies and buried cash circling the city.

Yeah, Vegas.

Where you can learn a thing or two.

I went out to Vegas to meet up with a friend I hadn’t seen in 7 years.

First thing I learned was that I’d forgotten how I hate meeting new people when I’m with my friend Johnny B.  Somehow, when it gets to the part of the conversation where you exchange names, he always gets to go first.  It’s like this:

New Person reaching over to shake my friend’s hand, “Hey, I’m So-and-So by the way.”

My Friend grabs his hand, “Johnny B. nice to meet you.”

So-and-So offers his hand to me, “And you are…?”

I somehow find myself trying to be as convincing and cool as possible, “Jonni, nice to meet you.”

So-and-So gets that look on their face and hesitates as their brain revolts against this stupid-glitch-in-the-matrix-joke feeling they’re getting and then repeats my name in the form of  a question, “Johnny?”

And I find myself trying to respond as confidently as possible,  “Yes, I’m Jonni.”

Invariably at these times I begin wondering why on earth my friend’s last initial has to be B, as that really only compounds the problem.  (Oh, he’s Johnny B, so you’re like Jonni A? You’re kidding right?)

It’s very disconcerting to travel around under a cloud of suspicion anyway, (everyone is convinced my name is completely made up, I mean come on, Jonni La Force? Yeah, right) but it’s amplified when I’m the second half of the Jonni and Johnny B equation.

Think about it, have you any idea what it’s like trying to be convincing when giving your real name?  It really undermines my sense of reality.

And when’s the last time you were given a look that communicates “Not only do I think you’re one of those people that picks out their own name and insists everyone use it, but you have poor taste in names, you’re unoriginal and just weird choosing the same name as the guy you’re with. Freak show.”  (I know there’s supposed to be a question mark at the end of that sentence, I don’t care.)

I also learned that I like gin and tonics.

First time I indulged in alcohol in seven years and I found it very eye-opening.

For instance, I apparently become much more nerdy when under the influence, but I’m just as impaired as everyone else, so I don’t make sense twice as bad.

I begin saying things such as “It’s just like Bushido but with less evisceration” when discussing the rules of gambling.  I also am prone to reassuring people by patting their knee and stating “Don’t worry, that’s perfectly appropriate social behavior” and I emphatically pronounced “There must be a way to create a mathematical algorithm that could pinpoint more specifically the areas that it’s most statistically probable the planes dropped the money” when I was regaled with tales of drug and cash smuggling gone wrong in the jungles of Columbia.

Ah well.  At least the night I imbibed I was among strangers who don’t care what I do, and close friends who will forgive me my trespasses.

And of course the strangers that night were named Jenny and John.  So, yes the group was Jenny, John, Johnny, and Jonni.

Coming up on 5am, many free drinks later, I found myself alone with John, indulging in what I dubbed Slot Machine Confessions.

John opened up. “Alright, I’ve got one.  This was back in fourth grade. Or Kindergarten, or second grade.  I don’t know, but it happened in one of those grades.”

Me: “Second grade.”

John: “Okay. Second grade.  I was suspended for exposing myself to the class out on the playground.”

Me: “So you’re like a sexual predator or a registered sex offender?”

John: “Yes.  Exactly.  Only I wasn’t.  The principle called me in his office and told me I was suspended for exposing myself to all the ladies, but that’s not what really happened.”

Me: “What really happened?”

John: “Here’s what really happened.  I was out on the playground with my buddy, and I said to him ‘Hey, I’m wearing He-Man underpants.’ And then I just pulled down the side of my waist band to show him.”

Me: “You were just bragging about your He-Man underpants?”  I patted his knee, “I think that’s definitely socially appropriate behavior.”

John: “Yep.”

I remember chuckling about a little kid’s pride in his He-Man underwear as I sat on the plane on the way back from Vegas.

Oh, yeah, I even learned a little something on the flight back.  I decided to watch Heroes Season 1, to pass the time, (never saw it before) and I learned that Hayden Panatteire’s hair extensions make me feel like I’m Chekov and Khan has pinned me down and put that little bug in my ear and it’s eating it’s way into my brain, threatening to turn me into his automaton.

Crap, I think I pawned my ability to write hilarious blogs for just a little more gambling money in Vegas.

So I went and tried my hand at speed dating.  (I know you rely on me for a lot of your “facts” therefore I felt obligated.)

It’s a good thing I did too, because it turns out that it is NOT as self-explanatory as you would think.

My understanding of speed dating was that you basically compress time until it’s miniaturized.  Thus, 12 dates in 12 weeks becomes 6 dates in one night.  Instead of spending 6 hours getting to know someone, you spend 6 minutes grilling them like they  know the sequence to disarm the bomb that’s about to go off, and you’re the only one who can get it out of them.

I thought speed dating meant more of the good stuff (6 dates means 6 times the LOVE right?) and less of the bad stuff (instead of spending 3 months pin-pointing all the things I don’t like about you, realizing you’re never going to change, and then rejecting you, I could simply slip into hyper-critical mode and dismiss you based on the first words out of your mouth and the way you breath, right?  Stupid mouth-breather.)

Realizing that I would have limited time and wanting to use it as efficiently as possible, I took the time to write a list of questions before attending.

Thus armed, the first date begins and I immediately start my rapid fire third degree:

Me:  “If you were a galaxy, which one would you be?  And don’t say Andromeda everyone says that.”

Random Dude: “The Milky Way.”

Me: “Pervert.   NEXT!”

Second date begins.

Me: “If you were a seahorse what would it feel like?”

Random Dude: “…uh”

Me: “Is it in fact true that your favorite color is Magenta?”

RD: “No.”

Me:  “Goldenrod?”

RD:  “No.”

Me:  “Puce?”

RD:  “No.”

Me:  “Chartreuse?”

RD:  “No.”

Me: “Burnt Sienna?”

RD: “No.”

Me: “Burnt Umber?”

RD:  “No.”

Me:  “Prussian Blue?”

RD:  “No”

Me:  “So you hate color.”

RD: “NO!”

Me:  “Color-hater.  NEXT!”

Third date begins.

Me:  “Finish this sentence “I only watch porn when I’m horny, so that proves I’m not addicted…..”

RD:  “……to sex.”

Me:  “That didn’t make any sense.  NEXT!”

Fourth date begins.

Me:  “Finish this sentence “I only kick babies when….”

RD:  “…when they’re bad?”

Me:  “Sorry I can’t date a baby-kicker.  NEXT!”

Fifth date begins.

Me:  “Have you ever been or are you currently pregnant?”

RD:  “…..”

Me:  “What do Ron Jeremy, Mother Theresa, and my brother have in common?”

RD:  “…did you say your brother?”

Me:  “Name 5 reasons why you don’t believe the Hubble Telescope exists.”

RD:  “Well, I’ve never seen it for one.  Two, no one’s even proven that we landed on the moon yet. Three–“

Me:  “I’m sorry, I don’t date paranoid conspiracy theory nuts.  NEXT!”

Sixth date begins.

Me:  “What are plants made of?”

RD:  “…um, living….fibers?”

Me:  “Hahahahahaha! Living fibers, that’s a good one.  Okay, next question.  Let’s see….Have you seen my other sock anywhere?”

RD:  “Yes.”

Me:  “Ewww, you spooged in it didnt’ you?!  Creepy, masturbating, foot-fetish stalker!  Okay, next question.  Let’s see…Why did you wear that shirt?”

RD:  “Because I had it dry cleaned.”

Me:  “Why am I so itchy?”

RD:  “Because you need to be scratched?”

Me:  “If I gave you the gun I have in my purse right now, and the syringe I’m hiding in my bra, how much money could you bring me in the next 12 hours?”

RD:  (Leans forward) “Seriously?” (Looks around) “A couple hundred thousand dollars.”

I waved the speed dating Organizer over.

Organizer: “Yes?”

Me:  “So do you guys have a special room for the next part of our date?  Or….do we just go to the bathroom? Or…what?”

And that’s when I discovered yet another way that speed dating is not just regular dating at a much faster pace.

Ah well, live and learn.

Tune in next week for : Top Ten Reasons A Restaurant Will Press Felony Charges On You!

with handy bonus feature:  How To Broach The Subject Of Bail With Your Boss.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

 

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