So I blew off a half-day retreat at my Zen temple today.

I was all set to do it, too. I had my loose, dark-colored, unpatterned clothing all placed by the door. I had my alarm set for 4 a.m. so I could get up in time to quickly shower, then walk the mile or so to the temple and get my ass on a zafu before the retreat began at 5 a.m.. But at about midnight I switched the alarm off on the clock. I guess I couldn’t face swapping some free time with my wife and baby boy for 6-and-a-half hours of meditation. Sure I feel guilty about it, but I’m not sure if that’s the Zen Buddhist or the lapsed Catholic in me.

On the up side, I had a fabulous omelets stuffed with leftovers, and watched "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in fascinated, car-wreck-witness kind of horror as Donald Rumsfeld tried to weasel out of the quagmire of his own creation. He kept saying things like, “I just don’t know how long this will take or how much it’ll cost.... I have always said I have never known;" and using the term “burn rate” for how fast American taxpayers’ money is going down the tubes in Iraq. Now, am I wrong in thinking this is not the kind of thing people-- even fairly conservative people, who may have formerly supported this wrongheaded effort-- want to hear? Rumsfeld, with his haughty dismissiveness of Stephanopoulos’s rather softballish questioning, seemed to be saying that anyone that might think of holding him, the Pentagon or the Bush Administration accountable for this mess was an idiot. I may often be discouraged and disappointed in the American majority, but even I don’t underrate them that much.

Also on the up side, I got a good hour of work in on the spec TV pilot I’m working on and I’m really starting to feel like the horse who can smell the barn on this project. I’m also really starting to believe that I have, with the help of my collaborators, created something truly funny and original. In other words, it’s doomed in Hollywood from the get go. Oh well. Maybe someone will throw some money my way to work on something else. As I said in a prior daylog when I was still trying to decide whether or not to try this, if it ain’t about the ho’in', it ain’t about nothing at all.

Right now, as I write this, I’m hiding in my bedroom with the computer, ‘cuz my in-laws are visiting and there’s only so much I can take of my wife’s new “father”. Without fail, he heads straight for the futon couch in our living room, sprawls on it, breaking the jury-rigged frame, then, before falling asleep, he invariably blurts a few unfunny offensive “jokes”, usually about my one-year old kid. Today it was, “Oh, he likes playing with shoes. Maybe he’s that way {fey hand gesture}”.

"Yeah, that’s right, asshole: my 13 month old toddler son is gay ‘cuz he likes to play with shoes. Now fuck off and have that coronary that those 300 extra lbs you carry around are just begging for!"


Maybe I shoulda gone to that Zen retreat after all.