The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!


Does a dog have Buddha nature?

Zen Buddhism includes a koan which asks the question, "Does a dog have Buddha nature?"

From what I gather, their answer is, "No."

But, I say, "YES!"

If I was a sculptor or a painter/drawer of any merit I would redraw Buddha as a dog and construct some vast and believable conspiracy which explained that the real Buddha was in fact a dog who wandered into a Hindu temple, lay beneath a Bo tree for 20 dog years and attained enlightenment, which he demonstrated by being released from desire; he longer reacted when the people of the temple offered him treats.  And everyone began to transcribe the dog's lesson, and reinterpret his meditative behaviors, and his glorious liberation from suffering, and want, and see him only as living in the perfect now.  But their first book of his teachings sold very poorly, so they made a few minor edits and Siddhartha Gautama turned from dog to a man.  And the rest is history.



Settling into Self & My Mancrush on Damian Kulash (OK Go)

I was just listening to OK Go, which led to re-watching some of their amazing videos, in particular This Too Shall Pass (Band Version), and This Too Shall Pass  (Rube Goldberg Version), InvincibleDo What You Want, Get Over It, and more.  I must confess to a big mancrush on their lead singer, Damian Kulash. At this hour of night, seated outside my local writer's haunt, sipping peppermint tea, trying to ignore the stabbing pains in my lower back, from a muscle strained during a week of noble exertions, I am in a curious mood. I will admit to the lesser parts of myself. And to the part of me that wants to be Damian Kulash, wishes my face knew how to contort into his charming smiles, wishes my body knew how to move between the poses of his lusts (and plays at person-ified loves), wishes my brain could reduce life down to his sparer, baser words, wishes my voice could project his cool, wishes others would find in me the gravitational pull others (and I) find in him, and wishes my brain seemed as engineered for this world of busy, busy, busy peopled now. But I am not Damian Kulash. I am me; and that is, and must be, enough. The beauty of life must come from the struggle to be, not the becoming. And I am not bemoaning who I am, I have a sincere affection for me. But I may forever be finding new comforts in old skin; a protracted settling into self.


Update 12/12/2017:
I'd completely forgotten I ever wrote on this topic until today... Some years ago now, maybe in 2012 or something, I discovered much to my complete shock, I actually had known Damian Kulash. He was in my school. He was four years behind me, but I interacted with him a bit. I think I knew him mostly because his sister, Patricia (now Trish Sie, the OK Go choreographer) was in my class in elementary school and I was friends with her; she then went to my middle and high school's sister school.


The Little Lie, I Am

I lied to you, once upon a time. I wanted you to see the me I aspired to be, rather than the me I was.

{{I'm watching a couple down the street. Perhaps it's a first date. She is achingly cute, he a bit of a brute; though he has an incongruously clever folding bicycle. They walked from their pleasant enough conversation a few feet away from me down to her car, where they pause in awkward end-of-date blather. She is trying to kindly tell him with her silent geography and closing pose that she has not made up her mind about him, and that he would be a fool to attempt a kiss. After some minutes they hug, her chin pins her left shoulder, ensuring there will be no misunderstanding lips; I pity them both this moment. I pity us all our inability to speak or hear honest things. She drives off; I doubt there will be a second date.}}

I once thought you and I might be compatibly flawed, fodder for a bff or a bf. Not sure why. Something you said or didn't say, something you were or weren't. Who knows.

My name was Quinxy. I was and will likely forever be a bit of a lost soul. I will likely always be struggling to understand this foreign and unfamiliar world, will likely always be struggling to express my thoughts about it, and will likely always suffer for the prettier world I can imagine yet not create.  But I am happy, of a sort, and find peace(s).


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Osita Rides in the Chang Jiang Sidecar

This week I fixed up my Chang Jiang motorcycle (and sidecar) and got it back on the road. And I got Osita, my dog, all set up to ride with me.  I customized some open cockpit aviation goggles with new straps to fit a dog, and reworked a genuine Soviet-era tank commander's helmet to fit securely on her head. To ensure her safety she wears a harness which I clip to a mount attached to the inside of the sidcar bucket (she can sit or lie but otherwise stays put).

Tonight we went for a ride all around Venice, got chai by the beach, then went to Swinger's in Santa Monica for dinner.  Everywhere we went people were highly amused.

^ Quinxy


The Warez Manifesto

In college I wrote a document called the "Warez Manifesto" which laid out the principles by which the use of unlicensed software becomes moral.  In a recent email exchange with a friend relating to someone else who was talking about their own software piracy I had occasion to revisit the topic and briefly (and crudely) summarize my feelings...

My basic argument regarding the rights of property which can duplicated without a further resource required of the producer (i.e., duplicating a song) is that if the individual is making or receiving the duplicate for their own use and they would have otherwise not have used that property legally, then in my eyes they are doing nothing immoral.  Obviously the part that must be factored in, to some degree, is the collateral damage done by someone's passive (or mildly active) support of piracy which serves a large audience of people who would be behaving immorally because this illegal use is an alteration of their behavior (they would have otherwise paid for the product).

But there is a stronger, though more peculiar, argument which says that such piracy is not only not immoral but is in fact a moral imperative.  I started to write this argument to my friend before running out of time and leaving it somewhat incomplete...  But I think it still has some merit in this form.

Our little society is hurtling its way somewhere...  We're racing towards the cliff and whether we'll fly off the edge and ascend into the heavens or plummet into the abyss I'm not sure...  Immortality, elimination of suffering, ubiquitous joy, technology can usher all those things in (or kill us all quite dead)...  I am not sure to what degree we can protect ourselves from the downside.  For though we evolve our society by leaps and bounds, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bushel, and we've got a big bushel, and the bad apples are getting more infectiously rotten.  Our killing capacity is growing by leaps and bounds as well, and we're approaching an age where someone with modest resources and modest knowledge will be able to kill nearly everyone in one go through biotechnology, nanotechnology, etc.  and I don't think we can do much to modify that threat.  We might be able to delay it 50 or 500 years by limiting access to information, restricting some technologies, but the information and the technologies will eventually be available to all.  So I figure, oh well, might as well roll the dice sooner rather than later (why put off the inevitable?).  Progress begets progress.  Advances in curling iron technology is just as vital as advances in defense technologies, -ish.  Obviously not really, but the idea is that technology and society are never elevated in only one sector.  A society which has fabulous fashion design abilities will be directly and indirectly raised up by those mad skills.  Maybe the fashion produces the GDP which lets the society buy other people's technology, which feeds the development of that other technology, or perhaps the fashion sense literally invites new ways of thinking about problems in general, about society in general, and the society and technology are elevated.  Of course it can go the other way, too.  But rarely does it, really...  I mean, inexorably we move forward, accepting the odd dark ages here and there.  Our darkest hours in recent years may kill tens of millions (see WWII) but boy do we rapidly advance in times of trouble!  So, my logic has it that if advancement is inevitable, if we might as well race towards it as meander towards it, and if even unrelated progress is progress, then I think we are improved if as many people have access to as many "advanced" tools as possible.  So, if little college Johnny can't afford to buy a copy of $1600 Photoshop, I think his purloining one helps us progress.  His access to the tools will give him access to the knowledge which will give him the opportunity to contribute, and our society moves one step closer to our fate one day sooner.  And I think, given our peculiar circumstances, that's the right thing to do.

Nothing I said or feel on this subject conflicts in any way with the notion that everyone deserves to be compensated for their work, as they are currently.  My argument that theft (as currently defined) can be moral requires that the individual act of theft engenders no loss (of any significance) to the producer/creator.  I'm all for cracking down brutally hard on "immoral" piracy while legally codifying "moral" piracy.  Essentially I'm just arguing in favor of an updated and digital version of squatter's rights/adverse possession protection.  Instead law seems to be going the opposite way, extending copyrights and patents ridiculously beyond their original intended runs, and granting patents to the first in line with utterly unremarkable and obvious nonsense ("one click" shopping).  And that hurts everyone by enriching only the already enriched, and not encouraging continued ingenuity.



Did you see her?

I'm sitting outside at the cafe the other day and I strike up a conversation with this normal looking guy next to me.  He had a netbook similar to mine, and we got to talking about them.  The conversation expanded a bit and he was asking me for advice about jailbreaking an iPhone to do tethering.  All of a sudden he stops me and says, "Did you see her?"  I reply, "No, who?"  "Oh man, you missed out!  The woman who just walked by, wow!"

While I am staunchly heterosexual and enjoy a reasonable and quasi-artistic appreciation of the women who might happen by me in any given moment, I can't help but be a little confused by these sort of reactions I see from men. How exactly was that interaction supposed to go?

Was I supposed to say, "Yes, I did see her, thanks for checking to make sure I did.  Damn, she sure was beautiful.  Would you like to talk about what specifically you liked about her physically?"  Or perhaps I was supposed to say, "Oh, thank you, yes, I see her now, phew, let me go ask her out!"   Or perhaps, "Oh, yes, I bet she's just your type, would you like me to fetch her and introduce you?"  I don't know, it just seems like there's nowhere you can reasonably go with that conversation.  How do I benefit from having seen her?  How do we benefit by talking about her?

But I also don't understand strip clubs.  I don't understand why someone would go somewhere to pay a lot of money to get "all worked up".  I mean, it seems more logical to me to either make peace with being a "John" and find yourself a suitably affordable woman, or pursue a disease free evening at home with yourself, your little gentleman and his five friends, and a "bad" movie.

I suppose next time someone says something like this to me I'll just try to roll with it and see where it does go...

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Odious Small Talk

I must breathe, and drink water, and sup, and excrete, and Society (the grand They) seem to expect small talk.  And that's fine.  I think for me it's when it lingers over the small and you realize the small is all there will be that I feel a bit frustrated.  Which isn't to say I don't care about the small stuff.  I ask my friends how was their day because I care and even their minor incidents are pieces of their larger puzzle.  But it's also the depth of my awareness of them that makes those small things important to me.

What is awfully hard for me to suffer through is when you get dragged to a bar by a friend...  And you spend the next three hours briefly conversing with slightly drunk people about the most superficial aspects of themselves.  I come away knowing a human named Cindy exists and she is an account rep at a pharmaceutical company, that she went to Northwestern, that she has a thing for Gucci bags, she likes Hawaii, and she thinks Robert Downey, Jr.T is super sexy.  Ugh.  I want to know what Cindy feels when she first sits at her desk in the morning.  Excitement? Dread?  Why does she seem to have this palpable sadness about her?   Is this really who she thought she'd become five years ago?  What secrets is she keeping from her friend, Jen, who's sitting right next to her.  Does she secretly lust after Jen's husband?

That's what I want to ask, what I want to know.  Anyone can ask me anything any time any place.  I may choose not to answer but I won't be offended.  I don't have rules about you can't ask me this or that until some whenever.  Obviously if you ask me and also seem odd I'll assume you're a few bricks shy of a load, and may keep myself to myself.  But that's just sensible.  To the mostly sane I would bare my soul at the drop of hat.



Peanuts (the comic): An Analysis of My Hatred

Peanuts (the comic) is the perfect storm of all my core hatreds.  I detest things which get grossly disproportionate attention.  I detest things which have no characters I can relate to.  I detest swishy jazz music (love dixie land, love Satchmo, like Ellington, hate those free form make-it-up-as-we-go stoned-out-of-our-gourd-but-our-audience-won't-notice).  Peanuts has wasted god knows how much printed page space for god knows how many years and elicited in its entire run sixteen and one half chuckles, four of those were from drunk people who were reading it upside down.  Charles Schultz made millions upon millions.  Newspapers paid millions upon millions.  And have you seen that "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" play?  I was forced to see it twice as a kid.  You know what happens in it?  Nothing.  You know what costumes they are wearing?  None!  Snoopy is just a dude, wearing a white shirt.  No dog mask.  No tail.  No barking.  And Charlie Brown is just a dude with that stupid yellow shirt with the zig zag.  Oh my god.  Make an effort, people.  That's what that sort of jazz does to you, that's who goes to see it!  And everyone on Peanuts sucks.  I love dogs.  But if Snoopy was a real dog I'd euthanize him with extreme prejudice.  I hate him worse than Scrappy Doo, and thinking about Scrappy Doo churns bile in my belly.  And who else is on that show? Bunch of little shits. You've got smelly guy, piano guy, psychiatrist girl, pull the football bitch.  I mean Linus was the only major character I didn't absolutely hate, but he was still pretty god damn smug about his smarts.  And all it is is swishy jazz, swishy jazz, swishy jazz.  When adults talk, when stuff happens, etc.  And what the fuck is with the WWI Snoopy cousin flashbacks with the flying doghouse?  Mother of god, get the damn dog some PTSD medication and treatment, he's been suffering for 90 freaking years now.  Anyway, that's the gist of why I hate it.  I could go on for hours, especially if I got drunk at a Peanuts-themed bar.  Ohhh..  And WTF is the name Peanuts for?  Name it Snoopy for god sake.  The good people of Hanna-Barbara didn't name their show Cashews when it was really about Scooby Doo.  What a pretensious asshole Charles Schultz was.  He and Hitler are the only good reasons I can think of for not curing mortality.  To think of an infinitude of time and space stuck with those two...  Ugh.



The Year of the Very Nearly Wrong

My resolution for this year is to be more mischievous, to keep only but absolutely one toe dipped in sinful waters. While I instinctively reject the notion that evil must exist in the world if there is to be good, I concede we are stuck with it.  As such, we might as well pay attention to what evil can teach us about being good, and living well, and use at least mildly evil acts as landmarks to plot our path towards goodlier shores.  So this year I am trying to better define that line between good and evil by probing that boundary with mischievous acts, getting as near as I dare, never quite stepping over.

The acts will all be harmless pseudo evils, intended (if having any external intention at all) to do no more than confuse, entropize, inspire, and/or incite. 

Among my mischievous goals for the year:

  • Create intricate large scale public hoaxes. [I've already completed one such hoax, getting the attention of tens of thousands of people!]
  • Graffitti meaningful messages / art in non-damaging public places.  [Working on the art for this.]
  • Lie pointlessly and frequently to strangers.
  • Practice and use a British and/or Scottish accent in public.
  • Always use random names when placing food, beverage orders.
  • Intercept a restaurant delivery order, happening to catch a delivery person on their way to someone's front door, paying for that food, then eating it (or donating it to homeless people if it has meat/fish). [Almost did this the other day.]
  • Send mysteriously intriguing packages to strangers around the country.
  • Steal silverware from some restaurants, which I'll return later thereby undoing wrong. [One setting borrowed thus far.]
  • Create, publish, promote, and win converts to my new religion.  [In progress.]
  • and more...

I'm pleased with my progress so far...  But it's about the journey, not the destination, so whatever I achieve will be a pleasingly good enough.



Das Nihilist

I'm 84.6% nihilist, but not in the anarchist's co-opted blow-stuff-up sense.  Rather, I neither believe nor disbelieve most things I don't directly experience.  I used to drive my last ex-girlfriend nuts by doubting her every celebrity sighting claim. Once a week she would say, "I just saw [insert celebrity name here] on 3rd Street."  And it just seemed like the frequency was impossible, and that she was mixing in people who just happened to bear resemblances.  In fairness, I discovered later I had prosopagnosia, a mild case, and so I really was in no position to deny her claims.  I can have difficulty recognizing people I only know (though only those I know slightly).  Whatever the excuse, it was slightly obnoxious of me.  I meant it in jest, but that doesn't mean it was forever funny.