May 8th, 2012


R.I.P. MCA / R.I.P. Maurice Sendak / Gutei's Finger

MCA's death hit me more than I expected. Not like I'm sobbing or anything but I really respect the Beastie Boys and how they aged gracefully. Makes me feel quite old knowing MCA is dead. I remember in high school having my mind blown by Check Your Head. Remember, the Beastie Boys had fallen off the map at that point. They kinda disappeared after Paul's Boutique (which is hailed as a masterpiece now but at the time was a real headscratcher, to me at least.) Then suddenly they came back and they were playing their own instruments and had a completely different sound... just raw. The video for "Pass the Mic" mesmerized me. I heard them play it at Lollapalooza and it absolutely slayed. Wicked bassline & I love their weird green outfits. Trivia: I heard they purposely left in Mike D's flub 'everybody's rappin like it's a commercial / acting like life is a big commercial' just to fuck with him. Haha

Also R.I.P. Maurice Sendak... always loved his comical yet menacing illustrative style. Read What Do You Say, Dear? to Izzy tonight. It's one of my fave books from when I was a kid and holds up really well. I love Sendak's bears and alligators and such that are used to illustrate points of finer etiquette... esp. since it always looks like they're about to eat the kid saying "please" or "thank you" or "beg your pardon" or whatever. "Yes thank you for being polite now get in my belly! GRAR RAAR MUNCH CRUNCH GULP"

After I read a book to Izzy, our routine is that I tuck her into bed, turn off the lights and then tell her a story. Sometimes I tell her a big one but sometimes (often) I'm in a hurry, so I quickly and elliptically race through an Aesop's Fable or the boy who cried wolf or whatever else I can think of that's fast. Today I was in a super rush so I told Izzy a zen koan called "Gutei's Finger." If you need a bedtime story for your kid and wanna use this yourself, here ya go. You're welcome.

Gutei's Finger

Whenever anyone asked him about Zen, the great master Gutei would quietly raise one finger into the air. A boy in the village began to imitate this behavior. Whenever he heard people talking about Gutei's teachings, he would interrupt the discussion and raise his finger. Gutei heard about the boy's mischief. When he saw him in the street, he seized him and cut off his finger. The boy cried and began to run off, but Gutei called out to him. When the boy turned to look, Gutei raised his finger into the air. At that moment the boy became enlightened.