During the last century, cloth diapers were the best way to handle shitty moments until disposable diapers were introduced. A real disposable diaper was not available until the 40s, and even then, diapers were considered luxury items that few could afford. Elizabethan times allowed for a cloth type of diaper, however, diapers were changed so infrequently that several days’ worth of shit accumulated in people’s pants. Other ancient diapers consisted of animal skins, moss, linens, leaves, and the like.

Human race has always been in need of diapers at the beginning and the end of their lives. For babies or adults, diapers indicate the necessity of one not being able to control his most basic natural function as an independent entity. The natural function being one shitting their pants. In that context, a diaper is simply a tool that gracefully handles shit in pants.

We buy diapers, shit in them, and dispose them. We don’t even recycle them. Diapers remove and clean shit all day long, and sadly, no shit is given about diapers.

Chances are you know somebody in your life who, at one time or another, acted like a diaper handling shit and went on to accomplish amazing feats. Shit given? Fuck no.

The point is, most of us struggle throughout our lives by giving shit to people who act like diapers in situations where shits do not deserve to be given. Wisdom is what happens when one learns to only give a shit about issues that have nothing to do with diapers.

Go diaper free …

Beautiful Life with Cancer

Lately, I have been roaming around the Chemotherapy lab of the local hospital accompanying my best friend who is dealing with stage-IV cancer. It’s a welcoming scene for those who are odd-enough to immerse themselves in the hardship of others. The lab has a large room with a nursing station in the middle. There are big comfortable chairs around the room where patients rest for hours to infuse the chemo in.

Everybody smiles and there appears to be absolutely no preconception against anyone or anything. There is no talk of sex, either. Those who run the place seem competent. Nurses consistently use the term “my dear” in their conversations with patients. Patients are usually of two character types: spinners and tuners, but mostly tuners. About half of them wear hats.

Patients sit on those big comfortable chairs for hours and watch the poison getting injected in with each drop. Chemotherapy promises a bargain to cancer patients: in return for the possibility of shrinking the tumor and controlling its growth, you agree to submit to the notion of having a few things being taken away from you including: taste buds, ability to properly digest food, hair, long-lasting erection, and ability to concentrate. It seems like a reasonable trade.

Katy the nurse-in-chief, comes around down to earth and folksy. She has an extremely balanced sense of humor. She says that she has been a cancer nurse for 35 years. She talks about how her work experience has changed throughout years -from the days of patients experiencing extreme adverse side effects –to today when some patients don’t even lose their hair.

It’s mostly a quiet and anxious scene that has its own nomenclature and vibe. You see a lot of deep long looks to blank points. Everyone shares a smile … a real and penetrating smile.

Cancer sounds like a big word, that is often expressed with heft and gloom. These days, I’m experiencing a different side of it. The absorbing fact about facing a serious condition such as cancer is that one spends a good deal of time thinking about the past, and the future. The main difference in this case points to the fact that: a cancer patient’s past has little to no correlation to his future. This is one of those cases where the past definitely doesn’t equal the future …

Today is my birthday. One year older, and perhaps, more peaceful than ever. I have never felt so insignificant in the company of my best friend whose charisma has not left him -no matter how hard his condition has been. He’s a spinner. He has made a party of going through this experience in the chemotherapy lab. He has transformed the chilly, humming and beeping and blinking room into another chapter of his beautiful life where he wears sunglasses, and walks around in surfer-short and flip-flops without any indication of giving a fuck.


Butt Blog

My work has always involved conversations, exchanging ideas, talking, convincing, compromising, being convinced, understanding the context, reading the subtext, pushing, pulling, and getting others to do what they initially had no desire to do. It’s been a constant chess-match that spans across years. An endeavor starting in one culture, and continuing in the next three cultures.

Throughout this time, if there is one thing I’ve learned in absolute terms is this: there is no room for context in American culture. Period!

If you ever start a conversation by laying the foundation of a topic, you’re wasting time. If you’re sharing the genealogy of an issue, people phase out by starting to look at their phones browsing pictures posted by butt-blog on Instagram. Your impatient audience act like: what’s the point? As if the point is a pill. They don’t even care what shit you put in that pill. They just want to drop a pill. Pills like Crooked Hillary and Basket of Deplorables. Heck, even Obama’s cabinet and west-wing members thought Obama wasted “too much time learning” or he paused during conversations because “he thinks too much”.

The American pop culture places no value on the full version of the story. There is an intense systematic disregard for verification, prudence, and due diligence. Everything is a meme. Analysis and position is an article that’s shared online, and is unread by the poster. You’re smart if your article is from NYTimes.com, and you’re stupid if you post something from Fox News. You get more noted if you yell repeatedly and louder -as if you’re selling carrots in a flea market. People keep yelling justice by constantly saying “See, what he said today”. Ok gringo, posting memes does not exactly make you Nathan Muir trying to judiciously rescue Tom Bishop from Suzhou prison near Shanghai.

If you think this problem is to be fixed by changing leaders, you’re wrong. You’re dead wrong … Newsflash … you are the problem. This is all on you with your shitty attention span and non-existent curiosity. You’re one of the many who got us here.

I firsthand witnessed people changing leaders through an emotional revolution. But they continued their own awful habits and cultural norms. A few decades in, they ended up in the smellier part of hell, where they now have to put their full heads in the shit-pool.

Enjoy dropping pills, motherfuckers.


Honey, Honey

She asked me if I have ever dressed up for Halloween. That’s a great question. I ask myself a question related to that question every night. I barely know the answer to either the question, or the related-question.

It’s Tuesday. It’s Tuesday in Kirkland, Washington. I am in Kirkland, Washington. A place far from home. I have had a property in Kirkland, Washington. But then this place cannot be any farther from home. Far in many ways. This is my first Tuesday ever in Kirkland, Washington. It’s almost Halloween. It’s October 29th. It’s not too cold yet. Pine needles have covered the front yard.

I’m not going to dress up for Halloween. Why not? Well, you have to rather ask, why. You have to ask why from the people who are dressing up. The default is not dressing up. Those people who don’t dress up, don’t have to justify themselves. The burden of proof is on people who dress up in ridiculous costumes. At some point, most everybody dresses up for Halloween, and then they decide that they will no longer dress up. That’s what I have decided. I’m not dressing up for Halloween in Kirkland fucking Washington out of all places I have lived in. I didn’t make that decision this year or when I was sixteen. I have never dressed up for Halloween. Some say that explains why I’m such miserable person around this time.

This time of the year reminds me of a song called Honey, Honey. I wonder if you noticed, but there is a comma between each instance of the word honey. Basically, honey comma honey. Ken wrote this song. Ken titled this song. When I first saw the title of the song, I read it honey …… honey, like everybody would. There is a sort of deliberate pause implied by the comma between the two instances of the word, honey. A lot happens in that deliberate pause. That pause in stuffed with a few decades of thoughts, hopes, would-have-been(s) and should-have-been(s). That pause is why Ken wrote the song.

This song reminds me of my daughter. I wonder if Ken wrote this song for the daughter he was having. This song expresses my idea for the daughter I’ll be having as a father, and it’s about my hopes and dreams for her. I have never been a parent, but my daughter already has a song written for her. My daughter doesn’t have a specific due date, or even a mother.

Honey, Honey has been playing in my head for the past decade around Halloween. That should explain why I don’t dress up for Halloween.


Autumn is the middle child of the family of seasons. Autumn doesn’t get the attention of summer. Neither does she get the flattery and glamour of winter. Autumn is shadowy, as if she knows she is the unwanted child of an affair between earth and its axis-tilt. Maybe that’s why autumn perpetrates a social amnesia. She often puts a beatific expression on her face, eyes almost closed, and head tilted towards the shoulder.

Being the middle child is usually not very easy. It comes with some stigma. Middle children are more misunderstood because they’re curious and portray attributes of a loner. Middle children are often shy because they have learned to let those who desperately seek the spotlight, just have it. They often become impatient quickly simply because they expect to be the last one to get what they want. Many middle children end up being rather uptight assholes as adults … ehem.

But all of these facts shouldn’t cause clinging to a point of view, as though everything depends on it. Like summer and winter, autumn gradually passes away, too. At the end, there is an unexpected warmth in the gestures of Autumn stemming from her sheer display of affection.

Autumn creates a luster in the sky which is not seen or felt in summer or winter. This season of retrospection is fashioned for lovers and strangers.

Leave No Ass Behind

Donkeys are domesticated members of horse family. In certain regions of the world we see donkeys among men and women. Ass, is another name for donkey. There is an estimate that there are more than 46 million asses in the world, mostly in underdeveloped countries. There are many asses in the US as well.

A male donkey or ass is called a jack. Jenny or jennet is the name of a female donkey. Jack donkeys are used to mate with female horses to produce jackasses or mules.

It was around eighteen century when the word donkey gradually replaced ass, and jenny replaced she-ass.A she-ass is non-emotional and lazy. A she-ass is normally pregnant for twelve months. She-asses rarely give birth to twins and they dismiss jackasses for a long time after their pregnancy period is over. But jackasses still manage to fuck she-asses every once in a while.

The ass is not a kosher or halal animal. So they can’t be eaten in some countries. In Abrahamic religions, if an ass pass in front of men in prayer, men’s prayer is voided. Jesus!

Asses have an unbelievable reputation for stubbornness and stupidity across many cultures. There aren’t many studies about behavioral aspects of asses mainly because asses pose a strong sense of self-preservation by quietly eating shit around the corner. No one knows what the fuck asses are up to behind the barn. That’s why domesticated asses could turn into wild asses.

There is a charity in Britain called “Safe Haven for Donkeys in the Holy Land”. The main cause for the charity is to make sure no ass is left behind. There was a rumor flying around that the charity has been able to raise no more than $1,500 in sixteen years. If true, it seems generous and kind-hearted people don’t give much of a fuck about asses.

The Big Short

I have become fascinated by the book and its movie –reviewing both mediums multiple times. The best quote of the movie goes to:

“People hate to think about bad things happening, so they underestimate the likelihood … they found markets that sell options very cheaply on things that would never happen. So when they were wrong, they were wrong small. But when they were right, they were right big.”

Grave Filled with Ice Cream

He’s always home. Todd, I mean. He never laughs even though he’s got perfect teeth. Full head of hair in salt and pepper, but the spice of his hair is going bland. Tall, handsome, and in his mid-sixties; Todd can’t help himself but to be noticed as soon as he enters the room.

He has an uncanny side. He wants his grave to be filled with ice cream when he dies. Todd, I mean. He believes pain instructs. He keeps saying that experience is the ability to forget what hurt you. But not so much that you won’t get hurt again. He writes beautifully. His late-style of writing is captivating. Once he wrote “Experience, the conventional wisdom dictates, is a positive. Experience is supposed to teach how to react to circumstances. Experience provides a library of precedent. It can lend perspective. We look at an experienced man’s lined face and grey hair and feel reassured”.

None of Todd’s anecdotes about experience are necessarily untrue, but they won’t stand the test of circumstance because the reality may be rather more complex than what he thinks.

Towards the end of his life, the literary theorist Edward Said became fascinated by the notion of “late style” and how an artist dealt both with age and decay. In his book on Late Style – published three years after his death – he points to those whose late works seem as though they “crown a lifetime of aesthetic endeavor”. His interest, though, is more in those whose late style “involves a non-harmonious, non-serene tension – a sort of deliberately unproductive usefulness”.

Todd has solved countless problems in the past. So he turns to past experience. There is a danger, though, that what was successful in the past will no longer be successful, either because of a false identification of the problem – that is, that a present problem resembles a past problem but is in fact different – or simply because he never leaves home. Todd, I mean.


Eat No Vegetables

I have been spending the past several months traveling for variety of mundane reasons. Airport. Flying. Hotel. Go to bed early for whatever that’s planned on the next day. Go through the next day. Back to the hotel. Work out. Go to bed early for the next day. Fly back. And then again, and again.

During long flights everything hurts. Calf, muscles, and a toe that refuses to warm up. The day of the flight becomes a day when the most creative thing you can do is to come up with an essay that’s an unoriginal form of pensive confusion.

A couple of days ago, I met with a friend who asked how I cope with the intensity and boredom of long flights. I thought I’d share a few points on how I make the mundane experience bearable. So here it goes:

(1) Take a Window Seat
Fuck more legroom and the ease of moving around. Take a window seat. Work your curiosity and imagination by looking out the window. Take control of the window shade and look how the plane bullets through the flirting clouds. Be that stern-looking asshole that keeps the shade open while other people watch those gummy in-flight chick flicks.

(2) Podcasts
Listen to a few podcasts as appose to getting frustrated by listening to the guy who looks like colonel Sanders sitting next to you. He just returned from a successful sales pitch. He keeps downing Jacks and collapsing back onto your shoulders.

(3) Have a heart-wrenching topic to ponder on
For instance, during one of the flights from NY, I started thinking about my friend Nedi as soon as the flight took off. I met Nedi a few years ago. Young, tall, handsome and in his twenties. Full of energy. The life of his parents’ lifelike party. He had a life story that asks a lot questions.

As soon as the flight reaches 10K altitude, I usually experience turbulence as the plane goes through the rough air. The flight attendant asks me for my drink of choice with a gum-chewing dismissal. Colonel Sanders is on his third whiskey.

I look out the window and remember an article I had read long ago -that argues the cruelty of capital punishment in Japan. The possibility that an innocent person may have spent more than decades in prison is not the only reason why the issue attracted attention. In Japan, death row prisoners are locked away in solitary confinement, banned from talking to other inmates and permitted just two or three exercise periods a week.

All of those rules are pretty common but the article argues that the worst is the uncertainty. Condemned men learn of the timing of their death only hours before they are led away to the gallows. Their families are informed only after the fact. “Each day could be their last, and the arrival of a prison officer with a death warrant would signal their execution within hours,” the report says. The article asserts that the mental anguish of not knowing whether each day is to be your last is the cruel punishment.

I read the article many times. But I could never quite grasp what the fuss was about on the point of cruelty. I thought to myself: Japanese death row inmates are just like me. Each day could be my last day, too. Each day could be anyone’s last day. If that’s cruel, then the Japanese death row inmates, and us, are all in the same boat with one key difference: the inmates expect to die every day. We don’t. Which one is crueler?

Nedi passed away a few days ago at age 25. He knew where his ordeal of a life was headed as soon as his illness surfaced three years ago. Nedi’s diagnosis-paper handed over by his doctor was like the death warrant handed over by the prison officer. Though, Nedi’s case continues to be heart wrenching and confusing.

You witness these things as you grow older and you want to make sense of it. You play with notions like the one that suggests it was an unlucky gene. But luck, as they say, is the residue of design. Okay, luck may be the residue of design, but life and nature dictate unexpected scenarios, which overkill skill, practice, science, considered judgment, and normal response. If there is a lesson in Nedi’s life scenario, I fail to find it. I sheepishly take refuge in realizing that aging only presents us with additional choices to which there are no answers.

At this point of my thought cycle the plane has reached the cruising altitude. The flight attendant’s attitude towards colonel Sanders comes around like “You’re drunk and fully fed, so shut up and enjoy the rest of the flight”. At 35K altitude, one might feel a bit closer to god.

The Jewish sages discussed whether to be born or not. They agreed it would be better not to be born. But now that you are born, you should enjoy it. That doesn’t make any sense to me. Then, there are the Greeks. The Greeks tried to make sense of death by conveying that the Greek Gods are a band of perpetual adolescents, who may enjoy life perpetually at ease. Those gods can afford to be immature because they live forever and have time to mend broken relationships, or correct mistakes. Humans have no such luxury according to the ancient Greeks. Our time is borrowed. If we are cruel to others the effect could be permanent. Hence, death comes at the time of mature relationships and the absolute absence of meanness and cruelty. I’m thinking that’s a cute idea because it feels good. Fucking Greeks! They have managed to find an answer for every tough question.

The flight slowly descends to northern California. I can now see a few big buildings with large signs at the top. It’s the northeastern stretch of Silicon Valley between San Francisco and Sacramento. No clouds.

I immediately fall into that one dimension that the current generation of people in their sixties and seventies may be the last cohort of humans for whom death is absolutely unavoidable. While such thoughts are fantastical to many, leading scientists are convinced that we are on the threshold of stopping the aging process and curing terminal diseases. And, some of them speak as if aging is a disease. According to them, mortality as a great leveler and equalizer may be coming to the end of its insurmountable rule.

These weird thought go through my head over and over during the long flight that’s almost over as we reach the 10K ft. Colonel Sanders has stopped snoring.

4. Eat no vegetables
Eat no vegetables during long flights. Too gassy.

Golden Penis

As a child, my occasional nickname literally meant golden penis. The term is a cultural metaphor that represents an appropriate term of endearment and flattery. That gesture of attention and kindness has been nothing but the biggest puffery in real life.

My mom treated me as this guy who is genius, athletic, and handsome with a chiseled jaw who has impressed the little fucker himself. Then, fueled with so much endearment, I felt like I’d grow up having a small fleet of sports cars and when I’m not busy melting my family, I’m changing out hot girlfriends with my thick charm as if they could swim in it.

There is nothing new about fallacy of a handsome set of expectations and dreams. Though, the next thing you know, a swift kick hits those balls hanging off the golden penis. You find yourself flipping burgers for an asshole who looks like Frank Zappa, and similarly, doesn’t give a fuck about people like you, or your involuntary bullshit dreams.

My mother also taught me that there is a God. But around the time I was flipping burgers for Frank, I learned that God is very busy. So I started finding a few little gods and called them friends.

The biggest lesson of all has been around that lifelike dream called love. I was told that love is kind, mutual, and lasts forever. But I learned that love is preferential, exclusive, and particular. I was told that no one could resist loving the golden penis. But I learned that love is strong and it can turn the golden penis into a vagina.

During my formative years, I learned that no dream lasts forever. But favorably, it changes to something better that fits the realities of life. For every forced dream that got shattered, a better experience appeared. After all, that constant pressure to always be something amazing, to be the next big thing, will be lifted off your back. The stress and anxiety of feeling inadequate will dissipate, and until then, you are not a grown-up.

Some of us are taught that life is like a black tie party, which takes place in symphony halls where they serve caviar and truffles while you’re drinking crystal. But life is like a harsh mistress. It teaches you that there is a party, and it is more like a karaoke that takes place in the back of an Irish dump where they sell six chicken wings for a buck, and you can drink a few pints of cheap beer.

The beauty of real life hides beneath the acceptance of your own mundane existence. Such learning will actually free you to feel content with no lofty expectations.

My mom taught me great lessons and I’m grateful for her never-ending love. Though, some of my happiest dreams happened when I was out with the little gods drinking a few cheap beers.