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June, 1999

6.3.99 -- Hey, it's been awhile since my last entry. Not much has
changed, I don't think. Added a ghee lamp to the items offered to the deities
every morning. Yep. I make my own ghee wicks. How I do it is I take a cotten
ball and dip it in liguid ghee (clarified butter) and twist the top of it to a point.
I then light it w/ the candle and offer it like you would incense.

Still Working on getting real flowers. Offering "imaginary" ones now. I would
like to get a bouquet of them, but I've not been able to find anything I can afford.
And you can't just go to the city park or the neighbor's garden and steal flowers
to offer. Simply put, they're not yours to begin with, so how can you offer them?

Been getting in touch with some old devotee friends. Very nice. Lots of nice old
memories.

The apartment is still working out well. Such a good energy in that place. Waking
up early and chanting and worshipping the deity and reading Srimad-Bhagavatam
in the morning is just what I needed for that Krishna Conscious jump start. Then at
night reading the Gita or KRSNA book or Srila Prabhupada-lilamrta is such a wonderful
way to end the day.

Still haven't written anything in the past few months. I am going to put up my KC
poetry soon. But as far as anything coming to me to write.. well. not much.

Stumbled onto Ekendra Das's band's home page. I'll throw it on my links page
soon. It's a get down, yee-haw, rootin' tootin', rombin stompin', hare krishna
country like band. Real fun. There is a Real Audio sound clip of a song (the
full song actually) on the sight. Please listen. You wont be disappointed. For those
of you who don't know, Ekendra Das was the drummer on Shelter's Attaining the
Supreme CD. Great fun and funny guy.

6.4.99 --Here is a little thing I wrote on a krishna conscious and
hardcore message board about Raghunatha Das (ray cappo) drinking
a glass of wine during dinner:

I knew this would happen.. when news got out that raghunatha had
"broken the edge" many people would feel cheated. But hey..
he is a human.. we make mistakes (even if he doesn't regret it).
I just dont' see how you can place so much faith in an icon.
The person I look up to most is Srila Prabhupada. Even if you're
not a devotee.. he never broke the edge and he never sold out
vegetarianism.. WAY WAY WAY more importantly.. he never
sold out his spiritual beliefs. Most humans are subject to their
own shortcomings. Prabhupada never ever even once
compromised his morals or principles. ever.

so instead of beating up on ol' ray and beating up on yourself
and boycotting some show and generally whining.. take a
gander at prabhupada's books or his biography by satsvarupa
das goswami. try to keep YOURSELF on the "staight and
narrow" Don't place so much faith in material wonderments like
straightedge and vegetarianism .. how can you really base your
life on something you don't do?? just be sxe and veg.. and get
over yourselves. our real purpose is to chant hare krishna. and
instead of worrying about ray "breaking the edge" you could at
least show some real compassion and maybe show a little
concern for his spiritual life.


6.5.99 --Wow, been one hell of a long day. I've been working
on and off since 8:30am.. and will close up the store (I work in a book
store) around 9pm. It's 7pm now. Shelly and I have been taking turns
working it. It's nice to work with someone close to you. Especially
someone who you've never had an argument with and who stirs up no
anger inside you. At all. In past situations, I've had to deal with my
anger because the other person brought it out. Not that I am at ALL
faultless here, it was totally my fault, I should be in control of all of my
emotions, all of the time. But there have been a few that knew exactly
how to infuriate me.. and did it ANYWAY!! It's nice to finally be able to
let go of all my anger and be allowed to focus on Krishna. She brings
about *no* anger in me and helps me spiritually. Could there be something
better? Much of my recent spiritual (re)focus is due to her. Even if she just
"allowed" me to be spiritual that would be a great help (in a past relationship
I was in, I was hardly allowed to even mention the name "Krishna"). But she
Encourages me, and even serves the deities. Reads more of Prabhupada than
I do. She is actually inspiring.

I've not mentioned her much before because I generally don't like just airing
my private life for all to see. But today, I am feeling very happy about it, so
what is the harm?


6.8.99 - Yesterday I had the worst and weirdest
stomach thing. I stayed home from work (Shelly covered
for me) and I did a page on New Vrndavana Pics. And when
everything was said and done, I found out that I have to rescan
almost all of the pics. No big deal. Most of the pics were
around 10k in size, real small. I thought that would be ok, actually
better because less time to load. But the pics look pretty bad, so
I'm redoing it. They'll be about 40k (no bigger) in size. There should
be around 100 pics. These were taken when I lived there, in 1995-96.

About two and a half years ago, I moved away from New Vrndavana.
When I did that, I shaved off my sika (Krishna ponytale) so that I could
get a job (didn't help). Then I was living in Parkersburg, WV. I became
broke and moved back to PA to my parents' house. I've been there since.
Since I was living in their house and have respect for my parents, I didn't
grow the sika back, though I always kept a closly shaven head. Now that
I'm out of their house again, I have started another one. It's very short.
Here is the pic.


Other than that, not a lot going on. The page should be up by the
end of the week.


6.15.99 - News as of late? Not much. That's why I've not been writing
much here. Sure, I've been keeping up the daily routine. Also still fixing up the
New Vrndavana Photo site... that should be up .. oh goodness... by the end of
the week (?). I'm hoping. I'm just not as fast as I'd like to be.

We have recently added fresh flowers to the daily morning arati. Three flowers
each day. We decorate the alter with the flowers. Pics of that are here.
Shelly noticed that the flowers we place on the alter last longer than the flowers
that are not on the alter. I can't say I'm surprised, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Let's see, what else.... Yet another shirt splattered up and stained.. My Dr. Seuss
Cat in the Hat T-Shirt has Chinese Brown Sauce all over the front of
it. I was stirring the sauce with a whisk and ... well... got a little carried away
with it. hehe..

Oh! And we welcome the squirrels to some peanut prasada!


6.27.99 - Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. Just not much to tell, I
guess. Until now that is. Let’s talk about neighbor’s, shall we. First, let’s talk about the good
neighbors we have. These we affectionately refer to as “the hippies.” They’re pretty
cool, though they keep much to themselves. They’ve got a K car and (of course) a VW
van that seems to be held together, more or less, with duct tape and Grateful Dead stickers.
Their front door is always decorated with one or two Halloween type skeletons wearing
different clothes, according to occasion. During Memorial Day, they had one dressed in
Army fatigues. Right now, for Fourth of July, they have two dressed in flag type outfits.
It’s amusing.

Now let’s move a little closer to home. The neighbor’s next door. Big red brick house. I’m still
trying to figure out who lives there. I’ve only seen a 12 year old girl and a cat or two. I’ve
heard the phlegmish hacking of a smoker and a yelling of a mother (I pity this girl). Shelly
has related to me a story that angered her a little. We have three squirrels who we feed
peanut prasadam for the happiness of their taste buds and their spiritual lives. Oh, and for our
sheer enjoyment as well. :) Anyway, she spied a squirrel sitting on the fence and held up
a nut for the little critter to eat, saying, “Here little squirrel, I got a peanut for you.” They
will come right up to you. At that time, the fellow next door walks up to the fence and says
to the squirrel, “hey, come over here and get your nuts.” It was obvious he heard shelly
and was... um jealous... yeah. Odd to say the least.

But not NEARLY as odd as out neighbor across the hall. We started noticing her oddness right
when we moved in. We found a note written in shaky grandma scrawl telling whoever was
picking her up (for work I imagine) that she was up all last night with stomach problems
and could not go to work today. She ended the note with “I’m not lying.” As the days
went by, still not seeing her face to face, the notes began to show up regularly. Mostly to
Meals on Wheels (an organization who delivers food to the elderly and disabled... even
though our neighbor isn’t either, and to the people who pick her up from work. The wording
is always freaky at best. She leaves words out, misspells even worse than I do and calls Meals
on Wheels “Wheels on Meals.” Some road kill fetish I assume. There are also very
funky smells escaping from her apartment whenever she opens the door. Or maybe they simply
seep out through the cracks. I met her only once. She was leaving as I was coming and
she said to me, “I don’t think we’ve met yet, I’m P--- C----, my husband died nine
months ago.” In my wonderment I said only, “um.” And smiled. At any rate, every morning,
around 5:30ish we hear either the paper boy or her open the door and leave or come or
something. We’re still working out the details on that. I do know that sometimes she leaves
very early. She also talks to herself and yells to herself and just shrieks for reasons we
know not. On Saturday morning around 3:30, she was up and running a LOT of water.
I could hear her talking and generally making a lot of noise. Then she started banging.
At first we thought it was the people who are refinishing the upstairs apartments. But we
then realized it was this lady across the hall. She was banging something for 15 minutes.
Then it stopped and we thought we heard her leave, but it may have been the morning
paper arriving. We’ve not heard anything since. The papers of two days have piled up
and her Saturday mail is still in the box. Her cats are also still in the house. They like to
sit in the windows.

So we’re wondering if she’s ok. Even though she’s pretty crazy, I wouldn’t want anything
horrible to happen to her. I’ll keep you posted. Ah, life.

6.28.99 - Well, she's not dead. Late last night we heard her banging
something around. The two days worth of newspapers are gone now as well.
At least she's not dead. That's always good.

Reading from 7th Chapter of the First Canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. Early
morning readings are the best. So very nice. I read it out loud, even the
sanskrit. I'm having a hard time remembering what I've read though. I know
it was the 7th chapter, I know it was just after Narada Muni described his
previous birth... Also something about the Battle of Kuruksetra. A lot of
realizations while I'm reading it. I wonder if they stick with me through out
the day. Are they lodged somewhere in my skull and I unconsciously (or
spiritually) pull them out when I need them? I just don't know. The
Bhagavatam is spiritual, and spirit is eternal, so all that knowledge must
also be eternal. Just stands to reason.

On a less confusing tip, here is a picture of our new Lord Nrsimhadeva.


For more pics of the alter, go here.



6.29.99 - Some guy in Indiana confesses to enacting this
three year murder/revenge plot against his wife. For those who don't
know, it goes like this: Three years ago, this guy and his (then)
girlfriend are on a vacation in the Bahamas when this guy's father
dies and his girlfriend refuses to end the trip short to console him
(his words). Yes, if that's true, it was a pretty crappy thing to do,
however, I guess this really pissed the guy off. At that time (he says)
he formulates this plan to marry this girl, get her pregnant, then
murder her baby (their child). Apparently, he put plastic wrap over
the baby's face and then put on his pj's and brushed his teeth, later
going to check if the baby was dead. The baby was. He confessed
two days later. Sick.

A 70 year old Philly woman confesses to killing 8 of her babies 50
years ago. She was put on 20 years probation so "they" could study
her. Sick.

In New York, after finding out that many schools are turning out
kids who can't read, fired many school principals and school
superintendents thinking that this will somehow help. Sick.

Of course there are the Denver school shootings with the left and right
blaming each other's politics, the right saying it is TV and movies and
video games, the left saying it's people's obsession with guns and
their easy availability. Neither side giving a thought that it could be
both. Both sides proving that it's about politics, not the kids. Sick.

I could go on. What's the point? It's Kali-yuga. The Age of Quarrel
and Hypocrisy. These things should be expected, I guess. People
are acting like animals. This is what's supposed to happen, I guess.
The new issue of Back to Godhead magazine arrived yesterday.
Urmila Devi Dasi's article was about kids and how they are not a
gift for the materialistic, animalistic parents who want nothing more
from life than a high paying job and social status. I agree. Why do
those kind of people even have kids? Just to stick them in day care.
I understand that parent's now-a-days have to both work to support a
family.

That's the way our economy has been set up. Actually, that
is the result of the so called Women's Liberation movement. They
said let it be socially acceptable that women work (which is fine), but
the affect of that is now to raise a family, ALL women have to work.
One parent can't simply go to work while the other takes care of the
house and children (which is by far the more important and often more
difficult job). Our society teaches us that the kids aren't important.

Take a look at children's entertainment. Long ago, there was Aesop's
Fables, the Pancatantra, and Jataka Tales. They taught kids morals
and were very entertaining. Not all that long ago (my father even
relates this to me) children's entertainment, while less cultured, was
at least educational, and sometimes moral. While I was growing up
it was GI Joe and Star Wars. Both brought in violence, but still tried
to convince parents that they were teaching us morals. Which, though
deceptive, at least there was some appeal to the parental concerns.

But take a look at children's entertainment now. Spice Girls, teaching
young girls that if you dress to expose yourself it's not only cool, it
gets you lots of neat stuff and you get to be famous. Or how about
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (yes, they're still around). Aside
from being on the same quality level as 1950's Japanese horror flicks,
I don't think they even TRY to convince parents that they've got a
edge in the moral department. Also, Mortal Combat. Kids love it.
It's just very graphic and violent. Teaching nothing at all.

So are these to blame for our kids shooting each other? No, probably
not. Not totally anyway. They are simply a reflection of how much
parents in general care about their kids. I'm not really talking about
how we should focus on the family and push family values and all
that right wing christian political garbage. This isn't at all about
politics and the sooner we realize this, the sooner it will end. The
sooner we STOP looking to the politicians to solve moral and family
problems the sooner it will end. You can't legislate morals! You
can't legislate good parents!
We as a society have to change. We
as a culture, MUST look to other cultures and see why this never
happened for them. We must realize we are not the greatest culture
the greatest country in the world. This is NOT a political issue.
Politics will not solve anything EVER.

Maybe we need to learn to live simply. Maybe our kids don't
need literally $1000 worth of Christmas presents. Maybe we shouldn't
let the TV babysit the our kids. Maybe we shouldn't have a TV.
Maybe if we have kids, we shouldn't have jobs. Maybe we should
find a way to make this work. Maybe we should all live on communes.
Maybe we should dissolve the government and work from and on
the county or local level. Maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe.

I'm tired of maybes.



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