Thursday, February 22

USA Today is all about me.

Cover story: Post-Katrina Baton Rouge struggles with its identity.

I lived in BR from 1991-1995 and hated it. I met tons of great people and it was wonderful being so close to New Orleans Lafayette but what a shitty city. No energy, not much beauty and no style. I remember driving into downtown and thinking, "Is this it? This can't be downtown." There was no movement, there were lots of boarded up buildings, it was barren and drab and that hideous State Capitol!

But while there I began to come into my own. I spent the first year or so broke...I discovered NPR b/c I didn't have a TV. I started trading tapes I considered dreadlocks. I was "adopted" by a family of New Orleanian catholics who I adored but I lost touch with when I left. I worked with a painter who is now a rock singer. I regularly sat in on guitar with a regionally famous blues musician. I interviewed Tabby Thomas and had several conversations with his son, Chris Thomas King. I learned how to cook beans and rice. I took upper level classes and learned grad school might be really easy if you're in the right program. I also learned how conflicted African-Americans are about the fact that we are as much if not more American than African. I saw No Doubt open for Eek-A-Mouse, I saw Public Enemy. I got great pictures of Gatemouth Brown and I was this close to Ice-T when he and Body Count performed. I worked with some of the most interesting people I could have imagined and I dated a beautiful Black woman who loved the Allmans almost as much as I did. That was me in Baton Rouge.

Lead Health Story: Seeking prosperity through inner peace.

I am not a practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism. I would say that I am a student of Zen Buddhism, mainly b/c I have only read the writings of His Holiness The Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. I am not committed to Buddhism but I lean more and more that way. I am currently reading "The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching" and it makes more sense as each page goes by. I am not looking to Buddhism as "the way" (pun intended) to prosperity but as I just read
If we have joy, ease and interest, our effort will come naturally. (The Heart of the Buddha's Teaching, p101)
I am very conflicted about the role of religion in my life. Why can't I just be satisfied with the fact that I am a spiritual being and that I try to try to become better everyday?

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