Monthly Archives: March 2012

#19 – Pawn Something

I’d sell my soul for success in Hollywood. Anyone who works in show business and says they won’t is lying.

So, last Saturday I visited a pawnshop to see how much I could get for my soul.

Unfortunately, the Guido behind the counter said they don’t pawn souls, and that mine looked like it had been used an abused beyond recognition.

With no interest in my soul, I asked if he would be interested in my Xbox 360. I don’t need the money, but it’s just taking up space in my place since I haven’t used it in over two years.

He told me they aren’t interested in Xboxes. I have nothing else I was interested in pawning, so I turned into a buyer.

The first thing I noticed was the wide selection of jewelry. I wasn’t in search for an engagement ring, so I quickly moved on before feeling just a bit sad for those who had to pawn an engagement ring because they needed the money. On the other hand, the pawning of those rings could be a result of divorce. In either case that answers the question of where marriages go to die.

The next case over contained electronics, like video cameras, video games, and a Wii. I don’t know why they wouldn’t take my Xbox, considering they took a Wii.

I bet all the other Wii's make fun of that Wii for living in a pawnshop.

I wasn’t about to question their pawning methods, so I moved on to the next section filled with musical instruments. I checked out the guitars, since I previously learned the beginning chords to guitar playing.

How many of those guitars belonged to people who moved from Kalamazoo to Los Angeles to become a rockstar. I don't know, but I'm sure you can ask your server at Katsuya.

Then I moved on to the accordians, which made me think that Weird Al Yankovic must be going through some tough times financially.

Name someone else who plays the accordion, other than Weird Al.

After I checked out the odd instrument section, I noticed some binders reminiscent of the binders filled with baseball cards that I had as a child. I asked the man behind the counter if I could check out the contents inside, and he placed it on the counter for me to peruse. I quickly scanned the contents, and didn’t see anything noteworthy amongst the basketball cards. The cover on the binder was saturated in dust, which made me believe that I was the first customer to request a viewing of those cards in quite some time. Just out of curiosity I asked him how much for the binder or for individual cards, and he said there was no set price. I wasn’t there to barter for some cards that weren’t worth the paper they were printed on, so I thanked him and made my way toward the exit.

Right before I left the store, the notorious purple and yellow colors that I bleed caught my attention in the form of a couple Kobe Bryant jerseys. I took one quick peak at the wall, and immediately recognized that they were actual game jerseys.

Just like the engagement rings before, these Kobe jerseys signify where failed marriages end up.

I knew Kobe didn’t have a pre-nup, but I didn’t realize he had to pawn his jerseys to settle his divorce. After looking at the high price, I decided to leave empty handed.

Outside the store, the owner has a sign that reads “We Buy Gold.” So, before I left I suggested to the owner that he also put a sign outside that says, “We Do Not Buy Souls or Xboxes,” because I’m certain I’m not the first person in Los Angeles to ask about either of those items.

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#18 – Meditate

How many times in a day, week, month, or year do you take the time to just sit by yourself and focus on nothing but simple relaxation? Masturbation aside, of course. I don’t think that I ever do that. Even when I’m sleeping, my dreams are somewhat connected to the tasks, goals, and problems I have going on in my life. And when I’m relaxing, TV is usually involved.

Those circumstances are what garnered my interest in trying meditation. I have a lot going on in my life right now where it seems as though I am just going from one place to the next without any breaks in between tasks. I hadn’t tried meditation yet because I really don’t have the time in the day to take a long enough to break for it.

I really didn’t know what meditation entails other than sitting crossed legged on a pillow with your eyes closed. So, I Googled meditation and came across this article: http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate

I was immediately satisfied to find out that there are no hard stance rules regarding the practice. The article says there is no set time for meditation, which makes sense since the time to acquire relaxation differs for everyone. It also says that you can do it at any time of the day. I chose to do it at night, and only had about 10 minutes in my schedule.

The next step was to find a relaxing environment. The article suggests meditating outside, but since it was late and 43 degrees outside I didn’t think that was a good idea. I settled on my upstairs living room.

"Am I doing this right?"

The article then says to sit on level ground, or on a pillow on level ground. The important thing is to make sure your sitting up straight. It is not required to sit in the half lotus position or full lotus position, but I went with the half lotus position to experience some authenticity without pulling a hamstring.

Half Lotus

From that point it is important to relax your entire body, and to then focus on body parts that aren’t relaxing. At that point it’s time to clear your mind. The article suggests reciting a mantra or counting the number of your breaths. That seems similar to the tactic of counting sheep to fall asleep at night. That never worked for me at bedtime, and neither did counting the number of breaths I took. With each number all I saw was the equivalent number on my to-do list. I tried reciting the “om” mantra, but after a minute of that it turned from “om” to “um, why am I doing this?”

"What do I have to do after this exercise in futility?"

After focusing on just one thing like reciting a mantra or counting breaths the article says that it should be easy to then transition to focusing on nothing, which is supposed to be the ultimate sense of relaxation. Now, I don’t know who these people are who can simply focus on nothing, but I’m assuming they’re unemployed or ignorant, because I have way too much going on in my life to clear my head.

I felt kind of ridiculous sitting on a pillow in the middle of my living room with my eyes closed when I had so much work to do. Shutting off my brain is something I’ve never been able to do, so it wasn’t a surprise that my meditation attempt wasn’t fruitful.

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