Thursday, March 16, 2006


I used to think my mom was superpragmatic. Or, rather, overly pragmatic, I should say. She always saw through the bullshit, especially mine! And some of this rubbed off on me, although I can't exactly say I'm completely pragmatic, because that would be total BS.

But like I said, "I used to think" my mom was that way. That was until I started hearing little stories about her superstitious ways. Such as the time when my sister got accepted into medical school. Before that, she used to tell my sister to not have such high expectations or to try something else in the health services field. She always had this way of inspiring us to do something by bringing down our self-esteem.

When my sister got her letter of acceptance, my mom whispered to herself that "this will be a good year." You know, I don't even say those things, because, well, I HAVE said those things and ended up screwing up the rest of my year!! Now days, I will only say those things in retrospect, such as, "that was a shitty year."

About 10 years ago, my mom and dad paid a visit to me in Los Angeles. This was when I was living in South Central L.A. back in 1994, a couple years after the '92 L.A. riots. In fact, I lived on 41st and Normandie, which is some 15 blocks north of the flashpoint of the riots. They stayed at the house I was subleasing from another actor, who was a 3rd understudy for the Engineer in Miss Saigon on Broadway. (Not sure why I mentioned that.)

It was an unusual visit. I had just moved down about two years earlier from Seattle. I was also recently unemployed, collecting a weekly check of about $150. My place cost $300 a month, so I was really living in poverty at that point. They saw this and offered me assistance, which I turned down. I told them I needed to see what I was worth. Or rather, what I was made of. I was determined to make it without a safety net.

So then we went to Las Vegas together. My parents loved Las Vegas, and we drove there in my car. On the way there, my mom sort of mentioned the reason for her visit. She had been diagnosed with cancer -- her second time in her life -- but this time it was serious. Her prognosis wasn't good: 6 to 12 months. That's why the unexpected, unusual visit.

While there in Vegas, I spent through a couple hundred dollars of my parents' money, since I was broke. But the mood was light, and we were there to enjoy ourselves. Unfortunately, we ran into some familiar-looking folks in one of the hotels in the downtown area. They were a social group from Seattle, so my folks knew some of them. But there was one person, in particular, that my family knew all too well. His name is Art Susumi, the greatest salesman of mortician services in all of Seattle. My mom took it to be an omen. You could just see the sinking feeling in her body.

But like my brothers and sisters, being inspired by lowered expectations, she ended up fighting her prognosis for three years. So you see, she was superstitious, and then showed what human will could accomplish at the same time.

I have a few superstitions myself. I always see the numbers 333, just about everywhere I look. But I don't know what it means. Because nothing necessarily good happens. I think it's just sort of a sign that I'm on the right path -- route 333, if you will. The other sign I have is actually a dream. It's called the shit dream, so named by my ex, who said that if you should have a shit dream, or rather dream of taking a shit, something extremely fortuitous would happen. Usually, it would be money or a new job.

Over the last 4 years since I met my ex, I've had a few occasional shit dreams, and each time, sure enough, I was presented with unexpected windfalls in cash. Not just little bonuses here and there, but bucketfulls of cash. Last night, I woke up after an unusual dream involving shit. It was gross, to say the least, and I usually wake up after a disturbing dream. And then I relax, knowing that I just had the golden, treasure-laden shit dream.

This morning, after my alarm went off, I went to the bathroom as usual and then remembered that I had a shit dream last night. I was much more conscious of it and it triggered some thoughts about what could happen. To be honest, there was only one thought I had, and about a half hour ago, I got a call from my agent. I booked the Microsoft job. It's also on a Saturday, so there's no problem with scheduling, etc.

I won't talk about the year ahead, but the last few months, I must say, have been pretty good. And that's the pragmatic side of me talking.

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