We announce the debut of Bodhi radio.
Classic radio by Gerwin Sturm via Creative Commons License.
We announce the debut of Bodhi radio.
Classic radio by Gerwin Sturm via Creative Commons License.
This past Friday, I made history. I rode the Metro line in Santa Monica on its opening day. I’ve been waiting patiently for it to be built, personally encouraging progress by screaming “train tracks!” every time my parents drove over the train tracks during construction. I would always ask them when we would take the train to downtown LA. We will soon, but Friday we took it two stops to a place with art galleries called Bergamont Station.
It was fun. Everyone should ride trains. Here’s a video about it that I narrated.
This is Bodhi, writing a blog. I have been away from this for a while, but I’ve been busy working on the events of my third year, and coming up fast on my fourth birthday. These are the things that I like to do now.
I like to kiss and hug mom. I like to play. I like to build. I like to build everything in the whole wide world. Right now I am working on a train for making the Tartar sauce. This morning I made a Tartar sauce making machine. That machine put the Tartar sauce into the pipes and then right into people’s mouths. I like eating Tartar sauce with fish.
I like to play with dogs. I like to play with cats. I like to see pictures on coasters. I like to set out coasters like I’m doing right now, to look at. I like to make a design like I’m doing.
I like orange juice. We will make some fresh-squeezed orange juice today. I am going to make some pictures for this blog now and my daddy is going to scan them in so you can see them.
Below, you will see Fig 1. This is an image of a horse that I did in school. My teacher, Natalie, drew the grass.
This is a picture of a train that I drew with my dad’s help. I told him that if you take an 8 and turn it on its side, it turns into infinity. I am interested in numbers.
1/ When it is hot, try making a lot of noise and crashing things until you get your parents to drive you around in the car. It will settle you down. Remember to bring your dog.
2/ Go to the car wash at some point in the drive. Every car is different. It is very noisy. Noise is good. Try to stay there until they close. But if you can’t, at least get a cold drink out of the deal.
3/ Go to a store with escalators and ride them up and down, and up and down, and up and down until you are dizzy. Then do it again. The elevator also works, but it’s not as interesting.
4/ I am too hot and tired to discuss number four. It’s nap time, anyway. Bye.
I had a deal with my parents. If I used the potty regularly I would get to sleep in the big boy bed. I have made enough deposits, so yesterday they made good on their part of the bargain.
A big boy bed is very comfortable. It has a railing so you don’t fall out. My railing has a light on it, which is intended to be a night light so that the big boy is not scared. It is a decent night light but functions much better as a reading light.
It was 3:30 in the morning. I wanted to get in a little light reading, perhaps Guess How Much I love You. I often don’t have time for reading during the day because I am too busy building things, asking for things without saying please, and running around trees in tight circles. I got out of the big boy bed and walked into my parents room. ‘Excuse me,’ I said. I never say excuse me. My parents didn’t answer. They were asleep. ‘Excuse me,’ I said again, ‘but you said one book in the bed.’
My father opened his eyes and said, ‘What?’ I thought that was a good start. He could have said what everyone says at 3:30 in the morning, which is, ‘Do you know that time it is? It’s 3:30 in the morning.’
The line is customarily delivered with an acute sense of outrage, on a rising, slightly strangled inflection. There was no tone of outrage in my dad’s voice, though. As he often tells anyone who will listen, he is a veteran parent, with two other children besides me who are now grown. I don’t think he should make so big a deal out of this, but he won’t stop referencing it. From my perspective, having been in business for just three years now, experience is overrated. He got out of bed and we walked into my room and got a book. I turned on my light to start reading.
Guess How Much I Love You is a wonderfully heartwarming book, but it is not the kind of page turner you need at 3:30 in the morning. I needed a Nazi-chasing Ken Follett saga or Grisham, not a story of a bunny getting hugs from his daddy. So I walked out of my room, because I can do that now, and started to play with my blocks.
Construction is a noisy business. There are city regulations preventing it from being done at 3:45 in the morning, but I chose to ignore those laws, much like Uber ignores existing laws, or how Donald Trump speaks his mind. When you are a truth teller, like Donald Trump, or a pre-schooler, or other part-time sociopath, you do not have to be politically correct. When you have a vision that happens to be illegal, and you are wealthy enough like Uber, you can get those laws fixed.
My father returned. He had word from the Ultimate Authority. ‘Mom says if you get out of the big boy bed again before the light comes, you have to go back in the crib.’ I was actually too sleepy to fight with him. I was just awake enough, though, to bat back and forth his definition of ‘when the light comes’ like the Clintonesque lawyer that I am. ‘When the light comes?’ I asked, as though I had never before encountered the idea of dawn.
I slept through the dawn, and well past my usual breakfast time. But it had been a busy night, and a big boy bed is very comfortable.
I have a big gig coming up this week. I am traveling back East to play six days in Rhode Island. It’s a pretty easy crowd, because they think I’m cute, but that doesn’t stop me from working hard on the routine. I like to play small rooms to warm up the set. I will try out jokes at school and on the playground. I’ll test some set ups on the cafe cashier selling me a gelato. If there’s a babysitter around or a friend of my parents visiting, I will run through a few lines. Of course, I work it pretty heavy on the plane out. It’s nearly five hours on the flight, so I can run through the set over and over. By the time the other passengers leave the plane they are crying from laughing so hard at my material, or at least they are crying from the experience of riding on a plane with me.
Here’s some of my best stuff. If you wouldn’t mind memorizing a few of these straight lines and set ups and feeding them to me when you see me, it would be a great help. For those of you keeping track, I go with a non-associative structure to the set. I don’t like to build stand-up set theorems like Jerry Seinfeld. This isn’t math. It’s comedy. It’s more a Henny Youngman or Jackie Mason kind of thing, spritzing as it used to be known in the trade.
What did the train say when it sneezed?
Chugga chugga ach-oo!
What did the cat say when it wanted to leave the room?
Get me meow-outta here.
What did the dog say about the convertible?
There’s no WOOF!
What did the mommy cow say to the dawdling baby cow?
Let’s get a mooove on.
What did the polite baby cow say to his mommy cow?
Excuse me, moo.
Don’t cry, it’s only a knock knock joke.
What did the duck say after it heard all these jokes?
You really quack me up!
Thank you. You’ve been a great audience.
I woke up and realized that my own child was screaming monkey water in the next room. Monkey water refers to a red straw-equipped cup that we have with a picture of a monkey on it. If you saw the cup, you’d understand but I realize the reference might not hold a ton of meaning for you.
I think the lesson to be learned from this is to be true to your primate nature, and to get more sleep.
The main reason I didn’t run the LA marathon this year is that I didn’t train. I trained for other things instead. I trained for the stamina to wear out my parents so they required naps more than I did. I trained for chasing the cat, and then trained for complaining that he swatted at me. I trained for building enormously tall towers of blocks that fell with a crash at eight in the morning. I trained for eating the crust of pizza only, only a half cup freshly-squeezed orange juice that cost $5, and I have trained hard to ask for vanilla yogurt in a bowl, wait for the parent serving me to sit down and begin reading the paper, and then ask for some strawberries to go in the yogurt, wait once again for my parent to sit down and read another paragraph about Hillary Clinton’s emails, and then ask for some almond butter to go with the yogurt and strawberries in the bowl, wait another moment, until my parent sits down again, and ask for some water. All reasonable requests! And sequenced perfectly, don’t you think?
I have trained to count to ten by myself. I have trained on the ABC song and know all of it.
I trained for lounging in the bathtub. I have trained for crashing into the bed and cutting my temple. (I am okay now.)
During the marathon I applauded the runners, and then, just to see what would happen, I threw a large pine cone into their path, to see if any of them would trip. This got me a stern lecture from my mama about the irresponsibility of tripping people who have trained hard to run for hours, but I don’t see the sense of running for hours anyway, and I am deeply involved now in testing boundaries. I have become a scientist of boundaries, constantly experimenting to see how late I can stay up, how long I can remain in the bathtub (a long, long time!), what happens if I throw something at my father’s face (result: not good!), and if I butt my hard head up against my mother’s jaw. (Also a bad experiment; will not be repeated.) I have experimented with singing the Bingo song, and Old MacDonald, to help myself fall asleep.
Despite these experiments, or because of them, my mama says she wants to run a marathon with me, when I am old enough, she says. I don’t know what she is waiting for. I am ready now to run at least two or three minutes at a time. (Will somebody write in and tell me how long a marathon is?)
As a parent, you are always telling your kid what to do. You hope that a particular kind of voice gets inside their head. It’s called the ‘be careful’ voice. It starts with ‘be careful not to run into the street,’ ‘be careful not to jump around on the couch and fall off,’ and ‘be careful not to play with that sharp object that you somehow got ahold of and that you are not allowed to have.’ Later on it becomes, ‘be careful to take a job where they value you, ‘be careful not to drink and drive,’ ‘be careful to use protection when you have sex’ and all kinds of other cautionary statements that you don’t know you will need to say, yet. But you will say them all, believe me, and often.
That is the science of this, the information, the facts. There is also an art to it. The be careful voice can never have anything negative about your child in it. You want that voice in their head to guide them when you’re not around any more, and it has to be a positive voice always.
Creative life starts with dirt. You take your dirty laundry, metaphorically, and metaphorically put it out there for everyone to see. Nothing worthwhile that is creative is accomplished without digging into the subconscious, and it is dirty in there. I would like to think that we learn this first as children, mucking around in playgrounds. I don’t think that’s true. The creative connection with play is forged there, along with a sense of cooperation with playmates, and fighting with playmates, and together making something or destroying it. It is valuable, but it is missing the courage, the element of skilled daring that is required to dig into dirt and come up with something memorable that is not just more dirt.