I am not ready for it to be dreary and cold. I know that it will warm up again before winter. I just hope it does before this weekend.

I found this sentence in my inbox yesterday: ďI went a whole weekend w/o hitting the shore, and I'm kinda jones-ing some rip-currents.Ē My previously mentioned new-surfing friend, Nicole did not author this. Itís from a friend of hers. She, the author, and I will be back on the beach this Saturday.

Iíve become a surfing maniac, which is almost making up for the fact that Iíve been stuck on the surface all summer. I just havenít had the time to get my gear serviced and ready for diving. Maybe Iíll take a trip somewhere this winter. You know, if I win the lottery or something.

I also found this sentence in my inbox yesterday: ďsorry to hear that you're not interested in going out again; i felt that we had a pleasant time and had a number of things in commonĒ

Iíve had various reactions to this. Everything from ďIS HE !@#$%ing KIDDING ME?!Ē (my initial reaction) and ďWhatever he thinks we have in common, he obviously neglected to mention it on Saturday night.Ē

To that, Tony reacted, ďThe ability to communicate well is obviously not one of them.Ē

One other thing that did not sit well with me was his tendency to say negative things about Christian, whose friendship, I am sure, is the only thing we have in common. This was especially disconcerting to me because Christian only had nice things to say about him.

Their relationship is none of my business, so Iíll just leave it at that.

Iím a Leo. You probably already knew that. Rar.

Iím suddenly thinking of someone I knew in college. We met during the first week our freshman year. Within the first few hours of meeting, she said to me, ďYouíre a Leo.Ē I asked her how she knew. She told me that I exhibit a lot of very typical Leo personality traits. Leoís were always more evident to her because they ďrubbed her the wrong way.Ē

Oh great.

Anyway, Iím not a believer in astrology.

That doesnít mean I have no faith in things that currently have no scientific backing. With some things, I figure that thousands of years of trial and error canít be all wrong.

At the time, as a shy ugly ducking, in the middle of metamorphosis, I thought the notion was completely ridiculous. I donít know if itís true that I exhibit any personality traits that are typical of anything.

I have more faith in the Chinese zodiac. In my personal experience, it has been a little closer to the truth and the Chinese just seem to be better at figuring things out using thousands of years of trial and error.

This whole thing is very confusing because I am a dragon, and my element is fire. These signs are described with very similar personality traits as my other sign. So, either I got a double (triple?) dose of something making me an exceptionally obvious Leo (according to some people) or I am just a firey dragon, and they are confusing me for a Leo, or I am coincidentally exhibiting these personality traits and itís unrelated to anything, or Iím not exhibiting them at all, and people are just insane.

OK. Obviously, I should not be allowed to eat dark chocolate, anymore. I donít drink coffee, and Iíve been slowly weaning myself off of caffeinated tea. I had a little bit of dark chocolate, and itís like I just took a handful bunch of amphetamines.

Mellow, I am not.

I had a good meditation on Sunday night, though. Over the weekend, I was given a dharma name. Now I have a better idea of what thatís all about. The training was quite beneficial. We spent the morning following the routine of a buddhist monk. We were given a nice meal, prepared in the zen tradition. I canít really argue with that. I donít know if the zen meal was for my benefit or not (the vegetarianism).

The more I learn about this sect, though, the more I realize that I am at the wrong temple. I am thinking of just visiting the zen temple in new york, on occasion, rather than trying to fit myself somewhere because itís convenient. That way, I can bring back more zen tradition to the other sangha. This might make us more sure of what we are, rather than ďnon-denominational buddhists that act like zen, but we canít admit it because we want to include everyone.Ē Like it matters, anyway.

After lunch, I spoke with a nice man who also comes from the zen tradition. He seemed to find a lot more flaws with this sangha than I do, but also seemed to have no problem with taking a dharma name himself. Itís really people like him that make me like this temple.

By the way, my new name is Universal Truth. You may call me Versy, if you want, or Truthy, if you prefer, in more casual situations.

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Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 at 3:41 PM