Monday, November 19, 2007

Want A Job, Want A Job, Want A Good Job...

Nobody remembers that bit from the movie Sid And Nancy, do they? Some bus driver (I think) is telling Sid Vicious he wrote a punk rock song and asks if Sid wants to hear it. He does. It goes, "I want a job, want a job, want a good job, I want a job that pays. I want a job, want a job, want a real job, one that satisifes my artistic needs."

Anyway, this post supplants the one below, which, I realized was a bit vague.

The day job I've had with Tsuburaya Productions for the past 12 or 13 years is over and done with. I'll collect my final paycheck on December 31st. I've saved enough that I won't starve to death or anything. And the pittance I earn from writing will help. But I gotta get out of L.A. because this town will drain that stuff in mere months, whereas most other places I could go, I could hang on for a while on that money.

So I'm more looking for a place to go than a big fat paycheck. My destination of choice is Montreal. I may go there anyway. Or somewhere else in Canada. I've been considering just walking the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu. But that's probably not the best plan. I've received a few nice ideas, which I am considering. But more are always welcome. Even if it's not Canada. Any place has potential to be a great place. And what I think is right may not be what's actually right.

My Zen teacher, Nishijima Sensei, always advises his students not to quit their day jobs. There are a lot of good reasons for that. But the first and foremost is that people who do quit their day jobs to be full time Zen teachers so often seem to turn bad. They get into the Zen drama way too deep. I actually love the fact that I never have time to engage in that shit and I plan on keeping it that way. So a job I will seek and seeking a job will be my job for the time being, with little time left for much else. This being-too-busy-for-Zen-drama is a teaching by example I've received from the two greatest Zen teachers alive today, Gudo Nishijima and Tim McCarthy.

I don't want to criticize anyone else's way. Well, actually I do. I enjoy it. But it always gets me in trouble. And with the whole dead grandma thing, and the moving thing, and the seeking a job thing, and the worse-than-I-expected jet-lag thing from two weeks in the Eastern Standard Time Zone right when Daylight Savings Time ended thing, and the trying to finish my third book thing and all the rest of it, Zen drama is not what I need at the moment. Or any moment. So post away, anonymous trolls. But I won't be engaging in it. I'm a bit sad right now and it's not gonna help anything.

Y'know, here's a clue to understanding how I approach this Zen stuff, in case you're into clues. Maybe I've said this before. But I never wanted to be a Zen teacher. A lot of guys out there did all of their training and practice in a continuous state of chomping at the bit for the day they could finally put on some robes and become a Zen teacher. Not me. I just took up the practice because it worked for me. I accepted ordination because Nishijima Sensei wanted someone to fill in for him at his lectures. It took me almost a year to finally give in to his request even then. I've continued doing teaching because, like the other aspects of the practice, I've found that it works for me. But I still fucking hate it. Hate, hate, hate it. Do not like it at all. Nope.

This is why when you come to one of my sittings at Hill Street Center you'll often find me in a somewhat cranky mood at the start of the day. I know it's a great thing to teach this stuff to those who are interested. I know it's valuable and I know that I am good at it (Sorry if that sounds like bragging. Deal with it.). But I hate it. I just want to sit quietly by myself and here are all these people vying for my attention, thinking that I have something I can somehow bestow upon them. I got nothing. Why don't they ever learn? I cannot muster up whatever you need to muster to be the bright, cheery, warm and welcoming presence I probably ought to be when folks start arriving because -- may Jesus forgive my immortal soul -- at that moment I usually just want them to go the fuck somewhere else and leave me be.

I know teachers who just eat that shit up. They love, love, love having a bunch of people around who think they're the Bee's Knees. They're so eager to bestow their teachings upon the poor lost souls who come to them for their sage guidance. Feh, I say! Feh! Feh! Fehh! I've run away from a lot of those guys and I have no patience for them whatsoever. If you like that kind of shit, go to one of those guys. I really do not care.

But anyway I always soften up towards the end of a sitting and get really happy I'm able to share the quiet time with others who value shared quite time. I end up being deeply touched that you're there (though I will never admit it). So please don't be put off by the ogre I always seem to be when you arrive. Just don't bug me too much or I'll throw a cushion at you. There are plenty of people out there who come off as big, warm, caring huggy bears, when behind the scenes they're nasty, deceitful, hurtful, cut-throat, passive-aggressive, power hungry fuck-faces*. Be careful of those guys, OK? Be careful of me, too. Please. Always be careful.

Gosh. I really wandered off topic that time.

Anyway. If you guys got any good ideas for future career moves or places to go, keep sending them in. And thank you! I really appreciate it more than my cranky demeanor will ever allow me to show.

I'm gonna write a review of the Puffy** show last night soon. But I want to give folks a chance to respond to this first.

* If I was referring to someone specific I'd say so. Rest assured of that. But there are really too many of these asswipes to single out any one of them.
** I refuse to call them Puffy AmiYumi.

107 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why Mondreal? What is it about Montreal? Maybe if you explain that folks can make other suggestions.

Jules said...

Vancouver, BC is consistently ranked one of the three most livable cities in the world. Unfortunately, it's expensive too. I don't think it's as expensive as LA, but it ain't cheap.

On the other hand, Vancouver has great public transportation, and it's easy to get around on a bike, so you don't need a car.

I don't live there, I'm in Seattle. I might like to live there someday, though.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jules said...

Whoops, forgot to mention the most important part -- there are probably a lot more job opportunities for someone who speaks Japanese in Vancouver than in Montreal.

If you have a job lined up already, it's a lot easier to get a Canadian work permit.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jordan said...

http://www.portlandjobfinder.com/

Anonymous said...

"I've been considering just walking the Earth like Caine from Kung Fu."

That's what I told my parents I wanted to do with my life when they asked me. I was 15. Caine and Kung Fu don't get enough credit for popularizing buddhism, imo. I was really disappointed when I found out zen didn't lead automatically to the ability to kick 20 ninjas butts at once, but by then I'd discovered other pluses.

Good luck with the job search and relocation, Brad. Sorry about your grandma.

Anonymous said...

The people who rate Vancouver so highly are the same sort who believe all that "ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon" shite. As a Vancouverite, I can tell you that this place is a self-important, drug addled, gang-ridden small-town dump on the edge of civilisation; a real-estate scam from beginning to end presided over by a bunch of neo-conservative corporate shills. On the other hand, Montreal is a decaying shell of its former self, overrun by racist bigots who want to round up everyone who ain't white and francophone and ship them off to the camps. In fact, Canada sucks altogether. At least the US is more open and up front about its crap and doesn't hide it behind self-satisfied smarm.

Lone Wolf said...

Brad- What kind of day job do you want?

You should write a screenplay, like a remake of Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Woman with some kick ass dinosaur action in it.

What location to move to?

Watch that Guided By Voices Documentary again lol.

Lone Wolf said...

okay, thats my last Dayton plug. I'm starting to annoy myself.

Erg said...

If you really want cheap living, louisville ky, my hometown cinci, and minneapolis make for good digs statistocally. Heck, anywhere in the rust belt from upstate ny down to missouri is cheap living.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jinzang said...

If you're looking for cheap but nice digs, a Midwest college town sounds like your best bet. Your facility in Japanese sounds like your most marketable skill and I guess the West Coast is your best chance finding a job.

No doubt you're feeling cranky after all the shit you've been through. You've had a lot of changes in the past year and now you face even more. So please remember that you've touched a lot of lives and made a lot of friends.

PhilBob-SquareHead said...

Mysterion said:
"All:

Please avoid the use of the word hate."

Are you suggesting that I have my "hated" tattoo that I got around '94 in loving memory of sweet G.G. Allin removed? Fuck that.
Hate, hate, hate, hate!!!

I bet that you read "Hung By the Tongue", a popular christian book in the 80's.

Words only have the power YOU give them. I think Brad even said that once.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BRussu said...

Ohio sucks monkey balls. Jobs are few and far between, the housing market it is in the dumper (unless your buying) and the auto industry is leaving little by little. As much as I love my state, I'm ready to move out of here.

I here Missouri is nice, Joplin is the most affordable place to live in the U.S.. If you don't mind all the tweekers, but you live in L.A. and should be somewhat used to that.

Matt said...

Lone Wolf! don't you stop that plugging! I'll pick up the slack this time: Brad! Dayton would love to have you!

mysterium tremendum said...

The Faroe islands would be a good place for you to reside. There's plenty of room. You could start a Sangha here. I can almost assure you that you nobody would join. But you could sit with the Puffins they wouldn't bother you and boy can they sit.

By the way when you post grumpy posts and people respond in the same fashion does it bother you too?

Anyway, I enjoy reading your inner dialogue on your blog.

http://heima.olivant.fo/~anfinn/

mysterium tremendum said...

puffins

http://heima.olivant.fo/~anfinn/mykines13.htm

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't get me wrong: I'd love to have Brad come up to Vancouver, and would happily duck flying zafus in any zendo he was in. I'm just tired of folks in the US holding Canada up as some kind of paragon of virtue. It feeds into the worst aspects of Canadian smugness: instead of dealing with our shit, we just say, "well, we're better than the Americans". And I'm so sick and tired of being told every day that "this is the BEST place to live!" Again, I'm grateful for so many things here; I'm just saying, "don't believe the hype".

Gerry Gomez said...

You can sleep on my floor. In exchange, your job will be to bring me coffee in the morning, in silence, and clean my toilet when needed. Just because you are Zen teacher doesn't mean that you will not have to attend to the essentials.

Oh, and there won't be much chit chat either.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to suggest


Of course its on an island (if that appeals to you) - an hour and a half ferry ride away from Vancouver..

It sports perhaps the mildest climate in Canada

The greator victoria population is over 300,000. Its a reasonably large, but easy enough to get around (commuting isn't a nightmare; and traffic generally moves well; even during rush hour..). The city has a very quiet, layed back feel..

Owning property is very expensive, but there's a cap on rent - renting an appartment is much cheaper compared to other larger cities (Toronto, Vancouver..)

Plus the city itself and nature in and around stack up against the most beautiful places in the world.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the above post.. some error with my hyperlink..

Bows head in shame..

other said...

Brad, You seem pretty good at the passive-aggressive thing yourself. Or maybe you are just a coward. If you have something to say, just come out and say it. don't insinuate things and then throw out initials. That is weak.

Anonymous said...

russell said...

think the 'I wanna job, I wanna good job' character was supposed to be a journalist of some kind.
good point, though.
hell, come to Ann Arbor for a while.

Jules said...

The old fart Mysterion sed:

THWAK!

Brad, I politely asked you to avoid use of the word "hate" when we briefly met at SFZC. Now I am asserting my senior years to remind you that I once asked you to avoid the word "hate."

Some folks think 'words have power' and chanting is beneficial because of that (phoneme) power. Thus the Japanese versions of Sutras attempt to duplicate the sounds of the Pali Sanskrit.

All:

Please avoid the use of the word "hate." It can only be inwardly directed in the negative sense and has little place in Buddhism. Try instead, with humor: "I really don't prefer..."

In all my lapses of seriousness, this plea to you is not one such lapse. (stepping off soap box)

LUX und PAX
o-cha-ryu


Dude, seriously, who the hell do you think you are? I am serously intoxicated and am prbalaby speaking out of place, but I'm going to use taht as an excuse to say what I've wanted to say for a long time. Shut the fuck up.

Hate hate hate hate hate hate.
Love love love love love love.

Welcome to the human condition.

Jules said...

OCD is a problem. Deal with it, don't use it as an excuse to annoy the hell out of everyone.

Anonymous said...

London?

DB said...

Brad,
I used to travel to Quebec fairly regularly for my employer back in the mid to late '90s. I found Montreal to be a fairly welcoming place, but I was mostly north of there around Chicoutomi and whatnot.

While without exception every Canadian I ever knew in Quebec was friendly and helpful, I'd question your stated desire to stretch your savings by moving to Canada. It's not the cheapest place to live in my experience.

It would also help tremendously if you spoke French, even a little. You'll find that the politics of speaking French dominate social interaction all over Quebec, who speaks to whom and in what language can govern how one is perceived.

So long as you're aware of the language issues and have an idea how you're gonna make a living, there's some beautiful living space up there. Good luck wherever you eventually alight.

Yudo said...

A courageous anonymous wrote:

"On the other hand, Montreal is a decaying shell of its former self, overrun by racist bigots who want to round up everyone who ain't white and francophone and ship them off to the camps. In fact, Canada sucks altogether"

It's some 30 years I haven't been living in Mtl, but I just remember the sheer arrogance and violence of those who refused to admit that French speaking people had a right to live. Now their situation is not any better, but they have that propaganda that tells the world what a bunch of fascists they are... Could it be that Anglo-Saxons cannot admit to see their slaves rebel?

element said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
element said...

Here are some statistics about costs of living. Maybe that helps.

http://www.finfacts.ie/costofliving.htm

http://www.bestplaces.net/col/

come to germany

vinegar said...

Some of the best teachers are cranky SOBs, join the club.

You don't like it, tough shit, that's your karma, deal with it.

I'm glad you teach in spite or it. Good luck with your job search. I know where you're coming from as I'm looking at the extinction of my job shortly.

vinegar said...

BTW, I think Montreal is a great idea. It's closer to where I live than LA. I'd be more likely to be able to come experience your Zen crankiness.

Anonymous said...

Either walk the Earth or move to Europe. Earth and Europe are funny.
-Eetu

Jinjur said...

I agree with jules - Vancouver is a great city, and expensive (almost SF prices) but I'll add that we have a great alterna-sangha called D.I.Y. Dharma. We meet three times a week, have day-long retreats, and rock the Buddhist path! You'd be welcome here and could probably couch surf for a month on your fame :)

Anonymous said...

Mysterion, I have never seen anyone make such a ridiculous comment in my entire life. Get over yourself.

Brad, come to New England, the weather sucks half the year but its pretty sweet here. CT is especially nice, close to NY and Boston, beautiful summers, very cool people (though not particularly friendly all the time, but dont let that throw you off, we mean well.) I'd say keep writing and speaking and eventually you'll be able to chill in a sweet house in the northwest corner of CT. You can even come see my band, One Jack Move.

Anonymous said...

only $295,000 for a 10 acre Ohio farm.. you can't buy dick for that in Cali. You can kick back away from all the fuck faces.

10 acre farm

Anonymous said...

New York is the only place you should go. Don't stop. Don't Think. Just Go. Now! NoW!
Yea it's expensive. Deal with it!
It's the only place in the world where you can tell someone to fuck off and they could not give a shit. They just move on. What ever. forgetaboutit as the Brooklynite would say.

By the way is this one of your friends.

Zen Failure:http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8590113649133215636&q=Shunryu+Suzuki&total=5&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0

Mysterion said...

David Chadwick began his Zen study under the legendary Japanese master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi in 1966. Much later, Suzuki Roshi’s successor said of Chadwick: “ Years of expensive Zen training gone to waste.”
Powell's Books

That 'thing' on the cover is a gaudy match box dispenser that a local liquor store donated hundreds to a Zen Temple in Japan. It is a baseball player saying "Thank you and O.K." David didn't think that the temple should use these (to assist people in lighting candles) and, of course the monks said: "Why not? What's wrong with them?"

David's failure was only that he stumbled on his own perception (something many of us do every day). He made a judgement based on his perception rather than the utilitarian value of the item - regardless of appearances. David is no failure. He's very funny. He's just slightly ahead of my generation (I think he's 65) and he is also THE authority on the San Francisco Zen Scene in the late 60's.

Mysterion said...

Jules said...
"Dude, seriously, who the hell do you think you are?"

I am what I am,
and NOT what I think

To a blind horse a smile
is as good as a wink.

esmerelda_verde said...

What about New Orleans? No snow, very cheap, good music, good food, urban character, public transportation etc. Plus I don't think its over run with Zen teachers although I did find a few yoga people who were good and a Whole Foods so its not the wilderness. Actually it's my destination of choice when I leave NYC.

dood said...

It seems as if Mysterion is THE language authority of this blog in the late weeks of 2007.

I love that I hate it and
I hate that I love to hate.

Fuck all Zen lineage bullshit - I think that's the "Zen Drama" that Brad refers to and hates so sweetly.

This reality is all that matters.

Don't worry about when I said Fuck You! That's in the past.

Take care,
dood

diarmuid said...

New York City isn't the first place that springs to mind when someone says, "I'm looking for a place to stretch my cash while I look for a job," but, provided one doesn't burn through their stash in two months (temptation, temptation) there are quite a few economical places to live in the boroughs and surrounding areas. Brooklyn is still rife with undiscovered locales (try South of the park), Queens, though generally uncelebrated, has some culture to offer, and you can still get some decent spaces in the LIC/Astoria areas. Odds of rubbing elbows with Ivanka Trump et al. 'round these parts are slim, but we're a lot cooler than her, anyway.

The Metro North Railroad serves the areas above the city, Conn., Rockland, etc. The lower Hudson Valley (home sweet home) is quite abundant in jaw dropping scenery and frighteningly scarce on employment. From some of the smaller towns on the river you can be at Grand Central within half an hour.

I'm not sure what the cost of living is in Philadelphia, but I think a lot of people move there with their bands and so forth.

Truth be told, Montreal is probably a kick-ass place to live, but what will everyone think if you start writing en fran├žais?
"Alors, ce qui est le bruit d'un battement de main?" Oui, c'est vrai.

M said...

Chicago is the best city in the world, and so you should consider moving there. Here, actually.
Advantages over Canada include, it's warmer, there are more attractive women per square inch, and we know how to pronounce the word "about".

Jules said...

Wow. It was not my place to say that here.

I was feeling legitimately hateful toward someone else in my life, and it was perfectly justified. I was trying not to wallow in it, but it was what it was. In any case, I stand by my right to be hateful and express my hate in some particularly difficult circumstances. But I shouldn't have directed it at Chas. Sorry, dude.

Mark & Iva said...

Your welcome to visit Milton just outside of Toronto on your way up to Montreal. Can't help you with the job thing but we can give you a decent meal, we won't even charge you!!!

Mysterion said...

Jules said...
"I stand by my right to be hateful and express my hate in some particularly difficult circumstances."

In good humor, please just try once or twice "Ya' know, I REALLY don't prefer..." (for your benefit)

"But I shouldn't have directed it at Chas. Sorry, dude."

Accepted (but no apology necessary). We are all just family here - with our disputes, our agreements, our weaknesses, our strengths...

When it's dinner time, we still sit down together to eat.

Warm regards to all,
Charles

Anonymous said...

if you're thinking Canada anyway, why not go all out? Whitehorse, YT.

1) it's got that "west coast" attitude.
2) there's a labour shortage.
3) you get used to the cold. mostly.
4) we're overrun by tibetan-style gurus, and could use a no-nonsense, sit-down-and-shut-up zen teacher.

"Jack"

Anonymous said...

Q: what do you do when the zen teacher throws the cushion at you?
A: you just sit still.

or throw it back at him and shout "PILLOWFIGHT!". It's a world of choices,
after all.

--liiwi

Anonymous said...

If it is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment while following his breath, why are we discouraged in Soto Zen from doing so? This has always puzzled me and I'd like a little more insight.

Wil said...

Brad, why do dismiss the notion of wandering the earth so quickly? I know it's not material attachments, right? I ask to use the question as a springboard as to why 'I' shouldn't do it. . .

Mysterion said...

Anonymous said...
"If it is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment..."

Whatever rings your bell.

Buddha attained Enlightenment by defeating Mara...

Buddha attained enlightenment by means of an ascetic way...

"Whatever.

I have studied the matter at length and maintain that Gautama Shakyamuni became Budhi when he died. Shakyamuni died at the age of eighty. His last words are sometimes translated: "Work out (by whatever means) your own enlightenment with diligence".

Chado

Chado (the Way of Tea), Kado (the Way of Flower), Shodo (the Way of Calligraphy), Sodo (the Way of Kimono), Kado (the Way of Poetry) and Kodo (the Way of Incense). from HERE

cometboy said...

Yahoo. Boy, as usual, a lot to digest.

I've been to two Hill Steet sessions, would have gone to more, but can't justify driving fifty miles (one way, in the snow, after dark, with big hairy monsters chasing me..!!!)to get there.

I think that I do a pretty good job staying out of your face before the sitting, but I full of questions after, but it sounds like you don't mind noisy people as much after.

I guess, in my own best passive aggressive way, if I do end up going to another Hill Steet sitting (before you blow LA for greener pastures), if there is anything I can do to help you before the sitting, I'll try to figure it out.

All I do is drive there, you (and Yuka)do the major work of making things work. And I try and be thank full.

Anonymous said...

"If it is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment while following his breath, why are we discouraged in Soto Zen from doing so? This has always puzzled me and I'd like a little more insight."

if you follow your breath thats still a thought that you are latching onto. admittedly its a very simple thought, 'breathe in, breathe out'. but its a thought none the less. if you just stop thinking about your breathing and let it happen naturally then you're back in front of the wall instead of in your head thinking about breathing.

z0tl said...

i know a dude who's been sitting 14 years (running around geographically while at it), he just returned from a 6 months canada stint because IT SUCKED and prolly not just because of the w0rk permit issues... i think he also tried japan and was not too happy there too.

can't beat the socal sunshine dollars. may i suggest http://www.hvzc.org where i practice, mebbe you can lead retreats there and make enough to get by down here where it's always in the 80s.

& i'm not saying that because they rent the zendo out (for cheap)? i don't know, anyhoo, running geographically isn't a solution and since you like socal sunshine, i am telling you: NOTHING BEATS SANDY EGGO!

Anonymous said...

I have just the place for you to work at and they are hiring.

http://kink.com/jobs.php

thisischrisg said...

I'm going through a bunch of job stuff right now too. Been in a good place at a tattoo shop for 2 years and I'm debating on whether or not to leave to go work at the local hospital escorting people.
Life's a bunch of weird stuff and decisions I don't want to make.

Jinzang said...

Whatever you do, don't come to Baltimore. You'd hate it here. And there are already too many Zen groups. (Fucking Zennies.) And the local music scene sucks. So stay far away!

Jinzang said...

it is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment while following his breath

Said wrongly.

why are we discouraged in Soto Zen from doing so?

That depends upon the teacher. Brad has said that he teaches according to Dogen Zenji's instructions, which is why he discourages following the breath. Other Soto Zen teachers have their students follow the breath.

Me, I think it's a good idea to start by counting the breath, but this should be dropped when your concentration is good enough that you can simply watch your thoughts.

But I'm a person of no particular merit or ability. Find a teacher and practice as they say.

Jinzang said...

I ask to use the question as a springboard as to why 'I' shouldn't do it. . .

If you'd seen "Into the Wild," you'd know that if you wander the Earth, you'll wind up starving to death in an abandoned bus in Alaska. That's why.

I joke. Just wanted to plug one of the better films to come out lately. Watch for when it comes out on DVD.

Anonymous said...

if you follow your breath thats still a thought that you are latching onto. admittedly its a very simple thought, 'breathe in, breathe out'. but its a thought none the less. if you just stop thinking about your breathing and let it happen naturally then you're back in front of the wall instead of in your head thinking about breathing.

Some teachers also suggest simply experiencing the breathing without any sort of thought or visualization. Awareness of posture can also become a subtle thought-form. All are crutches to be eventually discarded imo.

Roaming Seattlite said...

Brad,
Thank you for your writing. I appreciate the insight into life you offer, even if it causes you grief sometimes to share it.

~Nick
http://www.inmff.net

Anonymous said...

Gee Brad. No Zen drama? You mean I'm going to have to look at my own life square in the face?

Terrifying!

How about just a little drama.

Please?

Anonymous said...

I read the first few posts (not all), I suggest Victoria, BC or switch sides totally St John's, Newfie. Just a suggestion.

Yudo said...

Another nymous wrote:
"If it is said that the Buddha attained enlightenment while following his breath, why are we discouraged in Soto Zen from doing so? This has always puzzled me and I'd like a little more insight."

If you read well, you'll notice that the Buddha didn't say to follow the breath, but that, being aware of your body, you observe the breath to be short when it's short and long when it's long. In other words, leave it as it were. That's what we teach. (Soto, I mean)

Anonymous said...

For reasons I've never, never understood, the Philadeldelhia area has no decent zen teacher. It is also a relatively affordable place.

Anonymous said...

"I once spent a year in Philadelphia, I think it was on a Sunday." - WC Fields

Anonymous said...

Last week, I went to Philadelphia, but it was closed..

Smoggyrob said...

Hi everyone:

Brad, you bastard. Can't afford to live in LA? No, LA has more poor people (and their apartments) than most places have people. Can't afford to live on the west side near Beverly Hills, that's more like it. You just need to learn to make the mental adjustment from "Wow, that's a lot of graffiti!" to "It ain't got much graffiti on it."

We're just going to have to hire an actor to play you and keep sitting at HSC. Cuz' that's how we roll in LA.

Rob

Anonymous said...

common smoggy.. Brad's a star now.. you can't expect him to live in the hood. sheeit! he's skerd of swarthy types.

Marc said...

Albuquerque. Cheap, beautiful, good hardcore scene, and the food is amazing.

Marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

yo, Brad.


Hmmm. I think you will be fine.

Dave

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

ps, scratch tucson. you like cold once in awhile right? marc mentioned Albuquerque. it snows there in the winter sometimes, and there are definitely 4 seasons.

and new mexico is accurately described: the land of enchantment.

grisom said...

Yaaaay come to Canada! Jules has a good point about Vancouver and Japanese skills. 'S also a lot warmer. But a lot rainier, too. I'd take biting cold over pouring rain any day of the week, personally.

If you're heading for Montréal, here's some info on moving to Québec (slightly more complicated than elsewhere in Canada due to our happy fun identity issues)

Not to discourage you AT ALL (like I said: Yaaaay!), but as the first poster was saying: what is it that makes you want to move to Canada?

Anonymous said...

I haven't wanted a job so much as I wanted people to pay me for work I do.
I like to work. I work well and I work with full attentiveness.
I work when I'm on a job. Jobs are about more than just working, though. Jobs involve intra office politics, I also am not ambitious--the bureaucratic ladder is no place I want to climb--
just let me work, please. Pay me decently for my work--by that, I mean a living wage--one I can afford to pay rent, eat, pay for car, car insurance, etc.
I don't have much left over--which isn't a smart situation....
I think it is excellent to be buddhist and be in the working world. I think it is superbly excellent to be a zen teacher and be in the working world.
I have more to say but I'm shot, after some shut eye, I'll have another go.
>>cowpie

the lanai guy said...

Go for Montreal. World class city. Less desperation than, say, NYC or LA. Lots of colleges and open-minds. Easy to visit the USA. Someone there has to need a eng/jap speaker. And not so French-only these days thanks to the immigrants. A good blended culture. Hockey! Labatt. Poteen. bon chance. (fyi: I live over the line in Vermont)

Anonymous said...

Toronto is a better choice than Montreal. It has the advantage of being only a 5 hour drive from Cleveland if you could call that an advantage. It is NYC in 1960. Come to Toronto..

Anonymous said...

Take some estrogen, grow your hair, put on some makeup and hot pants and start walking Santa Monica boulevard. That may not fit into right livelihood though.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dim said...

I love the face Johnny Rotten makes in that scene.

Charles Blair said...

Please consider Chicago. Better weather than Montreal (not much better, but still). Midwest, like Ohio (if that means anything).

Anonymous said...

I can certainly say that Louisville, KY offers cheap living and is a pretty rad place to live, if I do say so myself.

Good luck with where ever you go and whatever you end up doing.

Go on said...

Flyswim

Linda said...

Dear Brad,
I can give you 15 reasons to move to Montreal.
1) We need an English-speaking Soto Zen teacher. There are two major English Rinzai teachers, Albert Low, author and dharma heir to Philip Kapleau, and Myokyo, representative of Sosaki Roshi of famed Baldy Mountain. However, Montreal is an important city in Zen as Thich Nhat Hanh opened a Zendo in the city and a retreat, monastery called Maple Village outside Montreal. The problem with Thich Nhat Hanh’s followers (not him) is that they don’t believe Zazen is essential to living an awakened life.
2) Montreal is the cheapest city in Canada and the US to live in terms of rent and electricity. We have many funky second hand stores because of the large student populations.
3) Montreal is a city of higher learning that rivals Boston. There are four major universities and twelve junior colleges. Of course, you know some of this as you came to McGill University to speak on August 30, 2007. I was there. I believe I was the only person who asked you to sign my copies of your books. Blonde and blue hair? Mentioned Joko Beck? OK. You don’t remember.
4) Montreal is an open-minded multi-ethnic cosmopolitan city. It is very different from the towns and villages in rural Quebec. For example, I teach at Dawson College and a research project determined that we had students who spoke 56 different languages.
5) Although French is the official language, you can get by in English. Many of my friends from the rest of Canada and the US live and work in Montreal. You also seem to have a gift for languages, so you probably won’t have a problem.
6) Montreal is alive in terms of underground, fringe culture in both languages. There are many other kinds of free events as well, such as those associated with the Jazz Festival, African Festival, and Just for Laughs Festival [etc.]. People don’t need a lot of money to have fun in Montreal or participate in cultural and artistic events.
7) Montreal is a safe city. As many as 100,000 people gather for the big blow out show given during the Jazz Festival without any major incidents.
8) We are challenging the world in film FX. Think 300, Across the Universe and Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. OK. Nothing great but this is the fasting growing industry in the city. With your background you should be able to find work.
9) I will admit that doctors and professors from foreign countries have trouble getting work visas in their areas of expertise. I’m not proud of the fact that many taxi-drivers in Montreal were professionals in their home countries. [It does make for very interesting cab rides.] Recently, the Quebec Government promised to change the procedures for foreign doctors to get their licenses. Despite this disgrace, it is easier for ordinary people to get work visas here than to get an American Green Card in the States.
10) Our economy is doing very well. Montreal is in a boom.
11) We have the largest underground city in the world with a great subway system. This means that during the winter you can avoid the outdoors.
12) We are a small city about the size of San Diego but we’re not nearly as parochial given our “savoir faire.” The English speaking community in Montreal is equal to the size of many Canadian cities. We have our own hospitals, schools, newspapers, radio and television stations. However, participating in French culture is exciting. Think of the influences that created New Orleans and Paris. Quebec is a tiny corner of America that maintained and developed its own language and culture. Quebec French is unique. There is no place like this in the world.
13) If city life gets to be too much, Montrealers are minutes away from forests and wildlife by either bus or car.
14) Canadians are a peaceful people, especially in Quebec where we would rather make love than go to war. Canada doesn’t have any nuclear weapons.
15) We are close to the American border and a long weekend in New York is cheap, especially if you get a college or university trip, which won’t be a problem for you because you know me. [Ha-ha.] New York is an overnight bus ride.
Appreciation,
Linda

nw said...

Austin, TX is a great little town. It's warm (although humid), liberal but not annoyingly so, there are a lot of vegetarians (and places that are interested in appealing to them), lots of music of various stripes, a few universities, lots of undeveloped recreational land that runs through the middle of town (rock climbing or a swim in the creek is a 10 minute drive from downtown), a decent economy including a local film industry, and a bunch of interesting, fun, really friendly folks.

It's not the cheapest place in the world, but definitely not the most expensive. To give you an idea, you can buy a house (depending on where you look and whether you'd go for a nearby suburb) for anywhere from $100-300k. On the other side of the coin, a one-bdrm condo for $50-60k is not unrealistic. Dunno about rents, but I'm sure you could poke around http://austin.craigslist.org/. From a cost of living vs. quality of life perspective, though, it's a total bargain.

Basically, there's no one single thing that it totally excels at, but it's really good at just about everything. And it's really good in a warm kind of way that's somehow both funky and down-to-earth. I mean, obviously I'm biased. But then, the reason I'm biased is because it made me totally fall in love with it. It's just a really nice place to live a life.

XingYi Man said...

"14) Canadians are a peaceful people, ... "

Unless you're a Polish man at an airpot.

mariejke said...

Please become an advice columnist.

Pirooz M. Kalayeh said...

Hi Brad,

We sat together in L.A. a year ago or so. You showed me your comic book. Then we ate organic apples together.

I was working as a Producer in Hollywood at the time. Then my friend told me about teaching English in Korea.

This is not like the JET Program. I work in a legitimate University. They require a Master's Degree, but I could pull some strings to get you in here.

That's one possibility. Aside from that, I would say there are really inexpensive cities in America to live, like Portland and Newark, Delaware. Rent in Delaware is like $400/month, and there's no taxes.
I think you might like Portland better though. I have no idea.

Anyway, that's my two cents. I hope things are going well for you.

Best,

Pirooz

zenkrak said...

It is in our nature to almost always want to be somewhere else. No matter where you are there is someplace better and someplace worse and they are all really the same.

People will be the same every place that you go. There will just be more or less of them.

It is all what we can make of it, or at least that is what I try to do.

I am in Charleston, SC which is a place that could use a good visit. I might even could get you some bookstore appearances with the chain that I work for. We have stores all over the place.

From another formerly Northest Ohio (Cuyahoga Falls) boy,

Zenkrak aka. Sean

Arturo said...

How about Orlando, Fl, Brad? There wasn't a Zen vibe three years ago when I lived there. You could think of it as an opportunity to establish a group from the ground up. There were meditators in town, but no zendo presence that I could find. The same for Miami. You may consider Florida as a market to tap for Buddhism.
Cheers, A

Jason said...

I've noticed a number of bands posting "looking for a good bassist" on their myspace pages in Detroit. Apparently there is a lack of bass players in town these days.

Unfortunately, I can't offer any suggestions on paying jobs that you could live off of here. But I hear we have a couple of nice Zen centers...

Anonymous said...

phoenix! yeah!

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