Tonight, May 12, 2011 (Thu) at 7:30 pm I'll be speaking at Against The Stream 4300 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA. I'll talk about Buddhism and Dogen and sex and zen and the Three Stooges. So be there!
On Saturday May 14 there's a Zen and Yoga one-day sesshin at the Hill Street Center 237 Hill Street in Santa Monica, CA. This will be led by Nina Snow. Nina's one of my closest friends and an experienced Yoga teacher and Zen practitioner. She'll lead a one-hour Yoga session suitable for all levels of experience at the beginning of the day (10 am) followed by zazen until around 3:30 pm. I'm going to see if I can make it. I'm not sure at this point.
Why am I not sure if I can make it? Glad you asked! It's because on Saturday I am filming scenes for the movie Shoplifting From American Apparel, in which I am arguably playing the main character. I say arguably because the character I'm playing, author Tao Lin, is being played by no fewer than three people, of whom I am one. This will be a very fun and funny and weird movie. If my scenes finish early enough and if I can get a ride out to Santa Monica, I'll be at Hill Street Center before things wrap up there. If not I won't.
My talk on Tuesday at the Ventura Buddhist Temple was a whole big bunch of fun. I thought it came out pretty well. The folks in Ventura are always a good audience. They participate actively in the discussion, which is what I always look for.
And it was a gas for me because someone brought along a printed copy of my new/old book Death To All Monsters! for me to sign. That was the first time.
For those who don't know, Death To All Monsters! was my first novel. It was completed in 1998 when I lived in Japan and worked for Tsuburaya Productions. The book is available as a download or print-on-demand at the following websites:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/BradWarner (print-on-demand available only here)
http://tiny.cc/g38eg (Barnes & Noble)
The downloadable e-book is only a mere $5! How can you pass up a bargain like that? The answer is you cannot.
Here's what the book is about:
When Bob Morningstar started working for Nakajima Productions, Tokyo's leading producer of trashy man-in-a-rubber-costume monster-on-the-loose movies he had no idea the job would involve danger, international espionage and the possible destruction of all life on planet Earth. Bob has a problem. It seems he sent Death To All Monsters, the legendary “lost” film starring Gorezolla, Emperor of Monsters, to Shanghai by mistake.
What’s the big deal? Death To All Monsters, like every other Nakajima Productions movie, is a juvenile fantasy about the giant monster Gorezolla battling it out with one of his warty rubber enemies. But it’s a very big deal to Bob’s boss, Junichi “Jackie” Satsuma, chain-smoking, dirty joking veteran of the Japanese Imperial Army who treats the only surviving print of the legendary “lost film” like it was the sort of classified document he used to deal with during the war against the Yankee pigs. And it’s a big deal to the Joe Tortelli, president and CEO of Great Destruction Productions, Nakajima Productions’ LA based US distribution arm, a man with shady connections to the secret services. And it’s a matter of major importance to Charlie Lo, thoroughly sleazy self-styled Ted Turner of Hong Kong in whose hands the missing movie has mysteriously ended up. How exactly did that happen? Could it have anything to do with BJ Cheng, Nakajima Productions’ “China expert” who seems to spend most of his workday doing the Japan Times’ crossword puzzle? What’s his relationship with Charlie Lo, anyway? And just what is in this movie that makes it so damned valuable to everybody?
As if that’s not enough, Bob’s girlfriend Keiko is kidnapped by a couple of half-crazed monster fans. Their demands are simple; release Death To All Monsters to people of the world, all of whom are dying for a glimpse of this classic piece of Japanese trash science fiction. Then there’s the little matter of Bob’s close encounters with a certain “alien being” who just happens to resemble a man in a cheap rubber costume. The alien tells Bob that Death To All Monsters contains secrets of cosmic importance, secrets that could lead to mankind’s total destruction.
Now Bob must undertake a journey through the wilds of Hollywood, the jungles of Tokyo, the mazes of Hong Kong and the slums of Calcutta to get the movie back and save his girlfriend… Or die trying.
It's fiction. But it's all true.