This whole ‘Relaxing Zen Garden’ thing is really wiggin’ me out.

Hi.

Sorry to be so tense. It’s this “Relaxing Zen Garden” that Steve got me for my birthday. Here, I’ll show you.

See? It’s this wooden frame that sits on my desk, and it’s filled with this layer of finely ground quartz that looks like sparkly white sand. You’re given a couple of tools to sculpt the sand – they look like a pair of tiny rakes – and little stones to put in there.

Yah, I didn’t understand it at first either, but Steve said he got it for me because I would be so TENSE after playing PS2 for a couple hours. Usually while playing SOCOM Navy Seals, I mean, you just … graaah … you just … MOVE the analog stick just a TINY bit and your CROSSHAIRS they JERK RIGHT OVER THE GUY’S HEAD and then YOU GET SHOT AND NYYYAARRGGG … Focus, focus, keep it together … whew …

Yah anyways Steve figured the little rock garden would help lower my blood pressure and soothe me after the PS2 got my neck veins all riled up. That’s cool. I like the Eastern outlook on life, you know, Asian philosophy. Very tranquil, ephemeral, introspective … as a Westerner, I’m far too focused on KICKING SOMEONE’S ASS.

So, I bust out with the rock garden, right? And at first I can’t figure out what the goal is, like, “How do I put this together? How do I win?” So I read the manual, which is probably like what Zen monks do. Here’s the deal: the raked sand can represent water and the rocks could be like, “islands in a tranquil sea” or something. You’re supposed to always rake toward you, to keep a rhythm, calm and soothing. Oh, oh! And you’re not supposed to put the rocks in symmetrical patterns; they’re supposed to be arranged in odd-numbered groups.

So right away I’m like, “BAM!” and I rake the sand and put the rocks in and I’m shouting, “0WNED!” I Zenned the CRAP out of those stones, bay-bee. But I’m thinking … dude, you’re attacking this like a westerner. You just gotta GO with the FLOW. You don’t really win or lose, you just gotta … be the rocks, or some Zen crap.

So I get upset, because, I think I’m doing it wrong. So I decide to just “feel” it, you know, to just get my garden on. And I’m raking away, and I decide to, like, rake a cool border around the outside edge. But then I’m like, DUDE! You’re not supposed to have BORDERS man you’re supposed to FEEL THE FRICKIN’ FLOW! I was totally doing it WRONG. So I raked the sand out again, and then I thought, MAN, this whole obsession with doing it “RIGHT” is totally western. So I’m doin’ THAT wrong, too.

This stupid garden is OWNING me!

Steve came in later that afternoon and found me hunched over the garden beating my fists on the desk yelling at the rocks to be more tranquil.


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No no NO!! There’s a SYMETRICAL CLUSTER OF STONES! Oh for the love of … LISTEN YOU HONKY ROCK BITCHES, FLOW! FLOW DAMN YOU FLOW!!!


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