I got a fortune (cookie) tonight which read:

"Golden hours are coming to you."

To 99% of the folks receiving this fortune, it must seem like a generic omen of good luck. But to me it is special. Why? I'm glad you asked.

I've been writing and playing music again this year. Faith No More wrote a song whose lyrics consisted entirely of cookie fortunes. So will this fortune become part of a song? No. Because it is already the answer to a song which was authored and played in a basement on Rivington Street a decade ago. The song in question is called Long Run. The chorus asks:

"When does the long run kick in? When does the golden hour begin?"

As you can see, I took this as more of a name brand omen of good fortune. Sort of the Xerox of fortune cookies. So what sort of golden hours are we talking about? Does it mean that I've finally put together the band that I really want to be playing in and recording with? Does it mean that I'm finally going to get that absurd run of luck at the poker tables that evens out all of the bad beats I've incurred over my career? Does it mean all encompassing happiness through every aspect of my life?

Hell, I don't know. But combined with winter winding down (goodbye February), it sure made me smile.


So I've mentioned that I'm mildly manic-depressive. Not the clinical lithium taking kind (although Lithium is my favorite Nirvana song, and all I can remember of chemistry is that lithium burns hot pink). Rather, I'm the sort of manic-depressive which I suppose all artists are. Periods of creative productivity and unbearable optimism alternate with periods of apathetic ineptitude. Well, that's how it feels, anyway. The truth is rarely so dramatic.

February has long been my least favorite month of the year. I suppose I'm lucky, since it's also the shortest. January typically starts off with some renewed promise - not resolutions per se, but that's the gist. But by the time February is drawing to a close, enthusiasm wears thin and I become quite sick of the cold. It's like Tuesday. Most people hate Monday because they're returning to work, but I always hated Tuesday. The second day of drudgery is worse than the first.

Or maybe it's just because my father died on a Tuesday in February, exactly twenty-two years ago on a sunny day like today. But if I inherited my dark sense of humor from my mom, my unyielding optimism surely comes from my dad. Having a day to codify the darkness gives me a starting point to renew the light.

But light and dark sounds so trite. I'd rather think of life in terms of waves. In the ocean, waves can carry you out to sea or back to shore. In life you can surf the waves and make the most of both the ups and the downs. There will always be good days and bad days. But to learn something from the bad days and make the most out of the good days... well, that sort of makes them all good days.

No Fortune

I'm sitting at home sharing vegetarian Chinese takeout with my girlfriend. I've got some buckwheat noodles in spicy peanut sauce and veggie kung-pao. She's got some veggie chow fun. The food's good, but then we break open the fortune cookies. Hers says something about travelling for business and pleasure, which is amusing since we spent last night discussing travel plans. I open my cookie. No fortune.

I stare my empty cookie. She comes over and asks what my fortune is. "That's not a good sign," she says. Is it? Is this because I'm not watching the Super Bowl? I've become a conscientious objector in the wars of the gridiron. But I don't think that's it.

I prefer to regard my cookie as a koan. The future's unwritten. It's up to me to make my own fortune. Meaning is not something you look for but something you find. Or is it vice versa? Either way, I'll go finish my kung-pao now.