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01 October 2006

Wake Up Call: Advice Column by Dr. Noah Talle

Dr. Noah Talle has been extensively published and lauded, mostly in University. He offers his unique brand of irreproachable advice in a regular column exclusive to

October 01, 2006


I have plenty to be thankful for.

For starters, a long sabbatical. I'd like to apologize to my three friends, and thousands of friends and readers across North America and around the world. (Perhaps if that number were in the millions, I wouldn't haveindulged so freely!) I had a very nice time sleeping on straw beds, eating food simple enough for a goat, and looking forward, each morning at 4:30, to the rooster next door to my shanty crowing the day in next to my ear. I am thankful. It was a great personal-improvement getaway at Wat Phu Champasak temple, in southern Laos.

Laoatians look soulful in their work, walks, and smiles, and when they take your money up front for lodging and classes, they do it with the same lack of fanfare as when they indoctrinate all their guests into the traditional practice of dress-wearing. (Although, the other guests weren't as open to this tradition.) It was a pleasure, though, to practice 21 days of meditative silence, three weeks of Taoist Testicular Kung-fu, and take a 116-Day traditional Laoatian leather wristband making class, which seemed to drag on towards the end. I inscribed "Harley Davidson" in Henna-dyed cricket's legs, sewn into yak leather for my dear, dear friend, Mickey Rourke. (Unfortunately, I forgot he was actually, The Marlboro Man in "Harley Davidson & The
Marlboro Man", I later learned. He accepted it with his customary smirk. And after all my work, and the teacher's annoyance, at my picking the legs off about 70 live crickets.... Something about Karma, she said.) Anyway, it shows that even the most heartfelt efforts may result in unintended consequences. I learned not to be attached to the outcome of my actions, for which I am as thankful, as I'm sure are the crickets, whose innocent inspiration they gave me hopefully sees them reincarnated in another dimension, hopefully as leather wristband workshop assistant crickets again. They were very helpful.

So now, refreshed, I feel ready to sink the depressing diaspora of problems buoyed in your sargass-ego seas. It's going to be tough. I've been through a lot of the letters, and getting back to as many of you as I can.

In the meantime, hold on, and remember: your problems aren't anything that major climactic shifts won't put an abrupt end to. Remembering that always makes me feel better. You too? I thought so. What better reason to have a Happy Thanksgiving?

Dr. N.