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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Who's Bad?




ugly halloween dog



I drove into the city this morning and was greeted by Michael Jackson Thriller playing on the radio. Ah...a landmark in time for us old people. Well its that time of the year again where some begin to draw their odd battle lines. It's Halloween or its Harvest Festival or whatever.... People love to dress up as something or someone else. Rarely do you see anyone come to a Halloween party as themselves or even as their best friends....why?


We need the absense of information that we can only get from a fantasy or a stranger. That's whats so nice about being someone else; you dont know them; hence, anything goes! Some say its like being drunk; its a built in excuse for all the things you didnt have the carrots to bite off before. Let's face it. Most of us are just Clark Kents without a Superman day job. Sad kinda. But imagine the burden of being Superman all the time ....whew!


Some of the good things about Halloween include watching the little kiddies come by in their little costumes. Its also a good chance to chat with the neighbors or at least see what they look like. Candy...well, that goes without saying. Dress up and costumes; got no beef with that either. I dont know what I will do tonite; but I am leaning toward locking the doors, killing the lights and spending some Halloween with my wifey...but she will probably want to see the little ones and their little costumes. Either way, its good for me.

michael myers


The one other noteable thing is the scary movies! We LOVE terror or at least watching someone else's terror. Aside from all the classics that will be on all week; you can even venture out to haunted houses or in Nashville, they have haunted tours where you can go hear ghost stories and visit "haunted" residences. That sounds like fun. I think I want to vacation in a haunted house or at least actually see a haunting....but thats just me. Whatever is what, make it safe, keep it safe and help everyone to see the day after alive.





Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Seeing What We Say Happen

Words of Action




You have heard many times that words have power. Today's blog is a reflection from a not-so-easy discussion I had this weekend. My aim was to help two people who obviously care about each other to get beyond what and how they've always viewed life and themselves. I have no idea if I was successful. The proof will be in the pudding. I have witnessed the power of old words and labels slapped on people at young ages. They tend to stick around a while...maybe even til death. It never ceases to occur that ehe words "always" or "never" also come up in these conversations. It's really easy as an adult to let past failures or hurts rob us of trust, happiness, peace and even self esteem.


How do you change what you've always done for 10, 20, 50 years? Do you ever get too old to look at something a different way or change your own reactions to the same situations? The answer is NO; but its much easier said than done. My father has said many times, "your word is only good if you live it." As I grow older, it seems harder to find those who will actually do what they say or understand the value of not saying if you MAY not do. SO when I do encounter one; I tend to listen, watch and figure out how to stay around such individuals. Anyway, it was a slightly tough conversation in that I knew it had to be gentle but direct and somewhat defiant to even be received. My only credit with this individual is my life and my word. At some point, I finally had to leave it at the realization that what I am saying may not make sense; but trust me. That sounds cavalier; but I do take my word very seriously (good or bad) and those who know me; know that to be true.


How does the past trap us? Is it really "them" or is it a cleaverly disguised "us?" Do these things only happen to us or do they "only" happen when we are involved? Strong questions; scarey answers! Sure, there will be those that you just stay away from, cut, completely disassociate with for all the right or wrong reasons. That happens. But these questions still have merrit in every situation.


I am always encouraged by old people who are still bold, secure and happy enuf to change. Someone once said (perhaps Mahammed Ali) "you can tell how old someone is by how hard they resist change." I dont mind getting old so long as I can stay young at heart and not too wise to listen and learn or consider a new idea. In this conversation, it helped to point out the things that were already "confirmation" that things "always" done or said from the past were not true. Kill the negative self-talk; or it will kill you. I hope he heard my sincerity and love in my less-than-adequate words. To love something is to be willing to be hurt by it and keep coming back. I couldnt leave without expressing my proudness and commitment.


Seeds are planted everyday by our thoughts, words and deeds. The environment of our lives allow them to grow or die and to pass along that same attribute to whatever we pass near. Some days are certainly better than others; but I sure hope you see what I am saying. SOMEBODY you already know or have always known probably needs your smile today, your pat on the back, that easy nod or handshake that turns the tide. Don't be shy and don't be self-absorbed. Yes, its scarey and may not turn out like you wanted; but its worth it everytime not to be afraid of the next time. Here are some great quotes about words and whom they were uttered by:


Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs. --Pearl Strachan


Speech is the mirror of the soul; as a man speaks, so he is. --Publilius Syrus


Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. –Jesus Christ


Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. – Plato


Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness. --Margaret Millar


After all is said and done, more is said than done. --Unknown


The words we say will teach if we practice what we preach. --Unknown


Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. --Ambrose Bierce


Of those who say nothing, few are silent. --Thomas Neiel


The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? --
Ecclesiastes 6:11


Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. --Buddha


If you think little of a person, you ought to say as little as you think. –Benjamin Franklin


The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.--Harriet Beecher Stowe


When deeds and words are in accord, the whole world is transformed.
Chuang Tzu


It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.
Thomas Jefferson


Well done is better than well said.  ~Benjamin Franklin


An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.  ~Arnold Glasow


Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.  ~Peter Marshall


Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.  You may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg.  ~Author Unknown


Don't find fault.  Find a remedy.  ~Henry Ford


Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now.  ~Jonatan MÃ¥rtensson


As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say.  I just watch what they do.  ~Andrew Carnegie


People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.  ~Lewis Cass


"Sometimes our actions are much more meaningful than words. A hug can sometimes express more than our words will ever express. Sometimes, just being there to listen is more meaningful and helpful to people." Catherine Pulsifer


"What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say." Ralph Waldo Emerson



I look forward to aging everyday. I look forward to learning something new, meeting new people and sometimes, changing what I used to think. Like the heavy fog on the morning commute; our lives emerge from ourselves into a more clear image of making what we intended closer to what we did. Just think of the last week. Did you say anything that you have seen happen or maybe you didnt realize it til now; but yes, it did! Then why not more....





Friday, October 26, 2007

Cup of Silence with a plate of Fiday Fixin's!




Cozy Blanket





It was another Friday like most others. Nashville was rainy and the temperature was definitely fall. I sped down the highway, glaring at the slowpokes in the wrong lane going 30mph as I slipped around each of them like the disgarded thoughts of yesterday. The warm caress of the night before still wrapped around my mind. It was quite inside my vehicle. The silence was a thick plush oversized towel fresh from the laundry; yeah the one you hold to your face breathing in the warmth and the freshness. I wrapped it around me and cast the end over my shoulder. The red lights were like connect the dots as I moved in and out of lanes, avoiding their future decisions. I thought about music, CD's, radio; some kind of noise; but the silence was loud enough. It was my white chocolate mocha extra hot and I sipped it sparingly, wanting it to last the entire journey. It's been a long week; not good or bad, "just." That's ok, it gives my other sides time to come out and play in the dismal. Its a beautiful dismal; the temperature requires layers; just like the requirements of life. Layers upon layers upon layers protecting cores far more delicate than the tender skin of young grapes. This day is half over and I could still be swaying for all I care.


Life is good; so I drink most of it and jar the rest for a day the dismal is disdained. The sun shines and so the moon reflects; that is the order of things. Good days don't last always; but neither do the bad. This weekend is the Lynchburg Bar-B-Que Cookoff. There will be people from everywhere! If you know me, you know I am no "health food nut;" so I would really love to be there. Great cooks from all over the world come to sample the richness of the diverse ways of preparing this tasty southern treat. Wish I was going to be there to tell you about it later. But how much can one bloodstream take? All is good; and I am counting the moments back to my next warm hug. I am sure it will be a great weeknd full of its own desserts!


Speaking of food; its also Friday Fixin's and today is none other! I like foods that just work--tastes good, not too much hassel to make and everybody loves it; you know, a win-win for everybody. Try this one and don't get mad at your gums for holding your teeth back!



FRIDAY FIXIN's!



Apple Baked Pork Chops




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APPLE BAKED PORK CHOPS WITH SHERRY

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INGREDIENTS:
6 boneless pork chops
3 large apples - peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
1 pinch each of salt and pepper
1/2 cup dry sherry

DIRECTIONS:
In a large skillet, brown chops, about 2 minutes each side;
reserve. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange apple slices
in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle with brown
sugar and cinnamon. Dot with butter or margarine. Top with
browned pork chops and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour sherry over all, cover and bake in the preheated oven
for 1 hour or until tender and internal temperature of pork
has reached 160 degrees.

Yield: 6 Servings BUT if you dont like pork, this works really well with meatballs or hamburgers! Ingredients are never the destination; just the path.




Enjoy your weekend. Every moment of life is a gift...unwrap fully!



Thursday, October 25, 2007

Autumn Mornings Bring Shivering Snuggles






It was a beautiful sunrise this incredible autumn day. The contrast in the sky and leaves verify the passing of summer and usher in the fall colors that soon yield to winter. Its a great time of the year. You can wear layers. Go for long walks in the woods along gentle streams. Quality time is not hard to come by in such temperatures. It is odd how easily we look at the clouds and decide that rain is coming. Life is much the same was I suspect. We just choose to not recognize the signs. Soon turkey will be running for their lives trying to hold on to their gobblers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"Sway With Me..."



sway with me



Some memories take away your breath. I still remember our first dance. I remember how time stopped. I remember how in a crowded room there was suddenly only you, the music and our heartbeat. I use the singular of heartbeat because there was only one. I dont remember breathing. I remember not needing air. I remember measuring the suduction of your sway, the way the music melted into your hips. You told me that you weren't good at following...I laughed, cause I was good at both. I followed, chasing my heart; not knowing where I might end up; but I wasn't going to shrink back now. I had to go the distance. I was trained to succeed, born to survive, capable of soaring with strength to carry cargo; but I only "needed" one. Here it was. I didnt understand how or why and sometimes I still don't. The catapillar doesn't know how it walks; it just does. So am I, happily trapped with energies I don't have reasons for but gratefully enjoy.

In the moment of the sway, everything else was devoured; even my need of myself. Secure as a mother's embrace, warm as home, "I" vanished as I watched the reflection of us. Then I knew I would never forget this moment when the atoms and I made eye contact and nothing else mattered. My purpose would never be denied. Two years of hunting and studying swayed away a lifetime of obstacles and here we are five years later still swaying. Baby, sway with me. This is the a beautiful song that has your hips tired from dancing in my mind all day.... It's been covered by many; but here are two of my favorites:




Dean Martin is one of the great voices and the future tends to use the milk of the past.




But the New Jack knows how to spin the generations of time to its own hip. Behold the PussyCat Dolls version...




But if you don't dig video, the words will simply do quite well.



Sway

When marimba rhythms start to play
Dance with me, make me sway
Like a lazy ocean hugs the shore
Hold me close, sway me more



Like a flower bending in the breeze
Bend with me, sway with ease
When we dance you have a way with me
Stay with me, sway with me



Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have the magic technique
When we sway I go weak



I can hear the sound of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now



Other dancers may be on the floor
Dear, but my eyes will see only you
Only you have the magic technique
When we sway I go weak



I can hear the sound of violins
Long before it begins
Make me thrill as only you know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now
You know how
Sway me smooth, sway me now





Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Idiot Sexy; Climatic Gloom

road rage

"Sugar Free Gummy Bears!"




It is raining here steadily...in fact; heavily. It never ceases to irritate or bewilder me how some are determined NOT to arrive at their destination. What can possibly be gained from zigging in and out of heavy rain rush hour traffic? We are all on the same road and unless your vehicle hovers; all I see ahead is an ozone-killing parking lot machine....nobody's moving! So where do you think you're going? ....Right up the backend of the car that just stopped in front of you. You might have noticed it if the makeup pencil had been in the other eye and your cigarette had been in the tray. Thank goodness you had your cellphone on speaker. Shame about the coffee. Dashboard needed cleaning anyway. Meanwhile, don't get out of the car...nobody can see you if you dont look at them.

road rage

"Can you hear me now?"



Its clear that police and moticians will never be jobless; just overwhelmed. We speed to our ends from birth. That is the nature of humans. They want to be where they aren't, they want what they can't or don't have and pretend to be somebody else. The good news (at least for the market) is that there is a ton of money to be made from our natures and companies are racking up. Forget all the creeds about protecting and serving the public; that only true from the standpoint of "would you like a silver or a gold platter." The value of things has become how fast can I have what I want, not how well is it made or will it hurt someone else. So what....you're probably right....people want what they want, even if they slowly strangle themselves to death with a golden rope. We all know that smoking kills; but hey, EVERYBODY dies from something!

But you can focus on better things...like improving your life since you're checking out anyway.

Ahh...its a fantasticly dreary day. The sun is locked away behind the thick cloudy bars. Gloom is served at every corner of the sky on a dismal platter. Its a beautiful darkness, isnt it. It was the perfect morning to just stay warm and cozy in bed; but we didn't. There are things we want, things we intend to keep...so we keep going...speeding away until. We're gifted to be so oddly normal.




Friday, October 19, 2007

Yellow Nightmares and Friday Fixins!




bus mitosis



I was behind a school bus this morning at the crack of dawn and it took me too far back...trapped between must and can't. For some of you, this will give you the same flashback. It's one of those "Ramen Noodles" transporters — those words or phrases that immediately conote a completely similar time full of hopes, fears and perceptions. Its a symbol for those magicly shared growing up times that dont even require description when spoken to the right people.

I can remember surviving in college on $20 a week and Ramen Noodles. I couldnt dream of it now. Is it only because I dont have to? Hmmm. It seemed pretty easy too back then. Anyway, on to the Yellow Monster Tales.


school bus blues


HHHRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNNN....HRRRNNNNNN... (tip: sound effects really help tell a story)
It bellowed and wobbled down the gravel road, waking the sun and the neighbors as it cruddled along, missing no potholes. WHEEEZZZST! it would squeak to a stop just before its glass jaws would spring open with a cool gust on a young morning face, terrified of what came next. Its what always came next. Some days were better than others; but most were blahhhhhh. The insistent eyes of the bus driver forced you to take the first step long before you were ready. Your ears could already hear what you would soon come face to face with. The sound of your footsteps echoing inside your mind like lead bricks being dropped on a thin layer of cheap rubber over cold steel as your heartbeat competes to be heard first. You notice the cold bar that helps you steady your climb just before your last private second of clearing the little half-wall before you are "on the runway." It's a tiny little passage you shuffle down. But make no mistake! Whatever is going on is NOT more important than ignoring the person flailing about that doesn't have a seat yet. Nothing is more important than the casual, but intentional verbal pebbles slung your desperate way. Your ears catch them all; your mind and eyes try to ignore everything for that one break of compassion, mercy or maybe even luck that some seat has magicly been preserved just for you. There are no warm fuzzy looks staring back into your eyes; only irritated people as you attempt to stop at every possibility. Finally someone angrily moves their stuff over so you can take a seat...not that the bus has been waiting still all this time; you've been swaying left and right, forward and backward for at least 2 minutes as the jeers crowd into your exhausted and embarrassed mind. But sitting is not the end of the treat......but that's another Yellow Monster Tale...


Its funny now...well, slightly. Was it the red and yellow lights that triggered the memories? The big red stop sign that opens like a greedy coffin? Does it carry over later to police lights? Was it the bright yellow cage sillohetted against the dark morning dawn? Maybe it was the look on the nerdish kid's face I could see even in very little light. I knew what he felt like. I had been him in the past and sometimes him in the future. I knew his oddness would spotlight him once the steps were cleared. I knew the thick glasses and ackward walk would sit him apart from the crowd. Even his sister's beauty would only be a curse. We won't even talk about how it feels being left by the school bus.......

The bus was nearly invisible around the curve ahead by the time I blinked back into the present. Luckily noone else was behind me or a sharp horn would have smacked me back to the future. Oh yeah....the good ole days.


Oh well...on to something better! Its Friday Fixin's and I LOVE pecans! I can also appreciate a little chocolate. You're gonna love this!


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RECIPE: CHOCOLATE PECAN SQUARES

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pecan chocolate squares




INGREDIENTS: Base:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Topping:
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup corn syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup pecans
1 cup chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Base: Combine butter and egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Add flour and powdered sugar. Press into a greased 8 inch square pan. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Topping: In a large bowl, beat eggs until slightly foamy. Combine brown sugar, flour, and salt. Stir into the eggs until blended. Beat in the corn syrup and lemon juice. Stir in the pecans and chocolate chips. Spread over the base. Bake at 350 degrees. for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is set and the edges are browned. Cut into squares when cold. Hey don't forget the ice cream! Have a great weekend!



Thursday, October 18, 2007

Silent Noise

Dyson Vacuuming in Style

You won't believe what I am thinking about doing...



Its one of my 2 favorite household things to do. It stops all the other noises and creates a thick blanket of sound that equals that of a soft lullabye. I dont think its genetic; but all my brothers and their sons seem to love it. [No...we aint no pansies either. ] It is as engaging as watching a skilled ballet or being devoured by the mystery of fish watching. We LOVE to VACUUM! Each move is calmly and calmingly calculated. The motion is smooth as the eyes approve the clean trail remaining. It is a smooth stoke that propels the vaccum cleaner in a seductively slow and effortless path. It cannot be rushed; the carpet knows and so do the eyes. Absolutely theraputic! (The one gadget I dont have but badly want; even worse, I know the commercial by heart) The Dyson; is it really as good as they say????

dyson vacuum
I am captivated by its bagless wonders, how it smoothly corners and multifunctions for every nook and cranny! ...and the beautiful noise.....What a machine.
I want it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ahoy...into the week!



Doggy In Boat



Well welcome to Monday. Great and fantastic weekend full of bloggables....more to come. Anyway, my Monday is floating along in undisturbed and noninteresting waters. In fact, no navigation is required. The water knows the way.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Hip2Flip Friday with some Friday Fixin's!






As truth would have it, everything is connected. When I went to my usual elixer hangout, I needed information. Where can a guy get some cool threads close to here without robbing the bank? Of course, they all replied "Flip IT!" It turns out that I had seen the logo on my way to Sonic several times (great logo design...props to whomever). So I went. The guy I was looking for wasnt there; but Mark took great care of me. I was more than impressed by his professionalism and patience. He rattled off more name brands than I have friends. Not only were the ladies correct but what a selection...everything from mega power suits to homegrown throwdown G'ed up get down. (ok...no I am not sure that means anything in cool urban; but you catch my drift.) So off to the dressing room with loads of stuff. Did I mention shoes? OH!!!! (ok...too deep to get into) Absolutely not enough hours in a lunch to do the place justice. Needless to say, I left looking better than I went in. Hip2Flip is definitely my new first stop. Check it out...FLIP! It's Hip to Flip!


Zombies

Anyway, its been a fast and furious week to which I am glad to see an end to. Hopefully I can get some friends over tonite for Taco Soup, Wii and good times. One of my coworkers says The Night of The Living Dead is also coming on tv this weekend....great! The original 60's version is the absolute in carniverous terror! Isn't it funny how you're never scared of just one zombie; but add a couple of hundred zombie friends and you just can't seem to outrun 'em! Sounds like a popcorn and coke night too!
Night of the Living Dead


Alas...on to the Friday Fixin's! In honor of this weekend, let's go with this hassel-free, guaranteed good, multi-tested, slow-cooker recipe; especially great for a cool autumn day/night....taco soup.



Taco Soup

1 can mild chili beans
1 can of pinto beans
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 can of rotel
1 pound of ground beef
1 small pkg of taco seasoning
1 small pkg of ranch dressing
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 bag of Tostidas scoops
Marbled cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. Add ranch and taco seasonings and stir up. Set aside.
Add all cans to crock pot. Do NOT drain the juice from cans. Add ground beef and simmer for 3-4 hrs.

Add soup to dish, garnish with cheese and scoops and eat!

*variations include substituting mesquite flavorings, navy beans, or chili seasonings, Fritos, sauteed mushrooms.





Thursday, October 11, 2007

ReTRACing My Night









Well its been another great adventure! I rolled to a GAC Trace Adkins video concert shoot last night in Lebanon, TN. Of course, I always anticipate a fun time and this one was no different. I picked my woman up at her office and we headed into the fray. Standing in line it was apparent there might not be anyone in my suntan caliber...but thats never stopped me before. This was obviously a big time shoot--by the Moore Casting crew. I must say, they were very professional and proficient with an exquisite eye for detail. There were enough cameras to catch every angle — I am certain the edit company will have no trouble with enough material to cut it all together. I went to a George Strait video which was nice; but not nearly the extreme perfection of the Moore Casting Company. I cant wait to see how it all turns out.

Anyway, to Trace Adkins! Well...hmmm...where to start. Let's start with appearances. The man is in good shape. I don't know his age; but I would guess around upper 40s or early 50s...he sported his country guns and I dare say his legs etc were probably in better shape than the upper. Country boys do some real work. I dont know if he ever hauled hay; but I suspect he could hold his own. Video work is hard work too. Trace has that down home smooth sly grin that attempts to fool you into thinking humble and down to earth simple; but Trace is pretty complicated. He wears his ponytail well even with a big black hat. It was clear to me surrounded by women that they dug his "soul boy" rock moves too. So I have to give it up too...he's smooooth! If his clear bedroom voice doesnt get you, the penetrating eyes might. Now, I would only say such things because I am quite secure in my own.


Now on to the performance! Well, it started off like a rocket and ended like a goodnight lullaby. From "One Hot Momma" to "I Keep On Trying," Trace delivered. He did his fast songs first and the last 3 were nice smooth and slow. I dug it all. I was astounded at how good he was in person vs the CD. I have seen him on GAC and I had wondered how much was made up and what was actual. Well....its actual. Yeah, he's a big bad country boy who seems to care for his life and children. I am sure he will only get better at what he's not good at. The slower songs, "I Keep on Trying," "I Want to Feel Something" and "I Came Here To Live" were magnificiently executed....even acapella. Way to go Trace....just watch your Ps and Qs in Lebanon.



And finally, just my observations.... There was no shortage of folks who had driven a long way. I stood among those who had driven from West Virgina, California and North Carolina. I dont know that I have been that in need to be close to fame. There were definitely some good ole country girls there and very few video vamps which was alright by me. In retrospect, I would have gladly paid for the concert so graciously given free to create a show taping. During the concert, I notice that "we three black people there" gave the silent nod, "hey, glad you're here," as the crowd swayed. It was kind of funny. I also couldnt help but wonder if Trace was thinking the same thing or WTF....that made it even funnier...but a good time was had by all. I remember Trace from "Every Light in the House Is On"...but he's come a long way since then and I am sure he can afford the light bill. The most important part... wifey had a good time.






Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Home Gone Tomatoes!



I was just thinking...about; well....hmmm....how can I put it delicately.....being erased. All these things come in the early morning and sometimes I can get them out then; others, they linger until...



Coming from a small town, you typically can't wait to get out! Move away. The only (and I stress ONLY) reason you come back is to visit your parents and grandparents. But if you live long enuf; they won't. Live that is. When they're all gone; there IS no reason to return. Maybe its just me; but the place called "home" is no longer there. Home becomes redefined as where you are with who you are and what you've got. The equilibrium of time has shifted to more time spent "home" than where you grew up. Hence; home is only home for a bit; then its just a place your memories visit or not. When its all gone; you are left with what you have around you at the time and there you are — in your "own" home.




Imagine being in the hospital or nursing home awaiting your return home; only to discover that what you called home has been long since gone. Home is a special place; but it moves around. Memories tend to solidify its position beyond truth. Thats what we do — violently remember what we want regardless of how it was.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I See You; You See Me





If I saw you seeing me; would we see the same thing when I saw what you were looking at?




Today's blog is spurred by my cohort of pensive postulation, Andy. Friday's blog entitled "Watching Me Watching You" sparks a lot of thought. In fact, I have read it several times. There is something special about hummingbirds...especially when you see them up close and personal. Ironicly, the moment of observation is very similar to how a baby arrests your attention when eye contact is made. At this moment, there is a commercial in my ear from 92.9 about Goodwill asking the question "will I be notice; do you see me?" The funny (odd not ha ha) thing is that we seem to stare into the eyes of things we consider "innocent" hoping that "they" can see some hope in us. Perhaps I am presuming or projecting and its just me thinking these things; but it seems like their eyes go through you. The eyes of animals and babies go beyond the surface; or maybe we just hope that. Maybe they arent thinking anything or certainly no more than we are.

What/why do we want to see good things in others eyes about us? Are we so fragile that we need some constant reassurement particularly from some nonbiased source...some unprejudiced view...some entity that is a part of a bigger world that justifies our presence on the lucky mud? I fear the answer is quitely and humbly "yes." Whether we admit it or not; we want the universe to be on our side. We want its maker to have some special plan just for us. Even worse; maybe we want to be better or different from everybody else. Is there really a chasm between heroes and ordinary people?


What reassures us when we look at ourselves in another's eyes? What is more real...who we are or who people say we are...? Does people's opinion make us stronger/weaker? or Does our "need" for particular opinions weaken our disposition? What are we searching for and will we know it when it's staring right at us?



I love watching people and how they interact. It is one of my favorite passtime. Their expressions when alone or someone walks by and how they move themselves to accomodate comfort all tell a story of the needy human still searching for the ultimate spark of his/her own existence and understanding of the actuality of its DNA. The human is a box of toys the owner doesnt even know exist or how to fully use, much less have an account of all the toys present. We seem to NEED to believe to become empowered to ACT, to DO, to be ABLE to DO. Its also interesting biblically when Jesus asks disciples about who people say he is...
Peter's Confession of Christ (Luke 9)
18 Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?" 19 They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life." 20 "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "The Christ[a] of God." 21 Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. 22And he said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." 23 Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God." ...more references...
Ironicly, no one without faith in who He was got healed. That signifies a critical link between identity and power; between looking and knowing what you see visible or not. Hmmmm...."Jesus Take the Wheel" is now playing in my ear. This blog has already gone its own way. That typically means something is here for someone more important than I.


Are we constantly searching for that encounter that floors us beyond comprehension when ultimate truth and identity collide? Are we constantly in need of that moment when something original looks into our eyes and defines/identifies our secret hidden purposes? Sure, fortune tellers and soothsayers can give you an opinion or glimpse; but when the originator peers into the history of your being; you are frozen in eternity viewing yourself from beginning to beginning...there is no end; only movement from one to another. Then the smoky glass is clear. In unity, we are invincible...even beyond time and space. mind.body.spirit.



Friday, October 05, 2007

Fabulous PIAotic Friday, Fresh With Fixin's!







I watched the sunrise through my rear view mirror, melting across the sky in beautiful warm orange yellow hues, edging the clouds with its dawning touch. It's Friday. I had a fantastic steak the night before with the wifey and friends Tom and Cass at my favorite italian restaurant, Demos. I guess its comforting to know that though I have traveled the country and paid alot for "allegedly" charter house steaks—I STILL prefer Demos. The flavor leaks into your tongue and seduces your brain into thinking its your stomach. What a steak at a sliver of the price of charter house establishments. You can't beat good when its great! I struck out early this morning after a hot shower, slick morning shave and a freshly ironed shirt/tie. I needed loud music with a good beat and open highways and thats what I found. Between the Jack and 101.1 the beat, my drive was effortless. Arriving at the office too early, I had time to kill so I went to my new favorite coffee/tea house The Goddess and The Moon. After engrossing PIAotic conversation, I went back to the office and continued my day. I sipped my "mango mate energizer" iced tea as I spill out these few lines to you. Ahhh...the weekend comes. What a delightful little joint with refreshing Karatic people for a twist of the odd exotic. The pensive, son of the Thinker and I first ventured there out of curiosity. The uniqueness kept us returning along with the delightfuls. Can't wait to get my wife into a bellydance class there; heck, I will probably go too, I'm crazy like that. A man should always stay informed. Its probably not for the faint at heart; just the diehards. I am certain Starbucks has not missed me yet; just the people who don't see me anymore. Anywhooo...Thanks goddess!

I don't have much to blog about today, just everything in any order. Thats the beauty of relaxing. I am looking forward to some "Wii" action tonite with wifey. So now we have 4 main games: Scrabble, Wii, Cards and shooting pool. I anticipate something odd or new for the weekend. Its like the coming of Autumn...there's just something in the wind...I can hear it coming, I just cant see it. Our new house plans fell through; but I still miss our great friends over at M2 Homes. They are great builders and great people who can only be more successful by now.


Hmmm...what else can I ramble about this early in the morning. I will save that for an "odder blog." I see from the corner of my eye, the red and blue fish dancing in the water of my neon blue desktop geek tank. The light refracts from the glitter from the opposite side from my USB lava lamp. Somewhere in the middle, I hope to be "creative" on a celebatory newspaper layout. Ah... the life of a graphic artist..creating. "the digital fingerprint of thought." Its been one of those mornings of just random ideas and phrases for future use somewhere. I am looking forward to coming home to a nice fresh clean house, a-thrilled-to-see-me wifey and a great weekend of family, fun and friends! So...on to the Friday Fixin's.....




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RECIPE: TOMATO SOUP CAKE - Really...!

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CAKE INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup solid shortening
1 cup sugar
1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 1/4 cups chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts are good)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

ICING INGREDIENTS:
3 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup chopped nuts

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat 375 degrees. Grease a 10-inch square cake pan. Cream
shortening and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in tomato soup
(undiluted) and then mix in soda, raisins, just 1 cup of the
nuts, flour, baking powder and spices mixing well after each
addition. Spread batter into prepared pan and bake for 45
minutes. When cake is done, remove it from oven and loosen
edges with a knife. Let cool before frosting.

Icing...
Place cream cheese in a small bowl and let it soften at room
temperature. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix well. Spread icing on
cooled cake. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup nuts and serve. Yield: 1 10-inch square cake




Have a great weekend, get outside, get involved and live free!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Most Powerful Force in the Universe






Albert Einstein said that imagination is the greatest creative force in the universe.

Why would such a great man say something that sounds so silly and trivial? Look at those words again: 'greatest creative force'.

Imagination? Not education? Nor money? Nor luck?

Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, said that imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known. Before you pass him away as a crackpot, know that Mr. Hill was an advisor to two U.S. presidents, was commissioned by the great and wealthy Andrew Carnegie to teach people about making their dreams come true, and has been thanked by many of the greatest people around the world for the success he helped them achieve.



Well-known people like F. W. Woolworth (founder of Woolworth's), Woodrow Wilson (former U.S. President), George Eastman (founder of Kodak), W. M. Wrigley, JR. (Wrigley's), and many others have used his teachings to manifest their dreams.

Imagination is the force that takes you to places you have never been.

Henry Ford relied on imagination and belief. Walt Disney said that had he not seen Disneyland in his mind, the rest of the world would not have seen it on earth. Bill Gates first imagines his products before they become actual software that we rely on.

And it would serve you well to remember that many of the world's greatest people started with nothing and built empires. They had a dream. And the universe conspired, as it always does, to let them experience their imagination.

The universe always lets you experience your imagination, whatever it may be.

The Bible says: "As a man thinketh, so shall he become". It also says: "Without vision we perish".

Your mind's images are literally the blueprint from which your world is built.

Your mind is infinite. What are your limits? What are limits, except those that you say are so? Why else would two different people have different 'limits'?

Life is images of the mind, expressed.

What this means is that Life, The Source, uses your thoughts, your mental images, as the instructions by which to create your reality in the material world. Life expresses your mental images into physical reality.

To express is to make known, to state, articulate, communicate, convey. The force of Life makes known your thoughts to yourself and everyone else by forming them into experiences and objects that can be experienced, here in the physical world.

You experience your own thoughts first hand, your images of your mind, so that you may know which ones are suitable and which ones are not. That is how you know yourself, that is how you experience your self, and that is how you grow.

This is the supreme purpose of this physical world that we are now in. It is designed to enable you to experience your Self. It is designed to enable you to experience an idea and its effects and consequences.

Life does not select which ones of your images to express and which ones not to. How would it choose for you? It therefore expresses all of them to the extent that you have them and believe them.

You have true and absolute free will.

This free will is truly free because of the fact that all of it is acted upon without filtering or favoring. Free will is truly free because of the fact that it actually gets results all the time, not just some of the time, and it gets them exactly.

Your ideas, visions and dreams, whatever they may be, are the prophecies of what you shall one day become and achieve. You can predict your outer life tomorrow by looking at your inner self today. You can change your tomorrow by changing your inner self today.

As you think, there do you find yourself. You attract the people that have something to teach you in line with your thoughts, people who have something to learn from you in line with your thoughts, and you repel those who have nothing more to learn from you and give you in line with your thoughts. The same goes for places and conditions, situations and environments.

Many things influence your imagination - past fears, desires, poor mental training, lack of awareness, sub-personalities, lack of goals - and much more. But anything that influences your imagination is under your control. You can stop it simply by becoming aware of it and releasing it.

And this is where awareness / consciousness comes in - as the key to clearing your mind of the debris that brings suffering to you and sabotages your success.