Thursday, June 26, 2008

Libations of Life

Drink of Life

We drink of life in sips and gulps hoping its ingestion might enrich and empower our deaths... --maximusdoom 2008

The long week is almost over. It's been a time of graphic battle between the idea and the reality. There's an ole saying, "beggars cant be choosey;" but they ALWAYS are. I guess they are focused on getting all they can while the getting's good. I suppose I understand that sorta; but not really. Its one of those situations that I could easily fall on either side. Our office banter occassionally envolves winning the lottery. Everybody typically some small amount they will be happy with. Me too; but typically I respond with an "I dont want to limit my blessing; I'll take it all please." Yeah, doesnt that sound horrible...but its still true. I aint afraid to say its true. If its coming my way; submerge me!

The other side of that is generosity. I would love to travel to small, inconsequential places like just a normal average joe, get to know people and anonymously fix real problems that money can solve and move on to the next town, just drifting around the country with a mission of invisible help. I do believe in charities. Unfortunately, some big organizations have too much red tape to actually get the help to the invisibles who need it right now. People cannot be defined as a group over there; their situations are diversely personal, private and immediate. With access to large sums of cash, things are available to be influenced. Not much can happen without it; yet Christ might disagree or at least sometimes. Perhaps more accurately spoken, He would prefer us to steward it, not be posessed by it through lust and worship. I didnt watch Oprah's Big Give in spite of liking the concept. There can be no arguement that the queeen of daytime is someone rich and wealthy really using it to help others along the way. I remember when she was under fire and being pressed to switch to more demeaning programming; her refusal and continued focus on the positive might have been a deathnail for some; but she survived and far better than that.

Hidden in Forever

Do we resemble the world around us? Is our face hidden in plain view of our habits/actions?"

So if there is something you want; why dont you have it? Are you ready to receive it? If you dont know what you would do with it before you get it; how would you know after you get it? I have heard that said many times. I dont know if I agree; but I can say that it certainly helps to be in the right mindset to effect the universe to move on your behalf. We seriously UNDER ESTIMATE the power of the spoken word. I hear agruments about the horrible that the Bible has done; I am still focused on how something that old still has the power to irritate so many hearts and minds. Do we get irritated by "nothing;" no, we are bothered by things we cannot change or control or reason an explanation for what we encounter. We hate to see young children or old people in pain — it smarts our sensibilities. No I dont know either why some things happen and may never know; but I do know that most of them are things you or I can do nothing about, rich or poor. Todays ramblings are just that; but ramblings that make some point to somebody.... Its a beautiful hot day in Nashville. I stare at the invisible people and wonder why they are there and why I cannot fix them. Perhaps thats why we try to look away time and time again.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cranium Skillet: The Grease of Perception

It's amusing to watch ignorance in its natural habitat....

Its a line from my friend, Tom. I knew it was great as soon as I read it on his IM (instant messenger). I have witnessed several situations that embody this statement. Truth be told, I have probably been guilty of it myself a time or two (ONLY :D). Pressure, stress, fatigue and deadlines tend to bring out the best of the worst in us. Occassionally we can recapture the animal once it escapes; but seldom can we erase the deep scars left by unfettered tallons across the lifeless body of the tiny rabbit cold and motionless before us. (How's that for an image; but I know, some of them have it coming...agreed).

caged minds

Even free minds are captive to their perceptions...

I remember as a kid doing the experiment with the homemade volcano. You build up this large hill with a hole in the center. At the bottom of that hole you have baking soda. Everyone's anticipation is high as you approach with the last ingredient responsible for your supreme entertainment, vinegar. Interesting that the addition of this bitter acidic to this quiet pure powder would create such an "eruption." The same is not untrue for the souls of men. What is the acidic? Its anything from unforgiveness to ego; the list is endless. The only difference is that we try to keep the hole covered, to keep ourselves true to our projections, to suppress our flaws and wounds....but that takes you to another experiment. Blow up a thin balloon and tie it off. Heat the exterior by any means and as the gasses expand, what happens in the absence of a release....POP! Yes, I too enjoy being a spectator to someone "else's" moment. It would be a moment of supreme bliss if not for the reflections that come shortly afterwards; arent we "selfish?" Glad that wasnt "me" "if that had happened to me, I would have..." "I hope "I" never..." and the list goes on. We dont want to be seen at our limits, beyond our controls, beyond our senses and yet in contradiction, it is precisely what we crave. Certain situations we want nothing more than to be emptied or fully vent; or be so ravaged by a moment that "it wasnt our fault," "we couldnt help it" yada yada yada...u know exactly what I mean.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Unsafe Waters!

The brutality of nature is quite stunning. I love the Nature and Discovery channels. As a kid, I was always fascinated by sharks and how their sleek beauty could instantly transform into savage power. They seem to amble along in the water with grace and a nonchallant demeanor looking from side to side with not a care in the world. It reminds me of the scene in Jaws where the girl is screaming for God to help her at the top of her lungs just before she dies... (hmmm...there's a blog or two lurking just below the politcally correct surface).

The beauty of the shark is OUR gullability; it's not the shark. The shark isnt wearing a sign that says I dont bite or I dont want to hurt you. We ASSUME that something beautiful isnt deadly. Typically its quite the opposite. I am constantly laughing at people who claim the devil made them do it as they make ugly faces and motion horn-fingers over their heads. I dont believe for one minute that the Devil is ugly...oh no! The Devil is definitely got it going on; male or female, he/she is the hotest, coolest ham on the block with flash, cash and casualties to boot! Everybody runs from the monster that looks like a beast; nobody runs from a teddy bear with a halo. I long miss the Crockadile Hunter. I loved him and his work. He exuded a passion I or any sane person might envy. But if you were being honest, occassionally the darker side of us is rooting for a spectacle; nobody has to get hurt but we have to be entertained. Doctor Doolittle with Eddie Murphy played on that idea. We like to see the confident reduced to us because "we" know better; how dare someone attempt anything we know better than to do. Isnt the "real?" Honestly?

Why do I say all this.... My beautiful wifey is a pool shark. Beware of the protests to the contrary. Looks that fool are looks that kill. She would rather me not say; but for your own sake, stay out of the water.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gym Aliens! Back to the Basics!!!

gym aliens

Finally its back to the gym for me. Its been at least a month or two since I have been surrounded by the enengy you can only get from being in a good routine in a gym. Moving and family have filled our empty spaces; but now its back to the grind. Its terrifying how easy it is to get out to the groove of things that are a benefit to you. When I entered last night, I had my iPOD ready to blast, my gloves snug and my attitude geared up. As luck would have it, I ran into some people I hadnt seen for many years but a good long time friend. Of course, he was PUMPED! Wurd ChanMan!
back to the basics

I remember being in the zone and some pud who hadnt worked out in a while spending all his time talking about what he used to do and how hard it is to get back into it all walking up to me and whining the whole time. That wasnt going to be me. Ground Zero! Cap snug. Grab weight and zone out. Hit the tunes and hit the iron. I went right for the kill. No, I couldnt do what I used to do. No, it wasnt as easy as it once was. No, I didnt start where I left off. The difference between smart people and wise people is usually some serious injury. Wisdom means you weren't that smart before now. Guess I got both. I am not intimidated by looking like a wienny with wienny-weight. Its the foundations that give you longevity. Form always counts; how much weight is only relative. Trust me, there will always be someone stronger, bigger or else. Anyway, I anticipate being a little sore by tomorrow.

My iPOD day has been great. Today is my Rare Rotation Day. Rare Rotation grooves you with great music from rare grooves, essential funk, the soul of R&B, hip-hop classics, jazz and the best of lounge, electronic, rock and alter. Nothing new under the sun; every river begins as a stream. This podcast always gives me a big surprise when I update for the next morning and moves the day right along.

Anyway...give me a couple of months; you'll see. "I'll be back!"

Friday, June 06, 2008

Fabulous Banana Friday Fixins!

I gotta pee!!!

I gotta go...!

Ah, the Music City is earning its name this week. Its CMA Festival time and the city is shuffling with visitors. Nashville is a great city; too small to be hick, to big to be ignored. I like going to lunch seeing a mix of peoples. A stew just isnt as good with just corn. Anyway, its Friday again but it seems like another long week. In spite of just returning from California (which is another town I love) I am fast and furious on my responsibilities that linger from my absence. Its all good. I only play to win; I only lose to learn.

This is a typical story. I left the office at lunch and was in my car before realizing that I needed to take a leak. So where can I go thats quick, convenient and has a clean bathroom. In my case, I went to Arbys. By now, they know me — way too many visits per week. So I park and take the stroll toward the front door. Clearly a busy spot, the warm sun gleaming on my smooth soft brown with a smiley face on my chest and a baseball cap on my dome; all laced with a smile. I yack with the manager about what I wanted and swaggered to the louve. "WHAT!!!???" I walked in and it was Niagara Falls. The urinal was running full blast and running down the wall and floors. Surely someone had been here before me and why wouldnt they have said anything. I guess I better hold it a while longer. I back out with wet soles and inform the manager of my discovery. She asks if I giggled the handle; of course, in case I didnt need to say anything. So with sandwich in hand I am back outside headed for my vehicle thinking about Murphy's Law and how its always funny if you let later be now. I knew if I looked back on this later and thought about all the times Arbys had been guaranteed except this one time I really needed it ..... ha ha ha ha on me.

Off to the office I returned as I finished my sandwich. Hey, I waited this long, I might as well get something good to drink thats cool for the duration of the day. A Red Bull, water and Starbucks DoubleShot Vanilla, I had almost forgotten of my need until I was comfortably at my desk making a 32-pdf. Of course, at this point, everything is completely fine again. Aint life grand. Funny what altered focus will accomplish. Nonetheless; the weekend awaits and I am ready to receive. No plans; just openness! But if I get to cook; here's a thought!

Fabulous Friday Fixins: Again!
This one contains one of my all time favorite sweets. Nilla Wafers. You know which ones; anything else aint worth banannas!

Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding Tarts
1 1/2 C. vanilla wafer crumbs
1/2 C melted butter
1-2 ripe bananas
1 vanilla pudding mix made according to directions
Redi-Whip or any other whipped topping, if desired

Nilla Wafers

Crush the vanilla wafers. Melt butter, or margarine. Mix
crumbs and butter well.

Partially fill a muffin pan with the mix. Press firmly to
the sides and bottom making a cup. Put in freezer for 2

Make the pudding mix while the crusts are in the freezer.
Let it set a bit in the fridge.

Slice bananas into 1/2" slices.

Use a pointed knife, gently release shells from pan. Place
on a large plate or cookie sheet.

Put a banana slice in the bottom, then a dollop of the
pudding...fill with pudding. Chill to fully set.

Put another slice on top...I put them on their edge so they
sit up on top. A squish of whipped cream is nice, too.
Another great recipe

Well thats all I got; so go get yours.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Cold Summer Reflections

homeless woman

We hate to look them in the eyes for fear we might see ourselves differently... more great photos from gnome.org

It is in the early hours of the morning that most treasures begin to gleam; somewhere between the last dark and the first light. Elaine Brown once said (and maybe a few other times too) "Even the smallest fragment of glass can reflect the sun..." I think on these kinds of phrases when I slow myself down and get ahead of schedule. I think of all the little things that may have come to mind in the shower or during the daily grind that seemed like really good ideas and went straight to the "I meant to do that" list; only later to be file 13ed when overrun with undone doos. You know what I mean. This morning I was almost challenged again inside. I thought I saw a man throw something at a homeless woman sitting on the sidewalk in the corner well out of anyone's way. I felt a quick rage build and stopped in my tracks to observe to be sure. False alarm; I think. Nothing transpired after I stopped to look but my mind kept wondering why would I care and why would I make it any of my business.... I didnt have any immediate answers, just more questions. Didn't she have the right to be treated with some respect? Didnt he know better to pick on the less fortunate or even women? What might she have done or said to have deserved his response? Why would a jack@ss have more than what appeared to be a kind person in distress? Doesn't just being human demand mercy?

A lot of times, most things dont seem fair. I suppose God has a pretty tough job; I probably wouldnt want any of that responsibility. I remember a country song, "Thank God for Unanswered Prayers," I can certainly think of sincere prayers that really would have been a disaster had they been answered. I have also had some prayers that I never understood why they weren't answered; I am sure I held my tongue right and read two chapters in the Good Book without blinking. Truth is, we are not God and we dont get to know or find out; and our inconvience doesnt even make him flinch. Afterall, He's not Burger King or Dominos; its not my way nor do I get it in 30 minutes. Anyway its another beautiful WARM day in downtown Nashville and I am working away as the sunbeams warm crawl through the cracks in my grey asylum.