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"Dad, do you think Willie's cute?" "Yeah, he's nice-looking...good basketball player too." "His friends told me he wants go out with me if I'll go out with him. But I just want to stay friends with him. We're really good friends" "Then do that...if that's what you want to do. Is there another boy you like better?" "No...well, there's this boy named Josh. He wants to go out with too but I said no." "Why?" "He's not my type." "How so?" "He's a little chubby" "So?" "And I found out he has webbed feet too!!!"
At Mamma Maria's to pick up pizza and a meatball sandwich, I'm at the counter reading about baseball's steroid scandal when Phil, the owner, pats me on the back and says, "Hey, how do you like working from home?" "It's great Phil! It's been two months and I'm surprisingly productive. Hey, how'd you know I'm working from home?" "Umm...you have that look," he said smiling. Back in the car, I looked in the rearview mirror. My dark hair was unruly, my beard needed a trim, my clothing was "comfortable", and I hadn't showered yet. I love working from home!
I'm pissed! One of the questions in my daughter's 6th grade homework was "state the cause of the Iraq War." Per her schoolbook, 'America attacked Iraq to defend itself from terrorism.' What the ....! Where is the hope of the future if children are taught the Iraq invasion was legitimate and acceptable?! I suggested she answer, "The cause was fear, greed, and ignorance." I put my signature beside her answer. The teacher gave her an incomplete and said the answer was opinion not fact. Well, here's a fact - Bush lied, people died. Ms. Warlust will receive a letter from me Monday.
Liberal Joe sat in the theatre with wife and friends watching a tedious movie about a mild-mannered scientist's research of human behavior. Unexpectedly, a scene pops up in which this middle-aged, married researcher gazes into the eyes of his young male assistant. The tension builds, the audience grows deadly quiet, the air is sucked out of the theatre, suddenly the men spring forward locking into a passionate open-mouthed kiss. Joe recoils covering his eyes! He is shocked, repulsed, violated! Later he wonders, "Am I homophobic? (Maybe) Am I as openminded as I thought? (Possibly not) Was my consciousness genuinely violated? (Yes!)"
What to write, what to write? Words are hard to come by on this Sunday night. I could describe to you my life but I'm afraid it's bore. My career is okay but honestly the sex could be more. Tomorrow is Monday and off to Michigan I drive. To meet with bankers and lenders about mortgages and jive. Don't take me too seriously, sometimes I like to complain. To rhyme this phrase with that phrase, in a poetic refrain. But what must you know, that which you should? The words that still haunt me, "there's a way to be good."
Never give up hope. We'll hang ourselves by the rope, without hope. The fuel of the Universe is always hope. Greed, fear, and intolerance are the hangman's rope. Habitual drinking, drugs, and sex are common ways to cope. To expand the mind's scope, may I recommend an occasional bowl of dope? Cheney's favorite color is taupe. Sorry folks but George W. is a mope! Mushroom clouds appear in Putin's periscope. The illusionary battle of good versus evil is the path of oblivion down which we lope. The road to Brotherhood is paved NOT with bullets and bombs BUT with HOPE!
"The Bahamas" - From my balcony, I see the clear blue water of the ocean. It's like a big still pond until I throw a stone and hear a faint splash and watch the tiny ripples. The ocean breeze gently flips my hair and carries the aroma of the salt water. In the distance, I see dolphins jumping over each other. The dolphins' happy chirping is as soothing as soft raindrops on my windowpane singing me to sleep. As I lay down, the wonderful sounds floating through my balcony door remind me that I am in paradise. "Written by Sunshine Angel."
The Grateful Dead's music doesn't try to sell you anything. They played for joy and creative adventure and their audience supported the process. Trust. Their music, open, extemporaneous, and unhurried, creates space for each listener to reflect upon their own thoughts and feelings. By contrast, most pop artists/celebs desperately bombard listeners with hooks and showbiz tricks lest boredom set in. We see the same assault of the senses, the relentless punching of emotional buttons, at sporting events. Often the Dead stumbled and meandered but when magic struck, it was glorious. By alchemic law, in making gold you get shit byproduct.
The Old Janitor stood solemnly in the corner of the gymnasium at 6th grade girls basketball practice. His filmy opaque eyes followed their every movement. While he was a frequent presence, they'd never once heard him speak. It was a snowy day's night. Outside, the heavy wet snowfall showed no sign of abating. Raw, whistling winds pasted the landscape white. Suddenly, the gym went pitch black. Confusion reigned. The lights flashed for a split second - the old janitor was gone!The girls fumbled for their belongings in the dark when an ungodly scream pierced the air!!! ...... Only two would escape.
A great number of Americans apparently take comfort in George Bush's certitude, rigid conviction, and unwavering commitment to "values". Bush's God, Bible, religion, and Republican values ("spit!") claim answers to all life's challenges and uncertainies and therefore demand our obedience. We, the safest, most well-fed society on Earth fearfully forfeit our power to these men and institutions - men and institutions that rarely answer with love! Folks - answers are vastly overrated. They are dead ends. They inhibit growth. Enlightenment, love, and spiritual connection come from the questions. Let your hearts examine the questions rather than blindly obeying the code of men.
While the World slept, the Moon wept. Goddess of Night, nocturnal beacon of light, feels the world's pain, night after night. Try as she might to hold Hope over Spite, she's overcome by it all on this Autumnal night. The Sun was away, lighting another day. Venus couldn't stay, from her elliptical course she cannot stray. Alone the Moon poured out its heart, in heaving sobs that tore her apart. Shrouded in a misty wreath of tears, heavy she hangs bearing the weight of Man's fears. Second night, she hides herself away. Third night, she rises to light Man's way.
The prevailing shift we see in America towards conservative politics and fundamental Christianity is a natural manifestation of the times of great change in which we live. During times of social upheaval, some minds expand and some contract. The increase in fundamental religion and conservative politics is a reflection of the contraction of minds seeking a sense of safety and certainty in a world they perceive as dangerous and run by a judgemental punishing God. Unfortunately, their fears help perpetuate the reality from which they seek shelter. It's evident that questions raised by issues of war, religion, and politics are necessary to raise awareness.
"Let's paint! You promised me yesterday and you didn't. I've set up the paints, brushes, and easel. We haven't painted for months. Let's paint SOMETHING!" For someone so angelic, she could be a pain in the ass sometimes. "Okay," I consented. I stared at blank canvas. Aside me, she'd quickly conjured up an ocean scene in a montage of blues. Then came a glimmer. Next flashed an image. Go with it. Forget about perfect lines and shape. Paint! A man walking a winding path through a dense forest at midnight by the light of his lantern. It's good. Me happy.
Last night, the third sign appeared. THEY said there would be three. The signs would confirm THEY spoke to me of my truth. The first appeared a week ago. It was of a magnificent and steely nature. The second was an image drawn of my own hand in a feverish burst of creativity. I walked in last night's frigid air. 'Was what THEY told me true?' "YES" 'Where's the third sign?' In the East, three bright stars hung abnormally low in a straight line. My eyes followed the line North to South - suddenly a shooting star burst across the South Sky!
Her quiet and demure little friend, Lizzie, glides into the backseat. I'm chaffeuring the girls to the movies. The radio is playing a Led Zeppelin tune. "You guys OK listening to Led Zeppelin or do you need B96 on?" I ask. "Leave it on. Some of the boys at school really like Led Zeppelin," says Mine. Within seconds, they're singing along to 'Going to California'. "You guys know this song?!", I ask. The normally mute Lizzie speaks up, "My mom plays Led Zeppelin at our house. "Interesting. Who else does she listen to?" "Um...well...she likes AC/DC too."
I was in a shitty mood all day. I couldn't muster any enthusiasm for work nor the items on my 'to-do' list. Today's gloomy freezing rain darkened my disposition further. Mid-afternoon feeling restless and pent-up, I sensuously amused myself using olive oil and followed that with a long hot shower. Though pleasurable, it didn't produce the sea-change in mood I'd hoped for. Around 5:30pm, I absentmindedly picked up my camera and did something I've never done before - I took pictures of myself. I experimented with lighting and angles and various facial expressions. After 35 shots, I found myself laughing and smiling broadly.
The truth is - I'm afraid to fully share myself with other people - be it a family member, friend, or lover. On life's tally sheet, I've taken more than I've given. Some really fine people have given to me, shared themselves with me, unconditionally. Eventually they're hurt by walls I put up and they move on. Even writing this, I can't fully speak my truth. I'm hemmed in by a prison of my own making. A cage of illusion that I've refused to shatter. Once, when I did give deeply of myself...it was to a "black hole" worse than me.
How pleasant it was to watch the team play without your bellowing voice as a constant soundtrack. How refreshing it was to see the girls relaxed and making their own decisions instead of frantically following your play-by-play instructions. What a relief it was for parents to see their kids make mistakes without your booming castigating remarks. How liberating it was to play the game for the girls rather than as a vicarious exercise for your unfulfilled dreams. How healthy it was to play with joy and integrity rather than for satisfaction of insecure egos by measure of a winning score.
Charming words, flirty words, won't you lift your skirt-ey words; power words, and scare words, crap that fills the air words; profound words, profane words, contemplate and stain words; soft words, kind words, lift the heart and mind words; mean words, blurred words, steaming like fresh turd words; drunken words, high words, fucked-up to get by words; words that steal, words that heal, the speaker's heart they do reveal; red words, blue words, rhyming the higher true words; your words, my words, talking in the sky words; mirror words, peaking words, I hear you without speaking words - here, there, everywhere.
"Somebody at school is doing something really harmful to themselves. Something that could cause them to die. She's just a freshman, she's too young to be doing this. Should I tell someone at school - like the principal, a teacher, or a counselor?" "What is she doing?" we ask. "OK, this girl who sits across from me in English, she hides cigarettes in the waistband of her panties. She smokes!" "Sweetheart, it's a shame she smokes and, you're right, it's not good for her but it's not serious enough to report at school." Sunshine Angel - the very last of the innocents!
Took time to participate in the festivities by which we celebrate the birth of the Christ - shopping at the mall. Accompanied by two young experts in shopping and fashion, we set out to find a sweater for 'most lovely wife and mother.' "How about that store, do they have good stuff?" "No Dad, that's for really young people. Mom wouldn't like their clothing." "How about this store, can we find something here?" "Nah, their sweaters have loud colors with horizontal stripes. She hates stripes!" Walked further. "How about this place?" "Nope, this store is for people who don't eat." "Oh"
Here I sit, three days before Christmas, in the warm comfort of my home office. The room is lit dimly by a small desk lamp and a 'Frosty the Snowman' porcelain lamp behind me. The walls are arabesque red, the carpet is leopard print, and the ceiling is dark-stained hardwood. Not my choosing but it works - trust me. "O Holy Night" is playing softly, plaintively, triumphantly on the radio. It's c-c-c-cold outside - minus 3 degrees with the wind chill. I'm halfway through a Goose Island Christmas Ale in a frosted mug and I'm feeling a little rosy. "Noel...Noel!...Ohhh Night Divine!"
Aside from gathering with family and friends, my greatest enjoyment this time of year is Christmas Music. Our finest musical artists from opera to rock-n-roll have made wonderful recordings for the world to enjoy. In that regard, I've long wished the Grateful Dead had performed or recorded a Christmas song. It doesn't seem right that we have Christmas songs from the likes of BonJovi but not the Dead! Which songs would best suit the Dead? How about Bob Weir doing "Run, Run, Rudolph?" Jerry Garcia singing "What Child Is This." Or Pigpen belting out "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree!"
jimmyrow's helpful guide to Grateful Dead CDs - "One From the Vault" (1975); "Reckoning" (1980); "Dick's Pick's Three," Disc 2 (1977); "Dick's Picks Ten", Discs 1 & 3; (1977), "Stepping Out with the Grateful Dead," Disc 1, (1972); "Dick's Picks 23," Disc 1, (1972); "The Jerry Garcia Band Live" (1990); "Jerry Garcia Band - Don't Let Go," Disc 2, 1976; "Jerry Garcia Band - How Sweet It Is", (1990); "New Year's Eve at Winterland"; "Dick's Pick's 15" (1977); "Go to Nassau," (1980); Ladies and Gentlemen, The Grateful Dead" (1971); "Jerry Garcia Band - Theatre 1839" (1977); "Garcia/Grisman" (1989); And so much more. Enjoy!
It's me jimmy row row, sending a grand Merry Ho Ho, to the bee-u-ti-full pee-po, all around the world. Though I didn't have much money, my disposition was sunny, my brothers got stupidfunny, and we laughed til we hurled. Mimi say don't wear that sweater, try this it looks so much better, sometimes you fritter and fretter, just like a girl. Thirty people at Mom's then, a Christmas tradition of Cornish Hen, I'll pour the wine just say when, and we'll dance and we'll twirl. Good night, sweet dreams o' shining Moon, the Sun will rise singing a happy tune.
Outside the snow is falling. It's been snowing for 24 hours. There's 8 inches on the ground and there's more to come. It's 10 pm and I need to get out and snow blow the walk and driveway one more time before I go to bed. Wonderdog hasn't left the house yet. Her bladder should be ready to burst. She doesn't look too uncomfortable which means she tagged a rug somewhere. Ok, gotta finish up and get outside. Just a few more words. Yeah, this is the lamest entry of the month. It's not the 26th, its January 5th. Done.
We question how a loving Creator could preside over the tragic loss of life in the SE Asia Tsunami. I believe the event was a manifestation of Man's higher collective consciousness to push us toward our higher truth. Each soul that died had their reasons for choosing to exit at this time. However, like the souls of 9/11, their deaths were a gift to humanity. From darkness springs much light. This event has united the world community and reminded us how precious life is. Blessed are the souls that gave their lives to awaken the hearts of their fellow Man.
She's a princess among canines, an angel incarnate in the guise of a small poodle. She's a proud animal come to radiate kindness, healing, and wisdom in the Earth Realm with a special focus on yours truly and family. She's accomplished her mission to date, and more. Yet, this shining being must suffer the occasional indignities of physical life like we all do. Her long winter jacket contributed to a blockage at her south end. It was a mess. Shivering in the cold, she pushed without success. I placed Wonderdog in a warm bath and cleared the blockage by hand.
December 29th - an inconspicuous date to most people. A good day to tie up loose ends at work or prepare for the New Year's Holiday activities. But December 29th means more to me. It's my deceased grandmother's birthday whose presence I feel everyday. On this date in 1977, the Dead played a legendary concert in San Francisco. Today, in 2004, my 6th grade girls b-ball team played heroically to slay a giant of an opponent. Oh, the satisfaction of this victory! It was the day the Sun burst through the clouds and I began to live, breathe, feel, and believe.
A curious day indeed. We played for the championship of the Christmas tournament. We'd played great the last two weeks without our star player. Unexpectedly, she showed up for tonight's game. She is a 'me" and disrupted the 'we' in us. We played poorly, without rhythym, out-of-sync, and lost. One of our players became violently ill during the game. She's OK. Two carloads of players and parents were in a three car wreck on the way home. Cars totaled, perp arrested, everybody's OK. Later, an oddly rare December thunderstorm passed through. Now, clouds are racing across the waning moonlit sky.
Today my thoughts center on the devastating loss of life suffered in several countries ravaged by the Indian Ocean Tsunami. How painfully we grieve the dead and feel the suffering of the survivors. The world community unites to send an extraordinary outpouring of aid. How does Mr. Bush reconcile sending aid and sympathy for those devastated by a natural disaster while perpetrating a man-made disaster in Iraq? Are lives taken in War inferior to than those taken by Tsunami? Does he question the moral nature of intentional killing to 'install democracy.' The Tsunami reminds us how precious each life is.
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