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Our most powerful virtues require solomente: Strength

24 Oct

Why is it that all the strongest virtues (patience, forgiveness, faith, prudence, fortitude) which require no action at all are the hardest to practice?

Lago Arenal nubes

Muchos cielos

Watermelon Seeds and Whales

17 Oct

At our current astral position

in orbit

around uncomfortable subjects

not to mention disobedient

don’t stomp a get worse on the snout

we centered ourselves, grounded the

teenagers, micro waved hello our pot

pies and sat down for being swallowed

blubber bellied blue light globules

in the splash zone between the living

room walls

’round n’ round we go

where the dying starts

nobody knows

it all looks the same from up here

some of us want out

some get spit out

all the rest’ll

be digested

monetarily momentarily

everything comes out again eventually

everyone knows it’s not about the destination

question is

will you take the large intestinal journey

or the intentional one

two

three

four

we don’t need no stinking doors

five

six

seven

eight

there’s no such thing as it’s too late

Mi pequeño ángel

Where have all the angels gone?

Living the dream

10 Apr

So, I know this guy and whenever you ask him what he’s up to, he says: “Livin’ the dream.” And he smiles this sardonic, sarcastic smile that reminds me of the scar tissue on a bleeding ulcer. But it’s true for him. He is living the dream of the typical American – work hard, make tons of cash and save, save, SAVE for retirement. Except he works so hard at working that he has zero time for a home life where things continuously and predictably fall into disrepair. He works so hard at working he has no time to eat or exercise so his body falls into disuse and disease. He works so hard at working that his family sub-conciously creates disaster crisis scenarios for him to fix because that’s the only time he responds to their pleas for attention. And every day is a crisis because the guy is a genuinely good guy and people want him in their lives.

He thinks himself different than most because he practices austerity. He fixes things. He knows how to cook a good, healthy meal for his family and he does so on all the very special occasions or very nearly. He buys things with cash. He has no desire to wear the latest trends or sport the newest ride. But he’s no different from anyone who ever mouthed the words, “I need to be financially stable to feel secure.”

What does that mean exactly? For me, it means cutting my expenses to the point where I know I can get a job anywhere, anytime to meet them and gaining the experience to do whatever job might come my way. To him it means $300k a year. To you it might mean, $56k but the fact remains you’re putting a numeric value on security. Security which by every standard of American living in the last century was all but guaranteed to you if you “worked hard”.

So what is working hard?

Banana Fana Fo Fana

21 Sep

A good man is like a good banana: You can hold it with one hand, peel the skin all the way down and it won’t fall over.

Procreation Nation

28 Jul

His tribe taunts me
flaunting the American dream
like a six-pack picket fence
His body tempts me
into accidental procreation
He wants to plant his seed
He wants me to give him a legacy
but I’m wise to the tricks of this
modern day snake oil salesman
He’s selling lies
I serve his potion with wine
in twelve matching crystal glasses
and my dinner party
goes off splendidly
though the slide show on the tv screen
is of someone else’s family
and the soundtrack is rather awkwardly playing
music that someone will say they like but never hear again.

Someone will hum a note or two
absent-mindedly, later that night or the next day
but the source will be forgotten as in a dream
or more to the point – post lobotomy.

Someone may well be awoken
and say quietly some thing equally important
before busying themselves into remission-
staving off the bestial cohabitation
of body and soul for yet another day.

Some one may thank you.
Some one may shake your hand.
Someone may touch you.
But they all affect you.

In the end, only the tribe remains
temptation exists for a reason
and evolution is not just a theory
if you don’t believe me
take a trip to the National History Museum.

The seed is always planted
whether in your womb
or the next.

Someone will get it.
Some one will experience pain
and finally understand
if only for a moment
but the source will be forgotten as in a dream
or more to the point – for all eternity.

 

Readme.txt (in case of death)

28 Jul

on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 at 7:45pm

I wrote this four years ago when I “upgraded” to CS2. It still applies today with the simple substitution of the word DELL for ADOBE. BTW, I LOVE Windows Vista, especially when the automatic updater installs a blue screen. I don’t have the energy to write a whole new one for Dell after 12 hours on and off the phone with their “tech support” AKA people who tell you how to reboot your computer 17 different ways and use a simple system restore function for days on end, but believe me, it would be a KILLER.

If you are reading this letter and I am dead, please forward it to the proper authorities.

I WAS MURDERED BY ADOBE® TECH SUPPORT.

Dear Authorities:

Please follow these simple directions to determine the responsible parties punishible for my utimely and painful death.

1. Call 1-206-675-6307 if you think it was ADOBE® Illustrator that brought my mortal days to an end.
A. Press 2 because you do not have a support plan already in place.
B. Press 2 again since this is obviously not an installation issue – rather the opposite as I have now been permanently “uninstalled” from life.
C. Press 1 if you tried to solve the mystery yourself by accessing ADOBE’s® incrediby useful (if you are an ADOBE® tech) website before calling this number.

***HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD (OR ANYONE’S CREDIT CARD) AVAILABLE.

2. Call 1-206-675-6311 if you believe it was ADOBE® InDesign that eventually did me “in”.
and follow A. B. and C. Above ***HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD (OR ANYONE’S CREDIT CARD) AVAILABLE.

3. If you suspect that ADOBE® Photoshop was the specific cause of my demise, dial 1-206-675-6303 and follow A. B. and C. Above ***HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD (OR ANYONE’S CREDIT CARD) AVAILABLE.

4. It may be that you have surmised the entire ADOBE® Creative Suite 2 has conspired to snuf me out. If this is the case, dial 1-206-756-6330, follow A. B. and C. Above ***HAVE YOUR CREDIT CARD (OR ANYONE’S CREDIT CARD) AVAILABLE and be sure to reference Case #171650945 or have the serial number handy.

5. Wait two hours for an e-mail response to your long-distance telephone inquiry.

6. When you are sure nothing is coming by e-mail, go back to the website www.adobe.com and search the document numbers you jotted down as the tech muttered them under his breath.

7. Watch your back, they may be coming for you next.

 

USA

God bless the U.S.A. and Dell

Letter from the editor

20 Jun

Dear men in my life,

I recently ended communication with all of you to commit to one person. I have decided that one person is me.

Tower—this is One Niner-Seven-Three requesting the option.

I am requesting the option—the privilege—to find out more about you, explore your life, your interests, your values and allow you the privilege to explore mine too. I value you as a person. However, I will not commit to anything but me at this moment, my responsibility to be safe and treat others how they would like to be treated and this is totally fair and normal and healthy.
You value me because I am my own person, free-will intact, with an abundant life that I created for myself despite the obstacles we all face.

I spent the last ten years of my life with a man who almost made me believe that everything you find so endearing about me is bad, wrong and crazy. I’ve spent the last six months undergoing a major life change, the last four months in therapy two times a week and my entire conscious life in pursuit of self-awareness, knowledge and happiness. I would say I have been lucky to do so or that it is a luxury but the fact is I made it a priority in my life. I am grateful for the reality I created for myself.

I am not a psycho-path or a sex-addict. I am a woman who has been loved, honored, befriended, abused, controlled and driven to the brink of insanity by men who wish to impose their will on me for the last 38 years. No more. I am taking control of my life back.
I’ve struggled these last few years and made mistakes but I can’t regret it because it got me where I am today.

No matter how you may have known me in the past, today I am a mature woman with a secure sense of self who knows what she wants and constantly strives for personal growth. I am a confident individual capable of providing myself with everything that I require. I have a healthy appetite for food and sex and love and companionship in moderation and I embrace and adore these things about myself regardless of what you or god or society has to say about it. I am also human and fragile and require support from others at times. I am grateful to you for that.

You like these things about me, but can you accept me for who I am? You claim to have this modern view of a woman’s right to be exactly who she is and be with whomever she wants and then you try and claim me for yourself. Just stop. Stop trying to change me into something I’m not. That girl will make you want to run for your life. Stop trying to win me—win abundance in your own life. That is more attractive than anything to me. Be yourself. You are an amazing man just as you are. Be with me when we are and be happy alone when we aren’t. You like me best when I take care of me. I like you best when you do the same.

Respectfully,
Woman in your life

Made in the U.S.A. – First Blush

3 Feb

So my first big purchase for the apartment other than the used couch from Finland is a bed. I go to IKEA, several random mattress slingers and finally settle on using Sam’s Club online because they say they will deliver for no extra charge to my third floor apartment while everyone else wants at least $65 and some as high as $110.

I actually struggle over the descriptions because one sounds much nicer than the other and is less expensive but in the end I go with the one that says, MADE IN THE USA all over it and touts its “natural-based ingredients which support environmental sustainability”.

Side note: You can’t make this chit up.
Sounds great, right?
Anywho, I get the box today and I think I must have gotten someone else’s order because it clearly says MADE IN CHINA on the box. So I go back to the website and double check. Yes, I ordered the Aerus – as advertised Made in USA. NOT the Night Therapy mattress as advertised Made in China.
Blah, blah, blah. Blah, Blah, blah. A couple paragraphs later and I see the catch. “Memory Foam Made in the USA. Produced using the most environmentally-friendly process in North America.”

The box also says……….you guessed it – Aerus by Night Therapy.

Alternative sleeping solutions

What's a red-blooded gal who wants to buy American supposed to do?

Hint: It’s not about a bag lady.

3 Feb

Bag Lady’s Bliss

One woman’s quest for happiness in the land-fill of life

 

So, I’m thinking I want to do my part to save the world and all and I have even have this awesome red t-shirt that says, “Change the universe. Start with yourself,” or some such simply profound thing and it – the t-shirt ‑ attributes the quotation to the French philosopher and mathematician Renè Descartes. You know Descartes, right? Sure, you do. You don’t have to study metaphysics to be familiar with the phrase: I think; therefore I am. Or for the lofty: Cogito ergo sum. So, here I am and I think okay I’ll start small like always putting the grocery cart back in the stall or smiling at a stranger or picking up a piece of trash in my path. And that all goes quite well and I’m feeling good about it. Quite good, actually. I’m making a difference. Every day I’m just walking around making the world a better place and I don’t even have to try. I mean what’s the cost to me? I get a little more fresh air returning my cart. I smile more. I kneel to pick up some trash and find a shiny penny. I feel great.

So, what if I could do more? How great would that feel? I start carrying a small plastic grocery bag in my car and when it gets filled up with parking lot debris or whatever else I’ve seen fit to pick up that week I toss the full and bulging bag of my contribution to the planet in the big black bin conveniently picked up weekly and taken away out of sight. (I have a separate bag for recyclables.) I feel complete. I have found my peace.

Now, my first thought after that is of course I have got to share this feeling with the world. If everyone could feel the way I do there would be no war, no injustice, no poverty, no pain.

But, there is a problem. Sometimes I come across items that are too big to fit in the small plastic grocery bag, so I start carrying a large kitchen trash bag in my trunk. You can’t stash those things in the door panel. So, here I am with my 15-gallon trash bag, and I can’t seem to fill it up anymore. There doesn’t seem to be enough garbage left in my path.  Well, that’s strange. Where has all my garbage gone? My happiness wanes. I must not be doing my part if my bag is not full of trash at the end of every week. I’ll never fill the big black bin at this rate! What can I do?

Oh look! That person has tons of trash in their path. Lucky bastard. I’ll just go see if he would like some help. Absolutely? You were just thinking how nice it would be to have someone help get you started? Great! I have this 15-gallon bag that can hold big items too. You are SO welcome. Really it’s my pleasure. You know, that small plastic grocery bag you have is nice but sometimes it’s just not enough to get the job done right. Ah! There. Now we are done and you are trash-free my friend! How wonderful. What a gift. We shared the joy of picking up trash together and made friends out of strangers. Ah, this is bliss. No, thank YOU!

So, now I’m carrying this large kitchen trash bag all around town with me and taking it along with me to everyone’s house just in case they can’t bend over anymore or they’re too tired or too lazy and picking up their trash just because it feels good and I can and most of them seem to really like it. I’m just a big ball of trash picking bliss. Smiling and cheerful I point out all of the trash you seemed have missed in your life or maybe you just forgot. But don’t worry, I’ll pick it right up for you, take it away. And not a nod or a thank you do I require for this service. It just makes me feel good. Some people seem offended when I suggest that what they’re holding on to is really just garbage, but I don’t mind. Not everyone can appreciate the favor.

I’m picking up broken things – things I think I can fix.

I’m picking up old things that have outlived their usefulness to others but who knows when I might need it or know of someone who might need it.

I’m picking up rotten things and dead things and things people have spent decades of their lives, not to mention thousands of dollars in therapy trying desperately to discard.

I’m clearing the path for all mankind.

I’m picking up whole people, entire households of waste and refuse.

My bag is getting very heavy.

But, I’m still smiling from under the strain. I just wish someone would notice how hard I’m working. I wish someone would comment on how much progress I’m making. How much better the world is with me in it. No one does.

I’m picking up banana peels so no one slips and gum so no one sticks. I picked up all the dog poop in an entire neighborhood once with a Cheshire grin on my face so wide you would have thought it was the moon.

But now the bag is starting to smell and I would really like to get rid of it because this is getting to be a drag. No one even notices my efforts and some people have the nerve to tell me I shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Can you believe that? They’re probably just jealous because they haven’t found their own peace.

I’m not smiling anymore. I need to find a place to dump this. It’s way too big for the big, black bin now. Who will take it all of this rot off of my hands? I mean it really reeks and I’m barely dragging it along and it’s not even mine. I resent this trash for stinking up my clothes and my life. I resent the people who made the trash even though they never asked me to pick it up in the first place. I did it out of the kindness in my heart. – for you. Not me. For you!

I’ve lost my peace. Somewhere back there, maybe on the street where you live? If you see it will you let me know? Because this trash is really reeking now and I’d like to get rid of it but I really can’t until I’ve found my peace. And not even a thank you or a nod in my direction. Now no one else wants to be around me because I stink of all this rubbish and who can I get to take it from me?

Who is strong enough to handle this immense pile of rubbish?

Who is the strongest person I know?

Who can I trust to get rid of it once and for all?

Who has proven they love me despite the wretched stench that follows me where ever I go?

Come here. Come closer. Let me tell you how much I love you. Let me show you how much I trust you. See? I still smell pretty under all this trash.

Oh? You love me too? Hooray for love! What a day for love! Let’s put on a parade for love and forget all about that gigantic bag of filth I brought with me. Although, as wonderful as you are, I still can’t quite find my peace. I might have left it somewhere. Hmmm.

Hey, I think something is wrong. Do you smell what I smell?

Oh, never mind. It’s just a passing garbage truck.

No really, I can still smell it. Can’t you smell it?

Don’t be silly. This place is immaculate. I picked up all the dog poop in the neighborhood weeks ago and brought it home and put it under the bed.

You WHAT? WHAT IS THAT SMELL?

Well, it’s NOT me! How DARE you ask! Are you saying I stink? Maybe you found my peace and you are keeping it from me until I deserve it. Maybe you think you’ll just hold on to it until I’m ready. But I AM ready. I had it before and now you’re making me earn it from you? I did my best for as long as I could without it and I thought I was pretty amazing. I thought I could do no wrong – even without my peace. So why aren’t you giving it to me?

Why can’t YOU give me MY peace? It’s MINE afterall.

YOU DIRTY, ROTTEN SCOUNDREL GIVE ME BACK MY PEACE!

Oh now you’ve done it. Now you DESERVE to have this bag of trash dumped right over your head and I won’t feel bad about dumping it on you all at once because you took my peace. You stole my peace and you are holding it ransom!

But I love you! I gave you everything! I gave you my peace and now you won’t give it back. And you still love me, right? I mean it wasn’t my trash to begin with. It was theirs. And they didn’t even say thank you and they all ran away from my stink.

Everyone ran away except you.

You’re the only one left. So you must have my peace. It must have been buried somewhere in that bag of hate I dumped on you so give it back. Dump the trash back on me…PLEEEEEASE. I mean it. I need you to dump the trash on me! I NEED you to give me MY peace!

Oh, please…can’t you see how I’m suffering? I’m begging you. I’m sorry I misbehaved. I’ll be good now. I promise. Just please, can I have just a little bit of my peace?

I’ll do better. I’ll earn it back. You’ll see. I’ll work harder.

And if that doesn’t do it, I’ll break every coffee cup in your house until you hand it over.

Give it to me! Give it to me! GIVE IT TO ME!!!

 What do you mean you have nothing to give?

You have my peace. I know you do. I can see it in your eyes. The way you look at me with love.

 What do you mean you’re not strong enough? I know you are! I can feel it in your embrace. I can tell by the way you hold me when we sleep.

 What do you mean I have to find it myself? Where did you hide it? Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t you just love me and be happy and GIVE ME MY PEACE

WHY do you torture me? Tease me with my OWN peace? Dangle it in front of me like bait on a hook and then swipe it away just when I’m about to strike? Why do you HATE me? I GAVE YOU MY PEACE!

 Oh. There it is. It must have been buried there beneath all that trash. Here, look. It’s been right here the whole time. Right under my nose! Thankfully, it’s no worse for the wear. But for the stench I would have known it. Oh, bliss! Oh, happiness!

But now you are left holding my big empty bag, trash strewn all around you. Oh my! I’m so very sorry for the bother. And what WILL you do about that horrendous odor?

I can read the look on your face and between your tears it clearly says, fuck you. This stinks.

But, wait! Please don’t cry. Please don’t be angry with me. I can help you get out from under all the other peoples’ trash I dumped on you! I’m more than happy to help. It makes me feel good. Don’t you see? We can do it together and it will make us both happy again. Look, I have just the thing. Here is a small plastic grocery bag I found in my path…

Muffin Rant

19 Apr

In true nightly news fashion, this rant is evolving into an expose comparing complacent Texans’ loyalty to HEB with that of the poor who remain loyal to a fascist dictator who kills their children because it’s the only thing they know. I think I can work socialism in there too. Gimme a minute…and another pistachio muffin, please.

———————-

I bought a pistachio muffin (my fave) from the supermarket yesterday and the guy at the check out says, “You know about the recall right?” and I say, “Well, you wouldn’t be selling them if they weren’t okay to eat now, right?” and he just smiles, so I call the bakery this morning and tell them I have one and they flip out and say, “Well, you didn’t get it from OUR store.”  After a bit of arguing that I DID in fact get it at their store, and some background speak in Spanish – that I don’t understand yet, but will soon thanks to Rosetta Stone – the lady with no clue, who “has been gone for four days” tells me “there’s nothing wrong with them anyway.” So, I’m going to eat the muffin for good of mankind and the potential destruction of HEB. Though I doubt anything so unimportant as the death of a customer by pistachio poisoning could stop the massive fear-inducing machine that is our local grocery. The ONLY local grocery, I might add. They are a monopoly of the worst kind, forcing us to buy what they want to stock and then not building enough stores in an area so that what is supposed to be a weekly shopping trip becomes end-of-the-world-mob-mentality-stockpiling every day. There is never enough of anything to go around so you end up buying things you don’t need and stocking up on things that happen to be available at the time you are there, eventually causing scarcity of that product as well. The very presence of those sad, empty, crumb-ridden shelves (they leave empty on purpose) is enough to cause panic in the cereal aisle.

 People (two) have died in our grocery store from heart attacks, according to my last checker who kindly asked‑-as they always do­­–if I had found everything okay. It’s actually stressful to try and get what you want in there without getting hit with a shopping cart or walking ten miles up and down and up and down the ambiguously marked aisles, only to find that they don’t sell Skippy peanut butter – just Jiff or store brand. “Um, no. I didn’t. I couldn’t find three of the things on my list that I usually buy here.” She looks shocked as if it was a rhetorical question like, “Is there a God,” and finally someone has dared speak the unholy answer. She hands me a customer satisfaction survey and pitifully comments that yes, in fact they “are currently doing a huge Hill Country campaign” and are restocking the shelves with mostly HEB brand items. The fantastic part is that they have managed to label all of their store-brand products to look EXactly like the leading competitor’s brand so if you don’t look closely, (or don’t know how to read) you will unwittingly be supporting the very giant that is trying to crush your little soul into an oblivion so deep that all you can do is shut up and buy their moldy cheese.

 The sad part is, I LOVED HEB when we first got here three years ago. Their prices beat any store in Phoenix by a landslide and even though they did not stock my usual major brands of most common items like peanut butter, catsup, mustard, etc. their store brand was decent and I considered it better than the other major label I didn’t want anyway. Kind of like when a republican votes democrat in order to keep the demons in check, yeah? In other words, at first I didn’t mind not having a choice, because I was offered a good-quality-money-saving alternative or at least that’s what it appeared to be at the time. Over the last three years, I have seen the decline of this store and the behavior of the people in it grow steadily worse before my eyes and NO ONE else seems to see it. They think it’s NORMAL. Normal to shop in a throng of people day and night? Normal to find mold in the produce department, stale loaves of bread and gallons of milk with holes in the bottom on a regular basis? Normal for the aisles to be so small that you have to send a single-cartless-(and therefore defenseless)-runner in for the goods and hope he comes back alive?

 At first it was a novelty to me and like Texas country roads, people were kind and moved their carts to let you pass; smiling as you went by, sometimes lifting a hand to wave or at the very least to signal your existence. I thought it was kind of cute, like a little community inside a community. Now, it’s all you can do to get out of the store without someone running over the back of your shoe with a shopping cart or worse – dying of a heart attack in the deli line.  

 The danger of physical harm isn’t the only reason not to shop at HEB. Name your seasonal staple and it will be sold out. Want to contribute to your kids’ college fund through the UPromise College Savings Plan known nation-wide and accepted at every other major grocery chain in the U.S. EXCEPT HEB? Don’t think so. I called the 800 number to ask why they don’t participate in a program so obviously better for children than HEB Bucks and the nice lady on the end of the line basically told me no, HEB does not participate in UPromise, nor will they ever. Why? “Because they won’t.” If I wanted to hear because I said so, I would have turned back time 30 years and called my mother. Even Salsalito and Cheesy Jane’s contribute a small percentage of your bill to UPromise.

 Speaking of turning back time….

 To put it simply, I’m sick of HEB and if I’m the only one who notices that they are a big-time-monopoly hiding behind a small-town-grocery façade, then it’s time some one shed a little light. Though I doubt anything so unimportant as a valid complaint by an educated consumer could stop the massive fear-consuming machine that is suburbia.

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