Friday, August 31, 2012

Bus Rider ...


Bus Rider ...

I once wrote a short story about a man who is standing at a bus stop, presumably waiting to find his way home from a busy day at work. The hitch is that he never boards any of the many buses that stop for him and then pass on into the evening. He simply remains as fixed as a lamppost at the corner.

For me, the story was about how we can get locked into a life that never seems to go anywhere, about how we can fall into stasis.

The story ends with the man still standing on the street, trapped in time by his inability to "move on," and although, by the end of the story, his future seems somewhat undetermined, the implication is that he really has no future because his will for self-determination has deserted him.

The mind is a strong muscle, and it is capable of doing great things for us if we let it. You and I, we can become anything we want to be. We can conquer any fear and constantly find new meanings to who we are. The only catch is that we have to participate in the writing of the script or story of our lives. If we let other people write that script or that story for us, if someone else gets to create all the description and all the dialogue, then we become what others want us to be. We behave and "perform" under another person's direction.

Some people wait for the right bus for a lifetime, and never really go anywhere. No bus will ever be the right one if you don't consciously make the choice to board and move on.

Just remember, that no bus ever gets you exactly to where you want to be. They merely get you close to that place.

The rest of the journey is up to you.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Parcel Of My Past ...

"Those who are determined to forget the past live only on the shallowest shorelines of the present and have little hope of discovering the deepest depths of every distant dream in their future."
~ Bob Buddha

A Parcel Of My Past ...

Last night, I was looking through old photographs. Not the digital kind, but the kind you actually hold in your hands, the ones that have faded a bit and are a little dog-eared at the corners.

And there it was. A paper parade of the images of my past — the good, the bad and the ugly.

I shuffled through the years when my sisters and I were just kids, found photos of my grandparents, whom I loved more than life itself, saw my mother before she was married, even found one of our first dog, Lady. I noticed that I had no photos of my father and understood why, no photos of my ex and I wasn't sure why. Photos from my working years, photos of my son and daughter ... the late-night meandering through this museum of memory went on and on.

I suppose my happiest times were when I was in my early thirties. I had two young kids scurrying around my feet, and I guess seeing the world through such young eyes was special in a way I will probably never know quite so clearly again.

It's funny how old photographs can allow you to drift back to another time and recapture some extraordinary emotions. I laughed, gasped, and kept getting something in my eye as I travelled back and forth through time. I had moments when I thought to myself, "What were you thinking?" and I had other moments when I was simply silenced by what was and is no more.

Now, don't think for a minute that I'm some kind of sensitive guy. I'm not. I swear.

It's just that, well, sometimes the past reminds us of what we were and what we are because of what we were. That's a bit convoluted, I know, but I can't imagine or write what I mean any other way.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Time Passages

"Some people say that they live in the moment, but every moment is just another flicker of time. Better to live in anticipation of the next moment, so that you can make decent preparations."
~ Bob Buddha

Time Passages

Time. It's weird isn't it?

When we are working at a job, we seem to moan and groan about not having enough time to do what we really want to do in life. We file papers, make important business calls, crunch numbers, duck into the copy room to avoid the boss, do a little of this and a lot of that, try to do as little of this and avoid doing all of that as much as possible.

We insist on a full fifteen minutes for our coffee breaks, and we resent having to eat our hermetically sealed bag lunch at our desk, while we try to catch up on doing, you guessed it, more of this and that.

When it's time to go home, we go with a sigh, knowing that tomorrow will be more of the same. By the end of the day, we fall into bed, half in a stupor that we mistake for being exhausted.

We sleep and wake and wake and sleep, always peeking at the green or red digital clock numbers, always mindful of how time is seeping away, how the night is creeping towards morning, and how we should be sleeping to rest our minds and bodies for another day.

Then the weekend comes, and life drops a "free time" bomb into our laps. But there really is no such thing as free time. What do we do? We go here and we go there. We shop, we eat fast food, we deliver kids here and pick them up there, we answer and make important personal calls, we may listen to some music but only on the car stereo between here and there, and if we have a chance, we watch a favourite television show, not in "real" time but one we've recorded for when we can squeeze it into our day. By Sunday night, we wonder where the weekend went.

All in all, there is never enough time to do something that doesn't involve some kind of schedule, some kind of time frame.

"I need more time," we say to our boss, to our friends, to our families, to anyone who will listen.

"I need more time," we groan as we gulp a pot of coffee to infuse ourselves with enough caffeine to keep up with the demands of always being "on time."

"I need more time," we whine, and we do. We simply need more time. More time. More of it. A helluva a lot more of it ... but what for?

Holidays, a vacation in anywhere-but-Cuba, a day of rest and relaxation? Impossible. Whatever we do, time rears an ugly second hand that pushes us back into a schedule. Time to get back home, back to our real lives, back to work, time for this again, time for that again. And on and on it goes. Beat and repeat, minute by minute, day by day, month after month, year after year, the story of our hectic lives. Beat and repeat, not a symphony of pleasure, more a rap song of despair.

Somewhere in history, which is itself a weird measure of time in the big picture, we lost out ability to appreciate timelessness. We lost our ability to step out of time and live freely, not by seconds, minutes, or hours, but by the moods and emotions of our thoughts and by the simple physical demands of our bodies. We lost ourselves in the most unimaginable heresy of all, in the belief that time controls us instead of the other way around.

Someone once said that "Time is precious." I think that person must have meant to say that life is precious, that living is precious. Time is unrelenting. Time controls and manages everything you do. Time watches you with a detective's eye and takes indecent photos of all the mistakes into which you stumble. Time tells on you, writes denigrating reports and sends them to everyone you know. Time kills you not just in the end, but in the "mean-time" as well.

Instead of grasping and longing for more time, we need to live for timeless moments, the moment you fell in love and forgot who and where you were, the moment your small daughter or son brought you the wildest breakfast in bed while drizzling pancake syrup up the stairs, the moment your grandmother weakly clutched for your hand as you stood by her hospital bed. None of these moments can be measured in seconds, minutes, or hours. These moments last forever.

And we need to look forward to more timeless moments. We need to anticipate joy and pleasure, and ensure that our hearts and thoughts are open to the wonders of how our lives will unfold. No one can prepare for the past. Everyone can prepare for the future.

What? It's time for you to get back to work? OK, well, have a good one, as some would say. Have a good day. See you tonight at dinnertime — 5:30 sharp — bring home one of those grocery store roasted chickens and a tub of potato salad, and don't forget to set the PVR to record Dancing With The Stars tonight at 8:00. We'll watch it later in the week, when we find the time.

My time is up here anyway. I have to get my day started. So much to do, it seems, and never enough time.

Someday, time won't matter. Sadly, that will probably not be until you or I fall into an endless sleep, one from which we will never wake. Time, then, will not longer tick away at who we are or what we have accomplished. We'll be out of time and, somewhat ironically, out of time.

They say that, in the last seconds before your death, your life passes before your eyes. I can't help but think that most people, during that final, reeling montage in their minds, must look back and say, "Man, so much life wasted by so much wasted time."


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Measure of Pleasure ... A Fugue

The Measure of Pleasure ... A Fugue

an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
Oooooh ... ? 
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
Oh, sweetie ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
Come here, you bad boy ... 
an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch
O, yes, harder, my love ... harder ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch, half-an-inch
Oh gawd ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
Whoops ... 
an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
Oh yes ... there ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch
No ... wait ...  Oh, my love ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
Oh, yes ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch
Oh, now, yes, yes, yes ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
Yessssssss ... O gawd, yes ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch, an inch, an inch
Ahhhhh ... mmm ... my sweetheart ... my love ... 
an inch, an inch, an inch
an inch, an inch
an inch
an inc
an in
an i
... sigh ... 
... You wanna order pizza? ... 


Monday, August 27, 2012

Gimme A Head With Hair

In My Younger Days ... With Hair!

Gimme A Head With Hair

I need a haircut.

OK, OK, I really don't have much hair left. It decided to fly south at some point, promised to bring me back a t-shirt, but you guessed it, it never returned. Oh well, hair today, gone tomorrow.

Now, I'm not completely bald. Just a vacant lot in my ego on the top. So the monk-style fringe needs a shearing every once in a while to keep total picture looking more or less uniform.

I go to an old-fashioned barber, the kind that wields a mean razor and nicks your ear. I don't mind. He has Sesame Street band-aids, and he always gives me a blue Grover one. I like Grover. He's a bit flaky, I know, but so am I.

It's funny what hair means to people. Long hair on men was once a bold statement against the establishment. I remember growing my hair long in Grade 9, and the principal of the school "counselled" me about the necessity of maintaining a decent and civil appearance. I countered that someone's appearance is not the test or the classroom yardstick of a person's character. So, my mother enjoyed my company at home for the next three school days, but despite her conservative country girl upbringing, she stood up for me.

After my brief holiday at home, she marched me back to school and presented the principal with a Declaration of Independence that revoked his rights in loco parentis, and she assured him that I would dress and wear my hair as she and I saw fit. The tea was in the harbour, and I must admit that it was a very cool moment between my mom and me. My hair grew and grew for the rest of the school year.

These days, one's hair is so intertwined with one's self-image and self-esteem that it's almost laughable. Blondes have more fun, brunettes are earthy and sensual, and red heads are as wacky as Woody Woodpecker. Oh, the stereotypes go on forever.

For some reason, both women and men believe their hair and a whole range of different hair styles somehow enhance their sex appeal. Hair is tinted, twirled, tossed, teased, tortured, and a whole bunch of other t-words. The truth is that, in bed, the last thing that matters is how perfect your hair is. I mean, who, other than my ex-wife, would say, "Be careful, you're going to mess my hair." Matter of fact, if you come out of your lovemaking moment with your hair in perfect order, well, I suspect you just weren't doing the trick properly.

Some young people now wear their hair gelled straight up. I think that little fashion faux pas has to do with being electrocuted. No, kids with those hair styles haven't really been electrocuted, but they live in such an electric age and are so wired into video games, computers, personal music players, and cell phones that I think that stick-em-up hair style is merely a form of preparation for when they do get electrocuted. Some would argue that would be no loss.

When I was a lad in the 60's , I wore my hair pretty long, shoulder length and beyond. All that is gone now.

Fortunately, my hair was the only thing to disappear from my younger years. I still have my sense of humour, and given the right stimuli, I can still do most of the things that I could do then — certainly still more than capable and ready to do the horizontal shuffle at a moment's notice without the need for a hit of Viagra.

That is not to say, I wouldn't mind trying one of those little blue pills. I'd be the guy with the four-hour erection, Oooo ... imagine the possibilities.

Never mind. Quit imagining.

Well, since my kids are taking me out for dinner this weekend, I need to clean up the mop-sans-top.

I need to do it today, so that the nick on my ear will be at least partially healed by Friday.


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Fortune Teller ...

Madame Sosostris
Famous Clairvoyant

Fortune Teller ...

Ever been to a fortune teller?

I used to go when those little carnivals rolled into town. You know, the ones with all the rides and a row of sideshows featuring geeks, freaks, and sometimes half-nude women. Usually somewhere along that row of tents, there would be one set up with a fortune teller, who used a crystal ball or tarot cards or whatever in order to predict your future.

Now, maybe this little operation was a bit shady, since it always seemed the lady inside was more like a bank teller than a fortune teller. After all, the latest rendition of Madame Sosostris seemed much more eager to take your money than to predict anything worthwhile with regards to your future.

There would be generalities, of course. "You'll fall in love with a special person" or "Your life will take a turn for the worse, but you'll bounce right back into happiness" come to mind. Such predictions aren't subject to much argument.

Mostly, you got to hear what you wanted to hear. Fortune tellers have a knack for conducting great interviews, kind of like some wag in a company's human resources office, the guy who gets to decide whether or not you're going to get a job at Acme Marketing or whatever. Everything you say is a tip-off to something else about you.

Fortune tellers know how to get you to say enough about yourself to figure out something that reveals your hopes or your worst fears. With that kind of knowledge, they can just sort of extrapolate something about what you may hope of fear is going to happen to you, and of course you believe what they say, because, quite truthfully, you said it first.

I once knew a wonderful lady who would read tea leaves in a little tea house here in the heart of Toronto. She would move from table to table, and after your last sip of tea, she would offer to read your tea leaves. So, you turned the cup upside down on the table, spun it once or twice to the left or the right (I can't be sure which), and then she would look into the cup, where the tea leaves were stuck in strange patterns, and tell you something about your future.

For the life of me, I can't remember if, at first, any of what she said ever came true. Soon enough, however, I did make a point of taking dates there, and she caught on to what I wanted my date to hear pretty quickly. "You're about to have a very enjoyable evening with this wonderful man," she'd say in a serious, persuasive tone of voice, and more often than not, her sonorous prediction would actually come true. It was well worth the $25 that I slipped into her twitching palm that was groping around under the table.

All in all, I guess that it would be nice to be able to know the future. It would be much easier than the guesswork most of us practise.

Of course, then there would be no surprises, and the lotteries would go out of business. Everything would be predictable, and before long, I'll bet we'd all be wishing we couldn't see beyond the next minute or two.

Maybe, fortune tellers exist because we never seem to stop searching for happiness or for "something better." Even people who say that they "happy" don't seem to mind looking to see if the grass is greener on the other side of the proverbial fence.

Sometimes, it always seems we want what we can't have and have what we don't particularly want.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Ode To A Before Picture ...

Ode To A Before Picture ...

the big ol' half-moon gloats
as it bloats you
and floats you
across the room
like a Ringling Brothers elephant
riding a peculiarly small
but brightly coloured circus ball
until with a splat!
you teeter this way and that
until you tumble down
on the floral-covered crippled couch
where you spread out
and unfold
and unfold
and unfold
just like you were a road map
of Eurasia

oh, yes, i love you baby
and i'm a dummy
for your tummy
even when it's a bit crumb-crummy
but, heck, just let me vacuum it first

yes, it's truly appalling
when your boobs start falling
and folks stop calling
not because you've gained
a hundred pounds or two
not because there's really nothing much else to do
but you see
these new hybrid cars
are just a bit too small
in breadth and stature
and it would take
another rapture
to squeeze you
in the back
of a car like that
it would be like
squeezing Gibraltar
through the tiniest crack
sort of like forcing white through black

oh, yes, i love you baby
i love you just the way you are
i'll save some cash and buy some big classic 60's car
and we'll drive away along the bay but not too very far
to watch the day burn and crash in a red and fiery burst

some say the summer sun
is a nasty old hack
a steamy heart breaker
some say a one-eyed Jack
but let's spend our days
in the molten haze
of some hot and steamy beach
where we'll french fry on the sand
or maybe toe-dabble in the surf
where you can pick up broken shells
out of crashing seaside swells
and collect puzzle pieces
of the brightest sea glass
but it's just a guess
that you'll want to dress
in the flowing pastels
of billowing no-tells
carefully draped like closehauled ship sails
to cover up that ass
no, no, no ...
no more hiding
in summer's muumuus
or winter's straight black sack
think a little less Aretha Franklin
and a little more Roberta Flack

oh, yes, i love you baby
but no more sodas and not another chocolate sweet
no more slogging ales with all the bald Brits you love to meet
no more chasing skinny dreams and feeling completely incomplete
can't you see that before and after can always be reversed?


Thursday, August 23, 2012

First And Last Impressions

First And Last Impressions

I am not a big fan of first impressions.

I mean, some people say, "It was love at first sight," or "From our very first conversation, I knew we would be friends forever."

Others say, "Well, I knew that guy was a bastard from the very beginning" or "Oh, you could tell she was a real bitch from the get-go."

I'm not sure how people are able to make such snap decisions. Is there really a "love at first sight?" Can you really tell that someone is an ass before you actually know he or she really is an ass?

Maybe, first impressions are simply done in hindsight. Maybe first impressions are not really "first" impressions at all, but simply an opinion of someone which took some time to form, but which people say they knew or "felt" right away.

Anyway, first impressions? Not my style, really.

Whenever I meet someone, I like to reserve judgement, if there must be a judgement at all, until I have a sense of who the person really is. I want to say I give everyone the "benefit of the doubt," but I don't much like that phrase. I don't really "doubt" or "not doubt" at all. I sort of don't do anything. I'm a waiter. No, I don't take orders in a restaurant. I wait. I'm a wait-and-see kind of guy. I'm never consciously saying, "Wait and see," but I do know I wait and see.

People rarely surprise me any more. Some people have very intricate disguises and fool most of the people they meet. Others are completely honest, almost to a fault.

In the bistro of life, relationships are like stopping at a diner for a meal. Some people offer you a wonderfully enticing appetizer and then bring on the most horrific entrée. Others go right to the dessert, and the relationship starts off as intoxicatingly sweet and wonderful. In either case, the key to whether or not you will want to revisit that dining experience comes much later. If you suffer rambling indigestion, diarrhoea, or, heaven forbid, food poisoning from the experience, then I suspect only a fool would go back to that restaurant for another course.

Still, some people do go back even to the worst roadside diners. I guess some people are just that hungry. "Desperate" might be a better word.

While not a fan of first impressions, I must admit that I almost always form an enduring last impression. How someone leaves my life never gets lost in my memory. Some have walked out the door of my world with complete dignity. Others have left with a little more hostility, and instead of just walking out with grace and class, they trash the whole house first, and slam the door behind them.

Those who keep their dignity and always welcome back. Those who launch a scud missile on their way out are likely to meet a similar scud missile should they ever have the audacity to try to come back.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Great Blogger Experiment

The Great Blogger Experiment

"If you build it, they will come ..."

Maybe ... but maybe not ...

To be honest, I'm no longer sure where the world of blogging is going. It's possible that the excitement and the thrill of writing daily blogs is a thing of the past. Shame, really.

These days, some people seem to want a "quickie," something like what you get on Facebook or Twitter. Just a word or two, and very little more. If you can add a little drama to your note, all the better. Some people like drama. It excites them. It spins their head around and makes them go OMG. Some people like the OMG of life.

Way back in Yahoo! 360 days, there was a phrase called the "blue-eyed skim." That little notion defined people who didn't really read a blog. They skimmed over it just enough to get the jist of the blog so that they could write a comment. Usually, that comment missed the point of the blog and was fairly predictable. The comment, "Thanks for sharing," comes to mind. Those people were not on Yahoo! 360 to write. They were there for the social interplay, a perfectly legitimate motive, because we all need friends, whether they be real-life friends or online friends.

It's fairly obvious that people who populated the pages of Multiply are going to miss all the ways that they could connect to other people in a social network sort of way. The scramble to find something like Multiply goes on. Some have gone to and some have migrated to, both much more a kind of social network than Blogger is or probably ever will be.

Xanga is an especially busy place. Lots of interaction, with pages for photos, audio, video, notes, and so on. I was on Xanga for a couple of weeks, but quit when I read some unfavourable reviews about the "safety" of the site.

I haven't tried Blogster, but I see that many of the old Multiply crew and refugees have gone there. Maybe I should give it a whirl. Not sure ... To be honest, I have long wanted something different from the Multiply experience, which became more of a chat room than a site for interesting and thoughtful writing and discussion.

Clearly, Blogger is not friendly to those who want some kind of instant give-and-take between online acquaintances. There's no quickie Inbox, no Twitter-like "Notes" to update the minutiae of your day, as if someone out there actually cared.

From what I can tell, Blogger is for people who enjoy writing and who write maybe just for the sake of writing. Still, you can post a video, put up some photos, start a group on a separate page ...

You can do almost anything here, and still Blogger seems remote and unfriendly to many people. The best advice that I can offer is that it takes time to get used to new things. If it's important for you to have the instant attention of dozens of "friends," then you may find yourself in for a disappointment on Blogger. Yes, I have seen sites on Blogger with hundreds of friends, but I'm not sure how gratifying that can be if only a few of those contacts actually participate by reading and maybe commenting on the blogs.

Hang in there, and give it some time.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ass-Backwards ...
Muddling Through The Aesthetics Of The Back Forty

Jan Saudek ~ In The Fine Art Gallery [2001]

Ass-Backwards ...
Muddling Through The Aesthetics Of The Back Forty

I must confess that I am no expert on physical beauty. More importantly, I'm not really attracted to someone's physical appearance or to a particular body type. Tall or short, skinny or fat, an hourglass figure or no figure at all — I'm not sure that any of that is the measure of beauty.

Beauty is some kind of whole person experience. Physicality must be combined with intellectuality and spirituality. I like creative, positive people, regardless of the shape of their elbows, the colour of their eyes, or the breadth of the bumps that protrude from certain areas of their bodies. I shun ineffective, pessimistic people, who see life as the pursuit of denigrating the human spirit, and I shun them even if they float into my life as the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe.

Still, we do live in a world that seems to judge beauty on the basis of body parts. "Great legs," "fabulous breasts," "beautiful eyes," "washboard abs" — these, and other phrases like them, are often the watchwords we use to define our measure of attractiveness.

To me, it's all very odd.

Take, for example, Kim Kardashian. To be honest, I know almost nothing about Kim Kardashian. I have heard that she is allegedly an internet porn star and that she has a "reality" television show of some sort. Apparently, she was married for a day or two, or maybe it was a couple of weeks, and then she bailed out of her nuptials like she had just discovered she was on the Titanic and not on a Disney Fantasy Cruise. Lately, I have heard she is dating Kanye West, a hippity-hop singer, but not the one who sang the song, "My Humps," which begins with the lines: "What you gon' do with all that junk?/All that junk inside your trunk?" Too bad. Somehow the line seems perfectly fitting for Ms Kardashian.

You see, Kim Kardashian's claim to fame is supposedly her ass, buttocks, nates, arse, butt, backside, bum, buns, can, fundament, hindquarters, hind end, keister, posterior, prat, rear, rump, tush, bottom, behind, derrière, fanny ... well you pick your favourite term for her glutæus maximus extremus.

In America, "big" has always been synonymous with "better." Big car, big house, big salary, big television, big stereo, biggie fries, big gulp, big, big, big — the list is probably endless — and all of it is "better." So, if one were fascinated with body parts, it should come as no surprise that big boobs, big eyes, big lips, big penis, big vagina might also be seen as "better" in popular American culture. However, from my recollection of locker-room chatter, a big ass was never really seen as being "better" in any sense of the word. In fact, in my generation, saying someone had a "big ass" was pretty pejorative, a kind of sexual condemnation, and certainly not a compliment, certainly nothing like the celebratory exuberance one has over buying a house with a big back yard.

Kim Kardashian makes no excuses for her plentiful posterior, and she seems to have no qualms about flaunting it on a moment's notice. Apparently, in today's world of glamour and sh/fame, what is important to some people is simply to be noticed, no matter what it takes to achieve that goal. Big ass equals big publicity. Big publicity equals big opportunity. Big equals better. Everywhere you turn these days, the unrelenting mantra is: "Go big or go home!" Assuming, of course, you have a home to which to go.

Now, from a purely aesthetic point of view, the truth is that Kim Kardashian's backside is no tiny hiney, no small feature relative to her fairly diminutive, 5'2" stature. In fact, I might go as far as to say that, from pretty much any angle, it seems downright out of proportion. You can barely see the forest for the trees, barely really see the woman before being overwhelmed by the cut of her butt. Oh, it's all ass-backwards, because, metaphorically, the caboose is pulling the train.

All in all, I am sure that Kim Kardashian is a very nice, young woman. She is a little superficial, perhaps, and definitely prone to some pretty weird self-promotion, but she has made a fortune out of being a celebrity with no obvious creative talents apart from her ability to bolster her pop-culture "assets" in the media. She has simply achieved the American Dream, lifted herself into a world of riches, and quite literally, worked her butt off to accomplish what she has in fact accomplished.

Ms Kardashian has also helped to change how our younger generation understands the world, especially in terms of "what's hot and what's not." These days, big is better. The XXXL keister is a much sought after perk, and the perkier the better, in the pick-up world of nightclub-hopping and Jersey Shore. So, kudos to you, Kim Kardashian, kudos for helping to change our perceptions. The allure of the once sought after "pouty ass" has given way to an outright longing for the "big-is-better backside slide."

When will all this buttressing end? No one can say for sure. Nevertheless, time has a peculiar way of switching from fashion to fashion and replacing one fascination with a new fascination.

Time is also the cruellest custodian of how the body changes. I can't help but wonder how much more expansive Ms Kardashian's rearward rack might get when she reaches her forty-somethings. After all, age is not kind to humps and bumps. Still, imagine the possibilities. How much bigger would that rear ledge have to be before you could serve tea on it, say in the event that the Queen shows up and all the parlour tables are crowded with Precious Moments knick-knacks? Oh dear, do you think I'm being a little insensitive? Well, of course I am, no ifs, ands, or butts about it ...



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Three Muses ... Late Night Trilogy

Three Muses ... Late Night Trilogy

in the sun-bleached haze of a
musty ragweed afternoon
Ani bolts from the dirt road
glides like a young deer
over the still-water-green ditch
and carves a zigzag path
through a field of tall grass
until at last from a distance
she gives me a final look
her fawn eyes
before she drops down
and slips out of sight
into the winnowing undergrowth
beneath the wind-wavering horizon
of wild oats and dusty weeds
beneath a rust fog
foaming over the rim of my sight line
in terrene clouds
throbbing with procreant pollen and seed
but when i follow her wayward path
through a screaming plague of cicada
and a cacophony of birdsong
warning the swelling air against
my ambiguous intentions
when i turn at last
to where i am sure
she is waiting
she is not there

at nightfall
Ramona insists
that i shower before bed
so she follows me with a wire brush
to the bath
and scrubs the stale summer film
from my body
like old paint ripped
from the wood
of a forgotten shed
until at last i am free
from the stench of my humanity
and she rubs me dry
with rosewater rags
from beneath the sink
her soft voice
giggling with alarmed pleasure
when she sees i am aroused
by her vigour and close
attention to detail
and there in the twilight
her lips find mine
as we drift into bed
slip between
languid sheets of cool cotton
warming quickly over and under
our trembling bodies
as she makes love to me
making love to her
in so many unrehearsed
and unimaginable positions
that by daybreak
we are so lost in pleasure
that i mistake her eyes for mine
and she wears my skin
as her own

it is four in the morning
and i confess that
this poem comes and goes
i have moments
when everything is clear
and then it all slips away
into the sudden insecurity
that if i write from the innermost
pulse of my heart
you may not understand
what i am saying
or worse
not care
but you see
i long so much for your attention
that my aching fingers
freeze like larkspur
caught in a sudden frost
and i can only watch
as the blue inky stains turn to bruised yellowing black
after so much tireless scribbling
after so many words written
then scratched out
only to be written again
filling every empty recess
of a blank page
so many words pouring outward
from an empty life
etched in a repetitious struggle
to convince myself that
by writing to you or for you
my life is not empty at all
so many words that somehow
shape what i feel
but even as i grasp at this hope
the words falter and fail
as each line and curve
as each stroke and dot
becomes fluid and restless
and breaks apart or congeals
into unrecognisable smudges
the unintelligible testaments of failure
that dance off the page
until the paper before me
is blank again



Friday, August 17, 2012

Never Mind The Bollocks ...

“Life is simple, if you stop thinking about it.”
~ Bob Buddha
Never Mind The Bollocks ...

Some people push life to its limits. Some don't push at all.

Some people want everything and more. Some settle for what they get.

Some people fill their lives with experience. Some just dance along the edge of other people's lives, like spectators peeking through dusty curtains.

Some people share an unrelenting passion. Some have no passion to give.

Some people fill the room with colour. Some live in black and white.

Some people find the key to the riddle of sharing life and loving another. Some remain alone.

Some see the glass as half-full. Some see the glass as half-empty.

And some ... some pitch the glass out the window, because they would rather live life with all its ups and downs rather than waste another second puzzling over what this or that means.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Life and Death

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”
— Lao Tsu
Life and Death

Some days, my life is so hectic that I run around in circles, getting to the proverbial nowhere. Stress ... strange how it affects us. Some people handle stress by shutting off the world, some drink a daily regimen of alcohol, some take little white pills, and others, like me, make a beeline straight to the refrigerator.

Food, especially wonderfully sweet food, is a common narcotic of choice.

Want to know why you're overweight? Simple. Instead of feeding your body, which really isn't too demanding, you're probably feeding your head — feeding your problems and worries with food that your body neither needs or wants. If we fed only the demands of our bodies, each of us would probably be approximately at an optimum weight. Unfortunately, many of us listen to our heads, and so we eat to dull the pain, anger, depression, or whatever it is that is gnawing at our sense of well-being.

That, I'm afraid, has been the story of my life.

Alas, under the orders of a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, my days of butter tarts and Little Debbie snacks are behind me now.

I have given up my comfort foods for green things that grow like weeds in the fields of Chile or California. A nose in my fridge finds only stringy tooth-jamming-like-dental-floss celery, an assorted collection of yellow-going-on-orange peppers, and a Tupperware ensemble of cauliflower florets. The only Bud in there would be the buds of broccoli in a resealable plastic baggie that I think I have used and reused since 1967. It still has a hempish smell inside of it, but I consider that aroma a form of seasoning.

Good health. The journey to good health is no easy road, when what we really want to do is fall into the couch in front of a Law and Order marathon with maybe a vanilla milkshake, a deluxe pizza, and a bag of those chewy chocolate chip cookies.

We are encouraged to lose weight, exercise, and develop a strong "core," whatever that is — presumably something quite different from anything "hardcore." So we abuse our bodies by denying it the sugary compotes that have been the key to dulling our problems, and we sign up for yoga, aerobics class, join a gym, or just go for endless walks around the neighbourhood. The Law and Order marathon goes on, even in our absence, and we suffer from bugged-out symptoms of flat-screen withdrawal, even before we know that Robert Goren is likely as nutty as the criminals he pursues.

Some days, I wonder what's the point? Some days, I think that, sure, you might squeeze a few more years out of life, but what is life like beyond 80 or 90 years anyway? Wouldn't you rather be squeezing some of that not-so-real cheeze out of a plastic tube and onto your Ritz crackers while lying in bed-like-a-beach?

My doctor is a fun guy. He's a Kiwi-transplant to Canada, and about my age. He likes a good laugh, but he tends to be a little overly dramatic at times. For him, blood tests are like the twelve sacraments, and he waves me into his office like it were a confessional in purgatory. This count is too high, and this count is through the roof. "What have you been doing with your life?" he wonders with an incredulous look on his face.

My response is always the same. "I've been living," I counter.

"But maybe not for very much longer if you keep living the way you are," he cautions.

"What's the worst that can happen?" I muse.

"You could die prematurely," he snaps.

"Story of my life, doc," I offer back, "premature baby, premature baldness, premature atrial contractions, premature ejaculations, so what's new and different about a premature death?"

I know, I know. We are expected to fight against the darkness and all that. Still, you do have to live. I'd rather have quality over quantity. Give me the dance and the romance, not the dread of waking up dead.

You see, no one ever trained me for the senior citizens complex. I don't play bridge, barely understand BINGO, would rather skateboard than play shuffleboard, fumble like an idiot with those days-of-the-week plastic pill sorters, and worst of all, I see wheel chairs as power carts to race up and down shiny hallways. All in all, I'd rather be in Bert's Bar & Grill in Bilouxi, and having a cheeseburger and fries, than sitting in a circle with the blue-haired crew singing Kumbaya.

Life? Funny thing. Death? Not so funny in most people's books. Yet, just as every journey begins with a single step, so too does every journey end with a final thud. We come, and we go. It is what it is.

Sure I'd love to walk along the beaches of Florida with a six-pack abdominal wall this summer. I'm much more likely, however, to be toting a six-pack of doughnuts.



Monday, August 13, 2012



Last night, I fell into the boggy mire of What-If-Ville.

You know, that place you sometimes go and wonder, "What if this were different? What if that were different? What if I did this instead of that, made this decision instead of that decision, fell in love with this girl, instead of, ugh, that girl?

I was chipping into the complexities of the soul. Evaluation and re-evaluation. Sometimes, a very unsettling experience.

After all, we have what we have. For whatever reasons, we are who we are, and we can't just go back and change this or that. This or that will always be this or that, no matter how much we moan and groan about either this or that.

I suppose we can learn from our past decisions and try to make better decisions in the future. Maybe, that's the key. Instead of worrying about the this and that of the past, we should concentrate on the this and that of the present.


Oh, don't fret. Never deny yourself a little confusion.

I think confusion is the primary lightning rod that sucks in the energy of the cosmos. Confusion is the place we start becoming better people.

For some reason, I want to say, "Can you give me a Hoo-rah?" I'm really not sure why. So, I won't.

OK, just for fun, c'mon ... give me a "Hoo-rah."

There, now don't you feel better.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Getting The Shakes From My Olympic Addiction

Getting The Shakes From My Olympic Addiction

Have you been watching the Olympics over the last two weeks? I have.

Here, in Canada, we have had amazing television coverage — three channels covering different events from about 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET — with many of the events presented live when televised early in the day.

I confess that I have watched more television over the last two weeks than I would usually watch in an entire year. I almost feel like I have a flat somewhere in London, and that I know Prince William and his brother, Harry, more closely than I would ever really hope or desire. After the closing ceremonies today, I am sure to go into some kind of withdrawal. Returning to watching America's Got Talent will most certainly provide very little solace.

There are some Olympic events that I generally like more than others.

I like the gymnastic events, because the training, strength, and dedication of the athletes is beyond what most people could ever muster. The United States Fab Five girls' gymnastics team was outstanding, and very deserving of the gold medal.

The swimming is always a must-see for me. I love to swim myself, and it was great to see Michael Phelps return and win another handful of medals to become the most decorated Olympian of all time.

I also like the diving competitions. However, the divers do have a somewhat peculiar fascination with the little towels they carry around. They dive and then they immediately grab these little babushkas and wipe themselves down. It's as if they don't like being wet. It's diving ... into water. You get wet.

Synchronized diving is a bit odd, but so is synchronized swimming. I don't get the whole synchronized thing. I mean, imagine if there were synchronized hurdles, synchronized pole vaulting, or synchronized weight lifting. All gets a bit weird.

My favourite events are in track and field. I especially like the short races, the 100 metres and the like. In these Olympics, the star of the track and field show was Usain Bolt from Jamaica. The man can run. I suspect that I could have been as fast as he was when I was younger. I definitely did my share of running in my time. Still, I suppose that, if I were to be an Olympian, I would need a better name. Let's be honest, James sounds a bit slow compared to Bolt. James sounds like the name of a slow-motion butler or a sleepy chauffeur. I think I would go with a name like Freddy Fuse. That name has some definite speed in it. Light me up and watch me burn down the track ...

I guess there is some glory in how many medals each country wins. The USA, winning over 100 medals, did very well. Canada won only 18. It was 19, but yesterday they took a bronze medal away from our 4X100m relay team. It appears as if the Canadians had trouble staying between the lines on the track during the race. I can sympathise. Hey, we think out of the box here in the Great White North, eh?

I'm sad to report that only one of Canada's medals was a gold medal — won by Rosannagh MacLennan in women's trampolines. Trampolines? I never even realised that was a sport. I wonder if logrolling will ever qualify as an Olympic sport? We would probably do quite well in that, but then the Brits would probably want to add darts, the French would demand some kind of kissing event, and the Americans would insist on skateboarding or beer-bonging. I guess you have to draw the line somewhere.

All in all, it was a wonderful two weeks, and London did a jolly good job of being host to the world.

Watching all that television for two weeks seems deserving of some kind of medal as well. Maybe a chocolate medal, like those gold-foil wrapped coins you can buy at the Dollar Store.

Next stop, Brazil in 2016 ... pensar nas possibilidades!



Friday, August 10, 2012

A Boat That Floats ...

A Boat That Floats ...

Zzzzzzzzsaw, saw ... hammer, hammer ... chisel, chisel ... huh?

Oh, sorry, I'm busy building an ark. Well, a mini-ark actually.

I have had no wild instructions from God to collect all the animals, two by two, and get them loaded into a boat that floats. So, my ark is sort of on the smaller size. I might get fifty or maybe fifty-one average sized people into it, but no more than about thirty-two would be perfect.

Maybe just one would be ideal.

It's funny how some people need a whole village to feel like they belong in this world, and other people don't really need anyone at all.

Me? Oh, I need a little companionship if this boat is going to float.

You are the ark that you build, I guess.



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