Wednesday, August 31, 2016

THE AMERICA I MISS

"Style is not what keeps us going. We survive by virtue of people extending themselves, welcoming the young, showing sympathy for the suffering, taking pleasure in each other's good fortune. We are here for a brief time. We would like our stay to mean something. Do the right thing. Travel light. Be sweet."
Garrison Keillor, From "The America I Miss"




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

PLENTY OF FISH DATING: ONE NIGHT AT A TIME

She sent me a message this morning:
"Oh no, I fell asleep in my recliner again.I need to sell this thing."
I replied:
"I’m a chronic couch sleeper. Actually, a reformed chronic couch sleeper, I should give myself some credit. I bet I slept on the couch for 15 years after my divorce. Its amazing; one has to train themselves to sleep in a bed again after that many years on a couch. It was hard, but I did it! One night at a time. I’ve been sleeping in a bed for about five years now. They should make a chip or key tag for that, like they do at Alcoholics Anonymous
But here’s the thing.
I don’t do it right.
I sleep with my head at the foot of the bed, or sometimes sideways, with my feet hanging off the edge. Once in a blue moon will I find myself having slept in my bed correctly, with my head and feet where they are supposed to be.
I cant say for sure how that happens.
So, knowing this, are you sure you still want to meet for coffee?"

Thursday, August 25, 2016

PLENTY OF FISH: EPISODE ONE

"THE DORK"

My first day on the dating website "Plenty of Fish, I traded messages with a dog lover. On the fourth message I just went ahead and hung it out there.
“So what are you doing for supper? Ya wanna meet up someplace, have supper, something easy and lite?”
She said yes. She said she had been on this dating site for three months and it was the first time a guy asked to meet up, because all the guys on the site are lame.

She wasn’t bad looking. She had a nice smile. And her hair was thick and luxurious.
So I meet her. We have dinner. She laughs at my stories, chews her food with her mouth shut, doesn’t go on about Donald Trump or how the government is sitting on a formula to turn water into fuel. In other words, she’s OK. She might not be dance partner material, but she is nice to talk to.

So I get home, send her a thank you note. She replies back:
“You are a dork. But you are a cute dork. Don’t change.”
So I look up dork. It says I’m a guy that is not afraid to be who I am. That I don’t worry about what people think about me, have odd interests, and is silly sometimes.
Well, that’s close enough. Except I have learned that what people think about me IS important. That helps keep this dork from being a total asshole.
And its not like she called me a DWEEB.


A few days go by. Its Thursday evening, time to eat. I send Dog lover a message:
“Hey, ya wanna go get a pizza? I know a great dive up on Grapevine Highway!”
The reply comes back, almost instantaneous:
“You know we have no chemistry, right”
Hahaha. That’s telling it plain I guess. My reply?
“Right. No chemistry. So ya wanna go have a pizza?”

But here is what I’ve noticed. Everybody has their antennae up for “Chemistry”. If you are so honed in on chemistry, I think you might miss out on something bigger.
Just being a friend and going for pizza.
I can’t remember a single time I met a girl, felt chemistry, did a triple back flip back to her place and had tantric sex.

I waited five minutes for a reply, and decided on chicken livers from Lisa’s Chicken instead.
Because I don’t give a fuck what anybody thinks; I like chicken livers.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

THERE IS A STAR BY MY NAME IN THE BOOK OF LIARS

Live with total integrity. Be transparent, honest, and authentic. Do not ever waiver from this; white lies and false smiles quickly snowball into a life lived out of alignment. It is better to be yourself and risk having people not like you than to suffer the stress and tension that comes from pretending to be someone you’re not, or professing to like something that you don’t. I promise you: Pretending will rob you of joy.
~ Christine Carter, Ph.D. 

And this, which explains the health effects of telling lies.

"Lying, even if we do it a lot, or think we are good at it, is very stressful to our brains and our bodies. The polygraph test depends on this: “Lie Detectors” don’t actually detect lies, but rather they detect the subconscious stress and fear that lying causes. These tests sense changes in our skin electricity, pulse rate, and breathing. They also detect when someone’s vocal pitch has changed in a nearly imperceptible way, a consequence of tension in the body that tightens vocal chords."

The results of lies? Impaired relationships.
A friend kept telling me this year:
"Maturity is saying the right thing at the right time for the right reasons"
It ended up being rationale for telling a lot of lies.
I haven't seen my friend in a long long time.

Twenty years ago I ruined a perfectly good marriage with lies and cheating and dope. Fell deep into an 11 year addiction. Finally got clean and got honest with myself and the world. I got square with old friends, and the people around me. Its a wonderful feeling, being square.



Down at my NA Group my Grandsponsor says:
"The Truth and Spiritual Principles are never in conflict"
What does that mean?
Tell the fucking truth. 
Especially when its hard. You'll feel better being square with the Universe, and the people around you will be able to make decisions based on reality.
I would know.
There is a star in the book of liars by my name.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

INSIDE WAS ALL OF IRELAND



There was an old Celt who loved his wife, his children, his friends, and his jar. But most of all he loved the land he trod and fought for food. So when his time came, his sons carried him from the stone cottage and laid him on the stone earth. He clenched a fistful of Ireland and was gone.

When he arrived at the gates that only swing in, God appeared in the long robes of judgment. He noticed the closed hand. “Old man, you are not allowed to bring anything in.”

But the hand with the loved land heaved beneath the judge’s nose, “Then I stay outside.”

After a while, God appeared a second time as a pub mate with cap and pipe. He threw a tavern arm over the old man’s shoulders. “Friend, dust belongs to the wind. Let go of that earth and come inside.”

“Never,” said the tightfisted one.

After a while, God came out a third time as a small boy. He ran to the ear of the old man. “Grandfather, the gates only open for those with open hands.”

The old man rose with a slow sadness and never looked down as caked and crumbled Ireland fell.

The gates opened like arms flung wide and the old man entered.
Inside was all of Ireland.

Gathered at "Alive on All Channels"

Monday, August 22, 2016

SUNSET ON LOUISIANNE

I looked for this song after Katrina in 2005, and again after the big BP spill in 2010. Now with Baton Rouge underwater I went looking again and found it.
I first heard it back about 1995, and I only heard it the one time, but it stuck with me all these years.

I


Sunset on Louisianne
When I was young and full of dreams,
My whole life in front of me.
But things are not always the way they seem,
Some things will always change.
My papa’d been a trapper living hand to mouth,
But when I made shop foreman, I had it all figured out,
I thanked god each and everyday
When the industry came to town.
Chorus:
Sunset on Louisianne,
The sun going down on the promised,
I’ve given you everything I can,
I’ve got nothing left to lose.

Married a girl from Pauché Briide,
Raised a family of Cajun kids,
Nobody did no better than we did,
But things can always change.
My sister lost her baby premature,
And my papa got the sickness that got no cure,
And what they told us about it at the plant,
We could not be sure.
Chorus

Bridge:
Smokestacks burning on the river,
From New Orleans to Baton Rouge.
How can I go on believing
When they won’t tell me the truth.


I take my grand son fishing down at Camanida Bay,
I hope some of this beauty will last,
But, lord, it’s changing so damn fast,
Each and every day.
I love the river and I love the swamp,
The snowy egret and the old bull frog,
But they’re harder to find one and all
Since the industry came to town.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

TRUMP THE RACCOON



"He is entirely wrapped up in himself, like a raccoon trapped in a garbage can, and apparently uninterested in the realities of policy and politics, which unnerves old hands in the Republican Party, but what can they do? He came to political prominence in 2011 by insisting that Barack Obama is secretly a Kenyan, which appealed to a large segment of Republicans, the same ones who imagine that the government is sitting on a secret formula for turning tap water into fuel.
Reality is a show, and wild conjecture and playground insult are his strong suits. He has gotten a long free ride on news shows...the first albino raccoon to run for president. His platform, whatever it may be on any given day, is pure hokum. He is, as Mitt Romney points out, a fraud. Hillary Clinton has her faults and is no whiz at email, but she does not walk around arguing with lampposts.
And meanwhile, Republicans are asking themselves how it happened that this freak was bestowed upon the national stage by their grand old party. Democrats have put forward candidates who lost spectacularly but we were never ashamed of them, they represented a strain, a tradition, of our particular circus. We never ran a raccoon for the presidency. We never put on a convention that our elders were too embarrassed to attend."
...excerpted from a really nice Garrison Keillor column.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

ONLINE DATING

IN RESPONSE TO A MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM A PRETTY GIRL POSING WITH A GUITAR, WARNING ME TO BE CAREFUL OF PROFILES THAT WERE SCAMS



Hi Ellen!

I am new to this. Like 10 days new. I did get a bogus looking message that asked me to email them because they were shutting down their account. Looking at the text, they didn’t claim to be a Nigerian Princess, but the whole thing kinda stank, ya know?
So I didn’t respond. What’s weird is they weren’t all that stunning as far as looks go. You’d think they would use more attractive bait.

I get a lot of identical two word messages: “Hello There”.
I get enough of them that it creeps me out a little. I think I wrote a story one time that started out “I haven't tried internet dating. I've got my hands full just flirting with every girl I run into on the street”.
But that hasn’t worked out so well, Ellen, so here I am.



How to be original? Well, I actually met a girl the first day I was on POF. We had dinner, and talked for two hours. I sent her a message later, and she said I was a dork. And she said to stay that way, because I was a “cute dork”.
I think that was her way of telling me “Thanks, but no thanks”lol
So I looked up Dork. One definition is “a dull, slow-witted, or socially inept person”. That’s not me.
The other is
“Someone who has odd interests, sometimes silly, and can be themselves without being afraid what other people think.”
That’s me Ellen!

I see you are the Class Clown! When I was in the 5th grade the teacher sent a note home with me saying “Steve tries to be the Class Clown”. “Tries”? It cut me to the quick, and I never liked her much after that.
But it did motivate me to try to achieve my greatest goals which are to make the world a funnier place and to die laughing. I am not a stand up comic, but I seem to be able to find some humor in anything and have a knack for never speaking too seriously for too long about serious matters.



This cloudy cool day would be perfect for any of the three things I used to be very passionate about: Fishing, Golf and Gardening.
Do you golf much? I used to be so addicted to it I would call golf courses during tornado watches and pouring down rain to find out if they were open. I’m not sure I would ever take up golf again.
What about fishing? I could see fishing again. I went a couple times last year with my son (he’s 26) but I used to fish a lot. Like every week I would go. Camping 3 times a year too. But life happens, and things get left behind.
Now gardening, that’s something I still do on a small scale. I don’t have a yard anymore, but I got a nice little plot outside my apartment. Tomatoes and basil, lots of basil, the maintenance crew helps me keep it picked which just makes it grow more, and I have rosemary too, and come September I’ll replace the tomatoes with sugar snaps that will be ready t pick by Christmas. I used to have a green thumb they say. 

Still do, I say.



I've probaly had every hobby known to man at some point. The last few years my biggest hobby has been writing. That’s why this message is probably way longer than it should be (sorry). I like to write, and I write like I talk, and I like to talk, and sometimes I dance like no one is looking. It wasn’t so much the fact that you had a guitar that attracted me. It was the way that you HELD the guitar, with the fingers, and the mischievous  look on your face. Then I read your profile, and as you hoped, the humor came shining through.
And you have a very nice smile.

Love, Bulletholes

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

TO SING YOUR OWN SONG


TO BE HUMAN IS TO SING YOUR OWN SONG
Everything I can think of that my parents
thought or did I don't think and I don't do.
I opened windows, they shut them. I pulled
open the curtains, they shut them. If you
get my drift. Of course there were some
similarities - they wanted to be happy
and they weren't. I wanted to be Shelley and I
wasn't. I don't mean I didn't have to avoid
imitation, the gloom was pretty heavy. But
then, for me, there was the forest, where
they didn't exist. And the fields. Where I
learned about birds and other sweet tidbits
of existence. The song sparrow, for example.

In the song sparrow's nest the nestlings,
those who would sing eventually, must listen
carefully to the father bird as he sings
and make their own song in imitation of his.
I don't know if any other bird does this (in
nature's way has to do this). But I know a
child doesn't have to. Doesn't have to.
Doesn't have to. And I didn't.
- Mary Oliver
Blue Horses

Gathered at Whiskey River


Image~ Everyone thinks its from Woodstock. Its from New Orleans, 1972, taken by George W Gardner


Monday, August 15, 2016

"Good. Now here’s what poetry can do."

"Imagine yourself a caterpillar.
There’s an awful shrug and, suddenly,
You’re beautiful for as long as you live."
Gathered at Live and Learn