Tuesday, January 29, 2013


"Some people believe that God has revealed Himself to us and not to the others, the barbarians, and it is His Will that our tribe vanquish the others and rain death and destruction on them. Others believe that our understanding of God is incomplete but that He has bestowed this beautiful world on us, and other gifts, which should be shared, and we should walk softly and praise His Name. I walk softly to the cafe and order a large mocha and pray for the forgiveness of incompetence and for mercy to children. And thanks for the day, which happens to be perfect."
Garrison Keillor

Image~ Luke Storms @ Crashingly Beautiful from his recent trip to India

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Back when I was a chef, we did a party for what is called the Pritzger Prize. The Pritzger Prize is the highest architectural prize one can receive, and it was being awarded to Kitzo Tenge in 1987. The Award Dinner was held at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. There were to be 500 guest.

I had watched the Pastry Chef work for 3 days on his dessert. He had made 500 treasure chests from chocolate, each to be filled with mousse. He had been sitting at a table the last 8 hours hand painting gold filigree on each one.
You may be wondering if gold is edible. It is. It is even said to have medicinal value.
Today you can go and buy a bottle of Goldschlager, a liqueur with flecks of gold floating in it.

But back to the Pastry Chef, dipping his tiny brush into the vial of gold filigree, hand painting 500 finely crafted small boxes made of chocolate. His name was David, and up until a few years prior he had been a carpenter by trade. Maybe he got tired of sawdust, of the cold, I don't know, but somehow he had wound in his true calling, evidenced by his quick rise to the top of his field. To look at David in his white uniform topped by a chefs toque you just wouldn't figure. Long hair and a beard, he looked more like Foghat than a Master PastryChef. David did not wear shoes. He wore sandals. He was like a cross between Tommy Chong and Rasputin.
And he is patiently practicing a form of Zen, hand painting his chocolate creations.

Two corporate Vice-Presidents wandered by, stopping to examine the work.
One said “This is beautiful! So exquisite, so elegant!”
The other picked one of the finished pieces up and said “Simplicity is elegant”, because that’s the kind of shit Corporate VP’s like to say.
David set down his brush, reached over and gently took his treasure chest from the Corporate VP, set it back down with the rest,  and said “We are spending a lot of time on simplicity”.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


I went and applied for a waiters job at Pappadeux a few years back, just to pick up a little extra cash.
The manager asked what qualifications I had for that job.
“Well, I was a chef for 25 years” I said.
“Really?” he said “Where at?”
“A few local Country Clubs, and 6 years with Hyatt.”
“Hmm. Interesting. Any other qualifications?”
I looked at him. He couldn’t have been a day over 25.
I asked him “Have you ever wrestled an alligator?”
He looked at me funny. “No, no I never have”
I looked at him, all wide eyed and crazy like, and said:
“Well I have. Wrestled him, kilt him, skinned him, cleaned him, cooked him and ate him with a nice Remoulade and a little Cole Slaw”

I didn’t get the job, but I think that’s one of the best interviews I ever had.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


I think at least once a day, I fall in love with someone.
I know, I’m fickle, I always have been
But you, you who shine, you need to know this
That there are others just like me
We see you
And someone right now, just out of your sight
See’s what you are doing
And smiles
And someone else, just out of earshot
They heard what you said
And they fell
For just that instant, they fell in love with you
So if you think you are safe
And if you think you made it home again
Having a nice tea or soda
Unnoticed and anonymous
Just keep doing what you are doing
And just keep saying those things you say
You just might have a secret admirer.
bulletholes 1/23/2012

Sunday, January 20, 2013


"Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?"



image~  another Helen Levitt

There's a boy in you about three
Years old who hasn't learned a thing for thirty
Thousand years. Sometimes it's a girl.

This child has to make up its mind
How to save you from death. He said things like:
"Stay home. Avoid elevators. Eat only elk."

You live with this child, but you don't know it.
You're in the office, yes, but live with this boy
At night. He's uninformed, but he does want

To save your life. And he has. Because of this boy
You survived a lot. He's got six big ideas.
Five don't work. Right now he's repeating them to you.
- Robert Bly

Saturday, January 19, 2013

“To myself”

image~Helen Levitt

"Even when I forget you
I go on looking for you
I believe I would know you
I keep remembering you
sometimes long ago but then
other times I am sure you
were here a moment before
and the air is still alive
around where you were and I
think then I can recognize
you who are always the same
who pretend to be time but
you are not time and who speak
in the words but you are not
what they say you who are not
lost when I do not find you"
W. S. Merwin,
“To myself”

Thursday, January 17, 2013


"We chase after ghosts and spirits and are left holding only memories and dreams. It's not that we want what we can't have; it's that we've held all we could want and then had to watch it slip away."
 - Charles de Lint

Sunday, January 13, 2013



Tuesday, January 08, 2013


I did a post a while back about the Gratitude Prayer:
“My gratitude speaks when I care and share the NA way that no addict seeking recovery need ever die from the horrors of addiction”

I talked some about Stan, and the Eternity Medallion.
It makes me think of the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”
In it, Morgan Freeman plays a convict named Red doing a life sentence. Every year he comes up for parole, and every year they ask him “Do you feel you've been rehabilitated? “
And every year he tells them “Oh yes, I’ve learned my lesson. I’m no longer a danger to anyone. I’m a changed man” and every year they turn him down.
Finally after 40 years and they bring Red in, and he’s tired of playing this game, and it goes like this…

"Have you been rehabilitated?"

“Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don't have any idea what that means.”

“Well, it means that you're ready to rejoin society...”

“I know what *you* think it means, sonny. To me it's just a made up word. A politician's word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?

“Well, are you?”

"There's not a day goes by I don't feel regret. Not because I'm in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can't. That kid's long gone and this old man is all that's left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It's just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don't give a shit."

So they let Red go.

And he goes, and he gets a job sacking groceries in a grocery store, which was the same job as Brooks, another con they let out had had.
But ol’ Brooks, he didn’t fit in outside the prison walls, and one night he carves his name into the wooden header in his apartment, puts a rope around his neck and kicks the chair out from under himself.

And now Red is working that same job, living in that same apartment, and one day he asks the boss if he can go to the bathroom, and his boss looks at him like he’s nuts and says “You don’t have to ask me that, just go!”
And so now Red feels all out of place, and wonders if he’s cut out for life on the outside, and in the movie he takes off his bagger's apron, leaves the store, and as he walks down the street there is Morgan Freeman's great narrative voice as Red talks to himself.
He says:
“There's a harsh truth to face. No way I'm gonna make it on the outside. All I do anymore is think of ways to break my parole, so maybe they'd send me back. Terrible thing, to live in fear. Brooks Hatlen knew it. Knew it all too well. All I want is to be back where things make sense.”

As he says this, he stops in front of a pawn shop window where there is a pistol.
And you expect Red to go into the pawn shop, buy the pistol, and find a way back into the life that he knew.
But that’s not what he does. He comes out with a scout compass, and for me to try to tell you what he does with the compass would turn this post into a Stephen King book. So if you have a chance to see the movie, I do recommend.

But it makes me think of the NA program, and how I have a choice today and with that choice is some hope that I can be whoever I want to be, no longer trapped under the control of a drug or a system. That no addict seeking recovery need ever die...literally or figuratively.

It also reminds me that the only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first drug.

Monday, January 07, 2013


If you like what you're doing, it wouldn't be work.

Great moves in Wrestling-- The Boston Crab

"This typically starts with the opponent on his (her) back, and the wrestler standing and facing him (her). The wrestler hooks each of the opponent's legs in one of his arms, and then turns the opponent face-down, stepping over him (her...haha) in the process."

Saturday, January 05, 2013



Someone suggested I ask her to shave, but the last time I asked a woman to do that she slapped me.
And that's about all that's going on around here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013


In addition to losing Townes van Zandt and Hank Williams on New Years days 1997 and 1963 respectively, we also lost the relatively unknown (and elusive) Ted Hawkins on a New Years Day.
Ted preferred his gig as a street performer around Venice Beach and a life of addiction, jail, and restlessness  to recording  and fairly successful European tours.
But in  1994, Geffen Records finally nailed him down long enough to get an album out him. "The Next Hundred Years" brought some success to Hawkins, it was a breakthrough album, but Ted died of a stroke New Years Day, only months after its release.
Its one of those albums that plays great all the way through, and you might find it on the throwaway shelf at Half-Price books.
From Ted's breakthrough album---