Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

I don’t like country music, but I don’t mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means “put down.”
-- Bob Newhart --


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Splash du Jour: Monday

So where’s the Cannes Film Festival being held this year?
-- Christina Aguilera --


Have a great Monday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It Seemed That Way: A Saturday Poem


It Seemed That Way


I can see how it seemed that way.
When I looked away, shutting my eyes,
did you see that part? My eyes shut?

What you said was so politically wrong.
No one knew this more than you
in the moment, wanting it all back.

But that same one, that same moment
was, for me, the very opposite
of regret. I searched in it for similarity.

Had to close the lids of me and ask
if I’d ever done anything half as gutsy.
Opening them, I saw yours, closed.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mystery Solved [Sort of]

This is a Bizarro© cartoon.
The creator of these cartoons is Dan Piraro.
On Tuesday’s Splash du Jour, I posted one of the Bizarro cartoons that, to me, was a hilarious satirical look at the future effects of global warming.
Then Kingmonkey commented about the stick of dynamite in the cartoon.
It’s there in the lower left hand corner, amid the waves.
I had not even noticed this dynamite. And then Merisi commented that she does not “get” the cartoon. So I myself wondered about it. [See my reply to both of them in the comments section.]
An incredibly astute reader of my blog then wrote back to me, having done some research on this Piraro character. Apparently, this recurrent stick of dynamite [we see it again, for instance, in the above cartoon, tacked onto Batman’s cape] is a secret symbol.
In an interview with The Houston Chronicle, Piraro explains about the dynamite, saying:
“It refers to my wife, who changed almost everything about my life instantaneously, like an explosion. Not just in sappy, sentimental ways, but philosophically. She made me aware of the plight of animals and the environment at the hands of our rabid consumerism, and I’ve not seen the world the same since.”

Wow.
I find it all quite interesting, and shall never again be perplexed about it.
I love Bizarro.
Piraro is the perfect successor to Gary Larson.

********

Splash du Jour: Friday







I went to a restaurant with a sign that said they served breakfast at any time. So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.

-- Steven Wright --


Have a great Friday!
*********

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Proof's In The "Ice"

Remember when Alice Munro said she was retiring?
As in, never going to write none more?
Well!
She was LYING!
She’s got to be one of the world’s greatest [of all time] short story writers.
I think I’ve read about eight or nine hundred of her stories.

A new collection, entitled Too Much Happiness is soon to be released.
Ten new Munrovian stories. ClickHERE.
Anyhoo.
Tonight’s topic involves autographs!
The ever-living controversy as to whether my own mysteriously signed “Selected Stories” contains an actual authentic Alice Munro signature.
The full story can be found HERE.
So, to recap, a lot of people emailed me at that time, saying that this signature [shown above] in my book is not authentic.
Well, since then, in fact it was last night, I happened across yet another image.

OK, that signature was proxy-written by Alice Munro using the Margaret Atwood LongPen© System.
Now let’s be serious.
When you compare this autograph with the one in my own book, it’s obvious that I have an original over here.
Admittedly, anyone could forge that rounded-out “A” or the sort of wonky “M” or “nr”… but for me, the proof’s in the “ice” part.
How do you duplicate that?
It’s just not possible to be that... counterfeity.
I’ve got an original over here.
End of discussion.
If you want to argue about this, I must refer you to the title of Munro’s fourth book, from way back in 1978…
Who Do You Think You Are?

*********

Splash du Jour: Thursday

The story must be imagined so deeply and devoutly that everything in it seems to bloom of its own accord and to be connected, then, to our own lives which suddenly, as we read, take on a hard beauty, a familiar strangeness, the importance of a dream that can't be disputed or explained. Everything is telling you: Stop. Hold on. Here it is. Here too. Remember.
-- Alice Munro --


Have a great Thursday!
********

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I once shook hands with Pat Boone and my whole right side sobered up.
-- Dean Martin --


Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Worstest Word Ever

Do any of you have a word that you continually misspell?
Don’t you just hate it?
Generally, I am a fenomenally good speller…. but, umm… from time to time [← I’m avoiding The Worstest Word Ever© here…] one word will just trip me up and I can just never seem to get it right.
For me, that word is:
Occasionally.
Man I hate that word, occasionally.
And here is the weird thing. I’m spelling it correctly, above.
But tomorrow…. or even later tonight, if I had to spell the damn thing in a sentence, my spell-check feature would be catching it four or five times as I sought to correct myself again.
To me, there are at least nine or ten perfectly valid ways to spell occasionally.
One “c”.
Two “s”-s.
One “l”.
Ending in “ee”?
[Well, that lassed one, addmiteddly, I’m exxagerating a bit……]

What’s your Worstest Word Ever?

**********

Splash du Jour: Monday

I really enjoy having sex, and that’s offensive to some people. Women are the quickest to call other women sluts, which is sad.
I haven’t met a lot of men who’ve said, “You like having sex? What a dirty whore you are!” That’s because they wish their wives or girlfriends would have more sex with them.

-- Megan Fox, in a July 2007 interview --


Have a great Monday!
********

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Evolution of Advertising

I once was a smoker.
Smoked over a pack a day, for like half a century.
My last cigarette was on November 26, 1984.
The full, in-depth, exciting as all hell story can be seen HERE.
So I know what smoking is all about.
I do not speak of it in gest, whatsoever.
I know that quitting is difficult.
I tried to quit about 1800 times before something finally clicked.

The penny dropped.
This afternoon, at a whim, I just started clicking around on old old cigarette ads.
Googling.
It’s real neat to see the evolution of ads, in the cigarette world.
Smoking used to be this glamorous thing.
“She’d rather fight than switch!” [← Viceroy ad.] And all that jazz.
The Marlborough Man!
Like smoking is going to somehow help me rope a steer!

Check out that one retarded ad at the top of this blog, where some kind of “physicians” are sporting the cancer-sticks like they are candy!
Lucky Strikes are “toasted.”
Yeah!

Keep smoking them, and you will be “toast.”
It’s just funny, these ads.
And as with all things [even religion, friends] – there is an evolution. With science comes knowledge. Or maybe it’s the other way around?

With knowledge comes science?
Whatever.
The point is we now know that smoking is just plain stupid.
I am not saying that in any judgmental sense – don’t get me wrong.

I’m just saying that SUCKING SMOKE INTO YOUR LUNGS ON PURPOSE has got to be perhaps one of the stupidest activities that human beings have ever invented to do.
Think about it.
Your lungs.

Those things that want oxygen oxygen oxygen…. your blood cells, lying in wait for those precious molecules to arrive – and then you flick the lighter, or strike the match, and your lungs, down below, if they could speak… are just screaming, “Nooooooooo!”

So check out a few of these ads I have stumbled across.
Here’s a real doozy, again, from the fine folks at Lucky Strike©, circa 1940’s –

Yes.
Beware of that dangity irritation.

The irritation of rotting away on a hospital bed, the plastic oxygen thing over your shnozz, friends and family above this, as a horizon, but only during visiting hours.
Remember. You’ve got all night to see…. other things.
Things like – your past.


This next one actually cracks me up.

Raleigh©.
“COST NO MORE THAN OTHER POPULAR BRANDS.”
What the hell kind of an ad-campaign is that?
Please tell me that the guy that came up with this lovely slogan was fired the next day?
I mean, I could see if maybe these smokes were just as g
ood as the next guy’s, and were CHEAPER or something [work with me here!] but -- the same price?
That’s the best you can do?
And again…. I am dying from the use of this product?
Sorry. You are not selling me.

Now see [oh, the power of science -- of knowledge -- of X-rays…] see, “Export A©”, [and almost every single other cigarette manufacturer out there] is finally having to put the blatant truth on their packaging.
And it’s high time.
Smoking is like sucking death into yourself, before you are ready for it.
And who is ever ready for it?

If you are a smoker, please quit, like I did.
Do it. QUIT!
It’s possible, I did it. Admit it, it’s literally killing you to not do it.
Secondly, if you know a smoker, and you like them, please forward this blog to them.

*********

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Walter: A Saturday Poem


Walter


Not that Cronkite fellow, no.
Ivanhoe author? Guess again.
The cigarette/sailor guy, Raleigh?
The creator of Mickey Mouse?
My own middle name? → Bingo.

The Mall, drizzly mid-June evening.
I pass by the Hallmark display.
Slowing my pace, I am reminded.
There’s no address where he, more
famous than all of the above, is.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Splash du Jour: Friday

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
-- Salman Rushdie --

Today is Salman Rushdie’s [52nd] birthday.


Have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Colm Toibin's Brooklyn

Just finished, tonight, a terrific book.
Colm Toibin’s latest novel, Brooklyn.
My fourth-read Toibin book, and I have loved them all, including this one.
However… this one was different.
For a while I felt as though I was watching Little House on the Prairie! He is so laid back in this thing. I mean… Toibin is a dynamic writer, and it just seems that he is ski-ing down the hill sideways on this one.
UNTIL YOU GET TO ABOUT PAGE 180 [of a possible 262].
Eilis [← love that name] is this Melissa Gilbert-type character that moves from Ireland to America.
It’s the 1950’s [or thereabouts].
It’s not only that nothing eventful seems to happen, but it’s the style that seems to be so [deliberately?] downplayed.
Toibin is one of my favorite writers, really he is. I know that he can be as deep and elaborate as Ian McEwan. It seems that here in Brooklyn, though, he adopted a real down-played style of writing. And yet, it kept me interested.
At times, it was like he was reporting. It was downright Hemingway-esque in its unpretensious journalistic factitiousness. [← Does that even make sense?]
Tolstoyan reality, with Ernest at the keyboard.
But see. I LIKE reality. [And Hemingway, for that matter].
So I liked this book.
And as I say, from page 180 onward, it really picks up.
Several times I had to put the book down, think about my own life.
Wipe my eyes.
To me, that’s always a sign of a good book!

********

Splash du Jour: Thursday

[Moishe] explained to me, with great emphasis, that every question possessed a power that was lost in the answer....
"'And why do you pray, Moishe?' I asked him.
'I pray to the God within me for the strength to ask Him the real questions.'"
-- Elie Wiesel, Night --


Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monica Ali on "Q"

Coming to you LIVE from the neighborhood Starbucks!
Well… my neighborhood, anyways!
And the Starbucks is in the Chapters bookstore, and I'm having a look at this new novel by British writer, Monica Ali.
← In The Kitchen.
Some of you may be familiar with her book Brick Lane which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003, and has since become a movie.
On Monday I listened to a terrific interview with the author, on the CBC radio program “Q” with host Jian Ghomeshi. Since then I’ve been waiting for the podcast to be available, and now it is!
If you would like to hear the interview, click HERE.
Let it download for a few minutes and then click about a third of the way in, unless you want to listen to the preceding piece on transgenderism.
I was just fascinated with the amount of research that goes into the writing of a book like In The Kitchen.
It sounds like it would be an interesting read.
And if nothing else, just listen to Monica’s killer-wicked awesome accent, it’s to die for.
Have any of you read this new book [it’s only been out for a few days] or any of her others?

*********

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I don’t like to kill flies, but I like to mess with their minds. I hold them above globes. They freak out and yell, “Whoa, I’m way too high!”
-- Bruce Baum --


Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

I never mind my wife having the last word.
In fact, I’m delighted when she gets to it.

-- Walter Matthau --


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Mailbox Overfloweth

Today was a horrid day at work.
Quite…… pleasureless!
I can’t even talk about it.
So after work I went to Starbucks for coffee and started reading the new novel from Colm Toibin, Brooklyn.
Then I got home and had such a pleasurable surprise in the mailbox!
Well, aside from various bills [how do they find you so regularly?]… I received my brand new Harpers magazine and a parcel from Random House.
I love getting review-stuff from Random House.
So, about two seconds after taking the above snapshot I was already leafing through this beautiful beautiful new book from one of my favorite authors, Alain de Botton.


The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work.
Wow!
I myself could probably write quite a book about the latter half of that title!
But of the former part, I’m afraid I know little!
This will be the sixth book by Alain de Botton that I have read.
If you have not yet discovered this author, I encourage you, oh do read him.
He is brilliant, witty, insightful, and several of his books [as this one is] are filled with photographs that serve as wonderful Sebald-like footnotes to his musings.
The guy is wonderful. I’m convinced he is a genius. I’ve corresponded with him several times, and he is always so gracious and humble. And wise.
I love Alain de Botton.
I love Random House.
I hate work.
I love my mailbox.

Find out more about this book
HERE.
**********

Splash du Jour: Monday









I was reading an article written by author Jennie Nash.
The topic was Ten Tips: How To Be Creative.
I really like her 8th point:
8. Have faith. In order to get beyond the doubt inherent in making anything – is it any good? Should I give it up? – it helps to have faith in the whole enterprise of creativity. You have to believe that painting matters, writing matters, making clay angels matters.


Have a great [creative] Monday!
*********

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fifteen Directions: A Saturday Poem


Fifteen Directions


If I recall it was your idea, your uncanny brilliance,
part of your overall scheme of overall improvement.
As if the water, no, drifting on it, fifteen directions
a minute was going to save us. You fell into the bow,
my oar tempting me to push you to the other shore.
But I climbed into the ass of the thing. Shoved off.

Canoeing. Who the hell, in the last hundred years
does this, unforced? When I asked, you sprayed me
with what I’m sure contained caviar. Forepaddling,
I returned the favor, and you turned, a glaring Satan.
Lake dropped from your hair, while you calmly said,
Don’t paddle on the same side as me, for Godsake.

The clouds quit moving. What is it called? A moment?
Where you kept looking at me, swabbed your forehead
and smiled. Oh, devil! I knew then, you were pure evil.
Once an angel, but fallen. And later that night, in bed
I watched you sleeping, smirk. We’ve been here before.
Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. No. Maybe fourteen times!

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Intrepid Spider

What do die-hard warehouse spiders eat?
Think about it.
Dust?
Just wee little other bugs and stuff?
No hamburger ever?
And think of all the WAITING involved.
OK, so [wicked bad karma!] you’re a frigging spider.
Doomed to shoot these webs out of your ass in the hopes that some other thing is going to fly into it. [Into the web, like!]
Yeah! Right!
Well, today I am sitting there at lunch-time, all alone, [in the non air-conditioned warehouse] reading Salman Rushdie, when something catches my eye down at the bottom of the microwave cabinet. Some sort of…… activity.
So I put the book down.
Wow.
My Spidey-Sense© is tingling.

In all seriousness now, there could not be a more non-eventful warehouse on the face of the Earth than my warehouse where I spend most of my life.
But here’s this optimistic spider.
He’s obviously read Dale Carnegie’s best-seller, How To Spin Friends and Ingest Recent Acquaintances!
Then just got on down there into this real skungy area and started spinning webs out of his butt.

And, lo and behold, something flew into it.
I know this because now I am down on all-fours, watching him methodically spin the struggling pilot into some sort of sick death-spiral, but at the same time I’m cheering for this cruel beast!
Way to go, Mr. Spider.
Kudos!
I would have NEVER had the patience….
[….. his little legs are spinning away……]
How long have you waited for this meal? Sixteen years?
Living on stored-up Kraft Dinner reserves? Is that what’s going on here?
You’re obviously not on Ab-Master©, I can see the bulge in the middle!
But wow!
To wait for food to FLY to you!
I can’t imagine.

It’s hard for me to get back into my chair, but when I do, I refocus on my Swanson’s Turkey Dinner©.
I am the superior species!
I shot absolutely nothing out of my rear end to acquire this tray of yummy food.
But to get RID of it later on today?
Well, admittedly, that’s probably going to be a bit violent, yes!

*******

Splash du Jour: Friday

I’ve been doing the Fonda workout: the Peter Fonda workout. That’s where I wake up, take a hit of acid, smoke a joint, and run to my sister’s house and ask for money.
-- Kevin Meaney --


Have a great Friday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Reading on the Island

This is really out of left field here, but I was thinking about it today.
Somewhere recently I think I saw the question asked, and for some reason I keep thinking about it.
OK, let’s say all of a sudden you are washed up on some deserted island.
You’re Tom Hanks, minus the volleyball.
Even if you’re a woman, you’re Tom Hanks, just play along with it here --
So after you wring the seawater from your pantaloons…. [what?]….. umm, you find an old cache of books.

Now, an essential part of this game [play along now] is that you have to answer the following question QUICKLY, delaying for even 10 seconds will mean that the books themselves vanish, OK?
Think of how devastating that will be!
You’re on a deserted island!
Oh yeah, another thing, there is cold beer all over and maragaritas and pina coladas and tons of sandwiches, too. And a beach umbrella.
PLUS THIS CACHE OF BOOKS.
And a nice deck chair.

So you have to leave your one-word answer [plus two-thousand word rationale essay] in the comment section of the following link… remember, no more than ten seconds of thinking going on.
The question is:

WHICH ONE OF THESE TWO AUTHORS DO YOU WANT IN YOUR DESERT-ISLAND CACHE?

Click HERE!
********

Splash du Jour: Thursday

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.
-- Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss


Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

A verbal contract isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.
-- Samuel Goldwyn --


Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Splash du Jour: Tuesday

All through the five acts of that Shakespearean tragedy, he played the king as though under a momentary apprehension that someone else was about to play the ace.
-- Eugene Field reviewing a performance of King Lear --


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 08, 2009

I'm In Heat --

--- so to say!
Today was the first day back to work after a nice two-week holiday. And it was hot.
It was damn hot.
While I was sweating, I had occasion to think about a real interesting and almost hard-to-believe factoid about my life. I’m not sure any of you readers will believe me, but I am going to say it anyway….
If someone were to ask me for some kind of unique weird factoid about my unique and weird life, I could say stuff like umm…… I have never bought a television set in my life. [ This is true, by the way].
Or, umm, I have never been without a car, since graduating from high-school. Yet, I’ve done almost 30 years of driving with only three vehicles. That’s just weird and unusual.
However, here is a factoid that is weirder than all the rest.

I am 45 years old, and have never, not ever, worked in an environment that was air-conditioned!
That’s not only weird and unusual… but profoundly sad. It’s just wrong!
I’ve been in heat a long long time, Baby!

********

Splash du Jour: Monday

Barney: “I’m Barney Gumble, and I’m an alcoholic.”
Lisa: “Mr. Gumble, this is a Girl Scout meeting.”
Barney: “Is it? Or is it that you girls can’t admit you have a problem!”


Have a great Monday!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

The Cat Lady

As most of you know, I recently returned from a vacation out west. During that time, my cat Jack was cared for, once again, by the best in-house cat-sitter on the planet. She is s a dear elderly Polish lady that lives three floors down from me.
Val.
The Cat Lady.
I found her by posting an ad in the laundry room.
She answered it within a few hours, and this was years ago now. Thing is, in my many interactions with Val, I must admit I have never really had any sort of in-depth talk with her.
Until today.
When I got back from my trip a few days ago, I noticed that Val had brought a radio up to my place and had left it on for Jack. [I had no idea he was so into music!] Anyhoo, this morning I brought the radio back down to her and she invited me in.
Minutes later, sitting on Val’s couch, her own Polish-named cat [when Val calls this cat it sounds like she’s sneezing] was nuzzling up to me and I found that Val and I were soon talking about books. I’m not sure how this topic started, but wow!
I quickly realized how fascinating this woman is!

Val, now in her late 70’s, reveals to me that she was once a professor of Russian Literature in Moscow! [I nearly fell off the couch at this point!] Before leaving Russia, she also worked as an editor of a Moscow newspaper.
What the hell?
Instantly we start talking about Tolstoy and Pushkin and Gogol and Pasternak…. she goes to her one bookcase and shows me this ancient 1856 edition of something by Lermontov.
AND IT’S IN RUSSIAN
, of course.
She tells me that she has boxes of similar books that she does not display because some of them are originals from [get a load of this] the 1700’s!
I am all of a sudden totally intrigued by speaking with this woman who owns this veritable mountain of Russian classics which she reads in the original language!
She tells me her favorite of all time is Crime and Punishment.
I tell her mine is Anna Karenina.
She tells me how to properly pronounce it.
My God!
And all this time she’s been living in my own building! And occasionally hanging out with my cat!
And not only this. Her husband was a famous Russian film-maker. She showed me black-and-white stills from several of the thirteen movies he directed. He specialized in musicals, and the photos she showed were mostly of elaborately choreographed dance scenes. “It was his genre,” she said, misty-eyed.
When they immigrated to America they were living in Hollywood, and only after his death from heart failure did Val move up here to Canada.
OK, I’ve got to summarize, but it is difficult. What I want to get to is the part where she starts talking about War and Peace.

We’re sitting there, [little Veezshnatschoo or whatever his name is, still nuzzling beside me] and Val starts telling me that when her husband died, she herself wanted to end her life. She had no will to live. As you can imagine, I am listening intently at this point…. just letting her go on.
She said that it was while re-reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace that she regained her desire to live.
Apparently, at one point in the story Natasha is mourning the death of her own husband. [I too have read the book, but for some reason could not exactly recall the vignette that Val began to describe, the very one that gave her a new lease on life… I just nodded knowingly, as she went on...]
Natasha, near dead from mourning begins to sing. And all she can eek out is a simple two notes.
“Oooo, Oooo!” Val whispered, as I sat listening.
And as she read this, way back then, she said she tried it herself… “Oooo, oooo!” [I was now leaning so far off the couch Val could have seen my bald spot…]
And she said to me, “I knew from that moment, that I would live. That I would keep living.”

You could have heard a cat purr!

But even all of this is not the greatest thing she told me, before I left.
At the door, over her shoulder I could see the little radio sitting on the floor where she had placed it. For some reason it seemed like some kind of holy thing. And Val said to me in her heavy accent, “No one else knows of these things. I never speak about my husband.”
So, in the hallway, as her door clicked shut, I felt not only grateful, but very privileged.

**********

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Flight: A Saturday Poem










Flight

I ran with you, we collected them in a jar.
Together we gathered each glowing, living star.

Your recitations were quenched with a kiss,
And then I told you I have dreamed of this.

I have lived this moment before, in a dream.
Hush, you whispered. I too. As though I seem --

We both looked at our lamp then. No shade
could ever have dimmed the fire we had made.

Yet, without a word you let them go. We knew.
Freedom was the thing for me and you.

© Ciprianowords Inc. 2009

Friday, June 05, 2009

Inventing Our God[s]

Just a little bit of a blog about one of the most important sentences you will ever hear.
Goes a bit like this -- no, wait!
Preamble…
Let me set this up.
I spent four years of my life formally studying the Bible at an accredited academic institution of Higher Learning. I was a full-time student.
I had many professors, but only one that stays with me, in the sense of my remembering him as post-graduate significant.
His name was John W. Stephenson.
I name him, because I hope he finds me, if he perhaps does some kind of internet search of his own name.
John W. Stephenson.
John W. Stephenson.
John W. Stephenson.

That ought’a do it!


He knew more than my other profs did, at the time. I am convinced of it.
One thing he reiterated, time and again, in class, was the following:
→ “All theology is a matter of emphasis.” ←

At the time, I think that none of us students really “got” it.
Got what he was suggesting. It has taken a lot of years of foolishness for me to realize the truth and import of his words.
But today, June 5th, 2009 – I know that all theology is indeed, a matter of emphasis.
To a large extent, we invent our God[s].
We arrive at one crisis or another, and we wonder.
Any psychiatrist will tell you that no one seeks psychiatric help until a moment of crisis forces them into the doctor-patient relationship. A decision to enter into psychotherapy is an admission that one needs assistance involving wisdom and direction beyond one’s own means.

Is religious surety arrived at, in any different manner?
I think not.

We reach a point of being unsure of our own capabilities.
This is often called “conviction” and other such things.
And so we call upon what we perceive as being beyond us. God, for instance.
And lo and behold – we sense a deliverance. A rebirth, if you will.
I myself have experienced it, the rebirth. The being born-again.

What I now question, however, is the objective reality of it all.
What assistance have I really received, beyond that which I myself could have arrived at, by simply making better decisions about….. my next decision?
Granted, whatever gets you there, to better-living, is beneficial.
And significant.
No argument.
My point though, is that many people arrive there, coming to a “God” that is very different than the “God” I came to, in my own “deliverance” story.

Admittedly, my reading of Salman Rushdie’s controversial 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses prompts this blog-posting. Because what I am seeing here in this book, one-third into it, is that we invent our God[s].
And dovetailing with this Rushdie-ism is my died-in-the-wool Christian college professor, repeatedly telling us, “All theology is a matter of emphasis.”
The two are saying an eerily similar thing.
For more along these lines, click
HERE.
*********

Splash du Jour: Friday

I want them to play Britney Spears at my funeral. That way I won’t feel so bad about being dead, and everyone there will know there is something worse than death.
-- Gary Numan --



Have a great Friday!
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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hibernation --

It’s not only for bears!
No.
Today is a prime example of the fact that human beings occasionally do hibernate.
Yesterday I returned from my week-long vacation, and I still have a few days before I must get back to work. Last night as I sat around and reacquainted myself with Jack [my cat] I found that a profound tiredness hit me. Beyond a mere desire to go to sleep.
It was a need to hibernate. By ten p.m. I was zonked.
I emerged from my cave of slumber at about 1 p.m. today.
I cannot recall sleeping that heavily in a long while. I guess the past week of late late nights and early early mornings caught up with me.
But now I am back in the game. Fully rested. Rejuvenated.
Coming to you LIVE from a table at Starbucks.

Here is a picture of my table at the Calgary airport as I waited for a connecting flight early early in the morning, yesterday.
That big black brick leaning on my breakfast tray? That's the spine of Salman Rushdie’s, The Satanic Verses.
What an interesting book, have any of you read this thing?
It is different – deep! I am reading it as one might read MYTH.
What I mean is, there is a [what is the term…] “magical realism” perhaps, to it?
Rich in symbolism.
Intriguing.
And I turn back to it now, here at my current table… ensconsed at a Starbucks in the Rideau Mall, in the capital city of Canada.
Ottawa.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I just finished another EXCELLENT novel by Steven Heighton.
← The Shadow Boxer.
I think of literature as putting us face to face - and at times, hand to hand, in struggle or in love - with strangers. So we're forced to look them in the eyes and see them not as others but as variations on a vast, familiar theme. Ourselves.
-- Steven Heighton --


Have a great Wednesday!
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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Gravity Waits For No One!

video
I really should not be posting this video-clip.
If I were any sort of respectful nephew... no, I would not be posting it.
But see, my Aunt _____ ← [name withheld] was not at all injured in the incident.
I’m sorry.
I just found the whole thing profoundly funny. I’m sick like that!
No one was badly hurt. Not even the little guy.
On the weekend, a few days ago, I was at a wedding. The next day, at the outdoor gift-opening, my aunt [the one in the white] got it into her head to send everyone running down this embankment like a bunch of released lunatics!
Turned out, it was not such a great idea.
Sorry, my dear Aunt _____. I just had to post this!

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Splash du Jour: Tuesday

Sentences. I love them. I love the sound of them. I love finding the right rhythm. There's no detail that's too small for attention. Somebody told me four or five years ago, 'Why bother to write a good sentence any more? Nobody notices.'
I don't believe it. I believe that people don't know that they need good sentences but they do need good sentences.
-- Elizabeth Strout --


Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Splash du Jour: Monday

Weaseling out of things is important to learn. It’s what separates us from the animals… except the weasel.
-- Homer Simpson --


Have a great Monday!