The Language I Live With

Without going into the sparkles and glimmer of the situation, let’s just say there are more than Kerrie and me in our house – quite a few more.

We got home today and Richard popped out of his space to say hello. Some nights he’s chatty; others he’s not. Tonight he was in quite the mood. English isn’t his first language and this is the gem that came up this evening:

R: Kerrie’s a life-saver. She saved my life.

L: I agree. She saves lives.

R: I was gonna knife my couch, and she stopped me.

L: Well, wouldn’t that mean that she saved the couch’s life?

R: Yes, but she saved my life too.

K: You’re so sweet, Richard.

R: You’re a light saber.

Gifts – The Better Way

Gifts – not sure how I feel about them.

There’s a wonderful saying in Mandarin – 施比受有福 (shī bǐ shòu yǒu fú) It is better to give than to receive. Yes, we have that saying in English as well – what do you know? And it’s probably likely that an analogous saying exists in many other countries around the world – it’s better to give than to receive. And when we give of ourselves, we open ourselves, I believe, to our highest spirit. It can be a mark of compassion, selflessness, and love.

Can be.

I say ‘can be’ here because I it is my belief that the United States (and likely most of Humanity, though I cannot say for certain here) has gotten away from the meaning of ‘giving.’ Either that or (perhaps the most-likely of possibilities), the corporations have taken that aspect of our humanness and exploited the heck out of it.

With every holiday that comes around, there is a sign, and advertisement, a company representative, telling us not to forget about: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, New Year’s, St. Patrick’s Day, Labor Day…and any other FILL-IN-THE-BLANK holiday. There’s a holiday for everything out there, isn’t there.

Go online right now and see how many holidays are in the United States. First look up how many ‘official’ holidays there are, and then look up how many ‘unofficial’ holidays there are. The number, as you will see, is sickening.

Corporations love to tell us not to forget.

Ironically, what it seems we have forgotten is the fact gifts are: a.) not required, and b.) do not have to be material.

Once upon a time, gifts were not so easily procured. One was unable to simply drive down the street, walk into a Wal-Mart and sift through a microcosm of aisles to find the (near) perfect combination of resources that would lift the spirits of a close friend. It used to be that many gifts were made by hand, thereby rendering the maker the necessitous ability to become, to some degree, an artisan of sorts. It would take time, effort, patience, and love.

Yet we’ve become slothful. Lazy. Inert. We have come to a point in our lives in which is so much easier to simply go online, spend a few minutes to see what is out there within the category of our target’s hobbies/interests, pay with a credit card, and be done with it. And we mean those last four words – be done with it.

We really don’t want to spend too terribly much of our free time engaged in this activity in which we’re trying to make someone else happy. We really don’t. We do, however, want to be done with it.

Well, I’d like to offer a suggestion or two regarding gift-giving. I’ll start by telling you that I’m not intending to altar your habits here; some of you love it and will not stop, and others, on the opposite extreme, will never start.

Here are three simple alternatives to purchasing a gift. They each cost much less, and are worth much more.

A Phone Call-

We’ve become a nation that talks without talking. We can blurb/Tweet/Blog (*present company included)/post all day long, but we just don’t want to spend time on the telephone. How fucking prissy and depressing is that? We are losing our humanity one drop at a time…which some are okay with, and others are not. My own feelings on the matter will remain my own. But giving someone a phone call, even if just to talk for five or ten minutes will change that person’s day, even if you don’t get through. It says that you have not only thought about that person, but you have put energy in to thinking about that person – so much so that you wanted to connect to that person and feel again close to them. Phone calls do wonders.

A Letter –

When was the last time you wrote a letter? Not an e-mail – a letter by hand. As a nation, as a people, we just don’t write things down any more. I am a teacher and getting students merely to take notes with a pen and a sheet of paper is almost like asking them to work overtime. That’s if they even have a writing utensil and paper on them.

Try it. Write a letter to the person to wish them a happy birthday, to tell them you’re thinking about them, to wish them well, etc. It means more in the fifteen or twenty minutes it takes to write a letter than the two minutes it takes to write an e-mail. Write a letter, write a poem, write something that shows the person they mean enough to you to do something that takes that much time.


Cooking – the number of people who can do it is staggering. Read that again; I’m not saying take the person out to dinner. I’m saying cook – cook for that person. Prepare a proper meal for that person. You can tell me all day long that you don’t know how (“I don’t know how to cook!” Yeah, maybe. But how do you get better? You do it! You learn. And finally, one day, you are Able). Prepare the full meal. What do they like to have for an appetizer, an entrée, and dessert? How can you make this person’s dinner memorable? Even if you totally screw it up, it’s memorable, and it shows that you were willing to take the time to learn, and to practice, and even to fail, so that this person would be happy.

Gifts do not have to be about money? Life itself is a gift, spend some time with someone you care about and share life with that person.

May is Friday


It’s May on Friday. You know what that means.

Yes, it means that it’s May, and May is a time when, scholastically speaking, the crowds go wild.

I haven’t been with you, my dear Internet world, at least not for a week. And you know what? It feels like an eternity. But the question we need to ask here is ‘why?’. And the answer to that is because I’ve been busy.

No, not so busy that I couldn’t have posted something earlier, but busy all the same. I mean a lot of stuff has been happening.

First off, the coffee machine broke, which, looking back, was a blessing in disguise, because the new machine we got is terrific. It has one of those timers on it so I can set the coffee up the night before and then… SHAZAMM! – I have morning coffee! I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to get over this.

The writing

Writing has been going well. I have outlined a little bit and have the first third (or so) of the story all put in to place. If you know me or have been reading any mote of my writing, you know that I’m a writer. I write, and what I write is an amalgam of It’s not that it’s a cathartic thing for me. I mean it is. But for me it’s more about telling a story – getting it out, on paper, into reality. It’s the clay that needs to be on the spinning wheel, wet and malleable, before engaging with it, to turn it into the masterpiece it has had the potential to be.

The gaming

Yes. Yes….and yes. Played nine hours of DnD yesterday. Nine hours. Nine. There is a podcast I listen to called Rollplay: Swan Song. It’s on Youtube and you can find it by CLICKING HERE. It’s basically watching other people play DnD, which, in itself, is rad.


In high school I listened to a lot of music. My first cd was the first popular album of the Counting Crows called August and Everything After. Honestly I feel that every song on that album is good. Most of them are really good, but at least all of them can be given the definition of a nice easy ‘solid’ good. One of my very favorites is “Raining in Baltimore.”

There’s a certain feeling that the human soul speaks to, one that makes it feel very full. This is one of those songs that makes my soul feel full.

I don’t listen to much any more, not nearly as much as I did back in the day. We go through phases, right?


It’s one of my great joys, actually, but nothing of late has truly piqued my interest. I started reading R. A. Salvatore, then didn’t like the writing so I put it down, then really liked the world, so I picked it up again. And now somewhere between putting down and picking up. Steve would tell me to either shit or get off the pot.

I’m also ready Macbeth. Shakespeare is truly the man (supposedly).

That’s where things stand, dear friends. I welcome your comments on any of the above or just to say hello and check in. I miss you all and, in a word or two, will tell you that life in NY is lovely. Again May’s Friday, or Friday’s May, if you prefer. Happy Birthday, Mom!

Flowers, Flowers, and more Flowers.


Star Wars VII – Kill ’em all

I don’t even know where to start with Star Wars.

<sigh> Deep breath.

No, no, I do know where to start. I started in the 80s when it was the best time to start. Let’s just say this; I saw the newest Star Wars trailer and…<shakes head> No.

I have nothing good to say, really. I’m just sad.

Okay, let’s get it all on the table. I’ve never seen Episodes 1, 2, or 3. I loved 4, 5, and 6, and think that Disney (**of all f*cking companies) making a 7th is absolutely the most ludicrous of ideas.

…and they’re bringing the old crew back?? Han Solo…at 72?


Can it get any worse?


Let’s face it. It’s over.

Close the story.

Shut the script down.

Let’s just remember Star Wars the way it was before…..before George Lucas actually started writing.