Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Why Do You Care So Much? (Tweets)

The problem of self-esteem is not really a problem. There's a concrete answer that corresponds to every complaint.

The problem with most sufferers is that they think they're unique. But it's really all quite predictable, obvious patterns we recognize.

What is obvious and predictable, then, can be matched to the corresponding answers by a simple device.

The small device I propose is a spin wheel, matching the complaint to the cure. "I have no self-worth" to "Then why do you care so much?"

Self-Esteem By Numbers

There's an old theory that life has many complexities and shades of gray. That you could search and search for a needle in a haystack and never find it. That sometimes the harder you search, the more diligently you search, the less likely it is that you'll find it.

I'm setting that theory aside -- mostly in honor of me reading "The Lost Symbol" -- because I now see that the mysteries of the ages can be solved in an single evening with time to spare -- and that life is simply a big "Paint by Numbers" kit -- everything is manageable: Daub, daub, daub, OK we're checking off orange, red, and yellow.

Up till now, in my "Drive for Pride" campaign, as I have pleaded with people to have self-esteem, I've been going on the assumption that individual differences and varying life stories made a difference, that circumstances were at least somewhat determinative of how I needed to respond to them.

But now, I'm working with an entirely different palette of assumptions. It's something I'm calling "Self-Esteem by Numbers." Give me an hour in a cab being chased by the CIA and I believe I could come up with an infallible two layer wheel thing that anyone could dial around to find the problem and the solution.

Like your problem is "Others are better than me," just spin that complaint to the arrow and check the window to read, "No, you're as good as anyone." Or "I'm nothing but a failure," you can easily see it says, "There's different kinds of success." Or "I had a lousy childhood," we can quickly resolve with a spin, to read, "Would you please grow up, already..."

I've heard of therapists who've been nothing but compassion ... to the person's face. The poor schlump is sitting there, a rock solid mass of unhealthy complexes, and the therapist is in professional commiseration mode. "I believe I hear you say that your father killed your mother and you're expecting him back for you at any minute?" In this scenario, the therapist has his eye on the clock, thinking of how much he's making an hour, then will be laughing over the guy's problem later back in the therapists' lounge. "I told him we'd have to meet another 10 sessions at least."

You don't want that. So why put up with it? There's too much baggage with the average therapist. They can't be trusted. But we still want people to be cured. We already have enough Republicans. That's where the new "Self-Esteem by Numbers" steps in!

And it's not "one size fits all." Because you can make small wheels and big wheels. I can picture a very small one, like for mild cases. Let's say it has about four complaints and answers. It's more or less a pep talk. Such as "Yesterday was a bad day," with the answer, "It's past. Live for today." Or "No one loves me," answered by, "Love is highly overrated."

Then we could have really big wheels -- big ones, like three feet in diameter, with however many questions and answers would fit. I think you could solve almost anything with a three foot spinner. A few blurbs there about giving yourself permission to start over. It's a quick fix. And it'd also give you plenty of room to fit in ads for other spinners, like on the subjects of careers, medical advice, and fortune telling.

P.S. -- I'm only halfway through "The Lost Symbol," but this is one haystack where the needle seems larger than life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Everyone Has Issues (Tweets)

I'm sure everyone has their issues. Even those who don't seem to have issues, I'm suspicious of them. Being well-adjusted has to be a front.

Do I myself have issues? I probably do but to me it's normal. I'm just thinking of the statistical likelihood. Wouldn't I have to have some?

How could it be that I could say "I'm sure everyone has their issues" if I myself didn't have any? If I don't, tell me, but I probably do.

Maybe it just seems like I don't have issues because I tend to present myself as a well-adjusted person, hewing a straight mean in life.

That could be. But what about in my secret thoughts, the ones that don't make the grade for posting? Am I alternately sulking and screaming?

Therein I can see that indeed I do have issues, because that's precisely what's happening. The "Drive for Pride" has to start here at home.

It's the oldest proverb in the world, "Physician, heal thyself." See, you know it's old because we don't use words like "thyself" anymore.

And I don't even say "physician" that much. We say, "Doctor, doctor, give me the news. I got a bad case of loving you." Obsession isn't fun.

Today I'm thinking of the mentally debilitating aspects of comparing ourselves with others, those we judge better than ourselves.

In terms of self-esteem, doctors and physicians of the soul say comparisons are a definite no-no. So I'm tackling that important issue.

Others would probably not tackle it as readily as I have. And that's one of the things I like about myself, my lack of reticence to tackle.

Others hold back and come up with excuses for doing so. But not me. With me it's all intuition, even if it's wrong. You think it? Say it!

So you can see the kind of self-image I have. I'm like Carla here, who attracts wealth with ease. I made snap judgments and so help others.

My aim is always to lift, never to hold down, suppress, stifle, or inhibit. If you're looking for a good Twitter friend, look no farther.

Our "Drive for Pride" campaign rolls on! Keeps rollin' rollin' rollin', tho the streams are swollen. It just keeps a rollin', self-esteem!

Don't Compare Yourself

My thought here is that we shouldn't compare ourselves with others. But whether that's possible is tripping me up.

What are we going to compare ourselves with if not others? And it seems very natural, with the normal strain of relationships, to see ourselves as set apart, different, or the same, in certain aspects, as others.

The mind given to feelings of inferiority when compared to others is going to have a hard time not thinking it. And vice versa, if you think you're superior to others, it's going to be tough to not think it. That leaves the rest of us -- perhaps -- in the vast middle, wondering why we're the vast middle when all these others are inferior or superior, at least in their own thoughts.

We're a very yielding people in many ways. I yield to those who are manifestly inferior in their own minds. I don't want to knock them down farther by disagreeing. The last thing their delicate nature needs at this point is to think they've also messed up their self assessment. And I yield to those who think they're superior to everyone else. Because I figure they have issues too.

As to me myself, I can swing both ways. I do some comparisons. Not that I want to. Just the part that seems very natural. It's all very draining of your sap, though, and that's why my basic message is, to the extent that it's possible for you, as a part of our "Drive for Pride," that you refrain from comparing yourself to others.

Among the people I've met -- and I've met quite a few -- there are those for whom comparisons are quick and easy, immediate. Sisters, let's say. Or brothers. It's not at all obvious that comparisons at that level are arbitrary. They seem very natural because we've grown up around these people. We've struggled for approval together, we've been nurtured, we've fought, we've seen each other in the bathtub. But it has that arbitrary side as well, because you didn't choose what family you were born into, and there are many millions of people you don't immediately compare yourself to. Any one of whom might've been your brother or sister if Mom and/or Dad hadn't been so picky about who they were intimate with.

Those closest to you are the low-hanging fruit. Of course they're the ones you're going to most naturally pick for comparisons. But the arbitrary nature of it should be a caution. As well as the mere fact that everyone is different. We hope that we've matured enough, let's say, that we're not still trying for our parents' approval as adults in the sense that we need to compete for it against the activities and strivings of siblings. There's more to life than parental gold stars.

Sometimes it pays, of course, to be born an only child, if you can manage it. In which case, you have the added burden of being their only hope. There's no group to help you average it out as far as your parents' hopes and dreams. The whole thing is sinking or swimming depending on you. That's a stress I can only imagine. You're comparing yourself to the other children they never had. Who, being idealized, can do no wrong. In which case, you just have to hope that your parents, who themselves had a childhood, have the sense to reflect back and demonstrate understanding.

Whatever all the implications are for this whole scene -- and they are many -- it will be of most help to you, for your pride and self-esteem, if you curtail or otherwise limit your natural inclination to compare yourself to others. As someone once said, "To thyself be true."

It's not going to make the inner you better by worrying so much about it, what might've been. These regrets and worries are vain.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Everyday's A Joy

I like this "Drive for Pride." It's getting somewhere. I'm laying the groundwork, I believe, for my own ongoing happiness and that of others.

Thank you for your comments. I actually did get a note, a comment, from someone the other day. I think it's the first one since I came off my long hiatus (from March through July).

The comment was on my "Achievement is Achievable" post, and came from Karim:

Very thoughtfull post on achivement. It should be very much helpfull

Karim - Creating Power

Who knows why he wrote that? I don't even want to characterize it, because this is an actual guy, not someone I just made up.

When I make up someone, a fictional character, I can question their motives all I want, then turn and kick them to the curb. But I'm not going to do that with an actual guy, who appeared, anyway, nice enough to comment on one of my "Drive for Pride" posts. All the best to Karim! But I digress...

If I could make one person happy, maybe I could be instrumental in bringing a lot of happiness to a lot of people. Self-esteem, pride, these are labels we apply to aspects of happiness. Because if you feel good about yourself, you're miles ahead.

I'm like most people. I've been up, I've been down. But these days, with the joy of sharing my tips for the best life, I'm seeing everyday as a joy. The key thing is I'm dwelling on more than just myself. If I were to dwell just on myself, that's navel-gazing, and I'm good at it. Everything is accentuated then. Whatever discouragement you have, whatever pain.

But if you focus beyond yourself, you can then look back on yourself and see good things going on. In here and out there. That's what's happening! It's a joy!

I recommend it. The "Drive for Pride" rolls on!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Writing To See Myself Think

Tonight I have an audience of one, me. Probably like usual, but that's not strictly true.

I'm just writing tonight to see myself think.

My "Drive for Pride" rolls on.

What's Holding You Back?

Our "Drive for Pride" is a drive that is pressing on, straight forward, full bore, no holds barred.

In other words, there's nothing holding us back. I know a couple days ago I was questioning the whole thing. Should I be "Driving for Pride" or should I just assume people can find their own true happiness on their own? I was a little discouraged. But as I've "driven" on, I've left behind those doubts. And that's the way to be.

Something in this very moment might be holding you back. But if you refuse to be held back, if you press on forward despite any blocking presence, you'll have a perspective later from which you can look back and rejoice. You can see it back yonder on the path. Maybe your footprints will be on it. I'll explain...

I like to kick the crap out of some of my blocking presences. Then when I'm up the path I can look back and say, "I did that!" The blocking presence is off to the side of the path, maybe bloated up from a severe kicking, maybe dying in the ditch. It's up to you how hard or mercilessly you feel like kicking it.

Like I said, a couple days ago, I had that discouragement. It led me to question the whole campaign. "Drive for Pride," I was thinking, "Bah!" But I put my head down and charged straight ahead, and, like I said, I confronted that blocking presence and administered to it some of my harshest and best aimed blows.

We have gone on from there, nothing holding me back. It's what I do. I know about blocks, and so I have something to recommend to others. They either punch your ticket or you punch theirs!

One of the troubles we have -- it's in self-esteem, it's an issue -- is that we accommodate those blocking presences. We make a place for them. We carve out a space in our lives and let them dwell there. It happens all the time. Sometimes we call them bad habits ... or in their worst instances, addictions.

I've had my share of bad habits. But when I come to my senses, it's like this [snapping my fingers.] That's where the kicking commences, figuratively speaking. And for me, cold turkey wins the day. It may be very very hard, like in quitting smoking, but if you don't do it, it won't happen. If you don't want it in your mouth, don't put it there.

Overcoming daily is the way to live. Anything that saps your strength, your mental powers, analyze it. Find what it is that's the source of trouble. If you're being beaten down, look at it in its various facets. Determine the trouble. Then resolve, Nothing is going to hold me back.

Make your "Drive for Pride" a drive that gets somewhere!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Boogie Fever

Have you had your boogie shot yet? They say the boogie fever is going to be very bad this year.

The Piltdown Man's cow died, and since he loved milk it was sad. Had to tell him, Don't cry over pilt milk.

How's it make you feel to know the Flintstones have been dead for a million years?

There are certain things that you must do for yourself. But it doesn't hurt to check the yellow pages first.

The journey of a thousand miles begins ... with one trip to the gas station.

Do You Have Any Good Qualities?

In our ongoing "Drive for Pride" campaign, sharing the good news of self-esteem with all God's creatures, we turn to the personal qualities we have. It is our firm hope that all your qualities will be qualities indeed, that is, good ones.

We know enough about the bad qualities that manifest themselves in human behavior. I've been known to manifest a few myself, if I may be so forward as to admit it. Am I ashamed? Yes, I am. Does that mean I can forever show only good qualities? I'm afraid not. Maybe I can, in the sense of having the potential -- we all do. But practically speaking, I'm no saint.

Still, you don't have to be a saint to have good qualities. And it's a good thing, too. Because do you realize how hard it is to become a saint? One thing, you're dead when it happens. That's a long time to wait. Another thing, you have to have a lot of people willing to say you performed miracles, even if you wouldn't know a thing about it.

Fortunately for those who are potential saints, there are plenty of people out there whose imagination lets them think all sorts of things happened. Bless those people. Maybe one of them has been watching you. If you don't think you have any good qualities, one of these simple souls does!

The more people you know, of course, the more people there are who may be touting your good qualities. Pay your bills on time, you'll have a good credit rating. It's kind of the same thing. Greet people when you meet them, enjoy or appear to enjoy their company, care or appear to care about what's going in their lives. If they say something about their life, follow up with a few curious questions. Next thing you know, they'll be crediting you with turning their lives around.

Then you'll start thinking, Hey, maybe I'm really something. The danger in that is that you should be as grounded in reality as much as you can be. Plus, humility is a good quality, even when people say they don't want to hear it. Because the secret is, they really do want to hear it. They'll praise you till you're 10 feet tall. But you'd better be humble, or they'll bury you just as deep.

One of the things about self-esteem, though, is that you should know the true nature of yourself. And that you be very forgiving of yourself. Because the honest truth is you're not going to be perfect. But there's no reason to beat yourself up over it. Just accept it, hone what you have, and march on victoriously.

So -- in our "Drive for Pride" -- we want to recognize our personal qualities. Are you a nice person? Do you appear nice? Do you have a nice smile for people? One that at least appears nice? Do you care about people? Do you appear to care about people?

You're noticing that "appear" in there, aren't you? Because there's nothing wrong with appearances. Appearances give consistency to you, so you're not dependent on moods being just right. Appearances speak of discipline, that you have the discipline to govern your actions and appearances, despite how you really might feel.

Plus, if you keep appearances consistent, it's more likely -- as that consistency goes on -- that your moods will stabilize and your good qualities will become more and more obvious.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Please Have Self-Esteem! Try!

I'm back with my happiness/pride/self-esteem schtick. Ya ha [twirling index finger]. Be happy already....good grief....

What do I have to do, wear a party hat and toot a toy horn? To not have pride, self-esteem, and happiness at this point is just obstinance.

Either get it or I'll turn you over the pros. And you know what they'll do for you, poke and prod and shoot you up with psychotropics.

You signed up for boot camp. Here comes a boot, up against your backside. Hut two, hut two, hut two ... drop and give me a smile.

Don't bring me down. (Rarely does anything bring me down.) But the lack of responsiveness and your very willful attitude are coming close.

Think it over. The graveyards are littered with hotshots like you, who thought they could do it on your own, who then botched the job badly.

I don't know why I try. OK, I care, that's why. But I'm coming THIS CLOSE to throwing my hands up and saying "To Heck With It." Happiness?

You've got me tongue-tied. All I can do is make babbling noises. There's no percentage in trying to help those who won't be helped.

Still, a part of me, a very small part, remains optimistic that you'll eventually get it. The tip of my little finger. On the LEFT hand.

What a discouraging day ... this is where the best of my efforts feel like they're in vain. Like I'm being drained of my natural optimism.

But, OK ... you feel sufficiently chastened? We will advance on, and this time I HOPE we will make progress. Do you resolve to have pride?

Good, then the "Drive for Pride" will continue, but you came close to ending it all. Now I will see that you have self-esteem and happiness.

See Your True Happiness

Is anyone really into this, the "Drive for Pride" campaign I've got going?

Maybe my own pride is waning a bit -- or it could be just my attention span. Getting pumped up about pride and self-esteem is not my normal way. It comes and goes. Whether I have pride or self-esteem on a daily basis is never something I've cared about.

I've looked at the self-help section in bookstores. And it makes me yawn, a little anyway, seeing all the competing books on every kind of therapy, affliction, and gimmick to make you happy, bright, and chipper. You want to just grab people by and say, "Be happy!" But of course we don't always realize our true happiness is right there within all the time, so we have to pay someone to tell us.

Just like this blog. Even though no one has to pay for it. But in a way it's an insult to people's intelligence to be on a "Drive for Pride," and for me to be yakking about self-esteem. Still, no one's paying anything for it, so no one's out anything. Just the time we waste worrying about such things.

Still, here I am. I started the "Drive for Pride," and I guess I'm willing to see it through, another day anyway. Who knows? By tomorrow I might be into it again. I do like the idea of helping people to see their true happiness. Just don't take forever, OK? See your true happiness and we can move along.

On the other hand, I haven't really got anything else in mind to be writing about. And I like to get something up everyday, even if it's just another "Drive for Pride" posting. Because, look, it's an endless subject. There's always someone whose life's in the pits. If it's not you it'll be some other guy. So ... all the best to you, be inspired, all that.

You may wonder, Does this guy (me) have true happiness? I'm like you. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't. So I know how it goes.

Let's just get it. You be happy. I'll be happy. We'll all be happy. Then everyone will know the "Drive for Pride" campaign has been a complete success.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Your Fortune For The Day

Here's your Bazooka Joe fortune for the day: "Pamper yourself. It's good for you."

It's not a bad thing to look out for number one. It's needed, if you're ever going to look out for someone else.

Take a break, take a breather. Slow down. Enjoy yourself more. Do something nice for yourself. Savor it.

Pamper Yourself

My "Drive for Pride" rolls on.

But I've come to the realization that you need all kinds of groundwork on a thing like this. It seems there's plenty of pride shysters out there who've given the concepts of self-help a bad name. They're preying on people's troubles to make a quick buck. So that tars the rest of us, like me, who only want to do good for people. And, you know, if you can make a dollar or two off of cups or T-shirts, that's just a natural outcome.

But if you need groundwork ... then groundwork you'll get. Meaning, I'm not in a big hurry to take my "Drive" to schools, factories, nursing homes, and churches. Why hurry? Self-esteem and the need for pride aren't going to go out of style. It's like toilet paper. The need's going to be there tomorrow just like it was today. I will study, I will formulate, I will theorize, I will take well-deserved breaks, I will cogitate, I will mull it over, I will sit up late at night sketching out notes ... whatever it takes, however long it takes. I'll sweat it out.

What I just said sounds like a lot of work. It no doubt is. But it's also a joy. Because I think one of the joys of life is to look within and think, then, who knows, maybe to go beyond thinking. To the realm where you just know. Like an eagle looking out from his aerie. He saw a mouse heading south 10 minutes ago. That means it's got to be close to a particular cactus. But I'll wait till the sun arches over another degree or two. Then I'll swoop in and pick him up for a quick meal. All this stuff, I'm suggesting, the eagle just knows. Ah, you say, but maybe the mouse just knows as well. That's a great point. That's true. The two must coexist. But it's a fact that you do see more eagles carrying away mice than mice eagles.

Anyway, what I'm saying is that with work, my psyche will develop the instincts I already have, because that's just the way it works. We're all experts at it in a sense, because it's who we are. But whoever hones his or her innate expertise of course will be more able to use it, like an eagle's talons, for good. Or in some cases, for bad, as with the pride shysters.

My thought today on self-esteem, the pursuit of it and the having it, is to pamper yourself. Not wanton profligacy. Not wallowing in a bed of lust. Not emulating John Edwards or Sen. David Vitter in any way, shape, or form. No, pamper yourself in a good way.

What does pampering yourself do for self-esteem? It is a continual reminder to yourself that you are worthy of good things. That good things can and should come your way, but that it all starts right here at home. There's no reason you shouldn't be looking out for number one. After all, everything you can be for someone else has to start with a good outlook within yourself.

Pampering yourself could be sleeping in late. Or savoring, slowly sipping a cup of tea. Or spending the morning in your bathrobe, not because you're too depressed to get dressed, but because you feel like being comfortable. How about giving yourself permission to read slowly?

I think there's just something in slowing down that gives you the edge. Let's say you speed up and work yourself to a frazzle or work yourself to death. All those serious responsibilities that weigh you down will still be there ... for the next rat to race around worrying about.

Don't let your responsibilities go, of course, because that's eventually very debilitating. But know that if you're not right in here, it's going to affect everything out there in a negative way.

Whew. This "Drive for Pride" stuff is intense. Meaning it's time for me to punch the clock and get out of here. Because I have a million things to do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The First Step

The first step in having self-esteem is to orient yourself to the idea.

Let's say you're as low as can be. Everyone else is better than you. You're too fat, too thin, not enough hair, or hair everywhere. I know I have extremely bad hair. I took some pictures of myself yesterday with my dog. The first thing I noticed is my terrible hair. So I'm as low as can be on that aspect of my appearance, for the sake of this example.

Your self-esteem is in the pits. I know how it goes. I still think of myself the way I was when I was between 16-21. Young, good hair, cute hair, a lively step, no bags under my eyes, no wrinkles, didn't feel tired all the time. But we all get old -- if we're lucky. And it's no fault of your own. It's just that time and its steady progress is inexorable.

You feel like "whatever it is" you can't do it. That's how far down your self-esteem is. If only I could be someone else, which of course can't be done. I mean, I guess I could do something about my terrible hair. One thing, it's so thin on top now I'm legally bald. I'm going to look at my tax form and see if there's a deduction for that. I know there's one for legally blind. But if you're blind you're lucky, because you can't see your terrible hair. I could get a wig or a toupee.

I really think people who wear toupees, mostly men, don't have high self-esteem. If they did they'd just bare it. Not that I'm saying don't do anything to enhance your appearance. I might be cutting my remaining hair a little shorter. One thing I hate is the idea that people might be thinking I'm trying to do a comb over. Which I'm actually not. It's just that I've combed my hair a certain way all these years, literally through thick and thin. It didn't occur to me till a month ago that people might think that. Because when I look at myself in the mirror, I actually see someone with hair. At a certain angle, the angle at which you look in the mirror, it doesn't look so bad. But a photo is more objective, especially if you get an angle you're not used to.

My own self-esteem is fairly low, if you can't tell. But that's good, in a way, because it puts me in the same boat as the rest of you. And since I'm trying to work on myself, you see, the same principles that possibly work for me, I'll be able to share with the rest of you. But I'm a little different than most people in this sense, that I've been consciously thinking about my low self-esteem for years. Therefore I have numerous things I've learned already. So you may be starting at square one, but I'm clear out there, miles ahead of that.

I'm also kind of a different in another way. I also have high self-esteem at the same time. Notice how I seem to be praising myself like every other line. I've always had the conviction that no matter how inferior I felt, I compensated for it by the feeling of superiority. So I'm going both ways all the time. All the time. I said I had bags under my eyes. That's true. But technically I should only have a bag under one eye. But the optic nerve only has one switch.

So I understand where you're coming from, if your problem is low self-esteem. (We're assuming that high self-esteem is preferable. But that's debatable. Still, that's the assumption everyone makes. I'm honestly not so sure. At times, and maybe, again, it's because I go both ways simultaneously, I think it's better to be in the pits. Why? Because it's very realistic. If you're losing your hair, your looks, and you're tired all the time, why have high self-esteem? You'll just be running around playing the fool. Young people will look at you and mock. This guy is clearly an old codger and he's pretending to be a spring chicken! But if you had low self-esteem you'd be sitting at home, avoiding the ridicule.

But let me stick with orthodoxy. (No one's hiring me to counsel them in how to have low self-esteem.) Low self-esteem is detrimental to your sensibilities, your outlook. You had it all when you were young, let's say, and now you look at yourself, you don't even recognize yourself. I know I don't. Then I realize this is what everyone's seeing when they look at me! It's dreadful. I hate it. And I always had great hair too. I really did. I used to poof it all up, wave it around, and let it rest in a delicate mound on my head. It was cool. Then I'd put on some granny glasses, a tight T shirt, blue jeans and sandals. I was hip.

But now, I clean a little clump of hair out of the bathtub drain everyday. And then it's resting in a delicate mound in the trash can. The garbage guy comes around every week. And there goes about six clumps of hair. On the bright side, the clumps are getting progressively smaller. On the not-so-bright side, it's because there's less and less to lose.

I don't want to give the impression that self-esteem depends entirely on looks. It really doesn't. Looks help, of course. If you have them, keep them. And if you figure out how to keep them, let me know. I don't want to take shots. And creams don't work that well for me. And I'm not wasting any money on hair products. So if you have any to sell, keep moving! Self-esteem doesn't depend entirely on looks. You can have it without looks. I've heard of it.

Let's get to the end. Like I said at the beginning, t
he first step in having self-esteem is to orient yourself to the idea. Then ask yourself, "Why not me?" It's a great question. "Why not me? If other people have high self-esteem, why not me? It may as well be me as anyone. And it will be, starting ... NOW."

If you don't get it right away, just keep asking yourself, "Why not me?" Keep asking until you can't think of any reason. At that point, you're on the verge of having exactly what you want.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Chief The Achiever" or "Beaver the Achiever"

My mind's been racing ever since I launched the "Drive for Pride" campaign. Maybe it was only yesterday. Whenever, I'm in overdrive, my mental wheels are spinning.

I was thinking about the achievements of achievers and thought that'd make a catchy slogan, saying, "Achievement is Achievable." Then if we had an exemplar of achievement, someone to inspire the kids, someone we could put on T-shirts and cups and make money off of, that'd be great too.

Wouldn't it be cool to have "Chief the Achiever"? A guy in full headdress, the feathers of a dozen noble eagles adorning him, lifting one big hand and telling kids to stay in school, get good grades, and believe in themselves. I know in the '70s we had the chief who teared up at the sight of litter. The lack of self esteem and pride is equally a blight on our young. If only it weren't suddenly politically verboten to exploit Native American culture. Darnit!

So I think we're going to have to come up with something less likely to stir up a range war. Something involving animals, maybe a cartoon beaver with his two big teeth. With one of those sparkle effects on one of them. The beaver is an animal we definitely associate with achievement. They build dams to power their little villages.

A beaver would probably fit the bill. It'd get the message across -- maybe we'll have a game for the kids, "Who's the Braver Beaver?" If you think you can, maybe you can. Any tree of discouragement the braver beaver sees, he launches out and chews it down.

How about "Beaver the Achiever"? I like that. No political fallout from exploited peoples. And animals don't care. They just keep on munchin'. Don't let a tree get in your way. Bite every tree that gets in your way. Are you going to let a tree's bark be worse than your bite? The Braver Beaver is Beaver the Achiever!

I'm more excited now than when I first thought of the "Drive for Pride" campaign, which I do believe was literally just yesterday. It's promising to be a goldmine for my own personal self esteem deficit and lack of achievement. Now, I'm accruing plenty of bonus points. And that's life.

What will you achieve today?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Achievement Is Achievable (Tweets)

Our "Drive for Pride" rolls on. I'm going to be teaching groups, possibly classes about self-esteem and pride, pumping them up.

I know from experience that a lack of self-esteem and personal pride are great handicaps. But somehow I limped along and overcame it all.

Now these incredible teachings -- which I haven't actually written yet -- are about to land ... somewhere ... maybe a school near you.

It'll be me and a balloon-twisting female clown. She's very proud and pumped up. Her balloons are too, or they will be when we get there.

One of my main teachings -- I've been thinking about it all day -- is this: "Achievement is Achievable."

I plan to develop many themes on the subject. It'll be a lot of work. But since "Achievement is Achievable," I'm very optimistic.

Everybody Must Be Proud (Tweets)

OK, Fall is almost here ... time to pound the drum for people to have more self-esteem and pride ... since 'Pride goeth before Fall.'

To boost your self-esteem, think about all the things that are true of yourself right this minute. You're able to read ... that's something.

Reading is just like walking. You put one word in front of the other and you keep right on going. I'm proud I know how to read.

You're breathing. That's something you're doing right this minute. But let's say you're on oxygen, very serious. It's still breathing.

You just start with what you have. As stripped down as you may be, if you know how to breathe at least you're maintaining life and being.

The monks make a big deal out of breathing. I've read what they say. They're right. There's normal breath, fire breath, all different kinds.

So be proud of yourself for being able to breathe. We have a whole yard of people in my town who can't breathe. They're held down by rocks.

I like to sit and watch my dog sleeping. Her body goes up and down with each breath. It occurs to me that it doesn't occur to her.

Then there's the cats, the same thing. One will be curled up on a chair, doing nothing but sleeping ... and breathing. In, out, very still.

Self-esteem and pride includes everything you're able to achieve. But you've already achieved a lot just by sitting doing nothing.

We're "Driving for Pride" and we won't let up till everyone is proud of themselves. This includes the youngest infant and the oldest elder.

My "Drive For Pride" Campaign

I was very tired when I was here yesterday. It was all I could do to stay awake. I was feeling some confusion, and the words "would've, should've, and could've" made me feel more confused.

Anyway, I wasn't thinking of any "Drive for Pride" campaign -- it never occurred to me -- at least until I said it. Then I went on typing and forgot it. I was laying on the bed a while later, catching up on some rest, and I started thinking, "Did I say something about a 'Drive for Pride' campaign?" So I checked, and, sure enough, there it was:

What's the use of numbering my "Would've, Could've, Should've" posts? I guess there's really no use. I'm about to launch a "Drive for Pride" campaign ... sometime this week ... and I guess I'm just very proud of the posts, enough that, so far, I'm keeping track.

I'm not even sure what it's all about -- I didn't leave myself many clues -- but if it bubbled up from somewhere in my unconscious and showed up like that, I guess I will indeed have to launch one.

Just reading the paragraph again, it sounds like the "Drive for Pride" campaign has to do with patting myself on the back a little. Numbering things make a series, I don't think anyone would dispute that. A series shows a certain level of thought and intensity. To be able to put together thoughts with intensity and come out with a series requires some ability. And abilities are something we're proud of. How many people do you know who are only able to do one-offs, if those?

But I'm thinking, maybe I should make the "Drive for Pride" campaign more than something just about me. Like maybe some kind of efforts of mine about bringing pride and self-esteem to those around who don't have it. Let's say they hire me to go to schools to give assemblies. My basic theme is pride and self-esteem, with a big banner behind me that says "Drive for Pride." And I've got a clown with me -- female, thinking of the kids' safety -- who twists balloons into animal shapes and can do it fast enough to please a mob of screaming kids.

The "Drive" part is kind of like "Strive," except you're driving toward it instead of striving. Strive implies a lot of potentially vain activity, tensing up your neck, breathing irregularly, being alone like a hermit in a shack. But drive sounds very purposeful and direct, something a group could do together, like a drive for old newspapers. Usually when we think of a drive we're collecting something. I'm trying to get people to seek out and accumulate pride and self-esteem for themselves.

Eventually they've have me on the local news, maybe any local cartoon shows that are still in existence. The balloon lady will be there with me. She has the business of really drawing the kids in while I'm laying on them the seriousness of self-esteem and pride. Somehow she and I will want to develop a careful balance so that they're not just there for the balloons. Like getting the balloons and leaving. What would it do for my self-esteem and pride if there's 500 kids when she's passing out the balloons and only 50 when it's time for my pitch?

I'll worry about that when it comes. Maybe she won't be able to twist balloons fast enough to please them. Maybe I'll pick up the secrets of how to do it, even though my hands aren't as young as they used to be, and I'll be able to cut out the middleman. Or we'll do it together and share the glory.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Would've, Could've, Should've - Part 3

What's the use of numbering my "Would've, Could've, Should've" posts? I guess there's really no use. I'm about to launch a "Drive for Pride" campaign ... sometime this week ... and I guess I'm just very proud of the posts, enough that, so far, I'm keeping track.

I generally keep track of everything until it gets impractical and hard to manage. Then I forget it.

Anyway, I've been giving a lot of thought to the concept of "Would've, Could've, Should've" over the last few days. If you ever try to work with these three words, one thing you notice right away is that it all has to be past tense. So if you're talking about something that happened five minutes ago, you can do it. But if it happened longer than five minutes ago, you're likely to be able to come up with more stuff to say about it.

Another thing. It's got to be something with enough potential regrets and possibilities to lament about. It doesn't seem practical to do a post about sharpening a pencil, for example. What would you say? "I should've sharpened it earlier. I would've had I thought of it. And I could've, since the sharpener was right there." There's hardly any room for regrets. But if you throw in some other circumstances -- you know what? That's where I'm going with this...

The theme today will be sharpening a pencil. I'll see how it goes. It's interesting enough because we've all done it, at least from the generation I'm from when we had to use pencils and didn't have laptops in school. I don't think I can do it. I don't find it compelling. But I'll try ... yawn.

Back when I was in school, having your pencils ready was a big deal. If you didn't, the teacher would've told you you should've. And you had plenty of time before class, so you could've. And they were no-nonsense back in those days, so you should've known. Past experience would've told you that. You could've predicted what would've happened.

We needed them for all kinds of work. Like the basic skills tests. On those we definitely should've known, since they came up every year like clockwork. I hated those tests, but if I had it to do over again I would've done better. I could've too, but I was a lazy kid. Now, I would've tried for the right answer, as every student should've done. But I just filled in blanks at random. I never thought I would've admitted that, but it's been years.

They made a big deal out of it, as well they should've. But they never really impressed the seriousness on me, like possibly they could've. And I'm thinking if they would've that I would've done a better job. But they should've known, when I'm just sitting there filling in blanks. They could've seen at least one kid didn't care. It seems like if they were smart they would've seen that.

Back to the pencils. They made a big deal out of the pencil you used. The computer would've spit out your answers if you would've used the wrong kind of pencil. I could've recited the instructions word for word. I should've known the instructions, having heard them enough! They should've had a computer that wasn't so picky. But who knows if they could've? They were so smart, right? So they should've? It's funny that they would've put the burden on us kids.

I had an interesting way of filling them in. A, B, C, D, E. Then skip to C, then E, then B, etc. You would've thought this would've been a more reliable system. But I should've known, because of course they would've been trickier than a kid. As stupid as I appeared on the tests, I could've been held back all my life. I could've been put back to kindergarten. Who knew I would've ended up in the bottom 5% nationwide?

Certain things I really cared about. If only this could've made a difference. One thing, having the exact right pencil I should've had. I cared. And having two of them sharpened. If they gave an A for that, I would've passed with flying colors. If only I could've gotten credit for that!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thoughts And Words (Tweets)

Put it into words, what you're feeling ... or maybe not.

Words are very selective. Like a Pachinko ball falling, every peg it has to hit slows it down & you've thought a dozen thoughts in between.

But thinking is more than the quantity of thoughts. It's a cloud of NOT-thinking too.

I have them lined up and ready to dispense. That's one thing. Then there's a whole gumball globe that seems empty but it's really full.

Go up the slot, carefully set the ordered ones off to the side, swim up among the unordered ones, look around, then just quit looking.

I'd love to quit looking. They say purification of motives is the way it is. I have a feeling there's no "way it is," not so predictable.

There's real world happiness right here in the real world. Quit striving, quit begging, quit being a nuisance to yourself. Like I am to me!

I need one more pithy thing to say but I can't think of one now. So ... I leave this non-process time of meditation with a process thought.

Life Is A Big Monster

What am I upon, this thing called life? It's giant, a big serpent, heaving, bobbing, weaving, saddled with me on the seat.

It wakes up in the morning and blows its fiery nose. It puffs out to stretch. It has some of those sidewise flapping skin scales to thrust forward to make its head look bigger. Then the form that it is, it exerts, a brow like the slope of a '52 Chevy, the two big piercing eyes, and a snout like a hood, going level till it suddenly becomes a mouth. At the mouth there is a sparkle, with the tongue forked and darting. Snake saliva.

It is demanding of any and all of its whims, to rear back, to advance forward, to tick tock side to side like a dancer. I can see the beautiful scaly pattern that it has, through no effort of its own, that it wears like the fashion. It's nude but proud, naked.

What a seething mess life is once it's awake. It strikes out on its own, demanding its way, eliminating, ingesting, thinking of its proud place in the world. It's very decent of the world to be here to put our feet on. And that gravity is ever vigilant. And that the air is ripe enough to breathe without waiting. And that there's room.

The striking out is the thing that I'm really thinking of. We're entitled. Here I am. I comb my hair before I go out with the dog. There's a carload of kids, off on a common destination, happily talking, yelling, barely contained, like straining themselves at it. Piling more in, but each is one. They'd make the news if the van went over a cliff. With the doors shut, we can assume they're still talking and laughing. And once they're out of sight, the same thing, but it's silent in that vicinity.

As to my own thing, aboard the big lummox, I'm feeling fairly well adjusted today, maintaining a healthy buzz like I like. I've had a cup of green/black tea mix, milk, OJ, a bagel with faux butter and peanut butter. Everything's working as normal. Checking the gauges on my heart, my spleen, my joints. My brain is settled in its place, comfortable, swinging in a hammock, looking ahead to a day of pleasant back and forth. I have streams of something ascending at the edges, which is beautiful like the water bubbles on a jukebox. That's the way to live. A few verses here and there to tweak the soul. Then you bring it all in. It's happening out there, it's happening in here. The two places happening are one. So that's cool.

There are so many things to keep track of. The kids in the van are gone. But there's plenty of life happening all around. I didn't think kids had big wheels anymore, but I can hear the hollow plastic tire sound that announces one's in the neighborhood. Strange thing to hear on a Saturday morning. And there's a yapping dog on the serpent too, straining his throat to proclaim he's a nuisance. The big wheel turned out to be a miniature motorized car a kid can ride. Which is good. A lot less strain on the knees from peddling. Just sit there and let the motor take you home.

I'm overshooting the mark. Time to edit and go on.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How Bad It'd Be To Lose An Arm

I've been thinking about something I said yesterday about the garbage pickup guys:

Some locally based guys come and check our garbage cans. Their truck has a door that swings up. They're trained so they won't lose an arm.

It's been going through my mind intermittently for the last 24 hours, the idea of losing an arm (or anything, really). It'd be like a cat losing its tail. I saw a cat without a tail the other day and was happy that somehow it probably learned to adjust. Even though I heard that cats use their tail for balance.

If we lose an arm, and if they can't get it reattached properly, of course we have to learn to adjust. But how terrible it'd be to have to go through such a thing!

I said "They're trained so they won't lose an arm." That's just an assumption I made, since I've never seen a one-armed garbage pickup guy. It stands to reason that doesn't just happen. Or it could be they have safety points and you lose an arm, you're out. And it makes some sense, not that I'm against equal opportunity; I'm not. But you need one arm to hold the truck with and one arm to be reaching for a garbage can.

Also, since garbage comes in many different arrangements at the curb, it'd be tough hoisting it around with one arm. Although it could be done -- again by adjustment. Man has done a lot with no arms, like the guys who paint with a brush in their teeth or between their toes. So I'm not saying it couldn't be done.

I've lost a few things over the years. Quite a bit of hair, a few teeth, I guess that's about it. Just taking a quick inventory here. I can still hear, see, taste, feel, and smell. Although, recall, I do have periodic issues with my sense of smell, what I call (with doctors) olfactory hallucinations. They're OK for the most part now. I don't have any big troubles. I do smell things once in a while that I'm not sure are really there, like going from room to room. But I also emphasize my smelling, it seems, because I'm so aware of the way the olfactory problems were when they were bad. It's like constant testing, which is what adjustment comes from.

But I still have two arms, two legs, two ears, two eyes, all of which work. All my fingers and toes are there. So I'm blessed that I haven't been caught in anything yet. I've known people who've lost a finger, a toe, missing arms, etc. I knew a guy who was born with a poorly formed, stubby arm that wasn't even an arm. But he did all right. He was able to play basketball, one handed and using what he had on the other side too. So it can be overcome ... of course.

Worse than being born with it -- in which case you don't know any different -- is being an old guy like me, then losing something. Just speaking out of imagination. You'd definitely know the difference.

My experience with regrets is they don't do a lot of good. They might make you more cautious the next time. Not that you weren't cautious the first time, but accidents still happen. Still, I would have regrets. I have regrets now, for all the good they do. You look down and there's no arm looking back, it has to be heartbreaking.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Local Man's Garbage (Tweets)

I should say to those who don't know, Grandma is my grandma. I am her grandson. She taught me many things I know. She partially raised me.

So that's our story.

Now I'm grown up, I live here still, in the same house we've always had since they first got it back before I was born. It's familiar to me.

It's one of the local houses in the town of which we are a part. Our address is one of the standard addresses that shows up on maps.

I've always been happy to live locally, because you do get very used to it. Every tree, every post, every eaves trough, I'm used to seeing.

Out of all the people in the town, I am one. I'm the one who pays the most attention to myself, it's safe to say, keeping my reputation.

I'm proud to introduce myself and how I think of myself. I call myself the local man, because that's proudly what I am, how it works.

There's nothing strangely out of whack in my world. I abide very much at the local level, eating my food and taking the garbage out weekly.

Some locally based guys come and check our garbage cans. Their truck has a door that swings up. They're trained so they won't lose an arm.

Local Man Takes Garbage Out

I am the local man. Everything I do, I do right here at the local level.

Whether it's mowing the yard, going for milk, voting, on and on, it's all done locally, where I live.

When I get up in the morning, I'm right here, locally based. It's a very compact way to live, but it's a good way. It's what I'm used to.

The activities are the same over and over. But that's what life is. I get up, tend to the animals, do all my personal things, get a bagel and some milk, maybe some tea. Like that. All this I do locally.

I took the garbage out. That's something that needs to be done. I almost forgot, then I remembered.

The garbage included some things that really needed to go out. I'd hate to keep them around for another week. The garbage included some bags of cat poop and used litter, a bunch of dog duty that I clean up dutifully each time, as well as the usual kitchen stuff, old tomato tops and bottoms, bones from food, oily paper towels, spent teabags, and so on.

We have a local garbage service that runs it as a business, hiring people, then putting them on a regular schedule. They get the job done.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Good Brain And Good Fingers (Tweets)

I'm sitting here with my regular fingers. I keep my good fingers in a gold case. My good fingers are the ones I use to write good stuff.

Similarly, I keep the brain I use to edit things in another gold case. The brain I'm using right now lets almost anything get published.

So as long as the good fingers and the good brain are in their gold cases, that means I'm free to let loose and blather on about any crap.

My good fingers are very demanding. Each sentence is matched up against some gold standard they keep at Fort Knox. It's very exacting.

And my good brain is very demanding too. Even more so than the fingers. It always demands to be installed in me before the fingers. Jealous.

I'm looking over and can see the cases rocking back and forth. They know I'm on the computer. Heh, heh, thank God for little gold padlocks.

Which reminds my ordinary brain of the story of Golden Padlocks and the Three Bears. (See the low standards this brain has?)

Oh, OK...hold your horses...I'm coming. Much caterwauling going on over there. Just let me get the boxes open ... I hear ya, gimme a break!

Undo the top of my head, remove ordinary brain, slide good brain in till it clicks. Don't force the hasp. Thank goodness this is easy.

Good thing Microsoft didn't invent the brain. I'd be CONTROL-ALT-EARLOBING all night before it'd work.

Now for the fingers ... just pause here and take off the two hand components ... typing with my nose at this point ... right and left on.

Bing! From this point on I can no longer write crap. Starting NOW---------------!

It's a pleasant night. The crickets are rubbing their trumpets together, sounding brass. The sun stretches and heads toward its bedroom.

See how beautiful and smart that was? That's my good brain and good fingers for you. Very stunning stuff.

Put This In Your Pipe: "Rep. Joe Wilson"

By Our Editor
George Staphylococcus

Yesterday this blog took the bold step of insisting on the forgiveness of a Republican, Rep. Joe Wilson.

Some of our mail has not been kind. There have been a few articles written, taking us to task for breaching "progressive orthodoxy," whatever that is and whoever it is who decides it.

From those on the left, we have heard, questioning our progressive bonafides. And from those on the right, we have heard, questioning our sincerity, and insinuating that even if we were sincere, this Joe Wilson issue is a scandal best dealt with "in house," i.e., among his own brethren, and that they frankly resent any meddling from a progressive site.

Point taken. We remember how there have been serious infractions on our side as well -- John Kerry's "botched joke" being an enormous scandal -- and indeed those of the right sat silently on the sidelines, refusing to supplement an already inflamed situation with gasoline that one could add. It was for us to work it out on our own, having received their blessing for a successful resolution. All they were concerned for was how long it would take us to get back to the virtues of responsible civil dialogue, which subsequently we did after consultations with Sen. Kerry, his apologies, and a grateful nation's forgiveness.

The Bush administration -- of which we were not proponents on several points -- at least always had an abiding concern for civil dialogue. As we fondly recall, they insisted on it to the point of "bending over backwards" if it meant each side might get along better. It was something we all could appreciate. But now, without those guiding principles as much in evidence, it is of course more in the nature of things that there will be legitimate suspicions and lingering doubts about our sincerity.

To our critics -- left and right -- let us ask for your patience to explain. To the left, let us say, we believe "progressive orthodoxy" is a work in progress; no one group has a monopoly on our common cause. Searching, stretching, and testing the limits of discourse has to be part of our enterprise. We believe just as you do, but it just so happens that we also believe in forgiveness and second chances, whether for those of our own philosophy or those of the loyal opposition.

And to the right, let us say, you are naturally suspicious. If you could trust your fellow man, that is, if you thought your fellow man could do anything right, could make progress at anything, you'd probably be progressives, as the very word suggests. But since you're conservatives, right-wingers, you doubt, and the things you say to your fellow Americans are often taken as demeaning. Yet, insofar as our objections can get a fair reception in your mind, let us say that we indeed were sincere. We believe that Rep. Joe Wilson, as bad as what he did was, deserves a second chance. To us, that's what America is all about.

Our site will continue to reach across the aisle. We will continue to look for middle ground, not the middle finger. We will not give up, but we will strive with resolutions for what brings out the best in all of us. We will look for what is common to Americans, period. Backbiting has no place in our vision of America. But making a "more perfect union" out of us all ... is all.

That's what we have to say about Rep. Joe Wilson, who we fervently believe needs to be forgiven and granted once again the trust that is typically given to Congressmen. Yes, perhaps we should train the "Wilson Cam" on him for a few years. There's no harm in that. If it catches him again doing evil, then we will likely advise counsel for him and again seek to bring him back into the fold. But say it catches him doing good! Then we will have something to celebrate together, that one who was lost has been found. That one who had wandered has been restored.

Let each one of us always hope for the best in all things, and in each other.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Forgive Rep. Joe Wilson

The time has come to forgive Rep. Joe Wilson and welcome him back into America's graces. Showing mercy while keeping an eye out is our way.

His breach of decorum was flagrant, a violation of everything we stand for, vile and uncalled for. But Rep. Joe Wilson must not be hardened!

Unless we move immediately to restore Rep. Joe Wilson, while keeping an eye on him in the future, for his good, he may become discouraged.

So I fully support the Congress in addressing this issue, voting for full censure and deciding to monitor Rep. Joe Wilson with a Wilson Cam.

Keep Rep. Joe Wilson on camera for a couple years. Then if there are no outbursts, pull back and put the thing away. It's merciful and good.

If Rep. Joe Wilson is not softened up by the discipline (I think he will be), he'll be softened up by America's mercy and forgiveness.

In a couple years, I can easily envision it, Rep. Joe Wilson will be back in his seat, contributing in a positive way for the common good.

But it starts with knowing he did wrong, being a man and owning up to it, taking his punishment, then accepting the mercy and love we have.

The "Wilson Cam" will likely seem an unwelcome thing for Rep. Joe Wilson. But he'll come to see it as a positive thing, for accountability.

If Rep. Joe Wilson sits quietly, it's not hard to imagine that we'll forget all about the infractions. That's the way I am with my friends.

So, what I'm trying to say, we wish all of America's manifold blessings on Rep. Joe Wilson as he wrestles with his demons and emerges free.

The Wilson Cam

Rep. Joe Wilson, Republican from South Carolina, now so very well-known for his outrageous interruptions of President Obama, doesn't think he did anything wrong. So the Congress is debating whether to censure him for his most recent outburst.

His explosive, abusive character has come under fire in recent weeks especially. The taint of scandal has been never far from him, along with the smell of corruption. But he hangs on somehow and insists he did nothing worthy of punishment.

We are thinking that anything less than censure will not measurably slow him down. As he has been persistent in his avowals of innocence, it is our fear that he will continue to bare his teeth and lash out whenever the president makes appearances in Congress.

There's been talk of having a Wilson Cam on him the whole time, so that we can keep better track of his bluster. I think that's a good idea, as it would be helpful for security reasons in solving any unexplainable attacks, perhaps as they involve more than simply words.

At one time I felt the Congress and its members had the veneer of respectability. But in recent months, since President Obama's inauguration, with all the virulence of the right, that veneer has lost much of its shine. I would urge greater security whenever the Congress comes into contact with the president, so that he is protected in every way.

Rep. Joe Wilson has shown his true colors, which have not been those of a true American. He has demonstrated that wherever he goes, we need to keep our eyes open, our sensors on. If he's going to be present in Congress, the Wilson Cam is the way to go, at least at the start. Then if he continues to act up, we respond to it as it seems appropriate at the time.

But America is the land of second chances. Rep. Wilson has used up, in some sense, all of his chances. But America is also the land where we believe in mercy and bending over backwards to restore the wayward. It is our hope that Rep. Wilson will be willing to meet us halfway.

This is the land that gave him life. This is the land that gave him the opportunity to serve. Having said those things, he needs to respect our values and traditions and not bite the hand that feeds him.

What Rep. Joe Wilson has done in recent months is vile and despicable. There is no argument about that. I have heard none. Perhaps he does deserve being evicted and removed forthwith. But I still believe in what I said, what's in the essence of those values and traditions. I refuse to think that anyone is all bad, even this guy. I firmly believe there must be some good in him.

So, yes, go for the censure resolution. Yes, go for the Wilson Cam, for our protection and his. But finally go for forgiveness and restoration, first, last, and always. Show him we're bigger than he is, and that he will receive another chance, a chance to make things right in the future.

His heart may be hard now. But won't it have to soften up with America's hand of mercy?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Making Living Creatures Happy (Tweets)

If I were to make the slightest sign to my dog that I was willing to take her to the park, she wouldn't rest until we got there.

All I have to do, really, is look at her in a particularly interested way ... just that little sign would be a sign to her something was up.

In a few minutes it's going to happen. I'm going to do my part toward granting joy to the universe by blessing one little dog. It's cosmic!

Someday I'm thinking when she's on her deathbed, I'll say "Park" and she'll rouse bravely one last time, then finally fall back exhausted.

But that's sad to think about. It's never too early, though, in my opinion, to think of the blessings you can bring to other living things.

OK ... I'm just about ready to make my move. She's crashed out on the floor to my left. Sleeping, not soundly, but a superficial nap.

Do you wanna go to the park? Yea! Yea! Underbrush is very excited! Jumping, anxious, ready to go! Let's go! C'mon! Let's do it! Yes!

Can't Break 50 Followers (Tweets)

We have residual effects from past sickness. Similarly, residuals are the side effects of writing a popular song.

Can anyone get me an IV drip, preferably a couple hundred CC's of the elixir of life, since my life force seems to be ebbing...

My blog link is at the mercy of Twitterfeed. I should've set it to update more frequently. If I would've, it could've been here by now.

I can't break 50. Maybe I should've kept all the porn merchants. What do I care? They're warm bodies, apparently some of the warmest.

Anyway, most of you have cheesed me off. So in your honor I'm flipping you a slice of the cheese with holes in it. Do with it what you will.

For any and all dietary problems I recommend heavy doses of Tabasco sauce on everything. That's what I do. My stomach is like leather now.

Would've-Could've-Should've (Tweets Constituting Part 2 Adjunct)

I look back and see what I should've done. If I would've known how it was going to've turned out, I could've very easily've done it right.

It could've turned out so differently, and perhaps it would've if I should've done it as I should've done it.

But we all have our regrets. I'm forever thinking what I could've said, what I would've done, and how it should've turned out. Hindsight.

I should've just told myself. This is the way it's to be. And I could've stuck to that. If only I would've!

Hey, who are all the ones who quit following me? I'm going to quit sending out $50 1-800-FLOWERS gift certificates to you if this keeps up.

If I would've known how it was going to be, I would've kept my money. I could've spent it on something I would've enjoyed. I should've!

Note to self: These "would've-could've-should've" tweets don't constitute Part 3 but a sort of adjunct to Part 2.

Would've, Could've, Should've - Part 2

It's Part 2 of this beloved series, "Would've, Could've, Should've." Part 1 was back in March.

I should've reread Part 1 to see how this goes. Obviously I could've since I have the link. And I definitely would've if I should've even thought that I couldn't've come up with it otherwise. But if I would've, there's the possibility that it could've sounded pretty much the same. Then I would've said I should've just done it and seen what would've come out. It stands to reason if I could've come up with it in March, there's no reason I wouldn't've been able to've done it in September.

We age though and our abilities change. I'm tired today. And I'm thinking I should've taken a nap before starting. But who knows? It could've been I would've been much more refreshed, or, equally, it could've been I would've been even more fatigued. I've experienced both.

I had a doctor's appointment a couple months ago. I should've asked him a few things about being fatigued. I could've told him it happens when I'm getting to bed later than I should've, then I'm up earlier than I would've liked when the alarm goes off. (Of course the alarm could've been set later.) He no doubt would've told me there's your problem right there. If I could've been getting more rest, I probably should've been. And I would've been but I have all these projects I want to see accomplished.

But that doesn't mean I couldn't've asked the doctor for some ideas of how to perk myself up. I'm sure he would've told me to keep up my exercising. I should've already been doing them faithfully, and I would've, except I have been keeping a very busy schedule. I would've thought just going 100 mph with a dozen different projects would've been something of a substitute. It seems like it would've been true. and I could've at least've said it. As to what he would've said in reply, who knows?

He probably would've said there's no substitute for sustained physical exercise. And I would've nodded my head because I would've had to've agreed. Had it happened, I could've tried to've disagreed, obviously, but with a quick check of his doctor's book, he would've immediately proven me wrong. At which point, I would've said I should've just kept my big mouth shut.

Anyway, he might've said all that. Or it could've been he would've simply said, "Take a nap," and that would've been a hundred bucks for the advice, common sense that anyone should've known all along.

But I do what I can. Whatever my abilities. If it comes out good, fine. Usually I say it could've been better. And maybe it would've been better if I would've done X, Y, and Z. If it's too bad, then I always say I definitely should've. I always know I could've.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Public Restrooms Is Socialism

I hate public restrooms. In fact, the only time I'll use one is when I need to. Otherwise, I won't.

You never know what you're going to find in there. It's usually a filthy mess and I'd rather not touch anything. If I could float in, that'd be ideal. But if I could float, I'd just float up in a tall tree somewhere, go to the bathroom in midair and let it float away... The ideal world ...

But since I can't float, I walk in. The first thing I notice is if the door is one you push or pull. Because somehow I'm going to have to get out of there without touching it with my hand. If there's paper towels, it's more manageable. But if there's just a blower, it's a lot trickier.

Then I check for privacy. There's nothing more detestable than to have someone else in the bathroom with you. It inhibits me so much I may as well float right back out because nothing is going to happen. It's inconceivable to me that people have sex together in public bathrooms. I'm about to puke right now just thinking of it. I hate touching even the faucet, so believe me, I'm not touching anyone else.

If there's anyone in the world queasier about public restrooms than I, I would definitely like to meet that person. Because I frankly don't think it's possible. You would definitely need to pass a lie detector test before I'd believe you. And I would need to look deeply into your eyes -- deeply -- because I know you have to be lying.

These days, now, we have all these crazy people running around the country worrying about "socialism." They're nitwits, pure and simple, of course, in their politics, as stupid as can be. But I will agree with them, there's one "public option" that isn't that great. The public toilet. It's socialism!

We need "pot packs," like a backpack that folds out into a toilet. With some of those camping chemicals, that you pour in and it vaporizes everything it touches. Or some kind of crap-eating grass carp swimming in there. But since grass carp grow about five foot long, that's impractical. How about the crappie? It's a fish with a name for it. And "carp" is pretty close. More ideal world talk.

Getting back to the socialism issue. Unless we really, really need to go, we don't want the government furnishing public restrooms to every person who comes along. You never know, maybe an illegal immigrant will decide to go in and ... do his thing. That's our taxpayer dollars subsidizing illegal immigrants! If they're here illegally, let them hold it until they get back to their own country!

I heard a guy saying he read the Constitution and he couldn't find anything in it about the government being involved in health care. That's a great point! So I got out my Constitution, too, and I read the whole thing, including most of the amendments. And you'll be amazed at what I found ... or didn't find. There's not one word in the U.S. Constitution about public restrooms! Clearly, they're unconstitutional!

(There's one other thing about what the Constitution doesn't say, and being an honest person, I need to mention it. You've probably heard me tell about my two uncles I'm so proud of who served in the Air Force. Well, I might have to rethink that. Because I didn't see anything in the Constitution about the Air Force either. So, I hate to say this, but I think my two uncles may have been doing things against the law.)

From now on, friends, if you're a patriot ... if you love your country ... please join me in boycotting public restrooms. Public restrooms are just the government's way of softening us up, taking away our Americanism, and leading us toward socialism! What's next? They'll get us using public restrooms. Before long, even the roads will be public... Let's hope that day never comes.

So, if you want to use a public restroom, go to Russia, where you belong!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Mission Impossible -- Destroy The Rose Parade

I had this wild idea last night but I'm not going to do anything with it except just say it. It's that there's one guy who somehow becomes involved in destroying the Rose Parade.

The way this would happen is like the old story of how they make a suspension bridge, by taking a single string across the river, then pulling over a smaller piece of metal cable, then a bigger one, etc., until you have huge spans.

It starts off with a little thing. But then through the vast network of contractors and planners it takes to coordinate and do the Rose Parade, there's all these ripple effects. In the idea it starts with an email that comes in error to the guy involved. He's asked to sign off on some little detail of the Rose Parade, like contracting with a greenhouse somewhere for roses for one float.

Somehow he gets the idea that he holds the entire Rose Parade in his hands. And that with a few calls -- changing his voice and sounding official -- and a few emails, everything could be in place (or out of place) well enough that there are all these ripple effects.

When he screws up the order for flowers for that one float, it makes that crew and a crew at a different float start to panic. Then various crews are up in arms. Contractors are wondering what went wrong. Tempers flare, feelings are hurt, there's delays in shipments, etc.

Now, getting back to the original guy, he's not passive in all this. Because he has various numbers and email addresses that were in the body and headers of the first email. So he's calling around, ordering five times as many roses, let's say, and demanding their delivery in an unreasonable amount of time. But he's also postponing delivery from very trusted contractors for the Parade, maybe insinuating that they've been cheating the Parade all these years. With everything he says and does, he's completely enraging the contractors.

You can see where this all ends up. The float crews are in a total panic. They're busy contacting contractors on their own. Contracts are being breached, because they're also making independent calls to outside contractors, trying desperately to get their quota of roses. Now there's a complete meltdown in the industry. They've either stepped up rose production or slowed it down. Money is being lost either way.

Since there's all this brouhaha about the flowers, the builders of floats are delayed -- why build if you can't get the flowers? Of course that's against the builders' contracts, they think. So they protest. But there's some fine print they've overlooked, meaning they lose face when it's pointed out to them. Builders, though, are a proud bunch. So they walk off the job in spite of the fine print.

Now the Parade organizers have no choice but to bring in alternate builders, because they also don't want to lose face. The alternate builders throw up their hands when it soon becomes obvious the first builders burned all the blueprints and sabotaged the computers.

Around December 1, the first week of December, there's complete chaos in Pasadena. They know they can't make it. Roses have wilted, other flower workers have been laid off. The finances are ruined and people haven't been paid. It's a terrible, hideous mess.

January 1 rolls around and the Rose Parade struggles to put on a show. Farmers from the area bring in their tractors and hay wagons. They hastily find some guy from the parade line to be the Grand Marshall. They pick his wife to be the Parade Queen. And that's the parade.

Meanwhile, back home, wherever that guy lives, there's at least one person who's really enjoying the show!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Other Tweets (Some Took Hours To Write)

Why doesn't the author Randi Foxx have a Wikipedia page?

I'm curious how Randi Foxx's parents were prescient enough to give her that name.

I love this statement "Bob" made: "The Beatles are arguably one of the best selling musical groups of all time..."

There's a lot of reruns on Twitter. I'm seeing the same "inspiring" quotes over and over. Isn't anyone saying anything new these days?

~Rollin' in my sweet babies' arms, the whole barn may burn down before we turn around, rollin' in my sweet babies' arms.~

Does anyone think there's any psychological benefits in balancing a penny on top of your head? I'm doing it and I'm getting a slight buzz.

Johnny Fetlock and the Hooves

I did surgery on a cassette tape today. One cassette donors body was immediately rejected. Another was good, the tape transplant successful.

I had a Nancy Wilson cassette tape reel from 1969 (original) that needed to be transplanted into a new host cassette. It was a bloody mess.

But with white gloves and delicate instruments, handed to me by my dog, we made the switch and congratulated each other profusely.

Then I dubbed the Nancy Wilson tape with an MP3 recorder and uploaded a transfusion of it to my iPod. Another round of "Success, doctor!"

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself" - Emerson. So true. [Fingers to the face] "Presto, chango!"

Tender memories of my mother's baking: "The Can of Mommy's Crisco."

This is an "if only" day. If only I had the whole day to sit here, I'd blow you away. If only. More likely I'd fall asleep & wake up tired.

How about the unlucky oyster, always stubbing his toe, saying the wrong things in company, getting in trouble at school? A string of perils.

I'm waiting for the Beatles boxed sets to get here. Grandma's still hoping for the Rudy Valli remasters.

My grandparents never liked long hair on boys. Grandpa used to gripe & groan about "Beatle haircuts." At least he knew SOMETHING about them.

I'm a crotchety old man & I don't like everything about this new generation. I think Twitter was a lot better back in the 60s, Facebook too.

My daily blog traffic goes like this: 2, 4, 3, 5, 2, 1, 6 .... day after day. But the other day, there was ONE day when it was 50. Strange!

Since I'm completely obsessive and paranoid, I can only assume I'm being watched by the government or one of my many imagined enemies.

Sometimes I think Nobody knows me, they can't track me down ... but then I start thinking They know me very well, it's all cat and mouse.

UPS, UPS me off.

George W. Bush was disgusting from Day One. But he was even more disgusting from Day Nine Eleven. Our first "9/11" without Bush! Hurray!

It's time to buckle down, folks. Don't let another day go by without putting it off till tomorrow!

Wilson affected his obituary seriously. SOMEDAY: Joe Wilson, 96, former congressman, best known for yelling at President Obama, died today.

I got an autographed LP by George Morgan tonight. He's famous for the song "Candy Kisses," also recorded by Tony Bennett. George died 1975.

What a lucky boy am I ... The vinyl has some bad anomalies, but every rose has its thorns ... Like the flaws in a Persian rug ... But still!

To look at me you wouldn't think I was a guy of such refinement.

Last Of The Grange Tweets

Dark, dense brooding ... then a field of light ... and back into the thicket. A sacred sword pointed is powerful, humbling the horses.

A day of adjusting, conjuring, bringing all energies to a head. My motivations being pure, I shall prevail. Tonight the zipper comes down!

Tonight the orgies will end and the true morality will prevail. Long live the town! Long live the country! I'm steaming mad at dirt.

I will boldly proclaim the work in which I am engaged. The key to everything is right here ... But first I have some normal errands to run.

Someone said I look like Hugh Hefner. Thanks for noticing. Sorry about the blue material, the sex, in my blog today.

Horse lovers, I'm sorry: "Blood was in a wild spray, horses were falling dead in a terrible arc all around the perimeter of the orgy field."

People tell me it's a natural drive, primal, something necessary for the perpetuation of the species, etc., but I simply don't believe them.

Am I going to say a mumbling word. I say I'm not.

Seth Biggs Was Such A Pious Man

Help, I'm in the unbreakable thrall of an earworm, the song "Put Me Amongst the Girls." This is a true statement.

I wrote a post the other day with that title, about my conquests at the last grange dance. And listened to the song a couple of times.

That's it! And ever since -- not 24/7 but still lots -- I've had this song in mind. I'll be doing anything, trying to read, sit in silence for my personal well-being, take the dog out, and I'm constantly going over it, "Seth Biggs was such a pious man..." I'm seriously more concerned with Seth Biggs' piety than my own! And Seth Biggs is probably nothing more than a fictional character. I'm sort of fictional, but at least I'm actual enough to be typing this.

The weird thing about this earworm is that I've heard plenty of other songs since then. Including some of the new Beatles' remasters, which are excellent so far. Plus I've listened to my iPod, a wide variety of other songs. And yet there it is, omnipresent in my thoughts, "Thomas Harry Jones came up to London town / He meant to be a member of the police force..."

Today I was seated in silence, reading something in peace and the thought suddenly occurred to me out of the blue that I wasn't thinking of the song "Put Me Amongst the Girls." Which of course meant that it returned. Especially the "Seth Biggs" line, he's "such a pious man."

Concerning "Thomas Harry Jones," you know he meant to be a member of the police force, and all that? The next line is so clever, and it's also part of this earworm: "His feet were regulation feet / Just the feet to ornament a beat." Very clever. But go over it in your mind 500 times! I can't get rid of this guy's feet! Or the other guy's piety.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Silence In Heaven For Half An Hour

Everyone needs a break. I'm thinking of this verse from Revelation 8:1 today, "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." Kind of reminds me of my hiatus -- when I took off a few months earlier this year. That was a great break.

I was reading Revelation earlier. You've got all the commotion of heaven, enough horses to make a respectable parade, angels, Gwen Stefani and the Lamb, and the old seer looking on. It's impressive, the orderliness, the holiness, then the systematic destruction of everything, all for a good purpose, to make all things new. (Small consolation to all the ones destroyed.)

Then, not too far into it, after the seven seals and just before the trumpets you get "silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." Like in the Herman's Hermits song, "There's a Kind of Hush." Time to be quiet. Quiet time. Nap time like in kindergarten. A breather. Sit a spell, take your shoes off.

It's an interesting thought. You might wonder why would heaven have silence for about half an hour? Why it's about a half an hour, I don't know. It could have something to do with the urgency of what's presented, with half an hour being a tiny bit of space, i.e., there's no delay. We're giving you a little respite, but not enough to get your hopes up, unless you're a martyr, then your hopes are for 15 minutes tops.

Why there's silence? Maybe because they're busy passing out seven trumpets and they're getting ready to blow them. What's more impressive than a trumpet suddenly blasting out of silence? If you had a lot of noise going on -- and a trumpet just piled on -- it wouldn't be distinct or have the same power. This gets your attention.

I'd like to have just silence and not a sudden trumpet. I prefer noises that come on rather than ones that are just there. On my phone, I have it set with the gentlest alarm it came with. And similarly, the noise that reminds me of an appointment. It eases into it, it doesn't just scare my pants off. Same thing with my dog, Underbrush. If something's going on, I prefer she starts out with some growling before the full bark, not just the full bark all at once. That is scary, more startling than scary.

It's tough to get silence -- I mean silence that's not quite as frightening as heaven's in Revelation. That's the kind of silence we don't want. The kind of stillness like right before a tornado, or if you were in the eye of a hurricane. But other silence is desirable sometimes, if only... We were out today doing the dog thing and some guy who has a noisy truck went by again. I think he and I have synchronized mornings. I said silence is desirable sometimes. That's true. But I'm also a white noise fan. I'd rather hear something going on.

That's all from Revelation today!

As John Lennon could've sung, "You say you want a revelation, well, you know, we all want to end the world."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Really Look Old

I saw four or five pictures of me that someone took a couple weeks ago, pictures taken from various angles, not just head on.

I was stunned to see them. I'm not kidding. Stunned. I am really really an old man. This is something that doesn't happen to me very often. It really opened my eyes.

I think like the same kid I always was. And that's the way I think I look in my mind. Even when I look in the mirror, I don't precisely see an old man looking back.

But there I was. The pictures don't lie. I am ancient and I look it.

Long live the old timer!

Did Anyone Predict The End Of The World Today?

It's one of those significant date days, 09-09-09. It seems like someone somewhere must have predicted the end of the world today. But I don't know if they did or who it could have been.

If they did, they're probably sweating it out, standing in their backyard with no belt, no metal, just a tie rope holding up their pants. I could have done it but I didn't think of it. And it's too late now. But there's always 10-10-10, next year.

Really, think about it, 10-10-10 next year could be the end of the world. It's three 10's. In bowling there's 10 pins and if you get them all that's a strike. Then in baseball, if you get three strikes you're out. So perhaps sports is pointing the way. The message to the world, "You're out!"

The problem with predicting the end of the world on a particular day is ... the next day always comes. Then there you are sitting there looking like the complete idiot you are.

And yet, what an existence you've lived in your time here! Always looking to the end! To you, the end can't get here soon enough, so that, What? You can be up in glory going, "Hey, this is the first time I've ever really enjoyed anything!"

Maybe enjoy your life here, because chances are, it's not really our destiny to be clamoring for the end. I think we're supposed to live life to the fullest while we're here, not be begging to leave. But what happens? You're miserable for one reason or another. Your dreams never worked out. You didn't get the girl of your dreams. You've got a mind that says purity is preferable but all around nothing quite meshes with your psychology. You're trying to escape your sins and your own shadow rather than understanding them. I know how it goes.

Learn from the past. Wishing and waiting for the end of the world doesn't make it happen.

The scientists say it's definitely going to happen someday, at some point between 5 and 25 billion years from now. So what year would that be? Will we still be figuring years the same? It seems like it. Why would we suddenly quit?

Let's say it's 10 billion years from right now, because I can add 10's really well. Also, let's skip 2009 and go with 2010 for this exercise. So ... 2000 + 10 + 10,000,000,000 will be ... the year 10,000,002,010. Did I get that right? I think so. That'll be wild, won't it? All those numbers in the year. But we'll have had several billion years of experience to get used to it, so it won't be any big deal.

Now, here it is, in the future, 09-09-[10,000,002,0]09. By then they're releasing the Beatles remasters on iTunes, so everyone's eventually happy. Except, and this is a big except, the world is going to end on 10-10-10, that very next year. Global warming has shrunk the world to the size of an asteroid. You wake up everyday with your blankets on fire because the sun's right in your face. Everyone knows by then the world's coming to an end.

You've got an asbestos suit and boots (asbestos being re-legalized because the excruciating heat is a lot worse than lung cancer). You're holding your pants up with an asbestos rope. You're out in your backyard. There's a solar flare, it consumes you. The end of the world has come!

You're finally happy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Connections Of A Story

The title here should be "The Connections of a Story -- How Certain Things Hook Together and Certain Things Stand Independently."

Even when a certain thing stands independently, at least in my view of a thing, it still has parts in itself that hook together. But, like common sense teaches (reinforces, or just is) ... ugh, I just lost my train of thought. Which turns out to be for the better, because it turns out to make my point in a better way than I would have. The problem is I took a drink of milk, then was worried about that parenthetical phrase "(reinforces, or just is)," and forgot ... ugh, I did it again, this time without the milk and merely because of that phrase.

It's just like parentheses, they always mess things up. They mess me up badly when I'm trying to read something, like a textbook -- or Finnegans Wake is notorious for this -- and there's a huge parenthetical section and before you know it you're lost. It'd be better, sometimes, if they just dropped the parenthetical part to an asterisked footnote and let you worry about it there. The parenthetical section just shows a mind that's being too particular and probably should let it go (if only...).

Anyway, common sense does teach-- See, I have problems with that. Common sense isn't "teaching." It might tell, suggest, or point out. But if it's common sense indeed (and there's no reason to term it such if it isn't) -- I'm not lost this time -- it's not a matter of you being taught, because you already know what it is that common sense is trying to say, or is saying. Try that again...

Anyway, common sense does say ... ugh, I lost it. Seriously. I heard Grandma moving on the bed and telling the cat to "Get down," then I had some peanut butter up against one of my back teeth I needed to scrape out, meaning my finger needed to be licked and dried, and finally, I'm worried about getting all my grammar right, the LYs on adverbs and all that crap ... so it's very easy to lose your way.

My mind isn't all that sharp either. About half my thoughts are off on other things I have to do today. I'm just happy to have words coming out of my fingers. Except it's disturbing if my fingers are operating independently of my mind, because how do I know? I might suddenly wake up and find out I'm inappropriately massaging someone below the shoulders and end up on an MSNBC documentary. The host will step out of the woodwork. They'll wrestle me to the ground. I'll be rolling back and forth, depending on where the cameras are, to make sure they get my good side.

What I'm trying to get to -- and I know this blog post is a hash today -- is -- let me reread that ... What I'm trying to get to is that certain stories (fiction, straight news, a descriptive piece, an essay) -- pressing on -- are, or do, stand independently, and certain others demand more connections, because they are ongoing pieces, like a novel or short story. That's a complete thought!

Everyone knows this, as common sense makes clear.