Saturday, January 20, 2007

In the immortal words of Hank Snow...I'm Movin' On - Pressing over to Wordpress

It's been a fun run with the blogger folks, but I've pretty much had all I can take here, so I'm moving the show to Wordpress:

The new addy: Http://

My new feed is : Http://

I'd appreciate it muchly if you'd change your linkage.
Thanks. So long blogger, and thanks for all the fish.

I should add here that the move wouldn't have gone as well, smoothly and as quickly without my Memphis buddy, Lynnster. She is a Wordpress pro, and did a lot of the work for me, and did very well considering I was on the phone a lot of the time cursing when I couldn't get anything I was doing to work. Lynn's patience endured and I think we made it. You're getting stars in that crown for this one, along with the Mothership's finest.

Vanderbilt 72, No. 25 Kentucky 67

Just wanted to make sure nobody, expecially Blue-Mist types, missed THAT score. WhoooooWeeeee.

That would make FOUR ranked teams the 'Dores have beaten this year.

Will you take this woman to be your wife for the next 2 minutes and 12 seconds, or, Now I understand what we are fighting for...

Temporary marriages are BACK in Iraq. What's the Arabic word for 'ho?

Shocking, simply shocking.....what?...there's gambling in Casablanca?

Hillary's in the running, as if anyone thought otherwise. Ladies and Gentlemen, be prepared to see pretzeling the likes never seen before. If you don't know me, or my blog, I'm a Democrat, and I generally support Democratic candidates, but not this one. It's my firm belief that Hillary would give a lap dance to Monica Lewinsky or the corpse of Strom Thurmond if she thought it would help her win. Sorry fellow liberals, I just don't trust her.

A fast food tale in which the narrator SHOULD have called corporate, or, everyone knows it's wendys...

It was lunchtime about three years ago in the greater Green Hills area. In fact it was about eight stomach growls past the time to eat, and for some reason I had a hankering (el anhelar if you are reading this in Peru) for a Wendys Spicy Chicken sandwich. Usually when a fast food chain advertises spicy, the resulting sandwich wouldn't make a baby blanch, but in this case, the Wendy's folks come though. It doesn't hold a candle-watt to Prince's chicken, but then again, on that day I didn't want the coating on my tongue to peel and my intestines to gavotte their own version of the Seven Veils hoping that my head would come off.

So, I head to Wendy's for my overdue lunch. I stand in line patiently...well, patiently for me. I didn't say what I wanted to say to the 4 folks in front of me who apparently were recent recipients of the type of lobotomy that disables the portion of the brain that makes decisions. I could wait. The spicy chicken was ahead.

Finally, I make it to the counter. I place my order in a semi-weak voice to reinforce the impression that I had not eaten in three days and couldn't wait one minute longer for my succor in the form of a spicy chicken sandwich. Naturally, the counterworker told me to move over into the holding area because 'the cook is just about ready to cook some chicken'. I sidled obediently into the waiting pen along with three other people who ordered some type of chicken sandwich.

About five minutes later, the counterperson waved over my three companions who had wuss-ily ordered the non-spicy version of the sandwich which was beginning to take on the proportions of Orwell's Rosebud.

I waited about a minute longer, and when I could wait NO MO, I sauntered to the counter and saucily asked..'hey, how about my sandwich'? The counterperson went back to talk to the cook and came back smiling. 'She said that she didn't feel like cooking a spicy chicken'. I was sure she was having me on, pissing up my leg as they say in bloody England. I asked again..'now really, when is my sandwich going to be ready?' 'SHE DIDN'T COOK YOUR SANDWICH!'.

HUH..WTF!!??? When I got over being stunned and realized that the Candid Camera folks weren't there and understood she was serious, I asked for my money back. It became quickly clear that she had no idea how to refund money that had already entered their computer with the order wending its winding way to Wendy worldwide headquarters.

I asked to speak to the manager. The manager apparently was sick that day and his second-in-command was taking money to the bank. I waited 15 minutes until the number 2 guy returned. He was able to successfully negotiate the transaction and returned my money. I told him about the pathetic service expecting a coupon for free sandwiches or at least an apology. The true meaning of apathy was defined anew for me that day.

I drove off, uttering curses for which my mother would still attempt to ground me, vowing never to return to the Green Hills Wendy's. I haven't..but I've been to the Metrocenter Wendys since then, because, I still love me some Wendy's Spicy Chicken.

I did write an email, but never heard back from anyone. It almost made me want to take up smoking, but that's another story for another day.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Harlan Kentucky

Re my previous post, I have been in Harlan. There is no place on earth like Harlan Kentucky. I haven't been everyplace on earth, but I would bet my original mono copies of 'Out of Our Heads' and '12 x 5' that nothing approaches Harlan.

My college girlfriend was from Harlan. After two months of exclusive and intensive dating (we actually dated back in the know that car thing where the guy -usually the guy- picks the girl up at her house or dorm), it became clear that we were fairly serious and that it was time for the big invite to meet the parents. Considering that parents of everyone I had dated to that time either lived in Nashville or Dickson, my lack of preparation for seeing Harlan was roughly akin to a new speechwriter hearing his/her first speech mangled by the President. Outwardly benumbed, inwardly nuc-u-lur.

The first time I met 'her' parents, I contracted aphasia. Sadly, the disease endured the weekend. The impression left by that first visit was incredulity, piteous, and I'm sure frustration, followed by the belief that their daughter had the makings of a social worker, showing the world to a long-time denizen of the short bus.

Our relationship was lucky to have survived the weekend. Fortunately, future visits were enhanced by actual complete sentences, inchoate political opinions, and in some cases, conversation. I was given what would be the first of many Harlan and coal-mine area tours.

Over the years we hiked the mountains many times. I saw for the first time houses, actually shanties, built on a path but with no road in sight. I saw many kids who could have been up in that tree with a really had to stare to see the eyebrows. I saw kids with what looked like scurvy and I saw coal mine owner's houses that were hillside palaces.

I saw the vestiges of our version of the caste system. I saw the results of the union wars. I saw a hospital that wouldn't treat a coal miner until the 1970s. Coal miners were often paid in script that could only be redeemed at the 'company store'. These truths were more than just another verse of a popular folk song.

I also saw many mountains that seemed pristine at first glance, but that truthfully had been irreperably scarred by slash of the strip mine. I saw mountains that had been 'topped'. I saw beauty and poverty that I really didn't believe existed in the 20th century United States.

I became close dear friends with my girlfriend's parents. In fact, when I was later unceremoniously dumped, part of my anguish was the thought that this meant I also broke up with her family. I soon realized that true friendship and love can endure anything, and I continued to visit Harlan, Kentucky during my one year in Knoxville (aborted law career that is best left to describe in another really boring post).

I will say I was depressed, adrift and prone to long bouts of self-pity during my year in Knoxville. I had lost my girlfriend and I HATED law school. I retreated to Harlan many weekends (and a few entire weeks later in the year). I learned to love the alien world that seemed to be contain many shades of gray and world-class weariness. Coal mining can wear a person out in ways most of us can't imagine.

The Harlan parents became 'in loco parentis' during a long sad year. I was prepared to head to graduate school when a friend called and encouraged me to go to New York and help save the world. We moved to Brooklyn, and I soon met a wonderfully incredibly shy woman who later become the woman with whom I have spent nearly 30 years. Meeting her made me realize that my college girlfriend had been wise about parting ways. I also met a man who later became one of my best friends.

Many years later, that man, one of the best friends I've ever had, managed to hook up with my college girlfriend. They married a few years ago. I was able to catch up with my Harlan 'parents', and learn that bad health had overtaken these wonderful vivacious people.

My recent trip to Harlan was to pay tribute to my 'other' mother, a woman who accepted me despite a horrible first impression, a woman who defined the word 'welcome' for me and who continued to be a loving part of my life even after her daughter had moved on. She probably knew that we 'weren't to be', but after a point it didn't matter.

The pathology of a small coal mining town in eastern Kentucky is far different than a town called Liberty in Texas. The Texans were in Liberty because they felt free and thankful to have escaped from the crowds and coal-smoked eastern states. Many of the people were in Harlan because they had to be, or because their wagons couldn't make it through the Cumberland Gap to the beauty of east Tennessee and beyond.

The worst aspects of religion and religious types always prey on the poor, continuing to afflict the afflict rather than the converse. God and Jesus are thrown at you like stones in this part of the world. God is harsh and etched in stone and may be forgiving, but only if you earned it.

I've seen funerals in two small towns that couldn't be more disparate. Sadly, funerals are what brings a lot of us together. We travel from afar and share stories, tears, and grace. We lose our friends, and sometimes our way. Harlan has been a wonderful and odd part of my life. I was thankful that a certain family was there at a time when I seemed to lose my way and a whole lot more.

I'm also grateful to my wife who understood that I needed to leave in the middle of the night and drive back to that world. I should also mention that a certain night-owl in Memphis gave me great help in staying awake late at night and despite my boring and somewhat morose nature that night, stayed with me for quite a few miles.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Where I'm going tonight...

Another funeral...sigh. Give me strength.

Why do you hate America, why do you support cut and run, don't you support the troops...Oh WAIT A MINUTE..

You ARE a troop
What's wrong with the [Iraq] war?

It's a war we never should have launched in the first place. It's been incompetently executed and it's brought no benefit to anyone involved, including the American people and the Iraqis. It's just people dying for no benefit.

That quote ain't from Cindy Sheehan...follow the link to ferret out the Bush-hater (hint, he's one of a few, he's proud, he's been chosen, and he's not flying solo)...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Simon says shut up, or, America idles for a Lynching

Ok..I watched the last twenty minutes or so of American Idol auditions tonight. I've thought about this for a while and I'm now totally convinced that not only is Simon most of the contestants true friend, I'm wishing I had a life-Simon to be honest with me when I've said and done some of the most absolute dumb-ass things imaginable.

I wouldn't have sat next to Lisa Ball on the bus ride home from church camp oblivious to the fact that she would prefer sitting next to a syphilitic dwarf with bad intent. I wouldn't have come up with THIS sparkling conversational jewel while double dating with my best friend - 'hey, look, there's a green mailbox!' I actually said that after a 15 minute uncomfortable silence on the way to our first (and last date). Not surprisingly, the silence picked right back up after my Noel Coward moment.

I wouldn't have eaten that bleu cheese burger in Cincinnati after the first bite screamed 'BAD CHEESE'. I wouldn't have picked the one gas station in Ohio without a ventilated bathroom to curl up and die in after eating the bad cheeseburger. I wouldn't have told the menstruation joke when someone's mom visited our communal meal up in Brooklyn....there's a lot more, but I can beat myself up so much. Where's my life coach, my Simon to tell me..get off the stage...SHUT THE *)*) UP!

Secondly, if you watched the previews for the auditions next week in the Seattle episode you may have noticed that apparently every extra from Twin Peaks is re-emerging to make their mark on American and the Idol world. Maybe they should have just stopped with the Maker's Mark and skipped the audition.

Who in God's name is telling all these people they can sing? Is 3 minutes of public humiliation really worth it just to get on, Gasp..TeeVee?

.....And a hocky team broke out, or, a few observations about hockey crowds

Folks, I don't care if you don't know icing in hockey from that sugary goop on top of a cake, we have an incredible hockey team in our town. If there WAS a good hockey poet (or even a poet who occasionally dabbled in puck-ery), they would be composing lines re the line of Kariya, Legwand and Erat. I have no doubt about THAT (Legwand and Kariya are more of a rhyming challenge). These guys rival Tinkers to Evers to Chance teammate connective-wise.

If you haven't been to see the Preds, a few words of advice...

If you plan to bring kids, explain the words 'suck*' and its plural before the game. Spin the word anyway you wish, but after the game be prepared to hear the sing-song chant 'MOM YOU SUCK, DAD YOU SUCK', if you deign to chastize them in a manner not parallel with their particular line of thinking.

If you kept a 'suck' click count during the game, I'm pretty sure that the triple figure would be reached somewhere in the second period. I've said it before, I'm sick of the word. I'm not offended other than being disappointed in the mass of people who can't come up with a better insult.

The announcement of each opposing player's name is met with 'SUCKS'. When a goal is scored on the opponent, a barrage of once-clever suck chants ring the arena. What was somewhat funny and artful back in 1999 and 2000 have become lamer than parents trying to remain relevant with their kids by using hip-hop terms of the late 90s.

Pretty much every sneer-cheer is peppered with 'sucks' except the still-funny-to-me jibe at the opposing goalie after the Predators score - 'It's ALL your FAULT, it's ALL your FAULT'.

I've written about the 'suckage' factor more than once. I probably might as well protest the tide system in the ocean or decry the vapid brain-patterns of prime-time programmers. Is it all our fault for continuing to buy tickets and watch TV?

On another note, for the love of the great Gretzky:

Dear Predators management: LOSE THE FANG FINGERS bit when an opponent is penalized and has to sit out for a few minutes. This was a cutesy-wootsy element back in the pre-historic pred promo days when most of us didn't understand things like 'clearing the puck', or as mentioned above, that'icing' is more than just a cake adornment. It's NOT cute anymore. It's annoying, embarrassing and lends credence to fans from other towns thinking that we are newbie nimrods in search of a clue.

Finally, to the woman in line with us at the coffee kiosk with the Trinity Broadcasting It really looks strange to see that hair with a Preds sweater instead of purple garb, standing in line rather than poised to strike for dollars while reposed amidst the gilded roccoco. Maybe it's just me...

Meanwhile, I'll be thinking of new words or phrases to be exclaimed sing-songedly after each opponent's name is announced...hmmm,
Pronger - Iced over with ENN-U-I
Toskala - At Best, med-i-oc-re, med-i-oc-re
Crosby - Stills and Nash are better off without YOU

Are you hearing me Section 303...are you listening Leipold?

*I realize this may be ironic considering my true blog motto is: attempting (and often failing) not to suck for over 1 solid year

Monday, January 15, 2007

That line from the Martin Luther King speech

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

That line has been misused more than most famous quotes in American history. I would say more, but it's been said much better and more clearly by Mark aka Gandalf Mantooth over at his way-cool blog - Dork Nation.

However, a lot of people forget the speech was more than the one sentence when quoting MLK. He called the “new militancy” “marvelous.” He said “America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked “insufficient funds.”

The speech has a context, and some people would seem to want to wrest the speech from its context by using that one sentence as a rhetorical tool. Most people who use it are aware of the reverence paid King by many here. The man has a President’s holiday for f***’s sake. You may well have the same heartfelt attachment to the quote and it’s perceived everyman/woman sentiment. You may have the best of intentions. However, when some right winger like George Will or Limbaugh is tut-tutting people of color about Affirmative Action or something and drags out The Quote, it smacks of smarmy condensension. It says “See, your greatest leader agrees with me, so there! Nyaa, nyaa, game over.”

My favorite Martin Luther King quote I dedicate to my late friend Nick. He lived this one every day.

The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers.

Martin Luther King Jr., 'Strength to Love,' 1963

I'm not an egotist, but memememe, or, finish this sentence..

Once again, I wasn't fast enough to get away. My blog-friend Sara Sue tagged me to finish the following sentences...(i thought you LIKED me Sara!)

01. I’ve come to realize that my ex----exists only in the realm of girlfriend and we're really good friends.
02. I am listening to---rain falling in Salemtown, birds singing and some high-pitched whining tool being used on a construction site down the street..guys, IT'S RAINING!
03. I talk---with a nasal-ly voice that makes me want to pull out my hair when I hear it on a recording.
04. I love---my wife, my kids, Vanderbilt basketball, the Rolling Stones, and the New York Yankees (did I get the order right, dear?)
05. My best friends---live too far away (same as S.Sue).
07. I lost---a really good friend and incredible person to a damn brain tumor.
08. I hate it when people---don't seem to give a shit that anyone else in the universe exists but them.
09. Love is---often never having to say much else but, I'm sorry
10. Marriage is---certainly not boring!
11. Somewhere, someone is thinking---if this bonehead tags me on this meme, I'm going to shred his pointed rather oversized head (oh, S. Sue..this doesn't apply to you, much).
12. I’ll always be---almost there, but not quite.
13. I have a crush on---Rachel McAdams and several bloggers whom I will NOT embarrass!
14. The last time I cried was because---my friend died.
15. My cell phone---has the staying power of a 80 year old man after drinking three glasses of water.
16. When I wake up in the morning---see number 15.
17. Before I go to sleep at night---I spend a good bit of time trying to fall asleep and trying to remember not to drink three glasses of water.
18. Right now I am thinking about---that REALLY annoying whining tool being used down the street which now has a slightly HIGHER pitched mate, a sound I didn't think was machine-ly possible and one I'm surprised my that can be heard by any member of a species more highly evolved than dogs.
19. Babies are---a wonderful thing for me to be nostalgic about, but things I changed my share of back in the 80s.
20. I get on MySpace---when hell freezes over, when Something About Jim becomes as soul-satisfying as 'The Wire', when an REO Speedwagon CD is in my house more than 15 seconds before it is hurled in the general direction of that damn damn whiny machine down the street in hopes that it will be destroyed by said machine.
21. Today I---slept late because of the holiday.
22. Tonight I will---watch episodes 3 and 4 of '24' to see how Jack Bauer does it AGAIN AND AGAIN.
23. Tomorrow I will---trudge slowly down the street to work wishing I had just one more day off.
24. I really want---an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle, but I'm pretty damn sure I'd shoot my eye out...

Tagging: Kristin and Lisa...they're far enough away not to come down and hit me for this!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ordinary Heroes in your town - Actors Bridge* rises up!

This will not be the last time I plug this upcoming play/event (if you click on the link you can actually READ the cool poster). I've seen an early 'read-through' version of this play and cannot wait until the main event. If you are long-time or native Nashvillian, you may know a lot about the civil rights movement here in our town, or you may be surprised at how much you don't know, but the stories in this play will make you cry, think, be angry, and inspire you.

From the Actors Bridge website:

This world-premiere theatrical work is based on Nashville’s pivotal role in our nation’s fight for civil rights in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Through drama, music, spoken word and multi-media, the play explores the stories of the lesser known contributors in the struggle that was born in Nashville – the individual foot soldiers who made up the masses that followed storied leaders, Martin Luther King, Jr., Kelly Miller Smith, C.T. Vivian, Diane Nash, James Lawson, Bernard Lafayette and others. Based on interviews with living people who participated in the movement...

I was a young boy growing up in the lily-white Green Hills area when the lunch-counter sit-ins occurred. At first it all scared me, but I knew somehow that the God I was raised with didn't really think that much of apartheid, even though that same God was used to justify separation of the races and a slooooooooooow path to racial justice by many.

Another aspect of this play that thrills me is that my alma mater, Lipscomb University, is a partial backer of this play. Their name is up their on the poster. As much as I've wanted to charge them for the counseling bills I've paid for over the years, I've gotta give them some solid props for working with Fisk on this venture.

Please go see this play!

*My friend Vali Forrister (aka The Playwright to some) is a major force behind this play (co-writer and instigator). She worked with Aunt B, among others to create 'Faith/Doubt' last year.

Death in a small town

I'm not really a small town kind of person. I'm not claiming that Nashville is anywhere near Chicago, NY or Atlanta status, but it does have multiple incredibly good diverse dining options, movie theaters that show non-blockbuster films, places to drink coffee and professional sports. Small towns may have a few good restaurants, but coffee usually is only available at the corner diner, and it may or may not be fit to propel diesel engines.

Small towns, at least in the movies, and in my mind, don't know what to do with the out-liers, the artist who dreams beyond Thomas Kinkade, the goth-kid, the outwardly gay and the people who scream that it's time for a change. A lot of this is based on books written by people who fled small towns, or movies made by the small-town expatriate. Some of these thoughts are based on experiences of people I know....

But there's also another side: The unity, the support, the friendliness, the village of parental watching out for each other, and the sense that everyone here matters. I got to see the good side this past week in a little town called Liberty, Texas. Oddly, there are at least eight towns in Texas named Liberty. Only one of them is actually IN Liberty County, the county I was visiting.

My friend Nick, described somewhat in the previous post, was a principal, a coach, a teacher, a friend, a husband and a dad. All those words are mere outlines to the man. He was a gentle giant, a listener, a great singer, a lover of history and a person who knew how to make you feel comfortable.

Liberty, Texas celebrated their son last week in a way I'll never forget. Schools closed early..athletic events were cancelled. The line at the funeral home for visitation stretched through the funeral home, out the door and down the block and continued to build for hours. Signs in tribute plastered the city. Mountains of food were supplemented by more mountains. The art of the deviled egg has been perfected in Liberty.

More importanly, in those days, there weren't white folks, black folks, hispanic folks, gay folks, straight folks, Catholics, Baptists or C. of Christers. There were people unified in their love for Nick whose generosity amazed those of us who came from far away. They took us into their homes, fed us (way too well!), gave us beds to sleep in and ferried us to where we needed to go. In those homes, I got to hear a lot about Liberty and why a guy who tasted the Big Apple and other 'big places' wanted to go back to Liberty.

I still am not a small-town kind of person, but I understand a lot more, now that I've viewed Liberty though the prism of my late friend Nick, and a village of people who know more about community than I've ever known...I suspect they understand a little more about the world and acceptance than I've been lead to believe, as well.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

love and death..

I always hate it when some horrible or sad happens to an athlete or an entertainer and they say.."I guess this puts everything in perspective now", like somehow we forgot that people continue to die or get sick or have accidents because we have FOOTBALL or LOST on TV or Rocky IVX - Fighting for his LIFE!.

Most of us are aware that this is perspective to be had on a daily basis. Shit happens. We have financial problems because of unexpected damn car repairs. Our washing machine breaks. Our body breaks and the hospital bills mount up.

Even if we know all this, it always hurts when a friend who is too young to die, dies. When a tumor that sneaks into his brain like a dream and grows and grows until, surprise, lights out. No perspective I have can understand why that happens. Yeah, I know the words, and i understand that disease is part of an imperfect world, but perspective, hell no. Not supposed to happen.

I'm driving to Texas tonight with some friends to attend my friend Nick's funeral. Nick was 51 when he died yesterday leaving behind an 11 year old son and a wonderful wife. Nick fought this damn tumor and kept alive by sheer willpower for months after it would have felled most people.

Nick was part of my life when we were saving the world in New York back in the 70s. We didn't save the world, Brooklyn, or 531 Dumont where we lived. But we did make some of the best friends a person could ever have (including my wife)'s the kind of thing that happens when you are social workers hellbent on doing something always surprises you when a different good happens.

Nick had a great life. People from all over the United States are on their way to say farewell. I'm just lucky to have known him, and that's my real perspective here.

See you at the end of the week.

As a Vanderbilt fan, I'd like to point out the following score..

Florida 25 - Vanderbilt 19. I'm thinking 'we' did a little better than THE Ohio State University did last night..(o;

Let's play the match game, or, what do these two stories have in common?

Reverent Al wants to run for President and P. Hilton wants to be a serious actor.

One of my New Year's half-baked resolutions was to continue NOT to care what P. Hilton does or says...I really don't care about her latest nocturnal admission but it seem to go so well with the Reverend's aspiration.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Fiesta Tortilla Doritos Tostido halftime bowl question...

The announcers in tonight's BCS Championship (Go SEC! - i normally hate Florida, but i love this score..) mentioned that the blimp flying overhead was provided by somebody or other, and that it was giving us all 'aerial coverage of the game'...

How can anything give aerial coverage of the game when the stadium below is DOMED????

Body parts, or, what's the skinny here

Unless someone stumbles into Salemtown still reeling from the effects of a trip to BizarroWorld, nobody is going to mistake me for Adonis. I was blessed with pipe-stem legs and arms. I could have done something about adding some tone to the stems, but apparently it hasn't been important enough to me to implement corrective action.

From the time I was a junior in high school until I was 38 years old I weighed nearly the exact same weight. I could wear the same pants, the same belt, the same shirts, if they had endured all those years. When I was a kid, my head grew to adult size, which coupled with my stick-figure body, led to an Ichabod Crane look that I learned to live with,despite the mostly friendly taunts from friends, and the concerned looks of the church women who were certain I could be 'cured' by a steady dose of casserole and their own special dessert squares.

Generally speaking, and there is an obvious recent exception, most people don't insult large/overweight people to their face or in a way the insult can be easily heard (or seen). It, for good reason, is considered rude and untoward. For some reason, telling someone he 'looks thin/skinny/unhealthy/sticklike' has always been considered ok. The adult version, in fact, of the childish taunt is the pseudo-concerned face when expressing, 'have you been ill'? This query, when asked by a close friend means one thing, but when posed by semi-strangers, is nothing more than a thinly disguised: I look ok, you don't.

After age 38, my metabolism changed. The mountains of food that had heretofore been filling my empty stempipe leg or otherwise metabolised, suddenly begin loitering around my mid-section. For a few years, basic non-strenuous exercise could keep the pooch from pooching. Sadly, the war of the middle became a battle of non-attrition in my mid 40s, and the pooch pooched outward. An operation two years ago that basically opened me up from chest to pelvis didn't completely heal, resulting in a hernia-like condition where muscle protudes slightly between the not-quite-closed curtain of my torso. If you look closely (and I'm not suggesting this!), you can see a weird shelf-like protrusion if I stand a certain way in a slouch. Obviously, I attempt NOT to stand that way and slouch.

Back in the day, back in gym class when I would see all these better-developed guys (don't snicker....), I would be envious. I imagined a world where I would be judged by my form and outline, and worried that my prospects for acclaim, love and marriage would be as thin as my upper arms.

Gladly, at least for men, our form and build is not normally conflated with our worth, our personality and our ability to be a whole person. The fact that women don't get this same break is fairly obvious in the world of entertainment and sadly, evidenced quite clearly in the recent blogger-dustup.

I'm not here to begin to say that people making fun of my bodysize or my skinny arms and concave chest were near the equivalent of what women go through when we 'appraise' their form. I can tell you it used to bother me a lot when I was younger, and that gives me at least a hint, a clue into the world of bodytype=inherent worth.

There is an old adage that supposedly helps a person get up in front of a room full of people when they are scared to speak in front of a crowd - 'imagine everyone in the room is naked/wearing only their underwear'. Yeah, I guess this does rob the audience of some of their dignity, but I'd prefer a room full of people who understand that mental, physical and spiritual health have little to do with the way I, or they, look.

I'm off to Bizarro world..........

Pic above is from HERE.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

God moves in mysterious ways, or, no more rain, the fire next time

If this had happened once or twice (a little more thoroughly) when I was going to church as a kid, any whiff of agnosticism I might have had would have been dispelled.

Stolen* completely from Thomas, at Ihajj.

*Sorry about that 8th commandment, Thomas.

About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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