I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Let the Carnage Begin

Going back to the first Thanksgiving I can recall, the atmosphere was festive and vibrant with a lot of turkey zombies walking around, drooling on themselves until they got fed.  In the background you could hear the announcers on television giving play-by-play of the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins football game.  My little brother would be hanging out in the kitchen with mom and whomever else was helping out in the kitchen.  It was one of the coveted locations in the house because mom always let us sneak a taste or two.

Dinner itself always started out orderly and pleasant, but about the time folks were ready for seconds, the carnage had begun to take shape.  Slowly but surely, the warm turkey began to do its magic and some would get sleepy.  Now, where I'm from, you can't eat if you're asleep so the struggle to stay awake was real; as was the grouchiness.  Mom could sense it rising and she put a stop to it because on Thanksgiving Day, she was the last one you wanted to anger.  After all, she may not let us have pie.  And we have to have pie.

I suppose what I miss the most is how close we all seemed to feel on that one day.  It was about giving thanks and celebrating the family and how far we'd come over the previous year.  My son Matt and oldest daughter, Heather were always a hoot to have around during the holiday.  When my youngest son, Mason, and my youngest daughter, Madison, were baptized into the Gluttony Family, we had it down to a science and timing was everything.  Now, we're all spread out across the doggone country and it stinks.  My oldest has his own family now; starting his own traditions with his wife Kristina and my grandson, Rylan.  

I remember the carnage like yesterday and one time being freaked out over what the turkey looked like when it was stripped of its yummy meat.  It was a skeleton and I remember saying, "What the hell is that?"  

After I had my mouth washed out with soap, my mother explained the process in detail.  I think I can still taste that soap.

The devouring of food is particularly delightful, however, it pales in comparison to the memories made and the experience of family.  Though my memory continues to give me fits, the feeling of love and passion permeates the fabric of my being.  I hope that is the case for you too.  Take a look around today while you're eating and just watch everyone.  Soak it up and let it overcome you.  Food will come and go, but memories of life are eternal.

Of course, that's just my gluttonous opinion and I could be wrong...but I seriously doubt it.

Your Thanksgiving Gorilla

Monday, November 23, 2015

We Took A Wrong Turn

I can remember back in my Navy days when a handful of my shipmates and I would hop in the car and just drive.  One summer morning, we decided that driving from San Diego to Yuma, Arizona would be a lot of fun and we would see some sights along the way.  We didn't really plan too far in advance, you see, because we were driving in a 1972 Camaro with no air conditioning.  We did, however, manage to pack an ice chest with ice and soft drinks.  About a third into the drive, we were using the ice on our heads.

Did you know that between San Diego and Yuma, there really isn't much at the temperatures can get over 110 degrees?  We didn't either, but we know now.

There was a stretch just before Yuma where there were signs for a lake and we were so hot, all we could think about was jumping into the lake to cool off.  We took a road where the sign said the lake was supposed to be and it became very clear very shortly that the Camaro was just not designed to handle rough, rocky, and sandy roads.  Finally, we could see the lake and let loose with a roar of approval and excitement.  We were able to drive right down to the small, rock-surrounded beach and that was what we did exactly.  My friend shut off the car and left his wallet and keys behind and ran to the lake and jumped in; yelling with joy the whole way.

I opened my passenger door and put my foot in the sand and that is when I saw it.  

Right under my feet was a shed snake skin that was the size of a Buick.  I was frozen and my mind immediately considered that there is a possibility that a snake that large could very well be hanging around, waiting to make me its dinner.  Then, I realized that the weather was super hot but snakes need water too, so there were probably snakes IN the water with my friend.  I screamed out some extremely colorful and descriptive expletives which drew the attention of my friend who ran up the beach, certain that I was having some sort of mental breakdown.

I explained to him the eminent threat we were under and it was time to go do DEFCON 2.  

He reached down and picked up the snake skin and I noticed that it wasn't quite as big as I thought it was.  He laughed, I didn't.

As we tried to leave we realized that we could not because the car was, you guessed it, stuck in the sand.  Fortunately for us, a park ranger lady came by and broke protocol and helped us get out of that dire mess.  She got back into her truck and smiled at us and said, "I think you boys took a wrong turn because the beach with parking is about 1/2 of a mile east of us."

We eventually made it to Yuma, and found nothing there so we drove on to Phoenix.  And no; no more wrong turns.

There were times on that trip when we was sure that we wouldn't make it and were going to have to go full commando to survive because we didn't have a map and they didn't have GPS readily available then.  Somehow we made it.  There are many who would call it Divine providence, while others would call it dumb luck; it was a warning shot over our bow, I think.  It was the Creator telling us that the events of that day were symbolic of many days like that in the future.  My friend seemed to be paying attention more than I was because I keep on making wrong turns.  Even so, I still seem to make it back on track.  

I've gone through some changes in my life and some of them were phenomenal while others scared the crap out of me.  Even in the midst of changes or revelations and lessons learned, there will always be skeptics who will try to devalue what you're experiencing and wrestling with.  If we remain vigilant however, the naysayers will be silenced and left only to question whether or not they should be experiencing something similar themselves.  

Of course, that is just my opinion and I hope I'm wrong.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Silly Putty Brain

Something snapped in my pea brain after I turned 51.  Everything had a renewed sense of urgency because I was once again coming face to face with the reality of my mortality.  I'll be honest with you; it sucked and still sucks.  Perhaps you have found yourself in a similar situation.  Maybe you had a couple near-death experiences that left you with the same type of Silly Putty Brain (SPB) as I have.  The brain ceases to function normally and everything is urgent, every circumstance requires immediate attention and then seconds later, you're all, "Ooh, look at that shiny thing."  

I know I'm not alone because there are plenty of traces left behind from fellow SPB sufferers on social media like Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.  There are the left SPBs and the right SPBs.  There is still a large contingent of American voters who still seem to think that President Obama is running again in 2016.  He's not.  Let me open your eyes for a moment:

Polling data shows that there is a strong dislike of President Obama among conservative and Republican voters.  The GOP candidates want to garner that vote so what do they do?  They target the POTUS with ridiculous accusations and attacks.  The sad thing is that their campaign consultants know for a fact that it's going to work and thus the little sheep are led astray while ignoring the truth of what each of the candidates represent themselves.  It's as though whichever GOP candidate gets the biggest "gotcha" moment gets the most votes - AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANT.

I've been criticized in the past for my criticism of criticism of the POTUS just for the sake of criticism.  (Wrap your head around that one.)  I don't really give a hoot because he is still the POTUS and is deserving of the respect that office commands.  If it bothers you and gets your rebel flag panties in a bunch, take two aspirin for headaches, Midol for any cramps.  You've been duped and frankly, you probably shouldn't be allowed to vote anyway.  
On the other side of the spectrum, it's almost as though the Democrats are constantly on the search for the least popular issue to be their cause célèbre'.  Yes, there are certainly Syrian refugees who deserve to be here and the GOP has gotten it all wrong.  No doubt that innocent children and families are in need of sanctuary.  But  look, there are a lot of folks who call themselves "refugees" who are just ass hat terrorists taking advantage of our kindness.  We have to find a method to process these refugees and determine whether or not they are the good guys or the bad guys, and I acknowledge that it won't be easy.  But the rhetoric makes the Democrats look like a bunch of do-gooder whiny bitches.  

At least that's how my SPB sees things right now.  At a time when we need to be working together to ensure our nation's safety, we're too busy either trying to prove who is the most "Christian," or pretending like a term-limited President is the AntiChrist.  Poppycock.  Just stop it and think rationally and reasonable for just a couple hours.  This is and always has been a great nation but we're turning into a bunch of petulant children.

Of course, that's just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We Are Losing It

Scan the news today, particularly that being pushed on social media.  I dare you.  The stories of doom and gloom and horrific events are a little overwhelming.  Actually, they are a lot overwhelming.  It seems as though we are consumed by negativity, surrounded by blight, and yet we miraculously survive.  The panic, the chaos, and the level of hyperbole has reached epic proportions and I decided to write down a few notes about what I've seen today (and over the last few days) to share with you.

Pakistan, Mexico:  Yes, the SHTF in those two countries as a result of natural disasters.  Tragic as all hell, no one can applaud when horrific things like that take place, to be sure.  Churches are falling all over themselves to pray and try to find some kind of help for the people of Mexico as well as the people of Pakistan.  Let's think about this rationally for a moment, shall we?  Pakistan is a nuclear-capable nation who has been tinkling on the boots of India (another nuclear power) for a long time now and it isn't getting any better and the puddle is getting larger.  Oh, and by the way...Pakistan is where we found, shot, and killed Osama Bin Laden.  How have we forgotten this? Our government stopped asking questions once his life was terminated, but these questions about why the Pakistani government didn't nail his ass a long time prior befuddles those of us who are still awake.

And then there's Mexico with their cartel-run establishment who has the potential to be an energy producing behemoth, but have instead decided that drugs and human trafficking is the way to grow their GDP.    Sure, we're supposed to pray, but I suggest that we be careful what and whom we pray for because it could come back and bite us.

And speaking of praying and perhaps meeting need, has anyone taken a look at what is happening with the poor in Oklahoma City?  We are furious about how foreign governments treat their citizens while we are doing the very same damned thing to our citizens.  Whether it be the anti-panhandling propaganda or the loss of affordable housing, we have some explaining to do.

President Obama:  The GOP seems to forget that he is term-limited and won't be on the ticket in 2016.  What is happening is that the pollsters still see the President as a hot button issue among the GOP faithful, so the consultants for this band of blathering boobs attack the President as though he was their primary competitor.  I'm serious, folks.  This is exactly what they are doing!  They look at the polling numbers just like any product marketing professional would and  create a message predicated on what the numbers show the constituency to prefer.

Simply put:  They are using information you provide to sell you a product (candidate) you have said that you want. They are packaging dog feces and telling you its caviar.

I think it was John Calvin who said, "The demons whisper in the ears of the false prophets and they repeat every word of it."  And the elitist within the GOP apparatus wonders why Trump is polling so well?  He appears to be a real person whereas the others are thought of as demagogues with a teleprompter.   It's agonizing to watch and even more pathetic to be a part of it all.  They are marketers of a message; trying to convince you that they are better than the next one, but they are just marketing professionals.  Bill Hicks said it best:

We have become so blind to the falsehoods of the messages we receive that we are really starting to lose our grasp of reality.  A huge percentage of the Evangelical community lost their damned minds over John Hagee and his bullsh*t "Blood Moon" hype.  It makes you want to cuss it's so ludicrous.

Wake up, friends.  We have people in this country with little to eat, fear of losing their shelter, and that's stress that most of the propagandists cannot understand.  Most of them have lived sheltered, entitled lives but they have the audacity to bitch and moan and cover themselves in sack cloth and ashes about welfare;  this while their corporations, their businesses are receiving corporate welfare.  Of course, it has more to do with favors to campaign contributors, but that's a whole different story.

These are just my opinions and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.