No Offense Meant to Your Innate Sensibilities

Take a former high-speed military guy, add a flagrantly narrow view of music and the arts, ignite the passion and conviction that so often come only in later years, mix in 30 years of psycho-spiritual experimentation, a healthy belief that the Ashkenazi and Sephardics really ARE the REAL Jews, add a dollop of cancer and poverty and VOILA! I have come.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Friday on Tuesday

Well, it's my Friday. I live for this day. It becomes a more joyful occasion relative to how tired I feel, how sick I might feel at a given time or how much I hate my job on any given day. Each Tuesday night I leave here knowing that I have two glory-filled days of doing whatever I choose, even if what I choose to do is absolutely nothing.

Sometimes, just sacking out for two days is a pleasure. I usually don't have two nickels to rub together so that kinda rules out having too much fun or going shopping to any degree.

Oftentimes, I feel like crappola, so two days of laying around is a godsend. It appears that I'm going to live after this year-long "battle" with cancer but it is truly a pain and going to the bathroom will never be the same. Let's just say I go with an urgency that will not be thwarted by God nor Man.

I'm sorry to admit this, but I would push a little old lady out of the way just to get to the restroom when the need calls. After three TURBT surgeries, the bladder just isn't what it used to be.

All this just begs the question - how is it possible to be so utterly boring and yet come up with an acceptable blog?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Things I would do differently...

if I could do things all over again:

Now that I'm at that point in life during which our choices seem to have more weight and greater consequences, I've begun to look back and realize that there are a good number of things I would change if I could.

A Buddhist aphorism goes on about "living and dying without regret." Now it's one thing to regret things. It's important not to give in to regret. Rather, I look at things like "Gee, I wish I had done that differently."

I would have lived, at least for a little while, in the British Isles. Not that I don't love being an, it's just that my soul calls out from another place and given my heritage, I believe that place to be England or Ireland. I would have loved to be a resident for at least six months if not for longer. Can you say "ex-patriate?"

I would have used my ample GI Bill to go to school for a worthy pursuit. My inner Mother Theresa is coming to light in recent years and I have an incredible drive to help people. How? By being a doctor! I would have pursued the career of medical doctor, something which was totally unappealing to me when I was younger. And because of the show House, I could have been a good doctor and a totally obnoxious butt-hole all at the same time. Sadly, I think I missed my calling.

I would have pursued and landed one of the three or so great loves of my life. Annie, Debi, and Iris...if any of you ever read this, you can rest assured that I've spent many, many days beating myself up for being foolish and not recognizing something precious even when it was under my nose. Each of you holds a place in my heart and the empty spot in my life will always belong to one or all of you three incredible women.

I would have spent more time in the military. In the 21st century, so many men are veterans of the various conflicts we've engaged in and while my service was both elite and very difficult, I failed to capture the badge of honor - the Combat Infantry Badge - that distinguishes these warriors from all others.

I would have also pursued my various interests to their natural conclusion. Black belt. Virtuoso guitarist. Published writer and artist.

Alas, the past is gone and cannot be molded, the future is coming too quickly and cannot be captured, so all we have to work with is the present moment. As an expert on the subject, let me urge you not to squander the time you have for that can easily lead, later in life, to regret.

Musings from the Hot Seat

Ah, work. Tedious and mundane. "Help me! My Internet is too slow!"  Stressful. Unrewarding. Hopeless.

Been here for twenty-five minutes and already I can feel the contents of my morning meal rumbling around in my gut, threatening to spew forth in a torrent of refusal to answer one more phone call or listen to one more complainer.

I remember the early days. I didn't get on the Internet until after Windows 3.1 arrived and even then, I was more confused than not. Then, diligence paid off and by the time 98 came out, I was a surfing fool. This went on for almost two decades. Recently, after calculating finances I discovered that the Internet, once meant for everyone, once a great bastion of information and connectedness, has become unaffordable for my budget.

This represents a great tragedy to me since the Internet was such an integral part of my life. This in turn makes it hard for me to listen to somebody whinge and whine because they think their Internet connection is either over-priced or too slow. Talk to the hand, 'cause Jimmy ain't listening!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"And then God gave me cancer....."

"...made me lose my job/caused my marriage to fail/caused the earthquake (flood, fire, famine)/punished me for being human."

For God's sake, people (literally)! Take a chance.. if you believe in a supreme being or a creator try to stop picturing a cranky bearded old man in the sky who hands out rewards and metes out punishment. Just for one second, consider that this "being", by whatever name you choose, actually might have no preferences, actually might not think like we do, and actually might not be up there watching you and just waiting to lay you low with another plague or misfortune because of your perceived iniquity.

Imagine the freedom, the relief you might experience once you make this realization. Maybe "God" doesn't cause the bad things to happen to you or the good things to happen to you...maybe this being doesn't care other than to have you experience life with all its ups and downs, to experience the exhilaration of existence and consciousness with all the good and bad that life has to offer.

And it will make you sound more sensible and more rational, because really, think about it - the concept of an old man in the sky who makes life good when we are "good" and makes life bad when we are "bad" is really rather childish, isn't it? And then, as George Carlin so aptly stated, he will make you burn in hell for all eternity because he loves you.

Throw off these foolish bonds and do what thou wilt. As Rumi, the great Sufi mystic wrote - "He is a letter to everyone. You opened it. It said 'live'".

Just live.....

It Is What It Is

Polar caps melting, fresh water and fossil fuels running low, starvation, famine, drought, radiation, sunflares, earthquakes...and then some dimwit says "It is what it is".


What a cop-out. What a stupid thing to say! Of course things are what they are but it does little good and shows little intelligence to use those five words as a blanket statement on every subject.

"It is what it is". You say this because you don't have enough mental chutzpah to say anything that means something.

Live to work, Work to live...

Oh my. I hate my job.

I didn't just discover this. No, I've known it for quite some time now. After forty solid years of work I've been consigned to the low-income lower middle class dung-heap. Some of it is geographical, some of it is economical, some of it is dumb luck and quite a lot of it is due to my self-destructive and rebellious refusal to comply and to be mundane.

And, while life is unfair, I just feel it's quite a travesty for me to be yelled at for a living. Not sure how much time you might have left and want the rest of your days to be at least passably pleasant? Do not go to work in customer service, especially not for the phone company. These devils have been sticking it to people for years and now that they've found themselves under attack by thousands of unhappy customers, they hire a few unsuspecting dupes to field the phone calls of bitterness, disappointment and anger.

All this without as much as a kiss or a reach-around.

The First. The Worst.

My first blog. Nothing Earth-shattering or paradigm-shifting, nothing like that. Just an introduction and a chance for me to see if this gets old with one entry or if I'm in it for the long haul.

Rotten childhood, like most people seem to have had. What are there, two good parents out there? Alcoholic father, passive mother, and me with a hankering to learn, to experience, and to grow. Forgot about the bad times 'til recently when they resurfaced in consciousness, empowered by years of neglect.

Nothing hurts like pain.

I'm at that time in life where, after 25 years of "seeking", I've found that certain things are not what they seem.

"Lead me from the Unreal to the Real". Well, the real seems pretty unreal most of the time. After a disastrous road trip during which I lost most of my possessions, I came home with my tail between my legs to later find out that my body was playing host to an uninvited guest. Cancer. Recurrent bladder cancer. One of the best you can get if you catch it early, so I was fortunate. Three surgeries later, I once again have a clean bill of health although I would be naive to suggest it will not return one day. I pee more than a platoon of hard-drinking sailors and can intuit there is something amiss with my cells but so long as the doctor doesn't give me a checkout date, I'm ok with it. Even if the doctor does give me bad news one day, I kind of have to be ok with it. Not much choice.

Perhaps this is why people tend to piss me off like they do. I'm friendly and get along with most everyone, but what I would like to do is wear a sign around my neck - "leave me alone". This, I think, would suffice to accomplish my goal of not being bothered by naysayers or busybodies.

I have an insatiable appetite to explore things that we don't (perhaps can't) know the answers to. What they call the "Perennial Questions". This much later, I've not found any answers but I have made some observations. Only perhaps one tenth of one percent ever ask these questions. A writer once scribed that life is "nasty, brutish, and short." He could have easily used similar words to describe the human race and the way we treat each other. How many of us choose to concentrate on our selves to the expense of all others, the me-me-me mentality - what's for dinner, what's on TV, whose for sex, am I important yet, is it all about me yet?"

The minute we switch from being self-directed to being other-directed something inside of us flowers and we bloom, opening fully to the Sun and its warming rays. As Yeshua is stated to have said - "That which you find inside you will save you...that which you fail to find inside you will destroy you."

I'm older, smarter, and more tore-up-from-the-floor-up messed-up-from-the-chest-up than ever before. Seems that as we reach our highest pinnacle we also reach our lowest low and sometimes the juxtaposition can be confusing.

I love animals with a passion, and also love martial arts, music, the outdoors, and computer technology. Good books, good CD's, good movies, good food, and beauty all provide me with inspiration and a great deal of satisfaction too. The two things I fear relinquishing at death, more than all other things, are Iron Maiden and knowledge. Not sure what I will do without these two things. Maybe just stand around sticking my fork into the slackers in Hell.

Anyway, if I continue to blog, you will hear things you've not heard before. If I fail to continue, you won't.

It just may be that I don't have all that much to say.