Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Now


You want to do something?
Do it now, while you can.
Do you feel the urge to speak?
Spill before it's too late.

Face it, you'll never be ready
but don't let that slow you down.
Is there something you hoped to see
while you're still young enough?
What are you waiting for? NOW!

Do not assume that those
Opportunities and freedoms
You currently neglect.
Will be there waiting for you.
Life has no guarantees;
Liberties stolen in the blink of an eye.
So don't be quiet, don't wait and see,
Don't hold out, procrastinate,
Forever plan and fantasize.
Do it. Don't not do it, now.
Do it now.

Now is the only time that's real.
Now is the only time to act.
Remove the phrase, "I can't wait to..." from your lexicon
Don't wait to savor life.
Remove the phrase, "It can wait." waiting is a losing game.
In the future things may not exactly be the same.
In one moment your entire life could change.
And then what??...
...
...
...
Do it now.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Goober Patrol

two tables at a restaurant. two CUSTOMERS are seated at one table and a WOMAN is seated at another table, waiting for her blind date to show up.  He’s late.

DINA: You're a contrarian.

DANNY: No, I'm not.

DINA: Well you gainsay everything.

DANNY: No, I don't. You're just being a bitch.

DINA stands up, throws her napkin down on the table and storms out, leaving her date alone.

WAITER (has seen this and stops her as she's leaving): Do you want me to call the PC Warden?

DINA: Yes!

WAITER: Yes, ma'am.  (turning to the WOMAN at the other table) And how about you, you've been sitting here for twenty minutes. Do you think you're FINALLY ready to order?!

WOMAN:  No, not yet, sorry.

WAITER storms off in a snooty huff.

In the meantime, a MAN enters with another official-looking man following close behind. They approach the other table.

MAN (to her): Are you Stacy?

WOMAN: Yes, David?

MAN: Yes, Hi. Have you been waiting long?

WOMAN: (lying) No….

The MAN sits at the table while the OFFICER stands behind him.

MAN: Sorry I'm late but there was a gnarly accident on the highway and traffic was a (fucking) nightmare.

As he’s uttering the curse word, the OFFICER calls out the word “goober” and drowns out just that word.

The WOMAN looks puzzled

MAN: Oh yeah. Sorry about that. That’s the Goober Patrol. He’s been assigned to me for two months. Last week I got caught using an offensive word and I was fined for it. They said, instead of paying the fine or doing jail time I could let this PC Warden follow me around and censor me. He’s an (idiot).

OFFICER: (over idiot) Goober.

WOMAN: I see….

MAN: (to the OFFICER) What?  I can’t say idiot? 

OFFICER: No, sir. That’s a derogatory term for someone with a mental disability and it implies that unintelligent people less valuable as a human when you use it to insult someone. 

MAN: (shit!)

OFFICER: (over shit) goober!

WOMAN: So this guy goes wherever you go?  You can’t lose him?

MAN: No, unfortunately. If I get separated from him I have to pay double the fine. It's only for seven more weeks though. You get used to it, but at first it totally (sucks)

OFFICER: (over sucks) goober!

MAN: (to the OFFICER incredulous) What?! What’s wrong with (sucks)

OFFICER: (over sucks) goober!  That word implies a lewd sexual act and is not appropriate in mixed company or formal settings. It also puts th--

MAN: Well that blows.

OFFICER: (a bit late) irks me

WOMAN: (to officer) What did you say? 

OFFICER: Irks me. Irks is a verb that means bothers or annoys. It’s a good substitute for sexually charged words that are considered violent against women. 

WOMAN: Wait. I don’t feel violated when he says something sucks. And I know that it refers to… Well I know what it refers to, but I don’t feel like it’s violent

OFFICER: It propagates rape culture by putting a negative connotation on a sexual act and implies the receiver is better than the giver, when in fact, many people “suck” and do it by choice and enjoy it.  

WOMAN: Wow

MAN: Let’s just ignore him. He’s an (asshole.)

OFFICER: (over asshole) goober 

MAN: Oh my (God)

OFFICER: (over God) goober!

MAN: God is a bad word?

OFFICER Yes, well It’s bad when used as an expletive. Using it in a curse shows insensitivity to spiritual culture by treating their sovereign beings as something negative.

MAN: OK...(to woman) let’s just ignore him. So. You’re into skiing, huh? I love skiing. Snow or water? haha

WOMAN: Snow. I’ve never tried water skiing, but I’d love to try it some day.

WAITER approaches

WAITER: Good evening. I’m Stephon, and I’ll be your server tonight. Our special is a delicious rack of lamb with roasted root vegetables and cous cous. Can I start you with something to drink?

MAN: (to WOMAN) Would you like something?

WOMAN:  I’ll have a glass of white wine, please. 

MAN: And I’ll have an IPA. 

WAITER: Great, I’ll get those right away. Do you know what you’ll be eating tonight or do you need some more time to decide?

MAN: I just got here. Please give us a little time.

The waiter huffs and rushes off. 

MAN: What a (dick)

OFFICER: (over dick) goober

MAN: (tool)

OFFICER: (over tool) goober

MAN: (asshole)

OFFICER: (over asshole) goober!!

MAN (damnit!)

OFFICER: (over Damnit) goober

WOMAN: Wow, he’s good.

During this next speech, OFFICER #2 enters with DINA and they overhear as they approach the first table.

MAN: No he's not. He's (fucking) annoying. He follows me everywhere and is destroying my social life and embarrassing me. So what if people can't handle my colorful language, they just need to grow some (balls) and this guy needs to shut the (fuck) up.

OFFICER: Goober! (over each parenthetical word)

DINA: (entering with OFFICER #2 and indicating DANNY) There he is, officer.  He's insensitive to my rights as a female. He's been mansplaining all night and he called me a ... (looking tentatively at both officers) ... a (bitch).

OFFICER #1: Goober!

OFFICER #2: (to OFFICER #1) What did you just say?!

OFFICER #1: Goober.

OFFICER #2: (over goober) Mayonnaise! (Or any word starting with M).

Everyone looks surprised at OFFCER #2.

OFFICER #2: Don't you know that the word goober is offensive to peanuts and peanut farmers and people who like peanuts?  It is a derogatory word and using it implies that the peanut is an inferior nut. We are trying to create a safe environment for all types of people in this restaurant so you should choose another word that isn't so offensive

DANNY: Peanuts are a legume, not a nut.

OFFICER #2: Shut the fuck up.







Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wake Up

Belief is a block
So hard to rock
Open your mind
Dogma can blind

...to c0nnect1on; to sp1r1tual1ty;
to free th0ught; to p0ss1b1l1ty;

...to unanswered questions being
more powerful than unfounded answers

...to being all right - okay with not knowing
to the end--to meaninglessness

...to peaceonearthtogethernessonenesshealingwholeness and all that entreats and entails
 enlists involves inspires and incorporates
for one and all - forever and ever - amen

...to your 'nner truth
your truth
yourself

...to happ'ness.

All the good connection- real spiritbeing-
deepest thought -richest rewards come from seeing
searching asking wondering, considering and pondering
and doing it again and again and again, even then
still not knowing.

Organized religion is mind control (spirit off)
"god is my autopilot" cruz control, (spirit off)
Get out of the bible verse and into the universe
Swim in the fables, don't tread water in the book.
Science is real - faith not a virtue.

Good comes from within without guilt or fear
but from a standard-issue selfishness-
from a belief that we are all together here.
not equal...  (beyond equal) The Same!

We're closer than fellowship, closer than love
Closer than brothers. closer than brethren
Swallowing the canon will choke off discovery
And steer you away from the only real heaven.

For the bliss of true here and now happiness
See your enemy as your grandmother,
Everyone as yourself in a different jacket;
Then it's easy to love and forgive each other.

I don't have to be scolded and threatened
To eternal damnation if I bear false witness...
I don't behave for being watched and judged.
There are no consequences necessary. I just
Don't do those things to myself. I'm Jag;
I'm another aspect of you and you're part of me.
We're peace, you and I,
We are love.


My EYES Have It

For years I'd worn contact lenses, but about two years ago, I had a very strong instinct that I shouldn't put them in again.  And without ceremony, I simply never wore them again.  Not sure if that's related to this, but I'm putting it out there.

I guess it all started with gusto when I was living at a new Motel 6 every day.  Sometimes, I'd wake up and one of my eyes (whichever one was closest to the pillow if I slept on my side) would be terribly itchy and sometimes to the point of painful.  It felt like there was an eyelash (or a piece of straw, or a needle or a boulder) under my eyelid.  I'd rinse it with water and get on with my day.

I was concerned that my vision was getting worse, too. It seemed as though I was occasionally trying to look through a thin layer of oil.




I would blink furiously, trying to wash it away, to no avail. It was an off and on problem, so I suffered through it while it was exacerbated and ignored it while it was in remission.

Almost a year ago, exactly, I was working at a theater on a role that was incredibly physically demanding. I was exhausted, banged up, bruised and depleted. (Don't get me wrong, I had a total blast doing the play, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!)  But at one point, I was weak enough to succumb to a 'cold'.  This was a unique cold for two reasons: Both of these things had never happened to me before, but in this case, I lost my voice for a few days and then developed what seemed to be a cold centered around my eyes. I had the normal mucus buildup in the nasal sinus and the run-down feeling that I get when I catch colds, but this time, whenever I blew my nose, it'd force snot out through my eyes! Until last year, I didn't even know that was possible.

I would be embarrassed in public sometimes by the amount of mucus on my eyes. When I woke up in the morning they were sealed shut with so much dried mucus that I'd have to pry them open and scrape them clean.

FULL DISCLOSURE:  None of the photos of eyes are me. I took photos of my eyes, but the symptoms don't show up as clearly as they do here. I searched the internet and found these photos that are close to how I look(ed).

Eventually that ran its course, I healed and life went on. I still suffered occasional pangs of what felt like foreign body invasions into my eyes, and my eyesight worsened off and on. I'm at the age where eyesight is expected to really start failing so I didn't get too concerned about that. And I do live my life like a child that's never grown up, in that I roll around on dirty floors, play in the grass and climb rocks and trees and just generally enjoy getting dirty and gritty.

Not only for fun, but I also do much of this for my work. As a Nia teacher, I'd roll around on a different dance floor every day. Some were cleaner than others. I often had sweat dripping in my eyes and sometimes it really stung; especially if I had used any coconut oil or sunscreen on my face that day. I also work in theaters, which are notoriously dark and dusty and often full of airborne debris from set construction, etc.

Another facet to the story is that I have a dog who I play with, again, like a child. We roll around on the floor and have very physical fun together. In the past, I'd been allergic to certain dogs, but had never been allergic to River, that I know of. And usually my allergy shows up as a narrowing of my nasal passages, not eye-discharge.

Since all of those things are factors that could make my eyes itch or could introduce a foreign body into my eye, each time I felt the symptom come back, I'd attribute it to my lifestyle or a newly acquired allergy and suffer through it until it resolved itself.

All of this has been over the past two years. During that time, I've also had at least one stye in each eye, that I took care of myself with a hot compress and a Q tip.

So this brings us to about a month ago, when I started noticing the pinkness around my eyelids that I'd gotten accustomed to over the past two years was getting redder. And, upon closer inspection, I could see tiny flakes of crust in between my lower eyelashes. I decided it was time to see a professional.

I first saw a general practitioner who said I had "blepharitis".  It sounds like he made a diagnosis, but in retrospect, he really didn't. Blepharitis only means 'inflamation of the eyelids'. Anyone could have told me that if they knew the word for it. He gave me a topical antibiotic and I spread the gel onto my lower eyelids twice a day for about five days. After two days the redness was gone.

I'm now starting work at the same theater as last year when I had the 'cold' in my eye. Sitting in the house, chatting with the director and cast about the play, our characters and the controversial subject matter, I started to notice my left eye was really itching and the cloudiness was getting thicker.

The next morning (today) I woke up to see that both eyes were rimmed in red and both eyes had boogers in the corners, whereas on a normal day I don't usually notice that. Also the upper lid over my right eye was red and so puffy that it made the eye look half closed.

This is a genetic condition in my family. Our eyelids get super full and heavy as we age. My grandmother had to have her eyelids surgically reduced, and my father would have benefitted from the same procedure but he was deathly mistrusting of the entire medical profession, so he never did. I wasn't sure if this new development was just my destiny or if it was a medical issue. I called the Kaiser Permanente Ophthamalogy department and described everything to them. They suggested I come in immediately.

The ophthamologist did a more thorough examination of my eyes than the GP had done a month prior. He grabbed my eyelids and turned them inside out to see under them.  And it was funny because as I was standing at the bathroom mirror this morning, that was my instinct, too. I hoped he was going to do that. If he hadn't, I might have asked him to.

I half-expected him to say "OH MY GOD, there's a colony of termites in here." but what he did say was far less dramatic and more believable. He said my eyes were infected by bacteria. When I described my lifestyle to him, he smiled and nodded and agreed that it was probably any one of those dirty environments that infected me.  But it is impossible to determine which one.

He prescribed me a different antibiotic.  This time in the form of eyedrops rather than the messy gel I was applying last month. I'll drop these into my eyes four times a day for ten days and hope to have clear-looking and clear-seeing eyes once again.

For those interested in this type of thing, the first antibiotic I applied was erethromycin in the gel form. This batch is neomycin-polymyxin-dexamethasone in the form of drops. I'm generally not a fan of using antibiotics, so this was a major decision for me.



Friday, February 10, 2017

The Gift of Pain

I'm grateful for the pain of others, but only if they share.
To Phoenix, we must first be challenged, burnt, hurt, broke.
We never try to improve what's running perfectly smoothly
But those who've survived through the fire have built the best bulwark.

Thanks Scott, Debbie, Jack and Jill for setting your journey alight.
you ignited your trials and blazed a path to your success
Generously affording me the fruits of all your labors
Without my suffering from the original distress.

Someone without asthma never has to learn how to breathe right.
Your battle with scoliosis has taught me perfect posture.
I'm intimate with my shoulder thanks to your inner journey
of rehab and recovery from a bad dislocation. 

We've been given a wealth in the form of our imperfections
Obstacles we overcome can be our greatest offering.
Please let us share and revel in each other's struggles in life
The gift of your handicap was meant to strengthen everyone.



Thursday, February 2, 2017

Prison of Stuff


The years of accumulation
Trap me in a prison of strife
Surrounding and protecting me
From experiencing my life.

Now all the things I had once owned
Rotisserate me on a skewer;
Demanding regular upgrades
And maintenance, keeping it newer.

Electronics need updating
Wardrobe the same, plus washanddry.
As I practice for mastery
Toys take up my time nightandday.

But the biggest captor of all
Is my pet; a highly strung hound.
I sought a companion and pal
But now have a headcase profound.

Every day I'm on red alert.
Danger ambulates with megrim.
Myself, friends, family and strangers
Are jeopardized by his wild whim.

The question is, who's owning who?
Who is in charge when we go traipse?
Dog on offensive, I'm defense
I find myself plotting escapes.

Oh to be unhampered from stuff.
I think I'd do well being free
From those collected things and junk
Psychologically undoing me.

I could live without much of it
But some things are deeply ingrained.
The most painful thorn in my side
Is another sentient being.

The picture is larger than I am
My feelings must be set aside
Life is precious and so is he.
I must take my torment in stride.

Life is too short for complaining
About having too many things.
Even a man who has nothing
Is often the one who most sings.