Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Big, Big 'Fro (not) by Robert Burns

not by Robert Burns

my hair is like a big, big 'fro,

that's shaped up like a heart:

my hair is like the valentine,

that's given like a tart.

it is so huge, my giant 'fro,

so in high style am i:

and I will keep this style, of hair,

because it is so fly.

because it is so fly, my hair,

and i love it very much:

and i will keep this style, of hair,

shaped like a heart and such.

so think of us, my 'fro and i,

remember us with a smile,

for you can see my 'fro and i,

cross a country mile.

"My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose" is a 1794 song in Scots by Robert Burns based on traditional sources. The song is also referred to by the title My Love is Like A Red, Red Rose or Red, Red Rose and is often published as a poem.

When asked for the source of his greatest creative inspiration, American singer songwriter Bob Dylan selected Burns' 1794 song A Red, Red Rose, as the lyrics that have had the biggest impact on his life.

more about the real song... on wiki

thanks for the heart 'fro picture - not mine - cmh

Friday, September 16, 2011

On imperative tube viewing for proper development...

5 highly educational, family friendly TV shows our children must see...

Here below, find a list of surprisingly valuable opportunities to turn TV time into a finely cloaked lesson plan for life. Think of it like those recipes with "hidden" vegetables inside, sure, a little sneaky but tons more fun for the entire family and far less labor intensive. Now, you may laugh (perhaps, even scoff) as you continue but by all means, stay with me. The truth is, the very idea of some of these choices will strike you as funny (and they are) but if you think it through you will agree they are undoubtedly packed with helpful information for a well rounded psyche.
In my humble opinion, it is also important to note that full family participation is crucial for the highest impact. As any shared experience, it creates cohesive thought and understanding for things to follow.

1. Leave it to Beaver

This one is obvious. Who in the world doesn't love the Beav? He's an adorable, inquisitive, sweet and just all-around great kid. I see a bit of him in every child. It is easy to relate to his efforts to navigate the world. All kids should know Beaver Cleaver!
As wholesome as it gets, this program is busting at the seams with family values like respect, honesty, kindness toward your fellow man. Laid out like the perfect dinner table June provides every morning, noon and night we are given a straightforward dose of the sweet life. No need for a sophisticated sense of humor here. The pressure to "get the joke" is off. The Ward family, is charmingly retro "traditional" and by no means exemplifies the current average household but the intrinsic value is still there to see how it was defined. Most kids today are beautifully open to a great many things from which other generations had to overcome biases. They are keen to a much higher echelon of awareness due to the influx of light-speed stimuli they've grown accustomed. Herein lies the perfect example of providing a picture for innocent archaic comparison. And yet, there is a timeless essence to the simple things we can all still recognize, like, the disconcerted stink-eye of a parent about to lecture someone.
Young and old alike will roll in the aisles with schadenfreudian glee as they enjoy the day to day trials of Ward, June, (the dreamy) Wally and the Beaver Cleaver!

Episodes include:
Core Topics: problem solving, table manners
and etiquette, parental respect, dealing with consequences, and the list goes on...
Role Modelling: ***** out of 5 stars for all characters (except maybe that Eddie Haskell)
Theme Song: YAY - peppy and very catchy!

2. Gilligan's Island

Those familiar with this excellent piece of television history will already know and strenuously agree that everything a person needs to know can be learned "here on Gilligan's Isle".
I will admit, further, that I have a theory that one could even create a DIY educational curriculum using only information gathered from this vast chasm of information (but that is a topic for another day).

I must begin with the obvious fact that within the ranks of this show's cast is an actual, bona-fide Professor! I mean, it can't get more real than that. He is well versed in every arena of useful knowledge. If I may be so bold, I might even call him the wiki-master. If there is ever a question, he knows the answer. He can fix anything, make batteries last for years, tell you calmly what to do in an emergency AND he can make anything of your hearts desiring from a coconut. Plus, he ain't too shabby to look at either... although, he is a bit aloof, hmm...

I digress. SO, as if all those weren't enough to convince you of the importance of Gilligan's Island as our one and only tenet for a long and fruitful life (wait, what?), I will go on.
The Howells are each experts in their own right. Thurston Howell, III, is a hard core business man, very rich and powerful, an expert in economic deal making. He knows all when it comes to the world of finance and inflated self worth. His wife, the adoring Lovey, is ,without a doubt, the authority on proper dress and decorum for any occasion. She is the reason they were so well packed for a simple boat tour. DUH! Much can be surmised here about the woman behind the mogul. Do not underestimate Lovey! 'Tis, alright, I know that you don't...
But more importantly, together they exemplify the inane value of snooty excess and wealth in a place where it no longer holds meaning. Now, come on, who doesn't need this harsh example to snap them out of the gluttonous haze of our ofttimes idiotic society? That's right, you do!
How awesome is that? Core values, need I say more? Well, I'm gonna...

And, if that last one didn't get existential enough for ya, try this one on for size... Ginger and Marianne offer insight into a vexing conundrum ever vital in the upbringing of young gentlemen and ladies. To break it down, it is simply the choice between one extreme or another in reference to ALL the given decisions in life. Do we really want the seemingly sexy, shiny, alluring option or the more practical, home grown, realistic option. We find this
dichotomy at all ages and in all places throughout our years. Each option has pros and cons to be considered. Sometimes in life we may be able to fashion a middle ground combo of our choices but in some instances, like in choosing a friend, or a personality trait, or clothing we must select one or the other. Take this opportunity to plant seeds of wise choices and clear vices to your mini-mes, brah.

What about the Skipper and Gilligan? (I can hear you, screaming...) Well, what NOT about them?

The Mighty Skipper is the quintessential anger issue bully with the soft side with whom we all must encounter somewhere in real life. He is quick to the fuse but always comes around. Behind his gruff exterior he is obviously a capable mariner with the skills of a powerful leader. He has, after all, saved them all from a death at sea! He is not all bad, even though we still may dread his wrath.
The true heartfelt relationship between these two is just like so many we have to acquire in life. Sometimes through no fault of our own we just happen like someone despite the trouble they cause us. That's a little thing called unconditional love, people! When you can appreciate a person just as they are with no further expectations you evolve psychologically to a higher level. This is a goal of life, the brass ring, the holy grail, the... eh, whatevs. The Skipper and his Little Buddy are a touching reminder of the infuriating relationships we have with co-workers, teammates, and relatives throughout this wonderful life. *sigh* Use the opportunity to discuss it with the young-uns. This is the juice, my brothers and sisters! (huh? i dunno just go with it...)

Now, Gilligan, oh, Gilligan... He is the "aw, shucks" in all of us. He is the "oops-a-daisies" and "uh-oh-puh-sgettios" we all encounter at some point or another. We love him despite the rolling of our eyes and shaking of our heads. He assures us that mistakes are okay and that life will go on. As the lovable misfit, Gilligan teaches us empathy for the underdog. We root for him even as we are watching him walk backward into the cactus patch. Our kids need to see and feel both sides of his "schmuckiness" and like him anyway. That way they learn to discern for themselves what true kindness and acceptance is like. Gilligan gives us hope. Now, admit it, we all need a goodly dose of that!

Episodes include:
Core Topics: Science, Economics, Architecture (Hut building), Cooking, Perseverance,
Unconditional friendship, Tolerance, Survival Skills, Camping Do's and Don'ts, need I go on?
Role Modelling: **** out of 5 stars for all characters
(only 4 since some parental guidance is required in regard to possible class clown temptations)
Theme Song: YAY - sing along!

3. Sanford and Son

Don't worry Aunt Esther, I wouldn't leave it out! Simmer down, now...
Okay, here is where the rubber hits the road. Fred Sanford and his son, Lamont (best name EVER, btw) are the proprietors of an Antiques and Collectibles establishment. They hold onto the other man's treasure till he comes a'lookin' for it. In other words, they own a junkyard. Truthfully, Fred Sanford is almost certainly television's first "picker". So, there is a wee bit of value in a historical context on this program but the real pearls lie between the dust and the patina.
Fred, ever in the midst of some or other mess, has the most serious condition of a hypochondria-tic heart disease. He is forever clutching his heart and professing a warning to deceased wife, Olivia, "I'm comin' ta see ya, honey!" These attacks of his always seem to arise with perfect timing for him to avoid dealing with difficult questions or issues in his life. Not unlike the fable about The Boy Who Cried Wolf, everyone has become fully aware of his ruse and takes his antics with a grain of salt. But it never fails for Fred to find in the end that if he'd just been honest from the start everything could have been avoided. Great lesson for the kiddo's, folks!
Lamont (awesome!), his level headed son, is the perfect example of serenity and parental patience. Though most often visibly frustrated, he is courteous and calm with his father. He shows no disrespect. Yet, he never fails to get his point across. That isn't to say that Lamont doesn't occasionally get into some trouble, too.(Ya Big Dummy!) Ultimately, the ballet of bumbles these two work through together is gloriously endearing.
On top of all that, Aunt Esther and Grady, two entirely different temperaments, give lovely insight into a soft spoken, passive male influence and a loud, boisterous female one. Plus, that woman knows how to give the stink eye! I think she may have invented it!
Anyhoo, hilarity ensues at every turn coupled with a sprinkling of melodrama suited perfectly to taste. It is true, it doesn't pack the punch of say, Gilligan's Island, on core material but it is too worthy to miss. Great theme music, too:)

Episodes include:
Core Topics: Psychology, Sociology, Economics, Patience, Early warning signs of Heart Attack, History.
Role Modelling: * out of 5 stars for Lamont (love it!) but the others are more... anti-models.
Theme Song: super YAY

4. The Andy Griffith Show

Seriously, if you missed this one as a child, something went wrong at your house. But I'm not really one to judge, ya freak! (just jokes)
Now, goodness, where to begin... just in case we have some freaks out there... Andy Griffith is the sheriff of Mayberry, the prettiest little town you could imagine. He lives with his son, Opie, and his Aunt Bea.
The absolute peachee-keen part of this show is the whistling tutorial at the beginning. Learning the tune is a rite of passage into becoming a true part of American society. Everyone must know how to whistle the theme of The Andy Griffith Show. period. It could happen anywhere, elevator, bus, random public bathroom... someone will begin and it is mandatory for all others present to join them. Just think how tragically humiliating it could be for your child to be caught unawares in such a situation by not knowing how to whistle the tune! collective gasp! Okay, I made all that up but it is still a great lesson in whistling and super fun. Among the many key elements of value in the gazillion available episodes are important tips and instruction on (but not limited to) whistling, aforesaid, fishing, law enforcement, the dangers of alcohol and the biggie, of paramount importance... The Golden Rule!! (psst... "always tell the truth", yo)
The charm of the southern drawl and genteel manners are the perfect wholesome brain snack for children of all ages. Plus, if the real life success of Opie Cunningham (as we call him at our house) is not a clear indicator of a successful upbringing for a child, I dunno what is!
Go on, visit Mayberry! You'll be glad ya did.

Episodes include:
Core Topics: Whistlin', fishin', drankin' (is bad). Law enforcement, Sociology.
Role Modelling: ***** out of 5 stars for everyone except the drunk guy, Otis.
Theme Song: YAY (i dare ya not to get it stuck in your head)

and finally, Numero Cinco, drum roll, please...

5. Hee Haw (wait, hear that? is that angels singing - nope, Jug Band.)

The undisputed, best hour of television for the entire family out there, bar none! This program has it all. It is the king of "low brow know how"! Do not be fooled by imitations. The nuggets of wisdom encased in batter deep fat fried to a crispy golden brown are TOO often overlooked by scholars who feel themselves a cut above the company of a genu-ine Jug Band. But listen, my nay-sayers, doubting poopers of parties... Go there and you will see... The land of Hee Haw encompasses many, many realms of powerful and useful knowledge. Take the sage advice given here, in a poem (most often sung like a symphony of the gods):

"Where, oh, where are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over
and thought I'd found true love.
But you met another and
Pfft, you was gone."

The simplicity and beauty in those words ring so true. And yet so many have simply laughed off the lessons available within the Hee Haw hall of glory.
Now, indulge me, and envision the Jug Band. Do you see what I mean?
Yes, of course, you say, I see it! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! These guys have found a second use for all the items on which they play their heavenly music. How incredibly beautiful is that, right?!
And Minnie Pearl, with her fancy hat, so sweetly ignorant and oblivious to the faux pas of the obvious price tag hanging from it.
But let's look at it on the lighter side, away from all this serious stuff, yonder on the corny side of the field, if you will... the humor and silliness engaged in during this show are a glowing example of life at its best. Are the characters the richest? No. Are they the smartest? No. Are they anything you aspire to be? wait, right there! I think they just may be. Ignorance is bliss, my lovelies. Don't forget it. And if there could be a magically diverting hour available out there to make you forget all your troubles, then you darn tootin' shouldn't miss it for the world. Here it is, righ-cheer... go on, serve yourself up a paper plate full and use your hands to eat it. Corn never tasted so good.
If none of that worked to sway you, accept the clear value of the Music Appreciation offered on each episode. Icons of stage and screen, holders of multi-solid precious metal recorded hits, innovators, dreamers, Nobel Prize Winners, well... maybe scratch that last one. But, no joke, many seriously talented peeps shared the stage on Hee Haw and did so gladly. Naw, I bet they were giddy with glee to appear there and have a laugh, forget even their troubles...
Of special note, my first celebrity crush formed while watching that show as a kid... ahhh, Mac Davis, with your curly locks and voice like satin... hmm... takes me back to simpler days, when my tastes were unspoiled by the outside influences that shift and change us... (insert record scratch...) never-mind...

Right, eh'hem, forget about the O.C., baby! Pack up your troubles 'n take them suckers to the H.H. Don't forget to leave that uppity attitude behind and learn to take yourself less seriously while you're at it. Order UP! One Big, HUGE, Super-Duper-Primo Life Lesson all wrapped up in a nice sheet of oil absorbent paper, right there, ya'll...
Live, love, and by all serious means, LAUGH with your children.
These are the most powerful things we can teach them. All the other stuff will help a bit too but without the simple basics how can you expect them to appreciate a single, solitary, good thing?

Episodes include:
Core Topics: Music, Corn, Humility, Grace, Humor and Heart
Role Modelling: ***** out of 5
Theme Song: no way it's a NAY!


and thank all ya'll out there on the "intronets", again, for the use of the pix since not a one belongs to me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

On a slight tip of the hat...

Notes on chivalry... are they just pipe dreams?

I'm an admitted Austen-ite, southern girl, with a yen for the Edwardian and enthusiast of things old. So it probably goes without saying I confess I adore, nay, ache for a man with sincere gentility. Such a man is hard to come by in this fast paced world. I suspect more skills exist than one can readily see on an average day. However, as things go, those special exertions have become routinely reserved for "specific" occasions like first dates, weddings or taking Mother to Sunday brunch. Sadly, the habitual use of such pleasantries has fallen all but extinct.
I long for the reserved gesture of the slight tip of a hat (but there are no more high hats). I yearn for a gloved helping hand as I take a step up a stair or into a carriage (but there are no gloves, nor is the hand even offered and the carriage? pish, only for tourists).
When did it become okay to disregard and all but eliminate those common courtesies? I know there are the occasional opened doors or chair assists but these are unacceptably not enough. I want it to be a natural inclination for gentlemen to perform these rituals not some cheesy, grand effort to be oohed and ahhed after. No, it should just be there. At the root they offer the undertone of both good breeding and respect. In kind, I can pledge my return of the same. A slight smile in response to the hat tip, a glance of appreciation after each gesture, kindly noted, as well as my highest esteem toward the character shown. I know it is a lot to expect but I still do.

That said, I must make clear that it should not to be a part of some implied salacious invitation of any kind from either party to exercise these niceties. They should simply be a mutual appreciation for the human connection. Common courtesy for it's own sake. A shared smile for no other gain, Simple, Selfless, Kind, No words necessary. We already have so much auditory stimuli in our daily round. I would find these silent gestures so refreshing. How nice would it feel to snap out of the nano-speeds-induced zombie states we perpetually reside in. Oh, but to feel an actual connection through a shared nuance with another human. Unfathomable. It would take restraint not to instantly gratify with a comment but to respond, in kind, silently, elegantly. What a singular treat it would be to share such a simple kindness.
A hint of such gestures can still be found in the deep south among older gentlemen and maybe other places, too, I dunno. But it's the true, real thing. Their authentic mannerly actions so rote they are done unawares, out of habit. Those authentic interactions alone can give me a charge unlike any other. A simple exchange of a dying cultural practice.

I beg you to bring it back. Hang on to civility, to gentility. Let us not lose regard for a sense of decency and modesty, propriety. Please teach your young ones these things. Exercise them yourself. It is a tragic loss if we don't make this effort. Perhaps, the creation of a new set of Austen era emoticons is necessary given the current culture. Such a thing could revolutionize Facebook and magically carry over into real life. Maybe they could even educate those unfortunate souls devoid and ignorant of the knowledge of such things. Just think, a movement of the past revived and gone viral... Ah, I sigh to imagine it. How incredibly delightful a movement it could be to see. Hat tips, smiles for nothing, thank you notes, easy, selfless gestures and all just to imply a wish for another soul to have a good day, in passing.

insert "no obligation" smile here

(consider yourself kindly greeted)

If my plea, alone, is not enough to entice you to the worthy endeavor. Perhaps, accept the advice of the following... and just do it to be cool. Hey, we'll take what we can get...very sincerely,

and with warm regards.


**Thank you, kindly, for the use of these pictures, none of which belong to me. -cmh

Sunday, August 7, 2011

On cocks and beavers... major word confusion!

This is totally random, I know, but before judging me on the title, please read on...

I had an Internet exchange with a person (okay, old friend/ex friend - long story, don't ask) about the cultural confusion over these words. It all started with a reference to the classic beloved television family the Cleavers. Keep in mind, this was in a public forum so others joined in. Comments about "the Beav", June, etc. were shared and it was agreed that everyone loved them, of course. (Duh, like, who doesn't love Ward Cleaver? puleeze) Then a short time afterward I had occasion to correspond with one of the cursory contributors by private message. There had once been a disagreement between us and in an effort to clear it up once and for all the message contained an olive branch, something like, "sorry about the cock-up". Now, being a gal from the southern US the expression "cock-up" was new to me and frankly, conjured off-color ideas at first reading. Hush, keep reading... I was certain the context was on the "up and up" (sorry, again, too easy) but I still had a curiosity about the origin and true meaning of its usage. So I did what any self respecting, dumbed-down American would do in an effort to better my knowledge, I "googled it".

Well... it turns out to be a very old and well known way to label a disagreement. I had never heard it because, er, I have led a pretty sheltered life and until now, in my degenerating downward slide into elder care, I never really explored much. So, as with many things these days, I delved deeper into it (wince, again, I apologize) and found the most deliciously perfect thing to tie the two conversations together.

The poem or song written by Robert Burns in 1791 is entitled, "Cock up your Beaver" and it goes like this:

Cock Up Your Beaver
When first my brave Johnie lad came to this town,
He had a blue bonnet that wanted the crown;
But now he has gotten a hat and a feather,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

Cock up your beaver, and cock it fu' sprush,
We'll over the border, and gie them a brush;
There's somebody there we'll teach better behaviour,
Hey, brave Johnie lad, cock up your beaver!

Granted, I was so tickled pink to find this element that so perfectly combined the two, I could hardly contain it. I shared my discovery with the parties concerned and again we all enjoyed the exchange of wit and cheeky (another new expression) repartee. If you haven't gathered, one of the said group was from across the pond, a Brit, self-professed. In recent years I have been researching my East Anglian heritage and so I immediately latched onto an opportunity to learn all there is to know about the common vernacular over there. After the initial "make-up" message I had sincerely inquired, "what is a cock-up", not so much for the entire context but for a description, in kind, from the source. I mentioned that my smutty American mind was such that the words themselves had made me flinch upon first reading them but that I appreciated the extension of such a gesture, blah, blah and all was settled between us on a high note. (ugh, jeez, I know, it just keeps happening...)

In continuing my in depth investigation I found the most interesting information. A "beaver", as used by Burns in his verses, was/is actually a hat. A top hat during that era was made from the waterproof fur of a beaver for its ability to withstand the rainy climate in that region of the world. It was important for a stylish man to keep his head dry and warm. Hence, the use of this most practical commodity already conveniently designed for the purpose in making such hats. Genius, I thought. I had never even ventured to imagine how a top hat was made, what materials were involved or why. I was hooked.

Then I was off in search of the significance of the "cock". I'd imagined it was used like "askew" or some other word to describe the orientation of the hat upon the head. I felt pretty confident I understood Burns' usage of the word taking that meaning. But as I came to find, the "cock", although I was partially right, was, indeed, a feather! Aha! A feather, I thought, a cock is a bird - bird has feathers - makes total sense. Got it!

What an education! So Burns is telling this bonny lad that he is a big boy now, with a hat and feather, to "cock up his beaver" and go teach someone some manners. Now, where I come from, there are people who do the same thing by removing their shirt, turning their ball cap around and charging violently toward the offending party. So, I was easily able to assimilate the scenarios as one in the same. Though, I much prefer the Burns version and absolutely abhor the idea of either one in reality.

So then, the expression, "cock-up" describes the resulting altercation something akin to a cock fight or other ruckus which flares up between two opposing views. I think the original reference to me was used to describe a misunderstanding of words more so than the extreme example I've outlined because it was more of a "cluster *bleep*" of opinions and words not a meeting of fisticuffs.

I just find it amazing how an ocean and a couple hundred years changes the entire meanings of words, especially, once you throw in slang usage and cultural differences. Funny-strange and funny-haha. I love it when that happens.

In regard to whether I still correspond across the pond... well, that was all just a waking dream, a mean and nasty joke of a friendship. No bother. I still got the cock-beaver education!

thank you:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eulogies Bite and Bless all in one breath...

I wrote this a few months ago when my dad passed away. Wow, has it really been that long? Yep, coming up on 4 months... ugh.

The whole idea of a eulogy just sucks. The circumstance for creating one bites, no doubt and I can't think of a single reason for planning ahead and doing it before necessary. So below is what I came up with in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on our way from TN to FL.

One can never say it all or make sense of a complex lifetime relationship nor provide a complete rundown of all there is about a person for this occasion. So I guess we just do what we can to allow a window opened in on the unique love shared with the dearly departed.

Here's what I decided I needed to say:

We are here to celebrate the life of Homer Alexander Chambers Miller, also known as Dick, Uncle Dick or Papa… my Dad.

Bringing to your mind the Ecclesiastes verse from the reading… I think Dad’s favorite part would be the very last bit… “a time for peace”

In my mind, I feel, he spent a lot of time in pursuit of peace. Although he did enjoy a healthy debate, he wasn’t one for angry discord, he much preferred mutual understanding.

Now, if you lend any credence to birth order, Dad was the classic “middle born” of all five siblings. Among them, I think he assumed the role of the peacemaker… mediator… negotiator… some other “middle born” traits fit him as well; he was charismatic and kept many friends… for he was a good listener and loyal confidant. He was open-minded, independent, un-spoiled and not afraid to take risks. He was imaginative and competitive yet flexible and diplomatic.

My dad had many friends, colleagues and acquaintances. He was generous, gentle and thoughtful.

He was, fittingly, born on a Sunday, the Sabbath Day. According to an old adage, he was sure to be “bonny and blithe and happy and wise”. Birth on the Sabbath Day lends unto the child attributes of the sun and it is said that Sunday’s Child is favored by God…

I like that thought. He was a sunny person and he certainly brightened any room for me with his smile.

From his rich lineage, both Scotch-Irish and German, he was full of the strong stock and faith of his forefathers - men, in fact, who helped create this country. I saw in him the competitive, entrepreneurial spirit those enterprising men must have passed down into his very fiber.

Like them, he was high on talent… full of faith… and had a strong belief that God is good.

He told me of how his own father repeatedly and passionately, told him , “You are a Miller and being a Miller means something…” He, of course, was modest about this notion, himself. But as I look around today I see that it certainly did mean something… something pretty singular and extraordinary of which I am proud to be a part.

My entire life, he called me, “Sweetheart”. I hardly remember him ever using my name. It made me feel special…

I think he made a lot of people feel special. He had that gift.

To the bitter end he fought against the ills of disease. Ultimately, his will was simply overtaken as his body, decidedly, gave way... Gave way for this bonny, happy man… always seeking peace… at last, his given time to claim it… to spread it out on a sandy, sun-filled spot… (minus the highest SPF on the market) and finally take… his well earned peaceful rest…

Dad, you are missed… and the thought of you and your smile
will forever bring me peace.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gripey Griperson on social networks

Dearest devoted friend,

Here comes my two measly cents, darn tootin', just to prove I am not completely apathetic. My social network is great but I have a few bones to pick.

Socializing in cyber space has a coupla irksome pitfalls but no worries, there's a setting for that. :) (insert chime)

Those PSA-type posts are gettin' a little old. Some of them are legitimate statements of patriotism or political angst, I know. We're all outraged and shite. I'm fine with people postulating and such. Those posts just usually bore me and really only matter (at that moment) to the dude who posted it. But I get it and tolerate them pretty well. Some of them even ask you to re-post if you agree, blah, blah, blah. I never do it even if I do tend to agree. It's all just too chain-lettery and I abhor those. I simply hit the thumbs up button and get on my merry way. No offense.

Sorry guys, but that whole game of trying to taut the most righteous of ideals is not my kind of fun. Lemme tell ya, it brings me down. Kindly, spread misery someplace else. I know that stuff is out there. I just find that it's too depressing for this forum.

It should be understood that all of the people on my sharing list are quality people. I chose them, actually know them, accepted the request or whatever. I hope it is the same for you. I mean, I know some people have throngs of random people they collect like beanie babies just to see how many they can get. That's crackers! But mine have similar ideas and beliefs with me or have some commonality which I deem friend-worthy. I don't feel the need to lecture to them or make sure they are aware of the world's injustice. I trust that they all follow or make themselves aware of their own recipe of current events. This isn't to say that I dislike these people for their obvious burning need to share their views. It just makes me tired.

Look, see, I log on to read the little tidbits, brags on kids, pet news, inane comments, cute baby pics and other oddities. Spare me your political crapola.

Eh, I guess causes are fine. It seems everyone has one. I know I am free to just decline the offer to donate, even though I do sometimes feel guilty when my budget limits me. My biggest concern is that I often hope my friend doesn't take it personally. Because, of course, I fully support her efforts even if I can't donate.

Sage quotes are great, usually very uplifting, comforting, thought provoking.
Pics are welcomed. I get the strange sensation of actually having a visit sometimes from seeing them. All of it, awesome!

Hey, I can even tolerate the occasional ad for someone's business. But too much of that hawking and I wonder if I'm part of a client base instead of a friends list. But no bother, I can just ignore those, too. Again, no offense.

I tell ya, I truly enjoy music posts or a line of a song's lyrics put in for a status update. Love those. Music heals my soul.

But Lawd, puleeze spare me the play-bye-play to the grocery. My screen is small and it wastes my energy scrolling past crap like that.

Oh, and I never respond to game requests or other stuff like that, again, they bore me, sorry.

The zany stuff gets my attention.
I love a good piculiarity post, a scientific discovery.

Truly, the honest pleas for emotional support move me. I feel connected to you by them. I heartily pray for you.
Sharing a laugh or sending a cheer is what I signed up for with this thing. Love to say Happy Birthday to ya. Appreciated your kind words during a time of sorrow.

Thankfully, I have regained touch with friends long lost.
Plus, alerted my neighbors to a turkey loose on the streets. The list is too long to share.

I think of it as an extension of the ties that bind, like the old phone ad about reaching out and touching someone. I feel less homesick for my home town, more connected than ever. But I don't come to be guilted or lectured. I have sense. I'm aware of the maddening world.

Now, I am not hatin' on you for having passion of your beliefs. But if I'm honest, I probably have your rantings set to "hidden".

By all means, tell me about your vacation, the kids, your crazy cat and even your trials and tribs - because I care about you. But unless I open a convo or debate with you about a highly charged issue (never gonna happen) don't be looking for a response from me.

I come on here for catching up and enjoying a bit of contact, nothing more.

And so people of my cyber social realm, I say unto you;
do as you will,
post as you like
but just know, (as in real life) I am tuning out your hot air, albeit lovingly.

And yep, I am aware this proves that I haven't really strayed from the snarky, smart-assed bitchy girl you remember:).

Oh my, there goes the sparkling image of my untarnished rise into adulthood so diligently designed in my profile to make myself and my life sound all shiny perfect... (insert laughter)

Tuh, yeah right... everyone knows better than to believe that crap. Right?

Thing is, bottom line, we all came here to make each other feel better not worse, blessed not jealous, hopeful not sour-pussed. I know it isn't exactly the same as real contact but then the world just isn't so accomodating anymore. I am just happy to be in touch with some of you at all. Without this mode it might never have happened.

So, for the luva God, entertain ME, please, don't bring me down!

Your friend

p.s. I hope my sayin' this won't change your affection for me. Cuz, I still totally love ya... mean it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

i have

I’ve had times
I’ve waited... deliberated
I’ve had times
I’ve gone ahead and done
but either way
I’ve found myself
exactly where I’ve come.

And once my mind was set to go
where ever it is I’ve gone
I’ve picked up what was left behind,
kept it as my own.

And any love I’ve ever held,
known dearly, deeply true
remains with me, upon my heart
the old beside the new.

Trolling the Dregs

I noticed along the line from last night’s high tide a distinct gathering of sea debris. I like to troll along the craggy line looking for treasures. Sometimes I see a random cig butt or plastic cap but mostly I see the bits of seaweed, twigs and a vast array of seashells. The shells range in shape and size. Some appear whole and the rest are pieces-parts. I consider myself an experienced collector with a keen eye for selecting the finest of the available pickings on any given day at the beach. Realize this makes the process subjective to mood, season and any number of other outside circumstances but relatively still 'a day at the beach', in any opinion better than a day not at the beach.
As far as my knowledge of sea life genus and species, I boldly admit I have close to zero. I know only a few of the common names and recall absolutely none of the proper scientific labels. But I know what I like. I can describe my favorite varieties in detail to illustrate why they bring me such joy.
I have an affection for the shallow and fragile, simple shell layers that glisten and shine like glass. They flake off the insides of the ever common oyster shells, I think. These flakes or lightweight shiny sparklers are a dull gray, almost transparent when wet but shine like pearls once dried by the sun. They're low on depth and come from modest means, kinda like the clueless white trash of the shell world. The most fragile of my trove, these pretties are easily crushed or chipped by contact with heftier varieties or if held too tightly, given too much pressure. Like rose petals, they are easily ruined unless handled properly. None-the-less, I think these simple ones are still gorgeous and necessary to my collection.
Probably my most favorite shells, though, are the twisted and broken ones. The remains of hermit crab homes have crumbled and opened up to reveal the inner sanctum. Inside they display a myriad of colors and you can see their most striking beauty is deep within. I am drawn to the curly lines and simplicity of their coils. They offer a contrast to all the other musselly shells resting haphazardly together. I imagine these pieces as having had a lot of living before I found them. Their glory days behind them these experienced stunners are maps of utter tragedy or other crushing blows which turned them into one of the abundant "broken" to be seen strewn about everywhere. They're overlooked, forgotten, discarded and undervalued by most shell seekers. I am looking for them. I appreciate their history and mystery. They almost have a wisdom to them and I appreciate their longevity and survival. These twisted and broken losers have the most to offer.

I also like to stand and stare into the dregs line long enough to see the minuscule sweeties mixed among the sand grains. Barely big enough to notice at first glance; the teeniest ones mirror their larger counterparts on a scale meant for the miniature world of fairies. I have a special selection of these in a dedicated dish beside my bed far away from this place. The tiny version allows the occasional mind escape I need to endure my long distance love with the shore. Sometimes we can gain the most from the smallest of things.
And of course, who doesn't like the perfect, unbroken ones? Most common is the tendency toward the quest for ones without mars or chips since their beauty is obvious and they are accepted as "rare". So, I still concede to the loveliness of the pristine but find myself more drawn to the storied and seasoned out there.
Additionally, I am drawn to the textured bits and surf tumbled smooth and visually interesting pieces. I marvel at the distinct patterns and shapes within the biological designs. Sand dollars contain this quality in spades. The porous nature of their chalky composition makes for gorgeous layers and cross cuts
when the giant saucer sized shells are broken and divided into segments. Finding a lone "angel" from the center interior is always a serendipitous treat. These are actually the vertebrae of the creature, as I understand it but I've always thought of them as "angels" because they look like they have wings. The distinctive "V" shape provides the contrasting element for finding them among the throngs. I love the clandestine spotting of these super rare keepers. Today, the one I found sat perched on a crest of sand all by its lonesome.
I almost forgot to mention the driftwood, a must-have for a truly well rounded collection. I prefer small pieces but that is only because I am limited on the space in which to keep my finds. I can appreciate any sized pieces of these water logged, sand sculpted and smoothed masterpieces. I merely limit myself to collecting token gems. I enjoy imagining the journey each one must have endured to arrive at the destination. I like the color striations and the genuine honesty of their state of being. The real journeymen of my beach findings, I love to acquire a random twisted twig, chock full of authenticity and earthiness that only a drifter could embody.
Yet, I will admit I still haven't been able to resist an unbroken whole sand dollar throughout all my time as a collector. When it comes to fragile, intricate perfection and delicacy, it doesn't get more precious than these, and the smaller, the better. Like the sea petals, the tiny ones are extremely fragile and need special care. The fact that they comprise the remains of an entire organism intrigues me. They are complicated and textured inside and out. I like to think only I can appreciate and care for them as they deserve, so I collect them for safe keeping.
I guess it's fair to say I like my shells like I like my people. For me, it isn't all about the perfect appearance, unbroken states or unmarred surfaces that appeals. I am looking for traits like history, depth, authenticity and wisdom among them. As if a line were forming just to be counted among the lucky few... I'll make invitation. Come all ye twisted and broken, textured, complicated, drifty and flaky masses, my elite affection awaits only thee. Tuh!

Seasoned local with tourist sunburn