Thursday, June 27, 2013

A rambling rant

Does saying that you’re a good cook make you a good cook?  You can say it until you’re blue in the face but unless you can prove it, it isn’t a fact.  Am I right?

I’m thinkin’ the same logic would hold true for someone that say’s, “I’m a good Christian/Catholic/Baptist/Jew/Muslim/Buddhist/Atheist/Methodist/etc.”  You can talk about and/or write about your goodness and your devotion to your chosen Deity but unless you’ve proven it, why should I believe you?  In turn, if you have to point out your “goodness” to various and sundry, are you truly being good?

In my humble opinion, I believe if you have to say you’re good and/or feel the desire to list all your good deeds on a frequent basis, you might not be as benevolent and righteous as you might want me to believe. 

Sam Bourne, the pseudonym of Jonathan Freedland wrote a book, “The Righteous Men”. It’s one of my Dollar Store finds and is an excellent read.  The premise is based on Jewish belief that there are 36 righteous men in the world and it’s the goodness of those men that keep the world from ending.  The men don’t have to be men of great devotion or belief.  They don’t even have to belong to The Birth and Resurrection Society – they don’t even have to believe in any God(s).  The 36 are truly good and will sacrifice, do something beneficial for others, right a wrong, etc. out of the goodness of their heart and they don’t expect recognition or profit in return.  The 36 are unknown, even to themselves.

I like this myth, story, belief, a lot.  I helps me to understand that even though our planet is batshit crazy right now, there might be, no matter how few, some truly good, decent people in the world. And the Goddess knows, they must be workin' their butts off!

Really, I need to have the belief that goodness and righteousness will prevail after reading about Bank of America, the I.R.S., how much our Prez’s vacation is going to cost us (and we won’t even get a t-shirt!) and the death by a thousand cuts that Paula Deen is facing.  She is a GOOD cook, that’s a fact!

Please do not think that I’m going to defend Ms. Deen’s words or actions because I think using the “N-word” is appropriate.  It’s not and neither is using any other derogatory term for other races, nationalities or religions.  But, I do want to see someone of ANY race – white, brown, black, - that hasn’t used the “N-word” at least once in their life.  I’m also curious to know, if Ms. Deen had called one of her staff, “a faggot” or “a fat bitch/bastard”, would this kind of media-thrashing have gone on?  Paula made an error in judgment. She used words without thinking.  Yes, they were hurtful words, they stung but they didn’t kill. Human beings make mistakes.  I also think that African-Americans calling each other that word isn't right.  Mulder doesn't like to be called, "Wop" or "Guinea" by anyone, especially another person of Italian descent.

Is Paula Deen a truly good person? I dunno. She seems nice. She’s done amazing things for butter. Should she be persecuted on television, in writing and online for outdated notions or un-P.C. language?  No, she shouldn’t. Nor should anyone else unless somehow their words are intentionally spoken to hurt or defame.

Those that want to throw “stones” at another that has made a mistake or even if it’s only a mistake because she got caught, look inside yourself. Go to your heart of hearts and determine if you can find a truly righteous person in there. Can you toss that stone without guilt?  If you can’t, then come join me in chucking some rocks at Bank of America or the I.R.S.  It’ll do your soul good, 'cause NO ONE is as rotten to the core as BofA! NO ONE! 

(Well, maybe the I.R.S.)
From Millan.Net

Friday, June 21, 2013

Arrivederci, James

I'm not Italian, from New Jersey, nor am I in the Mafia but I had/have a visceral connection with character of Tony Soprano.

I related to the fact that he was a person with demons but still had to take care of a family and work.  It's hard to explain how this "man" touched me.

The man who made Tony Soprano real, actor James Gandolfini, died on Wednesday.  

A brilliant star on earth will now shine down from the Heavens.

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.

~Thomas Campbell, "Hallowed Ground"

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's Scary Down Here!

Aside from having crazed face eating folks, serial killers and 93 year-olds that still have driver’s licenses and cars, Florida has some damn freaky insects and reptiles. I’ve lived down here in Hell’s foyer for 37 years.   I was born in New York. The only bugs that I remember scaring the crap out of me up there were praying mantis. In Florida, every time I turn around, there’s some new invasive species popping-up that could headline their own horror film.

The walking catfish for example, while not an insect or reptile; it can rise out of the water and WALK, people! – fish-walk on land to get to its next watery home!  No self-respecting northern fish leaves its lake to walk around looking for a better location. They know that trotting around someone’s driveway at 7:00 am will produce screams that George Romero would get hard for and being beaten to death with a souvenir Mets baseball bat is shameful.

Florida has Palmetto bugs, which are really just humongous flying cockroaches but it’s easier to screech, “There’s a Palmetto bug in the shower – KILL IT NOW!”, then “TheresahumongousflyingcockroachintheshowerKILLITNOW!”  In addition, it’s more polite to point out to your dinner host that a Palmetto bug has fallen in your drink than a cockroach.

 Snakes are also prevalent in Florida. Some are poisonous like the Coral Snake.  Just to have fun with us, Mother Nature also made the King Snake – it’s not poisonous but has the same colors as the Coral Snake but in a different pattern!  How ‘bout THAT!  Here’s the little poem you’re supposed to remember if you encounter a red, yellow and black snake – 
 Red Touch Yellow - Kills a Fellow
Red Touch Black - Venom Lack
Yellow Touches Red - Soon You'll Be Dead
Red Touches Black - Friend of Jack

That’s exactly what I’m gonna be doing in front of a snake, reciting poetry!  Black racers are almost as plentiful as our state bird, the mosquito.  They are harmless but still will cause me to totally loose my shit especially when I find one curled up in the dining room.  Or hanging out of the tree near my front door sticking its nasty tongue out at me.

Lizards – anoles and geckos are common sights down here in the tropics.  They’re small, cute and you get used to them fairly quickly.  I’m not partial to them in the kitchen or bedroom, though.  I’m worried I might accidently cook one in the pasta sauce or one might crawl in my ear while I’m asleep.  

So far, neither has happened but I still need to be vigilant. I’ve also gotten used to the mutant grasshoppers that look like they’ve taken steroids since birth and the dragonflies that are as big as Lear Jets.
What I haven’t gotten used to are the curly tail lizards.  These guys are HUGE!  As in baby Godzilla huge.  They are also not as timid as the little lizards.  Well, they will eat the little lizards, so there’s that. The curly tails will stand their ground when you walk by or they’ll dart out of a bush narrowly missing your foot.  They also look at you with those beady lizard eyes, seemingly thinking how you’d taste for dinner.  This guy was sunning himself on the sidewalk outside my office recently.  My taking his picture didn’t faze him in the least.  Their tails curl up when they run or slink around on their bellies looking for someone else to terrorize.
This is the only picture I actually took

I grew up in Westchester County in New York. My playgrounds were fields, woods, creeks and orchards; I never saw one snake in all those years. You can imagine my shock at seeing one making himself all cozy-like in my house! Fourteen years ago, I moved from Southern to sort of East Central Florida. Even for all the weird, wicked wildlife in my area, I’m grateful that so far we’ve avoided the iguana and giant African snail invasions.  Although, I heard that the curly tail lizards migrated from the south and we are now poised on the edge of a hostile takeover by ginormous aggressive mosquitoes so if you hear blood curdling screams coming from The Sunshine State, know that I’ve just encountered either an iguana, slipped in giant African snail slime or been skewered by a mutant mosquito.

From Millan.Net

Saturday, June 1, 2013

WTF is wrong with some people?

Human beings never fail to amaze me with their self-righteousness and stupidity. It doesn’t make me sad, it makes me angry.  Unless you live another person’s life, EXACTLY as they live it, you have no right whatsoever to tell them how they should do things.

There are many ways to be “broke” – financially, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. (I know, ‘cause I’m all four!) Being so broken that you can’t follow something that was learned as children – Do onto others as you would have those do onto you – is pathetic.

I’m not saying that you can’t think what you want about another person or even bitch about it publically, especially when someone is doing harm and/or wrong. But when you question and or say hurtful things to another that is doing something good, something heartfelt, and isn’t asking you to do a damn thing, you should shut the fuck up! 

Illuminary, from Canopy In The Sunlight blogged about Regan Welder.  Regan has a GoFundMe page to raise money so he can have his damaged teeth fixed. Regan’s life, like so many others, had very low points.  He didn’t always make the right decisions. Regan is now leading a life of goodness and he wants to continue to share what he has learned, helping other people to find the light in themselves to have a happy, hopeful existence in this world.  He wants to make The Universe a better place.  Regan is asking for donations.  He isn’t putting a gun to anyone’s head.  Give him some money or don’t.  It’s all up to you.  Illuminary shared Regan’s story and his page. She didn’t plead nor did she demand you donate.  Regan touched her and she wanted to help.  Y’all can’t see a problem, can you?

The lovely Illuminary decided to hold an auction to raise some additional funds for Regan.  She is an artist.  A real live amazing artist!  Because her money is scarce and precious, she MADE something wonderful to auction off.  Another artist friend also donated a piece of her work to the auction.  (If I hadn’t been such a slacker, I also would have gotten something together to add.  I’m ashamed of myself.)  Illuminary held the auction on her blog.  As you can see, no actual money was spent by Illuminary for Regan.  What she gave was much more valuable than money, she gave her time, her skills, her love.  Illuminary gave from her heart, not her purse.

And wouldn’t you know it, some asshat had the nerve to query her about her finances!  This POS wanted to know how she could manage to create something since she has no money!!!  From my understanding, they actually posted this inanity in the comment section of her blog.  The temerity of some people is astounding.

Like I said, people can be broke in many ways but I’m glad that neither I nor Illuminary and many others aren’t so broken that we can no longer recognize how to see and to add a wee bit of goodness to the world.

If you’d like to know more about Regan here’s links to his GoFundMe page, his blog and his Twitter account.  Find Illuminary HERE and HERE.

For the foreseeable future, I’m going to donate 15% of all my Etsy and eBay sales to Regan. 

From Millan.Net