Monday, May 31, 2010

Eternal Thanks From a Grateful Nation

Again, on this particular day, I would like to pay tribute to John Lawrence Dawber.

He was a Private, First Class in Company C, 1st Batallion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division that served in Korea.

He was killed in action on May 29, 1951 by a land mine. He was three weeks away from his discharge, or so the story goes.

He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

He was my Mother's eldest brother.
He was my uncle, and I was named for him, as was my younger brother Lawrence.

To all who have served, to all who presently serve, and to all those that wait at home, I thank you for your service.

And, a special note to my Uncle John: If you could give Mom a hug for me, I would certainly appreciate it.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's just like falling off a bicycle.

You know the old saying: Some days you're the windshield, some days you're the bug.

You start to feel especially bug-like after an twelve hour shift.

Pop Quiz: What's the last thing that goes through a bug's mind when he hits the windshield? Answer: his ass.

It was pretty funny when I was thirteen.

I'm writing now, just to stay awake, so let me tell you a little about the day.....

I'm a guy who likes to believe he's a "team player." I like to believe that when the chips are down, I'll step up and help to fix the problem. The problem is that sometimes, people take vacations and at the same time, other people get sick, and then, there's another who has regular days off...and pretty soon, you've got two guys conducting business in a little office on a 24/7 basis and I have to tell SUCKS. Bowling balls through a garden hose.

I usually work late at night, as most of you well know. But today, I felt compelled to help out; I came into work a few hours early so to relieve the poor soul sitting at the desk...they were sitting there from early morning to early evening, and that's enough for any man, woman, or beast. So, I arranged my schedule and came in early.

When I say, "I arranged my schedule", I mean that I did something I had debated doing, and the more I thought about doing it, the less inclined I was to do it. I'm speaking audition. They have this event that happens on the capitol grounds for a weekend every summer....and this year I thought I'd audition.

I haven't stepped onto a stage in seven years. It was hard to tell where the rust left off and the honest metal began. But, there were few to actually witness, I got the proper responses to the material...I did my little readings (and BOY, I had forgotten how hard it was to cold-read Shakespeare, especially after not having done ANY cold readings in seven years!) and then, it was over, and I grabbed a quick bite and off I went....

Where I have been sitting at this desk since mid-evening, and the sun will come up in another two hours, and I'll be here for a few more hours after that.

I guess they'll post a cast list next week.


For about an hour of my day on a Friday in late May, in the Northern State that is showing signs of being overly was fun.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Which is divine.

We have a hard time with forgiveness.

Okay, we have a hard time with gratitude, as well, but we handle that a bit more well than we handle forgiveness. Maybe it's the definition; gratitude is something we give under a certain set of circumstances, freely given and in some cases, a relief. Forgiveness has a slightly different set of circumstances; it's hard to ask for, and equally hard to give.

We really haven't moved that far from our club-swinging descendants (if you are, in fact, a student of evolution. If you are a creationist, we haven't moved that far from Cain. If you're a student of Intelligent Design, oh for cryin' out LOUD, it's like being Bi-Sexual. PICK A F**KIN' SIDE, already!)

Wow. I even digress in parentheticals. My apologies to Evolutionists, Creationists, and Bi-Sexuals.

My point was this: when wronged, our first thought is often (although not always) to avenge ourselves upon the wronger. Whether it's the idea that we want to ram the guy that cuts us off on the freeway, or the person that crashes into your car and puts you in the hospital...the first thing you want to do (although not always) is give as good as you get.

The teachings of Christ aim us in another direction; that the thing to do is to forgive.

To ask for it is hard to do, given the knowledge of human nature that indicates that when positioning yourself for the asking of forgiveness, you're not sure whether you're going to get the hand of friendship or the fist of "f***off!" To give it..well, it's tough to crack open Mr. Fist and offer Mr. Hand instead.

Little by little, I discover that the hard things are the right things and the right things lead to a kind of peace of mind that allows for deep sleep and pleasant dreams.

And, by the way, I cry your pardon for diverting your attention from something far more important.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A horse is a horse, of cuss, of cuss.

My Father had a way with cussin'.

I'm not sure where he learned it, but I assume that he learned it from HIS Father; from what I remember of him, he was probably a first rate cusser, hisself.

Now, before I continue to my inevitable conclusion, let me tell you that I'm a firm believer in the difference between cussin' and being vulgar. You can be a proper cusser, and you can be a vulgar cusser. I believe that the former is the more creative of the two, and the latter is for shock value, rather than artistic cussin'.

No matter how many times you hear the word F***, for example (and I continue to self-censor, because my blog is linked to my Facebook page, and my nieces and nephews have access), you are ALWAYS shocked when you hear it come out of your Mother's mouth.

I know I was.
Still am.
It's a kind of weird shock; a cross between real revulsion and hilarity. You want to give credence to the word and the emotion behind it, but when you heard this little, proper, nearly nun-ish woman let loose with the F-Bomb...well, you can't help but smirk at the very least, and outright guffawing at the very worst.

But I digress. Again.

I knew a fellow in college, we'll call him Mike. We'll call him Mike, because his name was Mike, and it would be silly to call him Chuck; although on occasion I did call him Chucklehead, but that's different.

And you's not cussin', but the term "Chucklehead" is a good one, and seldom used. Try it out and see what you think.

I'm also fond of "Meathead." In the proper context, it's very effective.

Digression again. Sorry. Sometimes, you gotta let it flow.

Okay. Mike was a master at inventing NEW cusswords. Okay, so what he would do would be to divide compound cuss words into their separate components and re-splice them with others, creating, in essence, a new word.

Again, because of nieces and nephews, I refrain from writing some of them out, but if you need examples, how about f***li**er, and f***ho*e. Interesting stuff, that.

Anyway....I do have my preferences, and as I said at the beginning, my Father was a first class cusser. And his favorite was horses**t. It seemed to roll off the tongue a little better than bulls**t. Some people like the semi-plosive B at the beginning of bulls**t, but there's something smooth and fluid about horses**t. And you can hit that H as hard as you want.

I bet you thought there was a point here.

Nope: it's all been horses**t.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garumph. And Harumph. And Pthththththth!

Well, I tried. I really tried. Many early morning surgeries; little by little, shaving away all unnecessary programs in an attempt to wring to save files from the rapidly dissolving computer.

And then, while strolling through the Best Buy one day, in the very merry month of May, I heard something whisper my name.

Yup. Bought it.

Of course, there is always the somewhat shaky courtship that comes with set-up and power up. What the HELL am I looking at?

Windows 7.

I'll figure it out, eventually. But I still have several large programs to re-submit for its approval. AND, I find that my perfectly serviceable printer is not compatible with...

Windows 7.

So, it will eventually mean another trip to Best Buy.


This just in....

Flash Player is incompatible with......

Yup. 7.

This is one of those days when you understand why Socrates drank the hemlock.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Quick observation.

Now, you all know that I work very late in the night...and if I don't get enough actual sleep in the daylight hours, I think I tend to hallucinate a little.

So, I'm watching the television, and one of those Progressive Insurance commercials comes on....

Now, previously, we know that the character known as FLO, has craved tacos. And now, she likes to ride a pink pony.

Is it my imagination, or is some writer getting his jollies?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The want of control in the midst of the quake.

Everybody has a little OCD.

I acknowledge mine: I cannot tolerate folded potato chips; I must break them apart in order to eat them; similarly, I cannot tolerate peanuts whose shells are bent; I only crack open and eat ones that are straight. I don't mind if my food touches on the plate, but I avoid it if I can.

My library is ordered by author (alphabetically) and the publications by publication date, and sub-ordered by genre; fiction, non-fiction, etc....and the drama section is separated. Non-fiction is sub-sectioned; the CD collection by artist and release date, but not by genre, with the exceptions of soundtracks and spoken word. Those are separate.

In a world where there is so much I cannot control, I control this.

Structure is structure, I get tuned to a certain wavelength after awhile. I'm programmed to wake at a certain hour; I am programmed to accomplish certain things in the daylight hours. I'm programmed to allow for certain amounts of rest before work nights. Etc.

So, it comes as a shock sometimes when the schedule gets altered.

Today, I awoke with such a profound sense of futility that I stayed in bed well past the hour when I usually rise. There's a sadness yet in my soul that I haven't dealt with, I guess, and I wonder if there are guidelines to this that I haven't come across in all my travels. I wonder how long it will last.

I'm okay.
But I would like to be better.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just laying it out there.

I have my opinion, like everybody else, on Arizona's idea of immigration reform.

I don't think that my opinion is based upon race or cultural lines.

I do get pretty pissed off, though, when people march in the streets of the United States, protesting the law, while waving a Mexican flag.

If you wish to come here; if you wish to stay here, and by all means, if you wish to protest here, wave an AMERICAN flag.

But don't burn it. That would be wrong.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

One nation, Underdog.

I've been getting people forwarding their "causes" to me, and it really hits home to me, something my younger brother said the last time I saw him; we were talking about reunions, because I had just gotten word that my 30th high school reunion was coming up on July 30 or some such odd date, and I was talking about wanting to go but really NOT wanting to go. He said, "it's like you want to go, but you realize that you don't like those people, and you're not sure you liked them even when you liked them."

That's how I feel about people sending me "causes", with the present company being excepted from the rant.

For example, I got one today, from a guy I went to college with, and he was a good fellow in college, and he sends me a "cause" that states, "vote to keep 'Under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance." Boy, do I hate this one. First of all, we have completely forgotten, over the passage of time, what the Pledge of Allegiance is all about in this country, even to the point that we've taken all the meaning out of it through rote memorization...

I actually used this in an acting class. We say it this way:
I pledge Allegiance
To the Flag
Of the United States of America.
And to the Republic
For which is stands
One nation
Under God
With liberty and justice for all.

What the hell does that mean? Now, put it together with the proper punctuation, and you have the meaning behind the message:

I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; One nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and justice for all.

Now, you can see there that 'under God' just doesn't seem to fit. If you take it out (it was added in 1956, by the way), it becomes:

One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

That makes sense. The country is indivisible. We tried dividing it once, it didn't work out. But some right-wing faction of the Christian Coalition seemed to think that we needed to remind everybody that God was on our side, and the put 'under God' in a very poor place. It would fit better, in my opinion, as:

Under God, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. That makes it sound like we're under God, and the nation is indivisible, and not wondering whether the God we're under is indivisible.....

Needless to say, I don't think there should be God in courtrooms, but it was placed there years ago when people actually feared the wrath of God. Nowadays, people think God looks like Morgan Freeman. And the previous generation thinks God looks like George Burns.

Sometimes, I think it's hard to see God, because he has looked upon all of the things the human race has done in his name, and his face is obscured by the cosmic toilet bowl he's vomiting into. But that's just my secular opinion....and we all know that I've been on the path of good intentions most of my life....and we all know where THAT leads, right?