Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Such a long time between posts.

All bloggers will tell you: popularity lies in the heart of consistency. Any of the readers that this blog may have managed to garnish are most certainly lost among the many avenues and highways of cyberspace. Alas, Dear Black Void, my only reader, hear me now. Beyond you, sweet unanswering void, this writer relies--with scant hope--on the very few remaining faithful that might be interested in the prospect of new ruminations.

Vacationing. It is so supremely important. Time away to refresh, find inspiration...or perhaps just breathe clearly.

(This is where I insert my excuse.) As a writer, one is always facing internal deliberations, musings, and thoughts. This, as you may or may not understand, can be emotional and therefore tiresome. While writing helps with one's internal processing system, it also asks much of the author. As a result of tiresome blogging efforts, yours truly been on a writing furlough. My pen has up and shimmied on over to Barbados which, by the way, is great this time of year...or at least so says my lapiz.

The more I got to thinking about vacationing, the broader the whole concept seemed...and I like the whole notion. We take vacations away from work and our ideal destination is a place that puts distance between us and the norm. But what else, besides the daily grind, pushes us to answer the call for hiatus? What else must we--vacate? Furthermore, what unconventional means do we employ to achieve our need for respite, if mobile vacating is not an option?

I summon your ideas.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Finessing Fitness

Here's the premise: the body and mind and spirit are all connected. Jog up a hill and miraculously, an upbeat mood blows in from the west. Similarly, in the dire state of blue shaded depression, the body responds, desirous of both sleep and chocolate, while the mind craves pity. There is no denying the connectedness between the triangular elements of humanness.

Just as one must exercise and diet in order to achieve the ideal body, musn't we also do the same with our minds and spirits? I often think when it comes to character improvement, we expect from ourselves immediate change. Yet, if it remains true that we must work with excruciating effort to make enhancements to our outer shell, I would strongly argue that the same must hold true for the inner workings of self. One must plan a daily "exercise" and "diet" for the mind and soul in order to see improvement in those areas.

Further pondering leads me to consider what forms of exercise and diet exist for these more abstract elements. The following are a few mere beginnings:

Exercise for the mind:
Read a good book
Dive into a deep conversation
Work: In the garden, the office, the kitchen, etc...
Music: listen, play, etc...
Pick up a random new hobby

Diet for the mind:
Restrain from the telly
Cut back on self-thoughts

Exercise for the soul:
Put others first and yourself last
Pause before speaking
Pick up the tab
Master your random new hobby

Diet for the Soul:
Refrain from self-deprecation
Erase the score
Give something away

And just as burning calories makes one sore in the morrow, expect that this new exercise may do the same. And as you crave all of the delicacies that fattening food has to offer, so must you fight the craving for the dangerous temptations of self-destructive pursuits. Cheers, my Friends, to the ever vicious and always persisting "Battle of the Bulge." May we forge ahead with a strength that can withstand the strongest form of discouragement: failure. Finally, here's to the peace that comes from learning self-improvement requires time in the gym, rather than a magical "diet pill": you're not alone in your imperfect ability to attain betterness.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lunch with the Boss

It's odd isn't it? The type of role our bosses play in our lives. Essentially, when it comes down to it, our livelihood is dependent upon them. They write us a check every month...every other Friday...or if you're lucky, once a week. And they keep an eye on things...right? That's what a boss is supposed to do...keep an eye on things. Some bosses are better at, well, bossing than others. A horrible job is often times more about the environment in which we work (ie horrible superiors) than it is about the minutae of tasks we accomplish on a day to day basis. I'm lucky enough to have some really great bosses, but the point of this isn't to break down what makes a great ruler. Rather, I find it notable to point out the sometimes overlooked significance of "The Boss-Man."

Some of us are probably more affected by this than others...but what is so powerful about the big head honcho--sitting behind his big walnut desk, encased in a glass tower of power, driving his shiny black stallion--is where the real significance lies--it is in how he sees you.

Does he think you are a good employee? Do you do your job well? For those of us who find some small amount of self-value in our work, then getting magnanimous feedback as to our worthiness can be a deal-breaker. Isn't the anxiety we deal with--juggling both the home life and the desire to make our superiors happy--why some people become their own boss?

Ah the pipe dream of self-employment. Late to work? No big deal...you'll make up for it. Just closed the biggest sale of your career? Fantastic...take yourself out to Le Chateu for a kicking filet and a bottle of red. We're our worst critics and our biggest fans. We can handle our own self-debasing lectures better than we can cope with a gentle tap on the wrist from the big guy. And when it comes to reward, praise is doled out in mass proportions when we're tapping ourselves on the back.

Here's to those of us who are lucky enough to wake up every day free from the dread of a horrible job. We all have a boss in one way or another whether it is a group of mind-numbing students, the chief, la professora, yours truly or the like. My hope for you, dear Reader, is that regardless of who you answer to, the sound of the alarm in the morning and the daily grind itself a is bearable animal to tackle each week.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The Somber Call to Laze About

It's odd, isn't it...how the weather affects us? A cloud cover has the debilitating power to enact...INaction in us. Let's be straight: what really is it that can cause us to abandon the call of productivity or even entertainment? By some mysterious force, we are influenced to procrastinate, nap, enjoy the telly...all in all, we fall into a stagnation difficult to overcome once we've slipped deep enough into its seductive grasp.

And of course, as you well know, the lack of sunny rays affects the swing of our moods too. Poor sweet June...with a penchant for weddings, graduations and fathers. Instead of bearing a descriptor that reflects the positivity its namesake might conjure, her sweet nickname is afflicted with negativity, as it bears the distaste we have for the affliction of overcast skies: JUNE GLOOM.

Gloom it is, dear friends. Cheers to both the opportunity to meander in the melancholic spirit of gray days and the overwhelming joy we feel upon the triumphant return of blue sky and white cloud. May our adoration of sunny days hasten their coming.

Friday, May 18, 2007

u n o

I love this concept…the giddy feeling you get when something is… it… and you are positively sure that nothing will ever beat it. Maybe you saw them from afar…perched unassumingly on a lit shelf…and something in you felt satisfied. You might not have even known how great they would be, but ultimately you dodged the bullet of disappointment and regret because when you got them home and out of the box and gave them their first test run, they really were even better than you thought they could be. Your love for them never waned and in fact, only grew stronger. And finally, when they wore out…or perhaps one of them got lost, you were so sad. Clearly irreplaceable, you’ve kept them around and every time you look at them you feel a sense of loss. But their loyalty to you deserves yours in return, so you’ve memorialized them in some way or another. Nothing has come close since…

Killer black pumps…
The dependable golf club…
A skinny cocktail dress…
The trusty hat…
Long lasting lip gloss…
Your dream house…
and if your lucky…

The love of your life

I love the consequential thrill and fear inherent in the realization that you’ve found the one. An irreplaceable piece of perfection that, no matter how significant or trivial, brings an overwhelming sense of satisfaction that comes from its ability to set the standard and truly define the ideal of its kind. Whether it be a belt, a car, a woman or even a moment, I hope for you, dear Reader, with a sincerity fueled by a belief in the all-consuming peace one feels upon meeting THE ONE, that you might know what I mean.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Dark Side

Is there such a thing as a doctor who treats the pain of a heartbreak? What soothes the soul when one is enduring emotional turmoil? I offer the following ideas.

1. A flurry of chocolate: whether in the hefty doses bestowed by a piping hot flourless chocolate torte or in the delicate portions of a fluffy godiva, one can always count on the mood boosting powers of cocoa.

2. A good run. Be angry and take it out on a hill.

3. A busy day. Every once in a while, you notice that ten minutes has lapsed before you've gone back to thinking about the pain.

4. A pitiful cry. To be done in the car or into a pillow...when no one is home so you can wail with all of the despicable sorrow you can muster.

It is a point of amazement to me that the heart can bear so much. Yet, what I find utterly unbearable is when my heart actually physically feels the deep throbbing pain of loss.

This one is for M. who is trudging along on the dark side of pain. Thank God light never ceases to exist, even when we cannot see it. Let's hope the tunnel isn't too long.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Thoughts on Entropy

I've got this little sand castle I've built. It's lovely with its swirling turrets, bulging mote and divinely protective drawbridge. But it is made of just sand. What I hate is how desperately I want my little castle to reside at the water's edge where contentment and wonderment co-exist. I am intrigued by a locale that humbly boasts such a juxtaposition.

My waterfront estate sits unassuming, basking in contradiction. Its home on the shore offers the combination of both the statis of peace and the intrigue of curiousity. One feels content to breathe in the fresh cool breeze that swishes onto the shore...the air and the water and the bumpy gold carpet...it calls us to introspection. And yet, contrastly, the ferocity of the unknown overwhelms one with all of the possibility that a view of the horizon inspires...so much unknown lies beneath and beyond.

The water's edge comes with its limitations. You see, my sandcastle lasts little longer than the swing of the tide. In its fragile condition, the feeble construct suffers from the threat of wind and wave. I am desperate to remain in this place that keeps me feeling the overwhelming joy of peace and challenge--but my dear castle will always be slowly dwindling away. And every time I rebuild it, no drawbridge or mote will ever protect it from eventual collapse.

Are things always this way? Are our constructions always decaying? Are we in a perpetual state of entropy?