Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mystery In The Desert to Chef Dog 
Explore the mysteries of a man's desert 
After which we will enjoy a meal prepared by a mystery chef 

Mystery In The Desert (free form poem) 

I find myself in a desert
Surrounded by unending sands
Monuments of time
Sparkling in the sun
Testaments of a life well lived
How did I get here
To witness the marvel
Of so many sunsets
The passing of laughter on the way
Refreshing oases of reflection
Refreshing what I see
It’s hard to see the footsteps
Those many winds have left behind
Which have brought me here
Of those which remain
Which ones are mine
Which ones are theirs
Which ones exist only in imagination
Does it really matter
To someone who searches
Thirsting for an answer
To refresh his heart
Lonely in me
Confused by my past
Dancing around me
With promises more beautiful ahead
I feel the weight of the desert
Bidding to me
Rest your weary head in time
Wash your soul in my glorious sands
Partake in the splendors around you
Be a part of the sparkle you made
I fell to my knees
At the truth to its words
I felt a teardrop fall
And the torrents which followed
Yet they were not mine
But the urging of others
Drawing me back to my feet
Carry on came the meaning
From Joyful oases of our past
Refreshing a purpose to all of this
Whispers in the waters of those tears
Do this for us 

The dualities of the desert offers itself for this free form poem. Imagine a typical sand cover desert. Imagine an oasis with fresh water. Imagine a soft wind. The sands of time. The reflection in the refreshing water. The whisper in the wind. These all enter a man's mind and we are there. 

I used to do funerals for the Masons. I performed 147 from 1999 and 2010. To put on a meaningful performance required that I do some research, to know the man. This poem is my interpretation of what might have gone through one man's mind. His name was Walter. He was a man of good cheer and about 55 years old. Everyone liked Walter and they would share with me many of his many exploits. Walter had earned all of the fraternity's honors. I was with the Masons for 3 years when Walter mysteriously disappeared. It was August of 2008 when I was called to do Walter's funeral.  It turns out Walter had inherited a rare decease which slowly robbed him of the use of his body. Each day Walter grew worse. At first Walter was ready to give up. His wife had died before I joined the Lodge. Walter's son told me that it was her memory that brought his father the strength and courage to live one more day. I also learned from his son how painful it was to watch is father decaying. Here was a once active, leader of men turned into into this thing who could only communicate by winking his eyes. The reason that he disappeared was because he didn't want too many to go through the pain his son was enduring. Walter wanted everyone to remember him as he was. So at is funeral we didn't talk about how Walter died, but celebrated a man's life. And what a life it was. 

We could easily say that was a sad tale. But is that what a person wanted? Is that why an individual paid his lonely hours for? Walter wanted us to remember how he lived. Not how he died. It is part of that noble quality we all possess. That's right. We all possess a noble quality. It is part of our instinct to save ourselves. It is also part our instinct to save someone close to us. When we help someone, it makes us feel good. That noble quality. The more we help, the better we feel. We probably don't stop to think about it. That noble quality. And when we work together, we feel good. Noble? And when the world is better because of us how can we help but Enjoy.

And when the sun rises in the desert: Tchaikovsky "Arabian Dance" 

Anybody hungry 

The physical sensation of hunger is related to contractions of the stomach muscles. These contractions are believed to be triggered by high concentrations of the ghrelin hormone. To prevent hunger Mark Edward Fischbach  as brought in Chef Chica to prepare a delicious vegetarian spaghetti. Who is Mark Edward Fischbach? He is Markiplier of YouTube fame. Who is Chef Chica? 
That's a dog of a question. "Chef Dog" 

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The key to immortality 
is first living a life worth remembering. 
Bruce Lee

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Teacher to Welcome to the 4th Grade 
Students gather to say farewell to their teacher 
A teacher welcomes his new class 

The Teacher (English sonnet) 

His students gathered there around his bed
And through his window far as eyes could see
The faces seated in his memory
Are placing gentle laurels round his head
And every now and then one stopped to cry
Remembering a lesson they misplaced
Another truth of life he taught to taste
Was nothing grander than the question why
Why are so many things taken away
Why is it that all good times seem to end
Why does my friend and teacher have to go
The teacher’s teacher’s minds can never stray
From soul which turns and calls its soul its friend
Then turning to the world to share the glow

This sonnet dedicated to Johnny Land - the teacher who gave me my great life. 

A tribute to a teacher inspired this English sonnet. This sonnet starts off with a tragic feel. As the triplets take over the sonnet takes an entirely different flare. The "Why" triplet asks questions of life, rather than any school subject. We are expecting death in the last triplet, but instead we are taken away.  This sonnet suggests that good teachers never die. 

This sonnet was written with Johnny Land in mind. I met Mr. Land when I entered the 7th grade, at James Lick Junior High. He was a music teacher, but he taught me to appreciate so much more about school (and life). I credit Mr. Land for making the good student I was. He got me to sing and perform on stage. When I was doomed to a below average high school, Mr. Land got me into a much better high school. It was due to Mr; Land finding opportunities for me to perform that I met Arlene, who I would later marry. Mr. Land would watch over me through my college days. He was Afro-American, which wouldn't make any difference, except that my mother was a racist, brainwashed by Nazi Germany. So we have a black man guiding her son. (She didn't show up at any of my performances.) When I went high school, there was a major race war going on, between the Chinese gangs and the blacks. Thanks to Mr. Land making me a star, I was granted a certain amount of protection from all the goings on. Recording star Martha Wash (Weather Girls), of "It's Raining Men" fame, and Calvin Simmons, Oakland Symphony conductor, were two of his students. In 1999, when I was honored by San Francisco for my work for the pubic schools, Mr. Land was there, in more ways than one. 

We are all teachers. Think about it. Do we have families and friends? Do we ever go where other people are? Do we think we are being watched? Do we ever watch anyone, wishing we could be like them or hoping that we were nothing like them? Believe it or not, it happens all of the time. Conscientiously or subconsciously.  It is part of our nature. Here is another "believe it or not". People are basically good. So what does all of this mean? People are basically good. We are watching one another. The world is getting better! We are getting better. And who do we think gets the most lasting attention? Think of all the good you do. Think of the lasting change you are part of. And when we think about how amazing we are, Enjoy. 

Let's enjoy some music of another great teacher: Maurice Jarre "Keating's Triumph" 

Let's turn the sands of time backwards 

Teachers make 14% less than people in other professions that require similar levels of education. Meet Dwayne Reed. Instead of sending out the same old "Welcome Back" newsletter, Mr. Reed, a first year teacher from Chicago, wrote a rap song for his 4th grade students. He recorded a music video to go along with it. The song and video emphasize the reality that hard work is a must, but that school and learning can certainly be fun. 
Here's to teachers everywhere. "Welcome to the 4th Grade - Dwayne Reed" 

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A good teacher can inspire hope, 
ignite the imagination, and instill 
a love of learning. 
Brad Henry 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Evermore to Vape God 
The mystery of a love affair 
The mystery of what goes on in the heads of vapers 

Evermore (poem) 

She climbs the stairs outside her door
Which led to streets of evermore
And who can see within her heart
To what has torn her life apart
Her thoughts return to times before
When all her cares were hopes at play
How distant now is yesterday
Across this space of evermore
The flowers which blessed every morn
The scents were sweet kisses were born
The shadow of tears on the floor
Refreshing her vast evermore
Was just a brief heartbeat before
When doorbell would cause her to soar
And her precious dream to restore
To promise of their evermore
But there stood a stranger with note
Perhaps a love letter he wrote
Who knew of sad secret it bore
That drew her to his evermore
She climbs the stairs of unknown shore
Beside her tides of evermore
Was this to be a destiny
One more unfinished memory
But she to wilted flowers swore
That by his side she would remain
Tomorrow would greet sweet refrain
There in the streets of evermore 

A lover's mystery draws us in with this poem. This poem uses two sets of rhymes and a word (evermore) to paint a picture. Notice, in the forth stanza, all the lines rhyme. This is also the turning point of the poem/story. 

Arlene and I would host these dinner parties. I was the main cook in the house. These were special dinner parties. At half of them, my friend Michael joined me in the kitchen. At the other half Arlene's friend Stell joined me. Stell was a goth girl, long before goth became popular. Boy, could Stell cook! And imaginative... Stell also had the gift of gab. I don't know what it was, but we all really enjoyed to listen to her talk. One of the things that Stell would entertain us with was what her and her boyfriend did since the last party. It was strange that Stell never invited her boyfriend to the parties, but invited just her friends. It was a Sunday. I had just gotten home from shopping for that evening's dinner party. Arlene told me that she got a pone call from Stell. She would not be coming and that she was crying and wouldn't say why. That evening the conversation turned to Stell's boyfriend. It appeared that nobody had ever met him. face to face. Come Monday, Stell didn't show up at work. She never returned to work. Rumor has it something happened to the boyfriend (that nobody met). What happened to Stell? Arlene told me that she became the legend of the break room. 

I like a good novel. I like a good movie. I lived a pretty amazing life. One that compares to many of those novels and movies. The truth is that we all lived pretty spectacular lives. We are all the big stars of a best seller or a block buster. Let us keep in mind that there are many forms of stories. There are romances, adventures, comedies, mysteries and on and on. The stories we enjoy don't cover every little detail, but rather just the highlights of what happened. We're not interested in ever trip to the bathroom and things like that. Back to us. That last vacation. Fun with the family or friends. Something special that happened to us. I bet if an English teacher had  us write a paper, where spelling and grammar didn't count, we'd all get an A. Okay, 007 we're not. But maybe we're 002!  Maybe a best selling cook book. Maybe an overlooked romance novel. You get the picture. Each one of us is a story waiting to be written. Each one of us is a marvel. Do  not doubt what is true. And as we write another page of the most wondrous novel of our life time, Enjoy. 

A tune to go with the poem: Lana Del Rey "Born To Die" 

From one story to another 

Vape is a slang term for a vaporizer, which is used to smoke marijuana, tobacco and other smoking mixtures. It is obvious that it isn't tobacco that the boys of Corridor Digital are enjoying. I doubt that it is marijuana either. What exactly could it be? Here is one more mind blower. The entire video plot was put together with this mystery vaping ingredient in mind. 
But whose mind? "VAPE GOD" 

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It is not true that everyone is special. 
It is true that everyone was once special 
and still possesses the ability to recover it.
Criss Jami 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Strange Refrain to The Mystery Of The Basket 
Kisses promises relief from the strange noises from outside 
A strange basket promises some relief for a stressed relationship 

Strange Refrains (Shakespearean sonnet) 

Release the minion marching through your mind
Cast off the callus clothing of the day
Your ears are here awaiting to be kind
As arms prepare to share a gentler sway
Ring out the rowdy rumors from outside
And take me to the temples of the pain
Warm fingers bring their comfort to provide
As kisses cast us past such strange refrain
Refrain some cinder singes from the past
Refrain some straw that strayed to stay awhile
Refrain a chain to sorrows we’ve amassed
Refrain restrains your beauty and your style
So help me hold the heaven I adore
Extinguish flames of tattered tales of yore 

The madness of Word Wizardry imitate a world from which kisses promise relief in this Shakespearean sonnet. The entire sonnet is intended to ring out the world's stress and madness. The Word Wizardry is the play of consonants (M - minion, marching, mind) and rhymes within rhymes ear, here). Somewhere in the sonnet is a call for kisses a plea for help. So where are they? If this sonnet was effective, the kiss and the help happened when the last line was through. This sonnet counts on unwritten silence for its completion. After all, there are no words during a kiss. 

As I mentioned before, I enjoyed stress. It wasn't so much the stress, but the sensation when all of a sudden the stress was all gone. I loved my job at Chevron Corporation. They actually paid me to use my imagination. Employees of the company would come to me to get things done and my job was to figure out how to do it. It could be as simple as getting a few copies made or as mind blowing as floating flags in mid air (without strings). Some of my assignments were so stressful that my hands would break out in rashes.Here's where Arlene came in. Although the folks at work didn't notice my hands, Arlene did. Softly, she would thank me. Then she would rub my hands with a "special oil or ointment". Finally Arlene would give me one kiss.  The kiss or the entire ritual, it took my mind away from the world. Most of my projects didn't last long. I would be physically rewarded by the euphoria of going from stress to job well done. Add to this Arlene's ritual and uh la la.

Into each life some stress will come. Even lives as wonderful as ours. The stress may be minor or it may seem insurmountable. High levels of constant stress exposes our body to unhealthy, persistently elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to heart problems. It is therefore important that we find some sort of escape. Escape can take on, come in many forms. Good intention people will offer their advice. The truth is "escape" is an individual thing. Too often people try to follow advice that is not well suited, meant for them (good as the advice may be).The fact is: we are unique. What works for some may not work for us or it may need modification(s) to meet our needs. It is a big big wold. We are very special. Special enough that there is something in this big big world just for us. And as we experience all that is waiting for just for us, Enjoy. 

To take us off" 2Cellos perform Mumford & Sons "I Will Wait" 

Do you have a magic basket 

The world's first fully synthetic plastic was bakelite, invented in New York in 1907 by Leo Baekeland[4] who coined the term 'plastics' Other than being made of plastic, I don't know if this has anything to do with the magic basket that Troy Kinne found. Troy and his wife were having big problems until he discovered the basket and its powers. 
These baskets are not so rare. I have one at my house. "THE MYSTERY OF THE BASKET" 

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Being in control of your life and having realistic 
expectations about your day-to-day challenges 
are the keys to stress management, which is 
perhaps the most important ingredient to living 
a happy, healthy and rewarding life. 
Marilu Henner

Monday, August 22, 2016

Breeze Of Dreams to Why Summer is Women's Winter 
Lovers are touched by a romantic breeze 
Women are touched by an office breeze 

Breeze Of Dreams (Shakespearean sonnet)

Recall when couple kissing there was we
Where did they go those flowers of our youth
A breeze of dreams still whispering the truth
That from that kiss would flow our destiny
You see that couple cuddling over there
What comfort care can see us one day them
Oh breeze of dreams where did such true love stem
That from this kiss their fate we too may share
Oh gentle flowers caught in breeze of dreams
Two couples drifting to a distant time
And in between a lifetime so sublime
That from a kiss imagination streams
And breeze of dreams has so much more to say
The couples that they’re watching are both they 

A breeze brings to life a truth and this Shakespearean sonnet. Each quatrain is meant to paint a different image. The rhyming couplet is supposed to tie everything together. There are clues to what is revealed in the final line. The clues are the kisses mentioned in the last line of each quatrain. 

Arlene couldn't cook, but cut this girl loose in a deli, and boy could she prepare a picnic basket. And picnic we did, whether in some park or the backyard or on the living room floor. Arlene, being a Cosmopolitan (Magazine) woman, there were those special picnics where she would show off the latest fashion of the day. Those were the days. Arlene and I were timeless lovers. Add to all this, the effect the Mason days had on us. We were 40 years old reliving our 20's. In our minds, we were young again. A strange thing once happened to us. We were picnicking when a pair of teenagers caught our eye. They couldn't keep their lips off of one another. They looked oddly familiar. When we finished our meal we went for a stroll to take in the beauty all around us (including Arlene). We passed by a couple enjoying each other and their picnic. They appeared to be in their 30's. Oddly they too looked strangely familiar. Arlene and I found a secluded place where we could reflect on what we saw. Miracle or not, we were given an insight into our past. There is a more mundane explanation of what happened that day. An explanation far less romantic. 

I'm certain that many others have had these experiences. Something happening around us that takes us back to a different point in our life.  This can be a fond reminder or something we miss. A thank you or a regret. One thing to keep in mind is that we are human. Humans tend to get used to things, take things for granted. It is "human nature". There are many positives, efficiencies about this. There is also the other side. Add to this the changes aging natural bring to our species. But we... We are more. By keeping in mind what we are, we can be more. Sounds strange, but it is a fact. Make the most of those things that are important to you now, this moment in time. "Don't put off fir tomorrow what you can do today", what you feel today. This is your time. You are that special.
The single most precious thing has been given to you. Time. Use it. Make the most of it, and enjoy. 

Let's see. What do we have for this theme: 
Perry Como performing Francis Lai "Where do I begin" 

There is more to work place sex equality than wages 

Modern air conditioning emerged from advances in chemistry during the 19th century, and the first large-scale electrical air conditioning was invented and used in 1902 by American inventor Willis Carrier. A man. Why is the fact that Willis was a man important? It has something to do with a discovery College Humor stumbled upon. A discovery many women in the office environment have been dealing with since 1902.
Sit back as an age old secret comes to light. "Why Summer is Women's Winter"

If you enjoyed this video press this link to The Danger of Running Into Friends

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Everybody needs his memories. 
They keep the wolf of insignificance from the door. 
Saul Bellow

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Return Again to Jason Bourne Resurfaces 
A lover's supplication to return 
A CIA agent is on a new case when a old protagonist returns 

Return Again (poem) 

Return again to springtime
Joyous memory
The glory of your sunshine
Then returned to me
The flowers sang love’s music
Heartbeats we would share
Return again to springtime
Always waits us there
Remember the dream filled plans
Whispered to the stars
Such priceless crystal vision
Shaped this world of ours
Not you nor I is certain
What brought season’s close
It didn’t seem a challenge then
Paths that we had chose
Return again to springtime
Life filled problems fall
Dusting myself off once more
Answering its call
Each corner seemed to test me
Lessons fit to last
Return again to springtime
Came a strength from past
The morning of my wisdom
Quiet I was blessed
This called success I passed through
Price I now addressed
Return again to springtime
Kisses reoccur
All reason of my being
All return to her
For the time we were apart
Letter held my plea
When you too find life’s meaning
Then return to me 

A supplication and moments breath life into this poem. This is an example of a common poetic form where the first and third lines do not rhyme but the second and fourth do. I have also kept the meter tight (7-5). Notice also the reoccurene of "Return again to springtime". In the final line this is replaced by "Then return to me". 

Here we were, Arlene and I, in our large flat, facing life's challenges as a couple, a team (formidable at that). We would later rent a house, then buy a house of our own. Every now and again, I am taken back to the days when our relationship was challenged, in that small apartment, where it all nearly ended. One memory, in particular, of those times dominates the rest. Another fight broke out. We exchanged mindless bitter words Words whose aim was pain, rather than any truth. Arlene went and slammed the door of the bedroom. I went out the front door. I didn't get far. I sat down outside, my back against the door, wondering what just happened. After an eternity of brooding and being totally lost, I found myself laying on the floor. Arlene had flung open the door, not suspecting I was resting against it. She kissed me, crying that she was sorry. Arlene had saved every card and letter I had written to her from day one. As it turned out, she had turned to these letters after the fight. Fate had guided her to a poem that a young lover wrote her, titled, "Return to Springtime". We made up and went out to dinner. It would be perfect if this happened just before we left that trouble laden apartment. For the sake of the poem, let's pretend it did. 

Fate. How many of us have run into it? Have had it cross our path? Is it real or is it just a figment of imaginations? Is it mere chance, a roll of the dice? Life is a wonder. Even if we go with science, trying to explain it all, life is a wonder. Are we, you and I, willing to say there is no purpose to it all. It is, and should be, an individual thing. For me personally, life's challenges can be so harsh, why not let a little magic in? (As long as it doesn't hurt anybody.) Life is wonderful We are wonderful. How about a feather in that hat? Yes, no? We don't wear a hat? Fate? It is all up to us as we take in the wonders that are all around us. As we revel in that wonder which we call me, Enjoy. 

This all calls for a little mood music: Claude Debussy "The Girl With The Flaxen Hair" 

Talk about fate: Jason Bourne has resurfaced - Fate or laughs 

Jason Bourne is a fictional character created by novelist Robert Ludlum, who was a foreign service officer whose tormented past continues to influence him throughout his lifetime. It is now 2016 and  Pamela Landy, who was a character in the Bourne series, has moved on to a new assignment. In a new series, by Studio C, Jason Bourne has resurfaced. What new danger is threatening our world? 
 Let's put all else aside except a laugh or two. "Jason Bourne Resurfaces in 2016" 

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You can close your eyes to reality 
but not to memories. 
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec