Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Question to Trolls These Days 
A father's response to his son's question 
A man's response to a troll's questions 

The Question (Shakespearean sonnet) 

The time and question both have met at last
While reasons seem to wander off once more
Perhaps it’s meant for just us to explore
What trace of fate has caused our common past
I was the one there watching at you side
I tried to be what no one was for me
We played at being just a family
A dream two little boys would be denied
Why did I stay I guess you want to know
So easy just to blame it all on love
And all the noble things which we think of
So lost in tangled webs made long ago
Am I your father who is sitting here
Or just a man who stayed to bear his tear

A son's questions to his father draws out this Shakespearean sonnet. This Shakespearean sonnet uses the less popular rhyme scheme of: ABBA CDDC EFFE GG. There is no word play. This allows every line to pull at our feelings. 

I performed many funerals for the Masons. Sometimes s family member would relate to me a story about the deceased. A man related to me this tender story. When he was a young man he was alone with his father doing the dishes. He asked his father where his mother was. It seems that the mother was not around much on the weekends. He remembers his dad falling sad and staring into space. "Your mother has things to do." The father went on to tell about the broken home that he had come from. He didn't want his son to go through the same experience. That's why he has tried to spend the weekends with his son. This was not the family life the father had planned. He still loved his wife very much and hopes the son did too. "My father knew where my mother was, but never told me." "I once asked my dad the ultimate question. To which I didn't get an answer." 

Is life perfect? Here we had a man who was in love and stuck with a woman who lived two lives. Dealing with the situation and wanting his son's life to be better than his, he worked to make up for a deficiency. Now, we can go back and point to the man's poor childhood. But who is to say what was that made this beautiful person? The wife? Who knows what was driving her life. Maybe it was best that she not influence a child's mind. We can all agree that life can be confusing. Or is it human beings that are confusing? We and life just don't  mesh. Then there is the "full picture". I don't know. I like to believe that life is perfect. Perfect and growing. I like to believe that we too are growing. Growing and claiming our part of existence. But here we are. doesn't that point to a level of perfection? Is life perfect? As we open the door to discover, Enjoy. 

For now, let's discover: Juzhin "Don't Cry Ma Darling" 

Before we cross this bridge... 

A troll is a class of mythological being that dwell in isolated rocks, mountains or caves, whose legend started in Norway. The story of the troll on a bridge was made famous in a story by Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe in their Norske Folkeeventyr, "Three Billy Goats Gruff", first published between 1841. The troll is back. Chris Smith and Jack De Sena, of Chris and Jack, recreated the encounter. 
Are we ready for the troll's riddle? "TROLLS THESE DAYS | Chris & Jack" 

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The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death 
Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 3, 2016

His Night to I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 
A man deals with his lost love 
Kids deal with their Halloween candy bring gone 

His Night (Shakespearean sonnet) 

It came with heavy gloom into his night
To share perhaps to tear his world apart
This news which would weigh heavy on his heart
His love is gone forever from his sight
And all the world he knew came crashing down
To hear perhaps to fear the sound of pain
Which beckoned unto heaven for refrain
In echoes which would make his feelings drown
Then something of a chill would still the air
To turn perhaps to churn his mind around
A pounding from his heart which swallowed sound
Has sent him flying back into his chair
Again from shadow glass was pushed away
They wondered when this dream would likewise stray 

What just happened in this Shakespearean sonnet? In this sonnet we have a guy lamenting the loss of his love. Each quatrain is filled with his pain. Then, in the last line, the word "They" appears. What is going on? If that wasn't enough, did we notice the rhymes within rhymes in the second lines of the quatrains? 

Except for that brief dark period of confusion in that small Richmond district apartment, Arlene and I had a pretty unbelievable life. We lived a dream. Sure, we had our challenges like every other couples encounter. Add to these the day to day challenges we all have to deal with. But all of these were nothing, compared to the splendor, the richness, the wonder of our life. We lived in a palace in sky. We were that couple on the dance floor others watched. We were blessed with two remarkable children. We were community leaders. We got to revisit our wonder years. The list goes on and on and on... Arlene and I lived a remarkable story. Every once and again an occasion would find these dreamers wondering how long all this would last. For a brief moment we drifted through a world of "this isn't happening at all". It was like we needed to exhale. (It was also a wonderful prelude to some smooching.) 

This brings us to the idea of balance. I admit, I was brainwashed into a world of positive thinking. Live in the positive. In our world negatives are welcome challenges: Opportunities for improvement to become better. There is another school of thinking that believe positive and negative are opposite parts of the same thing. When perfect balance is reached, the thing can no longer be sensed. Perfect peace. Pretty far out there. Let's apply these concepts to us. We are all special. We are all people (part of the same thing). We can all learn from each other. Learn to improve. Learn and accept that we are all unique. Accept that our uniqueness joined together makes us whole. And as we become whole we reach perfect peace. Pretty far out there. But not so far that we can't Enjoy. 

Some music to go with the sonnet: Max Richter "When She Went Away" 

It's hard to find balance when all the candy is gone 

Trick or treating, or “guising” began in the Middle-Ages. Children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers. This gave way to candy. Another Halloween tradition is Jimmy Kimmel getting parents to tell their kids that they ate all their trick or treat candy. 
Enjoy as parents torture their kids. "YouTube Challenge - I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2016" 

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Happiness is not a matter of intensity 
but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. 
Thomas Merton

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Boy And The Sea to Dinner Would Be Nice 
A boy and the sea lead to a disaster 
A boy and a girlfriend lead to a disaster 

The Boy And The Sea (Italian sonnet) 

A boy once ran beside the tide at play
For him the currents were his only friend
And his friend would welcome in each day
With the richest gifts which it could send
Just as his tale should happily subside
A princess to his eyes came floating down
To walk beside his friend there in the tide
And swept the boy away with her to town
Devotion of the ocean was aroused
It shared its tortured spirit with the wind
They tore through spaces once the living housed
Not even shattered lives made pain rescind
And as the living waded with the dead
The lives and dreams there taken by the sea
They heard a feeling floating through their head
So glad to have you once again with me 

Love, jealousy and nature lead to disaster as lovers are reunited in this Italian sonnet. In only four stanzas or sixteen lines a story is told. Because of the limit of a sonnet, form and words are called to perform double duty. Each stanza is a beginning and end to a part of the story. The lines contain words that have to do double duty. In the end we have a lady who should not be messed with. 

It was 5:04 p.m on October 17, 1989. I was working overtime at the Chevron headquarters downtown, The big Loma Prieta earthquake struck. It shook so hard that all of the furniture in the room moved. People were screaming and crying, but I stayed amazingly calm (like nothing was happening). I was so calm that it had a calming effect on those around me. As the team straightened up some of the office I went to buy everyone a soda. As I strolled down the hall there were other frightened people who I calmed down. Between working in a services department and all of my legendary idiosyncrasies I was extremely popular in the three downtown Chevron buildings. Security got on the intercom asking that we stay near our offices until further notice. When security came to the second floor to check on us, they were take by how calm we all were. It was like nothing had happened. I was credited for everyone feeling things were okay. Security got an idea. They put me on the intercom to keep the whole building calm and to give status updates. It would be almost two ours before I could go home. When I went outside, I saw the truth of it. It was a mess There were bricks and broken glass all over the place. I had been working in an earthquake building. They shake wildly even in the smallest earthquake.They are designed to do this to keep them standing if a strong earthquake hit. In truth, I had no idea of how serious the Loma Prieta was until I went outside. Then it was my turn to tremble. 

So here I was, a hero. When in fact, under normal circumstances, I would be as frightened as everyone else. I was just used to it. A fact of life is: We all get used to things. This can be a good and bad thing. Good when we get used to playing the piano well. Bad when we get used to being searched. Were we aware that, because of the way our brain works, that great tasting pizza will never taste as good? Our brain sets things about that pizza to memory. Rather than experiencing that pizza afresh, our brain uses memory to be more efficient. We get used to it. It becomes part of the norm. How do we not "get used to it" or step back? By being aware. Be aware of how special we are. Know that we can be as free as we want to be. This is our time. So Enjoy. 

Can you believe I found this to go with the sonnet: Eleni Karaindrou "The Weeping Meadow" 

From a psycho sea to a psycho girlfriend 

According to Susan Mandel, PhD, cheatig men want it all and have the skewed notion that another woman will make the longing for something more disappear. Natalie Tran, of communitychannel, suspects her boyfriend of cheating. That doesn't stop her from making great tutorial videos. 
Or does it? "Dinner Would Be Nice" 

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The sea, once it casts its spell, 
holds one in its net of wonder forever. 
Jacques Yves Cousteau

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What Can I Do to Epic Silver Surfer in New York 
A lover rides over oceans for her 
A man in a Silver Surfer costume rides the streets of New York 

What Can I Do (lyrical poem) 

What can I do
I love only you
Though you hate me
Berate me
Turn wiles to frustrate me
I’m dirty
You kiss him to hurt me
What can I do
My heart aches for you
Through you bruise me
Abuse me
To pains introduce me
Your rant spree
I can’t flee
In dreams you enchant me
What can I do
In riddle of you
Could search till I found someone new
Someone who will give her heart too
Ride clouds over oceans so blue
The things any sane man would do
But what can I do
This servant of you
Though you spurn me
And burn me
No action can turn me
What can I do
Just be lover true

A sad but noble story of a lover true haunts this lyrical poem. Beside the story, the fascination of this poem is not the rhyme. The rhyme is very simple. The beat (meter) is the other fascination. Keep in mind this is a lyrical poem. As such, it should have a rhythmic pattern that easily goes into a song. If finding it is complicated, remember we have a lover faithful to a girl not faithful to him. 

Meet Art (Arthur). Art was a nice guy who lived in a nice, well kept apartment at the corner of my block, when I lived near the ocean. He and I were loose friends who worked in the same building. I was a team leader. One of the hard working members of my team was Lety (Leticia). Art fell for Lety. At the time, Lety was going through a divorce. Not wishing to take advantage of the situation, Art did little things to make Lety's life a little easier. A more aggressive guy went after her. Art believed true love will win out. In this case it didn't. Lety went with the other guy. But Art stayed faithful. He wouldn't go out with any other girl. As luck would have it the new relationship would go on the rocks. And there was Art to pick up the pieces. And there came another guy to pick up Lety. Art remained faithful. With time the three of us separated. Art and I got new jobs. I moved. Years later, after I retired, I went to a reunion party. There was Art and Lety. No, they were not married. Art had bought a house in Concord. Lety was living with him. 

We are all unique. Easy to say he was not articulate enough or that she was blind, but who really knew what brought them there? Who knows all of the life events that brought them to that first meeting? Did they know? Consider this. Do we know all that has brought us here? All those little details. All of those pieces to the puzzle that made this moment. Who is to say that one breakfast we ate all those years ago does't come back to effect today? Life is fascinating. We are fascinating. Rather than judging a person, listen. Listen and learn. Learn how fascinating we all are.Life is fascinating. As we listen and learn about someone else we learn about ourselves.As we learn we grow. As we grow, Enjoy. 

Here's an extra treat to go with this: Little Anthony and The Imperials "Hurt So Bad" 

Who best can ride over oceans but the Silver Surfer 

The Silver Surfer is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Jack Kirby, and first appeared in the comic book Fantastic Four #48, published in 1966. Here is Jesse Michael Wellens of PrankvsPrank. He brings the Silver Surfer to life in the streets of New York. 
Enjoy the expressions of people as they meet the Silver Surfer. "EPIC SILVER SURFER HALLOWEEN COSTUME NYC!" 

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Only the person who has faith in himself 
is able to be faithful to others. 
Erich Fromm

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Feeling to Caramel Apples 
From a lovers' treat 
To a Halloween treat 

The Feeling (Shakespearean sonnet) 

What is this feeling that I can’t suppress
It has its start here somewhere near my heart
Then spreads out to these arms I scant repress
And once around my love they will not part
With arms entwined the lips now yearn to meet
The feeling flushing rushing to their call
Our senses heighten toward impending treat
The feeling loosed all reason to forestall
Why fight the feeling’s power over us
It seems so hopeless as it’s gone this far
I’m sure we’ll find some good use for our fuss
Let’s continue on from where we are
There’s one last thing to which I must attend
To start the kissing put the words to end 

Feelings give way to something grander in this Shakespearean sonnet. This sonnet was intended not so much to be romantic, but to be cute. We have three quatrains, twelve lines, describing a feeling and a preparation for something grander. It isn't until the last line of the sonnet that we find out what it is. I wonder what the couple was doing when the sonnet was completed. 

It's funny. I met Arlene in 1966. We were just friends way back then. A magic tear would change all that was. We would become made lovers. We would marry. We would be granted a perfect day. We would become partners. Dreams and adventure were laid at our feet. It's funny in all this time, with all that Arlene and I have experienced, kissing and cuddling is still one of the things that we really enjoyed. Sure, it slowed down a lot from our teenage years. But cuddling and kissing remained constant from the disco days on. Two lovie-dovies. We cuddled and kissed throughout California and on our various exploits in America. One of the other funny things is: We definitely had our favorite cuddling and kissing memories. But these "definite" favorites change depending on the mood. 

Here we are. A product of everything that we have gone through  and our experiences of it all, sprinkled with this and that. If we stop to think about it, to take it all in, we are pretty amazing. Here is another example of how amazing we are. Did you know that the person we were ten years ago is dead? That's right; Except for our neurons (which has only been discovered recently) and memories, every cell of our body has died. Is that all we are: memories and neurons? What about this one. Have you ever created something when you were young (not a baby) with a life of its own? We left it long ago. Many years later it crosses our path and we think, "Was that really me?" A different us on a different path. The world, or our part of it, is changed because we are here. And we can do, change so much more. We are amazing. So why not Enjoy? 

One more step in amazement: Roni Benise "Spanish Kiss" 

Let's change the world by learning how not to make caramel apples 

There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples grown around the world. It would take you more than 20 years to try them all if you ate one a day. One of the big treats around the Halloween season is the caramel apple. Here is Gregg, of You Suck At Cooking, to show us how not to make caramel apples. 
If you want to make caramel apples go here: . Then enjoy: "Caramel Apples - You Suck at Cooking (episode 50)" 

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A kiss that is never tasted, 
is forever and ever wasted. 
Billie Holiday

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The Truth Is to Late Night Snack with Henry 
A son shares a terrible secret with his mother 
A basketball team shares their secrets with a new reporter 

The Truth Is (poem) 

Come hold me again my sweet mother
The son you once knew long ago
What hand shaped this world we now live in
The truth is we don’t really know
Remember the days I first met her
When nothing could pull us apart
Every street every corner would echo
A beauty had captured his heart
Remember that last night together
When you heard her sad tale of woe
What took place much later that evening
The truth is we don’t really know
The officials say that I killed her
My fingerprints were on the knife
But something else shrouded my vision
I could not take my lover’s life
With handcuffs they came to arrest me
My madness and teardrops did flow
They say as I fled some were injured
The truth is we don’t really know
My story all over the news now
Each headline much grander than next
The truth of a moment grows cloudy
As by needs of greedy I’m vexed
Come muffle my screams my sweet mother
And tell me my world isn’t so
Is this dawn of evermore’s nightmare
The truth is we don’t really know

A mother's love for her son adds confusion to this poem. A son visits his mother. Something terrible has happened to his girlfriend and all evidence points to the him. When the police try apprehend him, he escaped and people got hurt. Imagine the mother. For better or worse, this was her son. 

I met Pat when I was in the 8th grade. He was an exceptional friend. Pat was always there if we needed him. If any of us felt doubt, Pat would fill us with confidence and a "can do" attitude. In his 20s, Pat bought his mother a house and took excellent care if his sister and her son. Where he got is money, no one cared. He was a major supporter and donor of a Mission district youth group as well as an organisation that fed the needy. Pat was very generous. Then the rumors started. Pat was making is money in drugs. Strange, as Pat stopped using drugs years ago. Those of us who were close to him just didn't care. To us, he was just Pat. Then came the news: Pat was shot and killed by the police. The story of Pat's death varied, depending on who one heard it from. His family said Pat was set up by the police, who wanted him dead. The news said, it was Pat who started the shot out, when the police came to arrest him as a murder suspect. 

There is him and there is him. If the world wasn't complicated enough, there is our perception of it. As great as we are, our senses are limited. In addition to our natural limits, there are other factors that cloud our perception: like illusions, memories, feelings and needs. Let's look at how a brain works. We meet a person and immediately the brain tries to classify them. Are they male or female? How are they dressed? How do they carry themselves? The brain does this to make communication effective. As the brain learns more, it replaces speculation with "facts". If the person reminds us of someone, the brain adds colors to "facts". Smell your favorite cologne? More colors. Hungry? More colors. It is different for different brains. So what can we do? Be aware. Rather than fighting, use the energy to focus awareness. I wish I could tell you that all this will make your brain better. Our brains are really quite impressive. The world we see is us, so Enjoy. 

Talk about memories: Artie Shaw & His Orchestra "Nightmare" 

We ever wanted a fresh look at our sports stars 

Two leagues called the National Basketball League (NBL) and the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged after the 1948-49 season to become today's National Basketball Association (NBA). The Chicago Bulls want to make basketball even better. They believe,to do this it is important that their fans know the players better. To accomplish this the Bulls ave decided to bring in a fresh new view in sports reporters. 
So meet Henry. "Late Night Snack with Henry"

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The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom 
of which you will always find forgiveness. 
Honore de Balzac