A Bad Winter

What an intriguing idea.  How do you define a Bad Winter?  I think there are actually two schools of thought on this.

               and          

Bad Winter…Blizzards                                                   Bad Winter…Too HOT

High winds and snow                                                       Heat and Humidity

Power outages                                                                    Turn on Air conditioning?

Damage                                                                                Hail?

Hazardous driving conditions                                        Who dreams of a Brown Christmas?

Good Winter… Blizzards                                                Good Winter…Just Right

Smell of pumpkin bread                                                   No coats

Hot Mulled cider                                                                 Ice Cream on Pie

Quiet of snow landscape                                                    Thunderstorms and Lightning

Sledding                                                                                 Football outside, no coats

Ice Skating                                                                             Skateboarding in Park

Holiday Inn and White Christmas                                    Latest blockbuster at the theater

Which camp do you belong to?  I’m weird…I love the snow.  As long as it’s OUT THERE and I’m IN HERE.  Baking bread, pies, soups, and other wonderful warm savory foods, and experimenting with different teas and coffees.  Netflix binges.  I love watching the kids build forts and snowmen, and making hot chocolate for when they come in, red nosed and laughing.

I didn’t love it when I was hanging out a window working drive through in the fast food joints.  I’m warm, I’m a Popsicle, I’m warm, my teeth are chattering, I’m warm…I remember thinking, “OH LORD!  Please don’t let me get the ones that have to count out their change and they’re 2 pennies short and HAVE to find those 2 pennies!”  “O Please!  Don’t want to talk to me while you’re waiting for your food!  My left arm is frozen!”  I didn’t love it when I had to walk 3/4 mile to my class from the dorm with a head wind and sleet and snow pelting my forehead.  I didn’t love it when I had to drive 180 miles on the interstate at 12 mph because of bad roads and accidents.

The idea of a Brown Christmas is not appealing to me.  Spending Christmas in Florida or Hawaii just doesn’t do it for me.  I’ll take a White Christmas please.

 

Advertisements

Honestly…

Honestly, Truthfully, Trustworthy

I can believe

I can disbelieve

I can act

I can choose not to act

Why must I be protected from truth?

Ignorance is Bliss

It takes my decisions

and makes them impotent.

It takes my perception

and skews it.

“You don’t need to know

“Not now, later

“To protect you

Saying this only

when I NEED to know

when I NEED to know now

when it doesn’t protect me because

I don’t know.

Facts in timely manner

Not emotions

Withhold, Lie

No preparation

No trust

Surprise, and confusion

Tell Me.  Honestly

 

Robo calls

buzz, buzz, buzz.

Who do I know from Las Vegas?  Nobody.  No voicemail

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

Who do I know from California?  Nobody.  No voicemail

Buzz, buzz, buzz

Rhode Island?

Buzz, buzz, buzz

Omaha.  Better answer this:  “If I could save you money on your automatic peat dispenser…” No, I don’t have an automatic peat dispenser.  Voice doesn’t stop, doesn’t answer questions, doesn’t ask questions…

*Slowly sinks into madness…Tim Curry maniacal look on face 

Buzz, buzz, buzz.

I text, “I’m on my way.”

Reply from phone:  “Who is this?”

“You called, I answered, just getting into the car”

“You’re coming here?”

“Of Course.”

“How do you know where to go?”

“I’ve been waiting for your call…I’ve been following you for weeks!  I can hardly wait to see you face to face!”

“Who is this really?”

“Look at your last call.  The one at 10:42.  It’s me!”

“Well you don’t know where I live do you!  I’m leaving!”

“I know you’re not.  You don’t even have your coat on.  It’s freezing out here!  I don’t want you to catch cold and end up in the hospital like last year.”

“Wait, how did you know about that?”  I don’t know but it was a 50/50 shot…

“Apparently this phone scam doesn’t pay all that well.  That’s a really messed up car!  Did you get it at an auction?”

“How do you know what kind of car I have?!!!”

“Drone…”  I play a youtube video in the background so he hears the drone sound.

He hangs up.  I call him back.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him periodically through out the day.

“I knocked, but you didn’t answer.  I’m right around the corner when you’re ready.”

I called back today, phone is disconnected.

A MAJOR Award!

I was nominated by floatinggold.  Wow!  What an honor!  I don’t get nominated for much so this is really amazing!  Thankyou!

No Not this one:

 

This one! 

Check her blog: https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/128220602/posts/4408

She is participating in the NaNoWriMo and I’m anxious to see what she wrote in that.  I also participated and got my 50K words, but I can’t seem to find a satisfactory ending.

RULES:

  • Thank blogger(s) who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

In answer to her questions:

Her QUESTIONS:

  1. What scares you?  When my kids are driving in bad weather, even though they’re not “kids” anymore.
  2. If you could guarantee living until you’re 100 years old, would you?  There’s So much I want to see and experience yet!  There is so much I need to do.  Absolutely would want to live to 100, but am fine if I don’t make it.
  3. What would your dream vacation be like?  I’ve had several dream vacations:  Alaskan Cruise, 3 International Choir Festivals (Coventry, Bern, and Rome), National Parks, State Parks… Each vacation I take starts out as a dream, and when we go, I journal it so I can remember what I took pictures of, how I felt, who was with me, what we did, what we ate, what new thing I learned every day.
  4. What’s your morning routine?  Routine?  People have routines?
  5. What is your biggest motivation?  Looking forward to a completed project, a trip, an accomplishment, a new certification.
  6. What is your favorite time of day and why? I love mornings, it’s quiet so I can think.  Sometimes I have special coffee or tea.  I write or read or think.
  7. When do you write most and why? (day of week, time of day, etc.) I write all times of the day.  If I’ve had a revelation during the night, I write like a mad woman in the morning so I don’t forget.  If I’m having a conversation with someone and they say something that sounds like one of my characters, I rush home to get it down.  If I’m scrolling through Facebook and I catch something really bizarre, I think about it for a while and then write something in my blog.

I’d like to nominate:

Amanda

Laurie

When I read their posts, I’m always uplifted and more positive.  They bring sunshine into my life.

These are my questions:

  1. Where do you feel the happiest?  How does being there make you happy?
  2. What inspires you most?
  3. What is your favorite type of weather?
  4. If you could live for a month anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  5. What is the favorite activity you do with your best buds?
  6. What have you always wanted to do that’s still on your bucket list?
  7. Is it the journey or the destination that’s most important to you?
  8. If you could fix one mental thing about yourself, what would it be and why?
  9. Have you ever laughed hard enough to have milk come out of your nose?
  10. What age group do you love the most?
  11. When my grandmother was born, there were no cars or planes or interstates or computers, and she lived through 2 world wars.  If you live to be 100, what changes would you expect to see?  (Yes you may use your crystal ball.)

 

How it feels to be clinically dead…

I say this in jest.  Measurable Progress was supposed to be about my journey down to my ideal weight.  It hasn’t been going well.  I have tried nearly everything to reduce my weight, and of course did tons of research.  I know my gut bacteria is fine.  I know that diet pills and the extra “energy” you get from patches is just adrenaline or caffeine that boosts your metabolism…amphetamines.  Legal speed, but speed.  I hate pills.  I’ll drink coffee or tea or pop (which has WAY too much sugar and tastes awful without it.)  Spending a lot of time at the gym makes me sore and fat instead of just fat… Nothing seems to work. Then I was looking at folks at the gym, and at church, and at my club meetings.  It seemed that they all breathed faster than I did.

When I sit or sleep next to my husband, I breath once for every 4 of his.  Yup.  So I looked it up:  Normal breathing–respirations per minute–are 12-18 in a normal person over 12 years old.  12-18/minute?  How many breaths do you take in a minute?  I’ll wait.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

So?  How many did you come up with?  16?  14?  Good for you. Realize it’s probably not accurate because you know you’re being observed so NOW you’re paying attention to your breathing.  If you’re over 24 breaths per minute, you may have problems…go see your doctor!!!  If you’re under 8 breaths/minute, you may have problems…go see your doctor!!!  My doctor says my thyroid is fine, my heart rate is about 60 bpm and though there’s a slight murmur, I’ve had it all my life.  However, he hasn’t addressed my respirations which are…(drum roll)  take a guess.

.

.

.

.

Would you believe, 4/min?  I inhale over 2 seconds, then exhale for about 13.  Low is 8, if you’re a trained athlete.  Mine’s 1/2 that.  So A) I’m on opioids, B) I have a brain tumor, C) hypothyroidism, D) toxins or E) a head injury.  As far as I know, I don’t have a brain tumor.  Definitely no opioids, or toxins or head injury, and doctor said my thyroid is fine.  The only conclusion is that I’m dead, and my body hasn’t decided to quit breathing altogether. 

When you exercise a lot…running, working on a farm, athlete, construction…you lower your metabolism because you strengthen your heart.  Running forces you to breathe from your diaphragm.  Marathon runners and elite athletes are supposed to be breathing about 50-75 bpm while active, but it doesn’t say what their resting respirations are.  They have to breathe rapidly to get rid of the CO2 which is the byproduct of lactic acid that builds up in the muscles during exertion.  If they don’t breathe quickly, things begin to shut down because the lactic acid builds up the acidity of the blood and that tends to make the brain a bit nervous.  Fast breathing usually happens in the torso rather than deep in the diaphragm.  The upper part of the diaphragm in this case basically flutters.

3d rendered medically accurate illustration of human diaphragm anatomy

When they finish the race or the activity, they bend over to keep from fainting, and have to force as much CO2 from their bodies as possible, so they employ deep diaphragmatic breathing.  Bending over is a bad idea as it inhibits the diaphragm from expelling as much CO2 as it needs to, but that’s neither here nor there.

Their lung capacity grows as they get more fit and their hearts get stronger.  That lowers the resting respiration rate.  But still not below 8-10 bpm.

If I exercise really hard (like those evil interval training exercises!) I can get my heart rate up to 150+ for about 10-15 min.  Then when I stop, it only takes about 5 min for my heart to go back to its 60, and my breathing to return to its 4 and that’s normal for an athlete.  I’m not an athlete, or a dancer, or a laborer.  What does that mean?  My metabolism is very very slow.  That indicates that since I cannot work out 5 hours a day like I did when I was teaching dance, if I eat over 1000 calories/day, I gain weight.  Solutions anyone?

Greyhound Customer Service

I did not think that I was booking a complicated trip.  Bus service is supposed to be for the common folk, not the kind of “Coach” tours that you have in Europe or the VIP tours you have in the US where they have mapped out all the stops and once you pay your tour fee, you’re relieved of all your worry.  I don’t get to see my oldest son very much as he lives several states away, and though he’s busy, he’s not gainfully employed.  So on the holidays, if I don’t send him a bus ticket, he can’t come.  Thanksgiving!  Woohoo!  Time to get online and get all the details done.

A month ahead of when you want to take the trip, you get on the Greyhound website and pick your dates.  You do this for the same reason you buy your plane tickets 3-4 months in advance:  the price goes up as you get closer to your departure date.  I have Tuesdays mostly free, so I figured if he could arrive on a Tuesday it would accommodate my schedule.  You get onto the site and it asks you for the dates you want outbound and inbound.  I set the dates.  It asks you to choose which route, and I choose one that makes it more likely that my son can get a ride to the bus station and one that allows me to take him to the local station at a reasonable hour for him to go home.  Then it asks you for your coupon code.  I leave that blank, I have no coupon code.  Then it asks for you email and your payment details.  Checked that off.  For some reason, it doesn’t ask for the name of the passenger.  Maybe it’s on the next page.  I hit “submit.”  The transaction doesn’t go through.  Search through all the page to find anything highlighted.  Nothing highlighted, it just doesn’t go through.  Check the whole document and for some reason, it’s put my email address into the coupon code and says it’s an invalid code.  Well OF COURSE IT’S AN INVALID CODE!  It’s my EMAIL!  I erase the email address, scroll to the bottom of the document and push submit again.  There isn’t a 2nd page that gives details on the passenger, and I get an email confirmation that I WILL BE TRAVELING.  I’m not traveling, my son is.  I recheck the document. I call customer service.

After 2 minutes of waiting for someone to answer the phone, I notice a chat feature on the site.  I push Chat.  I get the little time indicator saying my request for a chat is being processed.  2 more minutes waiting for someone to answer the phone.  I get a question on the chat, “What can I help you with?”  It’s one of those phrases that chat help puts up automatically.  You KNOW the person at the other end of the line doesn’t want to type that out every time some person wants to chat.  They hit the button and the initial question automatically pops up.  How do I know that?  Because if there WAS a person at the other end of the chat, it wouldn’t take so long to answer your question.  Still no answer on the phone.  I hang up.  “For some reason, when I submitted my payment for the ticket, it didn’t put the right name on the passenger.  It has my name on it instead.  How can I fix this?”  Wait… wait… wait…  See?  I knew this chat wasn’t Live the way we understand it.  It leads me to one conclusion:  Customer Service Chat uses zombies.  I go to Face Book to pass the time while the little back and forth dots indicate that someone might answer my question.  2 minutes later.  “Tickets are nontransferable and nonrefundable.”  I know that.  So I type back, “That doesn’t help me with my problem.”  “Didn’t you read the directions?  You have to put the name of the passenger on the form.”  “There was no place to put it.”  “You missed it.  Did you check the box that said the ticket was a gift?”  “Where was that?” “Right beneath the scheduling details.”  “I didn’t see it.”  “Well that’s where it was.”  “How do I make sure that my son can make the trip then?”  “Tickets are nontransferable and nonrefundable.”  “So I just made a donation to Greyhound?”  “Yes.”  “So if I didn’t have enough money to pay for two trips, I’d be out of luck?”  “Yes, you have to read the directions.”  “So….not your problem?”  “Not my problem that you refuse to read directions.  You can’t blame me if you’re incapable of following simple directions.”  What. A. Bastid!  He must have had a bad day.

Start the whole process over.  Found the stupid box.  Did you know they charge extra if you don’t use the ticket yourself?  Oh, and after you enter your email address, you MUST go up and take your email out of the coupon box. It automatically shows up there every time because you don’t know how to turn off the Chrome autofill feature that is supposed to make things easier.  Now that that’s been cleared, you have to re-fill out the information and re-enter the gift recipient’s name or it defaults to your name again.  HA!  Not going to get me this time!!!  Submit.  It submits!  Yay!  Send tickets to son.  Repeat process for Christmas trip.  I have now spent $700+ so my son can see his family for the holidays, $262 of which was a donation to Greyhound to keep their profits in the black.  Since it is a private company instead of publicly traded, the only information that’s available is the earnings report.  Their profit was down 16,000,000 British Pounds since the same time last year.  Well now, I’ve contributed to their bottom line.

So the story’s over right?  NOOOOO.  What?  There’s More?

I didn’t check on the actual route my son was taking.  He was to leave at 10:30 AM or so, travel from Norman to OKC to Tulsa to KCMO to Des Moines to Omaha.  4 different buses, one without plugins or wifi.  I had to pick him up Wednesday Morning at 1:30.  Remember that I had Tuesday as my chosen date of arrival?  He spent 14 hours on the bus.  I hadn’t chosen Tuesday for the arrival date, I’d chosen it as his departure date from OK.  I picked him up and found an IHOP where he got to eat for the 1st time since lunch the previous day.  We got home about 3:00 AM.  This is the day before Thanksgiving.  So if there’s going to be food tomorrow, I have to cook today.  I get up about 9:00 and start.  Turkey is frozen solid so I set it in the sink.  (I had put the turkey in the refrigerator on Saturday per instructions of the FDA…liars.)  My son spends the whole day in bed recovering.  14 hour bus trips are not the best way to spend a day.  Thursday, we have our Thanksgiving dinner and watch our football.  I have my Turkey Coma nap.  Friday we see little indications that our son is alive and well and truly visiting his loving parents.  “Hi Mom.  Hi Dad.”  Hello son.  About midnight, he comes up and says, “I’ve missed my bus…”  

Now I find out the rest of the story, he’d also missed his initial bus in Norman, it didn’t come.  What he didn’t know was that there are two bus stops in Norman, and he was at the wrong one.  Norman has a population of about 110k people.  Why does it have 2 bus stops?  His friend had to drive him to Oklahoma City to catch the next leg of his trip.  I was confused about him missing the bus from Omaha though.  He showed me his ticket.  It said Boarding at 11:41 PM Saturday. This was Friday.  Then he showed me the next ticket on his transfer in Kansas City.  Boarding at 8:00 AM Saturday.  I checked his tickets again.  Departure was 12:01 AM Saturday, not Sunday.  If he left Omaha Saturday night, how could he leave Kansas City on Saturday morning?  If he didn’t catch the bus in Kansas City, he’d have to stay here until January.  I’d be out another $183 for a new one way ticket if we got him another trip for a later time this week, or he’d miss getting his bills paid and might be in danger of having utilities shut off and losing his apartment.  So since his KC bus was leaving at 8:00 AM Saturday and it was a 3 hour drive…we jumped in the car at 3:00 AM and drove.  It cost me $45 in gas and $30 for breakfast at St. Joe, and 7 hours of driving.   His tickets for December are the same, pick him up Monday morning at  O Dark Thirty and send him to the bus station a day before his ticket says…(Wednesday at 12:01 AM is when his bus leaves, so I have to get him there Tuesday at 11:40 instead of Wednesday 11:40.)

So Greyhound!  Get your act together!  Print the tickets correctly!

Russian Toilet

Let me set the scene

2001.  I was a stockbroker with Ameritrade before they combined with TD Waterhouse.  I had just broken my hip…it had split down the spike of my artificial hip, so this would be my second of three operations on the same hip.

Our bathroom had this lovely mosaic tile on the wall next to the tub.  There was a shower curtain rod that encircled the tub, but no separation between the sink and the shower.  It also had a standard toilet (not Russian.) Because I still had 3 kids at home, the shower was used extensively.  We all took showers because we were time bound getting to school and work every day.  Yup, just the one bathroom for two adults and five kids when we first moved in.  The upshot of this constant usage was that the drywall under the mosaic was not designed for this constant hot water/steam exposure and started to bow out.  Then the little tiles started popping off and those little buggers hurt when you step on them.  If you had the lights on in the bathroom when you were showering, water from the shower that escaped the curtain landed on the light bulbs over the sink and they would explode in spectacular fashion!  Getting out of the tub, you’d have to make sure you didn’t have tile stuck to your foot and didn’t step on glass.  It was tough on feet.  The floor covering was carpet and didn’t dry very well with all this use, so the floor by the tub and the toilet started to go.

We needed a bathroom remodel!  The room next to the bathroom was a bedroom that we converted to an office.  The closet for that room was in the wall that adjoined the bathroom.  Since we didn’t need that closet, we moved the bathroom wall and added a divider wall between the sink and the bathtub.  Our contractor was a very nice guy and when he was done, it was wonderful!  Nice marble counter top for the sink, big cabinet for all the bathroom stuff, linoleum floor, bathtub surround with grab bars, a sliding door to keep the water in the shower, a nice raised toilet to accommodate my hip situation, and now a closet for towels and bathroom supplies like mops and toilet paper and such.  It was soooo cool!

Well, we assumed our contractor was done because he quit coming around.  He had died of cancer.  There were a few things he hadn’t completed.  The linoleum under the sink was not finished.  It was not sealed to the base of the cabinet and it started to curl.  Likewise, the joint of the linoleum and the bathtub wasn’t sealed, so it started to curl.  When the sliding door on the tub started to wear out, you couldn’t get the replacement rollers, so we had to take it out.  It was replaced by a curtain.  The curtain didn’t keep the water at the shower head end from escaping so it got under the linoleum and hastened its curling and water damage to the floor underneath.

In an effort to conserve our water, we got a low-flow toilet.  It was the early years so they weren’t as efficient and so now we had to flush everything twice.  It clogged easily.  When it overflowed, as it did about one to two times a month, this water also got under the linoleum.

2018:  We have a situation.  The floor next to the toilet is soft.  If you’ve read my previous articles, you’ll know that I went from a svelt 190 pounds after my second operation to nearly 220 and am fighting heroically to lose those pounds.  My husband likewise has ballooned up to over 320.

Last week, when I deposited my bulk on the toilet, it seemed to tip.  This is not good.  Thus the title of this lovely tome:  Russian Toilet.  Now if you pronounce it like toilette in French, you may have a glimmer as to the conclusion I came to this morning.  Which one of us will find ourselves sitting on a toilet on top of our washing machine in the laundry room?  Click…whew, not today!  Going to gym, then to dinner, and then the movies…they have toilets!

 

Thongs are not consent

So this Irishman is acquitted for raping a 17 year old girl because she was wearing a thong.

How does that justify rape?  Was it because the other foot was bare?

“Oh Heck no.  Not that kind of thong you idiot.”

It was the only kind of thong I could think of that anyone would see.  Would the rapist run up and down the streets and flip up all the skirts and de-pant all the girls until he found someone with sexy underwear?  News flash:  Not every seventeen year old girl wears thong underwear.  Are they saying that if you wear granny underwear you’ll be safe from rapists?  What a load of crap.

RAPE IS ABOUT POWER NOT SEX!  In fact if you look at serial murders, they refer to the knife as a penetrating weapon in some cases…a substitute for sex.  Rapists are using other things to penetrate (and I don’t mean that euphemistically) as a substitute for murder.  Women have been raped and sodomized by broom handles, coke bottles, and any manner of hardware in addition to men’s genitalia.  Rapists don’t care what kind of underwear she’s wearing any more than a serial killer only murders people because of the way they’re dressed.  “That jacket was SO 80’s, it was a crime against fashion!  I had to kill him!  So I stabbed him right in the ill-fitting polyester, turquoise, inside pocket.”

So unless ALL she was wearing was the thong and everyone could see it, she wasn’t consenting to anything.  In fact, if she doesn’t lean into your window and ask for money or accost you on the street, she’s not asking for it.  Prostitutes make it a business process– marketing if you will–and you wouldn’t know they were prostitutes unless they talked to you because they dress like a lot of other women.  They will stake out a territory and read men to see who would be looking and which man they’d be willing to engage because prostitutes have a choice too.  So, yes!  Prostitutes can be raped.  Their business is sex, and they dress for sex, but it doesn’t mean they consent to every man.  It is therefore NOT the clothes that incite rape.  It is Hate and a Craving for Power.

What I don’t understand is this:  Why didn’t the prosecution use this argument?!!!!  Does he/she deep down think it is possible for the victim to invite rape?

Women, we have to educate people!  We are just as likely to blame victims as everyone else, right up to the point where we are raped.  Is it so hard to imagine someone using sex as a weapon?  We use sex for entrapment, for bargaining, for blackmail, for selling cars and deodorant, manipulating men to get us what we want. The men, then, see women using sex as a weapon.  Men use sex to mark territory, to assert power, to intimidate rivals.  Women see men using sex as a weapon.  Sex is NOT a weapon.With society’s cavalier attitude about sex before marriage, we get shamed for being virgins at our weddings.  “What?  this is the third date and you haven’t had sex yet?  You’re going to lose him!”  Men get shamed if they’re virgins past age 20.  “What?  you haven’t been laid yet?  We gotta get you a piece!” That isn’t the purpose of sex!  It is for the expression of love beyond the love of friends and family.  It’s something only the two of you share.

Anything in the world that is good and pure and right can be perverted into something dank and dark and demeaning.  Anything can be used as a weapon of manipulation.  We just have to recognize the weapon for what it is.  Take it in context.  Don’t take away the responsibility for the crime from the perpetrator.  No one asks to be robbed or mugged or beaten or killed.  No one asks to be raped.

Flower Duet

You’ve never heard of it, but you’ve heard it…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf42IP__ipw

This duet is featured in Piranha 3D, Meet the Parents, Superman Returns (Kevin Spacey’s scene), Bronson (with Tom Hardy), Carlito’s Way, True Romance,  and The Hunger.  Hmmm, only seen Meet the Parents and Superman returns.  Then there’s the Trout Quintet.  That was in Sherlock Holmes, Game of Shadows.  The villain, Moriarity uses that song to torture Holmes.  Over and Over and Over we see Classical music being the music of choice for the villains.  Why is that?

It is the music of the elite.  Rap, Punk, Metal… yes those bands are expensive, but there are only a few members of each band.  An orchestra though, that’s some heavy stage production!  What if you wanted to cut it down to one or two people…Bach Cello Prelude comes to mind, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGgG-0lOJjk.  Look at the look on his face!  He’s transported!       

Fur Elise  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1iZXyWLnXg is another solo you might request.  But when it comes to performing these songs, it takes years of practice and study to play them as they were meant to be played.  It’s not something you can just play.  So the music is not music of the common person.  It is relegated to those who have the time to listen, truly listen and appreciate this type of music.

Fine art is the same way…Modern, Renaissance, Impressionistic art, is appreciated with time and study.

  Is this sculpture modern or ancient?  Is it a work in progress or finished?  What does it mean?  How was it conceived?  Who was the artist?  Fine art, whether it is Modern, Renaissance, Impressionistic art, is appreciated with time and study.

Classical Dance, same story:  you can go to the ballet, but unless you understand what you’re seeing, there is no appreciation.  All the finest art is for those few with the inclination to study and become familiar with the forms, and the time to expend on the appreciation.

If you look at the portraits in the Louvre, those are not primitive photos.  Most think of the Mona Lisa as a rather large painting.  It’s not.  It’s only 20″ X 30″

Each painting reveals the subject’s place in time, their character, the character of the artist, and the perspective unique to the piece.  The photographic portraits reveal the skill of the photographer to get the subject to sit still for 20 seconds.  In fact those really aren’t portraits; they’re just pictures.  A modern artist in photographic portraits spends a lot of time placing, posing and dressing the subject and the background to achieve art.

Do you understand why the best actors prefer the live stage to the movie or t.v. set?  It’s continuous acting!  Engaging oneself for the duration of the play and intense interaction with the other players and the audience as well.  In those plays that have long runs, the dynamic on the stage and with the audience changes each time it is performed and makes it critical to fully engage in every performance as if it was Opening Night.  The appreciation of this interaction by members of the audience takes an understanding of the play, the players, the direction and the venue.

This appreciation takes education in areas not normally associated with the common man.  “Common men” have no interest in art for art’s sake, no curiosity in the finer things in life.  They don’t need a higher level of education, and I’m not talking about degrees and certifications.  You will find “common men” with PhD’s.  They thirst for knowledge, but not knowing.  They focus on intellect not understanding.  “Common men” do not ponder.  Highly intelligent people think differently than Smart people.  Smart people can regurgitate facts and statistics and fascinating trivia, but they cannot interpret this information in a way that opens new insights into how the universe works.  Highly intelligent people, on the other hand, see connections that link seemingly unconnected things.

Most have heard the butterfly effect.  Tiny, almost inconsequential differences in initial conditions can result in vastly different ending conditions.  The ripples of change brought about by nearly unnoticeable actions of so many different sources makes things that would seem random to actually be traced, action for action, second for second back to a set of initial conditions that due to the “randomness that is our existence” cannot be duplicated.

Benjamin Franklin

“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”

― Benjamin Franklin

All the Cumulative stories like that one and “The House that Jack Built” told to children are impressing on children that some things that happen without apparent reason can actually be traced back to the actions of one person or event.  What the “common man” sees appears random, and what the “Smart man” sees is interesting, but what the “Highly Intelligent man” sees is turns of events.
So the “Highly Intelligent man” craves the understanding of the arts, not because it is elite but because he thinks beyond the ordinary.  Classical music, visual arts and performance arts take mundane subjects and changes them into metaphysical expressions, and takes the metaphysical and translates it into a language that can be understood by few.
To further our understanding, let us define villain then.  Not all criminals are villains.  A villain is a criminal that is so self serving and so psychopathic that he’s more interested in the reaction to his crime than the actual monetary or emotional gain derived from his illegal acts.  He seeks the elite.  He looks at the victims of his crimes as a scientist would look at his experimental rats.  He doesn’t derive emotional satisfaction from his crimes.  His emotional, spiritual, and physical fulfillment is found in outside sources such as the fine arts…experiences that are usually restricted to an elite group of people.  They find beauty in the architecture of Rome, the music of Bach and Mozart, the ballet of Diaghilev,  the art of Raphael and Salvador Dali, the poems of Robert Frost, the cuisine of Le Gabriel restaurant in Paris.  They seek out new cultural experiences, read prolifically, and listen to music in all types of venues.  They study color and composition to appreciate art.  So this highly intelligent man will seek the same appreciation as the members of this elite group.
I’m not saying that these pursuits are restricted to the elite; they are most certainly not.  Anyone can turn on a classical station or go to a concert or a ballet or an opera.  It is the cost of a ticket to see great art in a museum.  It is a library card away from books about art and music and any other cultural medium.  It is just a click away on the internet to access some of the most beautiful poetry ever written.  What I am saying is that most people do not want to make the effort.  The villains do because the only beauty they will find in life is outside of themselves.  They crave what they cannot find in themselves.  They look for evidence of Heaven on earth because they know they will never experience the real thing.
Except…
This may be an artifice that Hollywood has come up with.  Is there any research that proves that the music of choice in villains is classical, or proves that they have a higher appreciation for beauty and art than heroes?  Yes, Hitler loved Wagner, but that’s because Wagner wrote about Teutonic gods and heroes.  I find it difficult to believe that evil people can love beautiful music or art.  You cannot love something you cannot relate to, can you?
We, who have an abundance of beauty within us and surrounding us, do not make the effort to cultivate these longings for the extraordinary beauty that is available because good is good enough.  We let “good” eclipse “extraordinary” much to our loss.

But there’s MORE!

I have discovered the secret to Weblogs!  I’m going to be stinking rich!  And I can help you discover this marvelous way to make money too!

But first, let me tell you how I discovered this amazing money machine.

I’m FAT.  I even gave my fat a name:  Obie.  Obie is sentient.  As a result, I have dieted and exercised and taken all sorts of supplements to get me back to my fighting weight.  Haha.  I’ve been on a Keto diet for the better part of a year, but I don’t do it right.  There should be no carbs at all.  Somehow, I’m over my carb limit by 40-75 g EVERY DAY!  My diet should consist of meat and vegies and NOTHING ELSE.  But somehow, carbs sneak in.  (Sneak?  I should say I seek them out and force them onto my plate.)  I have cut my intake to 1200 cal/day for nearly 4 years.  Every calorie over 1500 adds a pound.

I have exercised and walked and gotten a trainer at the gym.  My last walk was a 3 mile hike around this lovely lake.  I got so sore toward the end of the hike I wasn’t sure I could make it back to my car.  In an epic fail, I posted this to my status in Facebook, and scared the crap out of my kids.

I have taken pills with meals, worn patches and drunk (yuck!!!!) protein shakes.  I tell you the truth:  There is no amount of shaking this powder plus milk or water that can make this goop palatable.  Imagine chewing something that you drink.  Ew.

As a result of all my attempts, I have gone to the internet in search of reasons why none of these works.  This is how I got introduced to weblogs.  The pitch is simple.

“You’ve tried everything to lose those pesky extra pounds and nothing works?  It’s because these exercises that are recommended for YOU, PERSONALLY, are the wrong exercises!”

“You’ve tried everything to lose those pesky extra pounds and nothing works?  It’s not the carbs and the fats you consume.  So your diet is not going to work!  It’s because the bacteria in your gut has been compromised!  You need to adjust your diet to make the correct bacteria!”

“You’ve tried everything to lose those pesky extra pounds and nothing works?  That’s because you’re eating to maintain your energy levels.  And that’s the wrong reason to eat!  This lovely patch and this regimen will make sure your energy stays up and lowers your appetite!”

But there’s MORE.  Just read (or listen while they flash the words on the screen) the rest of the story.  For ages, the answer to your problem was…Blah blah blah for another 5 min.  Wait, that’s important information!  Why are you blah blah blahing it?  Because the research and the history really do not matter!  Make up your own history.  Make it a conspiracy and more people will side with you.  Make it a basic fact that everybody knows and nobody applies.  It doesn’t matter.  The only purpose of this part of the Weblog is to add credibility and purpose to your premise.  Will they bother to research these claims?  No because interspersed in this message is the claim:  “Congratulations!  You’re one of the few who really want to know how to proceed.  We commend you on your search for the right answers and that you have taken the effort to take the quiz, do the survey, whatever you did to get onto the site.”  Now you feel special and you continue to listen to the pitch.

Now before I give you the answer to how to make gazillions of dollars doing a weblog, let me tell you about how other web based businesses make money.  They get you hooked on the value of the results of their products.  They never say how odious the process is.  It’s so simple a baby could do it.  It’s so easy and convenient.  In 6 weeks you will lose 50 pounds, or will have 6-pack abs, or will have so much energy that your power company will wonder how you heat/cool your house!  All you have to do is click this button:

start.jpg

OK! Sign me up!

I’m going to give you a free demonstration of one method of making gazillions of dollars with your own weblog.  But before I get started, let me tell you how I discovered it.  I thought you could just say that you had a solution to a problem and then tell them how much it costs.  Boy was I wrong!  Then I discovered the secret!  I will show it to you at the end of this presentation, but first, let me tell you how much effort went into finding this secret.  I spent months doing research, talking to experts, trial and error, and sleepless nights coming up with the best way to keep my head above water.  Everything I learned was so formulaic and only worked about 15% of the time.  After about 6 months of fruitless work, I was ready to chuck it and go back to being a regular 9-5’er.  Then I noticed something that all the other sites were doing.

But there’s more!  Not only were they leaving out an incredibly obvious technique, they were not giving anyone information that they didn’t already have!  It’s like telling people the sky is blue or that water is wet.  Why were they making so much money?  Because they wanted their readers to think they alone were smart enough to realize these very common assumptions.  Yes!  You’re fat because you have elephant genes!  Of COURSE!  That’s the answer!  It’s so self evident!  I wondered why my nose was getting longer.  The doctors said it wasn’t Pinocchio Syndrome. Why has no one ever figured this out?!  With my patented gene therapy you can…Then they give you the pitch and the price.  Or they SAY they’re going to give you the price.

But first, how much do you think this information is worth?  $5000?  $2500?  Now they’ve set you up for the actual price.  Then they go and find information that costs $10,000, or because you have to have a degree in chemical engineering and a medical doctor’s degree it would cost you $100,000 to develop this information.  Do you have time or inclination to get those degrees?  To do that research?  No?  Well I have and I will give it to you for the unbelievable price of $39.99/month for the rest of your life.  Or you could make one easy payment of $1000 now.  For the cost of 2 year’s worth of product, coaching sessions, whatever, you can have this amazing whatzidoodle for life!  But there’s more!  With this watzidoodle, you get a free copy of “What the Whatzidoodle did for Me” and this amazing mug that says “I use Whatzidoodle, How about you?” that when heated liquid goes into it changes the message to “It works!  It really works!”

So the keys in making gazillions of dollars using your weblog are 2 phrases:

“But first… “(if you get bored with that you can alternate that with “But before I tell you this…”)

“But there’s More!”  There’s no substitute for this last phrase.  You must use it multiple times near the end of your presentation.  Use one in the introduction of the concept, a couple in the credibility section in a negative manner. (These evil companies did this unthinkable thing, but there’s more!)  Then each time you present your product in the last few minutes of your weblog, you use it nearly every sentence.

Are you rich yet?  No?  Well you haven’t seen the best ideas yet!  For just $12,486.47, you can have the keys to making a gazillion dollars.  Just hit this start button!

start.jpg