Friday, April 29, 2005

Ratzinger Joke

[Now I got this joke off the Catholic Pages website , so don't anybody go getting all offended. Since it still refers to him as Cardinal I'm thinking it's an old one.]

Karl Rahner, Hans Kung and Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger all die on the same day, and go to meet St. Peter to know their fate.
St. Peter approaches the three of them, and tells them that he will interview each of them to discuss their views on various issues.
He then points at Rahner and says "Karl! In my office..." After 4 hours, the door opens, and Rahner comes stumbling out of St. Peter's office. He is highly distraught, and is mumbling things like "Oh God, that was the hardest thing I've ever done! How could I have been so wrong! So sorry...never knew..." He stumbles off into Heaven, a testament to the mercy of Our God.
St. Peter follows him out, and sticks his finger in Kung's direction and "Hans! You're next..." After 8 hours, the door opens, and Kung comes out, barely able to stand. He is near collapse with weakness and a crushed spirit. He , too, is mumbling things like "Oh God, that was the hardest thing I've ever done! How could I have been so wrong! So sorry...never knew..." He stumbles off into Heaven, a testament to the mercy of Our God.
Lastly, St. Peter, emerging from his office, says to Cardinal Ratzinger, "Joseph, your turn." TWELVE HOURS LATER, St. Peter stumbles out the door, apparently exhausted, saying "Oh God, that's the hardest thing I've ever done..."

Whoah! This is SOOOO True!

Your Birthdate: January 30

Your birthday on the 30th day of the month shows individual self-expression is necessary for your happiness.

You tend to have a good way of expressing yourself with words, certainly in a manner that is clear and understandable.

You have a good chance of success in fields requiring skill with words.

You can be very dramatic in your presentation and you may be a good actor or a natural mimic.

You have a vivid imagination that can assist you in becoming a good writer or story-teller.

Strong in your opinions, you always tend to think you are on the right side of an issue.

There may be a tendency to scatter your energies and have a lot of loose ends in your work.

You may have significant artistic talent and be very creative.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

The Secret to Great Cooking

Being an incredible cook, I feel it is my duty to share with the world the secret of my success. Michael is constantly bragging about my cooking. He especially likes bragging about it to friends whose wives or girlfriends CAN not or WILL not cook for them. Like yesterday, our friend Mike (actually half the guys we know are named Mike, it gets very confusing) from next door mentions that his wife does not cook. She buys frozen dinners and she’s really good at thawing and nuking… but cooking? Nada. So of course Michael proceeds to brag about my skills in the kitchen.

Now it should be noted that I have had my fair share of failures in the kitchen. But you see that is part of my secret. I come from a family of great cooks. My grandmother had nine children and I would say that all but one of them are outstanding cooks. And the one that isn’t is not surprisingly the youngest of the siblings my “Auntie Burnswater”… And why should Auntie B have bothered to learn to cook when all her brothers and sisters were doing all the cooking? However where she lacks in cooking skills, she more than makes up for in her ability to clean up the kitchen like nobody’s business.

And in my generation this talent has thus far proven to have a genetic predisposition amongst me and my cousins regardless of gender. With the boys there is not the least bit of shyness or awkwardness when entering the kitchen. And they have an amazing ability to use terms like “Bundt cake pan” and “julienne” without once causing the listener to think “metrosexual.” And all of us who got the “Hummin’ Gene” as I shall call it (as in “Uncle T that roast pork with burgundy glaze is hummin’! MmmmmMMMM!”), all of us have our “family specialty.” It’s that one thing that we HAVE to make for family gatherings or everybody will just complain because it’s not there. Like Aunt P’s apple cake, uncle J’s mac-n-cheese, Uncle D’s Peking duck, or cousin P’s yam & apple casserole. For me it’s stuffed or sauteed mushrooms and various veggie dips.

But what is the secret? - you ask and where did it come from? After deep reflection on my youthful memories of my grandmother’s kitchen I have determined that the secret of being a great cook came from my grandmother’s pizza. Now, maybe you wouldn’t think that a tiny black woman from North Carolina could make a delicious mouthwatering pizza so good it could make an Italian cry with joy … and in this case you’d be RIGHT. My grandmother was a fantastic cook but she could not make pizza to save her LIFE! It was the worse pizza in the world but she kept making it at least twice a month for YEARS. It NEVER got really good. It did however get better. Gradually the soggy-doughed sloppy pan pizzas gave way to something that actually resembled something pizza-ish. We ate it sometimes, and sometimes we fed it to the neighbor’s dog. But more importantly we learned an important lesson about being a good cook.

The secret: Be fearless. That’s it. Just start throwing stuff together. Use your imagination and experiment. If it turns out to be crud you can always feed it to the dog. But don’t quit. Just try it over and over until you get it right. If you are nervous, then start with a basic recipe for something and adlib a few changes. Believe me, it may take a while, but you will eventually be a fantastic cook.

But if you are hopeless here are a few extra tips:
1. Baking soda makes cookies spread out, Baking powder makes them poof up.
2. Never put ginger in a sweet potato pie
3. If you can perfect just ONE sauce and just ONE dessert, you can make the whole world think you are a gourmet chef.
4. Steal everyone’s best recipes (my famous stuffed mushrooms are totally stolen)
5. Use the 3 spice rule. If you are winging it never put more than 3 spices on anything (not counting salt and pepper). This will keep everything from tasting the same and help teach you what each spice really tastes like.
6. Less is more (you can always add more of something like salt but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.)
7. To make a kick-ass spaghetti sauce add 2-3 tablespoons of dark molasses… trust me you will be worshipped for that one.
8. Get one of those Tupperware choppers and you will be a chopped salad god or goddess instantly
9. Almost any salad dressing can be used as a marinade you just have to pace yourself
10. Berries! Put fresh or slightly roasted berries of your choice on just about any meat and you will hear all kinds of oohing and aahing.

Now who can guess what I made for dinner last night?

Update: I almost forgot this one tip... If you create something spectacular WRITE IT DOWN. It could become your personal specialty.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cause I saw on Sara's blog and thought it was cool...

You Have A Type A- Personality


You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hello, My Name is GWAA and I am a Blog-a-holic

I'm becoming a blog-a-holic. I've begun compulsively reading people's blogs and commenting. Poor Unseen Blogger must be getting sick of me by now. But he is very smart and good to spar with plus he always shares weird lessons he learned over the weekend. Blogit's Journal always had interesting things to say, and makes me laugh with his cute cat pictures. And I could spend hours reading Dada Head (mainly because it would take hours to read his prolific and intellectual posts. Hell some times he's so far over my head I can't tell if I agree with him or not!) And Sara, damn feels like I've known her forever (and in internet years it probably is forever)-- that is a seriously real and down to earth woman.

But really people, I'm not getting anything done at work. And my poor honey hasn't had dinner before 8pm any night this week - which is actually normal, but still. Here I am blogging when I have tons of shit to do. Is there a 12-step program for blogging?

Well, at least I'm not watching T.V. I guess that's something.... oh wait isn't there a CSI on tonight? Gotta go...BYE!

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Police handcuffing a 5 year old girl!!!!
You've GOT to be shitting me!

This is ridiculous. Now I don't have kids but I've done a fair amount of baby-sitting for friends and family and honestly that girl was not behaving any worse than any other 5 year old. I mean it's not like she pulled a knife or a gun or something.

And it looked to me like the teacher was doing a great job of getting her under control. Sometimes it can take an hour to calm down a child that’s really upset. The teacher was able to do it in a 1/2 hour and the girl was calm.

Now how in the hell do you need 3 --- that's THREE! --- cops to handcuff a 5 year old? I don't give a shit how bad she was being (and she WAS acting out) but unless she had a grenade those cops were OUT OF LINE.

That kid is going to be traumatized severely by that. She’ll likely be terrified of police. God it just breaks my heart and pisses me off. I hope her parents sue the shit out of the police for that. And that’s hard for me to write because I do believe most police officers are good and caring but this shit is going TOO FAR!

I mean damn, what’s next? Shackles for newborns, a taser-gun for toddlers? WTF is wrong with our law enforcement officers? Is this what happens when racial profiling goes unchecked? Or are we putting our trust in a bunch of equal opportunity whack-jobs?

And why the hell did the teacher call the cops on a 5 year old for that matter? Even if she called them before she got the girl under control, why call the cops at all? She’s a baby for God’s sake not a rabid pitbull or an armed terrorist! Hell, call child services if you must call someone, but not the police!
SHE’S A 5 YEAR OLD!!!!!!!!

Damn, this shit really burns my ass.
THE VIDEO (note there's a 30sec commercial before the AP video starts)
If you have aol view the video here , and you can see the terror in the child's face (I guess AOL doesn't have any qualms about protecting the identity of a minor, but hey, you don't have to sit through a commercial.)


There is a God! The Sponge Is Back Ladies. Thank you Jesus! I'm doing the happy dance right now.

I have been praying for the sponge to come back and God has answered my prayers.
(Of course if contraception is a sin, then He's just confusing the living shit out of me!)

Friday, April 22, 2005

Don’t Hate Me Because I’m (black &) Beautiful!

This blogging is fun and educational too . I’ve read some really thought provoking and challenging stuff. And some pretty funny stuff too. Fortunately I don’t really take myself too seriously or I might be overly sensitive to the things people write. But I like that I can be wrong. Not that I have been wrong about anything! I’m not saying that…nope… no surrender here…boy-o! Just that I CAN be.

I really AM trying to figure it out. Understand my own mind. Vent my mindless and mindful frustrations at the world. I like the dialog with myself and others.

But I guess I do have my hot button. A few weeks ago there was a yahoo article on how Camden NJ is the most dangerous city in the US. My home town, of course. And you know they have to throw in quotes from the most uneducated person they can find; complete with bad grammar and all. And yes Camden is a very black city ethnically.

So I’m reading the posts and comments… about 900 or so of them (I only read about a third). And nearly 80% of them are racist rantings. It really scares me how much mindless racism there is. I don’t knock anybody’s free speech. But it’s heart breaking to know that there’s so many people who hate you just for being black. I mean I read that thing almost 3 weeks ago and it still bugs me.

Damn! It makes me look over my shoulder and wonder what people are saying about me. Wonder if my neighbors are training rifle sites on my bedroom window. Bad enough I’m black, and living in a nice neighbor, but marrying a white man no less…I’m like the scourge of the earth for these people.

They would think I stole my Ivy League education from some more deserving white kid. Forget that I had 3.8 GPA and extracurricular and community service activities up the ying -yang. Forget that I had no scholarship cash at all. Forget that I worked three jobs, and increased my course load in order to finish a semester ahead of my peers. Forget all that; it must have been affirmative action because all us brown skinned people are ignorant monkeys. That’s the kind of stuff these people think.

I don’t get it. And I’m not sure I want to. I’m just saying is all. (Okay I swear this is my last post today. )

Wishful Thinking: Benedict’s Speech On His Hitler Youth Past

I was going to make this point on dada’s blog , but since it’s kinda long I’ll make it here. I don’t like that our new Pope was a member of the Hitler youth. I really don’t like it. However I am taking it for granted that he has done as much as can be done to make up for it. I say that based solely on the fact that so many Jewish leaders seam to have made statements of forgiveness and acceptance in his favor.

However it would do a whole hell of a lot for me as a Catholic to hear him own up to it and not make excuses for it. We are living in troubling times. We need a leader who will encourage Catholic youth to take responsibility for standing up to injustice.

So I have taken the liberty of writing the speech that I would truly like to hear him give. PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS NOT ANYTHING THE POPE HAS ACTUALLY SAID! So don’t go emailing it around saying he made this speech. It’s just that if he were to make a speech like this, I would think he was the coolest person on the planet and he would immediately be elevated to JP2 status in my mind. Here is the speech I’d like to hear…

“My brothers and sisters, you have heard it said that I was a member of the Hitler Youth as a young boy. You have also heard me say that I was pressed into this service against my will. But there is something I have learned over the years, something I must share with you. While as a boy I told myself I had no choice, I must accept now that I DID have a choice. I had a choice to hold fast to my faith in God rather than cling to my fears of persecution. I joined the hand of evil out of fear. And for that I have done and will continue to do penance for the remainder of my days.

“I ask you all to forgive me for that transgression. But do not excuse the reality of it or forget how devastating that choice was. That I have been elevated to this office is a reflection of God’s grace and not of my own merit. I know now that had I stood up in the face of evil, God’s hand was able to preserve me. And oh how I wish I had such a triumph to boast of in His name. Now perhaps my actions as a member of the Hitler Youth did not lead directly to the deaths of innocents, I do not believe they did but I will never know. And neither will I ever know if my steadfast resistance would have been a beacon that might have caused another to have the courage to rescue one of the persecuted from the jaws of death. For it is not only our wrong actions that aid evil, but the absence of right actions too can bring death.

“I tell you this because the world even now is fighting a fierce battle. Poverty, injustice and war are facing us at every turn. I speak now to the hearts of young people. Learn from my mistakes now. I was blessed in being given a second chance. But I do not want you to risk your souls as I did. And I cannot bear that you should have to live with the burden that I must live with.

“Let no one tell you that you have no choice. Let no one say that you must act against your moral conscience. Let not the threat of death or ridicule be the deciding factor in whether you act rightly. Stand up to oppression. Speak the truth. Suffer bravely and do not remain idle when your brothers and sisters are persecuted. When you see injustice in your neighborhoods and in distant lands, hold fast to the hand of God and He will preserve you.”

Now seriously that is what I would like to hear. Don’t you think it sounds Papal? Even if you don’t like his views on abortion, contraception, homosexuality and women in the priesthood, you’d have to respect somebody who would own up to it and not excuse his past. I know I would. Maybe I should email this speech to the Vatican suggestion box.

A Little Self Reflection

I’ve been mad at myself lately. I haven’t been writing the stories and poetry that I used to write. It was my way of defining myself and my direction in life. But I don’t do it any more. Not much anyway.

I watch too much t.v. that’s my problem. I like t.v. I really do, it's like storytime. I always liked it when I was a kid and I and my aunts Jean & Rita (who were only a few years older than me) would lay awake at my grandmother’s house and tell stories. I would go first because I was the low rung on the bunk bed (actually I was in the roll-away trundle bed.) Then Rita in the middle bunk. And then, if she wasn’t faking sleep, Jean would go. I loved that.

Then I discovered a station that would rebroadcast radio programs from like the 40s late at night and I would listen to that. That’s why I like stories so much. And it’s why I have closure issues. I always need to see how it ends. I’ll keep watching the most awful dreck just because I need know the ending. But the problem is it sucks up my time and I don’t do what I really want.

All those novels that have been written and re-written in my mind are still sitting there. I’m not writing and it bugs me. And then it occurs to me that I’ve been writing a lot on this here blog. I mean A LOT. Maybe God has found a way to trick me into writing again. I was so bitter with myself for not writing. Kind of spiritually embarrassed so to speak. You know, like when you should have called your grandma for her birthday but forgot and then you feel stupid so you don’t call her after. And then 3 months later you’re just mortified that you’ve gone so long without calling her so just put it off some more. It’s like that.

So maybe I need to just relax a little. I do find myself jarringly relaxed when I post this stuff… hmmm, jarringly relaxed? Oxymoron? But that’s how it feels. I like that there are so many passionate people who blog. I don’t always agree with people but it’s nice to get a look into living minds and into souls that are so wonderfully vibrant in the midst of a sometimes cloudy world. It really does make me feel blessed. Maybe it’s the connections I sense but I think it’s something more too. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one that doesn’t have all the answers. It’s nice to be a little cocky, knock yourself down a bit and then pick yourself up and rebuild. It gives me a sense of order but a more natural one than the rigid success-at-all-costs-never-admit-to-failure one that I impose on myself.

Sometimes life just seems so random. I meet people in person and there is automatically this wall of protection we all put up. But here I deliberately take that down (for the most part) and I create a (pretty much) safe place to discover myself. Anybody that wants stop by is welcome. But mainly I just want to figure out the next step. Because the world is chaotic right now – war, disease, poverty, injustice – and I want to know what I should be doing to make it better or at the very least not to make it worse. Of course, I admit, I like to have a place to act out and be stupid while I’m contributing to society, but I think it’s pretty clear (mostly clear?) when I’m doing that.

Oh my gosh! I just realized something. This is exactly how I feel when I’m praying. I mean really praying as opposed the static Our-Father-Now-I-Lay-Me-Down-To-Sleep-God-Is-Good-Bless-Mommy-and-Daddy prayers.

(Okay, Lord, there you go. You’ve definitely tricked me into writing again and found a sneaky way to get me to pray more. Nice move, I’m impressed.)

Yup blogging is definitely Divine. I just can’t wait to see how this story ends.

Venting is From God...

God is Holy and the Creator of Virtues. Blogging is Venting. Bitching about life on your blog is, therefore a virtue.

I know venting is from God because I read the whole book of Job. It is a blog. In fact it is probably the original blog. It should be called JOBLOG. People always think of Job as being patient… it was his oft quoted “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” “Oh how patient he was,” say our Sunday school teachers. But they didn’t read the whole thing. They just skip to the end where this imaginary patience is rewarded with a restoration of all that he was screwed out of.

But I personally think he was being sarcastic. Because if you read the rest of it he proceeds to bitch about his life chapter after chapter. Complaining about the raw deal he’s getting. And he doesn’t sound all that patient either. For the life of me I don’t know how his computer didn’t get struck by lightening because his rant was borderline heresy.

His buddies post comments on JOBLOG trying to cheer him up by telling him that he’s an evil sinner and that he has to be humble and repent of whatever the heck he did wrong and everything will be alright. But he just rages on in post after post because he knows damn well he didn’t do anything. He may not have been in on the whole God-Satan wager, but he has a pretty good idea that he’s the kinda guy God should be bragging about to his friends and enemies not devasting with boils, poverty and the loss of all his progeny. He sees everybody else, including his self-righteous friends being bastards but they aren’t getting screwed like he has. "WTF!", Joblogs.

He continues raging on about the unfairness of it all until finally God posts his own thundering comment on JOBLOG. Under the ubiquitous pseudonym IAM the big guy basically tells Job’s buddies to STFU! And he Blogs-off on Job too, effectively putting him in his place. And do you know what? Job does not apologize. Hell no, it’s JOBLOG, after all, God’s just posting a comment. Sure he’s humbled but he doesn’t repent one single word of his bloggy bitch session. And you know something else? God REWARDS him for it. God makes him richer and more successful than ever, makes him healthy as a horse and apparently horny too because he proceeds to reproduce the dozen or so kids that were cruelly taken from him at the start of his ordeal (or maybe the litter of kids was partly meant to punish Job's Harpy of a wife for basically kicking him when he was down). And to this day we hold Job up as a paragon of human virtue.

So you see fellow bloggers we are not alone! And we are not vain fools tossing our arrogance out into the void. We are, rather, Saints! Virtuous orators of the information age… raging against injustice… raging against our occasionally shitty (but mostly tolerable and sometimes kinda nice) lots in life… raging even against God himself on occasion. And we will be rewarded– perhaps after a little divine bitch-slapping but rewarded none-the less!

I don’t know about the rest of you but I feel truly BLES-SED and dare I say…Holier Than Thou. I am going to go light a candle to myself now and pray that lightening does not strike my computer as soon as I hit the “Publish Post” button.

Please Mr. Trump, Fire Craig!

I love The Apprentice. I have to say that this is the only reality show that IMHO is worth anything. (I secretly watch those wife swap shows from time to time too, but I just feel so dirty afterward.) I love Donald Trump; bad hair, overstuffed ego, audaciously pompous interior design and all. I just LOVE that man!!! He so unapologetically self serving. In a world of self-righteous megalomaniacs who start wars in a limp effort to veil their painfully obvious profiteering, Donald Trump is just refreshing somehow, he really is.

That said, I ask The Donald to please fire Craig. That man is an ass. While I think Kendra is a bit inexperienced and really needs to learn how to shut down idiots like Craig, her inexperience has hardly been a detriment to her. I mean she won that car brochure task almost single handedly. Come ON!!! Give the girl a break. You would think she would have earned his respect on that.

But no, dumbass Craig continues to patronize her at every turn. And his being black isn't making up any slack with this Sista! I realize of course, that the show is edited for maximum drama and that there is probably a whole lot more going on; but I can't speak to what's on the cutting room floor.

Here's my take on the televised Craig. When he has a brilliant idea like the box in the Home Depot task he sucks at articulating it. When he has no idea like the Staples task last night he gets all patronizing and starts talking vaguely about "conceptualizing" and everyone being "held accountable to their concepts" or some such crap. WTF!!! Somehow I don't think that 10 minutes of silent conceptualizing is gonna play well in Donald Trump's REAL boardroom while they are trying to make a billion dollar deal.

The only reason they won the task is because Tana and Kendra took point and got a focus group going in spite of him. He did nothing. They basically just humored him and took over the task.

I'm sure that the guy is brilliant. I'm sure that his style of leadership works great in some situations. It's probably perfect when he is the boss/owner and everyone under him is 15 years old and thinks he's the cat's pajamas. But he is a grown man dealing with other grown-ups whose egos are just as big as his. He needs to adapt his management style. And if he doesn't have any ideas he had at least better learn to listen critically (not criticizing-ly) to other peoples ideas. I mean what was that whole silent brainstorming session about?!!! It's like the business equivalent of a time out. Sheeesh!!!

In any case I am sure that who ever puts these guys through the paces during the interviews is going to see through Craig right away. I'm betting (hoping) he will lopped off after that. I figure Tana is a shoe-in for the final two. She'd basically have to sleep through the interview process not to make it. That sister is sharp!

As for the other two. I think Kendra deserves to be in the final 2 -- after all if my count is right she's only been on a losing team 3 times, Craig and Tana have lost 4 times and Alex is a 7 time loser. On the car brochure task 3 people fell asleep Craig and Tana on their team and Alex on his. If Kendra hadn't busted her ass they would have lost. And that was one of the few tasks during the 13 weeks where the sponsor decided to use the product created. That said I don't think she'll make it because Alex is more cutthroat as evidenced by his ruthless, and almost gladiatorial, decimation of Bren (his brother) in the boardroom last night. Of course, Bren was clearly giving up half way through so it was an easy kill.

So I think it SHOULD be Tana and Kendra but will more likely be Tana and Alex in the final two. And I think Tana will kick ass and be the Apprentice -- and probably the most deserving one so far to boot. When I think about it, it's probably better that Alex be in the final two because from a pure entertainment standpoint it will be more fun watching that arrogant fool hang himself. I think it would be too painful watching Kendra choke on the final task and I think, in the absence of Tana's steady guidance she would do just that. Or maybe I'm taking all this nonsense WAY too seriously.

Aww MAN!! I just wasted 45 minutes writing on this crap. So much for shifting my priorities to important things.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I Am So Shallow

I’ve been in a bad mood all day. We missed our appointment at church again. So that means I’ve been late every day this week. I know everybody thinks I’m slacking off. I hate that. Plus I realized that Saturday’s vanity visit to the laser hair removal center is having an ugly side effect. Three ugly burns on my bikini line. They say it’s normal and it will fade but it looks horrible. I can’t believe I spent money on this. I am such an ass. I keep telling myself that putting an end to painful ingrown hairs is worth the suffering. But I’m wavering now because I look like I a sat in a hot oiled frying pan.

Mostly I’m realizing what a vain jerk I’ve become. Less than a year ago we could barely make house payments and our credit was circling the drain. Now we get a little bit of money (and I do mean “little”) and we are both acting like we hit the jackpot. Before we know it we are going to be broke again. At least Michael is buying stuff for the house (stuff we don’t need, but for the house at least) unlike selfish me who buys stuff mostly for me. Sure I spend money on clothes for him and vet bill for the cats, but the majority of the money I’ve been wasting is for shoes and clothes and vanity crap for me.

I can hardly stand myself. And then there are people in the world who are really struggling to hold it together while I, the self absorbed profligate, bemoan the fact that he still hasn’t picked out an engagement ring even though we’ve been legally married for almost a year. Truth is I get embarrassed not having a nifty rock to show to my friends. How selfish. How stupid. I need to take a long hard look at my priorities and do a little shifting.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Am I Asking Too Much?

It’s fun to be judgmental. I mean really fun to walk around acting like you know it all. It’s great laughs to make fun of the people you disagree with when they are not around. You can gleefully tell yourself and other likeminded folks what fools those mortals be, as if you had painted God into your own private corner.

So why doesn’t it give me joy? Shouldn’t fun and joy be the same? Well clearly not, or I else I would be blissed out right now. I have a superiority complex just like everybody else – but mine is much better, of course. I know that I should be more humble. More aware. More in the moment. Less obsessed with who is right, who will win or who will get their butt stomped by karma or divine justice first. I think the end of the world is just around the corner. Or maybe it’s never coming and we can just act like idiots and screw each other because eternity is way off and the worst that can happen is that you come back as a slug or an ameoba in the slime on the belly of a slug. In which case there's no where to go but up. But still it's a tedious way to get to enlightenment.

I want to get up early in the morning and make a cup of coffee. Take it out to the yard and sit on one of the big boulders on the hillside and just be me in the middle of creation while God paints a morning sky. I want to forget that there is anything apart from me in the world and just take for granted that I don’t have to be a saint or a prophet or a celebrity writer. I’d like to see a day where I don’t once hold my breath or suck the air through my teeth in frustration at my brother and sister humans. I’d like to turn off the t.v. and not be so startled by the silence that I dive headlong for the remote. I’d like to consciously enjoy a moment of peace for longer than a moment before my mind wanders off in search of my worries. I'd like to forget everything I know and for once laugh in anticipation of all that I still have to learn.

Is that too much too ask?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

A Very Candid Rant On My Pet Peeve Of The Day

There’s a radio commercial being played for a car company that starts out with a clever Oscar Wilde quote and then ends with the most insanely stupid adage I’ve ever heard. Apparently it’s a famous quote that’s been ascribed to many sports figures from Mohammad Ali to Babe Ruth to Dizzy Dean. Although most of the websites I looked up just called it an old Texas adage.

It goes like this… “It ain’t bragging, if you can do it.”

Uh… I may be pointing out the obvious here, but if you CAN DO IT, it’s STILL bragging. In fact to brag about something you pretty much have to be able to do it.

The Oxford American Dictionary defines it this way:
Brag: to talk boastfully : to boast about
And if we look up boast here’s what we find:
Boast: to declare one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities with indulgent pride and satisfaction.

There you see; to brag about something is to talk in a self-indulgent way about what you CAN do. A more linguistically accurate statement might be “it ain’t exaggerating, if you can do it.” Or better yet, “it ain’t bluffing, if you can do it.”

This bugs me because, there are kids out there listening to this dumbass commercial who are going to think that bragging is the same as bluffing. They are not going to pull out a dictionary and check. Trust me. I know. I tutored high school kids on the SAT verbal for years. Kids are lazy. They won’t look it up.

A perfect example is the word “candid.” It’s on every SAT. EVERY YEAR!!! And tons of kids get it wrong. Why? Because they immediately think of Candid Camera. They assume that because the “camera” was hidden that the word “candid” means hidden or secret. It happened with every single kid I ever tutored. And that’s exactly why the geniuses that write the SAT’s put it on the test – to trip up the kids who were too lazy to look it up.

When I tell them that “candid” means honest or truthful, they are totally shocked. I try to explain that the show was called “Candid Camera” because it was able to capture people’s honest reactions to bizarre situations when they think no one is looking. Now I don’t blame Candid Camera for this mass confusion amongst our nation’s youth. After all, the name DOES make sense, as long as you know what the word really means.

But that inane “bragging” adage just isn’t logical. It’s stupid. It redefines a word to practically mean the opposite of what its actual definition is.

Well, that’s what I get for being a writer. I’m way too sensitive about the abuse of words. (Unless I’m the one abusing them. In that case it’s art.)

Quid Agitur, Medicus?

Loose Latin to English translation: "What's Up, Doc?"

I guess Elmericus Maximus Fuddicus was a little more successful than his descendent.

Remains of Roman rabbit dinner unearthed in England

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The "P" Word & Catholic Clergy

Catholic Women Still Press for Ordination

Back before I was a Catholic growing up in the AME church in Jersey, there was a woman minister that came to our church and preached a sermon. Now I realize that I was just a teenager but I have to say that what she preached on didn’t make one bit of sense to me. She just ranted and raved punctuating everything with “praise the lord,” “get right with God” and “HALLELUJAHH!!!!” She wasn’t shrill. She just didn’t make a logical argument for her scriptural interpretation. And everybody thought she was great. I was appalled. I kind of resented her for it. I’m not sure why.

I know it’s not fair, but that really turned me off on women in the clergy. I think maybe subconsciously a male only clergy is part of what attracted me to Catholicism, although it certainly wasn’t the deciding factor. In fact for a long time I sided with the male only ideology for that reason. I still do to be honest. But I’m trying to stay open minded.

I can’t help but think that one bad apple shouldn’t spoil things for everyone. And what if the passionate insistence of the women who champion this cause is a direct reflection of their receiving “the call” to priesthood.

And then I counter my own argument with, “well isn’t that what becoming a nun is for?” Maybe these women should be lobbying for an expansion in reach of the cloistered calling. But of course there’s a fundamental difference between priests and nuns that I’m smart enough to realize but not educated enough to define. Basically I suspected that it came down to the “p” word… POWER. (What did you think I was gonna say?) I figured that nuns are kind of like monks. Living a holy life within the church serving the people yet separate. Whereas a priest is the pastor of the flock. Making decisions that effect the people individually and as a whole. That was my guess. But really I didn’t know. So I wondered what the heck IS the difference? I looked it up. Here’s what I found on the online Pocket Catholic Dictionary (a wealth of knowledge faster than you can make the Sign of the Cross). It turns out I was pretty much on the mark with my guess.

Priest: An authorized mediator who offers a true sacrifice in acknowledgment of God's supreme dominion over human beings and in expiation for their sins. A priest's mediation is the reverse of that of a prophet, who communicates from God to the people. A priest mediates from the people to God.
Christ, who is God and man, is the first, last, and greatest priest of the New Law. He is the eternal high priest who offered himself once and for all on the Cross, a victim of infinite value, and he continually renews that sacrifice on the altar through the ministry of the Church.
Within the Church are men who are specially ordained as priests to consecrate and offer the body and blood of Christ in the Mass. The Apostles were the first ordained priests, when on Holy Thursday night Christ told them to do in his memory what he had just done at the Last Supper. All priests and bishops trace their ordination to the Apostles. Their second essential priestly power, to forgive sins, was conferred by Christ on Easter Sunday, when he told the Apostles, "For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained" (John 20-22, 23).
All the Christian faithful, however, also share in the priesthood by their baptismal character. They are enabled to offer themselves in sacrifice with Christ through the Eucharistic liturgy. They offer the Mass in the sense that they internally unite themselves with the outward offering made by the ordained priest alone.

(Notice that at first they say “authorized mediator” in other words ordained but later they say “all the Christian faithful” “share in the priesthood.” Gosh, my guy-only argument is feeling a bit shaky. )

Friar: A brother. Originally a form of address in general use among the Christian faithful, as is clear from the frequent references to “brother” and “brethren” in the New Testament writings. Later the term came to be used more exclusively by members of religious orders, and finally, since the thirteenth century, it referred to those who belonged to one of the mendicant orders, mainly the Franciscans and Dominicans, although extended to others in the monastic tradition. Strictly speaking, however, a friar differs from a monk in that his ministry engages him in work outside the monastery, whereas traditionally the prayer and labors of a monk are identified within the monastery to which he belongs. (Etym. Old French frère, freire, brother; Latin frater, brother)

Monk: Originally a hermit or anchorite, but already in the early Church applied to men living a community life in a monastery, under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, according to a specific rule, such as that of St. Basil or St. Benedict. (Etym. Greek monachos, living alone, solitary.)

I also found this definition of monk: “a monk is one called to seek God…. Many monks are ordained to the priesthood, which means they can celebrate Mass and administer the sacraments. They are addressed by the title of Father. But there are also many monks that while feeling called to a monastic life do not experience the call to priesthood. They are addressed by the title of Brother. Some brothers eventually become priests, but it is not uncommon for a monk to remain a brother for his entire religious life.”

Nun: In general, a member of a religious institute of women, living in a community under the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. More accurately, nuns are religious women under solemn vows living a cloistered, contemplative life in a monastery

Notice how long the definition is for Priest compared to Nun, Monk and Friar. In fact NUN is the shortest definition of all. Basically they are called to contemplate, that's it. "Jesus loves you, now just sit there and think about it, Sister." Sure they serve the community. But the sacraments are the power source. And the sacraments still belong in the testosterone zone. But God, Himself (or Herself) claims to be “no respecter of persons”, i.e. we’re all the same. So now it starts to get a little fuzzy. I mean who are we to deny a God given calling? And since a man doesn’t have to become a monk to be a priest, then the logical conclusion is that a woman should not have to become a nun to be a priestess.

I’m sure it’s no coincidence that the sacrament givers are the top power brokers. So basically women’s equality in the church boils down to exactly what it boils down to in the secular world, P-O-W-E-R. Like it or not women are going to interpret things differently. I suspect the first brick to crack in the Catholic doctrine wall would be birth control. And if that happens what’s gonna go next? Could the crown jewel of anti-abortion be in jeopardy? (That would be a long shot, but I’m sure our boys at the Vatican don’t want to take any chances.)

Personally I get it. I really do. We should be brave enough as a church to let God’s call land where ever God aims it instead of deflecting it with fears of the theological and doctrinal ramifications. But I don’t know if we are there yet. Or maybe we are and we just don’t like it one bit. Is it stubbornness that makes me want to ignore my own logic? Or is it some spiritual instinct that's directing me to stay faithful to current church doctrine? I wish I knew myself better. I wish I knew God better.

I think a better battle to wage should be in favor of married priests. I am totally for that. We need more of them. It’s biblically sound and it’s got precedence in church history, so what’s the big deal? It sure would help take the “edge” off for some of our stressed out (read: horny) priests. And maybe not make us so desperate for clergy that we’d actually harbor pedophiles in our midst. And if they are worried about the distraction factor, then why not limit their career aspirations to something like bishop or archbishop. You could restrict them from remarriage in the case of divorce (which would be a given, I think). But at least it would allow married men to answer their calling. And in today’s world a priest who has that kind of relationship experience could provide a lot of insight.

I’d love to know what you other folks think about it. Convince me. Or at least give me something else to think about.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Be The Bastard: Zen & The Art of Breaking Up

I’m going to write a book with that title. You know how in sports they coach kids with that Zen-inspired saying “be the ball.” In other words, don’t think too much just be one with the game. I think when men and women are ready to go their separate ways they should be willing to be the bastard.

I reflect now upon my distant dating history. How many times did guys perform the “fade-away breakup maneuver.” You know the move when he starts canceling dates. Stops returning calls. And starts acting like you holding his hand in public or sending a thank you note to his mom for the birthday gift she sent you is a thinly veiled shot gun in his back to get him down the aisle. The next thing you know you haven’t been on a date in 2 weeks and he acts like you’re a telemarketer when you call him. It gradually dawns on you that you are single. You spend the next 6 weeks trying to figure out what you did to drive him away. You question your self worth, your identity, your femininity. Your rebound relationship dies out of the gate because you still haven’t found your balance. Eventually time heals you by fading your memory and getting you lonely enough (or maybe horny enough) that you just say “screw it” and move on.

Women do it too. Only the move is more psychological and it’s called the “are-you-breaking-up-with-me? breakup maneuver.” Remember this one fellas… You buy her flowers and she reminds you she has allergies (since when?), you take her out to dinner and ask the waitress for a clean fork because yours is dirty and your woman grills you “you think she’s pretty don’t you? Prettier than me?” You pour the wine for her and she makes a remark that implies that you think she’s weak. Later at her place you forget to use a coaster under your glass and she bursts into tears and whimpers “you’re breaking up with me aren’t you?” You deny it but she’s ready with a whole log book of “signals” you’ve been giving off. You deny everything, but that just pisses her off because you must think she’s stupid or something. Finally she kicks you out. You’re standing outside her door wondering what happened. You know you’re single but you’re just not sure who dumped who.

This is stupid, wasteful behavior people. The only reason we do this is so we don’t have to do the asshole thing and initiate the break up. We don’t want to hear the words, “you’re such a bastard!” Because we’d have to defend our egos by using the old “it’s not you it’s me,” line. And we all know how worn out that is. Just tell the truth. Don't think about it, just be one with the breakup...BE THE BASTARD.

“It not ME, it’s YOU. YOU are not the one for ME. End of story. I didn’t know that at the start of the relationship. But I know that now. I figured it out last week in fact but I hung in there for a few days just to be sure. I really don’t see this as long term relationship; so I’m cutting you loose. Sayonara, sister!”

Try to avoid giving an explanation if possible. Do NOT say it’s because you’re just not ready (even if that’s the truth) because that’s just saying “if you hang in there I may be ready someday.” Which isn’t really true. The truth is you will not be ready for her or him ever in this lifetime. You might be ready for the next cutie that comes along though.

If the reason is shallow and superficial don’t give any explanation. Don’t say it’s because he has a receding hairline or because he drives a crappy car. Don’t tell her it’s because she has voice like Fran Drescher or she can’t cook to save her life. No matter how much they beg for an explanation if it’s something personal that they can’t change don’t give it. You could do irreparable damage. Being the bastard doesn't mean you have be a sadistic prick.

If the reason is personal, like your career, or your religion, or the fact that you don’t think marriage is the natural state of the human animal, then by all means share. But don’t be lured into a philosophical debate on it.

If you’ve been in the relationship longer than six months you’re gonna have to come up with something good. If you’ve been going out longer than 2 years, have the paramedics on speed dial, just in case.

The object here is to give your ex something to focus their hate on without turning it into a self-destructive or stalker-retribution rage. Just enough spite to let her tell her friends what a bastard you are. Just enough disgust to let him gripe to his buddies what freakin’ shrew you were. Just enough to release those broken-heart-tears while keeping the rivers of regret that can drown a person dammed up. In other words, just be the bastard!

About ten years ago I dated this one guy for two months. He was all gung ho on the relationship. We had fun together. He was cool. It was moving fast but I knew he had issues with his career (he talked about it in his sleep) and he still wasn’t over his ex (he talked about her when he was awake). I liked him but I had to point these things out to him. He didn’t think it was problem so I said okay and we continued on. Three days later he broke up with me. He’d reflected on what I said and he realized he had a whole lot of issues to deal with. He was honest straight forward and actually a little humble about it. It still hurt me.

I went to lunch with a friend of mine and bitched and cried about it. My buddy made jokes and helped me laugh. It dawned on me that he was the first guy to really break up with me. No fade away. No picking fights. Just a straight breakup. I realized how cool it was that this guy respected me enough to be straight with me. I actually sent him a letter thanking him for the nicest break-up I ever had.

Now in all fairness it would have been harder if we’d been dating longer but the idea still stands. Just man-up and be the bastard. You’ll help her get over you that much faster. It might seem unkind and you’ll feel like a dirt bag, but it’s a kind of tough love. Women too. Just take the responsibility for it and cut him loose. Don’t try the “let’s just be friends” thing. That’s the female version of the “fade-away breakup maneuver.” Just be the bastard, ladies.

I really could write a book on this. When my kids start dating the first lesson I’m going to teach them is how to break up with someone. “Just be the bastard, honey," I'll tell 'em, "be the bastard.”

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Whatever you do, don't read this....

Whatever happened to joining the peace corps for an intense experience?
We live in a world that is exceedingly full of self-conceit and foolishness.
Dear God, don't judge us by these pathetic knuckleheads.

Don't say you weren't warned!

My No Junk Poem

I had a salad and a sandwich.
And a grande vanilla latte.
All from starbucks
Just $9.

I feel nice inside.

Oilman Seeks Gusher from God in Israel

KIBBUTZ MAANIT, Israel (Reuters) - A Texas oilman is using his Bible as a guide to finding oil in the Holy Land.

[Wow, you mean a different one than the one leading the country? Hey this reminds me of a t.v show….]

John Brown, a born-again Christian and founder of Zion Oil & Gas of Dallas, can quote chapter and verse about his latest drilling venture in Israel, where his company has an oil and gas exploration license covering 96,000 acres.

[Come and listen to my story of man named John, a money hungry fella with a brand new con]

"Most blessed of sons be Asher. Let him be favored by his brothers and let him dip his foot in oil," Brown quotes from Moses's blessing to one of the 12 Tribes of Israel in Deuteronomy 33:24.
Standing next to a 54-meter (177-ft)-high derrick at Kibbutz Maanit in northern Israel, Brown said the passage indicated there is oil lying beneath the biblical territory of the Tribe of Asher, where the agricultural community is located.

[See one day he was readin’ the word of God, and suddenly discovered a neat divinin’ rod. The bible that is, the good book, Texas research.]

Geological surveys and an attempt by an Israeli-based company to find oil at the same site 10 years ago, a venture he said was abandoned for lack of funds, led Brown to pick the spot where new drilling will begin this week.

Brown said he raised money for "Project Joseph" from fellow evangelical Christians in the United States.

[Well the first thing you know ol’ John’s got a plan. His church folk said, ”hey we’re all behind ya man!”]

"From the investment standpoint, they certainly hope to have a return of the money," he said. "But the basis of it is Genesis, chapter 12."

In that passage, God promises to shower blessings on those who bless the "great nation" sired by the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

[They said “on a kibbutz is the place ya oughta be", so he loaded up his jet and he flew to Galileeeeeeeeee. Jesus country. Lots of sand and Jewish folk.]

Read the story sans commentary

Monday, April 04, 2005

I know you are, but what am I? -A (sort of) Sincere Identity Crisis

I was driving home and it hit me. Why, I wondered did it take me so long to find a man I can settle down with? I found him (contrary to what you may think after my first post of the day – which was made on behalf of my single gal friends). But why 35 freaking years to meet him? (Not that I was really looking for the first 25, but for the sake of hyperbole let’s pump up the numbers.)

In any case I know why. I was faking it. I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t with my dates; while my guy friends and girlfriends knew the truth. I wasn’t being me. I was the perfect girlfriend all along, and I was trying to be the perfect woman.

Screw being the perfect woman. I’m fantastic just being me. I don’t eat well. But that’s part of my charm. Here are just a few of the things that make Michael the luckiest guy on the planet…

1. I like action flicks. Special effects rock, who needs plot? When shit blows up or somebody makes wisecracks while they’re kicking the crap out of someone or they’re getting the crap kicked out of them – that’s entertainment!
2. Chick flicks. I like them too but leave the guys at home. I don’t want somebody squirming next to me for two hours unless it’s my cats.
3. Sports. I don’t do sports but I don’t care if the guy watches em. More free time for me to shop.
4. Beef. I like beef. Yummy!
5. I don’t do extreme weight loss. Cabbage soup diet? What the fuck is that about?
6. I like that my clothes make my ass look bigger.
7. Romantic night = smoking cigars in a Jacuzzi while doing shots of Tequila
8. Doing a striptease for your guy is fun.
9. Spiky heels suck unless they are part of your costume for number 8.
10. I’m not jealous. I don’t ask him to account for every freakin’ second of his day.
11. Dessert; see number 4.
12. I make fart jokes.
13. I fart and blame it on the cats.
14. I belch loudly and laugh about it.
15. I curse too much
16. I drive too fast
17. I think I own the road.
18. I prefer jeans to dresses.
19. I think I’m always right.
20. Blow jobs; see number 4. – nuff said.

So you see I’m really a lot like a guy. I mean I’m girly. I’m thin, feminine, soft-featured. I like a lot of girly stuff like shopping and shoes and shit like that. I get all mushy around babies. But in a lot of everyday ways I’m well… man-ish. I think that holding back on that “real me” kept me from attracting a guy that would love me for me. 3 years ago I got tired of putting on the show and almost instantly he walked into my life.

But see herein lies my identity crisis. What am I? A straight guy who has feminine qualities is now called a metrosexual in modern parlance. So what am I?

I’m straight so “dyke” is not applicable. “Butch” makes me feel like I should talk in a deep voice or something. And “tomboy” is misleading cause like I said, I don’t do sports. So what’s the catchy trendy name for gals like me? (and there are a lot of us.)

I am open for suggestions.
Anybody… anybody… Bueler?

All Junked up AGAIN!

Rant/bitch session number 2 for the day.

What the hell is my problem? I did exactly the same thing as last time only it wasn’t raining so I have no excuse for staying in. I only had 5 Oreos instead of 6 and I downed the whole pint of milk even though I know I’m friggin’ lactose intolerant.

I’d almost forgotten how good milk straight up can be - yummmmmm. Except for the nausea that follows and the lamentable stomach cramps that require amped up dosages of Maalox to keep me from accidentally doing “drive bys” on unsuspecting co-workers.

I am a nutritionally challenged moron. This almost tops waiting until the battery my car alarm remote was completely dry before replacing it. Which you know can only be discovered after you lock and arm the damn thing and then can’t turn the bastard off.

Why do I undermine myself this way? Why?!!! Why???


Okay, here’s a bitch session on behalf of my single girlfriends.

Why do people, and by people I mean, men predominantly; think of a wife and kids as the ball and chains that will put an end to their freedom? They don’t want to live by someone else’s rules, or have to sacrifice or compromise.

But, since when does freedom equate to a lack of commitment, an absence of intimacy and no responsibility? Since when does freedom mean there are no rules and no compromise? How is selfishness liberating?

They say they don’t want to get married and have a family because then they are not free to do whatever they want, whenever they want. In other words they want to spend their money on beer and toys and retain the option to stick their dicks into the most appealing hole that presents itself. But how in the hell is personal caprice and instant gratification the same thing as freedom? (Unless you're like 2-years old, or something; and aren't the "terrible two's" the result of toddlers realizing they can't have their way all the time? Sheeessh!)

Okay, say you are a single guy. Congratulations, you’re free to corrupt yourself and contract all manner of diseases in through meaningless, random uncommitted sex! Woohoo! Way to go with that freedom. You’re well on your way to becoming a dirty old man that children will make fun of and pretty young women will shun with disgust. But hey, you’ll be free.

Here the low down. If you have no rules, no compromise and no self-sacrifice you are not free. You have only chaos, strife and suffering. If you do not have responsibility, commitment and intimacy, you are not free. You are empty, aimless and lonely. Even if you have a girlfriend that you love, but you can’t commit to. You are trapped. You’ll remain trapped until you make a commitment to something.

You don’t have to get married to be free but you damn well better make a commitment to being single. And then have the courage to say so and let her make her own decisions. I hate when guys are slaves to their own misguided sense of freedom and then selfishly trap their girlfriends in a delusion of hope. That’s just plain weak.

You want to be free? Give in. That is freedom. It is a conscious, deliberate, intentional abandoning of the self to love. Love is the only truth. And we all know what the truth does. But it’s not a mindless surrender. Freedom is “giving in” not “giving up.”

When you love deeply you say to yourself “I love her totally as she loves me. My heart is at her mercy and hers is at mine. I know that because she’s not perfect one day she may hurt me or let me down. And I will almost certainly do the same. But I know that my love for her and hers for me is strong enough to overcome it.”

That is giving in to love. It becomes a truth you live by. And from that comes freedom. Think about it. Half the time we don’t try the things that we really want to do in life because we are afraid of failing so badly that people will mock us or abandon us. We don’t want to look like fools. But to give yourself over to love you are taking a courageous step. You can pursue your dreams knowing that you will always have that one person who is rooting for you win or lose. And you are proud to be the one person who is always in her audience cheering for her rain or shine. My God, doesn’t anyone see the beauty in that? Why is it so fucking hard to see?

Maybe it’s because we don’t really know what love itself is. We think we know. We think it has something to do with affection, with desire and with the pleasure we feel from the object of our love. But that’s not love.

Real love is desiring above all the things the happiness of the other. It’s that simple. That doesn’t mean your sweetheart has to be a giddy, giggling fool you have to entertain 24-7. It means that when she is broken hearted you are there to wrap your arms around her and comfort her. Not to make her forget her grief and fear but to stand by her as she faces them. Not to lavish her with gifts that sparkle, but to offer her the treasures of your deepest heart and to cherish those secrets she gives to you with a trembling voice and burning tears.

To desire her happiness above all things is cheer her on when she doubts herself. To challenge her when she’s tempted do something half-assed. To pick a fight with her when she tries to hide from a truth she needs to face. To confront her with your pain when she lets you down and be willing to forgive her even when it still stings. To bear witness to and encourage her in her struggle to become the best version of herself. And it means you must be vulnerable enough to let her into you completely so that she can do all those things for you.

The best human example of this kind of true love is parental love. Think about your parents, or your kids if you have them and read over the last two paragraphs, you’ll see what I mean. That’s why children make giving in to love so easy. Because until we have children we are never more aware of the weight of the transaction. How impossible is it for any man to hold his child for the first time and not fall hopelessly, madly in love? Every father who’s ever held his child for the first time has felt it; physically in his body something strong and rigid suddenly lets go. Something deep in his soul exhales, releases. The strong and rigid is replaced with the powerful and fluid. You can see the vow form in his eyes. “I will always protect you. I live for your happiness.” That is love.

Parental love and freedom have taxes and rewards. The screaming toddler who must be carried to the car from the department store by a red faced father, is same one who will an hour later discover the existence of butterflies with a shout of delight and awe that daddy knew exactly what that wondrous flying creature was called. It the same for married love. The wife who complains about you not helping her around the house is the same beauty who dances with you in the kitchen after the kids are asleep and later curls up next to you in bed as you share the stories of your day.

When a woman asks if you love her and if you want to be with her, that is what she wants to know. Love is the security of knowing that you both live for the happiness of each other. When you are safe and secure in that kind of love you are free indeed.