Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Smidge






At the end of the day what is it that keeps you going? At the top there’s fame, fortune and power. At the opposite end of the spectrum there’s peace, humanity and humility. What falls in-between? What falls somewhere left or right or moderately in the middle? You can talk about your career, your family and even what you ate that day. There are the aspirations you think you long for, the aspirations you know you long for and then the ideas that sort of float around your head just waiting for someone to connect with them. Are you sure of yourself? Is anyone? Then there’s that question about life and it’s meaning. Do we live to work or do we work to live? It comes down to the cultural aspects on the broadest level, trickling down to your region, your city, your neighborhood and then your family and friends. It’s a societal influence but also an economical influence. Who says the rich man can spend time with the poor man without being seen as a saint or an exploiter? Can you narrow it down to a pessimistic versus optimistic view?

He likes making money. She likes growing plants. He likes giving to his family. She likes giving to strangers. Is anyone right? Wrong? Violence prevails because some think it garners order. Others know the pain and suffering it creates and see the complete opposite. But there is no single way to solve these problems and arguments. They’re the same arguments that our ancestors of the past dealt with. The only difference is that societal interaction has complicated life generation after generation.

Should we think we’re better than the unknown tribes that still have yet to be found? The ones who live off the land and know technology – that is if the word even exists in their vocabulary – as a sharpened stick or the ignition of the campsite’s heat source? We’re civilized people, we tell ourselves, sitting at our computers and reading about the world’s news. We want to be connected, constantly know what is happening - feeding ourselves information we won’t store for more than a few days. Soon enough it will float to some odd corner of our brain, never to be touched again. That is, unless something triggers our vast memory and collection of tidbits of information. It might take a year or so for it to happen, but when it does something clicks, something resonates with you once again.

It could be a small visual you see walking down the street or the smell in the air as you sit in your car. The taste of a meal that you haven’t consumed in forever – so you tell yourself – might bring you back to that moment in the past you enjoyed so deeply.

We’re a moving bunch – a nomadic bunch of people who want to see it all and be it all. Maybe not everybody, but in the grand scheme of life it’s true. Some just stick to a closer radius than others. They cover the same ground and see the same people, but they’re still digging deeper into those few square feet or few individuals they interact with. The level of “knowing” someone or something or somewhere is dependent on what defines “knowing.”

Is knowing the ability to catalog every moment and occurrence with pinpoint accuracy? Allowing you to bring up any detail of your life faster than a Google search or Wikipedia? We like speed and ease these days, you know. Everything needs to be at our fingertips, zooming as fast as it can so we can stop waiting. Whoever said patience is a virtue probably never lived their life, right? Sitting in a lofty chair, telling others what to do while the world moves on without them. They had a preconception of what life is, when really life is all about what you experience through your own body and soul.

We are born with just ourselves and we die with just ourselves. We may come from a womb and even the joint chromosomes of our mother and father, but in the end it is just you. We meet people along the way, pick up ideas and religions, passions and desires, aspirations and goals that may or may not stem from our own thoughts. Yet our thoughts are only as good as what we have experienced. What we think is ours is merely the affect others have had on us. We form our character from whom we are around. Those wise words actually do work sometimes – “You are the company that you keep.”

How can something so catchy be so true? Or is it? It’s as true as we let it be. It’s as true as our friends and family believe, or even our enemies and strangers. We read what we want to read because it bolsters our own idea and the ideas that surround us. Fluctuating between ideas and ideals, we’re malleable and flawed. Nothing is permanent or perfect - that’s a universal consensus, right? But what’s it matter about universality when really, all we truly care about, is ourselves? Where we end up, how we present ourselves, what we do – is it selfish or is it thoughtful? Good or evil, are these the only choices? Or are we free to make what we want out of it all?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Garland






Moet & Chandon Champagne
Saint Arnold Christmas Ale
Bulleit Kentucky Bourbon
Shiner Holiday Cheer
Hot Buttered Rum
Mulled Wine
Lagavulin 16
Egg Nog
Cognac
9.4
8.4
9.2
7.1
8.0
7.0
9.7
9.0
7.7
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Gilded; Relief






Ask, and it shall be given you;
Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you

For if you ask, if you seek, if you knock
Words will flow, seekers will see and life will live
Thinking leads to thinking
Yet actions produce actions

Vous pensez, donc vous êtes

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Vortical






Picking pickled peppers produces piles-o-plenty piping peanut pubs
Sense the mensch but drench the wench, hence the pence for tipsy tense
Silly willy and double hilly, filly gilly of southern Philly

Friday, December 11, 2009

Storm, Rockin' Up A






“Go out, have a drink, make a mess, spend some money, live your life.”
- You


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gondolier






There are days to go walking and there are days to go talking.
What we tread on and whom we tread on depends on whom we’re talking to.
It can be in words or it can be in pictures.
We can hear it, breathe it, taste it.
As we use our senses to get by, day by day, we hope to adapt.
Some learn to care more for others than themselves.
Others learn to care more for themselves than others.
Comparisons like these may seem black and white, or they can seem grey.
We like comparisons just as much as we like truth, fact or a straight answer.
But what good is an answer other than the fact that this idea is based on a theory.
It’s numerical, logical, theological.
No, it’s full of patterns.
As it repeats and repeats, turns and burns and reverts back to before, we stop.
We notice.
Are we really making change? Or are we doing something better?
Hug a fellow, share some change, make a change.
Does it really boil down to the simplicities of life?
A smile on a face? A meal that warms the stomach?
We can be complicated and slick or simple and humble.
It’s balance – everything is balance.
But who controls the scales?


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sambal







“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality. There is no danger then, anyway, because the idea of the object will have left an indeliable mark.”
- Pablo Picasso

Saturday, December 5, 2009

En Garde






Rain drops pitter, her heart patters
Years go by, yet she grows fatter
Bites get grabbed, yet he keeps eating
Who the hell is even reading


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spearhead






If we question the meaning of print, then we question the necessity for a tangible form of information. For some of us, we appreciate the tactility of a newspaper, book or magazine between our fingers. We relish the smell of great paper or even the feel of fibers and ridges. Typeface is not the same when it is displayed on a monitor, projector or any digital output. It is to take something as simple as communication between two individuals and attempt to digitize what cannot be fully translated. No matter the quality of the pixels or amount of artificial interaction, how can anything replace the actual practice of interpreting what we hold or speaking to someone who is in front of us. It is not a matter of authenticity or adherence to tradition, but rather it is a completely opposite method of information intake. While the pros of the situation may outweigh the cons, in favor of the digitization of information, what will we lose as a society that continually puts our trust and neediness into the age of technological advancements? As is the question that haunts all of history and its pioneers, where do we draw the balance that benefits the majority of those who care?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Salvo






A Terrible Q & A

1. If a gherkin is a pickle and a cornichon is a gherkin; who decides what’s a pickle? And what happened to Mr. Cucumber?

2. The most annoying argument is whether the chicken or the egg came first. A real question we should ask ourselves, however, is did the sunny-side up or the scrambled egg come first? If so, what about the over easy and over well? Mr. Benedict?

3. I’ve always wondered what would happen if you bred a croque-monsieur with a croque-madame. Would you get a croque-scrambled-transgender? Or croque-broken-yolk?

4. Though it may be silly to ponder upon: If you were a blue cheese, yet you were actually a happy cheese, would you prefer bleu to blue? Or just happy cheese?

5. A classic peanut butter and jelly calls for white bread, creamy peanut butter and grape jelly. Argue it if you’d like, but that seems to be the common combination. So if we are to throw a hypothetical out there, if we substitute strawberry jelly – or heavens forbid, jam – are we committing PB&J sacrilege?

6. According to tradition, if one drops their bread in a pot of fondue, you are subject to forfeit. But how does a group of fondue folk deal with someone who intentionally drops their bread, so as to better coat it in cheese? Does that make them a glutton? Or just a masochist? Or just plain stupid?

7. Whenever chocolate gets brought up between groups of people, the common outburst – at least in the last decade – has been to lambaste milk chocolate in favor of dark chocolate. Yet the forgotten albino brother of the two always becomes the wild card. To champion white chocolate is not only a dis to the conventional creation of chocolate, as it uses solely cocoa butter, but it also puts into question the racial undertones of chocolate-ism. Really, how does Mexican chocolate come into play?

8. If a Baker’s Dozen was orignally a result of being cautious, and is now used as a way to maximize baking yields, would baking a normal dozen be considered cutting back on the carbs? Thus, in a way, creating a diet within a realm of sugar, butter and starches? Cue the jingle: “Attackin’ da Atkin?”

9. A good steak calls for a crisp outer crust and cool red center. A bad steak calls for a burnt crisp crust and warm brown center. Thus, one reminds you of an actual animal and the other reminds you of a piece of charcoal. That’s all.

10. A common form of sweetening tea is to add honey. For coffee drinkers, it is a rarity, yet it is also used to sweeten their drinks. Which brings us to hot cocoa, cider and/or mulled wine. Is it a possibility? Or does that just mean you have no taste buds? (Think: Burnt taste buds).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Portra






“Since you all have chosen to elect a man with a timber toe to succeed me, you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.”
- D. Crockett

Hu-man-ism [(h)yoo-muh-niz-uh m]
noun
1. Any system or mode of thought or action in which human interests, values, and dignity predominate.
2. Devotion to or study of the humanities.
3. (Sometimes initial capital letter) the studies, principles, or culture of humanists.
4. Philosophy. A variety of ethical theory and practice that emphasizes reason, scientific inquiry, and human fulfillment in the natural world and often rejects the importance of belief in God.

Origin:
1805-15; Human + -ism.

“An outlook or system of thought attracting prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. “

“(Often Humanism) A Renaissance cultural movement that turned away from medieval scholasticism and revived interest in ancient Greek and Roman thought,”

“(Among some contemporary writers) A system of thought criticized as being centered on the notion of the rational, autonomous self and ignoring the unintegrated and conditioned nature of the individual.”

DERIVATIVES
Hu-man-ist noun & adjective
Hu-man-is-tic adjective
Hu-man-is-ti-cal-ly adverb

“Provide me with a painter whom we can really trust, and I shall willingly allow myself to be portrayed on paper, canvas, or panel.”
- Heroine of Matteo Bandello to her Lover, 15th C.