Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Word Smiths

"Johnny Ryall"
Beastie Boys

Johnny Ryall is the bum on my stoop
I gave him fifty cents to buy some soup
He knows the time with the fresh Gucci watch
He's even more over than the mayor Ed Koch
Washing windows on the Bowery at a quarter to four
'Cause he ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more
Living on borrowed time and borrowed money
Sleepin' on the street there ain't a damn thing funny
Hand me down food and hand me down clothes
A rockabilly past of which nobody knows
Makes his home all over the place
He goes to sleep by falling down on his face
Sometimes known as the leader of the homeless
Sometimes drunk and he's always phoneless
Sleepin' on the street in a cardboard box
He's better off drinkin' than smokin' the rocks
Johnny Ryall, Johnny Ryall

He drinks where he lies
He's covered with flies
He's got the hand me down Pumas and the tie dyes
Go upstate and get your head together
Thunderbird is the word and you're light as a feather
Detox at the flop house no booze allowed
Remember the good old days with the rockabilly crowd
Memphis is where he's from
He lives in the street but he's no bum
A rockabilly star from the days of old
He used to have teeth all filled with gold
A platinum voice but only gold records
On the bass was boots on the drums was checkers
Luis Vuitton with the Gucci guitar
Johnny Ryall
Who do you think you are
Johnny Ryall, Johnny Ryall

Donald Trump Donald Tramp living in the Men's Shelter
Wonder Bread bag shoes and singing Helter Skelter
He asks for a dollar you know what it's for
Bottle after bottle he'll always need more
He's no less important than you working class stiffs
Drinks a lot of liquor but he don't drink piss
Paid his dues playing the blues
He claims that he wrote the Blue Suede Shoes
Elvis shaved his head when he went into the army
That's right y'all his name is
Johnny Ryall, Johnny Ryall

The thing about strippers

You have to understand the whole thing has almost nothing to do with sex, it just doesn’t happen like it does in the movies. It has everything to do with the feeling that you are the most important thing in the world right then and she is going to treat you like it. Not an after thought, a duty, not a job (even though it is). It’s the perception and it’s enough. Because the feeling, however temporary and superficial, that you are wanted more than anything and that want (not need) is actively demonstrated, is almost everything. Guys want it and will pay for it. Some pay for it dearly.

The often heard responses are- it’s fake, it's a job, it isn’t real. Yes, Yes, No. Ever watched a horror film that scared the poo out of you and, for the next several weeks, you left the hall light on at night? That was fake, you paid for it, but the feeling kept you awake at night, same thing. I'll bet you still watch horror movies, just to get scared.

It’s been years (before I was married) since I’ve been to a peeler bar (strip club). But to be honest, I remember those few times. Much like you probably remember the time when you met someone famous, it sticks in your head. I don’t remember the couple visits like my first time in Vegas - I wanna go back, I gotta go back- but I do remember the setting and the feelings. I won’t go into the details, honestly I don’t remember them, but I do remember she was not a 10 ((probably not even a 5)beer on board)) but for a few minutes I felt like I was the only guy in the State for a couple bucks. A cheap price to pay for something so valuable.

I understand intimacy takes effort, guys are guys, girls are girls and some things are more important to men than to women and visa-versa. I also understand some of those things are more important to find common ground on than others. You can’t have a list of anything and everything be the most important. Some things are more important to me than other things, but they are all still important. Some things may mean almost everything to one and are of little or no consequence to someone else. It’s a problem, how do you convince that person to value your list more than theirs.

Heres what I've learned: It isn’t “More than” its “Instead of”, and its never “Always”, it’s “Sometimes”. The higher their priority the more you have to be willing to set yours aside. I say I've learned this, I did not say I've mastered it.

The yearning to be wanted is powerful and to some, addictive. Like I said, some pay for it dearly. I’m not going to stick up for Eliot Spitzer or Tiger Woods, or Hugh Grant or any of the many other pin-heads who have paid a high price chasing a feeling. I’m not going to point the finger at the women in their lives as sharing any of the blame, but, those men were searching for something they couldn't find anywhere else. Maybe it was an addiction. Maybe it was the feeling of wanting to be wanted more than they felt they were needed. Big difference.

As I write this it dawned on me its kind of a suspension of reality. For a few minutes it doesn’t matter I have to get up to go to work in a few hours, the bills are due, the yards a wreck, the kids are sick, the dishes aren’t done, the clothes are dirty, the house is a mess, there is no time for anything else let alone me, and I look more like Chris Farley than Chris Isaak. It is - Nothing is more important than me, right now! All for a few bucks. Like I said, cheap. Selfish? Yup. Matter? Nope. I’ll deal with the fact they are faking later, I’m a big boy.

The feeling is important, “They” have wrote songs about it.

"I want you to want me
I need you to need me
I'd love you to love me
I'm begging you to beg me
I want you to want me
I need you to need me”

Juvenile? I don’t think so, I’m old and feel the same now as I did then. Lustful? At a peeler bar, yes. At home, no. Sinful? Peeler bar, yes, at home in the context of marriage, no way. Ever read Song of Songs? They were into it.

Me too!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The big picture

People need to understand there's a big picture in this world and accept their proper place in it. Some people believe their problem IS the big picture and everybody else should fit their particular situation into that picture. Make no mistake, they are wrong.
The sooner a person understands they have a place in this world and are able to comprehend where that place is and how they fit in, the better off they'll be. I have fallen victim to this too- the thinking that my piece of the puzzle is the puzzle, and everyone else should connect to me. The fact of the matter is, I am one piece and so are you. You are not the picture on the box. You are not the box. You are not even the glue that holds the picture to the box. You are just a piece and a small piece at that. So am I, but I get it, most people don't. That lack of understanding leads to a world full of problems. People running around selfishly thinking only they matter, it's all about them, or that the world should kowtow to their every need. Not so much.

Recently I ran headlong into a person who felt their problem was much more important than my problem, without ever stopping to ask me what my problem was. Like a bulldozer this guy rumbled on right over top of me, until the tracks fell off. I try to be a big picture guy and, contrary to their belief, had taken their problem into consideration before presenting them with mine. That didn't matter and things exploded. As this person became red-faced furious with his now evident and irrelevant piece of the big picture, the light came on. He realized I had a good reason to present my problem and that I had taken their situation into account by presenting it ahead of time, thus, allowing them the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments. He was blinded with his small piece and couldn't see past it, that possibility and opportunity was lost on them. They could not possibly understand that anything is more important to them, than them. They were very wrong, they were then, and they are now. It just took time and a tragedy to point it out!

The thing about being a piece of the puzzle is that no one piece is really necessary. Sure it's nice to have a corner or an edge, but if you don't have it, you can work around it. You have to start somewhere and their will always be a last piece, but what piece you start with, any piece in between, and the last piece is of absolutely no consequence. The pieces should all work together to accomplish a goal.

There is a strategy when dealing with many pieces of a puzzle. It's best to start with the corners and edges, I get it. I also understand if your stuck and can't figure out a certain area of the big picture, you work on the things you can, hoping one thing will lead to another. In life that's dangerous. Generally people are lazy and will gravitate to the easy parts. You know, the bright lines, the faces, and the edges. Again I get it, most don't. Just because some pieces are easy to figure out, doesn't make them any more or less important. Without every piece, the big picture is not accomplished.

If you think about it, when all but one piece of the puzzle is complete you can see the big picture. It isn't quite right, but you can see it. The one missing piece tends to draw attention to itself and will drive you nuts. You look under the table, you look in the box, you look on the chair, you look and see if somehow the piece fell into your pocket and you are responsible, but even if you never find it, you can still see the big picture. In life it's the same way and if you're selfish, your piece can turn out to be the missing piece, the one that drives everybody nuts, especially the people that can appreciate the big picture but recognize it's not quite right and something is missing.

Don't be the pinhead that thinks your piece is the most important piece. If you do, you'll soon find yourself left out of the big picture and when your piece does shows up, it won't matter because the world has moved on. I have. Now when working in a situation with that person I keep in mind I may have to work around or without him to accomplish the goal. Its annoying but doable.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Digging deep

Digging deep

Although I stand opposed to almost all of his policies thus far, I have the utmost respect for the office of the President of the United States. I believe he is truly doing what he believes to be the right thing. I believe Mr. Obama isn't being malicious in the decisions he makes. He truly believes this country needs fundamental change. I could not disagree more.

We do agree on one thing however, I believe that all deep water offshore drilling should be stopped. I don't believe we should drill deeper than the depth at which a human can safely turn a wrench or insert a cork. Instead we should be drilling holes in the dry dirt wherever oil lies beneath. From my perspective, common sense dictates you don't dig a hole you can't easily fill. Holes that are dug 5000 feet underwater are not easily filled, which leads to catastrophic problems.

When was the last time you heard of an uncontainable oil spill in Oklahoma. When was the last time an oil well gushed uncontrollably in Texas. The answer is simple, never. Even during Operation Desert Storm, when Saddam Hussein's forces intentionally set oil wells ablaze and destroyed the pipeline to carry that oil, the problem was solved in a matter of days. We have the expertise and the manpower to control those situations almost instantly. Obviously that technology does not exist for problems 5000 feet below the surface of the ocean.

We need oil and we need a lot of it. The sun and the wind aren't enough (yet), effective green energy technology doesn't exist just like a 5000 foot deep cork.

Generally people are okay with drilling for oil as long as it's not in their backyard. Fine, but then you can't have a car in your garage either. We need oil, Alaska has millions of barrels of it. So does South Dakota, so does Oklahoma, and so does Texas. It's cheaper, it's easier, and it's fixable when wells are dug in dry earth and an accident happens. This country needs to compromise and the oceans need a break. Drill baby drill but only where the holes are easily filled.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The smartest thing I've heard in a long time

Sometimes simple minds prove themselves to be absolutely brilliant. A while ago out of nowhere, my seven-year-old dropped a bit of knowledge that took the house by surprise. In the busy hustle of the morning, getting ready for school, eating breakfast, and gathering homework he said "Dad, you do what you can do and only eat until you're full". Brilliant.

If I would apply those two principles to my life I would be so much better off. I routinely borrow trouble from tomorrow, thinking of all the things I have to do and worrying about my schedule I forget about the things I have to do today. My plate is full enough for today, tomorrow will be here soon enough. There's a Bible verse about worrying only about today because tomorrow will take care of itself, but it was written by a much older, wiser, and very special man. My boy took that verse, simplified it even further, applied it to his life, and in turn, applied to mine.

I worry too much, I over complicate things. I need to do only what I can do and be able to let go of the things I can't. I’ll try, Son.

To take on the second issue of only eating until you're full, would be a life-changing event for me. I grew up feeling fat and being teased about being fat, and those two factors, regardless of my actual figure at the time, have made me feel fat my whole life. I recently found some old pictures of me in Junior High, High School and College and as I looked at them I realized one thing, I wasn't fat. I am now, but I wasn't then. I was a big guy, thick for sure, but not fat. Not like I felt I was, not like I remember being and not like I was told I was, over and over. Kids are cruel and peer pressure’s a bitch. I wasn't fat and looking at those pictures makes me angry I spent my entire youth feeling like I was.

With that off my chest, I think about what I would look like if I only ate until I was full. Not until it didn't taste good anymore, or until my stomach hurt, or because it was there, or because it was late, or because I needed a snack, or because it smelled good, or because it was a buffet, or because it looked good, or because someone took the effort to make it, or because I was nervous, or because I was mad or because I wanted dessert. I promise you, I wouldn’t look like I do now, I would feel better, my clothes would fit better, and my back wouldn't hurt constantly.

“Do what you can do and eat until you're full.” Brilliant. Thank you Son, you're the wisest kid I know.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hey BP

It works on everything else!

Just say'n

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Three suggestions to live your life, in proper order

It is what it is.

Do the right thing.

It's a very small thing.