Tuesday, October 21, 2014

141021 The Fastest Way of Being Hit

I like Robert Downey, Jr. He plays arrogance well, and it seems that his characters have used their arrogance to hide painful weakness. They may have depth, but use shallowness to cover it.

The Judge made me laugh and brought a tear. It also had Robert Duvall in it, as well as a few other familiar faces. Robert Duvall does the "I'm too tough to have weakness."

Downey played a NYC attorney who liked to win at all costs. The rest of the family stayed in Indiana, where the dad, played by Duvall, was a judge. Downey played the middle kid. Mom died, and the two men had to face each other. Fireworks ensued.

Why did I like this movie? I'm the middle kid. Middle kids suffer from not being good enough, and not being cute enough, to have "love". This was one of those movies that spoke to me on many levels. Yes, I realize that I can be a self-centered *** at times, but only when I'm feeling slighted. I promise.

The Judge may find its way into my video collection. No where can I fault the acting, and the story appeals to me. It is neither action/adventure nor SF, but it made my day.

BTW, there is a proverb that applies to birth order as well as the highway of opinion: "Standing in the middle of the road is the fastest way of being hit."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

141014 First Check

Finally, after three or four years of being a distributor of essential oils, I received my first check! OK, it's only sixty bucks, but it's a check! Cool!

141014 SoA

I know and have known dozens of people who own motorcycles. Maybe a double handful of those Ride. Four Bikers have been close personal contacts. At least two of those associates are born again.

A month or so ago, two unrelated Facebook friends referenced a TV show known as The Sons of Anarchy. Good Internet had just been piped into my home, so I watched the first couple of seasons online.

Like a fifteen car pileup, it drew my attention. It took until the start of the third season for me to pull my eyes from it. Yes, there was a code of honor; there was the love of family; there was a kind of justice, but there was nothing inherently good about it. Hollywood keeps its characters in constant strife, and tweaks all story lines to conform to their own worldview. Truth doesn't matter.

Truth is, while isolated incidents and even some story lines were believable, the combination was not. There should have been more jail time, injury, and/or death for all. I know of only one old biker who still rides, and he does that only for show. Also, he has lost his hearing. Cops are not stupid, and in any department, more than one of them is going to be a 'straight arrow'. Based on these deviations from reality and the excessive emotional pain the characters constantly generate, I developed a great dislike for the show.

I realize that TV is not real, but Hollywood acts like they are showing the 'real deal' in their fiction. Actually, many writers such as myself do attempt to illustrate reality with our fiction. Aesop used stories to convey wisdom. Shakespeare and Steinbeck illustrated the human condition. Maybe that's why most of Hollywood disgusts me. It seems that they have completely abandoned this facet of fiction that reveals truth and replaced it with this facet of coercion. They seem obligated to drive home certain narratives without ever allowing certain alternate opinions or even facts that contradict.

My daughter told me that new experiences, even second-hand or fictional, cause the brain to produce dopamine. Even unpleasant experiences can cause the production of dopamine. That must be why SoA captured my attention. I am not, however, an addict (dependent personality disorder). Nope. Not me, but I was married to one.

In sixteen days, I may return to an old experience that causes a rush: NaNoWriMo. November is usually a tough month with many obligations, so maybe not. It is, however, my kind of fun! Certainly, I can do better than watching SoA!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

140916 Why Do I Need the Air Conditioner?

I know why. I live in South Texas, that's why. Some people from Minnisota came down for a visit a couple of years ago and used our weather as proof of Global Warming.

*snorts*

It was actually a cool summer that year. For here it was cool -- only few triple digits, (above 38C). Even when I was a child in the 1960s, we regularly had summers that tested the limits of human endurance! We had no A/C then, and I remember looking at a thermometer that said 114F (46C). It was in the car port, in the breezeway, in the shade, and it was better than in the house!

People don't think. They simply believe what they are told without considering the motives of those who try to influence another's behavior. It seems that some people even have trouble trusting their own memories when it comes to the political clout of certain so-called authorities.

A couple of weeks ago, my A/C went out. We were still getting triple digits. I tried the homemade A/C that the Crazy Russian posted on You Tube. It was pretty good, but the ice didn't last nearly long enough.

My landlord got me a new window unit, but I don't have the ability to get it into the window. Temps have gone down into the 90s and high 80s, so I am have decided to wait for our two weeks of winter to get the unit into the window. I'm still laughing at those who are heralding the crisp mornings or a bite in the air. Our 'bite' was a dip into the 70s a couple of days ago. Yep, it got all the way down to 24C the other night.

Yep. Don't you just love South Texas?

140916 My Voice Came Back

On Monday, September 8, a friend left a message on my phone to call her. We connected on Tuesday. She asked me to sing at her wedding. Cool! Once before, I sang at a wedding, and I have sung with various amateur choirs before dozens, even hundreds of people. It was an honor to be asked.

Usually, I get significant notice before public singing. This wedding was on Saturday, September 13.

She needed my help and loved my voice, so we agreed on a song I already knew, and I practiced it. Friday night was rehearsal, but the song didn't fit. About 10pm, the minister called with a replacement song. He also informed me that I had to be my own accompaniment. Never before had I successfully sung and played the piano at the same time, and I had sixteen short hours to learn! To add to the stress, both of my girls had respiratory ailments. A scratch had invaded my throat.

This was truly an exercise in believing! Nothing can be accomplished without at least a kernel of belief. God strengthened me and helped me to rise above my fear.

Getting to the hall early, I familiarized myself with the electric piano. I worked out the cords for the left hand, since the music available to me was written for singing and had only the melody. I rested my voice by practicing sotto voice instead of from the diaphragm. When I felt confident enough, I found someone to minister healing to me for that irritated throat.

My throat ceased its clamoring. I was determined to bless my friends!

The time appointed arrived. With a mixture of friends and strangers before me, my heart played. 

"There's a peace in heart that the World never gave! A peace it cannot take away..."

Several people told me it was beautiful. God made it beautiful. He blessed me mightily.