The Paradox in Never Never Land

Paradoxical statement  —  In the heart of all of us is the perennial longing to be what we are not.

While only some know who they really are, more do not even realize what they want. This may be one of the worst pressure’s one can inflict on one’s self. You can’t even afford the luxury of thinking about yourself these days or some group will ‘peg’ you as a deviant. Herein lies what could be the biggest crime in the maiden voyage of the twenty first century. Lack of pure thought. While technology and medicine growth are wonderfully manifesting geometrically, our social skills are diminishing just as rapidly. In essence — we have no time for each other, let alone ourselves. Continue reading

Reflections of the Mind

These are the best of times, these are the worst of times; or so that’s how it goes. After one realizes and understands that there are indeed many ups and downs, then, and only then, can one perceive happiness. However, this concept is too black and white. Continue reading

Breaking the Mold

She came in to the world without hype, without fanfare, ending up being merely
one of nine squarely in the middle.  The ambiguity of being the middle child quickly
changed, however, as determination broke through almost as soon as she could function. Continue reading

Tapestry

If change is inevitable, why do we not change?  Unraveling the tapestry of who we are causes reflection and change so that’s out as well.  But if we can’t change who we are, how may we be allowed to grow and discover. Continue reading

The Turn

On a whim, almost a bet actually, he came.  Not riding on a horse, not even with a purpose.  He just came.  He hadn’t expected much so he had no expectations but before he knew what had taken shape… he was official.

Now equipped with a new game plan he decided to stir things up, give ’em what they needed, then get “outta dodge.”  However, something happened along the way. The yellow brick road appeared and some of the inhabitants of this odd and far off place enchanted him.  This was unexpected.

Time passed and a myriad of emotions came and went weekly… daily… hourly. So much to digest one has to almost regurgitate some to allow others to thrive.  Not an internally appealing sight but necessary to be sure.  Otherwise, psychological and spiritual overload takes over with sirens blowing, red lights flashing, the whole ball of wax.

Incredibly enough he was being pulled many ways, like salt-water taffy, through every fault of his own.  His roller coaster ride saw no end.  When he had purchased the ticket he hoped for an early exit but none was in sight.  A few of the attractions of this park had actually attracted him.  Such as a bad dream though he reached and reached but fell just a little bit short… for a variety of reasons.

When he finally exited through the turnstiles he realized that he was going in circles.  It was weird and wonderful as he hated the circling but had no desire to stop.  His rut was on.

Later, after much thought and absolutely no thought, he become conscious that nothing would be as he wanted it.  Fantasy couldn’t carry him anymore.  He was drained of his power.

So the little boy who could and more importantly wanted to… made a U-turn and sadly went home.

The Time Line

He had known her for a short while but never like this. One strange night when he least expected, she popped in, looking different, as if he was seeing her for the first time. Before, she was funny, sharp, and really cute. Now, his heart sank to the pit of his stomach. After two looks and a stare he realized it was definitely her. He smiled and after storing fantasies for future use as he is prone to do, he thought nothing of it again. Or did he?

Weeks later something changed. His life, her life, their collective lives. The time line seemed to be drawing closer and closer. She was distraught. He came to the rescue and offered an evening filled with mirth and merriment. Her mind, temporarily, was focused again. His became cloudy. For days later he was in a funk. Not totally due to her but a certain percentage to be sure. What to do. What to do.

He realized, after some deliberation, that he was taken, enamored, and down right smitten with her. Who’d have thought? Not even the Gods would dare hypothesize something so strange. It can’t be but alas, it was true.

Now, the twenty-five cent question. What to do about it. He must have closure before the time line focuses again. The problem was he was getting mixed signals. She was a clever woman indeed. Friendship is all that he wanted but more would be most pleasurable. After all, they have many similar interests and she has a mesmerizing stare and an award winning smile.

Herein lies the problem (there is always a greater problem). The change in her life was much more than a mere mild misprint. It was, to her, earth shattering. These issues do not go away so fast. The time line was destined to remain status quo for a while longer. After realizing this, he was determined to be a friend. Once again he thought if this was all he could be, it would make him more than happy.

He did long, however, that the dreaded time line would finally shrink and she may, someday, end up in his arms. And in his arms, he further hoped that they might close their eyes and wish the slow song would never stop.

Either way… the time line would only tell.

Thy Name is Woman

Long ago when the world was young, men would beat their perspective women over the head with clubs and take them home. Times change.

Today, men treat their women two ways. One, is to show them respect, give of themselves, be loving and (dare I say) . . . decent. The second is what most women crave… to have nothing to do with the first way.

Naturally this is not always the case. Studies throughout the years, mostly my own, prove that the age of a woman is a major factor in what kind of treatment she desire’s.

Growing up, a young man has no idea what he’s in store for. You, hopefully, are taught to treat women with respect. Little did we realize that women don’t want respect until they are at least, say… twenty-five. Women change somewhere between twenty-three and twenty-seven depending on familial and environmental surroundings.

So, the question is, how do they expect guys to know when the change comes? The answer… they don’t. Men must become more aware. Study, study, study.

Most young women are only interested in challenges. If a boy is too nice she’s apt to think the challenge is over. They really don’t give him a chance to show that just because he is nice he’s not necessarily a push over. The real challenge may still be there.

As stated before, women change somewhere in their mid twenties depending on environment. It is at this time that most women get tired of being treated poorly or staying with someone because it’s convenient to do so. They may just be afraid to be alone. This is where the woman can help both sexes. It is at this juncture they should assert themselves to be more independent. By this it is not meant to say that they should run around with anyone they meet and treat them like trash or to necessarily be by themselves. It is here when they can weed through men to find the right one; law of averages. Remember, the next man may not be as bad as the last one. Don’t treat him as the last man treated you.

Guys don’t worry. If you’re a caring person things will even out. If you are ever full of yourself, get it while you can. The well will indeed run dry. Remember, whoever said that women are the weaker sex where totally misinformed. Women are incredibly bright (aka devious.) They have the upper hand because they use sex to get what they want. Men just want the sex. A big difference.

It’s hard to say which the greater tragedy is; a guy treating a gal poorly or a woman letting him. It’s kind of like the chicken and the egg.

The Game (ball hockey)

 Bold ones walked, others got rides, small bunches came on bikes.  They all arrived at about the same time frame and from every corner.  As they moved closer, faces became recognizable. Patterns and shapes began forming as they eventually formed a circle.  Some came armed with only sticks while others added nets and round balls. Two of them, presumably the leaders, barked out names and orders.  All sides were even.  The event was taking place on an ordinary street.  My street.  It was time.  They lined up accordingly, face to face.  A ball was dropped and the game began.  This was ball hockey.

Not just a game, ball hockey to a young Canadian boy was a way of life, a ritual to be played after school and on weekends. It was here you learned about the game, about sportsmanship and forgot everything else.  Time meant nothing and nothing was more important than time.
Ten minutes, three hours, it was all the same, never enough.  Only two things could make you think about stopping… a car and the Good Humour truck.  Even then, you had to think about it.  No one wanted to be the first to stop the game.

One of the most important ingredients of ball hockey was running.  With the exception of the goalie, you ran and ran and ran until the time came when you were so tired you’d take a long shot from your own side of center and make it go just wide enough of the net to go down the street.  This was the only other time you would stop.  Everyone would look around to see if anyone else was going to get the ball.  It was as if time would slow down for a moment.  Only two real choices could be made for the retrieval of the ball – the shooter or the defenseman closest to it.  On rare occasions when a stalemate of more than a minute and a half occurred, someone else who just wanted the game to continue would rescue the ball.

In the beginning (bob) before orange balls (the hard ones), tennis balls were used.  These tennis balls were the best way for one to improve stick handling, passing and shooting.  They were bouncier and harder to control.  Concentration was at a high but the tennis ball, when shot wide, would go a very long way.

Goalies wore anything from regular goalie equipment, if they were lucky enough to play in an ice hockey league, to a regular hockey glove as a blocker on one hand and a baseball glove to catch on the other.  The latter’s shin pads were usually a little too small for his frame.  A chest protector was optional – a tinney (jock strap) was not.

Scores change drastically every game – 10-8, 10-7, 5-2 (a short game) and wins would usually trade back and forth between teams.  Games would usually be decided by first team to score ten goals, unless of course, your mother came out of the house and barked out the one word you never wanted to hear… supper!

The One-Hit Why?

Who are they? Why did they come to be? More important… how did they come to
be and how did they get in? Who let these guys in anyway? Was it some account
executive who has a brother-in-law who has a…? Did they get the opportunity to
become a two-hit wonder or was it ‘one shot and out’?

WILD CHERRY-“Play That Funky Music”

I could never figure out this phenomenon. One-hit wonders (in their own way) are
as important to the history of music as, say, The Stones… well, maybe The Little
River Band. Much has been written about these folk (or has it?) And not having
read anything on the subject, I will have a go at it… alone.

NORMAN GREENBAUM-“Spirits In The Sky”

Two obvious reasons seem to be person and company. Let’s start with company.
Way back in the old days, you know, sixties and seventies, labels came out with an
incredible amount of product. There was no ‘album’ mode of thought, only “show
me the hit record.” Because it was the age of volume, record labels (in general)
wanted to make as much as they could off the artist. They were paying the artists
in those days about 3% to 4% on 90% of retail for their first hit. For a second hit
the percentage could skyrocket up to 6%. In a perverse way it made sense for
labels to go “one time and gone” because of the equation — volume of artists x
moneys = bigger percentage. From their point of view hit records was the ticket,
not hit artists.

DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS-“Come On Eileen”

Let’s be fair for a moment and realize that the record labels alone should not
shoulder all the blame. If you are a talented writer, singer, or musician, the pressure
to make it big and have a hit must be enormous. If you can fathom that, can you
imagine the burden you would feel to have another? You try to compete with your
first hit but you create incredible stress and pressure to come out quickly with
something… anything right away. That could lead to unacceptable copy, maybe
bad mixing and bad production values which translates to little or no airplay.

ANDY KIM-“Rock Me Gently”

Lest we not forget the fruit of the gods… EGOS. It’s difficult enough for one
person to cope with sudden fame. If you multiply that number by five, it’s almost
impossible. Five minds come in to play. Five members who think they know best
and which direction is best for the band. Five separate chances at destruction. They
lose creativity pretty darn fast. Between band members, their managers, their
manager’s managers and the countless people at the labels, it’s pretty incredible
things get done at all.

KATRINA & THE WAVES-“Walking On Sunshine”

They have the magic in them. The majority of us never get a chance at the fifteen
minutes. Fame, and the problems that come with it, is something most only read
about. We don’t know what we’re missing. The true tragedy about the ‘one-hitter’
is that they become nobodies again. Shot down as quickly as they rose. One
journeys from a most magical time and are made to feel as everything they’ve ever
done was a fluke… a footnote… a misprint… a typo. One can only imagine how
disheartening it feels to have fame and fortune quickly snapped away faster than it
arrived.

FRED KNOBLOCK-“Why Not Me” (my favorite)

Surprisingly, most live to fight another day.