Jan 31

Peevishly.

For some silly reason, I have been thinking about Pet Peeves quite a bit today.

I don’t really feel like complaining about anything. In fact, I am in quite a good mood this evening.

But Pet Peeves are a curious thing. The origins of the saying are a bit sketchy. It started sometime in the early 1900s… and thought to be a variation of peevish. Yes. But the “Pet” part….. that is  gazoinks. Don’t you think?

It should, instead,  be “People Peeves.” I really don’t have too many issues with my pets. The closest I can think of is when I am walking the dogs… and we meet someone on the street. They say, “Oh what lovely dogs.”…. or….. “Oh what smart pups you have.” Then I get all “full” of myself, and think I have a Trio of Wonder Dogs.   At that point, one… or ALL of the dogs… will start licking their butts profusely.   Welllllll…….Look at Me and My Brilliant Canines.

But that really isn’t a pet peeve for me.

Now… people on the other hand.

You see…… Pet Peeves aren’t something I focus on. They just sort of sneak up on me during the day. They appear out of nowhere, like persistent weeds pushing through a crack in the cement.

And then…. they appear…. and….. well …… I lose it. Ka-bloooooey. The lid blows right off the ol’ jar.

Okay.  Here is one.  It makes me a little crazy when people use those worn-out cliche’s all the time… Like “24/7” and “At the end of the day….” or… “It is what it is.”   Guh. Guh. And triple Guh.  Switch it up, will ya’?  How about 10,080/7.

I guess I use my fair share of useless phrases… like… “Holy Smackerels” and “Whoppa Paloooza”… and “Well, dang if that doesn’t look like a bowl of Steamed Carrots to ME!” So I will work hard to tamper those down a bit.

Another, is people who chew with their mouths open. I hope I don’t do this one…. and just don’t realize it. This one sends me through the roof.

I don’t like it when someone looks over my shoulder. I am also not crazy about people who stand too close.

Public hacking. Not the kind that happens on computers. Nope. I mean the kind that sounds like an individual is imitating “Jabba the Hut” expelling a furry cat from his big lumpy throat. Not only do they sound like they are being Heimlich-ed from their toes… they proceed to produce a ball of goop… which they expel on the sidewalk.  Again.  I say…. Guh.

What about people who say “No Problem.” when you say “Thank you.” It typically should go like this. I say “Thank you.” Then the counterpart replies, “You are welcome.” When someone says “No Problem.”…. it makes me think that I have asked… “Is there some sort of problem here?”

People who don’t flush… OR people who pee all the heck over toilet seats. Why, I ask you….. WHY?

Oh… these are just a few that are on the brain channel tonight. I was in a great mood when I started writing this…. and now I am all worked up. Jacked right out of shape…. just like that…. I am.  Steaming out the ears.

When I think about these things… I simply lose my Inner Peace.

It happens to me…. 9 times out of Zen.

 

 

“Let us forgive each other – only then will we live in peace” – Leo Nikolaevech Tolstoy

Jan 30

Welcome to the circus….

Most people have heard of the theory of “Six Degrees of Separation” which refers to the idea that everyone is (on average) approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth. This theory has been around since 1929.

I think it is close. I have long believed that we are all connected here. But I think every happenstance is also connected. I don’t like to label it “separation.” Rather, I like to use terms that focus on the associations and alliances.

I mean…. we are not merely a pile of fallen brick rubble. No. We, and all the events in our lives, are like a building… standing together. And within that structure are all sorts of comings and goings…..

So I tagged it “The Seven Levels of The Sticky-Gooiness.”

I will just do a quick example from the top of my head.

1. Livia Drusilla, the Political wife of Emperor Augustus, was born on this date in 58 BC. January 30.

2. Then, 1,991 years later….. the first episode of the “Lone Ranger” was broadcast on radio station WXYZ in Detroit, on the very same date.

3. On that same… and very popular TV Show…. the “Lone Ranger” was played by Clayton Moore.

4. Clayton Moore, was born Jack Carlton Moore in Chicago, Illinois. He became a circus acrobat by age 8 and appeared at the Exposition in Chicago in 1934 with a trapeze act.

5. The exact same circus which appeared at the Expo……was also known The Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth.

6. The Barnum and Bailey Circus (who, by the way… employed 1,991 people that year)…. was based entirely on the structure and curriculum of the Circus Maximus, which originated in Ancient Rome, in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills.

7. Livia Drusilla, the Political wife of Emperor Augustus, was born in the valley between the Palatine and Aventine hills.

And there you have it. Full circle. Seven Stages of Goo and Sticky, aka… “The Seven Levels of The Sticky-Gooiness.”

I learned how to do this from watching the recent Presidential Political Debates.

Honest.

“There is no evidence that the tongue is connected to the brain” – Frank Tyger

“I had a friend who was a clown. When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.” – S. Wright

Jan 29

Just another step.

And tonight, I don’t have much to share.   Not really. I had a good little walk with my camera today.

I’ve had a lot of fine little walks this past week. During those times, I feel like I can hear more, and perhaps listen more openly. The lesson that kept coming back to me over the last few days has been to appreciate the “right now”….. the people I am with, and the “where” I am …. … at each moment.

You know, I don’t think it is by mere chance that we find the people in our lives who become our friends. (On the other side of that…. I don’t think it is by accident that we find such discontent with others.)  I guess, what I am learning, is that it is all a very connected transition. A big dance.  The lessons before us are what our souls are most yearning for.

Those who are more “spiritually and mentally elevated” than I call it a Process of Enlightenment.

I just say I am wising up.

But I think we are all lined up, or in a circle… or however you want to look at it….  I submit that we are all gathered about with those who can give us these lessons… if we are receptive. Whether they are joyous lessons… or hard ones.

We are here to learn from each other. I think.

“The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are” – C.S. Lewis

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As a new week begins, and with February approaching, I am reminded that Friday, February the tenth, is just around the bend.

Which will mark the end of Project 368. ( Info on 368: http://www.kronytown.com/368/?page_id=11 )

This is the second year that I’ve conducted this little project. First there was 372. ( Day One of 372: http://www.kronytown.com/372/?p=6  which began January 2010 http://www.kronytown.com/372/?m=201001 ) And now this.

So, I just wanted to remind kith and kin who read this on occasion.. .. …. that this will be wrapping up soon. I am not sure if another Year of Project will follow.

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“A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?” – Old Adage

Jan 28

Spice baby. Spice.

It seems that I never get my chronological age right. In my head….I am about 27 years of age. So when people ask me how old I am…. I am inclined to say just that. But then I have to go through the fuzzy math of 27 plus…. oh.. at least another 25 years…. and then I blurt out some obscure number which is typically incorrect.

So now I am embarrassed, and I have to go back to my birth year, and subtract it from the current year… once I figure out what year we are in.   It seems like a whole lotta’ trouble for a number.

The truth of the matter is, I am happier to be this age, at this very moment, then I have been at any other age…..my entire life. Oh sure, I am not the hot, young chick I used to… …..b, buhhhh…. .. uhhh… well… here’s the deal. I really never WAS a hot, young chick. Not even close.   Heck… not even when I was an egg in the ovary.  Maybe that’s why I don’t mind garnering gray hair and wrinkles at this point.

It is funny, you know you are lacking in the “beauty” department, when your own mother says….”Honey. You are SO smart and funny. And just remember, it is what’s on the INSIDE that counts.” Good one Mom.

At any rate. We all look at age differently. I considered the actual word itself, and saw that it is pretty pliable when it comes to the “definition” game. Just add a letter or two to the front and you have the whole gamut of “age attitudes toward how we live our lives.”

Age. The length of time that a person has lived (or a thing has existed).

Add a “C” – some people think of it as a series of monumental passages.  They move through one predefined cubicle to the next.   The Teenage 13. Sweet 16. Freedom at 18. Legal at 21. The Dreaded 30. And 40. The Big 50. The Oh-Oh 60. And on… and on. Yep. Every year (or decade) is like a “Cage”…. bound by the bars of the “stigma” with each sequential flip.

Put a “P” on the front – and it becomes “Page”. Their lives are like a book, flipping one day to another, turning each page with excitement, and purpose. A clear plot. Well defined characters.  An adventure.  A mystery.  A romance.  Yes, a well orchestrated novel.  And chapter after chapter it flows.

Unfortunately, some affix an “R” to the front. They live their every day with an underlying “Rage” about most everything.  Anger, regret, disappointment, prejudice, intolerance…  so many causes for the angry fires that burn  within.  I wish them peace.

Next comes “W”  The “Wage”. For some, it is having to conduct each day, from paycheck to paycheck, making ends meet. Struggling to get by monetarily, with no end in sight. And then there are others who have good and plenty… but they just can’t seem to get enough. More work. More and more money. More and more.  Or…. less and less.

Double up a couple of letters. “ST” makes “Stage” – the people who “act” their way through life… never finding authenticity or true purpose in anything.  Life is a stage and all the people are players.  No “Sincerely Yours.”  Not ever.  No verity.

And now… some of my favorites.

Engage. Those who become truly involved in life.  They cherish it and participate in its every minute.  Good living.

Courage. I am amazed at the people who approach life with this quality. I have met more than a few. I bow with respect for you now.

Encourage. They hearten us. Cheer us. Help us along and inspire us. Again, I humbly thank you.

And finally. Sage. The wise, learned, clever, and intelligent. They show thoughtful and insightful perspectives… which also inspire. They have their compass set toward the Good North, I’ll tell you.  Yes indeed.

I’ll probably never find the distinction of Sage.  But that is okay.
Mostly, I am just…… oregano…. at best.   But it is good oregano on the inside.   And that is what counts.

Jan 27

Just type. Oh.

We all have things in life that we don’t like to do.  Or didn’t like to do at one time.

I really disliked typing class. I had to take it for one quarter while I was in high school. I think it is the only class that I nearly failed.

Our teacher was Mrs. Cartwright. She had one of those big old jet-black, high-on-the-head, beehive hairdos. And, she had long, bright red, fingernails. The kind that looked nearly impossible to type with.  You know… I never saw her type.

Mrs. Cartwritght was very slight in stature. Extremely thin. And it looked to me…. that if she leaned too far in any one direction…. that beehive hairdo of hers would topple her to the ground.  At any rate…. old Mrs. Cartwright was at the helm of typing class.

She used to publicly ostracize me. Yes… she would call me a “Hunter & Pecker” in front of the entire class.
“Miss Kronenberger! You are hunting and pecking again. Do NOT look at those keys.”
To which I would respond… under my breathe….
“Call me a Pecker will ya’?  Yes… well… one of these day… I am going to HUNT you down… we’ll see who the pecker is then… won’t we!?   Why do I need to learn this typing-thing anyhow?”

Who knew… there would be keyboards on computers someday. Now I type like the wind. Like the wind, I’ll tell you! But it was no thanks to high school typing class.

Mrs. Cartwright used to make us type things, over and over again….  like….
“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy yellow dog.”

I would raise my hand and ask if this were a factual statement… and if so… when and where did it happen? I would start to open my mouth, to continue with the remaining questions that were swirling in my head… and Mrs. Cartwright would always “shush” me… and tell me to get back to typing.

“Eyes on the book Miss Kronenberger. NOT the keyboard.”

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

So back to typing. “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy yellow dog.  The quick brown …. .. jumped.. the… it could have been a red fox… . …..and what if he possibly tripped… not leapt……. and why, oh why…  did the fox go over the dog?   Were they friends?  Or not.  Could they have been in the middle of the forest somewhere? If so….. exactly what…..  was somebody’s dog doing laying around in the woods?  Oh this could be bad.   Or was the dog on his front porch? And the fox came up to the house? Which means the people living in the house may have a fox problem. That could spell certain trouble for the chickens. And if there are no chickens… that means no eggs. No eggs means no breakfast. Oh, that will be a terrible start to the day. Everybody knows you need a balanced breakfast to get the day rolling. Heck. I’ve seen that guy in the Sunshine Suit on the Jimmy Dean commercials.   I guess they could just eat their grits without the eggs… but that is sort of pointless…”
And THEN, abruptly, I would hear…. “All right class. Stop typing. Time is up. Pass your papers forward.”

I would pull my test paper from that rubber roller thing on the typewriter… and hand it up to the front.   Mrs. Cartwright would look down at my results… and shake her bee-hivey head back and forth. I think she thought I was doing this on purpose.

But as you know…. I have no choice in the matter.  Absolutely… no choice.

To this very day…

… that is just how I type.

 

 

“It is a press, certainly, but a press from which shall flow in inexhaustible streams…  A spring of truth shall flow from it: like a new star it shall scatter the darkness of ignorance, and cause a light heretofore unknown to shine amongst men.” – Johannes Gutenberg

 

Jan 26

Chain Reaction

I have a screaming headache tonight. I think it is the direct result of the collision of charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. Actually, it is the geomagnetic storm… which is causing these particles to expand outward to the lower altitudes.  A glow results. This is better known as the Northern Lights.

I think those Northern Lights are too beautiful for words.   This week has been amazing for them.   But of course, the previous scientific description of them….. all but kills the spectacular magic.  Yes, those Northern Lights look more like Fairy Dust on Steroids to me.  Yet….. they help me to believe in the magic of the Universe.

And now…. I have a Big Stinking Headache.

But let me back track on the cause…. just a bit. I was standing at a crosswalk, waiting for the light to change.  A gentlemen in front of me was explaining to his counterpart that the Northern Lights were “all made up by the government, and they talk the elite press into reporting on that crap.” (quoted loosely)….

Even still, I could not believe my ears. The light changed and I began to cross the street. But I wanted to double-back… and ask him things like… “Did Oswald act alone?”… and……. “What is really in Area 51” ….. and ….. “Is it true that the men landing on the moon was all filmed on a back lot at Paramount Studios?”

As I walked along King Street, I was lost in thought. Disbelieving thought.  My mind was preoccupied with the concept of conspiracy theories and other big mysteries of the world….. like… was it true that you could bounce a quarter off Joan Rivers face?   Most of all….  I was totally confounded that anyone would think the Northern Lights were a fabrication of the government. And for what purpose? Holy smokes… I have to go back and find this guy…..

…when…. WHAMO!. I waked right into a fire hydrant. Straight on. (And I walk pretty fast.) Well, this took me out at about mid-thigh level. I did this make-shift Jackie Chan flip… landed mostly on my feet…  … with my momentum then carrying me into an 8 to 9 yard albatross run to regain my balance. When I finally came to a halt… I spread my arms out, stood on one leg, lifted my opposite knee to my chest… just like the Karate Kid…. and made that Kung-Fu noise… “Hiiiiiiiii Ahhhhh yyyyyyyaaaaaaaaaaa”

King Street is pretty dang busy with pedestrians at lunch time. A crowd had stopped to stare at the one-woman-melee. To which I began exclaiming…. “I am in training to be a Stunt Woman folks. That’s right. A very dangerous stunt woman.  All right.  Show’s over.  Nothing more to see here…. move along.”

And then I limped the rest of the way home.
I think the way my neck jerked like a Crash-Test-Dummy…… is now the main stimulus for the headache.

So… what I started out to say here… is that I have nothing to say tonight.  Sorry, I’m just completely drawing a blank…..

… and I am sure it is because of this darn headache.

Jan 25

Elbow-licking good….

Facts I’ve learned on the street today.

Henry Ford, father of the Automobile, is also father of the charcoal briquette.
Hence, the next logical nomenclature:  Ford should be the father of the Tailgate Party. 

A dog’s smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human’s. Dogs’ sense of hearing is more than ten times more acute than a human’s.
With that said….. It is best not to yell at your dog. Or to fart at him.

Bananas contain a natural chemical which can make a person happy.
This makes good sense to me. Now I can guess where the phrase “Going Bananas” really came from.

There were 42 known assassination attempts on Hitler.
This does not surprise me.  At all.

If you swim one hour in a public pool, you will intake 1/12 liters of urine.
This fact may very well…… stop me from swimming in public pools.

A pizza delivery will arrive more quickly than an ambulance 40% of the time.
So… play your odds. If you are having a heart attack, call BOTH….. 911 and Dominoes.

People are more likely to believe you if you whisper.
I totally believe this.  Someone whispered it to me today.

Seven percent of Americans think Elvis is still alive.
This does not surprise me either.  Truth be told…. I think I have met all 7%.

The average person laughs 13 times per day.
I think I laugh way more often than that.  Most days… at least.

Ninety-nine percent of people cannot lick their elbow.
You are trying this right now… aren’t you?

After reading this sentence you will realize that the the brain doesn’t recognize a second “the” in this sentence.
I usually write this pretty late at night. The last fact made me very happy, as I have my fair share of hippos….. I mean…. typos.

If you mouth the word “colorful” to someone, it looks like you are saying “I love you”.
So as I close this tonight… I say to all of you…. “colorful”

“Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonard da Vinci

“I am still learning.” -Michelangelo

Jan 24

It can be fixed….

Tonight.  A Current Affair.  This letter just came in my email.  Hence, the following topic.

==================

Dear Polly,

The President delivered the State of the Union address this evening. Did you watch it? What was your favorite part? Your least favorite? What is your overall take on this speech?

Sincerely,
John
Baltimore, MD

==================

Dear John,

Before I get to your questions John…a big congats on NFL Playoffs.  I bet you are rooting for the Patriots.

Okay.

Yes I watched the State of the Union Address. While I am no political analyst, I will try my best to answer your questions. I have to say though… I don’t really understand a lot of what happens, or what is said, in Washington, D.C. Much of it… is hard for me to figure out. Or in. But here it goes.

First the bad news… my least favorite part. It was the one guy, the Congressman there… he was the one in the dark suit and the tie. Kind of shortish hair. That was my least favorite.

Most favorite. Gabby Giffords. She is more than a class act, she is the real deal.

My overall “take” on this:   I think as Citizens of the United States of America…. we ALL need to start acting like Americans who are on the same team. Plain and simple. Because that is the absolute truth of the matter. We are on the same team.
We need to start focusing on ways to work together, and not grow apart.
If we keep wishing for failure, that is what we will have. You travel in the direction where you look. Things are broken, burdened, and deterioted enough. It is time to figure out how we can each do our part to fix them.  How do we do this?  Start offering some mutual cooperation and respect… to start out.

Call me Pollyanna. It is true. (Well, Polly is my first name… so that part is true. Any way.)   I just think we should give a go at this.   For the good ol’  U.S.A.    And that is my take on things.

Let’s start rooting for the Original Patriots. 

 

 

Jan 23

Snaps. Wrong Answer.

When people ask me what I “do”… I am never quite sure how to answer.

“Well….. in my heart of hearts, I strive to be kind to all people, find compassion for each human situation, and work toward peaceful solutions in the world.”

This response typically brings about an awkward silence….. followed by the other person suddenly remembering an appointment they had. So I don’t give that response too often.

If I run through the gamut of things I “do” each day… this too… will frequently bring about a thorny reaction.

“Let’s see… I woke up…. put on my slides, walked to the bathroom, and peed like crazy. Then I brushed my teeth and flossed for more than three minutes, which is recommended by the American Dental Association. After that… I….”

Most of the times, I think the person is looking for “What is your occupation?” Your job or profession. Again, I have a lot of jobs…. and a lot of things that I profess. But I usually wind up saying that I am a Photographer. To which….. most ALWAYS… comes the next question…. “Oh. What do you take pictures of?”

Well.  Here is the deal.  I associate “taking pictures” with being an Art Thief. And I have never stolen a picture in my life. So I respond.”Did you know Pablo Picasso was accused of stealing the Mona Lisa?”  …. Again.  Wrong answer for my counterpart in this conversation. …… ……

 

“I photograph nearly anything and everything.”

“Oh.” They say. “Like weddings and graduations?”

“I said nearly anything. Weddings and Graduations aren’t two of them.” The rest gets virtually  impossible to explain…  … …that I have this Rabbit Hole which I jump through when there is a camera in my hand. That the world becomes other worldly, and I see faces in light sockets, and landscapes in cracks on the sidewalk. I am partial to the shadows that are moving, when their objects are still  .. … and I like to see the underside of things.  I once saw Richard Nixon’s profile in a bowl of oatmeal…..  and so it goes.  This answering questions business is a difficult thing, I’ll tell you.

Most people just smile politely and nod… and think about how soon they can get to Jiffy Lube from here… and if the Dry Cleaning will be ready by 4.

Why do I shoot the things I do? Why does the Pope poop in the woods?

I think I am ……. Snapped.

Jan 22

Quickly. Painlessly. No big deal….

Things sure can be a big deal sometimes.

When I was a kid, I hated the prospect of having a Band-Aid removed from my skin. It was a huge-stinking ordeal. I would plead with my Mom or Dad about the upcoming torture. They assured me, that if they pulled it quickly, there would be no suffering.

Well… to me… it always hurt like bejeezus. Now I am not sure if my pain threshold was extremely low… or the Band-Aid company used Super Glue as the adhesive back then. But it was horrendous. Rip. Scream. A big deal.

Big deals are different for everyone.

Like the Field Goal Kicker for the Baltimore Ravens. He missed a little punch-through at the end of the game. Hooked it left. All he had to do was split the uprights, and the Ravens would have tied up the game with the New England Patriots. Not to be. The Ravens lost by a Field Goal.  The Pats are going to the Super Bowl.  Now to YOU, it may be nothing. To that kicker…. it is a big-whopping deal…. I can assure you.

Yes, big deals come in all shapes and sizes.

The other night I was watching Wheel of Fortune while eating dinner. (Laugh if you will….  but I LIKE the Wheel.) At any rate, it was the Final Round. The phrase was “Junk Drawer.”   It was clear as day to me…. but the contestant couldn’t see it… as hard as she tried.   And just like that…. $100,000 down the drain. Big deal to her. I bet she went home and dumped out every single junk drawer in her house.  She probably doesn’t even have a single junk drawer now.  Seeing it….. reliving the pain of that moment. Yep.   No more junk-filled drawers in her home.

Another one that comes to mind is the affair of taking a pill. I can swallow a whole handful of vitamins with a little drink of water. Yet I know a lot of people that need a whole truck full of milk to get a little speck of a pill down the old hatch. Little deal vs. big deal. Gulp….

Franklin Delano Roosevelt came up with The New Deal. That was a big deal for him…. and the country.

There are “Square Deals” and “Done Deals” and “Real Deals”…. which aren’t necessarily Big Deals.

A lot of stores advertise Big Deals. Like Dan’s Monster Carpet & Tile Barn.  Huge Deals.   Sometimes it is a Shady Deal.

So yes. The Big Deal.

Often people will tell us to “just deal with it.” Or others will say…”It is no big deal.”

Well. The matter of “The Big Deal” is highly subjective. To each her own. My big deal may not be your big deal. And vice versa. Live and let live baby. We all dance to the beat of a different drummer. Rock on, my friends.

Whatever your deal is…. embrace the deal. The whole deal. And nothing but the deal. It is your real deal. Even if you aren’t always playing with a full deck.

 

….well…. I better wrap this up tonight.  You see…. I have this Band-Aid on my knee… and….