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Three Quotes And A Photo

We took a two-week road trip recently through Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky, (another blog), and I came across three quotes or phrases that I thought were fun, along with one very interesting photo.

The phrases first…

What is a bookshelf other than a treasure chest for a curious mind.
(I like this for all the obvious reasons)

Say what you will about the south but no one retires and moves north.
(I never thought about this before but there is some truth to the words)

Intoxicated people, children and leggings, never lie.
(Well now, we can go on forever about this line)

As for the photo, I was stopped at a light in Lexington, Kentucky and saw this window advertisement for the attached business.


Now, I’m not really sure what kind of establishment this is. Is it a bait and tackle shop? A bar and grill? I was thinking maybe both but the fine print right next to her lips and below the anchor says…you’re sure to catch something.

That altered my mindset just a bit. While I was tempted to investigate, I thought better of it and left when the light turned green. Not that I wasn’t curious but you know what they say about curiosity.

Besides, I just wasn’t in the mood to catch anything from a place called Ole Hookers.

Five Things

I read an article recently by Dr. Travis Bradberry who is the author of a bestselling book called Emotional Intelligence 2.0. In it, he speaks about how each of us are weighed down by at least 70 decisions each day; how we handle each of those decisions and how they affect our lives.
He also speaks about a palliative care nurse by the name of Bonnie Ware who works with people every day who are usually three to twelve months from dying.

According to Dr. Bradberry, Bonnie has made a habit of asking her patients, during their conversations, if they had any real regrets in life. The following five responses made the list every time.

** They wish they hadn’t made decisions based on what other people think.
They realized when they lived life for others, they either made poor career choices or compromised  their own morals.

** They wished they hadn’t worked so hard.
We are programmed or taught that hard work leads to certain results or rewards in life; that we are providing for our families, their futures and well-being. But balance has always been the key when it comes to how much time we spend at our jobs. When work compromises a person’s ability to communicate and connect with those we love most, then our priorities need to be reassessed. As the old saying goes, no one on their death-bed ever said, I wish I would have stayed at the office longer. 

** They wish the had expressed their feelings.
We always think we have more time to say the things we need or should say to others. When time runs out, the regret of not having said those things is sometimes difficult to accept. In the words of John Mayer, Say What You Need To Say

** They wish they had stayed in touch with their friends.
With our day-to-day routines pulling us in many different directions, it’s easy to lose track of friends. Then thirty years go by and you wonder how and why it happened. Reach out.

** They wish that had let themselves be happy.
This was an interesting one for me but as I thought about it I understood why it would be there. Michael J Fox was on a magazine cover no long ago; an individual who has battled Parkinson’s disease since he was thirty years old. On the cover he was quoted as saying, Happiness Is A Decision.
He’s absolutely right. We all encounter challenges in our lives. Some more so than others. How we face those challenges and live our lives is our choice. It may not always be easy to accept or live with those challenges but our lives would be much richer and rewarding if we can allow ourselves to be happy.

Happiness is our choice.

Five things that can make a difference in each of our lives. All we need to do is listen to the suggestions of those who truly understand.

 

 

Who Are You?

“The bulk of life is discovering who you are—and then reconciling that with who you wish you were.”
― Richelle E. Goodrich

Who are you, really? Are you the person your mind believes you are or the one that other people see? Are they the same or very different?

Many people live their lives attempting to create an identity, focusing on who they want to be but never getting around to discovering who they really are. Sound too deep? It really isn’t.

If we believe the concept of people being, to a large degree, a product of their environment then it’s probably fair to say, taking it a step further, that we become what we think, since our minds are our “inner” environment.

Or do we discard what our minds tell us and become what other people think we should be?

I guess there are two questions here and each may or may not be mutually exclusive to the other. The first is, do we live for others instead of for ourselves in spite of what we believe to be true? Thats a tough way to live for any extended period of time because of the constant struggle that may go on inside the individual.
Secondly, do we convince ourselves, over a period of time, that we are someone we’re not in order to hide the inner disappointment that may ride along with that knowledge? People sometimes embellish stories to the point that they eventually end up believing their own words, even though others who might have been there, know that it’s not true. People may believe they are invaluable to a cause, organization, team, etc, only to find they are expendable and/or replaceable. What we believe about ourselves, the regard in which we hold our contributions or lives may be very different than the perception that others have of us.

The only way to avoid each of those scenarios is to say true to yourself. Easier said than done, since outside influences/pressures may lead you in other directions. But staying true to yourself is much easier than one day coming to the realization that you are not who or where you wanted to be, that you are expendable, that your own self worth is not as valuable to others as it should be to you, and that the very core of your life and the honesty you should trust, has always been part of who you were meant to be.

You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be.
Vironika Tugaleva

 

Meet The Beatles

“We were driving through Colorado, we had the radio on and eight of the top ten songs were Beatles songs.,, I Want To Hold Your Hand, all the early ones. They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid. I knew they were pointing in the direction of where music had to go.”
Bob Dylan

For most people, there is no middle ground with these four guys. Either you like their music or you don’t. Not many people are indifferent. Regardless of what you feel about them or their music, it’s impossible to ignore the impact they had on the music industry, and in many ways, the world.

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February 7, 2017 will  mark the 53rd anniversary of their first visit to America, where they broke all kinds of television records when they appeared on Ed Sullivan. But before we get to that appearance, here are some facts about them that many people outside the music industry probably don’t know.

They were the first band to have a record sell a million copies before it’s release. (Can’t Buy Me Love, 1964)

They were the first band to play in a stadium.

The first group to have its drummer sit higher than the band.

The first rock band to designate one of its members as lead guitarist. (George, 1962)

The first band to combine rock with classical music. (Yesterday, 1965)

The first band to create a song that faded out and then in again. (Strawberry Fields Forever, 1967)

The first band to create an album of all original songs. (A Hard Day’s Night, 1964)

The first band to create an album of more than ten songs. (Please Please Me, 1962)

The first band to print the song lyrics inside the album. (Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967)

The first rock group to use a harmonica in a song. (Love Me Do, 1962)

The first rock group to use a sitar. (Norwegian Wood, 1965)

The first popular band to use electric keyboards and synthesizers in some of its songs.

The first recording artists to use sound effects in their songs.

The first band to combine an early form of reggae called ska with rock and roll. (I Saw her Standing There, 1962)

The first band to create an album in which one song runs into another.

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When they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show soon after their arrival, this country was in a state of hysteria. Incredibly, seventy-three million people watched television that evening, which was the largest TV audience for an entertainment program, ever. The show was watched in more than twenty-three million homes. Remember, this was 1964.
While the program was being aired, much of the nation came to a standstill. It was near impossible to get a bus or taxi anywhere. Even more interesting was that between 8:00-9:00 pm that Sunday night, crime rates in many American cities fell to an all time low.

In 1965 when the Beatles once again toured America, they appeared at Shea Stadium in New York. Until then, the largest crowd to attend a rock concert had been twenty thousand people. More than fifty-five thousand showed up at Shea that night.

It was a different time, one that, for many reasons, may never be repeated. But on February, 1964, these four boys arrived.

imagesWhat happened next, was history.

No F#@$ing Way!!!!

So my oldest daughter sent me this article recently which claims that those who have a tendency to use salty language were also the most honest people. My guess is she sent this because it was, a) interesting and, b) she is searching for redemption.

Now I don’t throw around that particularly distasteful four letter word loosely, though it has slipped out under my breath when I slammed a hammer down on my finger while poorly attempting some household project I should have left to professionals. Quite honestly, I don’t like the word and think it’s used gratuitously in too many areas of life. Its a word that usually makes me cringe.
That being said, I do curse on occasion. I think most people do. Not F-bomb cursing, of course, but the usual stuff that generates emotion or gets your point across.

This study, done by scientists at the University of Cambridge surveyed 276 people about their most commonly used swear words and how often the say or write them. Then they measured the participants honesty  with questions about blaming others, cheating at games and taking advantage of people.
The study claims that while some may view swearing/cursing as negative social behavior, those same people are not filtering their language, so they are probably not fabricating stories which may result in untruths.
Essentially, if you’re willing to drop a few F-bombs, you’re probably not worried about making yourself look good in front of others.

A larger study of 74, 000 people on Facebook came up with the same results. Researchers found that people who try to keep it clean also try to look cooler online, which involved fudging the truth. That same practice of dishonesty would eventually carry over to their personal/professional lives.

While I initially dismissed my daughter’s attempt at halo polishing, the more I thought about this, the more validity it had for me. I initially told her that a person can be honest and still not curse. Then I started thinking about the people I knew, both past and present, and began compartmentalizing them. Friends, business associates, family, clergy, etc.
I even remembered a saintly aunt I had growing up, and I know she cursed, even if it was in Italian.

I began to realize, as I went through my list, that I don’t really trust the people I never heard curse. Now I understand why. If this study is correct and those who don’t curse are not honest, it stands to reason that I wouldn’t trust, or even like, them.

So there you have it. If you ever want to be taken seriously by people or have them take you into their confidence, you’d better sprinkle a little salt on your vocab. If not, you’ll find your friends becoming fewer, your professional life becoming stagnant and your family largely choosing to ignore you. Because the truth is, people who throw in a few little colorful words now and then are more fun, tell interesting stories, are better children to their parents and better parents to their children. Hell, I exchanged off-color jokes with my parents from the time I was a kid. I can still see my mother laughing as I told her another one.

Of course the seriously rigid, can always hang out with other tight ass non-cursers.

Imagine how much f@#%&ing fun that dysfunctional group will that be?

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Enough Already

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, ‘You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.’ You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”
The American President

I’ve always loved those words in the movie, The American President. Unfortunately, we forget them sometimes.

I was glad the election was over and hoped to move forward regardless of who won, but in the word of Pacino in Godfather 3, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

The only reason I’m writing this is that I’m starting to get annoyed and this is my place to come and vent so if you want to bail on this post, I completely understand. For those who stay, I’ll try to be brief.

If you’ve read my blog at all in the last few months, you know I haven’t commented much on the election and that I’m not a fan of either party or candidate. It was an ugly campaign conducted by two people who are low on the character scale and in my opinion, neither one was/is worthy of holding this office.

But someone had to be elected and the process played itself out. Fine. The winners celebrate and the losers cry for a couple of days. That’s the way all games are played and this one, played out with a couple of demagogues, was no different.

But if you listen to the media, who refuses to let this go, you’d think Mother Teresa lost to Idi Amin. Come on now. Let’s be honest.

Is Trump capable of leading this country and is he as bad as he’s portrayed or was he just telling people what they wanted to hear in order to get votes? I don’t know, but we’re going to find out in short order. His supporters may ultimately be disappointed in who they elected because at the end of the day, Trump is a pretty good businessman/dealmaker, and any good dealmaker knows that if you have any chance of surviving in the world you choose to live, compromise is critical. He’s already backing off a bit. We’ll see where that goes.

As for Hillary, you’d think she was as pure as the driven snow. Really? Even those who backed her have to admit that it was her own sins that came back to bite her and ultimately cost her the election. There are so many reasons why she lost and quite frankly, Trump is the least of them. If you can’t beat Trump in a Presidential election with the kind of money, experience and pedigree you have stuck in your back pocket, what does that tell you about her? The democrats chose the only person in America who couldn’t beat Trump and that’s their fault. The deal they made with her was cut a long time ago and everyone knows it. Except no one knew or anticipated how badly she would mess up. And even when it all came out, they arrogantly continued to dismiss it and believed people would forget about it. They had no idea that the American public was going to take a page out of the movie, Network, throw open their windows and yell, “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.”

Some people want you to believe there are other underlying reasons why this election went the way it did. Those are the people who are math majors with a concentration on Division. For the most part, I believe this country is better than that.

So the game should be over for now. We have a process that’s fair, though heavily influenced by huge sums of money. It’s time to move on. There have been many times when the person I wanted to win, lost. It bothered me. But when it was over, I wanted that person to succeed,  because there is no other choice. If he doesn’t succeed, everyone loses. The betterment of this country should be more important than our individual differences.
We all have a right to protest within the boundaries of the law. We all have a right to speak our minds and call out and reject our elected officials when we feel they don’t have our best interests at heart.

And that’s exactly what happened here.

Let’s move on.

There’s A Place For Naked

Okay, so let me first say that it’s my belief most people, especially after a certain age, look better with their clothes on than with them off. Of course that’s a generalization but if we’re all being honest here it’s a generalization that has some merit with a ratio that is dramatically skewed one way rather than the other. I’ll let you determine which is which.

So when I read that there was a restaurant opening in London where clothing was optional, there were obvious questions that came to mind. The first relating to what kind of seats they were planning to use and what the disinfectant policy was for said seats. Because I have to believe everyone should be asking that question, don’t you think?

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Me: Hi, I’d like to make a reservation for your naked restaurant but first I’d like to know how you intend to remove the residuals left from the seat of the previous diner.

Hostess: I don’t understand the question.

Me: Okay, let me be more clear. You have someone who wipes tables down or changes table clothes when guests leave, right?

Hostess: Yes, of course.

Me: Okay, So when someone leaves and before someone else sits in the seat of the person who left, who from your staff cleans the area where the previous diner rested, sweated and shifted on his or her butt for two hours.

Hostess: Oh, I see what you mean.

Me: Great, so we’re making progress. Do you have an answer?

Hostess: Yes, we use a very strong disinfectant. No need to worry.

Me: No need to worry about catching germs or no need to worry about the strong disinfectant burning my skin after its been cleaned and me sitting on it for two hours.

Hostess: Yes

Me: Yes, what?

Hostess: Yes, no need to worry. Now if you want to make a reservation I should tell you there is a  wait list of 15 thousand.

Me: 15 thousand what?

Hostess; 15 thousand people

Me: You’re kidding, right?

Hostess: Do you want to make a reservation, Sir?

Me: Can you give me more information on the seat cleaning process?

Hostess: Hanging up

So The Bunyadi Restaurant in London is opening this summer and it has naked and clothed sections with a naked section waiting list of fifteen thousand brave souls. Who knew there was a demographic gap in the restaurant industry we were all clueless about.

 

I don’t know about you but sometimes it’s tough watching people eat with their clothes on. I can’t imagine enjoying and attempt to digest a good meal when the views are less than appetizing. Then again, I still haven’t moved past the seating issue.

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So is your name on the list of fifteen thousand? If a restaurant like this opened in your hometown would you consider going?

Don’t worry, I won’t judge. But if a rash develops soon after you leave and you have difficulty sitting for several days, don’t say I didn’t warn you.