What Fills a Void

Hooray, to every single human that ran to help, those with the courage to survive, those with the life force to endure or just escape despite being challenged by destructive storm of man made evil! Here’s to you!

How do we measure the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon and the inevitable sense of void left by death and destruction? Without a doubt the explosion, death, injury, and pain has left a void in the emotional sense of all affected and touched by the horrific event. If we viewed this incident that maimed and killed innocent people, from the cold remoteness of a point in outer space, we could only conclude that response of the injured, the survivors, the spectators, the people of Boston, and the visitors in Boston, that the Boston of today is stronger and more proud and determined than ever.

When I heard today that Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond was played at Yankee stadium in New York in honor of the rivals (yet brothers today) Boston Red Sox who routinely play this song at every baseball game in Boston (despite the fact that Neil Diamond was a New Yorker and a Yankee fan. Facts which seem wasted on Bostonians) I thought to myself, “now you really did it.” You, you creep or creeps, have attacked athletes and their fans. Be aware the word fan comes from fanatic. You attacked runners. One of the most obsessive type of athletes on the planet. And further you attacked marathon runners the most obsessed faction of the obsessed. The marathoner, the runner that runs 26 miles. To run this distance is not possible by physical ability alone. It requires breaking through pain and motivational barriers more than once just to finish the race. Not only do these runners do this, they dream of doing it, and repeating it, and doing it better! No small feat. And the wind that pushes and carries them thru this modern version of self flagellation and penance, are the fans. The running fan and runners are a family. They share the share and seek the nirvana of the trial of the self. They emerge from sort of dark night of the soul to elation. Caballo Blanco is no doubt looking down from the heavens in anger at what he saw.

Awakened is a sleeping Giant, runners, within a sleeping Giant, the USA. No doubt next years Boston Marathon will be the biggest in history. Mark my words! Even Zombies wont be able to stop the horde of runners and supporters that will descend on Boston to demonstrate that nothing will dissuade them from the running way of life and what it means to them as a free people. These are the bikers of the athletic world. And no where else do the words “born free” ever apply more. Free to run and do it their own way. Free to feel the pavement move under their feet in city forest, desert, across mountains, hills, and streams. Free to feel the the wind in their face! Beware anyone that would try to stop this human wave. They might just Forest Gump run and run, and keep running. Run until they have run over the weak minded worm of a human that did this horrific thing. They may just run over the pathetic shanty, or slimy cabin in the woods that housed the thing. The the thing that planned and brewed its psychotic manifesto, in its worthless demented world. Run until they’ve trampled and pulverized it back into the mud hole from which it crawled out of!

Marathoners straight from completing a feat that most are unable to achieve where among the first to jump into action. Offering the shirts off their backs to stem the bleeding of the lacerated. They were among the first to, despite the confusion of dismembered and injured humans bleeding and screaming in the hundreds, stepped forward to assist! Because that is the runner mindset. Keep moving forward!

And so let the groups begin organizing because now we are all runners today. And at the end of this battle, like the first marathoner in history who ran 26 miles to deliver news of the battle before collapsing, we too will say: “Nike!” (Victory!)

In the words of President Obama today referring to the bravery of the first responders and volunteers who ran toward to explosion almost immediately to assist the injured and save lives “So, if you wanna know who we are and how we behave? (You saw it yesterday) That was it!”

By the way, Boston, Thank You, for representing! That’s the way to fill the void!

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The Home Run

The Home Run – Why Baseball Moves Us! 
-Inspired by the Championship World Baseball League Dominican Republic National Team

The pitcher, a long gangly but strong man whose fingers engulf a base ball like a cobra swallowing a birds egg, leans back atop a carefully manicured elevated dirt mound. He guages his opponent, coils and with a whirl pivots forward on one foot and whips his arm forward as he lands on his leading foot. The ball is discharged from his purposeful grip toward the reciever at 95 mph. It becomes an optical white blur ensues as it races forward. The hitter, can only wait. He waits for the perfect moment to launch his wooden attack on the ball in flight. If he is to hit it, it will be mostly learned reflex, unleashed with expert timing coupled with his ability to percieve other clues to the physics: trajectory and movement of the ball as it approaches spinning and arching toward the catchers leather gloved embrace. 

Suddenly, with an equal measure of primal brutality and the deft swiftness of an expert batter, he swings his flame hardened and machine honed wooded bat meeting the ball before it can reach stillness in the hands of the receiver. The union of ball and bat emits a loud crack! Like the cracking of thunder in an electrical storm filled sky.  The sound of an electrical discharge. Charged electrons seeking rest but finding only perpetual motion, collisions, and changes in energy state. The slap charges the crowd with its electric energy. The sound reverberates off the stadium walls. It’s the type of bullwhip like crack that makes your spine tingle and the hair on your neck stand at attention. The mind fights for an interpretation of what’s transpiring. It seeks to distinguish the blurry white objects location and it’s potential threat to life and limb. Am I in danger from the now energized white sphere of a baseball deflected away from the hitter by his precise swing? The mind immediately becomes aware that a significant amount of kinetic energy has been released. And its near enough to cause injury. Self preservation and increased alertness are automatically and involuntarily invoked by your autonomic nervous system instantly. The collective 38,000  plus persons inhales emitting an audible gasp as they spring to their feet and crane necks to follow the accelerating flight of the ball. Thousands of minds burn watts of energy as they attempt to will the balls flight. They attempt to affect its direction. “Get outta here,” the home crowd prays to the forces of baseball. The ball rises then arcs downward with a fizzing sound. A lone outfielder gives mandatory but ultimately futile chase seeking to meet the ball at its landing point. Finally, the balls flight succumbs to the gravity all earthbound object must obey and descends to earth. But not before clearing the center field fence and overflying a frustrated leaping outfielder who crashes in to the outfield fence forcefully but with no chance in hell of interceding. As the ball completes its earthbound flight path clearing the stadium walls, pandemonium ensues. Stadium screens flash “HOME RUN!” 

Fireworks burst in air as a deafening cheer erupts from the crowd. It’s loud. It’s deafening. It’s equal in decibels to a jet engine. So loud that your own cheers are drowned out and become inaudible to your own self!
It’s a collective throaty scream that is unmistakably human. It stimulates deep seated emotions and instincts buried deep in the primitive human brain. It causes the listener to all at once search his recognition memory for a match, an interpretation. What has caused so many humans to scream out all at once.  For it is not one but many voices in a crescendo chorus belting out and focused in time with each other.  Images almost imperceptibly flood the mind a baby in distress, a woman’s deep cry at the moment of childbirth, a battle cry of charge, a scream of pain, no none of these. The visual cues fill in the required information and allow interpretation. Understanding follows. Thousands jump up and down, smile, wave banners, pump fists into the air in celebration. The visiting team members bow their heads, shrinking away now only slumped figures in the duggout.  This is the outcry of joyous revelry! A Home Run! The big one, the grand salmi, the whole enchilada! Yes, yes! There will be joy in Mudville tonight! The home has won. The sweet release of victory flushes thru the arteries oh the fanatics. Pure childlike joy. What a game! There is no doubt. God loves baseball! The Home Run is baseballs warrior archangel Michael swinging his mighty swift sword to change the balance in mans perpetual struggle to overcome the opposition! To win! Thank God for baseball!

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EDGAR – A NAME

EDGAR – A NAME

”Nah na nana nah na! Edgar Allen Poe!” Or “Edna!” Completely harmless to the organism is a sound. Only its attached or allowed meaning can injure.  Musical tone and tempo added to supply additional meaning now, “nahna, nahna, naah, na.”  In this case to assail the listener.  To mock him with a simplistic repetitive chant.  I was being teased! Just a few of the variations of many silly teases I, like many of us,  endured indignantly. I dealt as best as possible, trying not to over react and give the teaser what he wanted.  A reaction. This would put them in control and they would then “push your button” when ever they pleased.  This seemed to be their goal.  They seemed to go around testing every student in the class until they would find the ones that were susceptible to the ploy.  Many succumbed to it at one time or another. Or at least this is how it seemed to a fifth grader, new to the class.

I did not, at the time, possess my present appreciation of Zen or quantum mechanics, for that matter,  that would have allowed me to simply let the feeble attack melt away.  Giving it no more attention than any other of the thousands of ambient noises reaching my ears at any given moment in time in a typical busy city classroom. Or, I daydreamed,  I could have crushed my would be tormentor by deftly pointing out to “it” that “it” was not only, surely, inferior to me, and beneath my attention, but mostly comprised of space; How the 10% of mass that remained to comprise “its” abysmally hideous existence smelled of shit anyway. And that I would not engage in a combat of  intellect with the unarmed!

My name, it seemed,  proved an easy target. And such unscrupulous would attempt to use it to access  soft and vulnerable emotional underbelly. Painting me as somehow different. (I feel your pain, President Obama).  I often cringed every time I was asked, ”whats you name?”  “Who’s asking?”, I often retorted defensively.

After all, I, we, all just wanted get along and  fit in.  To be like the others. This would afford involvement in the fun, the play, the emotional communication, acceptance,and ultimately validation. You, sir, are a human, the blessed species, you have been given inalienable rights. You will not be unduly slighted without a measure of retribution exacted on your behalf and you will, at the very least, be acknowledged if not remembered upon your demise. Your resting place clearly marked: name:, from:, til:. As if to say, he was given license to be one of us for this space in the time continuum  As if to say you, Edgar, too, mattered above all other creatures great and small. More than animal, mineral, or vegetable. You mattered for, being one of the beings. Doesn’t, the bible tells us so?

”I’ll show them someday”, I frequently internalized.  But my own inner voice would often betray me as doubt crept in. It would furhter assault me echoing the defacing insults: “loser,” “coward,” the voice say. “fight back.” “But you’re small and thin and hungry, the discussion went, “you’ll be easily hurt,” was the counter, by my inner tormentor.

This Lord of the Ring’s, Smeagle-like inner conflict and debate would fade and return at the oddest moments to play out in an effort to find resolution. I would in my mind deploy and substitute different scenarios as if in a Road Runner cartoon, trying to find a realistic one that would stop the tormentors and turn them into pillars of salt or something.  At one point I concluded that bashing everyone in the head with my metal lunch pail was not a feasible solution and likely to result in more trouble.  I would often just not respond. Besides, I valued my lunch pail and protected it as a valued possession.

The seed for success was planted.  The impetus. The motivation grew.  The determination not to fail and allow them to be right.  Prove them wrong. Show them. The question of how I would “show them” was in the eventually answered by ”I’ll become a successful Podiatrist! I mean a secret super spy, agent whip-your-butt!  Really? A Podiatrist?  Anyway, a Podiatrist I ended up. Yeah, that’ll shown ’em, the little voice still mocks me! I guess I’m still fighting that war just a very little bit.  A cinder smolders still somewhere in a non Zen responsive part of my brain, the aggressive reptilian section.  Nevertheless, a doctor. Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, whip-your-butt, I shall be addressed as, if you please!

Actually, yeah, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, works for me (bitches).  It has made me relatively happy. I get to help others feel better and perform surgery, which has always been childhood goal. This setup, in the final analysis, is usually a fulling combination. Those of us with a conscious, an ability to derive satisfaction from doing for others and not just oneself will understand and agree. The rest of you Narcissistic vermin will have no clue about what lofty values and joys I speak of. To bad for you. There is a deep emotional satisfaction and a powerful sense of control over destiny and the state of the human experience, however illusory,in alleviating pain in another human being. Something, the selfish future sociopaths of the world using insults to belittle and bully others in an attempt to dominate and move up a perceived elementary school social ladder, will never know! You know just who you are. Don’t deny it. You, hollow, other world, seed pod spawned, partial people. Like the freakish creatures that emerged from the seed-like pods from outer space which invade the earth and threaten to replace everyone in the movie ”Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” These emotionally devoid hive minded, empty imitation shell of a look alike humans; these evil little monsters would continue to sling devaluating aspersions my way. And, of course, I will continue to laugh it off and take the higher ground. But in the Hollywood movie version, in my imagination, would be a little more vengeful! Indeed,who could resist a little gothic macabre, albeit fantasy, Edgar Allen Poe style Tom foolery!

Prologue – Some of you my have assumed this is  a story of bullying, childhood dissatisfaction, and  teenage cruelty.  While, in matter of fact, some of that exists in the tale and gives it relevance, it is mostly an attempt at acerbic humor and journalism based on a childhood experience (of bullying, childhood dissatisfaction, and teenage cruelty).  While the events are true and none of the names have been changed, no animals  where hurt in the making of this essay. I would also point out that the focus of the tale is on how I was able to adapt to the situation and fend off these attacks on my name sake on a intellectual level and never indeed have to get my hands dirty as it were.  I remained above the fray allowing my ego to remain intact and  to parlay my any anger into positive motivations to succeed further in my endeavors. In retrospect, I think, maybe I was the 2nd or 3rd kind of horse here. Although, I was never even close to being super popular or anything like prom King, I was far better socially and emotionally adept during my teenage years than most of my peers.  I can say with a fair amount of certainty that most of my high school peers didn’t, and likely still don’t, even know what American Gothic macabre is, nor have they ever bothered to even read any Edgar Allen Poe (not forced on them by Ms McAfee, RIP, or another literature teacher.

I am also, quite sure that others have and will suffer indignation far worse than a little name calling and don’t mean to make it sound like it was “the end of he world” or me.  It is what it is.  Stupid childish behavior and a common experience. The resultant effect of which depends heavily on how one managed its implications, the individuals involved, and other socio-economic environmental factors.

In short, the experience did not scar or damage me. I emerged with a different appreciation of others shallowness and  with new directions for myself that would lead to fulfillment.  In other words they were not the serious about it and I didn’t give it that much importance beyond how I would further engage in verbal sparring and what strategy to employ to my advantage.  Instead of thinking I’m not worthy, I though you guys are really dumb. In addition, I’m pretty sure I dispensed some of this stupid behavior myself.  My only excuse being that I was just mimicking what I had seen. Unlike some, I never made it a habit.    This I ascribe to the fact that I derived no pleasure from abusing others without provocation.  Never have.

Post script:  I would further like to add that nearly all of those who can call themselves one of my ex’s have, in matter of fact, been, by some unseen means, befallen by an acute case of onychocyrptosis.  Otherwise known as an ingrown nail.  A painful condition of the foot often leading to infection and swelling of the toe.  It would appear that the gods of Podiatric Medicine are, in fact, protective of the progeny and quite spiteful if not vengeful!  I do not have any data at present if these maladies have also afflicted any of the aforementioned offenders or not at this time. But be forewarned, Instant Karma’s gonna get you, that’s right!

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Sunset HB rehumanize yourself 4-26-2010 6-13-46 PM

Nature seems to uniquely posses a magnetic influence on the human psyche.   Stimulating mental function and drawing out emotions and drawing out  a sense of connection  like an osmotic force were at work on your brain.  No question, nature is to be respected, admired, and even feared, but it seems this is best done indulging and emersing your senses in natures many sensory stimulating physical aspects.  Wind, Water, Fire, Earth.  Synchronicity!  Agree?

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The Realm of Pain

It’s ok it’s alright death won’t be bad. It will be over soon. The
pain in my chest now radiating to my shoulder. Sharp, lacinating, hot.
The dizzy swooning nauesea. It will get worse before it’s done.
Slowly ramping to excruciating. Maybe a short respite. Then the
reprise. Deeper, harder, drier, wetter, and colder all at the same
time. Unbearable, then beyond. A chorus of flesh and blood physical
failures crying, no screaming their last stage appearence. Mercifully
my attention is drawn away. Distraction from one pain by another. A
completely different experience while raing in the realm of pain. .
The twisting hollow ache in my stomach contradicted my assesment of
impending doom. Quickly bringing me back to different plane of
concsiousness. A place with geometry is a place in the living realm no
matter how twisted and skewed it beholdens to some hard mathimatcal
equation. Unlike the beyond which no doubt violates Newtonian phycis
and math. Submission to death will have to wait. You can’t be dying
if you’re experiencing gastric esophageal reflux also known as
indigestion. I was hungry. Animal physiology reeving the engine of
life-hunger. A deeply genetically ingrained motivating pain of it’s
own. This one meant to insure survival of the oraganism. So, the sweet
end will wait for another day to make it’s cermonious appearance.
Like a religious procession. Painfully moving forward. Full of bowed
figures. Casting grotesque shadows on the ground. The old and aged
naturally bowed by athritis, joint contracture, muscle wasting, and
the dessication of cartilage that comes with years of living. Today’s
is just another painful experience to file in memory. Another synapse
altering episode pushing the mind closer to learned helplessness.
Weakening the will to live. Increasing the desire for sweet release.
Not to be. My modern Jobian existance is to continue. I’m left to
continue to search deep witihin me for that peace I knew in my clear
pain free meditative mind of youth. I catch an occassional glimpse of
it in a fleeting memory, in a remembered emotion, a scent, a moving
melody, a glimpse. A glimpse dissolving from view. It’s dissolving
punctuated by gnawing aching lumbar and polyarticular pain. I roll
over. Deep breaths help, I think. Soldier on, i try to self
motivate. It somewhat works Another day in paradise. Sarcasm, my
most easily availed escape from the dreary. Another shitty day in
paradise.

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The Right Questions

“Seek not to know all, but to ask the  right questions," was the wisdom imparted to David Carradine’s character Qui Chang Caine in the popular made in Hollywood 1970’s TV series “Kung Fu” originally created by Bruce Lee himself.   Buddhist and Zen masters  reasoned out that asking the right question lead to more practical results in the pursuit of truth and enlightenment  and scientists and philosophers have espoused the virtues of the same in their work for millenia.

So here are couple of good questions I have run across recently:  From the Wall Street Journal: Dolphins is seems have the second largest brain in proportion to body mass of all animals with man occupying the first and dominant position in that hierarchy.  The question: Why do dolphins have such large brains and what are they doing out there or under the water the requires such a large brain?  Okay that’s two questions. Sue me.  You know it occurs to me that  I should have asked that very same question of my ex wife!

From Seed magazine: Who is today’s scientist?  Certainly not the wild haired Einstein or mad Dr Frankenstein from the old black and white films looking type.  Perhaps not more than a stones throw away from a Bill Gates type?”Old man, how is it that you hear these things?”
“Young man, how is it that you do not?”  – Love it!

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David Letterman’s Top Ten List for 10-3-2008

Top Ten Messages Left On Sarah Palin’s Answering Machine


"Hi, it’s John McCain; I had to go to bed. How’d it go?"

"Hi, Katie Couric here. Have you thought of a Supreme Court case yet?"

"Hi, it’s Bill Clinton. Let me know when Todd’s out of town"

"My name is Joseph Sixpack — knock it off"

"Hi, Katie Couric again — think of any newspapers yet?"

"Buy the Late Show Fun Facts book. It’s a bridge to hilarity"

"John McCain again; could you pick up my prescriptions?"

"Senator Larry Craig here — do you have Joe Biden’s phone number?"

"McCain again; do you remember where I parked the Straight Talk Express?"

"It’s President Bush. If you’re at the debate, who’s watchin’ Russia?"

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