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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Seven Sticklers

I have some questions I let myself get irritated over...:

Why do our medical schools only turn out 16,000 doctors a year when we clearly need more? It would seem this would be a good investment for our government to subsidize particularly in light of our aging population.

Why doesn't the government make available the number of terrorists who have been killed and jailed? The same applies to enemy combatant soldiers killed in Iraq.

Why doesn't the government legalize and regulate marijuana and stop effectively subsidizing both Mexico and Canada? Is anyone confused that current policy isn't effective?

Does it seem odd that a woman can selectively abort two of three triplets then sell T. Shirts announcing it under the guise of promoting woman's rights. Conversely the same woman could be jailed for giving a massage with a "happy ending."

Does anyone think a drinking age of 21 has curtailed drinking by teenagers or college students?

Duke University now charges $60, 000 for the tuition for the first two years of college. I wonder what percentage of that goes to those students teachers. Lets say he or she has on average 32 students per class. So each 3 hour class takes in $102,000 So taking a standard course load the pay collectively just over 2 million dollars. So say the professor teaches 5 classes a semester .( 32 weeks of work, 20 of vacation, 15 actual hours a week in the class) . That would mean say we pay the professor $125,000, $500,000 for the teacher and 1. 5 million for "overhead" Wonder why the team mascot is the devil.

If you really want to drive yourself nuts, check out the revenue produced by MRI and CAT scan machines next time you get "tested".......

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

The Rapture of the Ride

Theater 101.....Everything is sexual.

My resume includes a summer at the ,C lazy U an exclusive guest ranch in Granby Colorado. Four months of ranch work there barely qualified me as even a drug store cowboy. However in nearby Walden Colorado. I did get to see and stand aside, the real thing.

Walden normally the home of less than a thousand people, swells dramatically when hosts it's rodeo. Not just any Rodeo, you see the Walden rodeo meets one week before the Cheyenne Rodeo. The worlds finest bull riders come there to tune up on the nastiest bulls, for what amounts to their super bowl the following week. Admission was three dollars.

Sports and sex mix well. In Athens there will be two Olympics, only one televised on the field. The real action starts when the American wrestler catches the eye of the Russian gymnast. There is no doubt race car drivers get the most ass. They are the rock stars of the sports world. If it is merely about length and girth, I don't see anyone beating your standard NBA phallus. I love bullfighting also, but it's the dignity of the bull that entrances me, not the guy in tights. I am not diminishing waving a cape at a bull, or running down a narrow street ahead of a small stampede. However riding one, now that is a whole different matter.

Bull riders roam cross-country the cowboy way, independent and self-reliant. "Dirt on their boots, they take their lumps without complaint, then acknowledge their glory with an aw-shucks humility. They live to climb on the backs of the rankest bulls in creation, cinch a rope tight around a single, gloved hand, and ride the wave of bucks, spins and adrenaline for eight indescribable seconds." The whole time, wearing their Stetson's and oozeing raw masculinity.

These guys carry their own saddles. At Walden I could walk right up to the chutes. Spit my Redman into the same dirt, and check out the same asses of the rail. However that's where it ended. They put a 2000 wild beast between their legs, I hung around.

When a tight ass meets the right jeans, we have a thing of beauty. Give her a Stetson and a nice rack, and viola, you have their cowgirls. These gals tease calf ropers, tune up on steer wrestlers, before they bed down the real thing. What kind of woman do we have here? " It's like the bullring, get on and hope you don't get bucked off" remarked legendary bull rider Lane Frost .

After the rodeo I returned the dude ranch, to serve drinks to middle age house wives, eyeing me to fofill their cowboy fantasy. Meanwhile the real cowboys, those who rode, were drinking cold Coors and listening to country music in a small town bar. They were relaxing and getting ready for another ride. This time, atop one of the tight butts who had been on the rail earlier.

"People say that what we're seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. What we seek is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane have resonance within our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel that rapture of being alive." Joseph Campbell

The rapture of being alive.......sexual and alive, exactly. That's bull riding, the sexist sport

Your are invited to visit my web site on Bull Riding,Mama Let Them be Cowboys . I had a lot of fun making it. I hope you enjoy it.....
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Thursday, July 22, 2004

Nature Speaks , I Listen

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die discover that I had not lived."........Henry David Thoreau

Late next week I am taking such a journey. My woods, our woods, are three hundred miles north of Toronto, bounded by crystal clear lakes and unspoiled rivers. The present day home of the Teme-Aguama Anishinabai, "The Deep Water People. For ten days I will be joining a community of thirty people, few I ever met.

I will wear the same cloths for days, and not wear cloths much of the time. I will dance all night, then jump in the lake at dawn. I wil open myself within the sweat lodge, then float out on the lake, blanketed only by the Northern lights. For several days I will set out on my own to find my place in he woods. Just me nature and the cloths on my back.

I hope to not just laugh, but to laugh uncontrollably. I hope to not just cry, but to wail deeply. I hope not just find the elusive "alone together" place within, but to hold, and be held in it. I hope my refection on the lake dissipates and I can see into the waters.

I hope to return a writer........


On a lake near by, you will find two of my daughters
Burke Canoe Trip

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Sunday, July 18, 2004

Jefferson, Washington, Where are you ?

The world has caught up to "Bush Speak" Carefully chosen words accompanied by a remarkable stubbornness. One listens, and then after a time, realizes one is left with more questions than answers Clearly there is an unspoken agenda and that leaves most distursting. When pressed it gets worse, and we are in an uneasy place of "Just how stupid do you think we are." People don't like being treated that way, no likes being bullied or insulted.

Unfortunately the democrats reacted rather than acted. They have responded by unifying their party around hated for the incumbent and nominating a remarkably weak candidate If Kerry wins we will be left with a man simply to weak to govern. The anti Bush hatred will pass and we will be left with  a Jimmy Carter look alike, a moral man, but a long way from being the leader this country needs.

So we are once again left in much less than ideal circumstances. This is not exactly George Washington verus Thomas Jefferson. I hope Bush and aids have the courage to be more candid, and gain some empathy for those who listen to them. I hope they take an aggressive posture with the whole, jobs, immigration, health care mess. I support them largely because they take the threats to America seriously and advocate strong action.

The best I could hope from with Kerry is an ineffective government and a realization how much this country needs a strong leader. Hoover, gave us Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower, Carter gave us Reagan and Clinton. Out of this potential Kerry malaise will emerge strong leaders for our future. However, be prepared for some very uninspired government for the next four years.

Maybe, during these four years we could examine the real question. That being, how could we have such remarkable leaders out a population of 4 million in 1776 and now with nearly 300 million people we have so debased our choices.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2004

The Recalcitrant Buffalo

"The most efficient technique was what Crow Indians called "driving buffalo over embankments
," which involved enticing and leading buffaloes to the edges of cliffs or bluffs up to seventy feet high, then driving them over to instant death or a broken back or leg or other crippling incapacity, ended by a thrust from a lance or blow from a stone maul"

One of my mantras in life is not be a buffalo," don't jump off the cliff with the herd".I have also learned most of my best ideas were met with a great deal of skepticism .Some might call it a contrarian theroy, I call it" don't be a dumb ass buffalo theroy".

My hope for our blog is we don't begin to stink like a frieghtend buffalo. If you are interested in Micheal Jackson, Kobe Brynat , Scott Peterson , Micheal Moore , or Brutney Spears you will need to go elsewhwere. When I get lazy, I won't copy and paste a picture of some some semi naked twenty something and remark" woo woo" under it.Most importantly, I will not resort to excessive labeling and name calling.

What we will do is break a few rules , keep our sense of humor, and point out observations we find interesting . All the while being personal ,and encourageing you to make up your own mind. and have your own damn feelings.

"Awaken your sense, your intuition, your desires. Awaken the parts of yourself that have been sleeping. Life is a dream, and to live it, your must be awake."
--Rachel Snyder

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Saturday, July 10, 2004

A Poet , and Baker , and a Shaman

Monday, July 12th would have been Pablo Neruda's 100th birthday. I encountered Neruda at a very dark time in my life. His work gave me faith that I was loved and capable of loving at a time when those postulates were not within my grasp. Simply,he helped me get my life back......

To introduce yourself to him I strongly suggest the movie Il Postino. The movie tells of his realtionship with a simple Italian postman. It was nominated for academy award for best picture of the year in 1995 . The sound track includes beautiful readings of his work buy several well known actors.

I think Neruda gives us a window to his life process in the following quote:

"The poet is not a "little god". No, he is not a "little god". He is not picked out by a mystical destiny in preference to those who follow other crafts and professions. I have often maintained that the best poet is he who prepares our daily bread: the nearest baker who does not imagine himself to be a god. He does his majestic and unpretentious work of kneading the dough, consigning it to the oven, baking it in golden colors and handing us our daily bread as a duty of fellowship. "

The principal characteristic of Pablo Neruda?s poetry is his insistence that the logic of the Self is the same as the logic of the universe.

Reid Alstair says about Neruda, ?he had legions of friends. Only some of them were human beings; the others were plants, animals, trees, landscapes, objects of all description, and houses. Neruda appeared to live on terms of intimacy with the world of things, and to carry on secret conversations with all kinds of beings, animate and inanimate, conversations that often became poems?

I have selected a few pieces off the Internet and encourage you explore .....

Three Poems
More Poems
More Poems

A Bio and more
Another Admirer
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Friday, July 09, 2004

Car Sensuality

"The Oldsmobile is the Best Thing on Wheels.Nothing to watch but the road."
( The first Oldmobile slogan ,1902..)

Well things have changed,,,,,,,

"As I drove by the woman pulled her shirt up almost over her head," exposing her breasts

Woman arrested after flashing prosecutor by The Associated Press
LOGAN, W.Va. (AP) - A woman is behind bars for baring her breasts at a passing motorist - the Logan County prosecutor. Wytona Mollohan, 38, of Whitman, is serving a 90-day sentence at the Southwestern Regional Jail in Holden after pleading guilty to indecent exposure in last week's incident.

Was something wrong with them?

Home-church minister is facing sex charges
Investigators found two more congregation members, women ages 37 and 38, who alleged they had been forced to have sex with Romero to keep the devil from harming them........The women said Romero had sex with them in his car in La Mesa and at various places around South Bay, White said.

Maybe seven inches of divine guidance..?

Sisters arrested in prostitution sting
Omaha World-Herald
An Omaha police officer posing as a customer during a prostitution sting waved at one woman near 24th and Manderson Streets about midnight June 25, and she told him to pull over, according to a police report. .....She asked if she and her sister could have a ride, the report says.

Good idea, wrong car........

Central Florida channel 6
Woman Teacher Accused Of Sex With Student Turns Self In
"Detectives said Lafave had sex with the student twice in Ocala - once in the back seat of her car while the cousin drove around town"

The teacher is newly married and very has to wonder.

The Smoking Gun
According to the accident report, witness Nery Veliz told cops that he was driving behind the speeding Mitsubishi and saw "a white female who appeared to be naked climb on top of the driver and move as if they were having sex." The vehicle then veered off the roadway.

Someone should have called a cousin.

And finally.....
Channel Five Chicago
CHICAGO -- A 12-year-old boy was cited with auto theft for the ninth time, after a police chase Thursday night. The chase ended with the boy and two other people injured after the car crashed against a northwest side home.

Indeed this makes sense. This little hoodlum runs wild and our flasher from West Virginia, who was basically doing a community service, is behind bars....go figure.

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Thursday, July 08, 2004

Authentic Ringo??

One could take personality test's on the Internet all day long. I am not sure why I needed to know which Beetle I was (John) or what fruit I am (I am no damn fruit). I think Carl Jung is a genius, and have taken the Meyers Briggs personality type test. I am a INFP, a theoretically rare type, but I still put my pants on one leg at a time. I continue to take these tests largely because I get the big joke. That being, I am quite smart about others, but remarkably dumb about myself.

Recently a psychologist friend of mine whom I hold in high regard recommended a test site to me: Authentic Happiness - Using the New Positive PsychologyThis site features a long questionnaire, the aim of which is to determine one's "Signature strengths"

DR Seligman defines 24 strengths broken down into 6 different categories: Wisdom and Knowledge, Courage, Humanity and Love, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence. The idea being if one stays with their "signature strengths" one will more easily find "Authentic Happiness." I find the jargon a bit pretenious,but the test itself quite illuminating. I recommend it.

Very brave, recommending something for "others." Makes me want to gag. So here for the whole universe, I will expose my signature strengths. First is ingenuity and original thinking .Second, loving and allowing myself to be loved. Third was perceptive, fourth loyal, and fifth curious. Interestingly, I don't seem to be transcendent and totally lack temperance....

I realize these tests may not interest many people. Tonight, "Authentic happiness" seems so remarkably illusive. Maybe I could be happy just being Ringo and a pear.
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Sunday, July 04, 2004

Brando's Alter

"Marlon would hate the idea of people chiming in to give their comments about his death. All I'll say is that it makes me sad he's gone," said Francis Ford Coppola.

If one wants to understand Marlon Brando my suggestion would to study or even try "method acting". Brando was uniquely gifted for this medium. You see, for the method actor the stage is not merely a showplace, but transforms into a sacrificial alter where the actors inner life is split open for the world to see.

The Stanislavski Method emphasizes an individualized, psychological approach to acting- requiring the actor to draw on his or her own self, on experiences, memories, and emotions .This shapes how a character comes to be developed. Characters are thus shown to have an interior life; transformed into complex human beings with multiple and paradoxical feelings and desires. This ability to convey the complexity and the confusion of inner feelings that makes the great actor.One is himself in character, rather than pretending to be someone.

The actor Anthony Quinn remarked of Brando's contribution to acting: "He turned the whole world around." With method acting,one pushes to the edge of their emotional and psychological boundaries. It can be very exciting , but also very destablizeing .

Method acting and Brando specifically, opened the gates of a deeper human experience for me and I am grateful.

More on the Stanislavski Method

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Friday, July 02, 2004

A Legend Passes

Marlon Brando Dies at Age 80
CBS 5 News has learned Marlon Brando passed away Thursday in Los Angeles. Brando may be best known for his roles in "The Godfather" and "On the Waterfront". He won oscars for his work in those 2 films. The cause of death is still unknown. Marlon Brando was 80 years old.

For me there was only one actor and one role.I wanted to play Stanley in "A Streetcar Named Desire".( made famous by Brando) I had the good fortune to be cast as Stanley in a production at a small theater on the north side of Chicago.

The evening I won the role, still in a daze,and frightened I could not live up to my dreams I went to the local supermarket. Remarkably, as I put my groceries on the belt I look up and see the name tag on the cashier. It was "Stella". The moment of truth came upon me much sooner than I had planned. Brando understood the moment and so must I. I dropped to one knee right there in Domincks foods and screamed "Stellaaaaaaa" for all the world to see.

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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Accidents or Messages?

We all have a closet we toss what we don't understand in. Our closets take a different form largely based on what we call them . Some closets are named "let go and let God" others are called "lucky," or" magical". These are you basic simple closets. Carl Jung calls the force in the closet syncronisity, similar to the concept of it serendipity. These are much larger closets. I name my magical closet "There are no accidents" or "There are no coincidences," closets with no doors.

Weather there really are accidents or coincidences is not the issue. Those phrases represent a world view that appeals to the curious. If I see an event and choose the file it in a closet called lucky, or a coincidence I am limiting myself and halting my awareness. I might call that closet numb and dumb. The idea is to not label with containing words. Leave the door to yourself and the world wide open.

Yesterday evening my brother ran over his foot with a lawn mover and had to have surgery. Additionally he has no health insurance. He will call it an "accident ," containing his experience to himself and the lawnmower. My brother has more accidents than anyone one I know and will continue to. You see the "there are no accidents" outlook is not for the merely curious, one must be brave and curious.

These dramas created by my brother are a complex cry for help. I get that, he remains clueless. They are effective manipulations that work for him only in the short run. He is minimally aware of that, but certainly not brave enough to really deal with the underling issue. So there will be more "accidents" to come.

Often seeing more than the ordinary can be quite disturbing. It hurts to see my brothers real pain. The foot will mend, the need for attention however will likely not be addressed. The idea is to balance this painful awareness with awareness of joy. When I got back from the hospital. I watered my flowers. The colors were fuller, the smells more compelling, I could feel the magic in their growth. They balanced me, and that was no accident.

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The Cast


Marlon Brando * Joan Crawford


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

In Our Hearts

Find Burke's Killer!

"The Courage to Act...By Rod Napier "Dedicated to Burke O'Brien, A Hero Forever" ... please visit

Mark O'Brien- Loving Father, Compassionate Friend, and Ceaseless Seeker of Justice

"I hope to not just laugh, but to laugh uncontrollably. I hope to not just cry, but to wail deeply. I hope to not just find the elusive "alone together" place within, but to hold, and be held in it. I hope my refection on the lake dissipates and I can see into the waters."
~~Mark O'Brien


June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
April 2005

The Best of Brando
The Chauffeur
Swearengen Sense
Accidents or Messages
The Recalcitrant Buffalo
Nature Speaks, I Listen
The Rapture of the Ride
Smiling Through Tears*
(*by Joan, about Brando's death)

Favorite Links

Mama Let 'Em Be Cowboys


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