Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A few of my favorite dudes.


Kevin read my post, and sent me this digi-pick.  Do you love those eyes?  Do you?? I think he was somewhat shocked by my gushing...(I'm not a gusher by nature), but pleased as well.

I couldn't get the pictures side by side unless they were very small.  But you can see the resemblance, no?  BTW, I have it on good authority that Kevin is pretty much over the dude comparison... but he indulges me.  I've gotta love  a man who indulges me.

Have a cool and groovy day ya'll.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Latest Harleyism faves

Questions or comments without segues:

"Believe in yourself Mom. I do it, and it works for me!"

"Is Jupiter in our solar system?"

"I have a pet shark that lives in my leg.  When I eat, he gets some of the food".

"I'm hungrier than starving is"

"I like to eat my boogies.  YUM!"

"Mom!  Come quick, I hear Elvis!!"

"Every morning when I wake up, I have to pee.  What's up with that?"

"I'm going CRAZY on this pizza!"

"I love you bigger than outer space is".

Friday, April 23, 2010

I love the Dude.... so much, I got one of my very own. (Kevin part 1)

I miss my friend Kevin.  He is one of the most interesting, loving, wise, talented, intelligent, well read, well traveled, fun and all around cool people I have ever met.  He is sweet and mangled and real.  He says things that "normal" people wouldn't dare... both good and bad.  He mouths off to authorities... even swings on cops (when they deserve it).  He's a chopper riding, animal loving, scrabble playin', cowboy boot wearin', hard livin, easy goin', raggedy Andy of a man.... and, a good Samaritan.  You'd think on first glance that he may be a redneck.  But no, not so much.  Not so simple.

I wish there was a way to really describe and offer up the essence of this, my Kevin, to the world.  This tired old world could sure use a good dose of his special magick... in major proportion. I understand small, bite- sized doses are dolled out daily, however locally, someplace in AZ.  Sigh...

Kevin is a reluctant writer, one of those rare, brilliant minds that very few can truly understand at all times... Reason being that there is no way to know all that he does unless you've walked in those boots, and read all those books and had all those experiences.  The great thing, is you can ask him about anything he says and he will NEVER make you feel silly or dumb for asking... in fact it usually leads to a pretty damn good story!  Everything leads to a story with Kevin.  And, as you might have guessed, he is one of the best storytellers ever!  That, in fact, is how I remember first meeting him... although, he says we met before that time... hmm... he may be right.  I used to drink a little my own self.

It was about 200 years ago,back in the day, and I was at a small and very typically boring, same-ole/lame-ole gathering.  We were sitting around someone's living room drinking beer and boring ourselves to tears.  When all of a sudden, in walks this man.  This man that looks A LOT like Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, and I'm not the only one who thinks so...  He walks that walk, has that same cloud of magnetic aloofness swirling around him, and is perfectly happy to live and let live. Unless of course he's crossed with injustice of some kind or under extreme (and I do mean extreme) circumstances.  Uh, yea, and his hair is way longer.  Anyway,  in walks Kev, and after lighting up the room with his smile and a smoke, he was somehow reminded of the time his dogs were fighting over a "shit-cycle", so he told us all this incredibly short and sweet story about the dogs and the shit-cycle, and POOF!!  Instantly, tears of boredom turned into tears of joy and laugher.  For the rest of the evening the room was erupting with uncontrolled laughter and questions...  Kevin answers, and more laughter!  It's the only thing I remember about that party.  I don't remember how the story ends, anyone else who was there, or even who's living room it was!! Just that Kevin came in, told the story and we all laughed happily ever after.  Because that story was just the beginning.  The funniest part is, Kevin doesn't party.  He gave up drinking when he gave up drugs, a million years ago.  The only things he still does with unholy vengeance, are caffeine and nicotine.  (A man's gotta have his "ines")  Another Kevinism...  God DAMMIT I miss HIM!

Kevin has done everything from carpentry to nannying... to long haul trucking, and a bunch of stuff in between.  I love the story about the "One eyed divorcee from Destin", a woman to whom he gave a FREE ride to Miami (From Talla-FUCKING-hassee!!) when he was driving a cab.  Just because she needed it... and likely because he wanted to know her story.  He collects stories like some people collect figurines.  He also lives his own stories and, cat-like, follows his curiosity... in a way that most of us are not free to do.   And guess what ya'll, he writes those stories down!  His writing will KNOCK you OUT!  I hope someday he puts himself out there so everyone can feel that feeling.  His Enoch stories are a  loosely autobiographical series that he's been working on scantily for many many years.  They are stunning, wrenching and original...They pull you into an alternate universe.  One that most of us scarcely realize exists, unless you've lived there, or brushed up against people who do, and paid attention.  It's told by a person so accutely conscious and aware and intelligent, that although he IS there, you have to wonder  WHY? and HOW the hell HE got there?  What slipped?  When? Why?  Who hurt him?  What will he do next?  I love him!  I want him to live!  I want him out of that crazy cold hard world and in  a softer place.... How will he do it?  WILL he do it?  What will happen along the way???   

I regret that I don't have a picture of Kevin to put up.... He took off before digital.  I'd have to scan an old fashioned photo, which I'll do... someday, maybe, if he gives me a green light.  The important thing to remember is that he's "out there" y'all.  He's living and writing in his own indescribably fascinating, enigmatic voice.  A voice that makes me so warm and fuzzy and comforted just knowing he IS ...
Kevin IS, living and processing and doing and being for the rest of us.  Like the dude, he abides.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

That's the way that the world goes round...

I know a guy, he's gotta lot to lose,
He's a pretty nice fella, kinda confused,
Got muscles in his head, ain't never been used,
Thinks he owns half of this town

He starts drinking heavy,
Gets a big red nose,
Beats his ole lady with a rubber hose,
Takes her out to dinner, buys her new clothes
That's the way that the world goes round.

That's the way that the world goes round,
You're up one day, the next you're down,
It's a half an inch a water and ya think you're gonna drown,
That's the way that the world goes round, that's the way that the world goes round.

I was sittin' in the bathtub, countin' my toes,
When the radiator broke, the water all froze,
I was stuck in the ice, without my clothes,
Naked as the eyes of a clown
I was cryin ice cubes, hopin' I'd I'd croak,
When the come through the window, the ice all broke,
I stood up and laughed, thought it was a joke,
That's the way that the world goes round.

That's the way that the world goes round,
You're up one day, the next you're down,
It's a half an inch a water and ya think you're gonna drown,
That's the way that the world goes round, that's the way that the world goes round.

(The Happy Enchilada's a bonus)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Even a skeptic can feel good about this!

Scott Adams Affirmations

Hey Ya'll,
I can't remember if I ever posted about this before, and I'm too lazy to look it up... and besides I think it bears repeating, so I'd likely repost it anyway.  It's a short piece by Scott Adams, the creator of the popular cartoon, Dilbert.  
In this blog post, which I lifted from the Mindhacks website, Adams describes how he used simple affirmations in his life as part his overall path to goal achievement.  He freely admits that he cannot factually confirm or deny that the affirmations helped him achieve his goals or to what extent, BUT... he does give his opinion about his experience using them, and it's pretty powerful.   (And let's face it folks, he is a pretty accomplished guy).  This in and of itself makes what he has to say compelling in my book. (Ok, I don't really have a book, but he has many, and, well, you know...)  
So, I'm passing this on because Scott is a very intelligent guy... and he is not espousing or endorsing any particular New Age method or person (guru)  He is not selling a thing, only sharing his own experience.  It costs nothing to try, (if you're a skeptic) nobody need know you are trying this, and none of us has anything to loose but a few minutes a day and some damn paper! 
Can't hurt, might help!  Why the hell not?

Several years ago, in the closing pages of my otherwise humorous book titled The Dilbert Future, I told a weird little tale of how I used a technique called affirmations in my attempts to achieve a number of unlikely goals. Since then, I've received more questions on that topic than on anything else I've ever written. So I know this will pin the needle on the blog comments.
The idea behind affirmations is that you simply write down your goals 15 times a day and somehow, as if by magic, coincidences start to build until you achieve your objective against all odds.
An affirmation is a simple sentence such as: Scott Adams will become a syndicated cartoonist. (That's one I actually used.)
Prior to my Dilbert success, I used affirmations on a string of hugely unlikely goals that all materialized in ways that seemed miraculous. Some of the successes you can explain away by assuming I'm hugely talented and incredibly sexy, and therefore it is no surprise that I accomplished my goals despite seemingly long odds. I won't debate that interpretation because I like the way it sounds.
But some of my goals involved neither hard work nor skill of any kind. I succeeded with those too, against all odds. Those are harder to explain, at least for me, since the most common explanation is that they are a delusion. I found my experience with affirmations fascinating and puzzling, and so I wrote about it.
At this point, allow me to correct a mistake I made the first time that I described my experience with affirmations. If you only hear the objective facts, it sounds as if I believe in some sort of voodoo or magic. That's not the case. While I do think there is something wonderful and inexplicable about affirmations, I have no reason to conclude it is any more than a pleasant hallucination. But if it is a hallucination, it's a totally cool one. When I have flying dreams, I know they aren't real, but it doesn't stop me from enjoying the hell out of them. And so it might be the same with affirmations. Affirmations might be nothing more than a wonderful illusion that you can control your own luck.
Skeptics have suggested, and reasonably so, that this is a classic case of selective memory. Perhaps I tried affirmations a bunch of times and only remember the times it seemed to work. That's exactly what I would assume if someone told me the stories I’ve told others. But working against this theory is the fact that affirmations leave a substantial paper trail. It would be hard to forget writing something 15 times a day for six months. And if it turns out that this is what happened to me, it's fascinating still, because it says a lot about how the mind works.
My best guess about what really happens when you use affirmations is that several normal phenomena come together to create what seems abnormal. I'll describe a few theories of what might be behind affirmations. Maybe there are more.
There's a book called The Luck Factor, in which researcher Richard Wiseman describes studying people who considered themselves lucky, to see if they had any special powers along the lines of ESP. It turns out that they don’t. But he did discover that people who expect luck have a more powerful ability to notice opportunities in their environment. Optimistic people's field of perception is literally greater. And the best part is he discovered that when you train people to expect luck, their field of perception increases accordingly. I think part of the mystery of affirmations has to do with the fact that it improves your ability to notice an opportunity. And when you do, it seems like a lucky coincidence. In my case, about half of my seemingly miraculous results with affirmations could be traced back to my noticing something important.
I'm not sure if optimism is what inspires a person to go through the effort of writing affirmations, or if the affirmations cause the optimism. But in either case you would expect that people who are writing affirmations would more readily notice opportunities than the average non-optimist.
I also wonder if affirmations are one way in which the subconscious (if such a thing exists) communicates with the rational part of your brain. Writing affirmations takes effort. Perhaps your subconscious only allows you to spend that much time on goals that it feels you have a chance of obtaining even if your rational mind does not. For example, my rational mind didn't believe I could become a syndicated cartoonist with no experience and virtually no artistic ability. But maybe some other part of my brain knew it was a realistic goal.
Viewed in this light, if you can write a goal 15 times a day for months, there's a good chance that some part of your brain views the goal as achievable even if your rational mind doesn’t see how.
Writing affirmations also helps you focus on your goal, moving them from wishful thinking to something in which you are willing to invest yourself. If you have ever managed people, you know that your staff's level of commitment makes a huge difference to their success. Perhaps affirmations are a way to manage your own level of commitment. In effect, you are brainwashing yourself, and this might help you get through the tough patches that come with pursuing ambitious goals. When I started Dilbert, I didn't take a day off for ten years. You only work that hard if you fully expect something good to come from it. I did.
My favorite explanation for the power of affirmations also has the least evidence to support it, i.e. none. The idea behind this explanation is that human brains don't have the capacity to understand all the complexities of reality, and so our brains present us with highly simplified illusions that we treat as facts.
In this model, affirmations are a lever on some entirely natural chain of cause and affect, but not a chain that our brains are capable of comprehending. While this view is unlikely to be correct, it has the advantage of being totally cool to think about.
Since the publication of The Dilbert Future, I've received thousands of e-mails from people recounting their own experiences with affirmations. Most people seem to be amazed at how well they worked. I heard all kinds of stories of people changing careers, marrying the person of their dreams, making money, and starting businesses. I also heard stories from people who claimed affirmations didn't work for them, but the failure stories were the minority. To be fair, the people who had success were more likely to get excited and write to me about it, so the most that I can conclude is that lots of people BELIEVE affirmations worked for them.

Since I know you are going to ask me a bundle of questions about affirmations, let me answer the ones I can anticipate:

1. If affirmations work, it's probably because you are focusing on a goal. Therefore I doubt it matters exactly how you word the affirmation, or if it's handwritten or typed, or if you keep them or throw them away, or if you stop for a few days and then continue. I won’t answer any other questions about technique because I'd be guessing.
2. I've never heard of a “monkey paw” affect where you achieve your goal but something horrible happens to you to balance it out.
3. I'm not doing any affirmations at the moment, mostly because I already have everything I want except a Nobel Prize. And even that wouldn't change my life much. But I do visualize all of my goals and I always expect good luck, so I probably get the benefits of affirmations, even if those are only psychological, without the effort.
4. I don't know how long you should try affirmations before concluding that they don't  work for you. But trying it for less than six months probably doesn't give it a chance.
5. Affirmations have not worked every time for me. But the few times they did not work, I must say I wasn't fully invested in the objective. For example, there are a few cases where if I had achieved an objective it would have caused a lifestyle change that wasn't entirely positive.
6. If you want to read more about affirmations, Google it. I don't have any particular book to recommend.
I know from my experience describing this topic that fully half of you reading it just concluded that the Dilbert guy believes in magic. The truth is that I believe in cool things that haven't yet been explained to my satisfaction.
So here's a good test of your personality. If all of your friends told you that they win money on the slot machines whenever they stick their fingers in their own ears, would you try it? Or would you assume that since there is no obvious reason it could work, it's not worth the effort?

Thursday, April 15, 2010



Last weekend we took Harley to the FSU Flying High Circus, one of only 2 collegiate circuses in the US.  This year's show was appropriately named, "SPECTACULAR!" (Which coincidentally is the 'word on the street' on Sesame Street today!)

It really was quite impressive!  And although there were no animals, it still exuded that exotic, other worldly feel that only comes with a circus production  Honestly, I don't enjoy the animal acts so much, because I know too much about how they are treated and have to live, and I find it cruel and unnatural.  So, normally, the animal part makes me more sad than anything.  in other words, it was perfect in my book~

There were entrancing acts of all sorts, including: Balancing, Fying trapeze, Tumbling, Clown, Juggling, High wire, Perch poles, Roman rings, Hanging perch, Unicycle, Stilts and much more that I don't know the names of.  These acts are all performed, choreographed, written and managed (equipment and set management) by college kids.  They balance, swing, contort and defy all sorts of natural laws with their amazing young bodies.  Beautiful young people in fabulous costumes and tons of sparkly show make up and of course tight tights (on the boys, oh LORD!).

They made us laugh, and took our breath away.  Harley dug on the clowns and bit his nails incessantly during the flying trapeze acts, or indeed any acts of a gravity defying nature.  "Mommy, that is not very safe what they are doing!"  Poor kid, I thought he was going to have an aneurysm!  We spend half of our time with him gasping and telling him to NOT do UNsafe or dangerous climbing, running in inappropriate places, etc... and then here we are paying to see this same behavior (worse actually) in others and call it entertaining!  We did explain that they have lots of practice and a net in case they fall... which a few did.  Sometimes when your breath is taken away, it's because you know they are college kids, and not professionals and very well could bust their asses!  Or have an embarrassing fall.  All you want for them is to fly high and succeed in their stunts.

There was one particular group of acrobats that were performing a mirror routine with another group.  What I mean is there were two groups of acrobats going the same routine while the equipment was prepared for the next act.  Each act was facing a different direction so that everyone could get a look at what they were doing. These poor kids had one slip up and it threw off the whole rest of the routine for them.  It was 2 or 3 guys and a girl.  The girl would be doing poses or tricks and they guys would be tossing her in the air to in order to get the momentum for said tricks.  Well, she fell on her keester more than once and then at the end, when they made a jump rope out of her... (Yes, one guy had her feet and the other her hands and they were lobbing her in circles while another guy jumped roper over her!  Her being THE rope!!)  I was so afraid her face was going to scrape the ground.... I could barely watch.  Luckily, that did not happen, but something did.  I think the guy holding her wrists lost his grip because she did fall.  I might have blacked out for a sec, I'm not sure.. I was really upset for them, especially her.  Yikes.  That'll give you trust issues!

I promised Harley a hotdog, but there were none available.  Only snow cones, lemonade, and popcorn, so that is what we had and it was fabulous!  We also scored a real clown nose!  We each took turns wearing it and creating photographic evidence of our illicit activities.  (I will post them when I get them on my puter.  This is one of the drawbacks of hub needing the camera for his work).

I'll leave you with this video, and this question:  Is there anything as thrilling and exotic as a circus??