A Little Girl and Her Daddy

Katie knew the sound of change in her daddy’s pocket. She didn’t hear it the way adults hear it. To her, it was like a party. And she knew that when her daddy dropped the change in his pocket, it was going to sound like candy coming out of the machine at the grocery store.

They finished their shopping quickly. Daddy moved up and down the aisles with efficiency and speed. He didn’t use lists—he used categories. This afforded him the luxury of speed and helped him avoid the trap of random supermarket layouts that make you buy more. With every abrupt stop, the pile of quarters in his pocket shook and caused Katie’s mouth to water as she thought about the candy she would get for helping Daddy shop.

They finished and walked to the door. With every step the quarters slammed into his leg and shook the entire earth. As they passed the candy machines, Katie grabbed Daddy’s leg and pulled, her feet sliding helplessly on the floor. Pleading with the voice of honey itself, she begged Daddy to stop for candy. It was their tradition. He pretended not to notice, and she pretended she needed to move the mountains to get him to see her. She had perfected her tone and puppy dog eyes so that even strangers passing by felt pity for her instead of disgust for her display.

Daddy slowed to a stop and fished in his pocket, intentionally taking the time to find the right quarter for the machine. The coins screamed mercilessly at their disruption and he pulled one of them from the safety of his pocket to its fate in the girl’s hand.

Daddy kneeled to her level to hand her the coin. Gently, Katie took the quarter and kissed his cheek as softly as a breeze. She skipped to the machines and stood thoughtfully wondering which candy she would get, even though she always got the same thing. 

She slid the quarter into the slot and turned the crank, enjoying the grinding sound with each catch of the gear. The quarter dropped and so did the candy. Beckoning him with her eyes, Daddy came to her and put his hand under the lid. When she opened it, the candies poured out, clicking softly into his hands. He took one and passed the remainder carefully to her hands.

They left the store. Daughter by her Daddy, picking each candy and eating them one by one, still listening to the cries of the other quarters in Daddy’s pockets, patiently waiting for the day she would get another.

A good lunch

“In my interview with Watson at Clare, I conscientiously put it to him that, unlike him and Crick, some people see no conflict between science and religion, because they claim science is about how things work and religion is about what it is all for. Watson retorted: ‘Well I don’t think we’re for anything. We’re just products of evolution. You can say, “Gee, your life must be pretty bleak if you don’t think there’s a purpose.” But I’m anticipating having a good lunch.’ We did have a good lunch, too.”

Excerpt From: Dawkins, Richard. “The God Delusion.” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (www.hmhco.com). iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/VF4Dz.l

The Dead Tree

The orange tree knew something differed. It didn’t have eyes, but it sensed a greater space around it’s trunk. It didn’t hear, but it felt less disturbances in its branches. It couldn’t smell, but the taste of fresh water hadn’t graced its roots in months. 

If you could see a cross-section of the tree from its highest leaf to its deepest root, you would see the telltale signs of death setting in. Working from the outside in, the tree began to wither. The outermost leaves dried and curled. The outermost roots shriveled and dried. Without the presence of fresh water in over a year the tree had sucked all of the water it could find out of the ground. If you had dug into the earth, it would be dry. Had it not been for the rocks it would break apart and be dug through easily. 

It would take another year for the tree to truly die. As much water as it required, it had an insatiable desire to live and instinctually latched on to what was left in its most essential core. The water was cut off from the extremities. Only the thickest and sturdiest branches and roots would endure and be nourished from the trunk. But even these would die and it would be reduced to a mere trunk, a single branch, and a bare minimum of the largest sturdiest roots.

A year and half passed. It rained for 3 days. The majority of the dirt was washed away. The tree fell under its own weight and lack of root in the ground. It looked as good as dead to anyone that may have seen it. But there remained enough of a root left to begin absorbing water and passing it to the trunk. The water sufficed to spark life. A single branch budded on the side of the fallen trunk. 

The rains returned and fed the tree. After three years, oranges sprouted from the now small, deformed tree. The roots had bent and pulled themselves back into the earth. The trunk continued sprout and it passed for a tree that had fallen but decided to hang on and grew another tree off of itself. Which was exactly what it was – a fallen, risen tree that bore the sweetest oranges.

Standing on the Verge of Getting it on

Standing on the Verge of Getting it on

If you’re a Red Hot Chili Peppers/The Roots fan, you’ll enjoy this mp3. I took care of all the dirty work to give you all, or most, of the tagging complete and even made a nice little cover so it looks good in your media player of choice. Please enjoy.

Standing on the Verge of Getting it on (with The Roots)

Walter White & Jesse Pinkman from a second view

This week I finished a second viewing of the entire series of Breaking Bad. What a journey!

My overall view shifted significantly from the first viewing. Where the unknown and anticipation drew me to the next episode the first time around, the second viewing was lead by details previously unnoticed and anticipation unfelt in the first go around.

Watching a series as detailed, thought-out, and designed as BB requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate. It truly is a piece of art that continually unfolds itself in new and exciting ways.

The thing that I least expected in this second viewing was the building dread I would experience. Finally, I get Mrs. White. I can see it from her point of view. While many did not appreciate her character (myself included) in the show, a second viewing made me appreciate her female intuition. I found myself applauding her and being able to follow her line of thinking. This was refreshing—I liked her.

Walter, I grew to hate. That selfish, deceptive, manipulative bastard! The irony of justifying everything “for the family” played well with his talent for making people do what he wanted to. What troubled me most about him was his ability to be what he needed to be in order to get his way. If he needed to be strong and demanding, he was strong and demanding. If he needed to be a pitiful, crying shell of a man, that is what he became. He had no shame and mercilessly pursued his goal even at the cost of his pride… Which is ironic, because it is his pride that made him keep going. How does a man operate like that?

Finally, there’s Jesse. Poor Jesse. I really felt for the guy this go ’round. That said, I don’t have hope for him. He’ll end up a druggie in some small town throwing the rest of his life away. He wants better, but he can’t stop blaming himself for all the deaths he’s caused. Aaaaand I can’t say that I’d handle it any differently.

But of all the character perceptions that shifted for me… of all the changes that I had about the show with the second viewing… the thing that caught me most by surprise was…

How hard it was to watch the last half of the season. Everything is finally coming to the climax. Jesse’s finally standing up for himself! Hank is finally getting the upper hand! Walt is finally looking down the barrel of a loaded gun that he can’t hide from and it looks like things are going to work out and Walt will finally have to surrender!

But, alas, it is not so. I know what happens, and it is terribly painful to watch a second time. What I consumed through the beginning was now dreaded. It was mentally and emotionally tiring to watch these characters go through this trauma again. How awful.

And in spite of that, I still find Walter White to be the perfect anti-hero. He dies doing what he loves. He finally comes clean with Jesse. He embraces not only his death, but who he is: “I did it for me. It makes me feel alive. I was good at it.” He finally embraces his identity and doesn’t run from it any longer.

He is Heisenberg through and through.

Lumosity is bullshit

Lumosity. That annoying commercial that features 20-somethings bragging about how good their brains feel because they’re playing a fucked up game of frogger.

This “neuroplasticity” is not real. There is no “plasticyness” to your brain. It’s wet and soft like a gross sponge. A three-pound gross sponge. Neurons “talk” to each other and give you the illusion of control, independence, and immortality. These are characteristics which I think are perfectly suited to a life form that will die.

The people who created Lumosity do not understand what it is like to be a parent. They do not understand what it is like to hold down a job, try to figure out a way to pay for college and braces while trying to encourage their children to go to college so that they are in a slightly better position than you when they are your age.

The people who created Lumosity are assholes that don’t understand the value of just shutting-the-fuck-down for a weekend. Hell, for five minutes! Go-Go-Go-Go! Everything is about them going! Jesus, man. Chill out for a minute and just rest. Enjoy the scenery. Watch a movie that makes you cry. Watch a child enjoy the ignorance of bliss of this fast, rushing life for Christ’s sake.

Look, I’m excited about your excitement. Really! I used to have it once. Then reality set in and I realized, just like my parents told me, it’s not all about me. I’m a piece of the puzzle. Assuming there’s a puzzle, of course.

All you single, childless people that are so busy doing and hoping everything… keep those things in mind, but be humble and accept that your fate is the dust. Don’t even assume about the afterlife. Just look at yesterday and today. Know that these are the only things you have. Tomorrow is just a hope. A bold assumption.

Relax a little.