535. June 9… ” Non-Agnosco”…Nan wants to be the mother of my children…and Mike Tyson knows what it’s like to be..a woman…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"


“La Madrugada” 2011

“My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.” – Cary Grant

I have this strange relationship with people who know me yet don’t acknowledge that they do…or act as if we’ve never had a conversation before…ever say hello to someone…firstly know clearly that it is someone you know…not just a stranger falling into the doppelgänger catagory…even though they could be the perfect match…and they look at you semi-blank…questioning…that maybe your hand waving and howdies are directed at the person who might be standing behind them…and there is always a universal…”Do I know you look“…then there is the familiarity  jog…”we met at the bondage seminar in Sioux City…remember?”…followed by either…”Right, right, right” then usually “and what was your name?“…or “No I don’t remember meeting you“…usually said with the head cocked a bit…lips tight…an eyebrow raised…looking slightly down somewhere between floor and wall…and either one is a little ackward….as the first scenario critically defines importance…and impact…obviously illustrating…questioning impression…while the total lack of recognition might begin the process of questioning yourself…as to if the event even took place and were you ever even in Sioux City…

I think these people were also probably the most popular kids in high school…you know the ones that everybody in the school signed their yearbook…including ..the women in the cafeteria…janitors…faculty and yourself of course…when you only knew them from a distance but did write…”Stay the cool guy you are, let’s get together over the summer”…while in some recess of your brain…you’re hoping Mr. Big will give you a call and you and a few of the boys will be popping the tops on some Lone Star Long Necks…at a desert bonfire and everything will be smooth….

I recently found my yearbook from 1974…the year I graduated…of the 3 comments in the book…one of them was from my crafts teacher Mrs. Webb…the other was from a girl named Nan…who wanted to be the mother of my children and had drawn hearts and flowers around her scribbled out photograph and the third was from my lab partner Rubin…who wrote….”To the guy who really ‘mest’ up my mind“…needless to say …popularity was not my strong suit…I was a dirt kicker…all the way around…

used to be I loved winter…then it shifted to a great love for summer…now…I’m not really certain which time of year I like best…I’ve been thinking of life  a great deal lately…which naturally includes everything that goes along with it which after some serious thinking I found there is far too much to think about…so I’ve started narrowing down what it is that I think is important…and rather than  long drawn out phrases…sentences..paragraphs…etc…I’ve opted for just one word…that I can add another word… later another and so on until…I do have a sentence…sort of like the box of small refrigerator magnets…for poetry or whatever….but this narrowed down to a few words…of course eliminating… “I” ..because I already know it’s me…”Want”…and again…I know this is about what I want…prepositions…verbs..all of that…gone!…so really it’s a box of refrigerator magnets…that fundementally all of the magnets have been stolen…but maybe 6…they’re blank and I get to write what I want on them…erase them when it no longer applies…what a great way to define life and of course living it……

I was asked recently what word would describe what it is I want…and want in everything…life love…art…food…all of it…my word after a few seconds was….”Quality”….

“La Madrugada”….has a few definitions…the one I like best is “that precise time between day and night“…that time is the magical time…it happens… twice each day….I do my very best to see it both times in a day…play in that space…that is not night…yet is also not day…I recall as a child…driving through the desert during la madrugada…I would actually feel the difference in time…a sensation of a quiet peace…a stillness that even though everything was moving it was not the same movement…everything was augmented…as well as reduced…there was a physiological sensation…a mild flutter in my belly…like a slower roller coaster..might produce….and for as quiet as it was every sound was accentuated…clear and precise…la madrugada…is that deep breath time…to take it all in…reflect and come to some terms…as it washes over you…

I don’t think about the people who know me…but don’t know me….I like to think I think a bit more complex than that….but I do wonder…what did Mrs. Webb mean…when she wrote Robert...”Lots of luck in the future you’re gong to need it“….I think she meant if I was going to run for say…president…be an astronaut…or a super hero….maybe a rodeo cowboy…

“I know how hard it is to be a woman, especially a black woman.” – Mike Tyson

534. June 6….Pearl divers can hold their breath for 3-5 minutes…Black bears can sleep for up to 100 days…Me…all I want are answers that don’t ask me to… “Ask again later”…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

” Kind of Missed the Rapture by That Much” 2011

“I was the kid next door’s imaginary friend.” – Emo Philips

I used to frequent a bar called…”The Dutchman’s Lounge“…it was a neighborhood place run by an old drunk named Frank…he wore his pants really high…had a bright red nose from many years of drinking…it was the greatest place on the planet…to learn how to drink…shoot pool…they served a burger and fries…and pitchers of really cold beer…my best friend Diaz and I would play…”Partners…A Buck a Stick”…against the “old-timers“…usually Frank and Judd…they’d forgotten more about bar room 8 ball…then we’d ever know…you could rest your cigarette on the edge of the table..and the small round bar tables were a perfect fit…there next to the pool table…there was always something special about beating…the old-timers…it always came down to a race for the 8…the first person on the 8 ball was going to win the game…that was real all of the time…when we’d win…we’d shake hands with each other..first…then the losers…they’d want to play again…try and win their “Buck” back…we were gaining a rep…working our way up to being them…some day…

I sometimes miss those days…they were harmless…I always thought of them…as somewhere in between the lines of living…that space that said….”This is you for right now…have fun“…I knew they’d end…and everything was going to be different…real different…they did…it was…but I still cherish…them…and when I think of them…I smile…and see ourselves as young colts out in the field…bucking and kicking up dirt…full of everything…knowing nothing….

the word “Ruminate” comes from the Latin word “ruminantem” “to chew the cud” and is  defined as…”to meditate or muse; ponder”…so  maybe it’s about the process of chewing that allows pondering to developto it’s fullest…most dense area of possibilities…

to paraphrase Deepak Chopra….when we do something…whatever that something might be…that is all we should be doing…not trying to do anything along with it…just it…as that action is the singularly most important action at that moment…by spending time in that moment the action becomes a much greater experience…more satisfying and a sense of connectedness…develops…this is something I really want to be good at…but as I’m typing…I’m eating…listening to music…and of course…doing laundry…because it’s Sunday…let me clarify something quickly…I really want to be good at this…and I work on it because I have felt that wonderful feeling of immersion many times in my life and it was due to being right there doing that thing I was engaged…immersed…wholey a part of….

I feel this has both sides of a coin sort of thinking though…the idea of being immersed in everything that feels right…sounds great…yet it also sounds like a diet of chocolate covered cherries…cinnimon toast…Count Chocula….maybe….chile fritos..and cosmopolitans….in really neat glasses….but there also the other side of it all…something about anger…unhappiness..dissapointment…those also need to be fully embraced…and swam in for a little longer than a toe dipping…immerse ourselves into the dark water so we can truly enjoy…the feelings of the light that come into out lives…by immersing ourselves in the uncomfortable…we find who and what we are…what we are capable of…and what we can think of….much like having a really good cold…by previous colds we know exactly what to do to move it along….but while locked in battle with the ailment…we can only embrace…immerse ourselves in the idea of…”Being the cold“….make it part of our trajectory…for a few days…maybe even buy it something nice like a gift certificate and card that reads….”thanks for the visit, you’ve change my life once again…but I won’t miss you when you’re gone”….

I was talking with a friend of mine about painting…we were both making suggestions to the other about what action(s) would cause significant enough change in each of our styles of painting to shift the direction ….I walked away knowing that in order to make the changes in my work I wanted to see…I needed to do 4 things…1). expand the box that I work from…2). step out of that box far more often than I do…..3). become more adventurous…..applying Deepak’s thinking to this desire…began making an enormous amount of sense…that all of these suggestions will work if I immerse myself in the process of doing them rather than just doing them….spend my time..energy and focus on each of these individually until I have change the original method by embracing/immersion of  an alternate process that is just at the end of my fingertips…oh and 4). grow longer fingers….

so rest assured…I turned off the radio…stopped eating…put the laundry on hold…and finished most of this blog completely immersed and uninterrupted…as I said early…I really want to get good at this…so I’m making T-shirts to wear…so when I am right in the middle of the contorting….mockingly genuflecting….and springing back with a somewhat of a stellar olympic dismount…I’ll be wearing a wonderfully tapered…form fitting…well designed t-shirt  that reads something like “Don’t bug me…I’m Immersed“…or “I’m pissed and don’t have time to explain why I’m wearing a speedo and diving into this water that appears dark“…or…”If you’ll wait just a few moments the benefits will certainly effect you…I promise, but if you don’t…see previous t-shirt saying“…and my favorite….”I’m in a crisis that requires I submerge my entirety…heart, soul, my total being, but I will emerged like a butterfly from the cocoon, just wait and see.”

nothing I’ve ever done well…I got right from the get go… there’s that whole skill set issue…that often appears to be nothing like what it really is…and I guess that whole Taoist idea of duality makes knowing I am an “old-timer” to some a “youngster” to others very palatable…and what matters more these days is not getting to the 8 ball first…rather asking the right questions…perfecting the precise method of shaking…and just hope it doesn’t say…”ask again later“….

“Initiative comes to thems that wait.” –  “Alexander the Large”

532. June 1… “Position”…what a wonderful place to be….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Convergence” 2011

“I think it’s pretentious to create art just for the sake of stroking the artists ego.” – Lou Reed

when I trained in judo…there was “Randori“…which literally means “Chaos taking” ….”Grasping freedom,“…opposed to formal kata…or form…in our particular dojo…we sat in a square…with one side open….Mr. Hyashi called it the “roster randori“…and it served as a visual which clearly defined the best to the worst  fighters…the last position was always the first to fight…they fought the person to their right…and if they beat them they took their position…moved up in position until they were beaten…sat to the left of the victor….depending on the day…level of gameness…stars in heaven…wheaties for breakfast…etc…anyone on any given day could beat anyone else…in theory…and up to a skill point…everyone had sat at that last position at some point and for some period of time…maybe only one lesson or maybe 20 lessons…and everyone knew what that position meant…and felt like….

moving out of the last position was a huge step…even if it meant one seat to the right…yet there was always the possibility of being back in that position…especially within the first 5 students…as that realm was theirs…the beginning…of it all…if you disrespected Mr. Hiyashi…or another student…or were out of line…he would put you in the last position…and you had to fight your way back up to where you were…close to where you were or perhaps past where you were…usually it happened only once to just a very few students…Mr. Hiyashi made certain it took some time for the offender to move up…

John Mitchell said…”Let us be tried by our actions.”…he was the attorney general under Richard Nixon…the statement sort of implies you should be judged by what you have done…right???…John Mitchell also said…”Do as I say, not as I do“…and that implies that what I am not willing to do…you should….and there in lies a problem…

when I began eating Oreos…we would sit in front of the television…my brother would “unscrew” the Oreo cookie…scrap the creamy filling off with his teeth and hand me the crunchy cookie part…I never had a problem with that at all…then…or now…as I was certain that was the way an Oreo was correctly eaten…when I eat Oreos today…which I don’t anymore…but when I did…I would…1). Think of my brother….2). wonder what this “Creamy filling” thing was all about and…..3). about 50% of the time scrap the creamy filling off and eat just the crunchy cookie part…I know clearly if my brother and I were to eat Oreos again in front of the television…without thought we’d probably do the same thing…it would be blissful…

position“….is my word for the day…it is defined as…”condition with reference to place; location; situation”…yet it is not defined as to who is or wants to establish the…”reference to place; location; situation”…and I have to say that is what I like about the definition…as this becomes the classic example of the cliché….”It takes two to Tango“…let me explain….in other words….where I think you are opposed to where you think you are in reference to where you really are…so I guess the cliché really is not cliché and should be changed to…”It takes three to tango”…which starts to sound a little creepy and weird…so maybe to quote Lou reed again….it should be “If it has more than three chords, it’s jazz.”…that sounds like it works….

ever drank something thinking it was going to taste like something else…and for that brief nano second…it did…but then reality takes over and the idea of…”this is milk…why does it taste like ginger ale“…floods the brain…few little blips of serious confusion and then…right back of track…..”Oh…it is milk…no…it’s ginger ale“….life continues and there is maybe one brief laugh about it…and it’s back to the plans at hand…and the process starts all over…there is a philosophical notion that what we see is really what it is…even if it is not….driving at night…black trash bag blows across the street…but you see a black cat…is it a black cat disguised as a trash bag…or…is John Mitchell up to something we have no idea about…and he’s implying…”See what I want you to see…not what you think you see“….that John….

so I thought about position and I can’t say there is a bad position…other than the ones we don’t want to be in…and we’ve all done a few of those…I especially like the ones that cause our head to bow….breath becomes erratic…blood pressure increases…profuse sweating…anxiety and that uncontrollable desire to look both directions a bunch of times….and then we realize…we don’t live there anymore….or even visit there….or have plans to…..

in the infamous words of…that’s right John Mitchell….

“You can’t pick cherries with your back to the tree.”

and I have absolutely no idea what that means…or what he wants it to mean to me…if indeed he wants it to mean to me what it means…whew….I’m starting to sound like him…have a great day…and move your feet a bit today…change position…it’ll do you some good….

528. May 23rd…the… “10 Want to do List”…and thank God I don’t have to wear spandex to do it…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Girls of Summer…(in a sort of weird way)…2011

“I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.” – George Carlin

I woke this morning thinking of spandex…a troubling thought to say the least…my first and only time wearing spandex was brief…alarming and to say the least bubble bursting when it came to having “that”….body…especially knowing it was never going to happen…or at least not without having a full-time job in the gym…but I’ve come to the conclusion that spandex…however ackward…is a necessity of life…much like Doritos cool ranch…

I recently upgraded my back yard…you know chairs…a small dining table…some colorful flowers…big garden candles…and an outdoor incense spiral…it is now such a wonderful place to sit and relax…eat breakfast…or a late dinner…maybe a Marble Brewed beer on a Saturday night…something I’ve always wanted to do…just never really made the time to do…and that statement got me wondering about all of the other things…I’ve not made the time to do…

I thought long and hard about what I really want to do…omitted brain surgeon…astronaut…race car driver…all of those things that might have an exclamation like….”Oh shit!”…associated with them…so I’ve been building my list today…thinking of the short….mid and long-term lists….of ….”want to do”…and I’ve decided it can’t be like three wishes from a genie where the last wish is…3 more wishes…and I don’t want to take things I’m already doing and enhance them since…I guess I’m doing them already and why repeat the process…and I don’t really want the list to be broad and general…like say….”Great health”…the givens…seem a little to obvious…and who would want bad health to begin with…right????….and lastly my list has nothing to do with anybody else’s list or participation….not intended to be selfish…rather more directed to self improvement…which by definition will affect those who share my life with me…so my list are the things I guess that matter…more than the things that matter but not as much…oh and I narrowed it down to “10 want to do”….with a built-in option to change any want to do…at any given point…or better when I can cross it off of the list…add a new one….

I began realizing…my  “10 want to do”…list may take a lifetime…so I had to really narrow it down to the short list…say the want to do in the next 1-5 years….so here goes

1. Become a really good cook
2. Wear more colorful different clothes
3. Start learning another language
4. Plans for a long trip to Italy
5. Learn to dance the Tango…Merengue
6. Start piano lessons
7. Visit Hagia Sophia
8. Tile a bathroom floor with dominoes 
9. Buy a place that already has mature fruit bearing trees
10. Publish my book

there are a few hundred more…but these are going to work …for right now….there is no time line…these are not goals nor…”have to get done”…they are a few things that in small pieces they will produce the results I am looking for…

I’m hoping sometime in the next 1-5 years…if you come over…perhaps I’ll make a wonderful dinner of…say…Scottish Lamb with a Tomato Rosemary Reduction…Bollos…finished with a wonderful….Cassata Trifle…and a Muscato  di Asti…we can sit around the piano while I play a little Bill Evans…in a rather colorful but not to loud linen ensemble….while a slide show of Istanbul…and Ravina …play on the monitor…perhaps later a tango on the balcony… and a delicious Pink Lady apple from the trees below….and if all of this makes you sick to your stomach…I’ll comfort you with Italian poetry…from my book….holding your hair back…while you are kneeling on the domino tiled bathroom floor…throwing up….and hopefully you will do the same for me….

I think perhaps the romance of it all has gotten to me…not something unusual by a long stretch…knowing these “10 want to do’s” are now out in the universe…amassing energy as I write…is sensational….enough so….

I just might go buy some….spandex….

 “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Robert Frost