April 25, 2008

Ever forward

Some people look at adversity and see only opportunity. A new hill to climb, a new challenge to overcome. It gives them hope of finding their way in the world. I would guess that the previous description is something many would say about me. In an interview recently, I was asked my greatest strength. I accomplish the impossible. I think I've posted about that before and this post isn't about that. I wish I was one of those people that look at adversity and smile. I don't. Really. I look at adversity and say fuck you. Actually, it's probably more on the lines of FUCK YOU. I don't like to lose and I have found myself not trying things because of fearing failure. I fear a lot. More than I ever believed I could. I've written a lot about fear, but it doesn't go away.

I wrote something earlier today that struck me with an odd clarity. Tomorrow is not Today. Pretty simple. And so not. The map of the paths in my life are so utterly tangled I barely see the one I'm on. So closely intertwined that I can hop from one to the next with seeming agility and ease. Or is it confusion and lack of attention? Perhaps that is what drives those that look at adversity and smile. It's an easy path to see. Focus on that goal. Rage is perhaps your friend then. Drive and energy pushed from within in a narrow bridge that allows no obstacles.

April 24, 2008


At dinner tonight I had a baked potato. I reflected back to when i was a child and my mother invariably ate my potato skin. Ewww... the nasty brown part that sat in the earth. We peel carrots because the skins are not appealing. Yet the potato looms large on the childs plate. Ever larger and knotted. Moled and pocked with eyes and dark bits we can't be sure aren't lingering earth rather than smooth and clean. As I ate my potato I wondered how many potato skins I would steal from my future child. I relish those skins now. The white part of the potato is great for fries and mashed potatoes, but it's the baked potato skin that makes me smile at dinner. I hear the distant laughter of a child saying, "Daddy, you can steal my potato skin." and later the faux cry to her mother. "Mommy, daddy stole my potato skin." The mock horror hiding the lilting laugh in the cherubic face. A strange thought for me to have. It leaves me with a wondering smile.

April 18, 2008

Intestinal fortitude

So, I was wondering where the phrase Intestinal Fortitude came from.

Was it on early seafaring vessels and used to describe a man that could keep from going for days on end in bad weather?

Was it an award for a man in the military? PVT Raines didn't even Sh!t his pants when he charged the machine gun nest head on. (Modified by a good officer to read: PVT Raines showed extreme Intestinal Fortitude when he charged the machine gun nest head on. A true inspiration to the men behind him.

Or was it a newspaper article on mexican food? After hours of eating hot chilies and tortillas Juan showed great intestinal fortitude by not crapping his pants and achieving the burning ring of fire.

Turns out the phrase is just over 90 years old. Cited in the New Republic Circa 1915: Many [New] Jersey parsons have a lot more intestinal fortitude than some of their smug parishioners.

Go figure it's got a religious source.

April 11, 2008

Word of the day


1 : with a side-glance : obliquely
2 : with disapproval or distrust : scornfully

I've always loved this word. I don't think I've ever had a chance to use it. Too bad.

I keep trying to figure out where my obsession with words comes from. I never liked reading books 'til one day I read something in school (or from the library) and suddenly entire worlds were opened to me that I never imagined.

I looked askance at the man. Not even realizing I was blind.

April 09, 2008

My candy bar is old

You ever notice on a candy bar that the wrapper says Freshness Guaranteed or something to that effect? Better yet, it wants you to retain the wrapper and any unused product to ask questions or send in for a replacement candy bar. If there is caramel that dripped out of the bar still in the wrapper and a light smear of chocolate next to it does that count as part of the bar? Can I still get my replacement even though in my hunger I snarfed the bar to satiate my squealing stomach?

One of my favorites is the ButterFinger candy bar. Not to eat (well sometimes), but the filling in a ButterFinger quickly coalesces into a hardened mass that you end up breaking off. Rare indeed is the fresh bar that easily crumbles as your teeth sink into the chocolate exterior.

Has anyone ever tried to send back a bad candy bar? What did you get in response? A coupon for a free bar? A replacement? An apology letter for the sub-standard product you attempted to consume from the vending machine? Inquiring minds want to know.