Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Note to lover


Your pills?

Monday, July 30, 2007


Food, drink, drugs, sex, love. The hedonist's playthings. But when does pleasure become addiction? When does not-quite-enough become too much? I'll tell you. When you become double-minded about the pursuit. When you know that what you seek is not what you really want. When you'd rather be free, but you find yourself enslaved. When you act against your better judgment, for whatever reason.
Time to change. Reclaim power and peace of mind. Move on.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Peace be with you and also with you....

I have an idea for a new drinking game. Go to a Catholic mass, as I did this week for the first time in years, and take a swig of sacrificial wine every time you hear the word "peace." You'd likely die of alcohol poisoning before the service was over.

I had forgotten how peace-oriented Catholics are. They ask for it. They give it. They even shake on it during the service to seal the deal. Christians in general are pretty into peace. Jesus was and he is, after all, their role model.

There are zillions of Catholics/Christians all over the United States. Congress is jammed full of them. I imagine the military is too. And since they are all peaceniks I wonder why we are at war with Iraq? Or with anyone? I think Jesus is pissed.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Be mindful of little wizards

Methinks he doth protest too much.
It seems that my two Harry Potter-loving bottom
dwellers have little trouble making short work
of this fire-breathing dragon.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Life in the fast lane

Have you ever fasted? We've heard about people who do, but why do they fast? Why on earth would they fast? Self deprivation and delayed gratification have no place in the American way of life. Growing up Catholic we always tried to give something up for Lent. Usually it was something that we didn't much care for to begin with, like black-eyed peas. But to truly take oneself out of a state of constant satiation seems unnecessary, if not downright crazy.

I'll tell you something unbelievable. Fasting is fantastic. It is healthy. It is powerful. Physically, the process of digestion consumes more energy than nearly anything we human beings do. It is nonstop and tiring to the body. The garbage we put into ourselves on a daily basis overwhelms our systems...thanks in part to gluttony but with big kudos to the food industry who has meddled with the food supply to the point of absurdity.

The absolute best way to fast requires copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables, an expensive juicer, lots of time. A simpler fast that I've discovered has been around for 50 years or so. 3 ounces of fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice, 3 ounces of Grade B maple syrup (this is not the syrup you buy at the local supermarket....look at a health food store or buy it via the internet). 2 or 3 capsules of cayenne pepper. 24 ounces of distilled water. Drink this all day long.

Day one is a piece of cake. Day two is the most difficult. The body begins to release toxins. You may feel sluggish. You'll certainly feel your addictions to various foods. Day three is a bit easier. By day four you'll begin to feel powerful...akin to runners' euphoria. Your body is free, your mind is unencumbered, you are living life on a higher plane.

Jesus fasted in the desert for 40 days. Do you think that this was a sacrificial act? If so, it certainly pales in comparison to death on a cross. No, I believe Jesus fasted to release himself from the bonds of human frailty....to put himself in contact with the divine. That's why yogis fast, why Muslims and Christians fast. Why I fast. Try it. It will certainly change your body. Perhaps it will change your life.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Are ants the least of our brethren?

While their older brother, sisters and cousins were "peeling" across the Caribbean Sea on a banana boat, Devon and Ryan were overjoyed to learn that they would get to visit the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve near Tulum to learn about the different ecosystems of the Yucatan peninsula. They bounded with unbridled joy from our adorable beach cabana to wait in the heat and humidity for the tour van.

Our open-air boat motored quickly through canals used by the ancient Mayans as well as various lagoons, our guide stopping periodically to point out birds or plants that might be of interest to us. One particularly engaging stop was for the banana orchid.

The banana orchid is an epiphyte, a plant that lives on another plant without damaging its host as a parasite would. The banana orchid's pseudo-bulbs (the banana-y looking things) play host to nests of stinging ants. The ants feed on the nectar of the orchid and protect the plant from other insects and pollinate it in return. An endless parade of ants marched up and down the stem of the orchid, ignoring us as we all smelled the slight scent of banana surrounding the blooms.

Amazingly, a nearly identical species of banana orchid is endemic to the Cayman Islands. Still an epiphyte, but living on different trees and aided in pollination by the tree itself. Nary an ant in sight.

To me this is an astounding example of adaptation and the bounty of the natural world. I guess every living thing strives to survive, no matter the circumstance, and hopes for a little cooperation from its fellow beings. There is no right way. No singular path. We can hammer out a workable existence using the resources that surround us.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Coba ruins

The Yucatan version of the Manitou Incline!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sartorial Elegance

Who can resist a Peruvian man exhibiting a sense of personal style and a proficiency with the pan flute?

Not me.

At least not at that moment.