Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Feed the Beast

he's a hungry little bugger. promise a kid a couple skittles and it's amazing the tasks he'll perform, at least this kid. We are skiing, and as an instructor I've always hated handing out gummy bears during my lessons. when kids would ask me for some my reply would always be "sure, if we can find out which one of you is holding." That usually shuts the little beggar up right away. no kids wants to have their private stash revealed to the others.

meanwhile, this little one in front of me appears to be a different beast altogether. Younger and younger parents are pushing their kids into ski lessons. most kids under five lack much of the muscle development needed to ski, sure their are always exceptions but even those kids often lack the attention span to keep their little body warm on a cold day. That said, our mountain allows four year old into the program. I've heard of other places that will go as low as three. Of course, with a signed injury waiver and for a price, I got roped into teaching an Almost three year old. I will say, what he lacked in muscle he made up for in balance. But he was a hungry little bugger.

meltdown after meltdown lead to the realization that all this kids really needs is more fuel. the parent wants to see them ski and I can put up with sliding this kid all day as long the kid can hold it together. looking in my pockets for an answer, remnants of the last hawks game provided my solution. Thank you skittles. sugar goes a long way when attempting to sooth a savage beast, so I feed it.

For a brief moment I felt guilty about pumping this guys kid full of sugar just so he could make it through the two hour lesson. However, when the dad handed me the tip, guilty washed away as my intention turned to the wine I'd soon be purchasing. Feed this beast a little wine and it's amazing what he'll get into.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

99 Percent Magic and a Bottle of Wine

"wake up to this all and announce, where are the writers of this generation?"

this is my post on facebook tonight. I cast a spell to wake people in the morning. at least that is my hope. or perhaps we really are alone, a nation without voice. these are tough times so, I know there are stories out there. Tough stories, tragedies, lots of dramas. I know this because I'm feeling them, My friends are all living them. It's hard, I know. But there is hope in some in these stories, a little love too. Those are the tales that need to be told.

99 percent of the nation I'm told. all but one percent of us have something that needs to be heard, so tell it. Scream it if you have to, just don't cause a riot, and please clean-up any mess you make. Heck just be respectful, if not to yourself to the process. For centuries people have managed to share the stories of their time. stuff about what happened, how they got thru, the hopes and dreams that kept them going. So I cast my spell because I hope to hear them.

wake-up writers and show yourselves. 99 percent of us are in need of inspiration because we are getting screwed, or am I just drunk.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Create Your Own Joy

I'm a bottle of wine deep, ready to open another.  I'm by myself.  I'm alone with my thoughts.  Pen in hand, my thoughts flow from hand to paper while my intention is filled with friends, family and people all sharing my joy.  I am seeing the future I plan to experience, something I will write into existence...

a caravan of vehicle snakes up snow covered mountain road.  it's a clear night, we drive until a gleaming crescent moon. inside the various cars are friends and acquaintances in varying states of consciousness.  although we all are in different points in our lives, we share a common tread.  we are chasing the joy of snow.

life is not perfect, their is lingering discomfort between some of us.  Others of the group came to leave discomfort behind.  I am here chasing my discomfort.  I am here finding who I am, a writer.  I'm starting to accept that fact.  It is who I've always been but up til now I didn't want to believe my own story.

The cars slow as my anxiety grows.  we've arrived at our next ski destination.  We have time enough for a few winks of sleep.  however, before the sunrises we want to already be making our way to the lift line, first chair is a mindset embraced at any new location, even during questionable snow conditions.  I look forward to the ride.  after it will be time to share my book.  I am a writer now, it is what I do.  By understanding it, by embracing it, by becoming it, what I do allows me the freedom to experience what I love.

Back now from my vision, I sip the last of the juice in my glass.  the rich tannins linger on the tongue while notes of cherry and darkberry shape turns down the back of my throat.  I think about an epic powder run, the hopeful promise of any ski vacation.  (that is up to mother nature to decide.)  Those that choose to join me on this journey will experience it as a ski vacation.  I will know that is all it is.  but to justify our ambitions, to give permission to ourselves to take on this joy filled journey, we'll call it a book tour.

back to work, I write it into existence.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Gift of Giving and Giving Back

cyber monday firmly behind, the official season of consumption is upon us.  "what can I get you , what do you need?"   these questions seem to be awaiting me on everyone's lips.  I am humbled by those that care for me.  I am grateful to all of those that wish to make these rough times better.  Still, I believe they know, just as I do, no amount of stuff is going to fill the void I'm feeling in life. however, tis the season for giving gifts and having just had a birthday pass I understand the transformative power of a heart felt gift.  Thus, after a thoughtful bottle of wine, I've prepared to answer what you can give me this year.

it was the day before my birthday when the most significant present of years arrived in my life.  as a family we were in the process of moving my grandmother to a new home, so where she could receive better care.  the process turned up lots of great old memories, emotions and of course family history.  You never know what little trinket might make the difference and it all feels like junk when you realize it need to get organized and moved.  Yet, when that something special arrives in your hands you realize it is a blessing that this talisman had been saved,... for you.

"I thought you might like this," my father said handing me my grandfathers old dog-tags.  placing it in my head I suddenly moved to silence.  All I could muster was a quiet thank you.  My father returned to work while I found a still room in which I could cry.

I never met my grandfather.  War, having taken a toll on the men of his generation, he died before I was born.  Having been blessed with his name, I've felt his presence my entire life.  And knowing what he did, the hard work he did to bring his family to the United States in hopes of creating a better life, fighting as a guerrilla soldier during WWII and not only escaping the Batan Death March but saving another man's life in the process, I've always known my grandfather (my Lolo) as a hero.  A hero, who's strength runs through me if I'm wise enough to call on it.

Fitting then, when this birthday approached, I was feeling at my lowest, his dog-tag arrived in my hand. this coming March will be the 30th anniversary of the US defeat at Corregidor, the moment that my Lolo had his character tested.  It was the moment he choose a path away from death in favor of a difficult journey back to his family.  It surely was a journey of faith, hope and love.  A scary moment in life but an important moment in life where a man realize there is a reason to go on, something bigger than self.

As I brought the chain over my head to hang the dog-tag around my neck I was again moved by the energy of the moment.  It had become clear, I had to finish the March begun by my grandfather 30 years earlier.  My entire life I'd wanted to visit the land of my forefathers, the Philippines.  Timing however has never been right.  This time though, we'll make it right, because it feels like the right thing to do.  I hope you'll help me.

"what can you get me, what do I need?"  Cash, help me get passage to the Philippines.  I have a date to walk in another man's shoes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tea for Two, Two for Tea - Come, Get Lost w/ Me

"what's your favorite spot for tea, ...on a mountain", she asked. she had my attention now as my mind wandered through a dream. where would one take a wood nymph like this for tea, how deep a moment am I willing to share. ah tea, another divine beverage. perhaps less on merriment than wine but surely more full of thought...

my desire for tea always transports the mind to a friends shop. a wonderful spot to procure exceptional small farm tea. from there I travel to other great tea-houses I know, scatter about the city, hidden on hillsides, deep in the jungles of my childhood imagination. the places I know and the places of fantasy all share a quiet spirit to them. intimate, they are a place of intention and thought. cozy, like a fort, I picture just the two of us occupying the space but it is shared with memories left by other guests ...their drawings, scribbled notes, pillow, feathers, nature, it is a temple... a place to worship, alone, together, each other, the serenity.

a tea-house, on a mountain, the thought or perhaps fear of a conversation that has no end; wonderful.

lost now in a cup of tea I'm disoriented, is that the setting sun or is it rising in my minds-eye. what vision is this before me. Where shall I travel with this woman, the answer is sure to unfold.  in this moment what is clear, with her I must share some tea. delicious

Monday, November 14, 2011

Never, Never Gonna Give You Up

it sucks when you realize you are a writer.  ...a story teller, a bullshit artist, a dreamer longing to write but scared of having to share.  the day that you have to open up your heart and be accountable for what you love is a tough day, that was the day I realized I was a writer, it sucked.

whatever your story is, when you become a writer, you realize it's just that, a story.  The choice is to either tell it or get off it.  the only one holding you back is you.  yep, accountability is difficult to escape.  sure you can try to shift the blame to someone else, "re-write" the story.  I know because I try it all the time.  But we both realize it doesn't solve anything in the end.  the fact remains that I am a writer, I know it and I'm not happy when I try to fake it.

we tell ourselves we can't pursue our dreams because they don't make us money.
we tell ourselves we can't complete whats in our heart because I have to many other things to do first.
we tell ourselves it doesn't matter because nobody will care anyway.

Standing on the other side of this abbyss I'm here to tell you it is all true.  keep on whinning, I hear ya.  Every story you tell yourself is true as true can be.  And in the end so is the fact you are what you are.  me, I'm a writer.

I fought the fact that I need to write.  I even allow people to convience me that I'm something else, that I'm not a writer.  at times I'd pretend that writing is only a private thing that I do for me and need not share.  Limit my world, hide from the truth that makes me happy, sounds fair but it is no wonder that life decided to kick me in the teeth.  had she not, I may never have awoken to the truth.  I am a writer, therefore I write.

Agree with me or not, I don't care.  read me or not if you dare.  I write not for you anyway, only for she and I.  I have stories to tell, unsaid words needing out; in need to live again so I writer.  I do it because I am a writer.  ...even if it's just about a bottle of wine

Friday, November 11, 2011

I'm Finishing My Coffee

 This affects all of us man.  so I pause, reflect and enjoying my coffee.  stress in my life can't compare to those we honor today.  sure this dude has had some ups and downs in life (strikes and gutters if you will) but never have I had to watch my buddies die face down in the muck of a war zone.  Sadly, many of our nations veterans have.  say what you will about the conflict in Iraq, the ongoing battles in Afghanistan, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, et all... the soldiers there were just doing what they were told so they could stay alive and eventually make it home.  One of those men was my dad.  (man am I thankful he made it home) 

So today, years removed from his service, he and I had some fun seeking out what freebies people were willing to give the old-man.  "thank you for your service" the common phrase of the day.  I however can't help but wonder what the world would be like had more people served to protect our basic freedoms.  Not with rifle in hand but with an open mind, an exstended hand and a smile.

Yes, bad people exist in the world, both abroad and at home.  Conflict occurs in every corner of the globe and parcel of the playground but violence, a hard heart, a closed mind never solves anything.  later, when I sitdown with my dad and other vets tonight to enjoy an applebees free dinner I'm sure we'll discuss, "what so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding"... meditating on that is the best way to honor our future veterans, it affects all of us, man

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Say It Aint So Joe

Fall, for many reason is the season of abundant joy.  Harvest, the many colors of the changing season, crisp air that hints towards winter and of course football, my favorite being college football (or at least it was).  It's a good thing that new wine vintages are released this time of year because I need a distraction...

College football is in shambles.  Money, power and the think that "winning is the only thing" has destroyed the once beautiful collegiate game.  It should be about the game, the glory and the atmosphere of a Saturday afternoon shared by a stadium of people.  tailgating with old friends, singing the fight song as the band plays on, the roar of a frenzied crowd, all things to celebrate.  Then of course the boys on the field giving their all, not for big money contracts but for a dream.  a dream to maybe make the next level sure, but for most it is the dream they share with the students, the alum and most times the state, the dream that we can be the best warriors in the land.  In its true form college football is about a love of sport.

slowly however that love has tarnished.  cheaters abound, so many school like Oregon, Ohio State, and much of the SEC are under investigation that nothing will likely be done.  We just except it as the dirt face of the new game.

many point to the desire to crown a champ as another example of futility.  the current BCS system is a mockery.  but the other options are just as lame.  truth is, a champ is not what people seek, it is a desire to create more revenue that matters to them.  the new mega conferences demonstrates that.

But then things like Penn State and Joe Paterno happen.  dirty little secrets, where rather than standing up for what is morally right, rather than being a voice for those without one, rather than protecting young vulnerable kids; a man of enormous power, reputation and prestige chose to only point out the evil but do nothing more to stop it.  Even as he knew it continued, he remained silent in public.  clearly Fear stopped him.  a fear of how this tragedy might would effect his team, his reputation, his friendship who knows but Papa Joe couldn't face his fear. In his personal failure young boys were hurt, sad.

we celebrate college players because they stand in the face of fear, sacrifice their bodies so all of us can have something to believe in on Saturdays in the fall.  I fear now that we have little left to believe in when it comes to college football.  money, power, winning; what does it all mean when we are stuck living in fear.

Monday, October 24, 2011

All You Got is What You Believe You Got - I Gotta Beleive

Surrounded by words, what do you say when you can't talk, in search of my voice, I listen to music to find it...  Alright Ms Nicks, I'm ready to be "washed clean." I'm stuck somewhere between "what I had and what I lost". Even though I understand the impermanence of life, this episode has been a hard pill to shallow. Yes "women, they will come and they will go" but as the song shifts consciousness, I wonders when she has "bette davis eyes" how can one let her go... the musical meditation plays on.

I take a sip from the bottle. the tannic taste of the washington merlot has a slight warming sensation to my throat. in the state I'm in it's good to know I can still feel. I'm lost. I'm vulnerable. I still can't believe she is gone, she? The wine hits my stomach now and those eyes return to my mind, watching. Big, Blue, haunting, I feel like I'm stand at the foot of my Great Gatsby. it all weighs heavy, a large pull from the bottle does nothing to reduce the weight but I allow myself to enjoy the juice anyway.

new lyrics in my head work to remind me, "yesterday's gone... yesterday's gone... oooh don't you look back"

half a bottle gone or half a bottle to go, the task I've chosen to keep my mind busy is all about perspective. I put the bottle down to grab my pen. the notebook before me is filling quicker then I can drain the bottle next to me. If it is all about those eyes, then all I can do is write, this story needs a better ending. I will not except a tragedy, the world is full of to many right now. "i wanna get next to you." spins through my mind now, so I write, write and write till my hand is sore, the bottle dry and my aching heart goes numb,... for now

spent I close my eyes relaxing into the next tune... "aint no woman like the one I got"

tapping my foot all I have left is a belief in what I "got"... drifting into the moment, "I'll kiss the ground she walks on" is exactly how I feel.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Game On Officer, Game On

Apparently if I am not going to ask out a woman, the universe is threatening to force an encounter on me.

From their perspective, I guess I can see what it looked like. After pull my car over suddenly, I jump out with a hatched and run toward the bushes.  They must have been thinking, either I just caused trouble, I'm about to cause trouble or I need to take a piss.  Pick the scenario, this is something these lady cops thought they should look into.  I'm sure how I was dressed had something to do with it.  My stylish form fitting running gear does show off my physique and the bright orange stocking cap I was wearing is sure to catch an eye, but it's my ten dollar shades that I must admit, make me look damn sexy.  Seeing how I was dressed, you could say I was asking for harassment.

"What are you doing over there?" I heard an authoritative voice call over my shoulder.

With an election sign and hatchet in hand I turned to face the cutest little butch officer of the law that I've ever seen.

"is that yours" she barked.

"the sign no, but yeah I work for the guy" I replied as I leaned on the sign, pushing it in by hand.  my eyes focused on checking this officer out.  not my type but she had a good stance. well balanced, defensive and ready to act.  I'm not sure if she'd go for the gun or choose to mace me.  Obviously, she was confident whichever she picked she could have it unbuckled and drawn before I could close the distance between us.  "I'm just trying to get'em back up after the storm." I said taking a couple steps toward her.

"Get that thing away from me!"

I can see I've made her nervous, "what thing?"

"The WEAPON sir." her tone was deadly serious, freezing me in my tracks.

"oh the hatchet." I turn and toss it into the bushes.  Before she can ask the obvious question I answer it for her, "I'm using it as my hammer."

"A pick-axe? Do you see how that can be misconstrued?"

thinking to myself, it's a little hatchet with a rubber protector over the blade, this aint going to hurt you lady.  My answer is humble, "I totally get it officer."

Turning my back, I walk over to retrieve my so called pick-axe.  The officer says something else to me but unimportant my attention is elsewhere.  I notice that all this time there was backup in the police-cruiser.

"Is that your car?" a sexier but equally authoritative voice inquires.

I look over at my car still running, the drive side door open and it is the only car in the entire lot.  "Why, did you run the plates, ...are you trying to look me up?"

"you look like trouble" she smiles, "I might have too."

The things I would say if her girlfriend was not armed and looking over my shoulder.  Instead I look directly into the eyes of the sexy cop inside the vehicle.  As I retrieve my weapon I flash a coy smile.  "Thanks officer." I say before breaking eye contact and return to my car.  Secretly I hope they decide to take me in, I'm a bad man.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Damn It's a Bunch of Bull

It didn't start with ego but ego soon took over.  at first I just wanted to grow stuff.  organic food to eat, a new relationship with the planet, but mostly family.  I wanted to learn to put down roots and raise a healthy family.  these were the goals of the farm.  the more I read, the more I thought the more complex I allowed my vision to become.  soon what I was really thinking about was a new type of economy.  secretly I was challanging some of the foundations of america's version of capitalism.  I wanted to take down the bull.
now in over my head I am lost in the labyrinth, alone.  my ego drove me to obsession, an obsession to take down the bull.  I pushed people away, especially loved one because I thought I was protecting them from the fears I was to face.  Instead, they lost faith, I lost support and then we lost our way.
the bull is still out there, awaiting me in this labyrinth which has me trapped.  my time here has been defeating, I was ready to give up.  Lost however, is no way to go through life.  scary as it has been, time in the isolation has changed me for the better. Today, under a full moon, I let go the past and walk the path to my future...
I pray my love has left a trail of thread to lead me home.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time Is On My Side? Yes It Is, I'm Told

From a vision on a distant horizon to the roots of manifestation I choose to live my life.  some call it magic but I find it is my way of being.  As a life long "creative", I've devoted much of my learning to the art of bringing my ideas to life.  I see something that I desire or I dream of something I want, I can have it if I commit to it.  I came to believe that if I pour my soul into the creative process, anything is possible.  Along the journey however, there have always been pitfalls, distractions, or other temptations to seduce me from my course.  So even though anything is possible, the possibilities being boundless, it takes a powerful kind of focus for a vision to take root.  Like balancing a tight rope, I am aware of a path to my desire but should I lose touch, everything can come crashing down suddenly.

Alone, I've found success creating a world that fits my desires.  Risk, reward, boom and bust all share space in my life and the scares from those encounters linger, but I get by.  still I continue with the life I've chosen because as a creative I must create.  Or so I believed.

Now coming into a stage of life were creating alone, only for self is no longer satisfying.  Dreams for me now are much bigger, bolder and they hold the hopes of others.  It is an inspiring type of creating now that pushes me to confront by my personal fears.  If I create it, can I still control it, which of course the answers is no.

Fleeting, control is, food for the false ego.  A million times I must have learned the lesson.  I never control the creative process, I only can work to direct it.  Guide the magic of the moment toward an outcome that I believe will be beautiful, beneficial, positive, this is the limits of control.  Pushing any harder will cause the collapse, sucking the love out of the creation.  Still, in the growth of a creation, as the roots push outward and the fruits of labor begin to blossom it feels like control; a godly blissful moment.  the mantra of "anything is possible" humming in my ears.  And in that same moment of joy the heart can be wrenched, torn from the chest, if part of the grand vision is not as it should be.   Suddenly a sense of failure can blind us to everything else.  it is in that sadness where I sit now and sulk.  having lost the only part that really mattered to me in my most recent vision, I'm left with the rest which appears only as window dressing on house of shit.  (false ego smiles with victory as I loose control)

visions however are never complete until we stop working them.  anything is possible as long as I commit to creating it.  I have no control but I have the power of my intention.  with that the magic of love opens the world to the creative...  I seek my focus again 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Just a Date.

Ten years following 9-11 and the country is still suffering the hangover.  It's hard to forget that moment, but it seems we still haven't learned the lessons.  The so called "war on terror" rages on, even after the man known as the mastermind of the plan has been killed.  (their will always be another enemy)  We have good troops, away from their family, fighting in wars that seem to have ever changing goals.  (when people profit off war their will always be pressure to fight)  Corperations are still taking advantages of our country, but then again that goes way back before enron.  And so does corrupt poloticians.  It just seems todays governement has too much money influnence going on.  Plus, it gets worse as the days pass, ever since the supreme court ruled that money equals speach and corporations have the same speach rights as people.  Sad really, money equals and vote and the people have no money.  It makes one wonder, if no one can afford to buy gas, who has money to express there vote?

I too spent today thinking about the effects of 9-11.  remembering the sacrifices people have made.  In there name I hope our nation finally quakes up and learns the lesson.  It's just a date if we don't live with respect

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Sardines Over Orzo - If It Don't Sound Good, You Don't Know My Skill

truth is wine doesn't drive me. yes, I write about it, I talk about it, and I drink a lot of it (but not too much).  Still, it's not really about wine for wine sake.  yes, I love the magic of wine but really it's food, any food that inspires me.  food is one of the best ways we communicated with the planet.  (hence, what pulled me to the farm in the first place, but that's a story for another glass.) how we express that communication is what excites me.  tonight I'm choosing to begin the conversation with a bottle of Sonoma-Cutrer Pinot Noir and stuff I found on the shelf. 

However, tonight it isn't about the bottle.  Tonight, wine is the special guest.  I great little bottle I grabbed at my new favorite wine shop in seattle.  so being that this tasty bottle is my guest (yes that is code for I'm drinking alone) I need to make a meal worthy of our guest.  Now if one would have stopped by the farm prior to this dinner, you likely would have thought my cuboards were bare.  But isn't that the beauty of cooking, creating something out of what you got and making that something a meal.

Yes, organic is the way to go.  whenever I can I get the freshest possible and ideally the best of the freshest.  having those types of ingredants makes cooking easy.  when reality sets in, and you are forced to use what you have, that's when your skill as a chef comes out.  luckily my chef skills come from a woman that survived a war.  more importantly, like any good mother, she took pride what she feed her family 

having lived in the japanese occupied philippines my grandma knows a few things about making do with what you have.  today, I'm yet to find a person that can out cook my Lola on her best day.  from watching create ever since I was a kid, I picked up a couple tricks of my own.  so what appeared to be junk on the shelves and a mostly empty fridge, turned into a flavor plate of sardines over orzo.  which if you ask me was worth of your guest, but only speaking for myself, I enjoyed them both.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Moon May Set but the Sun Also Rises

cycles, it all proceeds with cycles... birth to death to birth once more, as the sun rise and sets I can sleep confident that the sun will rise again.  the seasons too, like the cycles of the moon ebb and flow bring new perspectives on what we think we know.  life is experienced through these cycles of bliss and fear.  at their apex all things seem divine, which in contrast often feels like lose when the cycle flows in the natural opposite direction.  sadness, pain and more fear pour into that void....

but this too is part of the divine, the rich part if we are willing to embrace it.  it is up to us to choose.

it is the voice of my father that speaks in my head when it is time to choose but it is the wisdom of the ages that he shares.  "during good times life is easy and it is easy to be good. it is during the challenging times where it matters how we choose to respond."

quitting only works if you choose to be a quitter.  I choose love because love is eternal, the source of bliss that is divine. as the cycles wane from high to low and seemingly cycle lower than I want to go, I choose to remain in love.  in those times it can seem difficult to know love but actually simple when you've seen the majesty of the sunrise. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Give Me a Lion King

having taken some heat for my stance on leadership, perhaps i've failed to explain my thought. worse, perhaps people are willing to ask less of their leaders these days.  i however have no malaise for those that would be king.  what i've learned on the farm, is once you take leadership of the land, a myriad of duties are now your responsibility.  because of this, it is easy to become lost in the details.  still, should a leader lose their way they need look no further than their responsibility to those they lead.  it takes a lion.

it was while enjoying a fine bottle of wine in South Africa, safely enclosed in my rental car, that I watched a true leader at work.  for hours we enjoyed taking in the wisdom of those majestic felines.

lions and the big male that leads the pride is often referred to as the king of the animal kingdom.  when I began to understand the responsibilities of the big male I soon realized it was not his size that made him leader, it was his understanding of his duty to the pride.

often seen as lazy, our favorite image of the big male is of a cat relaxed beneath a tree, enjoying solitude and some cool shade.  meanwhile, the rest of the pride tends to family needs, hunting and the like, while the alpha male seemingly does nothing but think.  don't be fooled however, the big male uses all that thinking to prepare.  when a challenge arise, the lion acts desively as the prides leader.  when he fails to do so, or doesn't responded in a manner fitting the leader of that pride, or worse he fails to act for the betterment of the pride, no matter how big that male is, that cats time as leader is over.

it is the females of a lion pride that own the land.  genetic traits show us that it is the alpha female who's bloodline can be traced back deep into the history of the land, not the males.  male lions are only brought in by the pride to lead to be the leader for a time.  those lions are quickly asked to move when they are no longer up for the task of leading.  point being, the big bad do it myself lion must think of the pride first.  also, a big lazy lion that leaves the pride to govern it self soon, discover a pride does; that pride finds a new big male lion.

the saying goes it is lonely at the top.  it can be lonely too, alone thinking beneath a tree.  the task of a leader is not popularity.  a leader is not a rock star nor an idol.  a leader has the task to lead, in good times and bad.  when the economy is in flux, when the nation is at war, when unemployment is at unacceptable high levels their is no more time for deep thought in a shady spot.  We are at a point when our leaders need to step into the heat and take action.  and if we don't want to loose this land it is our responsibility to remind them of their responsibility.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Time For a Leader - I'll Take A Half Case

As of late my muse has been more of nature, less of alcohol.  wine will always be a muse, but it was an escape to nature that has kept me inspired during these ridiculous times.  as much as i had hoped the old me was dead and gone, it appears I still have plenty of rant left in me.  however, this latest mocker of our democracy has me back to the bottle.  likely it will take a case, if not just a liter, to calm my nerves  because the lack of leadership surround our nations debt crisis has me worried.  if people don't pull their heads out of their ass, everyone is going be looking for refuge on my farm.

to explain the crisis more than just a farce is a waste of keystrokes for me and an insult to you the intelligent reader.  for those few readers that lack the understanding to realize the president should simply act to avert this crisis, even if it becomes a constitutional argument. (which he can under the powers granted in the 14th amendment) then you have likely already wasted 20 minutes of your life sounding out my words to this point.  the point is, a joke crisis has now escalated to a global matter in which the united states has become the joke.  we elected barack obama to prove our democracy still works and this form of democracy is still the beacon of hope for the rest of the world.  instead, president obama sits in office afraid to lead.

ever since mr. obama was dubbed our first black president the running joke has been, "I thought his dick would be bigger." but what really is in question is the size of his balls.  to quote a friend of mine, "if I had the power, his [president obama] blackness would be revoked."

step up and lead on this one, mr. hope, mr. change I can believe in.  take the power of the 14th amendment now, before the deadline.  if it goes to court let's take it there.  let the supreme court rule on it.  let the haters have to relive the very reason the 14th amendment was put in the constitution.  let us remember all the broken promises of this nation, the debt we've placed on society.  if mr. black president, they want to take you to court, let us bring out the documents of 40 acres and a mule.  let us explore all the debt this nation owes, and not just to people of color, but to the poor, the hunger, the homeless, the out of work.  to the soldiers, the veterans, the retired and children.  the truth is, this nation owes the debt to the people. in that we are owed this moment to be in front of the supreme court, if it must.  at this point it is the only way to stop the madness.  as a nation, we must have the opportunity to still believe in our democracy for if we loose that we loose the United States.

if you are not the man to lead now President Obama, then please step aside.  I fear for the fate of this great nation, no more time to waste, time for a leader.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Drink - Something to Help Wyclef Think

where to begin? joblessness, debt, the fear of a black president.  it sounds like a public enemy song.  if you thought I was referring to the USA you wouldn't be wrong but this song, these lyrics are about another nation.  It is a song, I think best sung by Wyclef Jean.

Google his work with the country of Haiti if you don't know what it is I'm referring to.  while the rest of the world is willing to forget Haiti and it's rich history, some still believe that nation deserves its own voice.  even if you think you know the history of Haiti am referring to, I urge you to wikipedia it anyway.

I try to visualize what it was like to be involved in a slave revolt. I imagine how bloody it must have been.  the suffering, the gore, balanced in opposition to a liberating feeling.  The Thought of throwing off the very chains that have enslaved you.  to open your eyes one day and see the possibility of surviving on my own terms not the commands of another.  after being born into repression awakening to a sense of freedom, alive in a tropical paradise.  a free state, an island nation in waters surrounded by slave colonies.  (a fate worse than any modern supermax prison.)  the closes free neighbor, the newly born United States of America... it is a history that if I ever learned it, I must have forgotten cause it wasn't on the test.  But it doesn't surprise me because tales like that of Haiti are tales that we are seldom taught. 

Haiti has become the symbol of the plight of suffering that we choose to forget.  perhaps it is because the history of both nations is so closely tied, maybe it is because their closeness of global location, or maybe it is because we still think of haiti as the little brother we can always take advantage of but look no further than Haiti to see how hypocritical when can be as a nation.  a couch's lifetime of therapy might not solve the issues between the nations but should the UN promise to pay the bill for counseling, it would do wonders for both countries national debt.

currently Wyclef has visions of beginning that healing process.  only knowing the man through his lyrics I have faith it is him.  I would love the opportunity however, to sit with his inner circle, share a bottle and learn more.  at that meetings, always prepared with a tale, I'd eventually have the opportunity to hand Wyclef a caipirinha.  as the drinks silky sweet taste passes his lips, notes of both bitter and sweet will being to dancing to an un-song lyrics in this mouth.  I will share the story of this tasty drink, allowing Wyclef time to think.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

We're Sorry Murdoch

they are sorry

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Take a Hike Facebook, I'm Busy Soaking

hidden in the cascade mountains, I like to relax during the regular work week.  stuff can get done on the weekend or during dark hours while others sleep.  however, the solitude and serenity of a natural hot-spring is best enjoyed while the masses are at the office.  I don't know if anything is more liberating than a naked soak shared with a special friend or two.  maybe a tasty bottle of wine would make things better.  still, time spent in the natural world always makes the world better.

it didn't surprise me then, when an article surfaced that the founder of facebook likes to take people on a hike.  experiencing the natural world is important, even for the famous among us.  believe it or not, we are part of nature.  yet, daily we are told otherwise.  we seemingly struggle to avoid that reality, preferring to create a sterile environment full of digital numbers, virtual experiences and manufactured goods.  for some reason, people find comfort in a disconnection life.  at least they think they do.

take a person out of the office, help them experience the natural world on terms they can handle, I promise you they'll soon ask for more.  attachment, rather then detachment is something we all seek.  (if facebook has proven anything, it is the human desire to attach to something)  most are so detached they don't have the tools to re-engage.  and many that have tried to reconnect don't know how to leave the stress of the city behind, missing out on the full bliss of the natural mind.  the curse of our communal detachment effects us on every level.  from the food we choose to consume to the morals that guide our business; detachment, apathy and the like have sucked the humanity out of the human race.

rather then pondering my rant more deeply, or commenting in an effort to create debate, why not seek out a patch of grass, no matter how small...  take off your shoes....  walk around and feel the earth between your toes.  if you are still moved to share your thoughts please do, but first why not seek out a bit more nature and leave behind your watch,... your cell or even your shirt. write down what you feel like telling me.  however, before you mail it off, or try to push the send button, go a little deeper with a little less holding you back.  besides, I'd prefer face to face communication...  when you are comfortable just come find me at the hot-springs.  I'd really love to hear what you have to say.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

A Farmers Jihad

I have to admit I'm a bit of a terrorist sympathizer, a piece of me is anyway.  Because one of my favorite games, can only be described as terrorism.  I should explain...

Kerri (my soon to be wife) and I spend lots of time together.  Even though I love that woman to death, sometimes when you are stuck in a confined space for long periods of time, death doesn't sound like a bad option.  Luckily, Kerri and and I learned that creating entertaining games is a much better option to act on.

Driving has become our preferred method of travel, allowing us to sample quiet corners of the nation that are otherwise flown over and forgotten.  Still, during these long drives, a car can take on that tight, confined space feeling.  The radio gets old, conversation becomes stagnant, the endless road tiresome; something is needed to break up the monotony of the journey.  That's how one of my favorite games evolved.  It all started with fresh cherries.

Stopping at a roadside farm stand is both a good pit-stop and a nice way to enjoy some local treats, my favorite being cherries.  However, any fresh produce will do.  Once back on the road the game begins.  I prefer cherries because spitting the pits out the window is liberating.  Tossing an apple core, strawberry tops or even (dare I admit) a banana peal is equally fun.  Releasing this non-native*, usually seed baring, material is an act of eco-terrorism .  Sure, it's all organic and has little or no chance of actually taking root, but that is not the point.  In my head, it is a game of hit and run.  Eco-bombing the highway landscape is mischievous and littering is bad.  Still, I do it anyway just for the thrill.  I'm not proud of my terrorist tendencies but I'm learning to be honest about my flaws.

*if obtained from a local farm stand wouldn't it be native food?  Not always, in fact rarely, since most plants have been brought to the region for growing.  Further more, food is never a "native" part of a modern roadway.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grab Another Bottle of Wine, It's time for RISK

world domination is my new favorite thing.  I can't get enough of it.  it's fun, you learn things, you meet people, heck it helps you better understand the world.  and in the end, at least when I win, it feels like the world is in a better place.  the makers call it a world conquest game, where as I referred to it as world domination, but either way most people would know my new favorite passion as RISK.

among my friends RISK has taken on a kind of fight club aura.  it is our way of dealing with all the crazy shit in the world.  the running joke is that the farm, in its current state of decay, is my personal homage to the house on paper street.  which therefore my decision to live there means, I must be chasing my inner brad pitt.  which at first I take as an insult, but I have to admit that he was pretty badass in that movie.  as long as I get to continue to play RISK, make the world a better place and hang out with helena bonham carter, I'll let people joke about me being a crazy eddy norton.  (I've always kinda had a thing for helena)

so of course, the fight club-esque question is: what famous people, living or dead, would you play RISK with?

I like to take on Brits since those people love trying to take over the world.  I'd keep it to three plus me because I believe a four player game is the most engaging.  I'd take prince harry because of the two future kings he's the one that has some balls.  winston churchill because he directed a real global war and sir richard branson because he's done a pretty good job carving out his own piece of the world.  mostly though I think all three would be entertaining house guests, fun drinkers and it would be funny to see everyone treating the prince with the type of respect that he has earned.  (easy money says he'd be the first to go)

famous people or not, that is exactly why I enjoy the game of RISK.  it's a game that tends to bring interesting people together, sparks fun conversation and brings a little entertainment to otherwise somber global news.  enough typing; time to grab a bottle of wine, my board, and start up the next game of RISK.  are you ready to be dominated?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where Did My Chicken Go - That's Where

coyote came and stole my chicken.  that's the story people like to tell me.  i however, believe in another story.  whenever coyote is involved it is hard to know what the true story is, because coyote is a known trickster.

i am often surprised how much people inquire about that first chicken on the farm.  my thinking about that black jersey giant, prior to her disappearance, was a healthy detachment.  like everything on the farm, impermanence would be a realistic part of my relationship with the chicken i would come to know as OG. (short for original gangster).  i felt there would be a beginning and surely an end to our time together.  perhaps i thought i could take comfort in that frame of mind.  free from total emotional commitment, i'd be protected from hurt should my time with OG come to an abrupt end.  especially if the circumstances of her departure had something to do with me.  but like all stories that involve a trickster, perspectives change.  thus coyote taught me much about my relationship to OG.

i was the last to accept that coyote had anything to do with OG's departure.  when people would inquire how my chicken was, i'd confidently reply, "she's gone but i'm sure she'll be back."  to which the common reply, after a sad look, would be, "sounds like a coyote got her."  but that was a statement I was not willing to believe.  it was too simple a fate for a creature of OG's majesty.  or, perhaps i felt like that was a sort of judgement of my ability to manage a chicken, much less a farm.  of course like most personal judgements about a simple statement, my highly critical interpretation was a story created in my own head.  the truth was, once OG disappeared, i for the first time faced what i thought was failure on the farm.  i began to worry that the entire farm project might encounter the same fate.  

coyote had forced my hand.  i could no longer pretend that black chicken was just a fleeting figure in my life.  OG embodied a deeper meaning.  I learned a lot from that chicken.  she taught me about the farm, the land, perseverance, survival and life.  impermanent as our time together was, i came to understand the impact OG had on me would last my life-time.  and thus i still believe she will visit me again.

i no longer deny that it was coyote that took my jersey girl away.  a better truth is that crafty trickster seduced her away.  and why not, she is an amazing and beautiful creature, full of power and knowledge.  not the type of animal that one can simply destroy.  nor would a one with the wit of coyote want to.  no, coyote is wise enough to recognize a special creature like OG.  so surely, when the stars were right, under the soft light of the moon, coyote came along and lured OG away, and married my chicken.  somewhere, beyond the brush that boarders the farm, both coyote and OG keep an eye on me now.  constantly watching to make sure i keep my promise to the land.  

as long as i remember the lessons that feisty black chicken taught me, i know everything will be alright.  however, should i loose my faith or get off track, i know there is an old black chicken and a handsome coyote dancing naked just beyond the brambles.  they are there to remind me that all is okay as long as we choose to continue to have fun.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rainy Day Work - Pick Up a Pen

thankfully the rain held off until after I returned from holiday. it'snot that I don't enjoy a little rain, rather sometimes I prefer to not think to much, giving in to the relaxed, easy feel of a sunny day. even if it's partly cloudy, their is less to worry about when one can ignore the rain. perhaps that is because, as the saying goes, "when it rains it pours."
with the holiday, now over, I welcome a fresh wash from a spring rain. back to work, my thoughts turn to the power of the pen and I begin to write. the cool, damp day outside helps keep me at my desk. rather than tending to the chores or engaging with the land, the rain inspires me to take a more cerebral approach to the day. I turn to a more introspective assessment of my world. as my thoughts begin to germinate it doesn't take long to rediscover that yes, when it rains it pours. especially when we ignore the fact that it is raining.
the farm is quickly teaching me to pay closer attention to the subtleness of the world around me. even a light drizzle brings change to the landscape. seemingly simple acts, starting off perhaps as a few drops can quickly become a overwhelming torrent if we choose to ignore them. which is why I rant today about the power of the pen. silly yes, the audacity of me to think that my little blog can alter the effects of the downpour I see around me. but to me, a sillier notion would be not pen my thoughts. each voice matters, and bold belief in that power has always guided our nation.

yesterday was a day to reflect on the many lives that have been sacrificed to defend in the bold beliefs of united states. we are part of a once proud nation, unwilling to compromise on our inalienable rights. long ago, a few bold believers penned these ideals, and since waves of supports have defended those beliefs with their lives. and while the rest of the nation was focused on the memorial day weekend, president oboma quietly rained on everyones parade. by following the lead of our previous president, a few drop of ink were spilled renewing the patriot act. rather than focusing on a piece of legislation that damages and limits many of our given rights, the news of oboma's actions focused on the "pen" he used to create this new deluge. new controversy on top of old controversy helps to distract us from the effects that this little storm will have on our nation. even a digital pen drop can lead to damage by an unwanted rainstorm.

outside my window, the rain for now ceases to fall. in the background however a drip persists. this rain it seems, has alerted me to troubles the need my attention. our home needs tending. so for now I place down my pen. words alone are not enough in the face of a storm, it is time for action.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

time for a fresh bottle, it begins again

I thought I was done writing this experience, I thought it was time to move on to the next chapter of my life. I can feel a great transition taking place so I've been ingorinng my muse in favor of actions, or at least that's the excuse I use to not share my writings.  when I opened of bottle of old standby and settle in for a little SNL I should have known I was summing old habits into action. however it took tina fey to begin my fingers typing.

my first thought was why tina are you doing the sara palin, she is such a non-story. why bother to resurrect a dead character, you are pregnant for god sake. that's when I remember, tina is a great comedic writer, she knows that character is a zombie.  it must be the network must be begging for it.  in need of a buck (she'll soon have another mouth to feed), ms. fey once more rolled out the "alaskan milf" for our entertainment.

it was how she played it though that inspired my thinking. forced into action, it doesn't matter the circumstances or the timing, evey moment can lead to a teachable moment. In this case, wake-up people, sara palin will not go away on her own.   just stop listening to her and eventually the voice will fade.   others might continue, or so it may seem but trust me, you control your own fate and when you stop listening the voice eventually will fade.   an old girlfriend taught me that lesson, and happily I don't hear that voice anymore.

and so, with another sip I'm back to posting.   things might change around me but I'll still be left with teachable moments to share.   if you tire of hearing it, let the my voice fade, just make sure in my stead you get out and do something positive with your life.   I'm excited by the future once more

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Art of Seduction - Try Penfolds Grange

what do I know about wine a friend once asked. not much was my immediate reply, but I do know it is all about seduction.

I mean, wine doesn't always make the meal but you don't invited a woman home for a six-pack. wine tasting alone is an art full of sentuous story telling. making wine is a study in patience. and from my experince, a man educated in wine is best prepared to lure hot chicks. that's why I went into the wine business any way, the seduction of it.

but to truley seduce someone it takes more than wine. seduction is all about knowing them. likes, dislikes, taste in music, true hair color, etc.; you know the things that are important to her. a fool turns to money for seduction, but it takes more than money. admittedly at times money can get a woman in bed but the question then becomes who was seduced; the prey or the person happily parting with their money.

beside, seduction is more than its latin roots would imply, "to lead astray". sedcution done well, and I'd argue done properly, is understanding one's wants, desires and needs. seduction therefore becomes the gateway by which a new expereince, a new realm of understanding can open up for a person. when I was first exposed to Penfolds Grange that's all it took. The inky deep color, overwhelming aroma and flavors of ripe, dense, sweet fruit, mouth-flooding tannins, I meet a wine of rare dimension. seduction complete, my life was changed... for the better. that's all I know about wine.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Am I First or Was I Last - Times are Chang'n

The New York city skyline rolls in the opposite direction through my cab window. From my prospective, the city and I travel in different directions. Rooted firmly in hard earth, most people believe this city, like most cities, is going nowhere. On the other hand, I am speeding as fast possible through this snarling traffic in an uncertain direction. If you ask me I don't know where I'm heading. Other than an address, all I know is I'm meeting an old friend for a drink. The bottle of wine I brought along isn't going to make it. I decided to sample a drink while I waited for my cab but now it's remnants are being sacrificed to calm my nerves in this rat race of a town. If you ask most people they'd likely agree, I have no clue where I'm going.

As the world rushes forward, chasing technology, I appear rooted in the past. Cities seem more and more foreign to me, choosing the mountains as my home and a farm as my passion. Ask me and the future I see is clear, at least for me. The direction of the city concerns me. As I move forward to change with the times, the city stands still, unwavering in its opposition to change. I see the people on the other side of the cab window, continuing to go about with a business as usual mentality, but they like me already know these are unusual times. A ballad of truth sings out from my ipod, "the times the are a changing".

Another tragedy in the news, more civil unrest and stories upon stories of baffling disturbances in world we once referred to as natural. "for the times they are a chang'n."

Shortly, I'll be deposited curbside. Leaving the solitary environment of the cab, I will once again be in the city.  I will begin walking in my direction as the city stays committed beneath me. Around us others will glide past in their chosen paths, but little of that concerns me now, I have an old friend to meet.  I'd better grab a new bottle of wine so I can greet them properly.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unrefined and Still Divine - Wolftrap Wine

The bottle before me has a stylized wolf on the label and it's getting me drunk.  Not the usual, I'm gonna puck drunk, but drunk never-the-less.  I'm drunk on ideas.  The wine itself, Boekenhoutskloof "Wolftrap" Shiraz-Mourvedre-Viognier 2008, is an tasty unrefined bottle of South African juice.  A nose of red fruit, spice and violet is followed by fresh but lush aromas of cherries, blackberries and a touch of smoke and dark chocolate.  The wine goes down smooth and integrated.  In fact it drinks so well that Wine Enthusiast proclaims it a "Best Buy".

Still, this bottle of Wolftrap is nothing fancy.  It is simple, affordable and in my mind best described as primal.  Both the taste and the label inspire the inner caveman in me.  Which is what has me drunk on ideas as I type.  A couple glass in and a couple left to drink I find myself seeking more tasty ways to live well, while still enjoying my inner savage.  And that is how I stumble on the

As I pollish off the last half of the bottle I have plenty of reading to enjoy.  Looks like the next time I enjoy the unrifined pleasure of Boekenhoutskloof Wolftrap 2008, I'll have some divine eats to pair with my wine.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Is My Glass Really Empty

When a glass is empty their is no half full.  From that point, the brighter side only happens when you open another bottle, at least that's what you hope, that's what they tell you and usually that's what you want to believe.  But when you enjoy a special bottle of wine, and when that bottle is enjoy in the right environment and further more when that wine is given the opportunity to fully express itself, you know, no matter what a similar label claims, their is no other bottle.

It was the bluest of blue eyes that taught me that.  She shared a bottle with me once that would've pleased the gods, and likely did.  I however was to drunk from the night before to even taste it.  I sucked that wine down like it was two buck chuck.  Asking for another glass before my first glass was gone.  Without stopping to enjoy the bouquet, without appreciating the deep crimson color, without even trying to taste the juice, I rushed in. I gulped down another drink.  Who needs to feel, just keep me drunk.

And drunk it kept me, so much so that I never realized we (as in I) drank the entire bottle.  Nor did I realize that she was gone.  I thought she had just left to find another bottle.  I heard later that she had brought one and only one bottle for me to enjoy with her; a special bottle that she'd been saving to share at the right time with the right man.  Looking back I wished she had found him.  Had he been me, I would be sharing a fabulous tale of a fantastic wine with a beautiful woman.  Instead, I'm left feeling like shit, head pounding and wondering what did I drink.

Sober now, glass fully empty, blue eyes haunt me now, where did she go.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And So It Goes And Continues to Go

Barely into the new year and already the newness of the year ahead has begun to tarnish. For me, 2011 started with much promise and excitement. Life it seemed was finally feeling effortless, a fantastic flow that carried me seamlessly to each joyful moment. However, a new storm has blown in, testing me and apparently my reslove. 

It all began with a rain drenched weekend. A minor treat to activities outdoors, the prospect of being soaked to the bone was easily overcome by a coupious amounts of homebrew wine. Though slightly watered down by the ever increasing rainfall, both the wine and the accompaning party rocked on, through the blustery night. It wasn't until the next morning that my entire world was rocked, a death has away of doing that to people.  This time it wasn't just one death but two.

Death, though has another effect; just as every rain cloud has a silver linning.  Death has a way of reminding us about life.  I choose to celebrate that.  Still, I would be lying if I said everything is flowing smoothly now, far from it infact. My brief glimpse of a carefree life as regained the weight of seriousness (at least for now).

I'm not sure what the lasting effects of this rainy weekend will have on the rest of my life but I take solice in what a wrote not long ago. They were words a muse shared with me, "It's just energy, you get to decide how the feeling goes through you."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let it Flow, Let Your Self Go

"It's just energy," she tells me. "You get to decide how the feeling goes through you."

Like a tuning fork those words humm in my head. Hanging there just amount before reasonating throughout my entire body. As I drift off into thought, the room melts away. I decide how the energy flows threw me...
Powerful little creature are we, specks in the grand scheme of the planet but undeniably able to re-shape the world around us. Together we can move mountains, change environments or if enough of us to loose our minds in unision, we can shake the earth. We are a powerful people.

Look no further than the vineyard to see the power of people. Land, crops, earth, water have all been moved to focus all the regions energy to grow the perfect sugary grape juice. Fermentated, that juice becomes a beautiful expression of all the goodness the world has to offer. A great sip of wine releases memories of season past, stories from special moments, secrets treasures hidden in the universe; wine, in it's sexiest form, is a conversation with god.

Wine is but one of the many expression of people power. The energy we have access to is limitless. It is up to us to let it flow, and once it begins to flow we choose how it flow through us. As I think that thought the room returns to my conciousness. Those I left behind are once again among me. As I look back, outward onto the world, I make eye contact with her once more. She smiles. As I feel that energy flow through me, I smile back.  A New Year begins...