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Friday, November 27, 2009

Stone soup...

Everybody, I hope, has heard the story of stone soup.

You remember...

The story is the one in which everybody in the village or wherever is getting pretty hungry because no one's crops did very well that year. One day, random-lady-A starts telling everyone how she is going to make an old family recipe called stone soup. Stone soup is this wonderful concoction her great-great-great grandmother created. It never comes out quite the same way twice because you just throw in a little of whatever you happen to have on hand but it invariably comes out as a wonderfully flavorful dish that everyone enjoys.

Well, as the story goes on, all these neighbors she has been talking to start salivating and, soon enough, everyone around has a hankerin' to try this stone soup stuff. One by one the neighbors start to surreptitiously show up at the house as she cooks. Each of them, as they arrive, just happens to have something with them to add to the soup. One person has carrots, another some broccoli. Hank, from down the way, brought a rabbit that he had caught earlier that day. I like to think that the chef of our story breathed out a heavy sigh of relief when, finally, Delores comes in with a couple heads of garlic...

Obviously, as each person comes in the house, another ingredient is added to the pot. Everyone is being social and the excitement over the soup continues to grow. In time, this glorious soup takes a shape spiced by friendship and flavored with love. Everyone gets to have some and, more importantly, everybody leaves full and more than satisfied. Hank even gets to take some home for his dog.

The moral of the story as I understand it is not, as some of you may think, that a woman with a rock and a well gets to eat for free. Rather, it comes down, basically, to the fact that there is wealth to be found in friendship and that love and camaraderie is enough to sustain us.

I don't know exactly how I feel about all that but I was afforded the opportunity earlier today to create and serve a communal meal.

It was pretty neat to get to take ingredients from different households and combine them to make a meal to share amongst a group. Each of us added something to the concoction and, when everything was said and done, all of us got to share a delicious meal with friends where everyone was able to contribute.

It was fun.

I look forward to doing communal meals again in the future and I will let y'all know how it comes together.

Cooking is like making love, you do it well, or you do not do it as all.
-Harriet van Horne-

Note to readers... I am aware of the fact that there are dozens of versions of the story of stone soup. I have read some involving a soldier or even a small group of soldiers. I even remember one from when I was a kid where the chef in the story was a hen. In my world, it was the same Little Led Hen who baked bread all by her self in an effort to teach the other farm animals not to be lazy bastards.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Believe...

I believe in magic. I believe it is there for us to harness and ride as soon as we accept it as real. I believe we should get on that, before it's too late.

I believe Dragons and Unicorns are constantly lurking just around the next bend. I believe we can see them if we just remember how to look properly.

I believe that friends are the most important thing and that to have friends means to be a friend.

I believe that whatever we set our minds to is, indeed, possible. I do not believe that there are limits to this fact. I also believe that those people who do strive to put limits to this should be kept away from the rest of us because they are dragging our asses down.

I believe that we can be who we want simply because we want to. Furthermore, I believe that anyone who tries to tell us it is wrong to be who we are, should be beaten with a stick until they come around or cease inhabiting our universe; whichever comes first.

I believe that hard work and dedication can overcome all obstacles. I believe that, properly recognized and encouraged, a person who shows themselves to be capable of both traits can rule their world with an iron fist balanced by ultimate tenderness.

I believe that all problems can be solved. I believe that human ingenuity is such that, by bending our will to a problem, we can overcome the insurmountable.

I believe that anything is possible. I believe that in our trek to the stars, we will confront our limits and exceed them on the strength of our sheer stubbornness alone.

I believe in monsters. I believe they are hiding just out of sight to ruthlessly pounce on the unwary. I believe that, armed with a fire poker, said monster can be permanently banished.

I believe that the world is full of stupid people who are unaware of their own stupidity. I believe that, every once in a while, every single one of us is guilty of being one of those stupid people. I believe our truest friends should smack us with a rolled up newspaper whenever we cross that line.

I believe that love is real and in many guises. I believe that love is returned to us by its very recognition. I believe that, when we find someone we love, we should cherish them and go out of our way to keep them safe; not sheltered.

I believe that smothering someone is just as dangerous as ignoring them. I believe that the adage, "Keep thy friends close and thine enemy closer," deserves to be reinterpreted as "try to befriend everyone".

I believe in fairies. I believe they are closer than we believe and more substantial than we imagine. I believe their headquarters is just up the way, beyond the deer-head in the road. I believe the wisest course is to heed the warning.

I believe that kindness is not always the best course. I believe that kindness can be a hindrance in large enough quantities and that it should be carefully tempered by truth.

I believe that, sometimes, violence is the answer. I believe that on occasion a little bit of violence can save a great deal of pain and that, in those rare instances, the violence should be freed of its shackles and chains and let loose until the other side of understanding can be reached.

I believe that every person we meet is meant to be either a friend or an estranged acquaintance. I believe nothing is wrong with either and that the only difference between the two is in their levels of understanding.

I believe that it is important to hold true to our individual beliefs. I believe that anyone who insists your beliefs are wrong should be forced to sit in a chair and examine their own faith until they understand where they've left the path.

I believe that understanding can be accomplished through a delicate combination of listening and hearing. I believe that, by refusing to be open to understanding others, we close ourselves off and, ultimately, make ourselves poorer for our ignorance.

I believe that knowledge is wealth and that no flavor of knowledge is exempted from this fact. I believe that by learning all we can while we are here, we prepare ourselves to move beyond.

I believe that spiritualism is every bit as valid as faith. I believe that they are one and the same and are all but interchangeable. I believe that it is a basic part of the human condition to rely on one or the other to help us see more clearly.

I believe that anger is no excuse for cruelty and that cruelty is an unacceptable byproduct of fear. I truly believe that fear can be overcome and that it is in an individual's best interest to do so.

I believe that ignorance is bliss but wisdom is joy and, while each person should be allowed to choose their own path, each person should also be educated and made aware that it is, in fact, a choice.

I believe that, sometimes, the best way to find the path is to travel more deeply into the woods. I believe that darkness is the easiest place to find the light.

I believe that the opposite of death is creation.

I believe that occasionally examining our beliefs helps us to better know ourselves.

I believe that every thing of beauty is both magical and majestic and that we owe it to ourselves to bask in their existence and be enriched by them

What do you believe?

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
-Gail Devers-

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


As it turns out, November is National Novel Writing Month. What that means is that every person who has ever even considered writing a novel is being encouraged to spew forth anything they can in an attempt to write a novel between November first and thirtieth.

In other words, no one is going to be reading this post because everyone is too busy putting their every thought in print.

The goal is 175 pages or 50,000 words. Broken down it is about a million words a day.

I have been challenged by several friends (These particular friends shall remain nameless. We will simply call them "the bastards" for the purposes of this post.) to join in the festivities and see what I can come up with.

The bastards are all writing their novels this month as well so, in an effort to avoid looking like a pussy, I have to try as well.

I am starting a little bit late and, so far, have only about 500 words down. I have nothing resembling a plan here so I am going to do what I can with what I already have floating around in my head. For those of you who know me best, that may be more than a little bit scary to think about.

What all this means to you is that blog posts are likely to be intermittent at best. (This is probably true for some of the other blogs you follow as well. Just in case you are wondering where your other favorite blogger has disappeared to.

Have no fear though... I will be popping in here on occasion to bitch about my slow progress and how crappy this unedited shit I am putting out is. Hopefully, as December and January roll around, I will be putting up some more positive posts about how things weren't as bad as I previously thought and how, now that I am editing it, my story may be shaping up into something like a halfway decent pile of shit.


Just thought I would tell you all what I was up to so that you could make fun of me for it. Especially if I don't manage to come through the finish line. (That's right... Do I know how to motivate myself or what!)

In closing, I love you all and hope this whole thing pays out in the long run. Positive energies and all that. Hooray for forward momentum and then like. Be good. Stay out of trouble. And try not to forget to laugh out loud!

There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
-Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith-