Frankly Speaking, Life’s A Beach

Embed from Getty Images

 

Imma be preempting our regularly scheduled “Heroes” episode in order to dish up some breaking news that is actually worth its weight in bold. Because my punctilious pen pal, the golden gloved gallivanter, the kid I call Cincy . . A Frank Angle . . . yeah. He’s back. 

He’s got brand new digs (click here), that will prove refreshing to your senses and his debut is coming up next week- Tuesday, October 20th. So make sure to stop by and give him some love. And because we ain’t gonna tease when we can please, Cincy has supplied us with a very special preview of what’s to come. 

Enjoy the walk . . .

 

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Ever think about seeds? They seem so simple at a glance – even on closer examination. We typically think of a hard, thin outer shell with a softer inside. 

On the other hand, this seemingly plain object is the beginning of something new – something beautiful – something useful – a green plant that can be as simple as grass or are grand as a large tree.

Earth’s annual regeneration of seeds for release (many in the fall) – possibly covered by winter snows – yet ready for renewal in the spring so the cycle can repeat – all this with its goal of perpetuating the species.

I think of the farmer preparing the land before planting the seeds. Whether scattering the seeds randomly or planting them in straight rows with distinct spacing, time delivers something that belongs to all of us – bountiful crops and flowers. 

As I walk, trees are sparse – only found on the grounds of some condominiums – although they are naturally found a short distance away from this beach. I think about a forest. Somewhere in that forest’s history, there was a time of one tree – the first tree. One tree that came from a seed. From that one tree came other trees – each coming from a seed.

I think about the sizes and shapes of seeds – from the tiniest orchid seed to a type of coconut containing the largest seed – shapes as squares, oblong, angular, triangles, round, egg-shaped, bean-shaped, kidney-shaped, discs, and spheres. Some seeds with lines and ridges – others perfectly smooth – plus in a variety of colors, and some even speckled.  

A seed has three components – an outer protective coat, the embryo for growing into a new plant, and the food source giving the embryo and young plant its initial food source for growth – all aspects for increasing a chance for survival.

Ever notice how leaves sprout early from a seed? Yes, leaves for producing food for the youthful, growing plant because the initial food source is small. 

Seeds hold the potential to produce something new because they contain hope and promise for something new. But not all plants use seeds for reproduction. For instance, mosses or ferns do not  – but seed plants are the ones that dominate the plant world. 

This causes me to think about our fertility – that is, the seeds within us. The promises that we hold that can produce a bountiful yield.

Interesting that the sperm of human males are called seeds, but in the plant world, seeds are something produced after the sperm fertilizes the egg.

Seeds are mobile, so they must have adaptations to move them around – a method of dispersal. Some have wings to be carried by the wind. Some have barbs, burrs, or hooks to attach to fur, feathers, or even human clothing to be dropped elsewhere. Some are buoyant so moving water can transport them. Others are surrounded by fleshy fruit that will be eaten, therefore the seeds can be exposed and deposited elsewhere for potential growth. 

I remember the large oak trees at my previous home. Each producing a bountiful supply of acorns – but not the same number each year. Each acorn with a coat, an embryo, and food supply. Each acorn is the potential for a new oak tree. However, all those acorns from one tree – a culinary feast for squirrels preparing for winter – so I wonder how many of all those acorns will yield their acorns in time. 

Seeds are that structure we plant in fertile soil and associate with terms as vigor, viability, dormancy, and germination. Seeds are also a source for food, oils, cooking ingredients, flavorings, jewelry, and even deadly poisons.

Besides a simple design yielding a complex adult, the seed is also a useful metaphor.

People are hidden seeds waiting to become viable vessels of knowledge. Because every seed has the potential for a significant result, seeds are a symbol for the potential that is in each of us for a positive future – a power of hope and possibility. Teachers hope to plant a seed in students – a seed that develops over time into something valued by others and society – their role in cultivating humanity.

Seeds are the ideas coming to us from thinking. The something that initiated a thought process that leads to personal action for improving life. The seeds of discovery lie in the knowledge of determination through the human spirit.

I think about how each of us has a bright side and a dark side – the good seeds and the bad seeds. Seeds are a symbol for laying the groundwork for future development as planting the seed – but some use planting the seed for promoting negative feelings or a downfall.

Religions rely on the seeds of faith while politics prefers manipulating the seeds for selfishness.  

A heart contains seeds of love that are waiting to sprout a new life with that special someone.

I think about how entrepreneurs use “seed money” for starting a new business. I also remember during my youth using “bird feed” or “chicken feed” as a term for a small amount of anything – something paltry or minuscule in amount.

Seeds – that simple, interesting, incredible, and successful biological design found in nature that plays a large role in human life. I don’t recall what triggered thinking about seeds on this day, but it has been an interesting mental journey and exercise as I walk. After all, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Edition of Heroes

Embed from Getty Images

 

Although I last posted in early February, I haven’t written a blog post since January – let alone put something together on the fly. Then again, the tales of The Painted Lady are the exception.

This past Wednesday evening, Marc invited me to write this Heroes edition. How in the hell is a guy who hasn’t written in so long supposed to write something in place of the host who can write better than most of us on his first draft while asleep?

For full disclosure, I submitted so many heroes for this week, I promoted an idea to Marc for an all-Frank edition of heroes. Unforeseen by me, he turned the tables on me by returning the pile to my lap – and Imma not a talkin’ hemorrhoid piles from sitting on my keister.

What do you get when a newspaper delivery guy, a mailman, and a lady in a Subaru meet a property manager for a meal outside a restaurant that isn’t open because of COVID-19? Yep – the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot edition of Heroes.

My peeps who remember me know that I firmly believe the majority of the world is good. Oh yes – plenty of assholes exist, including the regular ass hats that find their way into the daily news. But the good of the world’s majority is the light of humanity.

Bruno Serato of Anaheim CA is a celebrity chef, restaurant owner, and long-time giver. Since coming to America with $200 in his pocket, he is a self-made success story. He has achieved more acclaim for his long history of feeding unprivileged kids than his highly successful restaurant. Unfortunately, in 2017 a fire destroyed his restaurant – but he kept giving. COVID-19 has pushed him close to bankruptcy, but he keeps on giving meals to the needy because it is his true passion. Watch this short video for yourself.

 

Kyle West is my local connection – a 23-year-old mail carrier in Cincinnati, Ohio. On his daily route of 400 customers, he smiles and talks to them. With COVID-19 changing people’s lives, Kyle included a personal note in each stack of mail. “If you are at risk and need help getting essential items, let me know. I will do what I can to help. Sincerely, Mailman Kyle.” The number of requests surprised him and he surprised them all with action. Here’s a short report from a local television station.

 

Greg Dailey delivers newspapers to home subscribers in his central New Jersey town. A subscriber requested he toss the paper closer to the house. He obliged, then an idea came to him – so (like Mailman Kyle) he wrote a note and included it in the paper. “I would like to offer my service free of charge to anyone who needs groceries.” People called – then more people – customers and noncustomers – and he did what he offered. Watch this short video.

 

Larry Connor owns a company in nearby Dayton, Ohio. The Connor Group owns and manages luxury apartments around the country. Two of Connor Group’s core values are doing the right thing and the belief that people count. Larry’s success has made him a shit-pot full of money. COVID-19‘s economic impact on people has been profound, yet Larry has made more money on the stock market. He thought about the money and the economic situation. Then called a Zoom meeting of employees – and yes – gave it away. Check out the short video.

 

Mary’s story is not directly related to COVID-19, but it is about goodness. While distraught from the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mary Latham and a friend decided to collect stories about good deeds and post them on a website. Her mother’s illness suddenly turned for the worse. That day she also received a story about a person who lost both parents – then her mother died within two weeks – and that’s when she decided to drive around the country collecting stories about goodness that she would put together into a book to be placed in hospital waiting rooms. Three years later, she returned home from her journey with her stories about that goodness that she knew was out there. But she also returned with many surprises – the goodness that people did for her. Here’s the story I first learned about Mary, plus a short video made during her journey.

 

Keep smiling, have a good week, and thanks for reading. In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

You Suck, I Love You

Frank has issued me a challenge to which I just had to accept, because it means he’ll make way for this joint as a result. His mission, if I chose to accept it, was to make a short story out of the image below. And so I did just that. It should be noted I didn’t give myself a word count, because I know full well once I get writing, I can’t shut myself up . . .

BathroomSign (1)

Andy led Monica into the men’s room of The Bulldog Cafe and stood in front of the stall, beaming like a Cheshire cat standing over a drained Koi pond.

“We’re in the men’s room . . because?”

“The sign? They posted this sign because of us!” Andy said excitedly.

“Because of us, I’m not following . .”

“The stall babe, this is OUR stall! It’s where we, yanno . . .”

“Is this why you dragged me in here? To remind me about my less than brilliant life choices? I can call my mother for that, thank you,”

Andy continued, apparently clueless to the slight as he remembered back to their raucous New Year’s celebration a year earlier, as if this men’s room was the top of the Eiffel Tower.

“We had sex in this stall . . and now we’re immortalized!”

“Because of this sign?” Monica asked disbelievingly.

“Hell yes because of this sign! Remember how pissed the owner was when he had to come in here because people were complaining about the couple in the stall?” Andy laughed.

“No, I don’t remember. Which is the point Andy . . because that’s how sex in a bathroom stall works. The participants are in no condition to remember anything!”

“Well, I remember . .” Andy said, clearly hurt by Monica’s brazen attitude.

“And I love you for it, really I do. But something tells me that . . Tiger? Something tells me Tiger didn’t post this sign because we were the first couple to have sex in that stall,”

Andy was undeterred as he studied the stall door now.

“You know what? We did break the door that night, I knew it! Look, they replaced it with plywood! If my memory serves me right, the original door was made of pine, wasn’t it?”

“No babe, it was cherry wood . . with dovetailed edges. Because Tiger and his business partner, whose name I can only assume must be Booger, those boys always go top of the line,”

“Okay, you obviously do not share my appreciation for our connubial flammability. But that door was most definitely pine,” Andy said as the door to the men’s room swung open and a burly man in a football jersey ambled in.

“Excuse me,” He grunted as he moved around the couple and settled over the urinal.

“Honey, can we discuss this somewhere else? I’m sure this gentleman would like some privacy,” Monica said through gritted teeth.

“Nah, I’m good. Yanno, when I gotta drain the lizard, ain’t nothing or no one who’s gonna stop it,” The man chuckled.

“Okay, I’m outta here,” Monica said, throwing her arms up in disgust.

“Wait . . wait a minute. Sir, perhaps you could settle an argument me and my wife are having about this stall door. I told her that, clearly it’s been replaced and . . ”

“Yes dear, and my new boss? Bears a striking resemblance to Keanu Reeves . . so maybe you want to quit trying my patience and let this nice man go about his . . . business?” Monica said as she took hold of his arm. But Andy wasn’t budging.

“Yeah, they replaced it last year.” The man chimed in. “Tiger said it was coming off its hinges . . . says some couple was having sex and busted the damn thing,”

“BOOM!” Andy bellowed. “That was US!”

“No shit,” The man laughed as the door to the men’s room swung open again and a boy entered. 

“Oh good! More company,” Monica deadpanned.

“Daddy? What’s a girl doing in here?” The boy gawked as he moved to the sink to wash his hands.

“Look at that. Ten years old and he gets it. What’s your excuse?” Monica said as her eyes burned into Andy.

The burly man moved to the sink with his son and began washing his hands now. “Son, remember how I was telling you about the birds and the bees?”

“Is he gonna bang her?” The boy asked.

“Yeah son, I think he’s gonna bang her so we should get outta here,” He chuckled.

“I don’t know what you see in him, lady. But I’ll guard the door . .” The boy winked on his way out.

“That . . . is wrong on so many levels,” Monica said.

“I think it’s kinda sweet,” Andy smiled.

“We’re never having kids. I just decided that,” Monica said.

“I can’t wait to have kids with you. I imagine they’ll crawl into bed with us in the early morning. I’ll go downstairs to make us some coffee, and when I come back up to the room there you are, fixing those great big, beautiful eyes on me. And your hair’s all mussed up and you’ve got no makeup on and none of it matters because I am looking at the most beautiful creature I’ve ever laid eyes on . . .”

“You know what?” Monica said, her anger subsiding no matter how hard she tried to get it back. “You suck. And I love you. So much” Monica said as tears began to pool on the corners of her eyes.

“So whaddya say? Wanna go another round while we’re here, since we have our own personal security detail?” Andy said.

“Not a chance, Romeo.” Monica said as she led him out of the bathroom. “Plywood can’t handle what I’ve got in store for you, pal”

 

 

 

Sorryless Sunday Morning

I am proclaiming this Sunday to be the intermezzo of my Woodstock series of posts. So in lieu of flower power, Imma post the first in a brand new series that will show up on the regular once I’m finished spilling on my three days of peace and music in the Catskills with the lovely Q.

I used to do a “Sunday Morning Coffee Love” post on my old blog. I don’t want to steal that title, so I came up with Sorryless Sunday Morning because it had a Lionel Richie groove to it. I may change up that title in future posts, but the vibe will remain the same.

Sorryless Sunday Morning posts will feature blog shout outs, quick hits on whatever is dancing in ‘me noggin and a music video that brings the requisite chill to my Sunday morning. I hope you enjoy.

  • My son’s first week of teaching is in the books and it frazzled him. He’s in that new teacher zone where he’s gonna have to learn his rhythm. As with anything else an individual does that is worth doing, he’ll figure it out. A shout out to Frank at A Frank Angle for dishing up some pieces he wrote on teaching for me to give to my son. Frank is a scholar and a gentleman, and I’m blessed to call him my blog neighbor.
  • Speaking of blessed, the lovely Q wrote a beautiful piece at A Dalectable Life about love and friendship- and how it endures. Later on, we had a rather involved discussion about writing and published works, to which I’ve been stewing on ever since. I feel sometimes that I am hopeless in my take on the matter, so her nudging means more than she will ever know.
  • As for published authors, John Howell at Fiction Favorites is back in the lineup after his surgery a couple weeks ago. He’s the Mike Trout of the blogosphere in that he comes to play (write) every single day, and he brings it. Whether he’s writing his weekly mystery series, a prompt challenge or his haiku . . he engages you with his wit and his clever wordplay. Blog life is always sweet when he’s in the room.
  • As far as good tunes go, tune into Tara’s sizzle over at Daisy Smiley Face if you’re looking to vibe on some musical goodness. Tara operates on the same wavelength as yours truly as far as her musical tastes go, but every once in a while she’ll introduce a singer or group I’ve not heard of. And it’s always a slam dunk.
  • And to round out my top five blog shout outs for this week, Imma mention a chica who tells terrific tales about tails. Monika at Tails Around the Ranch also speaks gardening and Colorado and hockey, fluently. And she just started up a new online business called Sam’s K9 Kreations, so make sure to check it out!

As for my quick hit thoughts? I gots a few . . . .

  • I’m cutting ties with Walking Dead after this coming season. Like the old Carole King song goes, the feeling has died (for me) and I just can’t hide, and I won’t fake it.
  • Urban Meyer has been exposed for the phony he is, but winning will prove to be the deodorant of his odorous tenure. So here’s hoping he gets a clue before someone else becomes a victim.
  • One of my favorite Clint Eastwood lines, in an endless sea of ’em . . .
  • Jacob DeGrom of the Mets probably ain’t winning the Cy Young, but I happen to think he’s the best pitcher going this season. And if I’m a Mets fan, I’m pissed that ownership is wasting his immense talent.
  • In response to the peeps who call him overpaid, Raiders coach Jon Gruden threw shade at Tom Cruise; basically saying that no one complains about how much Cruise makes in a movie. Well . .having just seen the latest installment of Mission Impossible, I can tell you that Cruise is the only thing that drew me to the franchise. And if I’m laying down money, Imma go with Cruise over Gruden . . every day, and yes, twice on Sunday.
  • Going to see Crazy Rich Asians with the girl. Yes, the rumors are true. I am all about the rom-com.
  • Going to see The Nun when it comes out in a couple weeks. And no, the rumors are not true. I will not be wearing diapers. I also won’t drink any beverages beforehand . . .
  • I don’t think peeps understand that impeachment does not mean the removal of the President.
  • Braciole, like my lechon, is a dish best served in variations. The stand alone opening night dish is pure gumba-licious. The next day sammy is slamming. And every day thereafter . . it’s the dish that keeps on giving.

Well, that’s a wrap for this Sunday. Be sure to tune in next week for my next installment in the Woodstock series. Have a wonderful Sunday, and an even better week.

Peace, love and music