Saturday, February 10, 2007

Where The Sidewalk Begins ~

Two blog friends are going to see Julian Beever's sidewalk work today. I'm so jealous! For those who have not seen what he can do with a sidewalk and box of chalk - here's a link to his website...and a direct link to some of his sidewalk work. He is amazing. Of course, one has to wonder what if someone was a little drunk and walked past one of these drawings. . .

Some samples ~

Friendship-Integrity ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Last night (2.9) I went out to dinner with someone I had never met, other than through email and a couple of phone calls. Within the correspondence, it seemed very logical and highly likely this person could be a very good friend.
Henry David Thoreau once said, "The language of friendship is not words but meanings."
Whenever we talked by mail or phone, the flow of conversation seemed easy, natural - and he was a very easy person to share with (which is difficult sometimes for me to do). We had a delightful dinner in a restaurant that was a very good lesson to me on not judging a book by its cover. As long as I have lived here, I have passed by this place many, many times. It appears to be a very small unprepossessing establishment perhaps of the Tex-Mex variety of food. What a surprise to discover that it actually is a much larger restaurant than it appears - with a beautiful garden/patio area to eat in.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
"The glory of friendship is not in the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is in the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him."
As much as I enjoy people, I have to admit being somewhat uneasy in situations that have no definitive outcome...especially one -on-one. But I am glad to add also that this person is the type that can put you completely at ease. We laughed, shared, simply chatted and I felt, enjoyed each others company. I have others friends that can be somewhat wearing after awhile as their needs often surpass what I am able to offer. And yet - that is also to me what friendship is all about. I like to be able to believe in people and trust them.

Do u know the relation between two eyes? They blink together,They move together, They cry together, They see things together and They sleep together.But Still They never See Each Other that's Friendship".And about true frds, True frnd understands wen u say I FORGET. Waits 4ever wen u say JUST A MIN. Stays with u wen u say LEAVE ME ALONE & Opens the heart even b4 u knock.
Hope u get the meaning of Friendship.
--anonymous (
I have left this quote exactly as it was written-it expresses what I felt so well)

I also ran across a very scholarly article about Socrates who valued friendship "more than gold" and Aristotle who felt that friendship was necessary for life. According to Aristotle, true friends always wish the best for each other. These friends take time, patience and commitment.

Plato felt that true friends belong to each other, and that sense of belonging is what distinguishes friendship from all other relationships.

Interestingly they both believed we have to learn how to be friends - we don't automatically know what it takes to be a good friend - and it can be life-time project. And here was a surprise-I found out that felt there was a connection between being good at friendship and a life committed to justice.

Plato says that "it is impossible for those who do an injustice and those who suffer it to be friends."
Does this mean there is a connection between friendship, virtue and integrity? They had a line of reasoning that suggested exactly that. If wicked people habitually do wicked things, their friendships are...inherently unstable and shallow based on pleasure or utility.

Those who are good, on the other hand, orient their lives around virtue, and they continue to do good things they are prime candidates for friendship.
If indeed that is the case, then I want to hang onto childlike enthusiasm, friendship and integrity all the more.

more on this later

Thursday, February 8, 2007

It's New And It Hates Me~

Ok, that's a slight exaggeration. But, thanks to a gift, I have a new computer - and am suffering from all the usual problems associated with a new computer. These problems are not limited to such things as fonts so small on the screen I can barely read them ... and some things that simply will NOT work as they should.

I also failed to get the cord that would allow me to transfer all my bookmarks, etc. So, I am going to have to beg off posting tonight (1.8) as I had planned - and will be back tomorrow (1.9).

I can tell you this - it does work much faster ... and doesn't collapse in the corner crying when asked to do something...

The Truth Or Dare Challenge (2) ~ WD's Reply

My original post on the Truth or Dare challenge is here.

(As posted on his blog,) my truth to Jake was "What is a moment that gave you the most sensual pleasure when you look back on it. (doesn’t have to be sexual - sensual was a deliberate choice.) And why…."

A couple of days ago, when I told a couple of friends about Jake’s challenge they sat for a moment, then wanted to know what he wrote. I chuckled and told them he hadn’t written it yet, but I had to respond to the same question. Again, silence for a moment. Then I was asked how I could do that, as that would expose share a side of me that hadn’t been on the blog. I then talked about what I had been blogging about, and finally said that if I believed all that I have been struggling to write about, then why not? This is a side of me - albeit not a side that I beat people over the head with, but it is a side of me and my life. And besides the challenge had renewed some other areas of my inner being that had been slightly “dented” over the last several years - and it brought to mind a number of wonderful moments that reminded me even more of the “me” that can “be.” (Thank you Jake!!)

It’s a two-bar story that all took place on one night. I was living in the Montrose area of Houston (18 gay bars in a relatively small area) and was trying to get over an absolute terrible week. My self-respect/self-worth seemed to have been flushed down the proverbial (pervert-ial?) toilet, and wanted to get out and get away from it all.

I walked my way down to the first bar called Heaven. When it first opened it was a dancing twinkie bar. During the week, it was slightly more welcoming to those who usually didn’t dance with their shirts off and pants slipping slightly down their bubble butts. I sat at the bar and chatted with the bartender. There were at that moment few in the place. The bartender was a good one, and thought he knew how to work a customer. At one point, he took a candle from the back part of the bar, lit it and put it in front of me and said: “There, now I can see you better.” The place was well lit, so my heart really didn’t flutter (stupid me). As I was sharing an apartment with a bartender, I thought I recognized the “hook” to keep a customer there - drinking and tipping (especially tipping)(stupid me). I finished the drink, did the patron flirting with the bartender shtick and took my leave.

Literally one city block away was a dance bar called Pacific Street. A dance bar that was packed every night it was open. While I enjoy dancing, many times I go and find my niche (re: corner) and listen and enjoy the DJ’s work. It was only a short walk to get there. I was not disappointed, the music was great, and the crowd was fun. I sat and enjoyed the people, the music and felt a great sense of relaxation start to sweep over me. So much so (no I don’t think it was the vodka) that I decided I would get out and dance for a bit. There was no way I was going to take my shirt off but I could certainly enjoy being around those who had.

I was getting into the music and enjoying the feeling and energy surrounding me. I felt a hand on my waist and shoulder. I thought it was someone who needed me to move but then there was a voice in my ear. “I could see you better at my bar, could see you here on the dance floor, but don’t turn around.” My already beating rapidly heart skipped a beat. I recognized the voice and the phrase. I stood still and put my hand on the one on the shoulder and the other on the waist. I could feel the warmth from behind me, and feel a soft breath occasionally on the back of my neck.
I was being gently pulled toward the DJ booth side of the floor. It was an area where the lights didn’t quite reach,

“May I turn around now?”
“Not yet. Let’s just enjoy for now.” The music was wonderful, I was held by two hands and had a rather attractive man behind me. It was going to be interesting to see where this all would end.

“Take off your shirt.” My reply was as if I had just pushed the buzzer on Jeopardy. “I don’t dance with my shirt off.” I felt his breath by my ear “But I would enjoy it.” His hands left their posts and moved to the front and began to pull off my shirt. I didn’t bother protesting. “Much better . . . Now, I’m going to play - just enjoy.”

I have no idea what was being played during that time, who else was there - or if I had somehow wandered into a gay version of the Twilight Zone. I was moving to the rhythm of the man behind me. His fingers moved, explored and gently moved up and down. I know that my skin several times began to get goose bumps, but not from the cold. My breathing rate had certainly changed, and yet - I felt amazingly comfortable, quiet, horny and enveloped all at the same time. He had obviously unbuttoned his shirt as he leaned into my back and put his head on my shoulder. The fingers continued to explore, move and even “tweak.” But nothing went below the belt and when I would reach around I didn’t either (which would obviously limit my reaching around).

He began to speak very softly into my ear - just loud enough to be heard over the music, but soft enough to be very sensual.

If I hadn’t been so caught up in the sensuality of it all, I probably would have cried. Now remember, this is someone I had met a couple of hours before (gotta LOVE bartenders’ shift change) and who had no idea what I had been going through.

What was actually said is unimportant. What was delivered is what was important. The talk reached deep inside and reaffirmed me . . . my worth, my sensuality, my sexuality and my very being.

It was a wildly erotic and sensual time. He finally turned me around and we kissed. I was about ready to melt. He stepped back, gently kissed me again, put his finger in that delightful way some men have on my lips.

“I need to leave, but hopefully we will meet again.” Another deep kiss - and he left. I slowly put my shirt back on - put my life back on. I made my way home and as I was laying in bed . . . the wonder and the power of it all swept over and over me.

Heaven burned down and has been replaced by a much larger, more elegant dance club.
Pacific Street has since changed owners and names several times.

The Truth or Dare Challenge (1)~ Jake's Post

My original post on the Truth or Dare challenge is here.

(As posted on his blog,) my truth to Jake was "What is a moment that gave you the most sensual pleasure when you look back on it. (doesn’t have to be sexual - sensual was a deliberate choice.) And why…."

He came back with the an amazing, haunting and touching story. I have repeated the entire story here - I know you will enjoy it! (you might want to have a Kleenex handy - I needed one.)

One moment guys…while I take a trip down memory lane…

I’m going to start this post with the quote that will forever be etched in the depths of my heart and soul…

You never know what you have…until it’s gone…

September - 1995 (me: 15 years old)

The Alarm started it’s long forgotten temper tantrum at a quarter to seven in the morning. I peered across the room through squinted eyelids attempting to see the thing that had so rudely intruded upon my dreams… I laid there a few minutes wondering how long an alarm goes off before it shuts up on its own, but then couldn’t handle it any longer…

My fist came down on top of the cheap plastic alarm clock my Mom had purchased last year, after deciding it was a better alternative to waking me up herself. (I guess even then I was a bitch to wake).

Today…Was the first day of my High School Career… and My first day back into “the population” as an “out” gay male. You see…the last few weeks of Junior High…I announced my “gaydom” to who I thought at the time were my closest friends. Now to give you an idea on how quickly “Jake’s a Fag” spread through my junior high…think of the way a Christmas tree looks and feels 4 mos after the holidays…now add a little gasoline, and a match… poof right… yeah…well you get the idea.

So…Off to hell I went.

My first class was unique…Health class…for the life of me I can’t remember the teachers name, but she was an Ex-Cheerleader for the Dallas Cowboys, and cooler than shit. Midway through class a boy walked in, backpack slung over one shoulder, soft leather jacket, Blue sparkling eyes, and thick brown hair…(yeah I know…worse than a teenage girl). He moved across the front of the class, handed the teacher something, and she pointed to the rest of us in a general direction telling him to choose an available desk.’s where she became cooler than shit… None of the desks around me were available…but…she saw me eyein’ that boy up and down…and worked magic.

Teacher: Sean…Wait a second..(she gave me his name)…

Sean: *standing in the middle of my row of desks*

Teacher: Jake…switch with (whatever the bitches name was - directly to my right)…and (bitch’s name) you sit right here…(taps an open desk at the front of the class)…Sean you take Jake’s desk.

I could have kissed her… She gives me his name, gives him mine, and puts us next to each other…coincidence right…wrong….while I was moving myself to the desk next to me the teacher winked at me. I couldnt help but blush and grin… (BTW…All my *Evil Grin’s* come from her…she used to grade our papers and if she really liked something she would *evil grin* next to it.)

The rest of the class flew by with me trying not to be obvious about staring at him…he was hot. After class during passing I stopped him on the way out of the room…

Me: Jake…(pushing my hand into his)

Sean: Yeah… I know…(grinning)… Sean…

I think we checked out each other’s schedules, and he talked about the JR high he went to, what he didn’t get to do over the summer, etc.. Random Bullshit… and we went our separate ways. The day continued, and I completely forgot about him…(applause for the attention span of a horny 15yo)…

Until…After school I stopped at a fast food joint all the kids used to go to, bought something to eat, pulled out homework or something I’m sure and began being the book work grade A student I was.

A Large Coke slammed itself on my table…The sweat from the wax coated cup dotting my paperwork.

Sean: Anyone sitting here?

Me: (Flashback to early AM…big nervous swallow) no…

Sean: good…

His voice was soft, his tone warm…and I’d venture to guess he was as nervous as I was… The debris of my homework quickly cleared the table, and we sat, ate…talked…laughed…and then… I slipped…

Me: You have Wiley? He’s hot…………………………………….(big nervous swallow…fuck)

Sean sat there quietly as my face went pale, and my hands went cold and clamy…

“I knew it…” he said quietly, as his hand moved across the table to hold mine…”I thought so too…”

He blushed…My heart was about ready to beat it’s way through my ribcage… In my head, I was dancing around like a little boy, screaming, giggling, singing some cheesy happy song, the whole works…but in reality I was sitting there just smiling…not a cute smile..but the really big annoying ear to ear smiles some people get…LOL…

We shared our coming out stories, our fears, our triumphs, our new found love for Mrs. what’s her face in health class…the time moved as if we had an endless supply of it… When we finally left the restaurant the stars were out, and the moon was high in the night sky. His attention was to the sky as he inhaled the fall night’s air in a big long drawn out sigh. The moonlight outlining his profile, his eyes not the sparkley blue they were just 10 mins ago. They were a deep slate gray under the stars. He turned to me, cupped my head in one hand, caressing my cheek with his thumb, moved in close and kissed me… I couldn’t watch him walk away…I would have ran after him…when I finally did look back…he was gone.

And HERE is the rest of this story ... It was posted on his site several days ago, and I'm sorry I missed it!!!

Sean and I spent a lot of time together during those first few weeks of school. During that time we learned a lot about each other, and formed an extremely deep emotional, and loving bond. I fell in love with Sean, and he with me…It was never said…not out loud, but it was there. As dangerous as the relationship was (dangerous at school, and medically speaking) we didn’t care… We were careful, but no matter how careful we were, I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. You see… Sean was raped when he was 10 yrs old by a male babysitter. That rape resulted in Sean contracting HIV. During the short time Sean was in my life, I witnessed a beautiful person wither, and fade. It was September of the next school year when Sean took up residency in a local hospital room… I was sitting on the edge of his bed, the nurse told me I couldn’t stay long (she let me in even though I wasn’t “family”…)

He didn’t look like my Sean…He was pale, and he struggled to smile… I laid next to him and held him tight…

“I love you Sean….”

after a pause that seemed like an eternity…He smiled at me, and I saw that sparkle in his eyes again…

“I knew it…..” he whispered…

He gripped my hand tightly, and drifted off to sleep…

I got up carefully as to not wake him, and tip toed out of the room…

My heart was warm and full of joy as I walked down the hall, but at the same time it felt heavy…My baby was sick in the hospital…

As I rounded a corner in the ICU a slew of nurses rushed past me…she was one of them…the nurse who let me into Sean’s room….

Sean’s Mom gave me the watch I had given him as our “first month” anniversary gift. She told me he wanted me to have it, and that he wanted me to know how much he loved me…

I wore that watch until it stopped working…and now it sits in my home…one of my most precious possessions…

That brief period of time…was……is my most sensually pleasurable memory…and will always be…Sean was my first true love… I’ll always love him…

Thanks Sean…

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Integrity, Truth, Knowledge ~ Late Night Thoughts

It was an interesting day today. As I was traveling around getting errands done, I decided to conduct a kind of “man on the street” questionnaire. I would simply ask “what do you think integrity is or means.” Sometimes I got nothing more than silence and/or a shrug. One person said simple “truth.” When I asked what that meant - all she would say was “truth.” Another added “doing what you say you’ll do.” Another answer was “whatever politicians are not.” (that caused general chuckles from those around. But it was my stop, and I didn’t have time to pursue that answer.)

The most troubling to me were three students. All three admitted they had no idea what integrity was. That answer brought me up short. I realized if someone doesn’t have their own definition of integrity - they will never realized the lack of it and what can happen if it is missing.

Living with a definition of integrity, allows a strong sense of moral/ethical outlook. This has a tremendous advantages. If/when things get difficult or adversarial - I have something to hang onto. I don’t need to get desperate. Without it (personal experience here) I start to do things I wouldn’t do, I become someone I am not - and try to convince those around that I’m that different person. I lose my sense of balance, and begin to make decisions that have little or no basis on my inner self.

With integrity, I stay the same person I am no matter what happens. No matter how awful things get I don’t become unglued. That requires inner strength. It would be nice to say that I never have a problem with inner strength. I would be lying if I said so (and probably burned by lightning from above and lava from below.)

However, when I remain with integrity I can stay more together and integrated with what I need to hang onto. In other words, I don’t fall apart so quickly. And this integrity is going to come from within. I've had a lot of challenges over the last year and a half. I can look back at some points with pleasure/pride at how I came through to the other side of the problem. Other moments? Not so well.

I can “beat myself up” over what didn’t go well or I can take things in hand, and grab even more strongly onto integrity and truth. I can look deep within and find the strength that I need to accomplish what is surrounding me. However, always I need to remind myself that I am responsible for my choices, and my actions. And I'm going to have to take responsibility for the result.

But I'm still troubled by the three students that didn't what integrity was. That has caused some shivers deep within me.

more early saturday morning


Yes ~ At White Castle ~ Mid-Day Chuckle

I ran across this item on Consumerist website - and decided that the article was worth quoting in full:

Are you broke? Or cheap? Or weird? you really like White Castle? From their website:
(WD's note: The website allows you to check which White Castle is close to you!!)
Make your Valentine's day STEAMY! Take your Valentine to White Castle on Wednesday, February 14 between 5 and 8 p.m. and enjoy hostess seating, candlelit dining and your own server. Reservations are required, so check the list below for participating Castles near you!

Special this year, you can also treat your honey to a romantic White Castle dinner in your home! Cupid's Crave Kits include eight cheeseburgers, one sack of fries, two regular soft drinks, coupons and keepsake items to heat up your homespun romance. Now, ain't that sweet?

Just think of the possibilities this opens up for other markets! Tell me what you would consider an off-shoot of this marketing idea??

Disclosure: The picture is NOT from their website - I just couldn't resist!!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

A Relational Virtue And Lost Grace ~ Early Morning Thoughts

There is something in every one of you that waits
and listens
for the sound of the genuine in yourself.
--Howard Thurman

As I typed the words lost grace - I’m concerned about what I’m trying to convey. It’s a struggle to find the right words to make sure my meaning comes across and is clear. I don’t mean lost in the sense of gone/finished/never to return. I want to convey the idea of misplaced or forgotten. I also am not chatting about mannerisms or simple habits. You know, the kind of things that keep us from failing to survive in the world around us. So, my idea of a lost grace is that integrity as a current, modern measure has slipped from awareness. I admit when I started working with this series of posting, I honestly had a slightly different idea of integrity than I do now.

It’s easy to say that integrity should be the prime virtue - a core/central ideal. Somehow, it seems to be seldom spoken of...unless, of course, we have headlines about those we perceive as lacking in that trait. Look back over the headlines and on-line
news stories, and it would be easy to become cynical about integrity and/or the lack of it. Certainly that seems to be the case with politicians (easy target), teachers (easy target), celebrities (easier target). But what about ourselves? (either not an easy target, or an un-touchable target). And, of late, it seems that it is a trait assigned only to those who have passed on...seldom to the living.

There is a very popular and very often quoted Hasidic story of Rabbi Susya. When he he imaged what would happen to him at heaven’s gates, he decides: “God will not ask me, ‘Why were you not Moses?’ He will ask, ‘Why were you not Susya?’” (When I think of that I’m a little concerned he might ask ME “Why were you so WD?”)

Regardless of your spiritual stance, that story leads to an interesting and somewhat overwhelming concept.

Integrity refers to wholeness, to a sense of self that can move but cannot be shaken. Dictionaries are really no help - one definition as a ”rigid adherence to a code of behaviour.” There are many that have a rigid adherence to beliefs and stances that do not reflect integrity of themselves, on themselves - or other people. We all can make a list of those past and present who were/are like that. I like to think of integrity as holding on to my sense of self - relating to how I need to “be” in the world.

And it’s that needing to “be” in the world that gives me pause. IF it’s a sense of self that can move and not be shaken - what makes the difference between my sense of integrity and someone who takes people in an entirely wrong direction - but is unshakable in their belief (and belief that perhaps ONLY they are right).

At the current time we place individualism as the peak, the pinnacle of acheivment. But this not where I need to be. I believe that integrity is “relational.” In other words, it comes from a private viewing and an even more private process within - but I believe it has a very public outcome. As someone one said:

Integrity is a relational grace, a gift from the world and to it. One does not learn the wisdom of integrity in isolation. Nor may we possess integrity in solitude. For the goal of a person of integrity is to become his or her best self, living in right relations with the rest of the world and also to call everyone else to the same goal.
Several wiser people than I have said that we are a fellowship of human beings - NOT fellowships of race, class, gender, orientation of any type or ability. We are part of a whole and are responsible to the whole.

more on this tomorrow ~

Time Wasters ~ Elegant or Not

I don't usually post clips here, but this one really caught my attention. It may have something to do with my birthday celebration yesterday (OK, OK -- I'll stop mentioning it!), but I have now vowed to never again complain about backache, headache or sore shoulders! By the way, as you watch this clip - remember that toe shoes have a steel plate in them!! Just so you know!!!

And now it's possible for you to release your inner Jason Pollack - instead of doodling on that important piece of paper you're supposed to be reading - you can doddle in a bright color right on your screen....

Just move the cursor around and/or pause it. To clear the screen for a new creation, all you have to do is click the mouse. -- 0h yes, your screen will remain blank UNTIL you move the mouse.

And who knows - maybe there's going to be a famous painting from your doodles!!!!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Birthdays and Friendship ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Today was an absolutely wonderful day. I spent my birthday with D&D, two of my closest real life friends here. We had some food, a lot of fun - and a couple of not-so-gentle libations. It was a day of laughter, sharing and being alive. I found these two thoughts about friendship - and wanted to pass these on to you as well.

Friendship isn't always easily described. The Eskimos, they say, have a hundred different words for snow. Unfortunately, the English language isn't quite as innovative, though it has vast opportunities to differentiate meaning. Certainly, Love is one of those opportunities. And so, too, is Friendship.

Instead of different words, however, we're stuck with simple adjectives. Close friend. Best friend. Childhood friend. Intimate friend. Trusted friend. Beloved friend. But whether you use adjectives or different words, few could deny the nearly infinite meaning in such a simple word.

Friends are special people. We can't pick our family, and we're sorely limited in the number of them at any rate. Society and mores (and often our own conscience) dictate we select a single mate. But our friends can be as diverse and infinite as the adjectives we choose. Our friends, in a very real sense, reflect the choices we make in life.

I found this poem about Internet friends - I think it applies FAR beyond the poets original intent ~

Two Souls - One Voice

although two souls are meeting
there is but one voice
capturing the moment
captivating and controlling
the thoughts, actions, words
leading the way for conscious
desire and decisive emotion

stories and daily goings- on
are frequently passed
between the one voice
and the intermixed beings
creating a warm happiness
a sense of belonging
an aura of completeness
a comfortable existence

time, a distant memory
fading in and fading out,
its power and autonomy fall
on blissfully ignorant,
yet distinctly aware,
ears - focused and true

with the quantity
of well spent hours
adding up and summarizing
the feelings and beliefs
shared and opposed,
comes an ability
to confide and uphold
moments, eternities
abundant with understanding.
butterfly pictures from another dear friend K

Integrity - Truth ~ Early Morning Thoughts

We need first to understand that
the way we choose to live as individuals
is a reflection of our self-respect,
and that personal integrity is all about taking
personal responsibility for our future,

our actions,
our decisions,
the way we live

and, to the extent we can,
for the whole world in which we live.

This morning's thoughts about integrity tie into my birthday post as well.

I hear a lot about integrity, or lack of integrity these days, usually with respect to politicians. And we see elections that are more about what the person is perceived to be instead of issues.

No matter our politics, the worthy causes we believe in and I really want to be led, followed or assisted by people who lack integrity? People who I can not trust, whose motives are questionable. People who might at any moment toss aside everything I thought I had in common and march off in a different direction, leaving me behind...

So - what does integrity mean in the long run:
Linguistically, integrity comes from one of those very basic concrete Indo-European roots with a large number of fanciful metaphoric derivatives. "Tag" means to touch, as in tag, tangible, tactile, contact, etc. "In-tag," or "untouched" means "whole" as in integer, a whole number, and by extension pure, unsullied, whole.
--Stephen Carter

Now that your eyes are glazing over from all that - what does all that mean in real life?

As I've thought about these postings, I have come to believe that a person of integrity is a whole person, a person somehow undivided. I am not talking the single-mindedness or the frenzy of a fanatic who is determined that the world will be as they say ... in a single mold. This is far removed from the my-way-or-no-way that some people seem to inspire. The person of integrity is confident in the knowledge they are living rightly...and, as far as possible, rightly with those around them.

I want to be a person people can trust to do right, to play by the rules, to keep commitments. Even when I disagree with someone I can sense the integrity within and can admire it. I want to be a person that what I say I will do, I do. The kind of person who expects the best from those around me, and will do anything to help them get there.

That kind of integrity, I've been discovering is very much a foundation of life. . It makes a lot of other parts of life to be expressed, openly and honestly. Several writers define acting with integrity this way:

1. discerning what is right and what is wrong,
2. acting on what you have discerned, even at personal cost; and
3. saying openly that you are acting on your understanding of right from wrong.

Discernment is the first crucial step...and is not a simple, mechanical process. After all, people of integrity can come to different conclusions about what is right. I must pay attention to the world around me and to my own conscience. But my conscience must be informed, by the human condition and experience and a sense of rightness that comes from beyond and within. You have also to consider what others think, and search out the right balance between reason and wisdom.
Stuart Hampshire asks: "If a person has lived a blameless life according to his lights," as the saying goes, the question always arises -- "Were his lights good enough, or could they have been better."
For some, those lights are spiritual in nature. According to the Jewish sage Maimonides: "Everything that you do, do for the sake of God." However, there is a secular view as well: Professor W. S. Taylor (1857): "Integrity implies implicit obedience to the dictates of conscience -- in other words, a heart and life habitually controlled by a sense of duty." (Regardless of Taylor's spiritual stance, he definitely is one of those people who spell God with two "O's.")

more on this tomorrow night

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Choose your words, for they become actions.
Understand your actions, for they become habits.
Study your habits, for they will become your character.
Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Happy Birthday To Me ~ Early Morning Thoughts

Today is my birthday. Not my blogs birthday, not an anniversary, but my actual birthday. I have been determined that it would not bother me - that it would be just another number, and it actually is OK. Birthdays didn't used to be all that great...but much has changed in me since then. I've heard personally from a couple of people I delight in knowing...I'm planning to take D&D out to dinner either tonight or tomorrow (that way I can pick where we're going!) It, of course, would be nice to have someone "attached" to share this day with - but that would mean I would have to move the books and magazines off his side of the bed. Besides, I want to make sure that it's the right one - not just "a" one. Some time ago I was "dating" via email someone from London (it was fun and interesting...ask and I'll explain it). He made a statement that has stayed with me: "I'm not looking for someone to go out with, I'm looking for someone to come home to."

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Found Buried In The Paper ~

You know how newspapers sometimes have very interesting items buried in the depths? Here's a couple of interesting articles I ran across on the web, that I could imagine finding where I least expected.

Successful Politician
(or someone with a grasp of "make-em love me" theory)

Germany's RPR1 radio station received some 12,000 answers to its question "What would you do for 100,000 euros?" But it was Marko Hilgert's answer that stuck out from the rest: Throw it out the window.

“"It was just a crazy idea," Hilgert said. "I never thought I'd actually win."

But enough listeners liked the idea and voted for him, and probably for their own chances at collecting some of cash as well, the radio station said.

The 49-year-old trailer truck driver had the chance to make the dreams of free money come true in the western German city of Kaiserslautern, when he climbed into a bucket truck and showered the town's square with 75,000 euros ($97,222.97) in 5-euro bills over the course of several hours.
He'll be keeping the remaining 25,000($32,407.53) euros to pay off part of his mortgage.

The Next President Will Protect Us From Mind-control Weapons
( an "all your base are belong to us"** press release)

U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is a well-known "congressional irregular" and 2008 presidential candidate. In 2001, he proposed legislation to ban space weapons. Such bills are regularly floated and shot down in Congress. However, Kucinich's bill was slightly different. He added a special section aimed at those of his ..uh.. irregular(?) constituents perhaps receiving radio transmission in their fillings:

(2)(A) The terms `weapon' and `weapons system' mean a device capable of any of the following:

(ii) Inflicting death or injury on, or damaging or destroying, a person (or the biological life, bodily health, mental health, or physical and economic well-being of a person)--

(II) through the use of land-based, sea-based, or space-based systems using radiation, electromagnetic, psychotronic, sonic, laser, or other energies directed at individual persons or targeted populations for the purpose of information war, mood management, or mind control of such persons or populations...

Please remember to vote Kucinich for president.
This message was brought to you by the Mind Control Division via psychotroic means

**from the opening cut scene of the English version of the 1989 Japanese video game Zero Wing by quickly became part of the language of gamers and non-gamers alike.

both stories from