pawspauseprose

Life as it arrives and dreams as they happen


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8 Track Tapes with Gomer Pyle

8tracks

I am always intrigued at what people turn to for that special, soul food comfort of the heart. There are always photographs and scents, meals and places, but for me, music will always top the chart. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s there was always a radio or record player to bring the air alive, and in our car, Dad often sang songs of his youth, starting around 1915. A particular favorite was I’m Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover, and to this day I smile and sing along whenever I hear it…words or not.

As I aged technology progressed, and our white station wagon and later blue Sport Fury became the proud owners of tape players. Looking back at those quick clips of music with the loud Ca Chunk when they switched channels, I remember the price we paid for portable music, but nevertheless, still treasure my 8 track memories. The playlist of my life continues to evolve, and currently as MP3 files they reside on my phone, in a folder appropriately called The 8 Track Tapes. It is there where Tom Jones, Andy Williams, Engelbert Humperdinck, George Jones and many others still live, along with Jim Nabors. It is in many ways a therapist I turn to in the darkest night, finding a lost security like no other.

Jim Nabors, for many of us, was also U.S.M.C. Private First Class Gomer Pyle, and the day he showed he could sing shocked the world. The prat-falling, comedic genius inside a handsome young man, had also successfully hidden the voice of an angel, and his later albums of gospel music validated his talent. However, as life moved on, so did Jim Nabors, with all his talent and charm…which brings me to the point of my nostalgic babble.

We all come into this life outwardly the same, and in my era with about the same expectations for survival and security. There are always some who appear chosen, rising to stardom in their selected fields, and even though we all came from similar seeds, they bloom brighter and more memorable for the seasons they exist, and we applaud accordingly. However, one day they just aren’t there anymore, gone from the current harvest where others have taken their place, and along with that, their accolades. It appears when we notice this crop rotation, it is because we too have aged, no longer among the blooms of our generation, and facing mortality.

I have read that Mr. Nabors is alive and well living in Hawaii, and I am sure, doing what makes him happy. That being said, in the current eyes of the public he exists no more, only through old tapes and albums, television reruns or an occasional Youtube video. His time and fame were served, and he stepped away for those yet to follow, and none of us really noticed until he was gone. It could be viewed as having class, not holding on beyond the expiration point with plastic surgery, body doubles or embarrassing moments; however, I see it as evolution of the life we are all meant to live. You see, he had his fame, shared his talent and wisely knew when he was done.

Obviously, most of us never have a media infused stage to showcase who we are, but in some way there is a platform where we offer the gifts we brought into life, and the reason why we are here in the first place. When we have finished, there are others are waiting as well, and we move on, not changing who we are, just who appreciates us. Yes, we’d all love fame and fortune, living forever in technology after we leave, but the trade off is that some of the most profound memories we leave will be with those we love, and they are our difference.

Closing out my day, listening to a personal bump or groan, changing tracks in preparation for another day, I know I have had more than a few profound moments, some published, some televised and others recorded. In my life I was referred to as that woman or mom, and I hope I did it wisely and made a difference for someone. It was a fun ride, and even though it was in a station wagon, not a limo or across the big screen, I know I accomplished why I came into this life, and think I did okay.

So the next time I open my playlist and decide to take a stroll down memory lane, I will more than likely select Wichita Lineman. There will be humor, knowing that Linemen have also gone the wayside, but I’ll find solace in knowing that like Jim, I was a good neighbor and member in life, and that alone means I left something behind in the field where I was planted, along with fireflies and the very green grass of home.


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So that is what will happen!

8ball

Around eleven yesterday, the cable and internet service in our neighborhood stopped, and as I learned by nightfall, so did reality and the series of routines everyone takes for granted.   There was no need to remember when…we were living it, in less than living color.

The past year or so, I have noticed, and commented with friends…yes…on the Internet, that life around me has deteriorated into almost a ghost town. The streets in my neighborhood with their nicely cared for homes are quiet for easily 20 hours a day, as if they are no more than a facade, covering holes in the ground where everyone disappears.

On any given day, I don’t need a watch to know it is 7:30 am, as cars and people head to the end of our street where the elementary school is located, and from there out of the subdivision. By 8:30 am, a mere hour later, there is a deafening silence that is not broken until somewhere in the area of 3:00 pm, when the mail truck drives along the sidewalk and children who are not in some sponsored child care return from school, disappearing into their homes.

The brief few hours from there until it becomes dark, might find a random car returning from work, a quick lawn mower now that summer is approaching, or a dog barking to be let in, however, that is the extent of life.  For the most part, this area of humanity truly resembles an oil painting. Truly frightening,  is that it seems to be the norm in the world, confirmed by those I mentioned it to, as the same where they lived as well.

The sound of life, albeit as simple as an unanswered telephone ringing, people talking, tools being used and dropped, or children on bicycles exploring new frontiers, just doesn’t happen like it once did or should. Today confirmed such a reality in many ways, because people were forced from their homes, having no Facebook, email, X-box or Netflix to program their daily schedule. There was finally activity around the street,  long since forgotten somewhere north of 1973! I heard conversations, playing, walking, barbeque grills were even used, along with the clatter of plates on tables, and dogs barking up a storm. It reminded me in many ways of a Twilight Zone episode, because even though we aren’t on Maple Street, an alien presence was nevertheless felt. The world had returned, all because what we depend upon as life had shut down.

Sobering.

As evening faded and the sky turned dark, I must admit that I found myself wondering what was going on outside of the window I call home. There was no news coverage reminding me of the violent and overly sexual nature we humans have grown accustom to hearing about, and likewise, I wasn’t able to click onto the blue and white page of society, where my friends and sadly my family live, which left me hoping they were okay, and of course disappointed I hadn’t followed their antics on a Thursday in May. Guess it is a good thing most season finales were last week, allowing the television its own moment or two of silence as well.

The true reality in it all for me however, was just the silence when the unexpected sound of life was forced out of those around me. It wasn’t what they said or did, but that they just were! Growing up we had a cheap and loud ticking clock in the kitchen, and I would sit in the living room listening as the second hand ticked away, sometimes shutting my eyes knowing it would soon be time to eat or time for bed, and then of course, time for another day. Later, after I moved out and would return to see my aging parents…and then just parent, the sound was even louder than I remembered, and I often wondered what they did when I wasn’t there, to keep busy or occupied. Those were also the days when I was rushing off to work, caring for children and myself, and often went to bed too tired to sleep…nothing like today.

Although many things have changed for me since I became aware of the world I live in, sometime around the late 1960’s, one thing hasn’t changed and it never will…that is the simple fact, we only have so much time in this life, and we need to utilize it whenever we can, because sooner or later the circuits will go down for good… that being said, I am also a realist seeing the rut we  all are stuck into.  So today when CNN returns with a blaring news break, along with at least one naked Kardashian, and killings that break my heart, I’ll look out the window again, wondering when the mail is coming, take the dog for a walk and of course, not pass another soul.   I will probably also browse life for a while, shopping, chatting or allowing myself to be entertained, all  from behind a computer screen, before going to bed in darkness, with a dark silence around my home to match.

Tragic.

 


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Face it Already!

face itWe all have a life to live…some of us however; express it more publicly than others, and if you read that sentence, and saw the blue and white logo for Facebook, which is somehow automatically programmed to click into your subconscious, then I am not surprised. In fact, most people under the age of 60 seem to have developed this lemming style of adaptation for communication. The more important question at hand or cursor, however, is do you imagine more than you adapt?

I remember hearing the phrase Throw it on a wall and if it sticks… as it pertained to facts in question. A simple tried and true visual of a brick wall, with something adhered or sliding down ever so embarrassingly to prove a point, meaning, if it was truthful and solid it would stick, and everything else…well, you get the idea. Facebook decided to challenge that adage, allowing us to Photoshop pictures; erroneously attribute quotes, facts and obituaries, while also recreating our identity, some using that of another. Yeah, in a nutshell, nothing sticks anymore…it just sucks.

Sitting behind computer screens people live vicariously through others and their own virtually wrong realities without pride or prejudice. Of course no one is supposed to get hurt in this ego driven depressive facade, even if it does spread only on pixilated walls.  However, just like real bricks, inevitably something will remain behind…true or not. There is another quote for this mis-communicated information, ironically one that gained notoriety on the same super information highway…it has to be true, I saw it on the Internet!

Life as we all once lived has changed, just as the stories we post and read, which of course, are always true. People that sit alone day after day, in silence and often in depression or worse, reflect their status through dancing cat videos or biblical quotes, hoping to stand out from the rest and be liked or shared. They also discuss great menus and recipes for the day, usually while looking at the real peanut butter and jelly awaiting them. Friends and relatives are lead to believe they enjoy happiness and excitement, leaving everyone numb, all tucked into the biggest pile of crap since the circus left town. When does it stop?

Catfishing has become not just a new form of dating alert, but a true explanation of society, which has nothing to do with water…except for staying afloat in a sea of misrepresented information and emotion, and who you can hook first. When did people stop being real? When did it become the norm to post pictures and comments, that couldn’t be further from the truth? That being said, Throwback Thursdays and Time Travel Tuesday, the latest plastered offerings on this great wall of Babel where people live and never talk, actually have managed to escape the sly rule of deception. I guess looking back at where you have been, a dream that did come true, or a time life was enjoyed still has merit, more than I can say about the reality people refuse to accept.

If you are into Snapchat or Instagram, Reedit or Tumblr, the practice is just the same, be photographed, have a video or type in a thought (composed or stolen)…look at me and who I am not, or even worse, see all the people who love me…when in reality they could care less, if not outright dislike you. Be warned though, if you are one of the honest type sitters out there who actually posts in real-time/real-life, you will eventually be ignored, or receive comments not what you had hoped to see. Trust me you will find no social in any of this media!

In time like many before you, disenchanted, you will find yourself less and less at the electronic wall and more against one, until you just walk away…because no one is interested in what they already have at home. Come on, what’s entertaining, sexy and envious about that? Party lines used to be the way we learned a little shady gossip or offered a peek into another life, and later we ended up at parties long after dark, enjoying far too many real peeks, but then the party moved into cyberspace, and now it doesn’t matter who knows the truth…just be seen and never heard.

Maybe it is simply old age, but I liked be seen and listened to, I liked having real friends and family that kept in touch, sent a letter, called on the phone or stopped by. I can remember bridge mix in a bowl and the Jewel Tea truck pulling up to the curb, and I miss all of it. I liked getting together at school or work over too many sweets, family dinners and holidays when someone was getting pissed off, quoted wrong and always laughing at nothing important. Seems to me we have progressed right into dark caves, not unlike ones our ancestors were suppose to have come out of…but then again, correct me if I’m wrong they were writing on a wall too…


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If you can turn a page you can turn a leaf

open-book-cover-clip-art-book_open-4Parents have forever brought a ledger of rules and regulations, explanations and requirements to the table. I have no idea where they come from, just that one day you have a child in your life and a few seconds later they appear, and in time, with enough experience and knowledge they will be passed down to another generation.  Now don’t get me wrong, these aren’t bound in leather or illustrated books of lore. Instead, they are mentally scripted experiences, all permanently ingrained…like the time you took a nail to the wooden coffee table in the living room as a child, to well…make your mark.

Just like that visible mark you once needed to make in life, these parental commandments are the directives of supervision and wisdom, which mark a good parent…and they need to be followed by those small citizens born unto them. If you are an old school parent like me, I think it is safe to say the majority of them start or end with what is right or what is not right.  That being said, it has taken me over fifty years to admit in complete Bill W honesty, that along with those rules,  I also always needed to be write…and hoped my daughters would as well.  I also believe it proves that I took those childhood commandments to heart…never needing to be reminded of explicit rules, allowing me instead, to journey unwatched into the world with my map and moral compass.

In a time when libraries and card catalogs, decimal indexing and reference rooms mapped my time, I always felt safe and at home, in a simple but novel silence sitting at many a wooden study table. There was a certain air…aside from the sounds of silence, giving me purpose and letting my dreams and imagination come to life. The journeys I took might have worried my parents if they had known, but I was safe…just a page to the end, until my curiosity became sated and peaked, passed between volumes, like so many bowls of hot mashed potatoes at our kitchen table. To have such a freedom is to indeed live the write way, because by enriching my mind and who I would someday  become, as well as meeting characters otherwise unknown, I had a lifetime that would have otherwise been missed.

Also evident along the roads I refused to leave untaken, was that my own one-day book of adult wisdom was coming together at the seams, and I was preparing others for what I wanted them to experience. I think of that now, remembering my daughters when they tested my patience, asking why we needed rules, and I had simply smiled, saying because no matter what the situation, you should always be write. There is no greater badge of courage than having earned one, which has been read.

The world has changed so much since I acquired my books of knowledge, shelved in the library of my soul and indexed by experience…ones I still revisit each day I breathe. However, now there are Kindles to start fires of conversation, and Nooks without crannies, all discovering dark hidden places where adventure could be squirreled away. Yes, they may be unconventional to my old fashioned way of thinking, but they do nevertheless set a similar table, one which feeds the mind and eventually explains not only crime and punishment, but the sad paradise lost if you refuse to see what is write and necessary in life.

Penmanship and grammar have also all but gone the way of the two dollar bill as we set before spell checking keyboards, which embarrassingly auto-correct us into oblivion. However, it is only when we take a moment remembering we are write, taking time to recognize our journey, before auto correct sets us out to dry, that we have a chance to recapture what is still before us. So, instead of automatically heading to the HTML library of Google the next time you need to feed your mind, start your own engine and truly be right for a change. Open real pages and see the words waiting to paint the pixels of your mind.  Continue on from there, and add the silent music to your ears and before you leave, know you found a world where all was within your grasp…indeed, write before you. Make it your mission today, to  become the author of your destiny and create a memorable plot twist,  one nobody saw coming and then offer the same to another open mind…trust me you won’t be breaking any rules, but you might just bookmark something wonderful.


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Well, wasn’t that just precious…

aringYes, once again a school system and the small inhabitants of it halls was again brought to the attention of the general public, shockingly, because something went wrong…or did it go right, and no one knew what the heck to do about it? You see somewhere in the non-imaginary land of Texas, a little boy with a normal childish imagination and impish delight, tried to make his classmate invisible…heck, how do we know the kid didn’t ask to disappear? Frankly, I wish he’d been successful…because this adult has a few people needing to disappear! Think of the Kickstarter dollars such a project could generate!

I laugh at the absurdity of the situation, because I am one of the dying off Baby Boomers that has always lived life with basic rules, right and wrong, respect for my elders and the ability to use my imagination whenever possible. I was right there with Batman, Superman, Cowboys and Barbie, and my bike was more often than not a stallion, which I rode across the miles to see my best friend, who actually only lived across the street. Imagination… now a terrible thing it appears.

This little boy, thrust forever into a historical media spotlight, apparently brought a copy of the infamous circle of gold from Lord of the Rings to school…yup, the ring…and no, he didn’t go to Jared! After seeing the movie, he apparently took some frustration or play with a classmate to the highest level his obviously loving family background would allow, and threatened to make another child fade from sight. Sadly, if he was like so many other children in this day and age he might have brought a gun, thus truly making his friend disappear from life…but wait, that isn’t shocking news anymore, is it? Nevertheless, the punishment was the same…he was suspended from school, his records will be amended, and in his still growing mind, he has been left to believe he is a bad kid…seriously??????

Reading further, many news articles describe this horrible child (I think not), as having been previously brought up on other “charges” at his school. One such charge was for referring to a child as “black”…hmmm was it spelled with an ‘N’ or was the child actually Hispanic? The other incident, was due to bringing his treasured Book of Knowledge to school…(yes I said a real book, not a tablet immediately linking up to terrorist photos and sexually explicit advertising at a moment’s notice.) You see, his book…a pseudo encyclopedia of sorts, had a picture of a pregnant woman in it! OMG…was she trying to break the Internet with her nude assets or was she on a stage in Tijuana with an animal act?  Seriously,I hope he never had a dinosaur or a bible in his pocket, because they might have burned him at the stake and banned him from biology class for life.

If there could be a best part in all of this unthinkable stupidity dancing down the halls of learning, it has to have been the response of his father, who simply said:  “Well, if he did make the kid disappear, I’m sure he’ll bring him right back.” The father also added that the book in question was his son’s favorite, since he loved learning about the solar system…again I have to ask, exactly what planet is all this happening on?

When I was raised in the 1960’s and cutting my teeth in the 1970’s, phrases and words were still hanging on from a bygone era, and we were learning what politically correct was. I was also raised to love those around me, have respect for others with no prejudice as to who they were. That being said, people still went from colored to black to African American and women went from ladies, to babes to chicks to shorties, adjectives I personally never use, because Mr., Mrs. or Miss have always worked just fine. However, in the eyes of any child, skin color, sexual orientation or handicaps are often descriptively voiced, and for the most part there is nothing behind it but a learning process. So having this an issue in a school makes all of this even sadder.

I guess if anyone is to understand such behavior, not from a child, but from a ridiculous, overzealous, politically correct, rule-driven learning facility, where a boy brought a book to school, and used his innocent imagination, while seeing life around him with eyes as open as his mind, we will definitely have to use some imagination. Especially, since his father appears to be a supportive, loving and intelligent man, guiding his son towards eventual adulthood…didn’t anyone notice that piece of information when they tossed the kid out on his ear?

I don’t know about you, but we are getting into an area that George Orwell couldn’t have imagined any better, and it does make me wonder just what planet I do live on! Guess I’ll need to look for a book in order to figure it out, because sadly, I remember when such things were allowed in school for knowledge, and I had teachers happy to open the doors of my mind, not locking them behind me because I used it.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/texas-boy-suspended-bringing-ring-power-school-article-1.2099103

#LOTR #imagination #children


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Hashtag #AHS Hashtag #ALS Hashtag #WTF

wtfAcronymically speaking, there were a couple camps you could have joined in 2014 and been left breathless. Both were a circus of sorts, showing the freak show we call life. One was American Horror Story, and the other, an odd assortment of freakish charity, wherein normal people soaked themselves in ice-water for 10 seconds of video fame, giving unproven donations to the ALS Foundation. Regardless which, if either you participated in, they both left you unbalanced.

Nevertheless, unbalanced or not, we eventually returned to the reality of our lives already in progress around us, and went on with our day to day existence, with not so much as a blip in the radar, sliding towards 2015. That was of course until a group of hackers did blip some radar, exposing serious vulnerability in the invisible infrastructure and foundation we all depend upon. Let’s face it, circus or not, if the Internet tents come down how many of us really could progress through a daily reality?

It was, however, ironic that even though we had been faced with a massive breach in American security, discounting of course the millions of credit card numbers, medical files, passwords and accounts which had already been stolen and reported over the past couple of years, this time people finally got upset, because this was Hollywood…and by God that was wrong! Really?

War of the Worlds could not have dreamed a better opening day campaign than the one The Interview received, which appeared to be all the majority of the Twittering populous was concerned about. Unfortunately, the real 800 pound gorilla in the concession stand waiting for an Oscar and not a wiener was far more than the rude and unnecessary slap to the face of a foreign government. Simply put, if a major corporation could  effectively be taken down and secrets exposed for the sake of a 112 minute badly thought out Three Stooges routine, what could be done to the real world?

Looking back at all those people happily making fools of themselves with ice water and clever twists on a theme, it was recorded over 2.4 million moments of look at me were carried across our invisible network of tubes and exits (thank you Senator Ted Stevens – circa Youtube 2006*.) However, how many people actually voiced a terroristic themed, George Orwell alarm over the Sony hack? Frankly, THAT is a freaky showing of where our priorities in this world are falling…along with a bunch of ice.

If this nonchalant Scarlett O’Hara behavior wasn’t enough, because after all it did happen over the holidays…then maybe someone can explain why, in light of real and deadly terrorist action on the foreign soil of an ally, we publicly and politically snub the chance to show solidarity, only later sending a beloved folk singer to serenade the government, with a cabinet appointee…seriously? People died…a demonic statement was made, and all we could do was kiss a cheek and say “you’ve got a friend” after the fact? What were the powers that be thinking in such a non-scripted moment of WTF!

Having been raised in a time when security wasn’t an issue but a way of life, it scares me to see it being taken for granted and ignored, by a world turning more Morlock and Lemming than Jack Armstrong All American Boy. Just how long can we ignore the obvious…we are only human and sticks and stones do still break bones. Just because we live and work in an invisible world of dots and dashes doesn’t mean we are any less vulnerable, and don’t need solid allies and personal protection. What happens the day we wake up to a disconnected power silence, unable to log on and join a world no longer in progress?

It’s fun to enjoy entertainment and a blessing to offer our personal opinion, rights not offered in most countries. However, it is also our responsibility to be aware of everything a foot in our world and how it could, and very well will affect us at some point. Just because our professional and environmental footprints aren’t as visible as they once were doesn’t mean they aren’t every bit as deep, and as everyone knows…those that walk do inevitably fall, and if communication can’t get back up 911 is history.

*https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cZC67wXUTs


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Days and Confused……

halla

The New Year has started, which means it is time to hit the stores and get ready for happynewyearvalentinesdaysaintpatricksdayeasterfourthofjulythanksgivingchristmas once again…seriously?

Fighting a recent attack of the flu, I lay in bed and thought about all the holidays we live through and chuckled, seeing a group of kids yelling out “Halla” to their confused friends. Now if you don’t get the urban slang, stick with the Jewish loaf I am sure you do know, because frankly that “Challa” offers just as much celebration, and since any holiday needs bread to get it off the ground these days, you might actually be ahead of the game.

The fast paced calendar driven life we live is actually nothing more than a shout out, meet and great, break bread go buy me something chain of 24 hour links. Traditions and values have all but disappeared and those that haven’t are so diluted avoiding anything religious, moralistic or comical, that they are nothing more than dressed up versions of a regular day. I am sure Hallmark is shivering in their boots.

We start each year wishing hope to all, and then wish love, followed up with a drink and some luck. After that, trying to avoid any religious artifact in the room, we bless people with a chocolate bunny, and set off fireworks all but forgetting the country we honor. Before we know it, time to party with monsters, eat ourselves silly and feel obligated to spend money to prove we love one another. In a nutshell, we do way too much wishing and celebrating just for show.

There are of course additional dollar assigned holidays tucked in between, like birthdays, anniversaries, Mothers Day and Fathers Day, Grand Parents Day, Bosses Day, Secretaries Day, and banks are closed for who really cares days. However, those are more optional…especially as you age, forgetting who you are, or who helped get you there in the first place…you know…Halla!

I would really like to have a year when there was less of a rush down the aisle of commercialism, fake compassion or self-serving gratification. How about a year when we start honestly wishing those around us the best, and stick to it by checking in with them, celebrating the undocumented days and even being thankful they are in your life? Who needs a card, a gift box or an invitation to hug or offer a smile, share a table or involve someone in your life? It is just too easy anymore to buy a $20 gift card, follow up with an email and say I love you, go get yourself something special on me.

If any of us took a step back we’d see that the I love you should be because we want someone in our lives and not just on the Internet.  How satisfying the year would be if we shared and cared who we are with one another up close and personal. But then again, it is easier to spend the bread than break it, and who needs a hug when you can just Halla.

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