Saturday, January 25, 2014

Someone Got Run Over by a Reindeer, by Janet Lee

Celebrating birthdays is always interesting, fun, and from time to time results in a story worth telling.

Recently my daughter and her beau, Mindy from Indy, and many others came to our side of town to celebrate my Michael's birthday.  Festivities began at our favorite sushi restaurant, Masa Sushi, followed by an evening of cheerful fun, revelry, and dancing at Big Texas South.  After several hours of camaraderie, rounds of jello shots, and other libations too numerous to mention, the night progressed with about ten cowgirls and cowboys walking the length of the parking lot to IHOP for more indulgences.    

                                                           Internet Photo

After we gorged ourselves on waffles, bacon and every other extravagance we could stuff into our mouths, the designated drivers took the helm of their assigned carriages and in the wee hours of the morning headed to our house to celebrate a late night an early morning birthday gift exchange.  Turning down our street we were greeted with a very unusual sight to behold!  Three deer were grazing on flowers left over from summer in my front beds.  Being of semi-sound minds, both designated drivers turned off their headlights so as not to disturb the deer, but before I could pull totally to a stop, the passenger of my car, who shall remain nameless, jumped out of my Corvette and started running and screaming toward the deer in what I believe may have been an attempt to get a closer view of Prancer, Dancer, and Vixen.  Prancer and Vixen darted past him cleanly but he was able to get in front of Dancer, and with his arms extended over his head made an attempt at one last dance of the night.  Dancer didn't want anything to do with a six foot two cowboy cutting into their nocturnal salad bar foray and from a dead still posture jumped over his outstretched arms and flew off into the night.  I assume tiny Dancer was displeased at not taking off with Prancer and Vixen because at the last moment, before clearing his outstretched frame, she reimbursed him for damages with a kick to his um.... arm.

                                               Internet Photo

I was reminded of a five year old set free in a penny candy store!  The long, tall cowboy began jumping up and down, squealing and laughing.


What is the first thing one does when kicked by a deer?  Recall the event on social media of course.  A post was made on Facebook and funny comments were plentiful.  The thrill of the moment, although tainted with anonymity, will linger for many years, and I am sure, as years go by, the deer will get bigger, jump higher, and the story of the unnamed deer wrangler will grow in the minds of all those involved.

Friday, January 10, 2014

It is Always Now, By H. Michael

I was talking to a guy a few days before the new year arrived, and somehow the topic turned briefly to regrets.  Although the conversation was brief, I have been ruminating on it ever since.  I feel I have got to get this off my chest, brain if you prefer, or I will just keep thinking about it.  Janet Lee will probably challenge this remark with a comment like: "just put your brain back in your pants and let the sleeping dog lie", but I can't. 

I won't go into details regarding what the regret(s) were because that is not the point.  The point, as I see it, is how the past is always pulling us into an illusionary perspective of what we should have done, how we should have acted, or changes we should have made to make just about anything imaginable, different.   But it's a trap, there is only the present, only now. 

True, we should all learn from our mistakes, and it's also true that revisiting past decisions and making different choices, if given the same set of circumstances might work to our benefit.  I put too much garlic in the stew last time; I think I will add less this time.  I cut the board too short, I'll add an eighth on the re-cut, I should have reefed sooner, or the oil in the diesel was really black last time I changed it; I think I will change it more frequently.  You get the point.  When dealing with a task it is beneficial to call on your memory and make alterations if required to make the outcome different, and definitely if the outcome is perceived as better.  But, and here in lies the rub, when memories and emotions get all wrapped up and cozy in a blanket of (perceived) change, and past emotions are not part of the current equation of change, remorse can surface; which may lead to regret, and if severe enough; guilt.  

If I say for example "I regret not going cruising sooner", after I have been cruising for many years; my memory allows emotions and other mental experiences to surface that are motivated by current behavior, and not the actual experience that caused me to perform the way I chose.  The market may have been soft and I couldn't sell my house, my children may have been living at home, or a host of other reasons that were applicable, but were somehow tempered with time.  The point is: the emotional relevance of a past decision was lost, and regret surfaced because a new, contemporary standard is being compared to the past. 

The only way I can see to prevent regret is to always live in the now.  So my mantra for 2014 is:  It is always now.

Photo used with permission of
Robert Grice, Extreme Photography