Aspirin: (n) a tablet containing aspirin.dictionary with letter A

Since life can sometimes be a headache and such discomfort is a real pain…well, in the head, I have occasionally pursued the consumption and absorption of aspirin into my body to try to alleviate the malady.

Sometimes it has worked. And when it has, it nearly seems to be a “Jesus-moment-of-miracle-healing-the-blind-man.”

Then there are times when the pain is so severe–such as an abscessed tooth–that the aspirin doesn’t do much except to dull the agony and give you a minor LSD trip.

Also the problem with aspirin is that it can make your stomach bleed.

Several years ago, when I was younger than I am now (which is customary) I went through an eight-day period when I wasn’t getting much sleep and was achy, so I started popping aspirin like they were Skittles. A few days later, I started getting light-headed, weak and my vision was impaired to the point that I couldn’t stand to be in bright lights. My heart raced.

So I finally cruised off to the hospital–to discover that I had lost a lot of blood. The volume was so low that they feared I had some form of cancer. I explained that I had been taking a lot of aspirin, but they were convinced there was more to it than that. But after a very brief stay, I got better.

They examined all of my internal stuff and decided that I had just taken too much aspirin, and nearly used up all my blood.

So since that day, I have told people that I am allergic to aspirin. I’m probably not.

I am probably the typical human being who is, and always will be, allergic to way too much of a good thing.



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Aspiration: (n) a hope or ambition of achieving something.dictionary with letter A

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

I’ve always found that proverb to be deep and meaningful. For I believe we live in a time when hope is touted as a very powerful emotional yearning which draws us closer to our true goals.

Honestly, I don’t think anything could be further from the truth.

There are two aspects of human behavior which I think are dangerous and need to be handled carefully: complaining and aspirations.

They appear to be polar opposites–with complaining fostering the idea of negativity and aspirations touting that they are extraordinarily positive. But they are actually the result of one another, when we grow tired of pursuing each one.

  • People who complain eventually grow weary of their own negativity and start grabbing onto anything they can aspire toward for gratification.
  • And people with great aspirations soon run into reality and find themselves complaining.

There is an amazing holy balance available to us, when we avoid complaining, which is a cancer for creativity, by refusing to pursue unrealistic aspirations, which is truly the Petrie dish for all sorts of negative emotions.

What should our profile be? How can we look ahead with great hope without unrealistic aspirations?

I think it’s all found in the power of the concept of counting the cost. When you take a good, hard look at what you have, what you’re willing to do and what assistance you might require, you come up with a factual assessment of your actual.

If you ignore that and start aspiring to more possibilities than actually exist within the realm of your scope, then you normally end up looking and feeling like a fool.

Likewise, if you refuse to take this personal inventory and just complain about what you seem to lack, you never achieve any aspiration to get you down the road to at least get something started.

Of the three great virtues–faith, hope and love–hope, or aspiration, certainly takes the third seat.

Hope is the passenger we are allowed to take along with us once our love has set the mood for our faith to function.

Then our aspiration is grounded in reality … instead of fairy tales.

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Aspersions: (n) an attack on the reputation or integrity of someone or somethingdictionary with letter A

“He’s just a kid.”

I remember how I used to hate that statement, popped off by careless adults when they didn’t particularly favor some suggestion I made when I was much younger.

Such a cheap shot.

Even though holier books promote the notion that “out of the mouth of babes” come words of wisdom, we still contend that some accumulation of years is necessary to guarantee the validity of a thought.

It’s become the way we debate: we don’t consider an opinion. We don’t weigh the ideas based upon history and practicality.

  • We attack people.
  • We limit them by education.
  • We condemn them by age.
  • And we most certainly cubby-hole them by gender.

I remember one day, I was having a conversation with a couple of colleagues, and my young son, Jerrod, who was seven at the time, interrupted and voiced an insight. I could tell by looking at the faces of my friends that they not only were perturbed with the intrusion, but had already decided to ignore the little fella’s questioning.

They were further surprised when I stopped our dialogue, leaned down to him and said, “Now, what did you say?”

The fact was, his particular inquiry into what we were talking about was very powerful and important. But it was just easier for them to cast aspersions on him of immaturity because he was short and hadn’t had enough birthdays.

Let me say it out loud:

I don’t care if you’re conservative; I don’t care if you’re liberal.

If you’re Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu or any other faith, it is not significant to me.

I am not going to condemn you by association to organizations or cliques that are targets for my nasty tongue.

I will hear you out.

I will tell you where I agree.

I will tell you what I find curious.

And I also will inform you where I think your presentation is insensitive to history and impractical for humans.

Aspersions are the subterfuge we use to promote our prejudice and bigotry … while seeming to do it with wit instead of the whip.


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Aspen: (n) a municipality which is the county seat and most populous city of Pitkin County, Colorado. dictionary with letter A

Often we must drive through the cold to get to the hot.

It is a fact of life which we forget because self-pity is so readily available in our repertoire.

Last year I went through a distressing time, when I questioned many of my talents, aspirations and mostly, my fortunes. I took a couple of months just to self-examine.

Such introspection is very fruitful at first, but after a while can become dangerous, as you start slicing into your bones. Soon I needed a way of escape.

I had immobilized myself and was desperately in need of an exit strategy. So I made a quick plan to escape my season of self-perusal and started to move back into the land of the living.

Yet my plan of action really sucked.

So I found myself on Easter Sunday morning driving through the Rocky Mountains with snow falling all around me in my vehicle that was less than suitable for such a wintry mix, wondering if I was going to slide off the mountain into the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.”

Along the way, I passed a town in Colorado called Aspen.

It is filled with expensive bungalows and lodges to accommodate the more wealthy members of our society, who want to get away and pretend to ski, while spending most of their time sitting by the fire in $1000-dollar outfits, sipping well-pickled cider.

(As you can see, I was a little resentful of their prosperity.)

I was not destitute, but certainly lacking the funds to make me totally content.

  • Maybe it was the cold.
  • Maybe it was the drippy snow.
  • Or maybe it was a lacking in my character.

But I started to feel sorry for myself. It was so silly.

I was just driving through some cold to get to a warmer place. It happens.

I suppose if you have enough zeroes at the end of your bank account balance instead of in the front, then Aspen could be a very nice place to visit.

On that particular Easter morning, it was a chilling reminder of my depleted condition as I quietly drove on … seeking for resurrection.


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Aspect: (n) a particular part or feature of something. dictionary with letter A

Singers should be happy.

Even though I am fully aware there are sad songs, at the end of performing such a dirge, there should be a return to hopeful joy and happiness. It is an aspect of their character which must be manifested in order for them to be of value to the human tribe.

In like manner:

Accountants should be good with numbers. It would be nice if they weren’t grouchy. But since I don’t want to number crunch all the time, the aspect of their character that I am most interested in is accuracy.

We have become too complacent in accepting mediocre ideas simply because we’ve given up on the possibility of things being right.

Politicians should be forthcoming. Just because they aren’t does not mean that we shouldn’t continue to expect that aspect.

Preachers should be non-judgmental and full of the gospel of hope. Honestly, damn them if they’re any other way.

Mothers and fathers should instill confidence in their children instead of forcing them to rebel out of too much worry and interference.

Christmas should be celebrated with joy instead of beleaguered with droll souls who want to point out how “it can really be a sad time of the year.”

There are certain aspects of our journey which need to remain faithful to the common cause of sanity. Otherwise we will begin to accept the banal as the normal.

I am a writer. It is my job to inspire.  To hell with the notion that I’m presenting a dark reality which is the underbelly of society.

It is time for us to enlighten one another instead of extinguishing the fires of hope … pretending it is an action of intellectual maturity.


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Asparagus: (n) a tall plant of the lily family with fine feathery foliage, cultivated for its edible shoots.dictionary with letter A

For after all, having knowledge is not necessary in order to espouse. In our day and age, merely having a strong opinion complemented with verbosity is sufficient motive for accosting your audience with determinations.

Here’s what I do know about asparagus: I like it.

I do not remember when I ever disliked asparagus, though I am sure at the age of three, having it introduced into the room probably would have caused me to run out in terror.

It has a very intimidating appearance. It has a distinctive odor, and I have a son who insists that those who eat this particular vegetable urinate a unique aroma.

As I said, I do not know about such things, but as I also stated, am feeling free to share at will.

The most outstanding thing about asparagus to me is that when I eat it I feel affluent.

It’s expensive.

Every once in a while it falls down into my price range. Then I buy it in bunches, usually serving it with a nice steak or a medium-quality fish.

Being more expensive. it does require a whole lot of attention, care and the addition of friends like butter, and even almonds.

I like to grab it by its stem and put the little curly head in my mouth and gradually insert the entire stick in one bite.

I can recommend this approach. It stresses your opulence–not only are you unconcerned with taking small bites, but you are content your wealth enables you to eat this costly commodity in huge chunks.

Some might say that asparagus is an acquired taste.

But truthfully, I think the whole process of eating vegetables is getting used to the idea of tasting “green.”

Yes, green has a taste.

It varies ever so slightly from broccoli to kale to asparagus, but normally falls into a common realm in the kingdom of flavor.

If you never develop the taste for green you will spend your life eating browns, tans and whites, leaving the planet early … because you just didn’t have the heart for it.

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