Dairy

Dairy: (n) a shop or company that sells milk, butter, cheese, etc.

 It is easy to be health conscious if you’re negating a food you dislike.

I can stop eating frog legs tomorrow.

I have no problem rejecting the value of collard greens.

But when it comes to foods I enjoy I may agree with the prissy righteousness of those who reject them but maintain some faith in my heart for private moments—when I succumb to the temptation to partake.

Actually, food is very simple.

If it occurs naturally—that is, in its present form—you can eat it.

For instance, a cow, cut up into steaks, is not a natural occurrence. Although I may wish to lobby for that cause, cows are supposed to come put together, not butchered.

On the other hand fruits, nuts, berries, vegetables and those sorts of offerings, are right out there in front of God, you, me and every bird of the sky.

That takes us to dairy.

Cow’s milk was never meant to be drunk by anybody but calves, just as human milk was intended for our little bambinoes. But then it deteriorates. Taking that milk, skimming off the fattest portions to make cream, then butter and ending up with cheese is many false evolutionary steps from natural.

This is why these foods are delicious—by devilish design.

I grew up in a generation that believed that milk was good for you and built strong bones. But it wasn’t actually the milk, but the calcium, which is also found aplenty…in broccoli.

 

Daiquiri

Daiquiri: (n) a cocktail of rum, lemon or lime juice, and sugar,

It should be our greatest concern.

Of all our fears, apprehensions and iniquities that may abound within our human heart, we should certainly avoid being phony.

You can get by with twice the sin normally tolerated if you’re willing to admit your oddity instead of trying to argue it in the form of a question.

In other words:

“Are you asking me if I did this?”

“Don’t you believe me when I say I didn’t?”

“You know me better than this, don’t you?”

I went through a stage in my life when I was convinced that I lacked cool, sophistication and originality because I didn’t drink alcohol. When I was a very young boy, I battled bronchitis and was given many concoctions to clear my tubes so I could breathe.

All of these tasted like the alcoholic beverages that have ever been set before me.

I don’t drink alcohol—because it makes me feel like I’m sick. It tastes bad and I just don’t care for it.

But because I felt under pressure, I tried drinking wine with dinner, and when I went out with friends, would order a drink.

Nothing strong. Nothing that came out of a bottle of its own.

No, I nursed along mixed drinks.

And a daiquiri was one I found I could tolerate—as long as it had a sweet, fruit flavor.

I never finished one. I left that to my wife or another nearby friend.

But the ice was kind of nice—similar to a Slushee. Yes, a bitter Slushee with a strong after-kick.

I felt stupid about the pretense.

Finally, one night I ordered a daiquiri, and someone laughed at me, saying it was a “girly drink.”

It landed in my brain with a thud. I was trying to do this drinking to make myself seem relevant and manly but failing miserably because I wasn’t prepared to take in the hard stuff. (Captain Daniels, the scotch.)

That night, in that moment, I turned to those at the table—at least a dozen of my closest—and said, “Behold, a goddamn phony. I despise alcohol. I have no intention of drinking it again. You may feel free to pursue it without my condemnation, but I will no longer act out the part of an adult by having a drink in my hand.”

I was surprised to discover that there were three people at the table who were drinking because they saw me do it—and even though they hated it, they thought it was important to do because of my imbibing.

This was my last daiquiri.

I have not missed it.

And I must warn you that sometimes your footprint is what the person behind you is using to try to walk straight.

Dainty

Dainty: (adj) of delicate beauty; exquisite:

 I have been alive for all four stages of gay America.

Phase One: We hate gays.

Phase Two: Maybe we don’t hate them, but we don’t want to be one.

Phase Three: We accept gays, reluctantly.

Phase Four: How much gay might be in me?

If “gay America” was an advertising campaign, it was probably the most successful one there’s ever been, along with convincing housewives that Brawny paper towels are better because there’s a muscular man pictured on the wrapper.

It does create a quandary.

Without being homophobic, it crosses my mind that if I’m at a movie with another guy, the assumption of the auditorium may be that we’re a gay couple.

This is why heterosexual men are now traveling around in odd numbers: three, five and seven, for instance. It’s the only way to appear to be a gang instead of a gaggle.

But the worst part of it is that as a musician, an author and even occasionally a poet, I do want to coax my dainty side from the shadows and allow my words to color a picture with softer hues than black, gray and brown.

I want to be tender.

I want to be softer.

I want to be gentler in the areas where my heart comes near the soul of another human being.

I am weary of braggadocio.

I am completely exhausted by macho wrangling.

I want to be the person I need to be, to make sure that I leave a lingering message of openness and kindness.

Can I do this without being tagged with some new Internet term—like “metrosexual?”

Is it possible for a man to be dainty without being gay?

Is there a door to more expression instead of inserting coarse language to assure the hearer that there’s “muscle behind the message?”

I’m not gay.

I’m not afraid of being gay.

I’m not intimidated by gay people.

But I am dainty.

And I don’t want to apologize for it just so my silly mind and confused history of prejudice will drag me into ordering a second beer—just so I don’t look effeminate.

 

Daily

Daily: (adv) every day, day by day

 

He died on his way to buy a new suit.

She passed away in the beauty shop, waiting to get a perm in her hair.

The carload of kids coming from the prom saw no problem with drinking seven beers before they drove home.

Sitting on his desk, where he was found crumpled over, deceased from a heart attack, were plans for his new house.

There are philosophies that challenge you to think and dream about the future.

There are belief systems that contend we are at the mercy of our ancestors.

There is capitalism, which is always talking about five-year goal plans.

There are relatives who are intensely interested in what you want to do when you grow up.

There are calendars printed every year, with the assumption that you will be there as a customer later on.

Yet, just as it begins—unpredictably—It ends.

So what is our best way of thinking? How do we approach life on Earth with gusto, without overshooting the limitations of our own lifespan?

When do we look foolish and when do we look ill-prepared?

Daily. Probably the most intelligent words—seven of them—ever spoken were:

“Give us this day our daily bread.”

It doesn’t allow much kindness toward stockpiling or for those who wish to sleep in and “take it on tomorrow.”  They may eventually end up a day late if not a dollar short.

Trying to live your life in the encapsulation of twenty-four hours is exactly how it is envisioned in its construction.

Think of it:

We wake up. It’s like being born.

We prepare for the day—similar to going to school.

We arrive at work. Our lifespan.

We return home to eat dinner and relax, slowing down, simulating our later years.

We lay down and sleep, very similar to dying.

Yes, your life and my life is acted out every single day in a microcosm, with dramatic flair.

  • Stop thinking about the decade.
  • Ignore the year.
  • Walk away from those who are monthly planners.
  • Spurn the week.

Step into the day and look for opportunities to let the events grant you a lifetime of fulfillment.

Dailies

Dailies: (n) in the movie industry, a series of hastily printed shots from the previous day’s shooting

The true evaluation of the quality of an experience is based upon who you are with, not what you were doing or what happened.

I believe this with all my heart.

There are individuals that I wouldn’t mind being stranded with on a desert island, and there are other people that would make me feel cramped and uncomfortable if I joined them in a king’s palace.

For just about five years of my life, I had the pleasure of working in the independent film industry.

It ended up garnering thirteen low-budget flicks.

The pleasure of that experience is that I did it with my oldest son, who directed, and his magical muse of a wife, who shot and edited.

The screenplays I wrote for them were based upon my imagination. Unfortunately, they had to translate my dream life into reality without using much money or special effects.

They left early in the morning with a cast of characters who had agreed to join them on the mission based upon the words and their reputation. They reappeared in the evening, bedraggled but jubilant, with enough energy to put together some of the shots of the day—to intrigue this writer with their interpretation of the prose.

They were ingenious.

They cut corners but not significance.

They negotiated, requested, went to city council meetings to get permission to use football fields…

Well, these two remarkable people, Jon and Tracy, took what could have been a beleaguered, if not dangerous, project and made it magic.

I had fun standing back and watching them erupt with creativity.

I will never forget those late-night sessions, when Tracy drummed up dailies from the shoot and showed them to me—everything from puppets to bazookas to football uniforms to prisons to death scenes.

It was mind blowing.

They have gone on to do much more, but I will always hold those treasures in my heart.

Sometimes it makes me wonder if somewhere off in the cosmos God sits down after dark with some popcorn and watches our dailies.

 

Dagwood Sandwich

Dagwood Sandwich (n): a thick sandwich filled with a variety of meats, cheeses, dressings, and condiments.

His name was Chic Young.

I just wanted to see that in print—because as an author, I am fully aware that most of the things I write will be lost in obscurity or rendered meaningless.

Being a creative person is similar to manufacturing clouds. Brief vapor that they are, they soon will pass away and need to be replaced by new clouds.

Chic Young is the cartoonist who came up with the idea for Dagwood and Blondie. The strip began in 1930, when the assumption of the times was that men are lazy, always looking for a way of getting out of work and never doing what their wives wanted them to—and that women are interfering, nosy and a bit inept.

That particular line of reasoning is still alive in our entertainment today.

Yes—although it’s been ninety years, we persist in believing that men and women are destined to be at odds with one another, except when sexual arousal temporarily interrupts the warfare for a copulation treat.

I shall not comment further on that. You can probably tell by my emphasis that I find such thinking to be self-indulgent and counter-intuitive.

But back to Chic.

Let’s just take a moment and salute a fellow who came up with a character—Dagwood Bumstead—who loved to make huge sandwiches, usually with a sardine sticking out on the side—and because of that, to this day we name such concoctions and compilations Dagwoods.

How many of us can say that something we came up with led to having a sandwich named after it?

By the way, the name Dagwood is legitimate.

It actually comes from England and is translated as “shiny forest.” Although I do not know what a shiny forest would be, I assume it could only be viewed following the ingestion of some hallucinogenic drug.

So on this fine day, we want to thank you, Chic, for giving us Dagwood and Blondie.

And for all you writers, composers, thinkers, reasoners, poets and musers—keep going.

Someday something you concocted might be ordered at a Subway–with extra pickles.

 

Dago

Dago (n): a contemptuous term used for a person of Italian or Spanish descent

I was seven years old and not about to lose the blessings of my youth by questioning grown-ups on what they did.

There was fifty cents worth of allowance at stake and the occasional affectionate pat on the head—plus a half pound of pickle pimento loaf, purchased once every two weeks just for me at White’s Market.

I had much to lose.

So when I heard grown-ups say “Spic,” I thought it was short for “spicy.” After all, Mexicans do like their hot peppers.

When they said “Chink” I thought it was a tribute to Chinese armor, or that protective gear worn by the Samurai.

“Negro” sounded to me like “Negro,” which I believed to be an appropriate term for a race of people I rarely saw.

“Injun?” I had convinced myself it was the Iroquois word for “American Indian.”

And of course, “Dago,” for Italian folks, seemed logical to me because it sounded like pizza dough, and I sure did like pizza.

I was a full blown-out adult when I realized that these terms were not only derogatory but disabling.

I repented quickly of my foolishness and tried to find a way to understand the ignorance that brought this nasty language my way.