Costume

Costume: (n) a style of dress, including accessories and hairdos, especially that peculiar to a nation, region, group, or historical period.

If all the world is a play and all of us humans are actors on the stage, who’s in charge of the costuming?funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Are we all wearing costumes continually?

I came to write my blogs today. I’m wearing a pair of underwear, slippers and a golf shirt. It is what I refer to as my “blog costume.” Once adorned in this particular frock and frill, I am fully aware that I should not take myself terribly seriously. I should relax, be as realistic as possible, and certainly never lie.

Yet I’m not comfortable wearing this to the grocery store or even family functions. For them I require another costume.

Since I’m getting older, which began shortly after my birth, I want to dress for the grocery store with a certain contemporary appearance that lets people know that I’m not stuck in a decade which is tucked away in the history books. Of course, there’s a danger of dressing too young for myself, and looking like a wannabe millennial instead of an aging “Woodstocker.”

Then there are family gatherings. I realize they want me to play the function of “dad and grandpa.” What costume does one don for such an occasion? It has to be friendly, generous and have a certain amount of gravitas, so if one of the children is in need of counsel, the duds will match the words.

Are we all wearing costumes?

Can you really be a rock band if all you wear is blue jeans and t-shirts? Isn’t there a danger that it looks like you’re playing one set at the club and heading off to do a shift at the warehouse?

I guess we need to look the part.

To do that—to play our part—even to remain in character at times—we require costumes.

We know this is true, because when someone is out of costume, the reporters show up to do a story. When President Obama wore something other than a dark suit, for the next two days it was the conversation on the 24-hour news cycle.

“What was he doing wearing a light-colored suit? Are we a banana republic? What’s next? Flip-flops?”

I guess Bill Shakespeare was right—the world is a stage. Unfortunately, we spend much more time worrying about our make-up and our costumes than we do learning our lines.


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Circuitous

Circuitous: (adj) of a route or journey which is longer than the most direct way.

Five minutes. Three hundred seconds.

It is the best time you’ll ever spend–because:

Only the people who don’t know how to parallel park think it’s hard.

Only the folks who never took the time to learn how to put together their dining room table by following the instructions insist it’s
impossible.

Only the rogue souls who are totally convinced that anything outside their own thinking is intrusion will ever benefit from the beauty of counsel.

I don’t care how sure you are.

I don’t care how pure you are.

I don’t care if you think you have the cure.

Take five minutes.

Go over your plan.

Use your three hundred seconds wisely so you don’t end up in the middle of a disaster because you forgot to bring the right parts.

Then you can avoid a circuitous route–where you spend way too much quality Earth time trying to explain why going around in circles was better.

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Browbeat

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Browbeat: (v) to intimidate someone, typically into doing something, with stern or abusive words.

I need an answer.

Better phrased, perhaps a definition.Dictionary B

I want to live a life where I freely and honestly input those around me, even if it’s not the common grind or goes against the flow.

I don’t need to be right. But I do need to make sure I speak–so I can tell myself that I’m participating.

Here’s the problem: one man’s “counsel” is another man’s “browbeating.”

In other words, some people can listen to my opinions, take them into consideration, use the more valuable parts and be appreciative for the encounter. But there are other folks who thrive on the elixir of confirmation and encouragement and consider any contrary view to be a personal attack.

And it doesn’t do any good to say “it’s their problem.”

Because in the long run, how we treat people is not based on our intention, but is solely determined by their reaction.

We may not like that, but it isn’t up to us to decide for another human how they should invest our pearls of wisdom.

What is browbeating?

I think I’ve finally come up with a conclusion:

Browbeating may very well be bringing up the same subject that was discussed earlier with greater intensity, because it wasn’t applied after the first conversation.

I don’t like that rendition, but it is a way to keep my opinions viable … but also extracted when they cease to be of any consequence.

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Branch

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Branch: (n) a part of a tree that grows out from the trunk

Over the years I have had many people come to me seeking counsel and advice. Of course, what they’re looking for is a combination of a sooth-sayer, a prophet and someone who has just returned from picking God’s brain.Dictionary B

And unfortunately, there are those folks who will connote that they have a pulse on your situation, and therefore privy to your marching orders.

One of the more popular assertions? Branch out.

In other words:

  • Follow your dreams.
  • Put all of your hopes on 7 on the roulette wheel.
  • Try new things.
  • Experiment
  • Be bold.

That kind of dime-store intuition may get applause on a TV talk show, but when applied in normal everyday life, often leaves believers devastated in disappointment.

Why? Because no one knows your true aptitude, attitude, potential, talent or perseverance. They’re just hoping you get lucky.

Of course, most people don’t. This is why state lotteries work–because most tickets don’t win.

Likewise, the reason the majority of us do not achieve peace of mind, financial success and personal satisfaction is that branching out and trying fresh ideas rarely works.

What does work is pretty simple:

1. What am I doing that works?

2. Since it works, how can I do more of it?

3. Then, how can I do it better so it works even more often?

This information is general, but true.

Anything that is an adventure has risk, and therefore, more than likely will fail.

But if you have something that has proven to be profitable, then just find more opportunities to do that same thing in varied ways.

So be careful.

What sounds good in an auditorium with a large crowd of people has to be followed up by you–with a cup of coffee and determination.

 

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Bra

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Bra: (n) an undergarment worn by women to support the breasts

When I look in the mirror I see some wrinkles.

But also, I peer at the countenance of experience.

I have people who call me Dad and also Grandpa.

After years and years of relationship, there are souls who come to me for counsel.Dictionary B

I have even been referred to as “wise.”

I have awards which proclaim that I am a creature of merit.

But still–when I see a bra, I get giggly

There is a little boy inside me who has a childish view of a garment.

I could pretend that I don’t.

I could force myself to look at a bra and think it was similar to a t-shirt. But I would be lying.

I think it is fruitless to pretend that we ever escape the first inclinations of our youthful lust, but instead, just gain the insight to run away from them … before they take us down tawdry paths.

 

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Betterment

Betterment: (n) the act or process of improving something.

I spend a lot of time considering the difference between the words “satisfied” and “content.”Dictionary B

Although I am sure others could come along with much better analysis of the situation, I believe the true way to live a full and abundant life is to be content while you pursue better ways to be satisfied.

If I’m going to wait for others to point out my weaknesses, my lacking will be so obvious that I more than likely will be overwhelmed with the option to improve–or worse, offended that these critics have challenged my holy turf.

That’s why I hired Jack-o.

Jack-o is my invisible friend who comes along with me on my journey to remind me of better ways to do things when I start compromising or settling for mediocre choices.

I make sure that Jack-o is fairly nice–even comical–so my feelings don’t get hurt. But he is there, poking me in the side, telling me that the second mile is ahead, and is only 5,280 feet away.

He wants my betterment.

He keeps me from being subject to the microscope of those who would love to disembowel my efforts.

He is my best friend.

And even though he occasionally arrives with an opinion when I am tired or frustrated, I am still grateful for the input … and benefitted by the counsel.

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Bartender

Bartender: (n) a person who mixes and serves drinks at a bar.Dictionary B

Most of the spirits that have come into me have entered through my soul instead of my mouth.

I am not a drinker. I am not self-righteous about it–it’s just not a part of my practice.

I do overeat.

I under-exercise.

It’s not as if I don’t participate in human activities that are capable of pleasure but also can quickly become foibles.

For me, it has always been an inability to get over the taste. Recently recovering from a throat condition, I was astounded at how horrible cough syrup is to ingest. To purposefully pour such intense fluid down my gullet on an ongoing basis is beyond my comprehension.

It started when I was eighteen years old and went on a trip to Nashville, Tennessee, with my soon-to-be wife. We decided to go out to a bar to catch some lively “Music City” entertainment. This particular establishment had a two-drink minimum. That meant you had to order two alcoholic beverages to be able to sit and listen to the music. I probably could have ordered a soft drink, but at age eighteen, such ineffective communication of maturity was unacceptable. I was allowed to order a drink, so a drink would be ordered.

I asked for a Michelob. When it came to the table, I took a huge gulp, which nearly regurgitated back in my direction.

It was so terrible.

I saw other people sitting around drinking it freely, as if it were some sort of pleasurable experience. Years later, working with a group of artists in Louisiana, we thought it was extraordinarily Continental to order wine with our dinner. After a couple of weeks of this practice, I had to turn to my companions and tell them that I was ruining my hamburger by having to survive my vino.

I say all this to admit to you that talking about a mixologist–or a bartender, in this case–is really beyond my scope. The only bartender I actually knew was a fellow I met in California. He was a minister who tended bar part-time in order to counsel and help folks who were drowning some of their sorrows in liquid refreshment.

I doubt if he’s a typical purveyor of the intoxicants. I’ve often admired bartenders in movies, mixing their blends together with such style and speed.

But I am the worst person in the world to write an article on bartending.

So I think I will stop.

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