Cruise

Cruise: (v) to sail about on a pleasure trip.

I stumbled upon a little piece of personal revelation, which after much thought, might just end up being worthy of universal application.

(Not everything I think falls into this category. Many things that I pursue pertain mostly to me, and would not be helpful or even interesting, to an outsider.)

For instance, my daily regimen in approaching healthy eating would certainly bore the most prideful listener.

But what I’ve discovered is that nothing in life has immediate appeal—nor is it dead-on-arrival.

Each one of us ends up talking ourselves into everything.

So it only stands to reason that we talk ourselves out of other things.

For me, one of those things is a cruise on a ship.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with such an adventure. There have even been television shows produced extolling the pleasures of food, fun and romance—even promising that the boat itself might just be “love.”

But somehow or another I have talked myself out of this.

I talked myself into being a musician. Honestly, there’s little that’s more tedious.

I convinced myself of the glories of fatherhood. Yet this did not happen until children were afoot.

But I’ve also talked myself out of… Let me see:

How about a daily run? I think a daily run would be possible for me if there were someone trailing me slowly in a jeep, firing a machine gun at my heels. Yes, I would need adequate motivation.

So as I think about a cruise, the following four things immediately annoy me:

  1. Walking up the plank to get on.

I don’t know why. It just seems like I’m lining up in a prison yard for daily gruel.

  1. Cramped quarters.

To make money, a cruise ship must have little cabins, and of course, the smaller they make them the more people they can put onto the ship, and therefore, the more profit.

I am a big man, constantly perturbed by living in a medium world.

  1. A constant barrage of food.

Perhaps I’m odd, but after I eat, the last thing I want to do is go dancing in the Mambo Room.

Doesn’t that sound horrible? Where is the time for digestion?

  1. And finally, the pool.

If the boat is for love, then people are peering extra carefully at one another for the potential of unexplainable romantic entanglements.

When I go swimming, I’m thinking more about cannonballs and floating. Probably not the mindset of Carnivale.

So you see, I have not given a cruise a chance—because I have convinced myself that it is not worthy of my consideration.

I probably should have done that with bologna and sausage years ago.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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Chrysalis

Chrysalis: (n) a preparatory or transitional state.

The main reason I don’t want to come out of my cocoon is that I don’t think I’ll end up being a pretty butterfly.

Wouldn’t that be horrible–to spend your life cramped into a tiny space, gouging your ego and leaving you feeling inadequate, only to burst
forth from your chrysalis and be either ugly or a gooey, incomplete mess?

I’ve wondered throughout my life if it’s more important to know what to do, how to do it, or when to do it. You see, there are many things I believe I’m prepared for, and then, even the hint of opportunity can surprise me, leaving me clumsy.

That’s why sometimes I giggle when our culture encourages us in the buffoonery of expressing verbal confidence, when we actually have no idea if we can pull something off or not.

Is it wrong to want a couple more days, weeks or months in the chrysalis before sticking a wing out and find out if we can fly?

Or is it just part of the process–that we get dumped out of our cocoon, and whatever we are is what we are?

Maybe we should have asked for a guarantee before entering our chrysalis: “This metamorphosis guarantees you one beautiful butterfly body…”

But in the world of nature, there are very few guarantees–just possibilities–usually afforded at the most inopportune time.

 

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Cabin

j-r-practix-with-border-2

Cabin: (n) a small shelter or house, made of wood and situated in a remote area.

The human brain is not spacious.

Matter of fact, it’s pretty cramped.

When you add the clutter of prejudice, misconception, disappointment and selfishness, it can be extraordinarily confined.

That’s the way it was with my dad.

My dad never got a chance to find out if he was a good man or a bad man because he was surrounded by men just like him. Therefore he compared himself to them.

They were all frightened of change.

They were all nervous about not having enough money.

They were all intimidated by despondent and dissatisfied women.

And they were all looking for a retreat.

My dad went to Canada–sometimes twice a year–to hunt and fish, but mostly to try to find something in his brain that was his own.

My mother didn’t mean to be intrusive. She always felt she was being helpful. The problem is, helpful is rarely achieved if no one is asking for help.

My dad was not unhappy, he just wanted to be left alone. So he built himself a cabin out on a small piece of land that we owned outside town. It was rustic, it was small, and had very little in it–except my dad, when he wanted to be away from everybody.

My girlfriend and I occasionally slipped out to the location to “play doctor” which eventually led to “hospital.”

But every time I came into that room I could feel his loneliness. I know it sounds poetic, or even misplaced, but there was a quiet in the room which was disconcerting instead of reassuring.

The day he died, people gathered at our home to consume all the casseroles which had been brought in by well-meaning relatives. I slipped away and drove to that cabin, walked in and sat down on the cot that was in the middle of the room.

I don’t know what I expected. Perhaps I thought I would feel the spirit of my dearly departed father.

All I felt was the loneliness which was now even more lonely, because its only visitor had finally escaped.

 

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Alley

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Alley: (n) 1. a narrow passageway between or behind buildings. 2. a long, narrow area in which games such as bowling are played.

Alleys give me the heebie-jeebies.

Even during the daytime, when somebody tells me to go back in the alley to unload or pick something up, I find myself suddenly surrounded by trash cans and stray cats–neither of which I like, by the way.

Maybe it’s the feeling of confinement. I am certainly a little claustrophobic. (You can tell when a writer’s claustrophobic because he hates short sentences and opts for run-ons.)

Seriously, alleys are freaky.

  • Is there any television mystery that does not start with cops discovering a dead body in an alley somewhere?
  • Was anything ever invented in an alley?
  • Did we discover the cure for a disease in an alley?

Matter of fact, it’s difficult to even use the word “alley” without adding the adjective, “back.”

I guess the only interesting thing about an alley is that since you can’t go too far frontwards and backwards, you’re always looking up.

I thought when I went bowling the first time, I could overcome my disdain for alleys by enjoying this fascinating game. But the reason they call it a bowling alley is that there is a narrow passage with danger at the end.

Case in point: my first bowling score was 52, which, as you may know, is very poor. And then I discovered that if I threw the ball down with wild abandon, with a crazy hook, somehow or another it would swing around and hit the head pin. This seemed to work for a couple of tosses, until I began to get a universal split, with two pins on each side, impossible to make.

So I peaked at 165, which is still what I say is my average when people ask me. I feel confident in misleading them because I have no intention of actually proving my prowess in front of them. For it’s been years since I’ve gone bowling.

The whole experience is similar to a back alley. You have the nasty process of sticking your feet in rented shoes that others have worn many times before you, having your inadequacy lit up above your head, as your failure in scoring pins is illuminated for all to see, and knowing that at the end of the experience of being in this alley, you will be humiliated and stripped of all your pride.

So I guess it is fair to say that I don’t like alleys.

(Matter of fact, I’m going to close now . I feel a little cramped and creepy.)