Caffeine

Caffeine: (n) a crystalline stimulant that is found especially in tea and coffee

I was twenty years old and was thoroughly convinced that every idea that popped into my head was granted by the supreme fairies of genius notions. I was in the midst of the seduction of a particular inspiration, working feverishly, with pen in hand, when I realized I was getting
sleepy.

Successful people don’t sleep, I thought. A budding impresario does not yearn for the pillow.

So I went down to the local drugstore and bought a product called “No Doze. ” I didn’t even read the instructions. (You have to be twenty-five years old to consider such a mature move.)

I just took two. Nothing happened.

So I chased it with two more, waited half and hour and took two more.

Within the span of two hours, I ended up taking eight No Doze, when I finally decided to read the instructions, which explained that each tablet contained the caffeine equivalent to fifteen cups of coffee.

Shortly after reading this warning, my heart started to palpitate. My face blanched, Sweat burst out on every part of my body. I thought I was going to die.

For the first time in my life, I went to the emergency room of the hospital and explained to them what I had done.

The doctor quipped, “You shouldn’t have taken so many.”

True, but not poignant.

By this time my chest was cramping and my legs were twitching. The doctor reached over into his magical cabinet and pulled out a shot of something, which I later learned was a tranquilizer.

I slept in that examination room for six hours. I awoke drained, embarrassed, and desperately trying to explain how I planned to pay for the late-night visit.

So over the years I have convinced myself that I am allergic to caffeine–so as not to accidentally stimulate any reaction similar to the one I had that night so many years ago.

 

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By-stander

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By-stander:(n) a person who is present at an event or incident but does not take part

Most people know what an oxymoron is. It’s a statement or collection of words that seem to contradict one another–case in point, jumbo shrimp.

That being said, I will tell you the little known oxymorons is the pairing of the two words “innocent by-stander.”

Although I admit meteorites do fall from the sky and hit people in the head, most of the time there’s a warning and an opportunity before a conclusion.

The warning can be subtle. Sometimes you need to tune your ears to Mother Nature in order to heed the precaution. Even though we consider people who focus on warnings to be paranoid, they rarely find themselves categorized as “innocent by-standers.”

After the warning, there’s usually some sort of opportunity:

  • A chance to say something.
  • A door to do something.
  • A way of escape–a few seconds where thinking can be clarified.

Shortly after that opportunity comes a conclusion. It is random and always certain. It doesn’t care about our status–it just follows through on the warning.

An example:

Driving in Seattle, Washington one summer, I was returning from a recording session when I looked ahead–almost a quarter of a mile–and saw a back-up of traffic. But worse, smoke was beginning to rise in small puffs, letting me know that collisions were going on between cars.

I had a very brief opportunity to avoid being part of a huge freeway pile-up. My brakes were not going to be useful–the person behind would just plow into me.

So as I saw the chain reaction developing in front of me, I moved onto the berm and traveled on it for about a mile, as cars continued to pummel one another in the calamity.

It was very close, but I was able to get in front of the origin of the collision. There was no traffic and I was on my way.

Do I think I’m a genius? No.

Have I always been so observant? No.

But when I haven’t, the problems have piled up on me. 

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By

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By: (prep) identifying the agent performing an action.

If you want success to radiate around your efforts, you have to discover what makes things work best.

Finding out by what means peace of mind and joy are enacted is probably the most important pearl we can recover.

This happened to me the day I accepted the idea that faith works by love.

A loveless faith is just a braggart spirit–a person filled with presumption who decides to make bold statements, hoping that eventually he or she will luck into achieving them.

By the same token, love that does not prompt us to expand our faith becomes cloistered and sappy.

What are some other possibilities? What additional “teams” can be brought together for righteousness?

Politics works by truth. Wow.

Marriage works by communication. Certainly.

Good health works by good eating. Not medication.

Prosperity works by labor. (After all, you even have to buy a lottery ticket.)

And human appeal works by good cheer. Everyone loves the funny guy or gal.

Finding out by what means things are achieved is the actual definition of genius.

 

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Burp

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Burp: (n) a belch

The definition of crazy: believing what is in your head because it had the spunk to come to your mind.

If a persistent idea can survive some scrutiny, it should be granted merit. But if the notions floating in your gray matter cannot be confirmed by other independent gray matter, then you may need to have a full brain-flushing.

I bring this up because in the first couple decades of my life, I found it difficult to burp. People even tried to teach me how to do it at will (since it was a favored pastime of males age twelve to sixteen). I was never successful.

Now, I won a gold star at farting. It was the burping that escaped me. Often I found myself struggling with some gas and pain because I couldn’t be relieved through the burp.

It became an obsession with me. When other people heard a loud burp from an individual in a room, they would crinkle their faces and say “gross.” My thought was much different. In my brain, I mused, “God bless you, genius. Could you teach me to do that?”

It seems so silly.

But worst of all, when I did occasionally burp, it was so poorly performed. It was more like a silent hiccup that barely lifted my shoulders. That resounding, basal explosion of vibrating magnitude of sound totally and completely avoided me.

So I guess I have a different attitude toward burping. Although I do not hold to the Aramaic tradition of thinking that it’s a sign of expressing appreciation for a meal, I do think it is an art form–which will probably never receive its due.

You know.

Similar to poetry. 

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Blurb

Blurb: (n) a short description for promotional purposes

Dictionary B Production bigger, promotion smaller.

It is the philosophy of Hollywood.

The explosions, action, mayhem and murder need to be huge–nearly beyond comprehension. But the title, description of the plot and dialogue should be as tiny as possible.

Anyone who is trying to interact with the American public must comprehend that the first step to being able to connect with the populace is to realize that they don’t want to read. An argument could be made that they don’t want to think. But certainly, limiting the number of words on a piece of paper to describe a massive idea is considered to be “Madison Avenue genius.”

I’m not even going to speculate on what these words should be, because as each week passes in this great country, which touts the value of education, we actually surrender more and more to a common stupidity.

  • Don’t use big words.
  • Don’t use unknown words.
  • Matter of fact, don’t use any words that were conceived before ten years ago.

In doing this, you will be able to write a blurb which explains your intentions to those who are intentionally acting dumbfounded by anything that isn’t recently posted on Facebook, Instagram or can be discerned through watching a YouTube.

 

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Basic

Basic: (adj) forming an essential foundation or starting point; fundamental.Dictionary B

Occasionally I make the brave journey onto the Web to look at what people are saying, thinking and doing.

I discovered an interesting trend.

We have become a nation which is obsessed with complicating and bitching. Sometimes we blend the two.

We bitch about how complicated things are, or we go into complicated explanations about the source of our bad attitude and bitching.

I saw a blog advertising an article entitled, “28 Ways to Make Your Life Better.”

28??

If someone gave you a recipe and told you there were 28 ingredients, would you prepare it?

Thus the popularity of hot dogs: put dogs in sauce pan with water, turn on heat, boil on high for three minutes, take off the stove, bon appetit!

Perhaps we’re just afraid of going back to the basics.

  • Do people think it makes them look shallow or stupid?
  • Do we fear we will be perceived as old-fashioned?

But since I fear that complexity will make me look like a simpleton, and simplicity has the potential of graduating me to genius, let me tell you the three basics of life that will get you through almost every situation. (I must apologize–there are not 28.)

But here we go:

  1. Try to be nice to people. And if you can’t, leave the room.
  2. Don’t lead with bragging. Humbly lead with your talent, taking a lower seat so that people can call you up to a higher place.
  3. Don’t buy, eat or pursue anything just because it’s popular. Stand back for a moment, wait, and see if it explodes, gives indigestion or suddenly plummets in following.

Basic.

It’s not called “basic” because it’s less–it’s called “basic” because it’s been around for a long time, and has proven its quality to be more.

 

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Avant-garde

Avant-garde: (n) new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts or the people introducing them.dictionary with letter A

The word is much more fun to pronounce than it is to live.

First of all, you cannot proclaim yourself avant-garde. It’s similar to tacking the qualification of “genius” onto your resume.

If you are actually avant-garde and filled with ingenious concepts which will push human life forward, the title must be bestowed upon you as you humbly bow your head and deny it.

For some reason, in our society we cannot tell the difference between innovators and well-funded assholes. It may be a little confusing.

But innovators can always be identified as those individuals who seek the common good without trying to empty the common pot. They are interested in an idea going forward instead of having themselves pushed forward because of their ideas.

Much to my amazement, many things that I believe, hold dear and wish to elevate are considered avant-garde, when in my thinking, they’re just practical.

Cases in point:

  1. I don’t think we can continue to promote a culture where men and women are at war with each other.
  2. It’s ridiculous to approach any group of people as an entity instead of allowing each individual to manifest his or her own personal entity.
  3. Killing is bad–whether brought about by war, abortion or capital punishment.
  4. Being grown-up is developing a sense of humor, not a bad attitude.
  5. Music is emotional. That’s it. You can put it into categories, but if it doesn’t touch the human heart, it’s mechanical clatter.
  6. God does not need us to believe in Him. God needs us to believe in each other and in so doing, establish our belief in something beyond ourselves.
  7. The only way to prevent the end of the world is to do something in the present world.
  8. Earth requires that we be conservative when it’s necessary to conserve, and liberal when it’s required to be generous.
  9. Judging people by color is totally against our instincts–since we begin life with a box of 64 Crayolas.
  10. I don’t know enough to be smart. I won’t be smart until I know enough. I must be satisfied with not ever being smart.

There are some of my avant-garde views. Perhaps you share in some of my convictions, and perhaps not.

But the beauty of an ongoing discussion is that while we’re still having it … life jumps in with the final word.

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