Cross-road

Crossroad: (n) a road that crosses another road

I’m desperately trying to remember the formula. I’m sure it’s age-old—but one night I convinced myself that I came up with it on my own.

Having some time on my hands, I got in my car and started driving, attempting to get lost.

I wanted to see how much fun it would be to find my way back home. (This was long before GPS and also long before I had so much shit on my plate that I had free time.)

So I set off driving, tried to ignore the signs or the names of towns and made sporadic turns. Unfortunately, my internal GPS naturally had me drive in boxes, and eventually I ended up right back where I started.

So I put on my thinking cap (which, by the way, is much too large for the surface it serves) and I tried to figure out how to pull off getting lost without it becoming manipulative but also having a spontaneous feel to it.

I came up with a simple concept:

Drive one mile, turn right, drive another mile, turn left, another mile, turn left again.

Then drive another mile, turn right, and repeat the process.

After about forty-five minutes of this endeavor, I ended up not knowing where I was.

To discover what crossroad would take me back to my destination, I just kept turning left. Then I saw something I recognized, and in no time at all, I was back at home with people who recognized me.

Honestly, I do not know if this is an actual plan of action, or even if it’s worth this small essay.

All I know about crossroads is that they offer you another direction.

The power of this? If you’re tired of where you’re going, you have the option of getting lost for a while, until you can find yourself again.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C


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County

County: (n) a part of a state

Sometimes I’m baffled, and even amused, by the things I remember.

For some reason my brain favors certain topics or bits and pieces of trifle that float by, to retain, as if memorizing a secret code during wartime.

For instance, the other day, I realized I could sing my entire high school Alma Mater. So you will know that I’m not some sort of sentimental weirdo, I had funny wisdom on words that begin with a Cnot thought about that song since I was sitting in the bleachers after the last football game we lost.

But there it was—word-for-word, tone-for-tone, syllable-for-syllable, and would you believe?—concluding with a burst of emotion.

It was bizarre.

I also can remember my telephone number from when I was a young boy (but have to look on my cell phone to recite my present one.)

My social security number is embroiled in my brain as if terrified to leave, under fear of governmental punishment.

And for some reason unknown to me, I remember that I grew up in Delaware County.

I don’t know why I remember that.

Maybe it’s because the county seat of Delaware County was a town called Delaware. (Now, isn’t that so original?)

And I probably only traveled to Delaware a half-a-dozen times in my youthful life, but I can tell you the names of the two high schools that served the community.

It is so wacky.

I now need a woman with a British accent to give me directions on where to go, while simultaneously my brain protects the trivial that has no pursuit.


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Clobber

Clobber: (v) to hit someone hard

The quotation is attributed to Teddy Roosevelt: “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

An admirable thought, but in a world filled with wack-a-doodle-dandies and nutzoids, there is always someone who eventually tries to make you use your stick.

So if you don’t plan to use the stick, or if you’re against that type of violent behavior, then carrying it around may seem intimidating, especially when you run across someone who has an assault rifle.

I must be honest–I have never actually been in a fist fight with anyone. I have tackled people and used my girth to lay on them, to make them submit to my will–but I have never chosen to clobber them.

The only time clobbering has come into my life was when I was in the middle of a football game and I was running down to cover a kickoff, when all of a sudden, something hit me like a meteor from space. For the next five minutes, I went to visit the Lilliputians on Mars. I was babbling, incoherent and obviously damaged–from being clobbered. To this day I don’t know which player found the correct angle to block me without me seeing it coming, but I came about three-and-a-half angels from meeting Jesus.

On that day I decided that if this were the by-product of clobbering, then I no longer wished to partake, participate or initiate such endeavors.

Even though there is some sort of vague concept in our society that we need to “stand up for ourselves” or otherwise, the bullies will take over, my preferable experience is to learn how to send out really good reconnaissance and find out if there are any bullies on the road ahead, and set my GPS for milder paths.

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Benchmark

Benchmark: (n) a standard against which things may be compared or assessed

Dictionary B

At the risk of barking out some dogmatic standards, I shall attempt to offer some concerns.

As I view the climate of politics, religion and entertainment, which are meant to be foundations in our American society, I realize that the benchmark for each one of these offerings has shifted over the years, unconsciously accepted by the masses.

Religion should have only one function: to teach us to love each other.

Anything else ranges from superfluous to dangerous. Nowadays we ask religion to afford us a heritage, a style, a uniqueness, or even a guarantee of eternal life.

The benchmark we have set for religion is careless.

On the other hand, the only benchmark for politics is honesty.

Without it, we fail to recognize what the true problems are, and therefore we end up working on the insignificant and overlooking the necessary.

Nowadays, politics is the symbol of deception, dissension, gridlock and even a certain amount of ridicule.

We’ve lost our benchmark on politics.

And finally, entertainment should have the benchmark of entertaining us, but also enlightening us.

Without these stipulations, entertainment starts to be sensationalistic, desiring a plumper and plumper bottom line.

When we lose our benchmarks, we start to stray, which makes us appear lost ... even as we insist we are following the cultural GPS.

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Belated

Belated: (adj) coming or happening later than should have been the case

Dictionary B

“You are not important enough for me to remember your birthday, but I am important enough for you to be overjoyed that I finally sent you a greeting.”

This is belated in a simple explanation.

It is the idea that life is so busy that it’s only natural for us to be forgetful, careless and tardy.

It’s the person who constantly arrives late to a luncheon, saying “sorry,” and then gives a litany of lame excuses for the delay:

  • Lots of traffic.
  • Something came up at the last minute.
  • My GPS screwed up.
  • I thought we were supposed to meet a half an hour later.
  • I got a phone call just as I pulled into the parking lot.
  • Well, I could go on and on with examples, because inconsiderate people never run out of explanations on why they are more important than you are.

We need to remember that forgiveness is not something we can ask for, but rather, something that’s granted.

Our job is to admit we are wrong.

Forgiveness is up to other people to provide to us–out of the kindness and gentleness of their heart.

People who are obsessed with belated greetings are not only trying to justify themselves, but also assuming that we will pardon them… because they are so essential to our well-being.Donate Button

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Apostrophe

dictionary with letter A

Apostrophe (n.): a punctuation mark (‘) used to indicate either possession or the omission of letters or numbers.

It is a very good question. Are shortcuts in life an expression of laziness, or a desire to simplify before we end up being conquered?

Because honestly, I have taken some shortcuts which certainly ended up at dead ends, and have often found myself taking the long way home, only to be mocked by those who use a better GPS.

You see, the apostrophe already had a job. It was being used to prove that we own something. It was a clerical title-deed, to be presented to the reader, to establish the authenticity of our rights.

But them someone said, “There ought to be another job for this little marking. After all, the formal nature of using words like ‘is’ and ‘are’ over and over again is extremely tedious. So maybe if we leave out one of the letters, and stick in the apostrophe, which is already hanging around, we could come across as more relaxed, if not hip.”

I don’t know if someone experimented with this once in writing a document, or even when it started. For instance, I don’t see any apostrophes in the Declaration of Independence. It remains rather “verbal.”

Yet as a writer, I am often encouraged to shorten words with apostrophes so as not to appear to be a stick in the mud. Why is that?

(Or perhaps better phrased, why’s that?)

I think we do a disservice to ourselves when we merely accept the radical concepts of the previous generation as common doings in our own time simply because they survived the rigors of scrutiny.

So for me, there are occasions when I think clarity demands the addition of the full use of the little verbs … instead of sticking in a comma dangling in midair.

 

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Apogee

dictionary with letter A

Apogee (n.) 1. The point in the orbit of the moon or a satellite at which it is furthest from the earth. 2. The highest point: (e.g.: his creative activity reached its apogee in 1910.)

We live our lives looking through binoculars, unaware that history will view us under a microscope.

We keep hoping that something will come along and stimulate our sensibilities and promote our ideas to greater influence and gain. The flaw of all humanity is the notion that we deserve a break, so we will sit here and wait for it.

Yet history will peer back on our deeds and reflect on where we messed up our GPS, missed a U-turn or put the brakes on.

So therefore, we can all become guilty of claiming our apogee long before we have actually achieved our highest point.

Life is a mysterious collision of confidence and insecurity.

Confidence says, “Given the opportunity, I can do this.” But it must be accompanied by a mistrust that such an advantage will come our way without us hustling for it.

When I study greatness, I find two components. People who achieve their goals do the following:

  1. Work on their gifts until they are prepared for the moment.
  2. Create the moment.

I am not a believer in destiny. I am certain that the acquisition of my dreams will be executed by the energy of my effort.

What will be my apogee? I am not there yet.

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