Cuticle

Cuticle (n) the epidermis that surrounds the edges of the fingernail or toenail.

Being healthy is a good thing.

There’s nothing particularly insightful in that statement. But may I follow with this thought?

Being worried about your health is the Suck Master of Life.

This is why I am careful not to watch too many shows on Discovery Channel or programs about bizarre medical procedures—because in no time at all, I am perfectly capable of sprouting some of the symptoms, with actual visual evidence.

I’m not normally paranoid but am willing to be flexible.

In other words, I can go pretty nuts wondering if I’m nuts.

I can get a queasy stomach just thinking about indigestion.

And I can sprout a headache at the mere mention of a brain tumor.

Yet, knowing this about myself, I accidentally watched a program on the danger signs of disease that can be found in our cuticles and fingernails.

  • What happens when they’re yellow?
  • Should we run to the doctor if they’re brittle?
  • Do white spots on your nails mean you have a calcium deficiency?

After all, human beings and other primates are the only animals who have nails.

Watching this particular documentary, I learned that men’s nails grow faster than women’s. Worse, the nail on one finger grow at a different speed than another. (It’s a little unnerving to realize that even my fingernails are competitive with each other.)

It was reassuring to learn that typing is good for your nails—except that I don’t do typing anymore. I have someone who takes my dictation and achieves the job in one-tenth the time.

Water is very helpful for healthy nails, and cuticles are there because they protect the tips of our fingers from infection.

One of the things that made me giggle was that they had a two-minute expose about the danger of cutting your nails in the dark.

Yet, when it was all said and done—and I calmed down my internal gag reflex—I realized one thing:

My nails probably won’t kill me.

And, as Kelly Clarkson once said, what doesn’t kill you helps you open packages.

funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

Bland

Bland: (adj) mild or insipid.

Dictionary B

It’s a choice.

Although there are probably individuals who would strongly disagree, our journey in life is basically a decision on whether we want to pursue the absence of excitement or the presence of turmoil.

The minute we try to chase anything down, it comes with a price. Shall we name it “unpredictable?” Every dream, every wish, every pursuit arrives with a level of chance that is certainly frightening if you fear losing control.

On the other hand, subtracting things from your experience to guarantee purity, solemnity or caution leaves one unfulfilled.

Bland is when we decide that all the recommendations for making something spicier sound like they would lead to indigestion.

 

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Between

Between: (prep) the space separating two objects.

I spend most of my life “between.”Dictionary B

And it certainly isn’t between a rock and a hard place. (What a self-piteous scrap of frumpy thinking…)

Actually, the choices afforded me are matters that I consider easy, or options that loom in the distance, appearing to be hard.

If I develop a lifestyle of choosing only the easy possibilities, I will always wonder what I missed, or will wear out the patience of simplicity.

On the other hand, if I project myself to be adventurous and always select from the menu of the more arduous entrees, I may just end up in a bunch of Herculean tasks–with indigestion.

Since I live my life between, I certainly should build a home there–a place where I am satisfied to be challenged by new ideas, as I also add a bit of spice to my common daily gruel.

Yes, human life is about learning how to be content and overjoyed with the decor of the modicum, yet knowing when to wisely move from “between” … to the next castle in the sky.

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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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Append

dictionary with letter A

Append (v.): to add to the end of a document or piece of writing.

Much truth comes out through silliness.

I have found this to be very accurate and on point.

When we’re unable to speak our feelings clearly, we often cast to the wind a sideways remark, later insisting that we were “just kidding.”

For instance, certainly the people who wrote the books of the Bible had no comprehension that thousands of years later, souls would be poring over their thoughts, seeking eternal insights for their internal workings. If they had, they probably would have added an “append” at the end, or a P.S. which read, “By the way, when I wrote Chapters 4-7, I was grumpy and suffering from indigestion” or, “Just kidding.”

Likewise, the delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention knew almost immediately that they had left out some very important ideas, so they added a ten-point “append,” which we now refer to as the Bill of Rights. (Also some of them from the Northern colonies probably wanted to take their quills and jot down an apology to the black race for the three-fifths assessment of their value.)

There isn’t anything I write each day in my columns and blogs that I would want to become everlasting “gospel” for humankind. Maybe I should close with T.I.C. (Tongue In Cheek). So I reserve the right to append all of my pennings almost immediately.

If we really believe that documents are divinely inspired, then we must clarify by saying that they are not divinely scrawled. Even in the process of inspiration flowing through the human being, it picks up some trash, ignorance and dirt along the way.

The truly intelligent reader of great manuscripts must possess the discernment of the spirit which inspired them.

  • So I listen to Beethoven not to worship his talent, but to appreciate the creativity and the frailty which make it human.
  • I read Thomas Jefferson knowing that he had higher ideals than his morals could acquire.
  • And I study Moses and the Apostle Paul from the Good Book, understanding that the yearning they had to be universal was somewhat stalled by their sheep-herder and tent-maker mentalities.

It doesn’t limit the beauty.

It just brings focus to it.

 

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Appease

dictionary with letter A

Appease (v.): to make (someone) calm or less hostile by agreeing to their demands.

“There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end of it is destruction.”

That’s a damned strong proverb.

  • Why aren’t there things that seem to be right in our present thinking that don’t end up destroying us?
  • Why can’t we use reasoning power to discover paths of goodness instead of falling victim to ridiculous conclusions that render us devastated?
  • Is there nothing good in us?
  • Are we devoid of understanding unless divine intervention snatches us from the pit of delusion?

I don’t think God has given up on the human race. I hope humanism hasn’t given up on God. We just need to remember that appeasing certain aspects of iniquity and stupidity is to become entangled in a web of deceit.

So I have to ask myself, where am I vulnerable to such lunacy? Where does my desire to get along with everyone place me in the roll of victim instead of victor? How much collaboration is possible before it becomes dangerous compromise?

There are some things we cannot give up, even to appease:

1. No one is better than anyone else.

Any philosophy that tries to teach otherwise needs to be given the chance to change its position, and if not, needs to be abandoned.

2. Men and women are in this together, not as enemies, but as equals.

So even though many of my peers find it extremely humorous to joke about the battle between the sexes, ultimately there must be a peace treaty, or our race will never make progress.

3. Liberty and justice for all.

Especially for those I don’t agree with. Yes, I must caution my spirit to make sure that my preferences don’t cloud the common sense of granting freedom to my neighbors.

4. Lying is wrong.

Even when I do it.

And lying is the spreading of any untruth or misinformation, even if it seems to advance a good cause.

5. And finally, we are not alone and we’re also not helpless.

True spirituality is accepting the fact that there is a God–but He has entrusted us to do His earthly work.

If I find myself giving in to other people on these issues just so we can have a more pleasant conversation and not get indigestion over our Beef Wellington at dinner, then I stall civil liberties in favor of civility.

If you like sausage and onion on your pizza instead of mushrooms and broccoli, I will join you for one evening, munching on your predilection.

If you want to discuss your superiority over another race, religion or orientation…then be prepared for me to disagree.

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Antacid

dictionary with letter A

Antacid: (n.) a preventative to correct acidity, usually in the stomach.

All of us human mortals suffer from some form of “wimp factor.”

It’s not easy to admit, especially if you’re preoccupied with the notion of appearing macho or self-reliant.

But honestly, one of the more endearing factors about being a part of this race is that when we get candid with one another about our foolishness and silliness, we can really be quite charming.

I think the first time I was consciously aware of having a bad case of indigestion was in my early twenties. I had never even considered antacid or assistance of any sort for my digestive tract.

Being a silly goose, I assumed that the rumblings in my chest were the onset of a heart attack. Even though it would be unusual for anyone of my age to be plagued by such a tragedy, I convinced myself that I was the exception to the rule, and rather than having ingested a very greasy piece of smoked sausage, I had clogged up an artery which was trying to keep me from breathing.

So every time I felt the little twinge of pain, I frantically took deep breaths to make sure I would maintain consciousness, and in doing so hyperventilated, only increasing my worry, which led to having an anxiety attack–which, by the way, feels similar to the heart variety.

It was so silly–especially when I found myself in an emergency room and they poured out some white liquid in a small cup, and I asked them if it was for my heart. The nurse calmly replied, “No. It’s Di-gel. For your belly ache.”

I only spent half an hour there, and received some giggles from the attending physician, who told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I probably would be in there with a heart attack in thirty years or so, but I was safe for the time being.

I know there are people who have to use antacids all the time, but basically, if you don’t eat too much fatty food while also consuming large amounts of fluid, you can usually avoid gastric distress.

And if you do happen to have a twinge in your belly that radiates up into your chest, don’t immediately assume that you’re dying.

You are one belch away from salvation.

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