Coffee

Coffee: (n) a drink made from the roasted and ground beanlike seeds of a tropical shrub, served hot or iced.

An ambiguous lover.

That’s what coffee has been to me.

It always reminds me of that one girl I knew, who was a good friend and occasionally made me think that I wanted to make out with her–and I think she probably felt the same way about me–but we never, ever felt it at the same moment. So awkward attempts to be romantic always led us back to long conversations about how we didn’t want to ruin it because our friendship was so special.

That’s the way I feel about coffee.

I have really tried to get into coffee. It seems like something that should work for me. I hang around with people who enjoy it immensely. Part of me would love to love coffee–just to fit in.

But the numerous times I have tried to have relations with the coffee cup have ended up very unsatisfying.

Maybe it’s because I snuck up on it.

A couple of times it seems like it snuck up on me.

Perhaps it revolves around the fact that our love affair is decaffeinated.

I tried it iced, but it just left me cold.

I tried it with cream, without sugar; with both; and even with something they told me to put into it which I could not identify–and did not help.

Officially…I am not a coffee drinker.

I sometimes hold a warm cup of the fluid in my hands in the midst of strangers and adults so as to take my place in the tribe.

But always, by the time they’re ready to have a second cup or top off their first, I have barely taken three uncomfortable sips.

 

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Chatter

Chatter: (n) incessant trivial talk.

I make a practice to never refer to myself as an artist.

Using that term is similar to someone who has sex calling himself a lover, or folks who occasionally have a garage sale in their front yard
deeming themselves to be entrepreneurs.

Truthfully, because we’re all a little insecure about the quality and veracity of what we do, we chatter on to try to magnify our significance to the yawning yokels.

How many times do I need to explain what I do before you are truly impressed?

How many different ways can I exaggerate my abilities, hoping deep in my heart that you will finally understand that I am better than you?

Chatter is what people do when they are nervously afraid they can’t cover the time alloted with simple truth.

So they elaborate. They use words like “interesting, wonderful, great, amazing and awesome” at diabolical rates. And they smile a lot, hoping what they have to share is not only convincing, but dazzling.

A wise man once said that it is much smarter to answer questions “yes” and “no.” He contended that anything other than this is usually born of evil.

If by evil you mean the incessant clatter of chatter that doesn’t matter, then…

Amen.

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Bravo

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Bravo: (exclam) used to express approval when a performer has done something well

Yes.

“Bravo” is more than a television channel of gay men going to art museums while discussing the perfect French croissant.

“Bravo” is a statement.Dictionary B

It has been meticulously segregated off from “nice job, you killed it, you the man and give me five.”

Rather, it is a highbrow declaration still unsullied by common culture, expressing devoted admiration.

It is unlikely that you will hear “bravo” spoken anywhere except among those who don tuxedos, over-practice their musical instruments and insist that their art is great because so few people appreciate it.

  • I have never heard “bravo” spoken at a football game–nor any sport, for that matter.
  • It is not commonly used at a hip-hop concert.
  • And though appropriate, an encouraging wife does not utter the word to bolster the confidence of her ever-learning lover.

No–it is reserved for uptown situations, where a certain quality deems it necessary for us to pretentiously speak our “attaboy” in a different language.

So what, in my environment, is worthy of “bravo?”

I don’t have to look very far.

Bravo for that sunrise.

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Augment

Augment (v): to make something greater by adding to it; to increase.

dictionary with letter A

I must warn you that this particular essay may be a bit blunt and graphic.

I am not choosing this profile because I desire controversy, but rather, to explain how powerful ideas can be supplanted by mediocrity.

From time to time when I check the inbox for my emails, I am inundated by offers to “augment” my penis.

They are basically working under the concept that I am dissatisfied with the little fellow. Or maybe it’s the insecurity they wish to play off–that I fear my lover is unfulfilled with my girth or length. It could be just the classic misconception that “big is always better.”

I quickly delete these advertisements, and sure enough, after a few weeks they disappear for a season, only to once again pilfer through, trying to convince me of the dwindling possibility below my belly line.

Yet there are many things I would like to augment. My penis is not one of them.

  • I would like to augment my generosity.
  • I would like to augment my perseverance.
  • I would like to augment my discipline in eating fewer calories.
  • I would like to augment my compassion.
  • I would certainly like to augment my patience.

I could go on and on about what I wish to augment–but I never receive offers on these points of interest, only a proliferation of opportunities to extend my cartilage.

I am not a prude. But I’m also not obsessed with my own sexuality.

I want to live in a world that becomes concerned about augmenting common sense–so that I don’t have to be known by what “Jane thinks about my Dick.”

 

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Antiquated

dictionary with letter AAntiquated: (adj) old-fashioned or out-dated.

I have never drunk alcoholic beverages nor viewed pornography.

It doesn’t mean I haven’t taken fluids into my body nor that I haven’t pleasurably released them.

It just means that I don’t like substitutes.

That’s what I think about alcohol, pornography, drug use, profanity and any number of imitators of joy, which fail to deliver the true impact of the experience.

Of course, my tee-totaling and puritanical attitudes are viewed as antiquated in this era of libertarian domination.

Old-fashioned it is, my friend.

But see, what I find antiquated is the assertion that after thousands of years of pursuing carnal futility, we still persist in advertising actions, vices, and practices that leave us, in the end, deserted and unfulfilled.

  • Why is it antiquated to try to find inebriation in life instead of a decanter?
  • Why is it antiquated to have a real flesh-and-blood lover instead of one darting across a computer screen?
  • Why is it old-fashioned to want to inhale the beauty of nature and life instead of the smoke from one plant?
  • What makes this so meaningless?

I am very suspicious of those who want me to give up some aspect of my choice and freedom in order to attain a more expansive expression.

I like being free.

It’s why, after all these years, I continue to battle obesity, even though the deck is stacked against me and it seems that I am no longer able to bluff with a poker face.

The absence of dependence is the presence of independence.

I don’t think it’s antiquated to want to be free.

I don’t think it’s old-fashioned to believe in life.

And I don’t think it makes me a grumpy old man to tell you that I, for one, am not going to bottle up my feelings and then try to find the answer … in a bottle.

 

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Aka

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

 

Aka: (abbr.) also known as: e.g.John Merrick, aka the Elephant Man

J. R. Practix.

That’s the name on my birth certificate.

But during a brief season of playing football, I was aka “Big Jon.” Matter of fact, through high school, I was “just Jon, without an h”. I often joked that I selected the name because I wanted to “get the h outta there.” Some people thought that was funny.

  • A tiny handful knew me as “the music guy.”
  • There were those in my town who acquainted my personage with “deadbeat.”
  • Aka “Daddy,” which became “Dad”–and on more formal occasions is even announced, “my Father.”
  • Aka “Studly,” even though that was used so infrequently that I’m embarrassed to bring it up, but still, willing to propagate the myth.
  • Aka “Composer.”
  • Aka “Vagabond.”
  • Aka “Writer.”
  • Aka “Preacher”–though I was never actually able to embody the look or attributes of a parson.
  • Aka “Musician”–though I must bow my head in the presence of the true clerics of chords.

Then came grandchildren. So …

  • Aka “G-Pop.”
  • Three of my sons were adopted in my heart as god-children, and they chose to refer to me as “Pop.”
  • Aka “Husband.”
  • Aka “Lover” (in generous moments by forgiving females)
  • Aka “Business man” (unless you look at my books)
  • Aka “Traveler” (Just check my odometer)
  • Aka “Human being,” of which I am most proud.

I realize today that I have so many names associated with me that if I had a driver’s license to match each one, I would look like a criminal on the lam.

And speaking of lamb, I recommend it … with mint jelly.

 

Accent

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter A

Accent: (n.) a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially one associated with a particular nation, locality or social class

Anyone who spends any time whatsoever in theater realizes that it is often a bigoted representation of society’s perception of all races and nationalities.

What I mean by that statement is that if you’re playing a part in a production and your director wants you to convey a certain immediate energy to the audience, he will often ask you to consider using an accent to trigger an image or attitude in the mind of the hearer.

Could anything be more prejudiced? Yet it is standard practice–and an admission that we human beings often draw conclusions based on what we hear and therefore perceive.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say you’re playing the part of a snobby, high-falutin’; upper-class woman. The suggestion may be made to give her a British accent–therefore concluding that all Brits are really pricks.

Are you gonna play a boxer in the movie? Then you probably should have a New Jersey accent–“Joisey.”

Let me run a few more:

  • Mafia? Italian, of course.
  • A slick gigolo lover? French.
  • A bigoted ignoramus? A Southern Dixie accent.
  • How about a surfer? A California Valley-girl accent.
  • What if the part demands you be a spy? I would suggest a Russian accent.
  • A karate champion? Japanese.
  • How about a dictator? Gotta be German.

Since it is so obvious that we equate certain attributes to accents, it might be a good idea to be careful how you round your r’s and punch your syllables.

Because as much as we may discount the value of prejudice, it was here when we arrived–and it will stand over our graves.