Byzantine

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Byzantine: (adj) excessively complicated plan

My scribe–typist, comrade or only person who’s willing to work with me on posting my blogs–told me this morning that we had reached the last word in the B’s on our quest for Words from Dictionary.

Comically, that word happens to be “byzantine,” which is basically a convoluted plan to do something that seems to have bizarre ramifications. In other words, something like writing an essay on every word in the dictionary.

It seems to be a deal you make with God, so that when He comes to take you to heaven, you explain, “I can’t go. I’m only on the letter E.”

After all, even a small child of four years would probably not make it through the entire dictionary–to zoology–in his or her lifetime.

A byzantine plot, adventure, or quest is so outlandishly contrived that one would wonder over the sanity of the instigator.

Yeah. That would be me.

See you tomorrow at C.

(That was clever, wasn’t it? “See you at C.”)

 

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Armpit

dictionary with letter A

Armpit: (n) 1. a hollow under the arm at the shoulder 2. a place regarded as unpleasant

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

In like manner, the stinky armpit gets the deodorant.

As I thought about “armpit” this morning, I realized how important this little crevice is to my thinking. Matter of fact, if you consider your cleansing habits, the armpit vies for preeminence with only one or two other parts.

And we all have horror stories of either forgetting to treat this area, ending up with a smelly mess, or spending the day curious if our adventures in washing proved to be successful.

It is a perfect example of the age-old wisdom that the less valuable parts of our being often get the most attention.

Matter of fact, in the throes of passion, as a symbol of true devotion and excitement, one might actually lean up and kiss that part on another human being to express total devotion and a complete lack of fear.

I know it has become popular to label certain regions as being the “armpit of the earth.” But at least in the case of the actual armpit, some well-placed cleaning up and deodorizing can render the location not only habitable, but sometimes pleasant.

There are people I have met who consider the armpit to be an erogenous zone. Yes, for a small area of skin that hides out between the arm and the torso, it has been given an awful lot of attention and special treatment.

Oh, that we all had such an agent to represent us.

Of course, maybe we do … if we’re capable of raising such a stink.

 

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Armour

dictionary with letter A

 

Armour: (n) 1. the metal coverings formerly worn by soldiers or warriors to protect the body in battle. 2. (v) provide someone with emotional, social, or other defenses.

In medieval times if you showed up wearing armour, people got the idea that you wanted to fight. Even though many of the knights were proud of the quality of their outer wear, it was usually worn for battle.

I point this out because when I was in high school sitting in a Sunday School class in a very conventional church and a scripture was read which gave direction to “put on the whole armour of God,” I raised my hand and questioned the prudence of such an endeavor.

I explained to the Sunday School teacher that since Jesus told us that we didn’t need to be afraid of evil, nor did we need to resist it, what was the sense of showing up in life looking like you were ready to kill people, seemingly convinced they were ready to destroy you?

The gentleman in charge of the class, probably not wanting to take on the teenage conclave in the first place, cleared his throat, commented to me that it was “an interesting question” and began to move on to the next point.

Possessing the combination of an inquisitive mind and an ass-hole stubbornness, I interrupted and said, “Well, I know it’s interesting or I wouldn’t have brought it up, but what do you think about it?”

His cheeks turned red, he gulped and said, “It’s the Bible. It must be right.”

Well, I wasn’t convinced.

I’m still not.

Christianity suffers from one fatal contradition.

How do we love our neighbor as ourselves and still live the defensive life of trying to kick the crap out of the devil? It’s just too easy to think that the devil is in the people we’re supposed to love.

It’s a great copout.

So even though some guy named Paul thought, many centuries ago, that he had discovered a clever analogy by using armour to describe awareness, I refuse to walk into life clad in metal garments which communicate that I’m scared to death of the world around me.

So I suppose if people want to hurt me they can.

But if they want to hug me, they will get flesh and blood … instead of tin.

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Ardent

dictionary with letter A

Ardent: (adj) enthusiastic or passionate.

“One man’s bratwurst is another man’s wiener.”

(I’m sure it’s a famous saying somewhere. For the sake of the essay, let us assume so.)

Also, I must tell you that one person’s “ardent” is another critic’s “fanatic.”

Passion is worthy of praise. To criticize all passion is to remove the energy that creates change.

So what is the difference between ardent and fanatic?

For instance, in the process of trying to generate political progress, we have diluted truths and valuable causes down to mere slogans and debate points.

In the quest for avoiding religion infringing on the rights of minorities, we have often crippled the legs of faith, which transforms lives.

I am an ardent believer, but I am not a fanatic. May I tell you the difference?

1. I use my beliefs to experiment on myself, not you.

I am not concerned whether you desire to follow my path. If you’re interested, come see. If you’re not, go look.

2. I want to use my beliefs to clarify what science and technology are discovering.

Science and faith are not at odds. They are fellow-researchers, working in the same laboratory, often greatly surprised at their similar findings.

3. And finally, I do not want my faith to be made of stone, but rather, of a material which allows the grace of stretching to cover a multitude of situations–even sins.

I have little concern about what the Law of Religion says. It is my job to find the mercy within its legislation.

Ardent is when we realize that what we pursue is for our benefit, not for constraints on others.

 

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Applicable

dictionary with letter A

Ap·pli·ca·ble (adj): relevant or appropriate.

Sometimes I feel like a helpless city with no defenses, being bombarded by a society which senses no responsibility for viciously attacking in the pursuit of gaining its will.

It doesn’t matter what the issue is–every advocacy group is obsessed with its own form of tunnel vision, and contends that if you do not agree with them in every principle, that somehow or another you are suffering from a phobia against their cause.

No one is stopping to ask an important question: what principle is really applicable to the ongoing sanity and peaceful coexistence of human beings?

Let me explain.

I have lots of foibles. I suppose some people would even consider them sins. I am fat, bald, somewhat lazy and silly. There are individuals who would take any one of those and isolate me off in a box for direct FedEx shipment to hell. I have no malice toward them. I do not wish that they, too, would experience a fiery end. I just think their cause is overwrought and is trumped by a greater good which is often ignored in the pursuit of these pundits proving their point.

I just believe that the only applicable statement for those dwelling on Earth and confined by mortality is “no one is better than anyone else.”

  • So on the issue of abortion, I have empathy for both mother and child, so I grant freedom for choice and discovery of restraint.
  • How about racial issues? Since no one is better than anyone else, having God color you in with a different hue doesn’t seem very important.
  • Homosexuality? Since I probably will not be joining you in your bedroom, I would rather appreciate your company in the fellowship hall.

Life is not nearly as complicated as angry pollsters and protesting advocates try to make it out to be. I cannot judge you because if I were judged by the same standard, I would be weighed in the balances and found wanting.

Therefore what is applicable becomes that which is relevant. And what is relevant is that I have no control over your happiness–only the ability to hurt you and take away your joy.

So I shall not.

“No one is better than anyone else. ”

That is applicable.

Everything else is merely conversational, aggravating bullshit.

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Appliance

dictionary with letter A

Appliance: (n) a piece of equipment designed to do a specific task, typically a domestic one.

I have often thought it would be a very intelligent maneuver to set my mind to becoming more of a handy man.

I have a very firm conviction (though many of you would consider it a superstition): I think my appliances know that I’m ignorant.

I think secretly they hide out in the kitchen, the bathroom or the office and plot ways to make me nervous by pretending to pull up lame at the most inopportune times so they can view me fidgeting nervously, wondering how to accomplish my task without them.

If you think about it, this is the only self-worth an appliance has. No one pops the bread in the toaster, has it cook to a golden brown and then pats the chrome while saying, “Thank you, toaster for doing your job.”

The only time we actually acknowledge the toaster, or any number of appliances, is when they decide to go on the fritz or become intermittent in some disgusting pattern. It is only then that we appreciate the value they bring to the household.

Is it too far out for me to believe that these appliances might have some sort of agreement among each other, to seek approval by refusing to operate?

So I think becoming a little more handy with tools, threatening to break them open and play with their innards, might be enough to rein them into submission.

Of course, the times I’ve hung around such skillful laborers, I have quickly deterred from my passion to pursue their abilities, because within moments, their explanations and terminology leave me totally baffled. (For instance, a friend of mine talked a good ten minutes about various types of screws before I realized he wasn’t being lascivious.)

So since I’m pathetic with the implements which might be able to fix my appliances, I’ve decided to be very polite, gentle and appreciative to them. Landing somewhere between encouraging a baby to walk and a dog to retrieve a frisbee, I have developed lingo for each and every one of them to let them know how much I value their service.

  • So the dishwasher is “dear.”
  • The toaster is “cool, man.”
  • And the blender is “wow.”

I hope by using these little bursts of encouragement, I can keep them operating in tip-top shape…so they don’t feel the need to threaten me with the silent treatment or their shut-down mode.

 

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Apple-pie order

dictionary with letter A

Ap·ple-pie or·der (n): perfect order or neatness.

When I read today’s definition, I realized I had no recollection or information on this terminology, and since I am a writer on the Internet, I am fully qualified to expound on it in great detail.

For I will tell you–I like the phrase “apple-pie order,” and I realize that it is never used in our generation simply because we find that a certain amount of disarray is necessary to convey our individuality.

If you want to lose friends and not influence people, just suggest they initiate organization. It is the classic definition of “buzz kill.”

Because even though people cannot argue with your assertion that a certain amount of prioritizing is essential, they feel very American and freedom-minded by continuing their chaos in bliss.

What is the apple-pie order of life? Does it vary from one situation to another? Or has the evolution of the human experience shown us exactly how we work best?

I think that we, as human beings, are heart, soul, mind and body creatures.

When we make our decisions based on our bodies, we normally end up in some derivation of excess or hedonism.

If we decide our life goal based on what we think, we borrow too much from our training and parents’ philosophy and never gain our own sense of purpose.

Even those who feel they’re very spiritual by promoting prayer and God-seeking in the forefront tend to sprout too much piety and not enough practicality.

So we must begin with the heart. If we don’t deal with our feelings and rectify them with reality, they will hang around and kick us in the butt if we turn our backs.

So I think the apple-pie order when attempting to place things in a realistic framework is to start out with:

  1. What do I feel about this?
  2. Is there abiding knowledge or wisdom on the issue?
  3. Can I think of a way to take what I’ve just discovered about my feelings and universal truth and come up with a great idea?
  4. Can I motivate this old bod that I’ve carried around and encourage it to perform the functions that make me appear adept instead of inept?

So it turns out that the apple-pie order is so much like the dessert itself: it works better if you take some time to seek out an a la mode.

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