emptied by fullness

punched

till numb

filled to the point

of

only

being

able

to

empty

let me go hungry

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the efficient guise of an ethic of care

The water is being poisoned. Daily, people, as a function of their positions, are being forced to sit down and listen to ridiculous presentations by money grabbing consultants who promise nothing short of the fountain of youth for our aging workforce.

Their campaign?

  • All that is positive, optimistic and imbued with strength.

Their logic?

  • Why think about those things that we struggle with when we can hone what we do well into something we do great.

Take for instance Dewitt Jones. Jones, a national geographic photographer, has made training videos for workplaces to use that addresses how to Celebrate What Is Right With The World. While Dewitt is celebrating the beauty of the world he fails to recognize all that is not. It is not that I seek to dwell on all that is wrong with the world either, but I do think there is a compromise. Mark Strand, former poet laureate (90-91), said it best when he referred to critics who characterized his poetry as being dark or brooding. Strand, however, said that he found his poetry to be “evenly lit” rather than brooding or dark. This, in my opinion, is what is wrong with celebrating what is right with the world.

Therapist Bill Doherty (University of Minnesota researcher) was recently interviewed about the institution of marriage in Minnesota Monthly. In the article he talks about how the stigma of divorce has pretty much disappeared, but expectations for marriage have skyrocketed. He was quoted as saying, “Marriage has weakened as an institution while the ideas for what is should accomplish have gone through the roof.” Doherty points to our consumer culture for this discrepancy; once the widget stops meeting your need you purchase another widget that can. I also think this has something to do with people who have become infected with the Dewitt Jones line of thinking. It should be noted that Dewitt’s most recent book was created alongside of Stephen Covey. Covey, for those that do not know, is one of the chief proprietors of this type of thinking.

Now, let’s look at Denmark; the happiest place on earth. While I do not pretend to know the details of how the study was conducted or its reliability, I do think one of the ideas that has emerged from the study is interesting. One of the explanations for why the Danes are so happy is they have lower expectations than the rest of us. By having lower expectations the Danes are better able to celebrate and appreciate the world around them. This, to me, illustrates the flaw in focusing on all that is positive, optimistic and imbued with strength.

All the positivity and optimism spun by these CONsultants is just an efficient guise of an ethic of care. There are so many other ways to better yourself…chief among these ways is to resign yourself to listening to the world around you rather than talking over it. I will leave you with a paragraph from one of my heroes –

“One fine day you decide to talk less and less about the things you care most about, and when you have to say something, it costs you an effort…You’re good and sick of hearing yourself talk…you abridge…You give up…For thirty years you’ve been talking…You don’t care bout being right anymore. You even lose your desire to keep hold of the small place you’d reserve yourself among the pleasures of life…You’re fed up…From that time on you’re content to eat a little something, cadge a little warmth, and sleep as much as possible on the road to nowhere. To rekindle your interest, you’d have to think up some new grimaces to put on in the presence of others…But you no longer have the strength to renew your repertory. You stammer.”

Louis-Ferdinand Celine

for a friend

what pulls
is followed

albeit
unknown

it will eventually
draw its force in tears

and you’ll sleep toward a morning
filled
with a
realization

Hipster Ear Plugs

Hipster Ear Plugs

patent pending

The world seems like a pretty inventive place, yet it puzzles me that nobody can develop a lotion container that can actually dispense all of its contents. Not wanting to be wasteful I usually add a little hot water, shake the bottle, remove the cap/stem and then try to shake/pour the lotion out for use. I hate this process. While trying to get all the lotion out I consistently spill on the floor or fling it onto the walls while trying to shake it out of the bottle. So, after much thought I propose a solution.

Step 1: The Lotion Bottle

Sexy isn’t it?

lotionbottle.jpg 

Step 2: Let’s look at the stems!

Let’s add a flexible gasket that is affixed to the stem that will force the lotion to the bottom of  the bottle when air pressure is introduced into the lotion bottle. Wait, how the hell are you going to do that? 

lotionbottlestems.jpg

Step 3: Another gasket please!

Ok, now let’s place a smaller gasket inside the neck of the bottle. When you push down on the dispenser it acts as little pump that forces air into the bottle. The built up pressure from the air being pushed into the bottle will force the sliding gasket affixed the stem downward moving the lotion to the bottom of the bottle so it can be dispensed.

 lotionbottlestemgasket1.jpg

Step 4: Let’s see that all together…

There you have it. A fully functioning, non-annoying, lotion dispensing dispenser!

lotionbottlecompletediagram.jpg

I know what you are thinking…I used illustrator do design the diagrams, but you are wrong….it was actually microsoft paint. Yeah, I am pretty proud at how they turned out.

choose veggie

It has become apparent to me that when attending any sort of banquet, fundraiser or ceremony where they offer you meal choices, choose the veggie option. The other options usually involve beef and chicken. Since these events are usually attended by many people, the beef and chicken options are mass produced. The chicken tends to always be dry and the beef is either over or under cooked. However, the veggie option often seems to be much more intentionally prepared. Plus there are many other benefits…

1. Even if you are a meat eater you get to be known as a life long vegetarian by the servers and the people at your table you do not know. The servers never initially have the veggie option and need to call back to the kitchen, “We need a vegetarian plate!” Then when it arrives they always ask the question, “Where is the vegetarian?” And just like that, you have been anointed a healthy and intentional person.

2. You make everyone else at your table feel bad they are meat eaters and not as healthy as you. I have only been at a few functions where there is more than one person at a table that opts for the veggie plate. If the people are polite they will all be waiting with their meals in front of them for your veggie plate to arrive. When it does, most times, it is much more colorful that their meals due to the vegetables. This alone often causes people to comment that they wished they were more healthy eaters. A quick, fabricated response on your part can confirm their guilt for not eating better…”Well, my family has a history of high blood pressure.”

3. You eat your whole meal and have room for dessert. On average, the vegetarian option tends to be less….food and filling. This means you can clean your plate and have it removed by the servers before anyone else at the table. This will solidify their feelings of gluttony.

4. This one is optional. The dessert tends to be like the chicken and beef options, less than average. This is especially true with cheesecake. So, if you really want to shake up the table and enjoy watching the other peoples’ non verbals, only eat 1/2 of your dessert…then put down your fork and say, “This is amazing, but I better not.”

Going veggie goes a long way to spicing up what can be very dull and boring (0ften obligatory) banquets and ceremonies. Not only do you get a better meal, but a better show.