Christmas Carol

In my youth every year on Thanksgiving Day in Detroit the J.L. Hudson Company parade concluded with Santa dismounting from his sleigh to address the crowd from the awning platform at Hudson's on Woodward Avenue. 

And, reliably, his beautiful helper, Christmas Carol.



 

I loved Christmas Carol. The perfect girl. Jet black hair. Bright red coat. Black patent leather shoes. Sweet as sweet could be.



Here's the whole story on this beautiful lady. Click to read.

From then until Christmas Eve Santa and his helpers could be found at the special, and magical, Santa Land on the twelfth floor near — as you might guess — the Toy Department. This was retail, after all.



As a boy I was hugely and ardently attracted to the whole scene. But, the meet up with Santa, Mano-a-Mano, was a bit intimidating. I may have demurred a few times from actually going all the way to see him.

Later, I keenly remember, after getting a little too old for Santa, visiting the elaborately decorated room leading to the Big Man himself, and wistfully longing for those earlier days of magic and fantasy.

Nobody told me Santa was a fantasy. It just dawned slowly. 

Now, however, with some maturity, I'm not so sure.


Please Watch Your Words in Front of the Food!



Taken from Cooky Cat ...

We think it's high time, now that your culinary borders are so all-encompassing, to also extend your vocabulary whilst in the kitchen.

There are myriad verbal options for the various chores even the average cook will do on an everyday basis.

This is not a new idea. Why ... Mario Batali is famous for his "Anointing" of things with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Our heart throb Nigella Lawson is practically synonymous with flowery language in describing her methods. Sometimes, even saucy. Pun, and not pun, intended.

Then there's Rachel Ray. We won't elaborate. You either get it; or, you don't. (Just to say ... too contrived. "EVOO" ... really! And, "Sammy"!)

Here we go ...

Take, for instance, pressing a crumb crust into a pie plate or square baking pan. From now on instead of "pressing" let's say we're "convincing". As in, convince the moist crumb crust evenly around the pan".

Now you don't have to peel potatoes, you coax them from their jackets.

That sauce you're seducing on the stove top for hours, be sure to titillate it every so often.

Why not compel those ingredients into the pot.

Roughly savage the vegetables for the stock.

Whip Cream wants to be thrilled.

Instead of "drizzle" why not to Jackson Pollock.

From the British TV show Posh Nosh we now annoy the vegetables instead of boiling.

Also from the latter, we embarrass our vegetables rather than peel.

Rembrandt a fire under the skillet.


That roast, disable it in its own jus.

Spank that Chicken Breast into a thin cutlet.

Terrify the potatoes in butter until golden brown.

Slash the carrots into bite sized pieces.

Add a finalized Bay Leaf.

Picasso the arrangement for your Antipasto.

Bring the pot to a self-bubble and lower the heat and undersell it until it develops an attitude.

Baffle the steak with Bearnaise Sauce.

Gather the salad ingredients into a bowl.

Van Gogh the mixture on the toasted rounds for a Goldilocks Crostini.
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Here's a look at how it works in the real world ...


The Path of Aloneness

Dokkōdō — "The Path of Aloneness", "The Way to Go Forth Alone", or "The Way of Walking Alone". 

Musashi, the greatest Samurai, later a deeply feeling student of the Buddha … set down 21 Rules to Live by:

1. Accept everything just the way it is.
2. Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, depend on a partial feeling.
4. Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.
5. Be detached from desire your whole life long.
6. Do not regret what you have done.
7. Never be jealous.
8. Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9. Resentment and complaint are appropriate neither for oneself nor others.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of lust or love.
11. In all things have no preferences.
12. Be indifferent to where you live.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hold on to possessions you no longer need.
15. Do not act following customary beliefs.
16. Do not collect weapons or practice with weapons beyond what is useful.
17. Do not fear death.
18. Do not seek to possess either goods or fiefs for your old age.
19. Respect Buddha and the gods without counting on their help.
20. You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honour.
21. Never stray from the Way.”


~ Miyamoto Musashi 1645
Cousin Jake (The Wrake) Wronski

That would be our beloved Cousin Jake Wronski. Aka, "Jake the Wrake."

He insisted on telling his own story ...

His words ... "Hey, Girl. How ya doin'. See anything you like? Do you? Well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. And, by "tip" I would be referring to ... "

Whoa! OK. OK. I have to interject. That was going to go way out of line. 

Let's just say if that's where you want to go, Girl, Jake is your ticket.


Gravity We Hardly Know Ye



I've been making a lot of a case for the fact that we ignore Gravity in a significant way. And, for doing so, we live in default of our birthright for true balance, below of our inborn natural potential for sound health, top performance, and full creativity. 

Our bodies are segmented and articulating structures. Standing erect and moving about presents particular challenges. All those parts have to fit and move in a coordinated way. Just like it is for any structure on this Earth, the dictates of Gravity apply to the human structure too.

In terms of the dictates of Gravity the human body works best when it is nicely stacked up, all even and level. In architecture and the building trades the term it's called, "Plumb and Square".

Gravity is so constant and ever present we become inured to its effects. We know well enough from childhood the first time we learned to stack blocks. Things have to stack up to balance. Not so much an idea at first; just an observable fact.

Yet, in the makeup of our bodies we live below our potential for such simple, natural balance.  What's more, it's so commonplace we fail to recognize it as such.

We don't do anything about it until problems surface. Maybe if we are athletes or performers we understand that our performance and creativity have to do with the "tuning" of our bodies. Then, maybe we engage the prospect of bodily balance directly. But, once the wolf is at the door, bodily balance as such isn't an idea we really care much about. It's just, "Fix it!"

Part of the contract I have as a professional is to make an earnest attempt to explain to those I work with that symptom relief and improvements are by-products of the global balancing of the body along the lines of Gravity.

This concept was clear to me when I first went to get Rolfed. The results were, in fact, so impressive I chose this field when I decided to make a career shift to a life of human service.

So now I continue to promote the "shift" in the culture at large to that of transforming our relationship with Gravity from being a mere concept, to being a percept. That is, awakening my fellows to the benefits of living in structural balance. Having an active, conscious and constructive relationship to the energy field of the Earth.

After all, it's not just a very good idea. It's huge, in fact. And, what's really "huge", Mr. Trump, is that you feel it. Plain as day. It feels right. It feels at home.