Love of Coffee and Chocolate – and Intelligent Presidents

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” [Franklin P. Jones]

 “I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”  [Meryl Streep]

“I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being queen of this country.”  [Princess Diana]

Everybody’s got something to say about love, haven’t they?  Well, not everybody.  I watched again some of the BAFTA pre-awards the other night, and everybody went love-gaga for this decade’s British film icon-babe Colin Firth.  I wonder what he thinks about love?  I don’t know, I couldn’t find anything he’s said about it, so I chose this one instead “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.”

Is there any love in there?  Love of humor of course.

Michelle Obama said “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’  Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good… You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.”  [ Michael Y. Park. “Michelle Obama’s Secrets to Finding a Great Guy” People.com. 10/28/2009.]

Obviously she’s got something right.  Andrew Romano said of the Presidential couple “… I think it’s the Obamas’ willingness to act in public much how they act in private – open, informal, flirtatious – that has incited most of the swooning.  At the Youth Ball, I noticed the president do something that’s impossible to imagine any of his predecessors doing: resting his head, eyes closed, on Michelle’s shoulder.” [“Our Model Marriage” Newsweek 2/23/2009.]

Love – isn’t it a great thing when it’s the real thing?  Love of truth, love of freedom, love of chocolate and coffee.  Love of intelligent Presidents married to extraordinary women.

Even Einstein had something to say about love: “you cannot love a car the way you love a horse”.  Nicely put.  Not sure what he thought about men and women, though…  Or chocolate, for that matter.  Or American presidents.  But I bet if he was alive today he’d vote for Barack Obama come the elections.

Chocolate is more popular than World Peace, but Horses are more Satisfying

According to Google, only 110,000 people search every month using the words World Peace.  Isn’t that sad.  I guess none of them are arms manufacturers.  1,220,000 are interested in slavery.  I wonder how many of those are actually looking for potential slaves.  Scary thought.  Depression – 6 million.  Crisis – 5 million.  That’s understandable.

But top of the pops is chocolate, with 20 million, and coffee a close second with 13 million.  I would have thought that if you were obsessed with either coffee or chocolate you’d need to drink it, eat it, experience the pleasure of it.  What’s the point of reading about it and looking at pictures?  Choco-voyeurism.  Choco-sadism.

Well, somewhere in between lies a fascination with horses.  They get the same number of hits as depression.  6 million.  I can understand that.  I started horse riding lessons a week ago, and had my second lesson yesterday with a horse named Moolan.   It’s the most amazing experience so far.  I think words are going to fail me.

I’ve looked at horses all my life with awe and a pretty passionate desire to be able to ride them.  It seems so strange that it’s taken me all these years to start.  One good thing about starting anything after postponing all your life is the immense relief of finally saying yes to yourself.   I wondered if I’d find that I’d been in love with the idea of riding but wouldn’t like the reality of it and having to go through the learning process, but that didn’t happen.

My thigh muscles are weak as dishwater.  I don’t know much about how to relax and focus on everything you have to focus on all at once, let alone communicate with a horse, but I still feel as if I belong there when I’m in the saddle.  The whole world and its complexities, the challenges of trying to live my life in a way that brings me fulfillment and doesn’t land me on poverty street; how quickly time is passing – it all falls away.

Just me and Moolan, learning to be aware of what I’m communicating to him all the time, all the mixed messages I’m giving him, learning how to be clear about the ones I want to give, and what I have to do with my whole body to give them.

It’s a strange thing, the relationship between horse and rider.  I’ve often heard people say you’re the boss and you have to know and show it.  I didn’t like that, it sounded like bully power.  But actually I don’t think it is.  It seems to be more about being sure of what you want and telling your horse in a clear, unapologetic way.  It’s also about respecting the horse and its incredible power, intelligence and sensitivity to your every movement.

One thing’s for sure.  I can’t rescue Moolan and apologize for giving him an instruction, he just ignores me!   I have to deal with my own emotions – I certainly can’t take my anger out on him,   I’d be likely to get a kick in the face and be thrown, and it would serve me right.  I definitely can’t be a victim – I’m scared to ask for what I want.   He won’t feel sorry for me.

But he is a patient horse, and he’s gentle and understanding that I’m a beginner.  I feel pretty moved by that.  And when I got my messages clear we had a couple of moments of being in a kind of rudimentary harmony.  I’ve never experienced anything like it in my life.  I had a sense of what it is to be independent and accountable for myself and connected with another being.

It beats chocolate, I tell you.

Valentine’s Day Celebration with Love, Coffee and Chocolate

“I have found men who didn’t know how to kiss.   I’ve always found time to teach them. ”  Mae West.

“I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”  Meryl Streep

“I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts but I don’t see myself being queen of this country.”  Princess Diana

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” Franklin P. Jones

What a great day, Valentine’s day, everybody thinking about love.  Love of freedom, Love of women, men, children, love of chocolate…  Me I’ve been thinking about all the different things people have said about love – in between thinking about my love of chocolate, that is, and then thinking I’d better get me some.  Dark chocolate.  Mmmm.  It’s very good for your health, also.  It was probably just as good for my health to walk down to the shop past the beach to buy said chocolate.   And then, I had my cup of coffee when I got up this morning.  What a healthy person I am!  Add a good dollop of love from friends and you can understand why I’ve been in seventh heaven today.

So what do other people think about love?  Michelle Obama said “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’ Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good… You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.” [ Michael Y. Park. “Michelle Obama’s Secrets to Finding a Great Guy.” People.com. 10/28/2009.]

Obviously she’s got something right, Andrew Romano said of the Presidential couple “… I think it’s the Obamas’ willingness to act in public much how they act in private—open, informal, flirtatious— that has incited most of the swooning. At the Youth Ball, I noticed the president do something that’s impossible to imagine any of his predecessors doing: resting his head, eyes closed, on Michelle’s shoulder.”  [“Our Model Marriage.” Newsweek 2/23/2009.]

Einstein said “you cannot love a car the way you love a horse”.  Nicely put.  Not sure what he thought about men and women, though…  Or chocolate, for that matter.

I watched some of the BAFTA pre-awards the other night, and everybody went gaga for this decade’s British film icon-babe Colin Firth.  I wonder what he thinks about love?  I don’t know, I couldn’t find anything he’s said about it, so I chose this one instead “My singing voice is somewhere between a drunken apology and a plumbing problem.”

On that note, I’ll have another chocolate.

A Cosmopolitan day of Vogue, Coffee, Crime, Angels and Intuition

It was a peaceful day here on the edge of Africa, in my world at least.  Outside it was sunny, a cool breeze keeping the temperature pleasant, ruffling up a few white-tops on the bay.  People strolled by my window, on the way to the beach, hanging out, feeling groovy.  I took the train to town for a dose of cosmopolitan life, a cup of café Americano with hot milk please, and to read a whole slew of Vogue magazines.  Superficial wretch that I am.

My script is coming along beautifully, I love my protagonist and her journey, and all is right with my world, so I was feeling pretty groovy too.  Took the train back and ambled home from the station, happy that I’d slowed down for the day, didn’t move too fast, made the morning last.

Got to my place.  You have to walk up about 15 steps to get to the front door.  At the foot of the steps is a room where the man who looks after my landlady’s garden and walks her dogs, lives.  My room is above his.

So, my mind on nothing in particular, I almost bumped into a very poor-looking man sitting on the bottom step, waiting – for what I wasn’t sure.  He had a plastic bag, looked as if it had something soft in it, a shirt maybe.  He also looked very tired and totally out of it.  Asked me if I could give him some money.  I said I couldn’t.  I felt very uneasy.  He didn’t realize I lived here, thought I was just walking past.  I would have had to walk right past him to climb the stairs.

Thank god for gut feel.  He didn’t look violent, so nothing in my logical brain said he was a potential threat.  But my gut said walk away.  So I walked back a ways and slipped into an enclave.  I saw him leave the property, go up ahead and sit down on somebody else’s step, put his head between his legs.  I thought I’d misjudged him.  He just was poor, and tired.  I went up the stairs without him seeing me.

A few minutes later, CRASH! SMASH!  I opened my window and looked down.  There he was trying to kick the door down of the room below me.  It seemed like he couldn’t get in, and he sat down on the step again.  Weird.  I called the police, heart thumping.  I was pretty sure he couldn’t get into my part of the house.  But that room below me has been broken into twice lately, and the last time an axe was stolen.

The police took a while to get here, and it looked like he’d disappeared.  But when the police came they broke the door down and went in guns drawn.  It was pretty scary.  He was inside.  He’d smashed a small window above the door and climbed through somehow.  Barricaded the door from the inside.

Turns out, that innocuous-looking plastic bag held the axe.  He could have attacked me.  Probably would have if I’d not listened to my gut.  Especially if I’d overridden my gut because I felt sorry for him and either taken my purse out my bag to give him some money, or tried to walk past him.  Ah well, I didn’t and he didn’t.  Dangerous times we live in, but somehow I was protected.  Must be angels or something.

I shan’t let it ruin my day.

The World Loves CNN blog and Nationalism more than Chocolate and Coffee

Breaking news: the words CNN blog draw more roaming traffic than chocolate or coffee or narcissism.  I’m sure there’s a moral in there somewhere.  So how many titles can I think up with CNN blog in them?

Truth is, CNN isn’t the topic of the day.  Nationalism is.  When Nelson Mandela became President here in South Africa, and thereafter, there was a huge nationalism drive, called Proudly South African.

It never grabbed me.   I don’t like nationalism.  It’s a propaganda / brainwashing tool for the powers that be.  Very effective, good psychology at play.  We all want to identify with our roots, and we all want to know that we belong at a familial, social and national level.  It makes us feel safe and worthy.  That’s pretty normal, and when we don’t have any or all of those things we start behaving badly.

But when nationalism starts taking precedence over individuality, that’s when it’s dangerous.  It doesn’t always do that.  If you visit Italy, all Italians know their country is the best in the world.  But Italians are such individuals, that it never goes much further than that.

But when it goes too far, when it becomes a tool for the powers that be to get away with murder, that’s when it’s a problem.  Look at Hitler, Robert Mugabe, G.W. Bush, the ANC as it is now.  How about N. Korea’s Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un.   Well, we don’t know much about the un fellow yet, but is it likely he’ll be any different from his father?  How about nationalism in China, Russia, France before the French Revolution.

Nationalism is touted as being for the good of the country, but it’s not.  It’s for the furthering of power so that those in power can do what they want.  usually they’re in league with or are pawns of arms manufacturers.  It’s such an emotionally binding thing, nationalism.  It blinds people to the fact that they’re giving up their rights to quality of life – even to life itself – and to the reality around them.  It makes people rationalize the worst kinds of abuse.

I hate it.  Proudly South African?  Not me.  “Human” is about as far as I’ll go.

This blog is about overcoming obstacles and making dreams come true.  Mine are to establish myself as a script, novel and blog writer, and a vocalist, and to be financially independent again.  If you’d like to help me achieve my goals, a thousand thanks.  Click the Paypal button, and choose your own amount.  For more info, click here.

I’d Rather be Drinking Coffee

The moral of the story is you don’t have to work so hard.  Why bother with telling the story if you can just get straight to the moral.  V. funny.   For over a week inner voice has been niggling and whining, enough with the pressure. Have been trying to ignore it, pestilential thing, doesn’t it know I’m running out of time!?

Yesterday my day went something like this.  9.00 am:  drag myself out of bed totally uninspired and suspiciously  tantrum-ish.   9.01 am: check blog stats.  Minuscule! 9.06 am: can’t see the point of anything I’m doing, or that any of it is going anywhere.  Am just a foolish dreamer with No Prospect.  Feel total absence of flow is all my fault.   9.02 am: ignore  irritating voice and write my list of what I have to do.  Sing, finish script 5th draft, play piano, figure out recording glitch, blog, blog articles, SW article, sew pair of pants, emails, FB –

9.10 am: realize whiny niggling voice is yelling savagely and tsunami tantrum about to explode.  Well volcanoes explode, tsunami’s overwhelm.  9.11 am: tsunami volcano explodes / overwhelms v. messily and satisfyingly.  9.23 am:  shred list.    9.24 am:  Pour myself a cup of steaming, delicious, aromatic cup of coffee and Let.  It.  All.  Go.   Said to myself today it doesn’t matter, honey.  If you’d rather be drinking coffee and doing nothing of any significance then that’s just fine.

So, having drunk my coffee I spent the day listening to music and sewing a pair of pants.  Two things happened.  One I’ve got a new item of clothing whoopee, and two I realized that most of the people who have recorded aren’t that totally brilliant.  It didn’t stop them.   Right.   So, today looks a whole lot brighter and I’m ready to roll again.  And wouldn’t you know it, 14 times more people read blog yesterday than the day before.

This is where I neatly and brilliantly insert the moral that I opened with.  You see?   It doesn’t have to be so complicated and torturous.   Any of it.

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