Monday, February 27, 2012

The Favorite… The Long Shot… The Hopeless.


Sounds a little bit like a movie… perhaps a little too much…

Last night I watched, along with millions of others, the hallowed and much anticipated, somewhat boring ceremony of The Oscars. Yes, Billy “The” Krystal boy was there, impersonating an old man… or, was it the other way around? As with the rest of us who were all younger, more agile and thinner, his appearance has given in to the passage of time. A little pudgy, a little slower and looking almost bored with the whole thing…

Perhaps 17 times is enough and the producing cadre should go and look for the next “Billy Krystal”. Not that he was bad, he usually is not but… that old feeling of fun’n games he used to bring with his shtick is gone. In Oscars past, most of his comments were biting and funny; last night many felt over rehearsed, with a “let’s-not-step-on-anyone’s-toes” attitude which does not fit his image… or, at least the image I remember and truly enjoyed.

For the men, the most memorable moment probably was when the two stage divas, J-Lo and Cam Diaz turned their back to the cameras and let them flow over their mutually famous derrieres.

Actually, I did truly enjoy in amazed admiration the gyrations of the folk from The Cirque Du Soleil… this troupe (multiple troupe, at that) of fantastic performers never ceases to amaze with their routines and their incredible conditioning. One always wants more… 

On to the heading of this particular entry. For the Oscars, I was ill prepared. In all honesty not many (any, for that matter) of the movies have been seen, nor did yours truly really know what these movies were about, except for one horse and a family tree (I think!) and, of course, the one about the illegal immigrant. And I say this last with tongue-in-cheek, for this is what this outburst is all about.

As the Oscars got nearer and nearer, there was much buzz about, what else? Who would be the big winners. On the women side, there was much said about Close and Streep, veterans fighting against several newer stars…  Whatever the rationale behind Streep’s win… I don’t care, she is that good! As she said… “probably the last time I will be standing on this stage” … there will be enough time for the newcomers to prove their worth.

On the men’s side… Boy! Nine movies is a lot of celluloid (OK, digital stuff…) Pitt on one side (The Jolie One looked a mere fraction of herself… she really has become a rail, arms flesh barely covering the bones inside…) vs. Clooney, Dujardin (Who?), Bichir (What?)… and the rest.  At the head of the note, it says: The Favorite, The Long Shot and The Impossible… We’ll take Pit out for he was never a real contender in this race. So, the old time favorite, George Clooney, acting as someone other than George Clooney. HUH? Well, much like the old stars (when this was a real moniker) like Clark Gable, Cary Grant and others like them, simply played themselves. Which was fine for the moviegoers because, guess what? That’s exactly what they wanted to see.

Same with Clooney. He manages to exude that same “Hollywoodness” those others did in the golden years of romantic films. He was the favorite in the early going but, as the time came closer, that Long Shot from France coming out of a black and white musical curve, and a silent one at that, overtook him in the waning moments. Those are the moments that count, ask any politician… He took the Oscar home with him. Actually, the picture “The Artist” did quite well throughout the night.

The Impossible? How about a Spanish speaking actor, very well known in his country and throughout the Hispanic world as an excellent actor with a long and distinguished film credits history?  He actually took on the role of an illegal immigrant, trying to make his own American dream come true.  His participation was front page news in all the Hispanic media yet, during the event night as well as in all English speaking shows that were hyping the occasion, he usually received a mere, almost passing mention. Like “Oh Yeah… there is this guy Bichir from Mexico who is also in the race”… I guess having a Spanish accent is not as “cool” as having a French accent. The Damian Bichir movie happens to be very good in human, theatrical and technical terms. But it is a real life storyline about a difficult topic which, in an election year, many of our “liberal” friends from the media and the arts world prefer not to expound. Much less single out for a major recognition.

Seems like the American Dream will have to wait a little longer for Mr. Bichir and his fellow Hispanic actors…


Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Late Wanderings… and Wonderings…

Usually, by this time of the day I have put away the computer and am dedicated to things like being instructed by a TV show or some such intellectual pursuit.

Actually, earlier today I did watch TV for awhile. It was one of my favorite channels: “The History Channel”. There was a compendium of first person narratives about some of the more fierce WWII campaigns, like Philippines, Iwo Jima, and others in these parts of the Pacific Theater. I did watch it for a while, although this is not the fare that I normally want to see. One thing is a war movie where the action stops when the actors get hot and thirsty. Another thing is the real issue, when there is no mercy and no knowledge of when your last moment on earth may be.

This particular campaign I watched included a documentary about the “Death March of Bataan”, when some 70,000 American soldiers were forced marched through the jungles in the Philippines, after Gen. McArthur was ordered to retreat by President Roosevelt. This gave birth to the famous remark “I shall return”. More then 10, 000 of the soldiers died in this march; the rest interned in a concentration camp/prison until eventually liberated by the allies; mainly the returning American forces.

I have to say that the war has been too exalted in the movies; to the victor go the scraps and the rest of the servings also. What was little seen or explored in the movies for many years, was the extremely harsh and unforgiving reality of these exercises. The finality of these moments.

Is there a real, justifiable reason for a war, where hundreds of thousands of lives are lost on both sides? I do not have an answer to this. If we ask those who have made of the military a career of choice, they will unequivocally say this is the only way in which we can defend ourselves and also the only way in which our (or, for that matter, the other side’s for they are also using the same reasoning) ideals will survive. Those who oppose it will say the contrary.

After some twenty years of travels around the world, it is clear to me that each faction in this little globe of ours has its own way of looking at life. Everyone has an established set of likes and dislikes; most everyone in the average sector of their respective nations is dictated to by a group of people who through political fervor, social manipulation or religious fears manages to control their thinking patterns. I could probably say processes, but some may feel threatened by this, so I will say “patterns”… same dog but a different, more attractive collar . And if the target is "different" looking or thinking, the easier it is to exalt the masses. They are easy to identify.

I know some of the people who read these blogs may not like what I want to express in this particular one. I served in the military during the time of one of these so-called “conflicts” and, perhaps because of this, I do not believe in war. I also do understand that certain factions within our world do not understand the concept of reasoning, or even talking, with someone who does not espouse the same ideals… so… where does this leave my line of thinking? I am not a philosophical intellect… these are personal thoughts expressed on “paper” after more than 60 years of living under many different and, at times, extremely difficult environments.

Often, the concept of religion has been an issue of discussion in my travels. Without problems, arguments, or hatred involved. Also the issue of politics. I can accept it when someone differs from my own thinking, as long as this person has taken the time to study or even read a bit about what he/she espouses. The only measure that I demand in return, is that my thinking be also respected. This isn’t too much to ask, is it? 

Well, at times it seems to be.

Life is a beautiful gift given us to mistreat it so badly; to spend it in hatred, dislikes, and in a general negative state of mind. Yes, there are dangers and threats we must deal with every day; but there are also many who are willing to share with us their minds and lifestyles, if we only let them. A few do not make up the whole; this is the assumption we make every time we assume someone is an "enemy" just because they look a ”certain” way, or they belong to a specific ethnic or cultural group….

Let us not judge others as we would not want them to judge us…


Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Love is a Many Splintered Thing…


 … said the carpenter ant to its queen…

-“Brudder… Hao Ar ju?” there was that familiar voice and softly accented cadence coming to my ears once again…

-“Cheíto… mi hermano… it has been a while since we talked!” answered I, in a calm voice which belied my haste of the moment.

-“Guell… Ju knoe” he continued… -T’ings hav been with a lot of problems hear”… “Felicita guants to move to De Gardens an’ dat cost a lotta pesos”… “Shi say dat hear in our little haus we got no roon no more and shi say dat in De Gardens houses hav gardens and ol’ dat”

-“Well”, I said, in my most conciliatory manner –“have you looked over there?”

-“Jes an’ OMG!!” he almost cried into the phone… “Ju t’ink them hauses made outta gold, or sumt’in lik dat!” … “Ju knoe brudder, this little man work very har to get t’ins for my Felicita an’ Princesita”… then, he added almost as if thinking out loud… “The only problem is dat my Princesita is getin’ older an’, ju knoe, the t’ins she wans are more money”

-“But Cheíto…” I added, “you know these things may be so, but you do need some more room than what you now have” I insisted -“with your Felicita and Princesita and Felicita’s mother…” he didn’t let me finish that thought!

-“Man, Doña Barracuda (not her real name, I add quickly) don’t do nut’in but eat and eat and eat…” –“I thin she went up like fortipound since she keim to liv wit’us”… then he continued –“if dat’s hier in the little place… imagin what shi will be laik if we gif her a roon all to hersel”

He had a point here… Doña Barracuda… I’m so sorry… Doña Julita, Felicita’s mom, sure does pack a mean seat of choppers… and seems to be always using them to their fullest capacity. Besides, in her mind, she is the queen of the roost and poor Cheíto is always the butt of her complaints.

Like reading my mind, Cheíto added: 
-“Ju knoe… dat woman always telin me I no good, I no wor’, I no give Felicita and Princesita nothin’”… after a few seconds of thought, he said: “Ju knoe, they had nuttin’ when I met dem… this little we have, I got wit har work man…” I let him go on… -“shi ‘preciates nuttin’… my Felicita tel me evry nite dat not giv no min’ to her… dat her mudder is ol’ and peleona (bellicose) but dat my Felicita lov me a lot… and my Princesita lov me to”.  

A moment of silence came over the waves…

Then he continued “Ju are my brudder man, I no hav nobody to talk to… Ju knoe I lov dem wif all my life…” As I knew he would, he then said –“tomoro we going to De Gardens to see a good house… Creo (I guess) dat shi’s rite and we need a more biger haus… jest hav to wor’ a few mor hours every week, ju knoe…” he then added his trademark ending…

“¡¡Que Dios nos ampare, porque la calle ‘tá dura mi hermano!!”

Loosely translated, the above means: “May God have mercy on us, because the streets are really difficult, brother”.

So we parted ways with Cheíto feeling a little better, now he had decided that Felicita was right and that they needed to look at a bigger house. I knew he would… He, like many who are in the same boat, works his tail off in a badly paid job, trying to make ends meet at home. He gives everything he has and then, next day… keeps on giving.

He doesn’t give up; neither should anyone; it is in our individual hands to continue the daily fight or to throw in the towel… 

What’s your choice?

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

After the Calm… Comes the Storm.


These last two weeks have seen some changes in my normal routines; an increased work schedule along with other responsibilities which I hope will bring income soon have also been added…

The end result is that, by the time home base is in sight, there is little time and brain matter left with which to sit and brainstorm about a topic, let alone develop one for the blog. This past weekend I had a chance to reassess these circumstances and came to the realization that the increased loads were taking away important time from something which I do enjoy tremendously: writing. I also feel that those who come to read the blog on a regular basis are being cheated. Not that I think these postings will in any way compete for a Pulitzer Price in hidden literature (well hidden, at that!), but they represent an outpouring of thoughts and sharing which many of you do appreciate. I think I am letting you down.

THIS ABANDONMENT HAS TO STOP!!!... I loudly chastened self… And stop it will.

An internal resolution was discussed, approved and passed (easy to work with a board of directors of one, namely me) to the effect that, starting this week, there would be a minimum of three (that’s "3") entries per week in the English blog, and two (that’s "2") in the Spanish blog. As usual, there is little inkling as to what will be going into these, but something will appear out of the blue,, as it has done in several occasions. And these often turn out to be those which get the most response… go figure!!

This past week a dear friend passed away. Yara had fought valiantly against Cancer for some time and, eventually, this insidious enemy took her from her family and friends. We, including her sister, had known each other for almost 50 years, being all a part of that group that ended in Richland, Washington State in 1962-63. In the middle span of these years the three of us lost touch with each other, but regained contact through common friends and through these pages; pages both Yara and her sister read every time a copy came to them. We communicated often and cheered each other on in this constant fight against cancer… and held each other’s virtual hands in difficult moments, as was the case when my son Eric passed away. From that tiny individual with a heart three times the size needed, came a host of folk; husband, children, grandchildren… and all accompanied her in her final moments, thus creating a fitting end to a life well lived by a good person. We will miss you Yara…

In other areas, and definitely not related, we march headlong into the November elections, with the usual plethora of nonsensical blurbs spewed out by all camps, to whoever cares to listen. If all the politicians we have had in my voting lifetime actually had delivered on just 50% of their promises, this country would have a much higher number of schools with better paid teachers and a better educational system, better low income (not free) housing, better public services, streamlined bureaucracy (sounds like a paradox, no?) less wars to deal with, a better retirement system for those who have worked for decades and deserve it… I guess we could go on and on. Our country, the beauty of it, is that despite all these mishandlings manages to plod on and move forward; imagine what it could actually become if we gave it more attention in those areas which deserve the attention, and spent less money and efforts in those areas which are attended mainly to assuage a few folk who give money to campaigns.

I will get off the soapbox for now; this is just a warm up of things to come; a good, dear friend asked me how come I did not write more often about current events, since every once in a while these are touched upon… I guess I will and, not to leave him out, Cheito wants to become a “regular riter, ju know…” “Jus to let peeple know what is laik to liv’n work in Hialeah…” 

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Never Ending Story…


Each day that goes by is becoming a little more difficult to find the time to sit and write… Other commitments are taking more and more time…

Actually, for the last 10 days, every minute spent on this computer, is being taken away from something else that “just has to be done” and, sometimes, I truly wonder just how crucial is that whichever "just has to be done" thing is… More than not, it is really no more pressing than anything else that wants attention and is competing for the available time.

Ever since this blog was started, it was billed as a “Never Ending Story”, borrowing the concept from the title of a science fiction/fantasy film of the same name, brought out not too long ago. I did see the film; in fact, I saw it a couple of times, coming to like Atreus, the unwilling young hero, quite a bit. The concept of something that never ends is, in itself, a concept that is very attractive and somewhat daunting. It has haunted us mortals ever since the beginning of remembered time. Especially, whenever someone dear has died, or is close to this passing time.

There are those who spouse the idea that this life is all there is; there are those, perhaps a majority, who feel this is but a passing stage in our spiritual growth, preparing us for either another go-round (sort of “do it again, until you get it right!”) or for that promised land of everlasting peace and joy. Yes, Promised Land, for I personally do believe this promise not to refer to an actual piece of land on this earth but, being a figure of speech, it refers to a better world somewhere, in another plane.

Recently, I was involved in a conversation with a couple of young people, one of whom is a Mormon; let’s call her Mary. We were talking about a probable realm in the “ether” somewhere, where spirits roam and where there may be points at which it may be possible to cross from that (or those, for that matter) realm(s) to this physical one. As the conversation progressed along these lines and the third person and I were relating some experiences which truly defy logic or explanation, based on our “logical” mind, Mary became agitated and started to say that this is not possible for, according to her religion, spirits -once gone- are not empowered to come near this physical plane.

Now, I am more than willing to listen to rebuttals and to dissenting opinions to whichever thoughts I may be espousing at any given time. I am not saying that I will change my mind, mind you… but listen to them I will. If the opposing argument is coherent and well presented (and I am not saying mine necessarily are, by the way) my thoughts may be swayed… but not broken. I know… I know… very petty of me!!

 What is very difficult to accept; in fact, is not acceptable to me, is when someone tells me: “this is so because my preacher, deacon, priest, rabbi, minister, imam… etc… said so”. That argument, to me, will hold not a drop of water. Everyone has the right of his/her convictions, but if I base my own convictions solely on those of another human being, I have to accept that these may well be flawed. By historical demonstration we, human beings, are flawed creatures.

The Meakanbut, a nomadic people of Papua New Guinea live in caves, in a remote part of this mountainous, very unforgiving island country. They are known to have been cannibals somewhere along their history… Yet, their handed down sacred history of their beginnings talks about how Api, the Earth Great Spirit who wanted to populate the earth, cracked the floor of the sacred cave Kopao, allowing the people to come out from the darkness below. The people then lived in stone caves, hunting, fishing and living off the land. Life was calm and beautiful. Men and women lived in separate caves until one day, one hunter hid and went into the women’s cave, having sex with one of them. The others, on coming back to camp, sensed that something was wrong. Feelings of hatred, jealousy, anger and sadness were felt for the first time, leading man to bad things… The story goes on… The reason I put it here, is because it is incredibly close to what we are told by biblical stories were the beginnings of men, including Paradise and the fall from grace. Yet, these nomadic people were NOT discovered until the 1960’s, not really allowing for outside influence in their handed down history. Coincidental? You tell me…

Our interpretation of sacred history is just that: interpretation. We are today tenth… fortieth or perhaps further away generational witnesses, living our beliefs through  a related history others have recorded and, at times, re-written along the way. And, PLEASE… I am not saying these beliefs are, or are not, true… if they are true to you, then they are. All I say is that while we listen to whoever has been chosen to be our spiritual leader, we must retain the ability to think, to question and to accept on our own terms of understanding.

The story goes on and, indeed, it never ends.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vertical Inertia…


This is the status in which my mind is at the time… Not much going on, despite the efforts to the contrary.

Several years ago a friend of mine who lived in NYC owned a Citroen. Actually, he, his wife and children lived in a little known enclave of the Bronx, called City Island. This was, back then, an almost bucolic like place with a main avenue, appropriately called City Island Avenue, going down the center of the island(yes, Virginia, it is an island!!), all the way to the end restaurant and  flanked by a number of houses facing the small streets branching off either side of the avenue.

 Well… that is just a mental picture of this place. His name was (I hope it is still…) Ira; a good Jewish name for a good Jewish man. I have not spoken with Ira in almost 40 years… In fact, one of the last times I saw him was at my citizenship swearing in ceremony, where he was my sponsor and witness. I remember him for this … and I remember Ira’s Citroen… Bertie. For those of you who do not know this French standard, it is a car which relied much on a number of hydraulic systems within the frame… whenever the owner shut it down for the night, the system would shut down and actually lower the car almost to a sleeping position, with the snout almost resting on the ground. We used to joke that it went to sleep faster then the owner, well known to be up until the wee hours of the morning. We also had a running joke that, whenever the car broke down, Ira had to call his mechanic … and also the plumber to check the car fluids.

Bertie, in White dress... 
Ira loved his car; a 1970 or so Citroen berlina, and it was a badge of sorts; it took him to and from New York (actually, being in NY already, I should say “took him to Manhattan”) where, in those days, you could still find parking spaces on the streets; not like today, when a parking garage will charge you $15-25 to put away your chariot for the day.  That black car (very French back then… a black car) was, as far as Ira believed, a living, breathing thing. Certainly it was a cantankerous item; wont to function as it would, not necessarily as the poor Ira would want it to.

Every so often, when we would come to drop off typewritten work (my first wife was a medical transcriptionist and all her work came through Ira’s wife) there would be poor Ira, staring down into the open maw of this creature, trying to figure out which one of the hundred hoses or so within the hydraulic system was the culprit for the car remaining in the “rest” position… And every time, he swore this would be the last day for the bloody car (actually, the language used to depict the car was a lot more colorful…) to test his nerves and his wallet. The car, almost as if knowing this was pure bluff, remained quietly there with the hood up, waiting for a dental inspection that never comes.

A Favorite Sunday Lunch
 One summer Sunday, around 2 in the afternoon or so, we were heading out to the island. Our plan was to drop off the work, chat for a while with Ira and his wife and then head down to the restaurant at the end of the avenue in order to have a favorite lunch: fried clams, fried scallops, French fries and a cold beer. Oh yeah… and a good home made Bronx cream cheese pie for dessert, flushed with a nice big cup of coffee… Back in the early 70’s we youngsters did not worry much about diet, you see…

 As we approached the bridge that would bring us into the island (the only way in and out of the island, other than the ferry for people) we noticed there was some sort of a problem, for traffic had stopped… As we seemed to be close to the source of the problem, I got off the car and walked a few steps towards the bridge, to a place from which I could see what was going on… and, there they were!!

The Bridge into City Island
On the right lane, sat big black Bertie, its maw wide open (an image I had grown accustomed to…) and poor Ira kicking the front tire in a fit of  fury, while holding a useless screwdriver in his hand… I saw this and had to laugh… doing so well before I reached this tableau, for I was afraid Ira would try to puncture me with the screwdriver if I did laugh out loud while next to him…

“This Bloody G… Damn car…!!!” said he, not very quietly… “All it does is go up, down and sideways, but it won’t go forwardS OR BACKWARDS!!!” Seems that the infamous hydraulic system had caused the engine to stop, while retaining enough pressure to show some vestige of life in a manner that was not of much help to poor Ira…

Along with a couple of friendly neighbors, we managed to push the car out of the way, into a street parking lot. We then took Ira home and, as his wife lit into him (she was not a fan of that old car) we kind of snuck out and went on to fulfill our previously laid plans… And, yes… poor Bertie was put to rest after that Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps some of my internal hydraulic system is not working well… my mind (what’s left of it…) seems to be going up, down and sideways but there is not much forward movement… I sat here and thought about Bertie and his master of sorts, Ira…


Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


[Perception] “The process of using the senses to acquire information about the surrounding environment or situation”

Indeed! While every one of us is endowed with this particular capability, it seems that each and every one of us is totally convinced that his/her perception of any situation is not only the correct one, but perhaps the only one.

While it seems that it would be virtually impossible for the above statement to be true… Ask yourself... Have I talked to someone lately about something about which we do not agree? If the other person’s idea or perception of that given situation differs from your own, most likely you will assume that person to be wrong; funny thing, so will he/she think about your perception or idea.

Perception...
In the eye of the "perceiver"
 Why is this? I am not really sure; to answer this would assume an understanding of the human race and that, friends, is far beyond my scope. And this goes only for the male half, to which I belong. If we were to include the “other half”, I would have to echo Mr. Steve Hawkins’s (he of Black Holes and others fame) thoughts on the matter. When asked if there was a mystery he had not been able to unravel yet, he simply answered: “yes, women”.  So there you have it… an impossible quest for a mere human like me.

Back to perceptions…

Are our senses truly able to perceive reality? There is a school of scientific thought that tells us this: Our eyes see only the reflection of light on surfaces, creating an image of what is received. Our tactile sensors can only transmit a perceived feeling of solidity and texture when they touch a foreign body. Our hearing only receives air waves which it processes and translates into sound… ditto for our nasal and gustatory perceptions. In effect, we hear from these studious minds that these perceptions are but mere reflections of that which might be real. On signals receipt and processing, our minds then give substance to these perceptions, creating the substitute reality which reflects that which is about us.

Bet if you were "up there"
 the perception would not be as funny
 The preceding is on the physical plane. What happens within the mind? Within that area which defines us as who we are?

We seem to know even less about this. Perceptions allow two individuals who have, in essence, sprouted from the same womb and were reared by the same parents, to be totally different. Where one perceives white or black, the other may perceive different shades of gray. All coming from the same stimuli.

This morning, we had an interesting mini discussion in class. Nothing to do with English, mind you… just with out of ordinary issues. We touched upon the subject of the “paranormal” with a couple of us, including yours truly, relating a couple of the experiences had over the years; to a degree, I have shared with you on these posts some of the ones I have lived. The absolute perception of one person on one side of the discussion was that this “just did not exist” because “spirits are not allowed to be around us mortals”. Is her “perception” of these issues right? I don’t know, they were based on her religion; I, as did the other person sharing her stories with us, could only express what I had experienced along the way and, most definitely, my own perceptions are very much colored by those moments lived.

Depending on who you are...
you may or not want to play again...
 Which perceptions are valid and which are not? I believe they all are. The fact they may be different, will not disqualify any; it only reflects those years lived and experienced by each one; the ones we enjoyed and the ones we survived. I have been told at times that my memory fails me when I see others suffer. Apparently, while feeling bad for them, I seem to forget the bad moments I lived. I perceive life as beautiful, no matter what the circumstances may be or what they may have been. If they are currently not the best, I firmly believe they will improve, and work to that end; if the difficult moments are in the past, then they are gone and finished.

Perceptions… they are dangerously unique as is right, for we are each different and unique individuals. Yet, perceptions, in their uniqueness and in our unfortunate inability to accept and respect those which are in disagreement with our own, may take us at times do and/or say hurting things.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today is Wednesday…


By the above heading, I guess I’m running out of working titles after some 250 entries…

No matter, a title is just a mini introduction to whatever comes behind… or below… as is the case here. It is the primary body of art that is important. Well, OK, the bunches of written lines that follow this shaky start.

As usual, when there is a lacking start such as this, we (Royal “We”, remember?) just sit here and type away, often not even truly looking at the page or what is there, so engrossed is the mind in what is trying to churn out. Then, at the end, I come back and read the black and white rendering all over again; at times little is done to change it, at other times… it goes into the little virtual trash can ensconced on the upper left corner of the screen. My God… I just realized that if this can were real and not virtual, the crumpled paper heap would be way over my head… Not a flattering thought.

I wonder if all the great writers (all right… I’m NOT including myself in this bunch… Please!!!) went through periods of blankness of  mind. I guess this is what is called “writer’s block”… I remember there was a time when Truman Capote went on the Johnny Carson show to cry about being in the midst of one of these periods. It must have lasted a long time, for he failed to write much after these confessions. Another great one who suffered from these blocks and tried to cure himself by drinking every ounce of alcohol in sight, was the late, great Papa Hemingway.  To him we owe the “Mojito”, the rum-lemonade- sugar drink; he was quite a character, by all accounts of those who professed to know him.

Whenever I read an interesting book or story, one of the admiring questions I always had in mind… even as a child, was: “What would it feel to be able to conjure up a whole world, with flora, fauna and people (are we sheltered under the concept of “fauna”?), sometimes to include a new and different language (as in “The Lord of the Rings where there were several developed languages, to include a written version, or perhaps “Klingonese” from the Star Trek universe) just fascinates me… the mind it takes to do these creations, must indeed be incredible!

I realize that my mind flies –at the drop of a hat- in many directions, sometimes at once, managing to create a very confusing kaleidoscope of imagery which actually makes sense only to the producer… that’s me. After reading some of the entries along the way, this somewhat cloudy vision has tried to come through on more than one occasion, although this multiple direction imagery is very difficult to put into words. At least words that can help the reader visualize what is being represented. And if I can’t help you visualize the image, then going there makes no sense at all.

So, we sit here and try to put some of these thoughts into words while reviewing different happenings of the last three or four days. Some of which can be understood… some others, frankly, fall into that category under the heading “to be looked at later… much later” and are thus filed away. Probably never to be dug up again… or so I think.

What makes a story worth telling? Actually, it is my belief that all stories deserve a chance, no matter how trivial they may seem at the time of their actual happening. What is the old saying?  What may be trivial to one person, to another is the essence of life… or something like this.  I know, for a fact, that writing these entries is important for me. Yet, there are a few for whom this is viewed as a total waste of time, for there is no money involved… for these folk, there is no gain to be perceived. Yet, for me, there is an incredible gain. Thinking time… time which allows me to get into a thought process and leave all else behind, at least for the 45 or 60 minutes it may take to complete an entry. This is good time… for me, anyway.

It is now time to put away the computer keys… in other, older times, we would have said “the pen and paper”… duty calls and so I must heed this call… At some point in the future we will follow this line, to see where it goes. It may actually prove to be interesting. Then, there are other times when some more postcards will be in the making… Hang in there with me!

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
  • Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
  • Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora
  • Any comments please send to otherboxp@yahoo.com
  • Remember:  We are “On Air” every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST (GT –5hrs).  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theotherbox If the link does not work, please just copy and paste to your address bar.
  • “La Otra Caja de Pandora”… The Spanish language Blog… “otracaja.blogspot.com”Bienvenidos!!!

There are Memories and then… There are Memories…

   Today, being Saturday and most things that needed to be done being so done yesterday, there was some time in which to do not much, so HB...