Friday, May 28, 2010

salsa in the spotlight

Perhaps it's the rainy, rainy "sprummer" that we're in. Or maybe it's something else. Perhaps it's just simply that I'm finally paying attention. Don't know, but I'm growing fruit-producing plants better than ever, and I have no explanation for it.

As I write this, I'm looking forward to tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, parsley, basil, beans, dill, and cilantro. I walk outside, daily, ... and might I say even "proudly" (not quite like an expecting father, ... and I won't talk about, here, pacing the floor with cigars in my pocket), to check the progress of these plants.

At the very least, it could be that "expecting something to grow" may impact, in some way, these plants actually growing and producing fruit. I suppose that if I pay no attention to them (by instead doing something like reading a book, checking Facebook, watching TV, or post something on a blog, etc., ... when the plants want ... and really need something), one of two things will occur:

1. They'll grow and produce fruit anyway
2. They won't

...and by paying attention to these two possible outcomes while writing here, and with remembering my lack of success with producing fruit in the past (while watching "Survivor" et al.), I'm left with two possible reasons for growing unsuccessfully in the past:

1. I've not paid enough attention/given enough focus
2. It's not really up to me, and it never has been

These to possible reasons, however, bring with them such radically different ways of being, of thinking, and of believing:

1. If it's really not up to me, then this particular blog post is as mindless and useless as opining about the meaning of waves crashing on beaches

2. On the other hand, if it's really more to do with my attention/focus, .... well, then that's a whole different story

So, I'm left with a decision:

1. Pay attention
2. Or assume that things grow regardless of choice

... which leads to further questions about things unrelated to growing Western Hills Salsa:

Do I have a choice?

Does my choice matter?

How could it?

Why does parsley grow?

How can it?

Does it (parsley) care that I'm asking?

And what about tomatoes?

Do they care when they are being eaten alive?

Are they *upset* when the aren't?

What is "choice?"

Is it an illusion?

Are we predestined?

Are the cucumbers too, predestined?

And what about the beans?

Do the strawberries grow so the birds can eat them?

How does Ethan make sense of that?

How do I?


Is "Choice" king?

Or queen?

... or sovereign somehow?

Is it Hobbes?

Or Martin Luther?

Is it Calvin?

Where does Jesus fit in here?

Are my choices simply "just illusions?"

... as much as they are constraints?

Can my constraints be eclipsed by my choices?

Or am I constrained: choice is reacting to it?

Does it matter?

Is it all determined?

Did the Universe wind like a clock, and now we are just ticks?

If I look back, what's delivered me here?

And what about writing about choice?

Do I have a choice in writing about choice?

If It's all predetermined, then this blog is like grass, right?

And what about love?

His love?

Just love, really?

I mean, isn't that ridiculous?

Isn't that whole story of "Love Wins" simply unbelievable?

Does it, Love, really win?


If there is no choice, then how can it win?

Am I a just a dill?

Is "life as we know it" just a series of chemical dances?

Will the beans grow without me?

Do they give a flip about my attention?

Why do I have this connection the the "little-bean," Ethan, then?

Is that all just "biological determinism?"

If so, where does this notion of "Love" come in?

... and, again, how can it win?

Do we choose who we are?

Or, are we just "who we are?"

Do we make choices?

Are we lookers?

Maybe ants?


Or do-ers?


... Or are there people that write about the line in-between "choice" and

Do I have a spot-light that matters?

And if I do, where in the flip should I look?

On what and whom should that spot-light shine?

Saturday, May 15, 2010


My son plays soccer. Not my favorite of youth sports, ... but I look at his playing soccer like he's "conditioning" for baseball.

Oh, and ...

[set your intellectual time machines to last Saturday]

Today, ... earlier today ... I'm cutting grass. It's long. And while I do not live on anything that resembles an "estate," my grass takes about 75 minutes to cut, trim, and blow grass-clippings into my neighbor's yard.

It's 4:10, and I see Jen standing at the fence-gate. I turn the mower off so I can hear about why she's standing there. "What does she have to say," I'm thinking, standing there with my mower winding down.

She says/asks, "Honey, do you know we are leaving in 10 minutes?"

I ask the question back: "What time is it?"

She answers, "4:10," to which I respond with another question: "Isn't the game at 6:30?," to which she responds, "no, it's at 4:30."

I have budgeted my time as if the game was at 6:00.

I am wrong.

Thankfully, I'm on the tail-end of of the yard, and I say, "Well, I can't go like this ... I'll have to meet you there, ... I need to get a shower."

I finish the yard with no time to blow clippings into my neighbor's because I have my son's soccer game to attend, ... to which I will now be late.

While in the shower, ... living "lately," ... I'm thinking about how crazy my life is in terms of managing time. I'm wondering about why I have no "time" to do anything I really want to do. And I'm frustrated and anxious and angry because I will be late, which always makes me anxious and angry, ... which also forces me to always (almost always) be on time.

While in the shower, full of anxiety and anger and frustration, I literally compute (in a mathematical sense) how many hours/week/month/year I spend doing stuff, ... like watching television, ... this along with how many hours per day/week/month year I spend doing other, equally useless and ridiculous, time-chewing stuff.

As for TV, specifically, I calculated that I spend about 30 hours in front of it a week, ... an electronic IV dangling from my media-sucking jugular. As this thought crosses my mind, I shove the bar of Dial soap, ... no wait, ... I stick the bottle of Old Spice Body Wash down my throat and punch myself to death, naked in the shower.

The paramedics find me, ... not moving, lifeless, "sudsy" and dead. My son stands there, crying in his shin-guards. The "waterproofed" watch on my wrist is still ticking away, and full of life.

Okay, that's ridiculous, and it didn't really happen that way, ... "but what's shamefully ridiculous, really," ... I think about, while holding the bottle of off-brand body wash, "is all that I could be doing with those 30 hours spent in front of the tube."

After washing, drying, and driving, I find myself standing as just another fan at the baseball conditioning session for my son. He, Ethan, does as well with soccer as I do, which reminds me that soccer players aren't so popular in the US.

Then we get back home, post-game, ... and guess what?

The DIRECTV is not working! Now I'm more frustrated, ... FURIOUS, ... b/c I've managed my time so well all day, ... and now I deserve my reward, my dessert. But,'s been taking off the table!

I think to myself, "I've eaten everything, even the green beans! Where is the justice in the world if I can't now, ... after doing EVERYTHING I'm supposed to do, kick-back and watch others talk about all of the injustice in the world?"

... which leads me to these questions:

How do I spend my time?

How many hours-per-week do I really spend doing nothing but getting "dumber?"

Why am I not spending that time doing something else?

What is "time?"

Can I control it?

Does it control me?

Do I have any say-so in the matter?

What am I so busy with?

Is my "business in this time" fueling me , ... or anyone else for that matter?

Do I give Jen enough of my time?

How about Ethan and Riley: Do they have time for me, ... to give them my time?

Am I giving "me" enough time?

Can we borrow time?

Do we "give our time?"

Do people "save it?"

And if so, does it accrue interest?

Can I cash it in, ... when "our time is up?"

How could it ever be "up?"

Then what about "down-time?"

Or, is time just really over?

Am I out of time?

Or, is Time all I have?

Is it simply this: by the time we understand time, we can't do anything with it, ... because it's gone?

And how could it be gone?

Doesn't time exist independently of my life?

Why am I able to travel through time by sleeping?

Why can the "feel" of "passing the time" be "the best of times?"

... or the "worst of times?"

Can I "lend" you time?

Or "take" your time?

"Share" our/your time?

When they say that "time is money," what does that mean?

If I can spend time, then what is the best way to spend it?

If I can share time, what is the best way to do so?

Can I take the time?

When I "take the time" to do anything, from whom or what am I taking it from?

If I'm misusing my time, does God have the power to make my TV not work?

Is that how He comes through?

If not, how does He come through?

Does He come through?

Is He?

Who's He?

Why's He?

What's in it for Him ...

Does he wonder/Is He worried about how I spend my time?

Am I wasting time by asking about time and God's perspective on it?

Is there a beginning?

An end?

Do moments pass through my life in-between those book-ends of "begin" and "end?"

What could I do with 30 hours a week if I made the decision to abandon TV?

What would my life look like if I abandoned just 10 of those 30 hours?

How would I spend them?

Would I replace those 10 to 30 hours with another useless exercise?

Or, would I put those hours to good use?

And what would that look like?

Why would He pick TV to turn-off, ... make it unavailable, as a way to "make time?"

Why not some other "thing" that takes up my time?

Is time really finite, a socially constructed concept that has no bearing on what reality "really" is?

Is He trying to tell me something, ... in that short amount of time?

If so, .... why has it been such a long time coming?

I'd ask more questions, but guess what ....

Friday, May 14, 2010

love and marriage, ... and LOVE!

I've been with my wife, Jennifer, for about twelve years, although we've only been married since October 9th, 2004 (@ right around 10:00 AM, Tucson, AZ time).

We eloped.

Before we jumped the broom, she forced me to live in sin. I twisted around in discomfort that whole time, me knowing how sinful our unholy union really was. She would force premarital *behaviors* on me that I knew were wrong. Clearly, and in hindsight (which is when clearly-sight most often occurs), she took advantage of my feeble mind, week and flabby carcass, and innate proclivity for watching Cottonwood trees seed. :-D

In all seriousness, I love Jennifer more now, ... today ... than I ever have before. I'm more in love ... now as I write this ... than I was when we married, and I'm much more in love than we she first forced me to watch Cottonwoods seed.

So, my question is: Why?

Why do I love her more today than when we first met? (You know, those first few moments of meeting ... ??)

What makes me miss her when she is away (after 12 years)?

Why am I more physically attracted to her now, ... after she's carried, birthed, and is now raising (I help) our two gorgeous children?

What created such a strange system of attraction?

And retention of attraction?

... and magnification of attraction ... ?

Is it a "Who" that created such?

What does that mean for the "nature of human?"

What are we built for?

Why does love grow like vines?

Why do we find ourselves at places and spaces, in love, that seem impossible?

What does that mean for "how" love grows, ... where it can take us?

Why do I love to watch Jen sleep?

How is she so beautiful?

What, ... or Who made her that way?

How did I find her?

Why did she find me?

Why did/does she put up with my bullsh*t?

Why did/do I put up with her's?

How is she my very-best friend in the world?

Why do I have her back?

What's it mean to be "in a relationship?"

Is a committed relationship different that being married?

Why can't two women marry, or two men, ... or one man and three women, ... or ...?

Is marriage "sacred?"

WTF does sacred mean?

Can their be non-sacred marriages?

What's that look like?

Do those cottonwoods seed?

Can we make sense of a marriage by "the fruit?"

What percentage of marriages end in divorce?


What percentages of marriages end up with gorgeous kids?

What makes a happy marriage?

Or, what makes a marriage happy?

Do marriages "have to" spawn kids?

Who says?

Aren't there happy marriages that don't?

Why get married?

Why get married if there is a good possibility that it ends bad?

Why do I love the smell of my wife?

Isn't that sort of creepy?

I wonder if she loves the smell of me ....

How does she even tolerate me, ... as I'm thinking about it?

Am I lucky?

Am I blessed?

What's the difference between having a "lucky" marriage and a "blessed" one?

How does "passing gas" play out in a lucky marriage?

Is it different in a marriage that's blessed?

Why are "dead puppies" like mink coats: they look good on someone else?

What makes a marriage work?

What breaks it?

Is God working in my life, my marriage?

What does that mean for my wife?

What does that mean for me "being husband?"

Does "being husband" have anything to do with "being a man?"

Does it have anything to do with "being alive in love?"

What does that mean?

When I am hanging with several people that I respect and truly like being around, ... why is it weird (to them, not me) that I'd rather be at home with my wife?