Friday, December 29, 2006

30 will be here before you know it

OK, you're sitting there thinking about New Year's
- you even read my post about nothing changing on New Year's Day. It's a creation of man. It's a way of marking time. Now, esoterically speaking, time doesn't even exist. Whoa! We'll stop there. Let's use time...

You're thinking about making next year even better than this one - but you are in one of three camps.

Camp 1 - New Year's resolution are stupid. No one keeps them. New Year's Day is just another day

Camp 2- I make New Year's resolutions....and I rarely, if ever keep, them.

Camp 3 - I make New Year's resolutions. I keep them religiously and they have proved to be a major betterment to my life. (Hey, if you are THAT one guy that does this, e-mail me. I would really like to meet him)

My goal in 2007? - I want you to be a happy-ER camper no matter what camp your tent is pitched in.

I hereby absolve you from setting any New Year's Resolutions - that's right....none...don't do it! For you little do-gooders, you have now been granted permission to ignore this silly practice.

As a matter of fact - hereby the power granted in me by getting you to read this blog MANDATE that thou shalst not set even ONE resolution.....for the NEW YEAR.

Wow! How does that feel - you are perfectly fine just the way you are...ahhhh....nice....huh?

Hold it a minute there, slim - not so fast.

Just like there is no free lunch - you get no hall pass here. And, now that you have bought into the no New YEARS resolutions, you have to abide by the other side of the deal.

You MUST now make a 30 day resolution - gotcha! getting out of it. You already enrolled. There is only one way either make the 30 days and send me a note on how it went. I'll dedicate a post for comments on Jan 31 to you commenting. The other way give it your best shot and then comment in on Jan 31 on where things broke down (I fully expect this to be the minority group because YOU are special and can do anything that you DECIDE to do).

30 days is nothing - nothing. Where the heck did December go? It seems like I was just tossing out Halloween candy yesterday.

30 days....30 days....30 days - you can find some more insight here
from the "most popular personal development site on the web."

So...there you go - NO! No thinking about it and you will get back to me later. You have already been thinking about it. You have an idea about what you could do/give up for 30 days already. This is time for "first thought" action. Come "wrong" could your intuition be?

For crimeny's sake - it's only 30 days!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Father Son Christmas Exchange

"So you think that I could have solved your problem with 10 minute conversations?,"
he crossly tossed back to the son walking in arrears as they headed across the parking lot into a store to buy some last minute Christmas presents.

"No because you teach that all day," was the sarcastic reply from the gangly 18 yr old.

Oh that lovely time - the father and son dynamic that goes on between 14 and 21 (give or take) as the young man asserts himself as knowing more than Dad.

I have no idea what led up to the exchange - but, it sounded like the tail end of an argument. It sounded like the father may be a teacher by avocation.

While I didn't like the tone - I actually liked the question that dear old dad asked. Imagine that same question asked as a real question by a father that was looking for real answers. It sounds like there is already a lot of teaching the dad does in that house....but not much learning.

I really wanted to stop and go - "hey, dad. I just wanted you to know that I loved that question. I didn't care much for the tone or delivery...but the question was outstanding!"

In this case - I just let it go as another "pleasant" adult-adolescent testosterone testing mindless exchange that goes on daily throughout the world

It made me wonder - is the boy going to like what Dad got him for Christmas?

What do you think? - should I have been bold and said something and then done a toss-and-run?

Looking toward the New Year but...

..." nothing changes on New Year's Day"
- possibly the greatest line in all of rock history. In just 6 short, simple words, U2 cuts right to the bone like any great poet does.

The stark reality severs the clutter - the only time for something to change is now. Seth has the quick list of excuses...objections....reasons...blahblahblah's in a great post. He misses one relevant one, however....

"I can't do anything's Christmas Eve" - which would, of course, lead into "I can't do anything today, it's Christmas." Shall I go on with my drivel like the partridge in the pair tree song or 99 bottles of beer? OK..."I can't do anything today, it's the day after Christmas. Next week....I'll do it next week....for New Year's"....

...but nothing changes....on New Year's Day - there is only one time when anything ever begins to change. You know what time that is. If you don't, let me help you.

Grab your cell phone -...look at the time.....there it is. Grab your journal...write it down.

What....not going to do it? - no problem. I guess you have nothing to change. Congratulations!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Some Change

(A Special Post for SundayScribblings)

"Some change comes down for the better
you feel it move

Then some comes around like the weather
you take that in too"

-Some Change, Boz Scaggs

Hey, at what point - is change not change anymore?

If it is a coin, it's change - I think we can all agree to that. How about a couple of single dollars mixed in with the metal? Don't the bucks become change due to association?

...and, then, what if you happen to have a single 5 spot in your pocket - now, a fiver still has some value on it's own. Yet....I think a case can be made when it is mixed in with lower denominations that it now degrades to becoming just simple, ordinary change.

Hmmmm....look what happened to that mighty 5 dollar bill - when it started hanging around with lesser sums, it became no different than them.

Who are you hanging around with?

Want change? - change who you hang with, what you listen to, and what you read.

(Hey you SundayScribblers!: here is a bonus piece on change...Merry Christmas)


Hey!!!...remember these guys? - I know you do.

I don't know if this is still - a required project to graduate from kindergarten or not but....

I made an amazing discovery - an adult can do this too!

Well...let me take that back - I can do this too may be a better way to put it.

Anyway - I'm not done with the project. I thought that I would just let you in on a little sneak peek at the action.

I also wanted to challenge you - to put on your creative thinking cap for last minute gift giving.

"Nutster, if someone gave me one of these and it wasn't my infant, I would break it right in front of them!" - hey.....your catching on quick.

"The Hand" is not the present - it's the wrapping!

Feliz Navidad - now go get to work on your Christmas masterpiece. If you need any more instruction on how to make these than what you can figure out from the picture, forgetaboutit.

The HappyUP! - the colorful HappyHands

Why it happened - I didn't/don't listen to people who thought/think that I am crazy and did it anyway

Why it makes me happy - I got to play in mushy stuff....use colorful paints....create something out of nothing.....and continue a Christmas condition of fun holiday wrapping. Hey, last year I wrapped in Ice so I am being a lot warmer this year.


The "whaddawegetdaboss" dilemma - continues for my staff.....and, once again, the case has been cracked...

....with NUTS!!!

"Nutster, it's ain't that big a deal" - well, you are so wrong. My admin lives up in the farming country. Her husband is a prune farmer. These much needed staples come from a farm near theirs.

Hey...she could have given me PRUNES - for Christmas! (which, actually, I would have been just as appreciative....hey, I want to ON THE GO in 2007!)

Trust me - all of the above will be put to good use this season.

The HappyUP!- I got NUTS....and am NUTS

Why the HappyUP! happened - someone gave of themselves

Why the HappyUP! made me happy - I was thought of to be given something. It was something that had thought in it. It came from the ground near someone's home....and...I will use it

Friday, December 22, 2006

HappyUP!...My Mug

When I'm not hear entertaining the masses
- I have the privilege of overseeing a bunch of people in my day job. Yup...I am a supervisor/manager/leader/grand poohbah

So, it is that time of year when my immediate staff
- must go through the consternation of "whadowegetdaboss" for Christmas.

What they don't know - is that the privilege of having them work for me is plenty enough for this guy. Yet...

They amaze me - you see, I am tough to buy for. I do OK financially so, if I need something, I buy it. I also live pretty humbly. "May I live simply so others can simply live" (Ganhdi) is a quote that floats to my mind frequently.

So, today, I am greeted in the office - by one of my staff. She timidly brings me a bag and either said or was radiating the "I hope this is good enough" vibe.

As I reach into the bag
- and pull out the tissue wrapped content, I can tell immediately that it is a mug. In my mind, I go, "please tell me she is above giving me a 'I'm the Boss' type drinking vessel." Now, I am grateful for ANYTHING someone gives me and would have demonstrated this type of behavior no matter what I was about to de-tissue.

I pulled back the paper
- to reveal what you see here. Immediately, I was delighted.

Now, I can hear you say - "Nutster, the mugs OK but isn't delight a bit strong?"'s not - because I knew that this staff member has gotten involved in ceramics as part of her college curriculum. This mug only needed one thing to be perfect...

I turned it over and
- sure enough, there was the artist's initials inscribe right on the bottom.

I am the proud owner of a one of a kind - custom made mug just for me.

Life is Good
- and that was my first HappyUP of the day

The HappyUP - I got mugged

Why the HappyUP! happened - because someone gave

Why the HappyUP made me happy? - because I received something of value that you can't buy

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Teenage Suicide Comes to Town

He was the MVP of the freshman high school football team

He was the MVP of the junior varsity high school football team

was the MVP for the JV basketball team at a tournament

Looks and Charm? - there wasn't a girl in his class that wouldn't go out with him

His family - loving....upper middle class....great people that I am blessed to be able to call friends

Today? - I went to his funeral. He was only 19 years old. A victim to a self-inflicted gunshot to the head last Sunday afternoon in his parent's garage.

As I left the services - after hearing the kids that spoke, I could only think, "what caused him to turn off the road?"

Some of these kids were friends - since kindergarten and first grade.....until he was about 15. They all had a common theme about "what they could have done," or "how they had let him drift out of their lives."

This was a special kid - heck, all kids are. This one was excelling. At some point, he broke from his crowd and went down a different path.

Adolescence is tough enough - teenagers brains don't work the same way adult's do. You parents already knew that but there is scientific proof now. They don't know that today's setbacks aren't lifelong. Moods can shift in a heartbeat.

Throw today's availability and potency of drugs like OxyContin into the mix and it can make that part of life just about impossible to get through.

...and this beautiful young man didn't make the passage - leaving behind an older brother and sister and two parents that are about the nicest people you ever want to meet who will never be the same.

I lost a brother to such a life - I was lucky. I had him around long enough to have had plenty of chances to do something if I could have. I still watched my mom bury her 41 year old son. Though she never let us know, I found evidence after she passed of just how painful it was for her.

....and now I see a family I care about just beginning a nightmare - that won't ever end.

....and I see drugs - and I see someone that made that first persuasion...the first dare...the first overture.... and, though I know that we all make our own choices, it makes me angry.

...and wistful - for what might have been.

Watch your kids - but, more importantly, watch other people's kids. The catchy slogan is "Parents: the anti-drug." While a lot of responsibility lies there, all children are God's children which makes you responsible for others' kids as well. Heck, you MAY BE the only adult that they do listen to.

I have had my share of tragedy hit around me - but this is the first time the third largest killer of our teenagers, suicide, has hit this close........and it is very bothersome.

I'll be back with some holiday happyups tomorrow for all of you - but this will lurk around for some time. I am sure it will move to the front whenever I see my friends...I don't like the thought of that.

Wikipedia teenage suicide

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Why I Write

While not the most uplifting piece to read, Nobel Prize winner Orham Pamuk details a transparent list of reasons why someone, assumingly why he himself, writes.

"The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I can’t do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion....."

ou can find the complete paragraph here:

Orham Pamuk Why I Write

or, if you have the time, the entire piece which is uplifting can be found in the NewYorker

Friday, December 15, 2006

Transposing ....and Anticipation

Isn't it amazing when someone writes about something - and describes a thing that you are familiar with or something that you innately do....but you have never put it into words?

I know that when it happens to me - it reinforces my belief that we all have brilliance inside of us. Yet, we often don't recognize it because it is so second nature to us that we think that it is a basic skill most other people have.

Recently, I was reading The Inner Game of Work by Tim Gallwey - he has been writing for some time (Inner Game of Golf, Inner Game of Tennis) on how to improve levels of performance. He writes of techniques that assist us in getting out of our own way. One of the concepts he writes about is one that I unknowingly have applied during my life.

It's strange - but, once I read about the concept, I said, "hey, I do that and, when I do, it is effective." The learning for me came right after I blurted that out to myself:

How often do I do it? - when can I do it? How can I do more of it?

I shared the concept with a work colleague - who said, "dude, this is so weird. I just met a guy who speaks and consults with CEO's and is heavily involved in coaching. He was talking about this very same thing."

Ah...the wonderful law of Synchronicity - was starting to kick in. When strange coincidences like that pop up, I know that it is time for the Ol Nutster to start paying closer attention.

The concept is.......Transposing - and it has a wide range of applications. It is a fairly simple concept. The whole idea is to ANTICIPATE what is going on inside the person that you will be engaging with. It is trying to walk a mile in their moccasins....NO, it is not how YOU would walk if you were in their is about what it is like to live within their skin.

Anticipating what it is like for that person - to meet think about how that person is going to recieve your message.... to try to absorb like they would absorb (not how you would absorb...or how they should absorb....actually how they absorb).

"Nutster....this may be great for people I know intimately, but what about the others?" - WOW? Thanks! This is a great question. You are absolutely correct. You don't know, do you? Well, if you don't know something, what is the best way to find out?

That's right - YOU ASK!

There it is, boys and girls - you transpose yourself first....anticipate how they are the best you can....and this should lead you to ASK GREAT QUESTIONS of the person. Better questions than you would have ever thought of if you were trying to do it on the fly.

Think about it - if you were talking to someone that actually had thought about you first, that person is going to come to you from a different place than most people that walk the planet. This person is going to elevate just by the way they communicate to you. Then, if that wasn't enough, they ask questions that probably are not like ones that you ever get. And what would the subject matter be? Your favorite topic....YOU!

How different is this approach - then someone that is trying to tell you what to do? For many of us, even if it is the right thing, we won't do something just because someone told us to do it. We may let it sit in the cranium, roll it around, and then put a little spin on the advice.....basically, we create enough authorship that we feel comfortable to say to ourselves, "this was my idea." Either that, or we just blow the whole thing off.

A great leader...or teacher - is one who guides us to ourselves. One of the best ways to be that kind of person?

Transpose.....and anticipate....and generate outstanding questions

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Charmed Existence

Spend a couple of minutes with the ol Nutster - and allow me to tell you a story. Let me know if I wasted your time after you finish....I got a couple of sheckels riding that makes me think I'd win the bet that says you will be glad you came.

A few years back - I had an employee transfer to another state. Her husband had gotten a great new job. It just so happened that the transfer would also take her back to her hometown where all of her family was. This included being near her son from a previous marriage who was living with his father.

They sold their house in California - they made a great profit. They were buying in a market where homes where more affordable. The gain on the California property allowed them to buy a dream home....with a lower payment than they had before.

How many transfers work out like that? - now, the story gets better. She called up to let "the ol gang" know that she was now pregnant. This was a miracle because her and her husband really wanted a baby but were told that it wouldn't happen.

Life looks good for her - well, very shortly after the pregnancy was confirmed, she developed a tumor the size of a orange in her breast. It seems that the hormonal change due to the pregnancy had caused the cancerous cells to metastasize out of control. By the time of discovery, the cancer had gone beyond the mammary and had crept into the lymph system.

Once cancer gets out onto the superhighway, the lymph, of your body - the prognosis is usually somewhat grim.

Now, I am told by the female world that pregnancy alone is a bit of a difficult process -"if you men had to have babies, we wouldn't have to worry about the world population,"....yak..yak..yak. Can you imagine fighting for your baby as you fight for your life? The totally rationale approach would have been to terminate the pregnancy so that all of the energies could be devoted to staying alive....

....but not my girl - she was a scrapper when she worked for me....and she was a scrapper now. Despite the recommendations of doctors, she was keeping that baby!!! Somehow, she went through the radiation and chemo while a fetus grew within her (while I wouldn't endorse it, it makes me wonder just how bad cocktails or a smoke really are for a mother....I mean, for goodness sakes, my friend was going through the tar heroin of things that can be done to your body.)

She makes it - and gives birth to the baby. But the prognosis for her remains touch and go. It was at this time that I made a choice to do something.

Despite my limited guitar playing and singing abilities - I wrote a song for her. I went over to a buddies house and we laid the tracks down on a CD. As an added touch, I shaved my head and we took a picture to put on the CD cover. "She is going to crack up when she sees her ol boss bald, " I thought. A good laugh can't hurt someone in such dire circumstances is what I figured.

Here is what I hadn't counted on - she called my office and left me a voice mail. With tears in her voice:

"Nutster, I wanted you to know that I put the CD in the car as soon as it arrived. As I was listening, I had to pull over to the side of the road because I was crying so hard. This was the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me."


She passed on to a better place shortly after that call - can you imagine what she gave to me that day? Can you fathom what it is like to have the honor of receiving that call? While there is so much more I can do in this world, it was almost like anything else would be icing on the cake.

Why do I share this? - it's not to prove that I am a nice guy. I received more credit than I deserved when I got that voice mail so I'm covered in the "atta boy" department.

Remember a few lines back when I talked about my rather limited musical skills? - I had picked up that little "gift" in life by my music "teachers" in choir and band early on as a young lad.

At some point (10 yrs later) - I worked up the courage to plunk down a few bucks and buy a guitar. There was no intention of becoming was just something that I felt that I needed to do. I was also in my twenties. I ignored the critics and even some people close to me, "what are you gonna do...become a rock star?" was how the sarcasm was dealt I believe

When the opportunity came - people thought that I was crazy to shave my head too. Even someone close to me said, "oh my God...I can't believe you have done this to yourself. And why? Do you think you shaving your head is going to make her better?" Yes, my sanity was now in play...had I lost my mind?

Hey, guilty as charged, I guess - the point is that I used what I had and followed my instinct and put that project together. The result: I have a priceless gift that I will treasure as much as anything that I do or own for the rest of the days that I walk this orb. I truly live a charmed this case, I was bigger than a rock star.
What did I ever do to earn this?

What do you have to give? - what do you need to develop? Not because you think it is going to make you a lot of money. It may not be for you to know why you need to do just needs to be done.

The prize for doing so - may be beyond your imagination.

When do you start?

(This post inspired by Tea with McNair ......get over! There are prizes on the table )

Saturday, December 09, 2006

DESIRE that that is settled - what is the question?

Punishment and Reward

(A Special Post for Sunday Scribblings)

Ahhhh, yes, glasshoppah - we now come to the ancient dynamic between the carrot and the stick.

Is it better to punish or reward? - many humanistic people never punish. "Punishment is bad," "never strike a child," "we should not punish, we should forgive," etc.....

Of course, the worst punishment that can ever be inflicted - never lays a hand on the other person. ....or even a word. Solitary confinement is one of the most brutal punishments that can be carried out against another person.

The very worst punishment? - it is the punishment that we administer to ourselves. It's not brutal enough to be noticed. It is all the low self worth/esteem/concept thoughts that we hold. I have often thought that it would be better for us to give ourselves ONE good slap upside the head when the crime warrants it......and then be done with it....move on.

"Ouch! That hurt. I don't want to do that again" - but, instead, when something bad happens, we get to say, "well, if he/she wouldn't have screwed me over, this wouldn't have happened."

In this case, blame gets to be a substitute for the pain - AND the opportunity to gain the benefit of punishment is lost. Punishment has it's place.

You know...most of us don't change that much - not nearly as much as we think we do. Yet, there are people who have made remarkable changes. What prompted them to make the shift? They hit their "rock bottom," whatever that is to that individual.

What is "Rock Bottom" ?- it's the accumulation of punishment, often self inflicted, that becomes so painful that the person now makes a quantum change that only that degree of pain could bring about. While I don't wish that on anyone, for some, it is what needed to happen. It was the only way for them to get back on to a their own correct path. (Notice I said, "their own"....not YOURS)

Pain is necessary - and pain does not come without some form of punishment. "If change does not involve a degree of pain, then it probably wasn't real change," is a quote that I stumbled across just this week.

Let's say that I am standing on Platform A - and imagine it as a platform. (Pause......I'm waiting.....when I say imagine...I mean STOP and imagine....OK, are you there? ....Good! We shall proceed). You have been standing on Platform A for some time. You have gotten used to it. It's a nice little platform. You even went out and bought a nice platform to platform rug to stand on. You picked up a nice little pillow too for those times when you are tired of standing on Platform A.....but you don't dare step off into the unknown space outside of your nice platform. The pillow (or cocktail....TV....abusing someone else) makes Platform A tolerable.

You'll die there on Platform A - and, if that's what you want, there is not a thing in the world wrong with that. Just don't kill anyone else along with you....please!

But, let's say, that you see a Platform B - kind of "over there a bit." It looks kind of nice....a bit better than platform A. It sure would be nice but....

There's this little problem - and it is that darn unknown space between here and there.

I can see that carrot....that reward - but, if I step off good ol Platform A, I may get some severe punishment (of course, you probably won't but you can't convince yourself of that at this point).

So, the presence of REWARD (or the accomplishment of the almighty GOAL) isn't enough - to get you to move. But you, you nice lil "the world should be peaceful, everything is great, let's all get along" you, can't even begin to fathom that massive suffering from the punishment that "will surely come" if you step off that platform.

At that point - there is a desire to move but a desire to stay.

And there is only one thing to do - sit down, decide which of the conflicting desires is stronger.......and then inflict massive pain upon the weaker desire. Yes, you have to kill the weaker desire. Reward wasn't getting it done in this instance. It's time for punishment. You see, that weaker desire is a piece of you....but it has to die. It is going to require punishment and pain.

Cortez burned the ships - and, in the old testament, when a war was fought, all of the enemy had to die because the mere existence of the conflicting desire would be enough to put the conquering tribe at risk as they made their dangerous journey to point B. (Now, Old Testament is a bit brutal but there is an important point there).

If you need to get off Platform A - and the reward of Platform B isn't enough to get you to jump into the pain of the unknown, you have no choice but to punish yourself and burn Platform A. I wish that you...and I....didn't have to do this. Sometimes we don't.....but sometimes we do. It is when we need to and we don't that we inflict the most damaging type of punishment upon ourselves. It's the long, slow, nagging irritation....the Chinese Water Torture. It is the constant, light, self flagellation that will kill the most important aspect in your life....your spirit.

Is it better to punish or reward? - dear glasshoppah that has read this far. I now plovide you with inflinite wisdom of the ages. The ansuh you have been looking for is........YES

Sunday, December 03, 2006

It's Official....I've Become a Chick!

So, here I am - fresh out of the shower and having applied step 1 of the 8346 step process that I now take to get my face ready to take on the world.

I know - I can hear you already, "What? are gorgeous. I thought you came right out of the shower that way."

Sorry to shock you - even though the statement that you just made USED to be true. You may have remembered a posting I did a while back talking about the flakiness that I was now starting to experience on my face.

Well, I mentioned this to my doctor during my last physical - "well, have you been taking enough fish oil? Also, slap some Vaseline on your face before you go to bed. Also, here is a prescription."

No...I haven't gone and found a new doctor - I just won't be consulting him on skin issues in the future.

Vaseline on the face as a night treatment? - that just sounded a bit too old school for this guy. Well, right about this time, my Parisian friend, Paris Parfait, started yakking about a new moisturizer that she had found. She went on and on about trying so many in the past and that this one was absolutely the best. Well, being a fairly lazy sot, I decided, "what the heck?"...and off to OriginsI went.

Now, I can be a shopping overachiever - especially when I encounter a good salesperson....or, in this case, three attractive young females who knew a sucker when they saw him coming. Needless to say, I didn't just stop with the moisturizer.

After all, you need an entire SYSTEM for your face -
you can't just slap some moisturizer over a crappy
foundation, right? It would be blasphemous. So, here is how the process goes for all of you guys that want to become chicks (or for you chicks who haven't figured this process out yet......there is probably one of you out there.

Step 1 - you gotta blast all of the crap off of your face that is really down in those pores. Nope, a splash of water in the shower just isn't good enough anymore, guys. You have to have some Modern Friction. Basically, you are grinding rice hulls into your face. The stuff ain't cheap but it's more effective than microderm abrasion ...and better for your skin....and a heck of a lot cheaper. Well, at least that is what the helpful ladies at the counter said.

Step 2 - put down that bar of Ivory soap! You are in the 2000's now, neanderthal. You have to go with a cleanser. The brand of choice, Dr Weils Plantidote Mega Mushroom. You tell me what sense this makes...I am now rubbing mushroom fungus all over my face to clean it. But, that isn't enough. On to....

Step 3 - Plantidote Mega Mushroom SERUM. What? You thought you could just cleanse and moisturize. Heck no. You have to take a really small squirt of serum and spread it over your clean kisser. I say "small squirt" because...well...uh....mushrooms ain't cheap and it must take a lot of them to make that serum. Finally, we now get to....

Step 4 - moisturize....which is what started this whole mess in the first place. You clean with fungus, serum with fungus, and moisturize with fungus. I guess it makes sense. Mushrooms have kind a nice liquid consistency...similar to how you want your face to be. Moist without being wet and greasy.

I have to admit - after being on this trip for about 3 weeks, there is a noticeable difference in my epidermis. The flaking was gone after the first day. After that, my skin just gets softer and softer.....I can't even get any work done....all I want to do is touch my face.

And just when I thought - all of those modeling magazines were going to stop calling me. Now, I am probably going to have to go unlist my number again. "No....Coco....I need me for your next catalog....sorry...I have readers....they expect me to be here....blogging."

In the Last Hour

(A Special Post for Sunday Scribblings)

In the last hour - I wrote the first post that I have ever done exclusively from a book that I had read. The question begs, "why would you take an hour out of your time to regurgitate a bunch of information that, if someone wanted, they could go get the book. many people are really going to see this? You know what your traffic count is?"

The question above - is the voice of The Resistance. It is the antichrist of the creative process. "But you were taking someone else's information...what's creative about that?" The Resistance just won't shut up, will it?

But, for the last hour, it was quieted - and, quieted once, it can more easily be quieted again. I wrote the post for one simple reason.....I wanted to. If someone reads it, great. If they don't, the bigger victory was gained...

In the writing of the post - I now know more about the subject than I did before. And that is all that I is all that you need in doing anything attached to the creative process.

I don't know what will happen as a result of that posting - but my muse tells me that something will. It is something that I have no idea could occur....and that is the mystery of the muse and why we pursue the creative process.

Do you want something that is more in line with the topic that was given? - it is....

In The Last Hour

First - I hope that I am not aware that my last hour is going on when it is occurring. This would indicate lying on a deathbed....with some kind of struggle or pain that has led up to and includes this moment.

I think of my mom - she had such an aversion to tubes and such. She was graced with a sudden death while still vibrant in her early eighties. There was and continues to be a selfish piece of me that would like her to still be around. Yet, for everything that she did for me, I gladly give that up knowing that she passed exactly as she would have wanted to. She dropped dead on her bathroom floor suddenly and with very little warning.

I love the people who say - "when you are on your deathbed, you won't be thinking, 'I wished I would have put in an extra day at work.' " God bless those folks who try to get me to take it a bit easier. But, here is the rub.......

If I am on my deathbed - there is no way I am going to be thinking, "I should have gone on more vacations...I should have done this differently," because....

1) I don't look back - in general. There was a reason that I do what I do at any given time

2) there is no time to waste on such trivia - at that point.

The only thing that I will be thinking is - "'s going to happen. I am moving forward. I wonder where I am heading. I hope that I did what I was supposed to do...what The Creator put me on earth to do."

...and then I am going to pray like crazy! the last hour.

(If you want to see the post described above, go here)

DaVinci on Health

With all of the science available today - the master, DaVinci, is a source of amazement. There were many things that he knew long before they were ever proven.

And, today, we'll focus on Leanardo's outlook toward health - but, first, let's look into the credibility of the subject. There is an old saying, "don't take advice from anyone more screwed up than yourself," and it is probably a good prescription.

Here is how Goethe described the master - "Handsome and with a splendid physique, he seemed a model of human perfection." Hmm.....considering the brilliance of the source, I think we should now listen to DaVinci.

Davinci on medicine - "shun physicians because their drugs are a kind of alchemy...he who takes medicines is ill-advised." OK....a bit extreme for those suffering today. I will give you that. Just keep in mind that many of today's drugs are administered to treat symptoms and not cure disease....the drugs are created to keep one on the drugs.

DaVinci on causes of death - "death in old men, when not from fever, is caused by the veins...which thicken so much in the wall that they become closed up and leave no passage for the blood." WOW!!! Remember when he lived. There were no ways to physically prove this and investigate our arterial walls as they are now.

One of the many beauties of DaVinci - was that he appreciated the science of art and the art of science. He was extremely aware of what was going on. He could see with an unbiased eye. This served him well as an artist and as a scientist.

"OK, Nutster, get to the point" - hey, DaVinci also had a quote about the virtue of patience that escapes me at the moment. He thought it to be necessary. But, because yours is running thin, let's get to the all important list and then we will break it down from there.

Learn to Preserve Your Health by DaVinci

Beware of anger and avoid grievous moods
Rest your head and keep your mind cheerful
Be covered well at night
Excercise moderately
Shun Wantonness, and pay attention to diet
Eat only when you want and sup light
Keep upright when you rise from the dining table
Don not be with the belly upwards or the head lowered
Let your wine be mixed with water, take a little at a time, not between meals and not on an empty stomach
Eat simple (i.e. vegetarian) food
Chew well
Go to the toilet regularly

Beware of anger and avoid grievous moods - why would the great one say this? Could it be because these states of being create stress. Today we say, it is not what happens to you, it is how you react to what happens to you. Every time you sink into one of these states, you take away life.

Rest your head and keep your mind cheerful - a continuation of the first rule...with the added possibility that sleep and meditation are important

Be covered well at night - remember, there was no environmental control back in Leo's day. I remember a time when I slept in a room that was not connected to the house. It had no heater. It was cold. Yet, I also remember never getting sick. I have often postulated that cold is an enemy of germs and bacteria. In those days, I had an electric blanket (until it caught on fire and gave me a real hot foot). I was covered well....even in an environment that was not optimal by our standards of today

Excercise moderately - I have been going to the gym for over a year on a regular basis. Perhaps the master knew that the key was to excercise frequently and, to do that, it had to be something that was taxing but not overtaxing. I know that when I over do it, I am doing myself little good. Sure, I feed my ego......but my ego is probably the thing that needs the least food. Also, strenuous excercise requires good mechanics. This is something that most of us don't have. DaVinci was huge on posture. Have you looked at yours lately? DaVinci's preferred forms of excercise? Walking, riding, swimming, and fencing. These are all very gentle on the anatomy. DaVinci was no wimp either. It is said that he could bend an iron horseshoe in his hands and that he could stop a horse at full gallop by grabbing it's reins. Even leaving room that those statements MAY have been embellished, the fact that they were attributed to DaVinci tell you that the guy had it going on in the physical department.

Shun Wantonness, and pay attention to diet - this is the biggest, "duh," on his list. Yet, how many of us eat because it is something we opposed to what our bodies need. Do you ever ask, "have I had my roughage today." DaVinci described fiber as something that scrubs away the bad things in our interior linings. HOW THE HECK DID HE KNOW THIS???

Eat only when you want and sup light - the holidays are upon us. Lots of food laying around. Late night extravaganzas. Is it any wonder that, on average, most people add 5 lbs over the holidays? You know, just because the food is there does not require that YOU consume it. Every nutritionist will tell you how important breakfast is. Farmers would traditionally eat supper (not the same as dinner) during a break in the day. They would then go back to work....and be upright working.

Keep upright when you rise from the dining table - studies today are showing that excercise, like walking, after a heavy meal will aid in the digestion of the foods just consumed. The Thanksgiving ritual of stuffing ourselves, unbuttoning the pants to let out some waist, and laying down for a nap would be the antithesis of the DaVinci prescription

Do not be with the belly upwards or the head lowered - POSTURE. I believe DaVinci is talking about curving the back toward our front which causes the belly out/up. Lower your head right now...make your chin touch your chest....feel the strain this puts on your neck. This can't be a good thing. Check you neck position right now at the computer....your head is angled downward, isn't it? Shouldn't that computer screen be at eye level? Are you going to fix that? When? I are on a laptop....FIX IT! Especially if you are spending considerable time here.

Let your wine be mixed with water, take a little at a time, not between meals and not on an empty stomach - need I say anything about this. DaVinci would not have been a fan of drinking as entertainment. Hey, I am not saying not to do it. It's your health. You are the one that will then violate the rule...end up with health problems....go to the doctor.....I think we already covered DaVinci's take on doctors.

Eat simple (i.e. vegetarian) food - DaVinci was a vegetarian. Yes, we can make fun of them all that we want. We all have examples of ones that got sick or died young. As a whole, however, don't you think that real, devout vegetarians may be a little healthier than those of us consuming vast quantities of meat and processed foods. There really weren't many processed foods back then......I think we can surmise to say that Leo would not have been eating many bags of chips.

Chew well - and what does every weight loss program suggest? That's slowly. There is a delay between when you are full and when your mind gets the message that it is full. DaVinci was in touch with this long before his time.

Go to the toilet regularly - how many prunes have you had today? Is pear juice a part of your diet? How you doing in that department? I one wants to talk about it. We should! Elimination is one of the most important aspects of the functions that your body performs. Look at the ain't pretty is it? Doesn't it just make sense that the less of it you have hanging around inside you, the better off you will be. Have you thought about going on a cleanse for 30 days? Visit your local health food store. Better yet, introduce some cleansing foods into your diet.

Much has been written about the great man - yet, to many, they are more attracted to the fictional DaVinci Code than they are to looking into his genius and saying, "how could I apply this to my life?"

I hope you found the posting helpful - and inspirational as we head into the new year. Remember, Jan 1 is not set in stone to make resolutions. You can make one right now. It is possible to lose weight during the holidays. ...

....As a matter of fact, I make the attempt every year - I figure if I can take 5 off when everyone else is putting 5 on, I really lost 10. I did it last year. It was those pesky fall months that added a few back this time. Yet, I am inching it down again since the week before Thanksgiving.

Imagine where I - and, more importantly you, could go by following the great one's advice immediately.

(Information for this post came from the book, How to Think like Leonardo DaVinci, by Michael this book!)