September 19, 2009

If I Were in the House of the Rising Sun, Excuses Could Be Made

She was that regrettable love, that love that is not love, but the sullen, dark mistake, the blackness in one's soul when desperation adheres itself in the bosom.

Most would be ashamed to have stop in this house of ill-repute, to saunter up to the bar and ask for what should never be named. Yet, I found some comfort there, as Paul Simon might confess.

A cappuccino, with hazelnut, at a McDonald's. Two bags of sugar. There are times many of us have walked where wisdom shook her head, and such have I today.

September 16, 2009

Gorgeous Carafe Sustains Beauty and a Rose, review Waterford Lismore Petite Pitcher

Gorgeous Carafe Sustains Beauty and a Rose
Waterford Lismore Petite Pitcher


One red rose sits in my carafe. There used to be water. That's dried now. So is the rose.

The glass is clear enough to see I removed the thorns. It is deep enough to hold enough chilled Riesling for a lingering dinner for two. One bottle carefully poured will be attractively displayed.

I poured four glasses neatly. Not a drop of wine lost. The thick crystal kept things as cool as possible, though, unfortunately, as did she.

The Riesling was as light as our conversation, though the excitement of the wine lasted longer. The soft angles carved into the glass flickered the candle's hues into her eyes, but all she saw was that she was leaving.

The roses stayed. She left. Explaining the rest doesn't matter. The carafe is beautiful, as was she. May your Linsmore pitcher hold more than a flower and a few glasses of wine.

--Brockeim


September 15, 2009

Kipling's Masterful Storytelling, History, and Modern Mythology Come Together: The Jungle Book

Kipling's Masterful Storytelling, History, and Modern Mythology Come Together

The Jungle Book


Legends are made from legends. Rudyard Kipling dug deep into the tales of the jungle from his years living in India, and drew from them the kinds of stories that live forever.

"The Jungle Book" is more than how Mowgli, the man cub, learns to live and survive amongst enemies like Shere Khan. The intense mongoose vs cobra "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi," also well-known, is here, as are several lesser-known and unrelated adventures.

Richly written, with details and contexts unfamiliar to Western readers, "The Jungle Book" lifts imagination and language beautifully. Poetic, and written in a literary style, it shines above most modern prose.

This is the stuff of afternoon stories read to older boys and girls. Young teens will while away rainy evenings, unwilling to part until finished. Sometimes scary and always exciting, Kipling also uses the book to teach lessons much greater than a jungle in India.

When chapters were first read to me many years ago, I listened gawk-eyed, listening intently for as long as my mother would read. I read it with different eyes now, but no less a young boy as I worry how Baloo will handle the Bandar-Log monkeys.

It isn't perfect. A few scientific details are fudged (wolf pack breeding structure, for example), but nothing that matters in the big picture. Kipling will have you in the palm of his hand, even though it was first published over 100 years ago.

May "The Jungle Book" by Rudyard Kipling be as amazing to you as it has been to me.
--Brockeim

notice... as of writing this review, the book is free via Kindle.


September 10, 2009

Love Between Two Days

Tomorrow is 9-11. Yesterday, as I, and millions of others, noted, was 9-9-9.

Here, now... 9-10-09. Stuck between 9-9-9 and 9-11, it is ignored. Though neither a day of numerical nuance, nor tragedy, it is a perfectly good day. I mentioned this in a Tweet this morning.

At first, all I intended was a glib observation, but more thought had me realizing this is serious business.

9-11
9-11 represents the horrid murder of thousands at the call of an evil movement in the Middle East. Not only was the day filled with tragedy, but thousands of men and women have since died on behalf of Iraqis and Afghans who do not enjoy the immense freedom I do as an American. We get to debate health care, women's rights and whether or not the Ten Commandments belong in public places. Until Saddam Hussein was thrown out of office, none of this was achievable. It really still isn't, but our soldiers are working to ensure its possibility.

Yesterday, meanwhile, represents sheer nonsense. One day on the calendar with a tidy sequence of numbers with otherwise no importance whatsoever.

9-10
So what about September 10, 2009? It is important. Opportunities are no less, no more than either two days. It is a Thursday, and for most people, just as with the other two days, going to work is on the agenda. However bad unemployment is, a massive majority still have jobs. Of those who do not, unemployment and a government subsidy are providing a small income for most. It is a perfectly good day.

On any of the three days, loved ones will die, babies will be born, people will be hired, fired and tired. Someone will buy a winning lottery ticket. Someone will stub their toe and scream in visceral pain.

It is Today: Love
Most people, I believe, will not even think of this day as any different than any other day... it is, and it isn't different. But it is today. And, with today, as the sun rises in the east, and before we sleep, there is the chance to stand between silly nonsense and grave tragedy, and take the chance to love, to enjoy the day, and to do something spectacular.

May your day be bright.

September 03, 2009

A Cure for the Summertime Blues and Questions of Color: Wyler's Electric Grape Drink Mix review

A Cure for the Summertime Blues and Questions of Color

Wyler's Electric Grape Drink Mix 72 Envelopes


The summertime blues can be addressed with a glass of something purple. One August years ago delivered cruel weather, but an ample supply of Wyler's reduced its impact.

Forehead sweat condensated and gathered uncomfortably as Nancy and I sat on the driveway discussing why dandelions are yellow, yet the hollow stem bled white fluid. First grade would start in a few days, and yet such questions of life remained. We needed time, but the noon sun was persuasive. We knew what to do.

A crisp rip of the purple envelope provided access to the treasured dust-sized grains. One envelope is enough to dazzle a quart of plain water into the color of wine (we made it twice as strong). With a few spoons of sugar, and some quickly stirred ice cubes, we drank until full, able again to examine the meaning of a flower's color.

With a grapened smile, look toward the sunny day's heat with a cool demeanor. When Nancy grinned, her pleasure shone out brighter than the sun. May your summers be as pleasing with Wyler's Grape.

--Brockeim