A Mustang in Arizona

No matter what life throws at me, at least I have a cool car.

In Arizona my rental is a Mustang.

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Jack Collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

now all I need is a cool girl riding shotgun

Remembering Old Friends

if you remember people, then they will remember you

don’t just be one of the crowd

This is the time of year that most of us think back and remember old friends we haven’t seen for years, or even family members we hardly ever meet.  I’m reminded of that with every Christmas card I write, and by each one I receive.  Every year I am glad that I keep a Christmas card list, with up to date names and addresses, and that I take the trouble to send a card to everyone on the list.  And like many people nowadays I add a few lines about what my year has been like.

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.  ~  Dale Carnigie

There are some places I can go where I am almost certain to be recognised by someone I haven’t seen in years ~ and then I have to dredge through the corridors of my mind to put a name to the face.  I’s actually surprising and delightful when someone you haven’t met for a long time shows that they remember you ~ and it’s cool to be able to show the same courtesy.

It may seem insignificant but, if you remember people, they will remember you and that’s essential if you want to be successful in Life and Love.  Some may find this easy, if they have the kind of photographic memory that can recall faces, names, places, and events ~ but we can all do this too with just a little work.  Back in the day I used to keep a notebook; names and a few personal details of the interesting people I met.  If you’re a guy it’s doubly essential that you remember the women you meet.

The most important thing is to listen ~ stop talking, let other people talk for a change, and really listen.  That doesn’t mean saying nothing, a real man’s role in a conversation is to ask questions and encourage the other person, (or people), to share things about themselves.  Look for things that truly matter to them.  You will learn so much more about people if you try this, and when I was a deliberately good listener I learned a hell of a lot about myself too.

But, FFS, don’t make notes where others can see you writing stuff down.  That will get you into trouble ~ you may even get your face slapped.  I did.

If your notebook is to have any point, then you have to do something with it, preferably at the end of every day.  These days the best thing to do would be to create some kind of a database or computerised directory, even if it’s just simple stuff like partner’s name, children’s names, birthdays, where they work, what they’re vitally interested in…..  Back in the day I had a card index.  These days I have a Christmas card list.

Some say that it’s pointless remembering people because you may never meet them again.  And that listening to other people talk is incredibly boring.  All I know is that I used to be the best there ever was, because I remembered people.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you want to be successful in Love

the at least get her name right

Songs on Saturday ~ Angel Eyes

only the moon and stars know
where you got those pretty blue eyes

I know a woman who has the the blue eyes of an angel, I wish that I understood her, but maybe that isn’t for mortal man.

Once I wrote a poem entitled a witch with angel eyes.

Please listen responsibly

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

never look into her eyes at midnight

else you are doomed to love her

Food on Friday ~ December 6th

It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready.

Early December and it’s cold, dark, and drear in the run-up to Christmas.  Today there is not much cheer around here, and anyway most people are busy making their arrangements for a great Christmas holiday.

Well, I’ll be on my own in the garret again over the Christmas holidays, so one of the things I should do is cook myself some great food.  There are some very cool, very easy recipes in this post, and I hope that we can all enjoy them in the run-up to Christmas Day.  I’m wondering if there’s going to be any great Christmas time TV.

First up this week, from Barcelona we have Ali at Gimmie Some Oven who has a healthier broccoli chicken casserole, made with pasta, tender chicken, and broccoli in a cheddar mushroom sauce.  Despite everything this is a light and very healthy dish that’s really easy to prepare.

Healthier Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Now from Joy the Baker, something else with a broccoli theme; spicy broccoli pizza with homemade pizza crust.  This is far, far better than anything you could buy anywhere, and a great pre-Christmas treat for your casual guests.

Spicy Broccoli Pizza with a Homemade Pizza Crust

Dana Shultz, the Minimalist Baker has a cool recipe for one-pot chicken soup with white beans and kale.  This 30 minute recipe does look so easy to make, and it’s warming, healthy, and gluten free.  What more could you want on a cold December evening.

One-Pot Chicken Soup with White Beans and Kale

Another great chicken dish, and this time the recipe is from the ever-delightful Heather Christo;  creamy tomato baked chicken and pasta.  I would use gluten free, or wholemeal pasta, but that’s your choice.  Whatever this is a great midweek dinner.

Creamy Tomato Baked Chicken and Pasta

Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest always gives us the longest titles for her recipes, this one is 30 minute Chinese egg drop chicken rice soup with garlicky chile oil. Say no more…..

Chinese Egg Drop Chicken Soup

The collection this week is from Country Living magazine; 85 easy Christmas appetizers that will delight all of your holiday guests.  From this huge list I’ve chosen these deviled eggs with old bay shrimp from Carrie Purcell.  But make your own choices fro your pre-Christmas drinks party and Boxing Day snacks.

Deviled Eggs with Old Bay Shrimp

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

some people are almost ready for Christmas

I still have nothing at Christmas

for it is in giving that we receive the most

Marmaduke relaxing in the garret.

During this festive season I have nothing arranged, and expect to see nobody at all on Christmas Day.  I’d rather not be spending another festive season alone in the garret, but a little while ago my plans for Christmas were thrown into disarray.  I had arranged to take a trip to visit a friend, however my friend is now spending Christmas with their family, rather than with me.

I suppose I can’t complain about that, after all Christmas is the one time of year that you should really spend time with your family.  Sadly, for me there is only my sister, and she has her own husband and children to spend Christmas with.  I’d I be like the ghost at the feast if I went there.  I guess I can count Marmaduke as my family, so I won’t be totally alone here.

Some kind people have invited me to visit over the holidays….. I don’t know if I can do that.  Finding a flight just before Christmas, returning just after is very difficult this late in the day, actually it’s a’most impossible.  Any flight I’ve been able to find carries a hefty premium ~ like 50% above the normal fare, (or much more) for a really crappy set of connecting flights.  So, anyone travelling for Christmas will have had to have booked their flights some time ago.

Also, spending Christmas with someone I don’t know so well seems uncomfortable somehow ~ as though I would be intruding.  (My strong sense of ethics always stop me from having real fun.)

Whatever Hollywood might say, making last minute arrangements for Christmas Day is somewhere between difficult and impossible.  If you want to travel over the Holidays you have to book your journey well in advance ~ unless you are willing to pay double the normal fare for bad seats on flights that are the most difficult and inconvenient as possible.

Some say that their Christmas visit to the family was a last-minute idea.  And that the whole thing was quite spontaneous.  All I know is that flights over the Christmas Holiday have to be booked well in advance.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Marmaduke still thinks we’re going away over the holidays

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

the world is full of magical women,
patiently waiting for a our senses to grow sharper

I know a very wonderful, very magical woman.  Sadly she lives thousands of miles away from here.  Ah well, either love or magic can conquer all.

The Police

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

real feminine magic is as old-fashioned and special as the British policeman used to be

 

Recovery from Addiction

I understood myself only after I destroyed myself.

It used to be thought by many doctors, and those in 12-step recovery programs, that addiction was a disease in its own right.  Conversely many people believed that alcoholism, drug abuse, compulsive gambling, and other addictions were due to personal weakness.  That it was all down to the search for instant self-gratification, and that addicts were just unwilling to stop ~ or perhaps unable to stop drinking, using, gambling…..

However, medical science no longer believes that pleasure-seeking alone drives addicts into their own personal hell.  Doctors and scientists now think that most engage in addictive behaviour not so much to attain euphoria as to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual pain and distress.

This is certainly true in my own case.  From time to time I drink far too much, not because I like booze or it makes me feel good.  I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder, which is characterised by extreme emotions, and from time to time negative feelings such as anger, jealousy, paranoia, anxiety, and suicidal depression cause me so much physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that I escape into alcohol.  And you know what?  Drinking doesn’t really work.

In the USA 15.7 million people seriously abuse alcohol, and 2.6 million of those also suffer from a drug abuse disorder.  In all some 7.7 million people in all use illicit drugs in the USA, and / or abuse prescription drugs.  About 8% of the total population of the USA have a substance abuse problem.  Many of these have multiple addictions ~ gambling, excessive use of pornography, and promiscuity also ruin lives.    Doctors also believe that the type of addiction doesn’t matter at all; whether it be alcoholism, drug abuse, gambling, whatever…..  all addictions are the same, addicts are people who try to escape physical, emotional, and spiritual distress.

Some 47,000 people a year die directly from an overdose of opiod drugs, and alcohol claims the lives of some 90,000 people a year.  I know what that feels like, people who suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder have a 10% likelihood of committing suicide, which is over 1,000 times more than in the general population.

Some days I can barely breathe, I can’t eat and I can’t sleep.  Some days I blame others for my pain and problems.  Some days I am barely hanging on.  And, some days life is pretty good.

The good news is that there are a number of effective treatments for addiction; including self-help strategies, psychotherapy, rehabilitation programs, and in some cases medication.  (As it goes medication doesn’t work, and is actually dangerous for anyone with Borderline Personality Disorder.)  But, I can protect myself from addiction by having meaningful and mindful interests in my life, together with supportive friendships.  My problems and pain are very transient.  And life isn’t always supposed to be fun and filled with pleasure, into every life a little rain must fall.  Shit Happens

Some say that addiction only affects weak and pathetic people.  And that there is no chance of recovery from any addiction.  All I know is that I have many more good days than the bad days on which I hit the bottle.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

recovery doesn’t work for those who need it

recovery works for those who want it

Stay Healthy

rock bottom will be the solid foundation on which I can remake my life

Over the past couple of weeks I have struggled to cope with the Borderline Personality Disorder I suffer from.  I have been planning on focusing on my health after the Christmas holidays.  Well, don’t hold your breath.  Unless I can get much better pretty quickly I might be a basket case by the time 2020 rolls around.

If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it’s not all you want.  ~  Elbert Hubbard

I need to get some kind of recovery by avoiding booze, excessive stress, uncontrollable emotions, depression and anxiety, jealousy, and vicious mood swings.  Probably I need to avoid thoughts and situations that emotionally drain me.  I need to put my emotional health right at the top of my list.

I need to try to maintain my spiritual health by finding meaning and mindfulness in every thing I do.  Avoiding activities that I find meaningless or stressful.  Spiritual ill health weakens me physically and emotionally, and it’s easy to get sick if I am weak in mind and body.

Driving myself into the ground, finding yet another rock bottom serves no one.  It decreases my chances of living a long and healthy life.  Do I really want to sacrifice my health because of people, places, things, thought, and emotions?

My health needs to be positively maintained at all times.  I really need to commit to looking after my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health for the remainder of my life.

Perhaps I could try being happy for a change.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

having multiple personalities might be cool

one of them could be happy

Screwed-up

The ideal day never comes. Today is ideal for him who makes it so.

This is what the inside of my mind looks like.

I’ve not been well, although am much better today, with much to get through.  I’m hoping you are all well, and going to have a good day.

I’ve been very critical of myself, because I didn’t meet my own expectations.  Based on my own black and white thinking, my own standards of perfection, I will never have an ideal day.  Perhaps there is no such thing as a perfect day.  Each day happens just the way it’s supposed to, with its imperfections as well as its achievements.  If I have a terrible day, it’s only because I believed it was going to be a lousy day. By the same token, if I have a good day, it was because I believed it was going to be a good day, and not because the sun was shining, or we had a good conversation ~ (although that helps).

Every day is different.  Some days may be enjoyable, while others may be difficult to get through.  Instead of being judgemental, I can see each day as a mindful experience.  What I learn from the day, as well as my attitude about it, is my daily lesson.I have been having some very difficult days to get through. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  My expectations have been all wrong, and my attitude has been bad.  My mind is a complete mess.

I have screwed up in a very big way, let down my family and friends, and let down myself.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Borderline Personality Disorder is a very serious illness.

I have it, although I am recovering.

 

Simplicity

life is really simple, but I insist on making it complicated

the desert isn’t complicated

I live in a world where being busy and achieving things is expected, and there are other expectations, arguments, and contrary opinions about everything.  My mind makes my life more painful than it really should be.  Life is really simple but I make it complicated.

At this time of year I look around at those I used to know well, and feel a little compulsion to keep up with their lifestyles and successes.  I feel that urge to fill my days with stuff to do and goals to achieve ~ creating new subordinates, colleagues, co workers, and money to fill the empty spaces in my life.  But colleagues and co workers are never friends past lunch-time.

I have planned vacations and dreamed of women who would enjoy doing very little with me.  But those women would be empty vessels and not real friends at all.  I will not five up all I am for a couple of weeks of fun.

It turns out that this is a had luck life and I had better accept that and live a simple life.  It’s not an easy choice.  It will take a bit of strength to find straightforward solutions to my problems, and rid my life of self-made complications and toxic people.  But it’s past time to de-clutter my life and my emotions.  Simplicity is the smart choice for healthy people.

Keep it Simple Stupid is a good mantra for me.  It’s a good life choice to rid myself of people that only make my life complicated.  No matter what happens I should ask myself ‘do I really want this’  am I just adding more stress and complications to my life?  Is what I am doing honest, open, clean, decent and with some real purpose?  Actually, over the past week the answer to those questions is no.

I have not been 100% honest and straightforward, I’ve been as crooked as a snake about some things, lied about some things, and wanted some other things I shouldn’t want.  Jealousy, envy, and covetousness are where I’ve been.

I know that I have a problem, and I should think twice before saying anything.  Fuck I am not a saint, and that’s what I need to be to get over Borderline Personality Disorder.

Some say that yo just have to carry on giving.  And that there is no end in sight.  All I know is that everything will be all right.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

I was there, and I was happier

Satin and Lace

never leave the house without making certain your seams are straight

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jack collier

jacckcollier7@talktalk.net

all women have great legs

some like then apart

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