Category Archives: Personal Style

Lust, Greed, and Addiction

I’ve been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.  ~  Mark Twain

Lust, Greed, and Addiction.  These are deadly sins ~ deadly because lust, greed, and addiction can all drag you down to a rock-bottom more horrible than your worst nightmare, humiliate you, make you ill, and then kill you.  Lust can give you all kinds of STD, take you to dangerous places, where you could meet some very nasty people.  Greed can make you take risky decisions with money, accept all kinds of bad financial advice, and ultimately take every penny and asset you have, including your home.  And addiction is more terribly dreadful than you could possibly imagine.  If you are a woman, and addicted to anything, you will most likely do some sordid things just to feed your addiction.

It can all begin innocently enough, a date with a co-worker, regularly sitting at the bar in your favourite pub, losing a couple of hundred dollars in Las Vegas.  But it may only be a matter of time before you’re the bum on the streets, or the easy slut sitting at the bar in your favourite pub, who’s just looking for a younger guy to fuck her like an animal.

The sad thing is, that once you’re on the train to destruction, there’s usually no getting off until the last stop.  Almost everyone I’ve ever known who has taken that ride is now dead, often horribly so, well before their time should have been up.  The list of illnesses and causes of death that lust, greed, and addiction will give you is long and horrific; insanity, renal failure, wet brain, suicide, pneumonia, cirrhosis, cardiovascular failure, cancers, accidents, gastrointestinal disorders, blood disorders, pancreatitis, malnutrition, AIDS, random violence, domestic violence, brutal rape, beriberi…..

What can you do if you have lots of casual sex, constantly think about ways of making money, gamble, drink too much and / or take drugs?  Well, you can’t stop on your own.  So get help before you are utterly rejected by everyone who cares for you.  Try Alcoholic Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous…..  It’s pointless going to your doctor, the average doctor is as much use helping with these problems as is a cement life jacket.

Some say that they drink, take drugs, gamble, make rash decisions, and have casual sex because of too much stress, worry, and fear.  And that they could clean up their act anytime they like.  All I know is that almost everyone is stressed, worried, and a little afraid, but they don’t all die an early, disgusting death.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

just an easy slut, drinking alone, only one friend in the world, a barman

Ordering On-Line

a flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and a man cannot live without love ~  Max Muller

Yesterday I committed the cardinal sin for a guy ordering a gift on-line.  My gift to a friend of mine arrived on the wrong day!

A bouquet of flowers I ordered from a great florist in California arrived on February 11th, and not on Valentine’s Day.  That is so very bad.

It was also completely my fault.  In completing the long and complicated on-line order form I neglected to enter the day I wanted the damn flowers delivered ~ so of course they were delivered immediately.  Bummer!

If a guy is going to order flowers for Valentine’s Day, then they should arrive on February 14th.  Similarly, if a guy is going to order flowers or a gift for a friend’s birthday, then that should arrive on her birthday, and not some random day near her birthday.

Only at Christmas is it permissible for flowers or a gift to arrive early, because nobody actually delivers on Christmas Day.

So, my hugely expensive bouquet for Valentine’s Day is slightly wasted.

Men can be such fools at times.

Some say it’s not the gift that counts, but the thought behind it.  And that a kind word is worth more than any mere bouquet of flowers.  All I know is that I hope my friend isn’t too disappointed.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

a man can’t really go wrong sending flowers to a woman

 

The Hero’s Journey

we are already found; already truly, entirely, messily, marvelously who we were born to be  ~  Anne Lamont

Real bravery is not an absence of fear; real bravery is pressing on to do the right thing even though you may be very afraid.  Real heroism is putting others first, even at your own peril.  Real gallantry is showing courageous behaviour, and especially politely protecting and cherishing all women ~ no matter what.

Our modern word Hero derives from the classical Greek and Latin word Hērōs meaning “protector” or “defender” or “to safeguard”.  A classical Hero is a warrior who lives and dies in the pursuit of honour.  In ancient legend, How Horatius Held the Bridge as in the poem by Thomas Babington, and the 300 at the pass of Thermopylae.  In modern times the first responders who went into the burning Twin Towers are rightly thought of as Heroes.

The journey of an individual towards selfless heroism follows a pattern, oft-repeated in myths, legends, history, by Hollywood.  A relatively ordinary man, (heroes are almost always men), with more than his fair share of flaws and character defects, is thrust unexpectedly into an extraordinary situation.  More often than not a group of innocent individuals are threatened with serious injury and death by some very evil people, or a malevolent force of nature.

This ordinary man is forced by circumstances, and probably against his will, to step up and save the potential victims from harm.  Usually there is a woman, a romantic interest, somewhere in the background.

It will turn out that this reluctant hero has an unexpected and previously unrevealed skill, ability, and strength of character which will allow him to face down the bad guys, and thus save the day.

Our hero will probably suffer greatly, and be badly injured during his journey into heroism ~ sometimes he may die.  Usually there won’t be a romantic reconciliation with the woman he loves ~ instead he will metaphorically ride off into the sunset, nursing uncomplaining his physical, emotional, and spiritual pain.

Hollywood has innumerable examples of this hero’s journey; High Noon, Die Hard, North by Northwest, Alien, (Ripley was a heroine), Star Wars, Shane, Valdez is Coming….  More importantly, this story is played out many times over in real life.  And yet, these stories almost never have a happy ending.

Some say that true happiness is to have no ambition, and yet to work like a horse as if you had every ambition.  And that it is to live apart from the cares of another, not need her, and yet still to love her.  All I know is that true happiness is being wherever you are, and whomsoever you truly are, and not let that scare you.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

it’s not the age honey,

it’s the mileage

 

Monochrome Monday ~ Desire

human behaviour flows from just three main sources; desire, emotion, and knowledge ~ Plato

~

there is nothing real but dreams and love

and love is like the wind

I may never know from whence it comes

teach me how to find

the true love and desire in you

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

the mystery of a masque

the cruel sea

a goddess rose from the sea, to tear male hearts asunder

~

cruel love’s eyes

a bleak winter mirror

seen through a glass, darkly

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

there is naught so cruel as the sea

cast as a mirror of man’s soul

 

Scenes on Sunday ~ Where was Love?

love is not something you feel, it’s something you do

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

it seems that she wanted a lover

and a regular guy wouldn’t do

Songs on Saturday ~ Annie Lennox

my whole life is cracked, and nobody can put me back together again

I live in an empty room with a teddy bear called Marmaduke, everyone else in my life I have loved has cut me down.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Love is like glass, the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.

Please listen responsibly.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the sea, a winter mirror

seen through a glass, darkly

 

 

Bad Weather

there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather

Snow in New Mexico

As far as I’m concerned the weather here is bad today ~ gale force winds and driving rain, courtesy of an Atlantic storm sweeping in from the south-south-west.  Some fool decided that severe storms here should have names, and this one is called Erik ~ pathetic.  Hurricanes should have names, minor storms over the British Isles shouldn’t.  (Actually it’s Met Éireann, the Irish Meteorological Office which names storms here ~pathetic.)

For all of history, today, and into the foreseeable future mankind’s activities have been /are / will be dependent upon the weather.  Agriculture relies on the right kind of weather at the right time, travel can be disrupted due to high winds rain, and snow, and power consumption rises if the weather is too hot or too cold.

Right now 70 million Americans across the Midwest are bracing themselves for dangerous storms bringing high winds, cold, rain, hail, and the possibility of a tornado or two.  Now that’s really bad weather.  But then America does have extremes of climate.

Weather refers to what’s going on in the atmosphere at a particular place, over a short period of time; temperature, humidity, wind, rain / snow, clouds, visibility…..  Climate is the long-term weather pattern over a large area over many, many years ~ long enough to generate meaningful statistical data ~ say a hundred years or more.

Which is why all this brouhaha over catastrophic anthropogenic climate change is just so much crap.  If global temperatures show a significant warming over the next 30 years or so, then maybe there may be something to it ~ or more likely it’s still just changes in long-term weather patterns driven by the usual suspects.

Our weather is created by the sun, and sometimes catastrophically modified by rare events such as a very major volcanic eruption, (Krakatoa), or a comet / meteorite hitting the surface of the earth, (whatever killed off the dinosaurs).  Occasionally local weather can be catastrophically changed by the actions of man; the Great London Smogs for example, but those events are rare and temporary.

Some say that man is killing the planet.  And that we need to stop using cars, aeroplanes, electricity, living in houses, and definitely stop eating meat.  All I know is that every now and again Chicken Little runs around screaming that the sky is falling.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

snow on the high plains isn’t so very rare

 

Neuroplasticity

we are shaped by our thoughts, we become what we think and believe

Neuroplasticity is the ability your brain has to rewire and restructure itself according to usage and needs.  The more we use certain parts of our brain, the stronger they get.  Conversely, the less we use certain parts of our brain the weaker they get.  So, if your brain spends a lot of its time being depressed, then the part of your brain / body that is depressed, that creates sadness, melancholy, and hopelessness in you, will become stronger and larger.  You will get better and better at being depressed.

Whereas, if you fill your life with joy, companionship, and happiness, then the part of your brain / body that deals with those things will become stronger and larger ~ you will become better and better at pleasure, satisfaction, and elation.

Weird, but that’s the way it really works.

If you learn a new and difficult skill, particularly one which involves both the mind and body; golf, tennis, touch typing, knitting, carpentry, learning to drive…..  then your brain will change, enlarge, and strengthen to allow you to get good at your chosen pastime or occupation.

Because of the power of neuroplasticity, you can, in fact, reframe your world and rewire your brain so that you are more objective.  You have the power to see things as they are so that you can respond thoughtfully, deliberately, and effectively to everything you experience.  ~  Elizabeth Thornton.

The really interesting part is that we can use neuroplasticity on purpose to create and reinforce a change in ourselves.  With each repetition of  thought or feeling we reinforce a particular set of neural pathways.  These small changes, frequently enough repeated, lead to changes in how our brains work.  Neuroplasticity offers us the opportunity to make real and lasting psychological changes in the way our brain / body works.

There are a number of exercises we can use to enhance the interconnectedness of our neural pathways, and they are both intellectual and physical.  For example, regularly only using your ‘wrong’ hand promotes left / right brain connectedness, while reading a good, difficult, and stimulating book promotes the efficiency of the intellectual and memory parts of the brain.

The key is repetition and keeping on practicing until whatever it that you want becomes a habit and your normal way of life.  If you want to stop being jealous, then practice being tolerant, accepting, trusting and understanding.  As they say in AA; ‘fake it to make it’.

Some say that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.  And that once a sinner, always a sinner.  All I know is that the phenomenon of neuroplasticity allows us to be whoever and whatever we want to be.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

you can change and strengthen your brain / body so you could build anything

Food on Friday ~ Spicy

food for the body is not enough ~ there should also be food for the soul

Everyone’s definition of what constitutes spicy food is different.  Some people think a dash of black pepper is sufficient, whereas others like the red hot chili peppers, (and that’s a very overrated band).

Personally I prefer a little subtlety in my spice palette.

First up this week we have a dish with good old-fashioned mustard from Diane’s Kitchen.  I think you should be able to make this Honey Mustard Chicken in about a half-hour, maybe serve it with a baked potato.

Honey Mustard Chicken

Next we have a vegan recipe from Cookie + kate, and this Spicy Black Bean Soup with a Cuban twist should be in your bowl in about 45 minutes.  Obviously this would be great to take to work the following day, and Kate says it freezes well in Mason jars ~ hmmmm, I’d never freeze a glass jar.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has this brilliant recipe for Ginger Scallion Noodle Bowls ~ ginger is the Queen of Spices, it’s good for just about whatever ails you, as well as providing a great pick-me-up.

Ginger Scallion Noodle Bowls

Half Baked Harvest is a site for some really pretty dishes, and this 30 Minute Vietnamese Beef and Crispy Rice Bowl is no exception.  I really like the look of this recipe and it’s on my list to try in the very near future ~ I like 30 minute recipes.

30 Minute Vietnamese Beef and Crispy Rice Bowl

Next to last for this week, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, there’s this Chilli and Ginger Glazed Salmon ~ what’s not to like about this dish?

Chilli and Ginger Glazed Salmon

This week’s collection is from Olive Magazine, with their 25 Best Ever Hot and Spicy Recipes.  I’ve chosen to feature this Sri Lankan Veggie Curry partly because it’s vegetarian, but mostly because I love Sri Lankan food ~ it’s far, far better than Thai.

Sri Lankan Veggie Curry

~

jack collier

jackcollier@talktalk.net

 

Chinese 5 Spice Beef and Ginger Stir Fry

from Vacation Food

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