Tag Archives: Urban Survival Skills for Men

Acceptance and Understanding

Any fool can know.  The point is to understand.

In any real relationship there sometimes comes a point where the past raises its ugly head, and that’s where things can get complicated.  The problem is that if the past is not accepted and understood, then the future is going nowhere except into a slow-motion train wreck.

What is needed is real acceptance and understanding of the simultaneous past / present / futures.  For without that there is no real point in continuing any relationship.

What is acceptance, and what is understanding?  There is a big difference between reluctant acceptance ~ which is what most people descend to ~ and true honest understanding.

To reach the nirvana of true and honest understanding, there must first of all be true honesty.  And, in this life true honesty is as rare and fleeting as a double rainbow.

I have never before known real honesty in a relationship.  Perhaps excepting right now.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Utah is Stunning

Seems like the background from a Western Movie.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Christmas Cruise

I asked my girl to go on a Caribbean cruise this Christmas She said no.  How does that work out?

 

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

morality

Never forget there are three types of people in your life…

I’ve just got back from the gym, tanning booth, massage, sauna, manicurist…

It all seems morally wrong.

But I have found a charity ~ and it’s to do with helping women.

It is fucking amazing what you can get for money.

Funny how all that seems worse.

I think I’ll take a trip to Tibet and learn some real yoga.

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Man practicing yoga in Himalaya mountains, with view of Machapuchare, Nepal

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday ~ Rock Stacks

Love never falls, people fall in love…

on the best beach

there is always a better looking guy

who can make better stacks of rocks than I

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken with a Lumix

cognitive dissonance

Our wounds are the best part of us.

Late at night, or early in the morning, a man may become to see things though a glass, darkly.

Right now someone I care for is in a place I do not like, with people I do not believe I like, and in the long run I firmly believe she will be hurt by where she is and the people she is with.

And yet, I wish to support her in what she is doing, and in the life she is living.

And there’s the rub.

Supporting a woman you care for, when she is on a road leading to more pain and hurt, is a no win equation.

It’s called cognitive dissonance.

It’s not high school, it’s not art school, it’s real life.

So, what do I know?

I can’t paint, I can’t play the guitar, and I don’t like groups of people.

Group therapy, families, false friendships, and the opinions people who get rely on these things, is a huge pile of shit.

So life is a Gothic Novel.  In the end, you are on your own.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

unjustly accused

The average man ~ mostly harmless.

All men must have experienced that utter bewilderment when they thought they were doing something good, and that those they cared for would appreciate it, only to be accused of a wrongdoing they cannot comprehend.

I had that yesterday.

So now I don’t know what I did wrong, or where I went wrong, or even what I can do to put it right.

It hurts.

You know what that does to a man of any age?  We get defensive.  We mentally circle the wagons.  We can become difficult.  We can get the ‘go away and leave me alone’ and ‘I don’t love you anymore’ thing.

At heart men never grow up.  At heart men are not so tough, all we want to do is be around people we like and who like us in return.  Men are continually looking for approval and positive reactions.  Men are always trying to impress and show that we can do good things.

Yesterday I bombed out of all of that by mentioning in this blog that I wanted to go on a Caribbean cruise at Christmas without getting approval in advance from everyone close to me.  Wish I could have done, but people are not always just a ‘phone call away.

I got some passive aggression and some downright rejection in response to my innocent idea and blog post.

So now I feel dirty and worthless.

I’m not in love anymore, that was just silly phase I was going through.

I am just a lost soul, looking for my home.

Man the lifeboats men, this ship is sinking.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ American

Foreigners cannot enjoy our food, any more than we can enjoy theirs.  ~  Mark Twain

Go to almost any town in the USA and you will find a Mexican place, a pizza joint, and a bar selling a mixture of ‘Italian’ and ‘English’ food.  If you’re in a larger town you will probably also find a sushi restaurant, (Sakura in St. George UT is pretty good),  and likely there will be a Chinese place, and a Thai restaurant.  Sakura in St. George has a super entrance doorway.

Is there such a thing as ‘American’ cuisine, or is it merely foods borrowed from the rest of the world?  I would aver that real American food consists of steaks, burgers, hot dogs, french fries, salads, and of course lots of bad cheese and ketchup.

On my recent US road trip I ate the best steak I’ve ever had, and didn’t eat the very worst chilli dog I’ve ever been served.  The quality of the food in the USA goes from very, very good to stuff I wouldn’t give a dog.

In the same joint that served that great steak, (White Mountain Mining Co, Rock Springs WY) I also had a truly boring salad that was 90% iceberg lettuce, and a baked potato that was left over from the day before.  On the same trip I also enjoyed a really good pizza from a place called Craftsman Wood Fired Pizza, in Placentia , Orange County CA.

In California, in the western USA in general, they also have a buffet thing going.  My friend and I had a pretty good meal at a buffet place in Primm Nevada.  On the way back to civilisation, Primm, just like every other town in Nevada, is totally devoted to casinos, gambling, and gamblers.  I don’t gamble, my friend loves the slots, and that can be a little annoying for both of us.  If you don’t like gambling, don’t ever go to Nevada.

The most impressive buffet I’ve ever been to, in my whole life, was the Champagne Sunday Brunch, aboard the RMS Queen Mary, in Long Beach California.  If you’re ever in Southern California, I would strongly recommend you take your girl there for Sunday brunch.  Just don’t eat much the day before, and make certain that one of you is the designated driver, (or book a room).  There is a fabulous cocktail bar aboard her too.

A few things for the unwary traveller to bear in mind when eating at a Restaurant in the USA; try to go during their happy hour, to European eyes places close very early, remember to add sales tax to the prices when you’re budgeting ~ and on top of that the standard tip anywhere is 20%, (and I hate that).  Don’t expect to be given cutlery, (Americans are like children and eat with their fingers), and if there’s a wait for a table, you can always eat at the bar, where it’s first come first served.  (I hate eating at the bar because brash Americans will talk to you while you’re eating.)

In bars that serve food the beer is generally pretty good, but the wine and margaritas can be of very variable quality ~ they will still get you very drunk.  The food in most American bars is garbage.

Americans can eat garbage, providing you sprinkle it liberally with cheese, ketchup, mustard, chilli sauce, Tabasco, cayenne pepper, or any other condiment which destroys the original flavor of the dish  ~  Henry Miller, American Writer.

All in all, eating in the USA is a different and sometimes unnerving experience for a well-mannered Englishman.  But then eating in France, Greece, Italy, Spain…  has its own idiosyncracies.  Close your eyes and enjoy the experience.  Some American food is fabulous, and sometimes the dining experience is even better.

Just don’t eat Mexican food…

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

America is mostly empty

The clearest way into your own mind is through Wilderness

Once one gets away from the big cities, the USA is mostly wilderness.

On my recent road trip, sometimes the only thing in the wilderness was the road, a broken down fence, and a distant power line.

Sometimes there’s a road sign.  Zzyzx is actually in San Bernadino County, California, and you get there by the 4.5 mile long unpaved Zzyzx Road.  We didn’t go there, because there’s bugger-all there.  However, Zzyzx does feature in music and films, (movies).

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken by the girl riding shotgun with a Lumix

Cars for Road Trips

Nissan Rogue SUV

I’ve been on long road trips, (Tuscany, The Loire Valley, back to Tuscany, Exploring California, and driving 3,000 miles to witness an eclipse), in all kinds of cars; Triumph TR6, Lotus 7, Ford Mustang, and lastly driving from California to witness a total eclipse of the sun in a Nissan Rogue.

Although it isn’t always completely possible, the car should completely suit the trip.

And this choice of car comes down to where you’re going, how far it is, what’s the weather going to be like, what kinds of roads are you going to be driving , and exactly who is the girl riding shotgun.

For my recent trip I knew I was going to be driving up to 600 miles in a day, on a mixture of LA freeways, long desert roads, and mountain climbs.  Also I knew that the girl riding shotgun was going to want to feel safe, be comfortable, and carry an unconscionable amount of luggage.

There also had to be room for Marmaduke.

Ergo, I chose to rent a reasonable-sized SUV, and Enterprise at LAX could offer me a Nissan Rogue, which was vastly over budget, but my friend with all the luggage was worth it.

What’s good about this car?  It’s big enough for two on a long road trip, (swallows luggage with ease), it does good mileage, (we averaged 29 mpg, and that’s US gallons), it’s quiet, comfortable, holds the road well, and the engine has a lot of low-down power.  What’s bad, well, it was very over budget, and has some annoying blind spots.

Would I recommend this car to a friend?  Yes.  In a New York Second.  With definite confidence.  (Of course, you may find your dream car on a long road trip.)

Another important thing on a long road trip:  don’t have a girl riding shotgun who thinks she can drive better than you.

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jack collier

jackcollier&@talktalk.net

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