Death in a Well Tailored Suit Part 1

I will preface this column with a warning. While it may end positive, it is full of more melancholic thought than you may wish to encounter. One of my favorite movies is Meet Joe Black. There are two vintages of this movie, the oldest of which I haven’t seen. The latest Anthony Hopkins/Brad Pitt version made me weep, it reached deeply. With death as its central theme, this movie “happened” in the middle of my mid life crisis when uncertainty reigned, so why not throw in death to add to the cerebral circus in my head. For days and weeks my thoughts had to come to grips with this movie’s invasion of the end of the first half of this life. I’m trying to find a place for death.
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“May I borrow the keys?” said Joan of Arc or What’s Wrong with Teenagers?

Sitting in an undergrad political science class at the University of Houston, a bearded middle aged prof made a statement that I’m sure was intended to be more informative than life changing. He simply said that prior to World War II, the word “adolescence” was hardly in use. It wasn’t all he said but it was all he needed to say to get my attention because even back then I knew there was something to be learned from this. He added that the word puberty had been in wide use and was understood to be the very real changes associated with the sexual maturation of a young man or lady.
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Bank Robberies, Oversights, and What Motivates Us

A few years ago I discovered a big truth. It had been there all along but had somehow, being painfully obvious, escaped my notice. It was like a man in a business suit, robbing a bank with a note slipped to a teller then just walking out in plain sight with a briefcase full of cash. I was there for the whole damn thing but unaware of what was going on. Departing from the analogy, discovering this truth did however simplify my life and made many things make sense. It was not my original thought and I only wish I could remember where I read it so I could properly credit the author.
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Call Gilligan, my Mom’s Hair is on Fire!

There are many things that sort people into one of two groups. For example, we all know there are two types of men. You’re either a Mary Ann or a Ginger guy (I’m the former. Pigtails, nuff said!) As a man, you will wear a scarf OR a ball cap. And what could be more polarizing than Crocs? You either love the practical easy to use soft rubber shoes or you wonder how these god awful extruded pieces of distaste ever made it past the drunken dare they were obviously conceived in. Willie Nelson is another one of those icons that provokes visceral opinions, either you love him or hate him.
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A short civics refresher

Have you ever pondered the question, if I could have dinner or a beer with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Think of the possibilities for a moment. Names that cross my mind – the Dalai Lama, Emerson, Rosa Parks, Willie, Edward Snowden, George Carlin, and almost anyone that sparked any revolution against any smug and tyrannical prick that deserved it. Hands down tho, Thomas Jefferson. What a cool guy, an elected leader whose tombstone mentions his being the author of the Declaration of Independence and his being the founder of the University of Virginia, but by choice he omitted the fact that he was the president of the United States.
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From Maine With Love

Let me give you this thought then I’d like to chase a rabbit or two. I recently had the most amazing, serendipitous introduction to a family from Maine. I walked into a pub an ocean away, eavesdropped on a lively conversation and edged my way in by calling the silver backed male in the group a damned Yankee. A calculated risk for sure, but that shot across the bow initiated a night of conversation I will never forget as long as I have breath. {} Now let me chase those rabbits and come back to the point. In the 80’s there was a comedienne and as I recall her name was Rita Rudner, though the spelling could be off.
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Saber Tooth Tigers and Dads

A few blinks ago I was 13. I remember that year of my life so well for unknown reasons. They call this phase of life the formative years and maybe that has something to do with it, but all I remember was this emerging man growing out of this lad’s spindly frame and amateur mind. There was hair growing in new places, a changing pitch in my voice, and suddenly girls were awesome. For all these reasons and more I feel this window in my formative years left indelible memories and shaped behavior for years to come.
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The Brits, Columbus, and how we get it so wrong

In America we celebrate two holidays that honor men by name, Martin Luther King and Columbus. These are both federal holidays, which if I didn’t know what the word ” federal” meant, I could by experience gather that it has something to do with hating banking and mail delivery. Regardless of my awful inconvenience, two men are honored. One is a civil rights champion, one of the great orators of all time whose speeches gave hope to black Americans, descendants of slaves who wished to gain opportunity.
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Weather and Elevators

Crowded elevators make me giggle. I think somewhere in my DNA is an extra chromosome, and what this smiling, sometimes mischievous little marvel tells me is that elevators are great places to start conversation. This chromosome also tells me that talking about the weather is only necessary if you’re planning a picnic and boring as hell otherwise. I once read an article by Timothy Leary that helped me understand two things – that I was not alone in this affliction AND, this particular fact did not necessarily mean I was normal. At my age I know when words strike a common chord in my soul and thrill me.
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The problem with women

Did you know that male black widow spiders are half the size of the female? Did you also know that the female lives over two years and the male only about three months? There’s a reason. Typically after mating, the female EATS the male and her only excuse is that she needs the readily available source of protein to bring babies into the world. Also, in a strange twist of social injustice, she is labeled a “widow” instead of the murderous, cannibalistic, criminally insane lowlife that she really is!!! All the while, males are trying to form advocacy groups to protect the rights of the gender but apparently it takes more than three months to push the agenda through. By that time, his labido has kicked in, he stumbles into Club Arachnid with his buddies, meets “Bloody Mary” over martinis, and the rest is history.
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