Good Peeps

There are many people we meet throughout our life. Some we’ll be friendly with. A few will become good friends. Life-long even, if we’re lucky.

And there are those folks we see seldom, they live too far away, or are living busy lives like many (all?) of us are. Consumed by the day-to-day, week-to-week responsibilities and interests and fast-paced world, it’s difficult to make “extra” time for others outside our immediate sphere.

But then we get lucky. We find a sliver, a segment of time that’s FREE!, and the starts align, and the other person can do the same. And then maybe magic happens. We’re able to reconnect easily with another because of common values and maybe experiences and certainly mutual affection and appreciation, we slide ride back into easy convo even if it’s been a long while since you last saw one another.

My family had the good fortune to reconnect with another family recently. They live in So. Cal.; we live in Nor. Cal. We hadn’t seen each other in a while. Didn’t matter. Our families are pretty much the same format: three kids, each fam; two girls each, one boy each; fun-loving and pretty easy-going and soul-full and intent on living the best family life we can. We adults catch up and swap stories; the kids get along ok, and play and live another day, like kids most often seem to do if given the chance.

And that sort of connection, that validation of relationship and history and commonality and appreciation? There’s really not much else in the world like it, I suggest. That sort of experience makes us happy and thankful and feeling lucky, at least it should. Because that sort of experience is special; being connected to other people is special.

One might argue that we humans are of course, social animals, so these connections are not unique, special, sacred. But I would say instead, these connections with others are what make our life experience worthwhile, adding depth and dimension and texture that makes us whole.

Pretty thankful for good peeps.

1st Tim, 6: Fight The Good Fight

Reading for Sunday, 09/22/2019

From First Timothy 6: 11-16, in part…

“You must aim to be upright and religious, filled with faith and love, perseverance and gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith and win the eternal life to which you were called and for which you made your noble profession of faith before many witnesses.”

Like some of the other phrases and inspirations I share here (and otherwise), there is often linkage to songs that goes along.  This excerpt from First Timothy definitely falls into that category.

One of my favorite bands I listened to as an adolescent was the Canadian rock band, Triumph.  Not to be confused with another of my favorite bands, also from Canada, RUSH.    : – )


Triumph inspired me musically and lyrically.  They brought a straight-ahead, definite hard rock sound, guitar-heavy, with this great blend of inspiring lyrics for some songs, and very typical “rock n’ roll” lyrics for other songs.


One of their songs, “Fight the Good Fight”, was a particular gem from one of their earlier albums. At that time, around 1981, I was deep into adolescence and had begun the life-long journey to define my own faith, and find my own way forward in life. Faith was a big factor.


When I linked this rock song to this Bible passage…? For me, it was a magic power (another great Triumph song, by the way).


Fight the good fight every day, live a life worthy of the gift it is. Follow the Golden Rule, through struggle and obstacle, be gentle and kind to everyone that needs it, and love one another. As you love, so you shall be filled with love.


This mantra still rings true all these years later, and powers me forward each and every day.

Thoughtful Nutrition

Sardines. A top power food (think Omega 3’s, etc.) for those looking for good protein that is inexpensive, plentiful, and sustainable. Do a quick web search on “How healthy are sardines?”, and you’ll get several, similar lists explaining why sardines are good for you in pretty short order.

Fishy, of course, so you have to get through that taste obstacle, if you’re not naturally a fan of seafood. But it’s worth it. Tinned in olive oil, skin removed maybe for a added convenience, it’s got a little stronger flavor than canned tuna.

That said, word to the wise: Try to be a little thoughtful in your prep if those you live with have maybe a sensitive nose.

That’s how it is in my house, so I prepped in the washroom. Then I topped them with some parmesan, and sat down to eat with the fam.

Still there was that question at the lunch table a few minutes after I sat down, “What’s that smell?”

“Um, it’s my sardine lunch,” I admitted. I gobble it down, and quickly went to the kitchen to wash my plate.

Scent gone, nutrition had, everyone a winner in this case.

GOOD.

🙂

Song of the Week

Listening to several songs this past week that were from music I listened to decades ago.  Many of those songs’ lyrics still ring true for me today.  I feel the old feelings I had when I first heard the music, listened to the tunes over and over, until I knew all the words.

And so I had the idea to bring those lyrics back, to share some of them, share a song a week with the words that spoke to me at the time, still do today.  Often it was inspiration, and still carries that weight; other times it was just good story, or something I could otherwise relate to.

Beginning this week, every Thursday, I’m going to post lyrics from a song; maybe I’ll share a little personal background as well.  And if I can find the tune on YouTube, will include that link too.

Not sure what the first song will be.  But I’m pretty excited.  I hope this weekly practice provides a boost.  I know it will for me.

More GOOD.

READ.

I can remember way back to childhood. There was a campaign, “Reading is Fundamental.” It promotes literacy. And I remember 3rd Grade book reports. How many “Encyclopedia Brown” books could I read? It seemed like a lot.

But then I also came to realize reading made me fall asleep. My folks read at night. Sometimes for a while. I never lasted too long.

So fast forward half a life, I still like to read, but I also tend to fall asleep before much time passes.  That’s the curse I live with.  Such as it is.

Meanwhile, my smokin’ hot wife reads about a billion times more than I do.  Not quite, actually, but it SEEMS that way.  She set a goal of reading a dozen books this year.  How many has she read this year so far?  TWENTY-FOUR.  She’s smokin’ hot, and smokin’ SMART too.  I love that, along with many other things about her, of course.

All that fluffy love aside, my wife’s reading actually motivates me to consider reading more often, even if I don’t do it nearly as often.  Sleepy or not, I’m reading more because of this motivation.

I also have a couple of good, long-time friends that both read ALL THE TIME, it seems.  The read like other people listen to music.  But these guys listen to a lot of music too.  These two are the types of guys that have read everything they are interested in at the library.  What’s more, they ask the librarian when new books are due in.  They’re THAT way.  I love these two guys and they, like my wife, provide good fundamental reading motivation for me.

So this weekend, or any ol’ time you have a little extra time — even if it’s just ten minutes — try picking up a book and reading a few pages.  Even if you fall asleep, it’ll be GOOD.  Because Reading is STILL fundamental.

 

Let’s RUSH

I’ve had a forty-year love affair with the Canadian progressive (?) rock band, RUSH.  They were one of the first bands I sort of “discovered” on my own through the radio.  RUSH was also the first band for which I looked “back” to earlier albums, when I had caught up on what they had released in real time.  I listened to whole albums over and over and over again, like so many teenagers did at the time.  Like they still do maybe, even in this era of digital music and single song access.

It was a love affair with Rush.  It still is.

I’ve seen the band maybe ten times in my life; nothing like true “fanatics”, I suppose, but I still consider myself a RushHead (a play on the famous musical fan term, “DeadHead,” for fans of the Grateful Dead).   I once traveled to their hometown of Toronto to see them play live, at the Molson Amphitheatre.  It was EPIC.

So after 45 years of music, the trio — Bass/Vocals Geddy Lee, Guitar Alex Lifeson, and Drummer/Lyricist Neil Peart — have pretty well hung it up.  That was actually announced last year.  So make that 44 years together.  And make that 19 studio albums.  And make that 11 live albums.

As summarized so succinctly in Wikipedia, “The band released its eponymous debut album in March 1974. Since then, they have achieved 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. According to the RIAA, Rush’s sales statistics also place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum albums by a rock band.”

The love affair will continue, even if they have ceased playing live.  In fact, I’ll be seeing the latest iteration of the band’s music and performance history in a “one-night only” movie viewing tonight (Wednesday, 21 August), when I go with a couple buddies and my brother to see “Cinema Strangiato”.

Will have a follow up post to share the experience and further celebrate maybe the longest continuous musical relationship I’ve had.  THANK GOD.

Indulging is GOOD, when you’re into the right stuff.

 

 

Tostilocos, Doritolocos, Goodness

Tostilocos, Doritolocos, ahhhhhhh, what? Culinary Goodness from the ground level, from the street, from the everyday.

Found this basic content via NPR and a series they produced a few years back:  Borderland.   It’s still available in their archives, and narrates various aspects of the busy southern border between Mexico and the United States.

As part of that feature series, one of the highlights (for me anyway) was this very Mexican and American street snack.  The article called them Tostilocos (because the recipe called for using Tostitos brand tortilla chips).   Whether you use Tostitos or Doritos or any other similar bag of flavored tortilla chips, it’s gonna be a legit snack blending north and south, and down-home authentic for sure. The introduction from the piece spells it out:

Tostilocos. Tosti, as in Tostitos. Locos, as in crazy.
Origin stories vary, but the snack has proliferated in Tijuana — and has crossed the border into Southern California, too.
Vendors like Fidencio Rodriguez set up outside schools, at the beach and next to long lines of people crossing the border.
9 ingredients. About $3 on the street.
Here’s how you make it:
SALSA VERDE TOSTITOS (snack bag size), (CUT LENGTHWISE);
PEPINOS (CUCUMBER) AND JICAMA; CUERITOS (PICKLED PORK RINDS),
CACAHUATES (FRIED PEANUTS),
CHACA-CHACA (TAMARIND CANDY),
CHILE SAUCE
CHAMOY (PICKLED FRUIT) SAUCE,
SQUEEZE O’ LIME
fr: TIJUANA, MEXICO.  Sold on both sides of the border.

In this era of vocalized attitudes of nativism and anti-immigration in these United States, it seems appropriate to give similar voice to the counter opinion. Diversity and being inclusive and celebrating all flavors and colors and peoples, that is in fact a core strength of America, THAT should be respected and honored and protected.

Try the Tostilocos.  It might just take you over the top if you weren’t already so inclined, to celebrate and seek to protect our very precious way of life, blended uniquely here in America. A mixed bag of goodness.

[photo credit:  NPR]
[for the whole Borderland series, go to this URL: https://apps.npr.org/borderland/%5D