Wednesday, December 22, 2010

beauty, kisses and etiquette

one There's a saying about youth and beauty being wasted on the young and beautiful (I'm terrible with cliches and I don't feel so much like looking it up right now) it's kinda true. (Except for the "wasted" part, I don't think much of anything as wasted.) But, you really should get a solid education while you are young and beautiful. Some day you will be less beautiful and still hungry. Get yourself the best education you can and don't ever stop learning. This is not restricted to formal education, just so you know ~ Get out there. Travel, talk to strangers, volunteer. Get outside your comfort zone as far as you can and you will learn more than you ever thought possible. Physical beauty fades but a solid education in the sciences will last forever.

two Don't be afraid to kiss somebody. In broad daylight. In the middle of the street when people you know may be (could be ... probably are) looking. Life is too short to miss any moment like that. This includes, but is not restricted to a real physical kiss. Like, on the lips. It also extends to vibes and nods and pokes and winks.  If you have a moment where you even think of someone fondly, shoot them some good vibes at the very least. Send a virtual nudge or a heart or an ex and an oh. All these things matter.

three It is considered a breach of etiquette (read: A way way bad idea) to ask someone in a social situation, how much money they make. I saw this happen at a wedding once and I watched (in beautiful slow motion) the chain reaction of "aghast" that wrapped around half a dozen people standing in a circle wondering if what they thought they just heard happen really did happen. Is was one of the finest Social Fails I have gotten to see. Just don't do this. The reasons why are too complex for me to cover in less than 5 minutes.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Sunday, December 12, 2010

last words screaming please.

one There is no real need to scream and/or raise your voice. When you scream and yell it just makes you look like a spoiled child or a very primal grown-up. Learn to make your point without raising your voice. Walk softly and carry a big stick and, please don't be a screamer.

two Embrace and learn to love The Magic Words. Civilized American people say "Please" and "Thank you" often. When you fail to do this, it makes people wonder if you were raised by monkeys. Just remember: Please and Thank you. No need to be obsequious and add a "very much" to that, just meet some basic expectations and be polite.

three Sometimes you may just have to retreat. Walk away. Sleep on it. Make a point by not making a point at all. People who know and love you the most, have an uncanny ability to push your buttons to try and get a response out of you. It's your job to minimize that damage where you can. You don't always have to have the last word and you can just walk away.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Monday, November 22, 2010

it's all about you, baby.

one Learn how to be real with yourself and don't over-commit. You are never going to be able to make all the people happy all of the time and the more you try, the more jacked up your life will become. It's not easy to prioritize, but it's absolutely necessary. When you learn how to identify what is really (seriously) important and what is not, you will probably find that everything works out much smoother and you'll like yourself better.

two Have limitations to what you'll do for others. The more you give of yourself, the more people will come to expect. And then, when the day comes that you don't even have enough of yourself left for you - everyone who has come to rely on your diligence and attention will be all the way angry and disappointed in you because you let them down by not meeting their unspoken expectations. Learn how to draw lines in the sand and stop yourself from wanting approval so badly that you'll do dang near anything for somebody else.

three When you get on a commercial airplane they always do this spiel about how if the plane's going down and you have a shorty with you, you should always put the oxygen mask on your face first. I think the logic here is that you'll be of no use to anybody if you die while trying to make sure they live. Make sure you take care of you first and everybody else right after that.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

BONUS FOURTH THING If you think you need to climb up that tree, you'd best have a solid plan to get yourself back down. Don't be getting all skidgy and whiny once you get up there as high as you can go and be expecting somebody to help you get down. If you were able to get all the way up that tree, you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll get your own bad self back down. (This can be metaphorical and applied to any number of different things for the rest of your life.)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

i believe in you & laugh a lot.

Spot Peavey has been entertaining the digital masses for a while now. She has a sharp wit, some sharp claws and she's a screamer. She only dates dogs and brings an unusual but vital perspective to the business of being a good and happy human.

one After having watched you and your people for a while now, I gotta tell you that the most important thing I can tell you is this: Freakin' believe in yourself. For real. You are a Rock Star, my friend. You guys all seem to spend so much time thinking that you don't rock nearly enough, when you do. 

two You have to lighten up. You guys are all so serious all the time. I get that you have concerns, births, illnesses, break-ups and hook-ups, deaths, taxes, wicked bad snarky people at work and school, but c'mon.... It's time to climb a tree or play an elaborate and well-crafted prank. I don't see you laughing enough. And, I know - I watch. It's what I do.
three When you remind people how smart or talented you are (or were) all the time, you come off as just being sad. Clearly, you are smart and talented. And, brave and funny and strong. So, stop reminding every person you come in contact with. It comes off as pathetic and tends to make the people who know you best, just feel a little sorry for you. Mind your arrogance because it makes you seem like you have no real sense of esteem. People who are really good don't need to tell anyone how good they are.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

super-heros, sparkle & science

Guest Blogger, Eric Klein likes to tell people that the photo he provided demonstrates his lifelong philosophy of embracing the opportunities that life has to offer and his commitment to finding the positives in every situation. But, if you ask his mama, she will insist that it illustrates his powerful hankerin' for birthday cake.

one No matter how spiffy you look with that bath towel (or bed sheet) tied around your neck super-hero style, it won't keep you from hitting the ground pretty hard when you jump off the roof of the tool shed. Trust me on this one. Someday, if you catch me on a good day, I'll show you the scar on my knee that proves it.

two I could tell by the sparkle in your eye that you weren't going to take my advice above. (Adults can always spot the troublemakers. I'd tell you the secret,but they would revoke my lucrative club benefits.) Now that I have your attention.. Boo-boos,owies,cuts,scrapes,bumps and bruises are an unpleasant fact of life. Nearly every one can be taken care of with a damp warm washcloth, a bandaid and in extreme cases, a Popsicle. 

three There is undeniable healing power in the hugs and kisses of your family. Science has not completely unraveled the mystery yet, but current research suggests that the hugs and kisses of your family release a microscopic amount of a previously unknown element (unofficially known as snugglebugium). Hard data is scarce, but a wealth of anecdotal evidence suggests that exposure to snugglebugium leads to spontaneous happiness, increased feelings of safety and security, and may reduce the chance of contracting cooties. For best results, apply liberally. 

copyright 2010 ericklein these three things

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

making things and oatmeal

one Make someone you love some thing. Make a blanket or a hat or some pickles or a Mixtape. Back in The Olden Days, when I was a kid, if somebody really liked you they made you a Mixtape full of their favorite songs or the songs that reminded them of you. Now people build Mix CDs (or play lists, maybe?) - but I think they come from that same place in the heart. When you really love someone (and sometimes if you just like them,) it's pretty easy to make them something that they may treasure to the end. You can do this. I know you. Just make stuff, and keep making stuff.

two Eat oatmeal. It's good for you and it's tasty and it's easy to deal with. You don't have to do it, like, every single day, but you ought to eat it a few times every week. Oh yea! And those envelopes of instant oatmeal, know that they are turbo-sweet. Use half an envelope of the flavored and half an envelope of the plain. You're just cutting the sweetness in half, you'll love it. Nobody needs that much sugar.

three Don't whine. Okay? Just don't do it. Nobody likes a whiner, really - nobody does. If you've got a big ol' bone about something, find that person who knows and loves you the best and get it out of your system. Then, LET.IT.GO. I'm serious here, baby: Whining can seriously jack up your place in the universe. It's larger than just the irritation it causes to those around you ~ It releases whiny energy that gets on others and in the air. I know it's sickeningly cliché, but: Be part of the solution NOT the problem. Anybody worth their salt has suffered and carries the scars to prove it. Now, get over it and move on, little doggie.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Saturday, October 16, 2010

roosters, kilts and kitchens

one Look out for the freakin' roosters by the front door. Even if they look like they are just hanging out (all casually,) pecking at food by the entrance ~ those turds are just jacking with you. Do not ever trust a rooster. Roosters will attack you. And, just as some kinda side-bar: If you should ever need a security animal, get a rooster. Those ill-tempered pikers will break some flesh and laugh about it with their posse. NEVER trust a rooster unless you want them to guard the entrance to the castle. I think they drink your whiskey when you go to sleep and they take your car out on country roads after midnight, but I couldn't be sure.

two If you are going to subscribe to Western Medicine, make sure you have insurance or a strong pool of patrons. It costs way too much to be healthy and stay alive in America. Mind your assets. Do NOT get cancer, heart disease or any one of the many long-term, slow-progression terminal diseases. For real. Don't do it. THINK.HAPPY.THOUGHTS. Don't get sick.

three Do not go into the kitchen if you can not handle the heat. It's hot in the kitchen, there are open flames and whatnot. This is as much metaphorical as it is realistic. I wouldn't open that door if I were you and didn't want to get all sweaty and hot. Unless, maybe you're good to go in there because you are starving to death. Otherwise, I would just wait for a sec....

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

pirates, olives and holidays

one Halloween can be one of the coolest holidays of the year. Lean into it and treat it with Pirate-ish hands. Rough it up and have fun or make it some kind of statement about who you are and how you roll. Just have fun with Halloween, you can be anyone or anything you want to be. Autumn, all by itself, rocks all the way out loud - but to have a holiday where you get to dress up and people give you candy is just about too much to ask. Important side-bar: IF you live in a land where it could be cold or wet, do NOT (I repeat, DO NOT) think you can be a mummy wrapped in toilet paper. That was a really bad idea and I'm still sorry.

two When you're sitting at the Thanksgiving table, surrounded by your family and the people you love, with food that will fill your tummy and make you smile: Put a black olive on each one of your fingers and sing some kind of song like Pee-Wee Herman while you make your digits dance.  

three Instead of getting all wound-up in what you want or what you think you will get for Christmas: Make it a habit to do random nice things for your people (or strangers) as often as you can. This Christmas-time can be a total butt-kicker and buzz-kill for a whole bunch of folks and it's a perfect time to brush up on your Random Acts of Kindness routine. It's all about how easily you can think of ways to make somebody else smile. Few things in the world rock as hard as seeing somebody break into a big ol' heartfelt smile - It's about a million times more satisfying than anything you can buy at Walmart. 
copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Sunday, October 10, 2010

whispers, ambitions & limitations

one Know that every single person you meet has limitations. We all have some kind of Kryptonite that has the absolute and complete ability to undo us. (Total Sidebar: My Super Human Limitation is that I can get my feelings hurt at the drop of a hat. I can also be tricked way past comprehension, but that is only secondary to my stunning ability to get my feelings hurt. I also don't do blood very well, or injuries, or the pulling of the teeth thing.) Some people have limitations that make it impossible for them to read or do math, or interact within the boundaries of social context, or play drums. We all have limitations and it's your job to figure out what the people on your island do best and what they simply can't do at all. Do not expect your Court Jester to balance your books. Get real.

two Take care of your hearing. Those ears, (like your knees and hips,) are the only ones you are going to get and you would hate to miss a whisper. Sometimes the whispers are the best things you will ever hear. Take care of your ears like you do your back and heart. Wear ear protection if you're going to be operating anything with a 2 stroke engine (lawn mowers, chain saws, weed eaters, etc.) or if you even think you're going to be standing near a 20' tall wall of speakers at a concert. 

three "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great." 
 ~ Mark Twain
Don't hang out with people who feel the need to out-do you at every turn. Don't run with the wolves how work too hard to build up their accomplishments and perceived success. We all succeed at and accomplish a whole bunch of things. The people who diminish your accomplishments, or try to make you feel smaller than you are, are only damaged freight; They have limitations that exceed your expectations, get over it.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

practicalities times three

one If you've got a little collection of food scraps for the compost pile: Take 'em out before the fruit flies hold a conference on your counter. If you are going to compost you are going to have to deal with it. I would recommend a cool counter-top compost bin.

two No matter how badly you want to stick your finger in a perfectly frosted cake - don't do it, it will make the baker mad. As soon as somebody gets a picture of it, it's open season. But, don't be messin' with the cake until you have clearance. 

three Do your best to keep your most major hissy fits (aka: Conniption Fits) as private as possible. Everybody has hissies and they vary in size. Some are itsy-bitsy and others are gigantic. If you're going to go off the deep end, try not to get that on anybody. Some hissies are going to be so big that they'll be reclassified as "Personal Hurricanes" (or tsunamis.) There probably won't be many of those.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Make Like a Fireman!

one You have more time than you think you do and probably less than you have planned. Don't be late. Spit spot. This is all that you have and you would be well-advised to embrace and laugh and drink plenty of water. I'd buckle up, too ... If I were you. We may experience a little turbulence.

two Always have a good pitch fork. Close tines and a long handle will get you out of almost any tight spot. Bend with your knees and grab from underneath. Brace yourself. Always. And, mind your back and shoulders...

three Do your best to eliminate your expectations. People will surprise you almost every time. Read Emerson's "Essay on Self Reliance" and learn to embrace you Inner-Limber. Bend and fold and don't hang your hat on anybody else's word. People make shit up and everybody has an agenda. Be skeptical and do your research.

copyright 2010 moemasters yadayadayada

Monday, September 27, 2010

Giant Snow Rabbits and Trees

one If you want to feel gigantic, just sit in a chair and at a table built for a 4 year old. Drink from those teeny weeny skinny Chinese Coke cans and dramatically crush it when you've slammed the whole thing. Then you can belch like a professional eater and yell, 'I am a giant!!!"

two Learn to build something a little bit better than just a snowman out of good packing snow. Snowmen are cool, but Snow bunnies are better. Be creative and remember than you can make about anything out of snow. To that end: Have good gloves, keep your ears covered up and never forget that it takes a good team to pull off a spectacular snow something.

three Plant trees. Or, plant vegetables or flowers or shrubs or something. Don't ask me why, just do it. It's good for you if you learn how to do it right, and it's easy to learn how to do it right. It doesn't need to be huge, but you ought to start something from seed and watch it grow.

copyright 2010 moemasters thesethreethings

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happiness, Friends & Slumber

one The Dalai Lama has been quoted saying that “The central method for achieving a happier life is to train your mind in a daily practice that weakens negative attitudes and strengthens positive ones.” Think happy thoughts and make the unhappy ones go away. In with the Einstein, out with the Hitler.

two Sleep tight and often. It's almost impossible to be happy when you are completely exhausted. Get your rest and you'll be happier. You'll look better too, so there's that. Just get your rest when you can.

three Have friends who are important to you. Cultivate those relationships and make sure they grow. Friends make you happier and they are like little love bombs adding to your radiance.  Friends make this whole trip a lot more fun and you would be silly not to have some.

copyright 2010 thesethreethings

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

one If you love someone - tell them. If you don't - don't say that you do. These are mighty powerful words and are not to be bandied about recklessly. Do not mistake love for ownership or need. It's one thing to love someone, and an entirely different thing to need them or feel like you own them. People will screw up because they are just human beings, and you will still love them. Do not make your love conditional on their ability to not disappoint you. And, if you love them - let them know. If you don't, don't say that you do.

two Make eye contact with people. It doesn't matter if it's someone who is getting you fries with that or someone who asks you to be home by midnight. Make eye contact, let whomever it is that you are dealing with know that you are engaged and listening. People who don't make eye contact are shifty and not to be trusted. Mind your trust - don't put it in places where it need not be. You don't have to hang with people who don't look you in the eyes - and don't be one of those people.

three Stomp in puddles of rain sometimes. Your clothes can be washed and your shoes will dry out. Stomping in puddles is kind of rewarding and can make you laugh. While doing this you can catch raindrops on your tongue. Don't rush so hard that you forget how good it feels to get some rain on you. Dance, spin and laugh at the possibilities while you stomp in puddles of rain sometimes.

copyright 2010 moemasters

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Three Remedial Things: For Beginners

one Always look both ways before you cross the street. Sometimes I still forget and this is totally not cool.

two Learn how to tell time on an old-fashioned clock. Old-fashioned clocks have hands that spin around and point to 12 different numbers. Don't be one of those kids who can't tell time.

three Don't let yourself get all stinky. If you can smell you - other people can smell you too. IF you have no sense of smell but you know that you busted a sweat, you probably ought to get cleaned up - just to be on the safe side. There are few things in the world as sweet smelling as a squeaky clean human.

copyright 2010 moemasters

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guest Blogger: Marlo V.2

one Knees.  You only get this pair.  Well, technically, you can have surgery at some point to get others, but they won't work quite right.  No matter how much you campaign, the doctors will install the "weather change prediction" feature in the knee, it will be painful, and you won't like it.  Take care of your knees.

two Everybody farts.  You know those people who seems to have everything under control all the time?  Every hair is where it is supposed to be? They know exactly what to say and when to say it?  They get really good grades and don't have to work for them?  They're not as perfect as you think.  Sometimes they feel sad and lonely.  Sometimes they go to Pity City.  Sometimes they're embarrassed.  Sometimes their hair is out of place, sometimes they get pimples, and sometimes they feel lost. Sometimes they fart.

three You are not the refrigerator.  This seems obvious, but at some point it will be important to remember.  At some point, you will live with other people.  People keep doing this even though people have a hard time living with people.  You will eventually fight over things that are inconsequential, but during the fight these things will seem huge. Sometimes, during the fight, we have a hard time separating ourselves from the subject of the fight.  So, maybe one person did a very nice thing in trying to organize the fridge, and the other person is grumpy because they can't find the mustard and they just want their sandwich because they are very hungry, and it blows up and both people have hurt feelings.  Both people need to step back, and remember that they are not the refrigerator. This is shorthand for "you are more than your actions."  And also, "you can fight about behaviors and still love the person." Sometimes you need an easy way to remember these things.  You can substitute appliances as your need.  Sometimes you'll need to remember that you're not the bathtub that you didn't clean because you had a big test that day, but the person you live with is upset because you said you'd clean it.  Or,you'll need to remember that your father is not his accordion that he left on the stairs for you to fall over, again.

copyright 2010 moemasters/marlo hamrick

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life, Death & Nice-osity

one It seems to me that the events in our lives are like the components of an algebraic equation. Each of these essential components influences the balance of the equation. Each event pushes or pulls us, away or towards, some resolution. And like algebra, or music, or language, life presents obstacles and opportunities. Those niggling devils: integers and exponents, eighth notes and harmonies, adjectives and participles, romances and heartbreaks, all converge to vex us or enlighten us. Unlike algebraic equations, there are no “correct solutions” to life. And the answers aren’t revealed in the appendix at the back of the textbook. We don’t get to know the answers. John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” There are no other plans. Life is what happens, beware the distractions. They are but devils in your head.

two One of the bright sides of death is that it forces us to think about life. Our lives, the one's we love and the limited time we have...period. That is not a bad thing ~ It is just a wake-up. Like when you're at work and in the middle of a task and you catch yourself daydreaming. You shake yourself a bit and get back to the task. A death wakes us up to get back to the task of living. And it is a task. Believe me. Like the old saying, you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. We've been over this before. Death, loss, tragedy, accidents, disease, stubbed toes, flat tires, bad acid, dropped calls, bounced paychecks, broken hearts: are all reminders. Don't take anything for granted. Nothing is for sure. That means: for sure, you could end up with NOTHING. And you better be able to roll with that or your wheels may come off.

three Please be nice. Don't take your angst or frustration out on someone who didn't do anything mean to you. Everybody gets to have bad days and being mean is not going to make them any easier to live through. Treat other people like you would like to be treated.

I did not write all of this tonight and the party who did wishes to remain anonymous. 

He is pretty brilliant though.
copyright 2010 moemasters/TheAntFarmer

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Guest Blogger: Travis Bailey

one Be extremely selective of the company you keep. Be friendly to everyone but friends with less. It's not arrogant or stuck-up. Be nice to everyone but don't be pulled down by people you should never be hanging out with.

two Always wish everyone the best. The person that just messed up your food order, be polite and don't make it a big deal. The person who always has negative comments whenever you tell them something, wish them the best and smile and hope they find a more positive outlook. The person who just ran into your brand new car, don't be mad, be kind and ask them to lunch after its all sorted out. Don't let how others treat you be any influence on how you should treat others. Don't let people walk all over you, but beyond that, wish everyone the best, even ones that most people feel don't deserve it. No matter how impolite or mean or selfish a person is, remember that that is their problem, don't let it influence who you want to be, how you want to act.

three "Don't raise your voice. Improve your argument." - Desmond Tutu. Obviously, that's not my quote - but I feel the same. You'll never see me curse, yell, get angry... ever. It might be the Mennonite upbringing, I'm very logic driven, or how I was raised at home...or a combination of those.

I have not yet met Travis in person, but have grown to admire both him and his work. The picture below is his work, his art and what comes out of the end of his fingers. This is not a photograph and this is exactly what my friend Rachel (his wife) looks like. 

copyright 2010 moemasters/travisbailey


Who you is?

My photo

I love raindrops on roses and whatnot, but even more than that I totally dig finding dollars in clothes I haven't worn in ages, live music, social networking and search engine optimization, research,, homemade beer, home grown stuff, writing, talking, laughing, green movements, debate, dialog, dumpster diving, time travel, time-out chairs, psychology, meals that last for hours, pranks, astral projection, meaningful lives, the kindness of strangers, trains, trucks and tractors, cowboys, horses, deer, eagles, random occurrences, modern tragedies, small appliances, good socks and sturdy shoes, shiny objects, painting, playing stringed instruments and singing harmony, pulling perfect feather pillows out of the freezer on hot and humid Kansas summer nights, rodeos and county fairs, brokers, organics and authenticity, my kids, their kids and my huge extended family. I am a hugger and I probably laugh AND talk way too much.