Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Construct a Contented Life

My smug happiness annoys some people. That's fair. Their neurotic misery sometimes annoys me. Newsflash: I'm not going to give up my inappropriately bubbly bliss to make whiners more comfortable. Not gonna happen. Yet, I do feel a moral obligation to reveal those secrets of contentment I unintentionally and undeservedly stumbled upon. Here goes.

Many people construct their lives like New York skyscrapers. Each essential part of life is a separate building project. Let me explain. While their financial lives may soar to lofty heights (think Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton), their marital, physical, and spiritual health may remain an undeveloped wasteland or a demolition site (think Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton).

In this superficial world, it's easy to neglect the unquantifiable aspects of a balanced life, until an overdose, a heart attack, or a divorce demands all our attention and renders all our well-built projects moot. So, how do I now avoid such boom and bust cycles that devastated a majority of my earliest construction effort and still torment a majority of the miserable folks I know?

Basically, I've given up erecting New York skyscrapers (and casinos and whorehouses) to specialize in duplicating the ancient Maya pyramid. Here's the blueprint for aspiring builders. The pyramid has four levels. Starting from the foundation level, they are faith, family, fitness, and finance. The object is not to build a tower with as many floors as possible. The object is to make these four levels as unmovable, unshakable and uncrackable as possible.

You can build whatever little bamboo and palm frond shrines you want on top your pyramid. If you have time and resources left over for yoga, chess, cats, dogs, marijuana, fashion, skydiving, or blogging, knock yourself out. However, don't forget the four life foundations are codependent, so the instability and eventual collapse of one will bring all your temples crashing down. The big problem with my youth and my miserable friends is not the hobbies. It's the insistence upon pursuing our preferences before we've laid the rock solid pyramidal foundation for a secure contented human life, as inscribed in the master plan of the universe.

I've never met a person who had reasonably solid faith, family, fitness, and finance who was desperate and miserable, even without a car or a TV or a cell phone. "But I don't have faith in a god!" Yes, you do. The question is whether your god (be it materialism, veganism, Kim Kardashian or Justin Bieber) is worthy of being that foundational pyramid stone. "But I don't have true love and my unstable miserable machismo and feminist friends say I don't need a partner!" Go back and read paragraph one or go back and commiserate with them.

All the lame and boring and effeminate church services I was forced to sit through as a child would've been worth it had I only gleaned and heeded the simple story of Jesus that a wise man builds his house on the rock and a foolish man builds his house on the sand and the storms of life then separate them into owners of a pyramid or owners of a rubble pile.

If you're currently following (or soon will follow) that master's master plan, you share (or soon will share) my bliss, and you'll easily get over my annoying smugness. To your happiness! Now, I must go share the love from far above, from just behind a hot woman half my age and twice my chest measurement. God give me strength as I dutifully tread the weary path laid out before me.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rattlesnake Musings and Manta Ray Moments

After I bent over and lifted a dusty rock, a fat coiled rattlesnake glared and hissed within easy striking distance of my face. The day could've easily been my last. I was a two-mile desert walk from the highway, then a thirty-minute hitched ride from a Mexican doctor, whose Spanish questions I could barely comprehend and answer on a good day without venom surging thru my veins. I froze in terror. Then I backed my head and torso away at the speed of tree growth, over the longest meter I've ever crossed, while the slit eyes and forked tongue bobbed menacingly.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Kong Is Still The King

Kong: Skull Island allows cinema chair travelers to escape the urban jungle for that more authentic kind. A cliche storyline of explorers venturing deep onto an uncharted island doesn't rain on the fun of this neo-primal rainforest experience. The casting of Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Tian Jing, and John Goodman offers a pleasurable balance of both action and characters.

Monday, March 6, 2017

I Officially Declare Myself A Woman

In my long and masculine life, I never considered identifying as a woman - until now. Yet, I'm sure of my decision. In fact, I wish this option had existed in the oppressive days of my youth. Let me explain. If I had been given a chance to live as a chick in high school, I wouldn't have begged cheerleaders to give me the time of day. In the locker room, I'd simply have asked them to pass me the soap. Plus, with me in the shower, those budding babes wouldn't have had to wonder about where they could hang the towels.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Don't Cover Up Marine Le Pen

A Muslim leader refuses to meet with French politico Marine Le Pen unless she wears a headscarf. A Mormon friend of mine won't dine with people who order beer. Some gays demand Catholic caterers plan their wedding. Many feminists insist Protestant taxpayers must fund their abortion.

In a globalized world, tribes and faiths must intermingle. For everyone to have the right to live their moral convictions, nobody can have the right to make others do so. I prefer that all women who meet with me wear the neckline shown on young Le Pen in this photo.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hollywood's Great Wall and Great Gall

Matt Damon's latest film offers both epic ambition and epic hypocrisy. This movie seeks global profit by teasing the Asian market with local lore (China's wall) and an American audience with local controversy (Trump's wall). Yet, it still condemns profit seeking. To do this, it descends into politically-correct racism (Asians are loving collectivists while Europeans are greedy individualists) and even some contradictory old-school racism (said utopic society still can't defend itself without the brilliance, courage, and technology of white savior Damon). Plus, all this is from critically respected director Zhang Yimou.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Illegal Migration Is NOT Compassion

Lovely eight-year-old Neftaly had no idea she’d been delivered into the hands of her rapist by what American politicians call a more compassionate immigration policy. It wouldn’t have mattered much to her. Yet, Neftaly’s story is not unusual in Mexico, so it should matter a lot to Americans who support such policy. She was orphaned at age five, then various distant relatives grudgingly agreed to take her in - as long as she washed the dishes. She became more accustomed to fear and rejection than love. When an uncle she’d never met showed her a bedroom and told her to undress for bed, she tried once again to muster more hope than fear. Sadly, it would be many years after that night before she looked at the world with trust and hope again.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Back When I Was Homeless

Life at the mobile home park: not bad for a starter home
Believe it or not, Lyn's fondest life memories include a very brief homeless stint. Allow me to fully elucidate. Ages ago, your author arrived in Canada to work as a communication executive. The first weekend, I purchased a luxury SUV to use in my prestigious and lucrative new career. As I drove away, the salesman yelled something that sounded like "You need to go see AC/DC on Monday." Despite my passion for the Australian band, I hadn't heard of their concert and couldn't understand the urgency in his voice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Write Beyond Sensitivity Police Jurisdiction

North Americans often assert they want to learn from other cultures, but travel writing is still expected to fit into the politically correct box of ideas that don’t shock sensibilities. This is contradiction. Authentic travel writing must journey outside that box, both to accurately report culture and to protect the free speech rights authors and readers depend on.

A recent study suggests that North American children are developing more allergies to certain foods because of protection from exposure during the years when immunities develop. Likewise, political correctness has shielded North Americans from encountering a rich diversity of global perspectives that conventional media deem offensive to their sensitivities.