Faceless Friday THREE

Continuing my Facial Fridays, I’m amazed at what we do to our countenance to appease our mirror glances. People have their mugs pulled, tugged and cut upon because, in their opinion, they must maintain a youthful appearance or it’s all over. Kaput. Dust. And then many become almost unrecognizable, some even downright ugly. Whatever happened to Kenny Rogers?
Kenny Rogers

 Kim Novak?
Kim Novak 81 yrs old

 Bruce Jenner??
Bruce Jenner

 Maybe there is only one doctor in Hollywood doing these messed up do-overs, and he only has his first client for a template.

Michael Jackson

 Whatever….have a Faceless laugh

Faceless 6

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MSG and ME

We’ve picked on the poor Chinese restaurants for decades about their use of MSG in cooking. I believe a large majority of restaurants use MSG. My “MSG Headache” is a special kind of headache I only get from MSG. I have rarely had any kind of headache in my life, except the kind from colds, flu or the proverbial hangover headache.  They are nothing like the MSG headache.

An Australian/New Zealand joint study found that 1% of people have reaction to MSG. Headache is one reaction, numbness, tingling, and weakness are other reactions. I’ll have to check my bank statements, but I didn’t think I was in the dreaded 1%. Looks like I am, but for a different reason.

I am curious if any of you readers have an MSG reaction.  What is it?
man with headache
We have always thought we experience four main tastes-bitter, salty, sour and sweet. Many scientists are now including a fifth taste called “umami” which is the taste from MSG.

I don’t know if my taste buds experience a “umami” taste. I don’t recognize MSG when I taste it in foods…only the headache that starts about two hours later and continues for a few hours after waking in the morning.

I know a restaurant can make so-so food “come alive” with tastiness by adding MSG. It actually enhances the other four taste sensations.

MSG has been found “safe.” I don’t doubt it, we don’t seem to be dying or catching any MSG diseases. If get an MSG headache two hours after dining, I make a note to cross that restaurant off my list.

MSG also comes in most pre-packaged foods, so I try to stay away from them.

It took years for me to realize the cause of this strange “hollow-feeling head-ache.” When I did I started researching and reading.

I only remember to say “No MSG, please” when I go to a Chinese restaurant. The truth is I haven’t had an MSG headache from Asian food in many years. It usually comes from other mainstream places I don’t think about stating, “No MSG, please.”

What about you? Am I the only crazy one here?

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A White Page

That’s all there is. That blank sheet of paper staring back at me. Sometimes I see a little horned devil, smiling, knowing the only way to cover him up is with words. Words that have no meaning- or rhyme or reasoning.

Is reasoning the key? Get my intuition happening and listen to my rational mind. Nope.  I discovered some time ago, my rational mind sucks. I assume my rational mind will give me truth, because after all, our society bows to the rational mind.

The white, blank page knows that my rationality drains all the fascinating, juicy, exciting, interesting things to write about. I leave the rational mind behind, and my intuition returns which I need to uncover words. Then the little horned smiley-faced devil disappears.

Michelangelo looked at a block of blank white marble and somehow he saw a large muscular man with a peculiar little penis.  My devil on the blank white page isn’t even horny-just horned.

This is a regular occurrence for anyone writing a blog, a poem, a memoir, or a novel. It’s usually called writers’ block. It’s a strange feeling that says, “Maybe you’ve written every word, story, scene and memory that’s in your internal hard-drive. There are no more words.”

sleepy writer

But you learn to ignore those feelings. It’s that old rational mind again. That mind that wants to be perfect.

I realized this past weekend I’m sitting at a clean, organized un-cluttered desk. Last week I did the ritual. It had probably been a year or more. I cleaned my desk off. What a mistake. A messy clutter has hidden treasures-notes, ideas, unpaid bills, old business cards- a life being lived- not a tidy suspended animation of held breath. Clutter is rich with words and forgotten memories.

Then, with new mail, new magazines, honey-do lists, a bit of clutter returns. It only takes a few days to find new words, recall old memories. Paragraph by paragraph my strange made-up characters come to life again. I discover I’m not just making things up. I’m writing about you, or maybe you, or me. I understand if I’m not writing nice things about you, maybe you should have behaved better.

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Faceless Friday TWO

I like talking about faces so I will continue my Friday postings with more about our faces.

Most of the time we think we are controlling our faces. Sometimes we think others make our faces look angry, surprised, happy or sad.

angry face

Our faces just naturally follow our emotions. But, sometimes we lose control of our faces. Sometimes our taste buds make our faces do all kinds of crazy things.

If you have two minutes, check out these faces below.  No, it’s not cat’s, but babies’ faces, after their very first experience with lemons. FUN!!


And another Faceless Friday cartoon:
Faceless 3

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Cause I Said So

That’s pretty lame, isn’t it? I know I’m guilty, but the guilt was from many decades ago. It’s a poor way to defend your justification for whatever. I heard it again today. A father was talking to his kid from his cell. Twice he said, “Cause I said so.”

I guess we parents also call it, “laying down the law.”  I have never heard of a kid accepting that as a good reason. They may follow your “cause-I-said-so” stuff, but only out of fear, not because you stated any valid argument.
angry young boy
Today, like every school-day Wednesday, I’m working with second-graders trying to improve their reading skills. If they can’t learn to read they can’t read to learn. Yet, our crazy English language frustrates me. Sometimes I want to say, “This word is like this cause I said so.”

I have many good friends who teach English. They are my heroes. The language can be weird.

Teacher cartoon at board
The nouns that only have a plural form are messy for kids…and me.  When I use scissors I say, “Give me a pair of scissors, not give me a scissor.” Many tools are the same…pliers, tweezers, tongs, forceps, etc.

Other weird nouns: My shirt is on. My pants are on. My hat is on. My shorts are on. That silly “s” hanging on makes it a plural word, even though it’s a singular object. Levis is a brand name and not plural, but possessive. We still say, “Levis are cool.” That can’t be right, but it’s how we roll. We also deal with pajamas, panties, and briefs. But they make no sense when we say, “Your briefs are showing. Your underwear is showing.”

Then we get to the “mass” nouns. Those are words made up of a lot of stuff, like individualized parts that together have a singular type meaning. Example: sand, sugar, salt, rice.  We say “The rice is cooked. The sugar is here.” (Singular form)

But, we just learn to understand that and along comes the word “suds.” We really should have designated a single soap bubble as a “sud” but we didn’t. So, we have to say, “The suds are everywhere.”

Then we go and break all the rules and drop the “s” hanging on and use words like: Pajama day, panty raid, and scissor kick.

Maybe I shouldn’t worry about our silly language. I’ll just say, “It’s like this kid, because I said so.”

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Toot Sweet

One year ago tomorrow, Annette Funicello died. I didn’t write about her at the time, because things like that need to sink in with me. She was part of a special legendary TV show, but last year I didn’t think I had any reason to write about her.

I only knew her the same way all my friends knew her. Walt Disney happened to be in the audience when Annette was playing in an amateur production of Swan Lake. Mr. Disney knew she was destined to be one of his kid-stars for the Mickey Mouse Club show. She was the only “mousketeer” personally picked by Mr. Disney.

Annette was 12 years old then, six weeks older than me. I watched the show, but I didn’t fall in love with her. I really liked Darlene the most.
When Annette started her singing career, her first song went to #1 immediately. She was the first female “rock and roll” singer to hit #1. The song was “Tall Paul” and it’s still horrible. We were teens and so was she.  My friends and I related to Annette the same way kids were into Miley Cyrus and her Hanna Montana thing…for a while.

When she started doing those silly Beach Party movies most of us were having kids, instead of surfing, so the old mouse club bonds ended.

We all have kid memories…teen memories…the heart wings beating of first love, ache and pain of lost love, and how all of our emotions as teens were multiplied and reinforced with the music, TV and movies of those times—Elvis, Jerry Lee, Buddy Holly, Paul Anka and Annette.

Each of their songs worked our imagination and we have never forgotten those feelings. We had no MTV to show us what the song meant…we allowed it to mean whatever each of us needed it to mean.

Paul Anka was hooked on Annette for a few years. He wrote hit songs for her. One of her biggest hits was a song Paul first named “Toot Sweet.” He re-worked the song and lyrics and Annette recorded it in 1959 as “It’s Really Love.”

He re-worked the song again in 1962, renamed it “Johnny’s Tune” and it became the signature opening song of the Johnny Carson Show. That tune was played five nights a week for over 32 years and supposedly Paul Anka received $200 every time it was played. Someone did the math on the total dollars paid.  It came to over one million six hundred thousand dollars for the thrice-written song.

I lived 2500 miles away from those “Beach Blanket Bingo” years, and never dreamed Annette and I would grow older just 15 miles apart. One year ago, Multiple Sclerosis, which she battled for over 20 years, finally ended her life. A few months after my wife’s life was saved at Mercy Southwest Hospital, Annette’s life stopped there.

Fifteen years ago, my wife knew Annette’s step-daughter. The step-daughter’s husband was a fiddle player and a collector of fine violins. He unexpectedly passed away and his violin collection was being quietly sold. My wife purchased two lovely 18th century Italian made instruments, one of which she plays in the local symphony.

All of that information and $4 will get you a Starbucks. I’m still not sure I have any reason to write about Annette Funicello. She must have moved me, even though I liked Darlene better.

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Faceless Friday

You looked in the mirror this morning. To shave, put on make-up, comb your hair, straighten your tie. How did your face look? Same-o, same-o? You hugged the kids before school. You kissed your spouse. What face did they see?

Then your day started again, only this time you had a new face. It was the one the kids stare at as you stand at the white board. Or the one your employees see as you pass through the kitchen. Maybe it was the face trying not to be seen. The face without the report finished, the face not showing the resentment inside, or maybe they see the happy face, the angry face, the blank face.
It’s difficult to make that blank face. Your eyes don’t pay attention to your brain. They flash anger, they hint at resentment, they drip with love. Sometimes you just want your face to be blank. Don’t show feelings, just be. Serious is fine. Serious but not anxious. Serious but not too detached.

The “happy hour” face is almost normal. Your real face. Your fun face. Eyebrow and forehead always raised, eyes wide as the smile. But sometimes the happy hour face flashes a quick nervous look when your eyes glance at the clock behind the bar. Only for a second, but then the fun face is back. happy face

The relationship face is usually a good face. Everyone around you likes your loving, soft, gentle face. You don’t have to mask that face. It has character. But, it’s quick to change and so easy to read by the one who sees your many faces.

If only you could see your own face while you sleep. Dream. Remember.

I now have a way-too-serious face. Time to put on a smile face…

Faceless 2


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