Monthly Archives: March 2006


Your Laughter
 ~ Pablo Neruda

Take breath away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lanceflower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in your joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.


90/10 principle

Thanks to a virtual friend [RK]
Discover the 90/10 Principle. 
It will change your life (at least the way you react to situations.)
Author: Stephen Covey Management Guru

What is this principle

10% of life is made up of what happens to you. 90% of life is decided by how you react. What does this mean?

We really have no control over 10% of what happens to us. We cannot stop the car from breaking down. The plane will be late arriving, which throws our whole schedule off. A driver may cut us off in traffic. We have no control over this 10%. The other 90% is different. You determine the other 90%.

How? By your reaction. You cannot control a red light. But you can control your reaction. Don’t let people fool you; YOU can control how you react.

Let’s use an example.
You are eating breakfast with your family. Your daughter knocks over a cup of coffee onto your business shirt. You have no control over what just what happened. What happens next will be determined by how you react. You curse. You harshly scold your daughter for knocking the cup over.

She breaks down in tears. After scolding her, you turn to your spouse and criticize her for placing the cup too close to the edge of the table. A short verbal battle follows. You storm upstairs and change your shirt. Back downstairs, you find your daughter has been too busy crying to finish breakfast and get ready for school. She misses the bus. Your spouse must leave immediately for work.

You rush to the car and drive your daughter to school. Because you are late, you drive 40 miles an hour in a 30 mph speed limit. After a 15-minute delay and throwing $60 traffic fine away, you arrive at school. Your daughter runs into the building without saying goodbye. After arriving at the office 20 minutes late, you find you forgot your briefcase. Your day has started terrible. As it continues, it seems to get worse and worse. You look forward to coming home, When you arrive home, you find small wedge in your relationship with your spouse and daughter.

Why? Because of how you reacted in the morning. Why did you have a bad day?

A) Did the coffee cause it?
B) Did your daughter cause it?
C) Did the policeman cause it?
D) Did you cause it?

The answer is “D".

You had no control over what happened with the coffee.
How you reacted in those 5 seconds is what caused your bad day.
Here is what could have and should have happened.

Coffee splashes over you. Your daughter is about to cry. You gently say, "It’s ok honey, you just need to be more careful next time". Grabbing a towel you rush upstairs. After grabbing a new shirt and your briefcase, you come back down in time to look through the window and see your child getting on the bus. She turns and waves. You arrive 5 minutes early and cheerfully greet the staff. Your boss comments on how good the day you are having.

Notice the difference?
Two different scenarios. Both started the same. Both ended different.

Why? Because of how you REACTED.
You really do not have any control over 10% of what happens.

The other 90% was determined by your reaction.

Here are some ways to apply the 90/10 principle.  If someone says something negative about you, don’t be a sponge. Let the attack roll off like water on glass. You don’t have to let the negative comment affect you! React properly and it will not ruin your day. A wrong reaction could result in losing a friend, being fired, getting stressed out etc.

How do you react if someone cuts you off in traffic?

Do you lose your temper? Pound on the steering wheel?
A friend of mine had the steering wheel fall off!
Do you curse? Does your blood pressure skyrocket? Do you try and bump them?
WHO CARES if you arrive ten seconds later at work? Why let the cars ruin your drive?
Remember the 90/10 principle, and do not worry about it.

You are told you lost your job. Why lose sleep and get irritated? It will work out. Use your worrying energy and time into finding another job. The plane is late; it is going to mangle your schedule for the day. Why take out your frustration on the flight attendant? She has no control over what is going on. Use your time to study, get to know the other passenger. Why get stressed out? It will just make things worse. Now you know the 90-10 principle. Apply it and you will be amazed at the results. You will lose nothing if you try it.

The 90-10 principle is incredible. Very few know and apply this principle.

The result? Millions of people are suffering from undeserved stress, trials, problems and heartache.

We all must understand and apply the 90/10 principle.

It CAN change your life!!!


stolen moments

My recent trip brought me of a couple of typical marriage jokes:

Two cannibals sit beside a large fire, after eating the best meal they’ve had in ages. "Your wife sure makes a good roast," says the first cannibal. "Yeah," says the second. "I’m really going to miss her." 

Also a Freudian favorite marriage joke:

A wife is like an umbrella – sooner or later one takes a cab

Explanation: men marry to protect themselves from the temptation to visit prostitutes, just as an umbrella is supposed to protect against rain. But the sexual satisfactions of marriage, like an umbrella in a thunderstorm, just aren’t protective enough. In a downpour, sooner or later you’re going to find yourself in a public vehicle.

And now it’s only fair to tell a feminist joke: 

"A woman needs a husband like a fish needs a bicycle,"


Which brings me to the topic for this mail: "Stolen Moments"

May be you’re the type who dived headlong into your love affairs – most probably not the first time! In retrospect, may be you weren’t unhappy at all, and things were just fine as "a couple", and you were just unlucky enough to fall in love outside "the couple"

Whatever your type, however it started, the point is that you didn’t plan to feel this way [when you took yourself an extra lover], it just happened ~ well may be you didn’t plan not to either, or didn’t have the foresight and "maturity" to put the breaks on before it was too late; and since you started spilling the most intimate details about your relationship problems after a couple of drinks, and saying things you probably shouldn’t because they do have rather a promissory air ("I’ve been waiting my whole life to meet someone like you" "I’ve never felt this way about anyone before"), or an increasing number of those marathon confessions lovers’ tell-alls contain sentences like "If you and I live together …" along with fantasized – perhaps enacted? – introductions to common friends, or perhaps kept the whole thing a top-secret, or so you thought! And because you can’t believe your luck in nabbing such an amusing, sexy, and adoring lover, and the bliss is edging out the anxiety about where all this is going to lead – and a full night’s sleep is a distant memory.

The "Bliss": often synonymous with intense sexual reawakening (who knew it could feel this way!), that has you fantasizing about sex:

a) when you wake up in the morning, b) shower, c) drive to work, d) work, e) confer with the boss, f) fake meetings, g) make household rendezvous with the partner, h) dine en famille or with friends, i) try to make some work because all day you were lost in sex reveries. All of which means that "life as usual" has stopped and the cant’s have started [remember my earlier posting] of October 18th?

The new affair feels fun. It feels rebellious.

FUCK WORK: if adulterers ever adopt a slogan, this could be it. A close contender in your case: "stolen moments."  Yes, what a dumb cliché, but adultery does nothing if not discombobulate your temporality. Basically, you’ll risk just about anything for an extra half hour with the new beloved, which some how becomes forty-five minutes, or an hour if you’re lucky! -"Oh my God, what time is it?"  And then you become a specialist in coughing up complex explanations for those mysterious gaps in the day’s chronology, those stolen troves of temp perdu. Deceptions. Explanations. Excuses. The list is long to gain some "Free Time". Then there are the domicile visits. Those proved unexpectedly messy; rushing to clean the bed and other traces that abound > from the bedroom to the kitchen.

Of course it goes without saying that all adulterers are routinely exposed to the most privy aspects of each other’s primary relationships. What else is post-fucking conversation for?  Its the location for post-coital conversation – the adultery bed. Secrets are spilled, embarrassing truths are revealed; privacy norms are out the window. Lovers reveal to each other what they don’t dare say elsewhere, sometimes not even to themselves. Perhaps love affairs are for saying the unsayable: "I’m lonely." "I’m bored." "Come to my room." Whatever the mechanics, you third parties will find yourselves in possession of a small arsenal of intimate data on the particularities of the "other" relationship. Everything is soon known; an illustrated catalogue of complaints, an unabridged history of couple arguments, many years accumulation of disappointments, and a psychological profile on the absent husband with a level of detail rivaling one of Freud’s case studies.

Nothing creates instant intimacy like the spousal complaint, and your lover is the only escape from your malaise as you assured by those- whispered phone calls, agonized e-mails, etc.

Coupled Life becomes either a barren landscape or a tense battleground or a nightmarish repetition, characterized variously by tedium, fighting, silence, or unreasonable insatiable demands and cant’s.

So why not have a graceful exit? Basta. Or may be you are mapping the similarities and differences as you go. You’re rediscovering your forgotten capacities – and acts, and desires – but at the same time, comparing, measuring, playing catch-up and invariably calculating whether to return to the domestic fold [home], for peaceful sleep if nothing else. Though sometimes for something else as well! How awkward to return from the adultery bed to find an unexpectedly amorous spouse awaiting! Though perhaps reassuring too? Reliability has its pleasures, too. But then – things become less manageable than you had hoped ~ "desire and disgust are only a hair away from each other." Then you have this running inner monologue in your head: "Must I really listen to that same noise once again at exactly the same moment?"  "Who on earth has hair growing there?" or the little habits that were once endearing are now becoming a little … disgusting.

And let’s not forget self-disgust. It might be mentioned that deceiving intimates doesn’t always prove the happiest circumstance when it comes to thinking well of oneself: those "stolen moments" can have their price.

There’s no doubt that catching a mate in a deception is injurious for anyone. It’s typical to feel that having been deceived means having been disrespected, even humiliated. The irony – if we dare call it that – is that the rationale for deception is generally to avoid hurting people. Deception thus may come to seem like the lesser evil path when finding oneself in a sticky double bind! But having more than one desire may be marriage’s biggest taboo ~ again why you not just walk away from your mate ~ “Basta”. This may be more homogenous with your self and whatever "respectability" you have left.

Couple deception is not pretty. No one particularly admires a liar; likely no one particularly aspires to be one.  But let’s say that feelings are unpredictable, that desires aren’t always coherent or static, that knowing what you want in the realm of love and intimacy isn’t an exact science, and people do occasionally change. So, who’s being deceptive?

We may love to espouse the virtues of truth and transparency, but truthfully, is this what anyone really wants? Or is what we actually want truth under the right circumstances? Is "truth" what we’re after, or is it for a partner to adhere to all the desires and movement restrictions necessary for our own emotional well-being to be assured?

Then comes the ugly twist: Exposure. Yes, exposing a partner in a lie is an emotional auto wreck. One hopes that the survivors will limp away, but no doubt some will end up crippled and scarred. May be you have courted your fate: speeding on blind curves, being overconfident, taking too much for granted? And does every deceiving spouse find her special prosecutor; every liar her designated detector. In the event that they don’t, can desires be tempted away and back to intimacy at home?

Which brings us back to … your problem. As adulterers ask the questions that will present themselves at one point in the future: Will this thing end, and how? Who will fare well, and who badly? Which alliance will be left standing, which will be "history?"  But before you have any rash ideas about truth-telling, or trying to make up, remember the dogs are starved for scandal. As a social exile, you will be hated by friends and even family [but secretly]. Causing hurt to everyone merely to satisfy craven selfish urges for happiness-yes, that despicable sorry friendless figure is you – the adulterer.

Some affairs don’t end, and manage to go on for years. Some affairs end well, fading into mutual fond memories of friendships – a gradual waning of passion over time can achieve this denouement. Some affairs will go on to become primary couples in their own right [not yours] .

But love affairs can feel utterly transforming. You get to surrender to emotions you forgot you could have: to desire and to being desired, and the thrill of the new thing, exchanging those whispered intimacies, conversations sparked with soulfulness you hadn’t known you possessed. So here you are, temporarily transformed, madly enamored, terribly confused, on the cusp of … something.

But however it started, whether it’s the first time or just the most recent time, let’s say things have now gotten a lot more … unexpectedly complicated than you’d anticipated. You’re in love, you’re beside yourself, your life feels like it’s falling apart, you need to think, but thinking is not exactly your forte at the moment. Something has to give. May be your wonderfully understanding lover starts making demands or invoking situations not to your liking! [after all, between the confessions and the post-coital intimacies, this person knows you pretty darn well by now], so he starts using "should do that" "shouldn’t do that", then you try to think harder… You are willing to do anything and start taking shots in the dark. You even say "I never meant to hurt anyone," which sounds a little feeble now.

No, not everyone will manage the graceful ending – or even a graceful continuation – after being exposed. Note that this is the time for extreme caution! Disasters may be heading in your direction. More "unplanned and unexpected discoveries". A phone call retrieved from six months or two years before; a forgotten e-mail to the wrong person; a timing miscalculation that appears after months when it happened!

How could this have happened?  Life is suddenly wall-to-wall confusion. Yelling, tears, ultimatums; your supposed love life is in chaos. You don’t know what to do. Agonized conversations with your lover; angry thoughts and bitter feelings about the mate; emergency sessions… even with lawyers…

Here’s a suggestion: why not try contrition? "I never meant to hurt you. I feel like shit."  If you could have pulled that off, it could have worked with both spouse and lover. Of course it also may not have worked! Because neither is sympathetic to your dilemma as you would like.

In which case you should have stayed your ground: "Look how unhappy I’ve been. Look what I’ve been driven to!" Fuck Everybody.

Fuck Everybody??  So now we have gone from the high of Fuck Work to the low of Fuck Everybody!

What else can you say after your "domestic life" and arrangements have been transformed to a nightmare? But you’ve learned your lesson ~ you’ll never be ambivalent or careless again, right? It may be a few years before you find a "sincere" mate to meet and fall in love with [again..]. Because your last love now seems like a distant acquaintance or someone encountered for a one-night-stand. The lover, to whom you so recently pledged body and soul …. well it’s all too painful to think about. Now, you only have a sinkhole where that exciting feeling of aliveness once was ~ and the frankness and the great sex and all that fun ~ but may be you still think you’ve done the right thing even if you feel vaguely like shit, and even if self-reflection is not something you ever did, or likely to do…

Some of us realize early (some never), that we can’t go through life leading dual love lives and performing the complicated emotional balancing acts it requires ~ whether in your personal behaviors, or really fucking up at work, or living in constant fear of being spotted somewhere, causing panic and internal disarray.. until something finally had to give.

Your only solace is making excuses for yourself: "I didn’t mean for this to happen!" "I never thought things would get this serious!"

Sadly for all of us born with not enough wisdom, happiness is likely to be a fleeting experience: "stolen moments," which did not have to be "stolen" in the first place…

However it happened, whatever the particulars, big, imponderable, painful questions plague your days and haunt your sleepless nights.

Again, you have no answers ~ and life goes on…

for better or for worst…

Thus is the Art of Love ~ and thus are Love’s Labors..


Sunday, December 04, 2005


being a “couple” !!!

During the summer of 1997:
Her Question:
Why should we be together as "a couple"?
My Answer:
You’re my last thought when I go to sleep at night…
and the first thought when I wake up in the morning.
So ~ in October 1997, I became a couple ~
Some time later… a brief sample of answers to the simple question:
"What can’t you do because you’re in a couple?"
This information is all true; nothing was invented. Nothing needed to be.
So, before you marry, or re-marry ~~ ask your future mate which of the "rules" below you have to follow:
– you can’t leave the house without saying where you’re going
– you can’t not say what time you’ll return
– you can’t stay out past midnight, or elevn, or ten, or dinnertime, or not come right home after work
– you can’t go out when I feel like staying home
– you can’t go to parties alone
– you can’t go out just to go out because you can’t not be considerate of my worries about where you are, or my natural insecurity that you’re not where you should be, or about where you could be instead
– you can’t make plans without consulting me, particularly not evenings and weekends, or make decisions about leisure time usage without a consultation
– you can’t be a slob
– you can’t do less than 50 percent around the house, even if I want to do 100 to 200 percent more householding than you find necessary or even reasonable
– you can’t leave your [pick one] books, tissues, shoes, mail, underwear, work, or pornography lying around the house
– you can’t smoke, or you can’t smoke in the house, or you can’t leave cigarettes in cups
– you can’t leave the dishes for later, wash the dishes badly, not use soap, drink straight from the container, make crumbs without wiping them up [now, not later], or make the dishes according to the method that seems most sensible to you
– you can’t use dishes directly out of the rack without unloading the whole thing
– you can’t accumulate things that I think you just might not use someday if I think you won’t
– you can’t throw wet clothes in the laundry hamper even though there’s no logical reason not to ~ after all, they’re going to get wet eventually
– you can’t have a comfortable desk because it doesn’t fit the decor
– you can’t not share responsibility for domestic decisions I have made that you’ve gone along with to be nice, but don’t really care about
– you cant leave the bathroom door open, it’s offensive
– you can’t leave the bathroom door closed, I need to get in
– you can’t enter without knocking
– you can’t leave the toilet seat up
– you can’t read on the john without commentary
– you can’t leave bloody things in the bathroom waste-basket
– you can’t wash your dirty hands in the kitchen sink
– you have to load the toilet paper "over" instead of "under"
– you’re not allowed to pay no attention to what you’d simply rather ignore: your own nose hair, underarm hair, or toenails
– you can’t not make the bed
– you can’t not express appreciation when I make the bed, even if you don’t care
– you can’t sleep apart, you can’t go to bed at different times, you can’t fall asleep on the couch without gotten woken up to go to bed
– you can’t eat in bed
– you can’t get out of bed right away after sex
– you can’t get insomnia without being grilled about what’s really bothering you
– you can’t turn the airconditioner up as high as you want ~ think of the environment instead of yourself all the time
– you can’t sleep late if I have to get up early
– you can’t sleep late because it’s a sign of moral turpitude
– you can’t watch soap operas without getting made fun of
– you can’t watch porn
– you can’t leave CNN on as background
– you can’t listen to Paul Simon, Elvis, or other excesses of your youth
– you can’t smoke pot
– you can’t drink during the day, even on weekends
– you can’t take naps when I am home because I feel leisure time should be shared
– you can’t work when you’re supposed to be realxing
– you can’t spend too much time on the computer ~ and stay off those chat rooms
– you can’t have e-mail flirtations, even if innocent
– your best friend can’t call after ten
– you’re not allowed to read when you like to
– you can’t be impulsive, self-absorbed, or disctracted
– you can’t take risks, unless they’re agreed-upon risks, which somewhat limits the concept of "risk"
– you can’t just walk out on your job or quit in a huff
– you can’t make unilateral career decisions, or change jobs without extensive discussion and negotiation
– you can’t have your own bank account
– you can’t make major purchases alone, or spend money on things I consider excesses, you can’t blow money just because you’re in a really bad mood, and you can’t be in a bad mood without being required to explain it
– you can’t have secrets ~ about money or anything else
– you can’t eat what you want
– you can’t not eat meals
– you can’t not plan these meals
– you can’t not have dinner together
– you can’t not feel like eating what I have cooked
– you can’t eat garlic because I can’t stand the smell
– you can’t refuse to share your entre’e when dining out, or order what you want without negotiations far surpassing the Oslo accords.
– the employment of napkin, the placement of bones, pits, and other detritus, are all subject to commentary and critique
– you can’t blow your nose at the table
– you can’t read the newspaper at meals
– you can’t eat things that give you gas
– you can’t make jokes about gas
– you can’t say the wrong thing, even in situations where there’s no right thing to say
– you can’t use the "wrong tone of voice," and you can’t deny the wrong-tone-of-voice accusation when it’s made
– you can’t repeat yourself, or appear to parade your knowledge
– you can’t overly celebrate your own accomplishments, particulalrly if I am less successful
– you can’t be simplistic, even when things are simple
– you’re not permitted to employ the Socratic method in an argument
– you can’t have the wrong laugh: too loud, too explosive, too inappropriate, too silly
– you can’t say cunt
– you can’t make penis size jokes, or laugh when others do
– you can’t say what you think about my family
– you can’t express inappropriate irony about something I take seriously
– orappropriate anger at something I take casually
– you can’t not be supportive, even when I do something insupportable
– you can’t talk about [choose one]: relegion, politics, Syria, etc..
– you can’t tell dirty jokes, or relate overly lengthy anecdotes
– you can’t talk about past relationships
– or you can’t not talk about past relationships, and can’t refuse to reveal all the long-forgotten details when asked
– you can’t not "communicate your feelings", except when those feelings are critical, which they should not be
– you cant say anything that makes me too aware of my incompetence or failures
– you can’t question my self-knowledge, or my reading of a particular situation
– you can’t be cynical about things I am sincere about: style, haute cuisine, office gossip
– you can’t have friends who like you more than me
– you can’t be rude to houseguests, or leave the house when houseguests are around
– you can’t criticize me to others
– when I am having an argument with someone, you must not take the other person’s side
– you can’t be charming in public, especially to persons of the opposite sex
– you can’t provoke my jealousy
– you can’t socialize or contact your exes, even if you swear it’s really over
– you can’t not laugh at my jokes in public
– you can’t be argumentative
– you can’t wear mismatched clothes, even in the interests of being perversly defiant
– you can’t wear sloppy clothes at home without hearing some sort of comment on it
– you can’t sleep in your favourite T-shirt, its ratty
– you can’t go clothes shopping since I don’t trust your taste
– you can’t underdress for an occasion
– if indifferent to such things, you’re not allowed to leave the house without passing inspection
– you can’t wear anything that makes you look too sexy [or too dumpy]
– you can’t dress up more than I am dressed up; you can’t be more casual
– you can’t drink without me counting your drinks
– you can’t bum cigarettes because it embarrases me, although I understand about the unspoken fraternity between smokers
– you can’t not "fit in"
– you must not dance because you’re a terrible dancer [according to me]
– you can’t leave a place before they’re ready to go
– you can’t be late even if you prefer being late
– you can’t loose track of time, especially when engaged in something that does not involve me, like your e-mail
– you can’t drive too fast, or faster than I define as fast
– you can’t tailgate, you can’t honk
– you can’t listen to your favourite station in the car, or your favourite songs
– you can’t get angry when driving, or swear at other drivers
— I left out some "cant’s" that are more personal
October 18, 2005

the vanishing man


The Vanishing Man



I really need an explanation for this very awkward situation. I need someone to explain to me the story behind the guy who seems very interested in a girl and then disappears. I thank God it never happened to me, but unfortunately it happened to many of my friends.

She’s single, attractive, elegant, and has a good job, then she meets a guy who seems to be interested in her. He tries his best to get her attention till he succeeds. They have a long talk and agree to call again to get to know each other better. The girl feels very flattered, she starts to set high expectations, but then he disappears!!

For no particular reason, he was chasing her. He called several times before, just to get her attention, but once he did he was nowhere to be found. Some people say that this is the girl’s fault. That she needs to learn how to differentiate between a sincere man who’s looking for a steady relationship and others who just want to flirt around. But in some cases there’s no indication whatsoever to tell her that the guy is just flirting, especially if he seems decent and acts genuinely interested in the girl.

So what went wrong? How come he never calls again?

There are many scenarios that answer these questions.

First: Sometimes it’s just bad luck and has nothing to do with the man and whether he’s being serious or not. Maybe he lost his mobile with all your numbers, had to travel suddenly on an unplanned business trip, or had an accident or was sick.

Second: It was simply all your imagination and you overestimated his acts. He was just a nice guy who is used to giving compliments to women. Sometimes single women who suffer from loneliness tend to overestimate these matters. Your craving for love can make you misread things.

Third: This is men’s nature that they’re sickly afraid of commitment. According to this theory, when they disappear, it has nothing to do with you. He’s really not sure if he wants to get any deeper into this relationship or not. He starts wondering; do I really like her? Is she the kind of girl I want to marry one day, and usually when men start wondering they panic and disappear. He tells himself that he’s better off free than unhappily married and his fear doesn’t even let him take a risk.

Fourth: That he might be trying to get over another love. He starts off by asking himself if he’ll be able to enjoy a new relationship, so he decides to approach girls and try to catch their attention, but once a girl is caught he realizes that he’s either still in love with his old girlfriend or that he’s too scared of getting heartbroken again. So he decides to vanish.

So depending on your luck, this scenario might happen to you a number of times till you find Mr. Right who will never disappear. Just try to take enough time to know any guy before getting involved with him and remember not to overestimate any guy’s acts or words. Finally, when you find real love, you’ll feel totally different and you’ll realize from the first moment that you have found the man of your life.