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Posted by on Jan 23, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Travel | 0 comments

The Pungent Punches of New York City Smells




….a pugilist with an authentic desire to win cannot be knocked out if he sees the punch coming, for then he suffers no lack of communication.  The blow may hurt but cannot wipe him out.  In contrast, a five-punch combination in which every blow lands is certain to stampede any opponent into unconsciousness.  No matter how light the blows, a jackpot has been struck.  The sudden overloading of the victim’s message center is bound to produce the inrush of confusion known as a coma.

— Normal Mailer in “The Fight” (1975)


New York City has a smell all its own.

Not a bad smell.

A smell — smell.

More like a smell of pungent punches.

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Travel | 0 comments

A New York State of Mindfulness


Nolan Dalla in NYC 2015


We all need a park.

Each of us requires our own particular park bench, that profoundly personal place where we run off to, that temporary asylum away from it all, that emotional hideaway uniquely our own, that haven assuring some calm and comfort when we need it most.

Everyone’s park bench is a different place.  Some places are real.  Others are a state of mind.  For our parks need not be shaded by giant elm trees, nor blanketed by green grasses, nor lined by wooden benches tempting us with free therapy.

A quiet room.  The inside of a car.  A morning shower.  A private office.  A man cave.  A visit to a friend.  A barstool.  A favorite song.  A walk or a run.  A daydream.  These things have become alternatives to sitting in parks in most of our daily lives.  These are the far more practical and convenient, and for most of us the irresistible destinations we come to covet, granting us those rare moments to recharge physical batteries and nourish emotional sustenance.

Park benches and all its modern surrogates should be conduits for pursuing, if not achieving, mindfulness.

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Posted by on Dec 24, 2014 in Blog, Movie Reviews | 2 comments

We are never prepared for what we expect (Movie Review: “Wild”)




We are never prepared for what we expect.

So wrote novelist James A. Michener.

That thought sums up the life-transforming excursion in pursuit of self-awareness, some might even say an identity, ventured by writer Cheryl Strayed back in 1995, when she embarked upon a grueling three-month, 1,100-mile journey entirely by foot, along the Pacific Crest Trail.

The once-troubled woman from Minneapolis started her long hike in California’s blistering Mojave Desert.  It ended many bruises and blisters later in the lush mountain forests of Washington State.  As with our most goals and the most purposeful of pursuits, the geographical destination isn’t really the thing.  It’s the deeper journey within the mind and soul which ultimately delivers the satisfaction we long for.  Getting there isn’t fun in the classic sense.  But making the effort and pushing oneself into unchartered territory is well worth the pain.

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2014 in Blog, Rants and Raves, Travel | 12 comments

Payless Rent-a-Car Sucks!


payless-rental-cal (1)


Following a jam-packed five-hour flight over the long Thanksgiving weekend, a typical flight-during-the-holidays hell that was delayed more than four hours, this photo shows the display of horror I saw upon my arrival at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.

You’re looking at an empty service counter at 1:15 am.  Poof!  Where is everybody?

Hey ass jokers!  What happened to my advance reservation with the mickey mouse company no one either has ever heard of or uses called– “Payless Rent-a-Car?”

Pay less, my ass.  Now wonder the customer pays less.  A company can give you a phony fish hook price when they fail to hire a single employee to work the night shift.

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