About Me

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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


"Would you like to go to Harvest Festival with me?"  She said she'd like that.  "Have you been there before?"  She had - once, like I had.  I don't know why they call it Harvest Festival, as it is held in late summer in the desert.  Except for the merchandise in some of the vendors' booths, there is nothing remotely harvest-like about it. It is simply the Promised Land of craft shows, the presenters required to jump through a few hoops to prove the quality of their goods before being allowed a spot on the selling floor.  On my prior visit, I'd come out with a haul for my friend's approaching birthday and a few trinkets for myself.  This time, I was on a mission.  I knew what I was after.  I paid $4 to park Lucy Sue and $9 to walk through the door, this for the privilege of going in to spend even more of my money. Later, a companion laughed at me over that at dinner. "What? You paid how much to be allowed to spend more?"  "Oh, it's a girl thing.  I'll probably go back next year and pay for the privilege, too."

Click image for larger size.
I was searching for Chinese charm bracelets, a little item that mightily pleased me a couple of years ago.  These confections consist of a slim black cord decorated with a gemstone figure, one temple bell and two charms. The gemstones and charms represent all manner of good things that might come one's way. Whenever the temple bell rings, which is approximately every time one breathes, one's prayer will be answered.  I was a rookie last time at Harvest Festival.  The bracelets are laid out on long tables in deep piles.  There may be a million or so.  Oh, yes, I saw the little code-breaker, telling what everything meant.  But it was a bit overwhelming and I ultimately just bought 5 of them for the price of 4, some for birthday girlfriend and some for me, and made my way home.

Click image for larger size.
The next day at work, my home dudes helped me translate the charms and gemstones into an understanding of my next karmic gifts to be expected.  They also had to help me, with a good deal of chin rubbing and furrowed-brow studying, learn how to operate the bracelet on its cord through the beads that tighten or loosen it.  "Hey, Les, do they all have a bell?"  I said they did.  "Prayers answered."  Great!  Who doesn't seek that?  "Anything like a yin and yang?"  I had one - balance and harmony.  "Do you have the money bag?"  Sure did - riches!  The cleverest of the group asked me about a fish. I didn't have one.  He asked again.  I said I didn't.  The third time around, I queried, "What's up with the fish, Homey?"  Freedom, prosperity and good sex.  Damn!  There were a million lying there.  How'd I get away without a fish?  I wore my bracelets on wrist and ankle until they fairly rotted off of me.  Sure I could have gone online to order more, but there is something about running one's hands through the pile . . I bought nothing else there this time.  My mission was accomplished.

It may have been sunny somewhere,
but certainly not where I was!
When we'd arrived it was a hot, late summer monsoonal afternoon.  I'd cracked the windows of the car and put the shade in my windshield so we wouldn't melt when we left the place.  Walking out, she needed a cigarette.  I don't care for this, but I don't hammer.  We've had the serious discussions.  She knows how I feel about it and what the rules are regarding how close that activity may be performed to my person.  I strive for tolerance.  As she puffed, I watched the sky go a funny color and thunderclouds roll in faster than I can type it.  "Smoke fast, please."  But the thunder started to boom and the rain fell in sheets.  We were placed nominally under an awning, but within seconds the pounding rain began to pummel us sideways.  "Shit!" I bellowed.  Mothers pushing strollers began to scatter, kids screamed, men repeated my sentiment loudly.  The hail hit and when it began to pound me in the head and ear, I knew I couldn't just stand there.  I was wearing sandals not fit to go anywhere near any form of liquid, but I moved along pretty smartly without face-planting.  We (and 100 others) charged the door of the Cashman Center and they let us back in.  "Lady, you can run like nothing I ever saw," said the ticket-taker.  "Your dark hair is all full of hail stones."  I was so grateful to receive that information.  Soaked to the skin, water dripping off of us from everywhere, the air conditioning nearly froze us. I can attest that a small pair of jeans weighs a ton when fully saturated.  If I hadn't worn a belt, I may have lost my pants.

The crowd milled around, listening to the thunder roll and watching the water come up over the curbs, hail piling up against the side of the building. And then the sun burst through, as suddenly as the storm had come in.  The entire show took about 7 minutes.  The aftermath was more lasting.  Our choices for getting to the parking lot were few: 1) Walk  on the sidewalk to Utah and circle around, or 2) ford the river and take our chances. We stepped into the current, twigs and debris swirling around our legs, mud collecting in my sandals, finally cresting the hill and spotting the car. Ah, the car. There was an inch of water in the cup holders, hailstones arranged in a pretty little tableau on  the dashboard. The upholstery spewed a geyser when we sat on the seats. Hair product streamed down my neck and forehead, condensation forming on the lenses of my glasses.  "Nice relaxing day out shopping, eh? Want some Starbucks?" She did. Teeth chattering, we drove off.

As I drove along, a text message dropped in. "Want to go for pizza? I'm hungry!" I sent a reply saying that I would enjoy pizza but explained I would need to go home first and fix myself up from the skin out.  "I'm sure you look great. It's just Metro Pizza." I averred that I looked anything but great. "Oh, come on. How bad can you look?"  I said I can actually look pretty bad under certain circumstances. Finally I sent the phone cam pictures. "Oh. OK, see you in an hour or so. Take your time."  Well!

So this time I got a gemstone cat (for protection), a bamboo charm (strength and resilience), a Chinese coin (riches) and the temple bell to ring all my prayers to truth. I got a heart (love and fulfillment) and a yin/yang (harmony). And - oh, yeah, I got a lovely green jade fish (freedom, prosperity and good sex). I'll let you know how that works out for me.

In my ears right now: Because I love it.


  1. Was this festivel held on 9/12? There was a harvest moon that night. A harvest moon is the full moon closest to the first day of Autumn. 9/12 would be late summer.

  2. @ Kirk ~ No, actually the week before the 12th (this year), but some years it's in August. Good application of logic, though. Thank you for reminding to use that from time to time no matter how unnatural that feels to me.

  3. Are all the charms on one bracelet ? or do you wear multiple bracelets.
    Yes, those quick moving storms can do lots of damage. Glad you only got wet !

    cheers, parsnip

  4. @ angryparsnip ~ Yes, I do wear multiples, sometiems on wrists and ankles. Each bracelet consists of one gemstone figure, 2 charms and a temple bell. In fact, my bells are ringing as I type this.

    I knew you'd appreciate the storm story!

  5. let us know how the fish works out !!......xx

  6. @ artymess ~ Ha, Lorna, I certainly will! Imagine this blogger let on that she knew anything whatsoever abour freedom, prosperity and good sex. [Blush]

  7. I like the fish charm especially, though I wouldn't want to be thinking about it if its charms were effective - fish freak me out.

  8. @ Rachel ~ I like fish, actually, which is why I won't eat one. They don't freak me out in any way. But I can tell you truly, I've never thought of one as it relates to my freedom, prosperity or good sex, at least while those things were occurring.