My ears; signs I’m getting old[er] – 15/28

With age, one’s body is apt to fall apart. I was that guy who liked his music loud, and perhaps, my concerts even louder. Yet I realize the errors of my ways, because I am sensitive to loud noises more than ever.

The ringing in my ears comes every now and then, and interestingly it comes from being around loud people and not necessarily loud music. And yet with realizing my ears are sensitive to what I hear, I am able to put that aside if I’m working with someone who equates loudness with being right/correct. I can’t say I’ve stood toe-to-toe with the police in a protest, but I’ve dealt with my parents who often equate how loud they can project their voice with thinking that’s right to begin with, it isn’t, but still I am able to argue rationally and succinctly despite them trying to drown out my voice as well as my opinion.

For just-saying-it sake, volume does not equate to being right. Whether it’s family or the media or other stances, being the loud squeaky wheel will get you the grease but only for a short span of time. At this time in my life I would rather dialogue and hear different opinions than project my voice to command and conquer, to “win” the arguments and debates. I rather take on a posture of listening than talking, communicating what I think instead of communicating what I think others should think. As a follower of Christ I am called to be a witness, not the judge or jury, and by demanding justice and retribution to be done in an unChrist-like way goes against the very essence of who Christ was and what he did when he lived some 2000 years ago.


Who knows where my hearing will be 10 years down the road, it could be the same it could be worse. All I know is that I’d hate to lose my hearing because so much of what I do revolves around actively listening to others, it could put a damper on things if I continue to work in social services.



A lack of communication leaves me speechless – 13/28

The thought of not being able to communicate, incommunicado, is a frightening one to me.

Communication is vital to pretty much everything, and there’s more than just verbal communication; Body language is said to make up for over 90% of communication altogether, so I guess it’s not solely what you say but how you say it…and to add that to the lot of not being able to communicate? Shudders run down my spine just thinking about it.

I think first off that if I were incommunicado I would have a hard time doing my job. I do a very good job at active listening on the job, but having built rapport with those I work with, I give suggestions catered to where they are in life. To actively listen but not give any feedback would probably irk a good deal of those I work with simply because I know that they enjoy hearing what I have to say because I don’t sugarcoat things with my clients…but again, it comes from a place of having rapport with them in the first place.

Granted relationships with my friends and family would be stunted, but I think I do a good job of being present and the listener that “what? Nathanael can no longer communicate? I didn’t know that” would be the most common reply (or so I think).

Then there’s this blog…oh noes! I can’t communicate via blogging? Talk about an eLimb that has been hacked off, woe is I! Such a great travesty has befallen mankind in the wake of me not being able to blog…don’t mind my self-imposed verbal theatrics.


So there you have it, from the falling of the Roman empire to me not being able to communicate, such monumental events in the history of mankind.


P.S. But I do realize those who don’t like me, and dare I say perhaps hate me, wouldn’t mind that I could no longer communicate. Well guess what, I’m not incommunicado, I’m still going to do what I do and that includes loving on you! ๐Ÿ™‚

Journeys of a foodie – 12/28

I am a self-described foodie; I like all forms of cuisine no matter how weird or odd it is.ย  My rule of thumb is to try it once, and if it is not an enjoyable I don’t have to eat it ever again!

Because of this credo of mine, I’ve tried some weird stuff, but I think the strangest food I’ve eaten was whole cooked fish that was heavily salted. It looked like this:

I was attending a church when I was in college, a Lao church, where I was one of a handful non-Lao members. Every Sunday the aunties would cook up a potluck for anyone and everyone, and I the foodie decided to give it all a try. The chicken foot soup was gelatinous from the cartilage, but was passable, the Lapsong Souschong ice tea was smoky but very good, but the entire fish…One bite in, I was done, not so much the texture but how incredibly salty it was! I did after one bite in accept the challenge of eating the eyes as that was a Lao thing to do (or so I was told)…and so, I still wear an invisible-to-everyone badge of honor for being honorary Lao! ๐Ÿ™‚

I keep trying different foods, it’s fun to try the food of other countries. Lately I’ve been sampling the food at a local Nepalese/Indian restaurant called Taste Of Himalayas. I went there for lunch the other day and I had the following:

Chili Pakora; hot peppers deep fried in spices and cornmeal batter. Not bad, comes with different chutneys ranging from minty to sweet to tart. All in all, I like it will have it again.

I also had

Khasi Ko Masu; a goat dish that was very aromatic and spicy, but sadly the goat meat was pretty old or wasn’t marinated long enough because it was chewy and hard. Plus there was a lot of gristle and cartilage to contend with, which really isn’t all that appetizing.


I like eating, I’ve got the gut to prove it and the guts to try it all (maybe). So here’s to different cuisines the world over, and it all begins with that first bite.


The succubi among you and I – 11/28

Richter Belmont and succubi by Candra
I don’t know if there are succubi
among the living, amongst you and I
Who live out with every intent,
to break down men who will repent
That their other woman is a demon,
who they adore now but later will be screamin’
A little bit of pleasure mixed with pain
black and white, a bit of yin and yang,
A balancing act with the darkness,
but to be nothing more than a carcass.
So I’ll avoid the temptation of falling in lust,
because I don’t want to succumb to a succubus.

I want to be a lawyer for zombies – 10/28

I want to be a lawyer for zombies. I think they are a part of our population who are grossly uninformed to their rights and the rest of the population looks down upon them and rights them off as a undead brain-eating folk.

Yes, zombies like your brains, but surely there can be some wiggle room so that they get their brains and you keep your life, right? The brain is very adaptive, case in point; A mentally ill young man who shot himself in the head in a suicide attempt suffered a brain injury that apparently eliminated his phobia of germs and his obsession with washing his hands, doctors say. While we use more of our brains than the supposed 10% myth, why not figure out cut out what we don’t need and give them to the zombies. They get to eat, your brain still functions, sounds like a win-win scenario to me!

Better yet, incorporate bioengineering, a bit of cloning, and 3D printers to create brains. Granted the brains might taste weird and nothing like how mom used to make them, but you know when times are hard you gotta eat what you gotta eat. We could also exhume recent “famous” dead people and make copies of brains for that unique flavor, and from what I’ve been told Pete Seeger’s brain pairs excellently with Pinot Grigio.

That’s another thing, if we give zombies brains they will be less grouchy and less likely to step out of line and subsequently they could be integrated in society. No need to perpetuate the Us versus Them paradigm, none of this The Walking Dead tomfoolery, WE can be friends with zombies.

I will not stop, nor will I give up my fight in seeing that zombies get what they want, I am Nathanael, Lawyer for Zombies!


I am a fan of Bob of Dylan – 9/28

In theory, I would say that our first loves of music comes from what we hear from our parental units. Subsequently, I grew up in a household listening to my mother’s tunes; classic rock and classical music. Wagner and The Who, Vivaldi and Van Halen, Beethoven and Beatles, Dvorak and Dylan…

It was an odd pairing for certain, and it all depended on what my mother was feeling in the moment; if the classic rock music she was listening took her to a place of remembrance that was fun and enjoyable it stayed on, but if it triggered something in her that was painful she would switch the channel with an indigent “we don’t listen to rock and roll”.

Still through these twist and turns of the radio dial, my love of classical music and classic rock came from her. When I was in my pre-teens I “found” Bob Dylan on my own and learned about what he wrote/sung about. I remember reading with horror the events that unfolded in Bob Dylan’s song about Hattie Carroll, I liked the sense of optimism in “the time’s they are a-changin’ / blowing in the wind”, I even liked to some extent the rawness and stripped away nature to his song “all along the watchtower” (but yes, later on I “found” Jimi Hendrix’s version).

I wasn’t a troubled youth externally, but internally I was. By getting in touch with the protest songs and folk music scene of my mother’s era I was able to work out some of that internal struggle…well, to some extent, that was prior to me making friends who gave a damn about me and my welfare. Still, I liked and still like Bob Dylan for his music and what he communicated in his lyrics.


Music is one of those things where you can find a band or a tune to suit your every emotion. Sometimes it makes you think, sometimes it puts you in a place of meditation, sometimes it just fills the silence because you can’t handle it…all the while, I think it’s a good thing to find tunes accordingly. Bob Dylan’s tunes of yore have gotten me out of my funk before, they’ve shaken me out of my complacency and have encouraged me to be optimistic (which isn’t my default mode too much of the time, but I’m getting better at it).

So here’s to Bob Dylan, a talented musician whose music has many articulate and ornate layers in his lyrics.


Say what you mean and mean what you say – 7/28

I am a man of a lot of pet peeves, A LOT; primarily people and their driving skills (or lack thereof) but there’s also the nature of communication. Yes I sometimes get bogged down on what gets said and how it gets said, but there’s also the nature of someone hint hint-ing about something. C’mon man…or woman…spill the beans! Stop this unnecessary beating around the bush.

While I have communicated where I am coming from in all of this in a previous post, I will put out there why I think that it’s a good thing to say what you mean and mean what you say.


By speaking authentically, people will trust you
; if you’re caught up in apprehension and perhaps even verbally squirming, your posture might make you out to be a liar…but by speaking the truth, speaking from a place of authenticity can take you farther than you might expect.

Body language [sometimes] speaks louder than words; even if you’re communicating something with knowledge and insight but have an air of not wanting to be there, you’re bored, et al. people will pick up on this and you’ll be viewed under scrutiny for the way you carry yourself via body language.

Honesty is the best policy; Instead of putting out there what you think people want to hear, put out the truth…but…

Use tact; …Use tact and love, choose your words carefully before you say them. My rule of thumb is think before you think before you speak.

Take ownership in what you’re communicating; I think that a good part of learning in our earlier years is one of mimicry. I know that before I started reading at the age of 3, I would “read” to my sister, that is repeat what was just said to me as my mother read to me and I then went to read to my sister. But there comes a time when “well my mother/father/pastor/best friend says” wears out its welcome. Yes these can be valid sources for what you’re trying to communicate, but what do YOU as an individual have to say? I am more likely to listen to what someone has to communicate that is the polar opposite of my viewpoints if he or she makes known this is what I have to say rather than communicating via “well my mother/father/pastor/best friend” statements.

It’s okay to not know; In my younger years (in particular about Christian matters) there was a drive that I had to know all the answers, that somehow it was imperative to be right. Well I no longer have that bent to me, I would rather come across being graceful and loving than right, and sometimes that comes at the “expense” of not knowing. I own up to when I don’t know, and I know that it’s okay not to know…ya know? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But seriously, communicating a lack of knowing is okay, it also provides you with a chance to learn more about the subject you don’t know.

Speak the truth in love; Some people get this confused and come across as speaking as an asshole. Love should be the center, should be the bearing in which we chart our lives, and we should weight out our words accordingly. Am I saying what I am saying because I’m out to get “the other”? Am I saying what I am saying to get a reaction, to rile someone up? Am I saying what I am saying because I think my viewpoints are the only valid ones? So much needs to be thought out before it’s vocalized, and I am guilty at times of vocalizing a reaction with no thought whatsoever.


Communication is vital in all relationships. It is important to put out there what we should say in an effective manner. To go about skirting issues will only lead to a break in communication and quite possibly a break in relationship to whom we’re communicating to, so please for the love all that is good, stop hint hint-ing and say what you mean and mean what you say.