Wake Up!



















At some point, you must set aside what you want to happen
and realize what is actually happening.




~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 100:

You don’t have to own what you think.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




This Flower



I give you this flower,
Individual,
Containing all flowers,
Containing all my love,
Which cannot be contained.




~ Poem and Photo by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




There's Always A Price




























You dream of flying, but if your wish were granted, the freedom of flight would be paid for with the solemnity of survival.




~ Russ Allison Loar
~ "Freedom" painting by Dorothea Hyde
© All Rights Reserved




Fathers and Sons





















They are their father's sons.
I criticize them for being like me.
I know too well where that can lead.






~ Text & photograph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 113:

When “follow your dream” isn’t working out,
it might be wise to consider another dream.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




An Employee's Prayer















How can I break free
from this weary working world
that strangles me?





~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Martin Kippenberger
© All Rights Reserved

# 86:

The butterfly does not miss being a caterpillar.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Kids Need Discipline!



















"The school board Tuesday night unanimously approved
the death penalty for dress code violations."





~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Photo by Paul and Lora Guajardos
© All Rights Reserved




Love Is The Filter














When I was young and didn't need glasses to read, I saw every speck of dirt and dust.

Now that I'm older, there is a filter in my eyes that makes everything look so much cleaner.

The filter I have found for my inquisitive, restless soul is love.






~ Text & artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 84:

We are the "what if" animals.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 266:

The past is a memory.
The future is a concept.
Now is eternal.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Happiness Has Wings





Happiness has wings
Of dust
And light,
So fragile,
Just a thought
Can tear them from the sky.



~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Artwork by Cy Brinson
© All Rights Reserved

#267:

One may be able to define enlightenment
without actually being enlightened.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Life On The Moon?
























M y grandfather, Herman Allison, born August 4, 1885, in Morgan's Mill, Texas, once told me that when he was a schoolboy, a topic for debate was:

"Is the moon inhabited?"





~ Text & artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Ants





























Ants,
These busy, busy ants,
Called upon this hot summer day
To march from there to here to somewhere else,
Called upon by Mother Earth to live,
To be busy,
So busy this hot summer day.

They do not ask why.



~ poem and photo by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 14:

What you pretend to know,
closes your eyes to the truth.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




My Afternoon With Alex



The charming and erudite host of Jeopardy!, Alex Trebek, is surprisingly sardonic off camera. The studio audience—about 100 split between members of the general public on the left side of the theater, friends and family of the contestants on the right—had plenty of opportunity to ask him questions during down times between segments, sampling his slightly cynical sense of humor.

I asked if he'd ever been a game show contestant; if he would ever be a contestant on Jeopardy! before he retires; and how did he think he'd do as a Jeopardy! contestant.

He said he'd been a contestant on a few game shows, but would not be a contestant on Jeopardy! because then someone else would have to host the show, and "he might be better than I am." How would he do as a Jeopardy! contestant? Trebek said he would probably do well against his "peers." Then, looking directly at me, he said, "I see by your white hair that you might be one of my peers. I would crush you!"

A middle-aged man in the mostly middle-aged audience asked, "How do you pronounce all those foreign words?" He answered with overemphasized, drawn out speech: "W-i-t-h M-y M-o-u-t-h."

I also talked to crisp-toned announcer Johnny Gilbert, asking how many tapings per day the winners do. He said they tape five shows a day. For Jeopardy! champion Ken Jennings to win seventy-four consecutive games, he had to win five games in a row, then get up the next morning and go win another five games. Whew indeed! The show tapes Tuesdays and Wednesdays, three weeks a month, nine months a year.

Gilbert introduced two of the three Clue Crew members who were at the taping—Sarah and Jimmy. When the pair stood up and waved to the audience, I saw that Jimmy was wearing a maroon hoodie with "HARVARD" emblazoned on the front in big letters. Yeah, OK. You're smart.

A Few Candid Moments

A fortyish woman asked Trebek what his favorite karaoke song was. He replied, "My favorite karaoke song?" then turned his head to the side and pretended to spit on the floor, saying: "I hate karaoke."

Another audience member asked him what he thought about rap music. As he began to criticize it, he seemed to pause and take a quick scan of the audience, then said he disliked most of it because of the bad language and negative references, adding that he thought it was a bad influence on youth. "Not all of it is bad, but most of it," he said, apparently not wishing to condemn the entire black youth culture.

Surprise! Trebek Doesn't Know Everything

When one of the contestants incorrectly answered "era" instead of "eon" in response to a science question requiring a three-letter word with two vowels, Trebek told the young man that "era" was not a scientific term. One of the fact checkers disagreed.

(Era can be generic, such as the era of horse and buggy, or scientific, such as the Paleozoic era.)

Trebek seemed to think "era" had only a generic meaning. But after the fact checker disagreed, he walked over to the front of the stage where a semicircle of fact checkers are located in a pit behind computer screens and telephones, and picked up one of their dictionaries. He seemed genuinely interested in making sure he had the correct information, although the staff photographer who took candid photos during the taping of the show moved quickly into position to take a few shots of Trebek studiously peering into the dictionary. He lingered just long enough to ensure a good publicity shot.

Trebek Is 73

When asked what books he's read, Trebek said he reads a lot of nonfiction, "political stuff," and also likes novelist "John . . ." and then couldn't think of the author's last name until an audience member called out: "Grisham." Then he mentioned finishing a book during a recent trip, but could not remember what it was. "It'll come to me," he said. It didn't.

So even the sharp-witted Trebek, adjudicator of all knowledge, cannot escape the symptoms of an aging mind. Or perhaps it was just overload, considering all the data that had passed through his brain by the last taping of the day. It was the fifth and last show during a day in which he'd already articulated 264 questions with but a very few misspeaks. Is this reassuring to those of us who worry about occasional memory loss? I don't know, but I'm gonna keep playing.




~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 3:

Art gives substance to spirit.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Popeye

















Dear Sirs,

I am Popeye, the sailor man. Although it pains me deeply to admit it, I do, in fact, live in a garbage can. Despite my impoverished habitat due to temporary setbacks too numerous to mention at this time, let me assure you that I will, nevertheless, be strong to the finish, because I “eats” me spinach, because, all in all, when push comes to shove, at the core of my being, I am still Popeye, the sailor man.

Regards,

P.S. Man






~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Illustration from Wikimedia.org
© All Rights Reserved

# 125:

On the freeway during rush hour:
How would Jesus drive?



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Teapot Song




I'm a little teapot
Short and stout,
Kick me in the rear
And step on my snout.

I'm a little teapot
Fat and wide,
Take me to the slaughterhouse
And cut off my hide!





~ Poem & artwork by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Poets




















Poets must give one another unadulterated praise
because nobody else gives a damn.






~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Painting by Holly Roberts
© All Rights Reserved

# 76:

How far is infinity from here?


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Lost In The Desert

















I was in Egypt when I was 15, but it took many years for me to realize where I'd been and what I'd really seen.




~ by Russ Allison Loar (far left, on camel)
© All Rights Reserved

# 51:

Knowledge is only the beginning. You have to spend time thinking about what you know to become wise.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Blackmail



To You Whom It May Concern,

I am in possession of certain facts and sensitive material that have no relevance to you in any way.

Unless you deliver $1 million in unmarked coins to my home within 48 hours, I will be forced to release this irrelevant material to the newspapers, which, in all likelihood, will not publish it.

This is your next-to-last warning!

Ima Moron
54321 Blastoff Avenue,
Zoloft, CA 98765-4321


P.S. Do not give my address to the police.




~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 21:

I can be analytic,
but I prefer to eat and drink my art.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 11:

Seek questions, not answers.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Holding On




















What can we hold onto?
When everything changes,
When everything passes,
When the years recreate who we are,
Sometimes lifting us,
Sometimes tearing us apart.

O love,
The clich├ęd word so easily pronounced,
The greeting card verse
Spoken without feeling,
O love,
If kept alive and breathing . . .

There is so much to love in this world.
Even when you are old and confined
You can love a memory.
Even when memories fall away
You can love an idea.
Even when cognition falters,
When fear invades,
When the dark idea of godless death threatens,
Believe!

Hold onto love,
However untranslatable it may seem.
Love will persist.
You will be saved.






~ by Russ Allison Loar
~ Photo by Sharon Pruitt ~ Pink Sherbet Photography
© All Rights Reserved

# 12:

When you don’t have enough to eat, you treasure every bite.

Only the poor understand how lucky the rest of us are.



~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




In A Perfect World


















I n a perfect world,

there would be no need for emulsification.






~ by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

# 74:

Enlightenment comes from removing the barriers you have erected to what is already here, what has always been here.


~ Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved




Heh, Heh, Heh





L aura was breathing harder now, her head resting against George’s shoulder as they sat in his pickup truck at the drive-in movie. It was a long movie and she had been up since the crack of dawn. She was asleep.
"Looks like you managed to cut off our only escape route,” Princess Leia tongue-lashed the handsomely handsome Han Solo.

“Maybe you’d like it back in your cell, your highness!” Han rhetoricated mockingly.
“Aaugh!” Laura screamed, awakening to the sound of laser fire pontooning from the small metal speaker box hooked on the passenger side window.

“Laura, what’s wrong?”

“Oh George, I just had the most frightening dream of my life. I dreamed you were president and I was First Lady and a band of bearded evildoers blew up New York City!”

“Heh, heh, heh,” George spontaneously chuckled, draining his fourth Budweiser. “Heh, heh, heh. That’ll be the day.”




~ Story & photo morph by Russ Allison Loar
© All Rights Reserved

Mindings