What do you think it might mean to “be” something?

In Irish when one is greatly wanting food, one says “Ta ocras orm.”  In English we say “I am hungry” but the Irish say “there is hunger upon me.”  The English seems to say “I have become this thing in my being.”  We use the same form in discussing just about everything: religion, politics, sex, race, sexuality. We do say “I have a cold”, but we go right back to beingness in our jobs, our marriages… Divorces.  Just noticed that we say “I am divorced” but not “I am broken up.” (Of course, we do say ‘I’m all broken up’ in another context that is also a good example of what I’m thinking about.)

So, why is it that, consciously or not, we put our being, our very being, into such a linguistic change cycle every time we enter into description?

What do these statements have in common?   How is it possible that we use the same words for these things?  Do we mean the same thing?

I am married.
I am Republican.
I am Black.
I am English.
I am gay.
I am baptized.
I am drunk.
I am hungry.
I am somebody.

From one angle, of course, we’re using shorthand: “I am Republican” is short for “I am a registered member of a specific party.” But we don’t say that.  What we say is that “In the same way that God self-referentially said, ‘I am what I am’ I refer externally to something other than myself to say ‘I am a Communist’.”

But is that what we mean?

I note that this is different from saying “I am doing something”.  I am running means that the being I – whatever that is – is involved in this process of whatever it might be.  Only in the most vague newage spiritual language would we ever say “I am batting’, meaning ‘I have become batting in my being,  as we “unify” the self with the sport.  We usually only mean “I am batting.” I am walking.

The Abrahamic Hindu and Buddhist teach teach very important doctrines about the being of the person and while they have only the sketchiest of common threads, they do rather insist on the being as an ontological closed point, at least as part of the path towards whatever. English ignores all that and says the being has no being but rather fluctuates between this state and that state and this other state where what “I am” today is not what “I am” tomorrow.

How can this possibly be?

Bosses’ Day

I have been lucky to have some very awesome Bosses, from Constancio and Mark and Br. James and Pat at the Church Center, Joan L at Borders, Jeff at and Vern, Tom and Jim at Swain, John in Buffalo and Eric, Thomas, Sejal and Phil here at Zoosk…

My bosses challenge me, encourage me and force me to grow. 

Grandpa’s Pancakes

AMONG My earliest childhood memories (which start around age 2) is Grandpa cooking breakfast. When I would stay with my Grandparents, I slept on the sofa in the living room. Grandpa would get up very early in the morning and make himself breakfast. It was always the same thing, and I can see him sitting at the head of the table in the kitchen (all one room with the living room in their trailer). It’s dark outside and there’s just a gold-coloured light coming from the one overhead fixture. One pancake, some juice and percolated coffee. Sometimes, if I woke up he would make me a pancake as well. His was adult sized while mine was kid-sized.

Lately, I’ve been remembering his recipe – which I’ve never used, if I’m honest. Mixes and Bisquick took over long before I could cook. But scratch seems like the best option:

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup self-rising flour.

That’s it. Don’t over mix.  He always fried it up in corn oil: makes the edges very crispy. If you’re making another, there’s enough for two pancakes there, really.  But you can add another 1/4 cup each of the flour and milk and do well. This recipe also works well with self-rising cornmeal: try it with 1/4 of meal or 1/4 each flour and meal.

Cheerwine Pepper Pork

  • 1 Pepper-marinated loin of pork. (Rolled in cracked pepper, marinated. It came from the store this way.)
  • 1 Can of Cheerwine
  • 1 Crockpot.
  1. Put the loin in the crock pot.
  2. Pour the Cheerwine on top.
  3. Cover and slow cook on high for 4-5 hours. The pork will fall apart.

Hot and Spicy Cream Cheese Brownies

I did realise that this would require some experimenting. I found a recipe that started with cocoa powder and adjusted it: the Xocolatl already has some sugar in it. So I took out some sugar from the recipe and added some extra cocoa powder. Then I played with everything to get it balanced…

I assert ownership to this recipe: I made it up, it’s mine. Ok? You use it, I get credit!

For the Brownies

  • 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Melted
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/3 Cup Dagoba Xocolatl 
  • 1 Tbs Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 325° with rack in centre of oven.

  1. Line a 9″x9″ pan with tinfoil.
  2. Combine melted butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a bowl. Stir until thoroughly blended.
  3. In a separate container, combine flour, Xocolatl, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the dry to the wet and incorporate completely. Do not over-mix!
  5. Reserve 1/2 cup of this batter and pour the rest in the prepared pan.
  6. Sprinkle pecans on top of the batter.

For the Cream Cheese Topping

  • 8 Ounces Cream Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  1. Beat the cream cheese with the sugar.
  2. Add the vanilla and the egg.
  3. Blend thoroughly.
  4. Pour this over the brownie batter (and nuts)
  5. Place the reserved batter in small dollops on the top.
  6. Use a knife or an spoon handle to swirl the two batters without mixing them.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 mins or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the edges of the brownies are just beginning to brown.

Chill for at least two hours before cutting into squares.

One other option: instead of cream cheese, try moscarpone!

Moving the Blog

I’m moving my blog back to Blogger.  I’m doing this b/c my blog – as opposed to another site I own – is not a full-on website: it’s just my essays.  And essays are kinda boring if no one reads or responds to them.  I’ve explored cross-posting options (that would update G+ with my blog posts) but I don’t trust the companies that want access to my WordPress AND my Google account.  Good heavens but my Google account is like… me in cyberspace at this point.

So, since Google owns blogger AND since I can cross post to Blogger and Google+ and, for better or worse, I actually trust Google…  I’m switching over.

By the by: I was one of the first people ever to pay for Blogger back in the 90s: $35 for a lifetime of service.  🙂

The domain name ( will continue to point over there for a little while until I fix all my email issues… but then “” will point directly to my Blogger.

New York Morning

by Bill Bailey (DHR)

quiet as deliveries in early dawn
subterranean thunder rolls
calling us to life again
soft dreams fading in
the fragrances of the bed
and light cascading in on our sleep

glowing as tower lights on hanging clouds
I feel You more than see You
closed eyes and breathings merge
and gentle angel wings enfold
as You pull yourself to my chest
I hold a man holding me

sharp as city spires
we open eyes and souls
each to the other’s body heat
bursting intensities of morning’s rush
upon us and through us
body and blood on which we feast

quiet as the empire city’s streets
we are a living fire in winter’s day break
falling in the night like snow on clean cotton
our love shatters with arrows
the shields which hold us down
and in the burning of our rest we soar

Georgia Morning

by Bill Bailey (DHR)
© 1995

soft as dew on early morning grass
I touch You as You sleep
with my heart and mind
quietly like the rising sun
your eyes open and You smile

gentle as breezes through tall pines
You caress my arms and hair
and I hold You to me
glowing like dawn’s reds and pinks
in the flush of reunion

loving as Georgia’s red clay
You mold my heart with your soul
shaping it to the forms of Love
in the crucible of morning’s breakings
a chalice to celebrate our mass

soft as spanish moss on my face
your lips touch mine with moist dances
both mouths curving into smiles
as aurora’s rays pierce our eyes
We close them the more to share our Joy

San Francisco Morning

© 1997 Bill Bailey (DHR)

street car rumbles on Market
as dawn brushing our eyes
sneaks past your blinds
and wakes us in each other’s arms

waves crash on Black Sands
as gentle mist caresses lips
hands touch nipples
fogs cresting Twin Peaks

redwoods ancient on Mt Tam
see tide surge past the Golden Gate
our eyes opening in day see
bridges to each other’s soul

then heart to heart chest to chest
tectonic plates sliding together
as on earth so in heaven
joys rumble and subside

later streetcars wend me home
passing in twilit evening
I see your window
and I smile.