Thursday, January 29, 2009

First Contact with Hannah Morgan

Just stopping by to let you know I'm blogging somewhere else today, at I've yet to introduce the love of my life, Hannah Morgan, and this will give you just a taste of what I what I have to put up, what I enjoy about her. There will be more, much more, later.

Friday, January 23, 2009

If The Table Moves, Move With It.

It occurred to me today that my first two blogs were of a serious nature, giving a somewhat skewed picture of my true personality. So I've decided to move one step from the "sublime to the ridiculous", as Napoleon Bonaparte once said. And no, I have not been alive long enough to have known him, though he would have been interesting to meet. But it is in the spirit of his quote that I introduce today's subject: fortune cookies.

And you thought I was going to discuss something French, didn't you?

It is one of the more odd coincidences in my life that I am forever receiving cellophane-wrapped treats which are remarkably relevant. Now, one would think an extraterrestrial of exceptional abilities wouldn't care about the philosophy presented on a scrap of paper hidden in a cookie, but we aliens are as in need of good advice as anyone else.

This particular cookie was obtained in a Vietnamese restaurant which has a wonderfully savory whole fish steamed
with lemongrass and cilantro. For those who don't yet know me, eating is one of my most cherished activities when I take on human form, at least number two or three on the list. And I admit to being fond of these brittle, vanilla-scented sweets as well, even though I know they're likely full of preservatives and have been mass-produced for a largely American audience (you didn't think they were Chinese, did you?), and the fortunes are likely written by moonlighting greeting-card writers rather than acolytes of Confucius. I still like the cookies. And this one was remarkable:

If the table moves, move with it.

My companion, who was inhaling a rather unimaginative (on her part, it was cooked well enough) sweet and sour chicken at the time, thought it meant that one should not allow the furniture to be pulled away from one until the meal is finished. She is a literal sort and inclined to believe what she sees. You can imagine what it is like to be an alien pretending to be a human around her.

I chose to read somewhat more into it. What is a table, but the place before us upon which is placed the feast? Or to be a little less pedantic, the table is life, and life moves. When it does not unfold as we expect, we're sometimes at a loss as to what to do about it. We spend an inordinate amount of time (I am no less guilty of this than anyone else) trying to get life back on track to where we thought it should be. When, in fact, it would be much easier to simply move with it.

You see? No thick tomes of esoteric Earth philosophy for this visitor - you caught my attention with the seven words that would fit on this sliver of paper. I have promised to heed the table in front of me, and if the furniture takes off in an unforeseen direction, I won't try to nail it to the floor - I'll just pick up my chair and follow.

As a side note, I have since discovered that the quote is actually well-known, although I've yet to find much on its author, a Mr. (Ms?) Sakaue. But knowing my baker-philosopher did not invent the saying does not negate my wonder at having received it, because it is only a part of the package. The other side of the fortune contains the usual lesson in Chinese, which I can't reproduce completely for you here as my typewriter does not have the necessary characters. I can only provide the phonetic pronunciation and its English translation:

Chean ju yee. Please pay attention.

Now what could
be better than that?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Day They Thought Would Never Come

It's Presidential Inauguration day in the United States. "I never thought this day would come while I was still alive", is the statement I most hear from the humans around me, as they watch Barack Obama take the oath of office to become the 44th President.

When I was born, slavery had yet to be abolished in this country. It has taken a civil war, civil strife, the sacrifice of eloquent leaders and the eloquent contributions of those ordinary people who took a stand and suffered the consequences, to arrive at this day. It has taken more than a century and a half to make the journey from one brave President's proclamation that the United States could no longer operate under the shadow of slavery, to this moment when another brave President could lay his hand on that same bible and become the first black man to ascend to the highest office of this country.

For a century and a half, I have watched humans as they learn what they can tolerate, and what they cannot. Today I watched as the people of this country allowed themselves to imagine a new way of looking at the world, one based on hope, personal responsibility and connection with their fellow humans. A world where race, gender, and religion are no longer issues which divide, but simply some of the characteristics which make each human unique.

It's been a very good day.

Monday, January 19, 2009


The night side of Earth's northern hemisphere filled the sky below me; it was a huge, dark disc, the only reassurance that the sun still existed the barest nimbus of light along the far edge. On the planet itself, pinpricks of man-made brilliance followed continental coasts and major inland waterways, scattering more thinly across the interiors of all but the least-developed areas. They merged into glowing puddles at urban centers, as if a child had carefully applied dots of florescent ink to illustrate a geography lesson, only to discover, when she reached the eastern seaboard of the United States, her pen had sprung a leak.

This was my first view of Earth. I'm Gideon Cyrus, an Olam. Members of my species have been living secretly on
Earth for a long, long time. We love this planet, sometimes even more than you, the human inhabitants of Earth, seem to. I've only been around for a bit over 150 of your years, but I'd still give everything I have to make sure that Earth, however fragile it is, is still around many millennia from now, and still populated with a wide variety of fascinating, frustrating, creative and stubbornly independent humanity. Plus a few friendly extraterrestrials.

But living incognito can be tiring, when the only entities who know one's true identity are not always around. The rest of the time I must be human - at least on the outside - because many on Earth are not ready for my kind to reveal ourselves. Or any extraterrestrial kind, for that matter.

Still, eventually we will need to come out of the saucer, so to speak, and it has occurred to me that I might tiptoe out on occasion, just to test the waters. To be myself, to let others know how I see the world and perhaps find out how the world might see me. This blog, hidden as it certainly is among so many others, is sure to be found by only the most imaginative, the most curious of readers.

Welcome. I'm looking forward to our conversation.