Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Making a Difference

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

~ William James

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's Not Always Easy

Think of all the betrayals and evil deeds that have occurred with cell phones -- voice mail, text messages, corrupt and pornographic pictures. Now think of all the lives that have been saved by cell phones -- calls for help, text messages, on-the-spot photographs of criminal acts. God is in all things, but so too may the devil be. We must learn to discern between the two. It's not always easy ...........

Monday, July 21, 2008

North Carolina: First in Flight

I've been wondering since I moved to North Carolina what the "First in Flight" reference on the license plates means. After searching a bit I found a good explanation on a Web site created by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., called America's story from America's Library.

They've got an array of information about America from a feature on Billie Holiday to a treasure chest of material about each of the 50 states.

Here's what the Library of Congress tells us about the "first in flight" reference:

The Wright brothers were from Ohio, but they achieved most of their successes in North Carolina. Do you know why they decided to do their flying experiments there?

To find a better location for their pioneering aeronautical (aircraft) experiments than their home in Dayton, Ohio, Orville and Wilbur Wright consulted the U.S. Weather Bureau. The brothers found that the town of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, offered the sand dunes and high winds that they hoped would help them in their attempts at powered flight.

The Wrights spent months in North Carolina working toward their goal. On December 17, 1903, they finally succeeded. Orville flew the powered glider first, then Wilbur, then each once more. The brothers had achieved the first powered, controlled, sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Messy Love

Sometimes when I'm teaching English to my students from other countries, they'll come up with sentences or phrases that are grammatically incorrect but make the point beautifully anyway. And sometimes they put words together that any poet would appreciate.

Yesterday I was teaching my Eastern European students about opposites -- same vs. different, fancy vs. plain, smooth vs. rough. I asked them to write sentences using some of the words so that they could learn the meanings more clearly. We discussed the difference between the words "messy" and "tidy." Here's the sentence that my student Emilia came up with:

I don't like messy love.

I hardly knew what to say. It was so eloquent and the expression on Emilia's face said it all.

"Very good Emilia! I don't like messy love either," I told her. "Thank you."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

And If You Don't Believe in Me ...

On rare occasions I receive sort of psychic messages to write about certain artists. So here she is -- Mary J. Blige. After doing a bit of research on her life -- I can see why she would make a good post for my blog and why I could be inspired by her.

I've always thought that Mary was one of the most down-to-earth and ernest singers around. She has a couple of songs that have really connected with me in the past. I read a recent article about her in the USA Weekend magazine and found her story to be quite intriguing. Her song "My Life" is my favorite from her repertoire. If I had to choose an anthem for certain times in my life -- this would be it! Her wordless humming which opens the piece, embodies all of the pain and beauty of the song's message -- whenever you're feeling pain, turn to God and God will make it alright.

Here are the lyrics to:

My Life
(with samples from "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" by Roy Ayers)

If you looked in my life
And see what I've seen...
If you looked in my life
And see what I've seen...

[Verse 1]
Life can be only what you make it
When you're feelin down
You should never fake it
Say what's on your mind
And you'll find in time
That all the negative energy
It would all cease

And you'll be at peace with yourself
You won't really need no one else
Except for the man up above
Because He'll give you love


[Verse 2]
Take your time
Baby don't you rush a thing
Don't you know, I know
We all are struggling
I know it is hard
But we will get by
And if you don't believe in me
Just believe in "He"

Cause He'll give you peace of mind
Yes He will
And you'll see the sunshine
For real, yes you would
And you'll get to free your mind
And things will turn out fine
Oh, I know that things will turn out fine
Yes they would, yes they would


All you gotta do is take your time,
One day at a time
It's all on you
what you gonna do?

Oh you will see I'm so down and out
Cryin' every day
Don't know what to do or to say

Here's Mary singing My Life on YouTube.

Check out the June 22 article about Blige in the USA Weekend magazine:

On the chart-topping single "Real Love," from her 1992 debut album, a raw and emotionally ravaged Mary J. Blige begged the heavens for a boon: "Send me someone real / to caress me and to guide me / towards a love my heart can feel." For years, the universe denied her. Tumultuous relationships, self-acknowledged substance abuse and deep insecurities mounted. Blige sang about them all, and even though her pain brought her stardom, it also threatened to destroy her.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Ignoring Pain and Suffering

Have you heard the horror story about the woman at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn who fell out of her chair last month while at the hospital, and was thrashing on the floor dying while people around her, including a hospital security guard did nothing to help?

It was an hour before another patient told hospital staff that this woman was dead on the floor. We only know about this tragedy because the whole scene was caught on one of the hospital's surveillance cameras.

Of course this is not the first instance of people in dire straits, or facing death, who have been passed by as onlookers did nothing to help.

What has caused us as people (and I'm including myself here) to become so numb and insensitve that we can stand by and watch others (who are sometimes our own friends and relatives) suffer acute physical and/or emotional pain and do nothing to help -- not even offer some sort of comfort?

Does anyone have any insight into this phenomenon?