Touch of Grey will, well, touch upon the rainbow that is life. Good music, good times, and good friends combine to make all the splendid colors. Touch of Grey will celebrate this beautiful rainbow.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A World of Experience

A recent entry on The Grey-Beard Loon's blog churned up the memories for me. A lovely tango video accompanied by a little blurb about how select tourists attempt to immerse themselves in the local culture made me think of a certain former co-worker from Trinidad-Tobago who absolutely was living his dream by coming to Texas and wrapping himself in the cowboy culture. He could warble a country hit, particularly something by Jim Reeves or Ray Price, and your ears wouldn't know the difference. He was an absolutley unique character. As were so many of the people from other countries that I have had the privelege of working with throughout the years.

I consider myself so fortunate to have worked alongside and be taught by brilliant med techs who bring with them the experiences and richness of foreign lands. To date, in the lab field alone, I have had the good fortune to work with techs from:



Hong Kong.






British Guyana.

The Philippines.





And those are just the ones off the top of my head. As they immersed themselves in our culture, perfecting their english, I too soaked up what they had to offer. I listened to their music, attended weddings with traditional garb and food, listened to them speak their native tongue, and found that we had far more similarities than differences. And believe me, you haven't lived until you have heard an Indian rap song (yes, there is such a thing!).

What different nationalities have you experienced with your coworkers? How do you find they enrich (or frustrate) your life?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Monday Monday

Er...make that Sunday Sunday.

But you know Monday is bound to come around. I mean, since we didn't get caught up in the "Rapture" and all. '

So here we are. And here we spend another Sunday enjoying the downtime and family, and preparing for yet another workweek ahead.

At least your job doesn't suck as bad as Dilbert's. Or does it? Tell me, do you enjoy your work? Is there something about it that tees you off? Is there a particular aspect of it that you like? Do you look forward to it every day, or is it so much drudgery?

Well, at least I can wish everybody a happy Monday. I guess they really are inevitable, even in the face of the end of times.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last Post (?)

Since we have the "Rapture" coming and all, I suppose I'll be one of those non-followers who will fall into the depths of Hell when the Earth opens up and becomes a gaping maw directly to the the underworld. All the other perfect people will ascend with their Lord unto the Heavens and will live happily ever after.

Or not.

I guess we shall see. case this is the last day for us all one way or the other, I offer a parting piece of humor that should make both sides happy. At least for a while until the second coming. It could, after all, be my last post.

Or not.

So I'm confused. I'm not religious, so I would like a little help here. I don't understand, if this is the "rapture", or the second coming, or whatever, whatever happened to Armageddon, and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse? Does it all happen at the same time? Is Judgment Day the same, or is it a different thing? Is this doomsday, so to speak, because if it is, then were the Mayans wrong all along? My poor head....

Yeah. What say I see you same time, same place tomorrow. That sounds good to me. Maybe I'll have a Dilbert comic or two to get you ready for the work week.

After all, I suspect that it will be business as usual again. Not even the Rapture can stop Mondays from coming around.

Or not.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

In the Dust

Now that we've finally had some rain to wash the dust off our vehicles, some cars you pass on the road may look a little cleaner, or, at least, a little less dusty.

But having a dirty car is not always a bad thing. Some inspired, talented rogue artist just may find your filthy car and proceed to share his artistic interpretations. This is not just any mundane, smiley-face kid's drawings, mind you. No, this guy takes his art very seriously. Go here and I promise you WON'T believe your eyes. Be sure to visit the "Gallery" and see my favorite, "The Rapture of Pop 'n Fresh". How to describe that one? have to see it to believe it. As well as all the others.

So if you're looking for something a little - well- different today, there ya go. You will never look at a dirty car in quite the same way again.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Question of Balance (Motherless Child)

This is a repeat of a blog that I posted about 2-1/2 years ago on the VicAd. It's all I can think to say on Mother's Day.

I don't know what's worse: when I dream about her, or when I don't. Sometimes in my dreams I see her as she once was: young, beautiful, alive, vibrant, and smiling....always smiling. Sometimes I see her in her later years, still beautiful, but tired, weary....The dreams can be so vivid, I can feel, smell, even taste as if in a waking state. But when I wake up, she is not there.

The dreams without her seem to be more frequent these days. I fear that I won't remember, won't be able to feel her again. I worry that the only time I will see her face is in photographs. When she appears in my dreams, I always hug her. It feels so real. If I stop dreaming about her, will I ever have contact with her again on any plane?

Driving alone in the windy darkness last night, I listened to Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and it made me wonder: Is she anywhere? Does she feel anything? Can she see, hear, think? Is there an existence beyond this life where my mother is....AWARE? I try to balance things in my head. Being the scientist I am, I am forever searching for that balanced equation. It gives order to the universe and reason to our beings. I can't seem to make this life and anything after it balance in my head. Faith and logic escape me now.

As I watched the leaves swirling, whirling in the wild winds last night and felt the air growing ever colder, I wondered if she is cold where she is. I think that maybe I would like to believe she is basking in the sunlight, young again, glowing in the warmth. I hope she is. The last dream I had of my mother before she died is the way I want to remember her. She had risen out of the water in a beautiful one-piece bathing suit, her tall black bouffant hair inexplicably untouched by the water, straight white teeth shining in the sunlight. She was, in essence, reborn. Does this mean she would be reborn after her passing? I yearn to believe I will see her again. I feel her slipping away, ever so slowly, as if it were all a dream. If I could achieve a balance of having her in my dreams and having her in my life I would have less questions. Perhaps not all equations are meant to be balanced.

If only I could know for sure. If I ever see her again, in my dreams or otherwise, I would just like to ask her:

Tell me - did the wind sweep you off your feet?

Did you finally get the chance to dance along the light of day

And head back to the Milky Way?

And tell me - did Venus blow your mind?

Was it everything you wanted to find?

And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

And tell me - did you sail across the sun?

Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded

And that Heaven is overrated?

Tell me - did you fall for a shooting star?

One without a permanent scar?

And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Remember Rain

This is a repeat of a blog I posted on the Victoria Advocate a couple years ago. It's a sad thing that it needs to be repeated, but it is what it is. This time, I HAVE included video of the great songs I mentioned, plus a little Blind Melon (poor Bee Girl - wait, lucky Bee Girl!)thrown in for good measure, so....go ahead, and drown yourself in this great music while the sky steadfastly refuses to open up. At least your ears will be happy.

I remember rain. It's wet, cool, falls from the sky, and when it reaches the earth below, it makes mud that you can squish between your toes and the little ones can make gourmet mudpies from.

The beauty of a good soaking, the demanding clap of thunder on a warm night....these, too, are things that I remember. I recall opening up an umbrella, and hearing the pitter-patter of the drops on the top of the nylon fabric. Those same umbrellas are now collecting a layer of dust in my coat closet. Will I EVER be able to use them again?

I am growing more despondent and desperate by the day for just a shower, a sign from heaven above that Texas has NOT been forgotten nor forsaken by Mother Nature. I don't make my living by depending on what the weather may hold, but many in this area do. Ranchers and farmers have my deepest sympathy, as I cannot imagine how devastating it must be for them right now to be at the mercy of one of the worst droughts in South Texas history.

I have seen anecdotes in other blogs about doing rain dances, dressing in native american garb, praying, and hoping against hope for just a little precipitation. Well, folks, nothing seems to have done the trick thus far. Just what is it going to take? If I knew, I would have already done it. Livestock and animals are suffering, people are cranky, grass is beyond crunchy - it's DEAD. Most of my plants are either wilted or dead, or quickly heading that way. It sounds ridiculous, but the last time I saw rain of any real significance was in November. Oh, no, not here - IN DELAWARE. I had a thought at the time to bring some back home with me just in case, but it was a lighthearted thought at the time. Now, it's gotten serious.

To while away the cloudless, rainless hours, I recommend some groovy tunes - who knows, if we listen to enough "rain" songs together, something might happen, right? I would love to include You Tube links, but truthfully, it's just too depressing. Try "Rain" by the Beatles, a lovely tune that has been in my head for 3 days running now. "Let it Rain" by Eric Clapton is always good for some mellow rock, as is "Have You Ever Seen the Rain" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Although it isn't really about rain per se, "Love Reign O'er Me" by the Who off their seminal work "Quadrophenia" is another fine rain tune. In fact, the entire album is amazing from start to finish, and is highly recommended by me.

If that doesn't fill the bill, try watching "Singing in the Rain", a wonderful movie that still doesn't show its age, starring Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, and of course, Gene Kelly. It is a funny, well-done movie, and even though right now the sight of Kelly splashing in the rain might be a little depressing, it is not to be missed! Rock on, kiddies, and keep looking to the sky - there has to be a raincloud out there with our name on it. RIGHT?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Long Time Comin'

Dad then......

and now.

Well, it had to happen. I mean, really, after all this time, it was inevitable.

I FINALLY beat my dad at pool last night. YES! It took nearly 44 years, but I DID IT! Fair and square.

I think that because that happened, I truly upset the balance of the universe. The next game saw at least 15 minutes elapse before a single ball was sunk. I think the act of dad racking and me breaking turned everything upside down, since, as the usual loser, I rack and he breaks. I kid you not, there were balls that REFUSED to go in a pocket. They would bobble on the edge, hit the bumpers and bounce away from the pocket, you get the idea. Never had we played a game like that before. Besides the fact we were getting very tired, having played half the night already. Finally, dad got two in a row sunk, and after that, I was sunk. He won the last game of the night handily. But the point is, I WON A GAME. Never have I won against my dad. Heck, I can even beat him at chess, Stratego, Risk, you name it. Not very often, but it has happened. But pool? That was the last frontier. And it was worth it to hear him say that I was getting much better. YES! Practice makes perfect.

Of course, it was all accompanied by some GREAT music. An assortment of homemade CDs on shuffle took us from Marty Robbins to The Cadillacs to Ernest Tubb to The Who to the Moody Blues.....what a wonderful way to spend an evening. Dad was most surprised at Blondie's "Rapture", I suppose never having heard it before. He liked it very much, and said at least that rap song had good music as well. And, of course, what really got him going was Max Frost and the Troopers' "Shape of Things to Come". He and I have always loved that song, and one of our favorite movies is "Wild in the Streets".

So for you, dad, the loser, from the winner, enjoy these wonderful tunes that you seemed to like best last night. Next time, though, I think I'll rack.