Author’s Story

My Life Limited to Words — Ray Palla
I’m    a    heck    of    a    cook    and    often    make    up    my    own recipes,   especially   for   meats   on   the   grill   with   real   wood smoke.   I   have   an   imaginary   dog   (alter   ego,   if   you   will) named   Ranger   Wordsmith. And   I’m   quite   adept   at   living alone   and   enjoy   it   very   much   because   I   don’t   need permission    to    have    a    weird    schedule    or    make    a dramatic change in climate or scenery on a whim. One   particular   summer   recipe   for   the   grill   that   I   enjoy   is a    pork    roast    stuffed    with    mushrooms,    spinach,    and cream   cheese,   wrapped   in   bacon   (of   course).   I   use   oak and   pecan   dried   woods   and   slow   smoke   it   ‘til   it   falls apart   and   the   bacon   is   crispy   crunchy.   In   the   winter,   my made-from-scratch    Chinese    Five    Spice/Tamarind    fish soup   really   warms   up   the   kitchen,   body,   and   soul   with   a savory   aroma   and   sumptuous   flavor.   I   have   friends   who request    it    every    time    they    visit    because    the    shrimp, tilapia,   scallops,   muscles,   catfish,   squid,   octopus,   grilled beef,    chicken    and    pork,    along    with    all    the    smoke- seasoned   veggies   and   German   venison/pork   sausage give   a   gathering   something   hearty   to   gather   around. As with   all   great   recipes,   a   healthy   portion   of   a   favorite adult   beverage   is   not   an   option,   but   rather   a   necessity for the chef. Ranger   is   my   yappy,   feisty   Yorkie   with   an   attitude.   He monitors    sapient    vocabulary,    and    can    communicate better   than   most   people.   His   interests   include   soiled socks    and    ham    bones.    He    says    he    would    use    sign language,   but   he   doesn’t   have   thumbs   so   he   gets   his message     out     on     his     own     Facebook     and     Twitter accounts.   He   makes   linguistic   additions   to   the   modern lexicon   and   vernacular   through   Urban   Dictionary   and   is credited   with   numerous   words   that   he   made   up   on   his own. According     to     himself,     Ranger     is     a     “comediotic cynoptimist.”      Comediotic      being:      comedic,      funny, laughable—but   idiotic,   stupid,   ignorant,   imbecilic   or   silly in   a   funny,   odd   way...   and   cynoptimist—a   pessimist   who is   driven   by   hopes   and   a   paradoxical   balance   between being    a    skeptic    and    a    utopian    idealist.    Ranger    is wishfully   wary   with   a   guarded   viewpoint   and   no   tangible protection.      His      mantra      is      “Reckless      prudence, circumspect   with   abandon.”   Ranger   does   not   believe   in God,    but    he    hopes    there    is    one,    making    him    a cynoptimist   about   faith   in   a   higher   power.   Comediotic   is to say the least a fundamental Ranger trait. Although   Ranger   Wordsmith   is   a   male   dog,   he   blames “Bob   Barker   for   a   rash   of   spaying   and   neutering   cases” and   his   “ultimate   confusion   on   the   matter.”   Sometimes   I think   Ranger   gets   more   attention   on   social   media   than   I do,   but   I’m   not   jealous   because   I   do   have   thumbs   and Ranger   can’t   smoke   meats.   The   smoke   makes   him   run in    circles    around    the    pit    which    gets    him    drunk    and causes him to burn dinner. Of   women   and   children,   I’ve   paid   my   dues.   I   love   them all    and    spend    much    of    my    time    vying    for    their attentions.   I   would   rather   sleep   well   at   night   than   have any   of   them   stay   over   for   long,   though.   Now   that   I’m past     sixty     years     old     my     aspirations     for     constant attention   or   the   need   to   dole   it   out   continually   have greatly   diminished.   With   that   said,   I   don’t   want   to   give the   idea   that   I’m   a   loner.   I   love   good   company,   but   I   also subscribe   to   the   philosophy   that   “guests   and   fish   smell after   three   days…”   I   pride   myself   on   never   overstaying my   welcome...   I   have   loved   being   married,   and   I’ve loved   being   single.   If   I   had   to   choose   one   or   the   other as   a   permanent   arrangement,   I   would   choose   an   isolate mountain    top    or    palm-treed    island    with    just    a    Wi-Fi uplink    and    the    hope    that    someone    out    there    cares about   something   I   have   to   say   on   paper.   I   can   always do    a    rewrite,    if    you    know    what    I    mean.    People    are forgiving, but the paper forgets. I   never   went   to   college.   Perhaps   that   contributes   to   my lack    of    conventional    structure,    but    I    don’t    feel    like    I missed   much.   By   the   time   I   was   fifteen   years   old   I   had a   job   on   the   radio   and   knew   (for   the   time   being)   what my   career   plans   were.   I   did   study   most   of   the   RTF (Radio,   TV,   Film)   books   my   friends   at   UT-Austin   were assigned   to   read   and   I   was   forced   to   absorb   a   lot   of news   and   historical   information   by   my   position   as   a news   reporter.   My   lack   of   formal   education   is   (I   believe) very     well     counter-balanced     with     an     uncommon awareness   of   the   vast   variety   of   things   that   you   can’t possibly   learn   in   any   school.   One   example   of   that   is based     in     the     large     amount     of     time     I’ve     spent surrounding      myself      in      friendships      with      diverse individuals   like   Willie   Nelson,   Kinky   Friedman,   Jerry   Jeff Walker,   and   a   host   of   politicians,   public   figures,   singers, musicians,   comedians,   artists,   and   just   plain   common folks   on   the   street.   I   feel   like   I’ve   learned   a   great   deal about how to be a person with a motif. So   what   is   my   motif,   you   may   ask?   For   writing,   I   aspire to   bring   to   the   table   an   assault   on   injustice,   a   passion for   beauty   and   kindness,   and   a   drive   for   longevity   and legacy.   For   my   personal   life   and   for   my   friends   and family,   I   cynoptimistically   hope   and   pray   for   the   same things. ____________________________________________ Ray   Palla   is   by   his   own   account,   “an   antiquated   juvenile delinquent”   and   frequent   contributor   to   the   Alzheimer’s Foundation    and   Texas   Books   for   the   Blind .   His   website is http://RPalla.com . — Back to the Top —

Author’s Story

My Life Limited to Words — Ray Palla
I’m    a    heck    of    a    cook    and    often    make    up    my    own recipes,   especially   for   meats   on   the   grill   with   real   wood smoke.   I   have   an   imaginary   dog   (alter   ego,   if   you   will) named   Ranger   Wordsmith. And   I’m   quite   adept   at   living alone   and   enjoy   it   very   much   because   I   don’t   need permission    to    have    a    weird    schedule    or    make    a dramatic change in climate or scenery on a whim. One   particular   summer   recipe   for   the   grill   that   I   enjoy   is a    pork    roast    stuffed    with    mushrooms,    spinach,    and cream   cheese,   wrapped   in   bacon   (of   course).   I   use   oak and   pecan   dried   woods   and   slow   smoke   it   ‘til   it   falls apart   and   the   bacon   is   crispy   crunchy.   In   the   winter,   my made-from-scratch    Chinese    Five    Spice/Tamarind    fish soup   really   warms   up   the   kitchen,   body,   and   soul   with   a savory   aroma   and   sumptuous   flavor.   I   have   friends   who request    it    every    time    they    visit    because    the    shrimp, tilapia,   scallops,   muscles,   catfish,   squid,   octopus,   grilled beef,    chicken    and    pork,    along    with    all    the    smoke- seasoned   veggies   and   German   venison/pork   sausage give   a   gathering   something   hearty   to   gather   around. As with   all   great   recipes,   a   healthy   portion   of   a   favorite adult   beverage   is   not   an   option,   but   rather   a   necessity for the chef. Ranger   is   my   yappy,   feisty   Yorkie   with   an   attitude.   He monitors    sapient    vocabulary,    and    can    communicate better   than   most   people.   His   interests   include   soiled socks    and    ham    bones.    He    says    he    would    use    sign language,   but   he   doesn’t   have   thumbs   so   he   gets   his message     out     on     his     own     Facebook     and     Twitter accounts.   He   makes   linguistic   additions   to   the   modern lexicon   and   vernacular   through   Urban   Dictionary   and   is credited   with   numerous   words   that   he   made   up   on   his own. According     to     himself,     Ranger     is     a     “comediotic cynoptimist.”      Comediotic      being:      comedic,      funny, laughable—but   idiotic,   stupid,   ignorant,   imbecilic   or   silly in   a   funny,   odd   way...   and   cynoptimist—a   pessimist   who is   driven   by   hopes   and   a   paradoxical   balance   between being    a    skeptic    and    a    utopian    idealist.    Ranger    is wishfully   wary   with   a   guarded   viewpoint   and   no   tangible protection.      His      mantra      is      “Reckless      prudence, circumspect   with   abandon.”   Ranger   does   not   believe   in God,    but    he    hopes    there    is    one,    making    him    a cynoptimist   about   faith   in   a   higher   power.   Comediotic   is to say the least a fundamental Ranger trait. Although   Ranger   Wordsmith   is   a   male   dog,   he   blames “Bob   Barker   for   a   rash   of   spaying   and   neutering   cases” and   his   “ultimate   confusion   on   the   matter.”   Sometimes   I think   Ranger   gets   more   attention   on   social   media   than   I do,   but   I’m   not   jealous   because   I   do   have   thumbs   and Ranger   can’t   smoke   meats.   The   smoke   makes   him   run in    circles    around    the    pit    which    gets    him    drunk    and causes him to burn dinner. Of   women   and   children,   I’ve   paid   my   dues.   I   love   them all    and    spend    much    of    my    time    vying    for    their attentions.   I   would   rather   sleep   well   at   night   than   have any   of   them   stay   over   for   long,   though.   Now   that   I’m past     sixty     years     old     my     aspirations     for     constant attention   or   the   need   to   dole   it   out   continually   have greatly   diminished.   With   that   said,   I   don’t   want   to   give the   idea   that   I’m   a   loner.   I   love   good   company,   but   I   also subscribe   to   the   philosophy   that   “guests   and   fish   smell after   three   days…”   I   pride   myself   on   never   overstaying my   welcome...   I   have   loved   being   married,   and   I’ve loved   being   single.   If   I   had   to   choose   one   or   the   other as   a   permanent   arrangement,   I   would   choose   an   isolate mountain    top    or    palm-treed    island    with    just    a    Wi-Fi uplink    and    the    hope    that    someone    out    there    cares about   something   I   have   to   say   on   paper.   I   can   always do    a    rewrite,    if    you    know    what    I    mean.    People    are forgiving, but the paper forgets. I   never   went   to   college.   Perhaps   that   contributes   to   my lack    of    conventional    structure,    but    I    don’t    feel    like    I missed   much.   By   the   time   I   was   fifteen   years   old   I   had a   job   on   the   radio   and   knew   (for   the   time   being)   what my   career   plans   were.   I   did   study   most   of   the   RTF (Radio,   TV,   Film)   books   my   friends   at   UT-Austin   were assigned   to   read   and   I   was   forced   to   absorb   a   lot   of news   and   historical   information   by   my   position   as   a news   reporter.   My   lack   of   formal   education   is   (I   believe) very     well     counter-balanced     with     an     uncommon awareness   of   the   vast   variety   of   things   that   you   can’t possibly   learn   in   any   school.   One   example   of   that   is based     in     the     large     amount     of     time     I’ve     spent surrounding      myself      in      friendships      with      diverse individuals   like   Willie   Nelson,   Kinky   Friedman,   Jerry   Jeff Walker,   and   a   host   of   politicians,   public   figures,   singers, musicians,   comedians,   artists,   and   just   plain   common folks   on   the   street.   I   feel   like   I’ve   learned   a   great   deal about how to be a person with a motif. So   what   is   my   motif,   you   may   ask?   For   writing,   I   aspire to   bring   to   the   table   an   assault   on   injustice,   a   passion for   beauty   and   kindness,   and   a   drive   for   longevity   and legacy.   For   my   personal   life   and   for   my   friends   and family,   I   cynoptimistically   hope   and   pray   for   the   same things. ____________________________________________ Ray   Palla   is   by   his   own   account,   “an   antiquated   juvenile delinquent”   and   frequent   contributor   to   the   Alzheimer’s Foundation    and   Texas   Books   for   the   Blind .   His   website is http://RPalla.com . — Back to the Top —