“If The Foo Shits, Wear It!”

Happy Friday, Y’all!  A simple “TGIF” will suffice … I can say it ’cause I can breathe … no knee on my neck …Thank God …

The title of this message actually comes from a story that I first heard from my Coach in boarding school, Mr. Maurice Blake!  It’s a funny story about “Foo” poo and an exotic island that “foreigners” occasionally visit.  Usually, when the “guests” arrive, they are informed that if the “Foo bird” poos on them, they must wear it!  One hygienic tourist got pooed on … and wiped it off.  Three days later, he was found dead …  So, if something in my piece “bothers” you, don’t “wipe it off”.  Now, I usually talk about me so don’t get offended.  See if it applies to you!  If not, carry on!

Meanwhile, back in “the land of the free, home of the brave”, there’s a lot of sh@t going down!  Many Americans never believed that the States are still plagued with this type of hatred and ignorance based on race.  Now, we have videos in which the latest culprit glares into a cellphone video clearly trying to strangle a hand-cuffed African American man!  The officers somehow got the tall man who was NOT RESISTING to get out of his Mercedes Benz SUV parked on the street … onto the ground with his face pressed into the pavement next to the police cruiser’s rear wheel, handcuffed behind his back!!  The officer applied pressure on Mr. Floyd’s neck AND back with BOTH knees until the man said, “I’m about to die!”  The officer then applied more pressure with his knee, hand in pocket to increase the weight while the other officer hovered over Mr. Lloyd saying, “Just relax …”  DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT!  The so-called accusation was due to a counterfeit $20.00 bill.  Is the penalty “Death by neck choking with a knee on the windpipe?”  Worse than a noose, freaking cowards!  Of course, this is the same city where Mr. Castile was murdered by gunshots from a policeman’s weapon as Mr. Castile tried to produce his “concealed weapons’ permit”!  This occurred on July 6th, 2016.

The States are interesting from afar for me.  The election of #45 and the heightened racist attitudes and activities motivated my goal to retire abroad!  I’ve had multiple “brushes” with police in Ft. Lauderdale and even North Florida.  It’s clear that a “person of color”, especially African Americans, are treated differently from their “white” counterparts.  It really is exhausting to deal with the slimy creepiness of people who let their racial hatred ooze from their essence … It IS scary!  I can’t accept that anymore.  I often excuse the “racist ignorance” propelled at me from time to time just to maintain my own “peace”.  But I let the “culprit” know in no uncertain terms that they are mistaken with their initial perceptions of me! I don’t live MY life to prove anything to anyone anymore.  I’d just as soon walk away.  If they don’t get the message, let them “try me” again.  I am just waiting for the right moment to “educate” an ignorant fool, if possible!

I was looking for a “town” to retire in to finish my third manuscript, “Cookin’ With Life!”  The topic or theme is about how a “black” man survives in The USA amidst the hatred, double standards, and racism and NOT become a statistic before retirement!!  I’m editing it now and feel an affinity with Mr. Floyd, as I, too, am a gentle giant …


John I. Cook, Director

Freedom and Enlightenment

Happy Friday, All!

I don’t know about you but I know what I have to do … be grateful!! TGIF, Y’all!!

I’ve heard it said that “Americans have an interesting concept of freedom …”  Ponder that a bit.  Amendment 1 says basically “Freedom of speech” and the 2nd Amendment has transitioned from “Right to form militia” to “Right to bear arms”.  Now, through this “proverbial fear”, there are more “weapons/arms” in American homes than there are people.  Then, you hear a Senator say that Pres. Obama should “… keep his mouth shut …” about the pathetic handling of the pandemic by the current occupant of The White House!  Even the current White House Press Secretary is giving her ignorant analysis of what former Pres. Obama should or should not say!!  “My, my, my … that ignorance is contagious!”

Meanwhile, the current occupant feels free to say whatever he wants about anyone he wants!  And, if one disobeys or criticizes #45, “one” is ridiculed or FIRED!!  Democratic presidential behavior, right?!?  Now, you have a clearly deranged and racist individual, which whenever it wants touts some racist sh@t!  Now, you can decorate that type of thinking, but I won’t!  You may need excuses for a grown a$$ man but “other” people have lives given to “them” by their Creator, call it what you wish, that “should not be” subject to any other human’s control.  If so, we have broken the “divine order” … call it what you will, again and again until we have a “spiritually” impoverished world!!

I have learned to meditate on different high-frequency concepts like “love” and “peace”, cooperation and harmony … mutual respect, even!  “Life” is a precious gift that nobody I know of other than my parents and their “love” for each other, plus my Creator gave to me, that I should not let anyone take away from me!  Be enlightened enough to know your divine “place” in the Universe and carry on with that divinity!  Some less enlightened “humans” may come along and try to “use” you, rather than “love” you, which is your “divine” right bestowed upon “you” by your Creator!  That probably is a challenging thought for our “programmed” minds which REQUIRES “enlightenment” to understand and carry out!

In closing, I must say that I appreciate the “love and respect” that I was shown on my late Mother’s birthday, May 20th!  It was so beautiful for me to see and feel the unconditional love shown by those who know the treasured relationship I still have with my Mom!  Thank You!  I try to “KISS” (keep it simple, stupid) and follow my “GOD” (Good Orderly Direction) and spread the “love”!  I got those acronyms when I twice attended a “30-day program” of the “Alcoholics Anonymous” program at “ARC” (Addiction Recovery Corporation) in Yorktown Heights, New York.  I asked for help while I taught and struggled to save a marriage.  I “saved” myself instead.  What chooseth you?!?

Have a wonder-filled weekend!


John I. Cook. Director

“Which Way Is UP!”

Happy Friday, All!

I’m feeling it today ’cause I have to …  A cool “TGIF” works for me!!  What about you?

It’s always important for me to be open and honest … especially with myself!  Now, I have my “ups and downs” but I definitely know “which way is up”!  One thing I learned through those experiences is that if you can’t admit to YOURSELF that one is “down” … you can’t get up!  Be honest with “YOU” … to thine own self be true!

The month of May is always special for me.  My Mother’s birthday (RIP) is May 20th, 1917.  May is the month that also holds “Mother’s Day”.  So by the end of the month, I am a “mother”!  Just smile … don’t analyze it.  I honor my Mom, Marietta Dolores, with my life nowadays.  When she was on the “ropes” with “Alzheimer’s Disease”, I knew that there wasn’t much more time for her …  Interestingly enough while she struggled with the disease, her Creator, whom she chooses to call God, carried her through a “slip and fall” which caused a brain hemorrhage and she ultimately became comatose.  My Mom was living in my sister’s house receiving a “pension” set up by one of her employers in New York and my sister was in charge of her finances …  I was at my Mother’s side just moments before she succumbed to “death” as we know it.

My third book is dedicated to my Mother because she was “at my side” through thick and thin.  She and my Dad came to St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH for my graduation in 1972; she and Dad were also both there when I graduated from Princeton … thus the title of my first book, “From the Projects to Princeton”.  Most of you know that I have struggled with different “demons” surrounding substance abuse.  I was trying to be “good” but sometimes, I just lacked the proper judgment.  When I saw how negatively those episodes affected my Mom (and ME!!) I had to make a change …  (pushing back tears …)  I was there with her in hospice in Florida General in Ft. Lauderdale until she expired …

I was able to finally internalize her love for me and replaced my “lack” with her love!  THIS is the main reason why I embrace the “power of love” each day now.  Trust me, I know how to be “nasty” and keep my foes at a distance, but that doesn’t work for ME … I might get stuck there with all of the negativity swirling around the world today … especially the States.  I could’ve been Mr. Arbery … or any of the other African American males (and females at times!) who were killed by vigilantes or police officers …  I am so grateful today, that I am sure that my Creator is surrounding me with the love (if only from myself) I require at ALL TIMES … and I don’t worry about a thang!!

Living in Costa Rica is something that I had never thought about …  I had lived in Cali, Colombia, SA for 5 years and visited Ecuador.  These were places I had contemplated retiring in but not Costa Rica!  And look at what “found me” … a little Caribbean town called “Puerto Viejo”!!  I had never … I repeat … NEVER  imagined the simple life-style I enjoy here … for now!

As I witness the “extreme drama” in the States, I know why my Creator brought me here.  Thank you … 

Enjoy your weekends, stay safe, and healthy … mentally, too … and remember “which way is up”!


John I. Cook, Director

“Just Because I Can!”

It’s Friday again, thank Creation and ALL the elements included!  Each of “us” is included …  Every life … and every death … all part of an enormous equation that we can’t fathom just yet!  Then, “TCIF”?!  Or is “TGIF” still cool!?  Pick any one … just be grateful.

It’s so hard to imagine … though we’ve ALL seen stuff like this in the USA … unarmed men of African descent killed in cold blood in the “land of the free, home of the brave”.  (Drop to a knee in protest of the fallacy of this statement …)  Why would someone  … several someones in both cases … stoop so low as to do something so deadly, and then … justify it with complete bull crap!?  Is this the “new America”?  Do these kinds of people … ex law-enforcement officer in the case in Georgia “protecting” his son who had pulled a shotgun on a jogger that was running on “their street” … actually believe that they can do this type of stuff?!  Wtf!!  When the jogger was about to take the shotgun away from the ex-officer’s son who had followed him for a distance … the father shot the jogger in cold blood!  No one was arrested until a few days ago though the incident occurred February 23rd, 2020 … another innocent man killed due to racial hostilities.  MAGA?!?!  WTF!!?  Now, what about the unarmed brother in a Michigan Dollar Store who worked as a security guard and simply asked the “customers” to wear the required face masks?!  The “customers” argued with the well- built unarmed “brother”, left the store, and returned to … shoot and kill another unarmed man of color!!!

Okay, let’s leave “the color game” for a minute …  Why would a nation’s “leader” forbid or prohibit an infectious disease specialist from informing the lower house of Congress and “we the people” of the status of a pandemic in the same country we (they) ALL live in?  Again, because they can!!  Have “we” had enough of these low-level energy-wasting activities that only hasten and ensure the collapse of human civilizations?!?  How do you use YOUR energies!??  I simply try to keep my energy on high-level values – love, harmony, peace, collaboration … even tolerance!  But to listen to various “characters” repeat:  “Everybody can get tested!  Everybody will have a ventilator if needed!  There’s millions of PPE and testing equipment!  Millions!” … is getting to be a bit much, heh!?!!  The “president” even tried to silence a nurse who spoke of her challenges with her OWN PPE!!!

Now, I’m not claiming to be “John the Baptist” and those of you who “know” me and have seen and helped me when I asked for it also know that I’ve been “down” …  But I still want to be “the best that I can be” … because I CAN!  But take a look at what some leaders around the world and now so-called leaders in American “democracy” are doing … because they CAN!!?

I was honored on social media (FB) by a student that I had taught at White Plains High School (Paula Wilson) alongside of another African American teacher Ms. Sharon Greene with a tribute for “Teacher Appreciation Week”.  I thought about all the challenges that I’ve had in my life.  Sometimes, I don’t “feel” worthy of such an honor.  Then, I remember all that I endured getting through those challenges!  I suddenly feel “worthy”, especially since I’m here telling you about it … because I CAN!  And I am a 65 years of age African American man!!  “More to come!”

The assault on the “truth” in America continues as these characters of the current administration attempt to re-write history as we watch!  We can’t “dumb down” and let that crap take place!!  Please vote wisely, folks!  Shucks, I am about to send off the request for my mail-in ballot for November 2020!  Again, because I can!!  Can YOU??

Enjoy your weekends by lifting each other up!!


John I. Cook, Director

Money vs. Morals

Happy Friday …

Not sure if I can do a “TGIF” with all this “drama” going on worldwide!!  But, I’m going deep for this one … TGIF … hmmmpff …

I’m up early and feeling “frisky” after a great night of sleep!  I had a massage yesterday in the morning, then did something I like to do to “help out”:  I bought two large pizzas from a local shop, “Boruca Pizza”, that had been closed for several weeks, and carried them by Tuk Tuk to “Old Harbor” for the management and staff to enjoy for lunch!  One pizza was Hawaiiano and the other was Margherita!  I delivered them and left.  The staff in the grocery store are always polite to me when I am there or even on the street!  This is the store where they take your temperature before allowing a customer to enter after washing one’s hands.  That’s where I get my homemade slice of carrot cake, amongst many other tasty baked goods!

We are in an era of transformation.  What “we” on this planet as only one of the “skillions” of species have before us is a choice – to live in harmony vs. die in discord.  It’s not something that any ONE “nation” (humans made that up, too!) can do alone.  It’s going to require international cooperation based on “human values”!  But first, “the species” must decide what is MOST important today: a piece of paper that humans have designed to enhance “trade” or … the rejuvenation of a strong set of values including cooperation and collaboration that allows the species to survive.  I think the earliest human societies had to learn to set up a “division of labor” as well as a set of cohesive values that “they” could agree on … like TRUTH!

Now that this “capitalist” system has been used for so long and has been so corrupted that it is clear that we have an avaricious element in human society that “wants more than they need”!  And then, once “this group” gets more than they need, though there is enough on the Earth for all humanity, they begin to hoard the wealth and deny the other fellow humans to experience the basics of humanity – food, clothing, and shelter.  In other words, this group with more “paper bills” devalues its fellow species members and places more value on the acquisition of “paper bills” which has become the medium for exchange than on the sustenance of the members of the “human family”!  What a concept!  It sounds like an opportunity for the rise of totalitarianism and the servitude of the masses.  I know you heard this before if you are minimally studied about “forms of human civilization” like the dreaded “socialism” where the abundance (basic needs) is theoretically distributed equally!  What a concept … again!  Which do you prefer?!?!

Now, the universe has sent us “stable geniuses” a virus that we can’t beat with a tank or a gun or an aircraft loaded down with missiles … but ONLY with “human cooperation”!  What a concept!  (Okay, I won’t say that again!)   Yet, there are “humans” who understand the concept of the value of morals (and the adherence to them) as they load their team planes with PPE from various countries to bring to the “less fortunate” in the States whose federal government ignores their responsibility to “protect its citizens” … PERIOD!

Do what you can to assist the “healing” of this planet while we can.  It looks dismal to me because there is so much conflict everywhere – black vs. white; republican vs. democrat; rich vs. poor; China vs. the USA!  The States had been accustomed to being a world leader in the “early days” as we learned from our mistakes of using other humans as if they were slaves and the inequities that created as “humans” evolved and learned to care for “each other”.  Catch my drift?!?  Now, there is only one story . . .

Okay so do what you can … but make it good!  “Every little bit helps!”


John I. Cook, Director

%d bloggers like this: