On Success: A Few Perspectives…

“Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon… must inevitably come to pass!” Paul J. Meyer On Success: Trumpeter Swan baits the Butterfly moth...? John James Audubon’s beautifully illustrated book, Birds of America, sold for $11.5 million on December 7, 2010. John got nothing from that sale; he’s been dead for over a century. His effort created a successful business move for the book owner. Sometimes, our efforts create success for others but not for us. Think of all those great artists ...

Plant Profile: Portulaca

I love this annual, in fact it made it into my favourite new varieties for both 2011 and 2012! 2011 – Portulaca, Duet Hawaiian Rose 2012 – Portulaca, Happy Hour Coconut As you can see, same plant, completely different varieties! Commonly called the moss rose, this is a sun loving plant and must be planted in full sun in order to thrive. They like sandy soil and do well with little maintenance. However they are adaptable and will grow in any well drained soil. Make sure ...

Cool Places to see Flowers: Floriade

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Fried Cabbage and Lessons from Grandma: A Special New Year's Memory

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Peculiar Picture #8

Those familiar with Chubby Chatterbox know that I was a professional illustrator for many years and that I have a file cabinet of peculiar pictures that, for one reason or another, were never published. I thought this illustration would get a lot of use when I painted it about five years ago, but you never can tell what images will please art directors and which ones won’t. I always liked this little demon, but maybe he scared people away. Do you ...

Musings: What Is Your Mondegreen?

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25 Unique Ways to Use Roses

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Gray Lady Down

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Ray Bradbury Knew His Worth

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A Morning Letter for You

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ReBranding the Church: Develop a Thirst for Knowledge

Evan Forester works in marketing and writes for #LiveFully. He believes the church needs a new brand. Most people identify Christians by what they are against, but he believes they should be known more by what they are for. Today, he discusses Christians and their need to have and demonstrate a thirst for knowledge: A History of Thought Leadership For centuries, Christians led the way in discovery of new truths and the applications of those discoveries. In John 8:32, Jesus said, “you will know ...

Cupcake Currency???

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Critical Shortage of...(wait for it)...helium!

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7 Questions With an Author: Frank Viola

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Reader Favorites 2011: #6 – Water Safety Tips for Baptisms

Through January 3rd, 2012 I’m going to share with you the 10 most popular posts as determined by readers of this blog. I hope you enjoy these and find them to be interesting and worthwhile. With that, here’s the 6th most popular post from The Daily Retort for 2011, it’s a tongue-in-cheek list of water safety tips to remember when being baptized in church. During college, I was a lifeguard at the YMCA’s indoor pool near the campus. It was a great gig! I didn’t ...

A Powerful Memory Trigger of My Mom…

A Powerful Memory Trigger of My Mom...

Today's piece was inspired by a recent post I read that was written by a gifted blogger and new friend, Julie Shreve, who writes regularly at her site, The Esau Project. The specific post I'm referring to is titled Mary, Mary where Shreve writes about the impact and power of the audible word. Specifically, how a woman who was grieving the loss of a loved one, was immediately moved when she actually heard his voice again. I would encourage you to ...

Please visit the authors blog by clicking on the link below!

Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort
May 25, 2011, 1:29 pm

Yet Another Reason I Hate Funerals….

Nondescript Casket

My immediate family spent the majority of last week at my
in-laws home in New York
because my wife’s grandmother passed away.

While I think it’s extremely important to celebrate the
memory of the deceased; support and sympathize with the survivors and offer a
degree of closure for the living via the various death-induced services and
rituals – I hate funerals.

As a former news reporter, I had to attend dozens as an
uninvited gawker amidst grieving strangers and then trying to speak with
someone on camera – yuck. Within my own family, the funerals for all my grandparents
and both my parents further soured an already distasteful experience – double

However, the latest funeral affront I experienced last week
was the seemingly unending cavalcade of culinary creations that crammed every
inch of table and counter space at the in-laws single-story rambler.

As an aside, death is a natural part of our existence but
I’m convinced that the ritualistic events around death make most people
uncomfortable. They frequently don’t know the unspoken etiquette to engage
grievers – it’s not something you can practice for in advance or take an online
class titled “Funeral 101: communication tips.”

The awkward nature of attending a wake, memorial gathering,
funeral service or graveside burial adds a layer of stress to a stressful
situation.  How many times can you tell
someone that you’re “Sorry for their loss” or “Quite a lovely eulogy the pastor

After a point, conversations experience a metaphorical death
of their own – and the easiest thing left to talk about is the food that
everyone brought. Apparently death brings out the inner sous chef in all of us.

And what types of cuisine do people bring the grieving???

Comfort food.

Don’t get me wrong, the care, love and attention that people
pour into food preparation for such events is humbling and appreciated.
However, they also tend to pour in tons of sugar, shortening, oils, salt and butter
to ensure maximum calorie density in an effort to assuage the pain of

It’s ironic that the very foods that people tend to prepare
for post-mortem funeral gatherings are overloaded with the cholesterol-raising,
heart-stopping, clot-forming, artery-hardening, stroke-inducing ingredients
that medical science continues to urge us to avoid in an effort to extend our

I don’t know whether such food prep is an unconscious
attempt to thumb a nose at the Grim Reaper, or an unspoken ethos to unabashedly
indulge in the edible extremes that life has to offer – because life is too
short – but I hate it, because I ate most of it last week.

Which brings me to this week’s WeightWatcher weigh-in, where
I apparently gained +5.0 lbs in seven days.
I have no one to blame but myself, but I am focusing an accusatory eye
toward the strawberry trifle, twice-baked ziti, home-style chicken and biscuits
as well as various baked in which I partook last week.

Damn, I hate funerals!

Assuming that all of my relatives can make it through the
week this side of eternity – I’m hopeful that there will be less of me to write
about after next week’s weigh-in.


Tor Constantino - The Daily Retort

A topical blog that focuses on issues of faith, family, finance and fitness. I have more than 20 years experience as a former journalist and current PR practitioner. Additionally, I'm a father, husband, marathoner, writer and believer.

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