Thursday, June 30, 2011

Angels On Earth

I'm usually pretty much the poster child for cynicism, sarcasm and sometimes pretty much just being an asshole.  I rarely believe what I hear without doing some research and I question everything.  I think for the most part, we as human beings, are brought into this world bad and we prove it throughout our lives.  We are genetically programmed to be greedy, selfish and disconnected from anything that isn't the same as us.  When people get sick, other's true colors come out.  Some people go through the motions and do what is expected.  Incessant calls (like the quantity is what is important), ridiculously large flower bouquets and boxes of chocolates.  These are guilt gifts and we all have succumbed to the mindless effort it takes to show compassion.   True compassion on the other hand is a beautiful trait and rarely needs attention.

Yesterday, I saw something that made me happy.  Two friends from high school are on Facebook and they posted that their daughter was setting up a lemonade stand for two hours and was donating all the proceeds to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, which is a foundation for pediatric cancer research and care.  I had heard about ALSF a few years back and was brought to tears by the story.  Immediately I donated whatever little but I could. I didn't donate because I felt that this charity was any more important or any better than any other charity, but because of who started it.  The charity was started by a little girl, Alex Scott, who was undergoing care for cancer at age four.  She told her mother "when I get out of the hospital, I want to open a lemonade stand and give all the money to the doctors so that they can help other people."  When I read this, I sobbed uncontrollably. Without judging anyone as a parent, can anyone honestly say that their kids would do the same at age four?  This child was special.  Not only because of the words she said, but because of her determination and her selflessness. Most parents crumble under such pressure, but her parents had obviously showed her complete strength in moments of need and she never felt like the victim.   She only wanted others to have what she had.  Alex opened the stand and as word got out, she made $2,000.  Today I watched a video on the website and it has gown to a multimillion dollar a year charity.  Alex, died a few years ago, but the charity she started, at fve years old lives on.

So, my friend's daughter and her friends did their part. They raised $142 in two hours and are donating it all to ALSF.  I posted this on my facebook page for everyone to see, because it's a beautiful gesture when I see anyone, especially kids doing for others.  I also felt guilty that I couldn't be there to stop by and tell them how awesome I thought they were (and buy some lemonade!).  The thing that made me so happy was that it brought back one of the greatest moments I've ever had working with kids. 

I was running a tennis camp in Greenwich a few years ago.  It was my third year doing the camp and many of the kids were return campers.  There was a brother and sister who had visited from Germany the summer before and I was actually surprised to see them back.  The brother was 10 and the daughter was nearly 12.  The daughter was one of those kids who you assumed would grow up to be famous somehow.  She was a beautiful kid, respectful and quite bright.  She had long blond hair that reached her waist and always looked like a mini fashion queen, with her tennis outfits.  On Friday, she told us that she couldn't wait to come back next week.  On the following Monday, I sat greeting the new kids and the returners.  These two kids weren't there.  I did a head count and there were twenty.  We were missing them and the two kids they were staying with.  I divided the instructors and kids up and we went to our courts.  Suddenly, the four children appeared from an SUV and ran to the courts.  The little girl with the long blond hair walks up to me and asks which court she should go to.  I stood, mouth agape and stared.  She ran her fingers through her new hair cut, which was shorter than her brothers.  I asked "what happened to your hair?"  "I got it cut," she replied. Normally, I'd have a sarcastic retort, but I was astonished.  During a break, I asked the instructor on her court what happened and she said the girl wouldn't say.  We all stopped for a break and a bad feeling came over me.  I thought that maybe this was some sort of awful punishment her parents had inflicted on her.  I pulled her brother aside and asked him what happened to her hair.  He smiled and said "oh she donated it to charity!"  I paused and asked, "Locks of Love?"  He nodded and skipped off to play.  Later in the day, I walked over to the young girl and I said "your brother told me that you donated your hair to Locks of Love."  She nodded.  I then asked "why didn't you say anything before."  She paused and looked up and said "because I did it Saturday and everyone is telling me how great I am for doing it, but I don't feel great.  I feel bad."  I assumed she was being a normal little girl and missed her flowing locks and this new look, but then she explained "I feel bad, because everyone is making a big deal, but I'm not sick and I can always grow my hair back. I wish everyone made a big deal about the little kids in the hospital.  Why doesn't everyone with long hair do this?"  I really didn't know what to say.  I just looked at her and fighting back the tears, I told her "because it takes a very special person to do what you did.  Not everyone in the world is as kind as you are."  She smiled and asked if she could go back to play and ran off.

At the end of the week, I was talking to her mother and telling her what an honor it was to have such a great kid in the camp.  She thanked me and when her daughter came over I told her I'd see her again.  I explained to her that my mother had cancer and when she was younger she had long hair also, but now she had no hair.  I explained that what she did made someone very happy and that I appreciated what a generous gift she had given.  She smiled, told me she'd see me next summer and walked off to the car.   A few weeks later, my mother passed away.  She had barely, if any hair left.  I remember the last time I ever saw my mother, I leaned over and kissed her head.

Not a day goes by I don't think about my mother.  All the operations, chemo and the pain she had to go through.  I remember that last moment vividly, but for some reason I had forgotten the story of this wonderful child.  Ironically, Alex Scott died one week after my mother. I hadn't heard about her until a a few years later, but when I read about my friend's daughter, it brought back the memory of Alex, my mother and the hidden memory of the selfless little girl with the long hair.  Thank You Lauren and all your friends who gave up a little of your summer for a wonderful cause. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Random Thoughts: About God and Religion

Well if that title doesn't make you take a look, I better stop trying.  And no, I'm not going to preach (this will probably end up being a lie, but not my initial intention).  I just have a few questions.

Why is a tree falling on your car in the middle of a hurricane an Act of God, but a tornado killing 200 people a horrible storm?

If God hates gays, why did he make so many of them and why are there so few women in the Bible?

If God made man in his image, why the fuck did he start with the dinosaurs and make them look like that?

The Pope tweeted today and apparently he gave a shout out to the Vatican Website.  I'm going to go out on a limb here, but we're never going to have a web cam in that joint.

Have you ever spent a long time in the desert?  I'm guessing, the heat, combined with a lack of food and water, would pretty much leave you delusional and imagining things.  Just think about it.  Every religion is based on some poor sap stuck in the desert hearing voices and running back and telling everyone....and them believing that person. 

Ever notice how the most religious people always seem to die the most horrible deaths?  At least they got that heaven thing going for them. 

Want a few religious oxymoron's? 
1. Getting a tattoo with a bible verse.  Anyone who has ever read the bible knows that tattoos are forbidden.
2. To all my Italian friends and church going gansta rappers, it is strictly prohibited to wear gold.
3. Finally, for all you fornicators out there who don't believe in birth control.  Well, if that baby batter goes anywhere other than inside a woman, it's sin. 
So read this carefully and let me pull a little priestly interpretation on your ass....Don't Be Tupac!

If your religion believes in one God and that God is the only God and omnipotent, then why in "God's name" did he invent other religions?

Let's say you believe in God and Jesus and all that the bible tells us of them.  Let's say you believe that Jesus was basically the Robin Hood for poor souls like the Bible states.  Let's say you believe he cared for the less fortunate and he died for our sins.  Then how the hell is wearing a few thousand dollar studded diamond cross paying tribute to him? Seriously.  Take a look at the wood statues of Jesus next time you go to church and just ask yourself "would he ever wear bling?"  Now Mary on the other hand.  She always looks like she's rocking an old skool light blue Prada sweatsuit in the corner.

Remember the act of lighting a candle when you entered church.  Think Jesus would be down with the coin operated ones they have today?

I'm picking on Christians?  Sorry, I got carried away, they are just easier, because they are much bigger hypocrites than other religions.  Sorry father, I killed a man, beat up my mom, and fucked my sister, but you can't tell anyone, so how many Our Father's is that?

OK, Let's pick on some Jews.

Hanukkah was made up. That's probably why some people spell it with a C.

Jews believed Abraham circumcised himself.  I cry when I get it stuck in my zipper.  No way I'm believing that.

Eating Matzoh on Passover is more a sign of you being a Jew than knowing Hebrew or Yiddish.  Bring on the peanut butter bitches!  I'm not Jew-ish, I'm full blown Jew today!

No matter how fucked up you are on earth, you're still going to heaven....suckers!  Which leads me to wonder why there aren't more Jewish serial killers.  Damn you David Berkowitz, couldn't you have been more like Manson?

The Seven Rules of Noah are like an abridged version of the Ten Commandments.  I think they dropped though shall not accept gays, though shall not like people who don't look just like you and Charlton Heston.

One thing that has always bothered me about most of the Jews I know. Don't you think for a people who spent 40 years walking through the desert, they'd be a little more tan? It's called adaptation. Somehow you managed to invent the yarmulke to cover the ever present male pattern ball spot that so many Jews get. Plus, I have to believe GPS would have helped them out a lot.  Forty years?   What'd they walk a mile a month?  Explains the lack of Jewish athletes. 

And of course, to make all my friends happy, I"ll dig a little on our Islamic friends.

Muslims believe that Islam governs all facets of life including politics and government.  Just like, our countries Christian politicians....nevermind.

Muslims believe there is only one God and he is everyones God.  Just like Christianity and Judaism.....are supposed to.

Muslims believe that there is no atonement or confessing of sins.  They believe that people should be good and live for their god every day.  Just like....again, nevermind.

Muslims have something called Jihad which is the inner struggle to stay true to God.  Muslims have been around for thousands of years, but apparently FoxNews said it means Holy War, so I guess it does.

People of different religions tend to make fun of Muslim women for their garb.  It is seen as a sign of modesty.  They are dressed, in essence, like that for the same reasons nuns, sisters, and the Virgin Mary do.

On Judgement Day, Muslims believe they must recite the entire Quran from memory.  From taking classes with Muslim students, I can tell you, most of them can.  Yet, most Christians and Jews can barely remember whole passages and don't even ask them to tell you what they mean.

Before 9/11 most people didn't know what Islam was.  Their prophet's name was Muhammad (or Mohamed).  One out of every six people in the world is named Muhammad, so apparently some others had heard of it.

And finally, here's a little hint for my Christian friends (both smart and simple).  Islam and Judaism are religions not nationalities.  I'm 40 and I can't tell you how many people would hear my mother was Jewish and say "so you're half Jewish, what's your father's side."  Complete ignorance.

I'm mocking religions we're more associated with and somewhat showing the sanity behind Islamic teaching to make a point.  We mock what we don't understand, instead of taking time to learn about it.  I was lucky.  When 9/11 happened, despite my sorrow, despite my anger, I had the intelligence to know that this wasn't done in the name of Islam, it was someones perception of what Islam should be.  This is why they are called extremists.  We have them here too, they blow up buildings in Oklahoma City and places like that.  They are a tiny collection of people who believe in extreme violence in the name of God.  The same way the German's treated Jews during the Holocaust.  The same way Christians treated everyone during The Crusades.  The same way Jews  treat pork (seriously, no bacon).  Last week, despite religious fighting, a group of New Yorkers were given a right that all religions and God's believe in.  Equality. If there are homosexuals and you believe in God, he created them, whether you like it or not.  It is not your job to judge anyone, apparently if you are of faith, you believe the man upstairs does it.  So if you hate someone for not being like you, ask yourself if God views your hatred with love?  I doubt it.

What if you're all wrong. What if there is a God and he created all these different viewpoints as a test to see if people could put aside their differences and realize that, save some wording in man made books, each religions belief system basically boils down to being good to yourself, your loved ones and your fellow man and woman. Because when you strip away all the rhetoric, it's really what it's all about.  What if there is a God and you've all been doing it wrong and little old me, Mr. Devils Advocate, questioner of all, is the one who passed the test.  What if God is looking down and saying, "he might be an asshole, but he gets it."  We're all inherently bad (original sin?) and as long as we accept everyone and their beliefs without judgement, I think it's supposed to work.  God knows, as do I, it ain't working now.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Defending The Pledge: Allegiance to Irony

A friend recently posted a ling to a FOXNews story about a town in Oregon (I believe) that voted against pledging allegiance to the flag before the town meeting.  I wrote back in response "is this news and is this necessary?"  He said it's disrespecting the pledge and out country. He pointed out that everyone is so worried about being politically correct and offending others, but try this freedom in other countries.  See what happens.  I agree, it's awful what happens in other countries and our freedom of speech is wonderful.  He then pointed out that the US soccer team just played a championship match against Mexico on American soil and the stands were filled with about 90% Mexicans booing our country.  He stated that he felt it was disrespectful and that if they hate us they should go back to their countries.  My only comeback for that was that these fans bought the tickets and like when I last went to Yankee Stadium and it was 75% Red Sox fans, they have the right to cheer for who they wish.  He explained that this was sung (I never sung it, but I'm being facetious) in our classrooms, but the PC people in the world are afraid of the words "Under God." He added that 86% of our country believes in God, but 14% get their way.  I can't attest to his statistics, but I'll go with his assessment as being true.  Personally I think he's confusing being affiliated with a religious order, but that's not really the point I want to make.  My point is about the Irony that conservatives value this tiny pledge with such vigor.

In the late 1800's Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, wrote the Pledge of Allegiance and during it's brief history, it's gone undergone four documented changes.  The final coming in 1954 when President Eisenhower allowed the addition of "under God" to it.  In 2011, the pledge is a show of devotion and patriotism, we cross our heart, soldiers salute and people take this very seriously.  Especially those who do not quite get it.

Over the past few years a word has been thrown around to describe President Obama and his policies.  That word is socialist. These same people that scream the words socialist and fascist are the ones who lose their wits when the pledge is denounced or ignored.  Here is where the irony starts. Bellamy wrote the pledge based on his cousin Edward's beliefs documented in his works Looking Backwards and Equality.  They were socialist ideals with the thought that if we weren't controlled by material items and labels, we could all coexist.  Right before he wrote it, he was run out of the ministry.  He had a job working for the superintendents of education and was asked to write something for the 400th anniversary of Columbus' discovering America.  Even more ironic that something we stand and and salute was originally to honor a man who committed genocide in the same way Hitler tried to do.  The pledge was published in a popular magazine called the Youth's Companion and a marketing genius (whose name I forget) decided to use the publication to sell American Flags.  Obviously, the correlation has never ceased.

Another irony is that Bellamy had asked if he could include the words Equality and Fraternity, or even one of them, before the words liberty and justice.  He was told he could not, because those who asked that he write this, did not agree with his or his cousin's beliefs that women and blacks were equal.  Almost a century and a quarter later, this has not been added, while the reason for it's omission is widely known.  One thing that was added was a salute to the flag.  A arm raised straight out, palms down, pointed at the flag.  Similar to that of the Romans when they hailed Caesar.  In the 1930's, this was done away with due to a little guy in Germany with a funny moustache and his "party."  A hand on the heart took it's place.

Certain words were changed, my flag became to the flag and minor adjustments.  In 1954, the Knights of Columbus campaigned for the words "under God" to be added.  The Knights were the largest private Catholic group in America and had significant voter persuasiveness.  Eisenhower, who I believe had just converted (this may have been long before, not sure) from being a Jehovah's Witness couldn't wait to pass this.  It became law and was added for good.  Somewhere along the line, the division of church and state became blurred, but nobody minded, because at the time it didn't bother anyone.  Ironically, the Knights of Columbus, during the campaign, used the words "public prayer" to push their ideology.  So, they obviously were ignoring that amendment, as did our president at the time.

Bellamy had said in an interview that he wanted to portray the nation as one.  Everyone equal, everyone accounted for, and everyone blanketed by the flag.  He said, it wasn't so much for those who were citizens, for those who had fought, but for those who were present and those who didn't have a fight. He stated that this was for immigrants, this was for those who didn't have a voice and that they, like all of us should be treated as equals, because they have become part of our nation.  Somewhere in all the fighting over this pledge, over the added words, we all, both republicans and democrats, both catholics and non-catholics, both religious and non-religious forgot one important thing.  We are all equals. 

Think back to your childhood.  Did you say the pledge because you loved the flag, your nation and all it stood for, or did you do it, because you were told.  We are always hearing about the age of consent as it pertains to sex, drinking, voting and dying for our country.  We never hear about it as it pertains to repeating something in school, attending church services or who we are taught to love and hate.  A five year old doesn't know to call someone a derogatory name, but they do so, because they are told.  A five year old doesn't understand what God is, but pray to him because they are told. A child surely doesn't understand that the pledge of allegiance has nothing to do with God or the armed services and has nothing to do with school or government.  They know that every morning, just like their orange juice, they are expected to finish it.  Maybe it parents taught their kids to think, to experience and to live, they could decide on their own what to say before class.  If we had more shepherds and less sheep, the world would be a better place.

Monday, June 27, 2011

What A Sick ****ing World We Live In

Has anyone really thought about the last few years and what has become of this country?  We have been in a war for ten years and nobody even seems to notice.  A handful of people I know have seen Restrepo which depicts exactly what the hell is going on in foreign lands, but everyone has seen the Hangover.  We forgive Kobe Bryant for sodomizing a girl (read the transcript and he admits it), but we want to lynch anyone who doesn't believe the same religion we do.  We make heroes out of womanizers, drug addicts and pedophiles, but chastise people for wanting to omit God from the Pledge of Allegiance. We elect adulterers, but shun homosexuals who want to live in a committed relationship.  We live in a constant state of hypocrisy.  Has it always been this way?  Or have we become this?

A few weeks ago, Osama Bin Laden was killed and America cheered.  People actually praised God that he was found and shot.  So does that mean that Americans, in general, believe in their own form of Jihad?  Don't get me wrong, I cheered also, but for much different reasons.  I cheered because in this one instance, we saved our selves tens of millions of dollars in extradition and legal fees.  This was a lesser of two evils in this case.  I'm also for the death penalty, something my conservative (and liberals) might be surprised to hear.  I did not however take joy in a human beings death, simply as revenge.  That is what they do in the some middle eastern countries and we call it an abomination.  So why not now? 

This past week the same sex marriage bill was passed and we praised everyone who saw the light.  We praised Grisanti, who for months opposed it vehemently, but then when someone pointed out that his district is 80% liberal, he wavered.  Today we praised Hillary Clinton, who in a quote, basically said that she agrees that you can't go against your constituents.  Clinton in '16?  Fuck her!  We praised Obama for finally getting on board.   He conveniently waited til he knew the outcome and then spoke up in praise before a gay and lesbian audience.  Let's not forget that gays in NY now have rights.  In NY and three other states.  They do not have federal rights and their rights, even in NY are somewhat limited.  It's a step, a wonderful step, but a baby step.

I have friends who I admire and respect both for the people they are and their intelligence, who sit idly by watching things like Jersey Shore and Jerry Springer.  They watch every reality show, every vampire story and anything else that shows stupid people in stupid situations.  I remember my youth, when shows were viewed because of content, acting and reality TV was called the 11 o'clock news.  The only prime time reality show was Battle of the Network Stars and it was hilarious.  Then came That's Incredible and we started our decent into idiocy.  I'm not saying I don't fall prey. I am a sucker for any cooking competition and I live for travel shows that depict food from across the world.  Even our series' have become fodder.  I am obsessed with Dexter and I liked the first two seasons of the Sopranos, but would I ever compare them to things like Brideshead Revisited, I Claudius or even Shogun?  Never.  Back then acting mattered.  Even now, when I catch a few minutes of the early Sopranos, you realize how silly the acting is.  It's like watching the movie The Warriors.  Great as a teenager, but awful acting now.  Still  entertaining, but in a different way.  What changed in us?   Is America really in the midst of an intelligence avalanche?

Even our elections have become silly.  Two people slandering each  other to such a point we find ourselves voting for the lesser of two evils instead of the better man.  With all the Internet, with all the fact checking websites, most Americans prove their intelligence by listening to the likes of Bill O'Reilly or Keith Olberman and base their vote, their voice, on somebody elses opinion.  It's sad.

I think the thing that really got me and when I knew we had fallen into the abyss was exactly two years ago.  Grown men and women, with kids, crying at the death of Michael Jackson.  Here was a very talented man.  A man of much mystery.  One who was as quirky as they come.  A man who everyone knew paid a child's parents $25 million to keep quiet about something that happened in his home with their child.  Something horrific.  A man who admitted giving young children wine and letting them sleep with him.  A man who had child pornography on his computer and in his bedroom.  If this was the same people's neighbor they'd want him castrated, but he's a celebrity, with talent, so it's OK.  People actually cursed at me when I brought these things up.  They were so defensive for a man they'd never met, but liked to do laundry while listening to P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing).  A mother sticking up for a pedophile.  Amazing.

I know people who will donate money to every disease under the sun.  Cancer, Diabetes, Lupus, MS, you name it (by the way, I've donated to all in the last two years).  Ask them to donate to food banks, hunger prevention or to provide schools with notebooks and writing utensils and they turn a deaf ear.  People are starving in our own backyard.  These problems have far more dramatic consequences on our society.  Crime, sickness, illiteracy, not to mention the increase in unemployment, welfare and in the end the rise of taxes.  Although when it comes to that point, then people notice.  They blame the guy who is currently in office but never look in the mirror.  I'm not talking about handouts to drug addicts, I'm talking about starving children.  I once worked on a home for low income residents.  It was being built from the ground up and was supposed to be done by mid May.  It was a union job and as they often do, the job ran over into the summer.  Every day we'd see this family of five in a station wagon.  Every day the father would disappear, looking for work and come back at night with food.  Week after week this went on until finally someone on the job site offered him a job cleaning up.  He was there for over five weeks, with his wife and kids, sleeping in the car during 80 degree nights.  Every day he went looking for work, but without the proper clothes and hygiene, he was lost.  The great part of the story is that someone finally gave him work and they let he and his family shower in one of the new apartments, but why did it take five weeks?  This man would also never accept a handout.  Behind his back, his wife would accept something for the kids.  That was all.  Proud Americans and nobody wanted to help them.  I wonder how long they'd have to wait today.  That's how it was twenty years ago.

How did we become this way.  I look at myself.  I grew up with tons of friends of various ethnicities.  Now almost everyone is the same.  It doesn't feel normal.  The funny thing is hearing my neighbors tell me how the neighborhood has gone down hill.  I recently asked someone who owns a house how many people they know on their block. There were about twenty houses and they said they knew three families.  They've lived there for over twenty years.  When I lived on Garth Road I knew every one of my neighbors on my floor, but only knew two or three families in the rest of the building.  When I lived in Brooklyn, I knew every one of my neighbors names, I knew their grandparents, their grandchildren, cousins and friends.  There were probably 60 houses on my street and I moved when I was 15.  If you gave me about a half hour, I could go down the block, one by one and still tell you every single person who lived in every house, sometimes three families to a house.  That was a neighborhood.  That was America.  We all watched Mash. The Muppets, Dallas and Dynasty.  The Yankees or The Mets.  The Giants or the Jets.  The Islanders or the Rangers and the Knicks or the Nets.  We watched the Cosmos and cheered Pele and Beckenbauer.  We all stayed home with our parents and watched Scared Straight.  We had block parties and the entire block built a park out of an abandon lot that is still there today.  We were one city block in the middle of Brooklyn.  We had every race, religion and sexual orientation and we laughed and cried together.  We were what the world was all about.  I fear I'll never see that again.  Not in my lifetime. That is America...Now!

My life: The First 40 Years

In a little more than a week, I will be turning 41.  It's not a big deal and age to me is only a number.  It's a cliche, but it's true.  Most people my age are set in a career, married with children and for the most part as happy as a pig in shit.  Which when you think about it isn't a very nice place to be.  To be honest, most people, when on the level, or drunk, tell me they are pretty damn miserable.  They call it content, but hint at a different adjective to describe their satisfying lives.  I started thinking about how things change over the years and how every ten years has affected my evolving.  Sometimes I think I'm not evolving, but I don't have a thesaurus handy and I'm not sure what a synonym for evolving is. I thought I'd take a look at certain aspects in my life and how they've changed from the ages of 10 to 20 to 30 and now to 40.

What I go by has changed over the years, although my last name seems to resonate with most.  When I was 10, I was called Jonathan by most and Jona by my friends.  At 20, it was Jona by family and Hopper by everyone else.  At 30 it stayed the same, but at 40, new friends have started calling me Jon.  Even my father does.  My brother and his childhood friends Kevin are the only ones that still call me Jona.

My jobs have changed dramatically.  At 10, I had chores and basically it was make my bed, which I never did.  At 20, I was doing  (metal) roofing.  A job I loved and was actually very good at. At 30, I was running after school programs and working in camps.  Not enough hours, not enough money.  Although 40 saw me leave an office managing job, work briefly doing deliveries and still running the after school program.  Currently, I'm unemployed and a little nervous about it.

I love sports and the teams I've followed have even changed over the years.  At ten, I liked The Yankees and Phillies, the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia 76ers and hated Hockey.  In college I liked Georgetown in college basketball and Penn. St. and Colorado in football. To this day, I still root for the 76'ers, Georgetown and Penn St. & Colorado and if pressed for an answer I root for the Flyers in hockey.  At 20, I liked the Red Sox and Broncos.  I've liked both these teams since they drafted Roger Clemens and John Elway in 1983. All these teams have stayed the same up into my 40's.

When I was ten I was obsessed with music.  My favorite music was the Gogo's, Joan Jett, Pink Floyd (The Wall), The Clash, and the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar.  At 20, I dove into 50's and early 60's music or as my generation likes to call  them, Oldies.  I listened to Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, but also listened to tons of Freestyle and Rap.  At 30, I got into Sublime, The Stones, back into the Clash, and fell in love with bands like Belle and Sebastian.  I got into silly, fun music like the Spice Girls and Hanson and genuinely like some of their songs.  I also stayed in touch with Rap, but mostly what is referred to as Old Skool.  At 40, I started to recognize some of the genius behind some of the older Jazz musicians.  Throughout the entire time, I've enjoyed classical music and despite being older and maybe a little too old to love it, I have embraced Lady Gaga as the next great thing.  Obviously, this could be a blog in itself.  How does one not mention Madonna or U2?  Shane McGowan or Jussi Bjorling?  Ben Harper or Robert Johnson?  I could go on forever.

Throughout my life I have always appreciated art.  I have been to many museums, albeit only in the United States, but over the years, one artist has always resonated with me.  Georgia O'Keefe.  How can one painting represent so much.  She could paint a flower and while looking at it, the emtions that come over you are astonishing.  You see the actual flower in all it's beauty, almost emitting the smell with it's vibrant colors.  A slight background revealing the place where it grows.  Then you look at it more closely and it reveals a sexuality, not altogether mean to be hidden.  You somewhat lose yourself in her paintings.  She's the one artist, who depending on my mood, I see something different in all of her paintings. There are other's I appreciate, but I always go back to her.

I haven't dated many people in my life, but it's not out of a lack of emotion or initiative.  It's because of the fact that between the ages of 21 and 40 I've dated three people for a total of sixteen years.  I don't want to embarrass anyone, because all of my exes are on Facebook and actually take the time to read these.At 10, I loved the girl who lived three houses down.  She and I were inseparable.  It was an innocent relationship and we grew up together.  She's married with kids and doing great.  At 20, I was chasing a girl I'd known for years.  We dated for almost seven years and our parents were good friends.  We had every intention of staying together, but in the end, a combination of me being a dick and both of us probably not being mature enough led to out breakup.  She's with a wonderful man, who I am also friends with now and has two kids.  I'm thrilled she has a wonderful life and family and part of me will always feel part of her family.   At 30, I was dating a girl who also is married with a kid now.  I never treated her the way she deserved to be treated and in the end, I ended it out of sheer stupidity.  In my life, I've met many nice people and a few good people but rarely does a person come along as selfless as this one.  In retrospect, I threw away probably the best thing in my life, but to be honest, I think I did the best thing for her.  I probably would have done nothing but take her for granted and she would have still loved me.  I'm glad she found true love and has what she needs.  At 40, I'm single and ready to mingle.  I'm not looking for anything in particular, but do feel like my life has become a lonely existence.  I miss the camaraderie, but don't miss the headaches.  All good comes with some bad and I wish I realized that at 20 and 30.  I know it now.

Anyone that knows me knows I love to eat and drink.  Even those favorite tastes have changed over the years.  When I was 10, my dream meal was my mother's saurbraten (preferably the second day) and whatever incredible Amarone my father would give me to taste.  At 20, I was a big time beer drinker.  I loved Bass Ale and my mother's Paella or Jambalaya.  At 30, I was drinking Jack and Cokes, my favorite meal was a tender steak with roasted potatoes and butter drenched haricot verts.  At 40, my favorite meal is some lump crab meat and shucked clams or something as simple as a chorizo burrito and I flip flop between Guinness and Stoli O w/club.


Well I could go on and on, telling of my favorite colors over the decades (blue, pink, black, green) or my favorite TV shows.  I won't bore you.  I could be philosophical and try and explain what I wanted out of life and how that has changed.  We all want basically the same thing and that is to be happy and to be loved.  I'm no different.  So I'll end this with a description of my perfect day over the decades.

At ten:  Sleep til 10am, have breakfast with the family and play sports til dark with friends.  Have a delicious home cooked meal with the parents and end the night with a great movie.

At twenty: Wake up at noon, stumble to the fridge and have a cold slice of pizza, go out and play sports with some friends, drink the night away and end up at the diner at 4am with some girls.

At thirty: Wake up at noon, have brunch with the family, set out to a friends house and just sit around, playing bocce or cards and drink til the cows come home.  Go home and sleep til noon again.

At forty: Lucky to sleep past 7am.  Have breakfast, watch  a movie, go out and have some drinks with some friends and end up watching a movie on a couch with someone I truly care about....it's been a while since I've done that, but I'd like it.

24 Hours Of Facebook Updates: My Friends Inspire Me

The other day a non-Facebook used asked me what I like about the social network so much.  I thought briefly and told them it was a very simple answer.  It keeps me up to date with friends who I either can't see or speak to, don't see or speak to enough or friends I don't really want to see or speak to, but do like to know they are doing well.  I started thinking about it the next day after this conversation and realized it's not the reason.  I like to be inspired.  Sometimes an update inspires me to contact someone.  Maybe it inspires me to write a blog or have a conversation with someone about a topic.  Maybe it reminds me about something I needed to do in my life.  Sometimes it just reminds me of special times in my life.  Sometimes it just gives me a much needed laugh.  So for this blog, I'm going to cut a paste some updates and tell of how they affected me.  Obviously, I will not post people's names, but you can look to see if you are here.

Let me also start by saying that is a positive blog.  One thing that did stand out over the last few days was the issue of same sex marriage.  I'd say nearly every one of my friends who was  for the law, posted positive and eloquent updates urging our senate to pass the vote.  Ironically, my very few friends who were against it, wrote derogatory comments in almost complete gibberish and with tons of misspelled words.  I'd like to think not only justice was served, but intelligence also.

So here we go, starting with about 24 hours ago:

22 hours ago: Time for a night cap - this reminded me of my grandmother in her younger days.  We'd go to visit her in Philly and she'd always have a drink in her hand before dinner and after.  She'd start to get a little tired and could never just walk away and retire to the bedroom.  She always needed that last drink of the night and it always had to be announced.

16 hours ago: Trying to hit four miles today - this reminded me of about two months ago when I had just missed a bus.  I figured I'd walk towards home from New Rochelle, stop and get a bite to eat and get the next bus in a half hour.  I started walking and as a goof, put the gps from my phone on.  I had walked about a mile and a quarter and stopped for a hot dog across from New Rochelle HS.  I asked the guy for change for the bus and he explained he didn't have any coins. He actually gave me more change, because of this.  Just then, the bus passed.  So I figured I'd eat my dog, drink my water and walk til the next bus.  I was at Wykagl area when the next one came and I figured, I was only one mile away, so why not do it.  Well I got home and was exhausted. Dripping sweat on a 60 degree day, but it was probably the most I had walked in twelve years (walked drunk for seven miles in pitch darkness from a bar in New Hampshire).  This time I could literally not move from bed the next day, but I did it.

15 hours ago: Pierce Camp Birchmont buses are on their way....wish I were on one! - The words, the pictures, just seeing my friends profile pictures remind me of the four best summers of my life.  Probably one-third of my friends on facebook are from Birchmont.  I love the place and all of them hold a special place in my heart.

14 hours ago: Having a pool right outside your home is mint - gotta love that someone from Eastchester is still using lingo from 1988.  And I'm serious, I love it.  It's like when me and Brian say "Fresh!"

14 hours ago: Old Timer's Day - I remember when this was the most anticipated game of the year at the Stadium, because you knew every year it was a chance to see some of the greatest to ever play the game.  Now it's guys like Bernie Williams and Kevin Mass.

12 hours ago: Who wants a bloody Mary? - reminds me of a lesson I learned about trying to be a man when I was only a boy.  Got drunk off Gordon's gin when I was 13 and literally crawled home.  Then proceeded t throw up all over the house and my parents had to clean it up.  So the next morning I awoke feeling like death.  I walked down the stairs to the table and breakfast was waiting.  My parents acted like nothing had happened and I knew I was a dead man.  What happened next nearly killed me, shocked me and with today's laws would have sent my parents to prison and me to an orphanage.  My father handed me a bloody Mary.  Usually he made me a virgin Mary, but this time he added vodka.  He said "you're not going anywhere until you finish it."  Obviously, he didn't make it strong, but just enough that it tasted like vodka.  I think I sat at that table and cried for hours.  I couldn't bear the smell of it.  Definitely learned my lesson....for about a week.

11 hours ago: Out shopping with Mom - something I used to dread being dragged into and something I'd give the rest of my life to be able to do again.

6 hours ago: I'm sooo gayed out, I'm gonna shit rainbows tonight!!! - OK, this doesn't remind me of anything, but is fucking hilarious.

4 hours ago: Stunning sunset tonight - it reminded me of a day off a bunch of us had during camp.  Some of sat on a dock, some with our chairs actually submerged in the lake. The tiny ripples rolling up against our chests, cooling us on a hot day.  There we sat, six, seven, maybe eight of us, not a sound.  Watching the sun set over the trees.  A perfect end to a wonderful day.

2 hours ago: Someone posted a picture of a newspaper article in the Post or News with a headline that read "Lindsay gave Carol Brady Crabs!" - Without Facebook, I would have missed this and the sheer enjoyment it gave me.  How fucking awesome is it that the more the years roll by, the more Florence Henderson proves to be a slut?" 

57 minutes ago: Oh Sleep, why must you be so elusive? Boo- These words couldn't be more representative of the way I feel almost every night and is the reason for so many of my mindless blogs.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

First Thoughts: Waking To Insanity

Despite being an insomniac most of the time, I am a morning person.  I like to jump out of bed immediately and start my day.  What troubles me, is that my first thought of the day is usually one that not only makes me question my sanity, but at times, my love for my fellow man.  No jokes aside, the morning after the big vote on marriage equality, I awoke to a vision of a NY Post headline saying "Cuomo's Homos!"  That is pretty tame by my standards.  Usually, it isn't connected to a current even or even anything that might have been suggested the day or week before.  I am completely serious and I'm not making these up.  These are a list of the some of the first things that popped in my head as I lay in bed, eyes barely open to embrace a brand new day.  Some are sick, some are funny, some are just plain, wtf?

Michael J. Fox may be the first known serial killer to have the perfect alibi, because all his murders were a result of shaken baby syndrome.

Has anyone ever seen a squirrel at night?

Isn't the fact that eggs are traditionally eaten in the morning and chicken at night, somewhat end the which came first debate?

Why do single girls get so horny at weddings?

I can't be certain, but if I remember correctly, the oldest Von Trapp girl was kinda hot in the Sound of Music.

Why do people put Parmesan from a can or jar on red sauce when it does absolutely nothing to the flavor?

and here's what I woke to this morning - Why is it the mornings I can't sleep anyway, there are no birds chirping?


That's the sort of thing that pops in my head in the early am.  Not a craving for coffee and scones, not eggs and bacon or a desire to be on time for work.  No, I think about completely inane stuff, bordering on horrific at times. Well, there's a short list.  Time for some coffee.

Alone On A Saturday Night: The eHarmony Questionnaire

OK, I'm not on the website, but googled the questionnaire and thought it would be cool So read it and if we're compatible you know where I am. Of course there will be comments added. Now it doesn't say in some sections if you're supposed to pick one or now, so I'm at a complete loss. Or is it word association. I don't have a clue.



The eHarmony Questionnaire





(aka Compatibility Matching Profile Personality Test)



Section 1: Self-descriptions



I'm assuming you're supposed to pick the items that relate to you. All of them.



1. Warm - I sweat when it's about 75 degrees, so I'm pretty warm.



2. Clever - probably less than I think I am



3. Dominant



4. Ambitious



5. Outgoing - for someone who spends as much time indoors as I do, I'm very outgoing.



6. Agreeable



7. Modest



8. Submissive



9. Lazy - define lazy, I don't have the energy



10. Introverted



11. Aloof



12. Quarrelsome



13. Cold



14. Gregarious



15. Arrogant – only when I think I’m smarter than someone….OK, yes, normally.







—————–







1. Impulsive



2. Stable – I hate horses



3. Energetic



4. Spiritual



5. Adventuresome



6. Frugal



7. Predictable



8. Affectionate – I’m affectionate behind closed doors. I tend to hide my “pussy” side



9. Organized



10. Intelligent – I believe this is my best quality. Sadly, I’m surrounded by morons.



11. Compassionate – yes, very. If I see a homeless person, I kill them and put them out of their misery. I also do this to old people and people who are really religious.



12. Attractive – apparently I’m like a magnet to bars. They just seem to find me.



13. Loyal – very loyal. I lay by my dogs side and fetch his newspaper every morning.



14. Witty – I’m very witty. Some might say Dim Witty and I love Dim Sum, so I take that as a compliment.



15. Neat











————-







1. Content – maybe overly. I’m content to just.



2. Humorous – I was until I hit it, then I cried. That bone hurts.



3. Efficient



4. Artistic



5. Perfectionist



6. Creative



7. Spontaneous



8. Sensitive – I sometimes rub against people on the bus and get aroused. So I’d say, hell yeah.



9. Under-Achiever – I once had sex with someone who made a lot more money than me. She liked to be on top, so for a while I was under an achiever.



10. Uncomplicated - is this even a word?



11. Generous – I’m broke and donate singles to single mothers every week. I don’t know why, but whenever I have a big stack of singles they call me Rain Man.



12. Intellectual – Is that like Intelligence, but plural? I only have one brain.



13. Moral – I saw one of these eels at the aquarium once. Scary.



14. Disciplined



15. Adaptable







——————







1. Communicative



2. Honest – I believe in honor, and once you’re honor, stay honor.



3. Sensual



4. Liberal – with salt, yes….and with Politics. But not with ketchup.



5. Charming



6. Patient – It’s more of an outpatient program.



7. Reliable



8. Resilient



9. Optimistic – Nope, never wanted to be an eye doctor.



10. Conservative



11. Passionate



12. Reflective – I once used the line “is that a mirror in your pocket, because I see myself in your pants.” It didn’t work, so I’d say no.



13. Caring



14. Genuine



15. Open – To pretty much anything that doesn’t involve a ball gag and more than 9” of rubber.







—————–







1. Self-aware



2. Competitive -



3. Over-Achiever – that chick was pretty much a one trick pony. I did however ride once for more than 8 seconds.



4. Vivacious



5. Wise – I prefer Ridgies.



6. Bossy



7. Leader – I am a definite leader. I don’t have any followers, but I’m a definite leader.



8. Irritable – do women really want to know about my bowels?



9. Show-off



10. Independent – Someone once took my picture and put it in a locket. So I guess I was Independent.



11. Kind



12. Calm



13. Courageous



14. Aggressive



15. Persistent







———————-







1. Outspoken – I like to speak when I’m out.



2. Follower



3. Rational



4. Opinionated – I have a few thoughts on this, but I’ll keep them to myself.



5. Restless – When I was younger, I slept a lot, but now I restless.



6. Romantic – I put down the toilet seat after I pee on someone.



7. Selfish – I love clams, mussels, crab, steamers, oysters.



8. Shy



9. Stubborn



10. Trusting



11. Jealous







12. Imagine that your friends had to choose the best FOUR descriptions of you from the items listed below. Click next to the four items that they would be most likely to pick:







Good listener



Modest



Respectful



Affectionate



Caring



Spontaneous



Physically Fit



Warm



Outgoing



Optimistic



Dependable



Romantic



Creative



Loyal



Spiritual



Kind – Usually I’m kind. The kind you wanna smack.



Ambitious



Articulate – I speak good!



Rational



Easy-Going



Generous



Happy



Quiet



Genuine



Intelligent – and when I don’t know anything, I make it up. Don’t tell them.



Hard Working



Thoughtful



Sweet



Passionate



Energetic



Funny - I make people. Kinda like a clown, but a stranger nose.



Perceptive







———————-







Section 2: Personal Characteristics







1. I enjoy a good joke – I’m usually the butt of the joke. And it’s usually an ass rape joke.



2. I enjoy acquiring possessions



3. I enjoy work for work’s sake



4. I enjoy mingling with people on social occasions – is mingling another word for drinking?



5. I like reading everything I can about a subject



6. I am satisfied with my level of emotional development



7. I like to spend my spare time being physically active



8. I am able to express myself in unique ways (e.g., words, music, art)



9. My personal religious beliefs are important to me



10. I have a high desire for sexual activity



11. I like to play pranks on others



12. I strive to advance in my career



13. I take great pleasure in knowing I have done a good job, whether or not others recognize it



14. It is easy for me to engage in conversations with people I have just met



15. I tend to think “outside the box” – Because we all know that head, doesn’t have a brain..



16. I view myself as well adjusted



17. I need to take time to “veg out”



18. I am a good artist



19. My faith affects my life



20. I greatly appreciate the physical beauty of the opposite sex



21. I often see humor in everyday life



22. It is important for me to be viewed by others as a successful person



23. I feel a bit guilty if I am not being productive



24. Being in settings where I will meet new people is an important part of my life



25. I ask questions in search of information – usually that question is “when is last call?”



26. I think it is important to continually try to improve myself



27. I care a lot about the physical shape I am in



28. My mind does much better with facts and figures than with concepts







——————————–







1. I find that going to church is a good way to meet people who benefit my social and/or professional life



2. I like to look at people of the opposite sex – until they notice me and then I get off the ladder and run.



3. I can be offended by satire and sarcasm



4. I can accept the circumstances of my life as they are



5. It is important for me to take time to “smell the roses”



6. I generally prefer to spend my spare time alone or with people with whom I am close



7. I regularly read the paper and magazines



8. I prefer to live life rather than analyzing life



9. I take pleasure in working out



10. I need to spend time creating things to feel satisfied



11. My beliefs make me a better person



12. I have an ability to make others laugh – Because if they don’t, they get the hose.



13. I need to win at whatever I am involved in



14. I work much better if people follow my lead



15. My emotions are generally stable



16. I am proud of my educational background



17. If I am not in control of a situation, it is better if I leave



18. My friends come to me when they are in difficult times because they know I can handle emotional crises



19. I am more comfortable being a follower than a leader



20. I get upset easily



21. People who are controlling irritate me



22. I think it is important to express my feelings whether they are positive or negative



23. I prefer not to be around people who have emotional swings



24. I tend to either like someone a lot or dislike him/her a lot



25. I like to be pampered – because shitting yourself in public is embarrasing.



26. I generally feel better when I am around other people – especially when they are wearing Asian schoolgirl outfits.



27. When I get mad I tend to take it out on someone







———————–







Section 3: About Your Feelings







1. Happy



2. Sad



3. Anxious



4. Confident – I’m generally confident, although nothing is going well and I feel like the world is ending and I don’t know what to do. But I’m pretty confident that things are going to continue to suck in my life.



5. Hopeful



6. Fearful about the future – yeah, but with the rapture coming, who cares.



7. Angry



8. Calm – I am always calm. Unless you make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry



9. Fortunate



10. Out of control



11. Fulfilled



12. Depressed



13. Energetic



14. Tired



15. Successful



16. Unable to cope



17. Satisfied



18. Misunderstood – I just like the song by Pink, so I picked this.



19. Safe



20. Plotted against







———————————







Section 4: Important Qualities







1. My partner’s personal values



2. My partner’s energy level



3. My partner’s family background



4. My partner’s honesty – honesty is the best policy. Unless it’s a really good lie and you get away with it.



5. Enjoying the way I feel around my partner – and by around, I mean tits and ass.



6. My partner’s dependability



7. My partner’s intelligence



8. My partner’s sex appeal – appeal? Am I having sex with a banana? That would be hot…if I went that way.



9. My partner’s love of children



10. My partner’s beliefs



11. My partner’s fun-loving nature



12. My partner’s physical appearance



13. The chemistry between me and my partner



14. The security/safety I feel when with my partner



15. The similarities between me and my partner



16. The romantic attraction I feel for my partner



17. My partner’s personality



18. My partner’s kindness



19. Our sexual compatibility – yeah, I find that when my partner doesn’t have a vagina, things get a little awkward.



20. My partner’s ability to communicate



21. My partner’s skill at resolving conflicts



22. My partner’s friendliness



23. My partner’s capacity for emotional intimacy



24. The friendship between me and my partner







————————–







Section 5: Personal Beliefs







Which of the following religions do you affiliate yourself with?







Christian



Jewish



Muslim



Hindu



Buddhist



Sikh



Shinto



Other



Spiritual, but not affiliated with a religious group



Neither religious nor spiritual – I’m fine with you yelling OH God during sex though. Or even when we’re out shopping.





Please indicate what religion(s) your matches should be affiliated with: (check all that apply)







Christian



Jewish



Muslim



Hindu



Buddhist



Sikh



Shinto



Other



Spiritual, but not affiliated with a religious group



Neither religious nor spiritual



No Preference – as long as I don’t have to miss football or wake up early, you could pray to a can of baked beans for all I care.







Do you want to select which religious denomination(s) your matches can be?







Yes



No







————————







Cont: denomination







————————







Section 6: About Your Personality (TRUE OR FALSE)







1. I enjoy many different types of recreational activities. – False (My knees are fucked)



2. I always read ALL of the warning literature on side-effects before taking any medication. False, I don’t take pills.



3. I sometimes drive faster than the posted speed-limit. True



4. If a store-clerk gave me too much change, I might keep it without telling them. False, I’m like honest, or stupid, Abe.



5. I generally want to come out ahead. – True. Who doesn’t?



6. I frequently have to work to overcome my shyness. False, Only when talking to people.



7. I like some people just because they are popular with others. False, they are usually dicks.



8. I dislike some people. True, most people.



9. I never worry about work-related issues. True, I’m unemployed bitches. What a catch!



10. I sometimes waste time when I should be working. – True. Only sometimes though, the other times I’m doing stuff that is fun, like looking at animal porn.



11. I would never lie, even if it wouldn’t hurt anyone. True. OK, Only if it hurts someone.



12. I do not give as much to charity as I could afford to financially. False, I give way more (this is a serious answer you jerks!).



13. At times I have raised my voice in anger. True, but I don’t look back in anger, because of that Oasis song.



14. I don’t care what other people think about me. True, because they are all devil-worshipping hypocrites.



15. I am sometimes tempted to make fun of people behind their backs. False. I noprmally do it in front of them. Unless their backs are funny.



16. There are times when I am envious of other people’s possessions. True, usually when they are holding something nice…like a Guinness and I’m waiting for mine.



17. My house is often cleaner when I have company coming over. False, I don’t have company over. I watched that show once and that Jack Tripper is a dick, I don’t ever want company.



18. I sometimes wish that certain other people would fail. True, like Christopher Reeve, that guy should fall of a fucking horse or something….oh, my bad. Fuck it, screw Michael J. Fox, what has he ever done?



19. I am always even-tempered. – False. Fuck You!







——————————-







Section 7: Your Personal Interests







1. Animals



2. Antiques



3. Art - Garfunkel



4. Astrology



5. Astronomy



6. Bicycling



7. Board Games – sometimes I like to play life and drive my family off a cliff.



8. Bowling



9. Bridge



10. Camping



11. Cars



12. Chess



13. Church involvement



14. Collecting



15. Computers – NO shit.



16. Conversation – only with smart people and about religion or politics.



17. Cooking – I love cooking and want to make a beautiful woman dinner every night. Then go home and sleep on the couch because I hate my wife. I’m not married yet, so my priorities may be a little skewed.



18. Crafts/Hobbies



19. Dancing – Only when I’m shit-faced.



20. Dining Out – Yes I like to eat out. Giggity.



21. Eating – Ok, now I’m confused.



22. Exercising



23. Extreme Sports



24. Family – yes, I am interested in Family. Mostly, the Manson Family.



25. Foreign Films – How do you say yes in Swahili?



26. Friendship







—————————-







1. Gardening



2. Genealogy



3. Golfing – Any sport you can drink during is an interest.



4. History – Herstory is interesting too, but usually a little too much info on the parts that don’t matter….like her feelings at the time.



5. Horseback Riding



6. Hosting/Entertaining



7. Hunting/Fishing



8. Languages



9. Learning



10. Listening to Music



11. Live Music



12. Marathons



13. Martial Arts



14. Motor Sports



15. Movies – I’ve spent about 12 hours writing blogs about movies this week. Aren’t I a winner?



16. Musicals



17. Painting



18. Participating in sports



19. Parties



20. Pets



21. Philosophy



22. Photography



23. Piloting Small Aircraft



24. Playing Music



25. Politics



26. Reading







—————————–







1. Recreational Exercise



2. Religious Community



3. Religious Faith



4. Running



5. Science



6. Science Fiction



7. Sewing



8. Sharpshooting



9. Shopping



10. Snow Sports



11. Soap Operas



12. Softball



13. Solitude



14. Talk with Friends



15. Teaching/Coaching – I like little kids….not in a Michael Jackson way, you sicko.



16. Technology



17. Tennis – I teach it!



18. Theater – yeah, but I’m a snob, so I spell it theatre.



19. Traveling



20. Vegetarianism



21. Volunteering



22. Walking



23. Watching sports – On occasion (see this is a lie, if I was honest, girls would run, but now I got them right where I want them….see below)



24. Watching TV – Only Oxygen, Lifetime and mindless reality shows.



25. Water Sports – I love R. Kelly



26. Weightlifting



27. Wildlife Conservation



28. Wine



29. Woodworking



30. Writing – I just like writing poems about the woman I’m with (and the two in the freezer)







31. What are you most passionate about? (Please be brief. This answer will be shared with your matches.)



I’m passionate about ending wars and united the world in perfect harmony. If I could only, buy the world a Coke.



————————







Section 8: Living Skills







1. Achieving personal goals



2. Maintaining a network of close friends



3. Using humor to make friends laugh – and good humor to fulfill their ice cream cravings, hehehe!



4. Making improvements and repairs around the house



5. Volunteering my time to causes I care about



6. Maintaining an organized life



7. Managing my finances



8. Entertaining in my home



9. Raising and/or caring for children



10. Leading a community service group



11. Creating romance in a relationship – I believe in the 3 R’s. Red Wine, Roses and Roofies. Romance in less than 20!



12. Socializing



13. Negotiating business or financial matters



14. Creating a peaceful, beautiful home environment



15. Sharing my beliefs through teaching, participation, and example – or just saying shit over and over til people agree just so I’ll shut the fuck up.



16. Keeping physically fit



17. Remaining calm yet resilient during a crisis



18. Communicating my innermost thoughts and feelings – I’m thinking of a number…



19. Helping those who are less fortunate or in need



20. Resolving conflict



21. Finding new adventures and unique experiences



22. Continuing to expand my knowledge and awareness



23. Long-term personal planning



24. Understanding local, national, and world events



25. Finding pleasure and contentment in simple things



26. Making art and culture an ongoing part of my life



27. Finding and taking on challenging activities



28. Finding creative solutions to everyday problems



29. Making new friends



30. Cooking for my family and friends



31. Earning income to provide for my family



32. Car maintenance and repair



33. Coordinating household schedules



34. Being a good friend and companion







————————–







Section 8: Living Skills (cont’d)







From the list of life skills below, please choose the three that you do best. Remember to consider these skills as they relate to your entire life, and not necessarily just your work or career activities.







Achieving personal goals



Maintaining a network of close friends



Using humor to make friends laugh



Making improvements and repairs around the house



Volunteering my time to causes I care about Maintaining an organized life



Managing my finances



Entertaining in my home



Raising and/or caring for children



Leading a community service group



Creating romance in a relationship



Socializing



Negotiating business or financial matters Creating a peaceful, beautiful home environment



Sharing my beliefs through teaching, participation, and example



Keeping physically fit



Remaining calm yet resilient during a crisis Communicating my innermost thoughts and feelings



Helping those who are less fortunate or in need Resolving conflict



Finding new adventures and unique experiences Continuing to expand my knowledge and awareness



Long-term personal planning Understanding local, national, and world events



Finding pleasure and contentment in simple things Making art and culture an ongoing part of my life



Finding and taking on challenging activities Finding creative solutions to everyday problems



Making new friends



Cooking for my family and friends



Earning income to provide for my family



Car maintenance and repair



Coordinating household schedules



Being a good friend and companion







———————————-



Was it me, or was the last the section a repeat of the section before it? I’m paying eHarmony for this? Fuckers!



Section 9: Communication Style







Please rate how important to you each of the following factors is when you are involved in a conflict or argument with a friend, co-worker or family member.



I assume I’m supposed to put a number next to them 1- most important 10-least important.



1. I try to make sure that my position prevails (that I win)



2. I try to make sure that I am understood 3. – OK, I make my point. It’s over quickly. Understand. OK, we’re done with this section



3. I try to accommodate the other person’s position



4. I try to understand the other person



5. I try to be respectful of all opinions different from my own



6. I try to resolve the conflict quickly – 2. I’m usually right, so yeah.



7. I try to avoid disagreement



8. I am passionate/intense about my position – 1. I don’t bother if I’m not passionate



9. I try to drop an issue once it is resolved



10. I try to resolve the conflict well







————————







Section 10: Relationship Style







When you think about what you want in a relationship, how important are the following items?







1. Being able to easily talk about personal problems with my partner – it’s always about you!



2. Knowing as much as possible about my partner’s past – You had a puppy, it died, and now you don’t like, anal….wtf?



3. Being able to tell my partner everything about myself – I like bagels on Sunday



4. Being able to discuss with my partner how I am feeling towards him/her – sex? Ok Sleep!



5. Having my partner be open with me about how he/she feels toward me – if you’re open, it should feel good. If not, I’m going to watch TV



6. Being available to my partner when he/she is having problems - MUTE



7. Being able to count on my partner for emotional support – That’s what Jack Daniels is for.



8. Enjoying physical closeness with my partner – as long as the A/C is on



9. Being able to keep my space – and my apartment



10. Being able to work out my problems on my own – holy fuck. If you get through this fucking survey, they should send over a hooker for a week. This sucks. Next section



11. Being able to spend as much time as possible with my partner



12. Doing special things to let my partner know how important he/she is to me



13. Being able to make compromises



14. Showing my partner that his/her needs are as important to me as my own



15. Being kind to each other



16. Being able to let my partner know when I am angry with him/her



17. Knowing that my spouse is usually to blame when things go wrong



18. Feeling that my spouse can do little wrong



19. Having similar ideas on parenting



20. Having similar educational backgrounds



21. Having similar belief systems







22. What are the THREE things for which YOU are the MOST thankful? (Please limit each answer to 20 words or less. These answers will be shared with your matches.)



Stolichnaya Orang, Guinness and Salma Hayek



————————







Section 11: Most and Least Like You





I don’t get it. If you’re matching me up, shouldn’t I understand the questions?

————————







Section 11: Most and Least Like You (cont’d)



Fuck YOU!



————————







Section 12: Family Relationships







Please use the scale below to tell us how well each of the following describes your relationship with your parents (or guardians) when you were growing up. If your parents were not both equally present, please focus on the parent with whom you felt the closest and most involved.



What Scale?



1. Conflicted – sometimes



2. Supportive – always, except that time they told me I didn’t look good in heels.



3. Abusive – I learned to bob and weave, so not so bad.



4. Tender – I never ate them



5. Uninvolved – Never. They used to grade me when I had sex as a teen



6. Over Involved – One time they got me thrown out of class for drinking. They were drinking.







Using the same scale, how well do the following describe your relationship with your parents now? (If deceased describe your relationship when they were alive. Please focus on the parent with whom you feel the closest and most involved.)







7. Friendly



8. Distant



9. Angry



10. Abusive



11. Tender



12. Supportive



13. Conflicted



14. Nurturing



15. Regretful



16. Tolerant



17. Uninvolved



18. Over Involved



I don’t have any mommy or daddy issues. I don’t want to sleep with my parents, kill my parents, or anything other than hang with them. It does become troubling to some when I have tea parties with my mother, because they insist I put the dirt back.



19. Other than your parents, who has been the most influential person in your life and why? (Please be brief. This answer will be shared with your matches.)





Stephen Hawkings – I figure if a crippled guy who talks into the machine used by Afirka Bambaata to make Planet Rock can become famous, why can’t I? I just have bad knees.

————————-







Section 13: General Information







1. Are you male or female?







Male – I have a penis, but some people have commented on my breasts. Penis trumps breasts.



Female







2. Please enter your birthdate: 07/06/1970



3. What is your current marital status



Never – ever ever



Divorced



Separated



Widowed







4. How many times have you been married?



5. How many children do you have who are 18 years old or younger and living full time in your home?



6. Aside from any children you or a new partner may already have, would you like to start a new family by having or adopting a baby?



I have had my eye on these two 18 Thai twins for a while now, so I’d be up t the challenge of taking them in.



Yes, I definitely want to have or adopt a baby.



Maybe, I haven’t decided yet.



No, I can’t or don’t want to become a new parent.



Oooh, sorry, didn’t see these choices



7. Would you be willing to accept a partner who has children 18 years old or younger living full time in their home?







Yes



No – no but if they are 18 or older and female or male with really hot female friends, I’d be down.







8. Choose the category that best describes your highest level of education.







Doctorate



Masters



Bachelors



Associates



Some college – Some, but that’s not fair, because I went on and off for like seven years. Most people that do that are called Doctors.



High School



Did not complete High School







———————–







Section 13: General Information (cont’d)







Please answer the following questions as completely and honestly as possible.



1. What is your personal income?







$0 …..this is how much I’ve made in the last three weeks. Why, you buying?



Less than $20,000



$20,000 to $40,000



$40,000 to $60,000



$60,000 to $125,000



$125,000 to $250,000



More than $250,000







2. Describe what you do for career or occupation:



(Please limit your answers to twenty words or less.)



As little as possible. Right now, I’m what you would call an aluminum can regeneration specialist.



3. Please enter your height in



From the ground? 5’9”



ft. in.



– OR –



cm







4. What is your ethnicity?







White, non-Hispanic – I’m more of a tan complexion.



Hispanic or Latino



African-American



Asian/Pacific Islander



Korean



Japanese



Chinese



Indian



Arab



Native American



Other







5. What ethnicities would you be willing to accept as matches?



(Check all that apply.)







White, non-Hispanic



Hispanic or Latino



African-American



Asian/Pacific Islander



Korean



Japanese



Chinese



Indian



Arab



Native American



Other

And this is where I go to hell.

I am an equally opportunity dater, but if you are Latino, you must be able to cook. If you are African American, you must be able to teach me to dance. If you are Asian/Pacific Islander (is that like Samoan?) uh-oh. If you are Korean, I will try dog, but I might not like it. If you are Japanese, you just have to cover your mouth when you giggle like on those weird TV game shows in Japan. If you are Chinese, I only expect my dinner in 20-30 minutes. If you are Indian, don’t get mad if when you are yelling I mistake your forehead for the Easy button. If you are Arab, you better have a see through burka. If you are Native American, just let me know if we’re tax exempt. If you are other, pelase be Russian, because Russian girls are freaking beautiful!





Choose the following words as to how each one describes your physical appearance. Use the following rating scale for each item.







1. Well Groomed – I said I’m not married.



2. Handsome – some, I have two like the rest of us.



3. Athletic – I can throw a ball



4. Overweight – Compared to most yes, but compared to that guy who had the side of his house removed to get him out, I’m skinny.



5. Ordinary - Extra



6. Fit – I fit in most places



7. Sexy – A little too much for my shirt







Use the scale below to answer the following questions:







1. How satisfied are you with your physical appearance?



2. How important is it that your partner be physically attractive?



This fucking scale thing is annoying me.



———————-







Section 13: General Information (cont’d)







Please answer the following questions as completely and honestly as possible.



1. How much do you smoke?







Never – I have never smoked once.



Rarely (a few times a year)



Occasionally (about once a week)



Regularly (several times a week)



Heavily (many times a day)







2. Please indicate the most that you would accept your ideal match to smoke.







Never – Unless you are really hot and do funny things with your tongue, a spatula and a two rolls of flypaper. Otherwise, no cigarettes. Crack Fine!



Rarely (a few times a year)



Occasionally (about once a week)



Regularly (several times a week)



Heavily (many times a day)







3. How much do you drink?







Never



Rarely (a few times a year)



Occasionally (about once a week)



Regularly (several times a week)



Heavily (many times a day) – I don’t drink many different times, I just never stop.







4. Please indicate the most that you would accept your ideal match to drink.







Never



Rarely (a few times a year)



Occasionally (about once a week)



Regularly (several times a week)



Heavily (many times a day) – my ideal match would be someone who can throw down shots all day, but has the sense to realize the only way to keep me up on the drive home is to breath into the breathalyzer I keep in my pocket….or near my pocket.







5. Are you ready to receive matches from eHarmony?







Yes, please provide me with eHarmony matches…Fuck NO. Anyone who spends this much time on a compatability test is a fucking loser. No wonder they’re single looking for love on the internet. I think that one guy had the right idea when they asked “what do you look for in a woman?” and he answered “My Dick!”



No, please do not send me any matches until I am ready.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Creatures Of Habit: We're All Guilty

Have you ever gone on vacation with someone for a prolonged period of time?   Spent a week in someones home?  Shared a room with someone in college or maybe a bunk at a camp?  If so, you've definitely been exposed to other people's quirks.  We all have them, but some are more noticeable and more intrusive than others.  Some seem silly, some seem minor and some just don't seem to make any sense at all. 

I've always been ultra aware of other's habits and being a bit of a opinionated prick, point out the good and, the bad and the ugly as I see it.  The past eleven days I've spent up at my father's house in Ithaca.  The first seven were just me and my grandmother.  Every morning started exactly the same.  I'd come down stairs around 8:45.  I'd feed the cat, then start making her breakfast.  I'd cut up a half a banana, top with two huge tablespoons of plain yogurt and then top with two sliced strawberries.  Then I'd start my breakfast, which was different every day.  During the making of this, I'd eat the other half of the banana and a strawberry or two.  I'd have the coffee ready just as she'd appear from the bedroom.  I'd then pour the coffee and then make her an Ego waffle or a half a bagel.  This, was her routine.  I was also told, she'd watch The View at 11:00 and One Life to Live at 2:00.  She liked having a drink or two at 5:00.  From the day my father left to the day he came back, she didn't watch TV during the day once. We had drinks anywhere from 4:30-7:00.  She explained they usually sat down to eat around 7:30 or 8pm.  Only once were we still eating at that hour.  Change is good right?  Or was I committing a crime against human nature?

So as the week progressed, my grandmother exclaimed "Why do I have to have strawberries, I don't even like them.  Tomorrow I don't want them.  The next day, I loaded up extra bananas and served the dish, sans strawberries.  She was happy.  My father returned a day or two later and the very first dinner, we sat down at around 7:50. The next morning he took over breakfast duty and she had, as she has the last three days, strawberries.  Not a whisper of complaint. Was she testing me to see if she could get her way or just appeasing someone elses routine? 

In the week that I was there, I got into my own routines.  Most are ones that match my little quirks at home.  Despite being pretty much an absolute slob when it comes to home cleanliness, I have a little pet peeve.  Dishes in the sink!  Especially silverware.  It drives me nucking futs! I also tend to clean while I cook.  If I cut something on a cutting board, it's wiped clean as soon as the item is removed.  If I take food from a pot or pan from the stove, I immediately run water over it and scrape anything that might stick.  The first day he returned, I of course, offered to do the dishes.  Breakfast was over on day one and I walked to the sink.  In it were all the dishes, a banana peel and the stems from the strawberries.  There were five spoons, five knives and three forks.  Three cups with saucers, three plates and two bowls with food and napkins still in them.  I turned and counted the number of occupants in the kitchen.  Could I possibly have missed a dining guest?  I washed the dishes and threw out the peel and stems.  The next day, the exact same. This drew my ire, because the garbage pale is at a distance in which you don't actually need to move your feet to throw out the peels directly after cutting.  Not saying one person's way is wrong and one person's is correct, but I finished the dishes and glanced at the clock.  It was 10:30.  I had arrived downstairs at 9:15 and the coffee was already made and my grandmother was sitting there.  So breakfast had started at around 9am and had lasted an hour and a half.  I wasn't in a rush, but it dawned on me that aside from a cup of tea, one bowl of yogurt and fruit and maybe some toast, that one extra person had added another 45 minutes to our breakfast experience. 

I live alone, so there is nobody to question my way of doing things or where I put things, but I have to say, in my own humble opinion, I have learned in all facets of life, to be efficient in the use of time.  Almost to a fault.  I tend to leave to get places later than I should and still arrive way too early.  I do not have the ability to make 2 hours worth of work last eight hours and therefor appear to be doing nothing a lot of the time.  I procrastinate when attempting projects, because I know I will finish them in a tenth of the time that they should take.  This however does not always mean I am efficient.  I do tend to rush if I do not deem the task important.  Rarely is anything so important than to take double, triple or even more time to do something.  This affects minor things in my life, like cooking. I tend to under cook things when at home and become too lazy to fix them.  I do not do this however when cooking for others.  I'm sure there are others, but I can't think of many.

So what is it about our human nature that we love repetition so much.  We tend to eat at the same time, eat the same things, go to the same restaurants, go to the same bars, go to the same movies theaters, parks, museums.  We watch movies and TV shows we've already seen when there is always something new on.  We spend lots of time with certain people that bother us, rather than go out with friends we haven't seen a lot, because we are drawn to that comfort of knowing.  We as a species, fear the unknown. 

Obviously, when you've grown up living with someone you know their quirks and you adjust.  My father lives in a new house and I just can't get used to certain things.  Frying pans in a closet instead of above the stove.  Bread products in the freezer.  Everything but butter and cream cheese in that little place in all fridges for the "butter and cream cheese."  Little things like that, I just can't get a handle on.  It's not just him.  It's all of us.  I remember going away on vacation one year with about ten people.  It took about two days before people took on rolls.  One person was the earliest riser.  He would start a pot of coffee.  I would almost always be second, so I'd grab a cup.  By the time, everyone else got up, three, maybe four hours had gone by and the morning was gone.  We'd get dressed and get ready to head out, either for some miniature golf or maybe some shopping and then hit the beach.  The first day we were there, I was getting ready to leave and noticed that the sink was filled with dishes. I knew I had eaten and had done the dishes for all the early risers, but couldn't figure out why there were so many.  There was also food left out.  I did the dishes.  Apparently, some of my friends thought that Mr. Clean or the Dish Fairy was there and I even heard someone say "is there a dishwasher somewhere, because I left stuff in the sink and they were cleaned."  Really!!!  I don't mind, it's my little OCD thing, not theirs, but to think something other than a person you are away with actually did the dishes.  C'mon. 

It's not only food.  I know people who are anal about coasters on their tables, and for good reason.  Those marks are hard to get out if you can at all.  I know people who are adamant about you taking your shoes off before coming into the house.  I know people close all the blinds before going to bed.  I know people who can't sleep without the TV on.  I know people who turn on and off lights every time they enter and leave a room, even when they know they will be returning in seconds.  There are people that water their lawns right before an obvious thunderstorm, because it's Saturday.  I know people who go to certain restaurants only on certain days and eat the same thing every single time.  I know people who if there is a detour going to work, will have their days completely turned upside down.  I am never like that about anything.  Things can be cleaned, things can be replaced, people aren't as curious to look in your window as you may think.  I can't sleep with the TV on, but if tired enough find a way.  I'm smart enough to know that the act of turning a light on and off actually uses more energy.  How many times does a light go out when you first turn it on as opposed to while it's already running?  I like variety when dining and rarely eat in the same place twice in a row unless it's a matter of need versus desire. Detours to me, as long as they aren't making me late are, at times, a welcome change of scenery.

So what makes us like this for real?  Is it simple comfort?  Is it that as we get older we tend to forget insignificant things and having all your ducks in a row makes life easier?  It it sheer laziness?  Are we all nothing more than the human equivalent of Pavlov's dog or Skinner's rats?  I think it's more.  I think we all suffer from some type of disability.  I think in a way, we all need that certain stimuli every day that lets us know we're in the right place.  Watch people you see every day on the train.  Watch how they sit, how they stand, read the paper, eat their breakfast, listen to their ipods or any other action. I would almost guarantee they do it every day.  I rub my eyes constantly, even when they don't bother me.  Why?  Maybe it triggers something else in me?  Listen to people speak.  So many of us start a majority of our stories with the same beginning.  I am guilty of this.  I say "by the way" constantly.  I hate it, but it's involuntary.  A friend of mine says "you should" whenever anyone tells them something about themselves.  Whether they are looking for advice or not.  I have another friend who says "Well" before every sentence.  The list it never ending.  We have scientist who study animal behavior and marvel at the routines, but we're guilty more than ever.  We have routines on how we cook, clean, dress, go to the bathroom and even shower.   I read a study years ago about bathing.  They had a ten question questionnaire and the final question was "what body part do you wash first?"  Almost 95% of the time the body part matched the answers to the questions and revealed one's major personality trait.  I don't remember them all, but people that washed their faces were more vain, their armpits and genitals displayed low self esteem, their chests were proud, and their arms were laid back (because when holding soap, it's the closest body part).  I don't remember what the traits were for legs, belly, back and hair. 

I find people's quirks fascinating, but the reality is, that nobody likes to have them pointed out.  I don't have any real routines that I know of other than some sayings and my desire to be under fire.  If I have to be at work at 8am, I wake at 7:40, piss, wash face, brush teeth and I'm out the door. Sometimes I get dressed.  It's a quirk that employers differ on.