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Showing posts from May, 2012

You Can't Put A Price On Some Things

Tuesday I sat in the school.  Waiting for my kids to arrive on a bench in the hallway.  The hall was empty as I had gotten there early.  Suddenly a boy came around the corner, but he wasn't a student.  He was older.  He paused, smiled, walked over and shook my hand.  "Hey, you're still running the after school program?" He said.  "Yep!  Wow, what grade are you in now?" I asked.  "I'm graduating in a few weeks.  Doing my senior internship helping out in Mrs. Johnson's class.  Are you still doing sports and stuff?'  He asked.  I explained that I was and have been since he was in the school.  He laughed and said "I remember sports in first and second grade and also the hockey class." I paused, "Jeffrey, right?'  "Wow! Yeah." Said, seemingly shocked that I remembered.  He then said he had to run.

Jeffrey was one of my first and favorite kids.  He was a complete goofball as a kid.  He was part kid, part monkey and pa…

May 2012 - The Month My Youth Died Away

This month has seen the loss of so much of my youth.  Things that meant so much to me as a youngster and adolescent have been stripped from this earth and leave nothing but wonderful memories.  As I get older, death becomes a bigger part of life and those close to us and even more so, those who touched our lives through their  existence seem to depart at staggering rates.  May 2012 was like no other.

Maybe the most damaging to my true childhood, was the death of Maurice Sendak, author of Where The Wild Things Are.  If one had to weigh the importance of a book in terms of how it affected us at a certain age, WTWTA would probably be at the top.  The story of Max's voyage was like none other I have ever read.  To this day, it is as powerful and beautiful as any story.  If only people could live life in the same way he did.  Sendak might have written other books, but this one transcends generations.

The following weeks saw the death of Donna Summer, Robin Gibb and Adam Yauch.  My lat…

Trying to Lighten It Up

Recently, I have been a Facebook and Twitter whore.  It must be great to wake up, sign on to Facebook and think you've accidentally hacked into my homepage.  OK, for some it's a nuisance, but I'm trying to bring a little levity to a very cynical and depressing world.

Recently, Facebook has become a complaint board.  Work, relationships, illness and other various woes seem to be flooding the web.  While I myself have used social media to vent, it's becoming a little bit too much.  Studies are being done showing Facebook use leads to depression, because our day to day lives, don't match up to the happiness we see on other's faces.  Remember kids, if you have 200 friends and 3 post pictures of themselves getting felt up by their new partner, that mean 197 of them are sitting doing what you're doing, so don't get upset.  Unless of course, said feeler-upper is your ex.

I have ex-girlfriends on Facebook who are happily married, with beautiful children and it …

Celebrities That Need A Little Credit

We live in a crazy world and there are celebrities out there who are constantly grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons, but there are also those who don't get credit for what they do.  I don't mean someone donating money without wanting fanfare, I'm talking about those who do great things without trying and make a difference.  So here's a few who I think deserve a little more credit for what they do.  Trust me, some of these will be unexpected.

Kim Kardashian - Yeah, I know.  Hearing the name bakes your blood boil.  She's annoying. She comes across as fairly simple minded and she gets more air time than Obama.  I get it.  Where I respect her, is that she's herself.  She's not heavy, but she's curvy and she flaunts it.  While looking at a list of Maxim's top 100 hottest women, there might have been two who are curvy.  Who would be considered heavier than they should.  The top ten are all skinny women.  Kim K is annoying and I'm tired of rea…

The Netflix Dilemma

Almost weekly I add movies to my queue on Netflix.  Usually a trailer or a recommendation leads me these secret movies and on rare occasion, it's something in the theater that I know I won't fork over $20 to sit with a watered down drink and some popcorn to see with people texting and chatting on their cells. I refuse to do the movie theater thing.

I was just perusing my queue and noticed it's back up to over 200 movies.  About a quarter of the films are foreign or documentaries.  I have a British television series that I'm in the middle of and combined with two other series' makeup another 10-15%. The rest are dramas, comedies, thrillers and horror films that look appealing or have been recommended.  Those tend to find their way to the bottom of my list, unless of course I truly value who recommended them.

I don't watch nearly as many movies as I used to.  I am convinced I have somehow created an adult ADD problem and it's definitely affected my attention …

The Most Underrated Band of All-Time

I realize most people think my preferences in music are as diverse as whoever is in the top 40.  The Biebers and Spears of the world entertain and I'd be lying if I said I hated them, but this is not what I listen to at home.  I get very tired of listening to one band at a time, so Pandora has become my go-to music source.  To give you an idea of my "stations," I'm listening right now and the last seven songs have been by The Forecast, Social Distortion, Benedictine Monks of Santa Domingo, Michael Jackson, Geto Boys, Cher and currently Rancid is cranking away.

Now it would be much easier to write a blog on overrated bands, because there are so many. People might be shocked at some bands I consider overrated, but chances are their listing would be responded to with a "figures," followed by a smirk and an eye roll.  So I thought about bands who are great, some even considered great, but not mentioned when best bands are talked about.  Sure there are bands out…

Just For Fun - Stocks & A Sad Story

With all the hype surrounding Facebook going public, I have decided to start my own stock portfolio. I have decided to "buy" $7000 worth of stock.  I have invested in A pharmaceutical company, a solar energy company supported by Warren Buffet, an alternative energy company that I've been following for years, whose stock is worth less than a penny.  I have also bought 100 shares of Facebook, because it dipped to $34.

Obviously, I'm not using real money, because personally I feel the stock market is joke.  Unlike most people, who have delusions of grandeur, I'm not going into like that.  I'm looking at it like a poker tournament.  If you enter a poker tournament with 100 people for $70, usually the top 10 people get paid.  With $7,000 in the prize pool the winner would get about $3,000.  Last place would get their money back and 9th place would get $140.  I'm not greedy, but want a profit.  So by averaging 9th and 10th place, I come to $105.  From a $70 inv…

The Ides of March

Gosling, Clooney, Hoffman, Giamatti, Tomei and Wood.  The bar was set so high before sitting down, I wonder if the movie ever stood a chance.  The political film takes a look at the nomination process through the eyes of campaign managers. Those who hide their candidates flaws and promote their strengths, despite whether they truly believe or not.

We're led to believe that Gosling is a morally sound, unflappable man, with high standards and integrity, but we soon see that he is all about advancement.  Although the movie seems to grasp to maintain his ethical makeup.  Hoffman and Giamatti are good as rival, veteran managers and they give subtle performances that, aside from one scene, left me wanting more.

Clooney is believable as the candidate, especially since he seems to be preaching his own personal beliefs within the films.  Tomei is solid, but I wish there was more to her character. Wood continues to shine, both aesthetically and in her roles, but she too wasn't a big en…

Affirmation

I've never been a person who needs money or a prize at the end of the day.  I remember in HS, I was a pretty good athlete, but I didn't play school sports, because my brief time doing so showed me two things.  It's not about having fun and it's honestly never about you.  It's about a coach, most likely a lesser athlete than you are, living vicariously through you, but only wanting a W.  It was never for me.

As I got older, sure I loved getting a paycheck, but there was always something about recognition that mattered more to me.  When I did roofing and my boss felt comfortable enough to leave me alone, or even in charge, it made me feel good.  When I worked with kids at a sleep away camp, the director pulled me aside one night and said "you know the kids like you."  I nodded.  He then said, "they like all their counselors, but you they like for all the right reasons and so do I."  It confirmed that I knew what I was doing and I was good at it.  …

Facebook Status - Negativity

This was actually my last long winded Facebook status.

I was perusing Facebook the last week and something dawned on me. I was laying in a hospital bed for eight days and had two complaints the entire week (one about my roommates family using cell phones in the room and the other was a work related thing where someone wasn't doing their job and I was asked to work it out from my bed). All my post aside from that were positive and tried to show some levity. Yet there are people who call me a downer, a pessimist and a cynic and think I'm the most negative person on the planet. Then I went back and started reading their posts. Status after status calling people out, talking behind other's backs, complaining about life's daily trials and tribulations. It's funny how perception and reality is so skewed in our daily lives. My mother was dying for nine years and complained less in person than the average self anointed "optimist" does in a day. For all you people…

A Week in the Hospital

Last Sunday, I entered the ER and assumed I'd receive some medication and be kicked to the curb.  For the next week, I laid in a hospital bed.  The first few days, in severe pain, but the last few, just itching to leave.  During the time, I had many thoughts and feelings, but they were different than most times.  
As I lay there Monday morning, Demerol pumping through my veins, I felt like life outside had stopped.  I asked friends who inquired about a visit to stay away.  Part of is was a desire to sleep, part embarrassment by my situation, but lastly, I don't like putting people out. People came in an out, at what seemed like an unreasonable rate, but I quickly realized it was Tuesday morning.  The second day was much like the first. In an our of consciousness, not so much as a sip of water to wet my dried out lips and tongue.  It was a slow torture, but the pain killers made me get through it.  
The third day, the pain started to subside, but would flare up. I thought I'…

Back At The Old Site

After months of being blocked by this site for now apparent reason, I'm back on.  Hopefully this time for good.  While I was away I was using another website, but a password snafu somehow got me blocked from that website.  If anyone was interested in checking that website out, here is a link to my page on that site.

http://www.thoughts.com/jonhopper7

It's been a few days since I've written and tons of stuff has been floating through my head, but it's almost 5 am and I'm actually a little tired.  So tomorrow, I'm going to try and get back in the swing of things and we'll see what happens.

Goodnight