Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm worried

I have been debating the health care plan and politics in general for a few months and it truly scares me where people get their info from. There is this misconception that because it's online, it's valid.  I have people using political blogs to "source" their claims, while it's obvious from the domain name of the websites that these are not valid sources and these are nothing more than opinion pieces and political propaganda.  Sadly the average American is not smart enough to decipher the difference between opinion and fact.

I'm also worried about print newspapers. Their huge headlines insinuating one thing while the meat of the article dispels the rumor propagated by the headline.  The problem is, we have become a quick fix society.  We need instant responses and stimuli.  We read the headline, draw our own conclusions and silly, miniscule details such as facts, mean very little to us.

As I've stated in a blog earlier this week, I'm concerned about children's school reading habits.  It goes further.  We have become a people who find great humor and entertainment in stupidity, but in doing so, we as a whole have become dumber.  I remember when entertainment was classic movies and TV events were National Geographic specials.  Jacques Coustea and his son Philipe were household names then, but now it's Snooki and The Mob Wives.  It's a sad state we're in and I don't see this turning around.  Our attention spans and yearning for education seems to have died in the mid to late 80's and I think pop culture has taken over as the new history.

I'm worried that the evils in the world are taking over .  I can't remember the last day that went by without news of a bombing, a child who was molested or killed or a hate crime.  So much of this is done in the name of religion, I wonder if we're not experiencing a modern day version of the crusades.  Social acceptance is a thing of the past.  We live in a world that craves similarity and familiarity.  It's scares me, because the things that the average person says in regards to people who are different from them resembles the thoughts of Hitler and the Third Reich.  Racism and prejudice seems to much stronger today than it was when I was a teen. Social acceptance of people whose religions, color and sexual orientation is lower now than I can ever remember.  Maybe not out in the open, but behind closed doors I listen to people, even friends and I am appalled.

I'm worried about myself.  I have no college degree, but I'd argue that I'm smarter than 99% of college graduates.  I would have argued that before college.  I have limited experience in some field, because I've spent long periods of time in a few.  I fear the job market is so tight right now that my only true qualification is my personality, but it would be a stretch for someone to go out on a limb for me.  I know I am not physically restricted because of some ailments that have gone untreated and become worse.  I worry about my future and what it holds.

I worry about where we're all headed, since nobody can agree on a path.  Whether it be politics, religion, sexual orientation, education or personal feelings, it seems that finding common ground is harder today than ever before.  I don't see this changing.  When a family member gets sick, most families bury their difference, come together and push forward in hopes of making the ill feel better and to take comfort in the fact we can put aside our difference for the greater goal.  So why can't we do this as a state, a country, a world?  The other day the ACA was passed and I was happy.  The people that aren't happy are upset because they feel undeserving people are getting something they paid for.  How do you think the person who is wiping your loved one's ass in the nursing home feels when they go home after a 12-hour day and realize they can't afford the same care they are giving to others? I'm worried we've lost track of what is right and wrong and only do what benefits us.  I'm worried, we've gone to far and can't turn around.

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Smiled.

This year during my after school program a group of kindergarten kids were waiting for the class to start.  They were having snack and one child was sitting with four of his friends.  He had three Oreos as a snack.  He was sitting with two kids who didn't have snack and he offered each of his friends an Oreo.  They both happily took it.  A few seconds later, another friend sat down.  Mentioned he forgot his snack and the child broke his Oreo in half and gave it to this friend.  He then at his half, while two of his friends ate whole Oreos and his other friend shared his.  I smiled.

The first two kids didn't ask for Oreos.  They just mentioned they didn't have snack. His third friend did the same.  This giving child didn't need to be told or even asked to be kind, he did it based on how he was raised in his first five years of life.  He sacrificed his own pleasure and nourishment for the sake of his friends.  I walked over to the child during the class and asked him about what had happened.  He said "I didn't really NEED three Oreos. I had lunch three hours ago and they didn't have a snack.  I felt bad."  I smiled.

It's human nature, if we're brought up correctly, to care for our fellow man.  Especially our friends. This kid is aware, at five, what so many of us have already forgotten.  We live in a dog-eat-dog world and the mission is to get ahead.  To have a bigger house, a better car, a prettier husband or wife.  Somehow the important things, like education, ethics, morals and standards have fallen by the way side as we pursuit our materialistic dreams.  When I thought about a five-year-old not being jaded by his unknown power, well, I smiled.

Yesterday the health care reform, known as Obamocare or the Affordable Care Act, was passed by the Supreme Court.  Whether it is deemed a tax is unimportant to me.  What is important is that five of nine justices saw that caring for others is as important as caring for one's self.  Sadly, what makes this news, is that not only did four people disagree, but we have half a nation that disagrees.  What happens between being a caring five-year-old, willing to sacrifice one's own belongings for the health and happiness of a friend and the thoughts of an adult, who only wants what's best for him.  I got angry yesterday as people attacked the ruling and my thoughts.  I thought about that kid a lot yesterday.  I smiled.

A few weeks ago, I looked in my bank account.  I had literally what amounts to a weekly paycheck to my name.  I have credit card debt, student loans, some back taxes and my monthly bills due.  I also have some hospital bills due and I'm not sure what is covered.  My debts are close to $100,000. I don't have a house, I have a studio apartment.  I am currently feeling the burden of this awful economy.  I have been feeling it for 12 years now. Unable to get above water.  I sat, eating an English Muffin and drinking a cup of coffee.  I read an e-mail and I thought.  I clicked on the link, as I do almost monthly and I donated $10 to a charity that feeds deserving children in NY.  More than 1% of my paltry bank account. I did it without thinking.  I didn't think about what I could do with that ten dollars.  I didn't judge those who would receive this benefit.  I thought about the child who might be handed a bowl of cereal and an apple.  He didn't ask for it, it was offered to him, because he's a human being, just like me.  No better or worse.  Who am I to judge or question.  Why at 41 am I any different than that five-year-old who gave because he wanted to, not because he had to.  He saw someone in need and did for them, what they couldn't do for themselves.  Maybe we should all revert back to five-years-old when we make decisions about others lives.  Sharing. Taking turns. Saying please and thank you. Making sure your friend is OK when he falls.  A child fell a few months ago and bumped his head. He lay in the middle of the gymnasium floor.  He was hurt and crying.  The other 15 kids all stopped playing and ran over.  At some point during the 30 second he lay on the floor, each child put their hand on him and asked if he was OK.  They all offered to get the nurse. I smiled.

Would any of us do this for a stranger in need?  Think about it.  Tell me you can still smile?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012 NBA Draft

I'll cut all the explanations and just give my picks.  I'm also going to add that I believe Anthony Davis will be a below average bench player for years to come.  He's not a Rodman-type player and rebounders with no ability to score, don't get floor time in the NBA.  I'm only going to do the lottery picks this year, because it's such a weak draft, anyone could go from 6-30 honeslty

1. New Orleans Hornets - Anthony Davis, PF, Kentucky
2. Charlotte Bobcats - Thomas Robinson, PF, Kansas
3. Washington Wizards - Brian Beal, SG, Florida
4. Cleveland Cavaliers - Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, Kentucky
5. Sacramento Kings (Probably trading) - Michael Barnes, SF, North Carolina
6. Portland Trailblazers - Damian Lillard, PG, Weber St.
7. Golden St. Warriors - Austin Rivers, SG, Duke
8. Toronto Raptors - John Henson, PF, North Carolina
9. Detroit PIstons - Andre Drummond, C, UConn
10. New Orleans Hornets - Dion Waiters, SG, Syracuse
11. Portland Trailblazers - Terrence Jones, PF, Kentucky
12. Milwaukee Bucks - Tyler Zeller, C, North Carolina
13. Phoenix Sun - Jeremy Lamb, SG, UConn
14. Philadelphia 76ers - Moe Harkless, SF, St. John's

Attention All English Teachers

Animal Farm by George Orwell
A Midsummer Nights Dream, Richard III and Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
The Pearl and Of Mice & Men - John Steinbeck
Black Boy - Richard Wright
Assorted Shorts by Edgar Allen Poe
Poetry by Dylan Thomas, Robert Frost, e.e. cummings and others

This list, with some possible additions were all part of the syllabus during my school year from 1980-81.  I was in sixth grade.  I once asked a high school student from Eastchester if they had read any of these.  They told me that other than Catcher in the Rye, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Of Mice and Men, they had never even heard of the others.

I understand that I had the honor of going to a wonderful private school (at the time ranked the best in the five boroughs, if not the state), but that shouldn't make a difference.  Why has the educational system, both public and private dumbed down the curriculum so much?  Why is a 19-year-old telling me she has never "heard" of these books.  The following summer, I read an entire collection of O. Henry short stories and read  Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. I just don't get it, my father was reading things even more difficult.  So why have we changed so much?

I find it odd that nobody in Eastchester read Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer in school.  That so many of the classics were left out of the curriculum, but silly drivel like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton was in it.  While it is revered, Catcher in the Rye is nothing more than a male oriented Judy Blume book.  I read it in 6th, in 9th, in 10th and in 11th grade.  It is not an 11th grade book.  It is a 6th-8th grade book.  It is meant to be read as a boy is getting hair on his balls and starting to feel the angst of becoming an adolescent.  For this period in a man's life, the book says a lot.  Not in high school.

In the time between 10th and 12th grade, while attending Eastchester High School, not only did the level of reading go down, but the amount we read was cut in half.  I had the misfortune of having the same teacher in 11th and 12th grade and despite getting a ridiculously high regents score in 11th grade, she failed me in 12th.  Something she had promised to do in September.  The only Shakespeare play I ever read while in class with an Eastchester teacher, was actually in summer school (of my senior year) with Miss Kambar.  We read Hamlet and while she assured me attendance was about the only thing keeping me from passing, I volunteered to read the part of Hamlet every day.  I won't talk about The Great Gatsby (my second time reading it), but it was fun.

Shakespeare made reading aloud fun.  It also made me a better reader.  It made me concentrate on the words and the tone.  It made me realize that words had multiple meanings and helped me, at a very young age, understand wit and sarcasm.  Something that is lost on today's youth.  Shakespeare was great, because at times, it was not only dramatic genius, but a history lesson.  It showed a time I was unfamiliar with.  Seeing the plays after reading them helped in my appreciation.  I have now read a third of his plays.  I have seen productions of two thirds of them and have read many of his sonnets. While not all are exceptional, they have raised my ability to understand feeling in writing.  Something that is lost many times in American novels.

When people ask me if I read, I always say that I do not.  When I look back at my schooling I realize that I have.  I realize my summer reading list was nothing like my friends and even less like those kids today, dashing through Twilight and Potter.   I remember when Harry Potter first came out and the kids I was with asked me to read. I read three chapters and realized there was not age for this book. It was at a level that was lower than when I first started reading.  I find it scary that our need to be entertained has surpassed our need to be pushed.  My father never told me what a word meant.  Should i be confused, I had to open a dictionary.  One of the many he had on his desk and look it up.  The act, while sometimes time consuming, made me know the word, how to spell it and other uses.  This enhanced my vocabulary and makes it so I don't have to do such laborious tasks today.  Even more rewarding is having the full understanding of what is being read.

I am not blaming teachers.  I realize their hands are tied, by a district or state that sets the standards, no matter how low they have become.  I just feel that in between the requirements, they could pick a day.  They could have the class sit, heads down, eyes closed and listen to Dylan Thomas recite his own poetry.  They could give their school mandated summer reading list, but attach their own.  If nothing else, every kid should read one play during their summer reading list.  To act it out in their minds.  To become a character.  I remember reading Death of a Salesman my senior year.  The teacher, digging into symbolism that wasn't there.  I had enough.  I told her she was wrong.  I explained that I'd read this in 8th grade, again in 9th and on my own the previous summer.  I had seen Hoffman play Willy on Broadway.  I was incensed that even the teacher didn't understand it.  Maybe it was her first time?

I tend to rant and rave, but ignorance is not bliss.  It is the single biggest problem I have with this country.  We're the only country where the average citizen only speaks one language.  I'm guilty of this, but I can somewhat read many languages. We're the only country who has this treasure chest of incredible writers, but we gravitate towards fluff.  I was lucky to have a teacher named Ruth Chapman in sixth grade who didn't care if it was over our heads.  She made us swim to the surface.  I was lucky to have well read parents who pushed me enough to appreciate, but not hard enough to make it work.  I was lucky to have a handful of people along the way, even now, who would hand me a book, send me an e-mail or just tell me about how wonderful something was.

Today we are subjected to the tales of Bella and Edward, Christian and Anastasia and Kim and Kanye.  The moronic dialogue that has become American literature.  Below is a sample of what real writing is like.  This quote is important to me.  Not because of it's wording or what it means, but because of the challenge I accepted and went above and beyond.  In 6th grade, I was 10 or 11 years old (I was a year younger than my classmates at the time). We were asked to memorize and perform a quote of at least four lines from Richard III in front of our class.  Everyone picked the shortest one they could. I picked this. I beg of all teachers.  Even if you don't give your students the entire book or play.  Throw a short story or poem in between the requirements and open their eyes to what is out there.  We can't live our lives only knowing enough to get by.  Sadly we live this way.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York
;
And all the clouds, that lour'd upon our house,
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visag'd war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
And now, — instead of mounting barbed steeds,
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,—
He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, — that am not shap'd for sportive tricks,
Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love’s majesty,
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
Deform'd, unfinish'd, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable,
That dogs bark at me, as I halt by them,—
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to spy my shadow in the sun.
  • Richard, Duke of Gloucester, scene i

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Random Political Thoughts

In the last 20 years, Unemployment has never been below 3.9%.  I have a solution. Make it illegal for any company, especially government agencies, to have automated systems during the hours of 8am and 8pm (taking into account PST).  I would have to believe almost every company affected would run smoother and unemployment would drop significantly.


The primaries last too long and election/re-election process is too long. We now live in a society where more people vote for the least annoying of the two candidates than the one they think will do the best job.


If the writers of the constitution were around today, they would be part of the 1%, let's not forget that.


I'm starting to think there should be a general knowledge test before one can vote.  I'm amazed how over the last year of campaigning how few people know what Romney's stance on anything is.  These people are loudly campaigning for a man, who three years ago was more similar to Obama than anyone he campaigned against in the primaries, yet nobody knows that.  Nobody knows his state ranked 47th out of 50 in jobs created, but that is the platform he is running on.  Nobody knows that he cost the companies Bain bought 120,000 jobs and shipped them all overseas or to Mexico, but that is the other platform he is running on.  Nobody knows he has admitted he does not have a health plan, an immigration plan or a military strategy, yet, he has openly said "vote for me and I'll get one."  Come to think of it, maybe it's not the voters that need a test, it's the candidates.


I'm amazed that republicans in Eastchester blame Obama for their taxes going up.  Eastchester's taxes have gone up because of legislation passed by local government, which is republican.


If you take the name and face away from Cal Ripken and just go by his stats, you would say he was an average player.  He happens to be a hall of famer.  If you take the name and face away from Obama, he's an average president. He happens to have slowed (not stopped) the single greatest avalanche of economic strife in our nations history.


I find it funny how everyone whose family immigrated here "worked to get where they are," but these are the people who want immigrants the least.  I've lived her my whole life, so have my parents and grandparents.  My father's family has been traced back to the Pilgrims and my mother's family were Russian immigrants who had to change their names upon arrival to avoid prejudice.  So apparently, in many ways nothing has changed.  We've always been a country that says we want your tired and week and huddled masses, but the reality is, we don't.  As someone who has heritage that dates back further than the constitution, you'd think I'd have the right to be the most upset. Do I think we need stricter laws?  Yes, but we can't blame one person or on state, when it's been done this way for over 100 years.  We're all immigrants.  We need to remember that.


Despite what some might think, I actually took the time to do the math on this one. Fucking Scary.
Whenever anyone talks about the deficit they talk about the total , which suits the GOP just fine, but let's reverse the discussion and look at it that way.  For arguments sake, we'll start with Carter (The GOP whipping boy). Let's say Carter inherited 1000 cats to take care of when he took office. Let's also say each president inherited 1000 cats when they took office in addition to what was left. When Carter left, there were a lowly 680 cats left.  420 had died.  Reagan came in and took over 1680 cats. When he left, he not only let all the cats die, but he also made 495 of Bush Sr's cats die.  So Bush Sr. only took over with 505 cats.  When he left there were 222 cats left.  So Clinton inherited 1222 cats. He left "W" with 904.  So "W" inherited 1904. To put it in perspective, if all that cats had lived, there would be 5000 now.  So Bush took his 1904 cats and took care of them. As he left office there were only 209 left.  That's almost as many cats that died as under Reagan. So Obama takes office with cats dying at a record pace.  I mean, of the nearly 1700 cats that died under Bush, almost 300 died his final year.  So Obama has Bush's 209 and his 1000 for 1209.  He's got a few more months to go, but went into this year with just over 700 left. Sounds terrible that he let 500+ cats die, but it pales in comparison to 2375 that Reagan or the 1700 that Bush let die.  We always see the deficit as a growing number, but what if we look at it for what it really is, the slow death of America.  If you're finding my analogy silly, exchange the cats for children dying because they don't have enough to eat.  Imagine it's people's jobs.  Imagine it's dollars you should have, compared to what you actually do.  It's serious, but it's even more serious we stop constantly blaming the wrong people and acknowledge the efforts of those who stop the bleeding.  Remember this is now an untreatable wound.


I'm sure there are some that will say my thoughts are one sided, but they aren't really.  They are thoughts based on facts and factual numbers.  Check the records if you don't believe me.  Not online blogs, but government records.





Monday, June 25, 2012

What I Want In Life

It's nearly 6am on a Monday morning.  A garbage truck sent to remind me of my insomnia parked outside. Rattled bottles, the beeping from it's reverse, warning of danger and waking me from my slumber.  It's Monday morning, I should be getting up for something.  Something of importance or sustenance.  I lay on a sofa bed in the living room.  My father's home is quiet.  Birds chirp outside, but they aren't like home. They don't taunt me.  I have nowhere to go, but wish I did.  Nowhere to go?  Seems like a metaphor more than a situation.

A tall glass of water.  Leftover avocados and tomato salad sit by my side.  This is my day.  If I do nothing else today, it will be nearly as much as today.  I think about those who live in luxury.  What do they do all day?  The chosen few, born into wealth, or those that acquired it at a young enough age to enjoy it.  MY grandmother, nearing 100, asked of me, "do you want to get old?'  "No," I replied, "not even close."  I would take ten or fifteen more years, if there wasn't any stress.  Wasn't any worry.  I sit on my father's porch.  Nobody is up, but these sanitation workers.  Slaving away, with the hopes that one day, this will be there life. I know this is temporary.  I know it can't last forever, but wish that it could.

I sit on the porch, as I did yesterday.  Nothing to do, but be with my thoughts.  I play a game, chat with a friend. Keep company with my father or grandmother.  We choose here or the back deck.  The back deck to gaze at a sunset, while sipping hot coffee and eating a berry pie.  I like the porch.  It faces the world and I can nod at those who pass by.  We share that brief moment, where they, walking a dog or jogging, acknowledge the calm.  It's soothing.  It won't last.

It's cool right now.  As cool as it's been in days.  A chill goes down my spine, but it's refreshing.  The beads of sweat that were there two days ago were not as pleasant.  I think about what I want in life.  It's not a big house or a fancy car.  It's not a wife and 2.2 kids. I look across the street.  The yellow house with the picket fence.  A teacher, her husband and son.  The perfect family I guess. The trash cans in front of the house, the SUV in the driveway...it's the American Dream.  It's not mine anymore.  But do I even have one?

My grandmother asked me what I would do if I could do anything.  I thought of my friends that are in need and even those who aren't.  I think about the kids that bring me happiness. I think of those who have been there for me and those who I've been there for them.  I think about all there is in life.  All we strive for and none of it matters.  So what is it?  What do I want if wanting wasn't an option?  Sadly it's just so simple and so uneventful. It's almost embarrassing. I see my friends cars and houses. Their vacation pictures and their symbols of status.  I want for none of it.  Honestly.

I want to be woken by the birds.  I want to make breakfast and sit and watch as school children prance to school.  I want the coffee to warm me from within and the sun to burn of the morning dew.  I want the day not to matter.  Golf, lunch with a friend, or a movie.  I want to sit and blog, or maybe even write.  I want to play games and laugh at others and maybe give them a chuckle.  I want to sit with a friend, or even better, a lover and sip wine and eat cheeses, anticipating the suns departure.  I want to cook for those who I care about and sit around a table for hours, laughing, thinking, debating, whatever the course may be.  I want to end the day as I started. Sipping coffee that warms me from within.  I want to bid those friends adieu, but have that one special person stay.  I want to turn of the lights and know that tomorrow will be the same.  No pressure, no fear and more than anything, I want to know, I don't have to do it alone.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New Year's Resolutions - How am I doing? Uh-oh

As we all do, I set some resolutions in December and it's halfway through 2012.  Sure, the year seems to have been a blur, but then again, so was 2011.  As we get older, the years go faster and faster.  Even when we are going through the monotonous grind.  So with the year nearing it's middle, I decided to look back at my resolutions, which I declared must happen.  Things aren't looking very good.


I  was 20 lbs away from the weight I was at when I hurt my knee, but unfortunately was going in the wrong direction.  I had gotten as close as 12 lbs away, but unfortunately the last few weeks has seen a gain, and as of Monday, I was 19 lbs away.  I can do this.

I claimed I'd be more active about finding a career, but one that suited me. As of yet, there is nothing out there and I am getting desperate and might have to take what I can get.  Even if it's a job and not a career. I had thoughts, more like delusions of writing a book, but my inability to concentrate on one subject has thrown that out the window.  Still looking and getting a little desperate.

I needed to address my sleeping issues and had wanted to curtail my late night activities.  Chatting on the phone til 4:30 in the am last night, probably is a good indication that I'm not achieving in that area.  I've seen more sunrises in the last six months that ever before and trust me they are not the romantic variety.

I wanted to become a better listener. In many ways I think I have.  Many conversations with people that used to be one sided, have pretty much become mutual.  I have had some friends go through some things and while I haven't always been there for them during the whole time, I do believe I've been better at listening without commenting, at times to my own internal frustration.

I promised myself that I would treat myself once a month to something special, such as a fine dinner or a play or event.  This has been a complete wash.  The best meal I've had this year, has been nothing better than a friends BBQ. Great food and friends, but not the kind of thing I was thinking about.  Totally failed on this one.

I promised I would try to see the best in every situation.  While I have made the best of some, I hardly have seen the best.  Much of this has to do with my own dire situation and being able to see bright lights and rainbows when everything else is bleak has been a test.  Not always a fail, but it's been a struggle.

Finally, I said I would look before I leap, because it has always hurt me.  Not only haven't I not leaped, but I have backed off the ledge many a time.  I have become someone I'm not.  Someone who is afraid to immerse myself in anything.  So this is a tough one.  I find myself reverting back to old ways, where I got hurt leaping the first time and I can't seem to help it.  Would love to get up the courage to leap, but not sure I'd look this time either.

2010 sucked.  2011 was worse in many ways.  2012?  Well so far, it's been more of the same and a little more of the worse.  Trying to keep my chin up and have made the best of it in some instance and made it worse in others.  Hoping for a better second half.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Facebook Main Page

This may turn out funny, this may turn out stupid, but without saying what the person said or what pic or cartoon they posted, I'm going to give a very brief synopsis of my friends over the last two hours

Weather
Promoting friend's business
Woe is me
Me commenting on things I like
Awful music video
Drink water
Don't kill animal
Pet an animal
Delicious animal cooked and on a plate
Friend with little kid
Friend with pretty teenage daughter
Music quote
Music video
Hot friend I haven't seen since she was a kid
Promotion
Weather
Weather
Weather
Vacation
Lebron James
Eating
Drinking
Save a pet
Dissing a school
Ethnic Joke
At the Game
Checking in at work
Seeking info
Complaining about work
Pics of kids from months ago
Picture of work
Tag Sale promotion
Commute home
Cute friend with cute little kid
Old Friends
Look what I'm doing tonight
Funny poster
Happy post
Old Friends
Me talking about grandma
Look we're on vacation and you're not
Beer
Cake
Cops?
Vacation
Happy Post
I'm at work
Cute couple
I'm at work
Happy Post
Beautiful picture
My dog
A bad joke
Bad poster
What I'm doing now
Where I am now
Creepy if you know where they all are
and while I was typing this
I'm doing nothing, but posted
I'm soon to be drunk
I'm at a game

This is how exciting Facebook is and I get abused for things trying to make people chuckle


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Early Morning Thoughts

Found it interesting that my blog on Fifty Shades of Grey was the least read of all my blogs lately.  I guess most women figured I didn't get it and most men really didn't care.  I actually thought it was one of my more thought out blogs, whether you agree with me or not.

I'm so tired of seeing bullying videos.  If you have a child and they video tape themselves bullying another child or an adult, you are to blame.  Plain and simple.  Don't give me peer pressure either.  There is a line that  every child knows they shouldn't cross and if they cross it, they should be penalized severely, maybe even legally.  This also goes for adults who bully.  Laws need to be tougher on bullying.

Last night, my father made a flank steak, which he butterflied and rubbed down with oil, garlic, shallots, parsley and oregano (maybe rosemary too), then topped with proscuitto di parma and provolone and then rolled it into pinwheels.  Cooked over charcoal, to the perfect medium rare.  The mix of the meat and herbs, with the saltiness and nuttiness of the provolone was absolutely heavenly.  Leftover await.

Financial woes are without question the second most nausea inducing problems.  I'd have to put not being able to be with someone you care about at number one.

I had a conversation with my father about discussing politics with conservatives. I explained that my biggest issue wasn't their views and opinions, but that when they discussed past performances or current agendas, they had no facts to back it up and when confronted with documented proof, they went on attack mode and attacked me personally.  The very next morning I read a blog by a well known Newsweek correspondent attacking his GOP loving peers asking them nicely to please start backing statements up with facts and footnotes, to stop printing lies and to stop making references (that weren't true) about the man's father.  Scary how everything in this country on a small scale is exactly as it is on a large.  Littered with hypocrisy.

There's something wrong in this country where someone wakes up for work, puts on their golf shoes, hits some balls, never wins a tournament and makes $10-15 million dollars over a twenty year "career," but a person who goes to four or five people's houses a day, washes them, cleans and does laundry for them and just keeps them company, makes $11 an hour.

I really would love to write for a living.  I have looked into it honestly. I don't believe I have incredible writing skills, but I do know I'm better than a lot of people out there who actually went to school for it. I've tried to start something...a novel, a play or a screenplay, but there is no money in that until it is finished.  I have sent a sample to an organization that pays for blogs, but then found that the money is only per accepted blog and they want one sent in every single day.  The money isn't enough to be considered a sustainable income and the thought of having to do researched work, with the chance of not getting paid is ridiculous.  Anyone know anyone who wants to hire a conceited, opinionated, sometimes delusional, aspiring writer?  Didn't think so.  Time to make some breakfast.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The 50 Shades of Gray Phenomenon

Last night a friend mentioned that Ryan Gosling might be cast as the lead character in the movie adaptation of the uber-popular 50 Shades of Grey.  After wincing in pain at this thought, I decided to try and find some excerpts from the book.  What I found was some of the most simple-minded text I've ever read.  What struck me most was the repetitive nature of, not only the text, but of the situations.  I'm assuming anyone reading this will know what the book is about, so I'm going to conserve some energy.

This morning a friend e-mailed me about her reasoning behind the books success and her feeling was that there are way too many women out there who are unhappy with their husbands or boyfriends and those are the types who have this growing infatuation with Christian Grey.  She also feels that the amateurish style, in which the book is written, lends to not only people's inability to decipher more difficult text, but allows the reader to plow through these books and reach their, er, climax.

So I began to read a little more and a little more.  Literally laughing aloud at the simplistic dialogue and silly plot theme.  The repeated use of the phrase "my inner goddess" became as repetitive as a a politicians campaign slogan.  The female leads desire to be filled with his "liquid desire."  It was as if I was reading that first six grade paper where the teacher allowed us to use dirty words and we couldn't help ourselves.  It was silliness to such an extreme, that any eroticism was quickly dispensed with belly laughs.  But this blog isn't about the ongoing love of bad writing.  It is about the women who crave this and my theories on them.

I believe that despite all the advancements in the workplace and in society in general, the last thing women want is to be equal in the bedroom.  Deep down, they want to be taken, with care, but forcefully.  They say they want to be caressed sensually, but when it comes down to it, they'd rather be ravaged.  I know someone who is extremely ambitious, dependent and incredibly strong willed, but in the bedroom she wants to the role to be reversed.  Come to think of it, nearly all the women I've been with have wanted this.  No, all the women I've been with have wanted this.  I am not saying they want violence.  Please do not misconstrue my words.  They want a safe aggressiveness.  They want true unadulterated passion, but with love and caring in their minds.  This is not to say that afterwards, they don't want that person to comfort them, but not during sex.

Deep down, I think all women, in some way want to be kept.  I think in many ways, deep down and man who is secure in his sexuality and relationship wants the same thing.  There is no man, who doesn't, or wouldn't love to know that while she appreciates the flowers and jewelry, it's being thrown down on the bed and made to enjoy sex, the way a man does, that makes all the difference.  Being able to feel confident in one's relationship to push the boundaries in bed, can be magical.  To experience first with someone you care about is always better than with a stranger.  Think about all of your lives.  Your sex life has changed based on so many things, but the biggest changes happen between partners.  The actions are basically the same, but it's the comfort that makes all the difference.  It's the comfort to make changes, with the same partner, that make sex magical.  This is what these books give us and no matter how poorly written, no matter how silly the dialogue, the thing that gets every woman, is the thought that the person they are with, the person they trust and love would do these things that they probably don't normally do, but have always wanted to try.  I truly believe we are basically very simple creatures and to experience carnal desires with lessened boundaries and complete satisfaction by both partners, is what we all crave and so many of us lack.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How is Charlie Sheen Famous?

Charlie Sheen appears on the cover of my new Rolling Stone magazine and it made me seriously contemplate one question.  How is this guy famous?  He is a perennial ensemble actor in good movies and on occasion has been a good co-star, but has never carried a movie.  His television show was awful and basically just him being himself, a jerk.  If you need confirmation that his show was awful, just know it was the #1 rated show in America for years.  Enough said.

Aside from being a good looking man, who has aged pretty well, what does have going for him?  He seems to be of average intelligence.  He's a drunk.  He's a womanizer.  He's basically everything we would hate in someone we know.  The funny thing is that our society reveres these types.  We make them famous for their inadequacies rather than their actual abilities.

In his early career he had bit parts in tons of teen/twenty-somethings movies.  He had some starring roles in movies that were absolute duds, such as The Boys Next Door, The Wraith and Three for the Road.  He did actually a decent 80's, Miami Vice style movie called No Man's Land, but every scene was stolen by his co-star, D.B. Sweeney, who for some unknown reason is doing bit parts in TV shows.  His small part in Platoon could be called memorable, but it was because he got the but end of a rifle to his face.  Pretty unimpressive start.

His big break came in Wall Street.  Now I'm not saying he wasn't decent, but this movie is all about the scenes with Michael Douglas.  The Sheen scenes lagged on and on and made us want Gekko back on the screen.  By the end of the movie, I was happy it was over.  Nobody walked out of that movie thinking about Charlie Sheen, they walked out thinking "Greed.  For lack of a better word.  Is Good."

Then he does more ensemble stuff, like Young Guns and Major League.  You take away his haircut (which he needed a stand-in for - no seriously) and he actually detracted from the movie.  Then he ran through a horrible string of B-movies such as Navy Seals, Men at Work and my favorite, The Chase.  The Chase is so painfully bad, but fortunately you are almost distracted enough not to notice or hear him.  Thank You Kristy Swanson.

He did a few more years of horrible movies and then got Two and a Half Men.  Now some people might find it funny, but I would call those people misogynistic morons.  The show has three premises.  Make fun of hard working single parents who are only looking for good things to happen to them and their children and praise drunk guys who sleep with so many women they can't remember their names.  The last one is the best, lets laugh at the fact that a kid, who seems to be afforded more luxuries than most, is a complete and utter moron.  Honestly, what does it say about our society and the millions of people who watch this show?  Sure, I get it, every episode has one or multiple women who would never give you the time of day, but who cares?  The sad reality is that the guys who are like Jon Cryer's character don't get those girls.  The good guys, who actually care about people and their feelings, have become the laughingstock.  The guys who don't care, who got rich almost by mistake, who drink, do drugs and think monogamy is a curse word, they are the ones getting the girls.

Charlie Sheen is worth something crazy, like $70 million.  He may be the world quietest philanthropist for all I know.  He may help old ladies across the street and work in soup kitchens when he's not doing blow off a strippers ass.  Who knows what he does when he's behind closed doors.  From the legal proceedings that have plagued him, I'm guessing it's not much different from his outside persona.  One thing I can say.  He's a fairly bad actor.  Despite this one fact, he's marketed himself in a multimillionaire.  He's done it by doing what most people wouldn't.  He's become despicable.  Imagine that.  He's become what everyone should hate, but we don't.  We praise him and worship him and in doing so, we make him richer and more famous.  Imagine if that were the way real life worked.  Wait, it is.  I just find it hard that someone with so little talent had make a 30 year career out of being a dick and you all love him  for it.  Sad.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Writer's Block

While my delusions of grandeur are overrated and there are maybe 15 people who follow my blog, it has caused my frustration that I can't write lately.  Not because I feel some masterpiece is going to flow from my fingertips, but this blog has been a true source of therapy for me.

I haven't really been able to concentrate on anything lately. I have two movies that have been sitting waiting to be viewed for weeks and someone gave me the first season of The Wire and I have yet to start it.  Even baseball games have me flipping away and searching for something to stimulate.  The other day, I was on my computer and I looked at the screen and realized I was losing my mind. I had so many windows open it was crazy.  I was tweeting, on Facebook chat, checking scores, playing a game on my phone, checking the weather, writing a blog and reading articles about the economy.  All this while I had the TV on and was eating.

It seems recently, I don't have the ability to do one thing at a time and enjoy it.  Even when I'm out, I seem to watch a game, talk to friends, but I find myself listening to other conversations as well.  Almost needing to interject, just to have something new to process.  The ironic thing, is that it's not a good thing.  Sure, I've always been able to multitask.  I'm not one of these people who can't talk on the phone while a game is on or while I'm cooking or online.  I can handle this, but today was a perfect example.  I went to CVS to get razor blades, a greeting card and soap.  I ended up walking home with razor blades, toilet paper, paper towels and Pringles.  I got home and realized I had forgot the card.  Then I jumped into the shower and realized I had forgotten the soap.  Amazing that it actually took me until then to realize the two things I'd forgotten.  Sounds minor, but it's adding up.  I opened my wallet this morning and realized there is a check for over $600 in it that I still haven't deposited.  How does one, who is a little broke, forget to do this?

I think I need to get away.  I'm supposed to visit my father next week and I think the slower pace up in Ithaca might be the answer.  It was so rejuvenating last summer and I hope for it to be a similar experience.  I also need some time away from home.  I need to look at things from a distance.  Lately, I've been doing a lot of procrastinating about important things, but maniacally obsessing over the little stuff. I've been pushing certain people away from me and embracing those who have hurt me.  It's almost as if I'm trying to get my life to a place where I don't want to be.  I've forgiven some people who were truly bad to me and I've let some true friendships fall by the wayside.  I just don't have the energy to keep up and it's haunting me.  I have friends who I truly love that i haven't spoken to in over a year, some even two.  I have people who I could live without, who I can't escape and I don't even try.

Even now, I stopped writing this blog, to play three games of Words With Friends.  Tomorrow, I have a wedding to go to. I waited until tonight to realize that I don't have a clean dress shirt.  I've known the date of this wedding for a year.  I need to go back to what I did a few months ago and put together a list of goals.  Daily and weekly goals.  I need to get on a normal schedule. I need a change, albeit major change.  I think I should start with the small things and maybe the bigger ones will fall into place.  I know I can't keep going with my mind racing  the way it has been.  It's not healthy.



Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Weird Mood

Today was a weird day from start to finish.  I had lots of thoughts today, but none about things I need to be thinking about.  I need to get some stuff done, but didn't feel like attempting them today.  I think it's because I was afraid they'd stress me out, but the irony is that by putting them off, I'm stressing myself unnecessarily.

Today I was thinking about someone who means a lot to me, but frustrates me too.  Part of the frustration is the distance that has been between us recently and part of it is there actions and some of them are mine.  It's rough when friends or family mean the world to you, but they also cause you pain.  It's hard to balance at times and once again, stress is caused.

I didn't want to face the day this morning.  I didn't eat a lot.  I didn't drink a lot.  I basically didn't really move today.  I had wanted to do a few things, but I couldn't get motivated.  I don't want to call it depression, but today, I just felt a little empty.  Like something in my life is missing and I know I can't have it.  I have pieces, but I don't have it all.  I have other things in life that aren't important in the grand scheme and they stress me.

Tomorrow I have some plans.  My mind will be elsewhere.  It had better be.  I don't want to ruin what should be a fun day.  Today was ruined from the start.  Albeit, the day was going to be one of cleaning and shopping, but it was important I got back on track.  Got the little things out of the way, because I need to get these petty distractions out of my world.

Tomorrow is now today and I'm not feeling much better.  Time to turn it around.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Random Thoughts

I haven't been in a writing mood lately.  I honestly think I need to start medicating myself, because I have the attention span of an avid porn watcher.  I haven't watched a movie or a TV show in almost two weeks.  So here are some things I've been thinking about....a lot.

I have one question for my friends who are Romney supporters.  How can you vote for someone who criticizes Obama for job creation when his state was 47th during his tenure as governor?

I am currently obsessed with twitter.

I had Kilt nachos yesterday for the first time in about two months.  And two wings.  I was happy.

My stay in the hospital changed my views on a lot of things and a lot of people.  Mostly positively.

As much as I hate him, because of his affiliation with the Yankees, I'm starting to appreciate Derek Jeter more and more and his imprint on the record books.

I have absolutely no desire to know anything about 50 Shades of Gray.  Life has taught me, if everyone loves something, it is probably crap.

Obama's presidency and Trayvon Martin's death has revealed more racism than I ever imagined existed.

I play words with friends with more people daily than I speak to.

If you are male and you don't know who Sara Jean Underwood is, you're missing out.  Quite possibly the cutest woman on the planet.

I find it funny how when you are passionate about knowledge, people call you a know-it-all, but when you speak completely based on opinion, people call you smart.

I don't think there has ever been a time in my life where I am less in the loop on current music.  I know nothing that is on the radio now.

At the end of every session of my after school program, I give out lollipops.  This year, of the 43 kids in the program, 26 kids said thank you.  Before you think that is awful, it's the first time in 12 years of doing this that more than half the kids thanked me.

It's amazing how people always say "you should do what's best for you," but when you do it, they are the first to tell you were wrong.

I was actually thrilled by Johan Santana being the first Met to throw a no-hitter.  Seems like a genuinely great guy.

We're all sick of the Kardashians, but you have to admit, it's a damn good looking family.

I don't know everything there is to know about politics, but I can say without a shadow of a doubt that 90% of our country vote without any concern for the policies of the nominees.  It's scary that arguably the most powerful man in the world is elected by people who know nothing, nor do they care what they stand for.

I have eaten more English Muffins in the last year than I have in the previous forty years.  Seriously.

My hair is currently the longest it's been since I was about 17.  Every female I know seems to think it looks so much better than it did short.  Sadly, none of these females wants to sleep with me.