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Showing posts from 2018

A Week Of Posts

I spent this past week posting one thoughtful status per day on Facebook. Each one was something about bettering oneself through the acts of altruism but also the idea we need to understand that this need for self-serving gratitude, acknowledgment, and "stuff" isn't important at all. Over the course of seven days, I tried to hit on things I have changed or actively trying to change about myself. There is no endgame for me in this, just a concerted effort to do more for others without ever feeling that I am owed something in return. This, of course, is not to be confused with work or required acts, but there are times when the two shall cross and it's important to realize that responsibility and accountability are important at all times.

I don't know if I was only writing it for me; the fact I chose social media and not this platform leads me to believe I wasn't but It helped me. It made me look at certain times I've been judgmental differently. I do think…

What Do You Miss? - A Vegan's Story

Next month, I will be a vegetarian for three years and vegan for two and a half. It's not a big deal anymore for me but I have started to push the health and ethical benefits more in recent weeks. During a conversation with a fellow vegan and a room full of carnivores, the normal question was posed: "You must miss cheese, right?" When my answer wasn't what they expected, I was then asked to list the things I do miss. I told them I'd give it some thought. 
After some reflection, I came to the conclusion that the things I miss the most were the things I didn't eat very often, to begin with. The delicacies, the holiday fare, and of course, everything I've been without since my mother passed away fourteen years ago. The irony of this mental list was that those items are really what pushed me into veganism, as most delicacies tend to be the root of all evil committed against animals. I knew nobody wanted to hear me wax poetic of my high morality, so I tried to…

(Not) Knowing Your Place

For most of my adult life, I've had a part-time job, working with kids, in which I was the director, supervisor, but never the boss, in the true sense. I now find myself in a position where I am a subordinate, in every sense of the word. It sucks! It sucks when you know something is being ignored, put off, or in some cases, done wrong. I'm 21 credits away from being able to be heard. Well, that may have been the case 20-odd years ago. Not now. My current boss is amazing, caring, and thoughtful but she's still my boss and while I've been there long enough to have some seniority, it's not enough to make me comfortable about pointing out the failures of others. Especially those with more time, not to be confused with more experience, and in some cases, more seniority. I think the lack of a structured division of "power," is a fatal flaw. I also think the lack of communication, not in terms of daily events, but in vision, is hurting the program. That being sa…

Hesitant Happiness

This will be short, I promise

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in." - Greek Proverb

Let me start by saying, I am overjoyed. A handsome new nephew, a beautiful growing niece, and two jobs that allow me to experience the innocent naivety and wonderment of discovery, each and every day. It's a special time in my heart and a tense time in my head.

As I've matured, I realize that my life will not be remembered for any momentous occasion. I will never be rich, famous, or revered by the masses. I may not even be remembered by name, but those whose lives I had the greatest impact. I will simply be remembered for the caring, nurturing, and teaching of all the things not taught in school. My happiness comes from that and the happiness, friendships, and education I gain from these children. My fear, however, this comes from knowing I have not done enough to protect them and that I will not always be there. My insecurity c…

The Couple

Yesterday, while watching football, a couple sat down next to me. They knew a woman at the bar, normally a bartender, who was out for the Giants game. He ordered the chili and she had the soup of the day. Each had one drink.

They weren't there more than twenty-five minutes total. He appeared to have had a few earlier, while she commented on not feeling well. He immediately engaged in conversation with the young women at and behind the bar; then she did. There was non-stop chatter from both parties, and my only inclusion in this, was when the bartender asked if I minded if she changed the channel on one of the televisions. I did not.

So where's this story going? Well, it didn't really stick out until they left and I had a conversation with another customer. When he left, I checked the time on my phone and ordered another beer. As I put the phone down, it hit me. Each time the man spoke, his wife did not take part and simply stared at her phone, checking her Facebook. Each t…

Be Kind

These two words flood your social media, your tv screen, and your print ads. They are tied into quotes, memes, anecdotes, statuses, and nearly every foundation there is. Be Kind. Rarely do those who share these words demonstrate kindness when

Others aren't as kind to them
Others aren't kind to them first
If it doesn't benefit them
If they aren't thanking someone for something extra
If it's inconvenient
If it's uncomfortable
They aren't feeling well
They are angry
They are sad
They feel unappreciated
They aren't getting paid
Nobody will know if they're not
To strangers
To animals
To those who need it most
To those who don't expect it
Without telling others of their kindness
Without telling others of their kindness's randomness

If you're as old as I am, just think about most of the Blockbuster videos you rented and you know just how kindpeople are.

Kindness is the most basic form of benevolence one should demonstrate. It's not a badge …

A Quick Note On Minimalism

What started out as necessity has turned into a way of life.

Have you ever not bought anything you didn't need?
Driven by the coffee shop, because you had coffee at home and didn't really need the second cup
Filled your tank and not grabbed the chips or the scratch-off
Put back the second package of whatever that said 2 for $5, knowing you didn't need that much?
Not cashing or depositing your check until you needed it?
Resisting the urge to fill your life with stuff?
Taking a year off, or maybe a lifetime, from fast food, delivery, take-out, and delis?
Resisting the new release, knowing there are classics available online or the library.
Never once buying a DVD, CD, or gadget to play or listen to both
Have you ever learned to enjoy the limitless options of your surroundings?
Have you ever been at peace enough to enjoy solitude?

Have you ever chosen just one vice and limited yourself to it?

I'll let you know how much better it is if I ever give up that one, but can tell…

That Copy and Paste Mental Health Post on Facebook

Below was my status/response to the post that has bothered me

Dear Friends,

This is important.

Many of you (at least a dozen) have shared this post and I don't think you fully understand how irresponsible it. I've seen it posted by some of my most sincere and compassionate friends and by some of my most selfish, but this is not why it is a bad post. The post is about mental health and I will post it so there is no confusion, then explain

Text of post: Reminder to ANYONE that my house is a safe zone Coffee can be on in minutes, or if you prefer tea or soda, no problem. I will always be available - even if we haven’t talked in a while. Even if you think it's weird, or we aren't on speaking terms. Text me, call me, message me, anything. I will be there. I am always a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. Nothing is worse than being alone and going through things alone.

These types of posts seem to show that you care, and you may, but here's the problem with this ty…

But, Why Do YOU Care?

There have been times writing this blog when my inspiration for a topic comes from one person and more often than not, it's on a lot of people, most likely, society in general. That being said, in today's world, many people are sensitive to things they view as criticisms of their character. There, of course, is the irony in that these are most often those who despise the concept of political correctness and view their critique of others as the word of God, but find it scandalous for anyone to question their integrity, morals, or intelligence. These people always tend to be in the lower half of the intelligence scale.

As I age, I meet more people. It's the law of averages. I have my friends, my acquaintances, my co-workers, my bosses, and those I deal with for other reasons. Many times these categories cross over into one another. This, many times, causes more internal conflict than outer. I've always been open to people, but over the past seven or eight years, I've…

Multitasking, No!

No. You are not good at multitasking.

Listen, if the average person was good at multitasking, we wouldn't have laws prohibiting something as simple as driving a car and talking on the telephone. Hell, in my day,  mother's of infants and toddlers, could carry a child, smoke a cigarette, talk on a phone with a cord they had to step over every five seconds, cook dinner, and watch TV at the same time. And that was with a load of laundry in the washer, another in the dryer, and everything was finished, and properly, by 6:00 PM. In today's world, my example isn't only sexist, it's non-existent.

So why this rant? Well yesterday, someone in charge of the safety of children used "I missed your message. I was multitasking" as an excuse for not hearing something. First off, that's not an excuse and second, no you weren't. If you work in an office and can't speak on the phone and type, while reading, you aren't even coming close to multitasking. If yo…

Why Do I Hate Inspirational Memes

Remember when college kids had posters of Lamborghinis with a beautiful woman on top of the hood with the word "Dream" or "Desire" or "Success?" You probably don't or had forgotten all about them because they were stupid, immature, and only the dumb superficial kids had such things. Allow me to introduce social media's version: The Inspirational Meme.

They come in all shapes and sizes, but usually have a backdrop consisting of clouds, water, a green field, a dock, rain, someone walking down a desolate road (always barefoot), etc. They contain words meant to sound deep for people who don't have the intellect to understand philosophy, who don't read much or are too lazy to post their own thoughts.  This combination of simplistic thought is meant to conjure likes, gain attention from those starved, and to create a false sense of self-worth, not for the person posting but for the reader. Most people who post these things are not at all the peo…

My Block in Brooklyn

Yesterday, we recognized, remembered, and honored those lost on 9/11. My act of respect is to ignore social media aka not worry about the petty stuff. For many of us, those towers were not only symbols of our city, but of our youth. From my bedroom window, just above the trees in my neighbor's backyard, they stood proudly. As a kid from Brooklyn, they represented a faraway land, one that I'd venture to for museums, plays, my father's job, and eventually for school. Manhattan, the island, the metropolis, the insane "real" world. I moved in 1985, and while I've been back to visit, nearly every borough, I've yet to visit Ground Zero. I can't.

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I Don't Have A Card

It's one thing to be broke. It's another thing to be broke and not have a credit or debit card.

Yeah, I guess that first line lets on a little more than one might have expected. Yesterday, I sat on two lines while people were denied due to insufficient funds or some other financial malady. I genuinely felt for them. One woman simply pulled out cash and walked out. The other went into a blame game. She blamed the machine, the card itself, the cashier, and the store, exclaiming her loyalty and her furthered business will be done elsewhere. When my turn arrived, I apologized to the cashier for the woman's words and bid her a better day. I paid cash.

Sometime during the evening, I felt bad for everyone involved. For the cashier, who had to bear the brunt, but also for the woman lashing out. I realized it was partly frustration, but mostly shame. The shame of poverty is a horrible pain. Trust me, putting something back because you thought you could afford it, but couldn't, …

First Impressions

I have to be careful, at times, because I do forget a potential employer, or even a current one, may read this and think it's about them. It's not. I can not say that for some coworkers. Although my first impression of them may be different from my current ones.

Yesterday, I posted something about first impressions, when I was slightly ticked off by someone I met, who I was introduced to by name, who reached out, gave me a flimsy handshake, no eye contact, didn't introduce himself, and made no facial expression, not even a fake "nice to meet you" smile.

It bothered me. It bothered me a lot. I have no control over whether or not I will see this person again, but I may very well see him every day. I don't like it. That first impression is important and one that this person will be challenged to reverse. The thing is, he will have to, or his life will be much more uncomfortable than mine. I do not change my ways, to cater to those without class, respect, or simp…

Common Knowledge Ain't Common Anymore

Old People, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials.

With all these groups, we're losing a valuable item. Common knowledge.

The other day I stood in utter disbelief as a 30-something, with a college degree, asked if a uniform with a swastika was from the Vietnam War. Even more embarrassed for him when a fourth grader corrected him. I'm always amazed that not everyone knows warm water freezes faster, that most homes didn't have electricity until 50 years after electricity was invented, and which way the toilet paper goes. OK, the last one is just the ultimate pet peeve.

It seems to me, Americans take so much for granted, especially education, that we've forgotten to teach the basics. We're so concerned with pushing religion, political stances, and the ridiculous American Dream, that we sometimes forget that these kids don't know how things work and they grow up not understanding anything.

I'll go to real estate. So many of my friends are bright, education, c…

July and August Movies - 2018

The Salesman - My least favorite Farhadi film is difficult to say, as it's so powerful.Luther - Feels like Prime Suspect with better co-stars, with Ruth Wilson's Alice Morgan is tops!III - The Ritual - Russian fairytale which is as beautiful as it is haunting.Good Time - Robert Pattinson definitely shines, but this one has me on the fence.Jaws - For probably the 2000th time. Still amazing how good this film is. Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now - The man is hilarious, often with stinging social commentary.The Tag-Along - Taiwan horror folklore is reminiscent of some Japanese films but works well.Manhunt - A John Woo films I really didn't like. Felt like an odd homage to himself!Thoroughbreds - Yelchin's last film. More like a play, which works, but confines it. !2 Years A Slave - Slow start, somewhat uniform storytelling ends powerfully. A Quiet Place - Lacks any tension, despite what people tell you. Complete dud.Spring Breakers - See my blog if you want to know my feelin…

Feeling Old

For the first time since my surgery last June, I feel old. The heat and length of the day took its toll. Not fatigue that made me sleep, I still came home, had a drink, took a shower, talked to Swag, entertained the landlord's kids briefly, then watched a movie, before falling asleep around 11 PM. nearly 20 hours awake could explain it, but the fact I only slept four hours last night, feeling somewhat mentally rested, makes me think it's something else. There were little things throughout the day. A disconnect, not with the people in their teens or twenties, but with the one in his 30's. A work ethic, a sincerity, a reasoning for being there. At one point, despite adoring it, I felt as though I didn't belong. Maybe this is simply a continuation of the last blog, which is a continuation of reflection. It's nearly 7 AM, I've been awake for an hour and I've cleaned the kitchen floors and counters while cooking my lunch for the day. Swag and the fish were taken…

Reflective Weekend

Finally getting back to work was great for my body and mind. The weekend of sitting, reading, drinking, and reflection was also just what the doctor ordered. Over the weekend, I made a mental list of things that make me happy and another of things that frustrate me. Many of them are truly a yin and yang, with one feeding off the other, causing me glee or anger. I'm working on that too.

I won't bore anyone with the tiny things, like being somewhat obsessive about dirty dishes or the fact I never make my bed unless I'm putting fresh sheets on, but even in that area, I am slightly obsessive about clean sheets and towels. I recently shared a bathroom with a guy who didn't clean his towels for six months. No, I'm not kidding. It's little things I do that make me happy but I've also realized I do these things for others not out of overall kindness but a desire not to be frustrated. These things are what most people don't even think about, and yes, I thought l…

You're Not Sarcastic, You're Mean

Writers, comedians, professors, scholars, psychologists, and other members of the intellectual elite have all commented, some positively, some negatively, on the art of sarcasm.

If you noticed, I called it an art. It isn't simply saying something ironic or mean, it's saying it with precise verbiage, impeccable timing, corresponding look or movement, and of course, intelligence. Is it an act of contempt? The dictionary seems to think so, as do psychologists, but what if it isn't a coping mechanism for an inability to debate or discuss and it's actually who you are? Does that make you a bad person?

One thing about sarcasm, for me, is that it takes an incredible level of intelligence to use it properly, and an above average intelligence to detect it. A teacher once said to me, "Sarcasm is wasted in the youth." I tend to disagree as children often use sarcasm perfectly, without even knowing they've done so. The one thing that is true is, it is indeed wasted o…

Pacing

This is not an epiphany, nor is it being brought up due to a single event. I just have come to grips with the fact that I am terrible at pacing myself. Whether it be work, play, friendships, relationships, relaxing, sleeping, quite honestly, everything. I suck at pacing.

Despite being a master of procrastination, I'm actually great at finishing projects. The problem is, I finish them too soon. I work to fast, I play too fast, I drink too fast, I escalate conversations too fast, I pretty much do everything too fast. Insert joke right about here.

I cost myself money by continuously doing work that should take a day in a matter of hours, at times, if it's clerical, minutes. Working for hourly pay and hyper-pacing isn't a good mix. It's cost me thousands over my lifetimes. The thing is, when I apply myself, I do very good work and I do it quickly. I'm a boss's dream, because they get the same work from me in ninety-minutes, that most people give them in a day. Obvi…

Out Of Options

Two winters ago, I was in a bad place. Physically, financially, but especially emotionally. Life, which has rarely been anything I could view as fair, had really begun to weigh me down. I was living in a motel room, paid for by my brother while awaiting a move to another state. A little late research revealed my soon-to-be new home was a bit of a nightmare. Think of Melrose Place with meth and hookers. The idea of flying halfway across the country with my cat, Swag, and less than $200 in my pocket was scary. Leaving everything I knew wasn't what scared me, it was knowing deep in my heart, I'd never return. 
It's always easy to put off keeping up with people when you're close, but as I've learned over the last four years, distance tests friendships, even those we view as true. One can't imagine the alienation of being broke, physically unable to walk, and having to rely on a motel staff's daily pleasantries to remind yourself you're alive. At times I que…

The Perfect Person

On Facebook yesterday I asked for topics to write about. As is most often the case, the post was ignored. So I deleted the post and went about my business. While chatting about a movie at the library, I asked the person at the counter. If you had to give someone a blog a random blog topic, what would it be? The person thought a minute and said: "Describe your perfect person." I asked them if they meant friend, partner, or in general and they said "Yes.," then laughed. I thanked them for the books, movies, and the idea then left. So here it goes.

The perfect person is someone who likes good food, preferably vegan, and likes to laugh. It's a person who is well read, but more importantly, is willing to read. It's a person who isn't necessarily a cinephile but doesn't turn their nose up at subtitles or silent films. Most importantly it's a person who cares about those others don't care about or those who can not fend for themselves. Children and…

Procrastination Quirk

As someone who needs a fire under his ass to get things done, I know all about procrastination. We don't always procrastinate over things we dislike, (anyone searching for a Netflix movie to stream knows what I'm saying), but when it's a chore, we tend to exhibit the behavior more. It's not a healthy one, despite its common use. What I've noticed as I get older is, there's an odd offshoot to procrastination that is almost worse: Not finishing!

One of the odd things about myself is, I will wait until the 11th hour, once staying up for 107 hours straight to write a Kinesiology paper, I had six weeks to complete. Oddly, when it comes to work, in any field I've been in, I tend to finish my work within minutes, when hours are expected. This isn't always a good thing, as I'm often accused of loafing about, when work is to be done, or even worse, being sent home early, without pay, because there is nothing left to do. It sucks, but it's how I'm wir…

Challenge Me

The day-to-day grind of being a human being is challenging for us all. Some of us, who care about others, even those non-human creatures, more than ourselves, feel a burden. Ironically, that burden or challenge creates a lull. What we choose to do to relax says more about us than what we do when we stress or strive. I sincerely believe that.
I do not judge anyone on the work they do or how they live their lives, as long as they fall in between my own definition of decency. I do not believe my definition is any different or holds others to a higher standard but I'm sure I'm wrong. By simply writing it, or saying it aloud, I'm probably disproving it. I do however judge people by how they spend their supposed downtime. As I wrote in a previous post, I do reflect upon my actions quite a bit, and it has recently occurred to me that this is not the norm. Most fall into some mindless chatter or silly distraction, and that is fine, but does it make you the person you want to be, w…

Be Kind And Rewind

No, I'm not talking about VHS tapes.

I'm talking about our minds. I don't understand meditation completely, and I'll also add, it's because I'm ignorant on the topic and I can't sit with my legs crossed without being in pain. So I've crossed that off my bucket list. What I do actually partake in, quite a bit, is a daily reflection. It helps and it hurts.

We all have those nights where we sit up thinking, but I spend a good portion of my before bedtime, thinking about my day, however mundane it may be and reflect on what I could have done differently. How I could have assisted others, created conversations simply by saying Hello, or how my little spec of dust in humanity could have made a difference. No, this is nothing profound, but something small I do for myself, which I believe may help someone else.

Think of watering the plants. If you forget, you tend to over-water them the following day, creating some odd form of guilt release for yourself, but in…

Why Is Everyone (Who Doesn't Care About Politics) So Angry?

Has anyone noticed the rage on social media? Twitter is known for its anonymity, so people hide behind this and fire of shots at people they've never seen before. This is safe. The Twitter community also seems to share common bonds, much I assume, like online dating creates. You get to know someone's likes and dislikes and decide whether they're your friend. This is a comfortable place to chat, debate, and defend yourself and your ideologies. Facebook? Facebook is an entirely different animal. Facebook has political posters like myself and, well, everyone else.

So why are people on Facebook, who show no interest in politics, so angry all the time?

Traffic
Customer Service
Coworkers
Friends
Family
Acquaintances

You name it, they're livid about it. Sometimes it's directed at individuals, other times at everyone involved, but lately, I've noticed that the same people are mad at everyone, all the time. Some hide it well, but their anger comes out at the drop of a h…

The Power of the Telephone

It started with a ring.
It gave us communication.
It gave us access.
It fueled fires and weathered storms.
It allowed distance to be overcome.
It allowed our message to be received, whether the contact was there or not.
It allowed us to share photos and video.
It allowed us to search the web
It gave us apps.
It entertained us in waiting rooms.
It helped us learn.
It is the computer we always wanted, in the palm of our hand.

And today, the most power it gives us is when we choose not to pick it up.

Slight Gripe (OK, Nothing I Gripe About Is Ever Slight)

Why is it that people with nothing to say in real life, always post these deep, since, or meaningful memes? They are simply purporting a message they feel is necessary, while most of us, especially those who know them best, laugh at their obvious desperation for personal attention.

I realize how one rejoices, grieves, or simply deals with daily life, is theirs and theirs alone, but we do, as humans, somewhat conform to social standards. We don't wish someone a happy birthday every day or even on random days, so why do we grieve this way? We don't congratulate children on their moving up day from kindergarten when they're in the fourth grade, so why do we continue to post things that bring despair? Part of what makes humans so incredible is our ability to adapt to all the good and bad life has to offer, but sadly, Intenet attention seems to have cut into this ability, which was once nature.

Now, I know what people are saying. "You claim to understand people are differe…

Has Anyone Seen Spring Breakers?

I've given up writing reviews for the most part, but this film has been baffled. It's either the biggest piece of crap or absolute genius, and to be completely honest, I'm not sure which.

I knew going in, that this was a Harmony Korine film, so I expected to be somewhat shocked, disturbed and even disgusted, but most of all, I knew I'd be mesmerized. I was. Korine's Gummo and Kids were the car wreck you can't look away from but also very human. Flawed people doing terribly flawed, if not horrible things, to themselves and to others. So I was prepared, and yet, I'm still confused about my own reaction.

James Franco's performance is the key because he gave us either the most ridiculously over-the-top character or the perfect caricature of the poor, white American Dream. At times, I'm not sure they aren't the same. His appeal is astonishing because, as you watch, you see it as make believe but it's no less bizarre than the evening news. His ang…

Teaching Moments / Learning Moments

Without trying to sound pretentious, there's not a day that goes by that I don't make a concerted effort to learn something new. Sometimes it's found easily on the Internet, sometimes it takes some research. Often, it's in the simple conversations and behaviors of others. While I do have good comprehension skills when it comes to reading, I don't consider myself book smart. I once took a class a special education course in college and didn't bring a book, a notebook, or a pen for the entire semester. I wanted to see how much I could ingest simply by listening. Some might be shocked to know, I was the only person exempt from the final (there's more to this story, but some of you may hate me if I tell it). For me, observation is my go-to method of learning. For others, I understand it's a difficult process. 
We all learn differently and we all teach differently. Working with children all these years has taught me that no two children learn exactly the sam…

Speaking Up

Anyone who met me before 2014 knows how opinionated I am. Those who only know me through social media probably think that's the first line to a joke. I am opinionated about many things, but I've lost the ability, or maybe it's the desire, to speak my mind. Recently, when confronted with a question, I balked. I said the correct thing, despite disagreeing completely. The specific question isn't important, but it's a pattern I'm seeing in myself lately, and for the most part, I despise it, In the past, I would never have allowed myself to be put into a situation I was uncomfortable with, unless I felt I could handle it without added stress. There was a time when I stressed over nothing. In my mind, able to control all. I was mistaken, but that isn't why I have changed.

Fear.

I know fear now. I've never known fear. I've had knives, guns, and other weapons pulled on me. I've been in fights where I was getting pummeled. I've faced personal loss an…

Free Writing - It's Been A While

Been a while since I've used this method, so bear with me.
Setting my timer at seven minutes, so won't be too bad.

Summer has been relatively kid-free. Most I know would relish that thought, despite their love. I'm miserable. I've had some fun times, laughs with a friend, met some new people, but I crave the one-on-one learning experience of "my" kids. I mean my learning, not theirs. I miss their laughs, their innocent questions about everything and anything. I miss feeling appreciated. Kids, despite their aloof nature and naivety, are as appreciative as anyone. Unlike animals, who appear to show love when fed, petted, or played with, kids, especially those old enough to understand attention, can tell the difference between being coddled, spoiled, or distracted and being cared for. I miss those eyes when you've opened up a new part of the world to them and they, without a word, show their appreciation with a gaze. I miss the goodbyes at the end of the day…

May and June Movies - 2018

Memoir of a Murderer - Average at best with one too many twists that ruins everything.Shoalin Avengers - Better than average martial arts classic.Ricky Gervais: Humanity - Weak effort by Gervais, who seems to explain every joke.Haxan - Not sure I saw the right version. Commentary and goofy "Jazz" soundtrack. Meh!Revenge of the Green Dragons - Starts off pretty interesting, then completely falls apart.Eg Man Pig aka I Remember You - Tension builds and builds and builds, then nothing.Turbo Kid - Ode to a ton of stuff with cute robots, gore, Michael Ironside and a garden gnome.The Phantom Thread - Perfect first hour, becomes somewhat predictable, but still magnificent.The Post - It's been done before, and better, but it is timely and important.Star Wars; The Last Jedi - Quite possibly the worst of all the Star Wars film made.Gate of Hell - Beautiful, but somewhat dull story. Maybe it's just not what I was expecting.Scandal - One of Kurosawa and Mifune's more human s…

A Sad Day For America

I'm not a journalist, but God knows if I was, I'd show more guts than they've shown in holding the current president accountable. Their fear of his halting access is reminiscent of another dark time in world history. It was only Wednesday yesterday, and while liberals, even socialists, cheered the primary win of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, they failed to recognize that this new wave of unknowns will receive little free press from major news outlets. The irony of course is, the same "liberal" news networks who elected Donald Trump won't want to be accused of bias, now labeled with a hashtag. Even after this primary, the liberal stalwart, The New York Times asked: "Who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?" This is where we are, and again, it's reminiscent of so many other regimes, which we must recall, ended badly.

But the real blow came yesterday, one day after they backed Mr. Trump's Muslim Ban, a ban, even his Vice President called an atrocity. Of co…

Does Anyone Else Forget Their Age?

When I was a young child, there was never a kid's table. If there was, I surely wasn't seated at it. I enjoyed the adult conversation, listening, learning, and on occasion, adding my childish perspective. As a teen, I shunned the adult table and surrounded myself with my peers, but always felt as though I was out of place. As if I were in some maturity limbo. I felt I knew more than my teachers, more than my friends and much less than those I aspired to surround myself with. I then started working full-time after high school and felt like an old soul. My friends were stressing about a grade, while I was thinking about buying a car, a house, and more.

Fast-forward thirty years. I work with people the same age I was in the last scenario. They have their entire lives ahead of them, albeit, many of them with an Ivy league degree. They talk about trips, volunteer work in other countries, craft beers, and school. Tests, papers, and projects. I envy them. I have little to offer them …

Don't Forget The Custodians

Hey Parents, Most of you will buy your kid's teachers a gift. A small token of your appreciation. It will be warmly received, albeit with a bit of embarrassment from most. While these mostly minimal costs add up, please don't forget the custodial staff. All those wonderful performances, projects, rehearsals, functions, etc are prepped, set up, taken down, and cleaned by these men and women (on top of their already difficult and long hours). Many times problems you and your children never know about are handled because of a 4 AM phone call. These people aren't only cleaning the school, but are an extra set of eyes, who care and protect your kids, when others are not. They are almost always forgotten by those who benefit most from their work. The smallest gesture makes a bigger difference to them than to those who have come to anticipate, if not expect it.

Politeness Means Nothing

I am completely fine with people not being polite. Politeness is a learned behavior. Being inconsiderate of others is another thing entirely. Politeness is something you do because you feel you should, maybe even have to, to avoid scrutiny. Being considerate shows you truly care and that you're being polite, not out of habit or some forced social contract, but because you feel your minor act will enhance or ease another's life. It's quite simple. Being polite, holding doors, saying your please and thank yous and giving the old lady on the bus your seat, are all nice things to do, but why are you doing them? Is it because you rant and rave on social media and around your sewing circle when it's not done for you or are you doing it because you feel you're bettering someone else's life? So many times, the only reason we do polite things is for us. If you work with kids, you'd understand where I'm coming from.

Being considerate is not a societal norm. Think…