Monday, December 14, 2009

Just me clearing my mind.

I've had a blog block for a while now. I just have not had that fire in belly, that fire that can only be put out by blogging. I have been rolling an idea around in my head for a few days now. I have hesitated blogging, because it is not really keeping in the season, and I could come off looking like an ass. All that said, a blog is your personal feelings, a reflection of you for the world. This is how I feel, so I'm not ashamed. Keep in mind that I don't actually dislike all people that do these things, I am giving my opinion on the act not the person. There are however people that I dislike that exhibit some of these behaviors. I judge people individually, not off one or two actions, but who they are and how they relate to me. So now that my disclaimer is out of the way, here we go. Things that irritate, annoy, and just plain frustrate me.

People getting all high and mighty about saying happy holidays instead of merry Christmas. Christmas is one day, happy holidays is a reference to the season, there is more than just Christmas in this season that spans November through the beginning of January. So chill out nobody is trying to take Jesus’ birthday away.

Holiday lights on your house that are just done half assed. You've seen them, trees that only the front are lit. The house lights go about three quarters of the way around and stop, because I guess you ran out of lights. Lawn ornaments that are just thrown out there, you know Mickey Mouse and Goofy caroling for baby Jesus and the three wise men.

Jewelry commercials that make it seem like women only love you if buy them jewelry.

People that complain about not having any money, and then take time off work, or leave early the first chance they get.

When you ask someone how's it going and they proceed to tell you everything that is wrong in their lives. Every day you ask them, and everyday there is some new end of the world event that they feel they have to share. Pretty soon you stop asking and then they want to know why you don't talk to them anymore. You just became the latest thing wrong in their life, and they will tell that to the next sucker that asks them. "How's it going" is a greeting, not an invite for free therapy.

The person that no matter how bad something is for you, they either personally have it worse or know someone else who does. That's great and all, but your problems and your friend’s problems are not my problems. My problems are worse to me because there my problems and they affect ME! The one upper, they have done it better. They have had it harder. They have been sicker. You have two they have ten. It's my story, go away.

The loud laugher, that tries to draw all attention to themselves by laughing about everything as if it were pure comedic gold. You're making a fool out of yourself and belittling the person telling the story.

The person with the car stereo that cost four times what their car cost. They turn up the bass so that they can "bump" like the rest of the cool kids, but because of they are driving a rust bucket full of loose nuts and bolts, all you hear is an uncomfortable vibrating sound.

I know there are a lot more, but I feel better now. I just needed to get that off my chest, to clear my mind. Judge me if you will, put me on your list of things that bother you. People who blog about people that bother them. Just remember, I do not think I am better than these people. I am sure that any one of those people could come up with things about me that they don't like, but that's for them to blog about. These are just a few things that irritate me.

I do hope everyone is having a happy holiday, because it really is a great time of year. Look past all the worries of can I afford the perfect gift, is my gift to that person as good as their gift to me. Try and move past that hole in your life that may be there because a loved one is missing from the picture this year. Just enjoy the magic of it, if you let yourself go and really try, you might get just a little bit of that feeling you had when you were a kid.

Be nice to each other, even if that other has some qualities that you find annoying.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Superman has nothing on me.

Last night I was listening to music on YouTube, and I came across a song that I had forgotten about. It is actually one of my favorite songs and it is played at the beginning of one my all time favorite movies. While I was listening, I noticed someone had posted a quote from the movie, I remember the scene very well, and the quote is awesome. The movie is Angus, and the scene is between Angus and his grandfather played by George C. Scott. Angus’s grandfather says “Superman isn't brave. He's smart, handsome, and even decent. But he's not brave. Superman is indestructible. And you can't be brave if you're indestructible. It's people like you and your mother, people who are...different, and can be crushed and know it. Yet they keep going on out there every time.” The part that inspired this blog is you can’t be brave if you’re indestructible. It is so easy to stick to what you know, to hide from adversity, to take the safe path through life. People are not indestructible, but we try to make ourselves that way, by only doing those things that we know we will succeed at. We surround ourselves with people that don’t push us, that just accept us and we in turn accept them. We ignore problems in hopes they will go away, we take jobs that don’t challenge us, because we know we will excel in them. It might be the smart way to live life, I’m guilty of it, but don’t you ever get that stirring, that desire to do something brave, or great, something that makes people stop and take notice. Don’t you ever want to push yourself, and get that feeling of accomplishment that fills you up inside? Those people are scattered all throughout history, the colonist that challenged Britain, the first astronauts, world record holders, the list goes on. It doesn’t have to be that huge though. The person who goes back to school after 20 years, the person who speaks out against the majority and says, hey you’re wrong, the person that says, I have no idea how to that job, but I’m willing to try. These people are stepping out of their indestructible bubbles and saying alright world here I am, hit me with everything you have, I’m ready to take it and push back. That is true greatness, that is true bravery, that is who I want to be.

The song by the way is Am I Wrong? ~Love Spit Love

Happy Thanksgiving

Fall down seven times, get up eight. ~Japanese proverb

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So I was only 10% right, sue me!

I guess it’s true that inspiration is all around, you just have to open your eyes. Today I was sitting in a training room looking around at all the motivational posters on the wall. This type of poster more often than not annoys me, the only good thing about them is that it gives photoshoppers something to spoof online. Just for the record that type cracks me up. Any way back to the training room, so I was looking around and I see stuck on the wall a quote someone wrote on a piece of paper. This quote really got me thinking way more than any of the posters could.

Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. ~Irving Berlin

I’ve always believed that life is what you make it 100%, but I’m seeing the error in my ways thanks to Mr. Berlin. My belief takes a huge part of life out of the equation. I forgot about other people, and events that are beyond your control. You can control a lot of things, but there are going to be tragedies and accidents and numerous other things that you can’t control, that you just have to deal with. There are going to be people that make you feel bad, or irritate you, or that just don’t like you, and you can’t control or fix them, you have to just deal with them. That’s where the 10% comes in. How are you going to handle those situations, not how are you going to change those situations, but how are you going to deal with them.

I see life like driving on the interstate right outside of San Diego (you know the one I’m talking about Nikki), 10% of that drive is you making decisions behind the wheel. The other 90% is your car (flat tire, stalled engine), the other drivers (will they let you pass, will they flip you off, or cut you off), the road (pot holes, debris). You decide how fast you're going to drive, what lane you're going to be in, whether or not you have enough gas, but you can’t control that other 90%, you just have deal with it as it comes. How you deal with it determines what kind of mood you’re in when you reach your destination.

While looking for the person who said the above quote, I stumbled upon another really cool one, so I’ll end with that and let you make of it what you will.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. - Hilary Cooper

Monday, November 16, 2009

The American Dream

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “I’m living the dream!” Maybe you heard from your neighbor when you complimented them on their new car or your coworker when bonus checks got handed out. Whatever the case more than likely it was in reference to something material, probably of a high monetary value. Maybe it was used in sarcasm referring to the paycheck that is too small, or the job you don’t like. Even when used sarcastically it refers back to material wealth. That nice house in the suburbs, with the white picket fence, the dog in the yard playing with your two kids (one boy and one girl) that are about to be loaded into the family station wagon for little Jack’s baseball game and little Jill’s piano recital, isn’t that the American dream?

Here’s what I found when I looked up American dream online: "The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." This was written by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America in 1931. How about this statement: (tell me if it sounds familiar) All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." If you said Declaration of Independence you are correct.

The part in the passage of Mr. Truslow that stands out and spoke to me is “It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable.” The American dream to me is about living your life to the fullest, about living in a country where you are free to dream. It seems that for many the American dream means living beyond your means, out doing your neighbor, being jealous of others. Shouldn’t we be happy for each other, celebrate each other’s accomplishments, work hard and strive for what we want. It is after all the American dream not the American handout or the American right. Think about that line from the Declaration of Independence, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not guaranteed happiness, but the right to be happy.

I’m not sure what triggered this train of thought, and it very well could derail any minute. Reading back over this, I may be rambling. I just really feel that the majority of society has become greedy and ungrateful. My family and I used to live in Alaska, there is a government program there called the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend. The PFD is a check based off the oil revenues of the state. It is given to every resident of Alaska no matter your age. A family of five equals five checks, and so on. The amount ranges based on oil sales for the year, some years it would be over a thousand others it would be less. People would complain when it was small, and when I say small I never saw it drop below $800 the 12 years we were there. People complaining about free money (not exactly free, you have to pay taxes on it). Money that the work you have to do is send in your paperwork, you can even do it online. That’s just one example of what I’m talking about. Society is doing more complaining and tearing each other down, and worrying about what the other guy is doing, and not spending enough time being happy with what’s right in front of them. Our kids pick on each other for not having a $75 pair of shoes, or for not adhering to the latest fad, that is shoved down their throats in TV ads, movies, videos, and any other way the advertisers can get to them. At this rate things are only going to get worse. If that’s your idea of the American dream I know a couple of credit card companies that deal in making American dreams come true. (For a small fee)

I will not insult your intelligence by pretending that I never spent money that I shouldn’t have been spending. I have seen the dark side of this American dream, I know what living in debt and feeling like there is no escape is. I am 3-4 years away from being debt free, and I will do everything in power to stay debt free. My new American dream is to be happy with what I have and love those that I surround myself with. I don’t want any part of the American nightmare I see happening around me.

Take look around and be happy with something you see.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

All for one, and one for all

Were the three musketeers talking about God and religion? Probably not, but think about that statement for a moment. All for one and one for all, that’s a very powerful idea when applied to religion. All races, all religions, and all sexual preferences worshiping one God, and one God that created and loves all races, all religions, and people of all sexual preferences. All for one and one for all. Why is it so hard to believe that quite possibly there is one God that is the creator of everything and everyone. This one God is represented differently depending on the person or group of people that worship him (I mean no disrespect to women by using a masculine pronoun, it’s just for writing purposes). There is only one God, he is called God, Buddha, and Allah just to name a very few. This might be possible, but the Bible, the Koran, the ancient scrolls, and all those other written works tell us different. We are right back to who’s right, which of these was written by God? The answer to that is none of them, they are all translations of the word of God. The word of God translated by man, and in most cases the word of God translated by man, translated by man, and again translated by guess who…….yep, man. Who are these men? Can I get some credentials over here, what program did you use to spell check and what edition was that thesaurus, are you sure that was God talking to you, and not just a dream brought on my some fish that sat on the river bank a little too long? Ok, that last one might have been a little offensive, some of you may not even be reading this anymore, but I think those of you that are left get my point. I have no problem with people believing and worshiping however they want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, and I mean physically or emotionally. Don’t blow up a plane or an abortion clinic in the name of God, don’t stand on the street corner smiling while your kid holds a sign that says God hates gays. That’s all I ask, be respectful of all races, of all religions, and of people of all sexual preferences, that person you're judging was made by God, and that God you’re condemning, whether that be Buddha, Allah, Jesus, or any of the others, may very well be God. Do you really want to show up in the afterlife, and meet God with egg on your face, I would venture to say no, you probably don’t. All for one and one for all, I think the three musketeers were on to something there.

Have a good one and remember, somewhere out there, is a God who loves you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Would you like fries with that?

Would you like fries with that?

Would you like to see the dessert menu?

Paper or plastic?

May I help you out to your car with those groceries?

Everyone should recognize those questions, I’m sure within the last month you have heard at least one if not all of those.

What kind of moron can’t cook a steak?

How can you screw up such an easy order?

How can you charge such high prices?

How about those questions, any of them sound familiar? Maybe you’ve been asked them, maybe (in a moment of not thinking clearly, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt) you have asked them.

I’m going to share a theory with you that I have had for a long time. I think before a person graduates from high school they should have to work fast food, wait tables, be a cashier, and clean a toilet that does not belong to them. I have often thought that would make people nicer and perhaps make the world a little better. I have thought more and more about my theory and I believe it is flawed. I think most people probably had one or more of those jobs in high school. As a whole society has a short memory, thus the flaw in my theory. I propose that every single person should have to spend one month of every year working these jobs, and trying to manage a household on the income those jobs provide.

I will be the first to admit that it irritates me when my order is messed up, or my internet connection stops working, and any other number things go wrong. I just want people to think for a minute, that the person they are talking to is in fact a person. That’s right the people working these jobs are people just like you, they laugh, cry, and bleed just like you. When you ask that question “What kind of moron can’t cook a steak?” you are choosing to care more about a dead piece of meat, than a living breathing person. Pretty frickin’ sick if you ask me. More often than not the person you are abusing, bullying and basically being an ass to, had nothing to do with your problem. “How can you charge such high prices?” unless you are talking to the CEO, the manufacturer and the dude in Washington that sets the taxes, you’re asking a pretty stupid question. I’ll end with a story, it was told to me by a call center trainer. There was an employee who was great at his job, was happy and fun to work with. He had one regret, and that was not going to college. That was his button, we all have one, and some people like to find it and push it. He worked for the company for 3 years, and then one day a lady found and pushed his button. This customer told him he was stupid, told him he was working there because he could not do anything else. She also said that he would always work there and never amount to anything. He finished the call, got up, told his coworkers good bye, and left. I like to think he found another job and was fine, but I don’t know what happened to him. This lady chose a phone, an electronic device, an inanimate object over a fellow human being.

Be nice to people, and celebrate your small victories!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Get to know me.

I'll start off by letting you know that I have never blogged, kept a journal, diary, or anything else of that nature. I have always felt that if I had something to say I would tell whoever I wanted to and that was that. Recently I have felt like expressing my feelings, thoughts, and wonderings in a more creative and public way, so here I am. If I like the feel of this outlet I'll start adding gadgets and other blog page decorations (with the help of my wife), but in the mean time this all you get.

If you read my profile you have already seen some of this information, but I feel that I should elaborate. I am 37 years old, married and have one son. As I said in my profile my life is not perfect, but I have never and can safely and confidently say will never meet a man luckier than myself. My wife is a beautiful women (even more so than she thinks) and she is my very best friend. I know almost all married couples say they married their best friend, and I don't want to trivialize those relationships, but I do believe mine is special. I did not marry my best friend instead I married a gorgeous gal that I found funny, attractive, and loved with all my heart. She became my best friend after marriage, and now there isn't anything that makes me happy, sad, laugh, or cry that I don't want to share with her. There are men out there that define that as whipped, and to those men all I can say is take a long hard look at your relationship or lack of relationship and then compare it to mine, and the result is I WIN! The other piece of what makes me lucky is my son. He is a crazy tornado of creativity, strength, hormones, burps, and man stench. He is a stand up comic one moment and a struggling artist the next. He sends my wife and I barreling down the rollercoaster of puberty everyday, and I would not trade it for anything.

Maybe you read this and think, I bet he drives a piece of shit car, or think, Nobody is that happy with their life. Maybe I'm not giving you enough credit and you're thinking, Hey good for him. Whatever the case that's me, it took me a while to fully get here, but I like it. It's not about what you don't have, it's about what you do with what you do have. I named my blog small victories after a talk my wife and I had, and it is my new outlook on life. Anyone can celebrate a touchdown (excuse the sports medifore, I love football GO VIKES), but it takes work to celebrate small victories. I caught a redlight on my way to work today, but I got to listen to the end of one of my favorite songs that I would have missed if the light was green. That was pretty cool.

See ya