Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

From the Shelf

I’ve wanted to get back into writing lately, but don’t want to just babble about food and that seems to be consuming a bit of my life at this point. Alternatively, I checked out the pre-blog archives and decided to put  a couple of them out here for inspiration.

Dear Diary –
So we’re having this discussion in class the other night about discrimination and a girl starts giving her point of view. Don’t get me wrong, I believe she had the best of intentions, but she says “… I just look at a homeless person or someone in a mental hospital and think ‘in a flash something could happen and that could be me’… I could be the one on the other side.” In just that moment I realized how ingrained prejudice is in our society. 
You see, even in a most sincere thought, a line is drawn… the good side and the bad side… the normal and the damaged… us and them. We fight for acceptance, we compete for success, we compare ourselves to one another, and yet somehow we all view ourselves on the better side… whether it’s because we’re more financially successful or we have higher morals than those that are, we’re always on the better side.
There’s a fine line between empathy for the situation and pity for the person. When asked what he’d do if he had the chance to get out of his wheelchair and walk away, Murderball star and quad-rugby olympic athlete, Mark Zupan, said he wouldn’t take it. That response seems so shocking at first, but why? The wheelchair is part of his life and he loves his life! We should all be so proud of who we are and what we’ve become without judging others for not achieving the same.
One year I was asked to go back to my high school and be a guest speaker on Broadcasting for career day and I laughed. I was unemployed in my field and anything but a role-model. Honestly, I love the experiences I’ve had in my life, but I wouldn’t wish it on some poor, unsuspecting teen. But why not speak to them about making choices and not being afraid to take chances to find your way? I don’t know if I made an impact, not that you could ever quantify such a thing, but I’m glad I didn’t run away simply because I didn’t “measure up” to whatever imaginary scale I’ve designed in my mind.
I’d like to challenge everyone (including myself) to change the mindset; we’re all individuals. I know it sounds so simple, but how often are we told to view everyone the same? “Don’t treat anyone differently”… screw that! There is no normal, there is no perfection, and we are all striving to find happiness; the happiness may actually be found in our own individuality. Let’s celebrate it within ourselves as well as others! 

*soapbox dismounted* (by the way, Suki gave me a 4.3 on that dismount, but I refuse to acknowledge her judgment of me)

Hodge-Podge Blog

I took some time away from the daily grind last week to indulge the groupie in me and reminisce about being in the music ‘scene.’ A musician that I admire had a post offering free admission into a show for volunteers to help out on the current tour. Assuming it was to sell merch, I replied expressing my interest. Little did I know, they were more desperate for a “runner” (this is where I impress y’all with the lingo).

You see, when on tour, bands can’t exactly use the tour bus to drive around town and get to radio interviews, back and forth from the hotel to the venue, and/or out to eat. Rather than spend ridiculous amounts of money on car services or taxis at every stop, they utilize their street team and social media fan base to acquire free transportation… pretty savvy! So there I was, detailing my car, coming up with the perfect playlist, borrowing a GPS (just in case they stumped me), and even baking zucchini bread for the roadies, all in preparation and excitement to be designated chauffeur for a day.

Of course, 360 days out of the year a convertible low-rider is ideal transportation in Phoenix; this turned out not to be one of those days. A horrendous hail storm had the band arriving late, forced me to recover from a slight hydroplane incident, created a nightmare of roof leaks at the club, and caused a simple 2-minute drive from the venue to the hotel to become a 20-minute adventure down random side streets.

I think I saw genuine panic in the singer/songwriter’s face, questioning whether he had found himself in a kidnapping scenario (which I actually contemplated after he got his shower and smelled sooooooo good and we locked eyes and… WHEW, back to reality). Once he got the map on his iPhone working, his nerves dissipated and we bonded with some great 1-on-1 time. The entire band and crew were very gracious and really down to earth; I have enormous respect for these musicians, who even listened patiently to my babble about the quality of wines being produced in Arizona. Honestly, the free admission and cd of the performance were an unnecessary bonus by the end of the night.

On another note, I was providing a wine tour through the vineyards at Page Springs Cellars last week and I almost stepped on this retro-gem of a critter. Don’t let my picture fool you (had nothing to show scale), he was about the length of my index finger! Extensive Google mastery has identified him as a male Eastern Hercules Beetle (a type of Rhinoceros beetle); the largest beetle in North America and usually only found east of Texas?! Coincidence that the band I had driven around the previous day had come from Texas? It’s the little things that intrigue me, but he was darn pretty & scary at the same time.

Case of the Mondays

After a beautiful and relaxing weekend, I find myself with a case of the Mondays. Getting ready this morning, while gargling, my mouthwash forms a giant bubble that pops and splashes in my eye. “It burns, IT BURNS!!!!” As I’m floundering through the cabinet looking for eye drops, I can’t help but have a Fight Club moment:

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You’re the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. This is your life.”

I am Jack’s sense of restlessness.

Time to Reset Expectations

I stay out of political discussions and I’m not even going to comment on the immigration controversy, but lately I’ve made some observations about the Arizona police force that have raised questions about priorities. These observations are general in nature; I don’t wish to single out Scottsdale or Phoenix or Paradise Valley, but rather encourage everyone to do their part in resetting expectations of those that vow to “protect and serve.”

Observation #1: I’m on my way to work and a guy in the lane next to me is swaying between lanes while entering the freeway. After merging on at an incredulous 45 MPH, he leaves his left turn signal blinking while still straddling the lane lines. He continued along this pace with such erratic behavior that everyone around either slowed to keep their distance or sped past at least two lanes away. Not far ahead there was a friendly police office perched atop an overpass with his radar gun directed at everyone speeding by. Was there any effort made to pull over the hazardous driver that was likely to take out everyone in rush hour traffic? Absolutely not, collecting fines for speeding is much more important to the bottom line. 

Observation #2: I’m driving home and there are two cars pulled over in the carpool lane. By the looks of the drivers that were huddled by the concrete wall, they had either been in an accident or one was a disabled vehicle and the other was there to assist. As I passed by and thought “how dangerous to be stuck in the middle of a busy freeway during rush hour,” a cop drove by in the lane next to me. Again, any effort made to assist these stranded motorists? Not that I could tell.

Observation #3: Now this occurs all the time, but it just so happens all three of these observations were made within 3 days. As I’m chugging along on my way home I notice that traffic is moving surprisingly slow. I check all my mirrors and realize it’s because a cop is driving down the carpool lane with his lights on. Now I’m trying to remember if we’re required to pull to the side of the road and stop on an actual freeway, or is that just surface streets? I don’t hear a siren, but the lights are clearly flashing, I wonder who he’s pulling over? As everyone slows and gets out of his way for fear that they’re the next to get a ticket, the guy speeds right along and cuts across 3 lanes of traffic. Wow, there must be something going on, but why no siren? Oh wait, he finds his exit, shuts off his lights, and goes along on his merry way.

Now I’m not trying to bash our police force, I’ve known plenty of cops that have made incredible sacrifices. That being said, I feel these observations are a reflection on our society.  Perhaps we’ve become such a consumer-based culture that collecting funding through speeding tickets is more important than a possible safety risk. The well-being of our neighbor is clearly only their concern. An environment where nothing is wrong as long as we can get away with it. Perhaps it’s time to reset expectations, not only of our police force, but of ourselves.

Confessions of a Closet Cougar… er Serval.

Alright, I have to confess there’s a cute kid working at the corner market that I’ve been eyeing. By “kid”, I mean he’s probably in his early twenties. Trust me when I say he’s hot, taller than me (bonus!), always smiling, cracking jokes, and gives me suggestions on what to make for dinner practically every time I stop in. You tell me, he’s begging for a pounce, right? I swear it used to be me that got picked up in the produce aisle!

Man, I feel old… never thought I’d become a closet Cougar. But I suppose my qualification can be debated. One reference in Urban Dictionary mentions that Cougars are women ranging from 30-50 that are entering the dating scene “once again” and don’t want to be bothered with the usual dating games. That implies any women over 30 that find they want to sink their teeth into a younger man must be divorced, which I find to be a completely outdated point of view. There are a lot of us that have yet to even attempt to tie ourselves to a partner for eternity. That’s it, I’m reclassifying myself as a Serval.

The Serval is a smaller feline known for its long legs (*ahem*), big ears, and long neck. It goes after smaller prey and has a much higher success rate than most other cats, with no need for the attention-grabbing theatrics of a cougar. Servals also have much more interesting markings. They’re extremely intelligent and demonstrate remarkable problem-solving ability, making them notorious for getting into mischief, as well as easily outwitting their prey and eluding other predators. The Serval will often play with its capture for several minutes before consuming it, but will ferociously defend against attempted theft by others.

Our population is dwindling, however, due to men hunting us for our fur (*ahem*-squared).

E-Harmony Reality

I’m waiting to see the reality of the typical e-harmony couple, I just imagine the following:

She: Our first date was pretty boring.

He: E-Harmony matched us up based on all these factors of compatibility and we knew everything about each other before we even met. It was like I was on a date with myself.

She: So we went back to his place and slept together (which didn’t last very long either).

He: And low and behold, 2 months later she tracked me down to tell me about the baby.

She: So now we’re married with a beautiful family. We sleep in separate bedrooms, but we’ve got that white-picket fence we always wanted. And our moms are so happy to be grandmothers, huh?

He: Yeah… thanks e-Harmony.

On a separate note, has anyone seen the commercial for Shake Weight? Just take a gander…