Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"innocent question"??!?

sometimes in life it is the seemingly innocuous statements or questions that leave the most lasting impressions. I'm not talking about the thing I say that comes out wrong, and offends someone, lord knows I've had more than my share of those. No I'm speaking to the small thing that you wouldn't think would hammer someone so badly, but sticks in their heads and haunts their thoughts for weeks. I'm sure with my warped sense of humor that I am responsible for more than my fair share of those remarks to, so maybe it is just Karma that I should be so affected by the same thing these last few weeks.
what brings up this particular line of insanity you might ask, well here's the thing. I recently bumped into one of my old friends that I hadn't seen in quite some time. after talking to him for a while he asked me "Dude, what happened to you" on the surface this may not seem like a question that will alter your perception of your entire life, but depending on how it is said it could be an affirmation of a life turned around and lived to the benefit of all others, it could simply mean what have you been doing all these years, or in my case a condemnation of a lifetime of poor choices and unreached potential. then again maybe only a persons own perception of himself is how one would interpret the question. I still am not quite sure what response my friend was seeking, but I being the person I am deflected the question with a smart assed remark and moved the conversation on quickly. Yet I can't help thinking I missed an opportunity to really connect with a staunch friend of my youth, for the conversation quickly turned to mundane superficial nonsense from there and we both went our separate ways.
should I have asked what he meant by the question? Would I even want to hear the brutal assessment of my failure as a human from my good friend, and was he still enough of a friend to even tell me the unvarnished truth as he saw it? Is it better not to have put him on the spot like that, or would that have cemented again the friendship that we both once shared. Perhaps it was a harmless question and my neurotic introspection would have convinced him it would be nice not to see me again for another twenty years. At this point I guess I will never know. The only thing this has convinced me is, if a seemingly harmless question from an acquaintance you haven't seen in twenty years can cause you this much distress, you are not where you need to be in life. I remain as always a work in "progress"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things I think about on a long climb.

I am as old as I will ever be.
Yet I am as young as I want to be.
I am as cautious as I need to be.
Yet I am as reckless as I desire.
I attack life's obstacles with an arrogant grin.
Yet I overcome them with humility.
I live my life with a singular focus.
Yet I enjoy every small moment along the way.
I have brought pain and misery to others.
Yet it was all for the greater good.
I offend others with my careless lack of tact.
Yet I care deeply for those I hold dear.
I am an island alone in this sea of humanity.
Yet I am nothing without my loved ones.
I am the center of my own universe.
Yet I value others much more than I.
I attack my pedals with unbridled rage.
Yet this to me is joy.
I suffer mightily up every climb.
Yet there is nowhere I would rather be.
I am the picture of contradiction.
Yet I am defined by my actions.

I am the cyclist.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sake wisdom?

At different times in my life, I have found that I possess a certain amount of moral ambiguity. That is to say, I have been flexible enough with the standards that should be the very core of your being, to do what was necessary to survive and sometimes even thrive in less than ideal conditions. This has had certain negative consequences in my life for sure, but life is a balancing act, and sometimes you have to play the "cards" you're dealt and deal with the cost after the fact. On the whole I have been willing to embrace my failings in life and pay the price for my many shortcomings, yet every now and then a situation presents itself that makes me wonder how much I have given up and how far gone I am.
For instance, my very considerate neighbor in one of the adjoining buildings recently got a puppy. All baby animals need some amount of training, nurturing, and patience to become the "valued members of our families" that they will one day be. I understand and accept that my neighbor's puppy will have "growing pains" and sometimes I will have to deal with them, as I am within barking, pooping, and peeing on my tires range of said animal. yet after four days of this animal being left out on the neighbor's balcony to shriek (and that is the only word for what this animal does) in misery, the first thought that popped into my head was: "if you're not going to care for the animal why don't you just euthanize the damn thing". I happen to like animals ,so the fact that I skipped right over all of the, you need to care for your animal better, thoughts and went immediately to the, you need to get rid of that thing, thoughts is rather disturbing to me. I mean I'm no P.E.T.A., bleeding heart, don't eat cows, activist, but I'd like to think I'm a decent man, yet there I was wishing ill upon a poor helpless, lonely animal whose only fault was to be upset over it's predicament, and rightfully so I might add. Does the fact that I went right to thoughts of euthanizing mean that I have slipped way farther than I had hoped? Or perhaps all I can do is hope that the fact that I can take a step back from the situation, albeit a day later, and look at it from a different point of view means my moral compass isn't to f^#ked up. Well life's answers aren't always black and white, so maybe I'll find what I'm looking for at the bottom of this blue bottle of Sake. So tilt those glasses back kids, and here's hoping a poor sinner hasn't sunk to far!

Monday, January 25, 2010

sour grapes?

Hello children, as some if not all of you know, I a rabid sports fan. I am a: game attending, at my T.V. yelling, sports paraphernalia purchasing, stats researching, (insert color of my favorite team from whichever sport I am watching at the time) blooded sports fan, but I have been struggling with my sudden aversion to what used to be one of the three major U.S. sports, since sometime last year. yesterday my favorite football team the New York Jets lost in the conference finals, and I was filled with mixed emotions. I wanted desperately for them to succeed, and when it ended I was naturally a little despondent. yet at the same time I felt immense pride for the amazing season they had, the type of men they seem to be (no arrests, lots of local charity work, and at least in the public eye decent humans), the manner with which they represented/acknowledged their loyal fan base (me), and am eagerly awaiting what I fervently hope they will achieve in the future.
unfortunately this is the exact opposite of the feeling I was left with after the last hockey season. The blatant disregard for anything resembling fair, and un-biased refereeing was shocking, disappointing, and left me honestly feeling cheated for my support over all the years. to think that a major sport would influence the outcome of a series final so that their young and upcoming superstar "poster boy of the league" could win was stunning to me. since then some people have accused me of having sour grapes, and/or being a sore loser. they have insinuated that I saw only what I wanted to, and maybe my view of things is distorted by my love for my team. I had no concept of how to explain myself other than to point out the fact that I had previously watched my favorite hockey team lose in the playoffs, and even the finals but never in my life had I felt this way. I also pointed to the fact that I watched the finals with a good friend who supports a different team then I do, matter of fact he supports one of my team's most bitter rivals, and he saw exactly what I did. He found himself in a unique position last year, normally he revels in the fact that my team gets eliminated but this year even he had to say "sorry dude you got jobbed". still is this sufficient reason to write off a sport I have been an avid fan of for going on twenty years?this recent defeat for my football team, seems to have crystallised things in my mind a little bit.
I have often been asked why I am so "passionate" about sports in general, and this plays directly into why I am so disappointed in the NHL. in sports we see a little slice of life. there is drama, suspense, heroes, villains, professionalism, respect, glory, humility, suffering, and yes defeat is also a part of the equation. these are the things every human deals with on some scale in every day of their life, just try driving down a So-Cal freeway, and while I will never be connected to something on so grand a scale as playing for a football championship, I can't help but feel connected on some small level when a man who played two games with a broken hand and is on the verge of tears from losing what may be his last best shot at winning the big game, takes the time to talk to the media and thank all of us who supported his team this year and say how much that support from us have meant to him. I also can't be bitter when I can see the effort with which these men strove to reach their goal. there were missed calls for sure, no referee can be perfect all the time, but both teams went out on the field and gave it their all, with heart and courage and these men left all discussion and doubt about who was the better team this night behind, and I applaud them. this simple graceful gesture, one heartfelt thank you to the fans, binds us to him and the team we love, and at the same time gives us something to bind our families and friends together. for how many relationships between fathers and sons, brothers and sisters, or even long lost friends are rekindled, repaired or expanded through the simple act of going to a game or sitting in the same room to watch one? sometimes the truth in your own life is easier to find. while sharing a tough moment like this, for your mutual team, you may find the forgiveness in your heart for past transgressions of your loved ones, or in sharing the joy of victory you may look around and finally come to the realize how much you truly do value the family and friends you have chosen to surround yourself with. Sports may be on a much larger scale than any of us, like the world cup when it's country vs country, yet at it's core are you and I watching the games. they may provide an entire country "bragging rights" for four years, but it's real value is to the man who shares a moment with his wayward son over a game and possibly re-starts a relationship that was at one time thought lost.
this then is the core of the disappointment that I feel over last years hockey finals. these moments can't be manufactured. they aren't something that you can decide would be better if you had the right person to market your league. and the men who give us these moments deserve better, I know they are out there earning paychecks and fighting to win themselves a championship, but the first thing they do when they are victorious is acknowledge their family, friends, and fans who supported them. they connect with us on some level and through them we connect with others. To me it was summed up succinctly by a writer for "the new york times?" who wrote something to the effect of "this morning all jets fans will wake up and count the seconds until game time, that is if they could sleep at all. I will go and get my favorite jets hat and meet my father. I will sit with him and explain how much he would have loved this coach and how proud he would have been of this team, then I will leave the hat on his headstone and go to the game." the NHL may see it's sport as a business and that is their right, but these small moments are bigger then all of their giant championship moments, and they should be ashamed for forgetting that. I may watch hockey in the future, but I will never be as connected as I was, and it will never move a lot of us the way it once did.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

klaatu, verata, ..... nuhuahuahua

OK what the hell is going on here. the original bargain was: the west coast took the earthquakes and the mid-west took the damn tornadoes. yet today in Ventura county there was a frickin tornado reported. Maybe it was the media sensationalizing a good brisk wind I thought. I mean night after night they send six people at a time to go out and stand in the rain to explain to me what rain is and how dangerous the situation is like it's this brand new idea. the problem is there were multiple witnesses. I know, I know, the people the "news" find to put on their broadcasts are not usually the most reliable cats in the world. nothing against that feller with three teeth in riverside who explains he likes to stay in the park and use the drinking fountain when it's hot, but I'm not sure he's the fountain of information that I want to fill my cup from. these witnesses seemed almost credible though, they spoke clearly, were able to enunciate words, and most importantly had all their teeth! Now, we are veering off on that particular tangent right now, but I promise an issue as important as " the tooth to brain cell ratio " will be addressed in the future. back to the topic, I reached for the remote to change the channel in complete disdain of witness testimony ( even as credible as it seemed ) when they started showing pictures of physical evidence of a tornado. this wasn't the average " 2 inch thick branch sitting in the middle of the road ", this was a ginormous tree uprooted lifted and smashed down on a car. this tree was so big you almost had to take their word that a car was under it. I realize that the credit crunch is terrible and mortgages are defaulted on left and right. this naturally leads to more people living in sub-standard housing, and by that I mean trailer parks, but regardless of the amount of tornado magnets we group together in this state, the deal is the deal. I hope whoever is responsible for this egregious error in judgement will hold to the deal in the future. earthquakes = west coast, tornadoes = mid-west do the math and lets get it right from here on out. thank you, the management.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Alright, I've heard a lot of crazy shit in my time, but this one is fantastic. for many years now I have firmly asserted that all soldiers do one of three things during their term of service: they " find god ", get married, or start drinking and smoking. sometimes they do a combination of the three but always at least one. this is due to any number of reasons which I will not go into right now as they are not the topic of this particular rant. no what this is about, is the article I just saw that states the company Trijicon is stamping the codes of particular bible verses on the sights that they are selling to the military to send into battle.
Am I the only one who finds this idea hypocritical, hilarious, and kind of sad at the same time? I mean first off even the military grants you the right to chose your own religion to stamp on your dog tags ( although they refuse to let me put atheist ), and even if you do choose some particular denomination you generally aren't asking for god's help to smite your enemy. most of the time people are looking for some sort of protection, absolution, or just plain something greater to believe in. they want to believe the crazy shit they have to do and the insanity that they are dropped smack dab in the middle of have some greater meaning or purpose.
especially in these times with this sort of war against this sort of religious fervor is this the message we want to send? who gives some self righteous prick the right to put something that potentially inflammatory on a soldier's rifle? should they be put further into harms way based on some douche bag who is safe back in the states opinions/beliefs? what if they are captured? already the outlook is not good for anyone who falls into the hands of these zealots, do they really need any more encouragement to do something terrible to these kids who are just over there doing their jobs? agree with the "mission" or not this is an egregious error in judgement. the government goes out of it's way to supposedly separate religion from the state, yet this is allowed to slide? now this chuckle head who own the company says it's within his rights to stamp what he wants on his product and there is nothing illegal about what he is doing, and I agree. it's also the right of the government to pull his contract and award it to someone that to paraphrase the old saying "god gave the sense to come in out of the rain". it is every one's right to have whatever faith they desire, until you put others in harms way, then I propose if you really are so pious you should evaluate they situation and exercise a little restraint. your beliefs are not worth the lives of those who protect every one's right to believe whatever they choose. we live in an amazing country where you are free to espouse whatever nonsense you desire, and those men and women insure that you keep that right, shouldn't we as a people go out of our way to protect them as much as we can? once again, the war being right or wrong in your opinion is not what's important, the lives of the soldiers who have no choice whether or not to be there is, and your personal beliefs do not give you the right to endanger them further.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

great ad campaign?

Ok so I just saw an add for Subway sandwiches, and I was stunned by the innuendo. The commercial in question had Michael Phelps as the "spokesperson" which in and of itself is not that surprising. the thing that really caught my eye though was the fact that the commercial was for the new subway "baked" sandwiches. given his recent history is this the campaign you want to throw him into? do they not realize that the term baked is also associated with a certain illegal activity that he was photographed participating in? or are they counting on the fact that it will generate a little buzz just from the " are you freaking kidding me " factor? either way I found the whole situation quite entertaining. now if you will excuse me I have the munchies and am heading right out to the nearest Subway sandwich store.

Friday, January 15, 2010

it all makes sense now

I just figured it out. I was playing farmville ( I know, I kinda want to kick my own ass to ), when it struck me. the reason all cops have great big bushy mustaches is because they fertilize them. I'm sure if any of us spent that much time with our heads planted firmly up our asses we could grow them to! that's right kids, I'm making the world a better place by solving one of life's questions at a time. thank you and good night.

Monday, January 11, 2010

it's a jungle out there

why, you might ask of me, do you have such an aversion to the members of the "law enforcement" community? you might then point out how hard their job is, and how dangerous, or maybe play the "they deal with dirty lying scumbag criminals all day every day" card so cut them some slack. all of which is probably true, yet still I have no love for them. I'm not hanging on to a twenty year old grudge from when the same two ignorant racist fuckhead cops used to pull me over and make me sit handcuffed on the curb every day for two weeks straight as I drove from my job ( making me a productive member of society ) to my junior college classes ( trying to better myself, thus benefiting society again ), at least not much. I take pride in the fact that I give each person I meet the chance to be a man like any other, not judging by fashion, hair, race, or education. Yet there is one group of "people" that I can't seem to give that benefit.
ask yourself this. have you ever had a positive experience with a cop? outside of charities, benefits, or other P.R. stunts. can you get them to show up when you call, or are you always in someone Else's doughnut shop... I mean district. and on the off chance you can force them to show up, can you get them to do anything but try and start trouble for you? I mean really, it's my fault for turning someone to a life of crime by accidentally leaving a dollar bill on my seat after going through a drive through? I deserve to get lectured and reprimanded for my thoughtless oversight, while you stand there and tell me nothing can be done about it? god forbid you get on your radio for two seconds and check to see if there were a rash of break ins in the neighborhood, or maybe some punk kids were caught vandalizing cars and hold them accountable for my broken window, no by all means give me shit for almost a half an hour about what I did wrong to cause this, as if you were going to be doing some important life changing police work that was going to change the world but I ruined it by asking for my car to be broken into.
then there's the a-hole who sees me drive through my suburban neighborhood with what he assumes is a bandanna holding back my long hair. you know the one, he follows you until he can come up with some bullshit excuse to pull you over, or better yet, when you pull over at your destination, blocks your car turns on his lights and yells at you over his P.A. to remain in the car ( which your neighbors love ) only when he reaches your window and discovers it is not a bandanna and you are not some gang banging thug, his attitude change a little. he relaxes a little bit, but decides what the hell, he already took the time and energy to pull me over, he may as well fuck with me a bit, problem is I haven't done anything, not even some minor traffic violation. then out comes his get out of jail free card, and I quote " you match the description of someone in the area doing ( you fill in the blank here, these are always creative and different)". now this may not mean much for anyone reading this who doesn't know me, but for those who do, you'll know I don't much match the description of anyone on the freaking planet.
here's the thing, these clowns have minimal training, yet can wreak maximum carnage on your life for no other reason then they are having a bad day and don't much like how you look. yet they are never held accountable because if you go to court to say some redneck cop broke your taillight on your truck and told you to turn around and leave his city or you will be cited and possibly held, the judge gives their testimony more credit than yours because he is a trusted public servant, and he doesn't much care for how you look either. these maniacs cry about the dangerous gangs in the city, but in my personal experience the gang I have had the most trouble with in my life is them. so there it is, I'm sure there are some cops out there trying to make the world a better place, but most of them that I have met are rude, abusive, judgmental, little dictators who are trying to rule their cozy little piece of the world with an iron fist. I do truly hope to meet one that will change my attitude one day, but until then, I hope not to "meet" any at all. end of rant, peace!

haiku for today

the measure of man
is not the length of his hair
piss off L. A. cop