Saturday, January 30, 2010

Islands of Adventure


Making a hurried decision with a close friend from south Florida, we agreed to visit Universal Studios Islands of Adventure yesterday. I lobbied for Disneyworld because I assumed the attractions would be less intense for my oversensitive stomach. So to be fair, we flipped a coin - two out of three with the winner selecting their theme park of choice to ultimately decide where to go.

And as I've already spoiled, I lost. Plus, I would've felt a tad underwhelmed as most of the photos on the web site declared Disneyworld was 'pre-school ready.' Unfit for a macho man like myself.

It wasn't much of a loss. Intimidated as I was when tepidly waiting in line (meaning was dragged kicking and screaming), afterward I felt relieved and proud for bucking up. Ever since I was a little boy I got motion sickness. Whether it was on a carousel, boat, plane or car, my parents brought plastic bags for me to empty my insides. Or pulled the car over at every other off ramp.

Fortunately, I outgrew much of the sickness by now, but not all, last year I threw up in the ocean after being rocked around by the current. While swimming.

I believe the sickness correlates with an imbalance I have through my nose and ears. In fact, the steroid I took to clear up the pollops in my nose when I was 18 resulted in my ACL and meniscus tear. One prominent side effect is loss of balance. My entire life I've always felt semi-congested and my hearing diminishes accordingly. Some sort of equilibrium problem.

Anyway, the rides were magnificent. Especially the ones by Dr. Seuss (where I gravitated toward). She was anxious to ride Jurassic Park, Spiderman and The Incredible Hulk. I was comfortable with One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I even posed with the Grinch *who burped in her face and the Cat in the Hat. For those Harry Potter fans, the park is constructing a replica of the castle ride to be completed in the next couple weeks.

It was gorgeous weather and a nice reward after a productive week recruiting in Jacksonville and Orlando. Up next is Tallahassee and Gainesville. The swamp land. Thankful to be missing the snow in D.C!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Immediate Reaction to The State of The Union...


Listening to President Obama's address to the nation is like watching a two-faced jester or a person diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. This speech was a disaster. It failed to energize and revive an ailing base and irritated the opposition just enough to continue the obstruction in Congress. The American public is left empty, with the fading memory of, 'yes we can,' chants indistinctly evaporating. The partisan rancor that's strangled progress will continue.


I'm curious if the punditry will elucidate his blatant hypocritical pattern throughout the speech. Paragraphs contradicted themselves. He wants an end to partisan stalemate, yet acknowledges it's the fabric of our democracy. He desires an end to name calling and score keeping as he levels cheap (and valid) shots at the GOP. He's neither serious nor funny as his demeanor wavered like his policies. He made jokes at inopportune times (right before a story about denied health coverage??) It seemed as if his speechwriters were as divided as this nation and the monologue reflected it precisely. Sure, he summed up the zeitgeist, but wasn't he supposed to mollify and fix it?


The goal of an effective speaker is to purvey confidence and speak with conviction and clarity. For a failing President who desperately needed a home run he more than came up short when all he produced was a foul ball.


Instead of pacifying the disenchanted left and recognizing the right has absolutely no desire to pass legislation (in fact will go through great lengths to stymie it) he modified his positions yet again. No cuts in military spending. Line by line vetoing of federal programs. Off shore drilling. "Clean" coal and nuclear technology proliferation. Tax cuts for big businesses. Ad infinitum.


The sporadic applause he received was obligatory and probably more so the Republicans could fidget due to the elongated length. I had to do some push ups myself just to stay awake.


The remainder of the speech seemed to be typical platidunial "we're gonna fix everything in the next 5 years" rhetoric. Yawn.


One element of his speech resonated with me. Sometimes you don't do the popular thing, you do the right thing. And by reaching into his sagging charismatic bag of tricks to placate everyone he lost everyone. He did the popular thing and he lost big time.


Overall Grade: D


Let's see what the talking heads have to say tomorrow...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Standard Protocol


The current pulse in political circles trends toward a fairly typical declaration. We're all fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Save for the wingnut right and the union steeped left, it's incredible to here your ordinary politico deviate from this description. And why not? It's safe, it sounds reasonable, and is espoused by members of both parties. Want proof? Ask any of your friends how they'd describe themselves politically.


Moderate Republicans never shy from their 'conservative economic principles' even when running in Democratic districts. And Democrats capitulate under the spotlight when asked directly whether they support integrative economies, low taxes and reduced spending when running in more Republican dominated areas.


So why has this answer become so mundane and uniform?


According to a new book I'm reading, "Not a Conspiracy Theory - How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy" by Donald Gutstein we're all ignorantly treading the current in a wave pool designed by media outlets, think tanks and corporations. Through repetitive dogma, we've been brainwashed to adhere to fiscal conservatism because it's analogous with low taxes, reduced deficits, and job creation.


However, two of those are patently false and low taxes sounds great in theory until you realize what you don't pay for, you don't get.


Higher taxes correlates with social programs, street improvements, education funding, better police and fire departments, and greater security. Cut out taxes due to personal distaste; don't complain about diminishing infrastructure, no health care, or atrocious public education. You get what you put in (generally). I'm not suggesting that taxes are great and they're always allocated properly (in fact, I'm a vociferous critic of military expenditures), though I'm a proponent of social programs and welfare, and would prefer to pay more to get more than pay less to get less.


But tax is just a sliver in the pie of fiscal conservatism.


Fiscal conservatism implies transnational corporations, deregulation, free trade and incentives for big business. After accruing millions upon millions of dollars, CEO's, politicians and other elite businessmen and women and economists, devised a scheme to sell the public a mantra they could bite into without revulsion, but that was counterintuitive to a vast majority. They produced catchy soundbites promoting democracy with "free" trade and lower taxes so companies would hire more employees.


While most citizens and even political scientists have a cursory knowledge of the results of free trade and lower corporate tax cuts, the proof is in the pudding. After 20 years of Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush laissez-faire economics, we're enduring a calamity that is despicable for a country as wealthy as the United States. The disparity between rich and poor has exponentially increased. Wages are stagnant, jobs are lost, Wall Street is bailed out by taxpayers then continues it's barrage of 'we know what we're doing now stay away' proclamations.


Our infrastructure is literally crumbling, schools are closing, our children don't have universal health insurance, social security is in jeapordy and meanwhile we're duped into believeing tax cuts for the wealthy should be continued. If it strikes you as odd that you consider yourself fiscally conservative after the abundance of evidence disproving that ideology, you may want to pick yourself up a new book.
Much more to come on this subject.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Week to Forget


It can be classified as a perfect storm, a disaster. Anyone with liberal predilections will be hard pressed not to feel dejected and irritated. Allow me to recap: First, the most liberal state in the union elected a Republican to replace Ted Kennedy's vacant Senate seat. This election is nothing shy of despicable and disrespectful to the memory of a man who dedicated his entire life to promoting health care coverage, serving the people of Massachusetts. Now the seat is occupied by auctioneer, Scott Brown who vows to be the deciding vote against health care (as President Obama absurdly responded by congratulating him and offering a basketball game).

Next, our democracy endured a ruinous attack that creates much more damage than any terrorist attack could produce. The conservative bloc in the Supreme Court overturned 90 years of unanimous precedent to currently allow corporations to funnel innumerable contributions directly to political campaigns.

What does this mean?

Basically a full-fledged corporatocracy without the bureaucratic hurdles previously implemented to prevent the conglomerates from directly sabotaging or purchasing politicians. Money buys seats in politics, and corporations can savagely salivate over the red meat thrown from the disingenuous and inconsistent decisions formulated by the toady justices (these justices role is to preserve our democracy I may add). This reversal causes more than a ripple, it's a tidal wave that will alter the landscape at an opportune time for the GOP nonetheless.

And this morning I learned Air America, which I tuned in daily while enrolled in junior college in Phoenix, is filing for bankruptcy. Who's ready for the weekend?

What to make of this populist revolt? As President Obama's approval ratings continue to plunge, democrats scramble to find a cohesive message moving forward. And, being that it's the Democratic party and not the provincially square GOP, consensus is elusive and therefore moving forward is about as likely as health care passage (too soon to josh, I know).

The populist anger is coming from entirely different spheres so it's difficult to decipher. Democrats are angry with Obama's lackadaisical leadership and the moderation and diluted legislation proposed. He's too bipartisan. Too slow to react. Too willing to compromise.

This is a form of populist anger.

Republicans view the recent news as a referendum on tax and spend policies from the Democrats. The GOP believe the citizens are revolting and don't want to reform the health care insurance industry. Slow down they say. Too socialistic they proclaim. Obamacare will ruin our economy they exclaim.

Another form of populist anger.

Independents are dazed and confused. Influenced by media demagogues and cliches, these folks are somewhere between - angry they don't have jobs, dissatisfied with neighborhood foreclosures (perhaps their own), or retaliating stupidly against blue dogs for stymieing this process, or unmotivated to vote due to lackluster results thus far from a liberal administration.

Yet another variation of populist anger.

Pick your poison, everyone is upset, but for more reasons than there are congressmen. How will Obama and his cabinet respond? With even more patience and dialogue, or by moderating their previously moderated stances?

As a gloomy cloud descends upon the city, I'm anxious to begin my recruiting trip in Florida for two weeks beginning Sunday. I'm as outraged as anyone, here's hoping the mess subsides before I return.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Back to Good

What was what's not and nothing to gain,
Wounds too severe to eliminate the pain,
What causes a divide that cannot be healed?,
Not a single event - it's repeated ordeal,

Respect cultivated through frequent interaction,
Culminates in a process reducing whole to fraction,
Can you name a relationship immune to this notion?,
Impossible I declare, if not it's approaching,

Our niches we admire are now admonished,
The role reversal leaves both parties astonished,
He once was honest and now he isn't,
She once was kind and now she's wicked,

Nostalgia induces a false sense of harmony,
Once passed a few hurdles it's loves grand irony,
To be in love is something temporary,
Try to prepare, but it's ineluctably dreary,

Harbored insults seep under our skin,
Harden our feelings, resentment grows thick,
A level of comfort envelopes like a blanket,
Taking for granted instead of saying thank ya,

I challenge the paradigm that tells us to want,
Monogamy, longevity, a house on a lot,
We're all witnesses to this failed institution,
It's not pessimism, it's objective deducing,

Apologies when accepted, work like a band-aid,
Rarely holistically healing unstable frames,
At what point is it best to resign the status?,
When reconciling is futile and rigidity is standard,

Our deviance from moral rectitude,
Produces a two-faced person we eschew,
Innocent dalliance winks nearby unfettered,
What would you choose, when pulling the lever?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Movie Review "Broken Embraces"


Penelope Cruz is a magnificent actor. Her skin is refulgent, her smile cools your eyes; when she cries you weep. Her confidence is almost overdrawn except that she exudes a disarming glimmer of fragility that makes her utterly human. She is no typical human though, the mere appearance of her on camera draws your attention like a scorpion to a black light.

And her stinger is constantly alert, as if she's ready to drop you desultorily and devour her next prey.

Pedro Almodovar directs, "Broken Embraces," a tale within a tale of lust, obsession, deception, revenge, and reconciliation. Almodovar is an acclaimed name in independent films, recently producing "Bad Education," "Volver," and "All About my Mother." He develops his characters perspicaciously, rarely needing the 'token reporter' scene filling in the missing links. The characters evolve naturally within the story line, not voiced over via narrator.

"Broken Embraces" begins with a steamy sex scene that lures the audience into the complex philandering of the male protagonist (writer/director). However, it isn't long until Cruz steals the show and the film transitions midway through with her as the focal point. The story channels the lives of a testosterone filled director whose film is financed through the elder boyfriend - urbane, wealthy, with an unhealthy serving of possessiveness - of his female lead, Cruz.

Pieces of the puzzle are filled through the exceptional use of flashback, altering between the present and the past production of the film. Cruz's boyfriend and producer mandates his hilariously creepy son to document the process so he can maniacally transcribe every word she utters after each day's session through a professional lip-reader. The producer becomes so uncontrollably possessive, he sabotages his relationship with Cruz, accentuating her feelings for the director leading her evermore into his arms.

Ultimately, the producer discovers the clandestine affair between Cruz and the director and uses more draconian measures for revenge (intentionally vague so as not to spoil). The few unknown gaps are resolved in a melancholy birthday celebration, where guilty consciences prevail induced by ample gin and less tonic. There is a sense of relief as the movie ends, however it's not entirely uplifting.

Almodovar incorporates humor through the sheer appearance of the exaggerated outcast son and witty banter generously spliced in the scenes to mitigate the tension. The film lulls for a moment before grabbing your attention again for the finale. Casting for this film is phenomenal as each actor portrays their role in an unforced and poignant manner. Just as in the real world, no one gets off clean as karma and consequence remind us the ramifications of our actions.

I highly recommend this film, check it out...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Riddle


My chest is shaved, my talk is trashed,
I'm friends with the needle in my ass,
The boardwalk is where I flaunt my guns,
My ballooned arms signal obscenely dumb,

Getting girls is what I do,
Bimbo's, sluts, whoever is lewd,
More goes atop my head than inside,
Shore enuff' will be washed up in 5...

Who am I??? (You'll need pop culture for this)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Eating Animals


The lifestyle of vegetarianism is an essential element for living an ethical life. To indulge in eating meat and other dairy products is to stand complicit in environmental destruction, rampant inhumane treatment of animals, increased and more lethal influenza viruses, personal health sabotage, exploitation of workers, property devalue, the starvation of many 3rd world communities, the extinction to hundreds of species and countless more devastating cycles. Vegetarians must be chary to avoid alienating potential converts and with a dose of that in mind, I will continue my desire to push my readers toward that direction (if not converts already).

My intent is to remain less judgmental and critical than expository and informative. To think that one or two measly posts encapsulates the severity of the issue would be negligent. Therefore, I hope that my continued quest to educate myself of the 21st century factory farm will lead you to a similar resolution (without discouraging your continued readership). I do not expect moral uniformity, any objections are encouraged.

In Jonathan Foer's book, "Eating Animals" (full book review to come) he elucidates the inherent problems resulting from factory farming and expounds where Michael Pollan avoids into the ethical implications of our selection of food. Each chapter is loaded with bloated statistics and intriguing interviews from actual slaughterers to PETA employees to the last remaining poultry farmer. Many sections deserve a second read to fully appreciate the research and uncommon concepts explored.

Today, I will focus on a lesser known capitalistic enterprise yet equally morally repugnant - aquaculture. Aquaculture is the term implying the raising of sea animals in confinement. Initially, I was reluctant to read this chapter as I apologetically gorge on sushi platters occasionally. Though I'm increasingly believing those days are numbered.

Most of the salmon consumed by Americans come from factory farmed fish. Salmon rearing is profitable and includes problems such as; cannibalization, psychological stresses, profuse sea lice, and a 10-30% death rate of the fish. In short, if you viewed the conditions these fish inure during their lives, you'd likely vomit. Many fish swim practically faceless from erosion caused by indomitable sea lice. Our gustatory preference promotes a system where a 2.5 foot salmon spends its unnatural life in the equivalent of a bathtub (with bleeding eyes from the polluted water).

What's more?

A couple other 'wildlife' fish, namely tuna and shrimp are slaughtered in more wasteful fashion. "...roughly 4.5 million sea animals are killed as bycatch in longline fishing every year, including roughly 3.3 million sharks, 1 million marlins, 60,000 sea turtles, 75,000 albatross and 20,000 dolphins and whales," from Eating Animals. And if those numbers seems to big to fathom, try these, trawling operations throw back 80 to 90 percent of sea animals (all dead) and a few, as many as 98 percent.

Yes, that was 98%!!! Can you imagine the sheer volume to make a venture like this profitable?

Tuna are literally ripped apart by the purse seines fishing. The few who survive will have their gills slit while conscious and thrown onto ice where they will tortuously twitch and suffocate to death.

Really makes you crave a California Roll, eh?

What's bothersome about my research is not solely that people continue to eat fish. Most are blissfully unaware (as I have been until recently) about where our sushi comes from. But it's the incessant avoidance and the flimsy justification for this outrageous choice of dining that can so easily be avoided, that blows my mind. With each purchase, we contribute to the collapse of ecosystems, depletion of wild fish and unfathomable suffering. At the end of the day, does your craving outweigh the monumental ethical and environmental ramifications?

If so, what's the response other than plainly, yes?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Selectively Critical


One of the most fascinating attributes and a personal pet peeve is how selectively critical some folks are. For example, they're outraged at 'illegal' immigrants for supposedly not paying taxes and stealing jobs from hard working Americans.

When in reality most 'illegal' immigrants work remedial, blue-collar factory jobs or construction with no benefits, or in factory farms butchering the animals to provide us with cheap chicken for dinner. These metiers are often dangerous, dead end and barely provide enough money for these exploited immigrants to send home to their families. Oh, and if they 'paid taxes' as in income tax, they'd actually get money back from the government (assuming amnesty) based on their abysmal wages. In actuality, these people have no job protection, no voting rights, no health benefits and pay taxes with every purchase they make.

Talk about a bum deal.

The immigrants are just an anecdote, a scapegoat. Instead of channeling outrage toward the financial industry and the suit and tie charade, which is cloaked in complex statistics and concepts designed to convolute - realistically hardly more than runaway gambling - they're angry at taxes or immigrants. Instead of disgust with insurance companies for fraudulent behavior or our defense department for the onerous cloud they shape abroad, we're mad at Tiger Woods' infidelity or dismissing the global warming issue as farcical due to intermittent cold fronts.

I adhere to the adage: If you're not outraged you're not paying attention. But I try to focus on the culprits more than deflecting blame ignorantly.

This behavior transfers over to personal interactions. Many people tease for various issues, but take offense when the act is reciprocated. They're selectively angered at certain 'sensitive points' meanwhile dismissing preceding complimentary statements and leveling similar jokes at others expense. Instead of examining the entirety of a meeting, they keep score and take offense at select points.

The contiguous property these share is an inability to deduce who the bad guys are. It's ridiculous to gull yourself into misplacing justified outrage. And it's similarly obscene to criticize behavior you indulge in personally. Be critical and analytical, but beware selectivity.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Maniacal Behavior


Ever wonder what compels folks to fly off the handle? In a big city, it's quotidian and expected. The sheer quantity of people results in a select few unfit to gracefully seize the day. Like the vagrants conversing with imaginary friends to boisterous fits of impatience in line for a metro card, some are humorous, while others, frankly pathetic.

And then, a time comes where you're the focal point of someone else's tirade. And then it's not so fun.

Case in point, I briskly crossed the street about 30 feet in front of the intersection during a red light. About 10 cars in 3 lanes were already stopped and others were slowly piling up behind. I waved to the drivers as they yielded accordingly, until I hear an obscenely loud and elongated honk.

I turn to face the irate SUV driver and it's a woman approximately 30 years old in business attire. She's yelling and gesticulating with great fervor. I paused and examined this behavior (after I made it to the sidewalk).

The SUV then revved the engine only to screech and jam on the brakes 10 feet later to avoid hitting the idle car waiting next in the lot. I was flummoxed.

While all other drivers were as baffled at this behavior as I was, she glared at me diabolically. I shrugged my hands toward the street, implying her scene was entirely unnecessary.

I was embarrassed, but also disappointed that I caused this woman so much grief. Her reactive behavior was unwarranted, but it still left an acerbic taste in my mouth.

We all make mistakes and deviate from our normally mature demeanor from time to time. I caught this woman at a difficult time in her life/day and I was the victim of her aggression.

We've all been there.

Sometimes, though I resolutely believe this behavior isn't admissible, I give people the benefit of the doubt. I can postulate a million reasons for her volatility; she lost her job, broke up with her boyfriend, friend got sick, etc. And she lost it.

So I tread delicately in a city where professional athletes carry guns into locker rooms and horns honk incessantly at pedestrians and taxis. Wouldn't want to be caught on the wrong end again with a more violent offender.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Defense

Suppose you're a prisoner shackled down,
Unable to run freely abound,
Until an act of clemency pops the buckles,
Hesitantly you depart - to the warden you truckle,

A steak you crave or a frosty beer,
Untouched by your lips in many a year,
The lengths you'd go for just an instant,
The succulent flavor closing the distance,

But the moment you gorge on either or,
The light shines near the gridlocked door,
What you dreamt is sort of a mock surprise,
It's your last meal before you're fried,

A gusty draft snaps as the wind blows in,
The warden beckons as the door opens,
Refusing to swallow the final bite,
Afraid and shamed - this isn't right,

A life of crime has done you in,
You cry the lord begging to forgive,
Memories speed like in fast forward,
Wishing passionately you could reverse the order,

The woman you see recoils her lip,
Fighting tears you don't recollect,
Convicted of rape and a lost appeal,
The woman vividly imagines the vicious ordeal,

As she wipes her face she examines you,
But more like a deformed animal caged in a zoo,
A profound disconnect assumes her expression,
It wasn't you, she suddenly remembers,

You're shaking now as the hat clamps down,
Shivering the metal disturbs your crown,
Mouth is dehydrated, heart is racing,
A nod from the executioner is set to erase you,

Though justice suffers a Pyrrhic victory,
A double stealing with a looming mystery,
A door slams as the crowd departs,
What's left is silence and wounded hearts,

There are many choices of who to be,
The criminal, the jury, the defense attorney,
But none of this edifice undoes the action,
The victim remains, frightened and passive.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bienvenidos 2010!


Sometimes, I imagine what it's like to think like someone else. Which is a fairly oxymoronic idea I suppose, but an interesting exercise to attempt. Sitting across the bus from a tired, elderly passenger, what troubles his mind as he viciously rubs his temples? Could it be his physical ailments or the frigid weather sneaking underneath his scarf? Perhaps it's his in-law's or his delinquent grandchildren? Maybe it's the dreadful impediments he encounters at work or his dwindling 401 (k) shrinking like his backbone?

All plausible.

For me, this exercise is an escape. A leap, though often humorous, which generates more circular questioning to flood the synapses insipidly firing inside my brain. Which is why I yank out my Blackberry and read other bloggers, or perhaps strain my eyes to focus on a revelatory book disclosing further problems in our world. A fallen world.

When I'm aggravated with the material I glance around at fellow passengers. Women rarely make eye contact and overwhelmingly prefer female authors. Men in the morning often read the newspaper or The Economist, women read novels. Men, rarely read women authors.

The purpose of this post is to understand the necessary obfuscation away from the persistent tragedies we're all surrounded with. Like the economic calamity, our imperialism abroad, squandered opportunities to insure Americans and mitigate premiums for health insurance, the rise of the Tea Party, the disbelief in man-caused global warming, the slaughtering of animals leading to flu's, illnesses and heart disease (not to mention their suffering), ad infinitum. It's exasperating to be fully cognizant of all these without fulminating or becoming a curmudgeon.

So thankfully I do my best to keep my personal life intact. Filled with love, friendship, exercise and entertainment. I don't want to live devoid of sympathy or ignore the plights of the day like too many booboisie. Nor do I engage holistically in our slow demise. The balance I strike is in the art of friendliness. Cultivating relationships to assist in my appreciated deliverance from issues from the ephemeral to the everlasting.

Health starts at home. What methods do you employ to cope?

Monday, January 4, 2010

When in DC...


Our organization offers a multitude of opportunities for students, some of which are intensive seminars. Here, students get a Wall Street paced presentation of the city and a specified issue of interest. In an ambitious itinerary, they tour the city in addition to listening to a variety of speakers and visiting embassies and NGO's. It's a wonderful experience and is less a vacation than a learning instrument used for academic credit.

At lunch with a colleague today, he reviewed a brisk tour the students would complete later in the day. WWII Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, etc. I paused and asked flatly, "Are there any memorials on peace you're going to show the students?"

He looked at me blankly at first and then cracked a smile.

"Um, no."

And I thought, man, what a travesty. Instead of venerating the peace builders and true transformers of our nation, students will take the traditional trajectory of photographing soldiers and remembering past murderers. But what's more astonishing is not the disparity, it's the unambiguous dismissal. It's not as if the time were being siphoned, it's being enveloped in a culture of violence. The statue of Gandhi is the only notable presence (and that's only because my bus treks by it each day to work).

I can hardly blame my colleague who runs the program. The 'sites' are what they are, and when in D.C. for nary two weeks, it's important to see the history and peruse the mall. What's troubling is there aren't many halcyon exhibits to see. Many students will hear speakers and tour various peace forging organizations, but the pristine scenery entails a fountain commemorating war, or a general atop a stallion. Photos proudly displayed on Facebook tomorrow will detail this phony patriotism instead of an iconoclastic revolutionary of peace.

Your probably thinking, c'mon Conor, not again. Not another disparagement of the established order. But not until we continue to criticize the status quo and engage in it's reform, will we see any progress. My repulsion I will not hide, and I refuse to fall prey to the propogated bipartisan bamboozlement we're delivered.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

New Years always seems like the culmination of the holiday season (even though it sort of extends through MLK Day and Super Bowl Sunday in my opinion). A time where waistbands expand and families contract. A time where the cold rears its head in unapologetic fashion deterring us from many outdoor adventures (and encouraging others).

And here we bid adieu to 2009. A year that began with such transformational hope from President Obama's election to an economic recovery (that wasn't) to reformation of our health care system (many thanks Joe Lieberman) to dramatic climate change legislation (still waiting).

What resounds with 2009 most, is lost opportunity. Squandered potential. To apply this lesson on a personal level, I came up short on a number of endeavors I had hoped to achieve. Although I completed a half marathon I missed my time goal. Same for the 5-k.

Although I lost 15 pounds from 210 to 195, I haven't shed the remaining 5 pounds I prescribed.

This year, I haven't made any resolutions. Just like I don't believe in diets, I don't think resolutions are poignant enough to fulfill. Healthy living is better than crash courses. Albeit, I surely have much to continue to improve (my diet, my attitude, my relationships, my employment, my education, etc.)

Please share any resolutions you may have made as I am quite curious to get some feedback as it's diminished some over the holidays.

Here's to a new decade.