Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter

In my family, it was always the not-so-revered holidays that we cherished most. April Fools Day is the most anticipated. Independence Day was a hit b/c the fireworks were spectacular in Phoenix and the dog would always believe she was living in the Tombstone movie and would snuggle with us indoors. Easter (maybe a common choice) is also in the Fab Five. Mom would sometimes drag us to church, but the trip was usually worthwhile, because we'd be saved from our sins we would commit later in the day. For example, in our easter egg cracking competition.

The night before we would dye the eggs and refrigerate them together. And then, a la Santa Clause, I'd inevitably sneak down when everyone was asleep, pick a random egg from the bowl in the refrigerator and put it in the freezer. Next morning, we'd arise and choose our eggs and I'd make sure the Freezer Monster didn't eat my egg and I'd go on smashing, crunching, and plopping the competition. It wasn't fair. At all. It's like competing in the high jump with a trampoline.

Before we'd smash the eggs together, Mom and Pops always hid about 60-70 Easter eggs downstairs. And parents - here's an important FYI. If your kids already hate each other, there's no better way to inflame the fires than placing them in tight proximity and watching them push/shove and scramble to secure the hidden eggs. And that was before they'd say, "Go!" Cheating wasn't wrong. It was all part of the game. Win at all costs. This is America after all, folks.

After the nitpicking, and sniveling subsided, we'd count up the eggs and the person with the most (always me) would win like $10. Another coveted egg was the golden egg (or was it purple??). All I know is it sure wasn't coveted to me, it contained no candy, but held a monetary incentive, whoever found it got another $10. And if you know me, I was always the child who'd easily trade $10 for an extra ice cream cone. Never was too good with money. Then we'd dump all the candy into our baskets (which were also hidden) and I'd go into my siblings' and steal all the Cadbury's I could before they'd notice. When they'd notice I'd shrug and say, "Weird, I'm missing some too, musta been Mom."

And then the ahhhhhhhh came over us, because she was too nice to be upset with and she was largely responsible for the show anyhow. Pops would spend most of the morning behind a video camera that I doubt he knew how to work. In fact, I'm not sure I've once EVER looked back on the footage we have of Christmas and Easters. Does it exist? Or maybe he was just using it as a shield to prevent any unwanted tantrums or fists when the scavenger hunt commenced, and the red dot that sometimes shined was a sniper beam.

There was always little ambiguity about who would win the contests. Mom was too nice. Dylan was too dense. Shannon would slit your throat and shrug, but she wouldn't cheat. Pops was busy modeling the United Nations and I was busy concocting schemes to sabotage each competition in my favor. Of course, I'm not boasting of this behavior, and in fact, had such a guilty conscience that I'd come clean afterward and forfeit the money I won...that is, until I stole it from whoever was runner-up....

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Real Candidate

Man, do we have a dearth of viable candidates for 2012. I shouldn't opine about it this early, but I can't stomach voting for Obama again, not after the Grand Disappointment he's turned out to be. And voting for a Republican is beyond ludicrous, I'd rather snack on my own eyeballs. So what am I left with? Abstaining? Throwing my vote away behind some schmuck with as much chance as I do?

Stuck between a rock and a hard place aren't we?

Listening to my favorite radio show - Stand Up With Pete Dominic yesterday, some chump named Andre Barnett called in. Andre is a male model from New York I believe, and he is running for President because things are just f@#ked up (and his chiseled physique is the only way to fix things). You sure, Andre? I've been trying the same thing with similar results. Pete humored the guy for a few minutes allowing him to stump on the radio for free. And that's when it hit me (hand to forehead).

Every single candidate is bad. Picking between two evils doesn't even give the analogy justice. It's like picking between life without parole or life without parole with the dude from the Old Spice commercials as a cell mate. Decisions, decisions. Each politician issues platitudes galore, and claims to be the most patriotic person alive. In fact, just to lighten the mood, I'm attaching his link, here - http://andrebarnett2012run.com/homepage/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=1

Yep, wow. Dude is like Rocky Balboa offering fewer details than a menu in Japanese (just picking on everyone today aren't I).

What our country needs is a true leader!! Gag me. Someone who understands the problems and doesn't cater to special interests!! Harder. A man who knows job creation better than China!! Nope, still alive.

The saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Let's not be fooled or deluded by these phony, laughable promises from legitimate or illegitimate candidates (here's looking at you Newt and Sarah). If you can run for President you've already sold out. A long time ago. Until we have publicly financed elections this moc(k)racy is nothing but a facade to make us believe we have a voice, when the truth is we're all mute.

You know who should run again, Ralph Nader. And Bill Maher. Someone who doesn't relent on calling out Looney Tunes as cartoons and people who actually might change the system up a little. Maybe even Ron Paul, although he's the most viable candidate around, that's about as assuring as Pee Wee Herman babysitting your children. So let's not forget that the bullshit campaign has already begun and not to get swept away in it. Obama doesn't deserve your support and neither do the Republicans. See through the bullshit, or buy yourself an American flag bumper sticker.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Column Link...

No more feedback anymore...partly because relatively uncontroversial topics and partly b/c students are up to their necks in schoolwork this time of year. One week remaining....

http://www.theeagleonline.com/opinion/story/to-sell-out-or-not-to-sell-out-remember-what-really-matters/

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Eye Phone

It took me a long time, but I finally got an iPhone. And it's a game changer. I can finally laugh (or understand) the jokes when people say, "There's an app. for that". There's some weeeiiirrrd apps. And also some very practical, useful ones like the weather, sports scores, and kama sutra. Maybe the last one is more elective. Anyway, texting while driving is now near impossible. Which of course is a good thing, as no one should text while driving in any case, even with a BlackBerry. Perhaps they'll create an app where you can send a text through voice activism. Or do they have that already? I'm so out of the loop. You should'nt do many other things while driving besides, well, driving, and even that is hard enough as it is. Especially when the Texans are visiting your state (ahem, district) making left turns from the far right lane. BTW, state or district, we really got thrown under the bus in this new budget deal...thanks Obama.

There's numerous accessories to fashion your iPhone. You can get a protective case, a Juicy Couture one if you're pretentious. You can get BlueTooth connect. You can get an earpiece. You can get a car-charger. Consumerism is a full-time job and Apple has got us buying gizmos and gadgets so frequently where we forget the difference between what we 'need' and what we 'want'. It becomes 'weed' when the two mix, and that's precisely what you want to smoke after all the time you'll spend donning your iPhone with the proper attire. But that's a whole another expense, and I don't know where I can find the nearest dealer (nor the money for that matter), but I could probably find the dispensaries if I lived in a place where that sort of thing was legal. Not that I smoke weed, because I don't. But it's nice to know there's an app for that if I ever move to a place that does.

So if someone stole your iPhone what would it say about you? No longer would the numbers be the first things people would look at. Or photos. That's so passe. Now you could create a composite image of a person solely by assumptions and stereotypes if you picked up a strangers phone. Pink case, almost certainly female. Huffington Post app, definite liberal. Gas pump saver app - we have a conscientious shopper and a car owner. And you can go on and on.

So what does your phone say about you? Or maybe you don't have one, if that's the case, the people at Apple have a message for you....Buy our products...or else. suffer in obscurity. Unless you're like my Pops, who heeds no mind to the whacky technologies that come along passing them over like speed bumps. I guess that's why he moved to a place with dispensaries....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Biathlon

This morning was my race. 600 yard swim and 3.1 mile run. The swimming was completed indoors at my campus, AU. And the run was a couple loops around campus along with 4 laps around the track. It wasn't all that difficult. I managed to play 2 hours of basketball afterwards. And, as my Mom always used to tell me growing up, Win or Don't Come Home. So I won. Not that I have much bragging rights, considering I beat a whopping 5 other guys I believe. It was exteremely disorganized, as we raced three at a time b/c the pool was closed and we were forced to swim in the kiddie lanes instead. I did, however, win a $25 gift certificate to a sporting goods store, got a free small gym bag, a towel, a t-shirt, and some fruit after the race. It was my first bi, and perhaps a transition for me into triathlons. My time was 30 minutes and some change, FYI.

A buddy of mine who sustained a knee injury asked if I'd do the National Triathlon in his place coming up in June. I'm seriously considering it. Especially given the fact I'll be biking for two weeks coming up in Asia! We swim in the Potomac! Gross. Anyway, below are some pics from this morning. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tiger, Where Art Thou?

Yep, here we go again. Roger's buddy Tiger teed off The Masters today. And I assume he remains teed off. He shot a yawn-inducing 1-under, 6 shots behind the two leaders. I don't know why, but Tiger Woods' playing affects me directly. Always has. When he isn't performing well, I get upset. I've always been a fan. I remained a fan after his fidelity issues when most everyone else deserted him like the Sahara. I have faith in him each time he comes on the course. Each tournament he plays, I think will be the one where he reclaims his mo-jo (golfing that is) and becomes the preeminent force he once was.

But as the year(s) pass, it's becoming more and more challenging to believe he's an elite golfer. Without a win in over a year, I'm starting to believe that even Tiger himself has lost the faith. It seems each time he shoots a good round, he responds the next day with an atrocious one that negates his effort the day before. I want him to win. I want him to know he can win.

I just don't see the old Tiger with the indomitable focus and will that used to be common. He doesn't purvey himself with that anymore. Has his game abandoned him? Will he ever rebound? Break Jack's record?

It's premature to write his obituary. But he needs to trust his swing. Intimidate the field like he used to, put them in their place. And it starts with consistent quality rounds. Here's hoping tomorrow won't bury him in the field. Maybe he should put the red shirt on early...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What a Riot

I was thinking of column ideas this week and before deciding on one and running with it, I had a few others. One of which is the notion that racist jokes are funny. Sexist jokes are funny. I mean it. I was at a comedy event last weekend and the comedian had me in tears lambasting all the variations of colors, creeds, and sexes. And then I thought about how many women out there claim to like Family Guy and it got me thinking.

Family guy is blatantly misogynistic. How can they like it? Because I may still write about this concept (next week or some other time) I can't expound upon my feelings here. What I wonder (meaning I'd like your feedback) is how you reconcile the fact that jokes are funny when they're offensive. Does it all come down to context? Do you put your funny cap on and then your serious cap on other times? (Because many of these sexism/racism issues are quite serious). Are there any jokes that should remain off-limits? Is joking about it therapeutic and neutralizing the stigma? Or does it perpetuate stereotypes and detrimental to overcoming these issues?

What do you think????