Posts Tagged With: thoughts

A Word About Christmas……STOP ALREADY!

Sick of Christmas

When I was a child, I loved the Christmas Season.  There was a chill in the air, so we got a crackling fire in the fireplace and hot chocolate.  We would go play in the snow until our appendages were numb then we would come warm up by the fire, before heading back out for more snow filled fun.

I remember the street light posts had Shimmering decorations put up by the city workers, who were not above wishing you a “Merry Christmas”.  But these workers wouldn’t dare put of the Christmas Decorations before Thanksgiving was done.  The stores would, at least, wait until November 1 before they started hammering home their “sales.”  People moved at a much slower pace back then.  We could park the car and walk to every store we needed to go and there was always plenty of parking.

I do remember one girl, from a rather well-to-do family, getting to take an extra week off at Christmas because they were going on a ski trip to someplace out West.  Wasn’t jealous of her, and actually none of us seemed to like her much because she was rather snooty and uppity.

I used to love the sights and smells of the Christmas Season and it would bring a smile to my face.  But that was then!

Today, you can’t even get to Labor Day before the Christmas onslaught of “BUY, BUY, BUY, SPEND, SPEND, SPEND” is shoved in your face at every turn.  And since when did a luxury automobile become a “Christmas Gift”?  All these merchants have had ALL YEAR to bolster their bottom lines, but they wait until Christmas to have the sales where people get so angry they start fist fights, kick children, steal things from the elderly person’s cart, and trample people to death (without a single twinge of remorse).  Christmas has turned from a Season of Giving to I Gots Tuh Git Mine So Sumbody Else Won’t!

The radio runs ruined Christmas Carols on a loop with the latest sensation adding their version of the song (complete with endless vocal aerobics).  The Internet and television are filled with people who put Santa hats on their none-too-happy pets and their “I haven’t a clue what’s going on” infants expecting all the world to tell them how adorable and cute the photos are.  Then there are those idiots who like to post videos of their hyped up children ripping through their gifts like sharks in a feeding frenzy, followed by further videos of the children fighting over who got what or tearing their gift up then demanding to know what else did they get.

Now I completely understand why many people prefer to spend the Christmas Season in a bar or someplace away Far From The Madding Crowd!

I used to like Christmas.  Now….Stop!  Just STOP!

 

 

 

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Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give Heed And Stop Feeding The Greed!

Greed

As Thanksgiving approaches, and the Christmas adverts have already begun, I simply cannot wrap my mind around it.  I just cannot fathom the sheer capacity of greed in our society!  Every year, Black Friday sales seem to start earlier and earlier.  Every year the crowds become rowdier and more violent.  Every year the face of GREED makes itself more and more visible.

People are willing to trample others, quite literally to death, for a television or toy or some other object that will need to be replaced or repaired before the credit card is paid off.  Human life becomes of less value than stuff!  Yet people, year after year, grab as much as they can.

What about the workers in these stores?  I have a friend who worked as a cashier at StuffMart last Christmas season who told me that she had to wear Depends Adult Diapers because they were so busy she didn’t have a chance to even go to the restroom.  Had another friend who worked at a Mall who said there were so many fights over stuff that he lost count (after 40).  What’s WRONG with people?

There are families that actually work out a plan so they can grab as much stuff as they possibly can for their clan.  They map it out, work out strategies, have communication devices always at the ready, and some even have practice runs for several months in advance.  WHY?

When I was growing up, we were told that we could make a list of FIVE items that were less than $50.  Of those five items “Santa” would pick one, possibly two, of them.  We were taught that the season was about the love of friends and family, not about stuff.  True, I would envy my friends who had GOBS of gifts.  But the older I got, the more I noticed that these same people were never happy with what they had received and were certainly not grateful!  In fact, they became more and more demanding!

I told my family, several years ago, that I would only purchase one small item for each of them.  They were welcome to accept it with gratitude or respectfully decline it.  It has worked well so far.  Our holidays are much less stressful and we aren’t bruised, battered, or dead from the invading hordes of the greedy!

Is THIS what we have become?

Is THIS what we have become?

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Courtesy And Respect Rant

courtesyCourtesy….no something that is so commonplace any longer.  As an observer of human interactions, I have the opportunity to….well…..observe human interactions.  I was at a coffee shop yesterday, and watched how many people either held the door for the person behind them or held the door so the person behind them could enter first.  Out of 75 people…only 3 held the door.  I did count 17 people who pushed ahead of others to reach the door first (after all, they must surely be more important than anyone else).

What happened to courtesy?  Did it get frustrated and walk away?  Did it become depressed and jumped off a bridge?  Has courtesy become so leprous that it no longer is welcomed?

If someone gives you a ride, do you tell them “Thank You” or is that too much trouble or is the fact that they GAVE you a ride when they didn’t have to just too inconvenient for a response?

If someone allows you to stay in their home with them so you can get your life together, is it asking too much that you behave with courtesy and respect? Or does the fact that they allow you to stay in their home an “entitlement” which they somehow “owe” you, but you are going to do whatever you want and they are going to just have to deal with it and accept it?

I have witnessed these type of discourteous behaviors over and over.  They disgust me!

  • Sincere courtesy shows that you are both respectful and respectable!
  • Being courteous shows that you are a grateful and thankful person, understanding that the things you have to be grateful and thankful for are not owed to you, rather are courtesies.
  • Being courteous and respectful will pave a lot of potholes in an otherwise damaged interaction.
  • Being respectful and courteous can extend the acts for which you are being grateful and thankful for.

Bottom Line: If you want courtesy, be courteous! And, like unto it, If you want respect, be respectful!

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I’m NOT Dead? Well, Then…What Now?

not deadEach morning, I hear the birds chirping as they begin their busy day of bug hunting, nest building, and flitting from hither to yon.

Each morning, I smell the air through the open window.

Each morning, I taste the exquisite flavor of the juicing of that naughty bean we call “coffee.”

And each morning is a reminder that I am not yet dead!  My life is not yet over.  I still have opportunities and choices.  There are still people to annoy; books to read; stories to write; songs to sing badly;food to enjoy; beer to savor; family to…well y’know how family is.

Each morning is a reminder that we are ALIVE and we should not sit about wondering what to do (as if we’re surprised we’re not dead), we should be about the business of reminding ourselves and the rest of the world’s patrons that WE ARE ALIVE DAMMIT! 

Not get the hell away from my coffee!!!

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Fitness Fanatics, Servers, and Annoying Salespeople…A Rant!

Workout Creature

I get the fact that some people wish to work out and work out and work out and work out.  I get that all their working out apparently triggers a “piss everyone else off” synapse because they suddenly become like the Energizer Bunny with a volume and intensity that can be felt moment they step into the same building.  They puff and posture as they talk about their latest workout/fitness routine as they drink gallons of some concoction from their “shaker bottles.”  And THEN they start in on everyone else with such comments like: “You depressed? Don’t wuss out and talk about it, SWEAT IT OUT!” or “Why are you eating all that crap?” or “Crossfit/Basic/Powerlifting/etc. changed me into AWESOME!”

I get that they are proud of their accomplishment, yet I am curious as to whether they realize how much it will take to maintain their “AWESOME” for the rest of their lives.  I give as example my High School reunion of a number of years which we won’t discuss.  The beefy jocks had become more paunch than muscle…their beefcake had deteriorated into jerky…yet the jerk attitude remained.

And then I have people who constantly tout the latest multi-level marketing health and fitness company which has “the best products out today.”  More powders to mix in your shaker, more vitamins and supplements to ingest at specific times and an entire menu of raw foods which are to be eaten every two hours.  And all at a nice little price tag that is more than I earn in two-months. I admit that I was suckered into a few of these programs because the people who were selling it were friends and they were pretty and they said the right cheerleader type peptalk peppered with zen like wisdom, and I am basically just a big sucker for a pretty face.  But when I commented about how expensive this program was getting (to the point I was having to choose between putting fuel in my car to get to work to earn the money to buy their crap or live in a van down by the river so I can spend my unemployment check buying a small bit of their crap), and I was suddenly considered to be a “loser” and an “inconsequential.”

Then I happen to have to deal with the salespeople who, I realize, work on commission and are so very eager to make a sale quick so they can move on to the next sale.  I actually had one overly excited young man start trying to finish my sentences for me when I was trying to tell him what I was looking for.  I could tell he was getting irritated with my questions when he began scanning the people walking through behind me and his eyes teared up.  Let me be extremely clear here: There is a reason I came to your establishment, and if you want me to spend MY money in your establishment, then give me the courtesy of your attention and make the experience such that I will not only want to come back, but I will want to recommend to others.

pushy salesperson

Finally, I would like to discuss bartenders and servers.  Yes, I know you work for LESS THAN MINIMUM WAGE, so I don’t need to be told that every time I come in.  Yes, I know gratuities are your bread and butter.  Yes, I realize that I am not a hot hunk of eye candy.  But YOU need to understand that when I come to your establishment (especially if you know I am a regular whether I am your regular or not) I will be spending my money.  I CHOSE to come to your establishment to spend my money.  And when I have chosen to spend my money at your establishment, I have factored in a HUGE gratuity often in the 75-90%.  But you see, the gratuity YOU will receive depends entirely on YOU!

wild-wing-cafeThere was an restaurant I had been frequenting for the last 10 years.  I was friends with many of the staff and the staff made it clear that they WANTED me to sit in their section.  They would smile, some would even hug me, they remembered my name, and even seemed to be glad I had come in.  Slowly, over time, as life is wont to do, these staff members went on to further their educations or had taken another job or simply found something else to do with their lives.  So, the staff who was left, knowing that I had been a good regular customer because they had witnessed it, ignored me when I came in.  The last time I went in to get a beer, not only did the bartender no even acknowledge my presence, but none of the staff even smiled at me.  They were ALL huddled in the corner of the bar area, with the “pretty people” (who leave no gratuity) laughing about something that had been posted on Facebook.  After 30 minutes of this (and I was one of only four people sitting at the bar), I left.  I am a advocate of: “If you want good customer service, BE a good customer.”  But I am also an advocate of: “If you want a good gratuity, BE a good server.”

Okay, rant over and I am off to find a new place to spend my money!

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Are Weird! So Wave Your Flag Proudly!

Weird Flag

Don’t know about you, but I am one of those people who doesn’t seem to truly “fit in” with any particular group or clique. My childhood was spent feeling awkward and out of place.  And to a large extent those same feelings continue today, but the difference is that now, I really just don’t care if I fit in or not.

I was taught that everyone was unique.  Similar, perhaps, but unique.  Cliques were nothing more than a gaggle of folks who want so much to be like their leader that they live false lives.  They live this facade until they even begin to believe their masks are real, which is the true tragedy because the world needs individuals working together in harmony to create that unique situation called “community.”

Imagine life with no masks, where we are real (as frightening as that may seem), where we are more concerned for others than for ourselves because we know others are doing the same.  Yeah, Utopian Ideology.  But my mind can wander through that dream can’t it?

So raise your Weird Banner and wave it proudly with me!  “To thine ownself be true and it must follow, as the night the day, that thou canst not then be false to any man” – Bill Shakespeare.  Methinks Ol’ Bill got it right!

Categories: Wanderer's Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Who? Did WHAT?

what

I am a curious sort and, as a result, many questions flow through my brain seeking answers or, at least, clues to answers.

  •  Whilst printing an email this morning, my mind wandered off to pose the question: Who decided the standard size of paper to be 8.5″x11″?
  •  I then read an article about the MOST EXPENSIVE coffee in the world…kopi luwak from Sumatra.  Apparently, the Civet Cat eats the coffee cherries and then poops out the beans.  Now…..I have an addiction to coffee.  I love coffee!  I drink lots of coffee.  But the voices in my head united as one to ask the question: “The most expensive coffee in the world is found in cat poop?” Who was the person who figured this out?  I can’t speak for anyone else, but as much as I love coffee, digging through cat crap to get a cup of coffee will most definitely cure my addiction post haste!
  • Next I saw an advert for Fiji Water which claims to be bottled at the source without being touched by human hands.  How does water flow from the source, into pipes (made by human hands or machinery made by human hands), and then into PLASTIC bottles (made by human hands or machinery made by human hands), and then into the stores?  How do we know this isn’t the result of some guy with a garden hose mucking about in his garden filling up plastic bottles and laughing himself silly as his bank account just grows and grows?
  • Next came an advert for the Fiat 500.  This minuscule auto is not much larger than a golf cart and was intended to be the competition for the Mini Cooper and the Smart Car.  Yet, according to the advert, if you “accidentally” drop a Viagra tablet into the fuel tank, the docile Fiat 500 becomes all bulked up into a bit of a rager.  So should your Fiat 500 remain in this bulked up state for more than 4 hours, should one consult their local garage?

Other miscellaneous ponderings include such issues as:

  • Who decided how much water it would take to make poop disappear down the pipes?
  • Who decided a red light meant STOP, unless you are in a brothel quarter and then it has a completely different meaning.
  • Why does a scantily clad woman become offended when the Average Joe looks are her displayed wares?
  • If we are all so much alike, why do I like quiet while others prefer loud?
  • Why do we never see human heads stuffed and mounted on the walls of animal homes?
  • Who was the one who got to decide that scratching where it actually itches in “inappropriate”?
  • Why do the “Standard Size” windows seem to change when I need to have one replaced or re-glassed?
  • Why do women wear brasseries that “Lift and Separate” but when the lifted and separated are noticed by men, the men are told “eyes up here”?

These are just a few of my mental wanderings.

Categories: Wanderer's Wonderings | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Second Chances

second chanceHave you ever said something you regretted?

Have you ever done something and wished you could have a redo?

I have learned, having been on this spinning orb long enough that my mind frequently loses focus, that every breath is a second chance! Every morning when I wake up, I have another opportunity! Every opportunity to meet someone new is an opportunity to make a new friend.

We spend so much time worrying about the past, and we KNOW the past has already been written. We spend so much time worrying about the future, which has yet to be written. We lose sight of the story we are writing right now!

Take your pen and write YOUR story, mistakes and all because it is truly a tale worth telling over and over.  Every moment is a second chance…make the most of each one!

Categories: Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uhhhhh……Ummmmm……Huh?

WhatI have always been quite the curious lad.  My mind seems drawn to what many take for granted and I want to know of the origins, the reasons, the causes, and such.  As a child, I was encouraged to hold my tongue and keep silent (usually with the ear pinch or whack to the seat of the pants).  But my mind is relentlessly curious and occasionally observant.

  • Why does Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal promote cannibalism by showing their cereal bits devouring each other on their commercials?
  • Who was the first person to get a college degree?  How did they know they had learned enough to earn that degree?
  • Why do we, as a society, continue to make stupid people famous?  Do we truly have nothing better to do with our lives than to watch their lives implode?
  • Why do we insist on enhancing our bodies surgically in an ongoing effort to “look younger”?  What’s wrong with being who you are?
  • Why are there no quiet wrappers on foods or candies so you can eat in peace without having the scroungers coming around to pester you for some?
  • Why do parents bring their children to a quiet place, like a library or a coffee shoppe, only to let them run rampant like screeching monkeys attacking each other for the last banana?
  • Why do we demand respect yet believe showing respect is a sign of weakness?
  • We spend so much time working that we have to have someone else raise our children (that we somehow found the time to create and birth), and then complain about how tired we are only to take a vacation to go someplace coastal only to spend the time either cramming so many activities into our time away that we return more tired than when we left, OR we spend the time away working through our phones, tablets, and various other devices?
  • Why do people poke holes into their bodies big enough to show the inner workings of their bodies then complain that no one will hire them and expect those with jobs to support them?
  • Why is it that on all the episodes of people being stranded in the wilderness or on some deserted island or forsaken encampment it is only the men who end up needing a shave?
  • Why is it on these same episodes that only the beautiful girls get lost?
  • Why do we need “reality shows”?  Do we not live true reality every day?  Of course, true reality is not as melodramatic or so badly overacted.
  • Why are there some people who simply seem incapable of NOT talking?

I’m just a curious lad whose mind seeks answers.

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What Keeps You From Flying?

butterfly

Flying seems like it should be a rather simple feat.  One should merely spread one’s wings, flap them vigorously, and off you go.

     We make all sorts of excuses as to why we cannot fly.  We forget excuses are nothing short of our fears being vocalized.

Think about it:

     I’m too heavy!  Okay, perhaps you might be carrying more than you should…learn to let go of what’s holding you down! You see, we are hoarders of the unnecessary.  We hold on to things far longer than they should be held on to, simply because holding on to them brings a sense of comfort to us.

     Take GRUDGES for example.  We carry these mountains around with us for years and YEARS!  Even beyond the point where we can no longer remember what it was that pissed us off in the first place.  Oh we might say we have “let it go” but the truth is we have only taken them from our shoulders to our backpacks.  It’s as if we are actually afraid of trying to exist without them.  We might forget that we have a grudge against someone and, *gasp*, talk to them!  Perhaps even befriend them.

     How about our PREJUDICES?  Whether consciously, subconsciously or unconsciously we have prejudices that must be CONSCIOUSLY dealt with.  I am a Protestant Christian, and for years I was prejudiced against any group that thought differently than I.  Then I took the chance to talk with people who do believe differently than I do, and we have a mutual respect that I won’t try to change their way of believing and they won’t try to change mine.  Some of the nicest people I have met do not believe as I believe.  Yet we wear the armor of prejudices to protect ourselves from having our beliefs challenged, and in so doing, that armor weighs us down!

     I will admit that I am still prejudiced toward people who bring their children into a quiet coffee shop to run rampantly wild, disrupting the force, and generally annoying the patrons.  While their little demons gallivant about upturning chairs, plowing into other customers knocking over their coffee, screaming like banshees, these thoughtful parents/guardians/caretakers find a place to hide.

    We cling to hatred, misconceptions, anger, hurt (real and imagined) like a drowning person clings to anything that floats.  Learning to let go isn’t easy and it takes conscious effort.  But when we are able to let these heavy weights go, we begin to realize that we are not just floating, we are flying.

     Another great thing about flying…you don’t have to have a destination!  You can fly just to change how you see the world around you!

Categories: Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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