sleepy anger

January 28, 2010

When did not being a morning person become a get-out-of-jail-free card?

Go to bed early the night before, drink coffee in the morning, and deal with it. Life does not start at noon. Or 2:30. Unfortunately for most, life begins each day a lot earlier than that.

And no matter what you say, that is not an excuse for barking at your co-workers or endangering people’s lives by speeding or falling asleep at the wheel. It’s your body, your decision, yes? Well, when you ram me with your car or ruin my day by taking out all your sleep-deprived anger on me, it’s no longer just about you.

Same goes for alcohol-filled people who get behind the wheel. They may have been too impaired to make the decision to drive, and yet they set themselves up for the outcome of driving head-on into an innocent minivan. Their choice. Deal with the consequences. It’s a sad reality that uninvolved bystanders are forced to reap the consequences as well.


solitary Confinement?

January 28, 2010

Solitude enjoyment has become an illusive, fleeting object.

While we all need some amount of human companionship, everyone obviously craves different amounts of it. Admittedly, we all have to be alone each day. For some, it may only be when they’re in the bathroom. Still, others may spend the majority of their days alone.

Yet, it’s becoming easier to avoid solitary-ness. With cell phone advancements moving at phenomental speed, another human is only a touch of a button away. And of course that does not just mean voice-to-voice communication. Text messages enable ones to enjoy a continual conversation spreading on and off over days or maybe weeks. And Facebook and Twitter create lines of infinite communication. One post can reach hundreds of people. And in two minutes, you may have instituted 50 conversations. No one ever has to be alone again!

But, why is that such a desirable thing?

Is it because that’s how most of our great-great grandparents lived? Living on a farm with no one but family to be found for 100 miles–causing their offspring to swear off that lifestyle.

Do we think that any semblance of a similarity to past generations means we have not yet reached our potential as humans?

Maybe a little old-school living is what the doctor would order if we bought out the time to visit him. (Well, maybe a chiropractor or naturalist. Medical doctors would never prescribe anything not involving a bottle of sorts.)

In reality, I feel nothing but complete respect and admiration for those who enjoy being alone. Giving oneself solitary time illustrates a strong sense of self-acceptance and confidence. If we don’t know who we are as individuals, how can we offer ourselves to anyone else?

It’s not hard to locate those ones who detest spending time with themselves. They’re the ones who ironically can’t stop talking about themselves. Lack conversation etiquette. Start every sentence with I or my. The ones who rattle off movie and television lines constantly. And the ones who reference “hanging out with friends” on their resumes and Facebook profiles as their hobby.

I just recently joined the iPhone train. I’m not exactly proud of it. It always seems that the things I start out tirading against, like Starbucks and iPhones, are the very things the universe decides to turn on me and force me to fall to my feet in adoration.

But it’s the truth. I do, in fact, love the iPhone. But it’s also helped me to see even clearer the full capabilities people have to stay in touch with others all the time.

That’s a train I just can’t get on.

It’s a Hard Knock Life

January 28, 2010

Adults have it rough.

We deal with mortgages, job stress, family anxiety, relationship struggles, money issues, car repairs, home maintenance, national crises, weather catastrophes, etc.

So therefore, treating our world and fellow humans as doormats is fine! . . . Right . . . ?

Of course, of course, we tell ourselves.

It’s just too much to deal with on a daily basis: trying to find a trash can every time I want to throw something away; restraining myself from yelling at the barista because they don’t have caramel syrup; making a vomitous hacking noise very similar to a feline as I spit my inside liquids all over the ground in pure sight of everyone around me; letting my dog whine and starve to death on my back patio for the neighbors to watch in agony; giving the guy driving behind me a piece of my mind at the stoplight because he needs to be put in his place.

Like so many things, decency is a fossil of the past. Now, it’s only to be paraded around occasionally as a tribute to our roots. And then, all too quickly shoved away again into the closet as a cute naivete from the past.

What happened to the good ‘ol days of buying well-made merchandise?

You would surely think that with humans’ supposed level of superior thinking and technological and scientific discoveries, we could easily surpass the technological quality we achieved 50 years ago.

And yet, that is not the reality.

We purchase cars amidst the growing environment of recalls. News stories recount incidents of automobiles turning into balls of flames or malfunctioning pedals that disobey their owners and accelerate right into a telephone pole.

Our equipment needs constant updates, maintenance, care, and maybe a little prayerful pleading. It takes 23 days to figure out how to make a phone call on the newest PDA and double that to find the instructions in the instruction manual. And within a year, the appliance will have turned off due to its own free will a dozen times, completely died without immediate revitalization ten times, visited the repair shop five times, possibly traded out twice, and thrown against the wall at least once. But don’t even think about dropping it on the ground; its innerworkings will spill everywhere and the bumps and bruises it sustains will ensure that you never type another text message or make another phone call again. You might as well soak it in a tub of boiling water. That baby’s gone.

It didn’t used to be this way.

In the beginning, cell phones were hearty.

Before that, automobiles used to be able to plow through mud, drive across deep ditches, and up and over steep mounds without needing any loving care afterwards. Nowadays, drive your BMW over a pothole and you’re lookin at $500 in repairs minimum.

Or maybe it’s a young person fresh out of high school who bought his first appliance all on his own–be it something small like a toaster or something big, maybe a washing machine–and head to college.

That faithful piece of equipment would see the student through his riotous college years, his bachelor years filled with Ramen noodles and pints of beer, and eventually his first and second home with a new and growing family. Until it finally gave out after almost 20 years of reliable companionship filled with trust and loyalty. It wouldn’t have even occurred to the machine that it could fickly hang around for two or three years and then fake death by making a suspicious clanking noise as soon as its warranty was up.

No, technological equipment has proven what we as humans may deny: that our society’s improvements are not exactly “improvements.” Money comes before integrity any day, and–for some people–every day.

What a wonderful outlook to live by. Cheat people and make them come back for seconds. Trust and reliability is for sissies.

Dog Ownership for Dummies

January 18, 2010

My favorite way to start any given morning is getting in the middle of a dog fight. What an excellent way to say, Good morning sunshine! Relax, have a seat. Just watch out for the blood on the curb.

As I stood inside the circle of action occurring on the front lawn today, I couldn’t help but reflect momentarily on delusional dog owners everywhere.

So, I wondered, what were the owners of these dogs thinking about last night before falling asleep?

Were they even remotely concerned with the fact that their dogs were consuming and trashing everything owned by the neighbors next door? Or how about the fact that their adorable pooches barked all night? Or maybe they were praying that no young children strayed out of their house so as to get mauled down by their ferocious beasts.

News flash to ignorant unthinking humans everywhere: what you do affects others.

You know those cigarette laws recently passed? Smokers can’t even stand by buildings and smoke. They have to go away from any place where non-smokers might be. Why? Because the second-hand cigarette smoke that they are producing harms people.

And car insurance? Why do we have that? Oh yeah, to protect innocent people who may be injured due to erratic, unconcerned drivers.

I think the movie Bubble Boy was incredibly ahead of its time but absolutely on point. What I wouldn’t give to put myself and everything I own in a bubble.

Dogs do not speak; they do not reason; they do not worry; they are oblivious to and therefore do not conform to societal norms or expectations. So, why, I ask, do people treat them as such?

Do they naively believe that their dog will think twice before lifting his leg on the neighbor’s mailbox? That he will leave an apologetic note after he tramples their vegetable garden? That instead of fighting tooth and nail, he will arrange for a calm mediation with the neighbor dog when he invades his territory?

No, if you stupidly think that, you should not own a dog. (And quite possibly, should be committed.)

Dogs operate on instinct. A dog steals their food, they endeavor to tear him to shreds. No reasoning involved there. Just pure unadulterated survival-of-the-fittest mentality.

Dogs live in a domesticated society. They rely on humans to domesticate them. Some need more help than others. But no matter what their level of improvement is, it’s your responsibility once you lay claim on him. Your dog is relying on you. When did that become such a challenge for people?

Oh yes, I forgot. We live in a society of lazy, non-working complainers who would rather weigh 500 pounds than lift a barbell. Much less take their poor crying puppy for a walk around the block.

I’m thinking about writing a book. Dog Ownership for Dog Unrealists. It would be one page long with one sentence. “You cannot own a dog.” Then I would rescue their poor mutt and slash their tires.

Calories be gone

January 14, 2010

I love how humans live their lives as if they are too good for consequences.

We talk on the phone while maneuvering our car through traffic, arrive home late from work every night, speed through McDonald’s drive-thru for lunch while on a conference call and consume caramel frappuccinos and donuts for breakfast. In these scenarios, there are definite consequences to be had: automobile accidents, strained or non-existent family relationships, and obesity and early death, respectively. It’s not a question of if these will happen but when.

My daughter is pregnant at 15! How could this happen, when I spend all of five minutes a day talking to her over the drone of the television and every weekend shuttling her back and forth to her mother’s house? That’s plenty of time to create a firm and lasting, trustful relationship.

Or how about the phenomenon known as artificial sweeteners? No one seems to notice or want to acknowledge that cancer’s entrance into the everyday human vernacular hauntingly coincides with our nation’s artificial sugar obsession.

In my line of work, I hear more than once per day orders for white mocha lattes with extra whipped cream, ten Splendas and nonfat milk. Because those artificial pesticides and fat free milk make the guilt and calories all but disappear. Who cares what it’s doing to my insides as long as I look good on the outside.

I know what you’re thinking. Proof, where’s the proof? Well, there is none. These small death packets have not been directly linked to cancer, nor will they ever be if sugar substitute corporations have anything to do with it.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need to wait for a corporation or legal entity to tell me what I can already deduce from the sickly culture around me. All I know is whatever they’re doing, I will walk the other way.

Maybe it’s a fault of mine that I am not a very trusting soul. But until studies are created and completed to prove that sugar substitues do nothing to obliterate my insides, I’ll stick to the natural stuff created and intended for my consumption.

Because as far as I know, sickness and death, and doctors and insurance companies, don’t take well to claims of ignorance. So I’m gonna do all that I can to keep myself out of their grip.

Breaking News

January 2, 2010

Let’s discuss the marvel that is Facebook.

This is an idea that revolves around two human desires.

One: to be social.

We are social creatures. We need people. No man is an island. We’ve all heard that expression. It’s true.

But when did it become necessary to have another human involved in absolutely every nanosecond of every moment of our lives?

I personally find it very disturbing to have people around me for more than five hours a day.

New technology and lack of self-restraint have turned A.D.D. into the norm. Entitlement has birthed newborns with texting addictions and Facebook profiles updated by the minute. Technological advances have turned our world into a playground of egotistical crybabies.

Two: to be heard.

Thanks to Twitter, people can publish their every thought, uncensored, for the world to see. Because who isn’t interested in the fact that at this very moment, I am standing in my kitchen making macaroni and cheese. Well, actually, I’m not doing it anymore. Now, I’m on my iPhone telling all my friends that I’m doing that. But once I’m done posting, I’ll go back to my mac ‘n cheese. That is, until a friend posts a response and then I’ll have to reply to her reply and then that will go on for a while so that I’ll forget my dinner and it’ll burn on the stovetop. So I’ll just end up chatting all night about Taylor Swift and if she and Taylor Lautner are really broken up.

Really, Facebook and Twitter (‘Tweets,’ seriously? Who is the genius that came up with that intelligent lingo?) can be summed up in one word: distraction.

That’s all it is. Distract us from working. Distract us from learning. Distract us from educating our minds with events happening outside our immediate jurisdiction. Distract us from living.

Or maybe distract us from ourselves.