Curing 30 Years One Month At A Time

May 21, 2009

Let The Great American Idol Debate Begin: Upset, Shocker or Travesty?

Headline-RedLight_1Just in case you were wondering, there are twelve traffic lights between my house and where my daughter attends preschool. How do I know this random piece of information you might ask? Defying all odds and probability, I had the opportunity today to count each one as I waited for them to turn from red to green. A trip that normally takes 10 minutes max winded up being a 20-minute fiasco.

I wasn’t fazed by the first red light. Didn’t pay much attention to the second one. Numbers 3-5 made me chuckle. Yet, after that, I found myself progressively getting angrier at each stop: 7th (slamming the top of steering wheel), 9th (veins begin popping on my neck), 10th (nervous eye twitch), 11th (foaming at the mouth) and finally number 12 (turning bright red with steam coming out of both ears like one of those crazy cartoon characters).

In honor of my disdain for traffic lights and the need to work on my anger issues, I took a moment to reflect on other things that get my blood boiling. Here are a few I came up with:

 

  • When Facebook pushes their religious agenda on me. As much as I appreciate your attempts to get me right with the big guy upstairs, stop trying to convince me that I should be a fan of God. Ditto on bubble wrap and Larry the Cable Guy.
  • heelysKids who go skating past me at the mall on Heelys while their parents are too busy stuffing their face with a Wetzel Pretzel to notice the accidents their kid is causing. Anytime I hear those wheels whizzing behind me I have to fight the urge not to pull a Donald Brashear (one of the best hockey goons of all time for those non-sports fans) and check their head into the glass display at Pac-Sun.
  • When the remote control runs out of batteries and I find myself stuck on C-SPAN.
  • Being told I am anti-social by individuals who just happen to like the sound of their own voice. Being told I am cynical by people who are always sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. I would never tell you this, but the glass will always be half empty. 
  • The teenage sister of whichever preschooler introduced Madison to all things Hannah Montana.
  • Rocco doing the pee-pee dance near the door and realizing I will have to walk him in the pouring down rain.
  • Close to 100,000,000 votes being cast to decide the winner of American Idol, but only 56% of people show up to vote for the presidential election.

 

idolInternet Land is already abuzz over the travesty that took place tonight when Adam “Sir Screeh A lot” Lambert was denied his rightful crown of American Idol. The anger will be displayed in various forms like wailing, the gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes. It is only a matter of time before some bozo will inevitably go on a hunger strike until the decision is reversed.

Remember, a few years back during the 3rd season of Idol when the world was going to end when your “can’t miss” choice lost as well. You know…what’s his name or was it a girl, I can’t remember. That’s my point. People get up in arms over the most random, trivial and insignificant things. Myself included. At the same time, war, genocide and famine are taking place and, if we are being honest, we really could care less. Everywhere you look in the world there are injustices taking place:

 

  • CHINA POVERTYOver 33 million people are dealing with AIDS
  • 1.4 billion people (a quarter of the developing world) find themselves living in extreme poverty of less than $1.25 a day.
  • 40,000 children die every day from malnutrition, starvation and hunger related diseases.
  • One of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population is family with children.
  • In 2006, over 9,000 hate crimes took place in the United States.
  • Every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.

 

If I am too lazy to get up off the couch when the batteries in the remote go dead, it should come as no surprise that I haven’t felt compelled to move to evoke change in the world. I sit on the sidelines in silence not speaking up for people who have no voice. Maybe instead of trying to tame my anger, I should harness it to focus on issues that really matter. Anger with purpose.

May 5, 2009

The Elusive Internet Connection Has Mr. Tinkle Cranky At The Hampton Inn

Filed under: Anger, Cynical Side — Tags: , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 11:25 pm

Another night finds me burning the midnight oil. Wow, that was a horrible way to start a post.  What the heck does that expression even mean? Right off the bat I am unoriginal and far from engaging. Hands down that was the worst opening line ever. I’ll be lucky if a single person continues to read on after that gem of a beginner. Of course, this one avid reader would be my mother so I guess technically that doesn’t count considering everything I do is genius in her eyes.

Sorry for being snippy. I realize this month is all about learning to cure my anger issues, but the ‘joys’ of business traveling can cause anyone to get a little edgy. Just think about it. You start off the trip cramming into a rented mini-van with little to no legroom due to the baggage everyone brought with them. 

For some reason, everyone morphs into one of the three bears because for some the van is too hot, too cool, but never just right. As you go from shivering to sweating you try to occupy your time, but mostly end up talking shop or doing all the work that would be piled up on your desk when you get back.

N1111_mcdonalds _tb006The debate eventually begins on when and where to stop for a bite to eat meaning more than likely you will be visiting your first landmark, The Golden Arches. Throwing all healthy eating habits out the window, you purge the entire trip off of fast food or vending machine munchies.

Let me just tell you this does wonders to your bowels. Having the world’s smallest bladder, I normally have to go number one before we’ve hit the highway on ramp. Not wanting to claim the nickname “Mr. Tinkle,” I hold it in praying someone will budge first and make a request for a potty break. On the other hand, the new all carb and fat diet plugs up my other end like a hairball blocking the shower drain. Painfully, the captives remain held up in jail and cannot be freed.

neon-shanghaiJust around the time your legs go completely numb you end up at the hotel and find out that your roommate is the guy who not only stopped at the ethnic joint for dinner but feasted upon teriyaki beef jerky and trail mix all the way down. As loud and powerful as his constant toots are, they are incapable of drowning out the constant hum of the refrigerator or the air conditioning sounding like a bomb going off every time it kicks on, which just in case you are wondering is every 10 minutes.

Finding it impossible to sleep you head down to the hotel lobby with your laptop figuring you might as well check your email and sports scores. After all, the building has free high speed Internet. Unfortunately, I am quickly learning the hotel I am staying at holds a very loose definition of what exactly constitutes something as high speed. I guess the old adage is true that you get what you paid for.

fix-for-wireless-connection-problems-on-macbook-proAlready tired and constipated, I can add fuming to the list after spending a good part of an hour in the lobby of the hotel trying to find an outlet to recharge my laptop along with a wireless Internet connection that actually works. Doesn’t the Hampton Inn know the fate of the world depends on me updating my fantasy baseball team?

The search for a power source proved to be successful. Sadly, finding that elusive Internet connection seems like a lost caused. All the self-help material I am reading that deals with anger suggests finding humor in the midst of every frustrating situation you face. So, instead of being aggravated that the only available power outlet has me huddled in the corner next to a fake potted plant, I will figure out a way for this to bring a smile to my face.

My opportunity for chuckles presents itself when I see someone coming down the hallway in the mirror. I can see him, but thanks to this glorious potted plant I am out of sight and mind. The poor sap looking for ice has no clue what awaits him around the corner.

The footsteps get louder; my moment is almost here and then…..BOO! He jumps and ice goes flying everywhere. Apparently, unlike myself I helped free that person’s captives. Relief of sorts for him and a humor relief for me. Looks like ‘Mission Smiles, Not Frowns’ accomplished.

May 2, 2009

Shake And Baking Things Up By Picking A Pair Of Step Brothers

93023B-r-r-r-i-n-g!!! Class is back in session. Physically I am here, but mentally I am absent. Exhausted from the domestic duties at home, I decide to take the day off by surprising all of my Issues and Regrets with a pop quiz. Honestly, there is no point to the exam other than it gives me an excuse to zone out in front of the laptop while giving the impression I am doing actual work.  

When I log on to Facebook I am bombarded with updates that include numerous wall posts as well as an abnormal amount of Issues and Regrets commenting on photos. I click one of the links and audible gasp at what pops up on the screen. Someone snuck into my house and snapped a few pictures of me cooking in the kitchen while wearing a frilly apron that had “Cupcake Princess” bedazzled on the front. To make matters worse, the photos just happened to be taken on laundry day so I can be seen only in ratty gym shorts and a pair of Jenn’s pink socks.

boy-who-drank1That’s it. Some Issue or Regret wants to mess with me after I have been cooking and cleaning non-stop for the past four days? They have no clue the war they just started. Time for payback and some cruel and unusual punishment. Until dismissal they’ll be watching Scott Baio’s greatest acting performance, the 1980’s after school special The Boy Who Drank Too Much, on a continuous loop.

Seeing it on par with the controversial technique of water boarding, the Obama administration has begun legal proceedings to have this film outlawed from ever being viewed again. No other flick has the capacity to break a person’s spirit quicker. Forget Charles, I am going to be back in charge of these Issues and Regrets in no time. Most of them are already squirming in their seats. Everyone is glaring at the two Issues currently occupying the back row of the classroom.

 

Body Image Issues: “Would you guys, please just fess up. You know what happens when I get stressed….I eat.” (Opens his desk drawer and pulls out a King Size Snickers bar)

Lack Of Manliness: “No teach don’t turn it off. I am taking notes from the ultimate ladies man, Mr. Scott Baio. How could he be 45 and single? It blows my mind that no lady could tame this beast.”

Impatience: “I can’t take this another minute. Please whoever posted the photo turn yourself in.” (Starts tapping his feet uncontrollably)

Indecisiveness: “I was going back and forth on whether to tattle tale, but if I have to see this guy’s mullet a minute longer I am going to poke my eyes out. It was Anger!” (Points to back row, puts his hand behind his back and then reconsiders and points his finger in that direction again)

step_brothers-posterAnger: “FINE! Yeah, it was ME! Do you know what it’s like to sit here month after month and be ignored? IT’S INFURIATING! Ever since last month I’ve been looking for ways to get your attention. At lunch I was talking to Cynical Side and he brought up a Dateline episode he saw on Internet bullying. This is what put the wheels in motion.”

Me: “Look I’ve had enough. Do you think it is easy being the center of attention for a month straight? Ask Indecisiveness, Lack Of Manliness and Socially Stunted. They’ll tell you it is not all sunshine and rainbows. But, since you have my full attention I am finally going to give you what you want, but with a little twist. Cynical Side since your Anger’s step brother you’ll be joining him.”

Anger (looking at Cynical Side): “WHAT? You better not close your eyes, because as soon as you do, I’m gonna punch you square in the face!”

Me: “Yeah, looks like I made the right decision after all.”

 

So, needless to say, the next month my focus is going to be:

 30 DAYS TO NOT BLOW A FUSE…. YEAH, LIKE THAT IS POSSIBLE

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