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.

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April 20, 2009

Don’t Blame Me For Forgetting Your Birthday….Blame Facebook

Filed under: domesticated — Tags: , , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 10:31 pm

PD*17087469Alright, I get it…you hate the new Facebook layout. Can you at least stop sending me yet another annoying request to join your group demanding the old format be brought back immediately? As well intention as it once was, your group is now just another place spammers can go to hawk their ‘dating’ website or the miracle drug guaranteed to cure one’s problem in the bedroom.  If you had enough time on your hands to figure out the step by step directions to go back to the way things once were, I am pretty sure you won’t have a problem connecting with the 2 real friends you have on there, even with the hard to navigate layout.

Contrary to the prophecies spewed by some about the consequences for the switch, there wasn’t rioting in the streets. The US government never had to declare Marshall Law. And as far as I know Al Gore never blamed the switch on global warming, but I wouldn’t put it passed him. I guess social networking isn’t what it’s hyped up to be because no large mob ever got organized enough to march on Mark Zukerberg’s (Facebook creator) house with pitchforks and flaming torches

 I understand change frightens you, but trust me change for the most part is a good thing. This change hasn’t caused to many ripples. Life as we know it has somehow managed to go on. We’re still in the midst of a turbulent economy, gas is still hovering around $2 a gallon, Friday Night Lights is still the best show no one is watching and I still am a bonehead when it comes to remembering birthdays and sending thank you cards.

happy_birthday_cakeToday is my sister Michele’s birthday (hope it was a special one Shell…and look you got a shout out in my blog as a present). You want to know how I know this? Realizing my propensity to forget these important things, my brother-in-law sent me a friendly email reminder. Sadly, this is a common occurrence as other family members send me similar FYI emails all the time. I am good when it comes to nailing down the months, but the exact dates where we are to call and celebrate the anniversary of one’s birth is where I get a little shaky.

I am glad my family wants to ‘help a brotha out,’ but my lack of consideration is not fitting for an individual like myself who is attempting to display the qualities of a domestic dude. If I really had my act together, the birthday card would be in their mailbox before they even blew out their candles. I realize I have also brought shame to my mother for not having decorative ‘thank you’ cards readily on hand just in case someone does something nice for me. Don’t get her started on how long it took me to write notes of appreciation for the wedding presents I received.

I am not intending to be a jerk. One of the root causes of my forgetfulness is a lack of organization and time management skills. In an attempt to reverse this trend, I actually went out and bought a daily planner in hopes of getting everything in order by writing down important dates. I’ll pause for a moment for the audible gasps to subside.

Taking a break from getting organized, I hoped on Facebook to update my status. Then it hit me. Back in the old days, event reminders were highly visible. Now, you have to search high and low to find who is going to be a year older in the next few days. Looks like I am not an insensitive doof after all. My forgetfulness about sending birthday wishes is due solely to Facebook getting jealous of Twitter stealing some of their thunder. Wanting to appear more hip, they decided to switch things up by ripping off Twitter. It’s just my luck that Facebook would go and act like a pre-teen by giving into peer pressure. Okay, scrap everything I said in the opening. Sign me up for the “Bring Back The Old Facebook Or Else…” group. Change is a bad, bad thing. 

March 25, 2009

5 Is The New 25: You Cannot Stop A Facebook Phenomenon, You Can Only Hope To Contain Them

Filed under: indecisiveness — Tags: , , , , , — 30tocure30 @ 12:01 am

 

Have You Caught The Facebook Funk?

Have You Caught The Facebook Funk?

 

 

The Carolina Crud, the ILM Ickies, The Plague, The Two-Day Disaster. These are just some of the names given to the stomach bug on steroids that seems to be making its’ rounds recently amongst our friends. For a 48-hour stretch one is knocked completely out of commission and dead to the world. It feels like someone or something yelled ‘FIRE!’ in your lower intestines forcing your insides to bum rush every available exit way. Let’s just say it is not a pretty sight or smell. The only benefit of this bug is that you finally have a legitimate excuse to lounge on the couch in your pajamas and watch reruns of Judge Judy all afternoon.

The outbreak incubator begins to heat up especially if you have children.  Luckily, so far (fingers crossed) our family has been spared the torture of bowing down in worship to the porcelain God. Not wanting any possible bad mojo to come our way, I have avoided crossing the “O” and “U” shelf at Blockbuster just to make sure I have no possible contact with the movies Outbreak and Quarantine.

Judging by the Facebook statuses of my family and friends, a different virus seems to be spreading. It appears to be a mutation of a vicious strand of the 25 Random Things About Me which reached its’ potency peak in January of this year. Nearly 20 million people in the United States alone visited the Notes section of Facebook during that month. To put this number in perspective, this is roughly 4 times more people than the usual traffic it gets.

How quickly the disease went viral was mind-boggling.  At first, it appeared to only target the self-obsessed individual who updated their status every 5 seconds just to be sure everyone knew how much they loved Fruity Pebbles. Then something unexpected happened. A glorified forwarded email became all the rage allowing the disease to spread and get stronger. Suddenly, no one seemed to be immune to its’ clutches, even your retired grandmother in Florida who got tagged by all of her Red Hat society friends.

Every time you logged on to Facebook you nervously wondered if this was finally the day you were tagged. When the initial signs of outbreak made an appearance, the choices were to quickly take antibiotics (hitting ignore) and get better or allow it to fester and leave yourself vulnerable for infestation. The mind became weak as you began to wonder what pieces of information you could share. The nuggets included the highly personal (you’re a bi-polar schizophrenic who has daddy issues), completely random (you only eat Green M&M’s) and stuff bordering on TMI (your feet smell like corn nuts).

Some withheld giving in, but many contradicted this mini autobiography disease. Unfortunately, a new mutated gene has quickly become a hot bed of activity flooding my news feed. The viral marketers of LivingSocial.com have cloned the DNA from the “25 Things About Me” craze by creating the “Pick Your 5.” I guess you could say that 5 is the new 25.

The premise seems simple enough, which explains why it so addictive. Pick the 5 televisions shows you’ve seen every episode, your 5 all time favorite movies or the 5 albums that you can listen to from beginning to end.  Come up with your contenders, whittle down the list, make your final decision and then post for the world to see.

Back in January, I humored you (or bored you…depending on who you ask) by completing the 25 Random Things About Me in an effort to cure my socially stunted disorder, which just happened to be the focus for that month. Fast forward to today. March is coming to a close and I need to know if I have made any progress towards my goal of curing my chronic indecisiveness. Considering the wealth of time I waste filling my noggin with random pieces of pop culture, deciding on something like the 5 CD’s that defined my college years would seem to be near to impossible. But, I’m going to give it a shot by filling out a few of these lists. So, here it goes.

 

Five Albums That Shaped Me

1.     August And Everything After by Counting Crows

2.     Under The Table And Dreaming by Dave Matthews Band

3.     Room For Squares by John Mayer

4.     The Joshua Tree by U2

5.     MTV Unplugged by Dashboard Confessional

 

Five Recent Albums I Dig

1.     Let The Woman by Andy Davis

2.     The Bens by The Bens

3.     We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things by Jason Mraz

4.     Gossip In The Grain by Ray LaMontagne

5.     The Glass Passenger by Jack’s Mannequin

 

Five Best Television Shows

1.     Lost

2.     How I Met Your Mother

3.     The Office

4.     House

5.     Friday Night Lights

 

Five Books I Recommend

1.     Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

2.     Half-Life Die Already: How I Died And Lived To Tell About It by Mark Steele

3.     Divine Nobodies: Shredding Religion To Find God (and the unlikely people who help you) by Jim Palmer

4.     The Year Of Living Bibilcally: One Man’s Humble Quest To Follow The Bible As Literally As Possible by A.J. Jacobs

5.     A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America On The Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

 

Five Movies That I Will Watch Over and Over Again

1.     Office Space

2.     Rudy

3.     Good Will Hunting

4.     Old School

5.     Saved

 

Alright, as riveting and difficult as this is for me, I’ll stop while I am ahead. I think we can all agree on two things if you have read this far: (1) You must be extremely bored or have way too much free time on your hands (2) One cannot stop a Facebook phenomenon; you can only hope to contain them.

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