Saturday, February 1 2020

Everyone has a story

There are good and bad things that happen in life. Everything from winning the Little League championship to starting a business that makes millions, there is a story for everyone.

I'm a firm believer in playing the cards that were dealt to me. Regardless of good and bad, the deck is either stacked in my favor or a losing hand. There is nothing in the middle except mundane and more mundane days make a person dull. Our story is sometimes chronicled in pictures. If our parents did their job correctly, we were photographed from birth until present day with all the milestones in pictures from naked bathtub to the prom. The things that aren't chronicled though are the bad times which we try to forget.

Every dent in what we call life is just another experience of "what not to do." Whether it be a divorce, traffic accident, skinned knee, death, and other things, we are defined by both the good and bad and how we handle things in both instances. If we don't over complain at the bad times, then we handle things well according to society. If we don't boast when we succeed, we've handled that well also according to society. The squeaky wheel sometimes does get the most grease but attention can be a double edged sword.

I talked to someone once who said that they wanted to live almost underground so nobody could find them, get to them, or do anything to them. I laughed and said that I prefer to live high in the sky, noticeable by everyone that knows me so that if something happens, someone will find me. Never did subscribe to freezing to death on the front porch with a shotgun in my hands after a heart attack. Dayna told me a few times that was the way she wanted to go. My response was to tell her not to put her fingers on the trigger because the recoil could be harmful.

The one unique thing about our story of life is that it is truly ours. We choose whom to share it with and who is included. In the end, it's the experiences that count more than the possessions. Material things are more of a hindrance sometimes because we have to move them from place to place.

George Carlin said it once that "it's your shit but my stuff." Getting older, it's difficult to move possessions from one place to another. I guess that's why older people make that last move to a warmer climate and call it a day. When I was younger, people didn't know from time to time where I would end up. I've lived in many interesting places in the country, each with something unique that I've taken with me.

In the final analysis, it's experiences that matter when you're writing your book of life. Nothing can take that away from you unlike the repo man coming after your car.

Sunday, January 12 2020

It's not like it use to be.

Have you noticed that things are making a dramatic change? Going away are the "big box" stores, giving way to places like Amazon and Walmart. Someone told me once that if you can't find what you want at Walmart, you have to go home, take a shower and get out of your pajamas to go to Target.

Funny how it use to be something to go to places like shopping centers, department stores, along with small specialty shops have given way to Amazon, Walmart delivery and grocery store deliveries. Seems as though being social with other people is becoming as obsolete as Sears, Montgomery Ward and the shopping malls.

As traffic slows down to these stores, they become ripe for the pickings by places like Walmart and Target which offer goods at a price lower than other stores could imagine. Some say that mismanagement is primarily the cause of the demise of these retailers but if you remember back when video arcades were popular. Those gave way to people like Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft taking the interaction out of the equation and letting numerous people play at the same time through the Internet. Those arcades slowly faded at first but quickly closed shop as home systems got even better.

The same holds true for movie theaters, even car dealers now as you can purchase a movie in the comfort of your own easy chair and buy a car online to be delivered to your front door. Pretty much everything is being done behind the scenes in a "virtual world". The Internet seems to have become the most indispensable commodity of the late 20th century into the 21st. Gone are the days of having to have an extra phone line to handle the modem as pretty much all hard wired phones have become obsolete. Phone booths that dotted corners of city streets have dwindled down to nothing because everyone has a phone in their pocket.

All this is slowly taking the human interaction out of the equation. We can "face time", text, talk, Facebook, Twitter or any one of dozens of "social media" networks available. We can drive up, pick up our goods, groceries or if we're too lazy to do that, they can be delivered. It's getting to the point where if you don't want to leave your home, you don't have to because everything can be brought right to your door, even your lunch. Yes, even places like McDonalds and Burger King will deliver to you so you don't have to wait in those pesky lines at the drive thru.

Every year there are new and unusual words added to the dictionary while old words take on new meaning. Even symbols on the keyboard take on new meanings as the pound sign has become the 'hash tag'. While all this is going on, retail space in some key areas are becoming vacant and left abandoned. Where downtown's were the mecca of entertainment, shopping and socializing have now become apartment buildings, attorney's offices, bars and small eateries. The massive multi story department stores are slowly being turned into trendy, expensive apartments.

When and where is all this going to end you ask? Come out from behind your keyboard, take a walk in the park and enjoy life. When your life gets too messed up, do something simple. Sit in the sun, count to one, and rest as Cheech Marin would say.

Tuesday, March 19 2019

Testing 1-2-3.. Testing

I find it funny that when people have nothing to say about something, they usually come up with some of the dumbest stuff to articulate. Let's look at death for instance because lately, it's been happening a lot. Everyone has something to say and it usually amounts to nothing at all. The stock line "sorry for your loss" is probably the dumbest thing that can be said at a time like that. Of course everyone is sorry that someone died and yes, the loss is tremendous because, like the ripple effect, it blows lives apart in one form or another. The closer you are to the person, the more devastating the loss. There are many times when no words can say or comfort anyone but still, people try and come up with something, even if it's something they saw on television to convey a thought.

Whey Dayna died, one of her family members said that they would "pray for her." Now, her being Pagan and believing that you "harm none," that was probably one of the dumbest things one could say. Another told me that they couldn't be here because they were a "pussy when it came to these things." The list goes on and on.

The best words I got were from an old lady who had lost her spouse three years before I lost Dayna. She told me that it would never get better, only different. The loss would never go away but you have to adapt to not let the pain and anger show or else it would consume you. I saw my mother go through the same thing along with Aunts and Uncles but I never saw them miss a step until one of my Aunts died. My uncle, stood at the cemetery and just lost his composure not caring what anyone thought or said at the time. There was his wife, a member of a large family and she was gone. I remember standing next to him and telling him that my grandparents were buried not more than fifty steps away. He wiped the tears from his eyes, looked at me and said "well, she'll be in good company."

Lately, people are yelling just for the sake of yelling. There is no rhyme or reason to what they say but most of the time it's just hot air being expelled to either get a rise out of others or to see who shouts the loudest. Either you're one way or your wrong according to today's standards. There is no common ground anymore because there is no intelligent discord anymore.

My father once told me that you never talk about religion, sex, or politics. Seems as though today that's what everyone wants to talk about. When the subject comes up, I usually go into my shell because I could care less about a person's politics, religion, or what they do in the bedroom. If you're proud of that, well, tell someone that cares. I like to find out the character of a person and usually, that can be found out in a minute or two. In my eyes, first impressions are the ones that matter.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in my car at a local store. Since I have a handicapped placard, I parked in the space. Within a few minutes, a policeman was standing at my window greeting me. He told me quite sternly that I had parked my car illegally. I looked at my mirror, then at the officer in confusion. He told me that where I was parked was for vans with ramps. I asked if he was going to write a ticket, which would have been close to a thousand dollars, would have made my day a disaster. He smiled and told me that I needed to move it. I smiled, said absolutely and told him to have a good day. There was no confrontation, no swearing, nothing other than a couple of words between two people. Once things were resolved, we both wished each other a good day, civilly, and went about our business. Saddens me that more things can't be settled like this.