Sunday, March 31, 2013

keeping the faith and loving the music

i kept thinking about what i was going to do for the Lenten Season, seeing i can't work (i could but it would be insubordination)  and worrying about a repeat-offender friend miss work was already stressful so i decided to check out the free Jars of Clay concert.  it was held near the place where i worked but i wasn't tempted to drop by anymore.

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it was amazing.  i didn't catch them when they were here the first time so i made sure i didn't miss them now.

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i felt bad i was late.  or that i didn't know all of their songs.  but i was pretty sure i was more animated than the "polite" people sitting in front of them.  i would've stood up and enjoyed the music.  so i enjoyed the music from afar.

a colleague saw me, as the venue was really near to where i worked and asked if i was a Christian.  i was there to watch a Christian rock concert, after all.  i told her that while i was an unconventional non-practicing Catholic, my relationship with my Creator was unique.  and i was always a big fan of rock music, secular or otherwise.  it made me miss NU107 too.  it was the station that introduced me to the band's music.

the band gave an acoustic encore performance.  it was an awesome set.  Steve and Chad even joked about being old and how their brains worked like hard drives, where if you enter new information, the old ones get archived.  they are a fun band to watch.  i hope they come back soon.

If I was not so weak
If I was not so cold
If I was not so scared of being broken
Growing old
I would be...
I would be...
I would be...
 . . . frail

Frail, Jars Of Clay

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Top 5 Ways to a Better Life According to Dave Grohl

i love Dave Grohl. i've said it here before how much i adore that man.  and it's not just because he kinda looks a little like Alanis Morissette.  i truly think that he is one of the greatest songwriters in my lifetime.  after watching the video of this speech, i found out that growing up, he was just like me.  only he had the balls (he still does) to do what he's always wanted to do:  make fucking music.

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below is an interpretation of his Keynote speech at SXSW in Austin, TX published on 104.1 KRZQ‘s Facebook page:

1. No one is you and that is your biggest power.

“It’s YOUR VOICE. Cherish it. Respect it. Nurture it. Challenge it. Stretch it and scream until it’s f**king gone because everyone is blessed with at least that, and who knows how long it will last . . .”
“Who’s to say what’s a good voice, and what’s not a good voice? The Voice? Imagine Bob Dylan sitting there singing ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’ in front of Christina Aguilera.”

2. Don’t be afraid of not fitting in.

“I can truly say out loud that ‘Gangnam Style’ is one of my favorite f**king songs of the past decade. Is it any better or worse than the latest Atoms for Peace album? Hmmm… paging Pitchfork! Come in, come in, Pitchfork! We need you to help us determine the value of a song! Who f**king cares.” Don't be someone who designs their lives to impress others.

3. Give a damn about yourself.

It’s about taking care of yourself so you can be a better human being. A 2.0 version of you is way more equipped to help others in need. Take up yoga if you’re stressed. Ask for a big raise. Walk away from a relationship that is abusive or draining. Or just take a nap, for Christ’s sake.

4. Be humble.

No one wants to go to lunch with a supermodel who says things like, “My cheekbones, if you’ve noticed, have a similar incline to an escalator.” One thing I’ve noticed is that if you are good at something, people will acknowledge it. Appreciate the hell out of those people. Should you be blessed enough to have the fortitude to work so hard at something that people celebrate you, your first reaction should be gratitude. And know that there’s a ton of people out there from all races and socioeconomic backgrounds who can still teach you something. I don’t care if you’re Bill Clinton or Jay-Z – always be learning; always be improving.

5. Spark a revolution.

Always have the highest bar for yourself. Wake up everyday and no matter how crappy you feel, want to change something for the better. Do something that makes someone happy. Create something that inspires someone. Be someone’s light when they are hopeless.

In Plain Sight: Mary and me

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i've been quoting a lot of Mary lately.  i can relate to her.  she is so much like me, only hotter and with a gun.

Mary is a Deputy US Marshall working in the office of the Federal Witness Protection Program in this show called In Plain Sight.  it follows Mary as she tries to balance her life with the people she works with, the people she protects and the people she loves.  having been lied to and abandoned, she took on the role of being the sober grown up in the family, which explains why she is always angry.  her professional partner, co-worker and best friend Marshall, is her unlikely source of useless information.  he is a nerd with a gun.  but he is a hot nerd which i like seeing on TV all the time.  very cerebral and sexy, with his tight jeans and all.  did i say he had a gun?

anyway, like i said, i like quoting Mary.  she kinda reminds me of me.  she's in her thirties, she's obsessed with her work, she would rather deal with her witnesses and co-workers than deal with family, she is angry all the time, but she kicks ass in her work.  she is great at protecting witnesses, although her following her gut can sometimes clash with Marshall's cerebral approach.  they are extremely protective of each other and know each other like a book.  well, Marshall knows Mary like a book and Mary, well, she couldn't care less. lol.  okay, so maybe that's where our similarities end.  i do care.  i am angry all the time but i do care. i try not to be unpleasant to people if i can help it.  i care because i don't just represent myself, but i also do represent the higher authority i work for so i can't just shoot people when i want to; plus i don't have a gun, and even if i did, i hate them and i'd throw them away.  i don't have a hot ex-fiance, i don't have an intellectual partner who watches my back and would die for me.  i just have me.

Mary shuts people out of her life most of the time. so maybe we are the same.  her writers make her say words that speak to me, make sense to me; not just because she reminds me of me.  i like her because it means i'm not so alone.

"We forget sometimes how much the world can hurt. It can hurt people we love, people we don't, people caught in the middle, even people who would give anything if they could just never ever get hurt again, but sometimes the hurt can't be avoided. It's just coming at us and can't be stopped. It's in us and can't be seen, or it's lying next to us in the dark, waiting but sometimes it doesn't come at all. Sometimes we get this other thing that flutters down out of nowhere and stays just long enough to give us hope. Sometimes rarely, barely, but just when we need it the most and expect it the least, we get a break."

Mary Shannon, In Plain Sight

Thursday, March 21, 2013

blueberry muffin

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because of you, i have a newfound appreciation for muffins, the blueberry ones in particular.

you were so sweet and you looked so cute.  so sorry i'm so torpe, i didn't know what to say so i kinda ended up blowing you off without meaning to.  i really am sorry.

but you were so sweet.  you put a smile on my face again.  i appreciate that too.

Friday, March 15, 2013

angry girl journal 03.15.2013

i think it is a great disservice to me that people only come to me when they need money, when they need a place to stay, when they need someone to lie for them, when they need a warm body to sleep with, or when they need someone to save their ass. then they abandon me and leave me for dead whenever they feel like it.

it is a great disservice to me because they're never there when i need them.

while i am pretty self-sufficient and it is not like me to expect people to give me back in return what they ask from me,  it is just disappointing to know that there are people like that.  they don't seem to remember me when they're happy or well-off.  they even blame me and make me feel like it's my fault when they fail and then they expect me to save them. 

how do these people live with themselves?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

sometimes when we think we are smart, we forget about the little things

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i learned about this book through the show Person of Interest.  Root's friend, Hanna, was reading it before she disappeared and Root made sure that the estranged wife of the man responsible for Hanna's death got a copy every year, April 15th to be exact.

i just finished reading it. it is awesome.

the story is about Algernon, a lab mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence through artificial means and it is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon who went under a similar procedure.  as Charlie became very smart, his relationships with other people began to deteriorate.   he would question everything and well, as all very smart people are, he became very arrogant.  he started his own study about his condition and learned that there was a flaw, which meant that he would soon go back to his old mental state, and probably might be even worse than when he first started prior to the operation.

i sometimes believe that there is truth to the saying that "ignorance is bliss", or that "what you don't know won't hurt you," i do.  life is so simple when you don't know a lot of things. it takes away the paranoia.  back then we used to have this thing we talk about, "sobrang talino, nabobobo" and i agree.  when you're smart, you think about too many things, you miss out on the little stuff, you ignore the beautiful things around you because you're too busy rationalizing and thinking that everyone else is mediocre.  it comes with the territory, i know, but i guess, that is the difference that sets apart those with high IQ and those with high EQ. Charlie didn't have to worry about people so much before the surgery, even when they were mocking him.  he didn't think any badly about the people around him.  it was when he got smarter that he doubted everyone's capacity to care or be real to him.  there wasn't any real connection between him and the people around him.

i don't know why we put too much premium on people being smart.  i know i had to deal with that growing up.  i just had to be better than everyone else, i had to achieve this and that and it was so overwhelming for me growing up,  all the things i was supposed to learn.  while i am grateful that training has taught me so many things which are useful to me now, i can't help but feel sad because the other kids who didn't quite catch up with the rest of us always had to try harder than everybody else and still not get the type of support we had.  while it is good when ideas abound, sometimes too many ideas can lead to disagreement and instead of achieving something, nothing is done.

i felt bad that Charlie's condition deteriorated.  i felt bad that Algernon had the same fate.  there are things that should not be altered.  we can improve but not alter.

Monday, March 11, 2013

that rattle actually helps you fight to the death

one of my favorite movies from the 80s is the Karate Kid.  we learned to "wax on, wax off" , "sand the floor" and "paint the fence", not knowing that those were techniques to defensive blocks via muscle memory.  that movie really made us want to do martial arts.  i know i did.

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aside from having this humongous crush on Ralph Macchio when i was younger, i am very fond of its sequel, Karate Kid II.  after winning the All Valley Karate Tournament, we find Daniel six months later, left by Ali for a football player in college.  we also find him disappointed because his mother's work requires them to move again to Fresno, but Mr. Miyagi says that the guest room that they are building is actually for Daniel-san.  unfortunately, Mr. Miyagi receives news that his father is dying and that he needs to go back to Okinawa.  Daniel accompanies him.  here we find, that Sato, Miyagi's old best friend, has still been holding a grudge, and has been waiting to fight him to the death for a something they fought about years ago:  a lady named Yukie.

anyway, of course, Miyagi doesn't fight and this angers Sato.  meanwhile, Sato's nephew Chozen, has his own beef with Daniel for messing up his honor.  yes, they really value their honor in Japan.  something we can learn from the Japanese.  too many politicians in the PHL just want to be re-elected they keep forgetting about the more important things like their job, for instance, you know, serving the people, that stuff.

finally, Miyagi agrees to fight Sato on the condition that regardless of who wins, the people in the village get to keep their houses and the land it stands on.  good deal, right?  however, on the night they were supposed to fight, a storm comes and wipes the village out.  Sato thinks that Miyagi found the most convenient way to beat him but Miyagi is actually there to save his ass.  Miyagi, Yukie, Sato, Kumiko and Daniel-san all try to help everyone in the village to safety but Chozen chooses not to (for a while, i thought that was going to be redundant lol) as he refuses to help Daniel save the girl stuck in the bell tower because of that whole he-shamed-my-honor crap.  this angers Sato so he says the whole, "you're dead to me now" speech.

after the storm, the village tries to reassemble itself with the surprise from Sato Industries.  this makes everyone very happy and Daniel-san takes the opportunity to get Sato to agree to open the castle so that they can celebrate the O-bon festival there and also, so Kumiko can perform.  Sato agrees because, "Miyagi, your student become my teacher!"

after everybody does the O-bon dance in the castle, Chozen appears in the middle of Kumiko's dance (see, this is where i learned how to use my fan) and tells Daniel-san that he will kill Kumiko if Daniel-san will not fight him to win him back his honor.  this is not a drill, kid, this is no tournament.  you could actually die.  Chozen is obviously the more experienced fighter than Daniel, the Karate Kid just has more will.  Miyagi brings out his rattle, err, drum and beats it.  the other villagers do the same.  apparently, the drum technique applies in fight-to-the-death situations like these and Daniel picks it up easily.  to make the long story short, Daniel finally overpowers Chozen and gives him a choice whether to live or die.  Chozen, of course, wants to die instead of facing the humiliation but Daniel chooses to tweak and honk his nose instead.

to cap it all off, Peter Cetera's Glory of Love plays during the end credits.  yes, aside from the ass-kicking, it is a love story, after all.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

maybe i should consider dancing too. if not medication

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Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a man with bipolar disorder who is released from a psychiatric hospital and moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver). determined to win back his estranged wife, Pat meets recently-widowed sex addict Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), who tells him that she will help him get her back if he enters a dance competition with her. the two become closer as they train and this bothers Pat's father, as Pat Sr. thinks that all the time they spend together ruins the Philadelphia Eagles' chances in the football championship.  both examine their relationships with each other as they cope with their disorders.

you'd think the movie ends in tragedy, but it is actually a romantic-comedy.

at most, Pat is delusional:   jogging and trying his best to lose weight and be "normal" so that he can win back his ex-wife but Stevie Wonder's My Cherie Amour still sets him off.  Tiffany, on the other hand, tries to give Pat the false hope that she can help him get back together with Nikki, just so she can have a dance partner.  dancing is, after all, good therapy for her, if she's not sleeping around to get over her husband's death.

a friend once told me that i might be bipolar.  of course, he wasn't a professional but i'm afraid of seeking medical attention on the off-chance that he might be right.  i'm still able to handle stuff, you know, like give sane and sound advice to other people, i get the job done and i'm a contributing member of society so i'm alright.  i stopped acting out, slitting my wrists and sleeping around a long time ago.  hell, i sure could use the exercise.

i can always enroll in dance class. that or kickboxing.  we do need to channel all that pent up anger.

anyway, i digress:  the story is another example of how you always look too far  and try too hard to get someone who doesn't give a rat's ass about you when all you're looking for is just right there in front of you.  that's what Tiffany was trying to do and it took a while before Pat could realize it.

Pat: "The only way to beat my crazy was by doing something even crazier. Thank you. I love you. I knew it from the moment I saw you. I'm sorry it took me so long to catch up." 

the crazier one for me is out there somewhere.  and i'm not being delusional. just hopeful.