Archive for October, 2009

Vampire State of Mind

Posted in Life In General with tags , , on October 31, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

I enjoy drinking – not that this is really something to brag about, but probably more than most people. I’m not always out on a mission to get plastered or forget my night – I don’t despise myself that much. I just find it a very relaxing state of mind to get my .BAC high enough so that I’m not allowed to drive. Does this make me a bad person? Is this something people should judge me for? Do I stop blogging this post and now and go resister for AA? The answer to all of your questions is a no, followed by I don’t care if you answered yes.

With that being said I really don’t like Halloween. I think it’s because my parents never let me celebrate Halloween as a child [Which, Mom and Dad, made me have to either lie to my friends as a child or be harassed for not liking candy – you wonder sometimes why i’m so cynical], but looking past that I just don’t ever have the drive to get involved. I don’t enjoy dressing up, I party anyways, and I find a girl who’s too easy isn’t usually worth my while anyways.

I actually still think I’ve never had a Halloween where I went all out. The whole “event” with a party, costume, all of it – I’ve never done it all. So you’re probably saying to your self now, “How do you know you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it.” Halloween isn’t a type of food people. I’ve experienced a lot of things during my lifetime – including themed parties, which are a blast. I think the only thing that sets Halloween aside is that it’s a mandatory event. It also doesn’t help that, like tonight, I have to work as I have worked every Halloween since 2001. It makes everything seem even more mandatory and less enjoyable.

If I’m having a themed party [Whatever it may be: anything but clothes party, Pimps n’ Hoes, Glow Party, I don’t care I’m not going to keep listing things] I get to do it when I like. I can have a reason or It can just been for the hell of it. But this one day a year I had better be ready and I had best be in the mood because Halloween is here, Like it or not. You can’t “humbug” me either because this isn’t Christmas and we all know that the only reason it’s still a national holiday is because of the commercial value. Which is also great because God knows our struggling economy can use any boost it can get its hands on right now.

Now, I’m not ripping on the people who embrace it and go all out. That’s awesome. If you are going to do something it’s great that you give it all you’ve got. And even to those who do the same cliche costumes that we see every year [Dracula, a ghost, mummies, cops, all of those], I don’t blame you for your lack of creativity. Maybe you’re like me and can only think of really offensive costumes that will get you into a lot of trouble with someone. [ex, I was going to be Chris Benoit and hang two bloody cabbage patch dolls from my waist] Yes, I’m aware that I have a deranged sense of humor and there is nothing any of you can do about it.

Go out tonight and have some fun if that’s what you have in your itinerary but my point to you is just don’t give the people who don’t dress up a hard time. It’s not because those people are against what you’re doing or because they’re “party-poopers” its just because we don’t care enough, or in some cases don’t care at all. Don’t let that hold you back though. Go out and do what you have to do. Be safe, go wild, rage it up, but do it cause you love don’t do it because its marked on your calendar today.

All For One And All For… Me.

Posted in Life In General with tags , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

I hate my job. Honestly, I don’t enjoy any part of what I do. Just to fill you in too I work at a restaurant [That I will keep nameless only in the case that I don’t want to bring their name down or cost myself my job] and while I have done this for my entire career suddenly It’s really starting to take a toll on my personality. The work itself isn’t nearly as bad as most people make it seem. Yeah I know we are essentially the slaves of anyone we get the pleasure of waiting on and I know I get talked down to on a regular basis, but at this point that has nothing to do with it. Sadly I think part of me likes being talked down to now because it always seems that the meaner and ruder people are, the better they’re gonna tip. Also I’m starting to see this trend bleed over into my love life…

But now I’m just rambling. What I really hate about my new job is how it isn’t really a job. This workplace is a microcosm for a socialistic society and I understand now why so many people hate the idea of socialism and why communism failed. Sure, it’s one thing to talk about how un-motivating it would be to work harder than other people and be compensated exactly the same way, but it’s another to experience it. We don’t tip-share, we “work-share”. It’s a baffling concept I know and it makes me sick to my stomach now just thinking about it.

Work-Sharing is almost exactly what it sounds like. We all do each others work. Which, in all reality, makes for a very simple day at work. You’ve never stressed out, you’re never over worked and there is always someone there to help you out. But it’s nauseating to begin to think that I can’t work harder to make more money – I have to play some political game to get “voted” into better sections so I can get higher sales [and, mind you, still depend on the efforts of your co-workers to get my work done]

The service industry is about taking care of the guests and making sure everyone that leaves your establishment leaves happy. This restaurant, __________, does that. But the only reason they can keep the system that have in place running is with the huge loopholes and system of checks and balances they have to keep you in line. You vote every night on who helped you, had the best attitude, who gave you the most support, and who you thought led the shift the most. You also write-up “peer evaluations” where you actually grade your co-workers strengths and weaknesses.

It sickens me to be trapped in this enviroment. I actually miss [I can’t believe I’m going to say thing] the drama of the Ale House, where I worked last, after dealing with all this. I would rather listen to dirty rumors about who is sleeping with who or the stories of my female cohorts blab on about why they don’t like the other women in their sections. It’s always been what restaurants are, which is sad I know, but its a little more refreshing that everyone liking each other and being ok with under-achieving.

That’s actually what it really boils down to and why it just gets right underneath my skin. This job encourages everyone to be average. And they claim that they have the hellish training program that they have to make sure they’re hiring the best of the best. Maybe they do have the best of the best there, but if that’s the case they are certainly under-utilizing their talents. We are all motivated my money and the things we can get from money [Insurance, bonuses, free food, etc] and things that help us become more dynamic individuals. [education, training, etc]

I’ve always pushed myself to be better – to work harder. I’ve always known in my head that the harder I try – the better the results. Here I am now, in what at times feels like a movie, trapped in a strange world where you work hard but don’t worry because everyone has your back. Help them but not because you really want to help but just because you need to play a stupid little political game to keep your job status high enough to pay your bills.

Someone give me an opportunity. I assume you don’t need me to tell you that I’m still out hunting for a better career and I would love a chance to work somewhere that encourages you to do everything within your power to be the best and I’m ready for that chance. I don’t even care if it’s in another restaurant – God know I’ve done this long enough. One more job serving tables will not kill me. Staying at this one for any longer might though.

I’m an economist, a musician, a photographer, a [attempting] writer, and I for one am sick of watching people who are for less ambitious than me have a foot up in the world just because of a little more job experience. Look where experience has brought our country – to its knees! Qualifications and job expectations need to be rewritten and we need to start thinking outside of the box a little more often. Unemployment rates are not going to drop any time soon but to everyone looking to hire some new talent – don’t brush off all the young minds just because you have some people at the same table with more experience. Maybe what you really need is that fresh set of eyes to give you new perspective on the same problems. Maybe you don’t want to be tied down un-training someone on the ways of their old company. Maybe you’ve lost money like so many other firms during this recession and you don’t want to walk into the same mess twice. Give us a chance. let the young minds of this country show you that we have the capabilities to help lead this country back into its prime. All we need is the opportunity to shine.

 

Caught In The Panic Room

Posted in Life In General with tags , on October 30, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

Being the hypochondriac that I am, I can empathize with everyone’s desire to get their hand on the Swine Flu vaccination – wait, I’m sorry H1N1. It is flu season after all and the media has told us that if we get this disease we can die. Of course we can die. I was under the impression that we all knew we have the capability to die someday. Well, with the grim reaper in your rear view mirror, I’m here to give you some peace of mind. Chances are, if you do get the “Swine Flu” at all, you’re probably not going to die.

This isn’t the new bubonic plague or the “black death of 2009”. It’s a strain of the flu, which I should remind you, most of us have gotten before. The only reason some people have died from this in our country is the same reason that people die from [other straits of] the flu every year. Some people have weaker immune systems and are unlikely to have the antibodies to fight off flu symptoms. Does this mean you’re going to succumb to the H1N1 “crisis” and you should live your life to the fullest because the end is near? I should slap you for even starting to panic like that.

Actually I should just go slap the media for blowing this up like that. I really don’t even see the benefit of using scare tactics to get everyone so paranoid that every new cough and sneeze could be a path to your demise. It’s not like the government is selling these vaccines at an exorbitant rate and pulling in a huge profit to chip away at our national deficit [which, given the fact that most of us don’t need this vaccine, because we’re not at risk] maybe they should. Not charge everyone, of course not. Pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with existing complications should be the people to get the vaccine – not everyone. They should have a way to control who is and who isn’t allowed to get this vaccine but people will always look out for their own self interest and we have no way of stopping that. I just don’t see how someone could live with themselves if they were young and completely health and got the vaccine and then we ran out. At that point the people who do really need the vaccine would be left out in the cold and have to be very cautious. All just because some arrogant person felt their life [which probably could have beaten the swine flu anyways] was more important that others. Don’t let that be you.

Maybe my gift to you this morning/afternoon is peace-of-mind. Maybe you’re that much of a hypochondriac that you’re scared that the stomach ache you have makes your immune system low and you’re scared that now your weak and can’t fight off the “swine flu”. If that’s you, you can just close the browser now because there is no one that can save you.

In fact, you know what’s much much worse than getting the swine flu? Living your entire life in fear. Especially in fear of a strain of the flu. I see so many people walking around with face masks. They treat this as if AIDS just became airborne. It’s not lethal folks and if your anywhere between the ages of 16 and 55 and you’ve never had any serious health problems and you consider yourself to be generally healthy… you are fine!

If you’re standing in the line now and you fit that description, and you’re reading this on your I-Phone or Blackberry, just turn around now and go home. Leave the small handful of vaccines that we have for the people who need them. Stop shaking in your boots over a disease that might make you spend a few days in bed – tops. A lot of us will catch a cold over this holiday season and for most of us it will not have anything to do with any H1N1 strain. So open the doors America. Get back out there and push the fear away. That’s not how you want to live your lives anyways. Embrace the fact that your healthy and this in something you have the power over. I’m sick of everyone’s dismal attitudes – our bodies are stronger than you think. Bring it on.

Yahoo! News: Who Should Get the Vaccine

Can’t We Just Grow Up People

Posted in Life In General with tags , , on October 30, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

I like Texas. Really I do. But something about this place just makes me lose faith in our species as a whole. Sure, everyone is a bit nicer in Texas [I’m not totally sure I agree with the “everything is bigger in Texas” motto] but the real problem with this neck of the woods is the racism that still exists in our country. Now I grew up in south New Hampshire – luckily, around a very diverse group of people. At no point did I believe it was ok to consider someone less of a human being because of their heritage or their skin color.

This place is a mess. My neighbor has dropped a “hard r” so many times that it would make KKK leaders uncomfortable. It just baffles me that even now, in 2009, people are still just as ignorant about how the world really works as they were a hundred years ago. I really just goes to show that no matter how many universities we build, no matter how many churches are constructed and no matter how many lessons we think we’ve learned, as a whole, our society is still a mess.

The economic downturn we’ve been struck with is certainly a mess and less than ideal. It is nothing compared to the lack of respect for our fellow human beings that I’ve already seen as a daily routine in this area. Now that doesn’t give a free pass to other parts of our country. I know racism is still prevalent in other states too. I’m just here and experiencing it in Texas so I can talk about what I’m seeing with my own eyes.

Texas, for some reason, has added “PI” laws to their law-book. Now a “PI” is a “public intoxication” offense. On the surface that seems like a reasonable law to enforce. The real issue is it has nothing to do with alcohol or alcohol abuse. A “PI” can be given to anyone at anytime, which as you can imagine, gives local police way too much freedom. You can be given a PI for any reason and usually the reason is to take you downtown to get more information on who you are. I know we are close to the border but that is a terrible way to treat human beings and I find it completely embarrassing that the state legislature found it acceptable to compromise human rights to this point. A cop can arrest you for a PI without any signs of intoxication. In fact, you can get a PI for anything. If the cop wants to take you downtown because you look suspicious or because your skin color doesn’t match the officer’s – you can be taken downtown for a PI.

Still believe in the good of humanity? Probably not – but that’s not my point. We’ve made great strides in aiming for equality among races over the years but my point is – sadly, we still have a long ways to go. We need to get to a point where not only is it illegal for a cop to arrest someone for a reason like this but it’s condemned by the masses. It’s so embarrassing that in our modern-day and age,  our local governments have deemed it acceptable to arrest people for no reason. I’ve never seen such a large compromise on our democratic society.

I know everyone out there believes they have a voice – and believe it or not you do. So please make it known to the world that racism compromises our freedom and will not be tolerated. We are a proud people who have lost our position on the global spectrum, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up. We will again reach the top if we’re united under the fact that we’re all equal. Don’t let language barriers and skin colors change your evaluations of your peers. We weren’t all raised with the opportunity to study the English language and God forbid, we weren’t all born white.

Hate on the people who have made bad decisions. Condemn child molesters. They, after all are the only people who can’t be rehabilitated. Everyone else deserves a second chance. So if you are one of those people who give people with a different heritage a hard time and believe that the Arian race is superior to all other races, use today as a new start. Embrace equality and live your life, from this day forward, as a new person who loves everyone for who they are. We all deserve a chance to succeed in life and if we all work together we can make this a better place for everyone. Don’t do this as a favor for me, and in fact, don’t do this as a favor for yourself. Do this as a favor for all the people in the world how didn’t receive any favors today. Do this because you feel there are people in this world who are good honest people and don’t get a chance to live up to their potential because of the ignorance so many people around them attest to.

You don’t have to. You might not want to, but unlike all the opinions I toss around on daily basis – this I know I’m right about. If you choose to continue to live a life of hatred and ignorance you will burn in hell where you belong. If not in an actual hell, [if you don’t believe in God or any other higher power] at some point your castle will come tumbling down and the less fortunate that you have spent your life stepping on will conquer you and you will know their wrath.

Be a better person than that. We are all good in nature and I’m hoping if you are one of those people who haven’t grasped that we’re all good people and worth of success. Maybe, starting today, you’ll change and your heart will grow just a little bit more and you’ll get a little bit closer to your fellow-man. It’s worth it I promise. You may think you’ve lived your life to the fullest – but you have no idea. Goodnight and [as E. R. Murrow would say] good luck.

I’m The Lucky One

Posted in Life In General with tags , , on October 29, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

Amidst my pondering on what to write about this morning, a friend of mine told me that she had a dream about me last night. Something about someone’s subconscious putting together images of you is just one of the coolest things in the world. Now we still don’t know why, as a species, we dream or why we dream what we do dream. But if you are one of the millions of people like me that dream every single night, you’re aware of just how exciting it can be to dream.

Now I’m not going to bore any of you with stories of what my dreams are. To quote Dennis Reynolds [Always Sunny in Philadelphia] “Dreams are like pictures. If I’m not in them and no one’s having sex – I just don’t care.” It’s pretty straight to the point. Most dreams are far too abstract anyways for them to be interesting to anyone. Most of us wake up in the morning forgetting what was just racing through our minds. Sometimes we do remember but they’re so uninteresting or irrelevant that we forget them just as quickly as our minds made them up. But now and then we have that dream that is so vivid that it is almost as real to us as the events from the day before. Or if you’re like me – and if you are, that’s unfortunate – you dream like that on a regular basis.

Even when I was a little child I had a hard time distinguishing my dreams from the realities around me. I used to always get upset with my father [and now that I think about it this may have been where my lack of trust for other human beings was rooted] because I thought he had told me there were “blue traffic lights” that were only for cops to go through. Now we all know this is absurd and my father knew full well that he never told me that. I never believed in Santa of the Easter Bunny, but until I was about eleven years old I would always look at traffic lights to see if there was a blue one.

Do we all have dreams that we really take that seriously and distort our sense of reality? Probably not. My experiences as a child are probably fairly unique but it proves my point that the line of reality between dreams and what we deem as the real world can be blurred at times. For those of us who dream it takes a few minutes sometimes to put together the events that just took place in our imaginations and accept that everything that just happened was “only a dream”. Of course the real reason that we can’t remember most of our dreams has nothing to do with how interesting or epic they are. We’ve all had dreams that we want to tell someone else but when we get around to it we forget what we were dreaming about. This is because during your REM cycle, the period of sleep when you dream, your brain doesn’t produce the chemicals your brain needs to process short-term memories into long-term ones.

For a while my goal was to become a lucid-dreamer. This is the term for when you’re dreaming and you are aware of it. During this scenario you have complete control over the dream scenario and often everything surrounding you. Now I know a lot of books that apparently will train you to be a lucid dreamer but it just seems way too good to be true. Not to mention if you can have anything you want in your dreams, what would be the excitement in reality? I love my dreams – they’re often extremely epic, movie-like with great cinematography, challenging, and intriguing. I don’t know if it is a reflection of my life’s potential or just a factor of my watching too many movies, but it’s exciting for me [even amidst nightmares] to see where the plot of my dreams will take me. I feel like half the adventure and all the drama would be destroyed if I had the ability to control my dreams.

So I think the real lesson to be learned out of my failed conquest to manipulate my dreams is that we should all just embrace what we have. Lets all just use our tools and talents to the best of our abilities and not get over fixated with false realities. If the next chapter in our lives takes us to Austin, Texas – Go. If the next destination on your map ready North Carolina – Go. If you look out on the horizon line and all you see is San Francisco – Go. If you take too much time to think about your decisions, you’ll never make any choices. Let life lead you and just embrace everything completely. “Half-assing” things will do you no good. Don’t miss out on the right relationship just because you don’t like the idea of committment, don’t not switch jobs only because you’re worried about that short time span without medical coverage. Dont’t hesitate to go back to college if you think the only thing holding you back is the lack of an education. Don’t be afraid of the stage. The crowd loves you – It’s time to give them what they want.

A Little [Un]Friendly Competition

Posted in MISC. with tags , , , , on October 29, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

So I just bought some beer – No, that has nothing to do with this blog. But as I was waiting in line to pay, my roommate Kyle and I got into a heated debate about the candy they have waiting for you at the checkout Isle. He proceeded to grab a “Rolo” and I remarked that why would he, amidst the entire selection, settle on having a Rolo. His reply was “I touched it”

Obviously we both found this very funny at first but then I really started to think about it. Who does want a Rolo? Not that they’re not good but when you weigh the options there is almost always something better. Wouldn’t you rather have a delicious Snickers bar or a creamy piece of Hersey’s chocolate? Maybe its just a sign of effective marketing and perhaps I’m underscoring Rolo but I really want to know how some of these other companies manage to compete for shelving space.

The new age candies aren’t helping matters either. I love gummy snacks and Lifesavers just put out a new “Sweet & Sour” product but it just looks like over kill. There are so many exciting new candies that either market themselves along a famous cartoon character to catch kids eyes or are some kind of electronic gimmick with an edible component that I have to sit here and blog about my disappointment in the candy industry

Yes – I’m taking it as my personal responsibility to compel the candy makers of our country to make a new headlining candy. I don’t want any “Well if you don’t like it why don’t you do something about it” because it’s not my skill set. I’m trying to entice the big wigs with the know how to bring Americans a candy product that they can be proud of. Sure M&M’s are great, Skittles will always have a place in my heart and God knows I can’t go a week without Starburst but I would love for a new rival to compete with the candy Gods.

Damn Yankees

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , on October 29, 2009 by JoshuaJDrew

Who could possibly be upset that America’s favorite franchise is back at the big dance? I choose to rephrase the question. How could anyone possibly be cheering for them to win the big dance. At this point I assume you’ve figured out that this is a post about the New York Yankees and not information about the 80’s band. If it took you this long to figure that out and I’m the bearer of bad news you’re probably in for some more bad news when those test results come back.

Anyway

So here we are back in everyone’s favorite fall classic and the big dance starts tonight. The New York Yankees matched up against the defending World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Now, as a Red Sox fan there are billions of reasons that I am cheering for the Phillies to win it all this season, and even more reasons why I just want the Yankees so lose. But before I dig deep into that pile I would like to put my sword away and break down why the Yankees belong here.

The have the best team in baseball [luckily for us viewers at home] except perhaps to their rival in the Phillies. The three-man rotation the Yankees are using can only be matched up against the big three that are in Philly. C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett have showed up so far this postseason and if they continue to pitch as good as they have it will be hard to stop the Yankees from getting another ring. They have also developed the perfect lineup for their new “hitter-friendly” arena and the addition of Teixiera is the Reason we’re watching the boys in blue compete for the top prize and not the Red Sox.

When it comes to the payroll issue and the “money doesn’t buy championships” argument its important to really look at the business structure of the Yankees franchise. Not only are they where they are because of the money they spend but if you look at the past recent championship teams you see [outside of the Marlins and the Diamondbacks] it’s not out of this world to see high payroll teams win the World Series. What really sets this Yankees team apart from past “money-loaded” teams is the amount of homegrown talent on their roster. The 2009 New York Yankees have the highest percentage of homegrown talent. More than any other baseball team! Fifty-two percent of the team was born in pinstripes so to speak.  Also the big difference this year is they really played as a team. They went out and bought the pieces they needed to win games and nothing more. They players they got were the components for them and not just good players that they had to outbid everybody to get. It’s also important to remember that that contracts players get aren’t entirely just to win games. It’s a business and the Yankees are as profitable as any other sports franchise. Players are there also to sell tickets, merchandise, advertising and more. When It boils down to it isn’t really not just about winning.

Now they’re mentality of doing whatever it takes to win is admirable but somewhere in this mentality they lost their ability to relate to the public. Their new stadium [with less seats than the old Yankee Stadium i might add] is so insanely overpriced that it’s just laughable. How laughable? Well, during the division series again the Twins the Yankees couldn’t even sell out the seats behind home plate – embarrassing however you try to spin it. In case the Steinbrenner family and associates hadn’t gotten the memo – we’re in a recession. Even the handful of Americans in the Bronx that can afford to buy those seats [1250$ during the regular season] a lot of them would rather spend that money doing or buying something else.

Now back to my hatred for this team. Actually, it’s really just a hatred for the franchise. I’m a huge fan of the game of baseball as a whole and my distaste for the Yankees isn’t totally locked into my heritage. Yes obviously as a native to the New England area I was taught to hate the Pesky Pinstripes before I could even walk. It’s just how things run up there in the promised land. But that aside I actually have a lot of respect for a majority of the players on that team and passionate game time aside I can actually give them credit for their accomplishments. Not to mention Nick Swisher is all around one of my favorite baseball players just because of his attitude and how he carries himself. But I still want nothing more than for the Yankees to go home this season without any more jewelery

So suck it Yankees fans. I’m not sorry I’m praying for your tears to come. I don’t have the tolerance to receive all the text messages that will be coming my way if the Yankees manage to  bring home the big prize again. It’s a little bit more personal every year – I know.

I also do enjoy watching the Red Sox old flamethrower Mr. Pedro Martinez back on his throne. Pedro, go and how the team that still thinks “they’re your daddy” whose boss. I don’t think you will ever have enough strength and endurance to pitch a full season but I know you have enough gas in your tank to shut down the evil empire one last time. Don’t just do it for me and Red Sox nation but do it for yourself and show the world that Pedro Martinez [injuries or not] is still one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. Don’t go down in flames go out on top.

The probably average series [at least in TV ratings] begins tonight and if you’re one of those people on the fence about watching baseball I recommend this time a year to get into it so you can get pumped up to dive deeper next season. There is so much more to it then just throwing a ball and running around a basepath and I urge you to enjoy the science of the sport. You can cheer for who you want I know I’m not convincing anyone to switch their side of the alliance and that not really what I’m aiming for. I think it’s even worse when Yankees fans who grew up cheering for their team switch over to another team. I didn’t talk to my Dad for a week when he turned into a Rays fan and the only reason we do still speak is because I know deep down inside he’s way more of a Sox fan than a Rays fan.

Cheer away, drink your beers, eat your food, enjoy your company and join me in hoping to watch the mighty empire fall this in this fall classic.