my weblog

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Why is is that we tend to magnify our flaws, our failures, much more so than our positive attributes, accomplishments, and successes? Things that, with others, we probably wouldn't even recognize, much less criticize, in ourselves become major things? Myself; I've accomplished most of the fitness goals I had set out for myself this summer, been consistent in my workouts, clean in my diet, lost a few pounds I had been wanting to, even my abs of late are starting to show some results of my efforts! Yet when I look on the mirror, all I see are my flaws: the not-completely-toned abs, arms that are still a lil too bulky, calves that look a lil too big...but more, my face. Lines under my eyes, a complexion not nearly as smooth as I'd like, etc...and it bothers me, even as there are others who might wish they had the attributes I possess, yet all I can see are my flaws, my imperfections, and the frustration of not looking as good as I'd like. I can't be the only one who does this- perhaps I let what others think about me, or maybe more accurately, what or how I perceive others think about me, affect me too much. Intellectually, I know most folks are caught up enuf in either themselves or myriad other things going on around them that they seldom take nearly as much notice of us as any of us believe. But still...

Similarly, our failures, our mistakes. Later tonite (actually early tomorrow morning, like around 12:30 am) will mark the two-year "anniversary" of one of my most regrettable and shameful acts. No one, and no property, was hurt, and according to the Commonwealth I've made any and all amends I needed to and, officially, still have no convictions to my record (briefly- a DUI arrest.) Yet to this day, I still have a very difficult time forgiving myself for that, and for the disappointment it caused a few folks close to me. I tend to beat myself up over a lot of things I screwed up, didn't handle properly, make appropriate use of, times going back many years, while seldom giving myself credit or appreciation for many of the things I did, and do, right. I guess I still have the mindset- losing hurts more than winning feels good. Anyway...

Manny. Poor Manny Ramirez. Being asked to play, even on a designated day off, due to one of his teammates being injured. A lack of privacy around Boston. Being booed by the fans. How much more must one man take?! Please...Manny, here's a hint- just shut up, play ball, and all will be forgiven. There is no "i" in team, but there IS one in "Ramirez!" (Note to Manny #2- if you need an example of "team,' look about 25 miles to the south, in Foxboro?) Speaking of Pats opened camp! The two-time defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots! This is going to be a challenging season for the Pats, with many off-season losses (Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, Tedy Bruschi, Ted Johnson amongst the most important, and Richard Seymour currently not in camp.) To win two Super Bowls back-to-back, and three of the last four, and to suffer those kinds of losses to core early pick as a possible Super Bowl champion? The Indy Colts. They're a veteran team, with a lot in place; if they don't make a serious run this season, they may be done. Watch for 'em...

And opining on things patriotic, or perhaps not so...Dissent is patriotic? Despite that bleating from some, apparently not always, as two recent news items suggest:
PA Lt. Governor
OH "vandals"
In story #1, Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll- Democrat, PA came under criticism for handing out her business card during communion while attending- uninvited- the funeral of fallen Pennsylvania Marine Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, then compounded her- what?- gauchery by telling the family of the soldier that "our government" is against the war. Yes, while attending the funeral of a man who gave his life for our country. Quite understandably, the relatives were incensed.
In story#2, alleged "vandals" set fire to approximately 20 US flags, and the vehicle of deceased Ohio soldier Pfc. Tim Hines, one day after his funeral.
While one hopes that these incidents were merely the acts of one tone-deaf, utterly self-serving politician, and one or more drunk-or-drugged social misfits, they do suggest the tone and tenor of some who seem to have an axe to grind against our military and this Adminstration. People of sincerity and good will can disagree on the decisions to and the prosecution of our actions to remove the Taliban from Afghanistan and Saddam from Iraq. Nothing wrong with difference of opinion, with loyal opposition. But to sully the memories and add to the pain of families suffering the grief of the loss of loved ones who gave their lives in service to out country, either in an attempt to score crass political points or out of incredible idiocy, these should not be countenenced and should be roundly and soundly condemned by all people of good will, no matter their stance or view of our actions in Iraq or in Afghanistan or of our Administration. There's too much intolerance, and it comes from all sides; no one side or one party is all right or all wrong. The pettiness, the demonization, the aspersions cast not merely on policy but on motives and intent- they have to end.

(And in jest of the recent "allegations" re. Jimi Hendrix: "'Scuse me, while I kiss this guy!")

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Random thoughts while sipping on a cold Cabot Street Summer Wheat from Paper City Brewing Co. (I luv wheat beers in the summer!)

I've also been drinking Coke Zero lately, swithcing between that and Diet Mountain Dew...I've never been a coffee drinker, hot or iced, nor a fan of any coffee-flavored things. It's odd, because coffee always smells sooooooo good when it's being brewed, but I've just never really liked the taste of it. I drink a lot of iced tea, and occassionally while have hot tea if I'm really in the mood, but overall I've never been much for hot drinks period...

I haven't had any steamers yet this summer! The red tide outbreak is supposed to be subsiding now, hopefully I'll have some before the summer is through...

So, the NHL is back in business. Did anyone south of the 49th parallel (save for my brother, and a few other hockey nuts!) miss it?! This had to have been one of the most asinine work stoppages in sports, or any labor, history. The players got nothing out of it; the ones who got truly screwed were the numerous small businesses dependent upon gameday and game-related commerce, and of course the fans...And can someone explain why there were any coaching changes- firings, hirings, etc...during the stoppage?! There must be a truly bad coach to get fired when no games were even played!

It's been a pretty nice summer here, but hey, how 'bout the heat they've been getting out in the Southwest? Temps have been well over 100 for weeks on end throughout Nevada, Arizona, the California desert...Vegas topped out near 115 today! But it's a dry heat, right?! (I'd still luv to move out there- perhaps someday...perhaps this January?! Hmmm...)

Elton John can be an insufferable prig...but everybody liked Freddie Mercury! And while on the topic of English rock stars of "alternative" persuasions, growing up, I never knew that Judas Priest's Rob Halford was gay; I just thought he was a sorta edgy-looking guy with short hair who liked leather...duh!

I haven't read any of the series, but it's good to see the excitement around the release of the latest Harry Potter book...Anything that gets kids excited to read (as opposed to sitting around watching television, or playing video games) is A-OK by me...and any so-called "conservatives" who are upset about any of the content? Lighten up; it's fantasy book already, sheesh!

Whatever happened to John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band...??? (And yes, I've been playing with the "link" function on Blogger! )

"The dark side's calling/Now nothing is real..."

Thursday, July 14, 2005

More political correctness run amok...

I've noticed a sad trend, radio stations editing song lyrics. Some of this no doubt is in response to increased FCC pressure on private broadcasters' "obscenity" (I could go on about how I have a problem with this, perhaps a rant for another day; in brief, I disagree with most attempts to censor lawful expression. The FCC may regulate publicly-funded broadcasting- something I also have problems with, another rant for another day!) but not all. Some of the words I have heard various stations mute, alter, etc...are not the "Seven Dirty Words" of George Carlin fame (an aside- Carlin is still one the the funniest comedians going!) nor rap lyrics (like I'd be listening to rap!) where seemingly every third word is a variation on the "F" word, but simply words either station management or the DJ in question deemed "inappropriate." A few examples heard recently:
"Good times and riches and bruises and stitches..." from Jimmy Buffett's "Changes in Latitude"; it should go "Good times and riches and sons of bitches..."
"And to the black folks he was just a crazy (silence) /No one doubted that he pulled the trigger..." from Bob Dylan's "Hurricane." Does anyone believe Dylan to be a racist, to hold/harbor anti-black sentiments? Yet his words were muted. It should go "And to the black folks he was just a crazy nigger/No one doubted that he pulled the trigger..."
"Open up the door (silence)/This is the Wooba Gooba with the green teeth, and let me in!" from the intro (and you wanna talk about early rap, and from a white guy, yet?!) to the J. Geils Band classic "Musta Got Lost." C'mon! It's "Open up the door, bitch/This is the Wooba Gooba with the green teeth, and let me in!"
And one last one for now (that, at least, does include one of the "Seven Dirty Words:")
"And I don't want to get caught up in any of that/Funky kicks goin' down in the city..." from Steve Miller's "Jet Airliner." "Kicks?!" No! It is, "And I don't want to get caught up in any of that/Funky shit goin' down in the city..."

Sunday, July 10, 2005

I'm pretty awkward when it comes to accepting unexpected, unsolicited compliments!

I'm standing in line at CVS over the weekend, I have my headphones on, when I feel a light tap on my shoulder. I turn around and there's a woman behind me looking at me so I take off my headphones to see what it is she wanted. She asks me "Are you a runner?" I say, "Um, yeah, I run. What makes you ask?" So she says she thought so because of my legs, then she says "I'd kill for calves like yours!" Now my legs are fairly buff, and tanned, and- of course!- smooth and shaved, but I always thought they, particularly my calves, were a lil more, or a lil too, muscular. And it's not like I was wearing a pair of heels or a short skirt or anything, just a pair of khaki shorts and my cross-trainers. By this point I'm pretty flustered, and I just stammer a shy "um, thanks" and mercifully got waited on! This woman wasn't being wise, or sarcastic, or anything of the sort- I'm just by nature a fairly low-keyed, unassuming individual who sometimes doesn't know how to gracefully accept well-intentioned, friendly compliments! But whoever you were, thanks- you made my weekend!

I am a reasonably agile, athletic person, but one thing I wish I was much better at, something I just look awkward as all get-out doing other than slow, is dancing! I look like the biggest klutz on any dance floor! Someone please teach me! At times I've even considered taking a class I'm so inept (plus it's also supposed to be a good way to meet people...)

"I get a little bit lonely, just standin' up..."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and all the people of the London area following the terrorist attacks this week. This once again puts into sharp perspective just what it is, what evil it is, we are engaged against, savage, brutal individuals targeting not military or even civilian government facilities, but simply men and women going about their day-to-day lives, trying to get by. The thinking seems to be that this was an al-Qaeda related attack, and which, since soooooo many folks claim the Coalition's current actions vs. Iraq have nothing to do with al-
Qaeda- according to some, there was/is none, no, zero relationship whatsoever between the two- it is hard to blame the Iraq situation (and by extension, our President, or PM Blair) for this attack, yes (if one is consistent and fair, and not driven by blind partisanship?)

People of good will can disagree and debate over the effectiveness, the validity, the costs and results, of our actions in this war against terror. That is all part of the democratic process, and what free people do. No side has a lock on truth, all sides have something to learn from those who differ. But at the end of the day, at the end of the discussion, it should be crystal clear just what it is, what true evil it is, we are engaged against, and that it needs to be destroyed. Neither President Bush, nor PM Blair, nor, to be fair, the countless people throughout the Muslim world just trying to get by as well, are the enemy, are the focus of evil. It is the dark, twisted, violent few, those who have no regard for innocent lives and will stop at nothing to sow terror and violence for no better purpose than because they can, who are the source of evil.

Keep the good folks of London in your thoughts.

"It's just a shout away..."

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Enuf serious stuff!

So I'm out for a stroll this morning (if I've been running consistently thru the week, I usually take Sundays off) walking around the Back Bay Fens (and hey! Cut down those #$%&! reeds already!) and I stop and watch some guys playing a game of hoops. Maybe I shouldn't be too critical, as I haven't picked up a ball in awhile and I'm sure my game is a lil rusty, too. exaggeration, I must've watched 'em for a good 10 minutes before I saw anyone put the ball in the hole! And most of these were younger guys, mostly in their 20's, maybe a few in their early 30's tops. Yikes! I can remember back when I was playing hoops more, back in my 20's, we had some serious players, I mean, we could play! And this was in about as whitebread a suburb as you could get! So much for the city game, hee! (I oughta pick up a ball again, show 'em how the game is played! ;)

(Had a fun nite out last nite! :)

"What you got, sure's good..."

Saturday, July 02, 2005

My best friend got married yesterday, out in California. They had a very simple ceremony, immediate family ( I dunno if I could've made it out there anyway- would've tried, but alas...) With that I have only one good friend left who hasn't tied the knot yet. So that leaves yours truly alone amongst my circle of longtime friends who has yet to and, it looks increasingly unlikely will, wed. Nearing my- ahem- late 30's (waaaahhhhh!) I can deal with and accept should that be my destiny.

What is driving me to increasing distraction is that I do not seem to be living my life the way I want to, on almost all of the terms and in almost any of the ways in which I would like to. I know, I know, this is an old refrain here. Similarly- and again, this is another old refrain here- I wonder and marvel at people who are able to put themselves, their wants, needs, goals, desires, etc... above anything, and any one, else. And I admit, to my way of thinking, warped thinking perhaps, at times it often strikes me as more than a bit self-centered to do so. And yet...these people are happy! They are leading rewarding, fulfilling, productive, passionate lives, and in fairness to them, most of the folks I know who live this way do give back something to others. Indeed, that's the thing- it's not that any of these folks seem especially selfish or anything of that sort, but they are so readily equipped to put themselves, or perhaps more accurately, to put what they need in their lives to make those lives fulfilling, rewarding, passionate, enjoyable, living rather than existing, first.

I don't know why I have such a problem doing so. On one level, not to toot my own horn, but I see it as a virtue of sorts, selflessly putting others before myself, honoring my obligations faithfully, dutifully, in all aspects of my life. In truth I probably take that loyalty to extreme, but again, it does seem to be a noble thing, a good thing. To me, the absolute worst thing is disappointing others, failing others, not being there for others, in ways large and small. But at what cost? Spreading myself as I try to do, trying to be all things, do all things, for all people as much as is possible, well, inevitably I end up disappointing some folks by trying to do just that. And as is obvious from the tone of many recent entries here (and conversations I've had with folks near and/or dear!) clearly I am disappointing myself. And no one likes a whiny bitch; that grows old really quickly, I know (I apologize!) I hate being a downer, bitching ad infinitum, but I've been in a real funk now for too long. I've blamed it on my birthday, I've blamed it on the winter, on the lousy spring we had, I've blamed it on people whom I felt disappointed me, but bottomline, I know it's me, my inability, or at very least, my unwillingness, to change certain aspects of my mindset, my ways of relating to others, and ultimately to myself. I know that I'm responsible for my happiness, for my joy in life, but it often seems sooooooo difficult for me to just do at least some of the things that will get me closer to living the way I want to live. I know I'm just letting time, letting life, pass by, doing what I should instead of what I would, seemingly just going thru the motions, existing rather than passionately living.

I'm not sure exactly how I come across to others- I've often been told, and I believe I am, fairly out-going and personable, fairly bright and engaging. But so often, I'm filled with so much fear, fear of change, fear of hurting others, fear of breaking out of my- hardly- comfort zone, fear of disappointing others, of not being the person I'm expected or thought to be. I try not to be too clingy or needy or come across as unpoised, but often I'm very self-conscious, often lacking in self-confidence, in belief in myself, my capabilities, my value, even my appearance. Interestingly (or not!) very little if any of this actually has thing one to do with my gender status (tho' I desperately need to take some new- and flattering- pics! Any volunteers?!)

Something's gotta give...

"Because I've seen the tally/And you're just going through the motions, baby/To a big finale/That comes from going through the motions, baby..."