Feeling MUCH better!

Thanks for all the get well wishes! Maybe that is what actually got me better. I cannot believe I got better this quick, I truly thought I was going to have to go to a hospital, but I pulled through. I seriously did have a lot of people actually worried for me and maybe the remote “taking care” of me is what got me through. In any case, I want to thank the people that care for me for pulling me through this one.

I don’t get sick all that often, but I am a total baby when I get really sick. I have heard that most men are. I still go to work while I am really sick, but this time I truly question that decision not just by me but the people in my office that got me sick. In today’s world of being able to work remotely, I think it is a bad decision to bring bugs into the office when people can stay home until they get better. Also, the whole sick day policy at times is very inadequate, but that is a whole other post.

Talking to people while being sick I realized that there was something going on this past week. Almost everyone I talked to regardless of geographical location was or knew someone close that was sick with some form of cold or flu.

Of my last travel, I only wish I could blog about it… I have so much to day but travel related trips I guess don’t get blogged about… If you are sick, I hope you too get better.

Air Travel

Right now I just want to be home. Why haven’t they invented a teleporting machine yet… I would be almost willing to risk the whole fly thing. Before I would have been excited to be blogging from an airport but right now I just want to be home. Traveling when you are sick is even worse. 102+ F fever is something that I have only experienced once before and man it just messes with your bodies’ ability to function. I have to remember that beer does not necessarily hydrate you.

I used to love to travel, but I have traveled so much in the past couple of months that I just want to spend an extended period of time home. I have been in so many planes that I almost feel like telling the flight attendant to take a break and I will do the in flight announcement. I also need to get another book because it seems like the world is flat just keeps on putting me to sleep in the plane and I think I have read the same chapter more than a couple of times.

Then we have the series of passengers that are just freaking annoying. The first class blazer wearing traveler with the “I think I have more money than God has patience” attitude, I love when I get to sit right next to one of them that end up reeking of alcohol and just make the whole trip unpleasant. The only good thing about first class is that you can actually have your bubble respected and there is no armrest fighting. When I am not in first class I try to at least get a sit towards the front, it seems to me like the ride feels a little less bumpy, but today I got to sit all the way in the back (I have not done that in years) and it was actually a good experience. I did not have anyone sit right next to me and it was great.

I think in my life as an air traveler I have only had two good people that I sat next to. One was a firefighter and the other one was someone that slept the whole way. The rest have always made me uncomfortable on one way or another. If they are reading something my curiosity always gets the best of me and I have to glance making me feel like I am invading the privacy. If they want to talk, must of the time the conversation is either not interesting or way to personal. My stomach is not feeling all that great so I am not even going to get into the different odors that I had to endure before.

At least I have gotten to see some interesting places, but with most of the travel being work related I just long for a whole month of just being home. Thank God that winter has not really hit yet or it would have not been pretty. Sleeping in an airport is not a something that you can actually put in your resume.

Save 1-800-Suicide

Help Save 1.800.SUICIDE

I have lost two people close to me to suicide. The first was one of my classmates in 1992, he hung himself to have his best friend find him. The other one was just a couple of years ago. I am posting this because Daniel posted it and it made me feel like I should also spread the word, so shamelesly stealing the rest of his post

… bigger question: Why is the U.S. government making moves to shutdown the 1-800-SUICIDE hotline, which has provided an invaluable service to over 2 million callers?

From May 1998 to October 2001 and from January 2005 until now the hotline has survived on donated proceeds from the Take Action Tour and the support of organizations like the National Mental Health Association. Why? Because the Federal government is not giving this non-profit the $300,000 of already appropriated and earmarked funds that are still owed. As one can see by reading the termination notice sent to the non-profit, the hotline’s total amount owed is far less than the amount owed to the non-profit by the government. According to 1-800-SUICIDE’s website, SAMHSA:

… quietly filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 13th, 2006 to pull the private lines held by KBHC/1-800-SUICIDE.

This underhanded grab at these lines is taking place after two years of private communication and months of public debate ending with a commitment from SAMHSA to review and pay 1-800 SUICIDE’s claim on August 25th, 2006.

So what? What’s the big deal?

There are some valid concerns about the goverment taking control of this hotline.

  1. The U.S. government is statutorily prohibited from funding social service programs outside its borders. This would mean the hotline would go dead in Canada, and plans to expand the hotline into Mexico would end.
  2. Privacy. There are concerns that the goverment, and you know how they like to categorize people, will create a blacklist of callers. This could potentially keep a person, who went through a very bad time in their life, who got help and moved on, from bettering themselves by getting jobs police officers, air traffic controllers and so forth.

Granted, the Kristin Brooks Hope Center (KBHC) handed over 1-800-SUICIDE to the Feds, but only after they were told that privacy issues would be worked out. The issue remains: When the operators of 1-800-SUICIDE were already working with the government, except in turning over private data, what is the real motivation for this attemptive takeover by the government?

How can you help?

I’m glad you asked! You can help by writing letters to the FCC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Acting Director of SAMHSA. You should also check out the web site for 1-800-SUICIDE. You can start by reading their history/FAQ. If you feel so inclined, donating money will be the most effective way to make an immediate positive impact.

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I consider myself a pretty good dancer. I love to dance, but believe it or not I did not learn how to dance until I moved to the US. When I was younger I learned how to dance to Merengue, but that is a pretty basic dance. I also did a lot of dancing to club music but it was not until my Mom started teaching me how to dance at holiday parties that I truly started to learn Salsa which is what I think I can do best now.

I saw my little cousins this holiday dancing with my Mom and it reminded me of how I learned from her. My Mom and one of my uncles are excellent dancers, moving through the floor with easy and precision. I am not up to their level, but I hope someday to be able to look as cool and natural as they do when they dance.

Cali, the city I was born in Colombia is known for its party atmosphere. Every December the city transforms into the Salsa capital of the world. There are many good dancers there and I am sure they are way better than anything I have seen here in the US. I really hope to spend my next Christmas vacation in Colombia so that I can party there like I have never done before.

From ballroom dancing to the samba street dancing in Rio de Janeiro, dance is an expression of culture. It is a form of art that a lot more people should use to express themselves. So many emotions can be expressed through dance and I feel that people don’t embrace it here in the US as much as they maybe do in other countries. I know there are a lot of dancers here in the US and dance, but I am talking about the average American being really passionate about dancing. Maybe I need to go to the south and see how line dancing is a part of life down there. I know that a lot of people in the northern states see dance as something you do in clubs and are amazed to find out that every new years at my family’s party there is dancing going on.

A lot of protestant Christian churches frown upon dancing. We have all seen foot lose I hope. It is a reality for a lot of people in many places in a America to see dancing not as a form of art but a gateway to evil. That and the prohibition of secular music has been one of the hardest things for me to swallow when it comes to that flavor of Christianity.

The word party is not a synonymous of dancing for many Americans. When I hear the word party, I think of dancing. Nothing wrong with a simple dinner party and just conversation and drinks, but believe me once you have experienced a party where you can dance all night long it will be hard for you to not want to be a part of it every opportunity you have.

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Want what you can’t have

Unrealistic expectations have ruined many lives. I have seen it over and over again. Happiness stopped on its tracks, simply because someone wants something that they can either not have, or expect something from someone that that person cannot give.

Several of these cases have happened really close to me. I have seen people go into drugs while waiting for someone to love them, trying to fill that void in their lives with something that at least takes the out of the reality they live in. Personal hells are dark places where pain is self inflicted and help can only come from within.

No I do not want to start the year blogging about something depressing; quite the opposite. I believe that this year will be one of great prosperity for the world; it will also be the year when we cannot turn our back to the climate change. In a more personal note, I believe that this year will come with a lot of changes on who I am. I have changed quite a bit just in the last couple of weeks. I have reconnected some relationships that I thought were lost forever, strengthened some that are going to be long lasting and continue to grow as a person.

I just want everyone to remember that change, true change, comes from within. Having people that believe in you is a great way to succeed, but the most important thing is to believe in yourself. Stop waiting for others to love you and love yourself. Stop waiting for others to make your life better and take control of your own destiny. Stop wanting for want you cannot have and star not only looking at what you already have, but want you can get. That is how I am going to start my year, out with the old, in with the new.