Scars

Some scars can be horrible, some even cause disfigurement or horrible reminders of a bad incident or accident. One of the reasons I love tattoos is because to me they are permanent reminders of something in our lives. I got my first tattoo when my niece was born, the rest of it turning into a dragon when I felt like becoming an adult and most recently got it colored again because my wife brought new shades of happiness into my life. While tattoos are a choice, they are still a type of scar.

The thought of vampires have always fascinated me, immortality for one is a concept that brings a lot of ideas; being able to learn every language in the world, traveling this whole planet, all amazing things that immortality can provide. In vampire lore there is something that to me is negative in some ways, and that is not having any scars after you are turned one or never having them if you are born that way.

Emotional scars make us who we are. Pain and suffering are a part of the quilt that covers our personality. Having persevered through tough times shows that even in the face of horrible situations we decided to keep going. Wounds that heal leave scars, reminders of what was really painful.

Some people never discover what they are made of until they are put in a tough situation. There is a level of power knowing that you can live through a situation that you might never thought you could. And while scars are badges of honor that we get from life, the emotional ones that nobody sees are probably deeper and more significant that the ones on our skin.

Those scars that nobody sees are the ones that only come through light when we trust someone. When we show someone we care about what we have gone through, what has hurt us, what could still be healing. It takes a lot of courage to show to scars to someone, but having them recognize them or help us take care of them if the wound is not totally healed is a truly remarkable feeling and to me a facet of love.

Friday Fill-Ins 117

Because it is Friday and my brain is exhausted and ready for the blizzard weekend, here is a new Friday MEME! (For you with <3 Meesha)

Welcome to Friday Fill-Ins!

This week, I took the first sentence in 6 of my favorite books…you fill them in…with the right words or even better, ones of your own.

And…here we go!

1. “In a hole in the ground there lived _____.”

An Orangutan.

2. “_____ but that ain’t no matter.”

Splatter.

3. “After dark the rain began to fall again, _____.”

Snukems.

4. “_____ from the hold of the Spanish galleon.”

Larry.

5. “There was a hand in the darkness, and _____.”

It was sticky.

6. “Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, _____.”

Surprise!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to _____, tomorrow my plans include _____ and Sunday, I want to _____!

A movie – Drinking – Be Holy.

iRude

I would like to redefine the word iRude. Right now it applies to the snobbishness exhibited by iPhone owners, to us not appled pleople. However, I think that iRude should apply to anyone that is more connected to a wireless device than the people around them IRL (In Real Life).

Tweetups are a perfect example, even though we are all there, there are people still freaking tweeting! isn’t the point to actually talk IRL with the people you “follow.” I guess we have to keep all those not in attendance, or those hiding in a basement, with all of our not so remarkable shenanigans.

You would think the most iRude person I know is my wife, who is connected to her social media and somewhat neglecting her actual blog, but no its actually my buddy Wookieluv. His iTouch gets more play than his nose has seen since the third grade. The thing is that he claims he is still connected and paying attention while he tries to beat an digital evil cheating penguin at Monopoly, or beating his score on TapDefense, or whatever the latest little iPhone app is. Obviously we cannot compete with something that gives tactile feedback, but I find it iRude to talk to the top of his head while he skee-balls his way to yet another high score.

Don’t get me wrong, I see the allure of those gadgets, so much so that when my old phone started to crap out I considered leaving verizon for ATT and joined the iRude crowd. Canceling my service with verizon proved to be a little harder since they gave me rebates and promised that the LG Versa would make coffee for me in the mornings. Turns out it was all a lie, I hated the LG Versa. I gave it a good try, but its gimmicky interface made it look like just a wannabe iPhone that did not excel at anything. Making a phone call would take sometimes 5 click! and thanks to screen “un-sensitivity” sometimes 7. So when I heard that crackberry’s were buy one get one free I mentioned it to the wife. She did not reveal that she always wanted one, but seemed interested so last night we went to check them out. Buy one, get one free and help the economy! win-win in my opinion.

This weekend talking to Nuke killed my desire for an iPhone. I have heard of the issues with the iPhone, and even though both of the issues that he has encountered were resolved, I found them to be a hassle that I just don’t want to deal with.

We both walked out of the first verizon store where I did not come out fuming with new crackberry curves. Same phone, different colors and different covers… mine is an industrial like tire thread, and hers feels like silk… kind of freaky and at the same time cool plastic material that feels soft to the touch. We went to dinner and I think we said 3 words to each other, and the only thing that brought us to reality was the server that was a super nice guy.

We both became iRude, and continued the rest of the night. I cannot get over how cool this device is. There has only been two drawbacks that I have been able to find, one is the button sensitivity of the side voice recognition button, which has since been turned off. The other one was the lack of games for it, but I am sure if I dig I will find some. The brick breaker that comes with is fun enough. However, the google, twitter and facebook apps work very well. The interface is one of the most intuitive that I have found in a long time.

I thought about still getting a iTouch to get the MP3 storage as well as the cool games available, but after the crackberry recognized all the songs I already had on the microSD card and played them on my car in full stereo sound it killed my desire.

So I guess I have now become one of the many minions of the technology age by having a device that I find more interesting than any conversation that does not happen 140 characters at a time. I am now iRude too.

Carny For a Weekend

The summer before I started college I had the opportunity to work at be a carny for a weekend. It has been one of the jobs that really left an impression specially because of how efficient it was.

I remember when a friend asked me what I was doing for the weekend and then telling me that they had a spot on a work crew. A lot of thoughts went to my head when I was told I was going to work at a carnival. I did not know that some locals were mixed in with the people that traveled with the carnival.

We got there pretty early and everything was already set up. We were there to fill in for the weekend and the added customers that brought. I was assigned to the balloon stand, where you use darts to pop balloons for a price. Surprisingly, the game even though it was pretty hard to win at I don’t feel it was rigged. The balloons were a little under inflated and the darts a little dull, but if you got the correct angle you could pop the ballon every time.

If you ever encounter this game, simply look for the most inflated balloons even if they are more towards the top. Also try not to shoot directly at them but approach them with an arch, almost like shooting a free trow. Some of the game are scams or can be very easily be turned into scams where it is almost impossible to score.

I was given a wad of fives and singles and told the basics of running the boot. The friend that told me about the job was my partner and we took turns at talking to the people playing. The prices sucked a lot though. They were basically mini posters in probably very dangerous for a kid frames with glass. We also had bigger posters and some stuffed animals. You could only upgrade to the larger prices after you basically had won at the game twice. To win you had to pop three balloons on 5 tries.

I only milked a couple of guys trying to impress their girlfriends and kept on selling them extra darts, but they were going for strenth rather than angle and kept on missing the balloons altogether.

We worked until very late last night, but got plenty of breaks. The interesting part is that most people don’t know how many workers are actually not running a game but just walking around collecting money, watching people and making sure everything is running correctly. I never had more than maybe 100 bucks with me, and big bills were exchanged for change I would say probably a couple of times an hour, more if I got busy. It was a quick exchange.

I am not sure if it was because people were there to have fun, or because of the atmosphere in a carnival but it was a lot of fun. I liked interacting with people and was able to go the whole day without anyone getting too upset over loosing. I worked hard all day, when it was slow in the morning I was building more prices putting pictures in frames.

The regulars that worked with the carnival year around were actually quite nice to us. They did remind me of the travellers from The Ritches in some ways. It was a day of hard work and I learned a lot about carnivals.

Will Power

I Gave up smoking a couple of years ago. Once in a great while I will have a cigar, and when I am around constant smokers, my Mom, Bea’s uncles, I will puff on one. I started smoking when I was around 14, but my first cigarette taste came from my grandfather who would let me light one up for him. My first full cigarette came thanks to a nanny at age eight. I did not buy a full pack until I was a senior in high school and smoked pretty much throughout college. I quit for about 3 years from 2000 to 2003, and then picked it up until I was buying packs again. The worse that I ever got was during college when a pack would last me only a couple of days. 10 cigarettes in one day seemed like a lot, but I know some people can smoke two packs a day.

I quit cold turkey every time I gave cigarettes up. The physical addiction was not hard to overcome for me. It is a lot more noticeable when I give up caffeine than when I give up nicotine for sure. The psychological addiction is something entirely different because smoking was attached to other actions. Big meal, cigarette, stressful situation, cigarette, drink, cigarette. I did have a couple of things in my favor when quitting, I don’t like smoking inside my house or car, even thought I don’t mind if others do, and I also don’t like to take smoke breaks at work. I have the will power to give things up easily when I make the decision, however, with food it is another story.

I was a very picky eater when I was young. I was almost sick looking I was so skinny at times. During the first couple of years of my life my parents stayed at my grandma’s house. My grandma would never force me to eat, so I would not, but my Mom was worried about me so she made me eat and take vitamins. When we moved out she started to cook what I liked the most and took pretty good care of me growing up. I think she did too good of a job with food, and was probably always worried in the back of her head that I would stop eating again. I would also always finish up everything on my plate, and going back for seconds meant that I loved the food. Food equals comfort.

Now she worries about me quite a bit. Both of my grandfathers suffered from heart disease, one has had a triple bypass and a pacemaker and the other one is not with us anymore. At 30 I started taking cholesterol medicine. I also started to have more and more back problems and my knees are not in good shape either. My highest weight has been 270, I am not that tall. I think my ideal weight is 140, but I think I would look too skinny, so my goal is being under 200. I have over 50 pounds to go to reach that goal.

I am not afraid of exercise and love martial arts. Even practiced it 5 days a week for about 3 years. At my lowest going to the gym and doing crazy cardio I was 210. My problem has always been food, and I lie to myself saying that I don’t eat too much. I have been more conscious of my food choices lately and I have been surprised by how much food I can put away. Eating out is a big factor too, because portions are just crazy, and appetizers are just as bad as bottomless tortilla chips.

Obviously quitting food is not an option because we have not invented the food pill yet. Eating healthy is hard to do when you are addicted to cholesterol filled food, bread and pasta. Carbs and fried foods are so absolutely delicious that I don’t know how to quit them. I do have a couple of things going for me. I don’t care for sweets of any kind, and I do love fruits and vegetables.

I have raised my activity level quite a bit the last month. I have been less consistent with getting enough rest, but I am really trying. I have added vegetables to my diet, but I need to take more bad stuff out. I took Chinese completely out of the picture at least for 40 days. The key is finding good healthy choices and sticking to them. I don’t know if I can give up my addiction to bad foods, but I am sure trying to curve the trend towards better choices. It is just a matter of will power.

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