Work has been crazy lately. Today I figured that with the extra time I could run a little errand at the Secretary of State to get my new plate and title.

I always expect it to be a bad experience when I go into a DMV. People just seem to have an overall bad attitude in that place. I don’t understand it really, while they do have tons of people to tend to, it should not be that hard to smile and be helpful. My first problem is that you are always going to have to pay them for something, why is it a sin to ask them questions about the fees?

After waiting for my number to come up I slowly walked up to the counter. I had been sitting close to someone that smoked a little too much, I don’t mind the smell all that much but this guy must have smoked in his car with the window up or something. So half nauseated and numb from the torture device like chair I still manage to smile. I say hello, I need to get a new plate and title, also here is my insurance. After comparing VINS the lady just asks for my Drivers License. I was already on the process of pulling it out. So far so good, but then I made the huge mistake of asking a question.

How much will it be for a vanity plate? She acted annoyed and said it will be like 30 dollars. Mind you I was looking for an exact figure, she said it on a tone of you couldn’t afford it. I was shocked, since I had already looked online and knew it was only 8 bucks more. At this point I decided to just go ahead and get the next plate available since I wanted to just get it done and over with. So I just let the whole vanity plate thing go. I asked if there was a chance to look at a couple of the plates and see if I might like one of the numbers. While I realize that this is somewhat of an extra request, they have done it for me before. She gets a little upset and said, “we cannot do that, it will be out of order.”

At this point I could have just started to argue with her, but I just let it go and said, Ok that’s fine. Now I was getting annoyed because she was not being very helpful, but I figured oh well. While all of her attitude up to this point was understandable in some level, what happened next really started to change my attitude. Thank God for my patience. I she did not explain any of the fees to me, just handed me a piece of paper and told me to check the info for accuracy and sign. So I asked, is the plate fee prorated? And she proceeded to tell me that what my total was. Again I asked the same question and she ignored me and told me again, your fee Mr. Guzman is whatever. I just went ahead and paid because I had no time to go into further detail with the lady and I just wanted to get back to work, but believe me, if I had the time I would have had a long discussion with her.

I am not sure why so many people that work with the public have such negative attitudes. If you really do not like working with people, then go do something else. Why is it that I need to be made to feel like I am annoyance instead of a paying customer? Why can people just eagerly answer my questions until I am satisfied? Am I just too hard to please? Am I way out of line here?

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Bad drivers

Wednesday night I was in Kung Fu and we started talking about bad drivers. We did not know that very close to us an accident had just occurred (full story)

Two teenage girls were struck by a car Wednesday afternoon as they crossed Jefferson Avenue with the help of a school crossing guard, leaving one of them in critical condition.

The incident occurred at 3:04 p.m. at the intersection of Jefferson and Chapel Lane when 79-year-old Kathleen May Fournier, Midland, disregarded a school crossing guard who was helping the two girls, both age 13, cross using the crosswalk, Midland Police report. Fournier was headed north, as the girls crossed to the east.

I was recounting how there had only been one real bad incident where someone had cut me off. The bad part is that they were oblivious of what had happened. The lady driving a minivan that pulled in front of me seemed to not see my car skidding sideways toward her. Thank God I missed her car and nothing happened. Then the next morning I hear about the accident on the news. The other people in class commented how Midland was just horrible because of old drivers. One of the younger kids in the class said but why do they drive? I tried to explain to him how driving is a sense of freedom that no one wants to lose.

I feel really bad for older drivers, they are not all necesarilly bad drivers, but some of them don’t have the vision, reflexes and skills necessary for safe driving. I am torn about this, especially because in some cases they have no one to rely on for some of their needs. Also who wants to lose their sense of freedom?

Stupid Girls

Before you continue to read this entry I invite you to go over to this website and watch the Stupid Girls video. I have liked Pink since her first album, even though I have to admit that I thought she was black before I saw her first video. She has a very soulful voice and can transmit emotion with her voice in a way that I have not heard a white singer do. The first single I listened to ‘Most Girls’, was a very cool R&B hit. Her career has evolved and she has jumped genre and is now more of a pop rock kind of act, but her music is still very good, in my opinion. While other singers like Christina Aguilera have touched the subject of “our society wanting to turn girls into babies that wear a size zero dress” with the song Beautiful, Pink’s all out attack on the current “celebrity” craze is blunt and nails a straight punch into the real problem.

Webster defines celebrity as a celebrated person. When you look up celebrated, it does not state that being followed by a group of people taking pictures of you while you try to take a step just because you are in a movie, or you are rich, that you should be celebrated. I admire people’s talents. I love certain actors and their performances, they should be recognized for the work they do… but I don’t believe in the whole celebrity idea. I am not going as far as saying that celebrities are destroying our society, but people’s misunderstanding of what they are is really hurting all of us.

Just because a celebrity looks a certain way does not mean that every single woman in the world should look like her. I like fashion, my sister wanted to become a fashion designer and even though she chose a different career she still managed to make her own prom dress that came out beautiful. Fashion is cool when it shows creativity, but when a celebrity wears a hat or some kind of shoes and then everyone stars wearing it, kind of makes me sick. I wear stuff that I like, that looks cool and I feel comfortable in. I don’t wear stuff because someone else wears it. I would wear a Vote for Pedro shirt, because I love the Napoleon Dynamite movie and think it is hilarious, but not because everyone else is wearing it.

Today’s problems in our society have to do a lot with lack of identity. We are not encouraged to come up with our own identity but to pick one from a variety of established ones. We are either pro something or anti something… there is no middle, there is no gray areas and we have to adopt labels at every step we take. Since when is being a individual became an almost insurmountable quest?

Pinks video shows one of my dreams. I want to see a woman president. While the prospect of Hilary Clinton or Even Oprah becoming president scares me, I do think we need to see a woman as the president. It makes me sad when I see so many young girls wanting to look like the people they see on TV. I am even sadder when those same girls want to be older than they are and jump into adulthood when they are only 12. Is the information age overloading our young ones brain with so much information that they are confused about what they should become? I know I don’t have all the answers, I know I am still confused even though I am getting close to being 30. I also know that I am an individual and even though I ended up being defined by an array of labels like, Hispanic, Martial Artist, Biker, Geek and Gamer, I still chose to be all of those things, I am not ashamed of being called any of those things, instead I am proud to know that I can be several different things and that no label will ever define everything that I am.

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Am I watching a movie or a commercial?

When I watch a movie I do not expect to be bombarded by product placement. It is bad enough that watching the super bowl has turned into a lets watch the super bowl commercial affair. The game could completely be mediocre but we watch just to see what Budweiser uses for frogs this year.

Man has Nick Cage done a 180 on my book. He used to be an actor that I though was excellent, Raising Arizona, Face Off, even Gone in 60 seconds. Now he just seems to want to be the center of the movie that is narrated by him, with only the product that he is pedaling to compete for camera time. It was an all out assault on my wallet to watch weatherman. It seemed like the guy selling the product placement during the movie had a fast food addiction. I think every single place for fast food was represented either as being eaten or thrown at Cage.

The movie also seems to be getting paid to drop the F bomb. Almost every single character in the movie uses it like it was part of their contract.

That was not the sad part about the movie. One of the characters was reduced to being a smoking kid that is called camel toe… and while the kid seems oblivious to what the insult means, the movie does a very graphic job at explaining to us what camel toe is. Keep your kids away for sure. While the movie does do a couple of PSA with don’t let your kid smoke, and don’t let the guidance counselor fondle your teenager, I recommend you stay away from this movie. It will for sure make you want to throw some junk food at the screen.

How far is heaven?

I have been saving this topic for quite some time. It is one of those topics that runs around my head, sometime just at a slow pace, sometimes running as if stole something. It has been just a rant about heaven but it was brought to the forefront of my mind this weekend. I was asked do I know for sure if I will go to heaven? I did not hesitate to say sure. I am not sure why Christians have such a complicated way to look at the concept of eternal happiness. It seems to want to become the most complicated question that transcends even existentialism. The why am I here? becomes, I should want to be somewhere else, I should long for eternal happiness. Then you mix in the whole “Salvation” concept and the “rules” that one must not break so that St Peter meets us at the Pearly Gates and lets us into heaven. Being Catholic complicates matters just a little further with the concept of Purgatory.

It would take me years to fully explore those subjects. A process that at times seemed to me the only appealing thing of becoming a priest and joining the seminary. I would have joined if I could accomplish quest for knowledge and understanding of all those subjects that I stated before. The whole rest of rules that becoming a priest involve kind of shut down that idea, but Theology has always been an interesting subject and one I feel I have not studied enough. I have visited plenty of Churches and even worshiped with the for periods of times, but it would almost be like saying that I am an expert on Mexican cuisine just because I eat quite often at taco bell.

Personally I believe in a very simple way. I know I am a good person, I know I try to do the right thing in most situations and truly try not to harm anyone. Am I perfect? Of course not. Am I still making mistakes that I should have put behind me years ago? Yea, that is what makes me human. However I do follow a path that involves a lot of self-reflection and self-actualization. Before I completely get off the subject I want to state something that bothers me about the concept of heaven.

Why don’t we have heaven here on earth?

It really bothers me that religions (at least most of the ones I have studied) believe in another plane, an afterlife, another universe where everything is happy and ok. Why don’t we believe in making our life here and now heaven? Why do we have to wait to go to heaven to be truly happy? Why can we truly be Christians and be happy about our time here on earth. I have always thought that Jesus was a very cool guy; to me he is the ultimate friend. I think the Christian religion missed God’s point of sending Jesus to earth. I think God send Jesus not just to save us all, but to show us that life here can be heaven on earth. If we follow his message and love one another and everything that the thought entails I think heaven can be here on earth. Let me know what you think.