Friday, July 30, 2010

Random Thoughts

Got this in an awesome email...

More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

That's enough, Nickelback.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

There is a great need for sarcasm font.

Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize20I had no idea what the f*ck was going on when I first saw it.

I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

Was learning cursive really necessary?

Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

My brother's Municipal League baseb all team is named the Stepdads. Seeing as none of the guys on the team are actual stepdads, I inquired about the name. He explained, "Cuz we beat you, and you hate us." Classy, bro.

Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

I love the sense of camaraderie when a n entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's la st name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)..ummm...Goonies"

What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

I would like to officially coin the phrase 'catching the swine flu' to be used as a way to make fun of a friend for hooking up with an overweight woman. Example: "Dave caught the swine flu last night."

I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

Bad decisions make good stories

Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?

If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

"Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA. No, I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don't win, they are executed.

I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

It should probably be called Unplanned Parenthood.

I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

I think that if, years down the road when I'm trying to have a kid, I find out that I'm sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.

Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How the hell do I respond to that?

It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com
and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.

The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimate d that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Affirming Quotes

Great quotes from great figures...

  • If you want to be happy, be. – Leo Tolstoy
  • The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up. – Mark Twain
  • Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place. But there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around. – E.L. Konigsburg
  • Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys. If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it. – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. – Margaret Young
  • This is my “depressed stance”. When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve go to stand like this. – Charlie Brown
  • Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Jumping for joy is good exercise.
  • One joy scatters a hundred griefs. – Chinese proverb
  • My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it’s on your plate. – Thornton Wilder
  • Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. – Robert Brault
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mahatma Gandhi
  • All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. – Walt Disney
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Every now and then go away and have a little relaxation. To remain constantly at work will diminish your judgment. Go some distance away, because work will be in perspective and a lack of harmony is more readily seen. – Leonardo DaVinci
  • The path involves respect for all small and subtle things. Learn to recognize the right moment to strike the necessary attitudes. – Manual of the Warrior of Light
  • I say “Out” to every negative thought that comes to my mind. No person, place, or thing has any power over me, for I am the only thinker in my mind. I create my own reality and everyone in it. – Louise Hay
  • The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself. – Anna Quindlen
  • I am woman! I am invincible! I am pooped!
  • If you’re going through hell, keep going. – Winston Churchill
  • Your problem is you’re too busy holding onto your unworthiness. – Ram Dass
  • Trust your gut. – Barbara Walters
  • Action is the antidote to despair. – Joan Baez
  • She took the lea and built her wings on the way down.
  • You have brains in your head and feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own and you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go. – Dr. Seuss
  • You had the power all along my dear. – Glinda the Good Witch.
  • Today is a new day. – Chicken Little
  • When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mu either. – Leo Burnett
  • What the caterpillar calls a tragedy, the Master calls a butterfly. – Richard Bach
  • Earth’s crammed with heaven. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Lend yourself to others, but give yourself to yourself. – Michel de Montaigne
  • She decided to enjoy more and endure less.
  • I am unfolding in fulfilling ways. Only good can come to me. I now express health, happiness, prosperity, and peace of mind.
  • Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours. – Ayn Rand
  • There is a connection between self-nurturing and self-respect. – Julia Cameron
  • Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation. – Andre Gide
  • Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions all life is an experience. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • If the future road loom ominous or unpromising, and the road back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. – Maya Angelou
  • Breath in experience. – Muriel Rukeyser
  • Speak your mind even if your voice shakes.
  • I rejoice in what I have and I know that fresh new experiences are always ahead. I greet the new with open arms. I trust life to be wonderful. – Louise Hay
  • Too much of a good thing can be wonderful. – Mae West
  • You must do the thing you think you cannot do. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Sprinkle joy. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home. – Johann von Goethe
  • She realized that she was missing a great deal by being sensible.
  • She was kind and loving and patient…with herself.
  • I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I’ve ended up where I needed to be. – Douglas Adams
  • You’ll never be sad if you remember all the good things that have happened to you. Karolina Grekov
  • What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
  • Conquering any difficulty always gives on a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary line and adding to one’s liberty. – Henri Frederic Amiel
  • When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.
  • People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet. – Sa’Di
  • When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there. – Cecil Selig
  • A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts. – Nancy Rathburn
  • Everything you do prepares you for the next thing. – John Abel
  • It’s hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. – Sally Kempton
  • There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself. – Lemony Snicket
  • A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at her – David Brinkley
  • Never grow a wishbone where your backbone ought to be. – Dorothy Parker
  • I begin now, today, to open myself to ever-increasing prosperity. – Louise Hay
  • Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert. – Erma Bombeck
  • Anything you are good at contributes to happiness. – Bertrand Russell
  • The only way to save our dreams is by being generous with ourselves. – The Pilgramage
  • Never miss an opportunity to see anything that is beautiful. – Janet Hobson
  • There is plenty for everyone, including me. – Louise Hay
  • I focus my energy on my true intentions. I will not be distracted by noise, chatter, or setbacks. Patience, commitment, grace, and purpose will guide me. – Louise Hay
  • A strong woman understands the importance of creating space for personal well-being, spiritual nourishment, and regeneration in order to maintain her authenticity, especially when the universe whacks her with its two-by-four and hands her days when it takes a great deal of courage just to show up. – Laura Folse
  • Strength means recognizing that it is impossible to be strong all the time. – Sally Franser
  • Just go out there and do what you’ve got to do. – Martina Navratilova
  • You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you. – Mary Tyler Moore
  • I breathe in the fullness and richness of life. I observe with joy as life abundantly supports me and supplies me with more good than I can imagine. – Louise Hay
  • Keep breathing. – Sophie Tucker
  • Dwell in possibility. – Emily Dickinson
  • Improve your spare moments and they will become the brightest gems in your life. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • While you are upon the earth, enjoy the good things that are here. – John Selden
  • Women really do rule the world. They just haven’t figured it out yet. When they do, and they will, we’re all in big trouble. – Dr. Leon
  • It’s okay to be fat. So you’re fat. Just be fat and shut up about it. – Roseanne
  • I accept myself and create peace in my mind and heart. I now choose to free myself from all destructive fears and doubts. I am loved and I am safe. – Louise Hay
  • Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there. – Will Rogers
  • She went out on a limb, had it break off behind her, and discovered she could fly.
  • Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau
  • Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted. – Eleanor Roosevelt
  • It doesn’t happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. – Margery Williams
  • Nearly every glamorous, wealthy, successful career woman you might envy now started out as some kind of schlep. – Helen Gurley Brown
  • The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed. – William Gibson
  • As soon as people decide to confront a problem, they realize that they are far more capable than they thought they were. – The Zahir
  • She discovered that she was the one she’d been waiting for.
  • Being strong means rejoicing in who you are, complete with imperfections. – Margaret Woodhouse
  • Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted. – John Lennon
  • Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination. – Roy Goodman
  • Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.
  • The work will wait while you show the child the rainbow but the rainbow won’t wait while you do the work.
  • One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. – L. Tom Perry
  • Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.
  • The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. – Hans Hofmann
  • Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. – Bill Gates
  • Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. – Marianne Williamson
  • The joy of a spirit is the measure of its power. – Ninon de l’Enclos
  • Learning to live in the present moment is part of the path to joy. – Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way. – Christopher Morley
  • Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    Fresh Air, Fresh Thoughts

    Something doesn't haveto be toxic in order for me to need a fresh breath of air. Still, I enjoy being able to stop, take a moment for myself, and catch my breathe when i'm tired.

    Yesterday I jogged on the treadmill. It was different from my usual routine- maxing out the highest speed i could possibly attain until I hit 2 miles- instead, I jogged. Supposedly by keeping a lower constant heart rate more fat is burned from the belly, so I figured 'meh. lets try it'. It felt nice. It was different. I took a nice deep breathe through the nose and let it go through my mouth with each stride...I couldn't help but feel a sense of toxic purgery and rejuvenation.

    Anyways, my point is this: if your decisions are responsible and healthy, than do them confidently. Without hesitation, without apology, guilt, shame, or stutter- commit confidently. For yourself.

    A deep breathe and a plunge, this is the basis of all actions...a string of moments we call life.

    Act accordingly.

    Friday, September 25, 2009

    Destiny

    potential expiration date vs a definite expiration date. How does one meet the other? Is it pre-determined? Does our free will float us through the 'potential' to an inevitable demise, or is the 'end' merely a result of the accumulation of past actions?

    One of my favourite quotes: Be careful of your thoughts, they will become your words. Be careful of your words, they will become your actions. Be careful of your actions, they will become your habits. Be careful of your habits, they become your character, and be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

    I love this quote. It creates a very real image, one that puts the individual in the driving seat of hiw own life. This idea of the way life is assembled holds the individual accountable for his own actions- responibility and awareness are key values in this idealogy.

    But then there is the idea that some things are meant to happen, and were meant to happen, inevitably. wow. thats a very scary idea to me. It makes me think what would be the real purpose or point of this life, if we were merely spectators of our game and not actual ball players?

    Still, there are moments we encounter or find ourselves in which are far too surial to comprehend. Serendipity. Coincidence. 'Godincidence'. Epiphany. We come up with many terms to help define these moments- still, when they happen, when we are found in an exact place and time within space which dramatically effects the future- denying its gravity is ignorance. and calling it something less than what it is would be disrespect.

    In short, we are all destined to the same place, that is, death. It is our common denominator, and it binds all men together. (not to be morbid but) We are born alone and leave alone...our relationship with this beautiful world is an ephemeral one to say the least. Needless to say, our time here is not only short...it is counted. The question is- are we allowed to change the counter? Are we in control of the clock? Or has everything already been meticuluosly pre-cursed? If I were to throw myself in front of a car today, or skip work, was it already meant to be? I'd like to think not. But sometimes, its hard not to wonder "wow. I did NOT get here on my own...there might be something else happening"

    Tuesday, August 11, 2009

    Power

    I think the secret to power is control. Not control of others or things around you, but complete control of oneself. Being able to tune ones emotional levels in any given number of circumstances in turn presents an adverse advantage to the individual in any situation.

    And manipulation doesnt haveto be a negative word.

    Being able to focus ones thoughts and energy and block out distractions and nerves allow clear rational decision making, the type that produce desirable results.

    Power isnt evil. unless u want it to be.

    Monday, August 10, 2009

    Age

    Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeah.....i just dont see me making it to 71. 78. I couldnt even imagine being 90+. I'm shaking my head just thinking about it...I mean, if i'm cranky and irritated about everything now I dont think i want to be around that long to bitch and moan. Its just gonna take too much energy. I say mid 60s...68 tops- and even that idea exhausts me.

    Sunday, August 9, 2009

    Patience is the name of the game

    I love playing poker. Its a very exciting and rewarding game...you can learn a lot about other people through game play and also find out quite a bit about yourself. I can say without a doubt it is a game of character, and how it not only holds up under varying pressure, but how ones actions and intentions evolve as the game progresses. If there is one thing that I have learned about myself through the cards, its that I lack patience.


    At times I want it all and I want it now. Instant gratification is not an option or point of view, its the only way to perceive. As a result, items, moments, everything- they become less enjoyable.


    Its difficult to slow down, especially living in an environment that is constantly edging the individual towards the idea that more is better and it's never enough. I think we can agree that the "bigger faster stronger" mentality is an accepted norm of our American social ideology...a corner stone of the capitalist way. However I'm beginning to talk about to different things because impatience alone is not the vice we should fear- it is the combination of impatience and the loss of appreciation. One is the product of the other and vice-verse.


    it is easy for me to get very bored very quickly with anything and everything. Why? Because its just never enough. And even when it is enough, if even for a little while, its the idea of more that drives ambition. Its a deadly cycle that continues producing ongoing dissatisfaction and sadness...eventually even depression. I really do believe that many of the issues American men and women have with happiness and depression stem from this socially accepted value system and way of living...because lets be honest- this bullshit point of view was made by guys in suits who wanted to gorge the economy- may it be at the cost of starving and robbing the individual of fulfillment.


    Solution? Boycott. I look around at the things I have, the people that surround me, and I count my blessings. I am truly blessed and this life is a gift. What more could I want? Despite all the smack Ive just talked...and the fucked up problems we have...I really do believe this is the greatest country in the world. I'm extremely full. And when I realize I'm full, I am no longer impatient or unsatisfied or unappreciative. (and just to tie ends here with my poker intro...) I don't get crazy with my hand and risk all my chips on an irrational move- I simply take one last look, fold my hand, and wait for the next one. Hey...who knows, the Aces might be the next hand.

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Red Wine: Searching for the right bottle!

    One of the benefits of now being 21 is that I can pursue the wine connoisseur within me...minus the fact i'm probably gonna be carded for the next 20 years bc I look like a 9 year old- i'm pumped!

    So, being young and green to the world of red wine, I have made a promise to myself- one I believe will help me on my journey to discovering the perfect bottle years and years from now. The promise, which i'm sure will get increasingly harder to keep, is this: I’m going to try very, very hard to buy a different bottle of red wine every time I shop for a new bottle. Simple, good idea right? Who knows, maybe i'll condition my pallet, become more sensitive to the different tones and levels of flavor and acidity, and hopefully get buzzed along the way to help me bullshit my 'vast' knowledge on the subject...yess...

    So far I’m doing alright: I have thus far generic yet enjoyable tasting Casillero del Diablo 2006, 2007, and a very smooth bottle of Robert Mondavi Private Selection 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. Both Casilleros were great, but thus far Robert Mondavi has become my favorite- its deep and full but not harsh when it goes down. At least that's what she said.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I looked up some information on Mondavi's Private Selection 2004, and found this great website called 10dollarwine.com- this is what they had to say about it (and in my limited knowledge and intoxicated state, I couldn't agree more):

    General Impression:
    This wine is something a bit different then most sub ten dollar domestic Cabernet Sauvignons. Not the typical crisp, fruity feel, it is much fuller bodied and honestly quite wonderful. Mondavi has really pulled off producing a value priced wine that tastes and feels more like some of the higher end Sauvignons that sell in the mid twenties and higher.

    Flavors:
    The flavors are a lot of tropical fruit notes which are characteristic of Central Coast Sauvignons with the toasty, creamy, buttery characters. There is also ripe pear, apple and peach and some butter cream, vanilla, honey and baked bread. That is a lot going on for nine dollars a bottle. The aromas are mostly of pear and oak. There is some great oak character in this wine but as only 20% of the wine is aged in oak it is not dominant like some more oaky chardonnays. It is a nice balance and a very full bodied rich chardonnay.

    So thats it! A full bodied wine with a lot of flavor for under ten bucks! 10dollarwine.com...great reviews on wine bottles for under ten dollars, I'll be checking out their archive more often.

    'AUSCHWITZ: True Tales from a Grotesque Land' By: Sara Nomberg-Przytyk Review

    Ok so this is my first book review. I usually don't come around to reading alot, after all my generation is one brought up by the telivision not the library, however- this book was the focus of my holocaust literature class this semester- a class I am taking at Florida International University, and has proved to be a very raw and truthful account of the tragedies that took place within the concentration encampment at Auschwitz- first hand by survivor Sara Nomberg-Przytk. It's one of those books you can't put down- I recommend every one to pick it up but not just for that matter, but because its a part of our history that should never be forgotten- and hey, i'm neither Jewish nor German- i'm a human. So yea with out further a do:

    The name of the game Auschwitz presented was a very real and a very blunt one: adapt or die. Even when prisoners applied the mentality that ‘work will make you free’, no one was ever safe at any given moment. The struggle to survive was an everyday reality for the prisoners, and understanding why subjecting them to such actions which took place within the Auschwitz encampment will be the focus of this essay.
    First off, for the prisoners at Auschwitz, there was never much choice in the circumstance at hand. The newly arrived were immediately beaten and kicked mercilessly and endlessly. Not knowing how or where to hide they “made themselves absurd trying to defend their human dignity” (13). They, in consequence would torment themselves over the orders and commands that were unfamiliar to them, unable to comprehend the reason a human would act so viciously on another human with seemingly no motive. Understanding this knew and grotesque code within Auschwitz was a brutal and devastating battle for every Zugangi- “a word they used for new prisoners who did not know how to organize” (13). We could say that for every prisoner who entered the gates which read “Arbeit macht frei” , a very clear choice was presented to them none the less: live or die.
    Finding the will and strength to live however, was not something easily acquired. Nomberg-Przytyk recalls a young girl of about fifteen who sat all day on her bed and cried. It was clear “she would not win the fight for life. She would perish for sure. Cruelty would squash her; she would not be able to resist it. She was not physically strong, and had no experience, no meanness, no selfishness” (18). Even Nomberg-Przytyk admits contemplating suicide as an answer, and had it not been for a few helping hands, her demise may have come premature. Still the struggle was a never ending one, and called to each prisoner consistently and unapologetically. Through mortification and merciless, uncalled for beatings, each prisoner was wrung, slowly rinsing away ounce by ounce every drop of hope. The system was indeed designed to do this by means of using violence, aggression, and starvation of every human condition- both physical and psychological. Nomberg-Przytyk’s depiction of when every new prisoner’s hair was shorn from their heads and bodies was one of the most insightful accounts depicted of the seemingly senseless, brutal logic implemented in Auschwitz, the type that went out of its way to torment prisoners. It wasn’t enough that the women were going to have their hair cut, but shorn, on top of making each one open their legs to have the body hair removed (in front of one another, as well as SS men) as well. She recalls, “Once again, we were sitting on the benches, naked, the hair on our heads, what was left of it, cut in layers, all of us hunched over from the cold…I did not recognize anybody…once upon a time each one of us was capable of awakening feelings of love and affection…each one of us had some value, her own world of intimate dreams and desires” (14). Dreams and desires were now focused in a different world, and if life was decided as the goal, then the following step was understanding how to survive and adapt in the brutal, and at many times senselessly brutal, environment.
    This was not Sara Nomberg-Przytyk’s first visit to a concentration camp, as she states early and throughout the book. Being subjected to rationed amounts of food, having less than adequate clothing or shelter to sustain oneself during a vicious winter, were all tactics she understood designed to weaken and rob the individual of human dignity, of personality, in essence to detach one from himself/herself. However the code at Auschwitz, or rather the logic, went far beyond detaining the prisoners or robbing one of his own identity or freedoms. It was the idea of disconnecting ones heart and intellect from themselves, until they could no longer defend, so as to invoke despair, hopelessness, and total loss of the soul. It was torture beyond the physical realm, a system established with the intention to bring forth from the prisoners selfishness, meanness, among advocating other less admirable qualities. It was a logic which revolved around the idea of turning those who chose ‘life’ into a primitive form of living, thinking, and acting, a type of personality who would not question striking an old woman’s life down so as to secure her own. As Nomberg-Przytyk recalls, “All around me raged an animalistic struggle for existence, a battle for a little bit of watery soup, even for a little bit of water” (22). In short, for the prisoners it was survival of the fittest- ‘Step or be stepped on’.
    Upon passing the gates at Auschwitz, Sara Nomberg-Przytyk (among other newly arrived prisoners) entered an encampment like none other she had experienced before, being subjected to a very different mentality and set of rules. It was the ‘survival of the fittest’ ideology, and for those who could not adapt to the environment, who were to weak to continue, an example was made from them as “Every morning the sztubowa pulled dead women out of the beds…stripped them naked…dragged them through the whole block, and heaved them into the mud” (22). The choice then became clear: lose yourself, as the rest of them have been lost and fight, or parish. Either apply the new ideology required to survive, or reject the logic and continue to struggle, possibly die. Once the realization was made, a decision soon needed to follow for every person who found themselves in Auschwitz.
    Justifying the actions which took place within the Auschwitz concentration camp is heart wrenching. The struggle for life in such an environment reduces actions to primitive, instinctual ones. Hunt, or be hunted. Stay hungry, or lay back and be eaten. Although shameful, I do not indict the functionaries for compromising their morals and acting completely unethically: it was out of fear and defense of their own lives. There is no validation for the explicit absurdities depicted in Nomberg-Przytyk’s accounts other than the fact that these were women looking out for their own interests, in hope that they too might survive this awful place, even if it meant at the expense of the girl’s life next to her. In the end we can take all this with us, to serve as a testimony and account of what happens when people are subjected to an environment where ones life is in jeopardy- and the will to survive overcomes the will to preserve the foundation of ones principles.



    Ok. I hope that was insightful! And again, if its sunday and you have nothing to do, take a trip to barnes and nobles and check this out


    Auschwitz: True Tales from a Grotesque Land, by Sara Nomberg-Przytyk. Translated by Roslyn Hirsch. Edited by Eli Pfefferkorn and David H. Hirsch. Chapel Hill, NC and London: The University of North Carolina Press 1985, xii + 185 pp., ISBN 0-8078-4160-9.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Bella Review

    My apologies to everyone who has been waiting for an update, its not that i haven't seen any movies lately...its that I have learned about myself something very important, that is: my fingers (in subconscious conjunction with my mind) refuse to write reviews on shitty ass films. Therefore, I have to wait until an inspiring, cohesive, and what I feel and consider to be a COMPLETE work of art so happens to string its reel across my pupils. Believe me, I really can't deal with critiquing bad art...it just turns into a nasty biker-style bashing. Theres cursing involved, brass knuckles, and nobody wants to see that, right? Right. Honestly though, you wouldn't want me to write a review of...i don't know... Triple X anyway, right? Reading about crappy movies like that will only ruin you're afternoon, give me a light headache, but worst of all, give people like Vin Diesel unnecessary attention. Trust me, the last thing America needs is a sequel to 'The Pacifier'.

    Great, moving along now, everyone should know that Best Buy has these 'Summer Sizzler' DVD sales where every once in awhile you can pick up a great movie for 3.99! (I hate that I'm technically plugging corporate assholes like Best Buy but) It's cheap, it's great, and if you get lucky like me, you could end up with a movie like 'Bella' for 4 bucks!! Not that this movie is worth for bucks, granted, it's worth much much more, and if we're speaking in terms of substance and moral standing, I would go as far as saying priceless.

    Every once in awhile you'll get this one asshole who says 'watch where you step buddy, these shoes are priceless' Or that douche bag who insists his 1978 FireBird is priceless (Don't get me wrong, nice car, but fuck off) Truthfully, for each person there are only a very select number of items few, far and in between with enough personal emotional connection to honestly rever as being so significantly important and dear to us- so much so- we could actually honor it with the title priceless. I can respect some of these items, maybe a wedding ring past down from generation to generation, or a photograph...but in reality these are all still material objects, air loom or not. The actual value of the object I would think is rooted deep within the fibers of the emotion attached to it, usually a promise, or simply a memory enveloping the latter and/or usually much much more. Priceless is then defined as invaluable, because it cannot be bought or sold, and although we eventually come to distinguish this ourselves, by our own perceptions and beliefs, there are still, fundamentally certain things that will always be priceless. Life. For instance, is priceless.

    That is Bella in its abridged form. It is you and I, it is the gift of being born. We didn't ask for this, but here we are. Born into this time and space, like everybody else. It is my opinion man should never have the right to deny life, as well as take. We are born into nature as nature intended, and by nature we should leave- at our time, and in our space.

    So that's the general moral of the story in Bella, however, life obviously is never as simple as we expect it to be. The greatest quote of the movie comes early in the film, and reverberates a profound message throughout the rest of the movie: "If you want to make God smile, tell him your plans". In life, as I'm sure any grandfather would be happy to sit down and tell you, there are too many curve balls. The road winds in directions and patterns we could have never possibly anticipated or imagined traveling or reaching, and in these highs and lows there is so much beauty to be captured, so much to learn about oneself and ones surroundings- how to care for one another, how to contribute to one another- but Bella assures us only through honesty and discernment can ones form develop and spread to create positive influences on one another.

    This film received excellent recognition and won many awards including the People's Choice award at the Toronto Film Festival, two awards at the Heartland Film Festival, best picture from MovieGuide, and other awards around the country. I remember the big movie opening being here in Miami Beach, and I think it had something to do with either director Alejandro Monteverde or main character/actor Eduardo Verstegui living here. Both, who by the way did incredible jobs living up to the story told. I was especially impressed with the cinematography, and enjoyed the colors among camera angles used to express and invoke the emotions necessary to get Bella's message across to audience members. Excellent character progression aloud the viewer to develop side by side with actress Tammy Blanchard, as she struggles with a very human and identifiable concern. But I digress; I also remember a lot of catholic community supporters showing up for the event opening and advocating the watching of the film while it was in theatres. The movie actually doesn't play like a christian film, but you can't deny the underlying message and the values expressed.

    This film was beautiful, and I implore you to speed over to Best Buy in hopes that they are still offering Bella as one of the sick little 'Sizzlin Summer Movies for Sale' marketing tools used to get people like you and I to eventually buy a bigger t.v. or synthetic cordless keyboard...cause you know, I totally needed one. Hey, at least they don't have Triple X as one of the DVD's for sale. (Believe me, it's not even worth 3.99)

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    Mongol Review


    After watching this movie I wanted to be Mongolian. Why you ask? Because apparently, not only is a Mongolian's blood thicker than molasses, but they are also the world's most manliest men. Even the women are stronger than most men. Mongolian children run around large fields and are capable of bringing down full grown elk with their bare hands. BAD. ASS.

    Really though, this was a beautiful movie, with an incredible love story we often don't see or here a lot of now a days. If you are a feminist, your self centered overly opinionated vagina will not appreciate the beauty within the complicated relationship between Temudjin and Borte. This is a love story of pure, un-compromiseable, un-conditional love, so much so, it is almost perceived as a farce when compared to the modern day ways of viewing love and marriage.

    Borte was portrayed as an incredible woman of character, whose actions, which at times were completely out of self sacrifice, portrayed someone who understood the bigger picture within a situation, who knew that if means met ends, than by all means do what needs to be done. Incredible Ideology from a people who lived in the 12th century. To think men lived by such a code can again be interpreted as a joke, given that today many men stand for nothing and fall for anything.

    One of my favorite parts of the movie was when Temudjin chose his wife at the ripe age of 9, only to marry her in another 5 or 6 years. 9 years old people. 9. I was playing with pogs and watching "Are you afraid of the Dark?" at 9, not deciding who my life partner was gonna be for the rest of my existence. Still, there was an essence and understanding of 'certainty' between the un-concenting girl and her chooser. There was an unquestionable seed of 'security' in that the man was going to not only protect his woman, but provide to full capacity. And it was understood between the two they're own roles and mission- that this seed was inevitably destined to grow and flourish into a well nourished family. Instinctual. I mean, hey, it was gonna happen either way so you might as well just get it straight early, right? For me this was one of the most insightful and intriguing aspects of Mongolian culture/ tradition- no questions. No going back. No "pre-nups". No bullshit. You did what you did because it needed to be done. In this case, Its just you, me, and that dowry. Done. Where did we go wrong?


    Throughout the film I kept thinking about how today's children are a bunch of (I'm gonna keep it g-rated here in case father McMorality is reading this and use the word) softies. In all my years I have never in my life heard of such a HARDcore childhood as this one. Temudjin puts Drew Barrymore and every other E-true Hollywood child-hood story ever documented to shame. Really, if it all went down as writer/ historian Arif Aliyev portrays it, then I think we need to stop being such (again, for father McMorals) softies and stop putting these kids on so many meds. Mongol taught me that a child can not only survive the occasional ass-whooping and heart wrench, but makes him a stronger man for the future.

    This movie also deals heavily with a favorite theme of mine, that is, exile. Exile is an unnatural state of being, and as an audience member i felt sympathy for the main character as he wandered what seemed at times to be aimlessly through what was once his land but what had now become foreign to him. Genghis Khan's true purpose later becomes clear, when he decides to unite all Mongols and make what had become diluted and separate, united and thick once more.

    Closing up, just wanted to mention that aesthetically the film is very well balanced and scenery wise, my god- breathe taking- Mongolia really is a magnificent country where one can appreciate and breathe in the full beauty of creation in every frame. Director Sergei Bodrov deserves recognition and more money to continue the cultivation of such works, especially for Mongol- a soon to be film classic- and an all around man movie.

    p.s. this is a trilogy so try and stay alive until the next two come out. I now I'll be trying.

    Dark Knight Review


    The Dark Knight has officially surpassed Spiderman in the super hero genre and now holds the title for most money racked in within the first week- at an astonishing 155.34 million dollars- and is expected to exceed a gross of over 200 million next week...a well deserved lump of cash if you ask me- Dark Knight has proven to be the best super hero movie of this summer, beating out competitors like the Incredible Homo and Iron Fag (I'm just kidding, every morning I wake up, stare into the mirror, and am disappointed i didn't wake up as Tony Stark) with the help of one very memorable and incredibly bad ass role, of course, I speak of the genius that is the late Heath Ledger's Joker.

    His part will undoubtedly bring forth a posthumous Academy Award nomination for best supporting role this year, but whether or not he should win is more up to personal opinion. Just because the guy died doesn't mean we are obligated to hand him the award, although the pressure in nominating him and than giving it to someone else is enough to just mail the Oscar to his daughter. In trying to preserve what is "p.c." and what is "seriously bro..." we might just be better off hoping that the role he played was a good one, but a forgettable one...right?

    wrong.
    It was superb. Jack Nicholson can suck on Heath Ledger's broke back dick for the rest of eternity- this Joker goes down in history as the most psychotic yet intelligent one- allowing the audience member insight and depth into the dark twisted nature of his actions, at the same time indicting and questioning our own character and ethics- not only individually but as a society. An example of how we are questioned as individuals would be when Batman refused to run over and kill the Joker, despite both the capability and justice within fulfilling such an action- and socially our ethics are put into question when neither boat explodes (if you haven't seen the movie you won't know what the fug I'm speaking about). Not to mention, i felt like the Jokers actions and character was constantly asking me to compromise my convictions, to "laugh with him or at him", to, not take things so "seriously". So many times i caught audience members around me laughing or cheering for the bad guy, maybe they had forgotten which side they were supposed to be on, or maybe it was a conscious decision. In any case, Christopher Nolan created such a beautiful experience for the viewer, a very transient and at times vicarious stream of actions- at times it was good to be bad, and viceversa.

    I heard a friend say she thought there was such a strong serious republican under tone behind the entire thing. I can't blame her for thinking so, after all, the American Super Hero is a good guy. Not a bad guy.

    I watched Dark Knight opening night, along with 2,000 other people at Sunset Place Miami Florida. I was moved by how many batman loving losers there actually were in the South Miami area- it was impressive. You had your normal batch of batman/ Joker tshirt wearing kids who were just out to have a good time and watch a good action movie. No harm in that. But then, slowly but surely, from the shadows and caves of Miami came the dungeons and dragons lovers with their mother's lipstick smeared all over their faces, and grown men wearing home made capes- flapping them around the theatre lobby. I was afraid. Not that I'd be injured, but that I might have to injure one of them if they tried to role play with me. I never understood how a grown man could be aloud to dress up on any day of the year that wasn't Halloween. Oh that's right. THEY AREN'T. The best was this one kid sitting 4 rows back in my theatre, who was decked out in what must have been a 3,000 dollar batman getty up, complete with leather jockstrap from only the finest of finest cow hides. Un-fucking-believable. I'm not sure when this kids nuts must have fused with his hot leathery pants but it must have been somewhere between the car ride over to the theatre, or somewhere within the proceeding 6 hours of waiting for the previews and movie to begin, watching the 2.5 hour film, or maybe during the traffic jam from hell in the parking garage after the movie- where 2,500 people were planning on leaving at the exact same time. Either way, good movie.

    First Blog Entry!

    hello, this is the first post! Check Check one two one two check check one