Archive for the ‘Philosophical’ Category

Let the Games begin…

I’m not sure what it is, but the Olympic Games has always been an exciting television event for me.

The atmosphere, the buzz, the excitement.  It’s in the air and all around the host city.  In 2002, when Salt Lake City was the host city of the Winter Olympic Games, there was something magical about it all.  The entire city was transformed into pretty much the absolute largest sports convention in the world, and it was happening in my backyard!  For 16 days, the world comes together, despite it’s differences and gathers to compete in what is arguably the most prestigious sports award in the world.

Now the world stage is ready to light up the Vancouver skyline, and I can’t think of a more beautiful city to have host them.  I had the privilege to work on the very first flight of the day from San Francisco to the Olympic Games today and you could really feel the electricity in the cabin as the passengers were set to begin the next chapter in world winter sporting competition.  There were several athletes onboard who waited until the last minute to come to the Games as they finalized their last workouts, honing their laser-sharp talents for the entirety of mankind to behold.  What a feeling that must be, to be a competitor in these most competitive of venues.

There was an older couple on the flight this morning wearing their leather USA jackets.  This is their 10th Winter Olympics and those jackets we adorned with pins from all the various games they had attended.  There was a young Korean family traveling with us who were there to inspire their two young daughters–perhaps one day they would be on the ice, winning their OWN gold Olympic medal!

Even though I will be on the road for most of the days of the Games this year, I will be running my SlingBox into overdrive this month, trying to keep my DVR from filling up too rapidly from all the events I want to watch.  I remember having to work to Tokyo during the 2002 SLC Games and being forced to watch the coverage in Japan was an interesting experience.  I was amazed at what events drew the attention of the Japanese, as opposed to an American audience, and it made me realize that with all the hundreds of different events that are offered, it’s good to know that there really is something for everybody.

To to all the world’s athletes: we salute you and wish you all the best in your endeavors to conquer gold!  And to the spectators, both in Vancouver and around the world: Let’s watch and play together in a spirit of harmony and good sportsmanship.

I believe it truly defines our species as worth growing together as a single world!  Cheers!


Bloggers…Bloggers Who Need Bloggers…Are We the Luckiest?

This blogging phenomenon is pretty damn cool!

Just give people a forum to express themselves and you’ll find that there is a whole new world of…well, for lack of a better word, entertainment out there. And I don’t use the word to belittle or besmirch (hehe—THERE’S a $3 word for ya!) those that take the time out of their day to put thought to the virtual page. In a way, it sort of validates who we are as an individual and I’m finding it so very liberating.

Of course, there is a lot of pure rubbish out there too. Some people are truly out of their minds with the stuff they fill the internet with. Cyber-trash. I suppose it’s no different than surfing the almost 200+ channels of satellite television just to return to the same 5 or 6 channels that I used to watch when I only had 20 or 30 to choose from in the first place. I’m sure it’s very easy to get caught up in it all too.

When I was first made aware of MySpace, I thought “Wow! That is such a cool idea!” A place where I can literally make my own site, fill it with all kinds of decorations and goodies and things, but mostly just junk! I made some new friends there, I learned about old friends there and I reconnected with people I hadn’t even THOUGHT about in years—maybe even decades—there.

Then people started talking about Facebook. It was a more simplistic device; it had a more intuitive ability to connect the people, places, events and hobbies together, but in a form characteristic of CNN’s Headline News rather than The Situation Room. And jumping into the fray, I too, connected with more people, my family, my long-ago friends, my newly-met friends and people with similar interests.

Somewhere in the past year, though, it has evolved into something a little more like banner ads and pop-ups on the web, rather than real information I cared about. Who gives a rat’s ass that Susie planted a new virtual flower in her new virtual flowerpot in “Gardenville” or that Rickie became a level 59 vampire in the continuing saga of “Sucker Wars!” I mean, come on people!

That’s not to say that I am not guilty—I am, but I have become ever sorrier that I am these days. I still use the old Facebook (I even advertise my blog on it, to the chagrin of probably everybody I know there, but whaddyagonnadooo?

Don’t really know why Twitter is gangbusters at the moment. To me it is a twisted combination of cell phone texting and the old “ticker-tape” stock quotation machines…and everybody is just keeping close tabs on Ashton Kutcher’s every move…like he’d have any idea who any of the over one million Twits he boasts are following his every move, hanging on his every word. As my friend Michele would say: Really? (Insert a huge dose of sarcasm to that “Really” and you’d know what I am talking about!)

I’m not sure I am smart enough to answer that question to any degree of accuracy or expertise. But I think that we, as a society, may be evolving into a new species. Technology has forever altered not only what we say and when we say it, but also how we express it, where it gets heard…and interestingly, we have no idea who is “hearing us.”

Some of us place our hearts on our sleeves and expose our inner selves for the entirety of humanity to ingest, unaware of any unintended consequences that might result of it. Others have really nothing at all to say—they just want to be heard and will say anything to accomplish it. Still others try to educate; to contribute to the ever-expanding human consciousness and knowledge of pretty much every subject imaginable. It boggles the mind because it truly is the absolute definition of the human species—to create and be creative.

Imagine what our lives would be like if no one imagined anything new…!

So why do I blog? It’s a pretty basic premise for me. This is where people will truly learn who I am. While I may post moronic, sophomoric rubbish from time to time—that’s me (I get this from my family—if you ONLY knew!)—this is where I can create, dream, relish, long, hope, cherish, despise, abhor, admonish—this is where I can be real, and therefore validated.

I blog…therefore, I think I might just really be!

Newton’s Third Law for Human Beings

Recently, a person whom I deleted from my Facebook “Friends List” almost six months ago contacted me with a request to add them back as a friend. Along with the add request, they added a small note, asking if I had deleted them and whether or not they offended me. If so, they said “sorry.”

I am not a person who holds grudges or stews over incidents which could be perceived as being offensive. I really don’t have time for that kind of drama in my life and I usually just move on.

This person and I were very close when we were younger, but as we have become adults and have grown into our own opinions and belief systems, our paths have become somewhat skewed in opposite directions, thus our differences have really divided us for the past several years.

As an American, I am grateful to live in a country where our speech and personal expressions are protected from persecution and retribution…but unlike many Americans, I understand that that freedom is strictly limited to actions taken against me by the government. It does not include how I might be treated by other individuals when I exercise that right. In other words, though I may have the right to express my opinions, beliefs or values, it isn’t necessarily a good thing to do so at all times or at any cost.

This is the dilemma I face with this individual. While they were my friend on Facebook, they used that platform for expressing their beliefs and opinions, many of which were not only insensitive to me personally, but were downright “in your face” about those subjects. And it isn’t as if I have ignored them in the past about this issue. I have had many conversations IN PERSON about their insensitivity and the brash way in which they convey their personal values and belief structure. Unfortunately, it appears that those concerns have fallen on deaf ears, thus at some point, I could no longer tolerate it and deleted them from my Facebook friends.

I find myself often wondering why people become so polarized in their way of life. It fascinates me that despite the differences between individuals, groups, nations, races, religions, etc., we have no way of finding the commonalities between us – the common good or the common intelligence or the common humanity and use that platform to form the bonds we need to live harmoniously. For some unknown reason, we would rather be against those who are different from us than try to reach that compromise. For many, it’s “my way or the highway.”

What is baffling to me is that there seems to be an underlying belief among those who choose not to find common ground with those they are diametrically opposed to that, were they to even consider entertaining the idea of finding that common ground, they are somehow compromising their own standards or beliefs. Even more frightening to me is the unspoken opinion that allowing compromise would somehow convince them to change, thus causing them to feel they betrayed their own lives and those around them. So out of fear, they would rather expend the energy to defame, put down, berate or even destroy the ones they have such a dilemma with.

In an era of change, while we find such diversity, variety and a mixture of cultures, races, creeds and communities, I have also seen the underlying ground swell of intolerance, hatred and narrow-mindedness that history has shown to cause true chaos in the world. I fear that we’ve only begun to see the “tip of the iceberg” in this regard and I can only hope that somehow, we as a race can find a way to evolve past it.

To my friend who asked if they had offended me, the true answer is no. But I cannot allow such expressions of intolerance, bigotry, prejudice and fanatical dogma to be a part of my life. Find a way to look past our differences, find a way to embrace our commonalities, find a way to live your differences without having to broadcast them with such blind conviction and disregard for those who you find different…then approach me again. If you truly wish our friendship to develop and grow, you will ask me again. To this end, I hope it will become a reality.

Hold the line…I’ll be right back!

I don’t think that I envy rich people. I really believe that if I had all the money in the world that I ever needed, I would soon find out how boring my life could be without work.

Sadly, work for me is a necessity. Living paycheck-to-paycheck has been my social standard for decades. Not that I’m complaining too loudly, but I have begun to get to the point in my life that I’d like to take a little time to enjoy life, and the things it could offer me if I actually had some free time.

I feel that I am neglecting myself, my family and my home, simply by being gone all the time. Working two jobs has begun to take it’s toll on me metally too, I think. The second income is nice to have, but it’s really a means to an end and the beginning of a new chapter in my life as well. Working at the airlines has been fun in the past, but it’s shine and lustre faded long ago and commuting to a city 800 miles away is anything but exciting for me.

Working at the grocery/home store has been challenging, fresh and fun, albeit not as lucrative, although the potential to make that increase is there for the taking if I choose to persue it. It’s a tough choice becuase I’ve been so comfortable in the airlines — but the airlines hold no real future for me and that is what’s most frustrating.

The bottom line is simply that my life has been on hold with regards to my financial advancement for many years while I have enjoyed years of traveling the world, meeting celebrities and dignitaries and having a quality of life that I had only dreamed of earlier.

This won’t be an easy transition — but nothing worth doing really is. At some point, the cards have to fall in my favor and I hope to make full use of every opportunity that comes my way. Otherwise, it’s “would you like milk and sugar with that” will be the epitat that will be engraved on my headstone!