Who didn’t love the start of this decade? We had crazy Presidential battles, the Y2K freak out, and of course, the rise to fame of the greatest game ever: Backyard Baseball (on the PC of course). We played a computer game of an actual thing we could have been doing at the time, but instead, pretended to be Pablo Sanchez or speedy Pete Wheeler. Backyard Baseball branched out of course; nobody could forget Backyard Football (with the introduction of Hall of Fame greats in there), and the forgettable basketball and MLS soccer. But the point of this small rant is that I loved Backyard Baseball, and so did many other elementary schoolers in that time. However, the game faded away, as they became more gimmicky and we grew older.
However, a few weeks ago, I learned of the online game “Pinch Hitter 3” and while it is no Backyard Baseball, it is quite addicting, fun, and brings back great memories. Although you only play as one player, the cheesy elements are all there, from team names to the parks where the games are played at. The early 2000’s in my mind have been brought back by a simple and fun online game. The only problem is, that I want more to come back from this decade.
The greatness of the 90’s and early 2000’s rested on the television and corny games that led the decade. Nickelodeon and Disney were at their peak of creativity and excitement with the shows they broadcasted. ABC Family wasn’t around to flood the televisions with mediocre and over-dramatic programming. ESPN lived in a simpler times, and baseball was far more popular in the world. These pre-9/11 days were carefree (as we were all under the age of 8 or so) and fantastic. But, the times have faded, and we are stuck with the garbage we have today as entertainment.
Although we cannot go back in time to relive the great memories we did have, we do have the capabilities to try to find new ways of achieving the same sort of pleasure we had as young children. When we find that ability to have fun, society as a whole will be better off, and less of a cynical place to be.
Sorry, that I didn’t actually have a blog post today. I was at school from 9-11, then work from 1130 AM to 10:15 PM… so the creative juices aren’t flowing.
I’ll be doing Friday shout-outs tomorrow, and some other interesting ish!
After working for two years at the same restaurant, I have noticed many things: many of the same guests eat there on a regular basis, people seem to eat the same sorts of food all of the time, and most importantly, we play the same 50 or so songs every single day. Not that they are bad songs, or it’s a bad thing, but I think I have heard Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy or Frank Sinatra’s Come Fly With Me maybe a few hundred times at work each. However, I had heard a song similarly that I did not know the name of, but could sing it back fluently, remembering the words each time.
Take me on a trip, I’d like to go some day.
Take me to New York, I’d love to see LA.
I really want to come kick it with you.
You’ll be my American Boy.
But then a few days ago, I heard it at Desert Ridge Marketplace, and saw that it was by Estelle. When I got home that evening, I bought it, and now every time I listen to it, I picture myself at work, hearing the lyrics to this song. It is amazing how our memory is tied to experiences and how this song brings me back to just starting at my job two years ago. Oh well, I decided I should share the song with you below. Enjoy the song (hopefully embedded below this paragraph).
You turn on the news and hear of the destruction from the Joplin tornado and the ongoing Wallow Forest fire in Arizona. You listen to the stories of the downfall of America, the problems in the Middle East, and the political turmoil around the world. We focus on predictions for the end of the world, complaints of how bad things have been, and a wish to go back to simpler times of the past, we never actually experienced ourselves. But rarely, do we focus on the positive side of our lives. We have become so focused on what is wrong and that which we have no ability to affect in our lives. But it is time to change the way we think; to insert a positive spin to the lives we have and should cherish.
Now I know we all enjoy certain aspects of our lives. However, is it a healthy thing to countdown the days until school ends each year, hoping for it to come sooner? Is it healthy to countdown in dread of going back to school during our summer break? The answer is no; we need to focus on the here and now, and live each day to the fullest. Although it is easier said than done, it is a major necessity for us to change the frame of mind in which we experience everyday. Those who live their lives to the fullest get far more than those wishing for better times.
It is remarkable that research study after research study have shown that those who are optimistic live longer and healthier lives. Those who smile, who have a cheery disposition, and who enjoy life are those who sometimes can prevent tendencies for diseases and relieve stress. Likewise, it is incredible to see how we can respond to tragedy still with some optimism; those in Joplin are surviving and helping others survive. Although these people have lost everything, they still have their optimism for better times to give to others. Without this optimism, what do these people have? Absolutely nothing.
But this brings me to a great point: we need to bring this level of optimism, of hope, to our own lives. When someone asks you how you are doing, don’t say fine; tell that person that you are doing amazing, fantastic, superb (because you are doing great…!!!) Don’t criticize others, but rather find ways to improve yourself. Just figure that nothing can go that wrong, and just live life the best that you can.
We live in a society in which anything said or done is scrutinized by others. Everyone feels they need to tell us what or who we can talk about. Topics are deemed taboo or socially wrong to talk about. If it hurts one person’s feelings, we have to ban its usage, and words which were never offensive are manipulated into becoming taboo as well. Likewise, inappropriate words in regular conversation are barred from usage in situations where they were utilized appropriately. And all of this really pisses me off.
My most potent example is based in an experience from school this year. A student teacher decided that “colored” or “negro” were not appropriate to be read aloud in A Streetcar Named Desire. I’m sorry to inform people, but neither of those words are offensive; they are just older terms for the more recent term African-American (which is historically inaccurate, as not all black people are from Africa, or live in America.) So guess what, I’m going to use any word to describe anybody that I like. I am frustrated that the double standard of the “n-Word” is accepted in society; white people are not allowed to say it, but it is accepted by the black community to say.
Furthermore, the crackdown on other terms is just ridiculous. It is the job of the media to report on the news, not create it. If a celebrity, sports star or politician says an offensive term in private and not publicly, which has negative connotations to homosexuals or special ed people , we need to understand that it is their own right to say what they want and it is not necessary to dissect and criticize. We need to get over the fact that they could offend somebody, and forget about even reporting it to make a story. We need to stop riding our moral high horses and get over the fact that some people aren’t as politically correct as others.
My final point lies in semantics. What is the real difference between calling someone mentally deficient and referring to them as retarded. It is the way we use the words that make them hurtful. If we used retarded with positive connotations, then it is just a word. To sugar-coat everything by creating new terms that refer to the same thing is just ridiculous. Call it what it is, and save the $5 words for the vocabulary books. When we realize that Kobe Bryant calling a referee a “faggot” does not mean he thinks the ref is gay, nor does he hate gay people, will really assist us as a culture in becoming less judgemental and a less high-horse sitting, overly moralistic society that we have today. Just as Obama does not hate Special Olympics people even though he referred to his bowling skills as if he was one of them, we need to understand context, and stop to think what he actually meant. He didn’t bowl particularly well, and although he could have chosen better words to demonstrate that, he should not be deemed as anti-disabled people. We just need to figure out what is really important in this world, and life will be less confrontational.
Everyone goes out to eat, whether to a local McDonald’s or to Morton’s Steakhouse. We all do it, no matter if it is once a month or every single night. The point is though, that restaurant people understand the nuances of going out to eat, the stresses of a busy kitchen, the ridiculous nature of some guests and the challenges of working as a team. In my two years as an employee at a quite busy, higher end restaurant, I have learned all sorts of lessons which cannot be taught in any classroom by any teacher, but can only be taught in the real world through experience.
As someone who entered the food industry at 16, I learned how these businesses work; as a result of it, I am a more critical and particular diner myself, but comprehend the challenges that others in the industry have, and thus tip very high, as well as not act as a horrid guest at my table. I do not lollygag at my table; it is necessary for servers to turn their tables if they have any hope of making any money. I make myself loud and clear, ask exactly what is in what I order, and am my own biggest food advocate.
Likewise, being a teenager in a restaurant is one of the greatest and most impactful experiences in one’s life. I work with adults, who have had all sorts of life stories. I work with cooks, where I practice my spanish, and learn about a totally different culture. Lastly, I interact with guests and have to work with people who are rude, ungrateful and not always the brightest lightbulbs in the package. The interaction with all of these groups of people have prepared me fully for my college life and in the future more than any classroom ever could have.
Those who have worked in restaurants are like a cult; they act different at restaurants and appreciate serving those who are similar to them and understand their hard work. Next time you feel the need to leave less than 18% to your server, actually think about how hard they are working for you and what they have to deal with in their job. Round up, leave an extra good tip for superb service, and don’t be a jerk, because although it is our job to serve you, we aren’t your servants. Sorry to break the news to the rude people of the world. Walk a day in someone else’s shoes; you will learn a lot, and change your own behavior in places you go.
Tonight begins the debates for the 2012 Presidential elections with a debate in New Hampshire. It’s interesting to think about who will take the lead of a party with no figurehead, the Republican Party. Although more liberal in my own political thought processes, I decided to break down the candidates in the debate so everyone has a “sneak preview” of who may be the candidate on next year’s ticket in the general election.
So, the moral of the story is the Republicans don’t have any true contender (minus Romney) to even have a fair chance at winning the general election. It’ll be interesting to see how the 2012 election transpires
The Miami Heat were the odds on favorite to be NBA champs. But they lost. The Dallas Mavericks were the unlikely heroes, and they won. But really, outside of Texas, Florida, and of course Cleveland, who really cares? I sure don’t. The point is, people love riding on the bandwagon of whatever team is hot. Who doesn’t love the Patriots/Yankees/USC/Duke/Lakers fans that love all the teams, yet don’t know a bit about their players, except Tom Brady and Kobe Bryant.
Seriously though, I really don’t care that Dallas won. Just as little as I care that Green Bay won the Super Bowl this past year. It’s hard to believe, but I really have no interest in being a “bandwagon fan.” No matter how awful my Tampa-Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Phoenix Suns, or ASU Sun Devils are, they all are still my teams and I will support them through thick or thin. That’s what a true sports fan is.
However, I want to leave this NBA season with a thought. The Suns finally have a nice draft pick (13th overall) and it is pivotal that they utilize it correctly. Over the past 10 years, the Suns have drafted, and then subsequently traded numerous players: Nate Robinson, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Fernandez, Luol Deng, and many other NBA starters. The problem is the Suns are just not a good drafting team, and this is the year to change it. I want to hear David Stern come out there and announce: “With the 13th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Phoenix Suns select Tristan Thompson from the University of Texas” and not “Jimmer Fredette from BYU”… I would berate the Suns if they did that; what they need is a developing post up presence, and not another 3-point chucker. Oh well, that’s just a fan’s perspective on that one. Also, Kemba Walker will not be an NBA star… Just saying.
PS…. I would love next year writing about the Suns winning the 2012 NBA Championship!