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Memorial Day 2011

Today we remember the soldiers that have fallen and that are in the field fighting for our country. I am conflicted with the day. I feel a deep and sincere gratitude for anyone who would risk their life to protect me and my family; and yet I feel sadden that we, as a nation, continue to become embroiled in battles that cost so many their lives.

I have family and friends who have served in the military. I have seen first-hand the devastation combat can reek upon one’s body and psyche.  As a child, we had a neighbor who survived the war only to come home and eat his revolver.  I have witnessed decorated vets, local heroes with purple hearts for bravery, destroy their lives, their bodies and loose themselves to the addiction they brought home with them from the war.

So on this day of Memorial, I give my respect and gratitude to the women and men of the our armed forces.
I say to you, “I believe you are truly brave, and I am sorry that you fight a war that you did not start, and yet now you must finish. I am sorry that your life may never be as it was before you went into battle and that coming home, may not end the war within you.”

May there be peace in your soul, and in your heart. And someday, may there be peace in the world!

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I have been driving a long time, before there even was a commuter or(HOV) lane on the freeways and the now obsolete “Fast Lane” has always been my friend.  The instillation of the commute lane had little or no effect on me until recently. 

Over the last couple of years I have joined the millions of drivers who now commute to work, and everyday I am more and more frustrated with the drivers on the road.  I now understand the term “Road Rage” on a personal level.   

It seems that people no longer understand the rules of the road now that the commuter lane has been installed.  What ever happened to the rule “SLOW VEHICLES MOVE TO THE RIGHT”?   This is a huge pet-peeve of mine.  Drivers seem to just pick a lane and stay in it no matter how fast OR SLOW, they go.  

Logically it seems to me, if the far left lane is now a “Commuter Lane,” then the one next to it would now be considered the “Fast Lane/ or Passing Lane” during commute hours.  Again, “SLOW VEHICLES should be on the far right!

Obviously, none of the driver’s here in Silicon Valley “got that memo,” know the “rules of the road” or understands that logic.  They ride in this “fast/middle lane” as if they own it and if they are cruising at or below the speed limit, then “Hey your problem—not theirs.”

I don’t know if these drivers are ill-educated or just down right rude.  I know for sure they are stubborn and refuse to move into a lane that is more conducive with their rate of speed, which forces me into the “Slow lane” to pass them. I find myself becoming angry that I have to either endure their flagrant abuse of the law or break it myself by “Passing on the Right.”

While writing this post, I discovered I am not alone in this plight. There are slow-pokes across the country, clogging the freeways, and people are mad about it. There are Facebook groups and posts.  Apparently there are some songs on the subject and several websites. One site is devoted to the left-lane driver  has produced windshield decals to tell the offenders to “<==MOVE OVER”.  The site was started in 2007, with many post and articles written about it (just do a search). 

There are two schools of thoughts from what I can see: The people who want the left lane to be a “fast-lane” and the people who think they should be able to drive in any lane, at any speed, and they shouldn’t have to move over.

My trip through the internet on the subject of slow drivers has yielded much, but not the mention of slow drivers in what I would call the “fast/middle lane.”  Since HOV lanes are mostly prevalent in metropolitan areas, and not standard throughout the country, I don’t think this issue has been addressed (or maybe I missed that article or blog).  Either way, I have to find a solution to my growing frustration.  It may come down to me purchasing a “Slow Traffic Move Right” decal for my car. That rule/law has not changed in all the years I have been driving, it is the road and the people who drive on it that have changed.

I have found a phone that I am in love with.  I have had the Hero for a little over a month and it was love at first sight.  I thought maybe the romance would die after the initial honeymoon stage and I would end up frustrated and disappoint like many of my other techno relationships. 

But here I am, a month into the commitment and still sing praise for my little gizmo and all the wonderful apps it has to offer.   I don’t know how it could be possible but I am becoming even more interactive with my phone than I have before.  

I use the calorie counter everyday (back on the weight-loss-band-wagon after the holidays).  This nifty little app lets you scan the package of the tasty little morsel you are eating and adds it to your daily count with a wave of the camera.  It is so simple.   pick the meal you want the food entered under,  select the scan barcode entry and scan the barcode with your camera (it even makes the little beeping noise when it scans).  The scan feature is just one way to add your intake into your daily journal.  You can also keep track of your weight and your exercise all in the palm of your hand.

All of my cell phones have been an added extension of myself.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I wear my bluetooth 24/7 (well not when I sleep…lol).  The Hero is much more than just a mobile phone.   It wakes me, it plays music for me while I shower, it tells me what the weather is like outside so I know how to dress, and it tells me what is on my calendar/agenda for the day.   The apps let me keep connected to my social networks–facebook, myspace, and twitter.  I can ping.fm from it and send an update to all of them at once.  I can watch TV on my phone or the latest Youtube  or Howcast video.  I can make videos myself and post them if I am so inclined.  Movies, recipes, restaurant reviews are all just a touch away. The applications and options are endless.  I just wish I had more time to spend playing with them.  Sprint has a really winner in the “Hero” and I am one of their biggest fans.

WEEKEND OF CHANGE

Friday was my baby girls eighteenth birthday. We went to dinner and a movie. I came home to find all her stuff gone. I was so sad. She moved in with a guy she has been dating for a month. It ‘s all bad!

It is so hard as a parent to see your children make poor choices.  I know that she is only hurting herself, but as a parent, it is my job to keep her safe…even if it is from herself, which is what I have been trying to do.  But she hit this magical number of 18 and I can’t intervene any longer.   She hasn’t finished high school and it is looking very shaky whether or not she will.   She moved in with some guy and didn’t give me the address and has overdrawn the checking account I had for her.   Not a future I would wish for her, but she is “an adult” now and it is not my choice.

Spent the day yesterday in anticipation of seeing Paranormal Activity.  The movie was suppose to be scary and all the hype surrounding it had me wondering if it wasn’t the same false provado  that accompanied “The Blair Witch Project.”

As a horror fan, I was completely let down, when I finally watch Blair Witch.  The jittery camera shots made me nauseated and by the end of the movie I was stunned and disappointed.  I was stunned that people thought Blair Witch was scary and not just stupid.  I was disappointed because it was so poorly done and boring, that I felt cheated out of 2 hours of my life.  I understand that the movie was suppose to be an amateur documentary done by college kids, but it was so jittery and random, that it was just plain awful.

So out comes Paranormal and the ads look good and scary.  I can’t wait to see it and neither can my friend.  We buy tickets for a late show last night and take our teens.   It was a “barf-fest” (literally).  Like its predecessor Blair Witch, the movement of the camera, was intolerable.  I spent much of the movie, looking away because, the motion made me want to hurl.  The finale left the movie goers dazed and confused.  We sat in the theater waiting for “the other shoe to drop” or something to happen, until the lights came on.  We walked out of there saying “are you kidding me?  That was it???”

What spurred this need to purge myself was reading Common Sense on Media blog on an up coming episode of Gossip girl depicting a threesome, during what I consider “Primetime”.  I know that by 9pm all the little kiddies should be snug in their beds, but that is not always the case with the overextended, fast moving lifestyle of many parents today. 

This rant has been a long time coming.  Everyday, I am bombarded by shows, movies, videos, and music that depict drinking, drugs and promiscuity as a norm.  

Today, while driving into work, I was channel surfing on the radio and went from hearing “When a Man Loves a Woman” to “Sexy B*tch”.  It causes me a moment of reflection on the how callus and disrespectful society has become towards women.  Percy Sledge sang of loving a woman to the point of being detrimental to him.  Now men think calling a woman a “sexy” female dog is a compliment.  Don’t get me wrong, I like rap. TuPac was the man, and while he rapped about being a thug, he still loved his momma.  The contemporary rappers have young girls singing about “B*tchs” and “Hoes”, like it is the thing to do. 

According to the book “Oral Sex is the New Good Night Kiss”, girls are being sexualized as young as 12 years old.  Girls are pimp’n other girls for money, clothes or drugs and none of the girls think this is a problems because “everyone is doing it”.  Freak’n on the dance floor has turned into actual sex on the dance floor and it is happening at a school near you.  The teens know about it, acept it and even videotape it for Youtube.  Lewd behavior has become the standard for our youth and most parents are in the dark about it.  The internet and webcams allow a teen the freedom to be naked and perform sexual acts in front of strangers or peers in the privacy of their own room, many times while their parents are in the next room and none the wiser.    

I don’t have the answer to why our society has sunk so low.  In fact, sometimes I think I am a contributor to its ruin.  I do listen to rap, and I like shows, movies and content that is not always PG, but I am an adult.  Some how the line between adult, teen and child have been blurred and it is time for society to sure up those lines.  If we don’t pull back a little I am concerned about the future and what another thirty years of ethical and moral deterioration will do to future generations.  I wonder if “gymboree” will morph into toddlers freak’n on the dance floor while their parents watch.  Who knows, I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Midnight thoughts

I want to stop “surviving” and start “living”! But even as I ponder how one makes the change; I ask myself, “if in this time of economical strife is it pretentious of me to want more than to merely exist, when so many don’t even have that”? I want a change. I have been waiting for a change. Now I want to effect a change. The question is– where to start?