Thursday, December 31, 2015

Resolution or Not to Resolute? That is the Question

     Every year I see many people making New Years Resolutions. I wonder how many of them actually keep them. I know I've made many in my life and well, to be honest have not kept many of them  So several years ago I decided I would no longer make resolutions, at least not just on New Years Day.

     I see New Years Resolutions as a sort of ticket to many people giving them the official opening to do just about everything they find wrong and resolve to change their behavior at the end of the year.  So many people lie, cheat steal and pretty much live a hedonistic lifestyle until December 31 when for some reason they feel this draw toward making resolution to do better, become a better person or whatever better there is out there for them to be. So they make these unrealistic resolutions, "I will not drink in the new year", "I will not cheat on my spouse in the new year." and so on. Things they should do just because they are the right way to be. This sets people up to fail because the heart has not changed, just the mind for that one "romantic" night. Yes romantic, I say romantic because romance has many meanings, some are  having a fascination or enthusiasm about something. So on December 31 many people are enthusiastic about doing the right thing. Then a few days later the romance dies and they revert back to their old ways.

     Other less moral resolutions are those to eat better, exercise more and get healthy. Well those are also things that become romanticized with the end of an old year and start of a new. We as people want to cleanse ourselves and become a purer being. For some reason we seem to think that December 31 is the time to validate these plans. Then the new year comes and goes, we as people forget those resolutions and go back to the unhealthy ways of life. Mostly because the allure of that romantic resolution drew us in, not the reality that maybe we need to get healthy and eat better.

     So with those thoughts in mind I decided years ago to no longer make resolutions or rather promises to myself that I will not keep. I work hard to live my life as I believe is right all year long form start to finish. As for healthy eating and getting healthy, I am not always successful there but am working on it. I know making a resolution on December 31 will not prepare me to "get healthy" it will most likely set me up to fail. All resolutions must be a way of life, they must be something we do out of either moral belief or a desire to get and stay healthy. So the answer to the question is no resolution, mindset change is the way to succeed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Star Wars Before New Hope and Beyond

     I saw the first Star Wars movie when it opened at the premier theater in Los Angeles. Yes the premier! Back then it was a big deal but not quite as huge as they thought it would. be. It was something new and different and people were excited to see it but I do not think anyone had a clue the kind of phenomenon it would become.

     My uncle purchased our tickets the day before I believe and we waited in line at the premier theater for 2 hours. The theater was amazing, I can't remember the name of it, this was back in 1977 and I was 14 years old. I was just excited because this was my first time in such a theater, it was huge with tables in the middle isle where you could get table service food.  My best friend was with me and we were having the time of our lives.

     The movie began and I fell in love with the story instantly. I also fell head over heals for Luke Skywalker, Mark Hamill. Han was very handsome too but Luke was mine I purchased every souvenir I could find, from magazines to figurines.. Star Wars was funny, action packed and something completely new. It was also just Star Wars at the time, New Hope had not been added to the name yet.

     I was not able to see Star Wars again until it came out on video in 1981 I was excited because it came not too long after I had seen Empire Strikes Back. I was very thrilled when Empire Strikes Back came our in 1980. I went to see it several times at the theater with my aunt who was also a huge fan.

     My aunt and I patiently waited for Return of the Jedi to come out and waited in line for several hours to see it. We did not get to see it in a fancy theater but we did not care. We were just excited to watch it. I do not know how many times I saw it at the theater.

     I was super excited when the three movies came out on VHS. All of the first three Star Wars movies consisted of humor, adventure, excitement and offered a light side to a dark idea of good vs evil.

     In 1999 a new Star Wars movie was released and it took me several years to watch it. The movie did not interest me at all because Star Wars was Luke, Leah, Han and the gang, not before they were born. I finally broke down and watched Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones on VHS before Revenge of the Sith came out. I must admit I did like them and I liked Sith too but they did not have the qualities I loved about the original 3. I did not watch them over and over again like the original 3. They were dark and on the depressing side plus I did not care about the characters as much as I did the characters in the original movies. They didn't become "friends".

     Then I heard they were making a new Star Wars, I was so excited but a little aprehensive until I learned it would include Han, Luke and Leah. I went to see the new movie recently and I loved it just as much as the original Star Wars I saw in 1977. The new characters are light, funny, complex and lovable just like the originals I loved. The story had that same feel to it too. It was not like the last three which were dark, dreary and even though I liked them, depressing. The characters were not likable and you did not fall in love with them like Luke, Leah and Han.

    So now we have entered a new Star Wars era, there will be more movies to come. I am excited for the new venture and well it must be said "May the Force be with us all."

Drunk Man Missed Daughtry

     My post about New Year's Eve drunkenness made me think of this drunk guy i sat next to when I went to see Cavo, Lifehouse and Daughtry in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Back in 2010 my sons and I went to see Lifehouse and Daughtry in Salt Lake City. Cavo was there too but we did not know that until the show started. I believe were were at the E Center.  Well they serve alcohol at this event and many people were purchasing their drinks before and during the show. From what I could see there were no limits on the number of drinks you could buy.

     Next to me sat this young man, around 22 or 23 years old I believe. He and his girlfriend each had a beer and they were very friendly. Before the concert began he told me how excited he was to see Daughtry. He said that he had come to the concert just to see them. He was so excited, he was like a kid in a candy store. I was excited for him too because we were also excited to see Lifehouse and Daughtry was a bonus. We had bought our tickets to see Lifehouse.

     By the time Cavo came on, they were first, the young man and his girlfriend had downed one beer and went to get another. These were large mugs of beer mind you. They were having fun watching the concert and when Cavo was done he turned to me and told me how excited he was for Daughtry again. I could see that thrill in his eyes and hear it in his voice.

     Before Lifehouse came on the couple had another beer and during Lifehouse's set I lost count on the times they left to get beer. Lifehouse was done and it was time for Daughtry to set up. I could tell the man was very drunk by this time. He was extremely foul mouthed and very obnoxious.

     Finally the band he had been waiting to see was on. Even though I wanted to punch him because he was so annoying I felt excited for him to finally see the band he had come to see. I believe he had driven a long ways for this concert just like us and so that moment had finally arrived. The lights came up, Daughtry took the stage and everyone was cheering. I looked over at the young man to see if he was as excited as I knew he would be and he was not excited, he was dazed and then before I knew it he was sound asleep. He had passed out cold.

     I will never forget that young man who traveled to see one of his favorite bands getting so drunk that he missed the band he came to see. It made me sad for him that drinking was more important. I wondered how many other things he missed in life for the "pleasure" of being drunk. I thoroughly
enjoyed the concert and so did my kids, we will be able to tell about it for years to come. That young man can only say that he was there and more's the pity for him.


It is Not Necessary to Ring in the New Year Trashed

     I can't say I think people who drink alcohol are bad people. I know a lot of great people who have a drink or two but I can say I believe alcohol is bad for people. In my mind there's nothing positive that comes from it. My point for this post though is not to really talk about how good or bad it is for someones health it is more to point out my confusion as to why people think getting trashed on New Years Eve is the way to celebrate ringing in the new year.

     As New Years Eve approaches I hear some people talking about how they plan to get complete wasted on New Years Eve.They seem to think that is the way to ring in the new year. I hear some saying how it just isn't New Years Eve if they aren't wasted. That baffles me to no end. Why is it important to get wasted to celebrate the start of a new year? I do not understand our societies fascination with the idea that you have to be  mentally out of control to truly enjoy something.

     My experience with drunk people on New Years Eve is that many of them end up fighting, crying or passed out. My ex used to get drunk every New Year's Eve and while there were a few times he was awake to ring in the new year, most of the time he was passed out before it rang in. When he was awake to ring it in he was sickening and you know that New Years Kiss...well uh... no thank you! Then the next day most trashed  people don't even remember ringing in the new year. If they do remember it is in a cloud of fog from the hangover they feel.

     I don't even understand those who think they have to make a toast to the new year with alcohol. What is the purpose of that? Is it just some kind of strange tradition that people have? Why not make a toast with grape juice, especially if you don't even like the taste of alcohol. It is better tasting and you remember what happened the next day. Yes I know just one toast won't get a person drunk but most people don't start with that one toast, they are already trashed before that one toast but want sober people to toast with them with alcohol. Maybe it helps them feel better about themselves for being so obnoxiously drunk.

     I cannot even remember the last time I touched alcohol, being married to an alcoholic soured me on the taste or smell. I don't even like to be around drunks anytime especially New Years Eve. Some of the best times I've had ringing in the new year actually were bowling one night, a sledding party when I was a teenager and playing games with friends. I did not let the drunk people around me ruin my fun when I was in mixed (drunk and non-drunk) company, my ex to be specific. Most of the time he was not even a part of the final celebration and the rest of us, the sober ones, rang in the new year and remembered it so we could tell about it the next day.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

A New Look at the Term Happy Holidays

    Prior to Christmas every year I see a lot of people on social media stating that they will be keeping Christ in Christmas by saying "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holiday’s" this Christmas season. While I believe in keeping Christ in Christmas too I also have a different take on the term “Happy Holiday’s”.  This take is not one I have always had but after much thought have come to the realization saying Happy Holidays does not mean you are removing Christ from Christmas.

     When people say Happy Holidays it is usually long before Christmas Day so really it is not actually Christmas. It is close to Christmas, but New Years Day is a holiday celebrated during the winter holiday season too. So in saying Happy Holiday’s many people are celebrating all of the holidays that are near each other.

     Really if you think about it, saying Merry Christmas a week or two before the actual day is kind of silly. Do we wish people Happy Birthday every day before their birthday? No we wait until the day of heir birth, so why say Merry Christmas a week before the actual birth day of Christ? It is not Christmas day on December 23, 24, or even 21. It is the time of Happy Holiday's. 

         Thanksgiving is another reason this issue came to my mind. One day a clerk at the store wished me Happy Holidays a few days before Thanksgiving and I thought that was fitting since it was not yet Thanksgiving Day but close to it.  So I wondered why that same ideology could not apply to Christmas too.

     So before getting offended by the term “Happy Holidays” and think people are removing Christ from Christmas maybe look at it in a new way and just enjoy the holiday season. I do keep Christ in Christmas but I keep him in my life all year, saying Happy Holidays before Christmas Day does not mean He is not a part of Christmas day or the season and it for certain does not mean I am taking Him out of my life.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

My Thoughts on Changing Highway 666 to 491

      I used to live on what was called Highway 666 in Colorado. I have heard it was named 666 because it was the highway where highway 6 and Route 66 met at one point. The highway runs through parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah.  I thought it was neat living on Hwy 666. However, many people were superstitions and fought to change it because they said it was evil so in 2003, those who were superstitious won and state transportation officials decided it needed to be changed to Highway 491.

     Many people had called highway 666 The Devil’s Highway and the Highway to Hell. So many people believed that the highway had a lot of accidents because it was named 666, it was cursed. They never thought for a minute that maybe there were a lot of accidents because people drive fast on highways. I don’t even think they even looked at other highways to see how many accidents they have on them. The state just let the superstitious people have their way. Personally, I thought it was silly and my own personal experience regarding the highway was that it made no difference what it is called.

     I remember when I made business calls and would say that I lived on Hwy 666 some people would totally freak out. They would ask if I was scared to live there. I just laughed and told them no. I was actually surprised that they even gave it a thought.

     In the years I lived on Highway 666 there were no accidents in front of my house, and I lived right on the highway. A couple of years after the name changed to 491 there was a semi truck that wrecked right in front of our home, actually it came close to ending up in our living room. I saw my first fatal accident on the highway after the name was changed to 491. One of my son’s friends was in an almost fatal accident and paralyzed while it was 491. I have known others killed on the same highway after 2003.and on December 23, 2015 we had a bad accident on highway 491 that involved multiple vehicles. So hmm did the name change really change anything? I say no.

     I no longer live on the highway but travel it often, my experience is that there have been more accidents on the highway as 491 than when it was 666. Regardless of whether or not that is true, the name of a highway does not make it evil, there will not be more accidents on the highway because of its name, accidents happen because they happen, a group of numbers won’t make or prevent them.