Monday, January 31, 2011

A good lesson on unconditional love...from the cat.

I've been allergic to cats for as long as I can remember.  They would throw me into uncontrollable sneezing fits, making my eyes itchy and my throat dry.   So naturally, I started to despise them, thinking everybody who owned one was a complete moron.  I mean, beyond the allergies, why would anybody want to financially and emotionally take care of something that never gave back?  My only experiences had been with cats that hissed, bit and clawed at me.  Cats who hid when I entered the room, only vainly coming out to eat.  I thought them selfish, mean; nothing like the loyal and affectionate dog I had owned during my childhood.

So when I moved out on my own, my childhood dog now long gone, I of course felt the intense need to adopt a pet.  But, with my busy schedule and crazy work hours, the only animal beyond a hamster or a fish that would work for me was, you guessed it, a cat.  As you can imagine, I teetered with this idea for quite some time, wondering if it was worth giving these despicable animals one last chance.  I mean, beyond the great possibility I'd mimic the allergies of my childhood, I wondered if I would be able to mentally cope with such a egomaniacle being.  I finally did though take the plunge, deciding to foster a cat named Bob.  But don't get me wrong, it wasn't too much of a commitment at all.  I was  merely giving him a roof over his head while his animal group found him a forever home.  And as I saw it, with this experience, I was about to reinforce and strengthen every belief I had about these animals.   Unbelievably and almost immediately though, quite the opposite began to happen, which is truly when the craziness really started to begin. 

The minute Bob the cat arrived and walked out of his crate, he immediately approached me, affectionately rubbing his whole body onto mine.  And after he did this, the foster woman who had brought him to me almost collapsed to the floor in shock.  She soon explained to me that Bob never, and she meant never ever, approached new people due to his past abuse.  I was officially the first person he had shown affection to like this in his entire three year life span.  She thought it simply amazing, telling me I must just be a cat person.  I all but laughed at this notion, wondering if this woman was for real.  I mean, she was calling me a cat person?  The same person who had hated these disgusting creatures for most of my young life.  Was she crazy?  Turns out...she knew exactly what she was talking about because it didn't take long for this tiny black and white fur ball to become my world.  Maybe it was how he sat with me for hours at a time or how he made a cold house warm again.  We just began to form this unexplainable bond.  One much different from what I had had with my childhood dog.  Almost more respectful.   And in addition, magically my allergies were nowhere in sight!  Of course it wasn't all a fairytale.  He had his moments of biting and scratching and being vain, but it suddenly didn't matter anymore.

Maybe he knew I had ultimately saved his life.  Maybe I just got lucky with him.   All I know is that today, I can no longer picture life without him.  I'm not sure how it happened but I'm glad it did.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Passing your youthful usefulness...

I hit a big birthday the other day.  One I'd been dreading for almost ten years.  I remember waking up around midnight, watching the clock slowly turn, wondering if suddenly I was going to feel the luxuries of youth slowly slipping from my body.  And sadly, the only reason I had been fearing this day was simply because the world around me told me I should be.   In retrospect, one could theorize that this fear of aging we all experience is really a decades old marketing ploy put into the works so that women and men alike would feel the desperate need to buy anti aging products when the timer of life told them so.   

So what now?  What does one do in a world where they've passed their youthful usefulness?  You ask me, they should crack a smile and get ready to begin the real adventure.   Getting older has been the best thing that ever happened to me.  The younger me was selfish, hurtful, just inexperienced at life.  I've spent years making stupid mistakes that I wish I could take back.  But in turn, those same mistakes shaped me into the person I am today.  And in my opinion, at this point in my life, I have tremendously more to offer this world.  So to all those people who have big birthdays coming up.  To those who think your place in this world will become a little less significant when you're forced to reveal your true age...I say just remember one thing.  Remember that the number of years you've lived should only reflect how you've positively grown as a person.  And the only reason you should feel ashamed of how old you are, is if you haven't changed at all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dear Ryan Seacrest...I've outgrown you

Yes I was one of the first true fans of American Idol.  I started watching Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman (with a name like that we all knew he didn't have a shot) try to make it in the reality show rat race.  And as the years of Idol rolled by, I really thought Ryan was a great host, which I still do.  He was poised, rarely stumbled, and of course attractive to the eye.  But I had never heard his radio show before.  Never seen or heard anything where he solely was the star.  When I ended up moving back to California six years ago, I got my chance to witness him in his true element.  I discovered he was hosting a morning radio show here in LA and boy did he shine.  He knew everybody in Hollywood and everybody knew him.  He was a publicist's dream, interviewing everybody from Robert Downey Jr. to Snookie, even rubbing elbows with Larry King and Dick Clark.  He was quick witted, smooth, and simply a people pleaser.   So I started listening to him each morning on my way to work.  At the time, I only worked five minutes from home so I would only experience his show in quick doses, always leaving me wanting more.  Then a few years after, our offices moved almost thirty minutes away.  Although the commute was longer, I was excited to finally have the opportunity to listen to his show all the way to work, until that is, I realized his station's signal would annoyingly cut off at the same point (in between canyons) every morning and very weakly come back when I reached the bottom.  So instead of listening to static, I began switching around at that same point everyday, one day landing on the local radio station KROQ.  I had listened to this very station a decade before in high school, liking it, but never experiencing their morning show.  As I began listening to its stars, Kevin and Bean, what I heard was a raw mix of humor, bashing, and to be honest, the utter truth.  At first I was appalled.  These guys were making fun of the very people who Ryan hung out with!  They didn't tweet like Ryan, didn't tell every person who called the show that they loved them.  They didn't even have a tacky radio sign out, "Seacrest out".  They were just two guys who told it like it was while making you laugh.  They had much grittier guests compared to Seacrest's typical "famous for being famous" daily lineup.   The show was literally poking fun at everything that embodied Ryan Seacrest's world, from the stupidity of the Kardashians to Mel's audio tapes.  As the weeks went by, I started paying attention to them more and more until my entire morning car ride was engulfed by them, Seacrest becoming just an afterthought during one of KROQ's commercial breaks.  And that's when it became clear to me.  I had outgrown Ryan Seacrest and everything he stood for.  He had for a time, forced me into his fluffy material world that would almost always be successful in curing my shallow curiosities but would in turn, never make me think.  He would absolutely never question anything around him, instead, deciding to hug and kiss the world's problems away with uninspiring and simple two-dimensional words, almost identically resembling a puppet on a string.  It's sad to think it took a canyon filled piece of highway and a bad radio signal to make me see things differently.  Problem is, the truths in life aren't always easy.  Sometimes turning to people with hollow voices serves as a well needed escape.  We all need our guilty pleasures...our doses of superficiality.  The key though, is to know how to find your way out of the dark cave of tabloids and yes mans and into the brighter light of productivity and impact before you've merely become a shell of the person who had such potential to change this world for the better.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

That telephone's going to change my life...I think.

So I've been anticipating this moment for quite awhile now.  Purchasing my very first iPhone.  Of course I've had a mediocre smartphone for some time but in my eyes, it's really not the same.  The iPhone is just...can I say it...MAGICAL.  I fantasize about how it will feel just holding the thing...feeling the the corners of my mouth slowly rise with excitement when I acquire my very first app or receive my very first text.

For years, I have been tantalized and taunted by my social circle's angry bird games and other jazzy applications.  The lowest point so far had to be this past Christmas.  Everybody, including my little thirteen year old brother, embarked on an iPhones only word play game.  A game I obviously couldn't per take in do to my lack of "technology".  It was just surreal...seeming like my very own family had turned into some cult of iPhone zombies, giggling at their screens, turning their noses up at those who only use their phones to make calls.  You ask me, all this iPhone snobbishness... I think it's the new form of prejudice.  Technology prejudice!  

Well I'm tired of being left out, being embarrassed to take out my current phone as it anxiously vibrates in my purse.  Tired of people looking at me with shock when they realize I don't have the iPhone. Wondering how I could possibly go on living.  But why you ask can't I be one of the strong ones, like that guy at work who drives a Mercedes but pulls out his Motorola flip phone to make a call? My answer, because the thing is going to change my life!  Yeah I said it...and I almost believe it.  

The video calls to my oh-so-far-away family(not to mention being able to play that word game with them!)  The picture and video mail.  The thousands of old and new applications for any and all things.  And the best part, it's the new form of bonding.  Taking your iPhones out together is like having a jeep and waving to another jeep as you pass or like two smokers stepping outside for a cigarette.  It's a way of connecting in more ways than one.  You can bump your phones to share things, play games.  The sky(or should I say cell tower) is really the limit.

So anyways, a month from today I should have that beautiful little gem in my hand.  Maybe I'll even be typing this blog with it.  Will I be a happier, better person?  I'll let you know.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Of course he smirked

Jared Lee Loughner got just what he wanted and everybody, including me at this very moment, helped him get it.  He wanted to send a message and that he did.  In his eyes, he's not throwing his life away because killing people is exactly the reason God put him on this earth.  No matter what we do to him now doesn't really matter.  His name is everywhere and we're all talking about him(until something just as interesting captures our short attention spans).  We've put him up there with the worst of the worst and made what he did brutally glamorous.  I'm counting each day (day # 2) where the Today Show greedily keeps his name in their opening stories or he's on the top of the headlines.  Of course we all want to know what kind of monster did this so we can make ourselves feel better, convincing each other that we are completely opposite of him.  I just wish though, that we could live in a world where you'd hide Loughner's face and keep it simple.  He killed several people, he's going to jail for the rest of his life, the end.  Like the rules at a baseball game where they don't show the streaker's face.  This isn't the first time this will happen and unfortunately it won't be the last.  You can interview witnesses all you want but we've heard it all before.  You can run heroic stories but they will be forgotten.  Can you remember any of those 911 heroic stories?  Pretty vague in my mind too.  Positive stories will take a backseat, being stored conveniently in the small print at the bottom of the page or in an afterthought during Ann Curry's news segment.  But not to worry, by the time Loughner is ass murdered in jail for killing a nine year old girl and Giffords is awake and living her life with a severe speech impediment, this story won't even be googleable.