Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sorry for not posting

Dearest readers,

After final examinations, I took a week to get everything else in life sorted out, and then we took a short trip to the east coast to surprise my parents in Disney World. So the traveling and the business of life has kept me from posting on the blog. But rest assured, I'll be back in business soon, following up on my last post about The Alcove.

More Soon,


Friday, May 16, 2008

To the mystery woman from the Alcove

Dear Lady,

Should you happen to find my blog online, please know that your note of distress has fallen into caring hands.

Wednesday night, I found myself hopelessly muddled, sifting through pages of notes and textbook conundrums, studying for a final exam in my Communication Theory Seminar. I was sitting in the back room of the Alcove, in the Los Feliz Village. I was waiting patiently for my turkey sandwich to arrive, when a page from my notes fell to the ground. My fiancee, kind as she is, leaned over to pick it up for me, and found your note written on the back of an old receipt. Your note read:

"Life is far too mysterious at times. Unfortunately, my life is quite upside down at the moment. I'm sitting across a man who loves me for what i can be not for who I am... That's a tragedy. I'm in love with love... And I'm a mess."

Please know that I took your note, and replaced it with a note myself. I took an old receipt out of my pocket, and shared with you the threshold of mystery I am currently facing. Should you care to share this moment, you can find my note on the floor, next to the two-person table located in the back room of the Alcove in Los Feliz - the table that is located next to the only plug - across from the bathrooms.

I am honored to have had a glimpse into such a mysterious moment in your life. I wish you luck and offer my empathy. Please stay true to who you are and do not sell yourself short.

Good luck fair lady,


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Just a "heads-up"

Loyal Readers,

My deepest apologies, but I am unable to keep up with posting this week. As I continue to pursue a higher education, obligatory things such as "Exams" seem to take the priority.

More soon,


Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's the world coming to?

Hello my dear reader,

I'm stumbling on some thoughts of uncertainty this morning. And with all good intentions, I want to share them with you, but hope that you can find it in your heart not to judge me for them.

Wednesday nights I have dinner with my great aunt and uncle in Thousand Oaks. They live out there, in the Nation's safest city, and I happen to work near by. So it's the least I can do to visit my beloved grandmother's brother once a week and keep them company for dinner. Of course, they treat me like a princess: my aunt cooks up a storm, my uncle picks fresh fruits for me from the back yard, they open a bottle of wine, and we chat over dinner. They don't even let me set the table or pick up after myself. They're so excited to have a visitor, that they'll do anything to make it worth my while. They don't even know how much it means to me to get to see them every week. He's all i really have left of my grandmother (besides my mom, obviously). But my grandmother and her brother were very close. They are so much the same person, it's uncanny! So i have my own vested interest in visiting. But they don't realize that i just genuinely love them... I'd visit even if dinner wasn't included...

Needless to say, this post isn't so much about them. Rather, it's about something my aunt - we'll call her Alice in Wonderland - had to say. Albeit that she is generally an optimistic person, last night she painted a very dark picture for me. She said she feared the economy was going to be at its worst and that people would be in complete chaos. She said she feared that a major catastrophe could annihilate our computer system, virtually destroying every ounce of technological progress that is controlled by computers right now. She said she feared that if we lost our computer technology systems, we would lose access to everything we take for granted: water, gas, electricity - because, as she fears it, it's true, computers manage the flow of our water, the rationing of our electricity and the distribution of our gas. And it's not so much that I'm afraid that we won't have water, gas, or electricity, but that she might be onto something.

What she said resonated with me a bit, as I've been worried about where life is going. The current stream of politics is disheartening, as no one is passionate about what they're doing anymore. it's all feigned interest for the sake of capital gain. Yeah we have a female candidate and yes we have an "African American" candidate. But it doesn't really signify what it should. And regardless of the individual, the country is in bad shape and frankly, I'm not confident that any of the candidates can save us from a disaster.

Here's another thought: education. I'm a firm believer in the power of knowledge and the need for education. But I've noticed a growing trend. Every new generation wants its children to get educated and to take office jobs. What happens if Alice in Wonderland is right and someday our technology goes to hell and office jobs are no longer in demand? Who will till the land and grow the crops and do the man labor if every new generation is being groomed for white collar uniforms? Immigrants? Didn't we all start out as immigrants somewhere down the chain of our ancestry?

We've lost the value in having a trade. We master a subject area, get a million and one degrees to back it up and then... do nothing with it. We need to learn how to make things with our hands - things we need, not things we want. I say this because, likely just as you do, i take it for granted that there's an Albertson's two bocks away from me, where I can buy a box of fresh basil or a package of steak meat. I say this because I' ve never had to fish my own dinner or grow my own herbs - and i bet you've never had to either. I'm not talking about extreme camping trips either - you know, the ones you can get in your car and drive away from when you finally get hungry enough. No - I mean that down right necessity to survive! My generation has never felt it because everything is available to us on a PLATINUM PLATTER!

I'm not saying it's going to happen, and I'm not saying it's not... but someday we may have to re-invent the wheel for humanity and I would hate to be the one with a bunch of degrees under my belt and the incapacity to build a straw roof over my head. My new mission is to learn a trade that i can do with my hands. Call it my plan B. Anyone else in?
Pensively Yours,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The New Narcotic: FOOD!

Dear Reader,

I am confessing to you today about a secret addiction I have had all my life. I stayed away from the promiscuous sex, the dumbing alcoholism, and the emphasematic smoking, but I couldn't take my hands off food. I have eaten myself into oblivion and now I'm a pathetic fat blob.

Have you ever seen the movie Super Size Me? I think it was stupid. It completely missed the point of helping people in America realize how over weight they've become. Sure we learned about how awful McDonald's food is if you eat it every day. But did that not teach us anything about the way we're eating?

I can't help myself anymore. I love food. It's a self-destructive passion. I long for perfectly crusted potatoes Au Gratin and a tenderly grilled rib eye steak. All the while, my arteries are screaming in anticipation of the cholesterol attack they are about to receive. Of course, if I could, i would couple this delectable meal with a crisp salad and an ice-cold soda and call it a day well spent. And the morning after... well, let's just say the scale and I are not friends.

The movement toward organic foods has begun to upset me. American foods have so many preservatives and trans fats in them that it has become virtually impossible to stay away from those cardio-killers without starting a new branch of food: organic. Does anyone remember the days when you actually grew your own herbs? My grandparents used to "hunt" their own meat? Now adays it comes to us perfectly packaged, color added, chemicals and hormones disguised. And when we eat the organic foods, they taste weird to us. What ever happened to the natural flavor of foods?

Here's the problem: we have an over abundance of supply. Americans have the ability to consume, and they exercise that ability to its maximum capacity. Look at buffets for example. There is no logic reason why we need to display so much food. But we do it because we can and because a lavishly stocked table has come to mean luxury, opulence, and greatness. All the while, the American people are growing in size.

The Big and Tall-s and Lane Bryant-s of this world are enabling us even more. They're telling us it's ok to be so fat that we don't fit into mainstream clothing anymore. I'm not by any means encouraging the promotion of the anorexia we see displayed on TV. But let's be realistic... it's not even a matter of aesthetics anymore. I have chest pains at 24. I don't want to know what's causing them. That's my own denial...

What am I to do about this addiction? I love food. For me, it means reward, pleasure, opulence, happiness. How to I change that association? Any suggestions?

Join me, if you will, in a quest to free ourselves of the bad habit of eating. We should eat just enough to survive. I'm preaching like a hypocrite...

Hoping to set a better example,


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Guess what I'm doing Right Now!?!

Dear Reader,

I'm very happy to share with you that on my lunch break today, i took a little file folder, placed it on the grassy walkway between our buildings, sat down on it, and blogged. What a wonderful thing Air Cards are! Not the Verizon ones, though. And may I add, that never has the grass looked greener and never have I been less terrified by bugs than in this very peaceful moment, when the freeway bustles to my right, the flag clanks in front of me, the wind blows behind me, and all I see are greens to my left. Life is good...

Please enjoy the view from where I'm sitting...



Our Childhood is Important

Dear Reader,

It strikes me ironic how little we know, when we're kids, that every minute of those precious developmental years will shape what we eventually call: Happiness.

I am fortunate to have found a mate in life who shares with me my passions and my woes. While we may not have shared fundamental moments in our childhood together, she appreciates the things i keep near and dear to me. That's exactly the kind of person i wanted to marry.

Growing up, I experienced a lot of things with my parents and as a result, their preferences became mine. It's no wonder that years into my adulthood, the things that make me happy are the things that remind me of pleasant events in my childhood. And it's funny to me, that we don't know that when we're young and we often miss it when we're growing up. So at what point is it that we transition away from merry-making that revolves around childhood memories?

It was the thing to do every summer, to pile into our sedan and drive down to Coronado Island, San Diego, CA for the weekend. We'd typically stay at the Glorietta Bay Inn, overlooking the bay and the glamorous Hotel Del Coronado. Some of my happiest childhood memories took place on that island. And without fail, the apple falling no further from the tree, as soon as I was old enough to do it on my own, my Juliet and I traveled to Coronado Island ourselves and stayed at the Glorietta Bay Inn. Of course, on that first trip... we weren't even dating yet. But you might say it was the weekend we fell in love, officially! :) Coronado Island is now the landmark of many happy memories and officially the place we go to just to get away from the hardships of life. We fell in love their, we claim our sublimation there, and best of all, we got engaged there.

As a kid, I often watched my father down cans and cans of Pepsi. Sharing a can was like the greatest reward. And it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite personal treats is an almost slushy can of ice-cold Pepsi. Or at least it used to be. But my love affair with Pepsi is worthy of its own blog post.

Disneyland leaves me a whole other bucket of happy moments. That's where my grandparents used to take me as a child. In fact, Disneyland and I had a love-hate relationship for a while too. As a child, it was the happiest place on earth for me, serving as a monumental bonding experience for me and my grandmother. In my teenage years, having lost my grandmother and being a lonely frustrated teen, I hated Disneyland. But when Juliet and I fell in love, suddenly, it was the place to go. It's funny how theme parks design rides such that they need to be enjoyed in tandem. It sucks to be left without a partner. Always go to theme parks in even numbers!!!! Having a mate in life really helps!

Dining out deserves a chapter of its own in the novel of happiness. As a kid, every holiday, every celebration, every reward, everything positive revolved around going out to eat. Lavish meals and a couple drinks around a big table, and that was the way to really enjoy life: good food and good company. Naturally, as a "youngster" in my twenties - you know, the money-squandering kind - it should also not surprise you that the number one thing I do to keep happy amidst the depressing insanity of our world is go out to eat. I spend almost 100% of my net earnings on food. What I don't spend on food I spend on clothes to make me look less fat and the occasional elaborate gift for my fiancee. Eating is that one most pleasurable thing next to sex that puts the icing on every positive thing. That's how we celebrated when I was a kid and that's how I celebrate now. And the price we pay for such indulging celebrations: The size 14 Calvin Klein jeans I'm bursting out of as I write to you today. But hey, I'm happy, right?

The thing is, that even though objects and activities like Pepsi, Disneyland, and eating out were things that I remember so fondly, trying to hold onto them and consume those American Dream commodities is not making me any happier. "Pillow Talk" in Juliet's arms after I clocked out of work yesterday was so much more rewarding than all the cans of Pepsi, all the trips to Disneyland and Coronado, and all the meals out I've had in the last 24 years of this precious life. And yet, it's pathetic, that my natural instinct is to ask my Juliet out for a fabulous meal at the end of a shitty day - you know, to compensate for the crappy day I put up with. Better yet, at the end of huge project, ask me what my department does to celebrate! We go out for ice cream. More consumption of that absolutely-addicting, not-yet-diagnosed narcotic: FOOD!

Did I mention I'm also crazy about the Disney classics I grew up watching?

Desperately trying to grow up,


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Message to my Readers

Dearest Readers,

Your interest and comments are overwhelmingly positive. Thank you form the bottom of my heart for coming back to check up on new posts. I regret to admit that the last few days have rendered me exhausted and without enough time to update the blog with new posts. I promise to get back into the swing of things by Wednesday.

A big thanks to Red Stapler for sending readers my way. Please check out Red Stapler - blog linked to the left! The fabulous writer/blogger keeps me company from 9-5 in the adjacent cube and is responsible for my plunge into blogging. Should have listened to the fiancee ages ago... but... at least I'm here now thanks to Red Stapler.

More soon...