I love to do yard work and I take pride in my little yard. Took a trip to the nursery today to add some color to the yard for fall/winter. I told myself when I moved into my house that my backyard would be my little zen palace where I could escape the world. I grill, do yard work, read, and even use my back porch as a home office when it’s nice outside.
I figured I would spice up the blog a little and add a new way to communicate. Videos. That’s right I created a Youtube channel and figured I would talk to you guys every now and again in addition to the normal written rambling. Anyways, this is my first video, ever. I wasn’t even sure what my voice sounded like and I was a little nervous, so please don’t judge too hard. (okay judge all you want) I’ll make the videos in the future more interesting and a little better quality (hopefully). In the mean time, I’d like to know what you think about it.
As much as I have complained about the holidays I have to admit one thing: my family can cook! Here is some of the grub I’ve consumed in the last few days.
I hate the holidays, for the most part. For some people that sounds crazy and they might even call me the Grinch, but I see the holiday season for what it really is. I see the gaping hole in reality that everyone just ignores for a land of lollipops and rainbows. I’ve seen past the happy go lucky bullshit that the media feeds you. I see the Macy’s day parade and see an indoctrination of a whole new generation to feel good and buy products they associate with happiness. I see family traditions based around consumerism rather than charity or even religion. I see all this and others don’t – or refuse to and it disgust me!
My wife still clings to religion. She was raised Catholic and still finds comfort in it. She has even admitted to me before that she believes because “it makes her feel good.” She doesn’t deny my logic, she is a very emotionally driven person – I’m almost all logic. My point is I think that the holiday season is the same way. Consumerist behavior has been pounded into most people’s life so hard that they equate buying gifts and spending money to happiness. Lets be honest though, the holidays aren’t about generosity – how can it be generosity when it is an expected act? Isn’t the act of giving more special when it is a random act of kindness?
In fact, if I were not to buy any gifts I would be punished by societal norms. People would call me greedy, a Grinch, cheap! Why? Because I didn’t agree to the status quo and give the big corporations more of my hard earned dollars. People expect gifts I am expected to give them – if I sway from the expected it is considered taboo. That is not generosity – it is protecting yourself.
The holiday season has been ruined for me in a lot of ways. I think it is the expectations. It is one giant ad campaign and I hate that part of it. Sure I enjoy spending time with my family, but the fact that shopping days such as “black Friday” have become unofficial official shopping days – and people actually but into it really, really bothers me.
Look – I’m not saying I hate every aspect of the holiday, but I am saying that this time of the year has really been spoiled. Santa Clause is a marketing tool and Americans must be the only people on earth that complain about a high unemployment rate, debt, and the president – then skip the presidential debates, don’t vote, and add to their credit card debt buying shit for Christmas. That’s hippocracy if I’ve ever seen it.
So if you don’t live in Georgia you probably didn’t know that this existed, but it does. I noticed the ad for the first time today right in Atlanta not too far from my house. Some group of people thought it would be a great idea to put up giant billboards ridiculing fat children. I suppose to shame them and their parents into being more healthy. The billboards say things like “It’s hard being a little girl, when you’re not.”
I personally think the billboards are hilarious. Hilarious in the kind of way that a comedian is. That is one who has dove off the morality cliff, pushed over any sense of caring for others, but is so crude you can’t help but laugh. It’s like a train wreck and you can’t help but look at the destruction.
The funniest/worst part about these billboards is that someone had to actually sit around and think these things up AND put in the foot work to put them up and pay for them. Was there are large enough group of people that thought this was a good idea? Also, I want to know who the hell agreed to let their child pose for these damn signs and do these videos!
On a side note, I just read that Georgia has the 2nd highest child obesity rate in the country. We really do have a problem. Damn soul food and damn you Paula Dean.
Also, my wife, who is an art teacher for high school almost cried when she saw these videos. She said she sees fat kids get picked on (her brother is also obese) and it really hurts her. I guess I have to be careful not to let out a chuckle around her. These adds are too rediculous to be taken seriously…
You can check out the website and laugh here.
When I was in high school I was kind of a typical guy on the surface. I hid all of the problems I had at home. I put on a confident face at school, but not fake confidence – it was real. I was lucky to have it for no reason at all. Maybe it was arrogance. I played every sport the school offered, but I was best at wrestling. I went on to become a state runner-up my senior year of high school in the largest school district in the state. Looking back on it, I’m not sure at what point I decided I would try so hard at sports. I think it was an outlet for everything else going on in my life. I think it was all for me, something for me to be proud of and to focus on.
I also found pride in my school work and honestly I think people thought I was a dumb ass because they associated me with they typical jock stereotype. I made all A’s. The truth is, I didn’t even hang out or associate with many other athletes. In fact my two of my three best friends were a Brazilian and a guy from Holland. For some reason I never associated with most of the people I grew up with. I think I had a natural aversion to rednecks and ignorance – even when I didn’t know it at the time.
Really, all this is inexplicable. I have no reason to be this way. I was raised by two parents that didn’t graduate high school. My dad worked doing manual labor and we accepted welfare and food stamps. Both of my parents had trouble with addictions. The year before I left for college I bought my own groceries. In fact, I had planned to just pay for college all on my own, but I didn’t have to do it alone. Truth be told someone, for some reason saw something in me and helped.
I’m not sure how he found me and he never asked for anything in return. His daughter was in the band and he was a prominent member of the community. I can only assume he saw me playing sports and somehow found out my background and decided he wanted to help. He took me under his wing and mentored me. He found money to cover my first year of college (scholarships from people in the community), he found money to pay for my school supply (including a computer), and offered me advise I couldn’t get elsewhere.
I know that someday I will do the same thing for someone else. I know that I appreciate what he did for me more than I have ever expressed to him. Maybe I should tell him, honestly, but I feel like there is some unspoken thing between us that it doesn’t have to be said. At the time I didn’t even appreciate the help as much as I should have, but looking back – I can’t believe how fortunate I was and I know that it changed my life forever. It changed my spirit and how I see being a good man and a good person. I hope I can do the same thing for someone else, so selflessly, someday. If you have the opportunity to help someone, like I was helped, you should too. He may never know it, but his generosity really made the world a better place, even if it was only one person at a time. I’ll continue that and make sure his investment was a good one.