Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reaching Your Boiling Point

I was boiling some water for some tea the other day. I plugged the kettle in, and then went about the kitchen doing other things. I looked back to see if the kettle was close to boiling a few minutes later, and it wasn't quite there yet. The water was still calm inside, even though it was getting ever so close to boiling. Well, I thought I would watch it start to boil.

Then, as they say, "A watched pot never boils"

It seemed that nothing was really happening here. I began to wonder if this kettle was even on. But then, the water started to get upset, and started coming to a boil. Maybe I had never noticed a kettle boiling before, but I was surprised as to how violent the water got as it neared its boiling point, and then when it started to boil, it became uncontrollable.

Finally, the kettle automatically clicked off, and the water calmed down... but the water was still very hot.

And then I thought, wow... aren't we all capable of being exactly like that water?

We start out calm, and then a little bit of heat makes us uneasy, and then begin to be restless as more heat is applied. We try to keep our cool during this point until finally, we reach our boiling point, and explode. Then the switch goes off, and the boiling point ceases, but we are still boiling hot. Maybe even too hot to touch.
But water never has to look around to see if anyone saw that, or apologize for boiling over...

I just found that similarity very profound...

Monday, March 28, 2011

When the Heros in Your Life Let You Down

Everyone has Hero's in their lives.

We grow up looking up to people, both fictitious and non-fictitious. Starting with our parents, we seem to hold certain people up to higher expectations than others. Your first superhero is your mother or father, and they seem to be the Sun, Moon and the Stars to you.

Until the day they let you down...

I think the reason why we have invented Super Hero's is the simple fact that we can create and control everything that they do. They are a product of our imagination, that will listen to every detail of how they are to react in any situation. They can be altruistic, and giving, and touch the lives of every person in the world without ever having a bad day.

I think that this is almost something impossible to follow though. Being human, we are going to have bad days, we are going to make mistakes, and we are going to hurt people. -That's a fact. It is reasonable to expect that someone we admire, or look up to is going to be that ideal of perfection that our Super Hero's have?

I remember listening to a song by the Rock group Styx when I was a teenager. The song was called "Show Me the Way" and the first part of the lyrics really spoke to me. They said:

"Every night I say a prayer in the hope(s) that there's a heaven.

and everyday I'm more confused as the saints turn into sinners.

All the heroes and legends I knew as a child, have fallen to idols of clay

And I feel this empty place inside so afraid that I've lost my faith"

I love this song. It gives me solace that my hero's won't let me down. Even though that is never the case.

I think every person that I know has felt this way at one time or another in their lives. Whether it is the person we admire letting us down, or us having the expectation that is let down, it is inevitable that this will happen.

But this feeling is compounded when that person whom we really admire is compromised. Say, like our Leaders, or Pro Athletes, Celebrities, Actor's, Ministers, Teachers, and others. We have such huge expectations from them. The saying "To much given, much is expected" seems to resonate with us, and when they let us down for whatever reason, it disillusions our world.

I hate the feeling of disappointment. I hate when I disappoint someone almost the same as when someone really disappoints me. Simply because it is SUCH an emotionally draining experience. There could be 10 positive people who inspire you, but all it takes is that one person to do something horrible, and it ruins all the positivity in your world.

So what do you do?

Do you forgive and move on? Do you find new friends and new hero's? How do you fix something that meant so much to you?

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Night With Sarah McLachlan

Oh Sarah!!

Friends lets me down, people let me down, and the world lets me down. Please, not you too...I just don't have the strength to let the heros in my life let me down.

I went to see Sarah McLachlan on St. Patty's Day at Massey Hall in Toronto, and I was looking forward to finally seeing my B.F.F. She came out looking great, and she sounded great. She was funny, she was honest, personable, and she shared her stage and spotlight with Butterfly Boucher, Luke Doucet, and his wife Melissa McLelland. They were all great additions, and they proved to be a great entourage to the show. It was all going so well...

And then the wheels started to fall off....

I knew I was in trouble when Sarah sat at her piano, and told the sell-out audience that there were some songs that she just didn't feel connected to anymore, and wouldn't feel genuine in singing them. I assumed that she was referring to her break up with her ex-husband Ashwin Sood, and maybe the songs that reminded her of their romance together, but I put it out of my mind and listened onwards.

By the end of the show, I'm counting on my fingers, and looking at my watch, and wondering when she is gonna get to the songs that I have been waiting to hear. I was originally thinking that they would most likely be in the encore, because they were such big hits. So I sat patiently, and waited.

But they never came...Here are the 6 songs I expected to hear: (call me crazy if you wouldn't want to hear Sarah sing these)

1) ORDINARY MIRACLE (She opened the Winter Olympics in Vancouver with this!!)

2) Song For a Winter's Night

3) Blackbird

4) River

5) Push

6) Full of Grace

Full of Grace is my favourite Sarah song. You know how you have a song that you just simply connect to, and think that someone wrote and sang just for you? Well, this is my song. It may not be her biggest song, but it's something special, and I was ruined that she never sang it.

So here's my beef...

Do you think that a performer should have to play the songs that their fans want to hear?

I remember a couple years ago, I went to see Prince, or "the artist formally known as Prince" Whatever... the little circus midget who wears Purple and sings and dances on stage to Purple Rain. -That guy...

Anyway, he came out in the press saying that he was now a reformed something or other, and he wasn't going to play certain songs now, and the press weren't allowed to ask him questions about his past and shit. So when I went to see him play, he wouldn't play "Darling Nikki" and a whole lot of other songs that didn't agree with his newly reformed sense of conscience.

Well, when we are paying to watch you play the songs that got you on that stage, I could care less about how it hurts to play those songs. Billy Joel said that he would never play "Uptown Girl" again after he and former model, and now ex-wife Christie Brinkley broke up, because he wrote that song for her.

Well, I can understand as the artist that these songs may have deep meaning and all, but we as the fans have connections to them too. I'll grant you that they probably aren't as deep as the artist's connections are, but whatever; there is a connection that we can relate to, and we are paying to see you play...

So when I pay to see an artist play live, I think it is unfair to not expect to hear the songs that have gotten you famous because they are too painful for you to sing about. If actors can get on stage and perform and do this, why can't musicians?

So I ended up leaving Sarah's concert that night feeling let down, and cheated. I had bought a ticket to her show that left me feeling worse because of an un kept expectation, than before I went in the first place.

The next day, having slept on it, I wrote her a letter and went down to Massey Hall to drop it off for her (she was playing back to back concerts there) and asked her why she didn't play these songs that were so dear to her fans, and I let her know how let down I felt because of it.

I haven't heard back from her, or her people yet, and I wonder if I will... I would like to think that Sarah is down to earth, and that someone from her staff would reach out to an isolated fan with an explanation, but who knows? What I do know, is that Sarah cancelled her performance in London, Ontario on Sat. March 19th the following day at the John Labatt Centre.

Co-incidence? I think not... ;)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patty's Day

This map is what the Present Day world would've looked like had the Irish not discovered Guinness... Sigh

Ah, The Emerald Isle... For a small island nation, it is proud and distinguished. Full of hearty people, and wittiness the likes that you'll never see. Where the sun shines but once a year, but we always say "may the sun shine upon your face"

Yep, you won't be able to buy a bottle of sunscreen in Ireland, but if it's a bottle you're looking to buy, there's plenty of action for ya. The bottle rolls with the pubs, and the Celtic music that plays long into the night, the late night chips after the pubs start to close, the smell of the peat, ah yes! Well, I guess if you are in the city, you can't smell the peat, but it sounded like an Irish thing to say...

Ah, who can hate the Irish? A sorry funny lot, they are indeed.

Happy St. Patty's Day everyone

Kiss me, I'm Irish!!

Sorry, couldn't resist!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tasteless Japanese Tsunami Jokes...

I've been watching the footage rolling in from the Japanese getting hit by this tsunami and I have to say that it is horrific. I can't believe the devastation that has occurred, and unless I had seen it with my own eyes, I doubt I would believe it if somebody just told me about it.

I remember seeing the same thing on Boxing Day, 2004 when another tsunami hit Indonesia and wiped out 250,000 people. I mean, that is mind boggling numbers... That's an entire fair sized city of people, that didn't survive. It really is unfathomable...

It took about a day of so, but then, as it always does, the shitty jokes come filtering in about the destruction that some people are facing in their lives. Then there are always those people like Gilbert Gottfried, who use it as a spotlight with tasteless jokes, and say things like:

“Japan called me. They said ‘maybe those jokes are a hit in the U.S., but over here, they’re all sinking.’”

“I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said ‘is there a school in this area.’ She said ‘not now, but just wait.’”

"I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now.'"

Tasteless jokes like this are just bad business. And then there are wastes of flesh like Joan Rivers, who defend such stupidity by saying, "That's what comedians do!!! We react to tragedy by making jokes to help people in tough times feel better through laughter." -What a horrible human being she really is... I mean, how can you defend something like that? -Would she think it's funny to poke fun of Holocaust victims, seeing that she's Jewish? How would that go over with her? And whom do you think that this type of tragic humour would enlighten? -The enemies of the Japanese perhaps?

And speaking of which, I think that with the World War 2 history of the Japanese, it would seem to make it easier to not like them. It could leave a shadow of thought that maybe they deserved this for Pearl Harbor'ing the USA, or for the Bataan Death March to the Philippians, of the British troops in Singapore they tortured, or the Chinese they tried to wipe out with genocide. -I don't seem to remember anyone making Indonesian jokes when the Tsunami hit them in 2004... Because Indonesians haven't really DONE anything to anyone!

So, how long would you think that a tyrannical government subjects its nation's legacy to history before it is forgiven for the actions of its leaders at the time?

The answer is probably never.

With the information put at our hands, and so readily available at any moments notice, it leaves it wide open that people can chose to remember these acts at any one given time, which makes forgiveness tough.

Ask any German born after 1945 if they have ever encountered a remark about being a Nazi, even though they were born in an era free of that generation. In fact, every German I have ever met or encountered feels shame about their country's involvement of what happened almost 75 years ago. -And the sad thing is, it probably won't ever go away.

I bet you that the tasteless jokes coming from these people would probably not have been said if Japan had not had the history that it has in the 20th Century. And the sad thing is, that most of the people left in Japan who would be old enough to remember the atrocities that its government committed would be almost 90 years old now. That's almost a century ago...

My, how long the human memory can hold a grudge...

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Process in Your Life

We all learn in different ways, that is a given. Each of us learn at a different pace, a different understanding and so on, and so on.

Well, I've never professed to being a fast learner. I have learned my entire life by repetition, trial and error, and from duplicating these mistakes on more than one occasion. Call me "Learning Impaired," but God help me, I just don't seem to be very gifted in that learning area.

However, the one way that I can look at the longevity of life; it's twists and turns, and curveballs and such, is to think that there is a Process to everything that we do. Too many times, I have tried to take "short-cuts" invent new ways, or simply speed the process up for my own benefit.

Now, if I would look at things logically, there are things in life that you can do that with, and there are things that you can't. Certain things need time to perfect, and you cannot take that out of the equation. An example of this is making wine. I'm certainly not a big wine drinker, but I do know that it takes a process of time to let the grapes ferment and allow the wine to mature. You cannot rush this, or it will give you a terrible product.

And that is the same with life...

Too many of us want things on our own agenda, and timetable and we always want it NOW. We usually would have no idea that this is probably running against the process of our own lives, and that it will end in disappointment. We feel let down because we "failed" at what we wanted to do, without having any idea that we were doomed to fail in the first place, because we were not mindful of the process in front of us.
Too many people, far better than us have failed at the same thing, and we expect to be different.

Another example that I love... People ask the question, "How did you lose all that weight?" to someone who worked hard, dieted, and put in the time, effort and kept working the program.

-No secret to weight loss people. It's mathematics that you can actually use in life, unlike the math you learned in High School that you never use...

Yet, everyone wants to beat the process of weight loss without putting in time with the process. They disregard all the efforts it took them to gain weight, and want an easy way out. Well, that's not how the process works, is it?

I think I have learned that every part of life has a process. When things don't look positive in my life, I look at what processes I am trying to mismanage, and the answer is usually right there in front of me. Usually, I don't want to see that answer, because it's not the one I want to hear. I think most people are pretty stubborn that way, because we all want things our own way and on our own terms regardless of the cost.

So this year, I have accepted processes in my life, and it has given me more understanding where there was once none, and clarity I had never seen before.

Your life is different from mine, your timetables run at a different speed, and you learn at a different rate as well. Maybe your processes will allow you to see things in a different light. But the process of how you get there will remain intact, and will wait for you to allow yourself to use it properly.

But I just thought I would share this with you...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Kissing the Most Beautiful Girl in the World on your Birthday

I finally kissed the most beautiful girl in the world. It was a connection from the very start, but it ended there almost immediately.
It was good intentioned, loving and the thought was perfect when our eyes met. It was like I was looking into a calm blue ocean just staring into those innocent eyes.

Our lips met...

Then I felt something wet. I pulled away....

"less tongue" I said

I went back in for a "Do-over" but the tongue never moved. Damn, an inexperienced kisser...Worse, she fish-lipped me!!

After moving away the second time I figured it was a done deal. Obviously, there was no appreciation for this kiss. And just when I thought I was being victimized by her lack of caring and compassion, she threw up on me!! Now a regular person would've walked away thinking that obviously this girl is just way too drunk and go on to the next one. But call me crazy, I had an invested interest in her.

Being the kind of guy I am, I helped wipe the lass down and proceeded to hold her in her moment of weakness....

That's when she shit herself in my arms. I felt it. God, did I feel it. And holding her from falling down, it wasn't an option to let her go. She had this relieved look on her face, and to tell you the truth, she didn't care that she had just soiled herself in my arms. Truly, this girl had no shame...

This girl has NO shame! (and truly she didn't.) But I didn't care. I still thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world even if she was being gross.

The optimist in me kept thinking, "Well, at least if she keeps doing this to other men, she's be mine forever, because no other guy will want her!" It's amazing how one track minded a man can be protecting the girl of his dreams, eh?

And that's what I truly selfishly hope...

Because this beautiful girl is my daughter, and it was the most beautiful kiss any boy could ever ask for on his birthday...

Thank you Kennedy