Monday, March 19, 2007

St Patrick's Day


There is an observation I need to make; how did St. Patrick's day become to be the 'drunkiest' day of the year in America?? And while the green dye might work well in the Chicago River, it doesn't make the beer taste that good.

Ireland's bishop in the early 450's AD, Patrick established monasteries all over the green land and convereted many to christianism. He died on Mar 17th, 461 AD, and later throught the cannonization process of the catholic church, that day became a national holiday for the Irish people. Considered a feast on the Roman Catholic Church calendar (a day to celebrate or remember saints), this day has transformed itself from its irish roots of a gathering of families with a big huge dinner (sort of a thanksgiving day), to an american excuse to carry license to go out, drink and get drunk. I take it that from the famous, or infamous, perception of irish people drinking and celebrating, everyone ended up thinking this is what you do on that day.

Here is a another interesting tidbit on St Patrick's Day. The famous shamrock that people pinned to their clothes, or hats, was made famous by St. Patricks, as, during his sermons he would utilize this leaf to explain the holy trinity as three separate entities being one. The Catholic Irish would then wear this symbol as demonstration of their religious faith.

So there is my observation as to the contrast of what its supposed to be, and what it is.

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Call Tones

I am, what you call in marketing, an early adopter; I was one of the first ones among my friends to own a cell, then a camera phone, the latest phone, a song as a ring tone, and now a call tone. A call tone is a song(or sound) that you can have play in your cell for a incoming call. So when you call that phone, you are treated to a custom sound.

I chose for my first Call Tone, James Blunt song, "You Are Beautiful". I received many compliments over it, many people were pleasantly surprised, and 'baffled' about how I had done that. I knew that if I chose a Call Tone, I would have to keep changing it to keep it fresh. But I was not prepared for all the comments.

My close female friends loved it! My guy friends couldn't let a remark or two go unsaid. One cool thing about call tones is that you can custom them to play at a certain time, or for certain people only. So, the song that I selected for the one person that I have loved in my life was "ADORE" by Prince ("Until the end of times, I'll be there 4 U; u own my heart and mind, I truly adore U, if God one day stroke me blind, your beauty I'd still see. Love is 2 weak 2 define, just what you mean to me"). One thing though, I am not sure that she would ever hear it.

Anyway, about a week or so ago my friend Wendy asked me why would I have a song about 'unattainable love' as my call tone. Huuuummmm?? I never thought of that song like that. But after that, I could not take that comment out of my head. She was right.

So on the net I went trying to surf for a song that would be great for me to have. I was mostly focusing on actual 'hits'. See, "Charlie's Angels" theme song would have not been a good choice ( I ran into my friend Shannon today, and tha was her ringtone; perfect for her!!) So, among the songs that I like what were the possibilities?

"What goes around comes around" by Justin Timberlake, "How to Save a Life" by The Fray ,"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol , "Keep holding on" by Avril Lavigne, "Waiting on the world to change" by John Meyer, "Lips of an angel" by Hinder, "If everyone cared" by Nickelback (tickets for a March 18th concert are sitting in my room)... Ok, wait; the theme on all these songs is love gone bad, cheating and deceit, and obsessive hope. They are all in my I-Pod. Darn, what does that mean? It made me wonder, about how many songs we like without really paying complete attention to the lyrics.

Well, after all the search, I decided on Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy". Not only does it have a catchy beat, but, when we do what we like, when we are who we are, and when we love who we love, despite all the losing battles, and despite those who think we are crazy, we can die happy when we are done.
Now my friend Leo says that he used to love that song, but not anymore since he hears it on my phone all the time!


Sunday, March 04, 2007

What to title this....?

Live throw curves at us. That much is true.

On Friday I was sitting in the same position I am now, debating about which of three topics I wanted to write about. Today, as I was driving to run some errands, I had made a choice and couldn't wait to comeback and write. That was when life threw a curve at me.

I was trying to decide on whether to go for a run or go to the Mall to buy me a light jacket that would go well with my work clothes. Besides, we will once again experience cooler temperatures in South Florida during the next few nights (low 50's), and I need something for work for the next week. That is how long it will take the thermostat to catch on. So I chose the latter, and on my way to the mall I needed to make sure I accomplished a few other things like stopping at the pharmacy. I had these gift cards, and today's shopper brought a buy one-get one free-sale on vitamins.

But on my way to the mall, and as I passed the pharmacy I remembered I left the gift cards at home. I passed the pharmacy on the way back home, and decided that I needed to go home and come back. I hate doing that, so it was not an easy decision. I even measured how many extra miles I was wasting. Grabbing the cards took seconds, and on my way back I went into the busy streets of my neighborhood. A bit more than a mile and a half away from home, I was sitting on the furthest left lane, of a two lane-left turn light, listening to my radio, singing, minding my own business. Just a happy me. To my right, 3 lanes of traffic, a traffic lane, and a wooded area. The top part of this picture looks West; I was heading South. I would have been to the left, and to the back of that white car, waiting to turn and go east or heading towards the bottom of the picture.

All of the sudden I heard a loud snapping sound. And another; and another. I quickly look to my right and a bit back, and on that wooded area (upper right hand side of the picture) I see a city transportation bus riding between the trees and the sidewalk, breaking tree branches as it forged ahead. My immediate thought was that it had been forced there by another car, and it would come to a stop soon. NO! It broke through a wood sign in the corner, and the stop sign, as it kept it going forward, with a little right angle, direction.

Here is when for the first time I experience what surreal, really is. The bus was now crossing two westbound lanes, tranversally. But wait, I thought it would stop at the center island. NO! Its front tires jumped the median as if it was a movie. Its gotta stop, I thought! NO! The back tires now jump the median. I realized then that sometime wrong, like a heart attack, happened to the driver. Luckily, there were only two cars going east on that light; next to each other. The bus passing close to the rear of their cars. By now, the bus was losing steam, but it still jumped the next curb. First the front tires, and then the back ones. I am realizing now that there is a chance it might hit one of the houses in its path. But, at the same time the back tires hit the curb, the front of the bus was hitting another line of trees. And it finally stopped.

I felt some sort of helplessness as I was blocked all the way to the left. However, many cars changed direction and proceeded directly to the bus. The second I reached for my cell to call 911, I looked around and there were people already on their cell, some of them already out of their car walking towards the bus. No one was coming out of it. My light changed, and so I had to keep going.

Here is the kicker; the bus route takes a left and heads east, just the same way I was going. That sidewalk is my running path, coming from the west and heading north. This left me thinking for the rest of the day, what would have happened if this driver would have had one extra second to make his left turn? I would have not been in this situation if I would have gotten my gift cards the first time I left home.

Basically, life is not only about inches, but also about minutes and seconds. We are reminded every now and then to live life to its fullest, everyday as it was our last. Today, that point hit home once again. Harder than ever. And I was sad, because my 'house' is not in order for something like this. And then angry, because of the wasted opportunities we let go; especially with out family and friends.
Always appreciate every second of your life.