I was reading an article in my Sports Illustrated a few months ago, and for some reason the last paragraph really stood out to me. If you have followed along with my snide remarks this last year, you will know that I have become a big proponent of the phrase “Viva La Vida” in the sense of carpe diem. This paragraph was another example of someone in life wanting to live each day.
“I would love to win another World Series,” he says. “It seems like, yes, that was a long time ago. I don’t want to second-guess myself when I retire. I want to know that I did everything that I could possibly do for my teammates to give us a chance to win. If it didn’t happen, I don’t want it to be because I didn’t give it my best.”
“Every time I have a chance to pitch in the playoffs, it’s great to me. Because I know that one day, I won’t be able to do it. And so I want to take advantage of everything.”
I love how Mariano Rivera, even though he is extremely accomplished, still wants to take advantage of everything and not miss any opportunities.
My Grandpa Joe recently came out from Florida for a visit and I enjoyed my time with him. I had to pull some crazy hours at work to try and fit in all the fun but it was well worth it. We went to the Del Mar Track one day, followed by dinner at Tony Jacals in Solana Beach. I blame my Grandpa (and Grandma, but more gramps) for my enjoyment of the races at Del Mar (and maybe gambling in general). I have vivid memories of walking around on the infield with him, looking at the horses. He would ask me who I would want to bet on in the next race, and then he’d place a bet for me. Living in Solana Beach they would go often. I don’t really know how many times I was able to go with them, but I will always picture myself with him, walking around the infield in what seemed to be the early foggy morning.
On Thursday we played afternoon twilight golf at Carmel Mountain. The following day, still sore, we played golf out on Coronado on the Military base. We all played absolutely rotten on the friday at Coronado. It was during this round that I got to thinking.
However, after waking up at 4:45 AM this day, my thoughts were not really sinking in. I started to think back to my Rhetoric classes and the lesson that I hang onto the tightest. We studied about making communication effective sometimes requires one to create an illusion of the first or last time experiencing something. Anytime you do something new or fresh, the experience takes on a more vivid feeling. Likewise, if you realize that an experience might be the very last time you will experience it in your life, you appreciate every bite, every laugh just a little bit more. In all, it comes to appreciating a moment more vividly, and creating a deeper sense of awareness of life.
The golf course this day was one of those golf experiences where you ask yourself “how many holes left” over and over because you are playing so badly, you can’t wait for the round to end. I caught myself doing this repeatedly and it was troubling me. I wanted to break this thought pattern, and appreciate the moment more. After all, could this be the last time I possibly play golf with my grandpa? I practically learned the game from him going to the driving range with him as a 5 year old. I attribute any and all of my golf playing to him, as my teacher and mentor. Could this be the final round I ever play with him? How many years of golf does he have left at his age, and with him living on the other side of the country we only see each other every couple of years. The day before in Carmel Mountain, I think might have been the first time I ever shot a lower round than him.
I wanted to focus on this, but I was just too worn down and playing so poorly, that I came away disappointed that I hadn’t had that vivid experience that I was hoping for.
Regardless of these thoughts, I had a great time this week with my grandpa. I hope and expect that this was not my last time golfing with him, or being active with him. I’m continually trying to appreciate life each day. Viva La Vida. Life goes by way too quickly. Another one of my favorite bands has a lyric that rings true for me in my attempts to viva la vida, and to experience things through the perception of it being my first or last time:
Now the days go by so fast…
I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell my myself
To hold on to these moments as they pass
We awoke to street noises and the st. mark’s bell and then got our day started around 9am. We debated heading all the way back to the train station to check the schedule for our exit the next day, but instead decided to hit the internet cafe. I also was needing to email our next hotel as they wanted notice a few days in advance, of our approximate arrival time.
We got to the internet cafe, and it was not due to open for another 15 minutes, so we found a nearby street cafe and had an espresso and a cappichino. It was my first attempt (I think) at an espresso and I must say it was quite bitter, I think I eventually had a bigger sugar to coffee ratio. However, I had most of lisa’s cappichino and it was the best one yet of the trip.
The cafe opened and we took care of buisness. At that point we decided to get on a water bus and make our way across the backside of the canal and go to a few churces across the way. But once on the bus, we had front seats in the air, we didn’t want to get off at the 3rd stop. So we decided to stay on for all 15 stops and then get off at the last stop and do the Accademia museum instead. We were enjoying our cheap bus ride, in the open air. Part of me thought we should just go round and round all day. It was that much fun. Though, we got off at the Accademia museum, and before going in the museum, ate some pizza at a cafe right outside. Mike would have loved this pizza because it was not very high quality and tasted like it was frozen pizza from back home. Lisa barely made it through a slice, and I wasn’t gonna leave it.
There was no line for the museum and it was not very crowded. It started with some byzantine art, but worked our way through art by Veronese, Bellini, Giogiorne, and some Tintoretto’s. I recall from my trip in 1997, that my favorite two items from this place was The Tempest by San Giogiorne and The Feast in the House of Levi by Veronese. I’m not sure why I included the Tempest, because on further review, there wasn’t much special to it. Although, it had a long and complicated history, so maybe that is what I found so pleasing. Veronese however, I think I really like. I like many of his pieces, and The Feast I think is one of my favorites. I also like the story and history behind it. It takes up a giant wall and is full of details. I think I could spend hours looking at it.
Part of me wishes that there were some great museums with just one or two pieces of art. I think I’d like to once, just sit for 2 hours in front of one piece, reflecting, praying, writing, and seeing what thoughts come to mind. But in days of fast travel, and even quicker society, there isn’t time for that. Maybe one day.
Speaking of speed, we made it through that museum in a mere 45 minutes. Hopped back onto the water bus, with intentions and determinations this time of getting to the churches across the way. The first church was called Il Redentore (the Redeemer). This church is beautiful. Not only is it pretty, but every nave seemed to have a great piece of art by Tintoretto. I loved the arches, and the domes and the perked ceilings. I snapped a couple of pictures, but then got reprimanded, albeit kindly. Il Redentore has a cool background story.
We walked a few blocks and then realized that we needed another water bus, and found our way to San Giogore church. Lisa enjoyed the beauty of this one more than the last. It is a gorgeous church with a large campinelle. It housed great works of art, and we could take pictures more freely, and explore more depths of the choirs and main basillica. We took the elevator up the campinelle for great views of Venice. As Dr. Carlander would have said, “beautiful.” Lisa must be getting at least slightly annoyed, as I keep reminicing about when I was here last, travelling with school, enjoy the friendship of Andrew. Some things that we are doing, such as visiting these 2 churches, were things that I did and enjoyed so much before.
Along those lines, after San Giogore, we took a water bus to the San Salute church, which when I was here, was our stop. I was attempting to find my way back to the hotel I stayed at before, so I could show her where we would climb in and out of the window, and how it was right across from where a famous poet once lived. We found the Hotel Messener, but despite going in every alley, could not find my window or the poets house.
We traversed over bridges, through alleys, across squares and then more bridges and found our way back to our room. I did some Snide prep work and we rested. Then, we went back to the itnernet cafe where I spent a frustrating 2 hours trying to publish my Snides. The attempt to upload a video to youtube kept failing, I would get typed and insert a bunch of photos and tags, and then the computer or server would freeze and when I would re-enter into the right page, I’d find that I lost 20-30 minutes of work. We kept buying 30 minute increments, and eventually I completed (all but the youtube video) of my posts up until Venice.
We then walked about 45 minutes looking for the perfect place to enjoy our last meal in Venice. Sadly, we didn’t find the perfect place, but gave up looking cause we were tired of walking, and energetic for food. I had a caprese that was substandard and Lisa ate some very good minnestrone soup. My next plate was Spaghetti Pomodoro which was very delicious, and she had a pizza Margerhita that was substandard. All of this chased down by frizzante (Peligrino).
We made our way back to our hotel, stopping briefly to take some very nice pictures in St. Mark’s square, as the sky light was perfect. We tried to set an alarm lisa downloaded for her computer as we were going to attempt to wake up at 5:00 am so that we could catch the 6:00 am water bus, that would get us to the train station by 6:30 so that we could catch the 7:20 train ride to the Cinque Terre. This train ride would take approximatley 7 hours so we didn’t want to miss the early train as the next one was 2 hours later and wouldn’t get us to our destination till 6pm.
Needless to say, I was not expecting a great night of sleep, as I had my doubts on if the alarm would work. Little did I know, that it was going to be an even worse night of sleep than I expected and would still end in failure, with slight redemption.
I added new songs to my home page under “Songs On Repeat.” I’ve been really digging these songs lately, and continuously hitting back on my ipod or car or itunes (too bad you can’t hit repeat on Pandora). I hope you enjoy them too.
Moment Of Surrender No Line On The Horizon
This song is on their new album which I have been listening to practically non-stop for a few weeks. It is an album that takes a few listens before it grabs you. Track 3 on the album is this song and I keep finding myself going back to it. It has a pulsating bass and drum that is reminiscent of another favorite U2 track, So Cruel (Achtung Baby). There is a passion behind the words that comes out when Bono is singing. Moment of Surrender is a track that grooves and possesses soul.
Begging to get back
To my heart
To the rhythm of my soul
To the rhythm of my consciousness
To the rhythm of yes
To be released from control
Human Day & Age
Simply put, this song rocks. I love the buildup of the hi-hat from the 3rd second to the 8th second of the song. I love the driving beats, and they lyrics are ones that I can not just hear and enjoy, but feel and relate to as well. I think there have been days when all I have listened to is this song. If you haven’t seen it on these pages already, you definitely have to check out my snide of their cool light show performance at the MTV European Video Awards.
Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Give my regards to soul and romance,
They always did the best they could
And so long to devotion
You taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye, Wish me well..
You’ve gotta let me go
This song sounds like it should be in a movie. I could totally hear it as a track that plays while a montage of a relationship plays itself out during a movie about boy meets girl – boy loses girl – boy looks for girl – boy finds girl. Or it could be found in a tv show on the WB (or wait, its the CW now?). Its a really pretty song that is a roller coaster of emotions. It definitely packs a punch.
I gave me away
I could have knocked off the evening
But I was lonelily looking for someone to hold
In a way I lost all I believed in
And I never found myself so low
Since I didn’t put in a snide for the first set of songs that I had on repeat, I will list them here in case you ever want to check them out.
Round Here (Live At Elysee Montmartre – Paris, France – December 9th, 1994) August And Everything After – Deluxe Edition
You Got Growing Up To Do (Demo Version) Unclear Sky
Death And All His Friends Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends
I spent my 3rd straight thanksgiving in Las Vegas last week. I don’t know if I will do it again next year, but you never know. Although I had great fun, I missed spending time with loved ones. But you definetly cannot beat the deals in Vegas at Thanksgiving.
The trip began with a Coldplay concert in Anaheim at the pond (honda center). For a month or two leading up to this week, I watched ticket sales and craigslist listings. A week before the show, ticket master was sold out, creating less leverage for me.
I have found in this dwindling economy, that entertainment and concert tickets are not an easy sell. A lot of people are choosing to spend their extra cash in other areas of needs. I experienced this first hand back in July. I was stuck with an extra Coldplay ticket (coincidentally) for a concert in vegas (coincidentally). I tried to sell it for weeks. Eventually I had to lower the price below face value. Even then, I had people bailing out on me and not being interested. Finally, with about 20 minutes before the concert to spare, I was able to cut my losses and sell it for less then face value. I used to be a big proponent of buying extra concert tickets for the mere purpose of trying to sell them. I would stand in line at a Ticket Master outlet and usually be one of the first 5 in line. I would pounce on as many “best available” seats I could get my hands on, knowing that that U2 concert would sell out in less then 15 minutes. At that point the demand would be high. But since those days, concert ticket supply has definetly outgrown the consumer demand.
Craigslist was over saturated with tickets being offered for sale. Most of them in the prices of $250-$500 PER ticket. There was no way I was going to spend that much on a ticket. Unless it was an amazing ticket, I don’t think I would spend that much on one U2 ticket even. Most tickets that were being offered at only $50 more then face value, were all the last row practically. I decided that it would be best to wait it out. As the time of the concert grew closer, my leverage would grow greater. I definetly had to cultivate the emotion that if I didn’t end up getting a tikcet and going to the show, no big deal. I also had to convince my friend Joey this, as he was going on this trip too. It is a tough thing to reach contentment on, because part of you is pulling so hard to go to the show, and would be dissappointed if it didnt happen. But you also have to have a belief in your negotiating skills that it will all work out.
The concert was on Tuesday, November 25th. As it got closer to the weekend before, I finally started to notice ticket prices on craigslist come down to closer to face value, if not slightly over. Face value was approximately $97. If you add in service charges it was about $116 or so. When coming up with the plan to attempt to attend this concert, I was budgeting that the concert would cost me about $100. On Saturday, I scoured the listings and emailed many many many different sellers. Eventually I found someone to sell me a pair of tickets for $180. They were decent seats for the price, in the upper deck, and for metaphor sake, at approximately the 50 yard line of the arena. We agreed to the price. But then, how were we gonna make the swap? Not only did he live in LA, but he lived in Lawndale–way out of the way of all my orange county family and friends (I thought, maybe one of them could make the swap for me). When I was looking at google maps to see where exactly Lawndale was located, I noticed that one of the surrounding towns was Torrance. And then I remembered that I worked with someone that used to live in Torrance…blah blah blah. I sent them a text message, and lo and behold (interesting cliche saying), they were home visiting family that weekend and could make the swap for me. I was so excited that it was working out so well. After many text messages and emails later, the details were finalized and the meeting was arranged. But then…
An hour later, I received a text message from the seller saying “Sorry Andy, I have someone coming over right now to buy the tickets, and is paying me full price. First come first serve.” I was so frustrated. I had been on the computer for hours, and had been really excited that I had found a decent deal for decent seats and that the plan was coming together. I decided to make a craigslist post and email a couple others, and then just blow off steam by going to the gym.
Later that night,I received a text message from the man in Lawndale. He said that his other person fell thru, and that he would hold the tickets for me at the previously agreed rate. Even if I had to not attend the concert, I was not going to buy from him. In buying tickets from strangers online, there has to be at least a little bit of trust.
A few hours later, I received an email in response to my post–asking for tickets for either face value or less. The lady said that she had paid $250 for her tickets but was willing to sell them for $200. I countered with an offer of $175 for the pair. She accepted. I was excited again. These seats were better seats then the previous ones, and of course $5 less. But now, how were we to make the swap? She lived in the Valley and was too busy with school or work to meet my friends closer to the O.C (don’t call it that). I of course was in San Diego. Fortunately her tickets were the emailable kind, but that also left her exposed to the risk of receiving the money. I said that I would photograph a check or overnight money etc…Joey has paypal so I offerred that method. She said she thought her dad had paypal and that she would check in the morning.
Sunday morning and I receive an email at 7:00 am. “My dad is being a f***ing a**hole and won’t let me use his paypal account.” Great. To make the long story short (too late), she created her own pay pal account and by 7pm, the transaction was completed and we received the tickets with 48 hours to spare. By the way, our tickets were section 413, row H, seats 9 and 10.
We left after work on Tuesday and arrived in Anaheim at around 5:30pm. We grabbed parked about a block from the arena, and walked to a nearby restaraunt called the Lazy Dog Cafe. Joey ate this great looking, but heavily loaded grilled cheese sandwich . I think he is still complaining about how un-gouda that was. After eating and killing time, we mad our way back to our car where Joey was insistant on having a pregaming it. So we enjoyed a wonderful Newcastle, cold from his ice cooler, in a great buisness building parking lot. Good times.
The concert was great. Chris Martin made a joke about how he was at an award show recently, and never felt as old and talent-less as he did when he met the Jonas Brothers. At one point, he tried to hit a high note that was just a tad out of his range, and mid song said laughingly, “F**k” and came back down to a note he
Coldplay sing Violet Hill on a german talk show
could hit. They started with “Violet Hill”and then continued on to put on agreat show, even had some christmas ornament shaped video screens that came down from the ceiling as well as the newest trite thing to do (I blame U2), blasted confetti from the rafters. Right before one encore, they ran off the stage to the very back of the arena right in tight with the fans, and played 3 songs, including a chilling acoustic rendition of the Scientist. They came back to the front and played one more encore, went off stage, and then came back a few minutes later for a 1 song finale of Yellow. Then as the crowd exited the building, they played the escape. We left the building to find ourselves in pouring rain and having to walk a few blocks back to our car.
After a about an hour, we finally made it thru the traffic back to the freeway and on our way to the Victorville where we arrived around midnight and spent the night. Heidi showed us great hospitality, making us coffee and bisquits in the morning that were very delicious. After hanging with Paul and the kids while waking up, we hit the road for vegas around 8:30am.
Ok, I will try to make this less narrative now. Im sure its dragged on about a gazillion paragraphs too long already.
Vegas was a lot of fun. Thanksgiving is usually its slowest time of year, so they often have great deals. We stayed at the Hard Rock. I love both staying and playing at the HR. Not only are the rooms spacious and includes a flat screen tv, but the casino has a small boutique feel. It is not very expansive like other casinos (tho, it may be heading in that direction). The dealers are also a selling point of the casino. It is a really chill atmosphere where the dealers have no problems reaching across and giving you high five, shooting the breeze with you, or just being funny. And of course, the best part of the HR, is they are always playing really good music, from many different genres and eras. We were there for 4+ days, and we maybe heard one song twice. Even when youre losing money, youre enjoying yourself because of the quaint hotel, the chill dealers, and the cool music.
At the Hofbrauhaus holding a liter of original and a liter of dunkels
We ate at The Pink Taco, Hofbrauhaus (twice), ESPN Zone (twice), Le Creperie, Kaizen Sushi and the Mr. Lucky 24/7 diner. All very tasty (though, the espn zone tended to ravage me–could have been all the greasy bar food). If I havent told you this already, anytime you are in vegas the Hofbrahaus is a must. At least it is for me. I go there usually once or twice per trip. It can be on the pricer side, but the good beer, and great sausages (as well as the other food items), and the kick back festive atmosphere is a good cultural experience.
We went to NY NY a couple times and spent a few hours watching the dueling pianos at the Bar at Times Square. They were a lot of fun. As usual it was a packed house. They are worth checking out if you are ever there. It inspired Joey musically. He misses gigging.
Fountains at the Bellagio from Joey's Camera phone
On Saturday night we saw the comedic hypnotist Anthony Cools. Although he can be more on the crude side, he is really funny. He has a good stage presence. Plus, it can sometimes be fun seeing people doing stupid things.
And of course, the amazing fountain shows at the Bellagio- which i contend are the best show you can get for your money. Even better when you realize its free. Such artistry and musical cooreography. Seeing the fountiains, visiting the hofbrau, and of course gambling (at the HR) are the 3 things I try to do every trip to vegas.
We gambled with someone named Richard Funk. That is right, Dick Funk was at our table. I am sure he was teased as a kid.
Another night, we were heading to the paris (an easy place to catch and exit a cab) as to head out to the strip. As we were leaving the HR, we were asked by a young lady if she could share our cab. We didn’t mind so we said yes. She then asked if we wanted any company for the night. That’s right, we were propositioned by a prostitute. We of course denied her. But it did make for some interesting small talk on the cab ride. I think I tried to ask her how many clients she desires over the course of a night, but accidentally asked I think how many clients she likes at once. I got slightly embarrased, which made it a further awkward ride the rest of the way.
Sadly, this was not my only experience of the trip with that type. There was a time when I was gambling at a table with Joey, a lady, and 2 sisters. Patti was our dealer (one of my favorite dealers at the HR). Everyone was really nice and there was the typical friendly table conversation (“Good luck with that ace,” “Where are you from,” “What do you do,” “Are you here on business or vacation.”) etc. I think we gambled there for about 20 min or so, and when the 2 sisters left they said they would look for us later that day. Well, we didnt run into them. But the next day, I was shooting the breeze with Patti when she was at an empty war table, and she asked “did you run into them again?” When I said no, she said “good, cause they were ‘working.’ I don’t think they have sex, but they definetly get money.” I could only bust up laughing that we encountered prostitutes twice, and each time by surprise and unsuspectingly.
Gary was another cool dealer that we had while there. He had us busting up everytime we were at his table. And until the final day, he was also very lucky for us. I was winning money everytime with him. Meanwhile he was telling us how he likes to grill his chicken stuffed with marijuana.
Wall of giant T.V's at Espnzone Restraunt at NY NY hotel
Another set of interesting people experiences were when Joey and I went to watch the Lakers game at the ESPNZone Restraunt at the New York, New York hotel. I do not like the Lakers. Therefore, I put money down on their opponent that night, the Dallas Mavericks.
Chilling in the recliner with a beer waiting for my food and for the Mavericks to win me some money
We sat next to some dread-locked dude from Los Angeles. Behind us sat two couples. All were Lakers fans. The restraunt audio was on a college game and they refused to change it till that game was ove. Finally in the 4th quarter their was audio. Anyway, the people behind me kept hitting me in the head while I rooted for the Mavs. The guy next to me was cool with it, since he understood that I couldn’t root for both the Clippers in life, and the Lakers.
Another small people detail, another small world fact. We were playing blackjack and we struck up a conversation with the couple next to us. Joey thought that the guy kinda looked like Jake Peavy -or that he was from Alabama. Well the girl he was with there, flew in from California, and was a teacher at Poway High. Yep, small world.
Ok, i’ll write about one more funny experience with people in vegas. We were taking the cab back to the hotel, I think from New York (though, we later learned to only take them-when possible-from paris). Of course we had a foreign cab driver. We finally are getting back to the HR, when he pulls in the drive way, another cab is kinda hogging his lane going the opposite way, and she decides to honk at him. So he rolls down the window and yells “Up in your ass bitch. You don’t honk at me if youre in my lane.” This was of course with a different accent and had us busting up the rest of the trip.
My Lucky Ass Chip
Normally when i go to vegas and gamble, I start in a big hole before finally digging myself back to even. This time it was the opposite, and it was very enlightening and refreshing. I started out the first day, I ended up $700. I was shocked and excited as this doesn’t happen to me in vegas. Of course, I dwindled that down to end at around even for the trip. I have 2 gambling experiences to share here (cause I know that I have already gone on forever).
Joey seemed to be busting a lot at black jack tables on the number 22. He said many times that he wanted to try playing roullette and then bet some on 22 since he seemed to keep getting that number. So everytime we would walk by a table, I would ask “do you want to try it now?” He would respond with “maybe later.” So finally, after a long day of drinking, I decided that he just might need a little encouragement. So I sat down at a roulette table to give $20 a try. He also then sat and played. But this story is about me. It was a $10 minimum bet, but you could spread $1 chips all over the board. That quickly went away. I took my next stack of 10$ and put it all on red. I won that back. The next spin I spread $10 all over the board. The ball stopped on 00. One of the few places I couldn’t win. At this point, I am over the roulette experience. I figure I am losing anyway, so I take my remainging $10 in chips, and place em all on my favorite number, 5. Lo and behold, it spins a 5. This pays 35-1. So on one roll, I took in $350! I was flabbergasted. I immediately cashed in and went to bed, up $700.
I was mostly up and down on craps all weekend. But the last night, as Adam had predicted, would be
Fall themed gardens at the Bellagio
a good craps night. I think we rolled the dice for a couple hours off of $100. At went point on that craps table I was probably up about 3-400$. But like all things that go up, it eventually had to come back down. Joey picked up a ghetto roll by watching some guy who would roll and then snap his fingers. Joey kept hitting 4′s and 5′s so I kept place betting those numbers. Then, the big roller decided to come sit down. Somebody started betting $1000 at a time on the don’t pass and don’t come lines. He would even swear very loudly when we would hit points. It really ruined the mojo of the table. It was more stressful to roll now. ThenI was also rolling out of vengence. I wanted to hit points just to piss him off.
The harder I tried, the less numbers I started rolling. I eventually decided it was time to go to bed, still up about $150 on that table.
My final gambling tally:
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Ebay Slot @ Planet Hollywood
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Roulette @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Single Deck Black Jack @ HR
Up the River (black jack/poker combo) @ HR
Texas Hold em Table Game @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
NBA Game (Hornets vs Nuggets) @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ The Palms
NBA (Mavericks vs Lakers) @ NYNY
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Black Jack @ HR
Craps @ HR
We went to bed about 2:30 that morning, to wake up at 5 am. We hit the road at 6am to avoid traffic. We got back to San Diego around 11 am just in time to watch the Chargers suck. It was a really fun trip. I am glad I went. I hope Joey had fun. I was ready to come home. 4 days in vegas can be really great. But it can also be really long. Also on the way back, we stopped at the Guitar Center. I bought a microphone stand so that I can do two instruments in Rock Band 2. Yes, I am offically a dork.
Last night I ate dinner at The Barrel Room, and at one point our discussion turned to the current presidential race. Sue mentioned at one point, that she remembered back in school, a teacher talking about a united America. The teacher said something along the lines of: whomever is in office, whether its a democrat or a republican, he is OUR president and we must stand behind him, and support him. Tom also mentioned along the lines of: If Obama becomes president, I hope we all want to vote for him for a second term.
One of my biggest frustrations with politics, is that people tie themselves so strongly to party lines, rather then actually looking closely at issues. Whether we truly agree with a policy or not, we will fight it to the end if it is a policy of the other party. We have been a country divided for the last few presidencies. There has been a large amount of hatred towards the G.W.Bush terms. Before that, there was a lot of disdain during the Clinton years.
I like the thoughts that were mentioned in that we need to be unified as a country, working towards the greater good of the country. No matter who is in the office, they are still our chief officer. We live in a great country, and part of that greatness comes from standing together-despite our differences. If Obama is president, I hope America’s problems are addressed well enough that we all want him for 4 more years. Same with McCain. Whomever is President, has a big, stressful job, and deserves our support.
I have been thinking a lot lately, with the help of Coldplay, about the concept of “Viva La Vida.” The Horace idea of Carpe Diem has been a popular saying for a long time, and even more famous since the movie The Dead Poet’s Society. I am not a fan of overused and trite sayings, so I never did latch on very well to carpe diem. But I have been latching on to the coldplay thought. And even more, as you can see in the image, the idea of I Viva. I live.
I want to live. I want to live the life. Long Live the Life.
How is that being applied to my life? Nowhere yet. haha. I am still really determining what it means to me. Does it mean to just have no worries and do whatever makes me feel good? Or does it mean to be more focused and determined and goal oriented. I think it applies to both. I think its more of a idea that comes into my head at any moment and encourages me and inspires me.
One area where it has definetly been a theme to me, is to take advantage of each day of life. The older I get, I have been getting sad. It used to be because I was sad on the life I was missing, that I was leaving behind, that i could never get back. But more and more now, I get a little sad at getting older, mainly because that means everyone else is getting older too. I don’t want to lose those that I love. And so in taking advantage of each day, I want to tell someone I love them, I want to tell someone I think they are good at something, i want to encourage someone. And even more, I want to see or just be with someone–spending time with and soaking up memories with loved ones.
How many years do I have left in “youth.” How many years do grandparents have left? The answer for both, sadly, is less then 10. I just recently went to my 10 year college reunion. As I was there, it really felt like old times, and I felt so grateful for my relationships and my experiences. But also, as you could imagine, people would often say “i can’t believe its been 10 years already. It feels like yesterday.” Time moves quickly. I will be losing many loved ones over the next 10 years. To steal a line from a cheesy aerosmith song, another lyric I have been thinking about, “and i don’t wanna miss a thing.” I dont want to miss out on people on life on new adventures, on finding joy in the mundane. I want to live the life. Viva la vida. And even more specifically, VIVA (I live).
One minute I held the key
Next the walls were closed on me
And I discovered that my castles stand
Upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand…