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Pet Peeves #4

This is a multiple part pet peeve. Since they fall under the same general subject, I think that its a good idea to make some pet peeve parallels.

So we all have become a culture dependent on our cell phones, right? Just ten years ago, when I liked a girl, I had to call her house phone and hope that her dad didn’t answer! Now they just text all day without even having to hear each other’s voices. I’m not saying that having your phone on you all the time is a bad thing, necessarily. Its great for emergencies, and for people who travel for their profession; I mean its a pretty fantastic invention when you really think about it.

But we become addicted to things. Its what we do. If we like coffee, we drink it till we have the jitters, if we enjoy a meal, we eat until we can’t move. Its not like we are alcoholics, but we just get dependent on anything from asprin to pepsi to the internet.

So I have some caricatures of cell phone addicts for you that really get under my skin.

This first one is for anyone who has had to work at a register. A man walks in on his phone, going on and on. You watch him as he talks and talks, thinking “I sure hope whoever is listening is getting paid to listen to this man”. He approaches the register.

“Yeah, and so I told him I can’t sell it for anything less than fifty thousand! I’lltakeanumberonenopickleswithcheeseandadietcoke – I know, I mean I have a business to run, and we need synergy if we want to….”

Did he just order? I could have sworn that he said something about pickles… “I’m sorry, what was that?”

“Thats why I hired Terry Tate, he has been a huge boost to productivity- numberonenopickelswithcheeseandadietcoke Yeah, he has really brought us closer to the tipping point!”

It is now clear that you don’t deserve his attention for even a fraction of a second. Hes sending you the message I am more important than you. These people sincerely believe that they are so busy, that they cannot set their phone down for about 30 seconds just to give you the dignity and order. I have seen a sign hanging in a few independent cafes and shops that simply says “we will gladly help you with your order when you are done with your cell phone conversation”. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, its about like saying “we will gladly give you desert after you eat all of your vegetables”, but some people really just have no manners at all.

Then theres the guy who talks so loud, you wonder if the person listening is hard of hearing or working on the runway at the airport. You will find this guy is very important; he goes on and on about everything he can do for his friend, and how he is going to help. Do you care? No, but he will sit in the chair next to you and talk so that you can hear how benevolent he is with his advice. Is there anyone on the other line? Probably not, but you would be smart to leave before he puts his phone down and starts trying to help you!

Next is the guy girl (lets make it a girl this time) who is in your circle of friends. She wants to be entertained. She can’t wait to see you and hang out with you! You make plans to hang out a week ahead of time, and she knows just how to show you how much she missed you; minimal eye contact, and texting on her phone. It doesn’t matter if there is a movie going on, a birthday party, if its the 4th of July, or if its her own dad being pulled out of a Chilean mine, she is texting on her phone.

Sure she thinks shes being social, but later she will wonder why no one calls her to hang out anymore. Its cause shes sending out the message whoever I am texting is more important than you are. Now granted, maybe she has Katy Perry’s number, and they are secret friends- or Shaq is asking her out on a date. Maybe its Steven Spielberg, who wants her to star in his next film, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Heres the honest truth: we are too dependent on our phones these days. If someone doesn’t return your calls, you don’t think that their battery died, you assume they are in an awful, fiery car wreck on the interstate! I think that the cure isn’t to end your contract with AT&T and toss your iPhone in the trash, but to realize the message you’re sending when you are on your phone, cause I have news for you; if you don’t know anyone that fits one of my caricatures, it might just be you!

5 Albums Part 2

Well this is the second part of my post. If you haven’t read part 1, then go read it first. Not that they are in a particular order from most influential to least, its just that I wrote them this way, this is my blog, so thats how you should read it.

Finished reading part 1? Ok good. Lets move on to part2.

Ryan Adams is a phenomenal songwriter. It seems like hes putting out an album every year, and always impresses me with them (except for 27). I have to say that I have always enjoyed one of his first Solo Albums, “Heartbreaker”. What I love about it is that its a throwback to a real country/folk/bluegrass. Not to discredit most country artists, I just think that everything from the lyrics to the instrumentation has this real authentic sound. The kind of like the country you would hear played from a porch of an old man during the 1920s or 30s, you know? There are some bluesy country songs, like “To be Young” and “Shakedown on 9th Street. There are country/ bluegrass songs like “Winding Wheel” and still more downbeat songs like “Bartering Lines” and “Come Pick Me up”.

The real talent in all of this is that Ryan Adams finds a way to combine these sounds, sound unique, and still have a modern, catchy tone to it. This is the first album that turned me on to Ryan Adams, and since then my wife and I have bought about 8 or so of his albums (counting Cardinals).

My last artist I would like to name is Damien Rice. I think for a musician to rise from a country like Ireland, where there is little room for employment as an artist, you have to have an amazing talent (this statement excludes 90s girl group “B*Witched”). The songs Rice writes simply overflow with emotion. From infatuation to love, to heartbreak, to the strongest vitriol you can conjure, Damien Rice’s gruff, imperfect voice expresses them. This manic-depressive album will take you on an intense emotional rollercoaster from the first song to the last. I also have to give props to Lisa Hannigan, who does more than her part in not just backing up Damien, but in singing as his equal.

I have to thank my old friend Matt for introducing me to Damien Rice. He has a second album “9” out too, which is different in content, but still ripe with emotive lyrics and music (and maybe even more vitriol).

So those are my top 5 most influential albums. It was hard picking, so I had to make another list for honorable mention.

Counting Crows “Films About Ghosts”. I have a bad habit of only liking half of every Counting Crows album, so when “Films About Ghosts” came out, I loved having a compilation of all the songs I love.

Barcelona “Absolutes”. This is one of my favorite bands I have listened to in a long time. They are amazing. I can literally hit play, and listen to the entire album. Then I hit play again.

Death Cab for Cutie “Transatlanticism”. This is the album that made me like Death Cab. Its another album that is great from start to finish. I mean this guy knows how to write lyrics. I feel like a couple of sentences doesn’t do this album justice, it makes me want to change this post to “6 Most Influential Albums” just to include it.

DC Talk “Jesus Freak”. When I was a kid, all I listened to was Christian music. I’m pretty sure that this album rocked my world.

Ryan Adams “Love is Hell” I mean listen to Wonderwall or The Shadowlands, and you will love this album too.

The Decemberists “The Crane Wife”. Amazing band that I am pretty sure was cryogenically frozen from the 1800s and released a few years ago.

Politics

When I was a Junior in High School I began to really pay attention to how politics have changed in this country. I would sit in my American History class, learn the Bill of Rights, the Founding Fathers, and how our government was formed. I would wonder what George Washington or Thomas Jefferson would think if they were here today. Would they recognize the country they fought for?

I left this alone for a few years. I went on with my life, only set to wonder again when elections would come up. Even then, though it would quickly fizz away as I saw whoever my Dad voted for win. Then one day, when I was 21 or so, on no more than a whim, I began to read more on our Founding Fathers and what they wanted our country to be.

I know that our founding fathers were not gods, and that they made mistakes. The Articles of Confederation are proof that they did not have all of the right answers all of the time; this nearly anarchic government was later revised and the principles of it were turned to our Constitution. What I was never taught about men like Washington, Jefferson, and John Locke was that these men were Philosophers and Scientists.

Jamestown, VA (well not VA yet obviously) was almost lost just as the Roanoke colony when Sir Thomas Dale changed their system from a state where people were ascribed positions to work to a system of property ownership. This change inspired the colonists to profit from their land and work to make the colony so successful. This was seen by Adam Smith, and inspired his book The Wealth of Nations, which in turn inspired the free market principles our Country was founded on.

It was in colonies like these that the “experiments” took place. This was when people under a tyrant had their first look at freedom, and saw their potential to flourish.

So the People who shaped our country saw what potential we had if we left people alone to prosper without their Government present to tax away their profits and dictate their god.

This is what makes our constitution so phenomenal; There was a perfect combination of men who were perfect to make this work. There were thinkers like John Locke who would read Adam Smith’s works and see how people acted in a free market economy and so far away from their King. This could almost be considered a freak accident, having so many educated, inspired, and brave people all united for a cause. It would seem that there were never a more ready people to start a new country.

Thomas Paine wrote a pamphlet labeled “Common Sense” in 1776, which he used to reason with the Colonists to join in the change, and see the potential that these people could have as a unified country. He explained that “Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness”. Paine proceeds to Show the flaw in having a King, and what a greater benefit our country would have were we to be self-governed.

The beauty of it all was that in this society, there were few rules laid by the government, and the purpose of it all was that we would all be self-governed. If something immoral or dangerous, then it is our fault to fall into something that would harm us. To oversimplify, it was perfectly legal to yell “fire” in a theater, but who really wants to cause a panic when Transformers is on?

This pamphlet seemed to push the Americans sitting on the fence into supporting the soon coming revolution. Just months later Our independence was declared, and our country would know how to operate independent of a monarch.

The idea was to have as little government as possible. To let these oppressed people be free to live their lives as they pleased, and for them to be free to accept the outcome. The government was to only have as little power as possible over its own people. Besides the Post Office, the military was the only service that was offered from the federal Government.

This is what I have shaped my political ideology around. I think that having this perspective on the United States is what we need to start when shaping our political ideals.

Heres how Walt Whitman put it, and I’ll leave it like this:

To the States or any one of them, or any city of the States, Resist
much, obey little,
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever
afterward resumes its liberty.

Poetry

So I don’t know how long I have been reading poetry, but I have always been a fan. There is just something different about it that draws on the soul’s emotions and draws us together. Even in the most shrouded of themes, you can somehow feel what the Poet is trying to say, whether or not we can even vocalize it.

Here are some quotes about poetry:

Poetry is just the evidence of life.  If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.  ~Leonard Cohen

Poetry is what gets lost in translation.  ~Robert Frost

Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.  ~Plato, Ion

Out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric; out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry.  ~W.B. Yeats

Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows.  ~Edmund Burke

And your very flesh shall be a great poem. ~Walt Whitman
Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.  ~Edgar Allan Poe

I’ll post on poetry from time to time. I love to post quotes and powerful feelings

To the States

To the states or anyone of them, or any city of the states,
resist much, obey little
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved,
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth,
ever afterward resumes its liberty.

Walt Whitman

I love this, because I never realized what a patriot Whitman was. It is concise and effective. Whitman is definitely one of the giants in poetry, and I love reading his poems.

Here is my favorite poet, T.S. Eliot, in one of my favorite poems ever. Its excerpts from “Choruses from “The Rock.”

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,

All our ignorance brings us nearer to our death,

But nearness to death no nearer to God.

Where is the life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The Cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Bring us father from God and nearer to Dust.

I was told: we have too mant churches,

And too few chop-houses. There I was told:

Let the vicars retire. Men do not need the Chirch

In the place where they work, but where they spend their Sundays.

The Rock: The lot of man is ceaseless labour,

Or ceaseless idleness, which is still harder,

Or irregular labour, which is not plesant.

I have trodden the winepress alone, and I know

That it is hard to be really useful, resigning

Oh I want to post more, but I’m not sure if anyone is really all that interested. I’ll do a post about T.S. Eliot one of these days, and maybe you can fall in love with his writings too.

Here is one last post, which is from Seamus Heaney’s “The Cure at Troy”

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that a further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells.

So I don’t ever want to sound like I hate my job. The pay is ok, most customers are great, and I’ve definitely had worse bosses. I love coffee, I like serving people, and tips have always been cool. My job is active, so I don’t have to worry about sitting down and being fidgety all day, and it also has its share of challenges.

That being said, I may complain about my job more than I talk about how much I love it. Just look at it as a way to vent.

The first thing that makes me happy is so simple; all I need is eye contact and a smile. I don’t care if the first thing that comes out of your mouth is “caramel macarena” or “mochaccino”, if you can first acknowledge that I exist, then we will get along. You would be surprised in the amount of people stare at our menu the entire time they order, and then look at the counter as they pay.

Ok, so this is a pleasure I get at the customer’s expense. Just imagine completing your order in the Drive Thru as your favorite song comes on…. How can you not sing along? Our speakers don’t only pick your voice whenever you want us to hear it, we get to know how much you love Taylor Swift for as long as you stay next to that box!

So we have a regular at our store who I will leave unnamed. No, I’m going to give her a fake name… Her name is Daphne. She spends probably about $150 at our store a month on just her drink, and then she sometimes buys her boyfriend’s drink too. She comes to our store some days and doesn’t talk much, and on others she is more chatty. But at least once a week Daphne lets us know how much she loves us, and how great she thinks we are. I have no idea if she makes a million dollars a year, or if she stays at home, but all I know is that she makes us feel very appreciated.

Then theres Velma, she works at a nearby hospital, and she is one of the happiest people I know. I realize that she has awful days, I mean everyone does, but Velma is always sure to smile and give us a one liner like “If I was doing any better, I’d have to give some of it away!” She always makes sure to be sweet, and yet not hang us up in conversation when we get busy.

I think that one of the  best things that a customer can do is simply be understanding. Sometimes we run out of syrup, we don’t include a spoon in your oatmeal, we have longer wait times, or we just plain make your drink wrong. This is not the end of the world. Internet, I don’t think you have any idea how many Divas we have that throw a fit when we make a mistake. So, naturally, when someone is easygoing, they  can simply bring it back, tell us what is wrong, and let us make your drink right. (I mean it cost you $5.00, we care about the drink you’re getting)

So these are some things that I love about my job. Don’t say I never said something nice.

Pet Peeves

written 3/6/2010

Ok, so heres a few things that people do that really make me mad. I think I’m really just trying to find out if there is anyone else out there who is with me on these, and to open people’s eyes that what they do may or may not be absurd.

So when you are working, shopping, or sitting in a classroom full of other people, do you sing at decibels that are so loud that you fill the whole room with your voice? Do continue as if it is your mission to get the song stuck in everyone else’s head?

No?

Of course not. Thats rude and absurd. But- for some reason- people think it is acceptable to whistle shrill notes into huge crowds as if they all came to hear the stacatto-esque notes of “Poker Face” blown out from your lips. I assure you that no one is impressed that you know the tune of whatever trendy song that the GAP is playing, but you have to assure all of us that you are able to follow the chorus with ease.

I’m not necessarily talking about those who do it nonchalantly to themselves,  I understand that you may do it subconsciously or at a volume you think no one else really hears. I’m talking about those who want to fill the cafe’ with “Here Comes Santa Clause” or “Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas” regardless of the time of year or how many people are trapped in there with you.

When I point this out to whistlers, they usually try to defend their habit with statements like “I bet you can’t whistle” or “you’re just jealous that I can do it so well”. Of course I can whistle, I would wager that more than 50% of our population can, they just don’t want to annoy everyone else around them. That and I’m pretty sure whistling well ranks in merit somewhere in between drawing stick figures and reading Dr. Suess without getting tongue tied.

My next grievance may hit home with quite a few people. You may not understand this initially, but people need to realize what they are doing,

Now I’m going to quit being a scrooge and  compensate by working on a blog that points out what people do that I love.

I’ll have that out next NEVER.

Just kidding, its already in the works.

Posted 3/8/2010

So like any responsible home-owning adult (which I pretend to be one), I have plans to work on chores around the house.

First off, chores I need to accomplish:
Laundry (we have loads of it)
Organize my desk (I still have notebooks from last semester sitting around me)

also, please note that I am not the woman in this photo.
Clean out and vacuum my car.
This really is my car. Seriously, I’m not joking. That is it is really an exaggeration and representation of how neglectful I have been with its cleanliness.
And then I hope to make it to the gym a few times. I like to keep fit.
Then there is fun to be had:
I’m working on two different blogs right now that I hope to have published soon
I also plan on writing more in my book. I like to utilize what free time I have for writing.
I also got a new book in the mail I think I may start.
I’m also hoping to play some
I just got to rank 40, which I know isn’t that high, but I don’t play Xbox that much!
I also have to call every member of my family. I seriously haven’t talked to most of them since Christmas! I’m working on that though!
And hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish all of this while I also get to hang out with Joanna. I still like her. I wonder when we end up like Everybody Loves Raymond?

Posted 3/6/2010

Oh man I’m on Spring Break, and this is my first day off in a while! I’m feeling ambitious about my goals for the break, so like everything I do in my life, I’m making lists!

Heres what I have successfully accomplished this morning:

I read these articles while sipping a press of Casi Cielo. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703862704575099741257705962.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

Honestly, I didn’t see either of these movies! I totally missed the Avatar bus (I really meant to see it), and I never really understood what “Hurt Locker” was supposed to be about… So like most every year, the closest I will get to the Oscars will be when I sit down with an Oscar Meyer hot dog reading who won what.

What I don’t get is how Avatar could win many of the big awards though. I understand that it isn’t so much about the originality of the story, but how it is told, and how amazing the graphics are. Maybe Cameron will get Best Director though.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,588074,00.html

And this guy was just crazy. I am most definitely distrustful of our government, especially at a federal level, but to think that they were part of the 9/11 attacks seems to fit in with paranoia more than fit in with facts. Anyone who thinks that they can walk up to the Pentagon and start shooting people is obviously not sane. I mean, I can’t imagine how many guards armed to the teeth there are in any federal building in D.C.

I just think that these people take distrust too far. I think that there are plenty things you can dislike about Bush without ever touching something as absurd and unprovable as 9/11 truth-ers. I mean he skyrocketed our national debt, and tried to call it “saving the free market by abandoning free market principles”.

You don’t need elaborate theories to point out that our system is corrupt. All you need to do is watch the news. Senators not paying their taxes, politicians receiving illegal bribes, and congressmen looking for sex in bathroom stalls. I mean we joke about politicians being two-faced and corrupt like its not an everyday truth.

Ok, off my soapbox. Its Spring Break, and I’m not going to stress.

Anyways, now I have breakfast, brew, and blogging out of my way and its only 11:00!

Originally posted 2/20/2010

Alright, this is my second attempt at a blog. Who knows if it will work or not, but nevertheless I will try.

For those that Don’t know me, My name is Dan, I live in the Nashville area, I’m married, and I love to write.
I’m not sure what this blog is going to be about, but I think that it will at least be beneficial to me as I love to write and am looking for an outlet.

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!