Retirement… Ewww! Isn’t that what old people do?

Photograph of Shuffleboard at the Century Vill...

Old people shuffling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are lucky, you come out of childhood with only minor PTSD resulting from visits to Boca Raton and playing shuffleboard with the elderly set.  Others suffer more traumatic nursing homes, or “Your grammy is moving in!”  Regardless, most of us will deny our imminent mortality until faced with the realization that one day we will be old.

We coast through our twenties, telling ourselves that the 401k plan is just another way the government tries to keep us from having the time of our lives.  After rent, utilities and cell phone bills, the extra cash goes to student loans and social services (aka beer, taco bell and cover charges.) We bury our PTSD, in denial that age is coming for us.  In our weakest moments, turning 26 or 29, we still tell ourselves that we have plenty of time before THAT happens, and social security will surely be enough. (Our parents are just gluttonous, spoiled after-products of being raised by Depression parents, wanting more than they need. All we will need is love.)

Our thirties bring kids, over-priced preschools, babysitting prices that feel like extortion.  Not to mention diapers, formula, soccer camp, ballet shoes, tennis rackets, trips to Disneyland, bikes, helmets, elbow pads and fingerless gloves.  We also discover that 401k is not a number, but a lifeline meant to pull us out of whatever job we are enduring, and a 529 savings plan is not just another ruse to suck us dry, but the promise that one day these expensive kids may actually move out.  Anger at the 20-something version of ourselves quickly gives way to panic.

That is the moment we stop being young.

Ghetto Birds Nest in My Hood.

Ghetto birds flying.

Plumes of twinkling red and blue.

Circling.

Hunting Rats.

I see you.

Police helicopter

Not-so-elusive Ghetto Bird (Photo credit: Ivan Pik)

The REAL Hunger Games Review

It was a big weekend for the Hunger Games.  Many of you wondering, how was it??

The story opens with me gorging on pizza Friday night, washed down with a glass of wine. OK – it was two glasses. (Why did I have to post that witty comment on Facebook about the second glass? Grr.)  It fell just short of the drama and excitement I had anticipated, but I recognize now that it was just setting the stage.

I awoke Saturday morning to the blissful silence of an empty house. The two characters, Crazy Pants and Diabolical had successfully outwitted the generous and kind Pops, and were happily traveling the aisles of Target.  They had promised him all sorts of laughter and delight, but Pops soon realized he was entering the Chamber of Doom strapped to a shopping cart.

Delighted with the turn of events that morning, I resolved to make good on my promise to Master Thigh that I would no longer lavish her with gifts of decadence.  Unfortunately, her trusted advisor and resident evil conniver, Sir Stomach, had his plans for me.

Innocently stirring my coffee – with low-fat milk and Splenda – Sir Stomach slowly sidled up inside me and casually mentions that we have breakfast burritos in the freezer. “There’s only one left,” he pleaded. Of course there is only one left, I ate the other one not two days ago. It was then I had the sudden and shocking realization.

The Hunger Games had already started.

How had I missed the signs? The pizza gorging Opening Ceremony, the quiet of the morning…

I quickly jumped into strategy mode, wolfing down the last burrito. (I wouldn’t want that temptation around now that the games have started!). I looked ahead at the coming afternoon and made the snap decision to get as far away from the Baiting Ice Box, and bringing Crazy Pants and Diabolical along for safety.

Once I secured my wards and arrived at the zoo, I breathed a sigh of relief. This would be a safe haven for a short while, allowing me to continue my training (stroller pushing and chasing) that would help later in the round.  My security was short lived as I heard the small, whining voice erupt in my left ear.

“Mom, I am hungry.”

Ach! Sir Stomach had turned Crazy Pants, and she was now working against me. I took a deep breath, kept my cool. I didn’t want to let on that I was on to her. We strolled to the nearest “Café” and I stoically ordered a kids meal. Just one. Crazy Pants and Diabolical could share. They would not defeat me!

As we left the café, I congratulated myself on only eating half the quesadilla, all the fries, and SKIPPING the soda.  In hindsight, I can see the games were wearing on me.

The biggest challenge was yet to come, and I was ready.  The Street Food Fair loomed in the darkness that evening.  In preparation, I had foregone all food and drink, and was readying my responses to vendor cat calls.

I found my fellow competitors turned revelers; Skinny Pants, Gorger, and Just One, and we began the challenge.  First stop, single glass of wine. Second stop, pass on the cupcake (yes! Thankfully it had coconut on it, gross). Third stop, free wine? Just One said it was OK.  With only one more stop to go, I thought I had this competition in the bag.

Two bottles of wine, 4 appetizers, 1 entrée, and a promise to join a sky-diving trip later, I went home. I felt defeated, but optimistic. (I did have a lot wine, everything looked good.)

I was abruptly awoken on Sunday morning by Diabolical’s screams. Sir Stomach had gotten to him too. I knew the screams would awake Crazy Pants and I had little time. I was losing my allies faster than I was gaining weight.  But what they didn’t know was that I had a secret defense this time, the Hungover Medallion.

The Medallion protected me for some time, but it was not to last.  It wore off during the vulnerable time of the rains, and I found myself stuck. I was in the home zone, with limited supplies.  I panicked, looking for help, and turned to Pops for support. Previously, Pops had proven to be a very good cook with limited supplies and a strong contender for Healthiest Player in the Games.  He was my best defense.

“Let’s order pizza and wings, delivery,” he offered. The dreadful Sir Stomach had taken another.  My defenses severely weakened, I let go. The Games had won. I was done.

As if sensing a disturbance in the Universe, Princess Pilates sent a text message out:

“Would you like to come in early tomorrow?”

Yes. Yes I would.

You need my Facebook login information? No Problem!

If you are interested in obtaining my Facebook login and password as a condition of my employment, here is a small list of items that I would like to see in return:

Address Book – digital or hardcopy will be fine. I would also like to see how many friends you have, and who they are.

Email Login & Password– for every account. I am particularly interested in the photos and messages being shared with you.  I hope I enjoy your photos from your family vacation and bachelor weekend, as well as the witty banter between you and your friends, as much as you enjoy mine.

2551

Fun Night!

Photo Albums – I understand that many of your earlier photos, spring break and so on, may have been pre-digital age.  This will allow me to see your “timeline”, just as you will enjoy mine.

High School Yearbook – I have very funny, inappropriate friends that like to joke with me on a regular basis on my Facebook wall.  I am sure you have them too…

List of Exes – I know that you will enjoy reviewing my past relationship statuses, as well as all the silly things my friends and I said during and post break-up. I think this will be really important in our future working relationship.

I understand this may seem like an invasion of your privacy, but since you are reviewing my “social” networking information, I hope you are willing to share more than just your professional persona as well.

Ultimately, I just want to make sure that you, and your company, are a good fit for me.

I am sure you understand.

Might be late, but it’s a fabulous party!

Apparently 4,000,000+ people are already in attendance, but it’s like I’ve discovered Ibiza for the first time.

I give you: designboom

The best source of design inspiration on the web.

It’s like you’ve just entered the cool kid party and you’re not sure where the keg is. Don’t be afraid. You have on your Cloak of Invisibility  and no one cares how you stumble about, just go and have fun. Get inspired!

Why am I so obsessed?

If you think this is just “cool, new-age, artsy stuff on a website” then you have not partied at designboom yet. It doesn’t matter if you are an engineer, housewife, sales manager or psychologist, I promise you will find something on this site that speaks to you. One of my favorite discoveries is “design in science”. Art + Science = WAY COOL.

- image from designboom.com

They also have a small store, perfect for finding that perfect gift.  See my last post, Give a Little Love,  to understand why I love this section.

Where else can you find that perfect stocking stuffer for your reader/student/cookbook enthusiast? For $19, you can get some of that holiday shopping done TODAY!

- image from designboom.com

If you aren’t into reform of any kind, or shopping in August for Channukah presents, fear not, there is a chill room at designboom just for you.  Look around for a bit and I promise you will find something that makes you go hmmm…

- image from designboom.com

Go get inspired people.  Nobody is watching where you click.

What I can’t stop watching today…

TODAY’S DETOUR: WWW.VBS.TV

Image representing VBS TV as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

In their own words:

VBS is an online broadcast network that streams free original content 24 hours a day. We carry a mix of domestic and international news, pop and underground culture coverage, and the best music in the world. People have used words like eclectic, smart, funny, shocking, and revolutionary to describe VBS, but we prefer to simply think of ourselves as the future of all media. Join us as we fulfill every utopian vision the internet has failed to live up to so far.

In my words:

Cool, random stuff that sucks me in for hours!  I originally discovered this site reading an article about the shooting tragedy in Norway.  The story referenced a documentary about the Norwegian prison system and the fact that they do not currently have a “life sentence” option.  Meaning all criminals, including murderers, rapists, thugs and the like are all placed back into society at some point.  Needless to say, the prison system is hyper-focused on rehabilitation versus punishment.

While the stories on vbs.tv are interesting, they are not as developed as something you will see on main stream news media.  On the other hand, main stream media will generally not be covering most of these topics, so worth a look.

Here is the link to the original piece that got me hooked.

The Vice Guide to Norwegian Prisons

Fences of a Federal Prison in the U.S.

Image via Wikipedia

See the rest at VBS.TV: About | VBS.TV

If you have something interesting you want me to look at – let me know!

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