Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Foie Gras, I think not!

Imagine having a pipe rammed down your throat, while large amount of food were pumped down your airway. Choking, gasping for air, your tongue doesn't even get to taste and find out what's going in to your stomach.

This is what mankind are doing to some poor creatures just so that people get to eat what they want. Just because the Foie Gras recipe requires a nicely fattened duck or goose liver. We think its our right to do as we see fit, for our own gains and pleasure. What about animal rights? What about their suffering?

I urge all to spare a thought for these animals, abstain from food such as shark's fin, drunken prawns, foie gras, dog meat, where the animals have to suffer miserably at mankind's hands before being slaughtered and served on the table.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bumps and Bruises

I bruise forgetfully.

No, that’s not a typo. I have a friend who bruises super easily, (in college, we used to flick her arms just to see how fast the bruise would come up. . . .we were weird that way.) but that’s not my thing.

See, I end up with bruises and have no idea where they came from.

Usually they’re on my legs and I just figure that I walked into something (usually the sharp edge of my bed/table/anything) and "walked it off."

But today I woke up with this massive bruise on my hand.

Make an "L" shape with your thumb and first finger, then draw a straight line down both. See where those lines converge? That’s where my big ol nasty bruise is. And a bump. That I have no idea how I got.

Really, you’d think that something that made a bruise that big and left a lump would be something you’d remember, no?

My best guess is that I’m either so clumsy that I don’t notice all the bazillions of times I run into things, or I’m running into things at work and pretending it didn’t happen so as not to draw attention to my lack of co-ordination.

Or something.

It’s just so weird. I can never remember the incident that gave me the bruise. Maybe I should start a diary:

Saturday, 4pm: ran into table while reading book on way to couch. Left shin..

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Morals in the mirror

Over the past couple of months, I've taken a good look at myself, and realized that I'm not too thrilled with what I see. I've become discouraged with the blatant fact that I cannot become a more moral person by mere effort. If I look hard enough at my motivations for doing good things, I begin to see I have partial selfish reasons for doing some of them.

More recently, I think I've discovered something that has really helped me, and I thought I'd share it with everyone out there who struggles with being a moral person and has decided to devote their life to doing what is right. You know who you are, and you know what I mean by being "moral." To put others first in your priorities, to love without expecting to be loved in return, to not steal, lie, wish harm to others, etc. We have a desire to leave our "bit" of influences in better shape then if we were never around to influence them. In fact, we have decided that being moral and following a moral code is more important than anything else - it is a cause that drives our lives as we sit in the passenger seat.

You may be like me, though, and realize that you are really blowing it. You have too many mixed motives for the moral things you do, much less the things you do that you know aren't moral. I feel most days like I am more driven by pride and selfishness to do moral things then I am by the good side of me who desires to do them for no other reason then the fact that they are the right things to do, and to do what is right is a joy to the core of who I am.

So recently, I stumbled across a truth that has really helped me. My method of moral improvement has been an act of willpower that involved focusing like crazy on my faults and trying to improve. I have come to the conclusion that this does not work. I decided to give this up and instead focus on the well being of everyone around me. I started praying more and thinking about what I can do for the people in my life and how I can be of more help to them in a tangible way. I began to try to see myself as a "helper" rather than as an independent, self-centered results-driven person looking out for his own best interest and reputation.

And I think that is a key to being moral. The moral person has devoted themselves to the moral life, and the moral life is about giving up a self-focused, self-directed life where they are in charge. Others are more important. I have found that many of my issues of pride, arrogance, and selfishness have melted away or have at least lost their intensity while I have begun to slowly adopt this new perspective.

So for those of you who want to be moral but who look inside and don't like what they see there, become a servant. Instead of focusing so much on your own faults, focus on how to use your life to enrich and change the lives of others. Something fundamental changes when you start walking down this road. I may be crazy, but I'd say give it a try

Monday, March 22, 2010

Life is constantly throwing me a curve ball, or maybe I just think that sometimes. I guess we all have good days and bad ones too. For so many things, we may feel as if what we feel now is what we will feel forever. We may believe that we can never be happy, never have anything go right in our lives.
We can't control what will happen to us in life. But if we are only able to see the negative possibilities, those are the doors we will open. If we are able to take that leap of faith and believe that things can be different and better and that we are deserving of good things in our lives, then we will see and open doors and take steps that bring those good things into our lives.
When we stop clinging to the darkness, we find the light. When we let go of the familiar anchors to which we are clinging, we may discover we can fly. When we let go of past anger and hurt and fears, we can discover laughter and love and a whole new world of possibilities.
If we make mistakes, so what? This is how we learn. This is how we grow. This is how we move forward in our lives.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Randy in India

Warning: In the interests of remaining as non-controversial as possible, I need to advise you dear readers that some of you may be offended by this post. If you do find this post offensive then you probably don't really understand what I'm trying to say. I am nothing if not tolerant and open-minded. Just think really hard before you allow yourself to be taken over by political correctness.

I have a problem with customer service jobs being shipped over to India. There. I said it. This has nothing to do with jobs being taken away from "hard-working red-blooded Americans" or anything like that so put your flags back in your pocket. This has everything to do with the nuances of cultural differences that makes this world wonderful but can be very frustrating in the realm of customer service.

I have dealt with my share of customer service reps from all over the world and I have never had a major problem with speaking to reps in India (except for the fact that most Large Companies make their Indian employees change their names to some ridiculous "American-sounding" name like Brad Johnson or Sandy Smith--I doubt this is fooling Grandma and Grandpa Jones in Cheyenne and it ends up making me feel more uncomfortable because I feel guilty that this person has to compromise their identity to work at an AMEX call center. I had the pleasure over the past few days of contacting AMEX in an attempt to change a few things . I have called 4 times. I have spoken to "Carla Lewis," "Brad Johnson," "Sandy Smith" and this morning I had a pleasant conversation with "Randy Lee." All in India. Conversations always begin the same. I give them my card number and verify security info. Easy enough. Problem is, I get different answers to my questions every time I call. And I think that each of these individual's is faking their way through the call. One time I was put on hold for 20 minutes for no apparent reason. Another time I was told to call back because "Brad's" computer wasn't working.

So I talk to "Randy" this morning and he has no idea about my account....

How will they inform me? Will they call, email, send smoke signals, send a carrier pigeon, Pony Express?

"Randy" doesn't know.

When will I find out?

"Randy" doesn't know.

"Randy" doesn't understand.

"Randy" calmly tells me that I will get something in the mail. This is where the cultural differences come in. And I'm blaming this on cultural differences because I don't want to admit that I'm insane. Apparently "Randy" does not care. Because "Randy" is all dharma and everything and I am all born in California and raised by my mother, Queen of Anxiety (which makes me the Princess of Worry-in case you were wondering) the conversation goes downhill.

"Randy" does not know how to reassure me because he does not understand why I am so upset. He hasn't taken the training class entitled "Dealing With the Overwhelmed Neurotic PMSing Customer." I told him the whole situation was ridiculous and that he was ridiculous and AMEX was the most ridiculous of all. And when I hung up the phone, I felt bad.

Right now I hope that "Randy" goes on his lunch break and turns back into Samir and sits down with Rahul, Amita, and Rishi and they had a good laugh at my expense. Because they deserve it.

My suggestions: Companies such as AMEX should spend less time making sure that their Indian employees have Anglo names and more time explaining the meaning of customer service. Customer Service means they will have to deal with crazy women who need to have everything planned in advance and who need constant reassurance and specific instructions and hate living in a limbo world .

Friday, March 5, 2010


When we're going thru disaster and difficulties, sometimes we don't know what to do. It's hard to appreciate life and see grace at work. But when they're over and we look back, we see how they have drawn out the best in us, whats most important to us and how much we've grown! I may not always do or say the little things to let you know how much i appreciate you but there's one thing im sure of: My world is much better with you in it!