Saturday, January 2, 2010

New year, same old me.

I'm never quite sure what we're supposed to make out of this New Year deal. Other than having to remember to write 2010 on things, I don't see that it matters much.
As usual, the gym was packed today with new members. People who have chosen January 2 to develop a new lifestyle and alter the way they do things. That choice will become irrelevant sometime in February or March when they revert to the way they have been doing things for the other 40-something years of their lives. I have seen it every January for the past 25 years and I suspect I'll see it for 25 more if I'm around long enough.
That is to say, it's human nature and we're susceptible to numbers and we feel as though the "first" of something is more significant than the ninth or twenty-third of something. It's why we overly celebrate even-numbered anniversaries of things and pass over the odd-numbered ones as though it makes a difference that it's the "Tenth-annual" celebration. Fourteen is a number too, but we don't get as worked-up over it as we do with numbers that end in zero or five.
I'm hearing and reading a lot of things about the "Best [whatever] of the decade" and it's difficult for me to remember things that happened 8 years ago and even more difficult to make a comparison between those things and something that happened last month. That's human nature too. We forget.
We have started a new decade - the Twenty Ten's? - and we have supposedly left behind all the things that the last decade - the Zeroes? - brought us. What we have actually done is started another calendar year. Nothing more and nothing less. We have managed to cycle through another tax season, another set of holidays, another set of birthdays and another year of our lives that the calendar tells us has gone by.
But it's still the same us.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Get your moon out of my house!

From your career path to your amorous adventures to just life in general, takes a good, long look at what the stars have in store for you this year! Click on your Sun sign to get started with your 2010 Yearly Overview, and then check out the stellar insights into Your Career in 2010 and Your Romantic Life in 2010.
Woo hoo!
It's nearly 2010, and at least one yearly horoscope is doing the look-ahead to see what's in store for people who were born during some Sun cycle or moon phase or whatever nonsense horoscopes are based on. They are based on something, right?
I find it fascinating that the date my parents copulated could have such an influence on who I am, and even more fascinating that some people swear by this junk.
Curiously, with this being the 21st century, people still rely on this to the point that newspapers run horoscopes every day, and I suspect that if they stopped doing it, they'd receive angry letters from people who would otherwise have no clue as to how to carry on with their lives. Perhaps horoscopes aren't so much predicting the future as they are dictating behavior, which would make them more of a self-fulfilling prophecy than an actual fortune. As for me:
If you find yourself looking for love, much of the year will bring newfound attention. Mars in your House of Love Received will bring surprising attention from both new players and those who may have not expressed an interest before. If you are seeking a mate, this is good news. If you already have one, this could be good news or it could just be awkward.
Wow - how perceptive ... and vague. My house really isn't big enough for Mars, so I guess I'm going to have to find a bigger place. Pluto maybe, but Mars? Not so much. And don't even ask me where my "House of Love Received" is. I know where the House of Love Rejected is. And aren't "new players" and "those who may not have expressed an interest" the same people?
As far as actual cash on hand, although it isn't likely there will be any windfalls or lottery wins, there will be a distinct sense of improvement developing gradually over time. June through August will show some distinct improvements.
Damn, no lottery wins. How interesting that the date I was born would dictate the likelihood of winning a ten million-to-one game of chance. I'm screwed.
There are a lot of superstitions and odd belief systems at work, and I would have thought that people would have given up on horoscopes a long time ago. There is never anything really negative, like "watch out, because you're getting too fat" or "check your cholesterol because your House of Pancakes is over Uranus."
They are always vague predictions of things that could happen to anyone regardless of when you were born. But people must be reading them because other people keep writing them.
Libra's are skeptical.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Because I know you love it when I rant...

I really should take notes. Things pop into my head during the day and I think, 'i need to write about that' only to find that my head hasn't the data capacity that I would like, and out it goes as easily as it came in.
I was thinking about all the pomp surrounding the Tiger Woods scandal and how his sponsors dropped him to the point that he decided to take an 'extended leave of absence' from golf. I was thinking, how many of the executives in the companies that dropped him as a sponsor were out doing the same types of things that got Tiger dropped? Plenty, I'm guessing, and if their wives found out they'd be dropped as quickly as Tiger. But, it's a one-way street and since Tiger is their meal ticket, he's out on his ass.
I was reading an article on the Internet that some states are considering putting referendums (referendii?) on the ballot to legalize marijuana, and I remembered that I once wrote that when states run out of ways to generate revenue, ideas that were once considered outrageous suddenly become good ideas - unless, of course, you consider (as I do) that legalizing marijuana is a good idea. It would certainly cut down on my drinking. C'mon, while we're young.
Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said that tough economic times across the country have lawmakers looking at everything, and may lead even more states to eventually consider the potential tax value of pot.
This was a good essay. When I had functioning brain cells.
Back to the marijuana debate:
"There's no upside to it in any manner other than for those people who want to smoke pot," said Travis Kuykendall, head of the West Texas High Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area office in El Paso, Texas. "There's nothing for society in it, there's nothing good for the country in it, there's nothing for the good of the economy in it."
Can you name about a thousand laws that are created that have no economic good or value to society? Me too, which is why Travis' (something) argument is specious. He's probably stoned. Nothing good for the country? How about the billions of dollars we waste on the so-called War Against Drugs?
Couldn't we spend that money on a rocket to Mars, bringing WiFi to the masses, inventing a truly wrinkle-proof fabric, getting rid of the penny, eliminating service charges from concert tickets, paving some streets, keeping newspapers alive, finding a fifth pizza cheese, getting Sarah Palin a job at Wal-Mart, building a rail line between Gloucester County and Philadelphia (instead of just studying it), reducing cable TV rates, getting rid of the nine-tenths of a cent price on gasoline, eliminating plastic shopping bags or (God forbid) going toward public health care?
Priorities, gang.
Any of those things are a bigger benefit to society than hovering helicopters over pot fields in Florida.