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Location: California, United States
Interests: dancing, singing, breaking, freestyling, reading, drawing, (basket)balling, weight lifting, philosophizing, psychologizing, free thinking, poetry writing and performing, songwriting, guitar playing, game playing, music listening, sleeping, eating, online chatting, coffee shop lounging, clubbing, biking, hiking, nature walking, beach-ing, talking, more talking, and still more talking
Expertise: everything you're not good at
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|I am posting only because Xanga says they'll kick me off if I don't. Harsh, Xanga, very harsh. Negative e-props for thee!|
|Wow, it's been a little over a year since I last even touched this Xanga page.|
Well, just wanted to share some news:
If you would like the stirring details on how it all happened, here's some good fireside reading:
... and two songs I wrote for The Moment:
Okay, that is all.
|(this is the same poem i posted before... accidentally updated the timestamp while making an edit. g'uh.)|
I know this poem is long, so read if you have the time. It's the sum of
a lotta thoughts I've been having this past month, which I finally
decided to scribble down last night. It's
not a poem of the emotional sort, but it still means something to me.
Inspired by many conversations I've had in the past month. Hope you
take something away from the reading.
No sage am I, heaven sent
No charismatic fool waxing eloquent
From fear I steer clear
Assuming titles never made the man
Ain't in the plan for what I stand
No warrior of the dawn, rebel sans a pause, am I
No conclusions foregone does my cause belie
With little pretense I dispense
The words, nouns and verbs, of little consequence
The musings of a mind in reflection eternal
Painted inside the lines of my mental inferno
I am but one with a story to say
A single view from a mind on which the thoughts do weigh
Like a ton, so much on one
A burden unmitigated
Only ceasing when at last this mind is sedated
Do I hate it? Is it fated?
Who's to really say?
But today, nonetheless I'm a mess,
So let's get this out the way
Ready or not, I've got something to say
The television's on...
What's comin' out the tube?
Asinine fools parading, antics inane and rude
Sensationalism from the journalistic media
Dramaticizing, voices rising, what is it that they're feedin' ya?
Dancers, meaningless lyrics, caterin' to the new "hip-hop crowd"
That know nothing about the socially relevant, the old-school sound.
Paris Hilton crossed the street. Does anyone really care?
Why do we celebrate a talentless inherited-millionaire?
I've had enough
It's bad enough
It's sad enough
When Carl Sagan is less known than Hillary Duff
What's fed to us today
Is there no better way?
Look what we're surrounded by
What mental-cholesterol clogs the mind
Does anyone see this.. or is it only me?
Listen to this:
Nothing... just the sound of silence
It's the sound of mainstream media stripped of sex and violence
Stripped of fools, stripped of the ignorant, stupid, and the lame
Stripped of the vapid, yakking about all the same
Old stuff, new trends
Celebrity couples... where does it end?
Ain't America great?
We're rich! what's to hate?
We live in a society where we can afford to be uncultured and dumb
As if all pinnacles reached, as if all wars won
Where we can say "Dude, that's so nerdy" and look like we're cool
Where we can be celebrated for acting shallow fools
Where trends and fashion reign surpreme
Where gifted of mind are ridiculed, it seems
We live in an era where it's uncool to use your brain!
Simple and plain,
Am I going insane?
Can someone explain?
It screams terrifyingly in my head
Is our destiny to be zombies, roaming mentally-dead?
This era should be one of beauty and grace
Not a time where "Uhh, I don't know, I don't care" becomes commonplace
What do we do in a world where ignorance is bliss?
Where idiots abound in a land such as this
So let me tell you here, the culmination of all of my fears -
All society summed up in two words: Britney. Spears.
Are we so haughty, so high on the pedestal?
That we're immune to the tumble, immune to the fall?
Who's immune? You immune? Immune, not I!
All are susceptible to the facade, to the lie
When we take the plunge into the sea of stupidity
Swept away, our lives losing intellectual validity
Where culture and beauty and art is lost
We progress technologically, but tell me at what cost?
What's to explain this reverse-natural-selection of man?
To me, it's pretty simple: we act dumb 'cause we can!
'Cause you don't need much to survive, to get your family by
Whereas in third-world countries you better get your ass up and try
To succeed, to achieve, to provide for those you love
But here in America, it's tough but we got enough
So rich in currency, but getting poorer in the mind
A chilling conclusion to which I've resigned
People would accuse me of perching on my Ivory Tower
But I only believe in the mind and its untapped power
Use it, don't abuse it, or you're riskin' to lose it
I dream of a world - beautiful, pure
Splendid, resplendent, A haven, to be sure
A land of enlightenment, knowledge, beauty
Truth, creativity, learning, social duty
Where knowledge is king and creativity is queen
Ruling justly, harmoniously over a land pristine
Understand what I mean? Or is this a pipe dream?
Or will we drive ourselves down to the masses
The lower classes, where we're surrounded by those acting like asses
Gimme my glasses, 'cause I can't see straight
In this world overrun by ignorance and hate
Sexy is the mind razor-sharp and prolific
Oozing ideas, philosophical, cultural and scientific
The youth are our future, why dumb them down?
You reap what you sow, what goes around comes around
Teach them to be thoughtful, creative, intelligent
Foster a love for the mind so elegant
Read a book, teach another, write a song, take up art
Never a time like the present to start
Teach by example, show them with pride
That being cool doesn't have to mean cultural suicide
I paint a picture bleak, like a nuclear winter morning
But hear the words I speak, for it is my grim warning
Today we live, but tomorrow we die
The future's in our hands, let's reach for the sky
I've said it before, I'll say it again
I'm not anyone special to be tellin ya when
And how and what and who and why
I'm just another run-o'-the-mill guy
Don't accept what I say because I say it
Accept it because you find it true when your mind's weighin it
If you believe that there's more to this life
Than ghetto bling-bling and Kevin Federline's wife
Join me in the quest, don't sit and rest
Raise your hand, take a stand
We gotta realize life MUST have a greater plan
I'm no superhero, no leader of the pack
I'm no grizzled general at the vanguard of the attack
I am but one, armed only with a goal to achieve
To overcome the ones that would have you believe
That life is a shell, a void of pointless pointlessness
That our lives should be lived in hedonistic excess
What does that make me? I really don't care
Prophet of rage or a doomsday sayer?
Shall we fight, or just sit and throw up a prayer?
To turn the tide
To not run and hide
To fight from inside
To be the guide
To reach out far and wide
To be the one who will restore truth and beauty
To a world slowly overrun by unchecked lunacy
Is this just a dream or can it be reality
Or are we doomed to mental destruction of complete totality
Think! cherish! analyze! improve! uncover! achieve!
Learn! create! teach! write! build! discover! read!
I plead and I plead
Do it without a "need"
No time to be asking "why"
Do it for its own beauty
...or watch as we all die
|We ain't gettin' any younger...|
Photoshop I did couple weeks ago, after one of those "we ain't gettin any younger" talks. Just too scary.
Okay it's time for a little (okay, long) rant about something not
really that important, but that just bewilders me to no end. (I find
myself doing this often) Bear with me here, I'm about to pour my heart
and soul out to you:
Why do we have to tip people?
I mean, really. I'm sure you all know what I mean by this. Why oh
why are we so insistent that if people take your order and bring you
food, you're supposed to give them some virtually fixed percentage of
the bill, all in the name of some mysterious thing known as "social
etiquette"? I know some of you have thought about this and I know I've
ranted about this to some of you before, but it just astounds me how
tightly society clings onto this notion.
What is a tip? Pretty simple question, but I guess there are basically two definitions people will give:
1. A tip is money that you give someone for doing a good job while performing a service.
2. A tip is money that you give someone for performing a service.
The difference, obviously, is whether you think "good job" has anything to do with it (and to what degree you feel this).
If you take the first definition, I take it to mean that you think
it should be given to service that you think has been performed well.
That's fine and that makes sense to me. After all, if someone is
serving me and I'm acting quite princess-like, I don't mind giving them
some money for their troubles. People who give that extra effort should
be rewarded for the fine service that they provide (compared to their
slothlike brethren who do a much worse job). All fine and dandy.
But what if the person, to quote Mark Twain, "sucks ass"? (this
quote is uncomfirmed). I mean, really. What if they just didn't do a
good job and I felt, "Hey, this person shouldn't be rewarded for hiding
in the back and not giving me a chance to refill my chips and salsa!"?
Well then, I'll leave a substantially lower tip or none at all. That
would only make sense to me. After all, if you think tip is for good
service, WHY oh why should I pay for anything extra if I'm getting bad
or subpar service? But of course we all know I can't do that. It's
"wrong" or "messed up" or "a social faux pas" or "impolite" or whatever
words they want to throw at you. That's ridiculous, if we're under the
presupposition that tip is something given gladly for good service,
there should be NO reason for giving it if i'm not glad or if the
service isn't good. Plain and simple.
If you have 15 people in your party and you were served terribly,
tough luck for the crappy servers... 'cause you shouldn't HAVE to give
a tip. If you reply to that saying something like "but they served you
and there were a lot of you and it was a lot of work!" then let me
point out something to you: IT'S THEIR JOB. That is what their PAID
FOR. Their JOB is to serve a customer and make them feel generally good
about things. Why should we tip those maids who clean your hotel room?
You never interact with them, the job they do is just about the same no
matter what... it's their JOB! I don't get tip for typing and thinking
8 hours a day on this computer-thingy I work at. It can be hard, it can
be a lot of work, I can put in extra hours, I can be forced to give
extra effort, but nowhere along the line am I ever gonna get a tip for
any of this. I'm doing my JOB. I'm doing what my employer and I agreed
that I was going to do for the wage that I am earning. So why MUST
(note the word "must") serving people get tipped? JUST because they're
serving me? If they're not getting paid enough, then they should form a
union, ask for a raise, protest, or they should just not work in a
service profession. Yes, I know that watiers/waitresses may get paid
less (sometimes below minimum wage) because tips are assumed as part of
the "salary", but this is a circular argument 'cause obviously them
getting paid less is a RESULT of these inane tipping practices, not a
It's like in an episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun where Dick leaves
$15 (whatever) dollars on the table and tells the waitress that this is
her starting point. Any time she messes up, is slow, or otherwise does
a bad job, he will remove dollars from the stack. Of course the
hilarity ensues as Dick points out every little wrong thing (even
pulling out a watch to time the waitress) and the waitress desperately
tries to make everything right. Sounds funny and sounds silly, but in
reality, this is how it should be. If you suck, you don't get the
money! Otherwise what was the tip for? But yet we laugh at Dick's idea.
And I think we laugh because we know it's "true", that is, when it
really boils down to it, that's how it SHOULD BE. But no, you are the
Spawn of Satan if you give a substantially low tip. You are the Devil
Incarnate if you leave paying the bill straight with no tip. After all,
what would the people think of you!?!
Again, if they do a good job, I have NO problem tipping and tipping
well, at that. But it's just when people do a bad job, it makes no
sense why I'm such a CRIMINAL if I don't feel they deserved any money
(or very little money) for a job that I felt was second-rate and
Okay, this is only slightly less inane. If you believe that anyone
that performs a service for you should get tipped, then that changes
the matter a little. I can understand people who feel this way. After
all, there is something to be said about getting a service from another
warm-blooded sentient being who smiles at you, asks you about your day,
and responds to your requests, as opposed to getting it from a robot or
machine. (side question: should I "tip" a machine with a free tune-up
since it's doing such a good job?) But if you believe that anyone who
performs a service for you should deserve tip, answer these question
for me and I'd be interested in your responses:
1. Should I tip a waitress?
2. Should I tip a barber?
3. Should I tip a cab driver?
4. Should I tip a cashier?
5. Should I tip a McDonald's worker?
6. Should I tip a shoe salesman?
7. Should I tip a dentist?
8. Should I tip a police officer?
9. Should I tip my high school teachers?
Now count how many you answered "yes" or "no". If you answer is
anything but 9 "yes"s, and you believe in definition 2, then that is
hypocritical. Every single one of those people are performing a service
for you. The waitress who served your food, the barber who cut your
hair, the cab driver who told you about the strip club and took you
there, the cashier who quickly performed the transaction and nicely
pointed you to the liquor you asked for, the McDonald's worker who made
your sundae extra delicious, the shoe salesman who found your shoe
quickly, the dentist who made your toothache go away very painlessly,
the police officer who responded to your emergency call, your high
school teacher for helping you open up your world. They ALL performed
services for you and they ALL could have done a terrible job of it, but
didn't. So why don't we tip them all? If you subscribe to Definition 2,
then any answer other than "yes" to those questions means that the
foundation for who and why we tip is totally arbitrary and senseless.
I used to work at Big 5. I had to fake smiles, I had to ask
customers how they were doing, if they needed anything. When a request
came in I had to run into the back, climb ladders, move boxes, and such
in order to retrieve a box of shoes. I had to supply expertise in
certain sports and fitness subjects to advise their purchases. I had to
make sure the shoes fit and that they were as reasonably happy as can
be. If needed, I had to run back into the room and repeat the process
if they weren't satisfied. I had to clean up after them when they threw
the shoes on the floor when they were finished. Why then should I not
expect to receive tip, whereas a waiter, who has almost the exact same
responsibilities, should expect a tip?
The 15% Rule
And I LOVE how for certain services, there are "expected" tips. That
is, some magical percentage scribed by The Muse of All Things Wonderful
And Fair herself somewhere in some ancient Greek place with lots of
stone columns and maybe some dudes wearing white sheets.
Take this scenario: I go to some restaurant, eat my meal, order a bottle of wine. I'm then supposed to pay tip. Okay.
Now, let's say the bottle of wine was $5. So that means for that
effort, I should give about $0.75 for that effort. Okay. Let's say,
though, I decided to splurge and get a $100 wine (proably 'cause I
figured I was gonna get some from my date that night). Suddenly that
effort of bringing a bottle of wine was now worth $15 for that effort!
I pray that I don't have to point out that it's the same amount of
effort bringing either bottle of wine, but yet in former case the
waiter could make off with money to buy either two stamps or a few
gumballs and in the latter case the waiter made off with enough money
to rent the services of a hooker in a third-world country.
I know, I know, it's only a heuristic, right? It's a loose guideline
for tipping. Okay. I've gone to $5 diners where the person served me,
talked to me, laughed at my jokes (very important), brought my bill
promptly, and generally made me happy. I've gone to $20-$30 entree
places where they brought me food and I couldn't find the waiter for
the rest of the night. Yet in this system, I find myself tipping the
latter waiter 4 times as much tip as the former... and we KNOW there is
NO way that $5 entree server in a day will EVER get as much as the $30
entree server in a day. EVER. There's no other way of saying it: this
I remember going to a club that cost $10 to get in. There was a lady
standing there collecting our money and next to her knee was a stool
with a "tip jar" next to her. A Tip Jar. For someone who doesn't talk
to you, someone who could not exist and I would not care in the
least... asking for a tip for taking our money. "....." <-- (that's
all I can say.)
Just in case it's in your mind, let me dispel something here. This
is NOT about being cheap. Not in the least. Money is the not the issue.
If the social milieux were overthrown and a brazen band of odorous
rebels decided to lay down a new social order, and they decreed that
any good, friendly service should now be tipped twice as much, whereas
bad service will now be tipped nothing, I would have NO problem with
it. It's not the amount of money. If the "guaranteed tip" portion of
the money were instead simply part of the bill, I would actually not
have too much problem with it. It's not about the money. It's about it
making SENSE. It's about it being FAIR. That's all I'm really askin'
[As a side note, I've made this comment to many of you, but I would
actually be willing to pay this "tip" if that meant I can serve myself.
Being the all-you-can-eat lover that I am, you can never get enough
chips and salsa and you can never get it quickly enough. Same goes with
bread or water or whatever else. I would pay just to be able to get
these things myself. I hate that frustration of having to wait for a
waiter to look at me, having to flag him down, having to ask, and
having to wait for him again to bring what I asked for back. Can I just
go into the kitchen and grab me some extra tortillas myself? Please?
But no, not only do I have to pay for this ... "service"... I have to
wait for it too. <Insert the Emoticon Of Frustration Here>]
Is there anyone else that finds this entire institution flat out
ridiculous? I know that there are those who will say "but you really
DON'T have to tip!". Please, let's just be realistic. There's lots of
things we don't "really" have to do, but when all is said and done,
you're gonna be doin it.
In the hollowed recesses of my mental orb, a thought rings out
vibrantly: ...Should random people who visit my site give me tip for
reading my Xanga? In a way I'm providing a service and there's some
real work involved in typing, you know.... E-props don't pay the bills!