Whenever it gets under 50 degrees in Central California, we assume the world is freezing over. Whenever there is a thin layer of ice on our car windshield, we think we're in the movie The Day After Tomorrow.
And whenever rainfall lasts longer than twelve hours, we break out the flood warnings. If a snowflake were ever to find its way here, people may just start evacuating the entire Central Valley.
As I sit here in my multiple layers of clothing, wrapped in a blanket, with my heater cranked to 76 degrees, I'm thinking about how eskimos ever existed. Maybe they still exist, I'm not sure.
But one thing I do know is that they were fuckin' trippin'. The "mind over matter" was real. The ability to bare the elements and still be able to not only survive, but create a living for themselves, is unfathomable.
The real reason I bring this up is because I'm really just wondering what a real winter is like. Snowfall, zero degree weather, snow tires on my car, all things we will never experience here in the valley. What is it about being comfortable with where we're at keep us from moving away when we get older?
Is it because we don't want to be away from our family and friends that we grew up with? Is it because we're afraid we might fail in a new environment? Is it because we think life will be so drastically different that we won't be able to keep up?
Whatever it is for each individual who stays in the same general area that they were born and raised, it all comes down to one thing. Fear of change. It's the one thing that most of us have in common, the fear of what's on the other side of a new challenge.
Now there's nothing wrong with staying where you're from. You don't need to make a change that drastic to grow. But making one small change for the better everyday could eventually lead to a drastic change in your life.
Today it may be deciding to drink one more glass of water a day and tomorrow it may be to read a chapter of a book everyday. And if you continue with your new changes, hopefully in a year or so you'd be drinking nothing but water, and you've had read multiple books and expanded your library.
Regardless of what changes you want to make in life, it all starts will small changes here and there. And once you get into the right state of mind where you are constantly seeking out change, you will eventually find yourself in the position you always imagined you would be.
The weather may look bad today, but just look at your forecast and realize that clear skies are coming soon.
Unless of course, you love cold weather. In which case it's only going to get better... or worse? I don't know what you cold weather people like.
Here was an ice cold banger...
On Saturday, November 23rd, students from both Harvard and Yale took a stand.
During halftime of the football game being played between these two schools, a protest was put on urging both schools to divest from fossil fuels. Other issues regarding climate change and Puerto Rico were also a part of this protest.
But we're not here to talk about the things they were protesting. Yet the immediate response from both schools and the Ivy League itself regarding the protest itself.
The game was delayed for a little over and hour, and about 20-30 protesters were arrested for trespassing. In any sporting event, it is illegal to go onto the field without permission. So the arrests were warranted given the circumstances.
The response however, was in their own words "Regrettable." Which is what the Ivy League deemed the protest.
The game was still going on and Yale officials made a comment saying that they "Stand firmly for the right to free expression." Sounds good right? But then they followed it up with "The exercise of free expression on campus is subject to general conditions, and we do not allow disruption of university events."
I'm sorry, what? A football game is being considered more important than world issues that could possibly have a lasting effect on the Earth itself.
Yale had the announcer state to the protesters "As a courtesy to both teams, the game must resume." The game?! These people are taking a stand for something real. Something that could affect our children.
It seems befuddling to me that two schools such as Harvard and Yale would stand against something like this. People speaking passionately about something they believe in. Their own students.
It almost makes you wonder what the schools themselves think a protest is. A protest is not supposed to be convenient. Protesters are not supposed to give you a time and place of their protest.
The whole point is to be an inconvenience in order to get the point across. This protest and the response just proved the protesters' point. These higher ups will do whatever it takes to shift the conversation to something else.
Instead of responding to what was being protested, they turned the protesters into the bad guys.
It's everything that is wrong with this country and the state of our government itself. Everyone has an opinion on Hong Kong fighting for freedom against China, when we don't even have freedom ourselves.
People tend to think that other countries should follow our fight against oppression, when we're the ones still being oppressed. We're talking about Hong Kong and their fight against privacy and the right to more information, but do you think you really have those things here in this country?
You have a lot more than most countries, yes. But moments like this make you realize that they're still against us. They don't want us to rise up because they fear what could happen.
Their dreams of an economic heaven on Earth would be shattered if we fought together for Earth itself. Their longing for more power would be killed.
So they continue to turn the story on us as the bad guys. The people fighting for something are the ones who are killing this country, and they project that message through media outlets. They make us fight each other instead of them.
Democrat, Republican, Green Party, it doesn't fucking matter. They just group all of us up to divide us.
And until people realize that, we're all going to be fighting for the wrong reasons.
I commend those students who took a stand today, and I thank them for displaying what truly means to be American.
How many "Todays" have you gone through? Probably, at least one for everyday of your life.
There's less "Yesterdays" and a million "Tomorrows"
So how are we treating Today? Are we treating it like another Yesterday or a Tomorrow?
Yesterday is nostalgic.
Yesterday is stories placed in your memories.
Yesterday leaves feelings of emotion that will last a lifetime.
Yesterday wasn't your best day.
Yesterday wasn't your worst day.
Yesterday is missed.
Tomorrow is what we're planning for.
Tomorrow is when we'll do that thing.
Tomorrow is where we place problems that have yet to happen.
Tomorrow motivates us.
Tomorrow destroys us.
Tomorrow is unknown.
Today is happening.
Today never ends.
Today is a battle that we continue to fight.
Today gives us strength from Yesterday.
Today teaches us lessons for Tomorrow.
Today carries us forward.
Today is here.
If you haven't heard by now, the NBA and China are in a bit of a battle. The general manager of the Houston Rockets, Darryl Morey tweeted out "Stand for Hong Kong. Fight For Freedom." As the NBA is extremely invested in expanding their game to China, this statement was detrimental to the business relationship between these two.
Everyone who is anyone has made a comment on this situation. Even Donald Trump has put in his two cents, including numerous other political figures.
As a country that stands for democracy, the general consensus is that we should side with Hong Kong. But China is an incredibly strong country that is wealthy and most of the worlds goods and technology is filtered from them.
So it's been an incredibly thin line that many people have walked over the years. But this situation has brought awareness to what is going on between Hong Kong and China, and has allowed everyone to educate themselves on issues outside of our own country.
But if this tweet was never sent out, would most of us even know what's going on?
Just a tiny bit of insight to let you know what's going on, Hong Kong and China have been living a "Two Governments, One Country" for some time now. But recently, the protests have increased and China isn't having it. They've used force to try to silence those fighting for a democracy in Hong Kong.
China has allowed Hong Kong to live this way, but with many limitations. So as Hong Kong protesters continue to push their agenda, China has responded by flexing their muscle.
But that is just a very vague description of what is going on. The issues go much deeper, and have been debated by political figures and social activists for years. So everyone screaming and shouting their opinions now is so on brand with our social media world.
Because of the way the media has shifted our way of thinking, they have made you believe everything you see on television or the internet. And you must take a stance on one side or the other. And you better be on the right side of the fence or you will get taken down from every angle.
Right is right and Wrong is wrong, there is little to no nuance in our world anymore. What's a gray area?
There's no possible way for someone to be on the right side of every political and social issue in the world. If there was such a person, they would be like Jesus Christ on Earth. Shit, even The Pope got haters.
We have a hard time figuring out how to fix issues within our own country, it's baffling to see so many people with such strong convictions on right and wrong in this Hong Kong and China issue.
As a patriot of this country who takes pride in having the ability to vote and have my voice heard and having many freedoms, I'm all for living in a democratic world. However, I'm not a fool.
The world isn't so forgiving, and a democracy isn't the be-all and end-all of systematic government. If it was, then every country would follow the same system. Just look at where we're at! Many of the politicians that we elected are extremely evil and crooked, including the person we elected to be the leader of the free world.
So imagine China or some other country who doesn't run a democratic society. Do you really think they're looking at our country and thinking "Oh hey, maybe we should try that." Fuck no! We're an embarrassment right now. So before we start trying to influence other countries to follow our path, we have to be a better example.
Instead of telling others that their opinion is wrong and that they must speak up for freedoms, we need to live and breathe and promote it within our own country. But it needs to be in a positive way. And there are millions of people who are doing that everyday, and the future of our country thanks you.
But before we try to slam others for their way of living, we must look at it from all sides. I can't take a solid stance on this particular situation because I don't know anything about what's going on over there. I've never lived it, all I see is what the media allows me to see. And I don't talk bad about people behind their back.
So if you, or someone you know is knowledgable about this situation and is passionate about it, then I encourage you to speak your voice and let the world know what is really going on. But just be careful what you tweet, you may accidentally start World War III.
In April 2014, V Stiviano released recordings of billionaire Donald Sterling saying some very racist and very sexist remarks. The things he says about black people and hispanic people and women are ignorant, offensive and hurtful.
As a father of two Mexican boys, hearing the words of Sterling brought me to tears. Just to know that there are people out there who could hate my children simply because of their race hurt me deeply.
There's that old saying that parents say to children when someone is mean to them, "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." But as an adult, we realize the damage words can do and how much more hurtful they can be than actual physical pain.
ESPN recently released a podcast documentary on Donald Sterling and everything that led up to his demise. The Donald Sterling Tapes aren't just a juicy story about a man, a mistress, TMZ, and court room battles. It exposes Sterling for what he is, a coward.
And he's not the only one, he just got caught up.
Over the past few years, we have seen many horrible people come out of woodwork and are now letting their voices be heard. For so long, they were sitting in silence. Just waiting for their perfect opportunity to come out of their closet.
These conversations he had with his mistress, V Stiviano, gave the world a glimpse into the mind and thoughts of a racist. And it helps us see how they really are behind closed doors.
"In your lousy fucking Instagram, you don't have to have yourself walking with black people."
And by "them" he meant the players on the Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA franchise that he owned. He took the word "own" to another level. A plantation mentality.
As a rich man in America, he didn't have to follow the same rules as everyone else. If he ever got into some legal trouble, he would just throw money at it until the problem went away.
But all the money in the world can't change the fact that he is a racist and a sexist and an overall horrible person.
It's people like him that hurt America and our chance at continuing to move forward. It wasn't that long ago that segregation was abolished. And it wasn't long before that when slavery was abolished. So there are still many people out there who are old enough to remember the days of segregation.
And those people are raising their children and grandchildren to think the same way. It is going to take at least another 100 years before we can even start to erase that type of mentality from the minds of many people out there.
"I'm living in a culture, and I have to live within the culture."
That "culture" he's talking about is a long line of racism and bigotry. Almost as is he belongs to some type of society that makes sure he is maintaining his due diligence to the racist culture.
Luckily for the world, his mistress had enough of his bullshit and exposed him to the world. Stiviano may have been a horrible person herself for taking advantage of an 80 year old man, but it is nothing in comparison to the things Sterling has said and done in his life.
If only we could find a way to expose all the racists and sexists to the world and we could find an island with no resources and ship them all there. See if they could survive. And to be honest, I could give a fuck if they survived or not.
Donald Sterling, you're the worst person in the world. And no matter how much money you made in your life, that will never change the fact that everyone in the history of mankind will remember you as a horrible person who tried to set America back 100 years.
Dear racists, sexists, bigots, and assholes of all kind,
You're the scum of the Earth. Go Fuck Yourself.
About 7 years ago, after the end of a long shift my best friend offered me some weed. I told her that I had never smoked weed and I wasn't going too. She insisted because she said I was acting like an annoying little bitch and I needed to relax.
So I gave into peer pressure (didn't take much) and smoked my first bowl. When I think back to how high I was, I honestly can't remember. I'm almost certain I that I was higher than I had ever been up until that point. Almost.
Back then, weed was just as accessible but a little scarier to get. You always had to meet some sketchy guy in a random dimly lit parking lot and he would tell you the story about how he attained this weed.
It was always one of three stories.
Very rarely was there a major difference in the weed. Sure some would get you higher than others. But for a guy who just wanted to smoke some weed, it all essentially did the same job.
This is when you could buy regular ass weed from regular ass people. Sometimes you'd get stuff that wasn't shaved so it was all on a huge stem. There would be seeds in just about every eighth. Every time you would buy an ounce it would be all the trimmings of the big nugs they would sell to rich white kids, and it would be a third of the price.
Rolling a blunt or a joint or packing a bowl for a bong was all a social experience. You call up your friends and let them know you have some weed and you're coming over. You bring your rolling tray, a grinder, papers or Swishers (Yes, all of y'all used to smoke Swishers. Don't act all uppity with me now. Talking' bout "Swishers are nasty" All y'all was smoking them daily. Don't play wit me) and of course, your weed.
I kept my stuff discrete and in a Victoria's Secret make-up bag. I looked really cool going into friends houses with that. Anyway, the time you spent rolling up and getting everything ready for the session was a part of the whole thing. But ever since weed became legal-ish, the experience is different.
Theres a store or van that will legally sell you weed recreationally in just about every town in California. You go in there and there's security and a place to check in. You have to get buzzed into the next room where there is more security. So essentially your dealer is the one thinking that you're sketchy, instead of the other way around.
And remember that regular weed you used to buy? It doesn't exist anymore! This shit is strong as fuck. And you can for sure tell the difference in the strength of the weed. Theres no sticks or seeds so everything you buy is pure dank. Which is great, right?
I suppose, if your whole goal is to get higher than the last time. And they have these things, I don't know what they are but they look like USBs. You take one hit and you're in a UFO. You take two hits and you are the UFO.
It's like pure THC. You kids don't know how good you got it. I don't know how long those things last but I'm sure it lasts longer than some regular weed.
I miss regular weed. Y'all smoking that Area 52 weed.
Oh and by the way, my best friend that convinced me to smoke weed was my wife. There's a lesson in that.
1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
You are an art project.
The artists were your biological parents. Coming together to create you. Human expression in it's purest form, used to start a new life.
The child is born as a blank canvas, just waiting to have their colors come to life. The loved ones who are caring for them hold the paintbrushes as they will influence the child's infantile mind. The child can't pick the ones who surround them, so you just hope they aren't too heavy handed.
As they paint the mind with all the words they speak and beliefs they hold, the child knows no other way but to accept these ways. The Father, a young man who has never picked up a paint brush before tries to become an artist.
His attempts are weak. Laughable at times. But the father doesn't know, for he is blind to the fact that his influence will shape this child's life. What should be common sense, does not come easy to the father.
The Mother, a young woman with a heart full of colors shows a desire to mold the child like a sculpture. Using her influence to show the child the ways of the world.
Nothing is ever black and white. She doesn't allow the child to get stuck in the gray area, but allows the child to view life with all it's colors. She has never done this before either, yet it comes natural to her.
The child turns into a teenager and begins to see the world from a different perspective. She is still there everyday. Influencing, encouraging, pushing. The child knows no other way when they're with their mother.
The Father is there from time to time. Picking and choosing when he wants to be an influence and when he wants to be his own man. The Father is still stuck in his childish ways. Being easily influenced by the world around him, not realizing that his paintbrush is running dry.
His words to the child carrying less weight with every day that passes without his influence. Luckily for the child, 90% of the child's life has been painted by his mother. And as he grows into a young man, she begins to hand him the paintbrush.
The child is now in college. Old enough to begin to paint their own picture, but still young enough to crave the influence of their father. The child's words to the father fall on deaf ears, as after all these years the father is still stuck in his same mindset.
But now as a young man, he wants to begin to draw what he believes will be a beautiful painting. And now, the father wants to grab a hold the paintbrush.
Father: "What are you going to college for?"
The young man is silent. Everything he's ever wanted to be in life is being doubted by the man who created him. He asks himself if the father is right. He has no words.
He goes home to tell the mother what has happened. And asks if the doubt raised by his father is true. But she knows what the child's heart has always desired. To be an artist of his own. To create his own future. To be an influence on everyone who's comes in contact with him.
The mother then grabs the industrial sized paint roller and hands it to the young man and says, "Create a masterpiece so beautiful, that nobody can ever put doubt into your mind."
And as the young man grows, he paints his picture with his father's doubt always lingering in his mind. He is everything his father is not, and the proof is in the painting.
Putting your phone down, the most impossible task in the world. Everything in the world is right there at your fingertips. Social Media, News, texts from your mom asking you to take the chicken out of the freezer.
Being able to disconnect from the item that has seemingly become another part of our body is harder than it should be. Can you live without your phone? Of course you can. But can you live without your phone? Probably not.
The Apple iPhone has a setting that takes into account how much Screen Time you have used daily and weekly. It's actually a really scary thing to look at. Realizing how much of your day is being taken away because of the black hole of information that is contained in that tiny rectangular screen.
Putting your phone down and enjoying the world around you sounds like a simple solution. Yet it isn't that easy. But why?
Let's start with the essentials, because there are some things that you do actually need your phone for. The clock, because you need to know what time it is. Most people don't wear regular watches anymore unless its strictly for fashion.
Keeping in touch with your family. Grandma sends you that text every night "Goodnight sweetie. I love you!" And if you don't text her back she thinks something terrible has happened to you.
You need to check those emails, whether its for work or they're statements for your bills. You need to know what the weather is going to be like. And you need GPS to tell you where you're going. But everything after that is what gets us in trouble.
We need entertainment. Whether its Netflix, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, or NBA League Pass, theres a plethora of entertainment that we can indulge ourselves in. And indulge we do.
If you're reading this right now, you're a reader (Which we promote here). But even reading stuff like this is for the use of entertainment. And although we must be entertained, there must be balance.
There's thousands and thousands of apps for gaming. This can be a fun little getaway from the realities of life at times, but I'm sure some modern day Oompa Loompas would have a song about why its bad for you.
But the biggest battle most people have with putting their phone down is because of social media. There's a million ways to stay connected with your friends, family, celebrities, your favorite restaurants or sports teams. Pretty much anything or anyone you can think of has a social media page.
It's not just one page, theres Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and whatever else the kids are using these days. And with so many options, it may turn you into Veruca Salt. Wanting everything at your fingertips with the push of a button.
This epidemic stems from a couple of reasons. The least worrisome is FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). People want to constantly stay connected with the happenings in the world because they think if they don't check their phone every 20 minutes they might have missed out on something important. And in most cases, you're not missing out on much.
This dependency we have created for ourselves may not seem like much, but it is a small form of anxiety. Being behind everyone else who is staying up to the second with their feeds stresses us out. It gives one a sense of relief knowing that they're up to date with all their social media followings.
But the most troublesome reason is one that most of us may have trouble seeing within ourselves. There is a desire for others to see what we're up too or what we've posted.
When you post a picture on Instagram, you expect to get likes from your friends. When you send out a tweet on Twitter, you're hoping people either like it or retweet it or respond to it. It is a constant seeking of approval from those around you in the social media world.
There is nothing wrong with posting things that interest you and that you hope others are interested in as well. But its the underlying driving force to want to be liked that could lead you down a slippery slope.
So what can we do to not only limit our screen time, but make our screen time more valuable? It's starts with taking a look into the mirror. Or in this case, your front facing camera.
Look at your Screen Time and see what is taking up most of your time. More than likely it is going to be dominated by either Social Media, Entertainment, or Gaming. If you don't fall into any of those categories than you're probably a robot who lacks culture.
If you don't like what you see from your results, do something about it. If you're on social media too much, delete a couple of your apps. You don't need to stay connected through every social media app, most of them contain the same news just presented in a different way.
If you're indulging in too much entertainment, put a limit on how much Netflix you allow yourself to watch in a day. I'm pretty sure those movies and shows aren't going anywhere. You don't need to Binge Watch 5 hours of "Workin' Moms" in one day.
If you're playing too many games, delete all the apps except for one or two. Keeping just a couple on your phone at a time can help you limit yourself from trying to play every game every day.
You don't need to stop using your phone in order to stay connected with the real world. It's all about limiting the amount of useless crap you put into your brain. You need entertainment, social connections, and gaming to allow the creativity juices in your brain to flow.
But whatever you do, don't stop reading!
Phyllis Vance once said, "It's raining Cats and Dogs out there." And although that doesn't really make any sense, she's right in more ways than one. In this particular moment, she only meant it figuratively speaking as she was referring to how much rain there was.
But life is so much like these rainy days, but it's really all about your perspective on how to weather the storm.
Each and every day is unique in it's own way. Think of every new day as a person's fingerprint. Every fingerprint is similar, but none are the same. Not even identical twins have the same fingerprint.
So how are you treating each and every day? Are you treating them like they are similar? Or are you celebrating them in all of their uniqueness?
There is beauty in everyday, its just up to you to find what it is about that day that is special to you. Or how you're going to make that day special.
Too often, people get comfortable with being comfortable. When life gives them rain, they sit inside with a blanket and watch Netflix until the storm passes. But there is no better time than now to face the storm head on.
Whatever it is that you're going through right now, it's time to get your rain boots and get out there and put in work. The weather isn't going to change for you, the weather is the weather. So stop worrying about what you can't control, and take control of your situation.
Even if it's something small, a change for the better is always better.
By the end of the day Phyllis Vance's view on the storm changed because of her perception.
I mean normally the rain would make me want to stay at home curled up with a good book. But everyone is being so nice to me today, I'm really happy being here
So find your happy place in the middle of the rain, and you'll find yourself wishing for gray skies.
The English language has never really made sense. I before E except after C, or when sounding like A, as in neighbor or weigh. But thats a lie anyway because there are like nine words in the English dictionary that don't even follow this rule. And they're in the damn dictionary!
So what is right? The word weird itself is spelled weird. The irony of the word weird breaking English language law is uncanny.
There are words that are in the Merriam-Webster dictionary now that aren't even words, they're just abbreviations. But because Americans use them so much in everyday language, they had no choice but to add words like GIF to their dictionary.
So how the hell do you even pronounce GIF?
GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format.
But you probably didn't even know that.
And thats fine.
It's not your fault.
They put the word in the dictionary, so there would be no need for you to ever know what it stands for. You just know that is the word to describe a picture that moves but isn't quite a video.
So the dictionary has the pronunciation on their site as "Gif" with a hard "G" sound. However, the inventor of the web format itself has declared that the word should be pronounced "Gif" with a hard "J" sound. But he isn't an English major, he's a web designer. So what does he know? He only invented the damn thing.
It only makes common sense that it would be pronounced "Gif" with a hard "G" sound, seeing as how the word starts with the letter G. But does it even really matter?
This whole debate is all about whether or not you choose to pronounce this word a certain way. Some of you are right and a lot of you are wrong. But that is besides the point that is trying to be made here.
Everyone is so enamored with the idea of being right nowadays. If you post an opinion on social media, be prepared to be told you're wrong. Hell, you can even post a fact like global warming online and you can somehow be proven wrong by the President of the United States of America. North America.
If you want to pronounce the word with a G, then go right ahead. If you want to pronounce it with a J like the brand of peanut butter, then by all means do you. But whatever you do, do it because of personal choice.
You live in America. You have free will to do just about whatever you want. They tell you not to break the law, but the language we speak breaks its own laws. So screw the English language. And if someone ever tries to tell you that you are pronouncing a word wrong, tell them that everything in life is about perception.
It may not make you right, but it will in your own mind.