March 11, 2013


Earl is watching “American Idol” off the DVR as I type. I grew tired of this show years ago but Earl holds the torch and watches with jaded interest. I can’t take the caterwauling.

I took a cursory glance as I found something else to do, namely fold laundry, and quite frankly, this show where they announced the newest Top 10 has to be one of the most awkwardly staged shows I’ve seen in a while. The huge audience can’t see the results, the judges can’t see the results, only the home audience sees the secret announcement. The announcer says in a hushed whisper, “The password is AWKWARD.” After Ryan Seacrest (he’s grown enough to shave like a big boy now!) makes one of the contestants burst into tears, they walk down a makeshift hallway, making small talk through the tears and then they stand in the dark. Once in the dark, Ryan has an awkward conversation with the contestant, who has absolutely no lights on them. They didn’t even try a half-light.

Screen Shot 2013-03-11 at 9.18.15 PM

After they talk in the dark, well Ryan is lit up but the contestant isn’t, they open the stage doors so they can see the judges reaction. Then they show the audience. Oh, then they have the contestant sing off-key to a karaoke track with the mic turned up to only 1, maybe 2, while the backing track is at 15. The woo-woo people are louder than the contestant.

What the hell.

“American Idol” has become such a train wreck that I truly missed the days when they dressed the judges up like Klingons.



I saw the following letter on this blog entry. It is entitled “How To Be Free”.

Um, yeah.

Dear Jake and Connor,
I turned down a really good job offer today. To tell you the truth, it wasn’t even that hard. Even in this new normal, post Great Recession world, the allure of a good job working for someone else just doesn’t exist for me anymore.
It could be because I know it will never be a great job. It could be because my freedom – and the ability to see you guys whenever I want – means too much to me.
You are only 7 and 3 years old right now. You haven’t caught on to the changes that have happened in our lives and in the world over the last few months and years.
The past 2 decades have brought to the world a revolution like no other. The world is now digital and flat and you are connected to almost every other person on earth. You have access to every great idea ever thought by mankind.
This is a threat to anyone with power right now. They aren’t sure what to do….they don’t know how all of this is going to shake out.
As you read this remember that people often overestimate what they can do in 2 years but they wildly underestimate what they can achieve in 10.
Never under estimate yourself! The key to happiness and success in this world is believing you deserve it and knowing you can achieve it. You can! It is as simple as deciding right now that you are happy. That you will define your own success.
I have no idea how old you are going to be the first time you read this but at 7 and 3, you are both incredible people. All parents think their kids are smart and cute and funny so I’ll spare you what I think and let you know that other people tell us these things all the time.
You both have a magnetism that isn’t easily explained. You make people feel better about themselves. In this crazy world, that is truly a needed talent! I hope you both recognize it in yourselves and I hope your mother and I have properly nurtured that talent….because the world needs more of it.
I want to explain something to you guys: At some point, the world is going to offer you a deal.
It will try to convince you that what it needs from you is what you really want.
It will spend millions of dollars on advertising and education, info-tainment and propaganda to steer you in the direction it needs you to go.
The world will tell you that if you work hard, you will achieve success.
That success and happiness are just over the next hill top.
You will go to the finest universities and you will meet incredible people.
Almost all of them, with their souls quietly yearning for something bigger than themselves.
The world will promise a decent living at a good wage. You will travel. You will see foreign lands.
It will offer you guarantees from exile, with friends and followers willing to pretend they are hanging on your every word, as long as you pretend to hang on theirs.
You may even be one of the lucky ones to whom the world offers a soul mate.
Of course, it will neglect to tell you that your submission to the world means you may not be soul mates forever.
It is going to offer you safety and security. It will entice you with imagery of comfort and luxury.
The world will offer you a steady paycheck. A release from the fear of being able to provide or survive.
It is going to offer you the dream of a happy, care free retirement. It will offer you equity in its markets, it will be kind enough to let you relax in your golden years.
The world will offer you a death with dignity. You do not need to suffer alone or be in fear it will say.
The world will take care of you.
This is a generous world. For all of this, it only asks for one thing in return. All the world wants is your humanity.
Fuck the world….go your own way and never look back.
Go make deep connections with incredible people.
Don’t subsist on the shallow connections the world wants you to have.
Go discover new things. Create. Be beautiful.
Don’t buy into the world’s illusion of happiness through wealth.
Go teach people that they don’t have to trade their humanity either.
Show the world you don’t fear expulsion because the connections you have made are too real….too deep.
Show the world you want to be with your soul mate forever. That you won’t sacrifice your love or your family because the world says that is the way it is supposed to be.
Show the world that you do not need its illusions of safety or security.
That you do not want its versions of comfort and luxury.
Show the world that when you make deep connections you do not have to suffer alone or live in fear.
Show the world that when you keep your humanity you get to share it with others.
Only then will you be free.


I was happy to see that Delta Airlines cared enough about my travel experience that they sent me a survey to complete for them. It was waiting for me in my work email this morning. I filled it out honestly and provided the feedback they were looking for.

Though the cynical side of me thinks that the surveys are for marketing purposes only, after all they just want to convince me to fly their airline more often, there’s part of me that hopes that this is a demonstration of concern for the wellbeing of the airline traveling individual. I know that I enjoyed my Delta experience to Texas and back and that I look forward to flying them again to North Carolina next month. Aside from the GoGo being a NoNo on the longest leg of my flight, the experience was flawless. Some passengers in Detroit tried to make the check-in counter attendant’s life hell, but that’s what passengers in sweat suits and velour do. They make everyone’s life a living hell.

I wonder what folks in Texas would say if they were surveyed about what life is like here in Central New York. I wonder if people in Central New York realise that there is life outside of this area. Everyone seems tuned into their own little world and only take very brief glimpses at anything that could resemble a bigger picture.

Perhaps there should be a survey on what’s in the big picture.

As many men have proclaimed loudly over the years, “Survey says!”. Were there a ding sound, the card would flip over and say, “needs a nap”. And that is what I shall do.