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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You stole MY car and all you left me was this stinkin Dixie Chicks CD?!

Ok, so I suck at blogging on a regular basis. Let me catch you up. Since my last blog, my car was stolen, along with a music collection that I've been compiling for over 10 years. At first, I didn't know which one I was more upset over having been stolen. Then, I gave it some thought and came to the harsh realization that my love for music is challenged only by the stubs that God gave me for legs. Add in the factor that NM has no real public transportation, and the lack of money I had to replace the car I saved for 3 months to get, and you can assume which item was going to afffect my well being more.

Anyhoo, I know what you're thinking..."Why would she leave her music collection in the car!" Well, I don't have a good answer for that other than I didn't exactly plan on getting my car jacked that day. But not to fret, this dirty criminal left me one CD I found flung in the back-seat.

But I digress. When I walked outside, I had the initial instinct that I must have parked my car in a different area,. I would assume that most people think this when their car gets stolen. Then, the moment was gone and I realized quickly that someone had appreciated Hunter's beauty, my 98' Honda Civic the way that I do, except they didn't just buy it like I did one month prior.

I called the cops, whom immediately scolded me for calling 911. That's right, apparently, in the state of New Mexico, you should ONLY dial 911 when their is a murder being committed, witnessed, or you see someone drunk driving. If I'd had been in better spirits, I probably would have alerted them to the fact that I felt capable of murder at that very moment. In speaking with the police, they asked me if instead of sending an officer over, could I fill out a report on-line? No. Not only no, but Hell no, I replied.

Apparently, the response of the cops in NJ spoiled me into thinking that's how every state handled things. WRONG. How do you know when a state is poor? The schools suck (they DO) and there is no police presence (unless you're drunk driving and Erik Estrada is whizzing by on his motorcycle during the 100 days of Summer). I no longer wonder why locals refer to this place as "The Wild West".

Ok, so about 2 hours later, an officer shows up, ignorant to my panic and tears, assuring me that my car was probably halfway to Mexico by now. So I go to work, sullen and defeated. Telling my co-workers the crippling news of my car theft through muffled sobs (of COURSE I'm still dramatic, I am from NJ).

And you want to know what happens then? My work phone rings, not even an hour after i get to work telling me that they found my car, it's running and in the mountains about 30 minutes from where I am. At first, I thought they MUST be mistaken. But no, this operator had just the right amount of nastiness in her tone when I expressed bewilderment, that I knew she was telling the truth. She informed me that I had 15-30 min. max to come pick up my car or it would be towed and I'd have to pay $300 to get it out of the impound. How ironic that they expect you to rush to pick up your car when it's found after being stolen, especially since you have no car to get there.

Needless to say, I got a ride out there, and there was my baby. Bruised but not battered. Hunter was so happy to see me, and me her, that we embraced as soon as I saw her sitting there, at the bottom of some trail in the middle of nowhere. Turns out, the idiot criminal just needed to get across town and used poor, defenseless, Hunter as the vessel.
The two deputies from this ho-hum town I'd never heard of explained that this kind of thing "happens all the time". I inquired as to the status of the manhunt I was sure was launched to find the person who stole my car, only to find out that there would be none. I was told to "count my lucky stars" that the thief had left it abandoned and running, which appeared odd to a hiker who called the "cops".

So what did the thief leave me as a token of apology you ask? Out of over 100 CD's, I found the good Ole' Dixie Chicks alive and well shining like a jewel as the only thing left in my car. Someone, please remind the Universe to bestow gratitude to the car jacker in NM who left me the crappiest CD in my collection as a reminder that he or she's not ALL bad. It's fine now, I have my car and sleep like a baby. Why? Well, I went out and bought the poor man's alarm system, the CLUB. That's right, back off when you see the yellow sign promising "theft protection", and all for $15.99!

If only I'd known that I was going to be robbed, I would have done three things different. One, I would never have called my mother after calling the cops. The first thing she said to me was "Why didn't you have the Club on it?" Which, of course made me even angrier, mostly at myself, because I'm 28 and STILL learning things the hard way. But also, at my Mother, who NEVER misses a chance to state the obvious. Second, I would have never stole that bottle of Fire & Ice from Rockbottom when I was 12 (karma is a Bitch)! And lastly, I would have definitely gotten that bum drivers side window fixed so that someone who needed a ride across town couldn't have just slipped their arm in and opened Hunter's lock. Lesson's learned. Car's returned.

Of course, I can no longer listen to the Dixie Chicks, understandably so.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Things change...time passes....yet people remain the same.

Ask any obnoxious American if they would help a little old lady across the street, majority would say "absolutely".
Ask the average person if they would rescue another human being from death if they had the chance and most would agree it's the "right thing to do."
However, when these same "quality" people are asked to obey orders, they will kill their fellow man 90% of the time.
What's wrong with this picture? Quite a bit if you ask me.
In July of 1961, University Psychologist Stanley Milgram decided to see how far people's conscious would allow them to go if they were asked to obey an authority figure.
The "Teacher" role was actually the participant in the experiment while the "Student" role was played by a person involved in the experiment. The teacher and student were told that the student would be answering questions, and for every wrong answer the student gave, the teacher was to administer a powerful electric shock to the student.
The pair where then separated so they could not see each other. The teacher, or the subject of the experiment was told that it was an actual powerful electric shock. Of course, the shock was not real, but even when the students would yelp from pain heard through the glass by the person administering the shocks, they continued.
Even when there were indications of death. The results showed that 65% (26 out of 40) of participants doled out the major 450 watt volt, even though they knew it was deadly.
Fast forward to 2010, almost 50 years later. The French attempts to try this again. This time televised. The results: The documentary, called "The Game of Death," aired Wednesday night on French television. While people were told they were on a reality television show and hostesses cheered the participants on while the audience were chanting in unison: "Punishment". 64 people out of 80 administered the lethal 460 volt shock.
In my opinion, these experiments only prove that we still, and always have been, a corrupt society. The villainous media is the conduit so that evil can be spread at an alarmingly fast rate. Reaching our youth and corrupting our minds, we allow it and most of the time subconsciously welcome it. I think it's truly sad, and a great testament to the fact that while technology has progressed, humanity has not.
As for the average persons personal conscience, I truly believe that for the majority of people, if there is someone else to blame for their own bad behavior, they use it as an excuse to continue doing it. Unfortunately for us an attack of the conscience is something that rarely prevents people from doing awful things to one another.
The headline for the article about the French show was: "French People Will Kill For Fame". However, it is not just the French, it's the entire worlds population. The only thing that has changed is the kind of carrot they're dangling in front of people to enforce behavior that is so hideous and outrageous, I had to rant about it in this blog. Another reason for this blurb is that when I mentioned this to people I work with the general consensus was "I'm so not surprised". People will do anything for money and fame. Well, just because that may be true, still doesn't make it right.

Epic Fail.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What I Gave Up for Lent

Someone recently asked me what I gave up for Lent. I replied "I'm not a Catholic". So the person pressed me again and asked why I still didn't feel the need to give anything up since Jesus gave up so much for all of us. I thought about this long and hard before I gave my standard answer when anyone asks me why I'm not religious: "I think it's hypocritical to give up something for 40 days just because some religion preaches that it should be so."

Later, I actually gave some thought as to why I feel the Catholic religion in particular is hypocrisy personified. I wasn't baptized when I was a baby. When I would tell people this growing up you would have thought that by their reaction I told them I have heinously defaced the grave of Jesus himself! They would say "you know, you're gonna burn in Hell if you die without doing it!" Aside from that being BULLSHIT, it is incredibly malicious coming from a God fearing Catholic who obviously doesn't think it's a sin to tell someone that they're going to Hell. I can assure you that I didn't fear these people but rather they acted as deterrents for me to join their "crew".

I don't believe that you have to be religious to be Spiritual. It has taken me many years and heated debates with people that have extensive organized religious facts and informed opinions, but I really do think that as long as one believes in a being higher than themselves, and then that same person practices this belief, mediates on this belief and then tries to be the best person that they can be, they're not going to Hell. These people that spend all this time giving up chocolate, not eating meat on Friday's, I have to say "good for you." Self sacrifice is healthy food for the soul. I also think that if, and hopefully when, I am standing next to the person that gave up cursing for 40 days on the line to get into heaven I move ahead of them because of the quality of life that I lived. So that I can say "I told you so" and stick my tongue out at them as the angels come and tap me ahead. Of course, I wouldn't stick my tongue out because at that point, I would try to show off my "grace and respect for all that is holy" and because I don't want to go back to that spot in line. My point is that I don't think that choosing to practice in organized religion opposed to dedicating your heart to the Spirituality you've came across on your own, in your heart, makes any difference or proves to be any better than.

I sat in those Catholic services as a child and watched the basket go around. I watched people drop money in there hoping God would forget about their drinking problem. The Catholic's pride themselves on charity yet if the Vatican sold one painting hanging in their fortress we would be able to end the starvation problem in at least one third world Country. I 'm not saying that any one religion is better than any other. All I'm trying to get across is that morality and ethics are completely separate from organized religion. When a person tries to combine the two they can get very confused like I have so many times when trying to choose the religion that was calling my name.

I'm still not baptized. I don't know if I ever will be. If and when that ever happens it will be because I feel a calling from a Higher power telling me to go to church. Honestly though, I think that power can speak to me anytime it wants, because one doesn't have to be in church to hear it.
So for lent this year I have chosen to give up my truth about why I don't need an occasion to forego my vices. If my spirit is meant to go without, I will do it because I think it's right. I don't think Jesus is keeping score on these things. But hey, if you see me in the "other" line, now you'll know why (but that could mean you'll be there too, so don't be so quick to judge ;)

Friday, January 8, 2010

And here I am

Somehow 6 weeks turned in to over 2 years since I've been residing here in New Mexico.
While I'm still searching for Truth and praying for direction, many things have become clear to me and I have been blessed several times with priceless revelations. I do have to say, I still miss the East Coast. I adore the craziness of it's genuine people, and the beauty of the architecture, and the fact that people are always rushing to get where they have to go next. As opposed to this ubiquitous mountain land of the Indians where the New Mexican population continues to live by the mantra "the Land of Manana".

I don't believe I'll ever grow accustomed to that lazy mentality, but I have enjoyed the beauty of simplicity and the appreciation and respect I've mustered for a place where materialism is almost nonexistent. The less you have, the more you have attitude is not subscribed to by the majority of people that live on the East Coast, at least not the people I grew up with.

When I first moved here, I cohabited with the natives here, but I did not want to stop being a "Jersey Girl". Initially, I just wanted to "go home" where people were "normal". However, a good friend* at the time suggested that I start making friends and trying to form a life out here for myself. After months of trepidation, mild-depression, and a severe case of the lonelies, I took his advice.

I made a friend who showed me some of the culture and landscape while embracing my inner "craziness" and respecting the East Coast mentality of pride that was haulting my soul from truy awakening for ever so long (as long as I let it).
After a few nights of beers around the fire pit and getting the chance to get to know some pretty cool people who, contrary to my original impression, were actually living happy, productive lives all while appearing well rounded, well rested people.
When I say well rested, I mean it was as if all of the people from the Tri-State area popped a xanex, sipped a beer and decided to let people take their parking space at the mall all while remaining calm about the entire situation. This awakening of my consciousness implied that there could be another way of living, further it promised the possibility that one day maybe I could also join these happy people, without having to be medicated, and while still holding on to all the pride I had in my heritage and background.
My accent was so thick when I moved here that my "Fran Drescher" origins were unmistakable. I never actually realized I had wore that accent like a badge of honor for so long, until I began to hear the way people talked here. They say "I-talian Submarines", and call cars "Ve-hee-cles. Also, instead of a DMV, like the rest of the world, they offer MVD services. The most prevalent phrase you'll hear at any food establishment, (even Micky D's) is "red or green"? It took me months to realize that New Mexico chile's were different than the chili I had know all my life, packed safely in a can by good old "Hormel". The only question there is "with or without beans".
After the first year, I started to feel the effects of a universal shift of sorts. My world, as I'd always known it was changing, and I was accepting it, welcoming it, even beckoning it. For the first time in my life, rather than trying to run in reverse from the world I was in, I ran towards it.

I can say now that I'm so glad I did. What I've learned in life lessons has been priceless.

It's amazing how much an alternate environment can nurture and nourish the wandering soul. Let me add that without ever really leaving your hometown, I don't think you will be able to grow the way we are all meant to. It's comparable to being in an abusive relationship, everyone else can see it, and see that you need to change things, except for you. Then one day, you break the chains of torture you've forced yourself to carry around and after some time, you begin to see what everyone else could see the whole time. Then it happens: you grow, on an emotional, and spiritual level in a very permanent way that forces one to be able to revise any and all prior misinformed notions about what life "should" be and instead, make the necessary life alterations so that your experiences can be tailored to whatever you it is you need. Thereby, achieving true revoltionary growth on the human level. You'll still have the same thoughts passing through, you just can't make the same decisions as before. Which I've learned is a blessing, in many forms.

I believe: True change happens when you move forward and face the fear that's been holding you back, even when it's painful; especially when it's painful.
I know: That I've become a more spiritual soul while shedding the pain and asking for help from a power higher than my being.
I have also been granted this help, the key is being ready and able to accept it.
I love: every person who encouraged me to flourish from the caterpillar I was in Jersey to the butterfly I've been morphing into while here in the desert.
I'm sure: that love doesn't care how many miles there are between, it's energy is limitless and envelops me in the warmth I've come to know as my "security blanket and foundation".
I am: a very lucky and blessed person. I used to think I was cursed, but after surviving failure, enduring heartache and persevering on my soul's journey, I realized that my bravery had rewarded me with more than I had ever bargained for.

You can bet I won't be eating any red chile any time soon. I assure you, I get nostalgic just thinking about the pizza and the cheap, delicious Chinese food.
Who knows where the road will take me,? But I know now that I have the strength to travel it.
Trust in knowing that I will always be a "Jersey Girl" at heart, but I must say that for now I am in a New Mexico state of mind, and I am thankful.

*(thank you Joey, I don't think I would have made it through the first year here without your support and phone calls on an almost daily basis)