Jaded

Last night I saw a dead pedestrian on the side of the road while traveling to my parents’ house. A school bus managed to hit the man head on (literally speaking). I could not pull over to help: officers were already on the scene, questioning the driver. The ambulance had not arrived, so everyone driving by skewed out of the way to avoid running over the corpse (and its remains).

My stays on the island are usually pleasant when travelling through the mountains, breathing in the less-polluted air and listening more to the sounds of nature.

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The land where the sun is cold and the rain is hot..

But once I run errands or drive through the cities, you have to be on your guard because of the high crime rate. Disturbingly high. You can’t stand in line to pay for your purchases in a store without being pickpocketed. You try to hang out with your friends at a small bar and old men show up and just start hitting on you (and would not give up). You can’t even go to the beach without the smell of pot polluting the sea breeze (and these pot heads immediately switch to snorting coke not caring about discretion). Let’s not forget about the noise: parties and loud music at 1AM to 3AM and the cops not doing shit about it.

I was considering at some point to retired at this place, but after a 2-week stay I was done. If I wanted to live somewhere in this island, it would have to be in the mountainous area and only if dire circumstances would force me to move there. Not to mention the fragrant racism that exists among the general populace: Cutie would be a target by scammers and muggers young and old alike due to him being 100% Caucasian. And I would have to fight each and everyone of them off.  I don’t want that kind of life for the both of us.

So as much as this place is my hometown, it will be forever regarded as the black hole of the Caribbean, home to my aging family who can’t move to the US for better services and safety. If anyone wants a challenge, by all means visit the place and see for yourselves. By the way, I recommend the food. If you want to die a happy death, eat the local food: plenty of it will take you to an early grave via heart attack.

 

 

 

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4 hours into life

A few days before my flight to the tropics, I’ve decided to do a winter activity I have never done. Since the temperatures in Edmonton were freezing (and the road conditions are still too horrible to drive), Cutie and I decided to just go out and play in the snow.

It felt more like work than anything. Our goal was to build a decent sized snowman but due to the fluffy snow, it didn’t hold up too well.

At least it’s anatomically correct.

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This is a must-read because it hits the nail

After nearly a decade of being subjected to pointless career advice articles and books (don’t get me started on Steve Job’s biography), I found something that is not passed-down dribble. These articles and books may have good intentions but none of their advice applied to me (or for most people).

This book, written by Dilbert creator Scott Adams is a must read:

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In the interview with US News, Scott nails it when he was explaining that passion is overrated:

Billionaires like to say passion is the secret of success. But what else could they say without sounding like total jerks? They can’t say they are smarter than poor people. They can’t say they work harder than poor people. They can’t say they simply got lucky because that would ruin their images. So they say passion is the key because it sounds like an appropriately modest answer.

In my many business ventures, I was always excited at the start, but when things turned bad, my enthusiasm ebbed. And when things went great, I got increasingly excited. So I think success causes passion more than passion causes success.”

I have seen a lot of speeches from CEOs at the corporate place I walked away from talk about the importance of passion. While the CEOs were spitting out the ingredients of the company’s kool-aid to us, I called bullshit on it. Yes, passion is important but it does come after you see the hard work paying off. The CEOs were making $7,000 per hour. Of course they are going to have passion! And trying to convince people that the only way to succeed is to learn to like working at something they hate is madness. Or a way for closeted S&M recipients to voice their way of thinking.  And there is a lot to hate about working in a repetitive job that praises ideas from employees yet shoots the ideas down once they leave their mouths:

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Such. bad. memories!!

I am so getting this book!

 

Misogyny breeds misandry

it goes both ways

 

I respect the right of the individuals who express their views through blogs and news “articles”. There is that risk where those views will get slammed and ridiculed. Especially when those views touch a nerve.

This particular piece not only touched MY nerve, but brought out the homicidal instincts all humans possess but keep dormant (most of the time).

According to Patrick Howley’s piece Liberals want to stop to stop men from checking out women he sites the conclusions of a study published by “The Nature of the Objectifying Gaze Toward Women” by Sarah J. Gervais, Arianne M. Holland, and Michael D. Dodd then goes on a rant about liberals wanting to become “hall monitors”:

“..Pretty soon, looking at a woman’s chest will legally be a “hate” crime instead of a love crime.”

Whoever made this guy a reporter must have been either a) could not afford to hire a real reporter or b) hires amateurs to write “articles” for the sole purpose of getting more visits on the webpage

The rant that blew my lid off was this paragraph that echoes his frustration and exhibits his views of the future that may or may not happen:

“…I’m not saying looking at tits is any kind of noble pursuit. But it’s one more freedom. It’s one more thing that has been allowed in this country since the time of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. One more thing that we’re not going to be allowed to do in the progressive future.

And you know what else? A lot of women like it.”

With all due respect (or lack of it), a lot of women DO NOT LIKE IT.

I am one of those women. I grew up in a violent, predominantly misogynistic culture where I could not walk down the street without being harassed by male drivers. When I was entering middle school, I had to fight off boys who sexually harassed me EVERY SINGLE DAY and tried to sexually assault me. What started as whistles and words would escalate into cornered confrontations and unwanted touching.  The encounters got so bad that I stopped getting into trouble for getting into physical fist fights with these “boys” because the teachers (who were mostly female) knew their notes and requests for parent-teacher conferences would be ignored. The school where I spent my early years  was so broke that it did not expel these “boys” because they needed the tuition money.

I shake while I type this because it angers me to know that living in a First World country and in the 21st century, such sentiments are still nurtured and not challenged. It is because of those unchallenged misogynistic sentiments that help breed misandry towards “reporters” like him.  Yes misandry. That is what such behavior of ogling and expressing such views in a “harmless” non-polite manner can lead to many young girls and women to fend for themselves against men.  The constant “verbal admiration” brews hatred that is uncalled for towards 99% of men. Men who openly express their rude admiration towards a woman need signals beyond just walking away in haste or ignoring them. They need to be glared at, be insulted through hand gestures or worse.  Unwanted attention needs to be demonstrated that it is EXPLICITLY UNWANTED, regardless of the cost of being polite.  The old fashioned way of slapping a man when he is being crass and rude can still send the strong signal of “NO”.

Such a slap could render an assault charge in this “liberal” world Mr. Howley rants about.

That would be fine by me. If I go down, I will do it to avoid another assault on me.

 

 

 

Frugality is working out!

Every weekend I call my family via Skype to keep myself-up-to-date with them (and to prevent them from calling me in an odd time).  The conversations always gear towards the topic of the cost of medicine because a) someone got a new condition that needs pills for and b) to see whether the cost of medication is cheaper in Canada or not.

The answer to b) is: it depends on whether you have a provincial health card or are self-insured.

It saddens me to hear when as family members get older, their health slowly deteriorate due to a combination of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise.  Some illnesses are NOT preventable (cancer, genetic diseases, caused by viruses, etc). But conditions such as obesity (which a lot of members of my family are guilty of) are and should be prevented at all costs.

Maybe that is an understatement. A lot of the things my family suffers from can be prevented or kept under control if they get active and eat healthier.  From experience, this can be a challenge given that they still live in a tropical island where growing leafy greens is next to impossible. A lot of the vegetables I ate while growing up were from a can.

In financial terms, they could be saving money if they switched to a healthier lifestyle and got the weight under control, instead of spending $200-$300 in medicine per month.  And now that they are beneficiaries of Medicare, they should really make it a priority.

Hell the CDC even published it based on actual studies :   Annual Medical Cost of Obesity in the US- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Since I can’t brow beat them into taking better care of themselves, the best I can do is keep myself as healthy as possible.  I won’t kid when I say IT IS HARD AS HELL to stay fit. Injuries, illnesses and lack of energy always throw any progress you make. Especially during these cold months.

Before the frost, I used to go a small gym nearby, paying $42 a month. I have to admit, it felt good working out 2-3 times a week. Then I got injured (stupid plantar facilitis).

Did I gave up? Nope.

I added that injury to the list of old injuries (shin splints, bad knees, muscle sprains, etc) rested, then switched from going to the gym to working out at home.  How? By using YouTube (gratis!).

There are lots of videos to work out too, ranging from beginner’s levels to advanced.

If you are pressed for time, I recommend this video one from Fitness Blender. For 37 minutes, you will get your butt kicked:

Note: This is a high-intensity workout. Do not start with this one if you haven’t worked out in a long while. Cutie saw this and said this is similar to getting “smoked” during military physical training. If you feel daring, stretch out A LOT before starting the workout.

Besides of pocketing that $42, I managed to avoid the constant ear spam brought by too much Bryan Adams on the radio. And the constant sight of these:

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What I hope to gain from all of the pain and hard work?

1-Hoping to live longer for Cutie

2-Hoping to need less medicine to stay alive. Hell, maybe not even needing it!

3-Hoping to work longer (that is, if someone wants to hire me 😦 )

4- Hoping to be healthy enough to take care of the ones I love

Those are my reasons to work out. What are your reasons?