Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

  • Movies to See:
    Mission Impossible
    A Dangerous Method

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    The Life & Times of Tim

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    Game of Thrones
    by George R.R. Martin

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    El Camino

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    Newt Gingrich

  • Group of People to Despise:
    Fox & Friends


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Sunday, January 13, 2008  
Present Gifts
This past holiday season, as stereotypically tumultuous as it was, consisted of several firsts for yours truly: my first holiday bonus in the amount of a whopping $75, my first time buying gifts for a lady I'm fond of at stores I would never set foot in otherwise, my first holiday season with money to spend from a steady paycheck, my first time in snow during the holidays in about 15 years, my first holiday season where I didn't have upwards of 3 weeks off to vegetate (you have to request time off around the holidays... when was anyone going to notify me of this?), and the list goes on.

Thinking about the concept of gift-giving and gift-taking, I began to ponder about the very concept of the gift. I like receiving gifts, I always have. I come to find that I enjoy giving gifts as well. And then I think about my times in the crock of a program called G.A.T.E., Gifted and Talented Education (or so they claimed). I don't recall receiving any gifts in that glorified recess time from 5th through 8th grade. We were told that we possessed gifts, of intellect, knowledge, wisdom, apparently, but that doesn't seem right at the age of 10 to be told that you are gifted. In fact, it might even be wrong. One of my childhood heroes was Mr. Rogers who told each and every one of us that we were special, and by gum, we believed him. And so did our parents. But in reality, even though Mr. Rogers told us that we were all special, that we all had these amazing gifts, he wasn't right about all of us. He was right on the money for some kids and completely off-target for others. To think that every child who watched PBS in the 80s were all savior children as proclaimed by Prophet Rogers is absurd, it's nice to hear...but absurd...unless you reconsider the definition of special and gifts.

If I have the gift of musicality, for example, then I may be a very special musician, who is outstandingly gifted in the composition and interpretation of music. On the other hand, if I possess the gift of racism, I may be a very talented bigot, and am very gifted in the production of racial slurs and bigoted statements. Both gifts that people may inherently possess, but completely different in nature. Given the vast range of potential gifts a person may wield, from talents and skills to material possessions to various sentiments, I decided to analyze the person who must undoubtedly possess a plethora of gifts, for better or for worse: myself.

The Gift of Love
Ok, I had to get the sappy one out of the way right off the bat. Truth is, from my loving family and mother to my girlfriend, I do feel privileged to have groovy love waves coming my way on a constant basis. Of course, this does put more pressure on the receiver of the waves to make sure that the people sending me those vibes get love ripples back that they deserve. Whether that consists of a hug, chocolate or a skirt from Forever 21, varies from person to person, occasion to occasion. Needless to say whether I'm giving or receiving this type of gift, I always feel rewarded no matter what direction it's going in. As cheesy as it sounds, it does feel good to give someone you're fond of a present that you think they might like. It is an icepick to the spleen, though, if that gift ends up returned, or

The Gift of Procrastination
This topic has come up in this online arena frequently, and for good reason. It is a prominent element in my, and many other's, lives. Over two months ago I wrote my last post on this site and since then you, my adoring fans (all none of you), have been waiting for a rambling melange of verbal diarrhea, puns and obscure references to grace your screen once again. Was it the 6-day work week that kept me away? Probably. Was it the exhaustion from that week? Without a doubt. Was it pure laziness? Maaaybe. But the better question is, what brought me back? Of course I wanted to post. I love to have new posts. But the prospect of starting up a fresh one can be daunting. What can be more daunting than a measly blog post, though? That's right... graduate school applications. I've been meaning to write a personal statement for about 3 weeks now, and right when I open up a brand-spanking new word document...I's time for a frivolous blog post. Time well spent? I reckon so.

The Gift of Clutter
Staying on the gruesome topic of grad school apps, my desk is currently surrounded by stacks of applications, forms, fliers, and brochures. Some are for schools I think I want to go to, some are for schools I've never heard of, some are for ITT Tech, all have a moldy question mark hanging over them. While it may sound that even though I have piles of papers all relating to graduate school surrounding me, they are all organized into one, concentrated area, you would be wrong. Among the stacks of grad school thingy things, are LA Times articles from 2006, a Circuit City ad, my college diploma, two undeposited paychecks, a pair of pants, a copy of I Am America (and So Can You!), and my soul, now deceased. Truthfully, within 48 hours, I have to have the majority of these papers organized and filled out, as I will have to continue begging for letters of recommendation, but until then, I will just look down at them from my chair, and then look away, because they make me nauseated. In all honesty, writing about this is making me realize how fucked I am, but let's continue.

The Gift of Burden
As grad school deadlines loom, so do other deadlines. Since I am contesting my fortuitous speeding ticket, I have to file a claim to the Superior Court of California through a Trial by Declaration within a month, hoping that at least that burden will be off my shoulders after 2 long months. I put off taking care of that until the day before the deadline. Of course, if I lose, I will have to either go to court to duke it out with a judge or bite the bullet, pay the fine and take 8 hours of traffic school. And then it's back to my plans for what I want to do for the rest of my...what's it called

The Gift of Spending
As you might remember from a previous post, I am currently paying off roughly $2200 for a lame accident I blame on a granola bar, in addition to the speeding ticket, and those hefty holiday season purchases (which I love making) which leaves my bank account sad and lonely, no thanks in large part to $1800 in paychecks sitting on my floor right now. What's interesting about the spending of money is that I could care less about the price of things when I buy them for other people. But when it's for myself, I'm a regular Frugal McTightass. I was overjoyed to discover that they had come out with 3-inch diecast models of ships from Battlestar Galactica (I know, right?) for $4.99. My inner, dominant geek joygasmed at the very thought of a little ship adorning my desk. Unfortunately, had sold out of them so I had to wait for another shipment. When it did arrive, the price had increased to $85! That's like a 1,700% increase in price! I would not be spending that kind of dubloons on a 3 inch model, no matter how geekgasmic it might be. The point is, had it been for my girlfriend, who no doubt dreams of having such a model of the Battlestar Galactica I wouldn't blink at the price, but for myself, that's too rich for my blood.

The Gift of Sass
One newly found aspect of myself that has been previously untapped is that my shyness to people, particularly at retail stores and other venues has dissolved. When a particular douche about twice as tall as my petite girlfriend, shoved her and stood in front of her at the Grove Christmas Tree Lighting, I nearly went Mortal Kombat on his punk ass (that's how I talk), had he not been compliant when I pointed out his jackass-factor to him on the spot. When Best Buy refused to give me my promised partial refund if they did not give me the DVD player I had ordered on the website within 1 minute,I spoke to 3 managers and still plan to write a very stern email. I don't know what to attribute it to. Perhaps I've realized that many people I encounter don't deserve my timidity, and just need to be yelled at sometimes, or maybe it's because I want to impress my beloved lady friend, or maybe it's because I realized I'm taller than a lot of these people. In any case, I can't say I don't enjoy talking back to people who deserve it. Although, my road rage has sharply increased recently as well. No matter. One of my fingers is getting way more exercise than the others.

The Gift of Geek
Given my endeavor to purchase a model of the Battlestar Galactica and my previous track record with such topics, you all know I'm a proud geek. I have a comic book collection under my bed, I go to midnight screenings of geektastic films, I've seen The Empire Strikes Back a couple hundred times and one of my top 10 movies on my forthcoming list for the previous year consists of, without spoiling too much, big ass robots. I have a Spider-Man and a Neo action figure on my desk, as well as Gandalf and Aragorn on my booshelf. My Nintendo DS lies in front of my printer and my drum major trophy from high school rests just above the complete set of all the Harry Potter books. I have one box set of an anime TV show (Cowboy Bebop in case you were curious) as well as Battlestar Galactica, of course. I now realize that I am fatally incriminating myself with all this evidence against me, but to tell you the truth I have no fear because I possess one of my most important gifts...

The Gift of Balance
No, I ain't talkin Buddhism or Lady Justice. While I am a geek, there is also a yin to my yang. While I might play Halo on my Xbox, I also have College Hoops 2K6. While I own 2 seasons, going on 3 paycheck willing, of Battlestar, I also own Entourage and Weeds to even the field. I might watch Beauty and the Geek and Big Brother but I also watch PBS specials on Autism and Linguistics. I might read Harry Potter and Star Wars novels, but I also read Herman Hesse, Kurt Vonnegut and Kafka (and Colbert). The point is, if you're all geek, all jock, all snob, all intellect, all dumbass, you're not balanced. If you take a bit from each category and mash them together, you get a happy medium, and that's where I feel I am right now. I might take more from one category or another at any given time, but I'm happy with it.

Oh and I have a girlfriend too.

The Gift of Knowing When to Shutup
I'm not sure if I actually possess this. I tend to ramble or get myself in trouble by...talking...or typing...too much...which seems relevant right about now.

If you've made it this far through the wilderness of my jumbled thoughts, you possess the gift of persistence...or stubbornness. Bottom line, while we all give and receive gifts, and possess intrinsic gifts of our own, there comes a time when you have to tally up those gifts and decided whether you'd like to use them to your advantage or not or even polish them a bit.

And if they're useless or a hindrance to you, maybe it's time to part with them and find a new gift to develop.

Worse comes to worse, you could always try regifting the crappy ones.

5:08 AM


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