I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE
Did you ever think back to a moment in your life that you wish you could have been watching yourself as that moment occurred? To see what you looked like and how people were reacting to whatever it is you were doing? Well, I’m sure I’ve got quite a few of those but there’s one I would really like to share.
Continuing this week’s theme on my latest travel experiences to the Jewish Virgin Islands, let’s chat about my fly down to Florida (as the last 2 posts have been about the flight back to NJ). To begin, let me tell you about one passenger sitting in the emergency exit row.
CARRY ON LUGGAGE DAZE
A couple of weekends ago, I was in the Jewish Virgin Islands visiting my dad at Boca Del Vista. In other words, I was in Boyton Beach in Southern Palm Beach County at Hunter’s Run.
Airports and air travel just really get my creative juices going. There is just so much human emotional carnage when folks travel. This trip was no different.
On the flight home, one woman got very upset when they wouldn’t allow her carry on luggage onto the plane. For the folks working the check-in counter at the gate, it was actually a pretty easy decision. Next to the check-in counter, right before you walk down the gang plank, is an FAA baggage size checker thingy, that looks just like this.
With the latest in a series of snow events here in NJ, Mother Nature has finally gotten the best of me, so I’m working remotely today. I love that expression…Working Remotely. That’s just a fancy way of saying I’m at home working in my underwear (with kudos to my friend Scott who owns the domain name AtHomeInMyUnderway.com, or something like that).
I think I’ve come up with a new type of tax that even the most flaming far right conservative republican can get behind. It’s called The Idiot Tax and yesterday in Toms River, NJ, we had a perfect example of how this would work.
Let’s recap what our 2 idiots did. They drove a truck out onto a partially frozen section of the Toms River. Now this is New Jersey. Not Wisconsin or Minnesota, where folks routinely drive trucks and small huts out onto frozen lakes to go ice fishing. It’s not New Hampshire where they recently opened up a 3000 foot runway for small airplanes on Lake Winnipeesaukee. It’s New Jersey and it’s not even North Jersey. Folks don’t usually drive their trucks out onto a somewhat frozen body of water in the Garden State, despite the record cold weather we’ve been having.
I think it’s time for a new reality TV show. Coming from me that’s pretty funny, as I have never watched a full episode of reality television. No Survivor, no Idol, no Ducks, not a one. Happy to say that one of my favorite Iraisms is that “reality TV is the one of leading causes of the death of creativity in America.”
Here’s the premise of my reality TV show, which I call Vaccination Island. It’s a dystopian view of a world where anyone who refuses to get your standard vaccines is sent to live among other like minded non-vaccine loonies . If you are born today and your family says no shots for you, than off you go…and take mom, dad, and all your siblings with you.
Immediately after your refusal to get your vaccines, your entire family is shipped to an island, any island, as long as it’s far away from me and the rest of the vaccinated world. No more trips to the mall, no more supermarkets, and especially…no more trips to Disneyland, the epicenter of all things Mickey, Minnie and measles.
Here you will be free to live your life, free of vaccines, and safe in the knowledge that you have eliminated the one in one million chance of being diagnosed with autism, or some other extremely rare side effect that vaccines may or may not cause. You can also be safe in the knowledge that tens of millions of human beings, who have had their vaccines, can now spend their daze not worrying about getting measles, mumps or some other preventable disease.
Of course, no reality show is complete without a great host and we’ve got the perfect person….Jenny McCarthy. She’s not only the host of the show, she’s the host of the whole damn island. It’s the starring vehicle she’s always wanted, and now, so richly deserves.
But wait…there’s more. Jenny will also be the island’s very own vaccination therapist, convincing you that you did the right thing for you and your family. Screw society and the millions of people who had got their shots. What does the rest of the world know that Jenny, fresh from receiving her VHD (that’s Vaccination Hypocrisy Degree) from DLU (that’s D List University), that she doesn’t know? And now that she’s got her degree, she’s hanging out her doctor’s shingle. Or should I say shingles?
Note: This is an updated version of a post from a couple of years ago. I thought I was doing some minor grammatical edits but WordPress had other ideas and updated the whole thing, including the publication date.
Once again, certain beaches along the Jersey shore need to be replenished. I would really like to know how many tens of millions of dollars have been spent to keep sand on these beaches when it is clear that mother nature is clearly telling us “no, no….that’s not how things work.” Mother Nature is bringing an entirely new meaning to the words “If you build, he will come.” What she is saying is “if you build it, I will just throw a nice big nor’easter at you, and put it back the way it was because you guys screwed up my barrier islands.”
Here in NJ, the barrier islands are made entirely of sand. If you build on them, pave them and generally screw them up, Mother Nature is going to do her best to take them back. The fortunate few who have property on these barrier islands, than coming crying to the government and the Army Corps of Engineers, silver spoons in hand, begging to save their beaches. And they do and who fits the bill? We all do. One woman on the news tonight sounded like she wanted us to feel bad for her because her house couldn’t be rented without the beach. I have a great idea – build your own f’in beach and you can use that silver spoon of yours to do some digging. I don’t ask you to take care of my backyard, so don’t ask me to take care of yours.
Stuff like this doesn’t just happen along the beaches. Let’s look at the folks who buy houses near major highways. For the most part, those highways were there when they bought there house. Didn’t they think it might be a tad noisy living next to the Garden State Parkway or some major interstate? Than they move in and oh my god, they are in shock. The noise is unbearable and can’t the government build sound barriers that stop the noise. And who fits the bill? We all do. The great thing about these sound barriers is they suck. They don’t absorb the sound, they just bounce it around as if the cars driving by were in an echo chamber.
I live 3 houses off South Orange Avenue, not a highway but busy nevertheless. I also live 3 blocks from St. Barnabas Medical Center. Do you know what comes flying up South Orange Avenue on the way to St. Barnabas Medical Center at all hours of the day and night? Ambulances, that’s what and they don’t come quietly. Oh my god…can the government build a sound wall around my house? That even sounds stupid.
Well guess what? So is rebuilding the beaches and putting up sound walls. I have a great idea. The next time a big storm comes, wiping out the beaches and maybe taking a few houses with it, don’t let these people rebuild with our tax dollars. If you have to continually rebuild the beaches to protect a few houses, than maybe…just maybe, you shouldn’t have put houses there in the first place.
If you bought one of those houses, you had to know that beaches were always going to be an issue when you bought it. And if you bought one of those houses thinking the beaches weren’t going to be a problem, than I suggest you build a barrier around your brain because it’s not like anything is getting in there.
“Red alert, red alert” screams the first officer. The warning siren is blaring, the image on the screen is bouncing here, there and everywhere, and everyone on board the bridge of the USS Enterprise gets tossed about like lettuce in a salad spinner. I realize Captain Kirk is one tough earthling, but haven’t they heard of seat belts in the 24th century? And this is from a 60s TV series where we first saw DVDs, cell phones (or something close to that), video phones and lots more cool stuff yet to be invented, but which we actually have today. But something as simple as seat belts? I guess that’s part of the artificial gravity on board a starship.
It’s stuff like this that makes me laugh or scream “are you kidding” at the TV, depending on my mood. The crazy shit you see in movies and television that makes absolutely no sense. I know you are supposed to “suspend your belief in reality” when it come to watching this stuff…but come on. Some of this is just so obvious.
Here’s another one. You’re watching your favorite cop show, crime drama or anyone of a few dozen CSI/NCIS type shows. McGarrett or Dan-O or Gibbs or Callen or…well you get the picture…arrive at the pending crime scene with 20 guys in full SWAT gear right behind them. The back-ups have helmets, shields, Kevlar vests, semi-automatic weapons. The star of the show is wearing some sort of nylon, (slightly) bullet proof vest, maybe a baseball hat, and carrying what looks like a BB gun. I realize they’re the stars of the show, you need to see their faces and all their award winning expressions, but can’t we at least get something to protect their heads? Everyone else has one and we don’t want our stars to get shot, do we? How far does this “suspend your belief in reality” thing go?
And how can we forget the “sure to die” scenario? Our hero faces a dire situation, totally out-manned and out-gunned (cue the dramatic music). Of course they are totally out-manned and out-gunned by the gang that couldn’t shoot straight. In the world of television, terrorists, gang members and other really bad guys carrying big ass guns, couldn’t hit the side of barn. But our hero? He or she is a pro marksman who wounds or kills the bad guy with one shot.
And why is it that they always kill the bad guy right after they say “remember, we need this guy alive”? If you are an actor and have a guest role on a TV show, those are the last words you want to read in the script because those are the last words your character is going to hear before your back in the casting line.
As I said, any time you sit down in a movie theater or in front of the TV, you have to take a lot of what you see with a grain of salt, but would a little reality kill a movie or a TV show every once-in-a-while? I’m all for proton torpedoes, warp speed, death stars and whatever else the science fiction and fantasy writers want to throw at us. But when the captain of the Enterprise and his crew are on the bridge, it should be click it or ticket.
Yesterday I updated my LinkedIn Profile and added “IraSez” in the Experience column. Despite the fact that I stated I had been “Writer, Editor & Blogger” since 2010, LinkedIn told all my connections that I have a new job. Since then, my inbox has been a constant flow of emails and LinkedIn notices offering congrats on the new job.
First, thanks to everyone for sending their best wishes. Second, I have actually been writing IraSez for about 5 years, so it’s not exactly new. Third, I never really viewed my blog as a job. It is fun to write, fun to have people read what I’m writing, fun to get comments, fun to interact.
I had always hoped that maybe, someday, someone might actually pay me to write a column or two. That IraSez.com might actually be a place for people to advertise and that I might actually make some money off the damn thing.
IraSez was not my idea. It was my wife and our friend Lizzie who talked me into starting my own blog. What possessed them to do this? I have no idea. I also have no idea what possessed Lizzie to recently tell a friend of hers, who happens to be in “the biz,” about IraSez but she did. This friend, who knows a thing or two about writers and blogs, told one of her colleagues about my blog, and she is actually interested in helping me out. If you think you are shocked by this turn of events, imagine my surprise.
Of course, there is work to be done. First, this one-page very WordPress, site needs to go. A new and improved IraSez website is in the works. Second, I need to keep writing, writing, and writing some more. For those of you that have been loyal fans, you know it can be weeks between posts. Those daze are over. Third, and here’s where you all come in, I need to keep building my audience, or maybe I should, say build an audience. I need to get my name out there, use the IraSez moniker wherever and whenever possible. Post comments on other blogs, other websites, whatever it takes to build the IraSez brand.
Most importantly, I need to stay true to the core values of IraSez. First, common sense…always common sense. Second, be real, be myself, and never hide from folks who don’t agree with me or appreciate my view of things.
Third, and this was really the whole point of IraSez….a bunch of years ago, I was in Las Vegas on the annual golf trip. I was walking down the strip and talking to my mother (miss you mom) – the strip is fertile ground when your mind works like mine. I said to my mother, “Mom, I missed my calling. I should have been a sociologist, studied people so I could write books making fun of them.” Who knows….maybe, with a little help, I can find my calling after all, but it will never be my “new job.”