Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Derailed and Off-Course

I'm staring blankly at a tab I just opened on an outdated version of internet explorer on an outdated PC. In big grayed out letters it asks me, "What do you want to do next?"

Well, let me think about that one. What do I want to do next? Every second I stay here at this factory of dread makes me loath myself even more; yet I know I have to be grateful for having something that makes ends meet. But the fire inside me, the passion that makes me a positive creati-vist, is slowly and surely suffocating.

I feel derailed, internet tab. I'm not sure what I want yet. I definitely don't want to stay here any longer than needed; for fear of losing my marbles. I mean, I'm having an existenstial chat with an internet browsing tab, clearly I'm halfway there.

So where do I go from here? What do I do next? It's time to map out my life again. This time last year I was making plans to start my own business, but the red tape and the taunting fears of the risks entailed left me feeling unprepared for such mammoth endeavour. I started down the path, but left before I could accomplish something. And now I'm on a different course going nowhere fast in a vapid, vacuous dull manner.

I don't have time to do the things I love anymore, and the people that mean the most in my life no longer get to see me. My time is spent scrambled into doing everything 10% and epically failing across the performance board.

Something's gotta change. So what am I going to do next, Tabby? For starters, I'm going to type in a couple links that are going to help guide me towards something more for me. Next, I'm going to get back on my game and tackle this fears straight on.

And last.. I'm going to take that plunge. That plunge into the great unknown. That leap of faith.

And I'm going to pray that whatever catches me on the other side isn't the pavement.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Forget the Vultures

Stay with me.. this is not a mindless rant, at least in my opinion. (Which if you have read the title of this blog, you should have some indication as to how big it can be.) Hey, Nina's Big Opinions should have been the name of this blog! Oh well, too late for re-branding. We all know great that can turn out, don't we, Kraft?

Anyway, the title of today's blog is forget the vultures. I'm not referring to the bald and quite unhygienic animal itself, but of people whom demonstrate the qualities of a vulture. How? And why should you forget them? I thought you'd never ask.. ;-)

Who hasn't made a mistake in their life? Who hasn't done or said, or thought, or executed, or felt a certain way or a certain thing, that left ripples of regret and hurt memories? If you're breathing this very moment, you're pre-certified for a platinum high interest credit card of forgiveness. But you know what? It's what we do with the rest of our life that defines who we are. So why are there bitter people whom scornfully and shamelessly glare at your path in life and then swoop down and try to eat you while you're still alive?

If there's one thing vultures don't have, it's compassion. (They also don't have good taste in take-out, but that's a whole other limping rabbit). And human vultures are the same. Standing tall and glorious on their platform of sheer hubris, they eat and prey on the weak and not-so-weak. They spend their time proving to others how much more awesome they are. They inflate their standard qualities and play down and disguise or even justify their ugly faults. They pick and peck at old bones with pieces of rotting old meat. They never let things go. They don't move on.

My advice to you? Forget the vultures. How? Don't fall to their level. They only play a mind game of control to appear to be "on top" of everyone else. Let them fool themselves into thinking they're better. Stay focused on your goals and your direction. At the end of the day, they are bald, ugly, lonely scavengers that eat leftovers on dead and sick animals that others have killed. I'll take my chances on the ground. That way, if I ever fall, I won't plummet to sure death.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Life.. It Goes On

Hello my dear readers.. It's been a while since I've dusted the cranking wheels, sighed deeply and observed life. And it's no wonder, because I haven't had a breather since my last post between weddings, funeral preparations, family and life.

So, my earlier posts had described what I named the Business Chronicles, my journey to become a young entrepreneur. Well- as it turned out, I was also actively pursuing employment to fund college and this little business. Now I've found a job and time for blogging will be less frequent (good news for some of you.. typically, The Android Community, which has been most hostile since my switch to Apple..) but, I'm not disappearing. I will still update Consumer Reviews by Nina so you can make the right choice when you go shopping.

All in all, 2012 is proving to be pretty promising.. and it's only March. Let's see how it pans out, and as always, I welcome you guys, my favorite people, to come along and join the crazy parade. But first, a thought:

Sometimes there are people that in our lives, at one point, held a significant position. Whether it was respect, admiration, affection; love, even, at some point, they meant a lot. But time passes, the chemistry of some relationships don't stand up to the test of time, trials, situations in life that expose the true colors of a person, and personality differences. Such is life.. But yet, the essence of all this remains true. No matter what: Life.. It Goes On. If you look back six months, a year, three years, five years- Where are those people that surrounded you? Where are those relationships you held in high esteem? If you've struck rare gold, maybe some of them are still around. But even if they're not, it hasn't stopped you from developing the film of your life story. (And cue the cheesy music)

What trips me up.. (uh oh, here it comes) is when people you haven't spoken to in years think they still know exactly who you are and/or that you are still dying inside because of what happened in the past. It's pitiful, amusing; even. I laugh inside and just go shake my slightly-larger-than average head. Mistakes happen- but you have to Keep Moving Forward. I bury the past and never retract. I take every opportunity and try to learn from it, try to grow. Which means every experience in my short happy life... changes me. Refines me. Turns silver into platinum and wood into copper.

So please don't expect to burn down the bridge to either respect, affection, friendship or love- and come out of left field years later with an all knowing attitude and minimizing the past.  It's not that we shouldn't forgive and forget- but it also doesn't mean a burned bridge doesn't leave ashes that will take more than coffee and a conversation to rebuild.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Nina vs Fairytales

I'm busting out the old boxing gloves. What can I say? Old habits die hard. And this time in the ring against me are fairytales. There isn't anything as toxic, deadly or highly corruptible as fairy tales are to reality.

It's cruel, really, if you sit down and think about it. The Notebook, A Walk in The Clouds, A Walk to Remember, The Proposal, etc Basically any cheesy movie that starts with A or The and includes some intangible romantic object in the title. Take off thin plot and fluff of the movie, and you've got the same over heated ideas. A platform for promoting the biggest lies and myths of the game. 

Men do change! Jerks become wonderful people. Love lasts forever even if the last time you saw the person you love they smacked a restraining order on you. Love blossoms anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks and will overcome evil parents, wicked managers, paranoid aliens and even death. Sadly- the younger ones that haven't had their heart callused by the realities of the world swallow this stuff up like there's no tomorrow. 

I'm sorry. But if he left you, he isn't coming back. And it's probably a good thing. As Katy Perry so eloquently phrased it, he's "The One that Got Away." If you fell in love at age 15 I can almost promise you you'll have forgotten the dude's name by age 20. And for the love of everything holy- you can't change people. That's right, I'm staring at you, Beauty and The Beast. Yes, you may have broken a curse, but that husband of yours is still a twisted monster inside. He just got a new paint job. 

So you got dumped. Worry not, life has been scientifically proven to go on, and not necessarily any less enjoyably. Eventually you'll find another muse. Don't think for one second every day of your life you'll sigh deeply, lose interest in life, and binge on ice cream because Mr. Joe Schmo broke your heart. It ain't no Humpty Dumpty. But the stuff back together again, smile and carry on. 

To conclude? Don't expect Brad Pitt to bust through your window on a unicorn and fly you away to Tahiti. Make your standards believeable- make it Pablo, in his Chevy Malibu '98 with 16" rims and a long weekend vacation to Sandy Ego.

*Not to be confused with the metropolitan city in California*

Nina's Random Thoughts on Overly Used Words

It's a pity, a crying shame, a depressing factor in today's day and age, that with the insurmountable, exponentially rich vocabulary we have access too, so many overused words are printed, pasted, and protruding from every oral orifice. 

I'm talking about movie directors, preview designers, author and movie critics, and everyone who's anyone in the critique world. Examples:

Incredible. The definition of the word is quite straightforward- hard to believe, to grasp, because of it's rarity in occurrence, manner or form. A politician following through on a promise? Earth-shattering. Groundbreaking. Yes, incredible. Your grandma hiked Mount Everest? Only incredible if she also makes it back down in one piece. But getting your car totaled, having 5,000 friends on Fakebook, or finding out he's not yo' baby daddy, etc. not so much. Find a more believable adjective- like out of the norm. Amusing. If you're feeling brave, even interesting could be replaced in this instance. Leave the incredulity for occasions that merit the word. 

Here's another I always get a kick out of. 

"Roy Hansen's newest novel, "How to Patch Your Pants" is literally life-changing."

0.o ? Really? Life-changing?

How many times can your life seriously and effectively be changed? It seems like it's the filler word whenever someone wants to sell more books, albums, movies or coat hangers. A word of note: It isn't life changing unless it involves amputating some appendage, losing one of my senses, or making a permanent lifestyle change- like gastric bypass. That is life-changing. 

A movie on a few people backpacking around the world and eating gelatto is not.

Or how about Innovative? Few things these days can truly be categorized as innovative. Smart phones, computers, and English longbow were innovative. They were new, refreshing, practical in their day and age. A scratch and sniff pencil dubbed a "shmencil" is just a poor way to use wood and lead and nostrils.

The list goes on and on- (guru, savvy, vast,..) What am I getting at here? That before you over use the same old, stale and burned out word in your public content, it wouldn't hurt to check out and see what other options the language has to offer. 

I promise it will be incredibly life-changing. (You knew it was coming) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Bathroom Enigma

Stay with me- this is not necessarily a gross post. There's just this thought that's been hanging out upstairs for a while that I thought I'd invite for a cup of coffee and further musing.

In the modest years yours truly has accrued, there's an idea that's become rather affixed with the passing of time. There seems to be a place most people feel comfortable in, attracted to, and per se, even attached to. I call this The Bathroom Enigma.

I guess it's because although its the smallest room (usually) in a house, it's one you're guaranteed solitude in. No one interrupts, or would ever want to interrupt, while you're occupying it. If you leave your technological devices outside this little room, you suddenly have silence and nothing to do but meditate. The hot water that a shower provides makes the room warm, soothing. Almost like a mini sauna. I can't imagine why people would put a TV or a bunch of magazines inside a bathroom. When else are you going to think long and hard about everything and anything?

If you pay close attention, you'll also see most profile pictures are are usually set up in the bathroom. Yes, I had spoken out about that before. But after discarding many pictures because of bad lighting and shadows, I realized there's a certain warm light that only spills through in bathroom lighting. As long as you stay away from the obvious square 4x4 tiles, or the flowy shower curtain, you may have some awesome pictures. Call me crazy, although I usually go by Nina, but I guarantee 85% of good pictures are born in the bathroom. Yet, I admit, it's still very weird and I will never admit to doing it. ;)

Am I the only one that feels this way? It wouldn't be the first time.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

All For World Peace, unless..

Music, movies, children's books, songs, politicians, beauty pageant contestants, media, news, etc- they all hint at directly or indirectly the need for peace, and for everyone to work together. Ah, how nice would it be. A utopian society where everyone respects each other and no one fears their neighbor. 

What? You say I have to give up certain preferences? Huh? I have to be humble and accept other viewpoints? You're joking right? I much rather sit here in my warm fur coat, slip on my blood diamonds, snuggle my toes in slave labor slippers, and yell the living daylights out at my neighbor for allowing his obnoxious three year old to laugh. 

Perhaps you have noticed this as well. It's amazing that everyone desires in some aspect or form to live in a peaceful world, but as soon as you mention that means changing your lifestyle or attitude, they point the nearest sharp object in your direction. Because of course, they want peace in their way, by their standards, and in their time. 

Ever heard the saying, "You can't please everyone?" Well, when it comes to figuring out how to delegate tasks and solve world problems, it gets murkier. You can't please anyone. Everyone has their own agenda, and even if they agree on the same goal, their means of getting there are night and day. Some suggest peace can only come of war. Yet others admit war only promotes violence, hatred, aggression and more war. 

You don't have to go very far, in fact. People aren't even willing to yield to another car on the road or let someone cut in front of them in a line without having three cows- much less concede that although they're right, they'll be willing to give in for the sake of peace. And yet they clamor for positive change. How ironic. 

Humanity goes to great lengths to use their resources for relative peace-keeping measures, yet they are waiting for the moment someone slights them or makes fun of something so trivial as their favorite football team to be all blood and gore. 

And that's precisely why men will never accomplish world peace. If you can't get two people to agree on a subject as basic as lying, you will never overcome the bigger fish to fry. 

On My Switch to Apple

It's been nearly three months now from my transition into an iPhone. (Previously, I was connected to the world via Android Captivate). My brother, who's first and only smart phones have been Apple, kindly allowed me to trial out the iPhone 3GS as he obtained the newest gem in glory, the iPhone 4GS.

As any Android Ambassador, I was all angst and negative reviews. I was determined to dislike the product, whatever it took. In fact, my first words were, "Wow, what a cloudy screen. No voice guided GPS? Lame." My brother just smiled and said "just wait.." So I did. Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned a month, and I was cruising through the phone like no tomorrow. No confusing paths or endless tapping to get to the settings, no random crashes, no hyped up apps that turned out to be glitchy and overly fru fru. Despite all my unfounded hatred, I was beginning to veer towards the Apple side.

Desperate to recover my indifference and vast apathy, I switched on my Android to rekindle the fire. And that was the last strike. Fifteen minutes later, when the phone finally loaded, I was quite angry. When I tapped a single app, I had to wait another five minutes for the screen to then freeze and take me back to the home screen. I opened up my favorite app, Google Talk, and swype was suddenly confusing and slow. It spurned out wrong words, incorrectly spelled, and froze after two words. And here is where the Android Stoic may say, "Ah, the problem was the Captivate. If you would have had the EVO or the Thunderbolt.." And that's exactly what I mean. In their efforts to make a customized phone for everyone, they sacrificed efficiency and seamless integration. I've played with EVO and Thunderbolt and the phone is always clunky, battery always on the verge of dying, and never delivering half of it's promise. My iPhone 3GS is now 3 years old, and it still works smooth, quickly and updates almost automatically. With Android, I was always being left behind. From 1.1, to 1.2, to 1.5., to 2.5, ( Froyo, gingerbread, ice cream sandwich, popsicle rainbow, jolly rancher, peppermint diarrhea.. etc. ) and before you know it, the phone you invested in two months ago is now archaic.

With Apple, that is history. I'm still on par with newer iPhones, I still have ability to use the same apps, and not be penalized with being unable to access Netflix or other apps because my phone is slightly older. So Android fans, what is all your hate based on? Sometimes open sourced is a good thing, like the Waze app Apple offers, (which is a much better replacement for Google Maps, with real live traffic and cop warnings) and sometimes its just the means to confusing demise, like Android Market. If everything was Open-Sourced, medicine would be a lot riskier, grocery shopping would be dangerous, and so on and so forth. It's not always a good thing. Leave the professional editing to professionals. Leave the designing and creating to those with skill and experience. And leave the Android in the store, where it belongs.

All hate mail can be directed to :)