Sunday, October 21, 2012

Life Lesson From a Moth in the Shower

I do some of my best thinking in the shower. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the relaxing qualities of cascading warm water combined with the aromatherapy of fruity-scented shampoo and the not-quite-awake-yet state of my brain in the morning. Whatever it is, while in the midst of my morning ablutions, I often find an answer to whatever creative problem needs solving for work, or come up with ideas for assorted personal pursuits. I've even been known, on the rare occasion, to momentarily leave the shower, dripping wet, to jot down an idea before it evaporates and slides down the drain with the soap bubbles, much to Mr. RM's amusement. (He already thinks I'm a little nuts, and he's probably right.)

Yesterday, as I was absentmindedly rinsing the conditioner out of my hair, I noticed a small moth on the bathroom window. It was walking on the window pane, moving erratically around in a tiny area. I couldn't tell if it was enjoying the steam and the light mist and just angling for better coverage (it didn't seem to be particularly distressed), or if it was trying to get out through the glass.

I thought to myself, "Poor dumb bug. If it's trying to get out, it's wasting its time trying to go through the glass. Duuuuh. Too bad it doesn't realize that all it has to do is go the other way... fly out of the bathroom and down the hall to the front door or the back door, and then hang out until someone opens it. Long way around, but the only way it's ever gonna get outside."

And then it occurred to me that the moth's plight was a pretty accurate metaphor for life sometimes. We often waste a lot of time pushing and pushing to get through the glass because we can see what we want and where we want to be just on the other side of it. "It's right there!!" we say to ourselves. "Why can't I just get through this stupid glass?? It's RIGHT THERE!!!" We get so blinded by the vision of our goal that we often stubbornly keep pounding away at the same roadblock, forgetting to consider there might be a different way to get there.

Sometimes, you have to back up a few steps and reroute your path because you just can't get there from here for one reason or another. Sometimes, that window is just never going to open and give you the opportunity to fly directly to your goal. Like that moth, none of us wants to have to turn around, fly out of the bathroom and take the longer circuitous route all the way down the hall to the door that WILL eventually open and allow us to get to our destination, but sometimes that's the only way to get there. And in the end, you'll probably reach that goal faster by taking the long way around than by endlessly beating your head against the closest window or wall that refuses to budge.

"Wow," I thought to myself drowsily. "What a deep and meaningful analogy,"

And then I thought, "Right. I should really try to get more sleep."

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Bolt From the Blue

The NHL is currently indulging in another lockout, with neither the players or owners seemingly willing to budge on how revenue is divided... revenue that reached a record $3.3 billion last year. $3.3 BILLION. That honey pot is currently split with the owners getting 43% and players getting 57%. The owners now want it split 50/50, which means the players will take a 12% pay cut. Naturally, the players don't want to do that.

Personally, I'm disgusted with both sides. To be totally honest, I've been a bit sour on the NHL since the last lockout in 2004-2005. I used to be an avid fan, especially of our own hometown Lightning, and enjoyed watching whatever NHL game was on ESPN or Versus or whatever channel we could find a game on. But when the owners and players forfeited an entire season squabbling over money, I lost my taste for the league. And now they're back at it.

Now, I can totally understand the players not wanting to take a 12% pay cut, but it's not like they're being asked to take a 12% pay cut on a $50,000 annual salary, which was about what the average US household income was in 2011. The minimum NHL player salary for the 2011-2012 season, per the last collective bargaining agreement, was $525,000. That's over a half a million dollars. A 12% pay cut would bring it down to $462,000 if my math is right. Goodness! How could we possibly ask someone to live comfortably on that paltry amount? Those poor, downtrodden lowest earners in the NHL... what a struggle they'd go through to make ends meet. Oh how they'd suffer! Such a tragedy. (Can you smell the sarcasm, people?) At the average US household income, it would take about nine years to earn what the lowest paid NHL player would make in one year, even after that 12% pay cut. NINE YEARS.

I'm not saying the owners are right in asking for such an abrupt and significant shift in the distribution of revenues. They agreed to the current numbers in the last CBA, so it seems a bit rapacious for them to be demanding such a quick jump in the new one. But the real problem is that neither side has yet to talk about this issue in their negotiations, even though it's the main point of contention! Come on, fellas... there's plenty of money for everybody. But by the time you figure it out and end the lockout, I'm guessing revenues will probably be down over last year. Maybe it's just me, but there are probably a lot of other soon-to-be-former fans who won't bother coming back to support the NHL. Y'all get paid for playing a game... a game that a lot of average slobs struggle to even be able to afford to play in local rec leagues.

Which leads me to the one bright spot I did see last week that gives me a shred of hope for the NHL, or at least for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was a segment on the local news about the startup of a local recreational hockey league for military veterans. Hockey is an expensive sport to play. I can attest to that fact from past personal experience, being a former co-ed rec league player for several years. Ice time doesn't come cheaply, and neither does the equipment. The founder of this league, a veteran himself, is trying to make it affordable so that veterans can enjoy the physical activity and the camaraderie of being part of a hockey team. And here's where the Lightning come in... Since the ice at the Forum isn't being used due to the NHL lockout, the Lightning has allowed the Veterans Hockey League to use it. That's some fine ice, there! I had the privilege of playing on it myself a couple of times a few years ago. They also donated their practice jerseys, and have committed to giving the veterans league ice time even when the lockout ends. What a great way to show appreciation for their service to our country!

Yes, that's really me... making a snow angel at center ice at
the Forum, which was still called the Ice Palace at the time.
Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik is a class act. Despite the BS going on with the CBA negotiations, Mr. Vinik remains high in my regard. I have a nephew currently serving in Afghanistan. He played hockey as a kid, and it warms my heart to know that he may be able to enjoy playing in this league someday. Hopefully, he'll be able to skate on the ice at the Forum too.

If you'd like more information about the Veterans Hockey League, or if you're a vet interested in playing in the league, check out their website here. They also have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and LinkedIn page. If you're lucky enough to find you have a few extra dollars to spare, I'm sure they'd appreciate a donation. I'll bet even those impoverished and beleaguered NHL players and owners could cough up a couple nickels if they were so inclined. If you ask me, I think both sides should take 49% of the revenues, and establish a charitable fund to benefit organizations like the Veterans Hockey League with the remaining 2%. But I won't hold my breath.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ahoy, Matey!

Photo lifted from
How is it that only this past weekend did I become aware of Johnny Depp's breakup with his longtime companion/baby mama? Oh wait... I know how... I don't spend much (any) time on fan sites and gossip portals. In fact, I also didn't know that he's playing Tonto in the upcoming Disney "Lone Ranger" movie. Heck... I didn't even know there was going to BE a Lone Ranger flick. But I digress. Back to the issue at hand: The lovely Mr. Depp is potentially available once again.

Don't get me wrong, he truly has my deepest sympathy regarding the recent end of his long-term relationship. In fact, I'm so sympathetic to his plight that I'd be more than happy to provide a comforting shoulder and a compassionate ear should he find himself in need of friendly reassurance.

I've had my eye on Johnny Depp since "21 Jump Street" premiered on the then-fledgling Fox network. (Yes, I realize that statement dates me somewhat. I'm getting to be an old broad. So? I'm still younger than he is.) Since then, he's often chosen interesting and/or quirky movie roles, and has turned in some brilliant performances in them. He is an exceptionally gifted actor. I have not seen all his films... and yes, there are certainly some bombs in his body of work, but the myriad of vastly different roles he's taken on speaks for itself.

Arrrrgh, indeed!
But I, like a gajillion other smitten ladies, would probably agree that his best-loved role has been that of Captain Jack Sparrow. Who doesn't like a charming pirate, right? And Johnny Depp makes Jack Sparrow such an irresistible scoundrel! That man just shivers me timbers. He can plunder my booty any time! I'd like to walk HIS plank. (Sorry... had to get those pirate double entendres out of my system.) But seriously, I'd love to hoist a Jolly Roger with him. He can even pillage my dubloons. Yo-ho-ho, baby! (Couldn't resist.)

So, if Mr. Depp happens to stumble upon this blog, I'd like him to know that I'm available for dinner, lunch, movie premiers, etc. I'm also willing to be a backup singer for his band. (I do have some singing experience. Booyah!) Plus, we have something in common... we both look good in hats. Seriously, that man can wear the hell out of a hat! He seems to have an affinity for headwear, and I don't think any other man in Hollywood can match his dashing visage in one. I'd even massage his back since he recently injured it during filming of that Lone Ranger movie. It would be a sacrifice, but I'm a generous and giving person.

My husband will understand. Mr. Remarkable Monkey knows that Johnny Depp is one of only a few gentlemen I'd consider leaving him for.

Right. Like I and those gajillion other smitten ladies would ever stand a chance.
A girl can dream, though. ****siiiiigh****