Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lady Leave Me Alone!

I posted this on Instagram last night and had some really positive feedback. Should have been a blog from the beginning but you don't always know how these thoughts and ideas will evolve and grow on their own.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Abby Roadies Live @ Sandrini's

I had no intention of writing a review for the Abby Roadies show from this past Saturday night. I went down to Sandrini's for the sole purpose of shaking my booty and getting lost in music for a couple of hours. And believe me I did! But it was in the early morning hours while I was still under the music high the magical mystery spell cast by the Abby Roadies every time they perform that I saw a post on Facebook that said exactly what I was feeling at that instant. So this blog is really just to share this post and make sure it always has a it's own little home in the cyber world in case Sam Everett for some uknown reason ever deactivates his Facebook account. Here is what he said about the Abby Roadies show at Sandrini's posted April 15th at 2:10am:

"Decided I needed a date with a super hottie tonight...so I took myself to Sandrini's to check out the Abbey Roadies. You haven't lived until you've seen them play. You just haven't. You only think you're inhaling and exhaling right now. You only think you're functioning with a beating heart. You're not. You're dead. You're dead to me, at least. But you can fix this: GO SEE THEM AT SANDRINI'S JUNE 2ND!!!" This is exactly what I was feeling!!!!

That's right folks rumor has it The Abby Roadies will be back at Sandrini's June 2 to perform Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!!! If this goes down someone needs to video tape it because I will be out of town!

There is my review folks! Thank you Sam! Here's some pictures I'm really proud of!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Does It Taste Good?

Hey kids guess what? It's not always going to taste good. Until you get yourself convinced of the fact food is fuel not comfort you are not going to have the success you are trying to achieve in living healthy and losing weight.

I try new things all the time. I try them based on calories, serving size, cost, all kinds of factors. One of the last factors put into the equation is usually taste. I mean as long as it doesn't taste totally gross I'm willing to try it more than once if it has the fuel my body needs to sustain energy at any given point of the day.

90% of this living healthy kick is half mental. It's just mind over matter or in this case mind over taste.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So when I feel like quitting.....

I have a lot of heroes in my life people who I look up to for strength and inspiration. Like many people I admire several sports figures: Jackie Robinson for his courage, Michael Jordan for his consistency, John Elway for his toughness just to name a few. However the athlete who inspires me most of all at this point and time in my life is Lance Armstrong.

When I'm on the elliptical at the gym I pretend I'm Lance on the mountains of France. I bounce up and down like a cyclist out of the saddle on a 4 hour climb. I can hear Phil Liggett's voice narrating my progress, reading the determination on my face. The sweat drips down my face onto the cobble stoned roads of the Champs Elysees. Over and over again there is a Lance Armstrong quote that repeats itself in my mind. Because believe me there is not a day where I don't think to myself "eh that's enough for today, maybe I'll quit early. Just today. Then this quote pops into my head:

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. That surrender, even the smallest act of giving up, stays with me. So when I feel like quitting, I ask myself, which would I rather live with?”

So I push on. I push past the pain. First I ache, then I sweat, then comes the pain. Once you've pushed past the pain then the numbness sets in and you can ride the numbness till you've reached your goal for the day. When it's all done the sweet euphoria of having pushed yourself past pain into numbness is the best feeling in the world and I chase that everyday I'm at the gym.

Okay just wanted to share that with you guys. Oh here check this out!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Training For San Diego

So some of you may know already but for those who do not. I have registered myself to participate in the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon being held on June 3, 2012. Yes a half marathon is 13 miles. Well it might be 13. something but I'm focusing on just finishing.

Up to this point the most I have walked/jogged is about 6.2 miles and this took me about 2 and 1/2 hours to accomplish. This marathon has a time limit of 4 hours. So right away the numbers are not in my favor. But that's cool because I dig a challenge! But I really think 13 miles may realistically be out of my reach. So I was curious 'what would happen if I could not complete the course in the required time?' I went to their website and found this:

If a participant’s pace falls below the course time limit, they have a few options:

  • Increase their pace to stay within the event minimum pace

  • Board a “sag wagon” shuttle to move forward on the course, where they may continue to participate in the event, maintaining the minimum pace required

  • If the participant cannot continue, they may board a sag wagon to be dropped off at the next shuttle location, at a nearby medical station. The participant will be seen by a Medical Team captain to be cleared for the medical shuttle to transport the participant to the finish line.

Well here is my promise to all of you right now: I will finish this race. I might not do the full 13 miles. Matter of fact I've set my training goal at finishing 10 miles. I think this is a respectable number and I will be very very happy when I cross the finish line in 4 hours having completed 10 miles of the 13 mile course.

This means in training for this course I'm really looking to step up my bodies endurance over a long period of time versus training to set any kind of speed record. I know where I am at in challenging my body and I'm sure there will come a day when I will be finishing within the course time limit but not this first one. This first one I just want to finish. So my training is going to be all about pushing my endurance.

I started January being able to last 30 minutes on the elliptical at the gym with a goal of 60 minutes 6000 strides by the end of the month. I hit this goal today! My next step will be to hit the bluffs sometime this weekend and walk for 2 hours without stopping. I should be able to do just under 5 miles.

At the end of February I will step up the walking to 3 hours then 4 hours by the end of March. Not exactly sure what my distance walked will be in those time frames but I just need to be able to move for 4 hours without stopping because this is what I will have to do in San Diego.

With the ability to walk for 4 miles under my belt hopefully by the end of March I will then spend April and May maintaining this endurance of 4 hours and just keep trying to increase the distance. Now, don't get me wrong. If in March I realize that 13 miles is doable in 4 hours then I'm stepping my game up and going for it. Always be ready to adapt!

At the gym I'm doing cardio 4-5 times a week and weights 3-4 times a week. Using the weights to strengthen my arms and back while the cardio on the elliptical should be toning my legs. I'm drinking a lot of water and eating tons of chicken from Fresh & Easy and Freds Bar B Q (on Rosedale) and plenty of 1/2 Cobb Salads from Sequoia (Downtown).

Cardio, weights, protein, carbs and the support of my amazing family and wonderful friends. This is how I'm training for San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon. If anyone has suggestions or wants to join me one of these days on the Bluffs HMU!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

How Social Media Is Changing The Way We Mourn

Social Media has come a long way in a very short period of time and has changed the way we live our lives in many ways. It's changed the way we look for love, the way we look for jobs, the way we inner act with past friends. It's even changing the way we deal with the loss of a loved one. Some may disagree with me but I think social media helps us with the healing process by giving us a constant outlet to our loved ones during times of grief and sadness. Through social media we are always somehow connected, we are never completely alone. Here's my story........

.........My Uncle Phil recently passed away. I received the news of his passing on the morning of July 5th, 2011. As I numbly drove to work that morning I did not want to believe the news I had been given only minutes before. Then as my car rested at a red light I took out my phone to glance at my Facebook page. There along with the hectic ramblings of a post holiday morning the news of Uncle Phil's passing was all too real. Just like the words from that song by the Beatles.."...I read the news today.....". From the palm of my hand I read over and over again from family members as far away as Boston and Philadelphia. My Uncle Phil was gone.

My cousins, my brothers, my sisters, my nieces my nephews, my aunts and my uncles were all just as shocked as I was. The posts read like a timeline of unanswered cell phones calls that must had gone on the night before while we slept. It had all started around midnight. Family member after family member not knowing who to call or what to think had taken to the one constant in so many of our lives: Facebook and had posted their sadness and disbelief. Their posts of "rest in peace Uncle Phil" that had been left in those waining hours were filled with comments by their friends, coworkers other parts of their families I was not related to were offering their condolences and paying their respect to my Uncle. Sometime the night before the death of my Uncle Phil had gone viral and my head was now spinning in the aftermath.

Over the next few days leading up to my Uncles rosary service and funeral. Time after time I would find myself alone in a car or at work. Feelings of grief, sorry and anger overwhelmed me. I wanted to cry or just scream out loud in frustration. Not knowing who to turn to I would just look to Facebook and find a family member who was somewhere feeling the exact same way. I would see a post or a comment they had left minutes or hours before. Grieving, lonely, sad, frustrated just like me. It would take me out of my current state of confusion and put back where I found myself needing to be over and over again in those days. Not a saddened nephew but an elder cousin who needed to help his family through this hard time. And like I've stated I wasn't alone. In the moments where I found I didn't have the words the wisdom the patience or the understating someone else would. There would be another cousin or family member or friend ready to console whomever was feeling lost at any given moment.

Mourning can be such a lonely time and we often don't have the words to express to one another the pain the sorrow, misery, regret a recent loss has left us with. In modern times when we don't know who to turn to we scream into cyberspace. We whisper into the Internet and in those lonely seconds as the words are still echoing off the ceilings of our bedrooms the walls of our cubicle the interior of our car someone answers. A friend a cousin a coworker knows exactly how we're feeling at that moment and just when you thought you were so alone someone will answer back "it's okay, I'm here for you"

In the days following my Uncle's passing a tribute page was set up for him on Facebook. Not long after we had gathered in a church for him we started gathering on a Facebook page for him. Only this time there was not start time no end time. No pall bearers no flowers. Just memories old memories new memories. We didn't even have to worry if we didn't have anything to say or share. Matter of fact, we can visit and no one even knows where there. It's not a church its not a cemetery. It's just a constant flowing river of the life and times of Phil Vargas. And the love flowed. Suddenly a man I had loved and admired so much as a youth became a superhero a legend. Over and over people who's lives he had touched came one by one to share their stories. To chanel their sorrow on a wall that would stay forever in cyberspace just as those memories would stay forever in their hearts. They didn't have to tell the stories over and over. Once is enough in the cyber world. One story, one post, one click and it's there for eternity.

It doesn't take a tribute page to keep them alive. I will often see friends wishing Happy Birthday to lost loved ones on their special day or remembering them on on the anniversary of their passing. Today I noticed a sister paying tribute to a brother lost years ago by putting a picture of him as her profile picture. Like I said our individuality shows in how we mourn but the norm now is so social we are changing how we express our lose and in return it helps the healing process. Well at least for me it has for others it may just be a painful way of dragging it out.

The other day I was sitting at my desk and a song came over my speakers. The song was Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd. A song I've heard hundreds of times over the years and had always been bitter sweet as I know from stories I've heard the singer is paying homage to an old friend he wishes was still with them. Although I knew the song wasn't written for my Uncle Phil it immediately made me think of him and how I wished he was still here with us. I went to his Facebook tribute page and while the song was still playing I scrolled through messages reading the "I love you" "we miss" "thank you". I smiled and numbly left my own scribble on his wall...."wish you were here". Almost instantly a notification came to me "Phillip Vargas Likes Your Post". His son my cousin who was somewhere in another city probably working with his father on his mind also had seen my post and liked it. It may sound overly romantic but I believe that in that moment we virtually put an arm around one another and promised each other 'your not alone I miss him too we'll get through this together'.

As we are all individuals we all pay tribute in different ways. Some post pictures some post memories some post videos. Friends and loved ones pay tribute by changing their profile picture to that of a loved one during their time of mourning or to remember a lost brother on their birthday or anniversary of their lose. We never really have to say goodbye anymore we just remind one another of how much we miss their presence. We pay tribute we post pictures we post songs we talk about the good times. Our friends and family are able to see these thoughts as they run through our minds almost instantly.

Our Facebook and Twitter pages will outlive us all. In the days and even years after our passing loved ones will continue to scroll our walls, read our thoughts laugh at our pictures and in some cases even leave us a message. They will console one another "like" and "comment" random tidbits and stories left by other friends some by people they don't even know just an acquaintance who shared a friend.

Heal together. Social media can help I know it can. Post it, blog it, tweet it.....we miss you uncle Phil....wish you were here....

Monday, August 29, 2011

CD Review-Red Hot Chili Pepper's: I'm With You

From Fuzz to Funk. The Red Hot Chili Pepper's still make me want to dance naked!

The opening chords of Monarchy of Roses the opening track off the Red Hot Chili Pepper's 10th studio album I'm With You sound like they are being broadcast through an old beat up transistor radio until it jumps into a funky dance groove reminiscent of One Hot Minute.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers then spend the next 59 minutes going back and fourth from Fuzz to Funk to just plain silliness. Would you want your Red Hot's delivered any other way?

Rick Rubin is back producing his 6th Red Hot's album. And of course we are all waiting to see if new comer Josh Klinghoffer can come anywhere close to filling John Frusciante's shoe's. But come on let's be realistic. No one will ever take the place of Frusciante. Die hard Red Hot fans should know and accept this undeniable fact. The best we can hope for is that Klinghoffer does not come along and try and be Frusciante and that he brings his own element to a sound that is already very well developed.

By the time we reach the half way point of Did I Let You Know complete with trumpet solo and wavy guitar solo your so lost in the Red Hot's rhythm section of Flea and Chad Smith you forget all about the razor's edge guitar solo's that once cut through the Red Hot's songs on previous albums. Like a boxer Klinghoffer waits until Goodbye Hooray to show he can unleash his fury and go toe to toe cutting and shredding on par with the legend of Frusciante.

Is it Californication? No. Is it Blood Sugar Sex Magik? Hell no. Is it the next logical step in the long and winding road that is The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Yes! Will they go on tour and shred these songs and many more? Of course, they've been doing this since 1984.

Track Listing for I'm With You:

1. "Monarchy of Roses" 4:11
2. "Factory of Faith" 4:20
3. "Brendan's Death Song" 5:38
4. "Ethiopia" 3:50
5. "Annie Wants a Baby" 3:40
6. "Look Around" 3:28
7. "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" 4:42
8. "Did I Let You Know" 4:21
9. "Goodbye Hooray" 3:52
10. "Happiness Loves Company" 3:33
11. "Police Station" 5:35
12. "Even You Brutus?" 4:01
13. "Meet Me at the Corner" 4:21
14. "Dance, Dance, Dance" 3:45