Month: January 2015

Life Signs Flying Buy

I mentioned a few days ago, I miss when life didn’t feel like a rollercoaster.

I’m going to write about random things as they come to me. This is an exercise in blog discipline and personal exposure.

I applied for a job yesterday, not going to say where, but I’ll say it was a job for a company that has A LOT of power and is very popular (Not wal-mart). What am I trying to say, they don’t really have to EVER worry about finding employees to hire because they always have a line of people who need a job. The online application was a little insulting and I actually thought it was a tad exploitive.  I’m pretty sure a couple of the questions they asked aren’t even legal. For instance, they didn’t ask your age, but they did ask if you were over 18 and under 40. Ya, how stupid do I need to be to read the writing on that wall? And if you don’t answer, you can’t continue with the application.  Then they asked questions about how likely do you think most people steal often? How much do you think people really believe politicians? Ok, ask the minimum wage people if they believe politicians? WHAT?  Compared to your friends are you more satisfied with your life? Or less satisfied than them? But they neglected to ask. DO YOU HAVE FRIENDS. LOL!!  Then they asked, twice in different ways, how likely you were to keep your desk organized and how imporatnt that was to you. Honestly, if I ruled they world, there’s no way that application would fly with me. In a very strong description, I’d say it was like an application a baby nazi created. This  application  was for a very run of the mill job that thousands of very needy, uneducated, educated, no other options people  apply for daily. It’s not a rocket science job, not a job with the responsibility of saving or destroying the world. It’s basically a job to breath air, be a body,  and make sure there’s something for a customer to  pick up and buy. It’s not like a job that involves a gun and travel to another country.  I felt like a guinea pig for some ivy league psych research data base. Everything about this application felt very under the table and shady. I’ll be very curious to see if they call back. Will I get to work in the coal mine and use my paycheck to shop at the business owned store? Time will tell. I should mention, this was not a funeral service affiliated business in any way.

This morning I took my little dog out for her usual thing and through a series of events, she ran off. This lead me to go find her. When I found her she was pointing like a hunting dog and then I saw a big fat dove fly from the ground and cling to a branch above. The dove lost its grip and hung upside down for a moment, then fell to the ground. I watched it resting on the ivy infested  slope of the creek bank. I was a little baffled. I was a little annoyed. Do I really need to start the day out like this? God, I hope this isn’t some sign from he universe.  A struggling dove falling to its more than likely death alone? I thought about going down into the creek to retrieve it, but it’s not as easy as it sounds; mud, poison oak, water, bugs. I just didn’t have time. I thought to myself, nature is just going to have to take its course. In my head I imagined weeks of seeing a big fat dead dove on the banks of the creek. Seriously, I don’t need this right now.  I went inside and did my morning routine. I came out about an hour later and the dove was gone. So, nature did it’s thing and I’m going to assume the bird flew away happily.

Two events, one a lesson in complete human control with calculated sneaky domination over others, the other a lesson in   the ambiguity of the universe, trusting it can handle itself for the best.

Disco always makes me feel better 🙂

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A Field Trip for Everyone

Late last year, towards the end of the semester, our program was invited to visit Christy Vault Company in Colma. Christy Vault Company  has been serving funeral, cemetery, and  private families with quality products since 1948.

The infamous vault, the “why do we have to buy that” item.  I often hear people express frustration and disbelief a vault is necessary item in the burial process. I’ve even attended a meeting where a Doctor challenged me in the importance of a burial vault. The vault, a hard sell for many and it’s not really surprising in our culture.

First, you probably don’t want to pay for a vault because in logical terms, the vault will be buried and you’ll never see it. Who wants to buy anything like that?  We like to see the things we buy, we like to enjoy what we buy, use the item for pleasure. So, spending a large amount of money on a vault, no fun for sooo many reasons.

Secondly, we live in a culture already  deeply programmed to believe nothing is  really “necessary” in the  burial process. Most people head into purchasing funeral items with the same thrill of buying a used car. And, ugh! There’s that pesky funeral director to deal with, cough, shyster, right? Why not just take your money and burn it? I mean, getting a root canal seems more fun and worthwhile right?

Well, I’d like you to think about where you got your ideas about funerals,  funeral directors, how much you really know about the whole funeral process,  what a funeral might, or should mean to you. Where did you get your ideas?  When it comes to death and the rituals of death, often our ideas are ones that are still handed down, and we have no idea how or why we believe them.  In fact, often they don’t make sense to use anymore just another what? Family tradition? New Science? God is dead why bother moment? Whatever, your beliefs, your desires, you’ll probably find out, you just accepted the ideas and expectations that were given to you over time and without question. If you look a little closer you might even realize there are some stereotypes and sneaky biases going on. What if these stereotypes are wrong and actually  adding more difficulty to an already difficult process in life?

There are many  good reasons why vaults are necessary and I’m just going to lightly mention a couple cause, well, snooze.  First is safety for all who visit and work at a cemetery. You’re probably thinking, “What?”

The fact is, when you place a casket in the ground, over time, the earth will settle, and that space where you’ve placed your loved one, will settle and without a vault would become a large divot in the ground. This might not sound like a big deal, but think about visiting a cemetery that’s scattered with moderate sink holes all over the place; All those little sink holes, where a loved one is.  I dont’ think that’s very pleasant. Without vaults it would be impossible for you to visit your loved one in a very peaceful and organized way. It would be impossible for the cemetery to maintain the grounds in a respectful and presentable fashion that’s safe for employees, as well as families visiting. Maybe this sounds trivial, but if you’ve ever been in deep grief,  you know the last thing  you need is more chaos, visual chaos or signs no one cares about what they do for you or your loved one. Imagine visiting a cemetery where grass, weeds,  and dirt made it impossible to navigate to find your loved one? It sounds dramatic, I know, but that is the reality of a cemetery without vaults. The burial vault ensures  a visit to your loved one is a safe and comforting.

Secondly, the vault protects your loved one from a lot; Water, soil, and other things you may or may not imagine. Why might this be important? It’s a personal thing I suppose. There are people who want to know their loved one remains protected for as long as possible.

So that’s just a couple of reasons why vaults are necessary.

Christy  Vault did a great job showing us around their business. The information I share here, mine. These are two points why vaults are important most people aren’t aware of.  Vaults are much more complex than my oversimplified explanation.  Christy Vault has  a  genuine care for an item a lot of people are resistant to purchase. They did a great job teaching us why what they do matters and helps all those they serve including their community and employees. They are proud to be made in America.

This is a little slide show I made of our trip. There’s a picture of people holding the lip of the vault to feel how strongly the adhesion is, that’s a Christy specialty. The last picture a group picture.

I should Have Known

So, the internet reminds me how old I am getting. I am a disgrace to my generation when it comes to technology. Of course, life got the best and worst of me the last few months, soooo the blog faced neglect. How does the world of blogging punish the blog neglectors? The powers that be, make changes, so when you return, you must once again, learn to navigate the whole blogging atmosphere.

How do I know I’m getting old? In a word, Change. changes are often the one thing that make me grumpy and want to detroy the world. LOL!! OK, maybe not that extreme. Maybe  I don’t mind  changes so much, but I do mind how they come out of the blue and soak up my time in lessons of re-learning over and over again.

So the semester was insanly intense. No, seriously, intense. I’m pretty sure I learned 500 new words in three months. In the middle of all that, my dog developed cancer. So, I’ve been dealing with a case of impromtu doggy hospice. I’ll save all the thoughts about that for another post. Of course, there was the whole issue of the surviving the Hoildays. Thankfully, I’m just numb to them now.

So this post boils down to this, something I did over the holidays, I watched a movie called the Loved One. I checked it out from my local library. You can find the trailer on Youtube, but I don’t think the official trailer really represents the movie so I’m posting a clip of the movie. The movie is a satire about the funeral business. Liberace plays a funeral director, that should pretty much put  things in perspective about the movie. I like the beginning of the movie, by  the end I’m ready for it to be over, but it’s still worth watching. There are a number of performances that are incredible. Mr. Joyboy is the performance of a lifetime. Love him, but soooo glad I don’t have to ever really know him. 😉

That’s all my rusty blogging fingers can output today. Enjoy the clip, check out the movie.