Monday, February 23, 2015

The Girl Who Lied & The Hope We Have.

It was a Tuesday when I realized she wasn't sitting at her desk.  So I asked "Where is she?"  I thought for a fleeting moment that she was in the restroom or maybe stepped out to get coffee.

"Her mom died."  I looked back at my co-worker in shock.  What? Wait. What?

I listened as she explained about an accident on Thursday afternoon, something about a car and some one's fault landing the poor elderly woman in a coma.  Working in a newsroom I immediately ran through all the local stories I had seen over the weekend.  I couldn't remember seeing any type of major injury crash on Thursday but then again who I am to argue.  The story continued.  Apparently her mother had yet to wake up by Monday morning, and was gone by Monday afternoon.

I texted my co-worker sending her my well wishes and offering help or support if she needed anything.  The work place fell somber, as we reflected on our own families, what it must be like to loose someone so suddenly. The multitude of support came flowing in, 'where can I send flowers?' and 'can I do anything?' came from every direction.  I texted her back asking where we could send flowers and she quickly replied people could bring them into work as she was coming back in tomorrow, she "needs the distraction."

That's when I began to look at the numbers, the equation of death, the fact I hadn't seen any major injury accident on the California Highway Patrol log, the fact that she would be returning to work just a day after her mother had passed.  Something didn't add up.  But how could I be the person to question whether she was lying about her mother's death.  What had she gained but a day and a half off and flowers from fellow co-workers.

But still I held onto hope.

That's when I got the call.  A colleague had discovered she had left her Face book logged in at work.  Neither of us could resist, we scanned her page.  Photos from a V.I.P. motocross event, followed by beach portraits exclaiming how lovely a day it was, then a bloodshot eyed selfie with a caption about being "high above the city in a lazy sundaze".  That's when I began making excuses for her.  Perhaps she just doesn't have a great relationship with her mother, she hadn't posted a single thing about an accident.  I then took a visit to her boyfriends page, his status would change everything.

He wrote: "Breaking news!  Scientists have just announced that living can be deadly.  Authorities all over the world are responding by taking peoples lives before they can do harm to themselves or others.  Please stay tuned for updates".  She commented below "Haha, I <3 you, silly goose!"

No "boyfriend" in their right mind would post anything like this if their girlfriends mother had just passed away after a 4-day coma caused by major trauma.  My co-worker, calling him a "silly goose" the evening her mother "died."

But still I had hope.

The next day things got worse.  She showed up to work and went about her daily duties.  A fellow colleague approached her with his apologies and told her a teary eyed story about the loss of both of his own parents.  She made a face and told him "that must have sucked" and continued to use the copier.  There was a pause, silence that lasted a little too long.  She spoke.
"Well the you know the other driver is offering to pay for some stuff."

 He looked at her in confusion.  "Aren't the police involved?"

A panicked look spray across her face, "yeah well sort of, I mean yeah cuz you know the 'manslaughter charges' now and everything."

By this time, I wasn't the only one confused by her actions.  She had a meeting with our boss who told her they would need some sort of written and authorized proof of death for things like bereavement pay.  That's when shit hit the fan.

But still I had hope.

She left early but left her google-ID logged into Chrome at work.  Google works in mysterious ways for some, but really it's quite easy.  The program synchronizes all your searches, your emails, all your activity online.  So while she was sitting at her laptop at home, logged into her Google, and still logged in at work, both computers were busy synchronizing all her activity.  All of her searches including "How to make fake death certificate", "Printable death certificate" and "Printable fake death certificate."

Why was I so shocked?  Nothing added up, while everything pointed at the fact she had been lying all along, yet I still had hoped I was wrong.  I had been holding onto the hope that people are innately good, they have the best intentions, that people will ultimately do the right thing.

But they're not.  Good things don't come to those who wait, Karma isn't a bitch, and well some people are horrible, plain and simple.    But we still hope.  We hold onto the idea that people aren't horrible, and when they let us down it hurts each time.  Experts say we need hope, it's healthy to have and can really make the way we approach things have more of a positive outcome.  Now doesn't that sound hopeful?  But the truth is we hope, it's natural, we call it "expectation" but at the end of the day that's just a fancy way of saying we're hopeful.

Some of us (like myself) have a little too much expectation, I have faith in people when I shouldn't.  I have low hope, high hope, and absurd hope, like the hope I instilled in my colleague even after I discovered her google search for "how to fake a death certificate."  Hope motivates us, inspires us, and breaks our hearts.  When it's good, it's good, but when our hopes are placed upon someone who doesn't deserve them, oh man is it bad. 

But when we're put in the same situation again, we continue to hope.  A never ending cycle of good intentions, of thinking that things will work out, that she couldn't possibly lie about her mother dying, we hope that they'll see it our way, that they'll love us, that all our hard work will get us the job, that the interview went well, that the test results will be in our favor, we hope.

A full week passed before we said anything to the employee.  When she was asked about the validity of her story, she was adamant that her mother had passed and told us she would return home to get a police report.  An hour later she updated her Facebook status.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Clothes Make the Woman #AskHerMore

Fashion is funny.  It is a constant in our lives.  "The clothes make the man." You know how it is.  I'm typing this wearing a floral sweatshirt, skinny jeans and uggs, which says a lot about my day.  I'm comfortable, relaxed, and while I am actually at work, it's a laid back day, one where I spend most of it alone or on the phone and not one where I am physically contacting with my co-workers.  Monday morning of course will be a different story, I will probably trade in the uggs for a pair of heels and my hair may even get to feel the heat of a curling iron.    We dress to impress, our fashion statements tend to reflect the way we feel, sexy, confident, relaxed, or sad.  Mourners wear black for a reason and Brides white for another.  So it's no surprise when it comes to the biggest night for the stars of the silver screen that fashion is the epicenter of the conversation.  "Who are you wearing" is thrown around like "hellos."

So the clothes really do make the wo-man?  Infographics of winners dresses (like this one) are popping up around the internet on the afternoon before the 2015 Oscars.  Looking over the dresses, one can't help but think "ahh so this is what the winners wore."  But that mentality is what some argue is fueling sexism on the red carpet.  The #AskHerMore project asks reporters to ask her who she is, not just who she is wearing.

So why do we focus on what the stars are wearing, how they got into shape for the event, who did their hair, or their nails?  Do we really believe clothes make the woman?  They're there to be honored for their achievements so why not ask about those?  The campaign is alive on twitter, hundreds of people tweeting what they really want to know from these sexy silver screen sirens.

And it seems the stars are slowly but surely getting behind the cause.  This year at the Screen Actors Guild Awards a number of starlets including Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Julianne Moore refused to put their hands in E!'s famous "mani-cam".  Just picture a red carpet for one's manicure.  And who can forget at last year's Golden Globes when Elizabeth Moss showed the mani-cam just what she thought of it.  This year, you'll notice the mani-cam has been removed.
But mani-cam or not, the stars are catching on.  Why are these influential women only allowed to talk about their fashion choices?  Nicole Kidman flat out refused to answer Ryan Seacrest when he asked her who she was wearing at the Grammys.  Perhaps the designer cried themselves to sleep, but young women everywhere blew a sigh of relief, are we finally getting somewhere?

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Noise Control

San Diego is sprawling.  Technically you could argue you can drive over an hour and still be in "San Diego" so of course it only makes sense when you meet someone new they tend to start with "where in America's finest city do you live?"

What a loaded question.

Locals will tell you their neighborhood has the best bars, best views, best weather, best taco shops, and best activities.  There is no use in arguing, the local will always win.  And of course once you tell them where you live you'll never hear the end of it.  If they like the neighborhood they want to talk about all the awesome things on your corners, on the other hand, if you live in say an area like "Banker's Hill" they'll find everything wrong with it and ask you how you could ever live in the dreaded flight path.

I live in Bankers Hill.

Unfortunately for many San Diegans they know the area very well for one thing; it is right smack underneath the flight path to San Diego's international airport, Lindbergh field. 
"Is it loud?!"  They always ask with disgust.

Yes, my dear San Diego local it can be loud with airplanes flying overhead but it's probably quieter than living next to that dive bar in North Park,  And yes during the summer when my windows are all open and that Boeing 777 is coming in for a landing at 6:30 a.m. it can get pretty annoying, but like most things, you get used to it over time. 
Little do they know I grew up next to a gun club. Yes you read that right, a club dedicated to people who were not hunting, but taking their rifles into the woods and practicing their aim.  As children, we would sneak onto the firing range after hours and collect bullet shells.  Guns weren't scary, they were the background noise to our lives.  People didn't shoot other people in our minds, people shot paper bulls eyes and practiced their aim to get the bad guys.  And while gunshots startle most people, I find them comforting, a rush of nostalgia consumes me whether it's a pistol or a shotgun.  

Like the sound of gunshots, I can now distinguish whether it's a 777 flying overhead or an A380 shaking the window panes.  But Bankers Hill, like your neighborhood is more than the noise. I could tell you about it's best bars, nightlife, restaurants, and close location to San Diego's most famous park but I won't.  Instead I will smile when you ask me how I live in the flight path, how it must be so noisy, so obnoxious.  I'll smile knowing one day whenever I hear a plane overhead I'll think of Bankers Hill and remember everything else.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

#Winning #Failing

I'm 26, which is (gasp) closer to 30 than 20, ugh.  And while I spend a lot of my time contemplating what the heck I'm doing with my life, where things are going and why I feel like I've accomplished absolutely nothing, I tend to forget that I'm actually quite normal in my thoughts, and lets face it I'm okay.

Don't know what I mean?  Well I'm alright, I'm not broke, I'm not failing at absolutely (even though it feels like that most of the time), so I've come up with a list to remind me that I'm not the complete failure I feel like each and everyday and neither are you.

I've been through some real crap & actually lived. We compare as human beings, we compare our current state of everything to what it once was and what we think it could be.  That act of comparison is what makes us feel inadequate or successful.  So when I compare my life in San Diego to my life in London, there are going to be pretty big differences.  Where I used to have access to Continental Europe at low-priced airlines I now have access to maybe a road trip if someone with a car is willing to take me.  It sucks.  But it only sucks cuz I've lived!  I've done some pretty amazing things with my life so far, which lets face it, doesn't suck, not one bit.  You've also been through some crap, but this I mean you can look at challenges you currently face and compare them to the ones you went through 5 years ago, the one you thought you'd never get over.  You're still standing, life doesn't ever get easier, but you do get smarter (promise.)

I have a space of my own.  And I'm not necessarily talking about my apartment (which yes is all mine!) As long as you have something to call your own, a chair, a desk, a corner, a space where you can create something or control who talks to you, tells you what to do; a place where you and you alone are the boss!  Take control.

I have a job.  Actually I have two, but that's not the point.  I have a job and it's not necessarily the most satisfying thing, but I am earning money, I am feeding myself.  A job gives me a reason to put on clothing everyday.  Sometimes my job is the entire root of the feeling of failure but at the end of the day despite feeling, it could be worse.

And having a job means I was able to pay the bills this month.  Viola!  Winning at adulthood.

Bills aside, I could afford a bus ride and a cup of coffee this morning.  Sometimes we take the little things in life for granted.  You have gas in your car and made yourself breakfast, you did that.  Be proud!

Speaking of breakfast, I'm able to eat a meal to enjoy the meal. I'm eating to enjoy, not to survive, which makes chowing down on whatever I've prepared a lot more fun.

I question myself all the time.  I doubt a lot of things in my life, where things are going in my relationships, career and life in general.  I'm open to change, in fact I'm trying to embrace it and make it happen.  Realizing there is an issue is the fist step towards something better and that's gotta be a win if I've ever seen one.

It also means I'm not the same person I was a year ago.  I'm growing up into a young woman (oh my god closer to 30!) And what's even better is I realize I'm not the same person and can identify the things I've changed regardless of whether they are better or worse.

Which means I also know what isn't working in my life.  This is probably the thing that is making you sad or feeling like a failure.  It's the most important step towards changing your life into something better is acknowledging the feeling that it's just not working. I may not know what it is that will make it better, but at least I'm aware of what isn't.

I have interests.  There are things in my life that I really am interested in and I'm attempting to make time for them.  I'm passionate about something, whether it's a political movement or a new trend, something intrigues me and I'm so about exploring that.

I have time to do nothing.  This actually isn't always true in my life.  I'm trying to find a balance in my life where I can work my little butt off and come home from work and sit and do nothing, glorious hours of nothing which means glorious hours of Netflix.

I have at least one person I can call 24 hours a day just to say "hi". Having friends was always hard for me, and now as an adult it's even harder.  As an east coaster living in San Diego, most people's superficial joy doesn't mix with my Masshole sarcasm.  But I digress, I know I have someone who will pick up my call, even if it's at 3 a.m. and I've had too much wine and don't like the way my chin looks.  I know they'll answer and that is definitely a win.

I'm working towards a goal.  I'm exhausted and probably pointed in the wrong direction but at least I'm trying to make a U-turn in the right direction.

But I'm not making promises of actually reaching that goal.  I may not actually be able to get there and that's something that I've got to be open to.  Just like I'm not the same person I was a year ago, things and people change, goals change, and ultimately what makes us happy can all change.

Ultimately I know how to take care of myself. I do laundry, I cook, I clean, heck I even have a cat, which means that little bugger's life depends on mine.  I know how many hours of sleep I need not to feel cranky in the morning and I know how many glasses of wine it'll take before my lips turn purple.  I know who to turn to when I need help and who is great at hugs and who won't answer my calls.  I know I will always order pancakes given the choice and will always hope for the good in people despite the red flags.  I know what to do when my stomach hurts or when I'm not having a good time.  I'm getting to know myself each and everyday, feeling like a failure or not.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Saturday, February 14, 2015

5,000 miles and Into your Vase

Valentines day is all about the candy, little trinkets, the dinner plans and of course the flowers.  SO MANY FLOWERS.  But where do you think those flowers come from?  In fact, majority of our Valentines Bouquets have traveled over 5,000 miles before making it into the hands of your date.  Those beautiful and fragrant "fresh" flowers come from Ecuador and Columbia, where 78% of the $2-billion dollar floral industry literally has it's roots.

For us here in San Diego, we're lucky to live in one the largest floral producing states, but we still get our stems from across the border.  That's where these lovely men and women come into play; Introducing the Customs & Border Patrol!  They're the final check-point before your Valentine's bouquet is set in the store and bought by your sweetie.  So take a deep breath, inhale and smell the roses, all while remembering their long journey to the vase on your coffee table.

all photos courtesy of the California Border Patrol

 © The Traveling Barnacle

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Friday, February 13, 2015

Obligatory Valentines Day Post

I'm not sure where I got it from, but I it's in my genes.  I go out of my way to make sure you know I care.  I bring you coffee when I know you've had a rough week, hand make cards for your birthday and various holidays,  I leave messages on your dashboard so when the sun comes out the dust reminds you, here I am, caring.  It's a blessing and a curse.

My entire life has been a series of simple unnecessary tasks that I preform like a religion.  I was not raised in a home with a sense of traditional love, which may be the very reason I cling so strongly to showing those around me, someone cares.  Rarely do I get a thank you or any kind of response for that matter.  Now a days it's rare my gifts are even acknowledged.  Did you get my Christmas card?  My Valentines Day card?  But if validation was the reason I sent cards, left messages, bought coffee, or cleaned and organized the trunk of your car, then I would have stopped a long time ago.

With Valentines day just around the corner, I'm beginning to see a thousand postings of "how to treat your Valentine" on the special day.  These lists and postings mimic the things I tend to do year round, which got me thinking about my own list.  A list that isn't for Valentines Day, but for those of us who care, who don't mind waking up an hour earlier just to bring our friend coffee because you know they've had a bad day, or take 45 minutes out of your time off to hand make cards... just because.  Here is a list of how to care, Valentine's Day or not.

Say it.

First rule of showing someone you care, is simply saying it.  I carry post it notes around in my purse and leave them all over the city.  For the security guard taking a bathroom break, I leave a little note "Hope you have an amazing day!" and for the girl at the front desk of my office building, I leave a joke here and there.  But post-its are super old school, and lets face it, you can never find a pen when you need it.  Simple solution; texting.  A simple "Hi, thinking of you!" goes a long way and if you add a cat emoji, it's even better.

Take a moment to step outside of your box and into theirs.

We live in a pretty selfish society.  Even I live by the motto of 51% selfish, 49% selfless.  But sometimes stepping outside of your world is the best thing you can do, for you!  Doing something nice for someone can be oh-so-satisfying.  And it doesn't have to be something spectacular, little actions go a long way.  For example, my co-worker isn't able to leave her desk to get a coffee or snack through out the day, so I usually end up grabbing something small for her on my excursion to Starbucks.  I always ask the baristas to write her a little something on the cup.  Sometimes they draw a flower or a smiley face, and on her birthday they wrote her a birthday message.  Of course I love my local baristas and they love me, so it works.  But I always bring an extra sharpie in case someone is having a bad day.  We all have a lot going on, perhaps you're fighting with a parent or a friend and they're worried about paying their rent.  We all have problems, worries, we're all going through something now and then.  So take a moment to put your problems aside and remind someone even though your dog ate your homework, someone cares, even if it's just the barista.

Be a total stranger who cares.

Say something nice to someone, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for the homeless man sitting outside on your daily commute once a week, smile.

Say it with a Stamp.

Seriously whatever happened to good ole' fashion letter writing?  Don't you remember that rush of joy and excitement of the unknown when the mailman would come each afternoon?  That's not a thing of the past, you just stopped sending and receiving anything but bills.  So sit down, grab a pen that writes in that smooth inky style you love and write to a loved one.  Heck, write to your friend who lives across town just to say you're thinking of them.  And on holidays, like Valentines day (cough hint cough) send love letters!  And yes, the majority of people aren't going to write you back or even acknowledge they received anything, but that's not the point.

When it comes to gifts, it's all about quality not quantity.

So you wanna get the perfect gift?  Stop worrying about dropping the cash and think about what will put the biggest smile on the recipient.  Trust me, us ladies we love those diamonds and jewels but all we really want is someone to bring us pancakes in bed, pancakes without judgement?  Now that is a great gift.  Valentines Day is special sure, but somewhere along the lines it became this mega-super-storm of hearts and candies and diamonds.   But like most things, you've just gotta shake off all that pressure from society and remember there is no "right" gift, no "wrong" way to celebrate or treat the one you love with lovely February 14th reminders of why they're so lovely.  So opt for the gummy-PlayStation remote controller over the gold watch, either way they'll known you love them.

And above all else, remember it's just another day.

So "your" Valentine forgot to buy you flowers and maybe something important came up at work and dinner isn't going to happen.  Just remember it's just another day.  Number one day of the year that couples break up?  Valentines day.  There are too many expectations, too many disappointed couples who see the mishaps of the day as the 'straw that breaks the camels back'.  So just breathe, celebrate another day, celebrate everyday, tell them you love them on February 15th too.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

50 Shades of Grey

It's pretty much all anyone who's anyone has been talking about for the good part of the last five years.  50 Shades of Grey has crept into the bedrooms of couples all over the world, where before the idea of being tied up and whipped was taboo, adults everywhere are shedding their clothes and taking a cue from Mr. Christen Grey.

Let me start off by admitting I have not read the series.  Unfortunately I couldn't seem to get past the fact the piece started out as Twilight Fan Fiction.  Bella and Edward were never my thing.  Now Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler, frankly my dear that's my type of love story.  Which by the way is the very reason I was asked as a plus one to the pre-screening premiere of "50 Shades of Grey".

I arrived at the theatre promptly 45 minutes before the film was set to start.  I had media passes and walked past the hundreds of people waiting in line to catch a glimpse of what has truly become one of the most talked about sexual fantasies of the year.  The women in line were dressed up as if they were meeting Mr. Grey himself.  Make-up, heels, every inch of hair sprayed in place, the 'girls' were up and ready to go, and the energy?  Well picture a group of 13-year-olds waiting for the hottest boy band.  A group of unruly hormones ready to escape and smother anything with a cute hair cut.  Now imagine those 13 year old girls as women, sexual women, waiting, ready to pounce, all seemingly ready to join in on what is being argued one of the most important sexual movements of the decade. So now we've established the feel, the look, and the sexual energy.  Then there's me, dressed in jeans and a sweater with my media pass, heading to the front of the line and choosing my seat in an empty theatre.

No previews later, the film opened, setting the scene.  Mr. Christen Grey, he's smart, successful, confident, and oh-so-sexy.  Living in Seattle running an empire, he's cold, he's "clean", he's everything everyone fantasizes about every once n a while.  Then there's Ana, well Anastasia Steele, she's a mess.  A hopeless romantic English lit. major who is about to graduate in Portland, the "weird" city south of Seattle.  The two meet by chance of course, when Ana's roommate is scheduled to interview the Seattle Mogul for the School's final paper of the year, of course the roommate gets the flu and Ana goes in her place.  The two are immediately drawn to one another.  She is a fawn, he is a lion.  Haven't we heard this story before?  That's when I remember it's simply Twilight Fan Fiction, it's Edward and Bella all over again.  He's unobtainable, he's a real-life vampire, he doesn't sleep, he is hungry, and has a full playroom with sex toys ready to take not only Ana's virginity (yes, I saw your eyes roll) but to "enlighten" her in every way possible.  The two begin dating.  He's taken by her innocence and lets face it as Mr. Grey himself says he "doesn't make love, he fucks... hard."  She's immediately draw as any 21 year old who has the energy of a rabbit and the stamina of cheetah would be.  Sex is a fantastic thing as Ana soon learns and so do we as an audience.  As soon as her clothes come off for the first time, she is rarely seen with them on again.  But isn't that why we came to watch?

Suddenly they're in a helicopter and Mr. Grey is at the helm.  My friend leans over as Ellie Goulding's "Love me" blasts over the Seattle skyline.  Every hair on my body is standing up.  Forget the whips and silk ties, I want a man who knows how to fly a chopper!  And speaking the soundtrack, it was what made the film for me, the music alone is worth ignoring the dialogue for.

Over all the film went better than expected.  Yes there was sex, and yes it was "fucking" not "love making" as Grey likes to remind us constantly, but it was much more.  Much like the Twilight series, some of the dialogue makes you want to hurl, but the two have a chemistry we all long for and perhaps that's part of the fantasy.  Christen tells Ana she's changing him, but she's simply making him a better person.  And isn't that what love is?  Being a better person around whomever it is that makes your heart flutter.  And for Ana?  Well she's loosing her innocence.  Every woman in the audience saw herself in Ana at some point, her womanhood quite literally blossoming before us.  And while it wasn't my type of film, I didn't dislike it, but rather appreciated it for what it was; the most popular boy-band with it's fresh moves, cool clothes, and oh-so-cute haircut.  

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Pressuring Normalcy into Diamonds

Normal.  Average. Doing what's expected.  Conforming to what society sets as a standard.

What the hell is that supposed to mean?

Recently I've been spending a lot of time trying to wrap my head around what 'normal' actually means.  We're told that being normal isn't the best thing in the world but it isn't the worst.  When you're described as normal, you're given the green light approval by society.  You're doing what everyone expects you to do, therefore you're "okay".  If you're one of the lucky extraordinary ones, you've surpassed the average, you've made it to the big leagues.  But if you're below average, if you're disappointing society, then you've failed, you're not normal, something is definitely wrong with you.

Something is definitely wrong with you.

But what is normal?  How do are we supposed to know what is average, what is normal, what we're supposed to be achieving?  As a 20-something year old closer to 30 years old than 20, how do we know if we're meeting the bar?  It's not like there is a set of rules, or some sort of hand book, there is only pressure.  Society pushes against us, compressing our carbon, hoping to produce diamonds, but what if we're not okay with that pressure?  What if we just want to get the hell out?

We're stuck in jobs that we once thought would take us somewhere exciting, but suddenly we realize we've gained the experience, we've put in the time and effort and the next big thing isn't there.  So where is it? And more importantly how the hell do we get there?  As children our parents and teachers told us we could be anything, do anything, the world was our oysters.  When we played soccer, everyone got a trophy despite whether we won or lost.  We were constantly rewarded for everything, even if we didn't deserve the extra cookie or sparkly trophy for our participation.  We grew up to become a generation who expects the trophy just for participating.  We're participating in the real world, we have appointments, we are taking care of ourselves, where the hell is my trophy?

So we participate, believing we can be anything, do anything, but our parents, our lovely teachers, they never told us that yes you can be anything, yes you can be anyone, but it takes time, it takes hard work, you don't just get somewhere because you're participating.  So we try the best we know how.  We pretend to be normal, we go out for happy hour, we pay for overpriced coffee in the morning, run meetings, and are overlooked for promotions.  We wake up every morning, hitting snooze and hoping today will be different, not fully understanding today won't be different unless you decide it will be.  So we hope.  We wait for the trophy but it never comes.  And before we go to sleep at night, we try and convince ourselves at least we're normal.

But we're not.  I'm not normal.  I work 90 hour-7-day-weeks, without any real promise of a future with either company I wear on my business card.  I throw myself into the work because I'm not sure what else to do with my life.  I apply to other jobs on a daily basis, spouting cover letters trying to convince the world I am extraordinary, all while trying to convince myself that I am just trying to be normal.

We constantly compare ourselves to those around us.  The normal ones.  We watch them, we wonder why our lives aren't like theirs despite whether we actually want their lives or not.  I don't want to be married and buying a house, but to have something stable like that?  That's the appealing part.  So what's wrong with me?  Why do I work and work and work and get absolutely no where?  Why does the thought of getting engaged and married not make me smile?  Why would I rather travel the world than put a down payment on a house?  Why am I so abnormal?

For years we're told we need to consider others to make our decisions.  We're constantly thinking about who we are going to impress or disappoint.  That's what gets you ahead or leaves you behind in the dust.  It's all about who you prove yourself to.  Your family members, your friends, your boyfriends and girlfriends, spouses, and yourself.  These people love you, they care, they want what's best for you.  And when you feel like you're not impressing those around you, that's when suddenly you're a failure, you're not normal, you're not doing what it is they expect of you.  You're hurting them right?  Funny thing about life is, it's yours.  And the funny thing about love, the best kind of unconditional.  Even when you fail to impress, even when you make the wrong decision, you've still made it, it's your decision and those who love you, will love you for making it, despite whether they think it's the right one or not.

I want it all.  I want to be normal, I want to be given a trophy by society telling me I'm doing something more than just participating.  I want everything and nothing at all.  I want to be the one, and no one, I want to be normal, average, but extraordinary all at once.  I want to stand on the top of a mountain and tell the world I am amazing, whether I fit into their mould or whether I am standing alone on the top of a mountain just shouting into the wind.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Exchanging Looks at Kettner Exchange

Every once in a while a restaurant or bar opens and seems to change the scene for the entire neighborhood.  Suddenly it's the place to be, and even the dive bar across the street is seeing more high heels and suits walk through the door.  Kettner Exchange is just that type of place.  It's promise of overpriced progressive American cuisine (whatever that's supposed to mean) brings in throngs of young sexy people all waiting to get inside the exclusive hot spot.

I was lucky enough to venture beyond it's velvet ropes last night in honor of a friend's birthday.  I was stopped abruptly at the door by a line of 20-30 people all waiting to get inside.  I explained I had reservations and was rudely pulled through the crowd by a bouncer.  I exchanged a few looks with the others drunkenly waiting to get inside, "who does she think she is" was shot my way more than once. After waiting nearly 20 minutes to place an order for a dirty martini at the bar, we were seated sans the correct amount of chairs.  But lets face it, none of their regular clientele can actually sit in their itty-bitty outfits, so imagine their surprise when we wanted to sit and eat.

The "too cool for school" syndrome continued throughout the night as I watched guests walk up the stairs and into the back bar, while the line at the door got even more rowdy.  Long legged women with their toned butt cheeks visible hiked by in 7 inch heels, accompanied by short buff men, tight cashmere sweaters and pointed leather shoes.  The attire was all about money, despite the lack of clothing, there was no lack of hair extensions, designer handbags, diamond jewelry and designer perfumes.  These are the nouveau riche of San Diego.

We drank our fancy and delicious cocktails we tried to fit in, but our chipped nail polish and real eye lashes gave us away.  We'd never belong and everyone knew.  Midway into the adventure they brought us another chair, apparently there was a "capacity" issue but when I used the restroom the dining room was full of empty tables and empty chairs, while the line downstairs only grew into a monstrous feeding frenzy of hot bodies waiting to drown themselves in vodka.

When I returned home I quickly scouted yelp and found these gems:

If you are rich and a snob you will love this place.  Way overpriced.  Have fun.  I'll save some money and have a better experience. - Jason M. (Rating 1 out of 5 stars)

We went there on a Friday night at 7:30 to meet some friends for drinks at the downstairs bar. They were already inside by the time we got there and told us the bar was empty. Cool! We get to KEX and there's a line outside. We figured they must be waiting for dinner tables since the bar was empty and attempted to go in. The 3 bouncers and 4 hostesses proceed to tell us, rather rudely and in a pretentious tone, that the line is for everything. 45 minutes later the line is out around the corner and they still don't let people in - except their own friends who come in to the front, give them hugs and kisses and walk right in.... What's interesting is that they seemed to let in all their friends who consisted of young girls on the prowl and lumberjack wanna be guys while the crowd in line was a more professional looking and well dressed crowd with a lot more money to spend. - Anda B (Rating 1 our of 5 stars)

Beautiful venue, ugly crowd. - Paola N. (Rating 1 out of 5 stars)

Little Italy's newest pretentious spot. Is this a club or a restaurant? Let's pray places like this are not the death of the greatest neighborhood in San Diego. Quote from the line outside "did the Gaslamp come to little Italy?"  The experience at the door was something I would have expected from a club, not a restaurant. All I could think about was the movie Knocked Up. "You're nothing but a doorman, doorman!" ...As the line grew we stood there and watched the fist pumping between the fifty-something year old dudes with their daughters and the doormen and right in they go. - Immanuel O. (Rating 1 out of 5 stars)

On the bright side the food was amazing.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Saturday, February 07, 2015

The "Boss Man" of Hodad's

Every foodie in America seems to be tweeting or chit-chatting about one of their own, after San Diego based Hodad's owner Mike Hardin passed away on Thursday evening of a heart attack.  The "Boss Man" of burgers is not only known as cooking up some of the best burgers in southern California (sorry In n' Out) but he's created quite the reputation for burger lovers world wide.

RIP Mike Hardin "boss man". You helped the world in so many ways. We will miss you everyday

Talk about Cheeseburger n Paradise! Heaven has a Hodads now! There's a line at the Pearly Gates today! is hugging everyone there!

Mike Hardin. The local burger legend and Boss Man has died:

So sad to hear of the passing of hodads owner Mike Hardin. The Boss Man resteth

Fame and fortune aside, Hodad's a staple of San Diego dining.  Now with two locations, all you need to do is look for the long line of hungry people wrapping around America's finest sidewalks.  Now instead of those lines are make-shift memorials, complete with flowers, photographs and of course all the ingredients to make San Diego's favorite burger.

And although the burgers are what drew the crowds, it was the "Boss Mans" love for his community that kept life long foodies lining up for his eats.  He made the term "Hodad" cool, resolving it of it's non-surfer stereotype in a surfing-community.  Defined by Urban Dictionary: 
Hodad: 50's term for a greaser, someone who hung out at the beach, but definitely not a surfer. Hodads were into cars, music and were a type of counterculture style. These were NOT posers, as some of the other definitions had stated...Surfer's and Hodad's would be completely separate groups, that often clashed with each other.
in the beach communities in the 50's one was either a hodad or a surfer. Hodad's wore a very specific style of shoes, jeans, and a t-shirt (preferably white). They were NOT posers, and wouldn't be caught dead hangin' with a surfer. aka...low riders

Frank Gormlie, longtime editor of the OB Rag says “I’m deeply saddened. Mike Harden is a legend. Today he’s a legend. Yesterday, he was a celebrity .. Mike use to make these monster burgers for his friends, his surfer runners. They’d come in and he would make them big monster burgers. So after his dad died he said ‘well, I’m gonna try these monster burgers for everybody for six months and I’ll see what happens’ and here we are, top burger in the country.”  Harden gave generously to the community that gave so much to him and even took trips overseas to bring San Diego's favorite burger to fighting troops.

I've been to both locations numerous times and have never had a bad meal.  Hodad's sticks to the basics of burger making with delicious results, just like the "Boss Man" who's kindness and community values only added flavor to the vibrant beach community. 

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Friday, February 06, 2015


I remember my first iPod.  I don't remember it for the music it held or how convenient it was not to have to carry tapes and Cd's around in my backpack.  I remember it for it's protection.  Suddenly I was no longer alone on my long walk home from high school, I had a friend, one who physically blocked out the sounds from the outside world.

"Whale Watch!"  They'd scream as they drove by in their designer name cars.  I'd turn up the volume and listen to the words of Imogen Heap "you know you're better than this".  A can of soda slams into me, bursting into fizzy suds.  A passer by stops and stares.

Everyday was the same, counting down the moments until 16 when I earn the right to be protected by more than just these dirty headphones and the voice of a British sensation.

"Whale Watch!"  The words baffle me to this day.  I was always bigger than the other girls, but never quite fit the definition of "fat".  I always assumed they were referring to the similarities between a Whale and it's blubber and my own extra bits on the sides, but I never actually confirmed.  These boys were the seniors, the rulers of the school, of the town.  These were the same boys who would then Instant Message me late at night and tell me how sexy they thought I was.  A "real woman" with "real woman bits".  Only to practice their aim with another large soda the following afternoon, yelling "Whale Watch!" as they drove by.

I soon became a secret girlfriend of one of these boys.  I let myself believe it was better to have someone care about me in secret when the headphones came off in between Imogen Heap's words, than to be alone.  I understood that he had a reputation, I was their "whale", I was an important part of the balance of High School.

You know you're better than this. Imogen's words sharply reminded me as an iced coffee exploded from the boy's car.

That was 10 years ago and Imogen is still playing on repeat in my head.  And while I don't get hit on a daily basis with large cold drinks while walking home, or hear the muffled shouts of "Whale Watch!" from passing cars, I'm still getting hit with the iced drinks of life. I get hit with requests at work that are unreasonable, extra shifts without the extra pay, all because they've learned I don't say no.  Or extra responsibilities, the extra mile, without the extra respect.  Life is constantly reminding me I'm still that secret, still the whale on the sidewalk trying to make it to my front door without a reminder that I'm different from the other girls.

Recently I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am and what is it that makes me, well, me.  A lot of these realizations take me back to the soaking wet place with a muffled "Whale Watch!" shouting from a moving car, while I desperately turn up the volume in my small white headphones.  But the reality is I'm still that girl, only I've taught myself to take off the headphones.  Instead of the muffled insults, I hear them loud and clear.  And while I wish I could confess the grown-up teenagers with their name callings, or disapproval's, and thankless tasks, all the modern "Whale Watch" cat-calls from passing cars, doesn't bother me, I'm only human.

So I take off my headphones and breathe and listen to Imogen:
You say too late to start, got your heart in a headlock,
I don't believe any of it.
You say too late to start, with your heart in a headlock,
You know you're better than this.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Crustacean Approved Chandeliers

As a Barnacle, I'm always looking for Under-the-sea themed things to add to my life.  And yesterday I stumbled upon these.  A complete 'must-have' for any crustacean.  Created by artist Adam Wallacavage, these Octopus themed chandeliers are sure to light up any room.  I'll take one in every color. Thanks.

All images via Beautiful/Decay
© The Traveling Barnacle

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Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Like Father, Like Daughter.

Recently, I sat down and wrote about my childhood home and what it means to know there is a large "for sale" sign on it's nostalgia sloping grassy yard.  I wrote about not only losing a physical place, but a family member, a "home" that acted as a parent, sibling, best friend and protector.  There is a saying about fathers and daughters, how they're alike, but when father and daughter are both writers in their own right, these saying ring truer than ever.   He too, sat down and took to his computer to type out what that "for sale" sign meant, this is his story:

It is time to move. It is a time to stop. I have lived in this house for over 43 years. The home I am leaving today is not the house I moved into back in 1972. It has acquired a new roof, new windows, siding, a deck , a split entrance, a very expensive septic system and other improvements.

As a small cape, my American friends and family thought it a little small; my very British parents thought it huge. For both it was large enough to come and be welcomed with love and appreciation and small enough to feel it's embrace coming through the door. My father, with his small 20 X 20 square feet of London backyard, thought my half acre was a gardeners dream. At times, I prayed that the grass and shrubbery would stop growing, not for ever, just enough for me to rest up for a week or so!  When this house received a new roof, my essay on introducing my children to rooftop views of the neighborhood, was published by a newspaper; I remember with delight the 50 percent reduction in my heating bills after installing of new windows; and the joy of discovery real oak flooring under the carpet.
 The house was, is, what one visitor called, "nestled into a hillside".  It has been a place of companionship, struggle, reward and progress. It is a place where it’s occupants have frequently been closer inside than on the outside of it. There has been love and indifference, kindness and unconcern, sharing and possessiveness, appreciation and forgiveness. It has been a place where healing and headway have been made in both head and heart. 

There have been two long marriages, and the beginning of a third The raising and guidance of four wonderful and sensible children. For some periods I have been the sole keeper of this house, with it's memories, reminiscences and seven histories. Today, fresh memories and a new history is being created with a third marriage.

It has been both house and home. It has been a village, one that has been taken to raise more than a single child, a family and a marriage.  It has been a city, often crowded, but lively and exploratory. It has been a continent where it's occupants have expressed diverse and assorted opinion, values, character and love. It has been my world for over 43 years.

It has been a fortress, keeping us all safe over the years, and a field and forest of dreams, where each of us as it's inhabitants, have forged our futures and planned our progress.  My four children have spread their wings from this nest, and flown into the world, hopefully to improve it, and to take it's accrued values and it's meanings into the world and into their own lives.
A house can be like a novel or a good movie. It can contain character, drama and standing in each room, I can recall scenes and scripts of drama, of triumph and tragedy. In this room my children were born; in this one, I wrote essay after essay, letters, family history and my autobiography. In another I hear laughter and tears; argument and agreement, of greeting and parting. This will not be the first home I have left. There have been others, be they house, country, job or friendships. I have gathered qualities from each that I can give to this exit to yet another home.

Yes it's time to move, and it's time to stop adding to the collection of memories and reminiscences that have filled it's rooms and spaces with joy, tears and absences. Number 84 Riverview Circle has been a link to my past, and a bridge to my future.
To paraphrase Robert Neelly Bellah:  Leaving home in a sense involves a kind of second birth in which we give birth to ourselves.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

5 Mississippi's

It lasts only as long as 5-Mississippi's, but it's my favorite moment of the day.  My alarm is ringing and the sleep in my eyes begins to break.  The sunrise pours through my window, turning the walls to a deep cream, as I roll out of sleep.

You're somewhere in between awake and asleep, where the dreams and nightmares feel like real life, and the problems of reality feel like dreams and nightmares.  For 5 seconds, nothing is real, nothing is imaginary, there is nothing but the moment in between; a moment which holds no problems, no fears, no anxiety.

It's just a moment of peace.

Once you get to the 6th second, the day starts, the worries flood back, the problems, the voices telling you, you're not good enough, not loved enough, not going to make it through another day.  The e-mails needs to be sent, phone calls made, paperwork filed,   Everyone is waiting for you to show up and do your best, but by the 7th second, your best feels impossible.  The kettle goes on and you wait for your morning caffeine, but watching the water boil doesn't speed up the process.

Suddenly the morning is half over and you long for the sweet release of sleep again. You long for those 5 seconds of peace, in between the noise, in between the mess.  Everything is a mess.  Lunch comes and goes and the pangs in your stomach remind you, you're human.  You get stuck fixing some mundane problem at work.  It's easily fixed but somehow leaves you feeling as though the world might end if you don't get a confirmed yes or no answer.  By the time the day is over you realize you're not ready for it to be done, what have you been doing all day?  So you return home, defeated, put something on the stove and feed the growling in your stomach.  But it's the growling in your soul that keeps you from falling asleep.

We're struggling.  A generation raised on the notion that you can have "it all" with a little hard work.  We're told success is the highest form of gratification.  We need to have a "good" job, make the "good" money, and balance our friends, relationships, and family, with a smile on our faces.  We're struggling.  We're unhappy but we can't seem to figure out why. And sure there are days where we feel like we're doing something good, something that might take us to a better career path or a better future, sometimes we feel like we're on the right track.  But majority of the time we feel stuck.

Recently I got thinking about my own battle with Happiness and began asking myself the same question every single day: What made you happy today?  My answers vary of course, at my worst I hold onto the happiness in the first 5 seconds while my alarm continues to thrust me into reality.  On the best days, I feel accomplished or supported, like I have conquered some type of goal or that I've really done something worth while.  And as my answers continue to pile up, it's not the list that I'm noticing, it's what doesn't make the list.  What isn't glaring me in the face in my answers?

We're taught to search for the things that make us happy and in doing so, we tend to ignore the things that aren't doing us any good. The things that aren't part of our goals, the things that don't make our "what made you happy today?" answers.  Those are the things we need to think about changing.  Perhaps your job never makes your "what made you happy today" list, perhaps it's your living situation, your relationship with a friend, a family member, a romantic partner.  The things on your list are just as important as those that fail to make your answer.

We're stuck focusing on the wrong things, told that if we just manage to get the "good" things (a job, a salary, an apartment, car etc) that success is sure to follow.  But perhaps all we really need is a good day, a day that's best part isn't the 5 seconds before you fully wake up.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Layers of Earth; Torrey Pines

It's known as one of the most beautiful places in San Diego;  A "must" on any visitors list.  We're talking Torrey Pines State Reserve, a protected chunk of land in sitting just north of La Jolla, simply waiting to be adventured.  It's coastal erosion is what makes it so breath-taking.  The beach sits nearly 300 feet beneath it's sand stone cliffs, some about to crumble into the sea below.

Rain or shine, the small hiking trails that line the top of the cliffs are absolutely stunning.  They offer views of La Jolla Cove to the south and as far north as Riverside County on a clear day.

While I have hiked these trails many times, their beauty never falters.  The layers of earth visible in the cliff side remind you of how small you are.  Like the billions of stars in the universe their age commands a sort of significance, one that a mere human could never quite understand.

So we walk on, knowing that this isn't just solid ground, but sacred.  Life's lessons linger in between layers of the brown and green in the cliffs, lessons that can only be learned over another thousand years.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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Sunday, February 01, 2015

49 Reasons to Watch

Corey Griffin came up with 49 reasons why Superbowl 49 is worth the watch and they're pretty spot on.  Why are you watching?

PHOENIX -- Everyone watches the Super Bowl. Well, almost everyone. Hundreds of millions of everyones, to be slightly more specific.
But in case you were looking for a reason to actually sit down and watch Super Bowl XLIX – at 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday on NBC and NBC Sports’ Live Extra app – or you needed a list of reasons to convince your friend, girlfriend, boyfriend and/or household pet to watch the game that almost everyone else will be watching, we’ve got 49 reasons for you.
1. The two best teams in the NFL facing off: The No. 1 seed in the AFC has played the NFC’s top seed in the Super Bowl three times since 2000. Let’s hope this time goes better than last year.
2. Focus returns to football: No more DeflateGate, Ballghazi or talk of Tom Brady’s deflated balls. It’s a win for everyone.
3. "Jurassic World" trailer: Did you see the first trailer? THERE WERE GIANT DINOFISH. Also, we all need more visuals of Star-Lord and his gang of Velociraptors.
4. Katy Perry: The woman makes hits. Also, her outfit choices have history of being … interesting.
5. Gratuitous Odell Beckham Jr. highlights: This might be cheating since Beckham will be a part of NBC’s pregame coverage (which you can also watch on the Live Extra App on your computer and mobile devices). But, really, who doesn’t want to see this again?
6. Highlights of David Tyree’s helmet catch: The Patriots return to the scene of the crime, which means Giants fans will get 20 seconds of bliss and a chance to remind Boston that the Pats still can’t beat them.
7. Al Michaels: The play-by-play voice of Sunday Night Football is the best in the business and it’s not even close. He’s the NFL’s version of Vin Scully.
8. Commercials: This is why you’re watching, right? So you can judge whether Anheuser-Busch’s $4 million was better spent than Geico’s $4 million? Well, if you want to cut out the middle man, you can just watch them on NBC Sports’ Tumblr, which will have all of the commercials in one place. Just saying.
9. The “U Mad Bro?” rematch: Relive the times when Richard Sherman was a plucky upstart lashing out at big, bad Tom Brady for not believing in him.
10. The food: Watching the Super Bowl give you the OK to stuff your face with wings, chips, pizza and seven different kinds of dip, of which buffalo chicken dip is the unquestioned king.
11. You don’t need cable to watch it: The biggest sporting event in North America will be streamed live over the Internet on and on the Live Extra app (available in App Store).
12. Excuse to call out of work Monday: Look, something needs to wash down all that food. It’s not your fault it just happens to be copious amounts of adult beverages.
13. Chance of Gronk butt: This one’s for all the ladies and fellas just hoping Gronk’s pants finally come all the way off one of these times.
14. John Legend singing “America the Beautiful:” Legend’s voice is a gift to our ear drums. Also, there’s a decent chance we’ll get a cameo from his wife, Chrissy Teigen, which, to be honest, is the real reason this is on here. Chrissy is awesome.
15. Because everyone hates these teams: There’s no denying that these two teams, and their fan bases, have become the villains of the NFL. Either Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin will have to stop talking or the world gets to see sad Tom Brady again.
16. The two best cornerbacks in the world: Speaking of Sherman, he and Darrelle Revis will face each other for the first time since their Twitter tête-à-tête a couple years ago. Will we find out who the best corner in the game is? Probably not, but it’ll be fun to watch.
17. Kam Chancellor hits: I would never want to cross the middle if this guy was playing safety against me. This may also be why I never made it to the NFL, among several other reasons.
18. Gambling: I can’t believe it took this long to get here.
19. Squares pools: Anyone can win! There’s literally no science to winning this thing. It’s total dumb luck. Bonus points if you sell out two full pools at one party.
20. Absurd prop bets: Some samples, via Yahoo!’s Shutdown Corner: Will Marshawn Lynch grab his crotch? Will Bill Belichick smile? Will the Patriots score more points than Carmelo Anthony? Will there be a safety (Sorry, Denver)? Seriously. You can gamble on ANYTHING in the Super Bowl. Speaking of which…
21. First-touchdown pool: Yes, this is a thing.
22. First touchdown of the second half pool: Still a thing.
23. Post-blackout touchdown pool: No, I’m not a degenerate. Stop asking.
24. So you have something to talk about Monday: In case you do decide to go to work Monday, you’ll have at least some idea what’s going on when your office bro is ranting about that BS pass-interference call on third down in the fourth quarter.
25. Lenny Kravitz shirtless: Because he’s not just the costume designer from the Hunger Games, damnit.
26. Gronk dancing: Because it’s always greatSeriously.
27. Chance of Pete Carroll strut: We’re all better for having Pete back in the NFL.
28. Long-distance BeastQuake: Can Marshawn Lynch make an entire city shake from over 1,000 miles away?
29. Gisele cutaways: For two reasons – 1) Duh. 2) Because there’s a 15 percent chance the parabolic mics on the sideline will catch her yelling at Brady’s wide receivers.
30. When Cris Collinsworth finds something you didn’t know was there:  Collinsworth almost always manages to spot something on the field, either in the moment or during the course of a game, that we, as viewers either overlooked or didn’t see.
31. The chance Vince Wilfork flips the MVP’s car: I don’t even know if this would happen after a win or a loss, but it’s definitely on the table.
32. Shots of Russell Wilson’s ex-wife’s draft face: Zero chill.
33. The blackout: Because of course the NFL needs another controversy this season.
34. Chance Will Ferrell’s Old Milwaukee commercials go national: Ferrell has been making hilarious commercials for the decades-old beer for three years now and they’re hilarious. Unfortunately, they only show up in random small TV markets across America (and Sweden!!!), but maybe this is the year it goes national. Either way, the Internet wins.
35. To hear Bill Belichick say “We’re on to Disney World:” It’s only right he finish the series that started with “We’re on to Cincinnati.”
36. Time-lapse video of the University of Phoenix Stadium’s retractable field: Seriously. It’s a retractable FIELD. This is cool as hell.
37. Adele Dazeem singing the national anthem: What? This joke isn’t cool anymore? Whatever, Travolta stans.
38. Brady and Belichick winning post-Spygate: OK, so maybe this only works for a very small portion of America.
39. Free Starbucks: If the Seahawks win, we get free Starbucks, right? I’m assuming we get free Starbucks.
40. The Johnny and Tara Show: The secret stars of Sochi, at least on Twitter, will probably win social media again before kickoff.
41. You’re a Patriots fan: Brady and Belichick can cement their legacy as possibly the greatest quarterback-coach duo in the history of the NFL. Also, Boston can finally end this unbearable 15-month title drought.
42. You’re a Seahawks fan: No one respects you or your team. Everyone hates Richard Sherman and thinks Russell Wilson is fake and calls Pete Carroll a cheater. Back-to-back Super Bowl titles would shut everyone up pretty quick.
43. Roger Goodell cutaway: Homeowners may want to Scotchguard their flatscreens.
44. Scenic views: While a large portion of the country suffers the freezing bitterness of winter, you can at least pretend to be somewhere else while admiring the mountains and warm desert of Arizona.
45. Bill Belichick’s fashion choices: Two words: StyleMaven.
46. Halftime guest appearance: Do we really think that Perry’s only guest will be the fashion blogger from the Hunger Games?
47. "The Blacklist" is on after: Synergy!
48. A Gronk Spike deflates the ball: Sorry, I had to.
49. Because over 111 million other people are watching: This is what America does. We watch the Super Bowl. What are you, a communist?!
Corey Griffin is an editor for Follow him on Twitter @CoreyGriffinNBC.

© The Traveling Barnacle

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