A friend brought it up to me that I should be a writer. I thought about it, and it wouldn't be such a bad idea.
Back when I was a kid, I hated English class. I hated writing. It took up too much of my energy - writing sentence after sentence. Maybe I was just lazy. My teachers said I had a real knack for it. But it wasn't just for me. At seven years old, I made a bold existential cry that despite my talent, writing wasn't for me. I was just lazy.
Whenever my family had to give a greeting card for a birthday, a wedding or whatever, my mom always entrusted me with writing a little something extra in the card. I'd groan saying how the greeting card company had something already written. She keep pushing saying that I'm good with words.
I remember back in high school, I had this crush on a girl. We'd right letters back and forth and pass them to each other throughout the day. She'd write a long one, and I'd easily top her. I mean I usually wear my heart on my sleeve - but wen I wrote, it was like my heart climbed down my arm and into my fingertips. Before I knew it, I had written four pages. Writing, especially about something I felt passionate about felt so natural.
In school, I stepped up to right a few scenes for an annual Chinese cultural show. Ended up doing it two years in a row. My friends said how all my characters sounded exactly like me. Honestly, I didn't know what they were talking about. But it felt really good to write and know that your characters would come to life, and that hundreds of people would watch them. My friend said how last year's show was the best one yet. That felt really good.
Lately, I've taken a shot at writing music again. I've got melodies hammered out - but these days, I'm lost for words. Maybe I need some inspiration, like some Greek mythological muse to come down and kick me with some re-newed passion.
I remember sitting down one day and watching some late night talk show - I think it was Conan O'Brian. And I thought, "Wow, I would love to do that. Make people laugh and just talk to people".
In a perfect world, where no one would get hurt and no one would get sick, I'd be a writer.
But as you can see, this isn't exactly a perfect world". Far from it. People get hurt. People get sick. Shit happens. And someone's gotta take care of people when they're down and out and when they feel most vulnerable.
But hey - why not make people laugh on the way? Laughter is the best medicine anyway, isn't it?
I can't stand people who dominate a conversation by being loud as fuck and trying to be funny. I mean, we're two feet away from eachother, do they have to put their voice out to full volume. I mean, this friend that I'm takling about can't even whisper. It's like she's one of those old people that overcompensate their voice because they can't hear themselves well. And I'm not exactly a fan of earmuffs, so you can understand my frustration when I have to wear them when we all hang out in mid-July. I swear, it's like talking to a child - who says EVERYTHING going on in their head, and at full volume. She tries to be funny. How? She makes fun of people. Is she funny? Not really. I've seen funnier car accidents than her jokes.
She dominates the conversation by being loud and obnoxious - she can be a good friend, but what she says is tough love isn't love, sometimes it's just being a bitch.
What the hell is up with people who IM you with nothing to freaking say?! That seriously annoys me. I have this friend, who's a pretty good guy and fun to hang out with. In person, he an alright guy. But whenever we're on AIM - holy fucking shit, man! I've tried IMing the guy just to see how he's doing; you know, catch up a bit. He replies with those standard one word replies like, "nm (nothing much)", "yeah", and "cool". I thought it was just me, maybe I was just boring the guy - but that can't be because I'm pretty damn amazing. But whenever he IMs me, I tell him about what's going on on my end, but when I shoot anything abck at him, it's the same freaking replies.
What the hell?! Why does he IM me, when he has nothing to say - NOTHING?!?
Talking to him online is like pulling teeth - from agitated Chihuahua. It's not deadly, but damn straight annoying to deal with.
Like I said, in person he's an alright guy - but online, I've had more fun wrapped in a wet blanket on my porch in January. No, I've never done that, but you get the picture.
Self-pity. I can't stand people who bitch bitch bitch, but do nothing about it. They just keep complaining. All they do is complain, but do nothing to fix the problem. That's like chewing bubble gum thinking that'll help you pass your Organic Chemistry exam. Now all of us complain every once and a while. It's human nature to question our present circumstances. If you're worried about an exam, go study - don't fuck around. If your unhappy with your family, go and fix it. If it means that much to you, then acrifice what ever it takes to get you back into that place again when you felt like it was a home. If you're so sad because you're single on Christmas, then go grab yourself a wifey and take her someplace nice.
Life isn't that hard at getting what you want; you just need to sacrifice once and a while. Anybody who's ever been happy can tell you that. Some people want their cake and to eat it too. And sometimes you can, but most of the time you can't without some sacrifice. And if you don't want to sacrifice,maybe you're just some spoiled lazy little shit who thinks the world owes you something when it doesn't. Maybe I'm wrong. I'm never really been a guy who had all the answers. So, prove me wrong.
I can't stand drunk messes - um, unless they're smoking hot. But what I can't stand are ugly-as-fuck drunk messes. It's worse if they're big girls being the loud party animals. It's disgusting. And I know at least three girls who fit the bill. There isn't a number of beers I can drink out there that'll give me the strong enough beer-goggles to go for them. They're loud. They're big. They get drunk and they get messy? It's like watch Chris Farley with a wig. Ugh, gross. If that's the kind of "fun" I wanted to be with, I would've stuck my finger in the wall socket. Lesson: Ladies, don't be a drunk mess; especially if you can pass for a gremlin, a dwarf, an Amazon warrior, or a dude.
But hey, if it's too late, you're still funny to watch. Kind of like a drunk baby Al Roker or the Michelin Man (who's fun to look at in any state).
I know this guy who talkes to me like he knows me. He's a fun guy and all, but when he's drunk he'll talk to me like he has all the wisdom of the world. Couple cans of beer and I can be as smart as you? Hell, I should get tanked every night when I study or right before I take a test. It's really annoying when he comes up to me and gives me advice (on everything from carreer, to friends, to family, love life). And almost everytime, hes talking right out of his ass - where poop comes from. If I wanted to hear shit, I'd - I'd - hm, I don't want to hear shit. Just drink and shut the fuck up already.
Now, I know I do my own things here and there that annoy people. We all do. Me I try to be funny, and never really shut up. It wasn't until somebody said that I talk to much that I decided to really listen to people, and see where they're coming from. It's kind of funny, who somebody who I haven't really knwn that long, points something out in me that I wanna change; that being that sometimes my mouth moves faster than my brain.
So maybe I wrote this so that maybe those people I know can see their annoying quirks and fix them.
Or maybe it just felt good to rant for once...
Sucks. especially since Christmas seaspn is one of those family times.
My brother's going back to school tonight. He was willing to talk the bus from Penn Station, but my doting and over-bearing mom said we'd drive him back. "We"; at the cost of me and my dad's sleep.
I asked if anybody would mind if I stayed home to study. I had one of those monster tests of 100 questions on trauma patients I really needed to rock on. Nobody minded. But I could tell my kid brother kind of did.
So I sucked it up, and went with them to drive my brother back. three and a half hours, each way. That's some good studying time gone bye-bye. But this is time with my family. And it's kind of a mini-roadtrip. And with my family, roadtrips are our family time.
After a good drive out, punctuated by singing out whatever Christmas lyrics we knew playing out on station after station (three hours on the road pulls you in and out of station ranges more than a drunken prom night - know what I mean?). LIke every family drive, it was a good time. Four hours later, we were on our way back home and I was up to drive.
It was a cold, wet and windy night. After about thirty minutes in, we see this car spin out and smack into an SUV. I pulled over right away, and my and my dad jumped out to check if people were alright. Everyone was ok, except for a little 10 year old girl who was limping on her right leg. It's always the little ones.
We waited for EMS and the police to show up, and let whoever was riding sit in our minivan to keep warm and dry. About an hour later, the mess was cleared up and reports were filed, the police gave rides to whoever was in the accident and we were on our way back home to New York. I thought to myself how most EMT's can be dicks, there only to do the job - if there's no one really hurt, no biggie. Why? You're an EMT in Bumblefuck, Rhode Island - Do you REALLY have something "better to do"?! Assholes.
Me? I'll be different.
We got home three hours later, coming home a little before 6:00 AM. I was tired. My dad was too. My practically slept the whole way home. On my way up to my room, my dad said "You did good tonight."
My mom said, "Goodnight, superhero." I laughed thinking about how well my mom knew me. And I smiled hering some affirmation form my dad, which comes only once and a while.
So what if I missed some study time, which I really needed. I did good by my family by coming out tonight. I did good by strangers on a cold, wet and windy road.
I did good tonight. I did good.
Now - gotta study, and find some time to clean my room...
There are all different kinds of people in my EMT class. Some are people fresh out of college. Some people are going out for their second or third job. Most of them are ordinary people; the kind of people you probably wouldn't take a second-look at on the streets. and few of those people have ever done something extra-ordinary. Here's one story.
Me? I boast about being a hero; but most of the time I feel I'm just kidding myself. I'm just a guy running around in street clothes, pretending I have a red cape tied around my neck. I'm just an ordinary guy just like the next. But today I met someone heroic; that kind of person that just being able to know fills with some kind of pride.
During our lunch break today, I sat down and chatted it up with one of my classmates. I asked him why he decided to go into the EMS field. He told me how he was rescued by some EMT's on 9-11. I knew he was an engineer for Verizon, and their headquarters was around the towers. I asked what he was doing on the site.
He rushed in there to see if his sister, who worked in one of the towers, was alright. She was fine. But he stayed nearby.
The towers fell.
He was just an engineer, but he was certified in CPR and First Aid. So taking what he knew, he went out there to Ground Zero. While the rest of us was caught up in the media frenzy, sitting slack-jawed in front our TVs, all cozy and safe in our homes.There he was on the front line, helping out our city in our most tragic time. He was elbow to elbow with a couple of Marines as they dug out two Port Authority Policemen who were buried under the rubble; you remember the story from the movie World Trade Center.
Later he was taken into EMS care for heat inhalation from the smoky and still glowing debris. En route out of Ground Zero, former-Mayor Rudy Guiliani shook his hand and commended him on his heroism.
More then six years later, there he is next to me in EMT class. He showed me his picture from the New Yorker with him on a stretcher being treated by EMT's. Not much to the guy, besides his biceps the size of my head. No joke, they're gi-normous! But he's a real humble guy, kind of like a gentle giant.
His name is Nick Gerstle, and I'm proud to say I know the guy.
I'm on my way to becoming an EMT to make my mark as a hero. But here's this guy, only two years older than me, he has more than made his mark already; he has even worked side-by-side with other heroes. I feel like I'm standing next to Superman - um, a big half-German half-Samoan Superman.
So if some guy can come out and help others, especially when shit hits the fan, then why can't we?
Because we're busy? Nick was busy too. He had his sister and the rest of his family to look after. After all, he was just an engineer.
Because we're scared?
What's scarier than being on top of an unstable smoldering mountain of debris with gas pockets going off around you?!
If you have the heart to help, no one can stop you but yourself. And Nick said that we should do whatever we can do to help, we just go.
You can read more on Nick's story here: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2002/america.remembers/stories/tower/nick.html
I wanna get myself outta this bed.
I want good thoughts inside of my head.
When I fall down would you come around
Pick me right up off the ground?
When I fall down would you come around
Pick me right up off the ground?
They say that everyone has one person to inspire them. Someone who pushes you further than you've ever gone before. Someone who cheers you on, and knowing that they're there on the sidelines watching you makes you fight harder. Someone who believes in you so much that it shakes you deep down into your bones.
I used to have that person, that one somebody who I would push myself for; to the point where I felt I could break any second. But now I don't.
Here I am tonight, thinking about all the changes that have been happening to me in the past few years. The good calls I made. And the bad ones. Sometimes, I look back and wonder if all this change was for "the greater good". I don't know. And I wish someone could tell me. But I guess this is something I'm going to have to find out for myself.
An old friend used to say, "If you can make yourself laugh, then you can get yourself out of any situation." Well, I'm going to take that a little further.
If you can believe in yourself when the odds are against you, then there really is no need for a cheerleader on the sidelines watching you. what exactly is the deal abuot worrying what other people think about you? Me, I've worried about that all my life.
But the thing is, everybody wants - no, needs - somebody to stand by them. Somebody to at least tell you that you're still fighting the good fight.
Today there was a call. A 60-something year old woman who feel and cut the back of her head. It wasn't as bad as it looked. And if you could see and hear the terror in this old lady, you would probably laugh like my partners did. I admit, I did too. Her cry was something like a dolphin mating call (not like I heard one before or anything). But she was still freaking out.
So I took her hands and told her that she was going to be completely fine. She still freaked out, but I didn't let go. I held on as she prayed some kind of prayer. Honestly, Catholics got a prayer for practically everything!
After the call, one of my partners told me that I should be a grief counselor or something. He told me how when he first started, he was afraid to touch patients; but me, I just dived right in and took her hand. It felt good to know you were doing something right.
They say you shouldn't take your home with you, especially in this line of work. But tonight, I kind of feel like that old lady. Scared to know what's going to happen next. Scared to be left alone with the "boo-boo"s of your past. But I guess I need to be stronger. This time not for anybody else, but stronger for me.
A couple years ago, I was watching this medical biography on the Discovery Health channel. The story was on a New York City paramedic. The last shot was of him riding out of the station and into the city streets on his motor cycle. And I thought, "Wow, I want that to be me."
I just got back from my first rotation on the ambulance. Rotations are like half-intern half-pledge work. My job was to take vitals and lug around a 20-something pound bag with an oxygen tank inside. But most of the night was spent on the ambulance watching DVDs and eating. I picked a night shift because I thought that shit happens at night. Apparently, more shit happens in the day time. I got about five hours of sleep ahead of me before I'm back out on the streets.
I feel a calling is where your desires and the world's needs meet. So here I am, making my way into something I feel is my calling. I'm not a pilot, but I'll be flying down the streets. I'm not a superhero, but I'll be there when people need help. I'm not a scientist, but I'll be making advances to save somebody's life one day. I'm not the President, but I'll be respected in my community. I'm not a dinosaur, but I'll - I'll - umm, I'm not a dinosaur.
There I was, diving into the night on my way into becoming an EMT. Quoting Spider-Man when he first web-slinged (and crashed into his face)...
Such passion. Such optimism. Such Naivetè.
Was I any different? Not at all.
After a long day of classes, I like to kick back in my room with my guitar. Out of nowhere, this kid comes in and says how he hears a guitar. He was better than me at guitar - a lot better.
This guy comes by every now and then and hangs out with me and my room-mate. I'm barely in my room, but when I come back to the hal there he is hanging out in my room.
He moved to another room on the other side of the building, but he still came down to hang out.
Summer time rolls around. Cruise to the Caribbean with the family. And guess who I see on the boat. There's that guy from the hall again, getting ice cream with his kid brother. I called out to him, but he couldn't hear me. So I sneak up to the ice cream machine and I just stare at him. His little brother is a little weirded out and tells him someone's staring at him. He freaked out.
It was good to have a friend from school on the cruise too. Definitely one of the bsst summer's ever.
Back to school. And this guy is now coming into the club that I jsut got plugged into. He's got a lot of ideas. During his first time in a cabinet meeting, he was so careful not to step on anybody toes. Who knew he'd become president of the club someday.
I started pledging, and he was one of three people I told that I was pledging. It was supposed to be hush-hush, but I missed my spending time with my friends.
In a fraternity. Done with college. But I never forgot my friend. I made a point not to ditch them. I was never really good at keeping friends, but I made sure this batch of friends was here to stay. ME and him have been through thick and thin. We always make sure we push eachother to be the ebst person we can be.
The other day, I pulled a prank on him and he got really mad. REALLY mad. I began to wonder if this could be the end of an era. IN the end, friendship came around. We were good sports in the end; but you can bet he's gonna find a way to retaliate somehow.
I always find myself complicating my life with too many promises to too many people. Sometimes I wish I could jsut cut some people out and simplify it all.
You need family. You need a friend. You need a girl.
Well in a simpler life, I got my friend right here.
Here's to you brother...
\m/ HOLLAH! \m/