Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Loving Memory of Apollo

I ran across this list on the Positively Positive blog this morning. And, while I began reading this list of 10 things, I felt my head move up and down in agreement with each line item. I recalled the times I wasn't the best dog owner --and scolded myself for it. I also remembered a lot of happy things --and for those I am grateful. All in all, it was incredible morning reading for me. It was something I needed --thanks Universe.

Yet, I digress. I felt compelled to re-blog this list because I think sometimes we all need a reminder. Even though we know our dogs love us unconditionally and even though most of us realize that we share a special, almost symbiotic bond with our canines, sometimes it never hurts to be told (once more) how truly, incredibly unconditional that love is. So, without further adieu:

1. My life is likely to last ten to fifteen years. Any separation from you will be painful: remember that before you get me.
2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3. Place your trust in me—it is crucial to my wellbeing.
4. Do not be angry at me for long, and do not lock me up as punishment.
5. You have your work, your entertainment, and your friends. I only have you.
6. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice.
7. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget.
8. Remember before you hit me that I have sharp teeth that could easily hurt you, but I choose not to bite you because I love you.
9. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate, or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I might not be getting the right food, or I have been out too long, or my heart is getting too old and weak.
10. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old. Accompany me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I cannot bear to watch” or “Let it happen in my absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there—even my death.

And, above all else, remember that I love you. 

Pet your pooch today for me, will ya? 
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 7:29 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Yesterday, as I ran to the store for a few much needed first-aid items, I noticed a couple of things that got the hamster wheel of dwarfish thought bubbles turning in my brain a notch or 12. As I traveled by the gent in the truck who simply couldn’t be inconvenienced with putting his cart away, my blood began to boil. Then, again, as I watched the ornery graybeard in the minivan nearly run down an entire family in front of the store, I seethed. My breaking point hit as I observed those same people take their precious time in front of the old cuss, just to make the point that they could --and to show their irritation in protest. The wheel was turning, the irritation brimming and I was ready to let it all out.   

Hence, in the spirit of venting (and without further adieu) I give you 22 things that cheese me off and the no asshole rule:

1.    People who can’t  put their basket in the cart return
2.    People who insist on taking 13 items through the 10 items or less line
3.    People who cut me off on the freeway --either for not paying attention or on purpose
4.    People who think they know everything
5.    Sanctimonious rank and file liberals
6.    Pharisaical rank and file conservatives
7.    People that have to be right, even when they aren’t
8.    People who don’t sing along with their car stereo
9.    People who have to report every virtuous deed they do
10.    People who hide behind motivational quotes and expressions
11.    People who hide behind the Bible (or any other sacred text)
12.    Hoi polloi who justify evil, using evil
13.    People who justify evil, using benevolence as a weapon
14.    People who simply cannot understand that 90% of mankind don’t fart rainbow glitter and that every individual on the planet is equally made up of good and evil --some, more of the latter and less of the former
15.    People who make-believe to be something they are not
16.    People who condone being themselves, when, frankly, being themselves is the most dreadful thing they could be
17.    People who believe you must be connected with religion in order to be a “good person”
18.    People who cannot enunciate the words, “abominable” or “cinnamon”
19.    People who had to look up what the word “enunciate” means
20.    People that believe they are funny, when they aren’t
21.    People who obliterate a joke, because they don’t think it’s funny
22.    People who talk or text during a movie (yes, you)

You see, I don’t necessarily require a long list of particulars that tick me off. Indeed, you probably don’t either. My problem is that the bulk of humankind lacks important ingredients of respect, ordinary good manners and human decency. It’s nonexistent each time I go to the store, it’s wanting at work (for those of you that work outside the home), it’s nearly nonexistent on Facebook, and it’s all of a sudden become, “Okay” with everyone, shrugged off as being "just the way it is". People have become apathetic to the discourtesy and lack of elementary respect for one another that such evil runs rampant in our streets.

Except me. I say, “No more.” From now on, I lay claim to the “No Asshole Rule”. And with that,  I challenge each and every one of you to not be an asshole (or to be a little less of one) everyday.  Try it. It might just be contagious.

And once you've mastered the no asshole rule, we can move on to how to start behaving --I'm just not overshooting on that one just yet. Baby steps and all.

How do you feel about the state of your fellow man? Do you feel there has been a decline when it comes to basic manners and respect? 

Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 10:32 AM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Monday, April 23, 2012

Aristotle was the one who said it and I’m sponging it…because it’s true. "A friend to all is a friend to none." So, quit expecting me to be a friend to all. 

I keep my circle petite out of desire, not destitution.

There are people out there who like having large circles of “friends”. And still others enjoy accumulating acquaintances as quickly as a bachelor likes to add up notches on his bedpost. I, however, fit handsomely into neither group.

Thanks for asking though…

When I consider myself a “friend” to someone, it means more to me than your average, garden-variety definition of chum. It means that I will stop whatever I am doing to be there for my comrade-in-arms. It means late night phone calls. It means listening to whatever they say without passing judgment. It means a whole-hearted investment of time. And, the truth is, I don’t have enough time for any more than five folks.

It isn’t that I don’t take pleasure in people (okay, you caught me, I actually don’t like people…at all) but I want folks to realize that I am limited on time, not on love to give. I’m tired of people thinking that I have this generous amount of “time” with which to foster relationships. I don’t.

My days are filled. I write every day, for about seven hours. I spend the other hour marketing, writing query letters or doing something other than pick my nose. I don’t take a lunch. I eat at my desk. Yes, every day.

I plan my workouts. I schedule walking my dog. I schedule time to cook and eat dinner with my family --I believe in eating dinner with my family…yes, every night, at a table. I (literally) plan every 15 minutes of my day, from start to finish. I do this because I choose to; it works for me.

My evenings are chockful; those are family time. I don’t do happy hour, because I’m training for a 5k obstacle course. I don’t just randomly go “meet” people because they commented on my Facebook wall. I am not hard wired that way, because I don’t need to be --and I’m not changing.

My weekends are also taken up. I use my weekends to run errands, I spend time with my family, I meet up with my circle of friends (who I actually only a see every few months). Once I’m done with that, I catch up on work, I write my book, I work on my non-profit project, or (once in a blue moon) simply take a day to decompress from the stressors of my week.

I don’t have a wealth of “time”.Honestly, I don’t know where most people find such abundance.

I may only be a friend to few, but I can say that I am a damn good one; because a friend to all is a (true) friend to none.

Fair enough?
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 12:47 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Friday, April 13, 2012

Who doesn’t want to be slim and good-looking? Our society clutches external appearance so highly that if you were somehow birthed ill-fated enough to be repulsive yet bright, you still don’t hold as much value in the eyes of humanity today --not like the "pretty people are". If you were born less than blessed, or with a few too many defects or if you just need a nip here and atuck there, however, you have a a way out: Plastic surgery.

My initial reaction
The women's liberationist portion of my mind is appalled that anybody would ever want to fatten their lips, get crap injected into their cheeks, beef up their boobies with cyanogenic refuse, deliberate liposuction or get a abdominoplasty.

It’s conceited. It’s inconsiderate. It’s false advertising. See, underneath all that plastic, nothing is really “you”. After all, what happens when you have nippers and they are born ugly? Where do we draw the hereditary line? Or do we throw our hands up and say, “plastic for all”?

Bad Plastic Surgery

The female portion of my psyche, the part with the rumpled self-respect assures me that if I had the money to blow, I’d be not only get plastic surgery, I'd get an overhaul. I’d get new lips, I’d get my eyes face-lifted, I’d have boob implants, abdominoplasties and liposuction galore. I’d be so plastic that my surgeon could tattoo “Made by Mattel” on my hind quarters and put me in a package with “Low Self Esteem Friend of Barbie” besotted on the front. 

You know, like this...

Because I, like so many other adult females (who would like to admit it or not) have abstruse issues with what we see in the mirror. They oftentimes stem from a lifetime of looking just a trifle ungainly, of spending time being fleshy, or of choosing to consort with an abundant line of men who always find us “deficient” in some manner. It comes from being a mouse in the rat’s labyrinth of social forked measures and coalesced messages.

“Be who you are, as long as you fit in this cast.”

And so, I find myself with a moral quandary, a conflict raging smack dab in the middle of two militant factions of my long-standing psychoneurosis. While a big part of me jeers at the plastic promenade, the less than self-assured part of me wants to be a part of it.

So, I ask you (since I can't seem to figure it out): How do you feel about plastic surgery?
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 6:00 PM 4 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I always detest redacting my “About Me” pages. I hate it because I genuinely do not relish babbling about myself and because when I revamp something like that, it’s almost as though I’m stating, “Here, everything I said earlier has instantly transformed and you are just going to have to deal with it.”

Even though I understand that making over a dopey page does not redefine my whole universe, it still brings about grounds for me to hesitate.  So before you give me the razzings about modifying said online document, let me tell you why I did it.

I have a stumblebum in my throat over this one, but I had to dispatch one of my loved personas from the cast of characters that is my life. A few month’s ago (which you know if you have been following my blog) I had to put my comrade of nearly 13-years to sleep. He was antique, suffering and it was the right thing to do. All the same, discussing it pangs a little, and I wasn’t quite ready to let that final matter elapse, until now.

The second reason I had to red-pencil the page was because, well, things happen. My  first fiscal advice book was due out on March thirty-one, but because of a few redacting fixes, it’s been pushed back. It will still release in 2012, but the day is now TBD. Calm down, it’s approaching. Honest.

The third reason for the change is plainly that I craved to make some. I occasionally get a germ up my backside and want to edit things I am not 100 percent euphoric with. You see, irrespective of how many times I proof my own material, I tend to overlook things now and again, or work out ways I could have articulated something better….so I go back and try once more.

And so, there you have it, my newfangled About Me page is up for viewing...and now you know why.

Live long and prosper and jazz.

Inquiries? Commentaries? Something brilliant and lustrous? Leave it below.
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 9:43 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

All right, not actually, but let’s get real here: you wouldn’t have clicked on the link to read this if I had named it, “A Critique of ‘Religulous’: the Motion Picture” or “What Religulous Did For Me”…and plus, those titles are feeble.

For those of you who might not know, those of you who have been holding up on an intergalactic space platform, or for those who may have been a troglodyte's roommate, here is the thing: I am an Atheist.

I realize that this news might come as a shock to a few of you. After all, I am a "right wing, nutjob conservative"…thus, it stands to reason that I ought to join the rank and file brothers and sisters on the right, right? Of course it does. As a matter of fact, it makes about as much intellectual sense as most other modern-day cock-and-bull stories.

Yet, I never said it had to make sense.It isn't your story. You don't get to tell it.

Before you bring up your paws in lamentation of my private decisions, or commence yet another prayer group on my behalf, listen.

I am not an Atheist because of my ignorance of religious belief. I am an Atheist because of my cognition of faiths…many of them. I have read the Holy Scripture cover to cover, on many occasions. In point of fact, I could go toe to toe with the best of them when it comes to verse and scripture. And it isn’t just the Bible I’ve read. I’ve scoured textbooks from an assortment of distinguishable faiths, and I found that they all had one thing in common: they just were not for me.

Granted, I’m not among “those” Atheists who frolics about, telling you that you can’t worship whatever divinity, God, Goddess, fig tree or fast-flying spaghetti monstrosity you prefer. That’s just wrong. I’m not the type to conjure all kinds of perdition about prayer in school or your right to ask God to assist Junior in winning his 3-year-old T-ball tournament. If you believe God is epic enough to address world war, famine and poverty while lending a hand to Junior, so be it. Even so, I’m fed up with being in the closet -Tom Cruise is in here, and he is not gracious.

Why now? Why come out? What inspired me to leave my Gollum-like dwelling? One word, er, movie: Religulous

If you ask me, Atheists, non-Atheists, Christians, Jews, Mormons…heck, even Buddhists should watch this film. And I am not alleging 'Religulous' is on the same level with greats like Schindler’s List, but the film does contain a lion’s share of thought provoking moments. It got me thinking, and that is saying something.

And, I don’t want to hear, “I don’t like Bill Maher,” as your over-used justification for quashing this film like the Black Death, because I don’t like Bill Maher either. In fact, I have such a potent antipathy for the man that it took me four years to come round and watch this docudrama -it came out in 2008. Nevertheless, just because I don’t like the bozo, doesn’t mean everything he has to allege is everlasting bile -say what you will, but the man is far from block headed. (Misogynistic pig...probably).

The bottom line is that watching the flick won’t make you an Atheist -I swear to…sushi-but it will make you think and it could make you understand that Atheists like me, aren’t Beelzebub idolizing, leech-like vampires who creep around in the nighttime, ready and waiting to prey on the faithful. We are good, upstanding members of the community, we donate to charity, we feed the hungry, we do good things…, and we do all this just because we want to. 

If nothing else, this small donation of time might help you learn something about the Atheist next door, or the other one down the street. And really, when was learning something new ever an atrocious idea?
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 12:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Last week, while switching through my 1,289 channels, I stumbled upon a flick I had not watched in geezer hoods (a coon’s age for my fellow Texans): “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” And although few could never debate that this particular motion picture personified a reverberant piece of cinema, it sure enough does a bang up job of being 109-minutes of cockamamie haphazardness. For what it misses in character ontogenesis and plot, the film highlights an innovation that I genuinely, sincerely wish I had in my employ: a point of view gun.

It works like this:
Pick a dupe
Aim artillery at dupe
Shoot victim
Dupe abruptly and miraculously takes in things from your point of view --whether victim would like to, or not

Can you guess how herculean the possession of something like that could be? A point of view gun could cease world-wide warfare, invigorate folks to feed the empty-bellied or bring people of divergent religions, political views or schools of thought in concert with one another. The potential for the benevolence one could arrange whilst employing such a creation is infinite. All the same, so is the potential for wickedness. I gauge that is how come this device isn't high on Stephen Hawking's "to do" list.

Nonetheless, in the spirit of trying to keep up with this rad innovation, I am doing my level best to make believe that I was shot by another person’s point of view gun all week this week. Every day, I am investing myself in a new, unfamiliar scenario and making sure I stay broad-minded to somebody else's point of view. As yet, my experimentation has proved invigorating, eye opening and worthwhile. On the other hand, it's only Tuesday. 

Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 6:30 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The last I wrote, I was knee-deep in some massive issues with Aradia on her walks. Since then, I bought her a harness, and some of those issues have subsided –thankfully. We still have a few speed bumps, but we are working through them, and I am much more consistent. Overall, she is a great (and very smart) dog.

However, there is a dastardly external factor continuing to rear its ugly mug and it is really getting under my skin. It seems as if more than handful of my neighbors cannot be bothered with throwing down $10 for a leash. And it really is out of control. 

While my dog keeps getting better and better on our nightly jaunts, I cannot help but notice how many dogs in my own neighborhood are neglected. These dogs are left outside in the back yard with no companionship all night and all day (I know this because they bark all night and all day) and are allowed to roam around the front yards without a leash. I have had Chihuahuas charge me, Shitzu’s pee on me and Pugs on the prowl. My dog has been bitten twice (by awful little dogs), and I have nearly gotten my arm yanked out of my socket to prevent what I know will be a German Shepherd choking hazard. And all of this mess is thanks to people who obviously insist that they are “God’s special little snowflakes, who simply do not need to abide by the rules.”

 I really dislike these people…and I really dislike their dogs. 

When you get a puppy, you make a commitment. It’s your forever dog, not your “right now” dog. You abide by the leash laws. You get them vaccinated. You do not let your dog attack people and giggle as if his behavior is cute. And, frankly, if you are not ready to make that kind of long-lasting commitment, you need to take a good, hard look in the mirror before you bring a puppy home. Fix yourself first. 

There is no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners. Moreover, as I have quite recently discovered, I reside around 85 percent of the bad owners on the northeast side of San Antonio. –insert heavy non-productive sigh. 

Any brilliant ideas from those of you out there in internet land to solve my external predicament?
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 1:11 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Monday, April 2, 2012

This (rather brilliantly, if you ask me) cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get and
puts it into a much better perspective:

      Lesson # 1:
      * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
      * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
      * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
      * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
      * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

      Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
      * Annual family income: $21,700
      * Money the family spent: $38,200
      * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
      * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
      * Total budget cuts: $385
Got It ?????

You see, we are not in mountains of debt in our country because we don’t tax enough, we are in debt – and operate on a deficit— because we spend too much money. Period. Unless, of course, you have the number for the “Pennies from Heaven” hotline.In which case...I'd love it if you could share.

Now, on to lesson # 2:
       Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
      Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a
      sewer backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage
      all the way up to your ceilings.
      What do you think you should do ......
      Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?
      Your choice is coming Nov. 2012

Enough Said
Posted by Shauna Zamarripa On 12:52 PM No comments READ FULL POST
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    Shauna made her mark in blogging starting in 2008 and has been on the front page of major publications such as Yahoo!,, MSN Money, CNN Money and more. Her finance and real estate expertise are world renowned and free to the average user. Shauna also runs a marketing consulting company and is the team lead for one of the largest teams in San Antonio, TX - Rockstar Agents and RE/MAX North. 


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