Saturday, December 22, 2012

Missing in Action

Almost 2 years since I posted anything up.  That's way too long.  But, life's gotten in the way a little.  

I can pretty much sum up healthcare in America in one sentence:

The way that healthcare is provided in America sucks! 

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Back in the mix

I've said it many times on previous blog post that I would be much better about updating this blog, but something always comes up. Eh, why try to lie, I'm lazy as hell. Well, actually, I was lazy as hell. I've been feeling a lot more energy lately and have been getting things done.

Okay, let's talk about exercising. Back in my 20's, I got in shape for superficial reasons, look good for the ladies, and all that. My 30's brought on various health issues like gout, high BP, mysterious aches and pains. So, now I exercise mainly for health and longevity reasons. A few months ago, I screwed up my back doing some burpees. Instead of going to the doctor, I went to an acupuncturist who fixed my back in one session. I then let her know about all of my other health issues.

From there, she introduced me to a whole new world of possibilities. See, most people accept that as we get older we deteriorate. She showed me that I don't have to accept that. I've replaced bench pressing, squatting, and various gym exercises with Qi Gong and Tai Chi type exercises like the basic Tai Chi walk:

This exercise alone done for at least 15 minutes will help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and if done often enough, will keep the lower body strong throughout the rest of your life. I see people in their 80's who do Tai Chi, walking with as much pep and balance as most 20 year-olds. Most, people in their 80's wobble around when they walk and that's if they aren't using a cane or a walker or even a wheel chair.

For the most part, I feel 100% better than I did 3 months ago. As simple as these exercises appear, I can assure you that you really get a good work out. You won't look like a body builder or a supermodel, but you'll feel much better and have more energy. Now, I didn't intend for this blog post to be some sort of sales pitch about the wonders of Tai Chi and Qi Gong. But, I will vouch for it. The one thing I learned - laziness is an effect of poor health, not the cause. That's right!

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Favorite Action Movie

I saw the movie, the Expendables a few weeks back. And, although I did enjoy it, I just can't help compare all action movies to Predator. I liked it because it never promised any kind of sophisticated plot or any of those unnecessary things that a lot of these Academy Award snobs require in their films. The characters didn't have resolve any character flaws or learn some valuable life lesson. It was a movie about killing or else you get killed. It was pure non-stop action.

My favorite scene in the movie was the jungle shoot out scene:

I mean, I laugh every time I watch this scene. I watched the movie at the theater 3 times in the opening week just for this scene. The clip ended early, but after the guys empty their guns, they pan to a view of the jungle and it's completely gone. They destroyed about a few acres of jungle just with their guns. And the funny thing about it was that it seemed like the only reason they stopped was because they ran out of ammo.

The more that I think about the scene, I start to wonder a few things. For instance, when the first guy, Mac, starts shooting into the jungle and the other guys join him, did they know what they were shooting at? I mean, there was no way that they could have known since the Predator was still cloaked. So, the other guys just wanted to shoot guns. The other thing I wonder is why did they all come together to shoot? Isn't that a little dangerous to be all together. They were close enough to each other that a grenade would have killed all of them, end of movie. Of course, I didn't think of all of these questions until about the 20th time I saw this scene because it's such a fun scene.

Look, I make no apologies for liking this movie, but I know I'm not alone.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back on the Scene

Yikes! Y'all need to remind me not to spend so much time away from here. But, I'm back on the scene and ready to express myself to all of you again. Just to let you all know, I didn't make it on to Last Comic Standing. I did get an opportunity to audition, but alas, the judges decided to pass. No biggie. Time to move on. I would like to congratulate Felipe Esparza for winning the latest season of Last Comic Standing. I've had the opportunity to perform with him in the same shows early in my career. He was always very encouraging and I wish him nothing but the best.

Today, I want to talk to y'all about the movie, "Fight Club". This movie has had a significant influence on my life and the way that I view the world. In the movie, Brad Pitt's character says - The things you own end up owning you. It's only after you lose everything that you're free to do anything. It hit me pretty hard when he said that. See, I never realized how much of a burden that owning houses, nice cars, and HD TV's can be. Most people spend their lives working jobs they hate in order to acquire those things. And, when they finally get them, they lack joy and fulfillment in their lives. It's like all that effort was for nothing.

But, ever since that movie came out, I've wanted to live a simple life. I took a step in that direction the past few days, by getting rid of a lot of "junk" that I've accumulated over the years. I got rid of a lot of books that I barely read, CD's that I already loaded into my ITunes, a bunch of different scraps of paper and junk mail. I got rid of a lot of notebooks of jokes that I stopped telling many years ago. I got rid of a lot of clothes that I no longer wear or no longer fit me. The goal is to eventually get it to where I can fit all of my possessions into my car. Then, eventually, get it down to what I can fit inside a backpack. People think I'm crazy. But, what people fail to realize is that at any point, all of your stuff can be taken away from you. A fire, hurricane, earthquake can easily do the trick. Then, there's thieves and the government. Sometimes these two things are one in the same. And then, you're left with nothing anyways. So, what's the point?

Don't get me wrong. There are some nice things about sleeping on a comfortable bed, inside a place that has heating and air conditioning. But, there's a great big world out there waiting to be discovered. There's a lot of beautiful people out there to meet and spend time with. I understand that you can have lots of possessions as well as travel. But there's only so much time. Time I'm spending working and acquiring possessions is time taken away from doing the things that bring me joy and fulfillment. And, it's the simple things bring me joy: a warm smile from a stranger, genuine laughter from an audience, good conversation while overlooking great scenery.

Basically, I desire to live as a nomad. I mean, I could have skipped the last few paragraphs and just said I wanna be a nomad. But, I did feel like I had to explain myself a little bit. So, the Way of the Braza is starting to become the Way of the Nomad. Where will I go? I dunno quite yet. I'll let my heart lead the way.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Last Comic Standing

Yesterday, I auditioned for Last Comic Standing. And to make a long story short, I did no move on. What was weird about the whole thing was that none of the judges gave me an actual reason why they were saying no to me. They summed it up as "it's a no, but it's not a mean no". Eh, no big deal. As much as I would have liked to have been on the show, I'm happy that I gave it a go. Joe Braza is off to bigger and better things.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Bam Bam

I've always loved this song by Chaka Demus and the Pliers titled Bam Bam:

Whenever I'd hear it, I would feel like - yeah, ahhhhhhhhh....

Well just recently, I learned that Chaka Demus & the Pliers were not the original artists of this song. That honor goes to Toots and the Maytals. Here's there version:

Now with most songs that have been remade, people usually have a version that they like more. And I would probably have to say that I like the Maytals' version just slightly more. I dunno if that has to do with it being newer to me. But, their version has such a easy, relaxing vibe to it while Chaka's version has a fun, energetic vibe. I guess I'm just feeling really chill as I write this.

The point of this blog entry: I like this song and wanted you all to know it. YES!

Monday, January 4, 2010

If you like piña colada........

Hello my brothers and sisters. I feel excited to be back in the mix for 2010. So, I picked up a good friend of mine from the train station and we get to talking about random things. He mentioned how if he had done certain things differently in his life that he'd be sitting on a Caribbean beach right now, sipping on a piña colada. And, two things dawned on me at that point. Number one: As somewhat well-traveled as I claim to be, I have never been in the Caribbean, not one island, cruise, not even Cancun. Heck, I've never even seen the Gulf of Mexico. Number two: Although a piña colada's considered a "girlie" drink, I believe that it isn't. It's at the very least, the least "girlie" of the "girlie" drinks. Bottom line, Joe Braza is still a man even if he wants to drink a piña colada right now.

Now, I'm not much for New Year's Resolutions. I believe that if you wanna make a resolution, you don't have to wait until the next year to start. You can start anytime. You can make it a March 15th resolution or a November 27th resolution. But, having said that, I do believe that if I'm going to continue to claim to be somewhat well-travelled, I should spend some time in the Caribbean region. So, by the end of this year, I, Joe Braza will have gone and traveled to the Caribbean region. I was thinking of the Dominican Republic or Jamaica and maybe even Aruba. I would love to go to Cuba, but there's this thing with the embargo that screws up that idea. I do want to spend a good amount of time in the island of choice. For instance, I don't want to go island-hopping, spending 2 or 3 days on a bunch of different islands. No, I wanna really get to know a place. So, I'm gonna spend some time researching and making a decision. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. But, until that trip, I'm gonna go down to 7-11 and get a piña colada slurpee. That should hit the spot