User: Ari

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This section is all about me (Ari Sabouni). (If you want more about why, you can read the About section). So this might seem a little self-serving, but heck, what is life if it isn't sharing our experiences and perceptions, in the hopes that others can chuckle or learn from them?

Plus, I learned long ago, that once I write something down, the process of writing and organizing is cathartic. And once written, I can completely, "let it go". After I leave this mortal coil, at least there was a small part of me, that will live on -- whether in words, or lessons that others learned.

👤 I think everyone has had at least some "pleasant" experiences at the Doctors offices. If you haven't, it is probably just a matter of time until you will. I sometimes am left to wonder if the AMA is conspiring with Gerbels, Mengela, and other leftover National Socialists to think of new procedure to either torment, humiliate, or outright torture the common man. It is like, "we could do a MRI, blood test or cat-scan and figure this out; but an endoscopy would be much more fun... for us".


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Story of 25 years together, my wife and I. Photos, trips and stories. (This is about how long we've been together, not just married).
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Life experiences make us who we are (or influence it). Here's a few stories from my past that made me who I am, or at least influenced it or reflected it.
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Work experiences make us who we are (or influence it). This is too brutally honest to be a Résumé. It's more a dilbertesque look at the working world, not to malign the companies I worked at (which were far from the worst places), but more to remind others or myself of what experiences and lessons I got, when I didn't always get what I wanted.

Places we've lived, owned, or had as rental properties. Where you're from and what experiences you had, sort of define us -- or at least leave marks. Plus re-visiting them in pictures brings back memories.
Cars sort of matter to me: they were freedom and the ability to go where I wanted. For a while, they were sort of an extension of my personality, or at least reflected it a little -- though as I got older, I got more utilitarian and they're more a transportation device. These are pictures of cars that I've owned: or like make/model/color substitutes if I can't find pictures of my actual car.
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Pet's that I've owned, borrowed or lost. Some of them were just animals I cared for, many had strong personalities and I bonded with and thus missed when they passed, got lost, or eaten. Plus re-visiting them in pictures brings back memories.

I was just imagining, what would a Life Experience Resume look like, if you weren't applying for a job, and just sharing some of the things you'd accomplished: work, personal life, experiences. Plus I wanted to organize some pictures, diplomas, and accolades I'd collected. (Not counting things I'd thrown away, like Martial Arts Tournament Trophies).

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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... these are a few of my favorite things. Just a few videos that are worth the time to watch... some by me, some are by others. From motivational speakers, to life experiences, toastmasters speeches, and a little politics and comedy to break things up. I think each of these is worth the time invested.
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Someone dumped a large bunch of these refrigerator magnets on a white-board wall we had at work (in front of my office). One morning I came in feeling a bit melancholy and I wrote the following poem.

👤 I think everyone has had at least some "pleasant" experiences at the Doctors offices. If you haven't, it is probably just a matter of time until you will. I sometimes am left to wonder if the AMA is conspiring with Gerbels, Mengela, and other leftover National Socialists to think of new procedure to either torment, humiliate, or outright torture the common man. It is like, "we could do a MRI, blood test or cat-scan and figure this out; but an endoscopy would be much more fun... for us".


These are just a few of my stories:

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Being bitten by a black widow spider was not fun. I'd gone frogging, and then later had these muscle spasms, puking, and writhing in pain. My Mom said, "Food poisoning, next time don't eat frogs", and left me for a party. I spent the evening curled up in cramping pain, until I passed out. Later while retelling the story to a Marine/Friend, he laughed and explained that's what a black widow does, as he'd gotten envenomated as well. That explains why it was like no food poisoning I've had before or since: avoid it, if possible. You probably won't die, but it's no fun at all. more...
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My Nose Job (rhinoplasty) was because as a kid I tried to climb a cinderblock-wall, with a loose block at the top, that flattened my nose, and guaranteed I was a mouth breather. I eventually got that fixed, which involved discount plastic surgery, drugs, sexual harassment, and no real regrets more...
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Many people have never broken a limb. I'm not one of them. My left arm seems to like to snap like a twig. I've broken it five times. No, it isn't weak, and I don't have osteoporosis or brittle bone disease - I actually just do dumb things or get unlucky, and sometimes both. These are my stories. more...
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Deathrace 2000: Some people tell their kids, "watch out for cars" -- for me that was always an understatement. I was one of those lucky kids that got hit by a car, over and over and over again.

My final score was; Cars:4 Me:0 -- and that was just as a pedestrian, as a driver I had a few more accidents. more...
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Phobias and Anxiety: That which does not destroy us makes us stronger... but given the choice, I might opt for a little more weakness.

I learned a lot about phobias and anxiety the hard way. I was a precocious kid and early adult, and then something snapped. It helped me learn first hand what these things are, and are not. These are just my views, based on those experiences. I am not a psychologist but because of my experiences I've read quite a bit on the subject. I am hope that explaining some of these experiences will help others with "phobias" recognize what they are, or help those who know people with "phobias" to understand them a little better. more...
=== Brazen Shamelessness===

This is a video by me, on how I earned my superpower, with the help of poison oak and public humiliation in Junior High School

👤 Here's a list of experiences that I've had. Just little anecdotes on life, and what I've seen. Some have sort of a lesson, some just are what they are.


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I don't know why I am sharing this, but I invited a friend to go for a burger, then had to clarify it meant "just a burger". He was OK with that, but a little perplexed at the added clarification. What else would it mean? So I told my story... more...
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Yes, I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Twice. To me, it was no big deal. I just wanted to experience freefall, and enjoyed flying. I didn't think of it as very dare-devilish, though some others do. I had statistics on my side, but gravity and physics was working for the opposition. Then I met a Hustler Honey, and wanted to jump again. more...
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On 9/11/2001, I went into work like normal. I worked at a Newspaper, improving their Internet presence. My office was in the Press building. When a friend came in and said, "A plane has hit the Twin Towers". And I thought, "another silly pilot flew into it while in fog or something, like happened to the Empire State Building in 1945."... but I went down to the Newsroom to see the hubbub and read/watch what was coming across the wire.

The TV's were on (watching for other reports), the editors were furiously at work writing outlines of stories and re-laying out the paper around the news. We were shifting from evening to morning paper -- but at the time, we were still laying out for the afternoon, so this enabled us to be the first paper in area to get out. Though of course others were working on special editions, this was a small piece of history.

Based on the size of the hole, that didn't look like a Cessna had done it. And the wire seemed to imply it was large passenger plane, on a clear morning. Well, that's more concerning. Thoughts of, "La Guardia and Newark are both close to downtown, but the approaches are wrong to fly into a building".

And while watching, the second plane flew into towers, and another 500+ people lives ended, and the newsroom went deathly silent. I muttered terrorism. The story, and the history of the world, had just changed. People looked at me, as the thought sunk in. One plane might be an accident, two was an attack. People went back to work, reading, watching, compiling, writing, and laying out. All while trying to digest what was happening. Reports of other planes started coming in, and while I wrote a tech column for the paper (not news), I was still doing what I could to proof and help.

The Editor in Chief, wrote the Headline, "Terrorist Attack" on two lines (filling the top of the page). But it didn't line up right (word sizes were wrong). He was a good guy and wouldn't take offense, so I reached over his shoulder and without a word deleted the "ist", and it became Terror Attack -- which caused everything to fit nicely. He looked over his shoulder at me, and nodded, and that was the headline they ran with.

Then while watching TV, the first tower went down.

You could have heard a pin drop. One of the editors said, "What happened, where did it go?" She couldn't digest what she had seen. I replied, catastrophic failure, it collapsed. The other is coming down as well. (I tend to get dry and analytical when on overload). Another few hundred people had just died. Someone sobbed, another quietly wailed "No". Seasoned reporters, who had written about all sorts of tragedies and horrors were having a tough time processing watching so many lives extinguished for completely unknown and unfathomable reasons. What could these people have done to deserve their fate?

As the morning wore on, there was lots more to digest. The Pentagon got hit, that information was always less clear, another plane had gone down in Pennsylvania -- actually only a few hours from us by car. We drove there later and saw the empty field and scarred earth (before it became a memorial). And later hearing the recordings and last acts of those brave folks was both tragic and inspiring. Their last message to humanity was a combination of "I love you" to those they cared about, about "Never give up", while recognition sets in there's nothing you can do to save your own life, but maybe you can save others.

All the planes in the nation (or heading to it) were told to land. Fighters were scrambled. And emotional overload continued for days, as stories of people you knew were directly affected by losing a loved one, or missing. The tales of the first responders and their widowed spouses and children without a parent trickled in. About people trying to do the right thing, and a few surviving miraculously, and others dying trying to do right by the world.

I started school there (Downtown) a year and a half later. My hotel overlooked the hole that they were digging out, where the buildings had once stood, while rebuilding the path station. And going to class, I walked by the construction site, that was to become a memorial. Life has to go on, you need to overcome and rebuild. But 9/11 was still often discussed, and hearing stories of friends and classmates, that lost people they knew. One was stuck in the train-tunnel under the river for hours, and had to walk out -- because the first plane had hit, and they stopped the train that was on it's way the PATH station (underneath the towers).

I also remember a few years before that, we had visited NYC, and done the Empire State building, plays and a few other touristy things while there. And we talked about going downtown to the Twin Towers (Windows on the World)... but at the time, we had a full plate and said, "maybe next time". Every day that I walked by the construction site while going to school, I remembered that that time would never come. "Next time", is never guaranteed. more...
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There's this common myth that Air Rifles ("BB Guns" or "Pellet Guns") are toys, however, while they don't have quite the velocity of our top of the line modern rifles, they easily exceed black powder rifles that brought down buffalo and won the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. People hunt Buffalo and Elk with them, and they have no problem going through humans. Fortunately, since the gun-ignorant don't understand their threat, they aren't highly regulated (one last bastion of liberty, for now), and mass shootings and crimes are usually committed with gunpowder-based weapons. Which makes them especially popular in countries/place with hoplophobia. more...
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My wife, the airline attendant, and some stories of what it's like: from training, to a crazy cat person, to getting groped by TSA. more...
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The other day, I went and got my CCW (License To Carry a Concealed Weapon). Well, technically, I took the class to get my CCW, and have filled out my forms (it'll be a couple months before I get them back). And since I'm in the People's Republic of California, I only took the classes for the other ≈40 or so states (in Free America) that respect the Constitution and 2nd Amendment (called shall issue states): those silly rules don't apply in California, unless we get national reciprocity, then they'll secede. Still, it was an experience that I figured I'd share. more...
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HUD (Housing and urban development) has various programs that are meant to help low income and first time buyers into their own homes. Sounds great, right? Too many people can’t afford a house, so a little wealth redistribution ought to help them out? Yet not all the effects are positive — trust me, I know. more...
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Family, Fun, and driving circa 1997. What an atypically typical Christmas vacation looks like for us. We visit my family on Christmas Eve, and visit my wife's family on Christmas Day. There can be no two more different families on the face of the planet. more...
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A jury is made up of 12 people too dumb to lie? I had not been called for Jury Duty, ever before… then my luck ran out; I received "the summons". I must admit my curiosity at doing my civic duty, was tempered with the thrill of driving to downtown San Diego (in rush hour), dealing with my fellow man (which I don't always think too highly of), and sitting through a torturously long bureaucratic process -- all for $5/day (when parking cost me $7). Lets just say my cynical nature was not disappointed. more...
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Jury Duty: after 4 days of picking Jurors, they finally asked me questions and decided I wasn't one of the droid they were looking for, and they let me go. Primarily, it got to questions about why I taught Martial Arts, and saying, "because I really don't like bullies" was all it took for the preemptory challenges to let me go free, with a fist bump from another juror. more...
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These are the stories of my experiences pulling a gun to stop crimes, and how it differs from the stereotypes. In my life, I have personally used a gun to end an altercation three times. A rape, an armed car robbery, and a drug dealer or pederast trying to pedal something on a not so helpless young lad. more...
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Sadly, I became another victim of a government scam. The oldest racket in the book. The mafia calls it the "protection" racket - where you are extorted to pay them for protection, while you are forced to ignore that they are only protecting you from themselves. more...
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Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes... at least according to the song. Obviously, I didn't commit suicide, or that would make this article a lot more interesting. These are just a few stories I tell are about me finding bodies, or seeing it happen. I don't know if I'm just "lucky", but things happen around me. more...
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People will tell you to "think outside the Box". I learned early on, they don't mean it. Or more often they mean "not too much outside the box". more...
Salon ran a stupid race-baiting article by Priscilla Ward, but I know, I repeat myself: it was Salon. Still, her racist polarizing diatribe, made me want to retaliate in kind, re-living a mostly true tales of woe and racism in my past, in a parody of her article. Just to point out there's a whole lot of backstory in others lives that we may not know. more...
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This is a story of what shooting is like for me, and how it differs from the stereotypes. Now the plural of anecdote is not data -- but lies of omission, are lies. The media loves to bombard us with selective anecdotes about how guns ruined lives, but almost never about the many, many millions of times a year more, where they are just used for hobby or sport. This is just some of those. more...