Sunday, February 27, 2005
But John McLaughlin underscored how low our expectations are of the Idiot in the White House. He gave the trip a 7 and said that Bush performed "ably". WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? ABLY? If Clinton had performed "ably", every fucking right wing idiot would've been calling for his head (not that the genius commentators like Rush "Oxycontin Addict" Limbaugh and Anne "I'll Just Make Shit Up" Coulter and FOX news weren't calling for his head every week). "Ably" is what you say about people you have no expectations of who actually pull off a job. "Ably" shows just how shitty we really think Bush is. "Ably" shows that we, as Americans, know how lacking Bush is (while the right wing just buries its head in the sand on this and touts his "Christian" background).
No wonder the world couldn't understand the November elections. They somehow got the wrong impression that we, as Americans, would elect the better man, the more intelligent man, the better leader. Oh no, that's not how politics in America works. We showed the world that 52% of Americans are sheep that can led down the primrose path to slaughter by simply scaring them with talk of the "war on terror" or that you simply have to wrap yourself up in the Bible (despite the fact that most of your actions are very unChristian). Even though there is a world of evidence that proves Bush lied about WMDs, the 52% who voted for Bush somehow disregarded that; some would say that "he did what he thought was best" (one of my friends actually said this). Gee, isn't that the nice thing you say to someone who does something without thinking and then comes to the realization that he fucked up really badly?????????
Friday, February 25, 2005
So in one of my first posts about ML, I mentioned she has a son. He's a bit spoiled, but he is a good kid nonetheless. Before I went for a visit, ML had been priming this kid to meet me. She would tell him things like "mommy has a new boyfriend" and so on. So when I finally met him, he took to me right away. Everywhere I went he wanted to hold my hand. We'd go to the park and he'd want me to push him on the swings. He'd want to play catch with me. He told ML, "Mom, I like him." He even told ML at dinner later that if she wanted to marry me, that was okay with him. I thought it was hilarious and ML was shocked. ML's ex-husband has a great relationship with his son and he has hated everyone she has dated in the past.
So I get an email from ML on Wednesday saying that she and her son were watching TV recently. They were watching "The George Lopez Show" (one of my faves) and one of the characters was getting married. ML's son asked her when she and I were going to get married. He then started asking about me over and over; when was I going to visit again; when I was going to move in with them. So, she asks me if I will talk to her son as a favor to her. She said she realized that she wasn't sure what I should tell him, and that we'd need to talk beforehand. She did say if I couldn't, she'd understand.
I was really bothered by this. I have a huge soft spot for kids and ML knows this. Every Christmas at some point, my nephews give me a sob story that my sister "won't take us to McDonalds and we've been good all day" (when in reality, all day long they've been mischievious, hornery, or as my mom would say "travieso") knowing that a secret trip to McD's will soon take place. I think the world of my nephews and have their pictures in my cube at work, as well as a watercolor that my oldest nephew made in class.
I haven't written back or called ML about this. I can understand ML wanting to break it to her son, but isn't that more of the mother's place than my own? Am I an asshole for not wanting to get tangled up in this anymore and just being able to go on with my life?
Thursday, February 24, 2005
What's the difference between a lawyer and a hooker?
The hooker will stop fucking you once you're dead.
Two lawyers are walking along the beach in Florida when they spot a nude blonde model drowning. Both of the lawyers decide to be chivalrous and swim out to rescue her. When they get her back to the shore, they notice she has since passed out. The first lawyer looks at his buddy and says, "Hey, let's screw her!!" The second lawyer asks, "Out of what?"
Did you hear about the lawyer who would get turned on by the law?
He got off on a technicality.
I know these are terrible, but if you've got more, post 'em in the comments.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Does anyone see what I see in that commercial? To me, it seems like showing a couple of black teenagers and the possibility of getting drafted won't create any controversy (of course, this is a Sinclair broadcasting channel, which did everything it could save air a homemade porno of John Kerry to get Bush, the Anti-Christ, re-elected). Anyways, I was curious as to why this commercial would only show black teenagers; if they wanted to increase viewership, all they had to do was interview some white kids from the suburbs. Of course, this station might view this as not supporting the Bush, the Anti-Christ (hereinafter the A/C) and his little war; and we can't have that, can we?
So, how likely is a draft? Everytime I see "experts" on TV, they keep saying either we have the manpower and there is no crisis (i.e. Pentagon staff memebers or generals) or we have someone saying the forces are stretched thin to the breaking point (i.e. think-tank guy).
I think the truth lies somewhere between. For one, I know that recruiters are desperate. The fact is, no one wants this war except big-business because they're the only ones that stand to profit from this.
So why is the average Joe going to send his kids to fight for a war that everyone knows was premised on a lie? Eventually the military is going to have the problems that were rampant following Vietnam up until Desert Storm, which is poor quality troops. The qualifications for enlistment will fall, therefore, the quality of soldiers/sailors will drop. It used to be "go to jail, or go to the Marines." Watch the movie Buffalo Soldiers to get an idea of how the Army was before Desert Storm. It won't be long before we hit that again; if it isn't already happening.
Plus troop morale is low; very low. The worst thing you can do to a soldier is to send to a combat zone or to some shitty assignment and tell him "you'll be here for one year". Then near the end of the tour, tell him you're going to extend his tour. Imagine being told after one year of bombings, shootings, firefights with civilians getting killed that you're being extended involuntarily. Who is going to reenlist if Uncle Sam can't even keep his promise that your tour is one year?
Ultimately, unless we pull our troops very soon, there will be either a severe loosening of recruitment standards or a draft. Something has to give and soon. Unfortunately, if there is a draft, the rich will find a way around it by going to college and then Congress will simultaneously cut student financial aid in the same breath.
The only good thing about a draft is the severity of the action. A draft will no doubt prompt protests, unrest, civil disobedience, and public pressure on an administration that gets very unfavorable marks in foreign policy by the American public. This country is going down the wrong path right now and most people sense bad times are ahead (unless you are one of those for whom tax breaks "really" help; i.e. the upper 5%). It is unfortunate that something as extreme as a draft would have to take place to facilitate genuine change in society; but it would do just that. It takes a tragedy and outrage and sadly in the case of the war, probably more deaths to effectuate positive change.
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
I know it's silly for a guy who is going on 34 to be a fan of band like Blink 182. But you've got to realize that I've been listening to these guys almost as long as they've been a band. I first heard these guys when I was living back in Florida in 1996. I had just started getting into the whole ska-punk thing and I heard NoFX for the first time. So at the indie record store I always shopped at, they had a "if you like this, try this" thing at the front of the store. So, they had NoFx "Heavy Petting Zoo" and the "try" CD was Blink 182 "Buddha" (a used copy but I was happy nonetheless). I heard it, liked it alot, and so I bought it.
The following year (1997) the guys released "Dude Ranch". I had sorta forgotten about the band, but the first time I heard "Damnit (Growing Up)" on the college radio station back home (I was out of the Army by this time), I ran out immediately and bought the CD (along with Less Than Jake "Losing Streak"). From that point forward, Blink CDs always occupied a spot in either my CD player or my computer or my walkman. I always ran out and bought the new CD on the day it was released; I tried to see them in concert as often as I could afford (unfortunately for me, it was only twice I got to see them live). I was and will always truly be a fan for many reasons. First, if I ever was talented enough to start a band, these guys embodied the spirit I wanted. They didn't take themselves too seriously, they made jokes about themselves constantly so that it never seemed that stardom got to their heads, and they had a good time wherever they went. Secondly, they never forgot the fans. There is a restaurant in San Diego called Sombrero where they grew up. They always stop in to eat whenever they can. Some fans heard about this and started to send letters, pictures, etc. to Sombrero. So when Tom and Mark would stop in for a bite to eat, they would go through the stuff and call the fans to thank them. And third, their music was just fun. Simple riffs, fun melodies, and the videos were hilarious.
I think my company would have some sort of objection if I wore a black armband tomorrow or wore one of my concert t-shirts. I will mourn to myself because although it sounds a little corny, I also see this as a passing of another sort. I think the last album was sort a turning point. I think they knew the days of dick and fart joke songs were over and that it was time to move on. It's unfortunate, but it's almost like it was time to grow up and leave those things in the past. Growing up sucks and I guess maybe the guys felt that they had grown up and reached the point where the spirit of the band was no longer viable. I guess this is the sign that it's time for me to quit daydreaming about playing my guitar and just pick it up everyday or just let the fantasy go. (Sigh) I guess I have to grow up too ... but I'll go down fighting.
Monday, February 21, 2005
The last time I went to see ML was right before X-Mas. Truth is, she asked me to go down because I wouldn't be able to afford to visit until about the middle of January (gotta pay off that X-Mas stuff). I told her that I couldn't afford to. She said not to worry and to just get down there and she'd pay for everything. Now, my pride wouldn't let me just accept this, so I go down and tell her that I will pay her back for everything. And when we split, she made a comment that I knew her address and where to send the money I "owed" her.
So cut back to Friday's email. I immediately send her back a note saying that if she is worried about the money I "owe" her, that I will repay her when I get back my tax refund. SO, the next day I get note telling me that I'm an ass and that I jumped to conclusions without giving her a chance. Of course I reply saying I wasn't trying to be mean or an ass. But when you consider how bad we left things, what am I supposed to think? Emails fly back and forth all day and I decide to call. I leave a message telling her she can call if she gets the chance. Then I get a note saying to forget it, that she doesn't want to argue or take the chance on getting her feelings hurt again, and that I "was" special to her but that it is over now and that we both know it.
First of all, weren't my assumptions valid? I mean, when the last thing you hear about is the money, isn't it valid to assume that is what is important when she contacts me? Secondly, why would she contact me after all the venom she has spewed only a month ago? I only need to remember that is a girl who bragged (and rightly so) that there were 100 guys lined up for a shot and that every male student she student teaches is, in her words, "all about this." Is it the fact that I'm not on my knees begging (or not even speaking to her for that matter) that is driving her crazy? She repeatedly let me know that guys in her past would do anything for her.
I will not go back to her and I haven't responded to the last email. But I just want to learn from all of this. If I can learn something about myself or about relationships, then no matter how poorly a relationship is or how terribly it end, it is worthwhile. So any insights are greatly appreciated.
Here are some of my faves:
A gorgeous New Mexico sunset
Another gorgeous sunset (and nearly every day ends this beautifully)
Hiking in the desert
I miss clear sunny days with my beautiful mountains nearby
Thanks again VIVO (Tonya). Please check out the site; the pictures are amazing and you'll know why I miss my home state so much at times.
Sunday, February 20, 2005
I watched SNL this past weekend a bit and with the exception of the news segment and Horatio Sanz, there isn't much funny I see on the show. Am I being too hard on it? Maybe I need to give it more of a chance. It seems that since Tracy Morgan, Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, and Chris Katan have left, well, there isn't much left. I know I have to give the new cast a chance but the writing seems so thin today. I think part of it might have to do with the range of the cast members, which I don't think is all that broad. Tina Fey is brilliant, but beyond her, there just isn't much substance. Its seems the overwhelming majority of the new skits are based on current events, which helps keep the show current. However, it will never lend itself to developing the next Wayne and Garth; the next Blues Brothers; the next Coneheads; the next Operaman; or the next Spartan Spirit skits.
Another thing that left me bothered was the how the old SNL in those first 5 years had AMAZING musical guests. They would have Peter Tosh singing "Legalize It"; The Dead doing "Do You Believe In Magic"; Bob Dylan; Jimmy Cliff; Patty Smith; and the list goes on and on. Today, every once in a while, they'll get a band that is on the cutting edge like the Scissor Sisters. But for the most part today, it's safe stuff .... U2 (don't get me wrong, I love the boys but they're mellowed now); Eminem (who seems to be the musical host every other week); 50 Cent (who is the host on the odd weekends Eminem isn't on); Kelly Clarkson (try to refrain from snickering); and even "controversial" lip-syncing Ashley Simpson (like anyone actually believed she got where she is today based on talent). It seems that Clear Channel has taken over booking their musical guests, which could explain why the same musical guests show up 4 times every season.
Sigh ... guess just another sign that I'm getting older or that this nation is getting more uptight. I think in my heart its the latter; but maybe it is just me. Any thoughts??
Reporter: Hey W, you know they that pot is legal in Amsterdam, right?
The look on his face is like "Is that right? Sweet!!". The irony is that W is worried about some kid smoking pot. Shouldn't he worry about some kid in the future lying to Congress, the Nation, and the UN about a justification for going to war? Shouldn't he be worried about some kid in the future cutting aid to elderly, poor, and schoolchildren so that Haliburton can get a few more bucks? Of all the fucking dumb things to worry about; trust me, no kid is going to say "Hey, you know the president smoked pot. I think I will try it too." Fucking dumbass W.
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Friday, February 18, 2005
I can already here NML and maybe even Trixie moaning "There's no fucking way". Aaaah, but the male is similar to the female in that he feels the same longing for love and companionship. I know this because 6 or 7 years ago, I would have laughed if someone would've told me I'd feel this way. I had my epipheny during this past Christmas while at my sister's place. She just had a baby back in May, my newest nephew Dominick. When I first got to my sister's place, I envisioned a holiday full of diaper changes, a screaming baby, and virtually no rest. Instead, I found myself holding this kid at every opportunity; babysitting him while she ran to the supermarket; holding him for hours on end; and just generally being fascinated with him. Maybe it was because I didn't have to work coupled with caring for a child that made it easier for me. Who knows? All I know is that when I finally had to leave, I was torn up. I'm always a bit torn up saying goodbye to my family, but this time, my nephew had gotten to me. In a way, he made me realize that living a life only for myself is well ... pretty empty. I might actually want a kid myself!!!! I never thought I would admit it, but I've kept it repressed 'til now. Maybe its just that thing that men are supposed to feel like they want to have someone to pass on their accumulated knowledge of useless things such as my ability to change the oil in my Jeep, how to build the perfect campfire, and even how to make the world's greatest chili. And, it's an excuse to keep playing PS2 for a few more years .... heh-heh.
So seeing Garden State made me realize that I do long for more. More than ML could've given me (even though she was riding my ass to find a job near her so I could move down); more than anyone in the past could've given me. I want that thrill of meeting someone new. I want the thrill of discovering someone. I want that little thrill you get when your hands meet for the first time and your fingers intertwine. I want that slight bit of embarrassment you get when you get caught staring across the table at that person because you can't believe how lucky you are that this person wants something to do with YOU. Not to mention that first kiss or the first time you two are alone and you're in no hurry to go anywhere. I just wanna find my Natalie Portman to stand with me in the rain on some abandoned piece of construction equipment and yell out into the abyss. Fuck, I'm getting old and trite. I hope I don't turn into one of those old men who keep telling young couples things like "Hang on to one another so you don't end up like me." I don't want to be the old guy at the club who, as Chris Rock says, "He's not really old, just too old to be at the club".
I think the difference for men and women is again the problem of maturity gaps. I'm nearly 35, still trying desperately to feel young. I've spent a lifetime running away from things that might tie me down (a bit of that wanderlust in me). However, now I'm at the maturity stage that women feel at like 28. I'm only one person so I don't want to attempt to speak for all men, but I'd say men certainly do mature later than women. Some men will mature more quickly than others; some women will not mature until close to my age. Some cynics will say it is a fear being alone that drive us to this point. Maybe. I like to think it's more than that and we're all somehow the same in some way underneath all the layers of consciousness we've chosen to wrap ourselves in.
Forgive me for such a lame post. I'll be back to my old self soon enough!!
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Plus, the big law firms will throw out everything they can to stall for time. I clerked for an attorney who once took on one of the big automakers in Detroit. When he requested to see all of the related documents (which the carmaker and their attorneys are supposed to turn over the requested items don't get "lost" by some law clerk or they simply can't find them because they "don't have enough manpower to sort through mountains of paperwork"), the carmaker literally sent over a tractor trailer loaded with documents. The "smoking gun" documents were in there, but they were buried and it took weeks to find it. The big firms simply "starve you out". They can file motion after motion; defense after defense; etc.. The idea is to draw out the case as long as possible until neither the plaintiffs nor their attorneys can neither bear it or afford to keep fighting.
So why doesn't the average Joe just hire one of the big law firms? Big law firms don't work on retainer. Big law firms don't take personal injury work. Big law firms only do defense work. So what type of law firm is going to take your case? A smaller law firm, which will have less experience in federal court. Small law firm attorneys certainly won't be cozy with the federal judges who were classmates of the attorneys from the big law firms. I firmly challenge anyone to call one of the big law firms in this country (need a list? I'll get you one) and call them about seeing if they'll help you sue a car manufacturer whose defective brakepads didn't work thus not enabling you to stop in time, and hit a parked car. They not only won't take your case; they won't even talk to you.
In the case of Tort/Lawsuit Reform, it's a clever switch of terminology here to get your sympathy. See, the anti-christ, I mean Bush, will call this a measure to throw out frivilous lawsuits. This makes you think that the courts are swamped with frivilous lawsuits; that every personal injury firm is filling the court docket with tons of lawsuits just hoping one will stick. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. The number of filings has remained consistent for some time now. There is no glut in the courts. There has been no substantial increase in the number of cases
So what is this "frivilous" lawsuit thing about? It's a policy that Bush and his cronies are making use of; you change the terminology to suit your need. For example, now everyone is convinced that we need to get rid of the "death tax"; only problem is, it's not a tax on death. It's a tax on inheritances. Ask the average American family with two jobs, struggling to make mortgage payments, and loaded with debt if there should be a tax on the inheritance that some little rich cocksucker gets when his old man kicks the bucket. You can damn sure they'll say "hell yeah". BUT .. if you recharacterize it as a tax on death or say "you should be able to keep what you earned during your lifetime", then the average family will say "no way we should tax it" (The idea behind the inheritance tax is that it is a way to redistribute wealth in a society so that it isn't concentrated in the hands of the few). All of this simply means that you use different words to place the meaning in a different context so it becomes harder to refute or challenge (after all, what politician is going to say "yes, we need a tax on death?).
So what will the end result of all this be? This will be a return to the Ford Pinto days of the 1970's. Remember that? Probably not and most Americans have forgotten it which is disturbing. In the '70's, Ford was hit by a spate of lawsuits involving their Pinto. Apparently, when you hit the car from behind, it would explode into flames. But fixing the cars wasn't an option for Ford. Why you ask? Ford had already calculated that it was more cost efficient to settle any impending lawsuits involving Ford Pintos than to recall and fix the cars. So they were goin to let more people die rather than fix the cars because it was cheaper. Americans were outraged and all hell broke loose. Well, we've forgotten the lessons of the 70's. Guess what? With this new law, it will be cheaper for companies like G.E. and Eli Lilly to settle with victims than to correct the problems and save lives. So now you'll see the day when people die or get injured by products, they'll be told what the maximum amount they can get for their injuries because there are now laws on the books with that figure, thanks to the Anti-Christ and his coven there in D.C..
See, I had worked for her on a Sunday about a month ago and in return, she offered to work a Friday for me. I had completely forgotten this. I had planned on visiting ML this weekend when I took that extra shift. How can you forget a Friday off??? Damn, I'm getting old or losing it, or both!!!
SV: I'm red-green colorblind.
SV: That's why I know the sequence of traffic lights.
DR: Wow ..... Christmas must be a real bitch for you then.
I nearly pissed my pants laughing when DR said that. SV is a great guy and he just about lost it himself. The best part today was that while I was driving along, I couldn't help but laugh. I looked like an idiot laughing to myself as cars passed by. Aaaahh, the funny things we think about while driving.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Idiot caller: Yeah, I need to find federal cases that will allow us to file a claim even though the statute of limitations has passed. Our client is a corporation and they've sorta waited for years to file this.
The Devil: I see. So the statute of limitations expired. What federal law is it that has the statute of limitations defined within it.
Idiot Caller: xx USC xxxx. (This would be the law that says that you must file your case within so many years).
The Devil: So let me get this straight. You want something that says you can file a claim, even though your client waited far too long to file and even more importantly, there is a federal law that says you can't?
Idiot Caller: Yeah.
See, this is why the law is fucked up. Big companies will pay big law firms big money to spend hours, weeks, months, to find something that will allow them to circumvent the laws that you and I must obey. Chances are, this attorney probably found some obscure case in some obscure instance where the court allowed it. This big company was probably being billed hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars an hour. So while you and I and small companies would've had to just suck it up and say "Damn, it's too expensive to keep researching this and there is still the chance the judge will just throw our claim out of court as frivilous."; the big companies can afford to starve out the smaller guy because the smaller guy doesn't have a war chest stuffed with billions of dollars. In other words, in the legal world, the guy with the most money who can hire the bigger law firm wins about 99% of the time.
But to make matters worse, we get some callers who treat us like their personal look up/document retrieval service. These are the lazy fuckers I hate. They don't know how to research or worse yet, they haven't even started even though they swear up and down they've been researching for hours or all day. See, here is what is scary folks. These types of lawyers are getting close to, if not more than, six figures a year. Yet, they won't do the research. They'll call into some dumb schlep like me making nowhere near that much money and having us do the research for him. The scary thing is, it's not our ass on the line; we won't be guilty of malpractice if we give the guy some materials or sources but he misses the important cases or laws that make his arguments null and void. Ultimately, the client will lose because his attorney didn't do the job because he/she couldn't be bothered to do the research. If I'm a doctor, I'm not going to call into some medical database and say, "Yeah, this guy has gout. What do I do?" Essentially, this is what these types of guys/gals are doing when they call us. Now, we do get the callers who love us. If we find exactly what they're looking for, they all but tell us they love us (and I'm sure that someone has said they do love us). They're grateful and respectful and I would gladly spend all day helping that person.
The good thing about the job is that if I ever decide to practice, I will be that much more ahead of so many attorneys out there. I know how to research and where to research. I have to say that my company is decent to work for; they do take care of us (although more money would be nice); and the benefits are pretty damn good (everywhere I go in this city offers us some sort of discount for working at the company). So if anyone from the company reads this, they'll know I dig the company but hate the lazy callers. Plus, working in a customer service environment has made me that much more courteous when I go somewhere. If a waitress gets my order a little bit wrong, I let her know. But I don't make a scene and demand to see the manager immediately. That sort of thing is for assholes who want to belittle someone because they have small man/small dick syndrome. When I call the phone company or a utility company, I have the information that I need ready (i.e. account number, what exactly I am looking for, etc...). This makes it easier on everyone. Its so funny because when I get put on hold, I always tell them "take your time" or "don't worry, do what you need to do". It's amazing how a little sugar goes a long way to making your whole experience that much sweeter.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I have listened like 3 times to each clip super close. Supposedly the new album will be out this spring so hopefully he'll tour this summer. Gotta see Dave every chance I can. I know, I know .... huge geek. But damnit, Dave Matthews is freaking awesome!!!! Anyone else a DMB fan??? Tell me your fave DMB song. If you look back at my older posts, I have 2 DMB songs in my Top 20 of all time. I know, I know ... even huger geek that I took the time to rank the songs.
Monday, February 14, 2005
Sunday, February 13, 2005
One problem I have with the movie is that it shows about the only aspect of Colombia or Latin America or South America that we ever focus on, drugs. I'm not denying that Colombia has more than its share of drug problems; to say otherwise is to simply put my head in the sand and act like it doesn't exist. I guess I was just disappointed that the story couldn't have been about more than a drug mule. Wouldn't it have been just as interesting a story about how she would deal with an unwanted pregnancy in a predominantly Catholic country where machismo still runs rampant? It seems that Hollywood wants to portray Latinas/os, but only within the confines of a tired stereotype. How many more times will I see a Mexican gardener or housekeeper?
The other problem I have is related to immigration. No, I'm not saying that I was shocked or angry she decided to stay. I guess I was a little surprised that she decided to stay period. I didn't like that the film left me with a sense of "everything is so much better here, why go back?" Maybe I'm just reading into it. I know, she has a baby on the way and when she got the ultrasound, she realized that maybe here the baby would get better prenatal care. But remember, she doesn't have papers, the only job she'd be able to get would be doing something like what she was already doing back in Colombia. There should've been some acknowledgement of the good things about Colombia and that it was a heartbreaking decision to stay. I think part of it was that she somehow knew that she might not have the greatest life herself, but her children would reap the benefits of her sacrifice. I know I'm reading way too much into the film; we're supposed to walk away feeling okay that everything was "settled".
You know, Chris Rock in his last standup special did a bit on being an American. He made the point that immigrants are real Americans. They have walked deserts, hid on ships, overcame huge and impossible obstacles to get here. The odds are against these folks and then you have John Q. Public who rants about how proud to be an American he is, "I'm an American. I'm a fucking American." These are "Americans" by birth only. They rave about how they support the troops and the wars we fight. But the vast majority of these hypocrites never serve in the military; to them, putting a fucking magnetic yellow ribbon (bought at a Wal-Mart and made in China) on the gas guzzling SUV (which necessitates us invading 3rd world oil rich countries) means that they are being patriotic. Bullshit; offer up your kids if you support this war; offer up your life so that you can truly become an American and truly appreciate what this country has to offer those from other nations.
But how many of these "patriots" really appreciate what people go through to get here, only to face prejudice everyday? Only to work at a fast food restaurant that the vast majority of American kids would never be caught dead working at? Only to be treated as subhuman on menial jobs that offer no healthcare, dental, life insurance benefits? How many Americans are willing to work landscaping today for less than $10 an hour? How many Americans are willing to work fast food? The guy from Africa, who will drive a cab for 12 hours a day; the woman from Mexico cleaning the grocery store at 2 in the morning; the Asian man working at a restaurant 7 days a week; these are real Americans. They put up with our mistreatment; our prejudices; our snide comments; our dirty looks so that their kids won't have to live like they do now. There used to a time in this country when Americans would vote for politicians who would offer a better life for their children. Imagine a politician today saying, "You may feel the pinch now and you won't experience the benefits yourselves. But in the future, your children will reap the benefits of your work today." That guy would never make it on the ballot today. It is a shame that as "Americans" by birth, the overwhelming majority of us can never truly appreciate the hardship that immigrants overcome just for the opportunity in America so that their children will even have a shot at a better life.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
It's fucking racing. That is all it is. Yet, everywhere I go here in Ohia (apparently, that is how people living south of I-70 pronounce it) I see cars and trucks with a numbered sticker showing some sort of allegiance to a NASCAR driver. I don't say NASCAR athlete because while these guys may be in great shape, they're not athletes. They're sitting in a car, driving at high speeds. Granted, it is very intense; but does this mean that we'll make a sport out of long distance truck driving as well? I mean, these guys are driving well above the posted limit and they have to deal with unforeseen obstacles on the road all the time and it's a race against time (fictional truck driver: "I gotta be in (insert city name) within 12 hours").
But back to the thing with putting a number sticker on a car. Why? I can see putting a sticker of your alma mater, professional sports team, or even a band on your car. There are traits to those organizations or bands that make them unique and easily identifiable. You might even associate certain traits of that band, school, etc. with the driver (if you see someone with a Bauhaus sticker, you might think "There goes a goth.") Now, why do hilljacks identify with a driver? Sure, the driver may give an interview and be a nice guy, but why put the sticker on a car?? I can see if maybe driver #11 is from the same hometown or from a nearby town. But what if driver #11 is from Tennessee, yet fictional mullet haired fan lives in Michigan? What possible connection could is there? It's not like if he were driving an unmarked car, fictional mullet boy might say "Oh yeah, that is totally #11. Can't you tell by the way he made that left turn?" See where I'm going with this? If weren't for the markings on the car, mullet wearing NASCAR fan would never know who this guy is and wouldn't feel some sort of allegiance to him. Unless of course, maybe he happens to be a big fan of #11's sponsors (fictional mullet haired NASCAR fan "I've got a #11 sticker on my van because he's sponsored by Bud and I drink Bud; I've been drinking Bud my whole life"). See, at least with a team or a band there are uniquely identifiable traits such as knowing that the Steelers are going to have a punishing defense and a pounding running game; an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo will never be confused with an Eric Clapton solo; ManU may play a trapping type of defense differently than say Arsenal.
Maybe people are just fans of the color schemes of the cars? So does this mean I need to find the driver whose colors match my faves? Now, I know someone will come on here and talk about being at a NASCAR event and how that is what draws fans. OK, so I can understand the atmosphere and so on. Again, why do people really go to racing events? For CRASHES!!! Almost no one is sitting in the stands with a log book and a stop watch charting the progress of #11 lap after lap. So really people at a NASCAR event are there for 1) crashes and 2) beer. So these fans sit out in the sun and get drunk with fast cars going in a circle. You've got to give NASCAR credit; they let the fans walk the track before hand and the drivers do make themselves accessible to the fans. But again, its the crashes they want. I don't know what it is that I'm overlooking that makes hilljacks sit in the stands with no shirts and sporting sweet mullets drinking the Beast. Is it that these folks feel allegiance to a car company? (Again mullet haired fan "#11 drives a Ford; I own a Ford; so I'll put a #11 sticker in the window of my Ford van) I drive an old Jeep Cherokee, so I can never get into NASCAR because what would a Jeep be doing going 100 mph?? Burning is what it would do!!
So anyone who can enlighten me on the craze or addiction or sickness known as NASCAR, please do!!!! And yes, I made up the #11 driver ... I don't know if such a driver exists in NASCAR but if there is, more power to him.
Friday, February 11, 2005
Of course, there are the usual standbys of Springer and Maury. Springer will do the dub-T or hilljack thing (white trash as they say in Ohio). Maury will have those "who is my baby's daddy?" episodes. I've heard that Jerry Springer is huge in the UK. I'll have to defer to NML on this. I wonder if they have the "who is my baby's daddy?" episodes of some talk show in the UK or we the only nation willing to stoop this far for entertainment? I know, I only exacerbate the problem by watching, but damn, it is entertaining.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
So what about the family with the husband who has been laid off so that a Hallmark or other corporation can boost the profit margin by a fraction of a tenth of a percent by "trimming the fat"? What about the single mother living on public assistance (if the Republicans will use the euphemism of "death tax" for the inheritance tax, I will use this instead of welfare) or struggling to make ends meet? What about the families of our soldier's over in Iraq fighting for a fictional premise manipulated by the wealthy to further carve the wealth of the world a bit more? What about the family in Africa whose son has been killed so that diamonds can be mined (we all have heard of blood diamonds)? Rather than looking at a shitty side of love, I look at it more in political terms. I guess whether I like it or not, Politics is embedded into my psyche.
This is not to say that I don't believe in love. I know that love does exist; maybe not in the nice fairy tale image that most of us would like to see, but it does exist. I know that love is intelligent, patient, understanding, sexy, caring, nurturing, non-judgmental, forgiving, hard work at times, and well worth it. I'm just not into celebrating a holiday created by those in the business of selling greeting cards, flowers, and jewelry. Maybe I'm just saying this because ML ended it about 2 weeks ago (but while I hate the thought of her fucking another man, I also feel like the weight of the world is gone; like I can be me again). Maybe I'm still pissed that the Patriots won the Superbowl or that my Cincinnati Bearcats have dropped another conference game this week. Naw, I think this is just a general malaise from having that fucking jackoff re-elected and that fact that this country is fucked and doesn't realize it.
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
I mean, I don't think I have many, if any, of the traits NML talks about in her post. The problem for me is that for some reason, I haven't met that someone special yet. This brings up 2 distinct possibilities: 1. There is not that special someone for me or 2. There is something inherently wrong with me.
As for the first possibility, I guess I don't mean to sound unromantic, but sometimes I don't think we have that special someone necessarily. I mean, we are capable of falling in love but I don't know if there is a perfect someone, although there is a big part of me that hopes there is a perfect someone for me. I think that love can actually take some effort and work to make it through rough times and most people just don't have the tolerance for it. It's not always romantic or sexy but relationships take effort sometimes and aren't always smooth. This contributes to why I don't think I really believe there is a perfect someone. If I did believe that there was a perfect person for me, then I might be shattered if that person turned out to have a fault or two. And if there was a perfect person, you might actually get bored because everything would be perfect and you'd have no sense of how good it was because there would be no bad times by which to gauge the good times. I know that we're all human, we all have faults, and its how we handle those faults and those difficulties in the road that determines whether we stay with someone or leave for greener pastures. I know there is also a time when you have to admit that you're not being treated rigth and you need to walk away; the difference in all of this is knowing when to try to work it out and when you need to walk away.
The second possibility is that something is wrong with me. I tend to think this is probably the more likely scenario. The reason I say that is that I have been hearing from friends and loved ones for a while now about my habits. For instance, my mother always tells me I never give myself a chance; in other words, I shoot down the possibility before it even happens. For instance, I'll meet or see a really cute girl somewhere and in my mind, she has already placed me in the friend category. Therefore, I don't pursue her because I'm convinced that a). she'd never go out with me in the first place; and b). she's already put me in that friend category. Now, there is nothing wrong with having another female friend. In fact, my female friends have been probably the greatest source of my personal growth and development because they see me as other women might see me. But always being the friend does get old.
In the spirit of the 2nd possibility might be that I subconsciously only date women that I know will not turn into anything serious. I tend to loosen up enough to really date when I know my life is going to go through a big transition like moving so that if it doesn't work out, I can always say "hey, I was moving or going through something in my life."
Or maybe as NML has theorized about some men, I have that bastard syndrome and I'm not aware of it. I dont' have any kids. ML was a difficult girl but she always accused me of not having her first in my mind. Looking back, yeah, I really didn't at times. But does that make me a bastard? I mean, I am patient to a fault; and ML was pretty much a tank . She was right and damnit, if I didn't agree with her, I was an idiot. I felt that she would literally wait for a misstep of some type to pounce on and let me have it. But I rarely, let my temper get the best of me; instead I would swallow it and just try to be the bigger person (of course, this goes back to my point of knowing when to walk away). Now she did say that I didn't have her first in my mind, heart, etc.. But I thought the fact that I would drive 9 hours after work on a Friday night (I got off at 9 and would drive all night til about 4 or 5 in the morning) to see her was a sign that she was first. I thought the little things I would do meant something (like once during a visit, she was sick; so I ran to the grocery store to get her some medicine and female products and I picked up her favorite dessert hoping it might make her feel better). Maybe I'm not a bastard and she was just an ingrate? I like to think that is more the point. I know I'm a great b/f and I will be great husband material, even if I keep a very calm surface and don't like to let my feelings bubble to the top too often. ML complained that I didn't show enough emotion with her; that I didn't let my happiness show; my eyes didn't dance when I was with her. It's a bad habit, but I do guard my emotions. But does this make me a bastard? I told ML I cared about her all the time. Again, maybe I wasn't a complete bastard in the relationship.
Monday, February 07, 2005
1. "Just Like Heaven" - The Cure
When I first started college back in the day (1988 to be exact), I went to a college dance (sorta lame I know but the music was great). They played this song and I was hooked immediately. I truly believe Robert Smith is a modern poet. If I ever get married, this song totally has to be played at the reception for me and my wife sometime that night.
2. "Bizarre Love Triangle" - New Order
At that same dance, I heard this and again, I went crazy. I still love this song and its one of those songs that you may not know the name of it, but once you hear it you say "Oh yeah. That song is fucking great!"
3. "Fotografia" - Juanes w/ Nelly Furtado
Beautiful catchy song. It was actually a theme song for a telenovela embarrassingly enough, but a great song nonetheless. Very catch and harmonic.
4. "En El Muelle De San Blás" - Maná (From their "MTV Unplugged" album)
Amazing song about a woman who says goodbye to her lover at the pier of St. Blas. She waits there everyday until she turns old, always wearing the same dress so he'll recognize her. One day the village people decide she's crazy and try to remove her, but she's actually taken root or grown into the pier because she can't be separated from waiting and hoping for her love to return. Very sad song, but beautiful as well.
5. "#40" - Dave Matthews Band (From the album "Listener Supported")
I love this song because of my friend Edel from Ireland. There is a verse in the song about 2 friends who are old and doubled over and looking back and laughing at the hard times because they thought they wouldn't make it.
6. "Finnegan's Wake" - The Dubliners
This song takes me back to many a night at the The Dubliner pub back in Cincinnati during law school and singing along with the band. Also part of my fascination with Ireland.
7. "Come On Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners
A catchy tune that I grew up in the 80's. Partially got me started on my fascination with Ireland.
8. "Romeo and Juliet" - Edwin McCain
Great acoustic version of the old Dire Straits version. Super catchy and melodic; very slow and almost romantic.
9. "Everything" - Material Issue
Super power ballad from a 90's band that I absolutely loved. Amazing premise behind the song of a man willing to do or give anything to be everything to the woman he loves.
10. "Ants Marching" - Dave Matthews Band
Aaaahhhh the old fraternity days. This song definitely reminds me of one of my fraternity brothers and I driving up to the mountains for a weekend ritual and camping party. Great times; damn good times.
11. "At Last" - Etta James
This song is hopefully how I'll feel when I meet the woman I marry (if she exists!!).
12. "Basket Case" - Green Day
Who doesn't love this song. We've all felt sorta like a basket case from time to time. Plus, I love Green Day and this song just epitomizes why I love their music.
13. "Phoebe Cates" - Fenix TX
Just watch "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" with the infamous swimming pool scene. Plus, this song is so damn catchy, you'll be tapping your toes and playing it again and again.
14. "Down Together" - The Refreshments
This song takes me back to my days at good ole' Arizona State .... my alma mater. The Refreshments are a Tempe, AZ band from the area and this song always somehow seemed to make it into a night when you're at a bar drinking and carrying on.
15. "Guava Jelly" - Bob Marley
Damn, this is a smooth love song. Just so smooth. Bob knows how to lay it down. Who would think that jelly could be so sensuous?
16. "Holiday In Spain" - Counting Crows
This one is due to my old roomie, SJ. We were at a Crows show (my first and like his 20th) when Adam Durwitz, the lead singer, started talking about this song. He commented that its a song when you've feel like you've worn your welcome out and you're ready to seek greener pastures. SJ turned to me and said it should be my song because of some of the crazy women I dated in law school, almost like I'd worn out my welcome with the crazy women of law school and Cincinnati. IT was totally the truth; I think I have a Crazy Magnent somewhere on my person.
17. "Photograph" - Def Leppard
Oy vey. This is the first album that I ever bought. I loved this song; the guitars always get me. Its the first real power rock that I heard. I still hear this and love the harmonies.
18. "Dance The Night Away" - Van Halen
Definitely the softer side of Van Halen. This one gives me that feeling of the early 80's when Fast Times was the greatest movie, Vans were the hot new shoes, skateboarding was just becoming a big thing, and Van Halen ruled the world.
19. "There She Goes" - The La's
If there was ever a song about how someone makes you feel, this is the song. I always imagine some uber-cute girl that just walking by and you feel that knot in your tummy as she walks by. Aaaahhh, unrequited love from afar ... or stalking; you decide!!
20. "What's My Age Again?" - Blink 182
Oh this is the song that describes my life. Yeah, I still laugh at dick and fart jokes; I still think "Jackass" is the funniest fucking thing in the world; and I don't take myself too seriously. Life is too long to be miserable and too short to not have as much fun everyday as is possible.
21. "Not Too Soon" - Throwing Muses
OK, OK, I know I said 20 songs, but this one has to be included. This is a perfect symetry of power pop, grrrl power, melodic voices over twangy reverb guitar licks .. in short it's perfect. Plus I always had a thing for Tanya Donnelly from the band (the little short cutie playing guitar who went on to form another great 90's band, Belly).
Now like any good top 20 list, there are several songs that just didn't quite make the cut. Here a few of them:
"Saint Behind the Glass" - Los Lobos
"Mannish Boy" - Muddy Waters
"Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air" - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
"Cum On Feel The Noize" - Quiet Riot
"Boom Boom Boom" - John Lee Hooker and Big Head Todd & The Monsters
"A Praise Chorus" - Jimmy Eat World
"Killing In The Name Of" - Rage Against The Machine
"Wonderful World" - Sam Cooke
"60 Minute Man" - The Mills Brothers
"Expressway To Your Heart" - The Blues Brothers
"No Woman No Cry" - Bob Marley
"About Mr. Brown" - O.A.R.
"Puto" - Molotov
"Desnuda" - Ricardo Arjona
"Not Now" - Blink 182
"Ying Yang" - Jarabe De Palo
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" - Marvin Gaye
"Sir Duke" - Stevie Wonder
.... and too many others to list. Post your songs when you get a chance! I'd love to compare lists.
Sunday, February 06, 2005
First of all let me say that I fucking hate the Patriots. Ever since the now infamous "Tuck Rule" that let N.E. slide into the Super Bowl, I have hated this team. I respect that they just know how to win, but I still fucking hate them. My friend from law school, S, and I are both convinced that Tom Brady did a little Robert Johnson action and sold his soul at the crossroads. Now they've won the Super Bowl again and of course, I hate it. My team (the Pittsburgh Steelers) got their asses handed to them by N.E. in the championship game, in Pittsburgh. And I hate the linebacker from N.E. Ted Bruschi. This guy needs someone to blindside him and take out a knee to end his career; he is one of the dirtiest, most arrogant players in the NFL. Now that I've gotten that off of my chest....
The halftime show sucked ass. Don't get me wrong, I like Paul McCartney as much as anyone. But this sucked and it sucked bad. I didn't want to see a 60 y.o. man onstage with a bunch of kids sitting around him trying desperately to look geeked up. The funny thing is that in one shot of the crowd, several people looked bored and weren't even facing the stage. This show is a sad indictment of American society right now. We're so concerned about another mammary incident or heaven forbid, something exciting happening that we're reduced to having an elderly Sir Paul perform with nothing else. I mean there was nothing; no other bands, no other acts, a few fireworks .. but that was it. Not good; not good at all. The moral majority have struck again and this time they're determined to take fun out of American society and culture. FOX really blew it this year; as much as last year's halftime show sucked, at least it was exciting (even though it was lip sync central).
Another thing I find infuriating is when corporate and conservative America try to coopt music for thier own use. For instance, FOX is using "Sunday Bloody Sunday" for highlight reel. Obviously the genius in programming who approved this has no idea about world affairs and the outrage that the song is supposed to convey about the killing of unarmed peace marchers in Northern Ireland. I was just waiting for this song to be paired with an ad for Anhueser Busch or Cadillac for a new product. Its especially funny that FOX sports uses it since FOX News stands for everything that the band U2 is against. And to top it off, a person convicted of colluding with the Omagh bombings a few years back was released from prison a few weeks ago!!!
Another brilliant idea by FOX News is having Bill O'Reilly using "Fight The Power" by Public Enemy. Again, P.E. is fundamentally opposed to everything Bill O'Reilly is!!! The funny thing is that people like Bill O'Reilly think they are fighting the system, when they don't even want to acknowledge that they are the system!!!! P.E. was about fighting the man, and now the man has coopted the music. Nothing is sacred; everything is for sale in America. The revolution will now be televised with limited commercial interruptions sponsored by Cialis and GM. I really wish that artists could have a say in these things and tell corporate America that their music isn't for sale. Unfortunately, every artist is chained to their record companies and any sort of artistic endeavor ends up being for sale. Sooner or later, the National Anthem will be sponsored by Miller Brewing, the stars on the flag will be replaced with corporate logos, and the President will be sponsored by Haliburton .. oh wait, that has already happened!!!
Hey,I got the letter you sent probably over a week ago and I appreciate it...you said some lovely things about me...thank you.
See, I'm not such a bad guy after all. She said that she had never really gotten letters from someone she dated and always thought it would be great. Needless to say, I wrote her a few times.
I hope you are doing well and that you don't hate me...you said it yourself (manytimes) "maybe we just are not meant to be". Certain things matter more to others and some things don't...you have to find that one special person that excepts you for you (all of you) I could not except somethings.
See, this part starts out nice. Let me point out one thing. This a girl who fancied herself much more intelligent than me and couldn't wait for me to fuck up a word or misspeak so that she could just hammer her point home even more. This is a girl in 2 Master's programs who would always say "I don't know how you ever got through law school. Maybe I should've went if you graduated." The funny thing is that I know the proper use of the word "except" and "accept"; and she wonders how I graduated law school. Heh-heh.
This is not to say that you are bad or I am...its just the truth. Some woman will not become upset with the things I got upset with but again thats what makes us all so unique. Take care of yourself...you are a wonderful person who someday will find the personyou can share "everything" with...all of your dreams, likes/dislikes & fantasies (friends & coworkers included of course).Adios, ML
Notice the little dig at the end there about fantasies. The letter was nice until then because I know that she is just getting her last shots in on me (the whole fantasies thing goes back to the friend thing with her naturally, the one that she is convinced I wanted to fuck). The nice thing is that this totally placates my ego. Shallow, aren't I? At Christmas, we had our falling out and she was the one who contacted me. I think she was thinking that I would've called by now begging for another chance. All I know is that I'm somewhat vindicated because in order for her to do this, she had to think about me in some way. I know, I know; I see the irony in that statement since I'm on here bitching about her. However, I'm not the one who told her to "fuck off" and that I never wanted to speak to her again. So. let me have my ego massaged a bit tonight; we all need it now and then!!!
Saturday, February 05, 2005
1. How that stuttering idiot (W) got re-elected. I mean, we all know he lied to the country, he took us from a budget surplus to a huge deficit in less than 4 years, he puts us into a war by twisting US intelligence data to justify it, he is the only president since Hoover to post a loss in jobs in the economy, he has alienated us from every nation in the world (I think Tony Blair is about the only guy who likes us), and his administration is so blatantly corrupt.
2. Why anyone might think Dharma & Greg and Suddenly Susan were funny. How did they get renewed each year just long enough for them to get into syndication? These are the 2 most horribly unfunny shows ever made. On the flight back from Ireland in spring 2003, Aerlingus had episodes of Suddenly Susan playing instead of a 2nd movie. I would rather eat my own teeth than have to endure the mindless drivel that spouts from Brooke Shield's mouth.
3. Why people get so geeked up about American Idol. I mean, look at Kelly Clarkson now. Her 1st album did okay, but no one cares that she has a 2nd album. And she is the most successful contestant to date!!! Anyone lining up to buy that fat dude's album or the skinny gay guy's album?
4. Reality T.V. ... well I do watch Cops and I love the worst syndicated reality show ever, Cheaters.
5. Why more people don't find Kate Winslett to be absolutely fucking sexy. She's got it all.
6. Why most Americans I meet say they wouldn't want to live in Europe; even if only for a few years.
7. Right-wing Conservative Republican Americans. I guess I can't understand brain dead sheep.
8. Why everytime I get behind a car with a Bush-Cheney sticker that the person driving is going to be an idiotic cunt/cock with no idea how to drive.
9. Why Blockbuster has only 3 copies of Maria Full of Grace (which are always checked out) and 50 copies of You Got Served (which are always available in excess).
10. Why anyone would willingly move back to this area unless they had scored a decent job.
11. People who think the current SNL is funnier than the older episodes.
12. People who don't feel their soul or body compelled to move whenever they hear salsa, merengue, or reggae.
13. Why I can't meet a cute, nice girl who isn't in a relationship, married, or bitter.
14. Why I'm writing this.
Just a few things I don't understand. Sometime soon, someone can explain the political parties in Ireland, Mexico, and the UK to me. I really don't understand that!!!!
Friday, February 04, 2005
So you go through the quiz and then you get the song from 2004 that matches you. This song is so appropriate. This song is perfect since I'm a huge fan of this band and was before they hit it really big. Oh yeah, dick and fart jokes still crack me up.
I think a night of just watching mindless movies and sums of alcohol is in order. I would go out but all of my friends from work are either married, dating, or just plain homebodies. Plus, its fucking cold and who wants to leave your apt. when you're warm and comfy? Good times ......
Thursday, February 03, 2005
However, I have to admit, with ML, I always had my stomach in knots each time I called just knowing that one misstep or any comment could be twisted into something to make me look like a complete ass by the end of the night. I lived in a constant state of "I hope I don't fuck up." I walked on egg shells all the time, I felt I had to be someone I wasn't. I never completely let myself be me with her. Strange that I wanted to be with someone that made me feel like this. She did challenge me, which I liked.
But what is even funnier is that I remember that I've done this before. I know I won't call her. I won't grovel. I know that as much as I liked being with her and she was alot of what I could ever hope for; she was also alot more of what I DIDN'T want. I just keep in mind that the world will turn again and the sun will rise. With that in mind, the nights aren't so bad, the days aren't so long. It's funny but it felt like the whole world was lifted off of my shoulders on Tuesday night ... although there is that part of you that still wishes you had gotten in a few more parting shots. I leave with this consolation; that if she ever cared for me as much as she claimed she did, she will be thinking about me every day and deep down inside, she is struggling with her decision. Maybe I'm stroking my own ego by thinking that way, but then again, there is some truth to those consoling thoughts.