by mg at 10:12 PM on March 31, 2002
act 1, scene 1
the setting: a greek restaurant
dramatis personae: a waitress and a male patron. the waitress recognized the patron as someone in an acting class she once took. they've now been talking for about five minutes.
and the curtains open...
patron: I dropped out of schooi
patron: I got to be in an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical!
"Here’s what happens when you make too damn much money (not likely a problem that I’ll ever have)", or "People pay thousands of hard-earned dollars to see this??":
A relative who has Houston Rockets season tickets went out of town with his family, so he left his tickets for Susan and I. These were decent seats- the tickets have a face value of $112.00 each. There is no way I would ever pay that kind of money to see a basketball game- even IF the Laker girls were in town and they were playing naked. We were about 25 rows up from the floor, which only made me wonder how much courtside seats cost. I finally decided that I didn’t want to know.
It was truly a strange evening all in all. The promotion du jour for the game was “Moochie Norris Bobblehead Night”, which meant that several thousand people queued up early for the dolls, and then left the arena immediately upon getting theirs. Some of the dolls were likely on Ebay 20 minutes later. If the goal of the promotion was to put butts in seats, it was a horrible failure. By game time, the arena was half-full- or, if you’re a Rockets fan, half-empty; it’s been that kind of a year. The people who left before tip-off may have had the right idea.
The game itself was almost anticlimactic. The Rockets played the Phoenix Suns, another team going nowhere, especially the playoffs. What looked like two teams playing out the string was in fact exactly that. At one point in the second quarter, the Rockets were shooting 17%. Ahead by 10-15 points for most of the game, Phoenix let the Rockets back into the game in the fourth quarter, but held on to win 90-88.
I enjoyed the tickets, and it was a much different vantage point from the $13 nosebleed seats we usually pay for- if we go at all. As I left, all I could think of was how I'd just been given a close-up view of overpaid, under-motivated athletes sleepwalking through another day at the office. People pay thousands of dollars for season tickets to see this kind of sorry effort? Unbelievable.
Ahhh, 'tis that time of year again. 'Tis the time of year when we pull homeless IV drug users and pedophiles off the streets, dress them up in humorous bunny costumes, and invite parents to sit their small children on the laps of said vagrants. And then the children are taken home, put to sleep, and when they wake up in the morning they find the pedophile in the bunny suit has left them baskets and baskets of candy. And the children are happy. And the children, in some wonderful Pavlovian twist, learn to love pedophiles.
"But Jesus, this tradition seems so odd. Please, can you tell us about traditions in other parts of the world?"
Yes, strange random voice in my head, I can.
In Korea, for instance, the Korean parents take their children out in the dead of night to look for the Easter Bunny. They all carry flashlights and plastic bags, and wander through fields and rice paddies looking for the ever elusive Bunny of Easter. Once located, the Bunny is savagely beaten and placed in the plastic bag, then taken home and carefully skinned, strung up, and eaten.
"Wow, Jesus! I'll have to tell that one to my Grandchildren! But are there any more?"
Well, Germans go to their local "Bunnenstach", or as we say in Ingles, "Shop of hoppity bunnies", and purchase several rabbits of varying genders. They then lock those rabbits in a small enclosed area, provide them with ample amounts of porn, and let nature take care of the rest. Once the rabbits have bred, they choose the whitest, most hoppity bunnies of the batch and dress them up in miniature SS uniforms. These super bunnies are then paraded along the "Autobon", or "highway of firey death", for all of the passing motorists to see. Those that are not run over or eaten by vacationing Koreans are then sent back to their pens where the process is repeated for the following year.
"And what about the inferior ones?"
They are sent to America, where bunnies are so scarce that homeless men are often dressed up in their likeness.
by mg at 02:52 AM on March 31, 2002
I'm not sure I could ever hope to explain the following question, so I don't think I will even try. Basically, I am taking a survey. "Should I stay" and suffer the abuse of someone who has treated me nothing but badly over the past couple years? Or "Should I Go", no matter how painful it might be, and no matter how bleak the prospect of ever being in love again might seem right now?
I really shouldn't be posting this at all, but I've just completed four solid nights of drinking. Considering four nights is about as many night as I've gone out drinking in the past month or so, I'm seriously cashed.
Still, I'll be sober tomorrow, and the question will remain. Should I stay or should I go?
Dear restaurant owner:
I would like to know one thing. Why, oh why do you insist on giving your entrees cute little names? Does your waitstaff get a kick out of seeing a grown woman order a Rooty Tooty Fresh and Fruity? Do you sit in the back room and snicker to yourself while a middle-aged man in a suit and tie stares at a waitress and asks for a Leapin' Leprauchan Burger?
I don't want a LocoChoco. I want a chocolate shake. I don't want a Yodel-Egg-Hoo. I want a swiss cheese omelette. Keep your We Be Clubbin' Sandwich and your Ole! Ole! appetizer. Just give me food. Normal named food.
I want to have a burger or a steak or nachos without having to sound like a infant to get it. Wipe that grin off your face! I am not going to come to your establisment any more if you insist on making me ask for dessert by ordering a LicketySplit.
The cute names for your meals and desserts and drinks reads like a kiddie menu. You may as well ask me to order the ChooChooChili or the LuckyLion or the YummyYak. We are adults. We want our food to be called things that sound like food, not crayon colors or circus animals.
And while I have your attention, please change the puzzle placemats once in a while. I found all those hidden words like two months ago, ok?
Talk about delinquence. It has been almost a month since I last made a contribution to Bad Samaritan. I have been a bad Bad Samaritan. Is that redundant?
You see, seeing someone does weird things to you, as does stopping seeing someone. As much as I enjoy having someone to think about whenever I can, it almost feels like a relief when it's over. I feel much more at ease, much more at home, when I am single.
I said it before, I will say it again: sometimes, I am very glad that my life is not a reality TV show. Many a times I thought it would be an interesting idea, and my life is dynamic enough to warrant viewing. But letting the world see it as it happens? Not really my cup of tea.
Of course, for all those who are looking forward to live vicariously through me, hold your breath. Some friends of mine have suggested the idea of "Being Chunshek Chan" — the movie that reveals the portal to my mind. They insisted that it's out there somewhere. Of course, I would not know about it.
What it means, obviously, is that someone as attractive and dangerous as Maxine could be very close to me at this point in life. Except that I'm not really seeing anyone or "getting any", if you know what I mean. Exactly how my life is headed, if there is a portal to my mind, I wouldn't know.
Although, someone did leave me a note on a banana that says, "take me home and call me shirley".
by mg at 07:19 PM on March 29, 2002
For those of you going to hell and completely unaware of today’s religious importance, let me school you. Today is Good Friday.
Good Friday is one of Christianity’s high holy days. It is such an important day that catholic priests everywhere have stopped fondling young boys. But just for the day.
Good Friday is a high holy day because it is the anniversary of Jesus’ death. By itself, that doesn’t really seem like an event appropriate for celebration. But, Good Friday is one of the most important religious holidays because it is the set up for the resurrection. It’s sad and all that Jesus died, but if he didn’t die, he couldn’t have come back to life, see?
Jesus died on Good Friday, and then rose from the dead on the third day, Easter Sunday. So, it is really Easter, which is the big deal, church wise. Easter is probably the most important Christian holiday, even more so than Christmas, though it doesn’t quite get the airtime, unless the guy dressed in a bunny suit that wanted me to sit on his lap and tell him what I wanted was holiday-related, rather than just sick and twisted (but I sat down anyway, of course).
I was never very religious growing up. I’m not sure we even went to church on Good Friday. But, we sure did go on Easter. But what I really remember about Easter is the non-religious stuff. Like Christmas, Easter has gotten to be much more a commercial holiday than a religious one.
When I woke up on Easter morning, my mom would leave a great big Easter basket at the foot of my bed. Inside, there would be Easter Grass, a big chocolate bunny with eyes made of pure sugar, a couple boxes of Peeps, a couple small toys (nothing big, since my birthday was close), some jelly beans and other assorted candy.
I’m not sure what any of that had to do with Jesus. Sure, God is everywhere, but is he even in the creamy filling of a Cadbury Cream Egg?
We’d had out to Mass and then over to my Aunt’s house where all the cousins would search the house for the Easter eggs we’d painted the night before. Our hands would be stained with the food coloring for days. Then, my mom, who has never been much of a cook, would make here one specialty; roasted ham with clove and pineapple. Whenever she opened the oven, I’d pick a clove off the ham and stick it in my mouth until I couldn’t feel my tongue anymore.
I’m don’t know what chocolate rabbits and colored eggs had to do with Jesus either. And, I’m pretty sure he’d have had a problem with the ham.
Easter also ends the 40 days of Lent. It meant you could go back to doing whatever it was you gave up to be more like Jesus. Because, you know, Jesus didn’t touch himself down there, and if I can go 40 days without doing it, I can sit at the right hand of the father too.
I actually meant to talk about Jesus, about how he died for my sins and how in honor of Him I’m going to die and be reborn this weekend. But as I started writing, I realized that, come Monday, I’m just going to be the same old MG. At least I’ll be able to get some 50% off after-holiday Jelly Bellys.
by mg at 06:53 PM on March 29, 2002
I know you've been stressed lately. In fact, you've been so stressed that the week before Spring Break you got a total of ten hours of sleep, mostly on Friday. But now that's no excuse to go about neglecting your duties. You had a great Spring Break in New York City where you did nothing but party like a rock star. Now you're back home and you need to get your ass together and be productive. Don't let graphic design rule your life! You need friends, drink, and BadSam!
by mg at 04:21 PM on March 29, 2002
Olsen Twins' Countdown to Legality (this is so wrong, but don't forget to look at the pictures)
by mg at 05:43 PM on March 28, 2002
It’s been a week and I haven’t heard back anything from the place I interviewed. I’m guessing it might be safe to post this now without jeopardizing anything, because, hey, there is no potential job to jeopardize.
Actually, it is sort of silly to post this at all now because it isn't a) terribly topical or b) terribly entertaining. But, I wrote it and I have nothing else to write about today, so, put your helmet on and strap yourself into the not-really-too-way back machine. I’m setting the dial for seven days ago…
So, I had a job interview today. Strange, I know, but it had to happen sometime. In this economy, interviews have been coming less frequently than your mom. Things seem to have gotten a bit better over the past couple weeks, but still; it’d be doing much better with a job than I am without one.
I didn’t mention the interview beforehand and ask ya’ll for the usual good mojo because 1) I didn’t know about it until the day before, and 2) you guys suck at sending out good mojo. Sorry. It’s true. I wouldn’t count on your mojo sending abilities to get me cavity searched at an airport if I walked through the metal detector carrying a Saturday night special and a copy of the Quran, much less to get me a job.
The interview is over now, and I’m sure you are all wondering how it went, and what I’d be doing and whom I’d be doing it for. Sorry, but I can’t tell you; not exactly anyway.
To begin, the job isn’t exactly something I’m terribly qualified for, and the interviewer told me so. He told me that I’m the oddball in the interviewee pool, the guy who if someone started singing “one of these things is not like the other,” a gaggle of toddlers would run up and point at me. Still, he said he was impressed enough (I write great cover letters) that he called me in. Cool.
I can’t mention the place I’d be working because I signed a Non Disclosure Agreement. Besides, it’d be very unprofessional of me. I probably shouldn’t even be writing this, to tell the truth. Yet, I’m compelled to write this and I promise to remain well within ethical boundaries.
I can mention the company is a start up, and a start up with a fantastic idea. Even if I don’t get the job, I will be a big proponent of the service; it is just that strong an idea and that useful a product.
I can also say that the fellow starting the company, the interviewer, is a bit of a web celeb. He was the CEO of a company I greatly admired, and is considered to be on of the most influential personalities in Silicon Alley. Forget how cool the job is, and how behind the product I am, I would want this job for merely the chance to bask in his warm glow. And I’m not saying that just to kiss up.
How did the interview go? Pretty well. I think.
Experientially I may not be the best candidate for the job, but I am certain I have the skills and personality to get it done. And what I don’t know, I’ll learn. Even from the short meeting, I have a pretty decent handle on what I need to do to help make the organization a success. I think I suggested a couple of good ideas that they might not have considered before (plus I thunk up some more ideas on the subway ride home), and guessed (correctly) at one of the company’s long-term goals.
My interviewer reiterated that I wasn’t the most obvious choice for the job, but that he was impressed. Whether I get the job or not (and I really, really hope I do), I am honored to have impressed someone I am impressed by.
I’ll let you know more when I know more, but if you don’t hear about this again, consider your questions answered by my silence.
by mg at 12:09 PM on March 28, 2002
I forgot to mention it, what with all the new update hullabaloo yesterday, but Bad Samaritan just reached some sort of milestone. Sometime yesterday we got our 1,000,000th page view. I sort of feel like Dr. Evil saying that, considering some of the big boys can do that in a day, but it means something to me.
Other upcoming milestones:
April 3rd: Bad Samaritan hits 18 months live.
April 18th: the original Bad Samaritan (me) hits 26 years live.
A federal lawsuit has been filed against, among others, FleetBoston Financial, CSX, and Aetna, accusing them of profiting from the slave trade. Now, if memory serves, Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery in 1863. If my math holds up, that's 139 years ago. So what is this about, really? Well, given that attorneys are talking about billions in reparations, it's clearly about money, and that is what upsets me.
Slavery was a horrible, inhuman system; of that there can be no argument. Even so, there has to be something, call it a statute of limitations if you must, to prevent this sort of egregious abuse of our legal system. No one who works at any of the plaintiff corporations was alive in 1863. Neither was anyone who would potentially benefit from any payment of reparations.
"These are corporations that benefited from stealing people, from stealing labor, from forced breeding, from torture, from committing numerous horrendous acts, and there's no reason why they should be able to hold onto assets they acquired through such horrendous acts," said Deadria Farmer-Paellmann, the main plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Those are all terrible things, and if any victims were still alive, Ms. Farmer-Paellmann would have a legitimate argument for reparations. That is not the case. Reparations in this instance represent nothing more than the possibility of some serious lifestyle enhancements for distant relatives of victims.
If Ms. Farmer-Paellmann and others were really interested in making a statement, they could require that reparation money be used to establish scholarships, endow museums, fund educational and health programs- things that would actually make a difference. Filing a lawsuit on behalf of 35 million African-Americans is a joke. Using this precedent, I and my millions of Irish brethren should seriously considering suing the British government. After all, the Irish suffered years of oppression under their rule. Sounds silly, doesn't it? It is, just as Ms. Farmer-Paellmann's lawsuit is.
Until African-Americans lose what they seem to view as their God-given right to victimhood, they will never be able to move forward. Slavery happened, and yes, it was a terrible thing. Thankfully, it ended 139 years ago; isn’t it time for all of us to move on and begin working towards making this country a better place today? Sadly, playing the race card is still a very lucrative proposition, and playing the victim means never having to take responsibility for yourself. Enough already.
by mg at 01:41 PM on March 27, 2002
"I'll say goodbye to love
No one ever cared if I should live or die
Time and time again the chance for love has passed me by
And all I know of love is how to live without it
I just can't seem to find it
So I've made my mind up I must live my life alone
And though it's not the easy way
I guess I've always known
I'd say goodbye to love
There are no tomorrows for this heart of mine
Surely time will lose these bitter memories
And I'll find that there is someone to believe in
And to live for something I could live for
All the years of useless search
Have finally reached an end
Loneliness and empty days will be my only friend
From this day love is forgotten
I'll go on as best I can
What lies in the future is a mystery to us all
No one can predict the wheel of fortune as it falls
There may come a time when I will see that I've been wrong
But for now this is my song
And it's goodbye to love
I'll say goodbye to love"
You never quite realize how empty a place feels until you are the only one standing in it. My apartment is hardly cavernous. Its just a big box, really. Three rooms, two of which are called bedrooms, and a larger rectangle which contains my kitchen and living room-in-one. When I'm the only one there I become even MORE paranoid than usual. The slightest noise will send me into a cat-like state of awareness. There's also nobody to watch the stove while you go out and carry two huge bags of laundry down the block to the laundromat. I was wondering if I'd step out of the place and look down the block to see flames shooting out of my window. My soup was happily simmering away. Yes, I know you should never do that. =P And my bed is so big. And so quiet. At least this will only last until Sunday.
Oh yeah, to the bitch who owns the Laundromat on Broadway, fuck you.
You've been washing people's underwear for twenty years. Congratulations.
by mg at 02:17 AM on March 27, 2002
So, here it is, the next phase of Bad Samaritan. Welcome. As promised, this is so much more than a mere redesign.
This redesign has been in the works for months. No one really liked either of my previous mock-ups, so I gave up on it. And then, a couple weeks ago, I had an inspiration. If you are into that sort of thing, you can check out some of the stops ( 1 | 2 | 3 ) along the way.
Actually, I’ve been done with the design, code, and templatization for more than a week. There is an actual concept behind this redesign, and I want to explain it, but I’ve had so much trouble putting the hows, whats, and whys into words.
And you’d still be staring at that yucky 6 month-old design today if weren’t for someone (who’s wisdom is only surpassed by her beauty), slapped me across the face, Moonstruck style, and told me to just go ahead get it done already.
So, I got it done.
Besides, everything should make sense; everybody who got a sneak peak understood what I was going for before I explained a thing. But, please, leave a comment if you’ve got any questions, concerns or praise. Especially if you’ve got some of the praise. Additionally, I think everything is reasonably cross browser/platform friendly, but if it isn’t, please let me know.
So, again, welcome to Bad Samaritan.
by mg at 11:02 PM on March 26, 2002
In the category of "moving one step closer to dominating the known universe," my publisher had the very good idea imho of asking me to write my column "running thoughts" twice a week with an eye toward running three times a week in about a month which is about how often full time columnists run.
of course i said YouBetcherASS, mister! after a year of banging out features and the weekly column the people of the omaha/council bluffs metropolitan area are about to experience my BS on a much more regular basis. prepare yourselves for the end of world is nigh and new age beginneth(sp).
i am one more step toward becoming bullet-proof,in any case. eventually, i will be able to get up in the morning and go to work naked because no one will dare say I am unclothed. i am a jolly green giant striding across the earth, a notebook in my left hand, a Pentel RSVP medium point pen in my right ready to slay the beast. no one will be able to touch me.
and i'm pretty to boot!
David Michael Smith was granted tenure yesterday at the College of the Mainland in Texas City. Normally, such information would be beyond mundane, but Smith is an avowed and outspoken Marxist, and there are those in hide-bound south Texas who are very frightened by Smith’s beliefs.
One critic had this to say: "I believe his views and philosophy are incompatible with a public institution of higher learning….It seems clear to me that Dr. Smith espouses a subversive, anti-capitalist, anti-free enterprise philosophy that I believe is out of place in a public institution of higher learning and is detrimental to the basis of our freedom in this country….There is no doubt there is a large number of the staff of the College of the Mainland that is very liberal, which is a shame, but I think Dr. Smith is moreso than any others and is a leader of the left-wing agenda that many at the College of the Mainland oppose….Dr. Smith is an admitted Marxist and has written extensively of his beliefs and his opposition to U.S. government policies and to American culture in general."
Of course, my first question is why being liberal is such a shame, but this is rural Texas, where narrow-minded conservatism is the norm, and a respected one. (Just try running for any political office as a Liberal Democrat. I dare you.) What the hell is “the left-wing agenda”? Is Smith going to tie up Republicans and throw Emma Goldman quotes at them??
I also fail to see why opposition to US government policies is defined as something just short of heresy. Unless I miss my mark here, this country was founded by people who left England because they wanted to be free for practice their religion as they saw fit, since the English government would not allow them to do so at home. There have always been people opposed to government policies in this country. Opposition is a way of life here, and a healthy one for a democracy. That is hardly news, and it certainly isn’t a crime.
No, the real problem here is a narrow-minded, fearful minority who view anything less than blind acceptance of government policy as anti-Americanism. All David Michael Smith is “guilty” of is presenting his students with an alternate viewpoint. Teaching someone to think and ask questions should be rewarded, not penalized.
To all of those who opposed Smith’s tenure, crawl back into your caves. Or better yet, move to Afghanistan. The Taliban (what’s left of it) will love you.
I usually sit down at night, in my comfy black leather chair I found in a dumpster behind Sears, and think random li'l thoughts to myself:
"Hmmm, I could write a post for Bad Sam!"
"Wow, I can play with the type!"
"Should I take over Nicaragua now or later?"
"Why do my socks always develop holes where the big toe is?"
"Is blankly staring at a computer screen a productive use of my time?""No, thank you. I don't like cheese.""What boring crap can I babble about for a post?"
So I'm sitting here with thoughts similar to those running through my head. I usually don't have anything particularly interesting to write about, and today is no different.
Soooooo...did anyone watch those Oscars? Wow! What a show! The people! The lights! The cameras! I didn't actually watch it, mind you, but I'm sure there were people there. And I'm assuming cameras were there, since people are endlessly fascinated by pictures of those with more money than themselves. And that would make lights necessary. And so on.
I did see a clip of Halle Barry on the news though, and that sufficiently pissed me off. I'm not sure how to say this in a kind, loving manner, so I'll just come right out with it: I HATE HALLE BARRY. I hate her I hate her I hate her. I wish she would just shut up about being black and how proud she is of being black and black this black that. You're half white! Why aren't you dedicating your award to a poor white girl?
Jesus Christ, I think I have like a quarter of a percent German in me; it doesn't mean I'm flying the old Black, Orange, and Yellow from a pole, or collecting Nazi memorabilia, or dining on sauerekraute and celebrating Oktoberfest. And was there a memo sent out awhile ago informing us we could arbitrarily choose which ethnicity or race we want to represent, because I think I missed that one.
And if you did get it, please forward it to me. I really wanna become more Japanese--they're so smart and efficient.
So my place of employment has been on a bit of a morale-boosting kick as of late. Which is kind of nice, I suppose. What with folks like me being apt to fret about "Q1 revenues" this and "potential wage freeze" that, it's probably for the best to have a coordinated attempt to keep us from pondering such matters too deeply. Gotta be cheaper than recomping us for Valium prescriptions, anyway.
One of the latest ideas implemented in our War Against Woe was a company-wide accrual of peer feedback. Essentially, some Power That Be would circulate a mystical sheet of paper amongst the co-workers with whom you most closely work; said co-workers would then write up anonymous paragraphs about how you were stupendously outgoing, generous to a fault, freely giving of your time, magnificent in the sack, etc.
How did you know that your peers were going to think so highly of you? Why, by official edict, of course! Since this exercise was about "morale building" and not "informing Bob in Accounting of the bitter blood feud he has initiated by stealing my goddamn Lean Pockets from the kitchenette," it was requested that you leave only glowing and positive contributions about your fellow officemate. Which, as one might expect, led directly to heartfelt revelations roughly on par with high school yearbook signings. ("Boy, for having such a long commute, Tim sure is punctual! Stay cool & have a good summer Tim!!!! XOXO marissa")
Anyhow, once this information had been assembled, we had a happy little get-together and as a group, tried to divine who was being lauded from any given page of accolades you know, so that everybody could hear for themselves about all the awe-inspiring things you ostensibly did. Some folks were pegged within a sentence or two, instantly associated with some big-name product feature or endearingly quirky anecdote; others took a little more prompting for the rest of us to clue in. But kitschy though the event may have been, goshdarnit, it was kind of harmoniously uplifting.
'Course, then came the reading of my sheet. "Oh, OK, here's another puzzler, one without too many details for y'all. 'Hard working.' 'A real team player.' 'Eager to please.' 'Adapts well to change.' 'Undaunted by looming tasks.'" And so on and so forth. You get the picture. In short, a long string of platitudes completely devoid of any concrete examples of do-goodery. "Boy howdy, Antwon!" the statement intonated. "You are far and away one of the most crushingly boring individuals whom we have ever had on the roster here at our fine organization!"
Not that I think it's a particularly inaccurate statement or anything. I don't go out on Friday night beer bashes with the guys. I haven't attended a weekend barbecue commemorating so-and-so's housewarming or such-and-such little-known holiday. Even sticking with primarily work-themed activities, I haven't done anything especially showy or high-profile: I've been assigned low-visibility tasks that I've quietly performed with workmanlike efficiency. My solitary claim to fame is that I rolled with the punches in the face of high-churn task-thrashing and reorganizational whirlwinds. Clearly, I am the dullest employee ever to be brought forth into creation during this modern day and age.
So their analysis was starkly accurate... but not really the sort of thing I much wanted to hear, and certainly not the sort of thing I would use to spur me towards new motivational heights. Morale-boosting activity indeed....
Which is, of course, why I spent the last twenty minutes on the clock, sitting here in my cubicle and telling the good folks of Bad Samaritan about all my worldly woes. I'll design my own morale-boosting little schemes, thankyouverymuch. And hey, I feel better already. :-)
by mg at 07:27 PM on March 25, 2002
I haven’t done an addition of I Never Thought I’d See You Naked in so long that I’ve almost forgotten what Bea Arthur’s naked flesh of looks like. Oh wait, now I remember, it looks like an elephant’s ear.
Still, in honor of women everywhere, and especially those under appreciated women of Hollywood, I present a very special Oscars edition of I Never Thought I’d See You Naked.
Apparently, Academy Award winner Halle Berry is black. I’d never noticed before. I was much too busy staring at her amazing rack. Two words: hubba hubba. Berry won for her role in Monster's Ball, a movie I will never see since it also starts Billy Bob Thornton. I find it very difficult to believe Berry’s performance was Oscar worthy considering that during the last movie I saw her in, X-Men, I had more trouble believing she could change her facial expression than the weather.
Whether she deserved it or not (and who am I to say?) Berry is the only African-American woman to win the Oscar for Best Actress in the academy’s 74-year history. Her speech, which clocked in at almost 5 minutes, was so long that she is now officially the only African-American woman to have won Best Actress in the academy’s 75-year history.
When Berry took the stage to accept her award she began crying. Maybe crying is appropriate when you, say, get into car accident, but her weeping bordered on hysteria and made me feel more than a little nervous. One look at her succulent breasts quelled my uneasy heart. It did the reverse for something an organ a little lower.
Nicole Kidman’s performance in Moulin Rouge is one of the only two I actually saw. I thought she was brilliant. Not only is Kidman a fantastic actress, but she is a nine-foot tall, redhead from Australia. She did a wonderful job, exposing herself in a way most actress wouldn’t. No, I don’t mean she got naked, you perverts. Kidman’s performance was goofy and comedic in a way you’ll never see another “serious” actress even attempt. She also happens to have a wonderful singing voice. That gal has got a great set of lungs. Really.
The truth is, Kidman should have won the Oscar. But, shoosh, come closer and I’ll let you in on a little Hollywood secret: Kidman had no chance of winning this year. Why? Because of her race. You see, the Academy just isn’t ready to let an Australian woman win the award. Maybe, years from now, our kids and those spawn of convicts and paupers will all get together to share some shrimp on the barbie. Sadly, American just isn’t ready for that. Until that day Kidman will have accept that while she may never have Oscar, at least she isn’t saddled with the ‘mo Tom Cruise.
Sure Dame Judi Dench has got a century on me, at least, but I’ve always found her quite attractive. There ain’t nothing wrong with that. Right?
Before I’d ever seen her cinematic abilities, I became familiar with Dench because of her role on the early 90s BBC series As Time Goes By. Now, she was a decade younger then, but, so was I. That must have been about the same time I first saw Harold and Maude. Even now, there is still something about her eyes that really gets me. She certainly has a nice pair. Of eyes.
I’d read both the Bridget Jones diaries well before I saw the movie. So, walking into the theatre I could never have imagined Renee Zellweger pulling it off. But she did. Unfortunately, she hasn’t ever pulled off her clothes for the camera, but hopefully that is close enough.
As for her performance, well, I certainly wouldn’t say it was Oscar worthy, but her karaoke to "All By Myself" during the opening credits is probably among the greatest moments of pathos in cinematic history. Watching Zellweger belt out Eric Carmen’s one and only hit, you just can’t help but get drawn into Bridget Jones’ world. And unless you had a camera in my apartment, you will likely see nothing more pathetic, yet funny, in all your life.
I haven't seen Sissy Spacek performance in In The Bedroom. But from what I've seen, I can think of two things wrong with that title. I’m sure it is a very fine film, but it seems as if there is quite a bit of talking and not so much in and out in the bedroom. I'm sure I'll rent it when it hits DVD, or maybe I’ll just rent Carrie again, 'cause, remember, crazy chicks are hot. 'sides what could possibly be sexier than a girl covered in pig's blood?
I've actually got pics of all the Best Supporting Actress nominees too, but does anyone really want to see Maggie Smith naked? If so, you should leave a comment and if there are enough, I’ll post them tomorrow.
I couldn't be happier, but the whining will start any minute.
We celebrated the first day of spring here in New England with a mini-blizzard that dumped 4 to 6 inches of the powdery white filth upon our homes, yards, streets. I know, because I had to drive in it. Twice. Then I had to shovel it.
I loathe and hate snow.
On the upside, this winter has been one of the mildest I've been through in this state. After just about every snow fall, and I admit there haven't been many, the snow has receded back like the Taliban defense, as the bizarre heat waves melt it into the ground where it belongs, with the moles and the grubs and the nightcrawlers. I do so love this global warming. It's the only Republican thing about me.
I've reveled in this lack of snow, thrilled to how nice my back feels with the lack of shoveling, been elated that I don't really give a shit if my lawn tractor with the plow even starts, since I don't need the stupid thing.
But soon it will begin, the comments:
"Oh, we're going to have a drought."
"The water table is so low from the lack of snow!"
"There's going to be a water use ban because we didn't get enough snow this year..."
To which I say good, god dammit. I'll gladly skip a few showers or only do the dishes every other day or only flush once a day if it means not having to put up with god-forsaken evil of snow!
Besides, I hate washing my car, too.
I am endlessly amazed at the degree of media whorage that surrounds the Academy Awards. I find it difficult to understand why I should care about a group of spoiled, pampered, overpaid group of therapy cases- but apparently enough people due to make my point of view irrelevant. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy movies as much as the next person, but what does any of this have to do with art? I’ve always believed that cinema is an art form, and that art and competition are mutually exclusive. Ah, but this is America, where everything is about competition and money.
I think what turns me off the most about Hollywood is the sheer volume of commercial crap that is churned out and slapped onto movie screens. Movies have become purely commercial enterprises; what is valued is not the quality of the product but the quantity of dollars generated for investors. As it turns out, Americans will flock to see just about anything that is hyped enough to make it seem interesting. We are, apparently, a nation of cinematic Philistines.
My personal whipping boy in this respect is “Training Day”, which is to cinema what dog excrement is to haute cuisine. Denzel Washington got “Best Actor” for that? Please…. Unless the Academy has an award for a script using the phrase “punk-ass bitch” the most, there was nothing in “Training Day” that seemed worthy of anything but going straight to video. Of course, it did have full-frontal nudity, but I doubt the Academy uses that as a voting criteria.
But, I digress…back to the media whorage. I did marvel at the volume and shamelessness of the ego-stroking that took place during the “pre-game” show: "Hey look, it's Cameron Diaz! Cameron, women adore you and men want to tie you up and put it to you; where DID you find that FABULOUS dress? How does it feel to be the idol of millions of adoring, sybaritic fans tired of their own miserable, pointless lives??" Don’t we all have better things to do??
Apparently, we as a nation have little else to do but critique the dresses, hairstyles, and cleavage of movie starlets. Yawn. Will someone wake me up when Kate Winslet’s boobs fall out of her dress??
by mg at 01:50 PM on March 24, 2002
Have I ever mentioned how cool my cell phone is?
Because it is. Not only can it play mp3s, but I can also use it to connect to the wireless Internet. Isn’t technology amazing?
Sometimes, when I’m out and about and feel the need to get connected, I do. I check my email, compare store prices with those at Amazon, or just surf. Back in the days when I worked I had many a boring meeting to sit through. If I knew I could get away with it, I’d hook up to AIM, and chat with people to pass the time as Power Point presentations whizzed by over my head.
So, last night, I, for some reason I can’t quite remember, hooked up to AIM on my phone. Then I went to bed, or passed out if you want to be semantically correct. All night long, I kept having these strange dreams. No matter what I was dreaming various objects would periodically start vibrating.
I’d wake up a bit, and see that my phone was blinking at me. I picked it up and tried to read it, but every time all I could see was “shjfh sdflkfsk sflkhfd.” I kept thinking to myself, “there must be something wrong with my phone. I should really just turn it off so I can get some shut eye.”
But then I worried someone might be trying to call me. Maybe that were in a car accident or something and needed me to help gnaw off their arm so they could extract themselves from the wreckage. And, if I am nothing else, I am always willing to engage in cannibalism to help out a friend.
So, when I woke up this morning, I picked up my phone to see what in the hell was wrong with it. Seems I had forgotten to log out of AIM and all the night owls and early risers on my buddy list decided tonight was the night to chat. I had messages from seven different people. The first message in every conversation began “Out late or up early?”
After failing to respond (I was passed out, remember, and even if I wasn’t I wouldn’t know the proper response to shjfh sdflkfsk sflkhfd.”), most folk gave up. A couple continued to send me three or four more messages. For you people, I just wanted to say that I wasn’t ignoring you I was merely sleeping. THE END.
by mg at 12:37 PM on March 23, 2002
What’s next, crows feet?
During a cursory glance at myself in the mirror this morning (cursory? I spent nearly 45 minutes gazing lovingly upon my own reflection), I found not one, not two, not even half a dozen, but seven gray hairs. I’m sure if I had looked a little harder, I could have found even more.
Now, I have spotted a gray strand or two before. That is nothing new. I started noticing them years ago, when I was still a teenager. Usually, it’s just the one silver-gray rebel, and after I pluck it, my head goes back to its brown uniformity (with reddish gold highlights after I’ve spent a little too much time in the sun).
One or two strands, I can stand. But finding seven in one day is almost too much to bear. I think it might have something to do with the fact I haven’t dyed my hair in almost a year. In the past five years, I haven’t gone much longer than a few months without dying my hair. I’ve probably had gray hair all this time, but never noticed it until now.
It’s almost enough to make me want to renege on my pledge to go natural. And my pledge to save money (hair dye is expensive). And that pledge to not do things that might cause me cancer (besides smoking, because that’s too cool to ever give up. And also my pledge not to do things that leave stains all over my bathroom (which means it’s a good thing my apartment building has a basement, or else I’d have to give up my prostitute dismemberment hobby too).
At any rate, this is a sure sign that I’m getting old. Also that Snaggle was in New York this week, but I didn’t get a chance to see him because he only ever wanted to get together past my bedtime (hey, maybe that means more than I think it did?). Really, I’ve never been much into partying to begin with, but as I’m approaching middle age, the thought of starting the night at 11:30 just makes me tired. So very very tired.
Gray hair, needing to get at least 13 hours of sleep, hemorrhoids, and the urge to shake my fist and yell “You kids!” whenever a teenager speeds by me on their skateboard are all sure signs of aging. Sure, I’m only 26 (well, in a couple weeks anyway), but I feel very old.
What is really weird is that I also feel very young. It’s Saturday, and I woke up to watch cartoons this morning. The other day, I happened to walk past my old Junior High at around 3 o’clock. The kids were just getting out of class, were running around and doing all those things that I did as a 12 year-old; talking about comic books and video games, playing handball in the park, and teasing girls.
I wanted nothing more than to join in with them.
And it didn’t seem that long ago when I was them, but it’s been almost 15 years since I was in their tiny little shoes. I was looking at these kids and they all looked so small. I shouldn’t still be doing the same things I was doing when I was their age, should I? I even thought better of offering the girls in my “candy” the other day. “Maybe I should be looking for girls born in the same century as me,” I thought. And maybe I thought right.
Either too old, or too young; maybe I should act my age. But, what’s my age again?
The madness that is the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament is drawing to a close. Thrills, chills, heroes, and goats (et tu, Jason Williams??) abound. For sheer entertainment and excitement value, it’s tough to beat. As I’m watching the tournament, though, I can’t manage to shake a few questions.
F’rinstance, why does everyone seem to be making money off the tournament except the main attraction- the players? The NCAA has a multi-MILLION dollar contract with CBS, who makes money from selling advertising at premium rates. The universities, the coaches, the cities who host games- they all make money, as does everyone from T-shirt vendors to the beer guys. Everyone, that is, except the players.
Now, I know what some of you are going to argue- the players are on scholarship, and that should be considered just and adequate compensation. That argument might hold water- if schools kept the emphasis on the “student” in “student-athlete”. When you look at the deplorable graduation rates of many schools in the tournament, it should become clear that education is simply not a value. Besides, coaches are hired and fired based on won-loss records- not graduation rates.
What other industry is allowed carte blanche when it comes to exploiting 18-22 year-olds, most of whom have no legitimate shot of ever playing for pay beyond college? While you're perusing your brackets and trying to figure out how much money you’ve lost, let’s not lose sight of the fact that those “student-athletes” are in most cases willingly participating in indentured servitude. Their willingness does not necessarily diminish the injustice.
Apparently the world has ended and I was not notified. There is a way for women to pee standing up at a urinal, sans penis. There is a whole entire site dedicated to this and other bathroom behavior at Restrooms.org.
According to the site there is two ways of going about this. One is a plastic tube device, and the other is called the "Two Finger Method"...use your imagination. They are actually building female urinals in places.
The worst part is that there is people who actually do this. I though I was lazy, but this is taking it to a new extreme. I'll stick to hovering in a public bathroom, thank you.
by mg at 01:09 PM on March 22, 2002
This will eventually be the site of mg's personal blog. Wait, why am I refering to myself in the third person?
This will be the place for all the stupid stuff that doesn't belong anywhere else, and I'd really not want anyone to see, but would still like to write and post because I'm crazy that way.
At any rate, nothing is here now. I may make a few tentative posts now and then, but I probably wont be posting here regularly for another month or so. Don't worry, I'll let ya'll know when to come by and check this place out.
I was just promoted in my martial art. By surprise.
The test, as it always should be, was life.
Its a good feeling. But an odd feeling.
Someone out there will always be measuring, evaluating,
and judging you. Do the best that you can do with what you've got.
On any given day. No more, no less.
Thank you Mark. Thank you Oliver. And thanks to my peers.
It's a good time to be.
by mg at 08:27 PM on March 21, 2002
Normally, I'd hate to post up an AIM convo. But, for reasons that will quickly become apparent, I am not posting what I intended to write for today. I wasted all my wit and charm on the interview, and writing about the interview, and then a couple of long AIM convos. I've got nothing else to say today.
So, AIM log it is. Besides, for those who haven't instant messengered me yet, this will be an interesting look at another side of the original bad samaritan. Or something.
miss b: hi. how'd the interview go?
mg: it went well, i think
miss b yeah??
mg: yeah, it went well.
mg: i wrote something about it, but i signed a non discolusre agreement, and i'm not sure how much i can get away with
miss b: they liked you? you liked them?
mg: the guy said i was the oddball interview, i wasn't like the other people they had in
mg: that is either really good, or really bad
miss b: heh. right.
mg : well, he said even if i wasn't right for the one position, he might have a place for me, which is a good sign
miss b : that is very good. congratulations.
mg: it'd be a great chance
mg: so, since i signed an nda, and this company is supposed to be stealth, do you think i could post something about it if i don't mention the company or their idea at all?
miss b: i wouldn't. it'd make me too nervous.
miss b: but that's just me.
mg: i know. i'm nervous too
miss b: then don't do it.
mg: its a shame, because i already wrote the whole post
mg: before i started thinking better of it
miss b: you can always post it later maybe.
mg: i don't know what else to write about today then
miss b: i know!
mg: i've got all these partially written things that i don't have the heart to finish anymore
miss b : what was that thing i told you to write about?
mg: i don't remember. i was trying to think about what it was you said earlier
mg: and i couldn't
miss b: being a trendsetter.
mg: yes. right. how everyone steals from me
mg: heh. i was the first to mention that.
mg: hey, has space had any panis attacks?
mg: or our waiter!
mg: he has some sort of mind control
miss b: penis attacks?
miss b: that waiter!
mg: jean luc!
miss b: hahahahahaha
miss b : space hasn't had any attacks though
mg : hmm. maybe it is space then!
mg: the bastard!
miss b: ugh
mg: my life was fine until i met him
miss b: i don't have anything to post either.
miss b: what am i gonna post????
mg: i don't know. i'm struggling myself
mg: if you do come up with something, you should write it for bs
miss b: that's a good point.
mg: it is. i do have a good point
miss b: alright. i'm going home now and i'll try and think of something.
mg: okay. you've got a train ride to think
miss b: thanks for your comment from today.
mg: well, no, thank you for saying what i've been struggling with saying too
miss b: i'm glad it had the affect that it has.
miss b: i mean, that it's resonated for people.
miss b: it's nit just about me.
mg: nope, it is nit
miss b: hehe
mg: its strange that everyone within this smaller part of the bigger community is going through the same thing
miss b: yes. but it probably has something to do with why we were drawn to this in the first place.
mg: did we come together because we all had this inside us, or are we causing it in each other. or does seeing it in another person, help it out of us?
mg: it would be an interesting pyschological study
miss b: for sure.
mg: i once did a linguistics paper on chat speak, but a pyschological study would be really interesting
miss b: i just don't want us to be stereotyped like that.
mg: well, i don't think you could be stereotyped
miss b: what ever would make you say that?
mg: i think some people don't have much substance to them. they can be made to easily fit into a stereotype. but there is more to you than that.
mg: i've read your site for months now, met you a couple times and talk on aim a lot, but i still don't think i know you. or ever could know you completly. thats what i meant.
miss b: that's interesting. i'm definitely not an easy person to know.
mg: i think the people i like in real life, and the people i love to read are that way
miss b: you strike me as being not unlike that.
mg: i hope i am.
miss b: i think you are
miss b: in fact, who the hell are you????!!!!
mg: i'm doctor zissmore
mg: or however you speel that
miss b: ew
mg: that second one was on purpose
miss b: hehehe
miss b: okay. i gotta get out of here. i'll talk to you later.
mg: right. okay then, later doll.
miss b signed off.
PS: edited for brevity, and annotated for added value
by mg at 04:02 PM on March 20, 2002
I so very much want to go back to the carefree and happy-go-lucky days of Bad Samaritan. Back when I posted nothing more serious than hangnail. It seems this site has become nothing more than me bitching about this and that, and frankly, I’m sick of it. I’m sure you all are too.
I’m ready to go back to being frivolous, but I’m not sure how.
It’s hard to seem like I don’t have any worries in the world when all I do on this world is worry. If I were in love, I could joke about sex without it seeming bitter and resentful. I’d be back to making cracks about J Lo’s ass, if only I had one of my own to grab onto at night.
And if I had a job, I could go back to, well, eating for one, but also go back to railing against corporate America like the younger, skinner, much handsomer Michael Moore I used to be. Now, I look upon my days in corporate America with colored glasses thicker than Rosie O’Donnell. Sure, if I had a job, it’d probably back in corporate America and I’d have to sign some sort of anti-defamation clause that would force to stifle my radical actions, but I’d still be thinking my radical thoughts, and could finally afford the subscription to Ad Busters.
I’m not even feeling creatively satisfied. Sure, this site is doing well, hits are consistent, comments are consistent, even people beside myself have been posting recently. But I feel like I’m not doing enough with it. The site isn’t what I meant it to be. It isn’t what it has been when I loved writing here most. It isn’t a disappointment, either.
It just is.
And if it wasn’t I wouldn’t have a place to exercise these demons, and I suppose that is a good thing. But, I’ve still got an itch somewhere deep inside that I haven’t been able to scratch. As mentioned previously, there are big changes in the works, changes bigger than simply a new design (though there is a new design). This change should have been made weeks ago, and will be done soon, whether I like it or not.
Nothing like making external changes when what’s really bothering you is inside here (this is the point where you have to imagine me pounding my chest with my fist).
Anyway, the whole point is, if you, my devoted readers, would all get together and help me find a job, a girlfriend, and a creative muse, then we can get back the Bad Samaritan that brought everyone here in the first place. You’ve been loyal through these down times, now show your love by hooking me up with some love, and I guarantee things will get back to normal. I promise, really, you just have to hold up your end of the bargain.
I have grown increasingly tired lately of hearing the President called a moron when it is so obviously untrue. It is, of course, an article of faith for his detractors that he's stupid - so much so that they have to contrive elaborate theories about who actually makes the decisions in the White House since they've convinced themselves he's barely capable of tying his shoes. Occam's Razor argues against such contrivances, but if you're preoccupied with recounting ballots (again!) I suppose such fine distinctions get lost in all the freshly loosened chads.
But I've resolved not to let it bug me. First off, the locus of actual stupidity is a genuine question considering such things as Bush's 1206 on the SAT. FYI: that's just 44 points short of qualifying for Mensa. Secondly, members of the left-wing opposition only do their own cause a disservice when they underestimate Dubya. He has a such long and consistent track record of rope-a-doping such unthinking opposition and turning it to his advantage, you think they'd learn. They'd be a whole lot better off assuming he's deviously brilliant and planning accordingly, but that would require abandoning the cherished principle of subnormal intelligence. Which, as a fan of the President, suits me fine, thank you.
I can easily agree that Bush is not an intellectual (in the sense that we usually use the term) and that - say - Gore certainly is. But so what? Not being bookish does not mean he can't understand the issues. It doesn't even mean he doesn't read books (he is reported to be a voracious consumer of books, actually). No-one who is actually familiar with how his Administration operates will contend that Administration policy comes from anywhere other than Bush himself. There's a huge difference between delegation and lack of comprehension. OTOH, one can be too intellectual. Gore might very well be President now but for the fact that he came across in the debates as such a condescending pedant. There's no telling how many voters decided they'd rather not be lectured by him for four years and voted accordingly.
So, yeah, it's hard sometimes to listen to the same mindless drivel, endlessly repeated. But I remind myself of something William James once said, "A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." One sees it everywhere.
Still More Random Thoughts:
The folks at Bob Jones University (you know, the ones who put the “fun” in fundamentalist) have decided that they are no longer happy describing themselves as “fundamentalist”. In their view, “fundamentalist” connotes bigotry, intolerance, and divisiveness, so they need to find another adjective. Hmmm… what’s another word for bigotry, intolerance, and divisiveness?
The Vatican has finally figured out that pedophilia is a serious problem among priests. DUH…. Thanks for getting out in front of the story this time, guys….
So Andrea Yates faced her sentencing alone while her husband Russell was off hitting the talk show circuit? Well, a man’s gotta make a living, right? Besides, it’s not as if he’s not going to know where to find her for the next 40 years….
Gen. Manuel Noriega (remember him??), former hefe de Panama, had a parole hearing yesterday, but his attorney thinks it is doubtful he will be released. Something about drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering….
Shrub’s advisers are asking him to merge the Customs Service with the INS. Apparently, the idea is to collect all of the incompetence and inefficiency in one place….
According to this week’s issue of The Onion (the only news that’s REALLY fit to print), Al & Tipper Gore are enjoying the best sex of their lives. I believe that one will get filed under “WAY too much information”….
Shrub has turned into the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan. He has developed an uncanny ability to attract credit for policy successes, while at the same time being held blameless for failures. I suppose you can do that when you have no original ideas of your own….
by mg at 12:58 PM on March 19, 2002
Take yesterday’s post how you will.
I probably meant something by it at the time. In fact, I’m sure I did.
Maybe it is about a girl. Maybe I’m getting my chain pulled and I’m sick of it.
Maybe you should replace the word “you” with the word “blog.” I fall in and out of love with this stupid pastime more than I ever have with any person.
Maybe it isn’t about any of those things. That is the crazy bit about “art,” whatever the author may have intended, each person checking it out will have their own interpretation. It’s called an open reading.
So, I’m not going to explain anything. I probably should, but I don’t feel like it. I don’t feel like explaining much of anything lately. I’m tired of making sense of things, because life just doesn’t make any damn sense. Great thinkers, prophets and pot-heads have spent entire lives in deep meditation, and none of it has gotten humanity anywhere.
I’m tired of thinking so damn much. I want to look without leaping. I want to do something stupid. I want my brain to shut off.
Which is why you haven’t seen me around much. All I’m doing is blindly sending out resumes, watching movies, and playing with my palm pilot. And when I say palm pilot, that isn’t even a euphemism.
I’ve been planning and scheming my whole life, and look where it has gotten me. Seemingly the same place I would have gotten if I’d done nothing at all. So, from now on, I’m going to do nothing at all. Let’s see what happens.
Today will not be remembered as one of my better days. The consulting firm I work for has had trouble drumming up new business since 9.11.01 (and Enron). Since operating capital doesn’t grow on trees, something eventually had to give. Today that something was me. I’ve been put on a two-week “unpaid leave”. There is the (likely remote) possibility that I’ll be called back, but the reality is that I’m probably out of a job. Now, I realize that there are a lot of other people out there who are in worse shape, so I’m not going to cry in my beer. I’ll save the self-pity for later. Financially, we’ll be OK for the time being, although playing golf at Pebble Beach anytime soon is looking much less likely than it did a few days ago.
What struck me today was how powerfully most of us come to identify with their chosen career. I know I do. Upon meeting someone for the first time, one of the first questions is invariably “So, what do you do for a living?” And how do we define ourselves? “Well, I’m a neurobiochemical metaphysicist, Bob….”
Losing that connection, that sense of identity, can be a devastating thing. I suppose it’s only natural when you consider how much of your life you spend getting to, being at, and coming home from work. It’s OK, though; I already have a plan in place. When someone asks me what I do for a living, I’m going to tell them I’m a freelance writer (which is a not incorrect description). Of course, I’m not actually making any money, but that seems so…crassly commercial. I’m all about the art. I know; it’s total bullshit, but it’s the best I could do on short notice. I’m not going to pretend this is going to be an easy time for me, but after today, I’m going to make a concerted effort not to feel sorry for myself.
In the meantime, anyone out there looking for a writer???
by mg at 07:11 PM on March 18, 2002
I didn't mean to keep you in suspense so long.
Anyway, Dodd was right (as he usually is). I was interviewed by a journalist from the AP about the Fighting Whities story. I gave the interviewer a lot, and implored him to actually mention Bad Samaritan, but in the end all I got was one measly quote (at the very end of the article, no less) and no link slutage.
Ah well, still pretty cool. Since the article was on the AP wire, it was published a lot of places, and here is one of them. If it happened to be printed in one of your local papers, please let me know, I'd love to get a copy for scrap book.
by mg at 01:58 PM on March 18, 2002
I keep on fallin'
In and out of love
Sometimes I love ya
Sometimes u make me blue
Sometimes I feel good
At times I feel used
Lovin you darlin'
Makes me so confused
I keep on
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you
Oh, oh , I never felt this way
How do you give me so much pleasure
And cause me so much pain
Just when I think
Ive taken more than would a fool
I start fallin' back in love with you
I keep on
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you
I, I, I, I'm fallin'
I, I, I, I'm fallin'
I keep on
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you
One of the aspects of the war on terrorism that I find particularly frightening is the militant aversion some Conservatives have for criticism of Shrub and/or the war on terrorism. I always thought that one of the things that distinguishes this country from places like Iraq or Iran is that we can say what’s on our minds. That’s not to say that whatever is said will be met with universal approval, but at least you don’t have to worry about being summarily executed. I think that’s a good thing.
Well, now that there is a war on, Conservatives like John Ashcroft and William Bennett have taken to viewing legitimate criticism or questions to be giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Right; how will someone living in a cave benefit from someone like me asking why Shrub wants $36 billion for homeland security and how he is going to spend it?
A scary new watchdog group called Americans for Victory Over Terrorism is Bennett’s latest attempt to introduce fear, intimidation, and self-censorship into the American political landscape. Using the “loose lips sinks ships” school of thought, AVOT will “promote the democratic ideals of freedom, liberty, equality, and human rights”- just as long as you don’t actually try to exercise any of those rights by criticizing the President or the war on terrorism. Try that and some right-wing nutcase will be comparing you to John Walker Lindh.
I’d always thought that McCarthyism was a legacy left to me by my parent’s generation- something to be studied and understood, but only for posterity. I never thought that I would see the Senator’s ghost re-emerge again, particularly after 9.11.01. Well, there are those of us who live to be a thorn in the side of ignorance, fear, and reaction. I’m here to tell you that as long as I walk the earth and have access to a keyboard, I’m going to do my best to piss off the Radical Right. I consider it my sworn duty, and I’m pretty good at it. If more us would do the same, perhaps people like Bennett and Ashcroft will come to understand the true power of freedom of speech and expression.
Party on, Garth!!
Yes, it's been awhile. I'll fill you in on what's happened to me in the last three months: I had the baby. There, we are all up to date and can move on to how I am horny as this is my favorite topic in the whole wide world.
kd said I wouldn't even think about sex for a good six months after I had the baby. I have found this to be as true as the rumor that labor is painful. The fact that I am more and more bitching to Gordon about my panties being attached to my ass as opposed to a nice hardwood floor, tells me that I am ready to get back to matin' and creatin'.
And why shouldn't I bitch? I'm twenty-three years old. I figure my panties should be on the floor at least twice a week. I am missing the old days when I'd wake each morning and have to hunt the little fuckers down. I'd always find them some place like the kitchen or thrown on top of his web cam or swimming in a pool of Kama Sutra tickle powder.
One morning my bra actually had to find it's own way home! I opened the door and there it was, neatly folded in a plastic bag with a note saying,"We found this on the front lawn and thought you'd might like it back."
My underwear is bored people! Sometimes late at night I find myself perusing Victoria's Secret . Com looking for something, anything that will again make my pantie drawer the hoppin' joint that it once was. It's gotten so pathetic that my cartoon cotton's are intermingling with my black lacies and my snappie fronties. It used to be, with the exception of a few days out of the month, that I'd open that drawer and choose which sexy bitch I was going to be that day. Now anything that's got any amount of sex appeal is so wedged back in the drawer that I can't get the damn thing completely shut.
Let's not even talk about the underwear that goes up to my navel, which should have been burned a long time ago, but is now making a come back as I have become more into comfort than looks. Why? Because it isn't going to be neatly displayed on anyone's floor or couch or desktop photo of their parents, so why should I even bother?
I am not an ugly chick. Sure my breasts are a little floppy and my belly may noticeably protrude over my Levi's, but I am still as pretty as I ever was. I still have the same deceptively demure face. I still have legs so long my feet rest in Houston. I am still a worthy port of entry! Dammit, I say "chicks" and "port of entry"!
Some may think that now that I am a mom I should sit back and accept the fact that I am picking Hanes out of my ass at 4am, but that just isn't going to happen. I miss the tie-dye. I miss the eyelet. I miss the closeness and the passion and the sweat and the hair pulling and the spanking and the counters and the occasional bite on my inner thigh. I am a human being, and human beings need to have wild, barbaric sex!
I was sure that this whole thing had a point. Funny how it doesn't.
If there is one thing that is high on my pet peeves list is public grooming. Not just fixing your hair that been messed up, or something to that extent. But the grooming that should go on within the confines of your home.
First example there is this girl in my 9.00 class who proceeds to put her "face" on each morning. It takes a half and hour, thats half a class hour each day. Imagine how many hours in her life she must spend putting on makeup. Makeup that makes her look quite dead.
My prime and second example happned yesterday in the same class, by a different girl. I assume that class got too boring for her so she proceeded to whip out her nail file, which I had no problem with. But next I know, she pulls out her fingernail clipper and starts clipping a filing right next to me. Not only was I grossed out, but I do believe that one of her thin, floppy, ugly nails flew on me.
I wanted to throw up, this was worse than the girls I see who use thier curling irons in the public bathroom. More worse than the people who pick thier noses while driving. Although not as worse the people who brush thier teeth in public bathrooms. These public groomers have no respect for the people around them, especially in close quarters.
They must be stopped.
short story long, I'm on the phone with "the woman" and she is in bed just calling me while she tries to go to sleep. I don't get that. Just go to sleep and leave me alone. Well i guess my job was to talk to her and waste my cell phone minutes until she passed out. as you can well imagine, left on my own to rant i started bitching about whatever suits my fancy until she challenges my rant. "How do you know? you do tend to be awfully hard on people...blah blah blah."
so i gave here three good reasons to support my rant which i wont go into here, suffice it to say she irritated me by challenging explain WHY i felt the way I did about my own personal business. Then I asked her if shewanted any more proof that I knew what the hell i was talking about.
Apparently she felt cowed because she gave me some weak "ok, all right, don't get mad" business and then started in with the silent treatment. I decided if she wanted silence she could have that without my waiting on the other end fo the line. "Well, i guess I'll talk to you later." it is my experience that the ladies don't like it when you arent willing to talk for four hours until they feel comfortable going to sleep after what was surely the most minor of tiffs.
screw that. hang up on me will you? go talk to your cat you big-headed old maid. i then spent an hour and a half on the phone with my buddy Jocelyn screwing around and having a good time talking about things that interst both of us. I like my friends, I don't mind being alone. I hate cutesy nonsensical baby talky love me love my cat relationship BS.
I'm sure she expected me to call her back and aplogize, but forget it. I dont like play games. I dont like being made to wait weeks and weeks for just the first kiss so some woman I wouldnt have for a friends tests me to see if I am boyfriend or marriage material before we have any kind of fun. "Want to go out?" I would ask. "No let's just stay in and watch a movie." yeah, like I couldnt do that on my own.
I am not afraid of intimacy so much as I am repulsed by it. I want a best friend THEN a lover. This is not a job, it is life and it is getting shorter every day. I don't have time to waste on people who see me as raw material for the relationship gristmill. Do I have areas I could stand to improve? No doubt. But I determine what those are, not some woman i just met a month ago.
Don't tell me my depression, the source of my writing and the dysfunciton i control just fine on my own thank you, should be completely eradicated by smiling more and writing less. writing is the only thing keeping me sane, baby.
I'm free, to do what I want. Any old time. Love me, hold me. Love me. Hold me, cause I'm free!
by mg at 11:51 AM on March 15, 2002
I was just interviewed by someone at Associated Press over something that was written here a couple days ago. Aren't you all just dying to know what?
by mg at 08:05 PM on March 14, 2002
Washington D.C. –– A cabinet member’s desk it is a sacred place – the one private place in his very public world. Donald Rumsfeld learned that invading that sanctum is a most serious offense.
Once one of the most promising prospects in politics, Rumsfeld was placed on unconditional waivers by the United States Governments after stealing a stapler and three-pack of legal pads from cabinet-mate Colin Powell’s desk, a government source said Thursday.
"That type of thing is a shock," President George Bush said. "It's sad. It's unfortunate."
Unlike many in-the-bedroom transgressions that often can be overlooked, Rumsfeld was not given a second chance by the government.
"We look at this as our house and this is our family," Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Mel Martinez said. "We spend more time here than we do with our real families. This was something that had to be dealt with quickly and as discretely as possible, but that's not possible in this age."
None of the cabinet members would publicly say why Rumsfeld was let go. But a lawyer familiar with the decision, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Rumsfeld took the equipment from Powell’s desk and sold it to a political memorabilia agent.
Rumsfeld later returned the stapler and legal pads, which he reportedly sold for $2,500, but it was too late to save his career with the United States Government.
"The Whitehouse is a special place," Bush said. "It's our sanctuary. It's big part of what we do. Trust is very important."
Secretary of Health & Human Services Tommy Thompson said stuff disappears from his desk all year, but he has never suspected a cabinet member of doing it. "I try and protect some of my important game stuff," Thompson said. "It happens all the time. I don't think it's the cabinet members."
This time it was.
Like that of most cabinet members, Powell’s desk is filled with pens, paper clips, important papers and staplers– which he considers his most precious stationary item. Other valuables are usually locked away.
Powell sells most of his office-used equipment – including 20-to-25 pens a year – through Steiner Political Memorabilia to raise money for his America's Promise charity.
Brandon Steiner, the head of the company, said the sales generate more than $250,000 a year for the charity, including between $2,500 and $10,000 per paper clip. But there's one item Powell never sells.
"I know those staplers are very personal," Steiner said. "He never parts with them."
But no matter what Rumsfeld took, the outrage likely would have been the same.
The team confronted Rumsfeld after players learned of the theft last week. Rumsfeld had a closed-door meeting Saturday with Bush, vice president Dick Cheney and Chief of Staff, Andrew H. Card, Jr.
Cheney met with Rumsfeld again Monday morning and, later that day the cabinet was told of the decision.
"We have always been able to discuss things as a team," Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao said. "That's one reason why we've been so successful because we've had such good chemistry. We tend to act as a unit and talk things through." Rumsfeld’s actions tore at the fabric of that chemistry, creating an element of mistrust.”
Powell declined to comment on the theft or the release, saying he didn't "want to add fuel to the fire." Rumsfeld, who received a $200,000 settlement of his contract, said he's negotiating with other country’s governments, "even though right now things are a little more difficult.''
Today is one of those days where things happen. I'm glad they're happening to others and not to me. For example, my sister-in-law's father died last night. Two of my best friends got laid off today, and at least one of them really can't afford that. My friend's brother died last week, seven years to the day after getting a heart transplant.
These are things that happen.
These are not things that happen like, say, the sun rising, the harvest moon shining, or the tides getting sand wet kinds of things. Those are natural and predictable and good things.
Instead, these things that happen are things like, say, the sun overheating a car so much the dog inside dies, or the harvest moon shining just enough so you can see a rape happening on the street below your window, or the tide causing an undertow so big it drags you under with such force you feel like you have ropes tied to your ankles and you hit your head on a rock.
These are bad things. Things I don't wish on even a Republican.
It's a relief me, on a day like today where things happen, to be living such a boring life, where it feels like nothing happens. May nothing continue to happen for a long time.
Take, for instance, the story of these two demon-slayers. Rune-worded handaxe in one hand, triple diamoned studded shield in the other, our hero hacked and slashed his way into the heart of his bow bearing bride as he attempted to save her from the hordes of gibbering flayers and thorn hulks. Yet she needed no rescuing, for her unique Storm bow was her savior as she put arrows through the eyes of each of her assailants. Finding love in this strange world is hard enough. Be happy for those who take videogaming seriously. Even the ArchAngel Tyriel is wishing them good luck. Check it out.
Today I experienced an ugly side of the weblog community, and I’m none too happy about it. I suppose I should have expected that someone would rain on my parade sooner or later. I probably shouldn’t be surprised that I am not universally loved and admired for my wit and intellect. Whoda thunk it?
My website was reviewed yesterday in The Weblog Review, and the reviewer, one Kiffin, was none too kind. In fact, he was a real asshole. I’ve known for some time that my site, as it currently exists, will not win any awards, but it’s never been about that. I began my site last September as a way to teach myself HTML and web design, and to provide myself with a forum for my writing. I suppose I was arrogant enough to think that someone would actually read what I have to say. I don’t get a lot of hits- generally between 50 and 80 per day- but there are a few people who visit my site regularly. That alone is gratifying. To have someone belittle what I’ve devoted many, many hours to, and to do it in such a condescending manner, is not an easy thing to accept.
I feel good about what I do, especially since it is all hand-coded. I’ve worked hard at it, and while it is clearly and admittedly somewhat amateurish, it is 100% mine. At some point, I will graduate to some sort of content management system, but this is very much a shoestring operation, and doing anything more elaborate takes money.
Kiffin, as far as I’m concerned, can kiss my ass. I respect his right to form his own opinion, and he did actually have a few observations worth following up on. Nevertheless, there is no reason to be condescending and insulting. Is it really necessary to build yourself up as an expert by demeaning and denigrating the work of someone else you will never meet? If you are reviewing the work of someone else, and you don’t like it, say so. Back up your argument with concrete observations, not vague ill-defined generalities on what a weblog “should” be. Above all, remember that the tables could be turned on you. Therefore, following the old Golden Rule is always a good idea.
As a writer, I do realize that I need to have a thicker skin. I will work on that. This is a free country, and everyone is free to hold his or her own opinions. What we should not have is the freedom to freely denigrate someone’s work without accountability. There will always be people out there who find it easier to criticize than to actually do. Thankfully, I have a very special place for them in my own personal Hell.
by mg at 12:14 AM on March 14, 2002
I hate being ominous (no, wait, I actually love it) but there are big changes in the works here at Bad Samaritan World Domination Headquarters, and I can’t mention a word of it.
I will offer you this little hint: the Federal Trade Commission has finally okayed our merger with a company that’s name rhymes with AOL Time Corner. I can’t divulge any more information than that because I signed a confidentiality agreement that gives their lawyers the right to stick something in it if I open my big fat mouth.
I can, however, show you this grainy picture, I took after smuggling a camera past security by hiding it up my, well, you don’t want to know. If that isn’t enough to get you all enticed and tingly, here is a picture the camera took while it was up there.
well my latest foray into romance is over. I spent the better part of saturday night diddling this chick I've known for about a month now and come Sunday moring could NOT wait to get rid of her. Now I know what you are thinking, what a typical misogynist male, use em and lose em type, right?
Well, not entirely. I started off with the best of intentions and honestly thought I was in the mood for a relationship. I did the phone calling thing and the sweet talking thing and the making plans to do it thing after the go out, see a movie and eat nachos thing, but in the end I realized that I just can't stand being that close to people.
I have loads of friends I am close to and would cut off my arm to help if need be, but this whole girlfriend out of the blue deal.
It all started when my newspaper gave its employees free personal ads to run in the paper on Valentine's Day. I thought, what the fuck, why not make a joke out of it. So I ran this: Ladies, is your biological clock ticking? Do you have low standards? Then call me at [my phone number].
It was cool. I got calls from high school girls and grandmas looking for the source of such an obvious attempt at humor. Oh sure, there was a freak or two and one person who thought she could take out all of her frustrations on the anonymous donor of this bit of humor, but overall it was just a good "I hate V-Day lark."
one of the calls was from Pam, this chick thought it was hilarious and just wanted to tell me so. turns our we went to high school togehter as well. Damn small town shit anyway. So we talked and decided to get together and 0f course she liked what she saw because you can see my picture... I'm hot.
One thing leades to another and she pissed me off the other night by trying to change me. like i need changed and like she can do it. fuck that shit. my personality, rank though it may be, is mine and nobody who has only known me for about a month has the right to change my ass.
In one of my very first posts, I quoted the immortal Mark Slackmeyer: “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” Well, since then, things have changed a bit, and I’m going to be man enough to admit that I may perhaps have been guilty of a lack of compassion. Perhaps.
For those of you who may have been trapped in a cave in eastern Afghanistan, Andrea Yates was found guilty of capital murder yesterday. Essentially, the jury said that Yates was aware that what she was doing was wrong, and as such did not meet the (archaic and outdated) legal definition of insanity.
It should go without saying that there are no winners in this case. The Texas standards for insanity have been exposed as woefully inadequate, and there is currently no way that the Texas legal system can adequately address a case of this magnitude. The challenge for the next session of the Texas legislature will be to bring the legal definition of insanity into line with the current medical definition. Of course, the legislature here has never been known for going where angels fear to tread.
In the meantime, my position has softened somewhat. I no longer believe that this was a black & white case of Andrea Yates' obvious guilt. Does she still deserve the death penalty? I am less certain of that now than I was at the trial's outset, but I would still certainly hold the death penalty as an option. Her fate will be determined during the sentencing phase of the trial, which begins tomorrow.
My change of heart comes after realizing that Mrs. Yates’ state of mind at the time of the murders was clearly not rational. Does her lack of rationality adequately explain her actions? I suppose that depends on your point of view. In the final analysis, though, I believe that killing Yates will not bring back her children, and will not accomplish anything except to rob Russell Yates of his wife. By the same token, Andrea Yates should never again walk the earth as a free woman.
I suppose the truly humane thing to do under the circumstances would be for Yates to receive treatment and spend the rest of her life in the Texas correctional system. Will one more death do anything except give a few devoid-of-compassion Conservatives a warm and fuzzy feeling? Probably not. It may be hard to talk about compassion when you remember that she murdered her five children, but I now believe it is both appropriate and the right thing to do.
by mg at 09:49 PM on March 12, 2002
Whenever I think humanity has reached a new low, something new comes along to make you reevaluate what it means to be inhumane. Whether it be Infamous Celebrity Boxing, a ballplayer caught stealing his teammates glove to sell on eBay, or an anti-violence celebration breaking out in fisticuffs, there is always something worse around the corner. Whether flying a plane into a building, killing thousands of people for over some silly dogma, drowning your own children, or letting a man slowly bleed to death in your car port, the depths to which people will sink is constantly sinking lower.
I’d like to say that there is no longer anything that will shock me. But I know it isn’t true. What is shocking today will pale in comparison to what I learn about the world tomorrow. Someone will come along and attach jumper cables to their three year-old child.
It’s gotten so bad I’ve stopped going to church. Sure, I never was much into church in the first place, but I’ve all but forsaken any hope of ever getting close to god. Every service I’ve attended in the past year has claimed the end times were near. Personally, I hate hearing things like that. There are no end times, or, more accurately, we are always in end times.
Doomsayers are always claiming to recognize signs of the apocalypse, but the world was no more likely to end at the end of the first millennium as it was the last. It is just a way for religious organizations to scare people into giving up money and showing up on Sunday. People should be good because being kind, compassionate and humane is the only way to go about life, not because they fear an ever-looming judgment.
And really, life as we know it is constantly it is always ending, because it is impossible to know the future. Still, a couple years ago, when faced with the question of “What Now?” I had an answer. Today, I don’t.
I meant this post to be lighthearted and gay. I meant to ask everyone what they viewed as the telltale sign of the decline of society and the end of the world as we know it. I expected answers like N’Sync appearing in Star Wars Episode II, Temptation Island, and David Spade’s entire career.
Somewhere along the way, I obviously got diverted.
Maybe you noticed, but I’ve been finding it hard to be lighthearted recently. Try as I might to be otherwise, I feel like I’ve been depressing as hell the last couple weeks. Maybe I’m shooting for a 2003 Antibloggie for Most Depressing Blog. Maybe I’m in a horrible funk with no way out.
Either way, I’m going to put out the question I meant to initially pose: what is your sign of the apocalypse? It can be something that has happened already, or something that will be surely, in your mind, a sign of Judgment Day. It can be lighthearted, silly, depressing, or whatever you want to say, but say it, because I need to hear I’m not the only rational person feeling this way.
by mg at 01:03 AM on March 12, 2002
In completely frivilous and down-right laughable news, an intramural basketball team at the University of Northern Colorado has dubbed themselves “The Fighting Whities.” Why did they choose that name? To raise awareness and understanding about the stereotypes some cultures endure.
The team is led by Solomon Little Owl, director of Native American Student Services at UNC. He says the “message is, let’s do something that will let people see the other side of what it’s like to be a mascot.” There are many teams based on racial stereotypes – the Atlanta Braves, the Washington Redskins. Little Owl is “really offended” by the mascot issue at a local high school. He hopes “the people that support [stereotypical mascots] will get offended” by his team’s name.
Now, my mom went to St. John’s University. I grew up watching the St. John’s Redmen, back when they didn’t suck eggs. I remember how pissed I was when the school caved in to pressure and renamed the team the “Red Storm.” I mean, what the hell is a red storm anyway? The team is just way too menstrual for me to get into anymore.
Maybe it’s because I’m not Native American, but I don’t see how the Red Men, the Redskins, or the Braves are offensive. Well, maybe the tomahawk chop a little, but that’s besides the point. The point is that something is only offensive if you let it be. Note the "N" word.
Little Owl, and the rest of those liberal pansies with nothing better to do than complain about the names of high school sports team are so out of touch with reality. They hoped calling their team the “Whities” would help people to realize just how offensive these names to be. But check out the comments on this article. Not only is no one offended, the find it entertaining. The comments point out that for every Braves, there are the Fighting Irish, for every Redskins, you’ve got a Celtics.
So, score one for the equality of racial stereotypes and score one more for political incorrectness. Next thing you know, we might see boobies on TV.
by mg at 10:45 PM on March 11, 2002
Today is the six-month anniversary of 9/11.
I’m sure everyone has something to say about this. You might be sick of hearing about it by now, and I seriously considered not mentioning anything about it at all.
But then I watched the special on CBS last night.
I’d didn’t want to watching. In fact, for the last few weeks, I repeatedly said I wasn’t going to watch. Like most people, I thought it’d be exploitive and disingenuous. I imagined any handling of the tragedy would be wholly inadequate to express the pure emotional impact of what really happened. I imagined it would be nothing more than a your typical “a very special…” sitcom episode; big on show, small on substance.
But I was wrong. Sure, the special wasn’t perfect. But it was real.
For those of you who may not have heard about it, a pair of French documentary film-makers were following a young fire-fighter during his 9-month probation period between leaving the academy and “becoming a man.” This station, Engine 7, Ladder 1, was located just a few block from the World Trade Center (and is certainly the fire-house from my dreams).
The filming schedule just happened to fall during the morning of September 11th. The film-makers shot the engine company responding at the scene, trying their best to help, flee when the buildings came down, wait as they learned which of their brothers made it out alive, and return to the site to rescue the survivors who just weren’t there.
It is so easy to lose site of exactly what happened on September 11th. Six months later, the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are never even mentioned. Even as the “War on Terrorism” rolls on, the horrible events that started it all not only aren’t headline news, they hardly make it into the story.
It is impossible to get your mind around how tremendous September 11th was. I’ve thought about this a lot, at the time, and every day since. Yet, not until last night did I realize this fact: when you see the towers collapsing, there were people still inside the buildings.
I am so used to seeing footage of buildings being brought down for new construction. I am so trained to think that those building are empty, that those watching are safely standing out of harms way. But, when you see the images of the Towers collapsing, there are thousands of people inside. As the buildings pancake in upon themselves, people are dying.
I’ve seen the video of the Towers collapsing hundreds of times. Yet, as simple a fact never occurred to me. I don’t know why, but that it just never consciously hit me before. As sad as it may be that those beautiful buildings were destroyed, it was always so much easier to think that they were empty because it is so incomprehensible to think that so many people died in a single instant.
And that was the real reason I didn’t want to watch the special. As a New Yorker, it is impossible to have not been somehow directly affected. The rest of the country, and the rest of the world may not have been as connected, but watching those firefighters- real people- who bravely doing their jobs, or understandably running away, crying, worrying, frustrated, just makes this completely unimaginable story tangible.
This is one of those moments in history that there can never be enough stories told. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of raw footage, both from the French film makers, news outlets, and ordinary citizens. They should run that footage 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We should never be allowed to forget what happened. Never forget all the lives that ended or were changed forever on a single day.
Like a lot of us, I watched CBS’ 9/11 last night. For reasons that were part morbid curiosity, part dealing with the grief of losing a friend, and part historical interest, I subjected myself to the entire two hours. I think that part of me is still struggling with the scope and breadth of the tragedy, wondering how something like that could have happened. The sheer audacity of the attacks and the unimaginable scale of the buildings and their collapse are still difficult to comprehend. How can one truly wrap one’s head around two 110-story buildings simply collapsing into dust, never mind the unimaginable loss of life?
On a flight from New York to Athens in 1984, my plane flew over Manhattan. We passed directly over the World Trade Center. From the air, the size of the towers in relation to the buildings around it was breathtaking. It is difficult to fully grasp just how incomprehensibly massive the two towers were. They were by no means particularly attractive buildings, but they weren’t about physical beauty. Their size and scale made a statement about New York and the way New Yorkers view their city. The loss of the towers will do nothing to change the way New Yorkers view the center of their universe.
With the iconic towers removed from the cityscape, New Yorkers will have to find something else to symbolize the outsized and cosmopolitan nature of the city. It will never be the same, but the city will bounce back. Is there another option?
I am listening to “Boys of Summer” by one Mr. Donald Henley. It feels like it’s 1985 all over again only without the mullet. I can close my eyes and be behind the wheel of that sweet 1972 cherry red Mustang that was my first car and first love. Cruising down Broadway on a hot summer night, a carload of my geeky friends, a cool breeze scented with burnt motor oil and that piquant whiff of fried corn chips from the Frito Lay plant down by the Missouri River blowing through the open windows, America’s security unchallenged — that was cool.
Comic books, science fiction double features, occasionally girls, wine coolers in two-liter bottles like Mountain Dew and hours of gaming with A.L. class of 1984 alums, Steve Thomas and Mike Miller at their tiny basement apartment right next to the house of General Dodge, the man who built the easten half of the UP. It was like playing silly buggers in the shadow of an American who had better things to do with his life. Good times.
You don’t get to relive the past and trying is usually a bad deal because nothing will ever make you 17 again. Let’s face it, most things are better when we remember them than they really were any way (Now, I’m listening to “The Breakup Song” - Greg Kihn Band).
I guess I am lucky to have memories. Some people seem to lose that emotional memory if not the entire enchilada. My life is a pastiche of memories sown together with a soundtrack of music. Radio tunes, classic rock, ’80s alternative, new wave. AC/DC, Heart, Devo, New Order, The Police, U2, The Fixx, Social Distortion, Nirvana, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Leonard Cohen, Concrete Blonde, Julee Cruise and even The Greg Kihn Band if you want to know the truth. The list is endless and so are the places they can take me (“I Ran” - Flock of Seagulls).
Last weekend I spent Friday and Saturday nights with a group of old friends I suddenly realized I had known for about 20 years. One of those guys, Mark Schonberg, I’ve know since Kirn Junior High when this odd, little kid with a broken nose used to call me “Big Man” every day in Spanish, math, gym and football until I liked to beat on him. “What’s up, Big Man?” “Can I borrow a pen, Big Man?” But he’s OK.
Not one year of my life has gone by without talking to this guy at least once although he did blow me off pretty good in college when he mistakenly thought his frat brothers were cooler than me, the sad, silly little freak (“What You Need” - INXS).
About nine of us spent last Friday and Saturday playing a game. Not drinking at a bar or doing whatever it is grown up men are supposed to do with their free time. Sounds quaint, I know, but then the game we play (and I mostly watch these days) isn’t Scrabble. The closest comparison I can make is to Dungeons&Dragons and other role-playing games, but this one is homemade ( “Dance Hall Days” - Wang Chung).
A great deal of this game comes from Steve Thomas’s imagination, but what he and the other’s have done is pull together every single science fiction film, comic book and fantasy novel ever created and made them fair game. It is a truly unique post-modern experience, primarily because no one really seems to know what they are doing at any given time. They like it that way. Pure chaos (“Luka” - Suzanne Vega).
At one moment, a Jedi knight from “Star Wars” is killing a terminator of the Arnold Schwarzenegger variety then hops in his flying Ferrari with a “Bladerunner” Nexus droid that looks like Miss January 1986 to go home to “Dark City” only to find it has been invaded by a character based roughly on the X-Men’s Wolverine. There a talking duck named Lord Aflac kills you with a handful of Lazarus Crystals he got from Hugh Hefner, the time-traveling demi-god, and it’s only 7 o’clock at night! (“Should I Stay or Should I Go?” - The Clash).
It is enough to make one’s head hurt frankly, but the company is good and it is exciting to see men with wives and children get as worked up in their mid-30s as they did straight out of high school.
Watching Kevin Rasmussen (T.J. 1986) and Bob Laudon (A.L. 1984) pretend to be warring, godlike, pan-dimensional, superheroic ... guys, I guess is the right term, while bouncing off of Mike Miller’s new pit set would make some people cringe, but it’s once a year and how often does a black-hearted, whiskey-soaked reprobate like me get to have fun without spending a lot of money at one of our city’s many fine dance clubs? It just doesn’t happen (“Bring on the Dancing Horses” - Echo and the Bunnymen).
Nostalgia is a dangerous business, this much I know, but I like it any way. You can’t beat it for the money and if the greatest danger is brooding over the past, well, that’s not too high a price to pay.
Not all that long ago, politically-astute types here in Texas were all atwitter over the fact that two Hispanic-Americans are running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. They even had a debate in Spanish, the first time that has ever happened in Texas.
What began with so much hope quickly deteriorated into just another business-as-usual crappy election campaign, although it certainly SOUNDS better in Spanish. I’m not sure if the language actually makes a difference, or if I like it simply because I can’t understand most of what is being said. What DOES mudslinging sound like in Spanish, anyway??
The winner gets to meet the Republican incumbent, Rick Perry, (aka Governor Goodhair) in the general erection (I mean election) in November. Perry’s claim to fame is that he’s not Shrub, who so distinguished himself as Guv that he got his own bad self a promotion to the Big House. Perry hasn’t actually done much except wield a wicked veto pen. If he has an agenda of his own, he’s keeping it well-hidden.
But, I digress. The Democrats- Tony Sanchez and Dan Morales- are, at least for now, the main event. When Morales was the Texas Attorney General, he won a huge settlement from the tobacco companies. Unfortunately, he’s been under investigation for the past two years for cutting some of his lawyer friends in on the deal.
Sanchez, a wealthy businessman, has been accused by Morales of trying to buy the election. Excuse me, but isn’t that a time-honored American tradition? Hello, the Golden Rule: he who has the gold makes the rules?? It works as well here in Texas as anywhere, and better than most places. We like our politicians a bit on the rascally side, anyway.
So there you have it: Morales (Has anyone seen my personality??), Sanchez (I really need your vote. Will you take a check?), or Perry (I’m not Dubya, dammit!!)? Anyone have a three-sided coin?
You know, some days it really doesn't pay to get out of bed. In fact, I'm seriously thinking about crawling back under the covers right now. But first, I must whine a bit.
For one thing, you wouldn't be able to read this rant on my site because I screwed up my templates in MT, so I'm posting it here. At the very least, you will no longer see the sidebar links there. I just wanted to switch to server side includes. I checked and checked, but I can't find the trouble. When one include worked, the other one broke. I have no idea why.
So I gave up and moved on to the next fiasco.
[Brief pause for mild screaming.]
Having succeeded at screwing up my blog, I proceeded to try to solve the mystery of my dead email address. I wrote several emails to the appropriate parties, asking for help. Turns out my former employer and host was hacked this week, but that doesn't seem to be the problem with the email and so far, nobody else can figure out what's wrong either. [I'm soooo glad, however, that they all know my tech skills aren't up to hacking, or I'd be the #1 suspect.]
With nothing accomplished for the day so far, I decided to tackle my long-delayed tech problems regarding BlogRadio, so I can record my partner, Adnan's daily reports from SXSW, if he ever gets around to calling me. He must be having a good time. That's a good thing because it ain't gonna happen, not for awhile anyway.
After spending $200 in bill money on a new minidisc recorder and mic [an investment in my soon-to-be revived radio career], I finally scared up the cash to buy some minidiscs. My rash was better by Thursday, so we took the bus to the mall Thursday and bought the minidiscs plus some blank cd's for my son's new CD-R. We splurged on Denzel Washington's latest movie and got home in high spirits.
But when we looked in the bag for our discs, we discovered they weren't there. I must have left the bag at the theatre.
Next day, back on the bus to the mall. No such bag was at the theatre's lost and found department. Back to Target to buy more minidiscs and cd's. And there was one bit of incredibly good news: when I mentioned losing the bag, the clerk told me to try Target's lost and found. It wasn't there, but they gave me a REFUND! I told the woman that I lost the bag, but she gave me my money back anyway because I had the receipt. [So let the be a lesson - never keep your receipts in the bag, always put them in your wallet. You never know, you never know. Oh yes - I love Target. Shop at Target; I strongly recommend Target.]
Back to bad news:
So I had my minidiscs and my recorder, and this morning I decided to read the manual. That's when I learned that I had misunderstood one critical piece of information: you can't transfer sound from the recorder to the PC, at least not with the connector cable I have. Yesterday, when we trekked to Target's electronics department, Radio Shack and even Good Guys, walking a couple of miles in the process, nobody had such a thing. I saw some Sony MD recorders that had USB connectors, so it appears that I spent $112.50 on the wrong recorder - at eBay, of course, so I'm not likely to get a refund.
Still, it's a good little recorder with CD quality sound [Sharp MD-SR60, plus stereo Sony ECM-MS907 mic]. I read that it's possible to transfer to PC using old-fashioned analog stereo cables - which I'll have to go to Radio Shack to buy if/when I get up the energy to take the bus over there again.
Oh - and those phone calls from Adnan? Hmm, how could I record them to PC? Adnan said awhile ago that I could just plug a line-in cable from the phone to the pc but I couldn't find the cable I bought for this purpose way back when. Then I recalled [duh!] that I could just hook the phone line directly into the old telephone modem that I haven't used since I got cable internet three years ago.
Now we were getting somewhere! But how to record the calls? I googled, got sidetracked on The Art of Prank Phone Calls, finally found free software, downloaded and installed it - or started to install it.
I got to "configure modem".
That's when I discovered that my old telephone modem is gone. Maybe there never was one on this computer. I never thought to ask when I bought it.
Of course, the old modem could still be on the old computer, which I gave to my son when I bought this one. But we just had it upgraded about a month ago, and I'm afraid to look.
It's been like that all day.
by mg at 01:30 PM on March 09, 2002
It should be noted that bad sam: tng was named Blog of the Day for March 7th. Whoppee!
by mg at 12:51 PM on March 09, 2002
i have something to say. and it's bigger than a bread basket. is everybody sitting down?
i don't want a boyfriend.
With the youth of our nation seeking out stranger and more “extreme” sports with which to risk their necks, I offer you, dear reader, a head start on what is sure to be the next Olympic medal sport. Yes, that’s right, we’re talking about Co-Ed Naked Bungee Jumping. As of right now, the sport has only a small but devoted following in rural British Columbia. Canadians dominate the fledgling sport, perhaps because they’re the only ones loony enough to make the trek to Nanaimo, BC during the dead of winter.
This being an extreme sport, there are, of course, risks involved. According to one male devotee, "The shrinkage factor is high up here.” No doubt. Consider the advantages, though. It’s very easy to determine what condition your competitors are in, because, frankly, all you see is their condition.
Currently, Naked Bungee Jumping consists of two events: the aforementioned Co-ed Naked Bungee Jumping, and the Singles competition. Most of the true talent in the sport gravitates towards Co-Ed, because, well, jumping with a naked member of the opposite sex is a hell of a lot more fun. Singles jumping is usually dominated by guys who can’t get dates or find naked women willing to jump with them. Accordingly, Singles competitors tend to be some of the "edgier” types among the sport’s aficionados, their training consisting solely of Dungeons & Dragons marathons.
Rumor has it that Co-Ed Naked Bungee Jumping may become a demonstration sport in the 2012 Olympics, which coincidentally may be held here in Houston. Remember, kids, EVERYTHING is bigger here in Texas (if you know what I mean), and there will be no hiding it then. Perhaps I could convince my wife that if we start training now...nah, she'll never go for it. She always was the smarter one.
In the meantime, one can only hope that this pristine young sport will not be corrupted by money, crass commercialism, and judging scandals. The Canadians will likely still dominate, and if Jamie Sale and David Pelletier can be convinced to compete, millions of horny guys will finally be able to achieve their dream of seeing Jamie Sale naked- and they can stop coming to my site looking for pictures.
This is almost too much to fathom: A woman in Ft. Worth left a homeless man to die after hitting him with her car at an intersection near her home. If that were as far as the story went, it would be a disturbing tale. Sadly, there is much more to this tale of cruelty and inhumanity.
The impact threw the man on the hood of the woman’s car, broke his legs, and sent his head through the windshield, where he was impaled. Now, most of us would have been horrified, but likely would have been able to find it within ourselves to help the poor guy. I suppose we would have at least call 911, right??
The woman, who had been drinking and using Ecstasy, decided to handle things just a wee bit differently. She drove the short distance home, and pulled into the garage. She then went inside, where she had sex with her boyfriend. The homeless man was left curled up on the hood, still alive, his head still impaled on the windshield. Over the next couple days, the woman checked the garage frequently to see if the man was still alive, all the while ignoring his pleas for help.
After the man died, the woman and some of her friends extracted the body from the windshield. They then placed the man’s body in the trunk of her car, and drove to a local park, where they dumped the body. Four months later, the police were finally able to put the pieces together.
The woman’s attorney is heavily involved in trying to convince people that his client is not a monster. He is telling anyone who will listen that she was just a “frightened young woman” who “panicked and made a wrong choice”. I’m sorry, but a caring, compassionate human being does not leave a man impaled on her windshield for two days, waiting for him to bleed to death so she can dispose of the evidence. Describing this woman as a “monster” is really quite charitable. While I’m no proponent of the death penalty, this crime fairly begs for it- and in the same manner her victim died.
"I want people to understand that he was not just a piece of meat," the victim’s mother said of her son. "He's loved and he was a kind and decent person. That's the main thing I want people to understand." He deserved better.
by mg at 10:08 AM on March 08, 2002
As anyone who?s done any summer driving knows, getting bug guts off your windshield is harder than it looks.
Spraying some of that blue liquid and turning the wipers on wont get rid of most stains, and for those big bugs, like your Madagascan Giant Hissing Cockroach, even turning your wipers on high wont make a difference. And when you finally get around to using the squeegee at your local Gaseteria, you've got to scrub for minutes, and when you pull away from the gas station, you?ll always notice you didn?t quite get the whole stain.
So, its no surprise that Chante Mallard took more than three days to remove Gregory Glenn Biggs from her windshield. Biggs was much bigger than your average bugg, after all.
Mallard, a 25-year-old nurse's aide allegedly hit Biggs with her 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier last October. Mallard allegedly hit Biggs. The impact hurled him headfirst through the windshield, his broken legs protruding onto the hood. Mallard then ran from the scene of the crime, with Biggs still lodged in her windshield. Mallard drove to her Fort Worth, Texas home (damn you DFW people!) and parked in her garage with Biggs still lodged in her windshield.
I can understand why Mallard might not want to stick around the scene of the crime. She had been drinking and using Ecstasy all night. I imagine running a man down is certainly a buzz kill.
And I can understand why she may not have removed Biggs body from her windshield. He was still alive.
Biggs pleaded for help, but got none. Not then, or for the next two or three days, as he remained lodged in the windshield, bleeding and going into shock. Mallard went about her daily routine with Biggs still stuck in her windshield, slowly dying. She periodically went into the garage to check on Biggs. She apologized profusely to him for what she had done, but ignored his cries for help.
Three days later, Biggs died of blood loss. Mallard then dumped his body in a local park. Police had no evidence pointing toward Mallard, and would have gotten away with it if not for some meddling kids.
Mallard had recently told a friend "bits and pieces" about an accident when questioned at a party. They were playing Monopoly, with Mallard using the car. On her turn, she hit the guy riding the horse, and dragging him around the board, passing Go three times, instead of going directly to jail. When asked, ?What the hell are you doing?? Mallard replied, ?Isn?t that what you are supposed to do when you hit someone??
The friend, feeling the guilty Mallard herself should have felt, went to the pigs and squealed. Police initially charged Mallard failure to stop and render aid, but later upgraded the charges to murder. I?m glad this happened in Texas, because if anyone deserves to be executed, it?s this woman. Anyone who could be so cruel deserves death, or at the very least, expatriation to Afghanistan.
You know, I hit a guy once. My friends and I were out for a drive the summer after high school graduation. Like Mallard, we had been drinking and we hit this homeless guy. We didn?t take him home with us; we dumped his body into the harbor. I felt guilty about it for a while, but the next summer he killed all of us, except for Jennifer Love Hewitt, so everything evened out in the end, karmicly speaking.
I'm what is known as a stat nerd. My kind wander everywhere, often lurking among normal humans, all of whom are painfully unaware as to those who walk amongst them. We're a cross between your typical, hilarious Dungeons and Dragons nerd type and the wannabe jocks. Instead of wanting to grow up to be Elves and Dwarves, we dream of being sports writers and broadcasters, of standing around and asking questions to millionaires in towels.
And while I have a great affinity for the sports of hockey and football, and an undying hate for basketball, my true love is baseball. I've been counting down the days to Opening Day for about a month now, and we're down to 23. I have eight fantasy baseball teams drafted already. I have this little notebook where I predict the All-Star teams, breakout years, and end of season awards. Yes, it is an addiction. No, I do not have a life.
Since a sports discussion has popped up occasionally as of late, I felt compelled to express my true self. I know no one cares, but I don't care if no one cares. It's my li'l writing column, and I can write about whatever I want, because I'm me. And my mommy said I'm special.
Off the top of my head, I now give you the starting lineup for the Jeffrey Loria owned Florida Marlins, a team I have no particular interest in: 1B Derek Lee, 2B Luis Castillo, 3B Mike Lowell, SS Alex Gonzalez, C Charles Johnson, LF Cliff Floyd, CF Preston Wilson, RF Eric Owens. Starting Pitchers: Ryan Dempster, Brad Penny, AJ Burnett, Josh Beckett, Matt Clement. Closing Pitcher: Antonio Alfonseca (he has 6 fingers on his right hand)
See? Told ya I'm a stat nerd.
by mg at 03:25 PM on March 07, 2002
Puesto que no tengo nada decir, pensé que dragaría arquivos para algo que interesa para mostrarle. Hay porciones de buena materia en los archivos. Es clase de una vergüenza para que se sienten allí todo solamente, sin cualquier persona lectura ellos. Tan de los malos archivos de Samaritan, un retroceso hace a un año hoy, y por ninguna razón evidente, la estoy haciendo en español:
Un tratamiento por lotes de las muñecas de la historia del juguete se está investigando para sexual acosar el de cuatro olds del año...
al parecer una muñeca de Jesse, novia arbolada en la historia 2 del juguete, se rumorea para pedir: " téngale visto mi clítoris? " La muñeca arbolada entonces responde: " me han naufragado en una isla por seis meses, y la única cosa que he visto es la cara del rectángulo de FedEx. Ahora saque esa correa de la correa de la tha-correa de la correa y muéstreme algún vulva! "
el en más noticias de los órganos genitales, tres pudo ser compañía pero dos es definitivamente una muchedumbre para la mella en el de Nite...
que un águila eyed el espectador del 70s-80s golpeado la " compañía de tres " vio que algo él no esperaba durante un reestreno reciente de la demostración en Nickelodeon. Tuercas del disparador de Gato. " sí, " dijo a un portavoz de Nickelodeon. " su escroto cae de sus cortocircuitos. " Si cualquier persona ha podido encontrar cuadros de esto, déjeme sabe. Realmente quisiera ver esto. Para, uh, el motivo de las noticias. Fijaré el cuadro aquí si encuentro el ' del em.
adentro si esta ley fuera decretada en los estados que debería áspero $17 mil millones de las noticias...
Una nueva ley en Australia hace ilegal remitir E-mail sin el permiso anterior del autor.
Los nuevos leyes precisaron penas máximas del tiempo de la cárcel de cinco años o de las multas de $60.000. Realmente no tengo cualquier cosa decir sobre esto. Cualquier cosa que protege copyright es bueno, yo conjetura...
amante justo del I ese álbum nuevo de ritneyB pearsS! el
si usted no ha oído ya, gente del blah spys. del blah RIAA del blah de Napster del blah del blah del blah está saliendo ya para arriba con maneras alrededor de las industrias de la grabación que bloquean ciertas canciones. Aimster, uno programa que ejecutar encima Napster software ahora permitir usted para automático " alterar " archivo nombre prohibir canción por utilizar uno variación pig-latin.
así pues, si usted poder no vivir sin ese nuevo Steely Dan solo, cheque fuera Aimster cerdo codificador
yo no saber cuál ÉL ser, pero tener seguro conseguir ÉL...
ÉL, aka jengibre, misterioso invención y fenómeno que chispear millones palabra (todo sobre nada) uno par mes hace ser alrededor para final ser revelar. Inside.com revelará cuáles es en su edición siguiente. Es al parecer un scooter hidrógeno-hydrogen-powered. Whoopee!
que no absolutamente parecer para vivir hasta demanda ÉL cambiar cara moderno ciudad y ser más importante que ordenador y Internet, pero hecho de que ser utilizar tecnología para hacer " motorizar, automotor... chariots " ser bastante fresco.
I want to explain something to y’all in the simplest terms possible: hockey rules. Any questions??
Growing up in far northern Minnesota, there were a few things that made life worth living for most folks: fishing, ice fishing, deer hunting, and hockey. While boys in Texas grow up dreaming of someday playing in the National Football League, boys in Minnesota grow up dreaming of playing in the National Hockey League. (I was the rare exception. I wanted to play basketball at the University of North Carolina, until I discovered that Dean Smith had no interest in a short, slow kid with White Man’s Disease.)
Growing up, hockey was the grease that lubricated the wheels of social discourse. There were people who, for whatever reason, didn’t hunt or fish (no one trusted these folks), but almost everyone knew hockey and generally had some very strong opinions. They could discuss forechecking, or defensive schemes, or why the Minnesota North Stars couldn’t score. (Well, the short answer is that they sucked.)
One of the biggest events on the Minnesota social calendar is the state high school hockey tournament every March. It’s every bit as big as football in Texas, only without the cheerleader moms. The games are televised statewide and run from morning until night. For a young hockey fan like myself, the state high school tournament was along the lines of the Olympics, only this happened every year at the same time.
Now that I live in south Texas instead of northern Minnesota, I can find myself growing a bit nostalgic when March rolls around. It’s tournament time, and the small-school first-round games were yesterday. The big-school tournament begins today. I wonder if the wife would go for that satellite dish?
Game on, eh??
I was horrified today to find out what happens to our computers after we use them. Some people are getting rich (relatively) off the trade. And some people are getting cancer. Just some food for thought about these machines we all use.
Wow, it's been a while. I didn't leave on a permanent vacation to some far away tropical island full of scantily clad Polynesian women dancing in grass skirts while scary looking Polynesian men play with fire sticks, but I wish I had left on a permanent vacation to said island. No, I simply ran out of crap to whine about, though a vacation would be nice.
Soooo...how's New Jersey this time of year? I've never been, but I've heard nice things. Apparently, the city is like a waste dump for the city of New York, which, according to John Rocker, is a waste dump in itself. I've never been to New York either, but I'm not one to question the infinite wisdom of John Rocker.
I don't know how the tourism industry does in the city of New Jersey, but I'm sure at least 3 people have to wander in there yearly, if only by mistake. Don't get me wrong, I'd like to visit, but I prefer my sheltered little world. Here's a quick rundown of things Jersey is famous for:
-Jon Bon Jovi
-The toxicity of nearby water sources
-Jon Bon Jovi
-Jon Bon Jovi
-A hockey team
-The minor band members who follow around Jon Bon Jovi
If I showed up there with all my misguided pre-conceptions and expectations, only to find that the city smelled like roses and there weren't temples dedicated to '80's hair rock, it would destroy my view of the world.
So, I'm not visiting New Jersey. Ever. For all I know, the people are kind, Seraphin-like creatures and the streets are lined with gold, but I don't care--I have my delusional views, and I'll be damned if I'm giving them up. Thus, I plead with you, loyal Garden State residents, tell me sweet lies. Tell me New Jersey is a hell-hole. Just don't tell me it's a nice place, my feeble mind couldn't handle the shock.
As much as I rave about the massive cuteness that is that cloned cat. I'm sort of against the genetic tinkering of animals, especially that sheep with the extra leg. But I actually own some bionic pets of my own in the form of goldfish, who shall remain nameless for the fact they are nameless.
These goldfish arrived to my home by way of my little brother who is five and won them at a carnival. We started off with 16 and slowly dwindled down to 2. These two goldfish have been living in a plastic fishbowl since for 7 months, living each day with each other and off of the nasty smelling fish flakes they seem to like so much.
Anyone else who has had goldfish as a kid knows that they aren't exactly known for having a long shelf life (I killed 10 off in one week). So this is why I am so amazed, they haven't grown at all yet they still live despite how long I may take to clean the tank. I think I'd like to go for the world record in goldfish keeping is there is such a record.
I want it.
Oh yeah, anyone want to name my fish?
Had a pretty kick-ass weekend, the kind that should make me extremely depressed afterward, but somehow, I'm okay. I think it's because I'm getting over a cold.
Anyway, went and visited Space and crashed at his deliciously yellow apartment. I brought him barley tea. He brought me Cowboy Bebop. Took off for central Iowa, where I stayed up all night, got hammered (like, drank from 10pm until 8am the next morning), did a drunken radio shift, lost indie rock points (played plenty of A*Teens, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, etc.), hung out with an ex, had brunch with Snaggle (why the hell aren't you posting?), and met a deliciously cute boy that I had a crush on for ages. Mmm, crushes.
Three minutes are up. For the first time in a long, long time, I feel good about where I'm at. I hope I'll feel the same way tomorrow.
Images of Evil Homer keep coming back to my head. In my post chili hangover induced haze, the stench of the aftermath really doesn't bother me all that much. I never did find the guatemalan insanity pepper I was looking for, so I didn't see the coyote, or the turtle that became a pyramid. But it was good. Everyone who's looking for the recipe, its here. My site is a little lonely. I'm not a good designer, or graphic artist like our captain, or miss b. I also don't want to do the whole 'martial artsy website' like Mr. Real Ultimate Power. Oh well. It'll just be a scratchpad for a while longer.
My girlfriend scared the bajeezus out of me last night. I walked up to the door, expecting to make a nice relaxed chicken and salad dinner for the two of us. I was going to nurse a bottle of wine while I waited for the chicken to marinate and her to get home. Instead, the lights are all off, and its dark and quiet inside the apartment building. I put one key into the lock and turn it. I put the second key in the lock and turn it. I put the third key into the lock and turn it. Door opens slowly... and AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! HIIIYYYAAA!
I break into my best impresssion of Chris Tucker in a combination of his Fifth Element and Rush Hour appearances. It was sorta like seeing a ghost. She'd been doing that to people all day. Maybe she saw dead people.
Some people are using the Internet to find a cure for cancer. Some people are using the Internet to re-establish long-lost friendships. Some people are using the Internet to work towards creating world peace. And then there is Alison.
Alison has stuck a camera in her underwear (“You’ve always wanted to get into Alison’s underpants. Now you can do it from the convenience of your own room….”) and is streaming the video feed live over the Internet 24/7. Why? Because this is the Internet, and Alison has a digital camera. When I first heard about Alison’s Pants Cam, I figured that it had to be a joke. Upon visiting the site, though, I discovered that it is anything but (Please be courteous and give others a turn to see the inside of my pants – thanks!). The site goes into great detail about the logistics of how and why Allison had stuck a camera in her underwear.
In the interest of science, I monitored the webcam feed for a few minutes. From what I could see, and the feed was a bit on the grainy side, Alison’s underpants were a dark color with white polka dots. Then she must have taken the camera off, because the feed showed a dresser across what appeared to be a bedroom.
I’m not sure what I expected to see on the inside of Alison’s underpants (it’s mostly just very dark), but I do have to admit that it is an ingenious, if not particularly productive, use of bandwidth. Still, this is the Internet. If Alison wants to put a camera, or anything else, inside her underwear, she has the right to do so—and someone out there will watch it. I’m just not so sure that’s something I really need to see.
i hear the footsteps, louder than the weight borne on the feet would warrant. i hear the rapid breaths as he rips through the rooms, like wired lightning on a sugar rush. occasionally, the chair creaks and the computer peeps the peep of the BSOD, and i raise my sternest voice to say ‘it is past your bedtime, i am not fixing your puter’. it's easier to leave the thing crashed than to risk enticing the four year old net junkie into another round with roly poly ollie and his ilk.
and this being written, he is now in his room, babbling at the bedtime movie, or some toys, or something, anything at all. absent siblings have left him virtually an only child, and he is going to grow up weird like me, able to converse freely and at great length without a human counterpart.
the daddy rumbles through the kitchen to growl about how i ought to be in there settling him down. i think, ‘and you cannot do this because...?’, but say nothing. i also keep typing. things have been brought more into the open between us and he knows more of my feelings, though my intentions are still necessarily unclear.
the mood in the house is tense when i pay attention, which i try not to do too much. it's better to drink the beer and write and write and pretend, for the time being. it's a little late in life to be engaging in this kind of pretense, prolonging the inevitable, but for practical purposes, it's the best i can do.
lulled into a false security by the apparent capitualtion to the bedtime edict, i reboot the computer, and now i hear the chair and the clicking and launching of the games. it's ten-thirty and time to get serious about how late it is.
To my friend Mike, who I've known since kindergarten, who used to walk home with me from school when you lived on 89th street and I lived on 86th street. And on the way home you would listen to me talk about all the strange dreams I had and you would comment on how my dreams meant that I'm crazy. My little brother once said to me, I always know when you're walking with Mike because he walks like this. Then my brother imitates a shifty slidey walk, ambling side to side, but somehow moving forward at the same time. To me, you're my friend Mike, who I've known since kindergarten, even though I think since college, you've been Michael. At first I thought maybe only Amanda called you Michael and that it was a girlfriend thing. But then one day I called you and you answered the phone, Hello, this is Michael. And I thought, huh, maybe he is Michael now. But no matter, after a while, I went back to calling you Mike because hey, I've known you since kindergarten. Even now, as people who read your columns online know you as mg, I think of that as your online personality and to me, you're still Mike.
It's 2002 but we're early in it, just coming into March, so there's plenty of year left and this year WILL be better than 2001… for everyone, for you, for me. My birthday is coming up, not that I think you know, not that I even know yours, but that's not why we're friends, so it hardly even matters. I just know that you were born some time after me, and that's only significant because when I turn 26, rounding the corner on the mid-twenties, you'll still be 25, right in the middle, the uncomfortable middle, at least that's what it's been for me.
I've written this much and I didn't even get to my point yet, usually not my style, but I guess I took a page from your book on this one, which may be only fitting. What I wanted to say was that I read your columns from 2001 and how the year sucked, in every way, almost every day, and I know, it really did suck, didn’t it? And then I read your columns from the new year and things were looking up, not that you were doing anything differently, things just started turning out differently and I guess that's how it goes. But now through January and through February and coming into March, it seems to all suck again and I'm right here with you and I think a lot of us are right here with you. But aside from lamenting the job situation, lamenting the love situation, lamenting the state of the world, lamenting the state of your gut, lamenting the future, oh how bleak, lamenting lamentation itself because when all is gone and done, your laugh, your willingness to leave the house, your personal creativity, which is probably the last straw, you're left with lamentation, hanging around, alone at the bar, right 'til the very last call. But aside from it all, I'm your friend Tom, who you've known since kindergarten, who looks forward to reading your columns, who laughs out loud when the writing it pithy, who reads in admiration when the writing is clever, who hits F5 in denial when the writing hasn’t changed in 6 hours or more. I'm your friend Tom, who knows that things will turn around, because it's got to, and I've really gotta believe it.
Baseball is upon us, and even though the mean, nasty, venal Lords of the Game (the owners) have tried to take the joy out of it, I still can’t wait until Opening Day. Yes, the players make ridiculously obscene sums of money, but I try to get past that and focus on THE GAME. Unlike football, basketball, and hockey, baseball has suffered no significant rule changes (except for the Designated Hitter) since Christ was a tadpole. Baseball is STILL baseball. (Besides, who wants to watch a pitcher batting .037 trying to hit a curve ball??)
I grew up with Cesar Tovar, Tony Oliva, Harmon Killebrew, and the rest of the Minnesota Twins teams that were consistent contenders in the late ‘60s. Back then, I even knew how to keep score. To a kid who grew up in the frozen climes of northern Minnesota, baseball meant SPRINGTIME. It meant being able to go outside without a snowmobile suit on and throw a ball around in my shirtsleeves. It meant I no longer had to use the words “wind chill”.
Now I can go watch the Houston Astros play in Enron- oops- Astros Field. There is still something magical about the geometrical perfection of a baseball diamond. Astros Field, simply put, is to baseball fields what the Crystal Cathedral is to churches. The lines are straight and pure, the grass is uniformly green, and the infield clay is packed to the consistency of a perfectly-leveled pool table. There is an almost preternaturally religious quality to it- until you go to the concession stand for a $5 beer and a $4 hot dog.
My Twins survived Satan (aka Bud Selig) and Lucifer (Carl Pohlad) trying to contract the team into oblivion. Unless the Twins get a commitment this year for a new stadium, they may not survive into next season. If they can secure a commitment for a decent outdoor stadium, they might actually have a future. Baseball was meant to be played outdoors on real grass, not in the sterile environs of the Metrodome. Of course, anyone who has actually attended an outdoor baseball game in Minnesota in early April might argue with me on that point....
For now, though, I will enjoy the Twins’ (and the Astros) presence, and the resurrection of the game of baseball. If all goes well, I'll be in the stands at Astros Field on Opening Day. Winter is drawing to an end, and Spring is nigh. Hope really does spring eternal.
by mg at 01:03 PM on March 05, 2002
Well, I hate to say it once again, but things are unbelievably slow here right now.
The only grace in this situation is that things seem to be unbelievably slow everywhere else too. Sites are closing up right, left, and sideways. Lots of other sites (not going to mention names) have been posting infrequently, terribly unentertaining, or just downright sucky recently.
What exactly is going on here?
Is it the death of blogging as we know it? Is it just Blog Affective Disorder, hitting numerous people all at once? Is it just that we all need to go out an get a real life?
I don’t know. If I could figure out what was causing this, I could find a cure. Then I’d market the sure by sending out lots of spam emails, and buy a ton of pop-up ads. It’s almost lucky that I can’t figure out a cure, because I’d hate to be as universally hated as those X-10 camera guys.
So, what to do?
While some people have closed up shop, others have been plugging away in spite of their complete inability to be entertaining. I don’t think I could close up the site. I tried doing that a couple months ago and it didn’t take. Quitting blogging is harder than quitting smoking.
They should make a patch.
But, until they do, I’ll be sticking around. I’ll be posting everyday whether I want to or not. You’ll either be amused or you wont. I guess that’s what it comes down to. Just stick with this until everything works itself out.
I remember back in school, this time of year would always be the worst. Back when I was in elementary/high school, there wouldn’t be a day off from the end of January until June. Time drug by like I was approaching the speed of light on a big wheel (ha, a physics joke!). This was the time when I took the most “mental health days” (my mom was cool about that), or when I’d just cut class (my mom was not cool about that, not that she ever found out).
In college, we’d get a nice break for spring break, but I never made it to Key West, so that hardly counts as a vacation as all. I’d get back to school the following Monday, quietly fuming as each student walked into class tan and relaxed.
Last year, I was unemployed, this year, I’m unemployed again. Seems a perfect time for a vacation, yet, one thing nags in the corners of my mind about hopping a plan to the Virgin Islands – are they actually virgins, or like all those teen porn sites, merely 40 year-olds wearing pig-tails?
No, wait, that isn’t it. What really nags at my mind is whether I 1) deserve a vacation and 2) can afford a vacation. I wont deign to answer the first question, but I definitely know the answer to the second. I can not afford a vacation. My brief freelance assignment helped me pay off my bills, and even get ahead on some, but I can’t go dropping a couple grand on air travel and hotel stays, even if I can buy a 14 year-old Thai girl for 520 Baht (US$ 12).
So, the point is, I’m stuck here, and you are stuck with me, unless you leave. Which you shouldn’t. Because, though things suck now, come May or June, they’ll be much better.
All this talk about war. Bleh.
I hereby request permission from the Captain to begin the BS:TNG one phrase/one identifier list. You 2nd generation Sam's need more pipin up.
So, as our bald captain would like to be known for "Make it so!" or "Engage!",
let's get it on, and stray away a bit from the Condit/Rice/Yeates/bin-Laden/Shrub stuff for a little while.
I don't think I'll go for Yoda
"There is no try, only do!"
I'm too old for that shit already. Also because I've messed up too much stuff.
Maybe this poem from Robert Humphrey:
"Wherever I go, everyone is a little bit safer because I am there.
Wherever I am, anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home, everyone is happy I am there."
R. L. Humphrey (1923-1997)
Yeah, that's it. Reporting for duty Captain.
God damn I make a good pot of chili. You would not believe what's in it.
My second cousin is a father. Good lord.
So, the first Americans have died in ground combat in Afghanistan? My first reaction, after the normal sadness, was “Wait, didn’t the media and the politicians tell me Afghanistan was a done deal?” What happened? Did the bad guys not see the error of their ways? Did we not bomb Osama bin-Laden and his minions into the hell they so richly deserve? Did the pamphlets the US Air Force dropped not convince people on the ground that the US is in fact NOT the Great Satan, but the land of McDonald’s and Haagen-Dazs??
There is a real disconnect between the reality on the ground and what Congress and the media are focusing on. Most politicians, as well as the media, have for weeks been fixated on identifying the next “target”. Would it be Iraq, the Philippines, Somalia, or someplace we never would have guessed if we had a flashlight and a State Department human rights report? In fact, the realities on the ground in Afghanistan are far different from what our collective short attention span has been led to believe.
Afghanistan is a country that has been in various states of war—civil or otherwise—since the late 70’s. It’s difficult to imagine dropping a few thousand tons of bombs on the Afghan countryside and then seeing a functioning democracy magically appear from the primordial goo. No, Afghanistan is still on the verge of a very uncivil civil war. I would imagine that more Americans are going to die. I suppose I understand the need for this, but it can’t be easy to send someone’s sons and daughters into harm’s way. The sad reality is that once the US military leaves Afghanistan, no matter how many American soldiers have died, all hell will likely break loose once more. War, chaos, repression, and anarchy are not just a way of life in Afghanistan- they’re a time-honored tradition.
I would feel a whole lot better about things if our elected representatives were more concerned about understanding the situation on the ground that raising more for their re-election bids. It would also help if the media would engage in less “analysis” (read: wild-ass guessing), and spend more time and effort telling us what is really going on.
by mg at 07:35 PM on March 04, 2002
Back to the old stand-by 3 minute blog (which i really should get back into, because it is good), because I've really got nothing to say. This is really more of a Three Minute Blah than a three Minute Blog. So there.
Well, I'll be honest. I got nothing to say. I'm so terribly uninspired, in all aspects of my life. I think it's been sort of going around. It's been posited by some, that it had something to with the giant moon last week, or the waning days of winter.
I guess that could be it, and I'm hoping that it is. If so, in a couple days, I'll be feeling much better. I'll get all those things I've been putting off for no better reason than to lie on the couch and watch bad tv.
Yesterday, March 3rd, was Bad Samaritan's 18 month anniversary. Yay.
Gracefully, time's up.
I'm listening to NPR's Talk of the Nation as I code some HTML today. I really miss the old host, Juan Williams. He was so damn down to earth. Neal Conan acts like such a prissy, spoiled snot.
Anyway, the topic is "writing about gardens."
That's like doing an opera about fishing.
The only thing worse that writing about gardens and gardening would be reading what people have to say about their precious gardens. That's got to be so damn boring it would make my eyes bleed. I'd sooner pass a stone the size of my thumbnail.
Neal broke into the normal broadcast to mention that right now, as they blathered on about how Thoreau ruined garden writing for so many, at this very moment, the biggest fighting of the War Against Terrorism ™ is currently underway. American's are finally in a position where they might be dying in combat. CNN.com says 9 American's are already dead today, the most killed in combat since bombing started in October.
And now Neal is taking a call from a woman here in Massachusetts who says "This is a fabulous topic" and she's reading quotes from a book someone wrote about their garden and talk about how she loved The Secret Garden as a child (which I'd argue isn't really "garden writing" any more than JRR Tolkien's Ents are about forests, but why make it worse?)
So everything has changed since 9/11, huh? I thought that was all nonsense until today. Things must be different, because even stupid bullshit topics that can't possibly be increasing ratings are more important to broadcast than actual news.
1) Aren’t the phrases “Shrub Administration” and “shadow government” redundant? They both deal in smoke and mirrors, they’re both secretive and highly turf-conscious, and one or more members of each always seem to be in “an undisclosed location”.
2) Hindus killing Muslim, Muslims killing Hindus. Just another fancy chicken-or-egg question?
3) Liberals and Conservatives seem to be able to agree on one thing: getting information out of the Shrub Administration is like pulling teeth. This is still a free country, right??
4) More tapes from the Nixon White House have been released. Sorry, but if I want paranoia and self-delusion, I’ll watch “ER”.
5) People have been quick to decry the fate of the thousands of Enron employees, but what about the thousands of others who are laid off on a daily basis? Does anyone care about them, or are they simply old news?
6) Monica Lewinsky is now trying to tell her own side of the story. Will she need kneepads to do it??
7) Eleven years ago today, Rodney King was beaten by Los Angeles police. Too bad we haven’t learned anything in the meantime….
8) Now that Michael Jordan and Mario Lemieux have made successful comebacks, how long will we have to wait for Bill Bradley to lace ‘em up again??
9) Today’s Drudge Report has a story saying that terrorists have smuggled a 10-kiloton nuclear warhead into New York. Man, it’s got to be tough to haul one of those things onto the subway….
10) Greed and insanity on Wall Street? What, like this is something new? Where were all of you during the Reagan Administration??
by mg at 11:11 PM on March 02, 2002
For some people, everything always works out. They skate through life with nary a care. Even when something bad happens, like driving your car off a bridge in Chappaquiddick, killing your date, something good always follows, like 40 years in the senate.
I hate those people.
I’m normally a very peace loving kinda guy. I didn’t wish death on anyone but murderers, rapists, and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds. But people who have it easy… well, they certainly don’t deserve death, but they do deserve forced repeated viewings of the Growing Pains reunion movie, Clockwork Orange style. And I want to be the one to force Kirk Cameron down their goddamn throats.
Why the sudden urge to share my urges toward torture? Well, as you are all aware, I’ve not had the brightest couple of months. That alone, is no reason to hurt someone. But, added to the growing list of Reasons My Life Sucks is the fact I’ve forgotten my ATM number.
Yes, that’s right. I often joke about having a brain tumor. I’ve got poor short term memory, I use words in inappropriate contexts, and I have to repeatedly check to make sure I’ve locked doors, turn off gas ovens, and zipped zippers because I can never remember if I’d already done those things, or just thought about doing them. But, when I’ve got a number stuck in my head, there is nothing that’ll knock it out.
I still remember my high school girlfriend’s phone number. I remember all the channels the cable stations were on in all the cities I’ve ever lived. Back in the days before domain names, I remembered IP addresses for dozens of websites. I’m a regular Rain Man when it comes to numbers.
Yet, I found myself standing in line at the bank this afternoon, struggling to remember my PIN number. “Five, seven, oh - no. I know there is a five in there. I know there is a seven. I think there is a zero, a six and three too. But, how can that be, my number is only four digits long?” I ran through several combinations in my head. They all sounded right.
“Don’t stress out,” I thought. “When you get up there, MG you’re fingers will just know the right combination. You’ve been punching it in a couple times a week for almost two years now. Hmm, maybe there is a two in there?”
So, when I got up to the machine, I let my fingers do the walking. I tried the first combination that popped into my head– wrong. I tried the second combination – wrong and wrong. I debated whether it was worth it try a third, and risk having the machine eat my card.
I decided, based on my stellar good fortune so far, that I wouldn’t risk it. I left the bank, blank receipt in hand, no money in my wallet. Brother, can you spare a dime?
From my previous essay, some of y’all may have surmised that I am anti-religion. If so, y’all are badly mistaken. What I’m opposed to is the marginalization and dehumanization of another person for the simple reason that he/she/it worships their Supreme Being/Higher Power/Prime Directive in a different manner. What sort of unspeakable evil resides in the attitude that another human being deserves to die simply because that person happens to subscribe to a different belief system?
I should qualify my own personal prejudice here: I am a Buddhist, albeit a relatively inactive one at the moment. Thankfully, I’m unaware of the existence of militant Buddhist terrorists, but I’ve learned never to rule anything out. If anyone cares to prove me wrong, have at it.
I’ve always believed—and my experience bears this out—that all religions, in their purest forms, are variations on the same theme. To varying degrees, they’re about peace, love, and understanding. How can one not support this? It would be like opposing motherhood, apple pie, and baseball.
No, I am not anti-religion. I will not argue against a person’s right to believe in God, Allah, Jehovah, or whatever Higher Power happens to give their life meaning and purpose. What anger me is not the concept of religion, but the execution (ironic choice of words, no?) of it. Since when does religious practice mean carrying an AK-47? Blowing up mosques? Slaughtering Hindu pilgrims? Burning down churches after locking worshippers inside?
Why do people like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have license to spew forth their hatred and vitriol in the name of Christianity? How does their ignorance and bigotry make them more Christ-like? How can Osama bin-Laden truly refer to himself and his minions as followers of Allah? Where in the Koran is terrorism and mass murder sanctioned? Is it just me, or has humanity jumped the tracks on this one?
What Would Jesus Do? There’s no telling, of course. However, if I were Him, I’d pack my bags and skip town before someone decided to asassinate me for being an infidel worthy only of death.
mg wrote me a couple of weeks ago to tell me he'd hooked me up to post on BS:TNG. But with the Bar Exam coming up soon, he didn't want me to take time off of studying to post at either site. In fact,, he said, if I find you posting on either the new or old bad samaritan in the next two weeks, I will disable your ability to login.
Who knew that being barred, at the risk of my much-loved - if infrequently used - privileges to post on bad samaritan, would make me want to so badly? I go days, even weeks, without thinking of a single BS-worthy topic. Sometimes I say screw it and post anyway. But, I guess I haven't finished growing up yet, because as soon as mg told me not to, I was itching to post every day.
So now that the Bar Exam is over and I've had a couple of days to recuperate, I thought I might as well tell you about it. Most states have two-day Bar Exams (they're three days in a few especially sadistic states like California and New York and, apparently, no Exam at all in Wisconsin for in-state graduates - a fact I didn't learn until much too late!). In Kentucky, where I live, the first day is all essay questions, the second is all multiple choice.
I like essay questions. Well, let me rephrase that: If I have to answer exam questions, I'd rather answer essay questions. The shotgun approach affords the opportunity to at least pick up partial credit for decent analysis or by throwing so many possible rules into the mix that one of them happens to be right. Not so with multiple choice - you either know the exception to the exception to the rule that the question requires or you don't. IOW, there's no room to bullshit one's way into a couple of points; it's all or nothing. Since I'm a pretty good bullshitter, I prefer essays.
Tuesday morning was a three-hour session of six Kentucky law essays. I won't bore you with the specifics, I'll just say that three were fairly easy, two were written so poorly they were almost incomprehensible (this happens every year), and on was a bit odd but not really hard. So I felt pretty good coming out of that set.
Then I got to the afternoon session: Six more essays in three hours, written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Technically there were seven, administered in every state that gave an exam that day, but each state chooses one to throw out. I have no idea why. Two of our six were easy, two challenging but amenable to bullshitting, and two so narrowly drawn that they might as well have been multiple choice - they were hard and were phrased in a way that left no room for me to bullshit my way into some points. I walked out of that set certain I'd failed.
Well, I can be somewhat anal-retentive (sometimes, when it's important), so I looked up the answers later. Turns out my wild leaping guesses weren't too far off the mark. I might actually pass. And, even better, it seems that a lot of people screwed up one of the ones I thought was moderately easy and got right. So I felt a bit better psychologically. Unfortunately, I was coming down with a nasty cold, and I was only half done.
The Multistate Exam is two three-hour sessions of 100 multiple choice questions each. As I alluded to before, these are not like the cheesy multiple choice questions the overworked TA in your 200-level English class wrote back in college. These ask things like, "Which of the following is LEAST wrong?" They're all wrong, but one's just more so, and you have to pick which. Legal multiple choice questions are a great way to test very fine points of law and the people that write them enjoy using footnotes from obscure treatises to come up with the finest possible points. Most aren't unreasonably hard if you've prepared, but some not even the professors that teach the stuff could get right.
The hardest part for me was maintaining my focus. I'd done hundreds of practice questions in the couple of weeks leading up to the Exam (and may I say that I have the best employer in the world: They let me spend all day every day since mid-February sitting in my office studying and doing practically no work at all and paid me just the same), and that helps. But somewhere around question 76, the eyes started crossing and the words stopped making any sense. They might as well have been written in Greek. It also didn't help that, in addition to the cold, I somehow got the chorus to "Octopus' Garden" by the Beatles stuck on continuous loop in my head a couple of hours into it.
But I survived. I probably even passed, though I won't know for seven more (very long) weeks. And I learned something, or, rather, relearned it: The Exam wasn't nearly as bad as I had expected. Things rarely are. But the eight weeks of having no life except review classes, studying, and stress leading up to it was much worse than I'd expected. I could definitely take a Bar Exam again, but I don't ever want to have to get ready for one again.
I was deeply troubled today to find this article, the images are truly disturbing. Obviously thats the point of the exercise except i'm not disturbed because i've taken on board the 'drugs are bad' message, but because i feel the photographs are used in an exploitative way.
Its not that i don't respect the difficult decision made by Rachel Whitear's parents. I'm certain that it took enormous courage to make the choice to publicise the photographs, and i must add that i don't think they personally are exploiting their daughter. The weight of that deed sits squarely on the shoulders of the media, and local/national government. It is they who are employing shock tactics and targeting the British youth (amongst others) as a means to discourage drug use. They want to send a message so stark and pointless that young people viewing these images will somehow, magically, realise the futility of drugs. I only wish it was that simple.
For Rachel Whitear, should there not at least be some dignity in death?
The school I go to, the place where I will call my alma mater in about 2 years time, is starting a huge marketing campaign. The goal? It apparently believes that it is just as good as MIT and Harvard, and heck, even Olin College, and therefore should attract a more diverse range of students, instead of the current make-up:
75% has CS as initial major (although many change to MIS or EE soon after they realize CS is not about playing computer games)
Somehow, the school decides that the best way to attract minority, girls and students who won't marry their computers, is to put together a TV commercial. So in everyone's mailbox you find a lime green flyer saying: "We can't promise you your 15 minutes of fame, only 30 seconds."
On the day of the casting call, hundreds of people filled in applications, hoping to be the cool-looking chemistry student wearing funky goggles pouring some green liquid from one test tube into another, or the token female mechanical engineering student working on a new car showing how tough she is, for everyone in New England to see.
Exactly how the ad will attract minority students or females into the "third-oldest engineering university in the country"? I'm not sure. I wonder how these "30 seconds of fame" will reflect on the school and appeal to prospective students and parents thereof. Call me biased, but somehow I am under the impression that community colleges put up TV ads, but not national universities.
In real life, people who perform criminal acts regarding sex are never, ever forgiven. Nor should they be. Even once such a molesting piece of filth has paid his debt to society by spending days, weeks, months, years, decades in a cell where other men make him their bitch, he is never really free to start anew. He must now register with local law enforcment, endure the hatred of neighbors, and perhaps fear for his life.
Imagine the hope rapist scum must get when watching day time soap operas.
On CBS every day from 12:30 to 1:30, I am amazed and shocked. For it's there I've seen a man not only move past the fact that he was a convicted rapist and successfully reopen his law practice -- he formed a law partnership with the woman he brutally raped. They share stationary and an office.
Said victim/law partner is played by the daughter of the show's producer. So you would think she'd say, "Hey, Dad, uh... this story line is frickin' ridiculous." Apparently not.
Truth is not always stranger than fiction.
Admittedly, I’m not a detail-oriented person, nor am I a theologian, but let me see if I'm beginning to understand how things work....
Muslims kill Jews.
Jews kill Muslims.
Muslims kill Christians.
Muslims kill Copts.
Muslims kill Bahais.
Shiite Muslims kill Sunni Muslims.
Sunni Muslims kill Shiite Muslims.
Hindus kill Muslims.
Muslims kill Hindus.
Christians kill Wiccans.
Christians brought us the Crusades.
Ah; I think I’m beginning to understand- religion in the modern world is not a philosophy, or a belief system, or even a way of life. It's effective population control.