Jan 31, 2009

Interview with a Wiwille part 3

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Today's questions are brought to you by the lovely Kelli.

1. If money were no object ... describe your ultimate vacation.

I would take a cruise around the Mediterranean. Visit all ports in Europe and North Africa.

2. If you could visit any point in history, what would it be and why?

I've always had an interest in Roman history, so I'd visit there during the time of the Empire.

3. Everyone has flaws. What is your biggest flaw?

You're saying I have flaws? Honestly Wiwille have flaws? The temerity.

Okay I do have flaws, many of them. My biggest flaw is my own insecurities. Something that I should abandon and soon

4. What song best describes your life?

'Fade to Black' - Metallica

5. Why do you blog? (Example answer- I feel misunderstood and need to explain myself, etc.)

I started this blog when I was laid off a few years back. It was meant to chronicle my trials in finding a new job. Luckily I was employed shortly after and found writing in this to be kind of cathartic. It's still fun and as long as it stays that way I'll continue to post.

"It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience." - Julius Caesar

Jan 30, 2009

Interview with a Wiwille Part 2

Well I've requested some more folks to interview and as the good little bloggers they are they were accomodating. Rules for this meme is:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

First up we have questions by the ever creative Mattbear:

1. You have been hired to direct the big-budget movie updating the 80's hit show The A-Team. Who do you cast? (Assume your first pick for each role will sign on no problem)

This is a tough one as I'm not sure what exactly the premise of the script will be. If it's a parody the cast would be dramatically different than a version that would take the story in a far more serious manner. Assuming I would direct a film where the concept would be on a more somber note I think the following cast would work well. Of course this will only makes sense to me as the film would probably differ than most would imagine.

Face - Nathan Fillion
Hannibal - Ernest Borgnine
Murdock - Jim Carey
B.A. Baracus - Michael Clark Duncan
Tawnia - Anne Hathaway

2. You are forced to choose, forever and ever amen, between beer and whiskey. You can only drink one ever again. Which is it?

Beer. Although I do like me some whiskey, I love beer. Mmmmm beeeeeerrrrr.

3. What one person, whom you actually know, would you say has influenced you the most?

Tough call, but honestly it would be someone you know as well and that would be Corey. Probably for reasons neither one of us would like to admit.

4. What one person, whom you have never actually met, would you say has influenced you the most?

This is another tough question as there as been so many. At the risk of sounding incredibly corny the biggest influence on my creative life has been Ansel Adams. I think I'll always be chasing his work no matter what medium I choose to express myself in.

5. If you could study one subject all the way to a PhD level, without having to worry about making a living off of that degree, what would it be?

If money were no object I'd get a PHD in Roman History.

Next up with have the seemingly absent blogger Mizzle.

1. What is your favorite mixed drink?

Bloody Caesar. Yummy.

2. What was your first car?

A blue 1980 Camaro. The car was a tank.

3. If you could run any company, which one would it be?

Well besides Playboy I'd rather run a non-profit org of some sort. Probably an adoption agency.

4. What would be in your personal hell?

Constant reruns of Full House with intermissions of Hootie and the Blowfish's greatest hits.

5. If you were stuck on an island with one thing, what would it be?

I would have to say a knife worthy of Rambo.

"I have no aspirations of world domination through the pop charts. None at all." - Anne Hathaway

Jan 28, 2009

Thursday Music

As you may have read previously I went to see a show for Pablo's birthday. Omar Torrez, a guy I never heard of, did a set at the Triple Door and blew me away with his guitar skills. It's especially refreshing when most modern bands don't seem to give a damn about actually showing skill at an instrument. Actually I can't blame them really. Audiences are very forgiving when it comes to music and will buy into any media hyped artist as good simply because they're told to.

I'm not going to sit here and pretend to be a connoisseur of exquisite songs. I listen to as much crap as the next person. Yes I got the memo that everyone should hate Creed now and any critique towards Radiohead or the Dave Matthews Band is taken as harsh as a racial slur in a lot of circles. Difference being is I have a hard time expecting any band that makes it big to be proficient in writing songs, providing good vocals, and being able to play instruments with a fair amount of skill all at the same time. We simply have lowered our standards as a consumer base. We've bought into the Wal-Martization of music and propelled rock media as gospel.

It makes sense. It's safe, comfortable, and gives us an elitist mentality towards an art genre that takes little consumption. Film and literature all require a fair amount more time out of our lives and few of us will ever consider ourselves great hobbyist in these respective arts. Modern music takes around four minutes of our day. It's cheap, accessible, and played everywhere whether we like it or not.

Writing a good song, or even a popular one (yes there is a difference), is hard work. To capture the attention of someone for such a short amount of time is difficult and even the most talented have their misses. Even though the days of complicated harmonies and composition that last over ten minutes are over it still requires a lot of elbow grease to become a success.

That's why it was a relief to see Torrez play. Not that he's a household name, but he's had a fair amount of exposure. And guess what? He can actually fret. With speed even. And it sounds good. What are the odds?

This song is probably one of my least favorite of his, but of course it's his biggest hit. Go figure.

“It has to do with the rain (Seattle), which inspires you to stay inside and practice. People are very well read and well spoken – pale and out of shape, but fantastic to talk to. Then the further south you come, everyone looks more and more beautiful, and the vocabulary drops.” - Omar Torrez

Interview with a Wiwille

This interview meme has been floating around for a while:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

At my request I received questions from not one, but two bloggers. First up we have the lovely Jlee:

1. If you could own only one cd, what would it be and why?

This is a tough one. It's like picking your favorite child. I guess if I had kids I could relate to that statement. Okay it's like picking your favorite pair of boobs.

I would probably own Glenn Miller's London Recordings. I never grow tired of listening to this album and he's one of the few artists that I've listened to all my life and never once felt any shame about it.

2. Describe your fondest memory from childhood.

My Grandpa Chuck once made me a go-kart when I was five years old. I drove that thing all around the property and it was great fun. My parents were standing there talking with each other and I decided it would be a great idea to drive the thing in between them. Dad hollered at me as I was zipping along powered by a Briggs and Straton motor. My Grandfather got a huge kick out of it laughing his ass off.

Oh there was that time I came across Grandpa Mario's naked lady calendar when I was six. That was awesome.

3. If money was no object, where would you live and why?

Well if we're talking fantasy here I'd buy my own island in the Mediterranean. Reason being is that I could easily travel to Europe or North Africa at any time. Plus having my own island would just be cool. I could ride a motorcycle all around it naked if I chose to.

4. If you had to lose one of your senses, which would you choose and why?

After much thought I'd probably lose my sense of smell. It would make changing in the locker room easier.

5. Cats or dogs?

While I don't hate cats I prefer dogs. They're just more fun.

Next up we have questions from the never to be duplicated WIGSF:

1. Steelers or Cardinals?

I'm not sure if you're asking who I want to win or who I think will grab the ring. I want the Cardinals to take it, but my money's on the Steelers.

2. Really, what is it about Michael Bay that angers you so?

I could write an entire post about this topic alone. While I'm not a huge fan of his films there are worse directors out there. Even at his worst (Armageddon) there's usually at least one redeeming quality regarding his films. Heck I'll watch the crapfest that is The Island again. I don't have to explain why.

Visually he's always entertaining though. His films have a great look given the genre he chooses, but he never angered me until I sat through that miserable dreck that was Pearl Harbor. With dialogue that sounded almost alien, performances so terrible even for his movies, and a story line that was convoluted at best Bay succeeded in taking an important as well as tragic historical event and made it into a simple backdrop to an incredibly corny love story.

Transformers was kind of clever at times I'll give him that. Sans the already mentioned Pearl Harbor most of his movies aren't pretentious. They're crap action films marketed to a slack jawed audience who have Thomas Kincaid paintings hanging in their bathroom.

3. Hans Solo vs. Indiana Jones, who wins in a deathmatch?

Han mostly cause Chewie would have to step in and he I believe the Wookie would kick the ever loving crap out of Short Round.

4. What's the most expensive beverage you've ordered for yourself?

I was once on a date at what some would consider an expensive restaurant. I ordered some glasses of highly recommend wine. They ended up costing me $37 a glass. A glass. It wasn't that good either.

5. Somebody hands you a chloroform rag and you've got the opportunity to knock out Ryan Reynolds, do you do it?

Nah. He's living the dream. I may be jealous, but I'm not spiteful.

"One of the best things for a woman to hear is that she is sexy." - Scarlett Johansson

Jan 27, 2009

Bizzare dreams with Wiwille

I had the strangest dream last night where I woke in such a fury I almost started punching inanimate objects. So sit back with your cup of Starbucks and read about the weird incarnation during my slumber.

I was in an airport awaiting a flight for whatever reason. Some gal came up to me and said I shouldn't be taking a plane to my destination and recommended I go by cruise line. I thanked her, but reminded her that the flight was soon to take off. She then argued with me about flying to wherever it was I was going, but I just nodded and smiled.

I board the plane with a few others and I could still hear the girl go on about how I needed to take a boat. Once on the plane I see Bill O'Reilly making out with Lucy Liu. I look at them and he stops kissing her to remind me that I was a secular progressive and that I'm ruining the fabric of this great nation. I asked him to place his lips on my country ass which sent him into a fury. We debated the merits of tariffs on imported goods while Lucy kept kissing his neck.

The flight attendant asked me to walk to the back with her. In the back was a cheap jewelry store. She told me I needed to pick something up for my girlfriend. I told her I was single, but she insisted I wasn't and that it was necessary to buy something as I was going to see her at my destination that is still yet to be determined. I kept telling her that I'm not in a relationship, but the flight attendant would hear nothing of it. She picked up a necklace and said it was on the house. I thanked her and walked to my seat.

I sat down and noticed Bill and Lucy were still lip locked. Every now and then he would turn around and shout something about the deficit.

I woke up with the television on and sure enough it was a show about media consumption and they were doing a segment on Fox News' favorite son. I'm not sure how Lucy Liu, airline travel, jewelry, or my lack of girlfriend came into play. I think I should start falling asleep to lesbian porn looped. That should make for some quality dreams.

"Everything I buy is vintage and smells funny. Maybe that's why I don't have a boyfriend." - Lucy Liu

Jan 25, 2009

My roommate is way old

My roommate, colleague, and friend Pablo turned 40 yesterday. The man, the myth, the legend has reached middle age in what he would like to call grace and charm. To celebrate another year of him getting closer to being eligible to order from the honored guests section of the Denny's menu a bunch of us headed down to The Triple Door. Omar Torrez was in concert and we watched the man play the guitar brilliantly. It was a great show and all in attendance seemed to enjoy it.

In what now can be described only as stupidity I decided to work for Pablo today so he could sleep in with his lady fair. He's getting up there in years so he needs the rest. I got no sleep last night. None. Zilch. Nada. I stayed late after the show as my roommate and his lovely gal got an autograph from Omar and ate some free cake.

Even though I had to get up at the butt crack of dawn I was happy to stick around. I had the most interesting conversation with a girl who was in attendance. The discussion ran the gamut from New York strip clubs, European travel, Buddhist philosophy, politics in Tibet, and scantily clad women preforming the Nutcracker. After said conversation I pondered how in that brief time we talked about such random, but fascinating topics. I've come to the conclusion that my mind is full of odd material that's normally unsuited for polite discourse. I probably frightened the poor thing.

Yes she was hot.

"My most salient impression? That having a flat is important but I am finding home is in Seattle, in Venice, in Cholula Mexico, and in Moscow. It is where my heart is and I seem to have a promiscuous one!" - Omar Torrez

Jan 23, 2009

Is it just a symbol?

"It's a Southern thing. You wouldn't understand".

Every time I talk about the issue of the Confederate flag being raised in a seemingly celebratory manner on public land the discussion usually ends with this statement made by the proponent of the symbol. All parties agree to disagree and our merry way we go.

I've never understood the love for the flag at all. This probably should come as a surprise to no one as I'm not southern, have little ties to land, and have a limited education on it's history other than war, slavery, etc. Besides a few visits to the region I've never been that immersed in the culture nor the lifestyle. Besides once dating a Southerner (yes the accent is hot) any claim to know the mind of one would be a lie.

Now that I got that out of the way.....

Few symbols such as the Confederate flag have sparked controversy for so long. The debate on whether it should be held on public land at the expense of taxpayers, or if it should be flown at all, varies. A lot see the flag as a symbol of hate. They see the stars and bars and are immediately reminded of our dark history of slavery, racism, and all things associated with people who wear pointy sheets.

Honestly that's not my first reaction to the flag. My opposition to the flag has little to do with the region's history on slavery. When I first gaze upon it I think of a nation that seceded from the Union. They were at one time enemies of the Constitution, it's process, it's government, and it's people that swore to protect it. That initial gut reaction makes me believe that this symbol should not be celebrated in any way.

That being said we should never forget that part of our history so a bit of me wants it as a reminder to all that even though our system can be a great one at times it can also fail on a massive scale. Congress' failure to debate the slavery issue, even going so far as to ban talk of it on the floor, is just one example. I'm sure there are many out there that only associate the flag with Bo Duke, which scares me to no end.

Many argue that the Confederate flag is just a symbol and shouldn't be taken so seriously. Of course everyone says that until they see a swastika being spray painted on a synagogue or a burning cross on the lawn of a NAACP member. Symbols have a way of resonating deep emotions especially when used in a manner they feel is promoted by their own government.

Sure I'll never understand the mindset of someone who appreciates the Confederate flag being flown next to Old Glory, or in any manner actually. You would think any argument for it's display would be made by only Southerners, but I can assure you that's not the case. Many Northeners disagree with me and buy into the romance of the rebellion. All of them, strangely enough, claim to have a love and/or respect for our Constitution, but will gladly support the flag of a nation that was once it's enemy.

Romanticism of a past that may or may not have actually existed is something I can wrap my head around, but I'll be damned before I give the flag any acknowledgement other than a history lesson. If preserving culture was that paramount I'm sure there are many things people in the South should be proud of and want Northerners to learn (yes beyond those sexy accents). Having that flag waved around though does them no service and keeps perpetuating the war as the first thing we think of when looking at the area's history.

Now granted if someone wants to raise the flag on their lawns or in the back of their imported pick up trucks I'm okay with it. I may not like the symbol, but it's a free country and the First Amendment protects your right to do that. A right, I might add, that many have died for. Enjoy it by all means. Private displays are one thing. Public displays supported by taxpayers, especially when the image is included in state flags, is another. A nation that makes any attempt to destroy the foundation of our Republic deserves no celebration by our government.

It is a Southern thing indeed and it's something I'll never understand. In a lot of way I'm grateful for that.

"The flag that was the symbol of slavery on the high seas for a long time was not the Confederate battle flag, it was sadly the Stars and Stripes." - Alan Keyes

Jan 22, 2009

Thursday Music

There are many songs that you associate with people and events. As music has become more and more part of our daily lives and we are bombarded with it everywhere we go music lovers tend to be reminded of things when they listen to a specific tune.

I'm no different. Years ago after an evening of partaking in substances that shall go unnamed a few friends of mine where driving along Mt Baker highway. We were all quiet watching the sun come up and enjoying the blissful state of silence. Then suddenly the car stereo blares out the first few chords of the Violent Femmes 'Blister in the Sun'. Without saying a word we all sat with our heads leaned up against the vehicles windows until the time the vocals kicked in. We all sang along. It was our 'Almost Famous' moment, one I'll never forget.

Yesterday a friend told me she heard When in Rome's 'The Promise' and she thought of me. So today folks I bring you that.

"When in Rome, do as you done in Milledgeville." - Flannery O'Connor

Jan 21, 2009

Movies you need to see (Romance edition)

Friends have been suggesting that I post about films that I feel people need to see. It makes sense really. I'm an over opinionated yutz who believes my taste in movies are better than everyones. I think everyone feels this way about their favorite motion pictures. There's a few common opinions amongst people that span all cultures, races, and creeds. Everyone believes they have the best sense of justice for all convicted felons. A strong majority of folks believe themselves to be better than average, if not great, drivers. Anyone who's ever watched a movie will tell you that any counter opinion to a film of their liking is almost blasphemous.

With every lovers favorite Hallmark holiday around the corner in this edition I'll bring you a few romance pictures that I think most will enjoy.

Say Anything: Familiar to most of my generation this film is known as the definitive 80s story of young love. Part time kickboxer and seemingly directionless Lloyd Dobbler attempts to woo the affections of the beautiful class valedictorian Diane. With a smart script that never thumbs it's nose at young people the plot is engaging and the characters are rich and likeable. For whatever reason this movie made stalking seem romantic which is quite a feat. I wrote a review about this a while back.

Dr Zhivago: This is quite possibly the definitive epic romance. Set against the back drop of the Bolshevik Revolution, Dr Zhivago tells the tale of a writer/doctor turned soldier. The events of his homeland makes his life a difficult one as he is separated from his family and later falls for an activists wife. This film has a great soundtrack and amazing cinematography. You'll admire the impressive acting and for history buffs it's detail of the party's revolution and it's effect on the common man is interesting.

Before Sunrise: Two strangers, one American and the other French, meet on a train in Europe. With a sense of urgency the guy asks the girl if she wants to spend the last night he has on the continent with him. She agrees and they walk around Vienna falling for each other. Given that they have one night together both are conflicted about their new found passion.

I first saw this movie in the theatre when I was 19 and ended up adoring these characters. I loaned this movie to a girl I was seeing and she told me that she imagined me having conversations like those two did. It was quite possibly the great compliment she ever gave me. Whether she intended that or not is a mystery.

Nine years later they produced a sequel which I was glad to see considering the first one ended on an ambiguous note. It's not as romantic as the first one, but the script is arguably better and I love how they shot it in real time. I do hope they make another one; however given it's slow box office return and the fact audiences are clamoring for Hancock part 2 it's not likely.

Casablanca: A timeless tale of love, patriotism, and sacrifice Casablanca it heralded as one of the finest films ever made. Rick, a cabaret owner, is suddenly reunited with a past love, the beautiful Ilsa. To his surprise she's married to a member of the French resistance who's fleeing Nazi persecution. A cynic/romantic Rick is torn between his desire and a sense of duty. An great story and one of the few films that gets every element down. My full review is here.

The Road Home: While most films dealing with this kind of subject manner have a cycnical edge The Road Home is refrehsingly honest as well as tender. After the death of his father a man recalls the story of how his mother fell for the local teacher and spent years waiting for the chance to express it. Even though there's no kissing, much less a gratuitous sex scenes, the actors pull this story off amazingly. Shot with rich colors and set shortly after the Cultural Revolution this film is a must see. My full review is here.

What's your favorite?

"A lot of people are not meant to be together." - John Cusack

Jan 20, 2009

Out of the mouths of babes

My parents stopped by with my nephews last night and we went out to dinner. As I drove to the restaurant the boys were playing with their new toys I got them for Christmas. Since I'm the coolest uncle in the whole wide world they got G.I. Joe figures, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow.

They were using their swords to fight each other until the youngest suddenly decided to let his brother know that he cut the penis off his figure. This sent shock waves through my mother and she made had my father give a lecture on why it's not appropriate for action figures to be swiping at genitalia.

I laughed good and hard.

My mom asked why I found this funny. I told her I used to do the same thing when I was little. This did not please her as she asked where was she during all this. I told her I was smart enough to not do such activities in her presence. I think this sent her mind racing wondering what kind of things I was doing when she was not around. Poor lady. I think there are some things, okay a lot of things, that are best kept from them.

Thank god they don't read this blog.

"Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children." - William Makepeace Thackeray

Jan 18, 2009

Are you ready?

The Arizona Cardinals are the NFC Champions. Yes football fans the team who has not seen any sort of championship in over sixty years are heading to the Super Bowl. Having a lackluster season they somehow timed it perfectly to play at the most watched event on television, similar to my fantasy football teams' year.

Not only that, but Friday Night Lights is back on NBC where it belongs. You don't care, because you're more interested in cruel reality television and masturbating to gay porn, but as one of the three viewers I recommend it highly.

Football...I love it so.

The Super Bowl is coming and for a lot it's the only NFL game they'll sit through from beginning to end all year. If you're a Seahwaks fan it's just as well. The sporting community in the northwest has had a difficult year with almost every major team sucking hard. The Storm seemed to have some success, but no one cares about womens' basketball even though they play harder defense than the NBA.

I want the NFL cheerleaders playing a game of football. The players can cheer them on the sidelines. I'd watch it.

Speaking of things that result in high testosterone I'm curious about how I'm going to take going bald. I just hope I go gracefully. I may end up looking like this guy though.

Or maybe I could go with a nice comb over. That would be the hottness.

"We're all born bald baby" - Telly Savalas

Jan 15, 2009

Thursday Music

Long time readers may remember a post where I mentioned music during weddings that I photographed. Couples would often play what they considered to be their songs. Some were sweet, but most were so gut wrenching.

When I first started being an assistant at a studio many young couples used that horrid Bryan Adams ballad 'Everything I do I do it for You'. It was insanely popular especially considering the Robin Hood film, which featured the tune on it's soundtrack, was a mega it. Couples all over declared it their song and many walked down the aisle or danced their first dance to it.

As we know pop music trends change at the drop of a hat and soon couples were declaring their choice for songs like 'I Swear', 'How do I Live Without You', and 'My Heart Will Go On'. What's funny is that each couple felt like they were being so original and that no other bride and groom would ever consider using an over played top 40 song.

Well taking a trip down memory lane I was reminded of songs that were declared as 'our songs' in previous relationships. Often I hang my head in shame when I think of some of the music I agreed to be forever associated with our courtship. Take a click below, listen to the sugary goodness, and you'll understand why I shudder.

Oh the horror.

"There's a saying, 'It's easy to write songs, but very difficult to write great songs.' I'm going through that right now." - Bryan Adams

Jan 14, 2009

The crush is fading

He's not even President yet and I'm already concerned about the his administration. It seems that his nomination for Secretary of State has gone through the hearings swimmingly and I for one still have reservations about it. Yes I'm in the minority when I say that Hillary being the top diplomat in the country was a poor choice and history may prove me wrong on that, but I can't wrap my brain around it.

Does anyone remember the racist Gandhi joke she made? No? Why is it just me?

Now the President elect has opted out of investigating alleged crimes made by the Bush administration. This is not unprecedented as every President has done this; however, shouldn't that change? I mean isn't change the main point of Obama's campaign? Shouldn't elected leaders be held accountable for their abuses of power? Aren't we just setting ourselves up for another failure?

I know the man has a lot on his table given the economy and various foreign policy challenges, but can't the justice department set a new standard of, dare I say, justice?

Maybe I'm being too hard on the President elect given he hasn't even been sworn into office yet. Still just because he's the chose one for many I'm not going to give him a free pass on decisions I think are detrimental to the health of this country. Perhaps he'll surprise me.

“He ran a gas station down in St. Louis.” - Hillary Clinton

Jan 13, 2009

A blogging truth

I wrote a post about recycling the other day and some of the responses I've received have been interesting as well as informative. I came across an article today that may call your love for Mother Earth into question. According to a recent Times report two Google searches can emit as much carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle of tea. It goes on to say that having an avatar in Second Life can use as much electricity per year as the average Brazilian consumes.

The article doesn't go into watching videos of half naked Asian girls slapping each other so it does WIGSF and Big Ben no good, but I'm curious how much my blogging habit has done to harm precious resources. I mean does writing about my obsession with all things boobie related emit enough greenhouse gasses that it kills a starving orphan? Curious....

When you're at work do you ever feel like busting into some random person's office and point and say in a low creepy voice 'yooooooouuuuuu' then suddenly bolt? No?

I guess that wouldn't be good for my career. Still I like to make everyone's day a little more surreal.

"A zebra does not change its spots." - Al Gore

Googling Harms the Earth?

Jan 11, 2009

Wiwille pisses people off

"You really think this issue is that black and white," I asked? "Is Israel this big bad old occupying power and Hamas is the moral equivalent of our romanticised revolutionary fathers?"

"Oh," she replied. "Fuck off."

Her MSN status quickly changed to 'offline'. I haven't heard from her since.

An acquaintance of mine read a post I did a few days back regarding the current crisis in Gaza. She decided to inform me about what I should know about the situation. The girl sent me an article about a few facts concerning the occupation in an article entitled 'Things You Don't Know about Israel' or something to that effect. She claimed it would end my support of 'evil'.

I read through the article and realized anyone who listens to NPR for an hour would know all of this. Plus the reporter failed to mention many things about the current strikes such as where the rockets are placed, how Hamas is putting their own citizens in harms way, and neglected to offer any sort of reasonable response to the rocket attacks.

She did not take my analysis of the article well and called me a mindless simpleton who doesn't know anything about the region.

Oh it's on.

She went on to make the various claims about her wisdom regarding Palestine and how it's nothing but a US outpost and we're supporting genocide. When I questioned her about what she felt about the British Accord shortly after WWI, the deal Barak tried to make with Arafat, or even where exactly the Golan Heights are it was clear her education was limited to Daily Show excerpts and sound byte journalism.

She was not happy when I told her she may want to read more about the conflict. I recommended some books and documentaries, but she got more pissed off. The girl fancies herself politically savvy and will stand on any soap box declaring herself such, but when challenged on anything she gets a thin skin and takes it personally. I should've known better than to try and help her get a better understanding of one of the most complex issues in history.

"Most wars are all about religion," she said. "All of you the bible thumpers are responsible for this."

"Wait," I said. "Which wars?"

"Duh," she typed. "The Crusades."

"Okay," I replied. "What exactly started the Crusades? Actually do you know who exactly the European powers were fighting? Name a few names. I dare you."

Most people make the claim that every war is all about some leaders who seem to have some sort of faith, yet struggle to mention any other besides the infamous Crusades. Considerng there have been thousands of wars all through out history it's a bold statement at best. I pressed her on that issue and she just unloaded on me getting very defensive.

I should've known better as she's prone to this kind of behavior before. I've been referred to as arrogant when speaking in matters of history and politics and maybe I come off as such, but I'm no more educated than most. I have no degrees in the topics. I just read and learn on my own accord. It's a hobby with no more importance than someone who follows sports or Star Trek. I'm wrong a lot of the times in my conclusions as new evidence comes to light constantly.

I apologized for coming off as condescending, but she promised never to read my 'stupid blog' again and continued with the 'I just think....' statements about Gaza. She accused me of supporting genocide which was really low. In fact she seems unclear as to what my position on the topic really is. Doesn't matter though as she made it obvious I won't be hearing from her again.

I should've just let it go from the very beginning, read the article, and thanked her. My behavior did no one any good. People want to make the situation seem black and white. It's easier for them to make sense of and the romantic in all of us wants to pull for freedom fighters battling against the forces of tyranny. I envy that thinking when it comes to the Middle East.

"The truth about Hamas and Islamic Jihad is that they don't prevent Israel from existing or even flourishing, they prevent Palestine from coming into existence." - Michael Medved


Jan 8, 2009

Thursday Music

The career of Elton John is a strange one. I mean look at him? Playing his pop music and releasing that terribly tasteless Diana tribute song, which of course was written for someone else originally. It's not that I hate his music, well not all of it, but sometimes just thinking about his mark on the industry is about as pleasant as hemorrhoid surgery.

Still every now and then he can produce a gem or two. While I can make fun of him I can't deny his talent. So today folks I bring you Tiny Dancer, which most in my generation never heard of until Almost Famous:

"I think people should be free to engage in any sexual practices they choose; they should draw the line at goats though." - Elton John

Jan 7, 2009

Christ and dating

I was reading a post on Starting Over at 24 entitled He Said/She Said Vol 2: Dating an Atheist. In it he chronicles his views about dating Christians while he himself is without faith. On the flip side I read a response to his musings by the author of Harmful if Swallowed called Companion Posting: Atheism vs. Christianity in the Dating World. An interesting take by a believer about romantic involvement with those who don't share her religious views.

Both I would recommend reading whether you find yourself in the dating world, a believer or non, or none of the above. Still I would like to broadcast another view on the topic of finding romance and that is from someone who's completely on the fence regarding his spiritual life. As a warning this post will be long and personal (i.e. boring) so if you have little interest in the ramblings of a mildly narcissistic jackass I highly recommend resuming your normal celebrity gossip reads.

To give a brief history of my upbringing my parents consider themselves devout Roman Catholics and I was raised going to church every Sunday. I even went to the parish's school for a number of years. I was baptized in the faith as an infant and was confirmed in high school.

"So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." - Revelation 3:16

Now I never was what one would call a good Christian, nor citizen for that matter. I was always a rebellious child for reasons I can't really explain. That being said every time I went to church I would feel somewhat in the presence of what I felt the divine. Maybe such feelings were force by myself, cause in my naivety I couldn't accept that all in attendance were fools. Still I wanted to believe in something bigger than myself. In my one hour of attending mass each week the universe and human behavior had purpose, meaning, and this bizarre and often times twisted planet suddenly made sense.

My faith waned at best. I would disregard the teachings of my priests to fulfill my desires for drunken and carnal activity. I would make all sorts of excuses for my primal behavior, most of which were admittedly lame.

Finally as a teenager I decided that since I was confirmed in the Catholic church I might as well do what most devout Christians and atheists have never done. I was going to read the Bible cover to cover. It was a far more daunting task than I realized. Most of the Old Testament was simply a lineage story and a list of laws given by God. The New Testament was far more interesting, but the language was beyond my simple comprehension skills. It took me months to get through it.

My goal was to have a better understanding of the faith of my fathers and I guess I was hoping said reading would bring me closer to what I considered God. The opposite was true. I felt more disconnected, confused, and I struggled with accepting the whole concept. I continued my quest in committing each of the seven deadly sins and while my personal walk with the Lord was shaky I never fully let go of it.

My high school sweetheart considered herself an atheist. Her family never attended church and she had no interest in religion. She was a sweet girl though and never condescended my family's conservative nature even though she may have secretly disapproved of it all. We actually discussed marriage often. The issue of children and how to raise them became a wedge between us. Even though I was a less than stellar Christian she did not want to see her offspring associated with what she probably felt were idiot simpletons. I can understand that and looking back I doubt she had much respect for my intelligence. I mean here I was attending church with my family to only go out and engage in activities that would've probably got me excommunicated had the Pope been made aware. What person would look at me and not think I was a complete fool?

In my late teens I started dating a girl, we'll call her Jodi, who was a devout Christian and daughter of a preacher. I was intrigued by her conviction and quite honestly it made her that much more attractive. I couldn't help but notice her frustration at my lack of faith. That and the fact that I was a terrible boyfriend made it easy for her to walk away from me and I can't say I blame her. Jodi, for all her faults, was incredibly good to me and I feel deserved better. I pictured her with someone who actually could have the courage and conviction to actually live the life of a believer and not just talk a good game. I simply wasn't that strong.

Not long after I met a girl, we'll call her Angela. Having never been to church nor with any education in religion she proudly proclaimed to me her complete lack of interest in anything religious. Still I was drawn to her for reasons sometimes I can't explain. We were together for years and she was what most would call a great girlfriend. Angela was very sweet and loving and I don't regret a single day with her.

Looking back; however, I can see where Angela was frustrated that I had any interest in attending church. Although I didn't go often when I mentioned it to her she would suddenly get silent. She had no issues with me attending a strip club and having a naked woman give me a lap dance, but whenever I brought up mass I could easily sense her disapproval. The relationship fizzled not solely because of religion, but it did play it's part.

Next up we have my next girlfriend who we'll call Carrie. She is part of the devout. When we met I explained to her my crisis of faith, but she still continued to date me, a fact she probably regrets. Still as we grew closer I became attracted to the idea of becoming a part of the book of life. I attended church with her, prayed with her, and professed my interests in being part of her spiritual as well as physical life. I started reading the good book again and was enjoying it.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1

Then my walk with Christ took a turn for the worst. Carrie had asked me one thing regarding my life with God and that was to love him more than I loved her. An interesting request, but I understood it. I started doing more research on the teachings of the savior buying books and watching documentaries. However, in searching for evidence of the lord I found myself doubting that Jesus even existed as an historical figure much less a religious one. My faith became tattered.

When I confronted her with this revelation Carrie did not take it well and promptly ended the relationship for a spell. We started dating again soon after, but she then realized there was a laundry list of things she hated about me and walked out of my life forever.

Now that I'm back on the dating scene the subject of faith comes up with each new girl I meet. When someone professes to be an athesist I honestly laugh to myself. At the risk of sounding extremley condescending I believe 95% of self proclaimed athesists that I've met aren't smart enough to call themselves that. Most people I know who condmen religion have little understanding of the Bible, Koran, ancient paganism, or even posses an elementary understading of evolution. If any of them spoke with any amount of honesty they would admit they haven't even done the simple act of reading any text from any of the world's faiths, nor have they even skimmed through "Orgin of the Species".

Sadly their athesim can be best described as how they went to church as a child and didn't like it and suddenly the whole concept of a higher power is absurd. I guess I give them props for having confidence in their evaluations regarding complex issues as a nine year old. I mean we can't ask them to read books. That would require taking time from watching television or blogging.

Then there's the ones who profess themselves to be Christian, but never go to church, or worse attend mass and not tithe. I don't understand going to someplace, enjoying their services, and not give anything back to them for it. None of them have read the Bible. Sure there's been a couple of girls who claimed they have, but after some quizzing it was made clear they never got past Genesis.

Oh and don't get me started on the 'I'm spiritual, but not religious' group. None of them can seem to give a simple explanation of what that even means. I guess they want some sort of faith, but don't want to give it any effort. Or they may just be intrigued by mysticism and what not and don't want to sound like a cynic.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" - 2 Corinthians 6:14

The above quote is great advice for anyone believer or not; however it leaves me with a lump in my throat. Given my lack of conviction I feel alienated from those who consider themselves athesists or Christian. At my age where a lot of females seem interested in the whole settling down and having children it can be a red flag to most.

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." - Matthew 12:31

"But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." - Mark 3:29

All manners of Christians will tell you that Jesus will forgive you for any sin whether it be swearing at your computer for it's lack of performance, throwing vats of urine at clergy, genocide, or even listening to Yani. This is a lie and feel free to tell them this.

You can deny the God and his son and still be saved, but if you deny the third part in the trinity, the Holy Spirit, you're doomed. No amount of Christ's sacrifice on the cross will save you. If you take the Blasphemy Challenge your chance at heaven is nill and you will fall into the lake of fire.

Even though I struggle with the concept of Christianity I simply lack the moral courage to even consider commiting this sin. Given that I can't expect any female to respect my views on faith.

While I can't say that religion is the sole reason for all my failed attempts at love it has played a part. I don't hold my Catholic upbringing against my parents as they want me to go to heaven and all. They're good people and believe they're doing the right thing. I have no one else but myself to blame for my lack of conviction and if I do happen to find 'the one' I best make a more concerted effort to choose one side of the fence or risk going to sleep cold and alone forever.

I may need prayer, more education, or both to come to grips with how I feel about Christianity alone never mind all the thousands of other faiths and fairy tales. Sometimes though I feel ignorance may be bliss. I wish I could unlearn a lot of things.

"Dating is sorta like pissing on a forest fire. It is slow, dangerous work but at its core serves the purpose of extinguishing flame and… the more you drink the more effective the process ;0)" - Anonymous

Jan 6, 2009

He can't do that

Working graveyards can have it's effect on the psyche. Sometimes you're burning the midnight oil alone with no one to talk to and you find yourself starting to go mad. It's lonely on the night shift and when I would toil away at the long hours signs of insanity would creep in.

When all friends went to bed and could no longer keep me entertained via IM I had only myself sometimes to keep me company. The thoughts when you're alone vary and can go into weird territory. At times I wondered if the day crew would find me underneath my desk shaking while mumbling how Bono is leading a world wide conspiracy to enslave the world and making them chant the them song to 'Land of the Lost' while doing origami, the planet's new currency.

Usually it wasn't that bad. Normally there would be another teammate to talk to. The security guards though were not as lucky. Their main task was to walk around the building over and over again making sure everything was safe and nothing was on fire. Constantly alone they would find amusing ways to entertain themselves.

We had one security guard who was an interesting chap. He wore makeup for reasons unbeknownst to me. He had a strange walk and always had a smile on his face. He was a pleasant gentleman and like to make conversation with another coworker of mine. I swear this protector of the company had a huge crush on him.

I was walking to the elevators where I see our valiant guard step out of one. He didn't even see that I was there and as he made his odd strut to his destination he said in a voice that I swore could be heard in Canada 'I CAN'T DO THIS'.

He then sees me, freezes, and in his best Keanu voice says 'whooooooaaaaa'. We lock eyes for what felt like forever. Still not moving a muscle he wishes me a good morning. I just keep a smirk and tell him hi. He then gains his composure and walks on past me.

I saw him often after that incident. He still maintained his smile and would always say hi to me. I wonder whatever happened to that silly gent for he seems to be no longer with us. Just like the popsicle guy he vanished one day never to be heard from again.

"Control your life through insanity." - Cliff Burton

Jan 4, 2009


Recycling. It's a daily affirmation we do. Many of us feel a sense of pride when tossing an item in the recycle container. We have just done our small part to save our struggling planet from the evils of garbage and pollution. We are encouraged, sometimes even required, to ensure that products listed as recyclable are disposed of properly to ensure the greater good.

But are what we doing really saving the planet? Could we actually be doing more harm than good?

The idea of recycling being unhealthy for the Earth sounds absurd. Still there are many who make that claim. I was introduced to this idea while watching an episode of Penn and Teller's B.S. which analyzed the industry and concluded that doing such an act is counter productive. It sounded a bit far fetched so I did a little research on the thesis. What I found is disturbing.

For the sake of time lets just use simple thinking about recycling an item, say one I do often, a bottle of beer. I consume said alcohol and place it into the proper blue container. The appropriate truck comes by and picks it up to deliver it to a plant to be processed and sanitized then sent back into the market.

Now think of the energy spent in recycling that one bottle. Since it can't be simply discarded we must send another truck to pick up the item. The fuel from which doubles the air pollution. When the bottle is driven to the plant it takes a workforce to use chemicals to clean it so that consumption can be safe. Then factor in how many people must drive or consume any amount of energy to get to work, to run the plant's power, to use water and other necessities that must be done to operate that function.

Now take into account that this is all done before it hits the consumer and taxpayer who bears the brunt of the cost. Simply recycling that bottle has done more damage to the world's environment than if I were to simply throw it away and let it sit in a modern landfill. Not a great alternative mind you, but one that mother earth may approve of better.

When I tell people about this they usually give me the thousand yard stare and say 'yeah but' and give any excuse to still throw their things into specially marked containers. Understandable actually. We want to do good and to think of an entire industry lying to us about a practice we consider safe and effective to be preposterous. This alone is a testaments to the character of many I know. A certainly noble trait to want to save the earth at all costs, if not naive. Some are even threatened with fines by their governments if they don't do the act.

Amazing how we as a people have such distrust for almost everything our elected leaders enact into law, yet when we are faced with the issue of recycling we automatically assume everyone is speaking with honesty and has the planet's best interests in mind. We don't believe they're driven by profit margins or corruption. We can't wrap our minds around the concept.

I'm not trying to dissuade people from recycling altogether. There are many household products that are energy efficient to reuse such as aluminum. Point is if you're truly interested in saving the your beloved planet there are many things you can do it by doing some research and applying the right principles. Or you can stop being such a rampant consumer, but how dare I suggest such blasphemy?

"My hobby of not attending meetings about recycling saves more energy than your hobby of recycling." - John McCarthy

Jan 2, 2009

Bringing you important information

Since this blog is known for bringing you information that is critical to your interests, if not survival, I was reading an article from some men's targeted website about breasts. The Pulitzer quality journalism that is AskMen.com lists five things about the juggulars that you may be unaware of. This information is relevant to my interests.

So in doing the lord's work I have listed the five facts that may surprise you:

1- Women with breast implants are more likely to suicide: I've heard about this before. I guess women who are likely to get implants usually have a string of mental disorders and body image issues. Poor gals.

2- Some women can reach orgasm via breast stimulation: This is rare, but I can say is accurate. Makes the work of a man all that much easier.

3- Breast fetishism is considered a psychiatric disorder: I guess I really need therapy...like right now. I never actually considered it a fetish and damn them for calling it that. Just how many anti-depressants would it take to get rid of this 'disorder'? Do I really want to be cured?

4- Statistically the left one is bigger: I'm going to start measuring in the name of science. I'll accept any volunteers. Pervert you say? This is research ladies. You wouldn't want to halt progress now would you?

5- Men can also lactate: Yuck.

"Scientists now believe that the primary biological function of breasts is to make males stupid." - Dave Barry

5 Things You Didn't Know About Breasts

Jan 1, 2009

Thursday music

Cover tunes of 80s pop hits are a mixed bag for me. While some work there are many that fail horribly. Although I like a lot of 80s music most of it weren't exactly what you call hits if they got any radio play at all.

Still there was one place where 80s tunes ruled the day and that was the local roller rink. Back in elementary school there wasn't much to do in my small town, but the place to lace up the skates was the scene. Many a youngster fell on their asses to songs by Van Halen and for whatever reason they played the Ghostbusters theme as much as humanly possible.

The event that turned nerve racking for many a shy boy was the couples skate. The DJ would dim the lights and the rink was illuminated by a disco ball. Young lads were encouraged to man up and ask a girl to hold hands with them as they skated to slow songs. I recall my first time nervously proposing the idea to a cute girl, one I thought would never say yes. Thankfully she took pity on the little chunky youngster and we had our moment on skates to Cyndi Lauper's 'Time After Time'. It's a small memory, but one I still hold in my brain.

So today I bring you Rob Thomas' cover of 'Time After Time':

"I'm in the business where you get the business all the time." - Cyndi Lauper