Apr 29, 2011

Deep in the heart of marriage.

Shocking as it may be to some, transgendered folks can get married in the state of Texas, but they have to show documentation as to which sex they surgically chosen, because we couldn't have them marry the same sex after all. Yes I could legally marry someone who was once a man, but that person couldn't marry a woman.

With me so far?

Well Texas Republicans are trying to change all that. Apparently the GOP is trying to pass a bill that only allows transgendered folks to marry someone of the opposite sex that was registered on their birth certificate. So say a man gets a sex change, then decides as a women he (she?) wants to get married. Because of this bill she could only marry a woman, which would seem like a gay marriage to any reasonable thinking adult, but to Texas conservatives it would be as God intended.

Still with me? I'm having difficulty following the logic myself.

So now that the Texas deficit is solved, the economy is full swing as middle class jobs are a dime a dozen, and no state employees fear being laid off it only makes sense that we bar transgendered people from offending the delicate sensibilities of our legislature.

"It would be terrible for Texas, now that it finally caught up with the rest of the country, to take a step back." - Shannon Minter

Texas may strip away transgender marriage rights

Apr 27, 2011

Suck it birthers

The billboard pictured here is on display in Dallas. It's goal is clear, to give doubt in the minds of Americans that our President was not born in this country and therefore ineligible to hold the office.

This morning that's all changed. The White House has finally released the long form birth certificate issued by the State of Hawaii, which is what birthers have been asking for these many years. It's kind of sad that he had to do this. He already released his certificate of live birth, the Governor's office has stated numerous times he was indeed born in Honolulu, and announcements in the local newspapers confirm his mom did give birth to him at a hospital in the US. None of that was good enough for birthers.

Donald Trump came into the picture with his media whoring self and proposed that this ridiculous conspiracy theory had legs. No one with a reasonable mind believed him, but four out of ten Republicans gave him credence. Media coverage of the issue increased to the frustration of those who really wanted to consume information about policy.

Suck it birthers. Suck it long and suck it hard. To any person who believed as Trump did that may be reading this, you are a stupid person. Yes you are a whore for the likes of WND and Alex Jones, who have profited greatly off your ignorance. I know this birth certificate won't be enough for you, for after all you can't accept that the majority of Americans voted in a black man, well half black at least, and you can't accept that. You're too dumb to point to a policy issue you may disagree with, because that would take actual research. Your live in a fantasy world, one where you feel you're the most informed, when in fact you play serf to the feudal forces of insanity. You'll believe anything you read and give no amount of research into things you know little about, all the while claiming to everyone that you're a media savy intellectual.

In short birthers, you're just a bunch of dumb assholes who have distracted the discourse into this kind of nonsense. Try now to take up important issues such as policy concerns, economic recovery, and the like. Sadly this will not happen as you'll be as stubborn as truthers in your ignorance, because you're a bunch of simpleton idiots. You're an enemy of the conservative movement and you've done more harm than good. No thinking Republican wants to be associated with you anymore and it's time you stop giving them a bad name.

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness." - President Obama

Obama releases long form birth document, rips 'silliness' of debate over issue

Apr 25, 2011

Christian grammar.

This Easter I hung out with my brother in-law and his wife while we did the church thing and had a fine meal with the extended family. On our way back home I saw numerous church signs declaring Christ is risen.

This proclamation gave me thought. Now I know I'm not a whiz in the grammatical sense, but shouldn't it be Christ 'has' risen? Unless the Lord and Savior is like bread and is constantly rising from the tomb Joseph of Arimathea so kindly provided, shouldn't it be in the past tense? Aren't Christians waiting for him to descend back onto Earth with the sword?

Now that I think about it it makes some kind of sense as the celebration tries to put you in the time in history when the disciples discovered Jesus' body was no longer present. Still it seems odd to a passerby.

I sometimes wonder if Christ gained Hulk like strength to move that boulder. Now I'm sure people think it just moved on it's own, sort of like a Jedi Jesus scenario, but that's not as cool. Well then again it kind of is.

"My mom used to say that Greek Easter was later because then you get stuff cheaper." - Amy Sedaris

Apr 22, 2011

Do this in rememberance of me.

As all good Catholics are aware, today is Good Friday where Christians the world over celebrate the crucifixion of the savior. Gov Rick Perry of the great state of Texas has decided to use this Easter weekend to call on citizens to pray for rain.

I'm not kidding. The Governor has issued a proclamation asking people of all faiths and traditions to pray to their chosen God(s), prophets, and/or elementals in hopes that rain may befall us.

Is this even Constitutional? I know Perry would like to think of Texas as it's own nation, but isn't this a clear endorsement of a higher power by an elected official? Even if the Supreme Court does rule that actions like this don't violate the separation of church and state, is it appropriate? Should atheists and agnostics be excluded?

Frankly shouldn't our Christian bretheren be offended this? I was raised to believe this weekend was a time to give thanks for Christ's sacrifice and the fulfillment of the new covenant, not to sit and dwell on personal and often times selfish matters. It seems rather exploitative to have those who believe in the resurrection to not celebrate it, but to rather hope for a higher power to intervene on natural weather systems.

I can't believe this guy was elected to a third term. This is such a waste of tax payer money.

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal way of life." - Gov Rick Perry.

Gov. Perry Issues Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas

Apr 21, 2011


Recently a CNN article regarding little girls dressing like tramps has been circulating all over the web. It's an interesting commentary about how girls as young as the age of eight are dressing as if they were prostitutes as corporations are sexing up clothing targeted to them. The author of the commentary is correct in laying blame squarely where it should lie with, the parents.

But is that enough? Will simply calling out folks who dress their daughters as whores on the internet really going to change adults minds or is it just preaching to the choir? Does the author, and those who are sharing his piece with their Facebook friends, really think that someone who does let their child look like a teen idol in public are really going to change their ways?

I've often been told, mostly by parents, that you shouldn't criticize other people's paternal skills unless you yourself have crotchfruit. I find that completely ridiculous. I don't have access to nuclear weapons nor am I a police officer, but I should be allowed an opinion on the appropriate use of genocidal tools and law enforcement. Sure I've never been through the backbreaking work parents put themselves through, but it's clear to them that if I see an adult do something I deem stupid or reckless I should clam up and go about my day.

Too often we hear that stupid line that the childless should keep their mouths shut. Sure in some cases it's appropriate to keep your opinions yourself regarding the parenting of others, but when I see an eight year old girl dressed like a pole dancer should I just mind my own business? I mean the stripper industry does need a workforce and I'm all about good economics.

Seriously I'd hate to see a bunch of zealots run around and denounce parents in public for any action as it would lead to mob rule of parenting, something none of us want. Parents are free to make their own decisions, for good or for ill. No one should create a website called parentswhoraisestrippers.com with pictures of offending adults, although that would be comical. In the case of dressing little girls like hookers, well that's their right to excersize poor judgment. Sure they may have a daughter grow up to be one of loose morals, but there were plenty of them well before Bratz dolls and the like.

So I'll pose the question nobody is asking; if you're really offended by pre-teen girls showing too much skin, what exactly can or should you do about it?

"Yeah, that 8-year-old girl was something to see all right. ... I hope her parents are proud. Their daughter was the sexiest girl in the terminal, and she's not even in middle school yet." - LZ Granderson

Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps

Apr 20, 2011

Bad Movies I Love part 30

Ernesto "Che" Guevara has always been a fascinating figure to me. His actions and the public's view of him has always made me love the myth of him, but hate the man. Che has somewhat been a hero to left leaning souls who romanticize his revolutionary tactics. It's not surprising as those with a more conservative bent in the US view our own revolutionary forefathers as the ethical equivalent of Jesus. Strangely those who idolize our founding fathers and their work hold a sympathy for the Confederates, the same folks who fought against the foundation of our Republic.

Che was a despicable person regardless of his economic views. He was only interested in justice for those who agreed with him and his brutal armed struggle. Che's claim that if the Soviet missiles located in Cuba were under his direct control, he would've launched them, believing that crushing American imperialism would've been worth "millions of atomic war victims."

Liking Guevara's legacy seems to be the trend, even though in the end he failed in his global conquest to spread his brand of communism and unite Latin America under it's principles. That's no surprise as America is known for rooting for the under dog. Of course the irony that kids wear his image on t-shirts made in sweat shops to be sold in Hot Topic amuses me to no end.

This brings me to "Che", the two part film by Steven Soderbergh. The first part chronicles Che's part in the Cuban revolution against the Batistas. The second and equally long part unravels his failed attempt to take down the Bolivian government, which he paid the ultimate price for.

The movie is told through the Guevara's eyes and is largely based on his own writings, which consequently makes him look like a saint instead of the complicated revolutionary. I was saddened by this approach as autobiographies are largely more fiction than fact and leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to objectivity. The story moves along at a snails pace at times and one could only wonder if the editor was ordered to leave every single piece of footage in, for good or ill.

Flaws and all I loved it, mostly because of Benecio Del Toro's amazing performance as the former Argentinian revolutionary. He made me believe he knew Che personally, and had all his mannerisms masterfully imitated. I enjoyed the story as it's an interesting take on a piece of history I find fascinating, but those who don't share that interest will hardly be drawn to learning more about it when watching this. Mostly they'll have trouble keeping their eyelids open.

"If Soderbergh's ambition was to make us feel just how dull it would be to a woods-dwelling communist guerrilla, he succeeded." - Mick LaSalle

Apr 18, 2011

Lawn care.

What a difference a year makes. In my youth I could give two shits about what my lawn looked liked, if I had any. While I did mow the lawn many times when I was a kid I looked upon it as a chore as my father kept telling me how character building it was. For reasons I'll never understand he decided that it was best that I use the push mower instead of the rider. Considering we lived on five acres I became the equivalent of Mother Theresa.

Saturday it was time to give the grass a trim, so I picked up after the dogs and prepared myself for some mowing. My lawn isn't that big, so the task is a small one. Still I broke out the edger and weed eater to give a nice look to our house. Surprisingly, I gave a damn. Yes I stood there and looked at my greenery and had a sense of pride given to a task any child could do.

So this is what it's like being a home owner....

"A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule." - Michael Pollan

Apr 14, 2011

Thursday Music

As some of you may be aware I lost an old friend a few days ago. It's actually hard to write about the guy, because he was one of the good ones. Not only was he a friend to all, had a wicked sharp sense of humor, but he was a man you could trust to do the right thing in any circumstance. Too often we don't see that kind of combination in the people we meet.

My friend Bruce and his girlfriend, who lost her life alongside him, will be remembered fondly. Today I'd like to share one of his favorite songs, the Grateful Dead's "Touch of Grey":

Goodbye Bruce....

"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life." - Jack Kerouac

Apr 13, 2011

Change of wardrobe.

I was in charge of watching my twelve year old sister in-law on Sunday. Our first outing was at the Studio Movie Grill watching a film about a teenage surfer who got her arm chomped off by a shark, but through grit and a the power of the Lord she continued in the sport she so loved. Not exactly fine cinema, but it was inoffensive and surprisingly well shot. She liked it a lot and wants to surf now even after seeing someone lose a limb because of it.

In front of the theater was a store called Cavenders, an establishment I was not familiar with. My sister in-law said it was her favorite store so I obliged her by saying we would enter it. The place sold cowboy attire and other accessories associated with the old west.

I know cattle ranchers, but granted they don't reside in Texas, and none of them wear stuff this gaudy. Rhinestones filled the place as it seemed to accentuate all kinds of clothing from jeans to flip flops. I felt my inner white trash self scream for a pair of boots and a ten gallon hat, but I decided against it as everything there was out of my price range. They sold camouflage slippers, cowboy art, and of course, country music.

The clientele was almost as interesting as their products. Most seemed upper middle class, which is not too surprising considering the price tags on many of the items. They were purchasing rhinestone covered flip flops with huge crosses on them, boots of various colors, and jackets that were straight out of a fifties western. It looked more like rodeo attire rather than anything practical when actually driving cattle, but then again few people in the world are in that line of work anymore.

So I experienced my first view of bourgeoisie cowboy lifestyle in Dallas, which was amusing, but none too shocking. I do want to enter the store dressed as a raver kid or a hippie and see what transpires.

"I was feeling real good and real manly. Until a real cowboy walked by and told me I had my hat on backwards. So much for my career as a cowboy." - Michael Biehn

Apr 12, 2011

My friend Bruce

Yesterday the world lost a good man. An old friend of mine had his life taken from him violently and it's been a shock to all who knew him.

His name was Bruce, but he didn't let that cause him grief. We used to hang out in high school and engaged in activities that you would expect teenagers to do. We chased girls, drank more than was safe or reasonable, and spent many hours just talking and sharing our love for classic films and all things Mel Brooks.

Bruce was a fun loving guy who was always up for a good time. His rosy cheeks were the result of his constant smiling and he had a quick wit that was the envy of many. One night a few friends and I piled into his Bronco and cruised the streets looking for something to do in our small town. I was sitting in the back and noticed a roll of duct tape. Why it was there was anyone's guess, but it gave me an idea. Jason and I applied it to our mouths and bound our hands with it and hid ourselves from sight. Bruce and Brandon were in the front and knew where I was going with this.

Bruce pulled up next to a car full of girls and he and Brandon started making small talk, then Jason and I popped up covered in duct tape pleading for help as best we could. The girls first got into a state of bewilderment, then the two in front hit us repeatedly while screaming for us to get back down. Jason and I would comply while Bruce would continue to try and seemingly woo said girls. Laughter ensued by all involved and we repeated the joke a few times. Thankfully no one called the cops.

This was but one of many incidents that we as bored teenagers in a small town would do. Bruce and I would often spend our evenings getting into trouble, but we never were malicious. My friend was always kind to those he met and entertained us all with his sharp sense of humor, no matter what we did.

He once admitted to me as a teenager that all he wanted was to fall in love and start a family, a brave confession considering most would just call him a candy ass, but that was Bruce. He was open with me and shared many things he wouldn't admit to anyone else. He was the kind of guy who you would have no qualms with dating your sister or friend. She would've been in good hands with him as he was decent and always a gentleman. He was a brave sort as he once boxed me, willingly, and I made him see stars.

I shall miss my old friend Bruce, who sadly was taken from us at too young of an age. I don't give much thought as to the possibility of an afterlife, but today I hope that he and his girlfriend, who lost her life with him, are together, somewhere, and sharing their love for each other throughout eternity.

As the sun set on his life I hope he could recall his existence as a good one, mostly because of those who truly cared about him. Rest in peace Bruce Kamp....

"I hope it is true that a man can die and yet not only live in others but give them life, and not only life, but that great consciousness of life." - Jack Kerouac

Apr 11, 2011

What a difference...

A year ago today I arrived in Texas to start a new adventure in this thing called life. For a description as to why, I suggest you read my wife's blog post.

Since I've moved I've been surprised at the stereotypes people in the Northwest have about Texas, and which came true or not. Such views are:

Everyone rides a horse: I've actually ridden horses more times than most of the people I've met here.
All Texans are Christian Conservatives: Most of my inner circle can be called Christians, but most don't attend church regularly, if at all. I've met a few of the atheist variety, and a lot are far more liberal than you might think.
There are churches on every corner: This is somewhat accurate as it is all over the South.
Everyone wears cowboy attire: You'll see a few folks wear cowboy hats and boots, but I never see it on a regular basis. As my friend and fellow former Northwesterner Travis pointed out, you see that more in Washington and Oregon.
The beer sucks: Yes Texas doesn't have the over saturation of breweries like the Puget Sound, but there are many places to find good brews none the less. Shiner is a great brewery and comparable to many in Seattle.
Everyone here is fat: While Seattle is known for being the fittest city in the US, I can say that Dallas is very image conscious when it comes to weight. Gyms are always packed and it's known for being up there with Beverly Hills when it comes to plastic surgery.
Everyone listens to country music: A few do, yes, but again it's no more than anywhere else.
It's hotter than the gates of Hades in the summer: Yes this is true.

I can say my experience here so far has been amazing. I packed up my little VW with every item I own, moved down here, got married, bought a house, got the wife a new car, and am now ready for a new adventure. Details to come soon...

"All new states are invested, more or less, by a class of noisy, second-rate men who are always in favor of rash and extreme measures, but Texas was absolutely overrun by such men." - Sam Houston

Apr 6, 2011


The recent budget battle has pissed me all kinds of off. I don't expect Congress, which is made up of mostly lawyers, to be the masters of economics, but I do find their proposed cuts a bit disturbing. While I believe most of us agree that spending is indeed out of control, few of us will see eye to eye on what programs need to be sliced.

Not surprisingly Republicans seem to be under the notion that cutting spending for the National Endowment for the Arts, NPR, and other programs regarding the humanities, will somehow balance our budget. Now I understand that the GOP and their Tea Party brethren is against most social spending except for Medicare, federal funding for the troops' living and health expenses, or any money going directly to their constituency. Yes they're against slashing the largest piece of our deficit pie and instead seem to be pandering to their base who look at the arts as wasteful.

The arts should never be thought of as expendable. They help our workforce, economy, and is something we all take part in. If we left the humanities to the private sector exclusively you can look forward to more museums honoring fast food, creationism, and Hanna Barbara cartoons while you watch the ones you love close their doors. Your local theater will only show musicals based on Michael Bay films. The next generation of musicians may consider Rebbecca Black's "Friday" to be the pinnacle of artistic expression.

Now some of you may think this disturbs me because I'm some sort of tax and spend liberal, of which I'm not. Fiscally I lean towards the Teddy Roosevelt brand of Republicanism, but I'm fully aware that the humanities affect all of us, from the clothes we wear to the houses we live in. To say the richest country in the world can't afford to further our arts education is laughable, especially when we consider how expensive our wars are.

Yes in times of budget crisis we all must compromise, but the GOP will have you believe that cutting taxes on the wealthy and limiting social spending will somehow solve our nation's deficit woes. I for one would gladly pay more come tax time if it means our country will continue to flourish in one of our greatest exports, the arts.

So write your Senator if you agree with me and hope it won't fall on deaf ears, as I'm afraid my email has.

"What NPR did, I'm very proud of, and what NPR stood for is non-racist, non-bigoted, straightforward telling of the news." - Ron Schiller

Apr 5, 2011


You may have heard the news of Pastor Terry Jones, a coward of a holy man who resides in Florida, who decided it would be a great idea to burn the Koran in a public manner. As to be expected word got out of his attention whoring and the Muslim community in war torn regions have reacted as one would expect.

Pastor Jones denies the fact that he has blood on his hands, of which I agree with. He can't be held accountable for others' actions. True his incident may have incited the riots and murders and his act can be described as tasteless...my God it's hard to defend this jackass. If he really wants to spread the word of the Lord why doesn't he get out of his safe little comfort zone in Florida and fly to the middle east and try and convert? Oh that means he would have to put his life on the line for his religious zealotry. Instead he'd rather insult and defame a world's religion from a country that protects his right to do so without fear of retaliation. At least the Phelp's clan takes their message into public at a high risk. Thankfully the people they offend have shown more reason and kept the debate in civil discourse.

Pastor Jones is just a fool and the Christian community should shame him publicly for being one. I will defend his right to defame Islam as nothing should be above ridicule, but we all have the right to call out his jackassery. Still the people rioting and killing others as a response to this have no business breathing oxygen. Actually, I just hate everyone involved in this.

"It is definitely a consideration to stage a trial on the life of Mohammed in the future." - Pastor Terry Jones

U.S. pastor says he will put Mohammed 'on trial' next as NATO chief condemns Koran burning for starting riots

Apr 4, 2011

Feeding Geoffrey

My wife was born on April 1st, which makes the annual prank day a bit more special. Rather than surprise her with a fake declaration of the fact that I'm secretly a super spy who's in Texas to infiltrate the Tea Party I decided to be nice and try to show her a nice birthday.

The morning started off with us going to the Dallas Zoo. We approach the ticket counter and find the looped music of "Welcome to the Dallas Zoo" blaring over the loudspeakers. This was the same song we heard on our first visit almost a year ago and it has been forever stuck in our heads.

They had a new exhibit there with African animals and Kelly was excited to see the new landscape. Upon her surprise we saw the giraffes roaming about and a booth that sold treats so you could feed them yourself. For five dollars I figured why not. The lady handed us lettuce and the wife enjoyed the animal eating from her hand, a first for the both of us. For whatever reason the tall creatures are a huge hit with my spouse as they seem to be all the rage with others as well. It was admittedly cute though.

After the zoo we went downtown to eat some good old southern fried seafood and had a merry time at it. We brainstormed at what else we should do and she thought we should go look at cars. Her BMW, nice as it is, is getting high in mileage and terribly expensive to fix. Plus it's impractical if we were to have a newborn in the future. We washed her car and headed over to a Mitsubishi dealership and test drove a 2010 Outlander V6 with only 5k miles on it (I don't know what that is in Canadian speak.) After some negotiation we drove away with a new vehicle.

We quickly ran home and changed for a birthday celebration at Kelly's grandmother's place. We pull up in the car and the matriarch of the family took me aside as I explained how the front grill looked angry as hell. The 80+ year old told me about how her and her husband bought a Suburban years ago and were disturbed to find that it looked like a woman's vagina. I almost felt my heart stop as I was listening to this sweet elderly lady compare vehicles to genitalia. No one else heard this sadly. I have no idea why I have to be the one subjected to weirdness when it comes to my in-laws.

It was a good birthday, but I'm nervous about how I'm going to be following it up next year. Getting her a new car kind of sets the bar high.

"A friend never defends a husband who gets his wife an electric skillet for her birthday." - Erma Bombeck