Thursday, December 24, 2009

A word for non-believers…

This Christmas season, I’d like to remind you that if you shouldn’t be so smug about not believing in Santa Claus if you also believe in God.

After all, what kind of fool would believe in a spooky old man with a long white beard who lives “up there” and always watches us and judges us…? Oh, religious folk.

It’s all make believe, folks. None of it has anything to do with reality. So, face it. If you believe in God, it’s just Santa by another name.

Merry Santanas…

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The joy of giving gift… cards…

Used to be you’d sweat over just the right gift to give some…

Okay, maybe it wasn’t. Used to be you’d buy people you didn’t care about gifts you didn’t care about. That said, at least they were gifts. Now, we live in the age of the gift card and, even better, the online gift card. Basically, we give money. If we don’t care, we give money.

Not bad for not caring, actually.

Still, I find it fascinating that this is how we’ve come to define an expression of love and caring for those we, well, love and care about… cash.

You give me $25. I give you $10. But I gave you the $10 with a card and you didn’t even sign your name on the gift card in the “FROM” spot. Is it a wash? Is that how we determine who cares about us?

People back in the 1960’s were bitching about how meaningless Christmas had become. Now, we don’t have to bitch about that… it’s pretty damned obvious.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Dems in ’10… no, not really...

It seems like every day, the Democrats do something else to shoot their chances in 2010 in the foot.

They’ve fucked up health care reform. They’ve fucked up financial reform. They’ve vacated the moral high ground, leaving Gitmo and the black sites and illegal surveillance intact. They still haven’t ended the wars. And, oh yes, they are a bunch of pussies.

When people ask me why I’m not a Democrat, these are just a few of the reasons…

I understand how hard it is to find work, folks, but a public servant's first job should not be preserving their job...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Climate change hasn’t…

I love the new Repugnican meme that says all the science on climate change is a lie… wait a sec… that’s not new. They’ve been saying that all along.

But what they constantly forget is that even if all science was a lie, you couldn’t refute the fact that we’re running out of fossil fuels and need alternatives… wait a sec… if they think all science is a lie, they probably think that math is, too.

Basically, these people are fucking nuts.

Knock yourself out...

There's something insanely lovable about this song... or is it the other way 'round?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If only the poor could quit being so… poor…

American charity. Two words that rank up there with Republican Christian and Military Intelligence. American’s are so charitable they’ve actually forced one church to stop feeding the homeless because it… attracts homeless people!

God forbid.

But there it is, at a church in Phoenix, Americans behaving so charitably they’re forcing a church to stop providing free breakfasts to the homeless. This probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. After all, people protest equal right because it violates their “right” to be bigots (cough – Prop 8 – cough). And they scream and carry on when someone tries to provide health care for all, calling that a “death panel”. And, after all, this is the country where the rights of corporations are placed above the individual. I suppose our national motto should be “Fuck off! I’ve got mine!”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

She just keeps coming back…

I find myself discomforted by the way Rosa keeps popping into my life. Surprisingly, I think this bothers me a lot more than it does Vicky… and I have no idea why.

Case in point: the quiche pan. When Rosa and I split up in May of 2000, I figured it was assumed we wouldn’t be buying each other anniversary gifts that year. Our wedding anniversary was on May 21st. Sure enough, though, Rosa gave me this quiche pan as a gift. It was obviously an expensive one and, knowing Rosa, it was also obvious that she’d bought it as an excuse to see me and remind me how we were still bound together. She said something about how she’d like to be there when I made my first quiche, as I was the more culinarily gifted of the two of us, and I’m sure I said something like that I’d let her know when I decided to. I didn’t even take it out of the box. I put it away and I tried to forget.

And, as they do, the years passed.

When Vicky and I moved in together, she found the box packed away. I don’t even know if I packed it intentionally but I know I’m far too practical to throw it away. She had to ask where it came from, of course, and I had to tell her. And then, she asked me, “What are you going to do with it?”

Vicky was not too practical to throw it away. It may have given her a little pleasure to do just that. But I said, “No.” After all, I may want to make a quiche one day and then the pan would come in handy…

More years passed.

Before we reached one decade since Rosa gave me the pan, Vicky said “use it or lose it”. I guess she was getting tired of me insisting that I might make a quiche one day, holding onto a pan that had far fewer practical applications than sentimental ones.

The results of my quiche making are over on One Path. The practical results of the pan. As for here, the sentimental ones… I doubt I’m unique. I doubt I’m the only one who feels a crack in their heart every time the past reaches up and taps at it with its cold, silver hammer of regret. I’m sure there are many who can understand how difficult it is to be rid of those haunting memories that hurt you and how it is important at the same time to preserve them.

But it surprises me still how nearly a decade has passed since we decided to split… how it’s been over half a decade since I found Vicky… and things still feel so broken inside of me. And it might sound obtuse but I’m reminded of Europa’s cracked and sundered surface and how so much of that occurred hundreds and thousands of years ago and I think, “That’s life…”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

For those who still didn’t think the Repugs were ape-shit crazy…

Senator Al Franken proposed a bill that ends rape clauses in government contracts, contract clauses that prevent women employees from suing when they are gang-raped. To repeat, this would end the practice of taking away a woman employee’s right to sue when they are gang-raped by other employees of a company that has a government contract.

Hmmm… who would be against this? Who would be in favor of gang-rape?

Thirty Republican senators, as it turns out. Of course.

Here’s Jon Stewart explaining it further.

And here’s a lovely web site in honor of those thirty PATRIOTS…

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sell The Vatican, Feed The World!!...

I heart (or maybe it's some other body part) Sarah Silverman...

Friday, October 09, 2009

I hate to sound like I’m agreeing with neo-cons…

But what has Obama done to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize?

What has he done? We’re still fighting two wars. We still have secret prisons. We have yet to prosecute any of the war criminals our nation produced in just the past few years. We still restrict civil liberties. We still employ mercenaries who kill at will without repercussion.

What did he do to deserve this?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Ode to Chevy…

Have you seen the new sit-com, Community? It’s on Thursday nights and I’m really enjoying it. I’m enjoying it, I should say, in spite of Chevy Chase. Yes, Chevy Chase is in it. And he’s dreadful. And I’d like to explain why I think that’s so.

You see, I love Chevy Chase. He was, and probably still is, a terrific talent. But somewhere along his career path something happened, something awful, that turned everything upside down. I see Chevy Chase and I think of Buster Keaton. Not because of his great falls or his terrific timing. I think they both had very similar trajectories.

Like Keaton, I loved Chevy because he was smarter than everyone in the room. Back in his National Lampoon days, he was always a step ahead. On SNL, you knew he was a smarter than the joke. In movies, from Foul Play to Fletch and even to the terribly under-rated Memoirs of an Invisible Man, the thing that made us love him was his quick-wittedness, his inventiveness, his intelligence!

But the Hollywood machine wouldn’t let that last. Like Keaton, they remolded him from quick-wit to stumble-bum and stole what we loved most about him. You could see it beginning all the way back in National Lampoon’s Vacation and has reached its apex as Chevy’s options become more and more limited. Some people love the Vacation films but I watch them and think, “He’s smarter than that!” I recently saw a picture called Funny Money (2006) where he played a character with no charm and no intelligence and I wondered, “What happened to Chevy?” In Community, he plays a typical dolt – you can see the intelligence in the eyes fuming for something smart to do. And they did the same thing to Keaton.

I know he’s better than that. Chevy Chase could still blow all our socks off, if given the opportunity. So Chevy, if you’re reading, I want you to know that there are plenty of us out here who still believe. Because you’re Chevy Chase… we’re not.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Hello, Mr. Washington...

A recent headline read: 75 Percent of Oklahoma High School Students Can't Name the First President of the U.S.

Sometimes, I read things and have a serious reaction... other times, I crack wise... today: BOTH!

Sarcastic Response: Yes, but it's Oklahoma. Why should this come as a surprse to anyone?

Serious Response: Teaching for the test. Strict obedience to the curriculum. Now, we see the results.

Listen, I'm not saying GW (that's Washington, not Bush) isn't on any test or isn't part of any curriculum. What I'm saying is that kids are smart enough to know that they're being fed knowledge the same way they're being fed fast food: for quick processing. What goes in this week is tested on next week and then forgotten. No context is provided about how this applies to their lives because, for the most part, we've ceased to care about their lives. Children are products to serve the machine of industry - we want them to have a good job, stay off the streets, and forget about them. After all, what knowledge do you remember best? Knowledge you cared about! I think if we cared about how they received and processed this knowledge, we'd cease to see results like this.

Oh, and feel sorry for the nerdy other 25%... which is 3 against 1 for all of you educated in Oklahoma...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Crime and Punishment…

The older I get the more I see a scary by-product of age. One by one, I notice my friends turn into bitter, hateful old men and women… especially when it comes to the issue of crime. I hear them talk about draconian measures, death penalties for children, and even with no sense of irony cutting hands off of thieves. I feel like saying “How very Muslim of you” though they probably wouldn’t get it.

It concerns me because I hate to see my generation gobbled up so obediently by the previous one, taught to believe all the falsehoods that they themselves chose to believe. This leaves the hope in the hands of the next generation but it is too often an empty one, as I see them misunderstanding so much as well.

After all, what’s the point of our justice system? Is it to help bring people back to a point of understanding, so that they don’t repeat the same mistakes they once made? Because if that’s the case, death penalties for children and the forcible removing of hands is going the wrong way. On the other hand, take or leave the pun as you will, if the point is to eliminate those who offend us, then we should all form a line and get ready for a bullet to the head.

Laws are not established in order to provide us entertainment, so we can watch our government murder and maim. A more perfect society is not formed when we greet misdeeds with hate. The fact that nobody is perfect too often eludes even the best of us and it is the expectation that everyone should always be at their best that shows our petty, small selves and creates a society that is no more than a reflection of what we make of it.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Great Special Comment...

Because I don't have the time to research things as well, I give you Mr. Olbermann...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Lest we forget what the other side of the face looks like...

My favorite headline about tonight's speech: Republicans Heckle Obama for Providing Health Care, but Cheer Bush for Making War.

Indeed.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Getting sick of both faces...

Every time I see some idiot Republican introduced as an “expert on health care reform” on the news, I can hear insurance companies laughing somewhere, writing out a check…

Monday, August 31, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

A thought inspired by Ted Kennedy...

Here was a man whose life was worthwhile. How shamed should the innumerable masses who chase fleeting fame, "reality tv" stars and town hall miscreants, feel in the face of this...

... not that they will, of course....

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amber Rubarth - A Song to Thank The Stars...

One of my favorite new songs by Amber. (Look for her new disk, Good Mystery, on iTunes, CD, et al...)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Town Hall Protesters: Ruining it for everyone…

I’m going to assume you’ve heard all about the right-wingnuts who have been crashing the recent town halls held to help educate people on health care reform and get constructive feedback. They’ve not only been shouting to drown out the discourse but now they’re bringing guns. And corporate America is learning from this strategy and have announced they’ll use it to defeat any hope of finally cleaning up the environment we’ve shit all over.

The one thing this all pivots on, of course, is the town hall format, allowing anyone to come in and attend your event, getting their feedback, letting the common man be heard. What we’ve seen is that corporate America and the Repugs don’t give a shit about the common man and only care enough to manipulate them into a lather. They’re good at this because they have no respect for anything.

The town hall format is relatively new in its present incarnation. While it pre-dates the TV culture (and easily pre-dates the Internet), it wasn’t designed for instant media and this is its weakness. Mind you, Shrub and his ilk never used the format because they were afraid of just what they’ve faked. They were terrified that regular people would have a voice. Now, they’ve constructed these “grass roots” protests, funded by corporations who would rather make billions off the backs of the sick or the poor or just plain anyone.

So, what can be done? Certainly segregating the audience is not a good idea. That’s just what Shrub and his ilk did. No, I think the only thing that can be done is to abandon the town hall all together. Use the Internet for good just as the corporations and the Repugs are using it for ill. Don’t allow the powerful to sabotage everything just because they have power.

Oh, and Dems, grow a fucking spine, why don’t you?

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Basements, Backyards, and Garages...

Vicky and I love Guy Fieri... no matter what life form he takes...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I've got this strange addiction to The Thermals...

I'd even buy their disks... you know, if I had a job...

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Best headline of the YEAR...

When TLC (which used to be The Learning Channel) or BIO eventually air the "documentary" titled "What Became of Michael Jackson's Brain"... and you know they will... have you seen the shit they air these days?... well, you'll already know the answer because:

CORONER STILL HAS MICHAEL JACKSON'S BRAIN

.... I think they're serious... either way, I see blockbuster gold!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Sklar Brothers bring the funny...

In a large bag with twist ties and a zip lock to hold in freshness!

(... what do you want? I can't sleep!...)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Now Obama's using signing statements...

I seem to remember us rejecting the Repugs because their guy did the same thing... and Obama promised a break from those shady practices.

If Obama refuses to stand by his word, I see no reason to support him in the future.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Minister proves Satan is FABULOUS!!!...

Don't drop the lead, as journalists might say.

Turns out this minister has been exorcizing gay people to rid them of their gay demons... No, really.

But that's not the important part of the story.

The important part is that we now know that demons are gay. No wonder the Repugs have been so against gay marriage!!! It all makes sense now! And Satan's snappy dressing - of course!!


.... wait. That also means the best parties are going to be in hell.... God dammit....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

John Hodgman gives geek love...

The inner nerd in me is compelled to post this...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sometimes we find our way…

Completed. Done. Finito Benito. Play number seven has been wrapped up and put to bed.

… well, except for revisions/rewrites/proofings, etc. but that first draft is history, baby!

It started out as a play about my father – well, about losing my father. It’s a play about a mother and son and how they relate when the father he never knew and the husband who could never commit dies and leaves them together. But then, it turned into more than that. Much more.

Because the father couldn’t commit to the mother, it also became a play about loving someone who could never love you back, about longing for that love, spending your whole life missing what you never had and wishing for the impossible. So, though it was far from my original intent, it also became a play about Rosa.

There are still days when I can hear her voice. There are days when I wonder how she is. And I feel horrible about it. Guilt creeps up and smacks me in the head. Because I have someone now who loves me. Her name is Vicky. So, this play deals with that horrible possibility that I could have ended up spending my life striving for something that wasn’t real and I realize that missing her now and then is nothing compared to the mistake I almost made.

And that’s what we do as writers. We take what was and write about what could have been. We take we didn’t happen and write about if it did. We worry away at possibilities and create impossibilities. And we end up with characters we feel very sorry for – we regret the things we do to them, even if they aren’t real, because they have to face the horrible realities of our imaginations.

If I had stayed with Rosa, I would be living a life of ice-cold neglect and empty loneliness. The alternative cost me years of regret that was nearly intolerable but it was still a better price to pay, in the long run. And I got to find Vicky, which made it worthwhile, for the most part.

And I got a new play, too. So, there’s that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I’m thinking about going into evangelical songwriting…

I’ve decided to give up my atheist lifestyle. Why swim against the mainstream? The Christians have all the political clout and all the power so, hey, why fight it? In fact, I’ve decided to write my praises to God in song. Here are just a few of them…


Suck me Jesus

Suck me Jesus
Suck on my sin
Suck it deep
Again and Again
I like when you suck
It’s like a Win/Win
Suck me Jesus
Suck long and hard on that sin



I’ve been touched by God but not in that way

I’ve been touched by God but not in that way
I’ve been touched by God but not in that way
If God was a man, would that make me gay?
I’ve been touched by God
But I don’t think he meant it that way



The Lamb of God is Great

The Lamb of God is Great
The Lamb of God is Good
I’d fuck the shit out of the Lamb of God
And if you could, you know you would, too.



You think they'd rather I stayed an atheist?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bill Maher says about Obama...

... what I keep wishing Obama would hear...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Among other things...

If Earth is God’s creation, and everything on Earth is God’s creation, wouldn’t that make pollution blasphemy?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

It's "Idiot Religion" Day...

Check out more religious idiocy over on One Path...

Monday, June 01, 2009

In honor of the religious nutjob who killed Dr. Tiller...

You ever notice that most of the same people against abortion also think homosexuality is a sin... which doesn't make much sense because you almost never see homosexuals needing an abortion. Hell, they don't even need birth control!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

This is what it's come to...

A paper in Warren, PA. ran an ad calling for the assassination of President Obama. Now, I'm not Obama's biggest fan right now, considering how he's wussed out on so many things he promised he'd get done (ending the war, closing Gitmo, reeling in the top 1%) and things he was just supposed to get done (prosecuting those who tortured in our names), but last I heard insighting violence against the President and calling for his out and out murder... is a felony, at least. I mean, it's up there with driving under the influence, right? Maybe instead of a DUI, it's an MUI/AUI?

Mind you, the paper apologized, which I suppose to them means something. But I'm wondering when we lost our will to stop those breaking the law here in the US (torturers, bankers, brokers, lobbyists, and - right - those who call for political assassination). We are sure as hell looking to kick butt outside of this country but what about the folks right here?

Why don't we put our house in order, is all I'm saying.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Now on our DVR: Stuff Happens

As an ex-smoker and someone (I'll admit) who did his share of littering, I felt it important to get the word out on this...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Seven legs, Two Spines...

People wonder why I'm such an advocate for buying organic, local, non-corporate meat and produce.

We stuff our livestock full of hormones, interbreed them to absurd levels, feed them garbage (quite literally) and we wonder why things like this happen: a calf born with seven legs and two spines. Things like this are not accidental; they're underreported. And before you dismiss it, saying the animal was put down and not devoured (by humans, at least - here kitty kitty), keep in mind you might have eaten its brother or sister for lunch.

And, yes, I know that buying local, organic meat from small farms is still not enough. I'm working on that.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not to say I have it all together but…

Why is it that the most fearful people I know, the most worried, the most anxious, are also the most religious people I know. Honestly, you’d think that their God would take care of things – or, at least, that they’d think their God (you know, their made-up, imaginary figment of their imaginations) would take care of things… and stop worrying so much. Damn.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

So, after voting in all those Dems...

Here's a reminder of why I'm not a Dem.

Looks like they're so beholden to the banks they keep bailing out they can't even pass a regulation on credit card interest, something the banks injudiciously escalate endlessly.

Way to go, Dems. Keep in mind what happened to the Repugs...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

MIssed California...

I was hoping not to get in on this but I couldn't help it.

Donald Trump has reviewed pictures of the scantily clad Miss California and decided he's the arbiter or morality... really... I'm not making this up...

So, to recap, it seems that grown up people who are in love and want to get married is perverse and immoral if they're the same sex... but a old man with a combover can look at half-naked pictures of a 21-year old with the purity of the driven snow...

Sunday, May 03, 2009

The Cisco Kid Part 2...

Yes... we were nerds...

The Cisco Kid Part 1...

Murphy and I used to quote this endlessly, long before the days of VCRs (okay, so I'm OLD!) or YouTube...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Texas Secession? Shit, yeah!...

Of course, now they want to stay in the union and hope the feds help them with swine flu. What's the problem? Can't tax cuts cure swine flu?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Slow torture...

So, let me see if I have this straight.

We now have proof that the US violated international law. We know who did it and how often it was done. We know, in one case, that the US tortured one individual 183 times in one month.

... But holding anyone accountable would just be "looking back".

You have to admire bullshit of such magnitude.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Fun with Teabagging...

I just LOVE how the moron "teabaggers" don't even get what they're saying!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What's the difference between a politician and a pastor?...

This week, the Rev. Rick Warren reversed his stance on Prop 8, saying he "was never a proponent" of rescinding the equal rights of those "damned gay people".

Never a proponent, he just funded it.

Now that the polls are pointing erectionally towards the other direction, Warren finds himself right on top of them.

So, which is it? Does GOD want to keep homosexuals from marrying because he's afraid of what they'll do? Is GOD terrified of homosexuals? Or are preachers just politicians of a different stripe?

I don't know. But it is pretty fucking funny.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Open-mindedness...

A little rational thinking is a refreshing thing.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Racism? Really?...

Turns out the US is boycotting a U.N. Conference on Racism because the anti-racism language before the conference refers to Isreal as racist, what with their horrible treatment of the Palestinians.

A Canadian Minister justified this by stating that such language was "anti-semetic".

Really?

So, let me get this straight. Is it anti-semetic to say anything unkind about Isreal or just this? Does it matter if it's the truth?

When people are afraid to speak the truth, nobody benefits.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

About these banks...

Why is everyone so surprised that rich people who drove their companies into the toilet can't be trusted with money???

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Palin-drone...

So, it turns out some psychologist has figured out that it was Sarah Palin's taste in clothes that cost the Republicants the presidential election.

Of course!

It makes so much sense!

It wasn't the fact the the Republicants are completely out of touch with reality.

It wasn't that they started a war against a nation who never attacked us.

It wasn't the "terrorist attack" during Shrub's presidency.

It wasn't how they squandered the budget surplus and drove the country into the toilet.

NO! It was Sarah Palin's fucking clothes!

... I close with the articles's opening quote (expurgated a bit for brevity): Newly released academic research suggests that Sarah Palin's sexiness ... may actually have hurt her vote-getting ability, which seems to be what elections are about.

I want these fucking drugs!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The “B” Word…

Whatever happened to Bimbos?

Vicky watches, to my immense chagrin, Real Housewives of Orange County. Back when I was a kid, people like that would be called Bimbos. Now, they’re admired nationwide for their… what? They’re fucking Bimbos!

Someone recently said that America has lost all of its capacity for shame. After Shrub, the Repugs in general, and things like this, I have to say I believe them.

Mind you, I’m a voice in the darkness here. The show’s a hit and considered a franchise. Bimbos everywhere have become validated, mainstream… today’s “ladies”.

But I call them Bimbos.

(Yes, push-up news is off this week. I blew it. But I'll be back next week with more pain...)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Push Ups… Week Four…

Whoever said this was easy is completely full of shi…

Oh wait…

Okay, it’s officially not easy. It’s officially hard!

… the pushups…

I finished Week Four with a nightly high of 144 pushups, maxing at 40 in a row in one set. That was in the middle of the week and it was so hard I nearly fell to the floor. I decided at that point to give myself a little break and moved from the toughest tier to the middle tier. Thinks only get tougher from here, though, and a single “week” might start taking more than a week to complete. I’ll keep you posted.

Catch you after Week Five!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Push Ups… Week Three…

FYI: This stopped being even remotely EASY! This week, I hit the wall of pain, where my body looked at my will and said, “The fuck?”…

I finished Week Three with a nightly high of 122 pushups, maxing at 30 in a row in one set. Still not 100 in a row? You bet, but hey it’s just the third week, right? And next week is even more brutal. I’m beginning to think that one “week” may take more than one week to accomplish. I’ll keep you posted.

Catch you after Week Four!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Push Ups… Week Two…

Before I say anything I’ll live to regret, like “This hasn’t been too bad” or, worse still, “This has been EASY!”… let me just say, all in all, it’s been a piece of cake.

Honestly. I think I’m getting used to it… a bit…I finished Week Two with a nightly high of 86 pushups, maxing at 25 in a row in one set. Not much? You bet, but hey it’s just the second week, right? I may not hit 100 pushups all at once next week but 100 in one night is coming!

Catch you after Week Three!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Push Ups… Week One…

Even though I lost my job, that doesn’t relieve me of my pushups, however nice relief might be.

But actually, it hasn’t been that bad. I finished Week One with a nightly high of 63 pushups, 20 in a row. Not much? You bet, but hey it’s the first week, right? The whole idea is not to go crazy but to build… I’m building

Catch you after Week Two.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

News from work... there is no work.

As you can see from One Path (you do read One Path, right?), I was laid off today.

Deja fucking Vu...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How big business works against us...

Look at this.

If you want to know why big businesses should not be protected for our benefit, look at this.

If you want to understand what we're up against, look at this.

If you think that big businesses are only there to help us, look at this.

If you believe that big business is your friend, look at this.

If you've bought into all of the anti-union propoganda, look at this.

Listen to their own words.

And remember.

Monday, January 26, 2009

100 pushups - are you crazy?...

That's what I said.

"One hundred pushups? Are you crazy?"

But why not?

This website is supposed to help you do 100 pushups, that is 100 at once, within six weeks.

I don't normally go for much more physical activity that putting the spoon in the ice cream and raising it to my mouth but this might be a cool experiment. Why not? It would be great to be able to say I can do 100 pushups!

First.... the pre-test.

See how many pushups you can do.

Hmmm... okay. That doesn't seem to hard.

I'm doing your standard pushup. Toes touching the ground - no knees. Arms bringing you down and pushing you up again.

So, I did the pre-test last night. The magic number was... 27. Twenty-seven pushups.

After twenty-seven, I felt like my arms were going to reject me and find another body. But, after a few minutes of panting, I also felt... pretty good. My arms felt buffed, my torso felt tight.

Hey, I might like this!

I'll let you know how week one went next Monday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Meanwhile, back at work...

One of my coworkers got yelled at today. That part isn't really news-worthy. You get dragged into offices and yelled at quite a bit where I work. It's motivating.

Or, at least, I think they think it is.

Because my coworker was yelled at today for something outstanding. He was yelled at today... for being negative. Let me repeat that. He was pulled into an office with our boss who yelled at him for 15 minutes because he, my coworker, doesn't really like his job. Mind you, we were all lied to when we interviewed, we're treated like crap, our educations are going to waste as we do busy work...

... yelling at a guy is just the thing to make him forget that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Interns and Execs...

That's all they hire at my company now. Interns and Execs.

They've created a whole new level of middle executive: Senior Director. He oversees the Directors and report to ... well, nobody. All the other positions are quickly being filled by Interns. Need an engineer? Hire an intern. Seriously. I applied for a Marketing Communications Writer position but they filled it with an Intern.

And so it goes.

I met one of the new interns today.

"Hi. I'm Angela," she said.

"Hi, Angela."

"No, Dangela."

"Dangela?"

"No, Gangela."

"Jumanji?"

Later, I found out her name was Dan-jor.

She's from fucking Krypton.

A note from the terminally unhip...

Make what you want of this but I'm not entirely comfortable with how forcibly hip the country is suddenly becoming. Seriously. Did you catch some of the Inauguration Celebration? It was like they were trying to forcefeed hipness into Washington, DC.

And I say forcibly hip because Washington, DC is one of the least hip places in the world. And it should be. Washington is a place for doing the country's business, not for Will.i.am to debut new national anthems! What's next? A new flag with every color ribbon you can imagine?

I'm just about reaching my limit to all this painfully hip celebrating. Yes. Hope. Great. First African American President. Understood. But pardon my cynicism while I wait for you to start prosecuting torturers and illegal wiretappers and war criminals and people who just generally cornholed the Constitution... then, I'll happily accept how hip you are.

Fessin' up...

Obama's being inaugurated tomorrow. Vicky's very excited. For my own part, I thought I'd look back to see what I said about him on this blog back when the election season first began, what my first impression was... and it's kinda sad. But I've decided to practice a little bit of intellectual honesty and own it, anyway.

Here's what I said after the first debate:

Obama. Where to start? I can’t begin to guess why he is so loathed by Republicans – you know, aside from being a wise black man, something can no more understand than a moral gay man. Yes, they exist, too. I wish he’d done better last night but he’s too easy put on defense and doesn’t have his talking points down. Does he have time for that? Ordinarily, sure. But not when the primary season begins this early. He needs to get strong NOW. He could be a great president… but, again, nobody’s going to vote for him. Why? Because America does not elect a black man. Call me cynical but it’s true and the Repugs are going to get repugnant and we know that.

Okay, let's see... Typos? Check. Repugnicans? Check.

Aside from the obvious gaffe - America does not elect a black man as President (MY BAD!) - two things stood out to show how much Obama grew during the election season. Early on, he was quick to play defense and he didn't really have his story, or talking points, down. Now, you can see how he really grew to control the narrative and got his message out. As a political junkie, these things are really interesting to me.

I'm glad I had faith in him even back then. (This was August of '07!) And I'm glad so many of us had faith (and, if you'll pardon me, hope) that a black man could be President. It's obvious Obama was elected for more reasons that just his race but it's good to see we didn't let that stop us.

Now, it's time to make predictions about his term in office... which I'll leave up to someone else, thank you very much!

Oba... ie the way...

Tomorrow is the big day. Vicky is taking the day off work to see the historic event. Two thirds of the country is going to pack itself into Washington, DC. And the oceans will part.

I swear. It's like the third coming of Jesus or something.

So, I figured I should comment... after all, that's what I do.

Here's the thing. Obama is just a guy. People seem to forget this. He's just a guy. A smart guy? Sure. An able guy? Of course. A perceptive guy? Honest? Hard working? You bet. You'll hear no argument from me.

But he's just a guy.

I keep hearing people talk about Obama and all the HOPE he's bringing, as if he's bringing Utopia - and I don't mean the band! Hell, even Mannie has caught Obama fever! And I'm afraid of what's going to happen the minute he fails at something. Or when he makes a mistake. Or when these hyperbolic expectations fail to get met.

People. Listen. He's just a guy. He'll do some good. He may do a lot of good. But he'll also screw up on occasion. Okay? Can you deal with that?

Because I'm afraid you can't. I'm afraid of what the Republicans are going to do the minute they see a chink in the armor. Oh, they're all bi-partisan now - they have to be - but the minute the see an opening, you and I know they'll go for blood. That's how it works.

So, do me a favor, stop putting him on a pedastal. He didn't ask to be there. All he wanted was to be President... not God.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Welcome to 1967...

I couldn't believe it. I even had to ask.

It was true. At my place of employment, people have started putting post-its on conference room doors. "This conference room is reserved by Bob's team for Thursday, 1/15 2-3pm." "This conference room is reserved by HR for Monday, 1/19 10-11:30." And on and on.

Turns out, this is my company's new - and, sadly, official - method of reseving conference rooms.

Boy. Just think how easily this will be once they invent computers!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kitten of the Sea....

Okay, listen, I understand PETA wants us to start referring to fish as "sea kittens" in an attempt to make people eat less fish.

Fine. I get that.

But, I wonder… if fish are “sea kittens” does that make cats “land fish”? Have they considered the possibility that instead of eating less fish people might start eating more kittens.

Mmmmm... kittens....

Monday, January 12, 2009

Some things you just don't do...

And this entry will tell you how.

Seriously, I was in traffic school this weekend. You should never feel guilty about traffic school. Ever. But here I am. Ken... married... guilty...

I wouldn't even mention this except, well, I figure this is My Side - emphasis on MY - and I should be able to say these things somewhere, right?

Right?

Is it wrong to fall in love with your traffic school instructor?

Her name was Carla, and I didn't even notice her until she started speaking. Hell, I hadn't slept for three nights before; I was half asleep as I plodded in. But then, this little latina women, appearing like a cross between Vicky and Lisa Nelson (my first crush back in second grade), started talking about how a good perspective can create a positive attitude. She used the first half of the traffic school class like a motivational speaker! And, when I noticed her, I realized she was... making me think things a married guy wasn't supposed to think.

Listen, things between Vicky and I haven't been perfect lately and it's easy for me to think about insurance in case things get worse. But I wasn't going to make my admiration for this woman what this was going to be about. Because we have options. I can go right from "She's amazing" to "Let's see if she's single" and ruin my marriage in the process, or I can just stop at "She's amazing". And she really was. Beautiful, smart, funny... amazing... everything Vicky was when I first met her.

And the fact is, Vicky still is these things. Sure, I've got some issues with her aversion to exercise. There are some things I wish she'd work on. She isn't quick to give affection and she's often cold. And I'm starting to realize that I had some of these same problems with Rosa. But that doesn't mean I should hope Carla's going to be standing behind Door #3. Instead, I need to invest in the relationship I've got. So, I watched Carla do her thing and enjoyed watching Carla do her thing and actually enjoyed my day at traffic school.

Then, I went home to Vicky.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

What is this thing called FRAUD...

And here's a follow up to the story of our very depressed engineer who moonlights as a writer (see below) ...

We finished the datasheet. Now, the sales department can begin selling it.

One problem: The product doesn't exist. In fact, it can't exist. The company can't afford the investment required to make it.

So, they're going to sell it and delay shipment (because they don't have it) until they have enough orders to justify actually making the product.

Hmmm... they're selling a product that doesn't exist... where's my dictionary? I think I want to look up the word "fraud".

Defeatism as Corporate Culture...

As I might have mentioned, my position here at work - in fact, my entire team - is pretty unnecessary. Our job description is to create datasheets and product packaging but nobody lets us write and the graphics and layouts are done elsewhere.

But sometimes, something slips through... and sometimes it gets scary.

So, yesterday before I left, I was given a datasheet to proofread. I was given it by an engineer who had written it from scratch. I asked, "Do you want me to correct it?" He said, "No. I just want to make sure all of my writing is in there as I wrote it." Right.

So, I went over it this morning. It was for a product that has been stripped down because my company can't afford to make it with all the bells and whistles the engineer wanted. Here's what it said, "While most ____ have (features we don't include), (our product) keeps it simple." Seriously, it said "keeps it simple" to mean "just can't do it". It went on to talk about all the features we won't be offering, one paragraph at a time...

So, being stupid, I went over and asked the engineer if he was sure he wanted to go this way. (I know they'll eventually blame me because I'm supposed to be the writer, even though they won't allow me to change what the engineers write.) He said, "What's wrong with it?" I replied, "Usually, marketing writing tries to find the virtue in a product and emphasize that." His answer, "But this isn't marketing writing. It's for sales!"

... at which point, my brain imploded...

I gotta find a new job.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

How to know when you work for the insane...

This was actually said by my employer today with regards to business development:

"It's not just that you're supposed to guess. The trick is that it's a good guess."

Come the Revolution...

You know what you don't hear about any more? Revolution.

Used to be that you'd hear people talk about it all the time. There were black revolutionaries, hippie revolutionaries, radical revolutionaries - plenty of people wanted to change the world in a revolution. Then, sometime during 1980's I think, it just went away... during the Republican Revolution, I think.

I was thinking about revolution the other day and how that's the one thing folks in power want to avoid. They want to keep their jobs, you know? The Romans had a great way of supressing revolution: shows and 'ho's. They gave their citizens the finest competitive sports of the day, gladiators, along with plenty of booze and fun. The Nazi's gave people bread; that's all it took.

And now, I think we've been silenced by iPods and cell phones and pcs and satellite radio, technology has lulled us to sleep. The poor can be ignored, the hungry silenced, the homeless unseen, and the disenfranchised tuned out like magic.

Now, of course, the Republican Revolution is over and they're left with the doomed figureheads of Palin and Jeb Bush, Mitch McConnel and Limbaugh. And I wonder... It was never the Republicans who shut us up even though they benefitted from our greed. I wonder if now in a time when people are losing their jobs and their homes and their savings, when digital media is less of a priority and food to eat more of a necessity, I wonder if we'll hear that word again.

Revolution.

I pity Obama if that comes to pass. It won't be his fault.

It's all about timing.

Monday, January 05, 2009

War for Peace...

When I saw this headline today, I was struck by the irony - Isrealis will keep killing Palestinians until there's peace.

Now, there's a valid argument either way as to who shot first. We'll never know. But it says something about how easily we humans can rationalize murder on any scale that things like this can be said with a straight face.