Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Senioritis

I am starting to hit "the wall" with school. Maybe it's that there's other parts of my life starting to emerge and develop but I just am tired of the whole academic thing. Thank goodness I actually enjoy my classes this term. If I was this academically fatigued in classes I was apathetic (or even just ambivalent) about my drive would completely fail.

Tomorrow I get to go to a retinal specialist to check out what my opthamologist called "Probable Ocular Histoplasmisis Syndrome" that we caught on my eyes a couple weeks back. He says it's probably nothing to worry about, that something like 90% of people in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys have it, but it's something that should be monitored. So I'm not worried, but for a day or so (between the regular eye checkup and my appointment with the opthamologist) I was a little worried. Just makes one realize how close we sometimes come, and appreciate my sense of vision all the more - even if it is something like 20/500 or something.

Afterwards I'm going to a "First Rehearsal Cocktail Reception" at the theater group I want to do board work for. it's part opening rehearsal for their next show (Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard) and part reception for the board and big donors. Such a grownup thing to do. I hope there's someone there who's remoely my age. After that, I'm making arrangements with the girl to choose a halloween party to go to this weekend. I've already found a couple of good candidates, but one needs to see which she will find most appealing.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Whoa, it's been a while

I assume that almost all of my non-public thought I was dead. The truth is that I am not dead but rather that my life has all of a sudden decided to ratchet up the drama level and excitement for no good reason other than good-natured spite. This drama basically revolved around three central factors:

1) School. But almost all of you know about school and how nuts it gets me sometimes so it doesn't brook much more discussion.

2) Old friends. Many many moons ago (gosh, probably about 5 years) I had a falling out with a very dear friend of mine over her choice of boyfriend. Not a jealousy thing, mind. But rather a genuine belief that he was not good news. I don't feel a need to describe in detail why I felt this way, it was enough that I did and I felt I had good reason to. We haven't spoken since that day, but it made me sad that I had lost that friendship. And, in time I came to realize that many of my assumptions were not based on personal interactions with the guy but rather hearsay and perspectives of people who weren't me. And I was also growing up a tad. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to try and get back in touch, admit my thick-headedness and try to salvage the friendship. I was ecstatic when she wrote back, and we emailed back and forth. Turns out she's recently married the boy. And the way I see it, she's a good judge of character, so I'll give him a shot. We're meeting for brunch this Sunday to catch up, and I'm really glad.

3) Women. Or rather one, particular woman. For those of you who know me, my life with the ladies is one of happenstance and typically involves dating people I know through other means. So imagine my surprise when I started chatting with a complete stranger at a friend's party. We hit it off and made arrangements to go out the next weekend. Things went well and I've seen her a couple times since then. She's fascinating. And that's all I'll say for now, since I'm trying to keep a level head about this. But that's the other reason why I've been a bit distracted lately.

Oh, so exciting, this whole "life" thing...

Thursday, October 07, 2004

How's *your* moral compass?

I stole this, but it's interesting. Plus I thought it might provoke debate.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a dilemma...

With all your honor and dignity, what would you do? Please don't answer without giving it serious thought. By giving an honest answer you will be able to test where you stand morally.
The test features an unlikely, completely fictional situation, where you will have to make a decision one way or the other. Please read slowly and consider each line- this is important for the test to work accurately.


You're in Florida... in Miami, to be exact. There is great chaos going on around you, caused by a hurricane and severe floods. There are huge masses of water all over you. You are a news photographer and you are in the middle of this great disaster. The situation is nearly hopeless. You're trying to shoot very impressive photos. There are houses and people floating around you, disappearing into the water. Nature is showing all its destructive power.

Suddenly you see a man in the water, fighting for his life, trying not to be taken away by the masses of water and mud. You move closer. Somehow the man looks familiar.

Suddenly you know who it is -- it's George W. Bush!

At the same time you notice that the raging waters are about to take him away, forever. You have two options. You can save him or you can take the best photo of your life. So you can save the life of George W. Bush, or you can shoot a Pulitzer prize winning photo, a unique photo displaying the death of one of the world's most powerful men.

And here's the question (please give an honest answer):

Would you select color film, or rather go with the simplicity of classic black and white?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Zombification

I'm not quite dead, although the total lack of activity here would probably be proof to the contrary for many of you. I've been crazy busy the last few weeks traveling to exotic destinations, hosting out-of-town guests, and getting moved around at work to a new boss and new responsibilities but basically the same old job I'm getting tired of.

Yes. I can admit it now. I'm not quite sure what got me started thinking about it, probably the fact that almost all my friends that work there have left (at least those I started with) and I am no longer stimulated by the work, and worlds of options have been recently opened to me through b-school, and finding out what kind of jobs are out there that might be fun (even if I would have to pay for my health benefits). I've been where I'm at long enough and am now starting to plot my exit strategy. I'm not sure what it is yet (like I said, I'm just starting and plotting is a complex business) but when I get there I think I'll know. I'm not even sure what I want to do...something with non-profits. But at the same time I also have a mortgage now and enjoy eating food other than ramen noodles (only one packet left, dammit doesn't food magically appear in the freezer! It makes me seriously consider Peapod. Wait a minute, this aside has cone completely off topic...).

I don't know where I'm going with this, but it feels better to say out loud that I now know that Industrial distribution is not for me. Now to repeat that many, many, many, many, times and see what happens to my resolve.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Priorities, people

What does it say about the priorities of americans when you see someone living in a trailer park driving a Ferarri. Suddenly, I feel almost no pity for this guy. His house is destroyed, but at least he can sell the car and use the money to buy a whole new trailer house...

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

School of bad parenting

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 1st Annual "Idiot Parent of the Year" award. My nomination - Phil Parlock from Huntington, WV for bringing his kids to this little escapade. Now, I'll be the first to sing the praises of free speech when it comes to politics. I believe that people who want to protest political events by showing up and carrying signs proclaiming their beliefs should be allowed to do so because they are aware of the consequences of what they do (hostility from their opponents who are present, possible arrest or hair pulling). Guys like this, however, who bring little children to campaign rallies are doing so in a pathetic attempt to use them as a shield against being confronted. It's absolutely friggin awful. Good god guy, let them become embittered when they're adults and actually have to pay attention to this stuff. Does he really think his 3 year old would support Bush if she knew how much extra she was going to pay in taxes to support his reckless expansion of federal spending plus unrealistic tax cuts? Not to mention the therapy she's going to need to overcome what must be an absolutely horrific experience for someone so young. She doesn't see the difference between her sign and those everyone else is holding up, so suddenly when everyone else takes hers and rips it up - she's going to think it's because everybody doesn't like *her* - that it's somehow *her* fault.

If I ruled the world, I'd get to smack him around personally, take his kids away and have them adopted by people who have passed comprehensive courses in good parenting taught by Mr. Rogers. I know that sounds extreme, but I'm *really* steamed at that guy...

A new record holder!

Stillwater biker tagged going 205 mph

For those of you following along at home, we're continuing the Strib's line of crazy-fast drivers. Here's the latest: 205 mph.

On a motorcycle. Talk about taunting death. But frankly, I don't much care. Idiots like this would be run down by predators if mother nature had anything to say about it.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

I'm back, from outer space

I just returned from a weekend in KC visiting some of me hearties from the days sailin' the Minnesotan main. Arrr, twas some good times. (Did *you* know that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day?). It was two days full of drinkin', gamblin', dancin' and drag queens.

Yup, I went to my first gay club this weekend for a drag queen show and then some dancing upstairs with some friends. We figured that since most of the weekend would be spent doing what we always did back in high school, we'd have a night just for our friend Matt who came out senior year. It was wicked fun, the drag queens were witty, drinks were cheap, I was called "hon" by the bouncer - a large man with a handlebar mustache - and I got to watch two of the hottest lesbians I've ever seen dancing together. That, in particular, was good. It was also an educational experience. I learned that gay men like to watch themselves dancing way more than straight guys, hence why the entire dance floor was surrounded by mirrors.

The rest of the weekend was just spent playing darts, drinking, and teaching my friends to play poker games other than the Texas Hold'em they've seen on television (believe me, after playing that for 3 hours, it gets old really fast). All told it was a fantastic weekend and I'm ready to rock for work this week before headin' out to kick it with my homey jPo this weekend.

Also, if you haven't heard of a band called Scissor Sisters, go over to iTunes right now and download their song "Take Your Mama" - it's a great tune. The whole album is really good, but that's the song I've been listening to on repeat for about the last hour or so. Woo-hoo!...

...I mean ARRRRRRR!!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Hairsnatching is not a crime

In my daily perusal of the Minneapolis Star/Tribune (the only paper I read regularly, this despite the fact that I haven't lived in Minnesota since 1997) I ran across this article that will be the topic of my rambling today.

It's time that we, as a society rose up and helped bald men recognize that toupees are the worst idea ever realized. We need to get them into treatment programs, give out free shaving kits, whatever, because these kids are not the problem. Bald men are. Bald men who accept that a toupee is an acceptable thing in society. We should *all* be running up and snatching toupees off the heads of the so-attired. Come on guys, grow up and respect your masculinity! You wouldn't have turned out like that if you hadn't had so gosh darn much testosterone to begin with.

Same thing goes for comb-overs. Only instead of snatching the hair, we should muss it up like they are four year olds.

Is allergy season a *surprise*!?

As everyone knows, I work in an office environment - just like many other people, including at least 50% of my reading public on this blog. And my question is why is it that every spring and fall, people with allergies act as though the onset of their sniffles is a complete shock to them? I am sitting right between two people who, every few minutes, engage in a nose-blowing and sniffling frenzy that borders on orgasmic.

I really want to know why these people don't understand that there are things they can do about it? They seem resigned to just suffer through, sniffling every 20 seconds and driving me insane. It's not like it's expensive as we have the best health care plan I've ever heard of (everything's free) and it's not like they don't know what it is (they all complain about it upon arrival in the morning as part of morning banter). Yet they do *nothing*. I mean how could they not have seen an ad for Claritin, or Allegra, or any of the other million allergy pills out there? They don't *look* Amish...

I just don't get it. But I feel better now after this little rant. Thanks.

Monday, September 13, 2004

I give up

For the life of me I can't figure out how to add the list of links to other people's blogs to this page. I've looked at the options and preferences and all the other stuff and I can no longer remotely try. I surrender. As a techno-geek, I feel small...

Meanwhile, everyone root for Ahman Green in MNF tonight. He's my last player playing on my fantasy team tonight and I'm only down by 2 points....

...wait, now only down by one! Keep clapping if you believe in fairies kids!

I love fantasy football, it provides meaning in my otherwise dull and dreary existance. yet, sometimes I feel like I'm the only one of my friends who plays it.

Friday, September 10, 2004

The anthropology of trailer trash

I come from the land of large trailer parks, so I like to think that I know something about their sociology. This is not to say that everyone who lived in mobile housing is "trailer trash" per se. I had some friends of mine who lived in the trailer park. However, amongst the trailers there are two subsegments of society: regular people and true "trailer trash". Let's have some fun and try to improve our understanding of how to spot the latter in the wild, shall we? Take a gander at this and try to note which anthropological markers might identify these folks as "trailer trash" as opposed to their more mainstream bretheren. DO NOT READ AHEAD UNTIL YOU'VE COMPILED YOUR LIST! Unless you are a complete cheater...

Answers:
1) Keeping an alligator as a pet...in the bathtub
2) Living in a mobile home (obviously)
3) Woman in the dispute was a biter
4) Argument started over a lack of alchohol
5) Argument involved throwing of empty beer bottles (trailer trash just leave them out in the event of a fight where they'd need ammo)

The sad thing is that this guy probably thought that using the alligator to attack his girlfriend was an equivalent response. Since she bit him, maybe he didn't have his dentures in and felt it was appropriate to use a surrogate set of teeth...

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Why God, Why?

Seriously, why is it that people think this guy is actually doing a good job? I really want to know. I understand that people think he's got good morals ("Bombing arabs is what Jesus would *want* us to do") or that he's affable in an "I'd like to have a beer with the guy" sort of way. But he just lacks any sort of intellectual substance. I am disappointed on a daily basis that the ignorification of America has progressed to the point where this is now acceptable. Don't we want someone smart to be running the country? Wasn't it just a few years ago that everyone was nervous about something happening to Bush the first because it meant (god forbid) that tweedle-Quayle would become president? I blame the death of quality public education...

Movies I saw this weekend...
Girl Next Door: :-) (Pretty funny, and Elisha Cuthbert is really, really hot)
School of Rock: :-] (The Jack Black show, but still held its own)
Bad Santa: :-P (Oven-baked garbage, the worst movie I've seen in *years*. I hated all the characters)
About Schmidt: :-) (No wonder Jack got the Oscar nom. If I don't get married in the next few years I wonder if that's what'll happen to me)

Friday, September 03, 2004

No wonder everybody loathes politicians...

This is awesome. I love the truth, especially since we've heard so little of it over the last few days during the RNC.

I think HL Mencken said it best when he said "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."

Makes me wish I'd watched more of the Olympics...

Friend of mine at work sent me this today. I laughed, so I'm sharing. I just lose more respect for Paul Hamm with each passing day.

Here are the top nine comments made by NBC sports commentators during the [2004] Summer Olympics that they would like to take back:

1. Weightlifting commentator: "This is Gregoriava from Bulgaria. I saw her snatch this morning during her warm up and it was amazing."

2. Dressage commentator: "This is really a lovely horse and I speak from personal experience since I once mounted her mother."

3. Paul Hamm, Gymnast: "I owe a lot to my parents, especially my mother and father."

4. Boxing Analyst: "Sure there have been injuries,and even some deaths in boxing, but none of them really that serious."

5. Softball announcer: "If history repeats itself, I should think we can expect the same thing again."

6. Basketball analyst: "He dribbles a lot and the opposition doesn't like it. In fact you can see it all over their faces."

7. At the rowing medal ceremony: "Ah, isn't that nice, the wife of the IOC president is hugging the cox of the British crew."

8. Soccer commentator: "Julian Dicks is everywhere. It's like they've got eleven Dicks on the field."

9. Tennis commentator: "One of the reasons Andy is playing so well is that, before the final round, his wife takes out his balls and kisses them . . . Oh my God, what have I just said?"

Thursday, September 02, 2004

A turning point

I just figured out that kids starting high school this year, were born during my freshman year of high school. I've hit the halfway point and it's freakin' me out a little bit. Not as much as it did when I turned 20 (I think that no time in my life will be more tempestuous than that, my quarter-life crisis) but still. But still, to think that about half of this year's new high schoolers were born in the 1990's and don't remember anything about the Gulf War, New Kids on the Block, You Can't Touch This, etc. It's mindblowing.

In light of my newfound appreciation for high school nostalgia, I present today's fun website of the day, presented by my dear friend (yes, from high school) Sara. Remember getting your senior pictures and the agony and ecstacy composing little missives on the back to all those who requested one - both those who were our dear friends, and those we only kinda knew? How many times did you use the magic phrases below?

"Stay in touch" (This is the last you'll ever hear from me)
"Remember [insert teacher here]'s class!" (I have nothing else in common with you)
"Best friends forever" (Or until college starts)
"Stay sweet!" (invariably written on almost every senior picture you got from the hot girls who were your friends but didn't want to date you)
"Thanks for being you" (instead of whom?)
"luv ya!" (No I don't but I'm a girl and I can get away with saying this)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Work-related rambling

So there's been a bit of dearth to figure out what the heck to write in this thing. But then, as I was reading through the archive of the "Washingtonienne" blog [aside - that girl is crazy - I can't believe she's become a celebrity for it I bet she'd still be wallowing in obscurity if she wasn't decent-looking] it struck me that this would be a quick way to just email everyone about stuff going on. Which seems a more practical thing than using it as a repository for musings. So, I'll probably have to actually tell people about this. I hope their hopes aren't high, it doesn't make my life any more interesting.

Today's commentary on weird news. Ordinarily, I would think that the person who tried to pass off this counterfeit bill was an idiot. But then again, the store actually seems to have accepted it! Still, I have to give mad props to the woman for the thoroughness of her design. I mean she changed every single part of the bill: denomination, person depicted, serial number, building shown on the back, signatures. Damn...that's good stuff!

I love wednesdays because it's breakfast burrito day at the work cafeteria. Mmmm...sets the tone for my whole day.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Okay, so my life is a little dull

I've really had little to talk about for the last 5 days. Amazing, but true. The first part of the week was spent prepping for a presentation at school Wednesday, and then yesterday I just laid around resting, relaxing, and watching pre-season football. I can't wait for the season to start. I'm so desperate for football that I was watching the Giants/Panthers game for the love of pete, and neither team has much in the way of fantasy players, but that may change after the draft in a couple weeks.

Speaking of school, my group paper went much better than I thought it would. 94%! Whoda thunk that a group where we almost never met and worked in near-isolation would result in perhaps the best score I've ever had on a big project? There are clearly things about the b-school experience that I just won't ever understand.

Tonight my friend Joe is in town for the weekend. We're going to his favorite local bar - Joe's. I'm giddy with ambivalence, as I'm not a big fan of the bar scene, but it will be nice to get out again for once.

Sheesh, this blog is boring. No wonder nobody reads it. Maybe someday I'll decide on a format or topic to stick to and it'll get more interesting. Then again, maybe one day my life will get interesting. But I'm not holding my breath.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Weekend, wow

Typically, my weekend activities are pretty non-existant. So imagine my surprise to find myself with stuff going on every weekend between now and...well, at least the end of September. Last weekend was full of meeting non-profit folks while trying to evaluate potential organizations to do board work for and going to see Garrison Keillor at Ravinia. This weekend my friend Joe is in town for the airshow (and maybe my friend Catherine on Sunday night for auditions). Next weekend is Tony Bennett for Tom's birthday (I'm bringing glow-sticks galore!). Labor Day weekend I'm hosting folks on Sunday and cooking dinner for something like 7-8 people. The 10-11th I'm free but the 17th-19th I'm in Kansas City visiting friends from high school. And the 24-26th I'm in Santa Barbara for a wedding. My question is: How does this happen? I am a little uncomfortable having this much stuff to plan for and around. Thankfully I don't have class for most of September, so I don't have that added stress to worry about. And most of the things I'm doing will involve friends whom I love dearly and am really looking forward to seeing. It won't be as bad as I'm making it out to be I'm sure. But still, that's a lot of stuff...

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Catching up on sleep

I enjoyed 8 hours of sleep last night fro the first time since last weekend. Soo nice. Naturally, though, this means two weird dreams to log.

#1) I ended up going to Cleveland on business for some reason, and my flight got cancelled so I decided to go visit my friend Joe, who has just bought a new condo out there that is supposed to be really cool. When I showed up, I found that it was less like a townhouse and more like a college dorm. And the huge condo that Joe had turned out to be about 800 square feet and painted pink - like a girls dorm. I was a little shocked, but he was so excited about it that I didn't say anything.

#2) This was harder to remember, but I recall being in a big, very nice hotel where there were many elevators, some of which were private, but the keys were left in the hole, so anyone could use them (yes, you used keys to operate the elevators. The public elevators were regular size, but the private ones were only big enough for one person. I was there to meet my friend Joanne to talk about a wedding we're supposed to go to later this year. Then Joanne left to go smoke cigars with this other woman who had a really sophisticated lighter that would reach a million degrees. I then started to leave but ran into my friend Jen and somehow we ended up running from the law through some sort of blade runner-esque future city. Jen got away and I had to crash my futurecar over the edge of some bridge or causeway in order to escape.

Needless to say, I'm all excited to see what happens tonight!

Friday, August 13, 2004

An audience of one

I've come *this* close to actually telling some of my friends about this blog but at the last minute changed my mind. And I always feel okay about that afterwards. I figure that if and when I ever decide to emerge from my isolablog lifestyle I'll do it only when I really feel it's appropriate. Besides, I don't know that I've ever written anything that's interesting enough for anyone other than myself to read. What's the point of publishing yourself to the world when you're not saying anything of interest?

I had a dream last night that I lived in this bizarre treehouse/apartment building. I started off living there all by myself and enjoying finding all these secret doors. Then I got a downstairs neighbor who raised potbellied bigs that by the end of the dream had evolved into French Standard Poodles. Meanwhile I found that a bunch of friends of mine fom high school and college were living together in an alley behind the house. There was much drinking involved and my friend Justin passed out while we were throwing some sort of gummy foodstuff at each other. Then I was working on a movie shoot that was filming in some sort of military base. I had to film the arrival of the main actor (in this case, I think it was Will Smith) who was playing the president or something. It was really crowded, and after the scene was finished we had to run to shoot the next scene and it was really pretty chaotic. That's when I woke up. The moral of this story is that I have really bizarre, stream-of-conciousness dreams. Joyce has nothing on me.

Also last night I went out to a farewell fiesta for my dear friend Jenn who is leaving me to go study french literature at Berkeley. She's an absolute sweetie and I will miss her very much. But now I'll have one more reason to go visit the Bay area - I have quite the collection of buddies out there. I'm only sad becuase I wasn't able to stay out very late. I've been so sapped by finishing my paper for my turnarounds class that I hadn't gone to sleep before midnight in about a week. So let me tell you, I got almost 8 hours of sleep last night and I feel like a new man. That's a particularly good thing because I think I was starting to get a cold (had a sorta-sore throat) but this morning I feel okay. This weekend will involve much sleeping I think, as I try to catch up.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Whether 'tis nobler...

There is apparently a competition in my homestate to see who can get pulled over for speeding the most over the speed limit. The current leader was doing 120. This guy is from my hometown, and I'm not sure whether to be proud or ashamed.

The weird thing is that this is *news* where I come from. I mean, if it's in the Strib anywhere that guarantees that it's front page news in the good ol' Alexandria Echo Press. I mean let's examine two example headlines from this week: "Big Fun in Forada" and "City Adopts new Sidewalk Rules". Yup, I come from a crazy place. Somebody doing 120 would be a scandal, there would be town hall meetings where this guy will be alternately hailed as a hero or a menace. Thank goodness school's starting soon so that football can get everybody to focus elsewhere.

For the record, the fastest I've ever driven is 130. I'm not saying where, or whether or not doing so was legal at the time. Regardless, in the end *I'm* the winner. Yay me!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Technology dependance

I was going through my work mail the other day, chucking mass mailings and various industry magazines discussing the miraculous new product developments in door hardware when I got to the envelopes. Now, I have one of those neat little razor-blade letter openers which makes opening the mail fun. I looked in my drawer to find it but it wasn't there! I started to panic, where was the letter opener! What if I had lost it! How would I ever open my mail again!?!?

Then it struck me that I don't, in fact need a letter opener to open letters. A sense of chagrin came over me. Why had I become so dependant on a letter opener? What did this say about me as a man? Or as a human being? I resolved to open my mail sans letter opener...

...but then I found it. I fell off the wagon pretty quick. It's just more fun to open mail with the opener.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The joy of math.

Today is a red-letter day. A day to celebrate, a day that I never thought would actually come.

Yes, all my non-readers, today is the first day that I ever used the Pythagorean Theorem to solve a real-world problem. I mean I've used it before, but it was always for purely theoretical pursuits or abstract mathemetical doodling. But today we needed to figure out the placement of mounting holes on a latch we sell, and the only way I could think of to do it was using the theorem. And it worked! I'd like to take the opportunity to thank my 7th grade algebra teacher Mr. Krentz who probably thought I was a talented but tragically directionless youth. You were right, it may have only taken 15 years, but it *did* actually have a use in real life.

Come to think of it, he's probably dead by now. Weird.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Expletives as URLS



I was finishing up my paper section when I was hit with the question "I wonder if there are any websites with expletives as the URL". Naturally, f*ck.com is a porn site (in retrospect, I should have guessed that), but sh*t.com is nothing at the moment.


The most interesting one I found in my albeit short search was the site for damnit.com. It turns out that that's actually a real company. And get what they do...web hosting. Let's think about this for a moment. When you think of someone to do your web hosting, how likely are you to use a company that is named for what you say when something goes *wrong*? I mean honestly...come on.

Just more proof that most people are idiots and supporting evidence as to why something like 75% of all new businesses fail.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Out and about Chi-town

This weekend I had some friends in town from my days in exile in Cleveland. So, while Friday was spent re-working my section of the final project for school, Saturday was my first chance to go out and fiesta since the painted-toenails debacle with Niki and Alison two weeks ago Monday. And since these friends are nowhere near as crazy as those girls, I figured my toenails would be safe this time.

The evening was grand. Good food and good company. And I didn't even feel weird about being the only non-couple out, mostly because I was enjoying myself. I've been really fortunate in my life to always end up meeting and making friends with good people. Quirky? Usually, but they are almost always good people. Makes one feel fortunate. Anyway, at this one bar I pulled a classic me and fell in love with the hostess. I have a nasty habit of falling in love with women I've never spoken to. Whether she is a hostess at a trendy bar, a character in a play, or someone on a TV show - those are the worst. I'm sure if I spent many hours and dollars in therapy I'd figure out why I was always drawn to the Joey Potters and Carol Vesseys of the television world instead of just going up to someone in a bar and striking up a conversation. I mean it's not like I'm a shy person, for pete's sake. For now I'm not worrying about it until school's done. I've got other things to worry about at the moment, like this paper I'm supposed to be working on right now but am procrastinating on.

Jeff Gordon won the Brickyard 400 today...and I still don't care. The magic of NASCAR continues to escape me. Go figure.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

America - the land of the Double Standard

So Mary Kay Letourneau was released From prison today after serving 7 years for child rape. It's a depressing enough story just on the face of it, woman living an (allegedly) idyllic life with her husband and four kids seduces one of her 6th grade students and ends up having two kids with him. I won't go into detail because if you're that interested you can find out about it yourself.

What I find irritating is how certain media outlets are spinning this story *so* differently from cases where the man is 35 and the girl is 12. There are people siding *with* Letourneau, who actually have the audacity to call their affair "love", and write as though the "happy ending" for their story is the two of them getting back together. Never mind that the ex-student is unemployed, "working on his GED" (quite the catch obviously) and has had little to do with the actual raising of his kids, a job taken on by his mother. These are the of people (man or woman) who should never be allowed to have kids to begin with. Am I the only person who thinks this? Probably not, but there are two reasons why she's getting all this love from the world, IMHO:

1) She's a woman, and a pretty hot woman at that. Not that it excuses what she did in any way, but look at it from the perspective of the reporters who cover the story. I mean when I was twelve, there's no way I would turn down an opportunity to live the stereotypical male, Van Halen "Hot For Teacher" fantasy. Nor would, I suspect, any male reporter covering the story. So logically , one could guess that by going easy on Letourneau, they are (consciously or not) allowing themselves to live that fantasy *with her*, figuring "nobody gets hurt". If they don't treat it as something horrible, then they are not horrible people by indulging themselves in a little imaginary "thought recreation". If you think this is crazy, ask yourself whether the coverage would be different if Letourneau looked more like Aileen Wuornos and less like Charlize Theron.

2) The "nobody gets hurt" philosophy of the Mrs Robinson relationship. I can't believe that people don't think that the student Letourneau had the relationship with wasn't hurt by this. I mean with all the attention the trial received there's no way he's going to lead a normal life. At 21, unemployed, and "working" on his GED it sounds like his life is already two or three tracks off the right one. And what about her kids? Both the two she had with the student and the four she had with her (now ex-) husband? I mean sure, her daughter's smiling in the release picture, but eventually she's going to have to come to terms with how she came into being. And somehow I suspect that neither her mother nor her father is going to have the emotional maturity to explain what happened with any sort of credibility so as to prevent these girls from a tidal wave of emotional problems of their own once they hit puberty. God help them. At least her ex-husband had the good sense to take his four kids with him to Alaska. Maybe they will have a chance at leading a normal life. Divorce is hard enough as it is without all the drama this particular one has brought.

So what's my point, you say. I guess I'm just frustrated at the state of the media these days. I'm tired of the "double standard society" that America has evolved into. "Your kids are fat but mine just have slow metabolisms", "juvenile crime is terrible but don't you *dare* raise my property taxes to property fund the public schools", "Violence on television and in video games is freedom of speech but Janet's naked breast is the end of civilization", "Interning Japanese Americans during WWII was injustice but interning Arabs at Guantanomo is fine because this time we're doing it *right*". The whole thing just makes me with I was British. If Bush wins in September I think I'll renounce my citizenship on grounds of the ignorization of America.

That's all.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Salvaging an entire day - and failing

I have come to the conclusion that it is really in my best interest that next quarter will be my last in grad school. Not that it hasn't been a great experience and not that I haven't made some absolutely fantastic friends, but I'm just tired. As Madeline Kahn sang in young Frankenstein - "So...Tired". After almost two years of constant reading and putting up with group projects where group members ranges from pretty good to mildly apathetic I'm just fed up with the process. It's not that I don't understand why group projects are all the rage in grad school, and I do appreciate not having to do all the work myself. But it's just mentally exhausting and I don't know how much longer I could hold out. I ended up taking today off work to try and redo my section and I found myself beating back apathy most of the day, which was nice and sunny outside - making it hard to stay focused. I ended up getting it finished around 3:00 and then taking the rest of the afternoon to relax. If only I could nap...

Still, I would kill for a couple hours back to do some readin-for-fun or something that would've gotten me out of the house. Benefit #2 to finishing school = no more having to use vacation days to do homework. Man, to actually *go* somewhere for vacation again...I'm nearly spasmatic with excitement and anticipation.

Wow, lightening's getting really crazy at the moment. I mean it's like the sky's on fire, except with electricity instead of flame. I'd better cut this a little short as I'm just a smidge worried about getting an electrical surge. It's not that I don't trust and love my surge protector, it's just with my luck recently I feel better not playing the odds. I promise I'll be more interesting tomorrow once I've slept off this feeling of non-accomplishment today.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Why does a person do this anyway?

No, seriously, I really want to know. I mean I understand the role of having a diary (or a journal, depending on how old you are/consider yourself). But I thought the whole point of having one of those was that it was a place to store one's deepest thoughts and secrets for later re-hashing and rumination. But by publishing one's deepest thoughts (and half-thoughts even) to the entire universe doesn't that pre-empt one's ability to look back on and reconsider what one may have said in the heat of passion? By that time it's too late, if anyone reads it you've already been judged on the face of your words. And if those words were particularly ugly there's no way to take them back - the ideas are already out and being ruminated about by the rest of the herd. Other groups of proverbial cows are out there discussing your thoughts and writing about them in their own blogs. It's scary.

But then, maybe that's the point. With the threat of an instant audience maybe we're supposed to think about what we're saying before you commit it to print. But then isn't that just self-censorship?

Ruminate...ruminate...ruminate...

Well, it's a stumper. Thankfully, since this is my first post of my first blog, nobody knows about it and nobody I know will be reading it, so I suppose there is time for me to just run blindly in without harming myself too irrevocably. And with luck I'll stay nice and unknown and able to pontificate on whatever topic I want. But in general I'd say my life is only marginally interesting. Some would call it a life of quiet desperation, but not me. I'm very noisy about my desperation.

The fun site for today is: http://www.foundmagazine.com. A friend of mine whom I used to work with emailed it to me last Friday, but because I'd already left work when she did I wasn't able to explore it with due diligence. It rules. Just little snippits of life's flotsam that is found and posted online for all to see. It's an interesting way to play the part of the "unintentional voyeur" - peeking into the bits of life that other folks are glad to be rid of. And since voyeurism seems to be all the rage today (e.g. reality television, celebrity "news" shows, US weekly, etc) this seemed like the least harmful way of doing it I've seen.

Well, lunch break is over, time to get back to work...

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