Wednesday, November 30, 2005
So while our topic this week isn't nailed down, I think that's exactly the point of the blogosphere. There is no set format, no common amount of rules that any blogger must follow. There are attempts to setup rules of blogging, but they often end up being failures or kind of creepy. A blogger should log when they feel like writing, click on that happy little green post button and just run with whatever their mind is thinking. This method of blogging will essentially create a valid representation of the blogger. Planned and well thought out blogs are just another form of journalism. Who wants more of that?
Truthfully, I'm more fascinated with what comes to people's mind spontaneously and in the moment. Lots of times I'll read an article on Slate or Salon and have the immediate compulsion to respond to it. I wont sit around James Wolcott style and plan out a deep and interesting response. I'll just write what I'm feeling at the time and hope it's good.
I suppose what I'm suggesting is that blogs could very easily be an effective representation of personality. Reading through my blog, I know immediately what was on my mind at the time I wrote something. I have actually become closer to myself through blogging. Even without being intentionally metacognitive, my blog has made me think about myself more then ever.
Of course the credit for this idea really comes from Elin and this article which made me think that we define ourselves by our blogs, even if it's unintentional. Elin writes "So while I admire my colleagues like Brett and Bill who are so free with the details of their lives on their blogs, it ain't me." Exactly.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Update: Yeah, that first one was kind of a disaster. This one seems a lot better...
Except the credit philosophy is creating this "Veruca Salt" mentality of wanting things immediately. We can't simply wait for the time when we are able to afford thing. We always want more and sink deeper into debt. Televisions, video game systems and new cars are what's valued.
I have dreams. I want bigger things for myself. But those bigger things aren't necessarily material. I want a nice place to live in with a family that loves me. I want to succeed at things I'm good at. I want to always try, even if I know that I may not succeed. I want these things because something inside wants to be a good person.
I recently used my credit card for a purchase that I consider important. It wasn't for a new computer, rims for my car, a PSP or new clothing. I bought a ticket to see my brother, who I only see about two weeks out of the year. That is more important than anything I could imagine owning.
I see people with everything and nothing at the exact same time. They own all sorts of fancy hosues, nice cars, new cell phones and a dirth of other things. Credit cards make our society want and have these things like never before, but they also make us value the wrong things. They also put our country into economical danger with overspending and people who can't pay off even the minimums on their cards. Where will we end up if this continues?
For a rebuttal to my argument, please consider this article from About.com.
Seriously, are these people just too polite to tell George thanks but no thanks? GOP candidates looking to be elected should be shuffling away from W as quickly as possible. But by all means, please continue helping your fellow candidates George. It can only help my fellow Democrats next year.
I'm forced to admit that this entire week I've been seriously toeing the line. Keeping up with my blog, most of you have been reading about my trials and tribulations with dating a certain female dark sith lord. I've been kind of bad about keeping the personal away from my blog.
Except, well, I'm not sure if I crossed the line entirely. There were times when I was tempted to write a posting ala Sarah Green but found that prospect entirely creepy. I did write something expressing my own deep personal feelings about whatever it was that happened. It's safely being kept in ashes somewhere at the bottom of a dumpster.
The idea is to balance on the line like Heather does. At Dooce, Heather gets personal enough to relate to, while never going into that uncomfortable zone where the reader feels they are getting too close. She is an excellent model of what a personal blog should be.
Being autobiographical does not mean you need to get deep and personal. Indeed, several semesters ago in a memoir class, we discussed how a writers uses many lenses to discuss how his or her life. So to does a blogger have lenses and filters at his or her disposal. Some bloggers have heavy filters, preferring to keep themselves entirely out of their writing. These blogs are failures because a casual reader has way too many impersonal outlets of media. An alternative form of media like blogging shouldn't bother trying to emulate the impersonal mainstream media.
Of course Colin, Irene is entirely correct that your column and the way you write inherently defines you in a personal way. I look at this column, which is about another person entirely, and see your emotional voice shining through. Okay, maybe I'm, just trying to bump my grade back up to a reasonable level. Still, it's a good column that helps prove my point that a good columnist and blogger will keep a necessary equilibrium between personal and impersonal.
Monday, November 28, 2005
Many hijinks ensued, including my friends forcing me to get read by a psychic tarot card drag queen who kept telling me how adorable I was. Yeah, I know, it's the way I smile in that innocent schoolboy way. I just can't help it.
She (he?) did give me some serious gems about my life:
My boyfriend is mad at me, and I need to deal with it immediately otherwise he will find a new man.
My mom is furious with me about a financial situation relating to me being a child. She also wears her hair in a bun, is really short and has a birthmark on her face.
I wear my emotions on my sleeve (you don't need tarot cards to figure that out).
I have a long lost brother who lives out of the country. He's probably tall, dark and handsome and when I find him I need to bring him over to talk to the tarot card reader.
She also at one point looked at me and asked "what the hell is wrong with you?" but gave no explanation as to why she asked that. Several things popped into my head, but I didn't feel like passing them on.
Afterwards, we had the prerequisite diner experience in which I ate far too much and then proceeded to feel sick for most of the night. Now that's classy.
She isn't a coward. What she did was very brave, and although it may hurt me, it was the right thing to do. I knew that things weren't right because when she stayed over I spent half the night awake wondering what I was doing. It was just way too awkward.
My brother, with all his sage wisdom, helped me come to this realization yesterday when we talked on the telephone. He told me about how I had abruptly broken off things with people when I didn't feel they were right and I responded by saying I at least gave the person a chance to see if it was right. He coughed a second, inhaled through his nose and said "yeah, but you were miserable the entire time you were giving them a chance."
Which ended up in one of those "oh" moments, and instantly vanquished the sadness I was feeling. He was right- I've always hung on to relationships too long hoping they'll sort themselves out, which is kind of cowardly itself. I hardly ever have the courage to break up with someone when I knew it wasn't going to last. Instead I let the relationsip linger and the person ends up getting hurt that much more.
LV, don't ever think what you did was wrong. You saved both of us a heck of a lot of heartache. And while I'll miss the way you laugh and hold my hand and stuff, there's always someone else who can do that. Ta!
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Nevertheless I sit back down and begin reading. The Courant had some interesting stuff this week, so I was rapt until the toddler walked up to me and decided to chat like we were at a single's bar in SOHO.
"Why are you alone?"
"Well, I'm waiting for this doctor friend of mine."
"Are you sick?"
"He's not that kind of doctor."
"Can I have that cookie?"
"Well, I sort of need it because I've been worried about my weight. I weighed in kind of dangerously yesterday and if I lose anymore weight, I could be in trouble. So lately I've been trying to gorge myself, but it hasn't been working. I'm not much of an eater, more of a coffee drinker and exerciser. I know this is kind of one of those weird American problems, but all throughout my life...hey, where are you going?"
My doctor friend walked in, winked at me and purchased a coffee. I continued reading my articles and my friend sat down and started talking. We talked about lots of stuff, mostly relating to boring adult things like poetry. I espoused how I was kind of upset that people were generally ignoring the academic things on my blog in favor of more personal and funny things (posts about this weekend will come soon) and he told me not to fret. Perhaps people are only commenting on the easier stuff to relate to. The girl toddler was busily playing hopscotch with the eclectic tiles on the floor. The boy was knocking over plastic mugs like he was bowling. I sighed deeply in an effort to get the parents? Attention, but no such luck. My friend snorted and we began discussing how nothing is sacred anymore.
About that time a girl on roller skates came in with her family. I nearly lost it. I felt like screaming "I just want to sit around, quietly read the newspaper and talk to my friend. Don't you people have other places to be, like family style restaurants!" But I kept my mouth shut and quietly brooded. The toddler began chasing another child around the coffee shop.
People need to learn that there are certain places for certain things. Starbucks is for relaxing and drinking a cup of coffee and maybe having the occasionally deep conversation. It is not for family time. There are lots of places to bring your family on a Sunday morning. Plus, what about the atmosphere of Starbucks says it is appropriate for young children? Sure Starbucks may make a frapuccino, which is kind of like a milkshake, but it is an adult milkshake. Do the chess boards or card tables suggest fun for kids? How about the classical music playing lightly over the speakers?
I know it's not the kid's faults. Kids will always be kids and have a massive amount of stored energy that will need to spring free. It's parents' responsibility to keep children in environments where they can express their energy in a more rewarding manner. Nothing about Starbucks is fun for a kid.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
The unfortunate thing is that I find myself completely unfunny right now because I'm using my best material for dating. Dating is time consuming and kind of emotionally draining with very little rewards in the beginning. My stomach churns, my palms sweat and my heart palpitates wildly. I miss just having a girlfriend to rely on.
Sad, huh? Like I said, I use most of my funny energy while dating, so when I get home I just kind of stare at walls. Please God don't let this blog become a treatise on how much this all sucks. I am still completely a fun-loving happy person.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
he crouches, peering at me
with deep saline
What is he thinking?
I do not know, but
he cocks his smooth
neck in an
His thick legs,
molded for jumping,
tense and he springs
onto icy sheets.
Cautiously, he presses
his dark nose
against my vanilla skin.
And I wonder-
What dreams do come
which are cracked
To show my face
which stretches down
anchoring my eyes
toward the floor.
To show my body
which has a beauty
beaten into it
from numerous repetitions
on gym machines.
To show my mind
which pops and sings
and sputters and coughs
I inherently respect a person's privacy because I've had people not respect mine. The LV explained to me that her blog is really more for her family and to keep her friends updated.
I overthink things and take statements out of context.
I will never be as confident as Papa Bill.
I'm at the beginning of a potential relationship that I like. This is rare for me, so I don't want to screw it up.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
What's fascinating about the poem is that Williams takes one of the most human tropes, that if you have too much pride you get burned, and twists it to suggest that none of it matters anyways. Instead of nature being a backdrop for us, we are a backdrop for nature, merely props in a sort of grand design of the world. Our deaths are expected, ignored and insignificant.
I would like to disagree with Williams, and to say that we all matter in the grand scheme of things. However, I think of the events of this year and wonder how many times we've all attempted to overcome nature, only to be thrown back by it. And I can't help but wonder if my own life will be "a splash quite unnoticed."
Okay that was kind of depressing, but worth thinking about. Maybe it doesn't have to be so depressing. If we cease to take ourselves so seriously, maybe we can live happier, more productive lives that aren't constantly wondering what the purpose of it is. If we are just another part of nature, lets be that and let everything else run its course. Why do I need to be so noticed anyways? It clearly doesn't bring happiness, but in fact creates more stress.
"So let me get this straight, she has a blog?"
"And she writes personal stuff about you on said blog."
"I think so. I'm not really sure."
"Dude, what the hell is wrong with you? This is your advantage. Advantage Brett."
"It's not fair."
"Well, why? I mean she never said you couldn't read her blog."
"Yeah, but she never said I could, and it's untrustworthy while dating. Besides, too much information can be bad."
"But you would kind of know how she feels about you."
"I kind of know now."
"Well when you wear your emotions on your sleeve the way I do, you get good at reading other people also. It's one of the small advantages of being a sensitive individual."
"So how does she feel about you?"
"She likes me, but is being cautious, like I am. I think she also doesn't want to rush into anything."
"But it would be so much easier if you just looked. She would never know."
"I would know."
"Emotions on sleeve thing. I'm not good at hiding my feelings. Plus, just because you can get away with something doesn't mean you should."
"I have an option."
"Oh boy, this should be good."
"Just hear me out- what if I read her blog and kind of filtered it out and only told you stuff I think you should know."
"R-dogg, you are a great friend, and I appreciate the fact that you would do that for me. But lets consider this theoretical framework. You read her blog, and you find out something deeply personal about me. Say, in theory she wants to break up with me. You would feel obligated to tell me?"
"Yes, I would immediately tell you."
"But temptation is a slippery slope. You may in the beginning search only for pertinent information about me, but feel compelled to read all about her. We drink a lot, so you might feel the need to tell me all about her one night."
"So how would that be any different than me reading her blog?" R-dogg exhales air quickly through his mouth. He's losing the battle and he knows it. I feel bad for him because I know he's just trying to be the sweet guy he is. But there are rules to follow.
"I guess you are right, but I just don't see why it's such a big deal."
"Well first, I have kind of an obsessive personality. I'm trying to keep things light and casual with her because I like her. She's cool and really nice and attractive and all. Every time I've rushed into situations, bad things happen. So I'm keeping myself backed off. Reading her blog would allow me to know way too much about her, and make me obsess over her."
"Kind of like you are obsessing right now?"
"Okay, you got me. But this is different, I'm making an argument about why I shouldn't be dishonest. I suppose I could be talking about any girl with a blog."
"So what are you going to do?"
"I'm going to go home, watch some television and fall asleep while reading. I may even play with Wendell a bit."
Monday, November 21, 2005
But there's this weird thing that's begun happening to me. Kim the library expounded on my blogging issues in a previous post saying "you get yourself into situations just to blog about them." Of course the infamous R-dogg didn't help when he suggested I go on a date merely to blog about it. That's just weird.
Yes, I've been going out more and becoming more social, dating more and creeping out of my shell. Isn't the internet supposed to have the opposite effect? Aren't I supposed to be blogging in my pajamas right now in my parent's basement?
It'd be hard to blog from my parent's basement since they don't have a basement and they live 1300 miles away. But thanks to the blog, I have acquired surrogate parents. Check out this argument mom and dad had over my recent dating. My mother doesn't even involve herself as much as Holly does. By the way Holly and Bill, your advice is always welcome. I like reading your comments and thinking about them.
Other rants, perhaps unrelated to my life, are forthcoming. For now, I feel kind of better having blogged. The Lady, if you've found this-sorry. I'm totally crazy about you, but not in the crazy way. Did that just make sense?
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Maybe the middle school/high school example of getting girls ends up being the paradigm, but man are they wrong. If you want to get a girl, be nice and sweet, tell her she's pretty and don't act like a jerk. Dude, what's the purpose of making a woman feel worse about herself so she will feel dependent on you? That's how to make a person completely and totally attached to the point where they will never grow themselves.
Maybe my man Bill can show these guys a thing or two about how to get a girl. He knows it all.
I'm fortunate that the lovely, intelligent and beautiful Lady Vader seems to pass such things off as charming, otherwise she'd have run for the hills by now. I suppose if all my weird flaws pop up in the beginning, she'll know how to easily tolerate them. But I'm looking to be myself, and for some reason I turn into the Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis one). My mind will not allow me to relax and just have a good time. It needs to constantly be nervous and on guard. To which, I feel the need to say-screw you subconscious! You may be winning small battles, but maybe by writing all this down I will win the war.
You finally begin moving your fingers towards hers, like a spider catching its prey. Slowly, not to alarm anyone. Steady on, moving one finger at a time, hoping to be gentle. Finally, you're in position and you back off. It's a necessary setback.
So you get yourself into position again, and this time you kind of slide your hand in a little more obvious manner. She is still merely watching the movie, maybe noticing your hand, but maybe not. Your hand glides towards hers and finally, just at the perfect moment, she moves her hand and you leap grabbing hers. She smiles at you, the tension clear, your arm relaxing.
But then your arm is so in pain from all the dancing that it's too sore to hold her hand for very long.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Which made me realize today, November 18th, he'd been dead for exactly ten years. It's funny how I've almost lived as much of my life without him as I did with him. Everything he did still influences me and the way I live my life. Every day I think about him, and wonder what he would have thought of me. I'll always miss him.
I took some time to explore South Park's claims about Scientology, and found them to be accurate. A wikipedia search accompanied with an old Time article suggested the depth of scariness of the Church of Scientology. If anything, South Park's criticism of the Church of Scientology was lightweight compared to what they could have done. and now I most stop for fear that my blog will be taken away from me in a long court battle.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I no longer love you. Over these past couple of months I've become stronger, faster and more agile. My cardiovascular abilities are fantastic. My blood pressure is low and my heart rate remains steady. I feel as if I'm a better person.
You haven't changed a bit.
Now don't get me wrong, you seem a little more buff and stuff, but that's not the only reason why we spin. Some of us spin for social reasons, to learn new things about each other and grow as people. You've made no attempt to get to know any of us and I'm sick of it. You never laugh at my jokes, instead giving me these strange looks as if I should be pedaling faster. Can't you see that I have feelings too?
I know this must be hard for you, but I need to move on and find a new spinning instructor. Please don't be sad, I'm sure there will always be other students willing to accept your cold, detached spinning style, but they just aren't me. I feel like a different person from when you started teaching me to spin and I just can't continue with this facade. It's over.
Of course I realize it will be a tough transition to another spinning instructor. My legs may get a little less muscular. But sometimes in life you need to make sacrifices in order to succeed and I am willing to go the distance to find another instructor. It may be a long journey, but in the end I'll hope to find my spinning boddhisatva. If the new spinning instructor just happens to be a sexy female, well that would be nice too.
I'll miss you and your beautiful spinning style (and body). You really are quite a good cyclist, but not so much on the social stuff. I suppose a part of me will always love you and your spinning, but I will bury that deep in the catacombs of my mind. Maybe someday, when times have changed, we can work out, but it is not this day.
Love for the last time,
There was like six months where I don't think I laughed once. Those were dark days where I spent most of the time worrying if my girlfriend (ex) was going to break up with me. My friends said that I no longer was fun to be around because I was so morose and concerned about her. In the end, we did break up. I can remember the exact moment when I realized how moribund I was acting. I was quietly eating lunch one day when one of my colleagues said something and out of the blue I made one of my famous amusing sarcastic comments. Everyone laughed and she looked at me and said "it's nice to have Brett back." That was the moment when I realized how damaged I'd been. It was kind of scary.
Since then I've made every attempt to not take things so seriously. There were alot of reasons why I broke up with my ex, but one of the main reasons was that I couldn't stop worrying. My mind was obsessed with the idea. So in recent relationships (which didn't work for one reason or another) I've attempted to stifle the impulse to worry, but it creeps up. So here's the deal:
I will no longer worry about stupid crap that I can't control. I will never be able to control it, and my attempts to control it only make my worrying worse. Chill.
There, I feel better.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Except I heard someone yelling in the hallway. My mind assumed the new neighbors hadn't been through a fire alarm yet, so I laid back down and waited for the fire trucks to come. I wanted to be out of the building and standing in the cold the least amount possible. Wendell looked at me nervously and I made sure to scratch his ears a bit to make him feel better. It was just another fire alarm, just another stupid joke.
But then I continued to hear people screaming in the hallway, so I got up. At this point it was still no big deal. I sleepily dragged some clothing on over my pajamas and moved to the door. I felt for heat, but felt none so was confident when I opened the door. A wall of smoke crashed into me.
Not knowing yet what to do, I ran to the window and opened it. At this point the cats looked frightened, so I told them everything would be fine, but in case it wasn't to jump out the window. Wendell cried and rubbed his face against mine. He would take care of his little sister if necessary.
They were still sitting at my desk when I decided I still had a chance to leave through a door properly. I hadn't seen any fire yet and there was a chance I could make it. So I wrapped a wet towel around my head and hit the floor. The smoke was thick and nasty as I crawled through the hallway. Places that were easily recognizable during the day had become confusing. Terrified, I realized that I didn't know where I was going.
Something they don't tell you about a fire is that ash collects on the floor. That ash, combined with a fire extinguisher someone had set off, created pretty large footprints. With a proper path, I made my way to the stairs. Other people on the hall were screaming, so I cried out hoping they would be able to find my voice. Several people met me at the entrance to the stairs and we walked down together. Finally I burst outside, coughing loudly. A sea of refugees from the building were standing outside, some with their animals and some with luggage.
The fire department rushed over as we all shivered out in the cold. I stood on the law looking at my window as Wendell was sitting quietly on the heater. A fireman came into my apartment and Wendell jumped over to him, demanding attention. I laughed quietly, realizing that they were out of danger. There was no need for the cats to jump out of the window.
Now I'm angry at whoever pulls the fire alarm as a prank, because they managed to dampen my response. If it wasn't for my a strange intuition, and people's screams in the hallways, I may not have left the building. Next time I'll know better when woken up by the fire alarm, but how many more false alarms will cause me to be apathetic when the alarm goes off?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I've recently gotten into a blog where the last entry was the girl breaking up with her boyfriend. Before that she posted daily for almost four years. After reading the last entry, I went back to her first entry and read through all her entries. The journey was terrific. Vlogs just don't have that kind of interest level for me. Normally I skip television (except House) because I don't find videography to be an intellectual pursuit. I have the same feeling while watching vlogs, but worse because vlogs aren't as elegant.
The thing is, writing errors are easy to ignore and look past in order to get to the right content. Errors in video stick out and effect that medium. I'm just not convinced that vlogs will become anything more than a small sub-genre of blogging.
Of course, Rocketboom mentioned how Zack Braff was keeping up a vlog, and I was immediately interested. Okay, it ended up he only did it once, but it was still interesting to watch. Of course, Braff is a celebrity and a pretty funny guy. He naturally takes to the camera. Most of us don't have the kind of charisma he has though, especially considering our society is obsessed with natural views of celebrities.
This medium may end up succeeding in the movie world, where movie productions have taken marketing to a whole new level. Peter Jackson posts a vlog on King Kong every couple of weeks. Bryan Singer's Superman also has a fascinating vlog. George Lucas recently padded his bulging wallet with his own vlog during the making of Revenge of the Sith. But really, these things don't count as real vlogs primarily because they are out together by professionals. Still, candid views of filmmaking are fascinating.
So I didn't punt but well I kind of punted. My quick final word on vlogs: good for a quick laugh but not much else.
My inner child is ten years old!
The adult world is pretty irrelevant to me. Whether
I'm off on my bicycle (or pony) exploring, lost
in a good book, or giggling with my best
friend, I live in a world apart, one full of
adventure and wonder and other stuff adults
How Old is Your Inner Child?
First and foremost, with Iraq in such a disarray it is bad to continually bring up the war. The president is continually reminding us of the debacle he brought us into. At this point, anyone who has reservations about the "War on Terror" doesn't need to be reminded of it. The new strategy of debunking the Democrats claim only serves to enhance their argument more as the news from Iraq gets worse. Plus, Bushs' claims that the entire country was behind him during the run up to the war suggest he is misleading us, or is in the early stages of dementia. Too many of us remember the fierce fighting against the war prior to it happening.
Secondly, the new "intelligence" claims Bush is making are easy to look up and prove wrong. Bloggers jumped on him immediately after he spoke of how all the intelligence led him to his decision and how everyone else was led to the same conclusion. Bush needs to realize that obvious lies can easily be disproven in the blogosphere. Remember, bloggers have just enough time, or possibly more time than a paid reporter. Recently, more mainstream outlets have picked up the story of Bushs' misleading speech and are reporting it widely. He is only succeeding in making himself look more foolish.
Bush should go back to the "smoke and mirrors" rhetoric that was working so well for him. Drawing attention away from Iraq to more vague threats makes people forget how poor the war is being handled. The man works well with leading people away from the real problem, and he is no longer doing that. Perhaps he needs to spend more time discussing Alito, and less time discussing our failing war.
Monday, November 14, 2005
This method has never worked for me. Ridiculous preparation for a date always gives me extra stress. Nervousness means I don't talk, which is awkward because I like talking. So we stare at each other and try and talk, but conversations don't flow. Nothing about it works well.
Which is why my date with The Lady Vader worked so well. I didn't have time to get nervous or prepare. Instead, I asked her to a quick coffee and was out of my apartment in about thirty minutes. I was wearing the same thing I put on that morning and threw a hat over my tousled hair. Easy.
So conversation did just flow, and I think that had to do partly with the fact that I wasn't super prepared and partly because we just clicked. Also, I think it's easier when to talk when there are books around, but maybe that's just me. So it was a good date in comparison with many, many poor dates. So I've got that going for me, which is nice.
And now it's time to worry about whether she enjoyed it as well, which is equally as fun.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
For the past couple of nights, R-Dogg's been my major wingman. In fact we've traded off the role, happy to assist each other. R-Dogg's been coaxing me into having a date with the Ladyvader, which may or may not happen tomorrow. Either way, we went out this evening with the intention of talking to some fine young ladies. Just a little 21st century courting.
Our first stop was a classy Hartford pizzeria, where we ate a light snack and drank some excellent beer. I identified with the bartender immediately who seemed really nice. She laughed at all my jokes, which is a good sign. R-Dogg was put off by her for some strange reason. I insisted we have another drink at the bar, and he allowed me to, but he kept telling me we needed to back off and go meet our friends at another bar. I kept trying with the bartender, but R-Dogg pulled out the nuclear option. He said "Brett, dude, we need to fucking leave." R-Dogg doesn't swear often, so when he does it's a big deal.
We went out to other bars and continued drinking while R-Dogg became an excellent DD. The major problem with most Hartford bars is that they are too jammed with people and way too noisy. No way of meeting a nice girl in a bar in Hartford. So I drank with my friends (I somehow ended up with a Jagermeister t-shirt) while R-Dogg covered my wing. I'm pretty sure he was desperate to find a replacement for the bartender. I just wouldn't shut up about her. I kept calling her "my future wife" or conversely "my future ex-wife" depending on my blood alcohol level.
Finally, my friends agreed to go back and get pizza at 1am. So I had a shot. I galloped back to the bar with R-Dogg and strode in. She gave me a curious look, remembering me from earlier. But apparently, beer goggles work the opposite way for me. Clarity took form and I saw what my wingman was saying. I ejected quickly, ate some pizza, and we all went home. So R-Dogg and I are even now. Maybe one day we can have the glorious Big Red vs. Humpback Pizza Bartender fight. God I need to find a good girl.
Okay R-Dogg there, I wrote while I was semi-inebriated. Can I go to bed now please?
Saturday, November 12, 2005
I'm sick of this attitude, like the majority should be outraged that they are not getting all the rewards. What's so bad about saying "Happy Holidays?" It's nice and very pluralistic because it suggests we are all living together in the same country. It's not right to suggest that we should all act like the people in charge. Wal-Mart is taking the time to suggest we are not all the same. Good for Wal-Mart, bad for John Gibson.
Friday, November 11, 2005
So my friend R-Dog and I get to the Tap around 3:30pm with my friend Preggers (who will be known as Preggers until her baby is born hurrah). We eat wonderful bar bites and hare war stories or work for awhile. This part is relatively normal until I explain what I have planned. For on this night I had simultaneously planned a happy hour, a date, my Trinity class and a Thursday drunk down. It was like the plot of a bad sitcom where the protagonist has to be at three places at once. Fortunately I didn't have to change my clothes.
The date is what really messed me up though. I occasionally do the whole internet dating thing, and so when a fellow teacher from a bordering town asked me if I'd like to hang out with her, I agreed. I'd never met her, but I'd seen several pictures of her. So I told her about the Tap happy hour and she agreed to meet me there around 5:30, which was an hour prior to class. A fellow teacher has to be normal, right?
Well, apparently not. For after I asked her to the Tap, she began telling me some of her interests. And while she isn't in to sex clubs and bondage, the alternative may even be worse. She shared with me that she had just recently written a fanfiction story that synthesized Star Trek and The Philadelphia Story. She was also obsessed with Darth Vader and referred to herself as the Lady Vader.
Now, I'm a fairly open minded fellow. I accept and embrace alternative lifestyles. So I didn't share my feelings about the date and certainly didn't retract the invitation. But my friends have a way of bringing out the worst in me, especially when we've been drinking. More people came to happy hour, and we continued drinking and I began to share stories about this poor girl. Folks were intrigued. The beautiful science girl who came to happy hour (I'm still not sure why I didn't just flirt with her) told me she was sticking around just to see this girl. Employees from where I worked hung around, hoping to catch a glimpse of the elusive Lady Vader. The 5:30 deadline approached. R-dog was definitely tipsy by 5:00 because he began to shout "look, it's Lady Vader!" to any girl that entered the bar. That was a bit embarrassing. He did the Vulcan hand thingee to a couple of random women. R-dog is a force to be reckoned with.
I suppose this is all my fault. We spent all happy hour making fun of this poor woman that by the time I was supposed to meet her I was terrified. Genuinely terrified. At one point the hot science girl told me that my hands were quavering badly. I must have inadvertently hidden myself, or somehow changed my features to look different, because Lady Vader never showed up. Later on someone at the table informed me that she had seen a brown haired woman that looked lost, but we couldn't confirm that report. I talked to random women (one beautiful girl in particular) and continued carousing while my fanbase, desperate to see Lady Vader, left disappointed. Instead Trinity people showed up and we had a nice time discussing blogging for a couple of hours. Not much debauchery happened in the back room of the Tap, so I can skip over those details.
The worse thing is that some of my friends stayed behind and continued to drink while I was in class. They left lewd texts on my cell asking me about Vader and the dark side and all sorts of irresponsible things. I tried staying away from them as long as I could after class because Trinity peeps and I were hanging. It was safer. But they inevitably went home and I was left behind with my drunkards.
I'm a nice guy, so I wont write the next part as badly as I could. Please don't jump on me for being sexist or a male chauvinist pig or anything. All I really remember about the rest of the night (I was tired not drunk, I stopped drinking after Dave cordially bought us a round of Jager) was that at around 1am R-dog was having some serious beer goggles. He wanted me to fly in formation with him to these two girls who clearly didn't want any guys to talk to them. They weren't dressed in any sexy manner, in fact one of them had this enormous red dress on that looked like a bad bridesmaid dress. To cap it off she had big Peggy Bundy hair. This led R-dog to dub her "Big Red." I aborted the pickup plan, citing how R-dog wasn't "that drunk" but he had other plans. As we were leaving, R-dog shouted "Later Big Red' at the top of his lungs. He convulsed he was laughing so hard, almost falling down in the street. Terrified, I scurried to the Blue Scion as quickly as I could, knowing that this woman could very well kick both our asses. My cats were happy to see me home in one piece.
So what have I learned from my experience last night. I don't think I create strange situations just to blog about, I just do it for fun. Surrounding myself with crazy people who are willing to do weird things is part of what makes life fun. Just go with it.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Meet a girl before class for a drink at the Tap.
Meet my friends for happy hour before class at the Tap.
Have class at the Tap.
Go out with friends after class at the Tap.
Go out other places after class.
I must be out of my mind...
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Eric, have you been to a bar in the last two years in Connecticut? They are all smoke free! Like a wonderful dream, but without any haze.
However, the comments regarding John's criticism of John (too many Johns) were very negative and kind of offended. Almost Neddie-Jingo followerish. Consider this from Joe, who seems to post on every intolerant Christian blog:
"Here's the thing. This is YOUR blog. It is supposed to reflect YOU, unless YOU don't want it to.I read your posts almost every day, even when they are not new. I like your style and I like your content.If others don't, they are but a mouse-click away from going elsewhere. I say: do what you want to do. Ignore criticism, unless you like not ignoring (sic) it. Then don't. Keep on loving the Lord and doing as He leads. I, for one, will keep reading."
To which I felt the need to respond:
"Blogs are public for a reason. If John didn't want any criticism, he should sit back and write his thoughts in a journal or perhaps say them in a more conventional manner. Part of the purpose of a blog is to invite debate and dialogue, even if it is negative. John Rush's real morality showed up when he decided to accept the criticism and respond to it. That's what makes a person grow."
But apparently my interesting point of view was easily vanquished by the comment from Janice, which read:
"I was brought up being told , If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all! Times have changed."
My mommy would be so disappointed in me. How dare she raise a child who is capable of speaking up when he dislikes something.
John Rush, keep doing whatever it is you are doing, because you obviously have some serious followers. But at the same time, perhaps you might want to consider our thoughts as well.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Now that is something I can use.
Monday, November 07, 2005
But it is that bad, and possibly worse. The new format is so uninviting, that I really don't care anymore. I understand how her family needs the money now that her husband is out of work, but screwing up your website is not the way to do it. Please Heather, change it back to the inviting, fun and quirky format before, otherwise I suspect you might see your regular readers migrate to others. The love affair is over.
I think a faith-based blog can't cram ideas down a reader's throat, but present them in a way that offers discussion. A Big Jewish Blog allows for discussion by offering poetry, and thoughts, while at the same time demonstrating the author's own experiences with Judaism. I disliked Anvil and Fire because of it's self-righteous, "we are right" attitude. Eric Selinger demonstrates the problems with being Jewish in America and allows for constructive thought. If only more people read it.
I also enjoyed the retail Christian blog because it's attempting to also point out some of the flaws in Christianity in modern society. Ben's criticism on the Left Behind series of books and movies is excellent and highly thought provoking. I also like how he links it to Bush's No Child Left Behind legislation, and notes how the wording is an obvious attempt to electrify his own base. I hope the author of this blog takes the time to update more frequently. His voice is excellent and very progressive.
When she announced her next selection would be James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, my instinct was to stay away. I've read loads of memoirs before, and something about a rehab memoir didn't appeal to me. But then I read Hillary Frey's snobbish review of the book on Salon and knew I had to give it a shot. When literature snobs attack a book so gruesomely, I know it's going to be good. Perhaps the best irony is that Salon published a rave review of the book just two years earlier. Apparently getting into Oprah's club changes all that.
While I know Frey's book doesn't need more promotion, it deserves it. It's really a fantastic ride. Plus, after reading the book, I want to make sure Frey is successful because he seems like an interesting and likeable guy. I'm not saying anything more, just go and find out for yourself.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
What's scary isn't the poster type of propaganda, but the holier than thou article John wrote about Buddhism. He completely misses the point, and yet writes things like "Here [Buddhism] is: LIFE STINKS. It is suffering through and through." Yeah well kind of, but not totally. Plus, how dare a Christian suggest this notion is bad, primarily because you believe we are inherently sinners and that most things pleasurable are sins.
I suppose the problem I have with the Anvil and Fire blog is that it encapsulates what's wrong with society. Other people's point of views are worth laughing at and picking on, while you must consistently read our point of view. Organized religion that teaches hatred towards other religions bothers me greatly. Millions have died primarily because of fierce religious propaganda.
Don't misunderstand me, I'm not dissing organized religion altogether. Some religions teach diversity and caring for all human beings. But religions that go out of their way to say bad things about other religions are not helping society. They are self-serving crap.
On the other hand, I find the people at I Am Christian Too to do good work. They take the views of the ridiculously loud religious right in this country, and elegantly debate them. It's nice to see that religious people are capable of being progressive. My favorite post so far is where they argue against an anti-gay manifesto written by Al Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Their main argument is that if we take the bible so literally, we are all going to hell.
Blogging is for promoting interesting and radical ideas, and I Am Christian Too is an excellent source of unique ideas. The folks there seem to realize that if they continue to let the radical intolerant forces in their church to continue taking control, their religion will continue losing members.
And now, I am so going to hell.
The family is good though. My nephew did the Kibbutz. What a face on that boy. He looks so much like his father. I'm proud of him. Of course I'd be happier if my brother were still alive, but what can you do? My osteoperosis keeps flaring up, and I think I'm beginning to lose my hearing. Sometimes when I walk, there's an odd clicking noise coming from my feet. Maybe I need new shoes. Of course, it could be worse. It could always be worse.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
What really fascinated me was that someone decided to call these gorgeous women "WIZ girls." It is genius to send a group of hot women into a bar to try and get men's mailing addresses. As a friend of mine noted, he would have "thrown my mother out of a speeding car, for a chance with one of these girls." That's a whole other story.
Personally, the name "WIZ girls" conjures up a whole series of negative images that I'd rather not share. With the Avian flu virus scare in full bloom, I try and stay as clean as possible. These girl's flirtatious attitudes included casual touching. I suppose being a student of the english language has its drawbacks.
And a quick Craig's list type entry to the girl in the grey sweater. I wasn't fascinated with you so much as I was with the skeevy dude hitting on you. This guy looked like a mix of David Cross and a lizard and never seemed to stop touching you, even as you were backing away. I would have come to your rescue, but my friends and I ordered bar bites and I was feeling snarky. Sorry.
Friday, November 04, 2005
Nonetheless, I also agree with people's basic right to choose. I will never criticize a person for smoking publicly. That's their choice, and they are aware of the consequences. I feel that we should give smokers their freedoms.
We banished smokers out of our drinking establishments, thinking it might discourage them from smoking. It did not. They stand outside on chilly nights, quavering in the wind as they desperately try to light their cigarettes. Their only solace is that they have the building, which they can bolt into the second they are through with their cigarettes. I admire the way they hang on to smoking despite how unpopular it is after high school.
So when I read about how we might take away their right to even stand near a building when they smoke, I get a little annoyed. For while it might be an inconvenience to walk by a group of smokers outside, I can't imagine it would be that harmful. There are millions of things in the air outside that can hurt a person's health, and secondhand smoke is probably low on the list.
The point is, when we allow the government to erode people's right to do something, even as small as smoking near a building, we are giving them free license to take away other freedoms. Lets stop the madness and allow our friends, the Smoky-Americans, to live the way they choose.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
And now, it's over.
I've never thought of Star Wars as anything but pure fun. People who claim the acting is bad or the stories are stupid miss the point entirely. Star Wars is about the action and adrenaline, never about the plots. I would have never considered Star Wars to be anything more than a fun pulp series.
that is, until I read this fascinating article by Aidan Wasley. Wasley makes an argument that Star Wars is really a meta-film, really a manifesto on plot. Apparently Lucas was suggesting how writers create works of art, all the time hiding his thesis behind a hail of blaster fire.
Wasley's argument is excellent and well-thought out, but I'm not sure I buy it. I completely get how Star Wars is really a story about coincidence and how chance effects the world, but I don't buy that Lucas was doing it intentionally. George Lucas is a fun filmmaker, but his clumsy, awkward scripts suggest he really isn't much of a writer.
Instead, Lucas created an excellent series of films on filmmaking by accident. His own poor writing skills and reliance on coincidence to bring his films to life is what created such a fascinating piece of work. He should be commended for developing a fun, fantastic world. But Star Wars is the greatest accident ever unleashed on filmmaking.
However, Wasley's thesis is so elegantly argued, that I almost believed.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
The truth about political debate on blogs is that there isn't any. People read blogs to reassure themselves that their point of view is correct and don't bother adding anything to the debate. If they are against something that a blog has posted, they will only say nasty things and ignore other peoples comments An excellent example is a comment written by someone named Raven:
"WHERE'S CINDY SHEEHAN? Go to this link and click "listen to broadcase" to hear her pathetic "speech" to an empty room filled with TWO foreign journalists. This is utterly pathetic. Now I know why you Democrats dumped this moron."
This comment does not further any debate. It is a nasty, self righteous comment that is only meant to derail any serious debate. Blogs are filled with these kinds of nasty comments, it's the reason why many bloggers refuse comments.
The truth is, when we feel as if we are anonymous, we get nasty and our base instincts come out in full force. We say all those nasty and stupid things that we normally filter out of conversation. The bloc world is an anonymous entity filled with comments by people who are writing out of furious anger and emotion, rather than logic.
In an essay I wrote last year for rhetoric class, I argued that logic has no argument without emotion. Blogging has now convinced me that they rely on each other, and without a logical component, an emotional argument will fall flat. Most comments on blogs are emotional and lack any logical component.
However, given that point, I will concede that certain blogs rearrange information to seem fresh. Firedoglake does an excellent job of taking news stories and adding their own commentary. But there is nothing added and nothing new to what they are saying. They are merely commenting on the comments. And now, I am commenting on the comments of the comments. How pathetic is that?