Archive for June, 2008

A True Aristocrat

June 23, 2008

Today we mourn the passing of one of the best.  Comedian George Carlin passed away last night due to heart failure at the age of 71.

Anyone who talks to me more than 5 minutes usually figures out (or is told) I love stand up comedy.  While Carlin may not have been someone to admire from a lifestyle standpoint, he certainly changed the game of stand up forever.

His take on airlines, his comparison of football and baseball and, of course, the Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television were all genius.  About halfway through his 60 year career he drastically changed his image including more blue material in his act and increased the offensive content 10 fold.  While this pushed a lot of people away, those that took a second to listen to what he was saying and not how he was saying it found more depth than they anticipated.  He didn’t just push the envelope.  He set it on fire and threw it at you.  He looked at the system and pointed out all the logical problems with it, and offered some very ingenious solutions.  He made us look at the world around us differently and he will be greatly missed.  While I find it hard to say “Rest in Peace” to such an adamant atheist (who prayed to Joe Pesci & worshiped the Sun), I am grateful he shared his comedy with us.

Thanks for all the laughs, you dirty old bastard.

J’s Dictionary

June 20, 2008

New thing on the blog…  I call it “J’s Dictionary”.  As new words or phrases come to me I’ll post them randomly.

Myspaceship:  What people have that are in a long distance relationship on Myspace.  Me and Joe have been in myspaceship for almost 2 months!

Hicktrosexual:  A male individual with both the traits of a hick and a metrosexual.  I can operate a chainsaw and pick out nice drapes.  I’m such a Hicktrosexual.  (shortened: Hicktro)

Yelt: What should be the past tense of “Yield”  Yes officer, I saw the sign and yelt to oncoming traffic.

Gaycation:  When a homosexual person takes a vacation.  Me and Steve are going to California on our gaycation and getting married.

Have a great weekend everyone.

– J

Look Out, He’s Gettin’ Political

June 17, 2008

I try to keep a politics free blog.  People get enough of that crap forced down their throats every day they don’t need to hear more of it from me.  When I do breech the subject, I try to keep it light.  I do, however, have a few general thoughts to share if anyone cares to know what some schmuck country boy living in the city thinks.

I believe America, as a whole, wants change.  We are tired of the negative image and the constant bickering.  I also think America, as a whole, doesn’t know what kind of change it wants (or needs) or how to go about attaining it.  I see most of the ways people attempt to bring about change are generally useless and ultimately futile.  They accomplish nothing and usually add more division to an already split country.  Allow me to expound:

How many hundreds of thousands of people in how many thousands of places have protested the war since it began over five years ago?  How many people have wasted weekend after weekend in Union Square barking at people while handing out “Buck Fush” pins and pestering people to sign petitions for Bush’s impeachment?  And has it done any good?  Any at all?  We’re still at war and GW is still president, so I guess not.  And God bless America people have that right to free speech and public protest.  I have the right to quit my job, fly to Vegas and spend every dime I have.  That doesn’t make it a good use of my freedoms though.

Meanwhile, some of the less sociable political activists write letters to news papers, spend hours starting fights on blogs, facebook groups and similar outlets.  These people feel the need to voice their opinions because it makes them feel like an intellectual and somehow validates their existence if they can get someone else as angry as they are.  In the end nothing is accomplished except a few more people being aggravated.  No real “change” has or ever will occur this way.  I just don’t think we’re ever going to read the headline, “Today, the one millionth member joined an anti-Obama facebook group entitled ‘One Million Strong Against Barack Obama’.  He will be no longer be allowed to run for president.”

Change’s current poster boy is Democratic nominee Barack Obama.  He has made a new career for himself based on the feeling that Americans want something different but don’t know exactly what.  They do want change and so he promises it to them.  It’s hip to hate Bush right now, so naturally he’s distanced himself from him by taking a completely different stance on nearly every key issue. 

The Republicans have produced John McCain.  The media of course aligns him with less change to hang on to the far right thinking vote.  This has prompted many Democrats to begin calling John McCain “McSame” as in, same policies as Bush.  Nice.  I just love that the adult (voting) public steals catch phrases from a television drama to degrade potential world leaders.  There are clearly some deep thinkers on both sides as some hardcore Republicans actually believe Obama is pure evil because his name RHYMES with Osama.  Sad but true.

There are some out there so convinced by what their media outlet of choice has been spoon feeding them that they DO NOT CARE who they vote for as long as they have a “D” or an “R” by their name.  People don’t seem to think about how dangerous this is. 

I believe there never will be effective change in this country until we have a unified front.  I also believe that’s just not going to happen any time soon.  I’m not a pessimist, I’m a realist.  America is so obsessed with reality television we have chosen to run this presidential election as such.  Depending on your affiliation there are good guys and bad guys fighting to stay on the political island.  And the reward isn’t money, folks.  It’s the office of President of the United States of America.  It feels more like people are cheering for their favorite football team than choosing a leader for this country that is in for such hard times ahead.  I envision a stadium split down the middle – red on one side, blue on the other, cheering their fool heads off for their “team”.  And after the game, these two sides are supposed to work together to run this country after dragging each others names in the mud for the past year.  The nation is split 50-50.  The only thing we’re deciding this election season is which 50 will get to be happy and which 50 will be bitter.

So that’s my two cents in Change.  Spend it however you want.

– J

Sleep Blogging

June 12, 2008

Why am I still up?  Stupid internets.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post both on and off WordPress.  It means a lot that people care enough to share their insights on my trivial ramblings.  But then I suppose that’s what a blog is all about, right? 

In the way of an update on little ol’ me it looks to be another full weekend, but thankfully with less manual labor and more socializing.  Friday night my church is having a Guys Night Out at Astoria’s local Beer Garden so I’ll probably swing by there since it’s so close to my apartment.  And then the aforementioned bachelor party is on Saturday. It’s going to be an all afternoon/night thing and it should be a great time.  Though I haven’t known him long, I can say the groom is a great guy and deserves a great party.  Sadly, I didn’t spend enough time at the gym the past few weeks in preparation for the pool portion of the evening.  This wouldn’t be a big deal except that we’re meeting up with the bachelorette party at that point.  You want to look good when you’re in a room full of women with marriage on their minds.  Or do you?

Aside from that I’m just counting down till my vacation in two weeks.  Air travel is such a risky proposition these days.  Because of a voucher I had to use I’m flying American.  Hopefully they’ve gotten all their messes straightened out by now.  Once I survive that I’m looking at at least two more flights this year.  Oh joy.  

That’s enough for now I guess.  It’s way past my bed time.  

Y’all be good!

– J

Measured Twice, Cut Once

June 9, 2008

A man much wiser than I once told me, “Experience is something you only get right after you needed it.”  So very true. 

As handy men go I rank somewhere between a coma patient and a 10 year old.  Yesterday I helped install a window mounted air conditioner (in our second floor apartment), hang two curtain rods and then a rather large mirror.  It was all very educational.  It was also very humbling because I thought I could do all that stuff with few problems.  There’s something in men that says, “You should be able to handle any task that comes your way, especially if it’s heavy and technical.”  If I’m walking through the woods and meet a bear, it should never even occur to me that I won’t be able to wrestle it into submission until it taps out. 

It’s daunting to think about all the things men are expected to know how to do in life.  If the car is broken, I’m supposed to be able to at least trouble shoot it enough to find the problem if not fix it myself.  If I’m camping, I should know how to make fire, cook food, pitch a tent and roll up a sleeping bag.  If I’m helping a friend move, I’m supposed to be able to lift my end of the dresser while negotiating a narrow hallway.  If my family needs ANYthing, I’m supposed to be able to provide them with it, all the while being a positive Christian role model for my children (which to me is the most terrifying thing about parenting). 

The truth is I feel unequipped for life at times.  I don’t know jack about air conditioners.  I’m in my late twenties and can’t drive a stick shift.  I have average math skills. It took me twenty minutes and a phone call to my dad to get my wireless internet set up on a Mac (supposedly the most user friendly computer on the market).  I remember many men from my youth that just seem to be able to do it all.  I wonder if and how I’ll ever get to a point where young men feel that way about me.

If you gain wisdom and knowledge through experience, and you get experience by doing, then does this mean that I haven’t done enough with my life?   In grade school it’s pretty easy to gauge what your abilities should be.  It makes sense that in high school you should be able to do algebra and in first grade you should be able color the clown blue.  Same in college.  But once you’re out in the real world where’s the yardstick?  How do you measure success in your life when there’s nobody telling you what you should be able to accomplish?

I suppose the catch is that there is no instant gratification.  If you take a test and you get an ‘A’ then you know you’ve done well.  But in life, let’s say you have a child.  It’s born and then you get to wait 18 years to see if they survive.  THEN you kick them out of the house and spend the rest of your life watching to see how they do.  When they are able to repeat the process I suppose you’ve done alright.  So the only way you can see how you did in life is by looking back at the end of it.  And if God is pleased with your work then you’ve done okay.  Living to please Him.  Maybe that’s the yardstick.

I have a feeling that if took that yardstick and broke it over my ego’s pridefull head I’d be a lot better off in life.  I also have a feeling that I’m reading WAY to much into an air conditioner installation…

Life’s a journey, not a destination” (author unknown)

– J

Return to P.C. Land

June 6, 2008

You may recall my first trip to P.C. Land

I found another brochure for P.C. Land regarding its government and I wanted to share it with everyone.  Makes perfect sense to me.

Politics of P.C.

The political processes in P.C. Land are, of course, geared to ensure that everyone is happy and equal at all times.  As the term “President” seemed to leave people with the impression that their individual opinions weren’t the most important, P.C. Land has replaced this office with a Demographically United Non-Controversial Equalitarian.  The D.U.N.C.E.’s key role is to tell people whatever they want to hear, whenever they want to hear it, regardless of the actions they may take afterward.  The people of P.C. Land, you see, are generally content as long as they are being told they are getting their way. 

Election Season

Equality is the name of the game in P.C. Land.  Therefore anyone of any race, creed, color, species (as animals have equal rights to humans) or sex (if specified) can run for D.U.N.C.E. 

In order for everyone to feel included and important, each resident of P.C. Land (see previous brochure, footnote 2) is given a note card to write the one issue that is most important to them.  These cards are then mailed to potential D.U.N.C.E.’s and they read the name of the person who sent each card and their issue on television.  They then tell the person very sincerely that, “This issue is the first thing I will deal with once elected.”  Then they move on to the next card, and everyone is resonably happy.

As the campaign continues, the candidates then travel around the country politely telling everyone why they feel they are the best choice and taking advantage of any past personal problems other candidates may have had.  As candidates respectfully bash, degrade and assault one another (politely, of course), eventually the people decide who is the most manipulative, wealthy, lying, self-centered and two-faced.  This person is, logically, given the office of Demographically United Non-Controversial Equalitarian*(see footnote).

Times of War

War is bad and very, very rude.  People could get hurt.  Therefore we in P.C. Land reject any and all forms of war.  If a stern talking to won’t work, then the offending nations are clearly not playing fair and should cease and desist all bad acts and start thinking like we do at once.  If the offending persons continue to misbehave, then they will promptly be sent a very angry letter using forces including (but not limited to) italics, underscores and (in extreme cases) capital letters.

Citizen’s Rights

In P.C. Land you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it doesn’t offend anyone else. This makes for some pretty boring evenings since hardly anyone leaves their homes for fear of offending someone or being offended themselves. If you are offended, it is your right (some would say your duty) to tell the persons offending you that they have done so. It should be noted that your words will probably have little or no effect on him/her/it, but as long as you feel better that’s what really matters. 

P.C. Land. Government that revolves around YOU!!

*If for some reason there is a tie, the tie is broken by counting the number and size of P.C. Land flag pins the applicants wear on a given campaign day.  Whoever wears the most wins because these are the kinds of issues that deserve the most attention when campaigning

iBlog

June 3, 2008

Well gang, I finally got myself the Mac I’ve been wanting for a while.  I picked up a Macbook Pro last night after work and after about 2 hours of playing with it I can already see this is going to be very educational.  I have a lot of little decisions still to make about what I want to put on it, etc. 

My last laptop (may it rest in pieces), was used primarily for surfing the web and watching DVD’s.  I really want to start taking advantage of the techonology in front of me and DO things with this one.  I’m going to use it to manage my finances, create things, keep in touch with people near and far and whatever else seems like a good idea at the time.  Very excited.  I’m hoping to post a video or audio entry on here every now and again as well.

In other news, I’m just a little over three weeks away from a trip home to the Lone Star State.  I plan on spending half my time there in a boat fishing and the other half stuffing my face with Bodacious BBQ, Texas Roadhouse, Sonic and Chic-fil-a.

More to come later, lots to do today.

-J