2007: A Year of Unrest

2007 has been less than impressive thus far. I could bitch a whole bunch about x, y, and z — but no one cares to listen to incessant bitching unless it’s witty, and unfortunately, I’m just not witty toady. It seems that the more free time I have, the easier it is for me to bitch. So, I’ve decided that for 2007, I’m going to keep myself busy.

And following in that line of thinking, I enrolled in school (again) today. I’ll be starting my Masters degree in the new few weeks. A Master of Information Systems. 30 credits. $18,000. And a little over a year. Definitely doable, and I’m sorta excited to get it done. None of my friends (that I can currently think of) have Master’s degrees. Plus, i figure that I should be doing it now while i have the time before tuition increases and the degree plan changes.
Additionally, in my free time, I’ve been doing tutorials to learn Flex 2. An amazing tool with a lot nice features. However (even tho I’m pursing Information Systems), I’m not a programmer — and several of the tasks in the tutorials have been a little more advanced than what I am accustomed to. I can understand what is happening, but it’s hard for me to wrap my brain around it enough to put it in a light where it would be applicable in another application. I’ll have to study a little more. (Ya know, it’s also hard because the tutorials re-work themselves to show more effective ways of doing something. So they hardcode the data and then three lessons later go back, strip it all out, and rewrite it using custom classes and other stuff. But I’m learning. And that’s good enough for me.

Anyway. Happy (late) new year. Here’s hopin’ it keeps me plenty busy.

The Bitch of Living

Last nite I picked up the cd for the new musical “Spring Awakening” — the one that just opened on Broadway to a $2 million advanced sales earning. The music is by Duncan Shiek and is very poppy. I know that some people will shit bricks over me saying this — but some of the music reminds me a bit of …. …. ….. Footloose The Musical. I’m thinking it’s more the singing than the actual music tho.

After a while, the songs all start to sound the same — and some of the songs (“Totally Fucked” in particular) seem to drop cuss words as a gimmick rather than really enhancing the song.

Then again, I’ve only listened to the whole cd once. It’s not bad tho. Could be a lot worse. Of course, if you’re looking for a typical musical theatre cast recording, this is not what you’re looking for. Unless you loved Rent. Then you’ll prolly love this.

On Religion, Culture, Holidays, and Generate Offense (or “Get Over Yourself”)

David and I had lunch today at a little pizza place that serves some damned good calzones (best I’ve ever had, actually). The restaurant had FOX News playing on the TVs and I almost made myself dizzy from rolling my eyes as much as I did while listening to their bullshit commentary.

They featured two stories — one was based on this little internet video — and they actually showed part of the video on the air.

The look on the faces of the lady anchor’s face was amusing alone — and she comes back with how “disgusted” she is. And then she proceeds to go off on some rant about how children are forgetting the meaning of Christmas, Christ’s birth, etc. We heard Christ-this, Christ-that for the next 10 minutes.

Ya know, if people would just try to be a little more understanding and a lot less stand-off-ish, the world would be a much happier place. The time spent on fighting whether or not a sculpture of a bible can be displayed in a court house could also be used to take a child predator off the streets, raise money for educational programs, or some other form of social betterment. Just because there is a symbol of religion does not mean that you are expected to fall to know your knees and cry, “O Jehova!” Have to view a religious symbol that does not fall in line with your own personal beliefs is not offensive, so get over yourself. If you have a problem with the nativity scene on your neighbor’s yard, put up a plastic buddha. Or better yet — ignore it and go bake some cookies to give to your neighbor as a holiday gift.

People, really — Christmas isn’t any different than Thanksgiving or Halloween or Valentine’s Day. It’s a social holiday that one religion has chosen to mark with spiritual significance. And just because you don’t believe in the religious dogma that is involved with “Christmas” doesn’t mean that you can’t participate in peace, cheer, and making the world a better place. So again, get over yourself.

I hear so often, “I don’t celebrate Christmas.” Then don’t celebrate Christmas — enjoy the season, the trees and lights, the gift giving (and receiving). Separate religion from day if you must. Just because it happens to say “Christ” in the word doesn’t have to have a significant weight if you don’t want it to. I mean, if you’re pagan, would you name your kid Christopher? Or is that taboo because it has the word Christ in it?

My point in all this — If you would spend the time being a little less offended, you might actually enjoy the holiday season and maybe possibly make the world a slightly more peaceful place.

So there. Merry fucking Christmas.

Gwen In a Lonely Goatherd

Driving to the office in the morning is such a chore for me. It takes between 45 minutes and hour (depending on the government dictated stupidity level for the day). During that trek I see a lot of people talking on their phones, putting on makeup, brushing their hair, picking their nose, and even plucking eyebrows. I don’t take the time to primp in the car because I know that once I leave my house, there isn’t a strong liklihood that what I have attempted to do to make myself look presentable can get any better, particularly sitting behind in a steering wheel with a 2 inch mirror. (It’s no wonder there are so many ugly people in corporate America.) Anyway, I usually take the time in the car to listen to music or NPR. It gives me a chance to really preview new music and make a good qualified judgement on its merits.

This morning: Gwen Stefani’s new album: The Sweet Escape.

I read an article a few days ago about how she used snippets from The Sound of Music’s “The Lonely Goatherd” in one of her songs, and I have to admit that curiosity got the best of me. So I pop in the cd and almost instantly my jaw dropped in utter disbelief. That was the most cracked out attempt at music I’d ever heard. Trying to milk the success from “If I Were A Rich Girl” which used the theme from The Fiddler On The Roof, she decided to go with something equally as well-known. Except that she — or someone else — yodels.

Now stop for a minute and picture all our highly responsible and well-behaved youth of America who pop this cd in, think it’s fabulous just because it’s Gwen Stefani, and then start to yodel in their car with cd. Of course they wouldn’t be caught doing it in public — but my, oh my — if I were a fly on the wall…

The rest of the cd is boring as hell and it sounds like someone got way to excited about their drum samples. The point is — if you take away the drum samples and the gimicks borrowed from other music, you have … well … something FROM a goatherd. And a whole lot of it. And even the songs that were at least a little fun — I found myself AFTER the song was over singing “my hump, my hump my hump my hump …” So tell me what that means.

I most certainly wouldn’t recommend wasting your money on this drek and drivel. If you want to hear some yodeling, and see some goats, go to Austria or watch The Sound of Music. (Or shit — listen to Jewel, doesn’t she yodel?)

Catching Up

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year. Time is going by at an insanely rapid pace. And someone, it seems, forgot to read the obligatory “Please keep hands, feet, and limbs inside the car at all times until the car comes to a complete stop” announcement. Seems like the last month has been a bundle of bumps — and really, all I want to do is crawl back under the covers and sleep for a bit.

30 is just around the corner for me. I haven’t given the idea of turning 30 a whole lot of thought … I mean, it seems that 30 is like early retirement, some sort of social stigma. You are now included in the 30-39 age bracket on personal ads, and people specify that they are looking for 29 and under. But at the same time — 30 brings “maturity” and is like the prime of my career, right? Right? RIGHT!? (Looking for validation here, people.)

I recently ended a relationship with a certain guy who was very nice and treated me well. There’s some lingering guilt because I wasn’t as vested in it as he was — and it was becoming rather evident that he was becoming more and more serious. I just wasn’t ready for it. And so I decided friends would be better — which has that magical translation of “don’t ever talk to me again,” because that’s exactly what has happened. He has nothing to do with me. I hate having to hurt people. But at the same time, I didn’t really feel it was fair to him. So there you have it.

And now I’m single again — and as much as I hate it, and as much as I don’t understand it — I still have this inner-feeling like I need to be with someone. And I hate it. Because the only people I want are either taken or not interested. Not that makes any difference whatsoever — because the point of it all is that I don’t belong in a relationship at all.

I sorta miss the friendships I had in college where we’d do everything together and truly enjoyed each other’s company — with no physical involvement at all. It was no bullshit. None of were in a committed relationship — we just hung out and did stuff. And i REALLY miss that. REALLY miss having that person to pal around with.

So …

I bought a cat instead.

Not that he’ll pal around with me. But he lurves me and depends on me. So he (Kidaj) is my new make-believe boyfriend. At least he watches TV and pretends to understand what is happening.

Let’s see … I got all my Christmas shopping finished before Halloween and I’ve been wrapping gifts ever since. Almost done. And … if you don’t get a gift from me this year, well … well, I guess you shouldn’t have been such a bitch, huh. 😛

Anyway — i think this post has turned someone cynical, so i think i should stop now before it gets worse. 😛

Will write again soon …

“Why We Love Southern Baptists” or “Crucify Them With Christ”

Southern baptists are perhaps one of the tackiest pieces of Americana produced over the past 100 years. What do you do if you’re incredibly racist, uneducated, and have such a skewed tone of speech that you have to be equally drunk to understand them? Why, you start a religion, of course!

I was raised by a woman who was a watered-down Southern Baptist. Her mother definitely was, as was her brother, and I remember when I was young going to Vacation “Bahbal” School and making the most retarded plaster molds of hands and plaques that read “Jesus Loves Me Cuz I’m White.” And watching little puppet shows about Jesus. I was young. I didn’t know better. I drank the Kool-Aide.

Now that I’m older, I typically ignore most religions. People are free to worship how they will, who they will — as long as they aren’t ass hats and try to stir the shit. And what are Southern Baptists best known for?

Stirring the shit.

For example, Southern Baptists have produced the largest amount of Anti-Mormon literature of all relgious groups. They go to Mormon events in Missourah and hand it out to people. And while I can respect people trying to conver people for the well-placed sake of “saving their soul” — this literature is nothing but lies. Take an ounce of truth and a pound of fiction….

But I digress, as this is not about Mormons. This is about their lack of social awareness and overall ass-hattedness.

The latest proclamation from Rev. David Clippard (of the Baptist Southern Convention) is:

WARNGING! WARNING! Muslims are here to take over our country! Today, Islam has a strategic plan to defeat and occupy America. What they are after is your sons and daughters. They are coming to this country in the guise of students, and the Saudi government is paying their expenses.”

And here’s the best part …

hey are trying to establish a Muslim state inside America, and they are going to take the city of Detroit back to the 15th century and practice Sharia (or Islamic) law there.”

See. Now that preacher just deserves to be slapped. QUIT STIRRING THE SHIT. It’s not true, you fool. Check your facts before you pull stuff out of your ass.

n an interview Tuesday, Clippard said he believed the Islamic “strategy for taking over America” was to wait until there was a Muslim majority here and then “eradicate those who don’t conform to their religion.”

On Monday night, he told the crowd that “your freedom is on the floor with their foot on it, with their sword raised, and if you don’t convert, your head comes off.”

Usama K. Dakdok, an Egyptian Christian and founder of Straight Way Ministry who calls himself a “Muslim evangelism specialist,” said Tuesday that “every word (Clippard) said is true. It’s time for us to wake up. They are not here to be in our welfare system, they are here to take over our country.”
The Rev. Gerald R. Davidson, pastor emeritus of First Baptist Church in Arnold, classified the discussion of Islam as “external things for us to struggle with,” but added, “Islam is more aggressive than we are” when it comes to evangelism.

Ibrahim Hooper, a national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he was not surprised about the content of Clippard’s message, but he said he was worried about its effects.

“This kind of hate-filled, ignorant rhetoric shouldn’t be coming from religious leaders in our country who should instead be repudiating this kind of bigotry,” he said. “He may be comfortable saying these things behind closed doors, but the real impact is on everyday Muslims who have to live with the consequences of this kind of talk.”

And here is the REAL ringer ….

Clippard said Tuesday that his message was really about love.

“I don’t hate Islamic people,” he said. “We need to love these folks, go after them and love them, one at a time. We need to crucify them with Christ.”

I’m thinking someone needs to throw a little chlorine into that section of the gene pool.

Support Your Coverment!

I am completely — absolutely completely — disgusted by American politics (most likely politics in general, but I’m admittedly not that well versed in international politics). The great nation that is America has molted. That shedded skin gave way to something terribly malformed and burned. And it seems the more it molts, the further from the original concept the American government becomes.

I’m not some political know-it-all. In fact, I usually try to stay out of it altogether because I can’t really voice an opinion on something I know relatively nothing about. But I can make a simple observation on the world I live in and what I see happen.

And what I see is that we know longer have a functional government that is a governing body that reflects the wills and needs of the people it governs. It has become a type of virus that spawns and regenerates itself to keep itself alive and on top of the game. Unfortunately, that comes about via dishonesty, mud-slinging, and an amazingly ineffective attempt at line-blurring.

And after witnessing the patheticly disgusting situation with Foley and his darling page boys, it is obvious that we know longer have a functional government. We have a semi-functional coverment. It became crystal clear when the blame was switched from Mr. Foley flirting with perversion (and a number of male minors as well) to “oh, poor me, I’m a 52-year-old man who was molested by my priest … when I was 15.” So the page boy scandal got swept under the carpet to be smoothed over by a dirty old priest. But the thing is – the point is completely lost. He did wrong. Period. Covering it up with a victim-plea doesn’t undo his stupidity and perversion. He needs to be punished for his wrong-doings.

Bush constantly bumbles from one blurred issue to another. FEMA got blurred over … These people are covering their asses at the expense of poor leadership and a declining America. Important issues (unnecessary war in Iraq, school violence, unemployment, sexual predators, net neutrality, just to name a few) are not receiving the attention they need because focus is taken from the issues for a fucking media circus — and for what — to save face.

But you know what? Give me a year, and I won’t remember who Mark Foley is. Deal with your dirty laundry. Except the humiliation and punishment. No plea bargains. Do the crime, serve the time.

We need to get back to the basics and get our country’s issues resolved. Quit throwing diversions. This is not a personal thing — it is a body of people — a group — to govern and make the best decissions for running the country. Not slipping bills in to fund your pet projects or make you more money. If that’s your goal, get the fuck out of office. You don’t belong there.

If we remain a country that is ruled by a Coverment, the American nation will fall. It’s inevitable. We, as the body, soul, heart of America, need to do a better job of choosing our leaders, assuring they will do their job, and restrict their powers to the things they need to be able to do and be efficient.

So what do we do? How can we gain the attention of a government that doesn’t want to change? Suggestions? Ideas?

Evolution of “Entertainment”

I’m a fan of entertainment — largely because I enjoy being entertained. I am quite the fan of horror movies and have watched more than my fair share of B-movies in my day. Why? Because watching camp and pointless gore is amusing, not to mention the turrible dialog and acting.

However, I was taken aback today. It seems that over the past year or so, horror movies have moved bypassed the “fear” factor (and gone way past the “camp” factor) and have proceeded to alienate their audience. Specific examples?

Let’s start with Hostel. Here’s the plot of Hostel: Breasts, breasts, breasts, clubbing, drugs, breasts, breasts, breasts, breasts, decapitation, breasts, breasts, tendon slicing, breasts, dismemberment, breasts, facial torch blowing, eye plucking, more dismemberment, head smashing, exploding train girl, blood, blood, blood, revenge. Fin (and I say “fin” because it is such an art film.). Notice the detailed plot…

The Hills Have Eyes
Classic movie remade into Hostel’s younger cousin. Story of a family on vacation who takes a short cut through the Nevada desert, only to be ambushed my nucleated mutants who have a thing for semi-burnt maniquins and retro 50’s kitch. This had the potential to be a good movie. It really did. Until we were shown a somewhat graphic rape scene by one of the mutant-thing-people and the daughter in the family, as others watch. Then it was just stupid killing, lots of blood, bad acting, and really left me regretting i spent the money to see it.

And now …

Uwe Boll, that artistic mastermind who buys video game licenses to make them into movies and KILL them (such as House of the Dead and Blood Rayne, among others) is making a new movie called Seed (which is not a part of his game-to-movie trend) about a man who is killed in prison via electric chair, but isn’t really dead (only, apparently “mostly dead”) and is buried alive. He, of course, proceeds to dig his way out and exacts revenge on the people who buried him (because he was alert enough to see who buried him). Uwe Boll said this in a recent interview with Fango:

“This is the scene where even the hardcore horror fans will walk out of the cinema because it is really disgusting.” He then went on to say how Seed will top films like Hostel and Hills Have Eyes ’06 in the brutality department and boasts how the film is “one of the hardest and most depressing horror movies ever made”.

Firstly, don’t too your horn about how over-the-top your gore is. Secondly, why would your goal be to make people walk out of the movie — isn’t the point to watch your work? And there cheers for “the hardest and most depressing horror movie ever made.” Watch out, Beaches ….

The point is – as our daily lives are filled with the news of countless new Iraqi deaths, high school shootings, and other terroristic things — do we REALLY need to be fed this crap of Xtreme Horror? Of course, we have the choice of going to see it or not — but why even spend the money on something as mundane and vile as extreme/cruel brutality?

Pot Calling the Kettle …

Quote of the Day:

“I was disgusted by the revelations and disappointed that he would violate the trust of the citizens who placed him in office.”

Guess who said this.

Hint: it rhymes with Push and has the brains of a bucket of mackerel.

Stick a Ribbon

The Spankers really should be revered as gods. Seriously. I mean, just look at how clever this is.

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