Ernest Hemingway:

As Ernest Hemingway once said...
'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Éirinn go Brách!

It's official. Q and I are going to Ireland to visit the famed N8 & MT in March. We got the tickets last night, and for that price, there's no turning back now.
I expect to visit the Guinness Brewery at least once, being a huge fan/connoisseur of beer. This will fit perfectly with our pact to scout out each city we visit for the local brew houses. I got a travel book today, but we don't plan on making many permanent decisions until we get over there. Q and I function best when there are no firm plans and we're able to mosey about as we please. The best trip we've been on so far was a tour of the west coast starting in Seattle and ending in San Jose, CA. The only firm plans were getting to Seattle and coming home from San Jose. Everything in between was totally made up along the way. It was perfect. Lazy, relaxed, and open to any possibilities.
And since we'll have such great hosts/tour guides, they'll know all the fun places to go. Now, if I can magically make our passports appear at our house in time, everything will be set and ready. I hope the passport genies can make that happen or are willing to work with me for expedited service. Fingers crossed.

Monday, January 29, 2007

rainbows, puppy dogs, and ice cream

Q and I went to a birthday party on Saturday afternoon for our friend's one-year-old son's birthday party. I got to hold one of these on my lap all afternoon long. I guess the little guy was tired from all the commotion, because he layed motionless on my lap. A couple of times I even picked him up and moved him without his so much as making a sound. Too adorable! His little breath smelled just like puppy breath, which is so darn cute. And he was so very soft and warm.
Once his big brother came home he was a maniac, but up until then sweet as can be. If only I could carry around a puppy all day long. I'd never be in a bad mood.
Here's a picture of a greyhound puppy. Not only do I think they're the best looking dogs in the world, but the puppies are probably the cutest too. And greyhounds are incredibly soft and velvety - I can only imagine how soft the puppies are. I've never actually seen one, since greyhound puppies generally are either raced or slaughtered. So very sad.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

advice to self at 15

Five priceless pieces of advice to my 15 year old self (copied from another blog):

1. Use your head when it comes to boys. They're bound to cause you a lot of grief; not heartbreak, but annoyance. Don't spend too much time with just one. On the flip side, it's best not to date boys who are friends, or belong to the same group or 'clique'. They'll always take each other's side and make you feel like the bad person. And though it may be funny at the time, and may get you some attention, never share personal letters with others, especially the boy's friends. Not a good idea. It's better to be friends with boys at this age. Relationships now really mean nothing in the long run.

2. Don't make fun of others, especially not to their face. Understand that everyone has their downfalls, including yourself. Don't use those things against them to make yourself feel better. Do your best to accept them for who they are, and always laugh WITH them, not AT them.

3. When a friend is in need, don't turn your back on her, even if you have no idea how to handle the situation. She needs you, not your advice; she has others for that. Be a friend. Don't say anything. Just sit with her, hug her, or let her cry on your shoulder. You never know how your support will affect a person over the course of her life. The most important thing to remember is being there for a friend is never a bad thing. Don't be scared of new situations. You'll never do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing, or piss her off.

4. Don't be afraid to ask boys out. If you wait for them to ask you, you're limiting yourself to a certain selection of them, which isn't always a good thing. So what if they say no? It won't make you a nerd. If anything, they'll feel great that you asked in the first place, and you'll be that much cooler. In fact, don't be afraid of people in general. If you want to say something to someone, say it (within reason, of course). Talk to cheerleaders, burnouts, gay kids, jocks, athletes, punks, and nerds. They might have more in common with you than you think. You can never have enough friends in high school and college.

5. Don't go to college with a bunch of friends. It might be fun, but it's safe, and that will get you nowhere. You need to be forced to make friends, be forced to find yourself. Go somewhere far away, somewhere you'd never think to live. This might be your only chance to get out of Missouri for a little while. You'll have plenty of time to see your high school friends in St. Louis during holidays and breaks. And make it a smaller school. That way it won't be so easy to slip between the cracks.

It's crazy to think of what my life might be like now if I'd had this advice back then. I know it'd be totally different. I'd have still made plenty of mistakes, I'm sure.

Monday, January 22, 2007

cheap hoosiers at the movies

This weekend Q and I went to see Borat. Yes, we're a little late, but better late than never, no? Very true in the case of this movie. It was hilarious. Totally worth the rush hour price.
It was only showing in one theater, a theater close to us in South County. We thought we'd be the only ones there. We were so wrong. The little theater was almost full. We surmised it was probably because Sacha Baron Cohen just won Best Actor - Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globes. There were families, elderly folks, and even a young child - yes, a young child at a rated R picture.
I can't believe people would bring a young child to a rated R picture. A baby is one thing; annoying in a totally different way. But 6-8 year old kid? That kid doesn't need to see the things that happen/are said during this movie.
I'm not a parent, so I don't know what I would do, but I can make a big bet that I won't take a kid that age to a rated R movie. Is it just laziness? They can't/don't want to find a sitter, so they just bring him along? Maybe they didn't realize what the movie was about, which isn't so surprising. It amazes me how many people have never even heard of the movie. But bottom line, you shouldn't be taking a kid to a rated R movie, whether it's R for sex, drugs, gore, language, or whatever. It's totally irresponsible.
The family happened to be sitting right in front of us, which didn't stop us from laughing our asses off. I couldn't have stopped myself anyway - the movie was hysterical. During the part when Borat is looking for a car, and wants a car with a 'pussy magnet', and 'pussy' is repeated over and over, the couple looked a bit uncomfortable, and looked over at the kid. He obviously didn't get it, and therefore didn't find it very funny, but that didn't stop them from laughing. It was disgusting. Nothing better than a parent who knows he's doing something wrong, and does it anyway.
Only two people got up and left, and it was during the part when he's wrestling naked with his very overweight friend and running throughout a hotel. Hilarious. I guess that part pushed this elderly couple over the edge. I suppose that scene in particular offended them maybe because they don't like gay people, and though Borat and his friend aren't gay, some very gay things were suggested. Whatever. Who goes to see a movie without having the slightest clue what it's about?
The elderly man sitting in our row was particularily hilarious, especially during the part when Borat is talking about using gypsy tears to ward off AIDS. He loudly asked his wife 'For what? What does he use for AIDS?' They laughed the entire time. Too funny.
I decided Q and I are only seeing offensive movies in South County, during the day, after the movie has been out for a while. The audience is almost as entertaining as the film.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

robert berry's 100 most annoying things of 2006

They're all hilarious, but here are a few of my favorites:

Mohawks for people that want to show that they're edgy, but still need an exit plan if it doesn't work out. Fauxhawks are the clip-on ties of the punk rock world.

If we believe Mel Gibson and Mark Foley, we could eliminate the world's racism and sexual harassment by simply bringing back prohibition.

Ashlee Simpson
She spent a ton of cash on a nose job, while doing absolutely nothing about her deformed vocal chords.

Giant Size Belts
What's up with ladies wearing these freakishly large belts. If I want a woman that looks like a WWE wrestler, I'll date John Cena.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin's now making the movies Pauly Shore used to get stuck with. I eagerly await Oh Heavenly Dog 2 and Skid Marks of The Pink Panther.

James Blunt
His song "You're Beautiful" is an aural holocaust. His vocals remind me of that guy who's singing "I Gave My Love A Cherry" at the toga party in Animal House right before John Belushi smashes his guitar to bits.

Gwen Stefani
Followed up "Hollaback Girl" with a rap song featuring yodeling from The Sound of Music. Look for her to release a heartfelt ballad featuring samples of the dogs barking "Jingle Bells" next.

Paris Hilton Perfume
Save yourself some cash and just dab juice from a tuna can on your neck.

Tony Snow
Who would have thought it possible to find an even shiftier White House Press Secretary than Scott McClellan? At this rate, look for The Simpsons Kent Brockman to take over next year.

Mel Gibson
Mel responded to the bad hype from his drunken racist tirade by making a kickass action film, Apocalypto. If we're lucky, he'll make a drug addled rant about Mexicans next year and give us a Mad Max sequel to apologize. Say what you want about him, though, the guy takes a handsome mugshot!

Anna Nicole Smith's Son
This tacky attention whore couldn't wait until after his mother's new baby was born and her quickie wedding to her lawyer to die? No class!

George Bush
Thanks for wasting nearly a trillion dollars and thousands of lives so we can occupy a country we have no chance of stabilizing and we'll leave it in shambles once we finally pull out. Good thing we already declared victory years ago, so we can leave with our heads held high.

Way to go, E-Coli! Get all over our healthiest food instead of scaring people away from bacon or cheeseburgers. Further evidence that God wants us to be fat!

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
You know, if you're going to be an evil leader, you should find some clothes more menacing than khaki Member's Only jackets from 1982.

The Transportation Safety Administration
Thanks for keeping the skies safe by keeping me from bringing fluids and gels on the plane. Looks like I'm stuck with Amtrak now, when I need to travel with my "Sam's Club Jumbo Vat O' Love Lube".

Ann Coulter
Claimed 9/11 widows enjoyed their husband's deaths in her book Godless: The Church of Liberalism. If you think that was a controversial title, it's at least more marketable than the publisher's original suggestion, "Attention Whore: Rants From An Irrelevant Cunt."

OJ Simpson and Judith Reagan
OJ pulled off the impossible by coming off as an even more worthless piece of shit with his book "If I Did It" which was thankfully yanked before hitting the book stores. And for Judith Reagan to even think of throwing millions at Simpson to publish the book in the first place is vomit-inducing. Though she's been fired, look for Regan to bring us classics like "Let's Pretend I Really Killed Laci", and Mark David Chapman's "I Was Aiming For Yoko."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

meat shoot

For a while now I've been wondering what a 'meat shoot' is. We live by some sort of Veteran's Hall and they're always advertising them. I finally got around to searching the internets for this seemingly small-town-America tradition still surviving in the southern suburbs of St. Louis.

Apparently a 'meat shoot' is when a bunch of men (I know what you're thinking, you dirty bird) get together and aim their guns (get your mind out of the gutter, now) at targets and whoever shoots closest wins some frozen meat. I've read about some shooting at skeet-like targets, and some at regular bulls-eyes. I've also read about shoots for turkeys, sides of beef, deer, and all other types of meat.

My first thought is wow, could that be more inherently sexual? Even more so than football? Crazy.

My second thought is huh, do they really shoot for frozen meat? Why not cash? I get the idea of a bunch of men getting together for a few shooting games, drinking beer, fraternizing. Totally get that. But why not play for cash? Because it's more 'manly' to play for meat? Again so very inherently sexual. Interesting.

My third thought is to wonder where they do this. The little hall is smack in the middle of a residential neighborhood. No chance they're shooting their guns anywhere in the vicinity of the place. I thought maybe they rigged the game to work somehow indoors, but it'd have to be without real guns, and the sign specifically advertises what kind of gun is allowed - a 22? I know virtually nothing about guns, so this makes no sense to me. A google search of '22 gun' did bring back some results, so it must make some sort of sense.

My fourth thought (somewhat off topic) is to be very thankful for google. What would I do all day at work without it? I think it's become the new encyclopedia. That's actually frightening thought.

My fifth thought (can you tell these are occuring to me as we speak?) is to find someone with a gun (experienced, preferably) to sign up for a meat shoot. And if I can't do that, I'm going to show up just to watch. I'm totally fascinated. I have to see this thing in action.

Monday, January 08, 2007

top 10 bushisms of 2006

(CNN) -- A Web site that analyzes and catalogues language usage has issued its top Bushisms for 2006, with "I use the Google" and "I'm the decider" among them.

Language observers nominated the entries and then ranked them, aided by the Global Language Monitor's predictive-quantities indicator, an algorithm that tracks words and phrases in the print and electronic media and on the Internet.

Here they are:

1. "I'm the Decider." "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense." April 18, in response to a question from CNN's Ed Henry.

2. "I use The Google," in reference to the popular search engine. October 24th. Interview with Maria Bartiromo of CNBC.

3. "It was not always certain that the U.S. and America would have a close relationship." June 29.

4. "I've got an ek-a-lec-tic reading list." August 29 interview with NBC's Brian Williams.

5. "The only way we can win is to leave before the job is done." Nov. 24 (Greely, Colo.)

6. "Stay the course." On numerous occasions.

7. "When the final history is written on Iraq, it will look just like a comma." Sept. 24. Interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

8. "The Congress was right to renew the Terrorist Act." In reference to the Patriot Act. Sept. 7 (Washington)

9. "I want to be a war president; no president wants to be a war president." Oct. 26. (Des Moines)

10. "The fiscal year that ended on February the 30th." The government fiscal year ends Sept. 30; Oct. 11 (Washington)

"With fewer than twenty-four months remaining in the Bush presidency, word watchers worldwide are in a mad scramble to find a substitute for the near weekly faux pas presented by the president," said Paul JJ Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor, which is based in San Diego, California.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

late night thoughts on religion

The following post is the result of not being able to sleep well this past weekend. I think it's best for the world that I do sleep well. There's no need for my brain to work on overtime.

Regardless (or even better, my favorite bullshit word, irregardless), it happened. This time was unusual - what my brain managed to create during the wee hours of the morning actually made sense the next day. This particular night I also came up with the new blog title. I guess you could call it a sort of Christmas miracle.

I tend to think a lot about religion while at the inlaws', which is where we were on the aforementioned night. My sleepless mind came up with this rationalization of how I feel about religion (Christianity, to be specific, since I know little about other religions - something I plan to work on). This conclusion appears after years of thought, reading, and learning more and more about it. Okay, deep breath. Here goes.

1. I believe Jesus existed. He was probably a normal, wonderful person who helped the downtrodden and brought happiness to many. Or maybe he was just a precursor to David Koresh, some fanatic guy running around spewing cultish ideas. Either way, he managed to have some sort of effect on humanity at the time. Do I think he walked on water, or turned water into wine, or was resurrected from the dead? Most likely not. If he claimed to do these things, he was probably a nut job. I prefer to think humanity had a way of embellishing the truth into what we read now as the Bible. More below.

2. I took a folklore class in college. I thought it bullshit at the time, as my advisor failed to tell me I had to take that as a requirement to graduate right before my last semester, therefore forcing me to take 18 hours. Lucikly I was going for an English degree, so it wasn't exactly brain surgery. I digress. This does relate to my thoughts on the Bible.

The Bible is entertaining reading. Do I think for one minute that we should take it as reality? No. A lot (or most? or all? I don't really know) of the new testament was written some time after Jesus died. Stories were passed down from generation to generation, and ultimately written. What happens when you line up a group of people, tell the first one a sentence or two, and pass it on from person to person? What are those sentences like once they reach the last person? Usually they're at least somewhat different than the original sentences, if not significantly different. With stories, these changes usually include embellishment as they travel from person to person. Why not? No one wants to tell a dull story. I feel that's what happened with the Bible. I think the basic elements are probably true. Jesus existed. He was a good man who fought for the little guy, and gave hope to many who were probably hopeless at the time. If he was killed, that probably helped make him more memorable. But when it comes down to the immaculate conception, and the things mentioned above, it's just too much. How can I be expected to believe these things?

Plus, there are passages written about Jesus that weren't included in the modern day Bible. I googled 'lost books of bible' and found this oh-so-inspiring passage from a religious website called

Question: "What are the lost books of the Bible?"

Answer: There are no "
lost books of the Bible" or books that were taken out of the Bible. There are many legends and rumors of “lost books” but there is no truth whatsoever to these stories. Every book that God intended and inspired to be in the Bible is in the Bible. There are literally hundreds of religious books that were written in the same time period as the books of the Bible. Some of these books contain true accounts of things that genuinely occurred (1 Maccabees for example). Some of them contain good spiritual teaching (the wisdom of Solomon for example). However, these books are not inspired by God. If we read any of these books, the Apocrypha as an example, we have to treat them as fallible historical books, not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The gospel of Thomas, for example, was a book written in the 3rd or 4th century A.D. as a forgery, claiming to have been written by the Apostle Thomas. It was not written by Thomas. The early church fathers almost universally rejected the gospel of Thomas as being heretical. It contains many false and heretical things that Jesus supposedly said and did. None of it (or at best very little of it) is true. The Epistle of Barnabas was not written by the Biblical Barnabas, but by an imposter. The same can be said of the gospel of Philip, the apocalypse of Peter, the book of Enoch, etc. The Bible is the complete Word of God. Why would God allow a book that He inspired to not be included in the Bible for 2000+ years?

Interesting. Why indeed? I'd like to know how these early church fathers knew which gospels were 'inspired by God' and which were crap. What was the criteria? That's my point. There's no way to prove which are true and which aren't. I'd wager to say that what we know of Jesus' life is only a small percentage of what was written.

3. Now don't get your panties in a bunch. Most of what I've written doesn't actually matter when it comes to my conclusion, which is this: why can't we focus on Jesus being a good person, someone who helped the sick and poor, who cared for everyone no matter what, who inspired so many? Why do we have to focus on the so very strange things in the Bible? Does his life have to be spectacular and dazzling to be worthwhile?

I think he'd be so much more inspiring and attainable if he was a normal person who went out of his way to help and love others. I'd much rather my kids were inspired by that Jesus than the one who was immaculately conceived, turned water into wine, walked on water, was murdered, then rose from the dead (in no particular order). I almost think we've focused on these things for so long that we've lost the true meaning of living like Jesus and taking him into our hearts. Bottom line, I wish we'd spend more time focusing on his admirable human qualities and less on the Bible and the fantastic.

Moreover, I don't think I have to accept Jesus and religion to go to heaven, if such a place exists (I'm more inclined to believe in reincarnation, but that's really beside the point). Because if God turns us away because we weren't 'saved' or 'reborn' no matter what kind of person we were or how we lived our lives, I don't want to go there. If God won't let in a baby that hasn't been baptized then that's ridiculous, and anyone who believes that is missing the point entirely. I prefer to think God and Jesus would focus on us being good, caring people, doing our part to help others and our world, rather than on whether we went to church or read the Bible. The God and Jesus I'd choose to believe in would love everyone no matter what color, race, religion, sexual orientation, species, and so on (I could go on forever).

Wow, that was a scary brain spill. See? We're really in trouble if I start having problems sleeping. Here's a great link, by the way, to a blog entry about the
history of Christmas and how it's been horribly overdone in our modern society.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

a fresh start

Happy 2007. I'd be much happier if I weren't at work right now, but someone's got to pay the bills. Today has been particularly odd because a guy I went to high school with started at my company. In fact, we went to elementary, junior high, and senior high together. I had a big crush on him back in elementary school. Very weird. What's even weirder is that he doesn't look very different. Who knows how he remembers me. I was such a twerp in high school. Blah. No sense in bringing up the past.

You might notice a change on my site. No more Donnie Darko. That was getting so tired and boring. If you're curious, yes, I have seen a special someone throw up in an IKEA bag. The image was burned into my brain for all time. It wasn't deliberate, yet it seems to beg some higher meaning. I'll leave it at that. The words just aren't here right now. Too tired. Need caffeine.