Monday, March 15, 2010

Another pet peeve

If you mean violence against Jews (again I direct my wrath at NPR), don't refer to it as anti-Semitic except in the broadest sense.

ARABS ARE SEMITIC! They are descended from the house of Shem and are genetically identical to Jews (as repugnant as both of those peoples would find the idea). If you mean that Arabs are killing Jews, it's anti-Jewish.

Did you people even go to college? You act like you know what you're talking about, but I've never encountered a more generally ignorant batch of mouth-breathing, self-important, uneducated myrmidons. Get someone who knows the subject, not just someone who can read!


Today is NOT the ides of March. Ides means the middle. March has thirty-ONE days. That means that the sixteenth is the ides of March.

NPR hires them for their voices, not for their intellects.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

When you've had a rough day

There's nothing quite like seeing a movie review that lists you as a star to make you keep things in perspective. Thanks, God! I needed that little boost.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

It was a good day

Today, I got to conduct business in English, Spanish, Portugese and Dutch. That's not bad.

The fact that my reps think I'm fucking brilliant and the greatest they've ever seen at what I do makes me kind of proud. I left my company and they chased me and hired me back. When a man's personal life has turned into a steaming pile of manure, knowing that his work is valued makes up for a lot.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Random thoughts on a snowy morning

The newsfeed on my desktop – a Google gadget – is called “don’t show me items like this.” It’s a sham. It does not care what I don’t want to see. Every item on Dancing With the Stars, Jennifer Aniston, Brangelina, American Idol and Tiger Woods still shows up.

Does anyone else out there think that Google is trying really hard to get into the information brokerage business? They’re digging into too many areas in which they have no business digging.

It’s snowing again in Atlanta. Eighth snow day this winter. Damned global warming. Wait – strike that. Man-made climate change.

EPA has ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant gas that needs to be regulated. We make it by breathing. Plants use it to make oxygen. God thought it was a good idea. Where the hell does the EPA get off saying that it needs to be regulated?

I’m somewhat in support of a caliphate, if only so that we have a unified voice determining what the hell Islamic law is.

If I receive another picture of a kitten via e-mail, I’m taking hostages.

I have one reader. Good start. In my past blog I got almost 5000 unique hits a day, but that was a different kind of blog. I think one to five readers is about all I want. Just enough to get some good feedback from total strangers whom I will likely never meet.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hard question

Is it possible to fall for the wrong person, or is it just wrong to fall for a person who is off-limits? I'll never pursue it, but I still feel somehow dirty for wanting someone whom I cannot have.

Perhaps worst of all, I catch myself wishing that he'll be a right bastard and that I'll be the person standing next to her when she decides to exact her revenge. That's not a relationship, or even anything remotely healthy. That's just. . . sad.

I need to work on my self-image, I think.

Det finns ingen melankoli som inte kan bli slagna av kraften i den Svenska kocken.

I wish

I look at the collaboration of Nataly Dawn and Jack Conte and I think to myself, "I want that." I want someone who will pull the best out of me (not to be confused with tearing the soul out of me, which I've just gotten done with). I've so much in me that wants to get out, but I just need that catalyst to make it start to bubble.

How long is a person supposed to wait for that kind of thing? Do you keep it waiting indefinitely, hoping that the right someone will come along, or do you decide at some point to kill and bury that creativity and just decide to get on with the drudgery of life?

Feeling maudlin tonight. Don't mind me.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday afternoon updates

Scotty Lago of the US Olympics team left Vancouver early because of some "naughty" photos that people took of him out having fun with his medal. WHY?! He's a young man at his physical peak. We push him to strive for the medal, then tell him that he can't ever sell it or do anything with it other than to just . . . have it. Why shouldn't he cash in on it, then and there, to make himself - the male - look more attractive and powerful to attractive women of child-bearing age? It's how we're MADE, people.

I'm sorry about it, folks, but our nation has been overtaken by sissies. I would love to see an Olympian get caught with his pants down and have him reply, "I'm not married. She's hot. What's the problem?" Shut the PC people up. I'm tired of them.

I took breakfast to the office yesterday. That was tough. The first Friday of Lent, and I'm driving in a car loaded down with Sausage McGriddles and breakfast burritos. I got to the office, fed my co-workers. . . . and then enjoyed my organic yogurt. That was rough. Lunch was easier. I brought a couple of veggie enchiladas from Amy's Organic, and they were phenomenal! I'm omnivorous, so you know veggie food has to be incredible for me to allow it the title of phenomenal. I'm just sayin'.

For dinner? My first ever attempt at gumbo. I've never had it without meat, so I bought some whiting fillets and used those. I broiled them in tin foil with a little bit of olive oil and some blackening spices. I did a pretty good job whipping up the gumbo base (Thanks, epicurious!). I got the fish chopped, added to the base, got the jasmine rice started. . . and then burned it. I have to remember to simmer rice, but I got distracted. I have no-one to blame but myself. Still, it was salvageable. I managed to whip up some really tasty seafood gumbo over jasmine rice, and just knowing that I did it WELL made me pretty doggone happy about that.

Now, the best that I have ahead of me today is a lot of ironing, a basic workout, and maybe some leftover gumbo or rice and boudin. All things considered, though, that ain't bad.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I think you know, but I couldn't say it out loud

I wish I were a father. This is something that has been nagging at me for a long time. I married a woman who already had three kids, so I didn't really have to think about it too much. That was enough to dissuade me for a long time from such thoughts.

Now that I'm living alone again, though, and when I see the joy in the people around me, I find myself wishing that I were a father. A real father, someone who is there from the time a child is a baby. I want to raise a child and have someone who counts on me and calls me Daddy. Though it may be hard to grasp how someone can miss something they've never had. . . I miss that.

Ash Wednesday (note smudge on noggin)

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Religious days are now kind of weird for me. It's not a bad thing, really, just somewhat disquieting. I'm not a cradle Catholic. I was raised CMA, which is something akin to being Baptist. I didn't know anything about Catholics except that they were alien beings who worshiped Mary. I know. In a religious sense, I was raised in a vacuum.
I converted to Catholicism the eve of Easter 2008. I had married a woman who was Catholic and who was raising her kids Catholic. Where to go to church was never a question with us. My first Mass was at Notre Dame in Paris. My second was at the small parish where we spent the next few years. Anyway, I began taking RCIA (Catholic Sunday school for grownups) classes so that I could understand more about what it was like to be Catholic and so that I could understand the differences between my ingrained ideas and the reality. Somewhere along the line, I realized that this was what I had been looking for. I thought on and prayed about it a lot, then decided to be baptized and confirmed. I still remember how I felt as the water trickled down my head. There have been only a few times in my life during which I swear I could feel the Holy Spirit. That day was one of them.
In May of 2009, my wife and I split. We had one and a half good years followed by three years of pain. We knew it wasn't working, but we wanted to try EVERYTHING to fix it. We didn't want to look back five years from now and say, "I wish I'd thought to try that to save my marriage." It didn't work, and we split. That hurt. It took a lot of the wind out of my sails. We split, I moved, then I lost my job, went on all of the ups and downs of life, and finally settled into a comfortable but thoroughly UNcomfortable state of. . . just being there.
New Year's Eve, 2009 I made a decision. I decided to stop reacting and to start leading my life by making choices for myself. I made a conscious decision to be positive in my outlook. It worked. I'm nearing the end of Day 50 of being positive. It doesn't mean that I'm never sad. It just means that things that should make me sad make me sad, but they don't bring me down. I see a difference there. The attitude has seen some impressive results. People are more drawn to me. I'm doing more with volunteer groups than I had. Women are seeking me out. I'm smiling. I thought that I had hit a plateau.
Enter Ash Wednesday.
The church by me was full of services: 0600, 0700, 0830 , 1100, 1500, 1630, 1900. My choice was to either wake up early and be at Mass at 0600 or to go after work and be surrounded by a couple of hundred of my neighbors. I opted for morning Mass. I got there and enjoyed the Mass: the message, the setting, and the storytelling style of our Nigerian parish priest who looks like a bodybuilder and makes James Earl Jones sound like a tenor. Still, it's a rare thing for me to have so much quiet in Mass and I took full advantage of it. I prayed hard. I prayed for a friend who is going through a hard time. I prayed for a lady at work who wanted to come to Mass but wouldn't be able to. I prayed for my ex and the kids, hoping that they could get through their own troubles. I prayed for my sister and my parents and my uncle and grandmother and most of all for my dog. Lastly, I prayed for a return of that feeling I'd had two Easters before. I asked to be filled with the Spirit. I asked God to forget subtlety and SHOW ME what I'm supposed to do. I prayed for grace.
Shortly before communion, we all filed to the front of the church. The priest had taken the ashes from the fronds of the previous year's Palm Sunday celebration and mixed them with oil. As we each approached him, we were blessed and had a small cross of ashes made on our foreheads by his thumb. When I left Mass, I didn't feel particularly different or blessed.
I got to work early, so nobody saw me get to my office. They're used to me working long, hard hours and it wasn't until someone approached me around eleven that anyone noticed the black cross on my forehead. Me being bald as a cueball, it's not hard to miss. A coworker wanted to know what the black cross on my head was all about. Then another one asked. Then two more. At lunch, three restaurant employees asked me. On the way home, two more people asked me. When I got home, it dawned on me what had happened. I have a hard time striking up conversations with people I don't know. I'm no good at seeking others out, so others got sent to me. With each person, I spent a few minutes explaining the meaning behind Lent and the period of time dedicated to repentance. When I got back to my place, it hit me that I had been a witness that day. I never do that, okay? While I try to lead by example and show my faith through actions and small signs rather than talking about it, I don't EVER just start talking to someone about being Christian.
That's when it hit me. When I realized what I had done so much during the day, I understood that God had made use of me despite my frailties and shortcomings. There is a little bit of Jonah in most of us, but yesterday I think my soul was leaning more towards, "Here am I, Lord. Send me."

If anyone else out there in the ether happens to read this, I just have to point out that I don't normally write like this. I'm a lot more irreverent and sarcastic, and a good bit more jaded. Since yesterday, though, this was just something that wanted to be spilled out of my head.