Friday, March 31, 2006
I can hardly call it a trip.
Anyway, I am going to the Portland area tomorrow. The idea is to visit one of my greatest friends, and to look at a potential place to live.
The friend thing sort of needs no explanation, but I will give one, anyway. His name is Adam, and we have known each other since second grade. The cool thing about Adam is he is into the same things I am: biking, hiking, climbing, working out, outdoors, mutual masturbation. You know, the key ingredients to a good friendship. And he lives in the Portland area. So not only is he a good friend, he lives in a place that appeals to me.
Beyond that, he is a stand up guy. He thinks before he speaks, enjoys life enough not to rip on everyone and everything (I am working on it, ok), and can have fun doing nothing. All A+ qualities.
Now, back to the moving. Everyone who has read this blog for more than a day knows how much I dislike Bemidji. And it's not just the location. Bemidji has come to embody everything horrible and wrong. From the thinking of most the people, to those people not having their tongues ripped out, to the unbearable weather, to the lack of jobs that don't make you feel like bringing a fully automatic weapon to work and killing everyone who looks at you funny, there is just nothing left here for me. Not enough, anyway.
So Carly and I have been talking about moving for some time, but really, we have not been serious. Rather, I have been serious and she has not. She, mostly, likes what Bemidji has to offer, and dislikes and distrusts change (probably why she hasn't dumped my ass for someone more deserving). But recently we have gotten over that hump, and started looking at places to live. We first thought of St. Cloud and Fargo, both for the jobs available, and the friends we have around the areas. The problem was they still have an average snowfall just shy of Alaska. (In fact, some parts of Alaska have less, sadly). So when Adam moved out to Lincoln City, OR, it just started to make sense.
But, we have been pretending for some time that we are grown up, so instead of just moving, we have to go "check the place out" first. To me, this is a formality, I am ready. At best, it is a sales trip, and Carly is the potential buyer. And she is already inclined to move anyway, so it's not a hard sell.
So we are going to go, check out the sites, look at apartments and houses, and interview for jobs. At the same time, we are going to find time to bike, hike, kayak, canoe, and beachcomb. It's a hard knock life, for us.
In advance, I will apologize for all the pictures I am going to post, and the gushy, mushy posts I will write about how much better there is than here. You are warned.
DROPPED A BLOG
ok, here it is, another rant about the nature of blogging and the internet. Today's topic: humo(u)r.
Here's the problem: everyone on the net thinks they have it, when few do, and then accuse everyone else of not having it, regardless of the level of humor they display.
An example: Alex, over at Non Compos
recently "lampooned" some thirty something blogger woman. Really, as Alex is wont to do, the post was a call for women to fight each other with little or no clothing (at least, that's what I got out of it) and was only superficially about the woman's blog
. Really, the idea was to rail on women who think they are tough, and aren't, and to point out that the reason for this might be they, unlike men who claim the same, don;t have to back up the claim.
Of course, the woman is an idiot, and didn't get this, at all. So she decided to whine about it. In doing so, she dug a bigger hole. Now she has a big hole, and what woman wants that? And then the comments came: from her readers and from Alex's readers. Of course, her readers defended her, and his attacked her. What she failed to see was that most (if not all) of Alex's readers are sarcastic assholes. We sort of pride ourselves on it (I know I do). Most of Alex's blog is set that way. She really should have seen this coming.
Instead, she decided to sling quippy little sayings like " I think a bad-ass is someone who marches to the beat of their own drum, someone who sets their own path in life and is not afraid to say what they think and take the heat for it. " and "A true Bad-Ass let's others be themselves and looks for the roads traveled in the past.
" Which was just more fuel for the fire.
And through all this, she STILL didn't see the humor. In fact, she didn't "see" it until Alex stopped by himself, left a nice, cutesy little note, and gave her the room to backpedal (which she did).
What's the point of all this? It's funny, that's what. Just. Plain. Funny. It also means I have added Alex to the blogroll. It's not a call to arms, its not damnation, its nothing at all serious or strong. In fact, most of the shit that pisses people off on the net probably isn't meant that way. I mean, it takes one big ole jug of vanity to think people actually care enough about you personally to go through the trouble to attack you in such a way. More likely, they are just making an offhanded, off the cuff remark. It also means I have added Alex to the blogroll.
It's a computer screen, not a mirror.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
THE SHAPE OF THINGS
It is currently 39 degrees outside. Fahrenheit. The sun peeks through the shadowed clouds at even intervals. Once, maybe twice per hour. It shines its rays on us for a minute, then is gone again.
I cannot take my winter prison any longer. Underarmour, designed to keep thermal on my skin, wicking away sweat, keeping me dry and warm, wraps my skin, under my biking jersey and pants. A stocking cap makes me look more like Rocky then Lance, but it keeps my ears warm, and my headphones securely on them.
My new cleated shoes clomp down my steps, which are easily five degrees colder than the rest of the apartment. Is this a bad idea? Is it still too cold outside?
I stop being a wuss and take the plunge. Outside it is brisk, not cold, and I am standing it a rare flare of sunlight. This is
a good idea. My legs are already spinning in anticipation.
The first few miles are through town. Up past the business district, the lake to my left. It is still frozen, but the Mississippi shows through where the bridge crosses over. No one is on the path but me. I turn the corner and lose town easily. The new bike is starting to feel right underneath me, and I am regretting paying so much less and less. The carbon beams flexes out most of the road bumps, and the carbon fork takes away the vibration. Cars slow to look at its weird design, and I feel like a real cyclist. My spin is becoming more natural, and the ride is smooth and real.
As more and more of town melts away I feel more at ease. The bike accelerates better than I expected. With a few adjustments, it will fit perfectly. Downhills are easily 35 miles per hour, no pedaling. Trees whizz by like pavement beneath me. There is both nature and no nature. Where are the deer? Squirrel? But the trees. Ahh, the trees. Not just the Pine, safe through the winter, keeping the color neither beautiful nor ugly. But the Maple, leafless, somehow more alive in anticipation of spring. And the Oak. What more can be said for it? It lives every poem written for it.
And I am a part of it. For the first time in six months I am back in my milieu. I am the lack of wildlife, I am the nature. I am nature. I feel pounds lifting off me. Not just my waistline, my shoulders. My face, losing lines to the roadside, sweat peeling off care. Sweet breeze, I smell your touch on my cheek.
The last few miles bring me back into town. I come in with the lake on my right, completing the circle and bringing me home. Three other cyclists are starting, reverse course, and wave at me. One of them stares. Maybe at my jersey, more likely the bike. We recognize our own. They, too, wear stocking caps and smiles. This is their first ride of spring. We know each other.
I complete my trip and ascend the stairs again. It has been one hour, twenty minutes, and fifty four seconds. I have gone twenty four and one half miles. But it has been six months, and I have gone nowhere. Now, I have been out, now I am living, my clock is moving again. It is 45 degrees. The sun is shining through, the clouds are moving on. I am alive.
Friday, March 24, 2006
DEAR NAKED GOD
Someone just found my blog by searching for "pictures of old naked people"
Can you beat that?
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
SCOTTIE PIPPEN: TOOL
So, word ont he street is Scottie Pippen called Kevin Garnett "The most overrated player in the NBA" Now, before I prove he isn't, nor is he even on the top ten list, I am going to personally attack Mr. Pippen. I feel justified in this, not only as a fan of KG, but because I have always hated Scottie Pippen.
Scottie, you calling KG the most overrated player in the NBA is like Osama Bin Laden calling Ghandi the biggest terrorist in the world. Not only are you calling out one of the best players in the game, but you are calling him out in such a way as to echo what EVERYONE has said about you for the past twenty years. You were named to the 50 greatest players list ONLY because you played with Michael Jordan. You have rings on your fingers ONLY from when you played with Jordan. Your stats without Jordan are worse in every single catergory except minutes played. You constantly said you were better than Jordan, and NEVER proved it. No one ever mentions your name on the top ten of any list, except biggest whiners. You refused to go into a game at the end of regulation because yoru coach would not run the game winning play through you (he ran it, and it worked, without you on the floor, and the team won,, by the way). You were only a good defender because they let you play off the ball, help defence behind, you guessed it, Jordan. And you only scored because they threw three guys at MJ, and left you wide open (where you only made 47% of those open shots, and less than a third of your threes). In short, you owe EVERYTHING to one player, and as such constitute THE most overrated player in the NBA.
That being said, let's take a look at what KG did, on his own. First player draft out of highschool since Moses Malone. First player to average 20-10-5 since Wilt Chamberlain. Most double doubles four years in a row, Total rebound and scoring champ 2003, MVP all star 2002, MVP league 2003, 9 consecutive playoff appearances, defnsive first team 7 times, perrenial all star. What, in all that, makes him overrated. He is one of maybe three all stars that make good players on his team better, he lead the league in crunch time stats for the past three years (before this one), and he is still humble about where he is. I can name plenty of players who never won the big one, and are still underrated. Chief amonsgst them Karl Malone and John Stockton, during the Jazz era, and Charles Barkley. All three of them, it might be noted, were named to the same 50 greatest players list.
In fact, if you want overrated, let me give you a few names:
Shareef Abdur Raheem:
Averages 20ppg, NEVER been to the playoffs
Big Bully type player who muscles up during the regular season, pads his stats, and disappears during the playoffs.
See above. Never did anything without Kobe. Never did anything without Wade, worse stats every year for past three years, refs let him get away with murder.
Good stats on bad teams.
Fun to watch, great dunker, can't finish games, or win the big one.
That should fuel the fire, I think.
Monday, March 20, 2006
OFF MY CHEST
So it feels like I am having an asthma attack right now. Not so much in my chest, but in my head. I need to unload a couple things that have been bothering me, and what a place to do it.
The order will be from least troubling to HOLY SHIT THIS SUCKS.
The Timberwolves have lead at halftime the last ten games. Their record during that time? 3-7. Their record in games decided by 6 points or less? 8-18. This just means they are a young team, and they are rebuilding. Sure, I get that. But they have THE best power forward in the history of the league. Yeah, I said it. That alone was good enough to get them in the playoffs every year. Now, it is not. What makes anyone think it will be better next year, or the year after? How long do we wait for the talent to catch up with the league? How long are we "rebuilding"?
I am so sick of this town I could puke. NOTHING ever happens, and we do the same things over and over. But I am scared out of my wits to move. How silly is that. I am scared to go somewhere and struggle again, like we did when we first got on our own. I am scared I am moving just to get away, and not to get better. I am mostly scared because my mother was a chronic mover, and already I have lived on my own in three places.
OK, this is the big one. I just got done talking with my friend about the GA positions at the college I used to attend. The first three have been handed out for the year, and they are, by far, the worst I have ever seen.
One of the GAs has been a GA twice, for this college, and quit twice. She got a third chance. I cannot explain why, as she abruptly left both times before, blamed it on her inability to handle her own life, and was welcomed back.
The second, I worked with. My friend assures me she has changed, but when I worked with her, she had the worst work ethic I have ever seen. She was never on time, when she decided to show up, often did not call in when she was not going to show up, had very poor hygiene, did only half the job required her to do. It was pathetic, in short. She, too, is getting a teaching GA.
The third, though, really takes the cake. I worked with her, as well. We disagreed about everything concerned with teaching. She thought teachers should encourage students by only pointing out what they do well. I thought that was pure shit. It is fine to tell them what they are doing well, but you have to help them with the things they aren't. And, at the college level, you have to be frank about their abilities, and needs. If they are never going to make it, and the struggle is not worth the prize, you have a moral obligation to tell them you think that, and help them in whatever way they need it thereafter. But you do not baby them. College is the step to the real world, not an extension of highschool.
One day, we were discussing that, and she hit me with the classic, "If you were older, you wouldn't think that way at all." I blew my top at that. I have lived more life than most these idiots ever will, and it pisses me off that they think because they have managed not to get hit by a fucking bus for 30 more years, they know more than I do. And I told her that, and told her I would rather not take advice from an old never-was, who was trying to renew her life, on her third marriage, by coming to a public college for a worthless degree. She decided not to talk to me ever again. Even when we were grouped in classes, and it was required we speak. She would rather take the failure. Great qualities for a GA.
What do all these people have in common? They are all single, older than average, females with children. They are all on the second time around in college, and life, and have failed the first time. In the case of the first, they have failed repeatedly.
And why should I care? This was the school I graduated from, and the position I once wanted. I am bitter at not receiving it, because I was called a woman hater by a lesbian who sleeps with men. But mostly I am mad because they are devaluing my degree, my department, and my work experience. And they are managing to do this while saying they are breaking ground.
How can these people take the places of the future? These people, who have failed at everything they have ever done, get to go on teaching whil younger, brighter, more qualified people are left on the cutting room floor, for not thinking like the machine, for not being "right". The people who will oneday actually teach the next generation are not getting the chance to hone those skills in this arena.
What does it serve the students to have second time losers teaching them? What doe sit serve the students to have these people spewing forth the same thing the professors will tell them for four years? Where is the academic pursuit? Where is the post-secondary challenge? Where is the fucking standard of excellence?
And the one great thing I was a part of on campus is falling to these people. And it will never be great again, and I will never see it in its proper place.
Susan Hauser, you are to blame. You are surrounding yourself with people who only tow your line, people who do not think for themselves. You are remarding every little man, even those undeserving, to try to balance something that has already been balanced by society, and the world at large. You are tipping the scales against the people who will one day hold the scales. In short, you are doing nothing right, and nothing of value, and when you die, your life will pass without a mark.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Isaac Hayes pulls a Bitch move!
It seems the man who brought us "Shaft..Damn Right" And such cartoon classic songs as, "Stinky Bitches" has quit South Park.
Says Hayes:"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry towards religious beliefs of others begins"
And he goes on the exaplain that, "Religious beliefs are sacred to people, and at all times should be respected and honored. As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."
But I smell a rat! And so does co creator Matt Stone. See, Hayes is a Scientologist. Notably, these yahoos try to strike down anything that reveals them in an ill favored light. And they do this by outing it, then putting it down. Hayes went through shows lampooning catholicism, islam, the morman faith, and much more. Recently, though, they did an episode (a very funny one) about scientology. Hayes packed it in shortly after. Says Stone of the decision, "This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology... He has no problem — and he's cashed plenty of checks — with our show making fun of Christians. In ten years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show."
I see it that way, too. This guy can go on air and say what he wants about religious beliefs, and lump himself in with everyone else who is pissed at the show, but he had NO problems with ANY other show. Come clean, and even though I think it's a crock of shit, I will respect your decision to go with your religion. Lump it in with everything else they do, and it shows you for a liar, hypocrite, and idiot.
Thursday, March 09, 2006
OK, so some people insist I look like Brad Renfro. A lot like Brad Renfro, they say. "Hey, there goes Brad Renfro," they say. And it has gotten out of hand. SO here is me:
And here is Brad:
Of course, I picked those pictures, so they aren't as subjective as some, but you can see some similarities, and some differences.
However, recently, an episode happened which made me rethink the whole lookalike thing. I dated (a long time ago) someone named Amber. Now, she wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but she was genuinely nice, and not too bad to look at. After awhile, the not so smart thing got the best of me, and she got needy and clingy, and I had to let her go (I say that like I was her boss, "Well, we are so sorry to have to let you go"). Anyway, I have had problem after problem with her, so finally I told her to get over it, stop talking to me, and that's that.
But that's not that, is it? No. It's not. We have a mutual friend, and some strife was caused when our friend still talked to me. Our friend is a she. Her name is Lydia. Lyds, I call her. Lyds is a great person, and fun to talk to, and interesting, so of course, Amber was jealous. As an aside, I am a flirty guy, and I am sure I have flirted with Lydia before, but this is not that type of relationship at all. You will just have to take my word for it.
So Lyds also teases me about looking like Brad Renfro, and when we last talked on MSN messenger, I put some Brad lookalike pictures on my messenger, and we had a good laugh. Lyds thought it would be funny to send some links of those pictures to Amber. A few of those pictures were from the movie "Bully" and they showed Brad dancing half naked on stage. Amber was PISSED! "Somebody has a crush on Josh" she remarked. "Why would he send you half naked pictures of himself?" She then asked, and signed off before Lydia could explain.
Now, in the interest of the story, I have to say, Amber has seen me naked. We went out for the better part of a year, and we were intimate. Yet she STILL thought he was I, and those pictures were mine.
Maybe, I look like him. Just a little. But I don't do blow!
Monday, March 06, 2006
Get over it, Brokeback Mountain
...you lostHere's the first whinny article.
But I have a bone to pick (pardon the pun) with the logic. See, Hoffman, who played Capote, won best actor. The problem with saying Brokeback
didn't win because it was gay sort of flies right out the window, then. Capote was GAY gay. He was Liberace gay. He was Ace and Gary gay.
In fact, I might go so far as to say the reason it got all the press in the first place was not because it was a good movie, but because it was gay. No one could say they didn't like it, or they were gay bashing. See Gene Shalit, if you don't agree. It was a lot like Passion of the Christ, in that respect.
So it might be argued, by someone far more cynical than I am, that the only reason Ang Lee won best director was to deflect some of this talk.
But I will leave that to someone more cynical.
Thursday, March 02, 2006
In a recent issue of Fast Company
magazine, there was an article called, "Demographics: The population Hourglass" that was a real eye opener. Ok, so WHY was I looking through Fast Company
? You might be asking. Two reasons: One of my clients is a subscriber (yes, he is also mentally retarded, but apparently REALLY wants to start his own business); and I was curios about economics after a recent post over at The Journal
Anyway, the gist is this: A healthy society sort of resembles a pyramid, with the base made up of babies, and the tip made up of the elderly. In this way, the population continues to grow in a manner that supports the current system of economics.
Our society, because of baby boomers, looks more like an oval right now, with the largest logjam in the middle, representing the baby boomers. When the boomers retire, it will look more like an hourglass. We already know what that will do to social security. The article goes on to show what it will do to some industries, like elderly homes, and entertainment.
But They miss a big part of what it will do to our economy. Right now, the heaviest taxed people belong to the boomers. That means, not only are they getting taxed the most, they are the largest tax bloc. When they shift into retirement, they will no longer be supporting our economy. In fact, the Gen Xers will. Now, there are far fewer of them, and far fewer have top tier jobs. The implications are not favorable.
Further, the voting bloc will shift, as more boomers form a bloc as they age, and change policy. If you thought America was Right now! JEEZ. Just imagine the policy passed as boomers try to control Xers, and leave out the next generation.
So what do we do? We can't (legally) kill all the oldsters. And we cannot force them to deport, even to Buenos Aires, even if some of them want to go. We can't stop them from getting old...WAIT, or CAN we.
Suddenly, G W looks like a genius. By privatizing Medicare and Medicaid, as he has, making it almost impossible to sign up for good plans, making those plans and the formularies they encompass ever changing and vague, and making the sign up process online, he is keeping these old people form the medication they need to survive. Since most of them have shown a real inaptitude for signing up for these programs, and government agencies are not able to adequately help them (because of funding cuts, thanks again W) they will surely perish. This, in turn, will ensure our future.
So, who's the bad guy NOW!