Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
The Joe Rogan Blog » Conduit to the Gaian Mind » Fun times at funerals:
"I’ve never been a big fan of funerals, or any other formal gatherings where you’re supposed to dress up and act a certain way. They’ve always just seemed like something to avoid to me.
...The biggest tragedy was the funeral service itself. Although my family was never really religious, my grandparents were old school Italians, straight off the boat, so of course a Catholic funeral was a must. We all sat in a room facing the chemically preserved body of my grandmother stuffed into a fancy wooden box, and a man that none of us knew came into the room, dressed like a wizard to speak to us about my grandma, a woman he didn’t even know...
“We are all here to mourn the loss of Geraldine DiGerlando…”
Only problem is, my grandmother’s name was Josephine. He said Geraldine 2 or 3 more times until someone finally corrected him.
He didn’t even apologize. He just said the new name with the same passion as he said the old name: Zero.
He wasn’t even nervous that he fucked up her name, and at the time that bothered me a lot. I don’t know why, but it really annoyed me.
A lot of Catholic priests have this attitude about them, like they’re above regular people in the God-to-human food chain. Years and years of having people grovel before them in superstitious tradition - listening silently and reverently to every boring word that comes out of their mouths has a lot of these douche bags convinced that they’re actually something special.
...This strange man standing before my grieving family, dressed like Harry Potter and confidently spouting ancient voodoo bullshit out of his bloated, swollen head was at one time a little baby himself. If I had to sit through the same service today, 11 years later I’m sure I would spend the next few hours in silence trying to ponder what the chain of events must have been to get this poor fuck to where he is now. Today I would feel sorry for the little boy he must have been at one time, but back then I wasn’t nearly as sympathetic. Back then all I could see was a drunk, fat-faced kid fucker that was saying my grandma’s name wrong.
[...at a different funeral - Rob] ...The preacher wasn’t as bad as the one at my grandmother’s funeral, but it becomes pretty obvious at a certain point that memorial services for them are just like a form of show business. Stir up the crowd, finish strong, and try to get some of the people to come back for the regular service.
It’s a gig..."
Thursday, April 16, 2009
"Guy: Hey, you look pretty...
Girl: Fuck off!
Guy: Don't interrupt...pretty ugly.
I've got a female Principal at one of my elementary schools now. Kudos to you Japan, cause ya'll can be some patriarchal bastards here... I'm sure there's quite a few, but this is first I've come across in the last 4 years or so...
You know, usually, the schools here seem to rotate either the Principal or the VP, but one of my schools rotated both at the same time this past year. And the "head teacher" curriculum coordinator. Doesn't seem the smartest move in terms of continuity. Same school, after the 3.5 years I've been here also changed their schedule for class times. Screwed me up my first day over there.
Every year at elementary school means training another group of cute 1st graders to not kancho me or try and jab at my dick. Japan, I swear. Your kids are adorable, but that shit is exhausting by the end of the day. Of course, part of the "stop kancho" training involves snatching the child up to eye level, saying STOP, and providing a gentle shake to their giggling bodies. Which is why it's so tiring. Sigh.
Even in small towns, schools are different. One school I show up at my first day, they've got the year planned out, I know what classes I've got, what subjects they want taught for the next 11 months. The other school, I head over the day before my first classes, just to check that everything was good-to-go [I just knew] and the response? "You're teaching a class tomorrow? Uh-oh..." Not a problem, of course. After 3 years I can prep a kick-ass class all on my own, no sweat. And all the teachers are just super-nice and cooperative, so it's not like it was a problem. They're just not the best prepped group :)
It's really only a week and a half into the new school year, and I have to say, it looks like it's going to be abso-freaking-lutely brilliant. Today, I had a Jr High kid who, literally, I couldn't extract more than a one word response out of in 2 years [doubly frustrating because his older brother who graduated 2 classes ago was absolutely awesome]... anyways, today this kid approached me to ask me a question in damn near perfect English during an interview activity. I told the JTE about it later and we both were just gobsmacked. We had to tell his homeroom teacher, who was equally surprised and delighted. Another kid who was severely yanki last year, today was still rambunctious, but when it came time to take notes, he pulled out his notebook and got to work like a champ. My mouth may have been hanging open.
I've got what appears to be three engaged, really capable and nice teachers at Jr High. The students are 8 degrees of awesome. This is the first year, I think, where all 3 Jr High classes are just all around good kids - there's always been one year that needed some work. The elementary schools, as always, and although exhausting, rock very hard. I've got the same BOE supervisor this year as I've had the last two, one of the nicest guys I've met in Japan.
Gonna be a great year, I think. [Knock wood.]
Getting used to living alone for the first time in 12 years, right after the Mrs headed back stateside I somehow tweaked something in my back, last week my wrist was all jacked up - as an aside, the worst thing about getting older is waking up with injuries you didn't go to bed with... how the fuck does that happen? Honestly? - and while those suck as reasons for not getting PT in, they were enough of an excuse, apparently. Blah.
And the food? Jesus. I've been a junk food machine the last month or so. I believe the phrase is "eating emotionally." What a delightful little girl I've turned out to be.
Today's probably the first day in about two weeks where I haven't thrown any junk food down my gullet, so kudos to me for stopping being a fat bastard. You know, it's really, actually quite easy - just don't buy the junk. Duh. Don't bring it home. You won't eat it. And you'll stop blowing money on crap as a bonus.
Today - 15 minutes of some shadowboxing and footwork, just to knock some of the rust off. A round of isometrics. Some shoulder dislocates/face pulls. Gonna get back to moving some weight around tomorrow.
"Beck has an audience that’s been trained that the rich are not appropriate targets for anger, unless of course they’re Hollywood liberals, or George Soros, or in some other way linked to some acceptable class of villain, to liberals, immigrants, atheists, etc. — Ted Turner, say, married to Jane Fonda.
But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit.
...If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Kung Fu Monkey: Bread and Tea Bags:
"Quick reminder: today, all across America, thousands of people whose taxes will go down are marching and protesting the fact that my taxes will go up.
By 3 percentage points.
Memo to protesters: I'm okay with that, because I am not a selfish dick. I think I can survive the same crushing tax rates we had during the great economic apocalypse of the Clinton Years."
"Eight-year-old boy, running hellbent through playground, to friend: I could tell you about Archelon, the largest evolved turtle, but there isn't time.
Overheard by: Someone else's mom"
"Preacher: And that's why your religion is null and void.
Overheard by: Alfie"
Wired UK Columnist Warren Ellis: 'We're living in the last days of the Roman empire':
"This is the problem with writing fiction in the early 21st century: the real world outdoes you for madness every day...
It’s a serious problem. A couple of years ago, I wrote a scene into an early part of a novel wherein the protagonist is faced with a group of middle-aged men who get together to have exotic sex with ostriches. That is, opposed to plain old vanilla sex with ostriches. It only took a few years before Swedish authorities found a group of middle-aged men who got together to have sex with a variety of animals. Wonderfully, when confronted, one of the zoophiles said the dog had forced him into it. Sometimes I suspect the real function of communications technology is to illustrate, frostily and nakedly, just how frightening the details of life on Earth are. There was a time when it would have been hard for a writer to discover that, in New York, 129 paramedics have been implicated in investigations of sexual assault inside ambulances, with side dishes of child porn. In fact, the easiest way for a writer to find that out in the past would have been to stand on a Manhattan street corner, fake a seizure and wait. With legs firmly crossed. Correctly tuned, the internet brings a staggering volume of detail about every moment on the planet right to my desk..."
LOL - Dude is having too much fun with this one...
Via YouTube - Schuster: If You're Planning Tea Bagging Across The Country, 'You're Going To Need A Dick Armey'
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
"Interesting piece in USA Today:They weren’t goths or loners.
The two teenagers who killed 13 people and themselves at suburban Denver’s Columbine High School 10 years ago next week weren’t in the “Trenchcoat Mafia,” disaffected videogamers who wore cowboy dusters. The killings ignited a national debate over bullying, but the record now shows Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold hadn’t been bullied — in fact, they had bragged in diaries about picking on freshmen and “fags.”
...the enemies on their list had graduated from Columbine a year earlier. Contrary to early reports, Harris and Klebold weren’t on antidepressant medication and didn’t target jocks, blacks or Christians, police now say, citing the killers’ journals and witness accounts. That story about a student being shot in the head after she said she believed in God? Never happened, the FBI says now..."
"Does it suck that Obama is a Company Man? Yes. Is he an evil, war-mongering, IQ-of-85 motherfucker? No."
Monday, April 13, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The Mentalist - more background on the main characters trumps the retarded mystery of the week. Good stuff.
Breaking Bad - continued dysfunctional choices and insanity. Win.
Daily Show and the Colbert Report - don't take life too seriously.
House - getting into House's psychology makes the season worthwhile. Also, shit doesn't make sense. That's life.
Castle - by the numbers mystery, till the end and the tweak for the week. Well fucking done.
Bully Beatdown - fake, but funny.
Heroes - this entire season, just like this episode, have just been wildly uneven. Some moments very, very sharp... some very, very dumb. One more ep, chopping block.
Better off Ted 2 eps - very, very strange. Win.
Scrubs - weird enough. Good deal.
Lie to Me - the more they delve into the character's past, the better. More the mystery of the week, the worse it is.
Life - fucking brilliant. Fucking, fucking brilliant. Period.
Ultimate Fighter - fights are good, the rest is crap.
30 Rock - Funny, funny stuff. "Those girls pretend they're not women yet, but they are." - "In the HR world we refer to that as being a filthy prostitute." Yeah they do.
The Office - I'm hoping the Michael Scott Paper Company ends up kicking the shit out of Dunder-Mifflin.
The Beast - the performances are barely served by the scripts. Great performances though.
Free to Choose - Milton Friedman is a smart, smart man. I think the draw of libertarianism is the mix of optimism/cynicism. It's optimistic in that it assumes a functional system that works, almost perfectly. But cynically, the system assumes self interest as the primary driver of behavior.
Particularly enjoyed the commentary of Thomas Sowell on the 30 years old discussions. Sowell may be kind of insane of late, but a look at Wikipedia shows these gems - Thomas Sowell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"7) What some portray as "authentic black culture" is actually a relic of a highly dysfunctional white southern redneck culture. Such a dysfunctional white culture Sowell maintains, in turn derived from the ‘Cracker culture’ of certain regions in Britain, mainly the harsh English borderlands, origin of many 'cracker' migrants. Sowell gives a number of examples that he regards as supporting the lineage, including an aversion to work, proneness to violence, neglect of education, sexual promiscuity, improvidence, drunkenness, lack of entrepreneurship,… and a style of religious oratory marked by strident rhetoric, unbridled emotions, and flamboyant imagery. Sowell also provides figures to support his argument that there was a far bigger divide between the cracker/redneck culture of the Southern and Applachian regions and the culture of more northerly Americans, than between whites and blacks. E.g. Northern blacks tried to stop redneck blacks coming up from the South, and the same happened between northern whites and redneck whites. This thesis is the title essay of Sowell's book Black Rednecks and White Liberals."Parks and Recreation - Amy Poehler deserves better. Potential but needs to prove itself and improve.
Dollhouse - "We're pimps and killers, but in an philanthropic way." - "Sooner or later, everybody get's theirs." Dollhouse is getting fucking good. I wonder how good it could have been had the network not fucked with it from the get-go.
Friday Night Lights - great season finale. Saw the plot twists coming, but it was all about the execution.
Strikeforce - I used to love Frank Shamrock, just for his athleticism and execution. But given his attitude the last couple of years, I was delighted to watch Nick Diaz whup his ass.
Primeval - What?! How do you kill...?! You have one fucking week. That is all.
They should make Chuhai with a higher alcohol content. And in chocolate. But grape flavor is alright. Thank god for Jack Daniel's and diet soda.
Being in Japan, I've got way too much alcohol tolerance these days. It should be far easier to cop a buzz. You know though, I don't think you ever catch a buzz like you do the first couple times you ever have a drink. Later bloomer that I was, I had my first real drink in Rhodes, Greece circa 1991 - sophomore year in college... I remember, listening to the music in the bar/club... that I had a feel of flow and rhythm listening to music that I've never had since then. But that's probably the alcohol talking.
Speaking of alcohol, starting your week off with a Monday drinking party is a plan for failure. First grade teacher's "togetherness" party on a Monday = hangover/dragging ass on Tuesday... and pretty much shooting the hell outta the rest of the week. Things done in Japan for a sense of togetherness, I swear.
WTF is up with folks walking cats on a leash? Is that nonsense only in Japan? Cause that shit is ridiculous.
Tupac was right.
It's easy to see other people's biases. It's harder to see your own. It's the hardest to tell somebody else what their bias is. Cause nobody likes to hear that shit.
This year's school teaching schedule went from elementary school classes on Monday to classes on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even though it ends up being 2x the # of classes, I appreciate not having to deal with the munchkins the first thing Monday AM. That shit requires a certain amount of enthusiasm. Which is sometimes hard to conjure up first thing on a Monday.
If you just think something, it doesn't mean anything. Saying it out loud or writing it down puts it out there in the universe. This blog counts, even though it's out in the ether. Shoot, it's why I'm even writing this shit out, even though it doesn't "mean" anything.
These days, I automatically think less of folks that are religious or who claim religion. And then I feel guilty and elitist for judging. And then I remember that they usually choose to worship a deity who they think will condemn me to an eternity of painful torment and torture for refusing to bend a knee and worship him. Or just for being not sure. And they're cool with that. So fuck them. It evens out, I think. We'll trade my slight condescension of their intellect for their allegiance to a god who'll punish me in exquisite torture for all of time. Anyone who knows their way is the only way - be it religious, political or philosophical... well, they're just full of shit, aren't they?
Speaking of religion, I honestly do resent the fuck out of being raised in a faith that fucked my head up from an early age, filling it with a psychology filled with guilt, shame and punishment. Why the hell does a 10 year old have to go to "confession"? You're fucking 10 years old... you don't have any fucking "sins." No, instead we're going to force you to go tell the scary dude dressed all in black, who always is talking about hell, whatever things in your life you're most embarrassed or ashamed about. Yeah, that's not gonna screw you up...
Everybody's Easter wishes on Facebook ends up making me kind of angry, and then all passive aggressive. And then jealous. I wish I was simple minded and fables and nonsense gave me comfort. Ignorance is bliss. I've never known that. I think too much. Fuck.
But you know, no matter how fucked up I think things are, I can't bring myself to resent the folks who raised me. I honestly believe, everybody is doing the best they can. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." - Plato. That shit is truth. No matter how fucked up I may think those decisions were, they tried. And they were doing their best.
That doesn't mean I can't judge that shit though.
I didn't suffer from an abusive, Dickensian childhood, but I do remember metal flyswatters used on more than one occasion on my ass. And I had a parent and a sibling who, while not quick to strike, weren't altogether hesitant to lay hands on me. I got good smackings on multiple occasions. I don't know that I deserved that shit. I remember getting smacked for spilling stuff, which strikes [haha - a pun!] me as excessive. [Glad my brother is a better father than he was a brother, at times. At least he grew out of that shit.] I do remember in my teenage years grabbing my mom's hands to keep her from smacking me. And I remember watching my mom losing her mind one time, after smacking me in the face, when I asked her if that "made her feel better." I'm absurdly proud of that moment. Smartass runs deep in my veins.
I wish I could go back in time, make completely different choices about just about everything in my life, but still end up exactly where I am now. And I would've totally been a huge slut in high school.
It is eminently fucked up to look back on your life to realize that you made a bunch of your decisions in hopes, subconsciously and psychologically, that you'd get folks to like you. And those folks you were hoping to influence were the folks who were supposed to like you, regardless of the choices you make. But those decisions DID make them like you more. And later, when you made decisions they disagreed with, they liked you less. Family is a motherfucker.
Man, I love my wife.
I remember, during the process of college selection, way back 20 or so years ago, both my parents saying, basically "yeah, we'll try to help, but you're kind of out of luck, we don't really have any $$." Any wonder, as a dumb 17 year old, I went to the Naval Academy? One thing I DO remember was the fact that my older brother was going to step up and help me out, had I decided to go to a different school. I can't tell you how crappy I felt later when I found out that my mom was pressuring my brother that it was his "responsibility" to help me out. Who the fuck was supposed to be the parent here?
All sorts of sites, books, etc say that when you are trying to figure out your future you should "follow your passion." Huh. There's a wealth of stuff I find interesting/fascinating, but passionate about? Jeez. I don't know. I remember being passionate about wanting to be Batman at about 8-9 years old, but that's about it. I can't remember an age where I wasn't expected to be intelligent, practical or pursuing what was expected of me. Ever since age, say, 26 or so, where I broke free of expectations [okay, not really, and only a little bit, but I'm working on it] where I didn't have some sort of expectation about what I should be doing... In a lot of ways, I don't even remember what it's like to BE passionate about something...
Weekends are too short. Jesus, do they blow by quick...
Joss Whedon is god.
Sometimes I wonder if people are really aware at all of the things they say, do or affect. [See biases, earlier...]
Meaning in life through work is a fickle thing. I can feel totally fulfilled when a group of kids crowd me in the store to try to have a conversation in English or when a buncha kids wanna have a bike race. Totally worth being in Japan for. Totally significant and full of satisfaction being where I am and doing what I do. But when I try to start a convo with one of the kids I think I've built up a rapport with over the last couple years, and they blow me off with a visceral disdain, it makes me wonder what the hell I'm even doing here.
It's been 5 weeks since the Mrs has headed back to the US. Since then, and I've realized only recently, I have buried myself in mediocrity. I've even said, jokingly, I need to keep myself distracted. In order to keep from thinking too much about a being split apart from the wife. And I have. Constantly, almost... video playing in the background... YouTube spirals... anything and everything just to keep myself intrigued.
I've wondered, of late, why I've felt so... lacking, is probably the best word. Something missing, I guess. And the truth of it is that I have spent the time filling my life with everything and anything. And it's that that gets it. Because, really, there is a great deal of quality TV, DVD, MP3, podcasts and what else out there out in the ether, but I've not been discriminate at all. I've been, really, sucking up all and any in the vainglorious hope that it'd affray the fact I'm living alone now. That really needs to change, lest I spiral further downward and downward into a life and a world where I really don't enjoy or have a point to what I'm doing. So it is.
Less sucking it all in then, in hopes of fighting off painful loneliness, and more careful and discriminate attention to what goes into the brainpan.
"Yeah. I'm calling your "faith" bullshit. This man needs medical help if he can't get through his life without something invisible to believe in. Y'know, I wouldn't mind all this half so much if there was some historical truth in it. This whole concept of "faith"— of believing in something that isn't fucking there— was invented by a man to cover up the cracks in the "christianity" he cobbled together with the Romans. This whole god thing comes from the days when our brains weren't as connected up as they are now, and we all hallucinated daily!- Spider Jerusalem, Transmetropolitan
...That's it! That is the absolute fucking limit! You're all in for it now, you bunch of cheap scam artists! All of you! Thieves, the goddamn lot of you! Thieves and leeches! Fucking vampires sucking the will from people whose only goddamn crimes were to be frightened and tired! And you don't help them! You don't listen to them! They get no no truth from you! All you do is scare them with stories of something that doesn't exist! And you bastards are winning! Hundreds more of you every day! Getting away with it in a place so noisy that no one could hear the truth if it were ever told... and I can't fight you alone, you fucks..."