Turf Marking

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MMIII-MMVII
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FYI

Things you need to know:
  • Some posts, or the links they contain, are NSFW. This is your only warning.
  • This blog serves the cause of my freedom of speech, not yours. I wield censorship like a 10 year-old boy who just found his father's handgun.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

-The Sphinx, Mystery Men

Well, perhaps I don't dress in that manner (now), but I can now officially ACT in that manner, thanks to PayPal --





Help support my habit. My future endeavors (read: my bobo, metrosexual lifestyle) cost money, you know!
All this reading lately, all these cool websites I've found as a result of this reading (for example, Zoe Trope's), all the music I've been listening to lately has made my old creative itch return. Unfortunately, I've only two real creative outlets: music and this here blog thingy.

I'm still in the process of working out my list of "Things I Want to Accomplish in 2004" but it will include these two items:
A jazz arrangement of the song Another Sunday by Robert Lamm. I've already decided that whatever instrumentation is used, the last verse of the song needs to be sung.

"instant gratification 2.0" - as soon as I work all the bugs out of my budget, I'm going to at least upgrade this blogger account so that the ad doesn't show. I already have some ideas for a format change.


I could definitely use the readers' (all 3 of you) help with this last one -- tell me how to improve this thing!
Before I left the house I listened to today's Morning Edition on NPR. One of the features was an interview with American Records' Rick Rubin on the release of Johnny Cash's boxed set Unearthed. He had some very interesting recollections on the period that Cash recorded with American. It did produce some good music, my favorite being his version of Personal Jesus (yes, Depeche Mode), which I have on mp3.
Purely as a lark, I did a search on one of my favorite stories from The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002. Now, without violating any copyright laws whatsoever, I'm proud to bring to you, the instant gratification reader:
Journal of a New COBRA Recruit
by Keith Pille
...and knowing is half the battle.
Yes, today will be even better. The weather's a bit cooler, but E comes home tonight!

Monday, December 29, 2003

Yes, it's been such an awesome day so far, I can actually hear U2 in the back of my mind. It's a glorious day weather-wise; a nice 60 degrees. I had a restful night's sleep last night. I spent the morning meditating on (that is, pondering) my life, and finally discovered the piece that was missing as I'm trying to (re-)discover the spiritual component of the direction that I want my life to take.

I've got time to chill out here in OU's library, now open again after the holidays, so I've got a steady net connection, plus time to enjoy it. I don't work for another couple of hours.

And the icing on the cake is that I spoke with E a few moments ago, and she comes back TOMORROW!! God, I've missed her so much. We've resolved never to be apart like that again, at least not during Christmas.

In short, today I've been blessed, not only be being alive and feeling alive, but feeling centered and at one with Creation.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Not that I've actually seen a benjamin recently. I see numbers in my bank account that fluctuate back and forth and very rarely translate into equal amounts of currency in my grubby little hands.

But, yesterday I increased my chances of seeing said benjamins -- I finally finished creating a real bonafide budget for myself, based on a certain amount of income (since it sort of varies weekly).

Today, of course, I decreased my chances because I decided to treat myself since I managed to make a nice amount above my projected earnings this month. I finally got The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 (at 30% off, though!) and the latest issue of the Journal of Asian Martial Arts which had a very informative article which devotes a section to the form of kung fu I study -- Aw, c'mon, what the heck else am I saving my money for?

Friday, December 26, 2003

*New title for a new set of entries. Tag me if you get the reference.

I initially thought this should concern my official new hobby - "contemporary literature." Instead, I'm just going to dwell, ponder and/or comment on whatever I may read.

In this first entry, I'll just say that I've been through an awful lot of books. I suppose it started this time last year, actually. In no particular order, except for the first one which I know I read at the first of the year:

If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B-Movie Actor by Bruce Cambpell
Characters and Viewpoint by Orson Scott Card
Work It! by Allison Hemming
Every Man, God's Man by Arterburn and Luck
Bobos in Paradise by David Brooks
Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice
(This was a re-read)
The Fran Lebowitz Reader by Fran Lebowitz
(I try to re-read this one at least once a year)
The Thomas Factor by Gary Habermas
Your God is Too Safe by Mark Buchanan
Spiritual Advice for Buddhists and Christians by the Dalai Lama (I seem to remember this as the title -- the book was loaned to me)
Depth Takes a Holiday by Sandra Tsing Loh
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002 edited by Dave Eggers
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
(I actually only started this a few days ago.)

I know I've missed some. One comes to mind right now. I don't record it because I can't remember the author's name at the moment. Plus, it doesn't even touch the magazine and internet articles I've read. And, I'd hardly call 2003 an extraordinary year in reading for me -- just the first year I've noticed just how many things I've fed my head with.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Chances are, I'll be a bit busy the day after Christmas, and probably away from the internet in any case, so I thought I'd offer this a few days early.

Kinky and fun, you know how to scream and you sure know how to have one hell of a party!! And one hell of a night . . .
Congratulations! You're a screaming orgasm!!


What Drink Are You?
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Two days before Christmas and it's almost 55 degrees. It'll snow tomorrow, I believe, but by then I'll be in Cleveland (I hope) in which case I'm sure the weather outside will be frightful.
No matter how you feel about the war in Iraq, you cannot deny one inescapable fact -- as of right now there is NO EVIDENCE Iraq or Saddam had ANYTHING WHATSOEVER to do with 9/11! NADA... NONE... ZIPAROONIO!

Every time I hear about the polls saying how many Americans believe the contrary (53% in a poll from USA Today, in a reference I heard a few hours ago), it grates on my nerves. For pete's sake, you don't have to be (or, even LIKE) Al Franken or Michael Moore to see how far the current administration has backpedalled, you only HAVE TO OPEN YOUR EYES. It's been all over the news and TV -- granted, it's buried usually, but still.

Monday, December 22, 2003

As I look at the past year, despite, "what I have done and what I have failed to do" (as we former Catholics still have a tendency to say), I have to say that this has been the year containing my lowest and highest points of my life.

E's been in my life for about 6 months total, and they've been the very best of my entire life. By most standards, this relationship is a whirlwind one. In this short time, we've built such a connection that it's been hard for either of us to conceive of a time when we weren't together.

So far, the biggest obstacles to our relationship that have yet to be completely worked out: some minor unresolved facets of both our pasts, disagreement on the correct timeliness of doing the dishes, and the fact that she doesn't share my love of Philly-blue-eyed soul singers.
This merits special attention.

Last Friday, E retold the story about the time she went to some psychic guy in Korea. She was told that within a year, she'd be married to a Chinese man with a big nose who was an engineer. Nothing about a Filipino with social work tendencies. Well, she's been reevaluating the truth of that prediction in light of a few facts she discovered.

Within a year...
Our relationship is within the time frame.

She'd be married...
E had a conversation with a Korean woman she was tutoring about said prediction. This woman stated that, in Korean culture, any couple living together are simply assumed to be married, or at least on their way there, and are more or less treated as such. Therefore, any vision a Korean psychic would have about E living with a man would, to him, constitute "marriage."

To a Chinese man...
According to this same woman, most non-Korean Asians are simply lumped into the "Chinese" category. This is apparently due to the many Chinese living there. Any vision of me by a Korean psychic would be of "a Chinese man."

With a big nose...
Another Korean student of E's who I met a couple of months back commented to E about my "big nose." I don't, nor would most Westerners, consider my nose big. Westerners tend to look mostly at nose length or how far it sticks out from one's face. Koreans, on the other hand, look at nose width, and by that standard my nose would appear large to a Korean psychic.

Who was an engineer...
Ok, we're both puzzled by this one. I can't stretch my imagination or powers of logic far enough to make this connection.

Between this and the fact that E reported that the psychic was very accurate about facets of her past, who knows what to think? I've always been open-minded about psychic abilities in a "Ghostbusters" kinda way. I wish he'd been more open about what our relationship would hold for the future, but according to E, Johnny Smith reported seeing a horrible future that had to be prevented at all costs the psychic reported that things would "come together" by the time she was 39, especially financially.
I didn't have much time to go where I usually go to access the net, so once again, I relied on Windows Notepad yesterday, and today, the cut and paste feature.

Written 8:45 PM 12/21/03
This past weekend had its definite high and low points.

I drove E to Columbus so that she could hop a plane to see her mother and various friends in downstate New York.

I'm lonely.

She arrived safe and sound at Elmira, NY. She was searched at the airport in Columbus -- apparently her shoes were a bit suspicious. But, otherwise, the trip went well. She apparently made a new friend, as she is often wont to do, a fellow screenwriter who resides in L.A.

E got to spend some quality time with her mom that yielded some news: We don't have to worry about finding an engagement ring if when the time comes. Her mom is giving E her old wedding ring. Her mom (My future mom-in-law... man, that's a wierd thought. What's more wierd is how comfortable I am with it) had some stones from her engagement ring set onto her wedding ring after E's father passed away.

In case it hasn't been apparent, let me state it once and for all -- yes, she is the one.

Last Friday was a definite high point in my relationship with E. Since we'd be apart for Christmas, we had our own little time under our little tree. We'd spent most of the day in "decadence" surrounded by pillows, watching three of my favorite films (Mystery Men, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, and the original Shaft), and being rather intimate. Then came the presents! We got each other an assortment of little things. She was pleased with her gifts, and I was pleased with mine.

One of the things E gave me was The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002. I consider this my first real foray into "contemporary literature," because the collection isn't primarily humor for the NPR set or about various socio-economic phenomena, though it does have some of those elements.

However, I received a present unlike any other I've received in my life. And, I've received some extremely special gifts in my time -- gifts that I'll probably never write about on this weblog.

But the gift that E gave me is now one of the few physical possessions that I have that I will truly cherish. It was a penknife that her late father got in the Philippines during WWII. It isn't so much decorum, but sheer inabililty, that prevents me from describing what this act meant to E in light of all that her father meant to her.

Friday, December 19, 2003

It's been awhile since I gave you all a "two-for-one," so here it is. Go on, Freud -- figure this conundrum out.

vsvsv
Justice and Morality: You believe in doing what is
right for others and maybe even for yourself.
People would consider you one with good morals,
and someone who would not let them down.


Which Characteristic From the Samurai Code Matches You Best? (You may find out your best trait)
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theft
You're goin' down! FOR THEIVING!
Please rate if you liked!

If you're a goth please visit
groups.msn.com/gothicteensoftheworld and join
up cause it rules!


What Would You Go to Jail For? (Many outcomes)
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Thursday, December 18, 2003

As I've gotten older, I've gotten a little more pensive whenever a year wraps up. It's usually when I take stock of the previous 12 months in a vain attempt to figure out where to go from here. I say "vain," but it's really not. Some goals I meet, some I don't - usually the ones I should've.

I usually try to figure out what needs changed and how, in various areas of my life, including this blog. I've been at this thing almost a full year now, and it's been good for me. But, what could/should I do with this thing in 2004?
A.    I could always just delete this thing.
B.    Actually spend the time and money to get my own server, or at least a domain name, and learn CSS or something like that.
C.    Just make the usual minor cosmetic changes.
D.    Go more personal? Or less personal?
E.    Be more active about getting more readers?
F.    All of the above?
G.    None of the above?
Any suggestions, anyone?

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Well, if I wasn't Friendster-ed out already, there's an article on Buttafly that took the remaining wind out of the sails. I went through all that stuff, creating my profile (even putting my own damn face on it), building my network, essentially gorging myself on the Friendster experience. But, like all gorgings, you come to your senses, covered in beer, buffalo wing sauce, [body fluid double entendre deleted], etc. and ask yourself as you're puking your guts out, "What was this all for?"

I had only recently started to come to these conclusions on a subconscious level, anyway. I guess I could always take myself out of that network, but that smacks of effort.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

This whole series is about children being scarred!

-E, during the scene where (SPOILER - highlight the space if you want to read) little Boba Fett holds Jango Fett's decapitated head while we were watching Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Isn't it sad just how true that is?
Yes, this past weekend, I felt quite mushy as it was the first time (between Saturday morning and Sunday night) that E and I have been apart for a 24 hour period since I moved here. Who would've thought a tiny apartment could feel so big?

And, why did I miss her? Well, that became immediately evident when she returned and we watched the movie Trekkies. Just the fact that we could watch it together, by itself, makes her the best life partner I could ever have. Nevermind the fact that we could make tons and tons of jokes about it, mostly to cover up the fact that we both see pieces of ourselves underneath all the genetic misfits covered in Spock ears, Klingon ridges, TOS shirts (any color except red), and TNG phasers.
Remember those ads? R.I.F. Ah, another childhood memory.

Anyway, new book plug on the left of the page - Depth Takes a Holiday by Sandra Tsing Loh. IMO, "Fran Lebowitz-lite" but funny and maybe a bit more accessible.

Friday, December 12, 2003

I got this from E, who will always call this area home.
New England Temperature Conversion Chart

60° F: Southern Californians shiver uncontrollably. People in New England sunbathe.

50° F: New Yorkers try to turn on the heat. People in New England plant gardens.

40° F: Italian & English cars won't start. People in New England drive with the windows down.

32° F: Distilled water freezes. Maine's Moosehead Lake's water gets thicker.

20° F: Floridians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats. People in New England throw on a flannel shirt.

15° F: New York landlords finally turn up the heat. People in New England have the last cookout before it gets cold.

0° F: All the people in Miami die. New Englanders close the windows.

10° below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico. The Girl Scouts in New England are selling cookies door to door.

25° below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. People in New England get out their winter coats.

40° below zero: Washington DC runs out of hot air. People in New England let the dogs sleep indoors.

100° below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. New Englanders get frustrated because they can't start their "kahs."

460° below zero: All atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin scale). People in New England start saying, "cold 'nuff for ya?"

500° below zero: Hell freezes over. The Red Sox win the World Series.
The following is a conversation between E and me as we're watching the movie The Hunted with Tommy Lee Jones and Benecio del Toro. If you haven't seen it, this movie contains what is arguably the most realistic martial arts fight scene in a movie, which utilized the sayoc kali style of Filipino martial arts.
Me: Man, this is the $hi+!!
E: (disapproving look)
Me: Hey, this is my cultural heritage, here!
E: Bull$hi+. If you're cultural heritage was flower-pressing, would you be celebrating it?
Me: Aw, hell no, that's lame.
E: Exactly -- it's not about your cultural heritage, it's about your bloodlust (she says, with a big smile on her face).


At least, I think it was a smile.
I got this notice in the mail from my credit union today, italics added by me. What a load of $hi+.
Your HASSLE-FREE [Is it?] CHECKING available balance [not "the actual amount of money that every stinking piece of paper says should be in your damn account."] is not sufficient to cover the following...
Pisses me off, I tell you.

Amateur movie! You might not be too experienced in
the way of sex...but chances are, you do enjoy
it (or the thought of it). We'll probably see
you in some home video that surfaces on the
internet one day.


What kind of porno would you star in?
brought to you by Quizilla

I always knew I was too vanilla for my own good :(.

I can imagine a scene taken out of my life and put on the big screen TV-VCR screen/computer monitor in someone's basement: A solo scene where, immediately after the big [small] O, one has the energy to jump up, set up a game of Yahtzee, and on the first turn immediately score a Yahtzee, all while I'm just sittin' there :)

Monday, December 08, 2003

While E and I have still managed to avoid getting a powered antenna, we've been watching several fine movies. I've honestly lost track of what we've seen lately. I may have missed some, but in no particular order, they've included...

Cradle 2 the Grave - My first "DMX starring with a martial artist" movie. He really wasn't that bad. Jet, of course, is as much of a bad@$$ as ever. There was a scene with Jet and some rather prominent UFC fighters. E bristled at the thought that in a real life fight between Jet Li and Tito Ortiz, my money would be on Tito.

The Corruptor - It's always impressive to see how much range Chow Yun-Fat has, that he really is more than a two-fisted-gun-toting stoic. Although, we get some nice two-fisted-gun-toting stuff, too!

Moulin Rouge - I swore up and down that despite what the credits said, the Duke must've been played by Gary Oldman. He wasn't. While it dragged initially, it really wasn't as bad as I was led to believe when it first came out. The crowd I hung with at the time almost universally blasted the movie. Some walked out in the middle of it. But, there was some impressive stuff in there once you got past the rearrangement of various 80s tunes.

The Big Lebowski - I hadn't seen this one before. God, was I missing out! If you haven't seen it, stop what you're doing right now and do so!
On Google's front page, enter the following search terms and click "I'm feeling lucky!"
"miserable failure"

"weapons of mass destruction"
Now, that's what I call a search engine!

Saturday, December 06, 2003

I was walking around the Athens Wally World (aka WalMart) the other day when I heard a rather curious announcement. For $1.00 a ticket, you could enter a raffle for a Remington .28 gauge shotgun. I almost did, just to see 1) whether I'd win and 2) whether they'd make me wait for my prize while they did a background check or if they'd just hand it over.

I could go on about this, but why? Your own thoughts are probably swimming in the same direction as mine.

Friday, December 05, 2003

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Ten years since its inception, and I've managed to avoid it... until today.

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version: 3.12
GSS d+ s-:- a30 C++ U--- P L- E-- W++ N++ o+ K- w+ O--- M V-- PS+ PE Y+ PGP- t+++ 5++ X++ R++ tv+ b++ DI+ D++ G e++>+++ h--- r+(++) y+
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------


Sad, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

The song from Subtlety & Passion that really convinced me to take a closer look at is was Another Sunday. On cursory listen, it seems like Lamm just copied himself; compare it to the song Wake Up Sunshine from Chicago II.

Then, when you listen to the bridge of the song and realize it was co-written by Gerry Beckley of the band America, you might be tempted to write it off as yet another Beckley-Lamm-(sans)Wilson "BMW" (bitch, moan & whine) session about old age.

But, I know for me, personally, the last verse sort of sums up all the struggles I've had as of late with spiritual and life direction.
Another Sunday
Could I fin'lly?
Could I fin'lly start to live?
And maybe one day
I would take time
I would take some time to give
To those who always waited for me patiently
For my return and my company
But for now, you see
Comes Monday... I start all over again


Another Sunday
by G. Beckley/R. Lamm
I take back almost every negative comment I made about Chicago XXVII... er, I mean Robert Lamm's Subtlety & Passion album, especially on closer examination of some of the lyrics. Most of them are as brilliant as ever. Some are really lame, but you'll have that.

Dammit, Chicago, can't you make an album half as interesting anymore?
*Tag me if you can identify the source of this reference.

Without cable, one is pretty much screwed TV-wise in Athens. Your only alternative is a powered antenna, relatively inexpensive, but still a pain in the @$$ to bother with, especially when you're living in a household chock full of fine movies.

Videos E and I have watched thus far:
Some martial arts stuff I taped from the Discovery Channel awhile ago
Glengarry Glen Ross
The Star Trek episode Day of the Dove
Le Pacte des Loups
Rowan Atkinson - Live
The Godfather I & II

Part III will be tonight's viewing, I believe.