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2007.03.30 not an epic post:

so, you may or may not have noticed that i'm trying to get back on the horse here, and i think i've had a realization that part of my stumbling block to getting something out, is the feeling that every post should be a big, epic barn-burner. of course, some of the best posts are, but if every post has to be, then, well, i'd have to lead a more interesting life.

as it is, tonight's post, which was going to be about my upcoming trip to the PHP/tek conference in Chi-town in May, is actually going to be about how much i already despise Vista.

I've had the new laptop just over a day now, and already it has bogged down or crashed out at least 6 times. the first being mere moments after first boot-up and running through the initial new-installation setup routines. i swear, for an OS that is supposed to be the most stable windows version yet, this is one touchy little bitch. I have finally managed to divest it of all the crapware that came pre-installed (including MS works, office trial, and other sundries), but i can't for the life of me figure out where to go to uninstall windows mail or windows messenger. on the bonus side, messenger doesn't seem to be starting up on boot, so maybe i don't have to worrry about that anyway.

oh, and you know that Mac ad with the windows security guy standing behind PC asking him to "cancel or allow?" well, i figured it was an exaggeration, but y'know, it really isn't. every damn time i try to load some piece of software (i am trying to setup a new machine, afterall) i have to confirm that yes, i do want this program to run. and heaven forbid if i try to actually administer the computer.

i may not even make it to the point where i have a working system before I strip it and install Linux. i'm already severely annoyed with Vista, and a little sad that MS can get away with putting out such crap, still.

none of this is to say that Mac OSX isn't without its flaws, but hell, at least they can fall back on the whole "we had to migrate from an entirely different architecture" thing.

oh yeah, and one last thing. the entire time i've been typing this, Vista has been trying to restart, after a software installer failed to even launch. and now, i think it's knocked out my router. but then, my router's been a little wishy washy lately anyway, so i can't blame that entirely on Vista. but i'm still suspicious.

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- 12:51 am - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Computers/Tech - Rants


2006.08.14 a flock of knives cut the sky:

So…life's a real bitch, ain't it? Today, when I got off work, I went out to my car and hit the unlock button on the ol' keychain, just like I do every time I get into my car. Mark was riding with me, and he was a little slow opening the door, so he got it right when the car was relocking itself. Well, the alarm started going off. No problem. You just shut the door and hit the disarm/unlock button and the shit goes off, right? No harm, no foul, right?


The fucking thing kept blaring. We both get in the car and I'm maniacally hitting the unlock button, trying to get the motherfucker to turn off. No such luck. Finally, it just…stops. Strange. So I go to start the car, and the fucking thing starts going off again. It won't even let me start the car. The ignition is locked the fuck out. Awesome. So I climb out, still pushing that button like a madman, and nothing is happening. So I do what any other sane person in my position would do.

I kicked a dent in the side of my car.

Oddly enough, this had no effect on the blaring car alarm. It would go off for about 30 seconds to a minute, then stop. As soon as you tried to open one of the doors again, it would start right the fuck back up. I walked to a pharmacy down the street and they miraculously had the right battery for the remote. So I bought the battery, replaced it, went back to my car…nothing.

I called St. Matthews Imports and they referred me to Swope. Swope then tells me it's real easy to fix.

"Just insert the key into the ignition and push and hold the security button on your stereo…"

This is when I interrupt him to let him know that I no longer have the factory stereo installed.

"Oh. Well. You'll have to get it here so we can have a technician take a look at it."

Brooksie came and picked me up, thank the fuck christ. We came home, I found my spare remote, made sure to put the new battery in it, then went down to try again. Still nothing. Fuck.

So…the car has gas, a charged battery, nothing wrong with it…and I have to get the motherfucker towed all the way out to Hurstbourne and then pay some dickhead to fix this shit for me.

I swear…I want to find the middle-management asshole that thought up this safety "feature" and smack him upside his damn head.

Irony? The car is officially paid off, as of today.

- 07:23 pm - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Nothing


2004.09.01 horseshit comes in surprising packages:

well, previously, i thought horseshit only came out of horse's asses. apparently, i was mistaken, as i've just seen one man spew more horseshit in two minutes than i've seen in all the years i've been alive. the capacity of the man's stomach must be mind-boggling, to be able to store all that crap, and regurgitate it upon command.

i already thought Zell Miller was an idiot, now i'm wondering if he's even still considered sentient. if this is they guy the Republicans choose to deliver the keynote speech, then man, this country (being temporarily in their hands) is even worse off than i'd originally estimated. i really tried, i steeled myself against the crap that i expected, and thought i was prepared to sit the whole speech out, but i just couldn't do it. sitting in a room with my moderate fiance and her ambiguously conservative father, i didn't want to start going on a rant that would alienate me before the wedding plans are even finalized.

needless to say, i'm supremely interesting in seeing what those who are better at this sort of commentary have to say about his speech tomorrow.

i'll set this in motion though, with two points that stuck in my craw:

1) Partisan activity / no bi-partisan cooperation:
The republicans can hardly blame the democrats for a lack of bipartisan cooperation, as i seem to recall that, at least for the entirety of Clinton's second term, especially once the Republicans gained control of the legislature, there was limited to no bi-partisan cooperation from their side. in fact, there was such a witch-hunt against Clinton, that it seriously damaged even the possibility of bi-partisan cooperation, even among reasonable people.

Sept. 11 did a lot to overcome that animosity, but King George's actions and decisions since then have only served to bring them back. Those opposing Bush are fighting for freedom against tyranny, and this country was *founded* by a massive revolt against the established leadership.

in fact, i was thinking the other day about a series of questions to ask people who say that disagreeing with the president is unpatriotic. i now don't remember specifically the questions i was thinking of, but it boils down to asking if they considered the American Revolution to be a patriotic endeavor, then pointing out to them that the American Revolution was all about dissenting with those in charge.

so, i would argue that the people who disagree with the president are at least as patriotic, if not more patriotic than those who blindly follow him.

*** at this point, i've completed this entry once, crashed mozilla & lost everything after this point, so i'm going to try to re-create it ***

2) the second offensive thing he went off on was the whole "liberators/occupiers" thing. we may have been liberators, but after King George declared "mission accomplished" at the "end of major combat operations" we became occupiers. but that's beside the main point of why this pisses me off.

if we had gone into Iraq for the purpose of liberating the people from the evil Saddam, then i'd be all about calling us liberators. unfortunately, the reality is that the reasons we went to war had nothing to do with the freedom of the Iraqi people. we went to war because Saddam's (non-existent) WMD made him an "imminent threat" to the safety of the nation. and the war piggy-backed on 9/11 because supposedly Saddam (militant secularist) had some indefinable connections to al Qaeda (extreme fundamental religious). of course, all of these real reasons we were given turned out to be false, and so the administration and their lackeys fell back on the convenient "liberators of the Iraqi people" excuse. it's kind of like, when you're a kid, and mom finds you digging in the cookie jar, and you say "but mom, i was getting a cookie for sissie." if mom actually buys it, she's a moron with no business parenting.

now, i walked out on the illustrious idiot's speech, as i said, about two minutes after we'd tuned in (if that long), and ended up getting so pissed it had to leave right about the line "… nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators."

as i've gone back later tonight and read the text of his speech, i can see more what the imbecile meant by "liberators"–that our soldiers protect the freedoms of american citizens, thus they are our liberators. this is all well and good, unfortunately, as mentioned above, the reasons given for needing to protect American liberty turned out to be bogus. there was no imminent threat to national security presented by Saddam. of course, ask me if i think Iraq poses a significant threat to American now, and i would say, most certainly, yes. the occupation of Iraq has stirred up ill will toward this country not only in Iraq, but in most other countries around the world as well, and it has made Iraq what is was not before–a breeding ground for new terrorist groups and recruits. so much for the war on terror, eh Mr. Bush?

i think i'll try to update this post a few times today if i run across any good commentaries on the garbage that prompted this post.

David Adesnik on OxBlog
Steve on his NewsBlog (i almost didn't link this one because of the Nazi/Fascist hate-baiting, but he did make a few salient points).
Daily Dish on
Jesse Taylor on Pandagon
Joshua Micah Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo (be sure to check out the link about Kerry's weapons systems votes)
Kevin Drum on Washington Monthly (actually, i don't think i need to look for any more after this one, his post is a roundup of other's posts, so he's done my job for me.)

- 11:04 pm - PL :: 3 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Politics - Rants - Society


2004.07.20 little worm on a big fuckin' hook:

holy shit. i feel like a circus dog who's been performing three shows a day…

i went 10 rounds with my employer and the various intermediate companies between me and my health insurance today, and damn, am i pissed off.

first off, the policy that my company offers (and on which my acceptance of the job hinged) is complete and total shit. well, let me qualify that—everything about the policy seemed pretty good except for the fact that the bastards won't pay out more than $5,000 per year (which point they did not elucidate during the enrollment process at all). so, if all i need is preventive care, i'm golden, but the moment i have an accident or fall deathly ill and require any kind of hospital stay or any involved procedure, i'm bankrupt. it's completely ridiculous, and the single worst medical insurance plan i've ever seen.

and now that i've signed up to have it taken out pre-tax, they say i can't cancel it. and the private insurer i've talked to in the last couple days says she's not sure if i can have two insurance policies at the same time, so not only can i not drop the worthless policy, i also can't sign up for one that will make sure i'm actually covered.

so, i'm going to have to get back in the ring tomorrow, and see if i can convince them to let me cancel. i'm debating restarting the job search right now, and just get the hell out any way i can. if anyone has any ideas, i'm all ears right now.

wish me luck.

- 11:26 pm - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Rants - Work


2004.01.26 reflection, refraction:

i know that just about every post i write lately seems to center around politics. i guess it's inevitable, since we're in an election year and currently under the rule of the most authoritarian regime this country's ever seen. for someone who said he was going to be a uniter and a champion of the people, he sure seems to have rustled up a massive hornets nest of independents and political apathists (myself included) all now dead-set against him and his party.

see, before "Dubya" charged into power–with the assist from his brother's administration in Florida, and the slam dunk by the Supreme Court–i was largely a non-partisan liberal socialist whose only agenda was that the big people should help the little people, and the large corporations should not be allowed to hurt the little people or wield any type of power over the government or its citizens. for the most part i didn't care about politics, and i was of the firm opinion that my one voice didn't count for much of anything. i didn't bother to vote, or even to learn about the candidates or delve into the issues of the day. i knew from a philosophical standpoint what type of society i wanted, and i knew that the pursuit of *my goals* in the context of this society full of idiots and greedy bastards would be a futile endeavor. so i contented myself with the idea that i could do things better, but without the responsibility (in the face of certain defeat) to attempt to actually attempt to do so.

all this changed when bush was running for president. for the first time, i felt compelled to do a little research and go to the polls to exercise my civic duty. see my post from Nov. 2000 and the two emails linked to from that post it is interesting going back to the stuff written nearly four years ago, especially the passionate political stuff and seeing what and how i was talking about the issues when i was really *just* seriously delving into them. it's also gratifying to note that i still hold the same opinions to this day, pretty much point for point, issue for issue.

i certainly railed against the Democratic party as being too centrist and in the pockets of the large corps. and lobbyists. that's one thing i've been rather pleased to have seen change with the candidates for this year's Democratic nomination–they are more liberal (except Lieberman) and there are at least a couple candidates who are non-career politicians and beholden to no industry or special interest groups (Clark & Sharpton, though Edwards & Dean may meet the latter qualification). and they are all passionately talking about the issues that matter, in no uncertain terms, and making plans that can make a difference.

now, i'm pleased to say that i'd be proud to count my voice among the supporters of most of the potential Democratic nominees, all of whom (except Lieberman, Sharpton, and Kucinich) i think would make great presidents. having studied the issues, the candidates, and their positions and qualifications, i proudly say that i whole-heartedly throw my lot in with see how he stacks up (in my mind), and take an opportunity to get yourself an education while you're at it.

as a side note, of all the people who said they'd enjoy filling out one of the blank score sheets, not a one has actually done so. there's still time, if you want to put yourself through the paces and weigh in. '04 ScoreSheet

now, i was originally going to write this post in response to President Bush's first stump speech of the 2004 election campaign (A.K.A. the State of the Union address). in lieu of that, i'll just mention that i thought it was a huge pile of crap, pandering to his conservative constituents while taking direct adolescent stabs at those who disagree with his opinions and policies (a "uniter" indeed). but rather than attempting to debunk the speech myself and recreate the wheel, i figured i'd let those more qualified point out the more obvious flaws, misleading statements, and outright lies in the State of the Union Speech.
i'll also refrain from doing anything other than mentioning the inappropriate and inapplicable moral and religious grandstanding.

finally, i've been pleased to see Wes Clark (though i strongly support separation of church & state, and am loathe to see anyone in or seeking public office touting their religion, especially touting it over someone else's) answering the long-standing and wholly inaccurate Republican idea that liberals are amoral atheistic people (this is me greatly summarizing the point). it really is time that we liberals stand up and point out that the religions we grew up with preached tolerance, brotherly-love, self-sacrifice, and the obligation of the strong to protect and/or help the weak. It was Jesus who said "Love your neighbor as yourself"(Matt 5:43-8; Lev 19:17-18; Matt. 19:18-19; Matt 22:37-40), "as you do unto the least of these my brethren, so also you do unto me" (Matt 25:40), who healed the leprous though they were outcasts, and who instructed the Apostles to go out and preach his word to the Gentiles though they were considered unclean and less than human. In favoring the rich and powerful over those not so fortunate, and in castigating and denigrating those whose race, gender, or sexual orientation differ, the Republican party takes this country in a direction entirely opposite that which was set forth by the very figure from whom they claim to draw all their inspiration and guidance.

ok, so i meant to save that whole religion thing for another post. oh well. extra fuel for the fire, i guess.

- 11:50 pm - PL :: 11 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Calls to Action - Cool Links - Nostalgia - Personal Projects - Politics - Rants - Society


2004.01.17 Take a deep breath:

i hate to admit it, but… i agree with george w. bush.

now, before you all go into a swoon or tizzy, bear in mind that, in 3 years of policy making, there so far is only 1 (ONE–more than "none", but less than "a couple", and way less than even "some") of his policies that i agree with–the new space policy. i should also admit that i haven't read the complete policy, or read or listened to all of the speech announcing the policy, however, what i have heard and read about the policy coincides almost exactly with what i–for the last 10 years–have considered to be our best path to continued space exploration. i personally think we could establish a permanent base on the moon much sooner than 2020, perhaps even by 2010 if we really pushed it. i also think a lunar base is an imperative next step in our space program, as it will provide a (relatively) near-earth proving ground for developing technologies to get us to mars.

i know that some (Paul, if i remember correctly, being one) think that we should turn that money towards earth, towards fixing all those things that georgie boy wants to break or give to the corporate interests (our environment being one example, our "lower class" being another, and our "economy" being the third, but not final). i can certainly see the point of this argument, the extended version of which would be that most technologies that would be developed for space with applications here at home could just as easily be developed either in the private sector, or with the right government in power. i have always been a proponent of a strong space program, frankly because i have the dream that someday i might get to visit the moon or another planet, or maybe even meet an extraterrestrial being. but i also think that the space program, if handled correctly, and, as we've seen with the spirit rover, successfully, can be a great source of inspiration and motivation and promise to the populace and the entire world. successful space programs are proven morale boosters, and on top of that, they reinforce a whole-world perspective, perhaps lessening petty moral conflicts and territorial disagreements. in fact, in a recent speech Al Gore gave to members about the environment and the bush administration's egregious environmental policies, he used, as major components of his presentation, several images that only exist because of a successful space program. he specifically called out and mentioned the power of these types of images to influence public perception and awareness of their place in the world, and in the rest of the universe. so, i see a vibrant and aggressive space program as a necessity in helping to shape the planet-wide consciousness, so that, with any luck, we'll realize how "we're all in this together," and we'll hopefully stop killing each other.

well, there's my little pro-NASA spiel. oh yeah, i suppose i should mention that i think NASA's grown fat and lazy (to put it in succinct, human terms) and that they're going to have to seriously get their asses in gear if any of this is going to come to fruition. they've been learning to be lean and mean, again as the mars rover attests, but they're going to have to maintain that zeal and versatility once they're flush with new funds… which leads me to my next point.

i'm going to make a little prediction here, if anyone remembers around Feb. or Mar. of next year, remind us about this, ok? here goes: if, by some freak chance all the people with a real conscience in this nation get the croup and die before election day this year, and georgie boy gets re-elected; and bearing in mind the administration's record on pronouncing policies, passing legislation, and then pulling funding, i think i can safely predict that, when the budget proposal is put on the table next year, NASA will not get the promised funding increase, and will, in fact, see a major funding decrease. there's my prediction. dubya will underfund NASA and his proposed space program just like he's underfunded Homeland Insecurity and the No School Left Unpunished act.

now, to my next major point, and the little bit of news that made me write this post at 6 freakin o'clock in the morning, instead of waiting 'til tomorrow: yet another controversial bush political move is made and announced on a Friday. You see, the NASA thing was announced on Wednesday, and was rumored for several weeks beforehand, so he waited 'til Friday to announce this whammy.

judge charles w. pickering gets his seat on the appeals court handed to him by King George II, who sidesteps (admittedly, legally) the regular process which has kept pickering from getting confirmed for the last two damn years. pickering is an obvious racist, who deserves more to be shit-canned than promoted. If anyone can look at this and still not understand why i fucking hate georgie porgie, then… well, i don't know what. it's completely incomprehensible to me that this president can make these kinds of moves with no repercussions. well, hopefully, the repercussion will be that he gets his ass handed to him in November.

other news: massive behind the scenes changes to the gallery scripts which will effect no-one but me & brian 'cause i just made it easier for us to add images without having to go through some huge ordeal. if anyone notices breakage, let me know. by the way, for those of you who don't pay attention, or who forget easily, remember that that dropdown list up at the top there (assuming you're on the main theme–hey, remember those?) will take you not only to other blogs or sites we like, but other bipolar-related items or sub-projects like, gasp, the galleries! yay, obtuse navigational schemes!

finally, everybody wish the puffin a happy three-oh, which'll happen Real Soon Now™

- 06:33 am - PL :: 7 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Bipolar: News - Birthday - Politics - Rants - x:13 Family


2003.02.20 Paris: Day Eight

This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Paris 2002

Mom, Dad, and Javan were planning on going to the Deauville market (an open-air market of small sellers), so I walked with them first to the Tourism Office (Dad wanted some more WWII historical brochures).

I saw a bank across the street, so i split off from them to go cash a traveler's cheque.

The teller spoke little english, but after I'd signed and dated the cheque, she informed me that she couldn't cash it because the signatures didn't match my passport signature (despite the fact that she shouldn't have needed my passport signature in the first place). It was my own fault for signing the passport so hurriedly and more haphazardly than my "normal" signature.

So, utterly pissed off, I walked down to the American house for some advice. They told me of another bank, and i quickly made my way there.

I explained the situation to a teller who knew even less english (mistake #3) &, after calling and conferring with the first bank, they told me that they also could not accept it. Filled with a blood-lust and wanting to bitch-slap the teller, I restrained myself and let them know how pissed i was through a series of exasperated sighs, guttural noises, and very obvious body-language.

After this second insult, I went back to the American house and sulked for a bit in front of their TV, as the buzz of wedding preparations filled the remaining neurons that would've carried the now off-loaded animosity.

Eventually, after hanging out and watching cartoons with the boys a bit, and after running an errand, the carriage arrived that was to drive Dad & Sara around Deauville before (& to) the ceremony.
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

The wedding was officially underway.

All the participants, family, and friends met at the Mairie (Mayor's office) to await the arrival of the bride and her father.
[1] [2] [3]

On their arrival, there were some photo ops, and general confusion. Things were straightened out, and the wedding party proceeded inside.
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]

The mayor conducted the ceremony entirely in french (no surprise there), and while i understood very little, i was able to follow some, & get the emotional meaning of what he was saying through inflection and expression.
[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

Paulo is supposed to be sending an english translation of the ceremony as soon as he can.

After the ceremony and more photos (this was probably the most camera happy wedding i've ever seen), the bride and groom loaded into the 2 person carriage, and the families, best-man, bride's maid, official photographer, and the best man's "date" all loaded onto the 18 person carriage to follow the bride & groom across the countryside to the pre-reception reception at a forest adventure course.

A couple stops were made (more photos ops) on the way, and the going was slow because the 2 horses pulling our carriage were having trouble on some of the steeper hills. Once we got to the forrest course (too late to actually go through it) the horses were foaming and drenched in sweat.

But, with the course closed, the champagne flowed freely. I got drunk in front of my parents for the first time.

I assisted Laura (the official photographer) by loading a roll of black & white film into my camera (after finishing my 11th & final roll) and taking photos for her.

After helping the Deauvillians "clean up the champagne," we headed to the hotel for the reception dinner–another full french-style dinner with aperitifs by the pool, and lasting from 8:00pm 'til midnight.

At dinner, i continued to smoke & drink in front of my parents… freaky.

Immediately after dinner, the DJ started "working" with a truly strange mix of international tunes, not all of which were even "danceable." I stayed on the floor for all of maybe four songs.

Shortly after dancing, the people who were giving me a ride back to Paris told me they were ready to get out, so i said my goodbyes and followed them out the door… my last night in France was drawing to a close.

I slept part of the way on the 2 hour drive to Paris, then caught a 15 minute nap at Sara's apartment, then walked to the Air France bus stop.

The first step onto the bus was like a first step into reality after a long daydream.

I didn't want to go home.

- 01:47 am - PL :: 1 Comment
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Family - Friends - Happy/Love - Rants - Travel


2002.08.06 life sucks:

so, yeah, life sucks.

it's like this: a few months ago (you might remember) i took my car in to get the brakes (and some other things) worked on. well, when i got the car back, i heard some noises coming from the brakes when i used them. i, in my limitless ignorance, just assumed that the new brakes had to get "broken in" or something. i fully intended to take the car back to the shop to have them tell me what they did wrong, but i had neither the money nor the time consecutively at the right moments so that i could. long story short, i'm riding around on crappy brakes for a couple months, marveling at the grinding noises of metal on metal at each stop.

cut to: last sunday night.
after a lengthy somewhat frustrating band practice, our hero and his cohort are in a red toyota tercel driving down a side street towards a circular intersection. as they approach the stop sign, our hero begins to apply his brakes. his foot promptly reaches the floor of the car, (SFX: "clunk, thump") which keeps moving with no loss of speed. frantic brake pumping ensues, and the vehicle rolls to a stop just a hair past the stop sign.

Matt: (dripping sarcasm)
"well, that was interesting."

Brax: (concern & confusion)
"what happened?"

Matt: (disgusted)
"the brakes just went out."

Brax: (more concern)
"went out?"

Matt: (more disgust, mixed with incredulity)
"totally. out. gone."

Brax: (concern increasing)
"what are you gonna do? can we make it home?"

Matt: (determined, still disgusted)
"yeah. we'll make it home ok. i've still got the emergency brake."

pull back through driver's side window to shot of car moving slowly down an incline and away from the (stationary) camera.

- 11:53 am - PL :: 16 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Friends - Rants


2002.01.02 well, glory be:

ok. so, technically, i missed the deadline for the end of the year blowout post. we'll just have to make do.

the new year is already on us, and i can't help but feeling that i barely noticed the old one passing. if it weren't for the fact that i have to put my coat on just to go out and smoke, and that even inside the house, my fingers are always cold, i'd be hard pressed to believe you if you told me it was winter. top that off with the fact that the seasonal depression that seemed to have affected me every year for the past 6 or more never did really grab hold of me this year, and things are just that much more surreal.

the only really major event in my personal life this year was the move out of the casa de bipolar, and into a newly christened casa de coffeemonk. one would think that such an event would have been enough to really drive home the concept of the passing of time, but the transition was so smooth and uneventful in itself, that i hardly noticed the change. of course, the unfortunate side-effect of the move has been the loss of hang-out time with my compadre brian over there to my left. on the positive side, i've been enjoying increased hang-out time with the old crew and getting to be closer friends with them all over again. and i've made some new friends that had formerly been (to me, anyway) outside of my normal circle, and welcomed them into the family.

on the romantic front, this past year has just been a continuation of the same barren wasteland of the year before. so, nothing to write about in that arena.

i hesitate to make any sort of new years resolution, not having ever made one before, but i believe that my life has reached a point where i will either have to make some drastic changes, or simply accept that there are some things over which i have no direct conscious control. i've let my writing slip for such a long time, that my typewriter and i are hardly on speaking terms anymore. i've been so remiss in maintaining my reading habits that the same 15 books that were sitting unread on my bookshelf at the beginning of the year are still there looking particularly unhappy. i've also become astoundingly lazy. but, my friends, changes… they are a'comin'.

already over the christmas break i read three books, so the reading muscles are once again getting primed to tackle those paperback copies of the Illiad and the Odyssey. I took my laptop to my grandmother's house over the break, and this time, i actually managed to turn it on, re-read some of the writings i'd been working on, and even to endeavor to add some lines to the story. the laziness thing will really be the tough nut, but i think i'm beginning to get sufficiently pissed off to the point that i'll soon be able to chastise myself into action.

so overall, the past year has been very very… blah–for the most part. but i have high hopes that this year will prove to be more fulfilling.

stay tuned.

- 10:24 pm - PL :: 2 Comments
categories ::  Angry/Hate - Bipolar: Year End Recap - Friends - Love Life - Personal Projects - Rants - Writing


2001.09.16 justice:

well, i don't even know where to begin at this point. i barely touched the computer here at home over the past week. usually, i'm on here two hours a night, at the very least, but i've spent most of my time glued to the tv as i imagine most of you have. i attempted to write a post talking about my feelings and opinions of the tragic events that have taken place. of course, about halfway through it, IE decided to get crazy and open a link from one window into my blogger window. now i'm writing this entry in notepad first.

normally, i don't watch much tv at all, and i almost never watch news programs or read the newspaper. this week, of course, was totally different. i just immersed myself in the news reports from new york and washington. for once, it seems, the news media has devoted the bulk of it's efforts into something that actually matters. the sad thing is that, after all the coverage of Clinton's various media-hyped problems, the Elian Gonzales inanity, and the Gary Condit crap, it seems like the coverage of this genuine tragedy has been cheapened somewhat. i seem to recall hearing about a time when the media had some integrity, when they actually did search out the truth and report the facts. nowadays it seems that there is more conjecture and opinion in the mainstream news than actual facts. even during this crisis, i heard certain reporters (dan rather immediately springs to mind) saying time & time again "we don't want to jump to conclusions", while bringing in guests who'd already done so, or asking leading questions to the ones who hadn't. i can't even count the times over the past week that i've heard things like "no one knows for sure, but" afghanistan, taliban, osama bin laden.

and who is it that pays for media that reports the news in this way? i think one of paul's recent posts sums it up pretty well. the racial backlash is completely abhorrent. the people who perpetrate these crimes against innocent people just because they look or dress a certain way are just as bad as the terrorists who orchestrated this horror. if one person kills another, they are just as evil as those who killed thousands.

which brings me back to the points i wanted to make when i attempted this post the first time.

despite the fact that this attack occurred on american soil, and involved innocent american citizens, it is not just an attack against america. it isn't an attack against freedom or democracy, it's not an attack against the flag or any of the other countless things america supposedly stands for. perhaps it was intended to be simply that, but in the end, this is nothing more than an attack against all of humanity, against all the citizens of planet Earth.
in the few days since i first attempted this post, i have heard more voices raised advising caution, and i have to say i'm glad. i was concerned that the only voices we heard were going to be like the grocery store i heard about who put the following words on their sign–"Bomb Afghanistan Tonight!" it is this type of ignorance that feeds the arrogant, self-serving media that i was ranting about earlier. and it is this type of ignorance that makes most all foreign countries look down their noses at us culturally, despite our physical strength.

i have also taken heart in hearing the reports of the leaders and citizens of many foreign countries voicing their horror, sympathy, concern, and support for the people who were affected by this tragedy.

but another thing that we must consider are the ultimate reasons for these attacks. what, aside from insanity, would drive anyone to commit the heinous acts against their fellow humans? we have to consider the fact that our troops have been in their lands for many years now, doubtlessly committing unspeakable crimes of their own. an attack like this doesn't just happen. our government has made enemies. our government has sanctioned actions that have ended the lives of innocent civilians in foreign lands. we are not innocent.

but this does not excuse these actions. this is not justice, just as an indiscriminate attack again afghanistan or another nation would not be justice. i want justice. i want the people who did this to pay. i want to make an example of them to the rest of the world to say that this type of attack against humanity will not be tolerated. but killing innocent people would not be justice, it would be terrorism.

- 11:33 pm - PL ::
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