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I pull into their driveway and turn off my car. I take a deep breath, not to psych myself up but to be fully present in the moment. I grab the uncooked pizza and my SHRM study book from the front seat and make my way to their back door.

My grandparents never lock their back door when they're home. I learned from my mom to just walk in and call out 'hello'. If the TV isn't too loud, grandma will spring from her armchair and make her way into the kitchen for a hug. I set down the pizza on the counter and immediately spy the homemade apple pie on the stove.

I make my way through the kitchen and into the dining room and see my grandparents each reading the paper. I stop for a moment and smile before calling out hello again and seeing both of their faces light up when they see me.

I enter the living room and give my grandma a hug. She's thin and short and I bend at the waist to put my arms around her. I shake my grandpa's hand and hand him my study book. He opens the cover and his eyes get large as I tell him about my prep class and how much material I'll have to cover. He smiles and reiterates his stance about how important education is to get ahead.

Over the course of the next two hours, they ask me about my job, the cats, Marie, the house, the accident on the highway, my car and a host of other topics. We laugh and nod our heads and smile. They playfully argue with each other and I see the love that has sustained them for 65 years.

We feast on perfectly cooked pizza and root beer and a slice of pie so delicious I had to pace myself. Grandpa's a connoisseur of foods and even he had to admit 'Oh shit, that's good pie'.

I help clear the table and we visit for a bit more before I gather my study book and depart. Grandpa asks me to help him lift a lawn mower off his workbench. He still tinkers around in the garage and fixes engines every chance he gets. He and grandma are dreading the coming winter and the way it imprisons them.

He walks me to my car and asks how many miles I have on it. I tell him 161,000 and he reels back with a smile and knocks on the hood. I shake hands with him again and pull out of the driveway. As I pass their house I wave to grandma, who's waving at me from the front door. I take another deep breath, knowing that these moments are fleeting.
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Pearl Jam's Single Video Theory DVD arrived in my mailbox at work yesterday. It chronicles the recording sessions that later became their 5th studio album, Yield. I only watched a few minutes of it last night, as Terry came over for tennis and cribbage, but I'm already thrilled with it.

In a lot of ways, Yield is the soundtrack and most representative of my experience of falling in love with Marie. It was the album I listened to, on repeat, while driving the two hours to Wausau to visit her during our summer apart. It was the album I had, again on repeat, playing when she and Amy came to visit me after getting their navels pierced. I can't remember the number of times we would make out to this album (well, not like in rhythm to it) or just sit and talk while it played softly in the background.

It's so wonderful to me how music can trigger memories and emotions that words and pictures sometimes can't. I'm sitting here today listening to it all over again and fondly recalling the overwhelming sensations of finding someone to share my life with and realizing how fortunate I am.
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Seven random former job stories

I worked at Wendy's in high school. My favorite job was on the grill because it was easy. On occasion I would work with a sandwich maker named Brooke. She was a pretty typical stoner with a good sense of humor. Later I will come to learn that she lived with my friend Julie for a year with disasterous results. Anyway, Wendy's protocol for mustard application is to squirt it in the shape of a W on the burger, to ensure mustard in each bite. Brooke took it upon herself to instead squirt Eat Shit or 4:20 on the burger instead. I found this to be uproariously funny.

My second semester of freshman year, I was hired to work at the University Library. Mostly reshelving work and checking in/out patrons, handling fine payment, etc. The best part about the job was being able to take a cart of books ready to be reshelved, go up to the 2nd or 3rd floor, reshelve a dozen books and then read in a study corral or wander the aisles. I honestly think I spent more time masturbating than working at that job (thankfully, in a bathroom stall).

Prior to working at Wendy's, I worked at Arby's. At one point, the team was pretty good. I was 15 at the time and highly impressed by anyone who would want to talk with me outside of my group of friends. Bob was one of the 'managers' and destined for fast food greatness. He was in his late thirties, smoked like a chimney, and had a lisp. He also routinely sang Madonna songs when the store was closed. It was there I learned how to shoot pennies (by snapping my fingers) from behind the counter to the condiment stand. I also learned that I looked 21 from a co-worker, learned that another co-worker honestly believed he could fly and learned from a third co-worker that oral sex was the nicest thing you could do for a woman.

Before entering the legitimate working world, I would help my brother with his paper route on occasion. Two doors down from our house lived an elderly couple. They requested to have their paper put inbetween the storm and screen door, despite the woman *always* being there to take the paper from me. I was timely if nothing else. Anytime there was inclimate weather, she'd ask me, in a crotchety, harsh old woman voice, "Did you order this?" in reference to the weather. For the first three or four times, I had no idea what the hell she was talking about and just smiled politely until she closed the door. Another lady on the route thought it would be nice to offer me heated cauliflower with Cheese-Whiz as a snack. Despite her heart being in the right place and being a nice woman, it was rather scary. She did, however, tip well.

At my last job, I hired for a wide range of positions, especially during the summer. They had a number of day camps which required having a cook. I foolishly assumed this would be an easy position to fill. I proceeded to interview the most eclectic and sometimes disgusting group of people I've ever interviewed. As we were desperate, I made an offer to a guy who was extremely jittery in the interview (couldn't keep his hands still, kept bouncing his leg, etc). When he didn't show up for his drug screen (twice), we figured something was up. When we discovered he was in jail for cocaine position, well, that sorta sealed the deal.

The summers after freshman and sophmore year of college, I worked at an insurance company via a temp agency. Carrie B. and Andrea worked there as well and we lucked out by all working in the same department. Our job consisted of testing insurance policies to see if they were fully funded to age 100 (as they were supposed to do). If they didn't, the reps didn't get full commission for it. It was our job to enter the data, run a program to determine their commission and reduce it in the system if necessary. Then we prayed that they wouldn't call us to complain (which they always did). After we got a hang of the process, it went very quickly and we had days where we would work for two hours and occupy the remaining six with office supply fun, literally wandering the building (always carrying folders or reports, to look important) or abusing the company's email policy. I sent Marie three or four emails a day for roughly three months. I read countles books and listened to Weezer ad nausem with my headphones. It was the best job I ever had and our supervisor praised us all the time.

My job for most of my college career was as a computer lab consultant. This meant sitting at the consultant 'station' (which was for some reason usually elevated compared to the rest of the work stations) and browsing the web and pretending to do homework. Every 20 minutes or so, I'd help someone put page numbers on a Word document or refill the printer. It was mindless and the hours were flexible. I never had any crazy people in the lab. Never had anyone curse me out for forbidding their food and/or drink in the lab. Never had anyone browsing porn (that I knew of anyway). My boss tried to promote me as the coordinator of all the lab consultants (essentially, his right hand man) but I had switched majors from CS to HR and instead choose to take my first HR internship.
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I know you.

You were too short. You had bad skin. You couldn't talk to them very well. Words didn't seem to work. They lied when they came out of your mouth. You tried so hard to understand them. You wanted to be part of what was happening. You saw them having fun and it seemed like such a mystery, almost magic. Made you think that there was something wrong with you. You'd look in the mirror, trying to find it. You thought you were ugly and that everyone was looking at you. So you learned to be invisible, to look down, to avoid conversation. The hours, days, weekends. Ah, the weekend nights alone. Where were you? In the basement? In the attic? In your room? Working some job, just to have something to do? Just to have a place to put yourself? Just to have a way to get away from them? A chance to get away from the ones who made you feel so strange and ill-at-ease inside yourself.

Did you ever get invited to one of their parties? You sat and wondered if you'd go or not. For hours, you imagined the scenarios that might transpire - if they would laugh at you, if you would know what to do, if you would have the right things on, if they would notice that you came from a different planet. Did you get all brave in your thoughts? Like you were going to go in there and deal with it, and have a great time. Did you think that you might be 'the life of the party'? That all these people were going to talk with you, and you would find out that you were wrong, that you had a lot of friends, and that you weren't so strange after all? Did you end up going? Did they mess with you? Did they single you out? Did you find out that you were invited because they thouhgt you were so weird?

Yeah, I think I know you. You spent a lot of time full of hate, a hate that was pure as sunshine, a hate that saw for miles, a hate that kept you up at night, a hate that filled your every waking moment, a hate that carried you for a long time. Yes, I think I know you. You couldn't figure out what they saw in the way they lived. Home was not home. Your room was home. A corner was home. The place they weren't, that was home.

I know you. You're sensitive and you hide it, because for fear getting stepped on one more time. It seems like when you show a part of yourself that is the least bit vulnerable, someone takes advantage of you. One of them steps on you. They mistake kindness for weakness, but you know the difference. You've been the brunt of their weakness for years and strength is something that you know a bit about because you had to be strong to keep yourself alive. You know yourself very well now and you don't trust people. You know them too well.

You try to find that special person, someone you can be with, someone you can touch, someone you can talk to, someone you won't feel so strange around. And you've found that they don't really exist. You feel closer to people on movie screens. Yeah, I think I know you.

You spend a lot of time daydreaming and people have made comment to that effect, telling you that you're self-involved and self-centered. But they don't know, do they? About the long night shifts alone, about the years of keeping yourself company. All the nights you wrapped your arms around yourself, so you could imagine someone holding you. The hours of indecision, self-doubt, the intense depression, the blinding hate, the rage that made you stagger, the devistation of rejection.

Well, maybe they do know. But if they do, they sure do a good job of hiding it. It astounds you how they can be so smooth, how they seem to pass through life as if life itself was some divine gift. And it infuruates you to watch yourself, with your apparent skill in finding every way possible to screw it up. For you, life is a long trip, terrifying and wonderful. Birds sing to you at night. The rain and the sun, the changing seasons are true friends. Solitiude is a hard won ally, faithful and patient.

Yeah, I think I know you.
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In a perfect world, we'd get together every other Thursday night. We'd meet at the coffee shop around the corner or the Chinese restaurant across town. It would be a standing invitation with no excuses. We'd be like the post office - obstacles be damned.

We'd explore the finer points of life. We'd argue for the sake of argument. We'd talk to the employees and treat them as individuals, not extensions of their corporate masters. We'd bring games and cards along. We'd draw up our plans to change the world. We'd doodle caricatures of other customers. We'd play out scenarios of their lives, quietly, at our table. We'd cheer up the grumpy and celebrate with the pleased.

We'd make demands of each other. We'd challenge each other's structure of belief. We'd debate the existence of everything - love, war, God, hope. We'd hone our conspiracy theories to perfection. We'd have membership cards and a secret handshake. We'd pay for stranger's meals. We'd be exclusive. We'd laugh until it hurt.

We'd live.
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[1] My name is Brian. I was born in 1978 in Hartford, Wisconsin. My mom had a very difficult pregnancy with me. First, I tried to come out too (3 months) early. Then, when it was time for me to be born, I didn't want to come out. Memories of this time are hazy, at best.

[2] I have one older brother, Brad. He is three years older than me. We speak when we need to which isn't often. We're extremely different people and I'm envious of those who have close sibling relationships.

[3] I've been married since August 4th of 2001, to the lovely and talented Marie. We met while in college and dated for three years before tying the knot. Our relationship is the only serious one I've ever had. Married life is quite great and I think that it is entirely due to the fact that we built a friendship first.

[4] We have two cats, Mitten the Wonder Kitten and Snowball the IIIrd. They are both part adorable, part insane. It didn't take long for them to fit in.

[5] My political leanings are to the left of the Democratic party. I voted for Nader in 2000 and think anyone who blames me for Bush getting into the White House needs to get a grip. Socialism is the form of government that makes the most sense to me, which I guess makes me a terrorist. I begrudgingly voted for Kerry in 2004 to prevent the rest of the Apocylopse. From here on out, I'm only voting for porn stars.

[6] My degree is in Human Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. I have a minor in Sociology. I do believe I am the only person to have attended 4 ½ years of higher education in Wisconsin without taking a drink of alcohol. Please hold your applause until the end.

[7] On that note, I'm straight edge. As this is a personal decision, I don't advertise it often. None of my friends are, so don't think I'm one of those people who dislike you unless you're a carbon copy of themselves. Just don't ask me to hold your hair while you ralph.

[8] I'm currently working for a Fortune 300 company that mostly sells home and auto insurance. My role is one of a generalist, focusing on recruiting, employee relations and whatever the hell else gets thrown my way. It's a mostly great company to work for and my co-workers are mostly awesome.

[9] During college, Marie and I donated plasma for extra cash. It's a great place to people watch and also catch up on reading. My brother's ex-fiancee used to work there. If there was a place in Appleton nearby, I wouldn't hesitate to start donating again. It was good money and relatively painless.

[10] Despite playing violent video games and a childhood obsession with G.I Joe, I'm a pacifist. I think war should always be the absolute last resort. I've never been in a physical altercation. Except for wrestling with my dad. He signified the end of our wrestling matches by blowing ass.

[11] I don't remember my dreams often, but still remember one I had when I was 8 or 9. I was in a hospital, being wheeled away for a surgery I didn't need. I was terrified. My mom was there, waving and smiling at me as they took me to the operating room. I tried to scream, but no sound came out. It was terrible.

[12] I'm 6'6". Most of the time I like it, but there are times when I'd rather be 5' 10". Like when I'm buying clothes or sitting anywhere in public. I've come to grips with the fact that I'll likely need knee replacement surgery before I perish. It's mostly a bone-on-bone arrangement.

[13] Marie and I bought a house in June of 2003. It's in Appleton (where I grew up). It's a quad-level and is pretty great. We like it a lot better than our apartment, mostly for the attached garage and our own washer/dryer. Plus, it's more room to walk around naked.

[14] Marie and I are 98% vegetarian. My craving for Chinese food sometimes overwhelm my desire to not eat animals.

[15] I was raised Catholic, but am now a Unitarian Universalist (or UU for short). I find the Catholic church too rooted in (nonsensical) tradition and am anti-boy-on-priest action. I also tend to have Buddhist and agnostic leanings (i.e., a Pastafarian).

[16] I used to play piano when I was in grade school and trombone in junior high and high school. Playing the trombone led to meeting Jeremy (eventual college roommate and very polite man) and most of my close friends in high school, so I think it was meant to be.

[17] Nathan Daniel Murton was born on July 30th, 2006. He was born prematurely and spent three and a half weeks in the hospital before we could bring him home. He's a fantastically-awesome baby and fatherhood is amazing.

[18] I drive a 2003 Toyota Camry. I technically borrow from the bank that owns it, but whatever. My previous car, a 1989 Buick LeSabre had 180,000 miles on it and a lot of character (i.e., weird smells). I'll jump on the hybrid bandwagon once they make one with leg room (see also [#12])

[19] I used to play drums with my friend Brian, but he no longer uses that practice space. It was a lot of fun - we had two drum kits facing each other and we both played along to CDs with headphones on each. I'm terrible but it was neat. He was a good teacher. I'm sure I lost some hearing as a result.

[20] I'm good at saving money. Most of my discretionary income goes towards CDs and food. Other than our mortgage and my college loans, I'm debt free. Both are being paid off at more than the minimum payment to expedite financial freedom. I think people make finances out to be this big, impossibly complicated ordeal when it's really not. People just need to learn to live with less. I like Dave Ramsey's approach, minus the Jesus talk.

[21] I used to listen to the radio on a regular basis for music, but now I only listen to my iPod. Before getting one, I thought it was somewhat foolish. Oh, how wrong I was.

[22] I used to watch quite a bit of television as well, but have cut back a lot because I find most shows unwatchable.

[23] I had a beard for about four years. I liked it, but shaved it off in December of 2002. Then, I grew it back in August of 2004. There's no telling what I may do next.

[24] I consider myself a very open person, but only to those people who show an interest in me. If you repeatedly interupt me while talking, we'll have problems. Conversations should be two sided and you should be as interested in me as I am in you. If not, why are we talking in the first place?

[25] One of my biggest pet peeves is wasting things. I save scrap paper, pens that have three sentences of ink left, tattered folders - the list goes on and on.

[26] Tennis is my favorite sport to play. It's about the only one I'm somewhat good at. I do love watching professional football and despite never watching a game before my senior year of high school, I now follow it like a madman. I've won our fantasy football league for the past two years in a row. This goes to show that obsessive-compulsive disorders can be profitable.

[27] I'm very close to my grandparents (on my mom's side). Marie and I try to visit them at least once a month and always learn something from them. They've been married more than 65(!) years. My grandparents on my dad's side are deceased. Given the choice, I'd rather spend time with someone elderly than someone young.

[28] I'm also close to my parents. I couldn't have asked for a more loving and supportive upbringing. My mom worries all the time and is always putting other people ahead of herself (sometimes, to a fault). My dad had a terrible upbringing, but turned out to be an ideal father. He's extremely handy and taught me how to play cribbage. I talk to them on the phone weekly.

[29] I hate talking on cell phones. Marie and I parted ways with our landline in January of 2005 and use our cell phones exclusively. This means I'll just email you instead.

[30] My favorite band of all time is face to face. I've seen them in concert 4 times and almost was in a head-on collision on a highway (!) coming back from one of their concerts. Someone was driving on the wrong side of the highway towards us. It sucked. As of November 2003, they broke up without consulting me first. Side projects will live on, but I'm still bummed.

[31] If I couldn't listen to my choice of music at work, I would something something (don't mind if I do!)

[32] If you understood that last one, it means you realize that The Simpsons is the greatest show in the history of television. It's the only show that I *must* see on a regular basis. And I finally (sadly) admit that it's time to pull the plug on the show. It doesn't pack the punch it once did and I'd rather they stop now and have a finale with the movie. Also, bring back Futurama.

[33] I've never had surgery or broken a bone in my body. Come to think of it, I've never broken someone else's bone either. But Marie has.

[34] My internal clock doesn't work very well in the mornings. I'm always tired on workdays but can't prevent myself from getting up before 7:00am on weekends. I'm also very selfish with 'my' time.

[35] I can listen to multiple conversations at once.

[36] I'm usually too warm. In high school (in Wisconsin), March meant I could finally start wearing shorts again. I've matured slightly.

[37] The only Spring Break trip I ever took was after I graduated. My good friends Terry and Brian and I drove to Philadelphia, simply because. It's possible the most fun I've ever had in a car (without Marie). We almost got in a fight coming into Philly, got busted by the cops trying to 'sneak' to New Jersey (not really) and really bonded.

[38] I was the only one who masturbated on the trip. This is all the more incredible if you know Terry and Brian.

[39] I'm really good at games (card, board, video) and like to play them often. I think if I got on a game show, I could win a lot of money. Also, I hate Trivial Pursuit.

[40] I don't like the idea of file-swappers not buying CDs but I do like the thought of the record industry collapsing. If there was a source that I could download b-sides and rare tracks of bands I like, I'd gladly pay for them. However, spending $9 on a single containing an album track, the same album track edited for radio, and said b-side is greedy and insulting. I download music, purchase the stuff I like and trash the stuff I don't. If radio played anything besides Top 40 around here, I'd use that to evaluate new music.

[41] I have yet to find an anti-perspirant that works for more than two days. I don't smell, I just look like I got done wrestling with a crack-addicted wolverine most days by 10am.

[42] I used to think that 'Santa Claus' was rich people distributing gifts to everyone, since they had more than they needed. I remember my brother and mother laughing at my theory. I think I've been a socialist ever since. (see also [5]).

[43] I was a virgin until the age of 20 (thanks Marie!). I distinctly remember walking to the dorm bathroom with a pronounced strut.

[44] My favorite piece of clothing is a gray fleece I ordered from J. Crew in college. It was 60 dollars and is the warmest piece of clothing I've ever owned. As a result, it can usually be found on Marie.

[45] I've been out of the US twice - once on a family road trip to Boston (through Canada) and on our honeymoon to St. Lucia. I don't like flying because I can't get comfortable, physically or mentally. I can't read, can't write and usually get a headache and leg cramps.

[46] I drink way too much soda. I don't have much willpower when it comes to food.

[47] Despite brushing twice a day, I have terrible luck at the dentist.

[48] The combination of mint and chocolate makes me cringe.

[49] I wear glasses and am relatively blind without them. I didn't get them until I turned 20, which was about 4 years too late. I can now read street signs from the car and identify people from further than 5 feet away. It's done wonders for my social life.

[50] I thoroughly enjoy playing cards, especially cribbage. Getting together to play poker with the guys is my favorite non-Marie related activity.

[51] I never used to wash my hands after peeing. Now I do.

[52] I'm not necessarily 'glad' that Kurt Cobain killed himself, but if he hadn't, there would be no Foo Fighters. That said, I think Dave Grohl and J. Robbins are the two most important musicians of my lifetime.

[53] I'm much more of an idea person than a detail person. Perhaps that's why Marie and I work so well together.

[54] I maintain the [livejournal.com profile] dear_bigfoot community. It's an advice community and it needs your help.

[55] Apples are my favorite fruit, closely followed by oranges. For vegetables, it's potatoes and onions (if combined, all the better)

[56] My taste in music is directly a result of the influence of my friend Jeremy. He gave me (along with his then-girlfriend Thea) face to face's Big Choice CD for my 18th birthday. Despite it being their worst album, it led me to where I am now.

[57] My favorite magazine is also the results of a friend's influence. While visiting Carrie B in Chicago, I leafed through her copy of UTNE Reader. I decided to subscribe. Shortly after, I got on the mailing list for The Sun, my favorite magazine ever. This is the only time in the history of me that one company sharing my address with another company led to something positive.

[58] I get frustrated and angry when people stay in relationships that are harmful because the alternative is 'being alone'. As someone who's spent the majority of his life alone, I don't understand why so many people are afraid of it.

[59] George W. Bush is the worst president in the history of the United States.

[60] Sometimes I feel guilty for being happy. I think the world would be a better place if people realized how good they have it, even when some things aren't going well.

[61] I am horrendous at geography and directions. Utterly horrendous.

[62] I applied to be on the Real World: Boston. I'm sure it turned out for the best. I would've liked to make out with Kameelah though...

[63] I am slowly getting over my bad habit of cracking my knuckles/joints. Slowly.

[64] I often misplace my wedding ring at home. Marie likes to find it and wear it on her thumb. This drives me nuts.

[65] I have stitches in two places on my left arm (when I attempted to run outside without properly opening the glass door) and also on my upper lip (from being hit by an ice chunk in grade school).

[66] My favorite movies are anything that Kevin Smith has done and Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

[67] My favorite book is The Stand by Stephen King. I've dreamed of that scenario dozens of times when I was growing up.

[68] The first CD I ever purchased was Waking up the Neighbors by Bryan Adams. I've been apologizing ever since.

[69] I usually have a piece of food stuck between two teeth in particular. I'm the best flosser ever for about three days after a trip to the dentist. Marie recently got a flosser (looks like a toothbrush but with a flossing head instead) and I use it a lot more.

[70] My flawless driving record of 9 years came to a halt in July of 2003. Going 70 in a 55 led to being pulled over, but with only a warning. You can't win them all. I also got my first parking ticket on October 26th, 2004 at the library. It was $3 and I was totally at fault. To top it all off, I got my first speeding ticket (going 70 in a 55) in November of 2005 while coming home from a Henry Rollins performance. $160 is a pretty significant wake-up call.

[71] Jobs I've held since birth are as follows: lawn mower, paperboy, fast food worker, library assistant, computer lab consultant, commission adjuster, benefits intern, human resources intern, human resources assistant, plasma donor, co-chairman of Camp Scholler, human resources specialist, mystery shopper(!), human resources generalist. Also, Doctor Tongue.

[73] I wanted a crew-cut when I was younger, but my mom said it wouldn't look good on me. I think she was right. Still, I would like to shave my head someday. At the rate my hair grows, I could take a four day weekend and most people probably wouldn't notice.

[74] I have no piercings or tattoos. And I think I'm going to stay that way, thank you very much.

[75] I have more brand allegiance to products I avoid than to those I buy.

[76] I've never been stung by a bee/wasp/hornet.

[77] My celebrity crushes include Jane Adams, Maura Tierney and Tina Fey. Me-ow.

[78] My two least favorite foods are gravy and mushrooms. If you want to see me shrivel up and die, throw some mushroom gravy on me.

[79] I have many foibles. One of them is keeping the receipt for each CD I purchase and putting it under the plastic tray. I started doing this around the age of 16. I'm not sure why.

[80] I would enjoy working as a counselor in some capacity as a career. I like solving other people's problems.

[81] I find women who drink regular soda much more attractive than women who drink diet soda.
twicketface: (Tough Guy)
Please understand that sitting on your fat ass and forwarding pro-American rhetoric via email is not ‘taking a stand’, ‘making your country proud’ or ‘remaining united’. However, it is going against what democracy is all about. Now, more than ever, we need to be a nation of questioners, a nation of doubters and a nation of thinkers. Corporate America (and it’s mass media) only wants rallies of war in order to help the economy. Calling for people who are anti-war or think that there is another solution to ‘love it or leave it’ goes against what our country was founded on. America was built on the supposed principal of freedom. The freedom to think and say whatever we please without fear of censorship or retaliation. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we do not live in that version of America today.

Our supposed bombing to ‘rid the war of terrorism’ so far has only rid Afghanistan of innocent civilians and a few International Red Cross buildings with 1,000-pound bombs (Oops!). All our military does is make mistakes and there are never any repercussions for their actions. And people wonder why foreigners (and Americans) hate American policies and practices. Bin Laden is still at large and even if he is caught, brought to trial and even killed, there will ALWAYS be the ‘next in line’ to attack America, and for good reason.

For all of those in favor of war/bombing, I pose this hypothetical situation to you: Imagine that you rolled God’s dice a little bit differently and are a citizen of Afghanistan. You live in a country where an American-supported militia government (the Taliban) is in power and generally makes life miserable for it’s citizens. You have no reliable sources of water, food, or employment. You are among the most poor in the world. America is attacked and the blame falls solely upon the unelected leader of your country (hey, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?). America responds by bombing your country in some ‘big balled’ show of strength and liberty, however that works. You are too impoverished to leave and the political system that has been forced upon you gives you no avenue to change your government. Speaking out against it surely would lead to your death, so you have no choice but to keep quiet, suffer and hope that when the military ‘accidentally’ mistakes your village for a terrorist training camp you won’t be one of the slaughtered.

How do you feel about your decision to ‘nuke the towel heads’ now?

I have so much hope and optimism for our country and our future, but when the greedy and stupid get into power, we have no choice but to suffer and get angry. We are so proud at these time to beat our chests and claim that America is the greatest country in the world and proof that democracy works, yet when we have a president who wasn’t truly elected and is the son of a former president, how much more ‘un’democratic can we get?

So yeah, this reads a lot more like a rant than a journal entry, but hey, just something I had on my mind. Fuck bombing. Fuck war. Fuck corporate interests.

More smiles and sunshine to follow.
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Seriously, I have been not getting a quality sleep in a while. I try really hard to just lie there and be unconscious, but there must be more to it than that. Am I nervous about the wedding and making sure everything is in place? Am I nervous about working with the Convention coming up? Am I nervous about the Noodle Incident? Tough to tell, but it’s gotta be something. Luckily, I got some good books lately from the library so I can read if I’m not sleepy. The Book of Zines was pretty amusing and interesting. I’m going to start a book on my lunch break about the “Overworked American”, how we have made such advances in technology but yet are working more and more hours. Should be interesting.

Had a really nice weekend in Two Rivers. Went to visit Danielle (with Terry leading the way). She’s got a really great apartment and I really felt at home. We had some mediocre food at Applebee’s and then some pretty great brownie sundaes at a local ice cream shoppe (with the extra ‘pe’ for authenticity). After that we played some UNO and visited for a while. Saturday we slept in and had a good breakfast. Lots of fresh fruit and some monkey bread too. We got ready and went to the maritime museum in Manitowoc. It was really interesting and enjoyable. I couldn’t live in a submarine (we took a tour) because I would keep bumping my head. I wonder if the Navy has regulations about height requirements.

Saturday afternoon we went to the beach for a bit and watched some of Wimbledon. Had an earlier supper and hit the road to go back to Oshkosh (Terry stayed until Sunday). Stopped by Eric’s on the way to our place because Jeremy and Kristie were visiting from out of town. Was nice to see them, and will see Jeremy again in two weeks for the bachelor party. Should be a lot of fun.

Sunday was a ‘blah’ day with not much going on for either of us. Felt good to have no agenda and not have to rush around. Watched some TV, did some reading, smitted/smote some evil on Diablo II and generally laid around. Wish I was a bit more ambitious, but I just wasn’t. But hey, sometimes that’s okay. I need to update my website and add some links to my stuff. Didn’t really think that some of my stuff could be viewed separately through searching on the Internet. So I figure some links to my homepage would be helpful if anyone reading my stuff would like to read more. I guess most people would know how to navigate around my address to see my stuff, but maybe not. Ah, the little things we do to make ourselves feel accomplished.

In lieu of random thoughts for the day, here is a list I just typed up of 27 Things that irk, bother, annoy or irritate me. Don’t worry, you’re not on it.

27 Things that irk, bother, annoy or irritate me

Warm public toilet seats
Hangnails
People who don’t wash their hands after taking a dump
The price of cereal
People who grunt audibly in the bathroom stall next to me at work
Not remembering if it’s spearmint or peppermint that I like best
Motorcycles
Feeling like a bump on a log
Friends that move away
People who don’t enunciate
Losing track of time
Feeling ripped off
Forgetting to stretch in the morning
Long-winded stories
Forcing a laugh
Phony people
Toe jam
Wasting paper
Bird poop
Running out of milk
Telemarketers
Pimples
Second hand smoke
Ballyhoo
Pictures that don’t turn out
Vague directions from upper management
People who don’t reply to emails
Weaponry
A glare on the television screen
twicketface: (Default)
A serious dissertation regarding which posterior-related song is superior:
Thong Song (Sisqo) vs. Baby Got Back (Sir. Mix a Lot)

1. Opening of song
TS – Brief ramblings by Sisqo
BGB – Discussion between two women about the size of third woman’s butt
Advantage: BGB

2. Women portrayed in music video
TS – Scantly-clad women, thongs exposed
BGB – Realistic women with “healthy butts”
Advantage: BGB

3. Actions of rapper in video
TS – Backflips, examining of said ‘thongs’
BGB – Rapping into microphone, struggling to keep Anaconda at bay, women dancing on huge, fake butts
Advantage:Push

4. – Sampling in song
TS – Livin’ La Vide Loca by Ricky Martin
BGB – Me So Horny by 2 Live Crew
Advantage: BGB

5. – Message of song
TS – Good anal hygine
BGB – Healthier body image, but potential over-consumption
Advantage: TS

6. – Staying power of song
TS – 3 months
BGB – Still going strong
Advantage: BGB

7. – Coolness of name
Sisqo – Computer company of the same name is more famous
Sir Mix a Lot – Of a rare crop of rappers to also be royalty
Advantage: Sir Mix a Lot

8. – Sample lyrics
TS – “I like it when the beat goes Duh dun duh
Baby make your booty go Duh dun duh
Baby I know you wanna show Duh dun duh
That thong thong thong thong thong”

BGB – “So ladies? (yeah) Ladies? (yeah)
If you wanna roll in my mercedes, then turn around, stick it out.
Even white boys got to shout....baby's got back.”
Advantage: BGB

9. – Other hits by same artist
Sisqo – None
Sir Mix a Lot – None
Advantage: Sisqo, for his potential

Synopsis:
Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the two songs, it is clear that “Baby Got Back” is the superior song. While “Thong Song” has certain appeal, the sheer annoyance of lyrical repetition could disqualify the song all together. Dumps like a truck? C’mon.

Congratulations, Sir Mix a Lot and keep up the good work towards portraying “healthy butts” in a positive light and serving as a role model for young people everywhere.

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