Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Internet Porn or a Happy Ending: Which Would You Choose For Your Husband?

With a beer in hand, I gesture from across the table at Christmas dinner....

"if I were you, I'd rather have my husband in the room next to me jerking off to his computer rather than getting some blowjob from a hooker with the family's grocery money."

She comes back....

" Really?... I don't know, it doesnt make sense to me how someone can get off when there's no physical contact there..."

In this light, she actually chose the slutty, STD infested streetwalker rather than the privacy of an Apple, and who wouldn't agree that "head" is physical contact. Let's be honest, the woman's jealous b/c her hubby's staring at ladies that literally blow her away, and the thought of her husband straying from her own legs would be impossible...therefore, she'll choose the assumed impossible.

My buddy once told me he'd go with clients to get "happy endings". It was a great way to end a meeting or dinner....just swipe the corporate card and everyone gets off. This was Wall Street bankers and traders like anyone else sitting on the train with two kids and an oblivious wife back home. Mommy's meatloaf's in the oven while her loving husband's pitching wood at some Asian massage parlor answering the repeated words of David Spade's best housekeeping impersonation. In order to fully understand the audacity of these men, just look out your window....it's your neighbor or your brother in-law or whomever you never expect. It's any man that has a woman back home with zero sex drive and the bedside creativity of a tuna yanked on-deck. The problem is you want the happy, faithful man that comes with once a millenium sex.

Girls don't understand how ridiculously easy it is to make a man happy.....ten minutes every day. Holy shit, I know, ten minutes....you might miss a re-run of Will & Grace. Instead you'd rather have a sexual tension argument ensue at 11pm over a comment you took differently than it was meant, such as "did you do anything today?.........(you respond) "what do you think I sit on my ass?!?!" If you just took those ten minutes all would've been peachy and you might have enjoyed yourself too. In fact, I don't understand why a woman in a relationship ever even masturbates. If you have a boyfriend/husband, call that fucker up...guarantee he'll drop hammer, leave work and fly from London if you're in the mood. Trust me......you should never waste that once a month urge on anything but keeping you both happy.

Guys need to relieve themselves otherwise they're ornery, miserable, frustrated and short-tempered. Some several times a day, and I say that to give you a comparison of how often we want it versus you. The internet I think you women should consider a blessing. As you know from my previous blog on marriage, over 50% of married couples get divorced in the US. The number would be far less if the temptation for other women wasn't there. And that temptation can be highly subdued if not erased, by masturbating to the options left safely for you online. This way he's not out there doing shit behind your back, spending your mortgage payment because you bitched at him for looking at porn without alternatives.

You tell me ladies......... you either remain in control with the options you have, or forego the responsibility and pretend your man wouldn't dare. To me the internet's a no-brainer, pun fully intended.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Arranged Marriages: A Blind Box Success or Wool Over Your Eyes

You never know who you're going to meet, and where.

In the middle of the Grand Canyon, we finally finished bopping over Class II rapids before settling in to a warm fire, an Indian guy with a reservoir of memorized jokes and a cot with nothing over it but the stars. Earlier in the trip we were introduced to our companions and smiled out of appreciation for a common purpose....we each wanted to ride the Colorado River. After taking pictures dunking one another in muddy brown water to cool off, we got a little more comfortable and a lot more personal.

Out of the 6 couples on the boat (my father and I exclusively seeing each other), two of the couples were Indian. They had brought along with them a bond we knew nothing about even after we asked them how long they'd been married. Like the layers of rock around us and the carved out story its waters continue to write, these people too had a tradition that's flowed sacred and true through the veins of the ones they've loved before them. After doing the math on the years in which they'd been married and how old they actually were, we got right down to the arrangements made by their parents. At a young age he told us, they mix you amongst those kids that are within your societal class or caste, and you literally pick who you would like to meet or be friends with and you're introduced to them. He said families often will pick for you if they've already had a family in mind that they'd like their child to be associated with for the rest of their life. Although it's pretty simple, the families often know each other and court one another during the process, making most of the decisions beyond the initial union. I believe things these days have changed and the time for dating has come into play a bit, but only for a short amount of time before the families push hard for a decision. I can picture a middle school dance with my peers all around me drinking kool-aid and eating Italian subs and Oreos, except we're unaware that our wife or husband is across the hardwood gym floor. Could the decision be that easy, for eternity?

Who are we to know.....our country has a divorce rate right around 50% for new marriages. When we say "I do" we know in the sleeve of our tux we have a Joker stashed just in case. If we ever want to leave and wipe our brows clean of the difficult, no one's going to ostracize us.... especially not our families. But whatever happened to the love then that you thought you had? You got weary of fucking the same person? You met a nice new girl at work that looks prime? You resent not having a bigger house or better car so therefore your marriage must be a failure? People please.....if you don't think there's always going to be someone with more, or someone prettier than what you have, you're an idiot. Relationships aren't easy, and if they were, everyone would be in them. You either sacrifice your immaturity and realize too that the person sharing your life also gave up their anxious options of sleeping with the next best offer....and appreciate that you're setting in stone the groundwork and foundation for a child's upbringing. In India, the divorce rate is around 2%!! So much for needing to fall head over heels or date just enough people to know exactly who you may like best....or finally feel fulfilled that you had enough sex partners to justify a comfort for having enjoyed yourself while young, and now you can settle down. These people never had those options and yet they're more successful?

As I research this I keep seeing the idea of 'growing' in love with one another versus 'falling.' They think they grow, while we inadequately fall. God damnit, let's fucking prove them wrong. I think that reasoning is a bullshit excuse for success in those countries with arranged marriages, such as Iraq, Iran, Japan, India and Afghanistan. We should have a ridiculously better shot at success considering we get to do both. First we "fall" after finding the right person. Getting to live that amazing infatuation stage where public displays of affection and giddy reasons to grab some one's waist are priceless...and then "growing" through the many layers of depth, the days of sickness or fights that wrench ones normal reaction to walk away into a tighter more compromising grip, that any arranged marriage might drill you disinterestedly through. I think we all want the excitement in the roller coaster ride we take. We want the creeping anticipation and the building up towards the big plunge. We want the upside down loops to challenge us and change our perception of the world. The corkscrews, twists and turns leaning harder on and by each other's side. I think we're lucky our ride is different, in fact I love our ride. It contains what anyone should want the most, what we deserve the most....and that's the butterflies.......when the track "falls" out from below you and you're suspended but for a moment in a neck hair tingling sensation that reveals the peculiarity of our position. The risk in one's own choice and the clarity that it is in fact theirs. We've earned the right to feel it....in our gut. And if those opportunities to "fall", if they're going to be misconstrued, damned and relegated to picking a suitor from a lineup...then I choose butterflies...I choose falling.

By your family making it be.......doesn't mean you'll really ever know it was meant to....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Access To Resources And Our Desire to Leave Something Behind

I really got into that John Adams series after reading the book by David McCullough. One of the things I remember most vividly was a journey he had taken from Cambridge to Philadelphia. A distance I am well aware of being from the East Coast and bordering the New England states. By car it might take you 6 hours depending on traffic. By our standards and tolerance of patience, many consider that to be a bit of a trek. It took John Adams 12 days by horseback......12 friggin days of nothing but counting the minutes...gauging the distance he'd traveled by map and a few wooden road signs. Stallion tachometers weren't invented yet. This type of stagnation baffles me as to the extent by which this man still achieved things. Not just John Adams, but any man representative of that time. They were well read to the point of fully stacked libraries within their homes. They took four full weeks just to get across the Atlantic, and another month to get back. I get annoyed if a website doesn't load in two seconds. How on earth did these men cement such acclaim without telephones, email and airplanes?

Sometimes I wonder to myself what is the meaning of life. I've drawn several conclusions after much thought, and at one point the answer I'd given myself was to leave something behind. To make my mark on the world no matter how great or tiny. Besides for a long drawn out explanation of life's end goal, I got to thinking about the accomplishments or marks of mortals, with a great many more barriers than I. A couple of John Adams' greatest achievements in the eyes of the public were the hand he had in drafting the Constitution, the establishment of our independence from the United Kingdom, and becoming the President of the United States....including a son that followed soon behind. These things are the dreams of many. Though lofty, flighted aspirations these days........back then they might have been considered a natural progression of leadership and a newly created vacant position that needed filling. For myself, I worry I'll never make my mark, and I contemplate whether that's due to my desire to juggle several life goals in the hopes that one or two come through, rather than dedicating oneself to a specific task or specialty for years on end which might lead to the highest professional mastery and a rank deemed worthy of respect and awe. On the flip side, said dedication to ones work instills fear in me of the men who have come before us, institutionalized in their repetition and alienated from their original motivations toward personal achievement, having accepted their monotony as a necessary evil leading to the greater good of others.

Take this example for instance.....If I was a miner, spending 22 years of my life 1 mile below the earth's surface, honing my craft and becoming the best damn miner I could be....would that earn me the mark I'd have wanted to leave behind? Well I guess that'd be a personal opinion or ones relegation to the individual's episodes outside his line of work such as.....was he a great father? Did he support his family as best he could at all times gravest? Did he ever give back to the community? I mean, these are all things one could consider, and ones I actually hold much more important to the success of a human being than the accomplishments of ones work, however the argument is about making ones mark. Was John Adams' making those marks through his textbooked stories recited in history class? Did he look at those titles or speeches he'd made as his life's work? Some might disregard his work altogether when considering his life. How was he as a father, did he fail? Maybe with one son.....or in some people's minds, maybe every day that he chose his work over his family he had failed from sun up to sundown. In my mind the troubling yet exciting combination is how a man can achieve national acclaim with so little time and resources.....and with what I or my peers have today, why we can't do one better? Are we doing one better without knowing it? Maybe we've already begun stepping down that path without knowing it. Was this man thinking he was wasting time when spending full seasons farming and laying seed, or hours upon hours behind the pages of books? Did he think that any of it would ever make him the President? I honestly doubt he'd ever expected it until he saw it presented as an option. Am I holding a man's full long life up to a light and expecting to match its success without working for it? Quite possibly... I would like to think it's more than just patience...maybe we haven't sacrificed yet...maybe the children, wives or homes we'll bed haven't yet become our motivation to strive for better. And once we become so determined and adamant that we're men worth a damn, there'll be no stopping us and any step we take will be a stride toward the greater good. What is "better" anyway? More education? Longer hours? Perfecting ones craft? Raising our kids with enough time to make it to all their events?

I think what this raging contemplation of the inept, confused and discontent.....this purgatory of purpose and clouded forecast on ones horizon of dreams.... is a struggle with what makes someone happy in their own rite. What they'll be most proud of in their final moments. Not whether I succeed in making my mark because I'll really never know if I keep looking forward. I think working as hard as I can towards what makes the ones I love around me happy, will actually become the mark itself...not a title, or national beacon exposed to the many, but for those it's solely meant, in the hours I press its meaning.

Friday, December 19, 2008

We All Know As Much About Anne Frank as Otto

Sticking around the topic of my Amsterdammmian experience, my guys and I shuffled along a line that snaked a city block in order to see where 8 people hid out from Nazi fucks for two full years. I remembered reading aloud from some little girl's diary around the 7th grade....nervous I'd screw up the words as fellow students followed along in their own books. "Am I reading every word correctly, please voice don't crack on me, god I wish Id gotten a haircut..." Never appreciating the words, or that the girl next to me could've written them...after all we were about the same age as Anne Frank when she wrote it. We don't concentrate on comprehension unless we're interested in what we're reading.....and I would've been if the teacher just walked up to me and said "this girl about your age wrote this book while hiding in a room the size of a shoebox with her whole family...shitting, pissing, eating and sleeping within twelve square feet of eachother for 2 years....worried that any next minute they could be split up forever or killed for being born....and she was... so you might really try and take this one in." Never hearing that, instead I danced over her words as fast as I could with no passion, no empathy, no clue....I'd have known more of who I would celebrate one day 20 years later.

Tapping any bit of my memory to try and relate to the bookcase we were about to move, a hole revealed itself to the height of an 8 year old. Anyone taller had to duck to get in. This was their hiding spot...a home within a home that began behind a piece of furniture in any normal bedroom. The deeper we went, the quieter we got....wincing at wooden creaks at my feet....if the gestapo had heard,we'd be shot on site. They weren't allowed to move around during the daytime as the workers in the rooms below them might hear and become suspicious. You would think in such confined spaces you might get to know one another pretty damn well. Well that's where this bit gets more to the point rather than walking you through the fantastic tour we endured. One of the last things before you leave the Anne Frank house is an audio interview with Otto Frank, Anne's father. He was the only one who had survived the concentration camps that killed Anne, her mother Edith and sister Margot after their hiding place had been revealed by an unknown source. Otto received Anne's Diary from a friend who'd helped them while in hiding when he returned to Amsterdam after the war ended. He couldn't believe he never knew that Anne had so much on her mind. Such depth in her feelings, concerns and conflicts....even while only feet away. This is where I'll never forget the most important point made that day and the reason for writing this......Otto had concluded after reading the thoughts of his daughter and the reality of her being gone forever, that the opportunity to ask questions was gone. And that a harsh generality does in fact exist, and that is "most parents truly don't ever really know their own children."

It seems so easy to me....to know your own children, because I've had a ridiculously open relationship with mine. No matter what the topic is, whether sex, drugs.......no not rock and roll you douche.....depression, love, respect, manners, morals, opinions, politics, religion.....it was always open for discussion. In fact, all of it was drained out of us by morning wake up calls and bedside questioning for details of the night prior. You couldn't escape unless you'd really delved into what happened.....it wasn't like they waited for us to come and open up to them...it was instilled early on, it'd be part of our relationship. I feel bad for people who don't share the same feeling about this as me because I bet their parents would want such a relationship with their own child no matter what they think. And hopefully something so drastic doesn't need to occur in order for either of them to realize the moment's passed. One of my uncles was hysterical at my grandmother's funeral...she died in her 80's. His family's well known for not showing up to family gatherings and always finding an excuse. The only thing he could say was "I wish I had gone to see her more...just talk with her.....I knew she was getting older but I never thought she'd be gone." This is a man in his fifties we're talking here. Seriously people, if you're not old enough yet to have kids or even if you do and your grandparents are alive, start with them first...sit them down and ask them about their lives. What they wished they had done....what they learned, the favorite place they traveled, the wars, the depression, what it was like being a mother or a father, what they think the goal of life really is...who's more wise to answer that question....and you, the more ridiculously intelligent for asking it and taking the time to hear their answers. I wanted to smack this guy Otto. In my mind, he was a failure as a father. If that's what you come away with, regret that you didn't even know your own child.....and it took her death to figure it out....well you didn't do enough to savor those years you'd be given extra that many other Jews never had with their families. I don't care if your kid's shy or standoff-ish...this girl was sitting in the seat across the room, and yet he had no idea how to talk to her? To grab her diary in the middle of the night when she was asleep and see what she was writing about after a full year of watching her scribble. Give me a break on privacy people if that's your consolation....a kid comes home from school and gets a "D" on a paper he wrote....you're not going to ask to read it? You accept that this little kid of yours who represents your family while at school, and with whatever he's written that has awarded him a "D", you're going to accept his privacy without even knowing why he got the grade? Bullshit. Step it up...know when both you and your kid are better off for having each other rather than assuming everything's peachy because they made it home that night. If you're thinking I'll be overprotective you're out of your mind...what you're doing is correlating interest in one's life with an overbearing nature. Sorry but you're parallel lines are convoluted intestines when penciled on paper. You're off somewhere worried about curfews and bedtimes and a structured set of guidelines for your child......the freedom and comfort you receive from knowing your kid so well that you can trust them automatically affords you the luxury of less anxiety over their actions and less need for discipline. Everyone has a different circumstance of course, and life doesn't deal us all the perfect cards...but it's never too late to start asking some questions....at this time of year, there's always someone you love sitting right across from you....get over yourself and make the first move.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Che Guevara - Four and a Half Hours to Celebrate, Thank and Applaud Revolution..and let's not forget, Murder

Tonight I spent a comfy 4 and a half hours through the bio-epic Ernesto Che Guevara film done by Steven Soderbergh. Although my intentions for the film were to understand better those actions behind the revolutionary and psychotic mind of the man, instead I got a feel good, we all love Che, Che can do no wrong…Che never killed a man film. Well he never did personally in the movie, kill a man. At least not from what I remember… unless the 20-minute Intermission, constant personal sewing of comrades’ battle wounds, or high winds of Cuba or Bolivia, swept those bad images from my mind. Although I would never spoil such a film for anyone looking to see it, I would suggest you see it in its entirety if possible because to cut this movie in half is to subject yourself to having the ingredients for a sandwich on your plate, yet the first and only thing you can eat is the bread.

My minor obsession with Che Guevara started in Amsterdam three months ago, unaware that there was a movie ever even being made about the man with the Communist ideals. It was his face that we couldn’t avoid. Every shop we’d passed on the way to a jazz club, the Anne Frank House, or the Red Light District, we saw a t-shirt hanging with a shadow silk-screened onto it. A celebration of some man…a man who’s name we’d known but couldn’t pronounce, and couldn’t relate anything to. The face looked like that of a proud young druglord with blown-out muttonchops and an untamed muslim beard. A beret kept his unkempt hair, kept, and his face held such mystery and power that it dared further research. He must’ve done something right to be remembered, to be bled and smeared onto shirts for young skaters and eco-degenerates to praise. But the more I dug deeper to find out this man’s history, the more I related him to Fidel Castro and the murdering tendencies we’ve all associated with Amin of Uganda. However, I think a bit differently about such men after a recent conversation. Normally we’re brought up to hate such men because only what we know of them were the horrors they caused. It was a talk with a man who worked to introduce a brief glimmer of light in a dictator’s purpose and the extent by which his or her damage actually often make’s unique progress….and that too is the goal of a revolutionary….progress, not just destruction and death. This dictator, for conversational reference to the point I’m making overall was Adolf Hitler, and although he is one of the worst people in the world to emulate, he turned what was then a desperate German society where any local mother would wheelbarrow millions of her own Deutsche-Marks into the grocer’s market and dump it on the shop-owner’s countertop just to buy an apple, to a thriving competitive global and economic force within only 9 years. Che and his buddy Fidel were not all too different in what they wanted for farmers and countrymen, to get them out from under Baptista. Che, an Argentinean by blood, and an educated doctor, we should already note is a bit outrageous for leaving his family to go fight for some other country’s people. Believing that the best way to overthrow a power that they truly believe the people want overthrown, is by brute force and guerrilla warfare. So public that everyone hears about it, so daring that it can’t be mistaken in the news as some accidental exchange of friendly-fire at a jolly quail hunt out in the jungle. The movie itself is a masterpiece in the geographical landscapes and scenes it portrays amongst the forests and mountains it pitches tent after tent. It also reveals a unique take on the life of a revolutionary…..a lonely nomadic existence, laying your head against a different tree trunk each night. And the things one abandons such as family and freedom for this life in hiding, always on the run making your next move for people who aren’t sure they really care you’re there because it puts them in equally more danger. Benicio Del Toro did a fantastic job….he really did, but then again he remains the same character he usually is, a slower moving, talking and squinting version of himself, except this time with a bad case of asthma and a love for Cuban cigars and cigarettes. Soderbegh should’ve never had the Hollywood celebrity cameo that you’ll catch in the 2nd part of Che because it seriously deters from the movie’s local mission and geographic feel. In fact I dont even remember what his part was it threw me off so bad to see him. The whole film is subtitles as they’re speaking Spanish, some scenes even with thousands of locals scattered amongst the brush in tactical formats…and there, this additional character out of the blue, although brief, was a totally unnecessary casting decision that jostled audience whispers and deep breaths of disappointment.

Aside from that, the film cut out Che’s motorcycle ride across the South American continent that made him come to love and appreciate it’s beauty so much, the celebratory years after defeating Baptista that became more of a conflict in service and opinion amongst Fidel and his inferiors, as well as his unsuccessful attempt at stirring up a revolution in the Congo. The movie lacks any love story, which I actually liked since these days everything has to do with what piece of ass is affecting the main character’s current decisions. For some reason they chose to have it be a film that jumps around a lot, irrationally shifting from different time periods in ten minute intervals. His life is a story of successive battles...moaning and roaring his wise demeanor into the ultimate sculpture, and therefore the time flickerings just makes us work harder to keep focused on what city or year we’re in.

In the end, I hated that I liked Che the man (I knew I'd like the movie), because they portrayed him more as the doctor and next door neighbor than the obsessed maniac cult leader with a gun who imprisoned eager minds to join him in shooting the heads off any dissenters he’d crossed. How can you be one of Fidel Castro’s most lethal and feared assassins if you’re a saint with a heart of gold? Give me a break. I think if we’d seen more of a mental struggle with what Fidel had become and how it differed so much from what Che wanted to achieve, which was never-ending liberation of all of Latin America, than we would’ve understood the more obsessive, stop-at-nothing murderer that he’d really been….enough so to understand why any country would ever request his hand be chopped off for fingerprint analysis and confirmation that he really was caught……even this was left out of the movie, making my point stronger for the blatent disregard of historical fact to swap amicably for admiration and tender-loving vittles we and our kittens should enjoy when thinking about the motives and the man behind the loved interjection Hey “Pal” or “Bud” or “Che”.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Take your hat off at the dinner table!

This was the worst thing I'd hear as a child when sitting down for the daily family tradition. Besides for that little mishap, there was nothing else I would have ever tried to get away with. In fact, it became a game for us to see how long before my father would say to take it off, and then we'd all watch as I'd try and ring the hat around a banister post at the edge of the stairs. I missed 95% of the time. A small subtle form of discipline and lesson in manners, yet I remember it clearly.

The other day I'm chowing down on some chicken lettuce wraps and Mongolian Beef at where else? You got it, PF Changs. And the table next to me gets sat with what looked like two totally different families. Two dads, two moms and one kid each. One family was Mexican and the other was Korean....guaranteed, and I know, what?! An Asian family at PF Changs! It's like treason since it's so commercial and stray cat isn't on the menu (I still harvest a strong vendetta for food poisoning suffered at the wok of a local Chinese restaurant called House of Yau Kitchen as five days of dehydration, losing 12 pounds and a hospital bill can rile you up). As they strike up conversation the son of the Asian couple hasn't taken his eyes off his handheld PlayStation. I told my girlfriend, "no way would I ever let my kid sit in a public restaurant and play a video game at the table while everyone is eating. " Even worse, they were out with another family of guests or acquaintances and having a conversation. My girlfriend chimed in "we wouldn't even dare," recollecting her childhood with her brother and sister as they were well versed in respect from her Iranian father. Some of you might say "whats the big deal?" Well for one thing, manners. Another is the fostering of unstable building blocks in the foundation of a child's social development. Our generations were different in the sense that we participated in conversation with our parents and gained social skills that children today are lacking. We looked at this kid as if he was walking all over his parents...if you wouldn't, than have a discussion with your local elementary school teacher and see what their thoughts are, having to deal with your children everyday. You might know less about your own child then his or her teacher does. Hate, I mean, love to be blunt but kick your kid outside to play with his neighbors or friends nearby....don't let him stare at the TV everyday. He's just going to get a new game once he tires of the old one. Tell him to take the iPod out of his ears to have a conversation. Ask them what their day was like and force a decent response out of them so they know how to react next time you ask them...one word answers aren't acceptable. I just don't understand how you wouldn't notice if you yourself can't build a rapport with your kid, how do you think someone else can? Letting them drift off into a digital/virtual world sure won't help them in everyday, professional life where they have to deal with other people. Cause them to interact and use their imaginations to create and problem solve.

Not to forget the health implications of sitting on one's ass in front of the computer every single day. We are the fattest country I hope you know, and for our children we're not exactly steering them down a different path. I know they have high a metabolism, but woopty-doo. Let's not assume some physical activity wouldn't do them some good. Our parents are fat and they never even had video games. Just think about what you did as a kid...it's not like times have changed so drastically. Man-Hunt, Touch-Football, Barbie's DreamHouse with the built-in air pocket to bubble-up the jacuzzi tub....I have a sister whadduwant from me. If it worked for you then why wouldn't it at least work a little bit for them. Please, I'm begging you, don't go relying on some kid's annual birthday party at the local indoor Rock Wall climbing facility to be the one form of endurance little Drewbie Jenkins is going to see. It's a huge mistake. Get Drewbie out there beforehand for some practice so he doesn't make a fool of himself on the first try and get so frustrated that he buries himself in the corner to peel cheese off those big white boxes with a guy sporting a long red mustache that reads "Made Fresh Daily." It seriously wouldn't be his fault, it'd be yours.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Right when I was born I cried out, Catholicism!

This one's gonna get a bit interesting....

I remember when I was little going to religion class, learning about the miracles that only one man was ever able to make happen....fish in the empty pond, blind man being able to see, loaf after loaf after new pitched loaf......except now of course we have David Copperfield. Okay, so they're not the same, David was born through actual sex, so far as we know. Jesus would perform these acts only once he was able to understand that he had this power, somewhere around his mid to late twenties, because before that no one's really sure what he was doing; maybe training with the high school debate team or forming their Model UN. The concerns started coming to me though when I went to a Catholic high school. Not when I never made my Confirmation because I stopped going to religion class at the sign of consistent yawning. That wasn't enough, I needed tactile proof. In high school, nuns were the most miserable women. "Put your hand on the desk so my ruler can abuse you for what god has taken away from me" (she meant having to live a life of chastity, poverty, and obedience). If you want a disgruntled human being, dress them up like a penguin and tell them they have to be poor and can never get off for the rest of their life. Good god, literally.....Fan-Tastic god. Having to take Theology class I learned about how many people were killed in The Bible by so called God for not believing or following him. If you don't remember, the easiest example is the Pharaoh and his Egyptian Army and all their horses that were drowned in the parting of the Red Sea when chasing the Israelites. Or how about the famed Noah's Ark where God's night of binge drinking got him so upset that he found the word "Deluge" in his papyrus dictionary and decided to flood all of mankind, to kill everyone except Noah and his pets because he's a murdering psycho. Ive never thought killing someone was a necessary evil to accomplish a goal or make a point. That'd be like praising Hitler. Wait a second, what kind of a vacation was he on during the Nazi regime? And yet here's the evidence in our faith's holiest book that we're supposed to follow, telling us what he did to make Catholicism popular. Scare the shit out of people and force them to believe.

Well, the last straw was my trip to Italy. Remember, life of poverty. There's not a man richer than the Pope, I'll tell you that. I walked through the Vatican with gold reflecting off my eyes, yet I had to wear pants in the middle of Italy's blistering July. Heaven's forbid my legs were to be seen while inside the building...doesn't god already know what I look like butt naked? To my right was Michelangelo's Pieta, a priceless sculpture that cannot be purchased, and right above it, the Pope's bedroom. I wonder what kind of nightmare's he has, expecting news of another young boy and what atrocity his fellow Priests have inflicted. The Sistine Chapel is another place which is limitless in terms of monetary as well as historic value, and there's where our tour guide told us about the infallible homosexual relations between the Pope at the time and the artist Michelangelo himself....kissing each other's necks with every swipe of the brush. One for you, one for me, two for you, and one, two for me. All you women out there, you're telling me a merciful God would make women's childbirth specifically painful to punish them for some sin of another thousands of years ago? He'd definitely wiped out those bitches who had it easy during his night of drinking anyway....or how about giving everyone different languages and sending them off to random countries to live without any idea of what the hell was going on. The story of the Tower of Babel. Maybe just ironic or derived from the story itself, that word "babbling" is perfect for how everyone sounded after God's great mercy that day.

If I do have a child I think I'll let them choose what religion they like, if they ever even want one. They can do the research themselves and see which one truly fits their interest..and then I'll study it and start debates with them. I can't say I'm the cleanest and meanest since I will still follow through with hypocritical family traditions that are wrapped around religious celebrations. And I'll do that because on Christmas Day or Easter, I'm not praying or sacrificing lambs, nor do I even attend church which would equate being religious, but rather because they have become days each year like many others in our family, where we get together to appreciate each other's company.

This isn't meant to be a disproving argument of Jesus' existence, as it's been factually proven that a man named Jesus did actually live....down the block from me when I was little. No but seriously, the scariest idea is that any one religion is the know-all, be-all in someones life... If you're really going to choose that then fine, but before you go converting your neighbor and condemning everyone that believes something different, look into the background a bit and don't deny your common sense to shrugs that you're just lacking faith.....you sense it because it most likely smells like bull....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Economy in Turmoil Brings Our Hands Back to Life

While I was growing up the last thing my father wanted me doing was working in the union like he did. A Wallpaper Hanger his whole life, he paid strict attention to his union stamps, always made sure he worked on the books and never touched his annnuity. "Just put as much into it as possible and pretend it's not even there." He'd tell me this in reference to building my 401K, a similar parallel to his annuity. Although he was blue collar and worked his ass off for thirty-five years, he's now 56, retired, and living comfortably off his pension and annuity.

I went to my auto mechanic the other day because my brakes were yodeling like a jingle for swiss chocolate. Practically before I even put that puppy in park for the peek up-the-skirt, I find out I need new struts, new maxi-pads, a rubber rotation, a leather fan belt and some feathered pasties. 'It'll be $657.25." "Are you serious???! What if I pay you cash?" "Well we can take the tax off, so that'll getcha somewhere round $600.00." Honestly, what occupation can you completely tell someone they need something that they have no idea what they really need, and make $600 cash for it? You might say Orthodontist but those laughing g-asses have layaway plans and payment periods like Capital One. Here they'll take a tire rench to ya if ya don't fork ova the cash!! Ok, maybe that's from a movie, but imagine, this could've been one of possibly 5, maybe even 10 jobs his business had completed throughout the day.

I like to make a point so I'll tie these together....two occupations off the top of my head ( the union's have at least 50 different occupations like painter, steam fitter, electrician, operating engineers, iron worker, etc.) that were never even a glimmer in my hopeful college graduate mind. That right there's where we're thinking single-tracked. College was supposed to mean successful career, and that was never synonymous with auto mechanic or paperhanger. So why now would these ever make for decent options? Well, although manual labor might make you dry heave in the middle of christmas dinner, in an economy like this you're jumping into a pool of sharks just competing for corporate occupations paying 50K. Also, when contemplating a undergrad or graduate education that's worth a shyza, student loans tend to sink your battleship through monthly puncture wounds. As private universities are concerned, if their domestic economy shits the bed, they're not going to wash the sheets, what do you think they're Motel 6? They import cleaner more expensive ones, around 200,000 ply; thicker than a spring break foam party. "You no likey?? No buyee." I think this is going to surge a movement toward manual labor occupations and a candle-lit resurrection of the dying arts of our immigrant grandparents. Unless of course we just take our bailout money and invest it in cheaper labor and the construction of operating plants overseas...which dilutes our intellectual capital even more and adds goodness to the bellies of those who might otherwise despise the US. If that's the case I'd rather put 100 jobs online for anyone willing to cut the heads out of 1-dollar bills so they could be mounted on urinals right in the perfect spot to piss, like that black fly you see every once in a while...this way we don't have wet pants from the deflection of our own excrement and our money at least was used to cheer up the lives of those who continually put money into it every paycheck. Sorry, there is one positive, and I shouldn't forget to mention it....for those patient renters out there.......you might finally be able to afford a home soon enough. Co-signer, anyone?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hey Marky Mark, How's Your Motha?

I know, I'm a bit late on this one, but it still pisses me off. How many of you watch SNL? If you don't, go youtube this. Okay, well recently Andy Sandberg, whom I think is funny on as rare an occasion as Bobby Fischer making a public appearance, did a skit on "Marky Mark" talking to animals. The Sandberg kid did an amazing job...I mean, he sounded just like him and the dialogue was outrageous, it was brillianT to a poinTless T. Now, if you think about it, what's that line that everyone always says..."imitation is the highest form of flattery?" Well Mark Wahlberg never heard that line, or like me, just assumed it was created to make people feel better about being imitated like saying rain is lucky on your wedding day or stepping in dogshit should prompt the purchase of a lottery ticket. He got all pissed off and embarrassed that he actually called the studio bitching and threatening that they should apologize for the skit, yada yada and a big fucking yada.

This guy goes off like a mortar every time someone uses the words Marky Mark in a sentence. Give me a break...you don't hear Will Smith telling people to never ask him a question about Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.....or Jim Carrey about Fire Marshall Bill on In Living Color. How about George Clooney and The Facts of Life. These are things that boosted their careers, just like him and his stupid band Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch. Get over it, you rode the coat tails of your brother Donny who was a teen heartthrob in New Kids on the Block, and now you're trying to block that all out. The way by which you and your underwear advertising got you famous......do you think we really care about your past? You add more lighter fluid to a very small flame by denouncing such history and showing us what pressure points are easiest to push. That's what the media loves. Since you're the creator of Entourage, I know we're supposed to bow at your knees and fondle some sac, but you're better than the immaturity you've displayed. Be a man and look at your life as a bunch of steps leading you to the summit...if you hadn't taken those exact steps you would not be where you are today.

p.s. If you're gonna tell me he made up for his kiddie throwing shovels in the sandbox episode by parodying the same skit based on him the following week, than you need a lesson on motivations. Someone with a career including Boogie Nights, The Perfect Storm and The Departed doesn't need to fly out to SNL to prove he's not defensive...and instead, he should laugh off the funnier moments in his career by comparing them to how far he has come, and what he learned from that time in is life. For now, I wouldn't say hi to Marky Mark on the street even if he walked right by me.....well I shouldn't say that, there's really only one thing I'd whisper..... "say hi to your motha for me."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

My Date with Lauren Conrad: A Night in The Hills

Ya know, I wish I could claim LA to be so fucking fantastic and glamorous that you don't know what you're doing living anywhere else, buuuuttttt, and that's a big butt, I'm not one to bust a nut over celebrities and the high life. Half of these girls are trying to be someone they're not but since they might be pretty they think they're automatically able to act or sing. None of them are worth a minute of a good guy's time because they're shallow and lack self esteem. I could never kiss some guy's ass because he may know someone that could be of benefit to me, and that's what seems to be the case in most friendships. I had a great friend at work when I first got here. A younger guy then myself, he was a triathlete like me and had a sarcastic sense of humor. We would chill at work after hours and just talk about life and ideas while putting golf balls in my bosses office.

One night he invited me out to a party with his girlfriend Lo and this girl Lauren. We drove from his apartment to Lo's house where her and Lauren live together. The security guard at the door let us in. I think Christian mentioned the house used to belong to James Dean or Marlon Brando, I forget which, but his name was definitely Christian. I knew these were the girls from TV show "The Hills" before going in but a human is the same as you and me, so I didn't care what they had, but how down to earth and cool they were. The door swings open to some dog pissing on the floor. No one's in sight but a house lacking sufficient furniture or any real decorating. I'm thinking to myself..."they have no idea what an amazing house this is and yet....it looks like garbage." We hear Lo yelling down the stairs, hey guys, come on up. Before we get to the top we're greeted with big hugs from Lo and a warning to not look into her room because it's a grizzly mess. Right off the bat, she at least has the worry in the back of her mind that her room is embarrassing and that it wouldn't be a fine representation of her. It's the people that don't even acknowledge their room resembles Hiroshima that worry me. C and I head downstairs to fix a drink having not met Lauren yet. We heard her off in the distance from a conversation deflected off a tiled bathroom wall, but no intro as of yet. C already knew her for a while having dated Lo, and he always had great shit to say about her. That she was really smart and awesome to talk to. Sooo, I expected someone awesome. When she came down it was a bit awkward...conversation was light and fruity, and before I could say "you wanna leave" we grabbed a cab to the party. It was a birthday being held for Lauren's agent, Kevin Todd. You couldn't have met a nicer dude than Kevin. He literally opened the door for Lauren from our cab and shuffled us in to avoid the red carpet, and yet it was his birthday. I look to my left at the first table where we're sitting. There's Lindsay Lohan and that Ronson boy. And then to my right, Paris, Nikki and the Good Charlotte twins. I thought to myself, so this is what an LA party is all about. We park our asses and Kevin's trying to take our drink order but I pleaded to get it myself since he didn't even know me. As the night sped on I kneeled next to our table since there wasn't enough cushioned seating around it. There was a step up before you sit and since it fell directly under the table, I just kneeled and pitched a Willow character's stance against the tabletop. It's not like my knees were on the nightclub's floor, plus I had told Kevin to sit because he just kept standing next to our table and yet it was his party, so I moved. That was when Lauren actually laughed and asked me if I was kneeling, because no one seemed to notice. No conversation really came of it since the music was blasting but later in the night, Christian, Lo and I chilled under a big outdoor canopy and just talked it up. Lo turned out to be a great girl. Very funny, straightforward but willing to listen. She has a part in a show that's meant to mislead you. They make her out to be a bitch, but this girl is any girl you grew up with. Finally we decided to leave but Christian and Lo disappeared. As Lauren had me leave the club first to get into the cab outside, a few bodyguards rushed her past paparazzi and fans who actually were there asking for autographs. She signed a few before getting in the car but there was still no sign of Lo and C. As the cab moved away from snapping photos we saw two homeless figures about 50 yards up the street standing on the sidewalk and swaying like palm trees in the Santa Ana winds. They were so drunk that they hobbled outside and somehow didn't get swarmed by cameras since they went out another door. When I yelled out to them to get in, all the cameramen started running towards us and lighting the entire cab up with pictures. Lo turned up the volume on her middle finger and Lauren apologized to Christian as he was all pissed because he hates all that. I'm sitting there thinking, this is ridiculous. Im not even drunk. As we got back to the house C and Lo disappeared again, and I was in the kitchen with Lauren. She was sitting on the ground in front of her refrigerator and fumbling through frozen pizzas. I was looking around at her huge kitchen thinking to myself, I wonder if this girl has ever even cooked a dinner in this place. Her parents must be really proud of her. I wonder if she even thinks about family and a life beyond this show. She has it all, and this can't be what she continually looks forward to. I was annoyed and over getting tanked by the time my junior year in college came around. My frat house and my soccer guys both didn't appeal to me anymore because I'd been there, done that. And tonight was nothing off the charts and we're beyond college, so is this how these people are? I had to ask her a serious question because I really didn't care anymore what she thought of me as I knew, and she would agree, we had no connection. "What do you want out of life Lauren?" Not looking at her, I hoped she'd give me something philosophical....anything intellectual, maybe even a line that would be worth me making eye contact. But no, she said "I've got it all."

Laughing in my head at such an unsurprising remark, I felt better knowing she was only 5 feet from the pee her dog had left earlier that night. As I answered "right.....", she excused herself to go upstairs and throw-up. Seriously. Sitting alone in her kitchen I thought to myself, this is what LA is all about, and it's no different than any other night so don't fool yourself. You're really not missing anything.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

If you could....would you?

Have someone killed and never be found out for it....if you were offered the option, would you request it?

It's more like one of those dream scenarios where normally this would never be available yet you can answer the question as serious as you mean it to be. Mainly because it's not life and death, literally. Would you make such a rash decision that remorse and depression may overcome you? Or would you just try and block it out like it never happened, and that coincidentally you just never see that person anymore because they moved away? I think it would be either of those options and not one where you still cherish and salivate at the thought of having gotten rid of someone. Maniacs with troubled minds can act that way because they lack control of themselves, but a reasonable person I doubt could hardly pretend they're satisfied (unless drastic tragedies were inflicted by their prey). In my life there's only been a couple people that I wanted dead, and I'm not talking people that are already dead or anyone that's committed some unspeakable crime, because those actually make the answer much easier. But these people are oddly far flung from any contact these days or ever again. I look back now and think at the time I hated them and wished them the worst, but now I could care less. One was a Vice Principal at my high school, and the other an accounting teacher at my Financial Analyst position. These two worthless pieces aren't even worth my time, but they bothered me like a bouncer does a group of guys waiting in line. He flexes his muscles and utilizes superiority that's unjustified. They label you the minute they look at you as if they're better, and that they've earned it. Remember though, someone with an outright obnoxious attitude offers a clear read on their hand.

Back to the question....Does that someone deserve so much of your time and stress? Is it all worth the risk? Is it so meaningful to you that your needs outweigh the ones of his or her own family? You and I have no idea who that person is when they go home at night, and honestly, why would it be my business anyway? Because they've made a fool of me and deserve justice? We'll be made to look like fools by hundreds of people throughout our lives, so should we kill them all? No we have to learn from it. What I'm getting at is the question itself, although easy and fun to play with because you're not really "offing" anyone, you are driving home a conclusion that's half-assed because a decision was made in the heat of the moment. Thinking about the impact of your decisions, not just on you, but on them is what makes you a stronger, smarter person.....think about it, they did the opposite.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Time's a wastin' - keep busy

Edna Parker, the oldest person in the world just died a couple weeks ago, she was 115 years old from Indiana. Born in the 90's, that's 1890's, she outlived her husband by 75 years, as well as her sons and could probably offer the best definition to Webster's on the word "change." Known to push other younger patients around the nursing home, she was always a proponent of high energy, happiness and the idea that she felt young therefore she'd act it. One of the last things she was quoted as she celebrated her title as world's oldest was never stop educating yourself.

I just got off the phone with my dad....he's been a nut for staying active his whole life. Well I shouldn't say nut because he's not A.D.D. or annoying in any way, he's just worked to impress the M.O. of getting outside. At 56 years old he's entered me into running races in our old hometown so we could challenge eachother to run faster, and since we've done several triathlons together. He never stops looking in the newspaper for local things to experience rather than letting his mind saturate in stillness. He's going to an observatory tonight to see what stars the telescopes are zoomed in on, and tomorrow there's an annual Christmas Tree lighting at EAB Plaza that he'll check out no matter how cold it is. It's the point of getting out and enjoying the world; seeing new things in this one life we get. I've become a reflection of him, not a mirror image, but an HD representation. Feeling inadequate if I haven't at least stepped outside once all day, I strive to keep learning new things and drive roads my tires have never touched. Avoiding the repetitious because really, I already know it.

A few common sense ways I've taken on to continue learning even in drabs without stepping back into a classroom:

1: You're flipping through channels.... a familiar episode pops on of CSI, Law & Order, Seinfeld, Friends, Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park.....don't leave it. Turn to something you've never seen, even if not educational. In my opinion, you've already tapped into your experience for that episode and nothing particularly new is gained by re-watching it. Yea maybe a couple laughs, but you're not going to lose your sense of humor if you don't watch it..you'll laugh another day I promise. Obviously you can guess the best channels to turn to for eductional means so try one out for a change.

2: Driving in your car.....how many times have you listened to Stairway to Heaven or It Smells Like Teen Spirit? Our music is on constant repeat and it's played out until we give it some time before wanting to resurrect it. In that break period go buy a few audiobooks. SOme of those books you've heard so much about throughout life but never wanted to read because it would take too long. Just pop the cd in and turn it up loud so that you cant think about anything other than the dialogue. I suck at reading, but listening, that's a different story. When I'm driving now, I'm learning. Whether it's a book or lecture which you can buy lectures, let's say if there's a topic you ever felt like learning, or another language. The options are endless.

3: Travel one weekend a month. Instead of sitting home and relaxing because you have days off...plan a drive every month for one weekend to something within a few hours distance, and make it a trip. Whomever you do it with, it'll become a part of your life that you never stop looking forward too. How many years can you save, save, and save for what might never come. There's so many beautiful local spots near your home I guarantee you'll find life much more fulfilling....and if not, a good drive always spurs some great opportunities to think and see some landscapes.

You can write about them on here if you'd like. Possibly become the world's oldest blogger..after all, I heard the oldest, a 108-year old woman in Australia has left us as well. Let me guess....a 108-year old woman using the computer and writing to the public about her life....hmmm, I'm gonna go out on a radical limb and guess one little thing..........she never stopped either.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

How much can we actually regret without changing who we've become

"Do you regret anything you've done in your life?"
That's a popular question asked in a lot of interviews, and although you want to smack the cocky punk that says he or she has none, they just might be giving the best possible answer.

SOmewhere around middle school I thought popularity was so important. I mean, to the point where you can't even concentrate in class. You're focused on your clothes, who you're friends with, who not to talk to......it's unbelievably retarded. I mean, you'd look at someone's t-shirt that their mom bought them and ask the kid if he was a surfer just because his shirt said Billabong. And if not, you'd blast him for being a poser and make the kid feel like shit so that he'd never wear the shirt again. If I was a teacher and saw that happening I would throw the brat down the stairs, and beat him with a ruler until his head popped off because getting fired would be worth it, and because the kid deserved to regret what he said and learn why wearing whatever you like is so much more important than what other people think about what you're wearing. Only a beating like that would change that fucker's perception. It fuels me up because the mistake I made in middle school was talking behind people's back. Somewhere around the 7th grade I said I didn't want a friend on my football team because he was fat, slow and sucked. All of these are further from the truth than you could imagine. In fact nothing was terrible about the kid, I was just a kid that needed his ass kicked for being a dick. Well, it all came back to bite me. One friend wanted to get closer to another and therefore threw me under the bus by announcing my gossip to everyone and turned them against me, and rightfully so. My point in bringing this up is that I sit here and say "rightfully so" to you with ease and comfort in the lesson I've learned, but fuck me, that lesson was one of the worst in my life. Hard to believe I know, I said one of the worst. I was tormented for two straight years by kids who were my best friends. I didn't even want to go to school it was so bad...being spit on when I walked by them in the halls, finding notes and threats in my locker, cursed at and called every name in the book. There was a time where I don't think I said one word to anyone in school for months....there was no need to speak. No matter what I would say to anyone would be manipulated to mean something different or be taken out of context to use as abuse against me for the following weeks.

So what happened? Well, I found all new friends in middle school. It's amazing what little worlds exist amongst eachother and would normally never collide unless some change in behavior causes it. A kid who played the drums with me in the school band was a skater. A very quiet kid that always wore a NIN shirt to school or something that said Pennywise or Bad Religion on it. Never knowing what his deal was we got to becoming friends and I began a whole new life in skating, snowboarding and listening to every style of music with his buds. Middle school was practically over by the time this mess came to a halt and I would never had made the move to go to a private high school if it wasn't for that terrible experience. My high school turned out to be amazing with a huge new group of friends and a clean slate never to smear again with the likes of gossip and talking shit about people.

I would love to say a regret of mine was how I acted in middle school and that I wish it never happened, but man when I think about how my life changed after, that's what makes me who I am today. Don't go back and try to change the course of events that you wish never happened, because you'll never learn that crucial lesson that altered your perception. We make mistakes only by making them, not thinking about them. Otherwise they would never become mistakes, just a collective decision towards the better option. You would never even reflect on the consequences of your actions and how others are affected by them if what you assumed to end positively does in fact do so. It's when the result is not what you planned that you're knocked on your ass. The times where people or family hate you and you lose friends, trust, respect.....because of what you've done...that's where you learn how to become stronger, bounce back and make sure as hell not to do it again. With pain or suffering under your belt, no matter how small in my case, or big in yours, you'll always have a way by which you become a better person because of it....and that's why it's hard to regret anything.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We went to this restaurant called "The Death Penalty" and no one was getting served their order so we left

My mind goes ape shit when I think of the families sitting there, running over in their memories the vivid details of their loved one's murder. How scared that person must have been before being killed, how fast their heart was pumping and how they dreamed for their knight in shining armor to come save them. Or maybe some miraculous pardon from above where all of a sudden their killer would change their mind. There's nothing they could have done but only a million things differently, as flashes of who they'd miss the most and what they'd wished they'd said the last time they spoke. These poor families sit there and think what their convicted killer who raped their loved one before they took their life and enjoyed their brother or sister's last gasp for air as some fucking sick form of entertainment...they think "I wonder what that asshole's eating for lunch today. I wonder if he slept well last night."

The system is garbage because these murderers, predominantly male, actually a little over 98% of those on death row, are awaiting their death sentence on average over 15 to 20 years. Since 1977 until 2006, over 7,115 people have been sentenced to death, and only 15 people have been exonerated from further DNA evidence. Currently the worst state by rate of murder is Louisiana with 14.2 per 100K people, and then Alabama and Maryland buddying up to just under 1o people per. New Hampshire seems to be the safest place to live with the lowest murder rate of 1 in 100K, maybe a great place to hitchhike. Now I'm not one for wasting time on a death sentence because that person convicted sure as hell didnt waste time on their victim. I bet it took them no more than a day, and we have advocates out there begging and pleading that these men deserve better, dare I say humane, treatment for their crime. Are you people psychotic? I might suggest we get you checked out, because the day that your wife or daughter is murdered is the day you're buying a gun and killing that piece of shit yourself. It's just because it hasnt happened to you that you stand high and mighty, but listen, eye for an eye my friend, even if it's limited only to those intentional murders of completely innocent people.

I'm so confused about why it costs so much to kill someone, and why we're so bent on making it civil. Fine, electrocution isn't civil but lethal injection sure is. I've had several surgeries where I've been knocked out and it was like falling into a dream. I can't imagine this isn't too far fetched from some heroine addict overdosing on something that isn't good for their system. Let's bring it back to the old days, we can have these 7,115 people gone in no time. Actually there's 3,309 people currently on death row still waiting, the most actually in California probably because it's so nice outside why waste a day indoors dealing with some maniacs. Seriously though, there are 667 inmates in CA awaiting death which is nearly double the next closest state Florida with 397. We can move this right along though by just calling up your local lumber yard, get them to create 10 guillotines and line them all up in a row. There's 1440 minutes in day, one murderer every minute just liked they'd learned in elementary school, single file please, and you'd be done in one day. In fact, you'd have room for another three rounds of 3 thousand. You might cringe at this idea like nails on a chalkboard, but why? These people don't deserve to live because they spared no remorse at exterminating someone else's life, end of story. We wouldnt have to pay for these people to eat, sleep, shower and shit for years on end like they earned it. There would be no more legal argument about the costs of capital punishment and those families would be served their one last shred of comfort. If you really think this is crass, look up some articles on how women are treated in other countries, take Somalia for example. A girl, 13 years old was supposedly raped and that's what she claimed to authorities, however they believe she consented and was actually an adulterer; which is gross to even think she was married at that age. Therefore they threw her in a pit and had the public stone her to death. Look it up, it's even believed that the woman might have been 23, but what's the difference. The woman was stoned to death for having sex or being raped. You tell me if either one is a capital offense. Please, let's not go looking at me or anyone who agrees with my aggressive remarks as animals. Think about our grandfathers who killed when their country told them too, and the grandfathers before them who killed thousands of men (native americans) just for land. Although these men got away with murder we often know it was okay because the men they killed were known as the bad guys. Did we put the bad guys on trial to see what their story was? We probably even threw our men a welcome home party, and yet we can't even make up our mind to consider a convicted murderer a bad guy as well?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mantourage - Finally the serious questions from Mario Lopez

How many guys is an ok number for a girl to have slept with before dating her?

First off this is a question you're never going to ask on your first date so therefore you will already have given this girl a shot and may not want to know such details. Nor should she know your number. It's none of her business and no one's honestly happy afterwards unless the lie you told them is a number less than the number they've actually been with in their head. I mean, what if you're a re-born Christian and you've seen the light of your gonorrhean ways. Those habits are in the past and there's no need to work at the deli anymore when you know your way around. Mario Lopez asks the question and then does some crunches off set before listening to his guest hosts react. Keep in mind these guys aren't your cute next door neighbor Bobby who comes by and mows your lawn when he's done with his parents'. There was some pro football player, that guy O'Connoll from The Bachelor (whom we all know better for his brother who's currently with Rebecca Romaine and gorgonzola). I say currently with and not married because the woman has already dumped a stage hand Beach Boy for a guy who's best acting was a minute-long burp in Can't Hardly Wait. And then there was some guy via satellite who was most likely backstage with a green screen because there's no way he was too cool to show up for this intellectual set of Peter Jennings questions.

"Fifty is my max," the football player yells over the chatter amongst them.

And believe me, I thought The View was a battle to get your word in amongst "bocking" pigeons. This was like yelling at a Giants game, you couldn't hear shit before Mario would interrupt with the same line over and over again, "moving right along." But before he did that, he squealed at "fifty." He said more like "ten" is my max for her! He starts breaking down the numbers with a calculator. "Okay, so let's say she's been with 20 guys and she's 30 years old. That's like a guy every year!....nope not cool", he says. My jaw dropped. First because Mario would flunk the tv-show "Are you smarter than a fifth grader?" and second because this guy is a Z-List celebrity and yet he says his number for her is ten?! Then that begs the question, what's his number? You cant be strict with her and be a hypocrite yourself...I mean, you can but that's a dick move, pun intended. I bet his co-anchors for the night were like "dude, come on M-Dawg, your dick's not sitting idle for one chick a year.................is it?.......Mario?? Give me a wink if you're kidding......."

Reason #1 that I know he's lying: If buddies of mine have been with 50 to 100 girls and I can think of a few in particular that rock the century mark(by the way im 27).....then Mario fucking Lopez, and his band of burritos are not sitting shrimp cock-tail on a bowl of ice waiting to be grabbed. My boys are not celebs and are not on television.

Reason#2 that I know he's lying: Later in the show he agrees that once you're 30 years old your game gets tighter and you know what you want. You lose your jealousies and you're care-free, which I agree is true for myself. Also, at one point he mentions he's been in a lot of rip-roaring relationships with women who like to argue and fight......and may I quote him again, " I have a tendency towards these women because the sex is sooo good."

Are you telling me Marry-Oh (as us Longguylanders say it ) that the women you're nut-n-bolting are amazing at sex yet they have less experience than a senior in college? You're outta your Mantouragin mind. I bet you're quadruple centurian status you scalawag. You should add your coming out number as a hidden scene or blip in your new workout video like in Fight Club where they two-second your junk in between Aladdin's monkey stealing bread. There's Mario dubbing over the dialogue...."the number is..."

Monday, December 1, 2008

"Thanksgiving's not the same..."

I heard this from my mom the other day. A bit frazzled and grey because her life, as well as her immediate family's, has changed in the past 5 years. Not tragically....where your immediate assumptions are life's worst case scenarios, but rather like any family may endure in the midst of a generational blip. My sister got married, I moved to LA, and my mother and father split up. She'd crystal-balled a future where our tradition, which was well preserved the past 20 years, would continue on. Yet time adds its own ingredients, and we as individuals toss some in as well. Grandparents leave us in natural progression. We usher in new faces as nieces, nephews and in-laws. My mother had to cook for a whole other family in her new life and she didn't have many people to look forward to seeing. Who was she even cooking for, and would they appreciate it, or would she be happy to plate them? I think this is like anything in life, adjustments take time. My sister doesn't have kids yet, I'm not married nor do I know if I'll be in LA forever, my uncles lack the capacity to mail out an invitation, not to mention organize a holiday; so we'll have to wait it out. Possibly grandchildren will be born, spurring an attack on the newly knighted grandparents and a craving for turkey, stuffing, and yams with marshmallows, or dare we say, new experiences may foster warm enough memories that in time, they become the new tradition. One never knows, but really, you should be open to some change in your life, especially if it's out of your control. Hey, if anything, sometimes you need less impressive instances to understand how perfect others might have been and how you won't forget to appreciate those that come again.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hey Amex, Abolish Affirmative Action and the Obsession with Diversity

Is there any reason to continue on with this so-called affirmative action or diversity quota? With an economy at 6.5% unemployment, can we focus for the time being on ourselves rather than assisting every other international student attending our programs so they can take their human capital back home and be praised for it. We've had this glass ceiling supposedly lingering over those with socioeconomic limitations, but let me take a few examples off the top of my head here....Stan O'Neal, African American, was able to run Merrill Lynch for years making hundreds of millions of dollars. Russell Simmons and Jay-Z, the latter I believe it was recently noted Shawn Cahhhta (said like Don Knotts in his best Furley rendition) will make a combined 100 million dollars with his wife Beyonce'. Did I forget to mention Obama....I apologize, a black man is now President, which I am very proud to say, honestly. The point however is that the statute for limitations on the ability of those with racial barriers to rise the social, educational and political ranks just doesn't hold water anymore now that the walls have been steamrolled.

Take my current situation for example, I'm studying for the GMAT's. A test essential to a candidate applying to an MBA-Program or Business School. The other day I'm sitting outside a Pinkberry listening to the conversation of four girls chowing down on the new pomegranate gurt. One starts yapping about UCLA and it's 2006 ranking in Newsweek or Forbes, I forget which one. Each adding their two cents about how they know the rankings are compiled and what the competing schools were for the top spot. Figures I'm looking at the UCLA Anderson School as an option being located right here, but definitely think they'd wipe their asses with my application. Especially if the US, like Russia did years ago to their loose-lipped citizens, decided to rid us of toilet paper (jeez, if they're loose-lipped, consider all Americans gaping images of Heidi Fleiss). Looking briefly at their table, there's not a white face amongst them and each don the hoodie of their Alma mater as if some advertisement for Stanford and Barnard. Two Middle Eastern girls and two Asians. At least I know they're smart, or are they as smart as me but with an added credential.....they sound like anti-social websurfers studying the statistics of Forbes magazine's latest survey. These are the business savvy? I can picture them in a class chewing their gum because they believe any answer they give to be the correct one even if the professor says "no it isn't." Now, my girlfriend is sitting there with me and she's Persian. She used her ethnicity to her advantage when applying (not to UCLA but equivalent), and that was after she'd been denied from the same school where she originally said she was Caucasian, and then they accepted her after a semester in community college and a new application stating her Iranian background. Now of course this isn't a perfect example, but it's not as if this is all a conspiracy theory, this exists. Now, I believe that California's Proposition 209 in 1996 was passed by 54% of the popular vote, and that prohibits granting racial preferences in government hiring and public school admissions however I'm unsure the ramifications on diversity quotas set by any schools, private or public. The way I look at it is, these schools aren't going down to the burbs of Mississippi, Alabama or Louisiana to find these so-called diamonds in the ruff, and if some real talent does competitively apply from there, I still don't believe they can adequately beat someone of greater strength in academics who was denied because they're not a minority. Can you put a challenged student in a class with Harvard kids and expect them to keep up with the class? When I graduated college I got into an Investment Banking Analyst program...the best possible job you could get coming out of college with a finance degree. I was in way over my head but Id written a great cover letter and interviewed well, and they gave me an opportunity. After three weeks into the program, this means 16 hour days studying financial statements and training our computer modeling skills, we were tested on the material. I'd stayed up til 4am the night before and practically every night before that, to try and read as much as possible.......of course I know that's not good for you when taking a test but that's not the point...I wasn't anywhere near those kids in my program from Yale, Princeton and Wharton. They just got it and didn't need to do what I was to prepare. You could put Weird Al Yankovic on the Brazilian National Soccer team, but that doesn't mean he's going to become Pele. Why not just deny him for two reasons, one because he's probably not Brazilian (no I'm not researching it, you can), and two, because he probably sucks when paired against Ronaldinho (which I can assume as fact thank you). My downfall is my Italian mother's attraction to an Irishman who really is just an American like her, both born here instead of some other country that might look better on an application. Funny thing is, 80% of these people were born here like I was, not in some other country, yet they pull their cards out like credit seeing what the store actually accepts via policy. Sorry sir, we've reached our limit on American Express.

Slumdog Millionaire

Sometimes you see a movie and it changes your life. Your life in that moment, not forever but in that time that you're currently challenged with. It's so good that you want to be the main character, someone who is utterly selfless and deathly in love. And maybe it’s a moment of weakness in our own condition, maybe I need that relationship he’d finally gotten, maybe I deserve that love that he had, because the story had to come from somewhere, these things exist. I can achieve anything cant I? So why not head over heels mutual infatuation? Why not in a slum, just like it happened in Shantaram. Real couples and families living and loving amongst the most horrid of conditions, because that’s the hand they were dealt and even in its squalor, they still find love, suck up their pride and move on in life for whatever happy reason. Sometimes we walk out of a movie and we want nothing but to stay in our car and drive all night….so late in the night that no one's on the road, and nothing but the windows down and whipping wind can cure us. No music, no conversations, just an eery smile and gleaming eyes revealing your thoughts….just more time before reality strikes you that it’s over, you’re not actually there, it was just a movie. But it’s not just a movie. It wasn’t some cheap comedy where the beginning and end are exactly the same, or some action thriller where the bad guy is introduced in the second scene as a good guy you’d never expect. This was a story, and one quite close to real, and it took you away for once. A last meal, is that just a meal? It’s a definition of who you are, what you’ve longed for right before you die. Something that transcends you to another place, somewhere you remember or always wanted to be. Slumdog Millionaire was one of those movies where it leaves its mark in your mind. Shot in India, I wished I’d been exposed to such a culture, and yet I don’t. I wish I had such confidence and belief that destiny had a way of playing its part with time. The challenge is, how green is that grass you seek, and how permanent is your loss once you've given it up to find out? In this case, there wasn't much to lose and that there makes a decision a heck of a lot easier.

an inside out tighty-whitey intro

From the confines of my studio apt I come to you....well I'm not exactly broadcast through your speakers, but Im leaving some notes if you ever come a'knockin. I might say I'm in my upper twenties, maybe 35 by the time you read this. I came to LA with a job in that fantastic line of work where grandma and grandpa call every other day just to see how their portfolio's performing. Yup, you guessed it...finance. Oh you're smart, yes, I'm now unemployed. I worked in New York, mainly the city all my life, either painting or wallpaper hanging for my dad and my uncle, before graduating college. Dreading the idea of re-entering Wall Street it's like going to a local carnival for the fiftieth time. Everything there is the same old shit, waste of money, con-artist, bent basketball hoop, hypnotize ya type of shtuff. You know exactly what that huge stuffed animal is gonna do when it gets home....collect dust, take up space and fade in color until finally some douche comes over and plops down on it like some bean bag chair and it explodes. That was me in front of my computer towards the end. A boiling pot of water figuring out what dunny I could add to my collection on eBay while watching my client's money drain through a colander. Either way, that's why I don't want to go back, it was sooo fake. I can't deal with risking other people's money. Lying and telling every phone call they're gonna be fine....it'll all come back. So present day...here I am, rocking these Incredible Hulk boxer briefs from H&M. I had my mom buy em for me and my friend as we stared nostalgically, laughing because we wondered if someone was still wearing our original He-Man's twenty years ago that we donated to large dumpster bins behind a King Kullen reading St. Vincent's Collection. My mom likes treating anyone she loves to something. Me and one of my best friends in this case, we'd grown up next door to each other, he was 5 and I was 6. She used to get me a bottle of cologne every time we went to the mall, it was like a tradition of ours as we walked out of Macy's to our car. I still literally have twenty bottles in my dresser, standing crooked on the bubbles of warped wood from sprayed drippage. LA is beautiful though....ridiculous sunsets every single night. I used to die for a good sunset on Long Island and I'd have to zoom down to Jones Beach with a blanket or hoodie if I suspected one. You'd be lucky if you caught it over the Robert Moses bridge because the reflection off the water and how high you are versus the land, it's like the huge hill coming down Santa Monica to Pacific Coast Highway, there's no better view but from the top of those cliffs or that bridge across the country. No matter how cliche the discussion of weather is, you really take it for granted here. It's just so much easier to be happy, especially if you've got family or friends nearby. Speaking of fam and friends, I left them all to come here. You never know in life what type of transitional stage you're in or where you'll be in 5 years. This'll be an experience I draw upon for my kids in case they ever want to take a risk or try living elsewhere. Knowing that I did it, why wouldnt I support their same excitement toward discovery? There's nothing twenty minutes on a webcam cant cure. It's not the end of the world, just a melting period. Shed some layers, earn some new ones and travel the diameter of life's circle even better than our parents did. Leaving behind a positive impression on as many people you love as possible...what else is life really all about?