Sunday, August 30, 2009


"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth and tell the whole world - "No. You move."

-Captain America to Spiderman

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Charles Bukowski

“Let it enfold you”
either peace or happiness,
let it enfold you
when i was a young man
I felt these things were
I had bad blood, a twisted
mind, a precarious
I was hard as granite, I
leered at the
I trusted no man and
especially no
I was living a hell in
small rooms, I broke
things, smashed things,
walked through glass,
I challenged everything,
was continually being
evicted, jailed, in and
out of fights, in and aout
of my mind.
women were something
to screw and rail
at, i had no male
I changed jobs and
cities, I hated holidays,
babies, history,
newspapers, museums,
marriage, movies,
spiders, garbagemen,
english accents, spain,
france, italy, walnuts and
the color
algebra angered me,
opera sickened me,
charlie chaplin was a
and flowers were for
peace an happiness to me
were signs of
tenants of the weak
but as I went on with
my alley fights,
my suicidal years,
my passage through
any number of
women-it gradually
began to occur to
that I wasn't different
from the
others, I was the same.
they were all fulsome
with hatred,
glossed over with petty
the men I fought in
alleys had hearts of stone.
everybody was nudging,
inching, cheating for
some insignificant
the lie was the
weapon and the
plot was
darkness was the
cautiously, I allowed
myself to feel good
at times.
I found moments of
peace in cheap
just staring at the
knobs of some
or listening to the
rain in the
the less i needed
the better i
maybe the other life had worn me
I no longer found
in topping somebody
in conversation.
or in mounting the
body of some poor
drunken female
whose life had
slipped away into
I could never accept
life as it was,
i could never gobble
down all its
but there were parts,
tenuous magic parts
open for the
I re formulated
I don't know when,
but the change
something in me
relaxed, smoothed
i no longer had to
prove that i was a
I didn't have to prove
I began to see things:
coffee cups lined up
behind a counter in a
or a dog walking along
a sidewalk.
or the way the mouse
on my dresser top
stopped there
with its body,
its ears,
its nose,
it was fixed,
a bit of life
caught within itself
and its eyes looked
at me
and they were
then - it was
I began to feel good,
I began to feel good
in the worst situations
and there were plenty
of those.
like say, the boss
behind his desk,
he is going to have
to fire me.
I've missed too many
he is dressed in a
suit, necktie, glasses,
he says, "i am going
to have to let you go"
"it's all right" i tell
He must do what he
must do, he has a
wife, a house, children.
expenses, most probably
a girlfreind.
I am sorry for him
he is caught.
I walk onto the blazing
the whole day is
(the whole world is at the
throat of the world,
everybody feels angry,
short-changed, cheated,
everybody is despondent,
I welcomed shots of
peace, tattered shards of
I embraced that stuff
like the hottest number,
like high heels,breasts,
(don't get me wrong,
there is such a thing as cockeyed optimism
that overlooks all
basic problems just for
the sake of
this is a shield and a
The knife got near my
throat again,
I almost turned on the
but when the good
moments arrived
I didn't fight them off
like an alley
I let them take me,
i luxuriated in them,
I bade them welcome
I even looked into
the mirror
once having thought
myself to be
I now liked what
I saw,almost
a bit ripped and
odd turns,
but all in all,
not too bad,
almost handsome,
better at least than
some of those movie
star faces
like the cheeks of
a baby's
and finally I discovered
real feelings for
like lately,
like this morning,
as I was leaving,
for the track,
i saw my wife in bed,
just the
shape of
her head there
(not forgetting
centuries of the living
and the dead and
the dying,
the pyramids,
Mozart dead
but his music still
there in the
room, weeds growing,
the earth turning,
the toteboard waiting for
I saw the shape of my
wife's head,
she so still,
i ached for her life,
just being there
under the
i kissed her in the,
got down the stairway,
got outside,
got into my marvelous
fixed the seatbelt,
backed out the
feeling warm to
the fingertips,
down to my
foot on the gas
I entered the world
drove down the
past the houses
full and empty
i saw the mailman,
he waved
at me.

Apple Store -1

Last night was a disappointing evening at the Apple Store. I'd been unable to burn a dvd on my Macbook Pro, and troubleshooting pointed to the dvd write head needing replacement. I made an 8pm appointment at the Genius Bar, and arrived at the recommended 7:55pm toting the computer, power supply, and dvds I'd used, and secure in the knowledge that I had seven months before the Applecare warranty expired.

I checked in, and was told that the service appointments were running a few minutes behind. B.J. and I spent about twenty minutes browsing cases, software, and messing around with all the new software. Periodically, employees would offer assistance, which we declined, mentioning each time that we were waiting for the Genius Bar.

Come 8:30, we sat down to play I Spy on the children's computers, which was by far, the highlight of the night. At 8:45, my patience ran out, and I snagged an employee to ask what the hold up was. He responded by apologizing profusely, saying my appointment had been canceled. Regardless, he worked me in, and fifty minutes past the appointment time, I sat down at the Genius Bar.

Ten to fifteen minutes of troubleshooting later (trying different DVDs, checking the system log, etc), Mr. Genius went to the back and returned with a replacement drive. In order to eliminate software issues entirely (as a last ditch effort before authorizing the repair), we booted the laptop off an external HD and burned from there. Surprisingly, the burn worked perfectly.

I left the Apple Store after an hour and a half with instructions to do an archive and install and a reminder that the store was closing for two weeks of renovations, and I would need to go to another store for any further repairs.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Things that make a bad week better

1. A new haircut
2. Batman: The animated series
3. Agatha Christie novels
4. Frog in a Blender icy
5. New pictures of Lexi eating noses.
6. Griffin Clarifi iPhone case
8. Funny people on twitter
9. Candles
10. Husband who does all of the housework and still puts me to bed at 9:30

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quarter Life Crisis

Washington Post Article

Regarding a quarter life crisis:

Dear People Currently In Crisis,

In the immortal words of Drew Carey, "You say you're pissed off that life didn't turn out the way you wanted it to? There's a group for that. It's called 'Everybody.' They meet at the bar."

The crisis will subside after a while.



Dear Baby Boomers making fun of the Quarter Life Crisis,

You created the mid life crisis, and that's equally pathetic.


P.S. (I'm not even touching the fact that you helped get us into this economic mess.)

Friday, August 7, 2009

More book reviews

Again, continuing from this post.

#9 His Dark Materials
First, His Dark Materials is a series made up of three books "The Golden Compass", "The Subtle Knife", and "The Amber Spyglass". This makes it a crappy addition to this list.

The Plot: Two kids and their metaphysical representations run around doing everything metaphorical the author could think of. Then they go kill God.

The Good: The first book in this series is the best of the three. The author creates a lovable main character in Lyra and I found the portions that dealt with daemons charming.

The Bad: This is obviously a response to the Narnia series. The similarities (new worlds, talking animals, creation metaphors, strong female villains) are a little bit in your face. I got the impression that the author decided that subtlety was overrated by the third book, which is when the 'killing God' bit went from an interesting, albeit heavy handed topic for a children's book, to the stick that the author chose to beat his message into the reader.

In addition, the third book becomes more of an adult love story, which breaks the themes of innocent loyalty and friendship that have been paramount up to that point. It was a disruptive decision, and one I wish he'd left out.

The Verdict: 3.5 out of five for The Golden Compass, 2.5 for the other two books. Probably offensive to some who can't tell the difference between reality and books.

#53 Cold Comfort Farm

The Plot: A society woman goes to live with her redneck relatives at Cold Comfort. She neatly arranges life around her to her liking.

The Good: Clever language and a plotline that was written to be tongue in cheek. The author succeeded at writing a very amusing book without seeming like she was trying too hard.

The Bad: The book is a little slow at the beginning.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5. Charming! I especially love the cows.

Keeping up with myself

I feel more like a grown up this week than I have in a long while.

I was in Minnesota this past weekend, visiting my niece, Lexi, who is an unnervingly smart baby. (She's five months old, and trying to talk.) My favorite thing to do with her (aside from teaching her oral acrobatics) was to take her outside onto the front porch and watch the outdoors together. Lexi doesn't like being bored and she's quite content when watching the fascinating outside world. I never thought I would be as captivated as I am by a tiny hand grabbing my thumb and toothless gums drooling on my knuckles.

The rest of the week has involved me stepping forward to take more responsibility at work. Seventy five percent of the time, I feel like I'm drowning under the mounting piles of paperwork and 'Idontknowhowtodothis' panic, but during the other twenty five percent I feel like an adult who is doing their job.

Who knew that self awareness can be brought on by not breaking the baby and doing your damn job?