It was a bit odd to be out and about since I've been a recluse for a while, but it was nice to get a round warm 'welcome backs' and 'where the hell ya beens.'
I bailed on the costume thing this year. It was enough effort to go out be sociable. I'm sort of bummed though, since I like doing up a good costume. Had a good time nontheless.
Here's some shots of the fun, courtesy of my friend Nick and his camera. He's the leprechaun.
It was probably a 90% costume wearin' crowd at the Brazen Head Pub here in West Bend. Lots of fun was had by all. These are the things that can happen if you're single. And yeah - it really can be that kind of bar...and often is...
There you have it...just another night in the WB. Mmm hmm, that's right...West Bend, where people love Halloween and girls have just gotta flash. (That might become our new slogan.)
Sunday, October 30, 2005
It was a bit odd to be out and about since I've been a recluse for a while, but it was nice to get a round warm 'welcome backs' and 'where the hell ya beens.'
Posted by Shawn at 6:45 PM
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Posted by Shawn at 7:33 PM
Monday, October 24, 2005
From time to time, I'm moved to tears. This is one of those times. I'm both saddened and heartened at the same time. Saddened by a tragic loss, just one of many that happen every day. And heartened that someone I know - if even only by way of the computer and blog exchanges - is doing something about it. I'm moved by his compassion.
Please, just follow this link and decide for yourself whether or not to get a bit involved. For any who don't know him, Michael is legit. He's a caring man who is doing what he can to help this young Chinese woman out.
Posted by Shawn at 3:26 PM
Sunday, October 23, 2005
There's through road about a block from me - it's a main road, but not a real busy road - and a few minutes ago there was a frantic burst of traffic. It's nearly died down. Anywhere else, I wouldn't have noticed. Or, if I did notice, I wouldn't have instantly understood.
See, it's quarter till and the Packers start playing at noon.
You may think I'm kidding when I talk about Packers' fans, but I'm not. They are a different breed indeed...
Whenever I say this, there's always someone who says something like, 'Yeah, Bears' fans are nuts too,' or 'The old Browns were like that...'
There's no comparison though. You don't hear much about Cheeseheads Gone Wild because fans here aren't like that. There's no rioting when the Packers win a Superbowl, there's no shootings when they lose... Heck, there aren't even big brawls when the occasional Detroit fan shows up at Lambeau Field - good-natured heckling, but even that is followed by a round of beers for all.
No, this goes way deeper than that.
Right before I started this post, I was counting about a car a second in short bursts followed by a lull that coincides with the traffic light two blocks away. Just now, there were three cars in five minutes. This is not poetic license either. For the next two hours, the streets will be empty. If you need to do any shopping, now is the time to go.
When I first moved here, I used to jokingly say that I was expecting to get pulled over for driving while the Packers are on. That might be an exaggeration, but there were more than a handful of people who asked why you would be driving while the Packers were on.
I figured out that I could probably get away with any driving infraction on the planet if the Packers were on the telly...
'Do you know why I pulled you over?'
At which point, I lean over and turn the radio up. It's tuned to AM...and the Packers.
'Oh...I'm sorry sir.'
'It's okay officer...we've got the ball back...and I'm headed home for some Fondu and the second half."
This is the spot in the game where Brett Favre inexplicably rifles the ball into oblivion and the eager arms of whatever Vikinglionsaintetc defender is farthest from any Green Bay receiver (you may laugh, but it happens nearly every game). The cop groans. I groan. He's about to cry, but manfully keeps it inside.
The cop doesn't finish, but I can hear what he means...
'You can go...If you want to run down some innocent pedestrians, I won't stop you... Hell, if they're wearing a Vikinglionsaintetc sweatshirt, I'll come out and pin a jaywalking ticket to their cold, dead bodies...'
He doesn't say this, of course, but you can tell he's thinking it.
Anyway, the streets are now as empty as... (I was going to insert something about Bush or the Republican party here...you know...something about emptiness and Bush's brain...or empty like a Republican promise...or as empty as the Republican party is of unindicted leadership...but that would have been a cheap shot and, frankly, I've got a game to watch).
No, really...I've got to go...
Posted by Shawn at 11:44 AM
Saturday, October 22, 2005
In case you were wondering, adding chocolate ice cream to your coffee does not make it a mocha.*
* The preceding experiment was done at nearly sea level using African coffee beens and generic chocolate ice cream. I don't believe that using premium ice cream would have improved the results. Feel free to try it yourself, but I would recommend that you just take my word for it...
Posted by Shawn at 3:08 PM
Friday, October 21, 2005
Okay, here you go Eileen... The origins of your super awesome (and as yet undefined...) superpowers. I always knew weird shit was happening in that darkroom. This means, of course, that John Hart will also have superpowers. It remains to be seen whether he will realize it and then whether they will be used for good, or evil. That's certainly something to wonder about...
Posted by Shawn at 3:00 PM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Everyone should be a comic book hero... Now, if we only had some actual super powers. Or at least interesting lives.
At least I'm aware that Eileen is alive. Numbed by endless album listening perhaps, but alive nontheless. I think I merely dreamed of a friend named Josh...it was so vivid too, right down to his undying love for Taco Bell and U2...weird little details that made it all so real.
So, this is just a little comic book cover for my friends - real and imagined - just to let you guys know I still luvs ya...even if you've disappeared into the whirling vortex of big city livin'.
Posted by Shawn at 10:51 PM
Okay...I like movies, but this is ridiculous. I was rooting around the other day and came across AFI's Top 100 movies list again. People often use it as a base for those, 'I'm going to watch all these classics so I'll be a better person' kinds of resolutions.
Maybe I should make one of those resolutions? I want to be a better person. Can't hurt, right? Better people are good.
Heck, this could even be exciting. All these movies to see, I'm going to be an awesome film buff...and a super great person.
This is the American Film Institute's list of the 100
Greatest Movies, selected by AFI's blue-ribbon
panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American
1.CITIZEN KANE (1941)
3.GODFATHER, THE (1972)
4.GONE WITH THE WIND (1939)
5.LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962)
6.WIZARD OF OZ, THE (1939)
7.GRADUATE, THE (1967)
8.ON THE WATERFRONT (1954)
9.SCHINDLER'S LIST (1993)
10.SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
11.IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
12.SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950)
13.BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, THE (1957)
14.SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)
15.STAR WARS (1977)
16.ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
17.AFRICAN QUEEN, THE (1951)
20.ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (1975)
21.GRAPES OF WRATH, THE (1940)
22.2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)
23.MALTESE FALCON, THE (1941)
24.RAGING BULL (1980)
25.E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (1982)
26.DR. STRANGELOVE (1964)
27.BONNIE & CLYDE (1967)
28.APOCALYPSE NOW (1979)
29.MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939)
30.TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
31.ANNIE HALL (1977)
32.GODFATHER PART II, THE (1974)
33.HIGH NOON (1952)
34.TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
35.IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)**
36.MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)
37.BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, THE (1946)**
38.DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944)**
39.DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (1965)
40.NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959)
41.WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
42.REAR WINDOW (1954)
43.KING KONG (1933)
44.BIRTH OF A NATION, THE (1915)
45.STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, A (1951)
46.CLOCKWORK ORANGE, A (1971)
47.TAXI DRIVER (1976)
49.SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937)
50.BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID (1969)
51.PHILADELPHIA STORY, THE(1940)
52.FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)
54.ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT (1930)
55.SOUND OF MUSIC, THE (1965)
57.THIRD MAN, THE (1949)
59.REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955)
60.RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981)
64.CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND (1977)
65.SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, THE (1991)
67.MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, THE (1962)
68.AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN (1951)
70.FRENCH CONNECTION, THE (1971)
71.FORREST GUMP (1994)
73.WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939)
74.GOLD RUSH, THE (1925)**
75.DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)
76.CITY LIGHTS (1931)
77.AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973)
79.DEER HUNTER, THE (1978)
80.WILD BUNCH, THE (1969)**
81.MODERN TIMES (1936)
85.DUCK SOUP (1933)
86.MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
88.EASY RIDER (1969)
90.JAZZ SINGER, THE (1927)
91.MY FAIR LADY (1964)
92.PLACE IN THE SUN, A(1951)
93.APARTMENT, THE (1960)
95.PULP FICTION (1994)
96.SEARCHERS, THE (1956)
97.BRINGING UP BABY (1938)
99.GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER (1967)
100. YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
I read though the top of the list. Holy crap! I've seen all of the top 15. I rock!
Then I read on, and didn't hit a bump until No. 35, It Happened One Night. I've actually seen that one...I just couldn't remember what it was about. At this point, I'm starting to hope I can find some unknown movies.
I came up with 12, but that's inflated with a bundch I've seen, but don't remember - like It Happened One Night. So, apparently I have six movies to see on the list. It looks like maybe I've been sorely limited in the viewing of 1930s movies and I'll have to slog through the 1915 classic Birth of a Nation. Other than that, I'm good.
I wish this made me a better person, but alas, it hasn't. Maybe it takes more than watching a few movies to become a better person. Is that possible? Can self improvement really require work?
Well, that's just a bunch of crap then...
Posted by Shawn at 2:23 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
I wish I understood royalty a bit more. There are just so many things I don't get.
Like being King is top of the heap, right? Unless there's an Emperor, I guess. But there aren't any Emperors right now, so King is it...
Okay, say being King is tops. You're the head of a royal family in a small country called, for example Monaco. You're a Prince. Screw that, why not just be King? Isn't a prince just a baby King? Wouldn't you get sick of sitting at the kids' table at royal reunions? I mean, you're head of the country, who's going to say you aren't King?
What's the point of being a monarch if you don't get to do whatever you want?
Posted by Shawn at 10:10 AM
Monday, October 17, 2005
These were the last three search results that brought some lucky readers to my little slice of the blog pie.
10/17/05 19:25:37 cheerleaders (Google)
10/17/05 08:08:26 leif garrett + Lederhosen (MSN)
10/16/05 22:06:40 milwaukee U2 vertigo (Google)
U2...okay, that's cool. It was a sweet show. Cheerleaders...sorry, I've let you down dude. I love them too.
Um, Leif Garrett + Lederhosen? I can't even begin to address that one. I love the Internet...it's so awesome that Al Gore invented it for us.
Posted by Shawn at 9:06 PM
Pi is the most famous ratio in mathematics, and is one of the most ancient numbers known to humanity. PI is approximately 3.14, by definition, the number of times that a circle's diameter will fit around the circle. PI goes on forever, and can't be calculated to perfect precision.
I've got the day off...what to do?
I thought about - once and for - solving the mystery of pi, but I'm kind of getting a late start. It's already 1 p.m. Also, what would I do if I actually did solve the mystery? Do I have time to be a mathematics superstar? I think not. I rather enjoy my anonymity in public.
Just think about it... I come up with the definitive answer to the pi question and suddenly I'm thrust into the spotlight. I probably win a Nobel Prize and then become filthy rich. I'll be expected to lecture, of course, but will I get to talk about cool stuff like who the best X-men character is? No, I'll be expected to talk about math. I don't even like math guys, I just solved the pi thing on a lark...
Then there's the money. What will I do with it all? I'll donate a bunch to the next hurrinadoquakeslidenami disaster that comes along...I won the Nobel Prize for chrissakes...I've got to be charitable.
Then I'll buy a sports franchise. What a hassle that will be. And then no one will like me if the team sucks, which it will because who ever sells an awesome, winning team? And I won't get to hit on the cheerleaders for fear of a lawsuit, so what's the point?
As you can see, I'm what you might call, a thinkin' man. Yup, I do it all the time... sometimes it even hurts. It's how I've somehow managed to avoid the pratfalls of sucess. Many less bright people have jumped right in and made contributions to the greater good. What has it got them? Acclaim, nice houses, and admiration from their fellow human beings, that's what. Well, not me. I'm too smart for that.
So, for now, the secret of pi will remain just that. I'm gonna jest go down by Starbucks and get me one of them fancy coffees or somethin'.
Posted by Shawn at 12:46 PM
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I've only been up for a couple of hours and already my day has been jammed full of learning...most people would keep this stuff to themselves, but I'm not that kind of guy. I'm a sharer...well, at least online, I'm a sharer...
- Sometimes it can look warm enough to sit out in the sun wearing shorts, but not actually be warm enough to sit out in the sun wearing shorts...
- The Ethiopian Harar coffee from Alterra does indeed smell a bit like dried Zebra turds...or dried turds of some kind...and as terrible as that sounds, actually means it's going to taste pretty good. It's been at least a year since I last had a good cup of Ethiopian Harar. Also, the Alterra girl who sold it to me was really cute. Which leads to...
- Girls with accents have a raised level of cuteness to them. If the Alterra girl, for example, had been a regular Midwest girl, she would still been cute - but would she have been super-cute without the Spanish accent? I think not. Which leads to...
- Some accents are better than others. I like Russian girls and Russian names, but Rusian accents aren't as hot as Spanish. I also like a mild French accent. A vague European, I was taught the Queen's English but still get American slang accent is also pretty hot...
- I used to work with a girl from Chile. She had a great accent and the most perfect, pink lips ever. Don't get rude here...the lips surrounding her Spanish accent speaking mouth were the most incredible shade of pink I've ever seen and just demanded to be gazed upon. Her parents weren't thrilled with her career choice that entailed having...well...a career. Women didn't do that.
Back to learning...
- This morning I found that Leslie Charteris, the author of The Saint books, was part English and part Chinese. He was born in Singapore and lived in England, where he went to Cambridge, and also lived in the U.S. for a long time.
- There are fifty Saint books in English. He also wrote a bunch in French. French? What the hell?
- There were a handful of Saint movies, a bunch of comic books and three major television series...or is that serieses...
- I still like Val Kilmer as The Saint and although the movie kind of blew, it was still better than slogging through the writing style of Charteris which was similar to how I imagined Higgins memoirs to be...and we all know that Higgins memoirs always bored Thomas to tears...
- If I had a bunch of money, and some damn good attorneys, I would be The Saint. I love that he isn't into defending the law, but is into justice.
Some other realizations I made while drinking Zebra crap coffee...
- Back in high school I was told by a girl that I had cute toes. She was right. That's not so much true anymore... Why did my toes go to shit? This may never be fully understood. Which led to...
- I'm not as hot as I used to be. Not that I was ever high on the hot scale, but I always felt pretty okay... Now, I realize there's likely no scale in existence that I would rank high on the hotness meter.
- That's okay, because nobody is as hot as they used to be. Not even hot, young girls in the prime of hotness are as hot as they used to be. I'm pretty sure that's not true, but with a diminished level of hormones racing through my veins, they just just don't seem imbued with that supernatural hotness they once were imbued with...
- I ramble a lot... And, apparently, I like the sound of my own voice...even if it's typed. Must work on that...
- My little parrot - Joey - likes pie crust. That's not surprising, he likes most junk foods (he is, for example, a freak for sips of Mt. Dew). What is weird is that he likes the crunchy outside part.
I'm pretty sure that's enough learnin' for one day...at least it is for me. Now, I guess I should go out and suck in as much of this sunshine as I can. It's only a couple of weeks from Wisconsin's traditional turn to crap for Halloween weather change...
Posted by Shawn at 12:35 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2005
It's in bad taste...and will likely offend my god buddies. I missed two. Play Homeless or Jesus.
Posted by Shawn at 11:34 AM
Friday, October 14, 2005
I just woke up from a series of lucid dreams wherein I was sailing and then was castaway, but found a hang glider that allowed me to fly back to the mainland only to go down on the remote Oregon coast near Haystack Rock (which wasn't really Haystack Rock, but was even cooler. Much like in 'The Goonies').
In a small aside here, I should note that my hangliding skills were very good and anyone else would have smacked into the old-growth trees instead of gracefully landing on the small, sandy beach... I am an excellent dream flyer and usually don't even need a hang glider - I must have been doing some lazy dreaming.
Anyway, there were, thankfully, some friends nearby that let me clean up at their place. That was nice and all, but it was pretty crappy of them to not offer me a lift back to civilization. You know who you are...don't expect a lift from me in any of your dreams.
Along the way, I also managed to sink a fleet of speed boats in Florida because they were ruining manatee living environment. That felt pretty good, but might have been the karma that led to being castaway in the first place. Who knows with this stuff?
I also, somewhat mysteriously didn't get fired from my dream job - whatever it was. That was a bit odd, since I apparently had my little adventures during a lunch break from which I - quite obviously - didn't return. Thanks again jerkwads...a lift would have been nice.
I blame this all on eating Punjabi Choley before nodding off. Damn Indian food. Now it's 2 a.m. and I'm wide awake. Grrrr...
Posted by Shawn at 2:02 AM
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
I realized the other day that I hadn't actually picked up a pen to write in a journal all year. Not once. This from a guy who journalled pretty regularly.
It bothered me to see that kind of gap.
So, I did the 'year in a nutshell' catchup and started writing. It felt good. Much different than posting thoughts online. Oh, I still self censor a bit, but not nearly as much.
There's something therapeutic about writing in a journal. It's nice to be able to look at old one's and try and remember the person I was back then. Sometimes the changes are pretty drastic, but mostly there's the same old me looking out of the pages.
Usually, to mark a new start like this, I buy or make a new journal. This time I kept the old journal since there was plenty of room still left. Instead, I bought a new pen. That's it right there. Nothing but a fountain pen will do for a journal. It just feels right to slow down, drink some coffee and scrawl out some thoughts with an fountain pen.
In my journals, I seldom do any editing and the writing isn't thought out much. There's no attempt to tell a story in any way other than the straight forward 'I did this today' style.
For any type of writing beyond that, I can't work with anything other than a computer. I tend to make a lot of typos that I backspace over as I'm going. Despite this, I can still pound out some verbage rather quickly. Facing daily deadlines for a few years will do that. It will also make you realize that your writer's block is something to work through. You can't have writer's block and get a 400-word piece out in fifteen minutes.
Blogging is a bit different for me. It's a lot like writing for a paper I suppose. Usually, I just sit down and start typing. A little while later I'm done and I don't do much editing...until I see the typos or bad grammar that I've already posted. Ah well, I was never much of a copy editor, I was more of a creative editor. My friend Josh has cleaned up enough of my 'edited' copy to know that's true.
So, I was wondering how other people write. Do you just quickly zip it out? Do you labor over the words? Where do you type your posts? Do you use a word processor and then paste into the Blogger form? Do you write at home, or work, or school? Should you be doing something else?
And then, once you've posted something, do you just sort of forget about it, or do you check back constantly to see if there are responses? I tend to check a lot, but I have odd work hours and I can do that kind of thing...
And what do you get from all this? I think we all take something different away from this great blog experiment. But, what is that something?
Posted by Shawn at 6:27 PM
Monday, October 10, 2005
I ran into my friend Greg at the pub last night and this morning my head hurts. But I read this from The Waiter and pass it along for my theologically-minded blog buddies' reading pleasure.
For my godless blog buddies...revel in the fact that I'm hung over. And, that's right, it's Monday and I'm not working.
Posted by Shawn at 12:38 PM
Saturday, October 08, 2005
If you're like me, you may have gone through a bit of a cycle of feelings about Katrina and its aftermath.
Not unlike the storm itself, my feelings first blew one direction (in my case, shock and anger that we weren't doing more), eventually picked up destructive force and lashed out. How was it possible for this level of incompetence to be allowed? Why was a horse show director in charge of a disaster relief agency whose jurisdiction spanned all levels of government? Why are people - fellow Americans - being treated like cattle, worse indeed than many third world refugees.
Then came a bit of a calm period. The relief effort seemed on track, other things came along to relieve me of seeing horrible images of destruction and need. In short, life seemed to be getting back to normal.
Then the winds picked up again, but this time in the other direction. Why are we always bailing victims of storms out? Who's going to bail me out if I can't pay my rent? Why is the government paying $2,500 per roof to have contractors nail blue tarps to the top of them? Why are none of those contractors from the New Orleans area? Why are we paying millions to lease several private cruise ships to provide housing when the government of Greece offered us similar ships for free? Why have we turned away freely given aid offers? Fortunately, the storm has been over land for a while and the second blast of winds has packed a little less strength (at least in my case).
Well, last week I met my first Katrina victims.
I don't know what I was expecting. Maybe I thought they would somehow be different. Maybe a haunted look, or a tattooed number on their arms - something that marked them as victims.
They weren't different though. They were just regular people - a mom and a daughter just going about the business of trying to get their lives back together.
The mom (who I'll call M) and her daughter (who I'll call D) lived about 15 miles outside of New Orleans. They heard the news about the storm coming and along with M's husband, loaded up the car with some clothes, their two dogs and some food to eat.
They drove north hoping to find a hotel to stay in and found they were all filled - not a room to be had within a day's drive of New Orleans. They slept in the car as best they could and drove further the next day. Little did they know it would be over two weeks before they would be allowed back home and they weren't really prepared for that.
They made do though and they felt relieved when they found they could return home. Relieved and a bit scared. What would they find? Was there anything left?
What they found was a home no longer that. Nearly everything in it was destroyed. Much of the furniture was still soaked, the carpets were still wet, and everything was covered with a thick layer of mold and mildew. M tells me this very quickly, trying to get past it as fast as possible. I can see she is fighting tears. She refuses to let them start.
They're lucky she says. They at least have a place to stay now. Her mother-in-law had recently moved into a nursing home and they're staying in her old condo. The only furniture and personal items in it was what they could salvage - two metal patio tables they were able to just spray off and bleach and a framed wedding photo she had taken when they first left - or what had been donated to them - an old couch and chair and a couple of old bedroom sets. There was also a big television and some things left by her mother-in-law when she moved.
Despite this, they're mostly happy. They got out and they still have their two dogs. There's a fresh batch of frosted brownies in the kitchen.
D has been to the pet store in the next town over, the one where I live. She bought their chihuahua a little sweater.
It's cold up here in Wisconsin D tells me with a smile. We're not used to it being this cold, she says.
She puts on a pair of cheap, new tennis shoes. They could have been pulled from the stock of a Soviet-era store Russia. She's a very pretty girl and I'm sure it has to hurt her pride, but all she shows is a smile.
I notice that when she takes the dogs out for a walk that she only has a light sweatshirt while her dog has a warm sweater.
She leaves eating an apple, making the best of it.
D is a college student M tells me. She was going to school in New Orleans, but there's not going to be classes there for a while. She was able to transfer to UWM on short notice, but they were already three weeks into classes and she was too far behind to catch up, so she's taking this term off.
M's cel phone rings while I'm there. M is trying to find out about food stamps. She's never been on them and didn't even know how to sign up for them, or where. The Red Cross, she tells me, had tables set up at centers. You went from table to table to enroll in different programs and to get information. It was an all day affair. Without this setup, she would be lost, she said.
So, now she and her family were going to be on food stamps. It's only temporary she's quick to add. It's only until December, then everyone has to show they've been looking for work. She says this quickly and without looking me in the eye. We're not trying to freeload, M says.
She didn't know what else to do though. They didn't have a big savings and that was mostly gone. It took her over six weeks to get her last paycheck - there was no one in New Orleans to sign them, the people she worked with were all in the same position.
She was sending out resumes for herself and her husband. He's still down in Louisiana. He has a job in the oil business, but is essentially homeless down there. They need the money though, so he'll stay down there until he can find something else.
M lights up a cigarette. I can tell she's not a smoker. She fumbles too much,she only takes furtive drags and she only smokes about half of it. The cigarettes are cheap. It's one of the few signs of weakness she shows.
D returns from walking the dogs. She looks at the cigarette butt in the ashtray - it's the only one - and frowns. M looks away, the silence says words that can't be said. It lasts only a second before they both look at me.
I do my best to smile. D smiles back. I know she cries at night, but all I've seen is her smile. It's one of the bravest things I've ever seen.
Anyway, says M., we're pretty lucky.
Posted by Shawn at 11:44 AM
Thursday, October 06, 2005
In the last couple of days, I have discovered one pretend thing I would be excellent at and one pretend thing for which I have no aptitude. And no, I wasn't smoking dope...
I would be an excellent announcer of pretend Formula One, or Indy Car, races. I tried it and I rocked. That doesn't even capture how great at it I was - I was truly awesome. Mostly, I believe my forte in the field of pretend car race announcing would be calling classic pretend races, especially those in which Emerson Fitapaldi plays a prominent role. What can I say? We all have our gifts.
That said, I would suck at narrating pretend science fiction movies. I have no talent for it. Zero. Maybe even less than zero. This unfortunately also applies to the fantasy genre. If I didn't have my pretend race announcing skills to fall back on, I would probably cry.
These are the things you can learn about yourself in the middle of the night.
Posted by Shawn at 11:06 AM
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
The other night I came across one of the coolest things...ever.
It caused me to lose a couple of hours, but it was fun. They say it's a Googletastic world, and now it really is. You must get Google Earth immediately. Come back when you can sing, "I've got the whole world, in my hands..."
No seriously, get out of here...go get it...now...
Posted by Shawn at 2:05 PM
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
***Warning - the following may contain terms and expressions that may be objectionable to some.***
Lo, the strident voice of discord! I hear your clarion call to arms from across the blogosphere...mere electrical impulses do nothing to dull your shrill cry.
Why is it that we are so willing to attack 'the other side' for no reason than they're the other side? I don't have much of an answer for that other than I think we, as a society need to feel some sense of community and since we don't get it in our day to day, we seek it by finding sides to join. Most of us have a hard time with much beyond 'right' and 'wrong', black/white, left/right, so that's what we go with.
We then offer up pseudo debates in which we espouse our side's views, couching our arguments in trite talking points that we do too little critical thinking about to ever question, and then soundly pat ourselves on the back when we've yelled the loudest, assuming that to be the same as logically expressing our arguments. Please forgive me for saying that's a crock of steaming offal.
Tell me - for example - that you didn't vote for Kerry because he didn't seem to have a plan you could get behind or that you just thought he looked goofy and I can respect that. Tell, me you thought he was coward during the war in which he actively served and received commendation, or he doesn't voice Christian beliefs and morals though and I'm going to pretty much dismiss what you have to say. I can get that by listening to a douchebag like Rush Limbaugh. The only wingnut that was ever worth a crap was Robert 'Wingnut' Weaver.
That said, I offer up to my tender and discerning readers - all ten of you - a small, shining moment of non-partisan class. It comes by way of my old home state, Oregon, and it's senior senator Ron Wyden.
Wyden recently voted to confirm John Roberts and made this short speech explaining why. It's worth reading.
And guess what else? Wyden gets along great with his Republican counterpart, Gordon Smith. Why, they've even co-sponsored a bill to make December National Peach Month. That's indeed right - a Democrat and a Republican working together - what's next?
Posted by Shawn at 4:07 PM
Sunday, October 02, 2005
As I sit in my cloistered cell, contemplating the mysteries of life and the universe, I find myself trying to address the one question that perhaps lies at the center of humanity. Why do thongs have a triangle of fabric at the top of the butt side?
Maybe this isn't something that normal people question, but I've been asking it ever since I realized that I had an uncanny - no, make that, superhuman - ability to detect thong wearage. Early on, I was so overwhelmed with sensation that I had to stop going to the mall for a while. Okay, maybe that was because I didn't have any money...whatever.
The point is that the point of wearing a thong is to avoid panty detection with snug pants, but the point at the top of the butt works as a pointer to point out that the wearer is sporting thongage, thus completely missing the point.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the thong in all it's whispy glory and often have thanked Great White Buffalo Calf Woman for bringing mankind the gift of hot thong wearers. I'm just wondering is all.
It seems that Victoria's Secret has truly perfected the art of the thong. They have achieved perfect placement - much to the chagrin of their thongpetitors - of the hint of fabric at the top of the crack. But why? It doesn't cover anything. What is it's function? I mean except for looking kind of hot when it peaks over the top of those low-rise pants...
And come to think of it, why is there such a wide swatch up front? Maybe these things are reversible. So, if a girl felt a sudden flush of modesty, she could zip into the bathroom, make the switch, and be back in the mix in minutes. "Thong? What thong? I'm not wearing a thong..."
I could ponder for hours - and already have, believe me - but alas, I think I hear the call to Vespers.
Posted by Shawn at 10:08 AM
Saturday, October 01, 2005
"Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend -- or a meaningful day."
- Dalai Lama
Here's to old friends and new friends and meaningful days...prost!
Posted by Shawn at 1:38 AM