05 November, 2009

Apologies for Not Posting Lately...

...but everything that's come into my head that I've felt like putting on paper or running through a word processor has me creating a comic book that has little dialogue and no drawings.

But now that we're here, let's discuss Latisse. The drug "is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker. Eyelash hypotrichosis is another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes." (Cite from Latisse's Web site.)

Also from the site: "LATISSE® use may cause darkening of the eyelid skin which may be reversible. LATISSE® use may also cause increased brown pigmentation of the colored part of the eye which is likely to be permanent." (Italics, of course, mine.)

This means the eyelid skin darkening, since it may be reversible, also may be irreversible! And Latisse can freaking turn your eyes brown!

Latisse has the potential to make one's eyelashes 25 percent longer, with effects becoming noticable after two months of use.

Is that a big flapping deal? Am I nutty for not understanding how the hell this drug is worth taking?

The gods (in the US, the pharmaceutical industry qualifies as a deity) must be crazy!

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26 October, 2009

'Straight From the Bog.' (C) Ocean Spray

Ohhhh-kaaay. That's the slogan they're going with?

This is what a bog is, according to dictionary.net: "A quagmire filled with decayed moss and other vegetable matter; wet spongy ground where a heavy body is apt to sink; a marsh; a morass."

I can't even think of a worse slogan for Ocean Spray to have. Maybe "Ocean Spray: Mostly Toilet Water"?

...Yeesh. Maybe they ought to reconsider their advertising firm. Who the hell wants something that's fresh from landfill juice?

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Spanish-speaking Clown Cowboys Electrocuting A Guy for Fun and (Very Little) Money!

I was flipping through television channels and came upon the Spanish Channel.

The show's MCs were dressed in clown-ish makeup and wore cowboy-kinda clothes. They also had fake hair that came from their ten gallon hats that looked like red yarn -- Raggedy Ann and Andy-style.

And that wasn't the weirdest part.

The two MCs egged on a person who picked numbers on a board. The numbers were taken away, and behind them was either a lightning bolt or a dollar amount.

Now's probably the time to talk about the person's (likely) family member, who was strapped into a chair and holding two e-meter thingies in his hands, but wasn't auditing for Scientology... Or maybe he was -- I don't know exactly how Scientology goes.

If the person picking the numbers revealed a lightning bolt, the guy got the juice. If the person got the money... Well, the person got the money.

Eventually, the guy strapped into the chair couldn't take one of his zappings, and let go of his e-meter.

All for $350.

That's Entertainment!

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20 October, 2009

OK... So Methadone Knocked Me On My Ass For A Month

Did not see that one coming!

But now things seem to be better... And not in the way I said before. For example: Now I know that I cannot lay down for a second during the day or I will pass right the hell out. If my head hits a pillow, bam!, I'm asleep for at least thirty minutes. That's how things have been for about a month now.

Then I got an idea: To try sitting about my apartment instead of laying about it. It turns out that this simple act changed my sleeping habits. Now I don't go to sleep until my head hits my pillow at 1 a.m. Previously, I had thought I couldn't do anything to affect how much and when I slept, so I didn't bother modifying my actions. It's a good thing I did, because my life is much more pain- and fatigue-less.

So I believe I will stay on my current drug diet of 60 mg Methadone, 60 mg Oxycodone IR (immediate release), 6 mg Klonopin per day. This costs me $162 a month. My doctor wants to put me on Cymbalta, which would force me to get a Medicare Part D Plan -- or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan -- which would mean that I would end up paying much more out of pocket per year than I currently do.

Since I seem to be doing well -- and should continue to do better the more my system is exposed to Methadone and is able to become used to it -- I think I'm going to forego a Part D Plan for now.

Perhaps I'll post an explanation about Medicare Part D someday soon. Then again, maybe I won't, since it would be an unholy pain in the ass, just as dealing with it is.

...Anyway: Hopefully I'm back to blogging. And back to having a life!

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28 September, 2009

Mysteries Of the Pyramids, Explained

A lot of wacky stuff has been posited by a lot of wacky people due to the fact that pyramids were made by various cultures at various times, despite these cultures having had no contact with, or knowledge of, one another.

How could that possibly be? How could so many different cultures come up with the same structure throughout history?

This is how: Because all these cultures were made of people, and people anywhere think the same way as people everywhere. And the people that made up these cultures wanted to create the tallest, most stable structures they could.

And at the time these cultures existed, the pyramidal form was the best one to use to create a tall, stable structure.


...I mean, it's that or aliens.

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27 September, 2009

Jesus's Family Values

[Originally posted December 10, 2008, and inspired by this Newsweek cover article by Lisa Miller.]

The Biblical patriarchs had as many wives and concubines as they could afford. In fact, polygamy was (and I daresay is) the ideal for People of the Book (and having multiple wives, technically, is polygyny -- "The More You Know"!). Poor people tended toward monogamy solely because they couldn't afford more bitches. (And I use "bitches" in this post only because the Bible treats women on par with female dogs: as a male's property. Hell, only a handful of women in the entire Bible are even bothered to be named. You get maybe a thousand male names from all the chapters/verses regarding all the begetting and begetting and begetting, but essentially no female names. And the begetting was a lot tougher on them.)

I fervently believe traditional marriage must be restored. Still, I'm a modern guy. I bend with the times. I don't think we have to go back to making women chattel. Also, I don't get money mixed up in my relationships. Especially now that I, personally, don't have any to speak of.

Tacks (brass): I want ten wives (starters) who pay for anything and everything I want to do/to have/need/merely want.

But that's me. A real traditionalist.

But I know a lot of people out there are fighting for traditional marriage as taught by Jesus: a union of one man and one woman.

The problem being that Jesus never said, never gave any indication, that this is what marriage is supposed to be. In fact, since Jesus was a Jewish man of his times, he would have been more than OK with polygamy.

Jesus believed the end of the world was at hand. By example, he taught celibacy. He did so, in part, likely because in a nonexistent world a family doesn't need kids to ensure its prosperity. As part of this apocalyptic view, Jesus encouraged people to leave their families to follow him and, generally, not to care about these families because they were earthly things, soon to be rendered unimportant by God's appearance on earth, which he did often say was at hand (as in during his lifetime or shortly thereafter).

So Christians who follow Jesus's actual teaching should desert their families, if they have them, (but not get divorced). And if they don't have families, they shouldn't marry at all.

The family values Christianity currently teaches are the exact opposite of those Jesus taught (in essence: the family has no value whatsoever). Preachers go on and on about the family being the bedrock of civilization.

Such preaching couldn't be more anti-Christian.

If Christian preachers get what they want -- Jesus's family values imposed on America -- the result will be the annihilation of our concept of family.

Personally, I don't need nor want that. I'd be fine, simply, with ten wives.

...At least for starters.

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26 September, 2009

My Apartment Is A Prison

I'm at the coffeehouse I so often go to, but haven't been to since I began my current pain-management regimen.

I've stayed away because I haven't wanted to aggravate the pain in my legs by walking the four block round-trip to here and back home. I also thought it would be a bad idea to go to a noisy place that could do nothing but exacerbate my ever-present migraine.

But I'm here today. I came out... To discover that, as always, I'm right.

Today I awoke to a studio apartment that felt like a jail cell -- or, better, a holding cell. I've been in quite a few of those, so it's better for me to make a comparison to one of those since I know how it induces claustrophobia and the desire for -- to the exclusion of all other desires -- escape.

So I put a hat over my greasy hair and bellowed a Braveheart FREEEEEDOM! as I locked my apartment door behind me as I left.

My stilt-y, unbending legs tottered me here and I ordered my usual sixteen ounces of coffee, to which I added a quarter-ounce of half-and-half, seven heaping teaspoons of Sugar In the Raw, and two taps of powdered cinnamon.

I scored a spot on the love seat, but was bothered by the noise the few, but loud-talking -laughing -moving -breathing -existing, people made. So I moved to an outdoor table, where I sat and smoked until I couldn't take the annoyance of the line of people that qued up to ask me for a cigarette. (See this post for how I feel about would-be cig-bummers.)

back inside, it had quieted down in the time it took me to smoke two cigarettes. So I finished my coffee and got a refill to try to remedy my lethargy (which you can read about in my previous post).

Then the place filled in and the people who took the table behind me began playing dominoes or something like it. Something that involved blocks or tiles that someone was always hammering into the table or shuffling with enough force to crack to tabletop.


It's best for me to go home and lock myself safely back into my apartment.

...How long will I have to jail myself? Methadone: Take me away! ...Er, Set me free!

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25 September, 2009

The Methadone May Be Starting To Work...

...because I'm feeling very lethargic -- again. I also think my pain may be -- maybe -- reduced from where it was Monday, when I began taking Methadone.

So I'll be posting short, new, posts like this one when I can, and otherwise updating the blog with stuff from Essays About Anything (see the post below this one) when I don't feel up to writing new stuff.

...As it is, I can't even muster the energy to play video games.

And that, friends, is the very definition of lethargy.

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The Good News Of Judas Iscariot

I watched a program on the Gospel of Judas. In response to whether this noncanonical gospel is important, a priest/reverend responded with this (paraphrase): I can't imagine anyone wanting or needing more than Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. He made it seem preposterous that a noncanonical gospel would have any value or worth.

(Further detail: This priest/reverend -- whatever he's called depending on how his religious hammer hangs -- holds televised Mass or whatever you call it, and has been doing so for what seems like decades. He has full, gray hair, a not-overdone tanning-booth complexion, and great teeth... His native habitat must be a PoliGrip commercial.)

About one hundred gospels and other texts regarding Jesus (that we know of) were created in the second, third and fourth centuries. All were made for the purposes of preserving, in writing, what Jesus taught.

Aside: The stories, teachings, etc. that eventually comprised individual gospels and other texts were taught, spread, and popularized orally before they were committed to papyri. Which is to say that all gospels/other texts included in and excluded from the New Testament were guaranteed to have errors, embellishments and the like.

A game of telephone with twenty people can't pass one sentence intact.

Back to it: The reason we have MML&J in the New Testament instead of or alongside the Gospel of Thomas, Mary Magdelene and/or many others is that the Catholic Council of Hippo circa 390 chose what books, from then on, made up the New Testament. The gospels of MML&J were included, and at least twenty (gospels) were excluded.

In the program I watched a scholar stated that MML&J are the narrative gospels. They are stories: Jesus did this, did that, was crucified and resurrected. As such, the scholar noted (most likely with a British accent -- the possession of which increases one's credibility at least twofold), they are the gospels that are most easily understood.

However, MML&J contradict one another and differ in extremely important ways on extremely important things. Noncanonical texts could, possibly, help explain these contradictions and differences.

(Long example of the canonical gospels differing: Only Matthew and Luke wrote that Mary was a virgin when she conceived and gave birth. And Matt's and Luke's gospels differ in many ways many times regarding Jesus's birth.

Still, Matt and Luke began their gospels with Jesus's birth, so it makes sense that they would discuss the birth's circumstances. Mark and John began their writings with Jesus's baptism, and so don't mention Jesus's birth. Didn't bother to shoehorn in a mention of the only virgin conception and birth that ever occurred. To dedicate even one verse to something that cannot and has not been done, except in the case of Jesus and Mary, not just for humans, but virtually all multicelled organisms.)

Many of the noncanonical gospels deal mostly or wholly only with what Jesus said. The Gospel of Thomas is a perfect example: It's structure is: "Jesus said: yadda yadda yadda. Jesus said: yadda yadda yadda." Again and again, then abrupt end.

Many of these gospels do not mention Jesus's crucifixion. Far more gospels aren't concerned with Jesus's death than are. (Christianity being based largely on MML&J is, in part, why Christians celebrate Jesus the miracle man-god and freely disregard the fact that Jesus only cared about poor people and was a radical pacifist. The US's outgoing president is considered one of the most religious POTUS-es in history. Obviously: Following Jesus's example, W. got the US into a war on pretenses he knew to be false, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, is bailing out financial-services firms with billions of dollars -- and those firms currently are giving employees billions of dollars in Christmas bonuses -- while allowing these firms' victims, the poor, to lose their homes -- and torturing people in violation of US and international law. Et cetera et cetera etc.)

At least one noncanonical text deals with Jesus's "missing years": the time in Jesus's life between his birth and crucifixion. Thirty years.

All of the above makes me wonder how a person like The PoliGrip Preacher possibly be satisfied only with MML&J? These four gospels disagree, contradict one another, don't account for almost all of Jesus's life, and on and on.

A priest/reverend is supposed to be an expert on Jesus's life. If a historian chooses to become an expert on Abraham Lincoln, it seems PoliGrip Preacher would suggest the historian only take into account Abe's birth and the year up to and including his death. Wanting more information would be just just plain silly.

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23 September, 2009

Warning: This Post Contains Objectionable Material If You Object To Reality

Last night I watched a PBS show about stress.


But just before the show began, words on the teevee screen and an announcer announced: "This program contains material some viewers may find objectionable."

I watched the show. Didn't see a single bare breast -- nor any exposed genitalia -- nor hear a single swear word. So no nudity, no "bad" words (as though words can, in and of themselves, be bad. Here's this: Fuck. The F-word. I just typed it, you just read it. Did it hurt you? What's wrong with it for fuck's sake?), not even talk of sex (which people spend their lives trying to have and having, but can't stand to have discussed on their televisions).

So their were none of the usual things that cause American teevee viewers to get mad.

...The show focused on how stress affects a certain group of baboons, and reveals that this stress is caused by the extremely hierarchical system the baboons lived under. As one of the researchers on the show put it: Baboons only need to spend three hours a day finding food, so they spend the rest of their time giving each other grief. This "grief" is doled out to establish and maintain their society's hierarchy.

Then the show discussed Britons who worked in the Civil Service, where every worker knows exactly where he/she stands in the hierarchy. Workers are even labeled with numbers: so a two in a certain function knows a three can give them shit, while they cannot give the three shit, but the two can give ones shit.

So Britons in the Civil Service are very neatly analogous to the baboon society.

The baboon researcher concerned himself with the levels of stress hormones in the baboons, and found that the lower the rank, the higher the stress. And the higher the stress, the worse that baboon's health would be. This is exactly the same for the Britons in the Civil Service and humans in general.

...After viewing the program in its entirety, I realized that the "material some viewers may find objectionable" is the fact that humans can learn a hell of a lot from baboons because we're so closely related, genetically, to them. And that this fact is incontrovertible.

The program asked, toward its end: "Are humans brave enough to learn from baboons?"

I interpreted this to be: Can we get religious people who, in Western society's religions, believe in human exceptionalism out of science's way? Will we be able to, one day, run a show about the incredible similarities primates (including humans) exhibit without having to take a bow to religion?

Succinctly: Are humans brave enough to discard religion (or at least completely banish it from the scientific realm because it has absolutely nothing to offer) in the pursuit of scientific truth -- aka truth -- and to allow teevee programs to present this fact: that humans are just another member of the order primates?

And can we grow the fuck up enough to the point where humans don't give a fuck about the casual use of the word "fuck"? Right now there are adults who are afraid to use to use certain words because they are "bad." Grow the fuck up!

...But the above was a way-off tangent. This question is more important to humanity: Can we admit that religion adds nothing to our understanding of the world? Can teevee programs that deal with how life and humans really are be freed from warning people not to watch them because they present the truth? ...Getting rid of these warnings is important because idiotic parents may use them to prevent their children from being presented with the truth of the human condition. Children must be freed from their parents' ignorance.

And we need to admit that our religions have only ever served to obstruct an informed and intelligent understanding of humanity and the world and universe of which we are a part. ...For god's sake, it took until the year 1992 -- nineteen ninety-two! -- for the Catholic church to apologize to Galileo for ruining his life. And he lived circa 1600! Therefore, it took the Church about four hundred years to say that it was OK for Galileo to have posited that the earth revolves around the sun -- which members of the Vatican must have verified for themselves with their own telescopes (since they had the money for them), yet still condemned!

All of which is to say (write): Humans -- especially children with ignorant parents -- should not be warned that they are about to be presented truths that oppose their religious beliefs. These beliefs need to be challenged so they can subsequently be discarded. Religion has no place in the presentation of knowledge since its only object is to hinder it, as it has done since humans invented it.

Hundreds of years ago Galileo proved the utility of the telescope and how inutile religion is. If only the world subsequently kept the telescope and discarded religion. But we wanted to have out cake and the Spanish Inquisition too.

Are we brave enough to accept that baboons are more intelligent than their human primate cousins, in that they haven't invented religions to torture themselves with (literally and figuratively)?

PS regarding my last post: I'm already over getting tired from taking Methadone. And am in extreme fucking pain.

...Of note: Humans knew methadone to be an effective painkiller through its being tested on animals, most importantly non-human primates. And it's the way we evaluate all drugs before their use on humans is OK'd. If humans were exceptional compared to the rest of animals, we wouldn't learn a goddam thing by testing them for safety and efficacy on these non-human animals before using them on humans, because humans would be so radically different from our test subjects.

PPS: I apologize that this post is all over the place. I'm in too much pain to concentrate and put together a cogent argument for or against whatever I'm for or against here.

But there's an argument made somewhere in this post. it's up to you, dear reader, to put it together. It's like a jigsaw puzzle! The parts are there... Even if there are a surplus of them...

Take what's needed, toss out what isn't, until you have a coherent argument!

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22 September, 2009

I Am So Very Tire...... huh? Wha? Oh. Right. I'm Tired.

I need to make this short because I don't have the mental energy to make it long.

Yesterday I began Methadone. This week I take five mg every eight hours, and use fifteen mg of Oxycodone for breakthrough pain, up to four oxys a day. Klonopin remains at six mg a day, which is where it will be the rest of my life.

Taking any opiate that is foreign to your system will make you tired. And so the Methadone has got my brain feeling like mush and the couch crying whispering: "Just lay down for a second... Maybe shit your eyes for just a second. Then you can go do the chores you need to take care of. ...And holy shit -- I just happen to have that super-comfy pillow right here!"

Goddam couch. It's talked me into a lot of naps. But for some reason that seems suspect, right now, I'm fighting them. I suppose I'm trying to avoid them mostly because I don't want to get out of my sleep schedule, which is bad on its own for a fibromyalgian, and because I don't want to be stuck wide awake in the wee hours, when only televangelists and infomercials are on. ...And since televangelists are always selling shit, why don't we call the programs they're on Evangemercials or some such thing?

Before I sign off and likely heed the siren song my couch is singing, it occurred to me that my last post wasn't clear on a very key item: Why Dr. N couldn't just keep prescribing me more oxycodone. Here's why: Oxycodone is a short-acting opiate, and if a doctor prescribes nothing but a hell of a lot of short-acting opiates, the feds are likely to come get him/her.

So I needed/need a long-acting opiate -- Methadone being the best choice -- with which to supplement my drug diet so my doctor is safe, and so I don't have to pop a pill every two-and-a-half hours, and have no "pain coverage" overnight and, therefore, wake every morning with the screaming withdrawals.

...I don't know if any of this made sense. I do know it sure doesn't make sense to me because I'm so tired I can't go back and read what I just wrote.

Anyway: I'm sure my level of tiredness will go down as I become accustomed to Methadone -- which I will take ten mg of after one week, and then see Dr. N for further instructions. And I'm sure we're taking the right course of action.

And my couch agrees!

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20 September, 2009

Methadone Treatment Begins Tomorrow

Yep. This is going to be a post, on a blog called The Fibromyalgian, about fibromyalgia. What can I say (write)? It's a crazy world.

As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm switching meds, most likely tomorrow, from Oxycodone to Methadone. Why tomorrow? Because I have an appointment with my pain management doctor tomorrow. Let's call her Dr. Not-Too-Damn-Bad, or Dr. NTDB for short. Or Dr. N for even shorter.

Dr. N is not too damn bad because she hasn't been afraid to prescribe me the dosages of painkillers I have required. She also came around on my Klonopin, and I'm on my necessary six mg per day, instead of the four mg she was previously stuck on. This is to her credit because every doctor is wary about prescribing a patient two central-nervous-system (CNS) depressants, which can result in the patient ceasing to breathe. And the vast majority of doctors like to keep their patients breathing.

The only problem I have with Dr. N is that she prescribes me Provigil for my chronic fatigue disorder. Before I came to Portland and began being treated by Dr. N, I had been taking Ritalin, which worked extremely well and, which is very important to someone who relies solely on Social Security Disability for his income, dirt cheap.

But Dr. N wasn't comfortable with prescribing speed to a fibromyalgian. It seems to her that speed and opiates and Klonopin are at odds with one another.

And I suppose I agree. But agreement doesn't make Provigil affordable. And so my chronic fatigue is left untreated.

On the first of October I will have Medicare. But Medicare doesn't help one out with prescription drug costs, and getting private insurance to help with my drug costs may actually be antithetical, since the cost of my monthly drug copays and drug insurance are likely to cost more than just buying my meds outright.

...Unless I start filling my Provigil, which costs something like four hundred and fifty dollars a month. Yeah. No typo: four hundred and fifty dollars a month.

Which reminds me to beg: Please help me get the treatment I need by donating. Please please please PUH-leeze! The button is right there... Right there on the right... And any amount helps! Any amount at all!

OK. begging done. On to the Methadone.

It's a tricky bastard of a drug because its half-life is longer than its active life. That is to say (write), that Methadone provides pain relief for a shorter time than it stays in one's system, in which it depresses breathing. So one has to be very OCD about one's Methadone schedule: If you're having a bad day and in a lot of pain and take more some Methadone to help you out, then take more... and maybe later some more, one can find oneself with enough Methadone in one's system to make their breathing cease before one's pain does.

Anyway, it's likely to be a good thing for me to be on Methadone. I'm currently taking so much Oxycodone that Dr. N doesn't feel comfortable prescribing a higher daily dose. For a patient to be taking one hundred and thirty mg of immediate-release Oxycodone per day could attract unwanted attention from the feds. But I can't take Oxycodone together with OxyContin (long-lasting oxycodone) because -- got a guess? -- OxyContin costs too much. That, and OxyContin is scarce because the feds are so overly concerned with the drug being diverted and under-concerned with the needs of people who are in constant pain -- which includes people who have terminal cancer, multiple sclerosis, and a bevy of conditions besides fibromyalgia.

The government is more concerned with keeping people from having fun by taking pills than it is with the quality of life of tens of thousands of people. And we're talking about pills that keep people from killing themselves or wanting to.

So tomorrow Methadone begins. I'll follow up tomorrow with the plan for how my transition from oxy to 'done is going to play out.

("'Done" work for you as shorthand for Methadone? ...Yeah. Didn't think so. And I agree.)

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19 September, 2009

I Live In A Freaking Nuthouse

I was coming back into my building, with another resident behind me. This particular resident is an adult. Probably fifty-something. He's rotund, and always wears T-shirts that can't manage to cover the bottom portion of his gut. The kind of T-shirts with prints on them I see shit-tons of twenty-somethings wearing. He also goes everywhere -- everywhere in the building, everywhere he goes outside, I've seen him walking around the neighborhood on various days with a stuffed animal.

The stuffed animal is a rendition of a human animal. A baby human animal.

Fifty-something-year-old-guy in too-tight T-shirts with a baby surrogate that he carries absolutely everywhere.

I hurried to the elevators, trying to avoid having to ride with Mr. Mom, who shuffled slowly through the lobby.

One of the elevators had its doors stuck open because someone was moving in. The guy introduced himself by saying "Don't go in that one, someone peed in it."

I said "Wait: Some one peed in it?!

"I gave a woman a ride up to the seventh floor. When she got in she squatted in the corner and just let it go. ...And this is my move-in day."

"Welcome to the building!" I exclaimed in an over-jovial, sarcastic tone.

Unthinkingly, I added "Well, not all of us are crazy."

By this time, Mr. Mom was standing right beside me. Then the other elevator arrived and I got in with him as the building manager came out with a mop.

As the doors closed I immediately imagined that Mr. Mom was going to beat me to death with his baby.

But he arrived on his floor and left the elevator without incident. He probably didn't want to lose his temper and, thereby, set a bad example for his kid.

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18 September, 2009

'Sweet Caroline' Is Just Freaking Gross

Does Fenway (home of the Red Sox) still play, and the stadium sing along with, "Sweet Caroline" (by Neil Diamond) before the bottom of the eighth inning?

If so, I thought they would have stopped doing so when it was revealed, by Diamond, that he wrote the lyrics when he was 26, and that he wrote the lyrics in an hour (such was his fevered inspiration) after seeing a picture of a 10-year-old Caroline Kennedy.

Diamond: "It was a picture of a little girl dressed to her nines in her riding gear next to her pony. It was such an innocent, wonderful picture, I immediately felt a song was there." --Songfacts.com.

Apparently, the picture also made Diamond feel incredibly horny. ...The picture of a 10-year-old made a 26-year-old hot enough to write in a single hour:

Where it began, I can't begin to know when
But then I know it's growing strong
Oh, wasn't the spring, whooo
And spring became the summer
Who'd believe you'd come along

Hands, touching hands, reaching out
Touching me, touching you
Oh, sweet Caroline
Good times never seem so good
I've been inclined to believe it never would

And now I, I look at the night, whooo
And it don't seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two, oh
And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulder
How can I hurt when holding you

Oh, one, touching one, reaching out
Touching me, touching you
Oh, sweet Caroline
Good times never seem so good
Oh I've been inclined to believe it never would

Ohhh, sweet Caroline, good times never seem so good

(Copyright sick-ass Neil Diamond. Lyrics provided by lyricsdomain.com.)

If the song is still a staple at Fenway, I can't imagine wanting to sing it.

I can't imagine listening to it without massive discomfort.

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17 September, 2009

I'm Getting Hot for Guys

[It's probably important for me to note that I'm straight. And male.]

A lot of hipsters hang out at my favorite coffeeshop. By definition (it seems), male hipsters are people who wear tight pants, tight T-shirts and short, androgynous hair.

And it just so happens that I find skinny chicks with short hair to be attractive as magnets. Further, since I'm male and hetero, I'm inborn with the silly-as-putty attraction to lesbians that is one of the near-universals of our (male, hetero) kind.

...And now this piece's conflict has its sperm and egg. Time for the miracle of birth!

Often, while I'm sipping my coffee (slooooowly... Because as long as I have even the slightest bit of coffee in my mug, I'm entitled to my seat in the coffeehouse... Right?), I'll also be checking out two people sitting with their backs to me. Eventually one of these people will turn in my direction, go get something, go to the bathroom, etc, that will reveal her to be female.

So at this point I'm thinking: Sweet. Two hot girls hanging out. How can I introduce myself to them in a way that will maximize the likelihood that I'll be able to, in the future, introduce my penis to one or both of them?

Or I'm thinking: Both have short hair, tight pants, tight Ts... Probably lesbians. Sweet. Now to sit back and enjoy their hot hot-lesbian selves in an aesthetic sort of way.

But no matter what I'm thinking, these thoughts are accompanied by a desire to see the rest of the person I haven't seen in, what I'm assuming to be her, entirety. I start looking forward to see the rest of her. And am a little... "excited." A little.

Then KA-POW! "She" stands and she's a guy who looks like a mega-flat-chested woman. And this person is then immediately unattractive because I know it has a penis -- even if said penis must have somehow been left at home so he could fit into his painted-on pants.

Though my primary wonder is how to make my own penis detachable [nod to King Missile] -- though this ability would have best served me some time ago in high school... Especially when I was on the diving board or slow dancing in the cafeteria with a girl who would suddenly position her hips a foot from mine while trying to maintain her hands' position around my neck -- I'm also struck with the fact that my libido and I need to slow things down and get a good look at every person's face before taking a stand on his/her attractiveness.

Because right now I'm getting just the tiniest bit hot for guys. And I'm not hot for guys.

Really. I swear.

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16 September, 2009

Portland: Beware The Macbook Liberator!

Portland has a new superhero (or will if he ever gets enough liquid courage...): The MacBook Liberator!

I spend a lot of time in coffeehouses because, for a two-dollar house coffee (the drinking of which -- instead of some whipped-creamed, chocolated, cinnamoned espresso drink -- causes the staff and patrons to look down on me as the cheap-ass I am) I can sit in air-conditioned comfort for more than a few hours and read and write (laboriously, by hand) what become blog posts like this one.

During these many coffeehouse visits, I meet or am forced to overhear (loud-talkers of the world, spontaneously and unanimously combust!) people with MacBooks prattle on... usually on Portlanders' favorite topic: how to make more money.

Unfortunately -- for the would-be entrepreneurs, anyway -- the vast percent of their ideas never will come to fruition and make them the degree of rich they believe they're so richly entitled to because their ideas are mostly the recycled ideas of others. Therefore, they often take the form: "Yadda yadda is blowing up in This Other City... How can I make it work in Portland?"

I would have thought such a person would have considered that the person with the original idea either has, indeed, made it work in Portland, or come to the conclusion that it would not work.

In either case, ripping someone off in a lucrative way isn't going to make one rich. It's going to make one get sued. Hard.

And sometimes ideas I overhear (despite my deep desire not to) or am presented with an idea of this form: "OK, how about This Stupid Idea? ... Yeah, I guess it'd be years before I saw money from that, if ever. ... But isn't it kicking ass in This Other City?"

Of course, what truly enrages me is that many of these people have MacBooks! One of the devices I've coveted, and therefore feel entitled to, since its inception!

These mongers of bad ideas need to be put on notice: Continue speak-yelling your mouth-diarrhea, and you are apt to lose the privilege of MacBook ownership.

...I can take a cacophony of stupid-speak from a PC-owner, but not a shouldn't-be Mac person any longer! Order must be foisted on this city!

...Just pay some attention to Apple's commercials, Portland: Macs are for cool people, not pretentious, business-minded assholes whose best ideas consist of recycling other peoples' bad ideas!

For the love of the gods, people, Microsoft recycles or buys out other peoples' and companies' bad ideas! It's their goddam business model! Therefore, according to Apple's commercials, your word-vomit -- by definition -- makes you a John Hodgman... er, PC!

So surrender your Mac, citizen, and get yourself a netbook until you're cool enough for a MacBook (like I am)!

PS: Today's MacBook owner, who should be safely out of my hearing's range, just said something about "the twitter stream"! That's not Mac-person talk!

...If this place served booze, and the above guy stuck around long enough for me to down about ten vodka-OJs, The MacBook Liberator would strike in the name of justice and holy self-interest!

Someone in this depraved city has to bring order among the notebook/laptop-owning community. And one day, Portland, The MacBook Liberator is going to get drunk enough to do just that!

So fear for your MacBooks, poorly costumed should-be PC people. Calvin Bandini/The Fibromyalgian is heading to the Low Brow Lounge Friday. Should he dive deep enough into a bottle of vodka, no MacBook shall be safe!


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15 September, 2009

Stats Don't Lie: States That Went for McCain In the Prez. Election Are Stupid

[Originally posted December 8, 2008.]

This post will be a series of factual statements from which the reader can draw his/her own conclusions, because giving my own -- as I did in the headline -- would be inflammatory.

Morgan Quinto Press publishes, yearly, Smartest State Awards. The most recent, free, results are here, and for 2006 to 2007. My statistics come from this page.

Quinto uses 21 factors processed through a formula (details of which can be found here) to assign a numerical value to each state. That value shows how "smart" the state is compared to the national average.

For example: Vermont was the smartest state in '06-'07, with a "Smart Rating" of 18.57. Arizona was the least "smart" state, and rated -17.61.

I printed a map of the US that showed which states' electoral votes were awarded to Obama in the 2008 election, and which states went to McCain. I used the map and Quinto's Smart Rating numbers to make the following calculations:

*The 27 states that went to Obama had a total Smart Rating of 43.45.

*The 23 states that voted for McCain had a total Smart Rating of -65.27.

*States that went to Obama had an average Smart Rating of 1.609.

*States that went to McCain had an average Smart Rating of -2.838.

I also think it's important to note that eight of the ten "smartest" states voted for Obama.

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14 September, 2009

Abortion Facts (Conservative Fat Cats Don't Want You To Know!)

The following stats enumerate the fact that abortion is legal in the US because it is the will of the people. However, many people who aren't rich -- and, therefore, the beneficiaries of conservative policies or legislation -- vote Republican because they believe Republicans will get rid of legalized abortion.

Regarding the above:: While George W Bush was in office and the Republicans had control of both houses of Congress, they could have easily made abortion illegal.

Again: Conservatives could have made abortion illegal. They did not because there are enough Republican voters who support abortion rights to ensure that outlawing abortion would have been political suicide. They care more about getting votes -- that is: staying in power -- than they do about embryo-Americans.

The undeniable situation is this: Republicans have ensured that abortion remains legal. It's the best wedge issue they have, and perhaps the only issue they can use to keep non-rich people on their side. Republicanism serves only the wealthy. Especially the richest 0.1 percent of the population who loved the hell out of Bush's policies, by and large.

Of course, this ultra-small percent isn't a sizable enough chunk of the populace tho win elections with.

As I believe I've written before, and surely will write about again: If you're not rich and vote Republican, even if you're pro-life, you're voting completely against your interests. You're a dupe. A sucker. You've been co-opted.

Pay a little attention to the workings of the Republican machine, for the love of god; get facts, and stop harming yourself with your votes. (It's pretty easy in the Google age...)

Bush didn't enact a single piece of domestic legislation that would have advanced or helped the conservative cause -- reduced the deficit, prevented homosexuals from getting married, or make abortion illegal, though it would have been easy as hell for him to do so since his slightest whim was carried out by a Congress that made a law out of his every utterance. ...That didn't have to do with abortion.

Which is to show: Republicans don't give a shit about making the deficit smaller, making homosexual marriage impossible, or making abortion illegal. And if you have voted for Republicans because you care about any of the above, you've been had. You've been taken for and made a fool by a political party whose only care and goal is to advance the causes of rich people.

Again: If you aren't rich and you vote Republican, you're a sucker. And -- just to be a little insulting -- you're likely also to be willfully ignorant, since discovering the above is something anyone with Google can do (to harp on a point already made).

Now to the below: a bunch of stats regarding abortion that will help show why it has been, is, and always will be legal in the US (especially since the last thing Republicans want is for abortion actually to be illegal):

* In 2007, The Center for American Progress reviewed the American public's support of abortion:
-- 49 percent of Americans consider themselves pro-choice, and a plurality or majority (save one tie) has identified as such since 1995, when data began being collected. Forty-five percent consider themselves pro-life.
-- "59 percent of the public either believes abortion laws should remain as they are (36 percent) or be made less strict (23 percent)." ... "Every Gallup poll since 2003 has returned either 59 percent or 60 percent support on this question."
-- 30 percent want to make abortion legal in all circumstances. This position has been held by an average of 26 percent through the last five years.
-- "Just 13 percent said it should be illegal in all circumstances."

* "In medical terms, the word abortion refers to any pregnancy that does not end in a live birth and therefore can refer to a miscarriage or a premature birth of someone that does not result in a live infant. Such events are often called spontaneous abortions if they occur before 20 weeks of gestation." (Wikipedia)

* "[F]etuses likely are incapable of feeling pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy, when they are about 28 weeks old." In fact: "Offering fetal pain relief in the fifth or sixth month, when brains are too immature to feel pain, is misguided and might result in unacceptable health risks to women." (MSNBC.com, from 2005, reporting on an article in the Journal of the American Medial Association) (Italics mine.)

* "Forty states and the District of Columbia already ban third-trimester abortions except when the life or health of the woman is at stake." (Planned Parenthood)

* According to the Centers for Disease Control (2002):
-- 59.3 percent of (non-miscarriage) abortions were carried out when the embryo was eight
weeks or less gestational age. Only after eight weeks is the womb-dweller called a fetus.
-- 18 percent of abortions performed nine to ten weeks GA (gest. age).
-- 9.4 percent 11 to 12 weeks GA.
-- 5.9 percent 13 to 15 weeks.
-- 4 percent 16 to 20.
-- 1.4 percent more than 20 weeks GA. (Handy graph of this on Wikipedia)

* Therefore, in 2002, 86.7 percent of abortions were performed in the first trimester.

* "Labour resulting in live birth before the 37th week of pregnancy is termed 'premature birth,' even if the infant dies shortly afterward. The limit of viability at which 50% of fetus/infants survive longterm is around 24 weeks, with moderate or major neurological disability dropping to 50% only by 26 weeks." The fetus has been carried to term at 37 weeks. (Wikipedia)

* "Nationwide, there are now fewer abortion providers in the U.S. than at any time since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 -- 87 percent of U.S. counties don't have one." (FRONTLINE, "The Last Abortion Clinic")

* "In October 2002, the Bush administration issued final regulations specifically making fetuses—but not pregnant women—eligible for health care coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program." (National Organization of Women)

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11 September, 2009

The Bailout Is Bullshit

 [Originally published -- and reprinted, here, without being updated with facts that show the government bailout of the financial services industry to be an even more sizable black hole of bullshit -- December 23, 2008.]

Financial-services firms are getting taxpayers' money to the tune of $700 billion. And then they're going to get more.

Why? Because some people took out mortgages that were designed, by the banks that supplied them, to be, eventually, unaffordable by the people that used them. And so these people, surprise of surprises, in fact did end up being unable to afford them. Stupid poor people with their stupid belief in the American Dream.

Banks were hemorrhaging money. To get the red ink off their books they, in very basic terms, sold these "bad" or "toxic" mortgages (in the parlance of our times) to financial-services firms. When these firms' books started gushing red like the elevator in "The Shining," they created an entirely new financial instrument that allowed them to sell bits and pieces of mortgages and on into things I won't discuss because I can't understand them.

Everything fell apart. So the Bush Administration and Congress acted with the speed of Hurricane Katrina to pass the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) -- $700 billion for the financial sector.


We're in Great Depression II. TARP provides the best example yet that for a half-century the US economic system has been, and continues to be, subsidized capitalism. Which makes one wonder if capitalism can work at all without being subsidized by governments -- by the tax dollars of the people abused by capitalists. Incompetence has been and will continue to be rewarded or punished based on a person or business's wealth. The less-fortunate must rely on governments that pass special laws to make charging 400 percent interest legal (payday loans).

To survive, 99.9 percent of us will have to work a lot harder, longer, and smarter at jobs we'll consider ourselves lucky to have or manage to get. These jobs will pay, adjusting for inflation, less than they did in 1980.

0.1 percent of Americans, their real wages having grown 497 percent in the past decades to an average of $1.7 million, will continue to invent new ways to screw the other 99.9 percent, cheek-to-cheek with a government as immoral and unethical as they are.

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Dear Freshpet Select:

Your commercial asks: "You wouldn't feed your family food from a bag, so why feed it to your dog?"

This is used as a means to induce people to buy dog food that requires refrigeration.

But in asking your question, you've answered it: One's family is comprised of humans, while one's dog is one dog. Hence the difference in how people feed them.

Also of importance: Dogs are descendants of wolves. As such, they prefer food that is warm, at least somewhat akin to freshly killed prey. Which is to say that refrigerated -- cold -- food isn't desired by dogs. I imagine that part of the process of feeding a dog Freshpet Select is warming it up, or letting it warm up. Or perhaps the product packaging tells a pet owner to expect that their dog will, naturally, find the food unappetizing, but come around. Perhaps when the food warms up or they're starved enough to eat crap they don't find appetizing.

Your Web site says: "Once you feed Freshpet® Select you'll notice that it looks like real food you might prepare for your own dinner table. That's because it's made from ingredients you would choose for yourself, like high protein meats and vitamin rich vegetables for a fresh meal that dogs can't resist and that you can feel good about."

Dogs have a lackluster sense of taste. What matters most to them is their food's temperature, as mentioned above, and its texture.

So feeding ones dog expensive shit "made from ingredients you would choose for yourself" is intensively stupid, as are the people who buy it.

Back to the question posed in your commercial: Are you trying to make people feel like assholes for feeding their kids cereal? And am I to feel as though I'm less than a dog because I love the hell out of Lucky Charms?

If there's justice, Freshpet Select, you'll be belly up as quickly as dogs happily gobble up their own feces.

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10 September, 2009

Dear USA: You Embarrass Yourself (and, Worse, Me)

I was watching OPB -- Oregon Public Broadcasting -- yesterday. Specifically, "Rick Steves' Europe."

The show was a treatise on how they make the show, which I'm a fan of, in large part because Steves is such a dork and does a lot of walking around a lot of beautiful places, which I'm unlikely to be able to do -- the "lot of walking" being the sticking point.

To paraphrase something Steves said during the show: "When we're shooting all this art, which people have enjoyed for centuries, we have to take into account whether it can be shown in the States." He went on to say that he meant breasts and genitals and/or the depiction of people using or enjoying same can't be filmed because America is in denial of the fact that all humans have sex organs and use them. (Even Catholic priests; hence the Vatican's rapist-defense fund. Which reminds me: If you go to Catholic Church on Sundays and contribute to the collection plate, you're helping sick-ass rapists get away with their crimes and you're complicit in them. ...Perhaps Church isn't the best place to cleanse your soul...)

OK, so I editorialized the slightest bit toward the end of that last sentence. (The one before the one in parentheses... But that goes without saying, because we all know that putting a sentence in parentheses makes it a weird kind of sentence-that-isn't. So you're reading this sentence, here, and not-reading it at the same time. ...Yowzah!)

...Back to the main: Sex is the best part -- or always should be, anyway -- of the human experience. And that's coming from someone who takes 130 mg of Oxycodone and 6 mg of Klonopin a day. That boobs carved in marble can't be shown on TV -- or television fit for people of all ages, anyway -- is just fucking mortifying.

Jesus, America, I'd say grow the fuck up, but kids know they have genitals and how to use them and run around naked without shame Until their parents' religion gives them the gift of being ashamed of what god created in his own image.Which makes sense in some parallel fucking universe. ...If we're to be ashamed of our very selves -- our naked selves -- made in god's image, then when we all meet god are we supposed to feel boundless shame for god's appearance?

So: Jesus, America, get the Jesus outta my goddam teevee! Some of us can appreciate The Birth of Venus without getting a sinful erection from a marble statue!

Apropos of nothing: Take a listen to Starfucker. One of the best bands that, due to it's name, may never be allowed on television. Good thing we have the Internets. ...Where most people in America are checking out porn which they would, presumably, enjoy having on TV but won't let themselves have on TV.

Great. Now I have a mammoth headache from thinking about how goddam silly and twisted about itself this country of ours is. Dancing at architecture ain't easy.

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A Toast To My Health!

Last evening I drank a bottle of Robitussin with dinner. It made a poor accompaniment to lime chicken with broccoli and rice.

Huh. Maybe I should have prefaced that by writing that I'm in a lot of pain -- or, I should write, I'm in more pain than I've become accustomed to since I've been on my current drug regimen. The daily 120 mg of Oxycodone, and more of which my doctor won't prescribe, isn't cutting it, and I won't be able to start on Methadone until I see my discomfited doctor later this month (who prefers her patients to be on Methadone -- and if she prefers it, I truly have every reason to believe that I will too, because she's one of the very few doctors I've seen since being diagnosed with fibro I have a scintilla of respect and trust for/in).

(Sorry for that extremely poorly constructed sentence. ...I use non-union labor.)

I've been told that getting off Oxy and onto Methadone (which doesn't have a catchy shorthand I can use for it -- "Meth" having been taken by... Meth) will involve withdrawal, so I desperately look forward to that. Perhaps this time I'll get simultaneous-shitting and -puking down to an art, or at least a science.

So I drank the Robo (10 mg of DXM and 100 mg Guaifenesin per dose times I don't know), for the DXM, which binds to similar receptors in the brain as opioids and so, I thought, might boost the effects of my Oxy -- or some such thing. I was shocked and awed to find that my pain didn't demand, later last night, that I take the day's last 30 mg of Oxy. However, I did wake up at 7 this morning in pain that made my eyes water for the hour-and-a-half it takes for my 30 mg morning dose of Oxy to kick in.

...Obviously, I'm off to the store sometime this week to get another bottle of the 'Tussin. I'll let you know how further adventures in Roboland turn out, and if it makes a nice mixer for vodka.


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Faithlessness Is the New Black

The fastest growing religion in the US:


From 1990 to 2001, people who have no religion/are atheists/are agnostic grew 6.6 percent, from 8.4 to 15.0 percent of all Americans. The number of these people increased 105.7 percent.

This is according to the American Religious Identification Survey performed by the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. For the survey people were asked only: "What is your religion, if any?"

The survey found that "the greatest increase in absolute as well as in percentage terms has been among those adults who do not subscribe to any religious identification; their number has more than doubled from 14.3 million in 1990 to 29.4 million in 2001."

Note: This post cites ARIS (despite my desire for more current data) because "statistics on religious adherence are difficult to gather and often contradictory; statistics for the change of religious adherence are even more so, requiring multiple surveys separated by many years using the same data gathering rules. This has only been achieved in rare cases, and then only for a particular country, such as the American Religious Identification Survey in the USA." (Wikipedia)

Which is to say (write): I used ARIS because it's the only reliable source available.

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09 September, 2009

Dear Ten Percent Of Portland:

Yes, I have a cigarette. I definitely could spare one.

However, I'm not about to set a precedent that would have me give away two cartons a week. So I lie to you and, as far as you, five percent of Portland, know (the other five know I'm lying), I'm perpetually smoking my last cigarette, and quite sorry that I can't help you out.

Importantly, however: I'm the farthest thing from sorry. If you, dear would-be-cig-bummer, were a smoker -- a true addict -- you'd never let yourself be without your nicotine delivery devices. Get serious about your vices or fuck the fuck off.

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Burn This Computer

I just read Fahrenheit 451, a book by Ray Bradbury. My understanding is that most high schoolers are forced to read it. Somehow, I wasn't. And so I didn't side with the firemen, stop reading and quit school to work on a farm to raise, have sex with, and butcher livestock.

Bradbury's not good. And not the one to make the case against burning books.

(Of course, I'm much worse than he is. But I'm not making the case for saving word-strings.)

Get a load of Faber. The character and his relationship with Montag was so goddam contrived how could he have been anything other than a police-plant?

But no.

And the ending -- saving books inside people, people negating themselves, considering themselves only the books they carried in their heads.

Fine fucking life.

Of course, preferable to the shitstorm of the city, to having Denham's Dentifrice drilled up your nose into your frontal lobe and wagged about.

Still, the book ends with the book-band marching away from the city.


The city is utterly ruined, and you guys are off to be walking shelves.

Why not take what was the city and make it a big goddam library, grab all weapons available to fight off the government -- if it remains at the closing of the book... It could have been bombed to nothing as well -- make what you want and protect it?

That the walking books choose to roam around the not-cities seems to champion pastoralism. Blech.

...Thus ends Fahrenheit 451, the temperature at which you could burn Fahrenheit 451: A bunch of ass-hats are roaming the countryside, many books within them, to wait until the phoenix of man rose from the ashes of its war-lust.

...They do so instead of making whatever their ideal society would be from the ashes of the bombed-out metropolis so conveniently behind them.

They make a simile (phoenix) and then can't use it.

Goodbye, Blue Monday!


(I also re-read Breakfast of Champions. The Vonnegut writing machine was set to Massively Self-indulgent prior to aforementioned book's creation. ...But the man draws a fine asshole.)

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Christ Abhors Christianity

Matthew 18:6-7: "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 "Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"

(italics mine)

That is: It is better for a corrupting influence to kill him-/herself than to allow him-/herself to be a corrupting influence. Jesus, here, is speaking of children, who need to be taught scripture and how to follow god.

Taught properly -- without "corruption" of the holy texts and Jesus' words.

Now: Not a single passage in the Bible has anything to do with lesbianism. Therefore, it is not prohibited. Not a sin.

However, Christianity teaches that it is. It teaches people that which the Bible and Christ himself did not.

Christ didn't have anything to say about abortion, either.

And on and on and on and on.

Christianity corrupts those who are as children in their understanding of Jesus and the Bible:

"Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels. Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah's wife." (Bill McKibben, Harper's Magazine)

Jesus apparently recommends a millstone and a plank-walk to every Christian preacher.

Christ calls for Christianity's end.

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08 September, 2009

The Liberal Media Isn't Giving Us the Whole Story (Of Course!)

An awful and disgusting thing happens when one is told of a murder committed with a claw hammer.

One immediately wonders, and actually hopes to learn: Which end did the killer use?

And one is always disappointed when this question isn't answered.

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This very very likely means you're reading a post that originated from Essays About Anything. So, to check out whatever link doesn't work, you should be able to get it easily by going to the original post. The header should be the same because I rarely change them in transit from one blog to the other because I'm wicked-lazy. ...Um, and I want to make checking links easy for you, dear reader. Yeah...

Here's a link to the other blog:


Stay beautiful, blogfriends!

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Sex Is Medicine

...And our sick and wrong world with its sick and wrong religions considers celibacy, chastity and especially virginity to be virtues.

...Deadly Virtues (ominous bum-BUM).

For the gods' sakes', Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders lost her post because of the following:

"In 1994, [Elders] was invited to speak at a United Nations conference on AIDS. She was asked whether it would be appropriate to promote masturbation as a means of preventing young people from engaging in riskier forms of sexual activity, and she replied, 'I think that it is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.' (Wiki, of course)

In fact, masturbating like a fiend is being linked to myriad benefits.

Bu sex is better.

(The citations below are from this Wikipedia page.)

"In 1997, Forbes Magazine reported on 'one of the most credible studies correlating overall health with sexual frequency'. [sic] Queens University in Belfast tracked the mortality of about 1,000 middle-aged men over the course of a decade. The study, published in 1997 in the British Medical Journal found that 'men who reported the highest frequency of orgasm enjoyed a death rate half that of the laggards'; that is to say, those that engaged in sex more frequently enjoyed longer lives. The report also cited other studies to show that having sex even a few times a week may be associated with: improved sense of smell; reduced risk of heart disease; weight loss and overall fitness; reduced depression (in women); the relief or lessening of pain; less frequent colds and flu; better bladder control; better teeth; and improved prostate function. The report cited a study published by the British Journal of Urology International which indicated that men in their 20s can reduce by a third their chance of getting prostate cancer by ejaculating more than five times a week."

And you just have to love Bush II, who will leave office having done irreparable harm to the US and not a single good thing to/for it.

At least the below action wasn't evil:

"In 2006, the George W. Bush administration expanded abstinence programs from teens to adults, by introducing programs to encourage unmarried adults to remain abstinent until marriage." (italics mine)

At what age did Bush II swim up from decades of alcohol and drug abuse? And what goes with alcohol and drugs like alcohol with drugs? Sex.

Why does a piece of advice always have to come from someone who did fine without it him-/herself? What worth is such advice to be given?

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Overheard In Portland:

"Just speak, don't talk."

I was having coffee on a couch near Couch Street and one of the two people sitting next to me broke this pearl out in the heat of an argument.

...Which made me think of how much better this world would be if all of us and our leaders did a lot less talking and a lot more speaking. ... Wow. ...Alas, and unfortunately, such Utopian thinking gets us nowhere.

PS: I didn't make the quote up. I'm not dumb enough to.

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06 September, 2009

Evolution Is Just A Theory

"In casual speech scientists don't use the term theory in a particularly precise fashion." For instance: "Einstein's relativity is usually called 'the theory of relativity' while Newton's theory of gravity often is called 'the law of gravity.'"

But the "theory" best explains why the universe acts as it does. Newton's "law" imagined gravity to be, simply, a force that pulled on everything.

Still, despite the fact that Newton's force doesn't exist, it's easier to accept and comprehend than a four-dimensional universe in which orbits are straight lines.

Onward: I think it's best to think of a theory in this manner: "a testable model that is best capable of predicting future occurrences or observations and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise verified through empirical observation." (Love you Wikipedia, and I promise not to forget Valentine's this year)

Einstein's 4-D universe allowed humans to, for the first time, explain why Mercury's orbit is what it is. And so on.

His models, theories, and theory of models currently best explain the universe. The universe could, in fact, be exactly as he explained it. Nothing has proven him wrong.

Still, the 4-D universe will always be just a theory simply because humans don't have access to every happening everywhere at any-/every time.

Then there's Cell Theory, which "refers to the idea that cells are the basic unit of structure in every living thing." ... "The theory says that new cells are formed from other existing cells and the cell is a fundamental unit of structure, function and organization in all living organisms." (Wiki)

Obvious, it seems. But still just a theory.

Now to (biological) evolution.

It's 100 percent true, factual, proven, unable-to-be-disproved that organisms change over time. You can watch organisms with short life spans evolve (develop; change over time). Organisms like bacteria and viruses that cause illnesses in humans; like the flu virus, which portions of the population are immunized against each and every year because each and every year the virus has changed enough to make the bugger immune to your previous year's immunization.

So, if you don't believe in evolution, you have the unfortunate habit of proving that evolution happens/has happened every single time you get sick. And you get sick an average of three times a year.

Evolution happens. You state its reality with sneezes and to your boss whenever you call in to work when you actually need to.

Here's the sticky thing:

The theory of how evolution works continues to be refined.

Meaning that evolution is just a fact that has a continually more precise theory behind its whats and wherefores.

PS: Creationism/Intelligent Design disproved: the duck-billed platypus.

The. End.

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05 September, 2009

People Don't Die From Cancer

It's True! Tell Everyone! Cancer Is A Hoax Perpetrated On The World By The Medical-Insurance-Pharmaceutical Complex! It's The Biggest Lie Of Our Generation! No One Is Safe!

...Um, no. The above isn't so. But it is a fact that, whenever you read that "Insert Name died of cancer," you're reading horseshit.

People die from complications due to cancer. So is it too much to ask that magazines, newspapers, newspersons, et cetera please, for the love of Baal, start using that one word for the sake of being correct, and so that reading-obsessed people with a decent IQ and OCD can lead lives filled with slightly less annoyance?

Purely hypothetically, let's imagine that I just read in The Atlantic, while having coffee at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SW Third, that someone died from lung cancer. And let's imagine it drove me batshit enough to write this, because I know that a simple growth in a lung can't cause someone to cease living.

The subject of the article I hypothetically read didn't die of lung cancer. This person, who had lung cancer, died from, perhaps, the metastasis of said cancer into other parts of his body. Perhaps the growth invaded this person's heart, causing it to fail.

Therefore, in this case, the person died from heart failure brought on as a result of lung cancer.

The above example also implies the (hopefully) well-known truth that cancer cannot kill unless it metastasizes. And this is why the early detection of cancer is so incredibly important, and why this fact is drummed into our skulls by every source out there telling us that people drop dead from abnormal growths when, in truth, these abnormal growths have to gum up the body's works to truly cause problems.

So, publishers and newspersons of the world: The word is "complications." Please, please use it till you love it, or I promise to continue erupting into anger and frustration in public and freaking out those around me.

Can you live with causing innumerable freakouts? Or with the complications that arise therefrom?

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Deep Thoughts, by Calvin Bandini

I have a mug full of writing utensils next to my computer. One is a marker: MARKS-A-LOT.

Every time I see it, sitting at my desk almost daily, I become more convinced that Sir Mix-a-Lot took his stage name from a permanent, broad-tipped marker.

Hopefully, anyway, because I'd consider that absolutely hilarious. Even if it wasn't -- or, more likely, because it wasn't -- at all imaginative. It would be made all the more funny if Sir MARKS-A-LOT came by his moniker exactly as I've come to ponder how he did so. I imagine him staring at writing devices, but noticing this one in particular because the marker is bigger than the pen and pencils, and screams its brand in all-caps. He's mixing tracks in the studio, marking things up, the light bulb flickers above his head, and the ass-crazy bastard is reborn.

Which isn't a value judgment on The Rapping Marker. At least his name came from a more esoteric source than Eminem's did.

Now I'm left to ponder whether I should re-christen myself King Dual-balls (I adore Uni-ball blue, fine-point pens) or CalPod...

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America: The Christian Nation That Rejects Christ

This nation full of Christians is full of a bunch of Christian hypocrites. Read this article by Bill McKibben in Harper's Magazine.

Here are some highlights from the article (written in 2005) to encourage you to explore the depth of how little Christ means to American Christians:

McKibben notes that "somewhere around 85 percent of [Americans] call ourselves Christian. Israel, by way of comparison, is 77 percent Jewish."

Still, he wonders:

"But is [America] Christian?" ... "What if we chose some simple criterion -- say, giving aid to the poorest people -- as a reasonable proxy for Christian behavior? After all, in the days before his crucifixion, when Jesus summed up his message for his disciples, he said the way you could tell the righteous from the damned was by whether they'd fed the hungry, slaked the thirsty, clothed the naked, welcomed the stranger, and visited the prisoner. What would we find then?"

We find that, "by pretty much any measure of caring for the least among us you want to propose -- childhood nutrition, infant mortality, access to preschool -- we come in nearly last among the rich nations, and often by a wide margin."


* "Despite the Sixth Commandment, we are, of course, the most violent rich nation on earth, with a murder rate four or five times that of our European peers."

* "We have prison populations greater by a factor of six or seven than other rich nations."

* "Having been told to turn the other cheek, we're the only Western democracy left that executes its citizens, mostly in those states where Christianity is theoretically strongest."

* "Despite Jesus' strong declarations against divorce, our marriages break up at a rate -- just over half -- that compares poorly with the European Union's average of about four in ten." ... "[C]ompare our success with, say, that of the godless Dutch, whose divorce rate is just over 37 percent."

* "A rich man came to Jesus one day and asked what he should do to get into heaven. Jesus did not say he should invest, spend, and let the benefits trickle down; he said sell what you have, give the money to the poor, and follow me. Few plainer words have been spoken. And yet, for some reason, the Christian Coalition of America -- founded in 1989 in order to 'preserve, protect and defend the Judeo-Christian values that made this the greatest country in history' -- proclaimed last year that its top legislative priority would be “making permanent President Bush's 2001 federal tax cuts.”

*A "furor erupted last spring when it emerged that a Colorado jury had consulted the Bible before sentencing a killer to death. Experts debated whether the (Christian) jurors should have used an outside authority in their deliberations, and of course the Christian right saw it as one more sign of a secular society devaluing religion. But a more interesting question would have been why the jurors fixated on Leviticus 24, with its call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They had somehow missed Jesus' explicit refutation in the New Testament: 'You have heard that it was said, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also.”

McKibben comes to his own conclusions.

My conclusion: Were there a heaven, nearly all American Christians could get in only by killing Saint Peter and rushing the Golden Gates.

Which it seems very likely they would do, given the above.

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04 September, 2009

All (Hetero) Sex Must Cease for Abortion to End

Twenty percent of pregnancies result in spontaneous abortion, the medical term for miscarriage.

What's more, "Studies have found that 30 to 50 percent of fertilized eggs are lost before a woman finds out she's pregnant, because [stet] they're lost so early that she goes on to get her period about on time -- in other words the woman doesn't realize she was pregnant at all." (Go here for more.)

Abortion is a natural phenomenon. Anyone trying to get pregnant or engaged in behavior that could result in pregnancy is, without any doubt also -- statistically -- risking having a natural abortion.

Therefore, it seems Pro-Lifers should vociferously take up the cause to stop everyone from having unprotected sex and to get every woman on the pill.

Or to do all in their power to make everyone everywhere one-hundred percent abstinent. No sex among the married -- spontaneous abortion can (and does) happen to women whenever, wherever, etc.

To end abortion absolutely we must put an end to (almost) ALL sex, including sex between heterosexual married couples.

A delicious irony is that the only people who can have sex and not risk abortion are gays and lesbians.

And any Pro-Lifer who is a woman may have unknowingly killed a soul-endowed blastocyst during her menstrual cycle, making who knows how many of them goddamn hypocrites.

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Gun Control

She got home to find me sipping Syrah and watching television.

"How was work?"

She tossed her keys onto the small table by the window where we used to eat dinner together, stopped for a moment to glare at me, then went into the kitchen.

Almost immediately she was back, purposely standing in front of the TV, with a half-full garbage bag in her hand. She raised it shoulder-high and let it drop.

"What is this?"

"It's a garbage bag that could use more refuse before it makes sense to discard it."

"What did I ask you to do before I left this morning?"

"To empty the garbage from the kitchen. But when I saw what I was dealing with I thought we should throw away more garbage than the plastic that contains it."

We stared at each other.

"Sweetness, it's Double Jeopardy now and you're kind of in the way."

She pressed the Power button on the TV set.

I pressed the Power button on the remote.

She pulled the TV's cord from the electrical outlet.

"You had all day. I asked you to do only one thing."

"And I thought that one thing was ridiculous."

Her eyes were huge for her face and, terribly, all the more gorgeous and absorbing when she was in a fury...

"Get the fuck out of my house."

"I love you" -- I stood, stating a fact I had to reiterate so often it had come to insult both of us -- "I'll take the bag out."

"No. Get the fuck out of my house."


As I went for the bag she went for the telephone in the hall.

"And I'm calling my Dad. He'll be here in twenty minutes."

I knew she kept a loaded gun in the bedroom closet, the location of which she never told me in our months of living together.

"Fucking fine. Tell your Dad I said hello and that his fucking daughter needs to get back on her fucking meds."

"I'm dialing."

I yanked the door open and slammed it behind me.

The trash remained in the middle of the room.

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02 September, 2009

I'VE RETURNED TO BLOGGING, to blogging on THIS site, and promise to do so forevermore

Quite a while ago, creating a new blog just when this one was developing a nice readership seemed like a good idea.

Of course, it wasn't.

And so I'm coming back home. I'm going to be updating this blog with what I published on Essays About Anything, and then adding new material as it comes to me starting... now.

...Now that I'm squared away with a lot of family stuff and have completed my cross-country move. (I'm on the Pacific Coast now.)

So: After this post, the deluge. Or at least, I hope, a respectable trickle of posts everyone on earth will love.


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