Friday, December 23, 2005

Short Story: Truck Driver

this is a short story i wrote as a creative writing assignment....there may be some mistakes and will edit it more when i get the chance....hope you enjoy...also, it's kinda long....

As Adam lay in bed feeling sorry for himself his doctors announced an unexpected visitor. This new person was a visiting medical student looking at potential hospitals for residency. It was a coincidence and surprise to Adam that the doctor had guided her into his room. Adam gave a vague gesture of hello as they approached his bed. The normal pleasantries were exchanged and she introduced herself as a student at UPenn Medical school. Even Adam could tell that she was more than a little stressed out. She asked what had happened to him. It was the first time someone else would hear his story. She sat down on the edge of the bed and he closed his eyes ever so slowly. He hated recounting the details of the accident as he already did it over and over again in his dreams. The sudden loud noises, lights, rain….The medical student noticed Adam’s EKG machine as his heart quickened and his hands trembled with sweat.
As he told the story in grandiose detail she became a little uncomfortable and tried to change the subject. She had noticed on the chart that he was a junior in high school and asked how his applications were going. Adam told her of his worries and plight and she told him that she was once exactly where he was. Once these words came out of her mouth she thought to herself that in fact, she had never been exactly where he was. Whereas Adam had survived a brutal car wreck and would go on to do whatever he wanted even if it seemed impossible. It was in her description of sympathy that she all of a sudden became acutely aware of her own life. She thought to herself how lucky Adam was to have survived such an accident and be so brave. They continued to chat about their families and lives until the doctor explained to her that there was much more to see around the building. They each offered sincere good-byes and in they marveled at the feeling when they shook hands that they both had an overwhelming feeling that anything was possible.
As she continued her tour she could not stop harping on Adam’s case. She inquired to his doctor about the circumstances. He explained just how lucky Adam had been, and to think he’d be able to try walking more than the length of the hallway in another month was remarkable.
Somewhere along the line Adam had to come to grips with it: his different appearance after the accident. He never saw it coming, mainly because he fell asleep at the wheel, and it was rainy. He always wanted to take on someone bigger than himself, just not an 18-wheeler. Adam was lucky to survive, but it was not without a fight. He stayed in the hospital bed for nearly a month. The first several weeks with all sorts of tubes and wires coming from places that even I could not figure out.
Before the accident Adam was a semi-normal kid. Liked to play sports, and pretty much got along well with everyone, except for those “weird” kids. They were not that weird and were probably very nice, just that something was a little bit off, like they lacked social consciousness, or they tried too hard to be considered different or something. He was an interloper between all the different cliques and looked forward to the day he would get to leave high school for good, but that meant getting into a good college. The process of which was the bane of his existence that is until the accident nearly took it.
He was still growing his auburn hair back after they shaved it off to stitch his head where glass had lacerated the scalp. Somehow he managed to receive two black eyes and a fat lip. Normally, he was a well-put together guy who tended to wear Diesel jeans, Puma sneakers, and a Brooks Brothers polo. Now, he could barely feed himself. The nurse or his mother would come in around mealtime and help him sit up because he could not easily do so with a broken leg suspended from the ceiling. The tray of less than desirable food was rolled over next to the bed to reveal a smorgasbord of food that needed little chewing and had even less taste. The best things were apple juice and red jello. He remembered the days when his dad would put a plate of his mother’s homemade apple strudel next to him and nudge him to fix his essays. Adam felt so helpless lying there; having his mom spoon-feed him like he was less than a year old again. She would even take a scoop of mashed potatoes and do the annoying airplane trick, “Potatoes requesting permission for landing in the mouth…here they come…” He really did not have much of an appetite and would get through some of the plate, but usually it just looked like things had been pushed around to make it look like he had eaten his vegetables.
On that helpless night Adam had been hanging out with his girlfriend at her house. She didn’t live nearby; in fact, she was just under an hour away (depending on how close to a speeding ticket you wanted to travel). He wasn’t planning on seeing her that night but a fight had erupted between him and his father about college applications and how if he didn’t work on them bit by bit and left them to the last minute he wouldn’t get into school, wouldn’t have a life and certainly wouldn’t want to get a job and pay rent to his parents. This was all absurd to Adam, who was a bright kid but didn’t like to flaunt it, and actually had done more with those dumb common applications than his dad knew, but that wasn’t the point. He needed some sort of release from being somewhat sheltered. At the zenith of the disagreement, where hearts were racing, fists clenched, and voices near screaming, Adam speed-walked to the front door of the house and slammed the door behind him. He was in his car before the screen door had closed entirely.
Initially, he thought he’d just go for a ride. Driving had always been a remedy for clearing his mind. He usually put something hard or angry on the cd player but this time wanted something to lighten his mood and senses. Nothing accomplished this feet better than Mason Jennings. Adam sang along to the line he liked the most, “If you fall in love, then you should jump right in”. Adam had a girlfriend but in the back recesses of his consciousness he kind of knew it wouldn’t last much more than maybe a year. Maybe it was that every phone call was like extracting teeth, or perhaps it was that every Hanukkah while he got her expensive engraved jewelry she got him a gift certificate to Gap.
He wouldn’t meet the love of his life till senior year of college. Yeah they got along great, shared similar interests, but there was no spark of connection. She always seemed a bit distant. As if she wasn’t totally in the relationship. She didn’t do much for him in the way of surprise gifts for no particular reason. It just seemed like she only thought about him when they were side-by-side. Whereas Adam felt like he loved her, he gave all of himself to her and usually brushed aside the negative. Always giving excuses to her to use as to why they couldn’t hang out, or why she refused to be kissed in public places. He would be lucky to hold her hand walking to the same class. Still, in this time of need he had a vague idea that she could console him, plus he had barely seen her that week. So, on his whimsical drive of singing alone with Mason he started in the direction of her house. Why he thought her parents would be happy to see him was a joke. They weren’t mean, but they were extremely protective of their youngest princess. Last time he was there her father asked him every question a overbearing father might including, “when was the last time you put air in your tires? Have you ever had an alcoholic beverage? What are your intentions with my daughter?” Adam soon learned that each question was a lesson in misdirection.
As Adam’s car rolled into the top of her long circular driveway he noticed most of the house lights were out. Not a good sign. Were they out for the evening? Why didn’t he call first? Were they just watching a movie? When would they be back? Should he stay and wait? Where would he go in the mean time?
Adam sat up in the hospital bed with a start one morning. The nurse promptly was by his bedside since he had had another one of those painful dreams where you scream and wake yourself up. He had a dream about the accident that should have taken his life. What would his parents have done? How would his funeral have gone? Did people know him in one of the many cliques of the high school enough to given him a truly honest eulogy? How would his siblings cope? All of these hypothetical questions ran through his head and he questioned himself as a person. He had to change. He was not yet happy with himself. His orchestra teacher knew this about him.
For no reason at all besides self-confidence his teacher came to the hospital and gave him Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet as a source of guidance and meditation. This gift seemed to be some sort of premonition. As he read a certain concept stuck with him: “We know little, but that we must trust in what is difficult is a certainty that will never abandon us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be one more reason for us to do it”. Adam had the feeling he did not need to be with Emma and that better things awaited him, but it was the idea of being with someone that currently made him so happy, not always the person he was with. Adam had read all the letters in a couple hours. At the conclusion he could already feel a shift in outlook. He was more confident in himself and decided to change other things he did not like about himself while he had some more time on his hands. He would be released from the hospital in another week and would then try to piece together his academic senior year. Other teachers had sent notes with sympathy and understanding, so Adam felt a little better about tackling all his work and missed time. Even his stickler father was happy that his son was all in one piece. After all the admissions offices would surely take some sympathy for an upstanding kid that had gotten into a terrible car crash in the fall of his senior year. All he could do was think about that evening.
On that fateful night Adam gathered the courage to park his car at the top of his girlfriend’s circular driveway and go knock at the front door. He unbuckled his seatbelt with a calm click. He turned off the Mason Jennings playing from the CD player. Then fully shut off the car by turning the key quickly toward him. He disengaged the key from the ignition and gathered his belongings in his pockets: cell phone in the left front, keys in the front right and wallet in the back right pocket. He got out of the car and closed the door behind him gently, but hard enough that it latched. Adam took the steps on the brick walkway up to the front door surrounded by four Roman columns. He stood in front of the door and rang the doorbell. He waited anxiously. No one came quickly. He began to think about walking back to the car and finding some place else to journey. Just then, he heard heavy footsteps coming toward the front door. The door opened and sure enough it was her father dressed in pinstripe suit pants, wingtips, white shirt and red power-tie slightly loosened at the Windsor knot. This was casual for him. That was only the beginning of the intimidating part.
“What can I do for you Adam? It’s rather late for a visit.” Her father remarked condescendingly.
Adam fidgeted and finally said, “Well, sir, I was hoping that Emma was available. I just had a fight with my dad and was feeling the need to talk with her face-to-face. Is she around?”
With more condescension came, “Yes she’s around. But why should I let you in to see her?”
“I’ve really had a rough day sir, and would greatly appreciate a calming and comforting ear to listen.”
Relenting he said, “Alright. Take your shoes off here and leave them next to the door.”
Adam entered the house with some reluctance. The foyer was bigger than Adam’s living room. From the ceiling hung a Waterford chandelier that was imported from Ireland. The stairway up to the second floor hallway was a semi-circle that could be walked up from the right or left side of the hallway. When he walked underneath the archway of the stairway and looked back over his shoulder up to the balcony that could view the family sitting area. He made himself at home on one of the large, plush suede couches in front of the 48” plasma TV which was hanging like a piece of artwork from the wall. Adam could never take in enough of Emma’s house. There was more money spent in one room than there was in half his house. This was in the state-of-the art stereo, the ornate oriental rugs, the always ready for company china and silver in the dining room, and other such opulent things that made the house seem more like a museum. Even the refrigerator made Adam feel inferior; it had a built-in Brita and 6” TV screen so no moment of her father’s sports were missed on the weekends. Emma appeared looking over the balcony and quickly asked Adam what was so urgent that he had to come all the way out to her house to see her. This was not the greeting he wanted, but in the back of his mind he had come to expect it somehow.
Adam explained what had happened at home and Emma could sense his anger and angst. She was not sure what to do. Emma was a pretty enough girl. She was above average female height, possessed dark auburn hair mixed with bright green eyes. In addition, she was in good shape since she played volleyball. She definitely would kick Adam’s butt at most athletic activities except for golf. Emma always had straight A’s but never seemed to try very hard to get them, which Adam resented just a tad. She could do all her homework in a lunch period and not suffer. She never needed to copy others’ work and never allowed hers to be handed out as a guide. After taking the SATs she came out of the test “refreshed” and “ready to go do something totally fun, like bowling”. When the time came to apply for college she pretty much had her pick of the top tier colleges. On this particular evening she was actually working hard at securing another ‘A’ on a Spanish project. Needless to say she was a little on edge. She consoled Adam, and told him it would all be ok, etc. Adam refused to take this advice. Something came over him that made him say what would next come out of his mouth.
“What if it’s not ok? What if I don’t get into college? Can you be so sure? Why aren’t you looking at schools near where I may go? Do you think we could stay together through college or is this not as serious as I am making it out to be? I refuse to believe you really care at the moment….sorry hon, so sorry, I’m just really upset right now. Maybe I better go. What do you want me to do?”
Emma replied succinctly: “I’m sorry too, please just leave. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
She mutely showed Adam to his sneakers, and the door. She didn’t say goodnight, just shut the door as Adam continued to try to apologize profusely. He got into his car and sat idle in the driver’s seat while the car warmed up, and the windows defogged contemplating his future and if love really existed or if it was just a cliché.
It was finally time for Adam to go home from his hospital bed and try to resume life as planned. He still walked gingerly to his parents’ car with each parental unit on either side of him the entire way down the hall, into the elevator, through the automatic doors and out into the parking lot. It would be the first time he had seen his house in what seemed like an eternity. He could not wait to crawl back into his own queen-sized bed under his down comforter and forget about the world, or just watch ESPN until his eyes fell out. Both were possibilities that materialized faster than his mom could make him his favorite sandwich for lunch. But the freedom would be over after the weekend as Adam was expected back in school on that Monday.
Most days his mother now drove Adam to school. Since the family with three drivers was down to two cars now. As Adam got out of the car and walked through the front doors into the main hallway he did not know what to expect. He had perfect dreams where he’d be welcomed back with trumpets blaring and cheerleaders throwing themselves at his feet as a mass of people chanted his name. The antithesis of this dream also occurred where in fact he walked into school and everyone had forgotten him and even his teachers asked what his name was, and had to go the principal’s office to explain. But neither of these visions came to fruition as his best two friends greeted him.
They updated him on all the gossip they knew about and some they hadn’t yet gotten all the details from yet. It was just then, that in passing he caught site of a bulletin board that was dedicated to his crash and news thereof for as long as it was reported. The top headline read, “Truck Crunches Student, truck driver dead”. It was in this moment that he found out for the first time and recalled the metal on metal. Crunching, crumpling and crinkling, with a bang that could have started the solar system. Adam had wondered why everyone kept saying he was a miracle and so lucky. Now, in a weird way, he felt guilty.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Political Correctness?

Originally written Sept. 22, 2005

Do you ever get tired of trying to pigeonhole people or things with too many adjectives that perfectly describe that particular article or thing? I am referring to the idea of Political Correctness. Frankly, I think we’re a nation that tries to be right all the time and sometimes it’s okay to call things as you see them. Obviously, I would never suggest being derogatory for the sake of being mean, but shouldn’t the line be slightly different? I want to call people “short” not “vertically height challenged.” In the same sense I call people “fat” when their ass doesn’t fit a standard size seat, not “overweight.” All right, that last one is a little mean, but you can’t deny that you don’t do the same thing.
At the heart of political correctness are race, and its description thereof. Such as African American, Caucasian, Latin American, Eskimo, Asian American, et al. Now, when I was taking standardized tests I always felt weird bubbling in ‘Caucasian’. I do not really know why except for that fact that, yeah I’m white, but I also get a good tan in the summers, and I took five years of Spanish in high school so, I don’t know. Call me crazy, but so long as the terms ‘Black’, ‘White’ ‘Latino’, ‘Asian’ and ‘Sled-dog Racer’ are not used in a derogatory manner people should not be offended. In terms of color I think there is an obvious scapegoat that has, until now, been overlooked because a shrewd marketing front. That pure evil of which I speak is none other than Crayola and their diabolical 64 box of crayons.
Things were so much easier in elementary school before boxes of color were larger than twelve. Think about it. You used to ask for: black, grey, red, blue, green, orange, purple, yellow, etc. But now, you have to stoop to their level and can no longer just find ‘red’. You have to be way more specific such as, ‘blood red’ or ‘plague of the Egyptians from the bible red’. Another example would be ‘green’ and now it has to be ‘forest green’ or ‘midnight in the Garden of Eden green’. What happens when it’s winter in New Hampshire and the trees are covered with snow and you can’t see any green? Or you’ve never seen blood before?
Maybe I am overly concerned with these semantics because I’m an English major and some words say different things to me and love to get tangled up in them. Or maybe I just sometimes get fed up with people dancing around things because they are worried about offending a little old lady in Nebraska. Or quite possibly I just want call things as I see them sometimes while not being nasty about it. Any way you shake it political correctness has become way too correct. We are America, we love getting things wrong, so we should take some of this right and put it towards other places that aren’t quite correct yet.

Magnetic Ribbons

Originally written Sept. 9, 2005

Firstly, it’s great to be back writing on American soil; home of the free, brave, and readily available internet. Next, raise your hand if you hate all those magnetic ribbons on cars. Alright, now that the hand count is over, is there anything more annoying than these false symbols of patriotism, slogans, and political correctness?
I am all for patriotism, and greatly appreciate the freedom I am given here, but aren’t certain things just gaudy and over the top? Here in the States it’s not enough to just feel strongly about your country, you have to let everyone else possible know your stance on troops, to abortion, to autism, to breast cancer. Is it necessary to reaffirm each of these views to the public eye, on your car no less? Patriotism is something I look at very differently since studying abroad in Ireland last spring. Abroad everyone loves their country and has unrelenting pride. They also don’t need to advertise it, because it is unanimously felt wherever you may land. On the other hand, here in the States vast numbers of people feel it necessary to display their pride and patriotism on their sleeves or their cars, primarily because there is not a better status symbol in America than the good ‘ol automobile.
Does it say one thing if you drive a BMW SUV and not have one of these ribbons? What does it mean if you drive a 1990 Dodge Stratus and have a pink breast cancer magnet near your gas tank? Is it terribly wrong of me that I don’t want to pay $2 for a magnet where the money goes to some marketing genius’ back pocket and not to the cause that it should? Frankly, I think Americans in general just try to hard. We can’t let our actions speak for us. We have to let anyone and everyone know how we feel. This is probably due to the fact we have free speech and are encouraged to speak our minds in any direction we feel fit. Although I would not exchange free speech for anything, I feel like there are much better ways and actions about being heard and seen. In some regards, these potential actions would have a huge effect on the issues that are displayed on our cars.
Instead of proudly displaying that you “support our troops” why not start a conversation about it, or help a local recruiting agency. If we jump in the Way Back machine to 2001 and remember how sales of American flags shot up after 9/11 this is almost the same epidemic. Also, who does not support our troops? Yeah, you may not agree with what is going on in Iraq, but no one in their right mind would say they want to see American troops die in combat, that is simply foolish. The yellow ribbons are more of a political statement and are just redundant. Let me know when you see ribbons saying, “boycott our troops.” Good to be back. Cheers.

Internet Usage

Originally written March 14, 2005

You have no idea how dependant you are on the internet at school until you’re thrust into a situation in which it’s not at your fingertips 24/7. I am in such a position here in Ireland. I can honestly say that I have a problem. I am addicted to the Internet. This may not seem abnormal, but trust me it is. The internet offered in my flat is dial-up and extremely expensive. How can I justify paying for, and using crappy internet when I could just as easily get off my ass and walk up to campus.
Using the internet on campus is not like using it at F&M. It is not for lack of resources. I think it is because as yuppy Americans we are used to it. We would rather communicate with people online than talking to them on the phone or go see them. I am not talking in absolutes, but generally. How many times have you IMed someone on your same hall, let alone next door to ask what they are doing? Here at University College Cork there are a couple computer labs. At certain times during the day there is at least a 30 minute wait to use a computer. There is no time limit for usage. The library closes at around 9:30pm and the only other computer option is closed at 11:30pm. That’s right no free internet past 11:30pm. No drunken conversations at 3am. No coordinating plans without texting on a mobile phone.
I come back to my main point of how I am unknowingly addicted to the internet. On days when class ends early, I can easily sit in front of a computer screen online for a few hours at any time. I should be reading. I should be taking in more sights. I should be doing anything else. But, sometimes I can’t help myself. I need to check my e-mail incessantly to see if anyone has written me a note letting me know they haven’t forgotten about me. I know people have not forgotten about me. That is not the point. I just need that confirmation. Maybe that is just a personal insecurity. I’m okay with that. I like to keep in touch with the people I care about and miss most.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that there could not be a truer statement that you do not fully appreciate what you have until you don’t have it anymore. I remember having the internet go down on campus for a couple hours and thinking I was going to have a heart attack. Everyone does it. Don’t deny it. You need to check away messages. You need to check your favorite websites every 5 minutes to see if anything has changed. You need to be in touch with “the world” as you know it. You might be asking yourself what you should do instead of surfing the internet aimlessly. I am not going to tell you to read or do school work, or even to go outside and play with the kids. Rather, call your friends. Hang out with them. Have somewhat meaningful conversations. Learn more about the people around you. So what if you live across the quad from them. I love it here but, I would exchange a 5 minute walk across F&M for my current 15 minute walk, 30 minute wait and 5 hour time difference to chat with friends.


Originally written Feb. 3, 2005

I have 257 friends. I talk to, maybe, 43 of them. I am a member of 8 groups with names such as: "I like to Watch People Sleep," "In AA and Proud of It," and my personal favorite, "Brad Pitt Fan Club who went to Public High School." If you haven't already figured it out i am alluding to the craze that is sweeping ours and many other college campuses: The Facebook.
This psuedo-community has its up and down sides. First the good things it has going for it. It allows users to see other people's friends which is kinda neat. It also lets you connect with people from your classes that you may not know and secretly harbour a crush on. Allows people to find other people that have similar interests, whatever they may be. Basically, you can find out things about a person without having to actually interact with them at all. Essentially, it allows people another way to lose more social tact. So, the next time you see a 'friend' you can say, "Hey, I love The Three Little Pigs, too!" (sorry to slip into the 'bad'...this is the 'good' paragraph) Again it is a great way to connect with people you dont see on a regular basis, etc. Since im studying abroad this semester it gives me an alternative to keep in touch with people which is nice. It also gives me a way to stay 'in the loop' when i can't use Instant Messanger. Although it could be argued that i could just as easily e-mail people. But, I try and use both to cover all my bases.
The bad and ugly part of this website/service are a few things. Like typical social activity it is a way to establish who is the most popular. Who can collect the most friends. Who knows the most people. Who knows more people outside of their own school. How many groups can you be a part. It also is a great way to stalk people without them knowing. I can find screen names to people i have never even met. It's great. I have an infatuation with someone i can spy on them. Create a special screen name and send them cryptic messages online. It also can be a competition to who can find the funniest, weirdest, dumbest picture of themselves to display to the outside world. The best part is that it can be a picture of anything. Well, pretty much anything. Another annoying thing about this is getting 8 emails a day telling me someone wants to be my friend. I got a few the other day from kids i went to high school with and haven't seen let alone spoken to in 3 years. Not because i am a bad friend, but because generally when you go away to college, you make new friends and keep in touch with a select few from high school. But honestly, what is the point of requesting to be 'friends' with someone you havent talked to in so long?
Essentially, the bad parts add up to be a superficiality/degeneration/trivialization of the term 'friendship'. That is my main complaint. Like many things that the internet has brought about it is all in how you use or abuse the service. It's up to you, but if you want to be my friend try talking or communicating with me more than once every 3 years.

Why Are People Morons?

Originally written Dec. 6, 2004

Being at a liberal arts college you would think intellectual students that are smart and intelligent in most capacities would surround you. This idea has come into question after the recent string of fire alarms and fire extinguisher discharges in the South Ben dormitory.
I submit that on the whole, kids at F&M care about one another. But then, there are some that have no common sense or decency, and therefore should either be wiped from the gene pool or dismissed from school due to their constant interruptions to the liberal arts learning environment. Personally, I think something evil and cruel done to them would be most funny and appropriate (long walk off a short pier with cement shoes). But, to be the bigger person you never want to stoop to their inconceivably low level of disrespect.
Honestly, who thinks to themselves: “Golly, it’s 1:32am, sounds like a good time to grab that red fire extinguisher, pull out the nice little safety pin and go buck-wild with it. Not only will everyone have to come out of the dorms, but they will have to stay outside or find someplace to be for the next four hours.” What makes this scenario even better is the recent key fob debacle. So kids, where are you going to go when your trusty fob does not let you into any other building but your own? Where are you going to go when in a sleeping stupor you forgot your trusty student directory to call a friend on a cool yellow callbox? Where are you going to go when every other campus building is closed? Where are you going to go for 4 hours when it is cold, wet and rainy outside? The obvious answer to all of these could be your girl- or boyfriend’s place. But are you really rude or desperate enough that you’d bang on their window or call them when you know they have to be up at 8am for class? I tend to think not; unless you are one of the inconsiderate morons of which I speak of above.
So, in conclusion, although there is nothing that we as smart liberal arts students can do to inflict pain and suffering on unknown people, we are left to “police ourselves”. Good thing this idea is only good in theory. When in actuality, if kids were brought up to be smart and courteous there would not be such problems. And if you want to throw in excuses of possible intoxication or substance abuse, you too should be categorized as someone that not only has no common decency but also is a complete waste of space. Finally, as I have noticed: stupidity cannot really be helped, but common sense should be taught as a class.

In the Year 2004

Originally written Nov. 7, 2004 (written in the manner Conan O'Brien does his "In the Year 2000" bit)

In the Year 2004….and beyond

The economy as we know it is replaced by bartering and soup lines stretch for miles.

The middle class will become known as the Proletariat.

Terrorism becomes more prevalent than ever, and the tallest building in the country is reduced to 10 stories.

Iraq is renamed United States Part 2: The Middle East Connection

The practice of abortion goes back to being an underground practice, but Cocaine becomes legal instead.

Illegal immigrants are no longer considered illegal when they choose to work on Bush’s ranch in Texas for lemonade prepared by Barbara Bush

There is a huge egg shortage after the Presidential inauguration motorcade drives down Constitution Ave.

Education becomes entirely privatized and costs $100,000 for a K-6 education.

Common sense ceases to exist.

Trees become extinct everywhere except the Oval Office and Wyoming.

The Constitution is revised with Bush’s definition of ‘marriage’ because ‘union’ is too flimsy.

VP Cheney sneezes, farts, burps and suffers a heart attack all at once and is given a World Record for his accomplishment.

Terrorism becomes a hobby among Caucasians just to throw us off.

It is decided that if you don’t drive either a Mercedes or BMW you aren’t allowed to drive on highways.

State police forces shrink and are only allowed to have 1 officer per 10,000 people.

Social security is only for senior citizens that live past the age of 90.

Every child that is older than the age of 5 is given an AK-47 for Christmas.

The extinct Dodo bird replaces the weakened bald eagle as the national bird.

Slap bracelets make a come back in the form of GPS and recording devices issued by the government under the Patriot Act.

Opinions now costs money but can only be published or said if the government likes what you are saying.

Free speech is no longer free, you have to pay to talk but these opinions could get you fined or the death penalty.

Britney Spears is elected to the Supreme Court alongside Christina Aguilera and Beyonce,

Gay marriages will be allowed, but only if it’s between two really hot lesbians.

Going to war will become akin to a game of Risk except all the dice are red and the President is playing alone.

Americans become even fatter when the High Couch Potato Diet replaces Low-Carb dieting

Planes are only allowed to fly in and out of the country every other month on the third Wednesday.

America’s favorite pastime switches from baseball to oil drilling.

The New York Yankees are renamed the American League All-Stars when their payroll exceeds $250 million…The Red Sox still win 4 more World Series.

The idea of universal healthcare becomes more foreign than a major Philadelphia sports team winning a championship.

Prejudice against minorities because of their sex, race, religion or sexual orientation replaces voting as a civic duty.

Researches to alleviate all major illnesses are deemed unnecessary and frivolous.

The extremely rich continue not to pay taxes – the rest of us enjoy paying more to support them.

A woman’s body becomes public property.

In a harsh turn of events we begin to arm bears.

The deficit grows to elevntiybagillion dollars and the US files for Chapter 11.


Originally written Oct. 2004

It is said that hindsight is 20/20. So let all of us democrats hope that in four years time we have not regressed even further than we already have. After watching a lot of news coverage following the counting of votes I am curious where the Democratic party as a whole moves from here. Do they move to cooperation? It seems imperative that the party find a figurehead for the party that stands for the party’s ideals and can make the country realize

I really don’t want to address the re-election of our ever-dubious president. It hurts to think of him and made up words. I don’t really understand how we can continue to have a war on a noun (terrorism). I mean, why don’t we have wars on other nouns? Such as stupidity or common sense. There are atrocities going on all over the world and one would think that the greatest police force (U.S.) in the world could step in and fix things like we have in Iraq (wink). Take Africa for example. There are civil wars throughout the country and genocide occurring every day. Why aren’t we over there? I guess diamonds aren’t as good as fossil fuels. Or China? Lord knows there are people being oppressed every day by its communist regime. Back in the good ‘ol days we would have done something about a country inflicting communism on its 1+ billion population. But everyone knows that I think if we invaded China we would have our asses handed to us in a bowl with chopsticks. Why the population can’t see that going to war with a country with fewer terrorists than Israel is and was wrong is beyond me. I mean people didn’t stop Hitler from invading Poland for no reason. I mean, we’re killing innocent people every day. Yes people are rebelling but wouldn’t we rebel if we were invaded for no reason? Now I don’t mean to say that we are starting WWIII I am just drawing similarities to a large-scale war that started because the leader of the country felt like it. I mean I could argue about this crap till I am blue in the face, but there really isn’t any good in that is there?
Economics: what’s wrong with higher taxes when you make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year? If you have that much money, you’ve probably been smart enough to invest it, and could live of the intrest. So, tell me, is there a difference between living on 1.3million and 1million dollars per year? I likely will never know, and neither will most republicans. It may seem weird that I don’t care to make that much money. That may seem weird or even sacrilegious to the Republican mindset, but it’s the truth. I don’t care if I will never have a Porsche 911 Turbo. Don’t you think you would get bored if you had everything you wanted? What would you wish or dream about?
Next 4 Years:

Well, it’s finally time for me to tackle and grapple with the election on Tuesday. I’d like to begin with a short few thoughts about voting in general. As much as everyone explains how important it is to vote (because it is your civic duty) they seem to make it difficult to get involved, especially for busy college students. There are two things that should be changed in order to alleviate poor voter turnout and apathy. Firstly, the Electoral College is so out of date; I have even heard top political analysts explain that it has ceased to be effective in terms of its original design. So much so, I recently read an article about Californians explain how they don’t think they’re vote counts because it is a foregone conclusion as to where the electoral votes are going. The state with the most electoral votes sees their state as analogous to D.C. Now, in a country with so little common sense the next voting deterrent is not a surprise to me. In the age where so many of the people that actually vote work during the week, it is astonishing that we vote on a TUESDAY. Imagine for a moment, what if we voted on a Saturday? I don’t know of anyone that goes into work regularly on the weekend. Regardless, people should make the time to vote on any day of the week, but the turnout would probably be huge if it were on a weekend. Or what if it was a national “holiday” and you didn’t have to go into work?
In my intellectual growth during this presidential campaign I have increasingly come back not to the candidates but the morals that each party stands for. There are a few ideals in particular that could never make me vote for a Republican. Firstly, the issue of gay marriage is paramount. I know of gay couples that are fit to be married more than many husbands and wives. Not to mention, these married couples have kids! And the kids are obnoxious, snotty, stupid, or an embarrassment. So, the whole idea that marriage is an institution for only a man and a woman is a load of crap. That is what society has stereotyped the word marriage to mean. I looked in multiple dictionaries and nowhere in any definition did it specify sex of the partners. To think that our president would consider making a constitutional amendment to make gay marriage illegal is absurd and extremely narrow-minded.
The second moral issue is the way in which Republicans would like to regulate what a woman can do to her body. I am referring to abortion. I am pro-choice and make no qualms about letting people know. It is partly religious and partly common sense. The religious part is kind of your idea of when “life” begins. That debate has been made in many books and will go on forever. I do not believe “life” begins until the little ball of cells become something resembling a person, can be removed from the womb, and live and breathe for itself. In the end, there are too many factors that should be considered with abortion. My point is that the number of options available to potential mothers should not be limited to just adoption. But, at the same time I don’t condone using abortion as some gross form of birth control.
Unfortunately, the Republican economic ideal is that of ME, ME, ME…and maybe you later, if I haven’t spent all my millions on my trophy wife and myself. Not all Republicans want to take away a women’s right to choose or think homosexuality is wrong, just the people they elect into office are. Go vote please, if not for a person, for morality’s sake.

Instant Messanger

Originally written Oct. 10, 2004

This week I’d like to try and tackle another miniscule subject that gets on my nerves and most likely, many others as well. The subject in question is a small matter of Instant Messenger etiquette. Mainly, leaving ambiguous away messages and using the away message function as a virtual answering machine or ‘caller’ I.D.
With the increasing proliferation of instant messaging there have become practices in etiquette much like e-mail and writing Thank You letters (the olden days) that are used and/or abused. Such practices are the lack of punctuation, use of ‘emoticons’, and promptness of response. All of these can be debated among cliques of friends as to personal preferences and politeness. On the other hand, I’d like to focus on a few that bother me and just seem rude to begin with.
Firstly, if you leave your instant messenger program all the time, why would you leave an away message on all the time? What is the point of being online and ‘active’ if you aren’t going to be around the computer? If you don’t plan on being around the computer for a significant amount of time, please don’t bother signing online. Is the point of the away message to tell other where you are or how to find you, or to screen incoming messages? If it is being used for the later, why did you give people you didn’t want to talk to your screen name in the first place? If you don’t want certain people talking to you don’t give them the means to do so. If you happen to make the mistake of accidentally giving away your screen name then after the first time you screen their message you can put their name on a block list and not deal with them ever again. Now, if this course of action seems rude, it’s because it is. But could be alleviated by using the program in the manner it was designed to be used for: communication, not an answering machine.
Another sticking point is the blatant lack of information in away messages. If you are to use the ‘away’ message because you are not at the computer, then where the hell are you? I want to know where you are! So when I have nothing else to do during TV commercials I can incessantly check your away message and stalk you and see what you are up to at every point in the day. If you leave me ambiguous information for a string of hours or even days…it’s time to change it. I can accept that some people are not overly conscientious or just don’t care. It’s okay if you know this about the person, but if you are trying to talk to or get to know someone better, it’s just frustrating to leave messages and play “instant messenger tag.” On the flip side, there are some extremely over-zealous individuals who feel compelled to prove their intelligence or humor through away messages. This, unfortunately, should be left in profiles (a different subject entirely). It goes back to the idea of posting actual whereabouts, since you are away from the computer. The idea that you have to be ‘deep’ in order to describe your emotions or current place is silly by itself.
Things to remember and implement: make it simple, don’t be online if you don’t plan on coming back to the computer for days at a time, tell me where you are or you cell phone number so I can stalk you, if you don’t want to talk to me give a fake screen name, and stop trying to be so damned deep and profound.

Teams and Location

Originally written Sept. 19, 2004

New Jersey Yankees??

This weekend there was a hotly contested baseball series between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. One of the few things that bother me a lot about sports is people rooting for teams that are from a different state than they reside. This is readily apparent during the Yankee/Red Sox series. I cannot fully express how much it bothers me those fans from New Jersey root for the Yankees. Yes, I understand that you do not have a team in Jersey, but to call yourself a “die-hard” fan is a joke. More to the point, it seems people root for the Yankees because it is now a trendy bandwagon to jump on to. If you have a reason that you root for a team that is not from your home state you should have a good reason for doing so. I know sports should not be dictated entirely by location, but that is one of the many things that make rivalries fun. You immediately dislike or bond with a person based on sports affiliation. Normally, I would contend that you can only root for teams in your home states, but that is somewhat unfair. I think it is more an indictment of sports as a whole that makes it difficult geographically speaking to have true “home teams.” Such examples would be: New Jersey residents rooting for the Yankees, people deciding to root for the LA Lakers or Clippers, who both play in the same building, states that don’t even have any professional teams, or the New York Giants and Jets who not only play on the same field, it’s located in New Jersey.

I must confess that if you know me, and know I’m a Red Sox fan and live in Virginia, I am even guiltier of this assertion. But, if you take the time to ask me why, I would explain that, both my parents are from Boston, and I grew up watching Red Sox games with my grandfather. And in his later years when I visited I would read box scores to him because he could not see. So, the Red Sox are not only a team to me, but also an outlet for me to remember my grandfather, and how much he loved rooting for the team that could never pull out a tough series. But he never stopped rooting, so, neither will I.

So, basically if we’ve learned anything from this nonsensical column of sports rebuke is that New York, Metropolitan Area, (upstate is totally different) and New Jersey are totally ass-backwards in the sports or baseball and football. Somehow they managed to get basketball correct. Now, you may say that Boston is backwards, or that there are equally asinine sports teams and there locations, but at least the New England Patriots allow for more of a region than just a state’s allegiance. So, maybe what should happen is that the teams from the New York City area be renamed Metropolitan ___________s. It could solve some of the apparent animosity, and also bring together more fans that have been afraid of associating with the teams until now.

Movie Respect

Originally written August 28, 2004

I recently went to the movie Hero with two good friends and had an epiphany right in between an “awww daaaaammmmnnn” and “yeah! kick his ass.” I was thinking of leaning over and adding to the conversation a “you got served, bitch,” but thought better of it because of a fear of “getting served” myself. Also, considering I was in a public place, and didn’t really want to get beat up or provoke more unwanted commentary I decided to keep quiet and try to enjoy the movie.
The epiphany part is thus: the general viewing public has no business going to movies which are above their intellectual level or dealing with a culture that they know nothing about. I say this because I am bitter, and was offended that I could not watch the movie in peace and quiet. I would say that my epiphany is justified by the fact that all the people that should enjoy such a movie appreciate the artistic value of elaborate, fantastical martial arts. But, it’s not just in this one movie. It happens frequently when you have a diverse population that thinks it’s okay to treat the theater as their personal living room.
It happened to be an excellent piece of cinematography; story-telling with great symbolism. Firstly, the movie was entirely in Chinese with English subtitles. This usually deters many from considering seeing a movie. Such that one friend turned to me and groaned when he realized it would all be subtitled. I turned back and whispered, “it’s a good thing you go to F&M where they assume you know how to read.” I don’t really have a problem with people whispering comments during movies because it’s a natural American thing to do: you see something; you speak your mind, no matter what. On the other hand, it just seems like bad taste when you keeping hearing audible conversations (not comments), cell phone calls, and things such as “yeah, yeah, ooooh, ahhh, holy crap….daaaaaammmmmnn,” during every choreographed fight scene. I mean, one would think it simple to keep these noises inside to one’s self.
The movie did have a good deal of fighting, but it wasn’t gratuitous, and served its purpose, considering it was a war movie about China’s union from provinces into one nation. So, unfortunately the emotion shown before and after the heroics will go unremembered by the jeering audience who will most likely just think of it as “fight movie.” This is regrettable because the movie did a great job of moving from love, to hatred, to sorrow, and to pride.
So, if you are still following my train of thought, let’s jump cars for a moment. These disrespectful people, I believe, are a key reason why Americans, in general, have a bad reputation outside the country and don’t end up voting. Let’s try to connect the dots about the conduct in the theater. A Foreign, subtitled movie, and a lack of cultural understanding evidently translate into a lack of respect or discipline from an uneducated and uncultured audience. With voting there is apathy among the younger generation who does not see how voting can change anything, and therefore has a lack of respect for the process of democracy. Honestly, how hard is it to vote, or be quiet in a movie theater? Not that the two go hand-in-hand, but two acts that require minimum effort should be easy enough for anyone to handle.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Princess to Prostitue

That magnificent holiday that celebrates absolutely nothing is right around the corner. No, it’s not one of the three Jewish holidays this month; it’s that wonderfully pagan holiday of Halloween. I’m not going to pretend that I know the origins of the holiday or even care what they may or may not be. The fact of the matter is, I love candy and have always disliked getting all dressed up to prove that I deserve your parents’ candy. In fact, when I was little I never got dressed up. I was one of those kids that were always “myself” or a “people person.”
When you are little your costume is pretty cool, and sometimes pre-made by the devils at Wal-Mart. Boys are either an athlete, super hero, gross goblin or other scary creature. Girls usually stuck to the simple radioactive pink things like princesses and My Little Pony gear. My oh my, how things change.
One moment you’re an innocent little girl who always dreams of being a princess and by the time you’re in college and daddy’s not around to help you get in your costume out come the prostitutes. It’s really quite amazing, the theory of princess to prostitute. I don’t mean actual prostitute, just an excuse to dress in lingerie for a night. It is quite the show. Of course I cannot help but notice these types of things when walking around at night and think I’m in Vegas. As well as wonder what thought process goes on when picking out a costume. Sometimes it’s not strictly “I’m a prostitute” it’s something like: “I’m a sexually adventurous cat” or “I’m a scantily clad school girl” or “I’m a secretary on Casual Sex Friday” or “I’m trying to help pay for my expensive F&M education and like to pole-dance for exercise.”
Whatever the reason ladies, just be careful. Some dude is going to get the wrong idea and try to give you a treat you may not want. Mind you, if it’s Godiva Truffles, he may be genuine and a keeper. On the other hand, what’s the big deal in getting dressed up? I understand that it can be fun and entertaining, and maybe I’m a huge party-pooper. Maybe I want costumes that are funnier or make you think slightly to understand. I don’t know.
All I do know is that I want candy. I don’t want little boxes of raisins, or pencils, or fruit. What is that crap? I also want to be the first to go up to the house that has the big bowl and sign that says, “please take one piece.” Yeah, that’s not happening. Candy collecting is a competition and if my pillowcase does not weigh more than yours and give me more cavities, I have lost. So, while you are all dressed up, drunk, or working a corner, I’ll be stealing candy and egging your house. Happy Halloween.