Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Man Cub (updates and excuses)

It's been brought to my attention that I don't really write much about the single biggest, most intense ongoing personal experience in my life right now. Upon reflection, I realize there's a couple of reasons for this:

A) I'm not that kinda guy. My opinions are right there for the taking. But laying my feelings out in precise detail could reveal more about me than I mean to, so I hold them pretty close (unless we're talking about feelings of anger, contempt, hopelessness, etc.). And I couldn't write about The Man Cub without my feelings spilling out all over the place, and like I said, that kind of mess could take a long time to clean up.

B) What could I possibly say that hasn't already been said before, and by better writers? I flatter myself that I may have something original to express about matters political from time to time, or about various aspects of Geekdom, but everybody has worked parenting and kids to death. From the book of Genesis to Shakespeare to Cosby to The Missus, no stone has been left unturned. I know when I'm outclassed.

C) Honestly, between the 9-5 job, the freelance, the various and sundry mini personal crises (they cancelled the Sinead concert!?) and Man Cub duties, who the bloody hell has time to write except when pure outrage demands it?

Case in point - 20 minutes have elapsed since that last sentence and this one, but another round of parental duties have been dispatched.

I'll say this much about the boy: He's beautiful and smart and laughs at the right times, and so what if he doesn't crap for the better part of a week, thinks reveille is at 4 a.m. and pretty much can't do a damn thing for himself including sit up? According to his mother, he's hitting all the necessary milestones at the correct times and when he's not keeping me from sleeping and working, he makes me smile like nothing else.

Okay? I wouldn't trade this shit for anything. It's totallly, 100% worth it, and if it wasn't, I'd be complaining bitterly about it right here, all the time. I am that kinda guy.

It's also exhausting and it's aging me like nothing has since crystal meth did in the 80s… or the Clinton impeachment in the 90s… but thanks to the boy, I don't need to live forever anymore either. And as life-shortening stress-inducers go, I'm enjoying Fatherhood more than I did drug addiction and political calumny put together.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Please, Senator Kerry, Don't Help!

Please don't fly back from overseas to try to gin up a filibuster to the way-foregone Alito confirmation. What part of "choose your battles" do you not understand??

It's not even that a filibuster at this point would be grandstanding in its purest form - this is the Senate we're talking about, after all.

It's you. The problem is you.

You're not the guy to carry the ball again. You gave it your best shot last time out, but winning the Presidency isn't a merit contest, it's a popularity contest. And you sir, with respect, are a barely articulate stiff.

And it's okay to be barely articulate, as our current President's good fortune attests to, but you have to be briefly barely articulate. Short, pithy non-sequiters; marblemouthed malapropisms and sentence fragments tied together with snorts and guffaws, Mr. Bush has made these a winning combination. He makes us laugh. We'd like to have a beer with him. We're not sure he hasn't just had one with Dick and Rummy.

But your gibberish bores us, and that cannot be forgiven. We have too many entertainment choices available to us to suffer a bore lightly.

So please Mr. Kerry, don't be a distraction. Don't suck up all the oxygen and give the media a go-to punching bag for the next two years. Bless his heart, we already have Howard Dean for that. Instead, suck it up, swallow your pride, and help find us a southern governor with a toothsome smile and a telegenic young family we can work with till Barack Obama is ready to run in '12.

As for 2008, I have no idea who the Dems could possibly have waiting in the wings (I think proffering Hillary would hand the GOP the election in a landslide). But unless it's the animatronic Abe Lincoln from Disneyland's Hall of Presidents, he or she will have a better chance of winning the charisma battle than you, Senator Kerry, even if the GOP nominee is Condi Rice.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Missus and the Man Cub

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Spank Police Are Looking For YOU!

According to yesterday's New York Times, “The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to compel Google, the Internet search giant, to turn over records on millions of its users' search queries as part of the government's effort to uphold an online pornography law.”

Google, exhibiting testicular fortitude that failed Yahoo and MSN, has refused to comply with this latest outrageous abrogation of Americans' right to privacy and is taking their case to court.

Unless Osama bin Laden is trolling the web looking for photos of coeds flashing their goodies on Spring Break, I'd say the Bush administration has its priorities characteristically out of whack (no pun intended).

Remember Osama? Flew some airplanes into buildings in New York and DC? Killed a few thousand civilians and promised to keep killing Americans as long as he remained at large? Released more hit singles in the last five years than Madonna, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears put together, including a number one smash just last week?

Of course they don't remember Osama. He didn't try to kill W's daddy, after all. That was public enemy #1 Saddam Hussein, who didn't have a terror pot to piss in. As soon as the U.N. weapons inspectors determined he likely was a paper lion, toothless and free of weapons of mass destruction, W summoned the courage to go kick his swarthy fanny. This is the same frat boy fuck who didn't have the balls to play football himself in college (those fellas can get themselves banged up - careful, I'm Mommy's Special Boy!) so he stood on the sidelines with the girls and a megaphone and cheer-led.

That experience, as it turned out, served him in good stead in his role as President. It afforded him the one photo-op where he really looked like he knew what he was doing:

This administration is literally more concerned with perceived infractions of their Bible-based sociological model than they are in tracking down and eliminating enemies of the state. They send lone, unmanned drones after suspected al Qaeda terrorist cell meetings, while the full weight of the executive and judicial branches continue to be brought to bear relieving Americans of their civil and personal privacy protections.

Seeing 'The Great Satan' systematicallly stripped of the rights that used to define its way of life has to be better than sex for the terrorists. Osama must be whacking himself silly.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

It's unbelievable to me…

…that well-intentioned foreigners still go to Iraq to try to help the locals. There's brave and then there's crazy, and heading to Baghdad to make a difference in the world is a running long-jump over that line.

If you're wearing government khaki, Mr. Bush has seen to it that you need to be there. If you strap on body armor and automatic weapons in the morning and guard fuel convoys for Halliburton, chances are you belong there. If you're a heavily-guarded major network TV anchor reporting from Baghdad, you are walking that thin line between brave and crazy.

If you're doing anything else there, you're nuts and your friends and loved ones need to do an intervention before you end up in the next hostage video. I am serious as a heart attack. There are plenty of needy folks and organizations that service them here at home and other places abroad that could use your generosity of spirit. Risking your life needlessly doesn't make your altruism more valuable; by its sheer expendability, it actually makes it less valuable.

If you're still not convinced, think about this: Even if you're over there with a heart full of love for the Iraqi people, as this latest kidnap victim, Jill Carroll, seems to be, if it's al Qaeda that grabs you up, your good will for the locals isn't gonna make a bit of difference. You're an American and an infidel and your fate is sealed.

These days, the road to hell that is paved with good intentions runs right through downtown Baghdad. Go to Brazil and save a fucking rain forest instead and spare your family their broken hearts.

Bum Wing and Mushrooms

This will be brief as I am down to typing with one finger. Good thing I don't make my living at a keyboard. Oh, wait...

Not sure what's wrong with my left arm, but I begin physical therapy this week to start narrowing down the contenders. Pinched nerve? Arthritis? Carpal tunnel? God's punishment for sneering at the pseudo-science of Intelligent Design? Hard to say. The pain keeps moving from one spot to another making the source of the problem hard to nail down.

Dr. Fang's diagnosis? Stupid worthless old man is falling apart. If I was a horse, I'd have me put down and shipped off to the glue factory.

In happier news, we are growing mushrooms in our front room carpet, so we know we'll never starve. Thanks to The Missus for the kick-ass picture. I'm resenting The Move just a little bit less… and I am curious to see what kind of extra damage I can do to myself overseeing The Move with a bum wing.

As I have pointed out before, here on Christmas Island, every day is like a holiday.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Clown College Commencement Speaker, 2015:

"...and this is the year we'll turn the corner in Iraq..."

The Alito Hearings

What's there to say? Our countrymen elected a socially conservative pinhead to the Presidency. What did we expect, he was going to nominate Peter, Paul and Mary to the bench?

As right-wing dickbrains that are going to try to roll this country back to a better time that only existed on “Father Knows Best,” this Alito character seems like a nice enough chap. Cagey without being condescending, elusive without being outright evasive… the only real red flag is his “I don't remember” cant about joining some douschebag Ivy League He-Man, Woman-Haters Club back in his salad days. But who hasn't padded their resumes when big-game hunting for career-track job titles?

In the end, I feel the same way about Alito as I did about Roberts: As people whose values and legal opinions I am unalterably at odds with, they seem like awfully nice fellows.

I have an idea! Let's not lose the next Presidential election! Oh, what happier blogs we'll write then!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

More Lies On TV

Today, the President is telling tall tales in Mississippi, assuring a roomful of preselected partisan rubes how great everything they've showed him looks. It not only appears like he doesn't believe it himself, but that he's not even paying attention to what he's saying. His attention drifts in the middle of sentences.

And he's working off loose notes, so the actual transcript will read like Mad Libs typed up by a room full of monkeys.

Why do I do this to myself; why am I compelled to watch his home-spun insincerity whenever the networks offer it up? I think it's because I'm still trying to get a grasp on the idea that this shallow little man is the President of the United States. I can't believe the bar has fallen so low. Washington. Lincoln. FDR. JFK. Hey, maybe Ronald Reagan, to keep it bipartisan? And George W. Bush.

One of these things is not like the others.

I’ve been really lax

I tell people to read this thing, then I don't add anything new for weeks. Sorry. If you know me, you already know I'm a dick.

Things is busy. The home den sprang a leak during Christmas Island's annual Biblical flooding and we're having to move hearth and home to higher ground. I absolutely hate moving, even with someone else footing the bill. I still have to sit on 'hold' with the utilities, organize, catalog, throw away, box, label, stack and move my every earthly possession (Augh! Too much stuff, but I need all my toys) then repeat the process in reverse meanwhile trying to remember/figure out how the hell my computer is supposed to be hooked up while my job depends on it.

Then as long as we're belly-aching, my left arm is totally fucked up. I have this massive muscle knot on my left shoulder, and it's pinching nerves all the way down to my left hand. I can't feel my thumb or forefinger. We have an appointment with The Vet for the Man Cub next week, I'll see if she'll take a look at it if it's not better by then.

The Man Cub and The Missus continue to kick ass. He's growing almost as fast as her blog's fan-base. Sorry I can't provide a link, but she blabs about everything and I kind of like my relative anonymity. But she's becoming quite the cyberspace entity and I'm damned proud of her.

Then there's the freelance work that is dropping out of the sky. Be careful what you wish for. I wished for a few weeks off!

So my arm is fucked, I'm pulling tons of high-maintenance solo Man Cub duty, the workload is piling up like 747s over O'Hare in a snowstorm, we have to move - oh yeah, my Mom is coming to visit next week to meet her grandcub for the first time. And the torrential shitty weather promises to continue indefinitely, at least through the move date.

…I'm kind of looking ahead to February.

The truth is though, all the turmoil gives me something else to focus on besides the day to day shit that usually stresses me out, and it makes the day to day shit easier to deal with. I've always thrived in multi-faceted, overwhelming, Jack Bauer-like seemingly hopeless situations. It's the slow patches (that I long for) that throw me.

Like I said, be careful what you wish for.

That's your dime-store psychology for today folks. Pay your nickel, watch the monkey free-write till "I see our time's up for this session..."

“Never give up, never surrender - full speed ahead!”

Friday, January 06, 2006

"Christianity" defined by Leonard Cohen

This is from an online Q&A somewhere a long time ago, but I came across it again recently and was taken by its beauty and eloquence:

“As I understand it, into the heart of every Christian, Christ comes, and Christ goes. When, by his Grace, the landscape of the heart becomes vast and deep and limitless, then Christ makes His abode in that graceful heart, and His Will prevails. The experience is recognized as Peace. In the absence of this experience much activity arises, divisions of every sort. Outside of the organizational enterprise, which some applaud and some mistrust, stands the figure of Jesus, nailed to a human predicament, summoning the heart to comprehend its own suffering by dissolving itself in a radical confession of hospitality.”

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I finally figured out my iPod!

I'm not sure - is it ironic that I officially joined iPod Nation tonight by listening to “Anarchy in the UK?” I guess that depends if you go by Alanis Morissette's definition of “ironic” or Webster's, but either way, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

I want to destroy… passersby! That's art, baby.

Christmas Away From Home (Part 2)

Just a brief note to mark the successful completion of a rare extended trip away from the home den. The Missus and the Man Cub came through without a scratch, and after my Time-Out, even I managed to salvage a little bit of my tattered dignity and get through the actual holiday with a touch of grace.

Now we're back home and we find the new year has blessed us with an unwelcome bounty: The torrential seasonal rainfall indigenous to this part of Christmas Island is soaking our ground floor apartment, forcing us to soon beat a hasty retreat to higher elevations. The landlord has offered to pay for movers to effect the move, but who the hell is gonna pack up my 10 million+ CDs, DVDs, comic books and action figures? Who's gonna help me figure out how to wire up my Rube-Goldberg-like accumulation of computer geegaws and gizmos after I tear them apart to move them?

Oh, the humanity.

Clearly, George Bush hates white people too.

Anyhow, I felt compelled to get this quick post out of the way before I move on to new business.