Friday, September 29, 2006

Buns of…

(This just goes to show I’ve spent too much time at the gym lately…)

From the people who brought you BUNS OF STEEL comes the latest in making your asscheeks as metallic as ever, get ready for


Is it metallic? It’s silvery baby!

Is it hot? Baby, it burns in air to produce strontium oxide!

Is it radioactive? Listen to this: it’s got a half-life of 28.90 years!

And best of all, they’re still a bit squishy, preventing all those unwanted lawsuits and jokes about cracking a walnut!

BUNS OF STRONTIUM – when buns of steel just aren’t enough!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The "Fuck You Bill" has passed the Senate...

The Republicans - you know, those elite father figures who know best... wasting the surplus, starting wars, etc. - have now decided to take another big bite out of our civil rights.

The Senate today passed the "detainee interrogation bill"... sounds like it regulates how detainees are interrogated, doesn't it? But it true Repulsivecan fashion, it also means:

Any legal residents of the country could be rounded up with no rights as an "enemy combatant". Remember when the enemy was just illegal aliens?

Violation of the Geneva Convention. But that wouldn't be the first international treaty Shrub and his cronies have violated.

Wave bye-bye to Habeas Corpus. But does anyone really want to know why they're being carted away against their will to an internment camp?

Prisoners are no longer allowed judicial review. Shrub can simply label them an enemy combatant and it's disappear time for them.

Confessions under torture are admissable as evidence. You know, the thing you confessed to while they were breaking your thumbs? Yeah, when you confessed to killing Jesus? Well, now they can try you for that, too.

Secret Evidence. As a defendent, you don't need to know what's being held against you - fuck your miranda rights!

Rape and sexual assault are still illegal... IF you can prove that it was against your will!!!

Now, before you really start to become afraid, you should realize that this still needs to pass the House... which already passed a similar bill... and Shrub's desk to...

We're boned.

Success? “I don’t know anything about that.”…

With the month ending, I thought I should probably add a kind of post-mortem on the success survey. Well, it didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. While I received over a dozen responses, all of them very insightful, I was hoping for a lot more.

Today, I think I found a reason why the responses were so spare.

I asked someone about the survey and if she’d received it. She had. “But I didn’t have anything to add.”

I didn’t quite understand. “Anything to add?”

She said, “It was about success, wasn’t it? I don’t know anything about that.”

Don’t know anything about that.

In the past month, I’ve found myself buffeted by just this attitude. As if their own success is something people know nothing about. As if success should be left to someone else.

Abdicating the success of your life to another – shying away from that most primary of responsibilities… where do people think that’s going to lead them? And yet, I’ve run into that same (lack of) philosophy wherever I turn.

It frightens me.

I don’t think of myself as up on a mountain – but in this one case I can’t think of another analogy. It’s not just that people are apathetic about living successful lives but, rather, that they fear it on some kind of primal, phobic level. And I can certainly understand that. After all, my neurosis about being successful in my own life is what’s driving me to write this book. But to shy away from it, to claim no responsibility for it… that’s just wrong.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Another reason why I’m not a Christian…

My friend, Megan, died recently.

She was kind and good, honest and caring, compassionate and loving. She was honest and nonviolent and generous. Megan was not, however, a Christian.

According to Christian doctrine, she now burns in the fires of hell for all eternity.

Christians are a group of people bullied by a belief.

No thanks.

I’m proud to say that Megan did not have any last minute conversion. She died unafraid, unbargaining. I can only hope to be as brave.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Terrorists less scary & gas is cheaper!...

Yep, gas just gets cheaper and cheaper under Shrub's leadership! And the terrorists have suddenly become less scary - they even forgot how to make bombs out of bottled water!

Yep, those neo-cons sure are doing a great job! I feel so much safer and ready to waste precious, natural resources!

... does anyone really buy this shit?

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Converse of Success…

With all of my talk about success, I’ve never sought to point out failure, or someone I thought was a failure. The point of the book I’m writing isn’t to point at success and say, “There! That’s what it is. That’s what you need to achieve.” Rather, I want to create a dialogue that approaches what success could be. And I’m not even trying to get near failure.

Who would want to?

But then, of course, it happened. And it was right in front of me. Failure – writ large – right in front of my eyes.

Which is why I finally decided to write about it, because the example is so clear. Like success, failure isn’t a thing – it’s a state. And just as you hope to find success one day, I think it’s a natural reaction to hope that someone who is a failure will leave that state with great rapidity.

We have probably all known a failure or two. Most of the time, it’s something simple – along the lines of just fucking up, blowing it. So, failure as a concept is pretty simple to reconcile. I think if I was going to define the most profound state of failure, I’d say that it is the state in which a person is so lost to their own needs and best interests that they have created a perpetual no-win situation for themselves. Personal entropy. Extreme suckage.

So, there’s this person I know. I shouldn’t really feel bad for her, she’s brought her situation on herself, but I do. She finds things in life she wants, disregards her motivations and best interests, and goes for them, no matter who gets hurt (including herself). I’ll give you an example. She wanted to have a kid so bad she had one with the first sperm donor that came along. She didn’t think too much about being a parent and has since discovered that she hates it.

You see, she created her own failure condition.

She used to be Megan’s best friend. When Megan was sick, she didn’t reach out a hand in friendship and, though she’s a medical professional, she didn’t try to help Megan’s medical condition. She just ignored her… and Megan died. She found out about this because Megan died in her hospital and Megan’s file happened to pass by her desk.

So, she failed as a friend.

Then, Sean told her that (though he’d allow her to pay her respects at Megan’s memorial service) he never wanted to see her face or hear from her again. She used to be an integral part in this group of people but, because of her disregard for her sick friend, she’s now ostracized.

So, here’s a person who has put herself in a situation where she’s lost her friends, has a child she doesn’t want, doesn’t consider the long-term ramifications of her actions but simply reacts to impulses from her Id like a child… and is, as a result, miserable. In fact, until she breaks this cycle, she’ll always be miserable – and she won’t know this until she breaks the cycle.

That’s failure, without a doubt.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Megan Deyo…

I don’t know what to say about this but I know that I probably should as a few readers know who I’m talking about.

Megan Deyo died this weekend, early Sunday morning. (Well, it was early for me.) She was the wife of one of my best friends. She was the person who introduced me to Rosa... but try not to hold that against her. She and I knew each other for a long time and were even intimate on occasion. (We even shared fluids.)

Megan was honest and never anything except herself and I gotta give her props for that. Yes, she pissed me off more than once but that’s par for the course.

She died of lung failure as a result of host versus graft, after battling leukemia. It was a five-year battle and she was tired.

Megan and I met 22/23 years ago in Miss Griswold’s class, back at Santa Ana Valley High. Tim Murphy and I sat near each other. We each gave Griswold a hell of a time – ah, memories! Megan, meanwhile, would sit on the sidelines, telling us both to shut up. But we got her to laugh a few times, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

Sean, Megan’s husband, helped me through the loss of Rosa and now I’m doing whatever I can to help him through the loss of Megan. The foot’s on the other hand now, as they say. Sean’s a wee bit less crazy than me, though.

I’ll miss Megan. She never liked me very much and I didn’t exactly go out of my way to spend a whole lot of time with her, either. And, yet, we traveled along similar tracks and went down neighboring roads.

I’m too young to be losing friends this way. Next time, let’s just get in a fight.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I watched this film tonight (at and I think you might find it of some interest. You might also be interested in and

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Please take this survey...

To help me along with this new book, I thought I'd put together a little survey, thus...

What is success? How do we know we are living successful lives?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines success as: a) a degree or measure of succeeding, b) a favorable or desired outcome, and c) the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. American Heritage defines it similarly. But how do these definitions pertain to our lives? Can we really consider ourselves successful merely on these terms?

I am presently working on a novel that addresses just this issue: how do we reconcile ourselves to our successes and our failures. To this end, I’ve broadened the dictionary’s definition to include the following: a) Success is a positive resolution in the process of self-definition. An action with a positive outcome, we term “success”. An action with a negative outcome, we term “failure”, and b) Success is the yardstick against which we measure our lives.

As you can probably see, I’m hoping to address the concept of success as a long-term concept. It’s easy to accept or gain success in the short term, via a test grade or a party your threw or a job you did well, but long-term success in life is, in my experience, much harder to define.

This is simply scratching the surface and that’s why I need your help. The survey, below, asks questions about success. I would like to have as many people possible complete this survey as part of a study (however unscientific) on the idea of success. Please complete it right away, posting your results in the comments section. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time and participation.

Success Survey

1. Looking back on your entire life, do you consider yourself a success or failure? Please provide up to five reasons why.


2. What specific qualities make you a success/failure?

3. How can you achieve success in your life? What are you doing to achieve success?

4. Why do people fail to achieve success?

5. How much importance do you place on living a “successful life”? Why?

Round Two: Demographics

6. Gender:

7. Date of Birth:

8. Years of Education (above high school, count years progressively: 13, 14, etc.):

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Luvin it. Just luvin it...

Saw this today - gave me a chuckle.

Tooting my own horn

Earlier this summer I took NALA's Certified Legal Assistant Exam. I studied for over 3 months for this test. My goal was to pass it one the first try (many have to retake sections of the exam).

I committed myself to studying almost every day during that time and took the exam in July. I felt good about it, but have tried not to think much about it since then since the results would take 6-8 weeks to receive.

Well, last week I got the results...and I passed! I am now certified, and that does not mean certifiable! What does that mean? Well, hopefully it will mean bigger salaries and better positions in the future (my new job already has a better salary). Oh, and I get to use "CLA" after my name and can call myself a "Certified Paralegal".

So everyone all together now....YAY!!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What success really means?…

So, I was thinking about my definition of success last night… and I realized I didn’t like it.

Oh, it went a lot further than the dictionary at defining what success is but it, well, it didn’t get anywhere near the side of the barn with relation to why I wanted to write this book in the first place!

So, what was the reason? Well, because I don’t think I’m very successful and being out of work only makes that observation that much easier! And I’m not the only one. I’ve discovered that it’s more wide-spread than I originally thought, this discontentment, this angst about success.

Why is it more widespread? I think the answer lies back with Maslow and Kundalini. Meeting our most basic needs drives us to want more, to want those more ethereal achievements higher up the ladder. Am I over-simplifying this? Sure! But that’s why it’s the subject of a book. Still, I think it illustrates very clearly how this drive for success remains and how failure is so easy to find… if you’re looking.

But that bandies the term, “success”, around a lot of other things. How can it have its fingers in so many pies?

Which is when I stumbled on Definition #2.

Success is the yardstick against which we measure our lives.

Let’s repeat that: Success is the yardstick against which we measure our lives.

How do we know how we’ve measured up? How can we tell how effective we’ve been? What kind of life have we led? By our measure of success, that’s how.

Now, you can come back to me and tell me about people who lie to themselves or settle for less or don’t need such highfalutin ideas – and you’d be right. We’re playing in the kiddie pool of human nature and some piss is going to get spilled.

Still, I think that definition comes much closer to the mark, at least with regards to why I’m writing this book.

This is not a short-term project. I may be working on this for the next year… or more. I’ll keep you posted.

Friday, September 08, 2006

How Superman Should Have Ended

Think back now... Back to the first Superman movie...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Written 10 seconds after that last one...

I just lost a reader, didn't I?

... fuck...

All lies? Why not?…

You know, it just occurred to me that nowhere in the Bible does it say that what is included in the Bible is the truth. Nowhere. It was just always assumed. There’s no, “And God smote him. And we’re not kidding here. This is serious stuff.” There’s not even a note at the end saying, “Oh, and by the way, this has all been true. 100% factual. Honest Injun.”

And that leads me to believe we’ve all been had.

All of us. From the Xtians to the Heeb to the Turban-head… all chumps. God’s up there laughing his eternal ass off at our expense and all his homies are all, “You fucked them up!”

Oh yeah? Well, fuck you, God. Fuck you and that smarmy little “I can hang on a cross and rise from the dead – can you?!” son of yours.

It just had to be said.
How would Shrub answer?...

More powerful, truthful, and necessary words...
Olbermann channels Murrow...

Amazing words of truth at a time when the truth is so shunned...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Success Redefined...

Just a few minutes after the last post and I've done some "tweaking" to the definition. This might require still further revision...

Success is a positive resolution in the process of self-definition. An action with a positive outcome, we term “success”. An action with a negative outcome, we term “failure”.

Success gets silly…

This new book has got me thinking, and that’s usually a bad thing.

The pattern I’ve set down in the last year or so has been one of constant work: write, revise, write, revise. Always working. But now, with this new book on success and its meaning, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking, trying to crack the philosophical nut so many take for granted.

And it’s led me down some odd paths. I’ve shared a few with you. Here’s another one…

Success is elusive, obviously. Not just achieving success but defining it. It’s a greasy term, a sleek weasel; it doesn’t want to be caught.

So people tend to isolate it and apply it rather discriminately. For instance, you might hear someone mention that they are successful in their career or in their “goals” or as a parent, and so on.

But even then, success works against you. It won’t be your bitch.

What’s it mean to be a success in your career? Does it mean you’ve achieved the position you want? Or that you do a good job? Or that you’re paid well? Yes? No? All? Some? The problem is that the closer you get to defining it, the farther you are from understanding it.

What if you consider yourself a success as a parent? Is it because your child is healthy? Smart? Happy? Just like you? A free thinker? Again, labels muddy things.

So, you have to draw back. I know I do. That’s the whole point of this. I spent years in that mud and I want to clear it up.

So, I was driving last night and I tried another approach. Why do we work? To get money… right?

Um, no. If work was purely utilitarian, people wouldn’t be so concerned with job fulfillment. Switch it around, you run into the same problem. It also means that you can’t apply such answers as “security” or “belonging”. The problem is that we work for more reasons than that.

And we’re back to Maslow and Kundalini.

But, rather than leave it there, I decided to keep going anyway. What other seemingly straight paths curve, mirage-like, as we get closer? I used the template, “Why do we…?” as a guide, as in “Why do we work?”

What popped immediately into my mind was, “Why do we climb mountains?” (Which is probably better phrased as “Why climb a mountain?”)

The obvious answer is, “To get to the top.”

But I realized, almost immediately that it isn’t so. There’s rarely anything on the top. We can see the top with satellites, anyway. Maybe, at one time, that reason sufficed but, now that people have already climbed all the mountains, why keep doing it? For exercise? No, you could go to the gym for that.

And, yet, people still climb mountains. Why?

And then, it occurred to me… that definition that eludes us so…

Now, before you ask, I have looked this up in the dictionary and the definitions provided there are the most horrid sort. They are:

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.

Well, this doesn’t work. This would mean you couldn’t consider yourself a success until you were dead (thus the term “termination”)! No! No!

2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.

Success is simply getting shit? No! If it was true, it would still be incomplete – because half of gaining wealth, position, etc. is to have others see it. It would be senseless in a vacuum. But it’s not true at all because there are smaller successes in life, just as valuable – remember what it was like to be able to tie your shoes by yourself?

3. a successful performance or achievement

Any term that uses itself to define itself is hogwash. It’s as if red was defined as “something red”!


4. a person or thing that is successful

See #3.

So, the dictionary was of no use at all. Success needs more to define it, and that’s what I thought I had!

Success is the action of self-definition. An action with a positive outcome, we term “success”. An action with a negative outcome, we term “failure”.

This seemed to work. Somehow, all along, I have know that Success and Failure were flips of the coin away. In addition, and unlike the dictionary definition, success does have a solitary component that goes beyond “getting things”.

But my brain wasn’t done, yet. For, after thinking about mountain climbers, it had already gone to the next step… the next question…

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Oh, lord.

Check please!

Now, the traditional answer is “To get to the other side”… though there are many others!

Still, if you look at it in terms of this new definition, you begin to see that it’s not about the other side… it’s not about the road… it’s about why anyone tries to do anything. It’s about the impulse of life, that same force that drove sperm on their monumental swim…

I'm going to have to think some more…

Friday, September 01, 2006

Drop Acid and Watch This... I DARE YOU!

I'm awaiting your comments...

More free video games!...

... even if they never existed...

Oh, sure. I'd heard that The Last Starfighter existed somewhere - but I never saw it! And what about the game that the designer in (the movie!) TRON was supposed to have created? How do you play that?!

Well, this wonderful bunch of programmers got together - AND MADE THE GAMES!

That's right. And you gotta check it out, even if just to play The Last Starfighter... which I did... and it is hard! (Which explains why Lance Guest was the only one to beat it... I guess...)

Ken & Vicky meet ME…

Those of you who know Vicky know about her uncanny luck with winning prizes by calling into radio stations. (And now, if you don’t know her, you know that, too.)

Recently, Vicky won another prize.

She called me and asked, “What are you doing Thursday night?”

I scanned my brain for my heavy social schedule… and didn’t find one. “Nothing.”

“Good!” she exclaimed. “Then, you can go to the Melissa Etheridge concert with me!”

… curses…

So, tonight, we drove up to the Greek Theater for the concert.

I guess it didn’t help that we quarreled almost the entire way up. I can’t understand why; it’s not as though there’s any stress in our lives…

But we got there with a hasty truce and, having parked a mile away, began the hike to the theater. Vicky saw a bathroom about halfway there and began pulling me in that direction. “We’re going to be late,” I cautioned here.

She had a panicked look. “That’s fine. This is important!”

So, to the bathroom we went. It was a small shack with men’s on one side and ladies’ on the other. So, I figured I might as well drain some fluids while I was there.

I didn’t think the bathroom would be too busy. I didn’t know much about Melissa Etheridge but I did know:

* She had a baby with David Crosby.
* She was a lesbian.
* This meant she hadn’t had sex with Crosby… thus increasing my respect for her.

Thus, I surmised that the male crowd wouldn’t be anywhere nearby. And I was right – the bathroom was empty! With three stalls total, and two of them broke, there was still no line! So, I went ahead… and went.

I wasn’t surprised when someone walked in but I was surprised to see it was a woman. You’ve never seen someone shut down the valve and zip up so fast!

Walking out, I had to squeeze through the line of women who had commandeered the men’s bathroom.

About these women:

* Oh yeah… they were lesbians.
* I hadn’t seen so many lesbians since the last clearance sale at Old Navy.
* The place had more dikes that the Netherlands.
* They’d make the isle of Lesbos sink.

But I kid the politically marginalized.

When Vicky got out, I wanted to make sure she noticed. She had, adding, “And keep your voice down. I’ve seen plenty who could kick your ass.” Sure, that’s not saying much, but it would be embarrassing to explain on the nightly news.

At the ticket gate, they were checking people for cameras, which were verboten. Vicky hid her phone, because it had a camera and, once we took our seats, immediately started filming everything – not to post on the Internet(s), just to see if she could!

And speaking of our seats… the radio station sure did spring for seats… closest to the sun – we were pretty damned high up there! I won’t say we were sitting in the last row, because we were sitting in the second to the last row!

Now, I don’t know Melissa Etheridge’s music very well. Up until a few nights ago, I wasn’t aware that I’d heard some of her songs. I was just glad to see Vicky enjoying herself. As for me, while I found the music aesthetically pleasing it just didn’t speak to me. I couldn’t really relate.

Mind you, the woman has a voice of sandpaper. She’s not just the gay man’s Bonnie Raitt, she’s got a little of the gay man’s Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen (I still can’t decide) mixed in there. And then, there was the band. The drummer was up on a pedestal, the point of which was to keep him away from the other band. The drummer was in a permanent “time out”. The bassist looked like the lesbian love child of Stephen King and Bobby Brady… lesbian because I wasn’t sure if it was a guy or a girl… Then, the lead guitarist… this guy made sure to load up on espresso before starting. He was playing in his own, little world… freaky!

So, as I said, the music was good but I just couldn’t really relate – and that had nothing to do with the rows of lesbians dancing before us… better than I could! But there was one thing that I could relate to and helped me decide that I liked Melissa Etheridge very much. She was just so honest during her concert, and so open, I knew that I’d like her if I met her face to face. Even hundreds of yards away, she was obviously authentic.

Now to figure out what she was singing…