Monday, October 30, 2006

Wait. Watch this…

Listen, I may be skeptical… I may also be Bulgarian… but I’m the first one to admit when I might be wrong.

(Vicky: KEN’S WRONG!)

… um, I’m the second to admit when I might be wrong.

(Suki: Bark!)

… anyway…

… I know I went into this whole Weight Watchers thing like it was a joke but I have to say it actually is helping. I’ve lost nearly five pounds in two weeks and I’m not starving or anything… much.

You don't take any pills. You don't buy their food. You just learn to eat more sensibly. The thing is, it’s helping me eat like a regular human being instead of a big, fat pig. I figure that’s a good thing.

(Anyone got some ice cream???)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What mommy and daddy did during the war…

I’ve been lazy. There’s really no other way to put it. I sat down with myself and asked if I was doing enough to make the world a better place… and I wasn’t. I was moping around, feeling sorry for myself, and not doing anything with all the free time I have. I knew I needed to do more – more protests, more anything!

The first thing I did was sign up for the LA Peace March, which took place yesterday in Hollywood. I got Vicky to sign up, too, though I knew I wasn’t always going to be so lucky. It was good to have her there, though; I hadn't slept Friday night and I was pretty tired. We got on the freeway after our WeightWatchers meeting and made it to Hollywood and Vine by about 11am.

There was obviously something going on there. Crowds of people were flooding both sides of the street, along with crowds of cops. Traffic hadn’t been blocked, yet, so everyone kept to either side of the street.

At a bus station on one corner, tables and booths were set up from a variety of organizations supporting (or so I thought) the event. Vicky and I checked these out, bombarded with buttons and t-shirts, banners to carry, causes we hadn’t heard of, and people, people, people. The diversity of the political left never ceases to amaze. It is the strength of tolerance and, I think, too often ignored.

Eventually, the press of people had us both moving up the street, to a place that wasn’t so crowded. On the way, I met my first communist in twenty years. I thought their breed had died out – I would be proven very wrong. But, hey, I used to be a socialist, too, so I can sympathize. I say “used to be” because one thing I learned yesterday was, like it or not, I’ve experienced some middle-aged creep over to the political right; I’m a lot less liberal than I used to be.

Take, for instance, the lunatic fringe. I said to Vicky, “Politics is perception. We’re going to make a lot less headway with moderate or the right as long as they see us as a bunch of hippies and communists.” But enough of that.

We were handed picket signs to carry through the march, provided by ANSWER. They read US OUT OF IRAQ, a sentiment I had no problem supporting.

And we waited for the march to begin.

As we waited, more and more people started crowding our space. Let’s face it, we were in the middle of a peace march – what else was I expecting? Wide open spaces??? But my claustrophobia started pounding at my skull and saying, “You really need to go. NOW!” No fun. But the monotony of the wait was passed by people watching and all the folks coming by with their causes.

A girl with a very low cut top on and pasties (and no bra!) stopped in front of us and took pictures with some guys. (Their interest was world peace…. SURE! Both the left and right ones!) Vicky moved her sign in front of her face and said, “I don’t want to be in the picture with the boobs.”

I felt like a boob when a guy with a bullhorn stopped in front of me and started speaking to the crowd. Everyone around us was looking and I was acting like, “Yeah, I’m with him.” I didn’t realize he was there to talk veganism and I, the ex-vegetarian, felt like a colossal hypocrite. So, I lowered my sign.

Representatives from a couple “third parties” were there. Stewart Alexander, Peace and Freedom Party’s candidate for Lieutenant Governor of California, walked by us, campaigning and shaking hands. Green Party representatives were there – but I’m already a member. Several Hispanic groups were there, spreading the cause of immigrants rights (those pesky “human rights”).

I would say the worst groups of all were the communists and anarchists, people whose message was that it doesn’t matter who gets elected because everyone’s the same and there’s nothing you can do… except what they tell you to do. Yep, authoritarianism is alive and well on the left as well as the right.

My favorite bunch of loonies, however, had to be the NESARA bunch. These people were even nuttier than the “chem-trail” people. (“Chem-trailers” believe that the contrails left by jet engines are the intentional seeding of the air with chemicals harmful to humanity… with no proof of any kind.) (Of course.) NESARA, the National Economic Security and Reformation Act, folk will tell you that it’s a bill passed by Congress in 2000 that a) removes all elected officials from office, b) declares “peace” in Iraq (funny, considering it was supposed to have been passed years before we went into Iraq), c) zeroes all credit card balances, d) reinstates the gold standard, and e) abolishes income taxes.

… sure.

Listen, I know I say a lot about the political right but I’m not above admitting that there are some loonies on the left. And this is a bad thing because, as I kept pointing out to Vicky, politics is perception. Loonies on the left make the left look loony. One of the weaknesses of diversity is that you’re going to have some loonies. It’s a pickle.

Thankfully, though, we were there for a good cause aside from the loonies. The march began a little late but when it did it was like a wave of humanity. Over a thousand people, from what we could see, moved cheerfully and inevitably down Hollywood Boulevard, chanting slogans of peace. The sun was not being friendly; we were happy whenever we hit some shade. People watched us from windows and balconies. Some waved homemade signs showing support. Some crowds gathered at street corners. And through it all the police, like a motorcade on bicycles, followed alongside. There wasn’t a single problem.

Well, there was one. When we turned down Wilcox Avenue, the sun was hitting us right in the face. Vicky, my pragmatic wife, simply held her sign a little lower and used it as shade. I knew there was a reason why I married her.

The march ended at a rally where we saw a few people speak. (And I got to meet and shake hands with Mike Farrell!) (I’m a MASH geek.) But the weariness from not sleeping, on top of that from the walk and the heat, killed my interest. I was tired and hungry… and Vicky sat down to watch the speakers…

So, I waited.

After a while, she said she might need to find a bathroom. I said, “Let’s go!” and dashed her off. Probably not what she was expecting.

And off we went (eventually) to Cold Stone. (I’m horrible.)

It was an interesting day. Educational, definitely. And it was nice to be a part of it and know that, when my kid asks what we did during the war, I can say more than, “Looked for a job.”

A footnote to this story.

I’m always interested to see how things get handled in the press and I’m never disappointed by their incompetence. This website has a story about it with the headline, “Protesters March on CNN for Pro-War Coverage”.

… not quite.

We were protesters. We did march. We did end up in front of the CNN building and we did hold a rally there.

But Pro-War coverage was the last thing we wanted. I’d say there’s been enough Pro-War coverage. In fact, it’s pretty much all we get!

Ugh. Let’s just hope I don’t find a story saying we were marching for WAR!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stay the course?...

A course is a course, of course... of course...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Limbaugh's Attack on Fox...

Another Keith Olberman clip displaying just what the right is about, more and more.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Keith Olberman: The GOP Terror Card

This is what the GOP is doing. These are the people you have helped put in power with your silence. It's time to wake up.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Pompeii of sorts…

Cedar Crest?

Yes, Camp Cedar Crest was the name. I went there when I was eleven years old and it was a pivotal event in my life because –

And how did this come up, exactly?

Well, I was working on the new book and I reached a point where I wanted to mention an event from that time but –

You remembered the picture?

Yes, the picture. It was a group picture, taken on the last day there and I felt I wanted to see it again to see what feelings it would bring up.

How would you find such a picture?

I have it.

You have it?

Yes. It’s in my chest. The chest is pretty large, in my garage, and filled with all sorts of – well, you see, I’d filled it up with all sorts of memories from my first eighteen years: high school memories, plays, all sorts of things.

But you didn’t just find the picture, did you? What else did you find?

Oh, letters. Scripts I’d written. Clippings.


And what?

What about the tapes? Tell me about the tapes.

Yes, well, there were fifteen cassette tapes in there as well. I only remembered putting one tape in there, so I had no idea what was on the rest.

What were you expecting?

The one tape I did remember was filled with… well…

Say it.

Well, my friends and I, back when I was very young, we’d record skits on cassette tapes. Back then, it was the equivalent to what you see kids doing on YouTube or MySpace these days.

And you listened to one?

Yes. I listened to the first one today.

What was on it?

I really don’t –


Okay… but Tim’s gonna kill me.

Go on.

Tim Murphy and I had made a tape back in 1982 or so. It was filled with sketches and skits that we thought up on the fly. The thirty minute tape took about thirty minutes to record.

You performed your own version of Bob & Doug McKenzie, didn’t you?

Yes. With drug humor.

The Great White North on drugs… interesting… what else?

Oh… other –

There was a Richard Nixon impression, wasn’t there?

… only a little.

Hosting his own daytime talk show?

… well…

Singing Donna Summer?

I’m so humiliated.

And this led you to writing books and plays, did it?

Actually – and I probably shouldn’t say this – but Tim was the funnier of the two of us. I was just aping what I’d seen in TV and movies. Tim was coming up with original shit that was pretty damned funny.

I see… yes, this is good. I think we’re making progress.

You’re not going to post this on my blog, are you?

Of course, not. Your secret’s safe with me.

Tan. Tan. The racist man…

Some people wonder how the Republicans use their dirty tricks to keep people from the polls.

Here’s a way. (You should read this.)

This jerk won’t even own up to his guilt. After intimidating immigrants (not just illegals!), he says, “There has been no crime committed, so why is there a criminal investigation three weeks prior to a very important election?” Gee… I wonder…

And I wonder how anyone can vote for such scum.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another view...

Brainstorm is a blog that's usually not about politics - but the author like this author has had enough.

You're saying that the Bush Administration was warned about bin Laden two months before 9/11, and then again in the presidential daily briefing one month before 9/11, but they did nothing, or chose to do nothing, and you're saying that Habeas Corpus has just been eliminated with some crazy back-dating legislation designed to protect the Administration from War Crimes trials should the Democrats get enough votes in the midterm elections to gain enough seats in Congress to be able to hold hearings and expose all the crap the Bush Administration has been up to since Bush was inaugurated in January 2001, at which time, by the way, he told the American people, indeed, he declared to the world, that he solemnly swore to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States" but has done just the opposite since that time, and wait, you're saying that the White House's own website search tool yields 758 results containing the phrase "protect the American people" but that there is only a single, as in one, as in uno, search result at the White House's website for the phrase "protect the Constitution" and it isn't from any important government report or document and it is not from a quote from Bush or other Administration bigwig but rather is a comment from one Rachael Brand, Assistant Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice, who participated in the "Ask the White House" Q&A session in March 2006, where she says "we take seriously our oath to protect the constitution" in the same sentence she proudly touts the anti-Constitutional USA PATRIOT Act's renewal by Congress, and wait, you're saying that the entire Iraq war is a sham, planned for years by the perps at Project for the New American Century, and that the Bush Administration has been lying about the reasons for this stupid, utterly wrong, and unbelievably expensive war since the beginning, and wait, you're saying that companies friendly to the Bush Administration are experiencing record profits, many directly as a result of the Iraq war, and you're saying that if when Republicans say something, they're projecting and if what they say is a verbal attack, it should be interpreted as an attack on themselves, and that they and the talk-radio flaks on their payroll use this technique day in and day out as a kind of Jedi mind trick and that instead of the media calling them on it day in and day out, the media is fooled by it, or chooses to accept it, day in and day out because the media has sold out to the Republicans, and wait, you're saying that the Republicans are now pushing a bill that would create a loophole in the First Amendment of the Constitution that keeps church and state separate, so that they could make it easier for the establishment of, well, let's face it, a state church, and wait, you're saying that there are Republican members of Congress who say one thing but do the exact opposite, like, tout "family values" over and over again but prove over and over again through their actions which they try desperately to hide but once in a while get found out, that they wouldn't know a family value if it hit them over the head, and wait, you're saying that if it's a war on drugs, why aren't tobacco and alcohol also targets of that war because after all, they are drugs too, so like, either ban the whole lot of them, or legalize the whole lot of them, but to do anything in between is hypocritical, and wait, you're saying that GM killed its electric car program and even went so far as to destroy thousands of electric cars it had leased to customers, and then pushed to get Congress to enact laws that would make it possible to get a tax deduction on Hummers precisely because they're hulking gas-guzzling trucks, and wait, you're saying the heads of the two companies that make almost all the election voting machines in the U.S. are run by loyal Republicans and that there are myriad irregularities in the past two elections in states across the country, and that these same companies make other devices such as ATMs and Vegas slot machines and that those devices undergo rigorous security checks, tests, and verifications, but the voting machines for some strange reason lack any such safeguards from fraud, and wait, you're saying that the United States is experiencing the most dangerous media consolidation in its history, preventing there being a broadly-informed public, and causing instead there to be a widely-ignorant public served daily with inane "reality" programs that are the furthest thing from reality, and wait, you're saying that the Bush Administration is counting the American public to believe in fear, and that only Bush can protect the people, and that they're claiming that any effort to rid the country of the stranglehold that the Republicans have not only on the three branches of government but on the very Constitution itself should be perceived as unpatriotic, and wait, you're saying that gas prices are conveniently coming down just before one of the most critical elections in U.S. history, at a time when more and more people are beginning to wake up and smell what the Republicans have been shoveling at the American public for decades, and wait, you're saying that the Bush Administration is wiretapping American citizens without any warrant or court order, and imprisoning thousands of people worldwide in secret prisons without any legal representation, due process, or the slightest semblance of justice, and at the same time, pushing for the "reinterpretation" of the Geneva Conventions and the promotion of torture, and wait, you're saying that the Bush Administration puts pro-business, anti-environment people in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency and has done little to actually protect the environment, and wait, you're saying that the Bush Administration is anti-science because to accept factual data and measurements from direct observation would rattle the faith-based electoral base who continue to ignorantly believe the president is a "good man", and that there is widespread corruption inside the Bush Administration regarding the scientific advisory process, and that any fact or finding that might conflict with or otherwise jeopardize the Bush Administration's real motives must be hidden, falsified, or otherwise ignored so that they can "stay the course"?

Is that what you said?

So, like, if even one fortieth of that is true, and I suspect more than one fortieth of that is true, then why would anyone with at least one functioning neuron in their brain even consider actually voting for a single Republican candidate or Republican-pushed initiative in November?

Friday, October 20, 2006

From Jenn - Your Habeas is in my Corpus...

Jenn wrote the following entry in her blog today and I thought it might be helpful to share it with you.

Okay, okay. I hear ya. Loud and clear. But Please please please, understand, I am not a politically insightful person, by nature. Only when something is so blaringly, obviously wrong, will I pick up my torch and get my couch potato butt off the political denial couch. I am, sadly, one of those Americans, who are so tired and fed up with all things political, that I bury my head in the sand and just wait, hope and pray for the day we get a true leader in our white house. And I don't care if they are democrat or republican. I just want someone to stand up to the world and LEAD.

But now, it seems, I am, in affect, defenseless. I learned something today. I learned about Habeas Corpus. And I learned that we as American’s no longer have a right that was give us many hundreds of years ago. This change in our society and the comments I’m going to make transcends past your political circle. It shouldn’t matter if your democrat or republican, because right now, you can be put in jail for no reason and you do not have the right to object to your imprisonment. Heck, you can be put in jail for just being a democrat or a republican.

What is this habeas corpus? Did I learn about it in school and just purge the memory because I figured there’s no way that THAT freedom would be taken from me?

Literally, in Latin: “you [should] have the body"

A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate. In a nut shell, it allows an individual who has been imprisoned to request a court hearing in objection to being detained and to determine whether or not that person is in prison lawfully. The prisoner gets an opportunity to find out why they are being held, and then prove why they should not be held. That right – gone! The bill simply removes a suspect’s right to challenge his detention in court.

I sat and watched President Bush, smugly sign an act that wipes out all our safety nets that were in place to stop illegal imprisonment. This bill is designed to make you believe that its about seeking and detaining “enemy combatants”. Where as, what it appears to do is allow anyone of us to be detained and tortured without proving that we may be the enemy. It provides a power that should be frightening to all Americans (republicans or democrats alike).

Now as I stated, I am not a political rough rouser…never claimed to be, and likely never will never be. But this is a scary time in our society. Does anyone believe for one minute that this bill isn’t going to be used to CYA in the event that “tortured” prisoners should rear their heads again?

Ken has been writing about this for a couple of days now. I sloughed off his emails and blogs and put him in a category of paranoid. And yet, this idea of losing habeas corpus has been lingering in the back of my mind. What was all this hoolala about anyhow? So I decided to be educated, at least a little, and read about his right we no longer have. And now, I think paranoia is the least of our worries.

This bill tosses aside all legal and moral restraints as the president deems it necessary – these are the fundamental principles of basic decency, as well as law. The constitution as we know it, and as we respect it and live by it, seems to be crumbling at our feet.

I'm curious as to your thoughts on this.

So I leave you with this, Keith Oberman stated in a special report yesterday, “Good night, and good luck.”

Habeas Corpus was put into an Act in 1679. Read it. Learn some history. I’ve been told those who don’t understand history are bound to repeat it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Keith Olberman Comments on Habeas Corpus...

This is required viewing for ALL Americans.

Not nearly the news…

So, I’m at the gym this morning and I had to constantly remind myself to look away from the Wall of TVs. For those of you who’ve never been to the gym – and I think this includes all gyms – there’s this Wall of TVs tuned to all sorts of stations (Fox, CNN, Fox, NBC, Fox) because someone decided you can’t walk without a TV in front of you.

And here’s what I saw:

Fox. In the midst of a story about how liberals are so afraid of the suspension of Habeas Corpus, the anchors began making jokes and laughing about it. That’s how far we’ve thrown objectivity in the name of a little so-called entertainment. I don’t think any definition of objectivity should include laughing.

CNN. Not much better here. They were using The National Enquirer as a source of one of their stories, actually showing the printed pages on the screen. Now there’s a source I can trust.

Meanwhile, the most reliable thing on local news has become the weather forecast. Insert your own joke here.

I normally stay far away from TV news but, before that Wall of TVs, it’s not hard to remember exactly why.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I’m terrified tonight…

I’m terrified tonight at the thought that now, anyone I know, my brother, my father-in-law, my wife, my friends – anyone – can be removed from their homes in the most legal fashion. They can be put into a secret prison far away without ever being told why, without being afforded the most basic human rights, without being accused of anything, without being given a chance to defend themselves in the most legal fashion. The can be beaten and tortured in the most disgusting ways even I cannot imagine until they are physically mutilated, even until they reach organ failure, in the most legal fashion. They can disappear for good and no one would ever know why in the most legal fashion.

I’m terrified tonight because Bush and his people have been doing this for years and now it is all legal. Bush has made Habeas Corpus, one of the foundations of our freedoms dating back to the Magna Carta, illegal and thereby has made the Bill of Rights (with the possible exception of the third amendment) null and void. American citizens have been denied their most basic rights: the right to free speech, the right to spiritual belief, etc. And it’s all legal.

I’m terrified tonight because nobody gives a shit. They’re all too busy watching reality television or seeing yet another movie about World War II. They have wrapped themselves up in nostalgia for World War II, a war in which we were the “good guys”, ignoring the fact that we now engage in the same methods of torture and restriction of human rights on our own citizens that the Nazis engaged in. This is our country and nobody seems to care.

That has me terrified. And yet, people will stand up for this horror that is the Bush Administration and the Republican party. They will say, “Ah, well, they’re all crooks,” ignoring the fact that no Democrat has ever suspended Habeas Corpus. (And, no, I’m not a Democrat.) They will say, “It had to be done to stop the terrorists,” ignoring the fact that we were told that the terrorists were Arabs, which is why we so maliciously and so wrongly went to war in the first place. Worse, they’ll say, “Then, you’d better watch what you say.” And it’s getting to that.

Most people, I’m afraid, will think that this didn’t really happen or that it’s not important, because we Americans have grown soft and complacent and just don’t give a shit. That’s what scares me most.
Bush Dissolves The U.S. Constitution Today

We should all hide our heads in shame.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

When is enough enough?…

So do you think Bush has had enough, yet?

Has he had enough of violating the Constitution? After retracting Habeas Corpus several weeks ago, he signed another bill yesterday that allows prisoners to be put to death for confessions beaten out of them – not prisons of war, all prisoners. Americans. He says he does this to stop "the terrorists" and, yet, those it harms the most are the people he has sworn to protect. The people he hates so much in the country he hates so much. Has he had enough of that? Probably not.

Has he had enough of killing innocent women and children? Recently, the number of civilian dead in Iraq was released and was tallied at over 600,000 lives. Iraq played no part in 9/11 and, yet, Bush insists on killing these people. Are over half a million innocent people enough? Probably not.

Is this the America you were raised to love? A country that kills the innocent, both at home and abroad? Is that what you love about our country?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Happy Birthday to…

It seems all of my best friends (excluding Vicky) have birthdays in October.

Tim Murphy.

You know how you keep meaning to call? Well, I kept meaning to send you a card or something. But I’m a retard, so…

Murphy’s been going through a bit of shit lately and, to top it off, he’s older than me. Just think how much it must suck to be older than me! (Luv ya!)

Sean Deyo.

We had a little poker game at the house on Saturday night and I made sure we put a little extra effort into it since it was Sean’s birthday and he didn’t have anyone to celebrate with. But since Sean’s wife died, he’s decided he can be as rude as he pleases so… well, he was kind of a twerp. He even insulted Paula, who made a cake for us!

Now, next time I see him, I gotta tell him, “Dude. You’re being kind of a dick.”

Good Times.

Tim Clostio.

Clostio has decided to take himself out of my life, at least for a while. He chose his friend Booze over his friend Ken. I’m disappointed and I’m hurt.


Yep. Today’s the day. I’m out of work and I’m a year older. 41. (That’s like 287 in dog years.) In addition, Vicky snuck up behind me last night and surprised me, little knowing (hell, no one could have told her) that a little startle would spasm my back so bad that I would collapse on the living room floor, unable to get up.

(I just got up a few minutes ago and am loving my birthday so far.)

Happy Birthday, kids!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Wait… Watch who?…

I’m a little gayer this morning.

No, not happier. Gayer.

I can feel the testosterone leeched from my system. I need a lap dance – stat! (um... from a woman...)

Yes, I went to my first Weight Watcher’s meeting this morning. Yes. Weight Watchers.

So, here’s the thing, I told Vicky a couple of months ago that if she needed my support in losing weight, if she needed me to be there for her, I would! Heck, I’d even join Weight Watchers with her!

… I didn’t expect her to take me up on it.

Well, she did. This morning, we traveled on down to the WW office and… it was like Jonestown (but with single-point snacks instead of Kool-Aide) or buying a Saturn (basically the same thing) (and they clap there, too)! The meeting consisted of about 30 large people in a rather small room with one very skinny woman in front of us all… telling everyone what a good job they were doing!

… Um…. Fat people… Thin lady… I don’t think “good job” is 100% accurate…

There were only three other guys there. And I realized that what we really needed was WW FOR MEN. I mean, these women clapped after every sentence! “I drank more water this week!” Clap clap clap! “I had more fruit!” Clap clap clap! If this was a guy’s meeting, I’m sure it would be observed, “Yeah, but you’re still a fatass, huh?!”

All those chubby women (my lovely bride excluded) and all that clapping and all that excitement and all that working together for a goal… if it was any gayer, we would have been sucking cock. I grabbed Vicky’s boob on the way out, just to remind myself I was still straight.

Anyway, it has begun and, well, we’ll see. I’m just doing this to support my wife… and for the fabulous food! (shit!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Baby – Baby Not…

So, I’m guessing that the minute you heard – or read – I lost my job you realized that we wouldn’t be working quite so hard to have a baby. Didn’t you? And by “wouldn’t be working quite so hard”, I mean not at all. I mean, we have become baby-phobes. Any sign of babyness – we don’t even buy those small corns… corn… corns… whatever.

I’ve been out of work now for two months. Eight weeks. A whole lot of days. I’ve driving myself nuts and taking Vicky on the ride as well.

And what once was this joyous thing, the pursuit of insemination, has now turned into something we’d rather not talk about… write about is a different story. The whole thing is really starting to piss me off, to tell the truth.

Anyway, in case you were wondering, we still want one. I can imagine us not leaving the bedroom for a full 48 hours after I get a job offer.

Wouldn’t mind that job offer…. oh…. any time now…

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Keith Olberman: Habeas Corpus

We can only hope this doesn't make it past the Supreme Court but with Shrub loading the Court, that's probably a moot point.

Ebony and Irony…

(What can I say? It makes a good title.)

“So, here’s the thing. Let’s not let that happen to us, okay?” I said and leaned in and kissed my bride.

I’ve been watching our Mad About You DVDs lately. I love that show. I actually was afraid I wouldn’t be able to watch it because it was a show Rosa and I watched religiously back in the day and I thought… but no, I’m fine. I’m loving it, which is great.

But here’s the thing: the finale to the fourth season ends with the two main characters, husband and wife, nearly splitting up because (amongst other reasons) she kissed someone. I sat there watching it and felt an oyster spoon gutting me – the two didn’t split up, though. They made it.

I remembered Rosa and I watching it. I remembered us saying, “That will never happen to us.”

I remembered kissing Cindy. I remembered my marriage ending.

And I bawled my eyes out.

So, when Vicky came home, I said, “Can I talk to you for a second?” And I told her the whole story. “So, here’s the thing. Let’s not let that happen to us okay?” And we kissed on it. Then, I added, “Not that I’m out there kissing anyone or anything – not that I’ve thought about it.”

I just couldn’t take losing Vicky. That would be very bad.

So, here it is. Nearly two in the morning. And I’m wide awake. I’ve been watching the DVDs and I got to the final episode.

Should I tell you that they two characters have split up at the end? No, I shouldn’t spoil the surprise… if there is any.

I couldn’t get even a minute into it. I felt that old, familiar tearing feeling inside that I felt when I lost Rosa. This time, though, I also thought about Vicky and what it would feel like to lose her.

I don’t think I could take it. Even thinking about it has me in tears… very annoying, by the way, considering how we’re just fine right now. It would be very bad.

So, Vicky. Honey. If you’re reading this, can I just say, because I don’t want to wake you up, let’s not let that happen to us, okay?


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Enough to make my brain want to slit its writsts...

I'm going to tell you something I saw today and you're not going to believe me. You're not going to believe me but I have to tell you. I have to.

It was that bad.

I was watching a commercial for the Toyota Scion today... it was a cartoon...

And a caption read, "Animated sequence - Not a real car".

... What the hell?

Houston, we have a premise...

Work on the new book is progressing... slowly...

I thought I'd include a clip for you in case anyone wasn't quite sure about the premise. In short, it's "Ken goes off to do another silly thing". In long, it's...

“What’s the book you want to write?”
Now, I put down her hand and rose from the bed. Though our condominium is small, the master bedroom is large. And I like that because it gives me room to move. And I needed room to move. I moved to the other side of the room and looked at her in the dark. “One that probably nobody is ever going to want to read.”
She was silent.
“What do you think?” I asked her.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. What do you mean by that? I’m no writer. It doesn’t make sense. How do you know nobody’s going to want to read it?”
“I know.”
“How do you know?”
“I know.”
“What’s it about?”
The result was expected. Silence. Every time I thought of the book being on the shelf in a bookstore, that’s the same response I projected.
“What about success?”
“What do you mean?”
“Who’s success? What kind of story?”
“No. No story. Just – success.”
“I don’t get it.”
“That’s just it. I don’t think anyone will. But think about it, hon. We go through our lives expecting to be successful or having people tell us we should be successful, trying to be successful, working our asses off to be successful – and, in the end, I don’t even know what that means. Sean doesn’t know what that means. Tim’s too drunk to know what that means. Do you know what that means?”
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“No,” she said, sitting up. “What I mean is, I don’t know how you plan to write about book about this. If you plan to write a book about how to be a success -”
“No,” I told her. “It’s not how.” I thought for a moment. “It’s not even why. I mean, it’s not about how to be a success or why people are successful it’s… I can’t explain it. And I thought I could. I’ve been spending my whole day thinking about this. But anyone can say they have the answer and charge you hundreds of dollars on books and seminars on how to become a success. I mean, that’s a good way to become a success, you know?”
She smiled an odd smile. “But that’s not what you’re writing about.”
“No,” I said. Then, I found the word. “What. What is success?”
“What is success?”
“Yes. That’s what the book is going to be about.”
“You’re going to tell people how to be successful?”
“No. Not how. What.”
“You’re going to tell people what success is.” She was dubious.
“Right. That’s what I want to write about.”
“Honey, everybody knows what success is.”
“What is it?”
“Well, it depends on the person.”
“Such as?”
“It could be a lot of things.” She listed, “It could be having a lot of money. It could be having a big family. It could be having a nice home.”
“So, success could be having things.”
“It could be more than that. It could be reaching some state of enlightenment or driving cross-country.”
“Right,” I answered, nodding. “I see.”
Vicky had known me a while, though. She didn’t believe me. “Maybe I’m just not getting what you want to write about.”
Then, I looked at her. “What’s a ball?”
“Excuse me?”
“Define a ball for me.”
“Well, it could be a lot of things, right? It could be something used in basketball. It could be something used in football. It could be a place where a lot of well-dressed people gather to dance.”
She interrupted my stream of thought. “What’s your point?”

“That’s the thing. A ball could be a lot of things but that’s not what it is. Success could be a lot of things. I want to know what success is.”

Monday, October 09, 2006

Of course…

Here’s a story about how I was offered a job.

It pains me to tell it.

I’ve been going to a lot of interviews lately. A lot of good ones. Some decent ones.

… on Friday, I went to the interview from HELL.

I go in and meet with this woman who asks questions like, “And why do you think you can write?” or “Don’t you belong in someplace like Irvine?” Why do I think? Don’t I belong? These are antagonizing questions. But I try to spin them back at her with as much tact and salesmanshipiness as possible. Then, I get my chance to ask questions.

“How many people do you have in your department?”

“I have one person below me.”


“Yes.” The one person was the other writer on staff.

I took a breath. “But I thought you were the Director of Product Management.”


“Aren’t there any Product Managers?”

“Of course, there are. There are lots of them. And there are people who interact with sales – Business Analysts – we have a whole lot of them, too.”

… But only one person is beneath her.

Then, I meet with the writer on staff. She tells me that woman was “our boss but that changes from day to day.”

“Excuse me?”

“Well, we” and she uses “we” though she’s the only writer – “we like to think of ourselves as employees of the entire company. So, whenever anyone gives us work, they’re our boss that day.”

“That day?”

“Or for however long it takes to do the job.”

“So, you could have multiple bosses in one day?”

“Oh, yeah. That happens all the time.”

Check, please!

Then, she starts telling me about the documents she works on, and some of them are legal documents. I ask, “Do you have your legal department create the templates for them?”

“Oh, no,” she replies. “We don’t have a legal department. We do these ourselves.”

Recipe for disaster.

And, yep… they’re offering me a job.

“The thing is,” I tell the recruiter, “I was talking with one of your writers and she told me that the writers are responsible for all the legal documents and that there’s no legal department.”

“No. No.” he insists. “She’s got it all wrong. We have a legal department. The president’s wife is a lawyer.”

And this is all well calculated to make me feel better.

So, I figure I’d try and Google the company and find something good about them on the Internet(s)… well…in the past year… they cheated their employees out of benefits and they promised raises they never deliver and they promised starting employees a certain wage and then change that number after the person starts and they provided lousy customer service because they tried to get people off the phones instead of providing excellent customer – OKAY! ENOUGH! I GIVE!

But do you realize how much I’m going to regret not taking this job if I don’t find one in the next few months? After all, even the shittiest job is still a job, ya know?

Just my fucking luck…

Saturday, October 07, 2006


As much as I loath the media ghouls who follow the grieving, I find it comforting to know that there are still those in our country who try to retain their humanity. Being exposed to the blood suckers who favor wars of agression and torture for our nation's future (and present) can tend to jade someone. Any sign of hope for peace, kindness, and humility bring a smile to this atheist, pinko, subversive's face.

Friday, October 06, 2006

16 Words...

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
- from George W. Bush's State of the Union Address, January 2003
Ketih Olbermann: Special Comment About Lying Part 2
Keith Olbermann: Special Comment About Lying Part 1

I Hate Texas Chainsaw Massacre…

I said it.

They heard it.

It’s all my fault.

Sure, the original was a classic. Back in the 70’s, we hadn’t seen too many movies about stupid kids being trapped in a stupid house (or similar structure) and killed by stupid homicidal maniacs. It was still relatively new/not completely overdone.

But then, the sequel… and the sequel to the sequel… and the sequel’s sequel to the sequel… and…

They were all the same! All of them! Stupid family. Stupid kids. Stupid lines. Stupid directing.

And I said, “NO! No more! I’m sick of it! I hate Texas Chainsaw Massacre!”

And… it seemed to help. For a while… for a little while… it seemed to stop. For several years, movies almost exactly like it were made – distant cousins slaughtering sex-crazed teens in a warehouse – but not EXACTLY the same!

Then… the horror. They remade the movie! And it was even worse than the original! Now, the kids were obviously retarded. The killers were more inbred than most scientologists (thought I was going with a southern state, didn’t you?). The deaths were all so obviously escapable!!!

When will they stop making this fucking movie???

But, at least, now it seems there’s a slight reprieve. They’ve done every sequel they can. They’ve remade the damned thing. They’ve made it as many times as possible… right? I mean, what else can they do? Where else can they go with it?

How else can they film exactly the same story and insult our intelligence in
exactly the same way?

What are they going to do?

Make a prequel???

(Ssssssshhhhhh! Quiet Ken! Don’t say it out loud! It might come……. true….)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Success 5k...

For those of you following my search for the meaning of success, following the progress on my new book, I'm happen to report that I've reached the 5,000 word mark. A pittance, I know. I expect a great deal more out of myself.

But keep in mind that this isn't just some romantic comedy I'm writing. I've been assembling a mountain of research and every bit takes me down some new direction. Outside of the many pages of information from the Internet(s), I've found that I'm going to need to read some of those "book" things you hear so much about. I've settled on three:

Essential Tibetan Buddhism by Robert Thurman. Religion is very important to our idea of success and eastern philosophy differs greatly from western. I plan to present some Biblical references but those are all fairly obvious and simple. Eastern thought is filled with a variety of pitfalls and this book should help shore up my minimal knowledge on that topic. I've already started reading this book and can feel the bruises on my brain.

Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. This one's the big boy, the real pain in the ass. As a philosophy major (and I plan to finish my degree one day, honest), I knew I'd be faced with this book sooner or later. I was kind of hoping it would be later. Aristotle had a lot to say on the subject of success and this book should help me feret out some of the complexities in that.

Maslow's book on Self-Actualization. Can you guess I haven't bought this one, yet? Well, he wrote a few and I'm having a hard time tracking one down cheap. I've already hit a few used book stores and I'm contemplating driving up to LA to continue my search. We'll see. The connection between Maslow's Heirachy of Needs, Kundalini Yoga, and success is palpable and only a small part of what I intent to bring to this book.

So, 5,000 words. The frightening part is that I have only - just now - mentioned success. The rest has been setting up the back story, packing up the car for the journey.

Now, it actually gets difficult.

Those who live in glass houses…

… shouldn’t try to molest children.

Or, at least, Mark Foley shouldn’t…

I originally wasn’t going to comment on the folly of Foley, that’s why it’s taken so long to get around to it. Then, I realized that the sad truth is, as always, the arrogance of his Republican counterparts.

What will a Republican do to deny culpability? Any answer will do.

Keep in mind that this is the same bunch who tried to burn Clinton at the stake for having sex with a consenting adult woman! Having sex with a consenting adult woman, it seems, it the most heinous sin. Molesting children on the other hand…

And so it began with excuse after excuse. First, he was a pedophile because he was an alcoholic. Then, he was a pedophile because he was gay. Neither of which are reasons to become a pedophile. The only reason to become a pedophile, it would appear is…

… the Democrats are responsible!!!

… No. That’s not right.

But that’s Dennis Hastert and Rush (“Let’s fly to South America and do it with enslaved, child prostitutes!”) Limbaugh assert. It’s all the Dem’s fault!

And Matt Drudge has an even better excuse: It’s the children’s fault! That’s right! They were asking for it! With their tight pants and their little packages and…

… mother fuckers.

The next time these bastards try to pass themselves off as the party of “morality”, can someone please shit in their face?

Let’s face it. There’s no level to which these evil sons of bitches won’t stoop. Start a war against a nation who did nothing to harm us? Sure. Hand over our nation’s financial reserves to the top 1%, including the major oil companies? Okay. Torture, steal, illegally imprison? Why not?

This is your nation going to hell. Hope you’re enjoying the view.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Countdown: NY Post...

More from Keith Olberman and a fine example of why I believe defeating the neo-cons is more than just a "difference of opinion".
What did Bush Do?...

I'm going to try to post more clips from Olberman - one of the finest journalists in recent memory. Of course, most Republicans can weather the facts with cold, indifferent, prideful ignorance but I prefer the truth.
(WWJT) Who Would Jesus Torture?

Otherwise known as "With Shrub you get torture... and eggroll..."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yahoo... stupid...

Amateurs… fucking amateurs…

As a writer, I get a bit peeved at dogshit that tries to pass itself along as writing. As an out of work writer… well… it pisses me off.

Take, for instance, this recent article on Yahoo. “Big Bang Busters” the teaser heading read. Big Bang Busters? Well, wouldn’t that mean that someone busted the Big Bang theory – the most widely agreed-upon theory in cosmology (the one right-wing nutjobs are so afraid of… no, not evolution, the other one) – yes, that’s what such a heading would mean.

… No. When you click it, you find out that the article is about scientists who have helped substantiate that theory even more. Not Bust. Substantiate.


(I know this isn’t totally fair. Competency is sadly lacking is most journalistic avenues these days… But I’ll start with Yahoo!)