Friday, January 2, 2009

On Facebook Advertising

So, facebook is supposed to be pretty good at datamining your comments, and likes and dislikes and all the stuff you reveal about yourself here and transforming it into laser-focused advertising. And this makes me wonder what exactly it is that I have revealed about myself that brings on the strange adds to the side.

First - It cycles through a collection of How To Meet Women and Desperate For A Date? Try a Hooker ads. Yes, I am single. But only recently so. My last relationship lasted ten years. I do okay on the relationship side. Have I revealed myself to be desperate? Outside of the tears I've shed and the wounds on my knees from the hours, days, nights of prayer to God to please, please, PLEASE, Jesus bring a woman, any woman - think these adds are unneeded.

Second - Grooming. This must be related to the getting girls adds, because facebook is convinced that I need to spend more time shaving my chest and working on the awesome infestation of clinical levels of acne that has become my face. I do not have acne and I am a man. I don't shave my chest. I go bear style.

Third - Austin Luxury Homes. Thanks for the compliment.

A lot of sites, but not this one, are also convinced I am in need of female attention, but for whatever reason they believe I am either Indian or muslim. I get a lot of links to Islamic and Indian women dating sites.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The New Year

If I glance over this blog I notice that I get to posting about every six months or so. This must coincide with those moments of extreme boredom. I'd love to have a more regular thing going, but I am frankly not that interesting of a person. Or, at least, I don't recognize all the amazing and interesting things that occur to me through the course of a typical day. Either way, I don't post much. So when I get back ti this, there is this weird time-distortion affect where the person that last posted (which is me) is somebody entirely different than who I am now. This is probably neither good nor bad, but it is oddly disconcerting. For instance, two posts and six months ago, I list a series of goals. And for the most part, I have accomplished all of them. Not so much because I focused on them - I got involved in school and that took over all available neural pathways - but because my place in life has changed so dramatically. Back then I was married (ten year anniversary!), trying to convince myself to choose a degree and stick with it, and worried about such trivial things as my drinking. Now I am in the middle of a divorce, solidly involved in the computer science department at my university (I teach now), and alcohol free with such ease I wonder why I ever worried about it in the first place.

One of the most awesome, infuriating, freeing, chaotic facts of life is that no matter who you are or claim to be, you cannot predict what the future will be. lay all the plans you want, and in an instance it can all be wiped away and replaced with horrors/delights the nature of which you could never have predicted. While I think we can stack the odds one way or the other, and that "luck" is largely a side-affect of our approach to life, ultimately we are subject to the whims of the fates. Whatever those may be.

With that in mind, rather than present a list of goals, I would like to present a list of events and "things" I desires for myself in the future, should they come to pass, based on my limited understanding of life as it is based on the experiences I have collected so far.

1. I would like to graduate college within the next year and a half and enter some kind of employment situation both pleasurable and profitable. Yes, I understand this is as vague as any prediction made by any psychic, given the paths I've taken in life, it's shooting for the stars.

2. I would like to meet someone.

3. I would like to become involved in a project or research or "movement" of some sort where I can feel like a participant in something larger than myself and my limited scope of existence.

I don't know what else to add. I am taking 17 credits this next semester. The same amount I took last semester. And I am teaching. And while I am sure this will absorb a terrible amount of my time, I may still end up with the odd free moments. Given that half the week I have no wife or children, and given the odd way in which I approach studying, I may have very little to do. This could open the door for #3. Perhaps I could become an active participant in the skeptical movement, instead of the cheerleader I currently am.

Edit: #4 - I would like to go to The Amaz!ng Meeting 7 this year.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today, Yesterday

Well, I set the alarm for 5:00AM. Woke up at 5:00AM, and went back to sleep at 5:00AM. This 5:00AM thing is very difficult for me. Even at my healthiest, most on top of it, 5:00AM eluded me.

Today was supposed to be an upper body day and yesterday a running day. But I didn't run yesterday. Instead I did a lot of packing, and moved a bunch of the larger items. Couch, beds, tables and so on. And by 1:00 I was in pain. By the evening I wasn't moving. Having woken up this morning, I am beat up and down and don't think I'll do my upper body. I'll do some HIIT in the morning and continue moving for the rest of the day.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


I need to establish some firm long and short term goals. I need to do this, because without goals and without direction I can make no progress. While my family has made progress recently (my wife has graduated college and begun her career as an RN in the emergency dept), this was the result of an unwritten but very really and focused goal: get my wife through school. And other than a nebulous "get myself through school" focus, one so loose and flimsy that I still haven't figured out what my major is, I am focus-free. This is not good.

I find goal making difficult, because I often don't know what I want. Not in any concrete sense. I know I want what everyone wants: comfort and happiness. Hard to work towards that because they aren't real things. They are the side product of a mindset. You are comfortable and happy because of who you are, not where you are (barring actual world tragedies).

Personal Goals:

1.) Get back in shape. I'm not terribly out of shape, but I'm not where I used to
be. I am heavier, slower, and drunker.

I must
- Drink in moderation and rarely. When I drink, I drink too much. When I cut off all drinking, I freak out and binge. I must drink less and less often, leaving open the door for the very occasional drink
- Run four days a week. Three is too few, and five or more I have experienced becomes a burden. Four days a week. Hopefully at a 30+ mile weekly load, but we'll see what happens. I'll keep this open so that if I train for an event (like another marathon), I run more and focus on that.
- Strength train three days a week. This is on the off days. Two upper body, one lower, all body weight exercises and all honest efforts.
- Eat normal, home prepared food that is healthy, heavy on the vegetables, and no more than 1800kcal on heavy days and 1400kcal on light days. I've found this works best for me.
- Get up at 5:00AM everyday of the week. This allows me to run in any weather, and keeps me from partying the night before. If I need more sleep on somedays, I can go to bed earlier or take a nap.

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* my weight is back under 165lbs.
* one beer wastes me
* I am in size 32 or smaller jeans
**This is a lifestyle change goal and not a one moment event. It continues and must always be worked on**

2.) Become a calmer, more pleasant person. I am far too abrasive and far too easily stressed. I believe these are linked. I would like to be a much calmer individual, easier going, smilier (?), and just generally a more pleasant husband and father.

I must:
- Be quick to praise and slow to criticize.
- Add to conversations, not to arguments.
- More positive conversation, less negative
- Save the fantastic wit and sarcasm for more appropriate (rare) situations. Like writing.
- Actively choose to be more patient. With people and events.
- Learn to recognize what is and isn't important.
- Work with people, not try and change people.
- Focus on this each morning when I wake up and each night before I sleep.
- Step back in moments of frustration
- Blame less and be more giving of my time.
- Establish boundries for important things (studying for classes)
- Remember, attitude and behavior is a choice

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* Me yelling is extremely rare
* Children don't whimper and hide around me
* Children are willing to ask me for things instead of whispering questions to the wife
* The wife finds me more pleasant
**This is a lifestyle change goal and not a one moment event. It continues and must always be worked on**

3.) Graduate College

I must
- Pick a degree and stick with it. This is computer science. Recognize that this is a fine degree, I will do fine with it. It isn't going to make me an astronaut, but it will get me through college.
- Study. Be on top of my studies. Continue to study. Study when I don't want to. Recognize when I need a break and when I am being lazy.
- Stick with the damn degree.

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* I have a degree

4.) Control my urges. This means money spending urges, alcohol urges, compulsive left field desires. I have this odd compulsive nature and it can be dangerous. I recognize it, but don't control it well enough. I need to get a rein on this.

I must
- Recognize the urges as they come.
- Ask myself out-loud "Do I need this?"
- Reward myself on a regular basis for accomplishments
- Step away from all urges for a minimum of a 48hr period. This is important.

I will have accomplished this goal when:
* I purchase less nonsense
**This is a lifestyle change goal and not a one moment event. It continues and must always be worked on**

Family Financial Goals

1.) Pay off debts. We owe money. We need to pay this money off fast.

I must
- Establish an accounting of my debts. It may help to make it public and do a countdown. I'll do this here

My debts
$$$$$- Ezekiel College -
$$$$$- Pashanta College -
$$$$$- Money Borrowed From Parents -
$$$$$- Credit Card Debt -

- Pay monthly, and pay more than the minimum. Pay off credit card and parents first (fastest).
- Do not accumulate more debt.

I will have accomplished this when
* I have no debt.

2.) Live within a budget. Everybody has their problems, and it is easy to blame your situation for your inabilities. Sometimes you really are in a poor position, often, it's just yourself. We have four children. This makes life expensive. But we should be able to get by.

I must
- Create a budget and track my money. I need to create the budget sheet and update it.
- I accordance with other personal goals, I need to purchase what we need, not just urges.
- Regular rewards so that I don't feel trapped.
- Cut food costs by preparing foods, brown-bagging, not eating out.

I will have accomplished this when
* My bank account shows slightly more money month after month

3.) Save for the future. Hell, I mean, get rich. Filthy, filthy rich. Slowly and conservatively.

I must
- Live within a budget
- Pay off debts
- Set money aside
- Educate myself on finances

I will have accomplished this when
* Not sure. Still have a lot of educating to do

Other Goals

1.) Live somewhere beautiful

I must
- Know where I want to live. I am constantly fantasizing, but like with school, I have very little focus. I need to establish a place a pursue it, while realizing nothing is perfect.
- Visit more places. I've now been to Hawaii, but not to Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, the UK so on and so forth. Need to travel more

A list of the things I value

1.) Family and family time. Take advantage of family time. These experiences are transient and fleeting. Be a good, patient person and enjoy all of these moments.
2.) Travel.
3.) Running. If you don't take care of your body, you can't run. And running will (and has) take you much further than just around the park.
4.) Education.

I will add to this as needed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Psychic Predictions For 2008

Okay, here they are. Everything you need to know about this year before it happens. Throw your money down now and become rich.

Let's start with the morbid.

These people will die:

Lindsay Lohan - Drug Overdose
Britney Spears - Drug related car accident
Sidney Poitier - From being freaking old
Jimmy Carter - Nail gun accident

Major News Stories:

The Christian right will get even wackier and encourage in a very public way the absolute removal of their children from public schools.

Texas will become the center of an evolution/creationism scandal driven by the appointed head of the school board. A creationist.

The Obama/Clinton ticket will get the major press, but the bat-shit insane Huckabee/Romney republican duo will win. America will implode in a black hole of the worst examples of our culture excess and ignorances. Meanwhile a brain-drain mass exodus will make suddenly make Canada and Mexico the most advanced scientific nations on Earth.

It will be revealed that the Bush administrations stepped so far outside the bounds of the constitution and human decency as to have committed domestic crimes that would have offended Nixon. Every single American citizen will ignore stunning revelation after revelation in favor of voting for an androgynous and talent free American Idol singer.

Rhino and Black-lipped pika will go extinct

People will finally get sick of Rush Limbaugh's idiocy (long shot).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Hey There Werewolf

I walk to and from work. I enjoy the time to myself, the outside weather, the feeling of connection you get with a city when you experience it on foot and not isolated in your car. I like - and need - the exercise. At night, it gets empty and lonely in a wonderful way, and my imagination gets moving, seeing scenes from the apocalypse, to viewing every passing car or wandering person as engaged in some dark, uderworld criminal schemes I could never understand.

Walking also allows you to run into some serious weirdos.

Now, my walk is of a decent length. Five miles, one way, which means my total outside exposure time is quite high. So, yeah, I'm going to get honked at, screamed at, etc. This is fine: it's what assholes do.

But Saturday night.... It was about 10:20. Pitch black (Austin has sixteen total street lamps, of which six work, and a total of three miles of sidewalk) when i came up on a bus stop. Two people were sitting there. And as I approached, one on the bench looked at me and said:

"Hey there werewolf. It ain't no full moon." and then he proceeded to howl.

Anyway. Here's another fantastic line from the good folks at fstdt:

"my religious beliefs are a core component of my life and make me happy, so why do i care if thier wrong?"

Yes. Why would you want to know the realities of a central part of what you consider to be the being you call you?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Real Quick

This - THIS is why people need science:

"The second is the North Star. The North Star is such an implausible thing if you think about it. This clearly visible star is so precisely positioned it is more usefull at night to indicate a northerly direction than are most compasses. And it is positioned over the most inhabitable axis of this planet as well. "

Seriously. How can you navigate this world and even begin to hope to think about maybe sort of understanding what is going on if your thouht processes is that kind of jumbled mess.

From the joy that is FSTDT

Evolution is Stupid

Did you ever feel the need for a condensed version of all of the creationist's lies, distortions, strawmen and ignorance regarding evolution all in one place?

Well check out

Oh, you'll find it all here.

You'll find bizzare slippery-slope moral "realities" based on distorted, fantasy versions of evolution no scientist ever contended (remember evolution = atheism and atheism = evolution):

"If you are an atheist and you murder 26 people without getting caught, what makes it wrong? Absolutely nothing. The only possible deterrent for killing, raping, and stealing is simply the reaction of society. So if society never finds out, what makes anything wrong? Nothing, right? There's no reason to feel guilty if you're just the result of a randomly happening universe, randomly moving forward in time with no consequence to any negative action, unless society finds out."


If you are an atheist, you should not use the word “love.” Since God is love, you should not use this term to describe how you feel about people or pets, since you do not believe it exists. Use a term like “have positive chemical reactions when near,” or other atheism-compliant descriptive terms.


If you are an evolutionist atheist, eating anything that was living is a form of cannibalism. You believe that descendants of animals and even plants could be people someday. To avoid becoming a cannibal, you should adhere to a strict diet of milk and cheese, and make sure there are no signs of living organisms in either. Hmm... On second thought... atheists shouldn’t think cannibalism is wrong, because to them, right and wrong don’t exist.

And so much more.

But how does evolution work? I always thought that different effects of natural selection and the occasional mutation led towards speciation. What is really going on?

Well, how about these shared beliefs of all biological scientists:

To believe in evolution, you must believe that your family tree includes monkeys, fish, and rocks. Many evolutionists believed that after Earth randomly formed by itself out of nothing, it rained on rocks for millions/billions of years, which somehow caused inanimate matter to give birth to a single-celled organism. Some evolutionists believe the top of their family tree is nitrogen, and still others, water!


To be an evolutionist, you must believe that fish transform into monkeys. Yes that's right. Evolutionists believe that if you move up your family tree far enough, great great great Grandpa is a fish.

And did you know:

And with all the supposed evolution that evolutionists imagine to have occurred over the past few billion years (a number than has been changing since the religion was founded), we've never found an instance of an intermediary species between reptile and mammal, monkeys and humans, dinosaur to birds, or "missing links" as many put it.

Well, then why evolution? Because Hitler and Satan worked through Darwin!

And of course Hitler’s idea of a superior race was not without precedent, because everyone knows (or should know) that Darwin himself thought Caucasians were the most evolved race... just like Hitler!

Oh, this is wonderful place. Please stay awhile, or has satan taken over your thoughts?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Alcohol and School

I got drunk last night. And a few nights before that. Probably not the best thing.

While alcohol and school go together like peanut butter and chocolat - ask any college undergrad - this really is only applicable to the younger set of students. At some point in time you aren't just out on your own, old enough to know better and still too young to care, you're both old enough to know better and have a physician showing you charts and graphs of your own increasing body fat percentage.

I use alcohol to self medicate. It really is a last resort. I do a lot of running and writing and I used to read whole books for pleasure - but there are times in this insane schedule I keep where I need to calm the fuck down now . Last night was one of those times.

Running really is a more successful stress relieving venture. I feel better and for longer after a solid run. The two problems with running are 1.) It takes time. You have to run for at least forty minutes to really gain the benefits. When I get home from school at 9:00, and I got up that morning at 6:00, and have to be up the next morning at 5:00, it can be hard to convince myself to lace up the shoes. 2.) Running takes effort. Hey, I dig effort. Love it. But I can only run so many days in a row. I am not an elite athlete. By day five, I hurt. On the weekends I walk to and from work, a ten mile round trip, and my job requires me to stand, lift, and walk for eight hours. Conservative estimates put me between 30-40 miles on my feet on Saturday and Sunday. The rest of the week I probably cover only about 20 miles of running (five miles, four days a week), but that's about all I can do. Tuesday evening I hurt. Plain and simple.

So I drank. At the time it seems like I need it, but the next day I wonder why. I need to find an alternative to alcohol that has the same immediacy, but without the guilt, weight gain, and other bodily damage. And no, I don't mean different drugs.

Not that a human being has ever read this, but suggestions would be nice.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Gonna do some bitching

Nobody reads this thing, so I can feel free to indulge. Except, of course, a future employer. Who will read this, and recognize that they might be in the process of hiring a human being, with thoughts and feelings unique to themself, possibly in conflict with the employer's own thoughts and feelings, meaning I will never get a job. Because that's how this shit works. And the things that are online about me pretty much assures my total lack of employment for the rest of my life. What a wonderful modern world we have.

I can't stress enough to people that if you don't have babies and you're thinking of having babies that the best decision you can make in this situation is to just not have babies. I'm at a wonderful stage with my twins now, where every comment made to them that isn't praise, say something along the lines of "let go of the cat's head," results in a screaming, head-banging tantrum that I can't just ignore because it leads to actual physical injury when unchecked.

This happens a dozen or so times a day now, everyday. There's is nothing fun or cute or pleasant about this. From beginning to end it is a nightmare.

I have homework to do. Will I get it done? Probably. But I will do it in this strange, disjointed way, where I won't read an entire sentence to completion in a single pass through. Instead I will search for my place, find it, read a word or two, turn to a child and shout some command like "put down that knife," turn back to the paper, search for my place... and writing answers is somewhat worse. I'm passing school in somekind of psuedo-conscious daze. It's like being stoned but way less fun.

Here's an example. At this exact moment, I can only see one of the twins. I don't know where the other is, and since the house is in complete silence, I will now go searching for him. This is annoying, I am in the kitchen and the kitchen is gated off with little child blocking gates because otherwise we have babies on the counters. So I will now hop the gates and go searching for the missing baby,

Adn the missing baby was found standing on top of the dryer. Having been removed, he is now screaming full force. This goes on through out the day. pretty much nonstop.

Allow me to make this as clear as I can. I hate my life. I hate waking up in the morning. I hate going to work. (I hate my job so much, it takes all I have left just to show up.) I hate raising children. I hate being perpetually broke. I hate juggling four different people's school schedules with one car. I hate living in the suburbs. I hate having no outside social life. I don't want this. Any of this.

Doesn't fucking matter what I want. This is what I have.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

My Wife is a Stone Cold Liar - I Raise The Pity Flag

Yesterday, my wife who deals with stress (and here we define "stress" as any entity or experience that doesn't directly and immedietly lead to her physcial comfort and pleasure) by summoning the hatred of evil entities from cultures through out time and focusing this hatred like the light from a thousand suns through the lenses of her demonic eyes onto my crotch, "requested" that I take over all the duties of the house and allow her the "privilege" of holing up in the bedroom to study.

I should point out here that I already do the cleaning, the cooking, I put the babies down at night and for their nap and bathe them and change them, as well as the physical labor involved in the house, plus I am the only person with a job and have been for years now, and if there is anything wrong with the car, no matter where I am in proximity to the car, like, say, she was driving it somewhere else and a tire blows out and I was at home with the kids, it is my duty, despite not being anywhere near the car to fix it, while she gets a ride to the house and I walk to the car and spend the remainder of my evening lying under a one ton minivan praying it doesn't, again, fall off the jack,

So me "taking over the household" for the day wasn't all that much different than what I already do. But, seeing as how she wanted to make this a formal thing, I figured I could leverage this into creating some time of my own. Specifically, I asked that I be allowed the few hours this Saturday, from the time I woke up until the time I have to go to work for twelve hours, my own study time where I can research the exciting work done by both my contemporaries and that historical on Brassica rapa, the world's most awesome mustard plant. She said sure.

So you know what I did from 7:00AM until 9:00AM? I cooked crepes for six people. Crepes, which I have never cooked before, are a major pain in the ass. You cook each one of those paper-thin tasteless pancakes one at a time, waiting between crepes for the pan to reheat. Homeade ravioli takes less time.

And now that that is done my babies are FREAKING OUT. That's how my house works.

Yup. Brassica rapa. The old B. rapa .

I hate my life.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Cycle Issue #2

Cycle Magazine, the physical offshoot of, will soon (relatively speaking) have its second issue out.

This is exciting. and the magazine are creations of a friend of mine, Richard. (spawned, this is true, during an evening drinking Czech Republic absinthe on my porch). It's the truest form of a labor of love. There is no funding, there is no advertising, there are no sales (but he is working on that). This is all self produced, self distributed, self funded.

I have been critical of the quality of cycle. Specifically of the writing and the low standards for publication that it presents. Richard and I have argued about this - a big part of cycle is to represent the small press and to represent the aspirations of people currently involved in the act of creation for the sake of creation; people that may yet have developed all the skills nor accumulated the neccessary experience to truelly hone their craft. I understand this. So things that show up in cycle will be of a wider spectrum of quality. But there has got to be at least a spark, a twinkle, a little ember of talent somewhere in the pages and pages of cliched dribble that gets through. Richard, I think now, agrees with me, and the quantity of stuff that gets published has dropped dramatically. I'm not sure the quality has risen yet. But that's a matter of time.

Richard and others have been frusterated by my critique, the harshness with which I "reveiw" that which is produced. Understand, I love cycle. I really do. I love the labor, I love the desperation, the failures, the obscurity. Because it makes every little success that much more sweet. It is this love that makes me so critical. If I didn't care, then I wouldn't spend the little time I have so much as reading it, let alone allowing myself to be emotionally involved.

I want to be more involved, but I am stretched quite thin. For me, writing has always been this struggle between the desire and need to create and my complete inability to comunicate an idea to the world. I am, in short, a bad writer. (bad, like evil, like lock me up it's so terrible.) I would spend more time on writing if that time wasn't already spent writing mind-numbing research papers and brain cell suffocating reviews of other people's research papers for school. Doing that shit will take the soul right out of you and then strangle you with its corspe.

The second issue of cycle will so be out. I haven't seen it, not yet, but I have seen my contribution to it. Those bits Richard selected to represent my own output. You know what? It isn't bad. It's actually a little inspiring. I mean, I've made progress. It feels good.

I'm not sure how we're destributing this issue. The last one was free, and we placed it on some racks in independent bookstores. This one may be different. needs writers. And not just writers, but creators of any kind of medium that can be presented through a computer. The website is going through a rebirth (the servers it originally existed on went kaput, and Ricard got to learn a wonderful lesson about keeping back-ups of shit.) If you are interested, email me and check out the site.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

College Generation Update: Just like 10 Years Ago

Perhaps it's a bit of confirmation bias, but I swear I haven't heard a conversation between the two that sit in front of me in biology that hasn't involved, at least once through the length of the class, the words "beer bong." Starting next week, I'm going to keep a tally running.

I made a comment similar to this to a young lady I work with. She is in her senior semester, working on a degree in cellular and molecular biology. She's bright as can be, but gets a little defensive anytime she feels somekind of blanket statement is made about people - anybody - and when I made such a statement she accused me of belittleing the "youth culture."

How do you respond to that? I mean, I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I imagine it's not so far from reality that if we took a glance at the spectrum of binge drinkers, people who drink using homemade high-velocity alcohol delivery systems, or those people whose conversations are dominated by how "fucked up" they got and how "fucked up" they plan on getting later, we might just be permitted to apply a huristic and assume youth was involved.

But like I said, I don't have any data here in front of me. So perhaps it's purely anecdotal.

On my side of the world, where I don't live on the college campus, or for that matter, in the same city as the college, or for that matter, the same county as the college, where I have to drive 30 miles to attend class, timing this to wedge between dropping the children off for school and picking them up, and my wife's own classes, and watching the twins, and work, I am happy to report that my car has broken down this morning. Not such a big deal. I got it started, and with luck and a blood sacrifice to the car gods, I may be able to keep it running until Friday night - the only night of the week where I don't have class or work untill 11:00 - where I will take it into the dealer and they will use weasel tactics to get out of the warranty. Which is additionally fine, because as a dual-student household with four children and only one, part-time income, I am swimming in money. I see no issues getting this car - my only car - running again.

I look forward, as a near thirty year-old adult, to begging my parents for money.

My wife graduates in just under eight months. I hope we can make it. (Maybe a beer bong or two tonight will help me power through.)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Where god Doesn't Belong - Or, Maybe, More Nonsense About Babies

It's no secret to the people that know me that I am obsessed with religion and fundamentalism, especially as it has to do with christianity and America.

Unlike other, more prominent critics of religion, I don't think religion breeds an inherent idiocy, hatefullness, ignorance, or destruction of the ability to percieve reality as it really is. I think religion provides an excellent framework for this. But it doesn't neccesarilly create it. There's a lot of argument to be had here, in both directions, because it isn't a black or white thing, but we'll have that discussion later at a point when there are other human beings reading this blog and I can have such a discussion and not just an argument with myself.


So I was trolling, which is a fantastic website for those of us of a masochistic leaning to be perpetually baffalled and appaled by what goes on in the world.

Now, of course, the internet has a way of magnifying an issue. Rather than keeping something isolated and local, the internet broadcasts to the entire known universe, making some closet-case's personal voyage of mental freakosicity seem more prevalent. The world probably isn't as fucked up as the internet makes it seem. I did, however, run across this quote today that I think does reflect a reality in this world:

"Contrary to what many Christians have been led to believe, there is no such thing as a 'neutral' education. All education is religious and conveys a worldview, and there is no more important decision that we make as parents than how we educate our children. Unfortunately, Christian parents allow an aggressively anti-Christian institution to form the minds of their children, and the fruit of that choice is bitter. The overwhelming majority of children from evangelical families leave the church within two years after they graduate from high school; only 9 percent of evangelical teens believe that there is any such thing as absolute moral truth; and, our children are being forcibly indoctrinated to believe that homosexual behavior is acceptable."

Two things are going on here (well, there are others, but two I want to focus on. the homosexual thing is an issue unto itself and it's presentation here just adds a level of surreal chocolately goodness).

1.) There is a mindset among the most ardent of religios people that things are either of god or against god. There is absolutely no middle ground. No grey. There is holy worship or baby-sacrificing devil blowing. So something as mundane as examining the interaction of chemicals in an aqueous solution, or looking at the affect a series of unseasonably cold weather has on cliff swallow populations, or reading a book that isn't about god, is against - not to the side - god.

It is this kind of pigheaded nonsense that leads to the craziest varieties of religion. Now, again it could be the internet amplification effect, but it appears that this thought process is growing. Thanks to folks at the Discovery Institute, and thousands of concerned citizens the nation over, we are seeing challenges to science and education from an exclusively religious stand point.

The whole separation of church and state thing isn't working out as well as it could. God is like some kind of trailer park stalker: no restraining order - no piece of paper - is gonna keep him from gettin' what he wants from a woman. We need to be a little more strick with god.

A.) God must remain wholly separate of anything even resembling science. Sure, this only further supporst crazy people's belief that science is anti god. I'm fine with this.

B.) God must remain wholly separate of anything even resembling education. When god gets into the classroom, people get stupid. He's worse than a bully.

Ugh, you know what? the babies are freaking out again. This is what they do. They create havok. It's fucking insane. There is no interaction they can have, whether with each other or their environment, that doesn't lead to horror. It is simply the most stressfull and terrifying aspect of my existence. I can't think straight. I can't do anything. While my wife is at school and I watch the twins, my life is relegated to some kind of coarse torture. It is so very, very loud, and there is no way to distinguish screams of fear from screams of danger from screams of happness from screams of screaming for screaming's sake.

I haven't had a coherent thought is 22 months. I'm in school too. You would tink, hey, since you're home for such a damn long time, I bet you get tons of studying done. This is the thought process of someone that does not have small twins. This is the thought process of someone who thinks a lack of time means having to TiVo several of your favorite shows because, gosh darn it, you have to go out with friends on Saturday night.

My friends slipped into the ether years ago. The most exciting Saturday night I've had in recent memory is the night I got a full eight hours of sleep.

If you are thinking of having children, I just - Fuck... I mean - seriously. Just think about it for a while. I have seen three movies in the past seven years . If I want to go, say, to the grocery store I have to gather four screaming idiots into a car and then herd them through an otherwise civilized place. I am the asshole that creates the nightmare shopping experience for everyone else. I swear, I buy three bunches of bananas three times a week. I was checking out, and the cashier says to me "Man, you must like bananas," and I almost penetrated his heart with one of those yellow spears.

When I found out my wife (whose reproductive parts have since been surgically rendered inoperative) was having twins and I told people at work, somebody said to me "oh, you are so blessed." And all I could think was that there are trailer parks full of equally blessed people. Jesus, I never meant to have this many damn children. See? This is the problem with our health care system. My wife and I, as struggling students, had this kind of decision to make: 1.) Rob a clinic for birth control pills, because our income does not allow us to aford insurance 2.) As a married couple, and as humans, forget that we are sexual beings and remain together in abstinence or 3.) produce babies by the gallon. We tried number 2.), but guess what. Sometimes we fuck. It just happens, and over the counter propholactics or not, sometimes a little spermy gets through and BAM more damn children.

When they extracted the last two, and she was all spliced open, I handed the doctor a twenty and said, while gesturing to the collection of exposed organs in my wifes womb/abdomen, "Do you think, maybe, since you're here and all..."

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Babies for Sale

* Note to FBI: They're not really for sale. I'm just annoyed.


Two 22-month old twins. Fraternal. Blonde hair, blue eyes.

Very healthy. Strong eaters. Strong climbers. Capable of covering any surface two and half feet above the ground or less in a thick, impenetrable layer of crayon and snot with a speed incomprehensible.

These babies need a new home. Preferrably one with miles and miles of open field so they can roam and destroy. If you are deaf and own no possessions that have any value or meaning (including your home) then these might just be the kids for you.

The larger, stronger of the two babies, Leif, is capable of magnitude 11 force-fits with durations up to an hour observed. During such fits it's important to have a fully padded area as Leif will attempt to penetrate any hard surface with his head. All organic life should exit the immediete vacinity of the fit to avoid injury/death.

Darwin, the smaller, angrier of the two has learned the powers of deception and aggression and wields them to his maximum benefit.

If interested I'd be happy to trade these babies for an Xbox 360 or even a gift certificate to a decent restaraunt. I am in the South Austin area, but am willing to meet you at any point on the earth.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It Never Ends

I am sitting on the floor in a sparse room while a child not yet two years-old clings to a pillow and bangs his head in a long, slow, hard rhythm from between his legs to the crib wall behind him. Four feet across from him, another child of the exact same age, produced in the exact same womb lays squat like a frozen turkey, face stuffed into a palm tree and rhino adorned mattress.

This is how my evenings go. I sit on the floor and wait for babies to sleep. My wife, she goes to work. She watches people too. Tonight, she is a “sitter.” Sometimes she's a Nurse's Assistant. They do the nasty stuff that is too menial even for the nurses, and nurses do the work too menial for the nurse practitioner who does the work too menial for the doctor who's too busy filling out malpractice insurance forms to deal with a patient that probably has some kind of horrendous and contagious disease anyways. But tonight she is a “sitter” and she will be assigned to a room and she will sit in the room and make sure the patient in the room doesn't do anything to injure themselves. Sometimes these people are insane. Sometimes delirious. Often they are confused. Often, suicidal. She sat for a fourteen year-old girl that had attempted suicide. When people aren't in the room, she goes for it. So there's always someone in the room. Last night she was a Nurse's Assistant. They had to put a lady in restraints. A woman that wanted to “kill all the white people.” She was high. She is a regular at the hospital. A weekly.

I have to sit here on the floor because my babies can climb. I'm not allowed to put them in restraints the way they do Whitey-Killer at the hospital. Several state and federal laws prohibit me from strapping otherwise healthy, mobile children to a crib at night. So I sit and wait, sometimes for hours, for them to go to sleep. Children at this young an age, while still incapable of complex sentence structure and fine motor skills, enabled with the ability to follow only very simple, one or two part instructions can none the less devise and execute thousands of ways to kill themselves. Two children of the same age take the concept of simple suicide and working together bring it to that media darling of murder-suicide. I've watched these two in action. No amount of “baby proofing” can protect such self-destructive beings. I've seen them make napalm from stuff they purchased from a hardware store after drugging my wife and I with an organic chloroform synthesized from plants they picked from the backyard.

When (if) they ever go to sleep, if the evening isn't shot, if I'm not worn to a black soulless stub of a once vibrant happy human, I'll crawl to my room, grunt some instructions to the older children (who, while not all that much brighter than the twins are much more sedate thanks to my vast home collection of video entertainment products and the twin's chloroform, which I have saved), plant myself in my chair and open a textbook on biology or chemistry and plead with my depleted brain to just absorb something, anything from the book.

I have to broker deals with my brain. It is very worried. It is worried that I have no money. It's right, I don't, but I promise it that one day I will have money. Not so much from my studying, but from my wife's, whose skills and education are actually wanted in the job market. My brain is worried that I have two cars, one with no transmission and one in the act of losing it. My brain is worried that I have to balance two jobs, two adults in school (one in school forty fucking hours a week), two children in school, and two children in diapers on a deficit budget until a miracle happens. Again, this miracle is my wife. So the deal I broker with brain is this: ignore all this shit and I will periodically blast you into oblivion with alcohol. My brain agrees. Although sometimes it smacks me around with reality, just to keep me in line.

I am still sitting on the floor, and Leif (the youngest of my children for no reason other than he was the second one they extracted from my wife) is still head banging, still wide-eyed, still conceiving of ways to make explosive powder with the rust from an old bike that sits outside his window.

Tomorrow I will have my car inspected, I will get a new driver's license to replace the one that lists an address I haven't lived at for five years (and has a picture of a man so obese so hungover so unrecognizable that I have been rejected the service of alcohol more the once). I will buy food for my snakes, for my tarantula, for my scorpion. The cat can forge for herself. I will lift weights, I will spend quality time with my wife, with son #1, with daughter, and with sons 3 and 4. Individually. Somewhere in there I will cook 18 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner for six people), I will make notes on my biology and chemistry work, perhaps go to the Greenbelt and swim. Maybe read, maybe write. Sometimes I feel insane.

I believe in living life to the fullest. In that this is the only life we have, to live it. To go and live and experience and not fear the consequences. There are enough people that think only in the black and white that I often have to step back and explain that no, that doesn't excuse rape and murder and exploitation and whatever other nonsense that is universally held as wrong.

My son is still awake. I have sat here for an hour and his eyes won't close. I'm not sure they've even blinked. I don't think he got into my cocaine. Probably makes his own.

I wonder if it will ever be any different. Will my wife and I, both college educated people, both working, collectively making less than half the poverty line, deeply in debt and sinking further – will we ever have enough to get by? Enough to go on a road trip? To own more than one pair of shoes? I couldn't care less about Europe, about traveling there, visiting cities – oh boy, foreign concrete! - but I wonder if Europe will ever even be there. In my life, in my existence, Europe may as well not be. Because it is not now, nor has it ever been, an option. Mexico. Canada. New Mexico. Big Bend Texas. Dallas. A bar on a Saturday night. Going to a movie. They aren't. Not in my world. I wonder if they will be.

I have done the math several thousand times. If my wife graduates – If I graduate – If the car holds up - If the in laws don't decide to muscle us around – If the children stay healthy, my wife stays healthy, I stay healthy – If

We just might.

The boy is on his back and he's shaking his head from side to side. And his eyes are closed. He's falling asleep.

I've got to go to the other room now. Open a text book. Spend the rest of my night reading about cells, about cell membranes, about membrane proteins.

Because the Ifs only are if you make them. If you don't, they just Aren't.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Day So Far

I found an old image of the computer of myself fifteen pounds ago. Wow. I really gained some fat. I did a little research and found out how much I was eating back then. I'm going to go back to that. My physical efforts - running, walking, and so forth - are far superior to what they were then. I can run faster, harder, and recover with ease. Today I did a hot (88 degrees and humid) 6.5 miler. That was great.

I've got a biology test on Monday. Long week. Tomorrow I have to get up at 5:00, run, drive accross the length of Austin to drop the babies off at my parent's house where my wife and I will split up so she can go and renew her CPR credentials and I can go to my biology class and then meet back at my parent'sand drive the length of Austin again and then drop off the wife a kids and go to work at a grocery store serving people I hate until 10:30 at night when I can drive home and sleep.

On Monday I have my biology test.

On Wednesday I have to drive from Austin to San Marcos to attend the new student orientation and take various tests and meet with advisors and sign up for my classes and so forth.

I will not focus on this. Right now, I will only focus on my Biology.

Yes. There is only biology. I do not hear the babies (who are bitcing and screaming) and I am not bothered at all by the two older children sitting on their increasingly fat asses staring at the vile and evil television, playing video games that I would desperately like to play but I can't because there is nothing but biology.

Nothing but biology.

330 Days To Go

330 days.

330 tough and stressful days.

330 of our most impoverished living. Creating, fueling debt while we struggle.

In 330 days my wife will graduate and be a nurse. That's two semesters. During that time she will have to work part time, I will have to work part time. She will be spending 40 hours a week in class and clinical practice. I will be commuting to San Marcos Texas to go to school. We will be taking care of four children, including twin toddlers. We have never made enough money to get by. Not even close. And this up coming year we will make even less than we ever have and be spending more.

It's going to be tough.

During all of this I have other goals. I have to get straight A's in school so I can get into grad school. Physically, I have to cut my weight back down and maintain. I've increased my running to a solid 30 miles a week, but I want to increase the length and qulaity of my long run.

So many things.

One thing that has been dropped is my writing. I just don't have the time to dedicate the effort it takes to write coherently.

In a dual effort to maintain my sanity and keep some level of writing I'm going to chronicle the insanity of this year.

Let's see what happens.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Gonna do this thing

Goddamn it, my weight won't change. 25 miles this week. No change. 1,400 calories a day. No change. Time to get obsessive.