V-Day in the margins

I'm not big on Valentine's Day, but not for lack of love—my baby and I have been together nearly 12 years now. Nor for cynicism about romance. I love romance in books, plays, music and movies. I think public displays of it are a bit much, such as proposals via JumboTron at sports events or a couple doing some heavy snogging in public, but I'll bite my tongue and quietly roll my eyes as others say "Awwww!" Whatever. What truly bugs me is that, besides having become "Prove your love by emptying your wallet" Day, V-Day is also "Your love will not be acknowledged" Day for same-sex couples.


A student from a class I taught last quarter sent the following series of images to me in an e-mail. Freddie is a really good kid, one of the ones I think will really take advantage of the degree that he's earning at ITT and better his life and that of his family.

Not all of my students are like that, unfortunately. There are those few that really don't get it. They don't want to work to get ahead. They blame everyone else for their mistakes. They take what little they have for granted and are bitter that they aren't given more.

It is these students who could benefit from the message in the e-mail Freddie forwarded along to me.

The Chronicles Of Narnia - AKA "I'm A Geek!"

Yesterday, some sad news was passed to me, via e-mail, by a friend. Westown Cinema is closing. Our dear friend, The Ultrascreen, a full one hundred feet of cinematic goodness will be no more. The litany of movies I've seen there is long and distinguished, ranging from The Matrix Trilogy, to The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, to Star Wars: Episodes I-III, and most recently The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.

Vexed At Rex

A buddy of mine who suffered through three Denver Bronco Super Bowl losses in the late Eighties once told me that when your team loses, you almost wish they hadn't even made it that far. He said that to make it that far and fall short is just like that nauseous feeling you get after a solid shot to the testicles.

I'm an angrier person than Jon, apparently. I get nailed in the nads and I feel like breaking someone, not nausea. Last night watching my Chicago Bears lose 29-17 to the Indianapolis Colts was an exercise in anger management. As the game progressed from that incredible emotional high of Devin Hester's 92 yard TD return of the opening kick-off and Chris Harris picking off a Peyton Manning pass on Indy's opening drive, to that sinking, anxiety-ridden feeling whenever Chicago's offense was on the field, my ire solidified and settled on a single point: Rex Grossman.

I'm Not A Believer

Kathy, as a side effect of recently posting I'm a believer to her blog, has pointed out to me that I never finished my blog entry on Neo-Atheism and only got as far as posting a link to the article, The Church of the Non-Believers, in Wired magazine.

In re-reading that one-sentence, unfinished blog entry, I realized that in its current state, I come across as sympathetic to the Neo-Atheists and their particular world views and philosophy. I titled the entry A Case For Atheism and then provided a link to an article about atheism; not really a leap to say, "hey, Pugs is an atheist and supports the Neo-Atheists talked about in this article. In and of itself I don't have a particularly difficult time with being associated with their philosophy 'cause, if we're honest about it, I am very much an atheist and pretty much agree with them. My problem, then, with the impression of support that my truncated entry provides, is that while I agree with their beliefs, this agreement does not necessarily extend to their attitudes and approach.

I'm a believer

I finally read the Wired article on atheism some time ago, around Chrismahannukwannza, and have been composing responses ever since. It's impossible to concisely cover all the points it raises but here's a precis: Guess what? Atheists can be just as big, arrogant, judgmental, self-righteous, humorless bastards as religious fundamentalists!!!

And here's my reply: Don't piss off the faeries.

Solemnly Swearing

City of Madison officials may now add their own type of inaugural address to their oaths of office, not unlike what Current Occupant Bush does with his “signing statements.” They are either reading or signing a statement that they take the oath under protest. The reason? The state constitution’s new marriage amendment.

Bare minimum

Recently we’ve heard the familiar complaint that raising the minimum wage is bad for business. (Please note that it’s mostly those with business interests making those claims.) Sure, labor is one part of overhead costs for any business, but the problem with keeping business happy, along with the whole crux of “trickle down” economics, is that there is little guarantee of anything trickling at all. Conversely, boosting the earnings of the lowest wage-earners can really drive the economy.

Nerd Fest: The Holiday Party

Ahhh, yes. I should have seen it coming.

Young technicians who have inferiority complexes

Last night was an impromptu holiday party at the office. We had exchanged our secret santa gifts and those responsible people with things like families, dignity, a life, etc... left shortly after.

I was sticking around till 8pm, going to the post office and then on to a birthday party. Around 7:30pm, however, the situation was already out of control.

Now, to give some background, life at work is always loose after hours. We play networked video games (COUNTERSTRIKE) late into the evening, drink beer, shoot the shit, etc... We have a video game and liquor ban until 5:30pm, and after we just hope everyone is responsible. I've partaken and bowed out of many of these things.

Happy F*+@$%%ing Holidays

What is irritating and really ruining this holiday season for me is this whole push for MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Allow me to explain. Just the other day I was telling a client HAPPY HOLIDAYS and he took it as a spiteful remark and bitingly responded "MERRY CCHHRRIISSTTMMAASS!!!"

Okay, I get it. You are Christian and the whole idea of accommodating to lesser powerful belief systems is very VERY hard for you to stomach seeing as you've reigned dominant in this American culture for centuries. Here have a lollipop and suck on it while I INFORM you that by wishing you "Happy Holidays" I am doing the courtesy of including NEW YEARS EVE in addition to not assuming that you are the whitey white Christian mutha fugga you are. But, thank you, you just outed yourself so now I know how to proceed.

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