Thursday, October 31, 2002

Students say the funniest things:
Mr. Hopkins, there are no quotes in this book!
The unexamined life isn't worth living.
the unlived life isn't worth examining.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Bowling for Columbine, Film Clip: A Brief History of the United States,
Film Clip: Interview with Marilyn Manson,
Film Clip: Interview with Matt Stone from South Park

I'm currently searching the internet to figure out who I'm going to vote for on November 5th. I'm feel so uninformed. Without the Internet, I'd be completely clueless about the candidates. At least now, I can slowly work my way through the propaganda.
Last night, I went with my friends (Kausar, Emily, Dan, James, Summer, Jordan, and Jeremiah) to see the film Bowling for Columbine at the Inwood Theatre. I am impressed with Michael Moore's documentary style-- entertaining, engaging, and heart felt. He is not a stoic objective "eye" to the issue. Moore is involved and passionate about his subject matter. I was particularly moved by the "Wonderful World" newsreel sequence and the Columbine security footage. The film included a Marilyn Manson interview, which are always fun. Interestingly enough, Manson was more articulate than Charleton Heston-- who nearly stuck his foot in his mouth on multiple occasions. You'd think the president of the NRA would be better prepared on the issues of gun violence in America.

Friday, October 25, 2002

excerpt from an actual conversation I overheard in my classroom during lunch:
STUDENT #1: Reverse psychology always works.
STUDENT #2: No it doesn't!

That's deep.

Thursday, October 24, 2002

I have so many inbox e-mails I need to read, but have ignored. Here are the victims of neglect:

Stephen Shields when_the_church_is_its_own_worst.htm Sep 16 18k
Len Hjalmarson article Sep 18 50k
Tom Gray new essay Sep 27 2k
Steve Billingsley Great to hear from you. Sep 30 5k
Jeremy Walden submissions Oct 10 2k
Andy Watts Mavs 2-0 in preseason Oct 11 2k
Fred Peatross Fred Peatross Oct 13 4k
Stephen Shields FW: when_the_church_is_its_own_worst.htm Oct 14 4k
webmaster@imagecomic... Your password for Image Comics Oct 15 1k
Charles Wear Fwd: Hello Oct 20 4k
flossie b trust Oct 21 1k
Dave Drury N-W Oct 21 9k
UngerBrandt_Jon/EMM@... mark barkaway article Oct 21 2k
michkelleher@cs.com Comic Book Classifieds AD Response Oct 22 2k
MichKelleher@cs.com Re: Comic Book Classifieds AD Response Oct 23 3k

My apologies.

CNN ~ 10/22/02 ~ Scholars: Oldest evidence of Jesus?

A limestone burial box, almost 2,000 years old, may provide the oldest archeological record of Jesus of Nazareth, experts announced Monday.

The ossuary, as the bone boxes are known, dates to A.D. 63 and has an inscription in Aramaic which translates to: "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus," said Andre Lemaire, an expert in ancient writing who identified the box in Jerusalem last spring.

My dear friend relaps has his own blog now. My students are working on their TAKS district benchmark test. My teacher's aide is making me a bookmark from LIFE magazine images. I went for a walk on my conference period. After school, I have a chess tournament to sponsor. Then I'm hanging out with relaps.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

What is the nature of the universe?
What is man's place in the universe?
What is good and what is evil?
What is the nature of God?
Fate versus free will?
Soul and immortality?
Man and the state?
Man and education?
Mind and matter?
Ideas and thinking?

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

From 10x10's blog-

"Afterwards we went to our weekly community group meeting, and told our stories. Following the meeting, we all went to a fifties diner for milkshakes. White-rhinestone-jumpsuit-seven-foot-tall-Elvis was performing. As a matter of fact it was his birthday, and his entire fan club (spearheaded by his mama) was present for the celebration. Elvis sang 'Amazing Grace,' because he loves Jesus, and we joined the fan club to sing 'Happy Birthday,' because they love Elvis (and we just happened to be there)."

Monday, October 21, 2002

I've started the script for issue #4 of my comic book. Melissa has been very supportive. I don't want to share too much, but hopefully within the next year or two I'll have something on the shelf. And if fortunate, a little extra $money$ in my pocket. In the end, I'm not doing it for the money. I already have a job I enjoy. I'm writing to see if I could make it in the comic industry. Can I do it? That's the challenge that motivates me.

Friday, October 18, 2002

More signs of suburban hell:
Today, I saw a brand new PT Cruiser with the personalized license plate, BAD MOM.
Stories from my youth:
Hardy Boys, Sherlock Holmes, Jason and the Argonauts

Memories from my youth:
My grandparents bought me a set of world encyclopedias. I thought it was the most glamourous gift ever. All this knowledge ready to uncover. I read them religiously. I used to write reports for fun and keep them in a folder-- everything from the atom bomb to Louis Armstrong to the Battle of Gettysburg.

Movies from my youth:
Never Ending Story, Return of the Jedi, Goonies, Karate Kid, Beast Master, American Ninja, Boy who Could Fly

Nightmares from my youth:
I was scared to death of ET and the Virgin Mary.

"Stories are equipment for living." - Kenneth Burke
From Story:Substance, Structure, Style, and the Principles of Screenwriting by Robert McKee, p. 25

"A storyteller is a life poet, an artist who transforms day-to-day living, inner life and outer life, dream and actuality into a poem whose rhyme scheme is events rather than words-- a two-hour metaphor that says: Life is like this! Therefore, a story must abstract from life to discover its essences, but not become an abstraction that loses all sense of life-as-lived. A story must be like life, but not so verbatim that it has no depth or meaning beyond what's obvious to everyone on the street."
Go get 'em, Melissa!

Thursday, October 17, 2002

I have reached that amorphous age where every single commercial on primetime network television is directed at me. Consequently, most advertising art directors are the exact same age! (Hi Wim.) I have been overwhelmed and beaten senseless with lifestyle marketing. I see commercial after commerical... and I want to be there with them. You know who I'm talking about: the happy consumer.

In the laundromat, bubbles everywhere, dancing. Diving after my French language dictionary in a sinking car. Driving across the uncharted snow covered tundra. Camping with my friends, running from bears. Some goofy kid urging me to buy a computer. Morgan Fairchild singing about clothing to the tune of "Green Arces." Pizza boy being applauded by the news media as he goes about his rounds.

"wandering free... wish I could be... part of your... world..."
Scrubs is the greatest television show... ever.

To the ignorant, yet well-meaning folks that stole Melissa's photograph to use in your alternative media worship experience at Soularize:
Photography is her livelihood. It's copyrighted material. You did not ask for permission. You are idiots.
a genuine postmodern worship experience: Last night, our community went to a burger place called "Fabulous '50s". An Elvis impersonator was there. He lead us in worship-- a soulful Elvis-styled version of "Amazing Grace." Burger, shake, and worship.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Speaking of independent comics, check out pvp comics by Scott Kurtz. Here's a preview:

Fun times at the Dallas Comicon. Melissa survived the day with courage. We bought issue #1-9 of an independent comic called Shades of Blue. We met the artist Cal Slayton. He's a cool guy. Melissa enjoyed the series. I'm currently reading it. Good stuff.

Friday, October 11, 2002

The Dallas Comicon is tomorrow. I've really been looking forward to this one. (Remember, if you want to donate to my comic book collection, just click the donation button on the DANGEROUSLY LEFT margin.)

I consider myself a generally happy person. I don't know if many of us exist. For the most part, I'm happy. And even when I'm depressed, my depression is not nearly as catastrophic as with some of you. I moan and complain, but underneath it all? I'm just getting over it and moving on. Maybe it's because, I get excited by almost anything. Today, the English department gave each teacher a 32Mb DiskOnKey. It made my day! I've been fixated on this wonderful device for hours.

When I was a child, my mother would give me a brush and bucket and tell me to "paint the house." I would spend hours (literally HOURS) just "painting the house" with a brush and a bucket of water. How's THAT for being easily entertained?! I credit that wise parenting strategy to my current and ongoing sense of contentment. Also, a fascination with shiny objects and a good looking wife doesn't hurt either!

Yesterday, a water bucket. Today, a disk on key. Tomorrow, comic books. Better living through simple toys.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

To be truly pointless,
takes work.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Hang in there, buddy
It's kinda funny over at the comixtreme message board right now. We have a very dedicated following for this message board and they just reformatted the whole thing. People are freaking out! There are riots on the board. Alas, alas, alas...
My friend Summer shared on her livejournal a dream she had two nights ago. I would like to do likewise.

I love when Melissa and I wake up at the same time and we share the dreams we had from a few moments previous. It's a good morning ritual to share dreams. Quite seriously, all my dreams have the same theme-- forever and always, for as long as I can remember. Good dreams, bad dreams. All the same. In every dream, I am fighting against the forces of evil or rescuing someone or saving somebody. I play the hero. Yeah, I know, I've got a serious Savior complex... or maybe I read too many comic books. I guess being a teacher was as close as I could get to a "heroic" profession. But this is the frustrating part, I have to share my dreams early in the morning or I forget them. It's 12:09. My dreams from last night are gone. It's terribly cliche, but we lose what we don't give away. Who knows? I could've lost an important dream last night.

Monday, October 07, 2002

3D Pinball for Windows - Space Cadet
My top score: 9,404,250
dEUS, hotel lounge,
an interesting song about hell by the greatest band you've never heard of

"This elevator only takes one down", she said. "This place, this hotel lounge,
it's my daily bread... but I'm underfed."

He asked: "Are you living in the night? Cause I can tell you have a lousy imagination and as a matter of speaking
I hate this situation... but it happens to be one of my pickin."

"Cause it's so hard to keep the dream alive. Cause if it all comes down to this how will..."

You move me, you move me
You move me around around, I guess
Take it back your analogue
It's on the other side of this

And then she said: "And have another cigarette."
I tend to forget (but anyway I don't smoke that shit).
And hoisted the flag, but it keeps hanging down.

"You know this place, this hotel lounge. It's my life, it's my choice.
And I'm in love with Ricky Lee Jones' voice."

How will glamour survive?

"This elevator only takes one down", she said. "This place in this same old town."

"Do you see that man in the left-hand corner?
Do you see that woman? Their love-story's famous"
Interesting story, I was illegally arrested, via Dan
Brian Michael Bendis, from his foreword on the Powers Scriptbook:

"I do know one thing, though: writers write! They don't sit around wishing they were writing or talking about what they're thinking of writing. They write! Because while you're sitting around and talking about it, someone is out there writing their f--king asses off. Someone is out there kicking your ass and stealing your dream job."

Amen. Thank you, Bendis.

Friday, October 04, 2002

I invited Dan Hughes to speak with my Career Connections class this morning. I enjoyed listening to him talk with my students. He has a very interesting story and keen insight. He offered a little inspiration for a Friday morning. Good stuff.

Thursday, October 03, 2002

The new LORD OF THE RINGS: TWO TOWERS trailer is awesome, especially on full screen. Would it be weird for me to say I found myself strangely attracted to Aragorn while watching? Oh gosh, people read this blog... did I just say that?
Thank you, Daniel Miller. You have taken Suburban Hell to a brand new level. Amazing photo here.
I sent this e-mail on December 7, 2001 - 9:37 AM.

uplifting salutation (comma)

(new paragraph)
tell something about my week and give thanks to god(period) mention something positive about community group and express a desire to see people we've missed(period) say something funny(exclamation mark) remind people of the group's meeting time and place(period) make sure to comment on other uncoming events and the new time for axxess(period)

(new paragraph)
say something wise that will give people something to ponder throughout the day(ellipses) mention something about jesus(period) ask a thought-provoking question(question mark) give a vague answer(question mark) say something funny(exclamation mark)

(new paragraph)
remind the group that you love them, use spiritual lingo to make it sounds more meaningful(period) give a random prayer request(period)

insert a scripture verse here

say goodbye

(first name)

include a "P.S." and say something funny(exclamation mark)

My lovely Melissa has posted on her blog a selection of comic/cartoon theme songs. She's so cool. I particularly like the X song.

Boy: "So what's up with your dad? He a pain in the ass?"
Girl: "He just wants me to be someone I'm not."
Boy: "Who?"
Girl: "Bianca"
Boy: "No offense, but you're sister is without. I know everyone likes her and all, but ..."
Girl: "You know -- you're not as vile as I thought you were."

First person to post the correct movie on my tag board wins. The winner will receive a special personalized congratulatory e-mail. (Make sure to include your e-mail address in the tag.)

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Today was filled with such promise. I purchased brand new socks for school. Clean socks. Socks I wouldn't be ashamed of. It was going to be a "perfect" day. And alas, one moment of idiocy changed the whole course of my day. I locked my keys in the car. My teacher friend Jolyn had to drive me to UTA. My lovely wife will have to pick me up from UTA after my evening class, then on to community group. And then after community group, my lovely wife will drive me back to the school (with her spare keys) to get me in my car. So here I am, on the computer at the UTA bookstore listening to some crappy house techno music... waiting for class. New socks do not prevent you from stupid mistakes.
More signs of suburban hell:
* The Container Store
* A Starbucks located within a grocery store
* Constant fascination over property values
we have yet
to offer
a more compelling
to being brain-washed

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

And from News of the Weird~
Further Perils of Second-Hand Smoke

Cats whose guardians smoke are up to three times more likely to develop lymphoma, according to a Tufts University Veterinary School researcher (August). And Yvonne Stubbs told a reporter she was trying hard to quit smoking because her Jack Russell terrier, Patch, has developed a 20-butt-a-day chewing habit from raiding her ashtrays; Stubbs said she was considering nicotine patches (for Patch, not for herself) (Middlesborough, England, July). [New York Times, 8-6-02] [Northern Echo, 7-25-02]

FW Weekly ~ 9/26/02 ~ Urban Angst

Geez, my neighborhood keeps ending up in the local news. Melissa and I live about two streets over from the town house development. We're not too happy about it. Our neighborhood is a settled area. All this new construction is waking the sleeping beauty of this simple territory outside of the downtown. No only that, the town homes look ugly. "Instant quaint"
Special thanks to Rachel Cunliffe for the link to this editorial from Brian Balta in the Hoosier Review.

My friend Jason Evans commented on my Gangsta Driven Church. It's started a fun conversation.

At Lone Star, I bought a Hero Clix starter kit. I have no clue how to play the game yet, but it looks fun and I like the little plastic figures.
Melissa and I went to eat at Del Frisco's in downtown FW last night. The English department got us a gift certificate to this fancy resturant as a wedding gift. I still cannot believe the bill totalled at $100 for two people. (Thank God for gift certificates! It cost us nothing.) The highlight of my day for today? The prime ribeye that Melissa could not finish last night, which is currently waiting in the fridge for me.

As we were driving home, we went through our neighborhood. Being new to the area, we hadn't really explored deeper into the Arlington Heights of Fort Worth. I didn't know exactly how wealthy the Heights really were. Lost in the wealth of these John Hughes houses, we found ourselves trapped on a private driveway--complete with personal security guard. It was a surreal experience. I felt so out of place with my surroundings. I cannot image the wealth. People who go to Del Frisco's without a gift certificate. People who own these homes. People who hire their own security guards.

But then again, I've been given a luxury today many people in many parts of the world do not have: leftovers.
There was a time in my life when MTV was "music television." Now, it is just youth lifestyle programming. There was a time when VH1 was "Music First." Now, it is just slightly older youth lifestyle programming. Why in the world is VH1 airing "The Godfather"? My goodness!
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