Friday, October 31, 2003

Blogspot has been blocked by the school district's internet safety monitor. So now, whenever I visit my blog from a school computer, it reads:

Forbidden, this page (http://monkhouse.blogspot.com/) is categorized as: Personal.

Bummer, huh? I've been blocked. Interesting... right after I made a post about "sex education."
On her Wednesday October 29th blog post, Shanna offers a fascinating analysis of "sex education" in America [read here].

I agree with much of what she said. I think the notion of "marital" merely needs to be expanded and explored (something the public schools would never consider). Intentional convenant relationships still have meaning and value in most (all?) cultures, especially when sex is involved-- some may last a lifetime, some for only a season, some may be homosexual, some may be heterosexual.

I think "sex education" in America tends to remove responsibility from the individual and places it on the parents, the school, and the religious institutions. The individual is ultimately responsible for his or her own sexual education. Whether parents talk to them or not, whether the school covers the subject or not, each person is responsible for their actions and decisions.

Should parents guide and educate, setting early and appropriate boundaries for timely sexual behavior? Yes (unless the parents are complete morons... in that case, send your kids to me and I'll talk with them... you loser). Should schools have a role in discussing sexuality? I think so. But in the end, each person makes their own decisions about these matters-- including the responsibility to be informed.

Why should school be involved? Because it allows for an open forum with adults (other than mom and dad) and with their peers.

Melissa and I have discussed how we would approach the issue of sexuality with our own child. If anything, I think removing the taboo nature of the subject would be a good start.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Another great e-mail from my dad...

Do you keep falling asleep in meetings and seminars? What about those long and boring conference calls? Here's a way to change all of that!

1. Before (or during) your next meeting, seminar, or conference call, prepare yourself by drawing a square. I find that 5"x 5" is a good size. Divide the card into columns-five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.

2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block:

* synergy
* strategic fit
* core competencies
* best practice
* bottom line
* revisit
* expeditious
* 24/7
* out of the loop
* benchmark
* value-added
* proactive
* win-win
* think outside the box
* fast track
* result-driven
* empower (or empowerment)
* knowledge base
* at the end of the day
* touch base
* client focus(ed)
* paradigm
* game plan
* leverage

3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"

I spent two hours late, late last night-- downloading and watching Red vs. Blue: Blood Gulch Chronicles . I tried to keep quiet so I wouldn't wake up Melissa, but it was so funny, I kept giggling. Yes, giggling.
Students say the funniest things:
"Mr. Hopkins, how do you spell tighty-whities?"

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"We were once so close to heaven
Peter came out and gave us medals
Declaring us the nicest of the damned"
-Road Movie to Berlin, They Might Be Giants

Monday, October 27, 2003

Hollywood is Calling

Now for the first time ever you can have a real celebrity call you or a friend for just $19.95. They can also deliver a brief customized message written by you for $29.95. Whether it's for a special occasion or just for the fun of it, there's no better way to impress a client, a sweetheart or a friend than to have a celebrity call. So place your order today.
magic taco says,
"Feel free to feel free."
(via andrew)

Strummer saw punk as a redemptive movement, a means to further the causes of social justice. This same egalitarian, revolutionary spirit comes through loud and clear in much of the music of Strummer’s band, the Clash. Hidden within the lyrics of many Clash songs – those penned by Strummer and Clash co-founder Mick Jones as well as cover tunes of styles ranging from reggae to rockabilly – were seeds of something much greater than a call for anarchy or nihilism. While Rotten sang of no future, Strummer envisioned a movement that could tear down walls.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Some Other Day

music: "Mr. Grieves" by The Pixies

When a space shuttle explodes over Texas, the wreckage rains down on a small rural town. Four stories about life, death, and the wonder of an amazing goodbye.

"I don’t wanna walk."
"Me neither, but here we are."

"It is no secret that I opened this discount store with no thought of the consequences to your small town ways."

"You are going to put your father out of a job, and then you’re going to put him in the grave."
"Walter? Are you all right up there?"

"A faction in the church recently found biblical evidence against democracy— so no more voting. I have to make all the decisions."
"Somewhere in Habakkuk."
"Are they still allowed to vote you out of the church if they want?"
"Yep. Somewhere in Deuteronomy."
"Son of a bitch. They’re good."

"Hell, I figure if it lands on your property. You own it. That’s constitutional."

"I’m going to go check on your dead father."

"This is incredible."
"Not only can we claim on our insurance, we can sue."

"Now, where the hell did this come from?"
"I believe it fell from the sky, sir."

"You bitch!"
"Learned it from watching you!"

"God might be listening. Talk to him."
"Dear God, please don’t kill my friend."
An e-mail conversation between my dad and me:

"Oddly enough, I've been referring to the baby as 'little Bean' more
and more. Is this a genetic thing to attribute nicknames to children?"

(note: my dad has been calling me 'Buck' for as long as I can remember.)

"It is genetic, sorry."

"The word 'dad' takes some getting used to."

"Yes, the word Dad sounds different than son or pal..etc. It's a very
special title when you have children like you and Liz. You'll get use to
it, and it'll bring a smile to your face the first time you hear it and from
then on."

przc ntn

Friday, October 24, 2003

define irony:
Britney Spears newest single is titled: "Me Against the Music."
Yep, by listening to her, you can tell she has serious issues with music.

I weep for this generation's pop culture.
for dan
a sneak preview of THE INCREDIBLES
Satire (n) A literary work in which human vice or folly is attacked through irony, derision, or wit.

I think about the literature that, for me, was truly formative back in high school. 90% of it was satire-- Catch-22, Matt Groening's Life in Hell, the work of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Coupland.

I really have not written enough satire. In fact, I discovered last night that Melissa is quite the master of satire herself (as if I had any doubt... anybody who can wield sarcasm so skillfully-- must have a good dose of satirical wit to them).

Some Other Day is satire in the purest sense, but I need to write more.
praise for blankets continues...

"i completely find myself relating to Craig's experiences with fitting in, or moreover, not fitting in ... even with the fringe crowd." - rearviewWindow

"the interwoven story of childhood and adolescence; of love found and lost; of faith's affair with doubt and the cantankerous jockeying of tradition and passion for influence over life's decisions were masterfully collected into a simple, often hilarious, narrative." - theyblinked

"It spoke to me like the scriptures did on lonely days during adolescence." - mel-x

"The book was too good, too sacred." - monkhouse

on the fanboy radio forum:

"It evokes all of the memories and feelings of ones youth, all the pain and joy, love and hate, courage and fear, and puts it all into perspective." (josh)

"Blankets is the best comic book I have ever read in my life." (Scott Hinze)

"Craig Thompson has such a wonderful way of evoking feelings and emotion." (Greg B)

more acclaim

Thursday, October 23, 2003

A series of short animated flash films, by me (via dfilm)

Postmod Love Affair
The Affair, part 2
The Affair, part 3
The Affair, part 4
The Affair, part 5 - the final affair

Overhearing my students
"Your CD case only holds four CDs?! What a waste of money."
Shooter McGavin is the greatest "bad guy" name ever.
okay, i feel better now.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

I have this song stuck in my head!!!!
click here

Let's all sing along:

I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical
From Marathon to Waterloo, in order categorical;
I'm very well acquainted, too, with matters mathematical,
I understand equations, both the simple and quadratical,
About binomial theorem I'm teeming with a lot o' news,
With many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse.

I'm very good at integral and differential calculus;
I know the scientific names of beings animalculous:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

I know our mythic history, King Arthur's and Sir Caradoc's;
I answer hard acrostics, I've a pretty taste for paradox,
I quote in elegiacs all the crimes of Heliogabalus,
In conics I can floor peculiarities parabolous;

I can tell undoubted Raphaels from Gerard Dows and Zoffanies,
I know the croaking chorus from the Frogs of Aristophanes!
Then I can hum a fugue of which I've heard the music's din afore,
And whistle all the airs from that infernal nonsense Pinafore.

Then I can write a washing bill in Babylonic cuneiform,
And tell you ev'ry detail of Caractacus's uniform:
In short, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

In fact, when I know what is meant by "mamelon" and "ravelin",
When I can tell at sight a Mauser rifle from a javelin,
When such affairs as sorties and surprises I'm more wary at,
And when I know precisely what is meant by "commissariat",
When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery,
When I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery--
In short, when I've a smattering of elemental strategy,
You'll say a better Major-General has never sat a gee.

For my military knowledge, though I'm plucky and adventury,
Has only been brought down to the beginning of the century;
But still, in matters vegetable, animal, and mineral,
I am the very model of a modern Major-General.

From Clay Harrison (on a message board) -

Oddly enough I create stories from just observing people. I live in the suburbs. There is nothing exciting about this. It is the least interesting place in the world. But the people... I see people and put stories to them. I find disturbed people in the cookie cutter life in the middle class. I can only assume all these people are insane because they live here and make like a Mad Lib outta their life. The biker across the street from me lives with his wife and 2 kids but looks like he is from the witness relocation program. Maybe he was a member of the Banditos and snitched. He hides his family but not his ongoing love of motorcycles and specifically Harley's. One night they will find him and he will sacrifice himself to save his wife and kids but will have that lasting moment before he dies and wonder "Did they make it?"

I need to move.

Test your sanity
America's work obsession (via Joshua & Kristen)

Why are we so work obsessed? Forget the witch hunt. Slackers are viewed as deserving the darkest level of hell. Why? What's so wrong with not working?

I'm proud to have a job with two months vacation. Yet still, the school district attempts to take away this time from us with mandatory training and workshops-- pressure us into working summer school. I use those months to restore myself, to feed my soul, and to write. If more Americans had what I have, I think we'd all be better off. A two-week vacation is nothing.
Music and theater blend in 'Plan 9'
by Perry Stewart

There's something fundamentally wrong about the words of Shakespeare being drowned out by head-banging rock. Ah, but what if the prose is that of Edward D. Wood Jr., creator of Plan 9 From Outer Space, a 1959 science fiction opus widely cited as the worst movie ever made?

No problem there.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Poorly Drawn Animals
by Joshua Hale Fialkov

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Jessica Simpson’s mesmerizing brand of dumb

by Linda Holmes

JESSICA’S APPARENT STUPIDITY has now spawned a secondary phenomenon: the armchair analysis of whether it’s possible that she — or anyone — is as dumb as she looks. She recently showed up on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” admitting to being a ditz but chalking it up to a brand of appeal she tried to sell as reminiscent of Lucille Ball. Her father was likewise recently quoted in the press suggesting that she isn’t dumb, she’s just “playing into” her role as a stereotypical empty-headed blonde.

Why isn't the U.S. government making any attempts to apprehend this man?

Friday, October 17, 2003

According to Therel Moore, I am ignorant (as posted on the landofthefree comments section).
read the description
"Ghandi on percussion, Martin Luther King on Bass, Guitar would be Isaac Newton, Keyboards Beethoven, Vocals Jesus Christ."

-- Edge, 2001, describing his dream band

Thursday, October 16, 2003

ha, ha, shanna... made you look

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

The paperback version of Baghdad Express will be released on October 28, 2003.

Baghdad Express illustrator Brian Kelly is working with me on the comic book Some Other Day. Check out his work.

"My secret fear
throughout the year
has been that it might never be too late."
- Kris Rhodes

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Some things an actor will never live down.

Relaps and I spent yesterday transferring Cosmo Monkhaus songs from my demo tape to a digital CD format. Relaps was incredibly helpful. The re-mastered songs sound so much better than the original versions. We also added some cool samples to a few tracks.

Cosmo Monkhaus was my band in high school. The talented Kris Rhodes and I started the project. It was probably the most fun I had during my four years at Mansfield High.

In honor of the new CD, I will be creating a Cosmo Monkhaus fan site! Coming soon. Now if I can only hunt down the former members, we might be able to talk about a reunion tour...

Sunday, October 12, 2003

I was truly horrified when I was told about the injustice my friend Beate (Trevor's fiancee, and Trevor being Dan's brother) faced with the Atlanta airport Immigration organization. This story cannot go untold. People must hear about it. Read about it. Tell others. These events happened in my country, by my government. Does this reflect the country that raised me and cared for me? It truly sickens me to even know it could happen again and again and again.

Beate has a blog covering her ordeal at: http://LandOfTheFree.blogspot.com.

Turned Away at the Border

The love story of Trevor Hughes and his fiancee began in an elementary school in the Himalayan foothills.

They were "global nomads." He was a diplomat's son. She the daughter of missionaries. They lived in Asia, attended school together, fell in love and want to get married in June.

But when Hughes' fiancee, a German national, tried to visit him on a six-month tourist visa Monday, she was detained in Atlanta, handcuffed, jailed--even stripped of her diamond engagement ring.

Then, after 20 hours without food, she was put on a plane and shipped back to Stuttgart.

"This isn't the America I fought for," said Hughes, who served in the Navy and U.S. diplomatic corps. "You don't expect that from a great country like ours."

Friday, October 10, 2003

a little perspective on $87 billion

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Dan, I tested the Gender Genie on my own blog posts (using the entire text of the post). Here are the results:

I really enjoyed reading this book (posted today) ~
Female Score: 0
Male Score: 164

Politicians all support education (posted 09.29.03) ~
Female Score: 80
Male Score: 55

Melissa is pregnant!?! (posted 09.27.03) ~
Female Score: 797
Male Score: 638

Watched the second half of "An Evening with Kevin Smith" (posted 09.17.03) ~
Female Score: 82
Male Score: 138

"if I had a million dollars" game (posted 08.27.03) ~
Female Score: 352
Male Score: 517

I woke up depressed (posted 08.20.03) ~
Female Score: 300
Male Score: 404

Still no internet at home (posted 06.19.03) ~
Female Score: 129
Male Score: 239

script for issue #4 of my comic book (posted 10.21.02) ~
Female Score: 114
Male Score: 225

I'm back from the honeymoon (posted 06.24.02) ~
Female Score: 606
Male Score: 705

"If I could be anybody, who would I be?" (posted 04.29.02) ~
Female Score: 233
Male Score: 418

Tragedy as entertainment concerns me. (posted 04.29.02) ~
Female Score: 120
Male Score: 709

From the results, we might conclude that upon learning I would become a father (09.27.03)-- it momentarily turned me into a "female" writer. I'm still looking for another example of "female" writing from my posts. September 27th and 29th seem to be the only examples.

By the way, this post is
Female Score: 0
Male Score: 286

(via dan)
the US is determined to suppress the independent Arab media
Marjane Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah's regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran's last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I've been spoiled lately. Within the past few months, I've read Blankets, Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Kid on Earth, Maus, and now Persepolis. The artwork is simple and childlike, and it perfectly fits the tone of a memoir for a little girl. The moments are tragic and beautiful, and hopeful throughout.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes to attend Wizard World Texas.
"No rest for the neutral and impartial."
School of Rock ~ a review from fellow blogger Josh

It should be a solid family movie, one that you aren't too ashamed to go to, 12 year old in tow or not. But, it's not. It's more than that. It's an example of collaboration and its powers. It truly is greater than the sum of its parts. It could have been an easy Jack Black vehicle (like Shallow Hal was) but instead, it's a joyous, rocking and rolling punk rock extravaganza, that had even the prissiest of upper middle class kids laughing and clapping, and even the most cynical of twenty-somethings smiling and gushing afterwards.

I agree. After I saw the film, I immediately wanted to buy a drum set for my unborn child.
Just in from Sarajevo
Daniel Miller
The Impromptu Americana
House Concert

Friday, October 03, 2003

Film by dEUS art-rock songwriter/visionary Tom Barman, Any Way The Wind Blows. I need to find a copy of this Belgian film. I might request it at Premiere Video, and see if they can find the DVD. I love this commentary I read on the IMDB: "Awful film! I LOVED it!!"

Thursday, October 02, 2003

43.6 million Americans without health insurance.
Understatement of the day: Our current system is not working.

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I found a website to one of my favorite bands when I was in high school: THE GROWN UPS!

posted one year ago today: the luxury of leftovers
The legal differences between a Toyota and a toy Yoda. (news article from July 2001)
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