Sunday, November 23, 2003

Yep, I met Kevin Smith at Wizard World TX. Needless to say, it was a fun weekend. More photos from this weekend are available on my website's latest spin - scrapbook.

Friday, November 21, 2003

An interesting experiment in visual storytelling

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I've redesigned Antihero Comics. I'd like to thank Joshua and Kristen for inspiring the new look. You can tell the blatant rip off between my site and their's. What can I say? I liked their front page and I "borrowed" the concept, varied it a little, and called it my own. So, so, so shameful. :(

Why can't I just be creative on my own?
I'm now a t-shirt. Buy me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

spark online...
please come back.
Melissa and I met with someone on Monday to get approved for a loan to purchase a house. Looks like it's going to happen. We shall be home owners.

Monday, November 17, 2003

I'll elaborate. I realize Dan and Kausar have already commented on this subject. I'm a little late. Do people realize that our decisions can ruin other people's lives?! Whoever signed the order to send Maher Arar to Syria (particularly when he has duel citizenship with Canada and hasn't lived in Syria for some time), this government official is either...
a.) a malicious, cruel human being
b.) has no clue that he ruined one man's life

I am aware that in my profession, as a teacher, I have a tremendous ability to help or harm other people. I handle my job with care, because I understand its impact. Likewise, when you wield the power to ship another person somewhere against their will, you have the power to destroy someone. Clearly, this person had no compassion for Maher Arar or no understanding of the situation. These type individuals should not have jobs with that kind of power. They need jobs that require minimal power-- maybe he should work as a change maker for a toll booth. Of course, he'd probably screw that up too-- but at least no one would spend a year in a Syrian jail.

George W. Bush. How did you become president? Was it based on merit? Were you the most qualified person for the job? Did you excel in foreign affairs? Did you have a professional understanding of the economy, management structures, and law? Did you graduate top of your class? (waiting for a response) Let's see. Were you born into an insanely wealthy family with political ties? Money you didn't earn? Influence you didn't create? Was your daddy president? Did your daddy go to Yale first?

Did you even get the majority of the popular vote?

I don't mean to be disrespectful (okay... wait, yeah, I do), but let's acknowledge that your position is more based on priviledge than merit. Under your administration, an innocent Canadian citizen was sent to a Syrian jail where he was tortured for a year. At the very least, I think you owe Maher Arar and Canada an apology. And after your term of duty, might I suggest a career as a toll booth change maker*?

*footnote: I mean no disrespect to the fine toll booth change makers who work hard every day for such low wages and benefits. I'm thankful for your labor and the kind smile you offer every time I drive up to your booth. I'm merely suggesting that you, the toll booth change makers, should be thankful for a job where even the most inefficient among you do not cause serious damage to the world order.
Went to bed at 3 AM. Woke up at 6:30 AM. I really need to stop doing that.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Most rewarding thing I've done all day:
I taught a student how to play chess. However, the satisfaction has nothing to do with the game of chess itself. I simply enjoyed having direct student interaction and helping him learn something he didn't know an hour earlier.
The Friday Five

1. Using one adjective, describe your current living space.

2. Using two adjectives, describe your current employer.
caring, reactionary

3. Using three adjectives, describe your favorite hobby/pasttime.
calming, moving, under-estimated

4. Using four adjectives, describe your typical day.
loud, balancing-act, personal, satisfying

5. Using five adjectives, describe your ideal life.
creative, meaningful, loving, serving, intentional
Do you want to follow your dreams?
Are you willing to work for it?

Thursday, November 13, 2003

As a tech mentor, my job is to help other teacher integrate technology into their curriculum and also develop the English Department's website. It's nice teaching English, but adding the tech mentor gig allows me an extra conference period.

One of my challenges as a tech mentor is to remove the computer paranoia many of these teachers have. They tend to believe the computer has a "mind of its own". I try to reassure them that whatever problem they have is usually connected to some human error, and it's not personal agenda that a sentinent force within the mainframe is enacting against them. Computers do not have a mind their own! But between you and me...

Sometimes, I think they do.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

If you didn't know already, I am quite an Ellen Feiss fan.

I found some more stuff...
Interview with Ellen
Ellen Feiss - the song! (This is really cool.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

(via both jim and jason)
the worst album covers ever

On a more positive note, today is salisbury steak day in the cafeteria.
My disappointment in "postmodern" expressions of Christianism continues. Last night, I listened to Brian McLaren speak at Lover's Lane United Methodist Church. One of my first semi-church experiences since a thoroughly frustrating Wabi-Sabi.

No fault to Brian McLaren. He was addressing older folks and not really "targeting" me. Brian is a nice guy, but I've come to a point where I don't feel like I belong within that game and that language. I try to follow/priviledge/enact the message of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of God, but I'm tired of being "about" stuff. I'm tired of the authority structures, localized church celebrities, and marketing the next big movement of the Spirit.

Postmodern Christianism is the most annoying. Possibly because, now I'm the target market. I'm the pet project. I entered in with such hope and promise and idealism, and this experiment of good intentions really burned Melissa and me. We're now wholly dissatisfied and cynical towards most expressions of Christianism.

Spiritual experiences are rooted in a holy fascination. It's become difficult for me to be fascinated by the words, the music, the decorations, the games of a church service. Yes, that "rock'n'roll" church music bugs me too. With a few sacred exceptions, much of it comes across as juvenile sentimentalism, embarrassingly co-dependent and self centered.

I visit the blogs of people I don't know (really good Christian people) and I'm concerned when my site is included in their blogroll. I stopped preaching, because I recognize my cynicism would be a "stumbling block" for good people. I don't want that. Hopefully, those people do not view my opinions as an attack on their own decisions. You make your own choices. I don't want to discourage or sabotage anybody's faith. Right now, my peace is firmly rooted in hanging out with people and sharing dinner with friends-- the pleasure of a good story, well told.

Brian McLaren didn't say anything specific. Overall, I realized how marginalized I've become from the language and the culture. Even the whole process of "preaching," with the film clips, anecdotes, truisms, and personal parables, comes across as a vulgar display of power by a pseudo-elite class. The subtle attempts to communicate "I'm just like you - I'm a regular Joe" depress me, because I don't identify, I don't relate, and I only feel further removed.
My membership to Premiere Video allows access to videos I wouldn't normally find at Blockbuster. It's a great place (excluding the gestapo-like membership registration). They have an entire wall of foreign films. All the obscure movies you can't normally find... they have. Premiere Video will even order a video, if they don't have it.

I love watching movies. I especially love discovering movies and then being able to recommend them to other people. It's really not a snob thing. Seriously. There are so many good movies and I want to watch them all. Last night, I stayed up until 2 AM with a great film called House of Fools-- a little bit Catch-22, a little bit One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Summary [Watch the trailer]
Psychiatric patients become entrenched in the Chechen War after the staff split to find them a safer hospital. Soldiers take over the asylum, and then, a young female patient falls in love with a soldier, leaving her fantasy boyfriend Bryan Adams (playing himself) behind. Based on a true story.

Bryan Adams, the music of psychiatric wards and junior high dances! All said, it was a wonderful movie. Granted, the movie is still churning around in my head-- but it had some incredible moments. Touching and offbeat, House of Fools explores the absurdity (and insanity) of war. Patients and soldiers both share the ward. The war never leaves the walls of the hospital. The viewer observes as one entrenched in the conflict. Several visual moments were so original I had to rewind and watch them through two or three times. Yuliya Vysotskaya, as Janna the accordian-wielding love sick patient, carries the movie with an adorable onscreen presence similiar to Audrey Hepburn or Audrey Tautou. (Shall we call it the "Audrey-effect"?)

Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert
"...a film that succeeds not by arguing that the world is crazier than the asylum, but by arriving at the melancholy possibility that both are equally insane."

Monday, November 10, 2003

i'm afraid of americans by david bowie
I spent an hour lecturing my students on the seduction of television media. We're now watching an "educational video" (irony?) about the techniques used by advertisers to persuade viewers. The video talks about "fear" as an effective tool. Mr. Hopkins strikes again!
I hate begging, but will someone please buy me a space suit?
(well, that, and a samurai sword. yeah, i'd really like a space suit and a samurai sword. i want to be a samurai astronaut.)
The lunch lady piled a mound of mac and cheese on my styrofoam tray. The tray buckled under the weight. How could anyone eat this much mac and cheese? This is not a meal; it's a dare.
"This is the greatest discovery since... television!"
- from The Iron Giant
(via daniel via goingjesus)
For hours of entertainment... the church sign generator

Sunday, November 09, 2003

A great review by Scott Kurtz, creator of PVP, on Matrix Revolutions


Instead we get an ending that reeks of someone trying to write themselves out of a corner. I ought to know, because I write myself in corners all the time. In the end, the humans win the right to continue living in a hole. Neo keeps the machine world from being destroyed, and in the process restores the Matrix. The final exchange between the Oracle and the Architect was one of the most bull---- "let's wrap it up fast" moments in the history of cinema.

I completely agree. I think the Matrix sequels had a decent concept with tons of contrived plotlines and horrendous exposition-- plus a sloppy conclusion. Did I enjoy the movie? Yes. Was it the movie I was hoping for? Not even close.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

One of my favorite people now has a blog!

Thursday, November 06, 2003

"Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands." - Anne Frank
:: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom :: boom ::

Today, Melissa and I went to the doctor. We were able to listen to our baby's heartbeat-- going at techno pace. 160 beats. It was a cool experience to hear the physical presence of life inside Melissa. I wish we could've listened longer-- the moment only lasted for a few seconds. Get it on tape, something.

We're not sure we like our doctor much. The good doctor is rather domineering and not very friendly. We said we want to know the gender beforehand, and she urged us not to. She said, "It's like opening your presents before Christmas." What the...? It irritates me. A complete stranger in a position of authority assumes her personal experience should be the standard. Darn it. WE WANT TO KNOW IF IT'S A BOY OR A GIRL!!! IT'S OUR DECISION!!!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003


Tuesday, November 04, 2003

This story is a perfect example of what I'm looking for:

Once a girl tried to push me down the stairs. And there was another girl in Elementary School that passed around a petition for people not to like me. But God got them back-- one grew up ugly, and the other turned into a junkie.

and another example...

In Elementary School one day, a bully made fun of me for having to take off one of my Roos to get the change out of the zipped pocket for lunch. I proceeded to run up and hit him with it repeatedly. I got detention for a week, but I was a hero for a day.

and yet another...

My brother finally had enough of the smart-mouthed, troublemaker of our neighborhood. He grabbed the kid's bike, rode it to the vacant lot, and hung it in a tree about ten feet off the ground. It was still there the next morning.

Send your childhood enemy anecdotes to me! (via electronic mail)
The super hero genre is rooted in the hope that the powerful would care for the powerless.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Working on a comic book with my friend Roxanne from Toronto. It's titled "Childhood Enemies". Two true stories about how evil kids can be towards one another.

I'm collecting anecdotes from people about their own childhood enemy to be including as a filler page for the comic. If you want to be included, just drop me an e-mail and share your pain...
from Kevin Smith's Clerks (Holiday Special)--

Dante: Remember when we watched Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo in class back in third grade, and Miss Veiling asked everyone to write a report about it?

Randal: Sure, I got an 'A'.

Dante: No, you got an 'F' on it-- because it was your contention that Herbie wasn't a benevolent Volkswagen, but rather a German hate-machine possessed by the spectre of Adolf Hilter.

Randal: It was a sentient German car whose contempt for jews was disturbingly apparent, for Chrissakes! Herbie represented the repackaging of Third Reich ideals into something Americans would swallow easier: an affordable car.

Dante: It was called the Love Bug, you idiot!

Randal: Yes, but love of what? Read between the lines, my friend: it was the love of hating jews! That's the movie I saw, and I'm standing by my assessment, almost twenty years later.
This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?