Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Their real names (via BabyNames.com)

Hulk Hogan - Terry Jean Bollette
Traci Lords - Nora Louise Kuzma
Ice-T - Tracy Morrow
Rodney Dangerfield - Jacob Cohen
Jennifer Aniston - Jennifer Anistonapoulos
Queen Latifah - Dana Owens
Tina Turner - Anna Mae Bullock
Thanks to Al_Haqq, the blogless one, for sending me this interesting news item:
Suicide for commercial or entertainment purposes is now illegal in St Petersburg, Florida.
The official web of Davey & Goliath
I especially enjoyed learning all about Davey: Davey is a typical American boy. He’s good-natured and smart, but he does have a knack for getting into trouble. Fortunately, he is usually willing to own up to his mistakes and make amends.

Monday, September 29, 2003

For my own reference, for your amusement:
AISD Benefits
United Healthcare
Dr. Audrey Graham
Welcome Addition Club
Baby Names
Politicians all support education. Unfortunately, they all support the interests of insurance companies more. When insurance rates are greater than a pay increase, that's called a pay cut. When our child is born, I will be making less than I was last year, due to health insurance.

Is there a politician out there who supports education over corporate influence? I doubt it.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Today, we found out that Melissa is pregnant!?! Yep, we're having a baby. It looks like our son or daughter will make his/her debut sometime around May or June.

Crazy, huh? Still a little in shock.

Under normal circumstances, I would probably have some personal insight to share about this moment. But honestly? I have no clue what's going on. I'm really happy. And I'm not too worried about much of anything. Well, yeah, I am. It's nice to tell friends, because their excitement confirms to me that this experience is real. Melissa and I spent the afternoon over at Wim's house. Hung out on the back porch with some friends. Several times, people would catch me staring off to nowhere and ask, "You alright?" I'd snap back into reality and mumble, "Yeah, yeah. I'm here." What do you say? It doesn't feel real. It feels like we just decided one day to tell our friends that Melissa's pregnant.

It's been a long day. Melissa went to sleep early. She's worn out. I'm worn out. We're too excited to even put it into words. May or June. Wow. Today was the first day in a long time that I've prayed.

(I keep coming back and adding stuff to this post.) I'm so thankful. Not everybody gets the chance to fall in love and be with that person. Not everybody gets the opportunity to have children. (Dang, I'm crying right now. Keep writing...) I'm so looking forward to seeing this person who will become the most precious person in the world to me. That's the weird thing about children: You don't know them. You never met them. And yet, they are a part of you. And you love them. I get to be a dad and that is so cool. That is so cool.

Please keep Melissa (and me) in your prayers. The next nine months are going to be a little different than normal. Wait-- nine months? From here on out, everything is going to be different than normal.

Friday, September 26, 2003

via Andrew's blog-
A great teaching moment from Salmacis:

Brian: (after Andy innocently raised this middle finger) TEACHER! Andy is saying 'Buck You!'
Me: I believe the letter you are looking for is 'F'
(the kid is ten and has been studying English since he was five... if he is going to curse, he should at least do it properly)

I own a cat.
Until further notice...
I'm supporting Wesley Clark for the democratic presidential nomination.
Clark is a 1966 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point where he ranked first in his class. He holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

It'll be nice to have an educated man in the highest elected office of the United States.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Man has a dying wish for THE SMITHS to re-unite (found here)

punk_lawyer writes:

I recently had a client who asked me, as his lawyer, to draft his Last Will and Testament with the following language in it:

" ITEM V: However, should my said wife predecease me, or die within sixty (60) days of my death and if I have no living children at the time of my death, then I give, devise and bequeath all of the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to [name deleted], IN TRUST, to be held for the benefit of two musicians commonly known to the him as Johnny Marr and Morrissey. I direct the trustee to send a certified letter to each of the two musicians, or otherwise make personal contact with them or their representatives, stating that if they meet with one another alone in the same room for more than one hour they can be given all of the property held within the trust. Should they refuse, the trustee is directed to set up a scholarship fund in the name of the two musicians and administer the scholarship fund in a manner that is prudent to him."

I found it rather amusing that this guy had a dying wish for Morrissey and Marr to get together. Also, judging from this guy's potential estate, Morrissey and Marr could divide a couple of million dollars just for getting together for an hour. I told him that their separation was more a matter of principle than a matter of money but he still wanted to put them in his will in some way.

How can they resist a man's dying wish that they get together?

Geez, if wealthy white males attending a quality private school weren't persecuted enough?! (please note the sarcasm)

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

TV show "Fearless" moved to midseason. :(

What's not to love about this show? Rachel Leigh Cook, born without a "fear gene." And it's produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. I'm already a fan and I haven't even seen it yet.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

commentary by Shannon Peterson
Thank you Dan for your post. If there's one thing that makes me happy, it's seeing people dance where they are not supposed to dance. (click here)
I teach students.

Monday, September 22, 2003

from relaps ~

"so i think i discovered an underlying logic about the cosby show. see often enough one of the sub plots maintains that one of the children wants to do something which requires their parents' approval and it takes the entire episode for cliff to say yes. and of course there is much glee and celebration when the children are granted their wish (which also occurs quite often). so if these kids always get what they want, then why are they so worried about what dad will say the entire episode and excited about the reply in the end?"
Last night, I was the guest co-host to a talk radio show on KTCU 88.7 FM. I helped interview a guy I knew nothing about. He wrote short stories. One story in particular focused on divorce and he wanted to title it Piss Rainbow. (I also found out you're not allowed to say "piss" on the air.)

I love how I stumble into these odd opportunities. No one else has this much fun. Do they?

Saturday, September 20, 2003

365.00 USD
United States Dollars
transfers into
1,710,025.00 ZMK
Zambia Kwacha

Friday, September 19, 2003

Winner of the blind-acceptance-of-authority-figures award goes to...
Britney Spears in a CNN interview: "I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that."
David Blaine - trapped in a box for 44 days without food (read more about the stunt here)

Palm Pictures presents the first three installations in an ongoing series highlighting the work of filmmakers who have helped re-define music videos and filmmaking over the last decade.

This DVD series looks so amazingly cool.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. The movie below looks good, but this movie looks incredible.
The Battle of Shaker Heights
"I feel you're never more alive than when you're facing with simulated death."
"How am I going to get through to you?"
"Well, advertising executives use status and sex to appeal to my demographic."

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

"My Pen Pal" from This American Life -
Sarah York, from Northern Michigan, became General Manuel Noriega's pen pal in 1988.
I was skimming through a message board I frequently post on. I came across something I said on July 13th:

Accountants can't save the world, but they could certainly destroy it.

hee, hee... okay, I admit it. Mostly, I just entertainment myself.
I found this note in the school hallway. One person wrote in ink (bold) and another person responded in pencil (italics). Ah, to be young and in love.

Hey Sweetheart! How are you my love!!! Fine.

Did you go to homecoming?? No.

Whoa! Please don't write that much next time. :) Do you have a screen name? No.

Why didn't you ask me to HC (lol j/k) Let's make babies! Ha Ha

Bitch! You should have asked me!! Yeah should of

Well... why didn't you :( Do you not like me? Yeah

So you don't like me?? :( Why not?!! We need to go out fool.
Watched the second half of "An Evening with Kevin Smith" last night with Dan, Kausar, Emily, Justin, Shanna, and some of Shanna's friends. Kevin Smith is a great storyteller, really funny. Unfortunately, the entertainment was fleating, like a bad high for the pop culture addict.

Also, I was bummed out yesterday. Don't know why. I feel horrifically unprepared for life and taking care of people. And these moods come in bi-monthly cycles.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

POP QUIZ: REAL LIFE. Choose the false statement.

1. If someone breaks into your house, you don't have to pay the policeman to help you.
2. If your house is on fire, you don't have to pay the fireman to help you.
3. If you need a life saving heart transplant, you don't have to pay the doctor to help you.

Why are people so scared of the notion of universal health care? Will it really cost that much more than what we're already spending on medicare?
For those of you who miss the typical school cafeteria lunch, today I ate:
* salisbury steak,
* mashed potatoes and gravy
* dinner roll,
* mac and cheese,
* half pint of 2% milk

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Watch out behind you! It's Stealth Disco!

Friday, September 12, 2003

"My mother told me to keep on singing, and that kept me working through the cotton fields. She said God has his hand on you. You'll be singing for the world someday." - Johnny Cash (February 26, 1932 - September 12, 2003)

A 'Village' for Chinese Orphans
American Aid Worker Opens Doors to Abandoned Children

China's one-child policy often means that parents will abandon any child that is not physically perfect. American aid worker Tim Baker is helping build a "children's village" that takes in unwanted babies and gives them a chance at adoption.

Baker, a native of Green Bay, Wis., and his wife moved to China 15 years ago to teach English. The parents of three biological children, the couple became volunteers at a local orphanage. They have since adopted four Chinese children, all of them with special needs.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

MTV Matrix parody (not badger racing, but still funny)

Badger Racing
and more badger fun.
Thank you Shanna for the spoonful of witty Onion satire.
[read the article: Relations Break Down Between U.S. and Them]

Observations from my friend Summer in Korea:

"NOBODY even tries to find a trash can... not that you could fine one if you wanted one. Every morning I watch children walk to school while stepping over garbage, advertisements for hookers (complete with naked women in provacotive posses) and vomit from the binge-drinking of the men from the night before. No one seems offended by any of this... but God forbid their eyes have to look upon a woman smoking. If someone sees you, you will get yelled at and possibly even slapped!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Well, I am sure glad BIG CORPORATIONS aren't being bullied anymore by TWELVE YEAR OLD GIRLS. I mean, what kind of country would we live in if large mega-industries didn't get everything they ever wanted?

"Why are they picking on me?" she asked reporters after learning about the suit Monday night. "My stomach is all in knots."

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Just got a phone call, Melissa and I have been asked to take up the sacred duty of a "Nielsen family." It's like being drafted... but for television. We have become the voice of TV viewing masses!

From their website:
"You’ve just received a call from the Nielsen TV Ratings… Imagine being part of a scientifically selected sample of people whose input helps the television industry make informed decisions about television programming and advertising expenditures. TV executives make decisions about TV in part through what you normally watch on TV everyday. The Nielsen TV Ratings are part of Nielsen Media Research, and we’ve been asking people’s opinion about their television viewing habits for more than 50 years. All throughout the year, we select homes across the U.S. and ask them to participate in the Nielsen TV Ratings. We may ask you to fill out a diary, keep a television meter in your home, or just answer some questions over the telephone."

To celebrate this great moment, I think I'm going to take a week off from school and just watch Joy of Painting with Bob Ross on PBS.

I have a friend named Gustavo (on the right). He acts in movies. He lives in the same apartment complex I do. We talk about writing scripts and "the Industry."

My newest online discovery...
listening to movies.

Monday, September 08, 2003

I didn't even know this about myself...
David G. Hopkins

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Read Blankets today.
No fancy insightful reviews from me.
The book was too good,
too sacred
to make any additional comments.
It's the kind of work
that you don't want to immediately ruin
with analysis

(although my head
is swimming with
thoughts on
Thompson's visual approach).

Melissa and I
bought two copies--
one to keep
and to continually
pass around
to people who
haven't read it yet.

The acclaim
[read here].

Friday, September 05, 2003

Hey Nostradamus is a darn good book. I say so. Shanna says so.
There are no rules, only norms.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

I love it when students ask me questions like: "What's the capitol of the Atlantic Ocean?" Atlantis, right?
To be a follower of shinto seems so much cooler than being associated with the American Christian Majority at this moment. I realize it's difficult, since I don't live in Japan, but maybe I could live at the Japanese Gardens in Fort Worth and meditate there.

No, no, don't condemn me to hell yet (or do, it's your call). But before I get your angry e-mail sending me to the fiery abyss, keep in mind, I'm probably kidding.

However, the followers of shinto take lots of baths. And I do like being clean... hmmm...
i'm #9255

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Johnny Depp: "America is dumb, it's like a dumb puppy that has big teeth that can bite and hurt you, aggressive."

Oh Cry Baby, Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Donnie Brasco, and Captain Jack Sparrow-- I'm sure you can be prepared for another "Dixie Chicks" styled boycott. Of course, Johnny, I'm sure you could care less. But on my part, I totally support your right to call the United States a puppy. Puppies are cute, even dumb ones.
"Why I Love My Library Card" essay contest
Melissa loves her library card. Unfortunately, she's too old to participate.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Yes, it is Toby Radoff of American Splendor fame. It's like the hampster dance, only we use "nerds" instead. (I'm not being mean. He is a self-professing shameless nerd.)


Call me a conspiracy theorist-- I might be. But I wonder, when is the bubble going to burst on this new wave of candy pop music? It keeps getting bigger and scarier. We now have people in their 20's, who are still listening to NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. STOP!!!

I blame the "mood-drug" industry. We have completely abandoned the "just say no" philosophy. We jump at the chance to label and then drug children into oblivion. They all have chemical imbalances, they all have special needs. Yet, parents don't realize how loose these new fangled "conditions" are. ADD (or ADHD) is still highly questionable as an actual "medical" condition. It may have more to do with sugar, television, and basic youthful energy than any naturally occuring imbalance in the brain. Why is it then that these ADD kids "magically" grow out of it when they're older? Hmmm, it couldn't have anything to do with the fact that they're GROWING UP?

And depression. Why are we so afraid of depression? Why do we scare people with the threat of d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-o-n? Maybe depression wouldn't be so tragic if we taught people that it's natural, normal, and can be quite healthy to get depressed now and then... EVEN if you don't have a reason to be depressed! Even if you feel like you're depressed ALL THE TIME, maybe (just maybe) medication is not the answer for once. Nevermind the fact that the pharmaceutical industry has a vest interested in dealing these drugs. (watch "Brain Candy" for a nice satire on this topic)

I know a person who was drugged up almost her entire life. Multiple pills for multiple conditions. Even with the drugs, was she still chronically depressed? Yes. The only response is "Imagine how bad it would've been without (insert all the fancy drug names here)?" Um, the same? And as she's gotten older, guess what? She still wrestles with depression. Does that mean she hates her life? No. She's one of the kindest, most loving and optimistic people I know, despite the downs. However, she's probably better at coping than others.

I think of all the great artists, musicians, poets, visionaries, who were completely crazy and depressed. They didn't "use their art" to treat their depression. They used their depression to create INCREDIBLE art. I'm not saying, "Who cares that Pablo Picasso committed suicide? At least he changed modern art forever." But why are we so scared of Pablo Picasso's life? It was his life to live and he lived it.

I'm thankful that I've had (and still have) some fairly frightening bouts of depression. It got me writing. It keeps me interesting. And it's not the whole "you have to know the bad to appreciate the good" type of crap-philosophy. No! The real question is, "Why do we label depression as BAD to begin with?" Maybe, it's our soul's way of saying "slow down." Van Gogh once said, "It is no small thing when we realize how precarious is our condition." When I'm depressed, I think of that statement. I believe there's more to life than just being happy.

So back to pop music... more artists of this generation have been killed with prozac, ritalin, lithium, and zoloft than with heroin. They been drugged out of their divinely artistic souls. The soul that craves the darkness, the subversive, and the discontent. These drugs marginalize the bleak artist, all because Americans are so terrified of depression. Pop Music plays on.

[I'm not writing this to necessarily make anyone feel guilty or upset (or further depressed) about their choices, but make sure you know what you are choosing! Make sure you understand what you gain and what you leave behind when you do these drugs. Don't do it just because some doctor diagnoses you for an "imbalance." Get a second opinion. Get a third, fourth. Research the alternatives (and there are alternatives!) Change your diet. Your habits. Your lifestyle. Don't buy into the diagnosis or the treatment merely because they have the PHD. It's your life. You choose.]

For further study:
The Myth of Biological Depression
Mood Drugs Curl Brain Cells in Rat Study
The Dangers of Prozac
The Myth of ADD
Or read the book

Monday, September 01, 2003

Redemption is the promise that anything sacred, if destroyed, can also be rebuilt.
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