Rep. Weiner, Ant'ny, Paisan.
Thank you for showing how you felt some days ago on the House floor. I've read your explanation here. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that those republicans that supported the bill should have used their allotted time for debate to argue the positive points of the legislation in an attempt to sway their colleagues. I also hope that your democratic colleagues in both the House and Senate and Mr. Obama will follow your example and show their true feelings.
What makes me angry about the fact that the republicans let this bill die is that this is party leading a rail against a proposed Mosque being built on Ground Zero. How can you be upset by this and not want to help the responders to 9/11. Regardless of the type of building built on Ground Zero, the souls we lost that morning won't come back to physical form. So frankly, it doesn't matter if a mosque is built there or not. I don't think conceding that spot of territory to a mosque allows the terrorists to win. Now, it may be a poor decision to allow the specific group wanting to build the mosque to do so. I don't know anything about the group and therefore will not comment on it.
Went to bed and didn't see
why every day turns out to be
a little bit more like Bukowski.
And yeah, I know he's a pretty good read.
But God who'd wanna be?
God who'd wanna be such an asshole?
- Modest Mouse “Bukowski”
If you haven’t read Bukowski and/or don’t know of him I suggest you check him out. In any case, Bukowski’s head stone simply reads “Don’t Try.” When I first heard this I took it to mean that Bukowski didn’t think people should try to enjoy life or improve their station because as he (I assumed) thought life was shit. According to Bukowski, you were who you were; you’d never change so just do what you have to do to get through it (life). It took me some time to realize that Bukowski didn’t mean don’t try in the hopeless sense, but rather in the Yoda sense (there is no try, only do). So I’ve decided that I’m going to write without trying to write. I don’t care if a reader doesn’t like what I write, piss off. I also don’t care if no one reads this. Although, I’m sure my lovely wife will and will continue to promote my blog on her blog.
In that vein, I offer this poem.
Buddha was a Buddha
Ryan White was a Buddha
Joe Strummer was a Buddhapunkrockwarlord
Ginsberg was a Buddha
Kerouac was a boooodah (read: Hotei)
Bird and Coltrane were Buddhas
Father Myke was a Buddha
Merton was a Buddha
Roshi Loori was a Buddha
Roshi Aitken was a Buddha (God rest him)
4 young girls in Birmingham were Buddhas
Memphis 3 are Buddhas (God save them)
Cubby Selby was a Buddha
Gramps was a Buddha
It has been quite some time since I have posted. School got very hectic, I switched back to omni, then switched to vegetarian. I have been vegetarian (pretty much) since Thankgiving, and by Thanksgiving I mean it was not-turkey day for me. It was been quite a time since my last post. We had a great Samhain/Halloween here. Our Thanksgiving was animal free, at least on our plates. I got a 3.65 GPA this semester. I would like it to be higher, but I got a B in my first class and an A in my second so I can't really compain. After Thanksgiving we went to Sanibel Island, Florida on a mini-moon as VB likes to call it. You can read about our trip here. We had a great time and the trip was short, but sweet.
We had a great Winter Solstice and Christmas. The kids (my cousins') had a great time at my grandmother's house. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I was pleased that my folks didn't go overboard with gifts. My in-laws always give very thoughtful gifts. Christmas is pretty tiring since my day starts at 6am and goes until 830 or 9pm.
I've been reading all the "top-10" lists that are on Newsweek.com and Time.com. I can't understand why so much hubbub is going on with the whole 2010 thing. I mean it is the beginning of a new decade, but unless you're about to turn 11 this isn't your first decade. However, VB told me this morning that Vic Chesnutt killed himself on Christmas. If you don't know who Vic Chesnutt is, then check him out. He just came out with a new album a few months ago and this one seemed to have some potential for mainstream popularity. He also had a great deal of admiration paid to him by many musicians, Michael Stipe, of REM, and Jonathan Richman, being just two. My first encounter was his opening for Jonathan Richman at the 8by10 in Baltimore about 2 years ago I think. It was winter time and bitter cold out. Vic must have had a cold and both acts hit traffic problems due to bad weather out of state. The crowd had been waiting quite some time for the players to hit the stage. One couple we talked to had driven from Binghampton, NY to Baltimore to see JR. In any case, Vic hit the stage and many of us did not know what to think. VB and I were astonished at how bad this unknown (to us at least) artist was. Vic was terrible. We mentioned this to friends of ours when we got back and one or two knew of Vic and told us he must have had an off night. We checked YouTube and saw previous performance of Vic's. They were great. This is a bit rambly, but I felt the need to get it out. I also need to say that I'm pissed at Vic. I know he had a lot of troubles, probably both physical and mental. I can only imagine how his afflications affected his daily life. Vic, you had things to live for. You were married and had family. You certainly had friends and fans - in fact many were both at the same time. I was actually looking forward to the possibility of seeing you when JR and Tommy come back to Baltimore. I'm mad at you for taking that chance away.
The moral of the story here is: readers (if you're out there?????) take stock of your life and realize the positive things. Think about stuff hard, it is probably better than you think. After you've done this, reconnect with someone, reaffirm a relationship, and say a prayer/meditate/do a spell to express your gratitude to God, Goddess, The Great Spirit, or even just the universe (check all that apply).
No this is not what VB would call a "tale of hobbit porn." I finished the PCRM 21-day Vegan Kickstart challenge. As you may know from reading other posts, I have decided not to continue to be vegan. One of the reasons is convenience. It is not convenient or easy to be vegan. Furthermore, my black heart does not feel the same way VB's does about animals. I certainly do not think that evidence is made up or fantasy. I think I'm still in the position of "my little part won't help." I'll get over that, don't worry. When VB and I got serious, I always assumed that I would continue to eat whatever and she would eat vegan. VB wants to raise our possible kids vegan and since she turned me on to the PCRM website, I have absolutely no issue with that. I'll have to help them cross the "I'm different" bridge when they come to it.
What were the benefits I experienced during/throughout the challenge?
1. SAVING MONEY!!!!!! I probably saved somewhere between $150 and 200 just by not buying lunch for the 15 week days I did the challenge. That was an awesome, positive experience.
2. Sleeping better. I slept very well during the challege. I did not experience energy loss during the day and I wasn't tired. I got sleepy as bedtime drew closer and did not toss and turn at night. CAVEAT: During the first week of the challenge I only had three, yes only three, caffeinated drinks.
3. Slower to anger/more patience. I experienced having more patience and I was slower to anger. I'm not sure if that has to do with no animal products or caffeine, or better sleeping. I did feel clearer mentally.
Things I did not experience:
1. I did not have the physical epiphany that some folks have. I did not feel immensly better, probably because I didn't feel bad before starting the challenge.
2. I didn't lose any weight really. I was hoping to lost some el bees in a big way. I only lost a few pounds and that was probably because of not drinking soda.
For the final days of the challenge the leftover candy from our reception was calling my name. I had some today. It was good, not great, but good. I had some chicken today for lunch. It was good, not great. As I was eating my what-used-to-be-a-poor-defenseless-chicken I thought, I really don't need this. It was good, but not necessary. I think I'm past the first step to vegetarianism/veganism. I've admitted there's a problem. I guess what I really mean to say is that I am now comfortable with not eating the standard American diet. As VB says, one day at a time.
As a side note, I think that my dad assumes that either VB is making me do this or I'm only doing it for her. If I was, I would have had to swear off all things animal long ago.
I forgot to mention this in the previous post. So here it is. I found out this week that a guy I went to high school a guy who got killed in Afghanistan. Here is a link to the news article. I didn't know the guy very well, but it still hits close to home.
I've been away for quite some time. I did not get off the grid and live on a commune. I've been relaxing and studying - I got an 88% on my second test and my grade in the class is now an 83%.
I bet everyone is dying to know - How am I doing now that I'm nearing the end of the challege. Well I'm still alive obviously. I've lost a few points (not enough to know that count, definitely under 10). I've been drinking a lot of soda this past week. I've had class at a different building at work and I've had to get up and out earlier. Also, with the being vegan I have to pack like I'm going to the opposite end of the civilization, perhaps where the wild things go. Generally this isn't all that tough. When I'm in my office at my desk, it is easy to bring a ton of food to enjoy throughout the day. In the class setting it is pretty tough.
I would say the biggest challenge with THE challenge is the lack of convenience. As noted in the title of this post, a vegan (assuming that the pizza dough is vegan) papa john's (which is chain at least on the east coast of the U.S.) pizza is priced to be inconvenient. Today there were only two options for dinner tonight at the house - spaghetti (which I had for lunch earlier and dinner yesterday) and a jerk tempeh recipe (which I will have to have for lunch tomorrow and I had for lunch yesterday). My complaints and comment that I could easily get a vegetarian option at a number of take out places prompted an interesting conversation between me and VB.
I think I assumed she would just let my comment go by or say that in a few days the challenge would be over and maybe I'd feel differently. VB sort of seemed shocked that I would even mention eating vegetarian after taking part in the challenge and being vegan for the past 17 days. This was upsetting and frustrating to me. It made me worry that I would/will disappoint her by not continuing to be vegan. As VB mentioned to me, she does not see food as a source of pleasure. If you know me, then you'll know that food was my only pleasure for nearly my entire life. Aside from the social aspect of food and eating, food has been my source of comfort for my entire life. I am an only child and did not live near my friends growing up so food was the thing I relied on to make me feel good. I lived off of the chemicals. While I am no longer a teenager dealing with teenage life and running to hostess cupcakes when I feel self-conscious, I still probably rely on food. VB's comment was also really frustrating because all the vegans I know went from being vegetarian to be vegan. I went from eating anything, any time, anywhere to eating only plants that I generally have to bring with me from home.
I don't doubt VB's support for me or that she is proud of me, but it seemed contradictory that she wouldn't automatically be excited that I would even consider being vegetarian. I didn't do the vegan kickstart to change my lifestyle or eating habits forever. I basically started it because I was dared to be able to do it and I knew that VB would be plussed that I tried it. I also felt I should give it a real try, which I believe I posted earlier on the blog.