Monday, July 15, 2002

In God We Trust

I know this is a little late, but I’m a procrastinator, so you’ll just have to bear with me. This “one nation, under God” debate is bugging the crap out of me. Do we not have enough to worry about in this world than to worry about some line in a pledge… to a flag? Not the country, mind you, but a friggin’ flag.

In saying the Pledge of Allegiance, a strictly optional function, one has several choices if they disagree with the wording of the Pledge:

1) Don’t say the pledge. Very simple: just don’t say it. “I disagree with it.” “My religion forbids it.” “I don’t do pledges.” Whatever. You don’t have to say it, it isn’t a requirement. I’ve known kids growing up that didn’t say it and that was fine. Sure they were weird, but it wasn’t because they didn’t say the Pledge, it was because they claimed they were aliens here to observe our ways.

2) Don’t say “under God.” Again, VERY simple. You just say, “one nation [pause], with liberty, and justice for all.” Unless you have a problem with liberty and justice, and then you can leave those words out too. If you also have a problem with “one nation,” you should go back to number 1.

3) Say something else. Can you do that? Can you make up your own words? Sure! It’s a free country! Besides Happy Birthday, no one (and I mean NO ONE) can sing any song completely without changing the words, either by choice or ignorance. “’Scuze me, while I kiss this guy.” Haven’t we heard that comment about Hendrix’ “Kiss the Sky”? Heck, I’m not even sure if that’s the right title—but you know what I mean, so that’s okay. Go ahead and say “one nation, starring me…” or “one nation, I’m not wearing pants…” or whatever you feel is appropriate. If someone questions you, show them the Bill of Rights and note your right of Freedom of Speech.

4) Make the country stop saying the part that you don’t like by suing. See, this is where I’m different than most folks. I don’t feel that just because I don’t like something, that it should be cast aside without any thought of how others might feel. I’m not into rap music, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist… okay, bad example. It shouldn’t exist. Jeez, that music sucks… Uh… Christianity. I’m not big on Christianity (except for Christmas, because I get presents and time off of work), but I’m not going to tell everyone else that they can’t be Christian, just because I may have some issues with it.

When did the consideration of the one outweigh the values or wishes of the many?

It’s not like “under God” is specifically saying “under the Christian God (Yahweh) who you should bow down and pray to…” No. It’s saying God. Your God. Whomever you believe in. Remember, the Bill of Rights states “Freedom of Religion” not from religion. “under God” is who you make it to be.

“Under God” is who we put our faith in. The higher power or non-higher power that we believe in and chose to help us in our life. If you are a Christian, then it’s the God of the bible. If you are Muslim, God is Allah. If you are Buddhist… it’s Buddah. If you are a Pagan; Ghia—Mother Earth. If you are an atheist and only believe in you… guess what? That “under God” is you.

Just as I don’t like the Christian Right telling me that if I’m not Christian, I’m not patriotic; I resent those that tell me I can’t have religion within the government. The President is sworn in holding a bible. When we take an oath in court, we swear to tell the truth, the whole truth or so help us God. It’s who we put our faith in, people. Get it?

Religion and our beliefs are a significant part of our lives it carries it through everything we do. People need to relax and let others live their lives as they choose. They need to stop being so offended at everything and get on with their lives. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing to offend you and take care of what you are doing to not offend others… or at least understand what it is that bothers them.

If we continue this road of one side wanting to strip out all references to religion and the other stripping away anything joyful and fun, we’ll be living in a mighty boring world.

And God help us if that happens…

Monday, July 08, 2002

On The Hunt… For A Life

My life is eternally incomplete… I wonder if I will ever actually finish anything that I start? This weekend I accomplished nothing. I had plans to accomplish things, more likely start the process that would eventually lead to an accomplishment or two, but I blew them off for, uh…, nothing important. I go through life, setting goals, ignoring them while watching a rerun of Hometime (hey, I just love Dean and Robin… I loved JoJo, but now I love Robin).

My friends, few that I still have, all were out of town doing various things that people with lives do: camping, visiting friends in far off cities, performing maintenance on a vacation home, etc. Me? I fed my friend’s cats… and watched Real Sex on HBO (“It’s not just television, it’s damn-near soft-core porn!”)

Stop! Too much damn excitement!

My sister was housesitting for my parents, so I could walk around the place talking to myself. I did manage to come up with some funny bits that I neglected to write down.
I certainly hope my fish enjoyed the show, as the moment is lost to history.

I did manage to finally start on my Project Greenlight script. Not pleasant at this point. I’ve discovered that the script has major plot holes that I need to fill without seeming too cliché or that I’m simply trying to fill desperate plot holes with an added scene here and there.

The idea is simple, I’ve just got to get it to move well. It’s one of those situations where I know what I want, I know what I need, I just don’t know how to get it or go about getting it. I take that back: I know exactly how to get it… but am I willing to put in the time and effort? I’m sure I’ll piss away the opportunity. At least I’m consistent in my continuous failures.

Personally, I don’t think this is something that Greenlight will want or use. But I’m trying to get myself to complete some scripts. I have a folder full of “ideas” and articles that could be pretty cool, but mostly unworkable (i.e. I’m unable to put in a slight effort to make them workable). I have another folder full of treatments and partial treatments and the vague beginnings of an outline for a treatment, but nothing completed. I need to actually complete something and if a comedy about a perpetual bridesmaid is going to get me to complete something, then damnit, I’m going to do it. Or pretend that I am between naps.

It’s supposed to be a comedy and we shall see if it indeed turns out that way. Currently, I’m trying to get each act organized in some sort of recognizable order. Try as I half-heartedly, maybe, kind-of, sort-of did, I still am WAY off from having a treatment that makes any kind of sense.

Since I bought Final Draft over a year ago, I felt it was time to dust it off and start using it. It seems to work fine, but it’s taking me a while to learn just what the hell it does and how the hell it works. What ever happened to manuals included with the purchase of the software? System help is now online, and I just don’t have the energy to go and look up much needed information. So, I just hunt around, hoping to stumble across my answer.

Which is such a metaphor for my life, it’s scary. I hunt around and can’t find my life: “Shhh, I’m hunting life.”

I have more to say on this issue, but I don’t feel like writing about it right now. Maybe I’ll finish this up tomorrow…

Friday, July 05, 2002

Happy 5th of July!

Working on the 5th of July… what a pointless endeavor. It’s like working the day after Thanksgiving—is anyone else in the world working (except for those poor bastards in retail)?

If I had done any of the things I did this morning, I still would not be at work, as it stands, I was almost here on time. I went to the gym at 5:30—no one was there—and why would anyone be there? They’re home nursing a massive hangover. I took a long shower, buffed my feet (damn, are they callused), moisturized those calluses (ahhhh), went to Starbucks (mmmmmMocha!), wandered into the bakery next door and pondered getting a turkey & cheese filled croissant, thought better of it, and then bought one anyhow (thus negating the entire morning workout). I hit the freeway at 7:30, the moment I was supposed to be at work, and still managed to pull into my parking space at 7:50. No traffic at all. God Bless The United States of Slacking America.

So now, I’m sitting here, wondering why I completed so much work before I left on Tuesday… I’ve got nothing to do. I keep walking around asking people how they are doing, do they need help, how was the fourth, are you as bored as me, etc. Most of our conversations end with a whimper and I wander off… to torture some other poor soul with my inane banter.

I’m sure there is work to be done… somewhere. But I want to go out and play! The foothills are right outside the door to my building (okay, across campus, but I can see them from where I’m typing). I want to go lay in the grass (and that is right outside the front door). I want to be a part of this glorious day!

Actually, I want to take a nap. Not only am I bored, but tired.

Not that I did anything for the last two days. I did some laundry, but have neglected to fold it, so it is sitting on my unmade bed (the sheets were part of the loads of laundry). Lethargy is my word for the day… week… month… year… (life?)


I thought of a bunch of interesting things to right this morning, but none of them inspire me right now.

I’ll try to jump start my desire to write… hmmm… nope. Nothing.

I watched the fireworks last night. Alone. All by myself. How f’ing sad is that? There I sat among thousands of people, all alone, going “ooh… ahh…” Ugh.

Four Hoochie-Mamas sat down by me and proceeded to discuss, in no particular order, the following: being drunk; going to parties; “that whore, Carlise;” being whores themselves; that cute guy Nathan… no, not that guy, the taller one, with the hair; his friend Kevin, “even though he’s short and stuff, he’s got a big one. No, I swear! It was like so gross… and it was cool;” how drunk they got at that party; how sex in high school was always good, because they didn’t know any better; whatever happened to that bitch Celia, “she still owes me ten bucks;” throwing up in the pool “at that hella cool house where Dan was that time and nobody was there but us and it was so weird, ‘cuz he totally said there were going to be a bunch of people at that party and it was only us and those two ugly dudes… yes, totally weird;” and on and on they yammered.

Needless to say, I was bored out of my mind and listened to every foul-mouthed word they uttered. I wanted to hear more about Kevin and his “big one.” Not a whole lot on that dude.

On the way back, I went to use the restroom at the Fairmont—far less horrific than I thought. I thought it might be packed with all the revelers leaving at the same time, but only two teenagers were pissing and talking. How they can talk and piss at the same time is beyond me. I talk to myself constantly, but find when I’m at a urinal, I’m surprisingly silent. I just don’t like chatter and piss.

These kids were just chatting away… moving forward and back—checking distance? Cock size?—who knew? Anyhow, as I was starting to walk away, I heard one of the guys say, “Dude, you’ve got total bone.” To which, the other guy responded with an appropriate and desperate: “Dude!” I’m assuming he was noting that I was still in the room, because when I turned back, they were both looking at me, while shielding their exposed bits and pieces. I gave them my patented “what the fuck” look, washed my hands and moved on.

Neither of them was very cute, so the thought of them doing some sort of Bel Ami hot porn in the bathroom was not something I was going to actively ponder. Instead, I left and walked behind the ugliest family in the world, any thought of sex went completely out of my mind.

I’ve been housesitting for Larry & Shawn. Actually, I’ve barely been doing that. I stop in twice a day, feed the cats, feed the fish, water the plants, pet the one cat that will come near me and leave. I’ve now got my moves down so I can do an arc through the apartment and be in and out in less than 10 minutes. Twice, I’ve stayed a little longer to pet the cats and make sure they aren’t going bonkers.

Harley, likes attention and comes up to me and meows for me to pet him and get covered in white cat hair. I swear, even when I don’t pet him or sit down, I can still leave that apartment covered in cat hair. Mika (I think that’s how it’s spelled--there's probably a Y in there to make it exotic...) ignores me completely. Whenever I try and pet her, she moves away. Fine. Whatever. Bitch.

After the fireworks, I stop by the apartment for the final feeding of the day and Mika is nowhere to be found. I search and search and search with no luck. The apartment is not that big… where is she? Then I began to wonder if somehow, she got out. I look off the balcony for blood. Nothing. I start moving things… heavy things (bookcases)… irrational things (newspapers on the floor—like the cat has become flat since 10:30 that morning). Still nothing.

I sat down, trying to get my story straight. I began to wonder if Mika sneaked out when I was leaving, or maybe she was on the balcony when I was watering the flowers and she finally couldn’t take it any longer and jumped.

I tried to get Harley to help, but he seemed to only want to play with the rubber mouse. Occasionally, he’d run over to an area and I’d think Lassie was taking me to find Jimmy in the well. Alas, no, it was another rubber mouse.

I sat down again, defeated. While Harley scratched and played with my toes (I was thinking of it as penance for losing his playmate), I tried to think of what I was going to tell Larry & Shawn about how I lost their f’ing cat.

Harley took a small chunk from my toe and I yelped, as I pulled my leg up to inspect the damage, Harley went to work on the other foot and I saw movement to my left. It was Mika, calmly strolling into the room looking bored. She had that “what are you doing here?” look on her face.

I asked her where she had been and she looked back towards the closet I had ransacked earlier. “You were hiding because of the fireworks, weren’t you?” I smiled. Ignoring me, Mika went to the tall, cabinet at the far end of the room and lazily stretched out, trying to look incredibly casual.

The way the fireworks were booming through the downtown and the car alarms it had set off convinced me that Mika had run to hide in the closet. Now that it was over, she was trying to act cool and collected.

I walked over to her and told Mika I knew she was scared. Harley, looked up with that “You go” expression on her face. Mika would have none of it. In fact, she rolled over and faced the wall. I turned on the television to the fireworks and brought up the sound. The first bang of the fireworks and Mika was moving like a bolt of lightening back into the closet. Harley sat in front of the TV cleaning his paw…. Probably thinking “chicken S’t.”

I gave Harley a pat on the head and a wave to the chicken of the closet and went home. Back to my bed that I still haven’t put sheets on… or the mattress pad… and slept for 8 hours. It was a good restful sleep. So why is it all I can think of doing right now is take a long nap?