Sunday, May 28, 2006

A New Thing

I am moving into a new apartment tomorrow. I am happy to have a private place again but still have reservations. I don't want to be divorced. I miss my lady. This is going to be very hard for me. I keep thinking I'll wake up and all this will have been a bad dream. I wish I could make it all go away but I can't. This is my reality that seems so surreal. That someone I love so much is so far away kills me. My heart is shattered. It is a hard battle to stay strong and I am losing that battle recently. I am working on it though. It's just hard.

I am going back to work in the kitchen. Put a knife and a recipe in my hands and the whole world makes more sense. The work is going to be good. I am respected in the kichen. People know I know how to cook and make sure shit gets done. I am proud that this industry has embraced me. I know that I am not only competent but excellent. All you guys are going to be reading my cook-book one day.

I am going to be quite busy so I may not be posting much. I'll write as soon as I can.

Loves ya,


Thursday, May 18, 2006

B.S. is for Bus Stop

While waiting for the bus yesterday it began to rain. I was standing in the shelter and noticed that a guy was out standing by the sign and I realized he was blind. I walk over to him and ask him if he knows there is a shelter right over there and he says, "Yes, but I can't tell which bus it is so I have to stand here and ask the driver or listen to the announcement." What he meant is that this particular stop is served by several routes and he obviously can't see the number on the bus. I ask him which bus he's waiting for and he is waiting for the same one as me so I offer to let him know when it is coming and we go back to the shelter.

The problem here is that lately a lot of new shelters have been put in often up to 20-30 feet away from the actual stop and not all drivers stop at the shelters but at the sign. Why can't we make some sort of requirement that the drivers stop at the shelter so guys like this don't have to stand out in the elements? I couldn't think of a reason why not so I sent an email to the CTA and my alderman today and ask that each of you do the same thing. Thanks in advance for your help.

Monday, May 15, 2006

No Habla Bullshit

I watched our Commander in Chief bullshit his way through yet another presidential address. The most important thing on America's mind today is the war in Iraq and potential violations of privacy via the collection of phone records. So what did he talk about? Immigration reform. It's a "hot button" issue. Not really, but we can pretend it is to avoid dealing with real issues in the mid-term elections Republicans are going to look weak on.

This is a game meant to distract us from a war and a failing economy as well as a policy of deception from this administration.

I keep hearing things from morons like, "The majority who voted should be able to choose what is right and wrong." Uhhhh, wrong. There are three branches to our government for a reason. To prevent the executive and legislative from doing whatever the people (who are not always that sharp in let's say 60's Mississippi) want.

The people have a right to voice their opinion but popular opinion does not and should not direct the judicial body from doing anything other than interpret the constitution and it's ammendments. A fundamentalist or a liberal movement is kept in check by the ideals of our charter. Our charter prevents a religious sect or any other faction from taking our consitution and manhandling however they see fit.

In this case, I see the ideals of our constitution being eroded by the ideals of both parties that want to "protect our borders." This means our southern border with Mexico. The terrorists of 9/11 all came in via Canada if not through legal channels. Those minute/minute men might want to take a minute to decide if they are protecting ourselves from a cheap source of labor that pumps billions into the economy each year or if they are simply afraid that the percentage of white to brown skin is being challenged somehow. It all makes me sick to my stomach. When Bushy spoke that only the learning of English would allow people to go from picking crops to growing them or cleaning rooms to owning them, I wanted to slap him. Where does he get off. There are entire communities in my city that have fewer than 10% English speaking. Those folks own businesses and function just fine.

There is a perception in America that you cannot function without learning the "American Language" which is supposed to be English. Much of the American lexicon is not English at all. It is a language in itself. It has been added to by immigrants throughout history and will continue to evolve. H. L. Mencken's The American Language is proof that the king's english is a joke and that American's have survived and understood each other quite well without a unified language. How the hell did we get along to begin with? We slowly learned and adapted to the ways of the land. Why should that change now?

Thursday, May 11, 2006

In Defense of Michael McDonald

In another forum today, a person made a crack about Michael McDonald of Doobie Brothers fame. Often accused of draining away any amount of rock left in the band, I found myself defending the guy. Now, he probably was guilty of said charges but I often associate certain songs and sounds with certain times in my life. When I hear "What A Fool Believes" I get drawn in. Actually, I get sucked in anytime I hear that keyboard sound. It's mostly nostalgia. When I hear those songs I am 7 years old again and it is early summer. I am laying on the carpet with those big headphones on in front of the record player and the sun is shining through the windows. My dad is making fried chicken. The world was perfect then. I was perfect then. At least that's how I like to remember it.

There is a particularly good rant about this topic in the movie Diner. Shrevie (Daniel Stern) is a music fanatic and after his wife wrongly categorizes his records, he launches into a tirade about how each one of them takes him back to a special time and place. He knows exactly where he was when he heard each of them for the first time. The scene is really about the disconnect between he and his wife and his pining for his lost youth but it really spoke to me. Great buddy movie with stellar performances by guys no longer associated with good acting. Check it out.

Anyway, I may curse the radio for Michael's later atrocities but he gets a pass from me for the stuff he made with the Doobie's. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go download that album and tune the way-back machine to 1978. Where's my ELO records?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Who is Persecuting the Christians?

A friend of mine has been complaining that the Christians are being persecuted and that it is time they fight back. He claims that America was founded on Christian ideals as seen in many of the documents our founding fathers drafted, including the Declaration of Independence. He believes that the separation of church and state was not an intention of our founding fathers even though they intentionally left out any mention of a creator from the constitution.

He also believes the first amendment should not prevent a Christian version of the preamble from being instituted. It is something that has been tried several times since the Civil War, when Lutheran pastors petitioned the government to change our preamble with the belief that our neglecting to have God in our constitution was why we were being punished with the war. It was rejected but a consolation prize of having "In God We Trust" put on our money was given.

There is a rather large movement going on right now that wants to "stop the persecution." WTF? Don't we all get Christmas off and spring break covers Easter? Mail isn't delivered on Sundays and Catholic kids are excused on Good Friday to go and get ash smeared on their foreheads.

I know there are a few PC zealots who freak out every time that anything remotely religious pops up in a government funded institution but those few instances hardly create an attack on Christianity. Let's face it, if I don't want the 10 commandments on display in a major public building, that's a real case. If I am mad that my co-worker at the post office is hanging up Xmas cards in her cubicle, I'm a dick.

Why does everything have to turn into a polarizing battle? Why must there be a line drawn in which you are evil on that side and good on this side? Isn't it more probable that the people spewing this shit to divide us all into goups are simply serving their own interests? The people who poison us with hate for one another are the real enemy. I have learned to respect my friends' faiths so I wish it would come around that they will respect my need to keep their Jesus out of my government while I keep my government out of their Jesus.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

School Pride

While riding my bike down Madison today I was passed by an old station wagon spewing all kinds of filth and noxious gases into the air. Rusted out wheel wells and duck tape on the bumper. A real piece of crap. In the rear window there was a sticker for Illinois State University. I went to ISU and I thought to myself, "This is not a good omen for alumni of ISU. One guy in an old jallopy and me on a friggin' bike." At least my bike doesn't emit noxious gases.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Moussaoui Gets Life, Life.

I was delighted to hear that the jury decided not to sentence Moussaoui to death today. Not only am I happy that we chose not give this fella the martyrdom he wanted, but it proves the people of this country have the character and courage to do the right thing.

I am against the death penalty for lots of reasons but my biggest one is that I believe that the law should protect us from our lesser selves, our vindictive selves. I am no saint and may in a rage one day want someone, who has wronged me or my family, dead as a doornail. I don't want it to be an option because if one day I am able to forgive the person, it's too fuckin' late when they're pushing up the daisies.

I was raised Catholic and though I am not a believer anymore, the message of forgiveness that was instilled in me is still with me. Forgiveness and opportunity for redeeming ones self is something that I think we all should cherish.

I am thrilled by this decision and it really made me feel better about my country and the people in it. Maybe we can use this as a springboard to launch a movement to abolish the death penalty completely.