Saturday, December 30, 2006

American Hardcore: The Movie

I am so hopped up that I have no idea how I’m going to get to sleep at all tonight. I just got back from seeing American Hardcore, this amazing documentary about the rise of hardcore punk in the US. Listening to all that hardcore music for an hour and forty minutes just gets under your skin, so now my heart and my head are beating just like that music and I’m so hyped up I can’t stand it. It also doesn’t help that I had a fun little skidding incident on the road coming back from the theater. It had just started raining and the street was slicker than I thought. I was coming up to a stoplight with two cars stopped in front of me. I thought I would be stopped in plenty of time, but a second after I hit the brakes I realized that my wheels weren’t turning but the car was still moving, skidding right into the car stopped in front of me. Luckily, as I was steering toward the left turn lane, which was empty, the light changed, the car in front of me started moving, and the skid stopped, almost all at the same time. But I could still feel my heart in my throat for five minutes afterward.

But, anyway, on with the movie. It was really amazing to see all the performance footage of these bands just roaring, the crowd so aggressive. Also, to know that most of these bands started in 1979-1981, when most of the band members were teenagers, and the whole movement was pretty much dead by 1986. And it was all grassroots, all-ages, play anywhere, DIY attitude. These bands knew they would probably never get airplay on the radio, or sell a bunch of records, or ever be mainstream, and that was what they wanted. They wanted to be the antithesis of mainstream. It showed how a lot of the LA and DC bands were made-up of more suburban and privileged kids who just wanted to rebel against the whole Reagan, dawning of a new America, faux 1950s perkiness, disco & 1970s hold-over rock. But on the other hand, the NY scene was made-up of a lot of street kids who weren’t really rebelling but had instead found a home in the hardcore scene that traveled into their town from LA and DC, which they took to another level. The sections on the NY hardcore scene remind me of Warriors because that was what NY was at the time, before Guiliani turned the city into the family-friendly place it is today.

Two things really struck me, one while I was watching the movie and the other on the road home. The first thing that struck me, while I was watching the movie, was how amazing this time period was for those involved. It is the same thing that struck me when I was watching Nomi song, though this music movement happened about a decade later. But they were creating something out of nothing that was by them and for them. In the hardcore scene, these were teenagers and outcasts making music for other teenagers and outcasts. How often can that be said? Most of the time, the teenage fans of a band or a music movement are a generation behind those bands making the music, because it took the band that long to get to a place where they could be heard. But because they were making their own way at the time among their area and age group and “hit the big time”, there wasn’t that generation gap. But it seems like one of those movements in history that can never and will never be recreated, that you had to live in to really appreciate it, though if you were living in it, you had no way to recognize how big and special and great it really was.

On the drive home, however, I was thinking that, if these guys (and girls, sometimes) were in their teens, maybe early twenties, when they started these bands in 1979-1981, then when the hardcore scene was over in the late 1980s, these guys were only in their mid-twenties. I can’t imagine being 25 and the biggest, greatest thing you ever did, ever wanted to do, is already over. I’m 24 and I definitely feel like my life hasn’t even started, but these guys took chance I don’t think I could ever take. Like touring when you don’t even know what kind of a place you are going to find when you show up, you don’t know how or if or how much you are going to get paid, you have to front your own money for records or tapes that you don’t know if anyone will buy, like traveling to play in other cities and being thankful that you have a place to crash on the floor of another band’s apartment, like knowing that the aggression you bring out in your fans could get you punched in the face, like knowing you could get hauled off and/or beaten by the cops at one of your own shows. And then, just as fast as it began, maybe even faster, the whole scene just disappears. I’m sure that these guys have done other things in the 20 years that followed but I doubt it was easy to try and create a new life after having that life for five years. Especially when you know that you haven’t even lived a quarter of your life yet. You have three-quarters of your life left to live, but the biggest, coolest shit is what you’ve already done. I wonder how many of them just kinda fizzled out, drugged out, killed themselves. I think I’ll try to find the book that the movie was made from. Hopefully it will have more answers about the later lives of these guys. I don’t think I’ll ever like hardcore music. But the movie and the movement it was about is awesome. As in, I am in awe of it. See it, live it, love it.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Fucking Christmas!

Wow! It is crazy out there!!!! Today was my holiday crunch day--tons of stuff to do and no time other than today to do it. I leave tomorrow right after work, driving 4 hours to my grandparents house in my mom's nicer car with all the presents. So, today from 10 am when I got off work until about 3 pm I had to squeeze in all that I had to do while dodging lots of cranky shoppers and drivers. Condensed list for today in order: Work, Best Buy for Grandpa's Birthday gift (too many people for 10am on a weekday!), Costco for prescription, Hollywood Video for movies to entertain my family with (or maybe just for me), lunch, school for ID card (closed :( ) and parking permit, Half Price Bookstore for Secret Santa giftcard (also bought stuff for me, oops), Red Lobster for gift card, and some place for kitty litter and a birthday card. This might not be alot of stuff for most people, especially these high functioning Johnson County soccer moms out here, but since just getting to work and doing nothing else is still an achievement for me, this was A LOT for a few hours. But I did it all and now I'm done (kinda...) Breath. Breath. Sing mean Christmas songs (or any songs) at the top of my lungs, dancing, smiling, shaking my now-longish hair. So here is the song that is in my head. Take it for what you will.

I Will Be Hating You for Christmas- Everclear
Thanks for the christmas card
I dont want to hear about your new job now
I dont want to hear about your new boyfriend
I dont want to hear about it all working out for you
No, I dont want to hear it now

I dont want to hear about your swinging new place
I dont want to hear how everyone thinks its great
I just want to sit in our apartment and hate you
Yes, I will be hating you for christmas

You can have the christmas tree
Remember when we bought it at the store down the street?
Remember when I found that cheesy color wheel?
I dont want to think about the lights on your white skin
No, I dont want to think about it

I dont want to think about last year at your dads
We said it was the best sex that we both ever had
I don't want to think about my face in your soft hair
I will be hating you for christmas...

I must be losing my mind
There's gotta be a better way to deal with the pain
There's gotta be a better way to deal with the hate
Wish that I could find some way to make you go away
Wish that I could have a drink and make you fade
I wish that I could have myself a drink and make you fade
I wish that I could have a drink and make you go away
Yeah make you go away
Wish that I could make you go away

I will be hating you for christmas
Yeah I will be hating you for christmas...

Thanks for the christmas card

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

OMG!! What the FUCK is wrong with me?!?!?!?

Oh My God! What the fuck is wrong with me?!?!? Everytime I get near a relationship or near the possibility of a relationship, I turn into this absolutely fucking crazy girl-monster-bitch!!!! I loose all reason and self-control. I just don't know what happens to me. Now, when I know it is just sex or just fooling around, I have gotten control of my more crazy 'girlfriend' impulses, especially because I don't want to scare off a good repeat lay by acting like I am or want to be their girlfriend, especially when I don't. Unfortunately, when the situation is more ambigious and I have to live in that ambiguity for an extended period of time, I go crazy. As I am right now. Which is probably ruining any and every chance I have. I am so fucked!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Integrity: 0, Desire: 1

So, for those of you playing along at home, I am nowhere near actually implimenting the ideas of the Ani song "Manhole" that I so love. What she doesn't say is that sometimes you need to learn the same lesson several million times before you can actually live it. And this time integrity definately did not win over desire. I still haven't found that thing that isn't danger/potential for bad treatment/etc that will cause light my fire for someone, but I have found that danger/potential for bad treatment/etc still do it for me. I've always loved to watch fires, imagine myself inside that warmth. For kids are told by their parents not to put their hand on the stove or in a fire, but some kids still have to do it once just to be sure that it really is an unpleasant experience. I know that fire will burn me. I know that fire will hurt me. I guess I just still can't convince myself that those aren't the things I want.

"I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You)"-John Mayer
No i'm not the man i used to be lately
See you met me at an interesting time
If my past is any sign of your future
You should be warned before i let you inside

Hold on to whatever you find baby
Hold on to whatever will get you through
Hold on to whatever you find baby
I don't trust myself with loving you

I will beg my way into your garden
I will break my way out when it rains
Just to get back to the place where i started
So i can want you back all over again

Hold on to whatever you find baby
Hold on to whatever will get you through
Hold on to whatever you find baby
I don't trust myself with loving you

Who do you love?
I see through, through your love?
Who do you love, me or the thought of me?
me or the thought of me?

Hold on to whatever you find baby
Hold on to whatever will get you through
Hold on to whatever you find baby
I don't trust myself with loving you

Hold on to whatever you find baby
Hold on to whatever gets you through through
Hold on to whatever you find baby
I don't trust myself with loving you
I don't trust myself with loving you
I don't trust myself with loving you
I don't trust myself with loving you

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Other Interesting Quotes from Bastard

Eric Bartels, "My Problem with Her Anger," Bastard on the Couch, p. 127- "Anger, justified or not- if acted mostly as a release without the clear-cut agenda of provoking change-is selfist and juvenile, obnoxious and unattractive, and it got you nowhere."

Anthony Giardina, "A Brief History of the (Over)involved Father," Bastard on the Couch, p. 155- "Perhaps the best you can ever expect from a battle between internal contradictions is a truce."

Vince Passaro, "Why Men Lie (and Always Will)," Bastard on the Couch, p. 219- "The full truth, the whole thing, almost never feels to us like a viable option."
Maybe that is why some men I know, hell, some people I know, still never tell the whole truth.

I finished the book a few days ago and I really liked it, just as much, if not more than I liked the original Bitch in the House. I think that all people, especailly all people considering moving in together, marriage, or who are already married, should read both these books. They definately made me look at myself and those I've been involved with, am involved with, in a more compassionate way, pushing me to evaluate them not just as a man or a woman, but as themselves and the various ways that they fulfill, rebel against, and are oppressed by what is expected of them based on their sex.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I'm Going Back to School

Ever since I moved back into my parents' house after getting depressed, quitting my job, and dropping out of (yet another) school, I kept saying that I was going back to school soon. But semesters came and went and I still wasn't any closer in to going back to college to finish my degree. For the past two years, when it was time to start the application process, I was too busy to go back to school or too depressed or working too much, etc. But things kinda fell into place recently. Even though I was going through lots of depression issues and experiencing a serious rift with my bestfriend (which only exacerbated the depression), I decided to at least try, at least apply to the metro college and apply for financial aid. I did almost everything online, so I could even do it while sitting on my ass, watching prime time TV. The biggest break for me was that, because of my age, the FAFSA does not take into account my parents' income, so I am ellegible for more financial aid. I filled out the application form online and had my transcripts sent in during October. In early November, I filled out the FAFSA, though I wasn't sure I would get any money, since I was applying so late. I was afraid I would have to put off going back to school for another semester, until Fall 2007. But today I got my financial aid award letter. For just the one semester, I got way more than I would need to pay for classes and books. Of course, they also prefaced this on me having an out-of-state residency (since I live just over the state line from the University), but this metro college gives an in-state rate to students living in the metro area, even over the state line, so I'll need even less of the money that I have available. In essence, I could get kicked out of my parents house, get fired from my job, and still have enough money to go to school!!!!! I'm so excited. I really want to go back to school because I love learning and classes and homework (yes, even homework). I was also really tired of feeling like I would never get my degree because I was such a loser. There is still a lot of work to go once I am in school and working, but I am excited just to have this opportunity. YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Bastard On the Couch, p. 8- In talking about the pasts of the older women he's dated, Panio Gianopoulos writes, "Whatever their amorous histories, almost all had, by now, enough romantic experience to have overcome the girlish draw toward being treated badly."

-Is that why I haven't been attracted to the very attractive people I've had dates with recently? Like nice lesbian K, who is perfect on paper for me but draws no sparks? Vs. repeat fling X who does but that I hardly ever see and only for sex (though I don't feel particularly slighted by this lack of contact because of how we set up everything but I'm not sure he'd be a boyfriend who treated me any different than he currently does.) I was kinda put off last night by the fact that I didn't have that spark with last night's date C, the kind of spark that I have had early on in other long-term relationships. But my other significant others did have elements of danger, illicitness, or bad-boy/girl/behavior. Even exSir. Hell, in some ways, I wonder if I'm willing to try to keep my friendship with exSir just so he can treat me like he had been before we stopped talking a few months ago. I know from the experience of the last few months that I can get along fine, or better than fine, without him. And after the experience of finally talking to him last week, I know that he creates uncontrollable emotion and chaos in my heart and mind, if not my life.

-I think for some women the draw to being treated badly might be a girlish one, something they grow out of, but it seems to be pathological in many. Something they don't get over because they never gain the wisdom, foresight, confidence or whatever it is that enables them to call it, for "integrity to finally win out over desire" as Ani sings.

-Is it just "girlish"? Is that maybe why exSir started out not as physically attracted to his K as he had been to previous (though bad/crazy) girls? Because he didn't feel that immediate danger/bad treatment/craziness in her? Is that why she was attracted to him? While I still don't think keeping your bestfriend who is also your ex-gf close is necessarily treating your current gf badly, she obviously did but stayed long after it should have been evident that he wouldn't cut off contact with me. Even now, she won the victory but he's still trying to be my friend now. Is exSir's staying despite not having that initial spark sexually a sign of maturity or, as I thought at the time, just forcing himself into a relationship devoid of that spark because he wants to act like sex isn't important to him, when sex is important to all relationships and without that spark, the relationship would never work? If I continue to not experience that spark sexually with people (especially if I decide that sexual spark is ONLY caused by danger/bad treatment) should I force myself to keep on with someone I find attractive in all other ways? Or is that just going to be a recipe for disaster because I'll be tempted away by the first danger/badness spark that comes along, especially because the sex with the main partner is lackluster without that spark? Can you have both-sexual spark and good treatment? Maybe I should say, Can I have both? Or is there a different but equally or more powerful spark based on something that isn't danger/badness and I just haven't experienced it yet?

Romance is so confusing.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Monday I went to the Ani DiFranco concert in Lawrence. It was amazing! I've wanted to catch her live since I bought Living in a Clip, my first Ani cd and a live double disk. She did not disappoint. Even (at least) six months pregnant, she played for hours, ethusiastically and energetically. She was terrific. Until last month, when a co-worker loaned me her Ani collection, I had only heard her two live doulbe disks. Needless to say, I didn't recognize as many of the songs as I would have liked, but on the other hand, that does drive me to really check out more of her disks. The song below was one of the first she sang and it is amazing. I really love that last line about "Integrity winning out over desire." I hope there comes a day when I can say that. My mom accompanied me to concert. It was a fitting end for her birthday weekend. She had taken Monday off work so that she had a three-day weekend, and, even though my emotionally ignorant step-father went out of town for the weekend to help his brother put in a part for his refrigerator, I still think my mother had a good time. She did a little shopping on Saturday, then I took her out for dinner and a movie (The Departed, which was excellent, in spite of its stars). Monday, we spent the day shopping and then going to the concert. Even though she might not listen to Ani outside of that, I think she really had a good time. The only thing I didn't like was seeing this woman that I had kinda tried to date a few years ago but probably really let down since i was stuck on someone else at the time. Her and her wife were there. I went up and talked to her, after my initial shock and a moment of hiding in my seat. I got her number, on the pretense of inviting her and her wife out with my friends, but I'm not sure if I'll ever call her. She had lost a lot of weight (while I've gained a lot since we last saw each other) but I actually find her less attractive than I used to. Weird, huh? Oh well. Without further ado, the great song I heard.

Manhole- Ani DiFranco
I'm holding here a book
Notable, but not the greatest
Stolen for me by the latest
In a long line of thieves
And I'm just about to drop it
Down that manhole of memories
When I realize it doesn't bother me
Like love's mementos usually do
And I look up to see who's different here
The latest me or the latest you

Course, you're the kind of guy who doesn't lie
He just doctors everything
Chooses some unassuming finger
And quietly moves his wedding ring
Who rewrites his autobiography
For any pretty girl who'll sing
But you can't fool the queen, baby
Cuz I married the king

And maybe it was I who betrayed his majesty
With no opposite reality
Like a puddle with no reflection
Of the sky or the trees
But after my dreaded beheading
I tied that sucker back on with a string
And I guess I'm pretty different now

I kissed you on the street that night
On the far side of four
But I didn't like the taste
In my mouth or yours
And ignoring the persona you wore for my benefit
For once I had the balls to call it
Just call it
But a lesson must be lived
In order to be learned
And the clarity to see and stop this now
That is what I've earned

And maybe it was I who betrayed his majesty
With no opposite reality
Like a puddle with no reflection
Of the sky or the trees
But after my dreaded beheading
I tied that sucker back on with a string
And I guess I'm pretty different now

I'm holding here a book
Notable, but not the greatest
Stolen for me by the latest
In a long line of thieves
And I'm just about to drop it
Down that manhole of memories
When I realize it doesn't bother me
And heartache not so dire
Cuz I looked up to see integrity
Finally won over desire

Sunday, October 15, 2006


This is my sixth week on Weight Watchers. I decided to do something drastic (by which I mean do anything at all to loose weight, other than talk about it) after going to the doctor for that skin thing and found out I weighed alot more than I thought, at least according to the wonderfully callibrated doctor's office scale. In addition to just being horrified at my real weight, I have to deal with feeling uncomfortable in my skin, asthma, acid reflux, and a complete lack of self-confidence, especially when it comes to flirting and dating. And I'm happy I started this. I have learned a good deal more about portion size and tracking what I eat. It has gotten me more motivated, so that I will continue on with this. While I haven't lost much weight, definately not as much as my mom, but I have lost 5.5 pounds, as of the week before last, and a couple pairs of pants that were very VERY tight before I started this are now very comfortable. This encourages me to continue with this and to ramp it up by exercising.

But as I have been paying more attention to what I eat, I have also been thinking about food, dieting, etc, and how those things effect my life and society.

My mother and I don't always go to the same meeting. A few weeks ago at her meeting, the meeting leader stressed how important it was for everyone to realize how little room they would have in their daily diet for extras once they got down to the weight they should be and that it would not leave them room for much, if any junk food. I think this was to stress that one needs to change what and how they eat for the rest of their lives, not just while they are IN Weight Watchers and coming to meets and still have weight to loose. I had realized this in the first week or so of being on Weight Watchers. They have a points system (the point value of each food is based on dietary fiber, calories and fat) for you to evaluate what you eat. As you loose weight, the points you are allowed per day goes down. In my first week, as I was struggling against constant hunger and craving sugar and grease, I realized that, if I wanted to keep my weight down once I lost the weight, I would have to keep my food intake about the same, monitoring myself occasionally to make sure I was still sticking to it daily as much as I thought I was. I couldn't just loose the weight and then live however I wanted to, eating whatever I wanted to after this period of deprivation. What I was then thinking of as deprivation would have to be my way of life, forever, if I wanted to keep my weight down.

Thursday I went shopping for some new bras (since the first place I lost weight was my chest) and workout gear that I hadn't stolen from (now ex) boyfriends. Once again, as I had a hard time finding clothing in my current size, I was reminded of even more reasons why I should be loosing this weight and keeping it off. Then, this weekend, my mother went shopping at several department stores at our local mall. One department store only carried casual knit separates in plus sizes, nothing appropriate for business attire, and another didn't even have plus size clothing!!! Recent studies have shown just how much of our population is overweight. It is not as if there are not overweight women who need plus size clothing. So why are plus sizes increasingly relagated to botiques or crappy selections? I'm not saying it is a conspiracy but more a matter of our culture. With each decade, it seems our ideas of beauty become narrower and further from what most people actually look like. But since that is what we are told we are supposed to look like, we'll struggle to become that, so that we can fit into the clothes we are told we are supposed to wear. If our bodies will never naturally and healthily (?) conform to that narrow definition of beauty, we feel like failures and use unhealthy behavior as a substitute for our lack of self-esteem, including over-eating and/or unhealthy eating, which takes us even further from that ideal. Shopping, buying, consuming, is about attaining more and more of what is culturally desirable. Being overweight is not culturally desirable, so buying comfortable, appropriate, flattering clothing designed especially for overweight people doesn't fit well into that mold. Also, ill-fitting, inappropriate, unflattering clothes then only solidify overweight people's idea that they are unattractive and will always be unattractive as long as they stay overweight. So then they spend money on the diet industry, which is just that, an industry. An industry that wouldn't exist without fat people wanting to loose weight and willing to try anything to do it. But DIETS don't work. As soon as you go off them, you will regain the weight. And them some. There are few profitable American industries or even companies that are based on giving people only what they need to live a continously healthy life. The most profitable American industries are those that help us life unhealthy lives or provide quick fixes to our unhealthy lives. The whole thing is depressing. I also have to remember that, even when I was a healthy weight, "regular" size clothing was often ill-fitting, uncomfortable, and unflattering for my body. This wasn't because of my weight, though I thought so at the time. I now think it has a lot more to do once again with those narrow definitions of beauty and how fashion is designed for that. In Spain, they (whoever THEY are) are not allowing models with an unhealthily low BMI to walk the runways during their fashion week. Many designers cried foul, saying that their clothing is designed to look best on those thin "gazelle-like" figures. So, if the top designers in the world are designing their clothes (which will be copied by designers lower on the rung), who is designing clothes for real people, even people who are just average?

So, what am I getting at??? Well... it is all fucked up. Everything is fucked up. I guess I feel it is better to think about these things, even as I'm feeding the beast. Also, maybe I can work to fight this in my children, if I have them or adopt or foster them. Maybe I can use this to influence people that cross my path. Maybe I can use this to be less hard on myself for my "shortcomings" and focus more on truly healthy living, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. But no matter what, at least I'm having thoughts. That's something.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Friends Or Lack Thereof

Last night I was reading David Thomson's The Whole Equation, which looks at the history of Hollywood more as a function of movies AS A BUSINESS than film as an art. And there were several really interesting passages that I am just busting at the seams to talk about. Especially his discussion of how film as a form of mass media (one of the first forms of mass media, maybe the first true form of mass media) and an alternative to novels/reading that did not require participation or effort, was ephemeral and communal, and how that has changed America. He also touched on how method acting and that frame of mind that comes from it and filtered to the larger population has given us the feeling that we have a RIGHT to a constant malaise which leades to more people acting out their lives actually just living them, being.

What actually really got me going is that I was bursting to talk about all of these things and what it means for how we currently act, how I act and what, if anything, should be changed (in myself and in the larger culture). I really feel like, in addition to his profound message about American society, there is also a message for my life, though I'm not sure what it is.

This is when I realized that my MO is to bring this vague idea to others, bounce it off them to come up with something. That is why I am so ssad that I can't share it with anyone right now. Then it makes me wonder where this collaborative process comes from. Is it part of that feminine collaborative instinct that I'm always hearing about? Or is it just that I'm not smart enough or self-confident enough to trust my own instincts and extrapolate for myself? I'm not sure what it is- a strength or a major fault?

But it also got me wondering what other people do when they hae these kinda thoughts (or read other interesting thoughts they want to share). Do they keep them inside? Do they journal or write poetry? (I'm guessing not since, among people I know/have known, it isn't all that common.) Or do they just not have those thoughts? Do they not get blown away by the new thoughts of other people? the thoughts that other people's thoughts provoke in them? I wish they would tell me so that I could do what they do.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Emergency Contraception

About a month ago, in discussing current political issues with a close friend who is fiscally conservative but pragmatic in his morals, we got into an argument about emergency contraception and the news that it would finally be availble over-the-counter (though only to people 18 and over). Since this incident, I have decided that he was "in a mood" and that he might not say the same flippant things he said that night, but that night he towed at least part of the Christian conservative Republican line, saying that easily available OTC EC would only lead to more and more people having unprotected sex, knowing that they can just get EC the day after at their local Walgreens and not have to deal with getting pregnant, that it would lead to more people making bad decisions and then covering it up afterwards. There are several very logical and reasonable counterpoints to this, which I gave him, to no avail that night. Tonight I am reminded about why EC over-the-counter, to all ages, without pharmacists being given permission to deny people OTC EC for "religious reasons". About a month ago, a popular feminist blogger told her story about being denied EC. She has been with her "boyfriend" (I'd prefer to say partner) monogamously for several years. She has three children already that she takes care of. She cannot take birth control pills and her and her partner have been relying on condoms for quite some time. The condom slipped off. When she went to the pharmacy to buy EC, she was informed that it would not be available until after the New Year. She called her regular physician, but, as it was over the weekend, she only got a call back, saying that she should go to the emergency room to get it. She did. The nurse told her that there was only one doctor of the three on duty who would even consider prescribing EC, but only if she was raped. When she continued to push, the nurse said the doc might prescibe it if she was married. She was neither. She was denied EC during the period when it would be effective. Upon her posting of this story which most liberal bloggers found absolutely horrible, she recieved hate-mail/comments and e-mails masquerading as helpful herbal remedies that could help her induce a miscarriage but would probably kill her if she took them. One particularly aweful person said that if they ever met her they would savagely rape her several times before killing her. Now she is pregnant. (From her current post and some of the blog comments, it seems she was prescribed EC later, but after it would have been effective so, surprise! it didn't work.) So, in addition to being shocked and appalled about how hard it is for many people (normal, responsible, middle-class, insured, unafraid adults) to get EC, I am also despondent over these comments. I recognize that there are people on the internet who are just crazies, but most plain crazies are more interested in conspiracy theoried than death threats to liberal feminist bloggers. These people making these comments are "pro-life". I have to say that I've never heard any of this level of vitreol from pro-choice advocates. I'm just so sad over all of this. And I'm just as sad thinking that I might have been wrong. That in the clear light of day, my friend might side with these crazies, instead of looking at all the reasons couples and women should have as many options as are safe and viable. Fuck.

Here's the most recent post from that blogger, who I am keeping in my thoughts. Take care all.

Monday, October 02, 2006


As I watch various television news programs, visit liberal blogs, and listen to conservative talk radio hosts, I have a hard time taking a firm stance on this controversy. There are several issues that contribute to this.

1.Previous Political Sex Scandals
Mostly I am thinking of one similar incident that many conservatives are bringing up. They keep mentioning Democrat Gerry Studds. I had no idea who this guy was so I looked it up. It seems in 1983 two congressmen were given slaps on the wrists by the Ethics Committee for having affairs with under 18 pages. One of them had an affair with a 16 year-old female page and he was very remorseful and didn’t run again. The other was Gerry Studds who had a sexual relationship with a male page, who I think was 17 years old when they had their affair in 1973, ten years before the actions were made public. Unlike the other congressman, Studds did not apologize. In fact, he held a press conference with that page standing by his side in which they both claimed that the affair was completely consensual and no one else’s business. Studds was re-elected several times. In fact, it seems that he is better known as a hero in the gay community. The conservatives who bring up the Studds incident are pointing out that Studds was still well regarded even though what Studds did was worse, yet he did not resign (as Foley had done) and was re-elected several times (as Foley will not be). They believe that this shows how Democrats are treated differently than Republicans.
I have to agree on the face of it with what the conservatives are saying. Studds and Foley seem to have been treated differently, though I was not able to find any press from the time of the Studds incident to show me what happened to him back in 1983. Also, on the face of it, what Studds did was worse- he had a sexual relationship with a page, while Foley only had sexually suggestive internet conversations with a page. (Whether he would have walked the walk if given a chance is up to debate.) On the other hand, consent and mutual involvement is another matter, as the page in the Studds incident was, at least by his own statements, a willing participant in what happened while the page Foley was conversing with seemed, at best, ambivalent about what was happening. (While he continued to chat with Foley, he also forwarded e-mails Foley sent him to a superior of the pages, calling it “Sick, sick, sick.”) If two congressmen, on Republican and one Democrat, were caught tomorrow doing the same exact thing, both on the committee for Missing and Exploited Children, I would hope that both of them would resign and that both would be judged just as harshly. If they were not, I would jump on anyone treating one less harshly, whether the congressman given the pass was a Republican or a Democrat.
What gives me pause however is that these incidents happened at two very different times. In the 70s, many people still married young. My own mother married in 1975 (or so) at 17 years old. Unless you were wealthy and went to college, when you graduated high school, if you graduated high school, at 17 or 18 years old, you went to work and were an adult. Also, The Graduate, was released six years before the Studds event happened, making it seems en vogue for older married women to do what some of their husbands had been doing for decades, have affairs with younger people. (Though in the movie, the younger person was a recent college grad, not high school grad.) Also, the affair was not publicly revealed until 10 years after the fact, plenty of time for the page to get over the thrill of being desired by an older mentor and start to realize that they may have been taken advantage of by an authority figure. (Though it is also plenty of time for them to reap the benefits for being on the good side of a powerful figure, giving them more incentive to possibly lie to keep those benefits.) There also seems to be little paper trail pertaining to this affair, or at least little that became public, that could dispute Studds and the page’s claim that the affair was consensual, or to give tantalizing or disgusting details to the press.
On the other hand, 16/17 year olds are not judged as they used to be. After high school, many teenagers are expected to go to college. Even if they have full-time jobs right after high school, most teenagers are expected to get either further education or further training in a field before starting “real adult life.” Few 17 year olds are getting married these days. They might have a child, but few will get married until later in life. Among teenagers that do go off to college immediately after graduating high school, many of them remain close to their parents, relying on them for not only financial support, but also emotional support. I’ve read several articles in Newsweek alone in the past year about how parents of college students talk to their children every day, calling to wake them up for class, contacting professors that their children are having problems with. Several colleges are offering parent orientation with tips on how to maintain contact with their children while also pushing them to be responsible for their own life and problems. This is vastly different from the 70s when many college students broke off from their parents, visiting on holidays and over the summers, calling sporadically, dealing with their problems on their own, using college as a stepping stone into adulthood instead of a furthering of their adolescence. While older people (both men and women) may have affairs with younger people, they usually face harsher consequences, more public admonishments, and fewer of these affairs are kept private and swept under the rug. While we might make light of these affairs in personal and private conversations, the public morality is strongly against them, backed a general feeling that these young people are always taken advantage of by the older participant, that these young people are always hurt in the long run by these affairs, and that the older participant should have better judgment than to get involved in these affairs. This is also a time in which the internet provides both the means for older people to maintain contact with younger people and the means to expose the relationship and the details of the relationship. Nearly every Friday night, NBC runs footage of another sting operation where men are arrested for soliciting someone they think is a teenager (usually 13 or 14 years old) over the internet and showing up for sex. These men are then confronted by the NBC reporter about why they are there, who they intended to meet, how old that person was, and what they had planned to do. Then, they are arrested. One of the nation’s leading conservative hosts, Bill O’Reilly, is a major backer of laws for mandatory minimums in cases involving child molestation, coming down on states that do not pass this law. Also, the congressman involved in this controversy is a member of the committee dealing with missing and exploited children, the co-sponsor of bills that make soliciting a minor for sex over the internet illegal.

2. Consent
In DC, the age of sexual consent is 16 years old. Assuming that this law was the same in the 1970s, Gerry Stubbs did nothing illegal. If Foley had slept with this page in DC, he also would not have done anything illegal. However, Foley did not sleep with him. He discussed sex and seems to have made attempts to solicit someone under 18 for sex over the internet. That is covered by a completely different set of laws. I will be the first to admit that I am NOT well versed in these laws. But if these laws say that it is illegal for someone over 18 to solicit someone under 18 for sex, then what Foley did would seem to be illegal, even if it would be legal for him to have sex with said minor.
Of course, while legal consent is determined fairly strictly by the law according to age, full mutual consent is something different. Especially in feminist circles, full consent usually relies on both (or all, if there are more than 2 people are involved) parties to be on equal footings with no major power differential. Even if nothing illegal happened, both Studds and Foley are swimming in murky ethical water. Can someone so much younger than you, who you have authority over, who may be dazzled by your wealth, power, and prestige, and who could benefit greatly their whole life by staying on your good side truly step away from all those things to rational and independently give consent? Or will the older authority figure always be taking advantage of the younger one? To be wholly ethical, I believe the authority figure should always turn down romantic relationships with younger people they have authority over, no matter how much the younger person seems to be a willing, consenting participant, even if only until that person is no longer under their authority. They should always follow both the rule and spirit of the law. Unfortunately, few people always act ethically, especially where romance and sex are involved.
I have to admit that I have rarely acted ethically in romantic and sexual matters. There were even more times when I WANTED to act unethically, especially with older authority figures, but was never given the chance. I have been lucky in the fact that most of the older authority figures I was interested in were either completely uninterested in me (most likely) or wiser and more in control of themselves, never allowing us to become entangled in a romantic or sexual relationship. On the few occasions I found myself pursued by older authority figures, or at least felt they would not have turned down a romantic or sexual relationship, I was only once faced with someone that I had any interest in. While his interest in me was at first very flattering, I quickly began to feel less than comfortable during our interactions. Despite knowing how inappropriate our interactions were, I did not feel comfortable telling him to stop, especially since I was flattered by someone like him being sexually interested in someone like me. My line of thinking at the time was, If I was flattered by his interest, it must not be so wrong and my discomfort must be caused by something else, perhaps my own immaturity and nervousness. Years later, after getting to know him better, his history, his opinions, and hearing several accounts of his similar behavior towards other females under his authority, I see that I was not special for catching his attention. Anything with breasts and a vagina caught his attention and he pursued anyone he thought might have low enough self-esteem to be receptive. This is why I plan on acting as ethically as possible, in spite of any romantic or sexual feelings I may have, if I am ever in a position of authority over anyone, especially someone significantly younger than myself. I’d much rather someone look back on me as the older mentor they wanted but never got than the person they wanted to be their mentor until that person creepily came on to me.

3. Hypocrisy?
On his program today, Rush Limbaugh said that Democrats accept bad behavior from members of their party because, unlike their Republican counterparts, Democrats believe that everyone has serious flaws that preclude them from acting in a moral way and that we should just strive to help and understand them. Republicans, while they may believe that humans are all flawed, expect everyone to act morally and do not coddle people when they have acted in immoral ways, especially serious immoral ways. Basically, only Republicans can be accused of hypocrisy because only Republicans have values that they stand up for that they may violate. Which, on the other hand, means that he thinks that Democrats cannot be accused of hypocrisy because they don’t have values, or at least not ones that they stand up and talk about. I’m sure T would agree fairly whole-heartedly with that. Limbaugh asserted that the only reason Democrats were really angry was because he was a hypocrite and that there may have been a Republican cover-up, but NOT about what Foley really did.
While, as I stated above, if two congressmen did the same thing at the same time while on the same committee but were on different sides of the aisle, I believe they should both be looked at and treated the same way, but, while the Studds’ controversy and the Foley controversy appear similar on the face, there are many ways in which they are different and either case could be looked at more harshly in the other, depending on how one looks at it. But, both as a liberal myself and from the liberal blogs I read, it seems to me that most liberals are truly mad about what Foley did. They do not think that it is acceptable to an older person in a position of authority to attempt to engage in a sexual relationship with an underage subordinate. They think this guy is a pervert and it is amazing that the guy who helped write the law on internet predators is caught violating it. His position on that committee makes him even more repugnant in their eyes. The only thing that seems to have enticed them into calling him a hypocrite is his statement about how disgusting it was for Bill Clinton to engage in a sexual relationship with an intern. In addition to this, they are upset that there may have been a cover-up by the members of Congress who knew about these e-mails and instant messages. I do not think I’ve read a single post saying that what Foley seems to have done is acceptable in any way shape or form.

Conclusion: The Studds and Foley controversies have many similarities and many differences. Both men acted unethically and immorally, even if what they did was not illegal. Anyone who knew of their actions should have stood up and said something to protect these boys who were both minors and subordinate to these men. I don’t know if Foley is being treated differently than Studds JUST because he is a Republican. I’d like to believe it is because of the different times these actions occurred in. Please feel free to comment with your take on this story.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Nine Years Old

As I was driving by my old apartment complex last night, passing what used to be my friend Brandy's apartment, I realized something. Her daughter just turned 9 years old last month. 9. Wow.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Welcome K

So, it seems someone other than Sir has been reading my blog. I hope you've enjoyed all my thoughts and ideas, etc. And I guess it is only fair that you read my work since I've read yours. "Don't write words unless you want me to read them." Never truer. Sir didn't tell me because he didn't want me to censor myself, thinking that you might feel compassion or understanding for me if you saw my own words, true and raw. And, as I now have nothing to lose, I'll try to continue to write as I always have before, regardless of whether or not you are out there. Not that you are or will ever be interested, but if you want to know me, this is a good place to start, though nowhere near where to end. Take care and know that Sir has told you a great deal more bad things about me than he has told me bad things about you.

"Now That It's Over"-Everclear

Yeah right!
One, two, three, four

Break down, shake for me
Nothing ever is the way you want it to be
Nothing even tastes right now that it's over

Break down, shake for me
Don't write words unless you want me to read them
Nothing really matters now that it's over

Maybe we can be friends
Now that we're older
We can have fun like we did in the early days
Now that it's over

Yeah right!

Break down, shake for me
Nothing ever seems the way it ought to be
Nothing ever seems right now that it's over

Yeah, now maybe we can be friends
Maybe we can be closer
We can have fun like we did in the old days
Now that it's over

Oh yeah...
My bad dreams just don't seem the same
Baby without you
I wish you were willing to accept the blame
Yeah, for everything you do
My nightmares just don't scare me now
Baby without you, yeah yeah
I wish that I could find the words to tell
In the best way possible, you and your friends to go to hell

Yeah right!

Whoa, breakup time is never easy to do
Nothing ever ends the way you want it to
Nothing seems to make sense now that it's over

Yeah, now maybe we can be friends
Yeah, now that you're leaving
You can be nice to me
Maybe I'm dreaming
I am a lot better now than just okay
Maybe I am just wakin' up in my own way
Now that it's over
Now that it's over

My bad dreams just don't seem the same
Baby without you
I wish you were willing to accept the blame
Yeah, for all the shitty things you do
Nightmares just don't scare me now
Baby without you
I wish that I could find the words to tell
You to politely go fuck yourself
Yeah, now that it's over...

I'm trying to accept the blame for all the shitty things I've done. Or at least the ones I know about. I wonder if you are as well. It's such a shame because I really wanted to get to know you, though you never wanted to get to know me. It's ironic how you are the one afraid of me being violent, when it's you who has only acted out of aggression towards me. Oh well.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Baby Steps

Tonight I talked to someone I didn't know. Just walked right up and introduced myself and started talking. I don't do that very often, not nearly often enough. I had the safety of knowing he was their to see the same person perform that I was, but other than that, I knew nothing other than that he was someone to talk to. Someone who looking interesting. We talked before the show and during the break in between sets. He seemed truly interested in me. It was weird to feel like I could be someone interesting to a total stranger. Weird, but nice. The thought of dating him, of kissing him or touching him, wasn't foremost in my mind. But the idea of talking to him for as long as two people could talk, of hearing him play his music, of listening to the music he listens to, of sitting in his world for a while, was very very appealing. It doesn't mean the day was easy or that I forgot about everything that has been weighing so heavily on me lately, but it was a baby step in the right direction.

Friday, September 22, 2006

"The Moment I Let Go of It Was the Moment I Got More than I Could Handle"

I'm not even sure where to begin at this point. While I feel totally and completely lost, I also feel more in control than I have for a long time. The person that I had used as my compass and guide for so long is gone now. While he, in his ivory tower, may think he is doing this all solely for my benefit, so that I can do this on my own, find my own way without his guidance, I think that is bullshit. And I think a great deal of things about him now are bullshit. Which in a way is good. While I am alive, I will never have a teacher or a mentor that is not human. While the Dali Lama may be an incarnation of the Buddha, even the Buddha was only a man. He said so himself. Ultimately, I have to look inside myself to find out if what I am being taught is true, to evaluate if this person has my best interests and/or the best interests of all humans at heart. Realizing this hasn't made it hurt any less. In fact, I think it has made it hurt worse. I long for my friend and companion to comfort me, but I can't have that back. I might not ever be able to get that back, especially knowing what I know now.

"Simple Together"-Alanis Morisette
You've been my golden best friend
Now with post-demise at hand
Can't go to you for consolation
Cause we're off limits during this transition
This grief overwhelms me
It burns in my stomach
And i can't stop bumping into things

I thought we'd be simple together
I thought we'd be happy together
Thought we'd be limitless together
I thought we'd be precious together
But i was sadly mistaken

You've been my soulmate and mentor
I remembered you the moment i met you
With you i knew god's face was handsome
With you i suffered an expansion
This loss is numbing me
It pierces my chest
And i can't stop dropping everything

I thought we'd be sexy together
Thought we'd be evolving together
I thought we'd have children together
I thought we'd be family together
But i was sadly mistaken

If i had a bill for all the philosophies i shared
If i had a penny for all the possibilities i presented
If i had a dime for every hand thrown up in the air
My wealth would render this no less severe

I thought we'd be genius together
I thought we'd be healing together
I thought we'd be growing together
Thought we'd be adventurous togheter
But i was sadly mistaken

Thought we'd be exploring together
Thought we'd be inspired together
I thought we'd be flying together
Thought we'd be on fire together
But i was sadly mistaken

(Also have Alanis to thank for the title, my first inspiration of the day, from the song "Thank U")

But here are things I have learned about myself and what I will and will not do. Or maybe just things I had to remind myself of. I won't give up an important part of my life/love/friends/dreams/ideals for a lover or a spouse, especially one who isn't my ideal by a long stretch. I also won't spend my life with someone who I'm settling for just because they are predictable and easy to control. While I won't let my family dictate who I am not friends with, I will also never abandon members of my family because we have a large disagreement over how to handle things or abandon a whole branch of the family because that branch had a falling out with the branch I'm closest to decades ago. Family is family and it would take a something very bad for me to disown them. While "selling out" is a fairly ambigous term, I will always work to keep my ideals, to work for them, and to never give them up or give up my happiness for comfort and a miserable life. And, if my non-friend is reading this and smiling to himself, thinking that he finally got me to start thinking for myself and not relying on him, fuck you. You didn't do shit but rip my heart out. You get no fucking credit. You tossed my friendship aside for a the "love" of a girl who isn't half of anything I am when, if she was even a moderately rational person, you could have, should have had both. There is no way this will end in the best way possible for you.

"That Particular Time"-Alanis Morissette
My foundation was rocked
My tried and true way to deal was to vanish
My departures were old
I stood in the room shaking in my boots
At that particular time love had challenged me to stay
At that particular moment I knew not run away again
That particular month I was ready to investigate with you
At that particular time

We thought a break would be good
For four months we sat and vacillated
We thought a small time apart would clear up the doubts that were abounding
At that particular time love encouraged me to wait
At that particular moment it helped me to be patient
That particular month we needed time to marinate in what "us" meant

I've always wanted for you what you've wanted for yourself
And yet I wanted to save us high water or hell
And I kept on ignoring the ambivalence you felt
And in the meantime I lost myself
In the meantime I lost myself
I'm sorry I lost myself¡-.i am

You knew you needed more time
Time spent alone with no distraction
You felt you needed to fly solo and high to define
What you wanted
At that particular time love encouraged me to leave
At that particular moment I knew staying with you meant deserting me
That particular month was harder than you'd believe but I still left
At that particular time

Monday, September 11, 2006

Adriene Is Fucking Up!

In a strange coincidence, I was awoken this morning in a similar way to how I was woken up five years ago today-by a phone call telling me something that I at first did not believe but later found to be true. Five years ago today, it was my mother calling to tell me that the World Trade Center had been attacked. Today, it was my boss calling to tell me that I was supposed to have opened the store an hour ago and demanding that I get down there for the morning rush. Thankfully, today's call only affected my boss and I and resulted from an honest mistake in reading the schedule. But it was enough to jolt me out of my mood and allow me to forget that today was also the anniversary of a horrible event in American history. Life does go on, even though we are never the same. And today we all pray for all those who lost their lives, even many of us who don't have a god to pray to, those who died on 9/11, those who have died fighting the wars on terrorism and in Iraq, and those they left behind.

P.S. Sir, I miss you more than ever today. I hope you liked the picture. I was hoping to brighten up an otherwise dreary day. Take care, Sir.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Amazing Photos!!!!

This is also part of a promotional push for this new book of 9/11 pictures. Vanity Fair presents eleven of them as a photo essay. The triptych and the dagguerotype are amazing.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

On the upcoming anniversary...

Monday will be the five year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. It is almost impossible to get away from that fact. MSNBC is planning on rebroadcasting that day's Today show in real time, with commentary by Chris Matthews. ABC is going to air a mini-series and CBS is going to air the documentary 9/11. Many cable stations are airing programs that have to do with some aspect of the attack. For many people, "Where were you on 9/11?" has become the new version of "Where were you when Kennedy was shot?" While I hope I'll be able to avoid a good deal of this depressing coverage, I'm always drawn into those things that make me feel worse, so I'm sure I'll get sucked in on Monday. Thinking about that this morning, I started thinking about my memories of 9/11.

I was asleep when the phone started ringing. The phone ringing was not unexpected, as my mom often called me in the morning to make sure I was up in time for classes at my junior college, but she was calling unusually early. When I answered, my mother told me that there had been a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. "You're shitting with me," was my response. When I realized she wasn't kidding, I turned on the television in my room just in time to see a fuzzy picture of the first tower crumbling. My first instinct was to make sure you were alright. At your university, just outside our hometown, I had no reason to question your safety, but, just as my mother had called our home to talk to my step-father, who worked nights then, and I, I reached out for you. The first few times I called your pager (God, I can't believe you still had a pager in 2001!), I got the message that all circuits were busy. I think the only other time I had heard that message when I made a call was when I was trying to order tickets for a concert. I'd never had a moment when the whole city (probably both mine and yours) were busying the circuits. When I finally got through, you called right back. You should have been in class. Though before long, I should have been in class as well, though I didn't go. You had already talked to your family and all of you agreed that it was the work of bin Ladin. While the name sounded familiar to me, at the time, I had no idea who he was. I was still so numb, unable to believe that what I had seen on my television could possible be the reality of what was happening on the edge of the country. But, just knowing that the people I loved were ok made me feel a little bit better. I'm not sure why I had to hear from you to know that you were ok, as you were so far from any of what was happening, but I did.

The night before, I had split the skin on my lower lip open, trying to peel of a bit of dry skin. I thought later that I must have had some misgiving that caused me to chew on that split with my upper teeth until it swelled, but, as you would say, it was probably just a coincidence. All that day, I continued to chew on it as I watched the endless news, though they had little real information to report, just the same pictures of death and destruction broadcast over and over again. Five years later, it doesn't feel as if much has changed with regards to the news, except that it has become more negative, with all traces of community spirit gone, replaced by bitter partisanship.

As I was reliving my memories of that day, I realized your girlfriend was barely able to drive when 9/11 occurred. She could only have been a sophomore, at most a junior. I wonder how much she paid attention to what was going on. It all seems slightly comical right now.

It hardly seems like five years have passed.

*Sigh* It seems as if this blog is becoming the public and living memorial to a friendship lost too soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I look like a leopard and there's nothing they can do about it!

During the weekend before last, I found a weird round spot on the inside of my upper arm. Perfectly round. It wasn't the usual hives that I get, which doctors don't seem to be able to do anything about, but something different. And it didn't just go away. The only round skin rash/spot/thingies I'd ever heard of was ringworm, so I started using an anti-fungal treatment. Then, on Saturday, I found more of them, all over my chest. And the original spot hadn't cleared up. So I started looking at pictures on the internet of ringworm and, while I am aware that they usually put the most severe pictures up on medical websites, I could clearly see that what I had looked nothing like these pictures. I couldn't really find any pictures of what I had. And there were more and more spots, none of which were responding to the anti-fungal.

So today I went to the doctor because I was worried about not only what this was but also about spreading it, especially at work, even though all of the spots I have are covered by my clothes at work. It was a case of good news, bad news. Good news: Treatment isn't going to cost me much and it is definately not contagious. Bad news: There is no treatment. It is a condition called pityriasis rosea. No one really knows what causes it and you can't really do anything to "cure" it, perse. Just use creams to keep down the itching and it should go away in two or three months. On the whole, I feel better but now I can't take my shirt off or wear anything remotely low-cut because my chest is covered in small and large spots. I don't have a great deal of faith in the medical field because, if they can't treat any of these minor things, like identifying what my hives are or making me not look like a human-leopard hybrid, I'm not sure why I should have faith that they can do anything about the bigger things.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

NEW Barenaked Ladies song----Easy

******Update: This song is now on their myspace sight. Please check it out!!!!

I heard this tonight on the local college/NPR station and I love it the more I think about it, though I am kinda upset that they haven't put it on their myspace page so that I can link to it or add it as my current song. But it really makes me think of a situation a friend of mine is in.

Easy- Barenaked Ladies
What’s a boy to do?
When you tell your tale and it never fails
I just end up feeling bad for you
With your hang-dog eyes
You can bring me down
Now I’m wrapped around your whole hand
Stop looking so surprised

You make it easy (easy)
You make it easy (easy)

I’ve been burned before
You’re not fooling me
There’s no mystery
You've forgotten what you’re hiding for
Call it self-defense
You can obfuscate and manipulate
But it’s only at your own expense

You make it easy (easy)
You make it easy (easy)
You make it easy (easy)
You make it easy (easy)

Easy to be with you
Easy to obey
Easy to forgive you at the end of the day
East not to judge you
Easy to betray
Easy to adore you though you want to run away

It’s easy

Look what you have done
I can do the same
Two can play this game
You’ll no longer be the only one

Make it easy (easy)
Make it easy (easy)
Make it easy (easy)
Easy (easy)



Warren Jeffs, the Prophet of the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints Church and a member of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, has been arrested and is now in the American justice system. In May, when he was put on the list, most television commentators interviewed women who had left the FLDS Church and could/would tell about all the horrors that are happening within these isolated communities under the direct leadership of Jeffs. And it was an ok story. Of the things Jeffs is wanted for, the crime of polygamy is the least of them. The emphasis then was on his alleged involvement in arranging marriages between underage girls (13 year old girls) and older men and facilitating child rape in these situations, as many of these girls do not become legal wives under civil law but spiritual wives. And in May, no one seemed to object to Jeffs being put on the Most Wanted List.

Now there does seem to be some questions arising, especially among more conservative commentators, as to whether a polygamist should have been put on the Most Wanted List alongside Osama bin Ladin and even if he should have been arrested at all for being a polygamist. Now, I have to say, I'm not sure whether or not Jeffs should have put on the Ten Most Wanted List. The List is a tool for the FBI to make the public more aware of these criminals who have managed to evade police who use normal avenues of investigation, such as Jeffs, who travels between these isolated FLDS communities where none of the locals will call him in because they are his followers, including law enforcement officers in these communities. While the crimes that he is accused of might not be as serious as murder or terrorism, but they are widespread in the communities that he leads. He is not on the Most Wanted List just because he is a polygamist. There are a great many polygamists in those communities that he leads. He is on the Most Wanted List because he has outstanding arrest warrants on facilitating child rape.

On the other hand, this also brings into the public consciousness whether or not polygamy should be illegal, by asking whether or not a man should be arrested because he is a polygamist (though this isn't the truth of the situation). One cable news program (I wish I could remember which one) profiled a family of polygamists who chose to be polygamists as adults, do not live in an isolated communities, do not abuse welfare, and do nothing illegal except being polygamists, in the vein of the HBO show Big Love. So, while I am happy that Jeffs has been captured and hope that he will be convicted of anything he is guilty of and hope that any abuse occuring in these isolated communities will stop because of this, I have to say I am not against polygamy, as such. I have no problem with a group of men and women who choose to make a life together and can develop a happy and healthy home for them and any children they may have. I have a problem with child abuse, forcing young women into marriages, forcing young men out of the community so that the older men do not have to compete for with them for brides, welfare abuse, and making people stay in communities when they do not want to be there. I often find it funny that many people opposed to gay marriage say that it will lead to polygamy. My answer, So??? I have no problem with polygamy, whether one chooses it as a calling from God or as a kinky alternative lifestyle. Most cultures have long histories of plural marriage, including many cultures in the Bible.

So, if you take out the abuses which are associated with plural mariages in these isolated rogue branches of the LDS church, what is so wrong with polygamy???

Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, baked beans, spam, spam, spam and spam

So today I was lying in bed, thinking just random things and I started thinking about Spam. At the time I was thinking that whoever invented Spam must be rolling in his grave because something that was intended for good (and profit) has become slang for icky meat product and unwanted junk e-mails. There it is "Spam" in bold letters on my Yahoo page. Also, there are all kinds of processed meat that doesn't get the same disdain as Spam does. Sausages, hot dogs, ham, salami, etc.- all are processed meat in some form and they aren't the butt of jokes in the same way as Spam is. Then, I fell asleep, thinking about the Monty Python Spam sketch.

Before I posted this, I thought I'd go by Wikipedia to see what they had to say about who invented Spam, etc. And what I found really really interesting is that Spam as a name for junk e-mail came from the Monty Python sketch since it is something being offered that you don't want in the middle of things you may want, like baked beans, but that seems to take over the menu in the end. So spam as a name for junk mail wasn't taken directly from the meat product, it was actually taken from Monty Python, filtered through pop culture. And the Monty Python people brought it into their sketches because Spam was one of the few products NOT subject to British rationing during and after WWII, which is why the British were so tired of it, according to Wikipedia at least.

Yeah, yeah, yeah--- I know I am a dork, but I just find it fascinating how a meat product which came to the market in 1937 can give its name to a modern technological phenomenon in the 1990s. Wow.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

KC Metro Barbie Dolls

I have to admit that I am stealing this from a Myspace "friend"'s blog, but it is just too funny not to expose everyone I know to it. Sir---Lawrence Barbie stole York's shirt!

Mattel recently announced the release of limited edition Barbie dolls for the KC Metro market:

Leawood Barbie- This princess Barbie is only sold at Town Center Mall. She comes with an assortment of Kate Spade handbags, a Lexus SUV, a longhaired foreign lap-dog named Honey, and a cookie-cutter dream house with a lawn service. Available with or without tummy tuck and face-lift. Workaholic ex-husband Ken comes with a Porsche.

* * *Overland Park Barbie-This modern-day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford Windstar mini-van and matching gym suit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation or secondary education. Traffic-jamming cell phone sold separately. Can swear in English and Spanish. Available at Target.

* * *Independence Barbie-This recently paroled Barbie comes with a 9 mm handgun, bowie knife, a' 78 El Camino with dark tinted windows, and a meth lab kit. This model is only available after dark and can only be bought with cash,preferably small bills, unless you are a cop, then we don't know what you are talking about.

* * *Blue Valley Barbie--This yuppie Barbie comes with your choice of BMW convertible or Hummer H2. Included are her own Starbucks cup, credit card set, and country club membership. Also available are Shallow Ken and Spanish-speaking Nanny.

* * *Paola Barbie--This pale model comes dressed in her own Wrangler jeans two sizes too small, a classic Metallica shirt, and Tweety Bird tattoo on her shoulder. Wants to major in NASCAR at K-State. She has a six-pack of Coors Light and a Hank Williams, Jr. CD set. She can spit over 5 feet and kick mullet-haired Ken's ass when she is drunk. Purchase her pickup truck separately and get a confederate flag bumper sticker absolutely free. Available at Big Lots & Dollar General Stores.

* * *Wyandotte County Barbie--This tobacco chewing, brassy-haired Barbie has a pair of her own high-heeled sandals with one broken heel from the time she chased Beer-Gut Ken out of Paola Barbie's (discontinued) house. Her ensemble includes low-rise acid-washed jeans, fake fingernails, strawberry lip-gloss, and a see-through halter-top. Comes with Barbie's dream doublewide trailer. Available at Wal-Mart Cheap.

* * *The Grandview/Raytown Barbie--This collagen injected, rhinoplastic Barbie wears leopard print spandex and drinks cosmopolitans to new age music with friends at the lodge. Into crystals. Comes with Percocet prescription and botox. Also cheap.

* * *Olathe Barbie--This Barbie now comes with a stroller, infant doll and Bible. Optional accessories include a G.E.D. and bus pass on the Jo. Gangsta Ken and his '79 Caddy were available, but are now very difficult to find since the addition of the infant. Available at any Christian bookstore.

* * *Brookside Barbie--This doll is made of actual tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no makeup, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She prefers that you call her "Willow." She does not want or need a Ken doll, but if you purchase two Brookside Barbies and the optional Subaru wagon, you get a rainbow flag sticker free.

* * *Lenexa Barbie--Is pregnant, drives a new Ford Excursion, and is perfect in every way. We don't know who Ken is because he's always away hunting or in Japan on business. Lenexa Barbie aspires to become Leawood Barbie. Not cheap, but still very naive.

* * *Waldo Barbie--Into football, animals and bonfires. 98 percent belong to a cult, 2 percent are free thinking and void of any "traditions." Does nothing but complain about Plaza Barbie.

* * * Argentine Barbie--This Spanish-speaking-only Barbie comes with a 1984 Toyota with expiredtemporary plates and three babies in the back. This is the only Barbie willing to do manual labor. Ken comes in a meat-packer's uniform and is missing three fingers on left hand. Green cards are not yet available for Argentine Barbie or Ken.

* * *Plaza Barbie/Ken--This versatile doll can be easily converted from Barbie to Ken by simply adding or subtracting the "snap-on" parts. Likes to "experiment." Doesn't understand why Waldo Barbie complains so much.

* * *Topeka Barbie--She is outfitted with a 97 Ford Taurus with an unpainted body kit and crappy stereo system. This Barbie is twice the size of all the other Barbies and has more tattoos than Topeka Ken. Ghetto braids optional. And she's still white, but she doesn't "know it".

* * *Lawrence Barbie--This doll comes with a royal blue "Muck Fizzou" t-shirt, 70 parking tickets, and $20k in student loans. She thinks PHIL 100 is deep and gets excited when "I take Women's Studies to meet girls" Ken asks if she wants to go to The Ranch. (She has a sister, Lawrence Skipper, but Skipper long ago declared corporate Mattel evil and destroyed her own box in protest.)

* * *Gardner Barbie- Has never been North of 95th Street and complains about going "all the way to Olathe". Comes with her own bag of fireworks, ill fitting t-shirt/shorts combination and has been banned from all 4 of the Gardner bars. Comes with optional motorcycle and current boyfriend/ex-husband, Sh*t Starting Ken.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Different When It Comes To You- Bruce Cockburn

Another song that seems like it might be appropriate right now. I heard it on the local NPR/college station and I really liked its feel. I wish it was on myspace so I could link it.

She said she wanted me
I had to let her know
It was never meant to be
And she had to let it go
She was pissed and hurting
But what was I supposed to do
I did not love her, but it's
Different when it comes to you

Lamentations everywhere
All the colours turned to blue
Desperation laid her bare
She told me everything I could do
She told herself a story
That flat out wasn't true
She made me feel sorry
But it's different when it comes to you

I don't want to go home tonight
I want to turn loose my lust
I want you to squeeze me tight
Do the things that we discussed
I bring you my broken self
With zero hidden from your view
I don't usually do that but it's
Different when it comes to you
I didn't know I could do that, but it's
Different when it comes to you

Mandolin Rain- Bruce Hornsby

My mom had this album on cassette tape. I think I still have it hidden away somewhere. Hornsby never gained the fame that other pianomen, like Elton John or Billy Joel, but he is widely respected by other musicians, as is evidence by how many times they cover his songs. I played his song Every Little Kiss for my piano recital when I was 9. My piano teacher got a musician friend of his to play bass, too. It was almost like a real band. But this song seems a good deal more fitting for the moment. I wonder if I can still play either of these...

The song came and went
Like the times that we spent
Hiding out from the rain under the carnival tent
I laughed and she'd smile
It would last for awhile
You don't know what you got till you lose it all again

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Listen to my heart break every time she runs away
Listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go

A cool evening dance
Listening to the bluegrass band takes the chill
>from the air till they play the last song
I'll do my time
Keeping you off my mind but there's moments
That I find, I'm not feeling so strong

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Listen to my heart break every time she runs away
Listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go

Running down by the lakeshore
She did love the sound of a summer storm
It played on the lake like a mandolin
Now it's washing her away again

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Listen to my heart break every time she runs away
Listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go

The boats steaming in
I watch the sidewheel spin and i
Think about her when I hear that whistle blow
I can't change my mind
I knew all the time that she'd go
But that's a choice I made long ago

Listen to the mandolin rain
Listen to the music on the lake
Listen to my heart break every time she runs away
Listen to the banjo wind
A sad song drifting low
Listen to the tears roll
Down my face as she turns to go

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Atheists on "30 Days"

I really like the FX reality show "3o Days", created by Morgan Spurlock, of "Super-Size Me" fame. For those not familiar with the show, a person is made to live with a family of very very differing views/lifestyles/religions, etc, such as a Minuteman living with a family of illegal immigrants, a downsized IT worker living with a family in India were the husband/father does the job he used to. Granted, there is no real way to encompass what these people (on both sides) feel in the hour of the program, nor is 30 days living in a different environment enough time to really understand what that life is really like everyday, but it is an interesting concept and it makes people on both sides think, hopefully.

Last Wednesday's episode featured a Kansas City woman/wife/mother, who considers herself an atheist and a free-thinker who was sent to live with a Christian family and attend church and Bible study with them. I was really struck by the episode, thinking first "Do people really think this way?", then when I realized they do wondering how they could possibly think that way. Mark, the husband/father in the Christian family, kept bringing up to his wife and to the camera in his personal interviews how he could not understand what the atheist believed in, where she got her morals, and in what she could find hope. I guess I am just flabbergasted by the notion that Christians (or anyone for that matter) could think that atheists just don't have moral. As if atheist are only atheists so that they are free from God's moral authority. Believers throughout all times and places have felt themselves free from their god's moral authority, or at least consciously acted against that moral authority. It seems to be a foreign concept to most followers of a religion that people could be ethical and moral on their own, without believing in a higher power. Ethical and moral behavior, even when many of those ideas are passed down from the Judeo-Christian tradition, are taught to us as we grow up, no matter what religion we are, or aren't. And just because a moral/ethical principle has been passed down through the Judeo-Christian tradition does not mean that all atheists (or any atheists) will reject them wholly because of that. The morals of religious traditions are usually common-sense ideas for large civilizations and, whether you think those morals were handed down from God or dictated by wise old men who just said they came from God, they are still good ideas which most rational people will follow. I am just amazed at how the Christians couldn't fathom anything about what this atheist thought.

On the other hand, I do not really think that the atheist made a very good case for herself. Often, she was intimidated by the husband/father of the Christian family, but I would think that someone who prided herself on being a free-thinker would have put forth more thought for the Christians. But really amazing, thought-provoking episode.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Life Ain't Always Beautiful- Gary Allen

Life Ain't Always Beautiful- Gary Allen
Life aint always beautiful
Sometimes it's just plain hard
Life can knock you down, it can break your heart

Life aint always beautiful
You think you're on your way
And it's just a dead end road at the end of the day

But the struggles make you stronger
And the changes make you wise
And happiness has its own way of takin it's sweet time

No, life aint always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Life aint always beautiful
Some days I miss your smile
I get tired of walkin all these lonely miles

And I wish for just one minute
I could see your pretty face
Guess I can dream, but life don’t work that way

But the struggles make me stronger
And the changes make me wise
And happiness has its own way of takin it's sweet time

No, life aint always beautiful
But i know i'll be fine
Hey, life aint always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride
What a beautiful ride

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Ideas/Quotes from Taking Our Places: The Buddhist Path to Truly Growing Up by Norman Fischer---Things that I think could be useful to all people, but especially people in my age group who are trying to muddle their way through trying to be a grown-up and figure out what that is. And I thought this might be especially interesting to you Sir.

Great Opening Quote- "And this is how I eventually came to see that, paradoxically, my vow never to grow up and my vow as a Zen practitioner to become mature myself and to work to mature others were quite compatible. In fact, in true Zen dialectical fashion, these two vows were necessary mirrors for each other. Not to grow up, not to drop the endless search for truth because it is too difficult or too risky or too impractical or too costly, really meant to grow up, to become a person capable of true responsibility and real love because true responsibility and real love depend on a constant involvement with the truth. (p 21)

Qualities of Mature People

  • Responsible without being boring
  • Experienced without being close-minded
  • Self-accepting without being shut-off to change and improvement
  • Loving without being corny
  • Stable without being inert
  • Strong without being brittle

Responsibility=capacity to respond, not control and conformity but the willingness to confront nakedly and clearly what's in front of you on its own terms, to pledge yourself to your life, to recognize that reality is smarter than we are

Self-Acceptance= "As we become familiar with our weaknesses and all the trouble they have cuased us, we are less dismayed at tthem and do not run away from them as often; this new response, in turn, brings us a calmness that helps us stop indulging our weaknesses." (31)

Not Listening to Ourselves= "So much of what we actually feel and think is unacceptable to us. We have been conditioned over a lifetime to simply not hear all of our own self-pity, anger, desire, jealousy, wonder. Most of what we take to b our adult resonse is no more than our unconscous decision not to listen to what goes on inside us." (45)

Listening Techniques

  • Looping= "Closing the loop of conversation", the listener repeats back to the speaker what they said until the speaker is satisfied that the listener truly heard what they said, the listener tries not to put their spin/interpretation/preconceptions on what the speaker said, only when the speaker is satisfied that the listener truly heard the speaker can the listener respond to what the speaker said
  • Dipping= intentionally taking time out of the conversation to check in with yourself/listen to yourself so that you can recognize how you are feeling and why and take that into account in your responses, you do not have to share what you gain from your dipping into yourself with the other person though you can if you feel it necessary

"I Don't Know" Mind/Beginners Mind= "Since knowing gives us defination and control, it enables us to keep the world at arm's length. Having established our ideas and preferences about what is, we no longer have to bother to pay attention. Not knowing, on the other hand, leaves us vulnerable and free. It brings us very close to experience, unprotected and free. It brings us very close to experience, unprotected and fully engaged. Not knowing, we merge with what confronts us. We let go of identity and evaluation and allow ourselves to surrender to amazement." (46)

Stubbornness vs. Persistence= "Stubbornness has a meanness to it, like a pit bull hanging on to a pants leg. It's reactive and often self-destructive (as it was in my case). Persistence, on the other hand, is not reactive or mean. It has a quality of faith and determination to continue, whether results are apparent or not. Persistence bears you up and helps you to move forward against the odds. In fact, with the practice of persistence, odds don't matter much one way or the other. Persistence doesn't wear you out by forcing you into a tight corner, as stubbornness does. Persistence provides some calmness in the face of adversity." (66)

Persistence->Trust ="You see that producing or avoiding any particular outcome isn't really the point. Simply being there is the point. Trust is the point. If you keep on showing up long enough, trust will dawn in you- not trust that things will turn out a particular way, or that a person will give you what you want, but a bigger, wider trust, a calm feeling inside. A trust in what is. And a trust in yourself, confident that whatever happens, you will be able to make us of it somehow." (68)

Peacemaking= "Peacemaking never depends on the other person. Peace is made in our own hearts, and nowhere else." (89)

The Sixteen Bodhisattva Precepts (149-151)

  • Taking Refuge in the Triple Treasure
    1. I take refuge in Buddha (the principle of enlightenment within)
    2. I take refuge in dharma (the enlightened way of understanding and living)
    3. I take refuge in sangha (the community of all beings)
  • Three Pure Precepts
    1. I vow to avoid all action that creates suffering.
    2. I vow to do all action that creates true happiness.
    3. I vow to act with others always in mind.
  • Ten Grave Precepts
    1. Not to kill but to nurture life.
    2. Not to steal but to receive what is offered as a gift.
    3. Not to misuse sexuality but to be caring and faithful in intimate relationships.
    4. Not to lie but to be truthful.
    5. Not to intoxicate with substances or doctrines but to promote clarity and awareness.
    6. Not to speak of others' faults but to speak out of loving-kindness.
    7. Not to praise self at the expense of the others but to be modest.
    8. Not to be possessive of anything but to be generous.
    9. Not to harbor anger but to forgive.
    10. Not to do anything to diminish the Triple Treasure but to support and nurture it.

Temporary Celibacy= "If we are sexually inactive, not by choice but by circumstances, then we certainly are celibate in a literal sense. So rather than either being always on the prowl sexually or blocking out our sexuality becuase it has proven unsuccessful in our lives, why not affirm our temporary celibacy as an opportunity rather than a deprivation and use it to develop a greater warmth and connection to ourselves and the world?

This is as far as I've gotten so far. I will add more and edit this post as I go further in the book.

Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man

This is such an amazing movie!!!!! I got these free passes for a movie screening from a co-worker and I wasn't so sure I'd like the movie, but I'll never pass up a free movie. It is half-documentary, half-concert film. Going into the movie, I didn't even know who Leonard Cohen was. I had heard the name before and I knew he was a singer-songwriter, but I didn't know anything more than that. I was shocked and happy to find that he is the writer/original performer of two songs that I recently heard and loved, I'm Your Man (as heard on the L Word during a sexy performance by Kelly Lynch's drag king Ivan Aycock for Pam Grier's Kit Porter) and Hallelujah, which I've heard performed by various people on various tv shows at various sad moments. The movie had various indie artists, Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Antony, Teddy Thompson, Nick Cave, performing Leonard Cohen songs at a concert celebrating his life and work. And, in between songs, some of the artists and Bono and the Edge discuss their feelings about Cohen and his music and Cohen talking about his work and his life. Not only is his work amazing, but the little bits and pieces of his life that we see in the film are amazing also. It makes me really want to hear more of his music and learn more about him. I really recommend the movie to any indie music lover or any music lover.

Bono and the Edge talk about Cohen and his music often in the movie, but they were not in the concert, so I was kinda curious about it. Then, at the very end of the movie, Leonard Cohen sings Tower of Song with U2 as his back-up band. All I could think was, How fucking cool is this? How fucking cool is this guy that U2 is his BACK-UP BAND? U2 has so much reverance for this guy that they are his fucking back-up band! Awesome movie!!!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Scariest Dream Ever

Have you ever had a dream in which someone you know in real life does something that makes you very angry and you are still very angry at them when you wake up? Like they had actually done that in real life? Well, I had one of those a few days ago.
In my dream, my parents were swingers. (Thinking of ones own parents having sex is bad enough, much less thinking of them in the middle of swinger orgies.) Now the knowledge that they were swingers was bad enough, but I was just going to ignore it, live and let live, you know. But then I got up one night to get something to eat and my mom's lover was up getting something too! Unbeknownst to me, my parents each had a lover living with them, in the bedroom right above my head. That was the final straw for me! I marched into their bedroom, where all parties were lounging on what appeared to be two large beds pushed together, and screamed, "Get out, get out, get out!!!! Get out of my house." One interesting sidenote is that my (straight, as far as I know) mother had a young nubile model-looking female lover while my step-dad had a trashy, chubby, mid-30s woman who could have been ripped straight from a trailer park episode of COPS. The lovers were bewildered, but I kept yelling at them and pointing at the door. My parents wanted me to "chill out." I don't really remember if they ever left or not.
Then, later in the dream, my mom, my former friend Mike, and I were all shopping at a very run down department store. We were standing in line at the register, Mike in front of me, my mother behind me. A "suave" guy started flirting with my mom, leaning very close to her. I stepped in between them, pushing my mom back, and yelling at the guy for flirting with my mom and asking if he had ever heard of personal space. My mom just giggled like a teenager. Driving in the car after leaving the store, she teased me. "Why are you so upset? Does it bother you that your mother has sex? You are such a prude!"
Needless to say, after I awoke from this dream, I called my mother and bitched her out for being such a dirty, flirty slut.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Releasing my Inner Dork

For a good part of my life, I have tried to temper my inner dork or inner geek with cool-outsider-ness, mostly in the form of kinky sex knowledge, freaky hair, piercings, and tattooes. I tried very hard to temper my geeky desire for all the insider knowledge about the mainstream subjects that I was interested in, especially with the fact that I was trying to be most interested in MAINSTREAM things. But lately, more and more, I'm embrassing my inner geek. I've started reading comic books. I've started reading more fantasy books. And I've started watching Battlestar Galactica. Granted, it's not the 70s version, but this SciFi Channel original series that reworks the campy 70s science fiction tv show is still largely considered a cult phenomenon. Probably for the sole reason that it is a science fiction show, based on a cheesy 1970s show with bad special effects, this amazing show does not get half the credit of other great basic cable shows, such as The Shield, Rescue Me, or Nip/Tuck. I even stayed away from the show for two full seasons. But alot of the liberal blogs that I read mentioned their love of SciFi Fridays, especially Battlestar Gallactica. It also seemed to have an intricate, political, sociological, religious, mysterious quality to the plots and actions, so I gave it a try by getting the SciFi miniseries that started the show from Netflix and IT IS AWESOME!!!!! After the Cyclons (AI that the humans thought they had defeated and banished) evolve and launch a surprise attack on all of human civilization, the remaining humans go in search of someplace to live and the Commander says they are going to go to the mythical 13th Colony Earth, which actually does exist and he knows where it is. Except that he later tells the recently sworn in as president Minister of Education that it really doesn't exist. And the Cyclons look just like humans! Dark, gritty, and full of wheeling and dealing, it is a great show. So, I'm just going to let my inner geek come out and decide for me, because it is paying off so far.