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!!!!!