Yay and Uh-oh!

I’m sending off the new record for replication within the week.  That’s right…after two years of work, it’s finally being put together!  Look for my website to reflect the release shortly.

 

On the flip side of that, I just realized yesterday that I’ve been promising people a “bonus CDR” of material separate from the record itself…and I’ve done virtually NO work on it (aside from writing the songs).  So I’ve got to get cracking on that!  Hopefully the record will be in the hands of the replicators long enough that I won’t have to delay release just because of a CDR.

 

Anyway…just thought I’d mention that.  I’m going to finish watching the first “Lord of the Rings” flick, then go to bed.

Thanksgiving Notables

Okay…so yesterday was Thanksgiving.  Well…technically it was two days ago, since it’s now like 3 a.m…but for all intents and purposes…it was yesterday. 

 

Those who regularly read my blog (poor devils) know that I’m fond of posting list-based things.  Usually it’s random stuff that’s on my mind…but today’s list is focused.  It’s a list of fun stuff that happened during my family’s gathering.  I might have a few details off or not remember some stuff…I was completely sleep-deprived and I’m sure it effected my brain…  But these are the highlights I remember.  Enjoy!

 

  1. Jake (my brother and sister-in-law’s dog) got an early Thanksgiving treat.  I went over to their house to stay there since we were leaving early and I am not an early riser.  Valerie was making rolls for the family gathering.  She got her last batch done and set it on the counter to cool while she and Dave gave Tessa (my niece) a bath.  I was hanging out downstairs.  This left the dog all alone near a plate of fresh, hot, delicious rolls — and he loves rolls.  He ate seven.  Well done, Jake.
  2. Several family members weren’t there…it was kind of a light year.  Some of the regulars were missing due to either work commitments, expecting babies, or sick relatives.  So, it was a slightly more intimate group and we didn’t fill up the church basement like we normally do.  Which was fine…more food for the rest of us.  🙂
  3. My aunt Sue is well known for manning the coupon table for the Black Friday deals.  She started early, before lunch was served.  She and Donna (the other legend of thrifty shopping in the family) had TWO tables going this year.  One for St. Louis, one for Jonesboro (Arkansas).  Always fun to wander over there and see people pricing what they don’t need or want.
  4. I had a long chat with my cousin Matt, who I’d found on Facebook the night before.  Matt and I live fairly close to one another but we don’t see each other much.  Long time readers may remember when my cousin Jimmy died a couple of years ago; Matt’s his son.  He’s in his 20s and is the perfect age to come out and see one of my bands play in the bars.  Hopefully he will.  He’s a good guy.
  5. My cousin Cory (Sue’s son) brought along his first guitar.  I took a peek.  It’s nice.  All wood Fender acoustic with Fishman electronics.  WAY nicer than my first guitar!  I’m thinking it’s maple, spruce, and rosewood, and it’s got a glossy coat.  I kind of want it.
  6. It was awesome to hear my Cousin Jim talking to my brother Dave about “how many civil liberties we’ve lost under George Bush.”  Jim (Donna’s husband) lives on a farm in the Jonesboro area (I think he’s either in Brookland or Goobertown, to be accurate) and is a trucker — the kind of dude who has every car he’s owned on the lawn somewhere.  (I’m not poking fun at that.  I actually think it’s kind of cool.)  You’d expect him to be a big part of Bush’s (non-rich) base…but then again, he was stuck in Katrina a few years back (which you can read about elsewhere on my blog via the “search” function).  I guess I should’ve figured.  So that was really cool.
  7. It was (my niece) Tessa’s first Thanksgiving.  In a large Southern family, that’s pretty much a day off for the parents.  They basically walked in, handed her to Grandma and collected her at the end of the day.  She was fawned over, as we all knew she would be.  There’s something about old people and babies…they just fit together.  (To be fair, though, the young folks spent just about as much time with her as the old ones.)
  8. My uncle and aunt Ron & Sue (the parents of the aforementioned Cory/the lady with the coupons) invited me to their church.  I haven’t found a place to settle after the Ferguson Fallout (as I’ve come to call it) and from their description of what a regular week is like, I might really enjoy it.  Plus, it’s far enough away that I doubt I’ll run into many SLCC people there.  Not that I dislike the SLCC folks, but I need some separation between my job and my church.  I’ll be going not THIS Sunday, but probably the next one.  (I thought about driving out to Dave and Valerie’s church, but there are some things about Methodist practice that I can’t get past — mostly to do with baptism — no offense to anyone.)
  9. I found out that my cousin Samantha (Ron and Sue’s daughter/Cory’s sister/person I should’ve mentioned somewhere by now) is named after Alyssa Milano.  I know…those of you who’re “Charmed” fans have no idea how “Samantha” = “Alyssa.”  Well…many moons ago, Alyssa was on a little show called “Who’s the Boss” (featuring Tony Danza) and her character name was “Samantha.”  Sue explained that they mostly liked the way Danza SAID the name, so they went with it, to which I replied that all of the names on that show were great for him to say.  I then put on a Tony Danza voice and said, “Moan-uh, Angel-uh, Samant-uh, John-uh-ten…and that’s my Tony Danza.”  It’s funnier if you hear it.
  10. My cousin Duke (Jim and Donna’s boy) showed up with his family.  Duke is a doctor — which, I must say, NO ONE saw coming.  He was talking to Dave and Valerie about their vacations in the Smokey Mountains.  He mentioned a pottery place that relatives of his wife own…turns out it’s the same place that Dave and Valerie have bought a BUNCH of bowls (which I really, really like, btw).  Small world…and hopefully some free pottery.
  11. I said the blessing for the food.  That was a first for me at the Thanksgiving celebration.  My cousin Terry usually says it, but he wasn’t there because his wife is VERY pregnant and shouldn’t travel.  So, I got the nod from Jerry (who’s another cousin, and is a great guy).  It was cool.  Kind of like, “Wow!  I’ve been in this family for 28 years…but I’m finally IN!”   🙂  Little things like that go a long way in families.
  12. I had an uncharacteristically small appetite.  That was the only real downer.  I think it had to do with my lack of sleep.  Any time I’m up all night, my stomach’s sensitive the next day.  I’ll tell you what, though…I was doing just fine until I took my first bite of stuffing…then I was FULL.  It was amazing stuffing…I’m not sure I’ve ever had stuffing like that before.  (There was also some really awesome corn.)

That was basically my Thanksgiving…I’m sure I missed a few things, like I said…and I’m sure those of you who don’t know these people got bored round-about #3.  So I’ll stop.  🙂

 

Hope your Thanksgiving was good too, gentle reader.

 

Quotable Quotes:

  • “Their car’s awesome!  It talks to you!”  – My cousin Duke, regarding my uncle Ron’s car.
  • “I hate you so much it gives me energy!” – Bernard Black, Black Books.
  • “She’s Hulking up!” – My brother, regarding Tessa rallying to keep crawling while nearly falling asleep.

Crap…

As I write this, it is 6:04 a.m., and I’m sitting on the couch in my brother’s basement, where I should be sleeping.  I haven’t slept.  Not a wink.  Insomnia’s kicking the crap out of me.  Pity of it is that my alarm is set to go off at 7:15.  Then there’s a two-hour drive to the Thanksgiving festivities for mom’s side of the family.  I’m bound to be there until at least 3-4 p.m., which is when most people start heading home.

 

…so…today, I guess I’m thankful for coffee.

 

Current Watching:

  • Apparently the USA network is running a “House” marathon.  It’s the one where House is grumpy.

MySpace.loridrewsucks…

So, has anyone been following the national news on Lori Drew and her MySpace debacle?  I have.  The case originates not far from where I live.  The short version is that allegedly [sic on “allegedly”] this woman (Drew) created a fake MySpace account to screw with a girl called Megan, saying she wanted to see what the girl was saying about her own daughter.  In case you missed it, that’d make Drew at least old enough to have a teenage daughter, and thereby would imply that she’s an “adult” [sic on “adult”]. 

 

She created a fake persona of a young teenage boy who was “enticing” Megan and was supposed to eventually crush her feelings.  Drew and her accomplices would then humiliate the girl by printing the conversations between her and the fake boy, for distribution at her school, or confront her about it in a public place, like a mall, with as many of her friends and enemies around as possible.  However, they never got the opportunity for the “embarrassment” part of the plan.  Instead, the events turned into an Internet flame-fest with someone reportedly telling the thirteen-year-old “The world would be better off without you.”  She chose to believe that, and Megan hung herself in her closet.

 

She was a thirteen-year-old girl being harassed on the Internet by a MOTHER who is, I’m guessing, in her fifties.

 

In Missouri, they apparently couldn’t find enough to charge her with anything (proving once again that Missouri law is only enforced when it absolutely HAS to be, I guess).  However, she is presently on trial in LA for violating the MySpace “terms of use” (since MySpace’s office is in LA).  Pretty much, they’re putting her on trial trying to prove that she was negligent in her computer use.  Nothing to do really with the girl whose DEATH SHE CAUSED (though they are making a very big point of it in the trial).  Essentially, she’s on trial for “hacking” and only faces a maximum of 1-year in jail…more likely a minimum of probation (which is nothing).

 

Worse than the lack of punishment that’s possible is the lack of punishment that’s PROBABLE.  The judge — pay attention to this name for the next time you vote, LA residents — George H. Wu is likely to throw out the case or completely reverse any “guilty” rulings handed down.  He has not been at all fair thus-far.  Here’s what my hometown paper has to say about it (via stltoday.com)…

 

Prosecutors presented no evidence that any of the alleged co-conspirators read or knew anything about the terms, however.

“How can you violate something when you don’t know what it is?” Steward [defense] asked.

Without knowledge of the terms and a conscious decision to violate them, Steward said, “We are over. End of case.”

The terms of service issue has dogged the case for months. Steward asked Wu to dismiss the case Friday, saying prosecutors had not proven the elements necessary under the law.

Wu seemed receptive, as he has in the past, taking up Steward’s position.

He pointed out that the statute requires Drew to intentionally violate the terms or service, and asked, “How would they know unless they read the terms of service?”

In the end, Wu said he would need the weekend to decide.

On Monday morning, he told both sides that he would not yet issue a decision and to proceed with the end of testimony and closing arguments. By law, Wu could throw out the case after the jury has returned a guilty verdict — if he ultimately agrees with Steward.

 

So…she’s likely to completely walk.  Justice will not be served.  A teenager will have died, and the GROWN F**KING WOMAN who pretty much handed her the noose will go unpunished.  (Nevermind that it’s on the record MULTIPLE times that willful ignorance of laws and rules does not qualify one for “innocence.”  I mean, I’ve never READ the law that says, “Don’t rape and then murder anyone by stabbing them 27 times with a salad fork…”  But I’m pretty sure I’d still go to jail if I did it.)

 

…but here’s the good part…

 

Drew has already moved once.  She still continues to be harassed at her NEW home.  People want nothing to do with her.  Her name is globally known and people know what she looks like (fat cow, by the way).  She will probably NEVER get a good night’s sleep again for fear of being harassed or being haunted by the memory of what she did. 

 

In a lot of ways, that’s BETTER than a conviction…but not for her.

 

I know she doesn’t read my blog (or at least I assume it), but Lori…in words that have been so closely connected with this case…  “Have a shitty rest of your life.”  You deserve it.

 

———-

 

Sorry for getting all heavy on you guys today…my next post will be fun.  And just to take some of the edge off of this post, here’s a picture of George Bush eating a kitten.

 

funny_bush_04

 

 

CORRECTION (10:25 PM) – I incorrectly quoted Megan’s age as sixteen.  She was, in truth, THIRTEEN.  Which makes Lori Drew’s crime three years more disturbing.

I was a sinner…

…until I saw The Reverend Horton Heat.

 

Just got back from the concert a little bit ago.  Awesome show.  Probably the best and most energetic mosh pit I’ve seen in a few years, and the band was freaking ON tonight!  Lots of fun and some really great songs.  Even broke out a cover of “Rock This Town,” which will hopefully put some of this “Stray Cats vs. The Rev” stuff to bed.

 

Going into the show, my shoulder hurt (I’ve been having some problems with it lately).  It moved into my back a little bit into the second act (the kind of embarrassing to watch “Nashville Pussy” — who you pretty much have the right impression of just by their name).  I went off to the bathroom, partially to make use of it, and partially just because I had to walk a little.  Then I felt really stupid about whining about my back, and the whole evening was put into perspective.

 

All I’m saying is that when a guy is wheelchair-bound to the point that he’s got to have a friend stand outside of the stall while he takes care of business, then the guy has to go in and help him pull up his pants and get back into his wheelchair…  Not only are those guys the best fans a band could ask for…they’re also probably really great people to hang out with.  A friend who’ll wipe your ass for you is a GOOD friend.

 

So I left the bathroom and stopped complaining…and it was a great show.  They even played “Galaxy 500.”  🙂

 

Current Watching:

Some movie with Kurt Russell in it…which is pretty much why I’m typing…

I Took a Survey

As most of you know, I donated to President Elect Obama’s campaign a couple of times.  I was sent a survey by his people asking about the experience and inquiring about willingness to play a future role in his ongoing campaign, and I filled it out.  One of the questions they asked was “What was you greatest challenge during the campaign?  What was your greatest success?”  (Or a similar wording.  I didn’t copy it verbatim.)

 

I didn’t quite answer them in the same words I’m going to use here, but I came pretty close…I’m just adding some stuff because — well — it’s my blog, and I can!  🙂

 

My greatest challenge was also my greatest success.  As many of you know, I work on a Christian college campus.  As statistics will tell you, our churches (and thus staff and students at the school) are largely middle-class, white, Conservative people.  I’m not judging anyone in saying that…it’s just statistically what we’re made up from.  Of course, we DO have higher (and lower) income families, minorities, and Liberals sitting in our pews…but largely, we’re statistically not Mr. Obama’s base.

 

As such, it was a BIG challenge being the “campus Liberal” as I’ve come to be known in some circles.  In fact, there are STILL some folks on campus who are fairly guarded around me, just because I filled in a different circle than they did.  (Sad, or stupid?  You be the judge.)  It wasn’t easy coming into work some days, knowing that there would be people who would confront me on my voting practices, and worse that some would question my moral fabric due to the whole “pro-life” thing (and, once again, I actually AM pro-life…but I guess I’m just not pro-life ENOUGH for some people).  In many ways, it was kind of a living hell.

 

But that was also my greatest achievement.  I held my ground and didn’t apologize for feeling how I feel (though I once or twice found myself apologizing over my tact).  There were a couple of situations where someone asked me for my honest thoughts and I was able to explain things reasonably and calmly.  A few of those who listened told me that I changed their thinking on some things.  I have since come to find out that some even voted for Mr. Obama on election day.

 

…but better than that…

 

One student went out of her way to stop by my office and tell me that it was “because of me” that she’s not afraid to tell people that she’s a Democrat anymore.  I know that may not seem like a lot to some people, but it meant a lot to me.  Even if it hadn’t been for “my” party, I’d still be proud of helping someone find the courage to be who they ARE as opposed to what they’re expected to be.  That’s a good feeling…

 

…and I just wanted to share it with all of you.  🙂

Ten Things I Learned the Hard Way

In life, we all have those little moments where we learn something.  They may not be anything VERY significant or even interesting to anyone else but you, but they are moments when you think, “I must remember not to do that again.”  Thinking over my life…here are ten things I learned that I really wish someone would have told me in advance.  Enjoy!

  1. If you put a fast-food item in the microwave still in its wrapper, it’s likely to burst into flames.
  2. If you hit your fingernail hard enough, it’ll look all weird and purple after a while and the white part will start to move down toward the end of the nail.  But don’t worry!  That purple part is the NEW nail coming in.  Once the white part is gone, you’ll have a whole new nail to screw up all over again.
  3. If you handle habanero peppers, wash your hands THOROUGHLY before going to the bathroom.
  4. It’s okay for Jewish people to talk like Mel Brooks, but when YOU do it, it’s offensive.
  5. You can sneeze and fart at the same time…but I wouldn’t recommend it.
  6. If you drink an entire bottle of DayQuil in one hour, you will not remember the rest of the evening.
  7. He who hosts your e-mail can also READ your e-mail.
  8. You never stop feeling bad about the time you cursed-out the old lady.
  9. If you drink beer, then a couple full glasses of whiskey, do NOT follow it up with a corned beef sandwich.
  10. If you don’t know where the spider went, strip off your clothing and IMMEDIATELY shower.

Hope that helped some of you avoid doing things I’ve done.

Current Watching:

  • Re-watched “The Great Race” starring Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis last night.  One of my favorite movies.  Always funny.  Super-bummer about Natalie Wood, though…