Category Archives: Angst

The Idiot

Before I write up my Burning Man adventures, there are more important matters that must be addressed. First and foremost, this idiot in Gainesville Florida that is planning on burning a Quran on Saturday. Can you believe this guy?

Terry Jones, Gainesville Idiot
Terry Jones, Gainesville Idiot

He says that he’s targeting the Islamic extremists, but his outbursts and reaction are equally as ignorant. He has never read the book, despite planning on constructing a bonfire to burn 200 copies of the sacred Islamic text.

Terry Jones (I refuse to use his religious title) believes the book is evil because it espouses something other than biblical truth and incites radical, violent behavior among Muslims. Let us not forget that  for about 200 years, many religious Christians acted out in violence as a method to spread their views.

This act will most certainly put American lives at risk — just look at what happened after the Muhammed Cartoon Controversy in Denmark five years ago. Jones is taking an American tragedy and politicizing it to further his own agenda.

The terrorists that attacked the United States on 9/11 were Muslim exteremists, yes. What kind of message will burning a book that is sacred to 1.5 billion people on the planet send to the rest of the world?

Jones is a religious nutcase and his ignorance and intolerance clearly demonstrate that he is no better than the terrorists that attacked the World Trade Center that fateful September morning.

There.. I’ve said my piece.

Fly The Friendly Skies

On Monday afternoon, somewhere over Colorado, I was watching television in seat 17F aboard a JetBlue flight from San Francisco to Boston when I happened to flip by a news channel that was covering a breaking news story out of JFK. With the camera panning around airport and then stopping at a plane with the JetBlue logo on the tail, I started to pay extra careful attention. As I listened to the story being told by the newscaster, the story caught the eye of my row-mate who was quickly scrambling to find the story on his own headrest-top box.

I soon found myself in hysterics, as they recounted a tale of flight attendant that berated a passenger over the intercom, grabbed some beer and used the emergency slide to exit the plane. At this point my row-mate finally found the channel, but only managed to hear the second half — leaving him fairly baffled.

Moments later, one of our own flight attendants walks by and noticed that a few people were watching this story on the news, so she had stopped to ask what was going on. The gentleman in row 16 re-told the story to the crew, to which they couldn’t believe it.

Continue reading Fly The Friendly Skies

Stupid and Stupider

I left my iPod at home and was listening to a lot of NPR as I travelled around campus and drove to and from work today. As such, I’ve been trying to figure out which one of these two stories infuriates me more:

A. The fact that an oil company accidentally spill millions of gallons of oil off the Alaskan Coastline killing thousands and thousands of plants and animal species (not to mention damage the livelihood of thousands of Alaskans) and, according to the US Supreme Court, is only financially responsible for paying the financial damages incurred by the spill and does not get punished one cent more.

OR

B. The fact that Chrylser, in an effort to be innovative and try to edge out the competition, will be installing internet in their 2009 model automobiles. Why company thinks that it’s more important to spend its R&D dollars on finding ways for drivers to get more distracted on the roads rather than focusing on developing a competitive edge by designing more fuel efficient and less environmentally-damaging engines is beyond me.

Hello Pot? This is Kettle.

If you followed the news today about our dear President, you’d likely have noticed his sudden concern for the environment. He came out today insisting that 15 nations need to start to curb their greenhouse gas emissions over the next decare or so in order to help protect the environment.

In the same speech, he came out and said that the United States “takes this issue very seriously,” and that “…The way to meet this challenge of energy and global climate change is through technology, and the United States is in the lead.” This is news to me.

Considering that the rest of the world has been working to reduce carbon emissions since the 1997 Kyoto Agreement. President Bush has stated that he does not support the Kyoto agreement due to the exceptions granted to China (the second-largest producer of carbon emissions). The catch, is that both China and India have ratified the proposal but are not forced to comply in order to encourage the development of their emerging economies.

Today, he comes out and criticizes other country’s efforts in reducing emissions, but what has the United States done? President Bush has skirted the issue every which way, and his statements today are just another way get out of accepting the stricter German-led initiative that will be discussed at next week’s G8 Summit.

These 599 days can’t come quick enough.

Wronged

It’s Sunday evening and that would usually entitle me to a couple of frosty pops as I try my damndest to stave off the fast-approaching Monday work day.  But this Sunday evening, I’m knocking back the cold ones with a bit more intensity and fervor.  I’ve been wronged in one of the most egregious ways a man can be wronged.  I was the victim of a hit and run “accident.”  I walked out this afternoon to find that, while my car was parked on the street outside my apartment, someone had crashed into it.  No note.  No witnesses.  No hope.  I’m just now starting to break out of my day-long near-catatonic state.  I feel utterly and miserably maligned. 

It’s not even the $500 insurance deductible and the fact that I’m going to eat the cost of repairs.  It’s the fact that my beloved car is crumpled and someone out there got away with it.  It’s an awful feeling.  Something similar has happened to me before, but that doesn’t help make this any easier to swallow.  Nothing makes this easier to swallow.  It’s as if I left my poor, defenseless car out on the vicious jungle of a street and it was sodomized.  My car was sodomized and there’s nothing I can do about it.  Just an awful feeling. 

That birthday money I just got from my parents?  Oh, that’ll make a slight dent in my body work bill.  No fun purchases for Cool Jesus.  So, I’m here as the evening relays the baton to the nighttime and I’m relying on some good music to sooth my pain.  Happy birthday to me.

Sunday Dreary Sunday

It’s a Sunday during baseball season.  Ordinarily, these are the days I live for.  Now that I’ve finally managed to purge from my system the feeling of dread that came from two decades of school following Sunday, I now treasure this day.  Especially during baseball season.  I don’t necessarily have a set routine, but it usually includes sleeping late, making some coffee, hopping on line for a bit, and then settling in with the Sox day game, some lunch, and a few beers.  Proper.

But the entire country is dealing with the worst April, weather-wise, in quite some time.  Snow-outs and rain-outs are affecting the entire MLB schedule.  Ahhh, if only the Sox were playing in a city with a domed stadium today.  Side question:  if Messrs. Henry, Werner, Lucchino, or Epstein are reading, when you’re done trying to put lipstick on a 95-year-old dame, how about giving Boston a domed stadium like the new one in Milwaukee?  Please.

Spring means rebirth and baseball is intrinsically and psychologically tied into that.  Baseball has just as much power on our collective psyche as the flowers blooming and the grass turning green again.  And I’d wager that most of our country is heavily bummed out right now. 

With no baseball, what is supposed to compliment my Sunday beers?  What will be my excuse to Swedish Girl from having to clear up my desk?  How will I extricate myself from antiquing and store-hopping?  I’m just about finished this blog entry, so the time on this excuse is expiring. 

Wish me luck.  I’m about to brave a world that consists of no baseball on a springtime Sunday.  It’s just not right. I might actually have to tune in to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Talk about a bunt when you needed a grand slam.     

Don’t leave home without it

LTJ and I learned a valuable lesson this week: emergency vet visits are costly and we need a Visa card.


Bogart all better

Bogart first vomited Tues. night around 11 pm and then again in the morning with LTJ. Throughout the day anytime he ate or drank anything he vomited and it was coming out a frothy yellow bile. By the time LTJ got home, we were ready to bring Bogart to the vet but the only thing open at that hour is the emergency hospital in Palo Alto. We were there for about 3 hours while they poked and prodded our furry little baby. They did blood tests, x-rays, and fecal tests and couldn’t find anything wrong with him. The vet was very nice and said that from the x-rays it looked like there was a lot of air in his intestines, a sign that something he ate had irritated his stomach. Since he’s such a huge fan of other dog’s poop, maybe it was that. It could’ve been a snail. We were worried that he ate a mushroom as it’s the season for them here but all his blood work was normal. They gave him an injection of fluids and sent us home with some medications for anti-vomiting and diarrhea.

I was betting the bill would be $350 and Brandon wasn’t sure. It ended up being $548… all to find out that there was essentially nothing wrong with him.

And of course, they don’t take American Express or Discover Card so I had to use my debit. Imagine if there had been something seriously wrong and it cost even more! So lesson learned, we need a card that is accepted everywhere for these types of emergencies.

Bogart was great for the vet though. The doctor said he was the perfect patient and didn’t put up any stink about all the poking and prodding they did to him.

Admittedly as new parents, we probably jumped to bring Bogart to the vet (and hence needed to go the emergency room) faster than others would but with a puppy that’s vomiting it’s probably better to be safe than sorry.

I’m happy to say that Bogart is all better now and back to snacking on all his usual treats. He was so thrilled to be given some of his favorite treats again as he hadn’t had them in so long. We are walking him on the 6′ leash again rather than a flexi-leash so that we can keep him closer and away from anything nasty that might make him sick again. If it’s within our control, we’d like to avoid shelling out 500 bucks again.

We have posted some new pics of Bogart. I just bought him a hat yesterday. He looks so cute in it! Also, the ones from the beach are pretty funny. Here’s the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thediatribe/

La Fin

I watched yesterday’s World Cup final with my friend, Bill, my Italian-American friend Bill.  He is also a Yankees fan from New Jersey.  You’re probably asking yourself why I am even friends with this guy.  He’s not obnoxious on either account and he’s married to a Red Sox fan, so he is somewhat tamed.  I’ve watched some classic Sox-Yankees games with him, from the time Manny beat Mariano with a groundball single up the middle in the ninth inning (circa 2002?) to the time Pedro tossed Zimmer to the Fenway turf.  Nonetheless, Swedish Girl asked me why I’d go to the home of an ardent Italy supporter to watch the game, especially since she thought Italy would win.  I justified that if Bill and I could withstand years of Sox-Yankees games, then France-Italy should be a breeze. 

It hasn’t been enough time for me to digest yesterday’s match.  It’s only a game, but I feel like it means more.  Just look at how patriotic Germany became during their team’s run to the semi-finals.  Sales of jerseys and flags skyrocketed and national pride swelled in a country that has struggled with its identity since East unified with West.  Football, namely the World Cup, has the power to halt civil wars in Africa so a poor nation can revel in it’s team’s inclusion on the big stage.

I didn’t mean to get all maudlin there.  As a man who calls France his motherland, I feel let down today.  I won’t go so far as to call Zinedine Zidane my hero.  But my football-playing hero let me down.  I’m glad he didn’t get away with the head-butt.  He deserved the red card and it would have been worse if he had gotten away with it and scored during the Cup-deciding penalty kicks.

Would he have scored in the remaining 20 minutes of overtime?  Would he have taken the PK that Trezeguet missed?  Did his team suffer a collective let-down after their captain did the unthinkable and deserted them?  No one can answer these questions, but we do know for sure that Zidane let his team down, let his country down, and tarnished his legacy, which would have been mythical win or lose.  I just can’t imagine how he’ll cope with that red card being his final moment on the pitch.  It’s not quite the day after Game 7 in 2003, but with national pride on the line, it stings in a different way.  And to Captain Larby, I say congratulazione e schifozo!