Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I do all my blogging at myspace, now, but if I do a really good one, I'll put it over here.
I'm getting ready to do a Philippines one that I'll put up here.


Friday, July 4, 2008

Japan Is Sinking

Unfortunately, there is a movie and book. or vice versa, out now called Japan Is Sinking, and why that's unfortunate is I'm trying to look up information on the net regarding the fact that Japan is actually sinking. I wanted to have a bit more to report to you than second hand hearsay from my old Korean students. All that's coming up in the search is pages upon pages of this book or movie. And "Japan apologizes to Taiwan for sinking ship." Always making friends, the Japanese.

So, Japan is sinking. It sinks more and more every year. As many of you know, my last job was teaching South Korean university level students here in the Philippines (don't message me about my time in Korea, because I was only in the airport, which I actually enjoyed very much), and you know that we talked for hours and hours and hours all day long. One of the elentybillion things that I learned was that Koreans, and I'd say most Asian countries have an adversarial relationship with Japan. Many of my students openly expressed disgust with Japan and everything Japanese. Many weren't as extreme and said that their qualms are with the government only. Some said, who cares? Pass the Kimchi.

Japan didn't make any friends over here during WWII. There are still debates that rage to this day about who should apologize for what. In addition, Japan has claimed a Korean island as its own. Japan also calls the East Sea, the Sea of Japan. My students were always disgusted with the maps made in the Philippines, or those that come from publishers connected with the west because that body of water is labeled as The Sea Of Japan, as if that were a fact.

"NO! Who published this!" were common cries about my atlas. Sorry guys.

So one day one of the students, while ranting about Japan, and their Imperialism, which some claim has not stopped, said they have to move other places "because Japan is sinking!" and I accidentally laughed. I think I chuckled because the student was so serious and then he said that, and I didn't expect him to say that... and I laughed.

"Yes! It's true!" During one class, one of the Engineer students drew something on the board that supposedly demonstrated the phenomenon.

I let them know that the islands of Hawaii have been largely bought up by the Japanese, or so I heard once.



I don't know. But I thought that whole thing was interesting.

The Reversal Of Babel: Award a Prize to Mr. Bean

It's hard for me to find a good picture of Mr. Bean, but you know who he is.

Here's what I want to say. I've been to China, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. I've taught South Koreans and interacted with them quite a bit... I've been in places where the cultural barriers are wide, deep and run long.

But everybody loves Mr. Bean.

It doesn't matter what their take is on George W. or what conversation you're able to have or not have due to a language barrier. If I was ever anywhere stumped, I just said..."Hey do you know Mr. Bean?"

"Mr. BEAN!" , yes, big smile, laugh, conversation, and connection.

He's big in Asia, so I'm assuming, everyhwhere. Mr Bean is also shown in North Korea, so I learned from a documentary. Sometimes in North Korea they have special movie festivals where imported films are shown. It's not like he's on their tv there, not that I'm aware of, but they love Mr. Bean reports say.

Here in the Philippines, he's very popular and there is lots of Mr. Bean merchandise everywhere, including kids backpacks, and t-shirts. There is a lot of merchandise from the animated series as well. The cartoon version of Bean is strange and Magooish. It's not nearly as interesting as the live acts.

These film shorts of Mr. Bean are sans spoken language. They are the human experience. So, there's no language barrier.

So...here's the other thing I wanted to bring up. My youngest son is Autistic which is classified as a language disorder. He doesn't communicate in the conventional sense. He uses words, but for his own enjoyment only.

He reminds me of Arnie from What's Eating Gilbert Grape? Although Arnie used language every once in awhile in a traditional sense. That movie really reminds me of my guy, especially when he climbs up that tower and Johnny Depp

(Sorry Rowan, I know this is your entry, but I had to...Who's better than this JD? message me if you know...)

-takes a megaphone and has to sing a song to get him to listen and come down.. Leonardo couldn't have done a better job in that movie, I was astonished.

Anyway, my son is obsessed with Mr. Bean. He's quite particular about what he pays attention to, and he focuses very closely on each episode and knows all the routines by heart. His favorite is "Mind the Baby, Mr. Bean" where Bean gets stuck taking care of a baby at a carnival. It is pretty great, that one.

So Mr. Bean communicates where there may be no communication. He reaches the seemingly unreachable and has helped me make meaningful connections in disconnected circumstances. It's babel in reverse and he should get some kind of Bean Award for making my life easier and more fun.

Thanks, Rowan.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Kama Anne Mottard
Kama Anne Mottard, 37, of 3201 14th Street, Menominee, Mich., passed away on Tuesday morning, May 27, 2008, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. Kama was born on February 12, 1971, to Donald and the late Elaine (Fiss) Mottard in Marinette, Wis.

Kama graduated from Menominee High School in 1989 and obtained an associate degree from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelors degree from Northern Michigan University graduating with honors. Kama was a past board member of the Menominee Animal Shelter and a member of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Marinette. Kama was employed for many years as manager at Bayshore Veterinary Clinic in Menominee, and could not have loved her job more. A special thank you to Dr. Dennis and Patty Anderson for their generosity and support over the years. Kama always enjoyed the many wonderful people she met at the clinic, many of whom continued to keep in touch after she was no longer able to work. Her co-workers were also very special to her and it was truly a family atmosphere. Kama enjoyed being outdoors camping, hunting, and fishing. Kama also enjoyed taking trips with her friends to Belize, Alaska, Key West, Mexico, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and the best trip was to Yellowstone and South Dakota in an RV with Candy and Dick Zaharias. Kama was also an avid Green Bay Packers fan and attended many games. Kama enjoyed spending time with her friends and family above anything else.

Kama is survived by her loving father, Donald Mottard of Menominee; and sister, Michelle (Errikk) Decker of Negaunee, Mich. Their love and support was truly remarkable over the years. She is further survived by two nephews: Nolan Bergstrom and AJ Decker of Negaunee, Mich.; a special aunt, Mary Kay Mottard of Marinette, Wis.; a special aunt and uncle: Linda and Mike Casey of Chicago, Ill.; and many other aunts, uncles and cousins. Kama is survived by close friends: the Zaharias family, Dana and Todd Fernstrum, Becky and Rod Blom, Trudi and Chris Janquart and her best friend of over 20 years, Stacy (Dan) Braun. There were also two very special little girls in Kama's life that she loved dearly: Kerrigan and Kady Braun.

Kama received the best care possible from Dr. David Mertens and his wonderful staff that treated her with love. A very special thank you to Ruth Ann Kluetz who was always there for Kama. Thank you also to the nurses of BAMC 2E for all the wonderful care they provided over the years; especially Terri Barker, Terry Kelly and Patsy. A special thank you also to Northland Lutheran Home Health and especially to Sara and Tammy.

Kama was preceded in death by her mother, Elaine Mottard in 1994; her grandparents: Frank and Minnie Fiss and George and Irene Mottard; her uncle, Fabian Mottard; and many aunts and uncles.

Friends may call at the Anderson-Kell Funeral Home, 533 10th Avenue, Menominee, Mich., Thursday, May 29, 2008, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Friday, May 30, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Marinette. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. in the church with the Reverend Jon Tesch officiating.

Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Hope Memorial Relay, W5886 #14 Lane, Wallace, MI 49893, who works with the local 1887 VFW Auxiliary that helps local cancer patients.

A favorite quote of Kama's and the way she took on life was:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolates in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Monday, March 31, 2008

Dirty Third World

Wiping dirt off my face and thinking about the dirt covering another strange place, unreachable, here I am closed in, out in the open for the elements to devour, to grow older with each rotation of the sun, metabolizing at death’s door.

Unscrewing the cap off my juice that the dirty child I walk past can’t afford, I say "walang" to his open hand. ’Where are your parents?’, I’m thinking. There’s nothing I can do. At the end of every story is some kind of love to contemplate, I don’t want to learn anymore.

What good is someone’s story untold? There must be angels; there absolutely must be or most stories are for no benefit whatsoever. Everyone lives a metaphor, some kind of similie, a story for nobody, or a story for the third world of angels.

Wiping the dirt from my eyes and not from some place else out of sight, that’s for later- perhaps much later, I cross another third world "street",- it’s the concrete rubble where the motor vehicles speed along. Making room along my pathway for another wretched dog that likely wishes he was dead, I remember the screeching and thumps of suicidal animals that we hear on our "street" every week, more lucky corpses at rest, calling the more fortunate local vermin from their underground world to another meal. They eat well here.

Staring into the third world the glowing television screen offers, turning the channel away from the dirty, I try to clear the dirty from my mind. Another female body for sale, another murder, another scream, another attack, but don’t worry, the cops are on it. I find my clear channels of escape, and others wonder why I want to stare at a bird resting on a placid crisp body of water. It’s heaven somewhere today, in many places. There must be angels there, or are they busy collecting stories?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


(There are references to MySpace in this entry, because this is a copy and pasted blog entry from that page. If you wanna see my totally awesome myspace page, it's www.myspace.com/jedimasterbooboo)

(Every Filipino anywhere near myspace is going to be in my blog pronto with a title like that.)

So what does astig mean? Well, I might not know exactly, but I can provide some context.

My friends know awhile back I was vexed while correcting exams and on myspace here I put up an update with one of those distressed constipated looking faces, remember? Well I was correcting my sixth grade exams and one after another was just a train wreck. Horrifying. I kept looking at the names on top, 'who is this person, is this person even in my class, did they take the wrong test?'

Well, I discovered that all the crappy tests were on top, that's all. So before I started rethinking my entire teaching strategy, I came upon one that was beyond perfect, and I was elated. I wrote on the test in red pen, "You Rock!" and I don't typically say cheesy things like that, it's not really my style. I was just so happy.

Later, I got a card and a flower from my 6th graders and on the card, it said "You Rock!", ha ha. Then once when I was checking assignments, one student failed to do the essay question, but where the answer was supposed to be, in red pen was this fancy lettering that said "You Rock!", she had really worked on that a long time. I said, this doesn't help you, you still need to answer the question. They're just amazed with that saying.

Anyway, the students are always saying Astig! and then laughing. When we play review games in class and they have to pick team names, one side always picks Astig! and everyone laughs. When they say, Astig, they make that sign with their fingers that's like "love" or "the devil", or something, (I always get those two mixed up). So I asked them, what does Astig mean? The sixth graders didn't really answer to my satisfaction, so I asked my 4th year students...

They laughed at me and said, "It means You Rock!" I guess all the students talk about how I wrote that on Alicen's test (or whoever it was). Word spreads. I remember with the Koreans it was the exact same thing, but that school was so small and the students lived in a dorm together. This was a bit more surprising.

In my second year class I was standing by the whiteboard once and lost my balance and fell over into the room divider, so the whole thing almost broke and swayed back and forth, I said, "that's not a wall". That was a Friday, on Monday in my 4th year class one of the guys said, "Hey that's not a wall, ok?" and pointed to the room divider.


I found a photo to steal from flickr...this is nobody I know...That photo was called...Astig!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yeah, the Hell's Angels Are Always Trying To Get Me, Too

Hell's Angels plotted to kill Mick Jagger in 1969, Yahoo story follows:

Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger escaped an assassination plot hatched in 1969 by the Hells Angels, a new British Broadcasting Corp. documentary has claimed.

A program to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Monday says the rock star was the target of the plot following a purported dispute with the motorcycle gang over concert security.

Jagger had vowed not to use Hells Angel members as bouncers following the death in December 1969 of an 18-year-old fan at a notorious free performance at Altamont Speedway in Northern California.

In return, gang members hatched a plan to kill Jagger at his holiday home in Long Island, New York, the BBC claimed.

"The Hells Angels were so angered by Jagger's treatment of them that they decided to kill him," Tom Mangold, the presenter of the program, was quoted as telling Britain's Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

He said the plan was disclosed during an interview with Mark Young, a former FBI officer, for the BBC's "The FBI at 100" documentary.

Mangold said the men tried to reach Jagger by sea. "The boat was hit by a storm and all of the men were thrown overboard," he was quoted as saying. They all survived but made no other attempt on his life, Mangold said.

It was not clear whether Jagger was ever informed of the alleged plot against him.

LD Communications, Jagger's publicists in Britain, did not immediately return calls requesting comment.

The Hells Angels have always denied any connection with the Altamont Speedway killing.

They tried to get me once, but I borrowed a pair of platform shoes from the barkeep and did a dance on the bartop to the song Tequilla! And after that we were friends. They even gave me a motorcycle to drive away on, right into the sunset! But instead I hit a sign and wound up being rushed to the hospital. Actually that was good, because while confined, I saw some snot nosed kid on tv with my BIKE! So I went and got it and the rest is history.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No Matter What, Watch This

Okay, this is sappy. But so worth it, watch the whole thing, and if you're in exactly the right mood, you'll be blown away.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Computers, or at least A computer when my dad worked on them....

That's one computer filling a whole room. There were cards that fed it the language...or something.

Don't tell me, we don't have the technology to do this, or do that...it's silly. Let's get going on developing our portable renewable energy maker converter gadgets, and a catchy new name for whatever it is, too.

Monday, February 18, 2008

GMA is EVIL- Life in the Philippines

GMA stands for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
This paper can be purchased at any news stand here in the Phlippines. A student was reading this in my class, and I couldn't help but notice the headline. Only part of this was scannable, the right margin is missing. I grabbed it because this is the general feeling of anyone here I've ever talked to, and this headline is quite blunt. I can't even imagine a major newspaper in the US running a headline that says GWB IS EVIL.

Here's a joke picture of her I found on Flickr.

Just to mention...there's isn't a hint of misogynistic hatred here for her, it stems purely from corruption, the most used word here in the Philippines. The gender of the president is neither here nor there to the people, likely because of the beloved Corazon Aquino.

Anyway, just thought I'd share.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Part I and II Working Title: The Pedestal

In The Desert

In the desert there is sunlight and heat and rattlesnakes minding their own business, not even bothering with their rattles. There's brush here and there. Off in the far distance is a huge dark wall of a mountain, but straight ahead is a winding road to an ocean shore.

In this desert I'm hot but happy, comfortable and careless. This location isn't one far from civilization, it's just on the edge, not far from a shore or change of landscape or life. There's a paved road and in this desert that's where I'm walking, almost shuffling, thumbs in my jeans. There's a hot wind blowing, giving my hair a treatment. My hair seems long from the top, but is cut short and thick with layers blowing over my face and off again. I'm quite pleased with it.

I'm thinking about this because it's just me and the desert, me and denim and cotton and canvas-rubber shoes and a cool haircut. It's just me and my hairdo and my freckles and my form, shuffling along.

I could go off road and watch a rattlesnake, but I'm headed toward the beach. I'm not afraid of snakes, even venomous ones, but I'm walking to the ocean. This desert turns into dunes before joining the ocean, but before that, I'm stopped in my tracks.

Off to the right maybe twenty-five long steps away I see a pedestal. I don't know if it's ionic, or Doric, or Corinthian, that hardly seems the point. There's a clear glass box on top with blood red contents. Off in the distance, there are bushes and a young man, or maybe a boy is hiding there. I pretend not to notice. There's no way I'm not going to look at that box. I'll deal with that person if I must.

This is a perfectly cube shaped clear glass box. I step up and can open it from the top, the top frame of glass is a lid. Inside there are rose petals! Rose petals! How delicate, beautiful, vivid, soft. I reach my hand in to feel and find something like a card that I pull up. It's a photograph- of me!

Kind of. It's this beautiful version of me. I mean, more um...polished. Well not really me on any given day, but it's me nonetheless. And all I can think is-

What is this shit?
Children of the Apocalypse

There's at least one person who knows.

The cryptic missive in the bushes knows I saw him, but he's a child of the apocalypse. Children of the apocalypse don't answer questions. These children have a set mind that 1) at any given moment they've done something wrong and 2) others have bad motives toward them; and so to hide their vulnerability and protect themselves from harm, they answer all questions wrongly regardless of topic. They could be asked where they purchased their rations for the day, or simply what time it is, but every question is a potential assault. Even eye contact is out of the question. They dart to and fro continually as scavengers of sorts. If they like you, they don't mind if you figure things out on your own. Hints or clues will be dropped sometimes. I can see that he's still peeking at me from behind the brush, but just the thought of talking to him sends a wave of irritation over me from head to toe. Presently, I don't feel like playing games.

My thoughts return to the mystery of the pedestal and the box. My moves aren't planned in advance, so this wasn't placed here for me. This was not supposed to be seen by me, and it doesn't feel like it has anything to do with me at all. Yet, this is a picture of me, kind of. So anyway, which is the creepier reality? For me, or not for me?

These are the things I'm pondering after turning on my heels to head back to my bike. My steps now are much more purposeful and speedy. I expect there to be a couple more children of the apocalypse near my bike, but I won't ask them anything.

Children of the apocalypse are so named because they are survivors of such. Had there been a planetary apocalypse, I suppose we would all be children of the apocalypse, but theirs was a localized destruction. Only their settlements were obliterated.

All that they had, every resource, every tool, every tradition, all that they knew to be true fact and every shared belief was gone, torn away, ruptured and raptured at the cellular level. What didn't rip apart atomically was damaged and so failed to replicate and so died. Many children live on, as do some of the mothers, but these mothers live in the past, unreachable.

The children that dart to and fro scavenging here and there and avoiding eye contact, these are the boys. Their given names are like Noah, Josiah, Jeremiah, Zeke -short for Ezekiel, Hosea, Amos, Elijah, Seth, Isreal, Jebediah, Micah, Jonah, and Bo- short for Boaz (my personal favorite and the nickname I have given any and all of them.) Their worlds are gone, they live in no world. Yeah, that's right, come to think of it, they live in no world.

There were girls, but they're all gone. They've easily assimilated into any group of their choosing. Melding together with new loved ones and new identities, they were changelings, or simply became invisible. These are called Mary.

The boys make their way daily by being useful to others which is quite a feat considering they do this with no direct communication. It has to be experienced to be believed. Schematics of archaic apparatus from their tribes survived their apocalypse, so these boys are good with technologies and adapt them to others' apparatus that, they believe, could use a retro-fit for improvement. All are water technologies. Now, in reality, people have the water technologies that they need and these children of the apocalypse came from tribes that used cumbersome and cryptic technologies to get anything done. I've never personally found anything that they've had to offer useful, and most settlements won't either. But there are those with limited time and resources to plan well, and sometimes these boys can fit a niche here or there, "upgrading"- as they like to think of it- a traveling vendor's water apparatus, or some motorcycle here and there. It's a temporary fix, whatever they're doing and the materials are not renewable, but it's cheap so for the time being all parties in the transaction are happy.

That's why they love my bike. It's not really powerful and it's obvious that I've made some adjustments to it, so they figure I'm the type that wouldn't mind a "more efficient" (it's not) water system. I happen to know that, if anything, it's a lateral move at best. Anything they could offer is done better on the new bikes. New bikes are cheap anyway. I just happen to like my bike.

You can't blame them for trying, so sure enough, my bike has a couple of Boes examining it, and they're having an animated conversation with each other for my benefit. I figured as much anyway. I know what to do. As usual they are avoiding direct contact but the message is loud and clear. It's not appropriate for me to address them directly, so I start up my bike and happily mumble something in a friendly tone about getting a new one. I grab two wrapped pieces of candy from my pocket and throw them on the ground behind all three of us, I wink with my left eye to no one in particular and put my helmet on, which in these parts is necessary for a sand screen, and I speed off.

The Boes are young enough to dart for candy and they laugh hysterically at some funny joke that I'm not in on. They like to try to make people feel that they are laughing at them. Frankly speaking, Boes are punk asses. Alot of people don't like them, but they're in a tough position.

It's really hot out here, and I don't know where I'm headed.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Vinnnie Quits OCC- I Finally Saw The Episode

We're out here in the Philippines and we get OCC on the Discovery Channel Asia where it's called American Choppers. I found out on the internet awhile back that Vinnie and Cody had quit, but I hadn't seen the episode. Well, last night it was on, so here's my take on the whole thing.

One, I'm glad there weren't bad vibes. -On camera. I mean the whole thing is like...wait a minute, no two weeks notice, no goodbye party? So, I mean, I'm not dumb, there's some kind of situation for sure. I was happy that senior said to Vinnie that he appreciates what he did there. It was strange how Vinnie said a warm "thank you" but didn't even turn around.

I had read on the internet that Senior said something like 'anyone can be replaced'. It sounded pretty cold. Watching the episode and his demeanor for that part, I wasn't too upset with him. He said he's been in business thirty years and he's seen good people come and go. That was nice. Then it was edited to the comment, "anyone can be replaced"...it was just Senior being philosophical, and really, I've seen the same thing in work places. Life tends to go on.

I like the show and will continue to watch it. I do wonder this, though:
Do the Teutuls have the right perspective on Vinnie's importance to the show? Now some may think, well, that's not important. The heck it's not. OCC is a tv show whether or not some may pretend otherwise. I wouldn't know these people unless they were on television, and their tv reality is woven into their business. We're not just flies on the the wall there...the choppers they make speak to their unique status as a TV SHOW: Bill Murray, Billy Joel, visiting Russel Crowe's house in Australia, the list goes on. The auctions for the charity bikes work well because OCC is a TV SHOW, it's not just because nubby does a pretty paint job.

So what I'm saying is while they're tooling around in the shop, they may want to believe that they live inside a reality in which Vinnie is just another tool, just another employee, some low man on the totem pole, or whatever. But guess what? That's not reality. The reality is that Vinnie was a cast member on a world wide popular tv show and people love him just as much and maybe even more than the other players. He actually built the bikes, you know, a lot of the time. And he's a nice guy, funny and all that jazz. He was straight man to all the chaos if it broke loose. Some view Vinnie as indispensable to the success of that show.

When this story broke, I found out about it because I got hundreds of hits a week on my blog here, people looking for information about it. Every week I still get people googling this even though the story has died down a bit. People love Vinnie, it's that simple.

Like I said, I'm not quitting OCC as a viewer, but I just felt the need to share my view on that whole thing. My best wishes to Vinnie and Cody as they start their new bike shop.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Did You Ever Have One Of Those Days?

This is how I feel today. Did you ever have one of those days, where you hear a song and it hits you JUST RIGHT?

This is one of them days for moi and this is the song...play it.

Funny Mitt Romney Video

I know this makes me look not neutral, but I am...
and it may make me look godless, but...
this is FUNNY. Sometimes swearing is ok. I guess.
No, swearing is never ok...I hate it. It's just there's genuine frustration with this lame thinking, ya know?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Clone This

I HATE smoking. Hate it. But Brad, you're adorable. I also don't watch your movies because most of them are rated R. But...still I wrote this for you:
If you read my blog on MySpace...you've already seen this, sorry.

I'd like to make the case that Brad Pitt be cloned. Why should women have to suffer with the lack of choices out there? Many of us have already decided that we like him, why should we have to continue to search the world over?

Clone as many as neccessary. One for any woman who wants one.

The problem that I see with this, is that men woud clone a bunch of Angelina Jolies.

And then...

You know what would happen. All the Brads and all the Angelinas would run away together.

But think...

of all the children that would be adopted. Would there be any needy ones left?

So then I come full circle...let's clone Brad!

(Come on Angie, can't I have just one?)


You, know I was thinking after I wrote this about how this came up. Actually I was in class with the Koreans and we were talking about cloning and this is the conversation that came about naturally, it's just the way I think. The students were in stitches though. I forgot about it until Dave posted this picture of Brad in my comments section. Hm..

And I've always had this fear that if I got together with Brad Pitt that he would dump me for someone else. Now, that sounds like a joke. It's quite funny, so I say it as a joke, but seriously. I really did think that one day. So I say it now and again and there's usually someone around that will go into convulsions of laughter. Also because of delivery. I say it quite seriously. So because I really do think like that, when I thought about cloning Brad, those old fears raised their head again and I thought, sure then here comes a bunch of Angelinas to steal him. But then I enjoy them as a couple and their work. They're doing great things in New Orleans now.

Imagine a whole new meaning to 'Attack of the Clones'

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Dedicated to the Lost Boys of FLDS

Hinkley, the president of the Mormon (LDS) church died, which has got me thinking.
LDS is not a cult...but FLDS is...
The people who get out, or are ex-communicated have a very hard time adjusting outside, and Anderson Cooper reported that the young men that leave are called the "lost boys" and are almost all of them- on drugs. My heart goes out to them and how hard it must be to adjust to the outside world. They don't need conversions, they don't need drugs...they need help with material things and opportunities and emotional support. They don't need another Warren Jeffs running their life and they don't need all the crazies out there in thunderdome, either.

Wow, I forgot how cute Mad Max is.

Out of the ruins
Out from the wreckage
Can't make the same mistake this time
We are the children
the last generation
We are the ones they left behind
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it
Living under the fear till nothing else remains

We don't need another hero
We don't need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

Looking for something we can rely on
There's got to be something better out there
Love and compassion, their day is coming
All else are castles built in the air
And I wonder when we are ever gonna change it
Living under the fear till nothing else remains
All the children say

We don't need another hero
We don't need to know the way home
All we want is life beyond the thunderdome

So what do we do with our lives
We leave only a mark
Will our story shine like a light
Or end in the dark
Is it all or nothing (less)

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Worst Building In History

I saw this on yahoo and just in case you missed it, Yahoo news has a link to an article called "The Worst Building In History" it's pretty interesting. And here's a You Tube video. It's in North Korea, and this 3,000 room nightmare has been VACANT for decades.

Esquire Article

A picture doesn't lie -- the one-hundred-and-five-story Ryugyong Hotel is hideous, dominating the Pyongyang skyline like some twisted North Korean version of Cinderella's castle. Not that you would be able to tell from the official government photos of the North Korean capital -- the hotel is such an eyesore, the Communist regime routinely covers it up, airbrushing it to make it look like it's open -- or Photoshopping or cropping it out of pictures completely.

Even by Communist standards, the 3,000-room hotel is hideously ugly, a series of three gray 328-foot long concrete wings shaped into a steep pyramid. With 75 degree sides that rise to an apex of 1,083 feet, the Hotel of Doom (also known as the Phantom Hotel and the Phantom Pyramid) isn't the just the worst designed building in the world -- it's the worst-built building, too. In 1987, Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers put its first shovel into the ground and more than twenty years later, after North Korea poured more than two percent of its gross domestic product to building this monster, the hotel remains unoccupied, unopened, and unfinished.

Construction on the Hotel of Doom stopped in 1992 (rumors maintain that North Korea ran out of money, or that the building was engineered improperly and can never be occupied) and has never started back up, which shouldn't come as a shock. After all, who the hell travels to beautiful downtown Pyongyang? It would make sense if the hotel were in South Korea, where Americans are allowed to travel and where projects like the Busan Lotte Tower and the Lotte Super Tower now rise thousands of feet above the formerly modest skyline.

With Pyongyang's official population said to range between 2.5 million and 3.8 million (official numbers are not made available by the North Korean government), the Ryugyong Hotel -- the 22nd largest skyscraper in the world -- is a failure on an enormous scale. To put it in context, imagine if the John Hancock Center (1,127 feet tall) in Chicago (population 2.9 million) was not only completely vacant, but unfinished with zero hope of ever being completed.

You may not be able to actually live there, but the building now has its own virtual real estate managers, Richard Dank and Andreas Gruber, a pair of German architects and self-described "custodians of the pyramid's diverse manifestations." The duo run Ryugyong.org, which they describe as an "experimental collaborative online architecture site." Sad you can't visit the building in real life? Log on, view the detailed 3-D models, and "claim" a subsection for yourself.

I know, I know, I know

You've already heard a lot about oil, but this is an interesting video I found on the Foreign Policy website with important people saying different things.

I really take issue with that dude at the end, it's actually the same dude at the beginning, but at the end he makes this BOLD statement. I just completely disagree and I think he talks that way because he's as old as the crusty-acean period.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

This Is Why

You Tube really stuns me sometimes, I love the creative people out there

Teaching Stint

I'm teaching for a couple of weeks until my deal gets settled and I head back to the USA. My friend is on the board here at a private school...so HIGH SCHOOLERS. A big huge class full of them...and sixth graders. I'll have four classes. Hm, it should be interesting. I live for interesting!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One of the Greatest Movies Ever!

During this brief blog intermission...here's some entertainment. If you have any way, you've got to see this movie. The cast is amazing and there are so many great lines.

Murder By Death- a Neil Simon deal.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Where I Grew Up

Theresa...how come you don't really like where you grew up?
Well, here's a story from MSNBC for you to chew on.

Sheriff: Dad Duct-Taped Packers Jersey To Boy
updated 4:53 p.m. PT, Thurs., Jan. 17, 2008

PORTAGE, Wis. - A Wisconsin man faces charges of abuse after a woman on Monday reported that her 7-year-old son was forced to wear a Green Bay Packers jersey. According to a release from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Matthew Kowald, 36, of Pardeeville, Wis., told his son to wear the jersey and when the boy refused, he restrained the 7-year-old for about an hour.

The boy's mother told sheriff's deputies that Kowald also used the tape to attach the jersey to the boy during that time.

In an interview with Madison radio station Z-104, Rebecca Kowald, the boy's mother, said that the incident, which happened during the Packers game on Saturday, upset her son and scared her to the point where she felt unable to call police until Monday. She also said that the boy was "having a bout with his dad," and that her son is, in fact, "a true Packers fan."

[well, gee that's the important part and of course it had to be written into the article here- ME]

She said the boy became stubborn when he and his father began arguing. She said that her husband refused to let her cut the boy free from the tape, telling her, "He's not hurt. Sit down and shut up."

Rebecca Kowald told Z-104 that her husband was "very inebriated" when the incident happened.

Kowald was arrested and initially charged with two felony counts -- causing mental harm to a child and false imprisonment. He was also charged with domestic disorderly conduct. The felony charges were dropped and Kowald was released later in the week, but the suspect is not being allowed to see his children.

Boy oh boy do I not miss home this football season. Sorry guys (you know who you are).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Crippled And Dazed

If you opened an electronic device and studied the inside, you might think about the person who designed it. Wait, even if you use one of Steve Jobs' new releases without opening it to see the inner workings, you may wonder at the designer. We've got some pretty amazing devices out nowadays.

I think of the DNA strand. Actually, when I was in biology class in college I listened to lectures about cells many times with my mouth half gaping open. The inside of our bodies is amazing. We've got these larger parts, heart, lungs circulatory system, bones, intestines, really meaningless apart from the whole. Also further into the cellular make up of these larger organs...it's mind boggling the functions, actions and purposes of this cellular activity. And even smaller...dna.

I mean who are we kidding by ignoring these things? Nothing on the inside of my body resembles anything on the outside. Not in any way. Why are these little devices used to create a whole being that could, on any given day, just sit on the couch and watch the telly and eat junk food? I really want to stress the point here, that we resemble nothing of our insides. When I was in biology class I wrote a little poem on my lab notebook

Tiny spheres of matter
without will
yet surpassing me in measured purpose.

If we're a direct succession to millions of nature's modifications, why on earth are we such radically different beings than our building blocks? I mean if we're nothing but modifications of building blocks -what's with the complete difference from outside of my body to inside?

It is inexcusable to look a the human body and not see that all parts work in concert for the purpose of the whole. The human brain is absolutely beyond our comprehension and without the rest of the body, would die.

This has all formed *spontaneously* *accidentally* and without purpose so that I can live and love and create, or destroy or be lazy...or laugh at Kermit the Frog riding a bicycle? What a radical departure from rna transcription. Why? And why do I ask why? I don't believe that cellular respiration asks why, or longs to laugh. What do cells long to worship, or wonder about? Why would those things come together to form a being that does?

To say that forces in the universe accidentally formed people is illogical. Why? Because I'm a person. How does something personal come about from the non-personal? It's nature?

One must personify nature so much, that we're back at square one. Who is this nature? Why is the nature of nature a personal one?

Look, I understand rejecting theological orthodoxy, but to reject the idea of design is delusional. The question that I like honest hearted people to get to is, "why have we been abandoned?"- that's the valid question and a good place to start on a spiritual journey.

When we look around, if we're not delusional: we're crippled and we're dazed.

The only way I could get this song was this tribute to John Lennon, but here's someone who was creative and questioning and does well representing mankind and his plight.

Amazing Race Asia Video!

Here you go beloved. This one's a little old, but it shows the Philippines! Marc and Rovilson win like every leg, and like I said in my last entry, I'm mad that they're on the show. Marc actually hosts a sports show out here. This is NOT a celebrity edition. Nothing personal against them, they're nice and funny- I just don't want elite celebrity types on AR.

There's even a part on here where one of the teams show the camera that Marc's face is on one of the maps there on some advertisement. I was so excited to see them in the Philippines, I especially know the bus situation, I've been on those buses! Yes, you pay once you're already on...a contestant asked.

This is the Philippines!

Well I posted the prisoners dancing in the past, and I said that video really shows a lot about the people in the Philippines. Well...
American Idol is back this season, and ...here's another video that IS the Philippines. It's more insight into the national character if there is such a thing.

Watch the whole thing. I love the whole Napoleon Dynamite thing about American Idol, where people believe in themselves, and they might not get in the competition, but they end up getting some dreams fulfilled. It's interesting. This is the spirit of the people here.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Wish You Were Better

You know, yesterday was strange, I actually felt like I had been hit in the stomach with a cannonball. It was painful depression. Some of my friends here live in almost abject poverty (we have relatively 'clean' water) and their life is getting worse by the ticking clock. I have GOT to get this deal finished, it's taking forever, when I get that money I can help in a substantial way. I don't talk about my day to day life much on here, or I haven't so far, a lot of it is perplexing so I haven't addressed it yet. I'm so tired of seeing good people suffer. People here can work and work and work and not have enough money to eat let alone pay any bill or rent, or transportation. Heavy sighs. And back home I've got this friend living with someone psychotic and that's hard too. I'm looking forward to that ending for her. On the world front Bush is trying to really quickly get peace going between Palastine and Isreal before he leaves office and then last night the breaking news story was that for some reason Isreal did an air strike against Gaza. The news reports it and banners it as "airstrike against Hamas". The week before Bush was in Saudi rattling his saber against Iran. World events aren't physically depressing to me, but they're not so great either. And then sometimes I think about boys. And then I try not to. But in that department, here's a good role model:

I was thinking this week about one of my favorite movies, Say Anything. So here's something from that. Quite enjoyable.

Gents, take note of the parking lot scene. (Just a tip.)
"No English tips, I won't give you any tips of any kind!"

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Umm, yeah...

I know it's been forever. But I'm closing a deal here. I'll be back soon with all kinds of crazy posts. I HATE to predict 2008 as good for me...because I thought the same thing last year...but...

Now I feel superstitious and that's a yucky feeling.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008