Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jude Law and a Weekend Appreciated

Today I was staring back at some expensive villas lining the beach front, watching some obviously over privileged kids play volleyball on their personal sand court and eventually move to another leisure activity where they each throw a weighted ball toward a target and the closest wins. For that brief second I was filled with a jealous rage of these kids that have so little to worry about.

Then the ocean sifted sand between my toes and all blind hatred washed into the depths of the ocean to be swallowed by Ahab's ghost. A wave pulls my legs backwards and then dances over my freshly shaven head. I have no reason to complain. This weekend has treated me great. Life in general is pretty great. I will try to present to you the reasons why I've been so blessed this weekend and attempt to do with without gloating or throwing it in any of your faces. If done properly I hope to pay my happiness forward, giving anyone who reads this just a small glimmer of the happiness I've experienced in the past few days.

Let's start with Friday. It had been hell week with all the standardized testing at the Care Center, creating overly excited and energetic kids that rightly feel they shouldn't have to do anymore schooling this semester because they've taken their final exams essentially. We have to motivate them for another month and a half. I got to leave at 3:30, two hours earlier than I normally do. This was a great start to a much needed weekend.

I came home on Friday to find fresh Netflix (two disks of the Trailer Park Boys) and one of the books I ordered (Catcher and the Rye) from Ebay. I had played on "bro-ing" out with Neil until everyone got off of work and we could go out. I took a shower and then met Sallie for pizza at dinner. This new New York style pizzeria opened about two blocks from our house. We met there and ordered a mushroom pizza. The credit card machine wouldn't take our card, and instead of requesting money or another card, the man gave us our pizza free. It was delicious.

Sallie had another 45 minutes to waste before her break was over. We decided to go to Wal Mart to grab some beer and look at TVs. My TV can't project sound in our family room and recently I've noticed in order for me to play videogames I have to hunch over and squint with a classic gamer posture. However classic it is... it crinks my back. We found a 42" LCD 1080P TV for about $400 off the market price. I had recently sold almost all my games, DVDs, some books, and my PSP on Ebay to go to the TV fund and I made about $600, therefore we didn't have to pay much out of our own pocket for one of the last three TVs they had in stock. I knew I had made it in life when the TV was wider than our car. Sal says thats more of a sign of misappropriation of funds. Sal had to get back to work so I called Neil and he came to the rescue in his Corolla. We still had to take the TV out of the box to get it to fit, but soon we were rolling down 501 with two six packs of beer and a new TV. How freakin' amazing does that sound. I've ridden with the windows down in my car hundreds of times before, but for some reason the wind smelled a little sweeter and felt a little warmer that night.

We set up the TV, try to switch controllers playing Xbox, but eventually decide Neil needs to go home so we can play on our respective awesome TV's across the internet. We game for a good two hours before everyone started getting off of work. The phone starts ringing and everyone wants to go to Ron Jon's for our new Friday night tradition. Beer and fries GALORE! 6 A.M. bedtime with an 11:30 am wakeup.

After some great BLT's we packed up some towels and drove down to the beach. The sun warmed the Earth and air to a beautiful 85 degrees. I put on my "Feel Good Music" playlist and we sang along to all the songs. That brings all of you up to where I started this blog. Briefly envying people I shouldn't because I can't think of much more I would want in life right now. We had great dinner at the new brewery in town, using our $20 membership gift card, finding that in all of Myrtle Beach, we are the first ones to bring in our membership card and use it.

Now, I'm typing this blog at 2:40 am with a cat laying in my lap. Sal is sleeping in the other room. The fan is sitting in the window blowing a cool breeze across my face and the ocean laces the air with just a hint of its fragrance. I'm watching "Enemy at the Gates" and the epic battle between the two snipers is about to happen. Yes indeed, right now I want to be where I am.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

This one will be a biggie

Since I've left my undying fans hanging with no new blog updates for a whole five days, todays will probably be a long one. Its not going to be long just because it will be a string of updates in my life (although some of it will) but it will also contain some of my thoughts about various media and people I've been taking in lately. I will split these into mini-chapters for my readers sake, just in case you need to take a break and can easily come back to it at some point.

The Man in Black
In the movie High Fidelity (still one of my all time favorite movies, banging soundtrack) the main character Rob at one point is talking about how he's not the smartest guy in the world, but he's read some heavy books. After he names a couple of said books he says, "...but I have to say my all-time favorite book is Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash." This line has always made me want to read this book and until Christmas this year when I was handed a Barnes and Nobles gift card, I never made that a possibility. However, I've started reading this finally this week and I'm starting to agree with Rob.

The book isn't in any specific order, it essentially is Johnny Cash trying to tell the story of his life, but getting sidetracked by other stories in his life and then he sweetens the package with some of his own philosophies. I think the interesting part is he often talks about how he is Christian and friends with Billy Graham and such, but he still comes off as a man I wouldn't mess with. (At one point his family is taken hostage by gun and hatchet point and he stays calm and cool and ends up kind of befriending the criminals... well you know what. I like this book so much I'm not going to ruin it for you. Go buy it, its less than $10 paperback.) The reason this is weird to me I guess is because of the stereotype I've assigned Christian Country stars (and most Christian musicians, not all mind you) as either backwater hicks, complete wusses, or high and mighty. Cash is so down to Earth. You never feel like he's a hick, (although he worked on a farm the first 15 or so years of his life) he's definitely not a wuss, and he's so down to Earth he probably could talk to Al Queida about Christianity and leave not only alive, but with a couple conversions. Anyway just one quote from the book I've really enjoyed: (There are literally hundreds in this book I've loved)

On why he wears black today when originally it was for the Vietnam War and all the people dying in the world: "Apart from the Vietnam War being over, I don't see much reason to change my position today. The old are still neglected, the poor still poor, the young are still dying before their time, and we're not making many moves to make things right. There's still plenty of darkness to carry off." (p. 86)

Fill in the bubble with a complete circle in number 2 pencil
We've started the state's mandatory standardized testing this week. So far its been fairly smooth besides me having to come in early. I've always detested (and I think its true for everyone except the authors) standardized tests. Current trends show that these tests are a huge reason why schools that perform badly aren't getting better. Teachers can't be creative or teach anything interesting because the administration is breathing down their necks to produce good numbers so the school receives more funding. Since they aren't creative, the children aren't learning anything because they come to despise school. The state (and country) loves being able to take away a persons name and give them a number to be identified by.

Another reason for the sad state of education is the rise in school violence in the past fifteen years. Finally the children that were babysat by the television are snapping, grabbing shotguns, looking up bomb recipes on the internet, and going to their schools and reeking havoc. The schools answer to protecting the other students... run the school like a prison. Barbed-wire fences, security guards, strict curfews are just a few ways that children are being force into a heavily mandated system. I'm scared for the future or literature and movies because we're turning this world into a colorless, overly polluted, hate-filled plain. I don't know what the solution is. Perhaps the parents need to pay more attention. Recently here in South Carolina a child was turned in by his parents because they found him ordering bomb supplies from the internet and he had kept a year long diary about how he was going to blow up his school and why. Because these parents paid attention, they saved countless lives.

Some of my kids
I found out that two of my kids this week, age 15 and 17, both have children outside of the group home. I can see how this chain of violent behavior can continue because I'm working in one of the links. I know both these guys mean well, but they are bringing a child up in the same habitat they were brought up in, and if statistics are correct, their kids will be coming to the alternative school in twelve years. The government hands out free money, but a lot of times this just solidifies the poverty. Why would someone want to get a job that pays them barely anymore than the government pays them for free? I'm not ready to discuss this topic in depth yet, but soon enough I will.

For the first time since I've worked at this place I had to save face in front of the kids today. I still say the school yard in one of the most brutal places anyone has to survive in life. Kids will tell you what they think and not hesitate about it. Think about this mentality... then think about how this would work with kids that if only they were 18 would be considered criminals. the first advice I got at this job was "They are going to find things to make fun of you for. Don't show any quiver or sweat cause they will eat you up." They've already tried to make fun of my baldness, my misfitting glasses, and my "white person" way of talking. Well I took the kids outside to play basketball today and was nailed in the crotch with one of the balls. Everyone was looking at me, but I just said "wow that was a close one." However my head was screaming "NOOOOO!!!!" My stomach wanted to throw up, my legs wanted to give out, my heart wanted to explode, and sweat came pouring from my forehead. Had I fallen, I would've been hearing about it until June.

My job status
Today I was half heartily offered a summer job, but since the principal wasn't willing to discuss money or hours I'm going to have to turn it down. The other teachers said it was smart, because they had been roped in to do it for free a couple of summers which means I would probably get paid dirt. I think I'm going to run this job out till June and maybe get a job with the post office. They start out more than I'm getting paid, they actually pay me more for my degree, and I get awesome benefits. I think I might try to get my masters degree with an online school. One of the teachers I work with was telling me about where she does her work online and it sounds like a great possibility as long as I can motivate myself to do the work.

My Marriage and Wedding Plans
I've noticed many of my friends who have recently been married have been having troubles/issues/fights normal in the first year (and some lifetime) marriage issues, and somehow Sal and I have thus far escaped any real issues. We often have conversations about old friends in horrible relationships and marriages and try to figure out where they went wrong, why don't they get out, or why did they get in in the first place. Luckily for us we agree on most stuff and know when to let the other get themselves a little gift or something. It's very 50/50 on our part. We don't try to change each other, we speak up when something is bothering us, and we actually listen to what the other person is saying. (This is the main reason most relationships are crap)

As far as wedding plans go. They are falling into place. Sal is flying back to St. Louis in a couple weeks to make some final decisions, we have the place booked, and we have the guest list. (Rough draft) My biggest issue was coming up with a wedding party. I either wanted no wedding party or I wanted a huge one because picking this can alienate some people. I know feelings are going to be hurt, and I know that I won't hear the end of my decision ever, but I'll tell you the formula I used to pick my party.

A) You were automatically disqualified if I haven't talked to you in the past two months. I had some people I would've had in my party six months ago that just aren't there anymore. Its not that I don't like them or I don't want them to be in it still, but I've tried calling my old friends a couple times, I've tried emailing, and some of them just have never gotten back to me. You don't want to have someone in your wedding party if you aren't sure if you will have any contact with them within the next couple years. (Just going by what the trend in contact has been)

B) If you are out of town, will be out of town, or are a maybe I had to knock you off the list just for simple planning purposes. This eliminated some choices I would've loved to have like Allyn, Sean, and my cousin Ryan. Al lives in SLC now and it would be very expensive for him to fly into St. Louis for a couple days for my wedding. I understand that and don't think any less of him for it. (Although you should really find a place with a less disgusting lake) Sean is going to be working at a camp all summer in Colorado and although he is going to be able to come to the wedding, who knows if he would be able to get a tux, come to the other planned activities and rehearsals. My cousin Ryan, since I was a child, was always going to be my best man. There was no way around and there was no one else that could replace him. However Uncle Sam says otherwise. He ships out to Iraq a day before the scheduled ceremony and I wish him luck, thank him for his service, and pray for a safe journey.

C) Those I don't think would be interested, I.E. my brothers. All three of us have always hated formal occasions. We've always hated them more when we've had a role. I'm not going to put them through that kind of torture. Hell, if being the groom wasn't essential to my wedding, I probably would skip it was well.

So my wedding party was picked based off of how much contact I still have with you, how long I've known you, and how much contact I feel I will continue to have with you. So here it is, in digital form my wedding party.

Cory-The Best Man- Cory and I met in one of my first Mizzou English classes my first semester sophomore year. We've screamed our way into the hearts of many professors and have this somewhat sick, almost homosexual, way of reading each other's minds. For instance, I knew his eye color... he asked me Sallie's and I hesitated for a moment and then guessed. (BTW, I guessed right) He's one I plan to have with me the rest of this weird journey in life and at some point he will probably convince me and Sallie to share a condo with him. (He already makes me refer to the sunroom as Cory's room) Plus, it's Cory. Come on, thats going to be one great wedding toast.

Matt- He's the brother in law, and although I'm sure he isn't the first to jump at having formal responsibilities, he means much to my wife and to me. For one, I'm one of Sallie's few, if not only, boyfriends that Matt has taken an instant liking to. This is probably because A) I wasn't dating her yet (although first kiss was only hours away) when we first hung out. And we bro-ed out nerd style hitting Star Wars and video games whilst drinking great beer. He's one that not only do I know I will have in my life forever, but he's one that I don't have a choice whether or not to have him in my life forever.

Eric and Ryan- These two belong together on my list because they came as a package deal into my life. It started Sophomore year of high school when a formorly shy Dan entered a class and just said "screw it. I'm going to talk and make jokes and we'll see who will be my friend.) As soon as my last name was read out, Eric started giggling and I had my target for the man I would befriend. We started joking around and having a good time and then he invited me out to play Walleyball after school. Now Walleyball is already a hilariously dangerous sport (especially when a 6'1" clumsy oaf like me is playing) but then pulling into the parking lot with long flowing blond hair and a headband was Ryan. From that point on until I moved into the place, us three went to every party, concert, and sporting event together. If my car didn't crap out on me in college I would've still hung out with them all the time. They lived just a bit too far for the bike. However, the two weeks I was in St. Louis in December, they were my main bros. They came to the first wedding as my very last minute representatives. (I didn't know we were having wedding parties until 8 pm the night before.) They have called me and facebooked me every couple weeks just to check in. Its tough to have a long distance friendship, but by God these are the guys that know how to do it without wasting too much time on the phone.

So anyway, thats how I picked the wedding party. I understand for some to be angry at this list, but I only had a couple slots and I had to pick some I knew would be able to come through, not only now, but for life. So that's my extreme update for today. Questions, comments, and opinions are welcomed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Reflections years later and crap drivers

I had crazy dreams last night about a girl that I used to work with for a short period of time at Noodles. It was nothing sexual, so this blog remains "PG-ish." This girl was always really nice to me and I hung out with her every now and then, but she had a reputation. Obviously people get bored, rumors started a-flying and I backed off a bit. But last night after having this dream about her I realized that she had tried to reach out to me for help several times. I don't know exactly why she reached out for me, it was probably because I was willing to listen with a non-judgemental mind and give her legitimate advice and options. I woke up feeling extremely regretful and guilty. I think its because it only occured to me three years later how much she wanted help, and at the time my personal persuit of love blinded me to the fact that this other human needed me. I wondered what happened to her all day long. I know her "reputation" was bothering her and she wanted to shed it, but the last time I saw her she was stumbling drunk at the popular bar in Columbia, making out with the definition of a frat boy. I started wondering today if she ever salvaged herself. I wondered how much of an affect I could've had on her, had I invited her out with my friends. I think she just needed a way out, and she was looking to me for that.

I remember one of the last time's we actually talked with sober minds, I was telling her my favorite movies of all time and talked about how much I loved Garden State and she wanted to see it. I told her we would have a midnight viewing after we got off work and she was extremely excited. Unfortunately I decided that I would hang out with someone else hoping that love would blossom from it and ditched the noodles girl at the last minute. I felt horrible about it today. I guess it was something that never occured to me before.

On a lighter note, since joining the "rat race" I've noticed where all those comedian's jokes about bad drivers come from. Today I witnessed three overused jokes on the way to work. First I literally almost ran into a lady putting on make-up while driving. Then I was stuck behind an old man going 30 MPH under the speed limit. And before I finally got to work, their was a guy in front of me looking around his car like a bomb was attached via "Speed" style where if he went under a certain MPH he would explode. He ended up opening and shutting his door while swerving. I can only imagine the intense beeping coming from this guys dashboard telling him he was an idiot and had been driving with his door open. I'm seriously lucky I didn't get rammed on the short drive to work.

One another note with driving, one of the other people driving had one of those Jesus fish on their bumper. I will never have a Jesus fish on my bumper. You know why? Because those people drive like jerks usually. They think because they spent $10 on this metal bumper decoration that God will project them no matter how horribly they drive. My mom put a metal medalion blessed by the archbishop of the patron saint of traveling, St. Christopher, on my sun visor to protect me and I already felt my driving jerk level had risen 150%. A Jesus fish is worse than St. Christopher hiding under my visor because A) At least St. Christopher was kinda cool unlike a loop-de-loop line representing a fish and B) no one else would ever know I had that unless a police officer was pulling my charred remains from the wreckage of my 1995 Chevy Corsica. (Which by the way was a tank. Was hit like 9 times before they finanly totaled it.. only totaled becasue replacing the passanger door costed more than the car. How hardcore is that?) Anyway, thats my Jesus fish rant for now. I guess I always kind of wish I had a spike strip in my trunk to take those people off the road or at least a crowbar so I could remove them from cars in the mall parking lot because even if they are driving good... I'm having "nam" like flashbacks of Jesus Fish drivers cutting me off whenever I see the sun glare off of it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I don't feel like the new guy

Today I had one of those weird interactions at work where you know that to some you are no longer "the new guy." Its about time I had one of these interactions seeing how I've been there for like 5 or 6 weeks already, but today was the first one. (That I could think of) I was walking through the hall and a lady that I've met once or twice was walking next to me and I hear a long winded "it's only Tuesday" sigh. Without hesitating I blurt out "I know what you're saying." She started laughing and said, "That rough of a day for you too Dan." And thats it. That's the entire interaction. We parted ways and finished the work day eventually. The fact that I could just blurt that out without thinking and then get that kind of a "we're buddies" response proves that people are trying to know me.

Why was it a rough day you ask? Well, today wasn't particularly rough, I just haven't been liking my job as of late. Mostly because my boss is unorganized, demanding, underpaying, and "insert random boss complaint here." Its starting to wear on me. Plus today I was so tired from getting no sleep last night (Mostly thanks to Sal's ridiculous energy after work last night) that I was just kind of drifting in a caffeine induced consciousness. (12 cups of sweetened tea and a cup of Dr. Pepper= I was wired) I didn't notice a kid leave my room (actually I thought he was meeting with a therapist) and he went to hang out in the hallway for a while listening to his iPod. One of the bodyguards eventually came in with all kinds of Def Jam attitude "I dont' want to tell you how to run your classroom, but you need to..." and then she went on a rant about how I need to write kids up, ect. I don't remember much of it because I was thinking "I'm not going to be here for much more than a month more" and "My god a nap would be great right about now." Another reason the day was long... well one of my kids can't read... and he's embarrassed. I always try to put aside extra one on one time to help him through the program. (that really isn't designed for someone who can't read at all) Today he decided that making a lot of noise, unplugging his monitor, clicking random answers, and pretending to not hear me was the best course of action. I guess I can't blame him and it probably seemed worse than it was... but man, that was only my second hour out of 7.

Tomorrow is officially "hump" day and I can't wait. BTW (By the Way for the internet lingo impaired) I hate people that call Wednesday hump day. I was trying to make a joke but only realized not many people know of my annoyance of the phrase and my sarcasm seems to not travel the internet well. Perhaps I shall dedicate a special sarcasm font at some point. The possibilities....

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Confidence will do that to you

I've been listening to my "Thinking Playlist" for the past hour or so while clouds have rolled in to block out the 80 degree sunshine we've had all day. I named this playlist such because the songs contained for some reason make me think about things. I usually listen to it when I want to write (which I did and now I'm doing again) or when I'm feeling a bit down.

Examples of songs on list just in case you want to create one of your own and don't know where to start.
Ben Folds: "Still Fighting It"
Wilco: "Misunderstood"
Radiohead: "Exit Music (For a Film)"
Modest Mouse: "World at Large"
Jimmy Eat World: "Hear You Me"
Smashing Pumpkins: "Drown"
Pete Yorn: "All At Once"
Bob Marley: "Redemption Song"
Collective Soul: "Run"
The Cure: "A Letter to Elise"

Anyway I started thinking about all that has changed in the past year, mostly relationships that have moved on or are nonexistent. Really I've been thinking about other people and their relationships and I just want to throw some thoughts out on the subject.

Why do people find it hard to move on after a relationship has ended? Actually, a more important question, why do people force themselves to stick with a relationship that is obviously poisoned? The thing I see the most is the self deprecating lack of confidence most people have in themselves. The heartbreak burns through the stomach lining until it damages the soul. There isn't a cure for heartbreak other than moving on, and sometimes that doesn't entirely fix it. Its something that will always exist in humans. Why did she cheat on me? Why wasn't I good enough for him? I'm so ugly, fat, worthless...

Confidence is a weird thing. They say you can't make it anywhere in life, especially the business world without confidence, but does anybody truly have cut throat confidence or are some just more willing to take the jump off a cliff more than others? I think everyone is afraid of taking steps that deviate from the normal routine. Inside every big business suit is a quivering little child. Every person that has dumped someone, freaks out when the dumpee finds someone new just like anyone else would. Life's not about being confident necessarily, its about cocking your smile like a loaded gun, acting like you don't care, making people think that you know something they don't. Sure life is going to crap on you thousands of times in your life, but think about the millions of happy things in between those crap times. They don't affect you as much as the crap, which is why you tend to become completely hopeless when the crap starts. You stop remembering how lucky you are and you start the pity party. "I can't find a job, no one will ever love me, I'll never make it in life."

My response... piss off!
Do me a favor, turn on your iPod. Just by owning this device you are already more financially stable than 50% of the world. Just by pulling out the iPod. Push play.
Listen to that.
That song is something you love. That song was written for you. How lucky are you? You can hear that music, you have it better than hundreds of thousands that can't hear.
Feel the sun shine down on your skin, or each rain droplet pounding against your clothes. You only have to worry about the weather in terms of how long will it take me to get from my car to my house. You don't have to worry about dying because of exposure like thousands of others.
Sing along to this song. Sing as loud as you can. You have a voice to fight whatever is causing you pain while so many others on this planet die silently, only to be buried in shallow graves and while the earth tears their body apart, they eventually are forgotten.

By my calculations you have it better than probably 70% of the world. I have no cure for heartbreak, loneliness, or depression. Just try to remember you have it pretty good. One person might not like you anymore, but for that one person that doesn't like you, there are at least ten people willing to listen and help you in anyway they can. Today sucks, but what about yesterday when you were laughing and having a great time with friends, before this one person was going to ruin your week. Think about the last time you felt this way. Maybe your last relationship. You were in pain then too, but guess what, you moved on and found the light at the end of that deep hole.

I don't know. I just have noticed that a lot of people around me have been beating up on themselves and depressed. I've been through some of the darkest depressions anyone can imagine, and I can only offer some advice that in the end helped me. I'm trying to pay it forward. Sorry its such a jumbled mess of thoughts, but the mind is a jumbled mess of thoughts most the time. Read James Joyce's Ulysses. Its written from the point of view of one guys mind for one day and that book is several hundred pages long. And here we go again, I jumble up the conclusion with side thoughts. Point proven: brain thinks of way too many things at once. Don't focus on one.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Reply to my religious post last week

My post last week about my beliefs and my brief synopsis of my religious history created some of the greatest response I've had for my blog. My father in law, who is a Baptist preacher, sent me a long email with his thoughts and scripture passages pointing me toward some answers. His email brought up more of my thoughts about religion, so I decided to post the email in my blog to see what others think about it.

So, if you're not sure what I'm referring to in the email, here's my original post.

So the email goes:

As far as the animal thing, I don't know what I believe anymore. I don't really ponder it, but it was the first thing that made me question my faith in my childhood. Probably partly because I had watched "All Dogs go to Heaven" about 30 billion times. It doesn't bother me as much anymore, but if I were to question it I would ask, "how do we know a large mouth bass
Jesus hasn't appeared in the river and preached salvation to the river life, or a raccoon Moses hasn't stumbled upon a burning bush and saved all the Jewish woodland animals?" Pretty insane questioning yes, but as you put it, the bible isn't exactly definitive on this issue. Suggestion says, no animals don't, but then again they are there animals during the millinial kingdom as both Steve and Becca have pointed out. Either way, I haven't thought about this in a while. It was just the first time I remember having questions and not getting definitive answers, or even guidance. I guess, more or less, I felt we were being trained to be unquestioning Christians, which is how things like the Inquisition come about. Someone always has to question at some point, if they didn't we would all be Jewish. (Or possibly believe in Mount Olympus, Osirus, or rain gods.)

On the subject of who or what to believe, I do believe yes, ultimately the bible is the ultimate source. However I feel that some of Gods presence has existed in other cultures, or perhaps Christianity has borrowed many themes from other cultures. For instance, some early Egyptian religions celebrated Horus birthday on December 25 birthed by the Virgin Isis. Other similarities include Horus getting baptized at 12, had 12 deciples and died only to be resurrected after 3 days. These religions preceded Christianity by something like 2500 or 3000 years. Most know that Jesus was in fact probably not born on December 25, that date being changed by Constantine from the original birthday of January 6th. There are about 12-20 other major past and present religions all celebrating similar virgin births, three kings, 12 deciples, crucifixions, resurrections, ect ect. My thought is, perhaps Jesus came to many cultures at different times, leaving the final one being the spawn of Christianity, where he says his next coming ushers the end of Earth.

There are so many similarities between so many religions that I feel can't 100% be ignored even though in today's standards their mythology seems silly. The Greeks, Egyptians, Aztecs, and Romans, had insane stories on Minotaurs, Lightning Gods, Sun Gods fighting the moon, and rain gods, I feel perhaps these stories were merely inventions because the lack of science and
technology in culture. By the time Jesus came and ushered in Christianity our threshold for science was finally at a place where we didn't have to invent other Gods to explain things we didn't understand. Even the major religions today have similar Dogma's to each other, and mostly differ on the traditions, and people involved.

As far as the human corruption element being innate, I feel this is the strongest argument for Catholics' belief of Original Sin. Although the Baptism at birth by Catholics might seem silly by other denominations and religions because of the persons inability to declare their beliefs in God,
is it not a safe precaution. Maybe it saves the child, maybe it doesn't, but its a thought and belief. I do feel its proactive. Then, 10-18 years down the line, Catholics have Confirmation as the conscious declaration of our beliefs. Granted the sacraments don't magically wash away sin, (although some Catholics believe penance does do that) the one thing every denomination and religion can believe is we need a savior.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Post Office Strikes Again

I sold a bunch of things on Ebay again hoping to make a little extra money on the side and again the United States Post Office has messed up something big.

Essentially I sold a $200 game system, with 3 games, and a $75 memory card for a measly $175. The system was almost new, only used a handful of times by me. I shipped in an appropriate sized box stuffed with newspaper and put the system into a travel case for extra protection. The buyer sent me a fuming email today saying there were scratches and pixels broken on the screen. He essentially called me a horrible seller and person. (Not a dramatization, he actually did say I give ebay sellers a bad name) I know for a fact that this was in perfect condition before I sent it, but I didn't buy insurance on it. Why you ask? Because I used to buy insurance on this stuff and then once I lost a large ticket item. I tried to claim the insurance, when the postmaster at the local post office told me that I needed the original packaging so he could decide whether it was their fault or mine. So essentially I need to retrieve the original box, packing supplies, and show the postmaster how I had it taped to maybe get my insurance money back. So I started settling for just delivery confirmation.

So this story's summary is essentially I bought a game system and then broke it, only to have my ebay name defiled.

Another guy emailed me angry because he sold something a week ago, lost that item, and then bought another one, from me. He then asked me if I could ship it to his buyer. I said, yes I will try to do that. however in the shuffle of the 28 other items I sold, I accidentally shipped it to him. He sent me an angry email today and demanded his shipping refunded. Why are people such jerks sometimes?

This week has more or less been a string of crappy days that seem even worse since I had such a great week last week. I've more or less decided that I won't be returning to this job next year unless much money is offered. I'm essentially teaching, running their entire network, and babysitting by myself after school for as much money as I was making at noodles. I'm done, I need the weekend.