About the Background

You may have noticed that I’ve spruced up the site a bit. I’ve never been great at making websites pretty, but I do have a knack for having desktop backgrounds that I like. It’s simple — I pick something I want and throw it on my desktop until I get sick of it. My plan is to treat the background image on the site very much the same way.

Well, because this is a website people will occasionally wonder about them. I’m also a big proponent of giving credit where it’s due. I’m artistically gifted enough to make some pretty bitchin’ stick figures, but nowhere near as talented as the stuff that ends up behind my workspace. That said, the current art is a digital print of Princess Mononoke by Barrett Biggers. Clicky the linky if you want more information. His collective work is pretty awesome.

PS: I’m making no money off of this site. So I hope Barrett, and soon to be others, won’t mind that I’m flashing their work.

Hearts and Minds

I grew up in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. I’m white, fairly educated, and have had a pretty good life. I say this because I feel it’s important to define the circumstances in which I was raised. Growing up, my exposure to racism was pretty much non-existent. I had few minorities in my classes, though my best friend in my first years of school was black, albeit adopted by white parents. I don’t know if the “N-word” was ever uttered in my household, but I think I grew up with an understanding that it simply wasn’t a word that I used.

Oddly enough, however, the word ‘faggot’ was routinely employed. Since I wasn’t allowed to use profanity, when I learned that one I, like many of my friends, used it. It was much more prevalent in the lexicon. The first time I heard Eddie Murphy’s Delirious, it was clearly a word that I could use with little, if any, repercussions. Being a guy, any sense of effeminate tendencies was shunned and discouraged. It was just a part of life. Continue reading Hearts and Minds

Profile Advice – For the Ladies

All in all, I do feel bad for women on dating sites. As I’ve been led to understand, and have even witnessed, there are more than a few guys out there who pretty much wreck any respect women would have for men simply by being troglodytic, sex-crazed mooncalves. On behalf of myself and every other guy out there who’s actually looking for something fun and meaningful, I offer my deepest apologies and wish you nothing but the best.

That said…buckle up, because the filter is coming off for a bit. Continue reading Profile Advice – For the Ladies

My Funeral

I attended a funeral recently. Young kid. Leukemia. Absolute tragedy. I don’t do well in settings like this because I empathize with people. Dealing with that massive collection of grief can be absolutely overwhelming for me. But it also inevitably turns my thoughts towards my own impending demise, cause to be determined at a later date.

After sitting through my share of funerals, I’ve made some decisions. First of all, I’ve never understood why funeral is spelled with the word fun preceeding it. But after bawling my eyes out on more than one occasion, I’m making the conscious decision to ensure that my funeral will be fun. In fact, cry on your own time.

Public gatherings of crying will be abolished, unless you can prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that you’re crying for other reasons. As such, note cards will be provided for you to scrawl your reasons, bullshit as they may be, for crying at my funeral. They will be preprinted with the words, “I’m crying because…” Acceptable answers include, ‘black licorice sucks’ or ‘Adrian Peterson is a dick’. Think of it as my own version of Cards Against Humanity, but on a totally maccabe scale. I’m thinking that these should be collected at the end and read in front of everyone. The winner gets a free McDonald’s quarter pounder. Or perhaps I should have my funeral sponsored by a local bar that can donate free xeroxed coupons. That would be perfect. Continue reading My Funeral

Heartbreak and Afterwards

When you’ve had your heart broken…Well, at first, you look at it and question whether or not it’s really worth all the effort. You examine the remains of all that was you and gaze at the torn edges wondering if you could even begin to find how it all fit together in the first place.

After a while, you look around and see that others have done it. Inexplicably, these people have had their hearts torn apart but have somehow cobbled them back together. How did they do that?

So you gather a few pieces and compare the edges. Tears gather in your eyes as you view the complexity of it all. You knew your heart when it was whole, but somehow its completed shape, which you had taken for granted, escapes you. Even so, if you were somehow able to get it back together somehow, why would you ever put yourself in a place where it could so easily be shattered again? Continue reading Heartbreak and Afterwards

Too Much

For a long time, I’ve struggled with posting here. I used to think that it was because I’ve had writer’s block. But the truth is that I’ve had far too much to say, and the pipeline that I have is far too narrow to allow me to fully convey all that I want to say. I’ve struggled with it for so long. There is a veritble fire hose of words, a Niagara Falls of my thought process, that is stifled by my ability to convey it into text. Not to mention just a hint of self doubt that you’d even read my words and understand what I mean.

On The Middle East

I know where I stand in the world. It isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s where I stand. Take note.

Hamas is a bunch idiot cowards. I say that because only idiot cowards stockpile their arms in what is usually the refuge of innocents; hospitals and schools that, by and large, house those unable to defend themselves. Only when destruction rains down upon you can you parade those innocents in front of the cameras. Only then can you complain that you are the victims. Shame on you.

Israel is in no better position. Hamas fires rockets upon you, targeting civilians to inflict maximum damage upon innocent people to propel their own missive agenda. So, in return, you seek and destroy targets that you know house the ammunition of your demise, only to kill children. Defending yourself has become a public spectacle of mass murder of the innocent. But when it all boils down, you made that choice. You launched the weapons that ended the lives of children too young to understand that they’re being used a human propaganda to be paraded to cell phone cameras to be tweeted and posted for the world to see. Sick? Yes. But you fired those shots in retaliation. To make a stand. Continue reading On The Middle East

Full-Time, Full-Life Job

I heard a story on MPR that was done by a 17-year-old father. He was recounting how his life had changed since the birth of his daughter a year ago, as well as that of his family. His father took off after three of his own sons became fathers around 16 years old. He had a brief telephone interview with his dad, who said that he was always a phone call away and if they felt he wasn’t around enough that it was their own fault for not contacting him. It also briefly touched upon the young mother’s life, who was 19 at the time of the child’s birth. She cried as she told of how her father was never there as she grew up. She spoke of how jealous she was of friends whose fathers picked them up from places and gave them hugs when they needed them.

Overall, the story was good. This kid, who initially had no clue how to be a father, is making steps towards being a real part of his daughter’s life. Good on him. But the real lesson, I feel, needs to be underscored — and it goes for both sexes. Continue reading Full-Time, Full-Life Job

Hello Soldier

To fully appreciate the sacrifices you’ve made, I fear that my only chance at understanding would have been if I had donned the fatigues, picked up a weapon and fought alongside you. Had I come to know the horrors of war through your eyes, only then would truly identify with what you feel. I want to understand. A small part of me needs to understand, but it can never be so.

It would be all too easy for me to get on my podium and speak of the injustices that you suffered upon returning home in the tone of pointed shame and anger of a country and a government that seems to forget you the moment you return home. But we’ve all read the stories in the news by now. I feel it would almost be self serving to recount stories of battles with the VA, the feelings of rage, the emotional isolation, and the struggles of finding a way back to normalcy. Or even to sullenly recount the lives ended too quickly on foreign soils.

Just know that the vast majority of the people you fought for are so grateful to you. Wars in all corners of the world, spanning decades of history, and seemingly endless attitudes towards the very meaning of the act itself that covers the broadest of spectrums. Your sacrifice meant something to us. It meant everything to us. Even if we didn’t understand or agree on the premise of why you left us in the first place, it meant something priceless. You fought for those who, for a myriad of reasons, did not or could not fight for themselves.

Thank you, soldier. Thank you for laying down your life.