Monday, June 30, 2008


It's nine in the morning and I am not looking forward to unloading the truck today. I get there at ten, wait for the truck to get there till about noon, throw the rollers in and roll the boxes off the truck. The cardboard tends to make the stockroom claustrophobic, then it's a monotonous process of cutting the taped up slits of the boxes and throwing away styrofoam and wanting to go home.

When I get home, I think I'm going to watch eps. 6-7 of The Wire Season 3. Easily my favorite show right now.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Starting out, I want to say two things:

1) Writers get paid shit. Unless you are in the top 5-10%, you don't make money. If I remember correctly, Brian Keene did the math. Hours spent writing divided by how much money an author makes = about $1.82 an hour. Maybe it was David Morrell. The logical step after this, of course, is that all writers need "a day job" until they get to the point (which for some, is never) when they can write full-time.

2) The need for a day job is a tricky thing. On one hand, I'd like to be able to make a little coin. Not sweet coin, per se, but coin nonetheless. $30 grand a year sounds good. I make $12 grand now, and with help from my grandparents, who pay for my gas (about $100 a month) my insurance (a lot of money), and so far a majority of my school, I usually have about $200 in the bank after every paycheck. In my mind, $30 grand would be fine. The mistakes people make happen when they want too much. They start to make $50 or $60 thousand and they realize: "Hey...I can afford to buy a HOUSE. I can have CHILDREN. I can buy a fucking BOAT." And then problems start. With $30 to $40 grand a year, plus the same from Rios, I'd be able to pay for pretty much everything in my life (bills, car and health insurance, etc.) and live comfortably. I have high aspirations for myself, but I've never associated my "self" with what I can own, so comfortable is modest. My point is that I'd like to make money and live comfortably and do a job that I like.

Both those points are starters for me discussing the conversation I had with my grandfather today. I love the man. He is intelligent and logical. But he and I differ in one extremely important way: He believes you should do what will make you money, and I believe in doing what you love.

He is staunch in his opinion. When I gave him the example of "not wanting to go to work for a paper-clip factory" he sighed and said that a valuable skill to develop is to be able to learn to love what you do, instead of doing what you love to begin with. I could not disagree with this more. It's fundamentally wrong to me. How can you do something you hate for your entire youth to make money to spend when you're past your prime? Ignorance of the future is silly, but offering up your present life like a sacrificial lamb to the god of the Future is fucking stupid. If you train yourself to hate the now at this moment, you'll hate the now just as much when it's five years in the future. You'll develop that, "Happiness is just around the corner" mentality and you will ALWAYS be rounding that corner.

I made an effort to compromise. I said I had an epiphany earlier today, which I did. I was getting life coaching from my boss, and she threw out that maybe I could be a teacher. A teacher! Yes! I would like to teach community- or university-college kids some shit that I think is cool. I tossed that out to my grandfather and he sighed, again, and said that he was a professor because he'd had years of experience in the military. They offered him $55,000 for his first year contract, he said, and the yearly pay of the English and Philosophy types was only $35,000/year. I kept it to myself that I thought that was perfect pay. Riffing off of that, he told me flat out: "I don't think that you have the social skills to be a teacher. I don't think you'd be any good at it."

Further discussion revealed that he felt my talents would best be put to use as a lawyer. I was listening intently, eager to hear what exactly I was good at. "You're a good writer," he said. "You're a good reader and you research well. You'd be good at figuring out the law and using it to help the impoverished." He went on to appeal to my hippy side, saying that there were people out there that needed help and that I was the guy to do it.

The cliche has come full circle. We beat around the bush for a while, sort-of lying to each and sort-of playing it cool. But now the shit is all laid out on the table:

I want to be an artist and he wants me to be a lawyer. I don't care about money beyond its practical implications and he sees it as the end-all-be-all measure of success. Life is hilarious.

After I get my bachelor's, maybe I'll see what's up with law. I respect the hell out of my grandfather, and I'm also an advocate of "Gray Areas". Usually a healthy balance is needed. I will live my life as I want to, but I will never be an impenetrable douche-bag fortress, closed off to even the best of suggestions.

I work retail at the mall. I genuinely like my work and the people I work with. It takes up about 35-40 hours of my week, usually. I deal. I still write. Getting a serious job wouldn't take up any more time, even if it tried to. I'll write and do the best I can with that, but I won't ignore the pragmatic side of life. Money is important. But it's not everything.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

jesus thinks it's okay to be gay

I was in Hastings today and Mom called me and said she had a funny story that reminded her of me.

To wit:

"I was in my Bible class and an old guy, about 75 stood up and ranted about homosexuals, how they were doing this and that and blah blah and how he'd like to take them and just..." (the elipse here is supposed to imply something, I don't know, maybe the forcible shaking of the lord into them) And John (the Elder of the church) stopped him and said, 'But...' and the old man got quiet and John said, 'Jesus wants us to love them anyway. To treat them as equals.' And this old guy goes, 'Well, I just can't', and I thought, oh come on. Bigoted old man."

And my mother is right. This gentleman is a bigoted old man. The story reminded her of me because I have a sore spot when it comes to people using their religion to condemn people who don't do any harm to anybody else. I think she called me because she knew it would get me going, and she wanted to hear the pro-homo side of the argument. I think it was her roundabout way of admitting that I was right, in a discussion we'd had months ago about homosexuality, in which she decided to acknowledge my points whilst still clinging to that outdated POV that being queer is "just wrong."

I'll tell you like I told her: Jesus never said that being gay is wrong. Never. Paul did, and even that is debatable.

The verses used to decry homosexuality, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 are the subject of debate among scholars of ancient Greek. The word that's supposed to mean gay is "arsenokoitai". You'll notice "koi" in there, as in "coitus", and "arse", which everyone knows is the stupid way Brits say "ass". The retarded leap would be to propose that arsenokoitai means "no butt sex". But of course, it doesn't. Arse in the ass sense is Old English, first recorded in the 1400s, though it is cognitive to the Greek orros. The real meaning of "arse", or "arsen", is "male. " And koi, though etymologically related to coitus, doesn't mean "fuck", it literally means "bed." So it translates roughly to "male-bedders." Still sounds pretty gay, right?

But here's where the disagreement comes in. You see, at that time, Paul was whining about the rampant prostitution of males in the Temples. Every time the word "arsenokoitai" is used in ancient Greek, it's not referring to simple homosexuality. It's referring the "homosexual slave trade" or those traded within. There are plenty of words that could have been used if Paul meant "straight-up gay". "Pais" is a good example. This one usually meant a young boy servant who was also his master's lover, as opposed to normal slaves, or "duolos". Still kind of similar to "arsenokoitai", but a little more interesting in that Jesus once healed what Matthew describes as the "pais" of a Roman centurion, the one that told Jesus all the prophet needed to do was say the world and his butt-boy would be healed. Jesus was like, "Damn, you've got faith," and healed the little gay kid. That's Matthew 9:10-12.

Another interesting point here, in the NT adultery is mentioned 47 times, and homosexuality (and questionable homosexuality at that) is mentioned twice. Even if the verse was clear cut, it's evident that these guys didn't give too much of a crap about homos. And the OT is old covenant, washed away by the teachings of Jesus. I don't think you all use that for much besides a historical record, anyway. More on that in a second.

On top of all this, there is even more debate about whether certain verses in the King James Bible were translated to condemn homosexuality because King James himself was a flaming homosexual, and his staff didn't like the influence his lovers had on the court.

Finally, and this should be the final word, Jesus said not to judge, and to love your enemies. Even if he came out and said, "Don't be gay", you'd STILL have to love your neighbor. You STILL couldn't judge them. And remember, the only way for a Christian to get into heaven is through Christ. That means you need to listen to the man himself, and leave gays alone. Let them get married, and stop being so weirded out.

But don't let them commit adultery. Stone them for that shit.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Gotta quit using "just". It's even starting to bother me in my blog writings, which normally I don't care a ton about. I pretty much write like I talk, here, and anyone who's talked to me for any length of time knows that a conversation with me tends to stay pretty simple and light on fancy vocab, and it'll probably end up revolving around poop or dick. Even so, I'm tired of using the word "just".

"Just" is easy to slip into your daily speech, much like its eviler twin, "very." Unlike "very", however, "just" has two unique ways that it can fuck with you:

1) For some reason, we as humans need to constantly reiterate the fact that something occurred in the recent past: "Did you just see that? That bitch just told me she just bought this and she should be able to return it. She just dropped it." We get it. It's recent. Drop the J-bombs.

2) Not only can you use it in the typical adverbial sense, but you can also end your sentences with it, usually followed by an elipse. "That bitch, she thinks she can talk to me like that, I just..." And then I have the perfect opportunity to trail off into righteously indignant speechlessness, a state that I love to be in at my worst.

Got to stop that shit.

Unrelated note: Did you know you can hide that section of your Myspace profile that shows how everyone's feeling? Hooray! No more semi-dramatic non-sequiturs! "~*Failure*~ is giving up before it's too late... Mood: thoughtful." What was at first an interesting way of keeping up with/spying on your friend's daily goings-on has once again been overrun by douchebags. Clicked and hidden.