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Good rant!

My friend Patrick goes on a rant:

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I've about had it with so-called "Christians." Who the fuck do these people think they are? How can someone call him/herself Christian when he/she has zero Christ-like qualities?

The morning prayer in the Senate was, for the first time, a Hindu prayer. You know how our country has freedom of religion. You also know that our founding fathers were not Christians, but rather Deists. And you must also know that Jesus did not advocate being an asshole to people of other faiths. In fact, that's contradictory to his message. Yet three Senate members rudely interrupted the Hindu prayer. Let's call this Exhibit A:



Then we have the anti-stem cell research, anti-abortion, anti-pulling-tubes-out-of-vegetables, "culture of life" that Jesus apparently had a problem with. I'm not going to jump into the abortion debate on Biblical grounds, because deciding what constitutes murder is a very personal thing and you could argue it either way. I'd rather point out that fundamentalist Christians overwhelmingly supported the war in Iraq and the death penalty. Why is killing an innocent fetus wrong, but killing an innocent Iraqi is good? Why is it good Christian values to kill a convicted criminal, even though Jesus condemns violence (or even ill will) against someone who has wronged you? Let's call the 3,000 dead Americans and the 50,000+ dead Iraqi civilians Exhibit N.

Let's tackle homosexuality next. Isn't it a little strange that so many Christians claim homosexuality is a sin, even though Jesus details several kinds of sexual immorality, but doesn't manage to mention homosexuality even one time? Go ahead and look through one of those Bibles that puts Jesus' words in red text to make it even easier on yourself: Jesus has no problem talking about sexual immorality. He has big issues with sexual immorality, but never once indicates a single thing about homosexuality. He doesn't even gently suggest it in any way. Not a single word. So who are all of these Christians saying it's a sin? Let's call this missing scripture Exhibit C.

To wrap up my argument, Jesus plainly said to let he without sin cast the first stone. Going along with Jesus' theory that everyone sins, it would appear that Jesus is saying STOP JUDGING OTHER PEOPLE. YOU LIVE YOUR OWN DAMN LIFE AND LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE ALONE. But this still leaves me wondering, if there are one billion Christians on this planet, where the fuck are they? I have met only a handful of Christians who are even remotely Christ-like. It's really fucking easy to wear a cross, say you're Christian, believe Christ died for your sins, etc. but by looking at exhibits A, N, and C, you'll find that Ain't Nobody Christian. I can't wait for the fucking rapture so Jesus can come back down and look at all six billion of us and say, "You guys are idiots. Fuck all of you," and leave alone.

p.s. -- I suspect all of the popes are merely Satan in disguise... and what a poor disguise it is.

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Last week I thought about picking up the Bible and reading it through, having never done that (and know very little about the book). This week, I still think I have better things to do than learn about Christianity.

How can you not love this man?

Friend 1: I'd love to try shabu shabu

Friend 2: I don't even know what that means and I'm too lazy to look it up

Aaron: Basically, the restaurant's hostess arms you with a slingshot and five stones ranging from rough, large rocks to smoothly polished beach pebbles. One person in your group randomly gets a spherical blue stone made of azurite. This stone is known as the 'lingam' and the person with the stone is called the 'Avatar of Tarsus'. They then lead you to a large room about the size of a racquetball court that's loaded with feral bush creatures. You take turns shooting at the animals in the menagerie. Once you're all out of ammunition, you pick the three most delectable animals. The chef than dresses the corpses in front of you and the waitstaff throws the internal organs to the other animals in the menagerie while monotone chanting characters used in the I Ching. If the chef finds the lingam while dressing a corpse, the Avatar of Tarsus eats for free.

You are then led to your table, which is a large donut-shaped round table about knee height. You sit on cushions around the table with your legs folded underneath you.

The dressed corpses are roasted over an open pit fire in the center of the round table. Each person is given a thin trident and a tree pruner to shear chunks of meat off the charred corpses as they cook. The Avatar of Tarsus has the only sharp pruner; everyone else's is intentionally dulled ahead of time, resulting in less clean cuts of meat and a messier experience. If any person except the avatar drops a meat chunk into the fire, they must complete their meal in silence, eyes downcast. If the avator drops meat into the fire, all persons seated at the table toast the person to the right. Once the meal is complete, a traditional after-dinner frozen mint drink is served to cleanse the palate.

The custom of shabu-shabu originated in Ghengis Khan's army after they had raided a rye silo contaminated with ergot.

-Edit-
Friend #3: Where does the Fired Spicy Jumbo Tentacles(spicy) fit in? Does the
Avatar of Tarsus get these? http://www.kazeshabushabu.com/menu.html

Aaron: You have to specify that you want "Hentai Shabu" to the hostess. Then you're led into the Lovecraft room, which has different creatures that can be shot with the slingshot.

However, you have to sign a waiver first, since the creatures in the Lovecraft room have natural weapons that can easily overwhelm your paltry slingshot.
I'm actively aging today and don't feel any particular way about it.
My friend Chris is so popular that I can't get him to hang out with me, even on my birthday. He didn't even have time to give me credit for this comment:
"I'm going to have a brownie to fill the Chris Brown void in my life."
But I needed to document this so some of you out there can appreciate just how lame I get every year, as I grow closer to death.

Funniest thing today:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Q5im0Ssyyus

"Shun the non-believer! Shuuuuuuuunnnnn....Nuh."

Happy day, folks.

Guess I'll be alright

Week three at my new job and I’ve been shown hundreds of knots but have had to figure out the shoe myself, to understand how they all fit together. It’s a little frustrating and a lot confusing, but I’m making my way through this stuff steadily. My co-workers are fantastic and super helpful whenever I do ask a question, but I’m having a hard time asking questions because they’re all so busy all the time. I also discovered that I have some serious responsibilities that affect stations nation-wide, which is totally intimidating. One of my coworkers asked how I’m liking my job and I said “I feel like I’m making a difference.” He looked surprised. Maybe he thought I was ass-kissing.

Worked on a couple of tickets today and got this back from a client:

“Angie--Thank you so much for that full and informative reply. NEVER have I had a response as swift as yours. It's great PR for NPR.”

Good news, yes, except I don’t work for NPR and it’s funny how people continue to confuse the two (in fact, I did so myself). Goes to show that PRI/PI needs PR more than we realized. That’s the skinny on the jobby-job.

I love my brother. I gave him the shoelace analogy (“If you want to teach someone how to tie a shoelace, first you gotta tell them what a shoe is and where it goes. So far I’ve been shown knots…”) and he said “Great. Now tell me what’s really going on without the shoe part because I’m not stupid.” And when I did that and explained a bit more of my responsibilities, he said, “OH, so you have to actually READ now.” Such a smartass.

Other news: Aaron and I have been super active socially. Danny P. is now a Cambridge resident and I see him often, which is fantastic. John/Nate/Mel are also moving to the area in September, and we’ll hang out with them regularly, I’m sure. I met some of Alice’s friends at a Boston Scavenger Hunt, for which our team came in third place (out of five teams, so it isn’t a big deal but it was fun). Last Thursday we grabbed dinner with Maija, which led us to meeting a few really fantastic people and some incredible jazz. This weekend we’re away to a beach house to celebrate Pete’s 30th, next weekend I’m likely to be in NYC with Danny P, the weekend after that our new housemate Alex moves in, and the following weekend we fly down to see tbons get married. So tightly booked, and I love it.

And I just heard there is a new Taiwanese restaurant that just opened even closer to our apartment than the only Taiwanese place that I know of in Chinatown. Competition! I shall be the judge.

This is kind of a big deal

I got a "Big-Girl" job.

As of August 1st I will be an Arts and Culture Product Manager at Public Interactive, a subsidiary of PRI. It will be my first ever salary position, comes with great benefits, casual work environment, with the possibility of working from home in the future.

It's making me a little giddy, but I am a bit nervous, too. The start date that I've agreed to means that I won't be able to give my current employer a two-week notice like I wanted to, so suddenly (as I'm about to leave) I'm swamped with work, writing up a bunch of manual and procedures that will help them train the next customer service monkey. It's tedious work but it's the least I could do.

The nicest thing about getting this job is the fact that I don't have to worry about how I'm going to pay my student loans. I'll be able to pay them, and then some, which means that as long as I'm good at this job and am able to keep it, I can start saving for bigger things (like a better piano...what, did you think I was going to say 'a house?' Well, maybe that, too, later) in my future.

So where does this put my Suzuki piano teaching? I think I will continue to advertise and maybe get some students around my work hours. I'm still very interested in teaching Suzuki piano, and I'm not willing to drop it after all the energy I've put into it. Plus I know I'll be good at it, and doing things that I'm good at makes me like me, and who in their right mind would say no to that?

If anybody is interested in what Public Interactive does and what I will be doing for them, ask and I shall deliver.

"Getting so much better all the time..."

Throw me a bone

How do these things happen?

"OH NOES!"
"O RLY?"

Somebody has got to know.

Hurry up and wait

Five teacher training workshops plus one introductory course all in 16 months while finishing a degree; what in the world was I thinking?

Now that I'm a trained Suzuki piano teacher for Books 1-4 and have finished all the website building stuff for the studio, I wait. I suppose more advertising couldn't hurt, but man, I'm tired. Everybody has been supportive and encouraging, but this waiting around is just hard, and it isn't something that I have control over if I wanted to speed it up. A couple of days ago I got an e-mail from an interested parent, who wanted to observe my lessons over the summer. I had to write her to explain that I'm a new teacher, which is why I'm offering a free lesson so that she could decide whether I'll be a good match for her child...and now I wait and see if she'll at least give me a chance to prove myself. My brother is right - I need a mug shot of myself on the website. People want to see who they're dealing with, and maybe they can tell by my photo that I'm a (usually) pretty nice person.

Next project: a site for my web design business. I made some contacts over the last few days at the training workshop, and may get a web design gig out of it, besides just networking within the Suzuki community. I want to build a nice site that has all my design projects in one place. I've been working on a logo for the past week or so, and nothing has really jumped out at me. I suppose that I should think of a name first, and right now I'm working with www.ydesigns.com, which has no ring to it at all. It's hard to be creative - my 'art' never seems good enough.

At these workshops I discovered that kids seem to like me ok. I can almost always get the younger ones (3-6) to smile or grin back at me, and the older ones (10-12) like my brightly colored shoes (which was followed by a discussion about shoes). I'm still learning how to talk to children, and it's a bit weird. Some of these teachers I met are SUPER good at it..they always know the best things to say. I find that I get nervous and babble, until everybody is just a little bit uncomfortable...then I sort of make my exit. Luckily I've been doing most of my talking with the parents, and those conversations are mostly fairly normal.

I also discovered that I know jack shit about music. Here's a reference point: Imagine the body of my musical knowledge as a human form. There is a universe full of information out there that I know nothing about, equivalent to the size of...well, the universe. And then there are also microscopic elemental concepts within what I thought I knew, equivalent to the size of atomic particles. And then this universe is just the "Classical" Music Sector. There are multiple universes out there, and all I know of them are little bits and piece...like the Progressive Metal Universe, or the Singer/Songwriter Universe, or the Jam Band Universe, the Electronica Universe, (and this is just within Western Music History) and each of them has their multiple galaxy systems with mini star systems and planets and moons and little itty bitty (possibly) humanoids of bodies of music that I know nothing about. I hope I'm still making some sense here. The point is - I know very, very little. And I'm going to (hopefully) have students that will look to me for guidance. It's sort of frightening, and a heavy load. How can I possibly be a successful teacher, with so little knowledge?

So I go on in this mind loop for a while, then I make a conscious decision to put all of it aside and do one thing at a time - Wait. 'Cause with no students, all of this stuff is just unnecessary stress.

I was afraid to take this silly quiz

So I forgot to put my name in.


















V V V

1421 BC: An Emperor’s Bitch
494 AD: A monk
1903 AD: A Writer
'What were you in your past lives?' at QuizGalaxy.com

There was also this

Aaron and I went down to RI to see his family over the weekend. Aaron's brother John and John's good friend Silas went for a bike ride yesterday in the middle of the woods and quiet country streets. Upon their return I made the comment that, "Hey Silas, I'm glad to see you guys are wearing helmets."

Silas said, "Of course. We're dumb, but we're not that dumb."
Well, I told him, there are many many cylists are just that dumb, riding in the Boston area.

Then John took Aaron and I fishing. That was neat. We saw a beaver, a turtle, a bunch of annoying screaming teenagers with one dumb dog, and a nice older gentleman with two beautiful dogs. Aaron and John each caught two little fish, I sat and read a bunch of Terry Pratchett. Maybe next time I'll try fishing.

Feels like Florida, without central air.

Very hot out. I may have browned a bit yesterday.

Browsing around on ebay I found this small company who sells some clothing that were interesting to me. I liked the colors, the styles, and even (some of) the prices. Certain styles they had ran from sizes X-Small to XL, and then they had other styles which ran as 'plus sizes' clothing, XL and up. So I noticed that all the styles that I enjoyed were for plus sizes. When I tried to determine why that is, it occurred to me that most of their XS-XL sizes clothing were one of the following:

1. A tube top
2. A spaghetti strapped tank top
3. a halter top
4. some sort of neckline that involves sharing cleavage with the world

The stuffed I liked? Short sleeve shirts with cool prints, simple cut, higher necklines, those are all reserved for the plus sizes.

I found this slightly irritating. I don't like tube tops. I'd rather not wear spaghetti strapped tank tops. I will not wear halter tops. And I happen to not want to share my not-really-there-anyway-cleavage with the world. Never mind that it is entirely inappropriate to wear any of the above, while hovering over a young student at my piano. Shopping sucks.

I'm at work, and I can't concentrate. Sitting here makes me feel like I'm wasting my life away. I've been thinking about mortality, and sometimes I get really, really scared. Not of death, but of Not-Living. I don't know if that makes any sense; I guess I'm not concerned about "What happens after?", but about "I don't get to try this again." I don't want to mess this up, but working here feels like I'm doing this wrong.

The set up for my studio is pretty much done. I’ve been advertising for the last couple of weeks. No calls, no e-mails yet, but I suspected as much because people are on vacation (which I don't exactly understand, because the weather in Boston just got nice enough to be doing stuff outside) and all the parents and children are out of town. About 80% of people who knows that I've recently finished my studio's website have asked me "so do you have any students yet?" in the last two weeks. Every time I answer "No," it makes me feel like I'm doing this wrong.

My mom turns 60 tomorrow. I should give her a call. I don't actually know where she is right now, but I hope she has her cell phone with her. Does this make me a bad daughter? I don't know. But when I'm reminded of our relationship, it makes me feel like I'm doing this wrong.

I missed the Boston Pride Parade because it was raining, and by chance landed myself near the Providence Pride Parade, but missed that, too, on account of another interesting cultural event. Did I do that wrong? I don’t know. But it always feels like I’m doing something wrong and I’m pretty sure that’s the core issue.

One more thing – I’ve been missing Toftie a lot. She’s just super, you know? One of those people in your life that makes you go “Hee.”