Archive for the ‘life’ Category

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Grad Shool Application Anticipation

May 10, 2009

So on Monday the application committee will begin reviewing the prospective grad students and handing out recommendations which, in perfect bureaucratic symmetry, are considered both binding and mere suggestions, depending on which office you talk to. From what I gather, if the poli sci department recommends me for admission, I’m golden. And now I wait…

While I wait, there’s plenty to do, including figuring out how to trick myself into asking that cute girl in film class out. Why can’t I be free to hate the world and everyone in it in peace? Why must I keep developing crushes? And I’ve got to keep looking for a job. People are still hiring these days; the problem is that I’m always but one of hundreds begging for the job.

And then there’s all that other stuff. that stuff that is huge and important and life-altering that I cannot talk about here. Not yet, anyhow.

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Christianity vs. Paganism: Which is Better?

March 5, 2009

I want to state up front that I am an atheist of the kind that feels comfortable affirmatively stating that there is no god. I do not believe in spirits, souls, angels, demons, or any of that crap. Same deal with magic and “magick,” which contrary to popular opinion in some circles is not made more potent or impressive by the addition of a “k” at the end. Any sentence relating to the healing powers of crystals makes me skip right over the article.

But if I had to choose a religion, and we’re talking gun-t0-the-head pressure here,  my two real options would be Christianity or Paganism. The first is a viable option because Christianity has been drilled into my head since I was an infant, so it’s a more comfortable set of meaningless superstitions for me to adhere to than say, Judaism or Hindu. And the second is an option because, as religious symbols go, it doesn’t get much more bitchin’ than a pentagram. 

Christianity, as best I understand it, can be generally summarized as:

There is a god. He is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent. He created the Universe and everything in it, for a purpose that he refuses to explain. Perhaps doing so would spoil the surprise. This god, in his omnibenevolence, decided to create a race of people who rape and murder each other on a regular basis. He does not tell us why he allows this to continue, but assures us that it is all part of his plan and he loves all of us. Even the murderous rapists. Or something.  This god sent his son, who was also himself, but not really, down to earth to become a political dissident and get executed by the Roman Empire, and this somehow sets the stage for our redemption. This redemption is needed, because any failure to request it through the proper channel (accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior) is grounds for being sentenced to an eternity of torment by the omnibonevolent and infinitely forgiving god who rules over us.  A desire to stand and be judged on our own merits and our own faults, without the thumb of Jesus on the scale is, depending on who in the faith you ask, misguided, foolhardy, arrogant, brave, or exactly what is required. In some denominations, people born before Jesus’ arrival are SOL, as are people born in parts of the world where Christianity does not have enough freedom of operation to explain the contract to everyone involved. In other denominations, it doesn’t really matter one way or the other, because Heaven’s guest list is already finalized and we’re all living out a meaningless farce. And common among many, many denominations is the implicit understanding that Thou Shalt Not Kill does not apply to your behavior if your government issues you a waiver. 

Paganism, as best I understand it, can be generally summarized as:

Nature is a powerful force that shapes our world. Sometimes nature is friendly, sometimes nature is cruel. We need nature, but nature does not need us. For these reasons and more, we must respect nature, and afford it a place of honor and worship. It is acceptable and encouraged to value our own lives and joy, but we must never assign a human life an infinitely higher value than any other life, as all living things are holy. There are many variations and subbranches of modern paganism, but in general, they tend to agree with the above statements.

 

Maybe I’m mistaken about the positions of these two religions, and if I am, feel free to correct me. But as far as I can tell, Pagans beat the snot out of Christians as far as internal consistency and correlation to observable reality is concerned. So victory: Pagans! It’s not even close.

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Birth of a Meme? Please?

February 3, 2009

I have introduced a new phrase to the Internet via real-world interaction. Go forth, and make “The Cave of Naked Boomers” a meme.

Oh yeah, and there’s also a Q&A with the writer of the recent BSG episode “The Oath” in there, too.

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Arctic Doom!

December 20, 2008

It’s been snowing for 11 hours now. Most of the snow from the last storm had melted by late yesterday, but now there’s at least 5 inches on the ground outside my apartment. The temperature has been struggling to get above freezing for a week now, and it looks like we’ve got at least another week to go. Right now it’s maybe 16 or 17 degrees outside.

I was going to get together with Dad’s side of the family for Christmas, but he’s snowed in at his girlfriend’s place. A quick look at the radar maps confirms that he is indeed getting the shit kicked out of him.

I was amused by how much the local news was freaking out about the weather before, but another week of this and I might start getting concerned. As long as my electricity holds out, I’ll be fine. But if it fails I’m going to need to find someplace else to sleep for the duration of the storm.

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It’s a Fucking Miracle!!

September 29, 2008

Two weeks of 5 days working and 2 days off…twice in a ROW!! HOLY SHIT!

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Not What It Was Cracked Up to Be

September 3, 2008

My job sucks. We are chronically understaffed, and yet I can’t count on being able to work 40 hours in 5 days. How is that possible? How am I supposed to afford rent and food if I might work 40 hours one week, but only 20 the next? I have to fill in shifts on my days off to make up the difference. I have no idea what our health care plan is like, since I don’t qualify for it for another 4 months, but I hope it’s good because my parent’s coverage runs out at the end of the month. I have at least 3 drugs I need to take every day to function. Where the hell am I supposed to come up with the money for them on my own? Where am I supposed to find a health insurance company that will cover me with my medical history being so bad? I’m looking for a new job, but there aren’t a lot of places hiring people with my level of experience and qualifications, and the ones who will don’t seem to be the kind of place that’s going to offer me a benefits package that includes prescription coverage.

I’m fucked. I was hoping to stay in Portland for at least 2 years before I tried going to Japan to teach English, but if things don’t improve, I might have to try sooner. Who knows if I’ll be able to afford living in my own country?

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Whew!

August 28, 2008

And I can breathe a sigh of relief. I was sure Obama was going to catch a bullet tonight, but he didn’t. I wish I could have been at home and watching it live, but thems the breaks.