Archives For March 2004

today we get the keys for our apartment. ours. for the first time, we will officially be lessors, together. it`s been four weeks since i arrived and it`s been about settling in and even with all the expectations of things going wrong, three people unaccustomed to living together have found a rhythm. next week the rhythm changes again, for the better.

this weekend is the major moving but with keys in hand the boxes that have been packed and are in the process of packing are being transported by the carload.

with me still technically a non-person [no SS#] this is going to take a great deal fiscal juggling and worship at the great sacrificial altar of the household budget. i think we can do it however. we`ve been working at it and i think we can manage until i get full time work.

i have my fingerprint/photo/signature appointment at the local ins office next friday, bringing my existence as a person in the system closer to reality and taking some of the burden off vic. as much as i`m enjoying my times as a house husband, i`m feeling the baser imperative to being a provider.

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i don`t believe in reparations.

actually let me quantify that, i think the people that are most deserving and in dire need of reparations would be the remaining descendants of the tribes that were enslaved. these people lost at least four generations and are still feeling the effects.

there are a number of issues i have with reparations, primarily who`s footing the bill?  logically it would be the colonial powers, but who`s going to pay for that? the taxpayers? what about the taxpayers who are descended from slaves? should they have to pay? or the people that immigrated after the abolition of slavery?

should come out the pockets of businesses? are any of the business still in existence and do they pay less if they have the descendants of former slaves as stockholders?

which brings me to my other problem if the actual descendants of slaves [ie the people in the caribbean and the americas] are being compensated, how does that work? do you get more money if all your ancestors are black? or should get more if you`re of mixed descent because one of your ancestors may have been raped? what about people who voluntarily have mixed ancestry do they get less money?

why is there this perception by my people that something is owed to us? i mean, the same descendants of slaves from the caribbean move to the US, chase the dream and make something of themselves. but a lot of US born slave descendants just sit around talking about `the man keeping us down”

what are the differences that drive us?

caribbean people in the US are a standing joke of some sort, working three and four jobs and sending money home. that`s the ethos that we were brought up with, `hard work brings reward` but it seems to be fading for the illusion of the quick dollar. everyone wants that lucrative sports/music/movie deal but no one wants to put in the hard work it entails anymore. it`s owed to them.

nobody owes you anything until you get off your derriere and work for it.

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this is my first real spring, well if you can call it that, when it`s already in the high 70s [mid 20s for those of us accustomed to the metric system]. if i didn`t know what the temperature was, i can tell because of the change of attire. from the tops down on the convertibles to the skimpy shorts and the barely there tops on the college students.

another interesting development are the indigents. since i`ve been here i hadn`t seen any, now there are enough for me to recognise them and to see them getting rousted by the police. the change in the weather doesn`t bring out the best of people. does ticketing these people really help, if someone is living on the street, are they going to have enough money to pay a ticket? i don`t get it.

in the two days since the temperature warmed up i`ve seen a lot of flesh. i`m not a prude, by any stretch of the imagination. i enjoy the beauty of the human form, but sometimes i`d like something left to think about.

nakedness is sexy, but part of the sexiness is getting there. i must have forgotten what is is to me young, i don`t get it. i don`t see the need to wear shorts so miniscule and so tight that i can tell whether or not your labia`s pierced. i like boobies just as much as any other predominantly heterosexual man but there is a time and place for seeing aureola; during wardrobe malfunctions, tittie bars, porn [soft and hardcore varieties] and sexual encounters, not walking down the street because the top is so abbreviated. it`s just not sexy.

part of the attraction for me is the wrapping, there are few things sexier than undressing a woman, layer by layer, until she`s before in her naked glory. hot pants and halter tops eliminate part of that mystique, a woman in a full length skirt with a slit up to her knee and a man`s shirt sexier in my humble opinion. i guess it`s how i`m wired, it`s more mental than visual for me.

my moral compass doesn`t seem to be configured like everyone else`s. well not of late, anyway.

i`m for gay marriage and i also think what consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms is their own damn business. i`m pro-choice, but i don`t believe abortion should be used as a form of birth control. i support sex education for young people but believe they should try and wait until they`re older before having sex. i don`t think the war in iraq is justified, but i think saddam to be evil. i don`t believe in a welfare state, but i believe in fair pay for fair work. i don`t like bullies on any level.

there is a point to all this, bear with me.

at the end of april there is riverstages, here in nashville. the line up is fantastic, the price is phenomenally cheap. but i`m not going.

for the same basic reason i`m not seeing the passion either. i can`t willingly give money to an organisation or person whose policies or beliefs i don`t support.

the key sponsor of riverstages is clear channel and i have to say without compunction, that i abhor the way they do business. i`m not against big business per se, but the payola, the set playlists, the current witch hunt. it`s all just in poor taste and i can`t in good conscience give them my money. it would be for me condoning what they do.

i`ve said this before my moral high ground is an anthill, i try not to get sanctimonious and judgemental but there a certain things i can`t stand.

i understand that there are things that people will find offensive, i have a few, but that`s where choice comes in. if you don`t like what you see on the television or hear on the radio, you have a choice, you can change the station or turn it off. what`s right for you, isn`t necessarily right for me and because you scream the loudest doesn`t make it right either. neither does migh. that to me is clear channels greatest sin. they have the clout so they do as they please and because people are letting them slide, they`re going to continue.

my not going to the concerts is my humble way of saying, i don`t like what you`re doing. it may not seem like much but i`m not jaded enough to disbelieve that one man can make a difference.

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March 25, 2004 — Leave a comment

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in vino veritas

March 25, 2004 — Leave a comment

We are told the truth shall set us free but why is it that the truth is the only thing you have to sugar coat before someone will accept it? Why is it that most people can’t handle the truth? Shouldn`t the acceptance of truth be part of what strengthens our character?

i have what is construed as a bad habit of speaking my mind but it only seemed to apply to people i didn`t care about. i could lash out in the most horrendous way, using the truth as my cover but when it came to the people nearest and dearest to me, i would use avoidance or an outright lie.

i realised after a while it hurts more. so i try to go with the truth even though i know it will hurt knowing that if you cover it up, when finally does come out it will be some much more painful

i straddle a very fragile line, i believe. i`ve worked as a writer for more than one newspaper and i`ve provided advertising content. so i have an interesting perspective of the newspaper business.

it is a fragile line. 60% of an cosmopolitan newspaper is advertising and that`s a reasonable figure, in some markets it runs probably close to 75% and yes i`m pulling these figures off the top of my head, but open a newspaper and take a look at the ratio of advertising to editorial content.

the ratio is not a problem per se, newspapers cost a lot to print, as a self publisher, i know this fact first hand. the problems arise when with the threat of lost of revenue, management makes editorial decisions. this is not a two way street. it`s rare that the editorial department can refuse an ad, hell the editorial department doesn`t even know what ads are running. however if the story is big enough or controversial enough it will have to be vetted by the legal department and almost that will flag some management functionary who is more than likely to have the power to kill the story.

and as i`m observing here, press freedoms are slowly being eroded. and yes, i can say that, i come from a country ranked 5th for world press freedom. we may have managerial interference, but no political interference. most of the mainstream news sources here seem incapable or unwilling to report anything that will affect their bottom line or doesn`t sound like a government press release. fair and unbiased in the media are as quaint a concept as truth and justice is in government.

which in a roundabout way brings me to my point.

in this age of pseudo-journalists and propaganda and entertainment, masquerading as news programming in the electronic media, there was some hope for the stalwarts in print, but within the last year, there as been debacle after debacle of plagiarism, misrepresentation and downright fabrication from the bastions of our print media, well bastions is a strong word, but this was the last strong hold of what was good and true about journalism. the reporter following their story, not for glory but for the truth.

what irritates me even more about this is, instead of hiding in a corner or dying of shame and embarrassment, these, words escape me at the moment, have book deals and movies glorifying their wrongdoings. now there is another.

what sort of example are we setting? pretty soon journalism is going to become soley, the domain of alcholics, criminals and junkies. wait it already is. but some of the best and brightest have been flawed but they still upheld that basic principle: the truth must be told. the people of that era are dead and dying and all we`re left with are corporate lackeys disguised as editors, writers and english majors marking time in the media waiting for that  big book deal, cushy advertising or pr job. there is no commitment to the field, no driving need to present the truth in a fair and unbiased manner.

the fourth estate is dying being destroyed from within and without. choked by greed and the cancer of fast fame and fortune and there doesn`t seem to be anyway to save it.

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i love sex and luckily i`ve found someone i love having sex with. i`ve realised from my reading there seems to be a lot of miscommunication about sex and sexuality.

i`m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but would open intercourse lead to better intercourse? sex with vic is for the most part intuitive. we know what we want and we respond to each other but that doesn`t mean we don`t like to give or take instruction.

very early on, when sex was but a germ of an idea in our lascivious minds, we discussed what we did and didn`t like, what was never going to happen and the discussions haven`t stopped. there are still lines that wont be crossed but there have been some interesting and exciting developments.

it`s amazing but each and every time has been better. we`ve just gotten more and more comfortable and in tune with each other. the other crucial factor is trust, sexuality is a partnership, in more ways than one and you need to trust you partner.

once that`s established there is nothing that isn`t possible. fantasies and desires can become reality if the both of you are comfortable with it. if it`s only going to be fun for one of you don`t abuse the trust by harping on it. if it`s outside either of your absolutes it`s not even worth broaching and bringing it up is going to lead to some sense of betrayal. otherwise give it a try, after all, it`s only kinky the first time

rules for flying

March 21, 2004 — Leave a comment

in the last four years i`ve racked up quite a number of frequent flyer miles. actually i`ve been flying from about 2 weeks old. in that time i`ve learned a number of valuable lessons.

1. check in early. your bags get checked early, you get your choice of seats. and you get to avoid the gibbering idiots. you know the ones who missed their flight the day before and are on standby but insist on standing in line in the hopes that by doing so they will get on the already full flight.

1a. checking bags in early means when you arrive at your destination, you bags are off in the first 10 minutes. and most of the time it means your bags arrive with you. trust me on this, the only time i`ve not had a checked bag not arrive with me is my connecting flight from dc to nashville, when i checked my bags in again, after all the other people travelling on the flight.

1a. [i] always have an extra pair of underwear and a tee shirt, just in case your luggage doesn`t get there with you. i know most of the airlines offer you shit, but you know you prefer your own shit.

1b. if you can get an exit row seat, particularly if the flight is longer than 3 hours. the extra leg room more than makes up for the lack of reclining seats. depending on the aircraft you may get stuck close to the parents travelling with infants, they usually get the bulkheads. most of the time the children tend to be well behaved but be prepared for the occasional screaming brats. they too can be tuned out by good headphones or ear plugs.

2. fill out all your forms as soon as you get them, so that way you get to the counters with your form and you are out of there in no time.

3. for transatlantic travellers, try staying up the night before your flight so you can fall asleep on the plane. most west to east transatlantic flights leave late in the evening to facilitate an early morning arrival. if you sleep through most of the flight you can avoid jetlag and the ensuing distress to circadian rhythms. trust me on this as well. my first trip to london i spent almost a month trying to readjust my sleep cycle.

4. try to avoid caffeine and/or alcohol before very long flights. flying is dehydrating, caffeine and alcohol are diuretics which don`t help the situation. try to drink lots of water when you are awake on the flight, your body will thank you for it.

5. stretch. the exit row seating means you don`t have to clamber over people to get up, so when you`re awake, take a stroll and stretch.

6. pay the extra. the adage, you get what you pay for applies most truly to airlines. avoid charters and budget airlines when you can. the money you think you`re saving is not worth it in terms of stress and comfort. if you`re a student, sign up for STA travel, they offer really great rates.

7. sign up for frequent flyer programmes, there are bonuses like expedited check-in and boarding and if you do a lot of travelling, upgrades and the like.

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it probably not worth writing about.

a few months back i changed the style of my journal, nothing spectacular, nothing cosmetic. the major difference is in the content. i decided; admittedly after reading the smotlock opus on journalling; that some changes need to be made, i probably already knew what they were but that was the catalyst.

since then i`ve tried to limit my posts to one a day. i should point out that i don`t have anything against anyone who post more than once a day, it`s your journal and your prerogative, i`ve just found that simple rule works for me and i`ve tried to stick by it. i`ve found that i enjoy writing more and thinking about it, like this particular entry, which has been circulating for two days, helps me flesh the idea out, so when i sit at the keyboard, i`m not blank and lose my train of though.

although, even that is no guarantee. as the adage goes `the road to hell is paved with good intentions` and all the idea and structure for this entry went to hell in a handbasket after the last paragraph. i think it has to do with the writing style, where i try to follow a thought to it`s conclusion and get distracted by other sometimes brilliant thoughts or as this proves, not so brilliant. i`m typing this hoping the original thought will return.

aha, the other thing i was going to talk about is the lack of capitalisation in my journal. i don`t do capitals or is that capitalism? my favourite aspect of design is typography and even then i tend to design around lower case. i like the shape and character of lower case letter. i don`t know what font most people who read this blog see, but i chose a well formed serif font, which is quite easy to read in all lower case.

join me next time when i`ll discuss rules of punctuation. not.

well that`s my contribution for the day, my wife is in the kitchen making scones and then we`re off to pick up the boychick from the grandparents.

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