Archives For February 2005

conform, consume, obey

February 26, 2005 — Leave a comment

List of the top 110 banned books. Bold the ones you`ve read. Italicize the ones you`ve read part of. Underline the ones you specifically want to read (at least some of). Read more. Convince others to read some.

#1 The Bible

#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

#4 The Qur`an

#5 Arabian Nights

#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

#11 The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli

#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker

#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin

#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne

#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

#23 Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

#25 Ulysses by James Joyce

#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell

#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

#29 Candide by Voltaire

#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

#31 Analects by Confucius

#32 Dubliners by James Joyce

#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal

#36 Das Capital by Karl Marx

#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

#43 The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx

#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding

#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys

#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus

#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X

#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker

#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke

#60 Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck

#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau

#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais

#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

#69 The Talmud

#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau

#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

#75 Separate Peace by John Knowles

#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck

#78 Popol Vuh

#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith

#80 Satyricon by Petronius

#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright

#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu

#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle

#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin

#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner

#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud

#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown

#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines

#102 Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau

#103 Nana by Émile Zola

#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin

#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck

#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark

#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

If you have an e-mail address you probably received unwanted e-mail of some sort, this is known as spam or junk mail. There is no sure fire way to stop spam, but these pointers may help reduce the amount of messages you have delete on a daily basis.

1. Create a separate e-mail address for signing for lists or online services.

Spammers tend to trawl mailing lists and online discussion boards for addresses, by creating another e-mail address you can ensure your main address is smothered by unwanted e-mails.

2. Use a service like BugMeNot (

BugMeNot is a service created to bypass logging into websites like the New York Times that require compulsory registration and/or the collection of personal/demographic information.

3. Blind CC your forwards.

Actually this guideline was initially, don`t forward anything, but that would be almost impossible to convince people to do. But to prevent spamming yourself, your friends and family, use the BCC or Blind CC field to address bulk e-mails thus ensuring privacy.

4. Use your address book

Most, if not all e-mail applications; even the free online ones; include an address book. Using the address book to keep the e-mail addresses of your friends and family address, as well as the mailing list administrators; if you`re on mailing lists, allows the junk mail filter of these applications to work more efficiently. If an e-mail shows up from someone not in your address book it will get flagged as junk.

5. Don`t click the remove button

A lot of spam comes with an option that offers to stop sending or remove you with a simple click. In an ideal world that would work, but most spammers are operating illegally, so clicking on that button only confirms your e-mail address is valid and causes more spam.

If your current e-mail account is already overwhelmed by spam, now might be the time to set up a new account; using the current account as the spam catcher; implementing these rules and see how your inbox fares.

we have an opportunity to clear up a financial albatross but; there is always a `but` isn`t there; i can`t get a loan from our bank to make the settlement because i have no credit.

i don`t exist, well at least until about 9 months ago, i didn`t pay bills, i had no debt, no social security number. i haven`t lived anywhere long enough, i haven`t worked anywhere long enough, so i`m a non-person. vic has a credit history but isn`t working full time anywhere and doesn`t qualify. i`m hoping to hear from our bank today to see if our combined job/credit history situation is good enough for us to settle the credit card and repay the bank at a significantly lower interest rate.

this whole concept of existence based on your social security number smacks very much of the mark of the beast. who you are and what you can and cannot do based on a series of number is a more than a little distressing.

of girls and women

February 23, 2005 — Leave a comment

i live in a town with at least two major college campuses which means there is no shortage of nubile young bodies on display, however i`ve come to realise that i prefer my eye candy, mature.

the most attractive and interesting women i`ve seen have been mothers. they are for the most part comfortable in their own sexuality and their own bodies. there is none of this need to show off their new bodies to every passer-by.

maybe i`m weird but i don`t see the fascination and fixation on young girls. or maybe it`s because i have daughters, i`d like my eye candy to be outside their age group and that of their idols.

there is also something to be said for the curves of womanhood. i like women lush and curvy which is not something you see in the average college student, i think it`s something that comes with motherhood.

what can you teach me?

February 22, 2005 — Leave a comment

i`m realising that until i have a piece of paper that says i can colour within the lines, i`m going to be stuck within my current salary range. doesn`t matter i have 13 years experience in my field and i could probably teach some of the course work, i have to go back to school and get a degree so i can even begin to get paid what i`m worth.

i did one year of university, then i dropped out, because it bored me and at the end of the day it was my money i was spending. now here i am 14 years later and one of the only wise decisions i made in those halcyon days is biting me in my ass.

the concept of starting as an undergraduate just angers me. there is a dedicated art and design school here and they don`t even accept CLEP credits. and that`s another problem, there is no CLEP exam that would enable me to skip the fundamentals of design. of course there is another option; Central St. Martin`s in London offers an MFA programme with a minimum entry requirement of three years design experience, a portfolio they deem worthwhile and £20,000 or US$35K a year. not happening right now, but i can`t dream can`t i?

if i could find that kind of money, i would work my ass for the year and a semester that it takes to complete the programme, especially in the typography pathway.

HST is gone. and it`s affecting me more than i expected.

the first thing of his i ever read was the Great Shark Hunt and from that moment i was hooked. i wanted to write like that when i grew up, i still do. my interest and understanding of American football and politics were pretty much shaped by his writing.

i think if i hadn`t just read Hey Rube, i wouldn`t been as affected, reading it just reminded me how much i admire his writing and now there is no more.

there is nothing new from my two favourite writers; one fairly prolific, the other constantly plagued by writer`s block; except, ironically, for movies based on their works later this year.

some time later and i think i`m a little close to figuring out why HST`s death bothers me so much; he was my icon of American journalism and now that he`s gone what hope is there left for the rest of us.

during one of the days i was home sick i started and finished Nick Hornby`s Songbook which reads like the linear notes to a rather eclectic mix tape. it got me thinking about my own musical tastes and how music affects my life.

i can`t function without music; there is music playing when i go to sleep at night and it`s what wakes me in the morning. i listen to it in the car, while i`m working, even as i type this there is something playing.

i`m willing to give anything a listen once. i like classical, particularly stuff that builds and i love the marriage of classical and rock.

i`ll finish this later.

Hunter Stockton Thompson is dead. of a self inflicted gunshot wound, no less. god damn it.

thought for the day

February 17, 2005 — Leave a comment

the nice thing about bed rest is you get to catch up on your reading in the last two days i`ve devoured Nick Hornby`s Songbook; which has inspired tomorrow`s post and Hunter S. Thompson`s Hey Rube from which this gem was found:

Politics is the Art of Controlling your Environment

That is one of the key things I learned in these years, and I learned it the hard way. Anybody who thinks that “it doesn`t matter who`s President” has never been Drafted and sent off to fight and die in a vicious, stupid War on the other side of the World–or been beaten and gassed by the Police for trespassing on public property–or been hounded by the IRS for purely political reasons–or locked up in the Cook County Jail  with a broken nose and no phone access and twelve perverts wanting to stomp your ass in the shower. That is when it matters who is President or Governor or Police Chief. That is when you will wish you had voted.

sorry there are no links for those of you that are so inclined but i`m really not up to it at the moment, if you`re really interested you can find it yourself.

down for the count

February 16, 2005 — Leave a comment

it`s official, i have the flu. i went to the dr yesterday and scared the crap out of the triage nurse with 103.1 fever. so it`s bed rest and medication for me for the rest of the week.

as part of my change of status application to the USCIS i had to do a medical, not at a doctor of my choosing, but at an authorised `Civil Surgeon`.

i called the help line on Friday  to get the list of doctors i could go see and this is where it started to get surreal. for my zip code there are only three of these civil surgeons and one of them is actually an hour`s drive away. that was just out of the question, so i decided to try my luck with the two in my immediate vicinity.

i called one office and started to make an appointment, but thought it would be prudent to check the cost first. it`s a good thing i don`t have heart problems, the cost of the medical was more than the cost of filing the paperwork. the second doctor wasn`t much better but it was less, but there was a reason for that, i had to go somewhere else to get an x-ray which was another charge.

now what`s criminal about this is that this isn`t the soul source of income for either of these doctors. and if they find anything wrong with you all they are supposed to do is recommend you to your regular physician for corrective measures.

as for the medical itself i`m still livid. i spent more time driving to and from the appointment and getting x-rayed. i get there ready to pay and am told, we don`t take credit/debit cards, so i have to go find and ATM take out an obscene amount of cash and bring it back. when i return a nurse takes my blood pressure; which for some reason is high, go figure and draw a vial of blood to be tested; but not before i am forced to sign a document stating that if i test positive for HIV, i`ll give them another $100 for mandatory retesting. the incompetent nurse then jabs me in a way that has my upper arm numb for the rest of the afternoon and sends me in to the exam room, where the doctor; and i use the term loosely; spends more time making idle chit-chat that conducting an exam. this is no lie, if the exam lasted 90 seconds i would be surprised. do you know the pre-exam the nurse or intern gives you when you go to a doctor for the first time; check for pupil response, check your throat, feel your abdomen, your breath sounds and have you cough? that was it. how many hundreds of dollars for an exam that could have been done by a nurse practitioner.

what the fuck? that`s criminal and they can get away with it because they are sanctioned by the USCIS, there is no way to opt out of the medical. these people are worse than the vultures that traffic people across the borders, at least you know what kind of lowlife you`re dealing with there. these people are hiding behind sanction and recognition and robbing you blind.

did i mention that if i don`t get an appointment for an interview within a year, i`m going to have to go through this process again. nice scam they got going there isn`t it? and the odds of my getting an interview in a year, not fucking likely. below is the processing time for Memphis office where my application will be processed.

I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status June 30, 2002

the date in bold is the date from which applications are currently being processed. you do the math.