Archives For April 2005

you are not alone

April 29, 2005 — Leave a comment

there seems to be a common misconception that being alone is a bad thing. i`m not saying that you don`t need to interact with people but this marketing ideal that unless you have a life partner or in a committed relationship you`re less of a person. being single is not a crime and if more people would take the time to enjoy being on their own there would be a lot less heartbreak.

we are so conditioned to seek out a relationship, we seemed to have lost the ability to enjoy and appreciate being on our own. i was a serial monogamist; for close to a decade i went from one long term relationship straight into another. all those relationships were fine but at no point did i stop to deal with the shit i was carrying from one to another.

it took a while but i realised that you don`t need a relationship to make you happy actually, to the contrary, if you`re not happy with yourself then all your relationships are doomed to failure from day one. we`ve gotten so caught up in trying to find someone one who makes us happy that we seemed to have forgotten that we need to be responsible for our own happiness too.

we need to learn to enjoy our own company; be comfortable in our own skin as it were; be content with and by ourselves and then we can truly appreciate the happiness being with someone else brings.

and for anyone wondering, vic and i are not having problems, it`s just a thought that has been occurring to me based on conversations i`ve been having.

for Douglas

April 27, 2005 — Leave a comment

edit: i got a request to fill out my initial post and submit it as a review, damned editors.

On Tuesday night we were fortunate enough to catch a preview screening of the Hitch Hiker`s Guide to the Galaxy. There are not enough words for me to express how pleased I am with this movie. After many false starts, the big budget, Hollywood version is finally here and it doesn`t seem any worse for wear, but it is a mostly British production from a screenplay started by the late Douglas Adams.

As with all other versions of HHGTG; radio play, BBC mini series, book; a consistent idiosyncrasy is a the extension of story lines that for that particular medium. The movie is no different and expands Arthur`s love of Trillian, as well as the development of the Humma Kavula storyline.

The cast is amazing and features voice talents of Alan Rickman as Marvin the Paranoid Android,  Helen Mirren as Deep Thought and Stephen Fry as the Guide. Rapper turned actor Mos Def stars as Ford Prefect, Sam Rockwell; in another over the top performance; as President of the Galaxy — Zaphod Beeblebrox and British character actor, Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent. The actual Guide entries; developed British animation firm Shynola; stole the show with every appearance, if you`re one of those people who leaves immediately as the credits start to roll, i suggest you stick around, there`s one last Guide entry as the credits roll. Die hard HHGTG fans will be amused by a couple of special asides, including the BBC mini series` Marvin, as well as the Douglas Adams planet from Starship Titanic game.

The movie is CGI intensive but not to the point of abuse and my favourite scene is the Heart of Gold; the ship our erstwhile heroes end up on; going through infinite probabilities to arrive at a destination, including one probability where the entire ship and crew are turned into yarn.  The movie is billed as a comedy but there are a lot of touching moments, that are genuine and uncontrived. One of the things that makes this movie so enjoyable is an almost childlike innocence and joy that seemed to characterise Douglas Adams. This is helped by an almost completely British production that understand how to be funny without resorting to blatant stupidity as evidenced by the So Long and Thanks for all the Fish song over the opening credits.

At the end of of the film as the Heart of Gold phases through infinite probabilities, there is a brief flash of Adams` face before the credits start rolling with the words `For Douglas`. This movie is a faithful interpretation of a beloved book and is sure to make long time fans happy and create a new generation of fans.

Remember to walk with your towels.

when i was 14 i expressed an interesting in joining the priesthood. the priest i expressed that desire to, said the day i became a priest the earth would open up and swallow my parish.

i suppose i should quantify his response, before i expressed my desire to join the priesthood, i was commenting on what a cushy gig it seemed like; your choice of the ladies, free room and board and a car; i was thinking practically. some years later he and i had an opportunity to converse and he asked me if i was still interested in joining the clergy, but by that time i was completely disenchanted with the church. strangely, `our` new pope leaves me with the same bitter aftertaste i had when i abandoned the church.

growing up in Trinidad, i got a radically different perspective on Catholicism. i grew with a local archbishop and mass in English, even the hymnal was filled with songs written for us, by us. there wasn`t a church choir worth its salt without a pannist and a rhythm section. the church was us and we were the church and part of that was the fact we lived in a plural society.

our nation`s motto is every creed and race find an equal place and at least on the surface it applies. there are Christians of every denomination, Muslims, Hindus and if at no other time, we appreciate each other for the holidays. we celebrate, Christmas, Divali and Eid off the top, plus a bunch of others in between. we don`t have a large Jewish community otherwise they would be in the mix as well.

my point in all of this; the new thrust of the papacy seems geared towards extremism and exclusion which will continue to push more and more people away from the church.

this has been a long, painful and exhausting week for me.

i`ve managed to leave work late almost everyday this week, i haven`t been to bed before 11 any night this week and one of my wisdom teeth is making my jaw sing and as with all other drugs, i seem to have developed a tolerance to both the lortab and the ibuprofen that i was taking.

ever so often for the last five years my wisdom teeth make an appearance that usually involves excruciating pain and they cut through my gums. i have spoken to my dentists about it, but they all recommend surgery. which seems like a good idea, except any dental procedures i need to have done, have to two hours or less in duration, as i said before i have a really high tolerance for narcotics. two hours is maximum amount of time that painkillers usually last for me. i`m loathe to think about some dentist rooting around in my mouth when the painkillers wear off; every scenario ends badly for us both.

work wise, i`m incredibly frustrated with my job this week with yesterday being the culmination of all my frustrations. i`m just going to leave it at that, because i`m slowly learning that sometimes, discretion is the better part of valour. i do however have an interview next week for a part time job which should make my summer, entertaining  if nothing else.

Somewhat liberal, inter-racial, couple with children seek like minded individuals to form community in remote, easily-defended, arable location.

Must be articulate, well read, willing to fight for personal freedoms. Preference will be give to people with extensive and diverse libraries, as well as those with  woodsman, farming or maintenance skills.

Property should be remote with arable land and fresh water supply and room to grow.

the boychick begins his week of standardised testing that is TCAP today. it`s funny i had recently arrived when he was doing it last year and the girls had their own batch of equivalency examinations.

in Trinidad at the end of elementary school system you take an examination that determines your choice of high school education based on how well you do. in my days it was called the Common Entrance exam and the higher your total score the better your chances of attending a prestigious parochial high school. these days it`s called the SEA and the intensity and price of failure is even greater. my elder daughter took it last year and went to the school of her choice and mine, my younger daughter took it about six weeks ago and we`re fairly confident that she`s heading to the same school. this ends their standardised testing on a national level for at least five years until it`s time for  their O` Level exams.

the boychick, on the other handm is stuck in this testing rut annually. last year i very nearly pitched a fit when his then teacher marked an essay he work diligently on poorly based on his grammar. according to her and last year`s TCAPs the boychick has problems with sentence structure. which seems kind of odd, see the volume of reading he does, the fact that his mother has a Masters in English and i`m a grammar nazi. in fact it`s not that he has a problem, but they have an issue with the fact that he can construct complex sentences at this grade level. the boychick does not write staccato sentences. they want him to write like this. he was punished for not writing like this.

the joys of standardised testing, if you don`t fit in the box, we`ll force fit you. what`s funny is that at some point someone asked the boychick if he found the TCAPs difficult and he replied, “it can`t be difficult they`re not supposed to leave anyone behind.” and that pretty much sums it up, in order to make sure no one gets left behind they`re hampering the rest of the children.

not all children progress at the same rate, granted, but when you the pace you set is for the slowest child the rest of the children who get what they`re supposed to be working on are going to get bored and distracted while they wait and that`s not going to help them learn anything either.

i`ve got purple haze stuck in my head this morning and it contains one of the most misheard lyric in all of creation, so i though i`d add a bit of whimsy to the post.

last Thursday i went to the graduation of a friend from the Nashville Peace and Justice Center Leadership programme. i have to say, i must be developing social skills in my old age, because i went, i interacted and i participated and that`s a big deal for me.

my mother concluded about the time i was about thirteen i was anti-social and told me so and i really had no retort. i pretty much grew up around adults in a time where the belief was that children were to be seen and not heard, so i learned to keep myself occupied; mostly with a book. it`s not that i lack social graces; my mother instilled those in me early on; it`s just that once the preliminaries are done, i`ll find a quiet corner of the room and stay there.

if i have a book or access to a book i`m pretty much lost for the evening, however if i don`t have any reading material, i observe people. i took two years of sociology because observing people en masse fascinates me. i don`t like to make generalisations, but i think i have a disdain for people because the conversations tend to be insipid and my own bias against stupid people. stupidity, in my humble estimation, has nothing to an education or lack thereof, but an inability to form opinions of one`s own or accept the validity or entitlement of other opinions.

the point of the leadership programme is to help you get involved and help organise grassroots campaigns in your community. and the good wife and i have signed up for the next session. part of my rationale was that i can interact with these people. i may not agree with everything all the people in the programme stand for but i can learn something and it will also help me get more involved in something that i have a vested interest in; immigrant rights.

i had a detailed conversation with one of the recent graduates about immigration rights; which was her forte; and she was tell me that the USCIS sanctioned doctor i went to for my medical has a habit of having female immigrants get nude for examination without a female assistant or family member in the room. as far as i know that`s illegal. what makes this worse is that i had the same medical recently and i didn`t have to undress.

what’s next

April 13, 2005 — Leave a comment

today marks the second anniversary of my time here at JS and what a long strange trip it`s been.

i actually started blogging a week earlier at blogspot and somewhat dissatisfied i moved here. i`ve seen people come and go, seen the member rolls grow from 4000+ to whatever epic number they`re at now.

over the course of 2 years and nearly 1200 posts, i`ve participated in quizzes and memes, shared my life down to the tiny, trifling details, i`ve waxed poetic about my love, i`ve railed about the inefficiency of bureaucracy, i`ve bitched about my job; i`ve tried my hand at satire,  voiced my opinions and stood up for what i believe in and i wonder, where do i go from here?

i don`t want to stop but i fear that i may be repeating myself or just unable to articulate some of the thoughts that are bouncing around in my head. i have all these ideas for brilliants post in my mind but the minute i sit in front of the computer the most cohesive portions of those thoughts flee leaving with an outline but no body.

even a post as whiny as this has suffered rewrites and deletions to numerous to mention. writing posts used to be an effortless exercise. thoughts flowed as fast as i could type, driven by some inner need to be exorcised, now i must chase them down, trap and tame them before they lend themselves to be shared.

ello my name is keifel and i`m a recovering Catholic.

ever since they prematurely announced that John Paul II had died, i`ve pondering who they`re going to select as the next pope. JP II was elected when i was eight and was sort of a defining moment in my career as a Catholic. i had just started preparing for my first communion and his ordination was my biggest religious experience at the time. of course, i got older and more cynical and disenchanted with the Catholic church, but the politics of it will never cease to fascinate me.

i firmly believe that he was dead on Friday and the extra day was just to give the cardinals enough time to figure out whole the candidates are going to be. there is an electoral college type vote for the next pope and somewhat like the electoral college the greatest populations are under represented. the old school and massively declining European Catholics have the largest block of votes, while the Central, South America and Africa with the largest populations of Catholics have the smallest number of votes.

i have no idea where i managed to pick up the information but i managed to pick the four front runners for the papacy, spot on. although in light of the long reign of the second non-Italian pope, i don`t think the hierarchy are quite ready for a black pope, but it may be in their best interest to go `brown`. if only to ensure they don`t ostracise the only growing Catholic populations. whoever they pick, there probably aren`t going to be any radical changes to church policy anytime in the near future.

`may cause drowsiness` is always an indication that taking that medication will  put you down like a rabid dog.

my urologist prescribed an Atavan for me to take half an hour before the vasectomy and 15 Lortab to take as needed if the pain was overbearing. i have to say, that i`m not in much pain.

the getting kicking in the testes analogy is correct, but in my case it`s been the dull throbbing after the kick as opposed to the sharp savage pain of the kick.

i took one of the Lortab as soon as i got home as a pre-emptive strike and kept by berries cool with some frozen cranberries vic had in the freezer. i took another Lortab last night at the first twinge of serious pain and passed out almost immediately on the couch.

this morning there doesn`t seem to be much swelling and i heroically or stupidly depending on your perspective didn`t take any medication until we got back from vic`s coloscopy; she is in perfect health, but has been banned from sex for two day — that works out well. returning home, i decided against more Lortab this morning in favour of the ibuporfen and those seem to be working well.

i`m supposed to go back out to work tomorrow and i think i should be up to it, in two to three weeks or 10 – 12 ejaculations, i`m supposed to drop off a sample at my doctor`s. once there are two samples without semen in it, the vasectomy will be considered a success.