Friday, September 30, 2005

The Pest Stroll

Meow Kitty is prowling around in the living room, peaking under the chair and the couch. This usually only happens in the kitchen, where she peaks under the refridgerator. She waits patiently under the table. Eventually, something turns up dead. This stopped when we painted and plugged up the hole from whence the evil critters came.

This behavior in the living room though makes me think that she's spotted something trying to squat in our apartment. I encouraged her to kill it...whatever it might be.

DON'T MESS WITH MY COFFEE!

The MTA Wants to Make Your Mornings Even Worse. There has been a lot of chatter lately about the "no open container" rule on subways and busses being enforced. As someone who has been ticketed, several times, for open containers (of alcohol, granted) in the GREAT OUTDOORS, I am appalled! Every morning I have a cup of coffee on my bus ride across the Triborough Bridge. It is the only thing that makes it remotely tolerable. I guess if I am ticketed for this I will have to start carrying an intraveneous drip of caffeinated beverage cause Mama need her coff.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb?

Today my friend and coworker, let's call her Tee, was singing "Are You Washed In The Blood Of The Lamb"--a particularly gruesome hymn--and that song has since been stuck in my head. The temp said, "I don't think I know that one," to which Tee and I replied at the same time: "Baptist Hymnal".

I work for The World Church of Assimilation, as I like to call it. One thing I've learned that if anybody can turn you away from religion, it's church people.

Anyway, I think this is an interest subject: teaching the Bible as literature in schools. Of course, such a course is easy to transform from "Bible Class" to "Sunday School", especially when it's proponents are practitioners of the religion and not innocent academics. ;) I think this kind of thing would work better in a university setting than in small town public schools. In fact, I took a number of religion classes in college, and they were always approached academically, Christian and otherwise, without a drop of "theology" or preaching.

I have to say that I learned a lot about the Bible and religion in general in my Southern Baptist upbringing. All those hours of Sunday School, Sunday Morning Worship Service, Wednesday Night Service (you could wear jeans to that one!), and endless "youth group" activities are a part of who I am. Though I've turned away from religion, I got a lot of education in it, and the irony is that now I work for one (they're not bad really, with a focus on social justice and relief work rather than handing out Bibles but still--it's "faith based").

I actually agree with this statement from the article:


Without academic knowledge of the Bible and its influence [...] pupils can't understand their own literary, artistic, and cultural heritage.


I wouldn't use the term "cultural heritage" though. Maybe just "American culture". Indeed, in Western Civilization the influence of that book is everywhere and in everything, and knowing what it's about -- having read it and studied its history -- does have a beneficial effect on how one understands the world. That is, if one can look at it objectively and not (just) from within its metaphorical walls.

I posted before that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina I was more emotional than in previous disasters/tragedies. I think it has to do with the fact that there was such a human failure on so many levels to turn chaos to order and to put a quick end to physical suffering. It's tempting in things like that to turn to something non-human to have faith in. But that is one of the worst reasons to believe--because something bad happened and you want comfort. The second worst being "just in case". Anyway, I prayed about the Katrina situation, the first time I'd prayed in years since being in church (well, actually, there is praying at work sometimes but that's not me praying, just following along). Deep inside myself there is still a Christian. When I doubt my doubts, I often wonder if it's years of indoctrination or the Lord God Himself. But I'm not one of those people desperate to reconcile Christianity with the Real World and its doctrines about things like, for example, gays and the place of women. I'd rather just walk away from it. The irony of all of this is that by chance (or maybe not?) I came to work for a Christian denomination. I just can't escape.

In other news, Anne Rice is writing a novel about Jesus which I am interested to read. I do love her vampire books, though I havn't read the one that caused her Amazon bitchfit. To quote someone from ONTD, that woman is 31 flavors of batshit crazy. Love her, though.

Hell, I'd Root For 'Em

New Zealand finds Black Cocks hard to swallow.
I just wrote a big long post and Blogger ate it.

Damn you, Blogger.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Courtney Love

Her father was a dead head, her mother was a shrink, her grandmother was a children's author, her husband shot himself to death--that's how Courtney Love sees the world.

Now her mother the shrink is coming out with a tell-all book about the early years of Ms. Love and how she was always, more or less, coo-coo crazier than moo-shoo pork.

As Gawker puts it:


Courtney Love’s mother, Linda Carroll, is selling out her pill-popping daughter in a tell-all book. None too surprisingly, we learn that Courtney took psychedelics at age 4, was in therapy at age 6, discovered porn at 9 and booze at 12. Who knew the hooch would come last?


I still love her. So there.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Back in the Hizzy

My trip to NC was okay.

On Saturday I went to a five year old's birthday party at a place called "Pump It Up". There was a small nation's worth of wild children there, their parents, some grandparents, the staff, etc. It is full of those inflatable things that you climb and jump around in. This is the kind of ambush plans I get from my friend B. I met his whole family and his nephew, the birthday boy. I have never felt so out of place in my whole life. Mama's imaginary kids are all grown and out of the house. It was fun, though. Later that night we went to "Velocity" (just me and B, not his family)
where we drank beer and did shots called "Red Headed Sluts". A wholesome day.

If you are a heterosexual woman with your husband, and you are trying to flatter the gay men you are around and make them like you, do not make little jokes--even though your husband knows that you are clearly joking--about leaving him for the fag. It does not make us feel flattered, nor does it make us laugh. It makes us uncomfortable. It makes your husband uncomfortable too.

My new job is taking a lot of getting used to, especially since I was out for three days, and returned to an influx of requests and directives, a quarter of which might as well be written in Japenese, as it makes no sense to me. I am in a maze of papers and information, trying to find my way to the end -- and at the end lays a puzzle that I have to put together. I think I'm doing okay though. I made myself a to do list at the end of the day today that was two full typed pages long, of shit I have to handle. At least the time goes quicker.

I have neglected the news, though I'm sure it is all either depressing or outright scary. I will get back into my brilliant, biting social commentary soon. That's what brings the millions of visitors in daily, after all.

I have arranged to meet with my thesis advisor this week. I have nothing. I'm turning to her for direction and inspiration. Frankly, I'm over bioethics. Not really, but when it is causing me to feel more pressure than and end-of-life-decision, it's just not fun anymore. Ha.

I don't know about this...[via helpychalk]

You are a

Social Liberal
(66% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(21% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Democrat




Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating


Cheerio!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

"I just stand by and let you fight your secret war..."

Rob Helpychalk had a talk a little while ago with the Mayor of Gretna, the town that refused evacuees from New Orleans. In the news reports of all that went down, I havn't seen much from the mayor's own mouth besides his attempts at a defense with Rob. On his blog there are several posts and links about the Gretna incident, all of which raise interesting questions. The whole thing is troubling, which is my new word for basically every thing that ever happens in the world any more.

Tomorrow morning at the ungodly hour of Should Be Sleeping, I am flying to The Motherland for five days. There is already talk of "eyebrow arching" and "highlights", so I may very well come back looking gayer than I ever thought possible. I am looking forward to my escape-from-Manhattan moment. I am going to sip sweet tea and allow my Southern drawl to re-exacerbate. This is a top secret mission, as family members must remain unaware that I am in their midst, so close yet not visiting.

I had this planned long before my little promotion, but it happens to be at a terrible time. I have so much to learn, so much to get used to in the new position. I'm in over my head, people. I'm going to need a prescription for dexedrine. But on the advice of a dear friend, I will not "speak such things into existence."

In other news, people keep finding this blog from searches for things like "anorexic crack whore models", "snorting cocaine", "Courtney Love's tits", and so on. Thebutchstroll.blogspot.com has reached new lows.

Now I nap. Then I pack. Maybe I will see some of you Charlottans on The Butch Stroll. Holla!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Someone Send Me A Scan of the Daily Mirror Pictures of Kate in Action

I am shocked...shocked by the news of Kate Moss's drug use.

I hate to make light of anybody's drug problems, but...I'm going to.

The British tabloids have dubbed her "Cocaine Kate". To show solidarity with her plight, I will heretofore refer to myself as "Snorting Stroll".

I kid.


KATE Moss looked gaunt and distraught yesterday after vowing to go into rehab to save her health, career and family.


"Gaunt and distraught" is what we call "withdrawal" in these parts.

Her eyes are void of emotion, empty, soulless caverns sunken into her expressionless face; her body bone thin, emaciated, malnourished; her hair a shiny, stringy mess. And that's how models are supposed to look. Maybe cleaning her up will only damage her career.


"I know Kate is a good mother who loves our child. But I'm no longer allowing our daughter to be in the same room as Doherty. He's turned Kate into a druggie like him."


Suuure. Blame the junkie. I didn't see him shoving that 5 pound note up her nose and slapping her on the ass to get her to take a deep inhale.

Do I have to sing it to you Kate? Do I? I think I do.


Just the girls on the block with the nasty curls
Wearin padded bras
Suckin beers through straws
Droppin down their draw's
Where did you get yours...?
Huh, sucka?


Anyway. My night went something like this:

Amphetemines.
Someone's birthday.
Weekend anorexia.
Empty stomach.
Sangria.
More sangria.
Red sangria, white sangria.
Beer.
Cab rides.
Bar.
Bars.
The Butch Stroll.
Moment of panic upon realization of locked outedness of East Side apartment where bag was located.
Cab ride to Queens.
A little sleep through sea of liquor and amphs.
Return to Manhattan for bag.
Locate keys.
Walking, walking, walking.
Hurling in a trash can with as much grace and elegance as can be mustered in such circumstances.
Have lunch.
Back to Queens.
Realize bag is still in Manhattan.

Kate and I have some things in common, though despite my attempts to be a weekend anorexic I am still getting fat.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Courtney Watch


"So can you get me out of this or what?"



Singer Courtney Love (L) speaks to her attorney Howard Weitzman while waiting for her sentence hearing to begin in Los Angeles Criminal Court September 16, 2005. Love was given a 180 days sentence to be served in her residential drug treatment program for her parole violations. REUTERS/Gene Blevins

Friday, September 16, 2005

Meow Kitty the Porcupine

Today I went to the podiatrist about the callous-like thing on my big toe, worried that it was a wart.

After scraping on it for a little, and talking to me (love Dr. Lee) about what I've been walking on, what kind of shoes I wear, etc., the doctor asks, "Do you have a cat?"

Yes, yes I do.

"Do you like the cat?"

I explained my love/hate relationship with Meow Kitty.

Apparantly a cat lover herself, Dr. Lee implored me not to be angry at the cat when she showed me what was on the end of her scalpal. A cat hair that had pierced my big toe through one side and out the other, causing the callous and subsequent pain.



Related?

I am happy it is not a wart. I am not angry at Meow Kitty--she can't help that her highly evolved defense mechanisms sometimes injure those she loves (and love/hates).

The Terrible Future

Last night I dreamed that I was being chased by terrorists up the stairs of my very first apartment building in Greensboro, NC. As I got to the top of the stairs, I switched to the fire escape, and began climbing up. Finally I realized there was no where to else to go, and was overpowered by my fear of heights as I looked down, and they were all down there in vans. They were making their way up to get me, so I finally took a deep breath. And jumped to my death.

Dr. Freud? Anything?

A couple things are disturbing my paranoid, obsessive-compulsive mind lately.
The Bubonic Plagued Escapee Mice that are on the lam in New Jersey. Now I am no scientist, but I have concocted a scenario whereby the mice are now infecting other mice, which will in turn infect rats, and we all know. There are countless millions of rats in the tri-state area. Terrorism? No. We are all going to die of the plague.

If the plague doesn't get us, then a hurricane just might. I have dreams of trying to flee New York City in the midst of chaos and it ain't pretty. If New Orleans looked bad imagine what eight million mean-ass New Yorkers will look like. Looting is just the beginning I'm sure.
If the plague or a hurricane doesn't get us, then we will eventually run out of oil or at least hit "peak oil".

I am so unprepared for all of this.

In other news, Kate Moss rolls hard on The Butch Stroll, God bless her.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Movin' On Up

I got promoted.

I am very tired.

My unstarted thesis haunts me.

I have some heinous rash-like thing on my right index finger.

I have a wierd thing on my left big toe.

Clearly, I am slowly falling apart.

I am going to the Motherland next week to visit a friend.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Femme Stroll

I had the most fun little experience today.

Those of you who used to read my babbling at stroll.blurty.com will remember my unhealthy obsession with television's America's Next Top Model, especially my devoted rooting for one Shandi Sullivan. Now I do not watch much television, especially "reality" television, but I got sucked right into ANTP. I know that it is representative of everything that is wrong with our culture. But I still loved it.

I still stand behind Shandi, the underdog, even though she didn't win because she flipped out a little towards the end and totally played herself in Italy, where the fashion people loved her but she had a break down after cheating on her boyfriend with some strange moped-driving Italian.

Anyway, in the following season, I called Naima early as the winner--she was a natural from day one and there was no question she was the most "top model" of the bunch--and she did win. I also liked her personality and many of the things she said that were not completely vapid and her seeming lack of shallowness, despite the fact that she is extremely beautiful.

Well today after work I went to the Virgin Mega Store in Times Square, and what do I stumble across? Some Wal-Mart related fashion show featuring alumni from ANTP.



So I stopped with the crowd, and waited for the girls.

Here is "Miss J." and Jay Manuel from the show making their entrance:


This is the point of the post where you download the song "Flawless" real quick and sing along as you scroll down.

Naturally your entrance is grand.

(Naima)

Red carpet rolls out, on the side they stand.

(Toccara)

Worshipping you like a goddess, like a goddess...

(Eva)

Somehow, you've remained modest.

(Shandi)

Flashbulbs pop, paparazzi goes wild
With amazing grace you walk and smile
They answer to your beck and call,
You're flawless
After all overqualified for the position
Your dreams see fruition
Mere class on a higher plane
Everyone wants to know your name...


(Mercedes)

Just like perfection
Needs no correction
Like no other
Absolutely

Just like perfection
Needs no correction
Like no other
Absolutely flawless.


I was really happy for Toccara, as she got the most applause of all. I think she is more famous because she has actually been working as a model, as well as (apparantly) being on Celebrity Fit Club. BIG GIRL'S COMIN' UP! I love it. She does look slimmed down, but still full and fabulous. Large and in charge.

Now you switch gears, and download "Buffalo Stance".

Lookin' good, hanging with the wild bunch
Looking good in the Buffalo Stance
Looking good when it comes to the crunch
Looking good's a state of mind
State of mind don't look behind you
State of mind or you'll be dead
State of mind may I remind you
Bomb the Bass...rock this place!


Before the whole shebang started, we did get a little preview of Naima.

She was standing off to the side with Eva Pigford (what an unfortunate last name, I think, for a model), getting ready for the show to start and for them to make their entrance. She was interacting slightly with the crowd, and then she looked at me taking pictures of her from afar, my giant self allowing my giant head to jut out from the top of the crowd. I smiled at her. She smiled back. I mouthed the words I love you.

She giggled a little bit, and mouthed back, I love you, too.


My heart melted. She makes me want to flirt with heterosexuality. Okay, not really, but if I were a woman I would want to look just like her. She has a certain charisma. I am a big fan of the lady, what can I say.

Gratuitous cute boy picture:


To see all the pictures as a slideshow, click here.

Try this.

This is a really short quiz with astonishing results; It'll only take a minute or two.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

At the end of the day on 9/11/05


One thing I remember so vividly from 9/11 was all the flags. The little flags-on-a-stick were everywhere. Someone handed me one on the street.

I also remember walking for miles, to meet K at his workplace, then walking more and more and more, with millions of other people, just walking, trying to make their way home in the midst of a city thrust into chaos and intense sadness. When the 7 train started up again, it was packed with people, all with the look of emptiness and emotional fatigue on their faces. We got back to my apartment in Queens, went on the roof to look at the skyline. Where the twin towers had been there was a stream of black smoke. There were helicopters everywhere, yet everything seemed silent. I decided then that somehow, some way, I was going to do something great for this country and the world. I'm still trying to find out what that something-great is.

With all that's going on in the news now, and all that's happened since 9/11/01, there is one thing that I am still sure of. I love this country. At the end of the day I think we are a country of good people who want to do the right thing. God bless America and all that.

There are some particularly lovely words on the subject here and here.

9/11

Today I got into a cab headed to dim sum, and the cab driver quickly informed me that I would have to tell him how to go because it was his first day and I was, in fact, his very first customer. "You are my lucky customer," he said. Maybe he will take one of the dollar bills I paid him and tape it to the windshield or something, as businesses are apt to do around these parts. He was very friendly, a quality which I imagine will fade as being a cab driver slowly destroys any regard for his fellow human beings.

Anyway, it was one of the most fearing-for-my-life cab rides ever. At one point we stalled on the Queensboro Bridge, began to roll backwards into another car. At one point I seriously considered just getting out and walking the rest of the way across the bridge.

Once we were in the city, traffic was at a near standstill because Super Mega Street Fair Bonanza 2005 was happening. So I got out and walked 20 blocks because dealing with pedestrian traffic is slightly preferable to dealing with car traffic. That, and his car was a blazing inferno, even with the window down, and even with it not being that hot outside.

At said street fair, I got a down comforter and two down pillows for $40. I needed a comforter since my friend K-rock burned a hole in my old one when she stayed here. It was not big deal, because I found that comforter in the trash of her building anyway. Yes, I will go strait shopping in the trash. I got the matching sheet set too. I have no shame. It's one of Trump's luxury buildings, so I figure the people who owned it previously are cleaner than me anyway.

On a final note, I am not trying to be insensitive, but another aspect of what I call my emerging tourette's syndrome broke through the mental filter today. I think of September 11 as a holiday, like Memorial Day, if you will, where we commemorate that day and all that it meant and means for America. My homeboy's co-op manager is really, really into 9/11 commemorating, and there's some big shabang every year that she puts together, complete with a moment of silence for the victims. Anyway, I have this near uncontrollable urge to wish her "a happy 9/11". I am fucking sick.

P.S. My mom calls it "9-1-1", like the emergency number. It bothers me for some reason...but I don't have the heart to correct her.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Moving Up

Well it's a heartless challenge
You pick your path
And then you pray
You wake up in the morning
You see your sunrise, loves, to go down
Lousy lovers
They pick their prey
But they never cry out loud


At the aforementioned Big Event for the World Church of Assimilation, people loved me. I worked hard. I ran around and took the reigns of that hotel. My feet ached. I bent over backwards for people. I was running the show on a number of levels. People turned to me. I earned quite a reputation.

Let's hope I can live up to it now.

Word on the street (or around the cube as it were) is that the Big Boss is going to promote me to her assistant, as her present assistant is leaving soon. She has already asked me to go to Big Important People Gathering in October. It is likely that there, in a bonding moment over working it out for her, that she will pop the question.

I am kind of baffled. I have not-so-good reviews from my present position, and I have developed horrible work habits and old habits die hard (nobody knows that better than I do). My current boss lady's face will crack into a million pieces when she catches wind of this. If I do in fact get that position, I will have to have a dramatic change of lifestyle both in and out of the office in order to have the energy much less the mental capacity to run this on-the-move woman's life. No more irregular sleep schedule. No more blogging, interneting, and school working at the office. I am scared of failing at it. The woman who ran the Big Event read me to filth today when I suggested I may not take it. The Big Boss's personal assistant did the same. There is nothing but encouragement from my friends at work and elsewhere about this "opportunity". I am now a career World Churcher.

I have decided that I am going to take the position for the extra money, and also because, if I stay stagnant in my same position, I will likely never go anywhere at the World Church or anywhere else. Now I am entering a whole new world of responsibility and duties -- and I have a thesis to write, that I should be a good ten pages into by now but havn't even started. Which I justify with the incredibly stupid logic that that's ok, because I havn't even paid my tuition yet.

Sinead O'conner and her crazy ass...

I always kind of loved Sinead, even after ripping up the Pope's picture ruined her career. Last I heard she was recording a reggae album. That's just baffling on a number of levels. However, I'm sure it will be good.

This article today doesn't interest me, however, because it's about her stint in rehab based on a misdiagnosis, but rather for this quote,


"I've never had a drug or drink problem, other than I'm a major chronic spliffhead. They don't advise (smoking) it but I'm coping. I smoke daily, put it that way."


This may explain the reggae album. It may have something to do with the song "Black Boys on Mopeds" as well, but I can't be sure.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Asking the really hard questions...

My professor/advisor has not yet replied to my email I sent a few weeks ago. The semester has begun, and I have a thesis to write, but I want her approval and comments on the topic first. Time's a tickin'. Should I...

Email her again?
Call her?
Show up at her office?
Just say screw it and start researching?

What do I do?

Late Night Thoughts on Katrina

There is so much more to be said about Katrina's aftermath, but I will leave it at this for now: when the big time lefties are all pointing their fingers at the right, and the arche right wingers are all crying about how the left are trying to take blame off themselves, one can conclude that the problems are the result of failures from both democrats and republicans to do their jobs. The feds, FEMA, Lousiana, New Orleans...there's enough responsibility to go around.

Through the type of work that I do, today I realized the obvious "new" problem and it's scope. There is the large population of an entire region of the country without a place to live. Even when one can evacuate, one needs a place to evacuate to.

The evacuees--who are more or less millions of people who lived in the Gulf area--are beginning to be spread far and wide now--as far away from their Southern starting point as northern California and the Northeast, and everywhere in between. Some of them will be in hotels or other homes, some with relatives, but many just have no where to go. The country is turning to community centers, shelters, private citizens, churches, universities, and everywhere to put these people up for the night, or for a long time as it were. Times like these are why we need to have a certain degree of solidarity as a country and a sense of being united. I think we do. I hope we do.

The $2,000 is no doubt much needed money for these people, but it's not enough for most of them to rebuild their lives.

More later.

In other news I got sucked into the (surprisingly cute and entertaining) movie The American President on TBS tonight. There is a moment when the President (Michael Douglas) misuses the expression "begs the question". As always, highly irritating.

To bed now.
This is for Brad's Google bomb.

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Matthias Rath Foundation

Help end suffering in Africa. Visit AIDS Combat Zone

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Francis Bean Speaks

Courtney Love's daughter Frances Bean has her first interview, coming out in Teen Vouge.


"I prefer when she's more 'classy starlet,'" she tells Teen Vogue of her mom, referring to Love's red-carpet Oscar makeover in 1997. "I don't really like her hardmetal stuff, or when she doesn't brush her hair."


She might be thinking, Or when she nods out with a cigarette in her hand.

That's likely as far as the 13 year old will go ... though I wish she would drop the knowledge on how she really feels having so crazy a mother and a father dead from suicide. She is only 13 though. She is probably still working out (and likely will for years in therapy) how she feels about it.

It is a little disturbing that I, an almost 30 year old grown ass man, will be purchasing a copy of Teen Vogue. At least it will not be for the sick reasons the newstand attendant will think. It's for entirely different sick reasons.

Smoking, Boozing, and Little Kids' Minds

I wrote before that children who grow up around smoking associate smoking with adulthood. There is now a study that comes to this same conclusion. The study says that kids as young as two years old could even identify the brand names of cigarettes and alcohol. I don't know how old I was when I noticed brand names of anything, let alone cigs and booze, but I remember my grandfather smoking Camel Lights. My dad smoked (smokes--he sneaks around like my Mom doesn't know) Camel Lights. What is my brand of choice? Camel Lights.

The question of "how we turn out like we do" is fascinating and perhaps unanswerable to a certain degree, though. I am so much like my mom and dad in certain ways that it is obvious that I am their child. In other ways, I am so different from them that people might think I'm adopted if I weren't a dead ringer for my dad. And my brother is a case study of children-different-from-their-parents like you can't imagine. Of course, there are about a million influences on the development of a personality outside one's parents.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

All I've done today is blogged.

There is something pitiful about that.

In fairness to myself, I did some laundry too.

I am having an epidemic of spam comments. I might activate the word-verification feature for comments. I can't see any downfalls to doing so.

I'm going out on the stroll now. Yes, I get my start around midnight.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Rehnquist Resigns...from Everything

The controversy over John Roberts will perhaps double now: Rehnquist died.

I'm an effin' blogging machine today!

I've been tagged for a meme! Thanks Brad for my first meme-tag.

1. The total number of books I own.

Probably about 150, about 200 counting the ones not in my residence. I tend to sell them or donate them after I've read them. The ones I still have in my posession are the ones that I truly love.

2. What was the last book you bought?

An old book about voodoo by some French guy, from a vendor on the street.

3. What was the last book you read?

The Healer's Power by Howard Brody. Highly recommended for those interested in medicine, ethics, and sociology of medicine and ethics.

4. List five books which have been particularly meaningful for you.

I'm gonna do six. Forgive me if I get cheesy and/or sappy.

The Holy Bible. It was the first book I ever read, and, regardless of one's beliefs or non-beliefs, it is a hugely important and influential work.

Lovely Me, a biography of Jacqueline Susann. She is quoted as asking, "How could this happen to lovely me?" I relate to her in profound ways. (Closely related is her most successful book, Valley of the Dolls. Though her life story is more scandalous and vastly more interesting.)

White People by Alan Gurganus. Brilliant stories about the South. I relate to him in profound ways, too.

The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton. "My friend, my friend, I was born doing reference work in sin, and born confessing it." Love, love, love Anne.

Grendel by John Gardner. Beowulf's Grendel tells his side of the story...and the reader finds sympathy for what is perhaps literature's first arche evil.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Still gets me misty after all these years.

Honorary mentions: The God of Small Things, A Passage to India, A Gesture Life, Sophie's World (a novel, but would be a great text for an intro-to-philosophy course), The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius, Night of the Hunter, The Mole People, Isaiah Berlin's Four Essays on Liberty, and Sophocles' The Oedipus Cycle.

I tag: anybody that wants to do it. :)

Mini-Flatiron, Astoria, Queens

Here's our own little replica of the Flatiron Building in Astoria.

I wouldn't eat in that Chinese restaurant if I was starving and they were handing out silver dollars.

Vent Up High


Vent Up High
Originally uploaded by butch stroll.
In my continued effort to photograph all the tags from "Vent" that I see, I bring you this, from up high here in Astoria. It's perhaps his biggest and best.

And by the way,

God hates poor black people.

Fair & Balanced

The right-wing NY Post's cover today:



"I'll fix it"?

The more moderate (but not exactly leftist) NY Daily News's cover:



with the story, "Shame of a nation".

The Post also ran a story that blames fatherlessness--yes, fatherlessness--for the stranded desperation of those left in New Orleans. I'm working on finding the link, because it's not on the NY Post website, as it was reprinted in the print edition from another publication.

Also, Gawker perfectly illustrates Fox News's take on things as opposed to other news outlets. If I'm not mistaken, Fox News and the NY Post are Rupert Murdoch operations.

This blog is going places, people.

I am the number one Stroll on MSN search.

I can't break away from the coverage of the hurricane,

and I think I'm going to force myself to turn it off now. I've got "disaster fatigue". I should add that is nothing compared to the fatigue the victims have.

Anyway, if I don't turn it off Larry King is going to drive me strait CRAZY with his pronunciation of "New Orlee-uhns".

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yahoo, Flickr, Geocities

This article about Yahoo's purchase of Flickr raises a question that concerns me more...does Yahoo own my Geocities pages?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

If only we were all perfect.

I can't really think about anything but Katrina. Most of the day at work and since I've been home I've been reading stories and watching footage of what the people in the affected areas are going through. In New Orleans, the violence, lawlessness, desperation, panic, fatigue, frustration, hunger and thirst those (mostly poor) people are experiencing among a sea of sewage and dead bodies breaks my heart and makes me so thankful that I am able to sit here in the comfort of A/C eating chips and salsa. I have not prayed in years, but last night I prayed for these people. (For the record, I am a Christian, though I've been having a crisis of faith for about fifteen years.) One reporter wrote, "I don't have the vocabulary for this," and I feel the same way...and I'm not even there to witness it.

I'm not sure why this is tugging at me more than the tsunami did. Perhaps it is because it is closer to home. Perhaps it is because, while there was massive death from the tsunami, there was not as long a period of being stranded and paniced, or at least I didn't percieve one. Death does not bother me so much as suffering. People all over the world are constantly suffering, and the hurricane has just brought it right to the forefront of my mind.

Yesterday, my roommate and I had a discussion about household matters, and some complaints were voiced and I was made aware of his perceptions of things on his blog, as he was on mine. (A bit of advice, don't communicate with loved ones via blogs.) Then today I had an immense wave of guilt. How can I be so concerned about anything from money to my medical problems when there are hundreds of thousands of people stranded in a situation that is not unlike an underwater version of the movie City of God? I sit here ready to retire into a comfortable bed with a roof over my head and an unlimited supply of water...and there is nothing I can do for them.

I worry about the future of this country and the world. We are always one step away from chaos, and this situation is an example of howso. These circumstances have turned people against one another, created a slew of armed gangs, and injured my belief in humanity's goodness. I wish that they, and I hope for myself if ever in the situation, could pull together and help one another overcome what is a nightmare come to life. I'm sure this is happening, though the news is apt to be more interested in the bad guys. But that there are so many bad guys in the first place is disheartening. If only we were all perfect.

Y do you ask?

I'm wearied by the news of Hurricane Katrina's utter destruction, the humanitarian crisis, and the reflection of our culture in looting (materialism, greed, hostility, and violence in the midst of so much death and loss).

So here's something "fun". Is the Y chromosome going to disappear?