Category: news


March Madness

It’s been almost three weeks since I wrote anything here, and I’m not exactly sure why. It’s not like a whole lot has actually been going on in my life. So yeah…

A guy came into the store a few weeks ago. He’s a photographer who works at a print shop, and he said some friends of his were trying to open a gallery. I showed him some of my stuff and he loved it. We set up a time to meet and talk about stuff, but he had an appointment that went late, so we decided to reschedule. That was the last I heard from him – he hasn’t replied to my emails since. I’m not sure what that’s all about.

It’s been about a week since I’ve heard from or seen Katie. Last Sunday we got together, and I called her in the middle of the week to see what she was up to. She had some family stuff going down, so we talked about possibly getting together on the weekend. She posted on Facebook a few days later that her phone had died, and she would be getting a new one on her next day off. I sent her a message and asked if she needed a ride or anything, but never got a reply. Last night I messaged her again and asked if she got a phone yet, and gave her my number again in case she lost her contacts. I haven’t heard from her since. I’m not sure what that’s all about either.

It snowed last night. The weather has been absolutely insane lately, and my sinuses have been killing me. I have a weird schedule this week, with two days off, then a day on, then two more off. I’m trying to wrap up some art projects, and hopefully check out a few more galleries and coffee shops that might be interested in my stuff.

But the main thing going on lately is college basketball. With the exception of a stinker of a loss to Duke, my Tar Heels have been pretty hot this month. And now of course we have the NCAA Tournament. I’ve entered three different bracket games, and so far I’m doing pretty well. I doubt I’ll win any grand prizes, but a small prize would be nice. I’m doing better than the so-called “experts” at the CBS Sports website, so at least I can gloat about that.

There really isn’t a whole lot else going on. Like I said, my life is a little on the boring side lately. But I suppose there are worse problems to have, eh?

 

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It’s nearly 2:00 am. I’ve just returned from Katie’s apartment. She has four cats, and her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend both smoke in the house. I haven’t been able to breathe for quite some time and I itch all over. I just took a Benadryl. What better time to finally write my review of the past year?

Yeah. I’ll make this quick.

This year was pretty eventful. In January I got out of a long-term relationship. I’ve spent the past year chronicling my dating life, which has been mostly humorous. I seem to have found someone who isn’t interested in stupid games, but this post is about 2012, not this year.

It was a year of loss. In February I lost my grandfather on my dad’s side, three months to the day that my grandmother on my mom’s side passed away. In September I lost my other grandmother. I drove to Fayetteville for my grandfather’s funeral and saw how completely and utterly insane my family is. I decided to stay far away when my grandmother passed. In the interim, my aunt has severed all ties with everyone else in my family. She even un-friended us all on Facebook. Is it possible to “un-family” someone? Holidays haven’t quite been the same since then. I’m pretty glad I live on the other side of the state from her and the other nutcases I’m somehow related to.

On a professional level, 2012 was a year of triumph. In late 2011 I set a personal goal that by my birthday I would have my art career off the ground. I bested that goal by several months, putting together a website, a Facebook page, a shop, getting business cards printed up, and being booked for my first solo show in Asheville by the end of April. My show started in August and ended up running for over two months. I sold a lot of prints and an original. In November I was booked for a group show, and while that ended up being a disaster thanks to the complete unprofessionalism of the “gallery,” it was still something. Not only this, but I was given a raise and promotion at the art supply store, enabling me to quit the gas station, gain an extra day off, and not lose any pay. On this end of things, I really have nothing to complain about.

A lot else happened. I got sick a few times. I most certainly did damage to my liver. We survived another election campaign. Justin Bieber still exists.

In the end, it was like any other year. It had its share of ups and downs. I met new people and watched old friendships dissolve. I laughed and had good times. I got my heart broken. You win some, you lose some. But returning to the world of blogging has helped me to keep things in perspective a little better, and be the introspective sonofabitch I was designed to be. So far 2013 is off to a smashing start – a potential new girlfriend, a new roommate, a new bank account. But like any other year, there will inevitably be low points ahead. That’s really about all you can say about life. I made it through another year, and this new year will be one hell of a ride. Life is a journey, not a destination. I’m not sure if that was Coleridge or Aerosmith, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the Benadryl is kicking in. The End.

 

A sad day in NC

Well I dreaded having to write this post, but it’s now official, Amendment One has passed. I was going to wait until I thought things out a bit more, but I figured I might as well shoot from the hip, so here goes…

I hope you’re happy. The once moderate NC constitution has been amended to take rights away from people rather than give them. Just goes to show you that if you frame an issue using the words “the Bible says…” you can pass just about any law, regardless of how many people it harms. I don’t care what you believe, but the government should NOT be in the business of legislating religion, and the church should NOT be in the business of influencing politics. Just because you disagree with someone’s beliefs, lifestyle, actions, etc. doesn’t give you the right to treat them as second class citizens. Live as you see fit, but you have no right to force your beliefs upon others through the legal system.

It truly sickens me that a religion that claims to be founded on love can be a source of such hatred. Times like these make me glad I walked away from the faith some years ago. I’d rather take a stand for the rights of others than align myself with those who preach discrimination and the criminalization of opposing views and lifestyles. Now of course I realize not all people of faith voted for this amendment, nor are all people of faith against gay rights. But over the past few weeks I have seen countless people frame this as a religious issue and quote the Bible to defend it. In fact, I have yet to see a single argument made against Amendment One that doesn’t use religion as its basis. Not only does this strip away the rights of countless citizens, but it brings down the entire religious community and drags the name of Christ through the mud. But now I’m getting sidetracked, so let’s get back to the actual amendment…

This amendment is the mother of all Trojan Horses. On the outside it looks like a simple vote against gay marriage, but it’s chock full of all sorts of bullshit. ALL North Carolina residents – even the very same homophobes who voted for this amendment – lost. Heterosexual couples who are not married lost. Victims of domestic abuse lost. Children lost. To put it another way – your neighbor lost. Your friend lost. Your mother lost. YOU lost. Sure, you might think you’ve won because you’re not gay. But mark my words, this opens up a veritable Pandora’s box, and one day you will be on the receiving end of discrimination and oppression. History pretty much assures it.

The politics of fear, ignorance, hatred, and bigotry are the only winners in this election. If you voted for this amendment, I implore you to take a deep look inside your heart. I can’t for the life of me see why any sensible person would have voted in favor of state sanctioned discrimination. I have never been more disappointed in my state in my entire life. And considering we’re the state that gave the world Jesse Helms and Heath Shuler, that’s really saying something. So thanks a lot, voters of North Carolina. One minority group down, countless others to go.

 

I’ve never shied away from politics on this blog. However, I haven’t said a lot about North Carolina’s “Amendment One” for the simple fact that most of my readers aren’t from NC and don’t have a say in things. I’ve spammed my Facebook for weeks though. But now with the primary election upon us, I figured I should say something here as well.

The so-called Amendment One is an amendment to the NC state constitution defining marriage as only the union of a man and a woman. The anti-gay groups have been pushing this pretty hard, and the bill was purposefully written as vaguely as possible, so as to allow any rights that can possibly be taken away to be taken away with ease. In addition to prohibiting gay marriage (which is already illegal in NC) the amendment also takes steps toward banning civil unions and generally makes things pretty murky when it comes to issues like child custody and domestic abuse. The bill was written by an avowed hate group, and the wife of one of the co-sponsors made several bigoted comments to the press, including something about preserving the Caucasian race. Whenever you bring any of this up, groups in favor of the bill say that you’re taking things out of context and that the amendment won’t actually change anything. Those of us who are campaigning against it are called sensationalists and accused of spreading propaganda and being part of the “gay agenda.”

Plain and simple, the amendment harms ALL residents of North Carolina, gay and straight alike. For starters, the government should not be in the business of legislating religious beliefs, and one is hard pressed to find a reason against gay marriage that doesn’t invoke the name of some creator god. As I said before, there is already a law on the books keeping gays from getting married, so a constitutional amendment is not needed. The purpose for this proposal was to spread hate and bigotry, and to extend it to anyone the framers of the bill disagree with. The only real propaganda is that which is coming from those in favor of the amendment, claiming it is necessary to legislate their version of morality for the good of the “institution of marriage.” The fact that they intentionally left things very vague opens up the door for all sorts of interpretations, many of which could be harmful to heterosexual couples. And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, they snuck the vote on this bill into the primary election, knowing that most moderates wouldn’t be voting, and giving them the opportunity to charge up the conservative base. As someone who is registered independent, I pretty much never vote in primary elections. But I made certain to do that this year, this issue is too important.

In short, this bill is a bad thing for the entire state of North Carolina. This sort of thinking sets us back by at least a century and harms everyone it comes in contact with. If you are a resident, please vote on this amendment. If you are unfamiliar with the text of the amendment, it is available online in its entirety. Even if you are against gay marriage, seriously think about the implications of this, should it become law. Gay marriage is already illegal, so if the amendment doesn’t pass you lose nothing. But if it does pass, who is to say where the lines could be drawn. You may one day find yourself on the opposite side of the law, having your rights stripped away by the government. Ask yourself if that’s what you want for you and your fellow citizens. Don’t give in to the politics of fear, hatred, and ignorance. Stand up for the rights of all people (even those you might disagree with) and vote against Amendment One.

Come on North Carolina, you made me proud four years ago when you went blue. We’re counting on you to make us proud again. Don’t let us down.

 

RIP MCA and randomness

Yesterday Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, of the Beastie Boys lost his battle with cancer. You kinda had to see this one coming, seeing as how he was too sick to appear with them when they recently got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but it still sucks. The Beasties were one of the most creative and influential bands of this era, breaking down the color barrier in rap and translating that into huge hits, mixing hardcore punk, funk, and jazz with rap, and making some pretty amazing videos. In addition to playing bass and singing/rapping with the band, he also did a lot to raise awareness about the plight of the Tibetan people. You had to get the impression that he was just an all around cool guy. Definitely a big loss for the music world.

In other news, tonight is the so-called “super moon,” when the full moon coincides with the moon’s orbit bringing it to its closest point from the earth. Unfortunately here in western North Carolina it’s pretty damn cloudy and you can’t really see a whole heck of a lot. I attempted to get some pictures, but none of them really came out too well. There’s also a meteor shower going on, but you’d be hard pressed to see any of that at all. If I were a little more adventurous and a little less sleepy I’d go drive out on the parkway to a nice elevated overlook and see what things look like from there. But yeah. Laziness and sleep win again.

In personal news, my grandmother had a stroke the other day and is in the hospital. She’ll probably have to stay there a while, then go to a step down unit, and then physical therapy so she can regain full use of the side of her body that was affected. It’s pretty crazy to think that less than six months ago I had three grandparents, and now I have one who is currently asleep with a bunch of tubes in her. Everyone seems to think she’ll be okay, which is good because I’m not sure my family can handle another funeral. So things look pretty positive, I’ll post more as things develop.

And just for the heck of it, I’ll close with a few nuggets of Beastie goodness…

 

 

Edumacashun

Rick Santorum said that the president was a snob for encouraging everyone to go to college. The only reason I can see for him saying such a thing is that an educated populace certainly wouldn’t vote for an idiot like him. Keep them dumb and you’ll keep racking up the votes. After all, that’s been the Republican way since W’s first term.

He claims that college is a liberal conspiracy. Yep. Just like birth control. And JFK. Damn liberals, trying to ruin our once-great nation.

Ricky boy says that when people go to college, they fall away from their faith. Another time-honored Republican tactic. Thump your Bible, talk shit about gays and women, and call the other guy a Muslim, and it really doesn’t matter what else you stand for. You can basically write up any policy you like, no one will pay any attention. Jesus said we can’t take it up the ass, kill babies, or get along with people who believe differently than us. So fuck the poor and make it that much easier for giant corporations to take over the world. We won’t notice, and we won’t care. Because that other guy, the radical Moooslem, he wants to see abortion on the lunch menu at every middle school in the country.

Somehow this moron is actually getting votes. Not that I have a problem with it. If I believed in God I’d actually pray for a Santorum nomination. Regardless of what the usually way off base polls say, it would only lead to an Obama landslide. All six women who vote for Santorum will be devastated to see him go down in flames.

Also, anytime you get to use the words “Santorum,” “go down,” and “flames” in the same sentence, I’d say it’s a pretty good day.

 

W.T.F.

How exactly does an experienced team that has been in a lot of close game situations absolutely throw one away like that? We had this game in the bag with three minutes to go, and then decide to stop making free throws, stop defending the three-point line, and even tip in a basket or two for the other team. Dammit Carolina, get your shit together. If you throw away the game in Durham, well, I’ve got a good mind to ring your doorbell and run.

  • He mentioned North Carolina cities three times in the first five minutes. Methinks he likes it here.
  • When is this president going to wake up and realize the Republicans will hate him no matter what? Before he even started his speech they were already criticising and tearing it apart. Grow a pair, put them in their place, push your agenda through. Quit waiting for the a-okay.
  • I’m not sure I like his idea about requiring all students to go to school until they finish high school or turn 18. Don’t get me wrong, I think kids should stay in school, and I want them to succeed. But if college taught me anything, it’s that school just isn’t for everyone, and a good percentage of the population would be better off just entering the job market right away, rather than delaying things and racking up debt and bad karma.
  • Yay, clean energy and conservation!!!
  • Crying over spilled milk. Cute.
  • Will populism work again? All this talk about the little people vs. the big nasty corporations is great and all, but it has to be backed up to be worth anything. A lot of us voted for a populist president, only to get a marginal improvement over the last douche in chief. How about some action?
  • Finally, punking down the Repubs about the debt ceiling. Banning insider trading by members of Congress is an idea whose time should have come years ago.
  • Who decides what people can do for themselves and what government should do? I like the spirit of his statements, but it gets a little cloudy if you ask me.
  • “With or without this Congress…” It’s about fucking time.
  • Why do we care if Iran has nuclear weapons?
  • …..blahblahblahblahtroopsblahblahblahblah…..
  • Hillary: “Oh you! Bringing that up again! Silly!”

 

All in all, a pretty good speech. The problem is, it might be too late. Congress has been strangling him for three years now, and he waits until now to try to break free. But everyone knows that during an election year you don’t get a lot accomplished, you just fight to keep your job. He’ll probably succeed at that, simply because the Republicans can’t seem to find anyone who isn’t batshit insane. But if the past three years set the tone for the next, I’m not getting my hopes up.

I still have to wonder what could be if all of the Occupy protesters and sympathizers woke up and voted for independent candidates. It’s not really “throwing your vote away” if thousands of people do it, right?

Hmmm…..

Newt Gingrich won the SC primary.

So apparently in the eyes of conservative religious voters, being a Mormon is a bigger sin than:

A). cheating on your first wife with your future second wife, serving her with divorce papers while she’s in the hospital recovering from cancer treatments, divorcing her because she wasn’t young and pretty enough to be the first lady…

B). cheating on your second wife with your future third wife, asking her to have an open marriage and when she refused continuing to cheat on her anyway (the whole time leading the charge against the president for having an affair) then telling her you want a divorce over the phone…

The difference it seems, to these religious nutjobs, is that Newt has supposedly asked forgiveness. You can be forgiven for doing horrible shit, but you can’t be forgiven for believing the wrong thing. You see kids, Mormonism is a dangerous cult that masquerades as a branch of Christianity. A serial adulterer and all around douchebag can be forgiven, but there’s no way a cultist is fit for office.

Seriously, was I that retarded when I was religious?

Oh and by the way…

Duke lost! Ha!

This makes me happy.