Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

Bryna and I got up early on Saturday and put in a garden with the help of our neighbors. We live in a four-plex and it's cool when all the neighbors work together on something like this.

After gardening came bike shopping. We went to three different bike shops and then Bryna found the Electra "Amsterdam." It's a gorgeous bike and it's comfortable for her to ride, which is to say it doesn't beat up her back.

I got up at 7 on Sunday and went to the skate park with my buddy Paul. After that the farmers market with Bryna. And finally, back to the bike store. It was hard to convince Bryna to spend a bit of money on herself but she was at last persuaded. We bought the bike and after we went to Tres Hermanas with our friend Chris for salad and Sangria (I had a smoothie that I brought in and poured into a Sangria glass so I didn't look like an ass drinking something I didn't buy at the restaurant. But you see, I am an ass!)

That night we went to the drive-in and saw 28 Weeks Later. This movie is SCARY AS HELL! I highly recommend it. And the drive-in is rad. I know, I'm always hating on cars, but if they're good for one thing, it's the drive in. Especially for scary movies. It's in such bad repair which makes everything scarier.

Monday was a holiday so we got up early and hit the bike trail, passing through Old Sacramento where the Jazz Festival was happening on our way.

We had a great ride. Stopping halfway fro a picnic lunch. We saw two cranes, a turtle and some wood ducks. Lots of folks were out for the holiday.

On our way home we stopped at Earl Grey Manor in Old Sac for tea. I had a great tea. Cardamom, licorice, mint, black pepper and yet surprising subtle.

Then back over the ugly but really cool R Street bridge that crosses the freeway and isn't open to cars.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Christian, A Muslim, A Hindu an Atheist and a Jew

A Christian, A Muslim, A Hindu an Atheist and a Jew walk into a bar...
You can come up with your own punchline, but I'll be living this joke as I fill the role of Atheist on the Coexist Comedy tour. Five comics with five different sets of beliefs on God, The Universe and Everything doing a show together.

To start we'll each be doing stand up dealing with religion and of course many other things. As we work together though I'm excited at the prospect of doing some skits together as well as other collaborative type stuff.

I'm also excited about getting as much of the off stage stuff on tape as possible. Dealing with not only our own differences but the different reactions of the public and the effect on us. I'm sure there'll be nights where one or more of us will not be able to get a joke over because of an audience that doesn't get the point and is just there to root for their "team." How we deal with that is going to be fascinating. Obviously I hope for an audience who gets it and is there to get along with each other, but we all know, bringing together people with different beliefs about God and putting the subject out there can be volatile.

Anyway, Since I'm Big Chief Blogs-a-bunch as well as the guy who first said, "Hey, you guys all believe different crazy shit, and we all get along. Man, we should do a show together" I've been giving the task of documenting the whole experiment at www.coexistcomedy.com.
Check it out, leave comments, and praise Allah, Jesus, Vishnu, God, Bob Hope or what have you.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell, Ding Dong Hurrah

Today is a tough day to be an atheist. If I believed in God I could rejoice in knowing that he'd be giving Jerry Falwell a good sock in the gut right now, maybe a pile driver or two. Instead I shall just be glad that a man who had nothing positive to add to the planet is no longer on it. Bye, bye Jerry, you will not be missed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New Story on my fiction blog

The Master and the Pilgrim

"Oh exalted one, we present before you now a pilgrim who has been through the trial of endless desert, who has scaled the 1,000 steps of enlightenment, he has endured every test of faith, soul and body and has earned an audience with your holiness."

The master listened as the young man who stood before him was introduced. Despite all he'd been through, all he'd endured, he still showed a hint of nervousness. Or was it because of all that he'd invested in this moment that magnified it's importance, causing his lip to quiver ever so slightly and his forehead to perspire. He was discipline, had to give him that. His stance was perfectly steady, his gaze did not shift.

"Thank you brother." The master said. It was as many words as anyone had heard him speak. He led by listening as he sat upon his mat in deep contemplation for hours at a stretch.

Now, alone in the room with a pilgrim who had been watched by all over the last two years, since it was noticed that he was making it through the ordeals more rapidly than any other in the history of the faith. That it seemed he would make it all the way was exciting beyond measure, but that he would do it without ever once having to repeat a trial inspired a sort of fanaticism amongst the throng of believers, usually not prone to such response.

"So, you've made it through every ordeal?"

"Yes master."

"Uh… wow. Congratulations, that's… that's amazing."

The disciplined and intense young man stood perfectly still. He was not asked a question and so, he did not offer a response.

"Um, okay… listen, the thing is, it's great that you got here that you made it, we all applaud you. I look forward to finding you a great place within the ministry and I think its safe to say, you'll be well compensated for your… your… ministry."

The two men sat in intense silence. The young man began to wonder if this was another test, another ordeal. He stood, still and stared straight ahead. He would pass it.

"Uh, that's it. Thanks. Look, I'm not playing or speaking in riddles or anything, we're cool here. Let's see if we can't find you a prayer mat eh? I'll call Brother Kelly back in," and as the master took a deep breath and prepared to holler for his most faithful dedicated follower to return the young man spoke.

"I need to know. What does it all mean? I went through all of those ordeals, night of one hundred odors, the week of truly awful films, and I still don't get it. I'm sorry, but I just, I just don't feel any closer to understanding what it all means. Why I'm here, why I exist, why here exists."

"Look kid, I'm gonna level with you. It's really quite easy. It doesn't mean jack. It's all biological imperative."

Click Here to Read the whole story.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Be a Man, a Macho Man

In 2003 Macho Man Randy Savage, wrestler and Slim Jim spokes model decided to add Rapper to his resume.

The results are, from a musical perspective so awful, just really, incredibly, mind blowingly awful, but like all the best examples of awful there's a brilliance at work here. The character he has created is intact throughout the album, so much so that I have to wonder how much of it is just this guy being himself.

The second that Macho Man comes on and in his trade mark grumble informs the listener that "Now I'm spittin' Lyrics" you'll be rolling. (Read the rest here.)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Ant and The Grasshopper

I recieved a conservative e-mail. Here's the e-mail and my reply.

The Ant and The Grasshopper
The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving.
CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.
How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?
Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, "It's Not Easy Being Green."
Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, "We shall overcome." Jesse then has the group kneel down to pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.
Nancy Pelosi & John Kerry exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.
Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.
The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.
Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.
The ant loses the case.
The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.
The ant has disappeared in the snow.
The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the once peaceful neighborhood.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote.

My Modern Version:

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.
The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.
Come winter, the grasshopper calls his Republican friends in congress
and secures a few no bid contracts in Iraq. He gets plenty of money and can live well anywhere he wants, but he decides he wants the ant's house as it's in a primo location.

He works with his rich developer friends and they apply to the city to claim immenent domain so they can put a highrise in where ant's house now sits (with a nice penthouse on top for grasshopper.)

The ant fights them. A small, free, weekly paper runs a story on his fight. The grasshopper's pals at Fox News run an inflamatory story on the ant claiming he doesn't take care of the home that he claims to love and is just looking for a bigger pay off from the tax payers money.

You see, the ant knows that we're all overtaxed as the wars wage on and the economy continues to stall and he cares about the environment, so he got rid of his wastefull lawn and put in a rock and cactus garden instead. His homeowners association cried foul and this is where Fox found their angle.

The attacks go further as the grasshopper, who never served his country at war attacks the ant's war records pointing out that ant only served two tours. "Why not three?" grasshopper asks, implying that ant was a coward.

Ant's boss feels that ant being in his employ with all the bad press is actually hurting his bottom line but he wants to stand by ant. The boss is offered a contract working on the sky rise that will go where ant's home now sits and he caves.

Ant now has no health insurance, is in jeapordy of losing his public assistance and has been arrested several times for vagrancy. He's recently turned to drink and his prospects for the future are not good. The view from grasshoppers place is spectacular.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote.

My next story will feature ant losing his job for writing long liberal e-mails from work.