Category Archives: Uncategorized

Remembrance Day

Today, the 11th of November is Remembrance Day. The day we remember our fallen soldiers who fought and died for our way of life. Soldiers who were drafted or volunteered, to make the planet a better place. To fight oppression, and for us to live free.

In the Great War, our planet’s first war where countries all over the globe participated, we fought against German Nationalism. Germany sought to absorb the countries around it, relentlessly bulldozing their way through Europe. Further south, the fascist Ottoman Empire was doing the same thing. Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, The United States, and several countries of Europe and the Middle East fought against these war machines, pushing them back. Forcing Germany to surrender, and leading to the fall of the Ottoman Empire. We fought against fascism and nationalism, and we were victorious.

After the First World War, Australia (and other nations) took in refugees fleeing from their countries. Their homes were destroyed, their families killed, their possessions forgotten. They came from Europe, they came from the Middle East. Many of them did not even know that English was a language and had never heard it spoken before. Yet they came. They integrated, and they made our countries better for it.

During the Second World War, Germany, this time a fascist nation, which grew from the seeds of discontent, again decided to usurp Europe for itself leaving nothing behind. It wanted Great Britain, Russia and even Africa to itself. Several countries – Italy, Hungary, Romania, etc – allied with Germany, out of fear, or because they thought there would be more to gain by allying with them. In the east the Japanese Imperial Army, another fascist, nationalist country, were attacking and absorbing territory from China, Korea, Indonesia, and the rest of South East Asia, attacking the United States in Hawaii, even coming as close as to bomb Darwin, in the Northern Territory of Australia. Their ambitions proved fruitless as again Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, The United States, Canada, and many other nations joined forces to push back the conquering aggressors and end the war. Once again, the victory went to the forces fighting for freedom, and against fascism.

Once again, refugees fled their former countries, in Europe, in Africa, in Asia. Australia accepted not only refugees but people who just wanted a better life than living in war-torn Europe. Even soldiers who fought for the Axis powers were allowed to immigrate to Australia, rebuilding their lives here. We welcomed them with open arms, they integrated with us within a generation and our culture learned and grew from their input.

The Korean war, and the Vietnam war were the next wars that these allied nations joined together for, fighting the aggressive expanding Communist Chinese in Korea, leading to the liberation of the southern part, which became the Republic of Korea. China supported the Vietnamese bid for independence from the French by providing arms and war equipment, as well as funds and soldiers. We fought this war to prevent the toxic nationalism of China from possibly spreading further through Asia and into the Pacific. Fears that communism and nationalistic policy would make its way throughout the world unless it was stopped fuelled the war that Australian, New Zealand, British and American soldiers (amongst others) died for. Communism and Nationalism was not compatible with our way of life, and we were not prepared to allow it to continue to flow out of China.

The Vietnam War created tens of thousands of refugees who fled in rickety boats from Vietnam. Many of their boats ended up in Australia, their occupants terrified and sick. We allowed them into our nation, we allowed them to integrate with our culture and become Australians. Our cultural backbone once again strengthened with their addition.

The Cold War lasted decades, from after the war until 1991. During this period there was only muted fighting. The Russians had supported the Chinese during the Korean and Vietnamese war. No actual fighting was done between the two great nations of the USA and Russia. However during this period, thousands upon thousands of people fled the Eastern Bloc into the west of Europe, over or under the Berlin Wall to West Germany. To the United States. To the UK, and to Australia. These people have also been important for our cultures.

Our allied powers once again fight against nationalism and fascism in the Middle East, against Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, Qaddafi, Assad and the Islamic State. We create refugees because we fight the terrifying ideals of their leaders. Their leaders who want to impose strict religious rule upon the rest of the world. To impose strict fascist laws upon every nation, and to control us with fear and threaten us with destruction. Their ideals that are not shared by a majority of their people, the people who flee towards freedom. The people who escape those countries in the most dangerous ways because it’s more safe to sit in the ocean on a boat barely holding together than stay under the rule of their oppressors for any longer.

We only strengthen our nation with the blood, sweat and tears of people who join our country to live free, who wish only to make their lives in a free country, to have their children in a free country, and for their children and their children’s children to grow up free.

Australia is a free country.

This is what our soldiers died for. Freedom. Against fascism, against nationalism, against war, and for the safety of the oppressed.

Lest We Forget.

Lest We Forget

Internet lies and how to fight them.

I’m not going to talk about Trump.

That’s not true. I’m going to talk about him. I’m going to talk about him a lot, I’m sure. But for my first post here, I’d like to focus on a more pervasive issue, one that I believe can be blamed for his rise, but which existed long before it, and will continue to be a problem after he is, god willing, gone. It causes far more problems than Trump supporting, including, but not limited to, vaccine denialism, climate change denialism, fear of genetically-modified food, and pretty much every conspiracy theory. That problem is the inability of the average person to critically evaluate sources and determine whether or not a website, meme, video, etc. contains accurate information.

I am now 26. When I was in school, we didn’t really cover this. We spent about an hour learning about what sources could and could not be cited for research papers. The class basically boiled down to “not Wikipedia.” No one taught us about hoaxes, or lies, or outdated information.

My upbringing taught me to mistrust sources, because my dad thought it was really funny to make things up and tell me about them as if they were true. So from an early age, I learned to double-check things – if Dad said something that sounded a little suspicious, I’d go ask Mom to confirm. But most people don’t have parents who lie to them for shits and giggles, I imagine, and so they miss out on what turned out to be one of the most important lessons I ever learned.

You can see this throughout the internet. People see a meme or link making an outrageous claim and they just share it, even become outraged over it, without checking the facts. Older people seem to be particularly susceptible, but young people are by no means immune. Many humorous examples can be found at http://literallyunbelievable.org/, which is dedicated solely to people who do not know that The Onion and ClickHole are satirical.

Let’s play a game. I’ll post a few images and you decide whether or not each one is trustworthy and accurate. These are images I have created. I have chosen apolitical subjects for these memes (at least, as of 10/27/2016 – I do not pretend to know whether these poor animals will someday become politicized through some strange turn of fate).

firegoosememe

This one can be discounted immediately. It is unbelievable and cites no sources. If you want to be particularly skeptical, you can look it up online anyway.

 

wolfpackmeme
This one is believable and cites credible sources. If you go to those citations, you will see that the information is backed up.

 

hummingbirdmeme

This one is a little surprising, but again, the citations back up the information.

This one seems kind of odd, right? Even if you study birds, you’ve probably never heard this. But wait — there are citations. But they are very small citations, and I didn’t do you the courtesy of putting them into TinyURL first this time. What happens if you type either of those URLs in (which no one will really bother to do)? SPOILER ALERT: the claim actually doesn’t appear anywhere in the cited work. I made it up, then linked to related pages on credible sites so that on the off-chance that someone DOES go to the links, but doesn’t read them, they’ll think I must be telling the truth.

A common method for disseminating incorrect information is to link to a source that agrees with the statement, but which is biased and/or a complete hoax. If you can’t find a certain claim from a real mainstream news site or a scientific journal, you can assume that it is not true. Of course, this is rather difficult to get people to believe now that we have certain candidates openly saying that “the media” (actually an incredibly vast group of people consisting of news networks, newspapers, radio stations, and websites) is always lying. That’s an issue I’ll address in another blog post, however.

How can we stop people from falling for hoaxes on the internet? Through education. Every single time you see someone fall for a hoax, point it out. This is easier said than done, especially if it’s a family member, but it’s very important. They may not like you for it. They may not even believe you. But you have a chance to convince not just them, but the people around them (including people silently watching an internet discussion), if you bring facts. Children in schools are now being taught how to tell a good source from a bad source — reach out to your local school district and ask if they teach this skill. They probably do. The people left behind are people in their mid-twenties and older, and they need to be called out when they perpetuate misinformation. We can change the culture of the internet if we stop letting these things stand unchallenged.

What is it for? Good god, y’all?

I found myself offended by something I am reading. It’s a seemingly minor thing, just a question. “What is [the world] for?”

“What is it for?” That’s 4 words, 15 characters, and might be the most efficient way I’ve been pissed off by anything in my life. It sounds so bloody innocent, to be pondering the theological implications of a world to live in. And yet, it perfectly encapsulates a very simple flaw.

I’m going to tell you, but it is going to require an example first. You have a hammer, in a world with no nails. You can look at it, and wonder what it is for… this part could be used to pry bark off a tree, perhaps. It doesn’t have great weight for throwing, but fits in your hand fairly well. And then you strike it against a rock and get sparks, and cook your food with the fire you start with that. Handy thing. Nice and shiny, if the light catches it right.

But you’re already seeing that hammer being used for the “wrong” purpose. And thinking this example is silly. But this is a world with no nails. That hammer is a rock. Iron ore. Picked up from where a glacier left it.

Does that change in context change the purpose of the tool? No. Purpose is synonymous with motive. It is a rock. To assign it purpose is to anthropomorphize the inanimate… or to assign it your purposes, your motives in placing or crafting it… and expect the world, and other minds in it to think as you do.

The rock doesn’t care if it’s a hammer, a firestarter, melted for ore, or thrown at a baby. It’s a rock, and to assign it motive is as absurd as arguing with the elements. And when it comes to a debate with thunder, it is a Thor point.

To personify the driving forces in a complex world is to build gods and spirits. Superstition… worthless superstition.

The question that must be asked in its stead, when you have a hammer, in a world without nails… is “What can I DO with this?” From this question, imagination and context matter. You can build a house, sharpen a spear, hunt for dinner… and if the rock is big enough, you can stand on it and see farther. If it’s the size of a planet, you take some smaller rocks and build a place to live on it.

This works for worlds, tools, and even lives. If you ask what your life is for, you may find that you are a hammer in a world without nails… doomed to rust. But if you ask what you can do with your life… you might become the whack-a-mole champion, and with practice… be a magnet, generating electricity.

That’s the choice. Plead with Thor, or create the lightning. Ask better questions.

Mac and cheese because I typed it up for someone else and want it to go down for posterity. ‘sgood.

Ingredients: 1 lb dry pasta
2/3-4/3 cups cheese depending on taste and budget.
pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 cups milk
3 tablespoons flour, but when I say three I really mean 5 or 6.
3 tablespoons butter (for real)
any spices you like to taste. curry works well.

Boil a fat pot of water and dump the pasta in. Macaroni shells are classic, but I usually just use penne. pene? I don’t know. This will take longer than you think, start boiling the water 10-15 minutes before starting the sauce. Grab a deep frying pan ( I think what I use may actually be a dutch oven, but whatever. If it walks like a frying pan, and talks like a frying pan…) and put the butter in the bottom. Turn it on high. You have a limited window of time in which to melt the butter. Don’t rush, and measure 2 cups of milk into a microwave-safe container. Microwave it for 2 minutes. When the butter finishes melting, whisk in the flour. You should have a good rue (rew? roo? I don’t speak french) when you’re done and if you timed it right the milk will finish just as you finish wisking. Pour the milk in as soon as the butter and flour is ready, so that you don’t burn the milk pouring it in. Wait for this to start to thicken, then add the cheese, salt, pepper, and other spices. Once this tastes good and has thickened to where it feels right, take it off the heat and stir the noodles into it. Either enjoy like this or bake it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Dear Parking Garage, I Hate You. You Win Again.

As I drove my sweet silver baby down to the hospital (UNMC) this afternoon to bring my friend a few comfort items, I began to worry about the parking situation, as this is apparently one of THE places to be in Omaha on any given day. I quickly gave a thought to valet parking, but decided against it since you were right on my first left turn. Yes you, mister large concrete structure.

You seemed so friendly, open, and easy to use. There were signs hung all over you that said things like, “Green Parking”, “Do Not Enter”, and I’m pretty sure there were even a few that told me my right from my left. My car was pulled into your direction completely attracted to you because of this ‘easy to use’ face you pulled off. You also attracted me because you seemed to promise that I would not lose my way while driving in you, or lose my car when trying to leave the hospital.

Lies, they were all lies. I should’ve known better. You’re just a big concrete object full of lies and confusing directions after you’ve sucked numerous helpless cars in. I made my way in slowly, I looked for the closest spot, and I knew it would turn out to be a failure, but I figure it’s always worth a try. After realizing this was my first defeat, I continued on only to realize that I about turned the wrong way on your nice little “one way” track. Thankfully I went to this thing called school, and thankfully my family believed in literacy, so I quickly avoided making my mistake. I drove up one more track and found a comfy little spot not too far off from the entrance doors on that floor. I thought to myself that this would be easy, because nestled in your little large self were quite a few things I used as markers to remember where I parked. Things like the set of brown chairs sitting outside the glass doors, and the sight of this ugly shade of green chipped paint on your elevator doors and trim. The only thing that was going to be hard from here was finding my friend’s hospital room and the University Tower right?

Oh no, that stuff was simple. The signs and arrows were simple, and I made it about two doors away from her room before I double checked with a nurse on where my friend was at. I spent a few hours there, and didn’t leave until I knew she wouldn’t be alone. I even found my way back out of the unfamiliar side of the hospital easily, but then came the hallway where I had to pick a door to go through to get back to you. It was like I was on some sort of game show, and if I didn’t pick the right door, I wasn’t going to be rewarded with my car. I was tricked and I went straight out door one which was completely wrong, and I could tell the second I stepped outside because even though I didn’t see your brown chairs, the scenery also didn’t seem right. I tried a whole three times more in each floor on the elevator trying to figure out why the hell I wasn’t coming across the right floors again.

I finally got a little frustrated with you, so I decided I would just walk to where I felt my car was. This actually caused  me to walk in a full circle around your dark unfamiliar land. Suddenly you didn’t seem so friendly anymore. You just seemed creepy, and really really confusing. I began wondering if I maybe trusted you too much with my baby, because I just wasn’t finding her anywhere. I even thought for a bit that you had let her get towed away for whatever dumb reason, even though I knew I wasn’t doing anything illegal by where I parked. I finally got REALLY frustrated with you , and aftering landing on the same (wrong) floor yet again, I just exited your entire intimidating structure. I completely walked around your outsides, back to where my poor hatchback was sucked into you originally, and walked myself into your now poorly lit entrances. I walked up the way I remembered driving my car (without the one way near mistake) , and finally I was reunited with her. I love that car, and I’m not sure I’ll ever trust you or one of your kind again with it.

So I guess what I just wanted to get at is, I hate you. I really do. You are not the first parking garage I have lost my car, or a friends car in, and you probably won’t be my last. I think you’ll take great pleasure in the fact that you won again. You caused me to have a near freak out, because I had no other way of getting myself back home. You caused me to freak out because there is no way in the world I can afford to lose my car right now. You also caused me to feel like a complete and total idiot due to the whole walking around in circles thing, which is really what you wanted to do isn’t it? Well, congratulations. I hope you’re happy, and now I’ll have to make sure to be extra careful with you lying piles of confusing ramps and signs. That’s all for now, bye.

Messes & Things

I know we all get lazy, and in our adult lives we tend to be “too busy” for most things that we want to or need to do. Especially in these days with this so called “fast paced” lifestyle where we hardly find time to read the directions posted on a sign anymore, but when it gets to the point where we aren’t keeping our homes or our belongings clean is that just laziness or are we really THAT busy?

I became inspired to write this short story all thanks to the most likely week old McDonald’s biscuit that I just realized was sitting on the couch next to me. It’s not mine, I don’t really ever eat breakfast from fast food places, but it’s sitting right here on the couch cushion next to me all nestled up next to a screwdriver (okay so the screwdriver is my fault) and a knife. It’s as if they’re all snuggled up, and the two other objects are protecting the biscuit from the evil human being who is about to throw it away after she’s finished writing. There;s even a can of peanuts sitting behind it, acting like a bodyguard to this poor stale, lifeless, and probably tasteless, biscuit. I understand that my brother works long hours in a night, and I definitely could be of more help in keeping the apartment kept up, but I know for a fact energy is a problem for me, and it’s also hard to touch old food that I haven’t brought into the house. I’m also getting pretty terrified of that can of peanuts now that I look at them more, they are pretty mean looking. What if it’s a trap and there’s really a snake that pops out of the can the second I go to grab that disgusting pastry and bring it to it’s final resting place?

I’m starting to think I need to invest in a trash can in every room in the house or every other corner. I’m not going to sit here and say that I am the cleanest person you’ll ever meet, but I am scanning my living room and noticing that my big problem is the many pairs of shoes I own that are kind of scattered about in the pathway from where we enter our apartment. I rarely drink Dr. Pepper if ever, and there are cans of it scattered about as if they had been in some sort of war against each other.  None of them were left standing and…oh wait, there’s one survivor! Maybe it’s because he has a few body guards too, a soda cup from Runza (again not mine), an orange juice cup from McDonald’s (again not mine), a coke zero can (oops) , an open bottle of rubbing alcohol (mine, but the last place I left it was in my bathroom), a fry box from Runza(not mine) with a couple of surviving fries, and a bowl with some sort of green substance in it (not mine, and most likely molded milk).

Now I’m beginning to wonder what the exact distance the kitchen is from my couch…all I really know is it’s not that far. Maybe I should build some sort of belt like for a cash register to set all this stuff on so it makes it into the kitchen, instead of on our floor or furniture. No, on second thought maybe I shouldn’t because that would just promote even more laziness in a country that already has a severe problem with it. Oh, and just so we’re clear this isn’t a story intended to attack my brother, the poor guy overworks himself from 6pm to 6am almost every night, it’s just a realization on my part that one or the other needs to get into gear. Actually, people in general really need to. Yeah, I’m talking to you mister “I’ll just leave my soda cup on this clothing table even though the trash can is 5 steps away from me in plain sight” and you miss “I’ll just leave this paper sample cup on this end cap because even though there is a designated trash can next to each sampling station it’s just too much effort for me to use my brain or eyes to find the thing, or even extend my arm to throw it in there. I mean who does that anymore? Using your arms or any part of your body to do things yourself is so 1999! So is using your brain, my phone and computer just do that for me now!”

I’ll just leave it at that. It’s not really a matter of “I don’t have the time” as it’s more of a, “this doesn’t interest me because it’s a mundane necessary task in life, and quite frankly it bores the living shit out of me so I won’t do it. Besides , someone else will even if I don’t.”

And with that all said, I am now off to attack this biscuit, pick up these fallen soda cans, these bowls that look like they’re about to be sick, and the debris this little trash war has left on our living room carpet. If I return alive, you’ll see me back on Facebook yet again, and the carpet will be thanking me because it will be able to breathe again as well as show it’s pretty self off. Just keep this simple fact in mind, you’re all adults now. Pick up after yourselves! Hell, most of you (I would hope) learned how to pick up after yourselves since you were knee high. Why quit now that you’re adults? The only excuse you have now is any possible disabilities, or just being so old you don’t function anymore, and I mean that in the literal sense. Not just saying you’re old because you feel old, I mean like old as in you share a birthday with dirt. The end.

— I would also like to add as a side note the biggest apology on earth to my mother for being a messy teenager/young adult during the time I lived under her roof. I now completely understand the irritation!

Why Windows is, and will remain, superior to OSX.

To be fair, a 500 dollar dell is not going to be the same quality of hardware as a macbook. Where apple really dings you, however, is the high end. As far as I know, apple hasn’t released a core i7 system. Additionally, windows has A) a huge library of software going back twenty years (compared to OSX’s three, four at the most), B) real gaming support (mostly microsoft’s fault, but still), and C) I can install windows on whatever the fuck hardware I want. OSX I legally am not allowed to do that.

As to the virus issue, OSX is only mostly virus free because of its comparatively small market share. As that market share increases, more of the people who develop viruses will turn to developing them for OSX. Contrary to what apple may want you to think, OSX is no more secure than windows is. Additionally, anti-virus companies have a huge amount of experience combating windows viruses, and almost none combating OSX viruses, so when the time comes that it is popular to write OSX viruses, who do you think will be on top then?

Also: the leading anti-virus software on the market, both Kaspersky anti-virus and (my personal favorite) eset nod32, have a 90% plus detection rate. I’ll stick with windows.

And before some wiseass says that OSX has been around ten years, yes it has, however when apple switched from powerpc to intel, that rendered most of its previous software obsolete and incompatible.

(This is completely unedited from a facebook comment I made, I may edit for better blog-reading later. As it is, enjoy.)

Fire up the gas chamber (A history of slaughter)

If there is anything I am well-known for in most of the communities I frequent, it is the bloodthirst of both my dad and me for small animals. More particularly, the small animals that dare to wander within the relatively broad boundaries of our yard. And recently there has been a wave of brash animals challenging Dad’s territorial claims, and he just won’t stand for it.

First, a bit of explanation. Having acquired our land when the area we live in was fairly undeveloped, we were able to seize a particularly large space of land. That means there is quite a bit of yard to take care of/guard against the forces of evil (animals). And this being rural southern Georgia, you bet your sweet lily ass there are animals waiting to snatch our land out from under our grasp with their filthy claws/hooves.

From the very get-go, Dad waged a campaign against Mother Nature and her furry bastard children. The first to feel the wrath of Angry Middle-Aged White Man were the squirrels; the furred freaks enraged Dad by climbing up the bird feeder and stealing the seeds meant for the adorable cardinals, robins, blue jays, and finches that frequented our birdfeeders. Dad set out wire traps, and like moths to the flame the squirrels practically barreled into the cages to get at the concoction of peanut butter and something else (I don’t recall) placed inside the trap. Once trapped, Dad would proceed to put the squirrel, trap and all, in a plastic garbage bag, attach the opening to the exhaust pipe of his truck, and rev the engine. My brother and I would stand in fascination, as the squirrel’s death scene played out unscene behind plastic bags. It was hauntingly beautiful, listening to the frantic scrabbles slow and then stop, much like a play, as the garbage bag was then dramatically removed to reveal the corpse of the squirrel, frozen in death. Dad would then take the body and throw it in the ditch behind our house. Our next-door neighbor observed the phenomenon with horror and dubbed our house the “Gas Chamber”.

The squirrels took the hint and stopped coming back, for the most part. Then the moles moved in. They were much trickier than the squirrels, for moles are much much harder to trap or even catch. This is when Dad became almost frightingly dedicated to eliminating the Mole Threat. He started tracking the moles; whenever he caught sight of an extremely fresh ‘mole trail’ (dug up ground), he would fetch a golf club and stand by the hole. And he waited. And waited. Sometimes he would be waiting for hours, but he was determined. When one is waiting out a mole, it is imperative that one try to move as little as possible, lest the mole sense the vibrations and veer away. Dad was very good at waiting motionlessly. Eventually he would feel the vibration of the mole returning and as soon as he could discern movement below the earth his golf club would come crashing down. I only glimpsed this almost epic clash twice, not having the patience to wait with Dad. It was an exciting thing; to see Dad, motionless, poised, then suddenly leap into action with a terrifying force. Without fail the mole would pop up, dazed, and Dad would take a chop that would put Tiger Woods to shame. The frail, small body would spiral almost gracefully through the air, blood sprinkling the earth, and land with a gentle thud, only to be picked up and thrown unceremoniously into the ditch to join the cooling bodies of the squirrels.

The moles never really went away, but their numbers dwindled enough so that Dad was not enraged every time he stepped out into the yard. Then the armadillos stepped up to bat. THEY have been Dad’s most infuriating opponent yet. For while moles are largely nocturnal, moles actually pop up rather frequently during the day. Armadillos, on the other hand, absolutely refuse to come out during the day, so Dad had to stalk them at night. They are also extremely fast, so one shot is all you get. Their skin (armor?) is also apparently rather tough, as Dad was forced to cast aside his pellet gun in disgust and take up his shotgun after the pellet merely bounced off the blind fucker. They are supposed to be extremely blind, but they are paranoid little bastards; when Dad sat in the yard just waiting for them to come out, they did not linger long enough for him to get a good shot. They probably smelled him, I guess. This frustrated Dad even further; now he had to stand by the door that opened to the area the armadillos seemed to favor, looking out the window, watching for the motion-sensor light to snap on and reveal the armadillo snuffling about. It was a long, laborious effort; oftentimes there would be nights were the armadillo didn’t come out at all, or came out but only long enough for Dad to rush down the hallway to grab his gun. Then there were the times Dad missed or didn’t hit a vital organ; then Dad had to watch in frustration as the armadillo shot up in the air and then hauled ass back into the forest next to our house. The only aspect in his favor is that armadillos are extremely territorial, so he was only dealing with one or two armadillos. It took two weeks for Dad to get the first armadillo, then its mate the next week. Fortunately it didn’t seem to have reproduced–a very good thing since armadillos have four babies at a time.

The armadillos stayed away until recently; Dad has noticed to his fury the beginnings of another armadillo settling in. I have also noticed the motion-sensor light snapping on during the night, so there is definitely something out there. Squirrels have also been starting to swarm the birdfeeder recently established right in front of the house; these squirrels won’t fall for the traps, so Dad has resorted to killing them face to face. As soon as he sees a squirrel through the window, he goes barreling down the hallway, loads his gun, and creeps out the door and around the corner, usually catching the squirrel unawares. I will often follow, for the thrill of seeing Dad have a classic Gregory Peck moment from To Kill a Mockingbird. The moles have also been making a comeback, moreso than the armadillos, and Dad has already stalked two.

If I ever wrote a memoir, I can bet that there will be at least five chapters dedicated to Dad’s sheer insanity, obnoxiousness (he once called me ‘a bigger faggot than your brother, and given how your brother hasn’t gotten any, that’s saying something. Why don’t you stop eating so much fucking ice cream, goddamn, that’s my ice cream, you’re already fat.’) and bloodlust. I can guarantee there will probably be more posts similar to this one; this Thanksgiving, Dad lamented the fact that he had never opened a morgue/crematorium and made it a family business. “Can’t you see us working together, Edith? Just shoveling in the bodies and making statues out of corpses to put in the bathroom? We could learn taxidermy and make the dogs into statues and put them in your mom’s bedroom. Wouldn’t that be awesome.” My dad is batshit insane and it is fucking awesome.

The Orpheus myth, via rhyme

Now let me tell you bout my man Orpheus
He wasn’t the kind of guy to drive around in a prius
Naw, he was a pretty down to earth kind of guy
He had this girl, she was pretty fly
But then she had to go and die
Now this girls name was Eurydice
And she filled Orpheus up with idiocy
And so when she was killed most hideously
She cause Orpheus to cry most piteously
Orpheus went down to old man Hades
And said “Man, I ain’t got no rabies”
All I know is you got plenty of ladies
And I just want back my baby
Hades said a few different things
He said “Orpheus, I know you only just gave her that ring
And before that it was much more than a fling
And her death has taken away your ability to sing”
So I’ll give her back to you on just one condition,
Because you are such a fine musician,
As you embark on your expedition
Your head must remain in a forward position
Orpheus said that he could accede to that
And off he went with a rat-a-tat-tat
Off into the never-ending black
With Eurydice’s eyes boring a hole in his back
Now my man Orpheus nearly reached the light
But those eyes on his back were an un-ignorable blight
He just had to have Eurydice in his sight
The last thing he saw of her was her dress so white
When he turned around old man Hermes
Picked Eurydice up by the back of the knees
(He did it with a bit of a sneeze)
And flew away without so much as a please
And now Orpheus was exceedingly sad
He wrote some new songs which were pretty rad
Until the harpies showed up at his pad
And decided to take his torso home and call it Chad
His head floated down past his momma the muse
All the while it was singing the blues
And while with his lack of lungs this is bound to confuse
It’s Orpheus; so it ain’t exactly news
And that right there is the end of my story
I’m sorry it wasn’t full of blood and glory
But it was the story that needed to be told
Even if in this day and age it’s getting kind of old

Perception

In your mind you feel cold,
in your eyes you see frost.

In your mind you feel hot,
in your eyes you see waving air.

In your mind you feel the evil in the world,
in your eyes you see the blade penetrate your heart.

In your mind you feel love,
in your eyes you see love enveloping the world.

Which do you want?
Which do you choose?
Which do you see?