In early 2009, I met a young woman named Mary. She worked at the Writing Center with me, and a mutual friend suggested she join our Dungeons and Dragons game. She was enthusiastic, if a bit odd. She asked if it was proper for her character to collect the eyelids of fallen enemies. I politely said she couldn’t do that, but she could have a tail.
A few months later, we started going out. She was everything I ever hoped to have. Mary was smart, insightful, and beautiful. She was headstrong, stubborn, and creative. The romance never wavered, and eventually we moved in together. In the holiday season of 2010, I asked her to be my wife. She was so happy, and had more than a few glasses of eggnog, so the rest of the night was spent in the bathroom as she puked up the beef burgundy we had for dinner. It’s the kind of story we like to tell when we, again, have a few drinks. It’s also one of the happiest nights of my life.
We grew closer.
A year ago, October 18, 2012, we had a common law marriage. We’ve been dying to have a proper celebration, something with masks and some horror, but time and money have been tight. This year, however, we both started good jobs. I’m teaching full time. We can get insurance. We can even make plans for a proper house in a year or so.
For our anniversary, we found out that Mary was going to give me the greatest gift of all.
Come April, she’s going to give me a baby.
It’s been a few weeks since we suspected, but on our one-year anniversary, we got final confirmation that everything looks good. Mother and baby look fine. I have a thousand questions and a million things I want to say to this child. But for right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. Come what may, I know what I have to do now.
I’m going to be a father. I’m a writer, a teacher, a friend, and a son… and now I get to add “father” to that list.
I love you, Mary. And I love you too, Tyranacore/ Vader/ Athena/ Madeline/ Whatever We decide to Call You.
PS: Yes, the kid is going to be brought up on Seuss, Silverstein, and R. L. Stein. Do you even have to ask?
To paraphrase the Daily Show, religion brings us together in a world torn apart by religion.
June 3, 2011
No, not THAT kind of Jewish problem, although this was perhaps the most shocking title I could think of to get some attention. If you clicked on the link hoping for some anti-Semitic post, you’re out of luck, pal. Try THIS charming pile of dogma and race-based attacks.
However, this does bring up an odd point when it comes to Americans and Israel. Obama gave a speech where he asked for Israel to go back to the borders it had in the 1960’s. It’s not a stance that’s new or even that controversial. Even Dubya made the same proposal without too much fanfare by comparison. However, the response from the Right was “Obama wants to destroy Israel because he’s suggesting a course of action Israel doesn’t want to follow.”
In fact, any time someone mentions a course of action that might inconvenience Israel, the Right has a collective heart attack. We must stand with Israel, they say! We have to stand by them no matter what!
Okay, let’s look at this from a purely physical sense. Has the global Jewish community suffered? Oh, of course. No matter how people insist on denying it, the Holocaust occurred, and even before that, Jews were often rounded up into ghettos and anti-Semitism is not a new phenomenon. Whether or not you believe Israel should have been created is another matter, but the reality is that the state exists and it faces serious questions as to how it and its neighbors will coexist.
But since when do we just give a free pass to any country to just do whatever it wants? Why do we believe we must help Israel at all costs JUST BECAUSE it is Israel? Remember, these are the same American conservatives who balk at the idea of affirmative action and welfare.
The answer has to do with the American Christian conservatives. If you’ve ever read through the book of Revelation, and it’s a fun read if you’re drunk, you’d know that Jews returning to the Holy Land is one of the conditions that must happen before Christ returns. And Christ returning is a big deal. He’s going to be on boxes of Wheaties and get his own toy in Happy Meals.
It will be a glorious day for Christendom, a day Christians have been eagerly awaiting for more than two thousand years…
Except that it doesn’t end well for the Jewish community. Not at all. See, the list of who gets to go to heaven is, well… small.
They link Hebrew teachings and Israel like they link Christianity and America. Of course, Israel really was founded on Jewish principles for Jewish people.
But think about this for a moment. Like I said, the Right gives Israel a free pass because Jews have suffered, yet the Right doesn’t like entitlement programs. A lot of the attitude we have in this country towards Israel is based on the idea that we have to make things fair for them. The Right says we must do everything in our power to help Israel, yet what they really want is to hasten the End Times. And like I said, it doesn’t end well for, well, anyone.
When someone says not supporting Israel, no matter what the country does, is anti-Semitic, please remind them that there is a difference between the state and the religion. This isn’t about what is best for the nation or for Judaism. This rant is about this country’s default position and why we go there. I’m not saying to not support Israel, because I think we should. I just wonder at both our motives and our real reasons for wanting to help them. Beck and others like him don’t really understand the concept and, although I’m sure Beck is just putting on a show for money, many only want to help Jews because they believe it will bring Jesus back.
One entire ethnicity wiped out so JC can come back? Sounds fair, right?
And finally, to really get an idea of the kind of brain washing we subject our population to, the kind of thinking we instill on children, check out the following video explaining why we have so many patriots who dogmatically defend this country despite reason. See you on Monday!
Okay, this is going to be brief, but I have some advice for all your writers and artists out there struggling to get the next paragraph out. I know you’re staring at the computer screen, or the easel, or something else and you think that if you stare at it hard enough, it will write itself.
Get out of the house.
This morning, Mary and I went to do a little field work. To be honest, I was getting a little burned out on Charcoal Streets. Things started to sound flat. It didn’t pop like it used to. Things just read, well, boring.
I’d wanted to go downtown and take pictures, walk through the border, and experience the sights, sounds, and smells of border culture. Three hours, one hundred degrees, and three hundred pictures later, we had some incredible shots to work with for both photomanipulation and as final works themselves.
The smells of the streets, the feeling of being utterly exhausted in the heat and still feeling accomplishment at everything we did, energized me more than I can explain. People-watching is a wonderful tool for artists, and this trip offered a lot of notes, images, and memories.
We found a church that was bricked up down to the windows. The door was rusted shut and nothing, not even a sign, told us anything about it.
Another church had a beautiful metal cross… though one quarter was rusted and falling apart while the rest remained almost pristine.
Mansions and former elegant homes dot the city, and many have been turned into offices for lawyers and others. Some, however, are empty, overgrown shells that wouldn’t look out of place in a Silent Hill game.
I haven’t sweat like that in years, not since I worked door-to-door sales in a cotton uniform in the middle of July. I still feel hot despite having drunk cool water since we got back to the apartment, but I’m sure it will pass.
I’m working on the edited stories for Charcoal Streets and will launch a DevianART contest next week. If you have an account, keep watching here for more information.
Sorry for the lack of update, but I have to write a eulogy for my grandfather for the memorial service. I get a tickle that I’ll be at a church podium reading a sermon that quotes Neitzsche, Voltaire, and Oscar Wilde yet has not a single Bible quote.
In the meantime, please enjoy the following audio violation. Ten points if you can sit through the whole thing.
Welcome once again to Divine by Zero, the only place where you can hear an anarchic liberal with a weird accent ramble about the crazy things in life. A few things came my way these past few days, and I have to give full blame for one of them to Stephenie Meyer.
First and foremost, happy birthday to the bra. Yesterday, the bra celebrated 100 years. Ladies, raise a toast for this wonderful piece of underwear. And gentlemen, also raise a toast to this wonderful piece of underwear.
The army released the recipe for brownies it uses to make these tasty treats for the troops… and it’s 26 pages long. Apparently, if you follow the directions exactly, you can make brownies that last for years. Anyone want to try this and comment below to tell us how they taste?
Science Daily released a report that states that exposure to certain bacteria can actually make you smarter. Specifically, exposure to something called mycobacterium vaccae, a bacteria found in soil, can boost learning ability. I don’t buy this report at all. How can you explain nerds’ increased brain-power? We RARELY go outside! Sunlight burns.
And once again my state proves it’s on a crazy race with Arizona. In San Antonio, police arrested a man who had decals on his car that marked him part of the sheriff’s department in Baxar County but in the nation of the Republic of Texas. Police are charging the man with false identification, not impersonating a police officer. Why not charge him with the latter? Because doing so would mean that Texas officially recognizes the existence of the Republic of Texas, a make-believe country some die-hard conservatives here believe is the rightful nation in these parts. They don’t believe the “official” state laws apply to them and so just pretend they’re citizens of this Republic. It’d be like investigating Fox News for improper journalism. That would imply they actually do journalism.
We don’t hear a lot of good stories about the oil spill in the Gulf, but an 11-year-old in New York named Olivia Bouler has raised thousands of dollars by selling her drawings. There’s even a Facebook page about it. This is great because it shows the impact a single person can make on something as massive as this, but it also upsets me that a little girl’s drawings of birds have more fans on Facebook than I do… I somehow feel my manhood has been threatened… She must be stopped.
Speaking of funny/ horrifying things having to do with the spill, did you know the government employees in charge of inspecting the drilling were watching porn, drinking, and doing meth? Oh, and they were taking bribes, were childhood friends of the people who owned the rigs, and very likely have to kill puppies to reach climax.
Speaking of children, two brain trusts decided to give their baby Pop Rocks. How did it go? Well… just watch. This kid looks like he just walked in on his parents making him a little brother when the candy pops or something.
Republicans, meet the internet. We’re crazy. House Republicans set up a website a few days ago called America Speaking Out. The goal was to have everyday Americans suggest the course for policy so they wouldn’t feel like the Republicans were ignoring reality. Unfortunately, when you ask the internet for advice, you get advice like this.
“End Child Labor Laws […] We coddle children too much. They need to spend their youth in the factories.”
“How about if Congress actually do thier job and VET or Usurper in Chief, Obama is NOT a Natural Born Citizen in any way […] That fake so called birth certificate is useless.”
“A ‘teacher’ told my child in class that dolphins were mammals and not fish! And the same thing about whales! We need TRADITIONAL VALUES in all areas of education. If it swims in the water, it is a FISH. Period! End of Story.”
“English is are official langauge. Anybody who ain’t speak it the RIGHT way should kicked out.”
And finally… I know Stephanie Meyers is behind this. Somehow. A new trend in San Antonio schools is for kids to identify themselves as “werewolves.” I’m not making this up. They wear collars and identify with wolves. You HAVE to see this video to believe I am not just making things up.
That’s it for today. Stay tuned tomorrow, because some idiots on Facebook are launching “Everybody Draw the Holocaust Day” in response to “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” I wish I could say I didn’t have to explain why this is wrong… but I do.