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Adventures of the Sane Man

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Sunday, May 10th, 2009
12:49 am
You spell your name with different letters
Than anyone you know
Standing back in the shadow
Of what you're afraid to show

There's a song with a chord it seems
Only you can hear it on the radio
And by yourself with the ivories
You try to remember how it goes

You're sitting alone on the piano
And the melody makes you free

Strike that chord
No one's there to hum along
As you sing your pictures without words
Strike that chord
You feel like life's a love song
And it's all chorus with no verse

Everything around you is interesting times
Everyone around you are interesting lies
Wading through the tangled web of shadows
Maybe it is easier if you never try

You're waiting on that scene from that movie
Right before the fade to black

Strike that chord
No one's there to hum along
As you sing your pictures without words
Strike that chord
You feel like life's a love song
And it's all chorus with no verse

*You're waiting on the brtidge where the music changes
*The Hollywood ending, the epilogue pages
*But people keep talking with their worn out faces
*'Cuz they're just stuck in the same old places
*And deep down inside you a voice still rages
*Do they even notice that they're just like this
*You're so tired of the usual business
*That you think it's time to write your own verses

So you're pounding on that piano
And the scene just faded black

Strike that chord
No one's there to hum along
As you sing your pictures without words
Strike that chord
You feel like life's a love song
And it's all chorus with no verse

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Friday, January 11th, 2008
1:10 am - YOU
Yes, you. I'm talking to you, goddammit.

I miss you. And am telling you so.

I hope you are well. Let me know.

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Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007
1:36 am
It has been a couple of years since I have done this, but it is probably time again. Now that the whole world had jumped on the bandwagon.


Be my friend there, too.

Goddamn, I'm a dork.

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Monday, November 6th, 2006
3:23 pm
I *think* this one might be finished. Maybe,

As Yet UntitledCollapse )

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Monday, September 11th, 2006
4:32 pm - Everyone has a story today, this happens to be mine.
Talking with a friend of mine this morning, I am trying to figure out why I think she is right. She is upset at the appearance of indifference most people seem to be showing on this fifth year anniversary.

Have we gotten jaded? Have we forgotten? Are we too wrapped up in our own problems to care? Are we too busy laying blame to deal with it ourselves?

The biggest thing we have to remember is five years ago, there was a defining moment in our national identity. In the midst of massive tragedy, Americans acted like Americans. All of those stories we always heard in history class of our national mentality of unity, all of those moments of recounting the great things our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents did in their generations in the name of national pride were just stories. For my generation, this was the first real defining moment.

I was in high school during the first Gulf War. I remember my liberal, tree-hugging, die-hard democrat of a mother handing me a flag to march in support of our troops. Wear a yellow ribbon. Don't ask WHY we are at war, just show some solidarity for those young men and women who are in harm's way. And pray for their safe return.

But that didn't seem real. Watching it on TV, live as it happened, we lost seventy-nine troops in the entire Gulf War. Operation Desert Storm lost all of SEVENTY-NINE American troops. It was almost fictional. Sure, I knew of people who had been there. They came home with stories of sleeping in tents, and sand in their underwear. But it was people in a foreign land, and my only connection was my television.

During the later conflicts in Somalia and Bosnia, they were even further removed. Most reports of what had happened came much later, after it was over.

Even on the last attack on American soil, almost sixty years previous, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941; even then it didn't hit us very hard. At the time, it was mostly soldiers. In EVERY previous attack by foreign military personnel on American soil it was against soldiers. And we could deal with that. For hundreds of years, it was the practice of war to attack soldiers. Even in World War I and World War II, civilians were collateral damage and not the target.

In fact, the only place in the past hundred or so years that civilians were the target was in the Middle East. A place where running water and electricity were luxuries and not the norm for the vast majority of the population. A place easy to forget and ignore. Sure, we had embassies, reporters, missionaries, and the occasional stray tourist who would be in the wrong place at the wrong time and be caught in one of their squabbles. But a small handful of people every couple of years is easy to ignore.

In September of 2001, everything changed. All of the rules we had lived by as a people, a country, as educated human beings, they all were broken. Less than twenty dedicated zealots managed to plan a coordinated attack simultaneously in two locations to achieve maximum impact.

This is something I haven't mentioned yet. The reason everything is different is because we are having to deal with a mentality we have been able to marginalize and ignore before. All through every previous conflict, including the Cold War with Russia, the underlying effort was to survive. Perhaps you wanted more land. Perhaps you wanted to make a point, to retaliate, to do whatever. The reason you wanted to do that was to assure your own survival. And suddenly, we had an enemy who didn't care if they survived, as long as they took you down with them. Their goal was not to be the survivor in the best position to rule. Long term accomplishment of their goals isn't even a consideration. Instead, it is a selfish attempt to impress God by dying in a righteous manner attacking their enemy. When your enemy does not fear death, and in fact welcomes it, everything you know about warfare is wrong.

Religious zealotry is nothing new. More atrocities have been committed in the name of God than anything else in the history of the world. It is worth remembering that the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Book Of Mormon, they all are written about the same God. I'm not talking about Zeus, Ra, Mars, Apollo, Odin, or any other classic god of past theology and/or mythology. I'm speaking of JEHOVAH. In fact, even among the most steadfast scholars and clergymen of each religion, this is not disputed.

The Christian Crusades from 1095-1271 were massacres of Jews, Muslims, heathens, atheists, pagans, and even other Christians. In the name of God, they moved with soldiers and mobs across Europe and Southeast Asia. England, France, and Germany killed countless thousands of Turks, Israelis, Egyptians, Palestinians, and anyone else they could find that didn't subscribe to the Catholic doctrine. Advances in civilization, education, and communication caused Europeans and their descendants in America to forget and pretend these things did not exist. But many Muslims in Asia Minor have been holding a collective grudge as a civilization for over nine hundred years. This is a number most people cannot possibly comprehend. Nine Hundred Years.

The methods of retaliation these zealots use are not like typical warfare. It isn't against an army to accomplish a goal. Instead, they use acts of terror centralized and compartmentalized for maximum political impact. The people in the World Trade Center did nothing wrong, and weren't targeted for any reason other than they happened to have the misfortune to be in the place targeted for the maximum impact.

Because we cannot comprehend the mentality that would make such an attack, and the fact that there had never been a large scale attack of this type before on American soil, we were caught completely unawares. It is easy to blame Bush, or Clinton, or Bush Sr., or even Reagan for helping foster these ideals for our own political gain while ignoring warnings and possible consequences. But it had never happened here. And we felt like it never could.

The CIA trained Usama bin Laden to be a freedom fighter when it suited our political ends to use his armies instead of our own. And we cut him off when he no longer was of any use. Our constant meddling in the politics and religious wars in the Middle East caused us to gain more enemies than friends. Spotty and ineffective foreign policies made poor and uneducated populations of these countries ripe for charismatic leaders to preach a gospel (either political or religious) to foster the hatred and resentment these peoples felt. And focus it upon the targets these charismatic leaders chose.

One consequence of this happened five years ago in New York City. Like a jilted lover, bin Laden built an army to retaliate against the United States, whom he felt had wronged him when they used to support him. He used our own freedoms, opportunities, and general sense of open warmth against us. Walking his people into our lands, subscribing to our educational systems, and taking advantage of our friendship and goodwill, he caused the largest mas murder to ever occur within our borders.

Giving these odd Middle Easterners the benefit of the doubt, we allowed them to train to be pilots in our schools. We didn't question them when they learned how to fly, bought plane tickets, boarded airplanes, and checked their watches. We didn't listen in to their phone conversations to find out what they were up to. We didn't have surveillance teams keeping tabs on them because they were foreigners who were not used to our customs and behaving strangely. We didn't accost them in the streets just because of the color of their skin.

We left them alone. And while they behaved strangely, they remained under our understandably high radar. And because of that, they were able to hijack our airplanes and fly them into some buildings.

One thing we cannot ever forget is these policies that they exploited to attack us are part of what makes us so great as a nation. Enforce existing rules and laws. Do your job to the best of your ability if you are involved in enforcing these rules. Provide more than enough monetary and educational support if you are in the position to administrate these workers.

We cannot panic. We cannot overreact. We cannot live in fear. Because once we give away our freedoms and live in terror in an attempt to circumvent these attackers, it means they have already won. Live as a free, proud, generous, humane, and kind American. The best way to defeat them is not to try to dig around in caves looking for leaders, but to show them that their tactics do not work. And we will not let them change who we are.

In five years, many things have happened. Questions about whether or not Bush or Clinton could have done more with the intelligence they had. Questions about whether or not we could have gathered more intelligence.

When we attacked Afghanistan to take out the Taliban government that was harboring Al-Queda, we had consequences we could not forsee. A religious dictatorship that harbored terrorist cells and had inhumane and cruel policies towards women has been toppled, replaced by a government that cannot control a broken economy. Ever since the Taliban was removed, and along with it their strict policies about drugs, Afghanistan has returned to being one of the largest producers of heroin in the entire world. Because they have no other way to make money, farmers are growing a crop that is killing our children here in America. In four years, we have yet to catch the one man we entered the country to try to find. And the war rages on.

Our troops are spread thin attempting to secure Iraq, a different war with its own problems and quagmires, and unable to focus entirely on finishing the job in Afghanistan.

Partisan politics in America has spent a great deal of time and effort dividing our country, and laying blame at someone else's feet. Instead of a rallying cry, and a unifying theme, the phrase "September Eleventh" has become a means for political, financial, and celebrity opportunity.

To me, more horrifying than the death of 3000 people is the concept of someone making it into a country song to prey upon a heartbroken nation to gain a number one hit. When a television station runs a documentary about the attacks, in hopes of gaining ratings and advertisers. When a politician takes America's sadness and rage about the attacks and channels it into an attempt to get elected on an entirely different platform. These, and a myriad of other examples are the mentality that horrifies me more than the religious zealots. At least I can understand that they are brainwashed by a lack of education and the charisma by an intelligent leader into proving themselves for their God. The fact that they are doing what they believe is right, to be righteous in God's eyes, I find less evil and vile than taking advantage of the deaths of 3000 people for personal gain.

But not by much. I still think these zealots are little more than violent and armed versions of Reverend Phelps' www.godhatesfags.com church who happen to follow Mohammad instead of Jesus.

It has been five years. In that time, it is easy to move on with our lives. In fact, that is exactly what we should do. Continue with being Americans. Continue to love, honor, and care for our fellow man as if he were our own brother. Continue to agree, disagree, question, obey, lead, and follow. Enjoy our freedoms, and offer them to others. Be an example to others. Maintain the ability and opportunity that made this nation the proudest, most generous, most prosperous, and safest place in the world to live.

On this day, five years since our greatest tragedy, we should remember. We should not forget, nor forgive. Turning the other cheek and offering forgiveness works only when those we offer it to will accept it. In that situation, by all means offer it. Even if you don't believe in Jesus, the ideals laid out in his name are words to live by. If we offer hatred, fear, and violence, it is all we will get in return. But do not hold that grudge against people who do not deserve it.

Today, we should live our lives. Be who we are, and who we want to be. While the wounds are still healing, offer compassion to our fellow man. Fly your flag at half mast. Read over the names of those who died. Take a moment to thank those who work those jobs, and were not caught in the tragedy by simple luck of being in another geographic location. If you pass a firefighter or policeman on the street, shake their hand. And thank them for their service. If you see a soldier standing in line in front of you at the movies, smile and nod. And you might even offer them your regards. If you know someone who lost family or friends that day, call them. Say hello. Be a friend. You don't even have to mention their loss (it might even be advisable not to). Just letting them know you care is all they want and need. Do not curse a traffic jam because the police are investigating a possible suspicious package. Just be glad they are trying to verify your safety.

But also take time for other things. Take your kids to the park. Let the guy in front of you merge in traffic. Remember what the flowers look and smell like. Enjoy the color of the leaves as the begin to change. Call your mother just to say hello. Offer to bury the hatchet over a petty argument with an old friend. Scratch a puppy behind the ears. Go ahead and eat dessert tonight. Hell, eat two.

It is okay to mourn and grieve if you need to. But that isn't all. The best way we can remember those who died in 2001 is to be as good as we can be at being American, and human. For we should always remember, the way to defeat the hatred in the long run is to overcome the mentality.

Today, I may cry. And I may sit and watch the television news for footage and pictures of the horror. But I also intend to make a small child laugh. And call those I love to say hello. I will remember today for those who are gone in the worst attack on American soil in our nation's history. But I am also going to mourn one of my best friends who's funeral was that same morning. I am going to contact a friend who calls today his birthday. And I am going to celebrate my sister's second wedding anniversary.

Because life moves forward, and today doesn't just belong to tragedy, and not just to tragedy in New York City and Washington D.C. As a nation, and as people individually, we have to combine our pain with joy. Only then can we survive.

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Friday, April 28th, 2006
9:35 am
I may have found another muse. Either that, or this whole need for a muse thing is merely an excuse. Either way, I finished something else. I might still modify a word or three. But you'll get the idea.

Like A MovieCollapse )

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Sunday, March 12th, 2006
1:38 am
If you think you know what this is about, you're wrong.

Coffee, Cigarettes, and SmilesCollapse )

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Monday, February 6th, 2006
11:52 pm
I'll explain this more later. Just saving it for posterity.

Tightrope (redux)
Read more...Collapse )

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Friday, January 13th, 2006
5:37 pm
Happy birthday to punkwannab, glowingwhispers, and myself.

Big-ass party tonight. Come one, come all. Call me if you wanna be there.

Turning thirty on Friday the 13th is gonna be interesting.

Been out of LJ pocket for a bit, will catch up soon. I promise.

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Tuesday, December 13th, 2005
1:38 pm
You ever wish some vague fuzzy memories from your childhood were actually untrue?

That, perhaps, you had imagined the whole thing and it never really happened?

Yeah, me too.

Get Energizer, OY!

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Monday, November 14th, 2005
6:34 am - God damn it
That's twice I've been caught unawares this month.


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Tuesday, November 8th, 2005
10:13 am
I can't believe I missed hearing about this:

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9:59 am
In the end,
We will not remember the words of our enemies,
But the silence of our friends.
~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Sunday, November 6th, 2005
8:54 pm
Must give nod to sgrless for the inspiration. I stole a line from her. (Although I suspect she borrowed it from The Weakerthans)

Ashes And DustCollapse )

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2005
1:42 pm
Do this.

You know you want to.


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Sunday, October 16th, 2005
3:52 pm
Since summer concert season is coming to a close today with the rescheduled Green Day concert, I wanted to make a list for myself of the shows I had seen so far this year. Nine Inch Nails/Queens Of the Stone Age and Ben Folds/The Fray in the next few weeks, but that feels like Fall, and it is still short sleeve weather out there.

Let's see what I can remember (in no real order):
Dark New Day (twice)
Duran Duran
Stonecrossing (about 20 times)
Sharif Iman (twice)
Everafters (twice)
Beauty School Dropouts
Butch Walker (twice)
Butch Walker/Avril Lavigne
Ben Folds/Weezer
Drive By Truckers
Social Distortion
Presence (twice)
Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers (thrice)
Neil Young
The Katies
The Features (twice)
Kings Of Leon
Papa Roach
Better Than Ezra/Cowboy Mouth
Buddy Guy
The Exies (twice)
Velvet Revolver/Black Sabbath
Ligion (thrice)
Local H
Dave Attell
Lewis Black
Black Crowes/Tom Petty
Black Label Society
Green Day

I'm sure I'll remember more.

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
8:32 pm
WallsCollapse )

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Friday, September 16th, 2005
2:14 pm
Thanks to n3m3sis42 for the link.

Oh my God.

I want to go.

Like, so bad, it isn't even funny.

The Ultimate Hippy Vacation

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1:57 pm
That goddamned Muse, she strikes again

At least I cut it so I don"t clutter your friends list!Collapse )

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Sunday, September 11th, 2005
9:48 pm
It's been four years, Jed.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry some asshat with a turban on his head interupted us when we were celebrating you.

And maybe it is callous of me, but you'll always mean more to me than a bunch of goddamned burning buildings ever will.

You will be my first thought on this day, for the rest of my life.

And I've made my peace with that.

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