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Archive for April, 2008

Superstars

I fell in love at the Post Office today. As I was filling out my certified mail receipt (my mortgage company must be monitored…), I noticed an elderly gentlemen ambling toward the line and I waited for him to go ahead of me because A. he had a pronounced limp and B. my momma taught me well. I guess the fact that I didn’t push him over to step in front of him impressed him so he began to talk:

Post Office Man: “Do they sell money orders?”
Me: “I think so. Post Office usually does…”
POM: “I’m sending a letter to my friend in prison and I want to send him a little money.”
Me: “……”
POM: “He’s been in a few years and I can’t remember what he did but he’s working hard to get out and I think he’s really changed. He’s working a little now during the day.”
Me: “Oh, like on work release?”
POM: “Yeah, work release.”
Me: “Wow. Imagine that. The prison system actually rehabilitated someone.”
POM: “Yep. That’s what they’re supposed to do but it doesn’t happen very often.”
Me: “So I hear.”
POM: “You a native Athenian?”
Me: “Nope. Atlanta. Finishing up a degree and then heading back to Atlanta.”
POM: “What will you do?”
Me: “Well, I was a reporter and I’m good at that so I’d really like to get back to something like that but there’s a policy analyst position that I’m actually going to interview for so we’ll see.”
POM: “Reporter? I didn’t realize I was talking to a celebrity.”
Me: “BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! [Ed note: ask any reporter why this is hilarious…]
POM: “What?! If you worked for the paper you’re a local celebrity.”
Me: “It was several years ago now and it doesn’t pay enough for employees to be classified that way.”
POM: “Naw, you might get too conceited then.”
Me: “Hee hee, yeah, that’s probably true…Are you from Athens?”
POM: “Thomaston. I went to school here and played football here.
Me: “At UGA?”
POM: “Yep. ’46 to ’48.”
Me: “I didn’t realize I was talking to a celebrity.”
POM: “Naw, naw…I was only 5th string. But we did go to a few bowl games…”

We separated then to conduct our individual business and I looked over one last time to watch him write a little note to his incarcerated friend. I looked the ’46-’48 Bulldogs up when I got back to work. They won two conference titles.

I felt pretty good for the rest of the day.

The Space Between by Dave Matthews Band

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Um okay. Here’s my issue with Father Pfleger: while I totally understand backing up your friends — I have friends that say crazy shit all the time and I do tend to back them up because shared experiences sometimes trump wacky theories because theories change as people mature and grow — jumping around in the pulpit of a Catholic church is really strange. Priests are generally sober and sedate servants of God — they are in fact intended to be interchangeable within a parish — and so having a super charismatic personality preaching Elmer Gantry-like from the altar is really odd. (By the way, my Dad was fond of calling Mike Huckabee Elmer Gantry which I thought was just hilarious…). It reminds me of the scene at the end of The Quiet Man where the priest in the Irish town instructs his parish, to help the local Protestant pastor make a good impression on his boss, to cheer for the Reverend Playfair “like you was all Protestants.” I’m joking of course — I often felt great envy for the spirited sermons of some Protestant churches that I never really experienced growing up Catholic. However, and I can’t be sure, but it just feels like old Father Pfleger is really just in this for the attention which is incredibly counter to Christian teaching — um, the sin of pride anyone? And that’s really, really offensive to me. The separation of church and state works both ways man. I don’t need no politickin’ in my pulpit. And yes, I understand how loaded that is coming from a Catholic because of the power of Rome but some of us can dream…

In any event, one key element of backing your friends with crazy theories is acknowledging that their theories are crazy and it’s not the theory you support but rather that you believe that this person is in the midst of learning (as we all are) and your hope is that they do. It is true, however, that people “damning” things in church and spitting vitriol against Jews is pretty much in line with the flavor of people like Westboro Baptist Church who have the same “anti” message only they seem to concentrate on homosexuality and it splits radically from what I know of the Great Unifier (God). It’s all hateful and divisive and anyone who’s been in a room where this kind of “we hate” rhetoric gets thrown around knows how quickly things can escalate (just look at the post on Mexico declaring war on the emo kids). I would even go so far as to say this kind of thinking is the cause of pretty much every non-righteous war the world has ever seen. Notice I think some things are righteously battled over. I just draw the line at self-righteousness. And I know it when I see it. And Father Pfleger might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “I have all the answers!” Dude, really, neither you, Farrakhan nor Rev. Wright do so please, do us a favor, and just be humble for half a second. You may find that that is where some of those answers you think you have actually lie.

And I digress. Happy Friday.

Addendum — Zimmer and I, while discussing his overthrow of a small, South American country came that to the conclusion that he disregards Diablo Blanco as his official dictator title in favor of El Bombastico. Which reminded me of a song. So here’s your Friday musica.

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I’m not sure if this is funny or not — alright, it’s hilarious. Lord Somber sent this to me because, as a Gothy kind of guy, he identifies with the angst of the emo. I told Zimmer about it and he said, “And what’s [an emo kid] gonna do in retaliation? Update their blog?”

Or write some really bad poetry. Abajo con los cabritos del emo!

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Now that I can relax a little after successfully enduring the most intense three hours of my life — it reminded me of the newsroom when you just have to filter out the sound of 15 other people furiously and nervously typing, sighing, grunting and having panic attacks — I can get back to surfing the internets for the funny while actively procrastinating at work. Here’s a new favorite because I have a deep and abiding love for The Onion ever since it kept me laughing as a tear-off calendar on my desk at the paper (“Area Man’s Hair Feathered Like Wings of Majestic Bird”). And also because I have a deep and secret fantasy that this kind of interview might actually occur in the not so distant future and when it does it’ll just be tragic. But we can laugh at it now…

9/11 Conspiracy Theories ‘Ridiculous,’ Al Qaeda Says

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