Wednesday, May 31, 2006

poor dumb Kuszczak

Not having the great all-soccer cable package, I'm really limited by what I get to see, which I may or may not have already ranted about here. It's a common theme to my personal rants, so expect it soon if I haven't, and maybe if I have.

Youtube fills that void to some tiny extent. I can search random things and come up with a variety of soccer related videos. This next one is delightful, and I hate to tell too much because it's so fun. Keep your eye on the keepers, the only two players involved in this.

Poor dumb Kuszczak


My son asked me earlier today to turn the music down, and instead, I turned it up a little bit. Fuck kid, they're factory fucking computer speakers! It's not that loud! And I was listening to the Circle Jerks at the time! I'm so fucking punk!

Okay, so my son is three, the music wasn't that loud, I did turn it up but not much, and I did turn the volume to a level that we could all agree on almost immediately, though only after making my oh so valid point. I'm gonna do whatever the hell I want kid! Kind of! Totally kind of!

But there for a moment, with the whole reversal of the age old situation, youth versus age, and I got to stand up, however momentarily, for my rights to rock the fuck out! I sassed youth with punk rock music! Kiss my ass world!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

can I watch them all?

June 9, Germany and Costa Rica play the opening game of the 2006 World Cup, and the ESPN bunch are showing all 64 games of the tournament. So there will be at least three games a day, one glorious month with more soccer than any sane person should be able to handle. Knowing the likelihood is quite equal to zero, I still wonder if I could watch all 64 games.

I'm sure Momma and the boys are going to love it. Momma couldn't give a shit about soccer played by anyone she didn't either bear or marry, and the boys just don't care enough to watch it usually. They both are cool with playing the game, and if Billy and Mandy played soccer, they might watch the game.

If you need a schedule, you can check the official FIFA World Cup site. Scroll down to Group E to find USA. I'm sure any enterprising soccer fan homeschoolers could make several geography lessons based on the different games. The US plays Czech Republic, Italy and Ghana in the first round, three completely different countries/parts of the world, an easy and interesting trio of geopraphy right there.

I haven't played in weeks it feels like, and I have been really bad about even getting out of the house most days. I need to call "that guy" and get signed up for the summer season. Then I need to remind myself that I'm supposed to start exercising regularly. I'd like to get myself back in good enough shape to move up to the midfield again. I think I fooled myself into thinking that defense meant less running. File this under different post/different day.

Ooooo! Fitness, another topic that I need to cover with the boys.

So, that's it for now. I'm pondering my punkness still, prepping myself for part two of my musical history. Right now, it's all soccer thoughts though.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

so I think I'm a punk, part one if I get around to more

I've always felt a little confused, like I'm just late enough with things and everyone else has already gotten it, laughed at the joke, enjoyed the hip new band quite enough thanks. I'm not sure when that feeling really took over. I spent many years in bliss, not knowing how much good music there was in the world, wrapped up in a tiny baptist bubble.

I find myself at a place where Iggy Pop and the Stooges are both new and familiar to me. New in the sense that, for the most part I haven't really ever listened to them. They are familiar though in that I've heard of them, heard random songs by them and by Iggy Pop. There are plenty of other bands as well, bands that I was old enough to have known about, but insulated enough to never hear.

My younger brother and I would listen to the Gaither family on vinyl, which was fine because they were gospel, but we would actually enjoy and sing along when we were younger. I remember actually hiding under the covers to listen to Lionel Ritchie as I grew to become a young teenager. I'm guessing now that it was time to rebel and that I inherently knew it without knowing that I could. At this same time, there came other scare tactics. I know it sounds really lame to show up so late, but I really did have a lot training weights attached at the time that made things hard.

I knew of heavy metal. There were those kids at school, fast becoming the bad kids, that spoke of things I later learned were metal. That both frightened me while impressing me a little. I didn't know then what or who a Dokken was or a Ronny James Dio, but I heard of the names. I know now that Dio was no Ozzy, but that's another post for someone else who cares. Punk actually completely passed me by until much later.

And then came that nephew of a family with whom we were friends at church. The nephew was having problems in the mountain community where he lived in North Georgia. It never occurred to me till now that they sent him to Atlanta basically, barely the outskirts really, to get him from a troubled environment. This was the kid, in his all black and white clothes, his Vision Street Wear clothes, even cooler than Mike Stretch's Jams. And he played the Circle Jerks, and I loved it. It was however just a spark waiting to ignite.

I don't know that I ever learned what happened to him, but he was gone and I was back to the same old. I was still mostly scared of rock music because of that traveling guy with the slideshow about all of rock music being a front for satan, satanists and assorted evil folk, possibly some of them gay, all of them on drugs, and they were using music to get us all, to wrest us from the loving arms of god. He had a slideshow, and he had samples of lyrics, and all that, the fucked up '80's metal cover art and bullshit mystical lyrics were enough to freak anyone out, or so I was taught.

My first job, at a steakhouse in a mall, was very shortlived, a whirlwind of some Big Daddy Kane, some metal that scared me from that manager that scared me, the Mexican dishwasher who dry humped the dishwasher. That job was to save money for the summer in Wyoming, yet another blog. And the following fall, after returning from a hell of a summer out west, I began working a real job.

I was allowed to listen to a radio here, the first time that I could really listen to music without my parents close enough to catch me, to pick and choose with no concerns but my pleasure. I played whatever sounded good, mostly whatever rock was playing in Atlanta in the late '80's. The first album I remember buying is Guns and Roses, Appetite for Destruction, still an amazing album. And I almost went the wrong way. I was cruising down the wrong metal path, that path of hairspray, tight clothing, the really bad part of metal that was the very late '80's.

Another happenstance meeting, right at the moment when I needed it came in the form of a sister in law's nephew. His family, mom and sister, had just moved back to town. He had busted his knee in a workplace accident and was . . . I don't know to this day how it was that he and I were pushed together. But he was the final corrupting influence that drove out the glam metal dork I was becoming, who would have grown into . . .I shudder to think!

With all that I didn't listen to growing up, you may wonder what I did listen to, and I very often wonder that same thing. Very little really stands out. I remember lots of gospel bluegrass, some Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline, some classical, lots of fucking hymns, many of which I can still remember verses 1, 2, and 4. I remember NPR and Ludlow Porch mostly news and conversation. Of course Willie and Patsy stand out. And I know that there was more old country mixed in every now and then. But I made a point of not wanting to hear it I think, but it seemed to get in anyhow. I didn't learn that till later

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

battle cry needs to shut up

This Battle Cry shit just might be the final straw for me. These fucks just may make me lose it. I'm not at all surprised when the religionists try to rally their moral troops, and I'm not surprised that christian teenagers, like all teenagers, are unable to stand up to idiocy.

Kids, teenagers, are mostly great people, but they are young and gullible all too often. As well we know that parts of their brains are still developing. They don't always have to ability to think ahead or to see the variety of outcomes. How many people start smoking as teens versus the number that start smoking in their twenties?

Who but teenagers would wear clothes so baggy and ill fitting that they are unable to walk reasonably and explain it as individuality while surrounded by like minded and similarly dressed peers? Who but teenagers would follow the example set by every religious leader for whom they have respect, never questioning the biblical text or their leaders' words and describe it all as thinking for themselves?

I try so not to be antichristianist, to see all people in terms of equality. I'd like to believe that we are all mostly the same with similar drives and ambitions. But I just can't accept that most christianists want what is best for us. They have such a disturbing and facist view of what is best for us, a world where our morals are forced on us, not unlike what the mullahs are forcing on too many islamist nations. Wow, there's the comparison.

I'm trying to remember the point in the bible where it states that believers should arm themselves for battle against people. There are references to a battle against evil, but these are not battles against people who are perceived as evil. They are exhortations to believers to practice their religion personally. There are passages that suggest that believers should preach their story, their truth as they see it. But never does the bible say that nonbelievers should be forced to do anything. In fact the bible does indeed preach that people have the choice to follow or not follow the bible.

Christianist people have no rights to try to force their codes of conduct, their beliefs or their morality on anyone. It's really that simple. I do not believe their stories nor will I ever. I have no room in my life for their brand of hell. I refuse to allow them to win. This is not their country nor is it a christian nation. We are a republic that was founded on a certain set of beliefs in the freedom and rights of men and women.

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" does not really leave much to debate. Those are very important principles to very many of us, American and otherwise. They are obviously not important to the growing movement of fascist christians. Those words don't open the door to a theocracy no matter how far into the door you try to wedge your bible. Our founders did not say "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness within narrowly defined parameters as set down in the bible." It does say that these rights are given us by our creator and that these rights are inalienable, or nontransferrable, or ours and not to be taken or taken lightly.

The enemy that we are supposed to be fighting tells us their god is most powerful and wants us all to wear beards and burkahs. If our own religious fundys get any more power, how far away are we from the protestant burkah? They are fighting what they might call an immoral and violent society and want to turn us to christ. That won't happen.

Islamic nations are known for having religious based police, morals police, whose job is to basically drive around and harass people who are not following the koran properly. Iraq is currently engulfed in a civil war pitting two opposing sides of the very same religion. If we are forced to become a theocracy, how long until we start seeing truckloads of dead baptists killed by the catholics from the next neighborhood over? And before we know it, the baptists have struck back with a car bomb. Not to be outdone the episcopalians are tossing a molotov cocktail through the door of the synagogue. It sounds crazy doesn't it? But were Iraqis killing each other like this last year? And what of the catholic versus protestant battle in Ireland? Not so far fetched now is it?

Is this what you want battle cry? Do you really want a war? Please, christian Americans, don't force us into a civil war based on your superstitions. What you see as an immoral and depraved American society is starting to wake up to your fascism, wide eyed fully awake. God is not telling you to start this fight, and he/she won't help you survive it. But there are plenty of us more than willing to fight a real fight for a freedoms. I'm not willing to die for oil in a desert, but I will stand up for my rights, my children's rights and the rights of anyone who values liberty.

Thanks to the Daily Pitchfork for bringing this to my attention moments before Kos would have. Okay, it's only because the fine folks in hell come first in my bloglines.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

King Dork

Having finally finished this delightful book, I felt I would make this my inaugural review. I don't know that I'll ever do a book justice, but I can talk shit and pretend that my opinion matters to people.

This book has gotten nothing but praise as far as I can tell. If you check the author's blog you can find all sorts of glowing reviews. It's a lovable book, especially if you love books.

Fans of rock and roll should read this book. Parents of school children should read this book. People old enough to read books should probably read it, though I've already informed Big Brother that it isn't appropriate for him yet. He is only 7.5 and ability to read doesn't mean I want him knowing about some of this stuff. Of course I've also pondered whether Douglas Adams would be appropriate for our nightly bedtime reading. I might do that one soon.

Tom has plenty of problems, though most of what he has to deal with are arguably other people's problems being transferred to him through the variety of shitty things that kids in do in a school environment.

As a homeschool parent, I have to admit that this book opened up as a manual on why not to send your children to school. As a homeschool parent, and as a person who is becoming more and more antischool, it was difficult at first to separate my feelings from the book. I find that I grow ever more opinionated when it comes to schooling. But the book is good enough so that I soon forgot all that as I sank deeper into the pages.

Tom has a number of adventures as we read through the book. He is confronted with a number of mysteries that allow us to see the inner working of his mind. It's fun to remember back that far, being 15 and both so sure and so unsure of everything at once. I can't say that the mystery is entirely solved in the end. I wonder still what the truth of it all was, having finished the book only to realize that for the most part, we still don't know what happens. But it's Tom's story, and his mysteries. So if he's happy, we can only be happy for him.

Anyone unfamiliar with Dr. Frank should rush to their nearest record store and pick up a few of his band's albums. The Mr. T Experience is basically Dr. Frank and a rotating pile of other musicians, or so it appears to me. The constant in the band, aside from Dr. Frank would be his amazing lyrics, his ability to pile words into each other to say things in the most fabulous way.

In case you don't believe me, I've lifted an example of his lyrics from the song With My Looks and Your Brains, from the album Revenge Is Sweet And So Are You. I think I've actually thought the same thing about me and Momma but giving her credit for both the looks and brains.
I wonder if under pressure we could make it on our own.
Could we stand it, empty handed and stranded and all alone?

But let's not find out what that would be about.
I'll stick with you.
You let yourself be stuck too.
You and me have a legacy that we can pass on to our kids.
They could get lucky.

With my brains, your looks, your knights, my rooks,
they could really win a lot of games.
But just think, what if they end up with my looks and your brains?

So do yourself a favor. Go to the record store in your town, the small one that only exists in your town. Ignore all the little signs that say Pop/Rock and Country and Heavy Metal. Look really hard for the sign that say Handed Down From On High and look under M for Mr. T Experience. Buy any of the albums or go ahead and get them all. Go next to the bookstore and pick up King Dork by Frank Portman. Then go home and be prepared to fall in love all over again while you immerse yourself in the words of Frank.

Oh, and here is the trailer for the book.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

interesting searches

I'm always waiting for my brilliance as a blogger to be revealed to the masses. I'm not going to bother trying to get there myself either through being brilliant or through doing those little things that Statcounter suggests. What I will do is make up some really dumbass posts that seem interesting. As long as you read it first, I don't care how disappointed you are at losing those minutes of life that this blog sucks away.

So today is the day where I give you insight into the two visitors I got last week that weren't people that I regularly bother.

Random Ramblings of the Beautiful Game Soccer


I might soon have to do a personal review of King Dork, the lovely book I mentioned so recently. I did indeed finish it in a few short days and moved back to the previously begun book. I've picked back up in the build up to the Civil War with Lincoln working toward what we already know to be the presidency.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Shelby Foote vs. Frank Portman?

I forget exactly how I first came to know of Shelby Foote, but I seem to remember it as that once a year moment when there is something interesting on CSpan at the same time you happen to put the tv on channel 98, or whatever it is where you are. But learn of him I did, though it's taken a couple of years for me to kind of follow up on that.

Frank Portman I have a somewhat longer standing familiarity with, though until very recently, and still honestly, I know him better as Dr. Frank, one of my all time favorite songwriters and punk rock heros. He has this sweet-ass band the Mr. T Experience. It's because of Dr. Frank that I know what ennui and weltschmerz mean. And this beginning of a story starts with the good doctor and ends with Mr. Foote.

Whatever day last week was errand day, I dropped by the mall because it's got a Waldenbooks, and I was tired of not buying this cool new book I've been meaning to get. Frank Portman has written THE cool new book, King Dork, and given that whole love of mine for the man's ability to make words work together really well, add my own love of books, you've got a recipe for a purchase. Unless of course they don't have the book you want.

Staring into the bargain bin, wishing I could find a book that I wanted, I noticed it. The title was about a yard long, and I'm not even close to being sure how to properly punctuate it, but we'll throw some commas at it and see what sticks. It's volume 1 of a series titled The Civil War, a Narrative. The volume itself is titled Fort Sumter to Kernstown: First Blood-The Thing Gets Under Way.

I began reading the book a day or two before a new PopSci showed up in the mail, and that preoccupied me a little. But I was soon back into the secession and the build up to war. Jefferson Davis has just left the farm to be the president of the CSA. We jump at that point to Abraham Lincoln. I'm still getting background on Lincoln as he has yet to run for president. It's written in a great narrative style, proving my interest in Shelby Foote, at least so far, was well placed.

At some point in all this Momma finally orders her helmet. As one fine-as-can-be Hard Knox Roller Girl, she has needed a helmet for some time, but she's been able to get through the practices just fine with borrowing. Since she was finally ordering something online, we decided we might as well get Frank's book. It's never been a question of if but when we were going to buy the damn thing. Next of course came the wait until UPS rolled up today, a few days sooner than we really expected.

I wondered as I ripped into the box if I was going to keep reading about the Civil War or if I was going to finally find out about Tom Henderson. Dr. Frank wins this round. Maybe my mood will flip tomorrow, and I'll need to get a little more meat in my mental diet and go with history, or maybe not. As it is now, I already want to sneak to the garage for a smoke and some deep reading.

When I went searching for a link for Shelby Foote, I found some news at NPR. Apparently he died last year. I never watched the Ken Burns documentary about the Civil War, but now I may have to. I'll read the books first though. I found the news at NPR, but I link you to the Wikipedia page.

And finally, I'm curious how many Mr. T Experience fans have the same problem when reading King Dork. I think I hear his voice in my head when I read the book. Not all the time maybe, but I know at least part of the time, I hear Dr. Frank in my head reading his words. I do the same reading the British sea going tales that I love, slowly slipping into an English accent, inside my head.

Friday, May 19, 2006

blogger spell check

Why does blogger dot com's spell checker not recognize the words blog, blogger or blogging?
Seriously, yo!

while it's still fresh

The incident about which I'm blogging happened mere minutes ago. The Boy is happilyish laying on the love seat, possibly to fall asleep soon.

Yesterday Big Brother complained most of the day about a headache. He ate very little throughout the day, and even when the tv wasn't on, he lay around near it, not venturing from the sofa for the majority of the day.

He obviously didn't feel well. Other than the headache and an audible stuffiness, he didn't really have any complaints. He didn't say that he felt stuffy, even when asked, but we could hear his nose being a little noncompliant.

Today, Big Brother is back to normal. He still sounds stuffy in the nose, but he claims to have no headache or any other symptoms/problems. However, The Boy has taken over the lazing about. He actually fell asleep in the floor earlier today. He's been just laying in the floor most of the day. I've questioned him several times, asking him about different parts that might hurt or feel bad.

Minutes ago, I lay down next to him in the floor. Yes, he said that he felt fine. No, nothing hurt. I was making a sort of gasping sound with his mouth that I didn't relate to what came next. While assuring me that he was fine, I could tell that something was coming. It wasn't the breathing problems that were my concern at the moment.

I backed up just in time. There's a certain something as a parent when you see the flume of your child's stomach evacuating itself toward you. And this time it was a nice bright red, just about to turn the corner toward a dark pink. I got him quickly to the bathroom then began the vomit removal. Thankfully, there's still a nice pink spot in the carpet. I might worry otherwise that we'd forget where it was. Pity.

I'm not sure what we've got here at the house with those boys. I'm half expecting to wake up tomorrow only to realize that I'm learning how they felt. That's one way to develop empathy for a sick kid, get it yourself. I suppose we'll see.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

another needless accident

This from an article at

The guy driving the tractor trailer had dropped his phone while driving. Of course he had to get the phone back, I'm sure something very important, matters of life and death even, were hanging over his head. Once he came back up from the phone search, he was too close to the truck in front of him to avoid hitting it. The front axel on the semi broke, dropping the cab onto the ground where the fuel tanks ignited. The explosions that ensued included the tires exploding and threw two firefighters ten feet while also throwing rubber and other debris about.

The article doesn't mention anyone being seriously hurt and does explain that the firefighters' injuries were not serious. The truck that got hit was trailing a road work crew, giant arrow flashing, in part as a safety measure to avoid situations like this. It's pretty dangerous to work on a road crew on the side of an interstate. This crew was installing rumble strips in the breakdown lane, those things that wake your ass up when you doze off on that long drive. I don't know if it's quite ironic, the crew installing a safety device being involved in this sort of accident, but it's something.

The Wired article I stole this from mentions safer technology and using your phone more sensibly. I don't think that's the solution for the most part. I think most drivers could easily just not use their phones while they are driving. Calls can be made and returned while stopped, and most of us probably wouldn't miss the little bit of time we stopped to be safe. That amount of time is certainly small compared to the amount of time lost to an accident, not to mention the safety of people in your car as well as those people in other cars, those people you don't know.

I've blogged about this kind of thing before. It's sort of an issue with me. I would really hate for my life to be impacted by an accident because of the selfishness of someone else. If I leave the house, I'm almost guaranteed to see someone driving poorly while talking on the phone. I'm just as likely to see an accident narrowly missed, not avoided as that would take people being mindful of the situation. These people never even notice how close they came to an accident. Whether it's a minor fender bender or an exploding truck shooting tires and wheels into the air, car accidents are shitty to force on other people.

Hang up and drive.

Monday, May 15, 2006

a restaurant customer fable

Those of us who work in restaurants tend to think we've heard it all. We've served so many dipshits that the stories tend to pour out like the taps. Ask any restaurant employee for a story. Ask the servers about customers. Ask the kitchen about dumbass servers. Ask the management about the three, customers, servers and cooks. There is enough there for a lifetime of tales and parables.

So many of the best stories that come out of restaurants don't involve the customers. Those are the good stories, the late night post work barhop where you had that perfect end to an evening. Meeting up with some coworkers for just about any event, from a softball or soccer game to a baby shower, it's all the same, because they all end in the cups.

The customer stories are never good. I often think I've heard it all, or I am certain that a restaurant story can't shock me. But then the customer shows up, and they can't help but make you want to start choking people.

I may have mentioned my lovely wife before. I may have mentioned that she works at a really cool sushi bar here in town. The place has been slammed since it opened, and the people love the sushi. I'm not personally the biggest fan. It's part seaweed and part texture, but that's not even another post. That's just me.

Food allergies are real and can be very serious. I have a nephew who is deathly allergic to peanuts. He is a cool, bright and fun kid. His first words had to do with his allergies, because they are so serious that it was what he heard about first. He picked it up as kids do. I love my nephew and understand taking precautions, and as a cook, I'm willing to make allowances whenever possible and within reason to accomodate a variety of customers.

Having said all that, who the fuck goes to a sushi bar, only to tell the staff that they are seriously allergic to shellfish? And who the fuck does it on a Friday night? Seriously!?

If it were ONLY the crab and shrimp it would still be a pain in the ass. For a single customer, Momma has to wash down the entire area where the sushi will be put together. This involves taking the five foot cutting board off the line entirely to scrub it down. She has to clean her knives and use all new utensils or clean the ones she has. She has to stop everything she is doing on a Friday night to do this for a single person who went to a restaurant that specializes in part in the very thing that can kill him. And then the son of a bitch, after he finished his special food, ordered more, putting the entire kitchen staff through the clean up a second time. All this stopped the entire kitchen basically, slowing down everything but the rest of the customers. I want a time machine and to go and choke that fucking guy.


COD posts about an article in which some Virginia parents don't think their children can get edumacated for a measly $11,000 a year. They're angry that other school districts get over $17,ooo per child.

So I thought to myself, I thought, "Self, what could we do with an extra $11,000 per year.

My first thought was that we could take a field trip up north to RFK stadium and watch DC United whip some ass. They've got some museums and stuff up there as well, so we could learn about mass transit systems while going to museums.

I've always wanted to ride a riverboat from St. Louis down to New Orleans. I've long been a fan of Mark Twain and the world of riverboats. We know about steam power, thank you Thomas the Tank Engine, so we could learn about silt deposits. But I don't know that I'd want to make that trip now. I hear New Orleans is kind of a bummer lately. Good thing our government is working so hard to fix that mess.

That much money would buy us a nice long drive to Deadwood South Dakota. I could live my childhood cowboy fantasies, some. Cowboy fantasies being what they are, the solitary life on the range, the wife and kids would kind of crimp that one. I prefer them to the fantasy, so we're off again.

The Pacific northwest has always called to me. I'd love to visit that end of the country and slip into Vancouver as well. They've got this big island over there that sounds beautiful.

Speaking of islands, how far into New York would that kind of money get me I wonder. There again we'd study mass transit. I miss MARTA in Atlanta and have always had an affinity for trains. NY is on my list of places that I'm sure I might visit one day. I'm sure we could manage some sort of trip on $11,000, even if we did have to stay in New Jersey.

To some extent, kids pretty much learn for free. There is gas to drive to the library, and there are random fees/memberships to local places such as the zoo, so I don't suppose we should say completely free. The actual letting kids learn stuff part however doesn't really cost anything. Some homeschoolers prefer to use curriculum which still won't generally add up to $11,000 a year.

a nice short soccer story

First, if you haven't read my soccer rant yet, you should read that before reading this, unless you don't plan to read that one. This is a nice story, while the one previous to this is a downer. Read that one first so that this one can pick you back up.

One of my issues with the big three American sports is that we call them the world championships. We presume that we're so big and great that we don't need to invite the world to our world championships. Soccer on the other hand really does have a world championship, called oddly enough the World Cup. It's coming soon, just under a month.

Soccer is truly international. And even in the most random town, take mine for example, can show that international spirit. And that's my uplifting story.

Wednesday nights are one of the nights I know there will be pickup games at the local park. I showed up this past week ready to see a few of the people in my league, people I'd recognize as having played against. Including me, a teammate and two other league guys, we were the only people from our league. So there were four Americans on the field, four Mexicans and four Africans. They were already playing when I got there, having split into shirts and skins. I, with my mostly pale, farmer tanned ass and the shorts that ride up, giving me that push into dorkiness that a shirt would have hidden, was directed to the skins side, one Mexican, three Africans and me. I actually felt as if I might have been glowing.

A couple of guys left leaving us with four on a side. The Mexicans wanted to just play soccer while the Africans had a game in mind that they played. It was a soccer related game, though I didn't get the concept as they explained it.

So we played soccer, a little three tone action on a Wednesday night in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. We all had fun. We all played well. We didn't all look or sound alike, and we couldn't always understand the words we used, but we all spoke that one language of soccer/football/futbol. And that language is the same all around the world.

storming off the field

I haven't posted a lot recently here. Last week was kind of busy. One of my two posts from last week was a rant about an abysmal couple of soccer weekends.

I complained last week about teammates quitting, actually taking off their cleats and quitting, before the game is over. I complained about that yesterday before our game. And then I did it. I stormed off the field in a fit of rage, took off my cleats and quit.

We were going down. A fluke goal within about five minutes of the beginning of the game not only put our opponents up but started our slide into hell. We were once again short a number of players. We were playing eight against eleven. We were running our asses off the entire time and watching the score climb ever higher. I even moved up to midfield and was eyeing a chance of a shot on goal. I actually did shoot at one point, though a failed attempt from the beginning.

I think our infighting might have begun when the ref offered a water break which most of our team was ready for. Our two youngest team members didn't want to stop for water and stayed on the field passing the ball. I was irritated by their insistence that we didn't need a water break, maybe a little mad at the thirteen years between our ages that demanded I break for water and a quick stretch.

We started turning on each other, and that's the death of any team. Teams can fight back from extraordinary odds if they remain a team and continue to work together with respect for what each member brings to the team. When members start to break away and blame other members, nothing can save them.

That's where we were yesterday, and I knew what was coming. I was already starting to yell back at the youngsters. They are both decent players. I've enjoyed playing with both of them and would be willing to play with them again. But they were working hard, getting nowhere and getting frustrated and were turning back to us, the defense, to blame us for the fact that we just couldn't even hope to do too much damage to the opponents. I was growing tired of their criticism and was starting to tell them. I can hold things in sometimes, but I was about to blow up.

So I stormed off the field. I cussed a little. I damned the whole team for what for me added up to three weeks of soccer misery.

Since it happened, I'm feeling worse about my actions. I think that walking away was better than blowing up at the youngsters. But I walked away from my team. I took off my cleats, socks and shin guards and left. I did the thing I'd damned in others. I know for a fact that it would have ended much worse if I'd stayed. I would have laid into one of the youngsters because they wouldn't have shut up. I would have tried like hell not to, would have continued playing and busting my ass. I'm carrying as much in the way of injuries from this game than from any other game this season, and this team played clean, so I'm not talking elbows or jabs in the back or trips. I'm talking two teams pushing as hard as possible. What should have been a great game, and this goes for the whole damn season as well, was made shit by so many people being selfish to their teammates, and no matter my justification, I became part of it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

spell check

The spell check can be a funny little guy. It recognizes as words all of the times I curse and swear. But it didn't even recognize it's own name. It wondered if by spell check I might have meant spliced. And that's not even the funny one. Somehow, it was certain that when I said goalkeeper, what I really meant was . . .

Can you guess? Seriously, before looking down at the answer, try to imagine what the spell check might have thought I meant. If the word goalkeeper isn't recognized, then how about . . .

Chalkboard? Yes, chalkboard.

Silly spell check!

almost forgot my newest soccer rant

The fact that I play soccer on an adult recreational team may have escaped. Actually, my Myspace id is King of the Pitch which makes me laugh because at least I know it's a joke. But to get back to my original story, my town has two different adult soccer leagues, and within the league I am part of we have a competitive division as well as a rec. division. For a country that isn't supposed to like or get soccer/football/futbol, I have to wonder why we didn't get the message, especially when we can field almost 20 teams of grownups in my small city/big town.

We also have a sort of playoffs, which is where we enter the story. Two weeks ago, we were unable to play. A pair of goals had disappeared from the park where we play, so only three fields were available. Because our game time was approaching and we obviously wouldn't have the team on the field, we were asked if we'd cancel and reschedule our game so that another team could use our field. The cancellation avoided our having to forfeit.

We did reschedule the game for the following Saturday with our regularly scheduled game on Sunday. I'm not really old at all, though I feel the years I wasn't respectful of my body creeping round sometimes. But I'm also not that young, and two games in two days is a royal pain in the patoot.

Our rescheduled game day came around. Big Brother's team played beautifully if you can ignore Big Brother playing goalkeeper by hanging from the crosspiece, but that's another story. On the Saturday we were supposed to make up our game, the opposing team had trouble getting their team to show. We were also seriously underhanded, but we had more players than they.

League rules require that a team have at least seven players on the field for a game to be counted. The opposing (blue) team had seven until one of their players pulled a muscle in his thigh. We had a player or two more than they did meaning that they weren't likely to beat us. The numbers tilted to their favor slightly when one of my teammates decided that his first yellow card wasn't enough, so he got a second which is basically a red and meant that he would not be playing with us the next day. League rules once again.

The blue team, having begun the game but unable to finish, allowed us to beat them by five goals. That's what we needed to get our best place in the playoffs. That bothered me, and still does. I appreciate that they were willing to do this for us, but I do not want to win a game that way. This is my first season on this team as I was on the blue team the last time that I played, and I still really like most of the guys on the team. But both teams are North Knox county, so we got divided a little differently this time around. Now if the 40 +/- people that originally showed up would actually come to all the games . . .

The next day we played the first place team. At the half they were up by two goals. We were playing ten on the field as we were short one girl. League rules require two girls on the field or your team plays a man down. The opposing team had their girls and several subs both male and female.

My team was playing fairly well. The opponents were getting a little frustrated at the half as we'd allowed only two goals and they're used to smacking the crap out of people. I subbed out just prior to the half as my team's attitude was turning ugly, and worse, we were turning on each other. I left to regain my composure as I was growing angry and frustrated with my team. I needed to cool off. Into the second half I was getting more upset as my team fell apart. I waited to sub in, preferring for my anger to recede so that I didn't take it onto the field and do something stupid.

I finally did go back in and played hard. The game was winding down, and I'd had to do a couple of half field sprints trying to stop an attack on my goal. I was fighting to breathe at this point, and I could feel my lungs screaming at me to stop. I needed to rest. I called for a sub and looked to the empty spot where my team should have been. There were no players there, so I found them, TAKING OFF THEIR SOCKS AND SHOES!!! They had quit, had given up.

I was really angry at this point. I thanked them as loudly as I could and in a most friendly way.

I don't know what to do now. We have another game Sunday, our last of the season. I like some of my new teammates, and we have a ton of talent on our team. We could really work well together, but some people are just less committed than others, and it's hard to develop that onfield relationship when you don't always play with the same people, when you aren't sure who will show up from one week to the next. Add to that the feeling of anger I still have for those teammates who were willing to quit.

I'm glad I held off posting this. I almost did it Sunday night, when the vitriol was still fresh, when my anger was still keeping me warm. I know it's another addition in a long line of boring stories that I've posted. I know that my edit will be the only time someone reads all the way through. Actually, that's why I use spellcheck, because then I know that at least the spell check is reading it. YES IT IS! The spell check can too read, and it cares about my feelings. I love you spell check.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

aiding the enemy

If you/we/they continue to ________________ you are aiding the enemy! Do you want them to win? Are you in support of the enemy?

Didn't we see something like this not so many years ago? We had this vague idea of an enemy, an enemy that hated our freedoms and were the antithesis of unAmerican. They were communists and were lurking everywhere. A communist may even have lived next to you or your parents should there be any youngsters out there.

One particular power mad freak went apeshit looking for communists. He hunted them down and ferreted them out. He forced them from their homes into the daylight of America. Hell yeah brother! Except that it wasn't really like that, and your likely to find a communist or two floating around your circle of friends and acquaintances. Even more people might see some wisdom in the concept without finding total agreement. Most people don't likely know what the hell it really means.

You can create a fog of fear by suggesting that the enemy lurks all around. You can convince people that they are in constant danger and that only your services will combat the scourge. Oddly enough, you find yourself under your desk with your head between your knees and your jacket over your back, hoping like fuck you'll be okay when the A-bomb hits.

We don't put much stock in the claim now. We know that we aren't aiding our enemies when we ask difficult questions of our "leaders." I'd like to think that most people know that this isn't the case. But I can't seem to go more than a few days without hearing the accusation. I'm afraid it would only be worse, but I don't really watch much news, nor do I watch the MSM, be it Fox or CNN or MSNBC. I do listen to NPR, but mostly because they squish the news into the little space between the good stories and they don't generally seem biased. I do try to pick news from a few sources that feel will present a balanced view, by which I mean the truth, not a slanted "news story" from a right or left leaning organization. Would that it were possible.

Even so, I hear the accusation. It has a life of its own as it skips across the conniving republican tongues, intent on spreading discord and distrust. If I don't want the president to cast a wide net over our phone calls, I apparently want our enemies to win. That's ludicrous for anyone to even suggest, and it seems it's becoming the last chance argument of our beloved right hand side, regardless of what question we want to ask, or rather want finally answered.

The worst thing about the statement is that it isn't even believed by the people who utter it. Those who fling the accusation about know it's a lie, yet they are ever more aware of the power it has. Even if the sermon is just to the choir, the choir is easy to incite. So we make the suggestion, or maybe we phrase it innocently in the form of a question. "Do you want our soldiers to lose Senator Goshamighty? When you suggest that King George has overstepped his bounds, you make us look weak. The enemy loves it when we look weak. Do you really want to aid our enemies thusly?"

And there it is. It's out there, and maybe it barely gets picked up in the media. But it gets thrown again and again, and frankly, I'm damn well getting tired of hearing it. So . . .

Dear Republicans,

Can we have our country and our freedoms back now? We'd like to fix a few things that you overlooked and clean up some messes where you've overstepped your bounds. I'm not aiding the enemy, and if you guys would shut the fuck up for a minute, the rest of the country would like to talk to our "enemies" and see if we can't fix King George's little problem. We're sorry that your little party is coming to an end, but really, you should have invited everyone. We were actually doing some decent things before you guys got that whole shut out thing going. We're not sure that you're all to blame, because Cheney is a dick, and Rove is pretty smart for a dumbass. We know Cheney shoots people, so we can understand you may have been scared. If you'd like to apologize and help fix this shit that would be nice. Otherwise fuck off! We wouldn't have so damn many enemies if you guys weren't such oil hungry, power mad fucks, for which the entire country thanks you. I was getting tired of the world thinking we were loud, obnoxious buffoons with no sense of history. It's so much better that they think we're bloodthirsty cowboys that kill and torture and maim.
Don't even get me started on Kyoto and ANWR you assholes!

why is homeschooling so hard to get?

First, a hearty thanks is due to those bloggers that find those other bloggers, the ones that have no horse in the homeschool race, yet choose to blog about it from a place of no knowledge of the subject.

I'll refer to the anti-homeschooling bloggers as AHB from here on.

According to AHB, we homeschool to indoctrinate our kids into our religion to the exclusion of everything. We hide inside our homes, never daring to go out of the house. We stay inside where we force our kids to do schoolwork and take SAT prep courses. We drill them in arcane words so that they will represent at the spelling bee. We are scared of liberal ideas and fear the schools will make our kids gay. Our kids are odd, or even weird, and can't speak in complete sentences. They are unable to interact in social settings to the detriment of society as a whole.

If however we unschool, we are beyond crazy. We are lazy and ask nothing of our kids. We allow them to wallow in their filth and eat candy all day. They only stop playing video games and watching television to scream at us to get them more candy. They are destined for a life of low paying jobs because that's all they'll get, because they will have no education and no ability to function in society to the detriment of our society as a whole.

And every time we get the call, we swarm to the AHB, read quickly through the post, only too ready to pounce on the comment section. I try not to comment to them for the most part, but I certainly don't begrudge others jumping into the fray. I might feel some pity for the hapless unsuspecting AHB if they weren't so uninformed in their righteous dignity.

Most homeschoolers' blogs you read will include at some point a "day in the life of a typical hs family" post somewhere on there blog. Very often those posts are full of life and activity. It's obvious to anyone with even a passing familiarity with homeschooling that we don't hurt for things to do. If anything, I suspect more homeschoolers could stand to slow down than not. I am not of that camp just yet. We do tend to hide away many days. I'm currently blaming it on the weather, the Smokey Mountain spring time.

But are my kids socially inept? backwards? unsocialized? I do worry about these things. I do want my boys able to handle meeting people, making friends, and all the lovely things that come from living in a society. And I don't feel one bit bad that I don't want them doing those things alone in a crowd at school.

The Boy is three. He does what he wants. He plays with other kids when he wants and can play alone with other kids about. Big Brother makes friends easily. I worry that they tend to accept people without judging, and in a gschool world, that isn't the norm, and my worry is when they do learn the nature of so many people, people who judge without knowing. It hasn't yet been a problem. We can go to any park or playground, and the boys will both play with the other kids. I'm not sure where they could have learned that since they never got "socialized."

I have yet to indoctrinate my kids too much. I have pointed out some basic things about equality and fairness. I try to model good behavior in how I interact and treat other people with whom we come in contact. I'm not the best model as a driver, but let's not go there. I'm sure they hear Momma and I discuss politics when we do. They hear the news and music we listen to without much outside influence telling them what's cool. They judge music by their own inner voice and like what they like.

At 7 and 3 years old, they are little boys. One more thing to love about homeschooling is that I know their ideas and beliefs about race and sexuality and class will not be taught to them by other children. I know that I won't hear them getting off the bus using rude or mean words to describe people and situations that they don't even understand. These, to me, are the areas in America where, as a people, we need to do the most work. Again, let's not get into that too much other than to say, that's my job to teach my kids, and I refuse to leave that to anyone else.

I could delve into studies and find real life hs anecdotes to prove our point that, as homeschoolers, we really do know what's best for our own kids much more often than not. I could get into the love of learning that our kids will carry throughout their days as much as that ability to continue learning will help carry them through their days. I could explain how many options are available to socialize while simultaneously giving the actual meaning of the word socialization. I could damn and curse the gschools, more likely coming from me, as pits of conservative confusion, full of discrimination and classism. I could do all sorts of things, which is why we homeschool actually, because we can basically do whatever we want without all the undue stress that goes with school.

So a day in the life of a typical homeschooler? Yeah, that's not so easy to pin down. It's not about hiding away for most of us. Right now, my day, if I get away from this computer and do it will consist of library, grocery store, soccer practice and roller derby practice. At soccer practice, The Boy will play with younger siblings of Big Brother's team mates. Big Brother's newest friend is a child of Momma's roller derby friends, though on an opposing team. Big Brother and newest friend will skate around and pretend to be superheroes. Tomorrow is supposed to be thunderstorms, so we'll probably hide at the house most of the day and watch tv and play video games. And if I don't get to the grocery store, we might have to eat candy.

Back to my original point, if there truly was one. The AHB are always going to get it wrong. No one who actually looks into homeschooling can come to the negative conclusions that these people have. Most of us hsers have said it plenty of times, but you can't judge two million kids based on that family that you don't actually know. And because people think other people are weird does not in fact make them weird. And I refuse to accept that weird has to be bad. I am most likely considered weird by the vast majority of people who know me. I am a conundrum, an enigma wrapped in a vest. And I will admit, that I'm managing to make it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Boy

Today is the day. The Boy is three years old today. We have big plans to get the house cleanish. I have a couple of cases worth of empty beer bottles sitting neatly waiting to exit to the garage where they will join the growing horde of crap that needs to be recycled. There are also a weeks worth of water bottles, some junk mail and a couple of cans. I need to get the shit gone, but it gets to sit for a few more days instead.

My parents called last night to say that they would be in town at some point today. They know a young lady who is graduating from a local college and decided to combine their reasons to visit. We hope to have some sort of celebration for The Boy later in the week, so I am now curious as to what my parents' plans are concerning this.

I'm happy to get to see them. Neither they nor we are often willing or able to make the drive, so I don't see my family as often as I might like. I do hope that they are willing for this to be their visit, as I'd hate for them to spend the extra time and money to visit twice in one week. But I also won't argue with them.

This weekend we are planning on having some small party for The Boy. This weekend is also the end of both Big Brother's and my soccer seasons. That means that we'll have to have some sort of party for the soccer team, Big Brother's team. I must not have made myself clear when suggesting that the parents plan this, because they haven't. I haven't, because I don't want to, nor do I need that extra crap; I'm the coach not the party planner. It's the parents' job. And they should also have discussed any sort of award they want for their kid. I'm personally tired of participation trophies. I don't think they do any good and are a waste of money.

I'm not getting into that rant. I have plenty of soccer related rants after this weekend to go along with the soreness. And I've got some aches this time. But that isn't my rant this time, and it isn't going here, not now at least.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

salsa success

Generally speaking, a pile of chips and some salsa wouldn't seem the best possible supper, but I say that a good homemade salsa is a great way to get a handful of vegetables in your belly. While I'll admit that fried anything isn't the healthiest option to pair with your handful of vegetables, you really can't beat a classic, so I go with tortilla chips, though I can sit and imagine recipes where I could use this as more than just salsa and chips.

I usually enjoy making salsa. I don't use a recipe unless I just feel that I can't mentalize the proportions. Sometimes a salsa turns out bleh no matter how well intentioned or how well armed with vegetables you might be. And it really is a matter of proportion of ingredients as opposed to the actual ingredients.

Tonight's salsa turned out very good, though it's spicier than the boys will eat much of, so it doesn't work out well as a healthy snack for the entire family. Momma will love it though, and I'll agree with her when she does.

Here's what's in it. There's about a pint and a half of grape tomatoes, one red bell pepper, two jalapenos, one ear of corn (cob removed oddly enough), two cloves garlic, juice of one lime, half an onion, cilantro and some salt. Sounds pretty easy doesn't it? Seems like those tomatoes are going to give you a shitty skin to flesh ratio? Yeah, that didn't end up being a problem.

I always run the onion and cilantro through the food processor a couple of pulses before adding other ingredients. And if I say onion, I will always mean Vidalias when they are in season. That will never change ever unless I leave the South and can't find them.

One key to this particular salsa is that I roasted most everything. I've been doing that to salsa lately as roasting any vegetable tends to make it better. In this instance, I roasted the peppers, the tomatoes and the corn. I did the peppers in an iron skillet, then roasted the corn in the same skillet. The tomatoes I stuck in a 350 degree oven till almost half of them were starting to fall.

If I'd left the second jalapeno out I'd have been happier in that the boys would have eaten more. I really enjoyed it though and sat sweating through half of Dr. Who. It was lovely to me, but the poor boys missing out sucks because it's damn good. I have to also mention that it ended up very sweet. Vidalias are very sweet onions. The grape tomatoes are sweet, and then you roast them enough to bring out more of the sweetness. You get the same effect to some extent roasting the corn.

The peppers and tomatoes went into the food processor together for a few pulses with the corn going in the very last. I wasn't quite sure how the corn would act, how obliterated it would get. The corn was actually the muse that led me to salsa. It's actually an extreme leap beginning with Momma and my anniversary dinner at the almost really really good restaurant we ate at. One of the salsas we got with an appetizer was a creamy corn salsa. We ended up mixing some of it with the other salsas because they were all so good. So random mental journey from there that found it's catalyst in the produce department of Food City staring at corn and wishing it fit my plans for meals. So I made it fit, and days later, after seeing the ingredients sitting around waiting, success. Which is why it went in last. I wanted some of it to be in pretty big pieces, sort of shaking that thang.

I just now realized that I could have used both pints of tomatoes, but I had to save some for the boys. That would have evened out some of the heat from the second jalapeno. There isn't a lot of liquid in it, and I hate adding water if I can help it. I enjoyed it dry. Different tomatoes might make a moister salsa. I did save about half a pint as a snack. Big Brother eats sandwiches from the top, so grape tomatoes on the side make a sandwich that much easier to make. And I have an aversion to regular tomatoes lately. I ought to just grow some.

Friday, May 05, 2006

sing it right!

My first admission today is that I haven't heard the national anthem sung in Spanish. I'm not even sure if I've heard the Mexican national anthem. I will say that I don't give a squeaky fart how or in what language it is sung. At my age, I've heard enough pregame desecrations of the song, that I've decided that it really is just a song anymore. We haven't yet forgotten Roseanne have we?

But these people have gone to far. The Star Spangled Banner in morse code? That's crossing a line brother, and I've no patience for this kind of mockery of our national pride and patriotism.

Actually, it's kind of funny in a sense. It's certainly not quite not English, or is it?

Thanks Boing Boing

Thursday, May 04, 2006

hank's going to kick your ass

If you kiss Hank's ass, he'll give you a million dollars. If you don't kiss his ass he's going to beat the shit out of you. What the hell am I talking about? Watch the movie to learn about Kissing Hank's Ass. You'll wonder why we didn't tell you sooner. Now hurry up and kiss his ass. It ain't getting any earlier.

Thanks to Wired for this one.

the Mexican market

Monday was the day without a Mexican, only slightly misnamed given the proportion of Mexicans to other Latin Americans that make up the whole of the illegal immigrant population.

I really thought nothing of it Monday at first, not having yet realized. I passed La Esperanza taking Momma to work, but didn't notice it wasn't open till coming back home. I wondered what was up with the place, hoping everything was okay. Driving back that way later to the library I remembered that the Mexican people were taking the day off.

I wondered then, as I passed the market, about the people there. It's not the same as your line cooks not showing up, and it's not quite sticking it to the man. As far as I know, La Esperanza is Mexican owned. I remember when it changed from Sam's Market and Deli to La Esperanza. I wondered then how different it would be. And I was not let down.

Over time, it has become totally a Mexican market and taqueria, though I haven't eaten there yet. I'm still too wedded to Senor Taco to want to try anywhere else. I do stop in though sometimes for a Naranjilla or a Powerball ticket. What was once an empty barren place with the cans spread out trying to look like there was more stuff is now a lively place, packed full of things and stuff. You can transfer money or purchase from a variety of calling cards. You can buy cowboy boots and corn husks. You can buy meat or enjoy a taco and a soccer game or a telenovella. You can buy replica soccer jerseys from a number of Mexican club teams.

They took Monday off too. I'm personally not sure how I feel about the whole day off thing, but it isn't something I can say I disagree with. My question here is really more about the money lost to this particular establishment, or other Mexican owned places, for the day from all colors of people and our various shades. I don't really have an opinion on it other than that, and it was one of my main impressions of my town's day without a Mexican. Thinking of this, I began to consider La Esperanza in a different sense. It seems to be a very successful business, often fairly busy. Regardless of any ethnic majority in goods sold and customers served, it's good for the community in an economic sense. So the economic loss in this store being closed would be both taxes as well as the money made by the owners.

My other impression from Monday was the quiet. I took an old shortcut to downtown that has become unbearable thanks to TDOT insisting on perpetuating bad ideas. There is a fair amount of construction along a mile(ish) of what used to be our route to downtown, and there is always work and the associated pain in the ass traffic malignancies. Monday was still and quiet almost. It seemed like a Saturday at the work sites, mostly quiet with the occasional tractor slowly moving past. Knowing how big the crews generally are, it was a little odd to see them trying to go about their business.

Those were my impressions and what has been stewing in my head for a few days. All this talk about Mexicans makes me want some carnitas con chile. It wasn't that long ago that we had Senor Taco, so I may not be able to justify it again so soon. I also need to visit Soccer Taco in Bearden. I haven't been yet, but apparently it's a Mexican sports bar. I'm sure it'll be a great place to see the American football when fall arrives with the oranging of Knox, but I certainly plan to visit this summer for some World Cup action.

more myspace fun

Now that good old Murdoch owns the Myspace, the ad content is much higher than it used to be. I know from experience not to click on that funny looking game that is actually an ad. But sometimes it's really damn hard not to want to play the game.

For those of you unfamiliar with Myspace, the ads are often set up to look like a game. There have been plenty of variations of things, many of them based on the the old midway duck shooting game. Sometimes, like when you shoot the office mates with a paintball gun, it's hard not to want to play the game. But it isn't a game. It's an ad and a link to hell with the vague chance of winning a free PS3 or a Razr phone.

So what is this game/ad that's so hard not to love? Mike Tyson is beating the crap out of George Bush. King George is depicted as this little pencil arm fellow. If you don't click on the ad, Freaky Mikey just bops him in the head a few times. Well, for once it's not hard to not click. I don't want to stop this game. It's fun to see anyone punching King George in the head.

If only . . .

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

what if we'd addressed immigration differently?

Immagration of people from Latin American countries in not new, and I really feel that it's basically a republican smokescreen as a current issue. It's just like gay marriage in that it's suddenly a big deal to try and take some of the scrutiny away from the real problems with our current president and his administration and party.

For years we've had people running back and forth across our border. For years people have been dying in our deserts, willing to take the chance on a chance. These aren't people that have anything waiting for them. They often don't likely know what they will do when they do finally get somewhere.

I can't really say what it's like to feel the need to leave my own country on foot and fight all sorts of dangers just to work a job. I don't know what it's like to have so little, to be so poor, that the most extreme path is finally reasonable. I say that having done some fairly fucked up things in my life.

In my opinion, the problem we face is not one of Mexicans sneaking across the border. The problem isn't something any barrier will ever fix. The problem isn't that we have illegal aliens, nor is the problem what those people do, whether it be job or tax or medical in nature. These are all the symptoms, and we are looking for ways to fight the symptoms, a fight that never solves the problem or cures the disease. For that you have to go to the source of the problem.

What is the source of the problem, and what do we do (or should we have done) to fix this problem?

I won't even get into the mistakes we've made throughout Latin America. It's not an area that I know that much about, though I do know that we and our government haven't always been the best kind of neighbors. Add to that the factories of American companies that have moved south of the border for the cheap labor and lax laws, and they certainly aren't helping our reputation as people.

We need to face that Latin America is our neighbor, and the things that affect them are going to affect us. Their economic problems are our immigration problems. Borders and walls aren't going to make life any easier in Latin America, and they won't make the freedom and opportunity in our own country less desirable.

I believe that our borders should be more open, that we should work for a good relationship between ourselves and Latin America. I think that we could be a good influence on our southern neighbors to bring the standard of living up to what we expect. I think that we would all be stronger if the immigration wasn't all one way. What if people were able to move because they wanted to work or live somewhere as opposed to having to go where the work was?

We share this amazing land mass in common with everyone from one pole to the other, Eskimos to Inca. Our world is constantly getting smaller, and as it does, we really need to address how we are faring in our own neighborhood. It really does us no good to have and horde so much, to pretend we care when we really just want to build a wall and keep the world at the end of a gun.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

our lovely weather

Once again it's a Tuesday, Big Brother's soccer practice day. I've cancelled one this season due to rain, and last week we left halfway through, moments after the first teammate saw lightning. We have never cleared the field quicker, nor have I ever gotten the boys off the playground quicker.

Several weeks in a row, our Tuesdays have seemed the most overcast. The rain seems due always on a Tuesday. I wonder if maybe it just stands out more because I sit here all day wondering, waiting till it gets close enough to 5:30, sure that I'll have to cancel again at the last minute.

Most of these Tuesdays however, regardless of how ominous the sky looks all day, we haven't missed more practice, and some days that seemed the least promising have turned pretty just in time.

Today is another Tuesday. Once more the dark sky hangs low and gray and unamused. The ground is wet as the rain has finally begun, though it isn't heavy enough to see through my filthy windows. Finger and faceprints don't react well with glass and my ability to view.

Directly after soccer, we run to get Momma from work and head stright for roller derby. If The Boy will behave for me, I might put some skates on. I did the first time I went and had a blast, but since then I haven't felt really safe as The Boy can be a handful. Have I mentioned the busted-ass video games? One wall of the roller rink is lined with old video games, none of which are ever turned on, and several are obviously not working due to missing parts.

Here's the story of those. Momma and I didn't learn this till days later from her teammate, Napolean Blownapart. Seems she found the boy doing some climbing and had helped him down because he got himself stuck. He was stuck on top of one of the video games, roughly five feet in the air I'd guess, and he had roller skates on. Yeah, that's the kid I have to chase around. And that's why I've only skate once at the derby practice.

I think today looks like the perfect day for video games and movies.