Wednesday, April 04, 2007


This one is neat if only because of the birthday I get to list. It seems somewhat familiar but probably because I've actually looked this up. The idea is to look up your birthday, month and day only, on Wikipedia and then list some wacky something or other. See the list. Thanks, Chris, for keeping the good times rolling. I might actually wait till I get a kid in bed, but ya'll won't know if I did or didn't, so what the hell do you even care?

September 7

Three Events That Occurred That Day
1191-Third Crusade-Richard I of England defeats Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf
1776-American submersible, Turtle, launches first submarine attack attempting to attach a bomb to the English ship HMS Eagle
2005-Egypt sees its first presidential election.

Two Important Birthdays
1860-Grandma Moses, American painter
1936-Buddy Holly, rock and roll icon, dead too soon

One Death
1892-John Greenleaf Whittier

One Event Celebrated
Independence Day in Brazil

fun with the ten comandments

Recent discussions I've found myself in have caused me to consider the ten commandments, those delightful nuggets of joy that the christian Bible tells us to stamp onto everything that doesn't move for ten straight minutes. So I went to, seriously, don't laugh,

I've listed the first two commandments as one because they're basically the same thing. It's almost like god had to stretch it because he'd already said ten before he realized there were only nine. Or maybe the stone tablets looked uneven with only nine written out, and he added the last one for balance.

I don't know. I grew up with these things, probably could even years ago have told you all ten from memory. Now I have to look them up online. Yes, I do have a Bible. It's on my shelf, labeled fiction. No I don't feel like getting up and finding it.

-You shall have no other gods/you shall create no idols-This is one doesn't have anything to do with law or justice. This is a straight up command not to believe in other gods/religions. As an atheist, I ignore these two completely. I'd go so far as to say the majority of people of any faith tend to allow plenty of things to come between their professed beliefs and how they live their lives.

-You shall not take the Lord's name in vain-see above, and you lovely people may not know this about me, but I practice cursing in front of a mirror to make sure I do it right. But that's just me.

-Remember the sabbath to keep it holy-There's our blue laws for you. The worst of these laws is that we too often forget to pick up our tequila before Sunday and can't get it. Oh, I can buy beer Sunday, but our liquor and beer retail is closed. Growing up in Georgia I remember the blue laws only extended to retail sales. I'm sure different counties treat the law differently, but it always seemed odd that I could get as drunk as I wanted in a bar, but I was unable from midnight to midnight Sunday to purchase beer to take home. Also see Tennessee's willingness to change Sunday purchase time for the Titans games.

-Honor your father and mother-I saw a story on the news yesterday about a very young girl whose mother had set up an appointment with a porn photographer (actually an undercover cop) and the mother even brought extra clothes as well as sexual aids. Should this child honor this mother?

-Thou shall not murder-Every society in the world has seen murder as wrong. To some ancient cultures though a human sacrifice to the gods was seen as completely natural. Joshua's army in the Bible not only destroyed the city of Jericho, but they also killed every man, woman, child and the animals. As if that weren't enough, they then burned the entire city to the ground. Our own president could be condemned of murder given what he has led our country into.

-You shall not commit adultery-This doesn't give us a lot to go on, so we tend to assume what it means based on modern expectations of marriage which often have very little to do with ancient marriage, see woman as chattel, see concubines, see King David.

-You shall not steal-another law that various cultures throughout the world have settled on with no outside help.

-You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor-Lying, perjury, again widely accepted as morally wrong with no outside christian influence.

-You shall not covet-here we have the Bible telling us how to think. It's wrong to want things you don't have. We could look at buddhist teachings and find the same sort of attitude, attempted elimination of desire for things. But we could also accept that this one is really impossible to keep for the most part.

It is my opinion that the idea that law is based on the ten commandments is a very new phenomenon. I don't see it as at all likely, but so many of us have heard this for so long we've accepted it as true. Of all the ten commandments, three of them have any bearing on what most of the world accepts as moral or ethical. The other seven could be specific to any religion but could only apply as law in a theocracy.

coke as drink

It's almost three in the afternoon here. I tend to nurse my coffee throughout the day, making a couple of big strong cups and spending an hour or two on them. I'm not the least bit afraid of my coffee not being hot. At some point between then and the later drinking hour I try to get some water into my system though I readily admit to not drinking nearly enough. There's another cuppa in my future, though I tend to take a coffee break between cups two and three, otherwise I know I'll have a cup four. I try to keep it to three.

Feeling thirsty and knowing I was between cups of coffee, I pondered water but realized I wanted a coke. Where I'm from there are two different meanings of the word coke. If you want Coke, that's the stuff in the red can, Coca-Cola. If you want coke with a small "c" then you have a much broader variety from which to choose.

I did contemplate a beer, and I have a variety currently from which to choose. I'm not against afternoon beer or even morning beer. I have a friend that works late enough that he and his coworkers have an a.m. happy hour. I'm just not feeling beerish at the moment. Plus, this isn't the point, though it is nice to know I'm still slightly in control of my raging drunkenness.

I have recently found myself using the word soda on occasion though I fear what that may be saying about me losing some of my southernness, as if that's possible growing up in Atlanta before living in both Carolinas and now Tennessee. Big fat chance of me growing too urbane, and I'm a little okay with that. Before we get into my own version of the neo southern gentleman, the kind like me that can drink moonshine straight from the jar as well as admit that Freddie Mercury was really the only truly hot man in a mustache, we'll remind ourselves that today's lame ass post fodder is semantic in nature.

Coke with a small "c" can not of course be meant to include all carbonated soft drinks. While my favorite coke may be cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper, I would actually prefer, if given the option, a lime flavored Jarritos. I don't know if Jarritos falls under the coke moniker in my opinion, and I think that's mostly because Jarritos flavors are all fruit based while cokes are generally accepted to be mostly contrived of . . . limon? cola? What the fuck are those things? Neither Sprite nor 7 Up taste at all like lemon or lime or even denatured citrus additive number 1217. Okay, maybe they do taste like DCA1217, but that's still not the point. And what the hell is the glorious substance that flavors Dr. Pepper? Because even without the cherry or vanilla it's a tasty beverage.

In the end, maybe they are all coke. I might have to ask around.

And for anyone from Wisconsin and maybe even Michigan, what the hell is pop? Seriously, pop?! Pop is what you get in the mouth when you get to sassin'. Pop is the sound of a balloon bursting. Who calls their soda drinks by an onomatopoeia that has no relation to the product in question? That's just weird.

don't try

Momma and I had an interesting conversation last night. At some point, she had read my most recent post in which I discuss apathy and depression.

I think for a few years she just didn't quite understand me. That isn't an indictment of her ability but is revealing in what she was trying for far too long. What she didn't understand was my own levels of happiness and her place in my happiness and her ability to control how happy or unhappy I naturally am.

Our relationship has brought much joy and much pain as is true of all relationships in which people invest a good deal of themselves. Mostly what our relationship brings me is a happiness that Momma didn't realize. For far too long she felt somehow responsible for making me a happy person.

This is what we discussed last night. I don't want or need to be made happy, and I wish now we'd talked about this seriously before last night so I could have saved her some effort and some of her own pain.

I'm not an unhappy person, though it may quite seem like it. I'm cynical and jaded about so many things. I'm pessimistic, not in a glass half empty sort of way but in a "who drank the other half of my beer?" kind of way. It is how I am.

And I hope now that Momma has realized that I don't need her actively trying to make me happy. I certainly don't want her bringing extra stress onto herself by fighting a battle that she not only can't win but is also not hers to fight ever.

What do I want from her? Her presence makes me happy. I'm happy knowing she's there, behind me with support when I need her or leaning on me for support when she needs it. I want to know that that particular smile will always be for me, the one that makes her lip catch on the tooth she wishes she could get fixed. I'm happy knowing that no matter how bad the rest of world might seem that I can always trust her.

So ladies and gentlemen, don't try to make him/her or her/him happy because you can't. Faithfulness, trust, support, a squeeze of the hand as the tears start to flow