Friday, January 30, 2009

Wisdom of the Panda - Work it out - 1/30/09

Topic of discussion: None, I was by myself.

Restaurant: Panda Express

Fortune: You will soon make a change at work.

Thoughts: I got this today after spending all day yesterday working on my online portfolio and resume. Consequentially, this doesn't surprise me in the least. It could be taken one of several ways, the most prominent being that I'm currently looking to take on some more professional contract work. Woo hoo, gotta love the panda!

Score: 2/2

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Am I just easily irritated?

Tuesday was shaping up to be a very happy day for me, as well as millions of others. That's right, Inauguration Day. I was so proud of my country - not only had we elected an African-American president, but we were also enthusiastic to celebrate his ascent to power. Gone are the days of the old, white, republican. We're ushering in the era where *our* generation's beliefs will be represented. In my head, it was one of the most important days I had ever witnessed...then I turned on the radio.

The morning dj on Star 102.3 casually mentioned that it was Inauguration Day, and followed the thought with "not that it matters." He continued to elaborate, saying that he hadn't voted and wasn't really excited about the whole event. Now, I can respect that politics isn't for everyone. I can even understand that they wouldn't be interested in watching a day full of politician's speeches. Then, he went a step too far, in my opinion. He said that too much time was being spent on this inauguration, and that we should all focus on something more important!! Can you imagine?! He even said that our money would be better spent on things that actually mattered. ACTUALLY MATTERED?!?!?? What could possibly matter more than the way our country is run? What matters more than the leadership of the country where we live and raise our children? I just don't understand how someone can be so ignorant and apathetic. What could he find more important? Britney Spears' new hot pants? Jonas brothers bringing back 80's fashion? For Pete's sake. Honestly.

Okay, when I had that reaction, I considered it completely justified. I was right, he was wrong and I needed to vent about it. It wasn't until later in the day that I realized I may have been overreacting a bit. That afternoon...the same afternoon...I heard a commercial for the Dairy Farmers of Oregon.

In this commercial, the farmer compares his cows to women. At first, it just made me roll my eyes. He continued going-on about how similar cows are to ladies and how farmers have to behave if they want to get something from them. I was so irritated that I changed the channel...then I changed it back so I could hear who had paid for the advertisement! I told Kristy that the commercial "made me so mad that I could just blog about it!"

It's not often that I get so completely irritated twice in one day. Now, I'm looking for opinions. Would either of these things get you as irate as I was, or was I just in a mood?

*Image: Betye Saar Blow Top Blues The Fire Next Time 1998

Monday, January 12, 2009

Faking your own death; Only slightly less stupid than suicide

Marcus Schrenker faked his own death last night, by making a distress call from the cockpit of a plane and bailing out somewhere over Alabama. Schrenker told the tower that his windshield had imploded and he was bleeding from the face. After that, things didn't work quite in his favor. First of all, after receiving the call for help, the tower dispatched military jets to rescue the pilot, but when they got there, they reported that the door was open and the cockpit was dark. Woops, if you're going to try to fake your own death in a plane crash, you usually don't want someone to verify that you're not in the plane when it goes down!

Secondly, the plane landed in a swampy Florida marsh. It may never fly again, but it didn't disintegrate in a fiery explosion, either, leaving plenty of evidence for forensics.

Lastly, he probably didn't account for an astute officer, who noted (after Schrenker claimed to have been in a canoe accident) that he had flight goggles on his head.

All of this made it pretty simple for authorities to get a general location on the man and piece together his story. Investigations are still pending.

Surprisingly, faking one's own death is not as rare of an occurrence as you might think. For instance, in November, a well known music attorney named William Grothe made a call to the emergency room claiming to be someone else, and confessing to the lawyer's murder. He then moved into a bed and breakfast under a fake name.

A couple of months before that, John Sung faked his death in a spearfishing accident to evade felony charges for drug possession and robbery.

In my opinion, faking your own death is a ballsey, but stupid thing to do. On one hand, you have to have a great deal of faith that you can pull it off. On the other hand, you have to be some first-rate coward to fake your own death rather than face the consequences that lead you to that point.

My recommendation, if you're going to pretend to kill yourself, don't call for help first...especially from someone who's going to send it to you!






Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wisdom of the Panda - I'm Broke - 01/11/2009

The Wisdom of the Panda will be my new section to document my stunningly accurate fortunes from cookies (generally received at Panda Express.) This one, however, actually comes from Ocean Sky.

These sometimes amaze me because they are constantly relevant to the topic of conversation and sometimes they predict future events that I would like to try to document.

The topic: How difficult it is to get by without child-support and my reluctance to approach the subject with my ex.

The fortune: Broke is only temporary, poor is a state of mind.

Friday, January 2, 2009


After watching the movie 'W' - which was billed as a chronicle of the life of George W. Bush - my first thought was, "I sure hope this movie was accurate, because it certainly wasn't entertaining." I even said it out loud. Ask John.

'W' was a 2 hour long retrospective, barely grazing the surface of Bush's life. The audience gets the idea that GWB feels suffocated beneath the shadows of his father and brother, but it never compels us toward empathy. Similarly, we are supposed to gather that Bush rebels into a life of sex and drugs, even though the subjects are only casually mentioned.

The flashback method is intertwined with camouflaged dream sequences as well as broken time lines, which keeps the movie-goer from ever actually getting lost in the story itself. The plot seemed to be missing, opting instead for a central focus on the botched war and all of the ways manipulation was intentionally used to fuel the cause. Even the war theme was scattered, making it difficult to piece together who was responsible for which segments of which war.

The acting itself was quite respectable, most notably James Cromwell, playing the part of George Herbert Walker Bush. Ellen Burnstyn and Josh Brolin gave acceptable performances, too. Unfortunately, at the most gripping moments, the music and cinematography caused the movie to feel like a cut-rate musical. At one moment in particular, Gen. Colin Powell gives a speech about the merits of the Iraq least, I think that's what it was about. I was so convinced that the cast was about to break out into song that I couldn't focus on the dialog. Thandie Newton's portrayal of Condoleezza Rice was as exaggerated as a boardwalk characature, and it reeked a little of Dustin Hoffman's 'Rain Man'.

If we are to assume that this movie is based off of actual events, then the audience is treated to a back-stage pass leading up to the election of our 43rd president. If the time line is shuffled into order, we get to ride along with GWB from his frat days in Yale, through many unsuccessful careers and his first failed attempt at politics. If nothing else, this movie shows us that Bush is a man who is desperate to be seen as powerful and capable, even though he never feels like he lives up to the Bush name.

There was one single conclusion presented in this movie that stands out in my mind. A connection is drawn between the fact that Bush Sr. ended his Iraq war quickly & successfully, to the fact that he lost his run for a second term. GWB lashes out at this point, hollering that his dad should have killed Saddam the first time. GWB then vows that *he* will never feel that kind of embarrassment, insinuating that the second Iraq war is just an attempt to finish what his dad started.

Whether wrong or right, 'W' leaves the viewer with an interesting perspective. Personally, I now see the President as a religious-nut, taking actions in the name of God, claiming it is his calling. I see an egocentric child, refusing to let go of something that he may not even truly believe, purely because he had already presented it as his position. It appears that GWB is easily manipulated (once figured out) and Dick Cheney is his puppetmaster.

Bush supporters may have an entirely different perspective on this chronicle, but I think Oliver Stone intended to allow for ambiguity. The whole movie is sort of one big cinematic fortune cookie.

*Thanks to Grant_P for his wonderful Characature off of flickr