Thursday, July 31, 2008



I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Look at me, look at me
hands in the air like it's good to be
and I'm a famous rapper
even when the paths're all crookedy
I can show you how to do-si-do
I can show you how to scratch a record
I can take apart the remote control
And I can almost put it back together
I can tie a knot in a cherry stem
I can tell you about Leif Ericson
I know all the words to "De Colores"
And "I'm Proud to be an American"
Me and my friend saw a platypus
Me and my friend made a comic book
And guess how long it took
I can do anything that I want cuz, look:

I can keep rhythm with no metronome
No metronome
No metronome

And I can see your face on the telephone
On the telephone
On the telephone

Look at me
Look at me
Just called to say that it's good to be
In such a small world
I'm all curled up with a book to read
I can make money open up a thrift store
I can make a living off a magazine
I can design an engine
Sixty four miles to a gallon of gasoline
I can make new antibiotics
I can make computers survive aquatic conditions
I know how to run a business
I can make you wanna buy a product
Movers shakers and producers
Me and my friends understand the future
I see the strings that control the systems
I can do anything with no assistance
Cuz I can lead a nation with a microphone
With a microphone
With a microphone
And I can split the atoms of a molecule
Of a molecule
Of a molecule

Look at me
Look at me
Driving and I won't stop
And it feels so good to be
Alive and on top
My reach is global
My tower secure
My cause is noble
My power is pure
I can hand out a million vaccinations
Or let'em all die from exasperation
Have'em all healed from their lacerations
Have'em all killed by assassination
I can make anybody go to prison
Just because I don't like'em and
I can do anything with no permission
I have it all under my command
Because I can guide a missile by satellite
By satellite
By satellite
And I can hit a target through a telescope
Through a telescope
Through a telescope
And I can end the planet in a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust
In a holocaust

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

I can ride my bike with no handlebars
No handlebars
No handlebars

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Life and Death of a Cracker

Following up on my 'The Passion of the Cracker' post , PZ Myers has gone through with his threat. The actual event is towards the bottom of the post. Most of the post talks about the interesting history of the cracker and the yellow star the Nazis used in WWII, and about the various threats and such he received.

I admire Myers because he isn't afraid to go head first into this debate and stake out a very clear and controvsial position. I don't have that kind of balls and I'm not sure I would draw such a stark line as he has. I've often said that I admire people of faith when it stays a personal faith, I find that kind of dedication very cool indeed. However, I do agree a lot with Myers on how expecting others to share your beliefs about a cracker or whatever else is disrepecting another's belief.

It is a hard topic to find agreement on.

Finally, the forth comment in the close to 2500 comment thread is awesome. It states, simply: 'Well this is going to be epic.' 2500 comments and gaining, yea, that's a bit of an understandment.

Monday, July 21, 2008

What If...

So like, I have these 'what if' things popping around in my head from time to time so I figure I'll just post them when I think of them and see what (if anything) comes out of them.

What if the Germans had not sunk the Lusitania in May of 1915? Would the US still have entered the war on the side of the Entente Powers or the side of the Central Powers? Up until that event it could have gone either way.

That's something I always found really interesting.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Passion Of The Cracker

This kind of stuff getting out in the open makes me happy. The more the public sees how petty some of these people can be the better, imho.

So why is church attendance starting to decline again? Maybe it is because of these people going on witch hunts over crackers. Seriously, crackers. Crackers. Wow.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Trust: The Abridged Edition

Two of the last few posts talked about an 'inner dialog' or 'inner belief' that I thought I'd explain a bit about. I wrot this on 04/03/08 as well as an abridged version of my long-ass trust post. It turned out to be more lectury and not really exposing much of myself. Since I did finally post that Trust post here is the explanation part of 'inner dialog' and 'inner belief' for you.


People have belief systems, it is part of the mental map you construct in your head in order to make sense of reality. These belief systems start forming when you are a wee baby and continue to develop until you die. Not to put too fine a point on it but you basically spend your entire life making sense of everything through the prism of this mental map.

With that in mind, you can develop some beliefs when you are younger that, at the time, were necessary for survival. As you age these systems can not only become antiquated and bothersome but totally counter-productive or even harmful. Most, actually probably all, of therapy is spent trying to figure out what your belief systems are and then changing them to something that is more in line with what is actually happening.

Finally, before I actually get to my point, these belief systems happen mostly at a subconcious level and can be summed up in really short sentences. For example, "I'm not good enough" or "I don't deserve [whatever]" are examples of destructive belief systems that probably happened through tramua in early life.

Follow me?

Trust: A Semi-Focused Stream of Conciousness

I originally wrote this on 04/03/08 but didn't post it. It is ironic because I talk about not posting it in the text below. I post it now because, three months later, I think I finally figured out what it was I couldn't but my finger on that I babble about in the middle. I also post it because I am in a different place now.


I just returned home from a movie get together where we watched Bubba Ho-Tep and Team America, two very funny - if very different - movies. I left halfway through Team America with the intention to return home to finish pushing some patches I worked on earlier in the day. However, I decided to write this - what'll probably be a rather long - post instead.

I tend to have a variety of post subjects floating around in my head that I want to write about for a number of different reasons. Some I think will just be plain entertaining. Others are about things I don't want to forget. And others, like this and the previous one, are to help me figure things out. I expect this to be a more focused version of that 'stream of conciousness' post from a year or so ago. Onward.

Over the past something like 10 years or so I've been on a journey internally. This journey has taken me down many different paths exploring different themes but all with the goal of becoming comfortable with myself. Those of you who have met me within the last 8 months or so or have knew before but also have had time to have more intense conversations with me recently know that I don't shy away about talking about many things about myself. However, as brutally open as I may be about some things there has always been a part that I haven't talked about. I'm not really going to go into that too much but I'm going to touch on it.

Most recently the path I have traveled has been a familiar one in that I have been working with a therapist I have been seeing for about 6 years with a few years off in the middle. He knows my history very well and I am comfortable with him. Recently (read: within the last 3 weeks) we have started to work on that stuff that I don't talk about much. We've really started to push into it the root causes of that little ball of...what, shame? I don't know, but whatever it is we have started to get to the heart of it.

See, you see what is going on here? I'm avoiding it. What is up with that? It's amazing how the mind works sometimes. Ok, so check it out. It all comes down to my ability (or inability, really) to trust people. Not trust like 'I trust you not to give up a secret I tell you' trust, because that's easy. No, I mean trust like 'I totally, unquestioningly trust you with my life' sort of trust. That kinda thing. It's a big deal, and I didn't really realize how much it plays into my relationships until recently. I know, it seems obvious on the surface, but there it is.

Seriously, I always knew I had a trust issue but I always thought it was in relation to a specific person and for good reasons. What I didn't realize, and what is really becoming clear to me, is that that trust issue existed before that time in my life and has affected everything since.

Where did it come from? This is what we have been working on some. My parents divorced when I was in my early teens. I always thought it didn't affect me that much because I was in my teens where it did affect my brother. What a load of crap. Of course it affected me. However, as far as I'm concerned my parents did right by me in how they went about it and I really appreciate that. They could have been perfect and there would be other issues to deal with, so in no way is this on them. I want that to be clear (call me if you want to talk about this).

So they divorced and to me the two most central people in my life seperated. Internally, at a subconcious level, I am beginging the process of understanding that that event made me start to have trust issues. Think about it. I grow up in a family that goes out and does stuff and I trust that that will always be (no matter how much mis-guided that belief is), right? That trust ends when they separate...ok, maybe not ends but at least is shaken.

That's where it starts. That alone didn't make the problem what it is but that did create a wound for me to deal with. So I got this wound I'm carrying around and the 'once bit, twice shy' saying comes into play. Onward.

My first relationship started in my late teens with someone I had known for a while (lived on my street, parents were friends, etc). I totally poured my soul into this relationship and let her in VERY close. It went on for a few years or so and ended abruptely one winter's afternoon. I found out the hard way that someone else was involved. Well now, talk about tearing that trust wound open wide. Any chance it had at healing was well gone after that.

This relationship goes on for a long time (some 14 years) off and on. Over and over I begin to trust and over and over something happens to betray that trust. I don't want to cast blame in one direction here. I absolutely had my part in all this. Regardless of that the end result was that that trust issue just kept being clobbered. Inside I started a belief that says 'Everytime I let someone get close they will hurt me.'. So I stick up a wall.

It's about this part where I'm not sure where things go. For example, while that wall makes it very hard for me to get past a certain part of intimacy, I have no problem talking about some pretty serious and personal stuff with people I trust. That's why I feel like there is something here that I don't get. When I think about those people that I can have those sorts of conversations about and then I think about some stuff that I have a really hard time talking about, I absolutely can't see myself talking about it because of that belief that if 'I let someone in too close they will hurt me.' Hell, I even feel like not posting this now or writing a disclaimer or some shit on top.

Let me give you some more examples. I saw this demonstration of a technique called EMDR that helps you identify emotions that are disassociated from your internal timeline and reassociate them (more to it than that, but that's enough for now). It is a very powerful technique and the results are pretty compelling (I went through it in 1999 or there abouts). Anyway, one of the things I was supposed to do before going to this demo was to come up with a couple of issues that were not super traumatic but did have some charge to them (a 5 or 6 on a 1-10 scale). I picked two that I initially thought were not related. The first was my boat engine melting and the second was Misfit dieing. Not related, right?

Ok, follow this. The more I thought about them during this demonstration the more I realized that not only are they related but they both come down to fucking my ability to trust! How screwed up is that? The boat because I had always done all the work myself and the first time I take it to a shop the engine melts and is ruined. The cat because the vet said we probably didn't need to do anymore testing and he was probably just a food issue and three days later the cat dies from kidney failure. Do you see how these two things just reinforce my issue with trust?

So that's it. That is where I'm at. I'm not sure what the answer is or how to repair it, but I'm sure as I'm sitting here that this is my root issue. It's the thing that I struggle with more than anything. After 10 years I finally have a finger on it. Now I just need to figure out what to do about it.

Some Stuff to Ponder

Is there a difference/distinction between structured thought and logical thought?

See, something Mere wrote in response to my post floundering around about the paradoxes of being a perfectionist and such a few weeks ago got me to thinking. She said something along the lines of 'Those of us with structured thinking tend to try to live in the moment to balance it out'. And I was thinking, 'I wonder if people naturally tend towards balance unconsciously.'. The more I think about it, the more I think that is true. Whether or not that balance is healthy or not is a different story, but I think people tend to balance themselves out.

For example, how many geniuses do you know/heard of that didn't have some crazy other stuff going on. Edison slept in the closet. Einstein wasn't exactly a social dynamo. There are plenty of amazing technical people that have the social skills of a ping-pong ball that has been stepped on and tossed into a fire. Similarly, a lot of actors/actresses and other pretty faces aren't exactly mental giants.

Another example, myself. I have very structured thinking (although I would argue it isn't necessarily logical) and analytical. However, my house is anything but structured. Well, that isn't entirely true. It is messy but actually pretty organized, oddly enough. Like organized chaos, but chaos none-the-less. Have you ever seen me not wear a shirt that had wrinkles in it? Wouldn't a structured mind live a structured existence? That is what I would assume, but that isn't the case. I would argue it is a way for me to seek balance. Similarly, I have known people that were very structured externally (neat houses, impeccable clothing) but anything but internally.

Granted, broad strokes like this don't fit everyone. I had a nice conversation with my boss about this a couple of days ago. Ultimately what we decided was that people do subconsciously seek balance, but only in relation to themselves.

Anyway, just some stuff to ponder.

On Being Single and Good Therapy

Mel and I broke it off three weeks ago today. The reason for the break-up were clear although the timing of it surprised me. However, if there was a reason why it wasn't going to work between us, that was about it. In any case, I've struggled with what led to it for a while and probably will for the foreseeable future. Like a lot of healing, it takes time and there are set backs. I have no resentment nor any regrets and I enjoyed, greatly, my time with Mel. I certainly hope to at least have a long and rewarding friendship with her in the future when she is ready.

So here are some questions for you. Is it fair to ask someone whom wants or needs a certain level of whatever to wait while you try to figure your way through or heal or whatever? I think the answer to that isn't obvious. She was saintly patient with me but we just had different perspectives on how things were moving along. Was it fair to ask her to wait? Yea, in the beginning it was. But it went on for too long. Ultimately, it was unfair to her and to me both.

In the end, I'm single again and back to where I was about this time last year. Not looking hard but open. Just seeing where life takes me.

I had a very very good conversation with my shrink today. Sometimes the sessions only lightly touch on the hard stuff and serve as a way to just blow of some steam and center myself. Other days, like today, it really gets down into the heart of darkness and probes those things that are root issues. These are hard days, but very rewarding. Today was one of the best. You see, I've been struggling with physical intimacy between myself and others. You may not have noticed, but I don't exactly engage when the conversation turns to more physical things and I rarely talk about what I like/don't like. It isn't because I'm into this off-the-reservation fringe stuff. It is because of some events in my past that led me to believing an inner dialog that says there should be a lot of secrecy around sex. And when I say in my past, I mean like pre-teen past. That was the root event that we managed to get down to today and _it_ _was_ _powerful_. Just finally putting my finger on it and that inner dialog was HUGE. My writing this post is a testament to just how transitional it is for me. That inner dialog, that little voice, has colored my relationships from the time it happened throughout my entire life. It is in no small part why my first serious relationship didn't happen until my late teens, why I don't make moves towards that end, why I stay out of the sex conversations, etc. One little damn incident. Fucking amazing.

Am I healed? Hell no. Am I way better now than I was this morning, hell yes. There is a lot of work to do yet but finally understanding that one thing, that wound that started it all, helps me put structure around something I've been struggling with almost my entire life.

How does that change me from now on? I have my suspicions. I guess I'll have to see how it all plays out.

Game on.

Patriotosim vs Nationalism

Is there a difference between patriotism and nationalism?

According to

Pa"tri*ot*ism\, n. [Cf. F. patriotisme.] Love of country; devotion to the welfare of one's country; the virtues and actions of a patriot; the passion which inspires one to serve one's country. --Berkley.

na·tion·al·ism Audio Help /ˈnæʃənlˌɪzəm, ˈnæʃnəˌlɪz-/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[nash-uh-nl-iz-uhm, nash-nuh-liz-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. national spirit or aspirations.
2. devotion and loyalty to one's own nation; patriotism.
3. excessive patriotism; chauvinism.
4. the desire for national advancement or independence.
5. the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation, viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.
6. an idiom or trait peculiar to a nation.
7. a movement, as in the arts, based upon the folk idioms, history, aspirations, etc., of a nation.

The #2 definition in nationalism is interesting because it refers to patriotism while #3 talks about an excessive patriotism.

Anyway, I believe they are different. I often joke when someone wears a flag pin or a flag on their car or whatever that they are obviously true patriots because they are flying the flag. I also have a red shirt that happens to have a flag sewn into the collar that I call my 'Gay Hating, Bible Beating, Beer Loving, Gun Toting Patriot Shirt' that I wear to special occasions (or when it is the only clean shirt left).

See, I believe that there is a certain strain of what people call patriotism that runs through this country that is actually nationalism in its ugly form. The type that says 'America can do no wrong' and if you dare raise a question or dissent in anyway you are labeled a traitor. It was used as a club during the 2002 and 2004 elections and is still used to demonize people that question our policies on torture and wireless wiretapping, etc. And it is all simplistic bullshit. Wearing a flag pin and yelling 'America is great and the French suck' isn't being a patriot, that is being a 5 year old.

One of the descriptions of the difference between patriotism and nationalism that I like is that nationalism is country above all, no matter what. Patriotism is the love and defense of the values the idea of a country hold above all. So when you start to piss all over the Constitution if you aren't questioning it you are a traitor.

So yea, in my view there is a stark difference between the two. Unquestioning loyalty or informed dissent. I'll take the latter, thank you very much.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

McCain: Feel the Excitement

A picture is worth a thousand words, and all that.

The Most Interesting Man In The World

From the Dos Equis commercial The Most Interesting Man In The World:

The police stop to question him on a regular basis just because they find him interesting.
His beard alone has experienced more than a regular man's entire body.
His blood smells like calogne.
His charm is so contagious scientists had to develop a vaccine for it.
Long ago, he built a city out of blocks. Today, over 6,000,000 people live and work there.
He is the only man to ever ace a Rorschach test.
Whenever he goes swimming, dolphins appear.
Alien abductors have asked him to probe them.
If he were to give you directions, you'd never get lost and you would arrive 5 minues early.
His legend preceeds him the way lightning preceeds thunder.

I love the one about the Rorschach test.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fat Guy Stuck In The Internet

I saw this late Monday night or something.

Good stuff.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Where The Hell Is Matt

I needed to go to bed early tonight because I have a meeting in the morning tomorrow and I want to leave early to (hopefully) pick up my boat in the evening. So, like I normally do when I need to get up early for reasons other than my own I had a little miny rebellion and, well, it is 1:15 am and I am still up.

Part of my little rebellion was to go to and look at videos that make me laugh. They have a lot of garbage on that site but occasionally I come across some good stuff.

Well, I came across one that led me to this website. The video, called 'Dancing 2008', to me is actually kinda inspiring. A little bitter about the very end of it but not enough to loose it's inspirational feel.

I figured I'd lay some inspiration on you all. The About Matt page on that website is pretty funny too.

Now I'm going to go to bed.


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

How Is Any Of This Demeaning

So two things happened recently in the world o' politics regarding McCain and his vaunted military record. The first was General Wesley Clark saying "Well, I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." McCain has been using his time as POW as a justification that he has great foreign relations experience, etc so questioning how being a POW translates into such experience is a perfectly fair question. So how is this 'swift boating' John McCain? And what is up with the all the hysteria over this? Isn't this a question the damn press should have been asking?

The second thing that happened, today, is a comment by Jim Webb, the freshman senator from good ol' Virginia who was the Secretary of something (Navy? Staff? don't recall) under Regean. Webb said that McCain should "calm down" on the use of his military service as justification for political goals. Naturally, people are flipping out about that as well.

So, have any of these comments been demeaning to McCain's service record aka the 'swift boating' of John Kerry? Or are these valid concerns and people are blowing it up because, well, I don't know why.

UPDATE: And this is why I Heart Obama.

"Pat All The Eggs"