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I'll admit it, I'm strange. My mood swings like a pendulum between being happy and sad, but these days, in these times, all I can feel is sad. Sad for the loss of life that is happening half a world away. The Iraqis are playing dirty, which is more akin to fighting a guerilla group than a nation. It's hard for the average citizen to understand why we are at war. I didn't understand it at the beginning, and I had my doubts about it. Michael Moore said it very well at the Oscars: "We like nonfiction and we live in fictitious times. We live in a time where we have fictitious election results, elect a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons." I applaud Moore for speaking his mind at the Oscars, and shake my head at those who stopped him from speaking. America's always been about freedom, and stopping him was a disservice to the men who are fighting for their lives. I wonder sometimes about the soldiers over there -- do they believe in the causes they are fighting for or are they merely following orders?
I think somewhere, we're still fighting for peace of mind, for safety that doesn't exist. 9-11 opened our eyes to the world that exists -- a dangerous world, filled with overzealous maniacs who would sacrifice their lives to destroy our lives. And in ways too numerous to count, they have destroyed us -- our life style today is very different from the world we lived in a mere two years ago. Those soldiers are out there fighting to make the world a safer placer. I support the soldiers out there, but I don't support our war. Our war seeks to destroy a government and their ideals. The saddest part is that we've put a face to it, thereby creating the false impression that such a thing can be destroyed. Even if the public face is destroyed, we haven't even touched upon the root causes why they do what they do. It's not enough that we kill him, we have to understand why they believe what they believe in, and undermine that, and the war, devastating the people of Iraq, isn't making any friends.
We're always touting the intelligence of the human species... but why then are we resorting to behaving like we're still cavemen, with violence as the only solution?
It's nice to be back home. Traveling around is always fun, but I did miss the comforts of home.
No matter where you go in the world, you can't escape the news of the U.S. at war with Iraq. No matter where you go, there are protests about the war. And no matter what, I will continue to pray for the safety of our soldiers overseas.
So I was checking the weather conditions in Chicago, and I looked on-line. I saw 47/7, which I assume meant high and low temperature, but I didn't look closely enough to realize that the letters next to the numbers were Farenheit and Celsius respectively. 47 isn't too bad. It's just a little colder than San Francisco weather... but I saw the 7 and thought great googly moogly, it's cold down there.
Red-eye flight tomorrow morning, better get some sleep before then.
So today was my birthday. Most years I don't even think about it. I suppose that's why I think sometimes that I'm only 22. But, having a birthday reminds me of just how life has blessed me with so many good people in my life. A big hearty thank you to everyone who sent in birthday wishes.
I'm just finally now done with work, so not very much celebration tonight, but it's been a really long day that flew by. My co-workers took me out to lunch and gave me a Gameboy Advance SP, which I was just thinking about getting yesterday. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening working, which sucked, but it had to be done. Tomorrow will be a busy day as well.
In case you haven't seen this site parodying the Office of Homeland Security's safety guide. I've been forwarded this site a few times already, so I'm sure people are talking about it.
Sometimes I think that my life is like a light switch. Either it's on (everything happening at once) or it's off (nothing happening). I'm worried that with the war starting in 2 days my life is going to be hell in the airport. That's the way it always is with my life. The day the US starting bombing the Al-Qaeda, I flew from LA to SF, and I remember the airport being quite militant. Anyways, I'm sure it'll be an experience. My writer's mind is already putting together these crazy what-if type scenarios about random acts of terrorism and the like -- you know, like the book "After the Bomb", which is the story of a teen trying to make sense of his life in the aftermath of an accidental nuclear explosion. I remember reading that book back in the 7th grade, which was probably around the last time it was published. I remember it being a good book. Here's an interesting vision from my imagination: I'm in Chicago. I'm hanging out with my friend when suddenly terrorism strikes, and he gets paged to come to the hospital immediately. I spend the next few days in Chicago assisting at the hospital, just because people need help. Well, that's one possibility anyways. Most likely it will be entirely uneventful and I will be able enjoy myself in the Windy City. I wonder how cold it gets there.
My day tomorrow starts early with a dentist appointment, and ends late with a project at work. Wednesday it's another late day due to tutoring. Early A.M. on Thursday I fly out, which means early to bed on Wednesday night. And somehow, I will need to find the time to take care of everything that needs to be done before I leave.
I know this is late posting, but for Lent, I gave up procrastination. Trying to live without putting things off is rough, it's definitely a different lifestyle than I'm used to. I'm sure I'm taking it to an extreme, since the opposite of procrastination is to just do everything now. Not putting off things can definitely be advantageous in some cases though (Should I procrastinate on buying this? Well, I did give up putting things off....)
The rains have come again to NorCal. It's the kind that behaves like a whimsical cat, coming and going with very little consideration for anyone else.
There's this Italian card game I'm loving called "Bang!" -- it's basically an old-west themed game, complete with sheriffs, outlaws, deputys and renegades. It's pretty fun if you're into the whole "take-that!" style of game (i.e. UNO, Munchkin). I think part of what makes it fun, is that we all know the old western cliches, which makes the game that much more vivid.
GDC was last week, and at the show some of our artists saw the new WACOM Cintiq. Work was able to get one of these devices for evaluation purposes. 10 seconds with this device and you will want one. It's unbelievably cool, and the responsiveness of the stylus (the pen for you non-tech types) doesn't exhibit any of the lag that's traditionally associated with pen tablets. The only problem, of course is the price.
So damn tired today. It's only 10pm, but I'm having so much trouble just keeping my eyes open. I really need to read something. I couldn't remember the last time I read a book that wasn't self-help or the Bible. Which means it's definitely time for me to read something.
I heard this weekend that they are finally adapting Asimov's "I, Robot" into a movie. Obviously I'm excited that one of my favorite short story collections is going to make it to the big screen. Will Smith has been signed on as a detective who investigates robots. As is typical for a Will Smith film, the release date is set for the July 4th holiday. I'm hopeful that the film will make it to the box office. Many many years ago in 1978 , Harlan Ellison (another famous science fiction author) wrote up a screenplay for "I, Robot" but due to a whole slew of snafus (mainly the expense of special effects), the film was never produced. It looks like now, after all these years, the curse might finally be broken.
This is the first weekend I've had in a longtime where I've actually had time to myself, where there's nothing pressing to handle, and it's actually warm and sunny out and I can relax. If I get back from church before the sun goes down, I think I'll just head to a park, find a nice spot on a lawn and just lay down and watch the clouds roll by. That'd be a nice way to spend the afternoon.
Well, things didn't exactly go as planned. I ended up at Bean Hollow Beach along Highway 1, and just sat there on the beach for the rest of the afternoon, taking pictures and delighting in the beauty of the landscape.
Coming back, I got a ticket from the CHP. But I took advantage of the situation to ask the officer to show me how the radar gun works, and to waste his time for like half an hour. So now I know how radar guns work.
So about half an hour later after I let the CHP officer go, on my way driving back, I hear the screech of tires losing grip -- it's another car, losing control over a tight turn, I swerve to the right to avoid being hit head on.
Anyways, I'm sure this is all a sign. You guys be careful out there.
I've been an outsider for most of my life, so I understand just how powerful the feeling of acceptance into a group can be. The other thing is that we live in a society of lack -- we're always told what we need to be complete when in most cases, we don't need it at all. When those two are combined -- the need for acceptance, and being told what you lack and need to be happy -- it is the ultimate advertising technique.
And all I can do now is pray for those who don't recognize the danger.
I overslept for the first time in months today, which sort of threw the rest of my day off track. Betina called me last night and talked about this seminar she went to, and invited me to come along tonight to the introduction.