Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Something to think about...

12 Reasons why gays should not be allowed to marry:

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like eyeglasses, polyester, and birth control.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if Gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are property, blacks can't marry whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

10. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to things like cars or longer life spans.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "separate but equal" institution is always constitutional. Separate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Stolen from the old LiveJournal

I found some stuff from my old Livejournal that I wanted to update/re-post because they were awesome at the time. Oldies but goodies.

If my life had a soundtrack...

Opening credits: American Pearl - Automatic

Waking-up scene: Codebreaker - Capsule

Average-day scene: Modest Mouse - Float On

Best-friend scene: Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard

First-date scene: Van Morrison - Moondance

Falling-in-love scene: Etta James - Sunday Kind of Love

Love scene: Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight

Fight-with-friend scene: Hoobastank - Running Away

Break-up scene: Counting Crows - Raining in Baltimore

Get-back-together scene: Bob Seger - We've Got Tonight

"Life's okay" scene: Dave Matthews Band - Jimi Thing

Heartbreak scene: David Gray - Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

Mental-breakdown scene: John Mayer - Comfortable

Driving scene: Nina Simone - Feeling Good

Lesson-learning scene: Eminem - If I Had

Deep-thought scene: Fiona Apple - Across the Universe

Flashback scene: Green Day - Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)

Party scene: Elvis Presley - A Little Less Conversation (JXL Remix)

Happy dance scene: Paul oakenfold - Starry Eyed Surprise

Regret scene: Colin Hay - Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

Long-night-alone scene: Coldplay - Amsterdam

Death scene: Peter Gabriel - I Grieve

Closing credits: Bruce Springsteen - The Rising

The Good, The Bad, and Me

Good things that happened recently:
- I had today off from work.
- My fiancee's uncle and aunt just had a baby girl on Sunday. She's freaking beautiful.
- My work group is moving to the Hancock Tower on June 13th. Goodbye Downtown Crossing, hello Newbury Street and the Cottonwood. The homeless people were starting to get to me, although I will miss the food variety. Andy + Lambert's BFF!
- Took part in a rockin' good Memorial Day BBQ on Sunday.
- Won a Beirut tournament with Soulios at said BBQ.

Bad things that happened recently:
- As I was typing the previous sentence, I found a caterpillar crawling up my shirt. I hate bugs.
- Since I've lost 15 pounds in the past 3 months, I am less motivated to exercise now. This directly conflicts with my love of the outdoors. So does the rain that keeps coming and keeps ruining my plans to walk the lake.
- Hillary is now telling people in Florida and Michigan that it's Obama's fault that there votes don't count, which is not only untrue but just plain irresponsible. How do people who voted for her sleep peacefully at night after they watch her on tv, lying and posturing to crowds she helped fuck over?

I'm distracted by Judge Judy and the sun's back out. Be good, and comment if you read this. I don't write it for the readers, but it's nice to pretend I'm not talking to myself.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ten-Year Reunion Next Year? You Don't Say...

Jon Lester is 24 years old. He's beat cancer, clinched a World Series, and threw a no-hitter last night.

Andy Boncoddo is 27 years old. He's managed to stay on solid foods his whole life and, up until this point, has never been hit by a bus while crossing the street.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Recognition, the economy, and everything.

My company added a new feature to its Recognition and Reward program in the form of "points" that you can accumulate throughout the year with the purpose of saving them up and "cashing them in" for prizes and gifts. The points never expire and people earn them at their managers' discretion. For instance, if I think John Q. Mangosalsa is doing a great job in my group, I can "reward him" with points in lieu of money. He could then theoretically spend those points on an iPod, a flat screen TV, a Weber grill, or one of hundreds of other trinkets in the online catalog.

Here are the problems I have with this new system:

1) According to my company's legal department, the only way to cash in these points and not be on the hook for shipping and handling charges or other fees is to tax the points themselves on a quarterly basis. Each point is valued at about $2.80 USD.

So let's say that I accrue fifteen points in the span of a quarter (since I'm ridiculously good at my job). I am going to be taxed on those fifteen points when the quarter is up whether I've used those points or not. I have a problem being taxed for something I may not use for years.

2) If there are ever budget cuts within the company you can bet on this being one of the first programs cut. That means that I could be left with a slew of meaningless points and nowhere to use them...after I've already been taxed on them and after I've been given these points in lieu of monetary bonuses or raises over the year(s). And if you think my company is going to let us cash those points in for money then I've got a hell of a deal for you on a bridge for sale.

3) Let's say that by some miraculous leap of logic and faith that the point program manages to survive, people accrue points for good work, and they have a chance to cash them in for stuff. How many points do you need to accumulate for anything decent? Let's take a look, shall we?

The average number of points alloted to each manager per person on their staff is fifty. Some will earn more, some will earn less, but let's use fifty as the average. The flat screen Samsung HD TV is 550 points; the iPod is forty points, and the Weber grill is 150. Do I really want to wait for eleven years so that I can buy a TV? Or three years for a freaking grill?

If someone is really interested in buying a grill or an iPod or a TV there are a hundred quicker ways to go about it. They could save fifty bucks a week and buy the same TV in two years, or the grill in 3 months, or the iPod in a month and change. Or they could put it on the old standby, the credit card. Hell, even putting it on layaway would take less time.

Is the point system a good idea in theory? If it were the 1970's then the answer is yes. But in today's "consumer whore"-filled world where nearly everything is available for the taking with a swipe of some plastic and more disposable income than ever before, who needs points?

I like the fact that if I wanted to I could take a 5-minute drive to Best Buy, pick out the TV I want, drive it home that day, and have it up and running by that night. I know that not everyone has that luxury but for someone like me who has a job that pays well, minimal bills, and a penchant for impulse shopping (especially when it comes to electronics, craft beers, and sushi), this is a no-brainer: count me out when it comes to points; I just want the cash.

But is it becoming too easy to get everything you want? And is that a good thing?

I'd like to say yes, I really would, but I don't think I can. In a society where many people have more financial flexibility than ever before, what's stopping people from going overboard and spending themselves into the poorhouse? Does anyone really think it's coincidental that after a decade in which more people had an abundance of money to spend, thanks to a booming economy and the marketing power of the internet, we've managed to fall so far? Everyone thought the good times would never end, even after 9/11. We were told as much by our leaders; "go on about your lives because we're America...fuck yeah!" Now the economy sucks, houses are being foreclosed left and right, and gas is going to hit four bucks a gallon by Memorial Day.

You think that someone in their right mind, someone who understands that the good economic times aren't going to last forever, someone who isn't so obsessed with consumerism, would really go out and buy a house with with a 5-year ARM and no backup plan? Really? More people must think that they and the American economy are invincible. Maybe they actually do. I mean, all I'm seeing on TV is how America is so much better than any other country on Earth and how we're going to be a shining light for the rest of the world to follow. We're constantly told not to question anything that's being done by our government or its officials lest we be labeled unpatriotic.

We're being led by two parties that wouldn't know their ass from their hands with a flashlight and a map. One party voted someone into office (twice!) who I believe may have an extra chromosome. Their current nominee for president is a shell of his former self who has completely turned 180 degrees on most of the issues he used to stand for and may also indeed be 180 years old. Is McCain really that old? Put it this way: the man is older than chocolate chip cookies, Bugs Bunny, penicillin, and Scrabble. That's fucking OLD.

The other party also knows who their nominee for president long as his opponent doesn't sue to have Florida and Michigan's delegates counted, convince superdelegates to ignore the outcome of the popular election and vote for her, or continue to give the GOP plenty of mudslinging goodness to throw at her party's nominee once the convention is over in July. The party is being ruined singlehandedly and no one even remotely involved in the process is smart enough to put a stop to it.

But I guess that's neither here nor there. The point I was trying to make before I got sidetracked was that America used to be the free-wheeling, free-spending country that had the world's panties in a knot tied by jealousy and now we're the laughingstock of the world. The euro and yen have never been higher and most Europeans could wipe their asses with dollar bills. Is it the work of unchecked consumerism? Shitty fiscal policy? The ease of credit companies and banks to forgo all common sense and hand out fake money left and right? All of the above? Does anyone really feel like the U.S. will get those good economic times back anytime soon, cyclical economic theory aside?

Maybe not; maybe that's why people are spending all this money. Maybe they all see the writing on the wall and are deciding to numb themselves by purchasing luxury items they can't afford just so they can enjoy the last few moments before the economy completely collapses and we're all eating turnip broth and rhubarb stew for dinner every night. Maybe people think it's too late to turn things around. Maybe it is.

In that case, I'll be over near my TV playing the Wii if you need me. Let me know when dinner's been boiled.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On Not Being a Hot Female

Every time I watch Kathryn Tappen on NESN I die a little inside. She beat me out for the NESN job a couple of years ago. We interviewed on the same day. I had the resume (so I was told by the producer) but I wasn't "what [they] were looking for". Apparently they were looking for a massive set of tits stuffed into a blouse to distract us from the verbal diarrhea coming out an airhead's mouth.

Now I have to listen to this bumbling idiot say things like "is the Patriots' titles tarnished?" and "there were no new relevations in the Matt Walsh tapes" (she meant revelations). Ugh. As an avid "grammar Nazi" it makes me ill.

I'm sure if I had a killer body, a massive rack, and pouting lips then I'd be up there right now reporting on the Sox, Bruins, Pats, etc. I enjoy what I do now and I am paid well but it's freaking NESN. That would have been awesome.

The ability of looks to outweigh higher qualifications will be something that I'll never understand, probably because I don't have those looks. I just hope that someday the people who have gotten by on their looks alone for their entire lives will have to find a way to survive on just their talent and abilities alone just so that they can see what it's like to be someone like me for a year.