Ink & Paper

Friday, December 30, 2005

Ink and Paper's 2006 New Years Resolutions

1. Figure out how to get more of my writings published and possibly earn some moolah doing so.
2. Learn how to play chess.
3. Acquire poochy number two.
4. Keep my eyes open and my ear to the ground.
5. Read more and watch tv less. (Note: I now have a reading chair in my office. Success.)
6. Go to more coffee shops than bars. Particularity coffee shops with wireless internet.
7. Learn more (or start learning) about outer space.
8. Finish the yard and garage.
9. Enjoy some nesting.
10. Get ahead career-wise.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:03 AM ~~ 1 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


December 2

Dear Wichita,

My insomnia is back, the fitful sleep and the unwelcome sunrise seeming to mock me and my futile attempts to rest. I don't know if you knew I was a periodic insomniac. I didn't sleep last night after I got home and I'm wide awake after my shift at the bar. It's like I'm on speed again, just waiting for the crash to come. It will. Speed or insomnia, the crash is remarkably similar, but you won't hear the feds tell you that in their war on drugs. Say no.

Anna came to the bar again tonight, she seems to be a weekend regular. We chatted a bit on my break, she seems to have her act together. I like to think I am a good judge of character. That's not to say I always hung out with the cleanest crowd around, but I always seem able to judge what kind of character a person has, good or bad.

Anna seems decent, certainly not hard to look at. She has bright eyes that dominate her face, pools of inky blue. Blond and short, the total opposite of Mary.

Shit. I can't even think about another girl without Mary floating through my head.

Anna works at an accounting firm, as an account administrator, whatever the hell that is. Probably looks better on a business card than my credentials would. She says it is "an okay job, for now."

I think I am starting to realize just how impermanent our modern lives are. No one stays at a job for forty years anymore. No one has a ten year old car anymore, unless you are poor or a college student. Always looking for something better. Maybe that's why I'm looking at Anna-Marie. Anna.

"Where you from?"

"What makes you think I'm not from Seattle?"

"Your accent, it isn't west coast, its middle America. Plains. The land of railroads and wheat."

"Kansas. Good job Detective Anna. Gold Star."

A small smile.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:25 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

It appears that the US is re-endorsing the use of landmines, perhaps one of the most indiscrimminate killers of civilians ever used in warfare.

-It is estimated that there are between 15,000 and 20,000 new casualties caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance each year. That means there are some 1,500 new casualties each month, more than 40 new casualties a day, at least two new casualties per hour.

-Landmines deprive people in some of the poorest countries of land and infrastructure.

More info here.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 3:49 PM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


The mystery of Nickelback's enormous success is solved here.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:47 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

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Jay gets mentioned on CNN.

Sure it was May 25, 2005 but still.

TATTON: Another story that's attracting a lot of attention today is this sign that was posted outside a North Carolina Baptist church, "The Koran needs to be flushed." You can hear -- you can see it many places, hear at The pastor of that church is not backing down. That's the Danieltown Baptist church in North Carolina. The pastor defending his decision to put the sign outside the church, but bloggers all around the country are reacting to this with outrage.

Here is the entire article, my mention is way down near the bottom, in the blog section discussion.

The post that garnered CNN's attention can be re-read here.

Thanks to the Glorious Mr. T for the tip.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 11:17 AM ~~ 2 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


If anyone goes to the Winners store on Calgary Trail and 34th ave they should look up as they approach the store. Crammed into a crook of one of the store sign letters is a dead pigeon. And I mean crammed, that bird must have been flying.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:02 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


December 1

Dear Wichita,

I am writing this on the bus ride home from the bookstore, where I worked the late shift and where Amy's ex showed up, causing her to cry, contemplate, cry, and finally decide to get back together with him. He looks like a decent guy, I dunno why he wants to be with a headcase like Amy. Maybe she's good in bed. Whatever.

Anyway, it is just past 100am on the #43 bus route and there is only me and some homeless guy riding the bus. He looks pretty disheveled, even for a homeless guy. His clothes are held together by prayers and tape, his grey hair is snaking out from under his grimy white snowhat, and there is a noticeable odour coming from his direction. He is staring hard at the grooved floor of the bus and his head bounces like he is fighting off sleep.

The saving grace about my bus route is that it doesn't pass any college or high schools, so I am saved the agony of listening to girls gossip about one another and guys telling each other lies. I get a semi-professional crowd, middle management types, with the odd blue collar worker thrown in for good mix. Mind you, I only see these types on my way to work. Not too many secretaries riding the bus at 100am. Just the homeless and the twitchy drug addicts. And me. I travel in good company.

I lock into my headphones and my book when I ride the bus. It keeps the conversations to a minimum. I don't want people to think that I am looking for social contact, I get enough of that at work. I always sit on the aisle seat near a drafty door or window, my backpack in the seat against the window. No one asks you to move, they only ask you to move your bag. And I never make eye contact. Nobody makes eye contact anyway, everyone is lost in the grooves or wearing a distant stare, the passing buildings blurring unseen.

I watch people though, as we all ride the bus to our little responsibilities. I watch the forty-something lady who has too much makeup on try to talk to the balding forty-something guy who smashed into the glass ceiling a few years back and has simply accepted his fate. I watch the professional with hungry eyes scope out a pretty little secretary who is ten years younger than his wife. I watch the tradesmen take a swig from his flask. I watch them all because each one has a story to tell of how they ended up on this very bus at this very time. Ever since the trial I have become rather obsessed with coincidences and chance, the idea of being at the right place at the wrong time. Or vice versa.

I am becoming quite good at being alone in a crowd.


A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:15 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


CBC's "best of" 2005 lists.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 8:47 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My asshole tendencies emerge....

I was shopping for clothes today and was understandably thinking that the world was nothing more than a giant prick.

I tried on some clothes. The didn't fit, or they looked stupid, or they were too trendy to be worth shit after six months. Or I hate spending money, even if it is gift certificates. Cards. Whatever.

I came out of the change room, a little cubicle, a box with harsh lighting and a lock I didn't entirely trust. I had a pair of jeans, and two shirts, all balled up in a big "made-in-Vietnam" snaggle of cloth. I was giving them back to the change room monitor person. Attendant. Mouth breather.

"Did you have hangers with these?"

Yes. I did have hangers with the clothes. In fact, I remember distinctly that the hangers fell on the floor as I fought with the little metal clips that hold the clothes in place. And I remember thinking to myself that I wasn't going to pick up the hangers off the floor.


"Can you get them please?"


Look her in the eye. She's 17 and we don't know shit when we are 17.

Enormous sigh.

I'd like to say that I walked out. I'd like to say that the enormous sigh, like she was asking me to help her move, was only the beginning. But I went back and got the hangers, a sliver of responsibility slipping through my aura of frustration.

Only three of the four in the change room, mind you. I dunno who left the other one there, but I sure as hell wasn't picking it up. I'm not a goddamn employee and obviously buddy didn't get the third degree when he walked out sans hanger.

I was getting shaky and nervous, goddamn public anxiety disorder.

I found Megan and she said it was time for a coffee.

So we went for coffee and Megan dealt with the cashier. Which was probably best for all involved. I found a table and watched old people drink coffee and talk about their latest medical condition.

I came home to an unexpected message on my cell phone, as I had turned it off and left it at home intentionally. I hate left-field phone calls full of old memories. I feel clumsy and that pisses me off.

I've felt clumsy and awkward a lot lately.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 8:48 PM ~~ 1 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Megan, in all her awesomeness, got me an iPod Shuffle for Christmas. You too will benefit from this, as I will periodically update the j~shuffle blog, letting you know what I'm listening to. You will find the link on the left side of this page and I will let you know every time I update it.

I know that this matters to you, don't pretend it doesn't.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:09 AM ~~ 2 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


MSNBC recaps the year in pictures. Beautiful and haunting.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 9:35 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Monday, December 26, 2005

Most Outrageous Statements made in 2005, as reported by Media Matters. Sheesh.

  • Former Reagan administration Secretary of Education Bill Bennett: "[Y]ou could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down." [Salem Radio Network's Bill Bennett's Morning in America, 9/28/05]
  • Pat Robertson: "If [Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez] thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it." [Christian Broadcasting Network's The 700 Club, 8/22/05]
  • Bill O'Reilly to San Francisco: "[I]f Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. ... You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 12/8/05]
  • Bill O'Reilly, agreeing with caller that illegal immigrants are "biological weapon[s]": "I think you could probably make an absolutely airtight case that more than 3,000 Americans have been either killed or injured, based upon the 11 million illegals who are here." [Westwood One's The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 4/15/05]
  • Rush Limbaugh: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/12/05]
  • Rush Limbaugh on the kidnapping of peace activists in Iraq: "I'm telling you, folks, there's a part of me that likes this." [The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/29/05]
  • Ann Coulter: Bill Clinton "was a very good rapist"; "I'm getting a little fed up with hearing about, oh, civilian casualties"; "I think we ought to nuke North Korea right now just to give the rest of the world a warning." [New York Observer, 1/10/05]
  • Ann Coulter: "Isn't it great to see Muslims celebrating something other than the slaughter of Americans?" [Syndicated column, 2/3/05]
  • Radio host Glenn Beck: "[Y]ou know it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families? Took me about a year." [Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program, 9/9/05]
  • Tucker Carlson: "Canada is a sweet country. It is like your retarded cousin you see at Thanksgiving and sort of pat him on the head. You know, he's nice, but you don't take him seriously. That's Canada." [MSNBC's The Situation with Tucker Carlson, 12/15/05]
  • American Family Association president Tim Wildmon: Liberals "don't have the kind of family responsibilities most people have, and certainly not church responsibilities." [American Family Radio's Today's Issues, 5/11/05]
  • David Horowitz on Cindy Sheehan: "It's very hard to have respect for a woman who exploits the death of her own son and doesn't respect her own son's life. ... She portrays him as an idiot." [MSNBC's Connected: Coast to Coast, 8/16/05]
  • Radio host Neal Boortz on the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams: "[T]here will be riots in South Central Los Angeles and elsewhere. ... The rioting, of course, will lead to wide scale looting. There are a lot of aspiring rappers and NBA superstars who could really use a nice flat-screen television right now." [, 12/12/05]
  • Pat Buchanan: "Our guys" in Iraq "have got every right to have good news put into the media and get to the people of Iraq, even if it's got to be planted or bought." [MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12/1/05]
  • National Review editor Rich Lowry: Given EPA-mandated "small-flush" toilets, "[h]ow is it possible to flush a Quran down the toilet?" [Young America's Foundation speech, 8/5/05]
  • Neal Boortz, suggesting that a victim of Hurricane Katrina housed in an Atlanta hotel consider prostitution: "I dare say she could walk out of that hotel and walk 100 yards in either direction on Fulton Industrial Boulevard here in Atlanta and have a job. What's that? Well, no, no, no. ... Well, you know what? [laughing] Now that you mention it ... [i]f that's the only way she can take care of herself, it sure beats the hell out of sucking off the taxpayers." [Cox Radio Syndication's The Neal Boortz Show, 10/24/05]
  • Focus on the Family founder and chairman James C. Dobson: Same-sex marriage would lead to "marriage between daddies and little girls ... between a man and his donkey." [Focus on the Family radio program, 10/6/05]

  • Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid: "Have you noticed that many news organizations, in honor of former ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings, have embarked on a quit smoking campaign? So why don't our media launch a campaign advising people to quit engaging in the dangerous and addictive homosexual lifestyle? ... It appears that the homosexual lifestyle is as addictive as smoking." [Accuracy in Media column, 12/14/05]

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 3:15 PM ~~ 2 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


Christmas, you tire me out.

I had vaguely forgotten how much work Christmas is, what with spending the last one surrounded by desert sand in a foreign land. In a band.

While Xmas 05 was good, and I was spoiled with quality gifts as always, I could barely stay awake yesterday while driving home. Megan slept, as is her MO.

I have the rest of the week off. I may attempt to insulate the garage, or I may not. Perhaps World Junior Hockey will impede that task. I don't know, I haven't made too many plans. Vacations aren't for deadlines so far as I'm concerned.

More to come, hope your Xmas was all you hoped for.

A sovereign thought, delivered to your door at 10:32 AM ~~ 0 bonsai trees

shout out out out out out


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