Gordon Lee Hearing Begins Thursday, CBLDF Kicks Off Auctions

This kinda stuff is important to me, which is why I've posted this here rather than the Links site.

This Thursday the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund goes to court in Rome, GA on behalf of retailer Gordon Lee. The CBLDF legal team will be arguing at a hearing on motions to dismiss charges against Lee. Lee is facing two counts of violating Georgia's unconstitutional Unlawful Dissemination of Nudity/Sexual Conduct law, as well as 5 counts of Distributing Harmful to Minors Material for accidentally distributing a copy of Alternative Comics #2, a free comic book day comic that depicted artist Pablo Picasso in the nude. CBLDF attorneys Alan Begner and Paul Cadle will be providing oral arguments for four motions submitted on Lee's behalf earlier this year. For full info on these motions, please visit: http://www.cbldf.org/pr/archives/000254.shtml

To support the court costs of this very important hearing, the Fund is launching seven eBay auctions this afternoon at 3:00 Eastern/12:00 Pacific Time. Items offered will include All Star Batman & Robin #1, the RRP Variant edition signed by Jim Lee & Frank Miller, CGC Graded 9.8; original Jonathan Luna Spider-Woman art; original Jaime Hernandez Hopey art; the coveted Hellblazer #27 signed by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, and more. This auction begins a two-week auction initiative to offset the costs of this very important case.

"Right now we are embarking on the first step of the next phase of the Gordon Lee defense," says CBLDF Executive Director Charles Brownstein. "Our attorneys have written a series of excellent motions supporting Gordon's innocence, and now we're going to court to move forward on proving his innocence. We've spent $40,000 to get this far, and it's going to get more expensive as we move ahead. That's why we hope that our supporters are generous in their bidding on these auctions, and why we encourage everyone who values the First Amendment to make a donation to the Fund in the weeks before year's end. If you're not a member or due to renew, now is a good time. If you've already paid this year's dues and can afford it, now would be a good time to give an additional gift. Your donations will help us to continue our aggressive defense of Gordon's innocence, and the industry's rights to free expression that are threatened by this case."

To bid on this week's auctions, please visit http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQfgtpZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZcbldf

In the midst of all your insane holiday shopping, the CBLDF could sure use some help. A ten or twenty dollar donation surely won't break your bank, will it?



Quick school update

It's official. I received A's in both Metro classes, Algebra and Geography: Landforms. And with a few weeks yet to go, I've still got that A in my UNO World Civ class.

For the life of me, I can't remember the last time I received straight A's. Probably sometime in elementary school when I was first learnin' my readin', writin', and 'rithmetic. Granted, it's only three classes, but this is me we're talkin' about, so consider me sorta proud o' myself.


Thankfully Over

Another Thanksgiving weekend is slowly coming to a close. Out-of-town family and friends have either gone to the airport or packed up their cars or trucks, to join the outflow on the highways and interstates.

As always, it's nice to have the entire family together. The kids all got along with very little fuss and yelling between them. The loudest seemed to be little Logan, who entertained all with his favorite game, "Will This Fly?" When he got revved up, you had to stay sharp to stay out of the way of flying food or Legos, deadly projectiles in the hands of an eighteen-month-old.

My friends, Ryan and Jami, will be heading home to Minneapolis shortly. Always good to see them, but there never seems to be enough time to really catch up, which, of late, has become the rule rather than the exception.

They brought with them pictures from the wedding, which I vaguely remember attending, and from their honeymoon in Japan. Also, Ryan had pictures of their new house on his laptop. It appears to be nice and roomy, a good first home for a young couple.

It was good to see Alissa again, too. After all the hand-wringing and apologizing that occurred on our blogs prior to her coming to town, we quickly fell back into our old friendship, apparently none the worse for wear.

All we did this weekend, it feels like, was eat. I think I'd be okay with not eating again until class starts up again on Tuesday. Haven't gotten near enough sleep either, not what I've been used to getting lately, at any rate. I should be able to return to my normal schedule tonight or tomorrow.

Map quiz Tuesday night in my UNO World Civ class, then a week off, then the final exam the week after that. New Metro classes begin on Wednesday. Philosophy and another science class, this one dealing with Weather & Climate. I took this class a few years back, but stopped attending somewhere towards the end of the quarter. Got a D. Perhaps I'll do better now that I actually care how I do.

Not much else on the plate for the coming week. Need to get my new license plates tomorrow, and hopefully stop by the chiropractor and the gym. Been a while since I've done either of those. And then next weekend I'm planning on heading up to Minneapolis. Figure this'll be the only chance I'll get to see Ryan and Jami's apartment before they move into the house in December/January.

And coincidentally enough, Neil Gaiman is doing a reading/signing at Dreamhaven Books on Saturday. I haven't seen Neil since last year at the San Diego comic convention, and I have new things I'd like him to sign.

Anyway, football starts soon (though the Steelers don't play until Monday night), so I'm gonna take off. I just want a day of peace and quiet with no children running around. For that, I would be extremely thankful. Is that really too much to ask?


Which literature classic are you?

George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four. You are the classic warning against the threat of totalitarianism. To you, politics and philosophy are inseparable, authorities suck, and reality might not exist outside our imaginations.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla



It was a decent enough movie. Too much singing. If I had know there would be all that singing, I dunno if I would've gone. I mean, I can't understand why these people couldn't have simple conversations with each other, instead of breaking into song every two minutes. What's up with that?

And there was this one crazy chick sitting next to me, she was singing along with the movie practically the whole way through. Some people, y'know, they just have no consideration for their fellow theatre patrons.

Happy Thanksgiving

So...whacha got to be thankful for?

I'll go first.

I'm thankful that I have such amazing, understanding, and supportive parents, who have put up with my crap for many, many years now. Perhaps all that patience is finally bearing fruit.

And I'm thankful that I didn't completely destroy a wonderful friendship earlier this year.


November 22, 1963

The death of the American dream? How different would today's world be had Jack, and later, his brother, not been murdered?


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Meh

I'm not a Harry Potter fan, nor have I ever professed to be one. I've never read the books and I've only seen one film, the previous one, and only that because of Gary Oldman and Alfonso Cuaron, so I feel I can say with some certainty that I'm quite the outsider when it comes to this subject.

I can also say, in terms of pure cinema, this fourth Potter film was, to put it mildly, quite boring for me. There were some clever, funny, creepy, and spooky moments, to be sure, but they were few and far between, and what filled in the gaps was, very simply, dull. As an outsider, I felt no emotional attachment to these characters. I can't say I cared about them one way or another, which is always a problem with adaptations. You have to please your core audience, of course, but you also want to entice and entertain those who perhaps aren't as familiar with the source material, which I don't feel this film did as well as Cuaron's Prisoner of Azkaban.

Brendan Gleeson was fantastic as "MadEye" Moody, the new, maybe-crazy Dark Arts teacher. He was just brilliant, stealing every scene he was in. And Ralph Fiennes was decidedly sinister as the series' Big (bald and noseless) Bad, Voldemort. Fiennes does villainous extremely well. Always has, ever since Schindler's List, and I think Hollywood should definitely give him more opportunities to showcase his evil side (and no, the remaining Potter films don't count).

Unfortunately, Gary Oldman's return as Sirius Black (Harry's what, godfather, right?) was all too brief. He was reduced to a pile of ashes in this film, and I mean that quite literally. His only scene was as a face of burning embers speaking to Harry from a fireplace. Nice effects and all that, but c'mon. You have Gary freakin' Oldman in your movie. There's got to be more for him to do than fizzle and crackle as kindling.

I was also rather disappointed in Mike Newell's directing. He told the story well enough, got us from point A to B to C, but he did it without any of the style and flair that Cuaron infused the last film with.

As I never read the book, I cannot comment on whether the film was accurately adapted or not. However, as I always say, when it comes to novel-to-film adaptations, you must leave the book outside the theatre as you enter. It is incredibly difficult to make any film, let alone one based on a seven-hundred plus page novel. When condensing hundreds of pages of prose into a two or two and a half hour film, and have it make sense...you must understand the sheer magnitude of such a task.

It's not an easy job, and is usually quite thankless. Screenwriters are already the least respected talent in Hollywood, and they have the hardest job. Without them, you get no movie at all, the bad or the good, so I don't want to hear anything about how different the movie is from the book. It doesn't matter. What matters is, did what was up on that screen work as a film? Was it able to adequately tell the story it set out to tell? Was the source material treated respectfully, so that the themes, the spirit, of the original work came through?

All in all, it was not the longest two and a half hours of my life, though it certainly wasn't brisk. I'm sure I'll still see the fifth film (I hear Gary Oldman's going to have a great scene in that one, what with the dying and all), though I probably wouldn't mind waiting until the DVDs come out.

And with that, I'm off to bed. It's way past my bedtime. I haven't been up this late in weeks and I am exhausted...


Superman Returns

Normally, I'd put something like this on my Links page, but this is important.

The first trailer for next summer's return of Superman, complete with the late Marlon Brando and the music of John Williams.

And they say you can't go home again...

(The trailer will also be attached to all prints of Harry Potter, so we'll get to see it on the big screen sooner rather than later.)



I was finally able to finish registering for next semester's classes last night. I had a bit of a problem with my GPA at UNO, so I had to prove myself, basically.

It turned out that the School of Communication (which encompasses my Journalism major) requires a minimum 2.25 GPA to sign up for its classes, of which I was unaware. The advisor I spoke with a month ago forgot about this little snippet of information.

What's that? My GPA? 1.5.

My college career got off to a pretty good start, you may be surprised to know. After my first year at Youngstown State, I had a 3.0. I followed that up with a pretty decent semester at UNO, and then the wheels began to fall off. After an aborted stint at Iowa, followed by numerous classes, first at UNO, and then Metro, that I registered for, paid for, and then stopped going to midway through (without withdrawing), my GPA sort of plummeted. Go figure.

The bottom line was that I shouldn't have been in school during those years. I didn't care about it. My heart wasn't in it, and I'm one of those people who, you know, if I don't care about something, I really don't care. But I kept trying to go to school. Because it was expected of me. Because I didn't want to let my parents down (which, of course, I did every time I stopped going to a class).

So, yes, all this led to a 1.5 GPA and no direction in life.

I was directed to one of the heads of the department on Tuesday, and we played voice mail tag until yesterday morning. I explained to her my situation, that I started off college pretty well, then fell into this sort of malaise (for a number of years), but that I'm actually serious about school this time, that I'm paying attention in class, and getting good grades.

This woman, Dr. Wilson, she liked what she was hearing, but, of course, couldn't just take my word for it all, so she wanted me to get a hold of my professors and have them send her a note about my current grades and demeanor in class. You know, how I'm getting along, what kind of student I am, things like that. So began a mad scramble.

I spoke with my science teacher before my noon class. I had had a class of his a few years ago, one of those classes I sort of stopped going to (got a D, I think). This time around, however, is a bit different, which he's noticed. I asked him if he could fire off a quick email to Dr. Wilson, to help me prove my seriousness.

Then I had to get a hold of my World Civ teacher, whose name I had forgotten. I didn't have any of the paperwork for his class with me yesterday, because that class is Tuesday nights, so I called UNO and after a series of calls, I found out the name of the teacher (Mayfield) and got his office number. Explained the situation to him as well, and he was more than willing to write a note in my favor.

Later that day, as I was getting ready to head to my algebra class and go over the same thing with that teacher, I got a call from Dr. Wilson. After receiving the two "glowing" reports from my science and history professors, she decided to go ahead and lift the block on my name and let me register for the Media Writing class (which, I guess, everyone in the School of Communication has to take). I was able to get the original time and day I wanted for the class, too, so I think I've got pretty nice upcoming schedule.

I've never been what one might call an A student. Maybe back in elementary school, y'know, but that's it. From middle school onward, C's all the way. I was always told how smart I was, which I am, but who wants to constantly hear it over and over and over again? That's a lot of pressure. So I think it was a bit of a backlash towards that. "If I'm so damn smart, I can get by without even really trying." I just didn't care.

Turns out I care now, and it's amazing what you can accomplish when you give a shit. I'm getting an A in the science class, an A in World Civ (113/116 available points, according to my teacher), and I never really found out my grade from my algebra teacher, because I didn't have to ask her for a note, but I'm fairly certain I'm getting a B or an A.

It's been a long, long time since I got grades like this, since I even cared what grades I received, and it's kind of a weird feeling. I think I'm still, partly, doing this for my parents, because they've done nothing but believe in me despite my constant and consistent fucking-up, but mostly I'm doing it for myself, which makes all the difference in the world.


Good Night, and Good Luck

George Clooney's black & white film about journalist Edward R. Murrow's clashes with Senator Joseph McCarthy over the latter's Communist witch hunt is, perhaps, one of the most important movies of the past decade, and it is especially prescient given the world in which we now live.

One could simply replace the word "Communist" with "terrorist" in many of McCarthy's speeches and they would sound remarkably similar to much of the current political dogma being spewed forth from today's White House.

It illustrates further proof that the old adage remains true. If we refuse to learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it.

This film also sheds even more light on the responsibility of our reporters and journalists, that their job is to act as a check to those in power, to question their authority, to make certain they don't overstep their bounds.

Uncovering and reporting the truth is what matters. Anything else is unnecessary distraction.


Spontaneous Rant of the Day (#3)

You know what really annoys me, in all its myriad facets? Blind obedience. I don't understand it. I don't get people who would simply follow something, a person, an idea, without ever giving thought as to why.

This is a topic that can veer off into so many different arenas. People blindly follow everything from religion to sports teams (which, so some, are religions unto themselves). Writers, artists, bands, politicians. There are people out there who simply accept anything and everything that comes out of certain people's mouths, and I just don't get it.

Religion and politics are probably the two biggest hot-button issues in the world today, the ones that really fire people up, and for the most part, these people aren't speaking, or even thinking for themselves. They merely spout whatever the talking point of the day is without ever really giving any thought to what it is they're saying, let alone why.

Just because something is written in the Bible, or the Qur'an, or the Torah, just because some politician rattles off some bullshit excuse for whatever he's just gotten into trouble for, that doesn't make it truth.

We are born with the ability to think and to reason, and with that comes a responsibility, not an option, but a responsibility, to question the world around us, to question everything. That's how we learn. That's how we better ourselves.

"Question Authority" is more than a snappy motto that looks good on a bumper sticker. It is our obligation as people.

Politics and religion are, of course, not the only domain in which obedience is given without hesitation. It happens everywhere, in every walk of life. There are people who will defend their favorite author and declare that anything and everything he or she has written is brilliant (I will admit to succumbing to this every once in a while, though I'm aware of it and I try not to).

The same goes for music, and art, and poetry. There are some people who will absolutely swear that music begins and ends with the Beatles. Or Led Zeppelin. Or Pink Floyd. They will say that every album is the best ever, and if you dare to criticize it, they will vehemently defend the work as if it were their own.

Sports is a huge part of life all around the world. People are downright fanatical about their teams, and if you're not, too, if you innocently comment about how poorly a team is playing, or how management is ruining a team, you will be branded as "not a true fan."

Take Nebraska, for example. People here love their Cornhuskers, which is fine. There's not much to do in this state, so people rally around the university's football team. It is as much a religion here as Christianity is. And what have we already said about blindly following religion?

I was born in Kentucky, but raised in Omaha. I grew up surrounded by sycophantic football fans who would, to this day, kiss the very ground Tom Osborne walked upon. I rooted for the team, sure. Everyone else was doing it, but it was the extent to which people rooted that always annoyed me. To these people, Nebraska could do no wrong. Even when they play like crap, especially recently, people will defend them to no end. It's one thing to be a fan, but it's entirely another to ignore reality.

A true fan, and this goes for any and all of the above examples, religion, politics, writers, whatever, would be critical of the object of their adoration. A true fan would always want the best effort, but would be able to acknowledge when a less-than-stellar performance is put forth. That doesn't make you any less of a fan. It makes you more of one because you so badly want the best, and are disappointed when you don't get it.

If your team isn't very good this year, it's okay to admit. If your favorite band's new album isn't as good as the last, then say so. If your president lies to you about pre-war intelligence that he knew was bogus, then call him on it.

You point out faults so that they can be improved upon next time. If you constantly, blindly agree with someone, if all you are is a "yes" man, then things will never change, never get better, be it art or religion or what have you.

If you always say that everything is great, then how do you truly know what greatness is?

Question Authority. It's not a slogan. It's a way of life.

End of Rant

Thank You


An explanation and a link

I don't know if anyone's really noticed, but I've attempted to keep news and politics off of this main site. That was part of the problem with my previous blog. I got overwhelmed by a weird desire, a burning need to post every little bit of news I found. It was exhausting, and not the reason I had initially created the blog for in the first place, and I don't want that to happen again with this blog.

That being said, I do like to keep track of national and world news, be it political in nature, or just plain silly, and I created Nothin' But Links as a repository for such items.

I'm pointing this out now because I just posted a really great piece by one of my all-time favorite writers, Jimmy Breslin (courtesy of Common Dreams and Newsday), and I didn't want it to go unnoticed.

Read and enjoy. Or become enraged. Whichever way you lean.

Comings and Goings

Not much new to report lately. Classes are going pretty well. And since that's about all I do these days, that's pretty much all I have to talk about.

Got an 85% on my last algebra test, which is better than I was expecting. I felt fairly confident when I sat down to take the test, but then, with the sheet of paper sitting in front of me, my mind seemed to freeze up. Which sucked.

But, apparently, it didn't suck as badly as I feared. And I got a 95% on the quiz previous to the test, so I think I'm in a pretty good spot with one quiz and two tests to go (parts of chapter 9, over the quadratic formula, and the cummulative final).

I've kinda been kicking myself all day today over my World Civ test from last night. I nailed the multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank parts, missed maybe one question, but I forgot a not insignificant little part for the essay.

We were to describe the three main "religions" of early China (I put religion in quotes because one of the three isn't exactly a religion): Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism. I described them as best I could remember, which was pretty well, I think, except I forgot one offshoot of Daoism.

I was sitting there last night, looking over my essay, and it seemed a bit short to me, and I kept reading it over and over again, but I couldn't think of what was missing. And then this morning, first thought that pops into my head: Popular Daoism. Which was followed shortly by my second thought: Fuck.

Oh well. Too late to worry about it now. Like I said, I know I did well on the rest of the test, and most of the essay, so I'm not expecting too many points to be taken off.

So a big group outing is being organized to go see the new Harry Potter flick next weekend. I've never read the books. Not a one. Though, last year, somehow, I was able to turn my former roommate onto them, and she practically devoured them. She cried after reading the last one.

She dragged me to see the third movie (I hadn't much cared to see the first two, and I still haven't seen them - Chris Columbus is far from a favorite director), and I will admit to enjoying it. It was nice and dark and spooky, as far as kids' movies go, thanks to Gary Oldman and Alfonso Cuaron (now there's a director).

This fourth movie was directed by Mike Newell, who directed one of my all-time favorite movies, Donnie Brasco, so I have relatively high hopes for it. It garnered a PG-13, too, which can do nothing but help the story's presentation.

Suppose I should pre-purchase my ticket.

I've recently completed many-a-novel, and all were great, and some were incredible, otherwise I wouldn't have read them. The list includes Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman, Iron Sunrise, sequel to Singularity Sky, by Charles Stross, and Private Wars, the second Queen & Country novel, by Greg Rucka. Right now I'm working on Market Forces, Richard Morgan's third novel.

So many books have come out towards the end of the year, and I've gotten my hand on a few that I'd been meaning to read, it makes me kinda wish I was still keeping track of my "50 Novels in a Year" list. I've gotta be at least around twenty-five by now, if not more. Halfway isn't too bad with a month and a half to go. I had a lot on my mind this year. Plus, you know, there's all those comics and graphic novels I've read, so those have to count for something. I've read many thousands, nay, tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of pages this year. The amount of words I've read surely would fit into fifty novels.


And that's all I know, which, as usual, seems to be more than I thought I knew when I first started out.


Everyone else is doin' it...

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

Congratulations! If your mission in life
is not already to preserve the English tongue,
it should be. You can smell a grammatical
inaccuracy from fifty yards. Your speech is
revered by the underlings, though some may
blaspheme and call you a snob. They're just
jealous. Go out there and change the world.

How grammatically correct are you? (Revised with answer key)
brought to you by Quizilla


Fictional geography time

Okay, this has been bugging me ever since they first visited Metropolis in Smallville. I just watched Thursday night's episode (yay for BitTorrent) and they sort of confirmed that their Metropolis is in Kansas.


I'll admit to not being an expert in the locations of DC's major fictional cities. I think that Central City (where the Flash hangs out) is supposed to be in the midwest, say, around Illinois, and that Gotham is, of course, New York-ish. Metropolis has always been, in my mind, anyway, in the northeast, too. Gotham's shining, opposite number, the bright, noble reflection of Gotham's sin and squalor, and sort of modeled after Toronto (if Toronto was in the United States).

So, just, you know...Metropolis, Kansas? Not sure if I can swallow that one.

(I know, I know. Fiction. TV show. Comic book. Shut up.)


The closest DC ever came to officially locating it on the map was a reference to it being "located near New York City and Gotham City on the East Coast of the United States."

Yes, I'm a big fuckin' geek. I know, all right?

Spontaneous Rant of the Day (#2)

You know what sickens me? People (corporations, governments) that care more about profits than the health and well-being of other people, be they employees, poor citizens, or those starving in Third World nations. I don't know what disgusts me more, that so little value is placed on their lives, or that any value is at all. People should be seen as more than dollar signs.

They spoke about this briefly on last night's Real Time with Bill Maher, in relation to a discussion about the potential bird flu pandemic, and Bill made a point about the pharmaceutical companies loving this kind of thing, because it means more money in their collective pocket, which I feel is absolutely true.

Everything is all about money these days. To hell with our health, our future. If you don't have the cash for the drugs or treatments, fuck off. And it's not right.

There is so much wealth floating around out there. People and companies and governments with more money than they know what to do with, and what do they do with it? Hoard it like greedy squirrels with winter approaching. Why bother helping out their fellow man? Because there's no profit in it.

Do you know why money has value? Because we say it does. It's artificial. Someone, somewhere, a long time ago, decided that some bits of metals and minerals had higher value than others, and everyone agreed to this, and the world economy was born.

Eventually, the bits of metal became pieces of paper, and then nothing more than numbers on a computer screen, digital dollar signs floating in the aether. And people save and covet and stockpile, watching those zeroes add up.

What's the value, then, of a human life? I suppose it's artificial, too. We let hundreds of thousands die every day, so they must not be worth a whole hell of a lot, huh? One of these kids in Africa might grow up and cure cancer, if we let her. Or figure out a way to travel safely and quickly throughout the solar system. Who knows? Maybe he'll do nothing so lofty. Maybe he'll become the world's best surfer, or invent silent velcro. The point is, doesn't he deserve the chance?

What really gets me is the cold, callous nature with which we read those statistics and just shrug them off like it's nothing. If it doesn't affect us personally, we don't care. What's another million Africans, right? Well, it does matter. Know why? Because it doesn't have to be happening. It's preventable. Right now. Today, if we wanted.

"What's in it for me?" the people with the zeroes ask. Why do people always need a reason? Why can we not do something simply because it's the right thing to do? If people stopped worrying about themselves and their precious bottom lines, we could change the face of the world, and quickly. Months instead of years. Years rather than decades. It can happen if people gave a damn.

But no. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. But we're all going to die anyway, so what's the point of it all? You can't take your precious moneies with you.

People need to realize and understand that the betterment of humanity is more important than the betterment of their bank accounts. Money and power are not the meaning of life, despite what you may hear elsewhere.

Humanity can be capable of such great things. There is so much out there to explore and learn from: space, the oceans, the rain forests, our minds. We need to stop asking, "what's in it for me?" and start wondering, "what's in it for us?"

Because we're all in this together, whether we like it or not, so we might as well start getting along and helping one another before it's too late.


Remember, remember...

the Fifth of November.


On a lighter note...

Career Inventory Test Results

Extroversion ||||||||||||||||||||| 63%
Emotional Stability |||||||||||||||||| 56%
Orderliness |||||||||||||||||| 56%
Altruism |||||||||||||||||| 60%
Inquisitiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 66%

You are a Persuader, possible professions include - entertainer, recruiter, artist, newscaster, writer/journalist, recreation director, librarian, facilitator, politician, psychologist, housing director, career counselor, sales trainer, travel agent, program designer, corporate/team trainer, child welfare worker, social worker (elderly services), interpreter/translator, occupational therapist, executive
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There seems to be, amongst some of my friends, some animosity between them. For some, it seems to stem from high school, and for others, from more recent transgressions, and, to be honest, I've never really understood any of it. I never had enemies in high school, or rifts in friendships. I pretty much got along with everyone I hung out with, and if I didn't get along with someone, well, I wasn't dumb enough to hang out with them.

Sometimes, though, rifts occur, for whatever reasons, which usually causes what we like to call Drama within the group. Friends are torn between both injured parties, feeling like the wishbone at Thanksgiving, uncertain of what to do or who to comfort, and mainly just wanting everything to go back to the way things used to be. This can happen, of course, depending on the cause of the Drama, but sometimes it's an irreparable schism, forever making future gatherings awkward.

For example, if Person 1 is having a party, and Person 2 and Person 3 hate each other, for the harmony of the party, one or the other simply cannot be invited. Who doesn't get to come? How does one decide? Plus, with a group of friends, it's impossible to keep the party secret from whomever you decide not to invite, so someone's gonna have hurt feelings. It's all just a big mess.

And my thinking has always been, For cryin' out loud, life's too short for some shit that happened however many years ago to continue to be an issue. Can't we all just get along? And then I break into a little song and dance number.

But I digress.

Another example or two: Person 1 (but a different Person 1 than the one mentioned before) practically ostricizes themselves from the group. The reason? People don't call him (or her) to hang out. But, has Person 1 ever called anyone in the group? Has Person 1 made any real effort to stay in contact with the group? No, so Person 1 doesn't really have a reason to bitch, do they?

Or party invites don't always come from the person throwing the party, but sometimes second- or third-hand, which is how it's always been done within the group, because, really, who cares? A party's a party and it's always been known that everyone's invited (except Person 2 or Person 3, because, you know, they don't get along). But without a personal, handwritten, formal invitation, Person 1 feels slighted now.

And to that I say, Whatever. Get over it. These people have been your friends for years and you cut them off, not the other way around.

My reason for bringing all this up is, well...for some reason, lately, I've been thinking about a friend of mine's upcoming wedding. It's next year. The end of May. A full seven months away, and I'm sitting here worrying about it. Why? Because my former roommate will be there.

It has been eight months since I came home from California. In that time, I've realized I have depression, nearly had a nervous breakdown, and returned to school, pretty much in that order.

Oh, and I organized my comic book collection, too.

I have not uttered a single, solitary word to my former roommate since she thanked me for, and I quote, "screwing her over like every other guy in her life." I was surprised by how much that phrase crystalized our relationship for me, in my mind. I was trying to explain how I couldn't live out there anymore, couldn't afford it, physically or financially, that I was, basically, depressed and miserable and without a reason for existing, there or anywhere.

And what do I hear? That I'm "screwing her over." Because, you see, it was all about her. All she heard, all she cared about was how it was going to affect her, which made me feel that I was out there for the sole purpose of paying half the rent. No more, no less. I wasn't going to be missed. Just my money. (Or, to be more accurate, my parents' money, which is an entirely different, guilt-ridden post.)

And that's not reason enough to stay anywhere.

(We'll nevermind the whole being purposefully misled about trying to finally make a relationship work part.)

In essence, I felt used. Played. Conned. Whatever euphamism you wanna use. And I honestly didn't feel that anything more needed to be said. I am at peace with my life for the first time in I don't know how long. Elementary school, maybe?

I have always said that there are (at least) three sides to every story: He Said..., She Said..., and The Truth. I'm certainly not above this, and I fully realize that my former roommate remembers an entirely different version of events, which is no more or less true than my own.

When I returned to Omaha and spoke to my friends (our friends, my former roommate's and mine) of my reasons for leaving California, I like to think I did so in a not-slanderous manner. I didn't stoop to name-calling or anything like that. What I said was absolute truth (from, of course, my point-of-view).

This post has gotten rather long. My point started out being, I think, that I have no idea how I'd react to seeing my former roommate at our friend's wedding next year. Or sometime sooner than that. Like, say, around Thanksgiving.

It's probably safe to say that I'm still slightly pissed about how I feel I was used. Justified or not, who knows? Can't help the way I feel, can I? But, lately, I've been wondering if I at least owe it to her to talk about all this. After all, I can't really preach to my friends that they need to "let bygones be bygones," and, "can't we all just get along?" while I continue to hold a grudge, can I?

Then again, it's not like this is some little, petty high school Drama. I mean, moving across the country under (in my opinion) false pretenses isn't exactly minor, y'know?


I don't know.

I don't know if I want to get over this, to let it go, to have it be that "something we'll look back on and laugh about."

I don't know if I'm ready to get over this, as childish and immature as that may seem.

I don't know if I want to talk to her again.

I don't know if I want to care again.

I don't know if I can...


27 and a day

Don't you just hate having to go to class (or work, for those of you who work) on your birthday? There's just something fundamentally wrong with it, because it's ingrained into you when you're a kid that birthdays are all fun and games and excitement and wheeeee, but as you get older responsibilities take precedence, so birthdays are not-so-much fun as they are just another day.

Which is not to say that my birthday was horrible or anything. I found out I got an 86 on my geography test from last week, which is not as good as I thought I had done, but I'm getting a 92 in the class overall, so I can't complain too much. The questions I got wrong, my mind went blank at the time, so I guessed, but in hindsight, I should have known the answers. Or, at least, guessed better.

And the current algebra chapter continues to be quite easy, which worries me a bit, as I don't want to get complacent, but it's just not taking a whole lot of brain power right now. I can't really complain about it.

My sister and her family came over last night after I got out of class. We had cake, watched football (Go Steelers!), it was nice 'n quiet. Received a few phone calls and text messages and unexpected packages in the mail wishing me a happy birthday (thanks again, everyone), so, yeah, it was a pretty decent day. Nothing like the huge gay party I was at last year in San Francisco, but still good.

And now I'm off to spend the money my grandmother sent me, because she wouldn't have it any other way.