Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Hate (Almost) Everyone and Everything.

Except my husband. And my friends. And my family. And my job. And Glee.

Other than that, I hate everything. Especially Republicans and Democrats and lazy people on welfare and the annoying lady at the county office and local news broadcasts that are truly retarded and people who think I'm being judgmental because I use the word "retarded" and technology that doesn't work as promised and the unbelievably slow pace at which a person can get their body back in shape and the endless commercials when I'm trying to watch Dancing With the Stars online. (Oh, yeah. I don't hate Dancing With The Stars.)

It's just the mood I'm in. I doubt tomorrow will be any better, but we'll see.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Daily Show - Roasting Arizona




















The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Law & Border
www.thedailyshow.com









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My friend, Sandra, wanted me to watch this. I did. And here's my running commentary.

  1. I'll comment as I watch it. First, allowing citizens to own and carry handguns is a Constitutional right, not evidence that Arizona legislators are smoking meth.

  2. And the requirement for legal immigrants to carry documentation? Already a Federal requirement.

  3. United States Code 8 § 1304 (e):
    Every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. Any alien who fails to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall upon conviction for each offense be fined not to exceed $100 or be imprisoned not more than thirty days, or both.
  4. The reason the bill includes a provision allowing citizens to sue if the law is not enforced? Sanctuary cities like San Francisco who openly state that they will not enforce federal immigration laws. Why is it unreasonable to expect a city to comply with the law?

  5. Tom Tancredo? No, he does not think the law goes to far. He stated that he does not want the police to use it as an excuse for racial profiling. From Huff Po:

  6. "Tancredo says that he does NOT believe that the Arizona bill "would allow police to simply pull someone over because of the color of their skin," and that his quote to KDVR has been taken out of context. He reiterated his support for the legislation."
  7. What would law enforcement consider suspicious? How about running in a group away from a stopped car? How about not being able to produce a drivers license? How about not being able to provide ID when involved in a public altercation?

  8. "They'll find something else to arrest me on."

  9. Funny, but not true. Spend a few hours listening to law enforcement tell you about interviewing people involved in traffic accidents, not getting proof of identity, and then having to release them on a promise-to-appear notice and knowing they will never actually show up in court.
  10. And the only reason we can't depend on the drivers license alone is because eleven states think its a good idea to issue licenses to illegal aliens.

  11. Okay, done now. It's The Daily Show, and it's usually spot on with the news and the humor. But this one is just funny... not so accurate.

Immigration Reform That Actually Reforms Immigration

I wish I had written this, but I did not. I am posting it with permission of the original author, Adam. It can be found here at Not Everything Is Political.

With all of the brouhaha over the Arizona law about illegal aliens, I thought it would be a good time to re-visit what I think really needs to happen with regards to immigration in the US as a whole.

First of all, with regard to Arizona and what they have done legally, I support what the Arizona legislature has done. Despite the hyperbole, I don’t think that this will lead to some sort of institutionalized profiling. The law specifies that this questioning of whether someone is legal will occur during normal police contact. IOW, the police don’t get to just cruise around the “Hispanic” part of town and hassle people in the street or pull someone over for “driving while brown.” That’s the stuff of hyperbole, not reality.


Now, all of that having been said, we DO need comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. The trick is that “comprehensive” does not need to mean “give ‘em all amnesty.” There are better methods available than that. Serial amnesty does not solve the problem; it perpetuates it.

Immigration in the United States is broken. There’s just no two ways about it. We have ridiculous quotas and asinine levels of red tape. This is not the New World our founders envisioned. Can anyone really envision Adam Smith saying “everyone can come to this new great land and prosper as much as they please, so long as they fill out reams of paperwork and wait in line for a decade?” How preposterous. We’ve built our immigration policy on precedent instead of prudence. Dumb. Very dumb.

The right attitude towards immigration here is to say that if someone is willing to come here, work hard, and be productive, then so long as they’re neither a criminal nor a public health risk, they should be welcome to come and do so. That’s not just a philosophical stance, it’s an economic one, as well: something on the order of about 80% of all people who legally emigrate to the United States literally with only the shirts on their backs move from sub-poverty to middle class and above within ten years of arriving on American shores, and there’s simply no doubt that this is an economic good for the country. And it doesn’t matter from whence these immigrants come: immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are statistically the most likely to succeed, but all groups are wildly successful in aggregate: western Europeans, Africans, Indians, Japanese, Chinese, eastern Europeans, all do well as a group upon arrival in the United States. With little exception, they arrive here, take a risk, utilize our free market economy, and prosper well. So the argument that has often been put forward that “immigrants are killing this country” is simply empty. And that’s not something new with the recent illegal immigration problem: people complained about the Irish and the Jews and a whole host of other groups in the past. “They’re taking all the jobs” and such were the complaints of the past, just as they are today. The difference today is that it’s illegal immigration that is the problem. We just plain don’t know who the hell is coming into the country, and that’s the problem.

So, the problem we, as a country, have to fix, is two-fold:

  1. correct the fucked-up immigration system that we have so that people aren’t “forced” (quotes intentional) into emigrating here illegally in the first place, and;

  2. get the illegals the hell out of this country to correct that problem.


Just giving them amnesty is a stupid and pointless path. That doesn’t remove the problem, it simply ignores it. If we give all these illegal aliens amnesty, do we suddenly know who they are, where they came from, whether they’re criminals or terrorists, or if they are toting around some communicable disease? No, we don’t. We’ve just chosen to turn a blind eye to the problem and legislate the actual problem out of the government’s consciousness when we do that.

What needs to happen is we need to get every illegal out of this country and vet them properly. There’s just no way to vet these people properly unless they are outside of the United States, unless we set up internment camps and go through them one-by-one, and that’s just not politically tolerable in this country. So we need to find another way to get illegals out of this country first, and then vet them accordingly.

So, I propose the following:

  • Make a very public announcement that everyone who is in this country illegally has ninety days to leave. It’s like the bar at last call: you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Go somewhere else and then come back in the right way. All immigration stops during those 90 days; no one who doesn’t already have a long-stay visa gets to stay here for more than 60 days if they arrive after the 90-day announcement.

  • Simultaneously, we will change the entire immigration system in this country. No more quotas. No more of the Duma in DC deciding how many stone masons or proctologists or ditch-diggers or IT professionals. No more of that. The market will decide who is needed where and when, just as it always does and always has. There have been countless generations of immigrants who allegedly came here to do one thing (say, stone masonry) who wound up entrepreneurs in some other industry all together.


So the right way to handle immigration is to say that if you’re interested in coming to this country, then we’re not going to impose artificial limits upon you, as an immigrant. Qualification for emigration to the United States will be as follows:

  • Not a terrorist. Anyone wanting to emigrate here will have to go through a thorough background check. Every anti-terrorism agency in the world will be checked against names, photographs, fingerprints, etc.

  • Not a criminal by U.S. laws. Anyone wanting to emigrate here will go through a criminal check with every police agency worldwide: Interpol, Scotland Yard, etc.

  • Not a public health threat. Position doctors at every embassy and consulate around the world. Immediately prior to departure to the United States, everyone will go through a thorough check-up to rule out communicable diseases, STDs, etc.


Anyone who gets “red-flagged” in this process will certainly have an appeals process open to them, but unless and until they have been ascertained to be none of the above, then they don’t get to come to the U.S.

Once the 90 days are up, sweep the nation and every single illegal gets deported in very short notice. If you’re illegal and caught here after those 90 days are up, then you’re gone and we’re going to auction every asset you have. You’ll be sent home with the shirt on your back and the shoes on your feet and nothing else. It should take about 90-120 days to sweep the nation of the overwhelming majority of remaining illegals. The vast majority will “self-deport” right away. Only a relative few will be left, and they will be rounded up on short notice.

What we need is both a carrot and a stick approach. So I propose an incentive for the illegals who are currently in this country: you get to be first in line for the trip back, so long as you’re not a terrorist, a criminal, or a public health threat. Meet those criteria and you can go and come back in a very short period of time. So those folks who voluntarily leave get to go to the front of the line. That sucks, because it feels like it's rewarding bad behavior, but it both creates the big incentive to leave and also brings back in those who genuinely are here to work hard and be prosperous and add to the U.S. economy.

After this sweep, and we’ve removed as many illegals as is practical, then we open up immigration again as described above. Once someone comes here, they have to do the following for five years from the day that they arrive on our shores, subject to regular check-ins with immigration officials (every 60 days or so should work):

  • No going on any form of government assistance. That means no welfare, no WIC, no SSDI, no Section 8 housing, nothing that is direct or indirect financial aid on a federal, state, or local level.

  • Anyone coming here will have to maintain health insurance, enough to cover themselves up to two million dollars per person in their household. They can do this any way they wish: high-deductible and HSA, self-insure through an escrow account, HMO, PPO, whatever. The only requirement is that they have coverage to two million dollars and they have to have the cash on hand to cover any deductible.

  • Anyone coming here who drives a car must maintain liability insurance on that car, at least $75,000 in property damage and a million in medical.

  • No engaging in any sort of criminal activity. Any offense greater than a first-offense DUI shall be grounds for deportation as soon as the prison sentence is up. Shoplifting? Gone. Pot possession? Gone.


Do all of that (and it’s really not all that much, in comparison to current immigration law), and we will have a long-term fix for immigration in this country. It will both adhere to the basic tenets of freedom and opportunity upon which this land (and eventually country) was founded and fix the very real problem we have at hand. It can’t reasonably be called “unfair” by those illegals who will be targeted. It’s a realsolution to a very real problem. THIS is what “comprehensive reform” actually means.

Mexico complains. I don't care.


Mexico issues travel alert over new Arizona law


The travel alert from the Foreign Relations Department urges Mexicans in Arizona to "act with prudence and respect the framework of local laws."

Well, this is a good thing. We should all be expected to respect the framework of local laws. And this?
It says that the law's passage shows "an adverse political atmosphere for migrant communities and for all Mexican visitors."

"It says that once the law takes effect, foreigners can be detained if they fail to carry immigration documents. While enforcement details are not yet clear, the alert says "it should be assumed that any Mexican citizen could be bothered and questioned for no other reason at any moment.""

Give me a break. Ask anyone who has traveled in Mexico about being bothered, questioned and yes, shaken down for cash. Perhaps the Mexican government should spend a little more time dealing with its own law enforcement problems before criticizing the US.

Being lectured by Mexico about respecting the rights of foreigners is like being lectured by Jesse James and Tiger Woods on respecting your wife.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Matthew Montgomery, Revisited

I love pleasant surprises in life. I never really know what's coming. For example, a year ago I posted this quick blog entry about a performer I really enjoyed. And here I am a year later, Facebook friends with this same actor.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Yeah. It's pretty cool to be me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Dumbing Down of America

Reposted gratefully from The Plum Line blog at WhoRunsGov.com.
We should probably resign ourselves to the fact that every utterance Sarah Palin makes is widely going to be treated as news until she declares she isn’t running for president. And quite possibly beyond. So all we can do is try to fact-check what she says and hope others do the same.

The latest: In a new Facebook missive, Palin butchered Obama’s quotes at the nuke summit in a strikingly dishonest (even for her) way, tearing them out of context to suggest he’s uncomfortable wielding American power and is hostile towards American exceptionalism:

Mr. President, is a strong America a problem?

Asked this week about his faltering efforts to advance the Middle East peace process, President Obama did something remarkable. In front of some 47 foreign leaders and hundreds of reporters from all over the world, President Obama said that “whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower.”

Whether we like it or not? Most Americans do like it.

Here’s what the President actually said:

But what we can make sure of is, is that we are constantly present, constantly engaged, and setting out very clearly to both sides our belief that not only is it in the interests of each party to resolve these conflicts but it’s also in the interest of the United States. It is a vital national security interest of the United States to reduce these conflicts because whether we like it or not, we remain a dominant military superpower, and when conflicts break out, one way or another we get pulled into them. And that ends up costing us significantly in terms of both blood and treasure.

As you can see, Palin and her team of ghostwriters plucked Obama’s remark out of context to quote him saying “whether we like it or not,” we are a superpower. In reality, he was saying that “whether we like it or not,” we get pulled into international conflicts that cost us American lives — so it’s in our security interests to resolve them.

Since everything Palin says in her tightly-controlled media environment will be treated as news for the next two years and beyond, all we can hope for is that those lavishing attention on what she says inject a bit of context and reality into the discussion.

So Palin is deliberately distorting Obama's statement, which means she is deceptive and devious. Or she truly doesn't understand the complex statement, which means she is as simple as her critics say. Either way, she has no business leading others. But that won't stop her, because America is happily shoveling down the stupidity being served.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Childish Approach to Health and Fitness

Shared gratefully from an email I received from Spark People.
Forget about talk radio, research labs, late night TV, or a magazine rack full of scantily clad cover models. Everything you need to know about fitness and nutrition, you can learn from your kids.

Here are 11 things children can teach you about healthy living:

  1. Everything can be a game. Why slog through the same workout routines in boredom, when you can add a little fun? Make up rules, shoot for personal records, and regain your competitive spirit.

  2. Don't walk when you can run. Every day is full of opportunities to increase your fitness. This rule is closely related to "don't drive when you can walk."

  3. If you don't like it, don't eat it. Chances are, your eating habits won't stick around long if you hate what you're eating. Healthy eating involves balance and moderation.

  4. Laughter feels good. Kids seem to inherently know that laughter can ease blood pressure, help your brain function, give you energy, and help you reach your goals.

  5. Playtime is important. We get so caught up in work, and "have-to's" that we forget to take time for ourselves. Not only does relaxing make life worthwhile, it has real health benefits.

  6. The world should be full of color -  especially on your dinner plate! Splash it with as many colors as possible; paint it like a rainbow with food.  It's more fun to look at, the most colorful produce options often pack the most nutrients, and chances are you'll be eating a healthy, balanced meal.

  7. It's always more fun with friends around. Children tend to gravitate toward other children. It gives them spirit and makes them want to play all day. Working out with other people is almost like having your own little playgroup.

  8. Adventures are found outside, not inside. Every kid knows that the good stuff is in the great outdoors--fresh air, wide open spaces, limitless possibilities. You can't find those things cooped up in a tiny, stale gym. Open the door and start a new adventure every day.

  9. It's important to use your imagination. You can be Major Fantasia or Stupendous Woman any time you want. Give yourself permission to believe in your own super powers and let your mind take you wherever it wants to go.

  10. Anything is possible. No fear, no self-doubts, no negative self talk, no self-criticism, no worries, no destructive anxieties or thoughts of failure. To a child, he/she can do anything. And do you know what? They're right.

  11. You have your whole life ahead of you. Here's your chance to do it right.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Goodbye, Democrats. Hello, Libertarians.

I can't take it anymore. Chuck Schumer thinks the government needs to intervene because an airline wants to charge passengers for carry-on bags. Lori Saldana thinks it should be a crime to carry a weapon in public. And President Obama can't figure out which way the wind is blowing on gays in the military and thus won't make any stand on the issue.

Enough is enough. I didn't sign up for this sort of government knows best, you can't be trusted with your own rights, stay silent and wait for equality sort of leadership.

As of today, I am no longer a Democrat. I have felt at odds with the party for a long time, but I still believed they had the best plan for this country. I don't believe that anymore. I have registered as a Libertarian and am hopeful I have found a party that truly speaks for me. Time will tell.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My Dream Loft

I stumbled across this photo spread of Gerard Butler's and it's exactly what I would want if I had the money to purchase and decorate a New York loft.

[gallery]

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fun with Photoshop

Ric continues to experiment with PhotoShop. This is his latest creation.


Click on the picture to see the animated GIF.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hate Crimes - Gay Men and Meth

The gay community is under attack. But this time, we're our own worst enemies.
Maximum speed: Crystal meth's gay grasp

Crystal Meth has long circulated in a subculture of our community, especially where gay men congregate.

The drug commonly referred to as “Tina” has become so readily available that gay men from all ethnicities and economic backgrounds are lured by its sexual power and tempting highs. But the addiction ruins lives and continues to spread through night clubs, bath houses and at social gatherings.

And more information is available at Life or Meth, a website focused exclusively on the impact cystal meth is having on the gay community. The statistics are staggering and the impact is immeasurable.

The cycle is short and vicious. Someone tries crystal meth, enjoys the rush, and wants more. Worse, the person is no longer concerned with their own personal safety. Safer sexual practices are abandoned and a lifetime of being careful and protecting oneself disappears in the heat of a moment. And just like that, a man once smart and wise is now an addicted tweaker with STD, most likely including HIV.

It's heartbreaking to see and hear everything that is going on with this. There are too many smart people making stupid decisions, and once they begin the slide, it's quick and it's horrifying. Crystal meth will take everything you have. It will strip you of your pride, dignity and every dream you ever had. It will leave you desperate, broken, so fixated on one more rush that you will literally do anything to get it.

Meth is not cool. It's not a party. It's just a drug that breaks hearts and destroys lives.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Whisper To Your Heart - Irela Doom

Yep, it's time for more bragging. I know rock stars. I know filmmakers. And I know an amazing and talented singer with a beautiful voice. My friend, Irela Doom, can sing just about any song she attempts. But two tracks stand out for me. The first, Shania Twain's "From The Moment On" is a favorite because Irela and our friend Russ sang it for Ric and I at our wedding. The other track, Whisper To Your Heart, is Irela's first commercially produced track. You can hear a sample and purchase the track at the link.

It's amazing how many cool and talented people I know. But hey, someone gets to be their friend. Why not me?

Shake. Shake. Shake.

Earthquake 100 miles SE of Tijuana. Felt it strong here in San Diego. Dogs barking, house rolling, fireplace tools clanging loudly in the living room. 

Longest earthquake I've ever felt. It just kept going and going. 

Wow. That was pretty wild. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Brushes With Greatness

Based on my previous post, it's obvious that I am super cool enough to know two amazing rock-and-rollers. It's true. But that's not it. I also know a musician named Jeremy Ward. And when I say I know him, I mean, "yeah, that guy's my friend in real life." And when he gets a label deal and starts distributing his original tunes, ask me for an autographed copy. And if that isn't enough, Jeremy and his wife, Julia, are also filmmakers.

So why am I bragging about knowing all these creative types? Two reasons. One, because they deserve every shout-out they can get. Two, and this is the big one, because celebrating their creations inspires me. It's been more than ten years since I wrote my one and only produced play, and it's time to get back to pulling the art out of my head and putting it onto paper. It's time to make things happen.

Thanks, friends, for reminding me that creating art can be its own reward.

Something Wicked This Way Comes

My mood seems all over the place. I'm happy, feeling pretty good, and I really don't have a care in the world. Life is good. But I feel like something is waiting, floating just beyond where I can see. And it's something bad. 

As a child, I was in denial about these feelings. I would just ignore them and pretend that they weren't happening. But that just increased my anxiety level.

As an adult, I used to react very differently to such a feeling. I would have forced a good time, heading out with friends for drinks and burying the angst under a flood of cocktails and laughs. But I know better. That type of solution really isn't. Not only do I still have to deal with whatever worries I had, I also have to deal with the drama that I created the night before. It's just adding bad to bad. 

These days, I handle this type of feeling differently. Rather than deny it, or fight it, I accept that is where I am emotionally and make my peace with it. I don't wallow but I don't pretend, either. Instead, I take the time to care for myself. I make sure I do something that requires me to move around and burn off energy, then I eat something good and good for me. Finally, I hunker down with a good book and quiet time alone. 

It's not hiding. It's not brooding. And it's not pouting. It's just a little quiet me-time that helps me sort out whatever is making me anxious. And soon enough, often with the rising of the morning sun, I'm back to my old self. It might not work for everyone, but it gets me through the lower points. 

And with that, I'm heading home for a little "take care of SDJ" time. Happy Easter, all. 

You'll love this music. Guaranteed.

I love music. I love good, good music. And when I find artists that have yet to break out huge, I want to slap the music buying public hard across the face with a Lindsay Lohan CD. But, I resist such temptation, because I know others ways to get someone's attention. Case in point:

I am a huge fan of Eric Himan and Deborah Vial. Both are amazing singer/songwriters. Both are openly gay artists. And both write and record music that merits far more attention than they are receiving. So, I'll do my part. I want my friends to click here for Eric and here for Deborah and buy something. And listen to it. Play it loud and play it often. And if you decide you don't like it, I'll buy it from you. Really. It's 100% guaranteed.

Yep. I'm serious. I'm that confident. These artists are so incredibly talented and deserve far more attention than they get. So, what are you waiting for? Get clicking!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="395" caption="Eric Himan"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="376" caption="Deborah Vial"][/caption]

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beware Of Emotional Vampires

You know the type. Everything is horrible. It's all drama and it's all bad. You want to listen. You want to help. But your suggestions fall on deaf ears. They don't want help. They just want to complain. And drag you down with them. Don't let them do it. Be strong and say enough is enough. 

To clarify, this does not mean that you should ignore your friends when they need help. We all benefit from the assistance of others. But when you find yourself hearing the same complaint again and again ("he's so mean to me") but no response to your suggestions ("why don't you tell him that this bothers you?"), you can be sure the person is comfortable playing the victim. They don't want to change. They enjoy the drama. And they like the attention that it brings them. 

But you can't save someone who won't take action to save themselves. 

Why Men Cheat On Celebrities

It is a ridiculous article. No amount of (alleged) behavior by one party justifies lies and deceptions by the other. If I don't like the way I am being treated in a relationship, I need to be a man and take steps to either change the behavior or leave the relationship.

Seriously, what dating and relationship "expert" would endorse such behavior?
More on Marriage
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost