The Journal of spencer.
Dammit, Matt, don't reply to posts that don't exist yet!
We'll see if this blog gets screwed over as well.
You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Til one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message, "Something's out there"
Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by
99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells; it's red alert
There's something here from somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky as
99 red balloons go by
99 Decision street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
"This is what we've waited for
"This is it, boys, this is war"
The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by
99 knights of the air
Ride super high tech jet fighters
Everyone's a super hero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify, and classify
Scramble in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by
99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standing pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenir
Just to prove the world was here
And here is a red balloon
I think of you, and let it go...
I love the story this song tells. I heard it for the first time two days ago, and while it's not musically very sophisticated, the lyrics paint in my head such a great story.
So I drew a sort of montage thing based on the song's story. I'm so
pleased with the way this turned out.
This has been "Spencer Stroking His Ego". Tune in next week for the thrilling season almost-not-really finale!
when people are so caught up in the idiosyncrasies, the parts of personality that make people who they are, that they stop treating them like they would any other human being.
What is so hard for humans to grasp about the humanity
that we all share?
Oh man, it's 4 o' clock.
I spent the last few hours talking to somebody who is eerily similar to me. And isn't Sara.
This is... what's the term?
I've got to get to sleep.
In the RSS feed ticker at the top of my Gmail page:
"Is Your Period Late? - www.MyMonthlyCycles.com - Free period calculator and tracking calendar. Plus reminders."
Now, forgive my male ignorance, but why on Earth is this necessary, or even slightly helpful?
It seems to me that human women have been getting along quite well for a goodly number of years without reminders that their period was coming soon, or calendars to track them.
I'm equal parts amused and shocked, really. Obviously, there may be so much more I'm not privy to, but it just seems so ridiculous.
Ah, well, there's some people for you.
Silliness, I say! SILLINESS!
In other news, I'm back from the east coast. I'll have stories to tell in due time.
See the man with the lonely eyes
Oh, take his hand
You'll be surprised...
(It's a frustrated post, regarding my life. I'm not aiming for anything amazing here.)
Why do people feel the need to resolve conflicts by intimidation?
Somehow, in the last week, a problem was created out of miscommunication. It festered all through the week, while I was completely unaware of its extent, until I was yelled at today for "causing" it.
Pardon me, but the problem came from miscommunication. It was a game of Telephone-- I said something, and somebody else heard another. The fault is solely no one's. Why should I be held responsible for a problem I didn't even know was there, when I'm not entirely to blame for it?
And so, in order to rectify the error, I was approached today with hostility and anger, with the attempt to intimidate me down into submission. Yes, I embellish a little, but at the heart of things, beneath the conscious, that was the purpose. It's the purpose of anyone yelling at anyone else-- intimidate them, so that they don't do something again.
I don't care about what happened today. It was a small conflict, and while it was problematic, it was no real issue. This post isn't about those five minutes of animosity. It's about conflicts in general, and the problems they make.
The problem with this concept of intimidation is on the emotional plane. A conflict should not have a "winner" or a "loser"; both sides should leave it feeling equal, and ideally, at peace. This improves relations between people, and allows us to maintain peace. The moment someone feels that they are "losing", hatred can be born, and hatred disrupts internal and external harmony.
Yelling at someone clearly makes them feel intimidated and unequal. If they choose to yell back, this does not balance the scale, but simply inverts it, since the other now feels like the "loser". Calling names or using other backhanded tactics does the same thing, obviously. We've all seen it happen-- two people start arguing back and forth, and before too long, they're shouting bullets at each other. This sort of conflict creates plenty of negative energy, which continues to circulate long after the friction between the individuals (or groups, or whatever) has subsided.
On my old spencerdub
account, I made a post about a sort of non-spiritual enlightenment I reached one night. Unfortunately (for me, at least), it was lost due to my screwing with things I shouldn't have. At any rate, what I realized the night I made that post was that peace will be obtainable when we as humans learn to swallow negative energy we receive and only put forth positive energy. Obviously, it's a little bit mumbo-jumbo-y, and not too applicable in actual practice, but I believe the concept to hold true.
It was easy today to just discard most of the anger that came from that little conflict. I simply told myself that my pride was quick-healing, and that it wasn't worth pursuing. While I'm fairly sure this wouldn't work if the problem were a centuries-old family feud, it works well for little spats.
I really don't know. I just think that so many things could be fixed if we started being aware of our actions.
The really well thought out, conclusive ending that gives you the warm fuzzies inside goes here.
Does anyone care about this? Hell no. It's why I post it.
(...okay, I lie.)
So I've been practicing driving recently. I'm starting on a stick shift, because I figure it's better to learn that now and then step down later to automatic, then try to make another big leap later.
As I often point out to my friends-- I'm unlike any other American teenager ever in regards to driving. Prior to getting my permit, I had never been behind the wheel of a moving car. Ever. Every other American teenager has sat on their parent's lap and steered while they manned the pedals, or driven a van around a church parking lot, or something. Me? Nothin'. So I'm lame.
Anyway, it's coming alright. Tonight was Night 2 (gasp) of driving practice/learning, in the parking lot near the Taco Bell on McLoughlin. (Avoid that area between 7pm and 8:30pm if you wish to avoid danger. I'm good, but not great. Yet.) Stopping's pretty good for me, I've got a good grasp of the brake pedal, and I can get it slowed down and stopped fairly well.
But starting is the pisser.
For some reason, I have the worst time trying to graduate the clutch and the gas pedals so that I don't lurch or buck or stall. In about 50 or 100 starts, I'm sure I've had maybe 15 good starts. And that's generous. It's frustrating, to say the least, because I can't pinpoint what I'm doing differently, and it really just feels like luck right now.
And I haven't even tried shifting yet. All in first gear, all under 15 mph so far. Heck yes.
Of course, I'll have it down eventually, and then I'll look back and laugh. (Or shake my head, thinking, "I was such a dork." Whatever.)
At any rate, it's cool to be driving. Sort of. It'll wear out in about a month after I actually start driving, I'm sure.
Also, if anyone's got any advice about starting in a stick shift, it'd certainly be appreciated. Your kind words could make me a safer, better driver! Wouldn't that be great?
I got my driver's permit today.
That is all.
Wow, talk about a random bad mood.
I was soaring along fine until right before fourth period. Then BAM!-- I was insanely pissy, frustrated, and felt like giving everyone a big, hearty, "SCREW ALL Y'ALL!" The fact that I was in the easiest, slowest, and most boring class of my entire schedule didn't help.
It was a foul, foul mood.
And then I was hanging out backstage, and somehow got reminded that the submission date for sign-up sheets for the Rotary club exchange student program were due day before yesterday, or something like that. Sign-up sheets I hadn't even received.
Which was odd, because all of the Honors house kids had gotten theirs in English.
Oh, that's right. I'm not in Honors English, due to the ridiculous school's conflict with Orchestra and Honors English. I'm in English 9, in the not-Honors house.
But someone in my same English class had received the packets and forms too.
How does that work? I haven't missed English in a very long time-- surely if they were handed out, I would have gotten one.
Answer: The Honors house got it in English. The other house got it in math, or social studies, or something.
Meaning that the handful of us that don't have either classes just fell through the cracks.
Argh. I dunno. i'm fully aware I'm being a whiny bitch, but I don't care, I need to get it out of my system. If it's bugging you, hit "back" and move on.
It just seems ridiculous that the five or so of us-- some of which are probably among the most eager to join the exchange student program-- were not even given the opportunity.
Oh well. Life goes on.
So take these words
And sing out loud
Is forgiven now...
Oh man, something's going on.
I'm in such a bizarrely happy mood, there's only one explanation:
Winter makes me happy. Rain makes me happy. But no matter what I say, there's nothing like the warm sunniness of spring.
Man, it's a good thing I don't try to win any Nobel Prizes for literature with my posts. "Warm sunniness." Yeesh.
Something's got me in ridiculously high spirits. I'm throwing things to myself and catching them, singing as I walk around, and the like. It's crazy, but it's so damn nice.
Like today, when I walked over to Kathryn's house for random strawberry shortcake. No reason, just a lighthearted "you're making shortcake and I want some" sort of visit.
That's what it's all about. Walking over to a friend's house for strawberry shortcake, walking back home singing songs from the CD you just bought, and realizing two hours later that you still haven't done your English homework that's due tomorrow, and frankly, you don't care. (It was eventually done, but with a sort of "Meh, whatever" attitude.) It's about going to Shari's and labeling all the yellow sugar packets at your table as "The Weapon" and completely confusing people with silverware counting methods and accidentally getting a free pie. It's about buying chicken caesar salads for lunch (bested only by making them yourself) and slipping in the mud in your haste to take a picture and completely blowing off most of a period because it's just that great out.
It's about living again.
'Cause tonight's the night the world begins again...
Beg pardon if I offend you, however, I need to get this off my chest.
You know what I can not understand?
The people who look at the events of 9/11, the tragedies that occurred, and deny it as a conspiracy.
Now, I will be the first to say that I don't like this administration at all. It is full of lies, corruption, and has cost the lives of thousands of Americans. (See "Iraq War".)
But I think to say that the events of September 11th, 2001, were all a hoax is shameful, and a dishonor to those who died.
Loose Change has been floating around the drama department, and it's been bugging the hell out of me. It came to a point yesterday at lunch, when everyone was talking about it, so convinced that it's all a gigantic scam. It felt so awkward, being what felt like the only one who saw it the way it was.
I haven't seen Loose Change yet. I plan to this weekend.
But it's driving me insane, just as much as the moon landing conspiracy theories.
"There was no debris! Why would a jet plane leave no debris?"
Perhaps, I don't know, because an airliner filled with jet fuel and crashing at high speed into a 24 foot-thick concrete wall will explode in a fireball so intense that most large pieces of debris will be incinerated?
The same thing happened with the planes that crashed into the World Trade Centers. Most of the large debris was consumed by the fire.
"It was a missile that hit the Pentagon!"
Even though more than 100 witnesses claim they saw a large airliner? Even though there are pictures of airplane debris?
I just can't understand this. Why would the American government do this? What would they gain by blowing up some buildings and killing nearly 3,000 Americans? This is where the big plot theories come in, where people suggest that it was to bring about a social revolution, or to give us reason to go into Afghanistan (because, of course, there's a secret cache of unicorns deep underground in Afghanistan and we need to get those without alerting the public). All of these are slashed across the throat by Occam's Razor. (Wave wave, you're dead.)
This "information" "proving" a conspiracy is riddled with holes and overlookings, I am sure. They are simply presented in a way that makes you ignore them. It is a case of people trying to provide to themselves a less shocking explanation than that they were given. It's not as bad if you think that there is no Islamic militant group out to terrorize the United States, and that instead our own government was trying to bring about revolution. It's not so bad if you convince yourself that there weren't actually people in those planes– they were decoy planes, silly! It's also more interesting– it's a classic case of the government against the people! Soviet Russia, anyone? I'm sure I could find just as much "evidence" "proving" that Steve Quinn and Thomas Arend are working together and trying to make me win fame and fortune so that I'll pay them big bucks. After all, they're both giving me A's.
That would be more interesting, wouldn't it? It'd make things seem so less mediocre.
But sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.
Honest question: How many widespread conspiracy theories in the past have turned out to be true? It seems to me not many. Wikipedia lists two. This is just another case of people trying to shy away from the truth, finding scattered, disconnected tidbits and weaving them into a story that makes them feel good at night.
This is exactly– oh, and I'm sure people will bristle at this comparison– what Holocaust deniers are doing.
(Godwin's Law = 1
Spencer = 0)
Is it on the same scale as the Holocaust? Hell no. But it's an example of people abandoning the horrible truth, with the obvious facts staring them in the face, for wild and crazy crackpot conspiracy theories.
The truth isn't out there. It's right here, staring you in the face.
It may be ugly, but isn't it better to accept it for what it is than deny, to its face, that it exists?
This just in:
Luck, fate, whatever eternal being is tossing the dice up there, and whoever else are all supreme bastards.
There's a Goo Goo Dolls* concert on June 21st, in Portland.
I've been waiting for a Goo Goo Dolls concert forever. I was seriously planning on going with anyone who wanted, and raising my freak flag higher and higher. (And never being alone.)
I cheered on the inside when I read about the concert.
Then exploded when I realized that it's during the two weeks I'm going to be in Washington DC.
As many a person would say, "wah wah." Even though it's kinda a mwuoah mwuoah noise. There's seriously no good way to onomatopoeiaize some words.
In other news, I played a big part in someone's epiphany last week. All due to a misunderstanding of something I said.
In other other news... I got nothing.
We now return you to your regularly-scheduled broadcasting.
*So my tastes in music are funky. What else is new?
If Alex does a "summary of latest posts", I'm so getting at most 2/5 for this one.
So I finished the science state test, with a score of 261.
Kingdom of Loathing was automatically suggested in this browser's address bar when I started typing it in.
Yay for nerdiness.
Man, it's like the most stereotypical blog post ever.
"I'm here, talking about trivial aspects of my life as if you actually care.
Today, I went outside. It was frightening, because there was this big shiny meteor coming straight at me. I quickly jumped back indoors."
Hmm, I wonder if this computer's Internut Exploder has any interesting sites in its history...
...nothing for Kingdom of Loathing, nor my forum, but surprisingly, something for Elowel.
For my future reference, or anyone else's, for that matter, I'm in the freshman hall computer lab, on the right side of the room, the second row from the front, on the iMac that isn't near the window.
Shit, this is like a stereotypical blog post.
Oh man. So I went and saw Children's Hour last night.
Outstanding. Amazing. Simply unbelievable.
So much so that I'm working for the show for the rest of the performance schedule.
Free seats (though, actually, I already paid for a season pass that would have got me a seat for every day I'm working), involvement, and awesome show.
Yes, that was English.
So I saw V for Vendetta
last night, with a couple
OH MY GOD.
Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
And that's all I have to say about that.
I love me my biscuits.
For lunch today I had leftover soup and 5 biscuits from a can, those sorta break-and-bake type.
Granted, they weren't the best. But they did the job just fine. The job being "feeding Spencer and making him happy".
So if you ever want to make me a treat, don't bring me a plate of cookies.
Bring me a plate of biscuits.
I will love you forever.
has taken over my life.
Well, not exactly. I still eat at reasonable times. I still do things other than play it.
But dang, it's addicting.
Which is kind of sad. Further proof I have no life: I'm semi-addicted to an online game, and I'm blogging about it.
But at least it's inspired some prtty neat pieces of art. Most of which have been commissions.
Is it lame? To a level previously unknown by man.
But do I care?
Another post that is near the line of controversy. Why can't I post less volatile topics?
But anyway, all atheists are to blame for youth crime.
(Link thanks in part to Michelle
Because we don't believe in God, we don't believe in the authority behind the Ten Commandments.
And because we don't believe in the authority behind the Commandments, we don't think they should be followed.
Obviously, atheists have no morals.
(Sounds a little familiar...)
But the best (worst) part of that page is further down.
"Imagine that you could listen to or talk face-to-face with satan about any subject that has to do with God.
Then bring to remembrance anything you've heard atheists say against God. (Or if you are an atheist, you know your own sentiments and thoughts).
Now, if you try, you will find that it is impossible to imagine satan expressing sentiments about God different than what atheists express. Satan certainly is not going to speak positively about God, and neither are atheists. So, what both think and verbalize is in complete harmony with one another.
Atheism is therefore a doctrine of demons, and in many, if not all cases, atheists are demon-possessed. "
A says N.
B says N.
Therefore, A and B ARE THE SAME!!!
(Demon possession? Ringing more bells here...)
What is it about religion that makes some
(note the word choice, please-- certainly not all) people lose their logic? The statement above clearly wouldnt fly in any other circumstance.
My feet are cold right now.
If you think about it, you'll realize that it's impossible to imagine a barefoot person waist-deep in snow saying anything other than what I said.
Therefore, all barefoot people in the snow are me. Alternatively, I am barefoot and in the snow right now.
That doesn't make sense, and neither does any one of the other possibilities I could come up with.
I just wish that people could keep their heads on straight.
Sure, me too, if you want it to apply to me.
By now, you'd think I'd have learned that making waves is bad.
Makes me look like an idiot, both when I do and don't deserve it.
Perhaps I should just shut up and accept things.
OH DEAR, CONTROVERSIAL SUBJECT.
This post deals with the controversial topic of religion. And politics. At the same time. While I would hope that anyone could read this and accept it peacefully, if criticism of the phrase "In God We Trust" rubs a nerve for you, you may want to hit "back".
You've been warned. That said, I will take advantage of my right to post whatever I want on my blog.
So here's a little tidbit.
The United States' OFFICIAL motto is "In God We Trust." OFFICIAL. Not "E Pluribus Unum." No, the country that calls itself the "Land of Liberty," the country whose Constitution's First Amendment establishes freedom of and freedom from religion, the country based on values of freedom– that's the country that holds an obvious Christian bias.
The problem with this? No one else thinks it's a problem.
I am almost 100% sure that if I went to any American theist and pointed it out, what would they say?
"Yeah, so what?"
"Honestly, Spencer, you're making a big deal out of nothing."
"America's founded on Christian values!"
"Why does it matter?"
The problem here is that the majority is so content being a majority that it will sacrifice, overlook, or ignore the rights of the minority. Why? Because they're being catered to, it's in their favor. Humans tend to respond well to gifts, and when 85% of the population is being given the gift of favor, those who do care that it's breaking the rules are too few to do anything.
I'm not just talking about "In God We Trust" here, anymore. I'm talking about the way the United States has generally accepted it as okay to bring religion into the state. Our Pledge of Allegiance– which is a ridiculous idea altogether, but that's for a different post– blatantly states that we are "one nation, under God." Kansas has ruled it acceptable to teach "intelligent design," religious creationism in a very very thin disguise, in public schools as an alternative theory to evolution. The Dover area court of Pennsylvania could tell that "intelligent design" was creationism. There is no way that such a religious state as Kansas could not draw the parallels.
Why didn't Kansas do anything? Because theists are the majority, and so it's acceptable to bend the rules in their favor.
"Spencer, you're overreacting. It's just a word!"
Let's turn the tables. How would the 253 million theists of America feel if the national motto was "In No God We Trust"? Or how about this– what if America's unofficial official religion was Hinduism? That is to say, what if the government, regardless of what the populace believed (I know it would never happen, but work with me here) actively supported Hinduism as if it were the national religion, even though the population was still 80% Christian? What if every bill, every coin, every piece of currency you touched had the phrase "In Vishnu We Trust"? Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems to me you'd be agitated. Why? Because the country is actively supporting one religion over another. "In God We Trust" favors "western" (for an extreme lack of better word) religions over Hinduism, or Paganism. Going back to "In No God We Trust"– theists would obviously want change, because the government would be favoring irreligion over religion, an application of the First Amendment used by Justice David Souter in Board of Education of Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet. To substitute the name of a different deity or to explicitly deny the deity's existence in a national motto would certainly agitate theists across the nation and be viewed as unacceptable.
But why? After all, it's just a word!
Being in the majority does not give you special priveleges and exemptions. To tell Americans "In God We Trust," when 15% of them don't is no less heinous than telling them "In No God We Trust" while 85% of them do. The Pledge of Allegiance proclaims us "One Nation Under God", when 15% of us don't even think (s)he exists. I bet the same 85% would dislike hearing "One Nation With No God". All directly violate the First Amendment, and none should ever be supported by the state.
Then what will our pledge say? What will our motto be?
Simple. Until the era of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his Red Scare, the pledge went a little something like this:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
See? No "Under God". No "With No God". Nothing assuming anything on any part, no support nor criticism of any belief. Nothing violating the Constitution.
As for the motto, we'll just roll it back to what it was before McCarthy and the fear of "godless Communism" he inspired. The clunky, inappropriate "In God We Trust" will be replaced with a motto that truly represents all of America: "E Pluribus Unum." It means, "From Many, One." It refers to the history of America as a "melting pot" of cultures, where Italians and Germans and Irish and English and Russians and people of any nationality, any background, any beliefs, could come, and be just as part of the nation as anyone else. "E Pluribus Unum" tells of a great country where each person has just the same rights as the next, where nobody is favored over the other.
The choice is between a biased government, playing cards to the majority because, well, they're the majority; and a government of equality, treating people of whatever backgrounds or beliefs the same. It's a choice between hatred and acceptance.
I think it's fairly obvious what we all should pick.
Moment of silence, please.
For the dearly deloved spencerdub
He played with one feature too many, and broke himself. The problem was unfixable, or those who could fix it cared not to (could be either one and I'm not calling anyone at fault here), so on the night of March 22, 2006, we pulled the feeding tube.
Rest in peace, old buddy. We'll never forget ya.
That said, I can finally post again. And since there was once a user named "spencer", I've got replies to his welcome post!