Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Hellophobia

No, not fear of greetings, it is actually fear of Greek people and their culture. A strange phobia. Today, the first day in AP English, hit home the fact that I suffer from a phobia. I suffered from some of the most intense fear of my life while reading my introduction to an essay on what literature is. It isn't that I can't speak in front of people, because I can read material out of books and even volunteer opinions. But it was something about presenting my intro to a class full of people as smart or smarter than me who, if listening, would be mentally critiquing my writing and my worth in the class. (Plus I followed Shakeer so I had no hope of impressing anyone). The scariest thing was that I could not control it at all. My heart pounded at an altitude in my body that I though was reserved for the larnyx. I could not speak normally, no matter how hard I tried. What came out sounded, to me, like a hostage tearfully begging for his life. The worst part is that I worked hard on that and thought it was some of my better writing and now I don't (and probably no one else did) really know how good it was. All the teacher said was a sort of pitying "Good job." After which I added insult to injury and apologized for not being a better reader. It was a very painful time, both while reading and in the quiet afterwards.
But the class was salvaged when my embarassment was transferred to Chris. He had read the introduction of his essay, as usual completely soulless but well written, and the teacher aked if he had read Oscar Wilde (he started his intro with a quote) and I could see what was running through his head. The handout with the question on it said no research, so Chris said yes. "What had he read?" After stumbling for the longest fifeteen seconds of any of our lives, he said he didn't remember. (Chris, if you're reading this I'm sorry that happened to you but you just should of said you looked for a good quote to start out the essay with. Nobody would have thought any less of you. You still have my respect, but that was shaky ground to get started out with with the teacher). So my daily humiliation was shared (I tell myself more was on his side than mine). The moral of today is that it is better to be shitty and honest than good and dishonest.

post script
I'm sure you've noticed the newest addition to our blog. Pat is a laconic guy, so you won't hear much in the way of posts, but when he does say something, whether in a post or Comments, you will see why he was worth adding.

First day back

Whew...first day of school. I'd like to say it was exhausting, but in reality I only had two real classes (2nd period free, 7th period assembly, 4th period tech, 5th religion, 6th stats), so it wasn't...but it WAS. AAANNNNNYway...

First, if we have any underclassman readers (which I doubt, seeing as we have very few readers, period), but if we do...take a free period. Seriously. It's the best thing ever. I've only had one day and it rocks. I played solitaire while listening to the Rick Emerson Show (which, seriously...if you aren't listening, you should be...you'll be a better person for it).

Whhaaaat else...oh, yeah, tech. Tech rocks. Class looks good, should shape up well this year. Looking forward to hearing about third period.

Oh, and lunch. All due respect to those who were in lunch 1 with me last year (and we had a DAMN cool lunch period), it's good to be back with much of the old gang. As we said today: "t'will be a good year...for HUMANITY." And off-campus priveleges, how cool is THAT?

So yeah...it's good to be back, feels like I never left. Great to see some people, slightly awkward to see others. It is to be expected, though, so I am in no position of complaint. I shall end with the quote that accompanied my away message today, which is very appropriate for the start of school...

"Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing."-Tyler Durden (Fight Club)

Monday, August 30, 2004

Seeing As It's the Last Day of Summer...

You know what that means, those of you with summer schoolwork: time to start (and finish) reading that book you've been assigned, not to mention any reflection that came along with that assignment. Time to start looking for your backpack to make sure that it's still, you know, intact. While you're at it...what about notebooks, paper, pens, etc.? Hmm...now would be a good time to figure out if you have those, too.

I doubt that people leave everything to the last minute, but I've found that in our day and age we let everything drift a little too close to the deadline. I guess it's not a bad thing, because some people can work incredibly well with a little bit of pressure looking them in the face, but others just kind of freak out. I say this with no trace of arrogance, because I'm one of the latter. It's just the trend these days to let things drift, then freak out when we realize the deadline is so incredibly close, then proceed to let the deadline/progress deficit increase by moaning and groaning about how freaked out we are and stating over and over again that the project was unfair.

Maybe sometimes this is true. But that's just assumption and human error. "Just?" Yes, just those two things. The assumption is that the workers are capable, accomplished folks who have getting ahead in the field, be it employment or educational class, set somewhere higher up in the "priorities" list. The other assumption comes from the fact that with increasing technology, efficiency goes up. Which also works to a point. But their human error comes from the first assumption, and forgetting that people these days feel entitled to some amount of luxury. Which, unfortunately, is not a right...well, in my book, with a capitalist society, there will be those who are successful and those who will eat the dust. Good? No. Fact of life? Yes.

But as I was trying to say, I'm about to go work on my 2-page reflection on what literature is. And I had all summer. My bad. I'm in AP English, and higher classes mean more work, usually.

There was no point. Today is a "get back in the swing of things" kind of day, meaning I'm not doing much of anything social. Instead I'm blogging and reflecting.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Progress

Well, we had our first anonymous heckler yesterday. My chest swelled with pride.

post script
Somebody answer my damn question. I need to know.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Questions, Vol.2

Ben Questions the Billions asks, how much blunt force trauma would it take to truly render a man infertile? On a scale from love tap to crane dropping wrecking ball on the pelvis.

post script
When I was about 8 I fell from my climbing tree perpindicular onto the back of a bench. This question has haunted me ever since.

Diversity

Three straight posts. Three different views. But all about school starting. Then Dave came along. I knew it was a smart move to invite him. If variety is the spice of life then this blog just got a shot of cayenne pepper. Check out his profile.

post script
Dave was in the same freshman P.E. class as me, Ken, Scott, and John. That school sanctioned torture brought us together, forging bonds that can never be broken. It's almost like God wanted this blog to happen.

post post script
Sorry Mike, I'm sure God doesn't mind that you're on the blog too.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Garden State Blows

Last time I let a chick choose the goddamn movie... unless we're going to it because she doesn't want to see it... seniors my ass, I'm still a sophmore


Registration, and the sign of what is to come

Lemme tell ya something: I'm looking forward to Tuesday. Yeah. That's when school starts. I'm not confused, not in any state of disillusionment. School starts on Tuesday and I'm looking forward to it. It's not outta boredom, or its opposite, a longing to learn (those of you who know me, that goes without saying). But it's senior year, baby, and that's good enough for me. I plan to make it a party, and if you like the sound of that then let's here an amen.

Just seeing everyone today. A joy...a complete joy. People I'd missed all summer (and don't get me wrong...I have my regrets about how my summer was spent...and most of them come from not seeing a lotta the people I'd wish I'd seen), even the people I see all the time. Something about getting back in those halls gets me jazzed.

And...come on...we're seniors.

I mean, this is the ultimate...this is the PINACLE. We rule this damn school and there's nothing anyone can do about that. Just try to say that's not cool. Just you try.

Anyway...that last sentance was hard to type, so that's a sign the evening's winding down. Before I go, Ben wanted a review posted of "Hero," which I just saw tonight. Can't write volumes about it, but I can only say this: Sometimes, the plot of a film is not nearly as important as what the film's about. "Hero" was a perfect example of this, and for that I love it. Not to mention it was visual genius.

Wrapping It Up

Today is registration. In less than four hours, I will be back at Jesuit, getting my learning materials, my locker number, turning in papers, and all the rest.

Sad? A little bit. In this day and age, I think you'd be hard-pressed not to find a teenager with no sense of yearning to have done more in the summer. This generation just lacks a certain motivation in their gene. Not to say we're lazy, or unable to get things done, but I know that unless somebody forces me, I generally cannot find motivation to be incredibly active.

But at the same time, I find myself at the end of these three months able to say that yeah, I had a good summer. I don't feel like I wasted much of it. I feel like I wasted a bit of it, though. However, when pondering what I wasted, I'm not sure it was wise to pursue it. Regardless, at the end of the day, today I can say that there has been more closure to the summer than just the seal of re-entering the doors of the Jesuit institution.

The rain this month was pretty surprising, but a welcome surprise, at least for me. And now that it's cleared off and the sun has come back, I can feel the Autumn winds rushing around the corner. Maybe it's just the fact that it's the morning. But really, I can see a twinge of yellow beginning to show in a few leaves.

I'm ready for Senior year. Bring it on. I will kick its ass.

School

I hate to say it, but I am excited for school to start. Not for a love of learning, or missing friends, or being bored. Because my brain is melting.

I have a summer job at a daycare. With all the benefits that come along with part time minimum wage labor. The daycare is populated by kids aging 4-10. Most are 5 or 6. After spending virtually every afternoon and occasionally full days playing hundreds of games of Go Fish, listening to incomprehensible stories, and playing tag at the speed of a cripple without his crutches, I feel like my skull is ready to cave in. Anyone who has been around me lately will tell you about the marked decline in my intelligence and overall personality. And there wasn't that much there to begin with. Today at a school function, I wrote my name on the front of a name tag and spent five minutes trying to peel the damn thing off. It had to be pointed out to me that the reason I was having difficulty was because someone had already taken the tag and left the other half behind. There are many more examples but no one reads long posts, so I'll let that story encapsulate my current state. Luckily registration is tomorrow. School has become the lesser of two evils.

post script
They wanted me to keep working there, now it turining into after-school care, and because I am destitute and stupid, I agreed.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Yo!

Testing...testing...is this thing on?

What's up?

I am, as you may or may not have guessed, the latest addition to the team of Horesman. Yes. My name is Scott Nye. And I am here to pump *clap* you up.

My worthiness has already kinda been explained by Ben, and much better than I could have in that I didn't have to sound like an ass. I do indeed hail from the east side of town, which I take great pride in, because it means I automatically gain knowledge of both sides of the river (see...before I went to school on the west side, I already knew the east side...it rocks). Anyhoo...

I can also confirm the founding the the lunch table. In fact (and it's really quite sad), I sat alone at the back table of the lunch room for a good two weeks Freshman year, before Ben came along. Then there were two. And before long, covert spy tactics took place to double, nay, TRIPLE our lunch table rankings. And before we knew it, our numbers were too big for any mere main room table. No, we had to turn to bigger venues. Yes, THIS is the stuff of legends.

Before I sign off my first post as a Horseman, I'd like to say what I bring to this, truly the greatest of blogs. Unfortunately, I don't know what that is. More than anything, you'll probably here a lot about how exercise is kinda the equivalent of Satan, how the film industry really isn't in the toilet as so many claim, and how comic books are truly the greatest of all forms of entertainment. Yeah, by the way, I'm a huge geek. But I'm the lazy geek. I don't take accel science (in fact, this year, I don't even take science), or super-crazy-ass math or any of that. But I am very...very geeky. And prouder of it than you can imagine.

Changes!

The starting rotation has done its work (that was one hard week and a half of blogging, let me tell you), and now its time for the relief. The first newcomer to the blog is none other than Scott Nye. If you know him, you know he probably should have been one of the original four, but the only explendable one is me, and I founded the thing, so what are ya gonna do? Anyway he hails from my side of the tracks, and together at one lonely lunch table, he and I began an empire. It was like the meeting of Smith and Wesson. We slowly added to our numbers, month by month gaining new comrades. It is a victory for the little guy as he and I now gaze in satisfaction at our wide and diverse group of friends. Anyway, he is just the sort of person we need to hit it big and these introduction posts are really easy, so now I proudly introduce the newest horseman, Scott Nye.

post script
The title of the blog will change, but its bloggers will always be horsemen.

post post script
Cory was integral in assembling the group. Got to give the man his dues.

post post post script
More will come.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Do YOU want a doughnut?

Last night, a most remarkable and surprising thing happened to me. My dad yelled downstairs to me "hey, I think someone's messing with your car! You should go take a look!"
At this, I moan a low "oh shit...he must be joking..." and grabbed some clothes before heading upstairs.
Perhaps this reaction requires some explaining, for were the preceeding events lacking that night, I would have immediately grabbed my Louisville slugger and gone to bash some heads in. However, on this particular night, I had good reason to believe it was not those annoying punks from beaverton around my car. As I sat in front of my computer (as I always do at night), I began to get an interesting series of messages from a girl who I knew would not be skulking around my car trying to break in. They ran in the general vein of "hey, do you want a dounut? OOHHH, your dogs are barking!"
This might also sound unusual to some of you. But to me, this is quite normal for a day on aim...the only difference was the person sending the messages, and the fact that she did not seem the type to get blindingly drunk or decide it would be funny and simple to freak one such as myself out. Still, it seemed implausible that she actually was outside my house with a doughnut, even more so because a quick check revealed she was signed onto aim from a computer, and it was the computer at her house (yes, I have nifty methods of tracing aim ip addresses...don't ask). In light of the interesting circumstances, though, I decided to peak outside...no...there was nothing there...but I did glimpse something moving through my car window...
Naw. Probably a cat.
I returned to my computer to notice that there seemed to be two distinct persons typing things into the aim window, and they were talking. Now this was plain weird. It also meant they might be spoofing their ip addy and actually be right outside. It was as this thought crossed my mind that my dad mentioned someone was outside.
Perhaps I should also clarify that I was sitting at my computer, within plain view of anyone on the back deck, and wearing naught but a pair of rather tight underarmour shorts. Damn. This could get very embarassing. I quickly turned off the lights that would allow anyone outside to see in, then set about finding clothes and figuring out what was going on. The time, as I walked upstairs, was 10:20. All intelligence said I should have been asleep at least 20 mintues ago, and now I was going outside. "Practice will be hell tomorrow, " I thought with dreadful certainty.
I opened my front door to be confronted by a blonde running in place, with no physical signs of having actually been running. She claimed to be "just running through" my neighborhood. But she didn't appear to have a cell phone. There was a box of doughnuts sitting on my steps, which she explained as "I thought you might want one."
Just as I was getting most confused, a bush rustled and shrieks of laughter broke out from an otherwise normal and unexciting bush. It couldn't be...

But it was. For some strange, and still unkown to me, reason, a group of my friends whom I had not seen for many days decided I might just be craving krispy cremes. And they, as God's own agents on earth, would be the saving angels to deliver it to me. YES!!!! The joy contained within that lovely cardboard box could not be contained by its purely physical walls. It dripped out over me, engulfing me in a wave of elation as sticky and sweet as that lovely sugar coating applied to each and every krispy.
Not only that, but I was subject to five warm embraces. And I was able to pay off my somewhat irked father with the last of the krispies.

I have no idea how many others were saved by those angels that night, and it matters not. To me, it was a pure act of God, and one that was most welcome and perhaps even needed. I now have the strength to continue battering my teammates twice a day, eagerly awaiting registration and sunday when I am guarenteed more time with my saviors.

And yes children, there is a moral lesson inherent in these happenings. Never, never, never give up hope in greeting a delicious krispy because you are unable to leave the house. Never assume that person online claiming that they can see you cannot.
But above all else, make sure you warn your friends not to come to the back door without giving you fair and proper warning to make yourself decent. Otherwise...the results could be quite tragic, and a poor box of krispies might go unloved.

We can't have that, can we?

Tally-Ho!

All right horsemen, our readership just jumped 1000000% (conservatively) because Shakeer has pitied us and linked our blog on his much superior one. Now is the time for our A games. Prove to Shakeer that you are worthy of that honor. Your writing has been good, much better than mine, but I know you three can do better. I know this is a busy time of year, but please find the time to pour those genius thoughts from your blessed brains onto this blog. I don't care what you post. Old stories, Ken. Poetic reflections on life, John. More of the same, Mike. Criticize what you hate, exult what you find good and decent in this world. Just post often because you three always have something intelligent to say. This is our oppurtunity to realize our collective dream. With one powerful thrust we can take down the porn kingpins and claim the world wide web as our turf.

post script
Thanks Shakeer, I owe ya one.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Ah, Here It Is Again

Right before the AP tests sophomore year, I had an experience of serenity that I can only associate with the eternal bliss of...I'd say Nirvana, but Nirvana for me has a negative connotation. I'll elaborate later. For now, it suffices to say that I had an incredible feeling of serenity.

It disappeared in the summer, and when I tried to apply my calm demeanor to schoolwork, I found that all I really had was...sloth. Not good. So I tossed it out. But now I've felt the serenity again. It began with a beach trip...but truly started in the rain of tonight. I heard the song "Let Go" by Frou Frou, as heard in Garden State, which works perfectly for mood-setting and heading into the dark clouds of rain. Awesome. That, along with Death Cab...I don't know who hates and who likes that group here...has put me back into serenity, acceptance, and the ability to get on with life.

What I don't like about the term Nirvana is "blowing out". I know it's referring to desire. But according to the Four Noble Truths...Existence is suffering. Suffering is caused by desire. To stop suffering, stop desire. To stop desire, follow the Eightfold Path. Sorry, but if to live is to suffer, would it be incorrect to say the converse, to suffer is to live, is not also correct? If life=suffering, and we get rid of suffering, then we also get rid of life. Basically, what it feels like for me is that you suffer in life. Deal with it. We have desire. You cannot ever completely conquer desire. You can resist. You can stop yourself from yielding. You can avoid situations that spur desire in your mind. But single no human can stop desire.

I'm not saying that's how it is. I'm saying that's my take on it. It's from a biased monotheistic Roman Catholic (and Ignatian I guess) point of view, which would be mine.

Basically, I'm saying that to choose to get insulted by what I said is to give me much more credit than I deserve; you're choosing to pay attention to something that I've already said probably holds no water to anybody but myself.

Anyway...yes. I'm sure it'll be gone with the rain, but the serenity is here.

Speaking of addictions, Mike,

on Sunday I experienced a Moshi.

I've had a little trouble with Minesweeper myself, but it never took hold of my heart and twisted $10 out of it like Moshi.

For those of you who don't know what a Moshi is, I hope for your sake you never see one. The term "pillow" does not do it justice. In fact, justice cannot be done to the Moshi--the Moshi is inherently unfair. In a competition with normal pillows (yes, even the ones that were "DEVELOPED BY NASA!! NASA!! THAT SPACE THING!! HIIIIIIIIGH TECH!!!!!!!"), Moshi would sit on its throne, perhaps collecting some of its belly-button lint or scraping some dirt from underneath its fingernails, then sending one of its servants with such would-be excrescence to toss it into the pillow-fray. The other pillows would collapse in agony--not physical agony, but rather emotional agony, the death of all hope of superiority, and turn to stare at the godlike Moshi soaring above them in all glory, honor, and majesty. Then they would march up to the throne of Moshi and present small sacrifices and gifts, with hopes of someday earning the good will of the Moshi.

That metaphor might be a little over the top, but Moshi deserves nothing less.

Anyway, she brought her Moshi along when we went rafting (Moshi didn't leave the van), and treated it like a baby. Usually this would be a little weird, like when my aunt and uncle treat their puppy as a daughter. I don't really want to go into that; just believe me, it's weird. But for Moshi, I immediately felt not disgust or confusion but jealousy. I needed Moshi for myself. Once in a while I would accidentally reach out and touch Moshi. I swear I didn't consciously choose to do it. It just happened. But she got a little protective. I barely noticed until she threatened the restraining order. Once she did, and I realized that that particular Moshi would never be mine, a new thought crept into my mind.

Were there not... multiple... Moshis?

I tried to resist, but I knew on the inside that there was no hope.

I'd love to talk about how awesome Sunday was, but I have to get back to stroking my Moshi. I'm sure you understand.

Mmmmmm....

Changes?

An outcry has been heard. The people want access and posting privileges to this this blogging Eden. Nothing but equality can quell this tempest. So I leave it in yours hands, loyal readers. Guide me. I don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity, but who knows? Maybe the horsemen would be spurned on by added numbers to be just that much better. Competition creating a better product for you, the blogging consumer. Of course, I would have to sacrifice that incredibly apt name I came up with, but I'm sure I can come up with something as good or better. It wouldn't be that hard. So I want to know from everyone who reads this, especially my fellow horsemen. If they want to keep this to themselves I have no problem with that. People can always start their own blogs. Its still technically a free country.

post script
I forgot to use a post script when I wrote this post.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Maturity

As senior year approaches, I've been thinking a lot about how I stack up against my peers in terms of maturity. Its hard to say where I stand because in certain areas it seems like I'm ahead of the game but, as I'm my own worst critic, I know that deep down I'm a kid. Not all that kid at heart kind of crap. I'm a kid. As you know from my profile and previous posts, I very much enjoy playground games like dodgeball and kickball. That's okay. you may say, those are actually becoming hip again. No, I think I like them at a different level than the twentysomethings who have founded those leagues. To illustrate my point, I will tell you, the faceless and nameless, that I still am tempted to buy G.I. Joes. Very tempted. When I was at Target reserving my limited edition of Halo 2 as I said yesterday, I wandered done the toy aisle. Not to reminisce. To see what they had in the way of my favorite action figures. I was pleasantly surprised. Besides vehicles, they had figures in two packs for seven bucks and three packs for nine. There was a Cobra three pack and I probably would have bought it if I didn't already have the Cobra Commander. I pulled myself away with my last vestige of dignity (I was admiring them alongside a six-year-old) and left to find my mom and youngest brother. But today, at Fred Meyer's it came at me again. I even avoided the toy department in fear of another test of willpower, but Satan had other plans. Browsing the school supplies, waiting for my the same brother, I spied a discount table. Bored, I went over to it. There was my second temptation. A Cobra plane. That converted to a hydrofoil. On sale. As I have neither a plane or boat for the bad guys, this almost proved to great for me to overcome. But after almost three minutes of indecision, I somehow stopped myself and left. But I fear the third temptation, my friends. Even as I write this I am choking down regret that I did not purchase these infantile delights. I am growing weak. I fear I cannot leave the house lest I revert back to my seven year old self. And the rationalizer in my wants to ask you, am I so wrong? Is what I desire so bad? Tell me your opinion of my plight, dear reader. I feel so alone.

Addiction

I realized today that I am an addict to Minesweeper. How did I realize this, when it's so hard for addicts to admit their problems? Even addicts have to admit that one is addicted when one sees the little Minesweeper numbers even when one has his/her eyes closed and is not looking at a computer screen.

Yes, it is painful for me to say, especially here among such esteemed colleagues, but perhaps ridicule is the medicine I need to help me stay on the road to recovery.

And while I think about it, there are worse addictions...like to narcotics, opiates, hallucinogens, inhalents, Altoids, bad music, Fabio, toasters, etc.

That's my news for the moment.

It rained today...

...and there was something strangely refreshing about it. I think that just like the green leafy things that grow around my house, we all need a little water to fall on us and soak us sometimes. Not that we'd die without it, but then, those plants won't die either. But just that it helps us to reach a higher plane of health, some plateu from which we can stand and scream into the gray falling skys "I am alive! I am alive! I may be soaking wet, but I am alive!" before we realize the entire church is now staring at us.
A weird thing about rain is how much it changes things. I mean, its just a little bit of water, right? We drink tons of water every day. But once a tad bit of it starts falling on us, people totally freak out. They drive really slowly, they run around screaming as they fail to locate their cars, they fight over strange little sticks with canvas, and some of them even curse loudly as their attached furry headcovering are drenched through. (Something about messing up their style. I fail to grasp it.) People who would normally be quite glad to lay on a hillside with me and chat the day away are now flabbergasted at the suggestion. What's their problem, anyways? We're 80% water to begin with...how's a little more gonna hurt?

The most depressing thing about rain, though (well, the only depressing thing about rain) is that it covers up the stars. My nightly glimpses into the black and starlit heavens has been a favorite time of mine to contemplate how truely insignificant that little peon is who decided to cut me off today and ended up almost causing a major accident. After all, what does it really matter if i jumped out of my speeding hunk of metal, holding another peice of metal alloy, and began hitting both a large bit of metal and some carbon based object that was significantly softer than the large hunk of metal? It really doesn't, does it? Its times like these when I can convince myself that perhaps those other bits of carbon carrying much smaller peices of metal will agree with me and decided not to use their peices of metal to embed even smaller peices of metal into my carbon. I find this view extremely relaxing. But without the stars, its utterly impossible to obtain.

I did decide on the rules to my new sport, though. Its called "Shirt Basketball". Dunks (anything involving contact between either of your hands/digits and any part of the target) are worth one point. This includes shots where you pull the shirt away from the target's body in order to make the shot possible. Free Throws, shots where the target intentionally invites a shot after stopping and pulling their own shirt forward to enable the shot to be made, are also worth one point, unless they are made from four point distance, in which case it is worth three. Here's where things get tricky. Because of the wide variety of shirts worn by various targets, and differing amounts of room between said shirt and the target (caused by non-standard shirt types, larger-than-average amounts of cleavage, skintight verse baggy shirts, etc.) the points differ based on both difficulty and distance. Standard scoring works as such: within five feet of the target is worth two points. Outside of five feet is worth four. Mulitpliers are added based on the difficulty of the shot. Contestants determine the value of each target (and their attached shirt) before competition begins. Both must agree on the value before taking a shot. In the event a shot is made before a value is agreed upon, an arbitrary third party is asked to set a fair value. When lacking a third party, the opponent is allowed to pick a fair value. The maximum multiplier for normal circumstances is ten times the normal point value, with the rare exception of a shot being made on a target wearing only a bra (or appropriate equivelent) which garners a twentyfive times bonus, and a shot made on a completely bare target, which garners a hunderd times bonus along with a wack across the back of the head for being dumb enough to waste such a valuable opportunity. Additional multipliers are added based on circumstances, such as backwards, no look (eyes shut), hook shots, off hand shots, using an unusual object (such as a computer monitor), using a difficult object (something that doesn't easily fit, also like a computer monitor or even something simpler like a basketball), using an awkward object (ice that the target cannot easily retreive), cauing the target to remove clothing to fetch the object, and evoking a positive reaction from the target (such as an invitation to retireve the object yourself). Points are lost for injuring the object, evoking a negative reaction (such as a bitch slap or forced removal from a house or resteraunt), or shooting on a target in a dangerous situation (such as the driver of a vehicle). It is also not reccomended to shoot on targets with which one is not familiar, or which one is not signifantly faster than.

I predict Shirt Basketball will make it to the Olympics by 2020. Only you, my valiant readers can help make this dream a reality. Go forth and throw things down shirts, men! Do it for justice, for honor, and for the American Dream: to earn money without doing any real work!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Questions, Vol.1

I'm starting a weekly column here. I'll call it Ben Questions the Billions.
Question 1:
Is the only difference between a cult and a religion numerical?

Exciting Times

Just reserved Halo 2. Supposed to be out November 9th. Hopefully by then I'll be all done with college applications because I'm pretty sure I'm doing early action (or decision I don't know which is the non-binding one) at every place I apply. Then I will have time to play the most anticipated game of alltime. In other news, all the horsemen and assorted other cool kids from Jesuit went to Pioneer Courthouse Square to see The Goonies yesterday. Turnout was great, the crowd ran the gamut from the hiphop crowd to goths. All united by loving the phrase "hey you guys." Proving The Goonies is one of the greatest movies of alltime.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Triumph

The four horsemen are assembled and the charge will begin. The charge to retake the internet from the disgusting hands of the pornographers and return to where it rightfully belongs, the hands of teenage boys. Beginning today, the horsemen will begin the most difficult, the most dangerous task ever placed upon any humans in history of mankind. We will build up our readership, convincing people worldwide that our blog is more interesting than porn. They will fight us, sending hitwomen with huge breasts after us (they will be easy to spot, beautiful women don't associate with the horsemen), but we will persevere. One day, one glorious day, our site will have more visitors than all the porn in all the world. Impossible, you say. We don't listen to such words here. We horsemen believe in the the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter-- Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther.... And one fine morning---
So we beat on, boats against the current borne back ceaselessly into the past.

I have a strange neighborhood...

So this morning, I kinda forgot that I had no football today. Which isn't very surpising, since I have it like every day except sunday for the next 80 months. Or something. But so I not only forgot that I had no football, but also forgot what time the football I didn't have was at. This was an unbearable state of affairs, I assure you. I attempted a mad dash up the stairs only to be brought startlingly short by the fact that my legs didn't want to listen to me. They decided to listen to someone else, someone completely unrelated to me and also quite invisible, who told them their time would be much better spent by spasming out. After all, what legs wouldn't want to just sorta quiver on the floor instead of actually sprinting?
This bodily mutany forced me to rely upon my trusty (and much more loyal) arms for my transportation out of my basement lair. All went well until I came to the door. Ever tried opening a door at the top of some stairs without being able to use your legs? It was quite tricky...in the end, I propped myself against it, leaned hard, then managed to stroke the handle enough for it to somehow pop open. Victory at last!
But with only one small problem...my football schedule is on the fridge. High up on the fridge. At what is normally eye level for my towering 6'2" frame. Having your eyes reduced to midgethood (at only 6" off the ground, I was small even for one of the little people) makes it rather difficult to read things on the fridge 6 feet above your head. Well, reading things 6 feet above your head on the fridge when they were made in point 12 font is always hard, its just most people don't have 12 foot fridges with football schedules on them, so I don't run into this problem every day. Again, my brilliant mind came to the rescue. STOOLS! No, not the kind you leave in the toilette or some turncoat mafia member (both of which have about the same smell, slimy skin, and high value on the street) but the wooden kind you normally would perch upon to dine at my luxerious countertop in the kitchen. With two of them placed the appropriate distance apart, I was easily able to lift myself up onto a sitting position upon a third. It was kinda like doing a really monsterous dip, only with dogs staring in shock and my legs still doing their own little dance. From this high and mighty vantage point I was shocked to assertain that practice had started a good hour ago. But wait, my mind screamed, today could not be the 23rd! It simply couldn't! I hadn't watched Casablanca yet, and I absolutely knew it was due by the 23rd! Faced with this cold, unforgiving logic, my brain was forced to admit, that no, today probably wasn't the 23rd. Furthermore, the phoney thing clearly said it was the 20th. But that couldn't be either, could it? There was no football practice on the 20th...and if there was no practice, there was no reason for my legs to be so badly misbehaving, nor for me to have to crawl upstairs to check when practice started.
At this point, my legs decided the invisible stranger had led them astray from the True Path which is a body part's only real hope to enter the Divine Heaven that is Sitting On A Lazy Boy With A Giant Glass Of Iced Lemonade Watching Bond Movie And Eating Ribs. Of course, my legs have never (and if I have any say in it, WILL never) eaten a rib, drunk lemonade, or even seen James Bond. However, they understand that this is a blissful state, and they certainly enjoy sitting in a Lazy Boy more than running. This leads them to beleive that this Divine Heaven must be a nice place to be, and hey, everyone else seems excited about it, so why shouldn't they?
This allowed me to return my arms to their normal role of hanging at my sides and occasionally turning doornobs and reaching for remotes and lightswitches. I decided the ordeal meant my entire body deserved a dip in the Semi-Divine Heaven that is a Warm Bath With Lots Of Bubbles And Soothing Music And Smelling Salts. Though I was pretty sure I was out of smelling salts, I figured I could fake my nose out with with some fragrant bubble stuff. Or maybe a nice candle. I again had to face a flight of stairs to obtain my goal, but for this one I could asend as humans do, and not the humans who have paralyzing back injuries and no elevators or kind people to carry them. However, as I walked past my front door, I looked out the window. Through that window, I could see inside my car. And through that window letting me see inside my car, I could see throught the window going out of my car. And throught that window going out of my car I could see into my neighbor's window across the street. And through THAT window across the street I beheld a strange sight indeed. For my 19 year old blonde streetmate was dancing some sort of weird macarana-like dance. And here I thought she'd already left for college, or at least moved in with some 24 year old hippie. Wow. People really should shut their blinds once in a while. I'm not one to talk, though. There are no blinds on the glass door in my basement. And I love dancing around in my skivies down there. But no one's dumb enough to risk peering through MY windows. Are they?

Thursday, August 19, 2004


But what *did* they want?

Hey, By the Way,

Could my fellow horsemen copy some of my interests? I keep clicking them and realizing that I'm alone... so alone...

Don't tell me you don't like a good hunk of man-liver every once in a while.

So I finally called her,

which took more guts than it really should've. See, usually I think of myself as someone who's not afraid of anything--who'll try anything once as long as there's a reasonable chance of survival. (It's not that I'm AFRAID of dying, it's more that I don't want to inconvenience God by making Him resurrect me so I can be Ultimate King of All That Surrounds Me.)

Anyway, I call, heart beating audibly. Ring... ring... then, "...WHAT?"

In this age of caller ID, what can I conclude but that I really, really pissed her off, just by calling?

But I pretend that all is not lost. "Uh, hey there! How's it going?"

And it isn't! "OH! Ken! Sorry, I thought you were my mom!"

Hmmmmm. One more reason to earn that manly Eagle Scout award. If this supernatural maternal reminder didn't happen so often, it wouldn't bother me that much, but... I mean, I wasn't even planning on being a stay-at-home DAD, let alone Mom.

But it's okay. Now I'm waiting for her to call back, thinking, "Hey, it could have gone worse," then asking myself, "Why do you even care?"

Honestly, I don't know. Just don't know. School hasn't started yet and I haven't seen her for over two months. Shouldn't that have been cathartic? So far it's been as cathartic as being anally probed by extraterrestrials that only measure the charge capacity of your nether regions--with a cattle prod.

BZZZZZZT! Every day. That prod doesn't even fit (please don't think about that). And I'm left where I used to be--thinking, "boy, I wish I was over this," and then thinking, "wait, no, what I really want is for everything to work out," and then, "man, I could really use some kind of legal nerve stimulant so I can stop being tired all the time."

Hey, as long as it's not a cattle prod. It might damage the cell phone--and then how would she call back?

Confession

The anticipation for Ken's first post is killing me. If you've read his "about me" you know its going to fucking rock. I'm sure he's putting the finishing touches on it as I type. Meanwhile, John participating in conditioning week for football, so we're going to give his absence the benefit of the doubt. So it looks like Miguel is the only horseman who pulled through for me. He did a great job; I can't wait for another post.

Acknowledgement

This is a shout out to our only reader, Shakeer. Without him the blog would be 89% worse. If you are offended because you also read this blog and you want a shout out, leave a damn comment once and a while. I know its only been six days, but I was counting on the million monkeys on a million computers thing. And its been a big disappointment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Discrimination

For the last two weeks I have really been looking forward to this weekend because there is a dodgeball tournament at a high school near my house. Dodgeball is my favorite sport and I was brimming with anticipation over assembling and leading a team of friends into such a glorious competition. As I was ironing out the details I clicked on the waiver because I had to read it. No one over 18. I am 18 in less than a month. Their unequitable line in the sand crushed my soul, telling me I am not worthy to play in their league. I'll tell you what. They will rue the day they excluded me. I will train harder than anyone has ever trained for anything. I will make Rocky's training in Siberia in Rocky IV seem like a walk in the park. And next year, when they come back to Portland from their pansy headquarters in Los Angeles, I will tear the Beaver Ball trophy from their well moistuized hands and my triumph will be sung throughout the ages by all people of all walks of life who need the inspiration of heroes to continue their own heroic existence.

Theory

I would normally put this in the comments section, but my esteemed colleague forgot to utilize that tool. From my brief study of Sigmund Freud, I have formulated a belief that the real object of the punk anger is their small genitalia. Besides the obvious implications that go with that territoty there is also a reduced testosterone level which prevents said punks from being successful at manly endeavors such as sports. This coupled with their subpar intelligence leaves them little option but "reject" the society that in fact rejected them first.

On Posers

Me being me, take my posts with a grain of salt. I do not mean to offend. Most people.

It pisses me off how many people are posers and cannot accept it. I'm a poser. I live with this knowledge. I consider it one of the many marks that I, too, am human and possess original sin. But I suffer through the insufficiency. But man, some people...

For instance, it has come to my attention that to be a punk you must fulfill a minimum three requirements:

1) Be angry. It doesn't matter what you're angry at. But you must have a perpetual simmering rage in the bowels of your soul, stewing and propelling you to speak out. Express your anger with everyone, from the people who you deem responsible to the random passerby who will raise an eyebrow and probably regard you with disdain. Note that this in turn will make you angry at the random passerby as well, because they're only kindling the source of your anger. The source of your anger does not matter. It can change at any time for any reason if necessary to keep it going...or just because you feel like it.

2) Be ugly. It is vital to the punk mindset to go against everything that is natural to the human body. Dying one's hair many colors one cannot find in any of the nooks and crannies of nature is heartily recommended. Do this frequently. Also, dessacrate the human body as much as possible with tatooes spreading across from the tips of your fingers to the small of your back to the metatarsal area. Oh, not to mention body piercings. How better to express the anger you have against your father, your life, the Man, the cat next door, and your personal hygiene appliances than by showing that you don't care what they think? And body piercings are a great way to do that. Pierce several parts of your body, be creative, and remember: if you don't go through the metal detectors at least five times, you are not carrying enough representation of your flesh mutilation.

3) This one kind of leads into the other two. Be rebellious. As with anger, it does not matter. Do not accept anything except your own beliefs to be true. Your beliefs consist of everyone else being judgmental. And that life is unfair. You should never conform. Ever. In fact, if you are reading this now, you are submitting to corporate America by paying your electric bill or even just using a computer. Dell is laughing at you, and dead punk artists are rolling in their graves.

Very few self-proclaimed "punks" have ever really fulfilled these requirements.
...




The actual point of this post was that I hate Good Charlotte, who whines about everything in life even though they have millions of dollars, are now LIVING the lifestyles of the rich and the famous, whine about not wanting a 9-5 and how the lead singer's dad is an asshole in approximately 40 of their 41 songs....yeah.

Sorry to bash on Good Charlotte fans...but if that last paragraph offended you, bite me.

Actually, the only people I hold in any remote form of disdain are the actual hardcore punks. Granted I shouldn't judge folks before I know them...but always being wrong is kind of a deterrent from talking to people.

So in reality, I like posers more.

Help is on the way!

As you can see, Ken has joined and Mike and John will soon follow. And a golden age will begin. We will turn a corner. We will believe in science. We'll work just as hard for your jobs as we work for our own. Terrorism will lose and we will win because the future doesn't belong to fear, it belongs to hope.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Truth

This blog has had technical difficulties for the past few days, but they are now sorted out so we shall soon have two of the three new bloggers posting. Which brings me to reveal something to you. Why, you may ask, did this moron post by himself on this blog until he had it all figured out? It seems like the gimmick is that there are four equally important bloggers and by doing this he just created an antipathy towards him by posting subpar material. Well you would be correct. I am a dumbass. I wanted to have a few posts grounded in to assert my feeble personality before my friends amaze you with theirs. I envisioned my posts as something endearing, like watching a newborn foal struggling to walk. But it was probably just pathetic, like a foal born with three legs struggling to walk, while you know it never will.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Plagiarism

A short public service announcent. Coming back from a short campout and reviewing this blog and another that I frequent, I realized that the title of my last post is the same as the other blog's only I added an exclamation point. I am certain that I subconsciously stole it. I feel like scum.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Big News!

I recently got a brand new kickball. I bought one from Target about two weeks ago. I really liked it. My brother and I took it in the street in front of my house. He pitched it to me. I kicked it farther than I have ever kicked a kickball in my life. Once we retrieved it I decided to be safe, take it inside, and wait until my next kickball game to experience the ecstasy of kicking this ball. But wait. My brother was inside our yard. I decided to see how far it would drop kick. Enormous mistake. I am not a good drop kicker under the best of circumstances and here I was trying to kick super hard. The kick sucked and it rolled right into my neighbor's only rose bush. A terrible thing. Now, I know there are a lot of awful things in our world, things a billion times worse than losing a stupid kickball. But, since I do not possess an incredible emotional maturity, I mourned its passing. This mopiness lasted a week. The day we were set to go camping (which I did not want to do), I was surprised by a new ball. A better ball. One that came in a box like a basketball. And cost twice as much. It is a wonderful ball. I love it. Don't judge me.

I Lied

Not about the music. About the politics. Shame on me but I have to write this while its still fresh in my mind. I went to the Kerry rally at Waterfront Park. I downloaded the tickets last night and went with my dad this morning. The gates opened at 10:00 and he was supposed to arrive about 12:15 so I figured I would get there at about 10:30, wait at the gate, and do a crossword for two hours. I knew a lot of people would be there, but I was not prepared for this. We got there on schedule but there were lines everywhere. We were at the back of a line the stretched for at least a quarter mile. I thought it must be for people who didn't have real tickets. (If you haven't figured out by now, I'm a dumbass.) So we crossed the street and found a much shorter line but which turned out to be for vets. When we got back to the original line, the end was on the opposite side of the builiding we were at originally.
While waiting there were dozens of solicitors for various causes. And protesters. But not very many. A couple of guys had the usual Jesus Saves From Hell stuff and were telling us to repent from our wicked ways. One was a real loudmouth and said some of the most stupid but funniest things I have ever heard. One particularly trifecta of irony was the fact that his sign said Bush defends America and had pictures of various military icons, then he said Bush was intelligent enough to stay out of Vietnam, just like him (the speaker), and then he went on to talk about how they were both manly men and thats why liberal women didn't like them. After this an astute citizen asked him if he knew Bush was a cheerleader in college. Silence. Then he said "Really?" Everyone said yes and then the moron mumbled that he wasn't really into politics. He was a goldmine.
It took about an hour and a half to go the quarter mile and by the time we were at the verge of the security checkpoint the police decided that the remaining thousands would be so far away they couldn't do anything even if they wanted to. They didn't even check the tickets. We ended up, after a fire marshal fence was torn down, about three football fields away from the stage and Jon Bon Jovi. He was okay, had a lot of emotion and some intelligent things to say. Then the usual lame people that nobody cares about started talking and it got really boring until six buses came off the bridge behind us and drove to the side of the rally. Everyone got really excited but nothing happened. More talking. Then three (more?) buses drove by and the buzz was back. Finally, squinting I could see him emerge on stage. He shook hands, reminding the unlucky majority of the over 30,000 how far away we were. Then his wife spoke. For a long time. She was nice but spoke slowly, almost casually and kind of repeat repeated herself. Then Jim Rassman came on and was pretty good. But the crowd was yearning for Kerry. And he delivered. And it wasn't just his acceptance speech from the convention. He had particulars. Plans that made a lot of sense. It was great. Unfortunately I had to leave early to get to work. I only missed about 3 minutes. I'm glad I went. I'm sorry that was so long. Believe it or not, but it was edited for length. I left a lot of good stuff out.

Listen to This

The free iTunes song this week is good. Good enough to make you download iTunes if you don't already have it. An Irish guy under the pseudonym Simple Kid. I heard him on some late night show a long time ago but I can't remember which. Anyway, I like it. He might be huge later and you will want to have said you heard him when he was a small fry. His first CD is coming out soon. So tell me either way. If there's anybody out there.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

First Real Post

Spock would be a Democrat. I am not a Trekkie but I have seen a few episodes and movies and the phrase "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." stuck out in my liberal mind. Republicans believe in individual responsibility, and I am all for that, but a society like ours will always have people who for a myriad of reasons cannot support themselves without considerable help. And if that requires taxing the billionaire citizens of our country (there are more than you think) a few percentage points more, than Spock and I would say it is the right thing for us and the exorbitantly wealthy to do.

No more political articles for a week. I apologize.

Explanation

Just writing to explain the title. Once I figure out how to do it, three of my friend will join the blog. I promise they are more interesting then I am.

A New Hope

This is not your father's blog. (I have yet to impregnate anyone, so don't come to me trying to get child support for your sorry ass.) This blog will usher in a new day. A day of sincere, honest, and powerful writing. Writing of real people, for real people, and by real people. Or it will suck and wallow in the mediocrity of almost every other blog out there. But you can only find out if you read it.