Friday, July 29, 2005

Congratulations Are In Order

Susanne Marie Wilson is now offically licenced to practice nursing in the state of Alabama:) She finally got the results of her licencing exam today, and although I know she would be too modest to post on the blog about how very proud she is of herself, I wanted to go on public record and tell everyone that I am VERY VERY proud of her. Way to go Sue! It's time to celebrate!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Sue.

Let the spankings commence! (27 this year)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Ramblings of Eric: Part 6 - Early Teachings

So it's not late at night and I haven't had a blowjob today (damn it), but I'm still going to pour some ramblings out of my head. Just as fair warning: There is nothing humorous in this post. I'm not kidding. If you are in a particularly good mood, wander away and read it later. It's actually just boring (but important) memories from my childhood. It will (hopefully) lead into another post I am writing about my current beliefs in a higher being(s). You have been warned.

You would not know it today, but I was raised in a fairly conservative and religious household. My mother and my brother regularly attended church. I went to Sunday School from the age of 5 until 6th grade, got confirmed (which was a very big deal for my family. At least as big as when I graduated high school), then continued going to church pretty religiously (pun intended) until I went off to college. I attended Church lock-ins and went to church camp (which I can attest is nothing like band camp) twice as a kid. My middle brother Steve went to college at a private Lutheran college and studied to be a pastor for quite a while (he now works as the youth leader for a larger church in Ohio).

The funny thing about Sunday school is that I still remember some very odd things about the people and events that surrounded that part of my life. I remember memorizing the ten commandments around 2nd or 3rd grade. There is no way I understood what adultery was at the age of 9, but I could recite the 7th commandment then without real thought. I noticed this latter on in life when I went to church also. Most of time, I was repeating things like the Lord's Prayer without even thinking about the words that I was reciting.

My point is that I was taught this stuff pretty early on and that I more or less accepted it until around my freshman year in college. I say more or less because I had a year or so in sophomore year of high school where I was really not so sure anymore. I just started delving into my ideas about free will, and I was having real trouble combining the Christian message that God is omnipotent with the idea that I have real choices. What really set me off on this little rebellion was oddly enough a trip with my church group to work with Habitat for Humanity.

The group we worked with had two type of volunteers. Temporary volunteers like me and my group came up for a week of work. We were lead by longer term volunteers that worked for an entire summer. Anyways, one of these longer term volunteers turned out to be gay (dun dun dun!) Not flaming homosexual; it's not like he told anyone explicitly, but somehow my youth leader guessed at it. I came upon them having a somewhat heated but muted argument. I remember asking her what that was about. I've never forgotten my youth leader telling me that despite his obvious acceptance of God and all the good work he was doing, he was not going to heaven because of his "decision" to be gay.

That has always stuck with me. Even at 15, I knew that something about that statement did not gel with my idea of what it took to get into heaven. But after a few months of thinking about all of these issues, I just sort of fell back into the fold (although even here I was defending evolution and questioning the whole God knows everything tenets).

That's just one of my more pronouced memories. Another one I remember quite vividly was at a local camp doing our annual youth planning retreat with my then soon to be girlfriend Melony. She had just started coming to our church and I had met her through a mutual friend. I was up one night very late with her and my youth leader and we were talking about her conversion. I remember her crying because she had just realized that the fact her conversion saving her and allowing her into heaven meant that her grandmother, who was not a Christian, would not be there when she eventually died. This is the part I will never forget: My youth leader telling her that that was correct without any real compassion. Me, I was really torn up for this girl and I remember being really angry with God for putting her through this sort of thing. It was an issue that I had never considered because both my grandparents and family were religious as far back as I can remember.

Then of course there was the fact that the pastor who confirmed me was thrown out shortly after I left for college. Apparently he had been giving comfort to some of the ladies of the congregation in the biblical sense of that term. If that wasn't bad enough, he was also married at the time...whoops.

There are probably 100 other memories I could delve into, but these are the ones that really stick to me. This post is already way to long. If you even made it this far, you are probably angry about the fact that you drove all this way for absolutely no point. But I promise I have another post coming about what I believe now about all this reglious stuff. This one is mostly back story.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Are So! Are Not!

Why are the Republicans and Democrats so insanely polorized? I swear that if the Turing test (a test devised by Alan Turing to show if a computer was really conscious) was create a program that could fool people into think it was a national party spokeperson, I could win that contest given a week of work and a thesaurus. All I would have to do is feed it whatever the pundit/spokeperson A for the other party said and have it randomly spit out:

  1. person A's idea will doom this country
  2. person A is an extremist/communist (depending the person A's party)
  3. person A is lying

All I would need is 10 or so synonyms for lying, and we could put him up on CNN's Crossfire.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

My Chemical Romance

Despite the fact that I know R will pester me non-stop with comments about how I am such a poser or that I will never be the musical snob he aspires to be, I have to say that I am really enjoying the newest disc from "My Chemical Romance" that I picked up yesterday. It is just good alt rock music (more rock than alt, which I like) with a really impressive hard, dark undertone. I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Pick up a copy if you like that sort of thing.

I've been noticably absent from this blog lately. I need to come up with some more ramblings I think. I've got a few floating around my head somewhere. I just need to stay up really late one night high on a combination of caffeine and the soup of chemicals that my brain releases after a particularly good blowjob and pour them all out. Now where did I put that 50 gallon jug of Mountain Dew mixed with Spanish Fly again...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

It's the time, of the season for dork-loving...

"What's your name, (What's your name), Who's your sugar daddy??"

CNN posted a story, called "Dork Pride! Suddenly, it's cool to be uncool", saying that it is now cool to be a nerd, geek, or dork. They are raking in all of the technology money! Everyone should have an engineering sugar daddy!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Bella's Birthday

Today is Bella's Birthday. She is two years old. In honor of her birthday, we did a lot of things that Bella likes today:

- We gave them moist dog food. They wolf this stuff down like they may never be able to eat again.

- A car ride that did not involve going to the vet or to the kennel.

- Lots of raw hide.

- Letting Bella sleep where ever she wanted to (usually on one of us).

Here are some pictures of Bella (we would have more, but our computer's hard disk bit the dust today, so our scanner and most of our pictures are temporarily unavailable):

Baby Bella

Bella as a baby

Bella hunting lizards

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Harry Potter is here

The new book is out and I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my copy via Unfortunately I cannot read it until Monday evening since I have to study for my board exam and hope that I will not fail it! It has been a long time since school and information is leaking from my brain. Ugh! Well I am off to study and I am not going to read any news for a while so that I don't hear and leaks about the book. I want to enjoy it! I just love good literature!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Amsterdam, the ultimate city of Freedom!

Amsterdam was pretty cool. It is a very laid back city. It is a pretty small city compared to Paris. When you walk around on the street it feels like a city fair everyday. They have a square in the center of the city where they have an open mic type thing every day and people go out there and perform silly talents. There were hoola hoops and unicyclists and other weird talents. They all speak English since they have American television.

The other cool thing in Amsterdam is that prostitution, gambling, marijuana, hash, and mushrooms are legal! America the country of freedom??? Not!! Everyone should go to Amsterdam once and check it out. There is nothing quite like this city. The entire city loves techno! They were having a giant techno dance party, about 40,000 people, with Armin Van Buren spinning the second day we were there. We couldn't get tickets since it had sold out in about an hour :(. We were bummed. It was called the Sensations White; everyone going had to wear white and they played Trance music. In August, they are having the Sensations Dark party with hard techno. We went out to another club on Saturday night and it played some pretty great techno too. Eric and I could have danced all night long! And yes, they dance just as stupid in Holland as we do in America.

To shop for marijuana and hash you had to go to the coffee shops that were located through out the city. One we frequented a few times was Abraxas. They had smokeable products and eatable products. They had brownies, bon bons, milk shakes, and muffins. They tasted pretty good :) It was a very friendly place with an awesome ambience. There is nothing like going into a coffee shop and smelling marijuana smoke as it fills the air. You can find the shops by just going down the alley's and smelling your way there. People would smoke on the sidewalk too. Not a big deal there. The only people that you could see high out of their mind were tourists.

The Red light district is really not a big deal. Your thought's about what it looks like is like 5 times bigger than it really is. It is pretty small actually. The prostitutes have little plastic boxes they sit in with a red light over them when they are in. If you are interested, you just go up to the box and talk with her. Before we went, Eric and I were thinking that the women would be ugly since it would be hard to find that many pretty women. We were suprised to find quite a few great looking women. You had women to fill all of the porn fantasies: school girl, bad girl, nice girl, teacher, black girl, asian girls (lots of them for all of the asian tourists), etc. They looked like the chicks in porn. They had a bunch of sex toy shops which sold some pretty crazy products, some of which looked painful. They also had a few live sex porno shows. There was actually a sex museum that was supposed to be sex through the ages, we didn't go in since it looked like a rip off. There was also the marijuana colleges and the museum of hash and marijuana. It was interesting to walk around and laugh at all of the asian tour groups that were walking around. You were not allowed to take pictures in the district so we don't have any pictures. All in all, the Red light district is mostly hype. Not a big deal really.

Besides all of that stuff mentioned above, Amsterdam has the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. They were pretty cool to visit. The Van Gogh museum was disappointing since they did not have many of his really famous paintings. No "Starry night". They did give a lot of history and had a lot of paintings I did not know he painted. It was interesting since he was crazy:) The Rijksmuseum had a good mix of art from sculptures and paintings to ornate doll houses and silver platters and cups.

Amsterdam was an interesting place to visit.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Hockey Back on Track!

It's official. There will be a hockey season next year! The player basically got shafted (the AP reported that all players will take a 24% pay cut next year and accepted a salary cap and a link between revenue and player salaries) and the owners got everything they wanted. <sarcasm>Good thinking there players. Holding out for a better deal way back in February when the league offered a higher salary cap and no link between revenue and player salaries was clearly a good idea.</sarcasm>

I'm just glad my favorite sport is back in action.

And now, dancing from the true victims of this senseless strike: Referees!

Dave Matthews Band rules!!!

Last night Eric and I drove all the way to Atlanta's HiFi amplitheater so that we could see Dave Matthews Band in concert. I ordered the tickets back in the winter from the Warehouse, the official fan club of dmb. It is cool to belong because you get seniority for ordering tickets. I have belonged since 1996 so Eric and I always get close seats. Last night was actually the farthest we have been in a while, middle lower section, row 12. The amplitheater was small so the seats were still pretty good. The concert kicked ass!! This was the 11th or 12th time I had seen them and they still kick ass! The music was awesome! I felt like I was 18 again without a care in the world and I danced my heart out! It ruled! They played a good mix of new and old songs. To top it off, Trey Anastasio from Phish came out and jammed with them for two songs!! It was history!! I never had gone to a Phish concert because I was too busy going to dmb concerts, but Trey is an awesome guitarist!! There is nothing like being at a concert with good music, the smell of weed burning, and the smell of beer flowing! dmb rules in concert. In this day and age where most bands suck live, it is great to go see a band that is better live than they are on the album! It is like a giant dance party when you are there and if you aren't dancing then you are a fucking square. They covered "Time of the season", which ruled so it was like a hippy love fest!! Here is the set list for those of you that care:

One Sweet World
Dream Girl
Don’t Drink the Water
Hunger For The Great Light
Dancing Nancies
Say Goodbye
Time Of The Season
Stolen Away On 55th & 3rd
American Baby
Smooth Rider
Stand Up
Jimi Thing *
Louisiana Bayou *
You Might Die Trying
What You Are
Special Guests:* Trey Anastasio

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

More trip info...

Here is some more paris recap. The whole language thing was hard in Paris. We did not take the time to learn too much french since when Eric and I went to Italy, most people knew English. They were used to tourists and knew where the money came from. The French are so egotistical that they think you should have learned their whole language for your 5 day trip! Geez! We got by though. Luckily, Paul and Sue knew enough French to get us by.

We did all of the tourist stuff. We went on a boat-bus tour the first night which was cool. We got to see all of the main attractions and were able to get a good idea of where things were. We ended up at the Eiffel tower just as the sun was about to disappear and we got into line to go up to the very top. After standing in three lines to go up two elevators, it was quite cool being at the top and seeing the city all lit up. We finished up about midnight and tried to find a taxi since we were very far from our hotel. You had to basically jump on the taxi's near the tower because so many people were trying to get one. Finally I almost killed myself and snagged one only to have the guy say he can only drive 3 people not 4 even though he had 4 seats. I guess his water bottles really needed the front seat to sit on! What a dick! Every taxi we took after that had no problem with taking 4 people.

On Day two we went to Notre Dame which wasn't far from Paul and Sue's hotel. It is a spectacular sight. It is just amazing to me that it took 200 hundred years for them to make it from 1400-1600. The gothic architecture was just amazing to see. We wandered around it for a while and just took it in.

After Notre Dame we went on to the Musee D'orsay, a museum that houses many works including some by Monet and Van Gough. It was cool. Eric and I love art so we just loved going into the museums. It is neat to see paintings by famous painters up close so that you can see in person what makes them so great! I am a big fan of impressionists so it was very cool to see real Monets.

That night we went out to dinner and shared a bottle of wine, which is what we tried to do every night! French wine is ok. Sorry Kien, but I gotta say that I didn't like the french wine as much as I did the Italian wine. I guess I am a snob now ;)

Also, people always say that Paris is the city of love and romance. I don't get that. I think Venice is way more romantic than Paris. You can't beat the canals, gondolas, italian music playing along the canals, and the twinkling lights lit along the canals. Paris just does not try very hard to make people feel welcome and to put up the romantic ambience.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Paris: The land of different

I'm going to start with Paris and work my way up to Amsterdam with a bunch of posts. No pictures yet. Sorry.

You know, the wisdom of Pulp Fiction will never cease to amaze me. In this particular case, I'm talking to the point about, "They got same shit over there that we have here. Just there it's a little different."


Cars - They are tiny. REALLY tiny. Remember Geo Metros? Those would be the equivalent of a Lincoln Navigator over there. Of course, if my gas was $4.65 a gallon, I would drive a petal powered sewing machine with wheels if it could get me to work.

Driving - I used to think that driving in Europe was absolutely insane: No lines on the road, cars within inches of hitting each other, scooters and motorcycles weaving in and out at their leisure... It's a scary place for anyone but a NYC cab driver to drive. But the more I watched it while I was in Paris from our 4th floor window, the more I started to realize that it really was a pretty elegant driving system. From above, it really looks like water flowing through a pipe. Cars are small enough that they can squeeze by some pretty small spaces. Moreover, you never see someone stick there head out of a window and flip the guy off next to them for getting too close or cutting them off. They just let the guy in if he gets even the smallest part of his car in front. It really has a very Zen like feel to the whole thing (once you stop worrying about dying I mean).

Refrigeration - Apparently that technology has not crossed over to Europe in general. Drinks were never served with ice. The museums were always 10 degrees warmer than I thought they should be. We did have a very Marilyn Monroe moment involving Sue's skirt and an air conditioner vent inside the Louvre though:)

Fast Food - First, they don't have a lot. Yes, we went in a McDonalds. Yes, it really is called a Royale with Cheese. Yes, they have beer (it tastes like every light beer you have ever had). But there are other differences. Most noticeable is that the largest size drink there is...uh...disappointing for Americans. It's about the size of our medium drinks here (the regular was the size of those early morning coffee cups). I felt like going SuperTroopers on the lady and telling her, "I want a liter of cola!" I would have if she had spoken any English.

Language - Speaking of which, the English speaking portion of Paris is SMALL. Either that or they just cannot be bothered. To be fair, I never bothered either, as I never took a foreign language in High School. That makes me completely useless when reading French signs or speaking to wait staff. I went into a little pastry store to order a...uh...lets call it a very rich doughnut because I can't remember the French word for it. It went something like this:

Lady behind counter: Bonjour

Me: Bonjour (this was the only French word I could consistently use correctly). I would like one of these. < points to a collection of doughnuts in the case>

Lady behind counter: <something unintelligible in French>

Me: (I assume she asked me how many I wanted) two (I even hold up the fingers)

Lady behind counter: (slightly more angry) <something unintelligible in French>

Me: (I think she may now have asked what flavor. Or if my belly button is purple. Or perhaps it was just a snippy comment about how I as an American should wipe my ass with the napkins they have because she was never going to serve one of her pasteries to someone who could not learn a language like French. Hard to tell for me.) Uh....That one <points at a doughnut>

Lady behind counter: (slightly more angry still and louder) <something unintelligible in French>

Me: (starting to drool now and noticing that like 14 people have walked in in the mean time and are trying to decide if I have had a stroke and lost the use of all communication functions or if I am just an American) <points at a doughnut> (I don't even bother trying to pretend I know what she is saying any more).

Luckily some lady behind me that could speak English saved me at that point. Otherwise, I might still be standing at that counter blindly pointing at the pseudo-doughnut.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

America, F%$k Ya Again!

Just as an FYI, we are back in the good old U. S. of A. after our fourth of July celebration in Amsterdam. I will say for those unaware that the reason the blog has been quiet for so long is that Sue and I were on vacation in Paris for 5 days and Amsterdam for 4 days. It was great. Really great! But Sue and I are both too jet lagged to write anything clever at the moment (7 hours difference is rough!). When we have pictures back (Thursday or Friday), I intend to post a ton of them to the blog.