Thursday, November 06, 2008

California Prop 8 and Religion Just Might Send You to Hell

Here in California, Proposition 8, which is the ban on gay marriage, has just passed 52.2% “Yes” to 47.8% “No”. I can’t help to attribute a great deal of the “yes” votes to ideals stemming from religious beliefs. In fact, according to this demographic, the highest groups that voted “yes” were McCain voters (84%), voters over 65 (62%), identify as conservative (87%), live in inland counties (57%), high school education (62%), and protestants (60%). Some articles say that Obama’s stance against gay marriage may have swung the votes in Prop 8’s favor due to the 70% “yes” black vote, but 73% of Obama voters voted “no”. Also, Obama said that even though he was against gay marriage, he was also against Prop 8.

To those who voted “yes” for religious purposes I say, did any of you stop to think that your blind following of a man-made religion might end up sending you to Hell, if such a place exists? Stop to think about it for a minute. Were the enslavement, rape, murder, and tortures during the Crusades, the Muslim Conquests, or the Reconquista justified because they were backed by religion? Maybe our “test” on this planet isn’t how faithful we are, but if we can tell the difference between right and wrong. Doesn’t that make more sense?

We don’t know if there’s a Heaven or Hell or if God exists, but one thing that we do know is that our fellow humans exist. How can we place worshiping a God that we’ve never met over the happiness and well being of our neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers with whom we have formed intimate relationships?

Religion has been wrong so many times in the past that it’s astonishing how people can still think that maybe “they” are right this time. Religious beliefs and practices only stand up as long as society will tolerate. Abortion is legal in all states. Premarital sex is everywhere. Nobody above the age of 13 feels guilty for masturbating. Everyone tells white lies. Tolerance, instead of forced conversion, of other religions brings us peace. And, soon, gay relationships and marriages will be as sinful as being born.

All we’re doing now is waiting for the old ideals to die out so that we can right the wrongs of our past.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Best Job in the World: Man vs Wild Photographer


Most people have seen Man vs Wild, where the host, Bear Grylls, is dropped off into some remote place on the planet and needs to survive until he finds civilization. The other day my housemate and I talking about how Survivorman is so much more authentic because there’s no camera crew in case he gets in really deep shit. But, then I started watching Survivorman and I was bored out of my mind. I mean, would you rather watch someone being practical and going around a sand trap or take a running start and jumping right in it? Would you rather have Les Stroud tell you about the dangers of a scorpion or watch Bear Grylls eat it? Would you rather have Les tell you about what kind of animal droppings are on the ground, or watch Bear drink water out of elephant shit?

I started to realize that this Brit was doing stuff for absolutely no reason. I saw him jump into a bog, just for the hell of it. He’s crawled into a camel carcass just to tell us about how it could be a nice shelter (I’m still giving Han Solo credit for that one). How does he think of all of this extremely entertaining stuff? He must have help.

In order to come up with things on the order magnitude of ridiculousness that Bear does in his shows, he must have some creative geniuses nearby. My guess is that his camera crew is made up of the baddest-ass motherfuckers at Double-Dare that anyone has ever seen. Imagine walking around with this guy and just saying, “Dude, I double dare you to kill that poisonous snake, piss into its skin, and then drink it later - along with the snake guts!” He actually did this, but I can’t find any videos of it. On the same episode, he stuck his face into a bee hive to get a couple of bites of honey. Allergic reaction below:


I would love to apply to be Bear Grylls’ photographer. Here are some of my ideas:

-Bear, I double-dare you to eat the first non-human moving thing that you see in the next 30 seconds.

-Bear, I double-dare you to trap yourself under a boulder and eat your own arm.

-Bear, I double-dare you to stuff your pockets with beef jerky and chicken guts and then sprint around the jungle for 45 minutes.

-Bear, I double-dare you to kill that sheep, pour its blood all over yourself, and then wrestle a lion, naked.

-Bear, I double-dare you to slap that baboon’s red ass and say, “Girrrrrrl, where did you get that badonkadonk?”

-Bear, I double-dare you to wait until the mother returns, eat an eagle egg out of the nest, and then escape on a hang-glider made of your t-shirt and a few tree branches.

Readers, what kind of dares would you have for Bear?

Bear has his own blog here.
Les has his own blog here.


Check out my blogs on Garage Sale Blog Network.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Habitat for Humanity



I finally had some time to volunteer and chose to do Habitat for Humanity for the greater San Francisco Area, representing Lockheed Martin. Rather than write an entire blog entry, I'll might as well link you to someone who did already. Robin Manning was the on-site lead for the project that I did, which was dry-wall. He's a recent Berkley grad with an architecture degree. Keep it up Robin, you're doing some great things out there!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Freedom


I think I must have gone from the optimism three years ago that I was going through a 1/4 life crisis at 25 years old to the reality that I am now going through a 1/3 life crisis at 28 years old. Right now I live a pretty fast-paced life - meeting new people all the time and transitioning lives at a rate of what seems like every three months. I’m going to work, getting my MBA, participating in a leadership development program at work, going out all the time, and visiting new cities pretty often. While everything that I’m experiencing is exciting and eye-opening, the one thing that I am severely lacking is: identity.


I’m at the point where I feel like I almost have too much freedom. Before college all you could really do was go to school, participate in extracurricular activities, and hang out with friends in your spare time. That was it. In college all you did was drink and do your best to graduate. Now, in the real world, I have way too many options. Sometimes I think I want to be an engineer, sometimes a business man, then maybe a lawyer, possibly a dentist, a music or independent movie producer, a professional poker player, a computer programmer; I could be a nurse, and maybe I’d be happy doing volunteer work in a third-world country. Four of my friends are getting married this year. Seeing them as happy as they are makes me want to settle down with a nice girl, treat her like a queen, and start a family. But then seeing ten hot women in a single night makes me want to keep up my life of having no idea what’s around the corner. Performing engineering and operations work makes me happy, but seeing clothes, cars, houses, and (frankly) women I can’t afford makes me feel insufficient.


All of this freedom is confusing me about who I am. Am I a nice guy or a player? Am I down to earth or materialistic? Do I want to socialize or do I need some time to myself? Do I care about school? Do I care about work? Which people do I care about and who don’t I have time for? –These are serious questions that need to be answered if I’m going to have any sort of consistency in my life. I woke up last night and I didn’t know where I was. I was in my own room. I had to turn the lights on and reach back in my memory bank to convince myself that this is where I’ve lived for the past two years.


So, what should I do with all of this freedom? I have the funds to travel wherever I want; the personality to meet whoever I want; the networks to work wherever I want; the mind to learn whatever I want; and the physicality to build/play/eat/drink/f*ck/punch/climb whatever I want. And, it’s not like this is rare – most people my age are exactly the same way. How do you have enough changes to keep from getting bored and still have things stay the same?


I’m not 100% sure what the answer is, but I think that 80% of it is in the people close to you. It’s amazing how much of who you are is stored in the people that you love and that love you. The people that know you the best will always be your “home”. As soon as I get back from vacations and have some time to relax, I always tell my new stories to those close to me. Same thing goes for them as they have unique life experiences. All of that corny shit about friends and family being #1 really has some meaning. Mom and dad, you’re right as usual – go ahead with the “I told you so”s and treating me like I’m still 14.


That’s reminding me of my 1/8 life crisis.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Triumphant Tribulations

A sad, but true revelation I had the other day is that the best way to get close to someone is to go through a tragedy with them. Think about the people that you are closest with. Family is always there to support you through your difficulties. Best friends are ones that are there for you other during hard times. And, soul mates are ones that can understand you and get you through anything.

My old housemate met some guy that she didn't seem initially that into, even though he had some great qualities. She wasn't ready to settle down, he lived far away, and they had a lot of differences at first. They were seeing each other for a few months until her dad sadly passed away from lingering brain cancer. It was undoubtedly the worst tragedy of her life, but he was the perfect guy about supporting her and helping her through the hard time. He talked to her every night. He bought her flowers. He visited her family. He made her tragedy his tragedy. And, this is how they fell in love.

Every cloud has its silver lining - this was it. She was able to see what a great guy he was and he showed that he had the rare ability to make her happy in the saddest of times. She's since moved out of my house to get a condo with him in Daly City. A few weeks ago they also got engaged. A lot of how your life ends up depends on how you take advantage of opportunity - no matter how morbid the situation. "Bad" things only exist because "good" things exist as well.

In all honesty, I don't think that I can be fully appreciated without tragedy. If a woman I'm with never gets sick, she'll never know how well I can take care of her. If she never has a bad day, she'll never know how I can turn them around. If she never cries, I'll never get the chance to support her. And, if she's never been mistreated or with the wrong guy, she may never realize what she's got in me.

I don't want to sound manipulative or want anyone to think that I hope my next girlfriend's grandma or dog dies, but I do have a strong desire to be appreciated. The best thing about being appreciated is that it lasts a lifetime. I know that whenever my ex'es are used by some player, they remember how honest I was. Sometimes when they laugh in public, it was because they remembered how funny I was. And, when they think about their future with the guy they're with, that guy is going to be measured up based on some of my qualities. On the downside, they'll probably also remember how conceited, stubborn, offensive, messy, and good in bed I was (oh wait, scratch that last one).

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

My Travel "Buddy"

You haven't experienced the plane flight from hell until you've sat next to this guy:

Crying babies, coughing sickly men, over-talkative grandmas, and chair-kicking kids have nothing on this guy. I was on my way to Pittsburgh, PA for school and I found my self on a flight that got progressively worse.

My classmate and I boarded early and took the outer (window and aisle) seats in hopes of having the middle one free for our jackets and to spread our arms out. We had a good ploy going, her pretending to sleep and me reading a book and avoiding eye contact with other passengers. But, it turned out the plane was full and someone had to take that seat. All I remember is some guy saying to his son, "There's an empty seat right there." Reluctantly, I scooted into the middle seat. Damn that guy, he must've known what he was doing to me!

My first mistake was not pulling the arm rest down between this 20-something year old kid and me. I was distracted with some really strange small talk and made he way onto half of my seat (he was a big kid). I first noticed because he had pushed his leg right up against mine and he kept flinching. I decided to stand my ground, at the cost of rubbing legs with the adult version of Cartman without his A.D.D. medicine. Okay, that was bad, but it got worse.

I thought that things would get better once this oaf fell asleep and stopped twitching. I was tremendously wrong. As soon as Chunk's (from Goonies) twin brother went to sleep, that's when the craziness ensued. First, he snored louder than anything I've ever heard .... no joke. And, this was on a plane packed with people. Then, he flinched like he was leading Beethoven's 5th Symphony - arms up in the air and elbows flying left and right. Eventually, he hung his entire body off of the end of the seat so that his head and arm were completely in the aisleway. Those unfortunate enough to have to pass this guy to reach the restroom would pause, confused on how to squeeze by without waking him up, laugh a little bit, then look over at me with a pitied look as if I was a boy who just got his dog run over. I had the worst seat in the house and they all knew it.

The flight attendant made the mistake of waking the kid up to give him his drink. Predictably, Spanky's (from Little Rascals) slightly retarded uncle fell asleep, one hand in his cup, and then woke up with a spastic toss of ice and Dr Pepper into the unsuspecting crowd. I spent the entire 3 hour 15 minute flight awake in a zombie like state, too afraid of what would happen to me if I dozed off. I thought to myself that falling asleep and facing Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street...c'mon, you guys have got to start getting these movie references) would not be such a bad compromise, if I had that option.

All in all, it was a terrible flight. But, at least I got some sweet cameos. Check it!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Vote For Chris Bosh, All Star 2007-2008

This video is so hilarious that I had to vote for Chris Bosh.



To vote go here.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Boarding Videos

I went boarding Dec 14, 20, and 22 at Northstar and then Kirkwood. I bought a cheap, small 720p digital camcorder in order to make boarding videos. I'm going to wait to do tricks until the end of the season, but here are 3 funny videos that we made.