Words, Weights, Whatever

Friday, May 04, 2007

When someone you know may have caused a death

I just found out, through on-line news, that an
associate of mine may have contributed to the death of
a bystander.

I'm in shock. Even though I don't know him personally,
we've met and chatted at many a show. I'm still
sorting my feelings over the matter.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

How I lost my religion by hitting an animal

Around five years ago, I was in a religious kick.
Buddhism, Taoism, etc., if it was an Eastern or pagan
religion, I had a least read something about it.

I was seriously looking into paganism (not Wiccan;
there's a difference) when, while driving home one
night, I felt my car hit something. Oh, no, ran
through my mind as I U-turned into the opposite lane.
Sure enough, a few yards down, on the other lane,
there was a dead raccoon. I got out of my car and
approached it cautiously but ready to bolt.

R. once told me there's a palpable difference when
something once alive dies. I didn't fully understand
it until I saw the creature. I debated about picking
up the body to put into my car and bury it but just
couldn't. Instead, as I drove home that night, I lost
whatever remaining faith I had in divinity.

Even now I can't fully explain it. I believe a lot of
it had to do with the advice I received after the
incident. R. gave comforting words; my pagan
companions offered emotional support and prayers. But
all I felt was...nothing. No, scratch that, anger.
Anger at what so-called "benevolent deity" would allow
the accident to happen in the first place. Does a
parent allow their child into the street during
traffic hour? Was this suppose to be some sort of
"lesson" to teach me...what? That there's death in the
world or bad things happen to good people? There's a
big difference between slapping a child's hand when
they've been naughty versus torturing them.

Other pagans pointed to the "eternal" cycle of life,
death, rebirth. I understood that but, even more so,
realized just how "impersonal" was that force. Why
worship a so-called deity when your prayers have no
impact on its "decisions" on who lives and dies?
Worship just because we're alive by its whim? I'm
sorry, but that smacks me of parent-child relationship
and I'm not a child anymore. Besides, what child
whoreships a parent who, arbitrarily and no
explanation, kills creatures and allows evil in the
world to flourish?

R. said it best years later that we--humanity--were
created, then abandoned, by God. Which is good;
orphans realize they have to rely on themselves
instead of pining away for a "parent" who'll never

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May Resolutions

While most folks make their New Year's resolutions at
the beginning of the, well, "new year", I make mine on
May, my birth month. They include:

Drop at least 40 pounds. How? Switching to a
high-vegetable, fruit diet. Increase protein intake
from non-meat sources (e.g., soy) while eliminating
most carbs after 6PM. Increase cardio workouts from
once a week to at least three times a week. Resume
weight-training with an emphasis on toning and
conditioning. That means four times a week of light
weights/low reps (which is much harder than strength
building or mass increase). Lower cholesterol by May

Complete reading at least one fiction book a week. (I
haven't decided yet if I want to rejoin my friends in
our reading group.)

Throw a summer party for friends. We're thinking
either June, July, or August.

Have house ready for family/friend visit by October.
(This project alone merits its own post.)

Donations by year's end. This can be combined with
prepping the house for family/friend visit.

Budget by end of May.

Run at least one rpg by year's end.

Upload at least 500 new books for book business by

Complete all stalled house projects by year's end.
Projects include bathroom fixtures and flooring.

Cull down comic book subscription to five titles (at
most) by July.

Buy a new car by end of May.

As I mentioned with the house project, several of
these merit their own posts. I'll be posting on them

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Weekend Words

R. and I have something we call our "holidays." These
are events that are as meaningful to us as traditional
holidays are to the vast majority of Americans.

This weekend kicked off our "holidays" with the Los
Angeles Times' Festival of Books. We arrived Saturday
morning around 10AM and, after quickly gobbling down
an overpriced and undertasted meal, spent the next few
hours in lines to sign our paltry collection of first
editions. Mary Higgins Clark. M.T. Anderson. Lawrence
Wright. Time passed quickly. Thankfully, the weather
was (relatively) cool though the sun was definitely

We toured the fair around 4Pm before heading into
Westwood for an extremely filling meal at our favorite
Italian restaurant.

Sunday was a shorter version of Saturday. Around 2PM
we were, finally, released from our signing
obligation. We checked out the booths and came away
with booty. Unfortunately for the sellers (but
fortunate for our pocketbooks), we found few items,
books or otherwise, worth of note. My biggest haul
were three cool T-shirts.

And speaking of T-shirts: My T, "What Happens In The
Library Stays In The Library" got plenty of remarks,
with one guy actually taking a picture of me in it! R.
suggests I get paid by Overdue Media
http://www.overduemedia.com/ for marketing their

After a couple of hours, we headed into WeHo, a first
for months. I don't know about you, but the folks
there look like clones, i.e., all rail thin, hair
coiffed, and clothing tight-fitting. Yet as I told my
buddy C.S. later, they all had the look of...longing?
Jealousy? Brain-dead? I can understand that face on
the twinks but not on the older gents. Folks, there
are other places to make friends besides the bar, you

Next up: Anime Expo!

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