onib: (Romeo)
A relationship can be a lot like a tree.

Sometimes it has to be cut down and removed. Perhaps it has grown wild and spread out into unwanted directions. Perhaps it grew more quickly to become much larger than you ever expected it to be and now it is a threat to your other trees and plants, or even your home itself. Perhaps it fooled you and is not the tree you thought it would be, but rather has turned out to be only a source of toxic and poisonous fruit. Perhaps it is diseased and either died long ago or will soon collapse. Perhaps it simply no longer “goes” with the rest of your property and must be removed to achieve a vision for what your yard *should* be.

These are all perfectly valid reasons to remove the offending tree.

Of course, in many of these cases, the tree could be pruned and/or trained into a shape that would negate the need to cut it down (or if you already knew the shape you wanted it in, you could have been doing this all along). This might be worth the effort, especially if you have already put so much time and energy and love into the tree. Remember, with a little shaping, that tree could provide support and protection for all of the things you think it currently threatens. However, if you choose not to fix the things that are wrong, but simply kill the tree outright, that is a perfectly valid decision. No one could fault you for doing what you truly think is best with your landscape.

But a relationship is *not* a tree, it is only like one. This is a simile, not a metaphor.

Yes, sometimes you have to decide that you must end a relationship with a friend or partner or whatever regardless of how it affects them...for your own good, for their good, or for the good of others you care about. But when you do so, at least show the relationship some respect. Unless the other person poses a danger, give them a chance to say goodbye and to express their own feelings. Bury the relationship together. Maybe even hold a wake for it with drinking and stories and songs. Then you can both walk away remembering why you had the relationship in the first place and not spend the rest of your lives thinking only of how painful it was when it died.

And absolutely NEVER just write them to explain all of your own thoughts and feelings and reasons, and then cut them off without a chance to respond in any way. Doing so says far more about you than it does about them. If you ever cared for someone at all, how could you treat them like an unfeeling object to be tossed away? How can you unilaterally decide that you deserve to have the last word, to get to end things however you want, and that they get nothing - not even to say goodbye? If the end result is the same, why take the path that forever taints all that was positive about the relationship? Why salt the earth so nothing will ever grow there again?

I have now experienced this very scenario happening to either myself or people I care very deeply for (and who deserve so much better) on multiple occasions. It is not fair, it is not right, it makes a mockery of whatever closeness ever existed in the relationship, and it is utterly inexcusable.
onib: (Default)
I would like to congratulate the European Food Standards Authority and European Commission for their open-mindedness. After their decision in mid-November to ban bottled water companies from claiming that drinking water can prevent dehydration, they were widely ridiculed. In their defense, a 3-year study by a panel of 21 scientists found no direct correlation between drinking water and an active prevention of dehydration - technically, reduced water content in the body is a symptom of dehydration, not a cause, and thus, drinking water cannot subsequently be claimed to control the condition. Well, upon further consultation with the panel of scientists, they will still not allow water bottles to claim to prevent dehydration, but they can now claim that water helps regulate body temperature and maintain the body's physical and mental functions. I'm glad that, given today's climate of fear and instability within the EU, everyone could find a middle ground on this very important issue.


Jan. 14th, 2011 12:20 am
onib: (Us)
Many of you who also follow Amy's journal know that our oldest cat, Penelope, passed away this week. Amy & I have cried together a lot and also distracted ourselves a lot. Right now, I'm still not up for talking about it publicly.

Instead, I will mention the fact that in a couple of hours, I'm going in for a vasectomy. I'm not all that nervous about it, but I was surprised how many general health exams they wanted ahead of time. So, I may be sitting on our couch for the next couple of days with bags of frozen peas on hand.

In the interest of spreading around some humor at this time, I have to link to a song that's been in my head a lot recently. It's "The Ballad of Dr. Stopp" by Worm Quartet. The artist accurately describes it as a "Celtic power metal synth-punk vasectomy ballad." It's NSFW due to the subject matter and a few inappropriate words, but still very funny. I've been meaning to share a comedy addendum album along with our annual CD, and this will definitely be included on it.

Enjoy, and best wishes, everyone! I hope to come back and visit more often.

onib: (Default)
I was driving to work today, as I do most days of the week, and noticed a church sign. Now I enjoy reading church signs even if they bug me sometimes - 'cause who I am to turn down a free pun (that's what most of them end up being anyway). Anyhow, thanks to the Church Sign Maker, I have roughly recreated it for you here:

This had me wondering. There's no sort of punctuation between the lines...and even if there was, it would not flow into any recognizable English sentence. Even if you added a "TO" between the lines, the message just becomes kinda creepy.

So, I think the church is using guilt to make people feel bad about not following the Ten Commandments. Obviously, they are just making a regular statement of fact.

The youngest of the Intergalactic Mold People always show deference to their progenitors. Shouldn't you do the same?
onib: (Us)
Well, since it's been almost a month since my last post, it's time to jump back on the saddle again.

First off, let me mention that when Amy & I celebrated our 12-year anniversary last month (wow, that seems long), I took a 1-month IOU on my side of the anniversary gift. You'll hear about it soon...as soon as Amy does. :) I think I did well in the planning, but I'll let her be the judge of that. One thing I can say is that I really can't properly express how very much I love that woman!

Amy, however, was infinitely better at time management than I was and commissioned an excellent work of art from [livejournal.com profile] joannabarnum in advance. Thank you so much, Joanna! It looks amazing! I still find myself just staring at it for minutes at a time. The scene is from the story Amy wrote that was loosely based on us and is sprinkled with loads of references to us. I'll hide it behind the cut for size, but I encourage everyone to go take a look.

Please take at look... )

Happy belated New Year to everyone!
onib: (Default)
This is why I love Seth Green. Yes, he was freakin' awesome on Buffy and all that, and I always catch Robot Chicken. But this cracked me up.

In response to the Internet phenomenon of Chris Crocker's "Leave Britney Alone" crying rant, Seth teamed with E!'s The Soup and put out this lovely little bit of parody. [I don't really care if the Chris Crocker thing was legitimate or an attempt at instant celebrity, I still found it pretty funny in and of itself.]

Anyhow, just wanted to share a bring a smile to people's faces. Have a great weekend, and let me give a special thanks to all of you who went to town on that math problem yesterday. It was awesome to wake up to an inbox full of friends working out equations. Yes, that does in fact make me a freak.

R.I.P. #30

Sep. 11th, 2007 03:48 pm
onib: (Us)
I'm still experiencing a fair amount of dull pain in my jaw. After a largely unsuccessful life, #30 (my lower right front-most molar) finally went terminal. In the 25 years or so since it replaced its baby-tooth forbearer, it's had a couple of silver fillings, a porcelain filling, a crown, and a root canal. Anyhow, at some point, decay got into the space between the tooth and the crown and completely ate it away. There was no pain since it had already had a root canal, so the first I knew of it was my crown coming loose. I went to the dentist to have the crown re-glued or whatever only to find that there was no tooth surface to which the crown could stick. Basically every bit of the tooth down to the gum line had decayed. The crown merely prevented me from removing it at all, so the decay had free reign. Don't you love preventative medicine that makes things worse?

Anyhow, I had the tooth yanked last week, and now I'm dealing with taking care of an empty socket until the bone in my jaw can regrow and fill in the space left by the roots. Then, I'll go back and have a hollow, screw-like metal bar drilled into my jaw so I can get a permanent implant. I like the way implants are done - there's nothing to ever have to take out of your mouth and clean. All replacement parts literally grow into your bone structure and become part of your body. So, right now I'm only a couple of months away from becoming a cyborg. Woohoo!

Although, it's really annoying to be in some level of constant pain and have to worry every time I eat that nothing gets stuck in there, one huge advantage of having #30 ripped out is that the hideous constant taste in my mouth is gone. Amy & I have been trying to figure out what was wrong for quite a while. I generally carry around 5 or so different breath control products, especially since Amy has a much more finely tuned sense of smell than anyone else I know. Now I know why my breath was getting so bad. Something really literally was rotting inside my mouth. Yeach! I suppose the bad breath should have been a warning sign to get my teeth looked at more closely, but I've been getting regular exams, and noone ever noticed a problem. Silly people. Anyhow, the horrible smell/taste thing is gone, and now that the hole is healing, that constant flavor of iron is gone as well. It's so wonderful to finally have a non-nasty feeling mouth. I'm sure Amy appreciates it as well. :)

So, no pictures to gross you out or anything, but I just thought I should throw out some kind of update on what's going on with my health. I hate losing a tooth before I'm even 35, but hopefully this will help the rest of my oral health.
onib: (Default)
I recently discovered "Home on the Strange." I think I may have seen it a long time ago, but it never really clicked. However, I followed a link back to it the other day, and it was like going down a rabbit hole. Besides being generally geek related, I saw several references to TMBG, Doctor Who, and other obscura that I get all flustered about. In among all the comics was this little gem I thought I'd share.

onib: (Default)
Huh...so that's what decent into insanity feels like.

TMBG just released their new album in a physical copy yesterday. Anyhow, they put up a video to one of the songs on YouTube. I love how it reminds me of the Istanbul video and enjoyed the visual references to their Ana Ng video and their Apollo 18 cover. However, wow, I get worried every time something in it starts making sense to me.

onib: (Us)

First off, I must say I am very excited about Camelot. We finally ran the whole show last night. We met at 6, started running the show at 6:30, took a 30-minute intermission, and finished the whole thing around 11:30. So now we figure out how to speed up scene changes and give electro-shock to dragging dialogue so that we can trim and hour & a half off of show time (otherwise we keep evening-show audience members there until 1am). There is a reason this is called hell-week. My schedule for the week will be something like this:

1> Wake up around 6:30 (not so early that I don’t get any sleep, but not so late that I don’t get any time with Amy).
2> Get to work by 8:00
3> Leave work at 4:00
4> Get home around 4:30
5> Eat dinner with Amy, fix hair & make-up, gather stuff, and leave by 5:30
6> Run play and listen to notes
7> Get home around midnight
8> Clean tights in sink, hang up
9> Wave to Amy & collapse in bed
8> Lather, rinse, repeat

I am sooooo sleeping in this Saturday. For some people this might not be too crazy of a schedule, but it means I don't get anything else done in my life or around our house, and it means that Amy & I have hardly any time to spend together each day. You have to understand how important it is to me to come home every day and spend every possible second with Amy to grasp exactly how disrupting this all is.

I feel like I'm involved in the whole play. Although my part isn't that huge, I'm also handling a lot of set piece changes, which means I hang out in the wings a lot when everyone else wanders off to the green room. After making sure I memorized all my lines, lyrics, dance steps, and blocking, now I'm trying to wrap my head around where I have to be and when in order to make sure all my stuff is moved correctly.

The costumes are really incredible, although I believe we’ll be finding a new pair of leg-ware for me. They got me nude tights to match my gold-colored vest, but everyone, including the directing staff, agrees that the color is so close to my skin tone that I often look like I’m just wandering around on stage with no pants. o_O

Well, I should get back to the grindstone so I don’t disrupt my delicate schedule. I’ll be sure to let everyone know how it’s going when I get the chance.
onib: (Us)
I am so stoked to get away this weekend. We've been too busy "doing" for far too long. Now, we can just relax and "be" for a while. I'm also looking forward to getting out to Sandy Hook again. (I even uploaded an appropriate mp3 for everyone). After years of earning points at Marriott hotels, it's pretty awesome to cash some in and have wonderful getaways for free.

Anyhow, we'll be mostly incommunicado for the weekend, but we should be back fairly soon (all too soon, unfortunately). Then, I have to buckle down for the play. We open 2 weeks from today and we haven't run the whole show through yet. Admittedly, that's part of their plan (keep the emotions fresh and real by not locking too much down too early). Still, I'll feel much better once I know how it's going to run. After the show closes, it'll be such a relief, and such a freeing of our time together.

*waves* I'm not posting much, but I'm still out here reading. Just so you know...
onib: (Default)
I'd like to thank Jonathan Coulton for pointing out Alanis Morissette's cover of The Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps." I've embeded the video below for everyone's optimal enjoyment. Usually, I find out about something like this through Amy, so I'm surprised that either (1) I heard about it first, or (2) she saw this weeks ago and never got around to mentioning it to me!

onib: (Default)
Is anyone familiar with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)? It's been happening lately in the US & Europe. CCD is when a beehive is suddenly left empty by all adult workers, leaving the queen, immature bees, and eggs. The worker bees that fly off simply never return to the nest. The amount of bees disappearing has been increasing in many areas, causing some people to worry about this year's crop harvest and international food supplies.

Well, now some German researchers are saying that there is evidence that the phenomena may be related to cell phone use. Apparently, when bees are near cell phones, it totally throws off their internal direction system (see the article for more info). It seems to me that CCD should have happened sooner, since cell phones have been around for a while, but maybe there's something different with the new GSM phones. If true, it's like something from a Douglas Adams book. I mean, if our desire to have neat things directly results in massive world-wide extinctions (including our own), that's just sick and wrong on a cosmic level.
onib: (Default)
I'm excited to report that things have been fairly busy, but manageable.  I got 5 huge forsythia plant in the ground.  And believe me, that's no small feat in our yard of rock, clay, and unidentifiable silly-putty type substances.  I had my first meeting with the specialist, and I'm very excited about how my prospects look right now.  So woo!  Also, we had our first read-through for Camelot and I can already tell it's going to be a great show.  I can't wait to see how everything turns out.  Unfortunately, it seems my actual death scene takes place off stage, so no good sword fighting scenes for me.  Oh well...

Anyhow, I'll keep things short & sweet this time around.  Since Amy & I are about to head off to go do Eastery things with her family, let me leave you with an Easter song from Paul and Storm (one half of Da Vinci's Notebook).  It should be good for more than a couple of chuckles...

Paul and Storm - The Easter Song

Happy holidays to everyone celebrating the return of Spring, whatever your personal holiday celebration might be.
onib: (Default)
I have recently started reading a book we picked up at the bargain table at Borders a little bit ago. So far, it's been quite interesting reading. It's written by someone born into the Christian tradition that converted to Buddhism, and, generally speaking, the book examines the concept of the Devil throughout religious traditions (Ahriman of Zoroastrianism, Mara of Buddhism, Satan from the Jewish/Christian/Muslim faiths, etc.) and examines the impediments we all throw up to stop ourselves from "being good."

Anyhow, I really enjoyed the following two paragraphs from separate parts of the book and wanted to share...

Nowhere is Mara's treachery more apparent than when he suggests that death is nothing to worry about. For while personifying death, Mara is that quiet, consoling conviction that one will be exempt from it. "Long is the life span of human beings," he whispers. "One should live like a milk-sucking baby." Mara infantilizes us, makes us crave the blissful forgetfulness of being cuddled and nourished. He jump-starts the furious insistences to have what we want and the whine of thwarted desire. "Short is the life span of human beings," counters Buddha. "One should live as if one's head is on fire."

The devil is the contradictoriness of our nature. As soon as we make a foolhardy commitment to "enlightenment" or "salvation," we start being torn apart by diabolic forces we only dimly understand and can scarcely control. For when we choose to follow a path that Buddha described as "going against the stream," we choose to confront those fears and desires that hitherto we had either repressed or acted out. Like someone who has been swimming downstream with minimal effort only to discover how exhausting, uncomfortable, and unrewarding it is to swim against the current, so one who embarks on such a path will invariably encounter a legion of obstacles.

- Living with the Devil: A Meditation on Good and Evil - by Stephen Batchelor
onib: (Us)
Let me say to begin with that I am properly psyched to go see Spamalot in Philly this weekend. We picked up the soundtrack a while back (when we were on vacation with Amy's parents in Hawaii - woo). I had mixed feeling about how something as magical as "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" would fare when turned into a stage production, but listening to the soundtrack totally won me over. Amy got tickets for both for the occasion of my birthday last January, and this weekend marks the big day. We'll go to an afternoon showing, then walk down to Roy's for a phenomenal dinner together. After that, we'll crash at her sister's house so we can spend some time with her family on Sunday.

In other King Arthur related news, I now have a part in the local community theatre's production of Camelot. I had my first audition on Monday, then had callbacks on Wednesday. Officially, we're supposed to hear back about casting today or tomorrow, but as I was leaving last night, I passed the director in the parking lot and started chatting with him. (I was mentioning how singing through "The Lusty Month of May" got Jonathan Coulton's "First of May" [Warning: NSFW text & audio] stuck in my head.) He told me that despite the fact that nothing was being announced tonight, he had already decided most of his characters and wanted me to be Sir Lionel. He liked how I willing I was to jump through all the strange drama hoops they put you through at auditions ("Lay on the stage and become the element of water. Good, now interact with each of these other elements..."), and thought I seemed to have a lot of energy and presence. As Sir Lionel, I'm one of the top three knights who take on Lancelot. Sir Lionel ends up actually first getting killed in the fight with Lancelot, and then brought back to life by Lancelot. The director said I had a very honest and kind face, and letting the audience see me (who they will no doubt be generally rooting for) get killed will do the maximum damage. So hey, after 15 years out of the theatre, I get not only a bit in a play, but a part that has speaking and singing lines, dancing, sword-fighting, and a death scene. Yayyy me! Now, we just Amy to come be my groupie and work backstage, and we'll have some fun over the next couple of months when we're not working on the yard.
onib: (Default)
First off, taxes are finally on their way. I prefer to be done by now, but stuff came up (besides life stuff, I couldn't find last year's return and needed some data from it to finish this year's return...and of course Maryland requires data from your federal return rather than your W-2s like a reasonable state). Anyhow, we're not getting close to the windfall of last year, but at least it's in the positive direction, so that'll be nice. I'd like to thank the IRS for going out of its way to constantly remind me to claim my Federal Telephone Excise Tax credit. It may only be an extra $40, but now it's my extra $40.

I would now like to use this space to make two complaints, or air some pet peeves if you will. First of all, why is it that every time I go to Wal-Mart, I look at the long lines in the normal check-out aisles and pass them up to go to the short self check-out aisles. Now, I like self check-out aisles (although I have to give Amy a hard time for wanting to use them every time we go grocery shopping). However, it seems that I have the worst luck with them, but only at Wal-Marts. I always end up behind someone who has apparently never used one before and must slowly read every word on the screen before scanning each and every item. Then, they can't figure out how to use any of the payment options or have forgotten money altogether. You probably know I'm an extremely patient fellow. I don't get upset easily at people who are unfamiliar with technology, but how does this happen every time I go to the store?!? Yes, that's a petty peeve, but when your next in line and you still have to wait 15 minutes, it's gets a little frustrating.

My other peeve of the moment is with TV show DVDs. We signed up with Netflix a while back, and have really been enjoying watching TV shows that never played on channels we watched, or we didn't know to look out for originally. It's great if for no other reason that you can easily cancel the rest of the series if you find you don't like it. Sometimes, you find some real gems. For instance, I totally love Dead Like Me. It's from the mind of the same guy that brought us Wonderfalls and the similarities are numerous. I'd highly recommend it to any of you. Mighty fine show! So, anyway, on to the pet peeve. It is one more television DVD series that puts all of the deleted scenes from the entire season on the first disk. What is up with that? The new Doctor Who season is doing the same thing. That's well and good for people who own the box set, but why would you number the DVDs, and then make viewers have to watch them out of order so that they don't spoil anything for themselves?

Yeah, ok, those are fairly colossally petty annoyances, but sometimes it's only the little things that truly drive you up the wall.
onib: (Default)
Okay, so (understandably) I've had a song stuck in my head all day: "Love Causes Cancer" by Stuart Davis. I thought I might share with everyone else while it loops in my own head. You can listen to it online right here. I'll put lyrics below the cut...

Ahoy, Lyrics Below )

Italian Dig

Feb. 7th, 2007 09:41 am
onib: (Default)
Has anyone else seen the photos from the archaeological dig in northern Italy? I finally got to see some of the pictures on Yahoo News, and I thought I'd share. The story is that they found two human skeletons dating back to the Neolithic Period (3000-4000 BCE). As rare as it is to find two skeletons together, these two are relatively young and appear to be holding one another in an embrace. Some might call me morbid, but I love the fact that these two people have been curled up, looking at one another for the past 6000 years or so.

onib: (Default)
Okay, I just wanted to share this.

A local radio station is doing a pay-for-play format today, where they will play any song that they can legally play based on contributions which are collected for charity. Now, I know there's nothing new about this, but I wanted to share their published cost structure which I found wonderfully amusing:

  • Rock song on current playlist: $50
  • Rock song not on current playlist: $100
  • Non-rock song (outside of station format): $250
  • Song by a local band: $500
  • Song by a local band along with a 1 minute interview with the band: $750
  • "Stairway to Heaven" & "Freebird" played back to back: $1000
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