Friday, June 28, 2002

Oh, Grow Up

Yesterday, after I posted my thought of the day, I received a few responses. Yes, believe it or not, someone actually looked at this site. As you will remember yesterday I was commenting on how negativity begets negativity. According to someone, me acknowledging this fact makes me all of the sudden grown-up. I guess before that I was a child, which I won't complain about because I would rather be a kid my entire life than have to be an adult in this crazy, wacked-out world. Being told that I was now "grown-up" make me wonder about a few things. How can we actually judge maturity levels? I don't remember there ever being a book of rules somewhere that told us how much maturity we had. Is there some type of mathematical formula that we can use to figure out who's more mature than someone else? If there is, I want to know because I have a hard time judging people's maturity levels (usually because I'm just as immature and because I don't like judging people in general). I also don't think that anyone has a right to make that judgment anyhow, because maturity can be so subjective. Take me for an example. I have a job at a software company, read philosophy in my spare time, and write when I have the time. Wow, that sounds like a guy who is so mature and right with the world. I do improv comedy performances, love watching cartoons, talk like a little kid most of the time, and act like a middle schooler when it comes to girls. Hmm....that guys sounds like he needs to grow up and get his head screwed on straight. This is where that neat-o mathematical formula would come in handy. I guess I just don't believe that people should make judgment upon how "mature" other people are. I guess I just don't like it.

Speaking of improv, we have a show tonight, but unfortunately it is my night off so I won't be performing. I'm kind of disappointed, but I suppose I have to not perform some nights. I think my personal fan club might protest me not performing, though, Karl. Just kidding. After the show I think we're all headed to Treasure Island so that should be fun, and it should relieve my recent case of "negativity". Oh crap, I might just act like an immature child tonight. Oh well, that's me--Mr. Mature! How I've grown up......

Thursday, June 27, 2002

A Perpetual Downward Spiral

I managed to come up with a theory yesterday based upon myself. Here goes. In my opinion, I believe that lack of sleep and irritableness both feed off of each other and reinforce each other. By doing so they lead the person trapped by their effects down into a self-perpetuating descent away from happiness. I suddenly realized this for a couple of reasons yesterday.

To start it all off, for the last couple of weeks or so I have been becoming more and more anti-social and flip with people, especially the people close to me (which I'll talk about later). Some days I would get all worked up about little things and get into petty arguments over stupid stuff all the time. Yesterday kind of took the cake. On my drive home after work Sheryl called me on my cell phone. I really didn't know what I was doing that night and neither did she. I told her I'd get back to her because I wanted to go running and lift weights. If something else came up, she should go do it. For some reason we started arguing about it, for no real reason, I guess. In the middle of our argument, my phone disconnected because it hates me (and the service in the country isn't too grand). This caused my to yell repeatedly at my phone because it was obviously its fault. So that led to me being even more irritable. Sheryl managed to call back. I was already mad to begin with and pissed off at my phone so I proceeded to hop right into arguing mode instead of trying to be rational. Click...disconnected again. At that point my phone almost hit asphalt at 75 mph. She called back and I was really not happy so I just told her I'd talk to her later. I got home and parked in our driveway but as soon as I did my mom told me I had to move it because we were having people over for pictures (she's a professional photographer for those who don't know). There was half a driveway left for them to park in so I didn't understand why I had to move my car. Well, I was not in a good mood so being the jerk that I can be I got in my car, started it back up, moved my car from the driveway, and parked somewhere else. Well, it just happened that the somewhere else was in the middle of our lawn. I guess she figured out I was mad because she didn't say anything.

After that I lifted and ran and worked out all that good 'ol negative energy. I felt a little better. Sheryl then did come over later and we watched a movie. I felt bad for yelling at her and getting into a fight. I hoped she understood that I wasn't being a jerk just for the heck of it. After she left I probably should have went to bed, but I felt bad for being so crappy so I didn't sleep much. This had been happening a lot lately. I'd do something stupid or immature and then I would regret it and not be able to sleep. Since I didn't get much sleep I would be even more grouchy the next day. Repeat cycle ad infinitum. Hmmm....maybe that explains a little, maybe not. So I guess to anyone reading this I'm sorry if I'm a little grumpy sometimes, but I think I'll get over it soon.

Oh yeah, like I said before, I always seem to be the meanest to the ones I care about. I guess it's because I know they'll always be there (which they shouldn't be when I'm a jerk, but that's why I love you guys). It's always harder to be mean to someone you don't know too, because you have no real reason to be mad with them, but if it's someone you know, you can make any little thing into an issue. Sometimes you often read into things more than you should as well. That also leads to many complications. I can definitely say I've read into things way too much lately and made things complicated. Maybe I hate simple things. Whatever the reason, negativity easily leads to more negativity. Someone once told me that back in college (Nikki), but I never believed it. Now I think she might have had a point (but I'll probably never admit it).

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

CD Economics 101

I need to quickly get this out of my system. Record companies are wondering why they aren't selling as many cds nowadays, correct? Even an idiot like me knows why. High prices. An example from yesterday. I was looking forward to getting the new Soulfly cd because I think they are a very unique metal band (and I somehow enjoy Max Calvera's pointed lyrics). I also thought I might pick up the new Nonpoint and Union Underground cds if they weren't too expensive. I get to best buy and go to pick up my cds. I find Nonpoint first--$6.99. Good buy. Next, I grabbed the Union Underground disc--$4.99. Rockin' price. Walking around looking at stuff and I find the new Epidemic cd--$9.99. That's pushing my price boundary, but I pick it up anyways because I'm thinking of getting them. I see another special, Greenwheel's new cd--$5.99. Sweet! Lastly I go to pick up that wonderful new Soulfly cd--$11.99. Umm.....well.....I love Soulfly and all but $11.99 is just as much as I'm paying for two, count them two, cds by other bands. Out of all the cds I was going to buy I wanted the Soulfly cd the most, but I didn't buy it. Why? Because it cost double what some of the other cds I wanted cost. Even though I like those bands less because of the price I picked them up instead. I'm more than willing to throw down my cash every week to get some new cds, but I won't do it when it costs so much to do it. All I can say is that I might miss the new Soulfly cd a little but I sure am enjoying the Nonpoint and Union Underground cds I bought. More power for cheaper cds--that's how the record labels can end illegal copying.

On a completely different note, Fred and Wilma (referenced in a previous thought of the day) are magically back together as if nothing went wrong. What the crap!?!?!? I seriously don't understand what the heck is going on. One minute Wilma wants Fred to drop off the face of the earth and then she loves him again. Honestly, how do you spell dysfunctional. T-H-E-I-R R-E-LA-T-I-O-N-S-H-I-P. Please, someone shoot me in the face if I ever get into that wacky of a relationship. I don't know how they do it. Whatever, I'm going to go rant about how much the RIAA sucks. Have a good one.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Red Power, Sleeping Forever, and the Idiocy of Technology Department Store Workers

A few new things to bring you up to date on today. The first, I am now a partial, fiesty red-head! Yep, I highlighted my hair red last night. I also left a little blond so now I have a nice little conglomeration of brown, blond, and red. It looks a little busy, but I think it turned out well. Maybe next time I'll try blue. I've always wanted to try that.

Next, one of the kid's I graduated with lost his mom on Sunday. I just found out about it yesterday, but I thought it might have been a joke. I guess not. Apparently the entire family was driving back from somewhere and when they got in the car, the mom had already went out to the car to get in and when they got there she looked like she was asleep. They thought they wouldn't disturb her so she could have a nice, peaceful drive home. The thing is, she had a heart attack before they got there and died on the spot. She just happened to die in the front seat of the car in a position that looked like she was sleeping. They noticed when they got home when they tried to get her out and she was unresponsive. Sad. It shows me even more that if God wants me to go someday, he'll find a way to do it, so God, I'm just gonna ask you to give me at least a few more decades, please? I've got a lot to do here yet, Big Guy. This little incident also proves that if you are in good health you can still go. She had just seen the doctor a couple of days before the trip for a check up because she did have a few problems with her heart earlier, but the doctor said she was doing spectacular--she couldn't be taking care of herself any better. Bam! Three days later she's suddenly got a halo. It's odd how fragile and unpredictable our lives are. It also reawakens my wonderful paralyzing fear of death. It's so FINAL that it drives me nuts. It's hard for me to fathom that I only get a limited amount of time here and then its off to the grave for eternity. Just think about it.....I do and it freaks me out. I know I believe in Heaven and I am a strong Christian, but the idea of that great unknown still throws me for a loop. Maybe I'm just not gifted with a strong enough faith. I don't know. All I do know, though, is that this constant fear of death has definitely guided my life in recent years. I've always tried to live as if I only did have like a week or two left (I'm hoping God gives me a little warning before I go so I can start doing the REAL crazy things I want to). I also try to leave a small piece of me with every person I know. Maybe that way I'll get remembered beyond my years? Who knows.

Anyways, enough morbid, preachy, self-involved talk for today. I'm off to best buy in a minute anyways. New cd day, you know. Gotta pick up the new discs by Soulfly, Nonpoint, The Used, Epidemic, Greenwheel, Union Underground, and Dead Poetic. least in a perfect world I'd have enough money to buy all of them so I'll just have to pick a couple I like and then dream about getting the others another day. Off I go to that big yellow and blue technology haven that breeds stupidity among all of its workers. I swear they have the stupidest people working there out of any technology store (besides Circuit City, of course). I'll deal, though, if it'll get me cds for cheaper than the $20 they cost at Sam Goody. It's amazing how a store like that even stays in business with a Best Buy right down the road that sells the exact same cds for a good $5 or $6 cheaper. Whatever, I guess the people that shop at Sam Goody are even more stupid than the people who work for Best Buy.

Monday, June 24, 2002


Since I don't have any of my source html at home I can only update this site while I'm at work so usually there won't be any updates on the weekends (as if anyone actually checks this page anyways). This weekend was a very interesting one. Friday our improv show sold out within 20 minutes of opening the doors. Unbelievable if you ask me because our performance was at the same time as the Rochesterfest parade which everyone seems to go to. We thought we might have like 10 people show up but we sold out all 100 seats 10 minutes before we were even supposed to close the doors. For this show I was host so that was a little bit of a different experience. I liked it because I got to play around with the crowd and heckle back at a few of the hecklers. They hecklers definitely do get to you over time, however. By the end of the show I was starting to lose it a little with a couple of the more rambunctious members of the audience. Anyhow, our show turned out great and I was very pleased. Our next show is this Friday so I'm looking forward to that.

Ok, so funny story...well, maybe not funny but interesting in my view. After our show on Friday a group of my friends and some of our improv people went to grab some food at Perkins. Now the entire time we were all together, we suddenly became the most vulgar and sarcastic people you would have ever met. We were just mean, snippy, and grouchy the entire time and we all just treated it like normal. It was so weird. It was like we used all of our positive energy in the show being funny and all we had left inside was the jerk part of our personality for the night. I also noticed another interesting thing. The three friends of mine that came out to eat were all female and two of them were quite good looking. It was completely amazing how much the improv guys hit on the two good looking girls. The entire time all they did was be sarcastic and hit on the girls. I bet the girls ate it up but it really frustrated me that all of the sudden the guys I'm friends with just turn and instead of being their normal selves, they try to be all extra awesome and impress the girls and, at times, try to make me look like I'm not as good as them (basically this was just one guy in particular, but it still irks me to no end). I just got sick of it by the end of the night and I just kind of gave up on trying to stay in as a part of the group. Guess that's part of my anti-social attitude that shows through every now and then. It usually doesn't happen very often that I don't want to be around people, but when it does I really don't want to be around anyone.

This weekend also included the triumphant return of DDR into my life, that's right, Dance Dance Revolution. It's that wacky, Japanese dancing game and Matt just got new pads so we played for a good amount of the afternoon on Saturday. Fun times. That night I also took in Minority Report with the group. I was extremely pleased with the movie. I love A.I. by Spielberg so I was glad to see he was doing another high-profile sci-fi flick. I heartily enjoyed it and loved some of the philosophical threads that were presented through the movie. There is a scene at the end of the movie that I think is one of the best in a long time. Cruise's character is facing off against the man who is destined to kill him. Now he can either kill Cruise and prove that the precrime system is truly infallible or he can choose to not kill Cruise and thus invalidate everything proven by the precrime system. It's an interesting paradox and I like seeing things such as this in today's cinema, which is often overrun by crappy action movies, gross-out comedies, and stupid tear-jerker movies that are so manufactured and fake. Since we're on the topic of movies, I also caught The Sum of All Fears on Sunday and enjoyed that one as well. It was not a spectacular movie but I found it enjoyable for the two hours I spent watching it.

This weekend I also learned a very important lesson from my mother that I will never forget and which I will always use. You know how you're always getting mail from credit card companies, magazines, and the like in your mailbox every day? Next time you get junk mail like this don't just throw it away. Open it up and see if it has one of those "No postage necessary if mailed in the United States" labels in the upper right hand corner of the envelope inside of the junk mail. If it requires you to put postage on the envelope then just toss it in the can. If it does have a no postage necessary stamp you're in business. You see, you don't have to pay postage on this letter but the company that sent it to you does. Take everything that came in your junk mail and stuff it into the no postage necessary envelope. Good. Not full yet? Well, lets fill this letter up. Take any random old newspapers or cardboard or something and jam that envelope full. When you finally do fill it, lick it shut and drop it in the mailbox. I guarantee you will never get another letter from that company or magazine. You see, the heavier you make that letter, the more the company that sent you the stupid junk mail in the first place will have to pay. You're screwing them over for sending you crap, and it also helps generate business for the US Postal Service. Now if only there was something like this that we could do to telemarketers.....

Friday, June 21, 2002

Encounters with Bizarro World

First of all, this site has had many new additions. I've added my writings page. I have also made a bootleg list for all you traders out there who want to get in touch with me. I've also just changed some random stuff here and there in the site. Now onto more interesting things.

Ok, I think yesterday I had a small glimpse of what it must be like to live in BizarroWorld. Ok, get this, I ordered the cd "Halfway Down the Sky" by Splender off of the internet a week ago from I heard them while listening to XROXX internet radio while at work so I thought I'd check them out because I liked their sound. They were kind of a pop rock type of band along the lines of Lifehouse or The Calling. I needed something mellow to add to my collection so I ordered it (and it was good and cheap). Anyways, back to yesterday. I came home to see a package had come for me in the mail and knew it was my Splender cd so I opened it up and took it downstairs to listen to while I did some reading (I'm just finishing up The Fellowship of the Ring. I thought I'd reread it again after seeing the movie in the theater and waiting for it to come out on DVD). I popped it in my cd player and laid down on my bed to get comfy and relaxed. Now this must have been when I drifted into BizarroWorld. I hit the play button.

What came out of the speakers scared me. The first song started out with what sounded like Michael Jackson vocals and music. I was distressed but thought that maybe Splender was just a fan and wanted to start with a clip of Michael Jackson or something. I'll give it a minute. Turns out that the entire first song is a Michael Jackson song. The next song comes on and it is another Michael Jackson song. I flip out and scan through all the tracks--THEY'RE ALL MICHAEL JACKSON! What did I do to bring this upon me. I take the cd out of my cd player and examine it very closely. It is the actual silver-pressed retail Splender cd but for some reason Michael Jackson's "History disc 2" is what was on the cd (I checked it against cddb just to make sure). It seems that either Columbia Records made some wacky mistake when they were pressing cds in their factory or else God decided he wanted to play a cruel joke on me. So now I have the Splender cd I wanted sitting right on my desk (I'm looking at it right now) but I can't play it without flipping out and killing something (in case you didn't know I hate everything Michael Jackson except for the songs "Thriller", "Bad", and "Beat It" and those songs I only loosely enjoy). Since I had no clue what to do with that bastard-child of a cd, I just popped in Coal Chamber and stared at it some more. Hopefully, the knowledge that I actually have a Michael Jackson cd ("History disc 2" nonetheless, probably his worst cd ever) sitting on my desk won't make me go crazy. I don't know, though, it keeps looking at me funny and whispering to me to play it. I don't know how long I'll be able to last......

Now just a few moments ago I had a run in with BizarroWorld once again. I was hanging out in the cube of one of my co-workers when he noticed that he had two messages on his voicemail. As he listened to them he looked oddly at me and another co-worker there and then hung up the phone. We asked him what it was and this is where we step into BizarroWorld. The messages were both just blank messages from December 24th, 2001. Hmmm...time traveling phone messages of blank space? Why yes, this is odd. We decided that it was Justin's job to save Christmas...of 2001. Since it is now 2002 we have been hard at work trying to build a time machine from mountain dew cans, banana peels, squeek's mom, punk cds, and Kwik Trip hot dogs. I'll keep you updated on our progress. Hopefully our spectacular, time-traversing invention will get us slashdotted. I would then be able to die a happy man.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Marriage: No Big Deal?

Last night I was talking to one of my friends (and right now I'm using that term very loosely in association with this person) and I was not in a pleasant mood at the time so our conversation was sort of heading down the crapper anyhow, but as we were talking she made a comment that really set me off. We were talking about her recent break-up with her boyfriend and she said this (paraphrased, of course, because my memory isn't perfect), "You know, it's not that bad, us breaking up. We've only been seeing each other for like a year and a half. Look at all of the people who have been married for 20 or 30 years and then they get divorced. That's no big deal and it happens all the time so why should us breaking up be much of a big deal?" After hearing those comments, my mind just shifted into social commentary mode. There are many things in this world that get to me and annoy the hell out of me, but the way that divorces and break-ups have become so common-place within our society has really been a thorn stuck in my side.

I was raised Christian, Missouri Synod Lutheran to be exact, and I still consider myself a Christian person so the whole divorce issue troubles me and goes against how I was raised. Has the world completely forgotten about the sixth commandment, "Thou shall not commit adultery."? It seems that our society nowadays picks and chooses which morals they want to follow. This commandment, along with most of the others, has lost its meaning upon our society. Around 50% of all marriages end in divorce today. What ever happened to "until death do you part"? Divorce has become trendy and there is no longer a negative stigma attached to it. Of course it has its place, being used to break up dysfunctional or abusive families and such, but that should be the only reason it is used. Because of the extremely high rate of divorce we have more unbalanced and broken families now then ever before. I honestly believe that many of the problems with our children today stem from this lack of a stable family life. I know that without the stability of my family life I would not be the straight-laced kid I am. I could have easily fallen into the wrong lifestyle, but they were there to guide me and set a good example. It is because of their relationship that I have the utmost respect for the women I meet and that I strive for a loving relationship unlike the majority of the youth of our nation who treat the opposite sexes like objects and only use relationships for their own personal satisfaction and gain. It sickens me to no end.

I don't know what else to say about this. I have such a hard time explaining what I believe in words. That one phrase stuck out in my mind for the entire day. Now how do we change this world? Sometimes I wonder where our culture is headed. It'll definitely be an interesting next few decades.

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

An Open Invitation

It's amazing how something can come up and be completely whacked out in less than 20 minutes. Yesterday I went to take my brother to my grandma's house because he was staying overnight there with her. When I got back it came to my attention that one of my best friend's girlfriend had just broken up with him in the most immature and unbelievable way imaginable. Let me set the stage for you. My good friend, we'll call him Fred, had been dating this girl, who we'll call Wilma, for 18 months. That's a long freakin' time in my book. They had had their rough times and their good times like any other couple and I had become very good friends with both of them. Fred absolutely loved Wilma and did anything he could for her. He may have been somewhat old fashioned but he had everyone's best interests at heart. Everything had been pretty normal between both of them. They had been having a little scuffle lately but nothing too big. Fast forward to yesterday.

I get home and find out this: Fred went to visit Wilma since he was leaving today for a couple days. He wanted to talk to her too because he had been gone the past couple of days on another trip. As he shows up at Wilma's house she runs in and locks the door and says she doesn't want to see Fred. Well, needless to say he was dumbfounded. Wouldn't you? So he leaves only to be followed by two cars of thugs that Wilma sent out. They follow him around town so finally Fred pulls into a parking lot to figure out what was up. They cut him off with one car and pin him and confront him. They tell him not to see Wilma ever again. They're done. So he leaves, even more confused. Many of Fred and Wilma's friends try to contact Wilma and she won't answer or listen. Most of the time the phone just got hung up. I was one of those people that called and I managed to get a message onto Wilma's machine (after being hung up on--twice). I couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. All I knew was someone had messed with one of my best friends and I wanted answers. I talked to Fred and got the low-down and everything I heard played out like a really sick, dark joke that someone wanted to play on us. It was completely out of character for Wilma to be this way. What gave?

Flash forward to 2 a.m. last night. My cell phone goes off waking me up from a very nice deep sleep that I was heartily enjoying. Lo and behold, it was Wilma wanting to talk. She tried to explain everything and push the blame off onto the thugs that they did it all of their own volition. Maybe...kinda don't think so, but whatever. The key thing was, she didn't want to talk to Fred at all. She didn't feel the need to explain herself at all. I made her talk and now I don't know what's going on. I'm just hoping that Wilma isn't turning into someone she doesn't want to be. I also hope that Fred can make it through this because it has been a complete shocker to him.

Wilma, I am asking you to get your crap together. What the heck is going on? I thought I knew you. Think about your life and think about all the immature crap you're putting above people you love. Quit acting like a kid and think like an adult for a little bit. Talk to me again when you have your head screwed on straight.

Fred, dude, I'm there for you always. Fight through this and don't let it eat you away.

Wilma's friends--screw you guys, all of you. You're a bunch of two-bit wannabe thugs that think you're cool because you can go around trying to ruin someone's life. It would be really frickin' cool if you could act older than seven year olds. If you want to mess with someone, mess with me because I have no qualms about getting into it with you. This is an open invitation to leave Fred alone and come after me if you want someone to mess with. I really wish you could realize what complete losers you are.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Mom, I Don't Want to Wake Up Yet

I often think and write about many different things and I find many of them interesting, and if I find them interesting I thought maybe some other people out there might as well. For that reason I decided to make a little section here on my web page that is located in the middle of a vast wealth of knowledge on the internet, so that if anyone dared to they could read what my mind is thinking. So this is the first entry. Be prepared to be amazed (or bored to death, I'm not sure which).

As I woke up this morning, I had that feeling just like I do every other morning. You know, that feeling. It's weird because every day that I wake up I just get this great, refreshing feeling of being new. Everything that happened the day before, everything you dreamed, everything that you might have done wrong, everything that went right--everything, it all just seems to disappear and you get to start all over with a new day. Of course, what had happened in the past will come back to you as the day goes on and you will obviously remember and do things in accordance, but before the real world has its chance to intrude upon you, there is that feeling of peace and of a new beginning. I love that feeling. I absolutely love it. It is the most blissful part of the day. Most of the time I go to bed at night anticipating that moment of waking just so I can feel new and good again.

As I thought about this a little more I began to wish that there was some way that we could all live in this perpetual state of just waking up. It would be perfect because you would never have to deal with the problems of the day before or you wouldn't have to try and make today as good as yesterday was. Everything would just be good, no better than something or worse than something--it would just be good. Wouldn't that be a spectacular world to live in. Of course, it wouldn't always be that great because you wouldn't have a concept of the past and everything would be pretty solitary, but it would be so great if we could all just live with that wonderful feeling of just coming to consciousness. Maybe heaven is like that. Maybe we just get to live in an eternal state of waking. It wouldn't be that bad if you ask me.