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    Gashed with honourable scars,
    Low in Glory’s lap they lie;
    Though they fell, they fell like stars,
    Streaming splendour through the sky.
    James Montgomery (1771–1854)
    The Battle of Alexandria.
Perhaps a more apropriate equine equivalence for dannye and TheDeadGuy would be surefooted warhorses bearing honorable scars and it's best not to hold these marks against them.

I’ve been married to the same guy for nearly 25 years now and I think I can speak with some wisdom when it comes to relationships. It’s about human beings trusting each other. Great writers like Homer, Shakespeare and William Golding understand this mystery too and have tried to tell us about it across the ages. We still love to retell the stories. This one is about what one man Paul wrote to a group of friends who couldn’t decide what to do about their relationships. He wrote about husbands and wives and marriages in his letters to the Ephesians and had this to say to the wives:

    Submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
I am a deeply disillusioned product of the feminist movement and have struggled long and hard with that verse, one time I even got up and walked out of the middle of a homily about it. You would think it would have been a Baptist preacher, but no, it was a priest.

Here is what Paul says to the husbands:

    Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- for we are members of his body. "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This is marriage in a nutshell. It is a religious sacrament and the cause of a lot of political debate in Congress right now. Personally I think the government has violated the Establishment Clause by only giving married partners legal rights, but that’s not what this write up is about.

So Paul uses the word submit for the wives and love for the husbands. Well submit makes sense if his statement is put in the context of his times. Marriages were arranged and men could legally kill their wives on a whim. They still do in that part of the world. Today a better word might be trust.

However, I want to show you what is missing. Paul never says for the wives to love their husbands and I have spent no small amount of time wondering why. It was a profound mystery of submitting being okay but, what about love? Why doesn’t Paul tell me to love my husband? Well I have finally figured it out. I know why and I am going to tell you. Look at what Paul says again to the husbands:

One has only to look at any marriage that has lasted a significant period of time and they will find a man who has worked hard to love his wife. The genius of Paul’s profound mystery is that it is applicable to any relationship between two human beings. Whether it’s between a man and a woman, a parent and a child, a gay couple, a group of friends or Christian and non-Christian. Paul doesn’t have to tell me to love my husband, because I couldn’t help but love someone who is willing to die for me.

I hope that helps Marci.

Today is my first paid holiday from my new position at work. In fact, this is my first paid holiday ever. And while I have not forgotten why today is a holiday, I take a kind of perverse joy in knowing that no matter what I do today, up until 5:00pm I'm getting paid to do it. It's an odd thing to ponder... this morning I was paid to cook breakfast. I was paid to do homework. I'm getting paid for watching Mystery Science Theater 3000. Later on I'll get paid to play Sonic Heroes and then paid to exercise.

Y'know, I like this full time employment thing.

Wedding Prep 101: pt.2

God! Did I ask for so many problems? Did I do anything to diserve this?

Well, it looks like we will be pushing the date back to late June/ mid July of 2005. Both our parents complained about our date. They say it seems satanic to get married on Devil's Night. Plus his parents were bitching because it was a winter/fall wedding. So, we just tucked our tails between our legs and let them pick the date. I will not let his parents control my wedding. They already control enough of our life.

Also, on a related note, the search for a perfect house is going nowhere. We can't seem to find a decent house for under $100,000. It is so distressing. I am going to go crazy if I have to live with his family any more. His dad is ok. His mom is a crazy bitch. His sister is a spoiled brat.

Mallory, his sister, called us at 9:30 last night and expected us to drop everything and go pick her up from her boyfriend's house. We told her no, so she called the house and tried to get us in trouble with mom. Didn't work, mom hates Nathan (Mal's b/f) and told her "tough luck, find your own way home". That made me happier. Then when she got home she threw a fit and screamed at everyone about how much she hates us and how we're all so horrible. Give me a break.

How could I forget? Yesterday was my 3rd e2 birthday, and I was sitting around watching Cast Away instead. "Instead of what?" You ask. Instead of telling you young uns how easy you've got it. Back when I joined:

  • E2 was only 14 months old.
  • The original Everything was still around at everything.blockstackers.com or .org or something.
  • Cool Man Eddie was only 2 months old... awwww
  • Klaproth wasn't even born!
  • Writeups were insta-nuked, none of this here marked for destruction nonsense.
  • Only 1 C! per writeup was allowed, which gave the autohor 10 XP. Much contention was caused by the introduction of multiple chings.
  • Sensei may still have been around (just about), no-one seems to remember.
  • Jeff Minter had come and gone before me.
  • Wil Wheaton was also around, although I don't know his account name so don't ask me.
  • Clever one-liners were everywhere - I mean everywhere. (Okay, maybe that's my selective memory, I thought they were cool).
  • 50 other users was an unusual high in them thar days, provoking much catbox discussion.
  • Most of the handy little javascripts and user preferences now available weren't invented. We had to work to get results! None of these (r) links or any of yer poncy "writeup header display" rubbish. There was no "User Preferences Page 2" either. Bah!
  • There were a lot fewer attempts at serious fiction, so count yourself lucky. On the other hand, a "proper" story, if well-written, often provoked a lot of interest, whereas nowadays we tend to take them for granted.
  • nate was still head dude for edev. It seems he had some sort of weird parsing routine for his /msg inbox, so that all you had to do was ask to be in edev and the next day you were. Also, asking not to be in edev seemed to work. Odd that.
  • Many classic writeups which became memes are no longer with us... those who were around back then know what I mean.
  • A lot of well-loved users have left us, too many for my feeble brain to remember. Wharfinger... we still miss ya buddy! (And your little "pet" too)
  • Other stuff which I've forgotten (/msg me if you remember the heady old days)

Oh yes, those were the days. Just think, back then Gritchka had joined a mere two weeks ago... and I'm still level 3. Ah well, that's a level per year, here's to getting C! power in the year of the monkey.

Anyone who lives in Iowa knows why today is an important day. Heck probably a good chunk of the country knows what is going on today: The Iowa Caucus.

Iowa has enjoyed this tradition of being the people who get first cut for presidential candidates. Although we may not pick always pick the winners, Iowa residents (along with New Hampshire) get to weed out the weak ones. Critics of Iowa's and New Hampshire's position in the presidential election process claim that neither state is representative of the US. But then I wonder, what state is?

It is neat to actually see a possible future candidate actually have a rally where there are only 100 people. He or she is actually forced to talk to the people. You can see on their face whether they really believe their own rhetoric when the speaker is less than 20 feet away. Some of the off ball questions some of the people toss out also make the candidate react in a candid way. You just don't get that kind of interaction at the mega rallies later in the process.

All of this does come at some kind of cost. Political ads showed up early October and just get thicker the closer it got to today. I am surprised by how "clean" the ads are though. Usually I expected much more mudslinging with a race this close but the front runners seem to more than not stick to a positive "This is what I stand for, vote for me" ad play. Its definitely a nice change especially given during the primetime viewing hours, 3 out of 4 commercials are about someone wanting you to vote for them at your local caucus. In the population centers (read: big cities like Des Moines, Iowa and the eastern cities like Iowa City, Iowa and Cedar Rapids, Iowa) campaign signs and posters are in a lot of places. Although it is amusing to see candidates crisscross the state campaigning hard, the reality is that they are in places you hang out causing some disruption. For instance it is impossible to book any hotel rooms in Des Moines at this point due to the news companies booking them all!

As a final thought, I wandered across Beyond Vietnam by Martin Luther King Jr. which by strange coincidence his holiday is also today. Some of the thoughts first put forth by King about the wrongness of the Vietnam War still resonates today with the flimsy War on Terror. The Bush Administration squandered the international goodwill we had on 9/11. Instead of taking the chance to work with countries to fix fundamentalism that causes wars of religion, Bush started to Shock and Awe their way into hate. Why bother killing one terrorist when five of his friends who were borderline want revenge? Even sighted in the node:

It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat. The image of America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy, but the image of violence and militarism.

It is with this in mind that I will take off from work early and get to my local caucus.

Letters of The Incorrigible:
My Girlfriend, Kaiti

WARNING: girlfriend rant. may be boring as hell

My girlfriend Kait was recently evicted from her apartment because of a recent string of firings and a very stubborn and short-lived job search. Currently she and her 16 year old cat, Shadow, are living with me... although it isn't even my house. I pay rent to live in a three bedroom house owned by a friend. He made me promise not to have a girlfriend move in if I wanted to live there, of which I was forced to break on 2 seperate occasions in the sake of her misfortune.

Kait recently acquired (i missed that word in a Spelling B in 5th grade.. no, wait.. that was required. nevermind) 2 part-time jobs and works about 25 or so hours a week. She has just started to pay the important bills again, leaving no money to throw in on daily living things like food, toilet paper, or anything else that I have been forced to pick up. I was just informed that we are taking a vacation to some unknown destination that will require a passport to accomplish and I will need to pay half the trip. When this was brought up, I was initially excited (trips always excite me). Upon further examination, I started to question what the hell she is spending her money on a trip for if she can't afford her own place, let alone fix her cracked head gasket, pay a $-300.00 bank account (that she has decided she doesn't need to pay), pay a way past due phone bill, and countless other bills she has neglected to pay in her "tough times". Now don't think I am insensitive (well, maybe a little, but it didn't start out that way).I gave her rides to and from everywhere she needed to go while she didn't have a home or a car last time this happened. Now I am getting a little fed up. "This isn't the guy I knew 2 years ago" she says. No shit. That guy was squashed away by her inability to take care of herself and her business over the past 1 1/2 years.

I had more written (i could probably go on for a week straight), but it sounds so rediculous that I am even bothering to worry about this anymore. The only thing that keeps me with her is the fact that she really does love the shit out of me, which I have learned in the past is a really hard thing to truely happen upon. That and she really does mean well. It just never works out well. I just wonder how long that is gonna hold us together.
Today is the day of the Iowa Caucuses, that first step taken by a political party in nominating a candidate for public office. In this case, it is the Democratic Party nominating a candidate for President.

To me, the process sounds like fun. What happens is that party members meet at varied locations, sometimes private homes. Refreshments are shared, which means you might get to score some really nice cookies. The supporters of each candidate will gather in a specified location. Say the Dennis Kucinich fans go to the downstairs bedroom and stand together. If a candidate's supporters don't achieve significance, which is defined as 15% of the delegates at any location, then their votes aren't counted, and they may choose to go stand with another candidate, or join the undecided, In the case of minor candidates, as the aforementioned Congressman Kucinich, there may be some horse trading, so they agree that their supporters will go to another minor candidate, to assure that the votes don't go to the big boys: which in 2004 means Dick Gephardt, John Kerrey, Howard Dean and John Edwards. If a couple small fish can share and share alike, that can keep their candidacies alive.

An individual in Iowa has more power than his or her number because the caucuses come so early. Granted, everyone would despise the endless stream of campaign ads that must assail all Iowans. But NPR, Gene Wolfe and E2 shall pull me through, and allow me to keep my television in the off position.

But the back room politics would be fun. As I consider myself a Democrat I would want to be a part of the various meetings that lead up to the caucuses. I'd get to talk a lot of politics, and see how people felt, which would be fascinating. And it is even conceivable that I might actually get to spend some one-on-one time with a real presidential candidate.

I wish i could be a part of that. In Ohio, we have a primary and by the time we hold it the presidential nomination is almost always decided. Besides, primaries are boring. But the chance to stand in someone's living room or church and stand with people who want most of what i want might make for a really interesting experience.

i'm tired of getting recorded messages right before election day. I want to get out where the people are, and get schmoozed.

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