Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Punta Kinda

Sitting in the airport with nothing better to do, I decide I need to write something. Perhaps I should give writing more priority, these days I feel like I always have something to do, but
writing should be more important. I am returning from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic where Kari and I went to see our friends get married. By all means it was an irresponsible decision, at a point where both of us should be pinchin pennies, but man was it a great time. For like $140 a
night we got all the delicious food we could eat, drinks we could dream up, room service, massages, we could have done horseback riding, snorkeling, just endless awesomeness. I say "could have" because we only spent $400 of our $1500 resort credit, so we had $1100 worth of hotel services left unused. Every time we sat down with someone to spend credits they would say things like "you have to be there by..." or "make sure you remember to..." and, well, we were just not willing to commit to anything, so there they remain, unspent, and were forced to spend our time lounging on the beach, winning (ya, i said it) money in the casino, attending wedding functions, and exploring the places, foods and beverages that the resort had to offer. 5 days spent within the walls of the Hard Rock and not an inkling of a desire to go anywhere else. Especially not home...

It feels totally out of character for me to have stayed in the same place for so long, not once venturing out to see the country which would have been so much different from anywhere I had been before. It was like travelling from the US to a secluded mini-US where the people spoke english funny, with a terrifying dash through the Dominican Republic in between. The taxi ride from the airport to the hotel was 40 minutes of furious traffic/pedestrian/donkey dodging and was the only indication that the place where we stayed for a week was not totally populated by happy colorful english speaking folk carrying around frozen Pina Coladas. That and the subtle suggestion of the resort's perimeter fence, electrified and topped with razor wire. I wish I were joking.

It was great to see our friends get married, two of our closest friends here in Denver, we have only ever known them together so it just seemed right. We have found ourselves quite a posse out here, and almost the whole group was able to make it out to the wedding. I don't care how irresponsible it was, you can't put a price on memories like that. Still got an hour or so till the flight leaves... now what do I write about? I haven't written a good rant in forever...

Monday, October 10, 2011


I was thinking about forever. Like, the longest time imaginable, the longest time unimaginable. FOREVER. The only way that forever can exist is in metaphore, fairy tales, abstraction. The world wont last forever, the sun wont, the universe wont even last forever. You, however, can exist foever in the arms of Yaweh in endless bliss and happiness and it will be super awesome. Forever. All you have to do is praise him for the 70 years you spend on the practically nonexistent dot in the middle of the solar system that is a non existent dot in the middle of the galaxy that is the non existent dot in the middle of the universe. No, none of them in the middle, somewhere insignificant off to the side. This 70 years you spend on Earth, this planet so beautifully governed by science and physics and with all those twinkeling stars to look at, these years determine whether you are going to spend FOREVER in agony and torture if you do not praise Yaweh, or heaven FOREVER if you do praise him. I know, time, space, existence wont be the same once St. Peter admits you through the pearly gates, but in a jesusmillion heavenyears, imagine you and your cool black friend you always wanted are sitting on the lesbian cloud (not a cloud full of lesbians mind you, they are not allowed in heaven, but an actual female cloud who likes other female clouds, its just a cool place to hang out) when one of you remembers Earth.

Remember Earth??

Ya! Kind of... What was up with that...?

And then you would spend the rest of forever in endless awesomeness. I, however, will still be suffering in the lakes of fire at the hands of satan because I did not choose to recognize Yaweh as my lord and savior. Alongside the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, 95% of China (as of 2008 says Wikipedia), and, purely based on the fact that they worship the wrong deity, a great majority of the worlds population, who are FOREVER going to be subjected to the unending wrath of satan. FOREVER. Please dont let my repeated use of that word decrease its significance. FOREVER. Never ending unimaginable agony. After another jesusmillion years, 70 years is nothing, your time on earth ceases to exist. Heaven or hell becomes your entire existence. Most of us spend our entire existence and forever after that in hell. If there is true bliss in heaven, the idea of hell must be totally wiped out, because I know lots of people who would be pained with the knowledge of the tortured souls, friends, family, who are to spend their entire existence in hell. Heaven does not exist.

I have recently come into contact with two people who are devout christians, literal interpreters of the bible (which I think if you are really going to call yourself a christian, you should be). The first fought with me and asserted her belief and did her best to defend the bible and says I am going to hell for not praising her god. It was at a fondue party with the family. True story. The second, with the same belief system, couldnt give a rats ass about what I think, tells stories about her gay friends, and when I asked her if it bothers her that they are destined for eternal damnation, she says she just doesnt really think about that. If you actually think that the people around you are headed towards an eternity of torture in the fires of hell, wouldnt any good person do everything they can to stop that from happening? The fondue party lady, while much more difficult to be in a room with, deserves far more respect than contestant #2, who is either just a terrible person, or doesnt actually believe in the bible. I would like to think it is the latter because most christians are much more like #2. Idly sit by and leave my soul to eternal damnation or argue with me at a fondue party. Who has time for the unpleasantness?

Heaven does not exist. Hell does not exist. Yaweh, Buddah, Vishnu, Allah, Amun Ra, Hephaestus do not exist. I exist, humanity exists, goodness exists and it is not because of any great deity, evil exists too, and it is not because of any talking snake apples. It all exists within humanity and it takes a whole lot of faith to look at yourself and the world and believe that we can take that burden and move in the right direction on our own. But we have done that. Don't thank god for it, and dont thank god for that scholarship you got or the goal you scored, thank your teachers, your coaches, your parents, yourself. Getting through that accident, that break-up, that family members death, that was you and those around you, thank them. I can look at the goodness in humanity or the simple elegance and perfection in nature and have a religious experience that I can see right in front of my eyes. I absolutely know what I believe and I dont hate anyone because of it, I have no enemies, nobody is going to spend their existence in hell. There is no forever, there is no god, there is your lifetime, which is as close to forever as you will ever see, and there is a burden on you as part of humanity to spend your forever moving that burden in the right direction in whatever way you are able. Because you are able. Not for eternal reward or for fear of eternal punishment. We have the capacity to do good and so we have the responsibility.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beer Label Template

As I prepare to brew my first batch of beer one of the essential steps is, of course, designing the label. After searching for available label sizes to order, I found that the easiest way to do it is a perfect circle, I ordered 3.33" circles. I searched around for ideas and perhaps a good template for photoshop but could not find any. So I decided to make my own. I was first inspired by the website http://www.beerlabelizer.com/ which can create a really nice looking label, but I wanted more customization and so created a photoshop template. I seperated out all of the colored rings into layers, the text is all in editable text layers, and the images separate layers. My first test was the Brawlings Dunkel which was pretty satisfactory, and then I made the Humpback Ale for this post in just a few minutes, inspired by the whale that came up when I googled "funny clipart", ha, Humpback Ale, get it? So here it is, the photoshop file, a couple test runs, and a sample of what the circle labels looks like on the bottle.

Download the photoshop file here:http://www.mediafire.com/?16o4mlx29xbf8bj

Friday, January 28, 2011

And My Feet are Longfellows

I have always had the propensity to write my way through life. It is definitely my favorite form of communication and I think I represent myself best through words. I'm good at 'em. The popularity of AIM through my childhood was probably the reason for a few girls crushing on me (I mean, there were so many), I wooed them with words. It is so easy to type your feelings, backspace, revise. You can be quick witted without being that quick, it's nice. I came across a document of haikus that I wrote in boredom some yawny highschool afternoon and it inspired me to try to make a collection of some of my poetry. Speaking of yawny. Here it is.

This poem was a little contract piece I did on short notice back in '97, April 9th to be exact. A news crew decided to come to Castle Elementary to cover our observance of Arbor Day and two gifted young handsome good looking funny talented awesome students were selected to write a piece about arbor day to be read on the news. Crystal Winters (what a name right? Ya, we dated, no big deal) wrote something that was probably pretty good, considering the 20 minutes we had to complete it, and I popped out this little rhyme like some kind of Arbor Day free stylin 6th grader. I had to memorize it to read it on the news and somehow it stuck, it is amazing the things I forget, but I still know that poem.

Arbor Day, people say "What is it for"?
I tell them "The oaks, the poplars and all of the more"
They give everyone life, yes, you and me!
That's why we celebrate this day for the tree.
It's not just because they give us our wood,
It's because they breath in bad air, and exhale good.
So next time you cut down a tree that we need,
Don't walk away, make life with a seed.

Heres a few mushy ones. What better inspiration than love. I should send this first one to Hallmark.

My hands miss your graze,
My ears your tone.
My eyes miss your gaze,
My lips your own.

And this one I wrote while away on the boat for 8 months. I had a lot of free time to write, I even pieced together some driftwood and painted a picture to accompany the poem.

Living on a boat, I have come to know,
What I need to keep, and what can go.
Life on the sea makes me realize,

What I need in a life cut down to size.

First, of course, everyone needs them,

Three meals a day, just to feed them.

And it's a basic fact that once you're fed,
You need a place to lay your head.

A good night's sleep, wake up and then,

The next day do it all again.

To eat and sleep, thats technically,

All you need to live, biologically.

But to stay alive day to day,

Living life in such a way,
A trite existence this life would give,
Because "to stay alive" is not "to live".

So what is it I think is giving,

Meaning to make my life worth living?
None of that stuff you have on land,

The cars, the bars, the dates, the plans.

The toilets that flush with a lever,
Internet that doesn't take forever.

They are all just extra, superfluous,

But still there is something that I miss.

I've got a bed, and lots of food,

The thing that I'm missing is you.

I realize without you, I'm alone,

You are my life, my love , my home.

So after letting this issue seep,

Into my mind and thinking deep,

I realize all I need to keep,

Is you, food, and a place to sleep.

I realize all I need to keep,
Is you, food, and a place to sleep.

These are what I can remember from one of the early days with Kari, it was the night we decided that we would be the King and Empress of the world.

As King of the World I foresee an issue,
It might not be okay to kiss you.

The Earth will shudder, shake and twirl,

Cause when we kiss, you rock
my world.

It was also the first meal she cooked for me.

Because you've got the brains and looks,
I'll get over the fact that you cant cook.

These are the haikus that I found, pretty weird...


In daylight hours,
My Lifeforce driven along,
Sleepiness ensues.

-------------misunderstood kid--

They dont understand
I am dying on the inside
dark makeup reaveals.

------------cool kid-----------
You all know I'm cool
See all them with white Nikes?
My Nikes are blue.


Driving in the car
Passenger glued to window
line line line line line


entropy, can't, stuck,
gesticular, bottlecap,
first place, canvas, sat


he opened the door
common gentleman gesture
she killed his father


deep penetration
get caught up in the moment
Morning after pill


sip lightly, tasting
swish, gargle, head falls backwards
slight hint of poison


gracefully winding
sugar phosphate and a base
encoding our lives

sugar phosphate and a base
nucleic acid

Ok, that is enough for now, just a random smattering of what I could remember or easily find, maybe I will come across more some day.

Today, Friday January 28, the high in Denver is 62. I <3 global warming. jj.