This blog is about my journey through life, my memoirs if you will. Sometimes I am angry and need to vent, sometimes I am thinking and want to share, and others I just need to get something off my chest. Whatever the case, this blog is an outlet to share my feelings with the world; it is my therapist. That said, I must warn you that I am a liberal Buddhist who is in favor of most things the ultra-conservative, Christian right-wing abhors. If this fact (because it will appear in my writings) bothers you in some way, please, kindly use the back button located in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.
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  1. Am I incapable of living without substance abuse? Am I just one of those people that no matter what I try I will never be able to face reality without an altered mind?

    It sure feels like it lately...

    I quit using drugs and alcohol in April of 2010, but lately drinking is making a big comeback in my world. If I'm honest with myself, I'd start using again in a heartbeat. My fiance, however, has said she'll leave me if I do that, yet she seems to have no issue with drinking. Therefore, with all of the stress I'm under, it feels like alcohol is my only out. I drink before work, at lunch, and after work. Because of that, I could get fired at any moment, but I can't force myself to stop; I feel like I can't function without it. I know I need to stop before it gets completely out of hand, but I kind of don't want to.

    I don't know what to do. I guess I just had to let it out somewhere.
  2. You play the firing squad; I'll be the target
    I'll just stand here broken-hearted and amazed
    You are the angry mob, I hear you callin?
    Your Straw-man Gallows swing with
    hunger unrestrained

    You've raped my eyes wide open
    Now it's easy to see
    How you'd say I'm guilty of treason
    So un-American
    Just don't call me blind

    Reach over cotton fields; look past the jungles
    Post-cards from Wounded Knee and burning desert hell's
    So long as you can sleep clear of your conscience
    Leave future history to those who write so well

    I swear my allegiance to the memory
    The shadow
    Of a nation that could have been
    I swear my allegiance to the memory
    The shadow
    Of a nation that never was

    --Stavesacre, Future History Of The Brokenhearted
  3. Lately, as an avid builder of scale models, I've been noticing a trend, though I'm not sure if I should find it disturbing, or just view it as the next chapter in my career.

    Years ago I could tackle a complicated project such as my R.M.S. Titanic wreck which is about 80% scratch built and took two years to build, or my 1972 Corvette LT-1 which, among other details, has full engine plumbing down and even a set of keys in the ignition without an issue. But as time goes on, I find myself leaning more toward simplicity: figures, pre-painted snap kits, smaller aircraft, and the like.

    Lately, working on larger projects with part counts in the many hundreds, I find myself getting burned out rather quickly. Pile on unforeseen issues such as missing pieces, fit issues, lots of seam filling (my most hated part of building a kit), or a paint mistake and the situation only gets worse. Take, for example, my current project--Academy's M1A1 Abrams. For the past week I've been in the garage about two hours a day, making very little, if any, progress. Last night, though I managed to completed the headlight assembly, which completes the lower hull, I still feel as if I made no progress at all.

    Some folks might say "If it feels like a job, take a break!" But here's the thing: I just took one. When I moved I was away from building for over a month, reading magazines and other blogs ravenous to get back to building. And yet, now that I'm back, I can't get motivated to do anything. It could be residual exhaustion from moving, or maybe I just have a complete and total lack of patience. Should build slowly and not worry about it? I mean, slow progress is better than no progress, right? Maybe I should just sit back and let the larger projects take me at their own pace instead of trying to force the issue like I have a tendency to do.

    It could be that that's been the problem all along...
  4. 10. Chuck Winder (R-ID): ”I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.” - March 2012

    9. Rick Santorum: “I think the right approach is to accept this horribly created — in the sense of rape — but nevertheless a gift in a very broken way, the gift of human life, and accept what God has given to you… rape victims should make the best of a bad situation.” - January, 2012

    8. Mitt Romney: “I believe in an America where millions of Americans believe in an America that’s the America millions of Americans believe in. That’s the America I love.” – January 2012

    7. Mitt Romney: “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.” — January 2012

    6. Roger Rivard (R-WI): ”Some girls rape easy.” – October 2012

    5. Mitt Romney: “I went to a number of women’s groups and said ‘Can you help us find folks?’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.” —October, 2012

    4. Richard Mourdock (R-IN): ”I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” – October 2012

    3. Todd Akin (R-MO): “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down” - mid 2012 Senate Campaign

    2. Mitt Romney: ”As president, I will create 12 million new jobs.” —Second presidential debate

    1. Mitt Romney: ”Government does not create jobs. Government does not create jobs.” — 45 minutes later (Oct. 16, 2012)

    Bonus Quotes: Michele Bachmann

    1."I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?' Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we've got to rein in the spending." –Rep. Michele Bachmann, suggesting at a presidential campaign event in Florida that the 2011 East Coast earthquake and hurricane was a message from God (Aug. 2011)

    2. "Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That's the kind of spirit that I have, too" -Rep. Michele Bachmann, getting her John Waynes mixed up during an interview after launching her presidential campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, where she grew up. The beloved movie star John Wayne was born in Winterset, Iowa, three hours away. The John Wayne that Waterloo was home to is John Wayne Gacy, a notorious serial killer. (June 2011)

    3. "Our movement at its core is an intellectual movement." --Rep. Michele Bachmann on the Tea Party movement, CPAC conference, March 2014

    4. "Why should I go and do something like that? But the Lord says, 'Be submissive wives; you are to be submissive to your husbands." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, recalling in a 2006 speech at a Megachurch in Minneapolis that pursuing tax law wasn't her choice, but she did so at the urging of her husband because she was certain God was speaking through him

    5. "If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." -Michele Bachmann, Jan. 2005

    6. "I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?" -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a new McCarthyism, Oct. 2008

    7. "I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president, April 28, 2009

    8. "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas." -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, April, 2009

    9. "I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter." –Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), on the HPV vaccine, Fox News interview, Sept. 12, 2011

    10. "But we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States. ... I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly -- men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, botching American history while speaking at an Iowan's for Tax Relief event in January 2011. The Founding Fathers did not work to end slavery, and John Quincy Adams was not one of the Founding Fathers.

    11. "Before we get started, let's all say 'Happy Birthday' to Elvis Presley today." -Rep. Michele Bachmann, while campaigning for president in South Carolina on what was actually the anniversary of Elvis's death, Aug. 16, 2011 (Elvis was born on January 8)

    12. "The thing that I think that is getting a little tiresome is, the gay community thinks that they've so bullied the American people and they so intimidated politicians that politicians fear them, and so they think that they get to dictate the agenda everywhere." -Rep. Michelle Bachmann, CPAC conference, March 2014

    13. "I was very proud of the fact that I didn't get anything wrong that I said during the course of the debates." -Rep. Michele Bachmann on her performance in the 2012 Republican presidential debates
  5. http://www.liberalamerica.org/2013/09/28/10-crazy-christian-quotes-you-may-not-have-heard/

    This is a transcript of a recent blog entry posted on Liberalamerica.com. As a member of the church for nearly thirty years, I thought I'd share my thoughts on a few of these quotes.

    EDIT: Please note that I am not posting these quotes as a direct bash against Christianity as a whole. Quotes such as these are representative of the insanity I grew up on, and I'm posting them simply as a primer for future posts on my life in the church.

    1.) “When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell “Stop!” to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind. Then recite a portion of the Bible or sing a hymn.” –Mormon Guide to Self-Control

    This is absolute nonsense. Believe it or not, masterbation is one of the few topics that the Bible never mentions. That's right! The act is never specifically condoned nor condemned. Biblically speaking it's what you think about, not what you do that constitutes the sin. In other words, it's the lustful thoughts that accompany the act, not the act itself. In my honest opinion, masterbation is a perfectly healthy, and natural act -- repressing the urge to this degree will actually lead you INTO sexual sin, not out of it. FACT: The longer one goes without fulfilling sexual desire, the frequency of lustful thoughts entering their mind increases. I believe that if humans were truly created in God's image, then he created them with the desire to masterbate. The fact that he does not mention it specifically leads me to believe that he doesn't take issue with it.

    2.) “We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.” –James Watt, Secretary of the Interior during the Reagan years.

    Honestly? "Jesus is coming back at any minute" is an excuse to destroy the planet? Sounds reasonable to me! If I remember correctly, there was a story in the Bible (I forget which book/chapter) wherein a group of men sat about day and night waiting on the rapture. These men were condemned as fools and told to go on with their lives. Jesus said: "For no man knows the day or the hour." He tells us that we aren't supposed to destroy the planet or cease caring about life as a whole simply because His coming may be upon us. It could be now, or it could be a thousand years from now. It's not for US to worry about!

    3.) “I called to buy some meth, but I threw it away.” —Rev. Ted Haggard, when details began to emerge about his visits to a male prostitute, in 2006.

    This one is proof positive that nine-times-out-of-ten the person behind the pulpit that is calling you a "sinner" every week is a bigger sinner than you.

    4.) Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free. –Pat Buchanan

    Hmmm. Okay, you could argue that because our founding fathers had faith in God that he blessed our country to economic superiority. But you could also argue that the Chinese, who were Buddhists, were also blessed by their deity seeing that they were prosperous long before America was founded. Or what about the Greeks and Romans with their legions of deities? Or the Egyptians? Or the Babylonians? Every period of history has had its economic superpowers and superior cultures. The fact that your country is on top at the moment doesn't necessarily mean anything in the spiritual realm.

    5.) “This Christmas I want you to do the most loving thing and I want you to buy each of your children an SKS rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition.” —A speaker at the 1995 convention of the U.S. Taxpayers Party. A few months later, Dobson endorsed their candidate for president, Howard Phillips.

    So let me get this straight: as a token of love and appreciation, we are supposed to provide our children with a high-powered implement of death and destruction? Where in the Bible does it say that? I thought in the ten commandments God told us NOT to commit murder. Taking that into consideration, why on earth would your kids need an assault rifle with 500 rounds of ammunition? Who are they planning to kill? And more importantly, Mr. Dobson, who are you asking them to kill?

    6.) “Kids today are looking for something to die for… If you give them something to die for, they’ll go to the edge of the earth for you.” —James Dobson’s son Ryan, in 2005. His book, 2Die4 : The Dangerous Truth About Following Christ advocates “murderous war because our enemies are deadly.”

    Who says so? I dunno about you, but when I was a kid I sure as hell wasn't actively seeking something to die for! I was seeking a long and prosperous future! Growing up, if someone were to come to me with such a proposal as dying for a cause, I probably would have run the opposite direction.

    7.) “The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.” –R. Furman, Baptist, of South Carolina

    This one actually has some validity to it. However, from the context, I believe he is using it as an excuse to promote African-American slavery in America.

    8.) “Sex education classes in our public schools are promoting incest.” –Jimmy Swaggart

    I just have no words for this one... I can't tell you how many people I've known over the years that took sex-ed in school. NOT ONE of them lusted after their parents or siblings. Do people commit incest? Of course they do. Is sexual education to blame? Of course not!

    9.) “Nobody has the right to worship on this planet any other God than Jehovah. And therefore the state does not have the responsibility to defend anybody’s pseudo-right to worship an idol.” –Rev. Joseph Morecraft, Chalcedon Presbyterian Church, “Biblical Role of Civil Government” speech given 8/31/93 at Biblical Worldview and Christian Education Conference

    Where does it say that in the Bible? Yes, the first of the Ten Commandments states "Thou shalt not worship any other God above me." but God also created human beings as creatures of free will. That means you have EVERY right to worship another deity, and it is in fact your government's responsibility to defend that right! Our right to worship freely is not a pseudo-right... It's a God given right.

    10.) “When you know the LORD you have no need for masturbation.” –Brice Wellington

    This one had me laughing so hard that I was in tears. I knew the Lord for nineteen years while I was active in the church and guess what? I still had a need for masterbation AND intercourse. News flash: Knowing Jesus is not going to kill basic biological urges!