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  1. Let me precurse this by saying that I am, by-and-large, an atheist. My beliefs were covered in a previous entry, but I mention them again because I am by no means an theologian; it is wholly possible I may be wrong here.

    It occurred to me that, should God exist, I am rapidly amassing marks in the 'minus' column much faster than the 'plus' column. I do not go to church, I publicly doubt His existence, and I blaspheme all the damn-time. It thus makes sense, that on the rare occasion I offer up a prayer, it never seems to get answered.

    The situation typically goes like this:
    I throw myself to the ground and proclaim: “Oh holy God! I know that I've not been the best servant. I have sinned, I have doubted you, I still do. But if you exist, and you are as compassionate as people say, PLEASE make this hang-over stop.”
    God will respond with a quiet and mysterious SILENCE.
    This is then followed by hours of personal misery, a promise to myself to never drink like that again, which lasts until I eventually forget and relapse.

    The point of this is that if you are not in His good-graces, if your checks are in the minus column, your prayers will fall on deaf ears. Sort of a “If you won't do this for me, I won't do that for you” thing. It's fair if nothing else.

    So here we are, yet again, in the midst of another election cycle. Everyone's political machines are ramping up and each candidate's respective camps have begun the long process of mud slinging. In the Libertarian corner is Ron Paul, who will stick to his guns and principals until the end (which is when the GOP decides to run a more main-stream candidate-- just like every other year). The Tea-party has Michele Bachmann, who is the only person currently qualified to challenge Sarah Palin for her seat as conductor of the crazy-train. And the religious-right has Rick Perry. By far, the most popular candidate at the moment.

    This brings us to Governor Perry. Recently, he held a highly controversial prayer rally to try and end the drought in Texas. It didn't work. But worse than that, the state seems to now be on fire. That isn't God ignoring someone-- that's Old Testament God letting you know he is pissed off. So I ask this: If I'm in the minus column, what column is Rick Perry in?
  2. Oh, job hunting. Is there no part of earning a degree more fun that the subsequent hunt to do ANYTHING with it? I'm pretty sure there isn't.

    While hunting for a 'real job' I stumbled upon an ad for a personal assistant position. It wasn't what I wanted, but it was local and paid (slightly) better than my current gig. I contacted the poster, and received a reply. It was clearly an email scam. Here is our discussion thus far.

    05/24/11 He replied:
    And I responded:
    I provided my address, phone, and school email so that I can talk to him. I love talking to scammers. My long term goal is to get stuff mailed to me by one. Perhaps this will be the guy!

    Notice that my name has changed to no longer match my email or previous correspondences. Notice the use of CAPSLOCK, which scammers love. Also note how eager I am to get to work making the orphanage home children so very happy. Even when I am messing with fake people my philanthropic nature shines through.

    I will post up as our 'working relationship' develops.
  3. This entry will mark a break with my normal style of content. I really don't have much to say about the last 2 months, so here is a one-line synopsis and related question:

    Midterms, finals, 2 weddings, and 3 funerals.

    How sad is it to have 2 conflicting funerals and a final on the same day?
  4. I wrote this back in April of 2010, after a particularly sad visit to a friend who was dying from breast cancer. She was the inspiration, but I cannot dedicate this to her, because she was strong until the end, even when I (clearly) was not.

    Today I met Ghost

    The person in front of me
    looks like she belongs in Auschwitz.
    Eighty some-odd pounds
    of lost hope;
    She knows no rescue is coming.

    In her eyes is pain,
    Not for herself,
    For me,
    Her family,
    Her husband
    Their son.

    I remember my grandfather's photos.
    The ones from the war.
    Except there is no barbed wire here
    or guard towers in sight.
    Only an oxygen tank and hospital bed.

    No swastika flags or blind eyes.
    Only pink ribbons,
    And a family who cannot look away.
    The TV is playing “I survived”.
    It's the cancer episode;
    She turns it off.

    Her eyes close and she apologizes.
    “I don't know why I can't stay awake.”
    “It's the weather” I tell her.
    “Has the rain helped the flowers?
    I've not gotten outside in a while.”
    I tell her yes.

    Outside rain falls,
    Weeds grow,
    life continues unknowing.

    I kiss her head and leave
  5. I wrote this for class a few semesters back and decided to share it. It's here for everyone to enjoy, but comments are always appreciated. FWIW I got the idea from a writing contest here on the boards ("A Rebel Fairy" was the theme), but missed the submission deadline.

    Enough gum flapping, on with the story:

    The Rebel Fairy
    By: Kyle Baker

    Lom looked over his shoulder as the wooded planet fell from view. He glanced at his instruments: Cabin pressure: Holding at one atmosphere. Fuel cells: 89%. Weapon pods: Armed, safeties engaged. The sky rapidly fell black as the X-Thing Starfighter rocketed beyond the atmosphere. Three minutes until the Imperial Death-Moon was in range and the attack would begin.

    "This is Red leader. All points form up on me, Attack formation Alpha-deuce-niner." "Copy that. Alpha-deuce-niner locked in." replied Lom. The X-Thing listed to port as it moved into attack formation. Butterflies invaded his stomach as the Death-Moon glided onto the X-Thing's navigational display. "Deep breaths. Focus on relaxing thoughts." he told himself.

    Suddenly the cabin began to fill with the noxious smell of chemical solvent. Lom forced himself to remain calm, and checked his instrument panel for warning lights. Nothing. "Um, Darryll? We may have a problem here, do you smell--" he stopped mid-sentence as he stared in disbelief at his gunner. "Are you painting your nails? "Pfft. Honey, queens paint, heroes polish." He held his manicured left hand up as evidence of impending herodom.

    Darryll was new. He had only enlisted with the rebel army two months ago. His gunning scores had been incredible through his entry exam; markedly higher than anyone the review board had ever seen. It was on account of his marksmanship, a skill which the rebels badly lacked, that the board eventually agreed to make an exception and allow him to enlist. Soon after, they awarded Darryll the honor of 'Battalion's top marksman'. It was why he came to join the rebel cause that made everyone nervous. Darryll was a former member of the Imperial army. He had been mustered out under the new 'Don't ask, don't tell' program.

    "Isn't it weird being on the other side?" Lom had asked one day after Darryll was assigned as his gunner. "I don't care who I'm shootin at," Darryll told him, "so long as the reporters catch my good side in the pictures." He then tossed his chin up and hair back in a dramatic pose. "I'm just really good at this. My momma always told me, find what I'm good at and do it."

    "So why did you join the Imperials first?" Lom had asked.

    "Their uniforms are fabulous. Walter Lanague designs them. The rebels have a whole... destitute bad-boy look." His hands moved dismissively across Lom's profile. "I mean, you pull it off... um... great. But its not for me." Something about the way he paused before 'great' had made Lom aware of how grungy his tattered flight suit had become.

    Now, sitting in the cockpit of the ancient fighter craft, Lom felt a sense of pride. The Imperials had mistakenly let the greatest gunner in the universe slip through their fingers. Two minutes from now, the Imperial army would find out exactly how badly that mistake could hurt. All he had to do was get in range and let Darryll do the rest. Piece of cake, he hoped.

    "Red-six calling Red-two. Red-two do you copy?"

    "Go ahead Red-six" replied Lom.

    "Hey you two looked really cute in those matching leather flight suits." quipped Miko, the squadron hot-shot. He was right. Darryll had bought a pair of flight suits from an old school friend. They were costumes from the movie, Battletrek Enterprise, and had been designed by Andraeus Givello. Lom had to admit, he looked pretty good in it.

    "You get matching handbags too?" asked Leigha, Miko's gunner.

    "Are you kiddin me?" Darryll asked in an uninterested manner before coolly continuing, "a hand bag would clash worse than you and Miko's matchin mustaches."

    "Can it you guys, we have hostiles inbound. Red leader to all wings, prepare for combat." Three squadrons of Imperial TRI-fighters blipped to life on the radar. "Blue and gold squadrons, move to intercept. Red squadron continue on attack vector. Watch your wingman and keep an eye open for the laser towers on the Death-Moon's surface. Red leader out."

    Scattered laser fire began to fill the air. Blue four let out a terrified scream before exploding into a ball of plasma and shrapnel. Darryll finished filing the nails on his gunning hand.

    A lone TRI-fighter flew past and began firing on Red six. "I know you boys are watching my ass, but could you cover it too?" Miko radioed, "I'm lining up for my pass."

    "Don't you worry Miko, your ass is too cute to waste." Darryll said as his turbo lasers roared to life. Bolts of coherent ruby light tore through the Imperial ship. "Now blow that moon to hell!"

    Miko lined his X-Thing up with the reactor exhaust chute. The chute was the Death-Moon's only vulnerability, a long exhaust vent which connected the reactor core to the outside. It was also smaller than a Sulvarian Inex. Hitting it would be near impossible. Miko dove for the target through a maelstrom of turret fire. Leigha focused on the vent and released her payload. The bombs collided with a turret tower, missing the chute completely.

    One after another the Red squadron fighters completed their passes over the chute. Each pass resulted in a spectacular explosion but none found their way down the chute. The radar screen pinged to life as five more squadrons of TRI-fighters launched into the fight. The hopes for a rebel victory were growing bleak.

    "Red two, you have the last shot at this. No pressure or anything, but if you fail the rebels forces will be defeated. We'll keep these fighters off you as long as we can. Good luck."

    "Thanks Red leader, we won't let you down." Replied Lom. He keyed off the radio and began his approach. "Hey Darryll. You can hit that chute, right?"

    "Lom, I've been shootin loads down exhaust chutes longer than you've been flyin." Lom tried not to consider how else Darryll may have meant that. "Relax Lom, I have sooo got this."

    Lom began to dive at the chute. Below, laser turrets spat fiery death at the X-Thing. Above, squadrons of X-Things and TRI-fighters fought in desperate combat. Inside the cockpit, Darryll took aim and fired the payload of bombs.

    The entire rebel force held their breath.

    "Screw you. Bigots."

    A muffled "Poomfft" emitted from the chute. Moments later, a sudden fireball erupted from the opening. The entire Death-Moon began to crack apart. An internal ammunition store room exploded, and soon the Death-Moon was no more.

    Back at base Lom and Darryll were welcomed as heroes. Reporters took photos of both Darryll's good side, and his better side. Lom received compliments on his stylish new look. During the celebration Miko congratulated Darryll personally.

    "I could almost kiss you right now." He told Darryll.

    Darryll smiled and winked, "If you don't ask, I won't tell."