“I couldn't live a week without a private library - indeed, I'd part with all my furniture and squat and sleep on the floor before I'd let go of the 1500 or so books I possess.”
― H.P. Lovecraft
Whistling In The Graveyard: November 02, 2008
Whistling In The Graveyard
WARNING: If you are offended by foul language or otherwise threatened by free and original thought in any way, then turn back now you flawed, pathetic example of everything that's wrong with this world. And while you're at it, get the fuck off my planet, seriously.
Friday, November 07, 2008
Hey, quick update to the November 3rd post.
Just want to make it clear to everyone that K didn't know how strong my aversion to religion was and if she had known she wouldn't have pushed me to go. I went voluntarily because, as I said, I should be above this aversion and the only way to get over it is to face it.
I feel kind of bad that I don't talk about her more on here. Mainly because I've been spending a lot of time either with her or trying to spend time with her and if I don't write about any of that then that's a lot of my life that doesn't get onto the blog.
On the other hand though, you guys have read this blog. I'm sure you can understand why it would generally be a bad idea to post about someone I don't want to unintentionally insult or hurt. you know, given that I spend a lot of time devoted to INTENTIONALLY insulting so many people, it's sometimes hard to read my tone.
But just for the record, she didn't know that my dislike of religion was a full blown phobia or she wouldn't have even brought it up. Hell, I didn't even realize it had become a full-blown phobia myself till I started going there with her and discovering this was a good thing because now I can work past it. Before that though I'd not noticed how bad it was getting because I simply avoided churches as much as possible.
So, in short, my going to church with K has been a good thing.
You know that thing where I need to do something, but before I can do that thing it turns out I have to do a second thing, but that second thing can't possibly be done till I get the first thing done?
It's called a Catch 22 and it's the story of my fucking life.
See, I found the perfect apartment in Columbus. A 2-bedroom for less than I've seen some of the efficiencies going for. I can easily afford it on what I'll be getting from disability when it's adjusted for me paying rent. Problem is, the apartment people don't feel that I make enough money to rent their apartment right now.
This is because, since I'm living in my Grandmother's house and not paying rent I'm getting less than the full amount from SSD. As I tried to explain to them once I move I WILL have enough money, because when I start paying rent I'll get the full disability benefit. It's the way disability works. In fact, the disability people said that no landlord should have a problem with this and if they do all they have to do is call the local disability people and they'll explain it. Unfortunately the apartment people don't wanna call the disability people. No, they want a letter from my Mom saying that she's been helping me financially.
I'm 34 years old and I can't rent their apartment without a note from my Mom.
Well Mom doesn't want to write that letter because she's afraid that if she puts it in writing that she occasionally helps me out then disability will use that as an excuse to stop helping me themselves and I must admit it's a valid concern.
Ironically, part of the point of moving is that once I move and disability adjusts I won't need Mom to help me.
So here's where we are:
I want to move to Columbus to use my medicaid benefits to get surgery to get off of medicaid and go back to work.
I found the perfect apartment and even a potential roommate, but the apartment people say I don't have enough money.
To get the money I need to move, but I can't move without the money.
If Mom writes the letter so I can move then I could lose my health insurance (and with it the money from which I'd be paying the rent on the apartment) and if I lose my health insurance I can't get my surgery done.
If I can't get my surgery done then that eliminates the main reason for moving.
And no, I'm not missing the obvious solution of simply starting to pay my Grandmother rent. It's just that God only knows when they'll finally fix things with the disability. Probably not till at LEAST next month, and the apartment people want to see proof of TWO payments. Even if I wait that long to get the proof they want odds are the apartment will be gone.
Plus, I'd hate to potentially mess up Grandma's medicare by suddenly giving her an income upon which she'd have to file a tax return, not to mention that she'd probably have to file an assload of paperwork with the city. It's not that I have a problem with giving her money, it's just that I don't want to put her in the same boat I'm in.
Ok, I wasn't sure if I was going to write about either of these topics, but since they kinda mesh together I've decided to throw caution to the wind.
Those of you that have seen me do that before know that you should start feeling scared now.
The second part of the GWAR story will have to wait a bit.
See, Mike D. had been bugging me for years to start going to church with him. He's a Unitarian Universalist. For those of you unfamiliar with the Unitarians, they are a religion, but a religion that doesn't maintain a lot of the trappings of other more 'traditional' (for lack of a better word) religions and he therefore figured it was a perfect fit for me.
Problem is, the Unitarians are still enough like a 'traditional' religion to set off my flight reflex. See, I've come to realize that my aversion to religion has been developing into a full blown phobia. Given how successfully (and happily) I've been avoiding it all these years I didn't realize just how bad it had been getting except for the few times I did accompany Mike to a church function or attended a wedding. On those occasions I managed to deal with it, but churches make me EXTREMELY uncomfortable. To put it in perspective, I would rather lay in a tub full of cold vomit and have a bucket of live spiders dumped on my head than spend any length of time in a church.
I liken it to the Bill Hicks routine about the “People Who Hate People party”:
“There's a new party being born: The People Who Hate People Party. People who hate people, come together! "No!" We're kind of having trouble getting off the boards. Come to our meeting! "Are you gonna be there?" Yeah. "Then I ain't fucking coming." But you're our strongest member! "Fuck you!" That's what I'm talking about, you asshole! Fuck off! Damn, we almost had a meeting going. It's so hard to get my people together.”
I would try explaining to Mike that I really dislike religions and basically everything that goes with them and he would counter with “That's fine, the Unitarians are a group of people who have that in common with you!”
“A group of people with common interests who meet together on Sunday in a church to discuss it?”
“Well they can goddamn do it without me.”
Having said all this, I have attended the Unitarian church in Columbus a couple times in the last few months. I've done this mainly (at first) because K also attends this church and invited me and I think it would have been extraordinarily rude of me to not go, even without having explained my preference for vomit covered spiders. She didn't know how strong my aversion was because largely I didn't know myself, so please don't get the impression that she did anything wrong by 'making' me go. She didn't make me go, I chose to go and even had a good time apart from the creeping waves of unease that I couldn't suppress. I chose to go back because that's how you get over a phobia, you confront it.
Again, they're a nice bunch of people, nice ceremony, but it looks like a church, sounds like a church, smells like a church and that's enough to wind me pretty tight. It's strange, but it affects me on a level that, frankly, I thought I was above.
So that brings us to the other topic I didn't know if I was gonna write about. The election.
I wanted to get moved to Columbus in time to register to vote up there so that if I chose to vote it might mean something. Unfortunately that didn't happen and I am still registered in West Virginia where, even if McCain loses EVERY other state, he'll still win by a landslide.
I remember in the primaries.
Hillary won West Virginia by 70%.
People had the nerve to act surprised.
“She won by 70%? Wow, I wonder how that happened?” To which I would charmingly reply “Lying fucking asshole! You know EXACTLY why Obama lost West Virginia! You LIVE HERE! You can't live here and not know why he fucking lost here!”
And when it comes down to it it seems that the people urging me to vote for Obama are using essentially the same argument as the people that try to talk me into being a Christian: “What if you're wrong?”
What if I'm wrong? Let me tell you something, if the reason you go to church is fear of what will happen to you if you don't go to church then that's not faith nor spirituality, it's fear, and if your religion's primary motivator is fear then you can fucking keep it.
When I express doubts about Obama and/or voting at all I get hit with the same argument. “What if you don't vote and it comes down to ONE VOTE? Then your vote would make all the difference.” To me this is the same as “What if you don't worship Jesus and it turns out he's really, really real? What then?” Well to that I say again that if your faith is just a way of hedging your bets so you can get into fucking heaven then it isn't faith, in fact, I'd go so far as to call it spiritually deceitful and I hope Jesus kicks you in the nuts.
See, I have two rules, I don't believe anything the government tells me and I don't think spiritual/religious enlightenment can be taught. Any spiritual views you didn't form on your own are worthless at best and damaging at worst.
I mean Jesus seems like a pretty cool guy and so does Barack Obama and, if you believe the stories I guess Jesus did do some pretty cool things, but he could do miracles. If Obama wins West Virginia then I'll believe he can do miracles too. Another thing they have in common is I don't know how either of them planned to do anything, they just both talked a lot about 'hope' and shit like that the big difference is that Barack Obama is poised to be (arguably) the most powerful figure in American politics and Jesus got nailed to a tree.
I think I had a point in that comparison... oh well, where was I?
Right. Hardcore Christians, the ones that believe that every word of the bible is absolutely, literally, true as written are to me like that kid in the second or third grade that's the last one to give up their stubborn belief in Santa Claus. It never ceases to amaze me that people can read the bible, in which their protagonist tell people allegorical stories, and can't believe that maybe the whole book is allegory?
If you look at it as stories written by people who didn't know how the world worked and they were trying to explain what they thought was going on there might (MIGHT) be some value there. When you look at it like people really did live to be 2,000 years old and built a boat and filled it full of two of every animal and together they watched the sodomites drown or whatever and you BELIEVE IT, you're fucking insane.
Just like you are if you believe that Obama can do everything he says he can do. Yes, if you believe everything Obama claims then you're really no better than fundamentalist christians.
I'm not knocking him, mind you, I'm just not making him out to be Jesus like a lot of his supporters are.
Frankly, quite despite myself, I like Obama and I think he will do a lot of positive things for this country. Problem is, I know that the more a politician is liked, the more they're lying. Given how much people love Obama he's quite possibly the antichrist.
Not that I'm saying McCain is any better. In fact, I don't want him anywhere near the White House, especially with his dumb-ass running mate. I'm not supporting McCain at all. In fact, if you do vote, I think you should vote for Obama as the far lesser of two evils.
Yes, he's evil.
He's a politician and politicians are evil.
Yes, ALL of them.
I voted for the lesser of two evils once. Back in 2000. And he won. And that's why I haven't voted since.
Given that, do you people REALLY want me to go vote tomorrow?
Anyways, go vote for Obama Claus and maybe he'll bring you that hope you've all been wishing for.
Ok, so a bunch of stuff has happened since I last blogged.
I got the top on my car fixed, Brian and Andrea came to visit again, I attended my Grandmother's 100th birthday, met Zombie in person for the first time attended my second GWAR concert, took a pleasant but unexpected road trip and managed to wrap it up by being a big jerk yet again.
Lets take them one at a time.
My car had this vinyl top on it and it had been obvious for some time that there had been rust collecting under it. It's actually the second vinyl top that had been on it. We replaced the first one 20 years ago or so when we had it repainted, as the original wasn't in such great shape. Well I'd put off tearing this top off for fear of what I'd find under it. Well I took a look when part of it sort of caved in.
What I found was too horrific to take pictures of and even if I could have taken them I couldn't post them here. It was nothing but rust and holes. Absolutely none of the remaining steel was salvageable, so I finally took everyone's advice and went to my Uncle's sheet metal shop to see if someone there could weld some new steel in there. Apparently it was so bad they couldn't do it on site, but he told me where to go to get it fixed and he'd cover it, which he didn't have to do, but it was damn nice of him since it ended up costing a LOT more than I thought it was going to.
Anyways, I got real lucky and found a 1970 Maverick at a local junkyard for $150And they used it to replace EVERYTHING between the windshield and back glass. I got lucky again that they didn't have to cut off the parts over the doors because it would have taken longer and cost a lot more. It took them a week and I got it back last Friday.
I don't remember what I did Saturday. Now that I see that in print it's starting to bother me. Surely it was something of vital importance. That or I got kidnapped by aliens or something. I do remember that night I got a phone call from Brian, whom I didn't know was in town, asking if I wanted to go to breakfast in the morning. Apart from that, nothing.
So Sunday I wake up at like 9 AM in preparation for breakfast, which ended up being at 1 PM. Saw Brian and Andrea and Nate who used to co-habitate in the hell-hole here. We went to the Chinese place which might seem like an odd choice for breakfast till you realize that Chinese people eat breakfast too.
Then I went to Grandma's birthday party from 2 to 4, came back to the house, threw a bunch of random clothes in a bag (because apparently I didn't have time to do it before with the alien abduction and all) and headed for Columbus.
I arrive at Victoria's later than I'd planned, we get to the show later than I'd planned, and meet Zombie, her friend LDG (Living Dead Girl) and LDG's boyfriend (or LDG-BF) just in time to catch Kingdom of Sorrow.
Now most of you guys think I know everyone in my comics in person, but despite the fact that I met Zombie online in December 2002 this was my first time meeting her in person. And yes, she does kick as much ass in person as she does digitally. She recognized me right away, which is good because it would have been easy to get lost in that crowd, but kind of depressing in that it meant that I was as fat in her mental picture of me as I am in real life.
My insecurities aside though, Kingdom Of Sorrow was pretty good:
Derek Kerswill : Drums (Scattered Remnants, Seemless, Shadows Fall, Twelfth of Never, Unearth) Kirk Windstein : Vocals, Guitar (Down, Valume Nob, Shell Shock, Crowbar) Matt Brunson : Bass (Shedding Old Skin) Jamey Jasta : Vocals (Hatebreed, Icepick) Steve Gibb : Guitar Crowbar, (ex Black Label Society)
I didn't see Toxic Holocaust, but here they are:
But the real reason to be there was GWAR! As always I tell you all that you absolutely MUST go to a GWAR show at some point in your life. Even if you don't like their music (but really, what's not to like?) the stage show is the most incredible thing I've ever seen.
For those not acquainted with GWAR, this clip should serve as a proper introduction:
Oderus Urungus: Lead Vocals Flattus Maximus: Lead Guitar Balsac the Jaws of Death: Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals Beefcake the Mighty: Bass, Backing Vocals Jizmak Da Gusha: Drums, Percussion
And just to make things especially cool, GWAR's sometimes estranged manager Sleazy P. Martini has returned and was in attendance and he's running for president!
But unfortunately, backing vocalist and GWAR goddess Slymenstra Hymen wasn't there.
So yeah, the show was insane. Here's my shirt:
And just because I think it's funny here's Brian after we saw GWAR in 1995 or 96, I can never remember which.
It's too bad I had to censor his eyes out because he looks totally stoned in that picture.
Anyways, that's part 1. Part 2 will follow soon. Till then, here's GWAR's appearance in the Super Nintendo version of Beavis and Butthead, the video game.