Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Coming to a hospital near you

Take two valium and call me in the morning.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

And now for something completely different II

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Goodbye old friend

About a week ago, my next-door neighbor was killed in his apartment.

The door to his apartment is sealed with lime green police stickers, and the outside of the door is still covered in CSI fingerprint dust.

He was one of a small handful of residents that had lived in the building for more than 30 years, and he will be missed by all of us very much.

His name was Jose Raul Prieto, but almost everyone in the building simply called him Raul. Raul, I am proud to say, was much more than just my neighbor in 8ME. He was my friend.

He was a very intelligent man. He could talk to you at length about everything from the subject of Cuban music, to world events and politics. He even shared my left wing slant. On several occasions, Raul made the trip to the polling stations with a few other residents of the building and myself. We enjoyed the fact that we would go together and make our choices in a voting block. It meant very little to us that we were casting our rebel votes in a state as Democratic as Alabama is Republican.

There are two stories that I think best exemplify Raul.

On one occasion, he was playing the soundtrack to Buena Vista Social Club in his one bedroom apartment. He must have really been getting into it, because he was playing it really loud, and it could be heard throughout the hallway. My roommate at the time went to go knock on his door. When he answered, he immediately apologized for playing it so loud. My roommate surprised him by telling him that he had not come to complain, but instead to ask him what the great music was. He flashed a big smile, and proudly showed him the album cover.

A few days later he went out and bought two new copies of the soundtrack. He carefully wrapped them in paper, and delivered them to our door. This was his way of saying “thanks for being the kind of neighbor that instead of telling to you keep it down, tells you to turn it up.”

The second story is a simple one.

Raul would travel to Miami, and the Hamptons from time to time. He would often be away for a week or more. During those trips, he would often ask me if I wanted the copies of his NY Times while he was away. He really loved that paper, and saw his daily copies as prized commodities.

Two things bother me about this.

1) It was his stacked and unclaimed NY Times copies that should have been the first clue that something was very wrong.

2) The reporter that came from the NY Times was the only one I spent some real time talking to. I told her how much he liked her paper, and tried to share with her all the positive details about Raul. Although I am sure her editors were mainly responsible, this tiny article was all that the NY Times bothered to publish about one of their greatest fans.

In fact almost every news organization treated my friend’s death like some sort of three-ring circus. Most news sources found it more important to mention over and over that Raul was gay, rather than cover the feeling of loss within the building. The NY Post, which is best used for picking up piles of dog shit, wrote less than sixteen small lines about him. In that tiny column, they printed the word “gay” twice.

As printed by the NY Post on May 18th, 2007:


By Murray Weiss and Douglas Montero

This is a really nice job Murray and Douglas. Did you get a secret decoder ring with your journalism degree?

The story was also covered by NY 1, ABC and CBS.

According to news sources, the current theory is that Raul may have met a strange man on the Internet. Because there was no sign of forced entry into the apartment, they believe that he may have invited him back to his apartment where the man killed him.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Do men or women cheat more often, and who is better at it?

Men are not saints by any means. They often will cheat on their significant other. It is accurate to say that even the nicest men are sometimes dogs.

Polls are taken every year on the subject of infidelity, but it often seems that men are expected to cheat on their partner nearly 50% more than women.

However, I believe that women are much better liars. I have often been amazed how well a woman can lie to you while she broadly smiles and tell you that she is not.

I can say that I have still not cheated on a girlfriend. However, I have come extremely close on a few occasions. The closest I ever came to weakening was in my second year of college.

In my sophomore year, I had started dating a girl who I will call Jane. She and I had seen each other on the very first day of school (orientation), but had not been able to find one another in our freshman year for various reasons. We talked a few times over the summer, and finally began dating in the first week of the second year. A few months in, and were beginning to become exceedingly important to each other.

Also attending my University was this beautiful girl named Lori. She had been a very good friend to me for over a year. We had lightly flirted a few times in that first year, but nothing had ever come of it. Now that I was no longer single, I must have become more appealing to her.

One night I was hanging out with her in her dorm room. This was not unusual, since I had done so many times in an innocent manner. That night, I am sure that I had smoked a little pot (also not unusual for me at that time), and I was getting fairly sleepy. As fate would have it, I was on her bed. I slipped off for a minute or two, and when I opened my eyes the lights were dimmed and I felt this girl slip quietly into bed with me.

Did I mention that this girl was really beautiful?

She snuggled in next to me, and within a few seconds I found her eyes and lips within inches of mine. I had imagined this many times the previous year, and here was my chance. I would be lying if I said that I was not tempted.

Did I mention that this girl was really very beautiful?

There was one major problem though. The girl I was seeing at the time (Jane) meant a great deal to me. Even though we had not progressed to the stage of love yet, I cared very deeply for her. With this in mind, I sat up in the bed and politely left the room. The fact that I was able to do this, still surprises me to this day.

On the way down the stairwell of my dorm room, I ran into Jane. It turns out that she had been on her way upstairs to see if I was with Lori in her room. I did not know it at the time, but her fears were not reassured by seeing me just then. Jane still had it in her head that something had indeed happened with Lori that night.

The following weekend, unbeknownst to me, Jane went home and slept with her ex boyfriend for revenge.

There is no moral to this story. Sometimes making what you think is the right decision does not always work out in the end. I guess you can only do what you think is right, and hope that karma treats you well.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

Presidential Dreams



I'll take Bill ... any day of the week.

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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Behind the Curtain

BAGHDAD - Vice President Dick Cheney made another unannounced visit to Iraq. He and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acknowledged problems in the pace of reducing violence in Iraq on Wednesday, but both pledged their governments would continue working together toward a solution.

The Iraqi leader said he and Cheney discussed "practical steps ... to support our efforts working on both the security front as well as the domestic political issues."

Among the key issues discussed were:

1) The need to get bigger leather chairs in the meeting room to support their bloated fat asses.

2) Where the best “Big and Fat” store was to buy a charcoal single-breasted suit.

It's easy to see why things are going so well.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Love me ... or else.

In the year 1964, the Beatles released their sixth British single entitled "Can't Buy Me Love". Fittingly enough, the song found on the B-side was "You Can't Do That". Obviously the Beatles were trying to say that money does not make someone really love you. It might help certain situations or buy many things, but it will never buy what was meant to be free.

Often when I think of the word "free", I also think of "free will".

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines "free will" as 1) A voluntary choice or decision ... or 2) Freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.

Does that intervention always have to be divine? No it does not. Throughout time, and often in political situations, we see other types of "intervention" that influences major decisions. Often that "intervention" comes in the form of a threat.

What happens when that "intervention" or threat entwines itself with the emotions and experience of "love"? Can we threaten someone into loving us? Can we use threats to get what we want from a relationship? If we do, will that person love us more of less?

Here is a true story:

One of my good friends was dating a woman for a little over a year, and they had just started to live together. At some point she came to him and said that she wanted to get married. He had a good job, but was not quite comfortable with where he was financially, and he told her that he was unsure about making such a big decision at that moment. He loved her very much, but did not want to take on a commitment that he could not fully live up to.

When she heard his decision, she decided that they would split up. Within a very short period of time had moved in with another guy. Although she was romantically involved with this new man, she had very little connection with him, and made a concerted effort to make this relationship known to her ex.

My friend was broken up. He felt betrayed, and his whole personality changed from one of a happy go lucky guy to a quiet and reserved soul. He was full of anger, resentment and sadness. He was like a trained and broken dog with his tail between his legs.

After several weeks of madness, he contacted her and begged for her to return to him. She agreed, but only if she could get "the things that she wanted". Even though his personal situation had not changed, he could not take seeing this other man with his girlfriend and he caved in.

They are now married and have two children.

I want to hear what you think about these two. Is this the way love is meant to be? Do you believe that this technique for "getting what you want" is an ethical one? Would he have been better off with someone else?

What do you think of him?
(Someone who has trouble pulling the trigger)
What do you think of her?
(Someone who would hold his or her finger on the trigger)

I have my own opinion on this matter, but I really want to hear yours in the comments section please.

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