Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays

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Merry Fricken Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

:(


(Sometimes life just isn't a nice thing.

I hate Pitchfork, but I have taken this off of their website as it is very nice and well-written. If you don't know who Logan is, I hope you take the time to find out.)

We are saddened to report that Logan Whitehurst, former drummer for much-loved California trio the Velvet Teen, passed away yesterday from brain cancer. He was 29.

Whitehurst co-founded the Velvet Teen with Little Tin Frog bandmate Judah Nagler around the turn of the century, and played on the band's early EPs and two full-lengths-- 2002's Out of the Fierce Parade and 2004's Elysium, both released via Portland imprint Slowdance Records. Whitehurst exited the band after Elysium, and the Velvet Teen welcomed new drummer Casey Deitz for this year's Cum Laude.

"Logan was an incredibly special and endlessly gifted person," wrote Slowdance Records owner Ezra Caraeff on the label website.

"Possibly the most grounded and mature person I have ever met, Logan also had the pure joy of a child, always approaching life with a[n] inspiring sense of optimism, despite how downright unfair (my words, never his) things can become. I speak for everyone involved with this label, its bands and those associated with us, when I say that Logan will be missed terribly...If you ever were lucky enough to meet him, you'll know why I am saying these things."

Friends and fans expressed similar sentiments on the Velvet Teen's MySpace page, as well as that of Whitehurst's solo project, Logan Whitehurst & the Junior Science Club.

Logan battled brain cancer for some time-- successfully it seemed-- until it returned in August of this year. "According to my doctor and a recent brain-and-spine scan, I have had a hell of a recurrence of brain cancer," wrote Logan in a profoundly sad MySpace blog entry dated August 30, 2006.

"My doctor is fairly well convinced that this will kill me within the year. Sucks to be me right now. I will do what I can to get the Very Tiny Songs album out on Pandacide Records, but it looks like it will honestly be my very last release. Thank you all-- I love you for being there for me."

We offer our deepest condolences to family, friends, fans, and all whose lives were touched by Logan.

Posted by Matthew Solarski on 12/4/06



Friday, December 01, 2006

Potty Time.

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See you in your nightmares...beh heh heh.

I'm really getting sick of having dreams about going to the bathroom. It's always the same: I'm in a public bathroom, and the stalls have no doors. There are either rows of toilets side by side, groups of pay-toilets out in the open, or bathrooms whose doors I just can't keep closed. Seeing as I have this dream at least once per week, I decided to look up its meaning. According to www.dreammoods.com, it can be interpreted thusly:

The notion that you are naked and in a public washroom indicates that you need to express and/or release the emotions, worries and fears that you have kept inside. Being naked makes your feel vulnerable and exposed. This may be how you feel if you were to express yourself. You are BEARING your soul. Note that bear is a pun on bare. You truly feel naked if you were to "bare" your soul. You fear that you might be judged or criticized by everyone around you.?The feeling that the bathroom stalls are too small suggests that you are trying desperately to keep these emotions to yourself. However, people around you sense that something is wrong. They can see right through the doorless stalls as you try in vain to discretely relieve yourself. You need to learn to let people in and trust that they will accept you for who you are?

I'm not generally "naked" in the dreams persay, but I certainly am aware that I'm out in the open (although the "naked in public" dreams are becoming quite pervasive in my sleep as well...) I've never been too confident in supposed interpretations of dreams, but I'm not sure why this dream keeps popping back up again. Maybe I just really hating using public lavatories. That's probably what it is.

Do you have any persistently recurring dreams?

Friday, November 17, 2006

My Head=Large

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"You mean people will think I'm a dork if my hair looks this way in 20 years????"

I asked the husband the other day why I rarely see adults wearing pigtails. He reasoned that pigtails are a style historically worn by children, and generally are only worn by adults for fashion reasons. Adults generally morph the pigtail style of youth into the ponytail style of maturity.

I wear pigtails about 75% of the time. Not because I think it is fashionable or cute, but because it takes a short amount of time to do. I would love to wear a ponytail like most reasonable adult women, but I can't. It looks terrible. Why? My head is huge.

So if you're wondering why I wear pigtails, it's because my massive head requires two ponytails instead of one to compensate for its size.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

One for the Rubbish Heap

Yesterday, the majority of Wisconsin voters decided to amend our state constitution with this garbage:

“Marriage. Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?”

I am really not sure when I was beamed over to this bizarro world where the majority of voters WANT their civil liberties taken away, but I think I'm ready to go back to earth now.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Fun at Work

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This is where I work.

Here are the interesting things that are currently happening at my work:

1. There is a court aide who is very interested in American History. He actually went to visit a family in the south to inquire about their family history. This family was in no way related to him. He sings American folk songs while he files, and whistles Dixieland tunes. I think he hates me, which I find unsettling.

2. There is a man who got a simple traffic ticket earlier this year. Rather than paying it, he opted to send all of our letters back unopened. According to him, his name is copyrighted and we have therefore infringed on his copyright by addressing mail to him. We got his invoice the other day for what we "owe" him: $35,100,000 according to his calculations. Unfortunately for him, simulating the legal process is a felony. I think he should have just paid the ticket.

3. There is a man who sends us letters twice weekly stating that his mother's estate was unfairly emptied by his brother. He sends us photocopies of the letter he sent to his brother, but never addresses a letter to the court. Each time the print is bigger than the last; "for the vision impaired", he states. The envelope has a photocopied message written to my supervisor, asking "Who up there can do something about this?" He never actually asks a question in his letter, so we have no idea how to respond (despite repeated attempts by my supervisor to recommend an attorney to him.) His letter closes with "That's a bad thing you did, taking a dump on my family." It's eloquent, really.

4. Child pornography charges are all the rage these days. One of my coworkers was carting a large file out for viewing by a third-party when she realized none of the exhibits (i.e. the child pornography) were placed in confidential envelopes. Apparently no one thought that having nude photos of 6 year old boys available for public viewing was a problem. It is.

This is what's happening in my life. What about you?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Codicil

I am writing this as a supplement to my last post.

Please understand that whether you are my family, my friend, or just a curious browser, I never had any intention of offending anyone or demeaning anyone’s faith when I wrote my last post. In my opinion, understanding our faith is the single most important personal journey that all of us must partake in at one point or another in our lives. Whether you choose to accept God, reject God, or just don’t know about God—we should never stop learning. Stagnation in faith leads to stubbornness and, worse yet, indifference. Indifference is truly the foulest word when it comes to spiritual issues, as it inevitably leads to cessation of personal growth in our faith.

I do not blame the WELS church for who I have become, nor do I blame my parents. In fact, I don’t even know why the word “blame” needs to come in to play. I am quite proud of the person I have become, and I would hope that no one feels the need to “blame” anyone for it. I do not consider myself a failure, nor do I consider myself morally bankrupt. I commend my parents for making the decision to raise my brother and me in a faith-based environment. Their decision set the foundation for all that I would become and all that I hope to be in the future.

My choice to disagree with many of the doctrines of the WELS Lutheran church is an informed decision, and one which I continue to explore on a daily basis. I believe that everyone must find their own truth. If that truth makes you kinder, happier, and an overall better person, does it really matter where you find it? The WELS church did not improve me in those ways, so it simply cannot be my own personal truth. Does that mean that I have abandoned God? No. Does that mean that YOU should abandon God? No. We all must seek our own truth, and we will ALL find it in different places (if we are lucky enough to find it at all.)

If you have any concerns regarding what I am saying, I highly encourage you to talk to me. When it comes to this subject, I am truly an open book. I would hate to think that anyone has lost faith in me or themselves because of any of this. I am learning and growing, and I must include all aspects of my life in this growth. I appreciate anyone concerned on my behalf, but I’m going to be okay.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Jesus Against Christianity

While browsing the Religious Studies section at my local Border's a few months ago, I stumbled upon a book entitled Jesus Against Christianity: Reclaiming the Missing Jesus. The premise of the "true Jesus" being missing from Christianity is an issue that I have felt curiosity about for some time now, so I went ahead and picked up the book. What I didn't realize is that I would soon have the knowledge and strength to reaffirm what I had known for a long time: modern Christianity is full 'o crap. Unsure where to go with this knowledge and unsure how to break free of the mindset my childhood religion had left me with, I decided to write to the author for advice. I wouldn't normally do something so absurd, but I wasn't sure who else to turn to.

This is the email I wrote to him:

"Dear Mr. Nelson-Pallmeyer,

I am writing this email to personally thank you for writing "Jesus Against Christianity: Reclaiming the Missing Jesus" as well as to ask you for a bit
of guidance. Reading this book has completely changed my religious outlook as well as reaffirmed my belief in the need for spirituality in all ourlives.

Growing up WELS Lutheran in rural Wisconsin , I can say with little exaggeration that I was born into a poisonous worldview. Similar to the story in your book, I learned from an early age just how worthless I was due to Eve's "original sin." I knew I should thank my lucky stars that God loved me and sent a perfect sacrifice on my behalf, as I certainly could not make up for my shortcomings on my own--not in God's eyes at least. Besides my glaring, sinful imperfections I also had the audacity to be born a female; therefore, I knew I would never be able to preach in front of males, lead a household, or (heaven forbid) express my opinion on church happenings by voting! And lets not even discuss consorting with homosexuals...or worse: Catholics.

It became apparent to me that something was very wrong with these teachings when I was removed from my confirmation class for "asking too many questions." Despite inevitably being confirmed WELS Lutheran in the end, I always knew I could not commit myself entirely to a religion that not only condemned free thought and curiosity, but belittled my intelligence and my very existence simply because I am missing that all-important Y chromosome.

Since the time of my confirmation at the age of 13, I have been on a search for my own religious truth. As can only be expected, I have not found it; however, I now understand that it does not exist within traditional Christian teachings. Four years ago, I had the good fortune to move to Madison , WI with my boyfriend (now husband) to attend college and, more importantly, experience life. It became apparent to me immediately upon my relocation that there was so much more to the world than my WELS Lutheran worldview could evercomprehend: tolerance of differences, respect for all others (no matter what creed, sexual orientation, or color), and reverance for progress and change.

Bearing these positive revelations in mind, I still find it very difficult to break free of those deep-rooted notions that my many years of "God's love" have left me with. When I profess that a woman's body should be her own, when I applaud a homosexual friend for finally accepting who they are, when I do not condemn an unmarried woman for her unwanted pregnancy I fear: Do I lose sight of heaven and gain eternal damnation for having these beliefs? When something bad happens to me I worry: Is God punishing me for something I did wrong? All logic and recognition cannot seem to quiet these little twinges of my old way--they are far too deep inside of who I am.

I sincerely hope that you can help me to understand how I can free myself from the unfortunately worldview I was raised with. I want to be able to pursue my own spirituality and my own quest to live as Jesus taught, free from unjustified guilt and fear. Any insight into this struggle would be greatly appreciated. If you do not have time to respond to this email, I fully understand. Please know, however, that your book has allowed me to realize that the real Jesus has been absent in my life

Sincerely, Celia Z."


This was his response:

Dear Celia,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me. Your kind words are deeply appreciated and your powerful personal story both sad and inspiring. You are Inspiring because you have broken free in many important ways from the damaging religious worldview that holds so many captive and ruins so many lives. I will tell you that in my own religious journey that the Buddhist concept of mindfulness (check out Thich Nhat Hanh)—a deep appreciation for the gift of each moment and day and out of that appreciation a deep commitment to live a compassionate life—and my understanding of the nonviolence of Jesus, including the nonviolent, invitational power of God—have been very helpful. Please, anytime those old voices surface based on fear, exclusion, punishment, hatred of self andother—take a moment and remember that you/we are loved and that when weare able to affirm this love we are able to live authentic lives rooted in hope andcompassion. Don’t beat yourself up when those voices of hate surface but don’t give them any power because they are unworthy of you or God or humanity.

Again, I thank you for contacting me. I wish you well and hope I have the good fortune of having our paths cross some day soon.

Sincerely,

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer

p.s. You may appreciate a recent book that I coauthored with a musician friend of mine (Bret Hesla) called Worship in the Spirit of Jesus: Theology, Liturgy, and Songs without Violence."


I honestly did not expect an email back from him, but I am very glad that he took the time. Since writing the email, I learned that he actually ran for the 5th Congressional District in Minnesota in this year's Democratic primary. Unfortunately, he didn't win. Better luck next time; we need more people representing us who know religion is not a weapon.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

For the curious-minded among us

Top 10 Reasons Why I Seldom Post


  1. Anything exciting or interesting that happens to me is covered in far better detail and in a far more timely fashion on www.thecdp.net
  2. I am much too mysterious and intriguing to share my thoughts with the likes of YOU. Pssht.
  3. Only so much can be said of the greatness of clementine oranges and turtles before it gets repetitive, and maybe a little disturbing.
  4. Lunchtime at work is much better spent doing image searches for "Paul London" or more likely "Paul London nude" (this only links me back to www.thecdp.net anyway...weird.)
  5. The grandeur which makes me believe others would want to read about my exploits is not based in any concrete fact. This is sad.
  6. If I don't stop posting pictures from Exploding Dog, I'm probably going to get taken to court--where I work. How embarassing.
  7. I type all freakin' day--WHY MUST YOU MAKE ME TYPE MORE? SLAVE DRIVER!
  8. I generally run out of ideas around point number eight.
  9. When I posted the picture of the deer eating the carrot-nose off of the snowman, I honestly believed it could only go downhill from there (and right I was!)
  10. I still contend that blogs are only for losers like Ben Affleck.

The irony of doing a post about why I don't post is so...ironic. Sort of. Not really. At all.

Monday, September 11, 2006

La Da Da!

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Quack, damn you!

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They want to know if you LIKE not paying your bills...

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Get in the bag, Gabe. GABE, get in the bag.

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I am king of the psychotropics! Lighten up, melonheads!

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Oh no, did you let Tinker in???

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I TOLD you...you are God's cruelest mistake.



Friday, January 06, 2006

Out with the old

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So long suckers! As of Monday I start my new job!

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Now I'll be living the high life, eating the noses off the tenderest and most succulent snowmen money can buy.

Happy last day to me!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Check it oot!

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This is mostly for you little lovelies that live in the Fox Cities...

My brother and company are in a new band called Razor Fist. They have a MySpace page you should check out if you get the chance. There are a couple of rough demos there to listen to, although they are currently recording (if they haven't already finished) their actual album with the one and only Justin Perkins. I heard a bit of it over Christmas and I must say it sounds pretty awesome. This band is a lot more straight-up metal than Hill of the Dead or THC were (think Iron Maiden or Judas Priest). They've got a few shows coming up in Appleton and Oshkosh, so if any of you Fox Cities chitlins feel so inclined you should really check them out live. (RJ, I think you'd dig them alot!)

P.S. My brother did not put me up to this, I just really wanted to let you all know about them because when me and Ryan saw them (their first show ever, mind you) they were incredibly entertaining. The guitar player is writing a rock opera!!!!