July 27, 2010

when jesuses attack

As I sit in the shop this evening---alone, bored, watching people mingle to the horrible sounds of smooth jazz--I find myself ready to again venture onto the "Beyond Today" web site to see what they have to teach me. There really is so much about being a Crazy Christian that I don't understand. Today, I am going to focus on the Rapture. Everything I know about the Rapture I learned from a book about Liberty University. It seems as though there is some disagreement amongst Crazy People about what exactly the Rapture means. So, come, let us take a journey together, shall we?

Last week's "Beyond Today" was called "The Rapture: Fact or Fiction?". I am saddened that I missed it and don't have a computer that will play any videos, but there are rather a lot of articles they link to from the web site. The interesting thing is that I read an article that was almost verbatim what Darris was saying on the show, but it was written by someone else. Even the little anecdotal bit about listening to an old radio show was in there. Both the article author and Darris talked about it as though it happened to them so I guess I am a little confused as to how this show works. I guess Darris is just reading the script? I was under the definite impression he was the mastermind. But, anyway. The Rapture is way more important than all this crap.

The subtext for the episode reads, "Why do many people believe a doctrine that has no biblical validity? Isn't it time you learned the real truth?" Why yes, subtext. I believe it is.

So it seems to me that there are two camps--The people who believe Christ is going to snatch up all of the Believers into Heaven and the people who believe him he's actually physically coming back to Earth to rule it. Of course, both camps have Scripture to back up their interpretation. It's so arbitrary what is meant to be taken literally or not. All I know is, if I ever see the future, then I am going to be so effing cryptic when I tell you what's coming. I'm going to say some things that are literal and some which aren't. I'm going to use antiquated terms so that you understand my meaning whereas the people in the future will have to interpret it. Just be as generally confusing as I can possibly be. Hell, why not!

Let break down for you why the "Beyond Today" group thinks that the Rapture isn't what you think it is. First of all, it wasn't taught about until 1,800 years after Christ began the Church! Oh, ok! The one time they care about when something started being taught...

Ok, they think that Christ isn't going to come and take people away, that he's going to physically come and be here. They helpfully explain that human beings cannot rise into the air, so they have to be turned into spirits first. Oh, ok. That does make perfect sense. Silly me! Thinking Christ could make people float! They have to be spirits first. Right. Ok.

So the good people get turned into spirits so they get to skip the whole Final Judgement line. But not all of them, some will be martyred. Just for fun, I guess? This is all made clear by some Bible verses which refer to a woman and a dragon. But not real ones! Dummy! Don't you get this yet? The woman is supposed to mean the Church and the dragon is... God? Its unclear. But one thing is clear, it's not supposed to mean a dragon.

And the zombie saints are going to come out to welcome Jesus back, and he's here to stay, because you wouldn't just welcome someone who's leaving soon. Duh. So the world doesn't end with the Second Coming of Christ. He's just going to come back and rule. Because he totally loves ruling people and stuff. And if you didn't believe in him, well watch out. Jesus is going to go all John McClane on your ass.

So Jesus is coming back and you'll know when because you'll hear the trumpet. Then dead Believers will come back to life so that they don't miss all the fun. If you're alive and a Believer, then you're going to become a zombie spirit thing too. Then all the Spirits are going to make a big welcome wagon for Jesus, who is coming back here to stay.

NOW do you get it?

July 25, 2010

beyond dumb

I was watching 7th Heaven the other day on WGN (I know!) and saw a commercial for a Sunday morning program called "Beyond Today". I was intrigued enough to tell my DVR to record that shit. This morning before work I watched about half of it and, let me tell you, it was a trip. The host, Darris (I don't know what kind of name that is), has a lot to say into his little microphone headset thing, but I had no idea what he was talking about half the time. If you zone out for a moment, as I am wont to do, you will be completely lost. Probably even if you don't zone out.

He starts out talking about Europe as though its some weird continent we may have never heard of before. It's an emerging Superpower! He says it might make you think of World War II or perhaps that it is a country where a terrorist can board a plane with explosives strapped to his waist. Then he shows this crazy shaky video where the camera is an airplane flying at some buildings. Are you scared yet?

Well, you should be! Because in Europe, they don't care about marriage or whatever. Marriage! A bunch of fornicators, those Europeans! And the Bible says something about the Second Coming of Christ happening after something about ten Kings coming to power or something and so that is happening right now, and the Second Coming is, well, coming.

It's always right around the corner, isn't it? Well, fear not. The Christian God is one of mercy and he will send you signs but you've gotta pay attention. Like the ten Kings. Darris assures us that, although we call them Presidents or Prime Ministers now, this will be one of the clues from the Bible so we'll be ready.

Between terrorists and the End of Days, we really have a lot to worry about, don't we? Oh, and fornicators, of course.

I've not yet finished watching this show, as I mentioned above, so I took a little trip over to the web site to see if they could fill in the gaps for me. Darris seems to have a habit of saying really simple sentences but then launching into a very quick few sentences that carry the bulk of the information. That's where my brain starts going, 'Wait, what??' But it seems as though the Book of Revelations is inherently confusing, as prophecy tends to be, since if anyone's going to buy it then it's got to be pretty vague and cryptic.

And so I read one of the accompanying articles, entitled "Europe: A New Superpower on the Rise". It talks about how in the 60's, the social-ists [sic] took over in Europe and that's when we got all that evil homosexuality and abortion and easy divorce (oh my!). They've also including abolishing the death penalty in that list, which is interesting. I've always found it odd that Christians champion the death penalty, but I suppose if we really are going to take the Bible literally then it does make sense.

Anyway, so I guess they think that there's going to be this United States of Europe, of sorts, with Germany at the helm. They make a point of mentioning that Churchill said Germany would never rise again but an old Christian radio show from the 60's did, so TAKE THAT CHURCHILL. You don't know SHIT.

Basically, the Treaty of Lisbon means that the US is going to keep on declining and Europe is going to rise up as a "new superpower", "rivaling the United States". Ok. So how does Jesus factor in? And wouldn't this seem odd to a person who believes that the Christian God favors countries that live the way he says to, yet Europe is this hot-bed of homosexual activity and abortion and whatnot?

The gist seems to be that the Book of Revelations talks about prostitutes and fornicators but this was supposed to be metaphorical. Isn't that convenient for this argument? Oops, I mean, doesn't that make perfect sense? The Church in Europe is in bed with the State--the Secular State--and this is what the Bible really meant.

Ok, are you confused? Well just wait. See, the Kings are supposed to be with "the beast". The Beast is whoever is leading this whole European Superpower thing. They will have power for one hour (not literally, you imbecile! This is just supposed to imply a short time) and are going to somehow make war with Jesus and then Jesus is going to come back and BAM! Rapture.

So, you see, the economic problems we are having are occurring so that the "revived Roman Empire" (aka Super Europe) can take control of the world so that Jesus can come back.

Yes, there is a weekly TV show for people to spout about this crap. They certainly speak as though they're talking about something real. It's really sort of mind-blowing at the same time as being really scary with just a pinch of sad-that-people-are-so-dumb. I go back and forth between being terrified that people actually think these things and amused.

Today, I am amused.

July 21, 2010

on a more serious note

I wouldn't say that I hate my job. That seems too strong. But it's close.

I do a lot of receiving and stocking, that's really the part that I "enjoy" the most. I do a lot of ringing as well, that part isn't always bad but it can also just be the worst thing ever. Sometimes after people have just been ridiculously rude to you again and again, you sort of lose your ability to have any sort of customer service.

If I were paid what I feel I deserve to be paid, though, I think I would probably have a much lower level of job hatred.

Let's just put it out there. I skirt around it a lot. I'm embarrassed by it. I actually just felt my tear ducts spring into action when I let myself say that I'm embarrassed, but I am. I've worked here for five years now, three consecutive, and I make exactly $0.48 above the Ohio Minimum Wage.

The one advantage to making so little money is that I really sympathize with people trying to support themselves making minimum wage. Even making a dollar more than minimum wage. I'm lucky and I get a lot of help with my bills. I don't understand how anyone could support themselves on this salary, let alone children. But that's another blog. This one's about me.

I work hard. Harder than most of my co-workers. A lot of them are older and slower. What takes me an hour would take them the whole day.

The people who sit behind a desk and take tickets? They make more than I do.

I feel undervalued and underpaid. I was promoted and then it was given away to someone else. And I just sat there and took it, like it was fine. As if I had no problem with it at all, as if I agreed with them.

A lot has changed since then. I'm a more confident person. I can say with complete certainty that I am important to this place, that they don't operate as smoothly without me. I can make a line disappear, pick up the store in about thirty minutes and I'm faster at stocking, not least because I can lift more. I can carry a box most of my co-workers would need to get a cart to move, that alone makes me much quicker.

But the problem with this realization that I deserve more is that, at this job, I can't really get it. We're a non-profit. For two years "no one" has gotten a raise. (I never really figured out if the CEO and his billions of BMWs are included in this no one) So it feels like I'm working really hard to climb a mountain by just getting really good at circling the bottom, waiting for them to open the gates so I can really give it a go. All the opportunities for advancement are so far off. I'm like a vulture, circling other people's positions, waiting for them to perish so I can steal their spot. Can I keep working hard for no reward for years and years to achieve something that might not even be that fulfilling?

I don't know. Some days it seems fine; some days I feel so intensely unhappy. But what DO I want to do? What do I want to be? What WOULD be fulfilling? Can I reach my goals here and make room for new ones at the same time?

The future is always uncertain. I think this growing unhappiness--this growing feeling that I'm worth more, smarter than this, better than this--is the motivation I have been waiting for. If I keep going and let it keep building inside of me then I think that's the energy I'm going to harness that will take me down new avenues to fulfillment. I cannot be scared of this, either, even though it might be scary. Sometimes I'm scared to change anything lest it throw me dangerously off-balance. But I think when I have enough drive, enough motivation, then I'll be okay.

The one thing I am sure of? I'm worth way more than $7.78.

July 17, 2010

parade kills brains dead

Ok, I know. I haven't written in forever. It is, perhaps, my greatest flaw. But I don't have the Internet at home right now, so I occasionally write an involved "Annie Teaches You Some History" blog that I can't actually post anywhere. Once I get it fixed, though, I am going to have a whole slew of blogs to just post daily. (Weekly? There aren't that many...) Also, I have been working at work lately. A lot. When it comes to the future and what I'm going to do, well, it's a lot less depressing to just put my nose down and keep working than to ponder such things. But anyway, that's a downer. The point is, I just haven't really been able to blog much. I have not given up on the whole affair, though.

I quickly jotted down a few things to write about to ease back into the whole blog writing rhythm.
Let's begin with the Hills finale! The show has been pretty uneventful and boring this season. I don't care about Kristin and Brody's childish relationship. They both deserve whatever they get with it, likewise with Audrina and JB. I don't care about Stephanie Pratt. Spencer and Heidi were barely on this season (but when they were, it was gold). So, really I couldn't have cared less about whether Kristin was going to leave and whether Brody was going to care that she was. I was happy for Lo but I wouldn't say I find her storyline particularly interesting. BUT then the ending happened! For those that didn't see it, Brody says goodbye to Kristin, leaving for Europe, and she gets into the car which pulls away. They cut to Brody standing in front of the Hollywood Hills, looking...thoughtful? I'm not sure what he was going for. Sad? Afraid? Some sort of solemn expression on the Brody Jenner List of General Expressions to Imply Thought. Then the background looks weird and starts moving because its a BACKDROP! They pull it away as the camera pulls out to reveal that they're on a backlot. And Kristin's car is like 10 feet away! She hops out, hugs Brody, and they walk away.

It was... Surreal. Awesome. I loved it. I sort of feel as though the negative responses to it I have read are indicative of the general intelligence level of Hills fans. A lot of people going, "So you're saying ITS FAKE?!" I think it's up for interpretation, which is awesome that they'd do something like that anyway, but I felt like it was just supposed to be like a mindfuck of sorts. DiVello called it a "wink" to viewers. I'll just call it awesome.

I am really enjoying the new show Huge on ABC Family. I fully expected to hate it, so it was a very pleasant surprise. The teenagers on it actually act and look like teenagers. Their self-esteem issues are very realistic. The main character, when told she has to be in a bathing suit for a "before" picture, does a sort-of striptease to undermine the camp director. She seems extremely confident here, doing this in front of everyone in the camp. But then afterwards, she says how embarrassed she is that she did it. The characters are all like this--realistic, multi-faceted. And it's nice to have a show where everybody's fat. This allows them to just be human beings, not a token character or a completely sympathetic one. Storylines about the Camp Director seem a bit misplaced, though. Long-lost father and affair with the Camp Director at the neighboring Tennis Camp? I think we've got enough without adding those plotlines in. But genuinely funny moments and realistic teens make this my surprise favorite summer show.

Besides new TV, the summer brings us stupid parades. Stupid, stupid parades! I made the mistake of going to our local community 4th of July parade and it was the most irritating thing. Parents letting their kids run out into the street to get candy. Some annoying woman with big teeth constantly letting her balloon hit us in the head. One of my craziest neighbors carrying a sceptor of sorts and wearing a New Year's hat. The sun was relentless. And the floats were just utter crap. People didn't even bother to do anything besides put a sticker on the side of a car. Local politicians abounded, of course, but it makes one wonder why. They don't make an effort to make an impressive float, they are all there so no candidate stands out as being more personable soo... Why? Why did I have to look at Jean Schmidt's ugly dinosaur neck and her dumb ponytail? And let us not forget the enormous local Tea Party, proudly tromping down the street, decrying taxes. I'm wondering if they went to the fireworks? And if they think fireworks are free? Ah, but that is a different blog.

Oh, and all two of the local Democrats! Hey, guys!

I wasn't expecting the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, but it seemed just really low-quality in all regards. From children rushing the streets to the awkward way they kept having to stop the parade so that it took about twenty years for the thing to end... How many years have they done this? Seems like they should have it down to a science. And then there were the many, many churches. At least five or six different churches were represented. One was handing out Revised American History pamphlets. Another was throwing Religious Silly Bands to the kids, in the most blatant attempt to lure them in. All had candy. "Say, I like this God guy. You get candy. And Silly Bands!" It makes me supremely uncomfortable to have these people in my face, not least because I am scared they're going to try and talk to me.

And THEN. There was the Estate Tax Petition Guy. Who I would bet my life does not make enough money to be effected by the tax. Who I was very anxious was going to come try to talk to me. So, not only was the parade very un-entertaining, it made me anxious. It was like I was at a Republican Convention mixed with a Church Service and people kept touching me and my brain was just really freaking out about it.

Needless to say, I don't think I will be attending the parade next year.

Well, I suppose I'm done for now. I promise I will try to write more. I guess that promise is mainly for me, since I don't think anyone really reads this regularly. But it is a promise nonetheless.

April 26, 2010

leashed initial deviation

I was a kid on a leash. Not a leash like today's Monkey Backpack Fake-Out Leashes, but a spiraled stretchy red one with velcro wrist cuffs. I can remember being attatched to it in only one memory in which I am at the zoo in a big crowd of people.

I tend to judge Leash Users. They generally just look lazy. Like somehow four adults can't keep track of one kid and so they have to leash the kid out of utter laziness. God forbid they have to, like, run after them.

But I know my parents aren't like that, they're just uber paranoid. I'm sure it was more just to be sure that no one grabbed me out of the crowd. I was such a vibrant and attractive child that it really makes a lot of sense.

The parents I see now, though, just seem to be lazy. They're generally not in a crowd. They stand there while their toddler tries and tries to get further than the leash will allow. Their kids behave worse on the leash than I would expect my dog to behave.

Ok, I don't have a dog. But I have had a dog. And you teach them to heel. So, if you are going to leash your child, in essence treating it like a dog, then at least have the decency to train it like a dog.

I can't believe there hasn't been some outrageous leash death story. Like a kid's leash gets stuck in a wood chipper and slowly pulls him towards SUDDEN DEATH. Then you could really be outraged when you saw a leashed kid. "Those things are DANGEROUS. How lazy are you?" So lazy that they'd rather put their kid through a wood chipper than run after them.

See how easy you can spin that?

I'm certainly not calling for blood, but you see what I mean.

(I am in no way suggesting that anyone put a child into a wood chipper. Just to be clear. Although you Mainstream Media Thugs are just going to take what I say out of context anyway.)

Or maybe some people could accidentally switch leashed kids and not realize it because they are ignoring their children entirely. That could be wacky.

I've always had this dream where there are things called "Lost Child Simulation Rooms". For instance, you'd have one of the Rooms in the mall. Then any unattended children who are either too young to be unattended or are causing a ruckus would be whisked off to this Room. When the parents realize that they're missing a kid (you know, after like FIVE hours have passed) then you take them to the Room and they can have their kid back. But not until it is explained to them that they were put in the Room to demonstrate how they could already be gone or have caused thousands of dollars in damages or at least really made someone hate their job.

It would probably have little effect but it would make the people that have to deal with said children feel better.

Do you think Octomom has 8 leashes and then they all get tangled up around her and she's wrapped in all the leashes, carrying a bunch of shopping bags? Well, don't worry, little one. In Heaven she does. In Heaven she does everyday. Now, go quietly into that gentle wood chipper, little leash martyr. Twas not in vain.

April 25, 2010

Seacrested Butte

I know you've all been wondering whether or not I watch American Idol and really clamoring for my opinion on this year's contestants. Well, I've decided to give you what you want. Yes, it's here at long last. Who do I like? Who do I think will win? This.......Is (my) American Idol (blog).

Crystal Bowersox is obviously the most consistent, but this does't necessarily constitute a win. However, I don't know of any past performers who have been as consistent. She's gotta bite it eventually, right? Even Clay Aiken had his "Somewhere Out There". Let's think about all of her performances since the Top 24. "Hand in My Pocket", "Give Me One Reason", "You Can't Always Get What You Want", "Me and Bobby McGee", "Midnight Train to Georgia", "Come Together", "Saved" and "People Get Ready". My prehistoric computer will not allow me to watch videos of these past performances to confirm, but I'm pretty sure everything she's ever done has been awesome. I really don't want to like her but she doesn't often give me any reason to hate her so she's really growing on me.

Lee DeWyze has also grown on me over the weeks. "Chasing Cars" and "Fireflies" and "Treat Her Like a Lady" were all really awful. But I want to like him. He's got that Chad Kroeger-y voice but, I mean, I guess the difference is that I find him attractive. I want him to stay just for me to look at. I wasn't crazy about his "Boxer" performance but I think that's more about my random particularity. I like where he's headed with that performance, though. And, it should be noted, he has never been in the bottom 3.

Michael Lynche, or Inverse Danny Gokey, as I call him, is sort of Ruben-esque in that he sings and it's pretty and it makes you want to vote for him but if you really think about it you have no interest in actually listening to the music he'd make. I want him singing over the credits to a Disney film or something and that's really about it. I really dug "Eleanor Rigby" but David Cook's version was so good that I couldn't help but compare the two.

Casey James. Oh, Casey James. It's funny, I really don't care for him but I remember more of his performances than anyone else's. Probably because he's really good, he just needs to make, like, a lateral move. Because week after week I remark how he just sounds like the best damn wedding singer that I've ever heard. Like, freaking out of this world wedding singer. Case in point? "The Power of Love". He didn't really change it much, just sang it. And you know what? It was REALLY good! If I heard it at my cousin's wedding reception. Any other venue and what's the point of it? Its not even karaoke because it sounds like him singing it with his band. Like I should be sitting outside at a bar, listening to him and drinking and saying, "Wow, this dude should go on American Idol!"

Siobhan. Where do I begin? She's been sucking so bad lately that I can't even remember a time when I liked her that much. I don't even really like her voice anymore. And her whiny "I don't even know who I am" speech really turned me off. Sorry, Siobhan. I think that for a moment, you could've gone to the end. But you're like a little lost sheep that doesn't get that it can still be a special little sheep but it still has to do what people tell it sheep are supposed to do.

Aaron Kelly blah blah. He's the Dark Horse in all this. I don't think people are aware of how long this little guy could potentially stay in it. Without Tim Urban to split the horny tween vote, he could really explode.

This week the theme is Shania Twain songs, which sounds horrid but I think it will be a really interesting challenge. Whoever sings "From This Moment On" is going to be really bad. I don't know who's going to do it, but someone is. Aaron Kelly will obviously sing "Man, I Feel Like A Woman". I expect Siobhan will do something really weird and not awesome again. I think she could be gone this week.

As for a final two? I'm going to go ahead and say we will be seeing Crystal versus Aaron. Probably really Crystal versus Lee. But if Casey or Lee don't go soon, they're going to be splitting the vote for their audience, I think, and one of them must perish or neither can succeed. But will Crystal win? Now that, I don't know. The people you're sure will win never seem to win. But then again, I don't know if anyone's ever been as good as Crystal. So, if I had to bet now, I'd go ahead and put my money on a Crystal/Aaron Final Two with a Crystal win. However, if its a Crystal/Lee Final Two, my money is on Lee. But only time and effing Shania Twain week will tell.

April 19, 2010

drip drip drop dripdripdrip

I did a Big Girl thing today that I hate doing... I called my landlord!

I have an inexplicable fear of landlords. I just prefer to have little contact with them. I don't know what it is. I guess I just don't like knowing some stranger has the key to my apartment. I picturing him walking around in there, opening all of my cabinets and looking in my messy-ass bedroom. Perusing my fridge and criticizing my diet. Wondering about my giant bag of smashed cans. Shaking his head at my dining room table turned crafting area. I'm always scared there's something in there that will displease him. It's a completely irrational fear, though. When I actually think about it, try to think of something that shouldn't be, there isn't anything. It's just silliness. And yet there it is, in the back of my head. 'Landlords are SCARY.'

After all, he is, sort of, The Man. And I've never gotten along so well with The Man. The Man doesn't like me and I fear his criticism.

There's no battery in my smoke detector. There it is! The thing! The thing that will make him mad! Or at least make him leave a passive-aggressive pamphlet about smoke alarm batteries. But, really. The stupid thing goes off anytime I use the stove. I don't know, I guess when I am burning to a crisp in my bed then I will have learnt my lesson. My neighbor's the one who decorates the fire extinguisher for Christmas. I think that's a little more dangerous.

The reason I called him this time around was because of the stupid bathtub faucet. The apartments were built in the 50's and, while they've been very well-maintained, the plumbing is still really ancient. You have a simple problem like a leaky faucet and it seems like it just opens up a whole can of wormy plumbing issues. Two years ago in the wintertime, the faucet started dripping. As the cold weather continued, it dripped more and more until it was really more of a stream. Finally there was a note on the door that the landlord would be checking each of the apartments because the water bill was high. This is the part where I started feeling silly about not calling in the first place.

The day came and I left him a note stating that it was probably my leaky faucet and I'm sorry I hadn't called and thanks!!!!!!!!!!! (I hope exclaimation points don't piss him off) He said he'd be back to fix the faucet and a few days later I realized what he meant by "fix". The faucet was no longer a stream but back to a drip. The handle had a bunch of scratch marks on it, so I assumed he probably just took a wrench and went at it.

This winter, the drip returned. Sure enough, it's now a stream. I discovered that lemon juice and vinegar beat out any other cleaning product on the market when it comes to cleaning off calcium and lime and they even keep it away when your faucet refuses to quit. That's a good tip, write that down. I used almost a whole bottle of CLR to no avail. Lemon juice and vinegar, I tell you. Anyhow, I did a google-search to see if we had a plausible do-it-myself situation. But I learned that it was probably an old washer and that everything was probably going to be stuck together because it was so old and I was looking at about $60 worth of supplies just to get the parts out to check.

There were no other options. It was time to call up Hunky. So I called him today and gladly left him a voicemail. Hopefully he calls a plumber this time instead of doing a quick-fix that'll have it leaking again in 6 months. But I'm not holding my breath.

I will be sure to share with you the exciting conclusion! I know you will be waiting with bated breath. And don't forget that vinegar/lemon juice thing!