Abyss of Silence

Friday, January 13, 2017

What the hell?! (pun intended)

I am forced to look askance at anyone who thinks it impossible for an atheist to be a moral person.  If they took 5 seconds to really think it through and came to the same conclusion, that’s troubling.  It makes me wonder, “geeze, what the hell kind of sick, perverse shit is going on in their head?”  If the only thing that is holding them back is a belief in future punishment, what does that say about them?  I don’t believe in a mystical score board and yet I would never intentionally hurt anyone because I DON’T WANT TO.  I know causing harm to others is wrong without an invisible father figure waggling his finger at me.

I get ants in my house when it rains a lot.  So I’m forced to kill them until they stop coming in because otherwise I’d be overrun.  I hate doing this!  I apologize while I do it.  Ants are fascinating, industrious little creatures and it pains me to have to eliminate them.

As horrible a person as Osama Bin Laden was, I was disturbed by the scenes of people dancing in the street upon hearing he was killed.  It seems ghoulish to me to see people celebrating a death.  I’m not arguing whether it should have been done or not, I’m saying the flag waving and fist pumping was garish and jarring.

I’m not a saint.  I think some awful thoughts sometimes when I am frustrated by inconsiderate, slow, stupid people.  I have wished some nasty things on people who have wronged me.  Every single time I’ve had one of these thoughts it was immediately followed up with a chiding, “that’s horrible, you don’t mean that, don’t think that” afterthought.

Long story short:  I have a conscience!  I know right from wrong.  I don’t want to do wrong because well…. I don’t want to do wrong.  I recognize that others have hopes, dreams and feelings just like I do.  It’s called fellow feeling.

Is this unusual?

Are most of these Christians (the ones who like so much to expound on the unlikeliness of moral atheists) like caged animals?  Are they eager to go out and steal and murder and rape but won’t just because they fear punishment?  People with such inclinations are not people I wish to be acquainted with.

It is likely that they just haven't thought it through or are limited in their ability to consider something from a different perspective or don't have much in the way of imagination and are blinded by prejudice and happy to pass judgement on others.

Which is worse?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The unspoken public bathroom etiquette amongst females (California 2015 Edition)

I was once speaking with a male who did not believe this but for the most part, this is the truth about the ladies room.

1. You will neither drop a duce nor break wind when someone else is in the bathroom.
     a. In the case of an accidental event (one which you were unable to quickly cover with a cough or flush) you will show the proper amount of shame and wait in the stall until that other person has left the bathroom as there should never be eye contact between the emitter and emittee.
     b. In the case of the entry of someone else after your unpleasantness has occurred, you needn’t wait until they leave the bathroom if you are ready to leave.  However, you must wait until they are properly sequestered in their own stall.  Again, eye contact is forbidden.  We cannot acknowledge this has happened.

2. If you enter the bathroom and notice feet in a stall but hear no tinkling and/or smell the foul fumes, you will do your business as quickly as possible and get out so as to not bring more humiliation (or muscle strain) upon your fellow female.  You will also not make comment or sounds of disgust at the smell while in the bathroom.

3. The following activities are frowned upon in a public bathroom
  • Applying make-up and doing hair – when another woman is silently in a stall
  • Brushing your teeth - when another woman is silently in a stall
  • Talking on a cell phone – at any time
  • Chatting with your gal pal – shut up and get out, someone else needs to do private, private things
4. It is acceptable to give stink eye to anyone you see leaving a stall who does not wash her hands.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

My Donald Trump Fantasy

Yes, I had a fantasy about him a few months ago after hearing some of the shockingly awful, hateful things he was spewing. I had never been a fan of the man but didn’t think him as terrible as this.  Then I had this interesting thought. 

What if he discovered that he has a fatal illness and for the first time in his life the scales fell from his eyes and he looked around at his tacky, gold-plated existence and realized his legacy would be greed and bunch of bad hair jokes? So he racked his brain and decided that, given his unique position of wealth and fame, he would, in a final act of pure altruism, single-handedly take down the Republican Party by being a fantastically vile candidate and really shove this crap in people's faces. Then he could leave a video to be played after his death letting everyone know what he did and be heralded as a hero.  

Now, I do not wish a fatal illness upon him or anyone but how genius would that plan be?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Week 1 Achievements

I was worried that I would spend my entire vacation planted in front of the television.  Generally I'm so tired on weekends, that's what I end up doing more often than not.

But luckily I did do things.  I didn't move the earth or anything but I got some shit done....

-  Mended 1 skirt
-  Finished 1 skirt (I had been making this skirt forever)
-  Mended 4 tops
-  Washed delicate items (that have been sitting in a corner for about a year)  and no, not undies, fancier stuff that needed to be washed by hand.
-  Compiled a large bag and took to Goodwill and reorganized closet.

-  Took old paint to toxic waste place
-  Bathroom (hard scrub on tub and scrubbed floor, cleaned all surfaces, steam cleaned grout)
-  Cleared one bookshelf from my office and moved it downstairs
-  Organized new dvd bookshelf in living room
-  Cleared some brush from side of house (enough to fill the green bin)

Physical activities
-  See house activities above
-  Been to the gym many times (almost every day)
-  Went rollerskating with David & Dana

-  Sent out all the checks
-  Scanned items and packaged up to go to storage
-  Took items to storage (two trips)
-  Picked up mail from P.O. Box
-  Answered a bunch of email

-  Purchased tickets to Texas to visit with Preston & Bryan
-  Contacted friends about getting together
-  Didn’t check work email once
-  Did some cooking.
-  Read in the backyard for a couple of hours.
-  Bread is baking even as I type this!

So yay!  It's been a relaxing first week and I feel like I've gotten stuff done which feels good.  I also noticed that it felt like a week.  It didn't feel like a couple of blurred days!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering that day 12 years ago...

I was at work at Simon & Schuster in Rockefeller Center that morning when my boss, Wendy Nicholson, cried out, “Oh My God!”

“What?” I asked.

“A plane flew into one of the towers of the World Trade Center.”

“Whoa!  What was it, a Cessna?” I asked.  Those things seemed to always be crashing.  I’m embarrassed to say I was almost flippant about it.  That’s what living in New York will do to you.

Later on…

“Oh My God!”  she called out again.  “Another plane has flown into the second tower!”

I ran into her office as she was turning on her TV.  We started to watch the coverage, sporadically glancing at each other over the next few minutes not comprehending. 

Finally my brain unfroze and I said, “There is no way this is a coincidence, it must be terrorism.”

We continued to watch the coverage, I don’t remember much of what happened in the interim.  I think Wendy made some calls, she knew someone who worked there.  A guy a few floors up had a wife who worked there too.

The first tower fell.  I gripped the edge of her desk “Oh my god, it’s falling, it’s falling!”

I think sometime between the first and the second tower’s collapse I called Rick.  He didn’t even know what was happening.  He’d been at home working on school stuff.

After the second tower collapsed they decided we had better evacuate.  As we were in a landmark complex and who knew however many planes were going to fall out of the sky.  I wrote an email to everyone in my address list saying that we were evacuating the building.  If a plane hit Rockefeller Center, at least they would know I had gotten out.

I met up with my friends from my old department and we left the building.  I can’t remember if we took the stairs or elevators, probably the stairs.  One of my friends was really worried about her friend who works at the WTC and she couldn't get a hold of her.

We stepped outside and it was a warm, breezy, beautiful day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  I took a look south and saw the plume.  It was many miles away and yet visible.  I turned my back on it and started to walk north with thousands of other New Yorkers.  There was no wailing or crying or screaming, just silence.  I've never been in a place with so many people and it be so quite.  Everyone just looked shocked.

Occasionally a plane would fly overhead and everyone’s head would shoot up to look.  They were military aircraft at this point.  It was so strange to see them flying over the city.  I parted ways with my friends in the middle of Central Park.  I was heading further north than they were.  I had walked home on many occasions in fine weather as it was only about three miles or so.

When I had gotten home there weren't any new developments.  Some family members and friends had called to check up on me.  We walked over to the hospital to donate blood.  A lot of people were there with the same idea.  Our names and phone numbers were taken in case it was needed.  We never got a call.

I don’t remember much about the rest of that day.  My boss called that evening telling me to not go in to work the next day.

I wish I had gone in to work.  The wind had changed direction and the next day I could smell it with every inhale.  It smelled like burning plastic.  Every breath was a fresh reminder.  I just watched the television coverage and felt like nothing would ever be the same again.  At one point I just had to stop watching.  The local stations gave time to people searching for their missing loved ones.  They’d hold up a photo and beg for anyone who has seen them to call in.  It was too much for me.

The day after that, I did go back to work.  My subway train was one that went to the WTC and the new stopping point announcement brought fresh tears to my eyes.  The subway was quiet.  The streets were quite, no one honked or shouted.  I remember hearing someone laugh down the hall at work and got really angry.  WHAT ON EARTH COULD POSSIBLY BE FUNNY?  Laughter seemed heartless.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Everyone’s mother raised them wrong, except mine… and I wish she hadn’t bothered.

Let me start out by admitting that I have an anger problem.  It’s my go-to emotion.  I don’t choose it, it chooses me.  I’m a little intense, or as others put it “fucking intimidating,” which I don’t get but … whatever.

So when people aren’t behaving properly, my first response is to get pissed.

A little background…
My Mom spent a good deal of my childhood teaching me to be considerate of others by…
  • tugging me aside and telling me not to stand in peoples way
  • shushing me when I was loud because it might annoy people
  • making me clean up after myself so things would be nice for other people
  • correcting my grammar because she didn’t want me to sound like an idiot (she just corrected me and made me repeat phrases correctly…she didn’t mention the idiot thing)
  • etc
In other words, she wanted me to behave knowing that I am an intelligent person but not the center of the FUCKING universe.  (See what I mean about the anger?)

The behavior I see every day speaks volumes of the bad parenting that happened back in the day.  [I don’t know about current parents so don’t get all up in my shit.  Your kids are still developing and I haven’t seen the result yet.]

Since I commute to my job on BART, a lot of my gripes about humanity are realized there.
  • The asshole playing his fucking tinny music out of his phone, or has his music on so loud you can hear it very clearly through his ear buds.
  • The skinny bitch sitting next to me on BART and encroaching into my seat.  (Ever notice how fat people tend to be more conscious of the amount of space they take up?  If I can keep my fat ass in the confines of my seat, this stick-insect moron can too.)
  • The woman talking to her friend, or browsing on her cell phone and ignoring her wild-ass child/children’s annoying antics.
  • The ass-hat spilling food (you’re not supposed to eat on BART, shithead) or throwing trash on the floor.
  • The jerk speaking loudly on his cell phone asking someone “Where you at?”  If you’re going to be loud can you at least speak correctly?
  • The douche taking up two seats (one for himself and one for his bag) who actually gets pissed when someone else asks to sit down.
  • The two girls talking on the other side of the train, using the word “like” overmuch.  Do you know how I know that?  Because I can hear every damned idiot word they are saying.
  • The oblivious toolbags who stand in front of the opening doors instead of getting the hell out of the way when a bunch of people need to alight.


They weren’t raised right.  Period.  Unfortunately (or perhaps for the best) I’m too much of a chicken-shit to actually confront (read: correct) people.  I just end up seething on the inside, throwing dirty looks and calling them all manner of filthy things in my head.  So basically, I lose.   It’s not healthy.  Bad manners may well end up being the death of me.

So the problem isn’t them, it’s me.  All I want to do is sit quietly and read a book but I’m too-often being pulled out of my book by someone behaving poorly.

Now if my Mom hadn’t taken so much bother I would probably be on BART obliviously annoying someone else, with completely normal blood pressure.

RANT ENDS (for now)

--And before someone mentions it, yes I curse like a sailor.  If I didn’t I would explode.  This behavior was not learned from my Mom.  It’s all me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Put very plainly...

I believe the existence of life on Earth is complete by random happenstance.  We evolved from the cocktail of elements that ended up on this planet, without any supernatural help.  There is NO good evidence for the supernatural.  Belief in anything without supporting evidence because it sounds nice or because it’s what you were taught as a child is, well… childish.  It’s as childish as modifying ones behavior in order to be rewarded or avoid punishment, rather than doing what’s right for the sake of doing right.

I don’t care if belief in a lie is comforting.  A lie is a lie, not matter how pretty it is. These warm and fuzzy lies are ultimately destructive as they prevent progress. 

I would like everyone’s comfort bubble to burst so we could all grow up and move forward in solving humanities problems using reasoned thought, free from dogma.

I’m sorry you’re not so important that you were created in the image of god.  I’m sorry there is no meaning to life.

The meaning of your life is whatever meaning you assign to it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Front yard ideas

Sunday, July 04, 2010


Weird observations...

Ruth Gordon's hands looked like my Grandmother's, whom I called Callo.

Meanwhile Patricia Routlege's hands look the way Grandma Paynter's used to.

What makes these observations weird is that I've never noted anyone elses' hand and how they resemble the hands of any other members of my family, just my grandmothers.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Decoration Ideas - Stairs (Exterior & Interior)

Spanish tiles for front of stairs (risers). Such as these.

Decoration Ideas - Bathroom

I love the tile work in this bathroom, plus it's in keeping with our 1920s house. Here is another one.

Decoration Ideas - Kitchen

Black & White Checkerboard floor tiles as seen in a house we bid on but didn't get. Love it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wilson Continued


Friday, February 26, 2010


Ok, so I haven't blogged in, like, forever. So why do these douche bags keep adding comments to my most recent posts?

Hey do you want your penis enlarged?
Hey do you want me to steal your identity?
Hey I know a great site where you can buy meat!
Hey I know a great site where you can see my meat!

Blah, blah, blah

I mean who falls for this shit?

And since this is going to be my most recent post, more douche bags are going to add these lame ad/comments.

Screw off!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

If you have not seen this yet. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How Long Would You Survive in a Horror Film?

Got this test from my pal Dana...

Your result for How Long Would you Survive in a Horror Film?

The Horror Aficionado
54% chance of survival!
Sometimes known as "the wise guy" or "the totally platonic best friend". This character is usually either the most likeable or most excruciatingly annoying character in the movie, because he's almost always the comic relief (or lack thereof). Sometimes he is the first to die because he figures out what's going on, tries to escape and is killed. However, the horror aficionado will more likely use his knowledge to devise the plan that eliminates the threat. That means he survives until the end where he ends up dying as a sacrifice so that the heroine can carry out the plan. Though he tends to lack a backbone, you do feel somewhat bad when he dies.
As long as people feel somewhat bad when I die.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Why not? Everybody else does.

I don’t get it and I’m getting somewhat concerned about it. I seem to intimidate the shit out of people. The weird thing is I don’t try to and don’t understand what it is about me that people find so intimidating.

  • I don’t shout at people.
  • I don’t throw things.
  • I get mad at circumstances not individuals (generally).

I think it’s kind of a funny intimidation because my coworkers (often) make jokes about it but it seems like they also really don’t want to anger me.

So what is it? This is an honest inquiry.

What sparked this entry was someone who came over from our manufacturing plant and I asked if he had a check they had received yesterday. He said that [the guy who received it] generally freaks out with checks and wants to get them over here as quickly as possible so I don’t get mad.

I’ve never ever yelled at this person. I’ve been nothing but pleasant to him so how did he pick up on the idea that I’m so fucking scary?

If anyone who knows me has any idea, please let me know.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Holy Crap! I'm a commie!

I always thought I was a libertarian. Not according to this test. My dad may never speak to me again!
You are a

Social Liberal
(83% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid.com: Free Online Dating

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Jean-Luc Picard... again

This is the second time that a goofy personality quiz has told me that I am Picard. The first time was a "Which Sci-Fi character are you?" quiz, it included may different SciFi movies and tv shows. So in the entire science fiction genre, I'm just this one dude. In case I doubted it, I suppose this was confirmation. Well... at least I'm consistent.

Wait, how am I 50% like Worf and 50% like Deanna Troi? I'm either crazy or really complicated!

Your results:
You are Jean-Luc Picard
Jean-Luc Picard
Will Riker
Deanna Troi
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Geordi LaForge
Mr. Scott
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Sulu
Beverly Crusher
A lover of Shakespeare and other
fine literature. You have a decisive mind
and a firm hand in dealing with others.

Which Star Trek Character Are You?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Very Random Opinion

I was watching Erin Brockovich a few weeks ago and I had a strong reaction to Albert Finney in that movie, or more specifically to his face. I was struck by how kind his face is. He's seems so sweet, like a teddy bear. I mean, I found him rather creepy in Annie years ago but now quite the reverse. It's probably nothing a man would want to hear a woman say about him but well, there it is.


I mean, strange. I have no idea why I had such a strong, random reaction like this.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008



I actually saw "Kelley" perform this before a Margaret Cho concert a few months ago.

It is probably the stupidest thing ever made and yet I find it hilarious.

I'm not well.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

American Idol Geek Out Time

Last night's finale was fantastic and surprising. First of all (drumroll) for the first time my pick won! Holy crap! David Cook has been my favorite since before the final 12, and I am so completely pleased he won. I was shocked thinking the tweens would win the day and coronate David Archuletta. Happily I was wrong. In fact I was so convinced that the wrong David would win, when Ryan Seacrest announced David Cook the winner I let out a surprised yelp.


  • In General: This finale was much better than last year's show. Unlike last year, the two-hours seemed to fly by. The performances were, for the most part, fantastic. And there wasn't the glut of religious songs that plagued last year's god fest show. While I got sick of it constantly being mentioned early in the season, I must agree that this year truly did have the most talented group I've seen in the 4 seasons I've been watching.
  • Mike Myers' Love Guru: Mike Myers was on to plug his upcoming movie. I generally bristle at this kind of stuff but it was actually quite funny.
  • Donna Summers: She needed help getting down the main staircase, but the woman can still sing. She was great!
  • Bryan Adams: He was looking older and very thin but the guy still can't sing. Well, at least he's consistent.
  • Visiting hometowns: They had remote cameras at gathering places in the finalists hometowns. Those segments could have been easily left out.
  • Graham Nash & Brooke: I'm not terribly familiar with the music of Crosby, Stills & Nash, however the song Graham Nash sang with Brooke White was really sweet. It was folksy and right up Brooke's alley, who it was really nice to see again. I was bummed when she got kicked off.
  • Guitar Hero ads: I almost skipped past them on my TiVo but there were two Risky Business-esque ads during the broadcast for the video game "Guitar Hero". There was a version with each finalist. Funny, the Cook one had the sexy aspect, while the Archuletta one had the cute aspect. I mean since Archuletta looks like he's 13 years old, it seemed more like a little kid playing a video game when his parents are out to dinner or something.
  • You Are My Brother!: Instead of giving the lunatics from the early audition episodes a whole platform, this time they just gave one a chance to sing his song. Preston and I had a field day with this guy and his song, so I was happy to see him again. Very goofy, but the guy, though weird, seemed sweet and genuine.
  • Jordin Sparks: Last year's (not my pick) idol did a song. She was good but her dress was tragic. It looked like a gold potato sack. Surely she has enough money now to get her dresses taylored!
  • Gladys Night & "the Pips": Doctored old video of Gladys Night singing "Midnight Train to Georgia" with Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr. as her Pips was cute.
  • Carrie Underwood: Blech! Enough of Carrie Underwood (another, not my pick). I found her country song attocious. It was the only part of the show I fast forwarded through.
  • George Michael: He was phenominal. As I had already mentioned to someone else he looked like Harry Dean Stanton with big sunglasses and a wig. According to Preston, he had a botched facelift or something. After I had gotten over the shock of the ravages that time and scalpel had on his once pretty face, I started to listen to the song he was singing. My goodness, it was so beautiful. He apologized about his cold after singing the song. Either I couldn't tell or it added to the raw quality. It was one of those tragic songs about growing up and being greedy and it's hard to love because there's so much to hate and all we can hope for in life is time. I got misty. First time I've ever been impressed by George Michael. In fact, I found a link to the performance. Judge for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZXE8Fohj8M

So the Pros of the night outweighted the Cons by a long shot. I liked the show very much. The intermittent group sings were fun and on the whole, it was a very enjoyable show. The absolute best was kept for last, the combination of George Michael and then minutes later, David Cook winning.


Saturday, May 10, 2008


Below are photos that go along with the past several months of not blogging. I mainly put them up to go along with a long catch up email I sent to my pal, Amanda, whom I've been neglecting.

But I hope you can enjoy them too.

You may notice that I tend to take picture of scenes and things (and my cat) instead of people. I suppose I do this because I hate being photographed myself. So the few pictures I do have of people tend to be from a goodish distance.

And in defense of my taking so many pictures of my cat, all I can say is if you had such a cute and funny cat, you'd take a crapload of picture of him too. So n'yah!

Anyway, here ya go...

Random Photos: Recent trip & sundry

Drove down the 101 to my Mom's recently, here are a few pics from my favorite rest stop in Goleta. Don't know why, I just love this rest stop!

During that brief trip, we went to my old friend Jim's wedding.

On our drive home we took some pictures of some of the lovely mustard plants growing up the coast...

Two gifts in one...
I was given a TiVo, Pai was given a box.